When you’re out on a nature hike, and you’re taking a bunch of photos with with a group of friends, the last thing you think about is what you could be capturing in the background. But one Reddit user by the name of u/SlicedUpBeef discovered a mystery when his friend Kim showed him a photo of her cousin in the same spot where he had taken a photo in Dundas Peak. And what he learned sent chills down his spine.
The Dundas Peak is Filled With Mystery
Dundas Peak is pretty popular with hikers in Canada mainly because it has a spectacular scenic spot that gives hikers a picturesque overlook of the city of Hamilton, Ontario. It’s also the home of Tew’s Falls, the highest falls in Hamilton. Although some people find the peak to be completely terrifying because of its dangerous heights, there’s something even more frightening lurking in the area.
They Were Lured By an Instagram Photo
In 2016, Reddit user u/SlicedUpBeef went hiking with his friend Kim at Dundas Peak. She had suggested this location to him because her cousin had gone a few days earlier and posted a photo on Instagram. But what was it in the photo that made their hearts stop?
Dundas Peak Had Piqued Their Interest
Over the years, thousands of hikers have come to Dundas Peak to take beautiful photos with nature’s gorgeous foliage in the background. Kim’s cousin was no different. The photo he posted on Instagram showed him sitting on the edge of the cliff looking over Hamilton and the Niagara encampment. It was so beautiful that she and u/SlicedUpBeef decided to recreate the photo not realizing they were putting themselves in danger. In fact, there many hikers who seemed to have vanished in the area.
Authorities Warned Them of the Danger
The Hamilton Conservation Authority has reminded people to avoid getting too close to the edge of the Dundas Peak. But that doesn’t mean that people have heeded their warnings over the years, and one hiker paid the ultimate price.
One Hiker Met a Grisly End
In 2019, an unnamed 24-year-old man accidentally fell 150 feet off Dundas Peak. By the time help arrived, it was too late. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The escarpment rises to an impressive 360 feet that is only accessible within the Spencer Gorge Conservation Area. Many things can go wrong when you venture out on your own in the wilderness. But had others suffered a similar fate? And why did this Redditor believe he had witnessed something grisly?
The Peak Attracts Daredevils All the Time
Hikers and amateur photographers often come here to hang over the ledge and risk their lives as they dangle their feet off the cliffs all for the sake of a good selfie to post on social media. It’s become a major trend on Instagram, too, and it’s a big problem.
The Peak is Insta-Famous
All you have to do is search the hashtag #dundaspeak on Instagram, and over 10,000 photos will turn up of people risking their lives just to get the perfect angle, and Gord Costie, the director of conservation areas services at Hamilton Conservation Authority, can only blame social media for that.
The Selfie Phenomenon is Out of Hand
“The selfie phenomenon has people going into areas that are either fenced or posted as off limits, going into the water areas that have been fenced off, all to get high risk and high danger type of photographs of themselves and post them on social media, which grows the interest of other people wanting to top that one,” explained Costie to CBC News. But in this instance, something was caught on camera that sent chills down u/SlicedUpBeef’s spine.
There Was Something Obscure in the Photo’s Background
Kim compared the photos she had taken with u/SlicedUpBeef and then compared the background with the photo her cousin took and there was something strikingly different between both pics. It stuck out like a sore thumb and made her very nervous, but there it was. What was hiding in the background?
She Thought She Was Seeing Things
She wondered whether to tell anyone. Perhaps her eyes were playing tricks on her. Was she seeing things that weren’t there? She didn’t think she could be imagining things, but she had to be sure, so she asked her friend if he was seeing the same thing.
She Double Checked With Her Friend
She messaged u/SlicedUpBeef a few days later after noticing something in the background in her cousin’s Instagram. It showed him wearing a dark jacket and jeans, sitting on the edge with one leg dangling dangerously over the precipice. But that wasn’t the thing that left U/SlicedUpBeef or Kim shaking their heads in disbelief. There was something really bizarre in the background.
There Was Something Unusual in The Photo
It turns out that Kim’s cousin wasn’t all alone in Dundas Peak. There was something below the edge of the trail that he had failed to notice. It wasn’t one of the friends he went with on the hiking trip either. It almost seemed like something or someone was standing in the back.
A Faceless Stranger Was Stalking Hikers
“There appears to be a thin person standing unnaturally straight with no visible face,” u/SlicedUpBeef wrote on the Reddit thread. But was it simply another hiker, some kind of animal, or something that was completely out of this world?
He Suspected It Was a Hiker
He assumed that perhaps a hiker had dared to trek across the rocky terrain, but according to u/SlicedUpBeef, that particular spot was “completely inaccessible.” “Maybe it isn’t a person? But I’m not sure what else it can be,” he said. But was Kim’s cousin the only one who encountered this mysterious figure?
