10 Haunted Campsites & Parks for a Spooky Adventure
Take your camping or hiking adventure to the next level by visiting these campsites and parks where you might just have a spooky encounter.
Do you like sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories? Well, how about staying at campsites with actual ghosts? For believers and risk takers, head to these campsites and wait to see some unusual, bizarre, and other worldly experiences.
1. Lake Morena, California
People have witnessed unexplained activity at the campsite close to the lake and the Pacific Crest Trail, not far from the Mexican border. People have heard heavy footsteps that come from nowhere, seen levitating bodies, and a few have even reported seeing a figure in white on the shore of the lake. Two individuals have seen an old man in the distance staring at them. Be sure to go the first weekend you can during a full moon for added spookiness. Well...I will not be staying there.
2. Antietam Creek Campsite, Maryland
This campground is haunted for obvious reasons—it was the site of one of the deadliest Civil War battles, where 23,000 soldiers died. Campers and historians have claimed to see ghost soldiers, have heard gun fires, and have witnessed ghostly military activity. I for one do not wish to relive the Civil War, so count me out of spending the night at this haunted campground.
3. Freetown-Fall River State Forest, Massachusetts
Rumor has it that the Bridgewater Triangle, which includes this forest, acts as a mini Bermuda Triangle where all things paranormal take place- it feels like this came straight from a scary movie. Satanic cults, UFO sightings, demon dogs, Bigfoot, and glowing orbs are just a handful of things people have sworn they’ve seen. Although you can’t directly camp in the forest, the KOA Campground nearby is right on the border of the haunted triangle.
4. Calico Ghost Town, California
Before it was abandoned, Calico was a popular and successful silver mining town in San Bernardino County. By 1907, the town was empty. The campground is in the old town graveyard. Yikes. Women who stay the night report feeling assaulted by an invisible being. Going to pass on this one too….
5. Eden Park, Ohio
In the Fall of 1927, a woman on her way to a divorce hearing was chased by her husband's car into Eden Park where he then shot and killed her. Visitors now see her in a black dress, wandering the grounds and specifically the gazebo. This isn’t a campground, so don’t set up your tent—or maybe just don’t go at all. Maybe bring some old friends, quickly look around, and run away as fast as your legs will carry you.
6. Hunting Island State Park, South Carolina
While this is the most-visited state park in South Carolina, many people don’t know that the lighthouse is a thousand percent haunted. There are a few spirits who roam the lighthouse. One is a keeper of the lighthouse who blames himself for the drowning of a child. Another is the daughter of a different keeper who committed suicide in the lighthouse. From the nearby campground, you can hear loud and inhuman noises, some laughter, and singing.
7. Bannack State Park, Montana
Originally a gold mining town, Bannack now houses two campsites. In 1864, the Sheriff at the time was hanged after being accused of directing a murderous gang. He never got a fair trial, so the only way to be sure if he was guilty of this is to ask his ghost, which has been sighted wandering the town and campsites. Maybe not one of the best campgrounds to stay at if you are easily spooked.
8. Cameron Park, Texas
This park is home to Jacob’s Ladder—a steep staircase where women have reported feeling hands pull their clothes. Yikes...already not feeling this. Not far away from the ladder is Lover’s Leap, where two lovers from opposing Native American tribes jumped to their deaths. The ghostly couple can now be seen walking through the river holding hands. There are also stories of witches in black and white dresses running throughout the park and many have reported hearing high pitch screams and smell rotting flesh.
9. Holy Ghost Campground, New Mexico
I mean, the name gives it away. Since the 17th century, a phantom Catholic Priest has been seen roaming the campground. He is believed to have been killed on site. Since then sightings, disappearances, and shadowy figures have haunted the campsite. Now I probably wouldn’t head there myself, but if you’re feeling gutsy, go ahead.
10. Yosemite National Park, California
No! Not Yosemite, who even knew?? Oh yes, it is haunted. One of the most beloved parks in the U.S. and, in my humble opinion, the world, Yosemite is known for its rock formations and is a mecca for rock climbers. So what paranormal activity happens there? Sections of the park are believed to be haunted by Native Americans who were killed there, and the Ahwahnee Hotel has seen its fair share of the unliving. One worker of the hotel is said to have seen the ghost of John F. Kennedy, who visited a year before his assassination. Guests, keep an eye out.
A Personal Ghost Story
Now, I would like to share a ghost story that my camp counselors told us every summer. I went to a summer camp in Malibu, Calif., for eight summers of my childhood. Every year on the first night they would tell us the story of “Chapel Man.” Chapel Man ate children.
A little spooky for summer camp, but that is what they told us. Our camp director told us he was the first person to see Chapel Man, and heard the phantom man yell, “Bring me children!”
Chapel Man lived in an old part of the camp that you had to walk past to get to your cabin every night. And every night, you would see kids who believed the story run by as quick as they could. I was a pretty logical, no-nonsense kind of kid, so I wasn’t a believer. In fact, I watched The Exorcist with my dad when I was eight years old. That being said, whenever someone asked me to get closer to where Chapel Man supposedly lived, I would make up an excuse and walk the other way! Thankfully I never saw him.
Have any other haunted campsites or paranormal activity in the wild? Feel free to hit me up and let me know, or maybe don’t. So don’t forget to bring your Ghostbusters gear with you if you head to any of these campsites but definitely count me out. If you're leaving the Ghostbusters gear at home but need to get suited up to hit the trail, reach out to a Camping & Hiking expert here on Curated for free, personalized advice and recommendations. And try to stay away from Chapel Man!