The world is full of mysteries, murders, and deeply disturbing true stories. Most of us have at least one good horror story to share at a party or on a dark night around the campfire. The good people of the internet are no different. Thousands of people around the world have been sharing their most terrifying real-life horror stories on Reddit. From strange tales of ghostly encounters to abductions, serial killers, and stalkers that can’t let go. The horror is real. And if it happened to them, it could happen to you, right?
If you’re looking for something truly disturbing to keep you awake all night (and of course you are) here are the most bone-chilling real-life horror stories ever shared.
1. The Abandoned Asylum
“Me and some friends went to an abandoned mental asylum at night not really expecting much. We busted in one of the boarded up windows and when we were inside we all heard talking. We figured other people were there so we followed the sound. We’re walking down the hall and heard what sounded like a woman whispering “Why did you take my baby” over and over again. At this point, I’m visibly shaking and we all believed we found where the sound was coming from. We go in this room and there was a huge cage. It looked like one of those pet carriers but human sized.
I don’t know what the fuck happened that night. I don’t really believe dead people were talking in there but the sheer creepiness of it all was too much.” – BrandyAlexander9
2. The Watcher
“My cousin and his family (wife and infant son) had lived in their house for about 5 years. His wife left home to drop the baby off at daycare before work but realized she had left her phone at home. Entering the house, she turned the corner to the hallway and nearly ran into the drop-down attic ladder which was fully extended. They never used the attic as it was filled with loose insulation and my cousin had left for work hours earlier.
She quietly left the house, drove around the corner and called the police.
When the police investigated, they found a short-range transmitter connected to several cameras hidden throughout their home. The light fixture in the shower, the ceiling fan above their bed, even a pinhole in the nursery were sending videos to a nearby location.
Their neighbor a few houses away had been given a key by the prior owners and installed surveillance equipment once he knew their schedule. My cousin’s wife walked in on him updating his equipment but he forgot something at his house and left to get it when she walked in.
He had been watching them for years.” – matlaz423
3. The Blind Old Woman
“Worked at a women’s clothing mail order catalogue call center. During training, a veteran worker was talking about getting to know the frequent callers and the story of one of them.
So, old lady used to call in often. She was blind but would have someone help her pick out things. The manager of her apartment complex I think. She would order often, and they got to know her by name. Well, eventually, she stopped calling in. So they contacted the number they had for her, which was the apartment manager’s number. Old lady was fine, but had to be moved to a new building because…
Well, the old blind lady, was very meticulous with her cleaning. She cleaned everything often, at old lady level. So the manager had come in to do some maintenance for the first time in many months. Every room in her apartment, above head level, had thick webs and nests of black widow spiders. Hundreds and hundreds.
Can you imagine? An oblivious old lady walking around blind in a house she thinks is spotlessly clean… But there is a soul-freezing nightmare swarming all over the ceiling.” – MechaClown
4. Noises Behind the Door
“This actually happened to a friend of mine. She used to live in an entirely different town when she was younger and her closet had this strange door in the back of it. Well whether it was imagined just due to her being a child at the time or if it really did happen she started to hear noises coming from behind this door whenever she went to bed. She told me that several times she tried telling her parents that she was hearing these noises, but they never believed her.
So some time goes by and one day her parents get a call from the police because they just arrested a homeless man. This was not just any homeless man though. This homeless man was living in some sort of tunnel that goes straight to that door in the back of her closet. So every once in a while for whatever reason, this man would come through that door and watch my friend sleep in her closet.” – Rabadawg211
5. Mrs Black
“My Gran was in the local town doing her shopping and running various errands. On her way home she met one of her neighbours out doing their gardening, she stopped, asked how they were, they had a chat and Gran came home.
When she got in my Grandad asked how town had been, if she met anyone on the way, Gran started talking about the neighbour, Grandad interrupted her “Mrs Black?? We were at her funeral two weeks ago”.
Apparently, Gran nearly passed out once she realised.” – caca_milis_
6. Under the Bed
“True story about my grandma that takes place before they had children.
