Campfire Stories for Kids

Travel Inspiration

Scary Campfire Stories for Kids

We’ve searched the web, read thousands of stories, and then compiled this list of kid-friendly scary campfires stories.

Cow’s Head

Part scary story, part fairytale, and part fable, Cow’s Head is about a young girl who is sent away to fend for herself. She’s able to make it on her own, but one night she is awoken by a spooky cow’s head spirit. Read the story to learn what happens next.

Room for One More

Room for One More is supposedly based on a true story from Ireland. Whether or not you choose to share that information with the kids is up to you, but either way, it’s a good, solid ghost story about a lady who refuses a ride and what happens after.

The Hairy Toe

Want a slightly scary story with a little bit of weird mixed in? The Hairy Toe is the tale you’re looking for. It tells the story of an old woman who finds a hairy toe in the woods. She takes it home and eats it. It turns out this was not only an odd decision, but also a huge mistake.

The Cursed Doll

Dolls are creepy, there’s no denying that. In fact, that’s probably why The Cursed Doll is one of our favorite scary campfire stories. It tells the story of a little girl who gets a new doll. What happens next is absolutely terrifying.

Fifty-Cent Piece

A thrilling story that will have everyone on the edge of their seats, Fifty-Cent Piece tells the story of a traveling couple. The couple stops for the night at the house of a friendly family, leaving a fifty-cent piece to show their appreciation. It isn’t until they leave the house and get into town that they discover the creepy truth.


Underpants is a story that includes both the spooky factor and the silly factor, and kids adore it. In the story, a ghost is trying to communicate with his wife about something very important to him. Unfortunately, his wife is too scared to listen…at first.

In the end, she does hear him out, and his question will have all the kids laughing.

Love Test

Perhaps a little bit scarier than some of the other scary campfire stories on this list, Love Test is the tale of a beautiful young girl. This girl goes on many dates but never dates the same man twice.

Her parents are baffled, and rumors begin spreading through the town until nobody wants to date her. Eventually, a new man comes to town and learns why this is. However, this date ends a bit differently than the others.

Ghost of the Bloody Finger

Another funny/scary story, Ghost of the Bloody Finger is a great option for ending the night and helping to ensure there are no bad dreams. While the beginning of the story is creepy—telling the tale of a man hearing the voice of a ghost—the ending is pretty silly and definitely lightens the mood.

Magic Castle

We love this story for younger children. Like “Bloody Finger” and “Underpants”, Magic Castle is a funny and scary story with a silly ending everyone will enjoy. It tells the story of a magic castle that nobody is to visit at midnight. So of course, the main character does, and she’s met with quite the surprise.

people having a campfire with an RV behind

Six Seriously Spooky Campfire Stories from National Parks

If you’re a National Park lover we have some great campfire stories to share! While this roundup isn’t the most disturbing of what we’ve found (I may have nightmares after this research!), these aren’t quite bedtime stories for the kiddos.

Grand Canyon National Park – Wailing Woman

Around a century ago, legend has it that tragedy struck near the Grand Canyon Lodge and North Rim Campground on the Transept Trail. A father and son went for a hike while the mother stayed behind. Storms rolled in, making the pathway too slick. The hiking pair fell to their deaths in the canyon, their bodies never to be recovered. The woman, distraught with grief, searched for her husband and son to no avail. It became too much, and she took her own life. 

Throughout all these years, many hikers and campers around Transept Trail can still hear her cries on stormy nights, forever searching for her beloveds. Dozens of reports have said they’ve also seen an apparition of the ‘Wailing Woman’ in a white dress with small blue flowers along the trail.

Gettysburg National Battlefield

It’s said that Gettysburg, Pennsylvania is one of the most haunted areas of the country. With thousands of casualties between the Union and Confederate armies, Gettysburg is the site of one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War. This brutal battle occurred near Devil’s Den, a rocky stretch of the otherwise fairly open-plain landscape. By the end of the battle, the boulders were covered in blood.

Ever since the war, cries, gunfire, and screams have been reported from the area, as well as visits from the spirits themselves. Photo evidence is unlikely, as many cameras and other devices are reported to glitch or run out of battery at this location. You can experience it for yourself – Gettysburg has many haunted locations to scare and thrill.

Olympic National Park – Lady of the Lake

Most visitors of Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park enjoy the beautiful landscape of lush trees and clear waters. But the lake hides its secrets. In the 1930s, a woman by the name of Hallie met a man while working at a tavern near the lake. They fell in love and soon married. One day, Hallie went missing, and her husband claimed she ran off with another man. The town was skeptical but could not prove anything … until a few short years later, that is, when Hallie’s body, perfectly preserved, surfaced in the lake. She had been murdered.

Today, hikers along Spruce Railroad Trail, near Lake Crescent, have seen the glow of a ghostly Hallie wandering the trail searching for help. They call her the Lady of the Lake.

Yellowstone National Park – Headless Bride

One of the more gruesome legends on this list is that of a young married couple. The woman came from a wealthy family and married a servant for love. Her father was unsure about this fellow and was certain the man just wanted his daughter’s money. He gave them a sum as a wedding present and told them that was all they would get from him.

The couple traveled the country and ended up at Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn. It did not take long for the new groom to squander away the funds, and he begged his bride to convince her father to give them more money. Their arguments grew violent, and eventually, the man left the hotel heated. The staff grew worried about the woman and went to check on her. When they entered the room, they were horrified to find her bloody body without a head. The head was later found in the crow’s nest of the inn.

In the hundred years since her murder, the woman has been seen wandering near the crow’s nest, searching for her head.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Back in the Civil War, the cave housed a mining operation for gunpowder. The job was dangerous, and many miners faced an untimely end. Not only miners, but explorers, too, lost their lives from being trapped or pinned beneath falling rocks.

Today, it is much safer to venture into the cave, but those who explore the 400+ miles of trails should know that they may not be hiking alone. Many have reported hearing and seeing the spirits of those forever trapped within Mammoth Cave.

Great Sand Dunes National Park – UFOs

The southwest corner of the country is no stranger to extraterrestrial tales, and Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado is no exception. Skies filled with strange lights, mysterious objects, and unexplainable patterns have been reported for centuries. Native American tribes began recording these phenomena from all the way back in the 1600s. Today, the park loves to bring guests in with nighttime activities – there are lots of opportunities to camp out and maybe get your chance of seeing a UFO yourself!

Upgrade your camping experience in an RV rental! There is truly nothing like sharing campfire stories and spending time outdoors with the ones you love – so we hope these stories make it even more memorable!

For more similar topics:

RVing with young kids

Junior Ranger Program for kids in National Parks

How to start camping with kids