As you turn the last page of a Stephen King novel, or the credits of your favorite horror movie begin to roll, you can breathe a sigh of relief, it’s all over. It was all just make-believe. But true horror stories are harder to forget and to disengage from. The following strange and often terrifying encounters happened… and what’s more, they could happen to anyone.
Turn the lights down low and hide under your bedsheets because the truth is we’re not safe. The real world is far more terrifying than anything we can make up.
1. Happy Birthday
We moved into a new house a few months ago. As we were in the process of purchasing the house, the renter who was living in it died unexpectedly of natural causes in his mid-40s. He died right in the middle of the living room. Shortly after, we move into the house, and almost immediately our two-year-old daughter starts talking about the ghost that lives in our house.
Now let’s be real here – she is two and two-year-olds are VERY impressionable. Halloween had recently passed, and she had this Halloween-themed picture book that she loved to read, so it’s entirely possible that all this talk of ghosts was just coming from looking through that book on a regular basis. Still, she was always telling me that the ghost was in her playhouse in the basement, or that the ghost was on the stairs, or that the ghost was standing in the corner.
She never seemed to be afraid of the ghost, and considered him to be her friend, so I wasn’t all that concerned even if there really was a ghost haunting our house. If he’s a nice and helpful ghost, it could certainly be a lot worse.
I would often tell the ghost that he was welcome to stay if he wanted to, but he was also welcome to go if that would make him happier. I was about 30/70 on the ghost being real and she could see and talk to him versus the ghost being just her imagination fueled by her Halloween book… until one day, when we were going out to the car to go to daycare in the morning.
It was still dark out, and rainy. My daughter told me that the ghost was on the back deck, and then she told me that today was the ghost’s birthday and she wanted to sing him Happy Birthday. Once again, I mostly disregarded what she was saying, as she is birthday obsessed and has in the past made us sing Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse, a bowl of fruit snacks, and the bathroom. So we sang and wished the ghost a happy birthday and went on with our lives. Later that day, out of pure curiosity, I looked up the obituary of the man who had died in our house.
And wouldn’t you know it? It was his fucking birthday.
2. The Babysitter
This happened a couple weeks ago and is the most recent creepy moment I can recall.
I on and off again babysit this two year old while his parents have a date night. Once before my friend was babysitting him and he started talking to his “grandpa” (who his parents say he never met as he had died before the kid was born). So whenever I babysit him, I prepare for something weird like that to happen again.
Of course this night were in his living room and he points at an empty wall in front of us “Grandpa” is all he says. He’s two and doesn’t talk a whole lot so I didn’t ask for an explanation. Instead I start talking about other things because it’s creeping me out. The kid then widens his eyes and grips the chair he’s sitting in, chattering his teeth and shaking uncontrollably. Here’s me freaking the fuck out so I grab him and tell him that it’s time to watch a movie before bed.
Later that night, I’m about to take him upstairs when I noticed the door was unlocked. I locked it and turned the knob, shaking the door, to reaffirm that it’s locked (I do this without fail to every door I lock, it’s a dumb quirk) and then carry him upstairs to bed since he’s already half asleep.
I’m in his room for about twenty minutes and when he’s finally out I leave him and go back downstairs. The front door is directly in front of the stairs and guess what. THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED. Immediately I think that this is going to be a horror movie and think that it’s a smart idea to check around the house. Nothing out of the ordinary. I even go upstairs to check on the kid again. I didn’t bother looking in the other bedrooms because I had his door open when we were laying in there and would have seen anyone come up.
Anyways, after making sure he’s okay, I go back downstairs and watch tv until his parents get home, jumping at every little noise. Freakiest night of my life and I had to debate for a solid hour when they asked me to watch him again a couple days later.
3. The Accident
Something found me after a car accident and I don’t know what it was.
During our drive home from a family trip our car hit black ice on a curve that sent us rolling. That day I didn’t wear my seatbelt I was ejected out the car by breaking through my window using my face as a ram. From my perspective: One second I’m in a car next thing I know I’m laying in some bushes. I try getting up but I’m stopped by an intense pain in my shoulder (broke my collar bone). Honestly, I don’t know if I passed out or just went to sleep but at this point I lost consciousness. After an unknown amount of time to me, through my closed eyes I can see a flash light shine over me(it was 3 am). My dad found me, lifted me to my feet with ease and pushed me towards where the totaled car and my family was. A distinct detail I remember about this moment is how firm the hands were.
The unexplainable part. After talking to my brother I realized something. My dad never actually went looking for me. My mom was badly damaged and no one had no idea what happened to me. They actually assumed the worst and thought I was dead, under the car. We didn’t even have a flash light. I don’t know who/what found me lying there, but something did. I distinctly remember the light shining over me before firm strong hands lifted me up like I was paper. Before talking about it I always just assumed it had been my dad. I post this every now and then just kinda hoping an answer finds it. My collar bone healed so it’s protruding a bit, it’s stuck as a permanent reminder of that day.
