What’s the memory you have that is still terrifying to this day? Have you ever experienced a moment that gave you goosebumps and chills down your back? We’ve collected the scariest moments after dark, and trust us, you’ll want to read these with the lights on! Are you brave enough to step into someone else’s nightmares? Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
I was driving on a deserted highway in the early hours of the morning and saw what looked like a body wrapped in a white sheet. It was discarded on the median, so I took the next exit and drove back. When I got closer, it still looked like a body wrapped in a sheet—but then I heard a noise that made my blood run cold. As I approached, there was a loud rustling in the trees on the median.
I immediately ran back to my truck to drive off. It was before the time of cell phones, so I had no way to call the authorities. I checked the paper to see if it popped up in the news, but nothing…so creepy.
It was a typical morning and I woke up while it was still dark outside, got on my bike, and started riding to work. I was pedaling up a hill where there were no lights and thick fog. I thought I could see a person in the distance, and as I got closer it was moving toward me. I realized that whatever it was, it was over seven feet tall.
I immediately turned around to bike back home. I wish someone else had seen it with me!
I was a college student at the time and was on a late-night phone call with my long-distance girlfriend. It was around two am and we were talking while in bed. All of a sudden I saw the shadow of a man attempting to peep in and enter my front door. Thankfully I had a lock and bolt on my door, but he started walking around the side and back towards my bedroom.
I didn't have my lights on, so he didn't know I could see him. Nervous and curious, I snaked my way out of bed to find out more. Here's where the messed-up stuff happens. I had previously worked out an understanding with the other ground-floor tenant. We agreed that if either one of us needed help, regardless of time, to do a specific knock on the divider wall.
I knock on the divider wall, he meets me at the front door with only his hands. I inform him of the man around back and he goes and confronts the guy. The man starts trying to argue back but decides he better walk away to his car down the side of the road. After, my neighbor and I are talking about what happened, and he notices the guy's car is circling the block.
The car drove around the block three times before my neighbor told me to go inside, close the blinds, and call the 9-1-1. He gives me the license plate that he memorized and I go follow his instructions. While I’m on the line with help, the surrounding neighborhood was soon lit up in red, white, and blue for the next five blocks all around.
There were cop cars everywhere. A few officers came and talked to the neighbor and me about what was going on. The man they were after was wanted in several states on several warrants and was expected to be armed—and that they thought he was a HITMAN. They said to remain on the lookout. I am so thankful I locked my door that night!
One time a few years ago my friend and I were going on a walk and we sat down at this church and just talked for a bit. Then a man comes to the same church and he's just standing there staring at us about 50 feet away. My friend and I decided to leave because he clearly wanted to do something without us there. This church was notorious for spray painting.
Once we are walking on the sidewalk I see him behind us. I calmly told my friend we should speed up since this guy is giving me the creeps and we were two teenage girls at night. We begin to speed walk, and I look behind us and he's speed walking too. We start to jog to keep a space between us and him and after a bit, I look behind us and he's jogging too.
We’re trying hard not to panic but we realize he's intentionally following us—and then it gets worse. We start running and we can hear this guy pounding the pavement behind us. He's an adult so he was gaining on us, and we quickly took a left and ran through a park. We know he’ll catch us so we try to hide in the darkest corner we can find.
We’re huddled together trying to make no noise and we can see him looking confused. He stops running and calmly walks under the only lamp in the park. It was 30 yards away and he just stood there for a second texting on his phone. He then turns his flashlight on and slowly walks around the whole park almost finding us.
We’re almost in tears wondering what is going on when we hear the sound of a truck door slamming. What I saw and heard was so terrifying, it’s unforgettable. We see four other guys come up to the first one. They begin to argue asking how we got away when they were blocking the exit. We decided to risk it and snuck through the gate of someone’s house. Now we could watch the park from the outside and saw them searching with flashlights.
They started saying that they were law enforcement officers and we needed to come out and they wouldn't harm us, but we just stayed silent. Well, real officers don't sprint after two girls or block exits intentionally from teenagers. After they left we stayed in this person's bushes until sunlight and then ran home. We haven't talked about it since.
Until I was about 12, my bedroom was on the ground floor of our house and my parents’ room was right across the hall. We had a dog, Oreo, that we adopted when I was 2. An important detail for this story is that all of the garages in the neighborhood that I grew up in were detached from the houses. Oreo went blind when she was five years old but she is the world’s best watchdog.
I will never forget this night when I was nine or ten years old. It was the middle of winter, and there was snow on the ground. It was a quiet night but Oreo was restless, and we didn’t know why. Her hearing had improved immensely since she lost her vision and she would bark at kids playing down the road or the mailman two houses down.
It was close to midnight at this point, and Oreo kept barking and scratching at our back door. She was pacing from my room to my parents’ room, to the back door, in a constant loop. My mom finally got up and followed Oreo to the back door and then coaxed her back to bed. The following morning, we woke up to some terrifying news.
