Being alone can be freeing. It’s the opportunity to sing loudly and off-key or use the bathroom with the door wide open. But when there’s a crash, bang, or thud, that feeling of freedom disappears. These Redditors shared their terrifying stories of being home alone, and we’ll be sleeping with the lights on tonight.
1. What The Hasbro?!
My parents suggested me as a babysitter for a family that I didn’t know very well. But since I needed the money, I took the job. So, that night I put the kids to bed and used the rest of the evening to do homework. All of a sudden, I heard voices that were coming from the other room—and it wasn’t just normal speaking voices.
These were quiet, almost demonic-sounding voices speaking to each other. I was creeped out and didn’t know what to expect. But I took a deep breath and slowly crept to the doorway of the sitting room. I peered around the corner and saw FURBYS talking to each other in the darkness.
2. All Bark And No Action
It was one of the first times I was allowed to stay home alone, just after I turned 12. I saw a man walking through my fenced-in backyard right onto my deck to the back window. My dog’s hair stood up, and she went crazy barking. I had no way out of the house or to the phone without him seeing me through the window. So, I hid.
I was behind the couch just waiting for him to break in. But then I saw him leave my yard through the gate. Immediately, I grabbed the phone and dialed my mom’s number basically in tears. When she answered, she said, “Oh, I forgot to tell you that the gas meter guy was coming.” The dog was the only brave one that day.
3. What The Shut Eye
I was in my apartment taking a nap under all my blankets in bed when I heard the door open. Thinking it was just my husband, I ignored it. Except five minutes later, I heard several voices. I dismissed it as my dreams and ignored it again. Then the voices got louder, and suddenly, my bedroom door opened! I freaked out.
Then I bolted upright in bed to see three women were standing in the doorway. I shrieked. They shrieked. And then they ran out of my apartment. Later I learned that the management company showed the wrong apartment available for rent. I got an apology and a bouquet of flowers.
4. Regular Fixture
In my neighborhood when I was 11, there was a homeless guy who walked around and loved to talk. That was until he acted weird one day, which was when a neighbor called officers to deal with him. We found out that he had been suffering from some undiagnosed mental illness, and didn’t see him after that. Once, I was home alone for a few hours.
My brothers were out, and our parents were on vacation. I was playing my guitar loudly using my brand-new amplifier. As I was playing, I could hear some little noises from the creaky floors in my old house. I thought nothing of it and kept practicing my instrument—until there was a loud thud and then a horrible scream.
I quickly did what most children would probably do when home alone and assume an intruder was inside the house. I turned off all lights, hid, and kept my mouth shut. After a good two hours of sobbing as quietly as I possibly could, I gathered the courage to sneak out to get a house phone. I called the emergency number.
Officers arrived and listened as I described what happened. They told me they contacted my parents and searched the house. A few minutes later, officers came back to my room and told me that everything was going to be okay. They brought me back to the living room and said not to use the main bathroom if I needed to go.
Being a curious 11-year-old, I snuck into the bathroom. It was the biggest mistake of my life. To my surprise and terror, I saw the homeless man’s body hanging by his neck. I stood there frozen for five seconds and ran back to the officers crying my eyes off. After many years, I still do not like to think about this story, but I’ve recovered from the traumatizing experience.
5. Don’t Be A Stranger
When I was 12, I was home alone for some time. I was sitting in the living room watching a movie when someone walked into the house. It was my sister’s ex-husband. I thought it was weird that he just barged in and didn’t knock or anything, but when he saw me, he was all smiles. My dad had been paying him to do yard work.
So, it wasn’t that out of the question for him to be there. His new girlfriend was with him, and she brought me to my room to play video games. What I didn’t realize was that she was just distracting me as he got money from my parent’s safe. We found out that they bought the same game system we were playing with that money.
6. Ready Or Not
I was babysitting for a family who lived in my neighborhood once when I was 13. As I was getting the boys ready for bed, there was a knock at the door. This was before smartphones, so I was instantly on high alert. I knew that it couldn’t be the parents, since they came through the garage. I looked through the peephole.
No one was there. I walked away because I was not about to check if I was wrong. 30 seconds later, I heard another knock at the door. This time when I looked through the peephole, someone was covering it. What I heard next made my blood run cold. This deep voice said, “Let me in.” Uh. Nope. I instantly panicked but tried to stay calm for the boys.
