Spend too much time alone, and in an unfamiliar place, and some very strange things can start to happen. Sometimes scarier than any horror movie ever made.
Below are stories from people who were isolated, and what happened when the cabin fever started to set in. Check them out! A source to more stories can be found on the last page.
I was on the bow of a sailboat crossing the Atlantic in pretty heavy winds, going about 15 knots. Crew had to be stationed alone on the bow in two hour shifts at all times, keeping an eye out for anything in the water.
About 10 meters away from me I see a weird glint in the water. Then I realize it’s a partially submerged shipping container. Before I had time to even open my mouth, we passed it by, missing it by a few feet.
And that’s the story of how I nearly got shipwrecked in a storm in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
I was living in a dirt floor cabin for about 6 months. I would pack a lunch and hike out half a day in random directions. One day I found an abandoned hotel with an attic full of bats. The old kitchen was full of taxidermy. Not abandoned old taxidermy…current taxidermy, in various states of finish. There was a closet with stacks of dead birds, tools, woodworking tools and glass for the display cases. I noped out of there in a hurry. I took my brother there later because he didn’t believe me…so I have a witness.
More mysterious than creepy. We were camping in Montana near Yellowstone park in a small campground. It was the off season and there were maybe 5 other people there, including a couple 3-4 spots down who had a large dog with them in their RV. I walked by and the dog was friendly so I petted it and talked to it and went on my way.
Later that night I am sitting watching the sunset and reading on my Kindle when a cold nose bumps up under my arm, like dog does when it wants attention. I figured it was the dog and started scratching its head. Before i could look around, my friend came around the corner and froze with a look of fright on his face. I was scratching the head of a pretty big grey wolf. I had no idea what to do, I didn’t want to keep touching it but I didn’t want to stop and piss it off either. I scratched for maybe 5-10 more seconds and it just looked at me like “Thanks, bro” and walked off into the woods. We went to a hotel that night.
Out at sea late at like maybe 2AM and just seeing a fin pop up above the water near your boat in the complete silence and black ocean.
Driving through the middle of Montana one night, going about 100mph, passed something on the side of the interstate that looks like a mangled body. Turned around at the next pass, came back. Definitely a body. Put my lights on it and tried to call 911 on my cell. No reception. Got in the car to see if i could pick up cell reception (lights were still on)…nothing there but the blood splatters. Drove away QUICK.
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I camped by myself in Northern MN by boat. Found my spot but saw an unidentifiable creepy blob underwater. Set up my tent etc., went fishing but curiosity lead me to the blob again and I finally figured out it was a large dead deer contorted and missing it’s abdomen. Later I noticed bark scraped off tree about 8 ft up (bear sign). It was getting dark.
I was hiking through the remnants of a remote, long-abandoned town and the surrounding area. To get to as far into the woods as I was, you had to cross fallen trees over a creek three times. I had just crossed the third “bridge” and was about five miles in and something blue caught my eye just ahead of me.
There was a man, in his sixties at least, wearing blue satin pajamas, sitting in a tree. The closer I got to him the louder he laughed; it wasn’t a maniacal laugh, but it set off all the alarms in my head nevertheless. He also wasn’t wearing any shoes and looked well-groomed/cleaned.
I gave him a friendly nod as I passed and he just kept laughing. Then it stopped. I turned and he was gone. There was no branch cracking, plants rustling, nothing… He was just gone.
Still rubs me the wrong way. The area I was in was a pretty rough hike, very secluded. Not very many people venture as deep as I was that day. No idea what was going on there.
I live in the only house down a country road, everything else is pasture land and National Forest for several miles.
About 3am, my three large dogs go absolutely nuts barking, which sends my husband and i flying out of bed to check on our livestock, assuming coyotes were in the yard.
Before we could even get our shoes on, we hear muttering on our front porch. He grabs his rifle and whoever it is starts knocking on the door, with no real urgency but more like a casual visitor. I had my cellphone already dialing the cops, and my husband slid up to the peephole. A woman right around her late 20s-early 30s was standing outside, patiently waiting a few minutes and gently knocking on the door, not fidgeting or nervous, not being aggressive.
My husband said, “Ma’am, the cops are on the way. If you need help, they’ll be here in just a few minutes and you’re welcome to sit on the swing right there and wait on them, but if there’s anyone with you, we are armed in here and will not hesitate to shoot if anyone tries getting into this house.”
