Some of the most breathtaking natural wonders of the world are found deep in forests. Pristine lakes, towering trees, and scenic views attract thousands of tourists to these protected sites. But many of these sites are filled with hauntings pasts.
Here are six forests that are rumored to be haunted. For the bold and daring, these are perfect for quick thrills.
Life hack: don’t hike in secluded forests by yourself.
- Robinson Woods, Illinois
Robinson Woods is now a forest preserve, but at one time the land was given to the family of Alexander Robinson. Robinson was the chief of several Native American tribes who helped save people during the Fort Dearborn Massacre. It was promised he would be buried there when he died with the rest of his family. The City broke its promise and buried Robinson somewhere else. It is said that his spirit haunts the woods. There are numerous accounts of a “heavy presence” in the woods and mysterious activity at night including knocking, screams, and dark shadows. During the day groups of deer randomly circle visitors.
2. Randolph Forest, Maine
The small town of Randolph has a reputation for paranormal activity. One of the most common tales comes from Randolph Forest on Old Narrow Gauge Trail. “Bicycle Larry,” lived with Norris Parry. Larry rode his bike throughout town every day until one day, he suddenly goes missing. He was missing for months before Parry left a voicemail to his sister stating the body could be found in the brook behind the house where Bicycle Larry and Parry lived. Police looked for the body of Larry with cadaver dogs but never found it.
Legend has it that Bicycle Larry haunts Old Narrow Gauge Trail in Randolph Forest. Feelings of dread and screams are not uncommon.
3. Yosemite National Park, California
Some of the most scenic natural and diverse terrain is found at Yosemite National Park. But there are areas within the park that are said to have spirits.
Visitors who hike to Grouse Lake through the Chilnualna Falls Trail report a distinct cry resembling the sound of a dog. According to Native American folklore, the sound is the cry of a boy who drowned in the lake. It’s said that his spirit calls to hikers for help, but anyone who ventures into the lake will be pulled under and drowned.
Another Native American folklore also tells of haunted waterfalls in the Park. The Miwok believed the waterfalls were haunted by an evil wind that entices people to the edge of the falls and then pushes them over the edge.
While the views are spectacular, don’t venture to the areas alone and always have necessary hiking equipment with you.
4. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains of southwest Oregon, Crater Lake is one of the most intriguing and natural wonders of the U.S. The lake is so clear that the sun’s rays can be seen from the bottom of the lake (which measures 1,943 feet deep), creating a pristine blue appearance. The lake is truly enchanting, which may explain some of the mysterious activity that happens around the area.
There are numerous tales about ghostly encounters, disappearances, and legendary beasts. Forest rangers have shared their own accounts of odd activity in the forest, including chasing a dark, smelly creature through the woods until it started throwing pinecones at them. Or the numerous accounts of campfires in vacant areas of the forest with no sign of people. Add to that the park’s history of accidental deaths and murders, and you will quickly discover that this park is truly “enchanted.”
5. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming
The first National Park in the U.S., Yellowstone is known for its wildlife and its many hot springs. But it is also the setting of many deaths. So, naturally the park is rumored to be haunted.
Some of the most popular stories come out of the Old Faithful Inn, although it is said that the stories were made up by an employee to keep guests entertained, people have claimed to witness some of the events. One tale is of a headless bride who walks around the Inn at midnight. Room 2 is rumored to be haunted by mysterious apparitions who may appear floating at the foot of the bed. And then there are numerous cries that can be heard throughout the park by those who drowned in hot springs. The most recent accident happened in 2016. There are various accounts of the incident, but one details a man who was lured into Norris Geyser Basin by a siren. A first responder to the scene claims that the man stood, staring at a floating nude figure with translucent skin who was humming, and fell into the water.
A man died falling into the spring in November 2016 and search and rescue rangers spotted his body in the pool the day of the accident, however a lightning storm prevented recovery efforts, and by the next day, his body could not be found.
6. Constitution Lakes Park, Georgia
Wetlands, wildlife, and crazy art, Constitution Lakes Park in Atlanta is a unique wildlife preserve. The Park was once the site of a brick company until it shut down 50 years ago. DeKalb County bought the land and started paving trails and boardwalks around the ponds. One of the popular trails in the center of the Park is called Doll’s Head Trail. It’s a trail filled with discarded doll parts, bricks, and other objects found throughout the Park.
The trail, intended to be an art project, was created by a local carpenter who wanted to encourage visitors to contribute their own found art to the trail. In addition to the dismembered doll parts throughout the trail, the park is a playground for snakes that live in the wetlands. If you aren’t bothered by creepy dolls or slithering snakes, then Doll’s Head Trail may be a great escape for you. It’s close to downtown Atlanta and offers a tranquil escape from the noise of the city.
Forests and historic sites are full of fables. Sometimes they’re based on real events and exaggerated for entertainment, and other times they’re completely fiction. Hike at your own risk.