I went around the house locking all the doors and windows. Then I told the boys that we were going to play a quick game of hide and seek. Then I put them in the bathtub and closed the curtain and the bathroom door. I told them to stay quiet until I came back. Now, someone was banging on the front door with their fists.
With crazy scenarios running through my head, I grabbed the phone. As I was dialing, my older cousin popped his face by the window and was laughing. I was so mad, almost had a heart attack, and had to play it off. I counted to ten loudly and got the boys. I never told their parents what happened, and I’ve never felt so much panic in my life.
7. Bump In the Night
We grew up in the middle of nowhere surrounded by forest. With the closest neighbors across the field, it’d raise an eyebrow if an unexpected car showed up on your driveway. Our house had three floors. The back of the first floor was underground. It had a staircase that went around the house and a door leading outside.
It was behind my second-floor bedroom window that faced the forest. We rarely used the door to get into the house because we’d have to go around to the back and then walk up the stairs. Well, I loved staying up late on my computer and spent countless nights playing games and chatting with friends until the early hours.
I was 12, and it was in the middle of summer so, it was light outside regardless of the time. Both my brothers weren’t home, and our parents were on holiday. I was about to go to sleep but did a little round around the massive house and noticed my brother’s door was wide open. Only then I realized I was home ALL alone.
So, I, of course, took advantage of the rare occasion and browsed through his room. I felt pretty daring, as he’d always tell me to get lost. And when I got tired, I went to bed. Soon after, I woke up to what I thought was a loud, slow, banging noise. Startled, I sat up and looked around. It was the middle of the night.
I felt my body tense as I sat as still as possible listening. Maybe it was just a dream. But then, I heard it again right outside the window only it was getting louder and faster. I started panicking remembering that I was alone. Then I heard someone move outside. I gathered all of my courage and sneaked to the window.
My hands were sweating, and the sound of my heartbeat was getting faster in my ears. When I looked through the shutters, what I saw was so disturbing it was unforgettable. It was a tall skinny man wearing not a stitch of clothing standing there right outside my window, behind our house, in the middle of freaking nowhere. I honestly don’t even remember my exact reaction.
But I know that I was absolutely terrified, and only seconds later, I heard the dude shouting my name, saying: “Open the stupid door! Open! The! FREAKING! DOOR! Are you deaf? Let me in right now!” I recognized that voice. It was my brother. I quickly went to the door and still peeked through the window to make sure it was him.
My brother had apparently managed to sleepwalk and lock himself outside with no clothes on only to wake up somewhere in our garden. I guess he must’ve felt equally terrified when waking up that night before realizing where he was or what was happening. It was pretty hilarious the next day. Well, it was to me at least.
8. Sleepy Look
When I was a teenager, I was alone and asleep on the couch. The backdoor opened; I’d thought it was my dad. But listening to him walking around the house made me realize that it was not. I looked up and saw a guy standing in the kitchen with his back to me. That’s when I made a disturbing realization. I knew him. It was a guy who I had met briefly the day before.
He made many inappropriate comments about me and was super creepy. I laid back down and pretended to sleep, desperately hoping he would just leave without noticing me. Except he did. He came over to the couch and stood over me. He stayed and watched me sleep for what felt like forever. Luckily, a car drove by the house.
It spooked him, and he ran out the backdoor right after. As soon as he did, I jumped up and went to the door and locked it. I didn’t know what to do, so I waited for my dad and brother to come home. When they did, I told them about it. My brother said he’d, “sort it out.” He went to the house where the guy was staying.
He was going to beat him up. But the people who were hosting him told my brother that he left in a hurry. They didn’t let him inside to check, and we never saw that guy again.
9. Total Knockout
One evening, I was cleaning my apartment. The music was blasting, and I was totally in the zone. Then someone started banging on the front door. I didn’t want to answer it because I didn’t feel like dealing with people, but it didn’t stop. I stopped the music, thinking it could be a neighbor who was complaining about the loud music.
Everything went quiet. But then the aggressive knocking started again incessantly. I looked through the peephole and saw a girl a bit bigger than me. I’d never seen her before in the complex, and it only had six units. She was still knocking, so, without thinking, I opened the door. When I did, the girl just stared at me.
Then she asked me where Jon was. I told her that there was no Jon here. She didn’t move and kept staring at me. She was definitely on something. I told her to check down the hall since there might have been a Jon who lived there. So, I went to close the door. She stuck out her foot to stop me and tried to push it open!
So I start to struggle back, we are both actually wrestling with this door. I just go: “What?? Can I help you?? I’m trying to close the door!” She stops and relents a bit and does some weird thing with her eyes and goes: “Oh…okay,” then walks off.
