21 People Share Their Scariest Encounters with the Supernatural
[Image via Jon Noel / Flickr]

From tales of sinister imaginary friends and strange dreams that warn of nightmares to come to a story of a young man who thinks he’s alone in the house, only to find there’s something unearthly waiting in the dark for him. Here are 21 of the scariest real-life encounters with the supernatural that have ever been shared.

Don’t forget, the more you stare into the darkness the better you may see something staring right back at you…

1. The Girl in the Window

“My 4-year-old daughter was supposedly asleep when I heard a noise coming from her upstairs bedroom. I tried to listen but could not make out what was being said. I approached the room, and she stopped talking. Thinking I alarmed her I went into the room. At the time she was sharing it with her 3-year-old sister. I walked in and saw the 4-year-old sitting up in bed. I smiled and said is everything o.k.? She said fine, but her sister said they were keeping her up. I asked who? My 4-year-old said sorry but that she was talking. When I asked her who she was talking to, my 3-year-old sat up and said “the girl in the window, she said you were coming.”

After I shit a brick, I asked who the girl was and they both said a girl comes and stands in front of the window at night and talks to them. Not knowing what to say, I said o.k. tucked them in and hung around outside their door. The next day I asked about the girl. they said she came back but was mad! I waited a few days and asked again. My 4-year-old said the girl in the window was still mad.

I forgot about it for about a week, when my wife said, “who are the girls talking to upstairs?” Freaked out I ran upstairs and both girls were sitting under the window looking up. They turned and looked at me and asked if I wanted to meet the girl. When they turned around, disappointed, they said the girl left. It has been about 5 years since and I have not heard about the girl in the window since then.” – avalonhill

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

2. The Basement Stairs

“I am the oldest of six kids. One passed away as an infant.

My two younger sisters and one of my younger brothers used to like to push their mattresses together on the floor downstairs on the weekends and watch movies/sleep. My youngest brother still slept in his crib upstairs as he was still to young to roam the house at night as we had two staircases leading to the basement that he could easily fall down.

One evening, as my sisters and brother were about to fall asleep watching a movie, my youngest brother appeared at the bottom of the stairs. It startled them awake and confused them as he should have been in his bedroom sleeping. They asked him what he was doing, he just smiled, then turned around and ran around the corner to the staircase. My sister followed, but when she reached the bottom of the staircase he wasn’t there. It wasn’t possible, the kid had to climb stairs on all fours still and it took him minutes to climb them. Confused, my sister ran upstairs and asked my parents what my little brother was doing downstairs. They checked on him, and he was in bed sleeping.

All three of my brothers and sisters cried hysterically that night because they knew what they saw and it didn’t make sense. They still swear by it today.”  taderbuggg

3. Ice Cold Fingers

“I was at my grandmother’s house staying the night. It was summer; probably mid-July and there was a storm brewing outside. I was laying in bed, just listening to the TV as I tried to drift off to sleep when I suddenly felt like I was being watched.

I laid there, trying to pull the covers up higher, the uncomfortable feeling growing stronger. The room was starting to grow cold.

I tried to focus on the TV, I was watching something on cartoon network so it definitely wasn’t contributing to the creepy atmosphere welling up in the room.

Then I felt something down by my foot. The bed depressed slightly and the covers fluttered. Then something icy cold grabbed my ankle.

I immediately jumped out of bed and hit the light switch on the wall behind me, at the same time I ripped the covers off of the bed.

There was nothing there.

But I still felt the cold fingers around my ankle.” – dawrina

Related: 13 People Describe Their Eeriest Experiences with Shadow People

4. The Magic Shop

“I was 19 and staying at my family’s shop. See, my family owns a magic shop (you know, David Copperfield kinda tricks) and they lived above the store. Now, this wasn’t a regular building. It was, in point of fact, a 200-year-old log cabin (well, two cabins put together with a few renovations). But it’s nice and in a hollow in the mountains.

