10 People Share Their Creepiest Childhood Encounters with the Paranormal 

    Don't open the door ...

    Some people have had incredibly chilling paranormal experiences as children.

    It’s much more than just hearing a knocking noise and thinking your house is haunted. These Reddit users from across the world have really seen it all: a shadowy figure in their house, restless spirits haunting an old cemetery, a dollar bill inscribed with a creepy message from beyond the grave, and much more.

    1. The Shadow Man

    shadow man creepy story
    Photo Credit: svofski / Flickr (CC)

    “Ever since I was around eight and we moved into our new apartment, I would constantly be up at night for one reason or another. The main reason was a shadow figure staring at me in my bed. It would be a tall figure with a hat that looked like a fedora with a feather and a detective coat. It wouldnt go anywhere except the hallway, which was the way to the bathroom. It would constantly watch me but only at night. It would get so creepy, I would go to the bathroom in my room. After a couple of years it went away. But one night at my grandpa's house, I was laying on an inflatable bed. I heard the noise of the back door opening. It walked right through the wooden door and towards the fridge. Grabbed a sprite from the fridge, opened it, grabbed a straw from a cupboard as if it lived there and knew where everything was. It took a sip of the soda, looked at me then walked out the same way it walked in. I was so scared I didn't say anything until around month later. That was the last time I ever saw the shadow man.” - THEALMIGHTY22 

    Related: House of Horrors: 15 People Share Their True Haunted House Ghost Stories 

    2. The Black Figure

    “When I was maybe 17 years old I saw a very fast, black figure move across my mother's living room. I had never seen anything like it. It paralyzed me, too afraid to move or make a sound. I do not have words to explain the fear I experienced in those moments. Months or years later (I'm not sure how long it was), I saw the same figure again one night in the same room but in a different spot while I was putting on my shoes to go out. I promptly left the house and didn't come back until the next morning when my mom was awake.

    Now nearly 10 years later, my daughter saw the same exact thing in the same room. She did not previously know that I had also seen it, she only found out when she told her grandmother (my mother) about what happened to her. It's been a few months but she is still very bothered by it. When it first happened she was afraid that she was “going crazy.” She was too scared to even talk about it, she had to write it down on a piece of paper to tell me.

    I'm wondering, does the fact that we both saw it make it more likely that it was real, or does it make it more likely that it is some sort of optical illusion created by light or something of the like in that room? I never tell anyone about it because I know they will immediately assume it was a figment of my imagination or peripheral vision but it wasn't anything like a shadow from a car passing by or something like that, it was so fast but so very visible. It had such a presence even in its briefness. It felt very solid, not the way a shadow does. It had this heaviness. It's hard to explain.” - littlepup26

    3. Mortifying Massachusetts

    face in the darkness ghost
    Photo Credit: Yosomono / Flickr (CC)

    “I grew up mostly in New England, more specifically Massachusetts although I was born in Baltimore, MD. My earliest memory is from when I was very young, no older than three. I am 25 now so it seems impossible to have a memory that long ago but I remember being terrified of a figure in the room and the face resembling the ‘tragedy’ mask, a white frown face. I know it is very vague but I remember my parents being in another room playing a board game and then coming in to find nothing.

    My second experience I was probably four to six years old. My grandparents on my mother's side had a cottage on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, the town was called Dennis. I do not remember this first hand but I was with my aunt who at the time was probably in her late teens. She is the person who spiked my interest in the paranormal and always said her and I had a “connection”. We were in the living room soaking our feet in hot water because we had both gotten splinters on the same toe on the same foot. We were alone in the house and according to her I kept pointing to the kitchen and asking who the man was. She checked and there was no one there. This happened several times but nothing ever happened beyond that and no man made an appearance to her. In this same house my grandfather said he saw a woman standing outside his window and two children playing, jumping rope. The neighbors also reported to us several times that while we were out the lights would turn on and off. I'm not sure but given the area of where the house was located it was probably very old. My grandparents shortly after sold the house and I have never been back since” - rwc1313