10. Penny Pusher
When I was 11, I was home alone in the middle of taking a shower. When I opened the washroom door, I heard people downstairs. The teenagers from down the street had broken in and were ransacking the living room. My dad had his arms cabinet by the bedroom door. I went and grabbed the first one I saw and went downstairs.
I started yelling, and the guy turned around brandishing a knife. But as soon as he saw what I was holding, he dropped it and shoved his sister down before bolting out the door. The girl was still on the ground yelling as I called 9-1-1. Officers took them all in, but all that they’d taken was a pocketful of change. My mom was more upset about the broken door than anything else.
11. Noisy Nuisance
My boyfriend was out of town for work, so I had to set the alarm system myself for the first time. I was asleep when, at 3 in the morning, the system started blaring. It woke me up, and I was too terrified to move and sat there for two minutes with it going off. Finally, I stood up and went to check the backdoor first.
Nothing. It was still shut and locked. I ran to the closet and grabbed the bat. Then I headed to the bathroom and swung at the shower curtain. Nothing was there. So, I went to disable the alarm. The front door was still closed and locked. I opened it to see a bunch of wasted people out in the breezeway stumbling along.
I guess one of them fell into my door hard enough to set off the alarm. It was infuriating, but I do sleep with the bat next to my bed now.
12. Screeched To A Fault
When I was in a deep sleep, the most horrifying high-pitched howling noise startled me awake. I lived deep in a wooded area so I knew the usual fox bark or fisher cat scream, but I didn’t know what this sound was. It was eerie and did not sound like an animal. Then I heard it again but from the other side of the house.
Except, I hadn’t heard any movement. Still half asleep, I was convinced that it was some terrible otherworldly creature and hoped it wouldn’t get me. The next morning, I looked online for recordings of different sounds to identify it. I learned that it had been a tiny harmless screech owl that made those demonic sounds.
13. Too Close To Home
I was babysitting my little sister, and we’re watching TV when there was a, “Pop! Pop! Pop!” and something ricocheting off the window bars. A few moments later, I heard moaning and screams coming from the front door. When I opened it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. A drive-by had shot at three teenagers, who managed to make it to my house to find help. As a 14-year-old, it was something I was definitely not prepared to handle.
14. You’re Not Welcome
I was home alone while my husband was away on deployment. One time as I was falling asleep, both my dog and I heard someone on the porch walking around. The dog flipped out, and I decided to go downstairs. I grabbed my piece from the safe and headed downstairs. As I walked down, I saw the man through the front windows.
We locked eyes. He said, “Let me in.” I said that he needed to leave. He repeated, “Let me in.” I told him again he needed to leave and that I was calling the authorities. He repeated himself once more. I told him that I was armed. His reply was horrifying. He said to me, “So am I.” He held his piece up and aimed. I fired mine through the window.
I missed him, and he ran off. They found him a few blocks away a little bit later.
15. Outback Stakeout
When I was 7, I was taking a bath and saw a guy leave the basement to the back porch into the backyard. Apparently, when we came home, we interrupted an intruder while he was ransacking the place. He waited a couple of hours hiding in the basement before escaping. My parents didn’t believe me, but he was found soon after.
16. Sticking Around
My husband was out of town, so I had gone over to a friend’s house for dinner. I got home a little after 10, pulled into the garage, and stepped out to get my purse. I turned to head into the house and standing halfway down the driveway was a strange man who I had never seen before. I lived in a very rural wooded area.
So, I knew all of the neighbors. This guy was not one of them. He just stood there staring at me and didn’t say anything. So, I stood there frozen staring back at him. Then he slowly began to stalk towards me, and since I still had my car door open, all I could think to do was reach in quickly and shut the garage door.
The door started to close, and he turned away to leave. Unfortunately, in my panic, I hit the button too many times. The door stopped and was reopening. He was down the driveway with his back to me, heard the door going back up, and then quickly turned and ran full force straight at me. I hit the button two more times.
The door started closing. I saw him stop just short of the garage door and stay there while it closed the rest of the way. All he had to have done was stick a foot forward to stop it from closing but didn’t. It took me a few moments to work up the nerve to even go near the door because I didn’t know where I’d be safer.
I decided to go inside to try and see if I could see him. I checked my bedroom window and saw him standing on the street staring at my house. I left all the lights off then called 9-1-1. The dispatcher told me they were sending someone out and to stay put behind a locked door if possible. I headed to the office.
