In “VS” this month, Matt and Clint square off to see who can concoct the most terrifying campfire stories. Both involve campers in the remote wilderness, so read at your own risk. You might think twice before pitching a tent in the deep woods next time…
A father and his son were excited to find a remote campsite where they could get some peace and quiet, as it had been a hectic month at work for the father. It was an old county campground seven miles down a rarely used dirt road. It was perfect. On the second night the father was tired from a day of hiking, but the seven year old boy wanted to stay up by the campfire and play with his fathers new phone.
“Fine, just don’t send any text messages or email…you might get me fired.” He chuckled and lied down in his tent to read Field & Stream.
About an hour later he became weary and decided to check on his son. He was not in the chair.
He called out his name. Nothing. He panicked and began to hyperventilate. He had to call 911 but…his son had his phone. He panicked, grabbed his headlamp, and set off into the woods, not knowing what else to do. He ran through the woods furiously for an hour, yelling his son’s name.
He knew he needed more people. He ran back to his tent and could not believe his eyes. There was his son, tucked into his sleeping bag, sound asleep. And his phone…there it was. Lying next to his son’s head on the pillow.
He picked it up, hoping there would be a clue as to what happened. He opened the album on his phone and…his breath left him. His fingers started to tremble, as he looked at the selfie his son had taken in the camping chair. There…hovering above his son…was the face of an elderly woman with the darkest eyes he had ever seen.
Our Last Celebration
To celebrate our college graduation, my best friend and I decided to take a camping trip to a remote wilderness. After driving for several hours from the nearest town, we discovered a beautiful river, nestled beside a cliff ideal for diving and swimming. We set up camp in the woods nearby and spent the evening swimming and fishing in the warm, clear water.
As the evening progressed, the sun set and the world slowly turned blue. Crickets and owls replaced daytime bird songs. We drug ourselves into our tent, exhausted from the day’s activities. I awoke to the smell of smoke. The fire had burned down to embers. The night was calm and dark. Smoke hung in the air.
“Something is scratching on the tent.” I slowly opened my cracked eyes. Then I heard it, too. I grabbed my ax and lit the lantern. I zipped opened the door expecting a raccoon or skunk, but instead found a boy of about ten years old.
He stared at me petrified for a moment, then bolted down the path through the woods towards the river. I gave chase. To this day I don’t know why. If only I had stayed, everything could have been different.
He was losing me, but I heard him tumble to the ground. I leaped on top of him in a rage. “Why were you scratching on my tent? What are you doing out here?” I screamed.
“My uncles told me to.” He stammered.
I was no longer angry, but confused. “But why?” I asked.
“To get you away from the tent.”