Freak Out Your Friends with These 13 Scary Campfire Stories

scary campfire stories

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Seriously spooky (and sometimes cheesy) campfire stories are a classic way to pass the time while camping. Paired with campfire desserts , a cozy blanket, and a captive audience, these 13 stories bring everyone together—and not just because you’ll be afraid to return to your tent. 

Take caution and pick your stories wisely if you’re camping with the kids . Some of these are seriously frightening. If it’s an adults-only trip, then break out the cocktails and dive in. 

Either way, the experience of sharing stories around the campfire is sure to be a memorable one.

1. The Wolf Girl of Devil’s River

This Texas-based scary campfire story dates back to the 1800s. The story of “ The Wolf Girl “  is centered around the notoriously haunted Espantosa Lake , often avoided by travelers who fear the ghostly fog that covers the lake each night. In 1845, a young boy reported seeing an unclothed girl devouring a goat alongside a pack of wolves. The girl was later captured by cowboys who tried to lock her in a shack. She escaped in the middle of the night, and the wolf girl has never been found.

2. The Creak

“ The Creak ” is less of a scary campfire story and more of a creepy poem, making it pretty easy to remember. It also relies on a giant jump-scare at the end, so this one is great for those with some theatrical storytelling abilities. The poem is all about simple sounds, and all the scary things they could be, perfect for keeping your friends and family up all night with worry.

3. La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)

This scary story is perfect for campfires near a river. In Mexican folklore, La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) is the ghost of a woman who lost her children. The tale says she wanders near the river, looking for her children. La Llorona is said to kidnap children who wander near, as she mistakes them for her own.

spooky stories campfire

4. The Deer Woman

The Deer Woman  is a modern scary campfire story based in Native American mythology. The deer woman is a shape-shifting creature living deep in forests. Appearing either as a deer or a woman, she lures unsuspecting lovers or promiscuous men into the woods, then stomps them to death with her hooves. 

5. The Hawaiian Night Marchers

Be sure to tell this one on your next beach camping trip: in this Hawaiian legend , night marchers are the deadly ghosts of ancient warriors. They are said to rise up from the ocean and march to ancient battle sites after sunset. The legend states that any mortal who looks directly at the night marchers will die a violent death.

6. The Red Spot

Based on an urban legend, this scary campfire story appears in the infamous Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz. A tale told to make your skin crawl, “ The Red Spot ” is about a young girl who wakes up to find a spider bite on her cheek. We’ll let you guess what happens next.

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7. Axe Murder Hollow

As if the title isn’t terrifying on its own, this quick and scary campfire story follows a couple who get stuck in the mud during a rainy drive. They find themselves in — you guessed it —  Axe Murder Hollow . Ending in a cliffhanger, whether the couple makes it out alive is up to your imagination.

8. The Smiling Man

Creepy enough to become its own short film , “ The Smiling Man ” tells the story of a young man who goes on a simple evening walk. He runs into a man in a suit who is staring at the sky, smiling. The good news is this scary campfire story doesn’t end in a violent death. The bad news is there isn’t much resolve either.

9. The Rustling Corn

This scary campfire story is another one that comes in poem form. Sinister indeed, “ The Rustling Corn ” tells the tale of a shortcut home turning into the stuff of nightmares. What’s hiding in the cornfield is left up to the listener’s imagination.

10. An Open Wi-Fi Connection

This Reddit-born story puts a modern twist on the classic scary campfire stories we know so well. “ An Open Wi-Fi Connection ,” tells the story of a group of friends camping in the woods who, unsurprisingly, connect to an open Wi-Fi network. Sounds innocent enough at first, but this supposedly true story takes a creepy turn.

(You might be less inclined to connect to wifi at a campground in the future.)

11. The Lucienne Twins

Another Reddit contribution, “ The Lucienne Twins ,” is a tale retold after 10 years time. A first-year kindergarten teacher has a set of twins in her class. But after one twin dies in a tragic accident, the other finds a mysterious connection to the afterlife.

12. The Big Toe

Sometimes known in American lore as “The Hairy Toe” or “The Skinny Toe,” this scary campfire story appears as “ The Big Toe ,” in Schwarz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. In Schwarz’s version, a little boy finds a toe in the ground and brings it to his mother. She decides it would be a nice addition to their soup for dinner. The only thing more disturbing about this story is the jump scare at the end when the original toe owner comes back to haunt them.

13. The Seventh Barn

This urban legend is probably the most unsettling of these scary campfire stories. Set in Ohio, The Seventh Barn is believed to be the site of the murder of an entire family. The legend tells of a wealthy farmer who built a new barn each time his wife had a baby. They were expecting their seventh. However, the farmer’s wife and child died during the birth. Struck with grief, the farmer murdered the remaining members of his family. The barns were torn down and the land was sectioned off and sold, except for the seventh barn. It is said the seventh barn still stands, haunted by the farmer’s ghost.

Rustling leaves , howling wind, and a full moon will help make your retellings all the scarier. So gather everyone around a fire and tell them to listen close. These 13 scary campfire stories should give you plenty of armament to terrify your friends and family at your next camping trip.

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Thea Voutiritsas

Thea Voutiritsas is a Kansas City-based writer and editor. She believes adventure and storytelling go hand-in-hand, and she uses the outdoors to recharge her creativity. When she’s not writing or traveling, you can find her kicking back with a good book.

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14 Scary Campfire Stories To Tell Your Friends

Put your own spin on these terrifying tales.

tell these spooky campfire stories to your friends

If you ever went to summer camp, had an older sibling, or had a particularly macabre set of school bus friends, you've probably heard scary campfire stories before. In fact, you might still wake up in a cold sweat some nights, thinking you can hear the distant scraping of a hook against a car door. And yet, you still can’t resist the urge to re-spook yourself every Halloween. ‘ Tis the season to celebrate all things scary, rebranding them as festive.

Even if you weren't much for pitching tents and starting bonfires, you might recognize some of these creepy campfire tales from Alvin Schwartz's Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark . That's because Schwartz, like many ghost story writers before him, drew inspiration from American folktales and urban legends (and then he added those horrific illustrations from Stephen Gammell, to more effectively haunt our every waking thought). Most of these scary stories have no known origin and no original author on record. They're good old-fashioned oral tradition, kept alive around campfires, at sleepovers, and in the dark places beneath playground equipment. (Which means you can tailor them with whatever details you know will scare the pants off your friends the best.)

Here are some of the most memorably haunting campfire stories that still make us feel all weird inside to this very day.

1. The Hook

A rusty hook, like from the scary campfire story.

A pair of attractive teens are parked at Make Out Point (or Lover's Lane, depending on your version of the story), an isolated spot on the edge of town. The boyfriend switches on the radio for some mood music, and the two start canoodling. But just as things are getting hot and heavy, they're interrupted by a breaking news story: A murderer has escaped from the nearby state asylum. He's armed and dangerous, and he has a hook in place of his right hand .

The girlfriend is obviously frightened, and wants to go home straight away, but the boyfriend insists that they'll be fine. He locks all the car doors and tries to kiss her again. She calmly explains that no means no, and that she wants to go the heck home . Annoyed, the boyfriend slams the gas pedal and drives her back to her house. It's only when they both get out of the car that he notices something dangling from the door handle — a bloody, steel hook .

2. Bloody Mary

This one might be slightly more popular at sleepovers than campfires, but I bet that you're still just a little scared to actually try it. The story goes that if you look into a mirror in a darkened room and chant "Bloody Mary" three times, you'll see the ghostly visage of Bloody Mary herself staring back at you. That, or she'll pop out of the mirror and kill you. The real Bloody Mary was actually Queen Elizabeth's ill-fated older sister, and she's probably not coming to kill you — but staring into a darkened mirror for a prolonged period of time can cause very creepy hallucinations .

3. Wolf Girl

You might know this story as " The Blonde Wolf ," which is admittedly not the creepiest of titles. But the story goes that a pregnant woman went into labor in a remote part of Texas. Her husband went for help, but both of their bodies were discovered the next day, ravaged by wolves. The baby was nowhere to be found. Over the years, sightings were reported of a little girl living with a pack of wolves, and later a grown woman, covered in hair, nursing wolf pups... and finally sightings of a strange-looking wolf with suspiciously human-like features.

4. Don’t Turn On The Light

An empty bed illuminated by a window, as in the scary story "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the ...

Two college roommates are in the same science class, and the big midterm is tomorrow morning. Marie wants to stay in and study, but Tara wants to go out and party with a cute guy from the lacrosse team. She leaves Marie to her studies. When she gets home very late that night, Marie is in bed and the lights are off . Tara goes to bed without turning the lights on, trying not to disturb her studious friend. In the morning, she goes to wake Marie so they won't be late for the test... but Marie's body lies stiff, and her bed is soaked in blood. On the wall above her, scrawled in blood, are the words " Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?"

5. The Clown Statue

A babysitter has been hired to watch two children for the night. After she puts the kids to bed, the parents ask that she watches TV in their bedroom upstairs, because the children have been having nightmares recently. She puts the kids to bed easily enough, and settles in the parents' room to watch TV. But in the corner of the room there's a large life-sized clown statue. She tries to ignore it, but it's just too creepy. Finally, she calls the dad to ask if she can watch TV downstairs instead. "Sure, but why?" he asks. She tells him that the clown statue is just creeping her out too much. There's a pause. " Get the children and leave the house ," says the dad. "We don't have a clown statue."

6. The Green Ribbon

A man marries his beloved: a beautiful young woman who always wears a green velvet ribbon around her neck. On their wedding night, he asks why she never takes the ribbon off . "If I do, you'll be sorry," she says, and goes to sleep. Night after night, he keeps asking, but she always gives him the same reply. He begins to go mad with curiosity. Finally, one night, while she's sleeping, he steals the scissors from her sewing box and cuts through the ribbon himself. The ribbon falls away... and her head rolls right off her neck and falls to the floor with a sickening thud.

7. The Hitchhiker

A hitchhiker, as in the terrifying campfire story.

"The Vanishing Hitchhiker" might be the most famous campfire story of all time. A couple are driving late at night when they notice a girl hitchhiking. They pick her up, and she thanks them profusely and gives them a nearby address. They drive her home, trying to make polite conversation. But after a few minutes, the girl falls silent. The driver asks if they've reached the right intersection, but when they turn to the backseat, the girl is gone. She's vanished without a trace. When they reach the address she gave them, an elderly couple greets them at the door. They don't know of any girl... but their own daughter was killed in a car accident many years ago, just a few miles up the road.

8. Doggy Lick

A girl is just a little afraid of the dark, so every night her dog sleeps under her bed. When she's afraid, she puts her hand down, and her dog licks it to reassure her. One night, she wakes to hear a strange dripping sound. She puts her hand down and feels the dog lick it, so she feels better and goes back to sleep. The next morning, she wakes to find the body of her dog hanging in the middle of the room, dripping blood. On the wall someone has written, " Humans can lick too! " (The same murderer as that dorm room one? Possibly.)

9. The High Beams

A young woman is driving home late one night, when she notices a truck driving up directly behind her. No one else is on the road. She waits for the truck to pass her, but instead it stays directly behind her and flashes its high beams . She becomes unsettled. No matter how fast she drives, or which back roads she heads down, the truck stays close behind her, flashing its high beams every few minutes. Terrified, she speeds home, with the truck right on her tail, and pulls into her driveway. She leaps out of her car and tries to run to her front door, but the truck driver gets out too — and he's holding a gun. He points the gun in her direction and shoots. The woman screams, but the bullet wasn't for her: She turns to see the body of a man fall out of the back seat of her car, clutching a butcher's knife. The shaken truck driver explains that he noticed the man in the backseat of her car, and was trying to signal to her. Every time the man raised his knife to stab her, he flashed his high beams.

10. The Golden Hand

In a small town, a man is taken by a newcomer — a widow who always wears black gloves, even inside. One day, he strikes up a conversation with her at the store, and as she brushes her hair out of her face, he notices gold gleaming through the glove of her right hand. She explains that she lost her hand in an accident, and instead of getting a traditional prosthetic, she treated herself to a solid gold hand. The man becomes obsessed with her hand. His heart beats for the the heavy, shiny, gold limb. He ends up courting the woman and eventually marrying her, only to poison her slowly. After only a month or marriage, she passes, and he buries her without the hand. One night, he wakes in a cold sweat to find the his bride standing at the end of the bed, gold hand intact. She strangles him with it and he goes limp. The next morning, a maid find the man, alone in his bed, with nothing but the golden hand gripping his lifeless neck .