4. The Girl on all Fours
So, there’s this old bridge in my town that’s supposedly haunted by a young girl who drowned in the river beneath it. Apparently, if you came at the right time you could hear her scream. When me and my buddies were in high school we had nothing better to do than go ghost hunting. Being from a town of 6000 people in good ol’ southern Illinois, half of that being prison inmates and mental health patients, you have to get a bit creative to have any sort of fun.
Anyway, we get to this bridge at about 3 A.M. and we sit there for awhile. Nothing. About 20 minutes go by and were all skeptical. Everyone’s joking about how dumb this was, or trying to creep each other out. All of a sudden, Screaming. The most blood-curdling, high pitched screaming you’ve ever heard. It wasn’t just one scream either. It never stopped, it kept going even as we were driving away in our cars. But that’s not even the worst part.
Me and one of my buddies high tail it back to the cars as soon as we heard the initial scream, because you had to walk a bit downhill to get underneath the bridge. Halfway back, we both go from sprinting to a dead stop at the exact same moment. I never asked him what he saw, because I saw it for myself. It was a girl, running on all fours into the woods.
I don’t talk about this much because it gives me chills just thinking about it, and nobody ever takes me seriously.
5. The Farmer
My mother in law was a very funny and cool woman. She and my wife were really close and sadly, she passed away when our son was about 4 months old. Flash forward a few years. We live in an old 1930s era craftsman house in Pasadena, CA. Our son is about 3.
I was giving him a bath one night and he starts looking over my shoulder, not at random stuff, but at something. A moment passes and he asks me why Grandma calls Mommy a funny name. Long pause. I asked him what he meant thinking he was talking about MY mom. He then says why does Grandma call Mommy ****** (My mother in laws nickname for my wife). I was really set back by this. My wife and I never used the nickname, it was just what her mom called her since she was a baby. I asked him where he heard that. His reply:
“The Farmer told me”
I asked him who the farmer was and he replied “his friend.” I tell my wife this story later and she’s of course reduced to tears over the whole nickname thing. We both know there is no way for him to know this and we just kinda marvel at it.
Flash forward to the next weekend and my son is playing in his room. My wife is at work (retail) and I’m home (I worked M-F).
I hear him start talking like he’s having a conversation. He’s saying things like “yes” “no” “I don’t know that” then some laughing. I go into his room and ask him what he’s doing and he says playing. I ask with who. He says The Farmer.
At this point, I’m already thinking about the fucking Exorcist movie and Captain Howdy. It’s a little unsettling. I ask him where the Farmer is. He says he left when I came in.
THE FUCK. So my wife gets home and I tell her this and now she’s just as weirded out as I am. We have no idea what do and figure if it happens again we’ll do something.
A few days later in the middle of the night we both over hear our son saying the following: “Grandma says you and I can’t be friends anymore.”
Wife and I go check on him, both of us a little freaked. He’s just sitting up in bed. I ask if he’s ok and he says yea, Grandma says I can’t play with the Farmer anymore.
He never once mentioned the Farmer again. Not ever. He’s 13 now and doesn’t remember any of it. We do though.
6. The Man in the Top Hat
When my brother and I were around 4/5 we lived in a house that was about 100yrs old. One day we were walking up the stairs when we saw a tall man in a black coat and top hat walk into the living room which was to the left of the bottom of the stairs. A bit freaked out we thought our dad was pranking us so called out for him. Shit. Both parents came out of the kitchen (opposite side of the stairs and isolated from the living room).
I hadn’t thought about it for a long time and we never spoke about it. Then about a month ago, my daughter asked if I believed in ghosts so I told her the story. Literally seconds later my phone bleeps. It was my brother saying “I was just talking to (partner) about paranormal stuff, do you remember the guy in the top hat?”
7. The Night Visitor
Okay, this is my go-to scary story that happened to me. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I stayed up sort of late. When I got to bed, I was still feeling restless. I pulled all of my blankets around me and tucked myself against the wall (my twin bed was flush with the wall). I was in bed awake for probably an hour when I started hearing a rather unsettling noise. Muffled crying. I focused on it, hoping it was my imagination or I was asleep.
After a few minutes, I needed to see what it was. I turned around in bed to see a woman in a dress standing at the far side of my room, crying into her hands. Her hair was matted and her clothes tattered. She was about 7 or 8 feet tall, crammed under the ceiling. After a few seconds she looks up at me and screams, but it sounded like it was coming from far away. She made eye contact with me, turned around and walked through the wall.
I stayed awake that night.
8. The Talking Portrait
When I was maybe 6 or 7, I was staying the night at my grandparents house. I was on the couch trying to sleep when I heard whispering. They had a painting of my aunt hanging on the wall in the living room and it was talking to me. Nothing creepy though. It was talking the way my aunt would talk to me. Asking me if I was behaving and typical aunt talk. She tells me to wake my grandfather up because she needs to talk to him.
