A Scary Story About Camping

Several years back I was one of the camp leaders at Summer Camp. October 31st – Halloween – we took about ten kids on an excursion to a camp site twenty miles from our base, overlooking the magnificent Lake Arrowhead. We pitched our tents at the campground and sat around the fire telling ghost stories. The kids were aged 13-16, half were boys, half girls. Each wore their own Halloween mask which they had built themselves earlier in the day. As the stories started I could never imagine the nightmare it would bring for one kid.
One boy started with a story that very much resembled Jason from Friday The 13th, about a killer with a machete stalking campers. As he told it the full moon illuminated the water besides us.
While not completely in the middle of nowhere we were isolated enough that our lights were the only ones around. Our fire was actually a modern-day battery operated heater which we were advised was safer than starting a real fire. Stars spotted the sky and the night was a breath of fresh air getaway.
Everyone cuddled closely together as the boy continued his story, and one by one the ten “characters” in his story would fall victim to his machete-wielding maniac. As the tension mounted a girl playfully screamed out. Her yelp shattered the silence and suddenly everyone was screaming. Almost instantaneously it subsided as the kids realized they were fooled and were really all safe. However one young boy stood up and started running away into the darkness.
I was the one who got up to chase him down. “Sean” I yelled out as he raced to the water. He stopped on the water’s edge. “What are you doing?” I was soon joined by some of the other campers who had arrived at my side. Sean pointed into the water. As his foot entered the water and he started wading in panic erupted. “Stop!” I yelled as I hurried towards the darkness. He waded into his knees, and then dived into the water as I approached. The kids and other camp leaders watched horrified from the edge as I dove in after him. The water was only four feet high but was freezing cold and full of slime. My hand seized upon his collar and I forcefully pulled him out of the water. He was covered in grime and freezing. Someone brought a blanket and put it around him as we walked back to the fire. Once he dried off I was the one who had to talk to him to see if this was an isolated incident of rebellion or if something more was up. I couldn’t fathom the reason he had suddenly got up and acted so out of character. His response was shocking and what he told me has lived with me forever.
He said that he was so frightened by the sudden scream that he wet himself. The only way he could hide it in front of everyone was to get into the water.
A few years later Sean came back to the camp as a camp leader himself. He told me he loved going to Lake Arrowhead on the annual Halloween camp. His favorite event is the telling of ghost stories around the fake campfire.