The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire – Great Short Stories to Spook Your Friends and Family!

The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire
The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

Gathering around a campfire with friends or family can be an unforgettable experience, especially when sharing spine-tingling ghost stories that make your skin crawl. 

Ghost stories have been told around campfires for generations, with each one adding a new layer of mystery and intrigue to the art of storytelling.

In this blog post, we’ve compiled a list of the top five ghost stories (along with a bonus) that will send shivers down your spine and leave you feeling haunted long after the campfire embers have died. 

We also have included some tips to help you become the best spooky storyteller possible.

These stories are perfect for sharing with friends or family during a camping trip or any other outdoor adventure. So, grab a marshmallow, settle in, and get ready to be transported to a world of ghostly encounters and supernatural phenomena.

Table of Contents

1. The Whistling Man – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This story is about a whistling man who is heard walking through the campground at night, but campers find a surprise when they investigate.

The Whistling Man was a legend whispered amongst the campers in the secluded forest campground. Every night, just as the moon was rising, they could hear the faint sound of a man whistling a strange tune as he walked through the trees.

At first, the campers tried to ignore it, telling themselves that their imagination was playing tricks on them. But as the whistling grew louder and more persistent, they knew something was amiss.

One night, a group of campers decided to follow the sound of the whistling, determined to find out once and for all who or what was making the eerie noise. They crept through the campground, their footsteps silent on the dirt path, their eyes trained on the trees.

As they got closer to the source of the whistling, their hearts began to race. They could hear leaves rustling and twigs snapping like someone or something was moving through the woods just ahead of them.

Finally, they reached the clearing where the whistling came from, and their blood ran cold. Standing in the moonlight, there was a man whistling softly to himself as he looked up at the sky.

But there was something off about him. His skin was as pale as the moon, and his eyes glowed like embers in the darkness. As the campers watched in horror, the man turned his head and looked directly at them, a wicked grin spreading across his face.

At that moment, the campers knew that they had stumbled upon something truly sinister. They turned and ran as fast as they could, their hearts pounding in their chests. But no matter how fast they ran, they could still hear the whistling man’s tune echoing through the woods behind them.

As the campers fled from the clearing, they could hear the Whistling Man’s footsteps pounding behind them. The man’s whistling grew louder and more frenzied as he closed in on them.

They ran faster, but their pursuer seemed to be gaining on them. Panic set in as they realized they might be unable to outrun the Whistling Man. They had to find a way to escape.

Suddenly, one of the campers remembered an old legend about a hidden cave in the woods. The cave was said to protect those who sought refuge there. With no other options left, the campers made a desperate dash towards the cave, hoping the legend was true.

As they neared the entrance to the cave, the Whistling Man let out a blood-curdling scream that echoed through the trees.

The campers stumbled into the cave and collapsed against the wall, gasping for air. They could still hear the Whistling Man outside, pacing back and forth before the cave entrance.

Just when they thought all hope was lost, the sound of the Whistling Man abruptly stopped. There was a moment of eerie silence, broken only by the campers’ heavy breathing.

Then, they heard the sound of footsteps slowly fading away into the distance. The Whistling Man was gone.

The campers stayed huddled in the cave for the rest of the night, too scared to venture back out into the woods. As the first rays of morning light began to filter into the cave, they cautiously made their way back to their campsite.

But when they emerged from the woods, they found that something was different. The air felt heavy and charged with otherworldly energy. The birds had stopped singing, and the trees had an unnatural stillness about them.

As they returned to their tents, they saw that their belongings had been scattered and torn apart. It was as if something had ransacked their campsite in the night.

The campers never spoke of what happened in the woods that night but never forgot it. They knew that they had come face to face with something ancient and malevolent, something that was still out there, waiting for its next victim.

2. The Ghost Dog – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This tells the story of a ghostly dog who appears in the campground and leads campers to a long-buried treasure.