Our neighbors across the street lost their garage in a fire. The empty house for sale behind them had burned down. The fire destroyed the empty property and a large part of our neighbors’. My mom had to explain to me what the word arson meant because I kept hearing it so often. Even though there were footprints in the snow, they never caught who did it.
When I was older my mom told me the footprints continued across the street, past our backdoor, and right through the narrow walkway in between the garage. Then they backtrack to the street and disappear. I don’t know if the arsonist was trying to burn our hours or garage down that night but either way, Oreo woke us up and I think that’s what made them run away.
When I was younger we would sleep in the same room as our parents because they had an air conditioner. One night we decided to be rebellious and sleep in the TV lounge. To the right of the lounge was the main entrance and the sofa was placed in such a way that you could not see if someone was laying on it. We watched a Scooby-Doo movie and fell asleep.
Now I used to be a light sleeper. As soon as there was even a little noise I would wake up. Around two am I heard something and woke up. The sound was from the main entrance and I craned my neck to look over the couch. What I saw was terrifying. There was a guy standing inside the house, wearing all black and covering his face with a black cloth so that only his eyes were visible.
However, my first thought was, "What is my dad doing up so late?" My father used to lock the doors at night before we went to bed. But then I noticed a chilling detail. The stranger had a massive shotgun in his hands. He heard me move and was standing as still as a statue. My next thought was "Is this a dream?" because why would dad be holding a pipe in our house at night?
I woke my brother up and said "Look at what dad is doing." He woke up, stood up, and looked at the guy and then towards the center of the room. I’ll never forget what he said next. He told me: "Dad is sleeping in the middle of the room." At that point, we both looked at the guy and said "Thief!" When he heard us he ran out the door, closing it behind him.
We stayed up for a few more minutes and then got back to sleep. The next day I told my parents what I saw but they didn't believe me at first saying that it was probably just your imagination. Thankfully I had my brother to back me up. Once he told the same story they both freaked out. We got better locks and a German Shepherd named Jacky.
On a family vacation when I was ten we stayed in a ground-floor hotel room. I was reading a book before bed when my eyes panned over to the window. Three women were standing right up against the glass, staring at me. I noticed them and they started laughing to themselves but kept staring. It still creeps me out to this day.
This memory still haunts me forty years later. My parents were driving us home through a suburban area of Buffalo, New York in the early 1980s. The windows of the car were open a little, and I heard a woman scream "Help me!" No one else in my family heard it but I started crying when I heard it a second time.
For years after midnight, I would hear children playing in the distance. I never saw them but it was an eerie thing to hear at night. A couple of years later, I was walking my dog on a late-night stroll and I heard it closer than I ever have before. I looked around and saw three coyotes about a hundred feet away. Apparently, they can sound like small children. It was terrifying.
When I was 18 I got my first apartment and I had to be at work by seven am. I always took a thermos of black coffee with me. One day, I came home from work and found a coffee creamer in my fridge. I live alone and I didn't buy it. But that’s not the strangest part. I also found the toilet seat up in my bathroom. My landlord didn’t believe me, and I didn’t have the funds to buy a security camera.
It happened far too long than it should have, but with constant complaining my landlord eventually caved. He put new locks on my doors for me and the strange incidents stopped. Later, when I was moving out, I found out the disturbing truth. A maintenance man that had been fired was coming into my apartment and enjoying my leftover pot of coffee while I was at work. Weird.
One night when I was 13, I woke up to what sounded like someone knocking on a glass window. I looked at the clock and it was four am. I got out of my bed and walked out into the hallway where I could tell the knocking was coming from the front door. When I was growing up, our front door had two large glass windows on both sides of it.
My dad wasn’t home and my mom was asleep, so I bravely decided to check it out. I turned the light on, slowly crept down the stairs to see the front door. I’ll never be able to erase what I saw from my memory. There was blood on both windows, and a man lying on the floor slowly knocking on the window. I immediately ran upstairs, woke my mom up, and we called for help. The man was a driver who flipped his car near our house.
I thought it would be relaxing to go camping in the woods alone. That night it was just me with a fire and my thoughts. All of a sudden, I started to get freaked out, because it was too quiet. I saw six blue lights in the distance, that were the size of basketballs. I thought maybe it was hikers with flashlights far in the distance.
As I kept looking, I could tell how far they were. It was eerily silent and they were floating about 3 feet off the ground just in between the trees. I watched them for about 30 minutes, just getting more and more anxious. When the lights were about 30 feet away, I remember reading about ball lighting on Reddit, but I don’t think that’s what this was.
I also don’t think it was hiker flashlights, because it was dead silent and right next to me. And then one by one they went out. The burnout process took a while and then I was even more scared. I just sat there frozen, too terrified to leave. It seriously took me a few hours to work up the courage to walk back to my car three miles away.