I did and when he realized she wasn’t there he began scolding me.
In between threats and insults, he noticed someone moving outside the window. He grabbed his pistol and told me to stay in the room with my grandmother. A minute or 2 later we hear a gunshot. Turns out there is a prison for young adults about 20 miles from where they live. 3 of them killed a guard and escaped. They were sizing the house up to take his truck and whatever they could, but he saw them first. Ended up shooting one of them in the shoulder. I have no idea why that fucking picture was talking to me. They’ve never experienced ghosts before or since.
9. The Bunker
I live in the north of Switzerland. We have a lot of old military bunkers from the Second World War. When I was 7 or 8 years old, three friends of mine and I went out to explore one of these bunkers who was built on a hill inside a small forest. The main door was jammed, so we had to break it up. We found a big log nearby and used it as a battering ram.
After many tries the door won’t budge. But there was a peephole. It was about 10 cm (4 inch) in diameter. We opened it and illuminated the dark inside. There was a long, ruined and dark hallway with rooms on the left and right side. We couldn’t see the end of the hallway. It was just too long. Every one of us wanted to catch a glimpse of the inside, when one of my friends says: “There is a small light at the end of the hallway”. This light was not there when I watched trough the peephole. So I pushed him away and took a second look.
What I saw gave me a shiver. There was not a small light, it looked more like a flashlight pointed directly towards me and behind it was a silhouette of a person. I walked a few steps back and said: “There is someone in there!” At the same moment someone (or something) knocked on the door from the inside of the bunker. This was the moment we got into panic, start screaming and run away. I was so scared I run straight home and locked the door. On the next day in school, my friends and I talked about the event. We came to the explanation that probably some older Kids have played a prank on us. One week later we went to the same bunker again. But as we saw, the welded connection, that should keep the door locked, where rusty and not broken, we just left without saying a word to each other. It was impossible someone opened this door before us, and this was the only entrance. I still live in the same region.
Standing in front of this door again was not very comfortable. The story happened 20 years ago. But it still looks the same.
10. “That’s Him”
I have four little cousins in who never got to meet my grandfather – he passed before they were born. One morning, they ran downstairs for breakfast as they usually do. As my uncle was getting their food ready, one pointed to the fridge and said “that’s him!” My uncle, not thinking much of it, said “who?” and looked over. They were pointing at a picture of my grandfather that they never got to meet. My cousin responded “the man that comes and talks to us at night until we fall asleep sometimes!”
Not horrifying, but still….eerie.
11. Time Travel
My friend and I time traveled. Or that is the easiest explanation.
We were in high school and he was taking my bus back to my house with me. We get home around 2:45 and my mother gets home around 3 o’ clock. We decided to go hiking before my mother could say no so we left a note on the counter and took off.
We took or usual route up the backyard hill making sure to avoid the crazy people that resided in makeshift homes up there. Climbed some trees for a while, explored a section of the car graveyard we hadn’t checked out before, and other typical teenage exploring type stuff.
We took a break near the top of the mountain. It was unusually beautiful that day. Incredibly green and there were seriously visible light beams shining down through the canopy. Like seriously pretty stuff. So of course, I start running around through the light and decide we should probably start getting back cause my mother was probably gonna be pissed if we missed dinner.
On the way back we stumbled onto a pond we had never encountered before. It was small and had a single wooden boat on it. There were also a few teepees around the pond. Not old teepees, they looked ratty and unusable.
We decided someone was probably living there and took a new path back home. We climbed down and up an old quarry and dropped off on the main road that leads to my house. We were absolutely filthy and over a mile from my place. We just walked the road back to my house.
We arrived home before my mother which seemed strange so I threw out the note so she wouldn’t know we were out galavanting. She got home like 3 minutes later wondering how we had gotten so dirty at school. She arrived home at her usual time and we had only been gone a grand total of 13 – 15 minutes.
We honestly don’t even talk about that day anymore. It’s too confusing. But yeah, time travel.
12. The Old Prison
I was on a tour of an old building in Australia that used to function as a prison for convicts sent over from the UK. Was going up a flight of stairs when I felt a pressure around my neck/windpipe. Didn’t think much more of it than, “Hm that’s weird” and just sort of rubbed my neck in hopes of making the sensation pass. When we were heading back down the guide said a man hung himself in that stairwell and people often reported the feeling of being strangled.
I completely bugged the fuck out, but didn’t tell anyone in my tour group in fear they’d think I was lying.
13. The Pale White Figure
When I was 12, I was in bed one night with my bedroom door open. I was watching TV, sitting somewhat upright with a pillow behind my head and shoulders. The TV was in one corner of the room and the door was in the other corner. The room was differently shaped and basically where the door was cut off the corner of what would normally be a perfectly square floor plan.
