20 True-Life Encounters that Prove You’re Not Safe in Your Own Home
[Image via Thomas / Flickr]

A man’s home is his castle, right? Well, it’s time to pull up the drawbridge and lock the gates because you aren’t safe. Not even in your own home. Thanks to the internet, we’ve found some of the most horrific accounts of true-life encounters people have experienced in their own homes. From terrifying tales of night-time intruders to uninvited guests and strange otherworldly beings, after reading these real-life horror stories you’ll be double checking every door and window tonight.

So remember, it’s not just Dorothy who believes there’s no place like home; murderers, rapists, lunatics and ghosts also share that same belief too – enjoy!

1. Under the Bed

“I had just moved into my first apartment and was in the process of moving in. The door that led into my apartment locks itself automatically when closed. So, I was going to the entrance of the apartment complex to get my mail while talking on the phone with my boyfriend. I returned to my apartment and sat on the bed while opening the mail while using the phone, I dropped the phone on the floor and it landed under the bed so I had to lie on the floor and stretch for it. I saw something that caught my eye, there was someone under my bed… My eyes widened and I choked the urge to scream. The person under my bed was lying still with his back towards me and his head to his chest, so I couldn’t see his face. And he didn’t see me, trying to be rational while so many thoughts rushed through my head, I picked up the phone, said “Sorry I dropped my phone, I’m just gonna take a shower and call you back.”

The bathroom is right by my bed so I hastily walked in, quietly locked the door, turned the shower on, jumped out my window (my apartment is on the first floor) and called the police. They told me to wait nearby, but to go to across the street and see if anyone comes out the door to the apartment complex. This was during summer and it was still light out, I placed myself across the street, hiding behind a car while watching my open bathroom window and the entry door. I called my boyfriend and he came to me just before the police. I gave them my keys and they went inside. Only moments later two cops came out holding a thin and tired looking man. His eyes looked crazy, but he didn’t try to get away. The policeman that had stood beside me and comforted me while the police searched through my house (I was a mess, shivering and crying) told me that the man stood outside my bathroom door with one of my kitchen knives waiting for me to come out.

This man had somehow crept in my entry door while I was getting my mail and hid under the bed.The man that was trying to hurt me turned out to be a homeless person and was placed in a mental hospital. My boyfriend moved in with me the very next day.” – Myhra

Related: From the Beyond: 13 People Share their True Ghost Stories and Otherworldly Tales

2. Shush…

“I had awesome parents who let me sleep in the living room on weekend nights when I was very young because my sister was a light sleeper and I could stay up until dawn. But of course, I always end up sleeping on the couch because Nick At Nite made me tried.

So, one night I wake up to the prickly feeling. Like an instinct. Just bolted into a sitting position and stared out the front window. We lived in rural Georgia, so you can imagine the magnitude of trees. In perfect light cast from the moon, I see a silhouette of someone in this fucking tree. The family dog dashes to the window and is snarling into the glass.

Terrified, I run into my parent’s room and try to explain to my parents that there is a strange person outside. Dad grabs something defensive and darts outside with the dogs to beat the wax off the hot head. I tremble in Mama’s arms until Dad comes home and says he saw no one and to go to bed.

I decide to sleep in my regular bedroom. I fill in my sister in as to what happened. Dad is making regular rounds in the house with a cup of coffee. We’re all still and I finally think “I can sleep.”

Nope. I notice the man outside my window. From what I can see in the moonlight, he gives me a shush signal and runs away. Just turns around to run a straight line away.

I swear I couldn’t stop crying for what felt like hours.” – SaintSparkles

3. The Faithful Dog

“Back in junior high, the first time my parents left town and left me alone for a week. It’s going good, I stayed in the basement and the entrance to the hallway that leads to my room had decorative beads hanging in the entrance way. I’m in my room watching TV with my faithful dog, Smokey laying at the foot of the bed. All of a sudden he starts barking wildly. A bark I’d never heard out of him. Almost a cry. I think something is wrong with him and just as I almost get a hand on him, he jumps off the bed and dives under it completely silent.

