Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat...
~ Nicholas Gordon
We've all heard ghost stories at some point, but how many people have experienced the truly frightening or unexplained first hand?
Reddit users were asked "What is the most unexplained, supernatural, or paranormal event you've ever witnessed" or "what is the creepiest/scariest thing that's ever happened to you?" From the many responses, here are 30 of the best.
Chris Dale / Getty Images
Was spending the night at a friend's house as a kid (around 12-13). Parents weren't home so we decided to go out, do some ding dong ditching, get into some young angsty debauchery. We get home, and it's around 1 or 2 in the morning. Cue a ringing of the doorbell; naturally we think it's the cops or a pissed off neighbor. My friend had a small window that looked out onto the front porch that you couldn't really see into from outside, so we took a peek at who was calling at such a late hour. Standing at the door was an old woman in a dress and a young boy in a weird newsie outfit. Both were dressed EXTREMELY out of period, as this was the 90's, and my friend had never seen either in the neighborhood before. We duck because we're a bit freaked, look again no less than 10 seconds later and they're both gone. Nobody on the street walking away, no cars driving away, they were just gone without a trace. We did not sleep well.
I woke up in the early morning to the loud boom of lightning striking our house. The smoke alarm was going off in the basement. The strangest thing was we had a metal detector not plugged into anything and it was going off. It made a weird static buzzing noise. I went outside with a flashlight to see if I could see where it struck and found what looked like a burn mark where the drainage pipe went into the ground.
In the basement, there were burn marks on the drainage pipe where the electricity arced to the copper pipe next to it. The A/C was damaged as well. Freon was smoking up the basement.
I went back upstairs and decided to call the fire department just to make sure we didn't have hidden sparks anywhere. The police officer that came said he saw the lightning from a few streets away.
It may not seem scary or creepy to read, but put yourself in that moment. Waking up suddenly with alarms going off, and not really sure if the big explosion you heard was lightning or something else. I still don't understand why the metal detector was going off.
We lost a computer, microwave, coffee maker, surge protector, and A/C in that storm.
My grandmother died on my 9th birthday. She was pretty sick, skin cancer. She went into the hospital during Hurricane Bob and stayed there until she passed. I remember things got pretty bad that New Years so my parents went to the hospital and my aunt was watching us.
I remember laying in bed, praying (and I'm not religious at all) that she'd be okay and, if she wouldn't be okay, that she'd at least be happy in heaven. I was also extremely sad that she was going to miss my birthday (New Years Day.. also, kind of selfish of me as a 9 year old).
At around 11:30pm that night I woke up to someone calling my name out in the hallway. When I went to look, nobody was there. I checked all the bedrooms, the kitchen, etc. Everyone was asleep so there's no way my aunt or brother were calling my name. I figured I just heard it in my dreams and went back to bed.
As I was trying to fall back asleep I distinctly (like, clear as day) remember hearing my Grandmother. I couldn't see her, but I could certainly feel her and hear her. I can't say for certain I wasn't dreaming, but if I was this was the most lucid dream I've ever had.
She said to me: "I held on for as long as I could so I wouldn't miss your birthday. My present will be a little late (sarcastic laugh). It will be here next year. Happy Birthday!"
The next year my aunt gave me a cat for my birthday. The cat (Felix) and I instantly bonded (much like my Grandmother and I). He followed me literally everywhere, never leaving my side. He would walk on a leash with me, ride in the car with me, etc. The day I bought my first house is the day he abruptly passed away from cancer. He lived nearly 19 years.
As weird as it sounds, I'm convinced my Grandmother had planned to come back to me as a cat and stuck with me until she felt she was no longer needed.
A few months ago I woke up around 3 in the morning, and decided to go downstairs to the bathroom. When I opened my door and peeked over the stairs I saw a bright light in my living room upon further inspection I saw the TV was on a channel that was all fuzzy. There was no one on the couch or anywhere in the vicinity so I yelled my mom's name, and as soon as I made a sound the tv turned off and my bathroom door slammed. I checked every nook and cranny of the bathroom and found nothing. Shit still haunts me to this day.
