Where some people find solace in spending time home alone, others find fear. Sure, for the most part the things that scare us are just a figment of our imagination, however there are the few instances where our deepest fears become reality. Below, people share their most terrifying experiences while they were home alone.
Some content edited for clarity.
"I got a phone call asking how my TV was holding up, I thought it was just the company we bought it from checking up on it and doing their normal customer support stuff until I was told exactly what channel I was watching. I asked who it was on the phone, and they said 'don’t worry, I can see you but you can’t see me.' I was 9 at the time and my parents were out of town for work so my older sister (17 at the time) got us all to hide in my parents' closet with our family weapons, and we called the police.
When my parents finally got home, they called us to let us know it was them knocking on the door. They found footprints but no person. We installed security cameras not soon after and never had a problem again but it still creeps me out to this day."
"I used to stay home alone a lot because both parents worked and always wanted a dog to keep me company/be my alarm. It never happened because my mom didn’t want a dog. Well, one day I was babysitting my step-sister’s little old westie, and we were home alone. She freaked out and started growling and barking. I noticed there was a car in front of our house. Then she ran to the garage door and was growling there. Turned out one of my mom’s friends thought it’d be a good idea to come into the garage to drop something off but got scared off by the dog.
Who thinks it’s a good idea to just walk into someone’s house like that? I’m so glad that dog was with me. I kept everything locked all the time since then and pretended I wasn’t home."
"I lived in a one-bedroom apartment on the 5th floor of a modern building.
The layout is this: You come in, and there is a very small foyer/hallway area. To the left is the kitchen, to the right a bathroom and bedroom, straight ahead is the living room area.
I came home from work one night after picking up some Burger King. Got the mail downstairs, went to my apartment, opened my door, and walked to the living room area while sort of looking at the mail in my right hand.
Plopped down on the couch, turned on the television, spread out the Burger King, and started chowing while watching some show.
When I finished dinner, I watched TV a bit more and then went to throw out the wrappers and bag in the kitchen trash.
When I stood up to go to the kitchen, there were two feet sticking out of my kitchen doorway into the hall/foyer. It looked like the rest of the person it was attached to was laying on its back on my kitchen floor. Human legs.
I froze. I can’t explain the feeling of that kind of terror, but I absolutely froze. I didn’t move at all and only when I realized I wasn’t breathing did I have to force myself to do it.
I stood there for a couple of minutes, frozen, staring at those feet. Black shoes, black socks, and a little ankle showing beneath green pants. There was a dead body in my kitchen, and its legs were sticking out a bit into my hall.
Who knows how long it took me to inch toward the kitchen. At some point, I yelled, 'Hey!' And the legs did not move. Closer and closer, inch by inch. When I got close enough, I leaned over to look in my kitchen.
It was maintenance worker from the apartment complex.
I yelled 'Hey!' again, but then went to the kitchen to check him. He was alive.
I called the front desk and they called 911.
The EMTs got there and took him. I was told later that he had diabetes and had 'diabetic shock' and was borderline comatose when they took him to the hospital. I was also told he was going to be fine.
He apparently came back to work but I never saw him again."
"I was home alone with two babies asleep upstairs. A man’s voice came over the baby monitor shushing a stirring baby, very softly. I doubted myself as I checked both babies, both sound asleep. Ten minutes later, the same thing again but this time the man said, ‘Shh, come on insert my daughter's name take your medicine.’ I completely freaked out, called my husband to come back. No crying baby, no man in the house.
Six months later, I discovered our neighbors down the road have a daughter with the same name — and presumably a baby monitor on a similar frequency as ours."
"A couple years ago, I was apartment sitting for my sister while she was off camping for a weekend. She told me before she left that there was no reception where she was going and I’d be on my own. She’d also recently gotten rid of a leeching, abusive ex and started seeing someone, who she was off camping with.
Everything’s going fine, it's the first night and I’m hungry, so I look in her cupboards and find some Nutella and dig in. She doesn’t touch it most of the time, just for weekend breakfasts. I go to bed.
I wake up incredibly groggy with someone standing over me, the bedroom light is on. I’m so tired, uncontrollably sleepy and can’t move well at all. Now I know this feeling, it’s rohypnol. I know this because it was one of the medicines I tried for my narcolepsy with the doc saying better sleep may help.
So now I know I’ve been dosed something and there’s a man standing over me while I’m in bed. He looks like my sister's ex, or maybe her landlord, at the time it kind of blurs. The landlord was a crummy slumlord who earlier I’d caught unlocking the door to turn a light switch on, so he could do hallway maintenance. He must’ve thought no one was home because he didn’t see her car. As soon as he realized someone was home he booked it out of the whole apartment and peeled his shirt truck out.
He says, 'You shouldn’t be here. You’re not supposed to be here! Where is she?'
And I think I say, 'She’s not here. I’m house sitting. Why are you here? Go home.'
And then I can’t stay awake anymore, and I pass out. The next morning I wake up and try to call my sister, but can’t reach her, so I leave her a message and write her a note about it. I throw the Nutella out.
