“This wasn’t camping exactly, but I managed a resort in the Adirondack for several years. The place is old and rustic. Its miles from civilization and very peaceful. It was built in the twenties and had somewhat of a sordid past. It was built for a Canadian senator who would run rum down from Canada during prohibition. We still had the under ground locked safe room where he would store the booze, as well as hidden booze hiding areas underneath some of the cabins. Calvin Coolidge stayed at a camp across the pond during his presidency, and would visit my camp (for the spirits I’m sure).
Anyway I met a girl and decided to sleep out under the stars on the camp’s peninsula. Well it started to rain… so I suggested we sleep on the screened in porch of the boat house which I thought was a pretty good compromise. So after we were all set up, it was getting pretty late, about 1:30 am or so. We were laying there, and I was all toss turn because I’d been asleep and woken up, so I have a hard time falling asleep after stuff like that. We’d lain there for about a half an hour or so when I hear the bathroom door open in the boathouse. It couldn’t have been anything else but that door. I did all the maintenance on those old buildings, and oiling that particular door was on my work list for the next day.
My first thought was my boss, the owner of the camp. She is notoriously nosey, and has been known to spy on the staff in their staff quarters so she was my first logical thought as to who made the noise. Why she would have been hiding out in the men’s bathroom in the boathouse for over an hour is beyond my comprehension.
I proceed to hear footsteps walking across the boathouse, down the three stairs on to the dance floor, and stopping right in front of the door to the screened in porch. I lay there just waiting for the door to open, and my boss to call my name. And as the minutes stretched out, I started praying that she would open the door, walk away, sneeze, dance the funky chicken, anything. Nothing. The rest of the night I stayed up. Stiff and straight as a poker in my sleeping bag. No receding footsteps, no door noises, no nothing. My girlfriend, I, the night, and the empty boat house.
The next morning, my girlfriend (she wasn’t at the time, but she was the 4 years that followed) rolled over to me, and immediately asked me about the footsteps the night before. She had also stayed up all night waiting for some other sound to explain those footsteps in the night, and heard nothing. She was terrified. Never went into the boat house again.
I unfortunately had to go in the boathouse on a daily basis. Everything was cool during the day. At night I had to turn all the lights in the camp off. This is something I’ve done every night for the past 3 years. However ever after there was always a sense of dread going in there, being alone in the dark in the boat house. The worst part is that there is an enormous hanging bed in there in front of the fire place. It was for the former camp owners to take naps on in the day, hung on chains, so that the bed can be lifted out of the way for entertaining guests in the evening.
Every single night that bed was swinging. 175 lb bed, swinging on its chains in the dark of the boathouse. Until my last day at the camp, if I went in at night, that bed was swinging.