This happened a few years ago on my neighbor Daren’s property. He wanted to do a camping party and invited my brother and me, plus two of his friends. We pitched our tents and started a fire and were only a quarter-mile away from home. After sitting around the fire, we decided to go for a midnight hike through the woods.
We hike up the mountainside and drop back down onto a trail that leads to our campsite. As we're walking back we hear some snapping branches in the woods next to us. My brother and I are familiar with the nightly sounds of the forest so we don't think much of it. Sounds change when it’s bouncing off trees in the night, and a squirrel in the woods can sound like a big cougar.
Daren looked ridiculous. He is leading the group wearing pajama pants, loose slip-on shoes, a giant bathrobe, and carrying a shotgun. It has a laser sight on it, and when we heard another branch snap next to us, he lets out this yell and waves the light into the woods. Immediately something not ten feet from us starts stomping away, fast and loud.
The group noticed this thing sounded like a person since only two footfalls were heard. Daren, my brother, and I tried to play it off as a joke. Maybe it was Daren’s dad out spying on us—we were all in our late teens and it wasn't out of the question really for him. We were all a little on edge after that. My brother started watching the back and I moved up to the front with Daren.
It’s a full moon, something is stomping around in the woods near us, and we're getting to this open clearing. His other two friends were beyond freaked out at this point and just wanted to go home. As we get about 50 feet away this huge shadow steps onto the trail. That’s when we saw it. This thing, I swear was twelve feet tall, jet black, and it's standing on two legs.
It just strolls across the clearing in one step, which is about 15 feet wide, and hops up onto the hillside and out of sight. We all freeze, no one is daring to breathe and my brother is asking "Did you see that?" Daren finally asks me if I saw what he saw, and I give him a nod. The other two guys are losing their minds, quietly.
We end up making our way to the clearing, stopping for a second to see if we can spot this thing. Daren and I spot a large "tree stump" on the hillside above us and just move on. As we start walking away, Daren pulls me away and tells me he wants to double-check the clearing. That "tree stump" we thought we saw, was gone.
That’s when I officially started to panic. That meant the thing we saw walked up there, sat down, and watched us for a good 10 minutes before leaving. It's kind of lame, but we never saw it again. There have been times weird stuff has happened like pine cones or sticks being thrown at us, but it feels like a stretch to blame the creature.
I've had people tell me it was a bear, but that's impossible. Its legs were too long, it didn't have a snout, it had massively long arms, and we did end up finding footprints. They were Bigfoot-esque footprints, but they had huge claw marks at the end of the “toes.” One of the guys won't even come back to hang out with us anymore, and Daren was like a brother to him.
I was driving to one of my friends' houses in high school on a road that ran through dense woods for a few miles and was very dark. On my way there, I saw a man just standing on the side of the road, just staring into the darkness with a blank look on his face. There isn't anything but woods for several miles. The scariest part? He was still there when I drove home four hours later in the same spot.
I was walking out of the Taos Canyon with my buddies around midnight during a new moon. It’s about 40 degrees so pretty chilly, and we hear this mumbling in the dark ahead. As we approach this scraggly man comes shuffling in bare feet down the trail. He had no flashlight, was wearing filthy pinstripe blue pajamas, and talking to himself incoherently.
As my friend and I stared at him in surprise, I cautiously said, “Hey man, how’s it going?” He replied in a super cheery voice, “Another beautiful day!” then continued down the trail into darkness; still mumbling to himself. We ran back to the cars where another one of our friends was waiting. She had watched him walk in off the main road.
This happened when I was around 12 years old. At the time, cell phones were still pretty new, and they were also bricks. My family lived surrounded by farmland in a rural area. It was far enough that traffic was pretty sparse and foot traffic was nonexistent. We could see our neighbor’s houses on either side, but they were around a mile or more through pretty dense woods.
One night, my parents and sister went out for dinner, and I stayed home. Our living room was all windows facing out of the back and we kept the curtains open. I was sitting on the couch watching TV in the living room, looked outside, and saw someone walking through the backyard. He was walking across the property parallel to the street.
He stopped in the center of the yard and just looked at the house. The lights were off, but the TV was on, so he could very likely see me seeing him. He continued to stare at me for what felt like an hour but was probably 30 seconds. I jumped up, grabbed the phone, and ran to my parent’s bedroom. I locked the door and dialed my mom’s cell phone.
My dad grabbed the phone from her, told me to stay in the bedroom, and wait for them to call back. He told me they were five minutes from home and would call when they were in the driveway. They got home, checked the yard and nobody was to be seen. We never found out who it was or what they were doing, but they didn’t belong where they were.
My sister screamed one night in our apartment because she saw her phone floating above her face. She continued screaming when she saw a man at her window. Later, she made a disturbing realization. A creative thief had coated a long stick with really sticky goo and was using it to take stuff. We did not call building security but alerted the landlady.
