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Bowmanville POW Camp: Camp 30 is One of Ontario’s Creepiest Places

Bowmanville POW Camp - One of the Creepiest Places in Ontario :: I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog

You may be surprised to hear that there were over 25 prisoners of war camps in Canada during the Second World War. With 13 in Ontario alone, a short hour road trip from Toronto lies the remnants of Camp 30 – the Bowmanville POW Camp. It’s hands down one of the creepiest places in Ontario I’ve ever been to… and it didn’t help I visited days before Halloween.

Camp 30 wasn’t always a POW camp. What started from humble beginnings became a dark entity with the eruption of World War II. The future of Camp 30 was uncertain at one time due to the rampant vandalism and disrepair of the area. However, it received a National Historic Site of Canada designation in September of 2013 which has changed its fate.

Let’s dive into the history of the Bowmanville POW Camp, its present state and plans for the future.

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History of the Bowmanville POW Camp

In the early 1920s, the land Camp 30 sits on was owned by John H. H. Jury, a horticulturist and pharmacist. Known as the Darch Farm, he donated its 300 acres to the provincial government in 1922 to build the Bowmanville Boys Training School. This was after he witnessed a speech by Alex Edmison about juvenile delinquency and wanted the government to create a school based on the theories brought forth by Edmison.

Influenced by the architectural style of Frank Lloyd Wright, the campus called on many of his iconic elements. The buildings use natural materials, geometric ornamentation and an emphasis on the horizontal shape reminiscent of the prairie landscape.

Completed in 1927, this boarding school implemented non-institutional modes of education to reform delinquent boys by providing them with a mental, moral, physical and vocational education and training. Each student had their academic level assessed upon entering and the programs/structure it offered placed it ahead of that time’s youth reform movement. The curriculum allowed students to earn credits to work towards their secondary school diploma. The school was open for 14 years until the government forced them to vacate so it could be converted into a prisoner of war camp.

Canadian officials had barely half a year to convert the property. While the school was designed to contain lots of people, many tasks had to be completed before it could be used as a POW camp. Wire fences and guard towers were built along with gates and barracks for the Canadian guards. Completed in October of 1941, this is when the first POWs started to arrive on Canadian soil.

During World War II, it became an internment camp for officers and ranking officials of the German Armed Forces. Captured by the Allied Forces, they were sent from the United Kingdom to Canada as the possibility of invasion by the Nazis could mean their release. Enemy combatants were held until 1945 and sent back to Europe with the end of World War II.

Old photo of the Darch Farm. Photo taken from the Clarington website .

Old photo of the Bowmanville Boys School. Photo taken from the Clarington website .

Life at Camp 30 During WWII

As far as POW Camps go, life at Camp 30 was pretty amicable. Since it was previously a boys school, it allowed for a number of amenities other camps didn’t have like an indoor pool, athletic complex, soccer and football fields. The POWs were said to have played football and hockey during the winter months. As they were still being paid, they purchased items from the canteen like cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, pipes, pens, pencils, ink, daily hygiene items like toothpaste and mouthwash, clothing, food and more. They regularly sent and received mail from their families as well. The list goes on.

An added benefit was that since the prisoners worked the Darch Farm, their meals were far above other POW camp standards. Meals often included butter, coffee, jam and other more luxurious items. Not only that, but the meals were hearty as they consisted of items like roast beef with carrots, potatoes and even gravy. Needless to say, there were few complaints about the camp’s conditions.

Life at the Bowmanville Prisoner of War Camp was also civil due to the concept of  Ehrenwort . Meaning “word of honour” in German, prisoners were allowed to leave the camp if they gave their word that they would not attempt to escape. As they always returned, they were permitted to swim at the lake close by during the summer months and even go cross-country skiing in the winter. This is quite unheard of in regards to POW camps, but it worked for Camp 30 and meant both the guards and prisoners were overall fairly content considering the circumstances.

This doesn’t mean that Camp 30 always ran smoothly. One of the most notable events was the Battle of Bowmanville , caused by Hitler’s order to have Allied POWs shackled. Britain got wind of this and ordered Canadians to do the same at Camp 30 and to not remove them until the Allied’s shackles were removed. When Canadian guards asked for 100 volunteers, they obviously had no takers and were instead met with great resistance. The German POWs barricaded themselves in the cafeteria and fought with anything they could find from bats to bottles and even hockey sticks. The Battle of Bowmanville lasted two days before Canadians gained control again and 125 of the prisoners were sent to different prisoner of war camps.

Despite the concept of Ehrenwort, there were still plenty of escape attempts however none were successful. The most elaborate attempts were when the prisoners tried to build tunnels under the camp. Most notable is the tunnel started in Victoria Hall or House IV as it included lighting, ventilation and supports. Though the most famous attempt would be Operation Kiebitz , which you may recognize. This failed escape plan tried to break out four skilled German U-Boat officers but was thwarted by the Royal Canadian Navy’s Operation Maisonette.

Aerial view of the Bowmanville POW Camp. Taken from the Clarington website .

Old photo of the Bowmanville POW Camp. Taken from the Clarington website .

Visiting the Jury Lands

Often referred to as the Jury Lands in reference to John H. H. Jury, visiting the Bowmanville POW Camp is actually quite easy if you know where you’re going. When looking at Google Maps, there are two paved entrances off of Lambs Road. This is deceiving though as there is nowhere to park here, nor is parking allowed on Lambs Road itself. Your best bet is to park on Sprucewood Crescent close to Madden Place. This is the entrance to the  Ehrenwort Trail which will lead you to Camp 30. The trail runs through the grounds south towards Concession Street East. You could also enter via Concession Street East however I don’t believe there is parking available.

The property is eerily quiet with a sense of foreboding. I’ve read that many have said the spiritual energy is strong at Camp 30 and I believe it. Maybe it’s just me, but I felt more and more uneasy as I got closer to the camp. It didn’t help that I heard a random jingling almost like a set of keys while exploring.  Lindsay, it was probably a chain of some sort on a fence or something . I thought that too but didn’t see anything in sight… nor anything close enough to make the sound. Maybe it was my overactive imagination but consider me spooked!

You’ll quickly notice that there are satellite security cameras located throughout the property. These were installed to deter any further vandalism at the site as a few of the original buildings have since been torn down due to fire damage  rendering them unstable. These cameras have motion sensors and are monitored by a security company 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If any foul play is suspected, the local police department is dispatched immediately .

If this makes you nervous to explore, don’t be. I felt the same way – so much that I even called the municipality of Clarington where Bowmanville is located for more information.  I’m a chicken sh!t and don’t like getting in trouble, okay?  When exploring, just stay on the paved oval road and it will allow you to see all of the buildings without any repercussions. Venture off at your own risk. While it would be nice to get a closer view, don’t be the one that makes headlines by being arrested. If curiosity is getting to you, here’s an in-depth video from 2013 that documents inside the buildings by an urban explorer.

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT: Seriously though, don’t be an idiot. Not only is this site an important piece of history for the area as well as the province and country, it’s still private property. Respect it and you shouldn’t run into any trouble. I legit showed up in a toque and hoodie with camera in hand and didn’t have any problems. If there is a security guard and they ask you to leave, then do so. This area is to be respected and if you have any concerns at all, contact the Municipality of Clarington .

Guided Tours Along the Ehrenwort Trail

Over the past few years, guided tours of Camp 30 have been given to raise more awareness about this piece of history. Tours are organized by the Jury Lands Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that is looking to rejuvenate this historically significant site. They occur at least once a month and each one is 90 minutes long. In 2018, there were 10 tours from May until September. However if you’ve just missed them like I did, you can take a self-guided tour along the Ehrenwort Trail.

NOTE:  As of right now, tours for 2022 are running until October 10th but the schedule is subject to change. Keep an eye on the Jury Lands website for full details.

