Haunting Childhood Memories

November 7, 2023 | Mariam Esseghaier

Haunting Childhood Memories

Childhood is a strange time. Everything is new, so much of it is confusing, and there’s an incredible amount to learn and experience. That is the perfect combination for scary, and sometimes inexplicable, events to occur. From dealing with strangers to the paranormal, these people lived to tell the tale of their scariest childhood memories.

1. Sleepwalking Or Something More Sinister?

When I was younger, I turned in for the night but was soon jolted awake by knocks at the front door. Since nobody else seemed to hear it, I mustered up the courage to go answer it, despite my fear. I mean, who knocks so late at night, right? So I opened the door but to my surprise, no one was there.

The next thing I knew, I came to, standing outside with the screen door open in my hand. Then I got a chill up my spine—I realized the front door was closed and even worse, the deadbolt was locked.

Panicked, I pounded on the door and soon my mom appeared. She was as bewildered as I was and asked how I ended up outside. But all I could muster to say was, "I don't know."

We suppose that I was sleepwalking and dreaming the whole scenario, and my little sister, who was scared of the dark, had found the door unlocked and secured it. She always made sure all doors were locked due to her deep-rooted fear of the dark.

Scared kid with messy hair looking at camera holding his hands near his mouthAhmed akacha, Pexels

2. Uncles Can Be The Worst

Back when I was just 7, my 27-ish year old uncle was visiting us for the week. He decided to make me watch 'A Nightmare on Elm Street', and then, if that wasn't enough, he put on a Freddy Krueger mask and claws. He hid in my closet and waited until I was about to doze off before jumping out and yelling. Yeah, I ended up wetting my pants.

Perhaps it's not the weirdest or spookiest thing ever, but it's for sure the scariest thing I've experienced.

Bizarre ExperiencesFlickr, Capture Queen

3. The Mysterious Knocking

In the summer after my third year at college, I found myself living back at my family home in the countryside. From time to time, my parents would travel to our cabin, often rousing me from sleep around 6am to say goodbye. One such morning, while I was still half asleep, I heard a knocking sound. Slightly startled, I mumbled, "What?", only to be met with silence.

The persistent knocking roused me further, so I called out, "Come on in! I'm up!" However, there wasn't a whisper of a reply. Finally, somewhat exasperated, I hauled myself out of bed to investigate. As I swung my bedroom door open, I was greeted by absolutely no one. I glanced down the corridor, even peered into the bathroom beside my room, but it was devoid of people.

Despite the silence, the knocking resumed. It was when the sound echoed again that it hit me—my parents had already left for their weekend getaway, thus making me the sole occupant of the house. To put things into context, our country home, owing to its remote location, didn't often receive impromptu visitors at the crack of dawn. 

Besides, my room was in the basement, and the knocking was clearly coming from the rear side of the house, not a place where someone would usually approach to knock.

With that in mind, I cautiously tiptoed down the hallway, curious to see who our unexpected guest might be. As I peered around the corner to check our sliding glass door, where the knocking was originating, an amusing sight met my eye—a trio of turkeys busily pecking at their own reflections in the glass.

Scared teenager waking up of sleep and looking at somethingGeorgi Fadejev, Shutterstock

4. “Weird” Is One Way Of Referring To It

When I was around 7, my family's house was roughly 50 yards from a river. We had this intriguing neighbor further down the road whom we fondly referred to as "Crazy Larry" due to his bizarre behavior.

One sunny afternoon, my three brothers and I decided to take a swim in the river. Our parents were inside the house but didn't fret about us as we were river-savvy kids and the eldest, at 11 years old, was supervising. Plus, we were splashing about in waist-high water right in the middle of the river.

Out of the blue, the scariest thing happened—Crazy Larry appeared and started swimming fiercely towards us, wildly shouting, "I'M GOING TO DROWN EACH OF YOU ONE BY ONE". Panicking, we started hurling stones at him and screaming for help. A younger neighborhood kid was nearby, and we kept pleading with him to fetch our parents, but he didn't seem to grasp the gravity of our plea.

After what felt like an eternity—but was likely 10 minutes—of us pelting stones and Larry inching ever closer, my dad spotted the chaos. He plunged into the river, swam up to Crazy Larry and landed a few punches, sternly warning him to keep his distance. 

Larry scurried off and we quickly alerted the police. They nabbed him for a DUI as he happened to be driving past our house just when the cops arrived.

It was certainly an odd day, to say the least.

Crazy Neighbors Experience


5. A Morbid Sleeping Arrangement

Back in fifth grade, my folks had to leave town and sort of ended up leaving me with the family of a classmate whom I vaguely knew. What I did know was that this kid was a bit odd, yet he was friendly enough.

The escapades kicked off on Friday after school when he showed me my sleeping arrangements—a couch in their family room. We engaged in typical kiddie activities until his mom and dad came home looking distressed.

 Apparently, an out-of-town uncle had just passed away right on the very couch I was supposed to sleep on. They headed off to another family member's house to sort out the situation leaving us, and his older twin siblings on our own in the house for pretty much the whole weekend.

Real-Life Ghost StoriesShutterstock

6. Something Scarier Than Watching Chucky

Back in my fifth-grade days, my older brother, mom, and I ended up sharing a bed due to our rooms undergoing renovations. Everyone was in dreamland while I stayed up one night to watch TV. Around midnight, the horror movie Chucky was on.

Although Chucky was my worst nightmare as a kid, I felt brave enough to watch it, knowing I wasn't alone—mom and my sibling were right beside me. After the movie, I drifted off to sleep. 

However, I was jerked awake later that night by what felt like someone's hands around my neck. I was either too terrified to open my eyes or simply couldn't—I can't recall now, but the fright seemed to go on and on.

Eventually, my desperate struggles woke my mom up. To her shock, she found my brother, who suffers from severe sleepwalking, was the one choking me. He claimed to have dreamt of a seatbelt cinched around my neck and was trying to remove it in his sleep. I'm not entirely convinced, but I do prefer this reason to any scarier alternatives.

