There are tons of ‘haunted trails’ out there that you can visit this Halloween. We’ve all heard of the best places to hike if you want to get freaked out; from the Great Smoky Mountains, to the Sasquatch sightings of Washington, to various lakes where children have supposedly died and their spirit still exists. While ghost trails can be scary, so can hiking in itself. Case and point; if you’re terrified of a little haunted trail, then why not be scared of what hikers face each and every time they head outdoors?
Trails Can Be Dark and Lonely
For solo hikers, or even those backpacking with a friend, being outdoors without anyone around can be incredibly freaky. Sleeping in a tent in the middle of nowhere with the wide open back country surrounding you, will leave your mind wandering about what could be lurking in the night. There have been stories of backpackers having their worst fears come to life in a matter of seconds. The unknown of what’s surrounding you (or not surrounding you), can be nerve-wracking for anyone.
There Are Other Hikers
Although being alone on the trail can be scary, it can be just scary when there’s people around you that you don’t know. We’d like to think that most backpackers are kind and normal, but unfortunately there are some hikers out there with ulterior motives. Backpackers, especially females, need to constantly be aware of their surroundings. Dangerous people can be found anywhere, and you don’t want to come across them at night when you’re sleeping in your tent, or when you’re too far away from civilization for anyone to hear you or help you.
There’s Bears and Other Dangerous Animals
While seeing a ghost or hearing voices is certainly nail-biting, these things are often harmless. However, one thing you can’t always avoid while hiking is the presence of bears, mountain lions, bats, snakes, coyotes, and poisonous insects which are all fair game when out on the trail. Plenty of hikers have had the misfortune of experiencing an encounter with some of nature’s biggest creatures, and they haven’t always ended well. We’ll take apparitions over that any day, thank you.
Anything Can Happen
When out in the wilderness for days, absolutely anything can happen. You can fall and break a bone, you could get a deep cut, you could be attacked by an animal, or be in the midst of a dangerous force of nature. There’s absolutely no way to fully prepare for any of these, and the unpredictability can be really frightening. While on a haunted trail you might be expecting something to happen, the reality is that hiking in general can be so unexpected, sometimes in the scariest ways possible.
You Can Be Miles Away From Any Help
If you really love getting out deep into the back country, that means you’ll most likely be very far away from help stations or a cell phone signal. Being brave enough to head out on a trip like that means that you are fully prepared to handle any danger that comes your way. You can’t rely on 911 if an emergency happens. You have to be able to keep it together until you can reach help, or manage the situation completely on your own. Haunted trails are typically shorter, or at least centered around one area. Around Halloween, they’ll be more crowded with adventurous hikers who can help, while you might be in a remote area miles away from civilization.
You Can Be Very High Up Above the Ground
Those with fear of heights don’t need a haunted trail to spook them. Hiking up to summits or reaching high cliffs is enough to give anyone goosebumps; even those who have done it over and over again. And guess what? If you fall off, there’s usually a good chance it could lead to your death. While many haunted hikes explore trails with stories of people falling or jumping off cliffs, you definitely don’t want to be the center of the next urban legend of the trail you’re currently on. Peaks are a scary thing, any time of the year.
Mother Nature is Unpredictable
Halloween is a nice time of the year to hike, that’s for sure. The weather is cool, but not too cold, the air is brisk, the fall leaves are changing colors, and there’s a certain feeling in the air that you just don’t get other times of the year. October in general is a fairly calm month to hike, as far as weather goes. It’s other times of the year where Mother Nature can surprise you. Flash floods, avalanches, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, rocks eroding and falling, cracks in the earth; that can happen anywhere, anytime, and when you least expect it.
So, when you head out to get a thrill from one of the many haunted hikes this Halloween, just remember one thing: Hiking is scary all year round. That being said, don’t let it stop you from doing it!