Fear is a powerful emotion. We don’t experience genuine, gut-wrenching terror very often—but when we do, the experience can stick with us for the rest of our lives. But if fear is so horrible, then why do we like ghost stories so much? Why do we watch horror movies? Why do we read about the most terrifying moments from other people’s lives? Like I said, fear is a powerful emotion—and sometimes, it means we just can’t look away.
1. Stay in School, Kids
When I was sixteen, I skipped school one day to stay home and play video games. I set up my PlayStation and made some hot pockets. Right when I get good and comfortable, I suddenly hear footsteps coming towards my room. I glance outside and see that my parents aren’t home yet, but I was still afraid that I was about to get busted. Seeing no place to hide, I just froze.
All of a sudden, the door was flung open and I heard a blood-curdling scream echo throughout the house. I must have sat there petrified in my room for half an hour before going outside to see what was going on—only to find everything exactly as it was before. I tried to explain what I had experienced to my friends later, but they all thought I was just pulling some prank from the internet.
2. Evil Laugh
It’s one in the morning. I’m fast asleep with my wife in the living room reading. All of the sudden, the baby monitor is blaring my 16-month-old son’s laughter into my ear. So I jump up, run into his room, and he’s standing in his crib pointing at the corner of the room and giggling hysterically. I just stared at him for a few seconds before I grabbed him and put him in bed with me.
3. Time to Face the Music
We were gathered at the dinner table with some friends and I had been offered a glass of wine, despite not having been 21 yet at the time. I took it and casually turned to look out the window while drinking it. As soon as I looked out, I suddenly felt a weird sensation as if someone was staring back at me. I then spotted a man with no face standing on the sidewalk outside, way off in the distance. He was tall and very thin, but he had no face.
There was just a blur where his face should’ve been. I obviously freaked out and let out a scream. When all the adults turned to me, I stammered trying to explain what I had just seen. Of course, nobody believed me. They all said I was probably tipsy off of the small sips of wine I had taken, but I know what I saw. I still get this acute sense of dread whenever I think about it.
4. Frighteningly Accurate
My dad watched his mother die of a ruptured gallbladder when he was 12 and still remembers it vividly. My sister, one day, randomly gets up almost an hour after she’s gone to bed and goes up to him. The conversation went like this: Sister: “Daddy, your mommy died in a red sweater, jeans, sneakers and with her hair in a ponytail, right? And her hair was blonde?”
Dad: Drops book he’s reading and stares, wide-eyed, and then says “Yes…” Sister: “What color were her eyes?” Dad: “Blue… why?” Sister: “Oh, she doesn’t have them anymore, just empty sockets. I was curious.” And she goes right back to bed.
5. This is Really Freaky
So I was in the house of my religious grandparents when my little brother’s nose suddenly started bleeding, and he said that it felt like a nail. We were alone, so I helped him out. 20 minutes later, I needed to charge my phone, so I went to my room, just to see the hand puppet of my brother that our uncle had made…with a nail on his nose!
6. The Others
My mom and older sister describe how I used to randomly start crying and asking where my mom was, even when she was right in front of me. When my mother would try to comfort me by saying she was right there, I would shout for my other mom. I would then describe this person, who apparently always held a bloody hammer. They said it scared them out of their wits, but one day when I was two years old, they tried to ask me about it and I couldn’t remember anything.
7. Knocking On Heaven’s Door
One night, my wife was staying overnight at my parents’ house while I was still away at college wrapping up my last day of work. I was woken up by a very loud knock on my dorm room door. When I went to open it, there was nobody there. I see that it’s 3 o’clock on the dot. I’m not superstitious at all, but it spooked the heck out of me and I basically slept with one eye open for the rest of the night.
I come home that day and see my girlfriend. We get to talking and I mention the knocking incident, trying to just laugh it off. She instantly freezes up and then tells me that she had also woken up last night, to find herself in front of my bedroom door at my parents’ house after having sleepwalked there—at exactly 3 AM. To this day, even we don’t believe it.
8. Ahead of Your Time
When I was nine years old, I woke up in the middle of the night positive that my Aunt Hope had passed. The feeling was so real that it scared the daylights out of me and I ran to my parents’ room crying. I told them what had happened, and they kept saying “it’s just a bad dream, everything’s okay, Aunt Hope is fine.” But for some reason, I just couldn’t calm down.
About 15 minutes later, the phone rang. My dad got up and went to answer it. It was my uncle calling to tell us Hope had just passed.
I was stationed in Seoul, South Korea several years ago. I was taking a shower in my room and when I got out, the word “leave” was written in small letters in the fog on the bathroom mirror. I didn’t have a roommate because NCOs got their own private rooms. A little freaked out, I decided to do exactly that—leave. I went off post for some Korean BBQ and wandered the city a bit.
I came back a couple hours later to find the barracks evacuated and half burned to the ground. The fire was pinpointed to faulty electrical wiring that caught some insulation on fire inside the walls. Something knew it was going to happen and to this day, whatever that something was, it didn’t want me in the middle of it.
I’d gladly thank who or whatever it is if they’d give me the chance but it’s been years and I still have no idea.
10. House Hunters: Haunted House Edition
When I was younger (about sixth grade), my mother and I moved to a new city and we started to check out new houses. After a long day of going from house to house, we found one that my mom and I instantly fell in love with. It was time to go into one of the last rooms, and I remember walking into this small pale blue room. Nothing out of the ordinary.
I got this weird feeling throughout my body and had to run outside and throw up. My mom and the realtor followed and that’s when she asked how we knew what happened. My mom, confused, said: “…knew what?” The realtor told my mom that someone had just recently passed in that room. I still have dreams about that room.
11. Fearful Fever Dream
I had a cold coming on the night I was supposed to go to my friend’s party, and I went anyways. By the time I got there, I felt full-on sick. My friend told me to drink a double shot to flush it out of my system, so I did. This sent me into a full-blown fever, so he told me I could go upstairs to rest—there was a spare room being used for nothing at the time, just a mattress on the ground.
I laid down on top of it and passed out. When I came to, I swear to God, I saw black, 3D silhouettes of these tall men in trench coats standing all around the bed and looking down at me, but I could still hear the party going on downstairs. Probably just the fever, but I shut my eyes and passed out again and they were gone.
12. A Mysterious Rearranging
It was my daughter’s prom. We had bought a beautiful gown and shoes to match and they were hanging safely in her wardrobe. The evening of the prom she went upstairs to get ready and shouts down to me, “Thanks for getting everything ready for me mom.” Well, I hadn’t been in her room at all. When I went up to see what she was talking about I found her dress laying on the bed, her shoes next to her dresser and perfume was on top.
I didn’t say anything so she wouldn’t freak out, but holy cow, it sure as heck spooked the heck out of me. After that, there were other instances like a certain perfume appearing on her dresser, wardrobe doors closing by themselves, etc. After a while, we got used to it and would just say thank you when anything happened.
13. The Cursed Child
When my father was a kid in the ‘60s, he would go into the living room in the middle of the night, turn the TV on to static, climb on his rocking horse and slowly rock back and forth in the dark room only lit by the TV static and slowly say “I hate mommy. I hate mommy. I hate mommy.” over and over again. My grandmother says it was the creepiest thing she’s ever seen.
14. Friend Bear
Okay, so my daughter is now almost two and has long since moved into her own room. We have one of those video monitor things where you can see/hear the baby on this little TV thing or you can turn the picture off and just get sound. So one night maybe a month ago I’m sitting in bed, scrolling through Reddit or something, and I start hearing my daughter babbling to herself. Now, it’s really late, like one or two in the morning. Much later than she is ever awake unless something is wrong and she is sick or cutting a tooth or something.
So I turn the picture on the monitor on and see her standing up in her crib facing sort of diagonally away from the camera. I can see her hands in front of her but only like half of her face. Now is a good time to mention that we have been teaching her ASL since she was about three months old, and she has been responding and conversing in sign since about ten months. I can see her signing things like “nice,” “silly,” and “fun” and, oddly enough, “no,” “don’t like” and “bear.” Of course being the good and loving mother I am (and really not wanting to deal with an overly sleepy baby in the morning) I get up to see what the heck she is doing.
When I get to her room she is still standing up and signing/babbling towards the far corner of her room. I ask her what she is doing and who she is talking to and she signs/says (as best as she can) “friend” which she does with her whole hands and not just her index fingers and signs “bear” again. I tell her that no, see Bear (who is actually one of her stuffed toys) is in bed behind her not in the corner of the room but she just giggles at me and signs/says “silly” and “mommy.”
I can see she is wide awake so I sit down in the rocker next to her bed and try to figure out what woke her up but all she will tell me is “friend” and “bear” and occasionally duck down like she is hiding and making shhh noises. I finally get fed up and ask her who Friend Bear is and her response literally gave me chills because she doesn’t speak well yet but she managed to say, very clearly and with the most serious face a 20-month-old can pull off, “No name, no name, shhhhh.”
Well now I am well and truly freaked out so I tell her to ask “No Name Friend Bear” to go home because it is too late to play and I did what any good loving mother would do. I gave her a pacifier, went back to my room, turned off the monitor entirely and hid under the covers in my room where my good and loving husband would protect me from nameless invisible bears.
15. Losing A Best Friend
I was maybe three, can’t really remember. We were awakened by the siren of the fire truck. We ran to our lawn to see the neighbor’s house engulfed in flames. As we’re watching they bring something out and let it on the grass but 20 feet from me. It’s small and blackened. It was my best friend’s charred body.
I remember staring at it until my mom finally realized what it was and took us all back into the house. It didn’t really register for a long time. For a couple weeks I kept asking if my friend was going to come back so we could play. Finally, I stopped asking, and I guess I eventually forgot about him and what happened.
It all came flooding back to me one day when I was in my forties, and I confirmed my memories with my mom.
16. Oh, You Beautiful Doll
I was out on a service call to an apartment one day, and the lady who lived there seemed to have an obvious obsession with dolls. Specifically, she seemed to really like those 15-inch tall pioneer style dolls. Anyway, she was not home on the day that I had to go over there, so I just went about my business as I normally would. I had no clue why, but I was feeling very uncomfortable from the moment I first set foot in her apartment.
When I entered her bedroom, that feeling quickly escalated at least ten times more. She literally had more than 300 dolls sitting all over the room. On some of these dolls, the heads had been removed and were hanging by strings from the ceiling. There was also a small little altar of some sort in the corner of the room, with a severed chicken head on it as well as a gargoyle-like statue and several pictures of children.
There was a pig’s hoof hanging from a red cord in her bathroom, too. When I finally made it into the dining room, there was a Ouija board sitting there, along with multiple dolls, which were all arranged around a dismembered doll that was drenched in what appears to have been real blood. I think I broke the top human speed record that morning. To this day, no one believes me about this experience.
17. The Silence of the Bunnies
My oldest daughter occasionally sleepwalks. A few weeks ago, she came out of her room and entered the living room where me and the wife were watching TV. I asked her what was wrong and all she said was “The rabbits won’t stop screaming.” Then she turned around and went back to her room. Not gonna lie, it really creeped us out…
18. Wild Imagination or Something Even Wilder?
I was in my laundry room, and I heard someone come up behind me. I swear they whispered. I screamed so loud and thought it was my husband playing a prank on me. When I turned around no one was there, and it was so freaky. Also, when I was a teenager I was sitting in my room at my computer desk, and piece of paper and pen went up in the air and slammed back down.
I ran downstairs to tell my mom, and I was crying hysterically. My mom thinks I just hallucinated it.
19. Nosy Neighbors
Our yard had a cemetery from the 1800s in the back, so it was quite a common local attraction for visitors, since many of the graves were for children who passed back then from the flu, etc. There are some creepy stories from that place, but nothing lives up to what happened to me there.
While playing outside with my sister this one time, an old couple walking by the cemetery began pestering my sister about what her name was. They approached us and started to get closer and closer. We were just little kids and got terribly scared, so we ran inside and told our mom what had happened. The following week I heard a story on the news about an elderly couple approaching and abducting a teenage girl, and it turned out to be the same couple that had approached my sister and me.
I still get creeped out by that.
20. Down the Hatch
I was about four or five years old and my parents had just separated. My mom was living in a two bedroom apartment. I had my own room but I preferred to sleep in her bed whenever I stayed with her. Our two bedrooms were at the end of a hallway, directly across from each other. I woke up in the middle of the night and remember sitting up and seeing that our cat was sitting in the door frame of my mom’s room.
