Camping and telling ghost stories around the camp fire go hand in hand. Why not spend this Halloween telling stories surrounded by ghouls in their own haunts? We have gathered up some notoriously haunted free camping locations along with some not so spooky but fun places for you to enjoy. If you know of any we haven’t mentioned please tell us about them by posting in the comment section below.
Witch Dance – Natchez Trace, Tupelo, Mississippi
“The old folks tell tales of a coven of witches who once gathered on this very spot to dance. Whenever their feet touched the ground the grass withered and died….to never grow there again. Impossible? — maybe so, but look around for a hidden spot where no grass grows”
They must have practiced some strong magic because those spots are still visible to this day. Or perhaps, they still dance there from time to time.
This area is also the staging area for the Witch Dance horse trail on the Tombigbee National Forest.
Bicyclist are allowed to tent camp at camping areas near the marker free of charge. This campground has restrooms, picnic tables, fire rings, fire grates, and drinking water (April through October). Water is available in the restrooms during the winter months when the outdoor water may be turned off.
The rest of us can stay at Jeff Busby on mile marker 193.1. It is a free campground with 18 campsites, centralized water spigots, vault toilets, hiking trails, a payphone, tables, fire rings and more.
Another option is an overnight stay at Paynatha Trail Head. It is just a few miles away but should not be utilized as a campground. If you do camp there, only stay for one night and, if there are already two RVs there, do not camp there.
A Haunted Homestead Hike – Grants, New Mexico.
This Sunday, head out to BLM managed El Malpais NCA haunted homestead hike. This guided five-mile round-trip adventure will take you from modern times to the bygone pioneer days.
The hike is free of charge. Drinking water will not be available so make sure to take plenty along with you. Bring a picnic lunch to eat at the homestead. The trail to the Armijo Homestead is sandy and meanders though junipers and pinyons as you venture deep into the Cebolla Wilderness. You should bring sunblock and sturdy hiking shoes. The weather promises to be excellent, but you should dress in layers to prepare for changing weather.
Free camping is available nearby at the Joe Skeen Campground. There should be plenty of time to set up camp after the hike. It is scheduled to end before 2pm. Well before 2pm.
Everyone interested in this spooky adventure should arrive at the Ranger Station (located nine miles south of I-40/Exit 89) at 9 am. Once there, everyone will carpool to the trail head as high clearance vehicles are recommended.
Contact the BLM’s office at 505-280-2918 for more info.
The Lizard Man – Bishopsville, South Carolina
Legend has it that in the fields and swamps around Lee County, South Carolina lurks a seriously scary, seven feet tall lizard. He is well built, covered in dark hair with scaly lizard like skin on hands, feet and face. The reptoid is said to have three toes on each foot and three fingers on each hand which end in a circular pads that stick to walls. The creature has an incredible degree of strength, more than capable of ripping into a car. It might have a tail.
Christopher Davis, a 17 year old local, who said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 AM on June 29, 1988 said “I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off.”
Lee State Natural Area offers inexpensive camping within the fiendish reptile’s territory. The campsites have both water and 30amp electrical hookups and can accommodate RVs up to 36′ long for only $12/night. For those brave enough to enter the marsh, there are two 1-mile hiking trails. If you want to go even deeper, there is a 7-mile equestrian-only loop and a 5-mile loop (road), which is open to equestrians, hikers, bikers, and motorized vehicles.
Virginia Is For Ghosts – George Washington National Forest, Virginia
There are numerous locations within the George Washington National Forest that are said to be haunted. In fact more of it is supposed to be frequented by ghosts than not. Braley’s Pond is one of the best known camping spots to see a spook.
On May 22; 2003, a brutal gang murder occurred near Braley’s Pond. The forest was also the scene of a suicide. The group investigated the area in July 2006.
Willis investigated the area with a group independent from the SVPS in the fall of 2003 prior to this investigation. She says that it was the scariest investigation she’s ever conducted. “Something came home with me that night,” she says. “I was basically haunted and it went on for weeks and months at a time.” Willis described the haunting as someone or something touching her.
“It felt like slime,” she says. “And I could feel it moving around on my skin.” Willis says that the other people that accompanied her that night were also affected, but in different ways: “One of the girls in the group tried to commit suicide the same night that we investigated the area,” she says.
– Shenandoah Valley Paranormal Society
Another chill seeker shared their paranormal encounter at Braley’s Pond. “Go to the picnic area. From time to time a spirit hovers over the small run that flows next to the campsites. Also if you hike around the pond and stay on the rugged trail that leads up the mountain, about a half mile or so up the trail I heard the sound of a horse walking and neighing also children’s voices were heard.”
The free camping area has picnic tables, fire rings, and vault restrooms. The sites are wooded. There are numerous hiking and biking trails in the area. The pond is stocked with Rainbow Trout.
For You Overnighters, Nationwide.
Bass Pro Shops has tons of free fun for you and your road tripping family. There will be crafts, trick or treating, costume parades and more. See the banner to the right for more details. Use their store locator to find a location near you.
While most Bass Pro locations are happy to accommodate the overnight RVer, not all are able to. Please be respectful of their policies. Do not set up camp (awnings, chairs, etc.) and do not stay longer than one night.