So with my bed lying between the two, when I watched TV I could see out the door. (I was scared of aliens don’t judge.) So I was watching TV and out the door is completely black. Next thing you know, something catches my eye and I look over out the door and this all white human-shaped object is moving past the door, from left to right, and when I stared directly at it, it turned and looked at me. A split second later it was passed the right threshold of the door and I was left petrified.
Shaking in my covers nearly shitting myself. I then hear the door to the garage open and shit myself even more. I run down stairs and am greeted by my drunk 19-year-old brother getting home. I spill out what just happened to me and he grabs a bat and we check every room, under the beds, in closets. Everyone was dead asleep. We found nothing.
Needless to say, I never slept with my door open AGAIN, still to this day 11 years later.
14. The Easter Bunny
When I was younger I used to live by the woods and could see a cemetery from my back porch. One Easter I remember waking up and seeing the Easter bunny (one of those terrifying costumes) and what really gets me is I remember smelling the wet hay. When I woke up I didn’t tell anyone, but there was an extra Easter egg in my house that my parents didn’t hide.
Years later when I was in high school I asked my parents if they ever dressed up like the Easter bunny and came into our room, they said they would never go through so much trouble. Then my younger sister, who I shared a bunk bed with when this happened, said she remembers when the Easter bunny came into our room and made a remark about the hay smell. I was terrified that we both remembered seeing a person dressed as a bunny in our room.
To make it even stranger, I told the friends I sat with at lunch what happened. One of the girls was my neighbor across the street. She told me one Easter a long time she looked out her window during the night and saw the Easter bunny standing in her driveway. I had chills. To this day I am terrified of people in rabbit costumes.
15. The Man by the Lake
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. He had been accusing her of insanity and apparently they were at the brink of divorce from this issue. She was so relieved that someone had been able to validate what she had been experiencing.
16. Strange Voices
Was at a friend’s house when I passed out on the couch. Woke up a bit later and realized it was time for me to go. Got up and noticed my buddies light on in his room but the door was shut. Walked by the door and told him I was leaving because I had to work in the AM. He said “YUP, SEE YA!” Went to fridge to grab my drink. Walked back by his room and said “later dude”. He said “YUP.” Something didn’t seem legit, didn’t sound quite like him so I opened the door….. No one there…. No one in the house. Went outside and his truck was gone.
I freaked the fuck out. Called his cell and he had left to go to McDonald’s 15 minutes prior.
I bolted outside and waited for him to get home. He told me the kid that used to live there years ago hung himself In the attic and ever since he lived there he has noticed strange things and voices.
This was confirmed by the neighbor. The kids older brother! After that just about anyone who goes over there has a weird experience. My buddy has dealt with it for years. When it gets weird he yells out loud “LEAVE ME ALONE” and he says the weird vibes stop for a bit. But they always come back.
17. Stop Now
Many years ago, as a 14-year-old, staying overnight at a friends house, with 3 other friends, similar ages. We’d all grown up together, except one, who was a cousin of the kid who lived there, and we’d never met him before. His older sister, 16 at the time, was the babysitter while the parents were out for the evening.
She decides to unearth a ouija board from a cupboard somewhere, and thinks it’ll be a laugh to scare us shitless. This was back in the days, when you could buy ouija boards as a ‘board game’ from your local toy store.
So we all gather round, and she starts off with a kind of yes/no lie detector, directing questions to the each of us in turn. Cue nervous giggles, but also a feeling of unease, as we all began to feel like this was awesomely amazing, like some kind of secret that we’d all been unaware of before.
Shit gets strange, when the sister asks out loud, that ‘if anybody is here, please show yourself’. A pause of a few seconds, and then a framed picture falls off the wall, and onto the floor. Naturally, we all freak the fuck out. She calms us all down, and insists we go back to the board, because we have to help whoever knocked the picture down.
Ashen faced and hearts pounding, we start asking questions (And I should also add, the pointer is moving smoothly and rapidly, in a completely different manner than before.)
Are you in the room? Pointer says yes. Are you a man? Pointer says no. Do you need help? Pointer says no. What’s your name? Pointer spells out S-A-R-A-H. Tell us a secret, we ask… pointer spells out FLIPACOIN.
So we did. Someone leaves the table and gets a 10p piece from out of the loose change jar in the kitchen. This was in the days when 10p coins were big and chunky. The coin goes spinning high up into the air…as we watch it coming down, it stops spinning and serenely falls edge down to land on the table. When I say land, it didn’t bounce, it didn’t rock, it just came down and met the table, perfectly balanced on it’s edge, as if someone had reached out, and gently placed it there
Breaking the silence, the pointer starts moving again. Seemingly random letters, we soon realize they’re initials, including middle names. Family tradition for my friend and his sister was to have 3 middle names, something not all of us knew. Aside from the brother and the cousin, no-one else would have known the older sister’s full name, and we’d met the cousin for the first time that night. Somehow, every person present, had their initials correctly spelled out to them.
