Kids love the adrenalin rush of a good scare, and one of the best parts about camping is the time spent around the campfire sharing spooky stories. Looking for good tales to share at your next campfire? Here are some classic favorites you can share:
The Flying Canoe
This French Canadian ghost story recounts the tale of a lumberjack who makes a pact with the devil for a chance to see his lover during a snowstorm that has trapped him and his companions deep in the forest. The plan works like a dream until his companions realize that dawn is closing upon them, and they must fly back to camp before the first light creeps over the horizon.
Little Orphant Annie
Easy to memorize and fun to recite, this poem from James Whitcomb Riley has been frightening children since 1885. The good news remains, however, that the “Gobble-uns” won’t come for those with good, kind hearts.
The Texas ghost story “Ghost Handprints” shares a bittersweet tale of a couple whose car stalls on train tracks one night. With a locomotive bearing down upon them and the wife’s seatbelt stuck, the situation looks grim until help from the other side of the grave comes to their rescue. Just who are these other worldly helpers?
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
Washington Irving’s classic tale has been frightening children and grownups for nearly two centuries. Have fun around the campfire sharing the story of Sleepy Hollow’s headless horseman and that fearless schoolteacher who took him on, Ichabod Crane, with a new generation of campers. As entertaining as it is creepy, this timeless ghost story will capture the imagination of children of all ages.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
You can’t top the classics, and this traditional Norse tale has all the makings of a good campfire story appropriate for young children. They’ll sit on the edge of their seats or edge closer to the light of the fire as you regale them with this yarn about a big, scary troll and the three witty billy goats who fool him.
That Pesky Fellow
Ghost stories with a touch of humor are great for youngsters. In this humorous Newfoundland tale, a local skipper is hoodwinked by a pesky city slicker who turns out to be the devil.
Black Bartelmy’s Ghost
Here’s a fun tale for kids who enjoy pirate lore. This tale from Nova Scotia tells the story of a nasty pirate, Black Bartelmy, who selfishly killed his crew so he might keep all the treasure for himself. As the legend goes, his tortured soul still haunts the cape where his ship first went down.
Crow Brings the Daylight
An Inuit legend from the days before daylight came to the North, this tale explains how the noble crow brought light to those who had lived their days in darkness. What a great way to ward of the scary monsters of long winter nights! Emery Samuel was a camp counsellor at Camp White Pine in 2009. He hosted activities for the children and is currently studying to be an elementry school teacher in Ontario, Canada.