This was strange because our cat was typically always in bed with us. As I watched our cat, he walked into my bedroom and meowed at something. I felt weird, so I turned to face my mom and wake her up. In the three seconds it took her to wake up and ask what was wrong, we both looked back at the door frame. Our blood immediately ran cold.
There was a man standing by my open door, making his way out of my bedroom. My mom picked me up and literally threw me out of the screen window (we were on the first floor; it was maybe a three foot drop to the ground). After she jumped out, we started screaming until one of our neighbors called 9-1-1. The authorities came but they didn’t see any signs of forced entry.
Only that our front door was unlocked which led them to believe the man must have exited that way. The strange thing was that my mom swore up and down that she locked the door that night, with the deadbolt and chain lock. About a week later she was cleaning the kitchen when she opened up our water heater closet and found a notebook with names and drawings, as well as a pair of gloves and some gum wrappers.
9-1-1 was called again. They said that the man had probably been in our house. He must have hid until we were asleep.
21. Scent of a Father
On the day my father passed, I was alone in the apartment we lived in while everyone was out mourning at my uncle’s place. I stayed home because I didn’t want people to stare at me sobbing. Anyways, I’m in the living room and I hear footsteps in my mother’s room that has a balcony. I straight up hear the balcony door open so now I’m like sobbing and shouting asking who’s there.
I go check it out and there’s no one there except a strong smell of smoke in the room (my father used to smoke on the balcony). Never told anyone about it and just kept it for myself. I later learned my mother got blamed for my dad’s passing (even though they loved each other since they were teens and my dad was simply a victim of cancer) and a massive brawl broke out at my uncle’s.
I just thought of it as my dad coming home because he couldn’t be bothered to hear people arguing.
22. Is Someone There?
A few years ago, I was an intern in a medical department and happened to be on call one night. The nurses informed me around 1 am that there was a new admission to the isolation room. She was a female inmate had pneumonia and likely tuberculosis. The isolation room was right at the end of the ward, and you have to go through double doors just to enter it.
So, in addition to being a room for isolation of infectious diseases, it was also really isolated from the nearest human contact. I went in to do a clinical assessment, which involves a thorough history. One of the questions I wanted to ask was if she shared her cell with anyone who could have passed on the infection to her.
It being late at night and me being not very proficient in her native language, what I actually asked her sounded something like, “Was there anyone else in the room with you?” Right after that question escaped my lips, she smiled really widely, put her finger to her lips as though saying “shhhh,” and then flicked her eyes to a spot near the window behind and above me.
This horrible chill went through me and I decided then and there that I’d done enough history-taking for the night, and fled to the safety of the nursing station.
23. Not Alone
A couple years ago, I snuck into an abandoned orphanage with a couple of buddies. Dumb I know, but college kids seek dumbness. I step down through a basement window onto a barrel, easy. We get down and walk through a hallway when we notice a drop of blood by our feet. After close examination of ourselves, we notice none of us are bleeding. But then it got creepier.
We shined our flashlight further ahead and notice the blood continues into the darkness. Got the heck out as fast as possible. Trespassing with someone or something else injured in the basement of this building? No thanks.
24. A Shocking Account
One time when I was fairly new at my electrical job, I was lighting a large industrial oven that basically has spark plug wires for each of the many burners. I was holding the framework of the oven with one hand and reaching in a burner access port with the other when I got pushed forward and my whole body sort of slammed up against the side of the oven.
I spun around ready to hit somebody for pushing me, but there was no one there. Then I noticed my fingers kind of burning/tingling. So yea, I realized that I had just gotten shocked with very high voltage, low amperage DC. I am not quite sure how I walked out of there alive that day.
25. You Have Definitely Entered the Twilight Zone
I was in Toronto for a concert and, long story short, I got stopped by “The Authorities” and they cuffed me, saying that they were taking me to the tank. Not a big deal. I was very intoxicated and had been before as well. I pass out in the back of the car until they wake me up in front of what appears to be a warehouse of some kind.
We get inside and it looks like a hospital. The officers leave me there and people come up and start taking weird amounts of blood, more than you normally would take. The nurse leads me into a bedroom and some bouncer type guy slams me into a bed and straps me there, like seven or eight straps across my body. That’s when my senses start to kick in and I majorly panic.
I’m left alone in some pitch-black room, strapped in and unable to move. After passing out again, I wake up in these bushes beside Burger King. I still had my phone and my wallet with all my money in it. It boggles my mind to this day. I have no idea what happened. My friends think I was drugged or hallucinated, but I swear it was real.
26. The Odd Things You Come Across in the Woods
When I was 11, my friend and I were walking through the woods when he said he had something he wanted to show me. We walked down the path for a good twenty minutes until he suddenly stopped in a clearing.
There was a round mud hut. My friend told me he was too scared to go inside so I went instead. The floor was lower down then the floor itself and there was a little fire put in the center. It was surrounded by a rustic wooden bench. But the real showstopper was the walls: every inch or the mud walls were covered in animal skulls held up by wire.
These skulls ranged in size from small sparrow skull to a deer skull. Outside of the hut was another small bench, which had the phrase “Where heaven and earth meet” carved into it. After I got home, my mom wouldn’t believe what I’d seen. A few weeks later, I tried to show her, but when I found it, my blood ran cold. The hut had been destroyed. All but a few of the skulls had been taken. To this day, it’s still a mystery.
27. Who’s Down There?!
I was a kid, maybe 10 years old or so. I came inside in the evening after playing outside in the backyard. I stopped by the exterior door to take my shoes off and just happened to notice that the basement door across the room was closed and deadbolted (It was an old door that didn’t stay totally closed unless deadbolted).
I look down to untie one of my shoes and I hear a loud BANG and look up to see the basement door wide open. I noped the heck out of there with my shoes still on. My parents were in the other room and didn’t hear a thing. I went back later and the door and lock were totally undamaged. I have absolutely no idea what caused it and can’t really come up with any rational explanation.
I was pretty afraid of going into the basement for a while.
28. Knock Knock…
I moved to my dad’s when I was 10 and didn’t know anyone in the area, except for the family my dad was friends with. Luckily, they had a girl a couple of years older than me and we got to know each other. We weren’t close, but we ended up having some of the same friends. One night my friend Rob was hanging out with her and her younger brother.
They happened to be in the house alone because the mom was at work. She’d been helping this one lady at her work and had gotten to know her fairly well. The lady’s sister had recently been released from a mental institution. The night Rob was hanging out with my friend, they get a knock on the door. My friend thought it was just their mom (she knocks a certain way when coming in) and answered it without thinking.
Rob wasn’t supposed to be there and he took off through the window to his house down the road, never even giving it a second thought. Turns out it wasn’t her mom. It was the sister of the lady her mom was helping, who had somehow tracked down her address. My friend’s younger brother got away to the neighbor’s to call 9-1-1.
The lady brutally killed my friend a week before Christmas. I wasn’t allowed to go to her funeral.
29. Who Can You Trust These Days?
A girl I dated used to work at a home improvement store and there was this middle-aged guy who used to come in regularly and hang around the store and talk to her. He seemed a little slow and clingy, but harmless. He would always address her by name and say that she was pretty. Then one day he was in the store as they were closing and he saw a male coworker give her a hug before he left.
The next day that male coworker woke up to find his tires slashed in his driveway. No one made any connection to the nice middle-aged guy who came in to buy batteries five times a week. Meanwhile, this girl had been noticing that she was always losing underwear at home. She just assumed that she had been losing them in the wash or simply misplacing them and thought nothing of it.
She even joked about it with her mom. Then it happened. She was sleeping one night and woke up to find this guy standing silently over her bed, staring down at her with her panties pressed against his face. She flipped the heck out and he ran out the sliding glass door on the back of the house. The same unlocked door that, as they found out once he was caught, he had been coming into night after night for months to watch her sleep.
30. Seriously Disturbing
I was on a camping trip with some friends of mine and we found like seven or eight chipmunks and squirrels all in a pile. They were all dead, without arms or legs.
31. Prince Charmless
The following account occurred roughly three years ago during the summer of 2012. It has always been difficult for me to talk about, but I have found writing about it to be therapeutic. I was 17 at the time, and I had just gotten my first job. I lived in rural western Virginia, in a small mountain community. My mom’s friend owned a camping resort not far from my house that had a general store, and she said she’d pay me to help out in the store during the busy months in the summer.
It was a pretty easy job, and I met a lot of out-of-towners, which was nice because our community could get so isolated; most of us lived pretty far away from each other. One day, a big burly mountain man type came into the store. He was in his late 40s/early 50s, probably 6’5”, and about 280 lbs. He looked dirty, like he worked outside a lot; his clothes were sort of tattered and he had a long beard.
We had a few of the woodsy hermit types in the area, and he definitely looked like one of them. He bought some basic items, one of which was one of our homemade bars of soap. When he came to the register, he looked me up and down carefully. He didn’t talk for a minute, just stared. His people skills clearly needed work.
“Did you make this soap?” He asked gruffly. “Possibly,” I said. “I help out with that sometimes.” “You make a lot of your own stuff?” “Toiletries and things like that, yeah.” “I like that,” He said, nodding to himself. I honestly did not know how to respond. I quickly rang up his items and he paid with crumpled money. Right before he left, he asked, “You cook, too?”
“Sometimes,” I replied. “Bet the boys ’round here are itchin’ to marry you,” he said as he smiled to himself. I said nothing. I was puzzled as to what I said that stood out as wife material. I told Krista (mom’s friend/boss) about the bizarre encounter and she laughed it off; so did my family and friends.
But then, Mountain Man started turning up more often. We chatted a little bit here and there, and I found out he had a cabin in the woods that he claimed he built “with his bare hands.” He said he hunted and lived off the land, other than the things he bought at the store. Over time our chatter escalated, with him making comments about how nice it would be to have a woman like me around who could make those things and cook his kills. One time, he even said I had the “birthin’ hips that men lust after.” Shudder.
He even started inviting me to fish with him, hunt with him, see his place, etc. and I always politely declined. But he got more and more insistent and I told Krista about how uncomfortable he was starting to make me. The intensity with which he said those things really scared me. She said that when he came in, go get her and she would ring him up.
Thanks to her, I started speaking to him less, and I thought I wouldn’t have to deal with him anymore. But one night, I was closing up, and it was late, around 10 at night. Krista had left about an hour before, and I was leaving by myself. The only two cars in front of the store were an old blue pickup and mine; I was immediately alarmed because I knew Mountain Man drove a blue pickup. But I didn’t see him in the lot, just his car, so I walked quickly to my car and checked the backseat before I started her up.
But then when I first turned the key into the ignition, I got nothing but sputters. I tried several more times and got scared quickly. “Of all nights, why is this happening tonight?” I remember asking myself angrily. Just as I was reaching for my phone to call for help, there was a loud pounding on the driver’s side window. I’m shocked that I didn’t wet myself.
I didn’t even want to look, because I knew it was him. But I did, and my suspicions were confirmed. He smiled a big grin at me, showing me exactly which teeth were missing. “Need some help?” He said loudly through the window. I shook my head furiously. “My dad is on his way.” I said, hoping to scare him off. I hadn’t spoken to my dad in years. Mountain Man laughed.
“No he’s not.” He said. “Open the door.” The hairs on my neck stood up straight. How did he know I was bluffing? “No,” I said firmly. “Leave me alone.” Suddenly he looked angry. He pulled the handle but I had locked all the doors when I first got in. He kept furiously pulling the handle and started pounding on the window. “Leave now or I’m calling 9-1-1!” I screamed at him.
He clearly wasn’t getting the message, so I pulled out my phone and called 9-1-1. I must have sounded insane to the dispatcher, and I knew she could hear him pounding. She said she would have officers out ASAP, but out here, that could be a while.
“THE AUTHORITIES ARE ON THEIR WAY! LEAVE NOW!” I screamed at MM, who didn’t seem to let it deter him. But after a few more minutes of pounding, he suddenly stopped and walked back to his truck. I watched him go, hopeful he would leave me alone. But then he started walking back toward me, with a crowbar in hand.