My parents would often go on vacation in January and would leave me alone to care for the store. And, usually, I would just sleep in the guest room for the week. I remember, though, this house always giving me the creeps. I always kept the lights on in the house and always felt like I was not alone. I hated being there at night but still I stayed (too far of a drive to go back and forth all the time and, frankly, I couldn’t afford the gas). But I knew something was odd with this house, it just felt wrong. Almost like I could see things staring back at me from dark rooms.

I would sometimes hear things. Odd creaks or the sound of doors moving

One night, however, I laid down to go to sleep. Like usually, I locked the door to my room (habit) and went to sleep. At about 2:00 in the morning (I checked later), I am woken up by what could only be described as a refrigerator being thrown UP the stairs. I sat up from my bed and the door to my room started getting banged on repeatedly. Like someone was hitting it with both fists over and over and over and over…

I reached for a knife near by bed and stood on the other side of the room, ready to attack anyone who came into the room. It was so violent and, yet, this tiny door with the tiny lock held. Suddenly, it stopped. No more banging, no movement, no nothing…

I stood rooted to the floor for several minutes before I walked towards the door…and shoved a bookcase in front of it. I sat in a chair on the opposite side of the room and watched the door for probably another hour before I fell asleep in that chair, with the knife still in my hand.

The next morning, I checked the house. Doors still locked, no windows unlocked, alarm system still on… there was no one in the house that night except me. It still scares the life from me every time I think about it.” – thiswillbeinterestin

5. The New House

“When I was a child my family moved to a big old two-floor house, with big empty rooms and creaking floorboards. Both my parents worked so I was often alone when I came home from school. One early evening when I came home the house was still dark. I called out, “Mum?” and heard her sing-song voice say “Yeeeeees?” from upstairs.

I called her again as I climbed the stairs to see which room she was in, and again got the same “Yeeeeees?” reply. We were decorating at the time, and I didn’t know my way around the maze of rooms but she was in one of the far ones, right down the hall.

I felt uneasy, but I figured that was only natural so I rushed forward to see my mum, knowing that her presence would calm my fears, as a mother’s presence always does. Just as I reached for the handle of the door to let myself into the room I heard the front door downstairs open and my mother call “Sweetie, are you home?” in a cheery voice. I jumped back, startled and ran down the stairs to her, but as I glanced back from the top of the stairs, the door to the room slowly opened a crack.

For a brief moment, I saw something strange in there, and I don’t know what it was, but it was staring at me.”  keepinithamsta

6. Grandpa Ray

“When the house we live in today was for sale, we went with our realtor for a tour. The 80+ year-old lady who lived there at the time was there. She stayed in the corner bedroom on a bed and read a book while we looked around. After we left, my wife and I thought it was strange that she hung out in that room and not the master bedroom, that the bed in the Master didn’t look like it had been slept in in a while, and that the master bath had clearly not been used in a long time. Once we bought the house, the neighbor told us that the old lady didn’t like to spend any time in the master suite anymore because that’s where her husband, Ray, had died.

Fast forward a few years. My wife is out for the day so it’s just me, our 3-year old and our baby at the house. After putting the baby down for a nap I asked the 3-year-old to hang out in the bedroom while I got a quick shower. He had gotten one of these toys a few days before but had been having a lot of trouble figuring it out. I went in the shower and left him on the bed with that toy and a few others. When I was in the shower I thought I heard him talking to someone – maybe my wife had come home early – but when I got out it was still just me and him. Now, though, he was sitting on the bed, proficiently working the gyro toy. I told my kid I was happy he figured it out and he replied, “Oh it’s easy now that Grandpa Ray showed me how it works.”” – cinch123

7. The Burned Head

“So have you ever seen what you thought looked like a person out of the corner of your eye? But they disappear before you get a good look at it? Well while I was on Netflix and browsing Reddit when I saw a head peeking out from the stairwell, when I looked at it, it was still there. It slowly moved its head back behind the wall, I got a good enough look at it that it seemed to be charred/burned. The thing that creeps me out the most is that my puppy who was with me at the time looked at that spot for the next 5 min with his hair and ears perked up.” – neon_fish

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

8. Sweet Old Lady

“I was super excited to get my first apartment. It was in an old antebellum house that was split into four units. Very cool place to live. However, every time I was taking a shower, I would get this overwhelmingly creepy feeling. Like somebody was watching me. Then the dreams started. I kept dreaming about this old lady in a pink nightgown. Sometimes she just looked frail and sweet, and she’d say that I should go with her. She never said where we’d go.