11. The Spider Bite

A young woman is on vacation. She’s so relaxed while reading by the pool that she falls asleep. When she wakes up, hours have passed. She stretches, yawns, and notices that her face feels sore. She goes inside to find a mirror, assuming she just got too much sun, but she has a giant red blemish on her cheek . It looks and feels like a pimple, so she washes her face and tries not to think about it. The next morning, the spot has grown. It’s swollen, bulging, and very painful. She places a hot washcloth on her cheek and then examines the sore in the mirror. She gives it a little squeeze and what looks like a long black hair pokes out of the bump — but it moves. She shrieks and the spot bursts open, releasing dozens of baby spiders . Blood and pus and fast-crawling insects ooze down her neck, biting her everywhere.

12. The Car Breakdown

Late evening, comes to the night. Foggy light, in trees, forest, like in a scary campfire story

A young woman and her boyfriend are driving down a very rural road in the woods at night when suddenly the car’s engine begins to sputter and eventually breaks down . With no cellphone reception, the boyfriend offers to walk to the nearest big road to find help. He tells his girlfriend to stay in the car and lock the doors before he sets out into the pitch black dense woods. Scared and shivering from the cold for hours, still waiting for her boyfriend to return, the girlfriend suddenly hears a loud tapping on the roof of the car and begins to panic, but she’s also too scared to get out of the car and look. The tapping noise goes on and on, and soon it’s joined by a scratching noise.

The girlfriend, huddled and terrified, listens to the noises all night until she sees bright headlights coming through the trees — it’s a cop car. A policeman shouts out asking if there’s anyone in the car, to which the girlfriend replies, “It’s just me. My boyfriend left me here and hasn’t come back yet.” The officer instructs her to walk toward him and, whatever she does, not turn around, but she lets curiosity get the better of her. She screams in horror, as her boyfriend is beheaded and hanging from a tree branch above the car, blood dripping from his neck and his fingernails scraping against the roof as he sways in the wind.

13. The Peeling Wallpaper

A young couple moves into an old decrepit house that’s definitely a fixer upper. While the husband is taking care of some construction, the wife is tasked with removing the wallpaper that decorates every wall and ceiling in the house. The task is incredibly boring and tedious at first, but she begins to find it super satisfying when she can peel off big chunks at a time — think peeling a sunburn. She then discovers there’s writing under every corner of each piece of wallpaper: a date and a name. When she searches one of the names and dates on the internet, it comes up as a missing person. She does more digging and finds that all of the names and dates line up with missing people, so she and her husband contact the police. When detectives come over to investigate, she overhears one of them say, “Yep, it’s definitely human.” She’s confused — what’s human? Then, they come over to her and ask, “Ma’am, where is all of the material that you’ve removed so far? It wasn’t wallpaper.”

14. The Hike

A guy had just moved to a new town in New Hampshire and was out with a hiking group he had recently joined as a way to make friends. He left his cellphone in the car as a way to connect with nature, and the group of 12 set off on a beautiful, remote trail . An hour in, they passed a bathroom, and the man asked the group to wait for him while he used it. When he came out, they were gone. He started down the trail alone to try and find the group, but hours were passing and it was getting darker. He started to get disoriented in the woods as the sun set, and eventually it was fully dark and he didn’t know how to get back to the parking lot — plus, he felt like something was watching him. Getting more and more freaked out, he finally spotted another bathroom and decided to stay inside for the rest of the night. The man tried to get some rest, but he soon heard the sound of someone weeping outside, getting closer and closer. Paranoid and scared, the man sprinted out of the bathroom and back into the woods. Running for what felt like miles, he somehow ended up back on the road where he flagged down a car and got help.

This article was originally published on Oct. 28, 2016

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20 Scary Campfire Stories With Just the Right Level of Creepy Fun for Kids

For spooky chills and eerie thrills!

Collage of images illustrating spooky campfire stories, including The Gift of a Doll and Drive of Danger

Whether you’re gathered around a fire in the woods or huddled inside a tent made of sheets in the glow of a flashlight, these spooky tales are the perfect entertainment. Remember to read all scary campfire stories in advance to make sure they’re appropriate for your audience. Then draw them out with your best sound effects and dramatic pauses, and your listeners will shiver in delight!

Drive of Danger

Closeup of car headlights at night with a full moon behind, illustrating Drive of Danger, one of the most well-known scary campfire stories

“The man revved his engine powerfully, almost angrily, again and flashed the Nissan’s brights, almost bumping the back of the pickup as he surged forward behind her.”

A young woman driving home late at night is spooked by the car behind her, who keeps flashing his high beams on and off. But it turns out the danger was much closer than she realized.

The Hook-Handed Killer

“they heard another thump, and a long, screeching sound like metal scraping on metal.”.

This old classic has been freaking kids out for ages. Two teens barely escape danger, as the bloody hook hanging on their car door can attest …

The Big Toe

A pair of bare feet in the grass

“’Where is my to-o-o-o-o-e?’ the voice groaned.”

This one is creepy and gross (the family eats someone’s big toe!), but the ending is one of those terrific “gotcha” moments that make scary campfire stories so much fun.

Room for One More

“the driver called to him, ‘there is room for one more.’ then he waited for a minute or two, and he drove off.”.

A man receives an eerie invitation from a crowd in a hearse late at night. The next day, he receives the same invitation to join a crowded elevator. What happens next is downright spooky.

The Black Ribbon

A piece of black ribbon against a white background

“She was always dressed exquisitely, and she always wore a black ribbon around her neck.”

A young husband learns the horrifying truth when he ignores his wife’s warning and cuts the black ribbon she insists on wearing around her neck.

The Girl Who Stood on a Grave

“‘something has got me’ she screamed, and she fell to the ground.”.

When a girl agrees to stand on a grave at night, she’s sure there’s nothing to be afraid of. But her friends find her dead the next day. What could have happened?

The Gift of the Doll

Closeup of a porcelain doll's face in sepia tones

“The doll was smiling slightly, and something about that smile made Madeleine uncomfortable.”

Some people love old dolls, while others find them a little creepy. Those in the latter camp will feel vindicated by the actions of the terrifying doll in this creepy tale.

The Hitchhiker

“when tom described the girl’s pretty features and her white dress, the woman immediately burst into tears.”.

Everyone knows it’s a bad idea to pick up hitchhikers. Tom learns this lesson the hard way when the pretty girl he offers a ride to turns out to have been dead for 10 years.

Clinkity-Clink

Three American silver dollar coins, pictured in sepia tones

“And the money went Clinkity-clink, clinkity-clink, and the fire flared and flickered and snapped and popped, and the ghost of the dead woman cried, ‘Oh, where is my money? Who took my money? Whooo? Whooo?'”

This is one of those scary campfire stories that makes a real impact in the telling. Be sure to draw out all the sound effects, creating an eerie atmosphere leading up to the final dramatic moment.

The Ghost of the Bloody Finger

“i am the ghost of the bloody finger i am at the bedroom door”.

The tale of the ghost of the bloody finger is spooky right up until the last minute. After that, kids are likely to dissolve into giggles.

Bloody Mary

A spooky skull reflected in an ornate oval mirror against a black background

“She was glowing with an unearthly light as she set her evil spell upon the miller’s daughter.”

Have you heard that if you look into a mirror in the dark and say “Bloody Mary” three times, her face will appear? Find out exactly who Bloody Mary is in this tale, then dare kids to look into a mirror and tempt fate.

Rings on Her Fingers

“but when he cut into the finger with the wedding ring, it began to bleed, and daisy clark begin to stir.”.

A greedy grave robber gets a lot more than he bargained for when he decides to dig up a young woman and steal her rings.

Milk Bottles

A row of vintage glass milk bottles on a doorstep, in black and white

“She was back the next day with two empty milk bottles. He replaced them with full bottles and watched as she hurried out the door.”

Travel back to the desperate days of the Great Depression, and learn the lengths a mother will go to in order to keep her baby alive.

“Rumors began to spread around the village. People said there must be something wrong with this beautiful girl.”

In this Japanese folktale, a young girl puts prospective suitors to the test with a truly gruesome challenge. At last, she thinks she’s finally found her match, but now there’s a horrifying surprise in store for her.

The Dog’s Lick

The head of a large black dog with its tongue hanging out, against a black background

“If you get scared, put your hand under the bed and the dog will lick it. He’ll keep you safe.”

A dog can be a comforting presence in a scary situation—as long as it’s really a dog. But what if it turns out to be something else altogether?

The Cat’s Paw

“jed stared at the cat’s paw. only it wasn’t a cat’s paw anymore.”.

A man determined to stop a thief thinks he’s shot a cat. The truth is much more disturbing.

No Trespassing

A

“Something terrible had happened, she thought wearily, fear adding yet more fatigue to her already wounded body.”

These teens didn’t mean to trespass, but that didn’t make any difference to whomever had posted the sign. This one will make you think twice about ignoring posted warnings.

The Golden Hand

“in that moment, a terrible lust woke in his heart—not to possess the lady herself, but to possess the solid gold hand that she wore under her long black gloves.”.

When a man marries a woman not for love, but for greed, he meets a very unhappy ending. This scary campfire story carries a bit of a moral too.

The Thirteenth Floor

Elevator buttons, with the number 12 lit up

“The light in the elevator was flickering as they stepped in and, as the doors began to close, the lights went out completely.”

Ever been in a building without a 13th floor? Learn the story behind the old superstition about the very first unlucky 13th floor and the elevator that led to it.

The Red Spot

“while ruth slept, a spider crawled across her face. it stopped for several minutes on her left cheek, then went on its way.”.

Part urban legend, part spooky story, this tale is sure to creep out arachnophobes and arachnophiles alike!

Looking for more scary campfire stories for kids? Check out these 10 spooky short stories, complete with lesson plan ideas.

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Looking for some creepy ghost stories for kids? These scary campfire stories are sure to send chills down everyone's spines!

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10 Ghost Stories for Kids and Teens that Won't Keep Them Up All Night

These funny, creepy tales are perfect for telling around a campfire.

Headshot of Jill Gleeson

These kid-friendly scary tales are best told around the campfire or with the lights out for full effect, and you can tell our short versions below or click on the links for longer ones.

Each of these 10 ghost stories for kids are sure to bring on some goosebumps but hopefully not keep anyone from sleeping. So read on for some some spooktacular stories to tell all season long, and perhaps get passed on in future years.

parents telling scary stories to kids at outdoor halloween party they are sitting cross legged on rugs on the grass, one parent is in a witch's hat

The Ghost of the Bloody Finger

A little gory, slightly spooky, this is a story about a bloody finger inching ever closer to a man spending the night alone in a haunted house. It ends with a joke, however, so all that tension is released with a good giggle. For extra fun, be sure to use a sinister voice for the ghost, making it louder and scarier the closer he gets—right up until the last line, when asks for a Band-Aid. Then, he can sound as congenial as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

The Big Toe

Also known as The Hairy Toe, this is a classic story about an old woman who finds a toe in the woods and, depending on the version, eats it (ewwww) or puts it in glass jar. The tale gets creepier as the toe's very large owner comes looking for it, but the fantasy/folklore feel of it helps keeps things light, as does the ending. Children of all ages should be able to enjoy this fable without getting too frightened.

mom sitting until a fort made of blankets with her two daughters, reading a story from a book

The Ball Pit

More of a play on parental worries about ball pits than a story addressing any kids' concerns (come on, do you think they fret about those things being a bacteria factory the way we do?), "The Ball Pit" is really an urban legend instead of a proper ghost story. But while it may have kids pondering the potential hidden dangers in their favorite play space for a moment or two, the silly ending will get everyone laughing.

Most kids love a good play on words, and this uncanny story about a coffin chasing a man all the way from the cemetery to his bathroom ends with the king daddy of all puns. As you tell the tale, be sure to emphasize the scary BUMP BUMP BUMP sound the coffin makes as it clomps down the street following the poor fellow. You might even want to have a bottle of cough syrup ready to hold up, too, showing what the man throws to stop the coffin. ( They'll love it. Trust us.)

