Everyone loves a good horror story, but what happens when the nightmares from the big screen show up in real life? Whether it’s creeps in the alley or phantoms in the attic, real encounters with things that go bump in the night are far scarier than anything Hollywood could dream up. The Reddit folks below will never forget their hair-raising experiences.
1. Acting Up
My sister and her husband had just had their first child a few months prior. My brother-in-law was working the graveyard shift at his job while my sister stayed home taking care of my nephew. Around 2 am, she heard loud knocking on her back door. She went to go check it out and saw a lady banging on the door, asking for my sister to let her in.
The lady told my sister that her husband had just beat her down the street and was looking for her. My sister was hesitant to let her in since she had a newborn in the house and didn't want to interfere. She told the lady that the best she could do was call the authorities for her. This is where my sister got suspicious. The lady told my sister to not call them and to let her in.
She went to get her phone and called the authorities. When she went back to the door, the lady was gone. The officers arrived a few minutes later and they told my sister that the same situation had happened a few streets down. Apparently, the couple would do this act to get into people's homes.
I'm sure this is very common but having it almost happen to my sister and my nephew just creeps me out. It’s some real Clockwork Orange stuff.
2. Sneaking Around
Officer here. I was dispatched to a house at about 1 am for a prowler. We got there and spoke to the residents. Long story short, they saw two people wearing masks in the yard across the street. It was like two weeks past Halloween, so it seemed believable. We checked the area and didn’t see anything. It's worth noting the residents didn't seem inebriated or crazy at all. We had no clue what we were in for...
Sometimes you'll get a similar call and get there to find the resident strung out and seeing things. However, back to the story. An hour later, we got called back. This time, we had our dispatcher on the phone with them while we were surrounding the area. About five of us were in a perfect position when dispatch told us they could still see the prowlers in the next yard.
We started to move in. Dispatch said the residents saw the two prowlers wave and move into the shed. Guess where I was? That's right, next to the shed. I gave verbal commands, banged on the door. There was nothing. I thought, “Screw it, fine. I'll come in after you”. I got the doors open and I couldn't believe my eyes. It was...empty. I even thought to check for a trap door. Nothing.
It was raised about four inches, so there wasn’t even a possibility of a door leading out. I checked the area again and found nothing. I talked to the residents. They said as I was moving in on the shed, the two prowlers had put their finger to their lips, giving the “shhhh” sign, and then they both waved.
They had walked into the shed as I was next to it. We went over every possibility trying to come up with an explanation. If the caller was just screwing with us, they had no prior history of it. I'm not much of a believer in paranormal stuff but I can still appreciate a situation where I cannot logically explain what just happened.
3. A Fruitless Romance
I was visiting my hometown and decided to pick up my old high school friend and take him to dinner and a drink to catch up. He was kind of stressed and told me that his ex, with whom he had broken up with over two years prior, had been stalking him and harassing him. I drove him home afterward, and it started to drizzle.
As I dropped him off at his house, we both noticed a bag tied to my side view mirror. It had likely been attached when we were at the restaurant. We opened it to see a bad photo of a tree, taken at night with flash. There was a brief letter, obviously written from his ex. It said: "I buried our first love letter under this tree years ago. This tree is growing from our love”.
I made sure my friend got into his house alright and got the heck out of there.
4. Listen Up
I was hiking down a trail with my dog in remote northern Wisconsin, when I just got a weird feeling. At the exact same time, the hackles on my dog went straight up and he began acting really anxious. I then came into a clearing in the woods, and got hit with what I can only describe as a soundwave.
It was like someone was blasting a subwoofer right next to me but there was nothing around. The nearest road was maybe a mile away. Something told me to get the heck out of there. So, I quickly turned around and hiked as quickly as possible the rest of the way back. I didn't hear that bass sound after I left the clearing but for a while, I still felt like something was following me.
5. Sweet Dreams
15 years ago, I had a seasonal job with the US Forest Service in western Colorado for the summer. I was living in an old ranger station by myself. One night, I had a dream that someone was walking around the cabin while I was in bed. That wasn't the most chilling part. When I woke up that morning, the front door was wide open. For the rest of the summer, I slept with a weapon close by.
6. Artificial Intelligence
It was the mid-90s. My brother and I were probably about seven and five, respectively. We used to wake up every weekend and play computer games before my parents woke up. One day, we turned on the computer and got an eerie message that was directed to us. It said: "Hello, Kid A and Kid B. This is your computer talking and I. AM. ALIVEEEEEE. Do not run and tell your parents, they cannot help you now!!!"
Turns out my dad had programmed the computer to say that upon start up.
I volunteered as an EMT in a small village just outside New York City as a senior in high school and my first few years of college. This night, we were on-call for not only our town but the surrounding two villages, who were out of service. One of the villages wasn’t exactly the best neighborhood. Now, generally we always had an officer on every scene we went to just because they could always get there faster.
This time around, though, in this bordering village, there was a fire on the other side of town and some sort of investigation elsewhere. Basically, the department’s resources were stretched thin. A call came in for a 25-year-old male with a facial wound at a private residence. They told us that the patient was in the backyard.
We were dispatched and told that there were no officers available and no Advanced Life Support available. It was just me and my driver. While that was standard in most agencies, it still felt very unnerving to me. So, we got on-scene and it was an apartment building with an open yard in the back that we could drive onto.
My driver pulled onto the field and he saw the patient sitting in the shadows as though he was hiding. Something felt off and that feeling prompted me to hit the flood lights on the ambulance, illuminating most of the yard. The moment the lights came on, we saw about seven other men with tire irons and baseball bats standing in what was once pitch blackness.