     Related: 9 Psychological Thrillers That Will Make You Trust No One 

    4. Short, Sweet, and a Little Creepy

    “So some backstory, when I was a kid I used to live in this relatively nice house. It wasn't very big and was on an old piece of property despite the house being relatively new. I was that lonely little bookworm every class has. I spent all my time reading in front of my parents' large book case in their room. Now my little brother hated reading books, so much so that he refused to even get near the bookcase. My parents thought he was just being difficult and let it go. Well yesterday (we are both in our late 20's now), my brother told me that the reason he hated reading was because every time he looked at the bookshelf he would see a little boy standing in front of it. If I was reading a book in front of it, the little boy would stare at me angrily. He would get the same angry stare if he went near the bookshelf as well. I never saw, heard, or felt a presence but it's nice to know my brother loved me enough to tell me 20 years later.” – bilboblaster

    5. Baby Spirits

    creepy childhood paranormal story
    Photo Credit: wsquared photography & creative / Flickr (CC)

    “My parents decided to take up "FindAGrave" as a hobby...and they decided to take my three-year-old brother with them. As they were driving through, my brother asked "What's wrong with those babies?"

    There was nobody around. "What babies?" They asked.

    “THOSE babies. The ones I'm pointing at! Why are they crying?”

    All of the headstones in the area looked identical, as they were from the very early 1800 and 1900s ... but when my parents got out, they indeed found a small group of baby graves.

    Later, he was drawn to one particular headstone and wanted to go to it. When he got to it, he touched it softly before sitting down to watch it with his hands folded in his lap. As a three-year-old with Autism, this was a very odd moment for him.

    The grave ended up being a double grave for a mother and her child.” - ohsnapitstianna

    Related: 7 Haunted Graveyards Where the Dead Do More Than Lie Still 

    6. The Floating Necklace

    “If someone told me this same story I probably wouldn't believe them but it's the only thing that has made me believe in some sort of afterlife/alternate dimension.

    When I was 12 years old I won a 14k gold necklace with a cross pendant from a Kmart claw machine. The day after I won it I walked into my bedroom where I had it sitting in its case on top of my chest of drawers located directly to the left of my bedroom door. Somehow someway the necklace was a good 6ft away in the middle of the room just hanging there like someone was wearing it. I thought my older brother was pranking me so I screamed his name and the necklace just dropped. I thought maybe he had a string on it but that was not the case. I grabbed the necklace and searched for a string and there was nothing. My brother wasn't even home.

    In the same house in that same room I was sitting under my ceiling fan putting on my shoes before school. I had this extremely weird feeling. I don't know why but I looked up and felt even weirder so I scooted back a few feet and within five seconds the glass dome over the lightbulb in the ceiling fan just dropped and shattered right where I had been. I know this could just be loose screws or something.

    This was in a newer house for whatever that's worth.” - MisterCletus

    7. My Granddad's Ghost

    granddad's ghost paranormal story
    Photo Credit: Jen Lund / Flickr (CC)

    “When I was young my grandpa died of a brain tumor. My dad and aunt had to arrange the service. My dad arranged the cremation and my aunt arranged the flowers. She had to go to an ATM to get the money for the flowers. When the money came out she started to count it. When she was almost done she noticed that something was written on one of the bills. It said "greetings from tinus. " What was weird was that my granddad's name was Tinus. I have no logical explanation for it.” – svenbisschops

    Related: 12 Creepy Kids Books That Scarred Us for Life 

    8. My Imaginary Friend

    “So when I was pretty young I had an imaginary friend that I used to talk to and play with whenever. Normally this isn't very weird, but family members say they'd find me in high up cupboards or down in crawlspaces and when asked how I got there I'd say that she led me. I'd just sit in weird places in the dark for long periods of time until they managed to find me. So my going missing was kind of a common thing.

    I always shared a room with my sisters and they say that sometimes in the middle of the night I'd randomly just sit up and start having a conversation by myself. There were some times when things would go missing and I'd say that she took them. No matter how many times they asked me or looked, the things wouldn't turn up either.

    But the creepiest thing is in relation to a specific doll. I had multiple porcelain dolls as a child, but for some reason my imaginary friend and I decided that one was "bad" and buried it in my mother's closet one day. My mother is very religious and hasn't moved it since, at least 18yrs. She says even touching the items on top of it give a very strong feeling of dread. I actually have a little experience with this one because I have a deep irrational fear of that doll. And it isn't like it looks different, or I have a bad memory of it or anything, just something in my brain is programmed to say that it's bad.