My Grandpa (Darrell) worked night shifts so my grandma (Dora) was home alone most nights. Her sister-in-law (Rose) would randomly come over to keep her company. Dora decided to go to bed early one night. Rose came over that night to see how she was doing. She went to Dora’s bedroom after calling for her with a reply of “I’m in bed, just come in”. Upon entering the room, Rose starts acting weird and telling her she really wants her to get up and come help her with something in the kitchen. Dora was ready to go to sleep and was already in bed and really didn’t want to. Rose was really adamant for her to come help her telling her it was urgent. After a
After a while, Dora eventually got up and followed Rose to the kitchen. Upon entering Rose whispers in a panic with tears in her eyes “there’s a man under your bed with a knife”.
Dora of course didn’t believe at first but seeing the panic in Rose’s eyes she couldn’t not believe her. They preceded to call the cops and left to the neighbor’s house. The cops came and found a man hiding in the closet with a Butcher knife. And that is the story of how my grandmother was almost murdered and why I still to this day as 30-year-old man checks under the bed.” – doo138
7. Early Morning Run
“My friend was visiting family in the states. They lived in a rural community of Maine and one morning she woke up before everyone else and decided to go for a run. After ~30 minutes she turned back and started noticing a van following a few blocks behind her. She thought it was strange so started turning down a few streets with the van following every move. She started sprinting and the van sped up too.
She ran to the first house she could find and started banging on the door. No answer. Hopped the fence and started banging on the back door. Dog in the house started barking at her but no one answered. She jumped into the empty pool in the backyard and hid while dialing 911. A car parked in front of the house and man started calling out to her offering her a ride home.
The dog in the house was now barking like crazy and the man left after about a minute. Police showed up and took her back to her family’s place. She gave a report and they identified the van from a nearby HVAC business. It had been stolen early that day.” – pm_me_recipies_girl
8. The Blind Date
“About 30 years ago my mom went on a blind date. Her date took her to a restaurant, and although he was nice enough, she just wasn’t into him. Not even halfway through the meal she was already thinking of ways to leave early.
The waiter could tell. While my mom’s date was in the restroom, the waiter approached her and asking her if she was okay. She explained she was on a blind date and not having much fun. Turns out the waiter was just about to get off work. He offered to give her a ride home if she waited another ten minutes. She considered it, and was about to say yes, when her date came back from the restroom. She gave a subtle head shake “no” to the waiter and smiled. She and her date finished their meals, and he took her home.
The next night my mom was watching the evening news. A story comes on about a woman being raped and murdered behind a restaurant the night before.
The restaurant was the one she had been at. They showed the murderer’s picture. It was the waiter.” – mollsabell
9. Up on the Roof
“I used to live next to a senile old woman who would knock on my door late at night crying and saying there was somebody in her roof. I’d always have to assure her that it was just possums running around and that it was fine. This went on for years until her kids finally sent her to a home and new people moved in.
A week or so after this I woke up to police cars on the street outside my house, I asked the new neighbour what happened and he told me he got out of bed and saw legs dangling out of the ceiling in the kitchen and assumed he was being robbed. The guy got away but when the cops checked inside the roof they found chairs, cans of beans, water bottles, magazines and some blankets. Old mate had been set up there for at least 2 years, assuming her complaints coincided with him moving in.
She once told me her dementia was so bad she’d sometimes have to go grocery shopping a few times a day because she’d come home and realise she forgot to buy anything. I wonder now if it was just because he was taking all her food.” – Anonymous
10. Hidden in the Tree
“This couple had a huge tree in their backyard and it started to smell and ooze. They had arborists come in and look at the tree but no one could figure out what was wrong. The couple decided to have the tree removed. When The branches started coming down a body fell out. A homeless woman was sleeping in the tree and died. Her body had been decomposing for ages.” – chelcdora
“I was only 4 when this happened. Was playing outside with my siblings and neighbors and while they’re busy playing, a lady approached me and took me to her place. A nearby neighborhood. After a while, everybody was freaking out and they started looking for me everywhere. This lady was severely depressed, her husband left her after their son died. He couldn’t handle her depression apparently.