Met some guys in my freshman year of college. We all ended up being really close, so I spent a lot of time at the house they rented. It was a really old house, naturally creepy, strange noises, so on and so forth.
So they had gone up to the attic when they first moved there to store a mattress that was left behind by the last tenant. Nothing out of the ordinary. There was an old rolled up rug, some picture frames, and the newly stored mattress.
One night we were all talking about throwing a party at their house. They recently had an older (35-ish, so older to us 18 year olds) guy move in, and we didn't want to just trash then place because it was rightfully his as well. So I get the idea that maybe we could clean up the attic a bit and have some people up there since it was pretty spacious.
THIS IS WHERE IT GETS CREEPY: We all venture up to the attic to see if we can make it party-worthy. The first guy that got up there stops at the top of the stairs and just says "Oh. My. God." Not knowing what to expect, we all rush up the stairs to see what's up. When we get up there, we see everything a mess. Everything had been tossed around, and the drywall was crumbling off in areas that had been fine, leaving a fine dust coating on the floor. In that fine coating of dust were tiny, bare-footed footprints. Keep in mind, the smallest guy out of the group probably wore a size 11-12 shoe, so it definitely wasn't him or any of us. After we collectively sh*t our pants, we grow a pair and start investigating. Upon further investigation, we found many more footprints. Some were in the dust, and there were also some black ones one the rolled up rug. We then noticed a trail that did a few loops, so we decided to follow it. It led to a little storage cubby hole. As if that's not weird enough, I ended up crawling in there and found that the footprints came out of another makeshift door inside the cubby hole. The makeshift door led to an open area of the structure of the house. I was so scared out of my mind. I had a flashlight and started to look around the corner, but I physically couldn't make myself do it. I noped out of there, and we all ran downstairs and locked the attic door.
After we got our shit together and calmed down, we tried thinking of explanations. While we were brainstorming, one of the guys just says, "Oh my God. I just remembered what Linda told me" (Linda was their landlord). "When we first moved in, right before she left the house, she told me that she was getting a permanent lock for the attic and that we were to stay out of it."
Different type of scary .......... I was a kid.. drunken family member was in the basement, I was upstairs.. they were playing with guns. Gun goes off, from downstairs, bullet travels upstairs, misses me by about a foot or 2 .. almost blew my head off. Still cringe thinking about it cause I had just moved a minute or 2 before it happened from where the bullet struck.
Both my parents are from the UK, so when I was young, we would go visit my grandparents there over the summer. Usually it would be planned such that my cousins would go at the same time as us. So as it ended up, all the adults would sleep in the upstairs bedrooms whilst all the kids would be sleeping on the floor in the living room. Of course, we stayed up all night playing videogames. Late one night we hear a crashing sound, and all look up to the huuuuge windows and sliding doors in the living room that border the back garden. We see a figure crashing through the back yard fence, sprint across the back yard, and peer into the large glass windows at our young, terrified faces. He gives us a quick grin and sprints to the other side of the yard and hops the fence and is gone. All this happens in the space of about 10 seconds. Needless to say, my cousins, siblings, and I all dart upstairs and awaken all the adults. Cops are called, and they start searching the area, and knocking on neighbors' doors. One house doesn't respond. Finally they choose to break in. They find an entire family of 3 generations and 6 members murdered in their beds. It was a random attack, as they caught the guy a few hours later, and he had no connection to the family at all. I don't want to think about if he had picked my grandparents house instead.
I don't tell people this in real life because they would rightfully not believe me but I used to work at a fast food place as a closer and had a couple of really strange things happen to me. One night me and the girl closing with me were finishing up and I was wiping a counter when she comes up behind me and shoved me hard into the counter. I had a bruise on my hip from it. So I turn around and yell, "what the hell?" only to see no one there. Then from the other side of the store I hear her call out "what happened?"
Back about 1975 when I was a teenager, our family and another family together took a 40 foot houseboat from one end of Norris Lake (Tennessee) to the other. Me and the boy from the other family slept on the foredeck, the girls slept on top of the cabin, and the adults slept inside the cabin.
