Top 15 Scariest Stranger Encounters In The Forest
15. The Machete Man We’ve all ventured into the wilderness. Some of us come out of it just fine…others, not so much. Redditor RSHeavy is one of the latter. He tells a story about hiking on a trail in the woods that didn’t end in his demise, but most certainly in tremendous fear. He and his group of three male friends, one of whom was carrying, headed out on the trail. They were familiar with the terrain and had never encountered anything very strange there. But this time, they spotted a man further along the trail, bent over, with one of his hands on a tree. No one else was around.
When the group was within shouting range – about 50 feet away – they asked if he was okay. They thought perhaps he needed some help. The man didn’t respond. The four boys rounded the bend in the trail, keeping their distance but hoping to see the guy better. They shouted their concern again, but he still didn’t answer. The bravest of the boys approached the guy and quickly stopped dead in his tracks. “Weapon!” he yelled back. The man was holding a big knife or machete.
When he heard the OP’s friend yell, he stood up and faced the group, the blade in his hand. “Hey man, we don’t want any trouble,” the friend brandished his gun and told him not to come any closer. The stranger remained mute but ignored the order and took a slow step toward the group. The OP’s friend who had neared the man began back-peddling, while the friend with the gun repeated his order. Still, the guy remained mute. He took a small step and came to a halt. One more step, halt. Another step, halt. As though he was playing a game. The wielding friend told everyone to leave, and as he kept the machete man in his sights, the group ran out of there. The machete man didn’t speed his pace or follow them, but once they were safely out of the forest, they called it into the cops, thinking perhaps they’d met some lunatic escaped from the asylum. Now, that’s a scary thought. 14. The Forest Children Redditor Hamean shared this seriously scary story about an encounter in the forest near Pisgah. The OP and two friends went off the beaten path and camped in an area that appeared as though it had been used before.
When they tucked in for the night, rain started to downpour, and they all fell asleep. They were woken by thunder in the middle of the night and only then did they hear some child-like voices in the vicinity of where they’d packed away their food. In the OP’s own words “(We) just assumed another hiking group had found our food, but then I realized that I was only hearing kids’ voices—sounded like 5-6 year olds.
I thought for sure they were animal noises but then I heard a child, high-pitch laughter.” This was when the fear kicked in. What were children doing out in the middle of the forest in a rainstorm at night? When the voices ceased, the OP thought his imagination had gotten away from him, but then he looked over at his friend, and he was horribly pale. Just as the OP was about to ask if he’d heard that, soft footsteps came toward the tent. The thing, whatever it was, came so near that they could hear the leaves crunching beneath its feet.
But after a moment’s pause, just like that, it walked away. Everything appeared untouched the next morning, and the OP and his friend never talked about the incident. 13. Crazy Mountain Man Redditor C_Weezy retold a true story that his father once told him. The OP’s family is full of outdoorsmen, and when his father was ten years old, he was visiting a family friend at his hunting cabin. He went to explore the forest. Being only ten, he quickly found himself lost amongst the pine trees of Flagstaff, Arizona. He was scared, so when he came across a cabin in a clearing, he shot toward it to seek help. As he ran towards it, a man stepped out from behind the trunk of a tree and placed a 44 magnum hunting revolver to his forehead and pulled the hammer back. The boy froze. The crazy mountain man asked who he was. The ten-year-old took ages to choke out the answer and said he was lost and looking for so-and-so’s cabin.
After a terrifying eternity, the man put his gun away, glared at him, and told him how to get back to his friend’s cabin. He also said that he’d better not catch the child on his property again. And he didn’t. The OP’s father lived to tell the tale. 12. The Ghost This next entry was posted by redditor Greenhead_Slayer. This one will send chills up and down your spine. The OP states that he and his friends were heading up to the mountains during the middle of the winter to go snow-tubing.
On one of these occasion, a snowstorm hit during the dark of night. As the OP drove the vehicle, dragging one of his friends on the tube through the snow, another of his friends shone a spotlight to the side of the truck. The driver saw a man in a red plaid shirt, an orange baseball cap, and jeans. “As we made eye contact,” he writes, “I lost all control of my body for probably only five seconds, but it felt like an eternity.” He immediately brought the truck to a halt and asked his friends if they, too, had seen the man. No one had, but he turned the vehicle around anyway to investigate. The investigation turned up nothing. When they arrived home that night, the OP informed his father about what had happened. Then on the news a week after he’d seen the man, a body had been found in that same area, and the police were asking for tips.