“NO!” I screamed at him. “GET AWAY FROM ME!” He started swinging at the driver’s side window with the crowbar. I ducked down into the passenger seat on the floor and covered the back of my neck like they teach you in tornado drills. I heard the sickening crack of the window but not for long; suddenly, I heard male voices shouting, telling MM to get away from the car. I sat up and saw two men approaching, one with a shotty pointed at MM.
I recognized them as a couple of guests staying at the resort for a camping trip. I breathed a sigh of relief and got out of the car, telling them that the authorities were on the way. I thanked them profusely as we waited for the officers, and surprisingly MM didn’t make any moves to get away, but the authorities came pretty quickly after that, so he didn’t have much of a chance.
They took him away and I gave them my statement; I was pretty shaken up for a while afterward. A few weeks later I finally got the scoop on the man. Apparently, he had a history of mental illness. He had been in and out of state institutions. He really had been living in an old cabin in the woods, where he wasn’t taking his meds and his issues were only getting worse.
My cousin Luke is a cop, and later on he told me some more about the case that he had heard about through some other officers. The authorities did a search of the cabin after the incident, to see if there was anything that might be of interest to them. They found a journal that MM kept. Apparently, in it he said he was lonely and wanted a wife.
He mentioned me by name a lot (stupid name tag), and Luke said there were a lot of lewd things in there about me that he didn’t want to share but tried to put it simply by saying that MM had a detailed plan to abduct me, starting with sabotaging my car engine to get me into a vulnerable position. When Luke said that, I nearly burst into tears thinking about how horribly that night could have gone if those two men hadn’t come along. Thankfully, he has been put back into a state institution. With any luck, he’ll stay there for good. Mountain Man, let’s not meet again.
32. Weird Vibes
When me and two of my cousins went camping with our family when we were probably about 8-9 years old, we stayed in a campground that had a playground near our spot. We would often go play, just the three of us, and run back to our camper when it started to get dark because it wasn’t too far from the site we were staying at.
One day, we were playing. We weren’t the only kids there, but this man in his 40s came up to us with a dog and started talking to my cousins, who were very trusting. He kept asking them if they wanted hot dogs or cookies, and where they were from. He was telling us that his camper was just over there if we wanted snacks.
This guy gave me a super weird vibe immediately, so I looked at my cousins after being quiet the whole time and said, “I think I hear grandma yelling for us, dinner is probably ready.” They argued and were confused, but after I gave them the ‘look’ they just shrugged and listened to me. That guy gave me the creeps, and we never saw him again after that day.
33. Prisons are Scary Places
I work in a prison. Before my job changed, I used to have about 1.5 hours of downtime before it was time to punch out. My sergeant at the time asked if I would cover the 11 pm count on one of the blocks. He didn’t care what I did before or after, just do the count. No problem. I’m sitting at our “Times Square” area; one hallway leads to four blocks, and another hallway leads to the other four.
I’m sitting in front of one of those hallways. I hear someone walking towards me from behind. But I realize I don’t hear keys; we all have keys, except inmates. I turn around, no one there. I think, ok maybe I just imagined it. Guy sitting in the area with me asks who it was…I guess I didn’t imagine it. Alright then.
11 pm comes, I go to the block. No one is letting me in. What’s going on?! I go back to the Times Square area to call and let the officer know not to panic, I’m coming, I just can’t get in. As I’m on the phone, I feel someone behind me and they lean into my ear and whisper forcefully “Whaddaya doin’?!” I wave my hand back to signal to them to stop.
I hang up and turn to yell at who it was…no one is there. No one is in any hallway, I’m all alone.
34. We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
It was my first night in Somalia. We had to set up a camp. There were gaping artillery holes in the wall surrounding the compound. We wired them all. A bulldozer dug the defensive holes after the sun went down. The guys we relieved complained about the smell of the hole. I got in and they did not exaggerate. The smell was horrid and we were being poked by jagged rocks.
I was able to sleep in the next morning after night duty. When I got up and went outside to wash up, there was a lot of activity by the hole I was in a few hours before. That’s when I learned the awful truth. The hole was dug in a poorly marked graveyard. The activity at the site was loved ones claiming remains.
The smell was decomposition. The jagged “rocks” were bone shards.
35. A Traumatizing Find
When I was really young, we were on a family trip and my older brother and I took a ride on a boat. I remember my mom telling us to avoid the “big floating thing.” She thought it was a buoy to signal a dangerous rock underwater or something. Being kids, of course we went straight there to explore it. That decision still haunts me.
It was the body of a tourist that had gone missing a week before, as the authorities informed us a few days later. Creepy thing is, he was one of a group of people that had disappeared together. If I remember correctly, the remaining group members were never found.
36. Using Your Head
I was walking with family when I was little and we came across a sheep’s head. No body, or blood, just a severed sheep’s head on the path. It was the first time I noticed sheep eyes have slit pupils and I think my first contact with something so gruesome.
37. Hooked on a Feeling
I was laying in my bed with my boyfriend and the lights were out. We weren’t talking, just both thinking. All of a sudden, he rolls over and hugs me really tightly. I, of course, hug him back. But then this feeling just hit me. If I wasn’t already laying down, it would have knocked me over. It was a total feeling of dread and panic.
I’ll admit, I have had panic attacks in the past. But this was not the same. I hugged my boyfriend back as hard as I could. I never felt a feeling like this before. My boyfriend is one of those people who is always really warm, but even in his arms, I felt ice cold. I could feel this evil, awful feeling and it seemed like it was coming from the corner of my room.
It was kind of like sensing your friend behind you when they aren’t saying anything. I honestly believe there was a demon or something in my room. I got the courage to speak, and I said, “Jay, do you feel that?” and he said he did, he felt the same cold, evil feeling. This all happened in about thirty seconds to a minute.
He decided to call his friend who was studying to be a youth pastor. He put him on speakerphone. Matt prayed for us and we both closed our eyes and listened, praying in our heads. When the prayer was done, the room felt lighter and it wasn’t cold anymore. But after a little small talk afterward, Matt asked, “Were you two talking while I was praying?”
We were like, of course not. We were just listening. He said he heard a deep, gravelly voice on the phone telling him to stop. And he said he felt an awful, evil feeling overcome him while he was praying. I am convinced it was a demon. But it never came back, so…. Why was it there in the first place? That’s the only problem I have with the whole thing.
What was it trying to accomplish? I don’t think I’ll ever know…
38. More Than a Feeling
My mom and I were walking our dog on a semi-secluded, dried-up river bed when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. A couple approached us, and instantly something in my gut told me that they weren’t safe. The man asked some weird question like, “Is it just you and your daughter here?”‘ and then proceeded to say that he took pictures of kids for a living and that he would love to have me model for him.
I didn’t wait to hear the rest of the conversation because after that I took off. I’m ashamed to admit, I left my mom and dog behind with the creepy guy. My mom was livid, saying how rude I was and how worried she was because she didn’t know where I went, but the intense “leave now!” feeling that came over me totally clouded any sort of reasoning.
39. When Twigs Snap
In my early 20s, I’d go urban exploring with a group of friends from college. One cold night in October, seven of us went to an abandoned, formerly state-run asylum. It was on a big campus with several large buildings. The roads were disused but not closed, so we were able to get pretty close by car, and luckily found a good spot in some brush to hide the vehicles in.
We were pretty bad at sneaking—people were talking, one dude was messing with a laser pointer, etc. Luckily, there really wasn’t any security patrolling, but I knew there could be other people to hide from. We went to explore one of the main buildings, 10+ storeys tall, surrounded by a chain-link fence. Eventually, we found a hole and climbed in.
Searching between the fence and the outer wall, I swore I heard twigs breaking in the wood behind the building. We were basically trapped between the fence and the building, and the only way out was the way we came, which was also the direction the sound was coming from. Two of the girls with us were joking around, and the kid with the laser was still playing with it.
I started to get nervous and told them to knock it off, but they were having fun and didn’t care. All of a sudden, there was this loud yelling like an old man in pain. Everyone shut up, and after a moment we heard tons, TONS of twigs snapping. Now I was panicking, and I yelled for us all to run. We scrambled out of the fence and back to our cars, sure that danger was right behind us.
Looking back at it now, it was probably just a few raccoons going at it, or a squatter who was more scared of us. But at the time, I never felt the need to run more in my life. Needless to say, we cooled off on the exploring for a while.
40. This Isn’t My Stop…
This happened when I was around age 12. A little bit of context: I was out of the district for the school I was in, so I rode in a van (one of those big, creepy white ones), with about five other kids. I was the first one on the van every morning, picked up around 7:30 AM. The bus driver was always friendly enough. He was an overweight, white man, probably in his 50s.
One day as he was driving us home, he pointed out his house to us. On the first day of him driving us home, he stopped at Burger King to get us each an ice cream cone. (This alarmed me at the time, but I shrugged it off.) I was a pretty small kid, and I certainly wouldn’t be able to defend myself against any sort of physical assault.
Anyway, I got on the van one morning as I always did. I think it was March. (In Minnesota, so it was still quite cold outside). I was looking at my iPod, not really paying attention. When we stopped, I looked up, assuming we were at the next stop. I looked up to discover that we were at his house. He didn’t say a word to me. He got out of the vehicle and went inside.
I was alone, and absolutely petrified. Until that point, I always thought that people were exaggerating when they said they were “paralyzed with fear,” but I absolutely was. You hear those stories, you know, of young girls getting kidnapped. I really thought he was going to rape and/or kill me. A million thoughts were running through my head. Do I call 9-1-1? Do I hide? Do I get out and run? (I knew someone who lived nearby). But instead, I just sat there, frozen. I have no idea how long he was inside, but it couldn’t have been very long, because he came back (again, still not saying a word) and we continued on the route.
I told my parents about it when I got home. They thought it was odd, but figured he probably had just forgotten something or really had to pee. They told me to tell them about it if it happened again. It did. The second time (I think it was a few weeks later), I looked up, and saw that we were at his house again. It was the same—no explanation, he just parked and went inside, leaving me in the van by myself.
This time, I texted my mom to let her know what was happening. She called me immediately, asking if I was okay, what happened, etc. I had to hang up after a few moments, because he came back more quickly this time. Again, we continued on the route. My parents called the bus company, and I guess he was yelled at. He obviously knew that I had told on him, because the next morning I rode the van he was clearly very angry and silent. I was absolutely terrified to continue riding the van after that—he was angry and knew where I lived!
So that was definitely the most terrified I’ve ever been for my life. I think about it all the time. He definitely should’ve been fired. I’m 99% sure that what he did was against the law. If school bus drivers need to make an unscheduled stop, they’re supposed to call the bus company, let every kid off, etc. They probably only kept him because he was the only person who was willing to drive as far as we all lived.
41. Gone Fishing
When my uncle was young, he took a trip to the Grand Canyon with his friends. They were driving along and stopped near this area with hedges/brush on the side of the canyon and decided to take one of your standard funny Grand Canyon pictures. My uncle stood on the side of the canyon with a fishing rod, pretending to fish off the side of the canyon. After they snapped the picture, they packed up and drove off. When the photos were developed, they noticed something very strange.
In the picture, not far behind my Uncle, was a man dressed in all black with pale white skin just staring at the camera with a knowing smirk on his face. My Uncle and his friends claimed that they did not know this man, that they were the only ones in the spot, and the Grand Canyon was vacant of tourists at this time of year. They still know nothing about the man. The picture still exists to this day.
42. Dream On
I’m at work one day when my then-wife calls me out of the blue. She usually did not call me during the day because she worked the night shift. She tells me to call my friend Danny and make sure he and his family are okay. When I ask why, she tells me that she had a dream and can’t remember it, but that I should call Danny and make sure he’s okay.
So I call Danny and check in with him. I tell him about my wife’s dream. He’s mildly amused but tells me that he and his family are fine and to thank my wife for her concern. I call her back and let her know all is well. She’s very dubious when she hears the news. I found out later that within half an hour of my phone call to Danny, he got another call from his uncle in Florida to tell him that his son committed suicide.
43. Spine-chilling Stuff
I didn’t see a ghost until I was 19 years old and did not believe in them until then. I had the mentality that, “I’ll believe it when I see it.” I was at my friend’s rental house, who had a baby and they kept talking about how their house was haunted—particularly the room the baby slept in. A woman would be seen in white, walking into the baby’s room at night.
