Trick or Treat: 13 Scary True Stories to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition, with roots dating back 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. However, America’s favorite holiday as we know it today really began in the eighth century,  when Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day, and the evening before came to be known as All Hallows’ Eve. On the night of October 31, it is said the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead become blurred, and that the ghosts of our dearly departed return to walk the earth once more.

While many of us believe this to be silly superstition the following ghost stories might make you think otherwise, that the veil between our world and the next is thinner than you care to imagine.

1. “Come on in”

One year over Halloween I was visiting my cousins, we were all around the same age, like any normal teenagers we were bored and with nothing to do we decided to go trick or treating. My cousins lived in this really old area, all the houses were well over 100 years old. The entire place looked like something out of a horror movie.

We knocked on a few doors, everything was going good until my cousin dared me to knock on the house at the end of the street. Thinking nothing of it I walked up to the house while they stayed behind. As I knocked on the door it slowly opened, creaking noises and everything. It was really dark inside with just a little light coming from one of the room’s further back in the house. I remember thinking these people had gone all out for Halloween because this place was so creepy. I called out but there was just silence, beginning to feel really creeped out I was just about to leave when I heard a woman’s voice say “come on in”. There was no way I was going in there so I just waited and then I heard her say again “come on in..” and then something like “we’re here”. I’m really scared now, I’m just standing there frozen because there was something about that voice and it was so dark in there. Then suddenly I hear a loud band and what sounds like heavy footsteps rushing towards me from the back of the house and that’s when I ran.

My cousins were laughing at me but when I told them about the creepy voice telling me to go inside they stopped. Turns out the house had been abandoned for years and was known to be haunted.


Trick or Treat: 13 Scary True Stories to Get You in the Mood for Halloween

2. “It’s a Secret”

My daughter had this imaginary friend called Polly when she was much younger. I would regularly hear her talking in her room as though there was someone else in it. I wasn’t overly bothered by it, I thought it was a normal thing for a kid to do. If I was setting the table she would ask me to set a place for Polly, if she lost a toy then “Polly had lost it”. As I said normal stuff, I never gave it much thought until one night when I was putting my daughter to bed I asked her what Polly looked like?

“He looks like Grampa, only he’s a lot older and with no hair and black eyes.” And then said “but I’m not supposed to tell you, it’s a secret.”

I freaked out. She slept in my bed that night and I’ll be honest I kept the light on all night. “Polly” lasted a whole year before my daughter gradually stopped talking about her/him/it. I never asked her about it again as I remember someone telling me once the more you talk about something like that, the more power you give it. Seems to have worked.


3. The Cornfield

An old friend of the family used to drive school buses across the country to their soon to be new schools. Protocol called for them not to stop for anything, even to help.

He was driving in the midwest one night and came across a long stretch of road with a huge corn field on one side and an empty field on the other. It was 2 o’clock in the morning and he came across a wrecked car with the lights still on and people scattered on the ground. He slowed down to help but remembered he couldn’t so he kept going.

As he was calling it in he looked back to find the people standing in the middle of the road staring at the bus. Upon further inspection others started to emerge from the corn in a creepy fashion while also staring at him.

I was 6 when he told me this. I still hate corn a little.

– thegrantster

4. Aunt Charlotte

When I was 8, my family moved into an old Colonial that was built in 1810. My father still lives there. Until I was 17, every before I feel asleep, I would feel pressure next to me as if someone sat down on the bed next to me. This would always be accompanied with a feeling of increased pressure in the air. Although I knew this probably didn’t happen to everyone, I didn’t think about it much.

Until I got a cat. He was a present for my twelfth birthday. Each night, he would sack out on the bed near my feet. Each night, he would bolt from a dead sleep and glare at something in the doorway before hightailing it out of there. A few moments later, the pressure would return.

Again, while this was a weird thing to happen, I didn’t really question it. Maybe the cat was just neurotic. I didn’t talk about this nightly occurrence to anyone. However, I did refer this feeling/presence/what have you as “Charlotte.” I don’t know why.

So one day in the summer when I was thirteen, an elderly man and his middle-aged daughter pull up to our house and explain that the father lived in the house with his aunt while he was a boy and that he raised his family there for a few years. They had been visiting family in the neighborhood, and they wondered if they could take a tour for old times’ sake. My mom said sure. She, my sister and I led them around the house, and they recalled different memories.

