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19 Seriously Scary Ghost Stories To Haunt You for Life

Say goodbye to a good night’s sleep.

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  • Photo Credit: Havard Blackmoor / Flickr (CC)

Are you tucked up in bed ready for a good creepy tale or two? Well, say goodbye to a good night’s sleep because these real life, scary ghost stories shared by the good people of Reddit are guaranteed to haunt you long after you turn the lights out. Wait. Did you hear that noise? It sounded like it was coming from under the bed … Just setting the mood for you folks. Enjoy.

1. “You Need To Go Outside”

I used to live in a house that backs up to a big public open space where there are hiking trails. Lots of joggers and people walking their dogs.

Anyway, one night I had a kinda creepy dream that an old lady came into my room and was trying to get me to come outside. The dream woke me up so I got some water and turned off my fan because it was cold and then I fell asleep again.

I went right back into the same dream with this old lady coming in my room and calmly saying “You have to go outside now.” I kept telling her no it was too cold. I woke up again and my fan was on. I figured I must have just thought I turned it off or the button got stuck so I got up, turned the fan off and went back to sleep.

This time, I had the same exact dream except she was much older looking in this one and was really agitated. She was yelling “Go outside! You MUST go outside!!” I got up in the dream and followed her to the hallway. When I got to the hallway, she wasn’t there and then I woke up and I was actually standing in the fucking hallway. I have never ever walked around in my sleep before or after this. Also, my fan was on when I went back to my room…

At this point, I was freaked out so I got something to eat and watched TV for a couple hours. I went back to bed around 5 or 6 and the dream didn’t come back.

The fucked up part is a couple of days later, I saw that there were police cars in the open space and when I asked my mom what happened she said they had found an older woman who was reported missing a few days before. She must have had a heart attack or a stroke or something on the trail by my house and they had found the body. – RawrDub

2. The Little Girl On The Tricycle

I was driving home from work one night when I see a little girl on a tricycle riding across the street and into some woods that drop off into a creek. I brake and skid to avoid her and walk to where I thought she fell.

I see no one and a cop pulls up to ask me what I am doing. I tell him he was the person I needed (I was still in my security uniform) and tell him that I saw a little girl riding her tricycle across the street heading into that area where it dropped off.

He then tells me right away that I see what some other drivers here see. It was more than 40 years ago a child was killed riding her tricycle across that section of road. Others have seen her multiple times. Sometimes walking other times on her tricycle.

After some construction brought change to that section of road with expansions and barriers the sightings all ceased.

3. Two Large Knocks

scary ghost stories attic

Photo: Chris Marquardt / Flickr (CC)

When I was young I used to stay at my grandparents house, they had a walk-in attic which I was absolutely petrified of … and of course I had to sleep in the room just past the walk-in attic. The house was out in the countryside, it was so quiet you could always hear if anyone else was still up.

I used to have real trouble getting to sleep and would often wake up in the middle of the night afraid to move so I would just lie still. Anyway one night about 3:00-4:00 A.M. I woke up and I was feeling brave, I was going to get over this stupid fear of the dark… so I whispered under my breath “If anything is there please tell me” almost instantly there was two large knocks on my bedroom door. I never asked again. – Sonneti

4. No One Wants To Live Upstairs

This happened when I stopped by a friend’s house for dinner. They lived in a 3-story house, but their landlord rented out the third floor. I had to use the bathroom upstairs because the downstairs one was being used, and while I was in there I heard footsteps upstairs. It sounded more like a little kid running. I shrugged it off and figured it was just the upstairs neighbors.

After dinner I asked about them, (if they have kids, how long have they lived there, etc.) and she looked at me kinda weird and said they haven’t had neighbors upstairs for a really long time. So I kinda freaked out and told her I heard something running and she was like, “Oh yeah, our house is haunted. The previous guy that lived here hung himself in the backyard and killed his family on the third floor. Now no one wants to live upstairs.”

