Mysterious songs, close encounters with wild bears, and otherworldly lights in the sky (that aren't Aurora Borealis) are just some of the strange phenomena that have been experienced by workers in the North.
A recent Reddit post asked those who've worked in remote locations what creepy things have happened to them on the job. The thread now has over 14,000 replies, and quite a few were from current or former labourers North of 60. Below are a few of our favourites.
If you've experienced anything spooky in the North then send us your story at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It's pretty creepy when during night shift you realize a moose has just been standing at the tree line staring you down for an unknown length of time. Or finding bear tracks crossing the tracks you just made five minutes ago. Honestly, the silence of a snowy forest in the dead of night, hundreds of kilometres away from anything is pretty spooky. When your only contact to the outside world is a radio channel nobody's listening to, you feel pretty alone.” —gooberplsno
It Wasn't A Dog
“My mom worked up in the far North of the NWT before she had a family. She told me a couple of her stories. The camp she worked at had a big black dog. One morning she was trying to get into the camp kitchen and the dog was sleeping inside, blocking the door. When the dog wasn't responding when she called its name a few times, she kept hitting it with the door to wake it up. To her surprise, no, it was not the dog who woke up, but a black bear. Another time she was walking to work in the morning and two glowing eyes were staring at her in her path. She turned on her flashlight and it was a wolf.” —Tambourinequeen
“Lived up North for a while on a three-year job. A local took me way out into the woods one night because he swore that at midnight at this one spot you could see the ghostly carriage where some people froze to death. Obviously expected to see nothing. So we're sitting there in absolute pitch-black darkness. You can't see your hand in front of your face or anything around you. The sky is slightly grey from the thin cloud cover reflecting distant lights but that's it. You can't even really make out the tree line. We never do see a carriage. Or anything. At about 12:20 or so we're just smoking and chatting, thinking about leaving, when we hear the unmistakable sounds of someone walking through the underbrush. Loud crackling of breaking sticks and branches. But still, everything is black. It gets closer and louder, but we don't see anyone coming. There's nothing. And all we can think is how it's basically suicide to trudge through these woods at night. Good way to get a stick in the eye at the very least, and eventually you will twist an ankle or break something when you step off a ledge—the ground around here is very uneven. But it's definitely someone coming. Crack, snap, snap… In the pitch black? Nope. We drive the hell out if there. We weren't afraid it was a ghost. We were afraid it was a person insane enough to be marching through the woods without a light. Do not want to meet that guy.” —Ohigetjokes
The Eyes Were Cut Out
“I do mineral exploration in Alaska. I'm often transported by helicopter to very remote regions throughout the already very remote state. A few years ago, my field partner and I came across what seemed like a bear kill of a caribou carcass. But when we got closer it seemed odd. The only things that remained were two spines and one head. The head was arranged such that the mouth was wide open pointing up like it was screaming towards the heavens. The eyes were cut out. Very weird. Theres also been many instances of coming across old miner's buildings littered with dog skeletons or having strangely new children's clothing strewn about.” —eyeofthetaiga
The Thing on Devon Island
“Man, the North is something else. In the military we had training exercises in the Arctic. Once, we got dropped by plane on a remote island [Devon] in March. This place is uninhabited all year round, except for a few weeks in the summer when scientists come and live in this observation station and do fauna/climate research. It's so isolated, the fastest way out is radioing a plane in the nearest village, 350 kilometres away. We were camped close by, so we decided to go take a look. Nothing was locked. I'm talking no more than 10 plain old shacks, plywood and sheet metal barracks. The whole place had a The Thing feel to it. We walk in the main building that serves as kitchen, dining hall and common area, like eight or 10 of us, armed no less (for bears), and we shine our lights around exploring, looking at the cool pictures and maps. Then the whole mood drops and we're all like, ‘I don't like this.’ ‘Ya, me neither, let's bounce.’ Eeriest place I've ever been.” —Ellipsis9210
Spotlight From Above
“There was one night I was on a ship sailing through Alaskan waters. And it happened to be my first night ever seeing the northern lights. I can't believe how awesome that was... it made the sky clear, made the night look like it was dusk, we were able to see clearly for miles. A few buddies and I hit the roof, or what we call Lido deck, at 1 am just to gaze at it. An hour or so in, there were six of us on top—nearly the entire crew now. A big white spotlight shines at us. We were near land, but where the spotlight was was above the water and it wasn't low enough to be on a ship. This was very high up. It shined on us for about 15-20 seconds. Once the light turned off we looked to see what it was. Saw nothing; no trace of an aircraft or anything. Couple minutes go by and the same light shined on us, this time it was on the other side of our vessel, above the mountains. Still, unable to see what it was. We all saw it, we all have never seen any aircrafts hovering above these waters, especially at 2 am. We don't know what it was. We think it might have been some sort of silenced aircraft the military was probably doing drills or something. But anyways, that was one of the weirder things to happen out on the ocean.” —chiefboldface
“I'm a geophysicist and I'm out to do survey work about a third of the time. A lot of our surveys are in remote locations. I was doing one in my home province of Saskatchewan, very far north, about a six-hour drive from the nearest small town, and then a 45-minute helicopter ride into our camp. It's isolated, and this survey began in October of last year, so it's quite dark a lot of the time. My room was on the attic of our only building, and the wood burning stove that heated the place was directly below my room, so I often had to leave the window open at night. One night I had the window open and I could hear singing from outside, which was creepy but I figured it was just a member of the crew who can't sleep. The next night I hear the same thing, at the same time (about 3 am) and this time I get up to go to the bathroom. Everyone else was sleeping in cots in a large open room and when I'm heading back to my room I realize that everyone is in their cots. I don't hear the singing again for a few days and it stops creeping me out... Until about a week later, I wake up and hear it. I go to check and once again everyone is in their cots. I put my huge winter jacket on, I head outside and walk towards the sound. I step right up to the shore of the lake that we're on and I hear it coming from somewhere across the lake. The moon is up and very bright, and I see somebody in the lake, which is absolutely freezing—as in it has started to ice over. At this point I am terrified but I call out in case they needed help, they dive down under the water and I don't see them ever again or hear the singing. It feels like a dream to this day.” —Comrade51