She took me to her place, fed me and gave me tons of candy. For couple days. She also made me wear her deceased son pajamas. At some point, She took me to buy some candy from the store, the store owner knew her so he reported that to the police. She didn’t hurt me at all, the doctor even said I was well fed. I always think of her and pray she’s in a better place now, even tried to go visit her when I was a college student, her house was sold and she moved away apparently.” – Acherub
12. A Close Call
“My high school teacher attended Central Washington University in the early 1970’s. She and her best friend, Susan Rancourt were leaving the library late at night to go to a movie.
Susan was offering to carpool together on the way out, when they were approached by a guy with a broken arm, trying to carry a diorama of some sort. He asked for some assistance, which they both gladly agreed to but my teacher had left one of her books in the library. The last she saw of Susan was her smiling face as she graciously helped this guy to his Beetle.
Susan was reported missing, and it turned out that she was abducted and murdered by Ted Bundy.” – Schadey03
“I went to my aunt and uncle’s house one family vacation about 10 years ago. We drove from South Texas to some small town in Missouri, can’t remember the name, we arrived there at 1 am. Family consisted of myself, 2 younger sisters, mother, father. Most of the family was hungry from the long drive and wanted to see if a McDonald’s was open. I was tired from the long car ride and wanted to stay at the house. Mom said one of my sisters would be staying as well. I settle down into the living room watching TV, slightly dozing off. I can remember hearing pitter-patter down the hallway and assumed my sister was just running around, she’d been eating sugary snacks the whole way up. I get a call from my mom asking what I wanted to eat and in the background can hear both my sisters arguing. I hear a giggle somewhat behind me stand straight up and look around, nothing. I ask my mom if my sister ended up going with them, which she confirmed.
I stood in the corner of the room till everyone got back.” – Faux_F0X
“This happened to a friend of mine, and was verified by her sister and girlfriend.
The three of them were camping in an area in southern Utah (sorry I don’t remember the exact location), and it was during the fall/early winter so it got dark very early, around 5:00. When it started getting dark the three of them built a fire and sat around it, just talking and eating, normal stuff.
Everything was fine for a while, but they started to hear this weird chirping noise. She described it to me as a kookaburra call slowed down. They got kind of freaked out at this point because it didn’t sound like any regular animal. They also kept noticing rustling/movement out of the corners of their eyes but could never see what was making it.
After a while they went to bed, and everything was fine until my friend was woken up in the middle of the night to see what looked like hands pressed up against the outside of her tent, and she heard a weird wet breathing sound (like when someone has a stuffy throat and kind of wheezes while breathing). She said she was so scared she couldn’t talk, but was able to wake up her sister. They stayed quiet and eventually the hand prints kind of just faded away.
In the morning they wanted to get the hell out of there, so they started packing up their stuff at sunrise. My friend looked around where the handprints had been, and saw a trail of long, skinny footprints leading up to their campsite, but not away from it.
Her and her sister aren’t the kind to bullshit around, so I believe that this really happened. To this day she’s convinced it was a skinwalker.” – bovidaes
15. The Crowbar
“My friend came home from school one day to find that her house had been broken into. She decided to go inside, and look around whilst she called her mum. She was done looking at the second floor when she made for the stairs, her mum convinced her to go outside and wait for the police (who she had called). Later on, the police asked the family if they owned a crowbar, the said they didn’t. They then said it looks like the offender was still in the house when she got home, and they were waiting at the top of the stairs with a crowbar, which they stupidly left behind when they fled. – FlarpyBlundergufff
16. Bad Dreams
“Years ago I stayed for some nights at a hotel in the New Forest which is a national park on the South coast of England. The hotel was a large former hunting lodge built sometime in the 19th century. I felt very uncomfortable in my room and almost as though there were others there with me or someone watching me. I am not the kind of person that is normally given to such feelings but they were very strong and extremely uncomfortable. I was with a large group staying there and speaking to others after the first night many felt the same.