My driver hit it in reverse, and we got the heck out of there. I got on the radio and called for immediate assistance. Turns out those guys were planning on jumping us, taking the narcotics from the ambulance, and taking the rig for a joy ride. To this day, I fear what would have happened if we had just walked up to the patient.
8. The Hunter
Our two normally placid black Labradors woke me up by making an awful growly barking sound I'd never heard them make. There was real aggression and fear in the bark. My bedroom was on the ground floor, and we lived in the countryside with a huge common and woods out back of the house. I went into the kitchen, and the dogs were glaring at the back door and making a big fuss.
This made my hair stand on end and their obvious terror communicated itself to me. I grabbed a flashlight and steeled myself. Thinking that it might have been an intruder, I armed myself with a fire poker and then opened the back door. It was pitch dark and as I opened the door, both dogs shied away and ran into the other room.
I poked my head and the flashlight out the back door. Just for a split-second, I saw the reflective eyes of a really large creature somewhere up the garden, maybe ten meters away. They blinked as the creature turned away and disappeared into the darkness. There is literally nothing in England that can account for this.
I slammed the door shut and me and the dogs slept in my bedroom, half terrified. Shortly after that, I learned another dark truth. The local paper featured an article about some unexplained sheep deaths on a farm that was a couple kilometers away from ours. They had been ripped to shreds, and it looked as if a large predator had gotten them.
9. Order Up
Old men are creepy sometimes. I worked at my local Dairy Queen for about three and a half years. I loved it there, but the customers were too much sometimes. And I’m not sure how they got away with it, but they only hired girls. My first year there, I was 16 and had just finished with training. One of my first customers was an old man with his wife.
She ordered and looked to him, suggesting that it was his turn. I asked politely, "What can I get for you, sir?" He said, "I'll take two of you young girls to go please", and then he winked. It made my skin crawl.
10. Never Alone
I live in the country, and it is weird how BOTH my dogs will key in on something and run to a place in the yard, focused, driven, hackles up, and snarling...and there is absolutely nothing there. Nothing! And they aren't looking down or digging, they look up. A few weeks later, it will happen again, in a different area of the property.
I’ve been here for years now and even the new dogs do it. Something is here with us.
11. Family Reunion
My eight-year-old self was sitting in the dining room, drawing at the kitchen table. I heard what sounded exactly like my mother speak to me: "Hello, Ryan”. I turned to my left expecting to see my mother. It was something much worse. Instead, a full-body shadow person is standing there about three meters away from me in my kitchen. I sat in shock looking at it for about 10 seconds.
The shadow person then turned to its left and walked into the wall. I stood up and walked the opposite direction, into the living room where my brother was doing homework. He asked me what was wrong. I said, “I saw a ghost”. He asked, "Is that what called your name?" It is very notable that I never told my brother it said my name.
To give some backstory to who this shadow person may have been, my grandmother passed from lung cancer about eight months before that incident. She had the same voice as my mother. She also cared for me when I was a baby, but I never knew her well. In her terminal stages of her life, I went and saw her with my family. She looked incredibly bad.
My only remembrance of my grandmother is when she was dying. The one thing I have found truly odd about the experience is how much power it would have taken to manifest herself and speak. And out of any message to tell me using that much power, she said “hello” to me? It's just so weird.
12. Curious Casper
I'm rather rural, like an hour from even a supermarket. A few months ago, I was in my recliner, trying to sleep. My eyes popped open, only to see a solid black figure standing just off the corner of the chair. It bent over at the waist and turned its neck funny. It was like it was trying to get a good look at me at eye level.
I panicked a bit and all I could do was yell, "What, what, WHAT!" And then it disappeared. Part of me thought I must have been dreaming. But then I realized that my German Shepherd was hiding underneath the foot of the recliner, which was something he had never done in his six years. He did that for the next few weeks.
13. Wrong Number
I was camping alone in the middle of the plains in North Dakota. A storm blew in and I was stuck in my tent under some trees and got a super strange feeling. I had two phones on me at the time. One had internet and was for navigating and the other was just for cell reception. All of a sudden, one of the phones starting ringing.
I looked at the caller ID. The call was coming from my other phone, which was closed and in my hand.
14. All Stuffed Up
My scariest moment happened last night. I picked up a nasty cold last week when I was visiting Boston. I've been all coughy and phlegmy and mucusy and gross. Sleeping is obviously difficult. My spouse says that I coughed for hours even though I thought I had been soundly asleep, so I've been sleeping in the other room.
Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night, completely unable to breathe. Not like "my nose is stuffed up, breathing is difficult" but "I'm literally choking and zero air is moving through my body and my brain is beginning to starve for oxygen”. My guess is I rolled onto my back and my respiratory system got blocked with mucus or something.
I stood up and still couldn't breathe. I ran to the main bedroom and dropped onto all fours and still, not a single molecule of air was moving into or out of my body. I was there for what felt like an eternity. It felt like I was underwater, or someone was strangling me, and I was completely incapable of taking a single breath.
Finally, after probably 45 seconds, the phlegm or whatever moved just a little bit and I was able to draw in a tiny amount of air and begin coughing. I was in full-on tears and thought I was going to die right there. All I could think about was my dear childhood friend who passed last year in his sleep with what seemed like a simple flu.
He was only 37, and I thought that I was about to follow him to an early grave because of a stupid cold. I can't imagine what would have happened if I had been 60 or 80 or whatever and had that experience. Or if I’d just been unhealthy from lifestyle or some other disease. I might not have been able to write this post this morning.
