There are some clear advantages to working alone, or in a remote location, or a night shift, right? It’s quiet, you don’t have to deal with as many people, and you can probably get some rest and “me” time as part of the bargain.
But we all know that things go bump in the night (and in the wilderness), and these 17 people have encountered some seriously creepy stuff in exchange for their sweet gig.
17. When you’re the creepy guy.
I live on a ranch off of a quite dirt road. Our distant neighbors (nearest house is about 1 mile away as the crow flies) have had issues with people stealing things out of their out-buildings and storage sheds in the area. It was also late in the year, so it was starting to get dark around 6PM. So as a result every time I would see headlights go down our road I would watch to make sure they weren’t stopping on the property.
One evening I see a vehicle going very slowly down the road and come to a stop at the end of our driveway (about 120 yards from our front porch). The vehicle is parked right in front of a 60’s pickup I have parked, so I think whoever it is might be looking to steal it, or just looking over the property. Whatever the case, I decide to put on a black coat and grab my rifle to go investigate. It’s dark out, so I stay out of the headlights of the vehicle so I can get close. I can tell it is a white van, but I don’t see anything else distinguishing about the van. When I’m about 50 yards away the van backs up and turns into our driveway. I freeze as the headlights wash across me standing in the middle of my driveway….and I see the reflective Fedex logos on the side of the van.
Needless to say the Fedex driver probably shit his pants as he suddenly sees a dark figure standing in the middle of a field, in the dark, holding a rifle. Surprisingly after I try to give a friendly wave and smile he continues up the driveway to the house, and I get to explain the situation and we both have a laugh.
So that’s how I got to be the creepy guy in some Fedex delivery driver’s story.
16. That feeling of being watched.
I work off a secluded/Wooded area here in Texas. Every now and again when I finish with a job site, I’ll pop into the head office. It’s the creepiest feeling at night, mostly no light and I’ve seen a bobcat a couple of times.
The kicker is… the walls are all glass, so when I have the light on inside… I know I’m being watched by someone or something.
15. That’ll make you jumpy.
I work for a Medical Examiner and used to be on the graveyard shift alone. The first night I was on at midnight on the dot our air system shut off which caused the vents to warp.
That sounded like somebody running through the vents in the ceiling on all fours. Thankfully I got used to it lol but def creepy at first.
Another night we lost power and stupid me watching a horror movie working so hard almost shit my pants when EVERYTHING went dark and knowing that a room with around 30 dead bodies in it was walking distance away.
That one I stayed in my car for. Not to mention the constant long dark red lit hallways.
Glad I’m not on overnight now.
14. They packed right up.
Spent a summer in Wyoming going to BLM land and other remote locations collecting data on bats and herpetofauna. Heard a lot of weird noises like mountain lions screaming, deer snorting, what sounded like owls fighting. Woke up one morning to find two bull moose sleeping 20 yards behind my tent.
All of this was “part of the job” until one night a truck was driving towards us when we were on a BLM square in the southwestern part of the state. The truck was going overland, no road and was slowly driving at us. It stopped about 100 yards away, turned off the lights and we could see a person get out.
They walked a full circle around us at ~100yards away, got back in the truck and turned around. This was after dark and this shadowy figure did a complete circle around us. You could hear them walking through the sage brush and I’m sure they could hear us talking.
We packed up after that and drove to a hotel an hour away.
I called the office and told them I was taking a gun when we went back out. Didnt like having the bear mace as our only defense.
13. He was watching.
I spent some time in the peat swamp forests of Borneo studying wild orangutan. We would go into the forest very early around 4 am. One morning there was a clouded leopard on the trail we used to enter the forest. It was just crouched there watching us.
We shouted, tried to act big, one of the indigenous people we worked with even took out his slingshot and shot rocks at it (he missed on purpose just trying to scare it off). It stayed there for a good 5 minutes watching us before it slowly walked into the thick brush off the cleared trail.
When we walked by I shined my light to where it had walked to and could clearly see a pair of reflective eyes only 3 meters away crouched watching us pass. Creepy but also incredibly cool to see one in person for how critically endangered they are
12. The power of nature.
I used to work in the Gulf of Mexico on oil rigs for years, and it may not exactly be creepy, but I found it really unsettling.
In deep, open water, the water itself is really clear, so everyone can plainly see all the tuna and barracudas hanging around the rig waiting for the onboard cook to throw off whatever food waste he needs to. Every once in a while a huge great white shark would swim up from underneath and snatch a tuna and it really took like less than a second. They’re really scary.
11. Weird things happen out there.
Working on ships. there was one night I was on a ship sailing through Alaskan Waters. And it happened to be my first night ever seeing Northern Lights. I can’t believe how awesome that was…. it made the sky clear, made the night look like it was dusk, we were able to see clearly for miles.
