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3 Creepy Campfire Tales (Told By Real Outdoorsmen)



There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy.

If you spend enough time in the backwoods camping, sooner or later you’ll get to hear a creepy campfire tale courtesy of a fellow outdoorsman. As we’ve pointed out here–and in our sister publication, Popular Outdoorsman–the American wilderness is still wild enough to hold mysteries. Those hunters and backpackers who dare to venture deep into the backwoods often discover those mysteries. Sometimes, many years later when they’re ready to talk about it, they’ll reveal the shape of that mystery by way of a creepy campfire tale. Here are three of the best ones we’ve seen this year, all courtesy of

1. Chernobog’s Roar

Reddit user u/fivemeterhammer brings us the following creepy campfire tale:

I’m 37, I’ve literally spent over 5 total years alone in the woods. I’ve went months without ever even talking to another human being. I’ve taken every class or training you can imagine in identifying animals, especially threatening ones that can kill me. I have walked most of the Appalachian Trail barefoot. I have spent weeks in varying wilderness areas across the US and Canada. I know what a mountain lion sounds like, whether it’s mating, scared, communicating…whatever. When you have a hobby like I do and spend every free second alone in the woods, you have to know sounds. It’s absolutely imperative to know if something is close by that wants to eat you.

I only say all this because it’s inevitable every time I tell one of my stories, at least one person is going to say “nah dude, it’s just a fox, they scream like bloody murder”…yeah, I know!

I’ve had 3 or 4 sounds that scared me that don’t match any animal living in North America. There was only one that made me leave camp early and go back to civilization. This time, I was actually doing a buddy camp with my oldest friend. He is the same age, and has more experience in the woods than I do. It’s also important to note we were sober.

As we talked, from maybe 300 yards or so away, down in a ravine, we heard a howl/growl/scream that persisted for several minutes. It literally vibrated our heads, that’s how powerful it was. It was guttural, and booming. The only way I’ve ever been able to describe it, is imagine a huge horror movie with a limitless budget. Imagine some huge, powerful demon. Now, imagine in that movie, that demon is somehow defeated and sent back to hell. Imagine the demon’s scream of agony and anger as it’s dragged back to where it came from. It was fucking terrible. Two grown men, with decades of experience, both of us carrying firearms for protection, firearms that if need be, could take down a 1000-pound bear, in hysteric tears, clinging to each other frantically deciding what to do.

We made it until the first signs of day, and booked our asses back to our checkpoint and got the hell out of, not just the area, but Oregon completely. I’m just now getting to the point I can talk about it…

2. The Mimic

In this spine-tingler, Reddit user u/jefe36 details his encounter with something off the beaten path on the Appalachian Trail:

…As I was getting my clothes back on I started whistling to myself (it was chill bill because it was stuck in my head). That’s when I heard something whistle the same tune back. I thought it was a bird copying me so I went back and forth with it and it’ll repeat whatever I whistled. I thought it was pretty neat. … I went to sleep without incident.

When I woke up the next morning my site was trashed. My camp stool was nowhere to be found, my bear bag with my food was cut down and the contents were thrown across the site. My first thought was a crafty animal chewed through the rope and got at the bag but I looked at the rope and it was cut with something very sharp. Plus none of the food was even touched. I also noticed bare footprints all around my campsite. Keep in mind I’m at least 6-8 miles from a road.

As I was looking at the mess I heard a branch snap off in the distance I turned to look in that direction. I saw nothing but I heard that whistling again my whistle from yesterday but it was different it sounded more sinister. It made my hair stand on end and this is when I listened to my instincts to get the hell out. It sounded like it was a little off in the distance so I packed up my camp as fast as I could. The whistling got closer as I finished stuffing the tent into my bag. I didn’t bother with putting anything away properly. The whistling was incessant and sounded like it was coming for all directions I got fed up with the whistling stood and I yelled into the woods “Shut Up” and “What the f*ck do you want.”

It stopped whistling and it was quiet for a moment then it repeated what I said in MY voice. It sounded just like me but distorted like it came from an old tv. After I heard this I immediately threw my pack on and ran the direction I came. I heard it moving just behind me fast switching between the whistle and my voice. It felt like it was toying with me not coming too close but not being too far. Eventually it sounded like it got further and further away from me. Then it stopped suddenly. When it stopped I stopped and turned around I wished I didn’t because I heard the most bone chilling screech ever coming from right next to me…That’s when I started running again. I didn’t look, I only ran.

3. Yowie, Australia’s Bigfoot

Last (but not least) we have this tale from Down Under…a spot where there aren’t any large predators. Or are there? Reddit user u/enigmacipher17 may have encountered a Yowie.

It was only after starting into the dark that I saw that there was moonlight now lighting up grass where it couldn’t before as there was a black shape blocking it that before I thought was a tree.

I’ve got goosebumps just typing this but the only way to describe was that all sound just ceased and everything went dead silent and a few seconds later, this disgusting feeling of dread fell over me and I saw motion in the dark of the path as this thing crawled towards us on all fours. I’ve seen nearly every animal in the outback here and we don’t have any large predators like in the US or Europe but somehow I knew this thing was a predator and it wasn’t hiding itself from us but just slowly crawling forward towards us.

I don’t know if my girlfriend saw it or night as I couldn’t look away but just as it reached the line my carlights were able to illuminate, it reared up onto two legs and just sat staring at us.

I am 6’4 and this thing was about another metre larger than me, with arms that were far too long that reached down near the ground and all I could make out was an off-white almost yellowish fur on it and in the dim-light could make out the silhouette of its head as like a dog or wolf…

Happy Halloween–and if you have any creepy campfire tales of your own, please tell us in the comments!




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