I used to own five acres of land with a cow field as my only neighbor on all sides. I’ve always sung these really silly songs to my pups. One is the nursery rhyme “Daisy, Daisy”. I sing the songs inside my house, mostly, because my dogs are indoor dogs. Anyway, one crisp fall evening, I was inside my house alone with my windows open.
I heard a faint, low whistle. It was the “Daisy, Daisy” tune, whistled slowly and deliberately. At the end of the verse, the whistling stopped. I was too scared to look outside. I’ll never know what caused that noise.
16. A Cry For Help
One night, about ten months ago, there was a pretty heavy snowstorm in my area. All of the roads were closed, and a curfew was issued for everybody except emergency medical personnel. I had been shoveling snow for most of the day and was exhausted come nightfall. I didn't have the energy to do much of anything besides eat dinner and lay down.
I fired up some original Star Trek and began to doze off. A couple of hours later, around 1 am, I heard the sound of a door rattling and a slight whisper saying my name. I sat up a bit and realized it was coming from my parents' room and became fainter as time passed. After 10 minutes or so, I gathered up the courage to see what the heck was going on.
With a cruddy folding knife in hand, I peaked out into the hallway and didn’t see anything. The noise was still coming from the room next door, and the rattling became more rushed as I approached. Cautiously, I opened the door and snuck inside. It was pitch black and I couldn’t see anything. My eyes were taking entirely too long to adjust to the darkness.
I was shuffling forward when, suddenly, something grabbed and pulled on my leg. At this point, I was so freaked out that I jumped back. As the whispers continued, it got so much more terrifying. I recognized my dad's voice. He was asking me for help. Turns out he had a stroke while walking to use the bathroom around 1 am that night. After he fell, he was able to use his left foot to rattle the door to his bathroom.
My mom had fallen asleep on the couch in the living room and wasn't around to help or hear him. I was able to grab the house phone and called emergency services. Despite the weather, officers and an ambulance arrived within 10 minutes. That was the scariest night of my life. Before going into surgery, the doctors told us there wasn't much hope for my dad.
He had a hemorrhagic stroke and there was a massive amount of bleeding. Fast forward 10 months, and my old man was cognitively the same, just paralyzed on his right side. He had every infection under the sun while in the hospital, but he staved them off and is still with us today. He was my best friend before the incident, and my hero after.
17. Stranger Danger
When I was 16 in the mid-90s, I got in a fight with an acquaintance while a whole bunch of us were hanging out at his house. It was a stupid fight, and I can't remember what it was about, but I decided “Screw it, I’m going home”. I lived a few miles away, but I didn't have a car and since it was 2 am, there were no buses.
Even so, I was determined to walk home…in the middle of the night, through a not-as-safe-as-it-seems neighborhood, as a tiny 16-year-old girl. I think, in hindsight, my friends either didn't believe I was going to do it or were too startled by the sudden argument to realize what I was doing. I left the house and started hoofing it.
About mile out, the suburban housing neighborhood melted into a main street, with highway access. I started to notice a greyish minivan following me. It would follow me, pass me, turn a corner, and about three blocks later, it would do the same thing. It was really obvious what the minivan was doing.
I crossed over to the other side of the street, so that I was walking the opposite of traffic flow and no car could come up behind me. It kept doing it, on the other side of the street. About another mile later, there was a 24-hour convenience store. Its lights were bright, but the parking lot was a bit empty.
I immediately crossed the parking lot and went to head inside. Just before I got to the doors, the minivan that had been following me pulled up into one of the parking spots. A guy called out from the driver side and said, "I don't want you to walk over here, just stay there and listen. I just wanted to let you know what I was doing”.
The guy continued, “I saw you walking a while back, but I also saw a dark car that was following you. A couple of times you went to turn around, or stopped, so it started following you down a parallel side street. When I saw it, I started to follow you both, just to make sure you were safe. Go inside the store and call someone to come pick you up, please. I haven't seen the car since you headed across the lot".
He waited until I was inside the store, and then pulled away. I didn't have anyone to call, so I just let the night cashier know what was going on and hung out with her for about an hour and a half. Then I finished the walk home. I've never forgotten the incident, or that man, whoever he was. During the walk, I never saw the dark car he mentioned, but I've always been convinced he saved my life that night.
18. Intruder Alert!
I was out of town on business and my security camera went off in the middle of the night. I checked it and saw a blurry white light moving erratically in the bottom left corner of the screen. Now, I was half asleep in a hotel hundreds of miles away from home and I don't believe in ghosts, so my first thought was that someone was shining a flashlight in the house to case it.
Not knowing what else to do and not wanting to call the authorities and look foolish, I used the two-way sound on the camera to yell, "Get away from the house, I'm calling the police!" The moving light didn't seem to react to that, so I just sat there in my hotel room, watching it until it stopped. The next night it happened again. And then again, the night after.
I showed the footage to my colleagues, and they were convinced that it was a ghost. I asked the pet sitter to look around the house for footprints in the snow, but there was nothing there. I finally got home, and nothing was out of place. But then I had an unsettling realization. I had to sleep in the house with the weird moving light.
So, when the sun went down, I was desperately trying to figure out what it was. Two days later, I did. It had been a very bad winter and I had taken the Internet’s advice and thrown panty hose filled with rock salt up into my gutters to prevent ice dams. The string hanging down from one of them had an ice crystal on it.
