When home alone, the smallest noise or something out of place can get a person's mind racing. Usually, it's nothing. But, without anyone else around it's easy to overthink. What if there was actually something going on? The people in these stories know it's possible.
We've found all of the best stories Reddit has to offer about the scariest experiences people have had while home alone! Content has been edited for clarity.
They Were Surrounded
“When I was about 6 or 7, my father left my 9-year-old sister and me home alone for the first time. It was early evening in the fall. He was only going to be gone for about 40 minutes. But, maybe 20 minutes after he left, a pickup truck sped into our driveway. Now it was getting dark, so we could only make out shadows, but as soon as the pick up stopped in our driveway, about 6 guys all wearing dark hooded sweatshirts hopped out of the bed of the truck. One grabbed what was clearly an ax, another got something that looked like a chainsaw, but we couldn’t be certain.
The 6 guys then fanned out around our house. My sister and I ran to opposite ends of the house reporting back on where they were. ‘He went through the gate… He’s on the porch,’ I shouted. ‘Two disappeared behind the garage. The others are by the front door,’ she screamed back. We were surrounded and scared, so we ran upstairs and entered the panic code on our alarm system.
A few minutes later several cop cars showed up sirens blazing, but by that point, it was too late. The hooded men were already cutting our grass and trimming the hedges.”
“When I was 13 years old we moved back to CA to take care of my Opa (grandfather). Opa was 74 years old at the time, and my uncle had to be removed from the house for being physically abusive towards him.
Opa and my mother had left the house to go get donuts or something like that for breakfast and I stayed home because I wanted to watch some show on tv. Mom told me to watch out for my uncle because he had made some threatening phone calls the night prior.
I was in the living room and saw someone run by the window, so I ran to Opa’s bedroom as quickly as I could and pulled out a weapon. I called 911 (this was back in the ’90s so the phone cord was two miles long). I found my uncle on top of the roof high as a kite on God knows what. He was threatening to kill everyone in the house. He had a weapon and was shooting in the air and then at me. The 911 operator let me know help was on its way, and to try to get in the house. I showed my weapon and let my uncle know the police were on the way and if he shot one more time, I would start shooting.
The police showed up, it turned in to a small standoff while I sat in the back of a cruiser. They eventually got him down off the roof and he went to jail for some time.”
Caught In The Act
“I had gone over to my mum’s house one early Sunday morning and she left to go for a jog. After about half an hour, I heard a banging noise and I thought it was just the washing machine down the other end of the house going off center.
I kept hearing this banging and thought I’d better check the machine out. I walk down this corridor into the dining room and look straight ahead.
There was someone smashing the back door in. They already had one hinge off and almost the other. The door was still on the frame only due to the lock.
I froze. He must have sensed someone watching him. He looked up. We locked eyes. I don’t know who got the bigger shock. He must have seen my mum leave. He had been working on that door for a while not realising someone was home. I grabbed the phone (before mobile phones) and rang the police. Next thing 3 police cars come flying down the street and cops everywhere.
Never caught him.
My poor mum, a neighbour saw her down the street while all this was going on and said to her ‘Is there anyone at your house?’ ‘Yes, my daughter is there.’ He then had to break the news to her that there were cops swarming all over her house. She was totally panicked until he got her home and she saw I was alright.”
When One Door Closes…It Opens Itself Up Again?
“I just moved into a new house about 6 months ago. Our living room connects all other rooms in the house, including the laundry room. One day, I walk in the living room and the laundry room door is open. ‘That’s weird,’ I think to myself and then shut it. Maybe I forgot to close it?
I run outside to take the trash out and when I come back the door is open again. It makes me a bit uneasy, but this time I shut it and make sure it’s shut.
A few hours later I go to take a shower. I leave the door open because it’s my house, and when I get out the laundry room door is open again. I had the door open the entire time, there was no one in the house. The dog didn’t bark so I am certain that there is no one opening this door. I slam it shut.
It’s about a week later and it is late at night. Wife is away on a business trip and I am laying on the couch in the living room watching TV. I hear a slow creaking sound and look to see the laundry room door slowly creaking open. The dog starts going mad and barking in the direction of the door. I am starting to freak out now. With the only light being the TV, it’s pretty dark. I can’t see anything, I turn on the light and yell ‘Hello? Is anyone in there?’ No answer. I grab my bat, I figure if anyone is in there I have a pretty good chance of winning, should things get ugly. I swing open the door and turn on the light… Nothing… Nothing is there. I am extremely unsettled.
I immediately call my wife and tell her what’s going on. The first thing she asks is ‘do you have the window open?’
I check on it, and sure enough, it’s open. She then informs me that our laundry room door doesn’t shut all the way because it’s broken. When the front door or window is open, it creates a draft that opens the laundry room door. Feeling utterly stupid for freaking out and waking my wife up, I close the window. Every time the door has opened since then, the front door or window has been open.”
