By Emma Mills
Hikers in America are facing a strange and mysterious phenomenon. They are disappearing without a trace, which leaves science speechless. The feeling that we are being watched in the woods may be very far from irrational after all. The fear that there is no one to see you when you are snatched by an evil unknown is indeed a fear that should be acted upon as we shall see investigating the incomprehensible disappearances of hikers across America.
Niles Canyon in Alameda County, California, has, unfortunately, had many hikers disappear in its vastly uninhabited spaces. Coincidentally there is reportedly a ghost who roams the park in a white prom dress. This girl is believed to have died in a car crash along Highway 84 on the way to her prom many years ago on February 26th. She hitchhikes rides from passer-by’s, asking them to take her to an address across the bridge, only to disappear once the driver reaches the bridge. Daring hikers travel the pitch-black highway in the hopes of seeing the Prom Dress Hitchhiker. A nursing student, Michelle Le, recently went missing in the park despite 450 volunteers canvassing the park to look for her.
Bluff Mountain, Virginia, is tragically inhabited by the ghost of a four-year-old boy. In the winter of 1891, he followed his older brothers into the dark woods by his small school. When he tried returning back he lost his direction and his body was not found until the following April by some hunters. Hikers using the sheltering nearby have many times reported hearing a little boy who then suddenly disappears.
As with many paranormal activities, this next one involves a Native American burial ground found in Robinson Woods near Chicago, Illinois. Chee-Chee-Pin-Quay (otherwise known as Alexander Robinson), chief of the Potawatomi, Ottawa, and Chippewa tribes in the early 19th century was buried here. And in 1955, two teenagers were murdered close to where he was buried. This has been accompanied by many reports of mysterious lights and sounds. Spooky.
Unfortunately, there have been many people who have disappeared in America’s national parks and wilderness under mysterious circumstances. Many theories have emerged, from UFOs, cults and serial killers. Many of these cases appear to overflow from an overactive imagination, yet there is a very real threat that something sinister can happen to hikers traveling on their own or small groups, isolated from the rest of society.
©Emma Mills for Legends of America, October 2016, updated February 2020.
About the Author: Emma Mills is a freelance writer, and mother of two, who recently braved one of California’s scariest hiking trails, inspiring her to write “10 California Hiking Trails with Insane Paranormal Activity“.