A few times, my friend’s husband would be alone with the baby at night while she was at work and he would see the women walk by the open door in the hallway towards the baby’s room while the baby slept. He didn’t think anything of it at first because he thought it was his wife, then he would remember she’s at work and haul ass to the baby’s room…only to find the kid crying and no one there.
Fast-forward to my encounter: I was hanging out with my good friend at their house while the husband was at work and helping out watching the baby. We started hearing a ton of noises, and my friend said she just wanted to get the kid, get in the car, and leave. I laughed and tried to tell her it was nothing, but I complied.
We get to the car and she tells me she forgot the dog and asked if I could go back and get him. I approach the window at the front of the house, peer into it, and see the dog standing at the sliding glass door, completely stiff with its tail pointing straight out, barking his butt off. I then look at the reflection and my heart skips several beats…I see the bottom half of a reflection of a woman in white.
I nope out of there and tell her I can’t go in there and tell her what I saw. We eventually go back inside once the dog slowed on the barking. When it comes to ghosts, I am now a true believer and since that day, I have had a couple of other encounters.
44. Forest Fiends
In high school, my buddy and I were riding our dirt bikes on the trails that ran around the logging roads in Washington. Thousands and thousands of acres of undeveloped land with just gravel roads and trails. We were on our way back to the truck when we stopped at an intersection to figure out which way to turn. That’s when we saw an eerie sight.
Three dudes in overalls, no shirts, and full-face helmets rode out of the woods on quads. They rode a few slow circles around us, then took off back into the woods. We booked it the heck out of there. Whatever they were guarding, they didn’t want us to see.
I was driving my friend and myself (both girls) back from a bar on the way to our Airbnb, out in the middle of nowhere in a small town. At some point early on, a car turns onto the road behind us. It’s dark and like 2 am, so I don’t think anything of it. They’re also driving super close to me, but I’m not about to speed due to road rage pressure.
Eventually, they chill out on tailgating. Yet the longer we’re on the road, the farther we get from civilization. It is very unusual for another car to be going out the way we are. So, about half a mile from our Airbnb, I pull off to a side street and let the car pass. Then we wait five minutes, turn around to get back on our road…and lo and behold, the car is just sitting there waiting for us.
So, we nope the heck out, and now I’m FLOORING it back to town to the bar so we can get to safety. I do a rolling stop through a stop sign, and the car finally turns its cop lights on and pulls me over. Dude has the audacity to ask me why I ran a stop sign and I just go off on him about how terrifying it is to be stalking two college girls all the way back on the 25-minute drive home from the bar.
I was literally on the phone with 9-1-1 when he pulled us over. The officer looks real apologetic and lets us off with a warning (for what I don’t know), saying that he thought we saw he was an officer and that people usually turn off onto side streets like we did when they’re trying to avoid the authorities. Yeah, they also do it when they’re trying to avoid STALKERS.
46. Witch Hunt
One day while doing my laundry, one of the lights blew out in my basement. My basement is set up so that the laundry room is split off from the other side of the basement with a wall and a door. In order to get upstairs, you have to exit the laundry room and go through the other part of the basement. So the light blew in the other part, not the laundry room.
As it was the only light on that side, it was pretty dark. I finished the laundry I had to do while dreading the walk through the dark basement. I exit the laundry room, get halfway through the basement, and suddenly I hear a loud cackle. Imagine a sound people make when they imitate a witch. Take that and imagine that the witch had been smoking for 50 years, making her voice deeper and hoarser.
That is what I heard, clear as day, right behind me. I did not hesitate to bolt for the stairs. I waited until my father got home and then changed the bulb. I have yet to hear that cackle since, and I have not told a single person in the house about it.
47. You Are Dreaming
I have a sleep tracking app on my phone that has a setting for lucid dreaming. It will start saying “You are dreaming” repeatedly in a woman’s voice with a bit of an echo. I was at work one day when I started hearing the voice randomly every few minutes or so. I checked my phone and as soon as the screen turned I woke up in my bed as the sun was rising.
A bit freaked out I went to take a shower. Then on my way to work I started to hear the voice again through the radio. When I turned my car off, a bit freaked out again, I once more woke up in my bed as the sun was rising. This happened about 3 or 4 more times, all at different times of the “day.” I didn’t trust reality for about a week after that and still refuse to use that particular setting of the app.
48. This is Why You Don’t Hike at Midnight
I was in a large wooded area not far from my boyfriend’s home. I was with him, hanging out nearly at midnight. We had gone in pretty deep and it required a good amount of climbing. The closest path was maybe five minutes climbing down, so it was highly unlikely someone could be at that spot, that time of the night, besides us.
As we were kissing, he thought he saw a shadow move about 20 or 25 feet to the left of us, climbing upward, but it stopped suddenly when my boyfriend looked at it. He told me to be wary, and at that exact moment we saw a dark figure climbing a little up but diagonally, like whatever it was was attempting to go directly above where we were.
We didn’t move. We watch him till he closed the horizontal gap and was directly above us. Then he began to come towards us. Without skipping a beat, my boyfriend grabbed my hand and we almost ran downhill towards the path. We ran as fast as we could and made it out of the forest. We vowed never to go there at night again.
49. One Man Down
I joined an “intentional community” when I was 19. There were a bunch of hippies living in tents on a piece of land. A charming, shirtless dude was the leader, the group included several young women—although there were a few other dudes and an older woman involved as well. After I moved in, I discovered their dark secret.
I learned that one of the other guys had gone missing after having a disagreement with the leader. He packed up his car full of all his belongings, and then…was nowhere to be found. They searched the property for his body, contemplated calling the authorities, but decided not to. Instead, they decided to just hold hands around the fire. I left.
50. Who’s Behind the Bags of Bones?
I was walking my dog through the woods and she’d find the odd bone, thought nothing of it, but then she ran towards a huge black sack and was going nuts for it, I open the bag and it’s filled with bones. Sure it was weird, but I’m still like it must be hunters around or something. But then I walk a bit further and start seeing more and more bags, then a huge cluster of them, at least 20 of them, all filled with bones.
I decided my dog had a long enough walk after seeing that.
51. The Bizarre Case of the Crooked Forest
In Poland, we have a place called the Crooked Forest. Basically a pine forest, in which every tree is naturally bent in shape of C in the lower part, then grows upwards normally. Every single tree is bent in North direction. It is quite creepy when you just stand in the middle and you see all these weirdly bent trees around you.
52. It’s Not In Your Head
I went to a small women’s college in Virginia. I only stayed a semester because of the group mentality. They would constantly perform rituals that were not “mandatory,” but you were weird if you didn’t go. One alone wasn’t weird, but collectively it was too much. Example: One founders’ day, everyone wore white.
We went to the chapel for the ceremony and then walked two miles to the graveyard, where the founders were buried. We all had to lay roses on the graves and sing the school’s song. Four girls in my class tried to die by suicide in the first semester. My class only had 64 girls. It was an epidemic, but everyone was trying to keep it hushed up.
If you discussed transferring, the dean of students and the school’s counselor would threaten to have you put in a mental hospital for 72 hours. I transferred in secret so no one would find out. I didn’t even tell my friends. I would wake up at 4 am and transfer stuff from my dorm room to be shipped home. It was terrifying.
53. A Terrible Sight, An Honorable Deed
I was driving home after an extremely late night at work, I lived in the middle of nowhere, about a mile before I got there a woman covered in blood jumped out of the woods into the middle of the road screaming. I panicked and went around her, then slammed on the brakes to help. Her boyfriend had beaten her and was currently chasing after her in the woods.
I got her in my car and called 9-1-1, they met us at the hospital because I told them there was no way I was waiting on the side of the road when he was coming.
54. I Got the Devil Inside Me
I was young at the time, so I didn’t realize until after my family had left. Looking back on it, the way the community practically worshipped the leader, hanging on his every word whether it was what they should name their new baby or what movies were evil and would bring the devil into their lives really should have tipped me off.
The biggest red flag I can’t believe I didn’t realize at the time was when he decided one of the kids in the community was possessed and needed an exorcism. That kid was me. I won’t bore you with the details, but remembering that years later is what made me finally realize “holy moly, that was a cult.” I’m glad I got out.
55. Dry Bones
My grandmother lives in a very old house (late 1700s), which is surrounded by graveyards on both sides. The other day, my friend who I hadn’t seen in months, arrives at my house. We are walking along the old cobblestone driveway when he begins talking about his newfound spirituality, not in a religious context, but with regards to feeling “tuned in” to things.
I believed him; he had been away at a drug treatment program and I believe that he had experienced some kind of spiritual awakening. Anyways, as we are talking, my cat walks over to us and starts rubbing up against my leg. After a while I realize she won’t quit and that she is trying to tell me something. I start to follow her and soon I realize she is leading me somewhere: we’re going to the graveyard.
Every time I stop following her she turns around and rubs my leg until I begin walking again. When we finally get to the graveyard, she jumps up on a gravestone, balancing on the slender part of the gravestone, and will not move. She begins hissing when we try to take her off the headstone. Then we read the inscription. We were completely stunned.
It turns out that the grave was for someone who lived and passed in our own house.
56. A Creepy Story Has a Twist Ending
My friend and I had this really cool spot to hang out in the woods. You had to walk in the middle of a creek for a kilometer and duck through sharp bushes and thistles. The hike was well rewarding though. The spot was about half an acre big, it was pure green grass on an incline with beautiful clear water ponds everywhere.
One day, my friend Levi and I were to the spot. Suddenly, Levi stopped moving and ducked into a bush, I did the same because I thought there must have been a large animal somewhere. I saw him staring up the hill and so I looked up too. I felt a chill run down my spine. There were two people standing at the top of the hill heaving back and forth a lifeless body.
We watched as they threw the corpse down the hill. Then they took off. Levi and I were terrified and I was shaking so badly I couldn’t speak. The next day we were with his parents driving to town. And we saw like 10 fire trucks at the school closest to the forest. Terrified, we told his parents, balling our eyes out worried that we were done for. His mom started laughing at us and said, “They are training for search and rescue, that was a dummy that the firemen had to find.”
I never slept as well as I did that night.
57. You’re Not Alone
A few months ago I woke up around three in the morning and decided to go downstairs to the bathroom. When I opened my door and peeked over the stairs, I saw a bright light coming from my living room. Upon further inspection, I saw that the TV was on a channel that was all fuzzy. There was no one on the couch or anywhere in the vicinity.
I yelled out my mom’s name, and as soon as I made a sound, the TV turned off and my bathroom door slammed. I checked every nook and cranny of the bathroom and found nothing. That moment still haunts me to this day.
58. Demons in the Basement
My extremely Catholic grandmother owned a house in rural New York. We’d often go there when we went to camp or for family holidays. The place always had a weird vibe to it, as it was over 150 years old. I had several paranormal experiences like seeing what I believed to be a spirit of a man in a brown coat and top hat in the kitchen.
I would also hear children’s voices in the bunkbed room when nobody was home, as well as light fixtures acting strangely, like bulbs going out on holiday lights one by one in sequence instead of all at once. Anyways, these experiences were never particularly emotion-inducing or threatening, just weird things I was convinced I saw…
…until one day when I was about ten. I was there alone while my grandmother went shopping and was just watching Avatar the Last Airbender and playing with Legos, pretty standard. I went to the bathroom at one point and noticed the door to the basement. I never thought anything of the basement because it was always closed and off-limits, but being unsupervised and the bold kid I was, I opened the door to get a peek.
It was pitch black down the stairs, but within about three seconds I felt an intense chill and an absolutely terrifying feeling of pure evil wash over me, like a primal fear. Every instinct in my being and soul went into full panic mode as I felt the presence rapidly approaching up the stairs. I shut that door and locked it as fast as I could and ran to the common room and grabbed a cross, convinced it was some sort of demon.
Upon telling my grandmother this, her face went white, as if she wasn’t as shocked as afraid, and as if she knew something about it. She called a priest into the house and had him bless the place. When he opened the door to the basement he stopped abruptly and slowly descended. He performed his blessing down there and confided in us that he had felt the same feeling of dread, but that the house was protected by the lord now and we had nothing to fear.
I was always wary after that, but never experienced it again, and certainly never went near the basement. As I grew up, it weighed less on me, and I thought that maybe I was just a kid who spooked himself, maybe I had a grandmother who was so religious that she thought a non-existent demon was present, and maybe the priest felt what we were telling him we had felt, and it wasn’t real.
