24 Creepy Things That Happened At Real Summer Camps

I thought he was security

“This was early 90s at a school camp.

I got up during the night to go to the camp toilet. It wasn’t far away, I could see it from our tent. There wasn’t anybody around. On my way back, I spotted a man I didn’t recognise shining a torch into the side of the boys tent to make shadows appear. When he saw me approach, he put his torch away and walked away but was sort of hovering around the camp site. I thought he was campsite security and that I was going to get into trouble for leaving my tent during the night and as I was an anxious kid, it kept me up all night. As I couldn’t sleep, I noticed for a good hour or so that the guy was still walking around and shining his torch into the side of tents. I could hear him and see the light.

In the morning, I was falling asleep at breakfast and my friends were taking the piss about it. One of the teachers noticed and thought I was getting sick so she came over to ask if I was alright and I said I had been up all night because of the camp security guard shining his torch into tents. She looked horrified and said “what camp security?” and went off to tell one of the male teachers. It turned out that the campsite didn’t have security and the police were called out. Some guy who was known to the area for being a sex offender had recently been released from prison and was living in the nearby forest in a tent.” — Retrosonic82

The counselors

“The camp instructor/director making sure all us boys took off all our clothes and watched us shower. Very creepy.” — daveywaveysf

The real reason they took us into the woods

“I was about 12 and I was at sleep-away camp and the councilors took us on a hike into the woods for a night. When it came time to go to bed, of course none of us were actually falling asleep and we overheard the councilors talking about the police looking for someone. We later learned one of the kids was in the middle of a serious custody battle and that the dad was planning on taking the kid and that the reason we were in the woods was so that he wouldn’t find us at the cabin. No idea if it was actually dangerous, but looking back it definitely is unsettling.” — atlantis_airlines

Spiders and sadistic counselors

“Went on a camping trip. I was one of the first ones out of the bus and had to use the public bathroom. I notice a few daddy long legs on the wall outside the bathroom and think nothing if it. I open the door and am immediately greeted by thousands if not millions of daddy long legs that are covering the bathroom from top to bottom. (The bathroom was big as well, like 3 stalls and 3 urinals.) That and coupled with the fact that our camp counselors were sadistic and told us pre-teens a bunch of scary stories then jumped out of the woods in the middle of the night screaming with bloody Jason masks. I stayed in my tent most of the time after that:)” — krill482

Stranger in a gorilla suit

“My youth group stayed at a camp site for a weekend trip. We were all in the cabin playing card games when someone with a gorilla suit ran by the cabin and started banging on the door. It really freaked everyone out because it was no one in our group. They came back a couple times until one of the adults confronted the person and they ran away. They never found out who the person was.” — iBTGx43


“We were playing soccer and someone shattered my leg, broke it in 8 places. There was no swelling so they said I was faking it and they wouldn’t take me to the hospital, they sent me back to my cabin for the night. I hopped around for a day but the next night I was in too much pain to sleep so I limped to the nurses office, broke in and took a handful of benadryl just so I could sleep.

That night, a group was doing an overnight in a three sided shelter and decided to have a peanut butter fight before bed. One kid fell asleep with peanut butter in his hair and woke up when a skunk walked into the shelter and pulled a piece of his scalp out. The kid punted the skunk out of the shelter, which caused it to spray everyone on the overnight.

So they “had” to take the kid for rabies shots so they “might as well” take me along to get x-rays since they were going anyway.

Helen Keller could have pointed out the breaks on my x-rays.” — Gnarbuttah

Rumors of an ax man

“I was young, like 11-12 yrs old, and at Girl Scout Camp. One night, after lights out, we we’re told by our counselors to stay in the cabins, latch the doors, get under the beds and turn out all lights. Some old guy had gotten drunk and trespassed. He had been walking around the property but luckily didn’t find any of the camp grounds. Rumors were he had an ax but I don’t think that’s true.” — journey2satisfaction


“Went to a boys scout summer camp in the mid-late 90’s. They had an archery range where we all were learning how to shoot. They were big on safety, but it was the 90’s so….. Anyways everyone shoots, and we are down range getting our arrows then we hear someone yell out in the covered shooting area. I look up and see the semi special needs kid holding an arrow at full draw and lets go. Hits the kid standing 5 feet from me in the arm. It’s chaos every ones running around and screaming. The kid with an arrow stick out of him is just standing there in shock. Next year there was no more archery training.” — streetmitch

Deep wilderness

“We were on this really long canoe trip in Northern Ontario. Like DEEP wilderness.

We were on this gorgeous clear lake when we found a secluded beach. It was really Beautiful. So we decided to stay there for the night.

The whole day and even sitting around the fire that night felt weird. But I couldn’t really place my finger on it.

I woke up in the middle of the night to the sound of soft country music. None of us had a stereo so I stuck my head out of the tent to see wtf was up.

There was a bald guy going through our campsite picking up stuff as he went along. We made eye contact and he put a finger to his lips and made a shhhh sound. So I hid in my sleeping bag lol.