Creepy Childhood MemoriesShutterstock

7. Quick Thinking Kid!

When I was about 9 or 10 years old, my buddy and I were biking in the vicinity of our town's ice rink. It was during the summer and the rink was closed. The area was somewhat secluded, surrounded by trees and just off a main highway. As we rounded the corner of the building, we spotted a man next to a white van.

He called out to us, urging us to approach. As we came closer, he explained that his tire was gradually deflating and he lacked the strength to replace it on his own. With a spare tire propped against his van, he requested our help. He wanted us to navigate around his van, open a sliding door, and retrieve a tire iron from the floor inside.

My friend started to dismount from his bike. However, something about the whole scene didn't sit right with me. I couldn't pinpoint the source of my unease—I just felt extremely uncomfortable. Remembering our parents, I suggested we could fetch them and return to assist him. Seemingly caught off guard, the man tried to persuade us to stay, yet we pedaled away without looking back.

Once we reached home, we recounted the entire episode to my father. His immediate reaction was shock and alarm. He quickly packed us up in the car and drove us back to the rink, but by then, the mysterious man and his van had vanished. The incident made such a profound impact that even two decades later, the man's face is etched in my memory.

Small van on a roadVitpho, Shutterstock

8. When You Don’t Know What Dentures Are

Whenever any of us grandkids lost a tooth, our grandpa would always spook us a bit. We'd proudly display our missing tooth to him—and his response always gave us the jitters. "Bet you can't lose all of them at once." Then, he would whip out his dentures.

Back then, none of us knew what dentures were, so this would naturally send us into a mini panic.


9. Seeing A Shadow Figure

If you've ever gone through sleep paralysis, you know it's not something you'd want to face. Now, try to think of being a 10-year-old kid and spotting the outline of a "creature" in your wardrobe. You're staring right at it as it screams, but you're frozen in place, unable to get up or shout for your parents. The only thing you can do is wiggle your fingertips around.

Tales From The Night ShiftUnsplash, MontyLov


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10. Nothing’s Scarier Than Dolls

When I was 11, my mom owned a really eerie vintage, life-sized doll that stood about two feet tall. It was powered by batteries, and you could make it chatter by squeezing its hand. My mom usually kept it tucked away in the hallway closet.

One day, I was home by myself, engrossed in some TV shows, when I heard an unusual sound in the hallway. The source was that doll sitting inside the closet, all of a sudden it started talking. Puzzled, I wondered if it had toppled over, which caused pressure on its push-button, thereby prompting it to start speaking.

But it wouldn't stop babbling, so I decided to pull out its batteries from the back compartment. To my horror, there were no batteries in it. I checked again thoroughly just to be certain. Indeed, there were no batteries! There it was, chatting away, with no source of power.

Fear gripped me, and chilled waves of creepiness washed over me. In a panic, I sprinted to the nearest window and flung the eerily talking doll outside. Then, I curled up into a ball, hid under a blanket and stayed like that until my mom came back home.

Crying dollAnnashou, Shutterstock


11. Is This A Dream?

My imagination is pretty intense. In fact, sometimes it flares a bit too spontaneously. When I'm exhausted, I may experience some minor hallucinations. If I'm extremely worn out, these can be both visual and auditory. They're not frightful though, they're completely ordinary and often just a chaotic mix of words. 

However, I'm aware it's all in my mind. It's merely parts of my brain taking a snooze while I'm still conscious. I've actually fallen asleep while wide awake. It seems like my body powers down and there I am, stuck inside my head thinking, "Oh no, not again. At least there's music to time it". As a kid, I interpreted these experiences as real. I thought this was everyone's norm.

But that's not the eerie part.

The unsettling episode was a particular dream I remember from when I was about 9 or 10 years old. It was my first encounter with something truly strange.

I woke up in the morning like always, and everything felt tangible. I could physically interact with my surroundings, even smell them, but there were no people anywhere. My parents seemingly disappeared. Common everyday sounds like cars driving by, laughter, sporadic yelling, all had vanished. 

It was as if the world was cloaked in a muffled silence. Even my room was altered. An ethereal voice informed me all was lost, that everything had just been a figment of my dreams, it was all imaginary, and now was the time to awaken.

The dreamlike logic was entirely plausible to me. For a moment, I truly believed my entire life had been illusory. I felt a pang of sadness. My parents didn't exist. My friends and school had all been dreamt up. It wasn't reality. This realization of solitude felt worse than desertion.

But then, I woke up for real.

This was the first time I roused from sleep in reality, yet still had the sensation I was dreaming. I couldn't trust my senses. The dream felt real, just as reality did now. How could I discern the two?

When I heard my father snoring, I was relieved. In the dream world, the only sound was that spectral voice.

Creepy Childhood MemoriesShutterstock

12. Why Was The Park Located There?

When I was about 10, we all went on a family vacation to Boston to celebrate 4th of July. I started to feel a bit restless during our city tour, so my dad decided to take us to this small park—it was tucked away in a somewhat unnerving alleyway. I went to play on the swings for a little bit, but suddenly, I could hear the sound of kids laughing bouncing around the park. You won't believe it, but I high-tailed it out of there!

Gut Feelings FactsFlickr

13. Gnome Thanks!

Around the age of 14 or 15, I befriended a Hispanic girl who lived nearby. In a private conversation, she shared that her elder brother was seriously afraid of gnomes. She mentioned that he claimed to see them sometimes, and it absolutely scared him. In my naïve and somewhat mischievous mindset, assuming she was pulling my leg, I decided to investigate this myself.

Fast forward to about a week after, we were returning home from our bus stop, and I jokingly mentioned, "Wow, I just noticed a gnome hiding in those shrubs! Unbelievable, isn't it?" He instantly burst into tears and sprinted away.

The day after the incident, he apologized for his dramatic reaction, then opened up about his experiences with gnome sightings from his younger years. He even enlightened me about the folklore related to gnomes in Hispanic culture. The earnest expression on his face as he narrated his experiences convinced me he was not kidding at all. Honestly, the whole situation sent shivers down my spine.

Evil Pranks factsPxfuel

14. A Very Fancy, Random Dinner

A good while ago, my family, together with some family friends, developed a tradition of journeying to the mountains annually. Here, we would get a cabin situated by a river for a little getaway. During this time, my friends and I were really into riding dirt bikes. 