He said she kind of smiled, not creepy but like she was glad her knocking woke someone up. “That’s okay, sir-i just wanted to let you know the thing in the woods is coming, and he’ll be here soon. Good luck.”
He said she turned around and walked down the driveway like she hadn’t a care in the world. The cops looked all over the place and couldn’t find her. It’s a ten minute drive to our driveway from the main road, with no houses until you get into town, another 20 minutes away. Freaked me out for weeks.
I used to spend a lot of time hiking solo. The creepiest thing I ever saw was another human, in camouflaging clothes, hiding off the edge of a trail in the brush and trees and obviously keeping an eye on anyone who happened by.
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I was 13 and on a week long camping trip. There were two adults and five other kids my age. One night we had spent all day kayaking and got caught in a deluge that threw off our whole schedule for the day. We couldn’t quite make it to the location where we were supposed set up camp for the night before sunset so we just settled a few meters off of the river. We were so exhausted that the adults didn’t even want to build a fire. Since we didn’t have much light and it was hot they told us that we didn’t have to build our shelters we could just lay out in our sleeping bags.
Everyone put their sleeping bags near a clearing that was created by a fell tree. But I saw the hole created by the roots and thought that there were possible creepy crawlies living in it. So I set my sleeping bag a little further back about four meters away from the clearing. I woke up a few hours later to these rapid clicking sounds and sniffing. (Thanks to the Internet I later identified it as deer noises.) There were a bunch of them. The clicking grew closer and was surrounded me on all sides. I had my flashlight but I didn’t want to shine it because I was afraid to scare the deer/creatures because I thought they would trample me.
The most vocal deer then stepped on my sleeping bag and eventually sat down on it. I could hear the other deer get comfortable too. After a while I allow myself to peak out (not wearing my glasses) and I see maybe 15 deer/creatures all just watching the other campers. After several hours I fell asleep and woke back up as they were leaving at sunrise.
It was wholesome/creepy.
So I worked at a ranch in Southern Arizona, right on the border. I didn’t really consider it to be secluded because I had horses and cows. In hindsight, I guess it was really lonely because sometimes they’d talk back to me.
Anyways, doing fence borders with a guy from another camp and we had to go down into this dry river bed. As we round the bend we see a bunch of beat up trucks sitting there armed to the teeth. Turns out we ran into some kind of big deal for a cartel. The other guy told me to keep steady and we just walked straight through them on our horses. Everyone staring at us, looking like they were ready to shoot us up if we made one false move.
I asked about it when we got to the other side without turning into swiss cheese and the more experienced rancher told me: “The Cartel only cares about Border Patrol and Cops. They know this is a ranch, and they know we roam around here, and they know we don’t say much.” Reason being, if they ever assumed the ranchers were the snitches, they could easily find our little ranch houses. Only had 1 person to so many acres. Could have been offed and left there for many days before someone noticed. With all that in mind, I had a very passive relationship with those kind from then on.
I was in a remote area surveying populations of various organisms in mountain streams. One morning an older man crossed the stream I was standing in. We both froze for a second and he continued on his way.
He didn’t have any gear with him and it’s a 15-20 mile hike from the nearest (dirt) road. My point is he wasn’t just casually wandering through.
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On a small sailing boat in the Pacific, sailing south from Panama to Ecuador in the middle of the night. Two people on deck the helmsman and me, theoretically on lookout but really just there to keep the helmsman awake. Its well after midnight and were away from major shipping lanes. Were somewhere west of Colombia and we havent seen land or another vessel in at least a day (at least, not while Ive been awake four hours on, four hours off).
And then I see a light off the port bow. Its far off and distant and under the sail, and therefore hard to keep track of, but its there. It isnt moving. And it seems to flicker and dim but gradually I become aware its getting a little brighter, bit by bit. And then I realise its a boat, and its coming right for us, and by this time I can hear the engine and I yell to the helmsman: Hard a-port.
(Yes, I used old-timey sailing talk in a crisis. I have no good explanation for this)
So we steer to the left, and the oncoming boat passes on the starboard bow. Its less than 10 metres away, a big RIB with a massive outboard engine at the back travelling at full throttle. Theres enough light from the moon and our running lights to see that theres only one person aboard, slumped upright over the steering column, and a load of fishing equipment in the back. Then its gone into the night, still travelling straight at maximum speed.