I can’t remember what he took but it wasn’t much.

Turns out there is a pretty significant hermit population in northern Ontario.” — GozerDaGozerian

Ghostly suicide

“I was in a summer camp on an Island when I was 13 and we were hanging out at the beach during dawn. All of a sudden a woman came out of nowhere and walked with big steps towards the water. She had been wearing a white cape, which she threw dramatically away. Underneath she was completely naked. When she reached the water she walked into it (despite it being not very warm) until she started to swim. Always straight ahead away from the Island until we lost track of her. We stayed for 1,5 more hours but she never came back and it was dark and she was naked and her cape was still at the beach. Back then we joked that she was a mermaid but it later occurred to me that we may have witnessed a suicide.” — Blablatralalalala

The phantom pooper

“Church Camp early 2000s. Someone was pooping in suit cases. Everyone was worried they would be targeted but no one knew who it was. A camp counselor and others were hit. They even got away with pooping in a large gathering area with many people around. I don’t think they were caught.” — Ill-Atmosphere-4757

Church camp

“Church camp made us burn our panties that were “shameful to god” yet kids were doing all kinds of sexual stuff in the woods.” — NaussicaPlantLady


“Talking to my friend who says she has to review counsellor resumes. I joke: “Need to screen out the pedophiles?”

Her: Deadpan-conversational-matter of fact: “No, you look for pedophiles in the support staff; the cooks and janitors and stuff.” — Smileinstead


“When I was 14 (turning 15), I went to the confirmation camp. This place was located middle of literally nothing, just endless forest around us. There were total of maybe 30 of us, teenagers as me and the camp leaders. The cottage was 2 floors high, and on the 2nd floor was the girls bedrooms.

We were settled down to sleep, it was probably around midnight, when suddenly there was a really loud banging on the only window the room had. Since it was already dark outside at this time, you really couldn’t see what or rather WHO was it, until the person turned a flashlight on.

The light was going through the room and we were able to see two grown up men (probably aged around 30 years) lurking on us and smiling.

Thank to the one who built this place, the window could not be opened and wouldn’t fit a person through it. The leaders of course heard the screams and voices and called the police, but the men had enough time to escape before the authorities made it there.

In the morning while discussing the events of the past night it turned out that one of the girls in the camp was actually having some kind of relationship with one of these men (yes, illegal much) and had invited them.

The police did go and has a chat with these men but they never got anything of it since they ”didn’t do anything illegal enough”.

It was still very creepy to wake up to grown up random men looking at young girls while they’re sleeping, on the SECOND floor (there was fire escape under the window).” — jyystonakki

I went home a different person

“I was 15 years old at a summer camp in Upstate New York. One of the older counselors (22+? I think), cornered me in a dark cleaning supplies closet one afternoon. He started kissing me, and grinded on me while grabbing my ass and pulling me into him. It lasted about 20 seconds but I still remember it to this day like it was yesterday. Another older male counselor had a bunch of 9 year olds hold me down and grab me all over. It was terrifying. I went home after that summer a different person. I left home 9 months later at the age of 16. It wasn’t because of that specifically but after being molested by my grandfather from age 3-9, and then a couple of guys in summer camp, I lost faith in my parents ability to protect me.” — SoberDWTX


“As a 13 year old kid, I went out into the woods at like 1am with a headlamp to pee, just immediately behind my cabin, because I didn’t want to walk to the wash house. While I’m peeing, I look forward and see a large bear, just staring at me. Would have pissed myself if not for the fact that I was already peeing. Either way, I just finished my stream while he stared at me, and walked backwards back to the cabin. He turned around and walked away, but there was no chance in hell that I would turn my back on a bear and run the other way.” — Theveterinarygamer


“During the summers I would spend a month or so visiting family in Michigan. Some of my cousins my age would go to a camp in the UP called Hiawatha. The cabins we got assigned for the week had about 6 campers and 2 counselors and we’re spaced far apart from each other deep in the woods away from in common area. There were stories about a father and son that were hunting near the camp grounds during the off season. The story went that the father thought he saw a big buck and took a shot at it only to get to the deer and find out he shot his son in the neck. Being so deep in the woods and such a fatal shot, he shot his son in the head to stop the pain. The game and wild life agents that found them said the father suffered an apparent gun shot would through the roof of his mouth our of his head in what looked like a murder/suicide. The counselors always felt it necessary to tell this story to the younger/new campers. Now, I don’t know if hearing the story and the atmosphere of cabins being so far from the common areas and deep in the woods caused me to see things. But a friend I was walking from the cabins to the mess hall with early one morning, before the breakfast bell, we saw what looked like a father and son dressed like they were hunting carrying shotguns walking towards our cabin. Ours was almost second from being the farthest from anything. We took off so fast sprinting through the trees and once we hit the open field between the cabins and the mess hall, we saw another group of guys running out behind us. We were shocked to see anyone else before the bell rang and running no less. We asked why they were running too. They looked back from the direction they came, turned back to us and said, “we saw a hunter pointing a shotgun at us.” — Grabow

Serial rapists

“I went to a popular Christian faith based sports camp for several summer’s as a kid. When I was 12, one of my cabin councilors turned out to be THE most popular/beloved leader at camp. He was inclusive, energetic, fun. He gave just as much attention to the cool/popular kids as he did to the outcasts.

