If you're like me and have seen Evil Dead thirty times, you know that the woods is dangerous territory full of spiders, bears, and demon-possessed trees. So the woods are a big ol' f*ck no for me.
Then there are some people whose lives revolve around walking through the woods, whether as a park ranger, hunter, or anything in between. But that doesn't mean they haven't seen some scary stuff too.
"Rangers, forest workers, hunters, and other woods-people of Reddit, what is your scary experience in the woods that you still can't explain?" u/ThatDamZoomer asked.
Can't help you, bud.Giphy
I've shared this story before:
We have a camp that we visit during the hunting months and about every other weekend in between that. To get to our camp, you have to turn off of a major road onto a gravel road, drive about a mile, then turn onto another gravel road for about a half mile. It's set between a few other camps, plus some residents that live out there. It's quiet, for the most part. There are some coyotes and bobcats. Bobcats are the worst due to their terrible scream. It sounds like a woman crying for help. There has also been a black panther and wild dogs.
2013 we were at the camp for Thanksgiving. We hunted, fished, cooked, drank, all that good camp stuff. On night, we're sitting around a fire, swapping funny stories and just listening to the silence of the woods. As we're talking, we all hear, "Help me!". At first, we thought it was a bobcat. We listened some more and heard it again. It was a man's voice yelling "help me!" repeatedly.
Now, our first instinct was to grab our guns. Second was to go towards the voice, BUT you never know what you will encounter in the woods. It was dark and cold. The hunters knew the area very well. We called the police, and explained everything to the responding officers.
The weird part was that we NEVER once heard it while the officers were with us. Not once. The officers left and we heard the man again, repeating "help me". About half an hour later, the officers came back and we didn't hear any call for help. Again, silence. We all decided it was best to go inside our camp for the night. We never did find out anything. I've only been back to the camp once since then. Really freaked me out.
Kinda creepy thing happened to me when I was a student forester this summer. So, the forest I was working in was about 20 kms from the nearest town which contained around 1200 people and we usually set out for what ever task we have to do in the forest at around 7:00am.
So we are at the forest at around 7:30am and we are about 12 kms up the road when we turn a corner very slowly and see what I initially thought to be a weird looking bush or statue but it was in fact a person, sitting on a carved out stump on the side of the road, just sitting there. What really threw me off was the fact that this person had a parka on and a balaclava underneath it IN THE MIDDLE OF SUMMER.
We drove by this person real slow and he lifted a hand to wave slowly as we drove past and it was just super creepy. Never saw them again after that but it did make going out on excursions a little more uneasy sometimes when alone.
No tiki houses allowed!Giphy
We always built a tiki house in our woods, (just some normal kids) and had loads of fun. But every week when we came back, it was destroyed and we were sad as hell, and always built a new one.
One day we saw a guy in a black hoodie taking our sticks apart. We never came back.
Heebie jeebies is an understatement.
I've lived on the high dessert for most of my life (6000' above sea level if you're wondering). I was out riding my horse alone in the absolute middle of BFE in the Badlands (no trees, and hardly any brush to speak of so sounds carry a long way and there is nowhere to hide for long) when all of a sudden his ears perk up. I feel my skin start to crawl like we're being watched. My normally mellow gelding, starts to panic. I start to feel really dizzy, and my horse stumbles. I black out.
I come to an hour or so later about 3 Miles away from the inciting incident still on my horse. He is frothing with sweat and shaking all over. I'm still not sure what happened. I had plenty of water and snacks. It was 65ish Degrees and breezy, so I don't believe weather or dehydration/hunger were a factor. I have never before or after had a fainting spell, and that was the most reliable, quiet horse I've ever owned.
I now have a serious case of the heebie jeebies again just thinking about it.
Finding a target.
My friends and I were high in the woods deep in the Sierra Nevadas in the California back country and decided to travel a few miles off a path to reach a river and shoot at targets with our 22. The path is littered with deer bones and claw marks from bears so we're freaking out a bit but finally make it to where we set up camp.
I notice off in the distance about a half mile upstream the river there are two men walking towards us in the exact direction we are firing our gun. I yell at the guys for them to stop shooting and we just watch these men, wide-eyed and in their late 20's and early 30's walking quickly alongside the river when suddenly they both decide to jump in.
I should say at this point that the river is moving very quickly and could easily sweep you under and is definitely not safe for a casual swim. We watch as both the men are swept away towards us downstream. One of my friends, we'll call him Mike, decides to be brave and get close to the edge and extend a piece of wood for them to grab as they're about to pass us. Both the men latch on and Mike is the hero pulling them to shore.
When everyone catches their breath we asked the men what they were doing out here as it's super remote and they were at least 3 or 4 miles from the nearest trail and why they both jumped in the deadly river they give us short answers like "Oh we were just having fun boys" and "Just free swimming the river!" while they're leering at us.
