11 Best Scary Ghost Stories That Will Scare Your Socks Off

Read on, if you dare.

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Venture to St. Francisville, Louisiana, and you just might sight a ghost named Chloe on Myrtles Plantation. Head north to Eureka Springs, Arkansas, where the Crescent Hotel is alleged to be haunted by ghosts, and then over to Abbeville, Alabama, for the haunting of Huggin' Molly. Up on the East Coast in New York City, the Crying Lady has been reported to have been seen in The Dakota.

Get ready to read these scary stories or save them for after dark to read dramatically with dim lighting and some eerie music in the background for full effect. They're sure to spook any friends and family you invite to listen—beware!

Sloss Furnaces | Birmingham, Alabama

scary ghost stories sloss furnace

Five years after the Civil War, Birmingham, Alabama, was founded. With its birth in 1871 came the need for tons of pig iron to fix the U.S.'s crumbling infrastructure, so Colonel James Withers Sloss began to build Sloss Furnaces . A year later, the company opened its doors to hundreds of employees, according to its official website . Jobs on blast furnaces were advanced but also dangerous, and many workers started falling to their deaths in the furnaces.

By the early 1900s conditions had worsened with a cruel foreman, James "Slag" Wormwood, who took dangerous risks to increase production, according to Reader's Digest . During his tenure at Sloss, nearly 50 employees died on-site, and many others were involved in terrible accidents. Allegedly, his workers threw him into the furnace in retaliation in 1906.

Today you can still walk the grounds of Sloss Furnaces, if you dare. You may even hear Slag's voice yelling, "Get back to work!" and witness other paranormal experiences.

The Crying Lady in the Dakota | New York, New York

scary ghost stories new york

Since its opening in 1884, The Dakota apartment building has been home to many rich and famous residents of New York City . Among them were John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who moved in in 1973. John was also assassinated outside the building in 1980. Before that fateful day on December 8, though, John said he say a "crying lady ghost" walking the halls, and afterward Yoko, who still resides there, claimed she saw John's ghost sitting at his piano and that he said to her: "Don't be afraid. I am still with you."

The Bell Witch | Adams, Tennessee

shabby house with moon and clouds above

If you're a scary-movie lover, you might actually know about the Bell Witch . The films An American Haunting and The Blair Witch Project are both based on the story. Way back in the early 1800s, a man named John Bell moved his family to an area in Tennessee called Red River, which is now known as Adams, Tennessee . After they had settled in the new home, some peculiar things started happening. The Bell family began hearing some bizarre noises, including dogs barking, chains rattling, rats chewing, and a woman whispering. Soon, that woman became known as the Bell Witch, and many people believe she's the ghost of a former neighbor of the Bell's, Kate Batts. Batts and the Bells had a dispute over land, and she had sworn vengeance on the Bell family before she died. Later on, Bell died from poisoning, and it's rumored to be the work of the Bell Witch.

The Ghosts of the Crescent Hotel | Eureka Springs, Arkansas

historic crescent hotel exterior

Spend the night in the haunted Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, which opened in 1886. (During construction, a worker named Michael was killed, and his ghost reportedly still haunts room 218.) The hotel came under the ownership of known medical fraud Norman Baker in 1937, who fancied himself a doctor. He turned the hotel into the Baker Cancer Hospital, claiming to have the cure for the disease (he did not, obviously). Patients who died under his care were buried right in the hotel's basement, which served as a makeshift morgue. He was arrested in 1940, but his patients' spirits are said to still remain. Because the hotel is still open, guests often say they see apparitions and hear noises during their stays. SyFy's Ghost Hunters even has footage of something moving in the basement .

Huggin' Molly | Abbeville, Alabama

spooky house with tree and fog

It's best to stay home when the sun sets in Abbeville, Alabama, if you want to avoid Huggin' Molly's chilly embrace. As the legend goes, beginning in the early 1900s, an oversize figure clad in all black began roaming the streets at night looking for unsuspecting victims. Once she fixates on someone, she hugs the person and screams loudly into their ears. Many people have recounted stories of being chased by what they believe was Huggin' Molly. Local parents have even taken advantage of the story to keep their children in line. The town embraces its nighttime warden, proudly calling itself the "home of Huggin' Molly." There's even a family-friendly restaurant named after her!

The Surrency House Ghost | Surrency, Georgia

scary ghost stories surrency ghost house

The Surrency clan began experiencing paranormal activities in present day Surrency, Georgia, in the 1870s. Family members reported witnessing objects soaring across rooms, hearing laughter and crying, and seeing red eyes staring into the house. Food was thrown from their plates and utensils twisted into unusable shapes. The townspeople speculated that these occurrences were cries for help from spirits who thought the family would be able to save them. On the day the family decided to finally leave the house, a fire iron allegedly floated up and started hitting one of the sons on the head. No one was ever brave enough to live in the house again, and the building went up in flames in 1925.

The Ghost of Bellamy Bridge | Marianna, Florida

nature scene with old wooden bridge frame

For a taste of true haunting love, travel over this spooky bridge in Marianna, Florida, which has several ghost legends surrounding the structure. In the 1830s, Elizabeth Jane Croom Bellamy married local politician Dr. Samuel C. Bellamy. On their wedding night, her dress accidentally caught on fire, which covered the young bride in horrible burns. She initially survived, but eventually passed away. Elizabeth was buried along the banks of the Chipola River, and it was said that her love for her husband was so strong, she couldn't rest. The deceased newlywed, dressed in white, can allegedly be seen wandering the banks from the vantage point of the bridge (which was built after she died). It's said that she appears on fire either walking through the swamps or diving straight into the river, as if to douse the flames, or somberly walking along the side of the river.

The Ghost of Deer Island | Biloxi, Mississippi

person fishing on a canoe in foggy weather

Back on May 20, 1922, Anthony Ragusin, aka Mr. Tony, relayed this tale in a column in the Sun Herald . He writes that in the early 1800s, two fishermen spent the night on Deer Island off Biloxi's coast. They heard noises that they ignored until it became impossible to do so. When they went to see what was causing the ruckus, they claimed they found a headless skeleton that ran after the pair. They immediately made a beeline for their boat and got off the island immediately. It's said that the bony frame belongs to a pirate who had his head chopped off by his captain, and his body was left behind as a ghastly guard to watch over buried treasure.

Zombie Road | Wildwood, Missouri

woman walking in the dark with a lantern

Outside of St. Louis lies Zombie Road , a hotbed of ghostly activities. There are many scary stories stemming from Lawler Ford Road (its actual name), from sightings of Indigenous spirits wandering the stretch to victims of train accidents (there used to be active tracks there) like Della Hamilton McCullough, who was struck by a passing train. In the 1950s, it became a popular late-night teen hangout spot, with various murders happening in the area, too. It's also been rumored to be the home base of a murderer named Zombie, who escaped a mental asylum. These days, the stretch has been rechristened as a nature trail, but it's closed once night falls (with hefty fines for those who dare to trespass).

Dead Woman's Crossing | Weatherford, Oklahoma

woman with baby carriage in attic

This one's a regular murder mystery turned ghost story, according to Atlas Obscura . In the early 1900s in Weatherford, Oklahoma, Katie DeWitt James left her home with her baby after she filed for divorce from her husband. She planned to move in with her cousin, but her family never heard from her. After an investigation, it turned out that she moved in with local prostitute Frannie Norton. She was last seen leaving the house with Frannie and her child in a carriage. Frannie returned with the child, who was covered in blood, but without Katie. Her body was found later, along a nearby creek, with her head cut off. It was rumored that her ex-husband had her killed with Frannie's help, but Frannie claimed she wasn't involved in Katie's death. But on the day she was supposed to be questioned by the police, she poisoned herself. Katie's still around though. She allegedly appears as a blue light floating around town, and people have reported hearing a woman looking for her baby and the rolling sound of wheels.

The Myrtles Plantation | St. Francisville, Louisiana

plantation house

Of the numerous spirits haunting this plantation, built in 1796 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, the most known entity is Chloe, according to the official website . It's said that plantation owner Clark Woodruff carried on an affair with an enslaved person, Chloe, which he ended abruptly. She began to eavesdrop on his conversation, and he caught her. As punishment, he cut her ear off. She then poisoned the rest of his family with a birthday cake, leaving him alone. The other enslaved people knew what she had done and hanged her. She supposedly still remains on the property, with a photograph from 1992 where her spirit is reportedly visible.

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16 real ghost stories that will send chills down your spine

Are you afraid of things that go bump in the night ?

Then perhaps you should stop right now, because we're about to delve into the world of the supernatural — and these tales are not for the faint of heart.

Whether you believe ghosts are rea l or just made up for the movies , these ghost stories, as told by real people who experienced things they can't explain , are sure to give you pause — if not proof — that there's more than meets the eye when it comes to the spirit world.

To help curate our collection of spooky yarns, TODAY.com spoke to Derek Hayes, host of " Monsters Among Us ," a podcast in which callers share details of mysterious encounters.

According to Hayes, he receives hundreds of calls each week and submissions from across the globe. "But every once in a while, somebody will call in one of those personal stories. It's that personal connection for me that really brings it home," Hayes tells TODAY.com.

"And some of those are just terrifying ."

We've collected a sampling of those 'terrifying' stories right here, along with a handful of other scary ghost stories from a ghost hunter, as well as unexplained happenings recounted by a variety of ordinary people who claim they've experienced extraordinary events.

Whether you choose believe them is entirely up to you. But if you end up sleeping with the lights on tonight, don't say we didn't warn you.

The ghost truck stop

Empty Bar

On his way to get married, a military man and his best man set off on an 800-mile road trip from Camp Lejeune in North Carolina to Lafayette, Indiana.

It's 1 a.m. on a cold January night in 2014 and the man tells "Monsters Among Us" that the weather is bad and temperatures are in "the negative double digits."

As the pair close in on Indianapolis, they discover they have no money to pay for gas to refuel the car and are about to run out.

"Growing up in the trucking industry with my dad, I decided to stop at a truck stop," the man explains. But because the main interstates were shut down due to the weather, they had get off the highway and search for a truckstop along the back roads instead.

"(We) found a smaller truck stop. It had one truck and it was just kind of strange. It was just a blacked out truck with a blacked out trailer. There was no real markings on it, nothing distinguishable," he says.

They went in, hoping a clerk or waitress would spot them a few dollars for gas enough to make it to Indianapolis, at which time they'd go to the bank, take out cash and pay back the loan.

Inside they found a tidy diner, occupied by a waitress, cook and a lone truck driver.

"I went inside, talked to this driver and he bought us a cup of coffee. We sat there and talked for about 30 minutes about what was going on and why we were headed, where we were and what we were doing. And he gave us 20 bucks for gas. I went outside, pumped our gas, came back in and I told him, 'Hey, I really appreciate it. I'll be back.'"

Making good on his word, the man got cash from the bank upon arriving in Indianapolis and returned to the diner.

"When we arrive at about 10 o’clock in the morning, it's boarded up," he says. "It looks like it’s been abandoned for years and the truck’s gone. But we had just been in there."

They pull in anyway and find a police officer parked in the lot. They explain what happened just hours before to which the cop chuckles and replies, "Oh, you met the ghost of three."

"So, two military members converse, had a cup of coffee with, interacted with, three people at a diner that had a fuel pump. I got $20 worth of gas," says the man. "When I came back, it been boarded up for, if I remember correctly, the cop said it had been boarded up for the last 25 years."

The 'grandmas' in the cemetery

Headstones in a misty graveyard.

Jeff, a resident of Dayton, Ohio, was driving with his 3-year-old son, Miles, in the back seat, when they passed by a cemetery. It was a modest cemetery with only flowers and small plaques.

“It basically looks like a giant garden,” Jeff explains on “Monsters Among Us.”

According to Jeff, as they drove by, his toddler, who’d been happily singing, abruptly stopped, pointed to the cemetery and exclaimed, “Look at all those people!”

Jeff turned to look, but didn’t see a soul. Confused, he asked Miles what he was talking about. “All those people over there,” his son replied. “There sure are a lot of grandmas.”

As Jeff tells it, chills ran down his spine as he asked his son what the people were doing. “They’re all standing there, looking down at the grass,” Miles said.

Completely unsettled by the conversation, Jeff sped up and drove home. Later that same day, he says his young son was watching TV when he turned to Jeff and said, “You know … they weren’t alive.”

Thinking Miles was referring to the cartoon, Jeff asked what he meant. “Those people we saw ... they were all paused," his son replied.

“I don’t know if my kid has the sixth sense," Jeff says. "Or if he just has a wild imagination."

The ghost of The Stanley Hotel

ghost stories the stanley hotel

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, has been around for more than 100 years and was built as a posh getaway for the wealthy seeking solitude in the mountains.

As the years passed, however, occupancy declined and by the 1970s, the grand hotel had fallen into disrepair. It was around that time that famed author Stephen King spent the night there and was inspired to write the book “The Shining.”

The book and blockbuster film helped return the Stanley to its former glory. Now, guests come in droves to see the hotel that inspired one of the scariest horror movies of all time.

Given its history, it should come as no surprise that many visitors report strange happenings. Aware of the ghostly rumors, Texas resident Henry Yau booked a last-minute getaway in April of 2016 to “check it out.”

After arriving, Yau had dinner, then wandered around the Stanley to take photos. Stopping at the staircase, he waited for people to clear the area, then took a picture, thinking nothing of it.

Later that night, however, Yau fell seriously ill. “I felt really sick, I had the shivers, I was like, something’s really wrong,” he tells TODAY.com. His companion suggested he go to the emergency room, but Yau refused.

On the trip home, Yau began swiping through the photos he’d taken when he discovered what he said was a “really, really strange image” of someone standing on the stairs.

Except no one had been there.

The next day, he posted the photo on Instagram, half-joking that he’d captured a ghost — and the world took notice. Almost overnight, Yau found himself in the limelight with his ghost picture warranting attention from global media outlets and paranormal experts who wanted to examine the photo.

“Some experts say that there’s two ghosts, and other people said that the reason I got sick is because the ghost was trying to materialize, taking energy out of me,” he said. “There’s so many theories about this.”

And what does Yau think? “I have no idea,” he says with a laugh.

The hauntings at the Lizzie Borden House

The Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts.

On August 4, 1892, Andrew and his wife, Abby Borden, were found brutally murdered in their Fall River, Massachusetts, home. Though murder wasn’t uncommon in the late 1800s, the fact that they were bludgeoned to death with an ax and the main suspect was their 32-year-old daughter, Lizzie Borden, certainly was.

The crime and trial that followed made headlines around the world. Lizzie was ultimately acquitted of murder, but she remains forever linked to the heinous killings, as does the home where the crime was committed.

Now a bed-and-breakfast and museum, the Borden home attracts history buffs and thrill-seekers who come to see for themselves if rumors that the house is haunted are, indeed, true.

“When I started working here, it was more of the history. I really didn’t care about the paranormal,” Suzanne St. John, a realtor and tour guide at the Lizzie Borden House, tells TODAY.com.

However, that all changed after St. John says she experienced a few unusual happenings of her own.

“Guests tell us they hear laughing and playing in the middle of the night, things get moved around,” she says. And St. John has experienced a few unusual things herself, saying that once she discovered toys scattered across a room that no one had been in.

St. John also talks of a picture that fell over and slid two feet across the floor without any plausible explanation, as well as a closet door that once opened on its own volition.

On the eve of the anniversary of Andrew and Abby’s murder, St. John says that she and two other tour guides at the house felt a sudden sharp, piercing pain in their left eyes — the same exact location of Andrew Borden’s fatal injuries.

Perhaps the most unsettling, however, is the story St. John tells of a tour guide at the Lizzie Borden house who asked her group to silence their cell phones before beginning the tour. Moments later, a guest’s cell phone rang. She looked up and said, “It’s my mom.”

