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12 Spine-Tingling, Real-Life Ghost Stories

These first-person paranormal encounters will have you sleeping with the lights on.


From altercations with Bloody Mary herself, to a friendly entity fond of borrowing a homeowner’s jewelry, to the restless spirits of an insane asylum, these real-life ghost stories all have one thing in common: They hint at what may lie in the world beyond this one. Below are some of The Lineup’s most spine-tingling real-life horror stories. Brave enough to read them? Then settle in for a sleepless night.

1. 10 People Share Their Eerie Encounters with ‘Shadow People’

creepy first hand encounters with shadow people
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  • Photo Credit: Joe Abbruscato / Flickr

Four people witnessed a silent form gliding through a room, its presence darker than any shadow. Could it have been a spirit from beyond the grave? READ MORE

2. Conversations with Dead People: Contacting Marilyn Monroe

contacting dead people marilyn monroe
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

In the first installment of Creepy Catalog’s conversations with dead people, a clairvoyant has a conversation with Marilyn Monroe and gets eerily specific details about her life. READ MORE

3. The Restless Spirits of The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum

trans allegheny lunatic asylum
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  • Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

At the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, a group of wayward spirits seem to enjoy giving ghost hunters a run for their money. READ MORE

4. The Ghost Who Followed Her Home

Old South Pittsburg Hospital
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  • Photo Credit: Ghost City Tours

After experiencing intense paranormal phenomena over Halloween weekend at the Old South Pittsburg Hospital, ghost hunter Gretchen Upshaw thought she was done with spirits. But unknowingly, she brought a spooky souvenir home with her... READ MORE

5. Her Touch was as Cold as Ice: A True Ghost Encounter

ghost girl

Writer and paranormal researcher John D. Mimms had a harrowing meeting with a playful young spirit. Dare to read his chilling close encounter with the paranormal kind. READ MORE

6. 7 People Describe the Unexplainable Out-of-Body Experience that Completely Changed Their Outlook on Life

out of body experience
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  • Photo Credit: Hartwig HKD / Flickr (CC)

Near-death experiences, inexplicable dreams, and eerie premonitions: Seven people share the out-of-body experience that changed the way they see the world. READ MORE

7. Esme: The Other Friendly Ghost

katherine neville
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  • Photo Credit: Nicholas De Sciose

When writer Katherine Neville bought her 150-year-old Gothic home in Virginia, she never imagined she would be sharing it with Esme, a ghost who steals everything from live cats to precious jewelry. But Esme also knows how to find things: including priceless historical artifacts long-hidden in the attic. READ MORE

8. 15 Real-Life Paranormal Encounters That Will Keep You Awake Tonight

paranormal encounters
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  • Photo Credit: pougnal / Flickr (CC)

Horrifying dreams, ghost children, and sinister imaginary friends. These chilling tales of real-life paranormal encounters guarantee some sleepless nights. READ MORE

9. 9 Chilling “Bloody Mary” Stories

bloody mary stories
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  • Photo Credit: Mon Œilr / Flickr (CC)

For those brave enough to try it, uttering her name three times while looking in the mirror will supposedly conjure the ghost of Bloody Mary. Here are nine stories of those who called on her … and lived to tell about it. READ MORE

10. Fire, Hangings, and Death: A Paranormal Investigation at UK’s The Block

the block paranormal underground
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  • Photo Credit: Paranormal Underground

Hangings, raging fires, and one very angry spirit … Claire Sloan and her team of investigators spend a night at The Block, an abandoned Victorian-era factory full of paranormal activity. READ MORE

11. A Sinister Haunting in San Antonio

sinister haunting san antonio
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  • Photo Credit: Michael Anthony Dziedzic / Flickr (CC)

As a child, paranormal investigator Gretchen Upshaw lived in a house beset by malicious spirits, intent on destroying her pets and even impersonating her older brother. READ MORE