Creepiest Places in U.S. National Parks

Creepiest Places in U.S. National Parks

These national park locations have mysterious and creepy local legends, historical hauntings, witches, mysterious lights, ghosts, and creepy creatures. Some of these stories sound exciting, but you will not see me trying any of these creepy trails for myself. Hikers and thrill seekers are warned, stay close to the trail or even better, do not test faith by venturing onto these haunted and creepy national park trails.

National Park Creepy Places

  1. Devil’s Den (Gettysburg National Battlefield)

    • The battle of Gettysburg, the bloodiest battle of the Civil War claiming 51,000 casualties. The boulder-strewn hill located at Devil’s Den is the most common place to see ghosts. The most common ghost is the known as "The Hippie" who is a barefoot ghost wearing a floppy hat. "The Hippie" is thought to have been a member of the 1st Texas Infantry. Those who have seen the ghost claim he says "What you’re looking for is over there" while pointing toward Plum Rum. In fact, everyone who has encountered him has stated that he has said the same thing. Devil’s Den is known to cause malfunctions in electrical equipment, but those who have captured a picture of "The Hippie" ghost say that his image does not appear in photos.

  2. Norton Creek Trail (Great Smoky Mountains)

    • The Great Sm0ky Mountains hold many legends but the most terrifying is the Cherokee legend of Spearfinger. Legend says that there was a witch with a long, sharp finger made of stone. The witch would disguise herself as an elderly woman and lure children deeper into the trails. She would then sing them to sleep then use her long, sharp finger to cut out their liver so she may eat it.

    • Another ghost tale is told of a settler who was murdered while looking for his daughter on the north shore of Lake Fontana. Now, lost hikers claim to see a mysterious light which leads them back to safety. To see the light for yourself, you must walk towards the mountains where Spearfinger lived. Use the Norton Creek Trail till you pass several cemeteries, an old roadbed.

  3. Bloody Lane (Antietam National Battlefield)

    • Maryland Park is home to the bloodiest one-day battle (September 17, 1862) in American history. 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or mysteriously missing after the dust settled on the Battle of Antietam. Bloody Lane, a sunken road is said to be haunted by these unfortunate souls. Reports include hearing phantom gunfire, apparitions of Confederate soldiers who quickly vanish, and phantom shouting and singing.

    • Burnside Bridge is another site where many have seen eerie blue balls moving through the air and heard phantom drumbeats. Historians state that many of the fallen soldiers were buried under the Burnside Bridge.

  4. Batona Trail (New Jersey Pinelands)

    • Batona Trail in the New Jersey Pinelands is the old home to the Jersey Devil dating back to the 1700s. The Jersey Devil is said to resemble a kangaroo with bat-like wings, a head shaped like that of a dog adorned with horns, and a forked tail. This creepy creature is in a word, horrifying. The beast prowls the marshes of Southern New Jersey. Many New Jersey residents residing close to the Pinelands claim to hear the devil’s screams late at night. To possibly see this monstrous creature, hike the 49-mile Batona Trail venturing deeper into the creature’s habitat.

  5. Mammoth Cave (Mammoth Cave National Park)

    • Claims totaling over 150 documented paranormal events make the Mammoth Cave "the most haunted natural wonder in the world." Rangers claim to have seen the ghost apparitions of former slave guides who led tours of the Mammoth Caves before the Civil War. Reported sightings of Stephan Bishop is reported the most with the National Park Service website describing him as “one of the greatest explorers Mammoth Cave has ever known.” Bishop is buried nearby in the Old Guide Cemetary. Bishop is most likely to be seen during the Violet City Lantern Tour. This tour is lit only with kerosene lamps.

    • Ghosts are seen of the deceased during the 1800s when Mammoth Cave served as a tuberculosis hospital for a brief time. The Corpse Rock served as a slab of stone used to place the dead before burial. Phantom coughing is reported here frequently.

  6. Star Dune (Great Sand Dunes National Park)

    • Home of Americas tallest sand dunes, Great Sand Dunes National Park. More than 60 UFO sightings were reported here with cattle mutilations reports during the 1970s. The top of the Star Dune, 750-foot tall, is the best place to spot UFOs.

  7. Transept Trail (Grand Canyon)

    • Grand Canyon’s "Wailing Woman" resides on the Transept Trail, near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. Legends says the woman committed suicide in the 1920s when she learned that her husband and son died during a hiking accident. The Wailing Woman wears a white dress with blue flowers printed on them floating along the Transept Trail crying and moaning.

  8. Grouse Lake (Yosemite National Park)

    • Native American folklore tells of a boy who calls to nearby travelers for help in Yosemite’s Grouse Lake via the Chilnualna Falls Trail. Unsuspecting hikers falling for the trick are pulled into the lake to drown and die just as the boy did.

    • Miwok Indians have another story where they say that the Yosemite’s waterfalls are also haunted by a malevolent entity, an evil wind spirit named Po-ho-no. It will entice people to the very edge of the falls where it will then push them over the waterfalls’ edge. A recent occurrence of a mysterious death at the Yosemite’s Vernal Falls was in 2011 where three hikers plunged to their deaths.