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Trip To Bear Head Lake


The summer between junior year and senior year of high school, I got to take my best friend with me on a family vacation. I was really excited about it because she got to meet some of our family friends on the way up as we passed through my old home state, Iowa. I also got to take her to one of my favorite places in the world, Ledges State Park. All this was on the way to Minnesota to meet up with the rest of the family. Poor Lindsay ended up getting sick in Ames so the trip was awful for her. We didn't know how to help other than to give her medicine and try to let her sleep.

In Minnesota, we stayed the night in my aunt's apartment with my two cousins and my grandma. My friend had a little crush on my eldest cousin at the time and they got along really well. When it was time to go to bed, she stayed on an air mattress in my cousins' room. I was a little jealous of the fact that my cousin was getting so much attention from my friend, so I had an air mattress to sleep on in the living room.

In the middle of the night, she came out and woke my mom up. She had a really high fever and she was uncomfortable in my cousins' room. We moved her bed out to the living room and my mom gave her more medicine.

The next day she told me that it wasn't just the fever that woke her up. In fact, she couldn't sleep because of it. She found herself staring at this night light the boys had. It was this soft light that would go from white, to yellow, to green, to blue, to red. That was the cycle, over and over. She said that while she was watching it, the light would turn colors that weren't in the cycle, such as purple. Her attention was then drawn to the box fan that was blowing near the boys' open closet. She said she heard a growl and the fan was violently knocked over. The growling freaked her out and the fan was broken, so she wanted to sleep in the living room with us.

That experience didn't happen to me, but it directly relates to an experience to an experience I mentioned in "Brigid". Plus, it was something that happened on the trip so I figured it belonged here. I really wish I could get my friend to start submitting experiences on this site too. She has a lot to share.

I didn't know what to tell her about the growling. I had experienced dark things around my cousins' previous apartment. I just wasn't surprised that she would hear something like that in their room. I also didn't know how to console her, so I was happy we weren't spending another night there. She was pretty happy about that too.

The next day, we went further north. I think we camped in Tettegouche State Park for a few nights. We visited another place in the world that I hold dearly, Grand Marais. During our stay in that area, we hung out at Split Rock Lighthouse, where Lindsay drank some Lake Superior water. Her fever promptly subsided and she felt much better, thankfully.

Halfway through our vacation, we left the Tettegouche/Grand Marais area to go to Bear Head Lake State Park to camp for a couple days. Lindsay and I thought Bear Head was creepy. It was always really quiet even though the park was full of people. There were cars, tents, and campers all over the camping area, but it was always extremely quiet all the time.

The first full day we were there, my best friend and I went exploring. We walked around the park, which was beautiful, but there was just something off about it. There was this one area that had a fish cleaning shack and a bathroom. I had to go, but she did not, so I left her in the fish cleaning shack to go do my business.

The fish cleaning shack was uphill, next to the bathroom. This bathroom had running water and showers. It wasn't an outhouse or anything like that but it was pretty basic structure. The entrances to each side could be seen from fish cleaning shack, as well as the small parking area next to it on the men's side.

I went to the women's side and hurried in. Just like most of the camp, I didn't see anyone in there. I went to the middle stall because it wasn't the handicap stall but it also wasn't the very first one. As I went to do what one does in a bathroom, I heard a car pull up. Almost as soon as I heard the car's engine turn off, someone walked in.

Naturally, I thought it was another lady, but whoever it was walked right up to my stall. They didn't stop at the first or the big handicap one at the end. They walked directly up to my stall. Under the door, I saw straight leg blue jeans and large feet wearing what looked like men's running shoes. I admit, I panicked for a moment. It wasn't because I thought maybe a man was in the ladies room. It was because this person just stopped in front of my door and stood there facing it without even checking the other two empty stalls on either side. I felt vulnerable and alone. I really wasn't sure what I could do if this person tried to force their way in. I didn't even have to nerve simply say that the stall was occupied.

The person never knocked on the door. The feet, the shoes and even the pants looked like they belonged to a man to me, but I know women can have big feet and wear men's clothes. I don't know who was out there, but they didn't say anything to me. They didn't knock. They just walked up to my door and stood there for what felt like a full minute. After that, they turned and walked right back out.