She didn’t do anything, of course. But karma is sweet—and the thief took her phone a month later.
One night when we were younger, my sister and I were hanging out in my room after lights out. We had separate bedrooms but would hang out sometimes and stay up chatting. We weren’t in complete darkness because there was a parking lot with streetlights about 20 feet from my bedroom window. It was bright enough to cast light on my wall.
As we were lying in bed chatting, one of us noticed a silhouette of a man’s head was suddenly against the wall. The best way I can describe the visual is when you see old buildings where they have a sheet hanging in front of a light and do silly things with shadows. This was caused by a man looking into my bedroom window!
We freaked out and both tried hiding in the corner of the bed under the covers. The shadow stayed there for what felt like forever. We calmed ourselves down and convinced each other that it was just our stepdad trying to mess with us. We ran out of the room to see where he was and found him sitting in the living room.
It wasn’t him outside. He would have had to run around the house in a split second to make it to the living room. We told him what was happening and he came to check. The shadow was gone, and he thought we were trying to prank him with our story. We were still so scared that he believed us, and stayed until we fell asleep.
One night when I was living in a small condo in Arizona, I woke up to a furtive, clicking sound at my bedroom metal grate. It was coming from the sliding door of my fenced patio. The fence was almost seven feet high. My neighbor's cat would jump in and scratch at the screen so I could help him or come out to pet him daily.
Hearing the sound, I thought it was the cat, so I opened the slider and looked down as I opened the door. What I saw was so gruesome, it’s unforgettable. On the ground bumping into the door were 30 or more Palo Verde beetles. They look like cockroaches with huge antennas and they can get up to like five inches long. Several were attached in amplexus mating, making them look way bigger since they mate end to end.
I quickly slammed the door, crushing a few, and shut off the light. I guess they were attracted to the moisture in the potted garden plants I kept on the patio. I slept on the couch that night so I didn't hear them scratching against the door, and by morning all but a few were gone. It was creepy and now I double-check when the cat comes over!
My family had moved above a holler (what we call a hollow, or small valley) near where my stepdad’s family owned a lot of land. His family lived below and I used to love running through the woods as a kid. I loved how it made me feel. Our parents' one rule was that you had to stay within hearing distance of my mom, which I never listened to, but I was good at finding my way back home.
When my cousins came up to visit they said the location gave them an off feeling. I told them to shake it off and took them exploring in the woods. We found a weird thing we thought at the time was a grave, with a bunch of stones piled up to mark it. Something about it chilled me to the bone. We immediately ran back to the house. I stopped exploring the woods soon after that.
Every time I would try to go for a run, I would get that feeling in my gut that I was being watched and just end up running home in a cold sweat—but that’s not the eeriest part. My family also started hearing weird noises outside our house at night. My mom had started calling my stepdad's family in the middle of the night to come up with flashlights and help figure out what was causing the commotion.
Each time they came up they couldn’t find anything and told her it was probably deer and left. One morning after a particularly loud night, we went outside and the tree line right next to our house had fur scattered everywhere. We moved a couple of months after that and I never went back to that place—an d don’t ever plan to.
I’m a super heavy sleeper and unless I have to go to the bathroom, I’m not waking up. One winter night when I was 10, I woke up to loud, thunder-like cracks! The sound was coming from the roof and sounded like a giant rubber mallet being thrown down on our shingles. This happened on and off for a few hours and I was petrified in bed.
It wasn’t sleeping paralysis because I could technically move, despite being too scared to run to my parent’s room, and I was crying. I hugged all my stuffed animals and cried until the sun came up. I didn’t know if it was aliens or ghosts or another kind of monster. The next day I told my parents and younger brother what happened.
All of them are super light sleepers and none of them heard anything. I found that strange but eventually forgot about it until three years later. I was randomly scrolling on Reddit or Facebook about science, and started reading about “icequakes.” They sound exactly like what I heard that night and usually take place during the coldest parts of the night.
I was camping at a primitive campsite with a family member about nine years ago. We went during the week and when we arrived, the park ranger informed us we were the only people in this section that night. We would be about four miles away from other campgrounds. There was only one road to get in and out so we would see anyone headed our way.
My relative fell asleep quickly, but I had gotten a weird feeling as the night got darker. No cars had driven on the road by us so I knew it was still just us, but I could hear something crunching in the brush about 30 yards away. I hoped it was a deer as they are common in the area, and I was trying to rationalize the fear away.
Just as I was telling myself there are no large predators besides coyotes in the area, something let out a terrifying scream as I’ve never heard before or since. It shook me to my core and wasn’t anything like a coyote, raccoon, bear, or even a human. My family member woke up and we heard something running away heavily in the brush. We grabbed the essentials and sprinted to the car and drove home.