Yellow Ribbon

Spooky to be sure, this long-told-tale revolves around a married couple and the yellow ribbon the woman wears around her neck, which she refuses to remove. Various versions have him untying it while she's sleeping, or the wife allowing her husband to take it off, but it all ends the same way: with her losing her head—and we don't mean metaphorically.

a woman and two girls growling and holding their hands up like claws while lying down in a backyard

This rollicking ghost story has everything kids love: pirates, hidden treasure, and rowdy, glowing skeletons. The legend goes that on one dark night, the infamous buccaneer Captain Kidd and his crew showed up on the coast, burying their ill-gotten gains on a quiet stretch of sandy land. The treasure was never seen again—except on certain evenings, when the phantom pirates sail in to unearth it once more, celebrating by singing, dancing jigs and telling tales about their days sailing the high seas.

The Lady with the Emerald Ring

A parable about greed, this story set in the late 18th-century actually has a happy ending, well...for some of the characters. The story involves a woman, believed dead, a vicar who steals her emerald ring, and the bad end that comes to him. The only ghost in this story is the one the woman's husband believes her to be, but that's doesn't mean this story isn't spooky.

dad telling scary story for little girl covering her face with her hands and sitting under plaid blanket

If you're hosting a gathering of older kids, this is the urban legend for you. Like "The Lady with the Emerald Ring" and "Yellow Ribbon," you can have fun stretching the story out, building the suspense the longer it goes. The story of a couple who park in Lover's Lane, ignoring reports of an escaped killer from a local asylum, it ends with the kind of scare that will have kids jumping out of the their sleeping bags.

The Thing at the Foot of the Bed

Short and (not quite so) sweet, this is a cautionary tale for little ones about an old man who awakens in terror at the thing he sees lurking at the foot of his bed. He takes drastic action instead of investigating, much to his regret. Both spooky and amusing, this story could help kids understand that the scary things at night they think they see in their closet and under the bed are just figments of their imagination.

Fifty-Cent Piece

Not all ghosts are scary. Some just want to be helpful, like the spirits in this story, who host a husband and wife too tired to continue their travels. The pair leave a coin as thanks the next morning, but soon hear the truth about the old couple from neighboring villagers. Eerie rather than disturbing, this story can be told to all ages.

Headshot of Jill Gleeson

Jill Gleeson is a travel journalist and memoirist based in the Appalachian Mountains of western Pennsylvania who has written for websites and publications including Good Housekeeping, Woman’s Day, Country Living, Washingtonian, Gothamist, Canadian Traveller, and EDGE Media Network. Jill is the travel editor for Enchanted Living. Learn more about her journey at gleesonreboots.com.

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22 campfire stories to spook and delight kids of all ages

From spooky and ghostly to straight-up funny and giggle inducing, these campfire stories have something for everyone.

Jennifer A. DiGiovanni

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22 campfire stories to spook and delight kids of all ages

What kid doesn’t love staying up late, making s’mores and telling funny or sometimes scary campfire stories?

If you’ve been charged with providing the group entertainment at your next campout, here’s a list of 22 stories to help set the mood and get the nighttime fun started. The best part? There are stories in here for kids of all ages.

Legends and folklore

1. “chipmunk and bear”.

In this legendary “ Chipmunk and Bear ” tale your kids will love from Ultimate Camp Resource , Chipmunk challenges Bear to stop the sun from rising. When Bear fails, he takes his anger out on the smaller animal, which explains how the chipmunk got its stripes.

2. “Ballad of Johnny O’Dell”

This rhyming “ Ballad of Johnny O’Dell ” verse from Boy Scout Trail is a fast-paced tale of a fearless Pony Express rider, and kids will enjoy the unexpected funny ending.

3. “How Bear Lost His Tail”

Children will love “ How Bear Lost His Tail ,” a clever Ojibwe legend shared by University of Wisconsin Oshkosh , describing how Otter outsmarts Bear into using his tail as a fishing rod. When the sun sets, Bear finds his tail frozen and is forced to leave it behind.

4. “The Hunting of the Great Bear”

On First People , you can learn “ The Hunting of the Great Bear, ” the Iroquois legend of the Big Dipper, in which four hunters chase a magical bear into the sky, only to become trapped forever in the heavens. Show your kids the Big Dipper as you retell this legend around the campfire.

Scary campfire stories

5. “the cremation of sam mcgee”.

Recount this chilling poem — “ The Cremation of Sam McGee ” by Robert W. Service — via Poetry Foundation , for your campers about a man who agrees to carry out Sam McGee’s dying wish, only to find a hauntingly surprising result.

6. “The Broom Town Curse”

“ The Broom Town Curse ” is a very scary story found on Camping With Us that can be adapted to your specific location, which will make it even spookier (and more fun!) for your kids.

7. “The Lady With the Emerald Ring”

A tale of a woman brought back from the dead, “ The Lady With the Emerald Ring ” from U.S. Scouts is a little scary for a moment, but it’s brief! Kids will delight in the happy ending.

8. “Creak”

This short story “ Creak ” from Ultimate Camp Resource begins with a man alone in his noisy house and ends with a foregone scary conclusion. Perfect for dark nights around a fire.

9. “Pink Jellybean”

The “ Pink Jellybean ” story, found on Boy Scout Trail , takes kids on a scary journey down a long, dark road in search of a hidden item. This story is all about constantly building the suspense — and what camper doesn’t love that? For added surprise, you can shout, “a ghost!” instead of saying “a pink jellybean” at the end.

Campfire stories for younger kids

10. “three billy goats gruff”.

This well-loved Norwegian folktale, “ Three Billy Goats Gruff ,” shared via AmericanLiterature.com , is the story about three goats who meet a troll when trying to cross a bridge. The story has a little bit of suspense while never becoming too scary for your younger campers.

11. “Little Red Bandanna Hood”

This camp version of Little Red Riding Hood — “ Little Red Bandanna Hood ,” found via the Girl Scouts Butte blog — points out the many helpful uses of a bandanna while out in the woods. Kids will love this new take a familiar tale.

12. “How Brother Rabbit Fooled the Whale and the Elephant”

In this folktale, “ How Brother Rabbit Fooled the Whale and the Elephant ” from Kellscraft Studio , clever brother rabbit foils the largest land and sea animals’ plans for world domination. And what better for your little ones than a story where the little guy triumphs?

Interactive campfire stories

13. make your own story.

Try this story starters grab bag (with free printables!) from Cool Mom Picks to let kids help you tell the story. The kids will love being in the role of storyteller, and this method of storytelling also allows you to weave a tale that’s appropriately scary or funny.

14. Juliette Low action stories

The Juliette Low story activity on Scouting Web may teach children about the founder of the Girl Scouts, but the format of these stories can also be customized for different groups. Your audience will love listening for certain words to come up in the story, which is their cue to respond with an action, such as making a sound or giving a salute.

15. “Going on a Bear Hunt”

This favorite “ Going on a Bear Hunt ” story, via All Nursery Rhymes , takes children on an interactive journey through nature toward finding a bear and then running back home to safety. Kids will love the different hand movements and sounds that accompany the story.

16. “Quiet Please”

Let the kids provide the noises (they’ll love it!) as you tell this “ Quiet Please ” camp story from MacScouter about a quiet library in a quiet town that’s hit with a loud, chaotic mess.

Funny campfire stories

17. “gloop maker”.

Kids will love this funny “ Gloop Maker ” story from Camping Dude that recounts the story of a group of sailors who hire a gloop maker — only because no one wants to admit they don’t understand what he really does.

18. “Sneakers”

A boy is willing to do anything to win the smelly sneaker contest in this “ Sneakers ” story from Ultimate Camp Source . Your kids will be in for a surprise when he pays the price by losing his feet in the process.

19. “The Medicrin”

Kids will love the punchline of “ The Medicrin ” story from Camping Dude about a hero who comes to save a village from a monster.

20. “Vinder Viper”

A man who moves into his great uncle’s house feels threatened by repeated calls from a creature calling himself the “ Vinder Viper ” in this story from Boy Scout Trail . Can your kids guess the ending?

21. “The Ghost of the Bloody Finger”

This short story, “ The Ghost of the Bloody Finger ” from The Camping Family , gets progressively scarier, but the punchline is cute and funny.

22. “Purple Gorilla”

This “ Purple Gorilla ” story from Camping Dude may start out scary, but the ending is sure to make your kids laugh!

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40 Spooky Campfire Stories for Kids Of All Ages

40 Spooky Campfire Stories for Kids Of All Ages

  • Post Author: Julie
  • Post published: September 19, 2022
  • Post Category: Adventures in Childrens activities / Adventures in Family Fun / Adventures in Halloween / Adventures in Parenting
  • Post Comments: 1 Comment

Gather around the campfire and tell a few spooky stories!  I’ve gathered together a bunch of spooky campfire stories for kids of all ages.  Some are scary while others are spooky with a little bit of silly!

How To Tell A Spooky Story

  • Don’t rush.   Take your time.  Don’t be stingy with the pregnant pause.  
  • Keep it grounded in reality .  Use familiar places, familiar people.  Make it feel like it could really happen.  
  • Tell it as if it just happened.   Make the audience feel that they were lucky to have missed this horrific event, but if they aren’t careful it could happen again.  
  • Set the scene.   Dim the lights or sit around a campfire.  minimal distractions
  • End with a jumpscare.   

Spooky Campfire Stories for Kids

Spooky Campfire Stories For Kids

This most contains affiliate links.

Free spooky Stories Online

A tale of Captain Kidd and his skeletal crew carrying treasure near the shore of Sandy Hook.  Read the full story HERE .  

A Cinderella-esque tale of a young girl named Oksana who crosses paths with an evil spirit by the name of Cows Head.  Read the full story HERE . 

The tale of a haunted house in the town of Blakeslee, Arkansas. Read the full story HERE .  

Yellow Ribbon

Why does Jane always wear a yellow ribbon around her neck?  Find out HERE ! 

The Scarecrow

Scarecrows help scare away crows, but what about evil spirits?  Read more HERE .  

spooky campfire stories for kids

The Hairy Toe

What would you do if you found a hairy toe outside?  Find out what an old woman does when she finds a hairy toe while on a walk in the woods.  Read the full story HERE ! 

Ghost Ship of Captain Sandovate

A spooky tale of “what goes around, comes around.”  Check out the full story HERE .  

Fifty-Cent Piece

Weary travelers seek shelter for the night and find a generous couple to take them in.  What could go wrong?  Find out HERE . 

Golden Hand

Whatever happened to the woman with the golden hand?  Find out HERE . 

She was so excited about her date that she didn’t worry about the news warnings.  Should she have been?  Find out HERE .  

Hook

The story of a man who always wore two pairs of underpants.  Read the full story HERE .  

Bear Hunting

Find out what a small village does when a man-eating grizzly begins terrorizing their town!  Read the full story HERE .  

What is that awful smell coming from the bags left by a mysterious passenger?  Find out HERE .  

Would you pass this test? Find out HERE .  

Things At The Foot Of The Bed

What would you do if you saw something lurking at the foot of your bed?  Read about an old man who had to find out the hard way HERE . 

spooky campfire stories for kids

Magic Castle

Do NOT go to the Magic Castle!! Find out why HERE ! 

He wanted more than anything to win the Smelly Sneaker contest!  Find out if the third time is the charm HERE .  

The Ball Pit

Ball pits are a childhood favorite, but does anyone really know what’s under all those plastic balls?  Read more HERE .  

The Ghost of the Bloody Finger

Click HERE to find out what to do if you run into a ghost 

The Thirteenth Floor

Ever wonder why hotels don’t have a 13th floor?  Click HERE to find out why!!

Thirteenth Floor

Tommy Knockers

Tommy Knockers are the spirits of departed miners that help miners find ore.  Find out what happened to Eddie, the unlucky minor who had a run-in with a Tommy Knocker.  Read the full story HERE .  

The Open Window

What’s so spooky about her aunt who leaves the window open?  Find out HERE .  

The Pink Jellybean

How could a story about a pink jellybean possibly make the list for spooky campfire stories for kids?  Find out HERE .  

The Knife in the Grave

Legend has it that if you stab a knife into a grave on an October night, the person in the grave will reach up, grab you, and pull you into the grave.   Read more HERE

A cautionary tale – why you should never walk past a cemetery at night.  Read the full story HERE .  

spooky campfire stories for kids

The Shrunken Head

A spooky story for kids about a boy who is kidnapped and wakes up in a strange place with a weird companion.  Read the full story HERE .  

