There’s no denying that national parks around the world are critical for preserving the natural world. They protect nature against development and pollution, offer protection for plants and animals, and preserve remarkable natural features. But they can also be super creepy.
The United States National Parks don’t disclose how many people go missing in the parks each year. They’re genuine wilderness, where it’s possible to get lost, lose your bearings, and never get found again. Not only that but weird, unexplainable stuff can happen out there in the wild. Here are some of the most terrifying national park stories.
Other people are always the worst part.
Reddit user /kitteninabearsuit used to be an avid camper with her dad. They were at a crowded campground in the Sierras when footsteps awoke her in the middle of the night. Thinking it was her dad using the bathroom, she tried to go back to sleep, but the footsteps keep circling her tent.
Suddenly, she feels a finger slowly run the length of her foot and hears heavy breathing. The person keeps touching her feet for several minutes before disappearing into the night. She never saw them, but all the gear in the campsite was rearranged when she woke up the next morning, and a circle of footprints surrounded her tent.
Maybe people are just living out there?
User /senorpuffypants used to work in the outdoors. On this occasion, he was leading a hike of eighth-graders up a tough trail on Mt. Sterling in North Carolina. He stayed up reading in a hammock while everyone else tucked away in their tents for the night.
Shortly after turning off his headlamp around 10:30, he noticed someone in shadows hiking up the trail across the clearing. He stayed quiet, wondering what the figure – who was without gear or a headlamp – would do. The other person sat down beneath a tree, facing the camp. After five hours, he finally stood up again and headed back down the trail.
Listen to your gut, people.
/Karmapedler headed out one spring night for early morning fishing in Oklahoma with two friends. They’re at a secluded but not remote spot, through an abandoned primitive campground. As they’re driving into the area, they pass a truck coming out the other way, which unsettles them as it’s the middle of the night. They’re trying to rally, setting up their gear, but can’t shake an uneasy feeling.
The group calls it and packs up, driving back out through the campground. They pass still-glowing embers from a fire and stop to check it out. There were three small crosses on freshly turned soil in the shape of a grave, recently burned. Spooked, they get back in the car, passing another vehicle parked in the campground. It’s the same car they passed on their way in, but empty. The driver doubled back, parked, and was watching them from somewhere in the woods.