The OP called in at his father’s insistence and told the police what he’d seen. An investigator came by, and the OP said he’d seen that same man a week before. The investigator looked surprised, asking the OP if the date was sure. When he confirmed it was, the investigator showed him a picture of the body, dressed in the same clothing. As the OP writes, “Turns out it was a man who suffered from some mental handicaps and [took his life] on the mountain, one month BEFORE I saw him.” 11. The Marine This entry was submitted to the-line-up by thekeezler. The OP was taking a road trip with his girlfriend from BC to San Diego, when they decided to camp near Crescent City, California. One section of the campground was pretty empty, so they set up camp in one of the remote sites. After winding down for the night in their tepee on the roof of their car, the OP heard someone whistling at around 1AM right outside their tent to the tune of “When the Saints Come Marching In.” Time passed and, still, the whistling.
The OP woke his girlfriend, who was totally freaked out. Suddenly, in place of the whistling, a male voice began to chant, “When you sleep here, you disrespect me, and when you disrespect me, you disrespect the US Marines!” The noises continued as the stalker started to spell out words like “flee,” and his voice became more aggressive. They decided they couldn’t stay there. They’d never get any sleep anyway. So the OP unzipped the tent and peered outside. Once his eyes had adjusted, he hopped down from the roof, airlifted his guard dog (who hadn’t done much guarding) into the vehicle, and he and his girlfriend took off to find a motel in Crescent City, with the marine still whistling throughout their great escape.
They returned to the campground the next day to pick up their things, and they discovered the marine wasn’t a figment of their imagination. “A family who had been camping a few sites over said it went on for another 2-3 hours, and it was the scariest thing their family had ever experienced,” he writes. 10. Australian Terror This one comes from an anonymous Australian redditor who would often camp out in the bushland of his father’s property. On one of these occasions, he was camping with two school friends. The OP’s father told him that he might try and scare his camping buddies that night. So, the friends headed off into the bushland, hiking for four hours before setting up camp in a clearing. As they searched for firewood, they discovered loads of old bones that almost looked like wood.
As the land had previously been farmland, they decided the bones were from cattle. Of course, they also told each other scary stories around the campfire about the “real” origins of these bones, even burning some of those they’d collected. After settling in for the night, the OP was woken at around 1AM by one of his friends, who said he’d seen a torchlight on the wall of the tent. Thinking it was his father, come to scare the other boys, the OP started playing along, worrying aloud that it might be a butcher of humans or an escaped convict.
As he spoke, the torchlight shone on the tent again and then shut off. Sticks and leaves began crunching outside the tent, as someone moved around it. Then began the whispering and mumbling. There was more than one person whispering. The OP thought that some of his father’s friends had accompanied him. The torchlight shone again, right against the wall of the tent, and tapping began sounding over the roof, as the whispering kept on.
Suddenly, doubt crept in. “My Dad had brought some friends in on the prank AND convinced them to walk four hours through dense scrub in the middle of the night just to shine a torch on our tent?” he wrote. It suddenly seemed a stretch. After about an hour of terror, the whole thing ceased altogether. The OP’s buddies were sobbing, and the moment the sun rose, they shot out of camp. When they arrived home, the OP’s dad apologized that he couldn’t come out and visit them that night. When they told him about their midnight encounter, he was horrified. Years later, the OP and his friend discovered a shack with bullet holes through it nearby where they’d camped that night.
Alongside it, two axes, firewood, and a 44-gallon drum of burned clothing. In the end, the OP and his friends were quite lucky. Who knows what might have happened to them that night… 9. The Metal Burial Have you ever accidentally walked up on a secret burial? Redditor airwalkerdnbmusic has. The OP was hiking through the UK’s dense forest and, as night was fast approaching, he launched back to his campsite. Though he had no flashlight, his phone’s screen was bright enough to guide his way. Further along the path, he suddenly spotted two men with spades pushing something heavy into a hole in the ground that they’d assumedly just dug up. The OP said it clanged metallically as it was pushed in, so he doesn’t believe it was a body. The pair then spoke a few words over the hole before covering it again.
Creepy? Yes. Criminal? Maybe, maybe not. The OP would rather think they were just putting a dear friend to rest. “Maybe they were burying a robot … who expired,” he writes. Others on the thread suggest a darker explanation. Lostsonofpluto responded: “Or they were smart enough to put the body of the guy they [took the life of] in a metal box so the police dogs couldn’t find it.” Let’s hope the OP was more on the nose.
8. The Banging Swedish redditor zixerbunny posted about his scariest encounter with strangers in the forest, and it just might send chills up your spine. He was hiking in the forest at night with a friend. He’d usually go out with a group of five or more people, but this time, it was just the two of them. They were walking and chatting, minding their own business, when they passed near a bridge. The OP heard a strange noise, and he told his friend to listen. They thought it sounded like footsteps crossing a wood floor beneath the bridge…which was weird, because there was water under there. They started to get scared, so they decided to leave. But before they could, they saw a man next to a tree in the distance, watching them. They both screamed.