I was about 13 years old and was sound asleep in my bed when something woke me up by touching my pillow. I was startled as it was pitch black in my room and all I could do was feel around with my hands to see what it was. To my relief, it was just my cat. I thought it was weird because she rarely slept on my bed and if she did it was by my feet.
I left her there and tried to go back to sleep. Then she started meowing. They were low rumbly meows which were odd because that’s the first time I heard her make that noise. I figured she was upset so I started to pet her to calm her down. Her normally soft and smooth fur felt sticky and matted. She smelled nasty too. The grumpy meowing got louder.
I jumped out of my bed and turned the lights on. The cat on my bed was not my cat. It was some random stray that I’ve never seen before and I don’t know how it got in my bedroom. It freaked me out, and it was stubborn to leave my room. I know it was just a cat but it was very scary at the time. I never saw it again, and still don’t know how it got in my room.
This happened to one of my good friends. At the time he was living with his wife and kids and their German Shepherd in a one-bedroom apartment. One night he's up late, reading the paper in the kitchen when his dog lets out a very low growl—the kind that you had to be right next to him to hear. He tells the dog to be quiet and turns off all the lights in the apartment.
He slowly tip-toes to the front door and looks through the peephole. Looking back at him is a human eye. With the lights turned off he couldn’t see my friend looking back at him. He sees the guy look into the peepholes of his next-door neighbors and realizes he’s getting organized to do a burglary. He knew he had to scare him away—so he came up with a plan.
He takes a deep breath and screams, “LEAVE or I’ll let my German Shepherd loose on you!" The German Shepherd goes wild—barking like crazy and scratching to pull the door open. My buddy watched the guy run out of the building.
I used to have to climb upstairs to use the bathroom as the bathroom on my floor wasn’t working. One night I had to go in the middle of the night, maybe three am. When I returned to my room, there was a red Solo cup full of water on the floor in the middle of the room. I was the only one home…and we didn’t have red Solo cups.
When I was around 11, I was in a club and we'd go to the marshlands and stay in a nice little cabin. It was just after lights out and I was in a top bunk. Through the darkness, I saw glowing eyes from a pretty large creature. It stayed still and then eventually strolled away. In the morning, we found out what it was. We were told we had to leave early because there was a lynx loose from the local zoo.
My cat screams at night, and not just any type of scream—she sounds like a human baby. One night we were having rolling power outages, and my sister is getting really scared. Cue my cat screaming with flickering lights and we both almost had a heart attack. The cat was also stressed and wouldn’t let us pet her until the lights stayed on.
The year is 2001, and I was 16 years old with my first PC. I was so excited and couldn't stop playing with it. My parents were trying to enforce strict boundaries with online time; so when they announced they were going to my aunt’s on Friday night —I was excited! I would have unlimited PC gaming time! I counted down all day and the minute they opened the door I was dialing in.
They left around six pm and we lived in a busy, urban area so I was far from scared of being all alone. After a few hours, it was getting late and I was getting tired so I turned off my PC but not my speakers, and laid in bed watching TV. Then I heard voices. At first, I thought my parents had returned. Then I realized the voices sounded as if they were coming from my speakers.
I turned off the TV and moved closer to the speakers. I was now sure I could hear muffled voices coming through. It was one of the few times I was shaking from fear. I turned them off and the voices stopped. I turned them back on and I heard them again, but couldn’t understand what they were saying. I called my parents and urgently asked them to hurry back home.
When I told them what had happened they didn't believe me and told me that I must have fallen asleep and dreamed about it. They came home, and I fell asleep and forgot about it until a few days later. Once again, I had my PC off and the speakers on. My mum was cooking in the kitchen and I was studying. Then the voices returned.
My mother heard them this time and together we unplugged my speakers, stored them in a box, and bought new ones. We never heard anything out of the ordinary again. A few years later, I was sharing my story with a couple of friends and they told me that it was more likely white noise due to other household appliances. However, to this day I swear I could hear words.
One morning, around three am, I woke up to an ear-piercing crash! I ran down the hall to the dining room where the sound came from. When I got to the dining room I found a miniature boulder and a broken sliding glass door. Normally we don’t use this sliding door and have metal shelves in front of it—mainly soda storage.
Someone had hurled the boulder through the door. The ear-piercing crash had been a combination of glass, shelves, and cans of coke breaking. We called our friends and it took three of them to move this rock. Cleaning up the glass and soda took forever and I didn't sleep for the rest of the night. A few weeks before, I had found some broken pieces of cinder block near that door.
On the blocks, someone had written messages in permanent marker. The tone of the messages felt like a disgruntled boyfriend or partner with unresolved issues. It wasn’t anyone in our household and luckily there were no other incidents. I would have felt better if we knew who did it, but I’m also impressed if only one person picked up the boulder.