Other times, the dreams were terrifying. Her eye sockets were empty. Her hair was greasy, stringy, and falling out. Her mouth was twisted in a tormented scream. And she’d frantically claw the air trying to grab me. The longer I lived there, the more menacing the dreams got. Also, the feeling of unease and the feeling of being watched in the shower increased dramatically. By the time we moved out, I couldn’t close my eyes in the shower. It sounds silly, but I had this overwhelming feeling that I was going to die or lose my soul or something if I had my eyes closed too long.

After moving out, I discussed all these weird feelings with a friend of mine who had recently moved into a house across the street from the old apartment. I was trying to laugh it off. He said that another friend of his used to live in the apartment above mine several years ago. An old lady died in what used to be my apartment. Nobody else wanted to live in that unit for more than a couple of months at a time. The building recently burned down. The fire started in my old apartment. They still don’t know what started the fire. Still, creeps me out.” Anonymous

9. Dreams

“About 5 years ago when I was still with my ex at the time, there was one night she spent the night at my place, she always told me she felt like there was someone in my room but obviously it was just us two. She said that one night I woke her up from my sleep talk and it sounded like I was talking to someone, she asked me “who are you talking to?” and apparently I replied her “that person over there, can’t you see?”

She woke me up straight away and I slightly remember talking to someone at the time.” – benson2009

10. Sleep Paralysis?

“I live in Charleston SC, so the house I rented last year was built in the mid-1800s. Things would often fall off the counters. We would hear crashing noises all the time and when we went to go investigate, stuff would be lying broken on the floor, even though no one else was home. the weirdest occurrence of this happened when my roommate and I heard a noise from the kitchen, and when we walked in there, a painting was in the middle of the floor (about 7ft away from where it was hanging) and the water was running.

One night I was laying in bed about to fall asleep and I got the sense that someone else was in the room. My stomach dropped and my hair stood on end. I got extremely anxious and suddenly my body felt like there was an electric current going through it, and I heard a distinctly human voice right next to my ear. It was a man’s voice, speaking complete gibberish. I was paralyzed with fear and ended up sleeping on the couch that night.

Unfortunately, this started happening more often. About once a month, right as I was falling asleep, I would get a sense that something wasn’t right and I would hear voices. One time, I heard a woman laughing. Another time, I heard someone say “my name is Evan”. Mostly it was just gibberish. On two occasions I felt like my body was moving when it actually wasn’t. One time, my body felt like it was levitating and another time it felt like it was being dragged across the floor, while I also could feel my body laying it my bed. It was very odd.

I stopped telling people after the first time because I thought they would either think I was crazy or mentally ill. I honestly thought I was either schizophrenic or possessed. I was so fucking scared to even go to bed. I then found out what sleep paralysis was, and all the symptoms fit. The electric current feeling running through my body, the hallucinations and the temporary paralysis. I was so relieved to have a medical explanation. However, I had never experienced it before moving in that house and I have since moved

However, I had never experienced it before moving in that house and I have since moved out, and have not experienced it again. I’m a very logical person and am happy to accept sleep paralysis as the answer but part of me feels like it was something more.”  iridescent59

11. Crying in the Cot

“Apparently, soon after I was born, my parents bought a second-hand cot for me to sleep in (not sure WHAT I’d been sleeping in before that, but petty details ruin a good story if you get my meaning). They went to collect the cot from the person they bought it from–it was one of those old wooden ones with the drop-bars, and painted white. They put the cot into what would be my room, smiled, and went about their business of the day as usual. That evening, they put me down to sleep in the cot, and went about their evening routine.

After they’d both gone to bed, my mom wakes up to hear me crying. So she gets out of bed and pads across to my room, switching on the lobby light as she goes. She gets to the room, opens the door, peers inside.

There’s the sound of crying coming the cot, all right.