Pointer pauses, and then spells out 3 last words. CHILDREN. STOP. NOW.
Took me many many weeks to be able to sleep properly. No one told their parents, and over the years it became our collective shared secret. Couldn’t rationalize it then, still can’t rationalize it today.
18. The Security Camera
I used to work at a place which required to be manned 24 hours a day. Reason being is that I handled sensitive documents/files and if somebody needed this information in the middle of the night I would have to fetch it for them (or confirm that I have it).
Anyways, security is kind of tight. Bars on windows, multiple locked doors to get to where I am. They would give me work to do during the night, but underestimated how quickly I could get it done. So like most nights, I finished my work in like 30 to 45 minutes and pulled out my phone and played games / Netflix (since nobody else is in the building at night).
So now it is getting to be the last third of my shift when all of the sudden I hear a door close. I look to the security camera and see someone walking down a hall towards my room. At first I thought it was just somebody that came in (ridiculously) early, so I turn around and wait for them to come in. But nobody came in, and the hairs start rising on my back. Now, this isn’t a really big building so I figure I’ll find the guy wherever he is and start checking offices and storage rooms but come up empty handed, however i do see that a fire door had shut. I go to try and rewind the camera, but the digital recording is password protected and i don’t know the password. Anyways the whole thing freaked me out, the way the person was walking down the hallway, like a determined walk right to where I was.
So, I sit with my spine tingling for the last couple hours of my shift and finally people start coming in, my replacement shows up and I tell her what I saw and at this point I figured I must have imagined the whole thing. I’m told to go home and the manager and girl who replaced me would look over the camera. After getting home I call my manager and ask what was on the camera. So they said that the video showed the fire door closing but then the video froze for about an hour, the next thing it records is me reopening the door.
19. The Oujia Board
Played with an Ouija board in college. I was not on it when it started spelling out “fuck Mary” over and over. Someone on the board asked “Mary who?”. The board then spelled “virgin”. The person asked, why? It then said “Because she watches him.” The person asked who? The piece then slid off the table toward me and landed at my feet.
I had not told anyone in that room about my religious background, and I was living a life quite contrary to my upbringing. I noped out of there right then. When I went to get in my car long blades of grass were lining all of my windows, wedged in between the weather stripping and glass. I wasn’t in there long enough for someone to have been that precise on all four windows.
20. Marks on My Face
I lived in some really unsettling places. One of the events that stuck with me the most is probably this.
I woke up one morning and as usual I walked to the mirror to brush the teeth and fix the hair. Now, I’m in a relatively small place with a balcony and sink in the same room without openable windows. I looked in the mirror and I see one of my plants moving, like there’s wind blowing against it. I turn around and walk over to the plant – that is next to the door – and check if the balcony door is closed. It was.
For some reason, while walking back to the mirror my eye fell on one of the pens lying on my desk. When I arrive at the mirror the first thing I notice are all these pen markings on my face. My heart stops and theres goosebumps everywhere. I cleaned up and fled the room. When I came back the door to the balcony was open.
Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy being there for quite some while after.
21. Golden Light
My mom had a seizure in her sleep (she was epileptic), got wrapped up in her blankets, and suffocated herself. Paramedics were able to get her breathing again, and loaded her into an ambulance. This was very early in the morning, like 4:30 am.
I was tasked with calling family to tell them my mother was in the hospital. The first and most important phone call I had to make was to my grandmother, her mother. Before I had a chance to grab the phone and call, the phone rang. It was my grandmother calling. This would have been about 5:30 in the morning, but about 2:30 in the morning in her time zone. She wanted to tell us that she’d seen my mother bathed in golden light, and claimed they’d talked and that she was dead, but headed to a better place now.
At this point I didn’t know my mother was going to die. My father was at the hospital with her, and didn’t know she was going to die yet. The doctors didn’t know she was brain dead yet. But somehow my grandmother knew and contacted me.
22. The Woman in the Window
My friends and I were visiting a graveyard a couple blocks away from home on Halloween, because why not? There is a building that restaurants have been going in and out of for years and none seem to stay open for long. The graveyard is basically this places ‘backyard’. On that night for some reason the lights were on in the building and there was a lady in a pink dress standing in the window just staring at us. There was no restaurant open in there at that time.
We all kind of booked it and this lady followed us from window to window like she was gliding, not walking, which made us completely book it. We ran as fast as we could down the road and there is a segment without windows for her to follow which direction exactly we went but by the time we got to the next set of windows running full speed she was standing there already, watching in our direction. We never made that trip again.
23. Small World
Back in my college days I was walking home with my sisters from a sorority meeting. We didn’t live on campus, but instead were about a 20 minute walk away.
It was around 2:00 in the morning, and for the first few minutes we were alone on the streets. No cars, no walkers, nobody.