It was the last summer weekend, and a group of friends had decided to go camping in the mountains. They had set up their tents and built a campfire, ready for a weekend of adventure and relaxation. As night fell, they sat around the fire, telling ghost stories and roasting marshmallows.

Suddenly, a low, mournful howl pierced the silence. The campers jumped in surprise, looking around for the source of the sound. That’s when they saw it: a ghostly dog, with eyes that glowed in the darkness, staring at them from the edge of the campsite.

The campers were spooked, but they couldn’t help feeling drawn to the dog. It seemed to be trying to tell them something, beckoning them to follow. Intrigued, the campers followed the dog as it led them deep into the forest.

After a long hike, the dog stopped at the base of an old oak tree. The campers looked around, but they couldn’t see anything unusual. That’s when they noticed the dog digging frantically at the tree’s roots.

Curious, the campers began to help the dog, digging away the dirt and leaves until they uncovered an old wooden chest. Inside the chest was a treasure trove of gold coins, jewelry, and other valuable items.

The campers were thrilled with their discovery, but they couldn’t help but wonder: why had the ghost dog led them here? Was it a coincidence, or was there more to the story?

As they headed back to their campsite, the ghost dog followed closely behind them, its eyes never leaving the treasure chest. The campers were amazed to see the dog disappear as they reached the edge of the campsite as if it had accomplished its mission and was no longer needed.

Over the next few days, the campers enjoyed their newfound riches but couldn’t shake the feeling that they were being watched. They often heard the sound of paws padding around their campsite at night, and they occasionally caught glimpses of the ghost dog out of the corner of their eye.

One night, as they sat around the campfire, the ghost dog appeared again. This time, however, it was not alone. Several other ghostly animals, including a cat, a bird, and a rabbit, joined the dog.

The animals didn’t seem threatening, but the campers were unnerved. Suddenly, they realized that the animals were trying to communicate with them, and they grew increasingly restless. 

The ghost animals circled around the campers, their eyes trained on the woods around them. Suddenly, one of the animals let out a howl, and the campers looked up to see a group of ghostly spirits slowly emerging from the trees.

The spirits were angry and vengeful, and the campers could tell they were after the treasure the group had uncovered. They packed up what they could of their campsite as fast as possible, but the spirits were close around them, howling and screaming with fury.

As they tried to leave, they realized that they were trapped. The spirits had formed a ring around their campsite, and there was no way out.

Panic set in as the spirits closed in, but the ghost animals sprang into action. They darted in and out of the spirits, biting and scratching them, creating a distraction that allowed the campers to slip away unnoticed.

As they ran for their lives, the campers could hear the sounds of battle behind them, the ghost animals fighting fiercely to keep the spirits at bay. They ran through the woods, hearts pounding, until they stumbled upon a ranger station, where they collapsed in exhaustion.

The old ranger listened to their story with interest and told them that they had uncovered an ancient treasure guarded by powerful spirits. 

He warned them, “You all were extremely lucky to have escaped with your lives.”

His eyes quickly darted to the treasure box that one of the group members held, and he said in a low voice, “I have already given my life to these woods. If you would like any semblance of a normal life after you leave here, I suggest you leave that box with me.”

The campers left the ranger station, they looked back in time to see that the clearing that it had been in was now completely empty. They were very shaken but grateful for the ghost animals and ranger that had saved their lives. 

As they drove away from the mountains, they couldn’t help but feel that they had stumbled upon something truly remarkable and terrifying, something that would stay with them for the rest of their lives.

3. The Uninvited Guest – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This is a story about campers who return to their tent to find an uninvited guest sleeping in their sleeping bag.

​​It was supposed to be a peaceful weekend camping trip, but as a group of friends returned to their tent after a long day of hiking, they were met with an unwelcome surprise.

There, in the middle of their tent, was a stranger sound asleep in one of their sleeping bags. The group froze, unsure of what to do next. They had no idea who this person was or how they had managed to sneak into their campsite unnoticed.

