As much as we all like to think we know everything there is to know about this world of ours, nothing can be farther from the truth. The world is teeming with unsolved mysteries and questions we may never know the answers to.
This fact becomes most obvious in moments where we are directly confronted with something we don’t understand. Whether it’s brushes with the paranormal or the paradoxical, people have encountered all kinds of things that have left them with nothing to do but scratch their heads and wonder.
Here are 42 stories about some of the most mysterious and confusing things that people have witnessed, but cannot explain.
42. Sock It To Me!
It was 2 am. I took my clothes off and went to sleep. A minute later, something hit me on the head. It was one of my socks. When I take them off at night, I always throw them in a corner of my room—so it was as if someone threw it back at me.
But there was no one in my room, I was 100% alone. This may not sound so scary, but believe me—it was for me!
41. I Don’t Feel Great After Hearing This!
When I was a kid, I had a talking Ernie toy that wasn’t functioning properly. You had to absolutely bang it on a table for it to say “I feel great!”
When I was eight, I overheard my parents saying that my Ernie toy seemed to speak every time they talked about my grandma. I got irrationally scared, which made my parents hide Ernie in a huge tucked aside toybox.
Fast forward a bit and one day I’m playing hide and seek with a friend in the room where the toybox is. While we were hiding, I mentioned to my friend that I thought my toy might be haunted because it speaks every time my grandma is mentioned—when all of a sudden, we heard Ernie say “I feel great!” from inside the box. There’s no way that box was moved. And even if it was somehow moved by gravity, you needed to bang that thing on the table to make it talk. We screamed and ran outside.
40. Center of Attention
I was walking down the hall one day in school, when everyone suddenly stopped and looked at me for five seconds, and then continued walking.
I went home early that day and never found out what that was all about. It was almost surreal.
39. You Have Company!
My dad is one of those completely serious types. I have hardly ever heard him laugh or crack a joke, so you pretty much always take whatever he says seriously. Anyway, we were watching some random TV show, UFO Files or Ancient Aliens, and I asked him if he believed in UFOs/aliens. He proceeds to tell me a story I had never heard him tell before.
Apparently, when he was a teenager, he and my great grandmother were on their back porch one evening (very rural southern Mississippi in the ’70s) and noticed a huge object hovering over the woodline a few hundred yards from the house. Then suddenly, it ascended vertically at an impossible speed. He said he couldn’t explain what it was and hasn’t seen anything like that since.
38. Opening New Doors
When I was 14, I was camping with my parents and my three younger siblings. My parents decided to leave us there while they went to a party and I woke up in the middle of the night because there was someone outside the tent, walking around with a flashlight.
The person just kept walking and walking around the tent, taking heavy and audible steps. I was terrified and tried waking up my next oldest sibling, but with no luck.
Finally, the person outside found the entryway and started opening it. He shined the light into the tent and at that point I just sat straight up in the tent and stared right at him. He saw me and immediately fled.
It was one of the most terrifying things that ever happened to me.
37. Feline Facades
I once let my cat outside to go do cat stuff and whatever. Then I walked up the stairs and saw my cat sitting on the stairs. I was confused, and gave her a pet to make sure she was real. She was. I then walked around to the back door, let my cat back in and never saw the doppelganger again. No clue what happened there, so I just go about my days and pretend it never happened.
36. Knockin’ On Heaven’s Window
During my freshman year of college I lived on the fourth floor of my dorms. It was winter time and there was snow on the ground. It was probably around three or four in the morning. My roommate and I had both randomly woken up but we weren’t talking, as we each thought the other was asleep. Then we suddenly both heard very clear, loud knocking on our window. We both said “did you hear that?” and were kind of spooked.
15 minutes went by and nothing happened. I was starting to fall back asleep when there it was again—four loud knocks. At this point I was shaking because, in my mind, someone had somehow climbed up to our window and was trying to scare us. So I got up and pulled the blinds back to look for someone. No one was there. No footprints in the snow either—nothing. So I got back in bed.
Another five minutes or so went by and we heard the knocking again. This time, it was coming from what sounded like the neighbor’s window. Sure enough, we heard our neighbors say “dude, what the hell” and shuffle around a little. Two minutes later, it sounded like every single window on our floor was being knocked on for about seven seconds straight. Just absolutely insane.
People started screaming and we could hear people opening their doors and running across the halls into their friends’ rooms because they were terrified. It kept happening for probably two more hours, but only at specific intervals every 15-30 minutes. Every time I was about to fall asleep it happened again. It was a very long night. No one ever found out what it really was, as far as I know.
35. The Solution is Worse Than the Problem
Me and some of my friends went to explore an abandoned mall, and in the distance we could faintly hear the sound of children laughing and playing.