When I was 15, my friend was sleeping over and we decided to sleep downstairs instead of upstairs. My parents' room was right next to mine and we wanted to stay up late. We set up in the living room and slowly drift off to sleep. I randomly woke up in the middle of the night and my friend was already awake. He tells me he keeps hearing knocking on the window.
I was a little weirded out but decided my friend is hearing things and it must have been a tree. I got up to grab us snacks and as I walked by the window, there was aggressive knocking! I jumped back but could see someone on the other side of the window. When I got closer, I could hear them saying my name, and realized it was just one of our friends who wanted to sleep over too.
Before my grandfather passed on, he would sit in one of our living room chairs to the left of the TV with his oxygen tank. He left us in 2004, and a couple of weeks later my mom hurt her back. The doctor gave her some pain medication and she was sleeping on our couch in the living room for the extra back support. She was constantly uncomfortable from the pain.
One night while she was sleeping on the couch, she opened her eyes and saw my grandfather sitting in the living room chair. My grandfather spoke to her and said, “Donna, you’re going to be okay. This pain is going to pass. You’re going to make it.” She was convinced it was a dream and shut her eyes to fall back asleep.
On the same night, my oldest sister came home late and had to go into the living room to turn the outside light off. She was trying not to wake my mom, and quietly went into the living room, where she saw my grandfather looking at our mom from the chair. She panicked, forgot to turn off the light, and ran upstairs to bed.
At breakfast the next morning, we were all eating waffles and my mom started lecturing my older sister about not turning off the light. She’s mid-speech when Jen looks up at her and goes “Mom I wasn’t going to tell you this but I saw grandpa on the couch last night, it’s why I didn’t turn off the front porch light.” My mom dropped her fork and said, “Jen, I saw grandpa too.”
When I was a little girl I had this LeapFrog stuffed animal. It had the entire alphabet on its chest and when you pressed a letter it would say something like “A is for... Apple!” in a childish voice. One night it wouldn’t stop talking. I shut it off twice and it still kept telling me the alphabet. It was beginning to creep me out.
My young brain started believing the stuffed animal was alive and would attack me in the middle of the night. I got so scared I ran downstairs and threw it into the cellar. I have no idea if it stopped talking but it was far enough away that I couldn’t hear it. I forgot about it until we moved and when we were cleaning out the house, the stuffed animal was gone.
My spouse and I were at the end of our night and we’re lounging around in pajamas. He heads downstairs to grab some snacks and I’m lying in bed scrolling on my phone. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a face show up in that darkness, just watching me. I can also see a pale, masculine torso. My immediate reaction is complete nonchalance.
My spouse loves to try and surprise or spook me so I figured any minute they would barrel into the bedroom and jump in the middle of the bed. Nothing happens and the face just stays there so I begin to wonder, what is he thinking? But then, suddenly, I feel a chill down my spine. The door slams, and I’m instantly irritated. We have a firm rule—we never slam doors in the house and also, why would you do that?
I’m confused, and still hungry so I hop out of bed and dart to the door, yanking it open, and I’m face to face with my spouse. “Why did you slam the door?” He was equally surprised and annoyed and responded, “Why did you slam the door? I was almost back to the room!” I look down, both his hands are on the plate he’s holding.
He hasn’t even actually made it back to the room yet, so there’s no way he could have slammed the door. This is not the only time something in the house has imitated my other half, but that grinning, floating face in the door still creeps me out.
When I was in college, we used to hang out in a large cemetery that surrounded the campus. It was easy to hide from campus security there. One night, we were walking around and decided to check out this pyramid mausoleum that was located in the center. It looked like someone tried to break in at one point through this small sealed doorway.
I was able to wedge myself up the broken entrance and look through the crack. I saw a bunch of coffins and I heard someone whisper “Allie” and “Hey.” So I turned around and said Hello—only to make a chilling realization. No one I was with had said anything, and no one calls me Allie. Everyone calls me Allison. Allie was something only my family only called me. I immediately had this weird chill over me.
One night after work, a friend and I were wandering around the University District in Seattle. We planned to stay up all night wandering the city. At one point, we ended up at a park with a soccer field and some playground equipment, and we were just swinging full blast super high up in the air. We were feeling a rush of childlike adrenaline and the night was really fun.
All of a sudden we realized on the bench next to the swings, a guy was sitting there staring at us silently. I don’t even remember saying anything at that moment but we both looked at the guy, looked at each other, jumped from our swings, and ran out of the park. We didn’t stop running until we got a block or two away.
I grew up on a five-acre farm in the country. This was about 1999, we had just gotten back home from the city watching The Blair Witch Project when it first came out. My brother and I are sitting in a hidden spot near some bushes, staying up late and hiding from my Mom. Suddenly, he says "Listen! I hear something out there."