In fact, one of my friend's dad, a firefighter by profession, was once a semi-professional endurance rider in his teens. On one particular day, we made up our minds to venture as far as we could beyond the alpine ridge out of sheer curiosity.

Once we got there, there wasn't much to see, apart from some areas of the forest that had been cleared by a logging company. As we charted our path back through the woodland, we took a route that led us into a small valley clearing. Here we encountered something strange. 

There was a silver Streamline trailer, which is a single-room camper with a futuristic design. Naturally, it piqued our interest, and we rode towards it.

As we approached and rounded the side of the trailer, we were taken aback by an unusual sight—a man dressed like a butler or waiter. He was in a full tux, complete with a towel draped over his arm. 

He was standing by a small round table, complete with a red tablecloth, a silver candlestick sporting a bright flame, and fully laid-out table settings. In his other hand, he held a broken-neck bottle.

Needless to say, this sight was unsettling enough for my friend's dad, the experienced firefighter, to shout at us to leave immediately. Justifiably spooked by this strange spectacle in the forest, we took off right away. 

This peculiar occurrence was a hot topic of discussion for quite some time, but we never figured out how that trailer ended up among the trees or what the man was doing there. Perhaps it was a secretive dinner plan of some wealthy individuals involving a helicopter ride to the middle of nowhere? Who can tell?

Currently, that stands as the creepiest thing I've experienced in my life.

Luxury Hotel Secrets FactsShutterstock

15. Re-tailing Spirits

Once, I had a friend named Jim. Along with his wife Betty, Jim was a well-liked pub owner in a small town. They were an ideal pair running the village pub, always cheerful and hospitable to both locals and newcomers. Sadly enough, after a brief fight with cancer, Betty passed away.

Jim was heartbroken and couldn't even manage the routine tasks of the pub, which started to decline. The loving town folks got together and raised funds to buy him a black Labrador puppy to help him cope.

Upon receiving the pup, who he named Lucy, Jim was touched. Lucy really lifted his spirits. Under her influence, the pub recovered back to its former glory and Jim's well-being seemed to bounce back too, thanks to the canine company.

But a tragic accident occurred one evening. While on a walk, Lucy was hit by a speeding car. This threw the villagers into distress about how to help Jim overcome this new tragedy. They came up with an odd solution of preserving Lucy's tail, as it was the only part intact, and presenting it to Jim as a memento.

Initially, Jim was doing well and returned back to his routine. However, after a bit, he seemed distracted and kept staring at Lucy's tail, displayed above the pub's doorway. Then, one day he confided that he was experiencing eerie happenings related to the tail.

Jim claimed that each night, precisely at 11 o’clock, he'd hear chilling howls that he believed was Lucy's spirit. Although skeptical, I agreed to stay with him at the pub after hours and, astonishingly, we indeed heard the disturbing sounds.

Jim then took the tail and led me to Lucy's grave buried in the nearby woods. At the site, we heard the same howling noise again. Jim declared Lucy's spirit wanted her tail back, but the thought of performing the act made him emotional and he confessed he just couldn't do it.

Seeing his struggle, I tried to empathize but managed to coax him into taking the necessary step. However, Jim remained reluctant and retorted it was against the law to "re-tail spirits after 11pm".

Caught on Home Security Cameras factsPixabay

16. Definitely Time To Beef Up Security

When I was just four years old, my dad passed away, leaving just me and my mom to make our way at home.

One dark night in 1982, I was around six years old then, there came a sudden knock at our door around 2am. Both my mom and I woke up; she went to see who it was, and I followed her.

"Who's there?", my mom asked. A man's voice replied, looking for a person named Mrs. Stepasant. Since this was nowhere close to our actual family name, my mom was on immediate guard, feeling incredibly frightened.

The stranger grew progressively impatient and angry as my mom refused to let him in. He escalated to pounding on the door and making threats to break our windows. Without a phone to call for help, my mom resorted to an alternate plan—playing loud music. We lived in a mid-terrace house, and my mom was banking on the noise disturbing the neighbors, getting their attention as well as potentially scaring off the unwanted visitor.

And it did work. One of our neighbors living across the street came to complain about the noise. The man took off by then. Once my mom explained the situation, the irritated neighbor turned into a Good Samaritan and contacted the police.

Security measures were quickly put in place the very next day. The authorities arranged a locksmith to strengthen our home's safety, in addition to installing a panic button.

Importantly, much later, when I was older, my mother revealed a new layer to the story. She told me about an alarming reaction from the officer who took her statement: his face had gone pale. He stressed that we needed to enhance our security immediately. While we never understood the exact reasons, they were on the hunt for someone who targeted vulnerable individuals like us, my mom inferred.

One other memorable detail from that harrowing encounter: My mother had a meat cleaver in one hand and a can of oven cleaner in the other. Had the intruder somehow broken into our house, he would've ended up either blinded or missing a few fingers. My mother is tough—she's not one to give up without a fight.



17. The Long Con

When I was just a seven-year-old, I climbed into bed at 9 pm to enjoy a good book. Half past nine rolls around, and I switched off my light. An hour later, I found myself tossing and turning, unable to fall asleep. At 10:30 pm, sleep was still elusive, and a gnawing restlessness settled in, making it feel like there was something in my room. 

By 11 pm, I thought I heard breathing in the room, and a half an hour later, my mattress seemed to come alive, moving as if it was breathing.

Being a child with an active imagination, I knew that if I called out, my mum would only tell me to get back to sleep. Yet, by midnight, my bed started moving again, accompanied by a chilling, quiet giggle. Just a minute later, it felt like my bed was gently trembling. Another minute passed, and suddenly, a ghostly figure emerged from under my bed, causing my bed to shake even more.

I let out a loud scream, prompting my parents to rush into my room and grab hold of the intruding 'ghost'. This ghost had a typical get-up—a white sheet with holes cut out for eyes. However, the ghost somehow managed to slip away from my parents' grasp. 

Strangely though, it wasn't transparent as a ghost should be, and my parents were holding onto its 'robe'. As it continued to run, the robe unraveled the truth—it was only my older brother playing a prank on me.