But I’m still fast asleep.

They got rid of the cot the very next day and bought one brand new instead.” – TyrannicalDuck

12. Tied in Knots

“When I was 11 years old, I woke up one night and saw a man standing in my room, opening and closing my dresser drawers. He was tall, pale, and shiny, but he looked corporeal–not translucent or ghostly or anything. I couldn’t move at all, but I pissed myself instantly. I shut my eyes as tight as I could, but when I opened them, he was still there, opening and closing drawers. I kept my eyes closed for a long time, and finally, after what seemed like hours, he was gone. The next morning, a lot of my shirts and pants were tied in knots. I came to the conclusion that I had a very vivid dream, and perhaps my sister played a joke on me by tying my clothes in knots.

Flash forward 15 years. We had long since moved out of the house, and no one had lived there since. I stopped by one day with my mom and two aunts, who had lived in the same house when they were kids. When we walked into my bedroom, my mom and my older aunt start teasing my younger aunt about the “silver man” she saw one time. My jaw hit the fucking floor.” – SyFyWrestler

Related: 31 Terrifying Real-Life Horror Stories That Will Chill You to the Bone

13. The Wedding Ring

“My stepmom died about 4 years ago. My father took it really hard. He had never been particularly religious, and I was never sure about his view on the afterlife or anything related to it. After she died, he would ask for signs all the time. He just wanted, like people do, to know she still existed somewhere.

He had gotten a chain to put her wedding ring on so he could keep it with him, but it kept falling off. He lost it on a baseball field once and my whole extended family had to scour the thing to find it. He eventually had to get a chain that had no clasp. It just barely fit around his head. He put the ring on it and had it soldered back together so it could not come off.

He went to bed one night and I woke up to him yelling for me to come in his room. I ran in and he points to the pillow next to his. The ring was sitting on it. He said he woke up and it was just sitting there. The chain was still around his neck, unbroken. I have no idea how that could be possible without some kind of paranormal fuckery, and I’m grateful to my stepmom for giving my dad that peace of mind. That incident really helped him.” – oyofmidworld

14. Late Night Snacks

“I was renting an apartment with a guy I’ll call Fat Pete. On this particular weeknight night, I was upstairs in my bedroom with the door shut and about to fall asleep, but I kept hearing rustling in the kitchen downstairs. Drawers and cabinet doors seemed to be obsessively opening and closing. This went on for about 10 minutes and I was beginning to get frustrated because I was trying to get to sleep and I figured Fat Pete was on another drinking binge and now looking for food, or cooking. I didn’t want to go downstairs and confront him because he was a big fat jerk and I all I wanted to do was get to sleep.

A drawer would open, I could hear the knives and forks jostled about, then the drawer would shut. Same thing with the cabinet doors, open-shut-open-shut. When you live in a place for a while you get to know sounds pretty well and I was certain this is what was happening. Just about the time I decided I couldn’t take it any more I began to get out of bed but heard him shout to his girlfriend (who was staying with him that night,) “They’re here!” and he bounded out of his room and down the stairs.

He had called the police because he and his girlfriend heard the noises too. They had peeked out their door, saw my door was shut and the lights downstairs were off and decided it must be an intruder.

He grabbed his keys, ran to the door and unlocked it. Two cops burst in and fanned through our small apartment. There was one back door (bolted shut with a key, as was the front door) and no signs on forced entry. In fact, being a drafty apartment I had temporarily sealed all the windows for the winter with a kind of shrink-wrap plastic film that is made taught and transparent when you hit it with a warm hair dryer; there was no way someone could have gotten in those windows without leaving obvious evidence.

The police searched the place and found no one. There was no possible way anyone could have gotten in or out with the key-bolted doors and sealed windows. The police found no evidence of entry, either. I heard the noises independently of him and his girlfriend. So what the hell was it?” – InterPunct

15. Man in the Mask

“My family and I used to live in an old semi-Victorian house, and I was always freaking out about the house’s many dark corners at night.

Once late at night in high school after my parents separated, I thought I felt a draft, like someone opening a door. It was only my mother, younger brother and I living in the house at the time, but they were currently on a camping trip.