Eventually, someone else was seen, walking towards us. A tall, older, white man, using crutches, and with a black dog at his side.
We of course step aside as he walks by, letting him use the side walk. We say hello, but he doesn’t pay attention to us. However his black dog looks at us, looks scared, and quickly rejoins its master.
A few blocks further, we hear the “crink, flop, crink, flop” of crutches again. We’re approaching a corner, and around the bend there is the same man, with the same crutches, coming at us again. We step aside, say it’s a small world, and try to offer directions, but him and his brown dog just keep going. The dog looked at us, looked scared, and returned to its master.
Approaching home we hear the crutches again, but can’t pin point the location. We turn on to our street and start walking down it, and about half way down our block the man steps out from a building, our building, and just walks by us again. Yellow dog looks at us, looks scared, and keeps walking with its master.
To this day I have no way to explain how a man on crutches caught up to us so many times, how he knew where we lived, or what happened with the color changing dog.
24. The Warning
During college, I used to travel a lot on weekends between my hometown and my college (90 mile drive). One weekend, an acquaintance of mine from high school also decided to drive home in a separate car.
On Saturday night I had a very vivid dream where this infant girl came up to me and said “Please…take care of my sister” and showed me an image of a car crash on the highway consisting of a silver Corolla (my friend’s car) and a black Ford Explorer.
The next morning I immediately called her and told her about that dream and asked her if she has a sister because I’ve only ever met her brothers. Her response was that “well…my mom had a stillborn girl” and then I asked how old she would’ve been today and she said 5. It immediately clicked that the infant from my dream was her lost sister! I talked her into driving back with me the next night and watched the news only to see an identical image to what I saw in my dream, only this time it was only a black Ford Explorer and not two cars. Still freaks me out to this day.
25. The Footprint
I’d like to begin saying that there have been many happenings in this house, but I’ll share the most frightening. Backstory: the area where my house is was once open prairie and we have found Native American artifacts laying around the area.
When my parents divorced when I was a young teenager my mother and I moved into this house. Now, at first it seemed great! There was plenty of space and it had a very cozy feel to it. However, as time went on strange things became to happen. The more I noticed them the more frequent they would become. I’d hear someone walking downstairs as I was brushing my teeth and would assume it was my mom, but whenever I’d check no one would be there. Footsteps began to be a very common sound in my house, especially at night. So, after some time I came to the realization that, oh shit, my house is haunted!
Now here is where things got really weird. One day my good friend and I had just gotten done from being out in the sun and decided to retreat to my moms house. Considering she had been away on a business trip we figured this would be awesome. My friend and I could go drink or do whatever mischievous actives we wanted to. We were wrong.
We walked inside and headed straight for the basement where it was cooler than the rest of the house. While walking down the stairs I noticed that The Beatles Yellow Submarine poster hanging at the bottom of the stairwell was tilted slightly to the left. No bother I figured, it must have gotten bumped by me or something. I fixed it and we walked into the main room. Mind you, we had pictures and posters hanging everywhere in the basement. What my friend and I saw instantly creeped us out. All 10-15 pictures on the walls were each tilted slightly to the left. Just as the Beatles one had been. But the weirdness of the situation didn’t stop there. The storage room (essentially a dirt floored room that is lifted about 4 feet off the ground) had its door cracked open. So I walk over and see a golden glow emanating out. There is a pull chord light located about 10 feet from the door that is turned on.
I hop up and into the storage room, crawl on my hands and knees to the light, and turn it off. Hoping that all of this had a natural explanation I call my mom up and ask her about it. She says she has no idea what I’m talking about and hasn’t been in the basement for weeks before she left on her trip. Shivers shoot down my spine. I look back into the storage room, and in the dirt there’s a footprint. The most distorted and mangled footprint imaginable. I’m frozen in fear. My friend is too. Without words, we look at one another each feeling a sickening, gut-wrenching feeling. I slammed the storage space door shut, locked it, and we bolted out of my house as fast as we could. I’ll never forget how sickening and mangled that footprint looked, and thinking that I had crawled in there to turn off the light still gives me shivers to this day.
26. The Ritual
After my grandmother died, my family performed this ritual (as per tradition). Essentially, you create a shrine for the deceased. For the first 7 days following the death, at 7 p.m., you remain silent for one hour to allow the spirit of the deceased to return and say their goodbyes. During the last day, a glass vase which was right next to the shrine fell and shattered while we were sitting silently in the adjacent room. We were all a little on edge, especially since the vase had been there for years, seemed secure, and all the windows were closed.
At any rate, after the silent hour had passed we called my aunt who was doing the same ritual at her house. She said that the strangest thing had happened – they were all upstairs in the same room during the silent hour when one the doors downstairs had slammed shut. They checked and the house was closed up (no windows open, exterior doors locked) and they couldn’t figure out what had happened. Also, when they went downstairs all of the doors – except the locked front and garage doors – were still open. They’d had the house for over a decade and nothing like that had happened before.
