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10 Chilling Stories That Prove Truth Is More Terrifying Than Fiction


I consider myself very lucky that I don’t have any stories like these. Frankly, they made me want to check my closets while I was reading–so I can only imagine how petrifying it must have been to actually live through them.

All of these tales are allegedly true. Hats off to the 10 AskReddit users for proving that truth is indeed a whole lot scarier than fiction:

1. Imaginary Friend

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  • Photo Credit: Mike Sansone / Flickr (CC)

When I was younger, I had an imaginary friend who lived in this massive antique dresser. We’d chill out and I vividly remember him telling me stories, although I have absolutely no recollection of what they actually were.

I remember one day talking to my parents about it (Dad traveled quite a bit so he wasn’t up to date with what I was into) and when I started telling him about my dresser buddy, he wanted to know his name. It was something innocent like Peter or Patrick but I can still see him going white in the face.

I drew Peter/Patrick out for him and the very next day him and my uncle took out that dresser and burned it. It wasn’t until a few years later when I found out my Dad’s little brother (my uncle) also had the same friend with the same name who lived in the same antique dresser. After a few months of the typical imaginary friend stuff, my uncle started having night terrors and couldn’t sleep because of Peter/Patrick. It got so bad that they had to move him out of his room before he managed to get back to normal.

2. Holiday Home Invasion

My friend and I were going to a party a few hours out of town, so we decided to stay at her family’s holiday house about an hour south of the party. We arrived around mid-afternoon, and it was winter in a holiday town, so the area was completely empty–no other cars on the street.

When we left for the party I spent a moment deciding whether to pull the gate all the way closed. I’d had some trouble opening it earlier when we arrived, and if we were getting home late at night I didn’t want to be stuck outside. I decided to shut it for security.

Party was great, we got back to the holiday house around 12:30, and the gate was open. I immediately felt on edge because not only did I know I’d locked it, but I knew it couldn’t just blow open in the wind. I didn’t want to make a big deal so I was vague when my friend asked if I’d shut it.

We went inside, and decided to make a snack. I was wandering through the house when suddenly my friend raced from the kitchen into the hallway and virtually tackled me to the ground; she was convinced she’d heard someone walking around outside. We tried to calm ourselves down, but we had no cell reception and there was no one else around. Over the next half hour or so, as we sat in the hallway paralyzed with fear, we heard footsteps outside, and the back door being jimmied.

We decided we had to leave, so we gathered everything up and got ready to make a break for the car. Just as we were at the front door ready to leave, there was a huge bang in the back yard, and suddenly what sounded like hundreds of birds started screaming. We legged it to the car, ended up starting it with all our stuff still on our laps, we hadn’t bothered to even put it in the backseat. As we reversed out the driveway we saw somebody running up the side of the house towards us.

Sped the entire way home and even once we got back to my place, didn’t sleep at all that night.

3. Answer the Phone

About a couple weeks after I was born my dad’s best friend, Jim, died. They were really close, and one of the last things he wanted was to hold little me before he passed. His wish was filled, and some short time after that he was gone.

Fast forward seven years. I’m now a happy seven-year-old kid with a five-year-old brother and newborn sister. One day the phone rings, and with my mom out and dad in the washroom I thought it was going to be ignored as we kids were still too young to answer the phone (no call display, we didn’t know if there would be a stranger). But my brother broke the rules and answered. “Hello?”

At this point my dad is out of the washroom and is asking my brother to hand him the phone. He ignores him and keeps listening to whoever is speaking. Before my dad could ask a second time my brother hangs up, looks at him and says, “Jim says hi, and he misses [says my name],” then goes back to playing. The look of shock my dad had is what I remember most about this.

Related: Sheer Terror: 30 People Reveal The Scariest Thing That Ever Happened To Them 

4. Break In

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  • Photo Credit: Mike Schmid / Flickr (CC)

Years ago, my father decided to check on the progress of our new house which was being built. He was there for a few days and was staying at some crappy Motel 6. His room was the last room at the end of the hallway on the top floor. On the last night he was in town, he awoke to the phone ringing in his room. He groggily answered. It was the front desk. “Sorry to wake you, but we’ve been receiving a couple of reports about rooms being broken into and some stuff being stolen. We are calling to make sure you lock your door and are safe.” My father replied that he was fine and hung up. He decided to go double check that he locked the door.

As he sat up in bed he noticed that the door to his room was ajar. Spooked, he cautiously checked the room and found that nothing was missing and no one else was in the room. He crept to the door and peeked out. Sitting right outside his room on the window sill of the hallway window was his shaving kit. Creeped out of his mind, he quickly grabbed it and locked the door. After he calmed down a bit he called down to the front des. “Hey, you just called me about the break ins around the hotel, and I just want to report that my room was broken into when I was sleeping, nothing stolen and I am fine. Figured you would like to know” The front desk replied, “You must be mistaken, we never called your room and we haven’t received any reports of break-ins.”