After that I was like, “OK THANKS FOR DINNER BYE.” – ddun

5. The Truck Stop

This is an experience my sister, her husband, and I had about 20 years ago. We were driving back to her house one night, going just past a truck stop when an old man stepped out in front of us. Her husband who was driving slammed on the brakes, and we all started freaking out because the old man had disappeared. My sister and her husband jump out, thinking they’d just killed the man, but there’s nothing there. Cop comes along and a few truckers wander over and tell us that it’s an almost weekly occurrence.

Apparently there’d been an old man who’d lived and later died in the house across the road who used to go over to check his chickens every night before bed. (The chicken coop had been torn down years before when they’d built the truck stop.) When they tore down the house a few years after that to make way for a heavy equipment dealership, the sightings stopped. – ThanatosX23

6. The Old Plantation House

scary ghost stories plantation

Photo: Michael McCarthy / Flickr (CC)

My boyfriend lives in civil war era plantation home on a huge farm. The place has a weird vibe to it. None of the animals will come upstairs (if you bring them up, they start shaking and dart back downstairs). My boyfriend won’t even go in one of the bedrooms. Slave shackles are still hanging up in the basement.

The place has apparently been pretty dormant as far as paranormal activity goes for the past year. I’ve had a couple odd experiences. My boyfriend says that it always gets more active around the holidays though.

In November, right before thanksgiving I was staying the night with him. I was about to fall asleep and I heard something outside. At first I thought it was the pack of coyotes that roam around the back of the farm but I heard it again a few seconds after the first time and it was definitely not a coyote. I immediately woke up and was aware of my surroundings and I heard it again. It was a woman outside calling for John. She sounded so panicked and distressed. I heard her call a few more times and I could hear the voice moving around the yard. I was creeped out but I cuddled up to my boyfriend and went back to bed and told my boyfriend about it in the morning. He said that was a new one.

Fast forward to exactly a month from my experience, I wake up and the first thing out of my boyfriend’s mouth is “Remember a couple weeks ago, you heard a woman outside calling for someone? What name was it?”


“I heard it last night.”

I set a reminder of my phone for the next month but nothing happened. Really eerie. I’ve been trying to find out the history of the house to find out if a John lived there. – CaptnCheerio

7. The Unplugged Radio

I lived in a weird house as a kid which resulted in chairs being moved in other rooms when I was the only one home, kitchen cupboards opening late at night when no one else was awake. I could be sitting at the computer, in a lit room at night, and watch as a black cloud would float through a closed door and sit, suspended in the air across the room from me. I had footsteps that would walk outside my door, and loud breathing. I was so terrified as I child that I ended up sleeping my music playing so I could tune out the noises. I still to this day cannot sleep without music playing. I probably could have convinced myself that most of it wasn’t real as I aged, if it wasn’t for a certain weird happening.

It was about 11:00 A.M. in the morning, and my younger brother and I were waiting at home while my mother was out doing jobs. We were waiting for her to come back to pick us up, so we were sitting by the front window, watching for car. And then we heard the radio playing from my brother’s room.

We both didn’t understand why it was on all of a sudden, so we walked to my brother’s room. My brother hid behind me, and I had to walk in the room first, and the second I crossed the threshold, the radio went silent. On closer inspection, it wasn’t plugged in, and there were no batteries in the back of it. There was no logical explanation for it playing. And my brother, a young boy had a bunch of match-box cars, and an old car play mat, swore and declared he had parked the cars neatly on it, in lines. But when we went in there, the cars were thrown all over the room.

Luckily we moved out of that house, but my brother and I still remember the radio saga clearly to this day, and it’s pretty much the only reason I know I wasn’t completely crazy as a kid. – Yventy

8. He’s Smiling At Us

My father passed away and I’ve always felt his presence around through the years. I’d experience simple things like cupboards opening, faucets running, a knock on the door every time I showered. But once, when my son was about 3 he told me his grandfather (my father) was standing in my dining room smiling at us. I nearly shat myself because I’d never spoken to him about my father. That night I had a dream that my dad came into my room and said I was doing great, sat on a chair and preceeded to float away on said chair. Ever since that night I haven’t felt him around me. – Galwaygirl3

 9. The Big Mistake

scary ghost stories kitchen

Photo: darkday / Flickr (CC)

Before my girlfriend and I moved in together, my girlfriend lived alone in the house she owned. During the course of us dating and me spending the night, she finally explained some of the weird stuff going on in her home. Weird banging sounds happening at all hours. Other weird sounds. Seeing things from the corner of your eye. There were even a couple of times where she saw something walking around the house, she described it as being a robed figure almost like the grim reaper. There was also the feeling that something was watching you from behind. You know, that same feeling that causes the hairs on the back of your neck to stand on end. But the worst was this constant foreboding feeling coming from one of the unused bedrooms. These happenings scared her so much simply explaining it caused her to start crying.