It had a closet that locked. But then I saw our motion lights in the backyard turn on. I risked a peek out the windows and saw him trying to pull the back door open. I rushed to the closet locking as many doors in between as I could. I waited until the dispatcher told me officers had arrived. They couldn’t find anyone.
They stayed while I packed to stay with my sister until my husband got home. They told me they would check on the house for the next week. They never caught him, and I didn’t see him again. There were two nights when someone had lit a fire on our front doorstep, and I did catch someone staring at me through the window.
But it was only ever when my husband was out of town for work. Finally, we adopted a huge dog and that seemed to put an end to it. But I still check my rear-view mirror and close the garage door before I get out of my car.
17. Power Surge
My parents were away for a weekend when I was 15. I was sleeping, but a strange noise of voices woke me up. So, I went downstairs to investigate. The TV was on showing static with the volume at its maximum. The radio was on and tuned into a late-night talk show. The manual oven was also on, and the fridge door was open.
I checked all the doors and windows which were locked. I didn’t sleep a wink all night.
18. It’s Really Happening!
Our garter snakes had gotten out of their cage. We searched everywhere but didn’t find them. Finally, my husband went to bed, and I stayed up watching TV for a while. We had one of those gigantic old console TVs that someone had thrown out. Suddenly, one of the dust-covered wires came slithering out from behind the TV.
I had read Stephen King’s Dolores Claiborne not too long before, and in that book, the crazy old lady thinks the wires in her house were coming alive. I had a moment of, “it’s actually happening!” before I realized it was one of the snakes. You better believe that got my blood pumping.
19. Can Get Meow-t
Late at night, both my cat and my girlfriend’s dog started freaking out. I got up, armed myself, grabbed a flashlight, and went through the house. Both the animals were growling and hissing at one of the vents. When I shined my light there, A cat stared back at me. The previous tenants had left their cats. And apparently, there was a way for animals to get into the ventilation. Fun stuff.
20. Good Warmup
My partner had gone to work, and I was home by myself dealing with the trailer’s frozen pipes. I had to go under the trailer and turn on a heater to warm them up to get the water running again. The only way to get under the trailer was to go under the deck. I started digging out a large hole in the snow under the deck.
When there was just enough room to squeeze under, I shimmied towards the door to get under, but the ice build-up was too dense. So, soon enough, I was stuck. I’m not claustrophobic, but I started having a panic attack. I reached for my phone but realized I had left it back in the house. All I had with me was a pry bar.
I managed to grab it and started to chip the ice away under me. After ten minutes, I freed myself and got out of there. The kicker to the story is that my pipes weren’t even frozen because a city water main had broken, and so none of it was necessary.
21. Seen You Around
One summer after all my roommates had gone back home, I was living alone in a college apartment complex. One night I decided to go out and then took an Uber home, which I’d done plenty of times before. I stepped out of the Uber and started going up the stairs to my apartment. Two men were walking down at the same time.
They came up to me and started complimenting me and asking for my number and where I was going. I brushed it off but really had nowhere else to go other than inside where my car keys were. So, when I reached the door, I said to them, “Oh, my boyfriend lives here. He’s inside waiting for me.” But they shook their heads.
And one said, “You don’t have a boyfriend.” “We’ve seen you by yourself,” said the other. All I could do was just run inside. I know I probably should have reported them, but they left me alone. I was just relieved it was over, so I didn’t. Huge mistake. Well, the next night, I was watching TV laying on my couch that faced the door.
The door handle started rattling. I freaked out and went still and silent. Then it got a little more forceful and sounded like someone was pushing on the door. Terrified, I tiptoed into the kitchen and grabbed the biggest knife that I could find and went to check the peephole. It was the two guys from the night before.
I’m a pretty petite female so I knew that I was no match. They started knocking really loudly and yelling that I needed to open the door. I ran down the hallway and called the emergency number. They started kicking the door. I was shaking with adrenaline rushing through me by then, but the operator was keeping me sane.
Then the knocking and bangs stopped. I finally relaxed, and the operator told me that officers were at the apartment building searching for the two men. 15 minutes later, there was another knock at the door. It was the officers who returned to let me know they had just searched the whole complex and found nothing.
They also told me that other women in the area had made similar reports of harassment and break-ins. They even lectured me about how I should have reported it sooner. I went home for the rest of the summer and didn’t return until it was time to move-out.