As I mentioned earlier, park on Sprucewood Crescent as this is where the Ehrenwort Trail begins. Follow the gravel path and you’ll first reach the dam. As the Bowmanville Boys Training School was conceived as a self-sufficient site, farming was part of the training boys received and they assisted with producing food for the school. This dam helped generate power for the site. Cross it and in just a few metres you’ll arrive at the Camp 30 site.

You’ll arrive at the west side of the oval loop which takes you through the campus. On your left, you’ll see the Jury Lodge , named after John H. H. Jury though I’m unsure as to how the building was used. Close by you’ll also see the pool and gymnasium buildings . Referred to as the Natatorium, it would have been one of, if not the first indoor pool in Canada. It was used by not just the boys but the Bowmanville community. Next is House IV , also known as the triple dorm. This is where prisoners attempted to escape by digging tunnels under the building. Continue along and you’ll see the  Infirmary/General’s House where three German Generals were housed as well as the  Kiwanis House which supported the Bowmanville Boys Training School by sponsoring this dormitory. The largest of the buildings is the  cafeteria which was built to accommodate 300 students. When it became Camp 30, each meal had at least two sittings to accommodate the prisoner numbers. This is where the Battle of Bowmanville occurred.

The campus is not complete however as fires engulfed the Administration building. To see the full tour, check out this historical tour pamphlet  which outlines the trail.

SOMETHING TO NOTE: Since I did this self-guided, I may have mislabelled a few of the buildings. I have done my best to figure out which building is which based on my powers of deduction. If I’ve made a mistake, please let me know so I can correct it!

Future of the Jury Lands

At one point the future of the Bowmanville POW Camp was bleak. It was even listed on Heritage Canada’s Top 10 Endangered Places in 2013. While it was set to be demolished to make way for a housing development, in receiving historic status that has since changed. The six major buildings were designated under the Ontario Heritage Act in January of 2018 and they have become the cornerstone for future plans.

Future development of the Jury Lands is looking to repurpose those six buildings as well as the space along Soper Creek. Possibilities for a daycare, fitness centre, office space and even the possibility of a boutique hotel . Additionally, ideas for a park, restaurant, Soper Creek lookout and outdoor event space have been tabled.

Residential complexes would reside on either side of Camp 30. Both of these and the Bowmanville POW Camp would be connected for use by everyone in the community. It would be great to see this area with a dark past transformed into a helpful, positive space. A full analysis and plan has been drafted and can be viewed here .

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact my heart was pounding in my chest, I’m so glad I went to experience it. If you plan a trip,  I can’t stress enough to respect the area. It’s a privilege to experience, not a playground for visitors to run rampant. Also, it’s seriously creepy. Maybe I’m just a scaredy cat but I only spent about half an hour and that was enough for me. Maybe it would be less eerie without the ominous clouds and a less spooky time of year…

It’s important to preserve the history of Canada, dark or otherwise. The Bowmanville POW Camp has a rich history that is on its way to being preserved. While it has a long journey ahead that’s in the beginning stages, more awareness and understanding of this area can see it remembered for days to come. With that, it’s important to note that the German prisoners at Camp 30 were some of the more fortunate and many atrocities happened within the POW camps of World War II.

If you do choose to visit Camp 30, please do so respectfully. Not only respect the land but also respect the memories of those from the Second World War. So many people tragically lost their lives from 1941-1945 and we need to remember this. It’s easy to be caught up in the present state of affairs, but never forget where you came from.

If you’re looking for more things to do in the area… Check Out These Amazing Things to Do in Clarington

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A piece of decaying World War II history, experience Bowmanville's POW Camp - Camp 30. Learn about the past, present and future of one of the creepiest places in Ontario, Canada. | #Canada #Ontario #Bowmanville #Travel #DarkTourism #UrbanExploration |


Thank you Lindsay, as a fellow Canadian from Quebec, it’s really interesting to learn about this history. 🙂

Lindz author

I’m so happy to hear that Lise! One of the reasons I love travel blogging is I discover and learn about places like this. I’m glad you could learn from my post 🙂 Thank you for your comment!

Wooooahh! I love places like this, and the history is always so interesting too. Thanks for sharing it, it would be such a shame if it got demolished.

I don’t think it’ll be demolished but rather repurposed! Time will tell but I’m curious to know what will become of the site.

Nafisa Habib

I learned something new through your post. Definitely, it’s a huge privilege to experience. Loving every shot!

Thanks for the comment! It truly is a privilege and I hope others realize that too!

I’m from Peterborough, and have been here twice. The last time was in 2012. You are so right about the eerie/creepy feeling that this place gives off. The last time I was there I was with my dog, and he would not stop barking at one of the houses. Made the feeling 10x worse. Definitely some odd energy. I’m so happy to read that there is a plan in place to restore the site, and that it isn’t being knocked down.

Kathryn Dickson

Call me next time you go exploring to these places! I love this stuff!

Haha it was a spur of the moment decision to visit but noted!

Kayla Watson

Incredible! I had no idea Canada had a historic site such of this. We’ve been visiting all the WW2 sites around SE Asia. Will definitely need to visit this when I am home in Canada! I’m also a chicken haha, my partner is the brave one when we visit things like this!

Haha glad to hear I’m not the only chicken! There are quite a few in Ontario which really surprised me but I really learned so much while researching this post. Visiting just showed me how important it is to remember and respect places like Camp 30.

This was truly fascinating. POW camps are something I am aware exist, but know very little about (outside of the basics they were used for). I also didn’t realise there were so many POW camps in Canada, although I did know some were about. Although sadly it doesn’t surprise me. I definitely would like to visit one, though, and for the time being I got to do that through this lovely post. Thanks for highlighting the importance of respecting historical sites like this. It drives me crazy when people just do whatever they want at historical or religious/sacred sites because they don’t seem to think the rules apply to them!

I had no idea about the POW camps here in Canada before this too. I thought it was more in Europe but clearly I was naive! Thank you for commenting, and I always do my best to highlight how much we need to respect places like this. Too many times it seems people think we’re “entitled” to visit but rather it’s very much a privilege and I’m glad you agree 🙂

NOPE NOPE NOPE. Hard pass. This is how horror movies start!! HAHAHAHA. I would be way too nervous about being attacked by a ghost then arrested to go here. (I love your warning “Don’t be an idiot”). I’m happy you found a tiny waterfall too! It wouldn’t be a Lindsay trip if you didn’t 😀

BAHAHA it’s so true! If anyone is gonna find a waterfall it’s this girl 😹 And oh man I swear that key jingle was definitely from a spirit and I sure got out real quick!

Wow, that is so fascinating. I had no idea that Canada had POW camps. Thank you for the great history lesson. Definitely a place I’d love to visit when I’m in the area. Thanks for sharing.

I’m so glad I can share this with others! It seems a lot of people don’t realize we have sites like this in Canada and I’m happy I can change that 🙂

Woah. I had no idea that the UK sent POWs to Canada during the war. This was really really interesting, so tank you for sharing. It must be strange to go around this kind of historical site when it’s all boarded up!

I love that you called the municipality of Clarington, to make sure you wouldn’t be arrested. I’d want to do that too, just to make sure. 😉

Wow, I had literally no idea we had POW camps in Canada and the Bowmanville POW Camp sounds fascinating. Sounds like because of it being a boy school that life there wasn’t so bad but of course, they were still POWs. I really like how you urge people to be respectful and I am happy to hear they are looking to re-purpose it as well! I learned something new today – thanks! 🙂

I’m happy to hear this! One of the things I love about blogging is that I can not only learn myself but I can each others about places like this and their history 🙂

Doreen Pendgracs

I had no idea there were 26 POW camps in Canada and had never heard of Bowmanville. Thx for the fascinating post.

I just came across this information about the POW camp. I was born in Bowmanville in 1950 and when my father purchased land to build our house, I was told that he had purchased a structure which I’m thinking may have come from the camp and had it moved to the property where he added to it for our house. Since both my parents are no longer alive, I was wondering if you know anything about this. I actually was told that this may have happened from the museum in Bowmanville that we visited about 3 years ago.