Now, I’m a skeptic about these things. I am that guy that would watch all those paranormal shows and find the logical reasoning for things happening. Since we were just dating at the time and I really liked her, I wanted to impress her. I wanted to show her my bravado and my lack of fear of the “thing” in the room.

“Get the fuck out of this house you fucking asshole!” I yelled into the room. “Do not bother her again, you hear me? Or, you’ll have to deal with me! You do not want to fuck with me!”

Big mistake. Really big mistake.

I spent that night at my girlfriend’s. Sometime in the middle of the night I suddenly woke up to a night terror. I had them a couple of times before, I didn’t experience anything crazy (well, maybe once before this instance), but this instance felt intentional. It felt like I had poked a bear and it wanted to show me that it didn’t want to be fucked with. I woke up to being paralyzed, heart throbbing, being able to see and hear what was around you. I could feel my girlfriend lying down next to me and I could hear her breathing. This wasn’t the scary part though.

The scariest part was hearing, yes hearing, something run out of the room and down the stairs away from me and towards the unused bedroom. I could hear it make it’s way through the house, it is a small house, but whatever. I desperately tried to get out of this night terror. I tried telling myself it was a dream. I tried praying. I desperately tried to call out my girlfriend’s name. I knew it was a night terror, but even still couldn’t get out of it. Every time before I could get out of a night terror by reminding myself what it was. She somehow heard my whispered calls and woke me up. I did not go back to sleep that night. – Anonymous

10. The Black Hole

I lived in one particular house a few years ago where we always suspected there was some sort of supernatural activity going on, we’d leave items in places then come back to find them gone, we’d leave a room to find out the door had closed on its own, seeing figures and shadows, that sort of thing. However, one incident topped all of these.

Was lying in my bed one night reading just before going to sleep, when all of sudden the room temperature seemed to drop all of a sudden, shortly followed by that gut feeling you get when you suspect that something isn’t quite right. Curious as to why this all happened so suddenly, I lifted my head to scan the room to see what was up, only to encounter a large black hole situated at the foot of my bed hanging slightly ajar from the far wall. I had no idea what the hell this thing was, I can only describe it as an absence of anything, like there was nothing there, it felt so cold, and truly evil

Thankfully, not being completely paralysed by fear, I remembered reading somewhere once that ghosts, spirits and whatever else can only mess with you if you invite them in, so i yelled at this thing to “go away, you’re not welcome here” as well as other rude expletives, after a while, this thing converged in on itself and that horrible feeling seemed to disappear along with it, still have yet to explain what is most likely the strangest thing that’s ever happened to me. – Californicatewithme

11. The Demon Gun

My dad had bought a pistol from a friend of his, a real weird guy, for my mom to use at the house for home protection. He was gone all the time and we had started to have some people fucking around the house at night so she accepted it even though she doesn’t really like guns. For some reason she kept it under the bed.

After he brought the gun home she said she started having really weird dreams and it always felt like someone was in her room at night staring at her. After awhile she said she started getting woken up by what felt like someone kicking the mattress from underneath the bed. This really wigged her out because there was no one in the room. It freaked her out so much she started sleeping on the couch.

One day her best friend came over and they started talking about this issue. Her friend suggested that it was a “demon” in her room (these are super religious people here mind you). They both go into the room to investigate the cause of the “disturbance” as they called it. My mom mentioned something about the gun and her friend told her that that was probably the culprit. It had a “demon attached to it” and she needed to get rid of it. So she picked it up and took it to the garage.