As they stood there, the stranger began to stir, slowly awakening from their slumber. The campers watched in horror as the stranger sat up, their face hidden in the shadows of the tent.

“Who are you? What are you doing here?” one of the campers finally managed to ask.

The stranger didn’t answer at first, but then they slowly lifted their head to reveal a face that was twisted in a grotesque smile. The campers gasped in terror, realizing that this was no ordinary person.

The stranger began to speak in a low, menacing voice, telling the campers that they had trespassed on sacred ground and that they would pay the price for their intrusion. The campers tried to run, but the stranger was too quick, and soon they found themselves trapped in the tent with their uninvited guest.

He warned them through gritted teeth, “This tent is the only safe place for you all tonight, lest you desire a fate worse than death.

The uninvited guest then disappeared into thin air with the same twisted smile.

As the night wore on, the campers could hear strange noises coming from outside the tent. Branches snapped, and leaves rustled as something large moved through the forest. The campers huddled together, their eyes fixed on the tent’s entrance as they waited for whatever was out there to make its move.

Suddenly, they heard a low growling sound, followed by a loud thump against the side of the tent. The fabric rippled and shook, and the campers knew they were in grave danger.

In a panic, they tried to escape, but the tent’s entrance was blocked by a shadowy figure towering over them with glowing eyes. It was the uninvited guest, and they were not alone.

The campers screamed as the creature began to tear at the tent’s fabric, clawing its way inside. They were trapped, with nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

The creature continued to shred the fabric more slowly and eventually ceased as the sun began to rise on the horizon. The campers finally managed to escape their tent and flee into the safety of the daylight. 

They knew they had narrowly escaped a fate worse than death, and they would never forget the uninvited guest who had invaded their campsite. From that day forward, they vowed never to camp in those woods again, knowing that the darkness that lurked there was too terrifying to face again.

4. The Faceless Woman – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This story is about a woman with no face who appears in a group photo taken on a camping trip, but no one remembers seeing her there.

It was the annual camping trip for a group of college friends who had been getting together every summer for the past decade. They had all gathered around the campfire, reminiscing about old times and catching up on each other’s lives.

As the night wore on, they decided to take a group photo to remember the occasion. They posed together, smiling and laughing, and the camera clicked.

It wasn’t until they returned home and started looking through the photos that they noticed something strange. In the group photo, there was a woman standing in the back, but she had no face.

Puzzled, the group tried to remember if there was anyone else on the camping trip that they had forgotten about. But they couldn’t recall anyone fitting the woman’s description.

They looked through all of their photos, but the woman only appeared in the one group shot. They even went so far as to contact the park rangers and check with nearby campsites to see if anyone had seen or heard anything unusual, but there was no sign of the faceless woman.

As time passed, the group became increasingly unnerved by the mysterious woman in the photo. They couldn’t explain how she had ended up in the picture, and the fact that they couldn’t remember seeing her there only added to the unease.

One by one, the friends started experiencing strange occurrences. They would wake up in the middle of the night to find the woman standing at the foot of their beds, watching them with empty eyes. They would hear her whispering in their ears, even when no one else was around.

On their next annual camping trip, the group decided to hold a seance to try and communicate with the faceless woman. They lit candles, sat in a circle, and called out to the spirit world.

At first, nothing happened. But then, they heard a soft whispering, and the candles flickered. Suddenly, the faceless woman appeared before them, her featureless face staring out into the darkness.

The group sat in stunned silence as the woman spoke to them, her voice soft and sad. She explained that she had been a hiker who had gotten lost in the woods years ago. No one had ever found her body, and she had been wandering the forest ever since, unable to find her way back to the world of the living.

Nobody before had ever paid any mind to her until this group came along. She needed their help; she needed closure.

The group listened in rapt attention as the woman told her story, and when she was finished, they said a prayer for her and promised never to forget her.