The Flying Dutchman

Legend has it, that The Flying Dutchman is a ghost ship doomed to sail the oceans forever. There have been numerous sightings of the ship, and it is usually spotted from a distance, glowing with ghostly light is said to be a sign of impending doom.  Check out the full story HERE .  

The Purple Gorilla

What would you do if you were made to promise to never touch a purple gorilla?  Check out the full story HERE .  

The Guitar Player

A story about a man who plays guitar in a small town called Paramaribo.  Find out more HERE .  

The Ghostly Maid

Do you believe in ghosts?  THIS STORY might change your mind! 

A Ghostly Maid

The White Cap

A scary story about a little girl who isn’t afraid of anything.  Find out if its a good thing or a bad thing HERE . 

The night of All Saints is when the paths of the dead and the living are said to cross.  The dead rise from their graves and walk amongst the living.  Find out what happened on one particularly dreadful night of All Saints.  Find the full story HERE .  

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Short Scary Campfire Stories That Inspire Fear In the Bravest of Souls

Tell these original campfire tales to give your audience the goosebumps.

Allison is a writer with experience writing for several websites.

Learn about our Editorial Policy .

Never is the mood more perfect for a scary story than when you're gathered around a firepit or classic campfire. With the flames dancing, the shadows flickering, and the darkness just within reach - these creepy, spooky, short, and scary campfire stories will have you huddling a little closer to your flashlight.

A Cursed Doll

Suzy loved dolls. In fact, one entire wall of her bedroom was dolls. Shelf upon shelf, she had two dozen dolls that she named and loved. One day, while out shopping with her mother, they passed a new doll shop. The store window was filled with dolls - all dolls Suzy wanted. But the best doll of all was sitting by herself in the corner. With curly strawberry-blonde hair, pale blue dress, and black shoes, she was definitely the prettiest.

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Try as she might, Suzy's mom didn't want to buy her the doll or even set foot into the shop. Shop after shop, Suzy's mom looked at endless shelves of vases, paintings, and boring clothes.

That night, when she got home, she wished that the doll could be hers and only hers. She'd give anything. The next morning, Suzy woke up to find that the strawberry blonde doll was sitting on the shelf - only no other dolls were touching her. As though they were afraid of her. She ran into the kitchen to ask her parents when they bought it, but nothing greeted her except silence. In her arms, she heard the doll softly giggle.

The Motel Keyhole

After traveling all day for the fourth day straight, the man decided he'd had enough, and he was ready for bed. While he was hoping for a nice hotel, he was ready to call it quits and was more than happy to check into any motel - no matter how dumpy and rundown.

He regretted that thought, as the next motel was only six rooms and couldn't have been updated from when it was first built back in the 40s. The motel clerk looked up at him in surprise when he rang the service bell in the make-shift one room lobby that was also home to the coffeemaker and day-old bagels and doughnuts. On second thought, that coffee looked a few days old too.

The small clerk handed him a key to room four and told him to call down if he needed anything during his stay. She'd be there all night.

As the man walked past the first room and the second room, he realized his car and the clerk's car were the only ones in the parking lot. Which was odd, considering that as he approached room three, he saw the light flick on. He peered through the keyhole and saw a woman walking away from the door and into the bathroom soundlessly.

Unlocking his own door, he was happy to kick off his shoes and flop onto the bed. He heard soft crying from the room next door, but it didn't last long, and nor did he. He quickly fell asleep.

Around two in the morning, he awoke with a jolt, although he couldn't say why. There had been no noise and yet, his heart was racing. Deciding to clear his head, he stepped outside to go for a quick walk.

The light to room three was still on, and he once again peered into the keyhole, curious about this mystery guest. All he saw was a dark red. Strange, he thought, perhaps they hung up a towel.

He headed down to the lobby to see if maybe there might be a food to satisfy the need for a midnight snack. The clerk and her stale bagels were all that he found in the lobby. He started to leave but his curiosity got the better of him. "The guest in room three, is she okay?" The clerk looked confused, "There's no guest except for you tonight." The man swallowed slowly, while the clerk had a giggle, "Although some of the townies claim that a woman's ghost inhabits that room. I've never seen her though. But they claim she has blood-red eyes."

  • Funny Ghost Stories for Kids: Spooky (But Silly) Tales

The Missing Camper

(You'll want a partner to yell Terry at the very end to give the group a good fright.)

One summer, at a camp in the Adirondacks, a young boy was excited for his first sleep-away camp. Ready for adventure and to make friends, the first week flew by. Terry wrote home, telling his parents and brother of all his cool new friends, his archery skills, and how fast he could swim the dock in the middle of the lake now.

During the counselor's usual bunk checks around midnight, Cole flashed his light through bunk eight and saw Terry's bed was empty. Cole quietly left the cabin so as not to wake the other campers and headed to the counselor's cabin. "Guys," Cole said breathlessly, "Terry is missing." The group grabbed their sweatshirts, boots, and flashlights and head into the woods. Cole yelled, "Terry! Terry! Terry!" over and over. His voice grew quieter until it was nothing more than a distant whisper.

Another group of counselors found Terry behind the cabin, sleeping soundly after a sleepwalking journey. Cole never returned, but some say you can still hear him looking for the camper to this day.

The Secret to Telling a Scary Campfire Story

Telling a scary story well is simple! Follow these tips and you'll have everyone yelping with fright.

  • Use varying volumes with your voice. Draw your listeners in with a whisper, then make them jump with a small yell.
  • Don't be afraid of adding in sound effects using your voice, stomping your feet, or clapping your hands.
  • Flicker your flashlight or suddenly aim it off in the distance to distract your listeners. That's a good time for a jump scare.
  • Skip too many jump scares in a story. Otherwise they'll be ready for the next one.
  • Sometimes, the best scary story is told in a whisper that'll live in their imagination - even without a jump scare.
  • Grab a friend to help you in your scary story telling! Have them creep around, make sounds, or even jump in with a few unexpected lines.

Classic and Popular Short Scary Campfire Stories

There's a dark, spooky world of classic campfire stories. From urban legends to books that make you afraid to sleep with the lights off, these are the classics.

  • The Velvet Ribbon - A little girl grows up, telling everyone around her she cannot, under any circumstances, remove the ribbon she wears around her neck.
  • The Big Toe - Foraging in the forest, looking for ingredients to add to a stew, a young boy finds a hairy mushroom to add to the stockpot.
  • The Hook - A couple finds themselves subjected to eerie taps and scratches when they're parked on a dark Lover's Lane.
  • The Clown Statue - A babysitter finds herself unsettled by the life-sized clown statue in the house.
  • The Vanishing Hitchhiker - It's late at night, after prom, and two teenage boys see a girl their age on the side of a country road. They give her a ride home only to find out things aren't what they seem.
  • The Smiling Man - Insomnia has the best of a young man, and he goes for a late-night walk around his neighborhood. Only, he isn't alone. But perhaps the eerie four-minute short film will equally spook everyone - including you. Beware the jump scare!
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark - The peak of scary stories, this book and its sequels will keep you and your friends up until sunrise.
  • The NoNap Podcast - From the people who brought the NoSleep stories to life, these won't leave you with nightmares.
  • Urban legends make for excellent stories to tell in the dark.
  • 13 Really Scary Urban Legends to Send Shivers Down Your Spine

It's the Most Fun in the Dark With Scary Stories

Allow the spooky darkness to be your fellow storyteller in your scary campfire stories. Tell a new story to give everyone a fright, or keep it classic with an urban legend or even a creepy clown statue. You're going to want to make sure your flashlight has fresh batteries.

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Campfire Boss

LAST UPDATED

April 17, 2023

19 Best Scary Campfire Story Podcasts On Spotify

  • 19 Best Scary Campfire Story »

spooky stories campfire

REVIEWED BY CAT MCCORY

Sitting around the campfire and need a scary story, but don’t know any or not good at telling them? Leave it to the professionals! Below are the best spooky podcasts Spotify has to offer that will creep out your entire crew.

1. Jim Harold’s Campfire

Jim Harold’s Campfire wins the award on this list for longest playing show. He has been producing spooky stories since 2009 and the experience shows in the high-quality in this podcast.

Spotify features his latest shows with new casts being published weekly. What is so interesting about this podcast is that he doesn’t narrate other people’s stories. Instead, listeners call in and share their own creepy stories themselves. I have listened to A LOT of scary podcasts, and I haven’t heard one like this!

Listening to someone tell their own story, rather than hearing it narrated by someone else, definitely raises the level of believability and the scare-factor! Why this is perfect for around the campfire is that there is no music or special effects, just someone sharing their story, so it feels as if they could be your buddy sitting around the fire telling it to you themselves.

Each episode is over 90 minutes and shares multiple stories per podcast. To see all of the recent episodes from Jim Harold’s Campfire, click here .

2. Chilling Tales for Dark Nights

If you prefer a more cinematic experience, Chilling Tales for Dark Nights is for you! Written by professional authors and read by voice actors with special effects and background music, these podcasts take the campfire spooky story up a notch.

Each podcast features multiple scary stories read by different narrators. With 50 episodes, each containing several stories, Chilling Tales for Dark Nights could be your go-to channel for all night campfire tales.

To see the entire playlist of episodes on this channel, click here .

3. Nightmare Society

If you’re looking for true stories (or at least stories they claim to be true…with a scary story does it really matter?) look no further than the Nightmare Society. Their list of creepy campfire tales range from around 15 minutes to about 30 minutes long.

The stories are layered with light ambient music and special effects, such as the sound of a car passing by, making it more realistic. What is really nice about their podcast is that you don’t have to fast forward through an opening segment or any advertisements, they just start right in with the story. This will maintain the spooky mood if you want to go right from one podcast to the next.

Stories are read in a first-person point of view and the narrator’s voice is low and steady, well-suited for telling campfire tales.

To see the entire collection from the Nightmare Society, click here .

4. Dr. NoSleep

For more short stories, all 10 minutes or less, that will creep out everyone at your campfire, try Dr. NoSleep. Find classic stories, such as the Lady in the White Dress, and stories taking place at a lake or in the forest. The narrators voice lends itself well to telling scary stories around a campfire and the podcast intro is very short, getting you to the story quickly.

There is a long list of different stories available on the Dr. NoSleep channel, and it appears that new ones are being added frequently.

To see the entire collection from Dr. NoSleep, click here .

5. Otis Jiry’s Scary Stories Told in the Dark

Another podcast featuring multiple scary stories per episode is Otis Jiry’s Scary Stories Told in the Dark. With some episodes being over 2 hours long, this podcast will last longer than some pieces of your firewood.

The podcast features stories from many authors, giving you a variety of styles and themes. For me, this had the classic campfire story feel as there isn’t ambient music in the recording. The narrator’s voice sounds like something from an old radio show and is perfect for setting a creepy tone for your campfire. It is simple yet perfect.

To hear the entire playlist from Otis Jiry’s Scary Stories Told in the Dark, click here .

6. Scary Stories

If you’re looking for something a little different to listen to around your campfire, this is the podcast for you! What feels like a scary campfire story combined with a guided meditation, Scary Stories seems to try to calm your nerves only to rattle them later.

The narrator’s voice is soothing and comforting, yet the stories she is reading are scary folk tales. What is really different about this podcast is that the psychology behind where these tales came from and why they scare us is discussed which is creepy in itself. The ambient music layered behind the podcast adds to the disharmony and unnerving combination of relaxation and terror.

Each episode is around 30 minutes long and is updated regularly. To see the entire playlist of Scary Stories podcasts, click here .

7. Scary Stories & Rain

For another unique campfire story experience, give Scary Stories & Rain a listen! This podcast layers rain sounds behind the reading of spooky stories. Varying in length, but around 35-55 minutes each, Scary Stories & Rain feature a minimalist, campfire-style tale told in first-person.

The narrator’s voice is low and steady, perfect for a spooky story around the campfire. To see the entire collection of Scary Stories & Rain, click here .

8. Horror Hill

Horror Hill is a weekly published podcast featuring voice actor Jason Hill reading spooky stories from several talented contributing authors. Each cast is around an hour and a half, offering plenty of chilling moments per episode!

The podcast is delivered in seasons and episodes and some can be listened to in succession, or by themselves. Jason Hill’s voice lends itself well to spooky campfire stories and also does voices of characters at times.

This podcast may contain language for a mature audience. To see the entire collection of stories fro Horror Hill, click here .