Hmm that’s a great question Sue! I’d say get in contact with the Jury Lands Foundation – they might be able to offer more help 🙂

Victor Suppan

Hi there Sue and Lindz, came across this website and would like to inform you that many of the material from the internment camp was sold in 1946 by the Toronto Construction Company. The materials were used to build a number of homes on Veterans Avenue, second Avenue and Lambs Lane. We are trying to determine which homes contain these materials and would appreciate any leads that may come my way. Oh by the way, I have been on the municipal heritage committee for the last 25 years.

I am glad about your concern for the local heritage of Clarington.

Harold Clifford

The “dark side” of this historical site is much deeper than the public has been led to believe. To anyone contemplating this dark history tour, then be aware of it’s history post WWII. As a 13 year old boy and former resident of Bowmanville Training School from 1977-1979 (yes that’s right the government returned this property to it’s former use as a boys reformatory after the war in 1945) when the school was closed by the Provincial Government due to the systemic abuses to children from government employees who worked and played there. These government paid child abusers and pedophiles have been being exposed long before the closure of 1979 and have continued since. I will be participating this year 2020 in the Class Action Lawsuit against the Provincial Government for their failure of Duty of Care to Children during the time of incarceration of all children who resided there between January 1, 1953 and it’s closure in 1979.The Class Suit can be found at The Provincial Government knowingly will now be held accountable for the suffering they have caused to thousands of children. After reviewing many Camp 30 google posts I feel overwhelmingly incumbent to bring these facts to the public since the public has no knowledge of the history at Camp 30 after the war. God bless to all who passed through this horrible place as a child!

Wow, I honestly have no words other than to say thank you for your bravery in sharing this and your story.

Hi Sue I found your story quite interesting. I myself grew up in Bowmanville and our house came from the POW Camp. My parents purchased their home in 1956. My mother still resides in this home. Upon speaking with my mother she believes you may be the daughter of the original owners as their one daughters name she believes was Sue. Would your parents names possibly have been Leo and Pat? Feel free to contact me if you believe this may have been your parents home.

Great historical place to explore however the Police aren’t keen on anyone being there, $65 fine for everyone in your group caught there….found out the hard way.

That’s very unfortunate to hear, Jim! Were you off the paved path at all? I was told that security and the police are very strict about this but I can definitely look into it more with the local tourism board.

Interesting fact and recent history no one really talks about… In the 90s it was the site of St Stephen’s Catholic Secondary school. School board was looking for land to build a new high school in Bowmanville. While they were searching the school board rented from another religious organization who owned the land (Micas or Micahs)

There’s a small group of people who experienced HS life at a place that was like a mini University campus or one of those New England style private schools. No barbed wire or guard towers. Just a portapack that was added to existing buildings and then more portables as the school grew from 200 students to 600+ in 8 years.

Interesting! I see that St Stephen’s Catholic Secondary School now exists on Scugog Street. I’d be curious to know more about why the move. Thank you for sharing!

Daniel von Richthofen

Hello Lindz,

Thank you for this very well written and informative article on a little known piece of history. I came across your site after reading a review of a maritime book called “Otto Kretschmer: The life of the Third Reich’s Highest Scoring U-Boat Commander” by Lawrence Patterson, Greenhill Books, ISBN 978-1-78438-192-9. Kretschmer was responsible for sinking 47 ships from various U boats, and was known as “Silent Otto” for maintaining radio silence in defiance of his HQ. After the loss of his last boat, U99, he was captured and sent to Bowmanville. Not all must have been quite as innocent as it seems. The book review notes that Kretschmer “organized a 2-way radio link to the German Naval High Command and planned a mass breakout with a U-boat rendezvous arranged. He was also instrumental in the “Battle of Bowmanville” which lasted for three days in October 1942.”

This citation is from “Marine News”, World Ship Society, July 2018, p442.

Sad that the camp went on to become another tragic chapter in residential school history. That might make it even creepier!

Thank you again for a well presented and illustrated story.

Daniel v. R.

Thank you so much for your comment Daniel! I’m glad you found my article informative. It’s so important that we preserve relics like this from the past so that we may learn from them as we shape the future. Be well! 🙂

I was a student here when it was an international school in the late 1980s. Curious to know what will become of this place. I had a scary experience when I first arrived at the school!

Oh wow, that must have been quite the experience, Elly! I’m curious to know as well – I know there are talks to develop it in such a way that it will be helpful to the community with various amenities while preserving the historical aspects of it… but time will tell!

Grew up near this place. I can remember going there for swimming and water polo in the late 70’s. Im glad that it will be preserved.

I recently moved to Bowmanville after being away for a while, and have been walking my dog up in this location. I wanted to find more of the story of it and you did just that! I would like to thank you for all your hard work and the beautiful pictures from archives tell the story, like you said whether good or bad. From one of your links I reached out to the jury boards and found out that they did produce their own Hydro and sewage system separate from Bowmanville. I have been Enjoying sharing this to my siblings who went to the old high school there at St Stephens and they felt it was like a college campus and loved it. I have shared it with my parents who remember it back in the day and also are watching to see how it is developed.

Who would’ve thought all your expiration would trigger and bring out so many wonderful memories? Excellent job all around.

Oh Don, comments like this are what keep me going! You’ve filled my heart with such joy and I’m so happy you enjoyed the article. That’s incredible about the separate hydro and sewage system – I had no idea! You’re teaching me now! 🙂 Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment. You just made my day!

Lindz, great work and thanks so much for sharing the rich history about Camp30. Almost 20 years ago, I spent 6 month there as a member of an international/private/boarding school. Lived both in the “Infirmary” and “Kiwanis House”, your post brought back so many memories! It’s sad to see all the vandalism but such an interesting way to spent Canada Day! Thank you so much.

A very interesting article, with sad comments about child abuse in it’s later use. I thought there was a rumour that one of the staff members during the Camp 30 days became known for his book writing afterwards. I thought it was Ian Fleming but his biography on Wikipedia does not mention it. Do you have any research to suggest that the rumour was factual? Thanks for your article.

Thanks for a great article, Lindsay. I just finished reading a novel called Bowmanville Break by Sidney Shelley. It’s a fictionalized account of the “battle of Bowmanville” and Operation Kiebitz that was written in 1968. I was curious about how much of it was fiction, and your article fills in a lot of the details.

Thank you so much for your kind words, Julie! That sounds like a fascinating novel and I’m certainly curious now to know how much is fiction and how much is true to history! I’m glad my article could help fill in some gaps for you 🙂

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Abandoned Camp 30 POW Site

Camp 30 is the now abandoned location of a former POW camp used during the Second World War.

In the early 1940’s, Camp 30 was the only camp in the world to house some of the highest-ranking third reich German officers captured by Allied forces.  This was  because Britain wanted to get them as far away from the war as possible.

It is said that roughly 880 german nazi officers stayed at Camp 30. 

Stories claim that Camp 30 was operated similar to a 5 star hotel with luxuries such as an indoor swimming pool, theatre, and concert stage, the camp’s true purpose was given away only by the barbed wire around it.

Camp 30 is also is the site of the famed Battle of Bowmanville where the German Prisoners staged a violent uprising.  The Canadian Armed Forces had to be called in to break up the mini-war.

After the war, the site had been used as a private training school, then a Catholic secondary school, and finally, as the Darul Uloom Islamic University.

Camp 30 has been in a state of abandonment for several years. 

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  • Dec 5, 2017

One of the coolest places to explore in the eastern part of the Great Toronto Area, Camp 30 is an abandoned WWII POW camp that's filled with an eerie history and countless photo ops.

camp 30 haunted

It was summertime when I went to the eerie Camp 30 in Bowmanville with a couple of my friends.