That little ice crystal was blowing in the breeze and reflecting the driveway lights back into the house. So, it’s absolutely not creepy at all. But when you're away from home and see a floating orb in your house, it will give one the willies for sure.
19. Bed Buddies
I've had multiple times when I’ve woken up in the middle of the night and was sure I could see a figure in my room until I turned on my bedside light. Usually this scares me a bit but my most memorable one was waking up thinking I saw some short figure at the end of my bloody bed. I said, “Screw off, I'm trying to sleep".
Then, I returned to burying my face into the comfort of my pillow. It seems like it worked—it hasn’t sat on my bed since.
20. If Walls Could Talk
I was sitting in our office room, home alone. I was 19 and typing a paper for one of my college classes. The office room used to be my sister’s room before she moved out, so a lot of her decorations were still there. She had a photo of a mountain range, an oval-shaped mirror, and three different signs that read "faith", "hope", and "love".
Suddenly, I got random chills. That happened a lot because it was pretty cold. But this time it was different. As soon as I got the chills, everything in the room hanging on the walls fell off simultaneously. That really freaked me out, but it got worse. I got up and walked out of the room only to notice EVERYTHING hanging on the walls in the house had fallen.
All the pictures in the living room and other rooms, all the trophies from little league sports in my room, and even a stand that held candles. I wasn't sure what to do. I picked up all the stuff and hung it back up, which actually took me around 15-20 minutes. Then I drove to campus to finish my paper. I never told my parents.
21. Let Me In
I was eight years old, in VERY rural Appalachia. I was sitting on my couch with my dad around 9 pm in winter, with freshly fallen snow. We were watching, of all things, Sightings, an old 90s show about alien encounters that scared the heck out of me. At some point through the show, we heard a KNOCK, KNOCK, KNOCK on the window.
Keep in mind it’s pitch-black outside, so whatever was knocking could see us, but we couldn’t see them. Dad told me to sit right there with the telephone beside me, and he ran outside with a mag light to go see what it was. He locked the door behind him, and he had explicit instructions to call the authorities if he didn’t come back in five minutes.
I was terrified. Dad went around the house. When he came back in, he downplayed the whole thing, and said it must have been an animal. But directly after all of this, he took the phone into the other room and called his best friend to come up and investigate. He thought I was zoned out watching TV, but I was listening.
He said, “I’m telling you, there was a knock like someone was knocking on the window to be let in, but there were no footprints”. It’s still scary and I’m in my late 30s now.
22. The Playful Poltergeist
My aunt and uncle moved into a 19th-century home in a small town in Maine a few years back. It was like something from Stephen King. Their neighbors warned them about previous paranormal incidents. Since they moved in, many more incidents have taken place. These incidents include but are not limited to an in-your-face chocolate smell in the kitchen when no one had been cooking and random items appearing in places they shouldn't be.
My aunt was a retired school administrator, and she had a filing cabinet full of old documents in the basement. One night, while I was visiting, a binder from that filing cabinet was underneath my bed when I woke up. The filing cabinet was in the very back of their storage space and would have required someone to scramble over camping equipment, old furniture, etc, to get to it.
Sometimes there were unexplained banging noises, but the most memorable incident for me was when my uncle noticed that his medication went missing. My aunt yelled to the "ghost" that his medication was important and was the one thing that was not to be played with. They later found his pill bottles standing upright underneath the bed.
Since they were standing upright, they couldn't have rolled underneath. The pills never went missing again. The ghost has not really done anything harmful and from what I have heard can even be described as playful. We have affectionately dubbed the presence "Gracie the Ghost".
23. Questionable Circumstances
One of the most unsettling incidents in my life would be during family dinner when I was about eight years old. My mom suddenly came out with the most terrifying sentences of my life. ''It took me months to get your father's blood stains out of the wall. The smell of his body was terrible and really clung, too''. She then gazed off into the distance, utterly unaware of how shocking such a remark would be.
My dad took his life not long after they split up. He did it in the kitchen of our flat while we were staying at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. Someone, presumably my dad, also turned the thermostat up to the max before he passed. He wasn't found for several weeks either. So, yeah, I can imagine it was quite a horrific scene.
My impression was that mom was psychologically damaged by going through that, and as a result, she lost any sense of what was appropriate to share with a child. Sometimes I do wonder if there was foul play and that's why the thermostat was cranked to the max. It could also explain why no one bothered to check on a man who was known to be going through a rough time and alone in a house, not going to work, and had failed to show up for his psych appointments for three weeks.
At the least, it was neglectful. Sometimes it's hard hugging my mom when I have suspicions that she had a greater role in my dad’s demise than she will ever admit to. I know how clever and scheming she can be. But I will never know for sure. And I know how hurtful and angry I get when someone thinks they know that I'm guilty of something and I know I'm innocent. So, I try to keep it buried.
24. The Observer
When I was in high school, I was home alone one night during the winter and I was upstairs on the computer. I was talking to someone on AOL Instant Messenger when I specifically remember having an uneasy feeling and telling the person I was messaging that I felt like someone was in the house, or that I was being watched.
I went downstairs and peeked around the corner. Our back door that went into our sunroom was wide open. It was about 10 degrees out and no one else was there, but that door was open. I freaked out and ran to the kitchen and got a big knife. I started screaming stuff like I knew someone was there, like, "I see you! I called the authorities!"
I walked through the house in a way that no one could get out past me without me seeing—or so I thought. After I cleared the house, I assumed maybe the door hadn’t been latched and a draft pushed it open or something. I got over it pretty quick. But later that night, about five houses down, it turns out a woman was tied up in her bedroom by a man who threatened to kill her.