Kudos to my brother for keeping up the act for a whole three hours. And to me, for enduring the creepy spectacle for three whole hours before alerting my parents!

The Creepiest Paranormal ExperiencesShutterstock

18. I Hate My House

Let me start by letting you in on a little secret, my house is as old as the hills—130 years to be exact—and for a whopping 110 of those, it was a funeral home of all things. I won't lie to you, it's got that eerie, haunted house vibe. 

Picture this: an unfinished basement, complete with dripping pipes, harsh stone walls that could freeze you to the touch, and a floor—just straight-up dirt. There's this room, the former mortuary—it's the odd one out with its wooden walls, though they've been battered by the occasional flood. 

And let's not forget about the lone, rusty metallic chair that somehow moves around on its own. Yeah, I don't get it either. At age 16, a thought crossed my mind to have my own room, so I put on my big-kid pants and claimed the attic apartment. 

As it turned out though, that room had a previous tenant—a girl who tragically ended her life back in 1975 who wasn't keen on roommates. You known, the kind that tells you to vacate the premises, which she did every single night. I even tried a nightlight, but that just led to nightmares about her. 

And here's the kicker: every morning I'd wake up to darkness, the light always mysteriously switched off. I kept telling myself this was all in my head, that if I stayed put long enough, my mind would give up the ghost (pun intended). But no cigar. In the end, I threw in the towel, and as my mother had claimed my old room, I've ended up bunking in the old viewing room since.

There was also this one time, I was innocently getting a drink in the kitchen, and when I turned, out of nowhere, this pitch-black figure appeared, seemingly rising from the basement. I tried to scream but found myself frozen, incapable of uttering a sound. The figure walked towards me, paused, then decided to head back to where it came from.

Just to be clear, these aren't the only strange occurrences that have taken place in my house. There are plenty more where those came from.

Yeah, I'm not a big fan of my house.

Haunted houseDreamArt123, Shutterstock

19. That Was A Calm, Measured Reaction

At a sleepover, I was huddled up in my sleeping bag on the floor. I woke up sometime in the middle of the night because the bag was tangled around my feet. Just as I sat up to free my feet, I jumped in fear—an enormous particle board shelf, positioned roughly three feet above my head, toppled over onto my pillow. Naturally, it spooked me, but being a child, I quickly went back to sleep after propping the board up against the wall.

The Most Twisted Childhood MemoriesShutterstock

20. More Scary Dolls

When I was around the age of 11, dolls petrified me due to seeing a puppeteer a few too many times. My mom had a couple of ceramic clown dolls in her room, which was quite a distance from mine, down a lengthy wooden passage.

Almost every night, I'd find myself curled up in bed fearing the worst. I'd hear a slow, rhythmic tapping, almost as if the dolls were on a mission to march down the hall, making their way toward my room. The noise typically halted just outside my door, and I'd get this uneasy feeling—I felt like something was about to go seriously wrong.

It wasn't until later that I realized the source of the tapping noise. One of our cats had an extra toe, resulting in a nail that created the eerie sound as it hit the wooden floor.

Yet, in my young mind, it seemed as if those dolls were out to get me.

Little girl making a terrified faceGetty Images

21. Scary Place To Live For An Arachnophobe

During my middle school years, we moved to a place in Florida that bordered a murky cypress forest. Our home was about 50 yards deep into these woods. Because of this, we'd often spot wolf spiders, each with a four-inch leg span, making their unwelcome appearance in our home. 

Being terrified of spiders, I was always scared stiff every time I saw one of these creatures. But there's one encounter that's forever burned into my memory.

One night, I was asleep in my room when I woke up, not sure what had disturbed my slumber. I was looking straight up at the ceiling. From the faint glow of the porch light seeping through my curtains, I could discern a shadowy figure right above me. Instantly, I made a swift dive off my bed and flicked on the light from the bedside table. 

Just in time, I saw a massive wolf spider tumble from the ceiling, landing smack-dab on my pillow. I barely caught a wink of sleep that night.

Parenting Backfired FactsPxfuel

22. Never Watch Unsolved Mysteries Before Bed

On a spooky, thunderstorm-ridden night in 1998, my twin bro, our older sis, and I plonked down in front of the TV to binge on Unsolved Mysteries. Those were the days—when everything was booming financially and All That was literally everyone's favorite comedy fix. 

That night's episode of Unsolved Mysteries was about alien abductions. It showed a guy fishing, witnessing a UFO drop down from the sky, scan the surroundings, then zoom off at crazy, nope, alien speed. Yeah, you can bet three kids spent that evening huddled up in fear. Scared stiff in our tube socks, why not? It’s the '90s after all.

Later, as I lay in bed, I glanced out the window to see a dark silhouette moving slowly in our backyard. From behind the blackberry bushes to the lawn, but I couldn’t make out more as our backlights were off. That sight—that’s the most frightened I've ever been; it still gives me chills.

I bolted down to my parents' room faster than lightning, roused them from sleep and lugged them to my window. We all peered out, and my dad, wearing a relieved expression, said, "Son, that's just a black bear." I sighed in relief, then blurted out, “OH, THANK GOD!” followed instantly by, “HOLD UP, BEARS LOITER HERE?!” 

My mom looked at me with this mixture of amusement and mild sympathy, clearly understanding at that moment the charm of being young.

The Most Bone-Chilling Encounters EverPexels


23. Sometimes You Just Need To Run

When I was around 10 or 11, my older brother and I often found ourselves alone in the home in the morning as our parents left early for work. We'd hang out at home until it was time to get on the school bus. It was the first year my brother and I had separate bus schedules since he had entered Junior High and had an earlier start.

At that time, our house was getting an extension built, so it was standard for workers to show up early. Sometimes they'd come right in with their key or take the back door to the working site. They'd say a little hello to let anyone at home know they were there. We could normally hear cars pulling into our long driveway, but I'd been told not to expect anyone that day.

As I was getting ready to leave the house, I walked near the basement stairs on my way to the mudroom. Suddenly, I heard a loud "Hello?" echoing from somewhere. I couldn't pin the source; it seemed distant, maybe even from outside. 