Camp 30 was a school for delinquent boys that was converted to a POW camp for Nazi officers during WWII. After the war, it was used a private training school, a Catholic secondary school, and then as Darul Uloom Islamic University (for more information,  click here ); I was told that the last time it was a school, it was closed down because the principal was murdered there, but I wasn’t able to find anything about that when I did some research. Regardless though, I think that a lot of satanic rituals happen in those buildings to this day, which is evident in the graffiti as well as the fact that I found burned Bible pages. Not to mention the fact that the place is extremely creepy and you always feel like you’re being watched…but maybe that was just me being jittery and paranoid.

Pictured here are the various frightening things written on walls in some of the many buildings:

Apart from the POW and concentration camps I visited in Europe, this was probably the most unnerving place that I have ever set foot in. I had no idea that a place like this existed in Canada, let alone such a short drive from my old house in Brooklin. All three of us were too scared to set foot in the unlit basements, even with flashlights to guide us; it’s a place that seems as if it’s ready to swallow you whole and never spit you back out again. That you would go down there never to return.

Nonetheless, the grounds are still fun to spend way far too much time daring each other to venture down the warped and knotted wooden steps, like elementary school children taunting their friends to go ring the doorbell of the rumoured haunted house at the end of the street in those countless, clichéd movies.

There were also some things scrawled across the walls that I found captivating, things I found myself staring at and reading a few times over.

It was an adventure to roam through: climbing through broken windows, shimmying between unhinged doors, clambering onto roofs – all the while, navigating my way over shattered glass and a floor littered with trash, old rusted spray paint cans, and gaping holes that opened into the pitch black cellars. We all had our cameras out, capturing this uniquely horrifying and semi-secret world. In one of the buildings, we found smeared hand prints in what appeared to be grape juice, but directly beside it was dripping what seemed very much like blood. Marta even pointed out that it had the exact colour and viscosity of real blood, but we weren’t able to figure it out indefinitely.

camp 30 haunted

I’ve included some of my favourite pictures that I was able to take, along with a few pictures of me scouring the area that Marta took, with one at the train tracks just outside of the camp (which I clearly wasn’t prepared for, judging by my weird facial expression).

Have you ever been to a POW camp, or any place that’s set your completely on edge? Where was it, and how long were you brave enough to explore the area? Let me know in the comments!

*Originally posted on Emulating Emily

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CLARINGTON -- The cafeteria building at Camp 30 in Bowmanville. Original photo from the 1930s provided by Clarington Museums and Archives. February 17, 2015 - Sabrina Byrnes / Metroland

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Bowmanville’s Camp 30 has a long and colourful history, including POW camp for German soldiers

Then and now.

This article is over a year old, and the information within may be out of date.

Once a school built in the finest prairie-style architecture and recognized as an Ontario masterpiece, Camp 30 in Bowmanville now remains a shattered empty fortress and the last remaining intact POW camp in Canada.

Camp 30 was designated a National Historic Site in April 2013. Although the base has been battered and bruised, The Architectural Conservancy of Ontario’s Clarington Branch and Camp 30 Foundation has been working tirelessly to save and protect the historic landmark.

The property, located on Lambs Road in Clarington, was once owned by John H.H. Jury. The prominent Bowmanville citizen donated his farm of 300 acres to the Province. In August 1925, a boys’ reform school was opened to deal with juvenile delinquency. The attached photo is the cafeteria, the first building built on the land in 1924. Although the school opened with just 16 boys, the cafeteria was constructed to hold a maximum capacity of 300. In 1925, the Jury house, the first lodge to accommodate the boys, was built. Camp 30 operated as a school from 1925 to 1979 and in the 70s, the institution became co-ed. Ultimately, it closed due to the Province’s change in the philosophy of dealing with juvenile delinquency.

Interestingly, Camp 30 was constructed with steel I-beams, one of the earliest uses of them in Ontario. The Jury house and cafeteria are examples of prairie-style architecture. In Canada this style was primarily used for private residences, which makes the use of it at Camp 30 for public buildings rare. Aspects of this style include the flat roof line, upper rows of windows designed to maximize natural light and the use of geometric patterns. Although the building appears to be a two-storey, the ceiling is raised and it is in fact a single-storey structure.

While Camp 30 was designed to serve 300, this was a problem when the site was converted to a POW camp from 1941 to 1945 due to a population of 800. The cafeteria was the only dining hall. To accommodate the prisoners, a meal schedule was set up that included two sittings for each meal throughout the day.

The cafeteria was home to one of the most famous incidents that occurred during Camp 30’s POW occupation. The Battle of Bowmanville lasted three days from Oct. 10 to 12, 1942. It started because Allied prisoners of war were shackled. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill sent the order to the Canadian government that German prisoners of war would be shackled until the Germans removed the shackles from the Allied prisoners. The POWs barricaded themselves in the cafeteria to resist this attempt. On the 12th, the Canadian guards rappelled from the top windows of the building. Concerned about the optics of killing and shooting the unarmed prisoners, the Canadian guards followed a decision made by the commander at the time and the battle was fought with baseball bats, garden hoses, frying pans and bottles. One German prisoner was shot in the buttocks by accident in an intended warning shot from a guard. It is the only recorded incident of a POW being harmed by gunfire within the confines of a POW camp in Canada.

In 1943, prisoners Otto Kretschmer and Wolfgang Heyda tried an elaborate escape attempt dubbed Operation Kiebitz. A tunnel was dug out of the bottom of Camp 30’s triple barracks and underneath Lambs Road where it came up on the other side of the road into a bush. While the prisoners were tunneling, they stored soil in the roof of the triple barracks. As a result, the roof collapsed and the guards found out about the intricate scheme.

When the war ended in 1945, Camp 30’s wooden barracks were disassembled, cut up and used in the construction of houses on Veterans Avenue in Bowmanville.

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  • Dec 31, 1969

Today Camp 30 remains abandoned. Although there is graffiti and the site has been scavenged, the volunteer group Camp 30 Foundation is working to stop the progression of damage. If funding is made available, the foundation would like to see adaptive reuse, whether it be made into a community centre or restaurant space.

Special thanks to Martha Rutherford Conrad, former executive director, Clarington Museums and Archives.

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Spooky campsites

Visit the Most Haunted Campgrounds in the U.S.

Forget haunted houses and corn mazes. Head out to the woods instead, where the real scares await.

Spooky campsites

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The campfire is out, it’s dark outside your tent, and you hear something rustle in the woods. You know it’s probably nothing, but your body is on alert. Then, as a moonlit   shadow slowly passes over your vulnerable tent, you ask yourself:   Why did I think it would be a good idea to spend the night at a haunted campground? For the thrill, of course. But haunted houses are cliché, and you visited the corn maze last October, so put your nerves to the test and head out into the woods, where strange sounds, floating figures, and high electromagnetic readings abound. Here are a few campgrounds across the spooky spectrum that you can visit this Halloween.

Lake Morena, California


This lakeside campground , near the start of the Pacific Crest Trail and   not far from the Mexican border, has experienced unexplained activity for at least 40 years. On October 26, 1983, the San Diego Union  ran a story with the headline “More than Fish Haunt Morena.” At the time, park volunteers and rangers attested to witnessing levitating bodies, hearing heavy footsteps when nobody was around, and seeing an old man in their peripheral vision.

On one occasion, reported the newspaper, when a ranger hosted a relative in his house, she woke in the night to see “a baby’s christening gown across the room. It floated to her, brushed her cheek, floated back where she had first seen it and disappeared.” In the years since, guests have reported similar experiences of floating figures, unexplained sounds, and even a woman in white standing at the shoreline.

Big Moose Lake, New York

Chester Gillette (left) was convicted and put to death for the murder of Grace Brown, his pregnant lover.

Stories of hauntings are often preceded by legends of murders, and—if the murder happened at all—the details are murky. This isn’t the case for the story of  Big Moose Lake , site of the well-documented murder of Grace Brown in 1906. Located in a remote region of the Adirondacks near Fourth Lake, in a place that has primitive campsites, the lake and the killing that took place there have inspired numerous fictitious accounts, including Theodore Dreiser’s novel An American Tragedy   and the movie  A Place in the Sun,  starring Elizabeth Taylor.

