Usually when people tell us scary stories we dismiss them as being nothing more than a creepy tale. But, there are some stories that people swear by and here, people share such stories. So, strap in and prepare yourself for some of the freakiest true stories.
_Thanks to everyone who shared a story. If you'd like more nightmare fuel, click the link at the bottom of this article. Comments have been edited for clarity. _
Don’t go upstairs.
“When my grandparents bought their house for a family of 10, my grandpa found a fake wall upstairs. He tore it down to make more room for the family. Behind the wall we’re children’s clothes and play toys, almost like they blocked off the room in a hurry. My mom told me stories of sitting in her room and something circling the walls around her sounding like wall paper being torn.
When she moved out, my aunt moved into the same room. She would wake up with pictures she hung up laying on her chest in the morning. My cousins also have stories of hearing footsteps coming up the stairs and stopping outside their door in the middle of the night. I still don’t go upstairs at their house because it’s always cold and I get weird vibes up there. Even in my adult life I have scary dreams that take place in their upstairs.”
Letting spirits rest.
“When I was in high school my uncle would throw me a couple bucks to help babysit his kids with my aunt. They lived in a two-story house by the water. It was a nice area. The kids were about three and six.
One day I was sitting in their den on my phone when I started to hear a baby crying. Thinking it was the three-year-old, I headed to the bottom of the stairs to check and see if my aunt was up there dealing with it. I called for her a couple times with no response. The baby kept crying. I called for her one more time, and when I got no response I started walking up the stairs. Then I heard my cousins and aunt playing outside.
All the hairs on my body stood up and I literally felt a chill run down my spine. I quietly turned around, walked down the stairs, got in my car and drove away. The ‘baby’ was still crying when I closed the door behind me.
A few years later I was buzzed at a family party and told my uncle the story. He told me that he and his wife used to hear the baby too, and apparently the previous owners had a kid die of sudden infant death syndrome in that room upstairs. He’s uber Catholic and had a mass said for the baby. He said after that it never happened again. Still gives me the willies when I talk about it though.”
Previous tenants still lurking around.
“I lived in an old apartment in 2002. The place was built in 1900, so it was just over 100 years old when I moved in. The living room and kitchen were fine, but the bathroom and bedroom we’re unnerving. I just always felt like I was being watched, especially in the bedroom if the closet door was open. Those unnerving feelings just became moderately uncomfortable as I settled in. I felt safe in the bedroom, but only if the door was locked.
One night I was asleep when there was a loud BANG on my bedroom door. When I got up the courage to get out of bed, I checked the apartment and all the windows were closed and locked from the inside. The door still had the chain secured and no one was in there. I mentioned the closet in the bedroom, how I never liked going in there, and how I never liked if the door was open. For some reason, in my head I would hear gasping noises. So for that reason, the closet stayed closed.
A month or more after I was woken to the bang on my door, I was asleep. But something woke me up, and it was a pressure on me like being held down. It was pitch black in my room. I couldn’t see anything, but I knew some was standing over me. When I could finally turn on a bedside lamp, no one was there. After then I couldn’t sleep in the dark and I had to sleep with a lamp on. That incident scared the life out of me.
After that the unnerving feeling of being watched intensified. Friends would come over, and comment about being uncomfortable in the bathroom like being watched. It became so uncomfortable for me that when I had the chance to move to another unit, I jumped at it. I packed up and got out.
After me, several people rented the apartment, and they would move out within months. I became friendly with the building manager, and I told him that I felt the place was haunted. He kind of laughed it off.
Years after, they were renovating the place and the building manager was doing some painting in there. The building owner was there too. I went and checked out the apartment. It looked nicer and didn’t feel as creepy. I got to talking with the building owner, and through the course of he conversation he just throws it out there that a former tenant had taken their life in the closet by hanging themselves. He also mentioned that the original designer of the building lived in that apartment and also died in there. I wasn’t mad when I heard that, but felt validated that what I experienced was real.”
“While at university my friends and I ran out of adult beverages. Hardly any shops were open because it was late. So, the only option was to walk the mile or so to the nearest 24-hour supermarket.
Between the supermarket and the dorms we lived in was just row after row of suburban houses, which all looked the same. As we were walking down one road we passed a field with a large campfire and some people riding horses around it. There were people playing musical instruments, and general sounds of a good time going on. The horses, the fire, and the lanterns dotted about gave it a very old-fashioned feel.
Maybe five minutes after passing the field, now walking past houses again, one of my friends commented on how weird and out of place that gathering of people had been. My other friend and I had been thinking exactly the same thing so, curious, we turned around and walked back to find out exactly what was going on. There was nothing there. Not just no people or horses, there was no field. Just more and more houses. Even though we were absolutely certain we were on the right road, as we’d simply turned around, we walked up and down the neighboring roads too. We found nothing. We weren’t wavy, though we’d had some drinks, and so I’ve got absolutely no idea what happened that night.”
Yep. Your house is definitely haunted.