It was spooky as hell, like something out of a corny horror movie.
After a while, we tracked down the source of the sound. Turns out it was coming from a speaker in the kids’ playground in the mall, which had apparently been left on—probably for years.
But that was barely any less spooky! The fact that they ran a loop of the sounds of children playing and that it was still running with no one around, that’s still really creepy if you ask me…
34. Two Places At Once
My brother Chris and I have a much younger brother named James, who was five at the time this story happened. We had just moved into an older house and were deciding who would get which bedroom.
James’s new room was directly above the living room with the staircase. James went up to discover his new room, and Chris and I took a short walk around the neighborhood.
When we get back, my mom says she’s going to get pizza for dinner, and leaves. She took a fairly long time, which is normal for her. I think she really enjoys the small breaks she gets when she can leave the house without James, and I never object to babysitting. Besides, James is plenty occupied with his new room.
Chris and I are just talking in the living room. James is super excited about his new bedroom. We hear him running and stomping around upstairs, opening and closing doors. Sometimes he slams the doors pretty hard, but whatever—he’s a kid. I assumed he fell asleep since the noise stopped eventually.
I hear my mom’s car pull up. I get up to meet her in the kitchen.
My mom comes in, carrying soda. James follows directly behind her, carrying the food, yelling “PIZZA TIME!”
She had taken him with her to get dinner. Chris and I just looked at each other, taking too long to comprehend what was happening.
I lived in that house for four years, and that was the only time something really freaked me out about it.
33. Waxing Poetic
I could have sworn I heard the back door open. After a couple seconds of no one coming in, I call out to see if it’s my brother. Then I hear movement and the door close. I go outside via the back door and don’t see anyone. My brother’s car isn’t there. I do a quick walk around the house and see nothing. So I go back inside, lock everything, and walk into the bathroom—where I suddenly discover an old unlit white candle sitting upright in the hole of the sink. I have yet to come up with a theory as to why some guy broke into my house just to put a candle in the sink.
32. Knock Knock!
I was sitting in the living room with my family watching TV. My sister got up to use the bathroom. We heard her yell “Stop!”, “You guys are annoying!”, “What the heck!”
When she got out of the bathroom, she said “why’d you guys keep banging on the door? You’re so annoying!”
But none of us were banging on the door—we were all seated together on the couch the entire time. We could see the door from the living room and it didn’t seem like anything was happening. She said it was really, really loud and the door was shaking.
We were thoroughly spooked.
31. Your Own Personal TV Guide
I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts and an afterlife or not, but there is one event that will forever freak me out. It was a few days after my grandfather’s passing when I was ten years old. I was laying in bed watching TV when all of a sudden, my TV just shuts off. I then turned it back on—only to have it shut off again. This happens five or six times in a span of a minute or so and I am freaking out.
I panicked and didn’t know what to do, so I asked it to please stop. It never did it again. The TV had never done this before and I manually turned it back on with the remote, so it wasn’t a case of the power going on and off. Whether it was a coincidence or not, it definitely scared me to death.
30. Too Much To Handle
At 2 am, I saw a flash of light outside my bedroom door, followed immediately by a scream. I passed out.
29. Motherly Care
On the morning of my mother’s funeral, I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to socialize or thank people for coming. As I lay there, I felt the bed compress as if someone sat on it and was trying to push me out. I swear it was her telling me one last time to get the hell up before I’m late.
28. A Tele-Phony Claim
I got a very creepy phone call once. A distraught woman called me up one day demanding to know where her son was, saying he’s been missing for two weeks. I had no idea who she was and I certainly didn’t know her son. She was calling from a state that I have never even visited. I asked her how she got my number and she said that she found it written on a piece of paper, along with my name, in her son’s desk.
Needless to say, I was creeped out. I really didn’t think that I could help her in any way, so I politely ended the conversation. For a while after that, I thought that I’d be getting a surprise visit from some detectives or something, because all of a sudden it felt like I was connected to something sinister, but nothing ever came of it and I never heard from the woman again.
27. Blast From the Distant Past
My brother was diagnosed with cancer when he was three. A few days after his diagnosis, I was sitting out in the living room with my parents and he walked out of his room. He said that a man named Tony was floating in the corner of his room, eating peppers, and telling him that he was OK because he was watching over him. Tony was my dad’s grandfather’s name, who died before we were born. Turns out he loved eating peppers. It was really strange, as my dad never really talked about him, especially nothing detailed like eating peppers. My parents freaked out a bit.
26. Secret Admirer
This happened when I was 17.
I was walking past the bus stop and there was a car there waiting. As soon as I got there, the man in the car rolled down his window, pulled up to me and said:
“Hey, I know you! Let me give you ride!”