He Plead to Redditors For Help
In his Reddit thread, u/SlicedUpBeef explained that he hoped that other hikers who had gone to Dundas Peak may have taken photos that also had this mysterious figure. If so, he asked that they share it, too, so they could figure out what the figure was. Pretty soon, everyone starting sharing their own theories and stories about the place.
Redditors Weighed in on the Mystery
Everyone was intrigued by the figure that seemed to be lurking in the background. They weren’t sure if it was an animal, a human, or a supernatural being like a ghost or Bigfoot. But one Redditor wasn’t so sure that it was a figure at all.
It May Have Been Holes in the Rock
“Given that it matches the other colors in the picture I would think it’s just holes in the rock. The white piece looks similar to the white rock(snow?) to the left of it,” Reddit user u/justatemp-lar commented on the thread. He wasn’t convinced it was a person at all and they had their reasons.
He Was Sure It Wasn’t A Climber
U/justatemp-lar also added, “A skilled climber could easily get to that location but that’s definitely not the case here.” Another Redditor had his own theory and decided to share what seemed to agree with his initial assessment.
Someone Thought It Was Ice
“I think it’s ice too – in the spring, water trickling out of the limestone forms patches of ice that melt and darken the rock, making the ‘legs’ and ‘head’ – the small patch that’s the ‘ghost’ probably had melted when they took the second set of pictures, but there is a larger patch to the left that’s still in both pictures,” wrote Redditor u/markbellis. Was it just an optical illusion or was there more to this story than met the eye? Apparently, many seem to think the spooky photo could be linked to a missing person’s body that was recovered in the area.
It Might Have Been an Optical Illusion
They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it turns out that perception applies to this concept, too. Optical illusions are common because our brains try to interpret what they are seeing, and make sense of it. But another Redditor believes they could’ve been the person that’s standing in the background of the photo.
One Redditor Blamed Themselves
Reddit user u/thearchitect42 threw a bombshell when they wrote: “So that might be me. I’ve been to Dundas Peak and the surrounding area several times in the past two months. One of the times I went was about 5-6 weeks ago, the weather and lack of leaves looked the same as in your pic OP, and I was wearing a grey dress shirt and dark jeans. This pic is kind of what I imagine I would have looked like from far away.” But what were they doing in an area that was virtually inaccessible?
Someone Had Allegedly Broken the Rules
The local authorities have made it clear that no one is allowed to go into the restricted zones. Was this someone who simply didn’t care about rules and threw caution to the wind? And was the area really inaccessible to humans? One Redditor didn’t think so.
Hikers Have Access to Inaccessible Areas
“I know you said it was inaccessible but there really are a lot of spots along that trail between the peak and Tew’s Falls where you can go down closer to the edge,” Reddit user u/thearchitect42 wrote. But they admitted that this wasn’t the safest thing to do in that area, which another Redditor disagreed with.
Apparently, There’s a Trail Under the Rocks
“Sorry to burst all your bubbles, but there’s a trail that leads up to that area and goes around the escarpment just under the rocks. That is, most likely, a person hiking around and ended up in one of your pictures,” wrote Reddit user u/CrankyHankyPanky. It’s not surprising given how many hikers come here every year, but some people never leave…not alive anyway.
He Should Have Called the Police
One commenter suggested to u/SlicedUpBeef that perhaps, he should call the police because people go missing in that area all the time. But if that had been the case then why didn’t the missing person just wave their hand and call for help?
It Might Not Have Been a Victim
If the image of the person they saw was in fact a person, could they have been the aggressor and not the victim? The thought of someone going missing during a hike sounds like a plot in a horror movie, but it happens more often than people realize. In fact, something horrible happened in 2009, and it was an isolated event.
A Suspicious Body Was Found in the Area
In 2009, police recovered the body of a 25-year-old Greensville, Ontario man named David Skarratt who had been reported missing in mid-September of that year. The case was treated as suspicious by the Hamilton Police Service, but the cause of death was not revealed. He was found in a picturesque spot below Dundas Peak. But some people are never heard from again.
One Woman is Still Missing
27-year-old Lovleen Dhawan from the Brampton area went missing and authorities believe that she was in the area of Tews Falls and Dundas Peak. According to local police, two hikers found something that made them very worried.
Cops Are Asking Locals for Help
The day after Dhawan reportedly went missing, two female hikers found a set of keys in the conservation area. They turned the keys over to the police who wanted to know the exact location where the keys were found. They’re also asking anyone who was in the area on August 15, 2019 to call the Peel Regional Police with any information. But is there something otherworldly kidnapping people?
The Mystery Remains Unsolved
The most obvious question raised regarding the unusual image in the photo is, could it have been a ghost? Given the number of hikers who die or go missing in this spot, some people believe it’s certainly possible. But many skeptics believe it’s only reasonable for people to go missing in an area that’s full of dangerous with cliffs and trails. So what was hiding behind the hiker’s photo? We’ll leave that up to you.