A long-standing camping tradition is sitting under the night sky telling stories while huddled up around a burning fire. It’s October now, and even though it’s getting a little chilly, there’s never been a better time to go out camping in the great wilderness. To keep up the spirit of the season at your next campout, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite scary stories to tell under the cover of darkness. Pick your favorite, grab some good campfire food, and get ready to scare the pants off all those who dare listen to the following spooky tales.
The Ghost of La Parva Ski Resort
As told by Drew Tabke, professional skier
All throughout Latin America you’ll hear different variations of the story of La Llorona, also known as the wailing woman. In some, she’s lost her husband. In others, she’s lost her children. Sometimes she’s lost them both. In La Parva, a ski spot in the Chilean Andes, a new version of this tale is being told, one where everyone in the area swears that they knew the wailing woman personally before she met her fate. A local restaurant owner said he dated her, and a ski patroller who relayed the story was able to point out the exact hut in which this tale takes place.
It was a lovely day during the peak of ski season when Lola and her young son happened to spend a day on the slopes. Suddenly, a thick fog rose from the valley, which often precedes the arrival of a real storm. Clouds swirled around the two as they tried to make their way down the mountain, where they eventually lost each other. Desperate to find her son, Lola screamed his name and ran through the thick fog. But she was unable to see clearly and stumbled down a steep slope, beginning to slide toward a rocky couloir.
A local lift operator was returning to his cabin when he stumbled upon her body. He feared her death, but closer inspection found the woman to be clinging to life. With a body covered in scrapes and wounds from her fall, she barely whispered one word – her son’s name.
The lift operator carefully took her to his cabin, located just up the hill. There he bandaged her wounds before running to fetch the nearest doctor. With fog hanging in the air, he and the doctor made their way back to the cabin, just to find it deserted. The only sign that someone had been there at all were the crumpled bloody sheets on the bed.
Neither Lola nor her son were ever found. But locals report hearing her wailing voice calling for her child whenever they come close to the lift operator’s cabin.
Maybe one day you’ll visit La Parva in the wintertime and be in your own cabin in the Andes. The candles flickering around you as the wind whips through you, making it hard to tell if you’re hearing the howling of the wind or the wailing of a woman.
Axe Murder Hollow
A young couple was driving down a long, peaceful stretch of wooded highway. Suddenly the sky went dark; lightning flashed, and thunder roared as heavy rain began to obscure their vision through the windshield.
Fearing for their safety, Susan suggested they stop on the side of the road to wait out the storm. Ned nodded his head in agreement and moved his foot from the gas pedal over the brake pedal. Maybe it was the excitement of the moment or maybe Ned just wasn’t a good driver. Whatever it was, Ned mashed the brake pedal too quickly for the wet conditions. The car didn’t stop and instead went into a slide towards the edge of the pavement. The couple flew off the road, bounced over a few medium sized rocks and plowed through several bushes before skidding to a halt at the bottom of a ravine.
After checking to make sure Susan was alright, Ned got out of the car to see just how much damage it had sustained. Susan watched his blurry figure from the light of the headlight as he walked in front of the car. Moments later a soaking wet Ned hopped into the car beside her where he relayed that though the car wasn’t badly damaged, it was stuck in mud. He would have to go for help.
Susan swallowed nervously, realizing there would be no quick rescue. Ned advised her to turn off the headlights and lock the doors until he returned. Under no circumstance should she leave. He didn’t have to say the name out loud, they both knew exactly what was on his mind when he told her to lock the car and not come out.
Axe Murder Hollow, the place where a man had hacked his wife to death with an axe in a jealous rage over her alleged affair. Even after his death, the axe-wielding spirit of the husband was said to haunt the section of the road.
Only a few moments after Ned departed Susan heard a shriek followed by a loud thump and a strange gurgling noise. But it was too dark outside, she couldn’t see anything. Frightened of the noises, she shrank in her seat where she sat in complete silence. That silence was soon interrupted by another sound. Bump. Bump. Bump. It was quiet, like something was being blown by the wind.
Suddenly, a bright light shone through the windows of the car, blinding Susan. She heard an official sounding voice tell her to get out of the car, and she was elated at the prospect of Ned having found a police officer to help them. She unlocked the door and stepped out into the storm. As her eyes adjusted to the bright light, she saw it.
Ned’s dead body was hanging by his feet from the tree next to the car. His throat had been cut so deeply that he had nearly been decapitated. His corpse swung back and forth in the wind, and she heard it once more. Bump. Bump. Bump.
She screamed in terror and took off running toward the light, but as she drew closer, she realized the light was not coming from a flashlight. Standing there was the glowing figure of a man wearing a twisted smile on his face and holding a large, shining axe in his hands. Susan fell to the ground, trying her best to back away from the imposing figure as he took a step closer.
“Playing around when my back was turned,” the ghost jeered, running a finger along the sharp blade of his axe, “You’ve been very naughty.”
The last thing she saw was the glint of the axe blade swinging towards her in the eerie, incandescent light.
On his tenth birthday he was given a watch. An ordinary, grey, plastic wristwatch in all respects except for the fact that it was counting down slowly. His grandfather had smiled as he handed it to him, “Kid, this is all the time you have left in the world. Use it wisely.”
The boy did. As the watch ticked away, the boy, who had become a man, lived his life to the fullest. He climbed mountains, swam through oceans, and dove through the skies. He talked, laughed, lived, and loved. He never experienced fear, as he knew exactly how much time he had left. Eventually, the watch began its final countdown.
The man looked over everything he had done in his life, and everything he had built. 5. He shook hands with his business partner, who had been his best friend and confidant throughout his life. 4. His dog laid down next to him and licked his head, earning a scratch behind its ears for years of companionship. 3. He hugged his son, knowing he had been a good father. 2. He kissed his wife for the last time.1. The old man smiled and closed his eyes as the watch stopped its ticking.
Then, nothing happened. The old man sat there, still very much alive. You would think he would be as overjoyed as his family and friends to still have life left in his soul, but you would be wrong. Instead of feeling happy for the new time he had been given, he felt an emotion he had not felt throughout his entire life. He was afraid.
A couple is driving along back roads late at night when they notice a girl hitchhiking alone. They pick her up and she thanks them profusely before giving them a nearby address. The couple begins to drive her home, all the while enjoying the polite conversation they have with her.
After a few minutes the driver asks if they’ve reached the right intersection, but the girl is silent. Confused, the couple turns around, only to find their back seat empty. She is gone, vanished without a trace. The couple is shocked but decide to head to the address given to them by the girl, hoping to find answers.
An elderly couple greets them at the door. They don’t know of any girl… but their own daughter was killed in a car accident many years ago. Just a few miles up the road.
The Shortest Horror Story
We couldn’t finish this list without including the world’s shortest horror story. Written in 1948 by American writer Fredrick Brown, it is two simple sentences long.
“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. Suddenly, there was a knock at the door…”
We hope you enjoyed our collection of spooky stories to tell in the dark! Add your own personal flair to them and try them out at your next campfire gathering! Happy camping and Happy Halloween!