The story   goes that 18-year-old Brown was working at a skirt factory in Cortland, New York, when she met the company owner’s charming nephew, Chester Gillette. They began secretly dating, and soon enough, Brown   was pregnant. She begged Gillette to marry her, desperately wanting to avoid the fate of an unwed young mother. To her delight, he promised he’d take her on a trip, presumably to propose. They traveled to upstate New York and decided to paddle a canoe onto the lake. Brown had mentioned that she couldn’t swim, and when they got far enough out, Gillette grabbed a tennis racket from his bag and smashed in her head. She fell into the water and drowned.

Gillette was arrested within days and eventually sentenced to death. Ever since, campers have reported seeing a supernatural presence at Big Moose Lake. “I understand her ghost haunts the lake,” a psychic named Lucia Read told The New York Times in 2006.

Fort Worden State Historical Park, Washington

Spooky campsites

There are miles of buried tunnels, dead ends, and old rooms beneath Fort Worden Historical State Park , a former military base that’s now a campground 60 miles north of Seattle. “There is a lot to be explored here that will get your spine tingling,” says Megan Claflin, who works for the park, where you can explore century-old fortifications that housed nearly a thousand troops and officers. While Claflin would not confirm whether the area is definitely haunted, she did say that visitors have had unsettling experiences.

Ghost hunters who have visited the fort claim to have witnessed paranormal activity, including   glowing orb   sightings and high electromagnetic readings. “This was an active military base and then juvenile detention center for about ten years,” says Claflin. “There is certainly an echo of the individuals who made the fort their home, and if you believe in that kind of thing, perhaps there are some who have yet to move on.”

Braley Pond, Virginia

Spooky campsites

This   popular fishing spot in George Washington National Forest, 60 miles from Charlottesville, is the site of Virginia’s most haunted campground, Braley Pond . Rumors of disembodied laugher, floating figures, and other unearthly activity escalated after a gruesome gang murder  took place there in 2003. According to a story by the Dyrt , not long after the murder, paranormal researcher Shea Willis visited the pond and immediately began experiencing nausea and dread upon arriving.

Just before midnight, Willis and her colleagues heard something moving in the water, “splashing violently.” As they ran back to the car, Willis claims something landed on her back and began crawling all over her body. They escaped the campground and made it home, but Willis continued to feel haunted, experiencing nightmares and not feeling like herself for weeks afterward. “It was like a communication with whatever this thing was,” she told the Dyrt. “Like little bits and pieces of it were still stuck with me.”

Holy Ghost Campground, New Mexico

Spooky campsites

In New Mexico’s northern Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Holy Ghost Campground , within Santa Fe National Forest, is an isolated but scenic place to spend the night. But before you go, know that it’s rumored to be the haunting grounds of a Spanish priest who was murdered there in the 17th century.

According to local ghost-tour guide Allan Pacheco, the surrounding Pecos Wilderness is home to all kinds of bizarre activity. “There are a number of people who have gone missing in that vicinity,” Pacheco   says. “It’s like the Bermuda Triangle of New Mexico—people disappear into thin air. No clothing or bones are ever found.” According to Pacheco, people have also spotted UFOs, seen strange shadows, and heard voices. “There’s   all kinds of speculation. Maybe there is a cosmic doorway that opens up there, maybe a Star Trek–type dimensional wormhole. Different beings, different energies, you name it.”

When reached for comment, a spokesperson   at Santa Fe National Forest denied the existence of paranormal activity in the area: “Holy Ghost Campground cannot be haunted for one simple, yet big and important reason: ghosts are not real.”

Update: On Friday, October 18, after this story published, a group of Outside  editors bravely spent the night at Holy Ghost to investigate the claims of paranormal activity. The night passed peacefully, but the next morning, associate managing editor Aleta Burchyski got up early to fish the nearby Holy Ghost Creek. About ten minutes in, her hook got snagged on a root along the bank. As Burchyski worked to free the hook, she saw a dark figure of a man in her peripheral vision, approaching her. “He was walking weird, kind of loping,” Burchyski says. Initially she thought it was her husband coming over to tell her how cold he was, walking strangely in an attempt to warm up. “But then I turned to say hi,” she says, “and NOBODY WAS THERE.”

Bannack State Park, Montana 


The Montana Territory, before it became the state in 1889, was a rough-and-tumble place. During the gold rush of the 1860s, a civilian group known as the Montana Vigilantes set out to capture and hang members of the Innocents, a highway gang that targeted shipments of gold passing through the territory. The Vigilantes accused Henry Plummer, the local sheriff of Bannack, of leading the gang, and Plummer was hung from the same gallows north of town that he had previously ordered built. It’s still disputed whether Plummer was guilty, and in a 1993 posthumous trial in Virginia City, Montana, the jury was split six-six.

Maybe it’s the ghost of Plummer who   haunts Bannack today—now a ghost town with a spooky reputation. Visitors regularly report paranormal experiences. “Our most commonly seen spirit is a young girl named Dorothy who drowned here,” says John Philip, a ranger at Bannack State Park. You can camp nearby, and while visitors are not usually allowed in Bannack itself after dark,  nighttime ghost tours  are scheduled there the weekend before Halloween.

Humboldt State Park, California

Spooky campsites

Hiking through the redwoods of Humboldt Redwoods State Park at night during a full moon, or camping overnight at one of 250 sites, you might encounter strange “ghost trees.” They look like regular redwood trees, but their leaves are pale, as white as a skeleton.

While eerie in the right light, these albino redwoods are more hauntingly beautiful than anything. Only about 400 are known to exist around the world. Without chlorophyll, these redwoods are unable to produce their own sugar, so nearby trees will pass sugar to albinos through their roots, allowing them to live. Why do the other trees give up precious nutrients? One theory points to the fact that albino redwoods have higher amounts of heavy metals in their   pine needles , which could kill an ordinary redwood. So it’s possible that a symbiotic relationship exists, in which other redwoods feed the albino trees, and the albinos in turn remove more heavy metals from the soil.

These trees are fragile and easily damaged by visitors. Enjoy them from a distance, or you won’t need a ghost story to scare you—an angry ranger will do the job fine.

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Most Haunted Campgrounds in America

Instead of sitting around the campfire telling ghost stories, why not go spend the night in a “haunted” campground and possibly see a ghost! Our most haunted campgrounds featured here, with the help of 99camping , are located mostly in the West and may be the best places to experience some paranormal activity this Halloween!

Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park / Northern California

Our first stop on our haunted campgrounds tour is  Malakoff Diggins campground. It offers a pretty spooky basecamp to seek out ghosts that haunt many of the historic buildings throughout the park. Some campers have seen and photographed spectral figures in the (ghost) town of North Boomfield.


Photo of a ghost in a window of the Skidmore house (Photo by Sonny Lopez)

Be sure to also check out the old school house (1872), which is located right next to the century old town cemetery. Locals claim that the schoolhouse is the most haunted place in Malakoff Diggins. Apparently a schoolmaster killed a child in front of the class and hung the body in the upstairs rafters.  If you get the chance to go inside the schoolhouse, take your digital recorder and stroll on over to the ladder leading up to the rafters. You’ll be sure to get a chill, if not a few EVPs.


Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park is home to California’s largest hydraulic gold mine. Visitors can see the environmental destruction caused by carving huge cliffs with water. There are many historic buildings/sites to visit at this 3,000 acre forested park. The campground has 30 single-family campsites and most are set among large pines trees. Learn more about Malakoff Diggins and to see all the campsite photos .