I don't remember the specifics, but she somehow escaped and called the authorities. The guy was never caught. I still have no idea if anyone was in my house that same night, but it's an awfully weird coincidence if not.
25. Deja Vu
On the way to a camping trip, I passed by an old, painted up car with decorations of Muppets and stuff on it. It was obviously owned by a crazy person who couldn't drive very fast. But without stopping, we passed the same car 40 minutes later.
26. Into The Void
One time, in high school, my pencil fell off my desk and disappeared. I kid you not. I am as sure as I can be that no one quickly grabbed it as a joke. I think I would have seen and the people around me weren't really like that anyway. I checked in a wide radius around my desk thinking it could have caught an odd bounce off the eraser. Nope.
I watched it roll lazily off the side of my desk and immediately leaned over to retrieve it, and...it was gone. I went from annoyed to perplexed to slightly troubled over the course of the next half hour, checking for it every few minutes but coming up empty. I have since come to the conclusion that the matrix gobbled it up.
27. Crypt Keeper
I live in a semi-rural village that has houses and shops but is surrounded by fields. There are loads of Neolithic and Bronze Age monuments, like 1,000 in a five-mile radius. There is this one prehistoric grave which is open, the contents having been moved to the museum. I jumped in one time to get a photo taken and my dog, a placid old black Lab, suddenly started barking.
He was in full alert mode, with his hackles up, signalling that there was danger. And he was barking right at me as I lay in the burial tomb. Maybe he saw a snake, I don’t know. But I still shudder to remember the moment.
28. Sweet Dreams
In high school, I had a friend. We'll call him “John” for these purposes. Me and John played football together and we would always get extra lifting sessions in at the high school gym. We remained friends after high school and even worked together for a bit. He ended up getting into selling pills and our relationship deteriorated to the point that we were no longer speaking.
Fast forward a few years later and I had this dream. In my dream, I was back at my high school gym lifting weights with John. We were just chatting about random stuff, having a good time and then he suddenly said that he had to go. I told him I didn’t want him to leave because I wanted to keep hanging out and I missed him.
He told me that he was really sorry, but he had to leave. I said, "Okay, see you later", and he replied with a nod and a "See you". I woke up to an eerie miracle. First, it was the sound of my phone ringing. I saw that it was my mom and answered it. She told me that John had passed the night before and asked if I was okay and said some other mom stuff.
She had heard from John’s mom who called in saying that John’s siblings would not be at school the rest of the week because of his passing. My mom was a secretary at the school they went to. I can't help but think that something paranormal had happened to allow me to make peace with and say goodbye to my friend. It was nice to get some bit of closure.
29. Going Up?
On my previous job, when our building was still under construction, the only floors that were occupied were the first, second, fifth, sixth, and seventh. One time, I was alone inside the elevator going from the first to the sixth floor when suddenly it stopped and opened on the third floor. Normally I would just disregard it, but there were rumors that a ghost child was playing around on the vacant floors.
So, I pressed the “close” button as I fast as I could. When it closed, I heard noises like someone was tapping their fingers on the walls of elevator.
30. The Stranger
My family told me this. I had fever very often when I was young. The medicine didn't help. One day, a stranger on the street asked my mom if I was always sick. They also asked about the elderly person following me. My mom was confused as there was no elderly person nearby. The stranger pointed at the air and described my departed grandmother's look, including the hairstyle and clothes she wore to her grave.
My dad was from a different town and my mom would have known if the stranger was a mutual friend. There was no way this guy could have known about my grandmother prior to seeing what appeared to be her spirit that day. The stranger instructed my dad to tell my grandmother to “go back”. He did, and my mysterious fevers stopped.
31. Hot Pursuit
I was with my dad and 17-year-old brother. We were walking toward a pack of howling wild dogs on the other side of a bush line, going to get rid of them to protect cattle. Several hundred meters away, they caught our scent on the wind. Then, the howling turned into growls and snarls. 10-year-old me booked it back home.
I was going so fast that my dad said he didn't even think my legs touched the ground. I remember coming to a barbed wire fence and not even slowing down, I just dove into an army roll under it and kept going. That moment when you realize the pack knows you are there and where you are is very scary.
32. Phantom Frenzy
I think I was probably 14. I woke up in the middle of the night to hear what sounded like chairs being thrown around and our cutlery drawers being pulled out, plates breaking, and forks and knives clattering. I was too scared to go downstairs to check it out, but the next morning it got weirder. Nothing was out of place, broken, or missing.
Our house is over 100 years old and has always had a reputation for being haunted. People have experienced things like doors closing on their own and feeling phantom hands touching them. It's pretty creepy. The thing is, the original owner's son was schizophrenic and burned himself alive. The family left shortly after that.
33. A Comforting Touch
My friend passed in a car accident, and they towed the car pretty early in the day. We were teens so we thought we should go and collect all her things that were ejected from the car when she hit the tree. After about a half hour, I was overwhelmed and just sat down and started crying. I had my two friends with me cleaning stuff up, and they just let me get it out for a bit.
Someone started rubbing my shoulders in the deepest massage I have ever had, and it was really helping me get control of myself and relaxing me. I let them rub for a few minutes and then I put my hand on theirs to let them know I was appreciative. There was no hand, just my shoulder. I turned around to say thank you to whoever it was, and there was nobody.
I looked up at the car and my two friends were standing there talking about something. But SOMETHING had been TOUCHING me! I ran to the car and asked my friends if it was them. They looked at me like I was crazy. I made everyone get in the car super fast and we left. I think a spirit was comforting me in my loss. I am grateful and freaked out by it. I can still remember how it felt, and it's been 22 years.