5. A Midnight Hike

It was near Halloween time when my friends and I were telling ghost stories. My friend said she was going to tell a story about her parents’ first date. She said she didn’t like telling the story, since it was actually true, but we prodded her on.

To cut to the chase, the parents had spent a nice, if awkward first date, and around the time that they would have said “good night,” the male in the situation–my friend’s dad–suggested that they go for a midnight hike up Provo Canyon. He apparently knew the place, since he had done a fair amount of rock climbing in the area. So the two drove up the mouth of the canyon, got out of their cars and started hiking under just the light of the stars, since it was a new moon.

At some point, the male starts getting a “bad feeling,” since the pathway ahead, which would pass under some trees, would be dark, and because it was getting to be quite late. He ignores the feeling and presses on. In later tellings of the story, the female would say that she had felt the same feeling at what was probably the same time, though she didn’t know the trail like he did. A minute later, the feeling came back to the male. He ignored it again, and started walking a bit of the way into the trees when his foot hit something “soft” in the middle of the path. Under the trees, it was too dark to see just what this soft thing was, and the feeling came back stronger than ever. Instead of finding out what his foot had bumped into, he and the female both agreed to hightail it out of there.

Years later, after being married for some time, they were watching an interview with the serial killer, Ted Bundy. In response to a question asking him to describe the time that he felt the closest to being caught, he explained about the night that he lured a girl into Provo Canyon, and had just killed her when he heard some people coming up the trail. He explained how he hid in the trees just in time, only to watch some guy walk right into the body, and for some reason, just turn around and walk away.

Related: 15 True Crime Books by Ann Rule That You Won’t Be Able to Put Down 

6. “What are you doing?”

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I were sleeping together, when I woke up to her saying “What are you doing?” She sometimes talks in her sleep, but this sounded so coherent and urgent that it jolted me awake and I asked what she was talking about. She then woke up and said she thought she saw someone at the end of the bed. Thinking it was just a dream, or semi-awake hallucination, we thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

About an hour later, I woke up and saw someone standing on the bed, with the sheets wrapped up and twisted to their neck. I didn’t know what do but the first thing that came out of my mouth was “What are you doing?” My girlfriend then woke me up. I had been dreaming the exact same thing that she did, and said the exact same thing.

7. Haunted Hotel

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  • Photo Credit: P. Lujan / Flickr (CC)

One of my brothers worked security in one of New York City’s most upscale hotels. The security desk received a frantic call during one of his night shifts. A guy was calling, all freaked out that his wife was in the bath and was not breathing. My brother and another security guard rushed upstairs to the room. Sure enough, they found a woman in the tub, and she was unresponsive. My brother and the other guard got her out of the tub and attempted CPR. In the interim, during resuscitation attempts, the NYPD arrived. They told my brother to stop CPR because the lady was obviously dead and in their opinion, had been for a couple of hours. The husband was questioned extensively. He told law enforcement that he and his wife had a fight earlier in the evening.

He went out on his own and when he came back, his wife was in the bath. He says he went to bed at that point but later became concerned when his wife didn’t come to bed. Privately, among all those present, the general consensus was that the husband had something to do with it but it could not be proven. A couple of weeks later, the room was again made available to guests, and of course the incident was not mentioned. A woman who frequently stayed at the hotel, made a reservation for a week and was assigned to that room. She was the first person to stay in the room since the incident.

She came to the front desk first thing in the morning, very upset, and with all of her luggage in tow. She said that she was canceling the rest of her reservation and that she would NEVER be staying in the hotel again. She said that she did not sleep the entire night and that the room was haunted. No one at the hotel had mentioned to her what had previously transpired in the room. While my brother worked there, every guest who stayed in the room, called about strange goings on and many asked to be switched to another room.

8. “Static mixed with screams”

A few years ago my brother would get a call on his cellphone around 2:00-3:00 A.M. every night. He would answer and it was this hellish sounding noise. Like static mixed with screams. He changed his cell number after a month of this and it stopped.

Then after a week or so it began again. The exact same noise. Exact same time. Finally one day he decided to backdial the call. It was an old man that had no clue what he was talking about. Still the calls persisted. If he didn’t answer, it would call a few more times. No messages were left.

He decided to say screw it. Ended his contract with his phone company, switched to a new one, and then got a new number. You guessed it, the screaming static calls continued after a short delay. By this time he was terrified every night, unsure why this was happening. He backdialed the number again and got a different person.

Around this time he lost his job and his phone. The calls stopped of course. His phone was disconnected now. So one day my mom asks me to listen to this weird message she got on our home phone.

It was the static screaming. We showed my brother and he was freaking out. He backdialed the number again and it said the number was disconnected this time.

Never heard from it again after that.

Related: 10 Scary Children’s Books That Still Creep Us Out as Adults 

9. On the Porch

A few years ago I went to a Christmas party. That night my housemates went home earlier while I decided to stay and get in the Christmas spirit with a few other friends. I ended up getting pretty hammered and got home around 3:00 A.M. Instead of going straight to bed I got another beer inside then went out the back porch to have a smoke and look at the stars.