The Next Time She Saw Him It Was His Mugshot
“This was about 2 years ago. My parents had just left and a car pulled up outside and a guy came up to the door and knocked. I opened the door and talked to him through the screen. He said he had a package for my mom or dad to sign and if I could open up. I told him they weren’t home right now. Then he said the creepiest thing. He said ‘just open the door’ and he used my real name.
That put chills down my spine and I went into the bathroom and locked the door. I could hear him jiggling the door and then him going down the steps back to the car. I waited in the bathroom for like 3 hours until my parents got home. When they got home, we called the police but nothing ever came of it. I never saw him again after that but I think I recognized his face on the news a while ago after a similar looking man got arrested.”
“I was woken up in the middle of the night by my house doorbell. It was one of those apartment doorbells that are crazily loud, the kind that you could hear in the upstairs apartment when it rang.
This ring made me nearly fall out of bed it was that loud, and it only stops ringing if you go up to it and ‘end the call’. So I stumble across my room in the dark in my tired state to see that it’s 2 AM. I think it’s odd but I check the camera feed and see there’s nothing there so just go back to bed and end up falling back to sleep.
20 minutes later the bell rings again. This time it seems louder than before, so again, I run across the room to answer the call to stop the ringing throughout the floor. And again, there’s nothing apart from something rustling around outside. The doorbell sometimes goes off on its own, but never more than once. At this point, my heartbeat is getting higher than I would like to admit.
10 minutes later the doorbell rings again. I go to answer the call and none of the buttons are working. I’m freaking out at this point and frantically pushing buttons to stop the noise from waking up my neighbors. Then the camera feed suddenly turns on and there’s just a face staring into the camera. I proceed to nearly pee myself.
The sound then turns on and all I can hear is this person panting. He doesn’t say anything at all, this went on for about a minute and then I hear the building door unlock and the camera feed goes black. Thank you broken doorbell.
10 minutes pass by and I’m starting to calm down after realizing the person probably just pressed the wrong apartment number on the building. Then the knocking on my door starts, and some mumbling that I can’t make out. I silently walk closer to the door to try to better hear what they’re saying, then they start banging harder, they weren’t letting up at all. I grab a knife from the kitchen when I hear them shout ‘waimai’ which means food delivery in Chinese. I nearly had a heart attack over a food delivery.
I open the door half-heartedly to see a fairly oldish food delivery driver stood in the hallway with a bag of food. He looks really confused to why I look so tired/angry and he got even more confused when I told him I didn’t order anything.
He looks down at the receipt and sees that he’s got the wrong apartment number, and it’s actually my next door neighbor that ordered. He then looks up, looks at me and then walks off like it was nothing, without saying a word, no apology or anything.
When he got to the neighbor’s door, he saw that I was still stood there looking shocked. He just said ‘no problem’, so I responded with ‘what the heck’ and with a few phrases in Chinese, mainly about him waking me up at 2 AM and his attitude.
It turned out not to be scary at all, but at the time it was terrifying!”
“I was 5 at the time and living on the 8th floor of an apartment complex. Both my parents were at work and I was left home alone. I’d been left home alone many times by that point so it wasn’t really a big deal. However, on that particular day, a really big storm hit out of nowhere. It darkened the skies and knocked the power out, plunging me into almost complete darkness.
It blew all the windows wide open and I was too short to reach them, so I was left completely exposed. It shook the entire building, and with such force that I thought there was an earthquake. To say I was scared would be an understatement of seismic proportions. The incident single-handedly instilled a fear of thunder into me, a fear which I still carry to this day.”
An Unwanted Day At The Circus
“When I was young, probably like 10ish, I stayed home while my mum and younger brother ducked out to the doctor’s office.
While they were gone, the phone started ringing. I never answered the phone, so it rang through to message bank. You can listen as they leave their message. It was this super creepy clown festival music. Our house was an old heritage house with 12 foot high ceilings, so the music echoed throughout. I froze and after what seemed like an eternity, eventually I picked it up and no one was there except the dial tone. It still creeps me out to this day.
I was so scared that I listened to the message to make sure what just happened had happened. I deleted it straight after it because it scared me that much. I regretted that instantly as then I couldn’t show my mum when she got back. She believed me though surprisingly. I now know that it was probably some teenagers making prank calls. But, I was young, I thought it was a clown ghost or something. Good thing I hadn’t seen the movie IT before that situation.”
The Call Is Coming From Inside The House
“I wasn’t alone. I was with my wife. We were both turning in to sleep in the master bedroom upstairs when my mobile rang. I looked at my mobile and it said ‘Home Landline.’ To say I was scared is an understatement. Many thoughts ran through my head, mainly involving a sick serial killer having gained access to my house, and calling me from my landline downstairs to tell me it’s all over. I even started thinking of what I could possibly do to defend us. All this happened in a split second.
I finally answered the call and it was an automated call from my home security system informing me that the battery was low.”
“What Are You Doing With That Knife?”