34. Dodged One
I was driving on a super isolated road late at night in New Mexico and got followed for a long ways by a huge black pickup truck. It was one of those giant Dodge Ram things, all black with a cow catcher on the front, black tint on all the windows, everything. It tailgated me for a really long time.
When I stopped at a truck stop to pee, it pulled off, too. But nobody got out. It just idled away in the parking lot until I got back in and got on the highway again. The creep then followed me all the way to Carlsbad before peeling off and heading back south. I've never seen it again, but I refuse to make that drive by myself anymore.
35. The Polite Poltergeist
When I was a kid, I woke up in the middle of the night to my bed shaking. Normally that would scare the heck out of me, but instead I was just kind of annoyed. I rolled over and muttered, "Stop it". The shaking stopped immediately. Then, a male voice spoke right beside me, saying, "Sorry". That's when I freaked out. I'm pretty sure my childhood house was haunted.
36. Echoes Of The Past
I was on a small base in Afghanistan in 2003, just outside of Kabul, right before you got into the mountains heading toward Pakistan. It was an Al Qaeda camp before we took it over. We established an observation post on the roof of one of the buildings that was still standing. It was about 17 meters (55 feet) and nothing but concrete.
There were no windows and no doors, but there were spaces where they once were, and debris that made it look like it may have been an office building or hasty medical facility. But in the bathrooms...dried blood everywhere. It was clogging the drains on the floor, the urinals, and the toilets. There were bloody handprints and spatters on the walls.
The blood had even pooled on the floor due to clogged drains and hardened in place. This was in every bathroom in the building. And that was just the beginning of the nightmare. At night, if you sat and listened, you would start to hear crying. I don't believe in God, an afterlife, or anything, really, that you can't provide concrete proof of.
But I heard that stuff and I can't explain it other than to say I had heard stories of it from people and gave it a try, so maybe it was all in my head. I sat on the stairs in the middle of the building and didn't hear anything for a while. I started thinking it was nonsense when I began to hear it, this crying. I thought maybe I was being screwed with, so I decided to go search where I thought I heard it coming from.
I turned left and started looking. It was not a very complex building. It was just a few big rooms on either side that were sparsely scattered with debris. I could easily see that they were empty, and there was no one in the bathrooms. I stopped to home in on the sound…it was coming from the other end of the building.
It still could have been someone messing with me, so I went over there for a look. Same thing: nothing. I listened again, and it was back to coming from the opposite side of the building. I decided at that point that, real or joke, I was out. Everyone heard it, we all eventually just ignored it. It could have been the wind, the pipes, or lots of other things. Still, it was creepy at the time.
37. A Healing Energy
A few years ago, I partook in a group meditation session. For one of the activities, we had to partner up. One of us sat in a chair while the other stood behind and used their hands to guide energy around various parts of the body. I don't know much about it, but I guess it was a bit like Reiki. Not long into my session on the chair, I noticed a strange pain in my lower back.
It wasn't a physical pain though. It's hard to describe it but it was more of an internal pain right at the base of my spine, as if my mind was making it up as part of the meditation process. It gradually got worse over five minutes or so, to the point where it became throbbingly uncomfortable. In my mind I said something like, “I need this pain to stop now!”
And it did stop. The rest of the session went by without a hitch. Afterward, we discussed our experiences. As I told my story about my lower back pain, the woman who had been using her hands on me became visibly emotional and started to cry. I thought that it was a strange reaction, but I didn't look too deeply into it.
A few weeks later, the organizer of the meditation group emailed me to let me know the woman who assisted me at the session had passed overnight. She'd been battling cancer of the lower spine for years and it got the better of her. I've never felt as creeped out as I did that day when it clicked that I may have somehow been channeling her pain.
My girlfriend lived out in the desert boonies, and I'd frequently spend the nights out there. She lived near a state penitentiary that fairly consistently had escapees. This was a time before cell phones and alerts were a thing, so whenever someone would escape, officers flew in helicopters over the area, shouting over a megaphone.
In the quiet of the open desert, it was quite jarring to be abruptly awoken by someone screaming at you from the sky. We'd all bolt out of bed to check all the locks and windows. Good times.
39. Keep The Lights On
We rented a house that never felt like home. You always felt creeped out walking in there, like you were being watched. My boyfriend and our roommate both worked nights, so I would be there by myself a lot. One night, I was doing my usual stuff and watching some TV before bed. I had this overwhelming feeling all night that I should avoid the hallway and not look directly down it.
It was creepy. The feeling of being watched and terrified lasted for about two hours before I decided to suck it up and make my way to my room. I left the hallway lights on and went to bed. Just as I turned off the side table light, I heard a drawer being pulled out and hitting the stopper. I turned on the light and nothing was out of place. But that was far from the end of it.
This went on about six times before I decided I was sleeping with the light on. I curled up under the covers and waited for my boyfriend to get home. He came rolling in at about 3 am. He was laughing at me for being such a coward and got into bed and turned the light off. That's when it got crazy. All the doors down the hallway slammed shut, one by one.
Then, our closet doors started rattling. The sound coming from inside could only be described at total destruction. It sounded like the shelves, the pole, and everything in there was being tossed around. My boyfriend joined me under the covers, and we were both terrified. After it stopped it took almost 10 minutes to convince him to go check around the house.