Unfortunately for that theory, and the reason I share this, is because I learned a few years ago that the family that had moved into the house after my grandparents moved to Florida had abruptly moved out. They had forfeited their down payment and left immediately because, and I quote from the realtor’s report, “The demons in the basement were terrorizing their children to an unbearable degree.”
So I don’t know what was down there, but it wasn’t human, it wasn’t benevolent, and it wasn’t make believe.
59. Playing with Fire
When I was a kid, a drunken family member was in the basement and I was upstairs. He decided to start playing with guns. One of them goes off from downstairs. The bullet travels upstairs and misses me by about a foot or two—almost blew my head off. I still shudder thinking about it. I had just moved from where the bullet struck a minute or two before it happened.
One of four times in my 22 years where I really shouldn’t have made it.
60. Dreams Freaking The Whole Family Out
One morning when I was 15, my dad looked tired and stressed. I asked him what was up. He said he had an awfully realistic dream of me taking my own life. Said in the dream he came into my room to find me hanging from my neck in the closet. It bothered him so bad that he actually came and checked on me while I was asleep.
Not too big of a deal, but not cool as I thought. 20 minutes later my sis comes into the room, fresh from waking up. She looks at me and 1st thing she said was “I had a weird dream. I came in your room and you had shot yourself in the head. It was messed up.” I told her that dad had a dream about me taking my life last night too, and had him explain it to her.
We just kinda sat there in an unnerving silence. I’ve never been suicidal but that freaked the whole family out.
61. I Can See It in Your Eyes
My boyfriend’s younger brother and I were taking a bike ride down the street to the shops late one afternoon. As we get onto the main road, we notice a dude across the street heading in the opposite direction. He is walking with a limp, his head is bowed, and he’s got a plastic bag in his hand. We’re only a few metres away from him when he crosses the street onto our side.
As the bro rides past him, this stranger lifts his head up and smiles in his direction as they pass each other. I’m a little while behind, so I don’t pay too much attention to this—that is, until the bro stops, turns around, and gives me a funny look, just as this guy is passing him by. I still don’t think too much of it at this point, assuming that he had just stopped to let me catch up.
As soon as I myself passed the stranger and made eye contact with him, I realized that this was not the case. When the stranger looked over and nodded at me, I saw nothing in his eyes. When I say nothing, I mean like black pits where his eyes should have been, or just an eyeball that looked entirely black. I don’t know how else to describe it.
When I finally catch up to the bro, we stop around the corner and he says to me “Did you see that???” “You mean his eyes?!” I asked. “Yeah, it looked like they weren’t even there!” he replied. We then kind of sat there for a while processing what we had both just seen. Had the bro not related the same feeling and experience to me as I had felt when the stranger looked at me, I doubt I would have ever thought anything of it.
I probably would have just assumed it was the light angles playing tricks on me or some such thing. It was a sunny afternoon, so glare certainly could have played a part. He could’ve been wearing contacts, I don’t know. But none of those explanations feel like they fit. We got home later on and told everybody what had happened, but no one believed us. They still don’t to this day.
62. Unwanted Roommates
In my freshman year, I was in an all-girls dorm. I kept waking up with little red bites on my arms and chest, then started noticing little insects on my sheets and desk here and there. I caught one, borrowed a magnifying glass, and spent the next hour Googling various household pests. They were not bed bugs. They were baby cockroaches. COCKROACHES WERE EATING MY SKIN. WHILE I SLEPT.
Got some glue traps, set them around, and the next day took them to my RA. She was mad at me for going and buying traps first, but horrified when I said that they’d been set out less than 24 hours. Long story short, at the end of the school year, that entire floor of that dorm was closed off for a year while they fumigated the heck out of it.
A few years later, I heard some younger students there were telling horror stories about it.
63. Stranger in the Woods
I was camping with a friend in a backwoods camping area. There weren’t many sites and they were all super spaced out. We had already been there one night, had the site fully set up, had been hiking all day—the works. We drove into town to get some food, and when we were driving back to our secluded campsite, we passed a man walking out of the only road to our site.
We both locked eyes with him and I got a super creeped-out feeling. He stared at us like he knew us and hated us, but we had never seen him in our lives. When we got to our tent, we went inside and everything we had in there was tossed. Our bags were dumped out and our clothes were thrown everywhere. We quickly realized both our hunting knives were gone, along with a bunch of our clothes.
We also realized it had to be that guy we saw. There were no other sites or hiking paths he could’ve been walking from besides ours. We jumped in the car and drove back towards where we had seen him, but he was gone. So we drove a bit further and found a common area where other campers were gathered. We sprinted down and asked “have any of you seen this guy…” and described him. Their response chilled me to the bone.
The people at the gathering just stared at us and didn’t speak, giving us an even more creeped-out feeling. It was at that point that I told my friend, “We need to leave this place right now.” Walking back to our car, we looked over the edge of a guardrail and saw all our clothes in the woods. We gathered them up but didn’t find either of our knives.
Knowing this guy was still out there with those knives and that no one around us cared freaked us out so much, we packed the car up and ended our camping trip early. No way were we staying out in those woods one more night!
64. The Terrifying Tree
Let me preface this by saying I am one of the most skeptical people you’ll ever meet. I’m not religious, I don’t believe in ghosts or aliens or any of that. This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever encountered and I have no real logical explanation for it. No drugs or booze were involved. My friends and I went camping up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire most summers in middle and high school.
Now, being a bunch of unorganized teen boys/manchildren, we always took forever to get in gear and actually get going, usually not leaving southern Massachusetts where we lived until late afternoon, early evening. One year, we got up there at about 10 pm or so and decided rather than hike into the woods, we’d just sort of camp out in the parking lot and start the hike in the morning.
After a bit of unwinding and some food everyone went to bed except for me and one other dude. We ended up wandering over to a small wooden footbridge over a river. It was a perfectly clear night filled with stars and a fairly bright moon, and we were shooting the breeze for a good couple hours about all sorts of stuff, movies, games, life, etc.
It had to be well after midnight by this point. As we were chatting, we both got this creepy feeling of something being there. Something…sinister. Looking at the far end of the bridge, there was this MASSIVE dead tree (no leaves, just clawing branches) silhouetted against the sky. We both were like, “Man, I swear that tree is creeping me out, but that’s silly right?”
At first, we tried to dismiss it, but both of us kept feeling more and more unnerved until I finally was like, “Screw this, I’m a grown man, I’m not afraid of a damn tree, I’m walking over there.” I get like two-thirds of the way across the bridge and it feels like something reached in and grabbed my pounding heart. Just went totally ice cold.
I backed up and was like, “Yeah, I’m afraid of a tree. I seriously think I’m not coming back if I go over there.” We retreated from the bridge and decided to go to bed back in the sleeping bags by the car. Next morning, after breakfast, we decide to hike into the trail by going across that bridge. Halfway across, my friend freezes. “Uh, dude….”
I look across the bridge. It’s a clearing. There are no trees there.
65. Breaking and Entering
My aunt was home alone when she heard someone open the door and walk into the hallway. Since her husband (my uncle) was not supposed to be home for a few hours, she went downstairs to see if someone was there. She did not see anyone, but outside the door, she saw a chilling sight: there were footsteps in the snow leading to the door, but not away from it.
This got her nervous, and on a second glance, she saw an unfamiliar pair of shoes in the hallway. She ran up and called 9-1-1, and when they came and searched through the house, the found a homeless man hiding in a storage room, holding my uncle’s sawed-off. Luckily he had not found the ammunition (it was hidden in another place).
He was busted, but according to my aunt, it was the scariest thing she has ever experienced.
66. Right Place, Wrong Time
I live in Dallas, Texas. Almost a month ago, it was Sunday night and I was doing my typical UberEATS drives around 9pm-ish. I notice there’s a thunderstorm warning right when I thought about stopping for the night, but it cleared so I decided to try to stay out until 10pm. I needed to get cheese, so I walk into a Kroger and park there.
As I’m walking in the door, I hear the tornado sirens go off. Then my phone sounds off with the same watch alert. I run, get the cheese (silly I know) and hurry to head home so I can get safe. It clicked in my head that if the siren went off it was a big deal, and I was terrified. I was speeding home and it seemed that every time I passed a stop light they were turning off behind me.
I get closer to my apartment complex—and see a horrific sight. It’s all torn up. Shattered windows, trees down everywhere. But it was so ironic because had I been home, I would have been worse off than when I was sitting in the Kroger parking lot.
67. Oh Deer
I was driving through rural parts of Missouri with a buddy. We drove down a single lane road that had no exit. At the end of the road, there was a group of deer carcasses laid in a perfect circle. I’d say there were at least 10 of them. Suffice to say, we bolted out of there real quick.
68. Don’t Call Me By My Name
I was in the living room with my grandma. We were the only ones home. She was working on a crossword puzzle, and I was messing around on my iPad. Television was off, windows were closed. All of a sudden clear as day I hear my name being whispered, but since it was so quiet it sounded loud. I looked up to my grandma, thinking it was her asking her if she said something.
She said, “No, but I heard your name.”
69. Loyal to the End, and Beyond
When I was little (no more than seven or eight years old), I woke up one night to find a white dog sitting in the doorway of my bedroom. This was weird, because we didn’t have a dog or any other indoor pet. As I watched, the dog got up and walked down the hallway towards the living room. I got up too, looked down the dark, empty hall it had headed down, and decided to go in the opposite direction to my parents’ room. I woke my mom up and told her that there was a dog in the house.
She got up and we looked around for a bit, but didn’t find anything. She thought I must have been dreaming. Then, at some point when I was older, I found a picture of the dog that my parents had when I was a baby. I learned from my mom that the dog often slept in my doorway, guarding my room. That dog was gone by the time I was two years old. That dog in the picture was also the dog I had seen that night.
70. Don’t Send Your Kids to Camp!
During a YMCA summer camp about 20 years ago, we were camping in tents in a forested area. It was the middle of summer, so it stayed bright until around 10 pm before it was fully dark. So we went on a night walk with the group and were about halfway into the forest when we noticed someone definitely not belonging to our group following us.
Suddenly, the camp leaders rushed us back to camp and put us into our tents for the night, with one leader staying up to watch us. Cue halfway through the night, and I woke up having to pee. I got out of the tent to walk to the bathroom and saw the leader who was supposed to watch us asleep in his chair by the campfire.
I looked around and saw that the guy following us earlier is peeking into one of the tents, while fumbling in a bag he has next to him. Screamed louder then I ever screamed in my life. The leaders wake up, jump the guy and hold him till the authorities arrive. Turns out he had a Taser, blindfold, rope and several knives in his bag.
71. Walking Into a Trap
A friend and I were walking around an abandoned barn in the woods, which, on its own is weird. But anyway, I stepped on a plank of wood with a nail in it, but my boot kept it from penetrating deep enough to enter my foot. Then, I noticed something off. It was about 20 yards from the barn, and filled with nails, like someone purposely did that, and covered it with leaves.
And there were a few more leading up to it. We did a 180 and got out of dodge.
72. Bad Company
I was walking in my old local park with my sister. We entered the park at about 3 pm, and were hanging around until about 9-9:30, when we saw three people all wearing somewhat similar outfits, all the way on the other side of the park. I immediately noticed but didn’t think much of it. We walked for about two more minutes and I noticed one of them stopped and was staring at us.
I immediately had a bad feeling, and told my sister we should leave. She noticed and obliged. Later that night, there was word of a stabbing in the park, and the suspects were all the people we saw in the group of three.
73. American Psycho
I was on a second date with a guy who wanted to stop at his house to grab something, and he invited me in. He was really hot, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable with him for a reason I couldn’t put my finger on. We get to his house, and it was just…creepy. He was well-off, and the house itself was gorgeous. Spotless, and totally sterile. Nothing on the walls, every surface empty.
No books. No CDs. Nothing. I ask how long he’d lived there, and he said, “five years.” While he was in the kitchen, he then asked me to go into his room and grab something from the top drawer in his dresser. I got the coldest chill up my spine, and immediately stepped closer to the front door. There was NO way I was letting him come between me and the exit.