Afterward, my mom asked them if they remembered strange occurrences or stories about the house. “Like ghosts?” the old man asked and chuckled. His daughter became very quiet and said firmly, “It’s not funny, Dad.” The man explained that everyone who slept in one bedroom felt a little unsettled, and his daughter interrupted to say that she always felt as if someone sat on the edge of the bed and she tried to go to sleep. Her father said they used to joke that it was just his aunt looking out for them—his Aunt Charlotte.

This confirmed what I had never admitted to myself. I had a freaking ghost that basically tucked me in at night for the previous five years.

Still, going to bed was never freaky or scary. I just tried to ignore the feeling when it came.

Until one night when I was 16. My parents had been going through a weird patch in their marriage, I was feeling depressed, and in general, it was a weird year. I went to bed; after about 20 minutes the cat took his typical bolting exit from the bed, and I felt the familiar pressure on my side.

Then I felt a hand brush through my hair.

Then I ran straight downstairs to the living room where my mom was dozing. She woke up when I burst in the room, saw my face, and asked what was wrong. I told her I had a nightmare and left it at that.

I spent a week sleeping in the guest room. When I got the nerve to go back to my room, I was nearly asleep when I realized I didn’t feel the pressure next to me. I did feel pressure in the air. I rolled on my back and saw the figure of a woman in her 60s, wearing a housedress, her hair pulled back in a bun, with her arms folded. She was looking right at me, very concerned. When I found my voice, she disappeared. I said out loud, “I don’t care if you stay, but I can NEVER, EVER, EVER see you again.” I never did.

However a few years later, after my parents divorced and my dad moved in his girlfriend and her 4 year old son, I wasn’t really surprised when she told me her little boy said a lady named Charlotte told him stories at night.

– Annoymous 

5. Blue Faced Mom

We bought a 50’s bungalow a few years ago; the original owner had passed and we were the first people to live there since. My daughter’s bedroom was on the far side of the house from mine, and was always colder than the rest of the house. We chalked it up to poor insulation in that room.

Every night I would hear her talking to someone; just thought it was baby-sleep babbling. She was about 2 at the time. Then she started talking to someone in the daytime too. I asked her about it, she told me it was the “Blue faced mommy”. The “mommy” wanted to play peek-a-boo with her all the time, and wouldn’t leave her alone. She said she would wake her up in the night to play peek-a-boo. It freaked the shit out of me.

I talked about it with one of the older ladies in the neighbourhood, who knew the original family. Apparently their oldest daughter had suffocated herself in the house after giving birth to a still-born child. (Not sure how she “suffocated herself”, the neighbour didn’t have a lot of details, it happened in the early 70’s.) I am certain that she was the “blue faced Mommy” my daughter was talking about.

A friend told me she had read the best way to deal with lingering spirits was to politely ask them to leave. So one night, when my girl was woken up I went to her room and politely said “Please ma’am, your family has moved away, we need you to go now.” And after that, nothing. I still get chills thinking about it.

– Thanks

6. Simon Says

This happened when I was 7. My parents were out at a party and my babysitter offered to take me trick or treating. I was dressed as a witch, I remember my hat kept falling off which was kind of running my evening. Anyway, we had already done my neighborhood and we’d walked over to the next set of houses a little way away. It was then that I started to notice this person dressed all in black with a big hood and cloak, everywhere we went when I turned around I could see him standing in the distance, but always with his head turned in our direction. It was creepy but I didn’t think too much about it, I was a kid and I guess I just thought he was the parent of one of the other trick or treaters.

After we knocked on the last house my babysitter told me it was time to go home, to do that we had to walk back through a little park to get to my neighborhood. It was already pretty dark and there was no-one around. We were playing Simon Says, when my babysitter said ‘Simon Says walk faster’, and then ‘start running’ so I started to run which was my hat fell off. I stopped to pick it up and that’s when I saw the man in the cloak and hood running behind us. To this day I still get chills when I picture him. First, I have never seen anyone run that fast, it was like his feet weren’t even touching the ground, but worse, under the hood he had no face, just a black shadow or hole where his face should have been. My babysitter just grabbed me and started to tear out there. It was the longest 2 minutes in my life.

We made it out of the park and then back to my house, and when I looked back he was gone. Nowhere to be seen. The police were called but nobody was ever caught or anything and we were told to stay out of the park for a while after. I know it was most probably someone trying to get some sort of sick kicks from scaring people, especially on Halloween but I just can’t forget the darkness under his hood. I should have seen a face but there was nothing there.


