Campfire Stories

Bear Trap

The Bear Trap is an obscure urban legend about a soldier who lost his teeth and had them replaced with a steel trap.

Bear Trap

The legend of the Bear Trap begins during the Vietnam war. There was a general who was stern and harsh. All of the men serving under him feared him. One day, his squad was ambushed and pinned down under enemy fire. A shell landed near him and exploded. He was hit by flying schrapnel, injuring his face and shattering all of his teeth.

His squad was isolated in the jungle and cut off from reinforcements. The South-Vietnamese medic had to perform emergency surgery on the general, but without the proper tools and facilities, he had to use whatever he found nearby. The surgery was rough and primitive, but it saved the general’s life. However, it permanently disfigured his face. The surgeon replaced his teeth with a steel bear trap that he found amongst the trees.

Once his wounds had healed, the general’s face was a horrible sight and the gnashing metal teeth were terrifying. When the general was able to return to headquarters, he refused further medical treatment and made sure no word got to his superiors about his injury. His troops, fearing his wrath and understanding that the military was his life, covered up the incident, allowing him to remain at his post.

The poor quality of the surgery caused an infection in his mouth, which escalated into a fever. He became crazed and delusional. The South-Vietnamese surgeon tended to him during this time, until he was well. Afterwards, they say, he was never quite “right” in the head and became increasingly cruel and violent. The soldiers nicknamed him “Old Bear Trap”.

When captured North-Vietnamese soldiers were being interrogated, the general would often use his bear trap teeth to threaten them. On some occasions, he would even bite them, tearing off chunks of their flesh and maiming them. At night, some prisoners went missing from their cells. In the morning, all that was left of them was a pool of blood on the cell floor. Initially, the guards thought the prisoners had escaped, but witnesses later spotted the general carrying piles of gnawed human bones into the jungle.

Because of his suspicious and violent behavior, he rapidly lost the respect of his troops. As time went on, they became more and more afraid of their commanding officer, suspecting that he was murdering and eating captured enemy soldiers. Something had to be done. Before the end of the war, his troops begged a lieutenant in the army to take action against the crazed general. The lieutenant filed an official complaint, accusing the general of war crimes.

The general was tried in a military courtroom and found guilty of murder and cannibalism. The court sentenced him to life in prison, but before he could serve one day in jail, he mysteriously escaped and fled into the jungle. The military spent years trying to track him down, but they could find no trace of him. It was as if the jungles of Vietnam had swallowed him up. He was eventually forgotten, and the military listed him as missing in action.

Several years later, the lieutenant who had filed the complaint against the general retired from the army. He returned to the USA, but a few days after his arrival, he was found dead under suspicious circumstances.

Emergency services got a call telling them that there had been a car accident. When they arrived, they found the lieutenant dead at the scene. The car’s four tires were found to have puncture marks in them. The windshield of the car was completely shattered and a bear trap was clamped tightly around the lieutenant’s face.

Police were baffled. They couldn’t figure out how the accident had happened. The only theory they could come up with was that a bear trap had fallen off a hunter’s vehicle and lay in the middle of the road. When the lieutenant drove by, the bear trap must have somehow punctured all four tires and then flicked up onto the front of the car, smashing the windshield and clamping around the man’s head, causing the crash.

It seemed bizarre, but there was no other pssible explanation… or was there? Police said that the man who called the emergency services to report the crash had sounded quite elderly, and had spoken with a pronounced lisp… as if he had recently lost his teeth.

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