Now, I have a hard time believing this next part but they both swear to this day that it happened. She put the gun in a box in the garage and locked the deadbolt on the door, as we normally do. As soon as the bolt latched she and her friend claim that all hell broke loose in the garage. They claim that it sounded like something was going berserk knocking stuff over and kicking at the door trying to open it. They both huddled in the living room praying like crazy for 20 minutes until the commotion died down.

The next day my dad comes home and asked what had happened to the garage because everything was knocked over. She tells him he bought a “demon gun” and made him immediately get rid of it. – txanarchy

12. The Basement Door

scary ghost stories basement door

Photo: Will 668 / Flickr (CC)

When I was very young, we lived in a house that had the usual “ghost” activity–hearing footsteps, hushed voices in the next room, etc. But the really cool thing was the basement door. It would open on its own, I’m not talking open an inch or two when you closed another door nearby, I mean it would swing fully open like someone was walking through it. My parents tried locking the door and it would still swing open on its own.

By the time I was learning to walk, my dad was concerned I would fall down the steps, so he went down into the basement and just said, to no one in particular, that he had a young daughter upstairs and could they please be careful with the door. Ever since then, the basement door would open, and then slowly shut on its own. – Anonymous

13. “SHHHHHH!!”

When I was about 12 and started getting left alone at home, something used to shush me. I’d be pouring cereal, singing along to the TV and suddenly, “shhhhhhh!”. First time it happened I absolutely crapped myself and didn’t say a word until someone came home. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I’d even start to convince myself it was just my imagination but then it would happen again. I think it happened about 5 or 6 times.

One Saturday morning I was in my top bunk, the beds were super noisy and the slightest of moves would result in them creaking.


I thought it was my younger sister and decided to annoy her further. I started rocking about in my bunk making as much noise as I possibly could and suddenly


I chuckled, still thinking it was my sister, and then she whispered nervously from below “… Was that you? The shushing, was that you?”

I popped my head down and said “no, it was you”. She looked terrified, her eyes welled up with tears and she said “no it wasn’t”. She ran out of the room crying and wouldn’t come back in for a long time. I realised it must have been the shushy ghost and was overcome with relief that I wasn’t crazy because someone else had actually bloody heard it.

Haven’t heard it since. I’m always kind of waiting. – DentalNylon

14. Unknown Number

My grandmother died of brain cancer about 20 years ago. About two weeks after she died I was hanging out over at my parent’s place and my mom got a call–no number, no unknown number, just blank caller ID. She answered it, got quiet, hung up and went to her room without saying anything. When I finally got her to talk about it she said it was her mother, saying she was trapped and please come get her because they wouldn’t let her leave, over and over again, and then the phone disconnected. I asked her about it a few years ago and she denied that it happened for a bit and then admitted that it had happened two more times that year and then stopped, but she didn’t want to discuss it any more. – Santamente

15. The Graveyard

scary ghost stories graveyard

Photo: Jim Pennucci / Flickr (CC)

My cousin’s son did this. He was three and sitting behind my cousin in the car. When they stopped at a red light. He said to my cousin, mom can I play with those kids. They are calling me to play. She looked out her window and she was looking at a graveyard. Scary shit man. – Tomma18

16. The Shadow

Years ago, I was sleeping with my fiancé at his mother’s house. I woke up in the middle of the night with the weirdest feeling that someone was watching me. I scan the room and notice someone standing at the foot of the bed, on my fiancé’s side. The figure was pitch black and featureless. I’m terrified & I think, “oh, I must be dreaming.” Then I look over at my fiancé and he’s staring at it too. It was the most horrifying moment ever. Suddenly, my fiancé sits up really quickly and aggressively. In that moment, the thing disappeared. Afterward, I wanted to dig a hole in the mattress and sleep under him.

I found out later that pretty much everyone in his family has seen this thing and they call it “the shadow.” It still makes my skin crawl thinking about it. That night was the most frightened I have ever been in my life. – ciiiiig

17. Footsteps

The only one I have is when I was in 4th grade. When I was little, I would always sleep with my door open. I went though a faze where I would wake up between 3:00 /4:00 A.M. every night, and every single night I would hear footsteps walking up my stairs, around my living room, through my dining room, across my kitchen and down my hallway. They would always stop right before my doorway, then turn around and go back into the basement. But one night they didn’t stop, what I saw was a shadow of a little girl/boy (couldn’t tell) walk right in front of my doorway, look at me for a few seconds, then it walked away, back down the stairs.