He asked me again to go to his room, and I “laughed” and said, “No dude, I’m hungry, let’s go!” He asked one more time, visibly annoyed at this point, and I proceeded to pretend that I was a “stupid” girl, and made a fuss about being hungry and what the heck was taking him so long. He was so mad. So, I walked out of his house down the sidewalk and made him follow me.
We got to the car, and I kept pretending to be a clueless chick, and demanded he take me home. He did. In cold, furious silence. Then, when he stopped the car in front of my place, he grabbed my face to kiss me goodbye. He bit my lip so hard I was bleeding, and he reached under my shirt and pinched me. I luckily got him off me, falling out of my door, and ran inside to the sound of him laughing. I ended up with a bruised face, cut lip, and was scared that he knew where I lived, but I still feel like I survived a legit psychopath.
74. Raging Bull
I was taking pictures of a family who wanted a fall photoshoot in a field. I hear something, look behind me, and a HUGE bull is pawing the ground. When I make eye contact, it starts running towards us. I see that there is a fence between us, so I’m not as fast as I could be shooing the family to the car…Until the bull gets to the fence and immediately turns away from us to run along it. I then notice that the fence ENDS halfway up the field, and that bull is MAD and running pretty fast. That adrenaline rush was for real.
75. Apparitions as Warnings
My family has a long history with mental illness. Therefore whenever we get calls from family members, we assume the worst. It happened multiple times. First, my cousin was pregnant and she was super excited for the birth of her baby. It was around the five-month mark that my mother and I started to hallucinate and see dark figures in the shape of a baby around my house.
Since it happened to both my mom and I we both got scared but did nothing about it. About a week later, my cousin had a miscarriage and we stopped seeing these “apparitions.” Secondly, my grandma was very sick and my mother and I started hallucinating again. This time, instead of babies crawling around corners we saw a slumped figure.
Not even a week passed and my grandma was declared dead after they told us she was recuperating. Finally, and probably why my mom and I are not scared of these apparitions. My sister has been diagnosed with depression for a long time. Since she is older, she lived in another country. My mom and I were in the kitchen and the hallway lights were off, then we simultaneously freaked out.
We both saw a figure that immediately reminded us of my sister. My mom took this as a warning and called my sister immediately. Her roommate answered and my mom asked her to check on her. Turns out my sister had tried to overdose on sleeping pills and her roommate found her just in time to save her life. Ever since then, I believe that whatever this apparition is, it is probably someone or something that is trying to warn us beforehand.
76. An Uneasy Feeling
There’s a cabinet near the top of my staircase and I had placed my water bottle on it, not on the edge but in the middle, where in no way would it be able to fall off on its own or due to any “breeze.” I’m sitting on the couch, which is a couple of feet away from the cabinet, when the water bottle simply flies off the cabinet like someone sucker-punched it and goes soaring down the staircase.
I was home alone, it was 1 AM, and I have no clue why it happened. Don’t want to think about it, I just keep living my life.
77. Stumbling On a Ghost Town
A little over 18 years ago, I had just gotten out of the armed forces. After visiting my hometown in Montana, I got back on the road and drove to my next base at Boise, Idaho, deciding to cut across the panhandle of Idaho into Washington instead of going down the highway which is pretty twisty and dangerous in the winter when the roads are icy.
After driving for a while, I entered Washington early on a foggy Sunday morning. I really had to use the bathroom so I pulled into the next town I saw, called Linden or Linder or something. It was small but I thought nothing of it since I was from a small town in Montana. But as I left my car, my blood ran cold. There was not a single person to be found.
There were cars and business but not a single person to be found no one walking the street, no logging trucks, nothing. I stopped at a gas station, but no one was at the counter. I went around to the side to see if the bathroom was locked and it was. As I made my way back around to the front of the building, I saw a Coke Classic delivery truck. It wasn’t moving, but its headlights were on, the hazard lights were on, and the passenger and driver side doors were open just sitting there in the middle of the street.
I was getting a bad vibe so I got in my car and went back the way I came. But even after I left, things managed to get even creepier. I’ve checked multiple maps, in print and online, and nothing by the name Linden or Linder exists. To this day, it still gives me the chills.
78. Basement of Horrors
I used to work in low-income home weatherization, basically giving free stuff away to help lower electricity and gas bills and make the home more comfortable to people who really needed it. One step in qualifying a home is testing combustion appliances to make sure they’re not emitting carbon monoxide into the living space, because if they are and we seal up the house we could kill the whole family.
During a pre-inspection of a home on the outskirts of the city, I ask to see the owner’s water heater. He tells me that it’s in the basement, which is fairly normal, and I tell him I have to inspect it before work can start. So, he goes into the kitchen and starts moving the refrigerator. Turns out the entry into the basement is underneath carpeting beneath the fridge.
I should note that I went and did thousands of homes over the years, and had never seen such a thing. But, whatever, needs to be done regardless and so I pull out my flashlight and shine it down the stairs, to check out the layout but really to look for black widow spiders. At this point, I notice a dead cat, mostly down to a skeleton.
Not my favorite sight, but really common in crawlspaces and basements. I take a few steps down the stairs and continue my spider check, and notice another couple of small animal skeletons. At this point, I start to worry about gas, or poisons, or something equally dangerous having been responsible for the skeletons. I start looking closer.
There are animal skeletons everywhere, at least ten on a cursory look. Some of them are so degraded I can’t determine what they used to be. I also happen to notice that this guy is waiting at the entrance a little too quietly, with his hand on the door. Something clicks in my brain and I get this immense sense of danger.
I’m about four steps from the door being clear to close, I have no partner on the job with me, there’s nightmares all around me, and I realize just how hidden the entrance to the basement really was. I noped the heck outta there, told the guy I needed extra tools and would be back, and marked the job as non-feasible for health and safety as I was driving away.
I have no idea if I was actually in any danger, it could have been completely innocent; but I still remember the adrenaline rush and sense of doom, and sometimes you just don’t take chances.
79. The Fairy House
Out here in Washington, there were rumors of a “fairy house” in the woods somewhere. One park ranger decided to go hunting for it and he actually did find a treehouse in the woods. When he looked inside he found a ton of disturbing photos. He took it down and came back a while later and found it had been put back up. They eventually found who had been using the treehouse and busted him.
80. Not Feeling Secure at All
I used to work in a small office, which was about 60 people at maximum capacity. We had a security guard on duty 24/7. One night, I had to stay super duper late by myself because I had to leave early the next day and needed to finish my workload. All of my other co-workers are gone by around 10pm, cleaning crew comes in, and now it’s just me and the security guard.
The place is dark, but I’m not at all frightened because I’m not scared of most things, the security guard is a really nice dude, and we’re in a safe neighborhood. The security guards are required to make their rounds every couple of hours just to make sure things are fine. Sometimes they say something to us, most times they don’t.
Tonight, nice guy security dude stops by my cubicle and asks, “Everything alright?” Big friendly grin on his face as per usual. “All good here, thanks!” I go back to work. 20 minutes later, he’s back again. Big grin. “Everything alright?” “Yup! Nothing yet!” 20 minutes later…he’s back. Big grin. At this point, I am getting a little creeped out.
There is no need for him to come by this frequently. In fact, it’s disruptive. I also noticed that the way he interacts with me is always exactly the same, as if I were in a time loop. Same big grin, same intonation, same rhythm of speech. Not only that, I noticed that he whistles the same thing at around the same time, so if I turn off the music on my headphones, I can HEAR his whistling coming closer before he asks…”Everything alright?”
It’s around midnight and I’m totally freaked out. I try to rationalize this with myself because I have to get this work done. I’m rushing through my work and I keep hearing that whistling behind me. Surely, he won’t come back again…”Everything alright?”At this point, I’m fully terrified. I no longer trust this guy I used to feel so safe around.
I was a young woman in her mid-20s, and the security guard was a dude in his 50s. I couldn’t finish everything, but I wrote an e-mail to my supervisor saying that the security guard was acting VERY strange and I didn’t feel safe. I shut everything down and tried to rush to the exit. I don’t run into the security guard…or so I think.
Just as I’m feeling free and clear, I hear “Bye now,” behind me. He’s standing there in the dark hallway, big grin. Just standing there and watching. I mumble something and sprint to my car. The next day, I rush to my supervisor to try to explain what happened the night before. In the light of day, it kind of felt like I might’ve overreacted or maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. Then I learned the dark truth.
Turns out, the dude just disappeared. He’s missing. I’m pretty sure they still haven’t found him to this day. The security guard company just kind of dismissed it as some flaky guy who quit for no reason and no one seemed to be pursuing it much. He must’ve been suffering some kind of mental health issue or SOMEthing, but up until that night, he was just a super nice, trustworthy, reliable security guard who everybody loved. It also felt like some kind of weird paranormal stuff because it really felt like something had “taken over” inside of him.
81. Snail Mail to the Extreme
There was this abandoned school turned WWI hospital near my house that my friend and I liked to break into. One day, we were rooting around the third floor and we found an empty envelope on the floor of a closet. It was old, and the address was written in script. It only had a name on it. That name on it was the exact same as my friend’s name, whose name is rather uncommon. We booked it out of there real fast.
82. Don’t Miss the Forest for the Trees
I get insomnia. It was one of those nights and I was sitting out on my back porch at about 4:00 AM, smoking a cigarette. It was one of those eerie nights where there is absolutely no breeze and it’s just completely quiet out. We have woods behind our house and, as I was sitting there, I see this person making his way through the trees. I don’t mean just walking around. It looked like he was jumping from tree to tree, at least 30 or 40 feet up in the air.
I was absolutely stunned and just sat there dumbly, too afraid and confused to even get up and run inside the house. This person or thing then stops directly behind my house and looks at me. At this point, it’s about 50 feet away and maybe 40 feet up in the air. It pauses for about five seconds staring in my direction.
I’m absolutely certain that it wasn’t an animal. Its body was human-shaped and it did not resemble any type of animal I know of. But the way it was moving through the trees definitely was not human. No human could move like that.
Within a few more seconds it was out of sight.
83. I See You
I was nine and watching Spongebob. I went to the kitchen for a drink, and when I came back, the TV had a message: “Welcome back. Did you like your drink?” Truly scared by now, I get my dad. And like every cliché horror movie, the message ain’t there.
84. So Close, Yet So Far Away
My roommate’s sister lives in a suburban part of Delaware, right outside of Wilmington. Her neighborhood had been experiencing all these weird break-ins for a bit, break-ins where nobody could figure out what had been taken. Finally, one day she comes home and finds a pair of men’s boxers on her pillow (to the skeptics, she lives alone).
She immediately calls 9-1-1 and gets the heck out of dodge, locking her doors before she leaves. The authorities come with her back to her house, and find the door unlocked, meaning the man was almost certainly inside her house when she made the discovery.
85. Horror Unmasked
I used to live in a rented house that, along with my neighbors, sat across the street from a fairly bustling city park. At night, when the park was deserted, I would walk out my front door, sit on my porch and look at the trees and the stars. One night, around 1 AM, I opened the front door and started to sit down. That’s when I my blood ran cold. I saw a man standing in the deserted park.
He was directly in front of my house. The man was dressed all in black and was wearing a Halloween skull mask. The mask seemed fairly intricate, but was most definitely a store-bought cheapo. The sight of this guy sent a chill down my spine. He didn’t move at all—although I know he saw me. The entire neighborhood was silent and still and we just paused there holding our ground.
We watched each other for a long time until he finally sauntered away. I ended up calling 9-1-1 because I figured this guy was casing the neighborhood. Officers came, took my statement. Nothing ever came of it. A couple of months later, I’m doing some yard work around the side of my house. I’m pulling a huge tangle of weeds out from a thicket underneath my kitchen window.
I see something that looks like trash and pick it up: it’s the mask I saw that night.
86. I Don’t Like This Song
So this is one of many stories my dad told me when I was a little girl about his adventures hitchhiking when he was a few years younger than my age now (28.) He’s a super deadhead and him and a friend named John followed them on the road with nothing but their acoustics and some cash. Apparently, they got to Georgia at one point and were getting tired but needed to make it a few towns over in order to see the Dead the following day. They walked miles and tried to catch a ride for hours to no avail, and started to lose hope when a beat-up pickup truck stopped and let them in.