The tour guide asked if she wanted to leave and take the call, to which the woman replied: “She died two years ago.”

The ghost of Captain Joseph White

A shadowy image is captured in front of the Gardner-Pingree House in Salem, Massachusetts.

Though Salem, Massachusetts is best known for its infamous witch trials, there have been plenty of other chilling stories throughout its 400-year history.

One of them is the tale of Captain Joseph White, a wealthy merchant who was found bludgeoned to death in his bed.

It was a crime motivated by money, according to Giovanni Alabiso, owner and tour guide at Salem Historical Tours, who says the 82-year-old merchant was allegedly targeted by greedy brothers hoping to get their hands on his will.

Brothers Joseph and Francis Knapp enlisted the help of Richard Crowninshield to help get the job done. “Late in the evening, when Captain White is asleep, Dick Crowninshield comes in, he goes upstairs to the second floor and takes a club and bashes the captain over the head and crushes his skull,” Alabiso tells TODAY.com.

The murder resulted in a scandalous trial and is said to be the inspiration for Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Tell-Tale Heart,” as well as the game “Clue.”

Whether it’s the brutal nature of the crime or revenge for the attempt to steal his money, the spirit of Captain Joseph White is said to still wander the halls of his former home. “People believe Captain White is roaming around that house, protecting whatever treasure he reportedly has,” Alabiso said.

Tourists take photos of the house, and despite being empty, many pictures reveal shadowy figures (both male and female) in the windows and on the landing of the Gardner-Pingree House.

Who are they? No one knows.

“It’s definitely, absolutely active,” Alabiso says.

The haunted ventriloquist doll

Ventriloquist doll playing piano

When Marty was a child back in the '90s, she tells "Monsters Among Us" that she was a fan of ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy sidekick, Charlie McCarthy.

She says that when her father came across a ventriloquist doll as he wandered through a small magic shop located outside of Santa Rosa, California, he decided to buy it for her birthday.

While ringing up the sale, Marty says the cashier gave her father "weird vibes" and said to him: "You know when you put your hand inside the doll, he's going to come alive."

Laughing off the comment, he brought the dummy home to his daughter.

According to Marty, she was over the moon when he dad gave her the doll, saying: "I was so happy when I got that doll, I was obsessed."

But before long, strange things began happening. Though impossible because the doll's head was made of hard plastic, she says its expression would change, including his smile.

Worried something would happen to her precious dummy, Marty's family shut it away in a cupboard most nights. One night, she and her family were awakened by the "pitter patter" of steps in their living room. Thinking it was the dog or another family member, they went to look.

No one was there. Except for the doll, who was sitting on the couch.

"We remember specifically we always put it away because I loved that doll so much that I took care of it," Marty says on the podcast.

Other strange occurrences began happening. While Marty and her dad were away, her uncle was alone in the house. The uncle says he heard Marty's father calling his name from the living room, even though he wasn't home.

When he went to look? He found the doll, once again, sitting on the couch. And no one else.

"All of our family was pretty much scared of the doll," Marty says. "People would start hearing their names being called, and we would hear walking at night. So, we just decided we needed to get rid of it."

Being Mexican and religious, Marty says her parents wanted to burn the doll in case it was demonic. They put it on the grill and, according to Marty, it wouldn't burn. "This doll would not go up in flames, at all, whatsoever."

They tried cutting it up with a knife, but were unsuccessful. Finally, they threw it in the trash can. After the garbage was collected, Marty's dad went to retrieve the bin.

In it? The doll.

To rid themselves of the dummy, they dug a hole in the backyard, then filled it with cement.

Marty and family have long-since moved away, but she says they still think about the doll and the possibility that eventually "it finds one of us."

The imaginary 'friend'

Ghost Stories

Jacqueline from Oklahoma says that while her memories have faded over the years, she recalls having an imaginary friend when she was young.

Her grandparents, "Granny Junie" and "Pa Hank," lived in a small home with a quiet backyard. Jacqueline recalls visiting them as a child.

"I have very good memories of my Pa Hank," Jacqueline says on the podcast "Monsters Among Us."

"He would sit under the tree with me and tell me stories." The stories were often about his life and memories of prohibition, she says. "He was actually a very interesting character."

The only problem? Her grandfather died in 1981 — and Jacqueline was born in 1982.

"I don't think I ever realized that I was getting stories from a ghost," she says, adding that the rest of her family knew of his presence in the house. "My Granny Junie would never stay in the house on the anniversary of his death," she says. "He did die in the house."

Jacqueline also recalls hearing Pa Hank get up in the middle of the night when she was staying at the house. "It never occurred to me that these were memories of an entity," she said.

In hindsight, Jacqueline says that even though her childhood "imaginary friend" was actually her dead grandfather, it casts a different light because it was a relative and not a stranger.

"It never felt like ghosts, it felt like talking to my Pa Hank."

The kidnapping ghost

Ghost Stories

On "Monsters Among Us," a caller named Joe tells of moving to Georgia from California in the late 1990s. Soon after, he says his brother followed him to the Peach State and rented an old house built in the 1800s.

"It looked nice from the outside ... it did not feel good from the inside," Joe says during the podcast.

According to Joe, things seemed off from the moment he helped his brother move into the home. "I walked into the house and went, 'Oh, man.' The hair stood up on the back of my neck, and I just felt ill-at-ease, like this place isn't cool at all," he says.

Moments later, while carrying items into the bedroom, Joe says he heard whispering.

"A heated whispering, almost an argument, between two people that seemed to be hovering in the top of the ceiling area of the room," he adds.

Joe ran out of the room and asked his brother if he'd felt something off about the house, too. His brother had picked up on the vibe, but assured Joe that things would be alright.

"As long as you're good," Joe says he told his brother. "I'm not good, but I'm going to help you. I'm going home and I probably won't come back here."

And, sure enough, Joe's brother began experiencing unusual occurrences in the house.

The most alarming, however, was when Joe says his young niece was found wandering alone on a busy road with her hand up in the air.

Police and other agencies were called to investigate the incident and when asked, his brother's 4-year-old explained that she'd gone for a stroll with the "old lady that lives here."

"She just wanted to go for a walk, so we went for a walk."

Given that the front door was too heavy for a 4-year-old to open by herself, no one could understand how she was able to leave the house.

According to Joe, his niece said, "The old lady opened the door, then we petted the dog for a little bit, then went for a walk."

"She was so genuine and honest at 4 years old, that he couldn't call her liar," Joe says during the podcast.

Soon after, his brother moved and never returned.

The ghosts of Stone’s Public House

Ghost Stories

Considered one of the most haunted restaurants in America, Stone’s Public House in Ashland, Massachusetts, doesn’t have a ghost problem — it has a ghosts problem.

Janet Morazzini, a longtime resident of Ashland, is the bartender and manager of Stone's Public House, which was built by John Stone back in 1832.

According to Morazzini, even before she began working at the inn, she heard stories of the ghost of a young boy roaming the halls of the restaurant, which once served as an ad hoc hospital during the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918.

It makes sense, Morazzini tells TODAY.com. “That’s where they would quarantine all the sick people,” she explains. “Apparently, quite a few souls have passed just due to that.”

The inn is also the site for other untimely deaths, including that of a young girl who was struck and killed by a train while she played near the railroad tracks bordering the property.

According to Morazzini, a father and son visiting the inn stepped outside the restaurant to watch the trains. After coming back inside, Morazzini overheard the father reassuring his young son that there wasn't anyone else outside — despite the son insisting he'd seen a little girl sitting beside them.

“He’s like, ‘She was sitting right next to me. She was crying. You didn’t see the little girl?’ And the dad said, ‘There was nobody there, it was just me and you, buddy,'" Morazzini recalls.

Other ghosts are said to haunt the old inn, including that of proprietor, John Stone, who Morazzini says didn’t actually die there, but is believed to be “watching over” the place.

One night when Morazzini was alone at the inn, she says she heard footsteps walking directly above her on the second floor. “I was just like, there is no explanation for that whatsoever. I’m leaving," she tells TODAY.com.

Still, she doesn’t believe that the spirits have bad intentions. “I’ve never had that scary, hair-on-the-back-of-your-neck-gotta-get-out-of-the-building feeling there."

The unexpected passenger

Ghost Stories

In the 1990s, Julie, a resident of Portland, Oregon, was driving out the city to meet with friends when she found herself in traffic. The 18-year-old soon discovered that the cause of the slowdown was due to a dreadful car crash and to her horror, as she passed the scene, she realized that someone had died.

A moment later, “there was a woman sitting in my passenger seat.” Julie says on “Monsters Among Us.”

Though she admits it sounds crazy, Julie reports seeing a woman dressed in work clothes seated next to her. And despite being in complete shock, the woman in the passenger seat was even more freaked out. “She looked like somebody who just suddenly ended up in somebody else’s car,” Julie says of the incident.

Panicked, the woman demanded to know how she got there and who Julie was. It was then that Julie noticed the woman had an unearthly quality about her and realized that whoever she’d passed on the side of the road was somehow in the car with her.

“'Ma’am, you need to calm down, my name is Julie and I’m here to help,’” she says she told the stranger. Julie later went on to explain to the woman that she’d been in a car accident and somehow ended up in her passenger seat. The woman was stricken.

At that exact minute, they passed a clearing in the trees. With some encouragement from Julie, the woman peacefully walked toward the sun, then disappeared.

In completely disbelief, Julie pulled over and convinced herself she’d imagined the whole thing. Several days later, however, a story came on the news about a trucker injured in a car accident.

“Before they finished, they threw a picture up of the woman that was in my car and explained that she had passed away in the accident,” Julie says during the podcast. “It was unbelievable, it was too much.”

The ghost in the choir loft

The First Church in Salem, Massachusetts.

Alicia Diozzi, teacher, tour guide and owner of Salem Kids Tours , typically sticks to talking about Salem, Massachusetts' long and diverse history.

However, there’s one story she likes to share about a ghost that haunts First Church in Salem. The plot twist? Only children can see it.

“The little ones, maybe age 4 or 5, will ask about a ghostly presence that they see up in the choir loft in the main sanctuary of our church,” she tells TODAY.com.

According to Diozzi, kids often point to the same spot in the church and claim they see a woman there.

“The kids will say she’s in a long dress, long-sleeves, and that she sometimes can be heard singing with the choir," Diozzi says.

Tales of the choir ghost have been circulating since the 1960s, says Diozzi. And she might have dismissed them had her own son not pointed to loft 15 years ago and asked about "the lady who sings with the choir."

Was she chilled?

“Yes, definitely,” Diozzi says. “I feel like the main sanctuary at First Church has that feeling, you do kind of feel the presence of the past.”

It’s not a bad feeling she says, but rather a history or energy that’s comforting in a way.

The ghosts of 'Shawshank' penitentiary

The Ohio State Reformatory.

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio is widely known for being the location of the classic movie, "The Shawshank Redemption."

But the old penitentiary, which was shut down in 1990, also has a reputation for being haunted.

Home to some of the most hardened criminals, the maximum-security prison was once the site of murders, suicides and other violent encounters, according to Theresa Argie, author and paranormal investigator known as “ The Haunted Housewife ."

“(The reformatory) had this incredible vein of violence that ran through it almost from the beginning," Argie tells TODAY.com.

“You can imagine why a place like that would be haunted,” she says. “There’s something negative there, you can just feel it in your bones.”

And there are, in fact, plenty of ghost stories from the old prison.

“We ran into female spirits there, which I thought was incredibly interesting,” Argie said. One of them, she says, is likely the wife of a former warden who was accidentally shot and killed while pulling a box down from a closet shelf.

According to Argie, they've captured recordings of a woman crying and, on occasion, smelled rose perfume in the bedroom.

Another spirit that’s said to haunt the reformatory is a woman who sits in the prison chapel and cries. “When you approach this woman sitting in the pew, she disappears. Other people have seen her walking," Argie says.

Then there's the malevolent presence there, according to Argie. And with the help of a medium, she says she communicated with it.

“He would literally be cussing at me,” she recalled.

While their sessions with the angry ghost were unnerving, it wasn’t until he followed Argie’s partner home that they were truly terrified.

“One day, she saw him, through a reflection of her window, she saw this thing in the back, this shadow figure, and she knew it was him," Argie tells TODAY.com.

After seeking the help of a paranormal expert, Argie says that "we haven't seen him since."

The phantom ambulance lights

Ambulance on forest road

In the mid 1990s, Robert worked as paramedic in a small Texas town and tells the story of a "strange happening" that he and his partner experienced on a call one night.

After receiving a call for a female having chest pains, he and his partner climbed in the ambulance to make their way to the address.

"We took off Code 3, which means using our emergency lights and sirens," Robert recalls.

In the absence of GPS back then, Robert says that they relied on maps and mailbox numbers to guide them to the rural location.

"The address we were going to was a very rural one," says Robert. "So, there was no street lights and it was a very dark night, so it was very difficult to read the mailboxes."

As they searched for the correct driveway, Robert says he turned off the sirens. After determining they'd found it, they pulled in only to discover they were mistaken.

"So, we turned off the emergency lights as we backed up to the road and went up the correct driveway," he explains.

Upon arriving at the scene, the paramedics realized that they'd been at the exact same address the month prior for a male suffering from cardiac arrest.

"In typical medical black-humor fashion, we mentioned to each other that this was probably the wife who was now having a heart attack and was now going to go join her husband."

They jumped from the ambulance, bags in tow, and began treating the woman, who, fortunately, ended up being alright. Robert says he sent his partner to get the stretcher from the ambulance so they could take her to hospital for evaluation.

"When he returned, he had this strange questioning look on his face," according to Robert. The pair wheeled the patient out to the emergency vehicle and that's when Robert saw that the ambulance "had nearly every light it was equipped with turned on."

"Strobe lights, flood lights, some interior lights ... everything on."

After taking the patient to the hospital, Robert asked his partner why he'd turned on all the lights.

In fact, he reminded Robert that they'd shut them all off after going to the wrong address.

"Neither of us recall activating the emergency lights, strobes or flood lights when we arrived at the house. There was no real reason to do so, we'd already gotten there.

"In the end, we wrote it off as her dead husband letting her know that he was still there."

The ghost dog

Fog in the nature park

Sarah, from Lancaster, Ohio, tells "Monsters Among Us" the story of her childhood dog, Cricket, who according to Sarah was a "pretty unhappy dog."

"She was super cranky, she only liked my grandma," Sarah says. "She didn't seem like she felt well."

Still, the family loved their dog and was devastated when the pup ran out into the road and was struck and killed by a passing car as they were preparing to leave on a family vacation.

"It was very sad, very upsetting, especially with me being a child. My grandmother was there, she loved Cricket and Cricket loved her. They had this special relationship that none of us had."

Despite the loss, the family had prepaid for their vacation, and not having a lot of money, decided to still go, leaving Cricket with an aunt who offered to take of the necessary details.

Upon arriving at the hotel where they were staying, Sarah says the family was "melancholy and sad" over the tragedy.

"We go to bed, and in the middle of the night, I'm not sure why I woke up, but I startled, woke up, sat up in bed, and looked down, and on the floor was Cricket, a full-body apparition, of her," says Sarah.

"She looked so happy, she looked like a different dog. She was jumping around. All that crankiness, all that unhappiness she had, was gone. It was like she was coming to tell me that she was OK. It was the clearest apparition. I've never seen an apparition again. It was the first and only time."

Sarah says she told her mother in the morning what she'd seen and her mom dismissed it as her middle-school brain just trying to make sense of the loss.

"I guess that's possible," says Sarah, "but to this day, I can still envision Cricket in that moment. I've never forgotten that image and it helped me feel better about what had happened because she seemed so happy and I do think she was visiting me that night."

