Being a park ranger may seem like a really cool job. After all, tending to North America’s stunning national parks in serenity and seclusion is definitely a more attractive prospect than getting stuck in mile-long tailbacks during your commute or spending eight hours cooped up in a cubicle. But that time out in the wilderness isn’t always as peaceful as it sounds. In fact, park rangers sometimes have some seriously eerie encounters – ones that take place far from the comforts of the big city, too. And these 20 unsettling tales – from chilling hauntings to perilous run-ins with predators – may make you think twice about ever switching career.
20. Follow the wood carvings
When a crowd of young people went missing from a camping trip, the two rangers tasked with tracking the group found themselves in a situation that’s guaranteed to give you nightmares. You see, the park employees didn’t spot any footsteps on the trail. Instead – and a good 20 miles deep into the forest, they came across spears crafted from sticks, strangely etched trees and even a kid’s toy suspended from a noose.