I knew there was nothing and he just didn’t want to admit the dark freaked him out. It backfired for him because he got too scared and said he thought he could hear the Blair Witch. With great timing, my mom walks around the corner of the house. "What are you guys doing here?" I have never seen my brother jump so high and run into the house so fast!
I live in a ground-level studio, and my bed is near the window. I reached to turn off the bedside lamp and saw someone in a white hoodie through the blinds. I tried to intimidatingly move closer to get a better look but instead, the hooded stranger aggressively moved closer. He even put his face directly onto my window. I screamed and he ran away. I Installed a security camera the next day.
When I was about five years old, I woke up and saw a man staring at me through my bedroom window. His hands were pressed against the glass and his head was cocked to the side. He didn't even flinch when I noticed him. I jumped under my covers and peeked to see if he had left. He was still there. I hid under my covers until the morning and still don't know why I didn't scream.
In university, I worked as a standardized patient in the Medical wing to earn extra cash. It was normally heavy psych cases like physical assault, self-harm, or severe mental illnesses. As a standardized patient, I would act the part and the student got hands-on experience before encountering the real world. One case in particular really freaked me out that I can’t forget.
I was a teen with schizophrenia, and my symptoms were haunting. They included looking out the window at night and seeing faces pressed up against it, and hearing voices while they sat in dark rooms alone. If they were watching the news, the anchor started talking directly to them. I was freaked out all night just from pretending to see someone at the window.
One time before I went to sleep, I left my original Xbox plugged in and idling on the home screen. I woke up later to ghostly voices mumbling and talking to each other coming from the TV. It sounded just like a soundtrack from ghost shows. It was similar to a soundtrack where you can hear its voices but not what it's saying.
To make it even worse, there were scary mechanical sound effects and spooky music over the voices. I researched it online and Microsoft thought it would be neat to use some free astronaut transmissions for their "futuristic" console, and wanted space music to go with it. I have never, and I mean never, left an Xbox idling since.
I’ve never had an explanation for this, but when I was about ten I woke up in the middle of the night to what I thought was my dad watching something about trains with the volume turned up. There were lights and shadows, and the sound of a train coming and going. There were bright white lights and a lot of noise. I asked the next day and nobody was up or heard what I did.
I was at a camp in the wilderness of Virginia and we were walking back from the bonfire ceremony to our cabins. I was with two other campers and as we were walking back we saw two bright green lights in the middle of the path. They were five to six feet off the ground. We froze and got too nervous to shine our flashlights.
Finally, one of the other guys raised his flashlight and on the path was a six-foot-tall deer. It was massive and just calmly standing there staring at us. We all looked at each other for a few seconds, and then I stepped towards it. When I moved it walked back into the woods. We didn’t waste any time running back to our cabin!
I live in Australia and had just moved into a new house in a not-so-nice neighborhood. The house was old and quite gross. The first couple of weeks we lived there we all had dry throats from the level of dust. We were all adjusting to the new house and still cleaning out spiders and other pests. It constantly had a haunted house vibe.
One night I woke up at three am, on the dot. My room is on the top floor or the second storey of the house. I looked around because I was immediately alert. I looked at the window, didn't see anything, but kept hearing a tapping on the glass. There wasn’t anything close to or around the window that could make the tapping noise.
I got up and went to double-check but couldn’t figure out the source of the noise. I’ve heard so many stories of three am being an evil hour, or people waking up because someone was watching them. I couldn’t fall back asleep for a few hours and just played on my phone. The same tapping sound happened for a few nights, but I never found the cause.
This actually happened a few nights ago. I was getting home late, with my dog, and I parked my car across the street from my house. As we are walking across the street, my dog started barking at nothing. I didn't think much of it. We got to my lawn when this massive, electrical-sounding explosion went off a few blocks away.
The sky lit up orange and yellow for a brief second. The sound and the shock of it made me duck to the ground, before running inside. I live in a quiet neighborhood, so I'm not used to seeing or hearing anything that resembles a large explosion. I found out via Facebook that a construction vehicle hit the transformer and it exploded.
I work in animal research and today a colleague mentioned that a new primate facility would be coming to our area. I have always been interested in understanding the process, even though it’s not something I would do long term. After I got home I took a nap that resulted in me waking with sleep paralysis. I was completely frozen and only able to move my eyes.
As I laid there unable to move, my right eye was open enough to see the bathroom door which I became convinced had several large primates behind it. The bathroom door was almost shut and dark as there was no window in there. In a frantic haze, I decided I had to get out but couldn’t move. All I could do was watch what I think were very mild hallucinations.
I lay there watching furry hunched figures shuffling behind the door, smaller primates crawling around the vanity lights and the occasional finger around the door’s edge. This sleep paralysis thing has happened to me before but usually, it is just confusing and frustrating, this is the first time it was terrifying.
