Don’t believe in ghosts? Well, these chilling tales might just change your mind. The following AskReddit thread is all about creepy first-time encounters that people had with the afterworld and/or paranormal activity that made them turn into solidified believers.
Source list available at the end.
When I was a child, I always had these bizarre dreams. In them, I had a friend named “Michael.” He was a young boy (maybe a few years older than I was), and we would always play games and have fun together. When I told my parents, they didn’t seem to care too much. That is, until I described him to them one day. Unbeknownst to me, Michael had the same name and appearance as my uncle who had died in a boating accident as a child. His death devastated my grandparents, so my family never displayed any photos of him (which was what really freaked my mom out because how did I know what he looked like and how he acted if I had never seen him?).
After a couple weeks, my family decided to light some candles and pray in an attempt to exorcise him I guess. When I went to bed that night, I had a dream where a very serious Michael offered me some candy (it looked like a red jawbreaker). He kept on insisting over and over that I eat a piece of the candy. Seeing him so serious scared me. He had always been so happy and playful, so I declined his offers. The last thing I remember before waking up was seeing how sad he was.
That was the last time I saw Michael. When I told my mom, she looked relieved and told me, “That was him trying to take over your body.” No one’s talked about it for about 15 years. I’d have to ask my mom about the story again.
My mother passed away from cancer when I was 15. In the house that we were living in, at the time, the office was across the hall from my bedroom. When I went to bed, my mom would usually be in the office browsing the net. She was a loud typer, and the noise would always wake me up. After she passed, the screen would come on from activity on the computer, and I would hear typing even though nobody else was home. I know it wasn’t a dream.
I was probably around 7 or 8. My parents were throwing a big summer party for my dad’s birthday. All of the adults were on the deck or inside, so us kids (there were around 8 of us between the ages of 5-12) decided to play ‘Ghost in the Graveyard.’ Our yard was narrow but very long with a lot of grass on the left, and a raised deck that spanned the whole right side of the yard. For a short kid, you could easily crouch and walk around under the deck. It made for some pretty awesome hiding spots.
I was at the very back of the yard and hiding next to the shed in the pitch dark. I had a little flashlight, but this was my yard. I knew every inch of it and felt comfortable being in the dark. I could hear the other kids on the side of the yard that was all grass, but from where I was, I was looking directly at the underside of the deck that went around our above ground pool. I heard a noise and looked over to see if anyone was coming from under the deck. I remember suddenly freezing in place.
From under the deck, this thing came forward. It was all black and just this dense black shadow that was around the size of a large man. It was definitely not a kid, and there was no way an adult could have crawled the whole length of the deck to the back of the yard while making such little noise. It looked like it was made of smoke. It also moved weirdly as if it was unfolding. I was terrified. All I could do was stare and hear my blood pounding in my ears. It stood up all the way. It was massive. The only way I could describe it was like a silhouette of the Hulk. It stood there for a moment, then it walked through the chainlink fence into my neighbor’s yard and blended into the trees.
I started crying and ran for it until I found my best friend Adam and just wailed. He was so confused and just brought me inside to my mom. I was so scared to go outside for a few months after that, and I NEVER went back under that deck again. We moved from that house when I was 11 (I’m 28 now), but I can still clearly remember that thing in my mind. I’ve seen other things a few times since, but that was my first experience with the paranormal, and it was by far the scariest.
I had a ghost save my life from what could’ve potentially been a very serious car crash. I was recklessly driving home from work at midnight at around 60 mph down a curvy hill when I saw a man with a white shirt waving his arms frantically. I braked hard, and there was a car about 100 yards down from the ghost.
When I was younger, I had an invisible friend my family and some other people knew about named “Tom.” For some reason (between the ages of 6-10), I had the ability to imagine what future events would look like for the people I knew like my mom, dad, and siblings. Pretty soon, I was telling people exactly where they would be standing, at the same time, the next day. All of this only occurred while I played with Tom, who was always smarter and a step ahead of me. It’s hard to explain, but looking back on those years now, I know there was definitely something unnatural about what was happening.
There were multiple reports of elderly female around the house that even the serious skeptics were turned into believers. One night, we began discussing it around the kitchen table.
