Strange sounds in the dead of night? The feeling that someone is watching you in an otherwise empty room?
These are just some of the tell-tale signs that your house could be haunted. If you’ve ever experienced anything like this, fear not, you are not alone. From unexplained knocking, howls and screams, to sinister sightings, uninvited visitors and more. People from around the world have been sharing strange tales of their haunted houses and the otherworldly beings that still linger in their halls.
Beware all things that go bump in the night. Some houses are not just for the living—the dearly departed call them home too.
1. The Girl Who Lives in the Walls
“When my wife and I bought our first house, an old Victorian style built in the 50’s, almost every night we heard what sounded like a kids footsteps running down the upstairs hallway and other random sounds. My wife mentioned it to one of the neighbors and they said it was probably just peacocks on the roof–the house backed up to a conservation area where wild peacocks lived and they would occasionally get up on the rooftops. That answer made sense so we basically got used to it and eventually ignored it.
Less than a year later our son was born, and when he was one he would balance all of his toys on top of other toys and made them spin–literally found the center of balance of various toys and would walk in a circle around the room giving each a gentle touch to keep it rotating, it was the weirdest and coolest thing I had ever seen.
When he was two or three we would hear him talking in his room at night, and one night I asked who he was talking to. He said “Tracy”. I asked who is Tracy, and he says, “The girl who lives in the wall. She’s usually nice, but sometimes she scares me.” He described a girl with brown hair in a yellow dress who would play with him sometimes, and occasionally wake him up at night but he didn’t seem bothered by any of it, just startled sometimes. He would talk about her once in a while but it wasn’t a common occurrence.
A couple years later we had added on to the house and moved the master bedroom downstairs, switching the kid’s rooms around. Our youngest was now in his old room, and about ready to transition from crib to toddler bed. She had always been a sound sleeper but she cried almost every night in that room. Her first night in the toddler bed we heard a loud thud followed by screaming and rushed into the room, thinking she had fallen out of bed–she was on the other side of the room. Got her calmed down and back to bed and it happened again the next night, so we ended up switching the kid’s rooms back and they were fine.
We looked up the history of the house but didn’t find anything about any missing little girls or anyone with the name Tracy that had lived there. Eventually, our son stopped talking about her and a few years later I ended up taking a job with another company and we moved.
The house was empty for a few months after we moved and the neighbor across the street called my wife one day, said about a week after we left she thought she saw our daughter looking out the window so she waved to her–and then she remembered we didn’t live there anymore.” – Ron Rule
“This happened is my old house in Tennessee when I was about 12. My room was arranged so that the head of my bed was pushed up against the bay window in my room, so if I’m lying in bed I’m surrounded by windows on three sides. One night I had just gotten into bed and was still wide awake. I started staring at one the windows right next to my bed. Then I got this really weird uneasy feeling. Right then I heard seven distinct knocks on the window that I was staring at, coming from the outside. I ran out of there as fast as I could and slept on the couch.” – Elmmic
3. The Woman in the Wedding Dress
“When I was a little girl, like six-eight or thereabouts, I went with my mom to visit an aunt of hers. I was bored, as little girls visiting old ladies are, and I had wandered up to the second story of the house to play by myself.
There was this big balcony up there with these sliding glass doors, and these really floaty, flimsy curtains over them. I decided that great fun was to be had by twirling around under this curtains, then walking away to let them be dragged off my face. Little kids, as you do.
Now the problem is that these curtains were RIGHT above the stairs. There was no railing or anything, it was just a straight drop eight feet down to the first floor, onto the hard as fuck stairs. Little me didn’t think about this during my game.
So after a couple goes at it, I start my twirling again, curtains over my eyes so I can’t see anything, and start walking. And then I felt a hand grab at the back of my shirt, pulling me back hard enough to stop walking, and felt another hand, very distinctly a hand, grab at the curtain over my face and pull it back, to show that I was standing right at the edge of the drop-off.
Thing being, when I turned around, thinking it was my mom or aunt, there was absolutely no one there, not in the room, not near me, nothing.
So I screamed like a banshee and ran downstairs wailing.
That was when my mom’s aunt decided to tell me and mom that like 80 years ago in the house, a woman had died on the second floor a few days before her wedding, from whatever young women died of in the early 1900’s, and she’d never hurt anyone, but sometimes they’d see her standing by the window looking out, or just randomly roaming around on the second floor.
I mean it was actually nice of her to stop me from breaking my face open on the stairs, but it was still pretty overwhelming for me as a little kid who had no clue.” – AndoraAnaheim
4. The Baby Monitor
“My daughter was about 8 months old and I was watching her sleep on a monitor at about 11:30 P.M. The area I could see was just the crib she was lying on. Suddenly I see a hand enter the frame with a finger stretched out and poke her side and then withdraw.
I live with some extended family so I immediately thought, since it was the most likely explanation, that it was one of them.
So I almost break my neck running up to the second floor to find out what’s going on. The nursery is empty except for my daughter, sleeping peacefully. I wake up everyone in the house asking them if they went in and poked her. No one has any idea what I am talking about and promise that they never went in.