9. Something Scary

With multiple short, spooky stories per episode, Something Scary offers many 30 minute casts that will creep you out. What is different about this podcast is that she doesn’t read the same ghost stories we have heard many times over. Instead, she reads unique stories that are listener-submitted, and even some from classic authors such as Edgar Allan Poe.

These are creepy stories made even more spooky with the addition of well-done special effects and sounds, it feels a little more cerebral that your average scary story podcast.

To hear all of the casts from The Something Scary Podcast, click here .

10. Spooky Boo’s Scary Story Time

What is fun about Spooky Boo’s Scary Story Time is that all of the unique stories take place in the fictional town of Sandcastle, Northern California. These are campfire stories you won’t hear anywhere else!

With a minimalist storytelling style, Spooky Boo’s is perfect for a classic campfire story feel. There is no music or special effects layered into the audio. The narrator doesn’t overkill trying to make her voice sound spooky, but the scary tales from Sandcastle contrasted with her pleasant voice are unnerving.

There are many episodes and they are added to regularly with each cast between around 10-30 minutes long. To see the entire collection from Spooky Boo’s Scary Story Time, click here .

11. Kowabana

The Kowabana podcast features Japanese scary stories read in a minimalist way with occasional ambient sounds. Every week a new creepy story from Japan is translated and read by the narrator.

Stories range from 30 minutes to 45 minutes long and there is an extensive list of casts with new ones being added regularly. If you’re looking for stories your friends at the campfire have probably never heard before, Kowabana is the podcast for you!

To see the list of casts from Kowabana, click here .

12. Real Scary Podcast

Sometimes, talking about a scary story is as creepy as simply hearing it be told. This is the case for the Real Scary Podcast.

Each episode the narrator discusses what they claim are true stories of horror and the paranormal in a cast that ranges from 30 minutes to 50 minutes long. You will hear the story, but also research the author has done on the tale, adding little details that raise the creepy factor!

The audio is minimalist and perfect to listen to around a campfire. This was one of my favorites to stumble across because the backstory and research adds to the richness of the stories.

To see the entire list of stories from the Real Scary Podcast, click here .

13. Scary Stories-Around the Fire with Uncle Guts

If you are looking for the most well-known campfire stories, the Uncle Guts album is what you are after. This is an album on Spotify, not a podcast, so there are only 6 very short stories with no more being added, but these are the stories everyone has heard over and over (and still loves to hear).

Classics such as The Monkey’s Paw, the Hitchhiker, and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow are included. These don’t have the same level of scare-factor as the other scary stories I’ve listed from Spotify, but sometimes you are just in the mood for some well-loved folklore or urban legends and this album fits the bill!

The narrator’s voice is layered over scary music and sound effects, and the stories are told in a way that make them appropriate for adults or children to listen to.

Listen to Scary Stories-Around the Fire with Uncle Guts here .

14. S’More Scary Stories

This is a newcomer, but already has 11 episodes with short stories to enjoy! What makes S’More Scary Stories unique is that the podcast asks listeners to write in with true, creepy events that they claim to have really happened to them and the narrator retells these true tales.

While there is no proof that any of these listener-submitted tales are true, what is certain is that these are stories that you won’t hear anywhere else on the web, and the guests at your campfire will get to hear a unique, spine-chilling story that they haven’t heard a million times over.

The narrator has a steady voice and can tell a good tale, and the casts are layered over ambient music to help set the mood.

To hear all of the “true stories” from S’More Scary Stories, click here .

15. Scary Story Podcast

The Scary Story Podcast offers a creepy story in under 10 minutes! Most of the stories are told in the style of first-person accounts of events. As of today, the podcast features just under 50 different short, scary stories, and the collection is still being added to.

There is no music layered with the stories, just the narrators voice making this a perfect, classic campfire story podcast.

The narrator for Scary Story Podcast has a great voice for this type of storytelling and the short stories are quite enjoyable…in a creepy and mysterious way.

To see the entire list of episodes from the Scary Story Podcast channel, click here .

16. Bigfoot Collectors Club

If there are only adults sitting around your campfire and you don’t mind the occasional curse word, you should bring up Bigfoot Collectors Club. With a combination of narrated stories and radio-style interviews, this podcast covers all things paranormal, obviously including Bigfoot.

Ghosts, UFO’s, and mysterious disappearances, the Bigfoot Collectors Club brings on guests such as mediums and witch doctors to comment on listener-submitted stories, or guests with first-hand creepy or supernatural stories.

At over an hour long, some of these podcasts also narrate, in class campfire tale style, stories of real disappearances in the woods who some attribute to Bigfoot. The hosts have done their research and these are creepy to listen to on your couch, let alone in a forest where you are more likely to hear a twig snap not far from camp…

The Bigfoot Collectors Club is published weekly and, with their well-researched stories, quality hosting, and interesting commentary, it will not disappoint. To see the entire catalog of podcasts, click here .

17. Fort Fritz: Campfire Tales

Another radio show style podcast, Fort Fritz: Campfire Tales covers real stories of murder and all things mysterious. These casts don’t just read the news reports. They dig into them, offering details you won’t hear elsewhere and that will send a chill up your spine.

The voices of the 3 narrators are layered over haunting music, adding to the spooky vibe. With many episodes and under 15 minutes, you will be able to dive into many creepy stories in one night.

Fort Fritz: Campfire Tales, though short, has no fluff to fast-forward through and gets right to the scary tales and tidbits. To see the entire list of episodes, click here .

18. Camp Monsters from REI

If you want that old-time, campfire story experience, Camp Monsters is for you! This podcast covers all things backwoods creature, from The Jersey Devil to the Ozark Howler.

Hear the old lore that has been passed down through generations about mysterious and terrifying monsters you wouldn’t have been able to look up in your schoolbooks. The podcasts don’t stop there, adding reporting from modern incidents some attribute to these same, chilling creatures making you feel like they may not just be legends.

The narrator’s voice is perfect for describing spooky beasts from the forests of North America and bringing a creepy vibe to your campfire. Each episode is under 30 minutes and may have you question whether or not you should just pack up your tent and head back to the safety of home!

To see the entire list of episodes from REI’s Camp Monsters, click here .

19. Classic Ghost Stories

To round out our list of chilling campfire podcasts on Spotify, Classic Ghost Stories must be added.

This podcast is simple, yet incredibly effective at bringing out a creepy vibe. Talented narrator, Tony Walker, reads the classics, bringing us stories from as far back as the 1800’s.

Just because they are old, don’t think that it means that they are dull! These are stories you probably have never heard, but should. The authors he has chosen to feature were incredible writers who could put down a chilling tale!

With a new cast produced each week, there are many stories to choose from, and each episode ranges from under 15 minutes to just under an hour. This podcast will make you feel sophisticated while simultaneously creeping you out!

To see the entire list of episodes from Classic Ghost Stories, click here .

Bonus: Hillbilly Horror Stories

I would do you a diservice is I didn’t mention Hillbilly Horror Stories!

Hosted by comedian Jerry Paulley and his wife, Tracy, the duo brings us both creepy tales of unsolved crimes, ghosts, the paranormal that will both freak you out and make you laugh at the same time.

There is no other podcast like Hillbilly Horror Stories, and to see the entire list of episodes, click here .

*  As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

spooky stories campfire

Cooking with a tripod over a fire feels a little like I should be camping next to my covered wagon. It’s old school, rustic, and pretty darn fun. But, if you’re going to cook over an open fire, make sure you get one that’s sturdy! This Lodge tripod is the model that I use and I don’t think it will every give out on me or need replaced. Get yours here and start your campfire cooking adventure now!

spooky stories campfire

Cat McCoury

Cat is a nature lover who wants to help you make the most of your family and friend time in the great outdoors by offering helpful tips about fire pits, backyard activities, and camping. Learn more about Cat here .

Finding New Adventures

Slightly Scary Campfire Stories

Slightly Scary Stories To Tell Around the Campfire

Telling spooky, scary stories around the campfire is a long honored tradition. Here are a couple of stories that are just spooky enough to send chills down your spine, but not so scary to traumatize the kids. So gathering the kids around a roaring campfire and begin a night of storytelling of spooky camping tales.

The Whistler In the Woods

Written By: N.M. Fellows

A group of boys were sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories at night, hours after the adults had went to bed in their tents.   An older boy had just finished a scary story that left the boys on edge, when they heard a whistle coming from the woods.

“What was that?”, a nervous younger boy asked.

“The Whistler”, replied an older boy, with a knowing look in his eyes.

All the boys looked at each other, terrified to ask, but one brave boy asked the question, “What is the Whistler?”.

“It goes by many names besides the Whistler”, replied the older boy.  He continued, “Yowi, Sasquatch,……..Big Foot”.

Just then another whistle came from the woods but it sounded closer.  A twig snapped close to the campsite.

The boys began to squirm, staring at each other in terror.

Then they heard whistling all around them, louder, closer.  The sound of knocking on trees echoed with each long whistle.  All the boys froze in terror.  Then it stopped.  Not a sound could be heard.  An eerie quiet filled the night.

“Time for bed!”, yelled the boys.

All the boys ran to their tents as the older boys quickly put out the fire.

The next morning as all the boys emerged from their tents, large footprints could be seen all around their tents and campsite as if someone or something had been watching them all night.  

The Marshmallow Ghost Girl

Written by: N.M. Fellows

The Steel family had finally made it to their campsite after getting lost several times on the Georgia backroads. The Pinewoods Campground was full of fellow campers and everyone smiled and waved until the family drove their SUV to campsite #13. Then their expressions turned to pity and fear. The Steel family shook it off, maybe the campsite was un-level or had a fire ants. No matter to them, they were excited to begin a relaxing weekend of camping, fishing and swimming in the nearby lake.

They barely had time to put up their tents as the sun began to set on the horizon. Timmy was sent to the nearby woods to gather sticks to start a fire. He couldn’t wait to eat his favorite camp food, S’mores.

As he was gathering sticks, he noticed a girl about his age had joined him. She was dressed in blue shorts and a white t-shirt. Her hair was long and blonde, and seemed to still be wet. She must have just gotten done swimming in the lake. He smiled to her and asked if she was gathering sticks for a fire as well. She smiled and nodded yes. Timmy began talking about all the things he planned on doing on his weekend camping adventure and the girl would nod in acknowledgment and smile at him.

He told her he couldn’t wait to make S’mores. At this announcement the girl perked up.

“Marshmallows?”, she whispered.

“Of course, silly. You can’t have S’mores without Marshmallows”. Timmy laughed.

The girl smiled eerily. “May I have a marshmallow?”, she asked.

“Sure”, said Timmy. “Let me get all these sticks to my Dad and I’ll ask my Mom for some marshmallows. Just give me a minute.”

Timmy ran back to his campsite and dumped the sticks onto the ground by the fire ring. His Dad waved to him and he went in search for his Mom to find the marshmallows. Timmy quickly found her and she gave him a baggie of marshmallows to give to his new friend.

Timmy ran back to the spot he left her, but she was no where to be found. He began walking around the campground, looking for her. Surely she hadn’t gone far.

Timmy was stopped by the park ranger.

“Are you lost young man?”, he asked. “No” replied Timmy, “I looking for girl with long blonde hair, blue shorts and a white t-shirt. She wanted marshmallows”. He showed the ranger his baggie filled with marshmallows.

The ranger smiled sadly. “So, you have met our Tilly. She definitely loved marshmallows. Follow me.”

He walked Timmy back to his campsite, #13 and shined his light on a little plaque that was hidden in the dark. It read:

This site is dedicated to Tilly McBride, age 12 who drowned on 6/12/73. She had a love of the outdoors and marshmallows. May she rest in peace.

Timmy looked at the ranger with fear in his eyes. This couldn’t be. The girl he met in the woods was real.

The ranger shook his head and let Timmy know he wasn’t the the first person to be asked for marshmallows by Tilly. Timmy placed the baggie of marshmallows next to the plaque and went to find his parents and tell them about the girl.

The next morning he brought his parents to the plaque so they could see for themselves. The baggie of marshmallows was gone, and sticks were used to form the words “Thank you”.

The stories above are original stories and are the property of the writers. They can not be copied or reproduced without written approval.

More Campfire Stories

I found some great books with scary campfire stories for your next campout. These are sure to bring a few frights to your nighttime storytelling and lots of memories of camping.