7. Ghost Horse

My son and I saw a ghost horse run across the road near our house. It was so freaky. It was about 11:30 at night, I saw this flickering light on the hill up ahead of the headlights of my car and then the light moved across the roadway about 5′ off the ground… it looked like TV static (black and white sparkly glow and I could see the shape of a horse and it’s legs, running). It galloped to the other side and a ghost man was there that meet it.

So I didn’t say anything to my son, about 17 at the time, thinking I couldn’t believe what I saw. About 30 seconds later I stopped at the stoplight  and my son said “did you see that???” we FREAKED out. I asked him what he saw and he described it exactly! I got goosebumps all over.

When we got home, without talking about it too much, he drew what he saw and I drew what I saw and they were exactly the same. Weirdest thing I can recall seeing.

– norinv

2. “You’ll Make Him Angry”

When my sister was little odd things started happening in our house. We’d wake up in the morning to find smashed plates and glasses on the kitchen floor, chairs tipped over and one time we found all the canned food from one of the lower cupboards in the kitchen had been moved and neatly stacked up on the bottom step of the stairs. My parents told me and my younger brother Adam it was just my sister (Casey) sleep walking, which she had been doing pretty much since she learned to walk. It was annoying but nothing more than that.

Then one day just as my parents were about to leave with Casey and Adam to go visit my Grandparents; I didn’t want to go and was allowed to stay behind (I was about 13 at the time) my brother and sister started arguing about “Mr Jangles”. I should explain, that was what we called the “ghost” that lived in our house. Because Casey always denied doing the strange stuff at night we jokingly blamed them on the “ghost”. There was other stuff too like strange noises, footsteps… you know general old house noises. I didn’t really believe it was a ghost.

Anyway, so my brother and sister were arguing and just as they left the house Adam said something along the lines of “there’s no such thing as ghosts” to which my sister smiled (she can be really creepy sometimes) and said “he won’t like that, you’ll make him angry”. And then they left.

I spent most of the day either in my bedroom watching tv or sleeping. I must have been asleep because the next thing I remember is waking up to my dad calling me downstairs. Apparently when they’d walked through the front door there on the floor in the middle of the hallway was one of our old family albums. My mom asked me if I had touched it, I hadn’t. When she’d first opened it my brother told me later she’d screamed and dropped it like it was on fire.

Every single picture with of my brother had been scratched out. No one else. Just him.

I’m not sure if my parents believed me when I said it wasn’t me, I wasn’t punished so they must have. We moved house shortly after the photo incident. After we moved Casey stopped sleepwalking.


9. The Old Man on the Stairs

So when I was a kid, I would race up to the top of the stairs as fast as I could, like it was some sort of silly game. Well, I must have been five or six at the time. I’m not sure, but I know I was very little. Somewhere along the way, a voice at the top of the stairs started to whisper to me. It would make bets with me, such as… “I bet you a penny you can’t make it to the top of the stairs.” I don’t really think there was a certain amount of time or anything. As I said, I was very little so I probably didn’t have any counting abilities anyway. Ha. I recall just sitting at the top of the stairs, having conversations with this voice, about the betting, of course.

Eventually the voice (it was like a whisper of a man’s voice, not my own voice in my head) started to bet me my life. Instead of pennies, it’d say “I bet you your life you can’t make it up the stairs blah blah.”

As I got older it stopped. I never really thought about it at all. I never mentioned it to anyone… UNTIL one night I was sleeping over at my brother’s place (I was about eighteen, he was twenty-two) and we were talking about “spooky” stories. Out of nowhere I brought up the “voice at the top of the stairs” and my brother got all quiet and weird. Before I even mentioned the betting aspect, he said “Did it make bets with you?”

We both looked at each other, horrified. It certainly was freaky after the fact. *shudder*

– Snarkychu

10. The Widow

So, my mom remarried about two years ago. My dad died when I was twelve so she had been widowed for over ten years. This new relationship was very whirlwind with them meeting, dating, and getting married within three months. I didn’t know much about the guy, but my mom was happy, so I just tried to be supportive. She moved into his house in upstate Virginia and invited my fiance and I to spend a weekend in her new home getting to know her new husband.

My mom’s new home was pretty isolated. It sat on a few hundred acres of lovely rolling hills, and was very picturesque. I was nervous about getting to know this guy, but really trying to make the most of it. Over the course of our first day there though, I felt more and more uneasy. I didn’t think it was weird, just silly. My mom’s new husband was being very welcoming and friendly. We were being made to feel very at home, yet I still couldn’t shake this oppressive feeling. I finally chalked it up to me being more upset about my mom getting remarried than I was willing to admit to myself. We spent most of the day wandering around outside since I felt worse when indoors.

