The 13th Floor

The “Bear Man” and Other Creepy Forest Tales

Image Credit: iStock/svedoliver

Gather ‘round, my sleepless ones, and settle in for a fresh nightmare from the weird, wild web: yes, it’s time for another creepypasta, a bone-chilling campfire tale for the modern age. (In case you missed last week’s edition, be sure to check out the chilling phenomenon of the Black Eyed Children.)

This one comes from Reddit’s notorious NoSleep community – the birthplace of many horrifying creepypastas, where contributors truly bring their master game by sharing the most convincing terror tales. As always, we won’t make any claims to the veracity of this story; you’ll just have to decide for yourself if what you’re about to read is the real deal.

<i>Image Credit: iStock/Northlight Images</i>
Image Credit: iStock/Northlight Images

About a month ago, a NoSleep post appeared courtesy of a supposed Search and Rescue officer for the US Forest Service. The author does not give a name or list their area of jurisdiction, and I’m not even sure of their gender (I’m guessing male). As an expert at finding hikers and campers who have lost their way, the officer prides himself in having rescued many missing persons… but there are some bizarre cases which continue to trouble him.

First, there was the report of a young brother and sister who became lost while picking berries with their parents. The officer was able to find the girl, but the boy was still unaccounted for; his sister claimed that the boy had been taken away on the shoulders of “The Bear Man” – a gigantic, hairy creature resembling a human, but with “a weird face.” After weeks of searching, no trace of the boy was ever found.

The next account involves a young woman who went hiking with her family, and climbed up a tree to get a better view of the forest. The woman’s mother and grandfather watched her disappear into the dense branches above… but she never came back down. After calling her name for hours, they began to search the surrounding area, but never found her. A similar story involved an older man using a walking stick, who hiked the forest trail and never returned; SAR patrols found only the walking stick – lodged in the highest branches of a tree, roughly 30 feet off the ground.

But those aren’t even the scariest cases recounted by the author: the one he says haunts him most was his search for a hiker who had become separated from her friends. After searching all night, he found her in a state of shock, huddled under a log. On the way back to base operations, the woman became agitated, saying they were being followed by a “big man with black eyes.” As they walked, the officer began to hear a strange coughing noise, which increased in intensity as they neared the base. Suddenly the woman turned and said: “He says to tell you to speed up. He doesn’t like looking at the scar on your neck.” The officer did indeed have a scar, but it was hidden by his collar. After she told him this, he heard the coughing sound again… but this time it seemed to be right next to him. The source of the sound and the cause of the hiker’s disappearance are still unknown.

You can read more of the SAR officer’s chilling forest tales on NoSleep, including his many accounts of finding mysterious flights of stairs in the woods, and a skin-crawling story about the “Goatman.”

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