The OP’s friend asked the man what he was doing, and suddenly the whole bridge started to shake. They spotted a man in a black hoodie racing off, and he seemed to completely vanish. When they looked back to see the other man who had been standing next to the tree, he too had vanished. The pair were deep in the forest and had to pass that tree in order to get out. They passed it with no issues, and then came upon an open field. They crossed the field to a less forested area and sat down to rest. Then they heard a horrible banging, like someone pounding on a door. It was emanating from behind the OP. The OP’s friend thought it might be a woodpecker, but the sound was just too loud and melodic – and it seemed to be coming from inside the tree, as though someone was trying to get out of it.
Fear made them race across the field again, but they still heard the banging. This time, it seemed as though it was in the air, echoing. On the other side of the field, they crossed paths with a female jogger, and they asked her if she had heard the noise. She hadn’t. They could never figure out what happened that night. Were the men and the sound connected? Had they encountered a ghost? Who was trying to get out of that tree? They’ll likely never know. 7. The Slasher Redditor Foxwoods1 tells this upsetting story about camping in upstate New York. At the time, two convicts had escaped prison and were on the run. The OP and his girlfriend had unfortunately gone out hiking and camping for two days prior to the national headlines of the prison break. They made camp in a remote area and slept peacefully through the night when, at in the morning, the OP began to hear some noise outside the tent. “At first it was a few rustles, which caught my attention, but not enough to be alarmed,” he writes. “Suddenly, the rustles are right outside our tent and I am on edge.” But before he could wake his girlfriend, the couple’s tent was slashed before his very eyes.
Needless to say, the OP was completely terrified. But this isn’t what you think it is… The OP and his girlfriend were both being piled on by armed men. They were police in full gear. The OP responded by screaming out his identifying information, including his name and address. When the police finally settled down, the couple shared their ID’s, and all was well again. The OP later discovered that they were camping near where the convicts were last seen. Though the police were just doing their job, them doing their job was the scariest moment in this man’s life. 6. Creepy Man Border trilogy submitted this creepy encounter story to the-line-up. Camping was a lifestyle to the OP, and he and his wife often took backpacking trips together into the wilderness. On one of these occasions, they were in “the middle of nowhere” in Maine, hiking along a trail.
At night, they’d go off-trail a ways to sleep. They had enough food for around ten days. One of these nights, they were deep in the woods and hadn’t come across anyone for several days. Whereas they usually sleep out under the stars, the weather was a bit damp, so they decided to set up their tent that night. They slept soundly and the OP woke up at sunrise. He got out of the tent and was putting his boots on, when about thirty feet away, he spotted this creepy dude posted up, just watching him. As the OP writes, “He was right out of central casting for ‘creepy dude who” takes the lives of campers. Instead of asking him what he was doing, the OP decided to go another way. He writes, “I say something stupid to him like ‘good morning, please don’t eat us,’ and he just looked at me for a few seconds and turned around and walked into woods.” Surprisingly, the couple didn’t get out of there after this creepy encounter.
They hiked on for four more days. The OP admits that he was anxious the guy would jump out at him and his wife at some point, but it never came to pass. But he still wonders what led him to stand there watching him and his tent that morning. 5. Special Forces Redditor Mysteryck_386 posted about his experience in the forests of Germany, when his father was stationed there in the US Army.
The OP would run around in the wild with the local boys, and they were doing just that one night after dark. He was walking through a field toward the trees, headed to a cornfield that he usually took back home, when he spotted some movement near the tree line. He sped up, when he saw around six figures silhouetted at both sides of the corn rows. In the OP’s own words: “I froze so hard!” One of the men asked in German where he was going.
The OP answered in English that he was heading home. As the men came closer, he realized they were in full tactical gear – night goggles, weapons, bags. Special forces, utilizing small towns for training. Although this one was scary at first, it was also a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As the OP writes: “Started off creepy for me, but it was actually pretty cool.” 4. The Skin Changer This entry was anonymously submitted to theoccultmuseum website. The author’s supervisor is the originator of this sinister story. He was a wildland firefighter with the forest service in Hell’s Canyon, Idaho. The crew he’d been on had worked through the day and night, and he was sent ahead to scout the area. As he headed down an abandoned logging road, he came across a bobcat who didn’t scamper away, like usual, but just stood in the middle of the road and screamed. Then he shot off up a nearby tree. The supervisor thought this was strange but continued on. Not much further down the road, he came across a cabin, which actually was strange, because no private structures are supposed to be built on federal land.