As they packed up their belongings and prepared to leave the campsite, the group felt a sense of peace. They had finally solved the mystery of the faceless woman and had helped put her spirit to rest. 

However, they would never forget their strange and unsettling encounter on that camping trip and always wonder what other secrets the forest held.

5. The Crying Baby – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This story is about how campers hear the sound of a crying baby coming from the woods in the dead of the night, but when they go to investigate, there is no one there.

A group of friends had been looking forward to their annual camping trip for months. They had pitched their tents in a clearing in the woods, built a fire, and settled in for a night of fun and relaxation.

But as the night wore on, something strange began to happen. They heard the sound of a baby crying in the distance, coming from the dark depths of the forest. At first, they thought it was just an animal, but the cries grew louder and more desperate, and it became clear that it was a human baby crying.

Filled with concern, the group of campers decided to investigate. They grabbed their flashlights and set off into the woods, following the sound of the crying.

As they walked deeper into the forest, the crying grew louder and more persistent. They stumbled over roots and dodged branches, trying to get closer to the source of the sound.

Finally, they reached a clearing, and the crying stopped abruptly. They looked around, shining their flashlights, but there was no sign of a baby or anyone else in the vicinity.

Feeling spooked and unnerved, the group decided to head back to their campsite. But as they retraced their steps, they heard the crying again, faintly at first but growing louder and more desperate by the second.

This time, they realized that the crying wasn’t coming from the woods but from their own campsite. They ran back as fast as they could, their hearts pounding in their chests.

When they arrived back at their campsite, they found that their tent was surrounded by a thick fog, and the crying was coming from inside. They hesitated but then approached the tent, slowly unzipping the flap.

What they found inside the tent was something they would never forget. There was no baby; instead, they saw a ghostly figure of a woman, rocking back and forth, cradling an empty crib. She was weeping softly, and the crying they had heard was coming from her.

As they stared in disbelief, the woman looked up and fixed her gaze on them. Her eyes were dark and hollow, and her face twisted in an expression of pain and sorrow.

The group was paralyzed with fear, but just as quickly as this woman had appeared, she disappeared back into the fog. Only the sound of soft weeping was left to dissipate into the woods.

The group of friends couldn’t shake the image of the ghostly woman from their minds, but they were simply exhausted. They were all relieved to return to what they thought was their campsite.

They said their “goodnights” and quickly dove into their tents, seeking sleep refuge from the terror they had just witnessed.

But something felt off as they lay there, trying to calm their nerves. The campsite seemed unfamiliar, and they couldn’t shake the feeling that they were in the wrong place. Suddenly, one of the campers remembered a landmark they had passed earlier, and they realized with horror that they had accidentally stumbled upon someone else’s campsite.

They quickly packed up their things, were determined to leave before they were caught trespassing, and set off into the woods again. Their hearts were still racing, and the memory of the ghostly woman lingered in their minds.

Finally, after what felt like hours of wandering, they stumbled upon their own campsite, relieved to finally be in a familiar place. They spent the rest of the night huddled together around the fire, too afraid to sleep or venture into the woods again.

As they packed up the next morning and returned home, the group couldn’t shake the feeling that they had stumbled upon something truly terrifying in the woods. They were all haunted by the memory of the crying baby and the ghostly woman, and they knew they would never forget what they had seen.

In the following days and weeks, the group tried to make sense of their experience. They researched the area’s history, trying to find any clues that might explain what they had seen. And finally, they discovered the truth.

It turned out that the woods they had been camping in had a dark and tragic past. Many years ago, a woman had lost her baby in the woods, and her grief had driven her to madness. She had wandered the woods for years, searching for her lost child, until she died in the woods and was buried under a great oak tree. Her spirit has remained there ever since.

The group realized with a chill that they had stumbled upon the woman’s haunting grounds and that they had been lucky to escape with their lives. They knew that they would never forget what they had seen and that they would always be haunted by her hollow eyes and grief-stricken face.