I was only supposed to stay one night to feed the cat for two days, but now I knew the gambit and I stayed the second night hoping that monster would try again.
But the next night is uneventful. I go home, my sister calls me in a panic. Turns out while the ex gave his key back, it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he made a copy. And she’d been having night terrors if someone standing over her at night. But now she knows it’s not just her, and she isn’t crazy.
My sister changes her locks, throws out all her food, and we move in together in the same complex but a different apartment some time later. I took the room by the door and when we saw our locks getting messed with and things missing or where we wouldn’t put them, we changed them again and didn’t give the shotty landlord a copy.
And I made sure to spin a story to the landlord about what an abusive horror my sister was. How scared I was of her violent nature. And also I become the contact for him, everything goes through me, and he only ever entered when I was there to supervise. And he never bothered her again.
Then she moved in with her now fiancé and everything is better. I am one brave, tough lady. I literally would have murdered someone if it came to it."
"I used to live in an apartment that was the ground/semi-basement level of an old house where the entrance was on the outside of the building, only accessible by either going through the building, out a back door, and down and under a flight of stairs or by coming up the back alleyway. I was about 18 years old at the time, and I shared the apartment with my mother and our Shar-Pei, Maggie. Maggie was a sweetheart, but she was also very protective, especially of me.
The night in question, my mother was working late; and I was laying on the couch, watching TV. It was really snowy and cold.
I heard this knock at the door, and I went over to peep out. I could see that someone was outside, but they were standing close to the door, to the side, out of the range of the peephole. I asked who it was, and a male voice said that he needed help. He sounded legitimately like he needed help, and I was really stupid, so I opened the door, keeping the chain still on and asked what was up. There was a guy that was somewhere around 40 years old, standing outside, leaning against the door frame. He seemed out of breath and said that he had hurt his leg and needed help. He asked if I would call him an ambulance and if he could come inside. At this point, Maggie launched herself against the crack in the door, barking savagely and snapping her teeth. I was really surprised by this, because like I mentioned, she was protective of me but was generally a nice dog.
I told him that I would call an ambulance, but he would have to wait outside, because I was concerned that my dog might bite him. I told him to sit in the chair outside, and I would call. I closed and locked the door and went to call 911. I told her that the guy had said that he had badly injured his leg but that I couldn't really tell her more, because my dog was being aggressive and wouldn't let me check it out. At that point, I looked out the window to see how he was doing and saw him walking around outside, not limping at all. In fact, he looked fine. I told the operator this, and she told me that she would send someone right away. I hung up the phone and peeped out the window again and didn't see him.
I was only wearing a t-shirt and shorts, but I was dumb and naïve and decided that he probably fell outside and might need help. As well, I wanted to tell him that the ambulance was coming. I pulled on a coat and boots and walked outside, leaving Maggie inside. She was standing up in the window by the door, barking at the glass, and gosh was I stupid.
There was another building right next to the one in which I lived, and it had a little alcove, where their fire escape descended, and there was a bit of a drop off to get down to it. When I walked outside, I saw that the guy was laying down in the snow, like he had fallen down the drop off. I walked over and asked if he was okay, telling him that the ambulance had been called. He held up his hand and asked me to help him up. I had this flash in my head that said, 'Do not go over there. That is a bad idea,' and I actually listened to it. I told him that I wasn't going to be able to pull him up, and the ambulance would be there in a few minutes and stood out of reach. He became more insistent that I come take his hand and help him up, but I refused to get closer, becoming very aware of how insistently Maggie was barking.
The ambulance then appeared, and I was never so happy to see people. There was a female EMT, and she started asking me questions, like if he had any health problems or if he had been drinking. I told her that I had no idea, since he had just shown up at my door and asked to come in and so forth. She then looked at me very seriously and told me to go inside. It was said much like, 'Go inside, stupid.' I did, and they took the guy away. He seemed to be walking just fine.
I have no proof of what could have happened, but I feel confident that this would have likely ended with me being attacked, had I let this guy into my apartment or had gone over to the dark alcove and given him my hand. I don't know if I would have been murdered or what, but I am sure that that was the general plan. Looking back at it, it was pretty easy for someone to walk up and look in our living room window (which had lace curtains) if they chose, so they could see some dumb teenage girl, sitting alone on the couch. I am certain that, if it were not for Maggie, I would have been hurt very badly, if not killed. I was so stupid. I was so grateful to that dog. She also chased off someone who tried to rob our apartment twice, while we were still living in the same apartment (not a great neighborhood). She was definitely smarter than I was at the time, and she probably saved my life. It still scares me, when I think back about the events that night. I am much more aware now and always think about my own safety first. Thanks to Maggie for giving me the chance to learn from that night."
