VIDEO: Hiker finds creepy 'missing persons' area in Long Island woods

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(Dateline420 on YouTube)

A man hiking in some woods on Long Island came across a terrifying scene on October 3: dozens of "missing person" posters hung on trees, a shelter, a fire pit, a shovel and strangely arranged branches and twigs surrounding a hole. (SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEO)

James Rankin posted videos on Facebook and Reddit showing the strange and disturbing scene in Huntington. He later reported the discovery to police because he feared that some sort of criminal activity took place there, he said on Facebook.

The videos went viral, of course, with social media users wondering if Rankin had stumbled on a serial killer's murder site.

Police investigated and later told him the items are part of a decoration for an upcoming Halloween party set up by property local owners. Rankin thought he was in Berkeley Jackson County Park, but police suggested to that he strayed onto private property.

"I've been told through the grapevine that supposedly the residents of the adjacent property will soon be erecting fences and posting 'No Trespassing' signs," Rankin said on Facebook. He expressed skepticism of the homeowners' explanation to police. "What I wanna know is, if these were 'Halloween party' decorations, why have they been hanging there for weeks or months? Because it was plainly obvious that the stuff had been there for quite a while, and not set up recently."

WATCH THE VIDEO (warning:  explicit language)