That first night it took me a long time to fall asleep and for the first time in my entire adult life I could not bring myself to turn out the lights before I went to bed. When I eventually fell asleep I had the most vivid dreams that felt extremely real of being in a trench somewhere during the Great War and hearing the constant banging of explosions and of artillery pieces firing. I woke up feeling extremely distressed and with a cold sweat. There was a banging noise which I assume must have been some metal roofing not affixed properly moving in the wind. I’ve never felt anything like it since and had never felt anything like it before. It felt so very real and I was completely overwhelmed with so many emotions and utterly terrified. I couldn’t get back to sleep, I felt like I was in the company of others, I felt like someone was near or that feeling you get when you know people are looking at you, and I spent the rest of the night in a kind of daze.
In the morning I went downstairs for breakfast and saw a frame on the wall containing some photographs and a story about how the hotel was converted to a military hospital during World War I. I did not know anything about this before I arrived and before that night. I had also not been reading anything about the war or had seen anything on television recently about it.
I’m a practical and skeptical woman but I don’t know what to make of that experience. I spent the remainder of the stay with one of my friends in another room. The oppressive atmosphere and general feeling of something wrong and frightening to me did not lift and my friend I stayed with was also afraid and was glad of me to stay with them in their room.” – ColourfulParrots
17. Walking in the Woods
“A few years ago I was walking through the woods off the beaten track a bit and I smelt this really overpowering sweet smell. Being nosey I pulled back the undergrowth to have a look and found a dead body.
The guy had clearly been there a while and wasn’t looking great, all swollen and green and black with various runny bits. The local wildlife had also been dining well for a few days.
I called the police who told me to wait with the body until they arrived. Being in the middle of no-where it took a while for them to arrive and it got dark and I was just sat there in the dark with him for a long time.
It turned out he had committed suicide. For a long time afterward I had dreams about him and he would talk to me and not nice things. Mainly about how he was angry I had disturbed his resting place and he wanted me to kill myself. Probably just my imagination but all pretty disturbing at the time. He still turns up in my dreams from time to time and no doubt will be tonight after typing this…” – Anonymous
“My ex-wife and I woke up in the middle of the night to find all our lights out in the house. We had not lost power. The living room light that we always leave on overnight had been turned off. The bathroom night light was removed and placed under the sink. The computer had been unplugged, and the monitor cord was unplugged and neatly folded on the desk. All of the doors and windows in the house were unlocked, undamaged, and standing wide open. Our bedroom door was open, and the TV we always fall asleep to was turned off.
Nothing was taken. Our cats were both hiding behind the refrigerator and stayed there for most of the next day. Whenever someone came and knocked at the door, our larger cat would start to growl and stare at the door from then on. She no longer does this after we moved.” – roundeyeddog
19. Midnight Man
“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
20. The Phonecall
“This happened to me last summer when I was back at my parent’s house during the holidays. It was around 3am and I was in my room on my computer when I got a call from my sister. Now that was already a little bit weird since my sister’s room is just down the hallway from mine and she could have just came in my room. I went to pick up and the call ended as soon as I reached the phone.
I figured that she wanted to speak with me so I got up and went to her room. As soon as I reached her door, she started screaming that someone was in the room with her so I busted in and of course nobody was here.
After she stopped crying she told me that she woke up and saw a dark shadow just centimeters from her face and that’s when she screamed.
So I told her that she called me, she tell me that her phone is not in her room and that she was sleeping. Sure enough her phone is actually downstairs in her purse. The weird part is that I have the log of her call on my phone but she doesn’t. Never managed to explain this one.” – arthurc
21. The Warning
“My grandmother swore by this story till her dying day. It was during the war in London, and my dad was a baby. She was bombed out of her house and was staying with a friend. The friend had set her up in a room on the top floor. Anyway, she was taking my dad upstairs to bed when a figure materialised on the stairs telling her not to sleep in that room tonight. She quickly went back downstairs and told her friend that she, and my dad, were sleeping in the sitting room that night. Her friend was annoyed but agreed.
