These cats have screams that are truly haunting…

In real life, ghosts and ghouls are probably not haunting our house and devouring our dreams, but that doesn’t mean the world is devoid of horrifying creatures. In the forests of North and South America, mountain lions (aka cougars or pumas) prowl, and they can make some truly terrifying sounds, especially female mountain lions in heat.

Have you ever heard a mountain lion scream? If you live in western North America or South America, and you’ve been anywhere outside the city, you probably have. If you haven’t, you’re in for an unsettling awakening. When a female mountain lion is in heat (ready to mate), she screams like a injured/dying woman.

In the pitch black forest, this is particularly heart-wrenching. Listen to this one below, filmed with a trail camera in southern California.

But mountain lions don’t just scream at night. During the day, they are just as likely to scream, and their screams are just as frightening. If you heard one shrieking in the woods, you might assume a woman is in danger, run towards the noise, and encounter an unpleasant surprise.

Here’s another video, which was also filmed with a trailcam in southern California. The first scream will shock you.