Holcomb Valley Campground / Big Bear, California

Holcomb Valley was once the site of a thriving mining town back in the 1800s with Belleville (pop. 1,500) becoming the largest town in San Bernardino County. Belleville was as rough as any mining town in the day and included its fair share of saloons, brothels, drifters, robbers and scoundrels. Some accounts say there was at least a killing and hanging every week. You can still see some ruins of the town’s buildings, as well as a few graves and many of the original diggings throughout Holcomb Valley. The hanging tree still stands today and is located a short walk from Holcomb Valley campground . It is close to this tree, and throughout the dark woods of the campground, that strange ghostly orbs have been seen. Campers have even heard murmurs, whispers and occasional other-wordily screams during the night.


Holcomb Valley Campground has 19 single-family campsites located at an elevation for 7,400 feet about 5 miles north of Big Bear Lake. Learn more about Holcomb Valley, see photos of each campsite, and to learn more about the campground .

Beaver Creek Campground / West Yellowstone, Montana

Beaver Creek campground sits on a bluff overlooking Quake Lake in West Yellowstone, Montana. The lake was formed by a huge landslide that temporarily plugged the Madison River. The landside was triggered by a 7.5 earthquake that occurred on August 17, 1959. Millions of tons of boulders and gravel slid down from the side of a mountain and into a campground killing 28 campers in the middle of the night. What remains of the campground, including the trailers and vehicles, is now under the waters of Quake Lake. If you dare to venture down to the shore during a moonless night you may see glowing orbs where the old campground was located.


Ghost Village is also close to Beaver Creek campground and you can take a short walk to some of the cabins that were destroyed during the quake and rising water. Ghost Village is a creepy, beautiful place and definitely worth visiting during a Halloween campout at Beaver Creek. The area is spectacular, the fly-fishing is world-class and there’s an abundance of wildlife to see, including the occasional Grizzly bear.


Beaver Creek campground has 64 single-family campsites set among a forest of large pine, Aspen and Douglas fir trees. Learn more about Beaver Creek and see all of the campsite photos .

Crystal Lake Recreation Area – Crystal Lake Campground / Southern California

In 1922 the last of the remaining California Grizzly Bears was hunted and killed in Tulare County. That would have been news to Stephen Majors and his family because they were attacked and killed by what might have been a Grizzly in 1934.


In early 1933 Stephen was hired to help build the Crystal Lake Amphitheater and dance studio in the Angels National Forest just north of L.A. Later that year he moved his wife Heather, son Markus (10) and daughter Susan (12) to the area. His family was assigned a tent to live in away from the other men who did not have a family.

Tent Torn to Shreds

On September 19th (1934) after a long hard day of work, Stephen and Heather put their children to bed and then decided to take a walk in the woods. Upon returning to camp, they found their tent torn to shreds and their screaming children inside. On top of the tent was a huge bear trying to get at the children. Stephen and Heather ran to their children to try and help, but the bear turned on them – killing the parents and children. By the time the men at the work camp got to the tent, all they saw were disemboweled bodies of the family. The family was buried on the hillside below the dance studio and the bear was never found.

Since then, dozens of people have seen apparitions of two adults and two children around the ruins of the dance studio floor. Ghost hunting groups visit the site regularly and have captured a variety of paranormal evidence.


So if you find yourself camping up at Crystal Lake campground this Halloween (or any other night), be sure to take a stroll up to the ruins of the old dance floor. You won’t see any Grizzly bears, but you just may see the ghosts of the Majors family.

Crystal Lake Recreation Area campground has 191 single-family campsites in the Angeles National Forest above Los Angeles.

Silver Strand State Beach / Coronado Island – San Diego, California

Silver Strand State Beach is located on a beautiful beach about 2 miles south of Coronado. The campground is located right on the sand and offers parking lot style camping for self-contained RVs and/or trailers.


A few miles to the north of Silver Strand campground is the famous Hotel Del Coronado. It is here that you may just catch a glimpse of a certain ghost that is said to roam the shoreline in front of the hotel. The ghost is that of Kate Morgan who checked in to the hotel (in 1892), but never checked out. It seems Kate was distraught that her lover never showed up at the Hotel Del Coronado. After waiting for five days, she killed herself with a handgun she purchased in San Diego. Although Kate’s ghostly activities have mostly been experienced in and around her 3rd floor guestroom, she has also been spotted in the hallways and along the seashore.


Kate Morgan

Closer to camp – just off Imperial Beach – you might get lucky one low tide to spot the conning tower and sunken remains of the USS S-37 submarine. This submarine saw plenty of action during WWII and was responsible for sinking the Japanese destroyer Natsushio, among other vessels. Some say that the Japenese sailors killed by the S-37 still haunt the submarine. There have been accounts of seeing strange luminescence shapes in the waves as they wash over the wreckage during the night at low tide. Shapes that look like bodies trying to either get in or out of the submarine. It’s probably not a good place for a night swim.


Learn more about Silver Strand State Beach and check out some campsite photos .

Humboldt Redwoods State Park / Northern California

We’ve all heard stories of Sasquatch (aka Bigfoot) roaming the woods of Northern California and Humboldt Redwoods State Park, but did you also know that the spirits of Native Americans also haunt the forest. The Sinkyone people used to live here, but their spirits remain to protect the sacred trees. Campers have actually seen full-body apparitions standing in the dark forest staring back at them before disappearing into the mist of the forest.


If you’re not fortunate enough to spot a Bigfoot or Native American spirit on your Halloween camping trip to Humboldt Redwoods State Park, chances are pretty good you will see one of the 6 ghost trees that “haunt” the forest. The ghost trees are actually rare albino white redwood trees, which average about 30 feet high. The albino redwoods lack pigmentation. Their needles are white and give the appearance that they’ve been flocked with snow or frost. The ghost trees are pretty easy to find if you know where to look.


Humboldt Redwoods State Park is a 53,000 acre-park located along the Eel and has some of the best ancient redwood groves on the planet. There are 3 primary campgrounds including: Albee Creek , Burlington and Hidden Springs . Albee Creek has 41 campsites scattered among old-growth redwoods trees. Burlington is located next to the Visitor Center on the Avenue of the Giants and has 57 campsites. Hidden Springs is the largest campground with 154 campsites and is located right on the Avenue of the Giants.   Haunted Campgrounds

Regards, Park Ranger

8 Replies to “Most Haunted Campgrounds in America”

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Next year/Halloween we will search out ones back east!

Thank you guys for all you do. I know there is a lot of work and time involved and I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. Ahem. If you are hiring in ten years when I retire I will gladly partake in this endeavor, his site is one of a kind and I utilize your photos and reviews every time we go camping. Can’t wait for you to hit New Jersey,

Thanks Ellen! It’s a lot of hard work, but somebody has to do it. We now have almost 1,300 public campgrounds throughout the US covered (all campsites photographed) and still going strong. We hope to do a photo tour of New Jersey next year!

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If your a ghost chaser, I have one for you. I recently stayed at Mountain Lakes resort in Lytle Creek, California. I rented cabin #689 and that cabin definitly has a visitor. My sister slept in the bedroom part. About 5am something was pounding the doors of the closet from the inside out loudly, then the sound of feet running around the bed and right corner of the mattres where your feet are, something bounced or jumped off the bed. i was sleeping in the living room couch and was woken by my sister moaning loud like she couldn’t get her loud frightening scream out. when I opened the door to ask, Whats wrong? Are you ok? Whats wrong?……..Ghost chasers, go check this out!!!!!

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That is awesome! Thanks for sharing.

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That’s creepy which I kind of don believe in the paranormal or paranormal activity

I’m with you Holly. Would have to see to believe 🙂

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8 terrifying campsites to book this Halloween — if you dare

Ready to find out if you’re really afraid of the dark.

camp 30 haunted

’Tis the season for haunted houses, ghost tours and Ouija boards. But for the brave outdoorsy types, it can also be the season for haunted camping.

A campsite puts you right out in the elements with the rest of the natural (or supernatural) world. Once the sun sets and darkness shrouds your tent or cabin, good luck distinguishing the various sounds as normal or paranormal.