  The ghosts of Willoughby Coal

The Willoughby Coal building in Ohio.

Built in the late 1800s, the Willoughby Coal building in Willoughby, Ohio, housed a variety of businesses in it's time, including a train depot, cheese factory and flour mill.

In 1912, it became the very prosperous Willoughby Coal, supplying coal to local residents before it was sold to Henry Windus and William “Don” Norris in the 1930s.

Over time, the relationship between the two owners grew contentious, according to Theresa Argie. “Henry Windus wanted to buy the business from Don Norris, but Don was unwilling to sell," the paranormal investigator tells TODAY.com

One morning, Norris allegedly told his wife he was going out for bread and to check on repairs being done on the Willoughby building.

He never returned.

Several hours later, his body was discovered in front of the door. “He was laying in a bloody heap,” Argie says.

Even though his death was ultimately ruled accidental, Argie says that Norris' family believed he'd been murdered. Though no one knows what really happened that morning, Argie believes his spirit still haunts the building.

“We have come in contact with him on many, many occasions,” she says and claims that others have reported seeing faces in the window and heard unexplained footsteps and other unusual occurrences at the building.

But Norris isn't alone.“We’ve probably got five or six resident spirits in the building."

The ghost nanny

Ghost touching sleeping granddaughter

Kip, a caller from New York state, talks of an old home that he and his wife purchased. Upon moving in, his wife invited her sister and newborn baby to come for a visit.

“The stayed in the downstairs bedroom and my wife was sleeping in an upstairs bedroom,” Kip explains on "Monsters Among Us," and says the first night their guests stayed, his wife overheard her sister talking to someone in the middle of the night.

The next morning, Kip’s wife asked who she’d been talking to and her sister replied, “I woke up in the middle of the night and there was an old lady standing over my baby and I had to tell her to get away.”

According to Kip, there were more unexplained incidents in the house including mysteriously moving lamps and a creepy occurrence with a fire alarm that went off while his wife was outside working in their garden.

“She immediately runs back into the house, figures out that it’s the smoke alarm in that same downstairs bedroom going off,” Kip says on the podcast. “When she opened the door, she said for a split second all she could see in the room was this white fog.”

Within moments, however, the white fog disappeared and the alarm shut off.

Convinced the house was haunted, Kip’s wife reached out to a neighbor to learn more about the property and discovered that the previous owner was a 90-year-old woman who tragically died in a house fire.

“Needless to say, we fixed up the house and got out of there as fast as we could and moved someplace else," says Kip.

Read on for more scares!

  • Are witches real? What to know on fact or fiction
  • Are werewolves real? The truth might surprise you
  • Scary books to read, from classics to modern fiction

Sarah Lemire is a lifestyle reporter at TODAY.com with more than a decade of experience writing across an array of channels including home, health, holidays, personal finance, shopping, food, fashion, travel and weddings. An avid traveler, foodie, helicopter parent and couch film critic, Sarah is originally from Minneapolis and has spent the last two decades unsuccessfully trying to figure out the difference between a hoagie and a sub.

Every product was carefully curated by an Esquire editor. We may earn a commission from these links.

13 Terrifying-But-True Horror Stories Reported in the News

From fatal exorcisms to unexplained deaths and devil worship—these are some real-life nightmares.

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Sometimes, it's a story even Stephen King couldn't dream of coming up with himself. That's when you start trusting in the strange. Once in a while, a story of a dreadful disappearance, demonic possession, or town full of devil worshipers will land in the local paper. Whether its real or fiction, we often never find out. Maybe they're crazy, but maybe they're right... you be the judge. Below, we've rounded up the most unnerving real-life news tales below. In honor of spooky season, here are thirteen we can't stop thinking about.

The Enfield Monster

In 1973, a man in Enfield, Illinois told reporters that he saw a weird little creature lurking in his yard. Per the Mt. Vernon Register-News , resident Henry McDaniel stated:

It had three legs on it, a short body, two little short arms, and two pink eyes as big as flashlights.

The police later found scratches on the door screen and footprints that looked like a dogs but with six toes. "If they do find it,” McDaniel said in the newspaper, "they will find more than one and they won’t be from this planet, I can tell you that.” To this day, no explanation has ever been found.

The Suicide Hotel

In Colombia, the Hotel Del Salto has more stories as one of the most haunted places on Earth more than it does actual tenants. Turned into a museum, the hotel was designed by designed by architect Carlos Arturo Tapias back in 1923, overlooking the Tequendama Falls. The views were said to be spectacular, but guests kept getting a little too close to the falls. Translated to "Hotel of the Leap," the Hotel Del Salto is full of stories of people leaping to their deaths. According to local legend, the Indigenous Muisca tribe escaped from Spanish colonizers by leaping off the cliffs some centuries before.

The Axe Murder House

The Villisca Axe Murder House in Villisca, Iowa is a well-known tourist attraction for ghost hunters and horror lovers alike. The site of a gruesome unsolved 1912 murder, in which six children and two adults had their skulls completely crushed by the axe of an unknown perpetrator, was purchased in 1994, restored to its 1912 condition, and converted into a tourist destination. It costs $428 a night to stay at the old haunted home, where visitors always report strange paranormal experiences, such as visions of a man with an axe roaming the halls or the faint screams of children.

But in November of 2014, the haunting took a darker turn. Robert Steven Laursen Jr., 37, of Rhinelander, Wisconsin was on a regular recreational paranormal visit with friends when true horror struck. Per VICE :

His companions found him stabbed in the chest—an apparently self-inflicted wound—called 9-1-1, and Laursen was brought to a nearby hospital before being helicoptered to Creighton University Medical Center in Omaha.

The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office said Laursen suffered the self-inflicted injury at about 12:45 a.m., which is around the same time the 1912 axe murders in the house began.

Laursen recovered from his injuries, but has never spoken publicly about what occurred that day. For Martha Linn, the owner of the home, the incident was very upsetting. "It's publicity, but it's not exactly the kind of publicity you desire to have. I don't want people thinking that when they come to the Villisca Axe Murder House something's going to happen that's going to make them do something like that.” The house remains open for tourist visits and overnight stays today.

The Haunted Doll

When you think of haunted dolls, it’s likely the creepy old Victorian-looking porcelain kind that springs to mind. None of which you probably have laying around. Still, don’t get too comfortable around any kids toys too soon, though: a Disney’s Frozen Elsa doll that was gifted for Christmas 2013 in the Houston area made headlines earlier this year when it seemingly became haunted.

Per KPRC2 Houston News :

The doll recited phrases from the movie Frozen and sang “Let It Go” when a button on its necklace was pressed.
“For two years it did that in English,” mother Emily Madonia said. “In 2015, it started doing it alternating between Spanish and English. There wasn’t a button that changed these, it was just random."
The family has owned the doll for more than six years and never changed its batteries. The mother says the doll would randomly begin to speak and sing even with its switch turned off.

The family decided to throw the creepy doll out in December of 2019. Weeks later, they found it inside a bench in their living room. “The kids insisted they didn’t put it there, and I believed them because they wouldn’t have dug through the garbage outside,” Madonia told KPRC2 Houston News.

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At that point, Elsa ceased to sing the English rendition of “Let It Go” altogether, speaking only Spanish when pressed. The family then double-bagged the bizarre doll and placed it at the bottom of their garbage which was taken out on garbage day. They went on a trip shortly after, but when they returned, Elsa too had come back, and was waiting in the backyard of their home.

This time, the family mailed Elsa to a family friend in Minnesota, who taped the haunted doll to the front bumper of his truck. It doesn’t seem to have made its way back to Houston yet, as per Madonia’s latest February Facebook update on the creepy doll.

A Deadly Exorcism

In August 2016 in North London, 26-year-old Kennedy Ife began acting strange and aggressive following a pain in his throat. He reportedly bit his father, threatened to cut off his own penis, and complained of a python or snake inside of him before his family restrained him to a bed with cable ties and excessive force.

As the BBC reported :

“The family then set about attempting to ‘cure’ Kennedy through restraint and prayer over the next three days, the court was told.”

His brother, Colin Ife, told police:

“It’s clear that thing was in him, what we believed was a demon because it was not natural. It was clearly trying to kill him,” he said.
“We had to restrain him for himself. It was clear if we didn’t restrain him, he could have tried to harm people in our family.”

Kennedy Ife had been bound to his bed for three days without medical attention when his brother called emergency services, explaining that Kennedy Ife was complaining of dehydration. He appeared to have developed breathing issues, and was pronounced dead at 10:17 a.m.

As The Independent reported :

While police were at the house Colin Ife allegedly carried out an “attempted resurrection” by chanting and praying for Mr. Ife.

All seven of Kennedy Ife’s family members were accused of manslaughter, false imprisonment, and causing or allowing the death of a vulnerable adult. A post-mortem examination revealed over 60 wounds including a possible bite on Kennedy Ife’s body, and his father, Kenneth Ife, along with four of his brothers, sustained injuries as well.

The BBC reported :

Kenneth Ife told jurors he ordered his sons to take shifts and use "overwhelming force" but denied that an "association with cults, occults and secret societies" played any part in the death.

After a four day jury deliberation , all seven family members were cleared of charges on March 14, 2019.

Wicked Witchcraft

Dead Animals in the Walls

When the Bretzuis family decided to insulate their home in Auburn, Pennsylvania in 2015, they discovered that it had already been—with scores of dead animal carcasses.

As Fox reported :

The dead animals were wrapped in newspapers from the 1930s and 40s and were among half-used spices, and other items.
After removing the items they sent hundreds of artifacts and carcasses to an expert in Kutztown.

The expert attributed the rotting animals in their walls to Pow-wow or Dutch magic, a ritual originating in the culture of the Pennsylvania Dutch to treat ailments and gain physical and spiritual protection. The Pennsylvania Dutch were a group of German-speaking settlers to Pennsylvania in the 1600 and 1700’s, and are often of Lutheran, Mennonite, or Amish faiths.

The Washington Post notes on the magic:

Many of the spells deal with the care of livestock, finding water, or the treatment of minor ailments, reflecting the conditions and concerns of early American settlers.
But powwow also has within it a tradition of darker spells, and even of such things as conjuring demons.

One notable ritual in their tradition is this hex to create loyalty in a dog:

To attach a dog to a person, provided nothing else was used before to effect it: Try to draw some of your blood, and let the dog eat it along with his food, and he will stay with you.

The mold found on the rotting carcasses in the Bretzuis home has caused illness among the family members, and they say that the odor hasn’t gone away.

Florida Devil Worshipping

Friends noticed that Danielle Harkins, a 35-year-old schoolteacher near St. Petersburg, Florida, started acting strangely in June of 2012, developing an interest in demonic rituals.

Soon after, she was arrested for abuse of seven of her former students, as the Tampa Bay Times reported :

Danielle Harkins told the kids they needed to rid their bodies of demons as the group gathered before dusk Saturday around a small fire near the St. Petersburg Pier. They should cut their skin to let the evil spirits out, police said she told the children. Then, they needed to burn the wounds to ensure that those spirits would not return.
When Harkins held a lighter to one teen's hand, wind blew the flame out, police said. That prompted her to douse his hand in perfume before setting it on fire. The boy suffered second-degree burns, police said.
Another teen was cut on the neck with a broken bottle, police said. Harkins used a flame to heat a small key, which she then used to cauterize the wound.

The police were notified because a friend of one of the students who participated in the ritual raised alarms. However none of the students themselves told their parents about the event or would comment following the arrest of Harkins for aggravated battery and child abuse.

NBC reported :

Investigators said they've spoken to Harkins, but she didn't spell out what type of religion would require such drastic measures.

"She hasn't informed us exactly what she was trying to accomplish with this," Puetz [of the St. Petersburg Police Department] said.

The Death of Elisa Lam

Elisa Lam was last seen on January 31, 2013 in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She was vacationing through the West Coast, documenting the trip on her blog, and checking in with her parents every day. On January 31 those calls stopped. Lam had vanished. Soon the police were involved and her parents arrived to help with the search.

They had nothing. That February, LAPD released elevator surveillance footage of Lam before her disappearance. The footage shows Lam behaving strangely in the elevator, appearing to talk with invisible people, peering around the corner of the door, crouching in the corner, and opening and closing the door. But what exactly is going on in this video raises more questions than answers. Theories range from psychotic episodes, to demonic possession, to unknown assailants just out of the camera's view:

Around that time, hotel guests started reported weird things happening with the Cecil Hotel water supply. As CNN reports :

"The shower was awful," said Sabina Baugh, who spent eight days there during the investigation. "When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal." The tap water "tasted horrible," Baugh said. "It had a very funny, sweety, disgusting taste. It's a very strange taste. I can barely describe it." But for a week, they never complained. "We never thought anything of it," she said. "We thought it was just the way it was here."

On the morning of February 19, a hotel employee climbed to the roof and used a ladder to investigate the hotel's water storage tanks. That's where authorities found the decomposing, naked body of Lam, whose personal items were found nearby. After an autopsy, her death was labeled accidental. NBC Los Angeles reported at the time about the strange circumstances in the hotel's past:

The tank has a metal latch that can be opened, but authorities said access to the roof is secured with an alarm and lock. The single-room-occupancy hotel has an unusual history. "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez, who was found guilty of 14 slayings in the 1980s, lived on the 14th floor for several months in 1985. And international serial killer Jack Unterweger is suspected of murdering three prostitutes during the time he lived there in 1991. He killed himself in jail in 1994. In 1962, a female occupant jumped out of one the hotel's windows, killing herself and a pedestrian on whom she landed.

In February 2021, a Netflix doc called Crime Scene: The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel explored Elisa's tragic case and the history of the "cursed" Cecil Hotel .

An Exorcism in Indianapolis

Last year, the Indianapolis Star published a lengthy report on a family terrorized by three children allegedly possessed by demons. The account of Latoya Ammons and her family tells disturbing stories of children climbing up the walls, getting thrown across rooms, and children threatening doctors in deep unnatural voices. It would seem like something straight out of a movie–a work of fantasy, except all of these accounts were more or less corroborated with "nearly 800 pages of official records obtained by the Indianapolis Star and recounted in more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS personnel, psychologists, family members and a Catholic priest."

One of the more chilling sections of the report includes a segment about the possessed 9-year-old:

According to Washington's original DCS report—an account corroborated by Walker, the nurse—the 9-year-old had a "weird grin" and walked backward up a wall to the ceiling. He then flipped over Campbell, landing on his feet. He never let go of his grandmother's hand.

Another segment of the piece reads:

The 12-year-old would later tell mental health professionals that she sometimes felt as if she were being choked and held down so she couldn't speak or move. She said she heard a voice say she'd never see her family again and wouldn't live another 20 minutes.

Utah Murder-Suicide

In September of 2014, a Utah teen returned to his home to find his parents and three siblings dead. "In a notebook, a 'to-do list' had been scribbled on the pages ... The list looked as if the parents were readying to go on vacation—items such as 'feed the pets' and 'find someone to watch after the house' were written," The Salt Lake Tribune reported . It appeared to be murder-suicide, but there was no suicide note, no prior indication that they would do this, no explanation. Police could not figure out why two parents would kill themselves and three of their four children.

For a year, no one knew exactly what happened to the family, or what would drive the parents to do something so unthinkable. In January, police released more chilling details in the case. According to accounts from family members and an investigation by police, the parents were driven by a belief that the apocalypse was coming and an obsession with a convicted killer. As the Washington Post reported :

Friends and family told police that the parents were worried about the "evil in the world" and wanted to escape a "pending apocalypse." But most assumed they just wanted to move somewhere "off the grid." Investigators also found letters written by Kristi Strack to one of the state's most infamous convicted killers, Dan Lafferty, who was convicted in the 1984 fatal stabbing of his sister-in-law and her 1-year-old daughter. According to trial testimony, he killed the victims at the order of his brother, Ron Lafferty, who claimed to have had a revelation from God. The story became a book called "Under the Banner of Heaven." Police said Kristi Strack became friends with Dan Lafferty, and she and her husband even visited him in prison.