One night me and the other boy were staring up at the night sky, and a UFO appeared. It was about the same size as a dime held at arm's length, and pure white. It moved rapidly across the sky and disappeared. We told everyone else about it in the morning, and of course no one believed us.
Later that day we pulled into a marina to get gasoline and other supplies. There, on the front page of the local paper, was the headline, "UFO Sighted In Seven Counties" and a picture of a large white dot of a UFO.
Now, I'm not saying it was little green men, but it was exactly what we saw - an Unidentified Flying Object.
I was kayaking off Isle of Palms, SC, about 8 years ago. Got smacked by a wave and bailed out, and my cousin who was paddling with me decided to ditch since it was obviously going to take me a while to swim back in (can't get a closed kayak flipped back over easily in the waves, so I had to bail out). She went back in, and I started kicking towards the beach, holding the boat in one hand, the paddle in the other, and fighting the damn skirt trying to swim. It sucked.
I got tired after a while and started floating, thinking that surely she'd eventually tell the authorities I was missing, and someone would come get me. Mostly I thought about how embarrassing that was going to be.
Then I felt something swim underneath me. Something big, that took a while to pass by. I yanked my legs up to my chest and tried not to shriek. After a few seconds, there was this hollow thunking sound and the kayak lifted out of the water a foot or so. I frantically searched the water to see anything, but at the same time really didn't want to see anything.
Nothing else happened. After what seemed like an eternity I started kicking towards shore again and eventually made it back.
Not me, but my stepfather's best friend (call him Jim) has supposedly been experiencing paranornal activity since he was a teenager. He's a court reporter, stepdad was a speech writer, very skeptical and stoic guys.
There were countless stories. They got on an elevator full of people in downtown Atlanta, stopped at a floor that was all kinds of wrong -- 1940s decor, abandoned, dusty -- then the elevator went back down and opened on the opposite side of the building.
Jim's dog died. A week later the stereo turned on by itself and started playing a song Jim loved to play for his pet. No cd inside. It had snowed the night before and there were paw prints in the backyard leading to the house, but none near the gate.
He frequently finds giant piles of coins under his pillow. He lived in London for a time, thinking he'd escaped the spirit (which had begun to scratch him hard on his arms and legs). After 6 months he found a little pile of pennies in his bed, even though he hadn't been carrying American coinage.
I personally witnessed one strange event while Jim was around. Was walking down the stairs and felt something whip past my head and heard it hit the wall. Looked down and saw a quarter dated 1948. I thought my sister was messing with me, but she was down at the lake with everyone else.
When I was a child (10 years old), we lived on the North shore of the Shuswap Lake in BC. It was, then, very rural with a population of ~400 spread out over ten miles of beach front with farms up in the hills. No town, just a store, a post office and an old Indian trail that wound through the forest for perhaps a half mile near where I lived. We played on the trail all the time. One afternoon, my family, mother, father, brother myself and a friend went for a walk along the trail. My friend and I ran ahead at one point, out of sight of everyone. We stopped and were looking around and off, in the forest was a man, slumped over a fallen, rotting log with chickens pecking around him. I can still feel, and I'm talking 50 years in my past, the adrenalin blasting up my back as the figure lifted its head and looked at us with empty pecked out eyes. We screamed as both of us saw it and ran back to the adults. When my parents came to the spot with us, only the rotting log was there. To this day, I would not dare walk that path by myself.
Somewhere out in the mountains near Mammoth, CA, as a kid, My dad, myself, and a few family friends were out gazing at the stars. Being as I was from LA, I think it was the first time I'd ever seen the stars without light pollution, so I was fascinated.
I pointed out to a cluster of 3 stars and said "Hey look, It's Orions belt!"
My father corrected me and showed me that Orion's belt was elsewhere, so I asked "well what constellation is that then?" and pointed back to the one from before.
He conceded that it did look very similar to Orion's belt, but that he couldn't tell what it actually was. A little while later, what appeared to be the middle star of the 3 started moving, quickly.
It zig-zagged through the sky for several seconds, before its brightness intensified and then just like that it disappeared.