A Bonus Story for Roadtrips: The Vanishing Hitchhiker – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

This is the story of a driver who picks up a hitchhiker on a deserted road, only to have the hitchhiker vanish without a trace.

It was a dark and stormy night when Sarah was driving home from a long day at work. As she drove down the deserted road, she saw a figure on the side of the road, waving for her to stop. Feeling sorry for the poor soul caught in the rain, Sarah slowed down and pulled over.

“Where are you headed?” Sarah asked as the hitchhiker got into her car, soaking wet.

“Just down the road,” the hitchhiker replied, giving Sarah a strange look.

As Sarah drove, she tried to make small talk with the hitchhiker, but the stranger remained quiet, staring out into the darkness. After a few minutes, Sarah noticed that the hitchhiker had vanished without a trace.

Confused and scared, Sarah pulled over and got out of her car to look around. She searched the area, but there was no sign of the hitchhiker. She even checked the back seat of her car again, but it was completely empty.

Feeling uneasy, Sarah got back in her car and drove off. As she drove, she saw the hitchhiker again, standing on the side of the road, waving for her to stop. Sarah’s heart raced as she pulled over once more, wondering how the hitchhiker had reappeared so quickly.

This time, the hitchhiker got into the car without saying a word. Sarah started to drive again, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that something was off. Suddenly, the hitchhiker began to laugh, a low and menacing cackle that made Sarah’s blood run cold.

As Sarah turned to face the hitchhiker, she found that the stranger had vanished once again. But this time, the laughter lingered, echoing through the car as Sarah sped away, terrified and alone on the deserted road. 

Shaken and confused, Sarah continued driving, trying to make sense of what had just happened. Had she imagined the whole thing? Was it just a coincidence that she had reencountered the same hitchhiker?

Days passed, and Sarah tried to put the strange encounter out of her mind. But as she was driving home from work one night, she saw the hitchhiker again, standing on the side of the road, waving for her to stop.

This time, Sarah didn’t hesitate. She drove right past the hitchhiker, ignoring the pleading gestures and the haunting laughter that echoed in her mind. As she drove away, Sarah knew that she had finally broken free from the vanishing hitchhiker’s grasp.

But every once in a while, as she drove down a deserted road at night, Sarah couldn’t help but wonder if she would ever encounter the vanishing hitchhiker again. And she knew that she would never be able to shake the feeling of unease that had taken root in her soul.

8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

While we can provide a solid foundation for your stories, storytelling is truly an art form that can be honed with practice and a few pointers.

Having a spooky plot to tell a good ghost story is not enough. It’s also about setting the right tone, pacing and timing and engaging your audience with your voice and body language.

Let’s review some essential tips and tricks for mastering the art of telling a scary story and giving your listeners goosebumps.

So grab your flashlight, gather around the campfire, and learn the secrets to becoming a great spooky storyteller. You’ll be able to make your listeners feel like they’re a part of the story and have them jumping at every little sound around them if you follow these tips. Let’s get this party started!

1. Set the Scene – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

Before you begin telling your spooky story, take some time to describe the setting and mood of the story. Set the scene by describing the location, time of day, and other relevant details. 

We recommend personalizing a story to your adventure and the people you’re sharing it with. 😉

This helps immerse your listeners in the story and make it more real. Consider using descriptive language to paint a picture of the setting, such as describing the moonlit forest or the foggy graveyard.

2. Build Tension – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

A good spooky story should build tension gradually. Start off slow, and use pacing and pauses to create suspense. 

As the story progresses, ramp up the tension by using dramatic language and increasing the pace of your delivery. You can also use changes in volume and tone to emphasize certain parts of the story.

3. Use Vivid Details – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

To bring your story to life, use vivid and descriptive language. This helps your listeners imagine the setting and characters, and events. 

Use sensory details to create a more immersive experience, such as describing the sound of footsteps or the smell of burning candles. These details make your story more engaging and memorable.