Campfire Stories for Kids: A Story Collection of Scary and Humorous Camp Fire Tales

Campfire Stories for Kids

This collection of campfire stories by Drake Quinn is sure to put the fright into a campfire story telling night. You can find the book here .

Short and Shivery

Short & Shivery

Pictured above is another great book of short stories tales perfect to tell around the campfire. The book contains 30 chilling tales retold by author Robert D. San Souci. You can find this spine tingling book here .

Campfire Stories for Kids Trilogy

Campfire Stories for Kids Trilogy

This trilogy of spooky campfire stories for kids contains 61 stories to scare and entertain all night long. You can find this book collection by Johnny Nelson here .

Don’t Forget

Don’t forget to bring a flashlight or lantern, especially for the kids. It will help them to be less scared finding their way back to their tent or camper after a night of scary tales. Check out my list of camping lanterns and headlamps here .

Also set the mood with a colorful, enchanting fire with Mystical Fire .

Mystical Flame

Disclaimer:  There are a few things with affiliate links above.  If you use the link to purchase through, thank you very much!  I may receive a small percentage for my recommendations .

Slightly Scary Campfire Stories

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Spooky Campfire Stories: Tales to Send Shivers Down Your Spine

Looking for spooky campfire stories to tell? we’ve got some that are sure to send shivers down your spine!

spooky campfire stories

Are you ready for a thrilling night under the stars? There’s nothing quite like gathering around a crackling campfire, surrounded by the vast expanse of the great outdoors, to share some spine-tingling scary stories. 

Whether you’re out on a family camping trip, a weekend getaway with friends, or just having a cozy night with loved ones, scary campfire stories have always been a cherished tradition that adds an extra layer of excitement to the experience. So, grab your marshmallows and gather ’round as we delve into a collection of eerie tales that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Keep reading for three spooky campfire stories! 

Three Spooky Campfire Stories to Tell

The haunted house and the severed finger.

spooky stories campfire

In a small, quiet village nestled between mist-covered hills, there stood an old, decrepit mansion known as the Grimsby Manor. It had stood abandoned for decades, casting a sinister shadow over the village. Locals whispered tales of its dark history, recounting how the mansion was cursed by a tragic event that occurred long ago.

The story begins with a wealthy aristocrat named Lord Archibald Grimsby, who lives in the manor with his beautiful daughter, Isabella. Lord Grimsby was known for his obsession with collecting rare artifacts from around the world. One day, a mysterious traveler brought him a peculiar relic – a severed finger that was rumored to belong to a vengeful spirit. Ignoring the warnings, Lord Grimsby proudly displayed the finger in a glass case in his study.

As the days turned into nights, a series of eerie events plagued the mansion. Strange noises echoed through its corridors, unexplainable drafts chilled the air, and unexplained shadows danced on the walls. Isabella’s health deteriorated rapidly, and the mansion’s staff grew increasingly fearful, whispering about a ghostly figure with a bloody finger that roamed the halls at night.

One stormy evening, a group of brave villagers gathered at the manor’s gates, determined to rid the village of its haunting presence. Armed with candles, crosses, and the conviction that they could break the curse, they ventured into the mansion’s dark interior.

As they entered the study, the room grew ice-cold. The glass case containing the severed finger glowed with an otherworldly light. Suddenly, the atmosphere shifted, and a mournful wail echoed through the mansion. The villagers watched in horror as a ghostly figure materialized before them – a specter with hollow eyes, ragged clothes, and a finger dripping with fresh blood.

The ghostly apparition pointed a bony finger at Lord Grimsby’s study desk, where a dusty journal lay open. The villagers read the chilling entry that recounted the true story of the severed finger. The finger had belonged to a young woman, Agatha, who had been falsely accused of witchcraft and sentenced to death. Her finger was severed as a symbol of her supposed guilt, and her spirit had been restless ever since.

Filled with remorse, Lord Grimsby realized that the curse was a result of his insensitivity to the suffering of others. He vowed to make amends and give Agatha a proper burial to finally lay her spirit to rest.

With the help of the villagers, Lord Grimsby organized a solemn ceremony, and Agatha’s remains were interred in the village cemetery. As her spirit found peace, the mansion’s haunting ceased, and Isabella’s health miraculously improved.

The Grimsby Manor, once shrouded in darkness, was eventually restored and became a place of joy and prosperity. The tale of the ghost with the bloody finger served as a reminder to all that the past must never be forgotten, and the pain of others should always be acknowledged and respected.

And so, the story of the haunted house and the severed finger became a cautionary tale, reminding people that even in death, the restless souls of the past seek acknowledgment, empathy, and release from their torment.

The Yellow Ribbon

spooky stories campfire

Once upon a time, in a small village nestled deep within the woods, lived an old man named Mr. Thompson. He was known by the villagers as the keeper of the village’s spookiest stories. Every year, during the annual campfire gathering, he would share tales that would send shivers down the spines of young and old alike.

One chilly evening, a brave young boy named Ethan gathered with his friends around the campfire. The flames flickered and cast eerie shadows on the surrounding trees. The stars were bright, but the moon seemed to hide behind a thin veil of clouds. Tonight, Mr. Thompson had promised to tell a classic tale that had been passed down through generations.

As the fire crackled, Mr. Thompson’s raspy voice began weaving the story of the “Yellow Ribbon.” The tale was about a beautiful young girl who always wore a yellow ribbon around her neck. No one knew why she wore it, but it was said that if anyone ever untied the ribbon, a terrible curse would befall her.

Ethan listened with rapt attention, his eyes wide as saucers. Just as Mr. Thompson reached the story’s climax, a howl pierced through the night. It was a chilling sound, echoing from the depths of the forest. The pack of wolves that roamed the woods was known to be fearsome, especially in the middle of the night.

Undeterred, Mr. Thompson continued his tale. He described an abandoned house at the edge of the village—a house that was said to be haunted by a ghost with a hairy toe. The ghost would only appear when the moon was hidden and the wind whispered secrets through the trees.

Ethan’s friends glanced nervously at each other, their imaginations running wild. They could almost feel the presence of the ghostly figure and the ominous wind rustling through their hair.

As the story reached its conclusion, the wind began to pick up, rustling the leaves and sending a shiver down everyone’s spines. Just then, a faint creaking sound could be heard from the nearby trees. Ethan’s heart raced as he turned to look. There, standing beneath a gnarled tree, was a figure wearing a yellow ribbon around its neck. It was the first-year kindergarten teacher, Miss Miller, who had decided to join the campfire gathering.

With a mischievous grin, Miss Miller revealed that she had been the source of the howling earlier, imitating the pack of wolves to add to the atmosphere of the story. She chuckled and confessed that she loved a good spooky tale as much as anyone.

Ethan and his friends couldn’t help but laugh in relief. The combination of Mr. Thompson’s storytelling and Miss Miller’s playful participation had turned the campfire gathering into a night they would always remember. From that night on, the village campfire stories took on a new level of excitement, thanks to the old man, the young boy, the yellow ribbon, the hairy toe, the pack of wolves, the middle of the night, and the first-year kindergarten teacher who had added her own twist to the tales.

The Wolf Girl of Devil’s Hollow

spooky campfire stories

Deep within the heart of the dense and shadowy woods stood a place known as Devil’s Hollow. The name alone was enough to send shivers down the spines of even the bravest souls. Legends whispered through the trees told of a haunting presence that lurked there, an entity that straddled the line between human and beast—a creature that locals referred to as “The Wolf Girl.”

Long ago, in a time when the village neighboring Devil’s Hollow was just a fledgling settlement, a family of farmers lived on the edge of the woods. The Bakers were known far and wide for their lush crops and hearty livestock, but they were also known for their daughter, Eliza, who was as wild and spirited as the very woods that surrounded their home.

Eliza had an affinity for the wilderness that bordered on the uncanny. She would often vanish into the woods for hours on end, returning with tales of animal encounters and hidden glens that no one else had ever seen. As the years passed, her hair grew long and wild, her eyes seemed to shimmer with an unusual luminescence, and her once-graceful gait became more akin to a stalking predator.

Rumors began to circulate, fueled by fearful whispers in the village square. It was said that Eliza had been bitten by a wolf when she was just a child and had never been quite the same since. Some believed that she possessed the spirit of the very creature that had attacked her, that she could transform into a wolf at will and stalk through the moonlit woods.

One fateful night, as a blood-red moon hung low in the sky, the villagers gathered around their campfires, sharing tales of their own. The atmosphere was thick with tension, and the wind seemed to carry the faint howl of a distant wolf. Suddenly, the darkness parted, and there stood Eliza, her eyes gleaming with an otherworldly light.

As she approached, a hush fell over the crowd. But then a lone voice spoke out, quivering yet defiant. It was Samuel, a young man who had secretly admired Eliza’s wild spirit from afar. He stepped forward and declared that the rumors were just that—rumors. He believed in the strength of their community and the goodness in Eliza’s heart.

Moved by his words, some villagers began to murmur in agreement. Yet, just as a sense of unity began to take hold, a bone-chilling howl echoed through the woods. Eliza’s form began to change, her body contorting and reshaping until she stood before them as a massive, fearsome wolf.

The crowd erupted in panic, scattering in all directions. Samuel, however, stood his ground. He locked eyes with the wolf, a silent plea passing between them. Eliza’s gaze softened, and for a moment, the tension hung suspended in the air.

With a powerful leap, the wolf vanished into the darkness of Devil’s Hollow, leaving behind a silence broken only by the crackling of the dying campfires. The villagers, though scattered and terrified, soon realized that they had witnessed not a monster, but a young woman cursed by fear and misunderstanding.

From that day forward, the legend of “The Wolf Girl of Devil’s Hollow” endured as a testament to the power of love and acceptance. And it was said that on certain moonlit nights, a lone wolf could be seen prowling the woods, its eyes reflecting a sadness that spoke of a lost connection—a connection that could have bridged the gap between two worlds if only the light of compassion had shone a little brighter.

Even More Spooky Stories

We hope your family enjoyed our versions of classic tales. If you are looking for more spooky campfire stories you can find our very favorite HERE .

This fall , when you are huddled around the campfire, remember the classics and create new tales that will be passed down through the years. After all, there’s no better way to make memories than by letting your imagination run wild under the starlit sky, with the howling of wolves and the rustling of leaves as your background sound effects. 

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Ashley Field is the Lifestyle Editor and resident shopping expert for Cottage Living and Style. With a background in journalism, and sales, she brings a wide array of knowledge to our small space brand. You'll most likely find her at home with her fur baby, cruising Amazon for the best deals.

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7 Spooky Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

It’s never too early for spooky season! Gain some inspiration for scary campfire stories to spook your friends on National Campfire Day.

campfire

It is now August which means we’re about a month away from September and the beginnings of fall. Summer’s coming to a close, and soon we’ll see ghosts and skeletons in stores and in front lawns. Aside from decorating, one of the best ways to build a spooky mood is with a good old campfire. In fact, we’ve finally reached National Campfire Day, and it’s the perfect time to bring out your firewood and marshmallows to settle in for a night of scary storytelling. There really is no better setting than a pitch black night with nothing but a fire to light your faces as you take turns sharing your most hair-raising stories. Worried that you won’t have any ideas? Check out these seven tales that are sure to keep your friends on the edge of their seats.

Yellow Ribbon

This story is about Jane, who wore a yellow ribbon around her neck every day. Regardless of the occasion and regardless of her outfit, the yellow ribbon stayed on. Jane never told her friend Johnny why she wears it. And this went on, “Maybe one day I’ll tell you,” Jane said once. Although Johnny was frustrated, he had always thought Jane was cute, so he asked her out. Jane said yes. She always said yes. When he asked her to get ice cream, when he asked her to come to his football game, when he’d take her home, and to the school dance. They started dating and Johnny seemed to forget about the yellow ribbon. Eventually they were engaged and as they planned a big wedding, Jane hinted that she might tell him about the ribbon on their wedding day. Amid the excitement and preparation Johnny completely forgot to ask. When he finally remembered, Jane asked what difference it made if he knew. Johnny decided she was right and didn’t ask again.

yellow ribbon

They happily started their life and raised a family of four. The children once asked Jane about the ribbon, and Johnny hushed them, making sure they wouldn’t ask again. But when their golden anniversary came around, Johnny asked her again what the ribbon is for. “You’ve waited this long. You can wait a while longer.” Johnny agreed. A year later, Jane was on her death bed. Johnny saw this as his last chance before she slipped away. He asked her one last time, and she said with a sad smile, “Okay, Johnny, you can go ahead and untie it.” His excitement made him fumble with the knot for a bit before he finally untied the ribbon. The ribbon came loose, and he immediately wished he never asked as he watched his wife’s head fall off.