My dad got in the front and John got in the back, thanked him and fell asleep, leaving my dad awake with this guy driving them. According to him, things were bad right from the start. The driver asked where they were headed and why they had guitars and asked if my dad knew how to play well. My dad told him about the Grateful Dead and how he did play and usually picked a banjo but left it back home. So the guy gets super creepy and says, “I’ve always wanted to kill me one of them guitar boys.”
My dad started freaking out at this point and said he just laughed it off but tried to be as unnoticeable as possible while attempting to wake up John. Things kept getting more tense; he asked the guy if he’d mind pulling into a gas station, he said no. He asked how long until they would get to the next town, no response and he eventually went completely silent.
After a few HOURS of driving (with John waking up in the meantime,) the guy got really eccentric and asked if they’d ever seen a “bad demise.” He started driving the truck into mailboxes and street signs, and eventually HIT A STRAY DOG WHILE LAUGHING MANIACALLY. My dad and John laughed right along with him until he finally stopped at a gas station and they were able to get their things and take off. They ended up missing the show, but I’m glad my dad wasn’t the “guitar boy” the guy was looking for.
87. That’s It, No Tip!
While working in Lagos, Nigeria, I was sitting in a bar on one of the lagoons, when a body washed up naked except for underwear. I called the waitress over a bit frantically and pointed at the body. She made a face and went back into the bar, where I was expecting that she would call the authorities—but no! She returned with a long stick and started stabbing the body repeatedly!
She then pushed him back out into the sea! When I tried to tell my fellow travelers about this, they all thought that there was no way this could have actually happened.
88. A Nightmare Come to Life
My room wasn’t very large. A typical square room, mostly taken up by a dresser, bookshelf/tv stand combo and my twin-sized bed. The bed bisected the room, separating the entrance door from the sliding-door closet. As I was young and I liked having the fan on, I had one of those long extendo-chains for the light, so I could turn off my light and still enjoy the fan at night.
I was in my room, messing around, not long before bed. I have always been an active person, and in my childhood, I was never anywhere in the house without a trusty toy sword or toy sword stand-in close at hand, and tonight was no exception. I don’t remember why I swung, because again, small room, but I swung my sword and it struck the long chain for the light.
Anyone who has ever accidentally whacked their chain knows what happens next. The chain goes flying into the air, wraps itself endlessly around the light fixture and turns off the light. In an instant, I was plunged into darkness. Annoyed, I clambered onto my bed and began to tentatively reach up. I didn’t want to stick my hand in the fan blade, but I needed to reach really close to it to begin untangling the chain.
I froze when I heard a shuffling sound…and the groan. It sounded close by, in my room with me. It sounded like the closet door sliding open on its old track. I kept trying to reach up, but now the hair on my arms was standing on end. The groan of the door finally stopped, but what replaced it was a heavy, throaty breathing.
I imagined it, of course. I had to have, because what little boy doesn’t have an overactive imagination? All the same, I was terrified. I gave up trying to untangle the light chain and instead reached for the top of it, where the chain fed directly into the light fixture. The breathing was closer now, and my brain was happy to provide the louder sounds and the horrifying image of everything they belonged to, creeping towards my bed.
I found the chain and I pulled. I know I pulled. I heard the click, but perhaps I just wanted to, because light did not flood the room and banish away the darkness of my fears. I pulled again, and again. Surely the chain was too tightly wound to activate the light. Surely that was it…right? I could not wait to find out.
I dove off my bed and lunged for the door to my bedroom, flinging it open and allowing light from the hallway to spill into the room. I whirled around, toy sword still in hand, but there was nothing there. The gloom of my bedroom stared back at me. Bed, dresser, bookcase with my TV and Xbox perched on top of it. No monsters.
I re-entered my room and climbed on the bed once again. I reached up and, with the aid of the hall light, pulled firmly on the base of the light string. With a loud click, the light turned on, and my bedroom returned to normal. I unwound the light chain from the light fixture and climbed off the bed, sunspots dancing in my eyes from looking at the light, and feeling a little woozy from the past few minutes.
But it was ok. It was all my imagination. There was no monster. The light wasn’t turning on because I was pulling it wrong. I could explain everything, very easily…except for why my closet door was open.
89. Dad’s Secret Stash
It’s burned into my memory. My dad getting loaded, ridiculously depressed, and putting a gun to his head and threatening to pull the trigger. This happened fairly regularly. The worst, which I know no one will believe but is sadly 100% true, was the night he took a grenade out and pulled the pin, keeping the safety lever depressed in his hand, and threatened to let go and blow himself up. I remember just walking to the other end of the trailer and waiting for the boom.
He ended up busted on weapons charges, surprise surprise. There had been an incident years before, too, where he was loaded and messing around with a friend and they set off a tear gas grenade in the house. All of this just seemed like “messed-up dad” stuff to me as a kid. I didn’t realize how nuts it was for your dad to have a trunk full of secrets buried in the woods.
90. A Doctor Should not Make Housecalls
A week or so before my 10th birthday, I walked to the corner store with a $5 bill and picked up a jar of Ragu for my mom. On my way home, a man I’d never seen before fell in step with me and began talking. “Hi!” he said, cheerfully. “My name is Dr. Ramsey. I’m a pediatrician. Do you know what a pediatrician is?” I walked along silently, not replying and fervently hoping he would take that as a sign he should leave me alone. Subtleties were not his strong suit, though, because he kept right on chattering.
“Are your parents looking for a pediatrician for you? Of course, you’re almost a big girl now, you’ll be needing another kind of doctor soon, won’t you? That’s okay though. They can still bring you to me until then. What’s your name? You have beautiful hair. I was just on my way to get some suckers for the candy jar in my office. Do you like suckers?”
Thankfully, we were nearing my house, so I ran forward, up the back steps and into through the kitchen door. I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of a very long, very scary ordeal. It didn’t take long after that for “Dr. Ramsey” to begin showing up. At first, it seemed benign enough…at least to a kid. He would drive by nearly every day, smiling and waving. I told my mom, who said maybe it was on his way home from work. But then, the phone calls began.
My dad called me into the living room, and sat me down. He asked about the day Dr. Ramsey followed me home, and if I talked to him. He said I wasn’t in trouble, but that I needed to tell him the truth. I told him no, and he asked if I was sure…could I be forgetting something? I told him no again, and he frowned, then asked: “Then how does he know your name?” I didn’t know.
It turns out, that was not all he knew. He knew my sister’s name as well. Pretty soon, neither my sister or I were allowed to answer the phone. He called several times a day; at first, neither of us knew what he was saying. Then, one night, one of my brothers told us that he was telling my parents that he was going to hurt me (and later, my sister).
Things got complicated after that. My dad had called the authorities, but as this was before there were any stalking laws, there was not a lot they could do. They told my parents to call back if he “tried anything.” When access to me was completely denied, things escalated. It was around this time he began threatening my sister as well.
Then one afternoon my sister, two of my brothers, my mom and I were in the kitchen. One of my brothers saw a glimpse of someone in the garage; they’d seen him too. Dr. Ramsey came bolting out of the garage, my brothers chasing after him. They ran all the way to Cherokee Park, where he lost them in the trees. My parents called the authorities again, but nothing came of it. The only information they had was a description and a name that was almost certainly fake.
His phone calls became more informative in the meantime. He would talk about who was home, and who wasn’t. If my brother would say my dad was home, he would tell him who was really in the house. He also would talk about the house itself…about the window in the kitchen he could easily open with a knife from the outside even when it was locked, and about the French doors that connected the living room to the side porch and how the lock could be finagled from the outside if you jiggled it just right. That night, my dad put in some carpenter nails at the bottom of the French doors until he could get a new lock ordered.
My parents had to go to a company event for my dad’s work. My older brothers were at Saints West roller-skating rink. My sister was on the phone with her best friend. My little brother was on the floor asleep. I was watching Devo on the Midnight Special with Wolfman Jack. It was late. Suddenly, the top of the French doors swung inward, and in the few milliseconds before the nails in the bottom caused them to snap back, I could see his silhouette.
My sister whipped the phone at the television, and we ran up the stairs. About halfway up, we realized our little brother was still asleep on the living room floor. As quietly as we could, we slipped back down the stairs to get him. We all went into our bedroom and didn’t turn on the light; this way we could see outside. We watched out the window for a while, and when we didn’t find him, we crept down the hall to our brothers’ room to look.
We looked down and could see someone standing at the backdoor. He knocked, loudly. “What do you want?” my sister asked out the window. He stepped back and said “Is this the Mercy residence? I have a pizza for delivery. Can you come to the door?” She scoffed at him, declaring she was not stupid, she could see he didn’t have a pizza, and she was calling 9-1-1. He left.
We were at the table playing crazy eights, and my brother was restless. My sister asked him what’s wrong, and he said he always felt like any minute now there would be a ‘boom boom boom!’ on a door or window. Almost immediately after he finished his sentence, “BOOM BOOM BOOM!” on the window right behind him. In the chaos, the two eldest ran out, but he was already gone.
A couple of weeks later, I was at school and we were outside on the playground during recess. I was swinging upside down when I saw that now-familiar blue Ford Galaxy cruising by, moving slowly. There he was, smiling and waving. He called my name, and I ran to the teacher and told her. The school had been told all about him, and she took me inside right away and called my mom. That same day my mom had gotten a call from the school office asking her to verify that my dad was picking me up, as he’d called to say he was on his way. He wasn’t.
Not long after that, I woke up one night, thirsty. I went down to the kitchen for a drink and there, sitting alone in the dark, was my dad. On the table, a pistol. He was tired of the authorities waiting until Dr. Ramsey “tried something,” he was tired of his children being terrorized, he was tired of being afraid every time he left for work that something would happen to us while he was gone. I sat with him for a time, watching, before he sent me back to bed.
These events, and many more, took place over a period of around 18 months. Then, as suddenly as it began, it was over. He had vanished from our lives; the phone calls, the drive-by with the creepy waves, everything. For a long time, during and after the Dr. Ramsey days, I would have a recurring nightmare in which I would wake up to find him standing over me as I slept. It took a long time before I felt like a kid again.
I found out years later that when he was calling, Dr. Ramsey would tell my parents that he was going to rape and kill me, and later my sister…and that there was nothing they could do about it. I don’t know what happened to him when he disappeared. I don’t know if he was in a car wreck, locked in prison, in a coma…but sometimes I wonder if the wait ended for my dad when he was sitting in the darkened kitchen one night. I don’t know, and I’m not sure I want to.
There was this one night my roommate had gone home because he was sick, so I was pretty excited to have the room to myself. Later that night, I was woken up by the door to our room being opened. I thought nothing of it because I thought my roommate had probably just decided to come back. I then hear him walk across the floor and jump into his bed.
I thought it was a little weird for him to be coming back this quick, but whatever. When I woke up in the morning, his bed was still perfectly made and he had never actually come back that night. I have never been more scared in my entire life.
92. Pop Goes the Weasel
I was walking home with my siblings on a really windy day. An old guy pulled up next to us in his car and asked us if we wanted a ride. We said no. He insisted. We still said no, keeping “stranger danger” in mind. He just kept trying: “It’s not nice out though, right?” “I have pop in the back! Do you want some?”
When we said no the last time, he sped away. Was this a possible kidnapper or just a really weird guy? I will probably never know.
93. Glitching Your Life Away
As I type this I am already feeling deja vu. I’ve always wanted to share this part of my life with someone but have never been able to. So… I’ll just tell a bunch of people on the internet. One day I was walking to work and all of a sudden had an urge to walk a different path than usual. I work downtown in a big city. It was a strange spur of the moment urge to walk a different way that changed my life forever.
I turned into an alley I had never seen before. As I remember it, I made it about 15 feet or so when an actual “glitch” happened. Everything in my mind scrambled. I felt like I didn’t have a body anymore, just that I was a semi-conscious entity floating through some weird dimension. All of a sudden in the array of different colors and shapes a vision came to me. It was a bunch of strange looking people that in my mind resembled businessmen in suits.
They looked startled and panicked that I could see them. One of the “people” made a quick movement and everything turned to black. When I regained normality, I was on a completely different street. It was the same street that I always use to walk to work. I felt sick, and severely disturbed/depressed. I’ve never done any hard drugs, never experienced any hallucinations, never have had anything like this happen to me.
The weird thing is, when the glitch was correcting itself and I could see those “people” watching me like a caged animal I had the feeling that I knew I was being controlled. It still bothers me very much to this day.