My grandfather, who had been drinking all night, had a tumbler of vodka in front of him with some ice cubes in it. He didn’t filled it, nor had he had a drink in a few minutes. When we begin speaking about a person named “Francis,” the ghost loudly proclaimed that this was untrue. “There’s no ghost named Francis here!” He didn’t quite yell. He just said it with a lot of conviction.
His glass shattered. It didn’t break or crack, but it actually shattered. It was like it had been slammed down or something. That was the last weird occurrence, and we’ve had no sightings since. I’m convinced she was unaware of her purgatory-like state, and his yell in her presence shook her from that fog which then allowed her to move on.
My fathers father committed suicide in 1988. I never got to know him since I was born years later. There was this dream I had that Ill never forget. It was about my grandfather and I hanging out and getting to know one another. We were talking, laughing, and I was just so happy to see him. I woke up in tears, and it was like I was missing something. The weird part is, I look JUST like him even down to the fact that we’re both (or were both) left-handed. My whole life Ive been longing for him and that relationship because I really felt like I embodied him.
Sometimes, I feel like Im living the life he wanted but never got to have. I feel like he was the best friend I never got to know, and I love him even though we’ve never ever met in real life. I feel him in me, though, and from what my dad has told me about him (which hasn’t been a lot), he would’ve been someone I would’ve relate to the most out of all of my family members.
When I was younger, a few years after my grandma had died, the TVs in our house would randomly turn off. It wasn’t the power going out or anything like that, but just the TVs. Once, I remember my older sister and I were fighting about something. We had our living room TV on, and it suddenly turned off. Needless to say, we stopped fighting. I’ve also had other recent experiences involving dead pets.
When I was around 12, my family and I moved into our new house. Money was tight, so we were renting it. It was a fairly nice place and newly built, so I liked the sound of it. We arrived to start unpacking. I stepped inside to check out the place, but right away, something just seemed…off. I told my mom and she said it was because it was a fairly new place, and I should get over it (which I did).
On the first night, I was sitting in what was supposed to be our dining room, playing games on my DS when I heard my 6-year-old brother say, “Hey, guys.” When I looked over, I saw that ALL of the cupboards were opened. Now, none of us could’ve reached the ones on top because they were WAY too high. My dad was the tallest at the time at around 5’6. Somehow, my sister managed to convince everyone that I was playing a prank, but I was totally freaking out, too. Somehow, I managed to convince myself that it was my sister trying to get me in trouble.
After a few days, we all began to notice some pretty weird things. Shadows moving past windows, our puppy barking at one specific corner of the house, and the shed in the back was a “no-go zone” for everyone even our puppy hated it. One Saturday morning, we woke up early while our mom was taking our dad to work (He didn’t drive. He got into a car accident when he was 18 and refused to drive ever since). As my sister and I were watching cartoons, our little brother started screaming, ran to us crying, and said how he saw a witch. We hid in our rooms, and we told our mom about it all once she got back. She asked my brother what he saw, and he described it as a black, shadowy figure (This took place during broad daylight.) She obviously thought that it was his imagination and dismissed the whole thing.
At that point, I was completely scared by all of the weird things that were happening, and I asked my sister if I could sleep by her that night (She was doing karate, so I felt safer by her side). She agreed. That night I woke up early and looked into the corner of the room. It was just standing there- staring. It scared the hell out of me. I ran to my dad, and he let me sleep by him and my mom. After 3 months, we moved the hell out.
Just a few months ago, my mom and I were talking about that house. She finally told me that she did think it was haunted. I asked her why and she said something really creepy, “I saw a black shadow in the corner of your room when you were a kid. It was just staring at you. I used to hide crosses in your room thinking it would scare it off.” Also, after doing some research, my mom found out that the owner’s husband had passed away in that house.
I worked in a house that was built during the 18th century (owned by a signer of the Declaration of Independence), so I’ve had plenty of encounters. Just yesterday, as I was walking up to the second floor to turn off the lights, I heard someone sigh really loud and could feel their breath on my shoulder. I’ve heard conversations occurring and footsteps while I’ve been the only one in the house. Doors that are completely shut will open by themselves. Thankfully, everything I’ve experienced has been benign, but it’s still weird.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone walk by my room when no one else was home. I’ve heard a young girl giggle from the hallway when there were no females in the house. There have also been a number of times when I’ve FELT like someone was watching me in a curious way rather than it being anything sinister. It has happened at others house, too. Either when I’m asleep or alone in the house and at different times of the day.