The High Beams

On the road one night, a young woman is driving home when she notices a truck driving closely behind her. She waits for the truck to pass, but it never does. Instead, it stays behind her and flashes its high beams. She’s immediately uncomfortable and realizes no matter how fast she drives or what roads she takes, the truck stays right behind her flashing its high beams every few minutes. At this point, she’s terrified and speeds home. The truck follows her and pulls into her driveway right behind her. She’s about to run out of her car to her front door when the truck driver climbs out of his car with a gun and fires in her direction. She screams but realizes she wasn’t hit. When she turns, she sees the body of a man fall out of her backseat with a butcher knife clutched in his hand. It turns out the truck driver had been trying to save her the entire time. Each time the man raised his knife, the driver flashed his high beams to try and warn her.

high beams

La Llorona is a story often used to scare children into behaving. Its origin comes from the story of Maria – a beautiful woman in a very small village who eventually married the most desirable man in town. He was a handsome cowboy who could ride anything, sing beautifully, and play the guitar. But it was an unhappy marriage. They had children, but the cowboy left town for months at a time. It got to the point where he only spoke to his children when he visited. One day, he came with another woman sitting beside him in a carriage. He talked to his children but didn’t even look at Maria. Her jealousy made something snap inside her. That night she took her children down to the river and threw them in. By the time she realized what she had done, it was too late, and they disappeared downstream. She ran down the river, fueled by her guilt and anger but didn’t pay attention to where she was going. She eventually fell and hit her head on a rock which killed her.

spooky stories campfire

When the townspeople found her, they laid her to rest in the very spot she died. But that first night in her grave, she couldn’t rest. They saw her wandering through the woods crying. As they listened carefully they heard her wailing, “Aiiiii mis hiiiiijooooos. Donde estan mis hiiiiijoooooos.” She cried, “Where are my children?” Night after night, she appeared, and they soon began calling her La Llorona. The Weeping Woman. The town told the children to be home before dark, or she would take them. Stories came about of children who played by the river and were approached by La Llorona thinking they were her children. When she realized they were not hers, she threw them into the river. One boy stayed by the river one night, not believing the stories. La Llorona came to him, grabbed him by the shoulders, saying “My child!” The boy was terrified and said a prayer in his mind. At that moment, La Llorona let go and disappeared through the trees. The boy ran home and told his mother what happened. She knew he told the truth when she saw five round red marks on each shoulder where she held him – blood stains left by La Llorona’s fingers.

The Goatman

The Goatman is a creature originating from stories about Prince George’s County, Maryland. Some say the Goatman was created when a researcher at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in 1970 did experiments on goats. Something went terribly wrong with one of these experiments, and he ended up with the upper body of a goat. Others say he was just a lonely goat herder who reached his breaking point after teens killed all his goats. Whatever the case, the Goatman is known for terrorizing couples, chasing teens, and decapitating dogs. He squeals and makes goat noises to add to the terror. The first mention of him came in 1971 when a family in Maryland claimed the Goatman was responsible for the death of their puppy Ginger. The story was more believable when a group of teenage girls reported hearing strange noises that night and seeing a large creature. Sightings of an animal-like creature that walked on its hind legs were also increasing on Fletchertown Road. Of course, there’s no real hard proof, but there’s also nothing disproving his existence either…

spooky stories campfire

Munger Road

This legend takes place in Illinois. The story goes that a train hit a school bus full of children after getting stuck on the tracks. The incident, unfortunately, killed everyone inside. Now, it’s reported that the children haunt the train tracks where it happened. If visitors to Munger Road sprinkle baby powder on their car’s bumper and sit on the tracks with their car in neutral, the spirits of the kids push the car off the tracks to safety, and their little handprints show up on the bumper.

The Wendigo is a creature that originates from Native American legend. It lives in the forests of the Great Lakes region and central Canada. It might appear as a monster with human-like qualities or a spirit that possesses humans and makes them monstrous. The Wendigo is typically associated with cannibalism and greed. Native American legend describes them as giants much larger than humans with jagged yellow teeth that drip with blood, glowing eyes, and unusually long tongues. Wendigos are created when humans resort to cannibalism to survive and are forever cursed to wander the land searching for human flesh. This terrifying creature makes a great monster for the subject of campfire stories. Check out one of the stories about Wendigos here .

spooky steps

In 1947, a man who worked as a cab driver got a call from his dispatcher that someone needed a ride at Bramlett Road. Cab drivers generally avoided that area since it was near the slaughter yards and not exactly the kind of road anyone drove down at midnight. But this was his job, so he took the call. He had been out of town the night the “incident” happened that gave Bramlett Road its reputation. Another cab driver from his company was robbed and stabbed to death in his cab one night on that road. The next day a man named Willie Earle was arrested and jailed for the crime even though he denied it. Some men from the cab company got together and, after a night of drinking, decided to grab Earle from jail and take him to the slaughter yards. They beat him and eventually shot him three times. When they were sure he was dead, they each drove off. None were charged for his murder, and Bramlett Road gained a reputation for being haunted by Willie Earle.

yellow cab

So, the man who took this call pulled onto Bramlett but saw no one. He decided to park and wait to see if anyone showed up. Then the air around him got ice cold as he heard moans of terror coming from across the road. He heard the sound of someone being beaten, and then one, two, three shots rang out. The man turned the cab around and took off, but a tall, beaten figure stood in the road in front of him with its head lolling, dead features, and knife-torn clothes. It could only be the ghost of Willie Earle. He hit the gas and swerved, narrowly avoiding the man. He headed straight for the dispatcher’s office, quit immediately, and never returned to Bramlett Road again.

For more of Bookstr’s recommendations, click here!

FEATURED IMAGE VIA UNSPLASH / LUKE PORTER

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Spooky Campfire Stories For Kids

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On beautiful camping nights, what works the most to bring pleasure to your children are stories. Some stories have some excitement, suspense and some fear. There are some novels and stories that will make your children happy but do not make them scream out of terror.

Many of us do not know a large number of entertaining stories for more beautiful nights of camping, today we have decided to give you many readable stories that you can tell to your children and your friends as well. 

So now set a campfire and get the marshmallows and tell these stories now. 

KID-FRIENDLY SPOOKY CAMPFIRE STORIES

Now, we are going to tell some great stories that you can tell. To narrate them to your children during family camping times to make children feel the fun of camping. 

Among the most important of these stories, I will tell you. 

The story of DEM BONES is one of the most beautiful stories we heard in our childhood and narrate the frightening story of DEM BONES about Captain Kidd and the pirates who buried treasure off the coast of New Jersey.

This story is a little scary enough to make the kids look around as you tell the story, but not to the point of screaming loudly.

Many children love hearing the story of Dim BONES love the story and the protagonist. So, they ask their parents to repeat it every time they go camping. 

If you are a fan of ghost stories suitable for your children. All you need is to know this story. It is a story about ghosts who make sweets and evaluate lively parties.

HAUNTED is the perfect and non-frightening story for your little ones, and this story begins when a new family moves into a haunted house, the ghosts fear them. It takes time to start the mutual interest and conversations between the new residents and the ghosts in this house.

Tell this story to your kids to get them excited and excited about camping wonderfully.

YELLOW RIBBON

It is one of the stories that will scare your children. But it will not make them scream. Don’t worry about this! the story is about a young couple, Jane and Johnny, but for some reason, Jane wears a yellow ribbon around her neck, and always avoids answering his question about this tape every time Johnny asks her to.

After their love story, Jane and Johnny marry and have children, and then Jane falls ill on her deathbed, telling Johnny that he can untie that yellow tape.

And you know what Johnny finds when you unzip the yellow tape. It will surprise you and your children. All you have to do is memorize this story to increase the suspense during family camping times.

THE SCARECROW

Do not worry dear, this story is not one of the stories that will sleep from your children’s eyes.

All you have to do is tell the story from a first-person perspective to make your kids feel a little spooked, leave them dazed, and have your kids judge whether this scarecrow was taken away by the storm or escaped on its own.

THE HAIRY TOE

It is one of the most strange stories, but it is interesting, and it will not frighten the children around you to the point of horror. This story revolves around an old woman who finds a hairy finger in the forest near the house where she lives and decides to eat this hairy finger.

The strange thing about this story and the question sitting around the campfire is why did this old man eat a toe, but this story will make your children enjoy the imaginative things of this story.

GHOST SHIP OF CAPTAIN SANDOVATE

What is wonderful in this story is it will teach your children some good manners and will not frighten the children too much, and it is another story of pirate lovers and wonderful journeys.

This story revolves around the ghost ship of Captain Sandovit, which was on board a group of sailors who rebelled against Captain Sandovit, and ended up depriving Captain Sandovit of water to death.

After some events, a strong storm sinks the ship. This ghost ship is sailing across the Atlantic Ocean and its sailors begging for a drink of water to save their lives.

THE HUNTING OF THE GREAT BEAR

This story is still one of the most beautiful stories, especially the stories of setting fire and camping for adults and children.

It is one of the famous stories and is one of the legends of the Iroquois, and the novel revolves around four brothers of legendary hunters who are working to track down a mysterious and large bear.

Eventually, the four hunters caught this giant bear, and after the bear was locked up, the four brothers discovered that this big bear was a magician and that they were in fact in the sky today.

THE SECRET TREASURE OF DONOVAN ROAD

One of the most wonderful stories of camping times, and it is considered one of the entertaining stories in camping times. The story revolves around a grandmother telling her granddaughter about a treasure hidden near her house.

This little girl decides to search for this hidden treasure, and after searching, this girl finds the box, but here the surprise happens. 

When you open the box, the girl finds that the box is full of marshmallow herbs, and to increase the excitement in this story, throw some herbs at the children around you.

FIFTY-CENT PIECE

One of the most unusual stories, this tale revolves around a couple travelling in a carriage, and at nightfall, the couple stop in a beautiful house and they are welcomed with tea and sweets. The couple leaves a fifty-cent coin in gratitude.

In a restaurant near the house, the couple tells their story to a stranger about their previous night. The man insists that the house has been burned down for years. The story ends with the man who has brought the couple back when the couple discovers that the house is really on fire.

BROOM TOWN CURSE

An exciting and scary but child-friendly story that you can tell at night around a campfire on a quiet night, this story tells of a settlement in the 1850s, and this settlement was full of suspected witches.

In a bloody battle of the Civil War, all the inhabitants of this settlement die. The spirits of murderous witches hunt down anyone who comes within 10 miles of the settlement.

Tell this story to increase the fun and suspense of the children and to attract them to camp. Meanwhile, Keep them away from scaring.

THE GHOST OF THE BLOODY FINGER

It’s a slightly scary story, the story of a bloody finger who approaches a man who spends the night in a haunted house alone, but the ending ends with a joke, as she de-stresses with a great laugh.

To increase the fun in telling the story, you can make some sounds by using an evil ghost voice. This will make the story more interesting and fun. 

The story goes back to one rainy night when a poor man was walking alone from his house in a deserted street next to the cemetery. When he passed the gates, this man heard the sound of blows on the ground, but he did not dare to turn behind him, and when he stopped and turned, he saw the coffin running behind him quickly.

And when you tell this story to your children, make some sounds such as the frightening Bump Bump Bump sound that comes from the coffin that follows the poor man. Do not worry, the story is not very scary for children.

THE LADY WITH THE EMERALD RING

It is one of the most beautiful stories that talk about greed, and this story revolves around the end of the twelfth century, of a woman believed to have died. Her deputy stole her emerald ring, but a ghost appears in this story, which the woman’s deputy believes that she has become on him, and the story ends with A happy ending for some of the characters.

Room for One More

It is a short story that you can tell to children when sitting around a campfire. The story revolves around a woman who is frightened when she bumps into a strange man driving his car. 

This story is based on a true story that happened in Ireland, but you can hide this from your children so that they do not panic.

The Cursed Doll

The story of scary dolls is one of the stories that everyone loves to hear, especially in camping times. The story revolves around a little girl who gets a new doll, yet what will happen after she gets the doll? It will be a little terrifying.