I slept with the door closed the next night. – asds10

18. “Leave My Family Alone”

scary ghost stories old house

Photo: Steve Wilson / Flickr (CC)

This was around seven years ago in a home we’d had ‘paranormal’ troubles with before, including shadow people and noises. Hundred year old homes are like that.

Anyway, It was around midnight and my brother and I were fast asleep upstairs. Our parents were downstairs watching some tv show like Ghost Hunters or Ghost Adventures or something and when the episode ended they were talking about spirits and stuff. Now, the layout of the living room was like this: the tv facing the chair my father was sitting in, which is facing perpendicular to the couch my mom was sitting in. Since they were talking my dad was facing my mom, and sees the damnedest thing. As my mother is speaking, the end of the couch she is sitting on is slowly lifting itself into the air. She stops talking when she feels it happening, and less than a second later, the couch drops from about a foot in the air.

Well my dad is all into the ghost hunting stuff, so he stands up out of his chair and yells, “FUCKER, YOU WILL NOT MESS WITH MY FAMILY. LEAVE MY FAMILY ALONE YOU FUCKING BASTARD!” He continues the yelling all while walking across the living room into the den, which is the creepiest part of the house. The den just did not ever feel like a safe place, it was always cold. And sometimes I’d hear my piano in there playing random notes by itself. It had been added onto the house most recently, so I think that’s why. He went in there and continued the yelling. He flipped the lights on just in time for every door in the room to slam itself shut (there were three) Immediate peace and quiet.

We never had another incident. No more shadow people, no more noises, no more creepy feelings. I guess they left or something. – Dolly_Black_Lamb

19. The Watering Hole

Here is my story that I post whenever someone asks this (or something similar):

My wife and I moved in to my parents’ house when my uncle died unexpectedly in 2009. They had to move in with my grandmother to take care of her, so we assumed ownership of my parents’ house. Now this house had been the watering hole for my town back in the day … the well is in my basement. It is a hole in my basement floor covered by a five foot wide slate rock. This is important because our priest told us spirits can travel along waterways, which is why every time we bless the house, it is only calm for a few months before things start happening again. Anyways…

We move into the house and things are nice. Everything is calm and my wife (fiancee, at the time) and I are happy to be out of my sister’s house. Once my wife gets pregnant things kick into high gear. Her shoes go missing on a daily basis when every day she puts them in the same spot after work. One day, when she was in the attic, she heard a woman ask: “Is that my baby?” She said the woman sounded genuinely confused as to whose unborn baby she was pregnant with.

Things kept escalating until one night when I was just about to turn off the lights and go to bed when I see a black mass by my wife’s side of the bed. It was pitch black and completely solid. Before I realized what I was looking at, my hand flipped off the lights and my sleeping wife immediately started speaking in what sounded like French. Since we took French in high school and college we deduced that she was saying “Je me suis.” Which means I am myself.

The next evening we were at play rehearsal for our local acting group and we were talking to our friend, Rhonda. As we were talking with her about random bits of small talk, we noticed she seemed very distracted. She kept glancing quickly from side to side, the way you would if you watching a bug zig-zag around a room. We asked what is going on and she said “I know this sounds crazy but there is this black thing in the auditorium. Every time I look at it, it moves … I just can’t get a fix on it.” We freak out and immediately tell her our story.

We leave the auditorium and call a priest to have a blessing for the house. As he is blessing the house he stops and does a double take at one of the crosses hanging on the wall. After the blessing is over he asks about it. My wife says it is beautiful and “it called to her.” She had to have it, she said.

He leaned back and said, that’s interesting … it’s a Benedictan Crucifix. We reply with “uhh….ok?” And he continues to say, “Benedictan crucifixes are used in exorcisms. It is very interesting that this crucifix called to you so strongly.” – Pappajay2001

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