To this day the only thing I can think of that it could possibly be was some kind of experimental drone, but this was in the early 90's, and I'm not sure drones existed back then. And if it was a drone, it was must've been a damned advanced one because it stood still for long enough that myself and several adults nearby all thought it was a star.
My brother kept having cronic nightmares for weeks to the point where he didn't want to sleep in his bed anymore. They were recurring dreams of an old woman who would always be shrouded in shadow and try get at my brother. One night I decided to sleep in that bed and had one of the freakiest dreams I've ever had, the woman my brother had been having nightmares about slid up through the gap between the wall and the bed and was trying to grab and pull me off the bed, woke up sweating and yelling. It was after this that my mother decided to look into it, the nightmares started a week or so after buying the mattress second hand, and my mother found out that one of the previous owners was an old woman who had apparently died on the mattress. Safe to say we go it the fuck out of the house because that shit is was way too spooky for my family. We should have burnt it.
When I was a teenager, I was laying in bed and heard what sounded like a couple of younger kids talking and giggling, coming from above me, but I was on the top floor of our house and the attic wasn't anything other than a crawl space/thing for insulation. Well, a few years later, we have new insulation put in and the workers found a few erotic/romance/whatever books that looked old enough to be from around the 50s. If I believed in supernatural shit, I'd say a couple of ghost boys were looking at some smut.
My grandpa, who was a tough as nails WWII Marine vet, had a little stuffed bunny. He kept it out in the open and when he would walk past it and thought no one was looking, he would pet it. Big old tough guy petting a little stuffed bunny in adorable secrecy. It was an ongoing family joke.
Anyways, he committed suicide and we all went to the house to deal with the police and ME and everything. We stayed in the house that night and it had an overall creepy vibe because of what had happened. We were all naturally upset and struggling and doing dumb things to try to make ourselves laugh to try to deal with it. And we realize the bunny has been moving. Like it would be on the dining table and then we would see it in the den an hour later. I thought someone was doing it as a joke. But everyone swore they wouldn't do that and we never caught anyone doing it. I kept an eye on that bunny the entire week. Never saw anyone touch it but it would still be moved!
On the days before the Utøya massacre one of my friends said that he had bad stomach cramps, as well as pain in his right hand. He kept rubbing the palm of his hand, as if to numb the pain a bit. We went to a doctor to see if we could find anything wrong, but they found nothing wrong at all.
About three days later he was killed by Anders Breivik. Shot three times in the stomach, once in his right hand.
Making toast late one night facing the kitchen bench eating for a good 5-10mins. Cleaned up and turned around and every single cupboard door and cutlery drawer were open. They were all closed when I went into the kitchen, and there was no way anyone could have snuck in and done it because I was home alone. I also didn't hear them open in the time I was there. Scared the sh*t out of me so I froze, let it register for a few seconds, then calmly closed everything and went back to my room to hide until daylight.
My mom passed when I was 7. Flash forward to middle school. We were at this band clinic thing at my moms old high school. Each school prepared their own piece with their bands, and then we all got the same piece to do together (if that makes sense). Anyways, we were waiting around to get back on stage to play with everyone and were just chatting away as a group. I looked over and at the back of the room was a woman who looked identical to my mom: same red hair, glasses, height, everything. I caught her looking at me a few times and smiling at me. Turned to tell some friends about it and by the time I looked back, she was gone and I didn't see her after that.
Also, I graduated with a French award from high school. I did my walk across the stage, obligatory photo with my department head (who I'm close with) looking out at the crowd. 3 rows behind my dad, stepmom and aunt I saw the same lady from before.
I was watching my parents' dog while they were out of town. My sister passed away in their house about a year prior. While I was there, I witnessed a picture of her fall off the wall. Then I discovered that EVERY picture of her in the house had fallen off the wall, seemingly at the same time. (They didn't keep many pictures up in general, so it was only four different pictures.) I chalked it up to something shaking the house, even though we live in Ohio and I felt nothing.
I went home to my apartment. Face up on my desk was a picture of my sister and me that I knew I had packed away. I don't believe in things like this but this occurred at a time where I was still very much actively grieving the loss of my sister and it hit me hard. Still can't explain it.