I thought perhaps a worker had come unexpectedly. I looked out of the window but saw no vehicles, which wasn't unusual. Our driveway was steep and long, and icy conditions often made it unmanageable, forcing the workers to park at the foot of the slope.

So, I went to the front door calling back, "Hello! I'm here!" hoping to greet the person outside. But when I opened the door, I was met with emptiness. Bewildered, I shut and locked the door and checked the backyard where construction was taking place. 

Calling out again, I received no response. Overwhelmed by confusion and partly believing that I'd just conjured up the voice, I headed back to the mudroom to gear up for the bus.

As I was passing the basement stairs again, I heard what sounded like hushed whispers from multiple voices. Suddenly, one voice broke the whispers, louder, saying, "Shhhh, she's leaving". The only sensible thing to do at that moment was to pull on my shoes and coat and bolt out of the door as fast as my feet could carry me.

Creepiest Experiences FactsUnsplash

24. A Doggy Sing-Along

When I was a kid, my dad owned a copy of Doom. He and I would play it together—but he never allowed me to play it by myself.

One day, my parents went out for a short while, leaving my sister and me alone at home. It didn't seem like a big deal—they were only going to be away for an hour. But for some reason, I chose this day to introduce my little sister to Doom—with the sound effects on. At the time, I was 6-years-old; she was just 3. Then the weirdest thing happened...

Our dog (who we believed was out with our parents) began to howl along with the creepy music from Doom. It was truly a spine-chilling experience.


25. Maybe It Wasn’t Supposed To Be A Bedroom

When I was around 7, my family of seven moved into a four-bedroom house in Minden's Johnson Lane neighborhood, Nevada. My baby sister shared the bedroom with our folks upstairs, while my three siblings claimed the remaining rooms. This left me, well, bedroom-less.

Next up in our house tour is a peculiar room upstairs, tucked behind a wall in one of my brother's rooms. Imagine a secret space about a room's length but with no access door. The only feature was a distinctive octagonal window, a quirky stop-sign shaped pane that didn't open, overlooking the Sierra Nevada range and sunsets.

In a blend of home improvement and creativity, dad broke down the adjacent wall of my brother's room to create an entrance, hung up swinging saloon-style doors, and mom painted colorful Snoopy and Charlie Brown murals. 

And so, my unique room was born, accessible through my brother's space. Due to the odd shape and the sharply sloped roof, my bed fit snugly under the eccentric window—the one flat wall in the room.

While in bed, the window-wall sat to my left. The existence of a window into an otherwise unreachable room always puzzled me. One night, when I was about 8, a dream of levitation startled me awake. Just for a fraction of time, it genuinely felt like my body floated mid-air, at a right angle to the window. 

My shoulders rested on the bed while my torso and legs pointed towards the saloon doors. It felt incredibly real until I registered the absurdity of the situation and promptly fell to the floor. Let's just say, that moment kind of spooked me.

Creepy StoriesPublic Domain Pictures

26. I Think They Passed The Test

When I was about 16, my parents began to work alternating shifts. This left my younger brother and me alone for a few hours each morning before school—our house was out in the sticks and usually very peaceful.

One particular morning, before dawn, my brother nudged me awake. He'd seen a hand knocking at his window, attached to a figure whispering, "Can I come in, please? I know you're all alone, little guy". At first, I dismissed it as a bad dream, but his next words—delivered with a laugh—convinced me this was all too real.

As a teen, I was pretty unruly, even to the extent of somehow obtaining a 9mm handgun. My risky behavior will make more sense by the end of the story. I figured this creepy early-morning situation was an apt moment to make use of the firearm.

This incident occurred before the age of cellphones, and to make a call, I'd need to venture past several windows to reach our landline.

So, I decided to handle things myself.

I sent my brother to hide in the bathroom while I retrieved the 9mm. Just as I was about to step outside, a hand swept past my window and I heard the figure plead, "Please let me in! I'm injured! Your dad's an old friend of mine, he said we'd get along!"

Bracing myself, I called out, "Well, do come in then, the front door's open!". I then unlocked the door and flicked the porch light on—the dim lighting should make our home feel more menacing. Hopefully, the intruder would be spooked enough to leave. If not, I reckoned, I'd have to think on my feet while calling for help.

From behind the closed door of my room, I had the front door in clear sight. If the intruder dared to step in, I'd have the upper hand. As I heard the timid footsteps approaching the front porch, fear struck me, and I trembled in place. What if this guy wasn't alone? Who the hell could he be?

The doorknob jiggled and the door swung open slightly. A hand emerged into the hall, audibly panting, wailing, "HELP! I'M HURT!" in that same eerie voice. As I watched my hands quiver, it hit me—I was not equipped for what was coming next. Until I noticed the familiar wristwatch. It was my dad's.

In disbelief, I cried out, "Jesus, why don't you just come in? You've got keys, there was no need to wake us up!" I signaled my brother to leave the bathroom, and my dad strolled in, roaring with laughter.

Apparently, he'd clocked off a few hours early and thought it'd be amusing to find out how we'd react if someone tried to break in while both he and my mom were at work.

Blown Away Stupid FactsWikipedia, Emily Barrett

27. The Slapping Sound

There were several nights when I'd jolt awake to a strange slapping sound. It was like the noise of leather hitting a wall, but it seemed far off. Our house is on a one-acre lot, and the sound appeared to be originating from a shed on our neighbor's land. 

The noise was so loud that I roused my parents from their sleep, and my mom could hear it too. As a result, my dad grabbed something for protection and bravely went to investigate.

But after a few moments, the noise ceased.

We sat in the quiet, huddled close together. We were too scared to peek through the blinds, despite our curiosity about what was going on outside.

When my dad eventually returned, he reported that he hadn't found anything unusual.

Interestingly, this incident happened three times in one week, and then, just like that, it stopped and hasn't occurred since.

Question Reality FactsPublic Domain Pictures

28. Which Is Real?

When I was just a seven-year-old kid, I once imagined being at a lunar zoo in a dream. There was one area marked with a sign saying, "This little girl has spent the past seven years imagining she lives on the Earth."

I peered in, and my heart dropped to my stomach. It was ME. Once dawn broke, I pondered over the reality. Was it genuine that I was the girl on the moon, living out a dream on Earth, or was it the other way around?