He was literally the most ordinary looking guy ever, so I thought it was possible I knew him because I met a lot of people in my church. That’s the only reason I really engaged him.
I told him I didn’t need a ride since I was close to home. He kept insisting that I get in his car.
He said “Yeah, I know you, you’re gonna go join a convent in January.” I was weirded out by this because it was true, but I was growing more and more certain I didn’t know him. So I asked him where we met and he said: ” I met you in the grocery store, you were buying food for your Daddy.”
I immediately started walking away and called my mom because I don’t have a dad. He got really pissed off and drove away really fast. I never saw him again. I then vaguely start to remember meeting a creep at the grocery store a few months back who was looking at me strangely, but I would have never shared personal information with him so I have no idea how he knew anything about me.
The experience made me paranoid. He clearly had been watching/following me for some time and I never noticed. He knew where I was gonna be and waited for me there, and gathered personal information about me without me even slightly recognizing him. He was so desperately insistent upon getting me in his car as quickly as possible. I have no idea who he was, what he wanted from me or whether he’s still out there.
25. I Dig This One
I was digging in the backyard as a kid and accidentally dug up a voodoo Santeria bottle in a park by a tree. It had a pin doll, note, picture and a bloody-looking liquid in it. I just buried it back and never dug near there again.
24. Duck and Cover
I was walking home in middle school with a friend of mine when suddenly, we hear tires squealing. We turn and look to see a car coming right at us. We jump down in a fairly large ditch right before people in the car start shooting in our direction. We both ran into the storm drain and waited til the car drove off and hauled as fast as we could to his house. This was in a nice, suburban area and this thing was completely out of the blue. Neither of our parents believed us.
23. Someone to Watch Over Me
One night, I was walking my dog and noticed my neighbor sitting in his truck in the backyard. This truck was his absolute prized possession. He would wash and detail it about weekly. Knowing that he was sick for a long time, I thought it was nice that he was out in his beloved truck and doing something he enjoyed.
A few days later, my mom tells me that he recently died due to complications of cancer. When I told her about seeing him in his truck, she told me it was not possible due to the fact he never left the hospital that last two weeks, being attached to life support.
I am not a superstitious man by nature, preferring science to mysticism—but I remember speaking to his widow about this. She told me that she was going downstairs to switch the laundry over one day around the same time. She looked at his workbench and distinctly saw him sitting on his stool. She said he looked incredibly happy and at peace.
I felt better knowing that he was doing the thing he enjoyed and was watching over everything.
22. Star Power
One night when I was about ten, I was camping with some relatives on their property and was looking up at the night sky. All of the sudden, the stars started trading places and moving around. I thought it was just my eyes because I was tired, but then my uncle started screaming. He said he was seeing the same thing, and so did everyone else there. It was creepy as hell.
Everyone who’s been upstairs in my grandmother’s house complains of that creepy feeling of being watched and of seeing shadow people out of the corner of their eyes. It’s just one spare bedroom upstairs that this happens in, and I make a point to not tell these people ahead of time so that they won’t be biased towards imagining things.
It’s a well-lit room painted sunny yellow, so it has nothing innately creepy about it. I absolutely hate going up there though.
20. Disturbance in the Kitchen
I was leaving town for the week and was doing some last minute packing the night before. My brother was going to stop by to pick up the key for the house. Well, you know how you know all of the sounds to your house? It sounded just like someone coming in my house. I thought it must be my brother. Went to check and nobody’s there. Also, there were a couple of kitchen drawers opened, and the door leading from my kitchen to the garage was wide open.
19. When Dreams That You Dare to Dream Come True
At my grandfather’s funeral, the song “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was played at the beginning and end of the service. My mother and aunts had picked that song because they all grew up in Hawaii.
At the reception afterwards, one of my aunts tearfully said that she wished that he would send us a sign that he was at peace like my grandma had done (A single white lily grew at the foot of her grave, exactly like the one on her headstone… in an otherwise flowerless cemetery).
Within about two minutes of her saying that, the song began to play again and, in an otherwise cloudless sky, a rainbow appeared directly across from the house over the lake. Every single one of my aunts and my mother all have photos with them pointing at the rainbow—but none of our neighbors or other people in the area recall seeing a rainbow that day.
18. 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.
17. Bathroom Break
This may sound ridiculous, but the most legitimately inexplicable thing that I ever witnessed took place in an airport toilet stall. I was traveling back home and stopped by the bathroom while waiting for my plane. There was diarrhea literally covering the entire stall—including far up the walls, all the way to the ceiling. Aside from that being gross, I have no idea how this was even physically possible. How could someone have covered the entire wall in poop, and gotten it to just stay there in spite of gravity? I was so confused. So not anything scary per se, but mind-boggling and mysterious nevertheless. I’ve never seen anything like that before or since.
