There is so much to love in the beauty of nature, but everything has a dark side. It's easy to get caught up in majestic views and serene vistas without ever realizing what has happened in that place - or what continues to happen.
So grab your flashlight, pop the cap on your holy water, and get ready for plenty of clichéd "if you dare" references.
Slaughter Gap, GA
Slaughter Gap rests between the mountain of the same name and Blood Mountain in North Georgia. If the names weren't enough to give you chills, perhaps the backstory will.
Long ago, a horrible battle was fought at the gap between the Creek and Cherokee tribes. The Cherokee considered Blood Mountain sacred, and both were fighting for resources. Many lives were lost, and both tribes were devastated.
So it's no surprise that strange occurrences are common here. Some say that you can hear drumbeats that seem to be without a source. Others have reported strange creatures, from Big Foot to terrifying mutations. Even the tribes themselves believed in a mysterious race of drumming people.
One thing is for sure: most of the reports are said to occur at night. And yes, several of the area trails are open for hiking after sunset. If you manage to survive a night hike to the top of Blood Mountain during a full moon, you will be greeted by a silver glow covering the surrounding mountains. If you'd rather not hike back down in the dark, you can spend the night at the Blood Mountain shelter...if you dare.
Arkansas River Hiking Trails in Pueblo, CO
Sometimes, it's what you can't see that scares you most. Hikers frequently report a strange feeling of unease while hiking along the Arkansas River in Pueblo. They can't quite explain why, but the feeling is especially potent when hiking alone. So just what could cause this terrible sensation in such a serene place?
The area is a former home to many Indian burial grounds that have since been unearthed. Other tragedies have occurred in the years since.
DeForest Park of Long Beach, CA
DeForest Park started out innocently enough. The city of Long Beach bought 15 acres to preserve local green space and give residents an outdoor escape. And, it worked; you'll often find families here enjoying a variety of outdoor activities together. But if you visit at the right time, you just might also find something else.
It typically begins after the sun sets. This is when (according to locals), you may feel the presence of someone following you. Temperatures will drop unexpectedly. Then, a breeze blows in, seemingly carrying whispers with it.
Then, things get a little weird. Some report seeing shadow creatures lurking around. Others have described a very specific creature that partially looks like a woman who passed away and came back as...something else. Still others mention children's laughter when there are no children around.
The nature trail is only open dawn to dusk, so enter after dark at your own risk.
Glastenbury Mountain in Bennington County, VT
Vermont's infamous Bennington Triangle has long been home to scary encounters and mysterious disappearances. At the heart of its seemingly paranormal nature is Glastenbury Mountain.
Once again, Native American lure and burial grounds play an important role here. Ancient tribes believed the mountain was cursed and only used it for burials. Historians aren't sure why they believed it was curse, but many hikers believe they have found the answer.
According to some, hiking a certain length will bring you to a seemingly unfinished trail. Other than plants, there is no sign of life at the trail's end. No animals, no critters, and certainly no other people. Just an eerie stillness in the middle of no where.
Those are the benign claims. Other hikers, and lots of them, have reported an unusual number of strange sightings. Bigfoot is believed to roam the area, and tales of a man-eating rock (of all things) continue to spook hikers. Obviously, ghost sightings are also common in the area.
Moving beyond legends, another plight of the Bennington Triangle keeps visitors on edge; an unusual number of disappearances have plagued the region. Most of these disappearances happened decades ago, yet many of the cases remain unsolved. Even worse, many of those who went missing were visiting with groups. Obviously, foul play and animals attacks would've been easy to spot.
It's no wonder that only a few residents remain in the Glastenbury Ghost Town.
YOUR Favorite Creepy Destinations
We get it; there are plenty of other spooky outdoor destinations to explore this Halloween season that weren't mentioned. You probably thought "This place should have been included!" If so, we invite you to share your favorite creepy places and experiences below.