I get to the floor to look under the bed for him and I hear the beads in the entrance way start to rattle together as if someone ran into them with a lot of force. I sit there scared shitless for a bit, then grab a bat and investigate. The beads are still swinging with force, every door and window in the house is still locked from the inside, there aren’t any air vents close to the beads and Smokey refused to come out from under the bed for another two hours.

To this day, I have no idea what caused those beads to rattle.” – magseven

Related: House of Horrors: 15 People Share their True Haunted House Ghost Stories

4. The Whistle

“My dad loves to whistle (something I do a lot, too). When he comes home, I often know it because he mostly enters the house whistling.

Anyway, I was alone in the house in my room. I can’t remember where the rest of my family was, but I know I was waiting for my dad to arrive home from work first. I was doing something on the computer, and I heard whistling in the living room. I figured I just didn’t hear the door opening. The whistling continued, and after a while I got up to go say hello.

Nobody there. Door locked, gate locked.

The whistling stopped when I was on my way from my room to the living room, though.” – ohbubbles

5. Camping

“This is actually my husband’s story. When he was in high school he and some of his friends had a campout at his friend’s aunt and uncle’s house in the country. They did the usual cooking out, putting up a tent, etc.

At some point during the night my husband went for a short walk near a small pond on the property to “take a leak”. As he was doing his business he looked up and saw a man walking around the edge of the pond towards him. He clearly saw this man, who was walking with his head down. He described him as wearing a red flannel shirt, jeans, and work boots. He thought that was very strange that this guy was out walking around a pond in the country in the middle of the night so he “Hey man, what are you doing?” He didn’t get an answer and the guy kept walking past him and was now facing away when suddenly he just wasn’t there anymore.

My husband went and told his friends what happened. The boy whose relatives owned the property was shocked and immediately ran to the house and woke them up. He had my husband describe what he had seen. The boy’s aunt immediately starts to cry. She had been seeing this same guy in the house, sometimes standing at the foot of the bed, and her husband did not believe her. She was so relieved that someone had been able to validate what she had been experiencing.” – Lanaglugglug

6. I Used To Live By Myself, or So I Thought

“I never even met him, I didn’t know his name or face. I was, blissfully unaware, of his very existence.

I will never know why, or when it started. I’m glad for that I guess. I moved into my very small apartment in February last year. My landlord, Olivia, was a sweet older woman who would cook too much and bring me much appreciated leftovers. She was great to me, even after telling her my problem. I’m antisocial, but she didn’t mind renting to a reclusive young girl who reminded her of her daughter.

Every few weeks she would knock on my door then leave, letting me know she was leaving something for me. I loved that. Not even my family would cook so well. The next morning I wash and leave her empty containers outside my door and by an hour or so she would take them back again. My other neighbors seemed fine, but I never talked or visited with them.

I work from home so anytime I ever was forced to go out I rushed out and into my apartment avoiding an, uncomfortable situation. I loved living alone, it was everything I hoped for. I could just, breathe. By April though, I started noticing things were not right. They were moving, or plain disappearing. I was convinced it was just anxiety caused by my new medication and the move, another side affect was it would make me so drowsy. Since I hated seeing the doctor I just dealt.

I took naps during the day now and eventually stopped caring. Until one incident doubled my paranoia, Olivia brought me some sort of greek tossed salad and dressing for lunch one day and I enjoyed it with my friend Netflix. I fell asleep in the middle of Portlandia, and woke up that evening at 5pm. Per usual, what was not usual was my bedding on the opposite side of me was disturbed. I only sleep on the right side. Always. Even more it felt.. warm. My first thought was I must have rolled around a lot, but I knew it was too odd to dismiss.

I got up and searched my apartment gripping my phone with 911 typed in. Nothing else was disturbed, everything was exactly like it should be. I let it go, for the next few weeks everything was normal pardon the occasional misplaced shoe or drawn back shower curtain. I thought about telling someone, my parents, maybe Olivia, but if it’s not life or death I am not reaching out to anyone.