I’m not saying something supernatural happened that night, but it sure was a creepy coincidence.
27. The Knife
This isn’t a story about ghostly figures or haunted houses or whatever. It’s about living in a place for 10 years and feeling that place abruptly turn on you. Places have feels to them, the country around you has it’s own feel that you get used to.
I used to live on an old Southern plantation turned horse farm. It was over 1000 acres of mostly woods or pastures. One day I was walking/exploring with my dogs down one of the horse trails in the woods about 20 minutes away from the house and decided to randomly go off trail.
Like, 90 degree turn, climb down into a spring, then up under an ancient barbwire fence and wander along for a while until I found 2 large limestone caves directly across from each other. Both entrances were blocked by a bunch of rocks haphazardly stacked on top of each other. But they weren’t entirely blocked.
I really wanted to go inside but common sense told me I didn’t have a phone, nobody knew where the fuck I was, what if a snake bit me or I broke a leg on the rocks, etc. So I just looked around the caves and found this awesome as fuck old knife that looked like someone had carved it from a deer horn.
As soon as I picked up the knife, it was like the woods changed. If you’ve ever lived out in the country for a long time in the same place, you get a feel for it. My dogs got closer and clung to me. I felt distinctly unwelcome. I put down the knife but that horrible feeling kept up until I was totally out of the woods and almost home again.
I never felt comfortable alone in those woods after that. It was like one moment I’m happy and exploring, the next I’m being watched by someone who very much hates my guts. I’m sure it could be explained as nerves or whatever, but I looked for the caves later but never found them, despite knowing exactly where I left the trail.
I know that feeling of connection with a land. I used to be able to wake up and go outside and know immediately if something was wrong– a sick horse, a loose horse, people hunting on our land, etc. Nothing I can explain, just a feeling. Whatever I felt when I picked up that knife, it was really, really hostile. That’s probably my most unexplained experience.
28. The Basement
My house sitting story. Two months after my brother and his wife bought a new house, they had to go out of town and needed their cats fed. Their house and my office are both a good drive from my apartment, but only a few minutes away from each other. My brother said if I wanted, I could just stay over in the guest room rather than driving among the three places. So I got the keys and instructions. I was staying there three nights: Mon-Wed.
Monday evening was uneventful until about midnight. I was lying on the living room couch, watching Conan, with a cat lying on my chest. I started to drift off to sleep. The next thing I knew, I was standing in pitch black darkness. I completely freaked out, I had no idea where I was. I felt around in the dark and felt nothing. Finally I realized there actually was a faint blue light coming from above. I moved toward it and then understood where I was. I was in the fucking basement! The light was coming through the basement door at the top of the stairs, which leads to the kitchen. Just enough moonlight apparently made it through from a window elsewhere in the kitchen. I bolted up the stairs, turned on the kitchen light, and closed the basement door. I was terrified until I calmed down enough to come to the conclusion you probably already came to – I had sleepwalked all the way down the stairs (after opening the basement door, which I know was closed).
A couple things are important to the story. First, the basement. The house was very nice — actually, more than they should have been able to afford. The only exception was the basement. I had only seen the basement once, when I first got the tour. It was totally unfinished and was the one major thing they wanted to fix up. All they had down there was some boxes and the washer/dryer. I had no reason to want to go down there and had kind of forgotten it existed.
The other point is that sleepwalking is kind of a thing in my family, almost an inside joke. My brother talked in his sleep constantly, and would sleepwalk sometimes, and it always scared the hell out of me. The idea of people doing things in their sleep just creeps me out to the core (still does). My brother knew this and would tease me about it, so it was known in my family that I had this phobia. But as far as I know, I had never, ever sleepwalked until that night. The image kept playing in my mind, over and over, of me, asleep, getting up from the couch, walking to the kitchen, opening the basement door, and shuffling down the stairs into total darkness. Creepy as all hell.
Anyway, I saw the TV was still on in the living room, playing Wedding Crashers. I watched the rest of the movie, trying to laugh and think of the sleepwalking as a funny story to tell my brother. When I went upstairs to go to sleep in the guest room, I stayed asleep. That was night one.
The next morning, in the light of day, it didn’t seem that scary. I texted my brother about it and joked around. All day I wasn’t bothered one bit. But as I’m walking out of my office to my car, I’m overcome with this sense of dread. All of a sudden, the thought of going to sleep in that house — and maybe sleepwalking again — is scaring me. So I had a plan. I stop at the hardware store and pick up one of those rubber door-stopper wedges. At the house, I jam this into the crack under the basement door, and kick it in until it’s as far as it can go. I test out trying to open the door, and it won’t budge. Perfect.