So I gummed up the courage and went quietly down stairs. It was very dark but it was a full moon so I could see enough to walk around. I was feeling very nervous looking around the pale moonlit furniture which seemed to move with every step.

I thought I heard a stair creak from the basement. Bravely I crept for the basement door while my throat tried to swallow my Adam’s apple. I began opening the door when the door began opening moving faster than I was moving it. A distorted face appeared in the moonlight inches from my face.

I barely screamed as my lungs seized up as I tripped backwards and hit my head on the slate floor.

I woke up the next day in the emergency room with a mild concussion. Apparently my father had snuck into the house while my mom was away to grab a few things he had left (like his grandfather’s revolver, which didn’t work btw). The part that creeps me out was that we never had any halloween masks and my dad was never* the type to pull pranks of any type. When I talked to him about it, he said he never went into the basement and that he found me on the floor bleeding like a stuck pig on the floor. He mentioned he was very glad he had came or I would have been in trouble.

True story.” Anonymous

16. Heavy Breather

“One time I was sleeping downstairs at my grandparents house. They have a pretty old, big-ish house out in the country.

I was just laying there, peacefully reading reddit and then I start hearing what sounds like really slow footsteps (slow as in like 1 step per few seconds). Eventually, it sounds like there is someone breathing in the kitchen (I was in the living room which was attached to the kitchen.

This is when I started actually getting pretty creeped out by the whole thing. So, I was positive I heard some sort of breathing going on in the kitchen. Then the footsteps start again. Of course, me being the little bitch I am, I was turned facing the back of the couch, so I wouldn’t be able to see my killer, with my blanket almost up to my eyes.

After a minutes or so, I swore I heard breathing directly next to my head. I wasn’t moving though, I just closed my eyes and hoped that I wouldn’t piss myself.

I came down in the morning and asked my dad and brother if either were walking around last night and they both said they weren’t.”  Aspiring__Writer

17. The Bedroom Door

“One night I was asleep in my room when my dog started growling frantically. I opened my eyes to see what was the matter (she never makes noise at night) and saw my bedroom door slowly being pushed open. As soon as it had been opened enough for light from the hallway to spill in through the crack my dog started barking her head off and the door slammed back shut.

My mom came running into my room to see what was the matter and I told her what had happened with my door. She looked absolutely horrified and searched the entire house, all the closets, showers, etc to make sure nobody was in our home. We never found anyone. And it was just me, my mother, and my dog at home that night. Kind of creepy.” Anonymous

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

18. The Pitbull

“It was 2010, a few weeks before Christmas. My son was only 2 and was potty training, and had woken up in the night. I brought him to the bathroom and sat him on the toilet, my husband and I sat on the edge of the tub, facing our son. Suddenly he pointed behind us, into the shower and screamed bloody murder.

In that same instant, we very clearly heard what sounded like a 250-300lb man running down the staircase, which was only a few feet away from the bathroom door. We then heard violent pounding on the front door, it lasted at least a few minutes although it felt like forever. It lasted long enough for me to come to my senses kind of (we were still in shock) and I thought surely someone was trying to break into my home, it sounded like multiple large men trying to bust down my door.

I was about to call the police when I realized my phone was downstairs and I certainly wasn’t going to go get it. The pounding stopped and next we heard… something… just tearing our first floor of our house apart. It was frantic. It was like the Tasmanian devil was whirling around our living room and adjacent rooms, tearing shit up.

Once that finally stops and all is quiet my husband calls our dog, who was downstairs. A medium sized pit bull who was not skittish and was so faithful that she always came when called. At this point we are still at the top of the stairs, only a few feet from our son who was on the toilet still, and the staircase bends, so we couldn’t see downstairs. We hear her nails clicking on the hardwood, and suddenly scratching, as if she couldn’t get her footing or something. She doesn’t come. My husband calls her again and finally she comes to us, clearly shaken.