16. Class Dismissed
When I was in sixth grade, me and a friend came back to school from a race. We went to our class and found it locked with all chairs stacked. We were confused and checked both the gym and outside—no sign of our class. We checked our classroom again just to make sure. Nothing. We went to the office and asked where our class was and they just kinda looked at us like we had three heads and told us they were in the classroom. We told them no, but they told us to check again. We went back and there was my class, sitting in chairs listening to the teacher lecture. I don’t know what happened there but it was pretty weird and scary.
15. Lost At Sea
This didn’t happen to me directly, but someone once told me about this ship that was found in the middle of the ocean with the entire crew missing. The boat was in seaworthy condition, all the crew’s belongings and cargo were untouched, and six months worth of food and water were still on board. None of the crew were ever heard from again. Spooky all around.
14. Unidentified Falling Object
When I was a kid I saw a shooting star, which I had always wanted to see. Or at least, that’s what I thought it was…
Then it abruptly shot off at a 90-degree angle.
On several occasions, I’ve seen bats come flying out of the organ pipes when I’ve practiced at night in an empty church—many of them. They swoop back and forth between the loft and altar while I’m trying to concentrate.
But when the exterminator comes, he can’t ever find them. There’s no explanation as to their whereabouts. I won’t be going to explore for myself anytime soon.
12. 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.
11. What Others See In You
I was driving with my girlfriend to go get her nails done, and I’m rolling up to this intersection. A lady in her 60s in exercise clothes is walking across the crosswalk at a roundabout. Then, out of nowhere, she darts back as if I’m coming towards her too fast, even though I’m slowing down to go in the roundabout and am still a couple hundred feet away. She just stares at me in horror like she had just seen a ghost and then starts screaming and threatening me as I nervously speed away. I’m still completely puzzled by the whole interaction.
10. Outside the Box
I was driving down a dark backroad with zero light aside from my headlights when I was 16. I was joking around with my best friend, when he tells me to look out for this box that was in the road. What I saw was a box slowly inching across the road. Now, this was a night with no wind. There was clearly something in the box.
I approached slowly, thinking maybe a raccoon or cat was stuck under the box and needed help. As I’m pulling alongside it, my friend starts getting a little freaked out and starts begging me to drive. I look over and I see that it’s not a box at all. It’s just a piece of cardboard, stood up on end, just inching towards our car slowly on its own. We were right next to it so there were no strings pulling it, and there was no wind so it couldn’t be that. It took a second to register that what I was seeing wasn’t normal, and once it did I drove so fast out of there. To this day, I have no clue whatsoever what the hell that was.
9. He’s Really Not Himself Today
A few months ago, I come home in a taxi. I ask him to wait outside so I can run into my house and get some money to pay him with. When I come back, the driver appears to be a completely different person. He seemingly instantly transformed from a small dude with a beard to a muscular bald guy. I was too tired to even process what I was seeing, let alone inquire about it.
8. Voice of Reason
My mother and I were bringing feed out for the chickens. We live in the middle of nowhere with no one nearby. Suddenly, I hear a female voice calling out my mother’s name. My mother and I both stopped at the same time, and I asked if she just heard a woman’s voice saying her name. She had also heard the voice. We weren’t able to figure out what that was and we still talk and wonder about it every once in a while.
7. Shedding Some Light on These Mysterious Situations
Me and my cousin saw a huge ball of light fly out of our laundry room and through the glass door to the backyard. We have no idea what the source of it was or why it moved the way it did.
6. Sweet Dreams!
My GF was at my house last year. I would get up for work at 4 am and she would keep sleeping. One day, she was alone and sleeping on her side when she felt the pressure of someone lay down behind her and say her name. She “woke” up at this point, not sure if it was a dream. She saw that there was nobody there but was visibly terrified for the rest of the day.
5. Snail Mail to the Extreme
There was this abandoned school turned World War I military 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.
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.
3. 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 died. 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 died.
2. Whistling in the Dark
I took my dog out to the backyard one night and, while out there, had to pee so I went over by a tree to relieve myself. While I was peeing, I heard someone whistle. I thought it was just my imagination, but then they whistled AGAIN and I realized they were standing right there hiding in some bushes. I froze in fear for about ten seconds until I yelled for my dog and ran inside.
I told my dad, who was the only other person home. He quickly went outside with a gun and a flashlight, but they were already gone. The next day, I went out there and noticed the limbs of the bushes were pushed back and broken off in some places right where they were standing. I still have no idea who it was or why they were there.
1. 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 hell out of me.