Nearly every horror film or scary book depends highly on several spooky types of environments. Pick out your favorite scary story and it will take place on a foggy coast, a dark lake, near a lighthouse, or in the dense woods.
While there are reasons why these places fill us with fear or dread, they can actually be pretty cool locations to camp. In addition, the folklore and spooky mythology surrounding these locations make for even better campfire stories.
These five locations (with nearby campgrounds or RV parks) not only have spooky histories or a mystical atmosphere, but they can be quickly accessed from various small towns and cities around the country.
1. Mist and Fog: Cape Disappointment, Washington
If you love the misty coastline, go camping in one of the foggiest places in the U.S. The name won’t disappoint either. Cape Disappointment, Washington has got to be one of the best names on this list. The name comes from British fur trader John Meares who was hoping to find the entrance to the Columbia River at the cape but missed it by miles.
Located on the southern coast of Washington, this state park contains 1,882 acres along the Pacific Ocean. It also has two lighthouses, including the oldest functioning lighthouse on the West Coast.
The Cape Disappointment campground features 137 campsites and 50 full hookup sites. The campground also has 18 partial hookup sites and 14 rustic camping yurts and hot showers. Camping is available year-round.
2. Woods: Pine Barrens, New Jersey
Just the name of this 1 million acre coastal forest in New Jersey is enough to create a sense of mystery.
Located across seven counties in New Jersey, the Pine Barrens, or “The Pines”, is a relatively untouched area of a very populated state. In fact, the Barrens even has a few ghost towns including an old munitions factory.
The Pine Barrens is also the home of the folktales of the Jersey Devil. This winged creature with hooves and red eyes is said to live in dense woods.
The Pine Barrens has many places to camp. One of the campgrounds is the Indian Rock Park & Campground in Jackson Township. The RV park’s sites all have water and electric and many have sewer hookups.
The campground has a summer pool, mini-golf, and a playground. They are also close to the Six Flags Great Adventure park—a far cry from the spooky woods.
3. Lighthouse: St. Augustine, Florida
Usually located in a remote or rugged location, lighthouses have long been fodder for spooky ghost stories. Some lighthouses, such as the St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida, also have a tragic past that makes for haunting tales.
Located in the oldest settled city in the United States, St. Augustine has had its fair share of stories since it was established in 1513.
The lighthouse is said to be haunted by its keeper who fell to his death from the tower. Three young girls who also lost their lives in the nearby ocean are also said to haunt the lighthouse.
Just across the water from the lighthouse is Anastasia State Park. Its campground has 139 sites, all with electricity and water. The park also has areas for boating, fishing, birding, and biking.
4. Lake: Haunted Lake, New Hampshire
Okay, the name is enough to warrant a visit. Haunted Lake is located in the village of Francestown, New Hampshire. It supposedly received its name from a fire that burned the landscape around the lake.
Hundreds of years ago, several drownings and strange noises that could be heard at night were said to give the lake its name. No matter how it came about, the lake is actually quite beautiful—surrounded by trees and fog.
The nearest campground to Haunted Lake has a much happier name. Friendly Beaver Campground has some excellent amenities.
With dozens of RV sites, the resort also has three outdoor pools, an indoor heated pool, petting zoo, playground, and a recreation hall.
5. Swamp: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Georgia
Swamp folklore runs the gamut from voodoo practices to the Swamp Thing. This type of landscape is so difficult to maneuver through and contains creatures such as owls and alligators, so there is no wonder that they make great spooky stories.
The Okefenokee Swamp between Georgia and Florida has inspired stories such as The Creature from the Black Lagoon and is said to be a hotbed for UFOs and ghosts.
What some people may not realize is that the swamplands of this area of the country are really beautiful. You can see the beauty at the Okefenokee Pastimes Cabins, RV Park & Campground in Folkston, Georgia.
The resort offers historic-style cabins for rent, pull-through sites with full hookups, private tent sites, and a day-use dog kennel. The campground even has a Starfield for their Saturday night stargazing events.
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