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home » Ghost Stories » Screams in the Night
Screams in the Night
True Story by Greg Palmer

I woke up in the middle of the night, my heart was pounding… was that a woman’s scream? It couldn’t be because we were miles from the nearest road. It must have just been a nightmare; if it was a real scream someone else would have heard it and woken up. I tried to shake the eerie feeling I had and lay back down, covered my head to keep the chilly breeze off, and tried to get comfortable. I couldn’t believe how cold it was now, it was nearly 80 degrees during the day but now it felt like the low 60s. “Don’t spirits suck the heat out of the air and make it colder?” Wait; now I was just trying to scare myself, there was nothing out there.

I listened to the forest sounds trying to identify them and put my mind at ease but by this time of night it was pretty quite. I heard some branches breaking and some leaves rustling. Half of my mind told me it was someone or something walking in the woods but the other half reasoned that it was just the wind knocking dead branches out of the trees. Off in the distance was the sound of rocks clicking together… I didn’t have an explanation for that.

Sounds of the Forest
Listen to samples of the animals
that could have made those
sounds that night

Fox Screaming (.wav file)

Adult Barn Owl (.wav file)

“Didn’t two people get murdered while camping in this forest not long ago?” I was doing it again, letting my mind wander and think bad thoughts. There was nothing to be afraid of... Then I heard it again, only this time I was sure I wasn’t asleep… the most frightening scream I have ever heard, it was otherworldly, a high pitched screech almost exactly like you hear in those witch movies… what was that!

As I panicked and fumbled for my flashlight in the dark moonless night I knocked into the stick holding up the tarp I was under and it fell on my head. Before I could untangle myself someone on the other side of camp was already up shining their dim flashlight into the surrounding forest excitedly asking “What was that!?! Is somebody out there!?!” The excitement continued for a little while but we never found the source of the screams and didn’t hear them again that night.

For years I was haunted by that backpacking trip and those horrible screams. It didn’t keep me from enjoying nature or make me stop going out in the woods but I couldn’t help but wonder what was out there that night. Then one day while attending a nature presentation at a campground I heard what sounded like those screams again… it came from the tape player the naturalist brought and was a barn owl or screech owl. I’ve since found that there are other animals that could have made the sounds I heard, possibly even a fox or bobcat.

Not everything we experience and can’t explain is necessarily supernatural; usually there is a rational explanation. However, even when we know that our minds still tend to wander and look to the dark and mysterious side of the event. To this day I’m not 100% sure it was just an animal out there but chances are it was.

Additional Information

For more information about Barn Owls visit

Read More Ghost Stories

  The Will of The Wisp
  Alone in the Allegheny National Forest
  Losing Hatch
  The Trees are Talking
  Sarver Cabin

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