Campfire Stories, Camping, Family Camping

Campfire Tale #15: Tale of the Wyoming Jackalopes


Once upon a time, in the remote heart of Wyoming, there was a little town called Laramyste. It was known for its peculiar atmosphere. A place where mysteries seemed to thrive, and the townsfolk embraced the bizarre as part of their everyday lives. The moon shone a little brighter in Laramyste, and the wind whispered strange secrets in the ears of its residents. Many believed it was because of the mystical jackalopes which wandered freely around the town.

In this town, there lived a young boy named Sam, who was a firm believer in all things mysterious and unexplainable. His curiosity was insatiable, and it often led him on adventures that took him to the most unexpected places. His favorite time of year was when his family would gather around a campfire and share stories, especially the spooky ones.

One evening, as the sun dipped below the mountains and painted the sky with hues of orange and purple, Sam’s family decided to camp by the outskirts of Laramyste, in the heart of the wilderness. The campfire crackled to life, and Sam’s little sister, Lucy, requested a spooky story.

Read more scary stories by Hyacinth Rumero in her book: Tales from a National Park Campfire

The Legend of the Jackalopes

Sam’s father, a rugged man with a scruffy beard and a twinkle in his eye, cleared his throat and began, “Well, Lucy, have you ever heard of the Wyoming Jackalopes?”

Lucy shook her head, her eyes wide with anticipation. “What are they, Daddy?”

Sam’s father leaned in, creating an eerie atmosphere by casting flickering shadows across his face. “The Wyoming Jackalopes, my dear, are the most elusive and mystical creatures in all of Laramyste. They have the body of a rabbit, the antlers of a deer, and they like playing tricks on anyone who crosses their path.”


He continued, “Legends tell of their eerie laughter echoing through the night. It isn’t really laughter you see. It is their natural call but to us, it sounds like playful laughter. They use that joyous sound to lead travelers deep into the heart of the forest, where time seems to stand still. But be careful, for they say once you’re lost in their world, you can never find your way back to ours.”

Lucy’s eyes sparkled with wonder, and Sam couldn’t help but feel a twinge of excitement. This was a new tale to him. He listened in wonder about the Wyoming Jackalopes, and it lit his adventurous spirit.

Read Campfire Tale #1 for more thrills around the campfire.

The Mysterious Jackalope Encounter

As the campfire dwindled and the night grew darker, Sam and Lucy snuggled into their sleeping bags. But Sam’s mind was racing with thoughts of the Jackalopes. He couldn’t resist the temptation to explore the nearby woods. It was here that according to legend, the Jackalopes roamed freely with each other.

Sam snuck out of his tent and began his moonlit adventure. The forest was cast in an eerie blue glow. The trees cast long, gnarled shadows that danced in the gentle breeze. The feeling of being watched went to his very core.

Deeper and deeper into the woods he ventured, the leaves crunching underfoot. Suddenly, soft, eerie laughter filled the air. It sent shivers down Sam’s spine, but he pressed on. There, in a small clearing, he saw them. Three peculiar creatures with rabbit-like bodies and majestic antlers. They were the Wyoming Jackalopes.

Sam watched in awe as they played tricks on one another. One Jackalope hopped around on its hind legs while the others chased it, their laughter echoing through the night. Sam couldn’t resist joining in the fun, and he laughed with them.

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Lost in Time with Jackalopes

The Jackalopes noticed Sam and invited him to join their game. Not speaking out loud, so much. Instead beckoning him with playful movements. The more he laughed and played, the more he felt a sense of belonging to these mysterious creatures. Time seemed to stand still as he hopped and pranced with them, forgetting about the outside world.

Back in the camp, Lucy couldn’t sleep, her thoughts filled with the stories of the Wyoming Jackalopes. She whispered to her parents, “I wish we could find Sam and bring him back.”

Hours turned into days, and Sam’s family began to worry. They searched for him, but Wyoming’s countryside magic worked in strange ways. The forest played tricks on those who entered, and the Jackalopes led Sam deeper into their enchanted realm.

As they continued their search, they stumbled upon an ancient tree with twisted roots that seemed to reach out like skeletal hands. Sam didn’t know that this tree was a gateway between the world of the Jackalopes and the world of humans. The legends spoke of a way to cross over, but it required a deep understanding of the mystical.

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A Desperate Quest to Find the Jackalopes

Sam’s family, determined to rescue their lost son, sought the guidance of the town’s mysterious figure, Old Jasper, who was rumored to hold the secrets of Laramyste. Old Jasper, a wizened man with a long white beard, shared with them an ancient incantation that could open the gateway to the Jackalope’s world.

The family gathered around the ancient tree, the campfire’s flame flickering in the eerie twilight. They chanted the incantation, and suddenly, the gnarled roots of the tree twisted and writhed, forming a swirling portal. Lucy, her eyes filled with determination, stepped through first, followed by her parents.

On the other side, they found themselves in a surreal world, where the moon was always full, and the Jackalopes played tricks on each other, their laughter echoing through the enchanted forest. Lucy spotted Sam and others among them, laughing and prancing like a true Jackalope.

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The Return Home

Lucy rushed to Sam, her voice filled with love and concern. “Sam, we’ve come to take you home!”

Sam paused, torn between his newfound friends and his family. The Jackalopes, understanding the gravity of the situation, hopped forward, their eyes filled with wisdom. They nodded, granting Sam permission to return to his world, but they also left him with a gift—a small, enchanted Jackalope figurine.

As Sam returned to the human world, the portal closed behind him. The family embraced tears of joy in their eyes. They thanked Old Jasper and made their way back to the camp, where the campfire still burned, casting its warm light on their faces.

The Wyoming Jackalopes had left their mark on Sam, and he would forever cherish the time he spent with them. The figurine they gave him had a mysterious aura, and it was said to bring good luck to its owner. Lucy placed it under her pillow that night, and she couldn’t help but smile, knowing that her brother was safe and that they had experienced a truly magical adventure.

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Home at Last

As the family settled in for the night, the campfire crackled and popped, and the moon shone brighter than ever. Old Jasper watched from the shadows, a knowing smile on his face. In Laramyste, the mysteries were as real as the moonlight, and the Wyoming Jackalopes continued to play their tricks, waiting for the next curious soul to join their enchanted world.


And so, the campfire story of the Wyoming Jackalopes became one of Laramyste’s most treasured tales, passed down from generation to generation, a reminder that in the heart of the mysterious, the magical, and the unexplainable, there was always room for adventure and wonder.