BY Nick Bulanda
Published February 18, 2019
Camping is an American past time. As of late, camping is on the rise amongst millennials. Furthermore, camping is an absolutely wonderful activity for familial bonding. Long trips away from society and technology are great. But, a fun camping experience rests beyond simply buying the right camping gear. Instead, you need the greatest campfire stories. That way, you can gather every around the fire in their camping chairs for late night fun.
Bloody Mary is arguably the most iconic scary story of all-time. This scary story stands across multiple generations. Especially when it comes to campfire scenarios. Simply put, this story revolves around the titular character Bloody Mary. If you stand in front of a mirror in a dark room and chant Bloody Mary three times. Legend says that Bloody Mary herself will appear in the mirror. She stares right back at you. In some cases, legend says she climbs out of the mirror and attacks. Sure, this is a ghost story. But, it will scare kids into never saying Bloody Mary in front of any mirror!
This is a simple story to tell. Two teenagers are out on a date. They stop at Lover’s Lane. The boyfriend turns on the radio to set the mood. This leads to a breaking news story. A crazy killer is on the loose. He is armed and dangerous with his hook-arm after escaping from a local asylum. The girlfriend is scared but the boyfriend is not. He promises they are okay. They lock the car doors. While kissing, they both hear scraping on the outside the door. This makes the girlfriend uncomfortable but does not bother the boyfriend. The girlfriend insists they leave. Eventually, they do. They arrive at home. They notice something hanging from the door handle….a blood-covered steel hook!
Don’t Turn On The Light
Now, this is one of the bloodier stories on this list. It involves two college roommates taking the same class. The next morning is a big midterm. One roommate, Ashley, wants to stay inside and study. The other roommate, Sarah, wants to go out with a stud from the basketball team. As a result, Ashley is left alone to study. Sarah does not come home until late. When she does, the lights are off and Ashley is asleep. Sarah is considerate. She leaves the lights off and goes to bed so she does not bother her friend. Next morning, Sarah notices Ashley is still sleeping. She tries to wake her to avoid being late. But her body is stiff in the bed is covered with blood. On the wall above are words spattered in blood, “Aren’t You Glad You Didn’t Turn On The Light?!”
Babysitter Prank Calls
There is no blood in the story. It involves a babysitter and a big empty house. The babysitter has been babysitting this family for a long time. One night, she receives mysterious phone calls from a scary prankster. The scary prankster calls her repeatedly. Each time, the babysitter grows more scared. Especially the prankster becomes more aggressive. The person in question says he can see the babysitter at all times. Eventually, the babysitter dial 911 for help. Police trace the phone calls back into the home…Inside they find the prankster with a knife. He is a deranged serial killer on the loose.
This is a great story for any kid afraid of a clown. A woman is hired to house sit for a family. They are on vacation out of the state. At night, she tries to sleep in the guest bedroom. But, she notices a life-sized and creepy clown statue in the corner of the room. She attempts to ignore it. However, it is too scary. She calls the family and asks to sleep and the parent’s bedroom. “Why?” the owner asks. She notes that there is an uncomfortable and creepy clown statue in the room. There is a slight pause. “Get out of the house right now. Says the owner. “We don’t own a clown statue!”
This is another kid-friendly option. Post, it is one of the most famous and greatest campfire stories. A couple is on a Long road trip. Late at night, they spot a young girl hitchhiking. Out of concern, they stop and pick her up. She is grateful for their help. The young hitchhiker gives them a nearby address. So they begin to Driver home. They make conversation and the girl is very polite. However, after a short period of time, she is silent. The driver asks if they are getting close to her house. There is no response. They turn and look to see the girl has vanished. She is gone. The couple decides to visit the address anyways. They find an old couple living at the address. They do not know of any hitchhiker. But, their own daughter was killed in a car accident just a few miles of the road many years ago…
This is another one of the famous campfire stories. A young woman drives home late at night from her friends. The road is empty except for her. A truck pulls up close behind her. She waits for the truck to go around the impasse. But it does not. Instead, the truck tails her. All the while, the truck flashes its high beams. She speeds up to trying to avoid a truck. No matter what, the truck stays right behind her flashing the high beams every couple minutes. This scares the young woman. She speeds into her driveway. She attempts to jump out of the car and run inside. However, the truck driver is already out of this truck walking over to her car. He points the gun at the car and shoots. But, the bullet does not hit her. Instead, it hits a man in her back seat. She turns to notice a scary man and her backseat with a giant knife. The truck driver explains he noticed this man in her back seat. Each high beam flash was a signal for the man trying to attack.
The Red Spot
Another one of the greatest campfire stories that taps directly into a strong fear. A fear of spiders. A young girl moves into a new house with her family. This house is old with a bunch of cobwebs. One morning, the girl notices a red spot on her face. Her mom insists it is nothing but a minor spider bite. Eventually, the red spot becomes a boil. The mom says to not worry. Two days later, the boil is absolutely huge. But, the doctor appointment is not until the next day. The girl lays in the bathtub for a calming bath. Warm water soaks on the boil. Suddenly, the boil bursts open. A swarm of spiders comes from the tiny eggs by their mother inside of the girl’s cheek…
Legend says standing on a grave is dangerous. “Never stand on a grave after dark”, one boy says. “The person inside can grab you and drag you right under.”
“That’s just not true,” said one of the girls. “That is a myth.”
The boy bets a dollar the girl won’t do it. The girl has no fear. She accepts. She receives a knife. “Put the knife in the grave. That way, we know you are not lying.”
She goes to the graveyard alone. She picks a grave and stands there. Then, she stabs the knife into the ground. She turns to leave. But, she cannot move. She screams for help. “Something has me!” The girl never came home.
The next day, the boy and friends go to the grave. Her body lay across the grave. The girl accidentally stabbed the knife into her own dress, pinning it to the ground. Nothing actually grabbed her. She died of fright.
This is one of the funnier camp stories. After all, not all of the greatest campfire stories should be terrifying. Tell it from the first person perspective as follows:
We were at a traveling carnival. My wife and I went to a palm reader. The fortune teller grabbed my hand and look at me all weird. She said that I was once a dog in my previous life. But, my owner treated me poorly. The owner left me outside on a leash. The heavy chain broke my collar bone as I tried to escape. I even have a bump in my collar bone. Here, touch it.
Have one kid reach out to touch your collar bone. Pretend to bite and bark when they do.
Last Words On The Greatest Campfire Stories
Remember one rule over anything else. A story is broken into two different parts: the setup and the delivery. Build up the story then deliver on the punch line. That is the key to telling a great story at the campfire. Look back over each story for a great campfire tale! That way, you become a camping legend among your kids and their friends.