We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What is the creepiest or mysterious thing you’ve seen while in seclusion (at air, sea or wilderness)? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way and most of the respondents have requested to stay anonymous, so no names will be published. This is a long one, so we have split it into two page. Enjoy.
1. This happened to myself and a close friend (both 23 y.o. males) just last month.
We decided to go on a two night backpacking/camping trip in the Adirondack mountains of New York. We are both very comfortable with nature, and spend alot of time camping, hunting, fishing, etc.
We hiked about 5 miles into a small lake and set up camp on a small beach. This was not a heavily trafficked area, and we did not expect to run into anyone. Our first night there as we were sitting around the fire, we saw a flashlight moving on the other side of the lake around 10:30. This was fairly unusual, however we did not think too much of it.
But, as time went on, this flashlight kept moving around the lake getting closer to our campsite. We kept discussing who could possibly be wandering around the woods in the middle of the night, and we did not particularly want an unwelcomed guest.
Once it was clear that the person (or people) were heading for our campsite, we moved off into the woods nearby to see who wandered up. I took a small axe with me, and he had a .22 rifle. Now we weren’t expecting trouble, and we certainly didn’t want to make any, but we figured we might as well cover our bases.
Now, the moment of truth, the flashlight comes near the light of our fire and it is one man. He has a beard and is probably in his mid-40s. The scary part was he was carrying what turned out to be a pump action shotgun. He walked around the campsite a few times, and then proceeded to enter our tent. After rummaging around for a minute or so, he came out and started yelling “I know you’re out there, why don’t you come and say hello?”.
My friend and I remained motionless under a hemlock tree about 50 yards away. That is when the man proceeded to fire his shotgun into the woods (not too far from where we were). He also swung his flashlight around several times. After what felt like hours, he grabbed my friends backpack and a few articles of clothing we had drying off near the fire and threw them in to burn.
My friend, who had trained the .22 at the man, asked me if he should shoot. I told him absolutely not, unless he spots us and starts to point the gun in our direction. Thankfully the man moved off from where he had come after a little while. We waited until his flashlight was on the other side of the lake, ran out, grabbed everything we could fit in my pack and took off (it was now around 2 or 3 A.M.).
We RAN out the trail with flashlights, and made it back to my car as the sun was coming up. We immediately went to the police department and reported it, where we also spoke with some forest rangers. That was it, I haven’t heard anything back from the police. It wasn’t mysterious, however it creeped the hell out of both of us.
2. I live on a compound by myself (I know it sounds Waco-ey, but It’s really my tiny home, work shop, and a couple of other buildings for food/equipment storage and a guest room).
One bad snowstorm knocked my area OOC, so I decided to hunker in for the long haul. I spent almost two weeks without leaving.
Three days in, I get woken up to a knock at the door. I get up to answer it and halfway there, I realize the only way this guy could knock on my door is if he broke the lock.
So I grab my shotgun and ask him through the door who he is and what he wants. Guy says nothing and keeps banging. I go out the back door and sneak around front and I see a man who is on the ground, covered in blood, and shouting (albeit quietly) for help.
Turns out he was driving and crashed and dragged himself 5 miles down the road until he came to my place. By then he realized that I forgot to lock the bottom part of the gate and weaseled in.
Luckily he survived.
3. In 2007 I was working on a trail crew in the Trinity Alps of Northern California. We had 13 people on the crew and a few support staff.
At this point we’d been in the woods for about twp and a half months. We had all seen and heard bears, mountain lions, pretty much anything you can think of that would make terrifying noises.
After dinner one evening, most of us are sitting around the fire doing whatever and all of a sudden there’s a LOUD agonized screaming sound. It was unlike anything any of us had heard. If I had to describe it, I’d call it a mountain lion’s shriek combined with the horror of a banshee. Everyone was understandably freaked the hell out.
It sounded reasonably close so a few of us, myself included, decided to investigate. About three miles from our base camp there was a creature tied to a tree, absolutely losing its mind. It was a fu**ing llama. At this point, it’s 10 p.m. or so, 25+ miles from the nearest trailhead and we find this llama tied to a tree just off the trail. We tried to calm it down without much success and went back to camp.
The next morning, the llama was gone. It looked like it had broken its restraint and run off. We kept hearing the horrible llama noises from time to time for a few weeks.
Towards the end of the season a group of hunters passed us on the trail and after chatting for a bit we found out they tied the llama there because it decided to be stubborn and refused to walk anymore. Apparently it laid down in the trail and WOULD not move. So they left it and decided to come back for it.
We figured at that point, the llama was probably dead. We hadn’t heard any hellacious llama screams for a few months and didn’t really think about it. However, at the end of the season when we all finally got back in the crew van and were driving out, that damn llama jumped across the road about 30 yards in front of us.
I still think about the demon llama from time to time, I hope he had a fulfilling life in the trinities.