The Phone Stalker

In 2007, ABC news documented a series of cell phone calls to families with terrifyingly specific death threats. The unidentified callers knew exactly what families were doing and what they were wearing.

The families say the calls come in at all hours of the night, threatening to kill their children, their pets and grandparents. Voice mails arrive, playing recordings of their private conversations, including one with a local police detective. The caller knows, the families said, what they're wearing and what they're doing. And after months of investigating, police seem powerless to stop them.

This went on with the Kuykenall family for months, who reported a caller with a scratchy voice threatening to slit their throats.

When the Fircrest, Wash., police tried to find the culprit, the calls were traced back to the Kuykendalls' own phones -- even when they were turned off. It got worse. The Kuykendalls and two other Fircrest families told ABC News that they believe the callers are using their cell phones to spy on them. They say the hackers know their every move: where they are, what they're doing and what they're wearing. The callers have recorded private conversations, the families and police said, including a meeting with a local detective.

"The Watcher"

After moving into their $1.3 million dream home, a New Jersey family started receiving creepy death threats from someone who identified themselves as "The Watcher." As CBS News reported earlier this year:

Since moving in, the owners said they have received numerous letters from the mysterious person. "The Watcher" claimed the home "has been the subject of my family for decades," and "I have been put in charge of watching and waiting for its second coming," Castro reported. The new owners have several children, and other letters asked, "Have they found out what's in the walls yet?" and "I am pleased to know your names now, and the name of the young blood you have brought to me."

The family was forced to flee from their home and later filed a lawsuit against the previous owners.

Issei the Cannibal

In 1974, 24-year-old Wako University student Issei Sagawa allegedly followed a German woman to her home in Tokyo, Japan, broke into her apartment while she was sleeping, and attempted to cut a piece of flesh off her body to consume. When she awoke, she reportedly fought him and he was later captured by the police. According to a 2012 Vice documentary that covered Issei's bizarre story, he was mistakenly charged with attempted rape and his wealthy father paid the victim a settlement outside of court to have the charges dropped.

Seven years later, in 1981, he allegedly committed a murder in France—shooting and eating a fellow University student, Renée Hartevelt. Issei creepily documented the entire experience with photographs and he was captured by authorities once again while attempting to dump the rest of her body in the Bois de Boulogne lake. He was deported back to Japan and committed to a mental institution. For reason unknown, his psychologists in Japan declared that he was sane. Furthermore, a legal technicality involving the French government refusing to turn over the documents from his case meant that his murder charges were dropped completely. He checked himself out of the mental hospital and has reportedly been walking the streets as a free man ever since. Issei has even become a controversial celebrity, writing over 20 books. According to Japan Today , he most recently fantasized about an unnamed TV actress, saying:

"I'll catch a glimpse of her thigh and think, 'That sure looks tasty.' But I don't feel like I actually want to eat it. As I accomplished the act of cannibalism once, there's no meaning to maintaining the desire for it anymore. In my book, I wrote that it [human flesh] was tasty, but that was not really true; I'd much rather eat Matsuzaka (Kobe) beef. But because I'd desired to consume human flesh for so long, I'd managed to convince myself that it would necessarily be delicious."

Issei Sagawa was also referenced in the Rolling Stones song "Too Much Blood," with the lyrics reading: "And when he ate her he took her bones/To the Bois de Boulogne." He is currently 73 years old and continues to live in Kawaski City, Japan. To this day, no one knows why France did not allow Japan to give him a trial.

Headshot of Matt Miller

Matt Miller is a Brooklyn-based culture/lifestyle writer and music critic whose work has appeared in Esquire, Forbes, The Denver Post, and documentaries.

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Lauren Kranc is the assistant content strategy editor at Esquire, where she runs the brand’s social media accounts and covers pop culture and television, with entirely too narrow an expertise on true crime shows 

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The Creepiest Ghost And Monster Stories From Around The World

Cecily Meza-Martinez

GD 2020

Credit: Phoebe Boswell for NPR

It's Halloween — a time for Frankenstein monsters and vampires and werewolves. But many of us have our own monsters from different cultures, and when we threw out a call to our readers asking what ghost stories and folktales they grew up with in their own traditions, we got back stories of creatures stalking the shadows of Latin American hallways and vengeful demons from South Asia with backwards feet. (And that's before we get to the were-hyenas and the infernal bathroom stalls.) Below are some of the best we've found or that were told to us from Code Switch readers.

Read on...if you dare.

The Night Demon

An evil creature stalks the Tanzanian island of Pemba in the Indian Ocean. It can change shape — a bat sometimes, a human-like form at others. It prefers to come out at night, but some say they have seen it during the day. The popobawa — "bat-wing" in Swahili — is indiscriminate in its targets. But in a common retelling, the spirit sexually assaults men.

Here & Now | Ghost Stories From Around The World

Ghost stories from around the world.

The popobawa story is rather new — only dating back a few decades from a time of civil unrest following the assassination of the country's president. The popular thinking goes that after a popbawa attack, victims must spread the word to others on Pemba. Otherwise, they will continue to be visited by the popobawa.

Reports of attack send some locals into a panic. A few years ago, a series of night-time sexual assaults were blamed on the popobawa.

"Some men are staying awake or sleeping in groups outside their homes," the BBC reported in 2007. "Others are smearing themselves with pig's oil, believing this repels attacks."

A peasant farmer named Mjaka Hamad claims he was attacked by the popobawa in 1997 .

I couldn't see it. I could only feel it. But some people in my house could see it. Those who've got the spirits in their heads could see it. Everybody was terrified. They were outside screaming Huyo! It means the Popobawa is there. I had this bad pain in my ribs where it crushed me. I don't believe in spirits so maybe that's why it attacked me. Maybe it will attack anybody who doesn't believe.

Beware the third stall.

The Girl In The Bathroom

In Japan, the schools contain an infernal secret. If you go into the girl's bathroom on the third floor of the building, and walk to the third stall, you might find her.

"You have to knock 3 times and call her name," a Code Switch reader named Jessica tweeted at us . "When you open the stall door, a little girl in a red skirt will be there."

The little girl with the bob haircut is Hanako-san. She wants friends to play with, maybe. Or perhaps she wants to drag you to Hell — through the toilet.

"Depending on which part of Japan you live in, she may have a bloody hand and grab you, or be a lizard that devours you," Jessica said. "Although I am getting scared just thinking about her right now."

Hanako-san has become a fixture of Japanese urban folklore over the last 70 years. The most popular origin story for the tale holds that during World War II, a schoolgirl was using the bathroom when a bomb fell on top of the building. The school collapsed on top of Hanako-san, who has been trapped there ever since.

But Hanako isn't the only schoolgirl who haunts Japan's school bathrooms. Kashima Reiko, another young girl, was said to have been cut in half by a train. Now her disfigured spirit inhabits bathrooms, asking children who enter the stalls where her legs are. The legend goes that if Kashima Reiko is not satisfied with their answer, she will rip their legs off.

The Woman Of Your (Worst) Dreams

In Brazil, a tall, skinny woman with long yellow fingernails and red eyes creeps along the rooftops, and watches families inside of their homes. She watches them as they sit at the table for dinner. She watches them while they eat. La pisadeira.

After the meal, when someone goes to sleep on a full stomach, la pisadeira sneaks into their bedroom. Then she sits on their chest so that they cannot move. The pisadeira that has attacked them watches them as they begin to panic — the victim's eyes partly open, but they're neither fully asleep or fully awake — helpless and trapped in a body that won't move.

Sleep paralysis is a well-studied disorder. "The worst thing is when you try to fight or call for help," a Redditor said in a conversation about what the experiences with it were like. "Your voice doesn't work and your body will not respond. You just feel helpless."

And among those who suffer from it across many cultures, there is one, unsettling common experience — a sense that a malevolent force is hovering over them in their immobile state.

"The earliest one I can remember is with my mother in the room and she's sitting on my bed, her face morphs into a demon like thing," a Redditor shared in a thread on sleep paralysis. Or: "A large dark figure, kind of a human silhouette, emerging from the foot of my bed and staring down at me."

(Could her "mom" or the silhouette have be a pisadeira?)

They went on. "Ugh, I need to stop trying to remember these things. I'm getting chills."

The Weeping Woman

Her name was Maria. She lived in Mexico. She had long, dark hair and a covetous heart. The man she loved would not have her, so she took her children in a fit of rage, took them down to the river, and drowned them, one by one. When the man she loved spurned her again, she realized what she'd done. She took herself to the water and threw herself in, to subject herself to the same fate as her children. But heaven would not have Maria, and she was condemned to wander the world in perpetual grief. She is La Llorona — the wailing woman.

The people who have seen her said they can her walking, soaking wet, wearing all white. And she can be heard crying out for the little ones she killed. "Ay, mis hijos!" she weeps. ("Oh, my children!") Some say that she snatches other young children as she walks, mistaking them for her own young children she knew.

"¡Ay, mis hijos!"

Children along the Mexican border grow up with her story, which traces itself to stories about several different female spirits of the Aztec empire.

"My earliest memory [of her] is being in elementary school and being in the girl's bathroom," says Terry Martinez, who grew up in Texas in the Rio Grande Valley. She and the other young children would try to summon La Llorona in a bathroom mirror.

"The lights had to be out," Martinez says. "The door had to be closed."

They'd splash water on the mirror and say her name three times.

La Llorona. La Llorona. La Llorona.

"It was just seeing who could stand being in the darkroom and seeing how long we could stand there waiting for her to come out of the sink," Martinez said. "It usually ended with a bunch of little girls screaming and running out of the bathroom."

Kat Chow contributed to this story.

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We can’t bring back your spring campfires with friends. We can, however, bring our favorite campfire stories to you.

3 True Ghost Stories for Your Next Backyard Campfire

These spooky tales will make you feel like you're out in the backwoods—almost

We can’t bring back your spring campfires with friends. We can, however, bring our favorite campfire stories to you.

Heading out the door? Read this article on the Outside app available now on iOS devices for members! >","name":"in-content-cta","type":"link"}}'>Download the app .

We’ve given up so much outdoor recreation this year. Not that we’re mad about it. Saving lives matters more than backpacking trips and summer marathons . But as the days get warmer, I feel myself craving the smoke-in-my hair smell from a campfire. I miss the sound of owls, the dwindling supply of beer in the cooler, and the way time suspends as you wait for the flames to die.

Mostly, though, I miss the stories. There’s something about the light of the fire in the backcountry darkness that makes you lean in and listen a little closer. And, of course, a few sips of whiskey never hurt a good tall tale.

We can’t bring back your spring campfires with friends. We can, however, bring our favorite campfire stories to you. Save these three for retelling   when things return to normal—or tell them now over a Zoom call with your friends.

The Ghost of Oxford Milford Road

The storyteller: writer and editor brad culp.

When Brad Culp was a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, there was a rumor that the town was one of the most haunted places in America. When Culp started an on-campus magazine, he couldn’t wait to write about several of the area’s most famous phantoms. Not long after his story published, though, he kept finding himself thinking about one ghost in particular—the ghost of Oxford Milford Road.

As the story goes, many decades ago, probably sometime in the 1940s, there was a young man courting a young woman in a rural part of town. Because the woman’s parents didn’t approve of the match, each night he visited under the cover of darkness. After her parents went to bed, the young woman would sneak out of her farmhouse and flash the lights of her parent’s car three times. Then her young suitor would ride his motorcycle down the road.

“One night he took the turn right before her house a little too sharp,” says Culp. The motorcycle went one way, he went the other. His injuries were so severe that he did not survive. Rumor has it, however, that his lovestruck ghost still haunts this stretch of Milford Road.

Curious, Culp, his girlfriend (now his wife), and a friend decided to head out there one night to see if they could verify the tale. His girlfriend was worried she’d be completely freaked out. “She believes more in that stuff than I do,” Culp says. But he was mostly concerned that his suspicions—that none of this was actually true—would be confirmed. On this particular night, as Culp passed the abandoned farm, an idea came to him, and he pitched it to his girlfriend (how could she not say yes?). Though reluctant, she relented, and Culp turned a short way into the farmhouse driveway.

He killed the engine and flashed his lights three times. “No joke, there was a single headlight that appeared three-quarters of a mile down the road,” Culp says. “You saw it start to come, going pretty slow. It kept coming and coming. My wife was freaking out. It was coming closer and closer.” As a collision seemed imminent, Culp turned on his car’s lights. He expected to see a kid on a bike, bailing out from his prank now that he’d been caught. “But there’s nothing there. The light is just gone,” he says.

They got out of the car. They walked around, trying to figure out what it was they could have seen. “To this day, we still talk about it. I saw something I cannot explain,” he says. If you get him and his wife around a campfire, they’ll swear up and down that the story is true. And if you’re ever in Oxford, Ohio, consider parking for just a few minutes on Oxford Milford Road at night to test your own nerve.

Was It People or Was It Aliens?

Storyteller: doug averill, retired owner and manager of the flathead lake lodge.

Doug Averill grew up as one of eight boys on his parents’ sprawling dude ranch, the Flathead Lake Lodge, in rural Montana. As a teen, the Averill boys ran wild. “We rode around as a little gang of cowboys,” he remembers. They’d saddle up and head off to check cattle on the three giant tracts of land the family managed, which formed a triangle around some of the state’s most remote rangelands.

One summer in the 1960s, the brothers came across a ghastly sight. There, on the ground, were three dead cows neatly arranged in a circle. No obvious wounds were visible, but their reproductive organs had been removed. “But there was never any blood. It was almost surgical removal,” Averill remembers.

During this decade, America was obsessed with aliens, and write-ups in the local newspapers posited that perhaps this was the work of extraterrestrials. People mused that aliens had taken the reproductive organs for testing. But one day, Averill and his friends came across a lance in their path. Attached to it was a cryptic note with a threatening message. “That’s when we thought, It’s gotta be people doing this,” he says.

Then things got really strange. Over the next few days, a series of odd events unfolded. First, the brothers stopped in at a local bar to grab a hamburger, leaving their horses in the back of a stock truck. The horses were packed in tightly, and the Averills were only gone for a few minutes. When they came back, the horse packed into the middle of the truck was mysteriously out—with no signs of a struggle. “We had no idea how they possibly could have gotten that horse unloaded without unloading all the others,” he says.

The next day, a new wrangler on the ranch fell off his horse and was badly injured. They’d all been riding together, but not a single other member of the crew saw the accident. “It was the weirdest thing,” Averill says. The man’s injuries were so severe that he was left permanently disabled.

Finally, the last terrible thing happened. An old camp cook drove out to meet the brothers and ride for a day. But when he arrived, the tailgate on his stock truck had somehow gone missing, even though it had been there when he’d loaded up. His horse, Betsy, had fallen out of the truck and been dragged behind the vehicle for who knows how long. They had to put her down on the spot. “To be honest, it just killed him to see what had happened to Betsy. We probably should have put him down, too,” remembers Averill. “Those three events were just boom, boom, boom—three things in a row that were so weird all tied together, because they were right after we saw that spear,” he remembers. Three things: like the three dead cows left in a circle.

Averill used to tell the stories from that summer around the campfire quite a lot. But over the years, he’s gotten new stories, and so they’ve been shifted out of rotation. Besides, they’re awfully grim. But he recently got a call about a downed bull, a buffalo. It was out in one of the most remote parts of his ranch. “A neighbor had seen a pack of 16 wolves, and normally, wolves don’t bother buffalo, but 16 of them? I thought, Well, maybe.”