"I was home alone after school one day, sitting in the kitchen and minding my own business. Next thing I know, a super creepy car pulls up to the sidewalk in front of my house, and two teenage boys get out, and just...stand there. They’re sitting there in front of the car staring at my house, no motion or anything. One of them looked like the definition of a child predator, whereas the other one looked like he was ready to kill someone. I was thoroughly creeped out, as my paranoia and anxiety levels are beyond belief. I get tempted to call my mom and tell her what’s going on, but suddenly I get a call from my brother. I answered the phone as the boys started patrolling the outside of my house, not entering the property but staying on the sidewalk and observing. I answered the phone and it went like this:
Brother: 'Hey, are there two people standing outside of the house?'
Me: 'Yeah, I’m scared. They look really creepy.'
Brother: 'I knew it' -Insert muffled noise- 'Do they have a super soaker?'
Me: -Looking at them- 'Uh, I think so.'
Brother: 'Aw yeah. Well, we’re going to be home soon, so I’ll figure out a plan.'
Then he just hangs up.
Turns out they were playing Assassin. It’s a game the Junior class at my high school plays every year. You have a target and a deadline, and you have to shoot them with super soakers without getting shot. The team that wins gets all the money people spent to play the game (costs about $5 to play.)
I was literally crapping myself thinking they were going to break in and do god knows what, when it was just a dumb high school game."
"I was on the internet late one night reading ghost stories. All of a sudden, I heard a car alarm go off. I didn’t think much of it until it wouldn't stop; it kept going for like three minutes, so I started to think if it was my car for some reason.
I went up to the window and looked out to see which car it was. It was not mine. In fact, I didn't see a car in the lot with its lights blinking. I could hear where it should be going off but I didn't see it directly or any reflection of the blinking headlights on any other car.
I figured I might be able to see better out the window with the kitchen lights off, so I turned them off, already a bit weirded out from the situation and just having read some real creepy/unexplainable stories.
I pulled up a single blind in the kitchen window to see out but I still didn't see anything. My peripheral vision suddenly drew me to look directly to the left behind me in the reflection.
I saw the face of a little boy smiling right at me. My heart understandably skipped a beat, I whipped around, fully ready to knock this kid out with a swift punch to the jaw, but I recognized him. It was the face of my little brother in a picture frame that was reflecting from the fridge in the window.
I about had a heart attack over a reflection"
"I was home with my two children (this was right after I told my ex I wanted to try a trial separation), when I started hearing screaming in my yard, and thumps on the wall.
One of the many dumpster people my ex has hooked up with was out there. Screaming at me about how I was a 'harlot,' and my husband was her man, and I needed to leave 'their house' because she was his wife now and my kids now belonged to her. I had to call the police to get this unhinged woman off my yard, and she had the audacity to get mad at me because, 'I have children at home, you witch! How could you take me away from my children?'
The ex also told me it was a 'hateful' move to call the police. So her showing up at MY home, and scaring OUR children was okay, but I was the bad guy for calling the cops on the woman who left her young children alone to come scream at the wife of the married dude she had been banging. I told him not to sweat it, because if she came on my property again, I would not hesitate to shoot her where she stood, since she had made plenty of threats to my life in front of the police.
And that was the event that inspired me to waive child support in exchange for sole custody."
"When Hurricane Sandy hit, the area where I live got evacuated. We weren't home for a couple days but eventually it got to a point where we could go back inside despite the destruction that was all around us. Not a ton of people went back home in my neighborhood though because there was no electricity.
I remember that we came home and my mom was asked to go to work. I spent most of the day reorganizing stuff in my room to kill time.
It eventually grew dark and it was already really creepy being alone at home. There was also very little noise because no one was around. Around maybe 6ish, I heard someone downstairs in the basement. I could hear two people talking to each other and pulling on this old glass sliding door we had. I was absolutely terrified. I didn't have a way to call anyone because my phone was dead since I wasn't able to charge it. So I slowly went upstairs and locked myself in a closet. I was somewhat lucky because the closet was next to a vent that was connected to the basement, so it was really easy to hear these people moving around. They were probably downstairs for a good ten minutes before they decided to leave. I think a cop was driving by the area and it freaked them out. Yeah, that was insanely creepy."
"When I was young I struggled to sleep without sounds going on in the house (people talking, TV, music, etc), so my dad would turn on the TV when I would go to bed or turn up the volume if he was already watching it. He did this right up until the night he died.
Two or three weeks after the funeral I was home alone for the first time since he passed, and I was just watching the TV. It got to about 10 pm, so I decided to go to bed, I turned off the TV and set out for my bedroom. About 10 minutes later, I hear a noise downstairs, so I go investigate; as I walk down the stairs, I notice the TV was sitting there blaring away to itself. I initially didn't think anything of it and assumed that I just didn't turn it off properly, so I turned it off again and as I get about five steps up the stairs it turned back on. I was getting a bit annoyed, so I turned it off again but by the TV rather than the remote. Within seconds of me turning it off, I feel cold and then the TV turns itself back on, I blink and then the volume goes up. I freaked out so much, quickly unplugged it by the socket and ran upstairs and hid under the sheets. I have never felt fear like that before.
After the first time it happened it repeated pretty much every night when I was home alone, and once when my mates had a sleep over, proper freaked them out."