If the idea of being terrified in the woods sounds right up your alley, check out these eight terrifying (and allegedly haunted) campsites.

Braley Pond, Va.

A popular retreat in George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, Braley Pond has a reputation for rattling campers. Some report getting nauseous upon arriving in the area, or seeing orbs of light and shadow figures. Some claim to hear laughter that can’t be accounted for.

I rented a haunted house on Airbnb. Here's how it went.

Mount Doom Haunted Forest, Ala.

The name may have tipped you off, but the Mount Doom Haunted Forest near Alabama’s Rickwood Caverns State Park is not just known for its sprawling 200 acres of woodlands or views of the Appalachian Mountains.

“Strange occurrences seem to creep this way when those foggy plumes appear on the horizon,” site host Doug wrote in his HipCamp listing . “I have a waiver you may need to sign when you arrive … just sayin!”

Holy Ghost Campground, N.M.

Legend has it that the Holy Ghost Campground in Santa Fe National Forest is haunted for myriad reasons . Some say a Catholic priest who died there in the 1700s wanders the area. Others say disappearing state troopers or car crashes are the reasons behind the creepy occurrences that take place in the campground’s canyon.

Tilted Hill Ranch, Calif.

Those who camp at Tilted Hill Ranch can book a Haunted Hill custom experience during their visit. According to the host, this guided night hike through the manzanita- and oak-filled woods is not suitable for children.

The do's and dont's of camping alone

Big Moose Lake, N.Y.

Steel your nerves before you head to camp at Big Moose Lake , where the spirit of Grace Brown wanders after her murder there in 1906. Some retrace Brown’s last steps during their visit in hopes of seeing her ghost .

Antietam Creek Campground, Md.

On Sept. 17, 1862, the deadliest battle of the Civil War took place on Antietam Creek, leaving more than 23,000 soldiers dead, wounded or missing in action. Today, people claim you can feel a spirit energy in the area. A few miles from that battlefield is the Antietam Creek Campground, where visitors claim to have military ghost encounters.

Port Townsend, Wash.

Those afraid of heights, beware. Located on 10 acres of private forest, this military bunker was built into the hill of a 250-foot primitive bluff in 1939. With views of the Salish Sea, the bunker campsite is also close to Fort Worden Historical State Park , said to be home of the most haunted campsite in Washington. First an army base, then a youth detention center , some say the park was used by worshipers of Satan to release demons into the area.

Holcomb Valley Campground, Calif.

About five miles from Big Bear Lake, Holcomb Valley Campground comes with a deeply disturbing backstory. The area was once home to a mining community in the 1800s that was plagued by Old West violence . Some say there was a killing a week at the Hangman’s Tree . Campers can hike nearby to see where the cursed tree once stood and resulting gravesites of those executed there.

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Live Your Own Scary Story at These 6 Haunted Campgrounds

house with illuminated window visible in a spooky foggy forest

This article on haunted campgrounds is brought to you by our friends at Vivobarefoot who developed a sturdy, comfortable shoe made from 17 plastic bottles. Like your best ghost story, these trail shoes come in handy on camping trip after camping trip. They’re also re- boo -sable!

There is something about exchanging scary stories with friends, while snacking on roasted marshmallows around the campfire. If you want to turn the heebie-jeebies up a notch, try sharing scary stories while camping at some of the most haunted places in America. A little paranormal panic makes the s’mores taste sweeter and the sleeping bag feel cozier.

Are You Brave Enough To Sleep Overnight at These Haunted Campgrounds?

Ghosts have reportedly been seen at, or close by, these 6 haunted campgrounds. You’ll be glad to have a headlamp on hand — just in case you hear something go bump in the night.

1. Antietam Creek Campground  in Hagerstown, MD

Antietam National Battlefield Sunken Road (Bloody Lane)

Image © Miguel Vieira from Flickr CC BY 2.0

It would be surprising if a campground located near the bloodiest battle of the Civil War weren’t considered haunted. Antietam Creek  is located just a few miles from where the thickest Civil War fighting took place, and where 23,000 men died. Visitors at the campsite have reportedly seen ghostly soldiers, or heard the firing of guns, cannons and the rata-tat-tat of military drummers.

A narrow country road, now called Bloody Lane, separates the two farms where Union and Confederate troops formed opposing lines. You can also check out the Burnside Bridge ,  and the Antietam National Cemetery . All of these locations played a pivotal role in the Battle of Antietam over a 150 years ago.  If you aren’t too unnerved after visiting the battlefield and spending the night at Antietam Creek Campsite, opt for a lighter outdoor experience the next day at nearby South Mountain State Park.

2. Lake Morena Campground in San Diego, CA

camp 30 haunted

Image from The Dyrt Ranger Libby P.

Reviewers of Lake Morena will tell you about the level campsites, the playground for the kids, and the call of the wild turkeys in the morning. All those things are true and The Dyrt Ranger verified. However, according to local lore, Lake Morena also has an elusive resident ghost.

The ghost is usually described as a woman dressed in white, doomed to wander the fringes of the Laguna Mountains until her earthly business is settled. Campers say they hear a woman’s voice even when no one else is around, or hear strange singing and laughter. If you find yourself unable to sleep, and you are feeling brave, just slip on your trail shoes and go for a lap around the lake and its haunted campgrounds. Maybe the ghost of Lake Morena is just lonely and looking for some company.

camp 30 haunted

3. Braley Pond in West Augusta, VA

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Cassie Ivey Lottinville (@lottinlove)

Braley Pond  attracts hikers and campers with dispersed campsites, a pond, and a nearby creek. This campsite is located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest , but don’t let the tranquil forest environment fool you, this place is also known for strange supernatural sightings.

There are many different stories about the ghost that haunts Braley Pond. Some say you can see the spirit hovering over the creek. Others say you can hear horses trotting down the road and the mysterious laughter of children. One account claims that staying here overnight drove a paranormal investigator insane. Whatever you see when you visit, don’t miss out on the more serene offerings found here, which include trout fishing, plenty of firewood, and trails along the pond’s edge. There’s plenty to explore at Braley Pond— if you dare.

4. Crystal Lake in Los Angeles, CA

camp 30 haunted

Photo courtesy of The Dyrt Ranger Katarina A .

If your mind just conjured up images of the haunted campgrounds occupied by Jason Voorhees, you’re not alone. This particular  Crystal Lake  is a sprawling first-come, first-serve campground in the valley, where visitors can enjoy views and hiking in the surrounding  San Gabriel Canyon. Crystal Lake has been attracting visitors for a long time, but according to stories about the place, some visitors never leave.

An amphitheater and dance studio were built here in the 1930s. At the time, the campground was filled with workers and their families who were contracted for the project. The story goes that one night a bear entered the camp and attacked a man’s wife and children. He ran to their defense, but ended up being mauled as well. The family was buried near the dance studio, and the bear was never seen again. Visitors say that the ghosts still haunt the campground.

If you feel spooked by the story,  just remember to bring along your bear spray.

5. The Heceta Head Lighthouse in Florence, OR

haunted campground Heceta Head Lighthouse

Image from HISE Studios on Wikimedia Commons

Heceta Head Lighthouse in Florence, Oregon is such a stunning place that one former caretaker may have stuck around for good. Stories say that Rue, a former resident and employee, still haunts the lighthouse, keeping up her duties in the afterlife. According to those who have seen her, Rue haunts the old house in a fairly peaceful fashion, occasionally moving objects, sitting down on freshly made beds, and on rare occasions appearing to handymen who are working on the property.

You can book a room in the lighthouse if you are looking for a creepy night, or, you can camp down the beach from the lighthouse at the Carl G. Washburne Memorial State Park.  In the morning, take the 2-mile hike to the lighthouse and step inside — maybe you’ll meet Rue yourself.