4. In college, I spent one month house sitting a large hunting estate in the middle of nowhere Idaho. The nearest town was 22 miles away. Woke up on the middle of the night to the sound of someone knocking loud and hard on the front door and the dogs were going nuts. No way I was going to answer it, I just grabbed the gun and kept quiet upstairs. Next morning, there was a car in the driveway. The guy who owned the car was found dead several months later. I have no idea what happened…
5. Someone I worked with was surveying for birds in a relatively remote forest in Canada. They stumbled across a campsite that looked like it was about 5-10 years old. The tent was collapsed, but everything else looked like it was untouched. There was a clothesline up, dishes on the ground, and a few other items scattered around. Everything was dirty and covered in leaves, but there was no evidence of anything bad happening. She noped the hell out of there before checking the tent.
To this day, I’m morbidly curious about what the hell happened at that campsite.
6. Got stalked by a mountain lion on a hike. It was late at night, were in a group of about 5, and didn’t have enough flashlights to go around, so we gave one to the person in front, and one to me (in back).
I felt like I was being watched, and so I real quick flashed the light around and turned my head, saw a pair of green eyes attached to a body slink back off the trail a little bit. Our light wasn’t powerful enough to get a super good bead on it, but every 30 seconds or so thereafter, I would turn around and flash the light up the trail, probably saw something about 75% of my turnarounds. It followed us for probably 1/2 hour, until we were 10 minutes from the cars.
The people I was hiking with didn’t notice, and mountain lions don’t often jump large groups of adults — but I wasn’t really about “Statistically, we’re probably fine” at that point. No one else noticed, and I didn’t say a word while it was following us — really didn’t want to run the risk of a panic.
7. My brother and I decided to go on a sailing trip. We’re both marines, so we don’t get to see each other often. We made camp on a small island with a decently sized patch of trees. At 2 a.m. or so we heard a boat coming towards us. Our fire had died down, but was still visible. This was a remote area so it felt off that someone would be coming to our campsite. We grabbed our weapons and quietly went into the treeline. Some scraggly looking guy started rifling through our sh*t, then started walking toward our boat with a rope. I decided to confront him, and my brother stayed back. To alert this stranger to my presence, I pumped my shotgun, and asked him what the hell he was doing in our camp. Before this guy could say anything, I heard another guy in the darkness beyond the fire scream for me to drop my gun or he would kill me. Before I could react, my brother opened fire on the second guy, and I shot the first guy. I retreated back to the treeline, and my brother asked if I was good. I told him I was alright. We did a perimeter sweep, gathered our sh*t, and destroyed/sank their boat. When we got back to shore, we contacted the state police and told them what happened. They detained us until our story could be cleared, then released us. So glad we decided to go together, or there’s a good chance one of us could have been killed.
8. Happened in High School. I was at a summer camp that separated boys from the girls. We would normally sleep in separate cabins, however this being a nice night, our counselors decided it would be nice to camp outside. Being overly testeteroned high schoolers given new freedom of the outdoors, we decided to separate from our supervision and bee line for the girls camp site. Upon successfully reaching their site and being dumbfounded at what to do, we decided that throwing miscellaneous items into the fire, creating subsequent explosions would be a good ice breaker. Unfortunately due to our brilliance we were quickly brought back to our camp and separated from the girls.
Not being discouraged we decided to regroup and try again. As we began to leave for their site again we heard an extremely loud bang, as if from a high caliber rifle. The sound was followed by another bang. Followed by silence. We all became paralyzed unsure what to do. Was it from the girl’s site? We were too afraid to find out. We could see a flash light in the distance mulling around the area. I only remember lying quietly, barely able to sleep, joking with fellow campers who would get shot first if that bang was indeed from a gun.
The next morning we woke up, alive and very confused to what had happened. I actually only found out what had happened when I got home from camp. A man had shot his ex at a house right by the camp site we were staying that night. What stood out to me the most, other than aforementioned, was an interview with a neighbor who didn’t call the police right away, because she figured the sound was from some stupid kids blowing up things at a camp site.
9. Some friends and I would take my truck up in the mountains during the winter time and tow someone on a tube across the snow. We’d drop the tailgate in my old long bed Ford and a few guys would sit in the back with one of those bazillion candlelight spotlights. When I was driving it’d be fun to make really wide turns in the dark so the person on the tube didn’t have the luxury of headlights or taillights to somewhat illuminate their trail. The person in the bed of the truck with the spotlight would be funny and shine the light clear off to the side so it was pitch black if you were on the tube. One particular winter night a snowstorm was rolling in so we headed up to the usual spot and it was DARK that night. A friend was on the tube, I was driving watching my mirrors as I’d swing him wide enough he had little light to see anything. The guy with the spotlight shined the light clear to the side of the truck and as I checked my mirror and I made eye contact with a guy dressed in jeans, a red plaid shirt, and a blaze orange ball cap. As we made eye contact I lost all control of my body for probably only 5 seconds, but it felt like an eternity. I stopped the truck and turned it around and asked the guys if they saw him. They all said no, so I flipped the truck around and turned on the high beams and they shined the spotlight all over. I got out and looked for footprints in the fresh snow and saw nothing.