“I live in an apartment with my boyfriend. These buildings are like 2 story houses but with something like a studio-apartment on top of them. Every set of 2 apartments shares a stairwell that comes out next to/in front of the lower house’s front door. My boyfriend went out to a party so I was home alone. It was after 10 pm and it was dark. I was just playing some games on my PC when I heard people in our stairwell but you know, could be visitors for our neighbour. Until they started banging like mad on my front door. I froze and thought ‘sit still maybe they’ll leave.’ Nope, they started banging on the door again. I got up, got a knife from the kitchen and went to the front door and looked through our tiny window next to it (and holding the knife behind my back). I saw 2 big guys standing there, and they looked surprised when they saw me. One guy said: ‘Oh my god, I’m so sorry, miss!’. He turned to the other guy and said, ‘I told you he lives up the next stairwell!’ He turned back to me behind the window again: ‘We’re very sorry, hope we didn’t scare you’ and headed down the stairs.
Nothing happened in the end but needless to say, I was totally scared. I went back to my PC with the knife next to me. Usually, I don’t stay up that late but I was wide awake until my boyfriend came home (around 3-4 AM). Of course, he walked into the room and went ‘what are you doing with that knife?'”
Dogs Make The Best Security System
“I was dogsitting for my friend. I also have a dog and I live in a tiny apartment so since my parents were out of town, I decided to dogsit in their house. It’s a huge house that has a big yard, but no security system. I’ve had dogs my whole life, but we never had a dog who guards. The dog I have now is my first dog who guards and has protected me, even though he is a golden retriever. My friend’s dog is half Rottweiler and half German shepherd and is this HUGE black dog. He’s the sweetest thing ever, but looks mean. He also guards a lot and has this bark that strikes fear into you.
I’m sleeping when I wake up to hear him quietly growling in front of the back door. I’m thinking he’s just overreacting, no need to worry. I see my dog sitting next to him and they are both clearly listening to what is happening outside and my friend’s dog keeps growling. They’ve had the same reaction when they see a cat, so I’m not that worried, but they don’t let up. I go to the back door and now I’m too afraid to turn on the lights. I open the curtains and there’s a man walking towards me. My friend’s dog is now barking like crazy and I actually think he might kill the guy if I let him out. My dog also starts barking his: ‘stay away’ bark (he’s a golden retriever like I said, so when he barks like this it’s for a reason). I turn on the backyard lights and he runs away. I’m so lucky I had these dogs with me. He probably knew my parents were away and thought the house was empty.”
When Life Gives You Lemon Trees
“We used to live in a duplex in a poor neighborhood. We had a lemon tree in our tiny backyard that basically took up the entire space. The consequence of this was that people would literally climb into our backyard to steal lemons. I mean obviously there were people who asked, but that wasn’t always the case.
In particular, there was this strange lady who always came to steal them. She wasn’t homeless or anything. In fact, we later learned that she was the wife of somebody related to my grandpa’s side of the family. We caught her a couple of times and even reported her. I’m pretty sure she had some sort of mental disability.
So one day, I’m home alone and I hear a knock on the door. I go check the window and there she is, peering in at me. She asks me to open the door. We have a security door so I figure why not since I can’t ignore her now that she knows I’m home. I open the door and of course, she wants our lemons. I tell her no and that my parents have already talked to her before about this. She immediately starts yelling and cursing at me, slamming at the security door.
I’m actually pretty scared at this point. I tell her to leave or else I’m calling the cops. She’s screaming at the top of her lungs about how selfish we are and calling me names. I then just close the door on her. She starts slamming on the security bars on the windows still yelling.
At this point, I’m like, ‘okay I’m calling the police…’ when I suddenly hear noise from the side of the house. I immediately realize she’s trying to climb the fence into our backyard. I didn’t actually want to go outside and face the crazy woman, so I’m just standing there stunned, not sure what to do. I hear some loud banging and then looking out the window, I see her just walk away.”
Trapped And Defenseless
“It was the summer going into my freshman year of high school. I had just had a pretty serious surgery on my chest. With that being said, I was totally bedridden so my mom and I were watching a movie. When the movie was at a quiet scene, I could hear the downstairs doorknob being messed with. I thought I was going crazy at first because I could just barely hear it, but the next thing I know I hear the door swing open and the alarm system start blaring. I look at my mom and tell her to get in the closet and we just sat there and called 911 until help arrived.
Fortunately, I think the guy breaking in ran away when the alarm started blaring because it took about an hour for cops to show up with back up. But it was pretty cool we got to watch from the security camera we had set up at the door as the cops came through my house with weapons drawn. But it was definitely a bad experience, I was totally defenseless after my surgery. Thankful things ended up okay.”
Who Is This?
“I was around 10 or 11 at the time. I wasn’t technically home alone as my grandmother was there, but she was sleeping. I decide to call my mom because I was hungry. I know her number by heart and it hasn’t been changed for a decade. Yet when my call is answered, it’s not her.
‘Hello?’ I say, and this deep, raspy voice replies, ‘It’s me, I’m coming.’ It sounded like a whisper combined with that cracking and roughness you get when you have a sore throat. Needless to say I hung up immediately and was scared out of my mind. I don’t know who they were, but they never arrived, thank god.”