Even today, I occasionally ponder over that.

Moonpen_ash, Pixabay

29. You Never Want To Stumble Into One Of THOSE Meetings

Back in my childhood days, my friends and I loved exploring the nearby woods, biking on dirt paths, crafting forts and playing imaginative games like cowboys. We'd venture really far from our homes, once to the point where a dad had to come find us for staying out past sundown. It was the 80s, after all, and supervision wasn't as strict as it is now.

When I was about 8 or 9, on one of our more distant expeditions, we found ourselves deep in an area of woodland that connected to a massive state park. Suddenly, two guys on white ATVs zoomed past us, disappearing into the distance. 

They were clad in white from head to toe, and my young mind quickly associated them with painters headed somewhere to paint. Intrigued, we decided to follow their tracks.

Our path led us to a little ridge where the forest path dipped below a small hill, partially hidden from the surrounding area. We heard voices beyond the ridge, so we silently crept up to take a look. 

To our shock, we'd inadvertently found a secret Klan gathering. About 20 individuals in white, some donning hoods, were arranged near a makeshift cross, apparently in the middle of a meeting. We hadn't been seen, but the sight of their firearms was enough to send us running back home.

We recounted the experience to my friend's dad, who took us back to the spot the next day. It was deserted—no benches, no cross. Yet, some of the trees did sport markings. I seem to recall my friend's dad reporting the incident to the authorities, but to this day, I never really found out what was happening there.

Sir Walter Raleigh factsShutterstock

30. When The Boots Are Attached To Legs You Know You’re In Trouble

When I was around 10 years old, my family went to check out our new home. The previous residents had moved out just a week earlier, and this was my first look at the place. My parents busied themselves upstairs with the administrative part of moving, so I decided to embark on an adventure of my own down to the basement.

I had dreams of discovering a forgotten treasure trove of toys but was disappointed to see the place had been thoroughly cleared out. I spotted a DIY sliding door closet nestled under the staircase, the kind with those unwieldy foldable panels. 

As I pushed the door open, it revealed a dark interior with jars on a shelf, initially leading me to believe it was a just a pantry. But then I noticed a pair of leather boots on the floor, leading to human legs.

When I looked up, I saw a man standing there. He was wearing a black leather jacket, positioned against the back of the closet, and giving me wide-eyed stare. That sight and eeriness of the situation is an image that remains burned in my memory. 

Fear gripped me to such an extent that I was unable to even let out a scream. Dead in my tracks for a moment, I soon mustered the courage to run. To get to safety I had to bolt up the stairs, the ones with the open backs, leading directly above the creepy closet. 

This meant I caught another glimpse of his face. The whole time, I was sure he was going to reach out and snag my ankle. In my panicked state, I eventually managed to convince my parents to investigate, but by then he had made his escape. They originally thought I was making up stories or had gotten confused.

But then they saw a motorcycle helmet, still sitting ominously in the closet.

The unnerving memory made it difficult for me to feel at ease around those stairs for years afterwards.

Accidental ComebacksPexels

31. I’d Respect The Cards Next Time

When I was about 10 years old, an unusual event happened. My sister invited her friend who brought along some Tarot cards, and she was offering to read our futures. As she was dealing the cards for another friend of mine who was also there, she drew the devil card.

My friend was visibly scared and threw the devil card on the floor. The room immediately fell silent, as she had previously warned us to show respect to the cards and their potential power. Out of nowhere, the battery-powered mini TV I kept in my room sprang to life, blaring static noise only to switch off after about three seconds.

The strange thing was, no one had been close enough to the TV to operate it. Additionally, it was the only time something like that happened throughout the time I had that TV. I'd really like someone to shed light on this incident logically, as I haven't been able to make sense of it myself.

Real-Life Exorcisms FactsMax Pixel

32. Donald, Center

When I was about 5 years old, my dad had us relocate from Maine to Texas. Driving across Oklahoma one snowy night, we needed to pull over and stay at a motel. This was a fun adventure for my older sister and me, and we eagerly ventured out to explore once we were settled.

We met a kindly older man in the lobby, around 60, who introduced himself as Donald. He chatted with us and shared stories whose details I can't recall, but I do remember they added magic to our evening. As we left the lobby, Donald gave me an apple to munch on and suggested, "Have a peek at the wall photos as you leave."

The following morning, while making our way up to the lobby to check out, I remembered Donald's suggestion and began inspecting the pictures. They were antique black and white shots of horse races from the early 1900s.

One image in particular raised the hairs on my back. It depicted three older gents in front of a racing track, with the man in the center particularly striking. Investigating the caption to the left, it said "Donald, center," giving me a chilling feeling.

I quickly beckoned my sister to look, and she was equally stunned. We spent our remaining time trying to find Donald, but he wasn't anywhere in sight.

If you're skeptical because of the many details I've retained, know that I've shared this story frequently, and made a point to jot it down when it happened, so as not to forget it. Though I'm not typically one for ghost stories, this particular event has left me without a plausible explanation.

Hotel Horror Stories FactsShutterstock

33. Could Air Pressure Do That Though?

When I was around 8 or 9, I came home from a soccer game, all sweaty and dirty. My parents dropped me at home and, having two big sisters, I made for the downstairs bathroom to clean up.

About midway through my shower, the door started shaking. I was home alone, so you can imagine my surprise. I pulled back the shower curtain, and the shaking stopped instantly.

Puzzled, I shut the curtain and continued my shower. After a short while, the shaking started again. I stepped out, checked the hallway, and listened carefully for footsteps. But there was nothing. I was starting to feel a bit uneasy at this point.

After turning the shower back on and starting to scrub once more, it suddenly sounded like someone was going all out to rip the door from its hinges.

Frankly, I was terrified. I grabbed my towel, fled from the bathroom, and locked all the doors in the house. Then I took a sprint upstairs, checking every possible hiding spot to confirm it wasn’t my sisters or the neighboring pranksters fooling me around. Finally confirming that I was indeed alone, it hit me—I am utterly alone!

I quickly retreated downstairs to the family room and sat in an open corner, awaiting my parents’ return, heart pounding with fear.