That night we went back home and I told my dad about the weird experience and he didn’t think anything of it. A week later on the news the police reported finding a body in the area close to where we were and asked for any tips. My old man convinced me to call the police and tell them we were up in the area and saw that guy. I called and the police said they’d send an investigator over. He came over to the house, I recalled the same experience saying it happened 7 days earlier. As soon as I said that, the investigator asked me “you are sure on your date?” Which I was positive, and he showed me a picture of the body they found wearing the same red plaid shirt and blaze orange ball cap. He informed me the body had been on the mountain for at least 1 month so I must have just seen something. Turns out it was a man who suffered from some mental handicaps and committed suicide on the mountain, 1 month prior to when I saw him.
10. I was by myself, working on a railroad track in a swamp in Georgia in the middle of the night. I heard some grunting in the woods, so I froze up, then a f**king pig the size of a Volkswagen came running out of the woods in my direction. It ran right past me, and I hightailed it to my truck.
Called it a night after that.
11. On a 41 foot sailboat in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, with about 7 other men, doing a shake-down/ test cruise, planned to be out for about 12 hours. Mid 1980’s, not as reliable weather prediction resources. We get caught in a tropical storm, winds gusting into the 50 mph range, just this short of a weak hurricane. We had just barely rigged storm hawsers and storm sails because the one fellow onboard who was the best sailor sensed the storm was almost on us, otherwise we would have died. During the storm itself, I expected to die at any time. In fact we made a “Securite, securite….” call on the radio (if you have time at sea you know what I’m talking about, if not, it’s not that important). For what seemed like 15 minutes, we were in a maelstrom, no visibility, but then it passed. We would live!
This was at about 3pm, and although there was cloud cover of course, the ambient light was such that you could see 2 miles or so in any direction.
If you’re familiar with the sea, you know that such storms, particularly in shallower depths near land masses, dredge a lot of things of the sea floor.
We’re all on deck, working lines, checking damage, etc. and the bay around us is choppy and churning and foaming. Old timey sailors often used the saying “the sea is confused.” I look about 15 feet of the starboard side and something swims to the surface, breaks the surface, looks at us, then submerges again.
It was like a thin man, with humanoid shape, arms articulated like a man, a human head, but its skin was covered in scales like a snake. It looked at us, blinked its weird, heavy-lidded eyes, then dove back under.
So maybe you need to know a few things about me at that moment. No drugs, no alcohol, no injuries. I was elated because I was glad to be alive, but my senses in that situation were sharpened, not dulled. I had, at that time, about 6 years’ experience on ships and fishing boats, and had seen squid, octopi, flying fish, sharks, skates, etc. all around the world. I was not the type of guy to see a patch of seaweed and call it a sea monster.
I made an instant decision that I was not going to say anything. What could I say? “I just saw a strange creature, take my word for it!” The men on this boat were all mechanics and engineers and professionals. Why get a reputation as a flake? At the time it was important for each of us to get “D” skipper or OOD qualifications, and saying something like that would be frowned upon.
And as I stood there in my life vest, soaking wet, hooked onto the steel lifeline, glad to be alive, one of the other sailors, a USN Captain J_______ S________, with over 30 years experience in the surface navy, piped up and said,
“I just saw a brown thing pop up on the surface! It looked like a lizard man, with a scaley face. It blinked at us with these big eyes and then went back under!”
“Yeah, I saw it too,” I said. No one else said that they had seen it.
Then we sailed back to the pier later that day and didn’t speak of it again.
12. My wife, my daughter and I joined our troop for a Cub Scout Halloween event at a Boy Scout camp in Colorado. It’s a large hilly area tucked away in the canyons. There are lots of camp sites up the hill but further down the road are some cabins. We were allowed to stay there for the night since it’s more comfortable than tents. Well these cabins are about a 1/4 mile away from any of the other buildings or tent areas. So we are nowhere near the rest of the group and it’s just the three of us in the cabin.
We get ready for bed and as I’m starting to fall asleep I realize how eerily quiet it is. It is completely still outside. No wind, no rustling of trees etc. Well I eventually fall asleep.
I am then awoken very suddenly by a scream inside the room. I sit up and ask my wife if she is ok. She responds yes and checks on our daughter. She is fine. It is now dead quiet again. No noise. The scream is gone. So in a panic I start walking around the room in the dark. Nothing in the room but us. Maybe it came from outside. So I peek out the window and out the front door. No movement nothing. But it’s pitch black. I can’t see anything.
Time to buck up the courage, grab my phone as a flashlight and go check outside. I stand there frozen for a minute and finally work myself up to grab my phone and go outside. I grab my phone, turn on the screen and see a Halloween update alert from the Simpsons Mobile game.
What I heard was Homer Simpson screaming from my phone because one of my buildings was done in the Simpsons game. Needless to say I uninstalled that game and haven’t played it since. It took a good two hours for my wife and I to call back asleep