I wasn’t scared, I was nervous, maybe a little stubborn… But I stayed. I am not letting some stupid anxiety ruin my lovely lonely world. May came and It was getting worse. My panties, toothbrush, hell even my food was being misplaced. Every time I woke up there was this strange odor in the air. I finally realized this won’t go away by ignoring it. I called my mom and begged to come stay a few days, when I got home I told them everything. Saying it out loud solidified any creepy suspicions.

That weekend my dad went to my apartment and what was found was true horror. Written all over that walls: “COME BACK” “BABY PLEASE” He ran out and called the police. There was no one living in my apartment but someone definitely had access besides me. The investigation revealed a man, Henry, the son of my landlord Olivia, was in a projected relationship with me.

They showed me his confession on tape. He admitted coming into my apartment every night and every day with his mother’s extra key. He claims we were in love and he had my permission. He drugged his mother’s food she left out for me causing my drowsiness and falling asleep so he could come in and watch me sleep, touch my hair, kiss my shoulder. The leftovers I had in the fridge were tested and confirmed. I was absolutely horrified and disgusted. A man, I never knew existed, collected my drain hair, clothes, and trash and practically lived in my apartment for four months.” – Kimmiekissies

7. Footsteps

“When I was a young kid, I was home alone while my mom took my sister to school.

After about 15 minutes, I heard the front unlock, door open, and footsteps. They went into the kitchen but were very slow and heavy footsteps. I assumed it was my mom but thought it sounded weird for her; normally, she calls out when she gets home, and she’s a slim woman. This sounded like a big built guy with boots on.

So I called out and the footsteps stopped. Dead silence. I freaked out and grabbed our dog from outside and hid in a corner.

A short while later, my mom really did come home, and I told her about it and that I didn’t hear them leave. However, the door was still locked. The windows were locked, and there wasn’t a single sign anyone had entered. Not even a mark on the carpet from a shoe.

To this day, I have no idea what happened.” – WhiteRun

Related: Contacting the Spirits: 15 People Share their Scariest Ouija Board Stories

8. The Phonecall

“When I was younger I spent the day helping a neighbor rake leaves on his property. He was friendly with my family so he walked me home to say hi to my parents. We walked into the house and heard my mom upstairs talking (it sounded like she was on the phone) and walking around. I called for my dad- no answer. My neighbor says “Well it sounds like your mom is on the phone, I’ll catch them another time.”

We say goodbye and he leaves. I go upstairs to see my mom but I can’t seem to find her or hear her anymore. I search the house and it’s empty. I’m thinking, “Did she leave the house while I was saying goodbye to the neighbor somehow?”

I call my dad’s cell (my mom didn’t have one) and he picks right up- I ask him where he is, and if he knows where mom went. “We’re at the store, we’ve been running errands for a couple of hours.” Instant goosebumps.

My neighbor and I both heard footsteps upstairs and a woman’s voice. No idea who or what it was, but we both heard it. I waited outside until my parents got home.” – dibshi

9. Peeping Tom

“I lived with my parents. I was about 16. My parents left me at the house alone while they went out of town. We were from a small town and we had this one crazy old guy that was known as a peeping tom. Anyway, 16 year old me decided it would be smart to watch The Shining alone. I’m like a quarter way through the movie and I go into the kitchen to get a drink. I look out the window and a face is staring back at me.

I lose it. I dropped my drink and ran to make sure the front doors locked, it was. I looked out my front window and saw the old man walking down the road. – bradwasheresoyeah

10. The Butcher Knife Lady

“When I was really little my parents would let me stay up late on the weekends and watch TV until I fell asleep. I really loved these times and I would stay up later than anybody else just because I could. Well, one night I was almost asleep on the couch when I heard a noise on our front porch. It was the sound of our old fashioned porch swing moving back and forth. I was a little scared so I crept toward the bay windows of my living room and peeked out towards the porch. Sitting on my front porch swing was an older woman, probably in her 50’s wearing nothing but a night gown, covered in blood and holding a huge kitchen knife.