22. Morning Call
While I was living on my own for the first time, I took my dog in the backyard during the early morning hours while it was still pretty dark outside before getting ready for work. That was when I heard a bloodcurdling scream from next door. I looked over to see the figure of someone jumping out the first-floor window.
The person went to hop the fence into my yard. The burglar was coming right at me. Luckily, my dog was skittish and already running back to me because of the scream. I slammed the door and locked it then dialed 9-1-1. Somehow, I made the call before the guy next door could because he was still in shock.
23. Can’t Walk The Walk
My house is on a main street, so it’s always busy with people coming and going. Earlier that day, I had answered the front door for a delivery, unlocking it to do so, and got on with whatever I was doing after that. Much later in the day as it was getting dark, I was upstairs in my bed when I heard the front door open.
I assumed it was my mom coming home from work because it was around the right time. It wasn’t. The first thing that tipped me off was the fact that I could not hear her keys. She has a ridiculous number of keys that you can hear a mile off, and she’s always struggling with them. The living room door didn’t open either.
My mom would always open that door to greet all three dogs that, this whole time, hadn’t made a sound. The final thing that made my blood run cold was the very slow and very careful footsteps coming up the stairs. They were heavy and obviously didn’t sound like my relatively petite mom. I laid in bed paralyzed in fear.
Then a big man’s head appeared at my door. I could only assume that he was as shocked to see me as I was to see him because he immediately spluttered, “Sorry, wrong house,” before hauling himself down the stairs as fast as he could. The minute that I heard the door shut, I was down those stairs locking that door quicker than I’ve ever done anything in my entire life.
24. Collision Shatter
One day, my mom wasn’t home. Our TV wasn’t working, so I was upstairs playing with my toys. Suddenly, a wooden pole flew into the window right by the couch that we used to watch TV. All of the glass fell onto the couch and floor, scaring the living daylights out of me. It turned out that a car had crashed right into the backyard fence, which sent wood and debris flying everywhere.
25. Mirrored Ways
When I was 14, I was playing hide and seek with my four-year-old brother. I was hiding, and he was taking quite a while to find me. I was hiding in his room which was right next to mine. Suddenly, he came running into his room and went straight to where I was. I asked him how he knew where I was. He looked me in the eyes, and what he said still sends chills up my spine when I think about it.
He told me solemnly, “The man in your mirror told me where you were hiding.”
26. Poor Sleeping Arrangements
One morning, I woke up really early and wanted to watch TV. It was dark, and there was a pile of blankets on the floor. I stepped on it to reach the TV when a strange man jumped up! I screamed the house down. After all the panic settled, I found out that my sister forgot to tell me that her boyfriend was sleeping over.
27. Silent Reflection
Growing up, we had this large old mirror with a thick wood frame leaning against the wall in our hallway. I was doing homework in the kitchen but got up to grab something from the living room. The hallway connected the two rooms. I passed through it, got what I’d needed in the living room, and turned around to go back.
That old mirror was broken on the floor. It was SHATTERED, with pieces everywhere as if it had just exploded. It had been completely fine when I’d passed by it seconds before. I never heard it break, which was the spookiest part. I just kind of walked by it and headed out the door not sure what to do. It was terrifying.
28. Who Said That?
I was in the house alone one night, and from my room, I heard deep, guttural voices. I went in to check, but nothing and no one was there. It happened a few more times that night. And every time, I would check and find nothing. As I stood again perplexed, I heard the voices again. It was coming from my stereo speakers!
A nearby operator was getting through to my stereo somehow, and I wasn’t being haunted by some loud, grumbly ghosts.
29. Down In The Darkness
One time when I was seven, I was home alone and sitting at the breakfast bar counter when I heard talking inside the house, specifically, down in the basement. The stairs were right off the kitchen, and we would often leave the old wooden door open to let the cool air come up from the basement during the hot summer months.
The house was old and had weird architecture. I didn’t like the basement. So, when I heard speaking, I turned off the tiny TV on the counter because I thought it was coming from that. It wasn’t. It was two men talking in a low, albeit normal, tone. I went to the basement door and, very quietly, turned my ear to listen.
The voices became clearer, and I heard the distinct sound of footsteps on the very unfinished basement floor. I grabbed the extra-long cord kitchen phone, ran out the side door curling around the corner of my house, and dialed the emergency number. I kept the side door in my view as officers arrived ten minutes later.
They checked the basement and then the whole house. Nothing. No one was there. …But I know what I heard.