This was over ten years ago. To this day I have no idea if that midnight fisherman was alive or dead, if hed fallen asleep at the wheel or suffered a sudden heart attack or what. I dont know if he powered on until the outboard ran out of fuel and was never seen again, or woke up five minutes later and steered back home. I dont know what he was doing that far from the other fishing boats (we later saw other lights on the horizon and guessed that they were the fishing fleet), or whether he aimed for us deliberately or if it was sheer coincidence that brought him within spitting distance of our tiny boat in the empty sea. I still wonder sometimes.
I usually sit on my own with a clear view of the back garden to work. I once saw my cat come into the garden with an omelette in his mouth.
When I was a scout in Iraq, I was setting up a concealed observation post when we saw the largest cat through our thermals. Like Lion/Cheetah/Leopard (the thermals were fuzzy, but we could identify size based on distance with the laser range finder)
The thing is all three of those animals used to live in Iraq – but they have been LONG since extinct in the area.
Once when I was trekking through rural Finland alone (a stroll from the campsite), I decided to stop at a lakeside.
I sat down by the lake in the moonlight, surrounded by trees and felt very calm for a while. Splashed water on my face and generally refreshed myself.
Then after spending some time looking at the water I looked up and across the lake I saw a really tall figure, half as tall as the trees. It was really skinny and I’m pretty sure it looked like it had antlers or horns and really long fingers, don’t think it looked at me. I don’t know if I was sleep deprived or something, but I remember I froze for a moment before running back to camp.
I honestly remember seeing something, it was large and terrifying.
But I was probably just tired and saw a trick of the light.
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This happened once while camping with my then-fiance and a friend of ours. Camped out in the woods in the middle of nowhere on a hot July day. Night came, and it was a full moon so around midnight we decided we’d take a hike around for fun. We basically hiked a trail for a bit and then turned around and hiked it back to the campsite. When we were almost back, we saw a McDonalds cup sitting at the edge of the path. I found this strange as I didn’t see the bright red and yellow container when we began the venture, but whatever. However, my buddy decided to open the cup up and found ice cubes at the bottom.
That day was easily 90+F and at night it was still in the high 70’s, so that ice would not have lasted long. Somebody was definitely out there by us and we never found another sign of them. No sound of a car, walking or rustling – nothing.
We decided to pack up and go home that night.
I was on an Outward Bound trip in the White River National Forest in Colorado. A part of OB trips is a solo, which can be anywhere from 12-48 hours in which the participants are by themselves with a journal and some snacks.
I set up a sweet tent in a tree grouping. It had rained the night before so the ground was pretty soft. After setting up I walked around the area. I felt pretty tired, and decided to take a nap… for 8 hours. I woke up in the middle of the night to a bunch of twigs cracking. It turned on my torch to look to see if it was the instructors or any kind of animal. I even called out, “Hey, you good?” (not sure why I said it that way). Nothing.
In the morning I found some big cat tracks right by my tent that were not there when I took my nap. It was really unnerving knowing that a mountain lion was near me when I was sleeping. I told the guides about it and they got really particular about keeping our food away from where we were sleeping.
I grew up in a very rural area in the Deep South, and spent most of my time riding my horse alone in the National Forests and expansive private properties that bordered our house. There was an old abandoned house about 2 miles’ ride through the woods from me, and I often rode by it on my journeys through the woods. Sometimes I tied my horse up outside, went in, and explored inside it but there was really nothing of interest. There was just trash and things like electric bills from the ’80s. I think an old woman used to live there based on some pictures that I found.
Time went on and I went away to college, taking my horse with me. I no longer rode past this abandoned house. After graduating college, my horse and I moved back home for a little while, and I decided to go back and explore it again.
So, I rode my horse the ~2 miles through the deep woods to get to this house, which is itself probably 1000 feet from a lonely gravel road that cuts through the forest. It is very secluded and almost creepy. The house is about 3 miles from a paved road.
I am less brave than I used to be, so when I entered the house I felt out-of-place and slightly scared. But I used my cell phone light to explore the rooms anyway. A lot was just as I remembered, but right as I was about to leave, I found a calf skeleton in the corner of the entry room.