I didn't hear a car start up and I didn't hear anyone pull away. I was shaken, and I didn't want to be in the bathroom by myself anymore. I got out of the stall, washed my hands, and went straight back to my friend. As soon as I saw her, I asked her if she saw anyone go in the bathroom. I wanted details and I didn't see a car anywhere nearby. I wanted to know who to look out for because that experience was really creepy.

She told me that she saw a car go straight by at one point, but no one stopped at the bathroom. She didn't see anyone go in or out. From where she was standing, she had a clear line of sight to ladies room door. I had to believe her. I told her what happened and we avoided that bathroom until the very last day of our visit at Bear Head Lake.

On the last day, we had the wild idea of using the showers in that bathroom. There were two of them and it was safe because there were two of us. What could go wrong?

We walked there with everything we needed to get clean and ready for the long trip home. No one was in the bathroom again. We had it all to ourselves. We knew someone was in there before because the floor in the showers were wet and someone had left a pink bottle of Suave in the corner of one of the biggest one.

We were talking and making jokes as we separated into the shower stalls. We were both about to start shampooing our hair when we heard a thump somewhere in the bathroom. I called out to ask if anyone was there, brave only because I had someone with me. My friend and I both peeked out of the shower doors at roughly the same time to see who had come in.

Lindsay mentioned that it sounded like the sound came from the entrance door but all the bathroom stalls doors were wide open. There was no one in front of the mirror or the sinks and we were in the only showers in that side of the building. It made us pretty anxious.

We tried to laugh it off but we both agreed that we needed to shower faster. I remember saying that I was pretty creeped out and Lindsay told me she was too. I think we joked about possibly sharing a shower stall instead of showering separately due to the creepy experience we just had when another loud noise caught our attention. It sounded like something plastic was slammed down onto cement.

I looked out and the Suave bottle that had been in the corner inside my shower stall was splattered on the ground just outside the shower door. The lid had popped open with the force of its landing and the pink-colored condition had sprayed out all over the floor. I still didn't see anyone around yet again and immediately joined my friend in her stall.

We took turns showering and kept an eye on the rest of the bathroom. Nothing else happened, but we got clean as fast as we could possibly manage. We didn't want to be in there a second longer than we had to be.

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The following comments are submitted by users of this site and are not official positions by Please read our guidelines and the previous posts before posting. The author, ulvenNixie, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

ulvenNixie (13 stories) (39 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-19)
I don't usually mind roadside rest areas or campground bathrooms other than I am extremely alert and weary of bugs or spiders. I am ridiculously afraid of insects, spiders, and other arthropods. I freeze up and get the shakes that last for hours after being too close to most of them. I've made myself feel better about butterflies, moths, ladybugs, and lightning bugs, but I've been scared of them for a long time too. I rather love how moths look though and ladybugs appeared in the middle of winter when I had a big epiphany back in 2010, so I refuse to allow myself to be upset by them now.
I'm rambling
I don't usually feel weird in places like that for any other reason. This place was crazy though. Everything there felt a little off. There was this moment when some fog drifted in from off the empty lake while I was looking at some perch at the beach though. That was the best moment there. I am just astounded by nature. I wish I didn't live in a city, despite my phobias.

Red, I would love to hear if anything odd has happened at the rest area you mentioned. That's just such a precise location. What do you feel when you're there? Just the shivers or is there more?
RedWolf (31 stories) (1292 posts)
8 years ago (2016-06-17)
I agree with you. I don't like them either. There is 1 rest area on Rte 78 at the N.J. Pa. Boarder and it gives me the shivers having to use it. I get in and out as fast as I can. Hotel bathrooms creep me out too. A little too Bates Motel for me. If my husband falls asleep I wait until morning to shower.
Miracles51031 (39 stories) (4999 posts) mod
8 years ago (2016-06-16)
ulvenNixie - darn, okay I have to admit that freaked me out. I hate roadside rest areas with a passion. They honestly scare me. I don't care if it's daytime and there are a dozen people around, I won't stop unless it is an emergency. I feel the same about the restroom facilities at campgrounds. There's just something about them that sends fright throughout me.

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