30. There’s The Fire
It was just a normal afternoon home alone when the fire alarm went off in my building. I thought it was just a test until I heard something explode right above me. The apartment above mine caught fire. I grabbed my cat and bolted down 11 flights of stairs to see flames bursting 10 feet out of the balcony above my unit. It was terrifying, but thank god I was home.
31. Getting A Callback
I woke up one morning to a guy staring into my window right at me. I jumped up, ran to the kitchen, grabbed a knife, and went to confront the guy. I heard someone yell, “Hey, over here, you idiot!” The man apologized profusely before running across the street where he was supposed to be working on a remodel. So that turned from terror into comedy.
32. No Pleas For Me
I was 19 and living in an unfinished basement in a bad part of town. It was summer, and there was no AC. So, in my closet, there was a big window that I had opened. As a line cook, I didn’t get back home until 3 in the morning. I made something to eat and sat down. I was just browsing and munching when I heard a noise.
Thinking it was the TV, I brushed it off. But then I heard a scratching sound and a loud groan. A man’s voice followed, “Help me, man.” I immediately panicked. He was yelling at me and calling me all sorts of names. It was absolutely terrifying. I ran to the window, locked it, and sprinted upstairs to wake my landlord.
Since we were both ladies with little defensive skills, we stayed inside watching from the window while emergency vehicles arrived. Apparently, it was some guy who walked a block with his bone sticking out of his thigh. I kept my window closed after that and dealt with the humidity for my remaining time there.
33. New At This
I moved into a house and wanted to install a security system. I got one that had cameras, door and window sensors, motion detectors, etc. Installing everything myself was pretty easy and straightforward. For the first week, if the alarm goes off, there’s no response so you can get used to it. Three days in, it went off.
It was 3 in the morning, and the alarm was blaring. I jumped out of my bed in a panic. I couldn’t believe my luck that an intruder got in with a lot of my stuff ready for the taking already in boxes. I turned off the alarm, armed myself, and cleared the whole house. There was no sign of anyone or anything out of place.
I found that I hadn’t secured one of the sensors properly. It fell and went off sensing movement. I felt pretty dumb after that, but it was scary when I did think it was an intruder.
34. Funny Feeling
When I was 14, my parents left me home alone to go out for dinner. Two hours after they left, all three of my dogs lying beside me jumped up and stared at the window out to the front yard. They were all growling. So, like any sensible person, I armed myself, put my dogs on their leashes, and went outside the back door.
When I rounded the corner to the front yard, my dogs almost ripped the leashes from my hand. They were snarling at a man in a clown costume with his hands up. He screamed, “I’m sorry! It was just a prank, bro. Don’t hurt me!”
35. Unexpected Visitor
My apartment was on the top floor of a four-story building that had a slanted shingled roof. One time, I heard what sounded like a possum or raccoon jumping on the roof. Then suddenly, there was a loud boom that shook the apartment. Out of nowhere, a man was on the balcony somehow. He was screaming that he was in danger.
I yelled through the glass to get down and that I was calling for help. Seconds later, I heard a horrifying noise. It was the glass sliding doors being smashed to bits. The man had thrown a potted plant into my living room. In the kitchen, I grabbed a knife and yelled, “Get out or I will hurt you!” He ran to the door and left. Officers arrived 10 minutes later.
They found the man and took him into custody. Apparently, the guy was 25 and had skipped his meds. He ran out of his parent’s house thinking someone was hunting him. It was hard for me to sleep for a few nights after that.
36. Can I Take A Look Around?
My parents married in their teens and thus didn’t have a lot of money when I was younger. Our house was filled with typical cheap 90s furniture. But we lived in a semi-suburban area that was relatively safe. One night, I was with my brother and sister eating our typical ramen dinner. There was a knock at the backdoor.
My brother opened it. This curly-haired man was there and just came inside. He was wearing a cheap suit and had a single paper towel. He gave us a spiel and tried to sell it to us. My brother obviously said no and to leave. That was when he tried to push the guy out, but the guy fought back. He managed to get past him.
As he was scoping the place, my sister called the emergency number. The guy got lost soon after. But my sister and I like to joke that he was probably looking to take stuff from our house except there was nothing worth taking.
37. Rain And Shine
When I was a kid, I was home alone during a thunderstorm. It was a pretty nasty lightning storm with tons of thunder. I was on the couch cuddling my dog because she was terrified of the loud noises and flashing lights. We had two Bartlett pear trees in our front yard, and during the storm, lightning struck one of them.