He went to investigate. There, lying in a snow-covered field, was the bull. But there were no bullet holes or teeth marks or gashes on its corpse. Even stranger, scavenging animals and birds hadn’t touched it. “Not even the buzzards, which is really unusual,” he says. One other thing was amiss: its reproductive organs were gone. And there wasn’t a single footprint in the snow around it—or anywhere along the mile-long walk into the ranch from the nearest road.

Ask Averill whether he thinks he’s dealing with aliens or humans, and he’ll tell you he’s pretty sure it’s humans. “But I’d rather it was aliens,” he adds. After that summer back in the sixties, seeing what humans were capable of, he’d pick aliens any day.

The Ghost of La Parva Ski Resort

Storyteller: drew tabke, professional skier.

Throughout Latin America, you’ll hear variations of the story of La Llorona, or the wailing woman. Sometimes she’s lost her husband. Sometimes she’s lost her children. Sometimes it’s both. But in La Parva, a ski spot in the Chilean Andes, the wailing woman is named Lola, and everyone in the area swears they knew her before she died. “A local restaurant owner said he dated her,” pro skier Drew Tabke says, adding that the ski patroller he heard the story from pointed at the exact hut where this tale takes place.

The story starts on a nice day in peak ski season. Lola   and her young son planned to spend the day on the slopes. “As can happen in the Andes, a thick fog rose up from the valley, which often precedes the arrival of a real storm. The clouds enveloped the two as they were making their way down from the top of the mountain, and they lost contact with one another,” Tabke says.

Desperate to find her son, Lola began screaming his name as she ran through the thick fog. Unable to see clearly, though, she stumbled down a steep slope and began sliding toward a rocky couloir.

“By chance, a local lift operator who was returning to his cabin came across her body. He was afraid she was dead, but on closer inspection, he found she was still alive, just barely,” Tabke says. Her body was covered in lacerations from sharp rocks, and the only word she said—in the faintest whisper—was her son’s name.

The lift operator worked to carefully pull her body to his cabin, which was just up the hill. He bandaged her cuts as best he could and then ran to fetch the doctor. Together the doctor and lift operator made their way back to his hut, the fog hanging thickly in the air. When they arrived, though, the bed was empty. Just the bloody sheets remained.

“Neither the woman nor her son were ever found,” Tabke says. But locals report hearing her wail for her child whenever they’re near that lift operator’s cabin.

And here’s the thing: Tabke does not believe in ghosts. Something, however, changes when he arrives in Chile each winter. Maybe it’s the fact that, from La Parva, you can see up to Cerro el Plomo , an Incan child-sacrifice site. Maybe it’s because Tabke has simply read so many magical realism books by authors like Juan Rulfo and Gabriel García Márquez. But sitting alone in his cabin in the Andes, with the wind whipping and the candles flickering, he swears that every now and then he just can’t tell if what he’s hearing is a woman or the wind.

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11 Of The Scariest Ghost Stories From Reddit

Leave the lights on when you read these bone-chilling stories of average people encountering the paranormal.

Lady Ghost on Staircase

Lady Ghost on Staircase

[via Discovery Inc.]

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It wasn’t a little girl

I was camping with my husband and his family at a small, remote lake in New Mexico. There were about 10 people in our group and another group of six people in the next campsite. It was nighttime and both groups were doing typical activities: making s’mores, having a few drinks and telling stories, when we all heard what sounded like a little girl yelling out for help. Neither group had children with them, but we were all positive we were hearing a little girl and decided to search the area we heard the noises from together.

There was a field behind our campsites, and we all saw a very tall, pure white figure standing maybe 100ft away from us in the field, making the noises. We all agreed this thing looked maybe 6 feet tall, skinny, and white as can be. We made our way closer to investigate, but whatever it was that we saw started backing off as we got closer, and it disappeared into the trees. All night we continued to hear a little girl calling for help as we tried to sleep.

The walking dead

I'm a psychiatric nurse and early in my career, I worked at a residential mental health facility. One of our residents was an elective mute, which means that he didn't/wouldn't/couldn't talk, but there were no medical reasons as to why. He had spoken earlier in his life and in fact seemed quite normal back then, with the exception of being close to seven feet tall. He'd been raised in the Deep South and joined the military when he was 19, but one night he vanished. He was declared AWOL, and eventually he was declared missing and dead.

Ten years later, a seven-foot tall man walked into a VA Hospital emergency room in my part of the Midwest and said to the receptionist: "My name is Marion Duchene (not the real name), and I've been dead for ten years."

Those were the last words he ever spoke.

He was covered with dust, and he was wearing the same clothes he'd been reported to be wearing the night he vanished. His social security number had not been used and he had no identification on his person. However, they were able to identify him, I guess via fingerprints. The family was notified but they said they had already grieved their lost man and that whomever was claiming to be him simply could not be. They demanded not to be contacted again.

Marion paced all day every day, moving his mouth that looked like talking or muttering, but no sound came out. He had an unnerving habit of throwing his head back with his mouth wide open as if he were laughing heartily, but not even a breath could be heard. If I talked to him, he appeared to listen, periodically throwing his head back in that laughter-mimicking way of his.

Various medications were tried, but they did not affect him either positively or negatively. Occupational therapy did nothing because Marion would just grin and unless told to stay put, he'd get up and start pacing again.

On my last day at that job, the last thing I saw was Marion, pacing in the parking lot, throwing his head back to "laugh." Later I wondered if all along I'd been dealing with a ghost. All these years later, I still don't know.

The unrest stop

I was driving across country with my mom and sister when I was 16 and my sister was 20. It was late, but we were well rested still and alert. We were driving along an interstate and needed gas and a bathroom break, so we stopped at the only rest stop in 200 miles. There was a van full of teenagers on a road trip at the gas station, as well as a small grey car parked at the pump in front of us with two young men standing still outside of it.

When we got there everything felt wrong. We'd been on the road for days and seen many rest stops at night and had never been afraid until then. My mom and sister went inside and I stayed in the car. I heard the teenagers say they were creeped out and couldn't get the pump to work, and they left in a hurry. I was watching the car in front of us, and the two men had not moved at all. Not an inch. They weren't talking. They weren't on phones. They were just standing there, still as stone.

My sister and mom came running back out to the car and when they got in, the two men slowly turned to look at us while not moving or pivoting the rest of their bodies, and I swear to fucking shit, we all saw the same thing - they had eyes dark as pitch and empty. Truly empty. Not black, not reflecting any light at all, just a void.

We sped out of there and didn’t stop until we were in the next city. The worst thing about the entire experience? We couldn't find the place on any map. We knew exactly which spot on the interstate to look, and we couldn't find it on Google maps or any paper map we had. We even asked locals about the creepy gas station out on that stretch of road and got only confused looks. We've traveled on that interstate since, and there is no rest stop.

It came for us in the graveyard

We were driving my friend’s really old beat up Subaru through a massive graveyard. We stopped and walked down a hill and came across a little pond. There was someone sitting on a rock on the other side of the pond. The figure was all black and we couldn’t make out any features other than the fact it looked like a man who was wearing some old-style top hat. We stupidly waved and shouted “Hi!”. He didn’t show any acknowledgement and continued sitting still on the rock. All of a sudden, he jumped to his feet, started running to us on the water and then vanished in thin water about halfway on the pond. My friends and I screamed and ran back to the car.

The car wouldn’t start, and we heard something banging on the back of the car. It wasn’t a constant bang, but every few seconds or so we’d hear it. Nobody was outside from what we could see in the dark, but something was making a noise on the car. I opened my phone and started dialing my mom to come give us a boost, but I had no service. None of us had any cell service. The next 30 minutes were spent trying to get her car started. No banging was heard afterwards, but we felt this heavy pressure around us.

Finally, the car started and she hit the pedal to the metal. We sped out of the graveyard so fast. Immediately crossing the gates, all of our phones regained cell service. One thing I know for certain is that someone or something was out there, and it was not an animal or a human.

It was good to see an old friend

When I was 37, I went to my high school reunion. I flew into the nearest airport and rented a car. The distance was about 35 miles through a very rural and almost abandoned part of the country. About three miles outside of town I see someone on the side of the road, flagging me down. It turned out that it was one of the guys I had attended school with. Jim (not his name) gets in the car and we start talking. I had not seen him in twenty years, but he still looked the same, maybe a little older. We get to town and I ask him if he wants to come to the VFW and have a drink. He says "No, just take me home." Jim's parents had lived only a few blocks from my grandmother’s house, and I turned in that direction but he said to take him to the outskirts of town. There was a mobile home park out there, and I figured that is where he lived. When we reached the end of the turn off he said, "Just drop me here. It was good to see you again" and he walks off into the night.

I go to the VFW, met some of my old classmates, we start to talk. As we are talking about who is coming to the reunion, I mention that I had just picked Jim up three miles east of town and had dropped him off. Everyone gets quiet; even the guy singing karaoke stops and lays down the mike. My cousin goes white as a new t-shirt.

"Barb, Jim died on that curve eight years ago. Rolled his car. We were all at his funeral," I was told. I started to feel really dizzy, and I went out to the car to take some deep breaths. There on the seat is the local newspaper, printed eight years previous, containing Jim's obituary. I still have the paper.

Someone take Reddit away from me. I can’t stop reading ghost stories — rym (@fiincheresque) March 25, 2021

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

After we moved into our home, we were told a woman had died there at the hands of her abusive husband. She hated men. My dad would wake up with scratches all over himself, and whenever my brother was mean to my sister or I, he would have scratches on him as well. One day, my brother hurt our sister he hit her with something. When he woke up later that night he had a horrible bloody nose.

The day we moved out, my brother accidentally broke his twin’s arm trying out a wrestling move. He swears that he would have died that night if it wasn't our last in the house.

Death came for him

I was standing in my parents’ room, talking to my very sick dad at the time. He was dying of stage 4 esophageal cancer. I got the feeling something was behind me. I looked towards the doorway to the living room and something about 4'6 and fully black is peeking around the corner, with its hands on the door frame. I ran towards it, and it slipped back around the door. When I got outside the doorway, there was nothing. My dad was completely confused when I step back inside the room when I tell him. People who stayed at my house in my dad’s final days claimed to have seen it. My mom saw the figure on multiple occasions in multiple places until he passed away. We haven't seen it since.

I don’t know what possesses me to binge read Reddit true/real life ghost stories about twice a year when each place I live always has some kind of resident spirit. 😱 — Dr Fish Philosopher Todd (Dr FPT)🐟 (@ZoeSTodd) February 4, 2021

My mother attracted evil

After my parents divorced when I was a teenager, I lived with my mother. I experienced lots of paranormal happenings. Several times when I was reading in my bed, the room would start to feel really “icy.” Next, it would feel as if something/somebody that hated me was staring at me. When I got that feeling, I would leave the room and come back an hour later. Sometimes during the day, I would see a shadow figure sneaking along my bedroom walls.

Something in the flat was pretending to be my dog. I went into my room and heard a deep growl from under the bed. My dog wasn’t capable of making a noise that deep. It sounded like either a really big dog or a man doing his best dog impersonation. Other times, my dog would whimper and pace in the room next to mine but wouldn’t come when called, as if he was afraid of something in the hallway.

When I moved in with my father, the paranormal activity stopped.

Evicted by a ghost

Shortly after college, I got married. We immediately moved into a basement apartment because that's all that was available within our budget. This place had a poltergeist, and my wife was terrified. Whatever resided there with us made it clear it wanted to live alone. Dishes, glasses, and other items would fly off the shelf. My wife was hit several times. There was always an ominous feeling like we were being watched. At night when we walked through the apartment in the dark, there would be insanely bright flashes of light that would illuminate the entire room.

One night while we were going to bed, as soon as my wife and I walked into the bedroom we heard a voice from nowhere say, "[My name], move." My wife looked at me, I looked at her...I said loudly, “you've got it, bud.” We moved out 2 days later and stayed with family. The old lady who owned the place died a few months later, and the house was torn down. It is still an empty lot to this day, nothing but grass and a tree. I still drive by it every now and again.

The Death March

My dad used to work as a corrections officer at a rural prison. He drove the perimeter of the property for his entire shift, where he would check empty buildings for runaway inmates. It was generally a boring job.

One night, my dad was parked on a hill reading a magazine when he started to feel a thumping in his body. He described it as the feeling you get when speakers are playing a song with really heavy bass.

He put the magazine down and checked his rearview mirror where he saw someone outside the truck. He grabbed his pistol and jumped out of the truck with his weapon drawn. Outside the truck, he realized it was a procession of Native Americans walking through the truck (and directly through his seat) only to disappear at the exact spot he was sitting. He said it was clear they were ghosts because many of them appeared injured. This went on for a few seconds, and then the whole procession disappeared.

He called the other perimeter guy on his walkie to try to explain, and the other guy almost immediately stopped communicating. Turns out the other guy had seen this happen before but didn't believe in ghosts, so he wouldn't talk about it.

The demon’s room

I worked as a forensic nurse in a hospital’s lock-up unit. We had one older lady who swore she was being haunted and abused by a demon she would call Tiberius. So many crazy things happened while she was on the unit. We’d go into the room, do normal care, leave, and seconds later she’d start screaming bloody murder. We’d run into the room to find her looking like she’d been in a fight with a boxing champ—bloody lip, black eye, markings all over her body. No one ever saw her doing this stuff to herself. Things would get moved around the room by themselves. At one point she was in protective restraints because the doctor thought she was hurting herself. There was no way she could have moved or done anything to herself while in these restraints, but new marks would always appear or her tray/cart would be across the room. The room was secure so there was no way someone else was doing this. When we asked her questions, she’d just say, “It was Tiberius.”

After she was discharged, we always had trouble with that room. If there was going to be a rapid response or code, it happened in that room. One night a guard reported lights blinking on and off. It was that room.

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Dark House Fans Share the Most Chilling Ghost Stories We've Ever Heard

Warning: You may want to leave the lights on for these.... 😱

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As sad as we are to see summer fade away, we're extremely excited to usher in fall and all the eerie wonder that comes with it. In fact, we've been prepping for this moment all year long as we worked on the brand new season of our haunted house podcast, Dark House . One of the most rewarding (and entertaining) parts of the process is hearing personal ghost stories from our listeners. So, in the spirit of Halloween—and to celebrate Dark House Season 3 launching on September 13, 2023 —we compiled all the best, most spine-tingling tales we've ever heard from our audience. These creepy chronicles take place in cities along the East Coast and across the pond. (Maybe even in your own town!) Some of the spirits are friendly, others not so much.... And we even encountered a phantom feline. But the common theme of these apparition accounts is that, like these spirits, they'll stay with you.

Keep reading for the most chilling ghost stories and haunted house experiences from House Beautiful readers and Dark House listeners around the world.

For more scary stories like these, listen to Dark House on Apple Podcasts , Spotify , or wherever you get your podcasts.

Follow Dark House on Instagram and TikTok .

The Royal Haunting | York, England

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"I live in what is probably the most haunted city in the world, completely notorious for its ghosts: the city of York, which hails back centuries, right through to pre-Roman Anglo-Saxon Vikings. Our city is beautiful, but we've had lots of bloodshed, and I had quite a few unfortunate experiences in the house I grew up in. By far my most horrific experience was when I was studying one evening, lying on my stomach in bed, reading about the Tudors. My door slowly creaked open, when someone, or rather, something sat on my bed. The mattress nearly collapsed under its weight. Suddenly a hand grabbed me around the back of my neck and started violently pushing my face into the pillow. I was absolutely terrified, but I finally got the courage to scream an expletive, and it disappeared. I laid there until dawn because I was too terrified to move my face from the pillow just in case whatever it was came back."