I was working at a movie theater at the time.
I was closing with another usher. Part of our jobs is to check all the theaters after the last show to make sure nobody has fallen asleep (it happens). I walk in a theater and notice that all the lights had been turned off. This is usually done by the projectionist when he/she closes down the booth for that theater. I started to hear faint singing coming from around the corner of the wall. It wasn't a song from the speakers. We heard those songs 80 times a day and there were only like 8 of them. There was a girl singing around the corner, in the pitch black, and after midnight. I called out to her and all of a sudden I heard LOUD footsteps coming toward me from the darkness of the theater. It started near the front row and just got louder and louder as it traveled up the aisle. They were basically stomps. I didn't hesitate one second. I turned around and sprinted my ass to the lobby.
This was a back theater. The only exits are the fire escapes from within the theater. Nobody came down the hall to the front exit. The other usher, who was a lot ballsier than I was, was able to turn the cleaning lights on in the theater and went inside to find nobody. We checked every theater. Nobody. Just to be sure, I went outside and checked every single fire exit. I live in the Northeast. We get some decent snowfall. All the exit doors were snowed in shut with ice built on top of it (which reminded me to clean that sh*t. fire hazard and a half).
The only place they could be were the hallways in the back of the building that lead from behind the screen to the safety of the street. Could have been kids. Could have been something else. I'll never know.
Not me but my twin brother, we were around 6 years old, and in central Australia with our dad and older brother.
We were doing some nature walk and he fell back a bit. He then screams and runs and catches up. He told my dad he had seen something.
Later that day we were in the town nearby and my twin pointed at a painting in an art gallery and said that the figure in it was what he had seen.
My dad went in to the gallery and asked the person at the counter what the figure in the painting was, and they said it is an Aboriginal spirit that takes children who wander too far from the camp or family.
I have a very strong danger sense that's been proven terrifyingly correct both times I've had it. The first was when I was in high school training for cross country. I would usually run by this lake near my house, but one day I was close and got a very strong "NO" feeling. It was like fighting against a very strong animal instinct to go any closer. I turned right around and went back to my house. When my mom commented on how short my run was, I explained to her what happened and she seemed alarmed, wondering if I'd had some sort of panic attack. A few days later, police found a body in the lake.
The more recent example was when I was riding the DC Metro with my partner some time last year. We were on the orange line, and needed to get off at a stop that was also on the silver line. We're on the train when all of a sudden I get this very strong sense again. I told my partner about it and though at first he was skeptical, he trusted me and we switched lines. Later we found out there was a stabbing on the orange line that same night.
My girlfriend and I were visiting my sister, who lived in a 200 year old home in western MA that used to be a brothel. We were staying in her guest room, which recently had new carpet installed that was rather tall and stiff. This made it quite difficult to open and shut the door. I recall using my body weight to force it shut and needing to yank it open. As I'm trying to fall asleep, I hear something bump the door from the hallway. I assume this is my sister, her boyfriend, or their dog. A few minutes later I hear something at the door again, but this time the knob turns. I freeze as I see the knob slowly turn and the door begin to open until I see a shape resembling the silhouette of a young girl. The only child in the house is an infant. I immediately roll over onto my side, close my eyes, and attempt to convince myself that what I saw was the silhouette of the dog. I don't mention this to my girlfriend or my sister, because I don't want to alarm anyone. Fast forward a few months: my girlfriend and I are returning to western MA to attend my sister's wedding and we will be staying in the same room. On the plane my girlfriend says "I have something I feel I should tell you about your sister's house." I immediately know where she's going with this. As it turns out, she was awake when the door opened, but she got a better look then I. She describes seeing a girl of about 5 or 6 wearing a victorian-styled night gown open the door and stare her in the eyes with a penetrating intensity before my girlfriend looked away. I tell her my story and we decide to make sure we drink enough to pass out every night so we won't be awake if we are "visited."