It felt and sounded like the whole world was exploding, and I’m pretty sure I screamed while it was happening. Our dog was scared too and peed herself a little, which I can’t blame her for at all. That was, by far, the most terrifying thing I’ve experienced while home alone. The wall of sound just disrupted everything.
38. Help Yourself
I was 13 and upstairs playing video games when someone kicked in my front door. I ran and saw two men entering. They didn’t see me, so I slowly and quietly went back to my room. I turned off the TV and hid under my bed while they tore my house apart. One man came into my room and took the console that I’d been playing.
By then, I was pretty sure they would find me as I was breathing heavily out of fear—but that wasn’t the worst part. The same person then went to my brother’s room and smashed the birdcage. He killed the bird because it wouldn’t be quiet. They stayed in the house for a while breaking stuff looking for whatever. They even took a drink from the fridge.
Then, they relaxed and sat on our couch. Eventually, they left, but I stayed under the bed until my dad came home.
39. Not Like The Others
I went through a hurricane without evacuating because, well, I had done so multiple times in the past. But this time, when the backside of the wall hit my corner condo up on the top floor, it busted my windows and blew my front door open. That sent a flood of water inside from what was already gushing down the walkway.
I couldn’t get to the stairs at that point. The power was out, so I couldn’t use any elevators. For the next 45 minutes, I thought that the roof and walls would collapse and they’d find my body in the rubble the next day. But they didn’t, and I’m still alive 25 years later.
40. Surprised To See You There
We had just moved into our brand new home. My husband went to get dinner, and I was setting up the TV. That was when, suddenly, I spotted a man was walking down the stairs! We both yelled at the top of our lungs, and I ran out. Thankfully, the next-door neighbors were outside. I squeaked that there was a strange man in my house.
The man came out and walked towards us. He told me that he worked for the development and had been fixing one of the bathrooms upstairs. My husband forgot to tell me he was there.
41. Bred To Defend
Years ago, I had the sweetest little dog that never barked. One night, I was home alone and laying on my bed with her. Suddenly, she jumped up and went absolutely wild barking her head off and jumping at the window above my bed. We lived up on the side of the mountain and had no neighbors within five miles. I freaked out.
I got out of my room and spent the night on the couch. In the morning, I was throwing the trash out and discovered that the cans had these huge claw slashes in the aluminum. Those cans were just outside my bedroom window. My sweet little miniature Schnauzer was ready to take on a freaking bear for me the night before!
42. Popping Bottles
I was 12 and home alone on a winter day using the desktop that shared a wall with our unheated garage. The house was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop. Out of nowhere, this boom erupted from the garage and made the wall shake and tremble. I jumped behind the couch to hide because I thought there was an explosion.
I stayed there for 20 minutes to get my heart rate down. Once I was calm and brave enough to go check what happened, I discovered that a frozen 2L bottle of soda blew up and fell off the shelf.
43. Grass Is Greener
I was 15 and home by myself watching a scary movie. It was nighttime, and I heard something scraping against the side of my house. I was freaking out. It kept going. I finally gathered enough courage to look. I found the goat eating the grass and weeds right by my window scraping his horns on the outside of the house.
44. Just Dropping By
I was 19 and stayed behind while my family went away for the weekend. I’d had a pretty rough night and was intoxicated. I had cut off all my long hair thinking to “reinvent myself” since I was starting university the next week. I was getting out of the shower after rinsing the fresh-cut hair off my neck in the shower.
I left the bathroom to find a note in the hallway that said, “I was going to leave you a note but I see that you are here.” Naturally, I was walking with no clothes on in my house as I thought that I was alone. But when I opened the door to my room, I found a guy with his hair in his face standing there grinning at me!
I panicked and let out a bloodcurdling scream like a 19-year-old girl, wearing no clothes, encountering an unexpected stranger in their empty house at two in the morning does—until I recognized him. It was this boy who I had dated in my first year of high school for a few weeks until he ran away from home. I hadn’t seen him in three years.
He had heard I was moving away and just wanted to talk. He didn’t hurt me or threaten me in any way…other than breaking into my house in the middle of the night. He handed me some clothes from my bed, and we talked until he eventually left. Two years later, I found out that he had been institutionalized with schizophrenia.
45. Scare Tactics
When we were all about 16, my friends and I were watching The Human Centipede. Right when the suspense was at its highest, there was this huge boom. The power went out. We looked outside and saw that every other house on the street still had its lights on. That was when, in complete silence, we heard a scratch at the door.
