Looking for a scary ghost story or two? Thousands of people around the world are sharing their real-life paranormal encounters on Reddit. We’ve collected ghastly ghost stories for your reading pleasure in the past, but we couldn’t resist sharing 13 more. From tales of a nursing home that is haunted by its previous patients to a scared babysitter that comes to realize she’s not alone in the house after all, get ready to keep the lights turned on tonight as we journey into the unknown.
1. A Good Deed
As redditor bbq_licorice recounts, on the way to a church function in Iowa one late afternoon, a van driven by a youth pastor pulled over to aid a man walking alongside the road in the rain. When the pastor asked the gentleman where he was heading, the man stated his destination was just past the town the group was heading towards, and so he joined them on their journey. As they drove, the storm picked up. The sky darkened and rain came down harder, so the group began to sing church songs together to keep the mood high. As the group drove past their destination and towards the stranger’s, it was nearly impossible to see anything, but they kept going.
Shortly after they were just outside the town, the stranger declared they had arrived at his destination and that he wanted to get out, despite the fact that the rain was still coming down hard. Before exiting the vehicle, he asked the pastor for some money. The pastor gave the man four $100 bills, all the money he had on him.
Just as the man exited the van, a crack of thunder drew everyone’s attention away. When they turned back, both the man and the rain were gone. The group was understandably shocked, saying a prayer before heading back to the town. As they drove closer, they realized that the community had been ravaged by a tornado that hit as they drove past it with the man in the car. Everyone in the van spent the day assisting those in need. Later that night, when the pastor pulled out his wallet, he found eight $100 bills.
2. Two Bullets
After Jwalsc’s older brother committed suicide, he was ravaged with guilt for failing to recognize the signs. About a week after his brother’s service, he was back at work as a cop when he and his partner witnessed a crime in progress: a pimp pistol-whipping a sex worker. The cop jumped out of the patrol car and began a foot chase, both guns in hand, with the pimp eventually cutting through a narrow building corridor that led to a courtyard.
Right as the cop approached the courtyard, he heard a voice that sounded just like his brother saying “it’s okay.” He turned the corner to discover the pimp, holding a gun against his head. The cop froze as the criminal pulled the trigger twice.
Then, the cop began to hit the criminal, then subdued him, handcuffed him, and brought him back to the partner. He told his partner about how the criminal’s trigger had been pulled twice, but no shots fired. They opened the gun only to see that the bullets have strike marks on them—meaning they should have fired. He believes, to this day, his brother’s spirit stopped the bullets from firing.
3. The Nursing Home
At one nursing home, several new residents complained to staff and volunteers about other residents coming into their room at night. The problem? The new residents described former residents. Despite the fact that they never met these now-deceased residents, new residents described small details like the color of their nightgowns and the shape of their glasses correctly. Staff has also experienced instances of flickering lights and TVs turning on and off by themselves.
Nerdgirl2 even had her own encounter walking down a hallway. On a rather hot day, she passed through an indoor corridor and got chills and goosebumps, which she couldn’t shake for the rest of the day. Thanks to how often people were complaining about these strange occurrences, the management brought in some to hold a candlelight ceremony and sage cleansing--which seemed to cause the strangeness to cease.
4. The Patient
In another story from Jwalsc, a friend was doing his rounds as a young medical intern and looked in on a dying patient to ensure she was comfortable. After he left the room, the intern took a seat on a nearby chair to complete a patient report. When he looked up, he saw his patient walking out of her room and down the hall. The young doctor called out to her, but she didn’t respond.
When the intern stood up to follow his patient, she disappeared. Confused, the intern went back to the patient’s room, which appeared to still have a light on. He opened the door to a pitch black room. He turned on a bedside table lamp and saw the patient back in her bed, quiet. When he checked her vitals, there was no sign of life.
5. Standing Guard
CharlieBaumhauser recounted living in a battered women's shelter after his parents split in an ugly divorce. His father was granted custody despite the fact that he had abused the children, so mom and the kids ran to Washington. While they were staying in the shelter in Washington, a man began appearing at the edge of Charlie’s bed. He looked kind and watched over Charlie all night, but never spoke.
Until one night, when the man woke Charlie up--shocking him. The man said, “He’s coming. Get out now.” Charlie told his mother, and they immediately packed up and went to a hotel for the night. When they checked back the next day, someone had broken in and clearly gone room to room, looking for the family. After that, the man never appeared again.
6. The Pentagram
On a morning 20 years ago, BigGreenYamo woke up and discovered a pentagram scraped in the frost of their second floor bedroom window. What they found outside their window made it even weirder. On the second floor roof, there were three footprints between the edge of the window and the window--a ten foot space. However, there were no footprints on the snow around the ground leading up to the second floor.
7. The Babysitter
ExcitedForNothing was babysitting for her sister when she experienced something odd. After leaving her young niece in her bouncer while she went to the kitchen for a glass of water, the woman heard her niece giggling and laughing. She assumed it was her sister’s chocolate labs, playing with the young girl, but soon the room she was in grew cold.