When my great grandma was dying I had a dream one night about my great grandfather, who I never met. He died when my mom was in college. It took place in the house where my grandma grew up and I walked into the kitchen to find him sipping coffee, sitting at the table. I said "hey gramps, what're you doing?" And he looked at me, and said cheerfully, "I'm waiting for my wife." I woke up and it was 3:25am. She died at 3:30am. It makes me cry when I think about it.
my dad died in a house fire in 1991. i was home at the time, on the other side of the house from him. he was sleeping at the time. when i tried to wake him to get him out of the house by breaking a window and trying to jump into his room, i heard him say something, but i don't know what. i never told anyone in the family that he woke up, and the firefighters/doctors or whoever (i really don't remember), said he never did wake up. he didn't die immediately, it was 3 days later, of smoke inhalation.
a few days after he died, my sister told me she had a dream where he wanted her to let me know that he was telling me to get away from the house. i've still never told her he woke up.
My mom's first husband was a Navy pilot during the Gulf War. The carrier was about ten days into it's cruise and operating with complete radio silence. She hadn't heard anything from the ship since it left but that was to be expected, this was a war. On that night about ten days into the cruise my mom woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. She saw her husband standing in the room. It wasn't an ethereal form either, he appeared solid and utterly the same. The only thing different about him was that his head was shaved. He only had one thing to say, "Goodbye." This whole experience startled my mom and she couldn't get back to sleep. She went to the kitchen to get some water when the doorbell rang. All military wives know what the late night doorbell means. Her husband had suffered a massive heart attack and died aboard the carrier. She was grief ridden but reasoned that the apparition had been a hallucination born of the stress of having a spouse deployed. Besides with his head shaved, he didn't even look that familiar. Her mother and mother-in-law flew out immediately to plan for the funeral and receive the body. She stayed strong until the first viewing of the body. Her lifeless husband was bald. In a letter from his NFO the shaved head was explained as the result of a lost bet. There had been no way of knowing that his head had been shaved and my mom suffered a minor mental break.
I was annoyed with my daughter because she hadn't cleaned her room in weeks so when I walked by her room and saw her standing there, I assumed she was doing what I said. A few minutes later, she walked out of the shower in the bathroom with a towel wrapped around her and asked why I was looking at her strangely. When I asked her who was in her room, she looked scared, too. I never figured out who that was but they didn't clean up the room, either.
When I was young (probably around 8-10), I caught chickenpox. I woke up in the middle of the night one night, and called for my mom, because little kids can't do SHIT for themselves when they're sick.
A woman came into my bedroom and sat on my bed and stroked my hair until I fell asleep. For whatever reason, I thought it was my grandmother, but she was dressed funny.
When I woke up the next morning, I went downstairs for breakfast, and asked where my grandma was, and (naturally) my mom told me that she was at her house, like she always was.
I told my mom she'd been in my room the night before, and my mom laughed and said that I'd just been dreaming.
However, my aunt (who tended to believe that sort of thing more)was babysitting me that day (the upside to chicken pox meant there was no school for me) and I told her the story.
She asked me to describe the weird outfit, and it was a nurse's outfit from the 50's/early 60's. My family knew the previous owners of the house. The wife was a nurse in the fifties, and had died a few months previously.
Amelia Christnot / Facebook
The summer after I graduated high school, I spent a lot of time at my best friend's house. We used to live in a fairly large neighborhood - I lived in the front and she lived in the back. It was always a lot easier to drive through the neighborhood than back out onto the main road. It probably took about 5 minutes to get back to my house from hers, with all of the stop signs.
Anyway, one night we were watching a movie and it was getting late (maybe midnight or so?) and I decided to head home. I got my stuff together and headed to my car and started the drive.
I was two streets from mine, stopping at a stop sign when from the bushes this enormous guy wearing s clown mask and bright red hair jumps out and starts running at my car. I had NO idea what to do. I hadn't completely stopped yet, so I gunned it, and this clown guy is chasing me up the road. Stop the next stop sign - barely - still chasing me.
I got home and told my parents. They didn't believe me, but I felt really uneasy about it, so I called the non emergency number for my county. They said that they had been getting similar reports all week.