I’ve never seen a group of teenage boys scream so loudly and grab golf clubs and baseball bats that fast in my life. We made a formation and backed out of the house. We got in the car and went to the nearest diner. We learned it was a planned blackout for the town, and the neighbors had their backup generators running.
46. Daddy’s Girl
I was 24, alone at my apartment, and a spider the size of my freaking palm streaked across the couch. He stopped to look at me, obviously planning my demise, before boldly leaping off the couch and disappearing. I flipped. I tried to find that vicious arachnid for 30 minutes. Then I panicked and cried for a good 20 minutes.
So then, I called my father in the middle of the night to come over and deal with it. He was furious and in bed, and here I was a grown adult crying over some spider. He found the thing in the bathroom. Once he was over and dealt with the spider and saw how big it was, he quit yelling at me and being as upset about it.
47. Taking Aim
When I was growing, a women’s body was found in her house nearby, and it took a couple of days to catch who did it. Well, I was more than a little freaked out that whoever did it was on the loose. The next night, a massive thunderstorm was blowing through during which I got up to use the bathroom. I was standing there doing my thing.
And then the wind blew part of the gutter off. It smashed into the window next to me. I screamed like a little girl and took off running midstream peeing everywhere, all over the bathroom, and down the hall.
48. Batter’s Up
I was 13 and home alone. I left the living room window open and went to my room to play on the computer. After about 15 minutes, I heard something moving in the living room and thought to myself that it was probably just the wind, so I left it. But it continued for 10 more minutes, so I decided to go check what it was.
And right there in my living room was this huge bat flying in circles. I panicked at first but then calmed down enough to get my broom to try and hit it. After 20 minutes of trying, I finally got it good, picked it up with a dust shovel, and threw it out the window. The winged creature flew instantly after getting out.
Never again have I kept windows open in empty rooms.
49. Sounds Like A Terrible Idea
I was a Peace Corps volunteer and lived alone in a small house on the gated school grounds where I worked. For the front half of my house, the “walls” were chain link fencing attached to support pillars, the floor, and the ceiling. My bedroom had solid walls and a door that locked, but it was so hot that I never closed it.
One night, it was raining hard, and I was watching shows on my laptop as usual. I kept just barely hearing a weird pinging. I’d pause my show to listen but not hear anything else. My house was also full of rats and bugs, so I was used to constant little noises. A few times, I felt the “pings” as much as I’d heard them.
It was as if the wall was vibrating slightly. Again, I’d pause my show, listen, and hear nothing suspicious. After a while, I got ready for bed, put my laptop away, tucked my mosquito net under my mattress, and used my phone to watch my shows until I was tired. I woke up to what sounded like someone whispering my name.
I sat half up and saw the shape of a person crouched next to my bed. I reached out and touched someone’s hand inside my net tent. I think I may have whispered a shocked-sounding “What?!” And the person jumped and ran out of the room. It happened so fast; I honestly thought I’d dreamed it. I still got up to look around.
I checked if I had left the front door unlocked. I thought maybe a member of my host family saw it swinging open and came in to check on me. Nope. Door locked. I thought maybe one of the chain-link panels had come loose, so I started walking around my front room and porch pushing on each one to see if they were secure.
When I came to the very last panel, I made a chilling discovery. There was a gaping hole. Someone had cut through it and bent the wires back so it would stay open. The pings I’d heard were wire cutters. Whoever it was, he must have been hiding in my house for hours watching and waiting for me to fall asleep. He hadn’t taken anything or hurt me at all.
But the moment I saw that hole in my “wall” was the most terrified I’ve ever been in my life.
50. I’ll Huff And I’ll Puff
When I was 14, we shared our house with another man who lived on the floor below us. I was home with my younger brother while our mom went out. All of a sudden, the man came screaming and banging on the door. He was yelling about how downstairs was flooding and it was coming from our bathroom. I didn’t know what to do.
But because he was an adult, I trusted him and opened the door. He came in, ran into the bathroom, and did something. After I told my mom, she called management. What they told her was truly disturbing. There had never been a leak. There didn’t find water marks or any other signs of flooding. So, my mom told us not to open the door for him again.
The next time my mom went out, he came banging on the door again. We told him that our mom said we shouldn’t open the door for him. His reaction was terrifying. He did not appreciate that and he went absolutely crazy. “Let me in now!” He screamed over and over again all the while banging on the door. We never found out why he wanted to come in.