Nothing was out of place and our roommate had driven three hours back home that night to be with his family, so we knew it wasn't him. We slept with the light on the rest of the night and moved out soon after. I still can't drive by that house without feeling creeped out.
40. Oh, Deer
I sleep with the windows open sometimes in winter because I'm about ten meters up from the ground. You can hear the deer walking through at night, because they mostly travel at night where I live. It was pretty scary at first, but over the years I’ve gotten used to it. One night, something sounded different. There were the deer, but there was something else in the leaves that was fast as heck.
I heard the deer’s alarm snorts, then some thuds, then they all started barking and running. Then there were some dragging and snorting noises. I had sweaty palms under my blanket and was terrified to move. Sometime after it stopped, I closed the windows and went to sleep. The next morning, there wasn't much to see but some fresh dirt.
But I learned some lessons that night. If you go out in the woods, bring a lamp and a weapon. If you go, don't go alone.
41. Trading Places
For several months, my girlfriend had been experiencing random bouts of terrible abdominal pain that would cause her to be basically incapacitated. She downplayed it heavily around her parents and refused to see a doctor, but it was bad enough that I nearly called the ambulance twice because she was curled up on the floor crying and I was terrified she had appendicitis.
At one point, I remember sitting with her head in my lap, trying to comfort her and wishing with every fiber of my being that whatever was wrong with her could just be wrong with me instead, and I'd deal with it. I don't believe in God, but I was just pleading with the universe, "Me instead. Please, me instead".
About two weeks after that, she hadn't had an episode in a while. One night, we were hanging out and I shifted my position and felt the most indescribable pain in my lower abdomen. It triggered intense nausea, and I jumped up and tried to run to the bathroom and ended up collapsing before I even made it across the hall.
The pain was too bad to walk, and over the next four hours before I was admitted to the hospital, I alternated between puking and passing out with no respite. Her parents called my parents, and they came and took me to the ER where I was diagnosed with severe gallstones. This is when it got strange. The doctors kept asking me how long I'd been feeling pain and didn't believe me when I said it had just started a couple hours ago.
They said that seemed impossible because the size of the stones was absurd, and I should have felt it when they were much smaller. They also said my gallbladder was badly inflamed and the bile duct was ruptured, meaning they'd been banging around in there for a while. Combined with the damage to my pancreas, they simply could not believe that I hadn't been feeling pain and ignoring it for weeks…like my girlfriend had.
I had surgery to remove my gallbladder and my girlfriend never had another random pain episode. I know it sounds completely absurd, but the coincidence of the events has always freaked me out.
42. A Sign From Above
My mom’s mother was pretty horrible, so my mom was very close with her father. When my grandpa passed, my mom was understandably extremely upset. She told me about the first time she visited his grave alone. She had been sitting in her car, crying, and said, “If you are still here, please give me a sign”. Then the radio TURNED ON.
Not only that, but the first thing it played was the line of “Seasons in the Sun” that says, "Goodbye Michelle, my little one". My mom’s name is Michelle. She hadn't heard that song in like 10 years.
When I was young, I use to live a fair way out from town. It was about 50 km to the nearest store, so we never saw people. When I was about 11, my mom left me home alone for a couple days while she went to an equine show. It was all fine and dandy, and I was happy that I got to stay up late playing video games.
Anyway, 1 am rolled around and I headed to my room to get ready for bed. I flicked on my light and looked out my window. In the pitch darkness, I somehow see a tall, seven-foot human shadow walk past my window. It was as dark as the night outside but somehow, I could see it outlined in the darkness. The veranda outside was old and rickety.
It would creak and groan when a dog walked on it, but this thing moved completely silently. It didn't stop or look in my window when the light came on, just walked casually by like it didn't even notice. From the direction it was walking, it would have to walk off the veranda into the horse stables and trigger the automatic lights.
But it never triggered the lights. It scared the living heck out of me. I panicked, as a kid does, and tried to call mom. I couldn't get her on the phone, so I camped in the living room inside a blanket fort with the dogs for safety.
44. Just Passing Through
One time when I was in middle school, I fell asleep on the couch in our living room. Around 1 am, I woke up to a horror. I saw a man walk through the wall adjoining our living room to my brother's bedroom. The man noticed me and turned to face me. He had half of his face missing and it looked as if he had been dragged along the highway.
He put his finger to his lips as if to tell me not to tell anyone and then turned forward and walked through our glass door out into the yard. Obviously freaked out, I ran into my brother's room to find an empty bed. I ran screaming and crying to my parents and they freaked out and started calling all my brother’s friends' houses, trying to find him.
When they finally got in touch with him, they found out he had been drinking at a college party about an hour away. Not wanting him to drive home, my dad went to pick my brother and his best friend up. The next day, we found out that the kid who was originally going to drive my brother home didn’t make it because he was ejected from his car after he’d been drinking and driving.
45. Beware The Basement
A few years ago, my family moved to New Hampshire. The basement had a door that you could open into the backyard and the door was made of plywood. If someone wanted to break in, they could have. Well, myself, my three sisters, and my brother were in the living room one night. My brother was trying to scare everyone and started saying he could hear things coming from the basement.
Finally, he got up and opened the door to the basement. We saw someone's shadow and heard someone running at full speed down the basement stairs. We screamed, and our stepdad came down with knives, ready for intruders. He went down into the basement, but no one was there. The door was still intact outside.
Ever since then, the dog wouldn't go into the living room or the basement. Luckily, I got away from that house when I went to live with other family members a few weeks later.