Eventually we get brave and go downstairs to see what we could make sense of. Something had to explain it, right? Downstairs our house is a wreck. The Christmas tree was knocked over, branches broken off. And from the bottom of the stairs to the top of the stairwell that leads to the basement is a line of dog pee.. now, this dog didn’t have accidents in the house, and she didn’t go in the basement, either. The only thing we could conclude was that she tried to come upstairs the first time we called her and was held down (causing the scratching sound of her trying to gain traction on the hardwood floor) and/or dragged toward the basement (causing her to pee out of sheer fear).

We all slept together that night, and I sage cleansed the house the next day. We never had a problem there again, but I did find something strange in the basement after. What appeared to be dried straw or something similar, braided, tied with a red ribbon and hung on the wall. Never did find out what it was for. Scariest shit of my life.” – puffpuffsmash

19. Little White Shoes

“My dad was renovating the kitchen in his house before they moved out. We were putting new cabinets in, when we took out the old cabinets (60ish years old) behind the cabinet (inside the wall) we found…. A pair of white old times children’s shoes.

What did we do? We threw those fuckers right in the trash… I guess this pissed off the baby ghost or spirit or whatever it was cause ever since then we would hear knocks and children running throughout the house at odd hours of the night. And occasionally my baby sisters crib would be moved from my dad’s room out into the hallway. We moved out a couple years ago and haven’t been back.” – RyanTheKoolCat

20. Sleep Walking

“About ten years ago (I was 8) I was visiting my dad at his house.

My stepmother was in the kitchen and I was in the family room.

We both saw my father, wearing a red flannel shirt and blue jeans, walk around the corner from the living room and start walking up the stairs. I followed him and called his name as he went up the stairs. He turned back and looked at me, got to the top of the stairs and went around the corner. I called his name again, then from the living room my dad popped his head up over the couch and asked what I wanted. He had been asleep on the couch the entire time, yet both my stepmother and I CLEARLY saw him, wearing the clothes he had on the whole day and all, go from the living room up the stairs.

It was the strangest thing I’ve ever seen. Both my stepmother and I still remember it and talk about it to this day.” – GunslingerBill

21. The Smooth Black Stone

“My family and I used to go “camping” a lot when I was younger. Camping consisted of renting a cabin in the woods and spending a little time in the wilderness. So we consistently rented this cabin in Pennsylvania where we would spend long weekends, when everyone in the family had some time off.

My two brothers and I, each being in the 9-12 year old range, would always run off into the woods and bullshit about while my parents did whatever. The cabin was on a mountain. If you followed a dirt road a ways past the cabin, the forest would open and there was a large field on the top. The field was about the size of a football field.

Near the edge of the field, on the far side, was a graveyard. The grave yard was pretty small, about 20 graves, surrounded by a wrought iron fence. The fence was about 10-12 feet tall with the gothic-ish spikes on the top. The fence had a gate but it was locked with a thick, rusty chain and padlock. Being kids were able to spread the gates apart enough to squeeze through.

The small grave stones were very old and worn, I remember seeing one dated 1890 something. On top of one of the graves, just resting on it, was a smooth black stone. It looked like Onyx or something, a little smaller than a golf ball but not perfectly round. My older brother pocketed it, we dicked around a little then left. Back at the cabin, which had one bedroom (where my parents stayed) and large living room/kitchen (where we stayed), we were hanging out while my parents were sleeping in bed. It was probably about 11:30 or so at night when a loud BANG! BANG! BANG! happened at the front door (which is right in the living room.) Me and my brothers were all scared shitless, understandably too afraid to answer the door. BANG! BANG! BANG! again the door shook moments later. It sounded like someone was trying to knock it off the hinges.

My father emerged from the bedroom asking WTF was going on. BANG! the door clashed. He knew by the looks on our faces we had no idea. He grabbed a wood chopping axe we had and walked over to the door. He looked scared shitless himself. He swung the door open and there was nothing but the night. No one in sight. After hounding us for information, and us having no idea, we went back to bed. I think no one slept much, if at all that night. The next day we were back to dicking around in the woods and we again found ourselves in the old graveyard.

The smooth black stone, that my brother took, was on top of the same grave. We ran, we ran fast.” – Efflux

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