Few buddies and I hit the roof or what we call, Lido deck at 1am just to gaze at it. An hour or so in, there was 6 of us on top, nearly the entire crew now. A big white spot light shines at us. We were near land, but where the spotlight was, was above the water and it wasn’t low enough to be on a ship, this was very high up. It shined on us for about 15-20 seconds. Once the light turned off we looked to see what it was. Saw nothing; no trace of an aircraft or anything.
Couple minutes go by and the same light shined on us, this time it was on the other side of our vessel, above mountains. Still, unable to see what it was. We all saw it, we all have never seen any aircrafts hovering above these waters, especially at 2am.
We don’t know what it was. We think it might have been some sort of silenced aircraft the military was probably doing drills or something. But anyways, that was one of the weirder things to happen out on the ocean.
10. Not a sound.
My parents live pretty far back in the country and have 1 neighboring house.
The neighbors would let their Basset Hound outside for about 10 minutes to use the bathroom every morning.
One morning they let him out, and he didn’t come back inside. After a couple minutes they walked out to his favorite bathroom spot, and found…his head. Judging from the tracks, a mountain lion had ambushed him and apparently torn his head off before carrying the body away.
What I thought was the creepiest part was that the family hadn’t heard a sound.
9. That’ll shake you up.
I worked at a state park for a few years, one day a coworker was doing trail maintenance and a human skull rolled out of the woods onto the trail in front of him. Turns out it was a man who had been on the run from the police and was living in our woods.
Evidently it was a good hiding place because they hadn’t found him until then.
8. The mysterious footsteps.
Spent a summer doing conservation work out in the absolute middle of nowhere in Wyoming. Was part of a crew that would spend two weeks camping in remote places to do manual labor in places machines couldn’t get to.
For this story, we were building new hiking/biking trails in the back portion of a designated wilderness area in a high altitude desert. This means that the nearest civilization was a 2 hour car ride to a town of 41 people in a sandy soil area where tracks last forever.
It was the middle of our stint during the early part of the night where everyone else had gone to bed but I stayed up to read, so maybe 11:30 or so. Still pitch black outside, clouds had covered stars. so my head lamp was probably the only light on in a 40 mile radius.
Suddenly I hear footsteps walking around our camp and head towards the tents from where I was in the community tent. That sound immediately put me on edge as I felt the hair on my arms raise and my adrenaline spike. I recall thinking to myself that two things are very wrong since the person was not using a light to see and the footsteps were not coming towards me from the tents, rather it was the opposite.
Within the four seconds it took me to drop my book, get up, and turn the corner of the tent to cast my light on the sleeping tents, the sound had stopped but I saw tracks in dirt before me. Looked like they came from one end of camp, looked into my tent, walked through the sleeping tents and kept going out of camp again.
I don’t know if I was making too much noise or not by walking around, but the rest of my crew ended up waking up and asking me what was going on from inside their tents. After explaining what I found, they all got up to look at the boot prints in the dirt. They were damn near perfect copies of my own boots except for one small thing, I had a rock stuck in my treads that messed up the symmetry. (I was wearing fairly common work boots, except I also happen to wear US size 15 double wide boots, so there was no way in hell this was one of the other crew members)
I don’t think any of us slept much that night. Never saw or heard anything more after that night. A light rain removed the tracks a couple days later, but I do remember none of us were willing to step on the prints themselves and choose to step over them like cracks in the sidewalk.
7. You want to avoid others in the wilderness.
I used to do salmon spawning surveys, which involved walking up streams looking for fish. Some of the streams are quite remote and/or inaccessible on timber land, and you don’t really expect to see any other person when you’re out there. As a naturally smile-y, friendly, small feminine woman, I’ve learned to be wary of people 100% of the time in the field. I actively try to avoid running into people when I’m alone in remote places.
One of the survey locations is close to a highway. To get to it, I had to park at a pullout, follow a river downstream to a flagged trail, hike over a ridge to meet up with an old logging road on private timber land. I walked along the logging road for about 100 m before peeling off into the woods (very thick second growth Douglas fir reprod), where game trails eventually lead to the stream at the base of the hill slope. I came here during spring to survey steelhead, but this stream was also a survey location for other types of salmon during the fall. The game trails off of the logging road were flagged by previous surveyors, and multiple routes were marked. This made it kind of confusing, and not all routes actually led to the stream. Some just petered out once the vegetation got too thick. Another led to a cliff face overlooking the riverbed. Lots of faint trails.
One day I turned off into the woods one of the survey flags tied around a branch at the side of the road. I followed some pink flagging heading south along the hillside. I noticed the trail seemed freshly turned up, and figured maybe a bear clambered through recently since the time I was there last (2 weeks previously). The trail led to a small claustrophobic clearing, and the ground was freshly torn up in the shape of a circle. Seemed strange. I was looking for elk tracks but didn’t see any. Then I noticed an assortment of bones scattered around the edges of the clearing. These weren’t there before. Everything was dead silent, and something about it was setting me on edge. I poked around the bones a bit, trying to piece together this scene. I noticed another slight path, which strayed from my main route, veering to the right from the clearing. I walked a bit down that way, and gazed ahead trying to see if this path was flagged. It was densely packed with trees. A subtle movement caught the corner of my eye ahead and to the right as I walked — I turned my head to look past the trees and saw the silhouette of a large shelter maybe about 50-75 feet from the clearing. It was surrounded by what looked to be jugs and bones. Tons of plastic jugs. Light shapes of bones on the ground. The lighting made seeing anything else impossible. Everything was so, so quiet.