    Full disclosure, I had a friend who died when I was very young, probably at about the age when this imaginary friend must've come about. My family tends to throw around the idea that it's either the same person or the miscarriage my mother had after me. Personally I don't know what to think. It'd be different if I remembered any of it. I've been told consistently by "spiritual" people that I have "someone" with me but they always refer to it as a male, when the imaginary friend, the friend who passed, and my-would-have-been sibling were all female.” - EppleBloom

    9. The Shadowy Presence

    shadowy presence scary childhood story
    Photo Credit: kaitlyn hansen / Flickr (CC)

    “This was a strange, near inexplicable moment I had maybe ... 10-12 years ago? Different house than the one I currently live in, different neighborhood that still had brick roads instead of asphalt paving, so an old neighborhood. The house was old too, nice but leaked from the skylights when it rained heavily, creaky stairs, spooky basement. Ironically, this encounter was nowhere near the basement (which I was appropriately creeped out by, but had no actual incidents with).

    Honestly, I've lost so many details of the scene like time and reasons that I can barely set it for you, beyond being a scrawny young girl no taller than five foot. This occurred as I was going from our den to where it opened to the pool room. Sorta weird, L-shaped room. A hefty sliding door closed off the pool room. On the wall that separated the short part of the L from the "display" room (lotsa antiques), we had quite a large dog crate. It was basically cupped by one of those folding partitions like for a dressing room.

    At this point our pets were: two mini schnauzers, two cats, and a rabbit. That might've been my reason to head that way, to feed the rabbit. His hutch was in the walled-in yard in front of the pool, only accessible through the pool room. God only knows why we had such an obnoxiously large dog crate. Our dogs never had reason to be crated and slept on my bed and my sister's bed. It was weird.

    Anyway. As I was moving past the den furniture and towards the pool room door, I felt... God it was hair-raising. Like a presence, something big and dark and mean in that crate. The lighting could never really penetrate the crate properly thanks to bad angles and the partition, and I don't recall trying to look into the crate with much scrutiny. Either way, I had gotten a gut feeling that continuing towards the crate entrance would cause some serious stuff to go down. Being roughly 12-14 at that point, I very smartly got out of there.

    Weirdly enough, this never happened again, and there were no other incidents in this house before moving out.” - Chrysize

    Related: 10 People Share Their Eerie Encounters with ‘Shadow People’ 

    10. Something Followed Me Home

    something followed me home childhood paranormal experience
    Photo Credit: jimmy brown / Flickr (CC)

    “I've had many paranormal experiences in my time, a lot of them way scarier than this one, but this is just one of them. I'm posting this one first just because it's a lighthearted story, and I want to test the waters because I've never shared one online before.

    When I was young, pre-puberty aged, my grandfather lived in a trailer park that was directly next door to what was at the time a large empty field. This was when my grandfather was still active and able to do things like go for walks. One day he suggested that just for fun we should go for a walk to one end of the field and back. We went for a quick walk through the field, filled with tall grass and weeds, and to my surprise there was a cemetery at the other side.

    Now, being the curious kid that I was, and also having a preexisting fascination with all things horror and supernatural, my interest was piqued. Alas, we couldn't explore it, there was a fence in the way. My grandfather and I walked back home, and along the way he joked that a ghost would follow us home from the cemetery. I knew he was joking, but I also knew that he believed in spirits. As did I, so in the back of my mind I humored the possibility that it could happen.

    When we got back to his trailer, I had to pee, so I went to the bathroom. I did my business like usual, and started to zip up my pants. Suddenly, the toilet lid slammed down, and I watched the handle go down right before my eyes. The toilet flushed itself.

    I guess a ghost did follow me home, and apparently they had a sense of humor. Nobody believed me, but I know what I saw.” – CaptainCruiser

    Related: 21 People Share Their Creepiest Experiences of Paranormal Activity 

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    Featured photo: Guian Bolisay / Flickr (CC); Additional photos: svofski / Flickr (CC); Yosomono / Flickr (CC); wsquared photography & creative / Flickr (CC); Jen Lund / Flickr (CC); kaitlyn hansen / Flickr (CC); jimmy brown / Flickr (CC)

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