I flipped out immediately and ran screaming into my parent’s room but was too terrified to form words. My parents saw that I was upset, but when I finally was able to tell them what I saw, my dad got really angry and told me that it was just a dream and to go back to bed. I refused and kept crying and screaming until he had had enough and snatched my arm and dragged me towards the front door to prove that nothing was there. I kicked and screamed all the way trying to make him stop, but he kept pulling me. Finally we got to the door, he unlocked it, swung it open and said “See there’s nothing th-” To this day, I have never seen the look of fear and shock that was on his face when that woman turned and stared at both of us and slowly stood up with the knife.

My dad slammed the door shut and got my mom to call the police while he went and got his gun. He went back to the door with a 12 gauge and cracked the door enough to stick the barrel out. He asked her what she was doing and she said “Somebody killed my husband, but it wasn’t me.” My dad told her that the police were coming, and she freaked out, grabbed the knife and walked away. They police found her 15 minutes later trying to break into one of our neighbor’s houses.

I never slept in the living room again.” – Octagonapus

11. Night Time Visits

“Okay, so this whole thing began maybe 2 months ago. At an aunt’s party, my sister comes up to me and says that she thinks someone has been coming into her house in the middle of the night. My sister has always been easily scared, so at first I was skeptical.

I asked her how she knew someone had been in the house, whether she had actually seen anyone etc. She told me she hadn’t seen anyone, but she said she knows for a fact someone was in her house. She then went on to explain that she has a sky box downstairs that streams to her bedroom television. The first time it happened she said she heard the TV was being used, so she turned on her TV and someone was flicking through the channels.

I still didn’t really buy what she was saying, but she did seem genuinely afraid. She claimed it had been going on for three months on and off. To put her mind at ease, I told her I’d stay at her place for a few nights and wait to see if the guy comes, I took my younger brother along just to be safe.

In all, we stayed at her place for 4 nights. In those four nights, nothing unusual happened; me and my brother were convinced she was going crazy. Me and my brother decided we had stayed long enough and told her that we had to go home, she got extremely upset about this.

I reassured her and told her to call the police the next time it happened. She had called the police once before about the guy and they turned up to find no one was in the house. I said she could call me anytime she wanted and left for work.

Two days later she called me at 11:30 PM and claimed he was downstairs in her house right now. I asked her how she knew and she said he’s walking around the house, she was whispering and crying. I knew she wasn’t making this up, I could tell from her voice. I called my brother and told him to meet me at her house, I was on the phone with her the entire drive over to her place (I live 10 minutes away).

When I got there my brother was parked up outside. We both went to the back of the house (I was still on the phone with my sister). The first floor if the house was lit solely by the TV in the living room. As we approached the patio door we saw that a man was sitting on the couch facing us. We were frozen solid and my sister noticed that we went quiet and started asking what was wrong and if we could see him.

I told her to stay quiet and that we had it in hand, I then hung up and called the police to explain the situation. The guy hadn’t moved from the couch at all. The TV turned off while we were waiting for the cops, me and my brother majorly freaked out when it happened. We couldn’t see anything downstairs, then the hallway light turned on, meaning someone was on the stairs.

We opened the patio door and ran up the stairs and caught the guy with his ear to her door. We kicked the shit out of him and got my sister out of the house, he had a knife in his coat pocket.

The cops came maybe 10 minutes later. It turns out the guy was one of our mom’s old boyfriends who had lived with us for a while in the 90’s. He had always been fond of my sister but we had never suspected it to be him, he hadn’t contacted any of us for nearly a decade.

My sister has moved back in with my mom and is undergoing therapy to get over what had happened. Our ‘step dad’ as he liked to call himself, was given three years in prison. We are doing are best to cut all ties with the man.” – 1hze34

12. The Shadow Man

“I got up around 2 am – I don’t really remember the exact time, but it was past midnight. I saw a figure in the hallway, like a silhouette. I couldn’t see the face, but I could swear it was looking at me.

I went back to my room, took a breather, went out again, and it was still there. I closed my eyes and shook my head, looked back – it was gone.

I went to the washroom because I felt like I was going to piss myself, and when I got out to go back to my room, the figure was in front of my room, looking at me.

I closed my eyes and reopened them – it was gone.