—Lisa Burn, York, United Kingdom

The Invisible Night Nurse | New York

old creepy eerie baby crib near window in dark room scary baby silhouette in dark a realistic dollhouse living room with furniture and window at night selective focus

"My house, a one-story colonial in a historic section of Jacksonville, was built in 1940. The original owners lived in the house until 2009. The husband had passed away a few years prior, and the wife sold it right before she died. The original couple was, by all accounts of everyone who knew them, the sweetest, and they were unable to have children, though they desperately wanted them.

We waited about a year and a half after moving in to try and have a baby and got pregnant on the first try. We ended up having a miscarriage, but once we were cleared to try again, I immediately got pregnant again. The same thing happened with our second, too. Of course, we could just be extremely lucky and blessed, but that's not all.

When my children were infants, I'd see in the corner of my eye someone going into the nursery when the baby cried. Just a quick shadow. I'd also get a feeling that someone was watching me bathe the baby whenever I was in the bathroom with them, so much so that I'd often look behind me. Then I got a baby monitor, and when you go in and check on the baby, the monitor says, 'Caretaker visits baby.' We started getting that message when we were never in there. I stopped checking it because it was freaking me out too much, but I believe the couple is here and helping fill this house with kids like they were unable to do."

—Brittany, New York

The Cat Seance

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"When I moved into the house I'm living in, it came with my landlord's indoor/outdoor cat, Rosie. Her bed and food were in the garage, which she had access to with a cat door. Rosie's best friend was Chester, a ginger tabby across the street. After a couple of years, Rosie fell ill and I took her to the vet, where she died during the night. A couple of days later, I went out to the garage to clean up her food and bed and found every cat in the neighborhood, including Chester, sitting in a circle in the garage. They all turned and looked at me. I slowly backed out. I assume they were having a memorial? Seance? I had never found any other cats inside, and haven't since. It was odd."

—Gillian, U.S.

The Grandmother Ghost | New Jersey

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"I spent the first three years of my life in Hiltonia, a historic neighborhood in old Trenton. Growing up, I would tell my parents about the nice old lady in my room. They thought I had an imaginary friend, but I believed this woman was my great-grandmother. Years later, I asked my parents about her and their faces went white. 'You remember her?' my mom asked me in disbelief. They then told me about all the times I talked about the nice lady in my room. My mom would ask me what she looked like, and I'd mention her pink robe and long white hair. I can still picture her smiling face and hear her soothing voice, as she often sat next to my bed and comforted me during thunderstorms."

—Liz, New Jersey

The Uninvited House Guest

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"My boyfriend doesn't believe in ghosts, but I do and have had a handful of terrifying experiences happen in the middle of the night when I randomly wake up. Once, when my boyfriend and I rented a large house that felt haunted with a bunch of our friends, I had a dream that someone trying to break into our room. While I was dreaming, I heard someone whisper in my ear, 'Wake up.' When I opened my eyes, my boyfriend was screaming in his sleep. I shook him to wake him up and he said he was having a dream that someone was trying to break into our room. Both fully awake at that point, we looked over to the door. We both saw the door handle jiggling and then suddenly stop. He opened the bedroom door, but no one was there. We checked the ring camera as well, but it didn't show anyone there either."

The Phantom Musician | Philadelphia

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"I went to college in Center City, Philadelphia, and this part of Philadelphia has a lot of history. One day, I was visiting a well-known musical instrument store with an ex-girlfriend who wanted to purchase an instrument. It's a very old building, and the furniture and decorations inside are antique as well. When I walked into this building, I immediately felt off. My former girlfriend went to another room with a salesperson to find the instrument she was looking for, and I wandered off ending up in the cello room. It was on a different floor, and I don't remember walking upstairs, but when I arrived my ghost sense was going off the rails. It was telling me there was something in there that was incredibly upset and that I interrupted its space without permission.

I walked my way back down to find my girlfriend paying for an instrument, and I told her, 'There was something upstairs in the cello room. I'm pretty sure it was a ghost and it didn't want me in there. I'm gonna go outside.' When I said this. The salesperson's face turned white, absolutely pale as if a ghost himself, and I could see that I confirmed something. I explained myself, saying 'I can sense ghosts and there's one in the cello room that didn't want me here.' And as I watched him, I could see his face process every event that ever happened to him. It was such a strange experience."

—Jed, Philadelphia

The Creepy Couple in the Woods | New York

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"I grew up in upstate New York, and my childhood home was on a country road with little to no traffic. One time when I was in my backyard playing with my dog, his ears suddenly perked up and his entire body stiffened. I watched as he trotted around the side of the house. I thought he heard my dad come home, but it was clear that my dad's car was not there. I tried to walk around him so I could see a different angle to the street, but he quickly shifted to block me from stepping past him. It wasn't typical behavior from him, and I immediately felt like something was off. Then, his head whipped towards the driveway and he stared down the street.

When I followed his gaze, I saw what looked like a woman with a shawl blowing behind her. She ran down the street, passing our driveway. There were no distinguishing features, her figure was just blackish-gray, almost like a three-dimensional shadow. A few seconds later, another figure appeared behind her, chasing after her. He was taller and wearing a top hat.

They passed the opening of our driveway within seconds, and I lost visibility of them because the other side of our driveway was covered with dense, tall pine trees. They never came out on the other side of the trees, they just disappeared. And my dog's body relaxed after they left."

—Megan, New York

The Apparition Called Alice | England

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"When I was 2 years old, my parents bought a semi-detached house in a small town in the south of England. It was built in 1958, so the house wasn't particularly old, and my parents were the third owners. As I grew up, I developed an invisible friend called Alice, and my dog Chester and I would run around the house and garden with her, and by 4 years old, I insisted Alice needed a bowl of food for dinner, too. My parents assumed Alice was either an invisible friend or the name of another child at my nursery school.

One day, after playing in the garden, I came in upset and eventually, my mum got me to explain what was wrong. I told her Alice had gotten hurt and was dead. I kept pointing to my chest and arm saying they really hurt. My parents were totally baffled, but my mum had mutual friends with the previous owners, and she eventually told them about my experiences. My mum's friend looked horrified, and said ‘Oh god you don’t know, do you? Alice, the previous owner, died of a heart attack and was found by her son a day later in the hallway.’

I barely recall seeing Alice, but I always felt a loving, kind presence. Whenever I got scared my mum reassured me that Alice didn’t want to hurt us and she kept an eye on us, looking after us in our hardest moments."

—Becky, England

The Graveyard Ghosts | Ohio

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"When I was 5, we moved next to an old, haunted house in Cincinnati. The cemetery for the family who once owned the home was still in the backyard, which made it eerier. Whenever our neighbors left home, they’d make sure to turn off all lights, TVs, etc., but they'd come back to all the lights on, and the TV and stereos on full blast. Their piano would also play on its own. They eventually moved out and put the house on the market. One night while the house was still unoccupied, my dad saw what looked like a 'glowing orb with feminine facial features' on the home's balcony. He rushed to wake my mom and have her look. Sure enough, she saw the same thing."

—Hannah, Ohio

The Stage Presence | Rhode Island

aged seats

"I went to Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, and there are tons of amazing buildings on our campus where ghost sightings have been reported (ever heard of Carey Mansion ?). Being a theatre major, I was lucky enough to work in the historic Casino Theatre, built by Stanford K. White in the late 19th century. One day when I was working in the box office, our tech director informed me he going to the hardware store, so I’d be alone and responsible to lock up when I left for the night.

After he left, I heard footsteps coming from the far side of the theater. I figured it was the tech director who forgot something, so I called out 'Hello?' There was no answer. The footsteps picked up pace as they drew closer, and I was getting unnerved, so I called out again. Still no answer. Then, the footsteps started running and thudding loudly. I stuck my head out just as whoever it was should have been coming into the lobby, but there was no one there. I left the theater as fast as I possibly could, but thinking back on it, it was cool to experience a little bit of history—even if it was creepy."

—Katie, Rhode Island

The Haunted Bathroom | Minneapolis

no one in the mirror mysterious

"I was at my friend's house, and we had a psychic come over. My friend asked if there were any ghosts in the house, and the psychic said there were two, one of which was a 'bad man who never lived in the house but likes to slithers around the neighborhood, likes bathrooms and dark spaces, and likes to scare people." I immediately flashed back to a year prior when I got locked in the bathroom under the stairs on the main floor. There was no lock and when I screamed, my boyfriend came to help me. And when he came, the door opened easily. The bathroom has a dark navy blue wallpaper with a gold snake pattern."

—Mallory, Minneapolis

The Little Girl Ghost | D.C.

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"We had a girl ghost in the house I grew up in. She had short brown hair and wore a long white nightgown, like a doll. I would see the end of her dress going around corners and doorways as if she were walking away from me, typically at night, and always when I was alone. I first saw her when I was three years old while taking a bath. I’ll never forget how scared I was, and I remember screaming. In middle school, I saw her full body head-on during the day. Once, I even heard her call my name. Every dog we had would stand up and bark nightly at around 10 p.m. in one bedroom corner. Eventually, during the pandemic, I was scratched while I was doing yoga in the basement. I didn't scratch myself and there was nothing around me. I never went back down there again."

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43 Ghost Stories So Spooky They'll Haunt You For Weeks

Warning: paranormal activity below.

Allie Hayes

BuzzFeed Staff

If you TRULY believe in ghosts, you probably have a creepy as all heck personal story that acts as your main reason for believing.

And let me tell you, those stories are spooky, y'all. here are just a few of the scariest ghost stories we could find on reddit, including supernatural sightings and otherworldly encounters., 1. "i was visiting my mother after my dad died. she went shopping with her sister and left me alone in her house. i heard my dad as plain as day up in his room.".

scary stories ghost stories

"He got up from his computer chair, walked over to the door, and opened it. He walked down the stairs and stood on the last step for a few seconds before walking back up to his room and closing the door. I was probably five feet from him in the living room. I just froze. It scared the hell out of me. Needless to say, I was a believer after that." 

— u/Ohsoeasy

2. "I worked at a public pool. At night, I would work alone after-hours cleaning the building and the pool. One night, around 2 a.m., I was cleaning the changing rooms. The pool has been closed for four hours at this time."

woman floating in the pool at night

"So suddenly, I hear the sound of a child's laughter and bare feet running across the pool deck.  I go out and scan the area; there's nobody in sight.  The doors are all closed and locked, there is nowhere a kid could be hiding. There are no wet footprints on the pool deck. I recheck the doors and the security monitors. I am the only person in the building. It was unsettling."

— u/Oldmanenok

3. "My girlfriend's grandfather's ashes were on a little shelf in the living room, right next to a very solid and heavy angel statue. One weekend she and I are fooling around on the living room couch and — out of the corner of my eye — I see the angel statue FLY OFF OF THE WALL, accompanied with a deep grunt."

abandoned living room

"We both stood there in shock and — after a few moments — I asked if she had heard the grunt sound as well, to which she agreed.Later that night at dinner, we told her parents what happened (leaving out the naughty bit, obviously) and Megan’s younger sister burst into tears, saying she had seen a dark figure at the foot of her bed the last couple of nights, but didn’t want anyone to think she was crazy. After that day, I was a believer."

— u/longfacepub

4. "My uncle's house out on a very eastern part of New York was said to be haunted because the family that used to own it in the 1800s decided not to give it to the stableman and sold it instead."

An old house with wooden siding and two chimneys in a field with ominous clouds behind

"My uncle's friend and her sister stayed over one night, and the friend noticed a maid bringing towels down the stairs when she woke. She saw the maid again, bringing what looked like a percolator, down the stairs.

She was so impressed by my uncle hiring staff (he is a neurologist in NYC, so he had a habit of spending a little bit extra). She went back to bed and woke up and later came downstairs to see my uncle and his friend just chatting.

She asked where the maid went, and thought that the maid was cooking breakfast. My uncle had no idea what she was talking about and asked what she looked like. The sister explained and he laughed. Walked her to the living room and pointed to an old picture. She said that was the woman.

My uncle replied, 'Yeah, she has been dead for about 100 years.'"

— u/Twigsnapper

5. "My grandparents have a helpful ghost. Their house was built in the 1860s, and they've lived in it since the late 1960s."

scary stories ghost stories

"In an intense burst of procrastination one day, I looked up every mention of their address in their town's online newspaper archives and found out that the family that built the house had a daughter who grew up there, never married, and took care of her widowed father until she later died of old age. So I figure the helpful ghost is just the daughter continuing to take care of people like she did for her entire life. Over the years, various family members have heard the vacuum cleaner turn on on its own and clothes and towels that were dropped on the floor before bed have been folded and placed at the foot of the bed by morning."

— u/startingoveragainst

6. "We had ghosts in an old house that I lived in as a child. While being home alone, I could hear sweeping downstairs."

A sepia photo of a woman in party dress holding up a glass to cheers, behind her a man with shiny, parted hair and glasses plays a banjo, and just behind him stands another man in overalls and a cap

"Also, the tinkling of china and crystal from the dining room; it sounded like a party was happening and you could hear a Victrola. I walked downstairs and it all stopped."

— u/ctdiabla

7. "I lived in a house for about five years that was haunted, but not in a malicious way. In a 'shitty roommate' kind of way."

"I'd come home to the windows on the second floor being open when it was raining. To food containers being open in the fridge that I hadn't touched yet.​The worst was that the 'ghost' hated clocks. She  hated  them. I had antique cuckoo clocks that had worked for 50 years that would just stop. Brand-new wall clocks that ate through batteries like candy. My watch ended up on the floor one morning, the crystal shattered, even though I knew I slept with it on. The one that pissed me off the most was that I got a brand-new Kit-Cat clock for Christmas —and the bitch  threw it off the wall.  I was cooking and out of the corner of my eye saw the cat freaking FLY. Turned around and it was across the kitchen. Broken. It was brand new!​ Man, she was a bitch."

— u/WeeklyPie

8. "I lived in an old, haunted house in college. Things got so weird that everyone moved out except for me and one roommate."

scary stories ghost stories

Here's a few:

1. I woke up at 3 a.m. because my roommate's door kept opening and slamming shut. From bed, I yelled for him to stop only to realize I was the only one home that weekend. As soon as I yelled the slamming stopped, but the hippie beads I had hanging outside my closed door began to sway perfectly, yet violently, against the door frame for a half hour, while I debated if I should pop out my air-conditioning unit and jump out of the window. I laid in the fetal position in bed till it stopped.

2. I woke up at 3 a.m., alone again, hearing the Nintendo on the back porch playing loudly. I figured a drunk kid came in and started playing. I grabbed a bat and walked toward the back of the house as the music got louder and louder. As soon as I opened the door, it was completely quiet. Mind you it was loud enough to wake me up.

3. I had friends over and told them the house was haunted. No one believed me, so I asked the ghost to do anything to prove it was there. As soon as I asked, all the lights in the house began flickering for about a minute straight. This was the middle of the day; everyone witnessed it.

4. Almost everyone who stayed at my house had sleep paralysis at least once in the house.

5. Every time something spooky happened, the house would smell like old-lady, flowery, strong perfume.

6. This house had a door built into the flooring that led to the basement. We always had a rug covering it up so no one knew it was there. Things would constantly go missing in the house, and turn up in the basement. This house had a coal chute from when it was heated by coal back in the day. Missing stuff would always be placed on the shoot for us to come and get.

7. Roommate had some issues. Once while playing video games late at night, he saw mist kind of hovering from the kitchen and then move into the bathroom. The bathroom had a trap door that led to the attic; that's where we figured the old-lady ghost used to like to hang out.

8. Roommate was up late; he went to go lock the doors and turn off lights. When he turned his back on the room and walked to the door, someone breathed into his ear, "Haaa." He thought it was me. I was sleeping. He turned around, pissed himself, and ran to his room. He was too afraid to come out and turn off lights and TV.