Moments later, a loud splintering noise—like a piece of wood had been snapped—made the woman jump and she rushed into the room where her niece was. What she found freaked her out. The room was also cold and smelled of Stetson cologne. Meanwhile, the dogs were huddled in a corner of the room, whimpering as the young girl stared at a corner of the ceiling wide-eyed.
Quickly scooping up her niece, the young woman took them both to a different room. When her sister returned home, she explained what happened, to which her sister rolled her eyes and calmly replied: “That’s Hugh.” Apparently, Hugh was the former owner of the house who had died in the home 10 years before his wife had sold it. Hugh had a habit of following the baby around the house, making his presence known by freaking out the dogs and smelling of cheap cologne.
8. Bon Voyage
A year and a half after ChristineNoelle’s father passed away, her family decided to go on a trip to Maui. Not only was her father someone who loved to travel (despite the family not getting to do it much when the father was alive), but this specific Hawaiian island was a favorite of her father.
After landing at the airport, the family turned their phones on to check texts, emails and voicemails. When Christine opened up her email, she found a forwarded message from her parents’ joint email account, still labeled under her father’s name. In it are pictures that she had sent back and forth with her father shortly before he died. Her sister also had an email from their father’s account, which contained pictures from her wedding, taken just a few months before their father died. Finally, their mother checked her email--she had a different set of family pictures from the email. All of the emails were sent the day they landed.
9. The Cave
Reddit user stone_huntsman works as a cave guide, leading tours for spelunking (or caving). After taking a group down one day, everyone stopped to take a break near a section where you can hear the underground streams flowing through the cave system. While there, they had everyone turn off their headlight, so that they could experience the total darkness.
This group had a slightly different experience. They heard what sounded like another group chatting and throwing rock in front of them--but there’s only a 100 foot drop in front of them, no people.
Everyone eventually put their headlights back on, and they finished the tour. As the guides recorded what happened, about an hour later, they encountered the tour guide for the group behind them. The other guide looked shocked to see them, and asked how they had gotten out so quickly. His tour had the same experience of unexplainable noises. Eventually, law enforcement is called to look for trespassers, but they never found any signs of people sneaking in.
10. The Old Woman
PM-ME-YOUR-POEM and his/her mother had recently moved into a new home when the pair had a ghostly encounter. Since they’d just moved, the mother and writer slept in the same room on the floor. In the middle of the night, they woke up to see the door opening and an old woman creeping by. They hid under the covers and turned away, thinking it was a nightmare.
But then, their mother whispered: “Did you just see someone peer around the door?”
While serving as a caretaker of a small uninhabited island off the Maine coast, robotrossy and his girlfriend began having what he describes as “synchronized nightmares.” While they had never previously discussed the things they were dreaming before dreaming them, they discovered they were sharing these rather involved, highly specific dreams for a month. Later, they were gifted a book with a history of the island. One of the final chapters recounted a history of the hauntings they had been sharing night after night, despite being written years before they came to the island. Spooky.
12. The Nanny
While serving as a nanny for a wealthy family, Dtmourp had an intense experience with spirits. Around the time the young woman started working for the family, the matriarch had several close relatives die in close succession. Understandably, she began counseling sessions to help her deal with her emotions and grief.
One day after the mother left to see her therapist, the nanny got so creeped out she couldn’t even stay in the house. While alone with the child, the nanny saw toys lined up on a counter that no one had been near in hours. She also at one point saw a piano chair moving on its own. The young woman called her sister to have someone talk her down, only to discover things were worse than she thought. Her sister claimed to hear other people talking in the background, even though no one but the baby was there.
Not long after hanging up, the baby began crying. The nanny rushed to get her from her crib, only to find the bedroom door slammed in her face. After eventually prying the door open, she found the baby in the middle of the room on the floor, reaching out to a corner of the ceiling as if it wanted to be picked up by someone who wasn’t there.
Finally, after 45 minutes of equally strange events, the young woman took the baby outside and, when the mother returned home, explained what had happened. The mother admitted having similar experiences, which she claimed had made it hard for her to move on from her recent losses.
13. Demon Dog
In a story told by Redditor EpicTacoTruck’s uncle, one fight between a police officer and his wife led to a terrifying demon-dog encounter. One evening after a K-9 unit officer took home his dog, the couple began to argue.
The fighting eventually boiled over into the wife demanding her husband take his dog out of the house. The officer relented, chaining his dog outside and locking up before going to bed. Around 10 minutes after the officer cut off the bedroom lights, the couple was disturbed by their dog, who had entered the room. The wife, already angry from their argument earlier, barked about putting the dog outside. The officer claimed he had already, but nonetheless took the dog by the collar and led him back downstairs once more.
As the man reached his home’s sliding glass door, he noticed his actual dog outside, running around and growling. He immediately let go of the dog in his grasp and stood back just as it stood on two legs and walked through the glass door, vanishing into the night. While the officer and his wife ultimately got divorced, they occasionally talk over the phone and she has reported seeing the same dog again.