The firefighter decided to investigate, but found that the place was boarded up tight, the windows and everything. “Someone did not want anything getting in (or out),” the author writes. He discovered a hole to look inside and found that the house was in shambles – everything had been turned upside down. Getting a little freaked out, the supervisor decided to head back. As he came to the place where the bobcat had stood screaming at him, someone else was standing there – a barefoot Native American lady, dressed in a torn nightgown. She didn’t move. When he asked her if she needed help, she gave the same horrifying scream that the bobcat had earlier given him, and then scrambled up the tree, just as the bobcat had. Scared out of his wits, the firefighter shot out of there. Later he inquired locally about the cabin, and a Native American told him that he had seen a “skin changer.” And he’s been haunted by the memory of it ever since. 3. The Moonshiners Have you ever had a Deliverance-like experience in the forest? An anonymous redditor posted the following story that definitely has some creepy elements similar to the backwoods of Arkansas, only these events occurred in the deep South of Louisiana.
The OP was hiking in the heavily forested woods, and he came to an old county highway. Off to his right, he saw strange blue lights about 100 feet in front of him, headed out of the trees and to the road. He walked a little further as the road curved, and he found, in his own words, “an old timey beater…of a truck parked on the side of the road with its lights off, engine quietly running.” Two men with “wizard beards” were loading plastic jugs into the truck bed. The blue light came from the headlamp of one of the men, who had come out of the deep woods. The OP said he hid to watch the old-timey moonshine bootleggers complete their transaction, and as he mentioned in a response on the thread, he could have been in real danger. “There are a lot of documentaries out there on moonshiners,” he writes, “and they aren’t known as the kindest people.” 2. The Lost Child It’s no question that search and rescue teams have some of the most terrifying encounters in the forest. After all, they’re thrust into scary circumstances in the first place.
Redditor searchandrescuewoods told the following story, which he labels “by far, the scariest thing that’s happened to me.” He received a lost-child call – a four-year-old girl had been missing from her family’s campsite for two hours. The OP and his team dispersed in a standard search format, and his search party partner was a good friend of his. They were talking calmly as they hiked, which is the norm, so that you don’t get too anxious and distressed. They’d been searching for two hours, when they came to a valley and both froze. They felt a strange sensation, which he describes as “like a plane depressurizing.” He felt like his body had dropped and his ears popped. Then they both heard a loud blasting sound coming at them from every direction, like a freight train. They couldn’t hear each other yelling over the noise. He thought maybe it was a landslide, but cliffs were nowhere near. Then, it suddenly stopped altogether. The OP got on his radio and asked the other search party members if they’d heard it, but no one had – only him and his friend.
They continued in their search and, an hour later, the girl was still lost. It was getting dark, but they continued with no signs of her still. At midnight, they had to turn back. As they were about halfway back, the OP’s friend shone his light nearby into some dead trees. He told the OP to be quiet and listen. They could hear the sound of a kid crying. They started calling the girl’s name but received no response. Just crying. They both started to feel that something wasn’t right. And then they understood: the crying was on a loop. In his own words, “It’s the same little hitching sob, then wail, then quiet hiccup, repeated over and over.” They both took off running. Though the pair didn’t physically meet the stranger in the forest, it does seem that some creepo was there, taunting the searchers.
Before we get to number 1, my name is Chills and I hope you’re enjoying my narration. If you’re curious about what I look like in real life, then go to my instagram, @dylan_is_chillin_yt and tap that follow button to find out. I’m currently doing a super poll on my Instagram, if you believe ghosts are real, then go to my most recent photo, and tap the like button. If you don’t, DM me saying why. When you’re done come right back to this video to find out the number 1 entry.
Also follow me on Twitter @YT_Chills because that’s where I post video updates. It’s a proven fact that generosity makes you a happier person, so if you’re generous enough to hit that subscribe button and the bell beside it then thank you. This way you’ll be notified of the new videos we upload every Tuesday and Saturday. 1. The Breathing This final entry was submitted to theoccultmuseum by kitteninabearsuit. The OP and his father were camping in the Sierras at a quiet site. The OP was awoken at 3AM one night to footsteps outside their tent. He thought it was his dad, who was sleeping in a separate tent, because he often went to the bathroom in the middle of the night.
The footsteps stopped outside the tent, and he heard heavy breathing, but he drifted off once the sounds had stopped. Moments later, he was woken again to heavy breathing right above the tent. Whoever was outside was circling. And then, the really freaky part. In his own words: “I feel a single finger run the length of my foot through the tent… real slow and methodical. I laid frozen as… whatever it was… stroked my foot for a minute or two, gave a few more labored breaths and then just stood above my tent for what felt like an eternity before disappearing.” Needless to say, there was no sleeping for the rest of the night. The next morning, the OP shot out of the tent as soon as he heard his dad leave his. He told his dad what had happened, and they noticed footprints around the boy’s tent and their camp gear had been rearranged on the table, though nothing was taken. Makes you never want to go camping again..
As found on Youtube