9. Loud thumps in attic at all hours. For peace of mind, we told ourselves squirrels must've gotten in there.

10. Voices would wake us up in the middle of the night. I spent many mornings on the front porch waiting for the sun to come up before I went back in the house.

11. Coincidentally, I had a friend years later that rented from the same landlord (same town, different house) where he and all of his roommates moved out because that house was also haunted. I didn't think it was too weird, until he was telling me that when all of the weird stuff happened, it was accompanied by old-lady, flowery, stanky perfume. Also, a lot of people had sleep paralysis in that house as well."

9. "I had a one-bedroom apartment once, and as soon as it got dark enough outside, this old dude would walk from the bedroom to the bathroom all night."

A dark walkway with a bright light at one end, within it is the dark silhouette of a man

"I would have to warn people the first time they came over: "You are gonna see a ghost." Mid-conversation, people would stop talking and be like, 'HOLY SHIT, I just saw a ghost!' Yeah, no shit, I warned you.

One time, I was in the bathroom when he attempted to walk in and just dissolved into a mist that dissipated very quickly. My current house I share with my wife is a three-bedroom and we sleep on a futon in the living room because the ghosts in this house were chainsmokers in the main bedroom. We wake up every night between 3 and 3:30 a.m. if we sleep on the second floor, coughing our lungs out because the room is full of cigarette smoke."

— u/Beware_of_Horses

10. "I watched one of our cats being pulled backward about 5 feet by her tail."

scary stories ghost stories

"She was walking through the dining area and suddenly was sliding backward, as if someone was pulling her by her tail. Only there wasn't anyone. She freaked out and tried to run, but couldn't immediately as something held on for a brief second before letting her go. I tend to think that was the handy work of a 4- or 5-year-old girl ghost who hangs out, and she just wanted to play with the kitty."

— u/MTSwagger

11. "I get sleep paralysis occasionally. It usually feels like someone has me by the throat and is pushing me into the bed."

A girl sleeping in bed with a ghostly figure of a woman in a nightgown and dark hair covering her face, standing on the end of the bed above the girl's feet

"I've never seen the crazy demon that people talk about seeing though. Mind you, I did see someone who looked exactly like myself sitting on the edge of the bed during an episode one night when I'd fallen asleep with the lights on. I couldn't really make out her face (although I could tell she was concerned, almost), and she was wearing one of my favorite T-shirts that I'd owned for over 12 years. I don't really wear that T-shirt anymore because of it."

— u/eimcca80

12. "Closest I've got to a haunted house is a haunted room: I used to sleep on the second floor (the bottom one being the first) and my sister in the attic."

"She used to have sleep paralysis often. Then she moved out, and now I have her old room. She no longer has sleep paralysis, but I do."

— u/Imported_Thighs

13. This child's closet creeper:

scary stories ghost stories

"I don't remember this myself, but my parents say that when I was young I would run into their room crying because 'a man was in my closet.' I described him as 'a civil war soldier,' which I couldn't have known how to describe on my own, given my age. After a little research, my parents found out that the last people who had lived in that house had found rare civil war artifacts..."

— ladybuggirl72

14. "My grandfather was in bed, reading before going to sleep, and he saw my grandmother (his wife) walk past the bedroom in a nightgown."

A '30s styled woman perched on a lowback chair wearing a long, flowing nightgown with short sleeves and high-heel slippers, looking into a hand mirror

"He thought that was odd because she never wears a nightgown. A couple minutes later, she walked in the room from the same side of the hallway that she walked from earlier and got in bed. He asked why she changed into those clothes out of her nightgown right before bed. She said, 'Hon, I don’t wear nightgowns.'

The other story he told me was a computer they had that was in the middle of a large circular table in the basement. They heard a big crash from the basement and naturally ran down to check it out. He computer was on the floor, broken. To this day he insists it could not have fallen on its own, as it was in the middle of the table."

— u/Fried_Fart

15. "When I was younger, my parents would frequently go run errands in the neighboring city and be gone most of the day from morning to night."

scary stories ghost stories

"Our living room was in a spot where you would have to walk through it to get from the back door to reach either the front door or my parents' room. You would walk between the couch and the TV while doing so. So I was home alone, and my dad came through the back door, walked in front of me as he crossed the room, and entered his and my mom's room. Then he came back out, walked across my field of vision once again, and left through the back door. He didn't look at me, look at the TV, or really do anything besides walk across the room in both directions.

When I asked him what he came home for or if he forgot something, he honestly had no clue what I was talking about. They were an hour and a half away and coming home for something they forgot would not have made much sense. He was also wearing different clothes when I spoke with him compared to when I 'saw' him earlier. Such a strange experience, and I only saw it that one time."

— u/TheCaptainhat

16. "My wife claims she also had a doppelgänger event with her brother."

scary stories ghost stories

"She said that she was pissed off at him because he didn't walk the dog, so she was taking the dog out when she ran into her brother downstairs in the building lobby or parking lot, and he was with a friend she never met. Her brother asked her for the house keys, and she said no because she was mad at him. He told her he was thirsty and she walked away.

When she got back home, he was not anywhere. As soon as she walked in, she got a call from a hospital that her brother was having an asthma attack and wanted her to go keep him company. What freaks her out the most is thinking... What would have happened if I would have given him the keys? Would they have gone through his hands or what?"

— u/juancaar

17. "When I was around 9–10 years old, I remember waking up to see a large shadow standing at the foot of my bed. I was living with my dad at the time; he has a very large (five-floor) terrace house built in the 1800s."

scary stories ghost stories

"Every so often there would be an unexplainable event happen, such as footsteps when there’s no one there or voices. On the night this happened, it was just my dad and I in the house; my sister was staying with my mum at the time. I woke up and noticed the door to my room was wide open; I normally sleep with it closed. I then became aware of a large (around 7-feet tall) shadow-like figure watching me from the end of the bed.

When the figure noticed me looking, it seemed to ‘melt’ into the floor ,and the door to my room slammed shut. Understandably I was slightly traumatized by the whole experience. Asked my dad the next day if he was in my room, and he denied any knowledge of the event (he’s not the type of person who likes jokes)."

— u/Denholme2

18. "My husband and I own a martial arts school, and the building that it's in (which we also own) is about 130 years old...next to a church... And I never (and still don't, really — there has to be another explanation) believed in the paranormal, but the things that happened in it didn't just happen to me."

"It was decrepit (which was why it was so cheap to purchase), and we basically did all the work ourselves: old, creaky, drafty. A bunch of things happened there. Here's one: One Saturday morning, my husband was on his computer in another room, I'm in the apartment playing with a Tamagotchi app on my iPad when I heard the stereo sitting in front of me click on, and a girl's voice started talking from it.

I thought he controlled the stereo from his computer, so I ignored it because he often put on music to work out before class started (he teaches the morning class). I do remember thinking what kind of weird-ass indie music is he listening to anyway, because the voice just said, 'Hi, my name is (I thought I heard Katie, but I'm not 100% sure because I wasn't paying attention — I have never known a Katie in my life)... I am _ years old... I'm from __ ...' etc. I didn't catch the specifics because I wasn't really listening, but that went on for about two or three minutes until it suddenly went, 'Something's hurting me.' And when I caught that, I looked up and squinted at the stereo, like, what? 'Something's killing me. Something killed me.' At this point the hair is standing on the back of my neck, and I'm getting up from the couch to take a closer look. 'Please, someone tell my parents; tell the teachers; tell the corrections officer...' 

At the words 'corrections officer' I just bolt into the other room and started yelling at my husband and cursing him out because I was certain he was playing a trick on me. Told him, 'We don't fucking play jokes about dead people.' And he's of course looking at me like WTF? When he finally calmed me down long enough to get what I heard out of me and what I was accusing him of, he told me it was impossible and led me to the stereo. It's not plugged in. I thought maybe the stereo picked up the signals from an e-book or something."

— u/lunchesandbentos

19. "When I was younger, I used to take naps upstairs, but by the time I was 8 years old, I absolutely REFUSED to go upstairs. The upstairs had two large...closets? Attics? They ran from one side of the upstairs all the way to the other side, on both sides."

Side view of a dark attic with slanted ceilings with a ray of light on an abandoned baby doll

"It was essentially a crawl space that was maybe 30-feet long. It started one day when a friend and I went crawling from one side to the other with flashlights, like kids normally do. Then I saw a girl sitting there in the corner, acting like she wanted to play with us. I know a lot of people say when they see a ghost they aren't scared. Just interested. Nope, I was beyond terrified. This girl looked normal, had blonde hair, a nice dress, and seemed friendly. I stayed silent, kept crawling behind my friend, and got out of the closet. Told him what I saw in there; he said he didn't see it, but felt like he didn't want to go back in.

Then my parents would occasionally send me upstairs to get something and when I would get up there, I would see the doors swing open. As if they were trying to get me to come inside. I would lose toys and wouldn't be able to find them anywhere. Suddenly, my parents would be fishing Christmas presents out of the attic, and we would find some of my toys in there.

I remember being 8 years old, my parents are asleep still in the morning, and I leashed up my dog to go take on the monster in the attic. My dog, usually up for anything, REFUSED to go off the top step into the attic. My parents never believed me with all the weird things that happened in that house. I would get blamed for things that happened all over the house. Leaving lights on, toys all over, things I knew I didn't do.

Well anyway, we moved out of there when I am 10. Not a week passed before the new owners called us up and asked if the house is haunted. Their daughter slept upstairs; she said that she had been playing with a blonde-haired girl at night. My parents laughed at how crazy these new homeowners must be. 

To make an already long story short, the girl started appearing in other parts of the house for them (they kept in contact with us). They would look over while watching TV and see the girl sitting on their daughter's lap, etc. They looked up on the computer the past owners of the house, found an old dress maker that lived there, and — yep — a picture of the little girl wearing one of the ladies' dresses."

— u/Economy_Cactus

20. "I used to live in an old, big five-bedroom house with six other people. My S.O. and I shared one of the rooms. I 'saw' a stranger in my room when I was in my 20s."

scary stories ghost stories

"It wasn’t exactly visible, but I somewhat knew it was right there in the corner of the room. My S.O. was next to me sleeping. While I had my eyes open, I knew it was there. So I closed my eyes. I tried to wish it away. I opened my eyes, and it was now next to the bed, looking at me. I closed my eyes again, and suddenly relief came. I opened my eyes, nothing there. I saw it once again at the stairs. It was only a brief moment this time, and then it was gone."

— u/Hobo56hills

21. "I lived in one when I was a teen, along with my parents. Several instances come to mind. We were remodeling an old farmhouse and had been there a couple of months before witnessing anything."

Top view of the torso and legs of a person in a worksuit and boots underneath a vehicle supported by jacks on either end

"One day I was underneath my truck, which was supported by only a jack (stupid, I know). I was in the middle of working on it, with no good reason to get out at that moment. Suddenly the urge to get out from underneath overwhelmed me. No sooner than I got out, the truck fell to the ground; the jack had slipped. Freaked Dad out; he thought I was under it. When Mom got home, we mentioned it, and she started crying, sobbing pretty hard. It turns out the previous owner died in the driveway, under a vehicle, in that spot.

I would often see moving shadows, and strangely hear music from the upstairs area. The windows of the old house were caulked shut, and blackbirds would often get caught between the panes. We ended up replacing all the windows, but we had to break three inside panes to get them out. One of the more disturbing things happened when my mother was cooking breakfast; she turned away to get something out of the cabinet, and when she turned back around, all the forks set out were bent straight up."

— u/TheToenailCollector

22. "My father-in-law died before my son was born, so he never met him."

A vintage photo on a piece of wood, showing a man with side-parted hair and mustache wearing a large-collared shirt underneath a v-neck sweater

"When we moved into our new home, my son would often be laughing in the middle of the night by himself. No biggie — kids will play with anything. One day, we were finally putting pictures up in the house, and once I put up the picture of my father-in-law, he said, 'Oh Mommy, why do you have a picture of the man that comes and plays with me at night?' He had never ever seen a picture of my father-in-law before."

— u/ragxdoll

23. "So two weeks before we moved, my dad and I toured our house and I noticed this guy was painting the water heater, which I thought was weird AF, but I was like 10 so whatever."

An abstract drawing with circles of various sizes stripes and scribbles in slightly different colors of crayon

"Anyway, we moved in on a Wednesday, and my parents let me stay home from school until the following Monday and preoccupied me with coloring books and a new doll house. In my brand-new crayons pack, there literally wasn’t a blue crayon, like it was a 64-pack, but there were only 63 crayons in it. One day I went downstairs into the basement, and my blue crayon was next to the hot water heater, and scribbled on there it said, 'Hi fitnurse6 — Kevin.'

I was so confused. I started school, and my new classmates were like, 'OMG, do you live in Kevin’s house?! Your house is gonna be haunted!!' It turned out that Kevin was a little 8-year-old boy that lived in our house prior to us, and he got hit by a car in the front yard.

He would write notes if you left out a pen and paper, open and close doors, adjust the thermostat (the kind where you had to turn a knob), and always turned on Christmas music when it was that time of year :) We had a swing set in the backyard and even on the hottest, calmest days of summer, only the left swing would be moving back and forth.

We had this dumb cat that I would lock in my bedroom at night, and every morning, my parents would open the door and let him out, then close it back. One night I woke up and the cat was meowing at the door, and it woke me up, but the door opened and the cat hissed and ran out really fast. I asked my mom the next morning why they didn’t close my door, and they said they didn’t open it??

The last story is when I was very upset and nearly suicidal one year during Christmas break — the police just randomly showed up at my house. The policeman said he was patrolling our neighborhood and felt like something was wrong at our house. I'm absolutely certain Kevin had something to do with it."

— [deleted]

24. "I am not the type to believe in ghosts, but this happened to me and I have no explanation. My mom passed away in 2016 at 56 of cancer. She was in hospice and died in her home. One of her favorite songs was "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" — which I added to her memorial video."

"Fast-forward months later, I am cleaning out her home of her belongings by myself. There is no one else there. At one point I have an emotional breakdown and step outside to collect myself. When I return, I hear music coming from the other side of the house...which immediately struck me as weird, as not only was I there alone, but the electricity in the home is shut off. I follow the music to a bookshelf, where I find it emanating from a snow globe.

It's motion-activated and only plays music when picked up. The song? 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.'"

— u/gypster85

25. "I had the best haunter ever and miss my first home because of this. I grew up with a cat, Boots, who was just a year my junior."

Front view of a cat in a sphinx pose with its eyes closed, front paw outstretched

"Boots was motivated only by food and spent his later years sleeping on my parents' bed until someone came home, then he’d jump off the bed, with a 'thunk-thunk' of his front and back paws hitting the ground, and run to his food bowl to beg. He had to be put down when I was 18. My parents moved out of my childhood home during my first year of college. I went back a few times before it sold. Every time, I was certain I felt a cat’s presence. Like, I’d hesitate my step because I was sure a cat just walked under my legs kinda thing. Also, upon walking in, I’d always hear a thunk-thunk, like Boots jumping down to beg for food.

My mom and I went back for the last day my family would ever be in that home, and I told her on the way what I’d experienced. To my surprise, she had the exact same feeling. When we walked into the house: thunk-thunk. We exchanged shocked glances, and confirmed we both heard it. I went and sat in my empty room while my mom got the final things together, and while my eyes were closed I had to force myself to not pet a cat that I felt walk up to me, because I knew logically he wasn’t there.

Before leaving, we stood in the hallway outside my parents’ bedroom, hugged each other, and cried, saying bye to my first home. I said I thought Boots was still around, and suggested we take his spirit to the new house. She agreed, so she called out, 'Bootsy!!' From my parents’ room: thunk-thunk.

We both heard it. I don’t think he came with us. He never liked car rides. But I hope the owners since us have enjoyed their ghost kitty. He was a good boy."