Later, I go upstairs and fall asleep. When I wake up, I swear to god I think I’m dreaming. I was standing in darkness again, but this time I know exactly where I am. The smell is the same. The concrete floor under my feet is the same. I look around for the light from upstairs, and it take me longer to find it because it’s farther away. Last night I was only a couple of feet from the stairs, this night it was maybe ten feet. I run up and turn on the kitchen lights. I see the rubber wedge on on the floor, a couple of feet away, as if tossed there. Again, I can’t stop picturing myself sleepwalking. Out of the bedroom, down the stairs, trying to open the basement door. Bending down and yanking out the wedge. And then, again, slowly down into the darkness.
I decided I was turning on the basement lights and they were staying on. I opened the door and flipped the switch to the basement stairway. I saw there was a main switch at the bottom of the stairs. To give you a quick sense of the layout, the staircase splits the basement into two parts. To the right is a small area with the washer/dryer, and to the left is the a big open area.
Anyway, I walked down and turned on the lights for the whole basement. That’s when I noticed something I hadn’t noticed when my brother gave me the tour. About 10-15 feet away, in the big area, there was a door to what looked like a small closet. This door was closed, but had no doorknob (just an empty hole), so it looked like it would freely swing open. I realized it was very close to where I had just awoken. Then a fucking freaky thought came to me: it was as if each night I was heading to the door, and getting a little farther each time before I woke up. As soon as that thought popped into my head, I booked it up the stairs again, left the lights on, and closed the door. I went up to the bedroom, but it took me forever to fall asleep. That was night two.
The next morning, Wednesday morning, I woke up late for work. I didn’t think about the basement at all because I was scrambling to get ready. At work though, I was still curious about what was behind the door, so I texted my brother and asked. He replied “wait….why were you in the basement?” I realized that when I texted him the day before, I never actually told him where I woke up. So I tell him I woke up in the basement, actually twice in a row. After a while, he sends this novel-length text. About how the basement is creepy, not to go down there, etc. How they tried putting the litter boxes in the basement and the cats made a mess in the house because they refused to go down. How he volunteers to do every chore other than the laundry so he doesn’t have to go down there. He says all this stuff, and it’s surprising to me, because my brother never believed in the paranormal or superstitions, ever since we were kids. I also realize he never answered my question about the door, but I let it go.
After work, I get the same feeling of dread as I’m walking to my car. I really don’t want to stay there again, and I decide: fuck it, I don’t have to. So I go feed the cats, get my stuff, and drive back to my place. I’m supposed to feed the cats one more time, so I’ll stop over in the morning. As I went to sleep at my apartment, I was thinking of all the steps I would have to take to sleepwalk to the basement again — find my car parked around the block, drive asleep to my brother’s house, etc. But this time, I sleep through the night. That was night three.
Thursday morning, I stop at the house as planned. I’m about to leave when I remember that the basement lights are still on. I don’t even hesitate to go down to turn them off. There was something about being there in the morning that, at the time, made it seem fine. When I go down, again that door without a doorknob catches my eye, and it also doesn’t seem scary anymore. So, what the hell, let’s see. I walk over to it and I distinctly remember not feeling spooked at all. Until — I reach my hand toward the doorknob hole to pull it open. As soon as I do that, and I mean instantly, I feel this electric feeling, like the air before a storm, and I imagine a hand coming through that hole and grabbing mine. It was like 0 to 60, going from no fear to being certain that something horrible would happen if I opened that door. It’s hard to describe it other than that electric feeling. I booked it up the stairs and out of the house.
So, a month later, I meet my brother for happy hour. A few drinks in, we start joking about me sleepwalking and the creepy basement. I say he never answered me about what’s behind the door, and he says I don’t want to know. Joking at first, but then insisting. Finally he tells me, and I don’t believe him. He’s my big brother and has only bullshitted me about a million times in my life.
This was his explanation: the previous (and first) owners of the house had a teen daughter that used the basement as her bedroom. The door was to her closet, where one night she curled up, took some pills and killed herself. The family was going to remodel the basement, but after tearing it apart realized they couldn’t do it and had to move. That was why only the basement was unfinished, and why my brother was able to afford the place — the seller had to disclose a suicide happened in the residence. He said if I didn’t believe him, to look up the market values of the identical houses in his track (I know how much they paid for their house and it was way lower). He and his wife considered themselves rational people and figured it was a bargain, but didn’t want to tell anyone. After they moved in, his wife was fine with the basement, but he grew to hate it. He apologized for not saying anything to me before I stayed there, but he never thought I’d have any reason to go down there.
Now here’s what that convinced me. I said “Okay, the only thing that makes me kind of believe you is that the last morning I was there, I went over to the closet door” — and at this point, I see my brother’s face change — and I continued: “when I went to open it, the air felt like–” and at the same instant, I say “electricity” and my brother says “electric.” At the same exact time. I saw his face and knew he was telling the truth.
I’ve never stepped foot again in that basement, and I haven’t sleepwalked since.
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