That night my fiance and I showered together. When I turned my back to him he stopped talking mid sentence and asked, “What did you do to your back?”. Well, nothing. Why? “You have a large bruise.” I hopped out to try and see it in the mirror. I got back in and we finished showering in silence. Then it was off to bed. The one window in our room looked out over a pitch black empty field, but I couldn’t sleep until I hung something over the window. I felt sure that otherwise someone would watch us through the window.

The next morning I had a complete meltdown. I woke up and just couldn’t stop crying. I told my finance we had to leave. He tried to calm me down by telling me all the things I had been telling myself. My feelings of anxiety were just a result of seeing my mom with someone. The longer I spent with them the easier it would become. But I just had to leave. It was only Saturday morning and we were supposed to stay until Monday, but I felt completely hysterical. I knew I was on the verge of a panic attack and my only concrete thought was I had to stop crying long enough to make our excuses and get the hell out. We did.

As soon as we were on the road I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was even feeling embarrassed for my behavior, hoping I hadn’t insulted my mom’s husband by leaving early. Then my fiance broke the silence, “That bruise on your back… did you get a good look at it?” I had. It looked like some had touched the middle of back, with fingers spread wide, with their hand at a tilt. I want to make completely clear, no one had touched my back the previous day, especially hard enough to bruise me.

Cut to three weeks later. my mom comes to visit me. The entire time she’s hounding me to come stay with her again. After finally trying to change the subject for the fifth time, I level with her. Before I’ve even finished telling the story her face is white as a sheet. She tells me she has been feeling the same way in the house. She hates it. She wants them to move as soon as possible. And the real kicker… her new husband’s previous wife shot and killed herself right outside in the same field our room window overlooked.

– thenirealized

11. Hands at the Bottom of the Bed

This is one of my earliest memories, I would have been about 4 or 5. Lying in bed looking out into my room I would see these two hands pop up beside my bed and wave to me, this was a pretty frequent occurence but I never really thought much of it. I assumed it was my two older brothers messing with me for whatever reason because it was two right hands and they just happened to be really quiet when sneaking into my room. One night I decided to catch them in the act, so I looked over the edge of my bed to see absolutley nothing. That scared me a lot and after that I slept facing the wall rather than into my room. I move out of that house a few years later and haven’t seen anything like it since.

One night I decided to catch them in the act, so I looked over the edge of my bed to see absolutely nothing. That scared me a lot and after that I slept facing the wall rather than into my room. I moved out of that house a few years later and haven’t seen anything like it since.

I moved out of that house a few years later and haven’t seen anything like it since.

– Death_Metal_Kazoo

12. The Phonecall

Here is one that happened to my family. My elderly uncle, John, was sick for a long time. Knowing he was going to die he started reading his bible and tried to get his sister, my mom, back into the church as well. He even sent her a bible (which she promptly shelved) and forgot about it. Meanwhile my uncle was having a fight with his daughter and refused to call her back.

Now, he was in a lot of pain and not dying quickly enough so he decided to eat a bullet to get on the wrong side of the grass. Blew the top of his head clean off.

Meanwhile, at her home, the bible he had given my mother jumps off the shelf and flies 20 feet through the air. Thinking it just fell, somehow, we replaced it on the shelf. It immediately jumped out and flew across the room. Now freaked out, we were both kinda scared. We put the book back in place and sat on the couch, kinda waiting for it to jump out, but nothing happened and we went into the kitchen and started to make dinner. Suddenly we heard a loud noise and ran into the room to find the bible, laying open thirty feet away. Seeing the bible was open to the “Nook of John” my mother looked up at me and said “I think John is dead. A call to his wife confirmed the death.

Meanwhile, Katie, John’s daughter later told us at the same time we were having bibles chucked at us she was getting phone calls, clearly from her father telling her “I’m sorry” over and over. These calls immediately started after his death and continued for a few weeks.

Yes, my mother started going to church and no, I didn’t.

– OpieCunningham

13. Bottom of the Stairs

This happened about four years ago. I live in a resort community and started working for a local real estate agent, taking photos of homes for sale. I usually photographed 3-4 homes a week; lakefronts and shacks alike. I had seen unusual things, like the occasional hidden room or unique art collection left behind. But I had never encountered anything scary – until this happened.