Immediately the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and every fiber in my body tells me they mean us harm. We tell them we're going to head back to the trail and they say they're coming with us. Given that we're so far off from civilization and these guys are clearly high on something and a danger to themselves we reluctantly agree to allow them to follow us.
It was the most quiet hike of my life. I felt them trying to feel out if they could take us in a fight. There were three of us and two of them and we had a 22 but were young squirrelly adults. I don't know how to explain it but the hike was us constantly positioning against each other with body language without ever directly fighting. They would get close to the gun and try to both be near it then we would counter by getting between them and the gun as naturally as possible while hiking up a path that was littered in bear claw marks and dung. We finally make it to the car and they decide we weren't suitable targets and moved on. No idea what two random guys were doing risking their life in a freezing cold raging river in the Sierra Nevadas, or why they felt the need to size up if they could attack three random teens but I'm glad nothing happened that day.
Tldr: Went hiking in the woods with friends as teens. Almost shot some random crazies. Crazies fall into river and we save them. Then crazies proceed to position themselves to fight us. Eventually get away.
Dodged a bullet.Giphy
Not anything like this myself, but a friend told me this story.
So he goes with a buddy to hike a trail near our town. Northern Washington state, so lots of woods and trees. When they get to the trailhead, there is one other car there, and he remembers seeing a person in that car. The person in the car was just staring at them, with what he described as a really white unchanging face. He kept staring right at them without trying to hide it or look away. My friend got creeped out, and decided to leave.
In the next week or two after that, a couple of hikers and a ranger turned up dead in that same area. Pretty sure they caught the guy, but I don't remember if his photo was posted.
I did a basics of survival course a while back.
While walking through forests in the middle of nowhere, I would often hear a loud trumpety sound. Kinda like a trumpet some days and a grinding sound on other days.
Not sure what it was, but it was super loud but there was nothing nearby that could make a sound like that
Those darn reinactors.
About 20 years ago I had just finished my degree and was bummed because I couldn't find a job. A former roommate/good friend and I went on an overnight backpack trip near Burr Oak State Park in Southeast Ohio.
About 2 am we were awoken in our tent by the sound of dozens of horses being ridden all around us. We could hear muted conversation, harness jingling, hoofs clopping and we could feel it shaking the ground. We laid in our tent and the sound just kept on, like a whole convoy was passing right beside us.
After a few minutes we unzipped the tent and the sounds immediately ceased and nothing was there. It was freaky, we were afraid they were going to ride over us it was so intense. I have no idea who or what it was but we're camped on a trail that had been used by John Morgan Hunts Confederate raiders during the Civil War. Not a logical explanation but it was deafening there were so many horses. I can still hear men's voices murmuring as they rode by. Next morning not a single hoof print to be found.
I've spent a lot of time in fairly wild places and never had an incident that I couldn't explain.
Doesn't make them much less scary, though. When you figure out it's a cougar, bear, moose, or strange human, it's not like you exhale and relax.
Scariest moment for me, to date, was the grizzly that was circling our camp in the dusk at about 20 meters. Packed my family into the car as fast as we could move but it wouldn't have been fast enough if the bear had attacked. I really regret it - I feel that I failed as a parent, because it's only luck that nothing horrible happened. I don't think I'll ever forget seeing its green eyes bobbing and swaying in my headlamp. It briefly rushed our vehicle as we left, too. Scary as f*ck.
The closest I ever came to an inexplicable moment was when I was walking though trail-less black spruce up north in the fall and suddenly hit a wall of odor the likes of which I'd never smelled before. Stopped me in my tracks. Some instinct told me that it was a bull moose, and sure enough, in about 20 more meters, there was a clearing with a massive bull. It was rutting season so I got the hell out.
We lived on the Hopi/Navajo reservation growing up. My mom and I were feeding the horses very early in the morning before I went to school- it was still almost completely dark out- when we hear this low, dim humming noise. The horses start acting really nervous, ours included. Sweating, pacing, nostrils flared, eyes showing white- the works. We feed them and walk out from the barn/shack trying to figure out what's happened. We look up after scanning the horizon for anything (squinting as best as we could) and there is a black triangle like thing hovering right over us. It was almost completely silent. It was perfectly over us so you couldn't see it unless you looked straight up and it felt like it was so close I could touch it. It was pretty damn large too- like a long triangle. Smooth and black. Thinking back, it was actually quite impressive and beautiful.
My mom grabbed me and ran back into the shed. This was before cellphones were really a thing so she just clutched me and told me not to make a sound. We waited for what felt like ages but was probably only 2-3 more minutes. The horses weren't even eating, they just paced the shed inside back and forth. Finally the horses started settling down to eat and my mom went outside. It was gone.
We felt like we had the flu the rest of the day and I stayed home. We never told my dad. I think it was some sort of military aircraft since around the reservation there are quiet, secret military set ups but who knows.Banana_Turtle_