Ghosts of Yosemite

Just in time for Halloween, scary national park stories rise from the grave

National parks usually inspire us with their untrammeled beauty and expansive wilderness spaces, but sometimes the silence and solitude we crave can turn downright creepy. Andrea Lankford compiles the best scary stories from North America's national parks in Haunted Hikes: Spine-Tingling Tales and Trails from North America's National Parks.

Over at the National Parks Traveler blog, she shares a bone-chiller from Yosemite's first park ranger Galen Clark, who heard what sounded like a dog's wail near the small alpine tarn Grouse Lake. A group of Indians assured him the sound was no dog:

“They replied that it was not a dog—that a long time ago an Indian boy had been drowned in the lake, and that every time anyone passed there he always cried after them, and no one dared go into the lake, for (the boy) would catch them by the legs and pull them down and they would be drowned. I then concluded that it must have been some unseen waterfowl that made that cry, and at that time I thought that the Indians were trying to impose on my credulity, but I am now convinced they fully believed the story they told me.”

Wooooooooo! Do you have your own creepy camping or boo-filled backcountry tale? Make sure and share it with us. If you don't, you better hurry up and learn how to craft the perfect scary story, and for good measure, check out one of the scariest for inspiration.

—Ted Alvarez

First Park Ranger Hears Crying Ghost