I never saw it again.” – Asian_Prometheus

Related: Myths and Monsters: 25 People Share their Creepiest Hometown Legends

13. The Body

“Around 2002 I had just married my wife and we had just had our first baby. Bedroom door opened up and hit my wife’s side of the bed. Guessing she went to get up for the baby in the middle of the night. She went to get out of bed and when she put her feet down on the floor she felt a body. She reached down and lifted an arm. She thought it was me on the floor at first then she reached over and I was asleep in bed. She started screaming and I woke up.

This guy had passed out on our floor woke up. I chased him out of the house with a knife. Basically, some drunk came in our house and passed out on our floor without our knowledge in the middle of the night. Totally f*@ked up.” – Trees4twenty

14. The Baby Monitor

“A few weeks after our daughter was born we had a really hard night with her not settling. She was in her basket beside our bed and her brother (3) was in his bedroom.

She finally fell asleep around 5.30am and our son woke up shortly after. We could hear him singing through the baby monitor which we still used on him as he’d begun sleepwalking. We were both lying in bed silently listening to our son when a female voice on the baby monitor did a loud “SHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!”.

My partner leapt up and ran through to our son’s room and I heard my son ask “Daddy, who was that?!” He told him it was me but our son insisted it came from the foot of his bed.

Since then we’ve both heard what sounds like someone walking up the corridor when everyone is in bed and I’ve experienced a strange feeling where if you leave the flat and have to go back in for something the atmosphere changes from happy family home to terrifying. If I do forget something after going out, if it’s not absolutely essential, I won’t go back in.” – Tang_Fan

15. Blood On The Floor

“I was in high school, and I lived with my mom and sister, who is two years younger than me. We also had a dog, big black shepherd chow mix named Marley. So my mom used to leave for work at 6:00 AM, and school started at 8:00 I think. Anyway, I was a senior about to graduate (almost summertime) so I would sleep in often, as my first couple classes were just study halls, but my sister was a sophomore, so she always left at 7:45. I was home sleeping with Marley downstairs (or wherever).

Well, usually my sister would come home for lunch around 11:30 and wake me up, but on this day, Marley started crazy dog barking. Not his usual barking at another dog outside, but really frenzied barking. I didn’t think TOO much about it, because hey, I was asleep, and we lived in an alright neighborhood, so I never had a reason to worry about anything. So I go back to sleep.

Next thing I know, my sister is shaking me awake. Our conversation went something like this:

Sister: “what the hell happened to the front door?”

Me: “huh? oh, I forgot to give you the key… sorry.”

Sister: “NO it wasn’t locked. It was wide open, and the frame is cracked!”

So we go downstairs to look at what happened, and she was right, door frame was broken, dent in front (battering ram style), and something she didn’t notice were the drops of blood all over the place. Then it all kind of came together in my head, Marley going ape-shit and all that. We go check him out and he’s kind of limping, and his eye was swollen. We decided to take him to the vet, and it turns out he had a couple broken ribs and was hit in the eye pretty hard. My dog saved me from someone with bad intentions that day. I don’t know what they broke in for, but they left with less blood.” – Lotus2289

16. The Lake House

“This has been occurring over the past few months. My parents just finished building a new home on the lake. We’ve been there for about a year in total.

The first thing that freaked me out was when I was home alone for the week. I was upstairs playing video games when I heard a dog whimper from the kitchen area, which is right at the bottom of the stairs. I figure that it’s my dog having to go out, so I call her and ask if she does. But she just runs upstairs, she looks as though someone just scolded her. But she’s a timid dog so I thought nothing of it.

Anyway, 5 minutes later I’m finishing up the game and about to let her out when I hear the same dog whimper, but my dog is right next to me. I’m a little weirded out. Then it happens again, followed by what I can only describe as a meager attempt of a human imitating a dog whimper.

