My Top 5 Spookiest Camping Experiences

Did I see any ghosts? Nope. Zombies? Nope. There have been just a few happenings while out in the wilderness that have caused the hairs on my arms to stand up or give me the heebie-jeebies. Sometimes it’s a certain campsite that just doesn’t feel quite right, or maybe a scary encounter with wildlife. Either way, I know we’ve all had something strange happen when we’ve been outdoors.

1. My first backcountry canoe trip in Temagami was amazing except this one particular campsite on McCarthy Bay of Matagamasi Lake. Our group landed on a nice sand beach but once we started checking the campsite out, there were lots of weird feelings. First we had to step over a pile of bear scat, and then we found 4 or 5 little teepees made out of sticks standing among birch trees. I don’t normally take photographs of those sorts of things because I might be a little superstitious. We had so many questions!

Birch stand campsite on McCarthy Bay

We stayed on another lake on our canoe trip and found an incredible piece of dried wood that resembled a spooky face.

A spooky face in a large piece of dried wood.

2. Another spooky happening was listening to 3 wolves howl just behind our campsite on Killarney Lake. They were so close and the howling so loud that the hairs on my arms stood up and chills were sent down my back. My husband and I were sitting around the campfire and it happened around 6:30pm just as it was getting dark. I knew I’d hear them again so I brought my camera in the tent with me that night and woke up to another howling. I was able to record it. You have to listen carefully right at the beginning of the video.

3. Speaking of wolves, I had another encounter with them during my first-ever canoe trip in Killarney Provincial Park. Camping out on Harry Lake for 3 days, I heard it howling during the night from shore (we stayed on an island). And when our group paddled out on our last day staying on Harry, we were paddling across Pike Lake when a whole pack of wolves started howling and yipping from the shoreline. It was absolutely incredible!

Wolf photo was taken at the Haliburton Wolf Centre.

4. The other super creepy thing that happened out in the woods was during the same trip on Harry Lake in Killarney Provincial Park. We paddled around the lake to explore and landed on site 132 to check it out. Right away there was an eerie feeling to it. There was moose scat, turned over rocks, and the feeling that something was watching from the forest. Banjo, our dog was acting weird. I waited by the shoreline for the others to finish exploring when I looked down and saw this

Bad vibes (nanabush) from site 132

We all got the hell outta there! So many questions. Why would someone draw this? Did someone draw it? Did aliens land in Killarney Provincial Park?

The last story is a disturbing one and it happened when my husband and I were camping in Carcross, Yukon. And unfortunately, these types of situations can happen which is why I prefer to backcountry camp because my chances of this happening are a lot slimmer.

5. When we drove through Tagish and came closer to Carcross, we passed Porcupine Creek and had counted seven porcupines along the roadside.  The landscape was pretty neat and the feeling of seeing something really amazing was looming in my mind.

Only a few minutes later did we see a Lynx run across the road!  The first one I’ve ever seen, it was beautiful.

Things were going well, we had seen a lot of wildlife and the scenery in and around Carcross was amazing. B had talked to a storekeep before we left to ask about camping, and the guy informed him that we could set up camp right next to the store because there are a few RV spots. We pull into town around 10:30PM (we were getting 24 hours of daylight in May, with a few hours overnight that’s just dusk-like) and this drunk waves us over. Bad idea to roll down the window, she was hanging off our door and asking us for a ride to a place down the highway. Getting a bad vibe, we drove off as best as we could without causing any harm. We noticed a campground sign on our way into town, so we drove in there and found a great site.

We started setting up our tent, when this drunk/stoned-out-of-his-mind guy stumbles up to us. B and I knowing what situation was to arise, we just kept our mouths shut and didn’t say anything to him. He couldn’t talk anyway. He slurred something about us needing help setting up our tent, and started falling into it. At that point, I had to sort of push him away so that he wouldn’t crush the tent that holds so many memories for B and I. Getting another bad vibe, I told him that B and I were going to call it a night and that he should be on his way. He turned really aggressive and grabbed B by the coat and was beginning to start something with him. I ran over there and pushed the guy away and asked him several times to please leave us alone and to keep on his way. He was having none of it. I escorted him to the road, but couldn’t get him any further. B stayed back and packed the tent up as best and FAST as he could, while I was dealing with this guy who started yelling at B and calling threats to him. I was basically holding him back. I knew that if it was B trying to get this guy on his way, then matter would have gotten a lot worse. He then started saying really horrible things to me about sexual connotations and then it just got worse.

I was scared. Flat out scared. The guy had spit several times in front of me, called me names, yelled at B, and just when I was about to knock this guy out, I heard the trunk shut and we both got in Bo Bo Ska Dittle as fast as we could and drove off. It was 11PM at this point, we were both really hungry and needed a place to crash. We drove into town and saw an RCMP officer that B waved down. Apparently, the officer had just received a complaint about this guy and was just about to head to the campground.

We drove around looking for a lodge, a hotel, anywhere to sleep but couldn’t find anything. We had to resort back to the campground. I was so nervous that I barely got any sleep for fear that this idiot was going to come back.

Finally around midnight we were able to find a place to camp!

Carcross, Yukon

After all of this happened and we returned home, the RCMP called B at work on the following Tuesday. Apparently this guy had a warrant out for his arrest, and had been banned for life from the town of Carcross. He had been in jail since the night he was bothering us. He was bad news. I was just glad he didn’t harm us in anyway, especially our tent!

I’m surprised none of my bear stories made it on this list of my spookiest camping experiences, not even the one that swam toward my campsite. I’m not scared of bears so much anymore. Hopefully you haven’t had a situation like this last one I wrote about, but I would love to know what sort of spooky camping experiences you have had.

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