46. Say “Cheese!”
I was 15 years old. I had just got home from work, so I went to my bedroom to change out of my work clothes and get ready for bed. I was in the middle of undressing when I looked to my bedroom window to catch my reflection...and what I saw made me scream. I saw a man's face. I dropped to the floor and turned off the lights. Still watching the window, I scrambled to get dressed.
The face was gone, but I was still watching. Then...a camera. No face, just a camera pointed at me sitting on the floor. I bolted from my room and told my mom and brother. My brother went outside, and our ladder from the backyard was lying there, but there was nobody around. I couldn't sleep for a year after that. I’d just lie there staring at that window.
47. The Reading Nook
When I was around 16, my rapidly-growing family finally moved from the house I had spent my entire life in. As you would expect, we spent a lot of time fondly remembering things we used to do in the house as we were packing everything up. At some point, I decided to go into the downstairs closet with a flashlight and read.
Reading in the closet was something I used to do when I was younger to get some peace and quiet. Now, this is one of those deep closets that goes under the stairs. It went back around two meters and then had a left turn into a very low, maybe meter-high space. This space was largely occupied by a mountain of old blankets and stuffed animals.
Of course, that was the fluffiest spot to sit and read. About an hour in, I shifted a little to get comfortable and I heard a low, slow, warped, hoarse voice say, "You always make me happy". I flipped my lid, hit my head on the low ceiling, and practically broke the door down getting out. After hyperventilating and explaining to my family why there was no color left on my face, I went back to see what it was.
It was my stuffed Little Bear from when I was three or four years old. I’d happened to lean on it just right to press his belly. When I pressed his stomach again though…nothing. This poor bear I hadn't played with since I was a toddler used the last of its power—used its dying breath—to tell me I made it happy. You make me happy too, Little Bear…when you're not making me pee myself.
48. The Beach House
When I was about eight years old, my family rented a house close to the beach. We were supposed to stay there for a week. The drive wasn't very long but as an eight-year-old, by the time we got there, I really had to feed the porcelain stallion a brown bone. We pulled into the driveway and were met by the middle-aged woman who owned the house.
She showed us the place and told us about the town and what to do, etc. My first instinct was to find the bathroom. So, I asked her, and she told me it was the second door on the right after the kitchen. I went inside and opened the bathroom door to an older guy just standing there looking at me. I kinda ducked my head down, said “sorry”, and went back outside.
They noticed I was back pretty fast, and I told them there was someone in the bathroom already. That's when it got weird. The lady looked at me confused and said there was no one else in the house. I explained that I definitely saw someone in that bathroom. After searching the house, we found no evidence of anyone else being there.
After a while, the lady told us her dad had owned the house and lived there, but he’d recently passed. She inherited the house and wasn't sure what to do with it, so she had started renting it out. I’m pretty sure her dad was the dude I saw in the bathroom.
This is the story of how a creepy encounter with a scary man at a harbor café saved me from something even more terrifying. It was autumn of 1994 in Sweden, and I was 19 years old. At the time, my dad had been working for almost six months abroad, and I was planning a surprise visit. My dad and I have always been close, because I am an only child and my mother passed from cancer when I was still a baby.
We were a tiny little family, but my dad made up for it by being the most awesome parent ever. Now that I wasn’t a little kid anymore, I appreciated that more and more. So, I had booked the ticket and was ready to go. I thought it was gonna be great fun to surprise him with a visit. However, I had to take the ferry to get there.
I decided to have coffee at a nearby café since I was early, and they hadn’t started letting people onto the ferry just yet. At the café, there were a lot of truck drivers and I soon realized I was the only woman there. One man, a 40-ish bloke with ice blue eyes and tattoos all over, was eyeing me from across the room.
Something about him made my skin crawl. I got up to leave, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable. To my utter horror, he followed. I asked myself, “What do I do now?" This was before everyone owned a cell phone. I decided to try and look busy and so that he would leave me alone. I pulled out my ticket and tried to look like I was reading it carefully.
He suddenly snatched the ticket from my hand and said, “I’m on the same boat. I’ll have hours of your company then, how lovely”. His voice was an absurd combination of jovial flattery and hidden hostility. I felt very strongly that if I got on that boat with this man who now knew my booking details, I’d be in grave danger.
I can’t explain why the feeling was so overwhelming, but it was. I decided there and then to not get on the boat. The ticket had been cheap anyway, so I could get on the next boat instead. I hid in the ladies’ room until I knew the ferry had left and then I went to rebook my ticket. The story could have ended here, but it doesn’t.
I was right in the assumption that getting on that ferry would have been unbelievably dangerous. Have you figured it out yet? The date was September 28, 1994, and the name of the ship was MS Estonia. That cold night, she sank in the Baltic Sea, taking 852 people with her. To this day, it was the worst ferry catastrophe to strike Sweden.
I still recall that day with horror and wonder what would have happened if that creepy man had not taken an interest in me. If I had not listened to my instinct and gotten on board instead of waiting for the next boat, would I have been among the survivors? Or would my dad have seen my name on the list of lives lost in the Baltic Sea?
50. Man Down
Back when I worked the night shift as a security guard, I would experience mild hallucinations due to my poor sleep schedule. One night, I was doing my patrol and I started feeling particularly out of it. I kept getting those flashes of movement in the corner of my eye, but I was convinced it was just my brain screwing up.
At the site I was working, there was a large warehouse filled with chemical waste. There was only one light on in it. As I was going along, I saw a pale shape on the ground and quickly recognized it as a body. My adrenaline spiked and I nearly passed out. My mind blanked and it took a second for me to regain my senses.
Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a CPR dummy the workers left out for training.