It was the 80s and my dad bought a six-foot-tall Gumby inflatable doll. He planned to cut the back out, make eye holes and wear it as a costume. My older sister and I shared a bedroom and one-night dad puts on Gumby and walks into the room. This was our first encounter with the costume and my sister and I was terrified.
It was unbelievably scary and my dad thought it was hilarious. We moved months later and the costume came with us. It stayed in our basement, limp, and haunting us for years to come. It was in a back room that became a treasure chest of horrors. A pink light, old rolls of carpet, a flickering lamp, and the terrorizing Gumby costume.
My boss was an army veteran and a pretty serious guy. He said 30 years ago when he was a teenager on St. Patrick's Day he and a couple of buddies drove out to an old abandoned single-room school in the woods in the middle of nowhere. They were just hanging out when he said the door swung open and a three-foot-tall leprechaun walked in.
He said it came in the middle of the room and twirled around but fell over. He said he distinctly remembered the weirdest part was its hat stayed on its head during the fall. Then it got up and ran back out the door. He and his buddies were completely shocked and they all just looked at each other with their mouths wide open.
They ran out and looked for it but nothing was out there. They got in their cars and drove away, and didn’t talk about it until they were back in town. I know it's a silly-sounding story but I fully believe him. He has told me the story a few times and has never changed any details once. Plus, every time he tells the story he gets a little spooked.
This spring my family and I rented out a mansion for a weekend getaway. After a long drive to the house, everyone else fell asleep except me. I was sleeping in the living room and my phone was out of juice. I couldn’t find an outlet so I was trying to count sheep. When I started closing my eyes, I could see a shadow looking down at me.
I still fell asleep but I woke up and felt uncomfortable in the morning. I told everyone what happened at breakfast but no one believed me. Later that day I was making my way into the garage to get some tools. I felt someone walking next to me. I was looking down at my phone and figured it was one of my cousins. When I got to the garage I heard the bathroom door shut.
When I come back from the garage my family was in the kitchen and I asked who walked next to me earlier. Everyone says they hadn’t been near the garage and just came downstairs to start lunch. That night I was officially freaking out. I asked someone to sleep in the living room with me. Thankfully my cousin thought I was being dramatic, but still slept across from me. That’s when it got even more terrifying.
We were chatting before bed when a photo frame on the coffee table flipped over as if someone slammed it with force. That was too much for my cousin and we decided to sleep upstairs. In the morning, we are talking about it with my family again at breakfast and my Uncle asks if anyone was in his room while he was sleeping last night.
No one was in his room, but when we were all in the kitchen we heard footsteps and doors closing upstairs. Later that day, I met a gardener in the gated community we were staying at named Manuel. I asked Manuel if he knew anything about the house or previous tenants of where we had rented. He thought for a minute…and then remembered something strange.
He mentioned that a month before us getting there a group of kids ran out of the house leaving behind an Ouija board, candles, and other props from a seance. He said that no one usually liked staying there for more than a night, which he couldn’t understand. It was enough for me and I convinced my family to leave early.
One night when I was seven years old I stayed up late playing Roblox on my mom's computer. I noticed it was almost two in the morning and my eyes were starting to hurt from staring at the screen. I decided to shut down and leaned back to stretch. All of a sudden, I got this weird feeling down my spine. I slowly turned to look at the window.
I turn to look and see a pale woman standing there, hand pressed to the glass, just slowly looking around the room. I yelled and ran to my parent’s room, slamming the door behind me. My dad jumped out of bed and asked what was wrong. I frantically explained the situation and my dad ran to look. When he came back, he calmly said she was gone.
He had gotten her away from the window and watched her walk down the street before calling the authorities. They showed up at our door within 10 minutes and started canvassing the neighborhood, where they eventually found her. I found out later she was an escaped mental asylum patient from a town around 13 miles away.
We were driving home after visiting cousins that lived about seven hours away. We had left late, so we were still an hour away from home at midnight. From the corner of my eye, I noticed movement on the right side of the embankment, which was closest to me since I was sitting in the passenger seat. Driving closer, I realized it looked like a person, laying on their stomach on the ground.
I thought maybe someone had gotten hit by a car and was hurt, but before I could tell my dad, we got closer and I saw something I'll never forget. It was actually a woman, wearing a tattered dress or longish tunic shirt. She was on all fours and was quickly crawling up the embankment towards the concrete underside of the overpass.
Something about the way her limbs were moving and crawling freaked me out, so I just stared in shock and horror as we passed by. She continued to jerkily climb upwards into the darkness of the overpass. Freaking terrified me, and I closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep until we got home. I still don’t like that part of the highway.
My son complained about monsters in his closet as I was tucking him in. I did the whole "see, nothing here" dad spiel, only to come face to face with a possum kit. Then another. Then another. They ended up being hidden everywhere in his room. I gotta say, dark or light, they can still scare the dickens out of you if you're not expecting them.
My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.
Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.
Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.
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