Randomly, he went to the same university as my older brother and my best friends’ older sisters so that created a connection with our families. He also happened to be romantically involved at the time with an up and coming singer who lived in our hometown.

For a couple years after we first got to know him at camp, he would visit my family and my friends family for a long weekend. By this time, I was over camp. I never enjoyed playing sports and that’s the only thing the camp had to offer.

He would give me and my friend a hard time about bailing on camp and not writing him with any reliable frequency. By the time I finished jr high that relationship had fallen by the wayside.

Anyway, about 10 years ago this guy was arrested and convicted for being a serial child abuser. His MO: make the victims feel special and get close to their family.

So far almost 60 victims have come forward. One sadly committed suicide in 2019. The camp leadership knew pretty much the entire time what was going on and did everything they could to keep the authorities out of it.

Apparently he tried but I was lucky enough to never be one of his victims. He’s currently serving 2 life sentences plus 30 years in prison.” — NashvilleSunn


“The camp nurse, a very gorgeous man named “Crush” ( his camp name lmao) kept hanging around my cabin group. He would hang out with us every day and everyone except me absolutely loved him and flirted with him all the time. But there was something creepy and annoying about the way he was hanging around so much. I was the only one who saw that as creepy, I think. He came with us swimming, and I specifically remember him checking out a girl in my group. I noticed and he noticed I noticed. And then I asked if he was a frat boy because he seemed like the type. After that, I think he was always a little scared of me and didn’t bother trying to flirt with me because he knew that I knew he was being weird, flirting with some 16-15 year olds like that.” — Professional-Low652

Caves in the lake

“Every year I’ve went to the same camp and every year they tell us 3 things

Watch out for banana Spiders

Don’t have sex

Don’t attempt to dive down the lake

The lake in question has many caves at the Bottom of it probably 50ft-100ft down. They used to teach scuba diving but haven’t since a counselor drowned. Nobody has scuba dived in that lake or attempted to reach the bottom for 15yrs. The stories are passed on from counselor to counselor and all is relatively the same, a group of kids didn’t see their counselor, searched for him, came back up when oxygen got low and alerted another counselor. Counselors went in the water to look for him and people checked every inch of this camp in the middle of the woods. People were praying he wasn’t in the water and somehow got out. 3hrs later his body was found and taken from the water. He was 22yrs old and gone just like that.” — Taylor121142

Negligence + Bears!

“hike up the mountain (which I was already dreading because of my asthma), and when we got up there, instead of tents we slept in a tarp that had been set up to cover the ground, up and then over us. Meaning our feet were pointing out into the forest.

I woke up halfway thought the night to snuffling sounds and heavy footsteps. Then something bumped my feet, which were sticking out a little farther than the rest of the group. I froze up and waited for what I’m almost 100% convinced was a bear lose interest and move on.” — Emmikay12

Test the water by jumping in!

“I was on a canoeing trip. It was a trip that had been done by this camp for 10-20 years. Same canoeing portion of a pretty well known river. Every year on the first day of the canoe trip, kids and staff members would jump off this rock on the edge of the river. It was probably 20 feet up in the year (estimating) but the water was deep. Probably 10-12 feet of water.

This group of kids asked to make the jump, just as thousands of kids had done before. We tested the jump by having the tallest staff member jump off the cliff. He safely did so, just as always. So then the kids went and did the same. Several kids jumped, came up and were all fine. Then one kid jumps, comes up and says “I think I cut my knee.” Everyone laughed, but then this kid said “no, seriously, come look.” There was a giant chunk of the fat around his knee missing. If the injury had been elsewhere, it would be pumping blood out.

It could have been much worse, but the kid was fine. He went to the hospital and got 12 or so stitches. He didn’t rejoin the trip, but he went back and stayed the two weeks at camp.
Needless to say, no kid ever jumped off that giant rock again. (from our camp)” — zap2

Attempted murder

“I went to girls scout camp when I was around 8 years old, so around 2001. All the counselors were young twenty year olds. There was a girl in my group who did something to piss off the counselors, I don’t remember what but I know it was minor. It was the middle of summer and super hot, and she was moderately overweight. They made her sit in the sun and wouldn’t allow her to have any water as punishment. They were terrible people, made me super afraid of them as a kid.” — rhaianon19

Peacock screams

“Went to a camp that was half a mile away from a peacock farm and I gotta say, peacock screams echoing through the middle of the night are fucking terrifying when you’re 10 and nobody told you there was a peacock farm nearby.” — windowsill134

Read more: thoughtcatalog.com

  • July 16, 2021
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