4. Use Foreshadowing – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

Foreshadowing is a technique where you hint at what’s to come in the story. This creates anticipation and builds suspense. 

For example, you might mention that the old house has a history of mysterious disappearances or that strange noises have been heard from the basement. These hints make your listeners curious and eager to discover what happens next.

5. Vary Your Voice – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

Use different voices and accents to create different characters to make your story more engaging. 

You can use a deeper voice to portray a menacing villain or a higher voice for a frightened child. Varying your tone and pace can also create tension and build excitement. Use your voice to add drama to the story and make it more compelling.

6. Keep it Simple – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

While you want to create an engaging story, it’s important to keep things simple and easy to follow. 

Avoid using too many complicated plot twists or characters that might confuse your listeners. Use language that is easy to understand, and doesn’t overload your story with too many details.

7. Use Body Language – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

Using body language can help to enhance your storytelling. Use hand gestures, facial expressions, and body posture to add to the story’s drama. 

For example, you might use a sweeping gesture to describe a spooky landscape or widen your eyes to convey fear or surprise. These visual cues help your listeners to engage with the story and stay focused.

8. Practice – 8 Tips for Becoming a Great Spooky Storyteller

Finally, it’s important to practice your storytelling. This will help you refine your delivery, perfect your pacing, and ensure you don’t forget any important details. 

Tell your story to friends or family members to get feedback and improve your technique. With practice, you’ll become a master storyteller and be able to captivate any audience with your spooky tales.

Conclusion – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire
The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

We hope you enjoyed reading about our top 5 ghost stories to tell around a campfire. These stories will surely send shivers down your spine and leave you and your friends feeling spooked. 

Remember, storytelling is an art form that takes practice and patience, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t get it right the first time. Keep telling stories and experimenting with different techniques until you find your own unique style.

But most importantly, have fun! Telling spooky stories is a time-honored tradition that brings people together and creates lasting memories. So don’t be afraid to let your imagination run wild and create spooky tales to share around the campfire. You may even inspire the next generation of spooky storytellers!

Thank you for reading our blog post, and we hope you have a great time telling ghost stories around the campfire. Stay spooky!

Frequently Asked Questions – The Top 5 Ghost Stories to Tell Around a Campfire

1. Are These Stories Suitable for All Ages? – FAQs

It depends on your audience’s age range and sensitivity level. Some of these stories may be too scary for young children, so it’s important to use your discretion and choose appropriate stories for your audience.

2. What Is the Best Time to Tell Ghost Stories Around the Campfire? – FAQs

The best time to tell ghost stories is after dinner when it’s dark, and the campfire is the main light source. This creates an eerie atmosphere and sets the perfect stage for spooky storytelling.

3. How Do I Make Sure the Storytelling Atmosphere Is Just Right? – FAQs

To create the perfect storytelling atmosphere, ensure the campfire is bright and no distractions, such as loud music or other campers talking loudly. Encourage everyone to sit close together and turn off nearby lights or flashlights to enhance the spooky ambiance.

4. Can I Add My Own Twist to These Classic Ghost Stories? – FAQs

Absolutely! One of the best things about telling ghost stories is that you can put your own spin on them and make them your own. Feel free to add personal anecdotes, change the setting or characters, or even create your own story from scratch.

5. How Do I Handle It If Some Campers Get Too Scared During the Storytelling Session? – FAQs

If some campers get too scared, reassuring them that the stories are not real and offering a comforting presence is important. You can also take a break from storytelling and engage in group activities, such as roasting marshmallows or playing a game, to help calm their nerves. 

Remember, the goal is to have fun, create lasting memories, and not completely terrify anyone.

Ben Wann- Tent Camping Expert

My name is Ben Wann, and I’m a lifelong tent camper and backpacker who jumps on every opportunity to get out and enjoy nature! I created this site to inspire others to get outside and to make the process easier for you.