6. Holy Ghost Campground in Santa Fe, NM

This campground has “ghost” in its name for a reason.  Holy Ghost Campground is rumored to be haunted by a Catholic priest who died here in the 1700s. Some say he was attacked by the Pueblo people who were defending themselves from colonizers. Other stories about why Holy Ghost Campground is haunted involve more recent tales of tragic car crashes, biker brawls, and state troopers run amuk. Once a place gets a reputation for being haunted, it seems to attract new myths, as well as an onslaught of visitors hoping to see mysterious lights in the trees, orbs hovering in the distance, or eerie sounds in the night.

Your goosebumps might be soothed by the stunning scenery of the Pecos Mountains once daylight returns. This spot is undeniably creepy at night, but it’s also hauntingly beautiful during the day.

After visiting these campgrounds you’ll be able to tell your friends a real scary story around the campfire, about the time you braved one of these haunted campgrounds — and lived to tell the tale.

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Meghan O'Dea

Meghan O'Dea is a writer, world traveler, and life-long learner who grew up in the foothills of Appalachia. College led to summer stints in England and Slovenia, grad school to a sojourn Hong Kong, and curiosity to everywhere in between. She has written for the Washington Post, Fortune Magazine, Yoga Journal, Eater Magazine, and Uproxx amongst others. Meghan hopes to visit all seven continents with pen and paper in tow.

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OA Haunted Forest Trail- Saturday Night 7:30PM-10PM

  •  October 21, 2023  6:45 pm - 10:00 pm

The O-Shot Caw Lodge Haunted Forest Trail is a fun filled evening.

Everyone is welcome to come for the evening on Saturday night to the O.A. Haunted Forest

Options available to purchase:

Haunted Forest Trail Ticket- go through the trail as many times as you want

Haunted Forest Midway Wristband – (includes all activities Saturday night- full Midway of games),

Haunted Forest Event Patch

Lodge Trading Post – Including- shirts, patches, glow sticks, event items, past event patches, and so much more

Heron Grill – Creating all kinds of delicious meal options Saturday night for your family

The Haunted Trail opens at 7:30 PM on Saturday.

Haunted Forest Trail Tickets are available in the Council Office until Thursday October 19th at 3 PM. $6.00

Haunted Forest Trail Tickets are available onsite at Camp Elmore on Saturday October 21st at 7 PM for $ 10 each

Trail Tickets are available Online until October 18, 2023, at 11 PM. 

Click the below link BOX to go to the O-Shot-Caw Lodge website and register for the Haunted Forest or to get tickets or information

Proceeds for the OA Haunted Forest are used to assist the O-Shot-Caw Lodge in running their annual events and to help Scouts who may not be able to afford camping through the Joseph Aaron Abbott Campership Fund . The Campership pays for partial fees- allowing all Scouts to still fundraise and help pay their own way for camping. Campership Forms will be available on January 1st, 2024.

Venue:    Camp Elmore

SFC Facility

Venue Website:


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camp 30 haunted

Mystery as ‘incident’ at Putin’s top secret bullet factory sparks state of emergency & leaves Russians to freeze in -30C

  • Ellie Doughty
  • Will Stewart
  • Published : 15:54, 7 Jan 2024
  • Updated : 16:22, 7 Jan 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

A MYSTERY incident at Putin's top secret bullet factory left hundreds of thousands of Russians to freeze to death.

Some reports have suggested the factory was sabotaged over Putin 's failing war in Ukraine as residents were left to fend for themselves in temperatures as low as minus 30C.

Residents have been left to bundle up in coats, gloves and hats indoors to stay warm

A heating power station at the plant, where bullets are made for Putin's war, broke down as a state of emergency was declared.

The incident, which remains shrouded in mystery, left civilians living in the surrounding area without heat.

One newly-wed couple, Eduard, 28, and Anastasia Poluektov, died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in a desperate attempt to keep warm.

Eduard's mother called it a "horrible tragedy".


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Countless others have been left to freeze in the bone-cracking cold around Moscow after losing their heating.

Desperate residents scrawled a sign saying: “SOS - We are freezing - Punish the guilty.”

Some 170 apartment blocks have been left with no heat in temperatures lower than ever known in Britain.

Putin’s incompetent cronies have been unable to say when the heating will be restored. 

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The Russian government, responsible for providing heating to residents, has diverted public funds in the last two years to fund Mad Vlad's illegal war in Ukraine.

There have been increasing reports of Russians rising up in protest amid the brutal winter.

The Yuri Andropov Cartridge Plant in Klimovsk, where the bullets are produced, is named after a sinister chief of the KGB and Soviet Union who has been sanctioned by the West.

In Klimovsk, 30 miles south of Moscow, the local government has complained that the military plant refused to release details about what caused the problem, leading to suspicions of yet another sabotage attack. 

A criminal investigation into the break down has been launched and a state of emergency declared in the wider area.

A protest video said: “Since yesterday they promise nothing. No heat.

“Grandmothers are freezing at home. Children dressed in coats are sick, coughing.

“The hospitals are cold, everywhere is cold. We need to do something to solve this.

“Who is responsible is still unclear…we get only excuses.”

And another resident complained about a protest: “The police arrived quickly to disrupt us. 

“I wish they’d bring back the heating as fast as they dispatched the cops [to disperse us].”

In Lytkarino, also near Moscow, another power station broke down leaving residents to light fires outside in the icy temperatures.

Women, children and pensioners came out to complain.  

A video from locals said:  “We're freezing.

"Residents are coming out on a picket.

“We burn wood because it's too cold at home. It is warmer even outside.

“Please [officials] respond to our request…The [local] administration doesn't care.”

Regional governor Andrei Vorobyov was accused of ignoring people.

His domain - the Moscow region - is also where Putin’s official residence is located. 

Some blame resources being diverted to Putin’s war while others have dubbed it a sign of corruption.

Reports say there was a record drop of temperatures after the New Year and a failure to cope by the suppliers, all linked to the state.

Read more on The Sun

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Residents in Khimki, Balashikha, Solnechnogorsk, Lyubertsy and Elektrostal also suffered heating loss due to power outages.

In all, several hundred thousand people have been hit. 

Civilians build fires outside as it is warmer than staying indoors

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    October 12, 2021 at 2:58 p.m. EDT. (iStock/Washington Post illustration) 'Tis the season for haunted houses, ghost tours and Ouija boards. But for the brave outdoorsy types, it can also be the ...

  19. 10 Haunted Camping Areas & Parks for a Scary Overnight Adventure

    Although you can't directly camp in the forest, the KOA Campground nearby is right on the border of the haunted triangle and makes for a memorable overnight camping experience. 4. Calico Ghost Town, California. Before it was abandoned, Calico was a popular and successful silver mining town in San Bernardino County.

  20. Remembering an encounter with the ghosts of Dachau

    Crematoria in Dachau (photo: Steve North) An Auschwitz survivor once told me that in the depths of that hell, he and his fellow inmates would hear horror stories of Dachau, and pray they'd never ...

  21. Live Your Own Scary Story at These 6 Haunted Campgrounds

    It would be surprising if a campground located near the bloodiest battle of the Civil War weren't considered haunted. Antietam Creek is located just a few miles from where the thickest Civil War fighting took place, and where 23,000 men died. Visitors at the campsite have reportedly seen ghostly soldiers, or heard the firing of guns, cannons and the rata-tat-tat of military drummers.

  22. OA Haunted Forest Trail- Saturday Night 7:30PM-10PM

    The Haunted Trail opens at 7:30 PM on Saturday. Haunted Forest Trail Tickets are available in the Council Office until Thursday October 19th at 3 PM. $6.00. Haunted Forest Trail Tickets are available onsite at Camp Elmore on Saturday October 21st at 7 PM for $ 10 each. Trail Tickets are available Online until October 18, 2023, at 11 PM.

  23. Mystery 'incident' at Putin's secret bullet factory sparks state of

    The top secret bullet factory in Klimovsk Credit: East2West. A heating power station at the plant, where bullets are made for Putin's war, broke down as a state of emergency was declared.