I have no idea how this calf got shut up inside the building. The doors were firmly shut when I approached it. Also, the screen door opened one way, while the actual door opened the other, so that it was impossible for both to be open at once for some creature to accidentally wander in. Furthermore, the nearest cow pastures are a good bit away from the house.
I left the abandoned house with the image in my head of some deviant cruelly trapping a calf in there for sick purposes.
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I singlehanded a boat from Mexico to north Florida. A few days into the trip, horrible weather, broken stuff and too many big ships around resulted in 54 hours without sleep. During the last part of that period a high school girlfriend, a former coworker and I had a long conversation.
Except they weren’t there and I hadn’t seen them in 15 years.
I was a forest fire lookout in the summers during college. Went weeks between seeing another human sometimes. Some of the things I witnessed or heard while doing that job are just flat unexplained. The one that most sticks out in my mind was laying in bed and watching a strange light move through the trees. Figured it was a car with headlights in until it went vertical up into the air and hung for 30 min. Just sitting 20-30 miles away, about parallel with my tower. I was at an elevation of 7000 ft. I watched it until it dipped back below the trees and never saw it again.
At the time I was super creeped out, but chalked it up to the another one of those dozens of things I’ve seen that I couldn’t explain and no one would believe. But the next day another lookout called me on the radio asking if I’d seen the same light. He was much closer to but on the other side of it. He said from his perspective, after it dipped below the trees, it landed in an area he knew to be a lake that was only accessable by hiking or horseback.
It stood out in my mind because it was the only strange light that summer we couldn’t explain away by either planes, balloons or tricks of light from cars. I have since wondered if this was a drone, but this was before they we’re really obtainable to hobbists and have never seen one with lights that could be seen that bright from 20 miles or one that will hold a hover for 30 min that was around then.
I saved the best for last. The lake where that light settled down into according to the other lookout, is pretty popular spot for trout fishing. That summer the lake developed some form of algae or something and all the fish died off. They stocked it with fish and they just keep dying off. No one remembers this happening before that summer we saw the light land in it. It was like this for the next 3 summers that I came back as a lookout. No fish could live in it.
When I was maybe 14 I lived in a rural area of the BC interior. As young teens do, I got bored easily in my small town. To alleviate my boredom, my friends and I would routinely explore the surrounding areas, and go on long day hikes.
There are two instances I can remember being very creeped out on our expeditions. The first time was in the summer; my two friends and I decided to do a hike across several dozen kms. We of course prepared adequately, as any group of 14 year olds would. We had water, and a bag of jerky between the three of us. Naturally, we got very hungry as the jerky quickly ran out. To combat this, we decided to cut through the back roads, and farm land so we could get to the highway faster, and thusly to food. After about an hour of hungry hiking we came upon a little village that was all gated up, and surrounded by brambles. This itself isn’t too creepy. What was creepy was the fact that just inside the gate was a /mountain/ of cattle skeletons and corpses. There seriously would’ve had to have been 3 dozen bodies in the pile. As kids, we were sufficiently spooked. As an adult, I think a logical reason for a death mountain may have been that the herd was diseased and this was a way to quarantine.
The second time was with the same friends, but we were a few years older. On this adventure, we decided to walk the railroad tracks and gather old rail spikes so we could sell them to the scrapper. After a few grueling hours of hiking and carrying increasingly heavy backpacks, we happened upon a house. It was very secluded, but from outside it didn’t look abandoned. Curiosity, and fatigue got the better of us. We dropped our bags and went exploring. We initially just wanted some water, but we found the front door wide open. Outside, there was lots of construction machinery, So we thought maybe they were doing some finishing work inside. We called out, but received no reply. So, with recklessness, we decided to effectively break and enter. This place turned out to be a dump. It looked like a crack house. Old garbage and food everywhere. We assumed no one lived there after all. So what do we do? We decide to snoop around. As we were poking around the ground floor, we heard what sounded like footsteps on the second floor. We called out, but no answer was given. My one friend decided to be brave and go up and check. As he got to the stairs, he called out again; nothing. So he starts up the stairs. I kid you not, as his foot hit the first tread, we heard a music box go off. Alright, kind of creepy, but then we heard a kid’s giggle from above. We noped out of there pretty quickly and ran home. We even forgot our backpacks!