Camping season is in full swing, and you are packed and ready to go on your next adventure. Do you want to relax by the campfire in style and break out those scary camping stories but don’t know what scary stories to tell to impress your family and friends? We’ve got you covered!
Sitting around the campfire, roasting marshmallows, and telling scary stories is a tradition nearly as old as camping itself. Read on for nine of the scariest campfire stories ever told to send your camping mates running to their tents — some are even based on true events!
When you’re packing for a camping trip, you should make sure that you’ll bring everything you need. It’s very annoying to discover that you’ve forgotten something important when you’re already in the middle of the woods and nowhere near a store to buy the item that you forgot. To help you avoid this situation, we came up with a list of all the camping items you’ll need for the great outdoors.
Scary Campfire Stories to Tell on Your Next Trip
In the ever-growing firewood pile of scary stories to tell while sitting around the campfire, finding tales that are actually scary enough to leave an impression on your audience is a challenging task. Never fear, this list of nine spooky stories features some of the scariest campfire tales ever told.
A traveling couple is driving in a dark, wooded area in the middle of the night when bright red eyes flash in the middle of the road. The man swerves to miss whatever it could be and keeps driving even faster. A few moments later, a large humanoid creature with red eyes and large wings swoops in front of his car. Its body is short but its wings stretch 10 feet across.
The creature follows the car, swooping in front of it and trying to run the couple off the road. They try to call the police, but there is no signal. The man drives faster until the couple makes it to an open gas station. The creature leaves them as they approach the brightly lit station.
When the police arrive and hear the story, they say that couple just escaped the Mothman. He always hunts in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, at night.
The Woman with the Yellow Ribbon
Annie and Billy are deeply in love. Annie’s favorite color has always been yellow, and she shows it by wearing a yellow ribbon around her neck that she never takes off. Most people around their small town know Annie as the woman with the yellow ribbon around her neck, but no one ever knew why she wore it, not even Billy.
Billy and Annie have three beautiful children. Over the years, the children notice the yellow ribbon. They ask about it, but Annie avoids the question. They ask their father about it, but he only hushes them.
More years pass, and the couple grows old. Despite the mystery of the yellow ribbon around Annie’s neck remaining, Annie and Billy are still very much in love, and Billy lets her keep her secret. However, when Annie grows terribly ill, Billy takes his last chance to ask her about the yellow ribbon.
“I love you,” says Annie. “You can take it off now if you want.” As Billy fumbles with the knot, she says, “You know, my favorite color isn’t yellow. It’s red.” As Billy unties the yellow ribbon, it turns red, and Annie’s head falls off.
Don’t Turn on the Light
Tammy and Marcy are best friends and college roommates. Tammy has a big final coming up and decides to pull an all-nighter. Meanwhile, Marcy goes to bed early due to a morning final of her own, so Tammy says good night to her friend and heads down to study in the students’ common area.
Tammy forgets a book in the dorm room and goes back to get it. When she gets there, the room is dark, and there is a slight smell of earth and metal. Not wanting to turn on the light and disturb Marcy, Tammy chalks it up to something Marcy tracked in from her recent hiking trip. She gets her book from the table by the door and leaves.
Tammy finally finishes studying at 3 a.m. and wants to get a few hours of sleep before her test. When she gets back to the room, the metallic, earthy smell is even more potent. As she still doesn’t want to wake Marcy, she doesn’t turn on the light to check it out.
When she wakes up the next morning, Marcy is still in bed. Odd. She is usually the first one to wake up, especially if there is a test on that day. Tammy decides to wake Marcy and discovers her bloody corpse. Her neck is slit, and her eyes stare up at the ceiling. Tammy screams and looks in the direction Marcy is staring. On the ceiling reads, “Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the light?”
Girl Scout Murders
Three girl scouts between eight and ten years old are excited to go on a summercamping trip. When they get there, they put their stuff in their cabin. Cabin number 8. They enjoy swimming, hiking, and roasting marshmallows by the fire, taking turns telling scary stories.
One night, one camper says that they feel like they are being watched, but the counselors dismiss the feeling, assuring the camper that it is only because they are telling scary stories. The camp counselors suggest they call it a night and the campers settle in to sleep.
The next morning, they find the bodies of the three campers of cabin number 8 on the trail leading from their cabin to the bathrooms, each sleeping bag perfectly spaced down the trail. They had been assaulted and strangled to death.
This story is based on true events. Authorities never caught the culprits.