The odd thing is, these things have happened in multiple houses/apartments that I’ve lived in. I feel like I’m being followed by the spirit of a young girl. Granted, I haven’t felt that “being watched” feeling in a while. So, she may have moved on or found someone else to watch.
I don’t really believe in ghosts. However, I did abruptly wake up one night due to some coughing. I then saw a figure in my room that was bent over my bed and staring at me. It stood up and slowly faded away. I don’t even know how to explain it.
I confirmed that I was awake and not dreaming. My dad said it was probably just my grandpa watching over me (since I was pretty sick at the time). Id like to believe that, but probably not. He died on the same day I was born, and my dad has said before that we had very similar personalities.
According to my parent’s account, when I was super young (like 3 or 4-years-old), I was inconsolable one night after witnessing something in my bedroom. It was a black dog or something? I honestly can’t remember. The result of that weird week was having our local parish priest go through our entire family home and blessing it. Somewhat related, my dad admits to growing up in a haunted family home in his childhood. His siblings were also particularly sensitive to paranormal things.
This past summer, my grandmother suddenly passed away from a stroke.
The day after I was sitting in my living room with my mother when the TV suddenly turned on and started blaring Japanese music on YouTube (she was Japanese). We checked the source and turns out, it was the laptop connected to the TV. It was turned off. We were all freaked out so we checked all of our YouTube accounts histories, and nothing came up…
A few days later, my brother was looking for videos of her to play at the funeral, and he found a video of her looking back and waving. The date stamp on the video was the exact date and time as when she passed away, just a few years earlier.
After the funeral, all of my house’s applicances started breaking down (fire alarm, washer, fridge, microwave) all within a few days. We got everything fixed up except the microwave, which had to be taken to a specific factory for repairs. When my dad drove out there, he realized that the factory was right beside my grandmother’s grave.
Around the same time, my mom (who always drove my grandmother around) started noticing that her car’s seatbelt alarm (the one that goes off when you sit on the passenger seat without a seatbelt) started going off when she was driving alone.
I’ve never been a believer in ghosts before, but it oddly gives me a sense of comfort knowing my grandmother could still be with me.
I stayed in a hotel’s haunted room. On two consecutive nights when I walked to my door, the light in the closet across the hallway would click on audibly as I approached. I just wrote it off as housekeeping, but the second time it struck me as enough of a coincidence to look in and see that there was neither a person nor another exit in the room. Also on the second night, the radio in my room (which I’d never used) was blaring salsa music when I returned. Although, that could have been the staff’s doing. They may have just forgotten to turn it off after cleaning.
I mentioned it to a housekeeper before checking out. She told me that my room was where all of the weird stuff was happening (things like faucets turning themselves on and the toilet flushing by itself) Luckily, none of those things happened while I was there.
I lived in a 150-year-old house that had been in and out of the family for about 100 years. My great-great-grandmother died in that house, specifically in my bedroom, and her funeral was held in our living room. I wasn’t aware anyone had died in the house until I was a little older, but from the time that I was 3-6, I frequently woke up in the middle of the night to an old woman in a night grown staring over me at the foot of my bed. I would say hello, but she would never respond.
After about 10 seconds of having her stare at me, she would disappear. No one believed me, and they told me I was dreaming. Until one day, we went to my great-aunt’s house. She was showing us old photographs from when she was a child, and I came across a familiar face (It was the ghost from my childhood, my great-great-grandmother who had died in my bedroom).
Apparently, she loved children and frequently tucked my great-aunts and my grandfather (her grandchildren) in at night. I was so freaked out by the whole experience. I still am, over a decade later, but it’s nice to know that she was at least a friendly ghost
I moved into a place where the family next door and the last tenant of my apartment both died in their homes. One night, I was in bed and looking at my phone. I was probably reading through Reddit when it suddenly got really cold like walk-in cooler cold. I thought that it was weird for a hot summer night with a subpar air conditioner, but I just pulled on some covers and kept reading.