Over time, no one ever confessed to messing with me that day. Whenever I mentioned the incident, the most plausible explanations seemed to be changes in air pressure—even though it’d never triggered the door to shake before or after—or perhaps a vengeful spirit, given our house was built on old cornfields where, rumor had it, bodies were occasionally hidden by the St. Louis mobsters.

In the end, and quite impressively I think, I never needed to see a psychiatrist about the incident.

Photo of a old Metal door handleSuzy Hazelwood, Pexels

34. It Would Certainly Be An Alarming Sight To See

While I was driving back to Arkansas, Texas's terrain around me felt desolate. Unexpectedly, I glanced out of my car window to find a massive cross on fire in this isolated field. Definitely, this is up there with some of the eeriest experiences I've ever had.

Sergt. Boston Corbett portrait with crossed arms between circa 1860 and circa 1865George Hodan, Public Domain Pictures

35. I Don’t Even Think The Brother Believed Him

In the early 2000s, my brother and I found ourselves all alone at home since our folks were busy working. We were chillaxing in the living room, engrossed in a TV show, when something odd occurred—a pillow from my bedroom, situated at the rear of the house, mysteriously slid across the wooden floor and ended up right in front of the television.

My brother was pretty shaken up, pleading with me to confess I was the prankster behind it. To comfort him, I played along and told him it was all a prank, even though it truly wasn't me. Our parents only returned home about three hours after this uncanny event.

These Childhood Memories Are Beyond TwistedShutterstock

36. Where Did That Come From?

When I was around five, I suddenly had a terrifying nightmare where I imagined my family being forced to participate in a distressing dark ceremony and I was made to witness everything. Tragically, the dream ended with them setting our home ablaze, leaving me stranded within.

That night, I woke up in a panic—I was screaming loudly and urgently trying to escape through our front door. But, fortunately, the door had a fresh coat of paint which had not dried fully, and it was too sticky for me to open.

I honestly can't fathom how such graphic, harsh imagery could have come from the mind of my five-year-old self. To this day, some 20 years later, the shocking clarity and vividness of the dream still haunts me. I remember every bit of it as if it happened just yesterday.

A man stands in front of his burning house and looks with horrorEvGavrilov, Shutterstock

37. But Why Would Grandpa Do That?

When I was a four-year-old, my family relocated back to Ohio after my dad finished his service in the air force. We temporarily lived with my grandmother during that time. One peculiar day, I woke up and found myself under my bed. If I had rolled off my bed while I was sleeping, I would have certainly been awakened by the thump on my head from hitting the nightstand.

I was always convinced that a ghost was responsible for it. The house was an eerie, vintage style built in the early 1900s which gave it a haunted ambiance. My parents and grandmother all firmly believe that my grandfather's spirit was lingering in the house. They profess to have witnessed the unoccupied rocking chair starting to sway on its own!

Haunted House ExperienceShutterstock

38. A Shapeshifter?

When I was in my later teenage years or early twenties, I found myself home alone one evening. Our residence was nestled in a rural neighborhood on a three-acre plot of land, surrounded by woods but neighbored by similar properties.

On this particular night, I was sat at our kitchen table, perhaps reading or something similar, keeping the windows wide open due to the heat of the cloudless summer night since we didn't have an AC. Thanks to the glowing moon, I could easily look out into the night.

From the open, grassy part of our property, I heard voices, and upon glancing out the window, spotted what appeared to be two people in conversation about a hundred feet from the house. Oddly, this didn't alarm me; I even chose to wander out and engage in conversation.

Unexpected visits from my uncles were quite a regular occurrence and so, I assumed it might just be a relative with maybe a cousin or two. Armed with a flashlight, I ventured towards them.

However, as I drew closer, the figures in the distance took on a clearer form. Instead of a pair of people engaged in conversation, it was merely a half-filled mylar balloon, twisting in the wind. The reflecting side of the balloon was bouncing off the moonlight as it spun around, still inflated enough to bob in the breeze, but not enough to drift away.

In an instant, I became aware that I wasn't approaching people, but a balloon. This sudden realization sent a shiver of fear down my spine. The voices I'd heard were emanating from a neighboring summer camp where an assembly, complete with a loudspeaker, was happening. The sounds from there, though faint, seemed like muffled chat that was meandering over the rolling hills.

Even though I logically put together the explanation, the abrupt change from perceiving conversation between two people to a gently spinning balloon still unnerved me. I felt a sense of shock when my brain abruptly corrected its assumption about the "people" to a simple balloon.

It appears my mind was initially content to believe the presence of individuals till my eyes presented a different set of data. As soon as I saw what it truly was, the switch flipped and the "people" became the balloon. This eerie feeling lingered, leaving me feeling somewhat spooked for the remainder of the night.

No One Believes My Bizarre ExperiencePxhere

39. Could It Have Been A Rehearsal?

Back when I was in kindergarten, my pals and I made a choice to visit the gym during our break time. I can't really recall why we did that. We stepped inside and to our surprise, there was a figure eerily similar to the Grim Reaper standing right in the middle of the stage. We bolted out and never uttered a word about it afterwards.

Creepiest Experiences FactsShutterstock

40. Adorable, But Dangerous

When I was around the age of 10, my family and I were on a fun vacation. That year we had successfully arranged to stay in a fantastic and spacious cabin in Magog.

On our third day there, my dad and I decided to take our four-year-old Border Collie for a walk. Since our Collie was a bright breed, we felt comfortable letting him roam freely as we ventured into the forest. About thirty minutes into our walk, we heard our usually quiet pet start to bark at something. Immediately, I felt something was off.

Our Collie was such a gentle soul, his barking usually reserved for the postman, so it caught us by surprise. As we went back to see what got him so riled up, his barking grew more intense. By the time we arrived with our questions like, "What's going on, boy? What has you barking?" we saw a black shape on the road.

Unbelievably, in the center of the well-trodden path, a lovely baby bear cub was there. Before I could even squeak out an, "Awww," my dad had scooped me up in one arm and swiftly pulled on our dog's collar. I've never seen my dad sprint so quickly, leading us to the closest cabin and rapidly closing the door behind us.

