Every outdoor explorer has encountered fear. There’s the kind of adrenaline-pumping, cliff-hanging, possible bone-breaking fear that grips us anytime we take on a difficult hike. And then there’s a fear not every outdoorsman/woman has experienced: the kind that makes your chest tighten, your palms clam, and sends shivers down your back. A little heart-pounding fear can be good for your soul — it can even help make you feel more alive. In honor of Halloween we are unmasking 10 of the most haunted hiking trails in America. Travel along these trails if you dare.
1. Appalachian Trail, Virginia
The Appalachian Trail is plagued by countless stories of paranormal/unexplained occurrences but none other is more creepy than the disappearance of 4-year-old Ottie Cline Powell in November of 1891. Otto was leaving a nearby schoolhouse to gather firewood in the forest when he went missing. Five months later, a hunter discovered his body near Bluff Mountain along the Appalachian Trail. A plaque still marks the spot where Ottie was found. No one knows exactly what happened to the young boy.
Over the years, hikers have claimed seeing a child while camping at the Punchbowl Shelter, located 1.6 miles from where Ottie’s dead body was found. Do you dare take your chances of seeing Ottie by spending the night in this shelter?