I was outside a couple of minutes when I see the light go on in the kitchen, my housemate comes out and looks at me out the back, I wave and generally look like a drunk idiot. I thought he was going to come out and get a debrief on the rest of the evening, as there were some good laughs we had. Anyway, he just gets a glass of water and goes to bed, I finish my smoke and beer and so do I.

The next morning we’re re-hashing the previous night when he mentions getting up and seeing me having a smoke out the back. “Who came back from the party with you last night?” I give him a sideways look and reply, “no one, dude, I was out there alone.” He insists. “Nah, man, there was someone out there with you, behind you on the porch, when you were looking inside waving. I didn’t come out cause I thought it was some random friend from the Christmas party I didn’t know, couldn’t be bothered making introductions.” To this day he stands by this version of events, whoever it was must have been standing close behind me the whole time, I saw no one and heard nothing. Gives me chills every time I think about it.

10. Mr. Cho

I work the 3-11 shift at a seasonally driven hotel. In the off season (October-May), we go from two people at the front desk each shift to one person. I’m the supervisor, so I get stuck alone a lot. Last February-ish, on a Monday, around 10:00 P.M., the phone rings. I answer with my usual hotel spiel, “Thank you for calling the [name of hotel], how can I help you?” On the other end of the line was an Asian guy who spoke little English.

He paused for a second before asking me something. “I’m sorry sir I only speak English, I can transfer you to reservations, they have translators.” CLICK. Dude hangs up on me.

Now my shift ends in an hour. I have a system down, where I do all my closing reports, count my bank, all that stuff to get ready to get outta there. In the middle of counting my bank, phone rings again. “Thank you for calling [name of hotel], how can I help you?” It was the same guy! At this point I’m a little annoyed, and I transfer him straight to reservations so they can find someone who understands what he wants. Not five seconds after I transfer him, the phone rings again. It’s the Damn guy only this time, in very broken English, he asks to talk to Cho. “I don’t have a Cho who works here, is he a guest with us?” The guy is talking very fast to someone in the background when a younger guy gets on the phone. “I’m very sorry to bother you but my father is confused, who am I speaking to?” I’m getting more annoyed by the second. Is it time for me to go yet?! “This is the [name of hotel], who are you guys trying to reach?”

The son doesn’t say anything for a second, then I hear him speaking to his dad in the background. After a few seconds of (what sounds like) arguing, the son comes back, apologizes for bothering me, and hangs up. Phone rings again. It’s the son.

“Look, ma’am, I’m really sorry but I’m not trying to call you, we have been trying to call my dad’s best friend Cho all night. He’s had the same phone number for years and we have never had a problem. Only the past couple of times it reroutes us to you.”

I tell him what my phone number is, and he tells me the number he’s trying to dial. I recognize it as a cell phone number from my state, but it shouldn’t reroute to my hotel. I get the son's number, tell him I’ll try dialing Cho’s number, and I’ll let him know. Dial up Mr. Cho, and instead of going to voicemail, it takes me to my hotels extension options, where if you hit 0 you’ll ring the front desk. Ok, this is getting weird. I call the kid back and tell him my findings. The family on the other end is in a panic when the son tells me the reason why they need to get a hold of Cho.

“Look, ma’am, I don’t mean to freak you out but Cho was fired from his job yesterday and he’s been acting very strange ever since.

This morning he texted my dad basically a suicide note, thanking him for being such a good friend, asking him to look out for his wife and daughter, and that he hopes they meet again one day. Cho hasn’t answered any calls since then. We talked to his daughter a few hours ago and she says he hasn’t been home all day, and their hand gun and rifle are both missing. Is there any way you can look up to see if he’s staying there or maybe you know something?”

At this point I’m freaking out. It’s dead quiet in the hotel, I have maybe 10 rooms in house. It’s just me and the housekeeper. I know for a fact that we haven’t had an Asian gentleman check in with us in over a week, and I checked in almost everyone who came in that day, I know there is no Mr. Cho at my hotel. I apologize profusely and explain no one here who fits the description. The best thing to do would be to contact the local police and report a missing person, and maybe call my town's police and report it to them too. I say if I find anything out I’ll call them. They thank me and we disconnect. It’s 10:45 and it's creepy at the hotel. Is it possible someone checked in for him? Are the housekeepers going to walk in to a dead guy in the morning? The overnight guy comes in and I don’t tell him anything. He’s already paranoid and weird to begin with, telling him would make things worse.

Fast forward three days and a body of an unidentified Asian man is found in the bay about two blocks from my hotel. He had a gunshot wound in his head. Later that day he is identified by a family friend as Mr. Cho.

Maybe not scary or supernatural, but definitely the creepiest thing that has ever happened to me.

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Featured photo: Rachel Titiriga / Flickr (CC);  Additional photos: Mike Sansone / Flickr (CC); Mike Schmid / Flickr (CC); P. Lujan / Flickr (CC)