Once we were safe, he shared an important piece of advice with me. He said, "Son, whenever you spot a baby bear, always presume its mother is not far off". He confessed he had overheard a fierce and loud growl from the mother bear as we sprinted away. So yes, our quick thinking and fast action in calming our dog possibly saved us from a dangerous encounter with a bear.

The Most Bone-Chilling Encounters EverPexels

41. Our Minds Are Scarier Than Anything

One time, when I was around 13 years old, I was relaxing in bed. Though I was feeling drained, I wasn't yet dozing off and I was still very much alert. Out of nowhere, I could hear this faint whispering nearby. It was a low, harsh whisper that seemed to come just from beside my head. 

It was as if someone was speaking, but I just couldn't grasp the words. I could even sense a breath, as if someone stood awfully close to my face. Startled, I sat up only to find my room completely deserted, as expected.

I realize now that it was just my mind playing tricks on me as I was edging towards sleep but, seriously, my brain can be quite unnerving sometimes.

Scared Boy hiding in bed under the coversSuzanne Tucker, Shutterstock

42. Stuffed And Scary

Back when I was roughly 4 years old, I was engrossed in a tale narrated by my Teddy Ruxpin stuffed toy. If you're not familiar with Teddy Ruxpin, it's a plush teddy bear with a startling feature—its eyes blink and its mouth moves along with an audio tape cassette playing in its back.

This particular bear had seen better days, having been constantly played with by my younger sibling and me. In the middle of the intriguing tale, an unexpected event occurred—its lower jaw gave in and simply dropped. Bizarrely enough, the bear didn't halt in its storytelling and blinking routines.

The intensity of my horrified scream was such that my father claimed he could hear it even from the opposing end of our house.

Toys, MatthewWikimedia.Commons

43. No Further Explanation Required

Furbies. They creeped me out, and they still do.

Black Friday Horror Stories factsPixabay

44. The Clock Strikes Back

When I was around 13, one morning I woke up and glanced at the clock by my bed only to realize I was thirty minutes behind schedule for school. I was alarmed! For reassurance, I double-checked with a wristwatch that was hanging on my bedpost and, just to be super sure, with the watch on my wrist. Yep, it looked like I was seriously in for a detention.

In a sort of nerdy, frantic frenzy, I jumped out of bed and scrambled out of my room, worried about missing the school assembly. My mom and dad looked at me, puzzled—I still hadn't clued in. I quickly explained my emergency, and they calmly guided me to another clock and showed me that it was only 7 am. Everything was perfectly fine.

Just then, my brother dashed out from his room across the hallway, announcing he too was running late for school. Surprisingly, five clocks in our house, both battery-powered and electric, had all displayed the EXACT same incorrect time. Right then, it felt like we'd stepped into the Twilight Zone.

Ghosted Friends FactsPexels

45. I Guess She Wants To Be Where The Birds Are Now?

One night, when I was around 6 years old, I was in bed and believe it or not, it seemed like my Ariel doll started to levitate! Gradually, it even appeared to pass through the wall. By the next morning, I just couldn't find it anywhere.

Creepy Experiences factsShutterstock

46. The Night-Light Wasn’t Doing Its Job, Clearly

When I think back to when I was about 6 years old, I remember a night where I woke up and saw a shadowy figure at my bed's edge. It didn't look like a real person, but rather appeared like a human shape, completely in pitch black. This was really weird, given I had a tiny light in my room. Since then, I've not had such an experience and, honestly, I often wonder if it was all just a dream.

Nobody Believes My Crazy StoryShutterstock

47. It Was Just Too Incredible A Story, I Guess

Once, when I was still in primary school, I was patiently waiting for my school bus at the end of our driveway. Then, a car came to a halt next to our neighbour's house. Unexpectedly, a man stepped out and whistled. To my surprise, a raven swooped down from a nearby tree and settled on his arm. Then, he just drove away. I tried telling people about it, but they just wouldn't believe me.

Vincent Price FactsFlickr

48. That Could’ve Had A Much Worse Ending

When I was about 11 years old, I had an interesting adventure. A school friend and I decided to attend a Sony expo event in London before the PS2 was launched. My mom accompanied us on a train ride to London, but she let us explore on our own while agreeing to re-connect with us later.

We had to take a few tube rides to reach the expo center. While switching trains, I noticed two men trailing behind us. They got on the same train and also disembarked at our stop. As we emerged from the subway station, one of the guys grabbed my friend's hand, questioning if we were by ourselves.

This naturally frightened both of us to bits. This guy started to drag my friend back towards the stairs when, thankfully, a crowd of people turned the corner and came into sight. Seeing them, the duo hastily retreated.

Group of friends waiting the trainsantypan, Shutterstock

49. At Least They Noticed

When I was just seven years old, I experienced the trauma of a lifetime—I woke up mid-surgery, right when they were operating on my throat.

It was downright scary, the inability to react or cry out, while you're staring wide-eyed at the busy surgeons with an array of instruments down your throat, silently begging them to realize you're awake.

Fortunately, it was a short-lived experience. It lasted just until the moment I noticed surgeons getting aware of my open eyes, removing the tools from my throat and promptly placing the mask back on my face. What added to the oddity of it all was a peculiar distortion in my field of view, like looking out from a fishbowl.

How Are You Alive?Pexels

50. Coincidence Or Something More?

Growing up, my home was nestled on a vast nine-acre property. My family painstakingly carved out four distinct trails that snaked their way through the forest behind our house, where we often rode our four-wheelers.

One particular day, my cousin and I decided to off-road, meandering our way through the untouched wilderness. As we rode side-by-side, both our four-wheelers abruptly died as if they had mysteriously malfunctioned or run out of juice. 

When I raised my head, we were conveniently stopped in front of an enormous cross. Crafted from cut branches and wedged between two towering trees, the seven-foot tall cross was a sight to behold

My best guess is that someone must've used this spot to lay their beloved pet to rest. The crazy part? There were fresh footsteps leading away from the cross, so whoever set up the spot had just been there. 

Although we were taken aback by its presence, we dared not interfere and left the cross intact. Its discovery certainly added a peculiar twist to our day though.

Into The Woods: Terrifying ExperiencesPexels

Sources:  Reddit

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