That night a bomb exploded near the house and the roof caved in, right on top of my dad’s cot – he would have been killed.” – Anonymous
22. The Bloody Bonesaw
“I used to work for a hazardous materials company that went to different facilities to pack chemicals and dispose of them. anyways, we got a call to clean up some chemicals from a mental hospital in orange county ca, near Diamond Bar. The hospital has shutdown but they still use parts of it for helping the blind, which is still pretty freaky pulling up to the place and seeing people walk in a single file line holding each other’s shoulders because they couldn’t see the outside world.
Anyways, the director of the place wanted to take us to the morgue, which hasn’t operated in 40 or so years, to pick up some formaldehyde and some hydrochloric acid that needed to be taken out. now this morgue was straight up out of a horror movie; dark, stainless steel table in the middle of the room with drains for blood, and. big metal wall with doors and individual racks for bodies. also a long creepy hallway.
well we start packing the materials and the director starts looking in the drawers for more waste, when he opens one drawer and inside were bloody latex gloves and a bonesaw all bloody. he quickly shut it and said to us to hurry up and move on.” – baby_batter
23. The Hitch-Hikers
“Back in the 70s my grandfather dropped my grandmother, mom, and her 2 sisters off to do some shopping on his way to work. Since he wasn’t able to pick them up, they hitch hiked home. My mom at the time was only around 10 or 11, middle sister would’ve been about 7 or 8 and the youngest was about a year old.
They get picked up by a guy in pick up truck, who has them all sit in the back row with one of them holding the baby. My grandmother was giving directions to their home from the highway, but the guy ignored her and went by their exit claiming he had to make a stop first. Didn’t really say much else to them during the drive, my mom remembers my grandmother being very quiet and very nervous.
Eventually they come up to a farm, driver tells them to wait in the car and goes inside the house. While he’s gone they just sit there terrified, they’re in the middle of nowhere and know they couldn’t make it out on foot. A few minutes later the driver comes out with a second guy who looks into truck and sees my mom’s youngest sister. He starts flipping out, screaming at the driver that he shouldn’t have brought the baby back, they aren’t going to do anything with her and some other things I can’t remember, ends up telling him to get them away from the farm.
Driver gets back into the truck, apologizes, and they get back on the highway and drive again in silence. My grandmother, normally a very smart woman, had him drive directly to their house (although I suspect her reasoning was she’d already given him the address before anything seemed off). They lived at that house for several years and luckily never saw either of them a second time.” – Zrinski
24. “I Know You’re Not Sleeping Princess”
“My sister’s boyfriend’s sister (Yeah you read that right), lived in an apartment with a few of her other girlfriends. Some ball or late-night party came around but she decided not to go, and ended up being home alone.
She went to sleep but was awoken when she heard the front door unlock accompanied by some footsteps. She thought it was just her friends coming back home from the party-ball thing but kinda freaked out when the person(s?) came into her room and started rummaging about in her drawers and stuff. Burglars. She peeked out, kind of pretending to be asleep not wanting to get into any trouble, just let them take some weird pervy stuff, some jewelry maybe and stay safe.
As they were about to leave one of them, or the only one, she wasn’t sure how many people it was, crouched down next to her bed and said “I know you’re not sleeping princess” and left the apartment.” – choreander
25. The Shadow Person
“When I was a teenager I was home alone one weekend and I was sleeping in my parent’s room since there was a TV in there. Sometime around 2am I felt like I was being stared at, from the direction of the hallway. I looked up and I saw a shadow person looking at me. It was weird because it was a pure man-shaped black mass and I could see him in the dark hallway, I’m guessing light from the tv helped. I sat up and stared back but I was terrified. We looked at each other for probably 5 seconds and then it turned and walked down the hall, a few seconds later I heard a loud crash. I was so scared I turned the tv to the Disney channel and stayed awake for as long as possible.
