Short Campfire Ghost Stories

Telling stories around the campfire

Telling ghost stories around the campfire is a long standing tradition passed down from one generation to the next. Perhaps these tales about a missing scout leader, a menacing spirit, and a ghostly piano player will send shivers up your spine.

Ghost Stories to Share Around the Campfire

The campfire is crackling, the moon is high, and it's the perfect time for a few short but scary tales to entertain your crew. The key to making these stories especially effective is delivering them as though they are fact, right to the very end. A little drama doesn't hurt either.

Lost in the Woods

This story requires an accomplice. (The storyteller begins.)

You know, it was on a night just like this when a little girl went missing in these woods. The rangers say her name was Cassie, and she had gone camping with her girl scout troop. That first night, when everyone was gathered around the campfire, the little girl ignored what she had been taught about sticking with her camp buddy. She heard a little rustle in the nearby brush, and thought she just might catch a bunny to keep as a pet. She quietly snuck off after the sound.

It wasn't very long until her camp buddy noticed that the girl was missing, and she told the scout leader about it. The rest of the girls were ushered back to their cabins, and the scout leader and a few of the moms gathered their flashlights, and set out to look for the girl.

A lone flashlight shining in the dark woods

A short time later, a terrible thunderstorm blew in, making it impossible to keep looking for the missing camper. The moms decided it was best to turn back and continue the search after the storm had passed; after all, the little girl wasn't one of their daughters. However, the scout leader refused to give up. With her hair plastered to her face by the rain and the lightening flashing all around, she bravely walked into the woods, calling the little girl's name. The sound of her calling could be heard, over and over, until it faded away.

When the moms arrived back at the cabin, they discovered that the little girl had found her way back on her own and, except for a few scratches, was none the worse for wear. The violent storm continued through the night, but all was still again by morning. However, there wasn't sight nor sound of the scout leader. The moms alerted the park rangers and a search party was formed, but not a trace was ever found of the missing leader.

(This next part is told very softly.)

That was ten years ago, but some people say you can still hear her ghost calling out the little girl's name, "Cassie, Caaassieee..." Listen, you can almost hear it now...

(At this point your accomplice waits a moment for the silence to set in, and then shrieks "Cassie!!" making everyone jump.)

Behind the Tombstone

The old tombstone was beginning to crumble, but it looked like as good a site as any to set up. Aidan and Mark set the recorder on the ground between them and scanned the darkened cemetery with their flashlights. There wasn't a sign of a caretaker, and they hadn't really expected to see one given the dilapidated state of the graveyard.

Very old tombstones

"Turn it on and let's begin," Aidan said. Mark flipped the recorder switch on, and Aidan began asking questions out loud.

"Is there anyone with us tonight?" Nothing filled the silence except a slight scritch-scritch from somewhere behind the stone. Unperturbed, Aidan asked the next question.

"Can you tell us your name?" Again, the only sound was a scritch-scritch.

"Can you show yourself?" As before, just a scritch-scritch from behind the stone.

"Are you afraid of us?" asked Aidan. This time there was no scritch-scritch, but the atmosphere suddenly seemed thick and malevolent. Neither young man noticed the towering dark shadow that rose from behind the tombstone until it was too late. The darkness swooped down and engulfed them until neither one could see the other, and just as suddenly, Aidan, Mark and the black shadow vanished into the ground.

The next morning when the old caretaker showed up, he found the recorder laying on the ground in front of the tombstone. He turned it on, and in the silence that followed each of Aidan's questions, you could now hear the following replies spoken softly by a deep and menacing voice.

"Yes...I am always here."

"My name is never spoken by your kind, but it is very old."

"I'll show myself, but it is the last thing you'll ever see..."

"You are mine!"

The caretaker quietly pocketed the recorder, looking around to assure himself he was truly alone. He took the only evidence that anyone had been near that particular tombstone again, and he tossed it in the pile with the rest in the tool shed.

The Ghost at the Piano

Felice awoke to the sound of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata wafting its way up from the inn's conservatory. She had just checked in two hours ago, bleary eyed from the four hour drive en route to her next concert in Seattle. All she really wanted to do was get some sleep before she finished the journey in the morning, so who in the world would be playing downstairs at 3:00 a.m.?

The piano player

Finally irritated enough to drag herself out of bed, Felice padded down the master staircase and across the main hall to the doorway of the conservatory. She froze there, her eyes irresistibly anchored on the handsome man at the piano. He didn't seem quite of this era in his vintage tuxedo and slicked back hair. Felice vaguely wondered if he might be an actor who put on shows about the inn's heyday in the roaring twenties. Indeed, there was even a glass of gin on the piano top.

Without a sound from Felice, the man looked up as though he had expected to see her there all along. "Hello Felice, I've been waiting for you... for quite some time." Felice was mesmerized by his deep black eyes, and felt compelled to move toward the piano.

"You and I have a duet to play, Felice. Come sit on the bench beside me." Felice found she couldn't resist the man's command, and she slowly sank onto the bench next to him. A sudden shiver overtook her as she felt a distinct chill in the air.

"Put your fingers on the keys, Felice," the man gently coaxed with a predatory gleam in his eyes. As if of their own volition, Felice's hands reached for the keyboard and settled there ready for the next command.

"Now play. You know the tune." Felice hesitated, but her hands no longer obeyed her, and they began to play the sonata that had drawn her down the stairs. The man fell into accompaniment and as they played, both figures slowly faded out of site. That was Felice's final performance.

Sharing These Stories

Feel free to share these stories around the campfire with your friends, but wait until younger campers have gone to bed. Otherwise, you might awaken to the sounds of real screams in the middle of the night!

Short Campfire Ghost Stories