Now I’m flipping out. I’m not sure if there’s an intruder or what. Trying to be rational I’m thinking maybe my uncle came with his dog to check on me and they’re just playing downstairs. While all these thoughts are going through my head the whimpers continue, the dog goes and then the human, just back and forth. All of this is takes place over maybe 30 seconds, but I grow a pair and start to approach the top of the stairs as quietly as possible. My dog has also got up and looks scared. But as I got to the stairs, the noise gets quieter. I hear one last muffled human whimper, except this time it sounds like it’s upstairs in a corner. I nearly shat my pants and had a knife on me the rest of the week.

Worse yet, over the past month, my dog has gone missing 4 times. And I’m talking like my mom alerted the neighbors and did a full search through the house, inside and out, not finding her for hours, and then suddenly we hear her crying from a closet upstairs. She’s somehow locked herself in it. It’s the first place we check now and even then there’s been a time where she’s missing, the closet is open so we continue the search and then 10 minutes later we find her locked in that closet. Freaks me out because I sleep alone upstairs.” – fuzzo45

17. The Laundry Room

“One day while doing my laundry one of the lights blew out in my basement. My basement is set up so that the laundry room is split from the other side of the basement with a wall and a door. In order to get upstairs you have to exit the laundry room and go through the other part of the basement.

So the light blew in the other part, not the laundry room. As it was the only light on that side, it was pretty fucking dark. I finished the laundry I had to do while dreading the walk through the dark basement. I exit the laundry room, get half way through the basement, and I hear a loud cackle.

Imagine a sound people make when they imitate a witch. Take that and imagine that the witch had been smoking for 50 years, making her voice deeper and hoarser. That is what I heard, clear as day, right behind me.

I did not look hesitate to bolt for the stairs. I waited until my father got home and then changed the bulb. I have yet to hear that cackle since, and I have not told a single person in the house about it.” – corby315

Related: 21 People Share their Creepiest Experiences of Paranormal Activity

18. The Tall, Thin Man

“When I was about 10 years old, I was at home when my mum went to the shops. I had been in the sitting room watching television before deciding I wanted a drink and headed to the kitchen.

From the door of the kitchen, I saw the tall, thin outline of a man outside of my back door and could see the doorknob turn. He put his hand through the cat flap but was unable to reach the door. He went after a few minutes, so I removed the key from the back door and put it on the kitchen table.

I sat on the stairs in front of the front door until my mum got back. Terrified.” – toolatetocare

19. The Motion Sensor

“I was home alone overnight (I was 11 but begged my dad to not get a sitter) and sitting on the computer in the ‘living room’ that had big french windows. The backyard motion light goes on but I didn’t think much of it since we lived in the woods and rabbits and deer were common. After it didn’t go off for 10 minutes or so I look over my shoulder at the window to see if some deers were eating my dad’s garden and see an oldish (50) man just staring right at me. Right in my eyes. I was so scared I couldn’t move. I finally jumped up and ran upstairs to my dad’s room and grabbed his gun and sat in the corner of the room facing the door.

When my dad got home in the midmorning he found me still crawled up in the corner clutching the gun.

Since then my biggest fear is looking out the window and seeing other people looking back at me.” – LordoftheDerp

20. Why I Never Sleep By A Window

“This is actually a story I’ve never actually told anyone before.

When I was about 6 or 8 years old, I moved into a big house with my mom, dad, and 3 or 4 siblings (I have 4 little sister and 2 little brothers, so I’m not sure how many were there at the time). We had one of those alarm systems that you arm at night so that if any doors or windows were opened, it would go off and after 10 seconds, if not turned off, the cops would show up.

One night, I fell asleep in the basement, wrapped up in a blanket. My dad was at work and wouldn’t be back until late that night, so my mother hadn’t set the alarm yet. Around 11:30 or so, I felt a chill. I opened my eyes and froze; in front of me was a tall man, dressed in all black. I can’t say I remember what he looked like, but I do remember the wide grin he gave me. “Shhh,” he whispered, patting my head, “just go back to sleep.” I was so shocked and tired, I did just that. I never heard him enter, I never heard him leave, but when I woke up the next day, he was gone. When I woke up and didn’t see him, I just assumed I was dreaming, but then I noticed the basement window was wide open.

Since that night, I have trouble sleeping next to opened or unlocked windows or doors.” – Awffulwafflez

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