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Stranger In The Campsite


In May of this year I lost my partner to a horrible accident while camping. His gun went off and accidentally shot him while we were sleeping. It was the worst day of my life. Friends have asked how I could stand to stay in the camper after what happened. My answer is that it was always meant as a place for rest and relaxation. I would be letting tragedy win if I did not keep it. While I am sad for the loss of such an incredible man, being in the place where he took his last breath brings me peace. I know he would still want me to take solace there.

As part of my healing, I decided to take the camper to a quiet area 90 minutes north of Phoenix. I found a beautiful quiet spot with gorgeous views of Sedona and Flagstaff. There are a lot of people who live the vagabond life there or are retirees. It is a very tempting full time lifestyle, to say the least.

I quickly met a woman about my age who lived in the campsite next to mine. She informed me that the two ladies who lived in the campsite behind me, would be back that Saturday evening from visiting relatives in California. Once evening came, I settled into my bed for the first time since my partner died. My bedroom is at the rear of the camper and has a good size window over the bed. My dog was asleep next to me. At some point in the evening I fell asleep and was awoken by the crunching of tires on gravel. The two ladies behind me who I hadn't met yet had arrived home. My dog sat up on the bed watching out the window.

I listened to them whispering to each other and bringing things back into their own camper. Finally their door shut and all was quiet. My dog curled back up to me and fell back to sleep. I drifted off and was awoken a little bit later by my dog sitting and staring out the window again. This time he was whining. I sat up to see what was going on outside and saw a man standing only feet away from my camper, just over the border of my campsite. He didn't seem to notice me and appeared to be staring off into the distance. He had curly blond hair and was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt. I at least caught that of him as I ducked down quickly thinking he was going to spot me being nosy. It felt extremely awkward. I figured the girls may have had a visitor or family member staying with them that was out checking the night sky. There is a light ordinance in place so the stars are quite spectacular there.

A few minutes later I peeked out again to see the man still in the same spot. He hadn't moved and his eyes seem fixated (from what I could tell) on something well beyond the campground. My dog was also still watching him but wasn't whining or growling.

As time went on, I met the two ladies who lived behind me. I asked them if they had a visitor the night they arrived back from California. They told me no and looked extremely puzzled when I told them about the man I had seen. Unbeknown to me, they have the Ring app on their camper as it is their full time residence. Upon reviewing footage from the evening in question, the camera picked up motion and recorded for 15 minutes. You could clearly see the back of my camper in the footage but nothing else. There was nothing moving, no apparition or person to speak of.

I don't know what I saw. It was not my partner. It didn't scare me because I thought it was a real person. So strange. The woods directly behind the campsite have had some strange goings on, too. We've seen balls of light floating in the dark that come in and out, and the two ladies say they've heard crying sounds coming from the woods. Now there may be logical explanations for these but it can definitely get creepy where it is so dark.

After the man was seen behind my camper, one of the ladies let me know that she had done something and it wouldn't be back. I'm not sure what she did. She is from the Osage Nation so maybe a ritual of some sort? I didn't ask. This was back in September and so far I have had no sightings of the strange man again.

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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, DreamBird, has the following expectation about your feedback: I will read the comments and participate in the discussion.

Pelatiah (4 stories) (74 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-19)
Your story is compelling & I'm so sorry for your loss. As I read from the bottom up the comments your word "guardian" jumped out at me. I am a believer in that, call it an angel, whatever... And experienced a visit from such during the time I was losing my husband to brain cancer. I thought my visitor was a real guy too, but realized later there was no way. Might you remember if there was any sense of security he gave you? You mention that it was like he was "staring off into the distance"--as if keeping watch?

You also don't mention your age. But you don't think it might be a younger version of your partner? Maybe before he went into the military & cut his hair?
The_Lost_Voyage_11 (7 stories) (245 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-10)
Hello DreamBird, great story, thanks for sharing!

You bring up a good point and one I've pondered many times myself. How many times even on busy streets or in stores with other flesh and blood people have we actually seen spirits not of our world, but unable to recognize it because they look so real? I mean it doesn't always end up being an abandoned house or dark field that ghosts materialize in, some lonely solitary place!

It certainly would make many people reevaluate their statement "I've never seen a ghost before" if this were the case!

Definitely look forward to hearing more of your experiences!
DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi Rajine,
Thanks so much. The campsite is beautiful. It's been a great place for healing. I have no idea who the man was. It's quite possible he was a past camper. I thought maybe a guardian of sorts but I really don't know. He looked like a real person so it never crossed my mind that he was anything other than that until I started asking about his whereabouts.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi Valkricry,
There are no lights at the campground due to a city light ordinance. I was able to see because of the moon that night. Where there is a light ordinance, there is no other night time light pollution. That's how I was able to see the man so clearly.