“I grew up in a big old house. So many weird things happened there. One night me and my little brother slept in my sister’s room on her floor (kind of like a Friday night sleepover when we were kids). When we woke up the next morning the mirror from her bedroom wall had been taken off and was now between me and my brother. I woke up staring into my reflection. I still get the chills when I think about all the stuff myself, my friends and family saw there. Including the ghost of an old man that was seen three times in my bedroom, once by myself.”
Nothing weird here…
“Four years ago I lived in a very large farm house that was converted into two apartments. The house was known as the ‘old boys home.’ It was used to house boys with behavioral issues but was closed due to allegations of molestation.
I was living with my boyfriend and three-year-old daughter at the time. My bedroom had a large fireplace that had been boarded up and painted over. I decided to push my bed up against it one day while I was rearranging things. That night around 1:00 a.m. I heard a small voice saying, ‘Mom, mom, mommy.’ I sat up in bed but didn’t see anything so I reached over my boyfriend trying to grab down to my daughter and put her in our bed. I kept feeling around and I was still hearing the voice but I couldn’t feel her. My boyfriend woke up and turned the bedside lamp on asking me, ‘What the freakin’ HECK are you doing?’ I explained that Amelia was trying to get in our bed and I was reaching for her. There was nobody there. My daughter was sound asleep in her room.
Then the next night came. Around 1:00 a.m. again my dog had started to whimper at out door so my boyfriend got up to take him outside. You know that feeling in a bed when someone lies down next to you? Where the bed pushes in and there is a warmth in your back? I felt that. So, I assumed my boyfriend had come back to bed. I rolled over and my boyfriend wasn’t in the bed and I felt the bed release pressure. Whatever was laying next to me has gotten up in that second. I moved my bed the next day to the other side of the room and I never had another incident in the two years I remained in that house.”
Pitch a tent, kids.
“I was camping in a valley by myself with no cell service. I stayed late on a trail and ran into a nice local dude as it was getting dark. He showed me a local camping spot close to the road and the river. I had a fire, drank some adult beverages, and listened to my friend’s comedy podcast. I was loud and visible. Because it was dark already I decided to sleep in the back of my truck under my topper next to all of my gear as opposed to setting up my tent.
The next morning I made a fire, cracked a drink open, and started making breakfast. Then I notice that there is a man at the edge of my camp. He comes closer but never looks directly at me. This dude looks homeless, has a long ratty beard and has at least a hundred plastic grocery bags tied all over his clothes. I comment on how nice the day is. No response from him. I offer him breakfast, nothing. He sort of paces around the perimeter of my camp. I offer him a drink. But he just turns around. I’m realizing that there isn’t going to be any good outcomes here.
I had my bear spray and buck knife super close. I give him an ultimatum, ‘You are either going to acknowledge me or leave immediately!’ He ignores me. I grab the bear mace and walk a few steps towards him. He sulked away and I threw my stuff in my truck and left that place right quick. I wonder if he had watched me during the night and I thank my laziness for staying in my truck instead of a tent.”
The woman at the window.
“Back when I was a kid my grandmother had a really close friend who used to help her babysit us. One day she goes missing. The family doesn’t know where she is and we don’t either. About a week later police find her body in a dumpster where she had been dead for four to five days. She had been mugged and had several stab wounds. Incredibly tragic, who would mug an old lady?
Here’s the spooky story. A few days just before she was found, my three cousins swore they saw her walking around in their backyard and knocking on their window. The following day had search going through the area.
It wasn’t until the body was found that we realized what they saw couldn’t be true according to police timeline, but they swore it was her.
The backyard was actually pretty big and long because it was shared by the entire apartment complex which had four units (two upstairs, two down. My cousins were in the downstairs unit on the left). It was gated on all sides by wooden fencing. My cousins window had blind spots so you couldn’t see the entire backyard.
It wasn’t nighttime, but the sun was setting (they said it was almost down at this point), so I assume around 7 p.m. They’re in their room, which has a window that sees into the backyard. It was a low-cost neighborhood and they were pretty poor so their beds only had the mattress, not the frame supporting it. It was a queen and a single pressed up against the wall with the window. So basically, to look into the backyard, you were standing up on a mattress looking against how you normally face (back against the wall, sitting down on the mattress).
Their conversation basically went like this:
Youngest brother: Holy. There’s someone in the back! She just walked away!
Oldest (laying down on the bed): What are you talking about?
Youngest: Dude, it looks like ‘old lady.’ She’s walking around where grandma’s vegetable garden is.
Youngest: Come look. She just walked away.
Oldest (goes and looks): I don’t see anything. Stop being stupid.
The middle brother then came in and went to the window, where he announced that she was coming towards them. They all look to see the lady knocking on the window. They scream, panic, and run out to their dad. He obviously doesn’t believe them, but after a bit gives in. He goes out and checks. Nothing is there.”
The missing house.
“I have an uncle that experiences things like this fairly regularly. He’s a pretty serious guy and not one to make things up, so I believe him.