94. Haunted by a Boy in His PJs
Not long after I met my current boyfriend I would spend the night at his house. Normally I fall asleep as soon as I hit the pillow, but at his house I would be awake super late feeling creeped out. I blamed it on being in a strange house. After a while, I used to fall asleep at a decent time, but I would wake up around 2 or 3 AM and try to let my eyes adjust to the darkness (small town = very little light pollution).
When my eyes adjusted, I felt like I could see a little boy on top of the grandfather clock. This would happen every night for a while. I never felt scared just confused. It looked like a boy wearing older style pajamas kicking his legs on top of the clock. Still, I would blame it on sleep paralysis/dreaming or my imagination.
When I would go back to my parents’ house for school nights I would start waking up in the middle of the night seeing the same apparition sitting on the dresser or ledge in my room. I slept alone in the basement of the house, and after months of seeing the “little boy,” I wanted to sleep upstairs again, as I figured my mind was just getting to me.
One evening, I was home alone as my brother and parents were gone to some appointment. I happened to fall asleep on the couch in the living room, only to dream that the little boy was knocking down my mom’s ornaments that were on the coffee table. I woke up in a cold sweat and looked at the table: sure enough, the ornaments were broken.
Of course, they could have been broken beforehand and I never noticed. It started to get chilly in the living room so I moved to my mother’s bedroom to watch television before they came home. In her bedroom, I kept seeing stuff out of the corner of my eye that looked like the “little boy,” but I never really had a full-on view.
At this point, I was sure it wasn’t sleep paralysis/dreaming because I could move when I woke up and sometimes I would be wide awake. I fell asleep in my mom’s bed and woke up to the little boy laughing and running in the closet. Friday of that week, I went to my boyfriend’s house and he knew something was up but I wouldn’t tell him out of fear that he would think I was crazy.
That night, I was helping his mom bake and I happened to mention that I was having really weird dreams about a little boy and she asked me if he “was a young one with his jammies on?” She knew what I was talking about. She told me that their house was pretty old and all throughout the time they lived there strange stuff would happen such as stuff being moved or hearing voices or laughter, but the past six to eight months, things had stopped happening.
It’s been three years and I’ve moved out with my boyfriend to start post-secondary. I’m still seeing, sensing, and dealing with whatever it is. Things are still being moved and voices are still being heard.
95. I’d Rather You Didn’t
My six-year-old daughter was in the passenger seat a few days ago and looked at me and said, “Dad, when I’m seven I’m going to kill you. No wait, when I’m eight.” I asked, “How are you going to do that?” She smiled and said, “I’m gonna drive over your head with this car.”
96. Lucky The Car Stalled
My dad was driving us to school and stopped at the mechanic’s shop on the way to check on my stepmom’s car. He parked parallel to the front of the garage so he could easily go straight back onto our route. As he expected to be in and out, and it being 1988, he left the car running. After about 30 seconds, a man walked up to the car, got in, and tried to put it in gear.
To me (four at the time) and my sister (six), we assumed he was a worker trying to move us out of the way of the garage. He said, “Buckle up” in a way that still gives me chills to this day. The car stalled as he put it into gear (manual, tricky clutch). My dad sprinted out of the shop with a couple other men, opened the door of the car, hauled the guy out, and wrestled him to the ground.
I went to school that day and didn’t really think about it until years later. I was about to be kidnapped.
97. Friends in Low Places
I accidentally once gave a ride to a wanted fugitive, without realizing who he was until weeks later when he got caught. To give some context, I don’t watch the news. Like, at all. I don’t read the paper either. I only have Facebook because people don’t answer their phones when you call them, so Messenger is unfortunately a must have these days. And I’ve only just recently become more active on Reddit and other social media. In other words, I am very disconnected from any awareness of what’s going on in the world 99% of the time.
Anyway, I picked this hitchhiker up and he seemed super normal. I just thought he was some kind of an addict who needed to get himself clean. The dude looked super rough, but he was also very friendly and nice. He chatted with me about a lot of different things, and I even got him a sandwich and some water at one point.
Then he said that he’s been clean for a week and was thinking about ending his life or turning himself in. I thought he was just talking about drugs the whole time. Then he went on a rant about politics and how everyone is so crooked these days. I tuned him out after a bit because he was just going on and on. I eventually dropped him off and went on with my daily errands.
A few weeks later, I was out to eat with my friends when one of them brought up this article about that very guy being caught. I knew it was the same guy because of how close he got to me when he was going on his rant. None of them would believe me when I tried to tell them.
98. Private Tutor
When my son was about two or three, he wouldn’t go to sleep so I let him into my bed. My husband was asleep, so I told my boy he had to look at his books quietly while I read mine. He was good for a bit, but then he suddenly started reading the book. Actually reading the words out loud. Slowly. He couldn’t read and it was a newer book we hadn’t read to him yet. It wasn’t memorization.
I asked him how he knew what it said and he replied: “my friend John is telling me.” Scared the heck out of me.
99. Smile and Say Cheese!
Back in 2014, I was sleeping over at my cousin’s house for New Year’s eve. It was just my three cousins, my brother, and myself. We all decided to sleep in the same bedroom for the night, as we had just become old enough to stay at home on our own and our parents were staying out all night, so we were a little nervous. My point here is that we were all 100% certain that we were the only people in the house that night, and we all slept in the same place together.
I woke up the next morning and was getting in the car to leave, when I just happened to take a look at the camera roll on my phone from the previous night. To my absolute horror, I discovered that there were five photos of all of us sleeping. Every single person who was there was in the photos, fast asleep, so there was no way that any of us could have taken them ourselves. My aunt showed the photos to the landlord shortly after, and he had no explanation. To this day, nobody has any idea who took them—or how. My friends have even accused me of making the whole thing up.
100. From Playdate to Child Abduction
It was a very long time ago—back in 1973. I know that it was summer, I was six, and we were living on Monica Lane in Madison, Wisconsin. Thing is, I sort of recalled it but never put two-and-two together until a few months ago when I was talking to my mom who went into great detail.
I was a very gregarious child; outgoing, extroverted, friends with anyone. It was at the time a middle-class neighborhood, and three houses down from ours, on the same side of the street, was a huge park. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a salesman, but mom worked 2nd shift at Merriter, while my dad worked days. I rarely had a babysitter, only if they went out for dinner or a movie. But they did go out often and there were always older kids in the neighborhood to babysit.
One sitter who I really liked lived a few blocks or so away, and down the street a little bit. Vicky had babysat a few times before that and it was pretty uneventful. She’d play games with me, and do my hair, play dress-up, pretty basic stuff. So anyhow, one day I had gone with friends down to the park. I remember there was a ball field at the time, and a sandlot next to the field. My friends wanted to play on the monkey bars, but I wanted to play in the sand. I looked at the sandbox and my babysitter Vicky was standing there. I told my friends I was going down to the sandbox and ran off.
We played in the sand, building a castle, and then she asked me if I wanted to go get something cold to drink. It was stifling hot, and I, of course, said yes. So she takes my hand and we start walking to her place. She starts telling me about her puppies and asking if I want to play with them. Of course, I get giddy and now can’t wait to get to her house. This was where my memory had stopped and after my mom told me what happened, the rest of it flooded back.
My mother just happened to be talking to my sister and I about some of the places we lived, and we got to Monica Lane. I told her I remembered the park and how big it seemed, and she asks me if I remember being kidnapped. I immediately thought she was kidding and then the look on her face told me otherwise. She said it was around five in the afternoon and one of my friends had come to the door to ask me to come back outside, sure that I had gotten bored and walked back home. When my mom checked the house, she realized I wasn’t there and (seven months pregnant with my sister) sprints to the park, screaming my name.
After asking several kids if they’d seen me with no clue, she went to the ball field and asked the older boys if they’d seen me. One of the boys (she guessed around 14) said that he’d seen a younger woman playing with a girl that fit my description in the sand and walk off in a general direction and that was all he knew.
My mom ran across the street to one of the houses and asked to use their phone and called 9-1-1. By the time the officers got there, my dad had come home and some of the neighbors were trying to help my mom. So there’s this search party out looking for me, screaming my name and knocking on doors. The authorities had gone back to the park to ask the boys if they knew who had been with me and if they knew who she was.
Between the boys and the neighbors, they had deduced who it was that had led me off, but I have no idea how, honestly. The officers and the entourage go to her home (she lived with her parents but they weren’t home) and knock on the door. She came to the door and told them she hadn’t seen me, and that she’d been home all day.
The officers asked to come in and for some reason, she said okay. They went through the house and went to the basement and found me. That’s what my mom knew and then I remembered. It was literally like a flood gate had opened and I started crying. At six, you sort of trust everyone, and she’d been in our home. I never got a bad feeling from her and my parents didn’t, either. But when we walked into her house I remember that cold, holy feeling washing over me and getting very worried. I remember starting to cry and saying I wanted to go home, over and over.
She takes me into her kitchen and gets me a glass of water and a tissue. I hear dogs barking, and next to the kitchen is an open stairway that goes down and where the barking was coming from. She starts trying to cajole me into going downstairs—telling me there’s all sorts of toys and games. I reluctantly agree, and she grabs my hand to head down the stairs. The dogs are going nuttier and I start screaming.
At this point, Vicky is getting bizarre. She’s screaming at me to “SHUT UP!! IF YOU DONT SHUT UP I WILL THROW YOU IN THE CAGE WITH THE DOGS AND THEY WILL EAT YOU!! SHUT UP!!” Dragging me down the stairs and still screaming. I was scared out of my mind. I remember crying so hard I was hyperventilating, and I am screaming so hard I’m not making sounds. Vicky then flips a switch and starts being syrupy sweet, trying to calm me down. She tells me that she was just playing a game and tells me she wants to play hide and seek.
She must have been relatively skilled at calming me down because the next thing I know, I hear knocking on the door upstairs and I wasn’t crying. The houses were all the same sort of tract houses that Sears used to sell, not huge but not small, but you could hear everything at any spot in the house. I keep hearing the knocking and she tells me that it’s her friends. They’re coming to play hide and seek!!! She convinced me to let her put a piece of masking tape over my mouth, so I wouldn’t make a sound, and lifted me into this big wooden box next to the kennel. She put a big pile of blankets over me and told me to be really quiet, so they didn’t find me.
The whole time the dogs were going crazy but when she calmed me down, they calmed down, too. They still looked incredibly mean, but they were no longer frothing at the mouth, and only slightly growling. Until the knocking started. I remember scrunching in there, confused. Still scared and convinced that the dogs were going to get out and eat me. I was crying again and hyperventilating. I remember taking the tape off my mouth because I couldn’t breathe, but remembered I needed to be quiet because I was afraid of what she’d do if I screamed.
I laid in that smelly box next to a big bag of dog food, sweating to hell, tears rolling down my face. I sort of pushed the blankets to the side but only enough so that I could pull them back over me when someone came. I recall thinking about my dad and wondering if he’d come find me. All of a sudden, I hear what sounds like adults yelling my name. They come down the stairs and the dogs are going crazy again. Over and over men are yelling my name and then I hear a man say, “If you don’t shut those dogs up I will!!”
I was in a large storage box (like a carpenter’s toolbox type of thing) with tape hanging off my mouth when they opened the lid. I remember a very nice man asking me my name and if I was okay. I don’t remember answering him in anything other than screams and tears and grabbing his neck so hard my dad had to practically pry me off of him.
I remember my parents taking me to the hospital to be checked out and that’s all I really remember. Mom said that Vicky was found guilty of attempted kidnapping, and last she knew was in prison but couldn’t remember when the last time was she had heard anything. We moved from the area shortly thereafter, and I haven’t been back since.
I do know that mom said that her parents were odd but that they didn’t know them. She had met Vicky from neighbors that had used her as a babysitter and had never heard of anything bad and that I always seemed happy with her. She lived in the general neighborhood, but it would have been two blocks over and one block down. Mom said they never picked her up, she always walked over. When they’d get home, they’d drive her home but never noticed anything out of the ordinary.
Mom and dad had only met her parents when they came to the door to ask for forgiveness; that Vicky hadn’t meant to do anything bad, and was a good girl. Mom said my dad picked up her dad by the shirt and told him that if they ever came on our property again, he’d kill them. I remember her name and sort of what she looked like, but would have no idea if she walked up to me who she is.