It was a summer day, warm and bright. I knew the neighborhood I was heading to and had no concerns about safety. The area was very suburban for the mountain with a large park and school nearby. I packed up my camera and drove twenty minutes to the home. Upon arrival, I began my session by taking pictures of the exterior. Nothing was out of the ordinary. After struggling to navigate the sharp slope the home was on, I managed to snap it’s sides and rear deck. It was time now for interior shots. I proceeded to the front, entered the lockbox code and tried to unlock the front door. As I fumbled with it, I felt overwhelmingly uncomfortable. Something washed over me in that moment and I knew I shouldn’t be there. I finally opened the door and found a house completely destroyed. The living room was a sea of debris. An EMT board laid in the middle, with a charred doll beside it. Holes littered the walls. Light bulbs were smashed all over. It was a scene straight out of a horror movie. I observed all of this without taking a single step further. I immediately closed the door, walked to my car as fast as I could, and called the agent.

I told the agent that she would need to find someone else to take pictures of this house. She asked why, and as I tried to explain it to her, I realized I sounded a little crazy. How can you professionally describe to someone the feeling of being scared shitless, for no apparent reason other than a disgustingly filthy house? She told me she had seen homes that were less than welcoming, but we both had a job to do and she couldn’t complete hers without me doing mine. I left the property, but decided I didn’t want to lose my job over this. I called my father, who lived locally, and asked if he’d accompany me to the house. In all my days, I had never heard my dad discuss anything remotely spooky. He’s a very no nonsense kind of man and simply wouldn’t tolerate talk of ghosts or witches. Therefore I thought he’d be perfect for this assignment. He’d keep my head in the game for sure. I arranged to pick him up at his house in 30 minutes.

My heart sank a little as I pulled up to my parents’ house and my dad’s truck was gone. My mom came running out, purse in hand, to tell me that my father had to leave for work reasons, but that she’d go with me instead. She brought along a flashlight and assured me that I’d be ‘just fine!’. As we drove to the house I described to her what had happened. Her cheeriness level came down a few notches and I could tell she was slightly unnerved. We parked in front of the house and I knew she didn’t want to go inside. I didn’t want her to go in either. She came up with a solution – she’d call my cell phone and talk to me as I walked through the house. She’d stand right outside of the front door. I answered her call, turned on my flashlight, and headed in. Again, immediately upon entering, I was scared. And just for clarification here, I am not easily scared. I am not one to ‘see’ or ‘feel’ things of that nature. Ever. So the fact that I was actually feeling something terrified me.

By this time it was later in the day and the house was positioned in such a way that it was completely shaded from the sun. The electricity was off and it was dark. Very dark. My mother was on the phone telling me to ‘breathe! I can’t hear you breathing! Are you that scared?? Is it that bad?’ I had a hard time speaking as I took in all that I saw. The toilets were completely black on the inside. The kitchen had blackish reddish smears all over the counters. Children’s toys were mixed in with porn magazines lying on the floor. I just kept clicking, trying not to focus on any one of the deeply disturbing things inside this house. I went as quickly as I could through the main level. I then came to a set of stairs leading down. I told my mother, through the cell phone, that I was heading down. She continued to reassure me and told me to hurry up and get it over with. I began walking, extremely cautiously, down the steps – one at a time. The steps led to a landing and then turned the corner, so all I could see was a white wall at the bottom. I had this immense feeling that I was going to see something horrific once I turned that corner. I was two or three steps away from the landing when I heard it. A scream coming from my phone. Not a mild scream but a blood curdling scream. Like someone was being murdered on the other end of the line.

My Mom. I have never ran, nor have I since, as fast as I did running up those stairs. I completely expected to find my mom laying lifeless just outside the house. I got to the top of the stairs and there she was, standing there, looking completely terrified and perplexed. I grabbed her hand and we ran to the car. We drove for nearly five minutes before one of us said anything. Then she turned to me and said, tell me why you were screaming. I told her that I thought it was her. Neither of us were screaming, but both of us, for a certainty, heard a woman screaming for her life on that phone. We stopped at a grocery store parking lot and just sat there, trying to catch our breath.

When I got home, I uploaded the pictures, without actually looking at them, and sent them to the real estate agent. I told her she’d have to do editing on her own, as I would not have them on my computer. I then deleted the email and every single image. Because of that, I don’t know the address of the house. Nor have I driven by it since. In hindsight, I would have liked to research the history of the property. Alas, I’ll never know what happened there.

– Britters

Sources: Occult Museum, Reddit and Jezebel

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