One of the stories was that he was driving down a country road after shopping and saw a family walking on the side of the road in the middle of summer in St. Louis, so it was hot. But the family was all wearing odd clothes and the first thing he noticed was none of them wore shoes, the clothes were more like shawls or wraps. It was a man and woman with a child so he stopped to offer a ride since it was hot and they were in the middle of nowhere. They agreed and the man said their house was just a few miles down the road. So, he drives them up and drops them off at a little cottage like house on the side of the road. A few weeks pass and he’s with my aunt driving, who he had told this story to. He says, “Up here is the house I dropped that family off at,” and when they got up there there was no house, no nothing. iI was just the ditch and grass, nothing was ever there. So who knows? I’m super skeptical about anything like that but the fact that it was HIM that told me and my aunt corroborating it made me wonder.”
Just passing through.
“I was seven years old when my family had moved to a neighborhood in a more rural area. My backyard backed up to a farm. My brother was 10, and we were exploring our new street the day after we moved in. It was early spring, mid-afternoon, and all of a sudden we see someone in full traditional riding gear riding a giant horse up our empty street. Not galloping, just a casual stroll. When they went past us (can’t remember if it was a man or woman), they didn’t look at us and silently continued by.
Not totally unrealistic that someone would be doing that since I did grow up in an area with lots of horse farms. But the farm behind our house was not an active horse farm (they had, like, one cow and grew corn mostly), and they were coming from the direction where the road dead ends into the woods.
My brother and I decided that it was definitely a ghost.”
A kind visitor.
“A family friend of mine and her sister were once walking their dogs through a huge empty field and they noticed an older looking man coming towards them on an even older looking bike. He was wearing clothes from what seemed to be the 1930s. He looked right at them, smiled and said, “Good morning, ladies.” They just smiled and nodded as he passed them.
They both turned to look around at him no less than 30 seconds later, to see no sign at all of him.
Ghosts have needs too.
“I went to use the bathroom at work and when I entered, there was no one in there. The bathroom has four urinals and four stalls. I didn’t see any feet in any of the stalls. I took up my normal spot inside one stall and was doing my business when I heard the sound of someone peeing into one of the urinals… but no one had entered the bathroom. The door is heavy and loud when it closes, so I would’ve heard someone entering. After a normal amount of time the peeing stopped and I heard a few footsteps. But the door never opened. When I finished up I did a cursory look and there was no one in the bathroom.
It’s a ridiculous story, but I definitely heard a pee ghost.”
“Relics from another time in that building’s life.”
“My wife and I stayed at a nice hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. It was where I asked her to marry me after a lavish meal. I picked the room because it came with a huge Japanese soaking tub that me, a 6’1 man, could barely see over the edge of.
Anyway, the first night we stayed there, we were sleeping in the single king bed. I believe the alarm clock said it was 2:00 or 3:00 a.m. To my left, and just a few feet from me, I heard the sound of a what seemed like a pencil slowly rolling down a sloped surface. It was so deliberate and loud that it woke us both up. It was also so deliberate that, while my heart thumped in my chest from the sudden noise, I quickly convinced myself that it was a pencil sliding off the desk in our room and I went back to sleep.
The next morning, to my surprise, I found that there were no pencils in the room and there was no desk. It was my first night in the room so I assumed that it, like other hotels, had a place to sit and write. Well, that was not the case. The only thing I could find to write with were ballpoint pens with their caps on. They wouldn’t make that distinctive, loud noise that a ridged, wooden pencil makes as it rolls. Furthermore, there was no sloped surface in the room for anything to suddenly roll off of in the middle of the night/morning.
The whole thing was weird enough for us to talk about it that morning. I do not believe in ghosts but to be honest, I’d love to encounter something unexplained. I entertained the idea of a ghost pencil, but knew in my head it had an explanation grounded in reality.
But that’s not all that happened.
That night we were both in the soaking tub. The water was up to my chin. It was great. We were in the middle of February, a cold and miserable month in Pittsburgh. We were sloshing around in the tub having a blast, pretending we were rich.
And then, from the other room, we heard the buzzing of an old microphone hooked up to a PA system. Basically, that sound of feedback that precedes an announcement. The whole room filled with the buzzing sound of microphone feedback. Our hearts thumped in our chests yet again. And then we both practically jumped out of our own skins.
We heard the distinctive sound of someone blowing into a microphone to test it. “Whoooth Whooth.” You could see it in your head it was so distinctive, just like the pencil. My heart went from thumping wildly to thrumming like a hummingbird’s. Naked, I lept from the tub and threw a towel around myself.
‘That was a man blowing into a microphone.’ I said. My wife stayed in the tub, scared and quiet. I searched our room and did not find a speaker, or any kind of speaker grill embedded into a wall or the ceiling. We could not for the life of us find a potential source for the sound other than an iHome speaker that was already playing music from my iPhone.
So that was our story. We still had one more night. We were exhilarated by our engagement and the ghosts that haunted the hotel.
A week later I had the thought to email the hotel. I asked them about their building. Pittsburgh is an old town and downtown Pittsburgh is a very old town. They got back to me and explained, as my jaw dropped, that they used to be an old telephone factory.
I don’t know why I found meaning in that explanation or why it made everything click so well. But my thoughts immediately went to the sounds of a factory–the PA system, the drafting table. All relics from another time in that building’s life.”