Magic Castle

The story of Magic Castle is a scary story at the beginning and funny at the same time. The events revolve around a magical castle that no one will visit in the middle of the night, except for one character, the hero character, but the end of this story is silly and funny. You can tell it to your children while camping.

The Purple Gorilla

One of the beautiful stories that develop some beautiful habits in children, but it contains some terrifying things, and such stories are sweet on winter camping nights around the campfire. You must complete the story for your children to the end, and this story allows children to know that some scary monsters are not so bad.

Tommy Knockers

You may think that this story is a science fiction story, but it is a depicting story of Tommy Knockers, a miner in California, and that is not a bad thing. In fact, ghosts and not humans, which may give children some chills from this wonderful story. The story becomes more interesting with time the story to the end. 

Scaredy Squirrel Goes Camping

The story of the frightened squirrel in the camp. It is an ideal story for youngsters, as it teaches them the joy of going out camping, especially with family and friends. This story is a little scary, but it has an interesting and funny ending.

Chipmunk and Bear

It is a legendary story. Your children will love it very much, and it revolves around a squirrel and a bear friend who challenge each other, where the squirrel challenges the bear to prevent the sun from rising. When the bear fails to criticize the smaller animal, some people believe that this story is the reason for the stripes on the squirrel. This story is considered fun Interesting for young children during camping times.

Vinder Viper

In this tale, the man who moves to his great-uncle’s house feels several repeated threats, from a creature that calls himself Vinder Viper. This story, many interesting and exciting things, and this story unleashes the creativity of children. Can your children guess the end of this story?

The Broom Town Curse

The Broom Town Curse is a scary and fun story at the same time. You can tell your children when they are around the fire, and to increase the suspense, you can adapt the story according to your location and use the tools you have, which will make this story more terrifying and interesting for children.

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Go Backpacking

Go Backpacking

Spooky Games To Pack For Your Camping Trip

Posted: January 12, 2024 | Last updated: January 12, 2024

Did you know that in the UK, camping ranks as one of the top choices for a weekend getaway, with over 60% of campers seeking unique experiences? But here's a twist for thrill-seekers: combining the rustic charm of camping with the intrigue of spooky games is becoming a new trend.

Imagine the British countryside, with its rich history and folklore, as the perfect backdrop for a night of ghostly tales and paranormal adventures. 

Taking a camping trip can be exciting. If you are into spooky and supernatural things, packing in some spooking games can add to the excitement of passing the time. 

Going to a campsite known for being haunting sites or having eerie vibes can heighten the tension of being spooked by a ghost.

You can visit SpiritShack to find more spooky tips to make your camping trip more fun. Let's discuss how you can add spookiness to your camping trip. 

Spooky Games

Playing board games, which form part of the usual camping trip activities, can be relaxing, but why not make things more interesting? Here are some spooky games you can add to your camping trip. 

Flashlight Tag

This game only requires a flashlight and all members to participate. One person has to be the designated ghost who will try to catch the rest of their flashlight beam. 

Campfire Stories 

Everyone gathers around the campfire and shares spooky tales. Give each person in the circle the chance to tell a story to spook the rest.

You can also listen to creepy stories from podcasts or urban legends, especially if you find narratives about the area you find yourself in. This is a surefire way to increase the scariness factor.  

Another game that can be played around the campfire is charades. Players can act out famous horror movies and characters, and other players must guess who they are. 

Ghost in the Graveyard 

Ghosts in the Graveyard is a classic spooky game that can be played while camping. One person is labeled the ghost and hides while the other participants try to find them. The goal is to find the ghost before it tags you. 

Paranormal Investigation 

Go on a paranormal investigation while camping; bring a ghost-hunting kit or other equipment like voice recorders and EMF meters to explore the campsite for any occurrences that can become eerie. 

Nighttime Scavenger Hunt

Create a scavenger hunt for spooky-themed items that can be found in the dark. You can use a flashlight or a glowstick to navigate and search for hidden objects. 

Decorate the Campsite

Decorate your campsite with creepy lights or create lighting, such as cutting shapes out of brown paper bags and putting lights in them to up the spooky element. Use battery-powered lights, not candles, as these can start a small fire if the bag moves. 

You can also decorate the campsite with creepy carved pumpkins, skeletons, and skulls.  

Ensure that you refrain from using decorations that won't blow away in the middle of the night and ones that are easy to spot so that when you clean up, you don't risk leaving them behind. 

Pack Pumpkins

Host a pumpkin carving competition while camping; each person can carve a face into a pumpkin to see who can make the best jack-o-lantern. 

Create a Horror Playlist

Setting the mood with a horror playlist will make the campsite spookier. Host a dance competition, with the winner receiving a mysterious prize. 

Benefits of Playing Spooky Games 

It's important to remember that everyone's tolerance for scary games is different. Keep this in mind when setting up games. Here are the benefits of playing spooky games.

  • Adrenaline Rush: These games heighten one's sense of fear and suspense. This can give individuals an exciting thrill while playing these games. 
  • Cognitive Stimulation: Most games involve critical thinking, strategic decision-making, and problem-solving skills that will help enhance mental agility and cognitive skills. 
  • Emotional Catharsis: These games will provide a sense of emotional release or catharsis, allowing people to feel fear in a controlled environment. 
  • Social Interaction: These games can be played with friends, allowing for social interaction and creating opportunities for bonding, friendly competition, and teamwork. 
  • Entertainment and Enjoyment: Spooky games give players a thrilling and immersive experience to engage in suspenseful storylines. You will enjoy solving supernatural challenges and solving mysteries. 

Conclusion 

As the campfire dims and the stars twinkle above, your camping trip has been transformed into an epic tale of thrill and excitement, thanks to these spine-chilling games.

Remember, it's not just about the shivers and screams; it's about creating unforgettable memories with friends and family, bonding over shared stories and laughter in the face of fear.

Whether you're a seasoned ghost storyteller or a first-time paranormal game player, these spooky activities will leave a lasting impression.

So, as you pack up your tents and head back to reality, take a moment to relish the unique experiences you've shared. And who knows? These spooky games might become a cherished tradition for future camping adventures.

Until then, keep the spirit of adventure alive and remember: sometimes, the best way to truly connect with nature and each other is to embrace the mysterious and the unknown.

Spooky games can be fun and exciting, but remember to be mindful of how other people feel and set the game's scare level at reasonable scare factors to avoid overwhelming players.

The games mentioned above are all games that only require a little packing space. Try the ones that stand out to you, and have fun.

This story is brought to you in partnership with SpookyShack.

The post Spooky Games To Pack For Your Camping Trip appeared first on Go Backpacking .

Ghost in a field (photo: Monstera Production)

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    17 Not-So-Scary Spooky Campfire Stories for the Family September 26, 2023 RV Advice Plan Activities Cook Trips 'Tis the season for stories that go bump in the night! Try these not-so-scary spooky campfire stories to spook your kids this Halloween. Halloween is all about a little bit of scare, right?

  8. 22 campfire stories for kids to spook and delight

    22 campfire stories to spook and delight kids of all ages From spooky and ghostly to straight-up funny and giggle inducing, these campfire stories have something for everyone. Jennifer A. DiGiovanni Published on: May 21, 2023 What kid doesn't love staying up late, making s'mores and telling funny or sometimes scary campfire stories?

  9. The Best Campfire Ghost Stories

    The Best Campfire Ghost Stories October 14, 2013 Choose Category: RV Advice Plan Activities Cook Trips Nothing intensifies a night camping quite like a good ghost story. Here's a selection of 8 family-friendly favorites, click on each story title to download…if you dare! A Town Named 1234 Night of the Trees The Legend of the Great Texas Wobblefink

  10. 7 Short Campfire Ghost Stories to Make You Scared of the Dark

    Updated June 1, 2021 Getty Images The campfire is crackling while the moon is high, and it's the perfect time for a few short and spooky stories to entertain your crew. The key to making these stories especially effective is delivering them as though they are fact, right to the very end. A little drama doesn't hurt either. Lost in the Woods

  11. 40 Spooky Campfire Stories for Kids Of All Ages

    1 Comment Gather around the campfire and tell a few spooky stories! I've gathered together a bunch of spooky campfire stories for kids of all ages. Some are scary while others are spooky with a little bit of silly! How To Tell A Spooky Story Don't rush. Take your time. Don't be stingy with the pregnant pause. Keep it grounded in reality .

  12. Short Scary Campfire Stories That Inspire Fear In the ...

    Short Scary Campfire Stories That Inspire Fear In the Bravest of Souls Tell these original campfire tales to give your audience the goosebumps. By Allison Freeman Updated April 27, 2023 GoodLifeStudio/E+ via Getty Images Never is the mood more perfect for a scary story than when you're gathered around a firepit or classic campfire.

  13. 19 Best Scary Campfire Story Podcasts On Spotify

    Camping » 19 Best Scary Campfire Story REVIEWED BY CAT MCCORY Sitting around the campfire and need a scary story, but don't know any or not good at telling them? Leave it to the professionals! Below are the best spooky podcasts Spotify has to offer that will creep out your entire crew. 1. Jim Harold's Campfire

  14. Scary and Funny Campfire Stories for Kids

    A spooky campfire story: The Campsite Photo A funny campfire story: The Ghost of Gosforth Park A gently spooky campfire story: A Monster In The Woods A kids' campfire story: The Magic of Friendship: A Pegasus Tale An environmental campfire story: Rex the Waterfall Bear 15 campfire stories to scare, intrigue and entertain!

  15. Slightly Scary Stories To Tell Around the Campfire

    The Whistler In the Woods. Written By: N.M. Fellows. A group of boys were sitting around a campfire telling ghost stories at night, hours after the adults had went to bed in their tents. An older boy had just finished a scary story that left the boys on edge, when they heard a whistle coming from the woods.

  16. Spooky Campfire Stories: Tales to Send Shivers Down Your Spine

    Spooky campfire stories to tell that are sure to send a shiver down your spine! These stories are perfect to tell around a campfire.

  17. Campfire Stories for Kids: Exciting Tales for a Memorable Night

    Time to Tell A Spooky Story. Campfire stories hold a special place in the hearts of children and parents alike. Offering a mix of spookiness, humor and adventure, campfire stories provide an engaging way for families to bond during their outdoor trips. In addition to sparking the imagination, these stories also foster a love for nature, as they ...

  18. 7 Spooky Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

    One boy stayed by the river one night, not believing the stories. La Llorona came to him, grabbed him by the shoulders, saying "My child!". The boy was terrified and said a prayer in his mind. At that moment, La Llorona let go and disappeared through the trees. The boy ran home and told his mother what happened.

  19. Top Seven Kid-Friendly Spooky Campfire Stories

    1. Going on a Bear Hunt This one isn't much of a spooky tale, but it is a fun little fireside chant that can get every child's adrenaline up after a fun and restless day. We wouldn't want the young'uns to be too scared that they won't get to sleep at all, right? A bear just provides the right amount of cuteness and scary factor for younger kids.

  20. 22 Campfire Stories For Kids (That Won't Scare Them Too Much!)

    The Bear Lake Monster. The tale of the " Bear Lake Monste r" originated in Utah. It's an old folktale, and it's one of my absolute favorites to tell around the campfire, because it can be enjoyed by kids of all ages. It won't scare your little ones too much, but it's still a great ghost story for the older kids, too.

  21. Spooky Campfire Stories For Kids

    One of the most unusual stories, this tale revolves around a couple travelling in a carriage, and at nightfall, the couple stop in a beautiful house and they are welcomed with tea and sweets. The couple leaves a fifty-cent coin in gratitude. In a restaurant near the house, the couple tells their story to a stranger about their previous night.

  22. Spooky Campfire Stories: Outdoor Myths And Tales For All Ages

    Spooky Campfire Stories is lightweight, portable entertainment for the entire family. Pick it up before your next trip down the trail. About the Author. Amy Kelley Hoitsma grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where family vacations were spent camping. Today she is a freelance graphic designer.

  23. Spooky Campfire Stories: Outdoor Myths And Tales For All Ages

    Spooky Campfire Stories is lightweight, portable entertainment for the entire family. Pick it up before your next trip down the trail. About the Author. Amy Kelley Hoitsma grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, where family vacations were spent camping. Today she is a freelance graphic designer.

  24. Spooky Games To Pack For Your Camping Trip

    Campfire Stories Everyone gathers around the campfire and shares spooky tales. Give each person in the circle the chance to tell a story to spook the rest.