Hiking in nature can be a glorious thing. But thanks to horror movies, pranksters, and just human imagination, things can turn stomach-droppingly creepy.
Here are things people have discovered while hiking then quickly wished they had taken a different path or called a loved one to say goodbye before something dark ripped them from the world.
Kyle Burk of San Francisco was wandering off the beaten path when he stumbled on what looked like human remains nestled in a bed of moss.
When he looked closer things got weirder. It was an old head carved from wood. It had clearly been there a long time, but the rest of the “statue” was nowhere to be found.
Locals near a Wyoming national forest repeatedly reported a “huge monster” walking around the woods.
One couple managed to snap a picture that made things extra strange. It was a mountain man dressed in old army combat gear and animal furs. He was living in the forest but no one could find where.
It might be a famous photo, but the origin of the “coin tree” is seeped with many stories.
Some say they’re left by hikers who’ve seen the local ghost. Others say it’s a place for those who pray for bad luck or harm to befall someone – like a rotting wishing well.
Karen Miller of Montana left one forest looking pale as a ghost. She reported that on her hike she could hear blood-churning screams as if someone was being killed.
Police, however, found nothing. When it happened two more times, she decided to set up a hidden camera. There were plenty of noises … but no identifiable source.
Finding a discarded toy isn’t anything to write home about.
But when a bald, dirty doll head starts appearing in various places along the trail – clearly put there with intention, people wondered if it was a prank. Even if someone took it to toss in the garbage, it would reappear a few days later.
A teen was attempting a night photography project when he stumbled on an old noose hanging from a tree.
There were no remains though. Maybe the person changed their mind? The artist in him hoped it was a twisted prank or art statement. Still, it was far too creepy and he called cops just in case.
There weren’t bloody screams pouring out of this location.
Instead, two urban explorers wanted to get to the bottom of why there were chilling, unintelligible whispers coming out of an old, overgrown train tunnel. “We were terrified,” they said. But even after flooding it with bright lights, and inspecting every inch, they found nothing.
This truly terrifying tale started in South Carolina. Kids reported seeing a dirty, evil-looking clown wandering the forest – who was trying to lure kids with candy or money.
Things took a turn for the worse when the “fad” spread to other states. It became nearly impossible to sort pranks from predators.
Loggers got the fright of their life when they cut down one tree but didn’t find wood, bird’s nests, or other usual forest debris.
A mummified dog stared back at them – teeth bared in a twisted growl or grin. The poor creature had got stuck over 50 years ago, just waiting to be discovered.
Not everything scary has to do with ghosts. Two friends were walking off the beaten path when they saw a dilapidated trailer.
Two men stood outside and offered smiles and beers when they spotted the hikers. One friend spotted the guns just in time and they escaped. They had found a drug lab.
Most people who wander one part of this special forest know exactly what to expect. But for anyone who’s oblivious ends up with quite the shock.
The space is used as an art installation for one sculpture. His circle of aliens has been known to induce shrieks for those who like evening walks.
Abandoned buildings are already eerie places. Their shadows bring out our own vivid and relentless imagination. But it doesn’t help when others decide to ramp up the scream factor.
One spot along a well-known trail ended up being avoided because of the jumps scares local mischief-makers thought was funny. The problem was, worse people started to use the spot.
Imagine walking along a stream and thinking a face is staring up at you from the muck.
Lucy of North Dakota nearly fainted when she saw what turned out to be a copper mask buried in the shallow brook. The piece wasn’t a cheap hunk of garbage either. It was quite heavy and had a jarring design.
Sadly, there’s not just one incident of nature lovers accidentally finding plane wreckage.
They all have one thing in common – before looking inside, everyone was praying the seats would be empty. Sometimes they weren’t. There were many nightmares afterward.
There’s nothing quite like the rush of exploring creepy and abandoned places or finding them completely by chance.
One urban explorer stumbled on an old bunker in the woods that dated back to WWII. There’s something about the old decaying shells of buildings and structures that fires the imagination. Do ghosts live inside?
Imagine that you stumbled upon this intricately woven branch tunnel in the middle of the woods. Would you go through it? Or would you avoid it because it looks like a trap?
It looks like something out of a fairytale – eerily beautiful and creepy at the same time. Questions such as who built it and why are left unanswered.
A user who goes by the name Tafsern stumbled upon this while on a hike in the woods. “Found something that looked like a coffin in the woods today,” he wrote on Reddit.
Even more creepy than finding a coffin in the middle of nowhere is finding an empty coffin in the middle of nowhere. Run away!
A user named Horrorshow13 wrote, “My girlfriend’s mother found this in a field while she was out for a walk in the Czech Republic. Scarecrow perhaps? This thing gave me shivers…”
Was the mannequin left there as a strange art installation, or was it placed there as a prank? We’ll never know.
“I moved from the suburbs into the country. I decided to roam the woods in my backyard when I come across this,” wrote Cake3384.
If I had stumbled upon this message while I was alone on a hike in the woods, I’d have taken the advice and have done just that.
Even with conservation signs all over hiking trails, people still dump hiking equipment and sometimes clothes after a successful hike.
They ignore proper disposal methods and leave them to rot in the middle of the woods. But what would a coat be doing in the middle of the woods? A coat isn’t proper hiking gear, so it’s possible that the one who left it there might didn’t do so willingly…
Some people find it amusing to scare people. They’ll put up signs in strategic places for extra creepiness. During a morning jog through a hiking route, a middle-aged woman took a route that led to this spooky trail.
The tree canopy was so dense that the trail was practically dark. With such a sign at the mouth of the trail, most people wouldn’t dare to step inside.
A group of friends went hiking up a trail in the middle of winter. With no maps and no visible trails, they stumbled upon this abandoned train tunnel.
wanting to explore, the men walked into the tunnel, but their stay was quickly cut short when they spotted a group of bats hanging creepily above the tunnel roof.
Losing a pet is always devastating and can feel like you’ve lost a member of the family. To honor their departed pets’ memory, this group of pet lovers decided to strap their collars on this particular tree.
However, stumbling upon this on a hike can be quite creepy. Pet Semetery, anyone?
Nature has a very weird way of making something ordinary into something creepy. One example is this tree, which is the true embodiment of nature playing a Halloween prank on hikers.
The tree is perfectly twisted to resemble a screaming face. If it looks this creepy during the day, we bet it would give hikers chills if they came across it in the middle of the night.