My phone then died. Alright that was weird I thought. I went to check on my computer, and shortly after browsing there, it also died. What the actual hell. So, I’m just sitting there. All of a sudden, I don’t feel so alone anymore. I had my covers pulled up to my eyeballs, no phone, and I’m just looking around my room waiting for something to happen.
The light turns on.
NOPE. I frantically fumbled for my phone and grabbed a bat under my bed (because I was going to beat the ghost?) I eventually calmed down enough to remember that people who believe in ghosts always say that you can ask them to leave. Worth a shot I thought.
“Hey… So um…. I work really early in the morning, and I need to sleep. You’re scaring me, and I would prefer it if you left. Sorry… No hard feelings.”
Not more than 5 seconds later, the light goes off. I slept in the living room with my dog that night.
A friend of mine had a young daughter (around 2 or 3). The poor guy died of a drug overdose. Two days after he died, my mom and the girl’s aunt were watching her. She was just staring out of the glass door, waving, and saying, “It’s daddy!” She looked like she was watching something move upwards. She turned around and said, “Daddy flew up to heaven.”
There was a game that we used to play as kids where I’m from. We’d all (ages 10-17) go as a group to a cemetery at around midnight to 2AM. The game was more like a dare. A few kids would run around the cemetery while dragging a broom behind them. I was around 10 or 11-years-old and was one of the few kids who was dared to run through dragging a broom. So, myself and the other three go sprinting through. All of a sudden, we felt like the broom was getting heavier as we ran, but when we looked back, there wasn’t anything there. Once the broom became too heavy to drag, we just dropped them there, and everyone went dashing out of there without even looking back at.
I used to work at a pretty well-known haunted house, so Ive witnessed everything from a lady being pushed to her purse going from on her shoulder to across the room. Now, the house I worked in was used as a civil war hospital back in the day. It had a mass grave out in the back, and a section of it was even built on an Indian Burial ground. Plus, numerous owners have been murdered inside the walls of the home. Now, when this incident that Im referring to happened, I was doing a tour and we got to a section of the house where a young lady passed away in the bed during childbirth. It was three individuals, two females and one male. As I was telling the story of the young girl, she stopped me and went, The only ghost I believe in is the Holy Ghost. Right then, she got pushed. The lady went from a very dark complexion to an almost caramel color immediately. She left the house and waited in the car while I finished my tour with her friends. I’ve also heard disembodied voices, as well as, seen things move constantly in that house.
My family and I used to live with my grandparents when I was in my early years of grade school. They lived in this huge house with a long main hallway that looked really creepy at night.
My little brother and I were hanging out in my room when my grandparents’ caretaker called us for dinner and quickly left. To get to the kitchen, we had to pass through the main hallway. At the end of the hallway was the foyer where the front door was (which was completely pitch black at night). The door was also a foot past the entrance to the kitchen. My little brother and I were halfway to the kitchen when we saw a white figure walking towards us in the foyer.
The weird part is, I only saw the bottom half of its body. The upper half was completely covered in darkness. I thought it was the caretaker because she was wearing a white uniform, so I called out to her multiple times. I knew I wasn’t seeing things because my little brother was calling out to her as well and even gave me a look that said, “Are you seeing this?” The figure never replied and just kept walking towards us. My brother and I did the ballsiest thing we’ve ever done. We screamed, ran towards the figure, and made a sharp right turn to get into the kitchen. We never saw it again.
I made it my personal duty to turn on the lights in the hallway every evening after that.
I felt some pressure at the bottom of my bed once. It was like someone was sitting down. I’d read a ton of online stories and just from the people that I knew who believe in the paranormal about feeling someone sitting on their bed. Many considered it to be comforting like a deceased grandparent watching them sleep. It was not super comforting to me. I don’t like being watched when I’m awake, so I started moving my legs frantically. I didn’t want dead ancestor watching me sleep, please leave, and give me that blanket space back.
Cue my cat, who I had only had for maybe a week, go flying off the bed with the speed of my foot thrashing. Yeah, it really took sometime to get used to having a pet.
Posts are edited for clarity.