When I woke up the next morning I walked down the hall to the bathroom and that’s when I noticed a mirror that was hanging and fallen off the wall and was shattered. My family still doesn’t believe me, but I know what happened.” – nessag
26. Night Time Visitor
“Laying in bed one night, it’s pitch black apart from the light creeping under the door from the landing. My mum was actually with me in the same room as we had only just moved in and she was sleeping on the floor.
I look up and the door slowly creeks open and slowly an oldish women peers around the door looks at me and goes away. I just thought I was in a nightmare and turned around real fast and went under the covers, hoping I would wake up.
Then I will never forget my mum whispering to me “Did you just see someone peer round the door?”. Safe to say we didn’t sleep a wink that night.” – PM-ME-YOUR-POEM
27. Pictures in the Mail
“Somebody mailed my friend a bunch of pictures of his wife just going about her day. Some of them were taken through windows of their home.
Police were called and everything, but nothing ever came of it. They actually moved because of it.” – iMakeItSeemWeird
28. Man on the Platform
“This happened recently, it was midnight, I was at the train station waiting for my train to arrive, and there was this really tall guy walking my way carrying a suitcase, as he came closer I noticed he was struggling to carry the suitcase as it looked rather heavy and oddly enough it was leaking some sort of liquid, not water, but it seemed thicker.
As this guy approaches he orders me to take the bag, the tone of his voice was a little aggressive and he didn’t sound sober, taking a closer look at him, I noticed his covered in dirt up to his face and cuts on his forearms, I said ‘sorry’, struck for words I started to walk away, my train starts to arrive and the guy follows me saying things I couldn’t quite understand, I hop on the train, door shuts, he is outside pointing at me yelling more gibberish, train slowly departs and suddenly punches the window in frustration with his eyes locked on me, relieved I’m on the train, fellow commuters looking at me puzzled with all the commotion of me and that guy. Creeped me out. ” – dcel8
29. The Old Orphanage
“Mom walking through a house with a realtor, 3-year-old me in tow. Realtor mentions that the house used to be an orphanage (mom loves old houses, this one had plenty of rooms and old house-y-ness).
About 15 minutes in, 3-year-old me kept asking, “Where’d that little boy go?” – TwoStickZach
30. Hotel of Horrors
“It happened when I was at a hot spring hotel in South Korea with my siblings. Our room got upgraded to a suite with a tatami room, a double bedded room, balcony, dining area and kitchenette. As we were on the fourth floor, we could see the rice fields from the balcony.
The moment I walked into the room, I had an uneasy feeling that made my hairs on my arms stand on end. I attributed it to the air-conditioning at first. At around midnight, when my siblings and I were midway through our pillow fight in the tatami room, we heard knocking from the wall in the other bedroom. There was no one else in the suite with us. Feeling creeped out, we decided to stop fooling around and sleep huddled together in the tatami room. That was when we heard tapping coming from the glass doors of the balcony. It was the unmistakable taps of nails on glass. That was when I remembered that there were no trees or branches near our balcony. We totally freaked out and didn’t even dare to walk out to draw the curtains to check. Throughout the whole night, I clutched my jade amulet and prayed.
The next morning, other members (of the tour group that we were in) staying on the same floor mentioned that they had experienced disturbances at night too. The other most notable incident was of an old lady whose blanket kept getting pulled off her bed.” – awwsnapz
31. The Clean-up Guy
“After college I spent 3 years working for Servepro. Mostly cleanup of sewer backup, mold removal, fire damage. If the job was particularly shitty, bonuses started kicking in. Automatic 50$ if shit was involved, 25$ after 6pm, 50$ after midnight etc. Fucking hoarders were so shockingly common it was sad, but you got 25$ a day. The big money was dead bodies. Murder was more than natural death unless the body had been sitting for a bit. Suicide was second only to dead kids. Kid suicide was 250$. Mind you the bodies were no longer there it was just site cleaning.
Anyway, I ended up going on three teenage suicides, total. Problem was all were in the same apartment, one in November, two in December. Roughly one year apart. Same fucking apartment. Even with three guys working during the daytime, there was an oppressive creepy dread that was almost physical. Like in your clothes the way campfire smoke lingers.” – Anonymous
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