I left in a hurry, off the trail, without trying to get a better look, without getting to the stream. The alarm bells in my brain were screaming.
Edit: I don’t know if the movement I saw was just a trick of the eye or if there was actually something moving. My gut feeling was someone was present at the shelter when I was there.
Another clarification, the jugs were large (e.g. not plastic milk jugs). More like chemical containers. It wasn’t random trash strewn around the shelter. It was jugs and lots of bones.
6. I wouldn’t have been able to sleep.
I used to own a horse boarding and training farm with about 45 acres surrounded by woods. I used to spend the night there quite a bit, because I had to start chores early in the morning so if I stayed too late it wasn’t worth it to drive home. One night at about midnight my dog started to bristle up and growl at the door of the office I slept in, and then my ipod, which I kept on a speaker in the middle of the barn, started blasting out Johnny Cash’s Ring of Fire at full volume, which I definitely hadn’t left it on. Let me tell you, that song is fucking freaky as shit in the middle of the night. Like shit your pants freaky.
My dog was full on growling and barking at the door, so I cracked it and let him run out, figuring that if someone were in or around the barn he’d get them (anyone there would have been trespassing at that time of night). After a few minutes I went out of the office into the barn aisle (with a bat) to turn off the creepy ass music. The light I usually kept on so I could see around was off, so it was pitch dark in most of the barn. My dog was just staring out the barn door (which I kept open in the summer to keep the horses cooler) with his hair bristled but wasn’t leaving the barn, which he was allowed to do. I wrote it off as creepy as fuck but ultimately just “one of those things”, you know, like it’s weird and I can’t explain it, but there’s got to be an explanation I’m just not privy to.
5. You never forget that.
We have a PTO pump spot that comes out of a canal for our rice fields. When I was like 12 years old my uncle found two bodies dumped in the little sump area where our pump sat.
Both of the ladies that were dumped there had the same tattoos so they think it was gang related but it was 45 minutes away from where that “gang” operated.
I still look in the hole every time I go by there and that was 20 years ago.
4. Eerie for sure.
I spent several seasons working at a remote field camp in Antarctica…over 1000 km from the main station in McMurdo. Every once in a while, a Skua bird or Antarctic Tern would accidentally end up following one of the small planes (Twin Otter) out to our camp. Once there though, they’d basically be stranded with no way to get back to the coast. I’d get out of my tent some mornings and see a lonely Tern circling overhead, knowing it was a dead bird flying. It was quite creepy.
Along these lines, when birds (or seals) do die down there, it’s so cold and dry, that their bodies don’t decay either. They essentially mummify. Outside McMurdo at Scott’s Discovery Hut, there is still a perfectly preserved seal carcass from 1912 sitting by the entrance of the hut.
Edit: Dang…this kind of blew up. Been working all day and just getting back on now. The short answers to some of your questions are:
I think it’s that the birds more follow the contrails than the planes themselves but I could be wrong. I just know from the various camp managers and other scientists down there (particularly biologists) that told me once a Tern or Skua gets that far away from the coast, they’re basically toast due to lack of food and temps.
2. My heart just sped up.
Used to teach outdoor education. Which was essentially just summer camp during the school year and school groups would come up and spend a few days at the camp. On their last night we would always tell them a scary story around the campfire. It was the same scary story every time. We worked in partners so there were always two staff members for every school group. One staff member would tell the story and the other staff member would go hide in the forest and make scary noises.
So, I’m telling the story and every few minutes there’s like a snap of a twig or rustling in the bushes and of course as always the kids all get freaked out and they start getting scared. It’s very fun.
Well, as I’m telling a story I’m walking around the campfire looking at all the kids faces and I noticed a familiar one. My partner Eric. Sitting there smiling at me wondering why I’m staring at him. My heart has never started beating so fast in my life.
Eventually I sped through the story and all the kids left and I explain to Eric that I thought it was him in the woods and his eyes got very wide and he said are you telling me that that wasn’t one of the staff members?
So we both RAN back to the main road.
1. Pretty spooky.
I’ve worked in Canada’s north for a few years now in oil and gas.
It’s pretty creepy when during night shift you realise a moose has just been standing at the tree line staring you down for an unknown length of time.
Or finding bear tracks crossing the tracks you just made 5 minutes ago
Honestly the silence of a snowy forest in the dead of night 100s of km away from anything is pretty spooky. When Your only contact to the outside world is a radio channel nobody’s listening to, you feel pretty alone.
Y’all, I would have to quit. No doubt.
Have you had an experience like this? Creep us out in the comments!