26. "Years ago, my husband and I were trying to see if we could get a modest house by contract for deed. We took my sister along to look at the house. It still had someone's personal items in it as though they had just stepped out — but it was for sale."

A woman looking into her cabinet

"We walked all through and were hopeful. Suddenly, my sister said, 'Wait, I know whose house this was! This house belonged to that guy my son knew who died in his kitchen! This was Tony's house!' At that precise moment, a cabinet door shot open and whacked her on the backside. Never one to be rattled easily, she looked up and said, 'Okay, Tony, I get it!' We checked; it was indeed his house, the cabinet had been tightly shut, and the floor was stable. I've never seen a cabinet door randomly swing open with a force behind it like that. Not enough to hurt, but fast, as though a hand had whipped it open. You had to be there.

I wish we could have gotten the house even if he was haunting it. He was known to be a nice guy, very funny, and we wouldn't have minded sharing it with him."

— u/Imaginary_Medium

27. "My mom and dad passed just five weeks apart of unrelated cancers. We had taken my son with us to my parents’ house to feed their cats."

A shadowy figure

"My son was 7 at the time, and he wandered downstairs to explore. At some point, he reappeared upstairs, strangely subdued. At the time, he hadn’t yet learned to lie, nor did he make stuff up. My wife noticed his demeanor and asked, 'What’s up, kid?' He said, 'Pop-pop is outside by the fence. I want to go home now.'"

— u/Renaissance_Slacker

28. "When I was in college, I lived in an apartment complex. Every once in awhile, at around 2 a.m., I would hear breaking glass. It was clear as day. I never found any broken glass anywhere around the apartment."

A woman sitting on the edge of her bed in the dark

"My younger brother would come out and party with us, and once or twice he came busting into my room, thinking someone was breaking in. Finally, one night, my girlfriend stayed over. She would kick and push in her sleep, and at some point, she nudged me, and I woke up. When I looked over at her, she wasn't asleep. She was sitting at the foot of the bed, facing away from me. When I said her name, she stood up and walked out of the room, and then the sound of glass breaking happened. I looked around and realized that she was still laying next to me in bed. That was the only time I saw anything in that place but heard the sounds pretty consistently."

— u/JellingtonSteel

29. "I was babysitting my niece when she was 2 years old. My sister was renting a very old house that was built in the 1930s."

A dark hallway

"I'm alone in the place with her while my sister is working overnight. It's about 11 p.m., and she's been asleep for a couple hours at this point. I'm watching TV in the living room and see her running down the dark hallway. She stops just before the entryway to the living room, and I jokingly said, 'You better get back to bed, or I'm gonna get you!' I got up to get her back in bed, turned the hallway light on, and I found that her bedroom door was still closed. I open it to find my niece completely passed out in her bed, drooling and everything. It wasn't my niece I saw in the hallway, so I took her to sleep with me that night."

— u/evanjw90

30. "At the time when this happened, about eight years ago when I didn't believe in ghosts as much, my family and I were staying at a historic hotel in Winnipeg, Manitoba."

An old lobby of a hotel

"I had a few spare moments and decided to explore the hotel because it was absolutely beautiful. I got lost, and I happened to run into someone who looked like they worked for the hotel but weren't a housecleaner or a clerk, so I was unsure of their position or job. I asked for directions back to the lobby since I had to meet my family in a few minutes. The moment I arrived in the lobby and walked past the front desk, a clerk and a security guard were starring at me in shock and pale faces.

The security guard asked me who I was talking with earlier for the directions back to the lobby. I told him I thought it was someone who worked at the hotel. Well, wouldn't you know, it turns out that floor I was on (I can't remember it for the life of me) has a bunch of paranormal shit that goes on regularly.

The person I was talking with never appeared on the security feed even though they should have been in plain view. It was super creepy because I had shaken this person's hand for some reason, and the footage just should me shaking hands with the air.

The person appeared in front of me as any other person would have; when I touched their hand, it felt like any squishy person would normally, and yet they never showed up on the footage.

There was no way I could have blocked out the person from view of the camera either as I'm only 5'6". The security guard even pulled up a second angle for further proof. No one else believes me despite the footage. To this day, I still don't know how to explain it."

— u/RileyMax0796

31. "I was in my room writing in my journal before bed. It was a bit later, and my parents were asleep. Most lights in the house were off except a little desk lamp."

A ghost in a doorway of a home

"All of a sudden, this figure stood in front of me, and I couldn’t breathe. It only lasted maybe five seconds — but as soon as I could move, I ran to the bathroom and locked the door. When I did, I heard footsteps immediately leave my room, and the door gently closed behind. I stayed in that bathroom for an hour at least. It still scares me to to this day."

32. This unexplainable occurence:

scary stories ghost stories

"So, I was actually the reason my PARENTS are believers now, and I still get chills whenever my mom or dad tells this story. A lot of odd things happened building up to this, but this is the big one:

I was only one year old, and I was sleeping in-between them, but when they woke up, I wasn't in the bed anymore. They searched EVERYWHERE for me and said that when they finally looked under the bed, they found me underneath it , directly in the middle where I'd be sleeping up top. They have no idea how I got there, and it completely spooked them."

33. "A couple years ago, I was still living with my parents. I was upstairs in my bedroom hanging out in my room and watching TV."

A person looking scared inside their room

"I was on the phone with my friend at the time, and I exited my room and went downstairs to have a cigarette. The only other person in my parents' house that day was my dad, who later I found out was asleep in his room on the main level. Anyway, I was gone for about seven minutes, and I walked back upstairs and entered my bedroom. I was still on the phone, and I walked toward my bed and sat down. After 20 seconds or so, I glanced back up to play my TV, and there at the end of my bed was a piece of paper sticking up from the base. I just remember not understanding what I was seeing and never in my life have I so quickly dropped dead silent. I just remember saying, 'Nate…' and he kept saying, 'What, what?' and I could hardly speak. I quickly said I’ll call him back and immediately took out my phone and took a picture.

It was an old economics paper of mine talking about the government and the divide our two-party system creates in America. I wrote this econ paper three years prior. There were originally two pages to it, but it was missing its second page. 

The edges of the page were burnt , and there was a big yellow triangle that almost looked like it was highlighted smack dab in the middle of the page. It almost looked luminescent. It absolutely scared the fuck out of me. 

"That paper had to have been in my closet stacked away with all my other school work, and now it was ripped from the other page and was placed at the edge of my bed, sticking upright, for me to see. I was gone for only seven minutes; nobody could have done that."

— u/MelodicQuality_

34. "When I was younger, I lived in a small house that was really dark and quiet at night. I always woke up around midnight most nights and would look for something to eat in the kitchen."

hands against curtains inside home

"So one night, as per usual, I woke up and went to grab the first slice of bread from the new bread my mom bought that day. The kitchen is completely dark besides the two small windows that were fogged so no one could look in. There was this small corner around my fridge that was just dark. Like, darker than the rest of the kitchen even when there was light hitting it. However, I was partially asleep, so I didn’t think much of it. So, when I went to grab the slice of bread, something hit me in the face. I went to wipe it off my face, and all I felt I were just these long, long fingers.

I was terrified and ran back to my room, and as I ran, I could hear and feel something chasing me, and I could hear all kinds of things falling behind me as I ran back to my room frightened. 

When I got to my room, I shut my door and felt my eye, and it was bleeding. To this day, I have a scar. Never have I encountered something that terrifying again."

35. "The earliest memory I have is of an experience with an apparition. Based on what I know, I was no more than 3 years old when I saw it."

A door and window in the dark

"My parents didn’t believe me and always had some explanation for me. We moved houses, and tiny things would happen here and there, but once again, my parents always chalked it up to an overactive imagination. Fast forward to getting married, moving into an old apartment, and things starting to heat up a little bit. Bins would get flipped over and the contents dumped on the floor. Then, we moved in with my in-laws while my husband went to school. Cue the real events: The house would go through periods of high activity, particularly centered around me. My husband said he would hear me calling him from another room, but I wouldn’t be calling him. He would see me pass by the bottom of the stairs as he was coming down and would follow me all the way around the corner into the far room — only to dead end with the room empty.

Here’s the main story: My husband was working nights and I was home alone on the farm while the in-laws were out of state on a trip. One of the dogs goes into an episode, staring at nothing in the middle of the living room absolutely losing it, rabid dog. I CAN'T get her to calm down. Usually, a light touch on the back will snap her out of it, but I could not call her off this time. I finally go to my room to take a breather, and I hear her stop. 

Maybe 15 minutes later, she’s at it again. I go halfway up the stairs and am talking to her through the banister, finally getting her to come over to me and stop barking. She keeps looking next to me at the top of the stairs, then a huge slam on the baby gate there happens , rattling the gate and the banister. I ignore it 'cause I’ve heard that’s the best thing to do when something’s right next to you. 

The dog barks, but I get her stopped again. Then right in my line of sight, I see a pen slid forcefully off the table, flying multiple feet before hitting the ground. The dog immediately runs to attack and goes into another fit looking at something next to the table. I start to lose it and immediately go back downstairs to my bedroom.

I sit on my bed next to my cat napping there. He stands up and comes to me since I’m upset and crying. I hear the dog move back to barking in the living room, closer to my room. A minute later, my cat turns to look at the doorway, his back raises up, ears pinned back, and his hair stands on end looking straight at the doorway. I ran out of the house at that point. That was the worst it ever got. 

"With what I know about the experiences through my life compared with where I was staying, I’ve kind of begun to think I might be a poltergeist."

— u/mermaidkimberly

36. "My childhood home was notoriously haunted. We moved into the house when I was around 6 and my brother was 3. It started slow with him and I seeing weird things at night and constant nightmares."

young girl in closet

"Things would go missing only to return a few day later. We would constantly hear people talking, foot steps, and doors slamming when no one was around. Over the years, though, it started to escalate: One parent was in their bedroom during a party when they heard a child running and the door to their walk-in closet creaked shut. She assumed it was me or my brother and went to open up the door. When she did, some of the T-shirts that were hung close to the floor were swaying. Peeking out from behind them was a little girl she did not know. The little girl vanished before her eyes.

Another story: I was home alone waiting for my boyfriend to come over. I heard him call my name, so I came out of my bedroom and headed toward the front door. When I came to the stairs that separated my room from the front door, I saw this...thing? It almost resembled a person, pitch black, crawling up the stairs. It cracked its neck to look up at me, and I ran. I called my boyfriend, and he wasn't there yet. I hid in my room until he came."

— u/MoistWormPower

37. "This happened when I was 11, visiting a lighthouse in Michigan that was supposedly haunted by a boy."

A lighthouse in front of a clear sky with high grass around

"My parents wanted to take a tour with the tour guide, but I wanted to play outside, considering we had been touring various sites in the upper peninsula that day. No one was around, so my parents ended up letting me play outside the lighthouse while they took a quick tour. As I played outside, a really beat-up ball rolled up to my feet. I bent over to pick it up, and as I stood back up, I saw a boy standing next to the edge of the lighthouse looking at me. I assumed the ball was his, so I tossed it over to him, and he wandered away. I didn't think anything about it, but when my parents were done with the tour, they asked what I did. I told them something along the lines of: 'I was just wandering around. Oh, and I helped this kid get his ball back.'

The tour guide was with my parents, and when I mentioned the kid, he looked startled because as I mentioned earlier, there was no one other than us at the lighthouse. Only three cars: My parent's car, the tour guide's car, and the car belonging to the person at the front desk.

"The tour guide asked me to take a look at a picture in the lighthouse. I know this sounds super cliché, but when he showed me the picture, it was the picture of the exact same boy with the exact same beat-up ball. Apparently, that kid died at the lighthouse. (On a side note, we checked around, and there was no boy.) 

So you might be asking me, why was this creepy, especially considering that the boy never scared me or tried to scare me? What creeps me out is that I touched that ball. When it comes to ghost stories, most people only report a ghost, not other objects. 

Assuming that was a ghost with his ball. What the heck did I touch? Also, it felt solid, like a real ball. If it was a 'ghost ball,' then how the heck do you explain what I touched? This still bothers me to this day."

— u/1Dividend

38. "We were taking a tour of the battleship Massachusetts in Falls River for my girlfriend's 30th birthday."

A black and white image of a long hallway

"She wanted to do scary stuff, and I wanted to see museums, so we stayed at the Lizzie Borden House and the next night at the Shanley Hotel. I didn't personally feel any definitive paranormal activity at each location, but there were definitely signs. The one place I actually wanted to go that wasn't meant to have any paranormal activity was the ship. While we were touring the bathroom/cafeteria area, I was snooping around the shower, just curious, when I got tapped on the shoulder. Thinking it was my girlfriend, I turned around, and no one was there.

She was a few rooms away, and we were the only two people in the area. Nothing was hanging above me or leaking. The area was a little cool, and it just felt as if a human touched my shoulder, and I am 100% certain it happened. I found it ironic considering the other places we had been were known for their ghost activity."

— u/Snoo3341

39. "My best friend came to visit me, and this being South Africa, was waiting at the security gate of our house to let him in."

Light shining through a window into an empty room.

"He was calling my name, and I was on the toilet. We both hear my dad saying, 'He's on the toilet; he'll be right there.' My blood froze. My father wasn't home. We had no idea what to make of it."

— u/Kangaruan

40. "I'm from Indonesia where paranormal activities are quite normal here. But then I had this one disturbing experience."

A basement door with light pouring in

"One day I went into my uncle's home in Geneva. He loves collecting statues or historical stuff. Then I was asked to take out the trash that day, and I went to the basement where his office/room is at. It's a small room, like 2x3 meters. Then, somehow I saw a statue of a goddess with four or six arms and the aura in that room just suddenly cold.

There were four rooms in the basement: One bedroom, one bathroom, an office room, and a storage room. Somehow, after I grabbed all of the trash, I couldn't find the stairs to go back. It's gone, literally, gone! 

I was quite panicked, and then I smell some strange scent , like an ancient flower. I went into the office room, and I spoke to the statue. 'Hey, I am sorry if I disturbed you in a way I cannot imagine. I need to go back upstairs, okay? Just let me go.'

Then after that, I can see the stairs again. But after that, it took me years to be able to go to any basements."

— u/chitosan87

41. "A close family friend had been in a coma for a few weeks before his death and wasn't allowed visitors (not sure if that was his family's choice or the hospital's policy."

someone changing a lightbulb

"I was about 3 at the time), so my parents hadn't been able to visit him before he passed. In our house, we would always leave the hallway light on; it hung near the bottom of the stairs. The morning after he passed, the light was off. My mother spotted it before me. On first glance, she thought the bulb had just blown out, but then, she noticed that it had been removed from the light and placed carefully on the stairs on a higher step than it would have been had it somehow fallen. My mother believes this was his way of saying goodbye before he went."

— u/jsscanna

42. "I have a ghost of a boy who died in the '20s in my room. And he literally steals things from plain sight when you look away and then they’re gone."

A key on top of a counter

"And the only way to get that object back is to politely ask him for it. It then appears ether somewhere that was already searched multiple times before, or it's placed somewhere it's physically impossible to get to."

— u/wow-im-tired

43. This disgruntled granny:

scary stories ghost stories

"One night, my grandmother was looking after me, and it was just the two of us in the house. I was sitting on the floor in front of her while we were watching TV. Suddenly, we heard loud footsteps upstairs, then one of the doors SLAMMED shut.

I grabbed onto her leg, because I was horrified that someone was in the house, but my grandma just looked up at the ceiling and yelled, 'Don't slam any doors in my house!' I never got to talk to her about it, since she passed when I was still young, so I'll never know who she was talking to..."

This article contains content from Allie Hayes, CT Seale and Raven Ishak. It was compiled by Kelly Rissmana.

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