Thanks for reading and commenting!
DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi CrimsonTopaz,
I'm still not 100% how the gun went off. My partner was ex-military and hunted as a child. It was a Glock and there are no safeties on it. We had been in a remote part of AZ and there was no cell phone service. He was asleep and then his cellphone chimed as if a message came in. Both the gun and the cellphone were on his nightstand. I believe he may have been reaching for the phone and accidentally hit the trigger on the gun instead.

About the apparition, it would never have crossed my mind to take a picture as I thought it was a real person. It makes me wonder how many other times I have seen what I thought were real people and were not.

Thanks again for reading and for your condolences.

DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi Limey,
Thanks for reading. To answer your questions, I would never have thought to take a picture of this man because I thought he was a real person. As I stated in my story, my neighbor's Ring App was triggered around that time and when we reviewed the footage, there was nothing there.

My neighbor that did something offered up some prayers and incantations. She is Native American and out of respect for her and her Tribe, I did not ask specifically what these things were. This particular event happened in September and I have not seen this individual ghost/spirit since that night. I'm guess whatever my neighbor did worked?

Hope that answers some questions! Thanks again for reading.

DreamBird (7 stories) (25 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi Lady-Glow,
Thanks for commenting. I didn't feel like he meant any harm either. It felt a little intrusive but other than that, I didn't feel like he posed a threat.

Yes, perhaps he was a past camper. He was certainly dressed the part. I thought he was a real person.:)

Rajine (14 stories) (797 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Hi DreamBird

I'm sorry for your loss it's never easy losing someone you love, the way you described the camp site seems like it's a breathtaking place, the man that you saw could have been a camper from the past, probably visiting the place he loved, or as you mentioned, a late family member, not the ones who you spoke to, but maybe someone else?
valkricry (49 stories) (3274 posts) mod
1 year ago (2022-12-05)
Dream-bird, I've a question, are there lights at this campground? I ask because you could see he had "curly blond hair". The fact you could tell hair color suggests there was unnatural lighting. But then later in the story you talk about 'where it is so dark', and it confuses me.
Limey, "The situation as you describe it seems to be begging you to pull out your cellphone and take a picture or two. Something that most people would have done in the circumstances." Actually, the situation didn't read to me as if it warranted that. Guy wasn't DOING anything, wasn't semi-transparent, etc. Dude wasn't even looking in her direction. So... Why would she even think about that?
CrimsonTopaz (1 stories) (239 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-04)
Dreambird, It's great that you were able to confirm with the neighbours Ring App that captured motion and recorded it. I have Grid connect app which is similar and it doesn't miss a beat. Unlike Limey's comment who suggests you should 'pull out your mobile phone and take a picture or two, Something that most people would have done in the circumstances' - I totally disagree. Imagine if you did and the guy walks over and tells you off for invading his privacy?
If Ring app didn't pick up the guy, it's quite likely he just wanted you to see him and then went on his merry way. My sister sees paranormal situations that I can't. I still wonder why, but that's just how it is. Without sounding to inquisitive, how did the gun go off? Where was the gun? Do you think the man you saw was trying to communicate something about the trigger being released? I don't know diddly squat about guns, but don't they have some sort of lock to prevent them going off willy-nilly? What did the police say about the gun going off? I'm trying to understand what happened that night in case the man you saw may be connected in some way. Maybe he was trying to tell you something. I hope these questions aren't too upsetting and if they are, my apologies.
It sounds like you have lovely memories in your camper of you and your partner and that's worth it's weight in gold. My condolences go out to you during this sad time.
Limey (3 stories) (33 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-04)
Hi Dreambird; an intriguing story, and I must ask a couple of obvious questions.
1. The situation as you describe it seems to be begging you to pull out your cellphone and take a picture or two. Something that most people would have done in the circumstances. I know I would. Cellphones these days seem to be extremely low-light sensitive, so the odds are that it would have captured something, or maybe nothing. Either way the results would be helpful in some way. And your dog was clearly indicating that something was up. Dogs sense many things that we don't.
2. When you say that one of your neighbours had 'done something' it could have been useful to ask her what she had done, and at the same time tell you more about the 'strange goings on' in the woods behind the campsite.
But thanks for the story. Maybe it's worth revisiting the campsite and asking a few questions.
lady-glow (16 stories) (3158 posts)
1 year ago (2022-12-04)
Hello, DreamBird.

I'm sorry for your loss.

Your experience is puzzling and fascinating.

In my opinion, whoever this man was, he meant no harm.
I find the reaction of your dog particularly interesting, he knew that someone/something was there, yet didn't feel the need to react aggressively.

Perhaps the guy was a previous camper's residual energy.

It seems like the campground's location is gorgeous.

Thanks for sharing.

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