30 October 2010

A Spooky Camping Story

I posted this for the first time a few years ago and since Halloween is nearly here, I felt it would be appropriate to re-introduce you all to this very strange experience...

map of Custer Idaho
map courtesy of... interment.net

Several years ago, my wife and I decided to take a weekend and go camping. I was excited, because I had been hard at work with classes and my job and I really needed the break. Four hours later, we arrived and began the 5-mile drive down a gravel road to our destination near the ghost town of Custer, Idaho (a place I have camped at several times before). We arrived in the late morning and quickly got ourselves established. The first order of business was to pitch the tent. Next, came the collection of firewood and this is where things started to get weird.

Located about 50 yards from our clearing was a grove of trees. The dirt road led from our campsite, through those trees and down to another campsite. Since the other site was not taken, I decided to go and gather the wood from the grove. As I entered the trees, I had what can best be described as an eerie feeling. There were no birds chirping, no bugs buzzing, nothing but complete silence. As I gathered the wood, I kept having this strange feeling that I was being watched. It felt as though there was some force pressing lightly on my back and the hairs on my neck kept tingling. As I gathered the wood, I kept turning around and looking behind me. Why, I have no idea; it was just a creepy feeling. As I left the grove, I immediately felt better, but I was still wary as to what had caused the feeling in the first place.

A few hours later, a family in a van came through our campsite and headed towards the grove. As they started to unpack and set-up camp, I was immediately relieved to have company in that lonely area. I finally relaxed and told my wife the feelings I had while collecting the wood. After all, we were not alone anymore and there's no reason to be scared, right? Well, not more than 30 minutes later, the van was packed and the people left. Okay, this is weird. Well, maybe they changed their mind. A while later, another family came down, set-up camp and started to have fun. Less than an hour later, they packed-up and left. Now I am getting concerned. Why would these people come all this way, unpack their cars and pitch their tents, only to repack and leave in under an hour?

Late in the afternoon, a Ranger came by and talked with us. He asked if we had seen anything out of the ordinary and we told him about the two families that left. He went and checked the area and reported that everything seemed fine. Guess what, not long after he left, another group went down and set-up camp; 30 minutes later, they left as well. As night approached, I grew more and more uneasy. I lit the campfire and that helped, but I could not get that feeling of being watched out of my mind. I kept looking over into that grove of trees. Something seemed to be in there. I felt as if there were a presence looking back at us.

When we finally went to bed, I just could not get to sleep. I had this heaviness on me. It felt as if something was trying to push me away; almost like a giant hand. I could not get rid of this feeling. As time went on, it grew stronger. It was almost electric in its intensity. Finally, at around 1:00 am I couldn't stand it any longer. I asked my wife if she wouldn't mind leaving and that was when she stated that she had been having the same feelings as me. Well, that was all I needed to hear. I got out of the tent and started the car. I must have broken camp in a record time, because not more than 15 minutes later, we were on the road and not looking back.

The next day, we called the Ranger station and informed them as to what happened and to find out if the Ranger that came by to talk with us ever reported anything strange in that area. When we gave him the ranger's name, he was silent for a moment and than said that he had never heard of him before.

I need to ask, did we let our imaginations get away from us, or was there actually someone or something back in those trees. I grew-up camping and it is still one of my favorite things to do. Remember, three groups went back to camp there; all three left within an hour. We may never know what might have happened if we would have stayed. I like to think that God was watching over us and was warning us to leave. If we would have stayed, would I be sitting here right now telling you about this, or would we have ended-up as another camping tragedy.


  1. Yikes! I wouldn't have stayed as long as you did but then again, I wouldn't go camping anywhere unless the place had 4 walls, a lock on the door and a jacuzzi tub! Glad nothing bad happened to you though. It'd be interesting to know if others have reported odd occurances in that area since.

  2. That is one freaky story. I don't think I would have stayed that long either.

  3. BeadedTail: That sounds like a great way to go camping... ah, a jacuzzi!!
    I never did find out if anyone reported anything odd, but I would sure be interested in finding out why those people left.

    More Milestones: I have been camping ever since I was young and this was the first time I had EVER experienced something so strange.

  4. Oh that is spooky, you hung out way longer than I would have.
    Have a happy Halloween

  5. You lasted longer than me, I would have been gone by the time the second family did!

  6. I think I'll be under the bed!

  7. Ann: That it was. I hope you all have a great Halloween, too :)

    Storm, The Psychotic Housewife: If I was smart, that is probably what I should have done.

    Brian: That would be an excellent place to be :)

  8. How spooky! I wonder what was watching you? A critter or something worse? God was watching over you for sure.

  9. katlupe: I have no idea, but I would really want to find out. I agree, He was watching out for us. That's the only way I explain the intense feelings I was experiencing.

  10. Praise God for his protection. Spooky story.



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