Some boys are camping and realize that there is an available Wi-Fi connection. They use it to check their social media feeds and browse the internet before deciding to find the source of the connection. They look in all directions but can’t seem to find it. The Wi-Fi connection stays strong until they return to camp, where it drops.
The boys find that, when they were out searching for a connection, someone or something ransacked their camp and stole their food and drinks. The boys become spooked and quickly pack to leave. When they get to their truck, the Wi-Fi connection comes back at full strength.
The name of the connection sends chills down the boys’ spines. It reads, “RUN, BOYS, RUN.”
A father and son are having fun on a fishing trip. They got some good catches on the east side of the lake, but the father is uneasy. He feels like he is being watched. He looks into the trees and sees a man looking out. “Can I help you?” asks the father. The man shakes his head and disappears into the woods. The father, still feeling uneasy, decides to move.
They go to the west bank of the lake and set up there. Thirty minutes later, the father gets the same feeling again. He looks into the woods and sees the same man watching them. They move again—this time, closer to their car on the south bank. A little while later, that familiar feeling returns, and there is the man. Watching.
The father is getting angry now. He picks up his son and puts him and their stuff in the car. He takes out his shotgun and goes over to the last place he saw the man. A head sits on the ground. He immediately recognizes the face of the man who had been stalking them. The head is not attached to a body, but it is smiling and blinking up at him.
A girl is walking home from a late working night. She cuts through an alley because it is quicker than going around the buildings and stay on the street. On her way, she passes a man standing by a dumpster. He stares at her as she speeds up. Praying for her safety, she walks past him and out of the alley. She makes it back to her dorm room and goes to sleep.
The next morning, the girl sees on the news that a woman was assaulted and murdered in the same alley that she walked through the night before and immediately recognizes the suspect in custody. She goes to see him in the county jail to ask him why he didn’t attack her. He stares at her for a while, then says, “Why would I attack you? You were walking with two large men.”
The Clown Mannequin
Tamara babysits the Barton’s kid every two weeks. During those evenings, she reads a story to their two-year-old son and tucks him into bed. To not disturb him with the TV, Tamara then goes to the upstairs TV room to watch a movie. She plops on the couch and flips through Netflix but is getting very uneasy with the clown mannequin in the chair by the TV. It looks like it is staring at her.
She doesn’t remember them having that last time. She texts Mrs. Barton, “Hey, can I put your new clown mannequin in the closet? It’s creeping me out.” Moments later, Mrs. Barton texts back. “Is this a joke? What clown mannequin?” Shivers race down Tamara’s spine as she takes a closer look at the clown. It is breathing, and it blinks!
Tamara runs downstairs, grabs the toddler, and calls the police. The man in the clown suit had escaped from the insane asylum and had come back to his childhood home to surprise his late mother. They had always gone to the circus together when he was a child.
Knowing how to start a fire is an essential skill for any camper. Starting a fire may seem like an easy task, but it is surprisingly difficult to do, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. If you want to know how to properly and safely build a fire, follow our step-by-step guide on starting a campfire.
What is the Scariest Campfire Story Ever?
Beware if you have a basement. Clown mannequins and disembodied heads will keep you up at night, but “The Man in the Basement Window,” a story about a babysitter’s terrifying basement discovery, may have you sleeping with the lights on for a week.
The Man in the Basement Window
Darcy is babysitting for the Steward family one Friday night. As the couple’s six-month-old baby is finally sleeping soundly in her crib, Darcy decides to watch some TV. Suddenly, she hears a noise coming from the basement. She goes down there but can’t hear anything. She only sees a man smiling at her through the basement window. She gives him a tight smile and runs back up to the living room.
She makes sure all the doors and windows are locked and then turns back on the TV. A few minutes later, she hears something again. The basement. She goes down again to see what is making the noise. The man is still there in the window, smiling at her. This time, though, he has a large butcher knife in his hand.
Darcy screams and runs back upstairs. She grabs the baby, her phone, and a knife from the kitchen and runs to the neighbor’s house. They call the police and the Stewards. When they arrive, Darcy tells them about the man in the window.
“But Darcy,” says Mrs. Steward. “Our basement doesn’t have windows. Only mirrors.”
There are a lot of activities that you can enjoy when you’re out camping, but telling scary stories by the campfire is a quintessential activity that you must enjoy once the camp gets dark. With these stories that we shared, you could make this camping trip the most memorable one to date.
We do want to remind you to not take things too far. Keep things light after the storytelling ends and check up on your campmates to make sure that everyone is okay. It’s not fun if you’re going to be the only one who remembers this memory fondly. Just make sure to gauge the reactions of your friends and adjust your scary stories accordingly.