I check her over and there were no marks or anything. Nothing has happened ever since.” – MrAcrimony
5. The Playmate
“When I was a kid, back at my old house, I had assumed my sister and I were playing in the attic, sister suggests that I hang out the window for whatever reason. A few seconds later, my dad, outside, sees me hanging almost fully out of a third story window on my own, starts yelling and running, etc. After I get pulled back inside, my mom and sister insist that I was alone in the attic for the last hour, that my sister was with my mom the whole time, and my dad had passed my sister (on the ground level) before heading back inside.
I assume at least one of them’s lying to me about something, certainly more plausible than a ghost tried to get me to kill myself… still.” – Brain_Scratch
6. Two Large Knocks
“When I was young I used to stay at my grandparent’s 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 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 were two large knocks on my bedroom door.
I never asked again.” – Sonneti
7. The Attic Door
“When I was maybe 12 or 13, living in a cramped, old house with my mom and younger brother, something happened that still confuses me to this day.
It was a summer night that blended in well enough with the rest of them, so much that I can’t remember what happened immediately before or after this incident. I had gone to lay down in my bedroom, which was across the hallway from my brother’s room. To the immediate right when you entered his room was a door that led up to the attic, which was really old, creepy and the door opened so that the stairs were visible from my bedroom. (Awesome, right?) That night, my brother’s door was open and, go figure! The attic door was open. I began to grow uneasy and had a very strong sense of something or someone watching me. I pulled my sheet over me and suddenly had the sense of something very heavy laying on me and crushing me. I screamed to my mom who came running, pulled the sheet off me and the feeling was gone.
Ten years later and I still don’t know what the hell happened but you can bet that attic door stayed closed until we moved away.” – Zombiehipster
“Friend's grandmother was out of town and asked us to check on her dog. Real friendly German Shepherd, jumping with excitement at the door when you showed up kinda pup. We went over and to our surprise found no dog waiting at the door. A little weird, but we thought nothing of it and went inside to find him. Got into the house and heard nothing, start calling for the dog (Jake) and are answered with footsteps running down the stairs.
We call out, assuming some other family was there, but get no response. Start to freak out a little, we call his mom and she assures us no one is home and we’re being ridiculous. More footsteps but this time running up the stairs. I suggest police, the house is being robbed, but friend convinces me we should check it out to be sure. Make our way to the stairs and hear a bell chime. Buddy tells me the dog occasionally wears a bell, that it’s probably Jake. Get to the door which leads to the stairs, see there’s a small bell around the handle. My friend is terrified, so am I, but trying to play it cool I lead us up the stairs. At the top we see Jake, laying in a chair, shaking and obviously terrified. We couldn’t get him to move no matter what we did, he just kept staring down the stairs.
We searched the entire house after and found nothing and no one. Only time in my life I have been genuinely afraid I was dealing with something paranormal. Friend's grandmother assures us to this day it was her husband, and that she still hears him walking around/talking from time to time.” – BrahmenNoodles
9. The Red Haired Woman
“When I was a kid, I was taking a bath and some lady in a black dress came in and started talking to me. Red hair, very pretty. It freaked me out because I didn’t recognize her, but she was nice. Kept complimenting my toys and being very insistent that I be careful in the water. Then, she was just gone.
When I told my mom, she lost her mind because she thought somebody broke in and was watching her daughter bathe. Didn’t matter how many times I said that she blinked out of existence, she didn’t believe me. I mean, who would?
Then, she told my aunt. We were living in the house they both grew up in after my grandmother died, and when my mom made mention of the red-haired lady in black, my aunt went pale.
She once saw her in her room when she was a teenager.” – Ilunibi
10. The Photograph
“This apparently happened to my dad.
He told me a couple years ago about this one event that freaked him out. It was around 2002 when we had just moved into a new house, my dad was unpacking while my step-mom was at work and I was at school. My little brother was home sick and sleeping in his bedroom.
So my father is unpacking and found his old polaroid camera and starts playing with it, he decides to sneak into my brother’s room to get a cute picture of him sleeping (he was about six at this time and really adorable). He opens the door and sees my brother curled up on the ledge right beside the window, his face turned away from my dad and against the glass. My dad is standing by the door and snaps a picture, quietly closing the door.
As the picture develops my brother suddenly comes out of the bathroom at the other end of the hall, crying because he was sick. My father his astonished and knows there was no way for my little brother to get from the bedroom to the bathroom in mere seconds and without being seen. He opens the door quickly to check inside and nothing is there.
The clincher is the picture, after getting my brother settled and back to sleep, my dad takes a look at the photograph. What should have been my brother sleeping with his head turned away became a picture of a little boy facing my father, the lower half of his face blurry and red.
My dad doesn’t believe in ghosts, but he was pretty freaked. He showed the picture to my step-mother and her sister. They kept it in a box in their bedroom and apparently used it as a nice conversation piece for a few years until we moved out of the house (one of our basement walls collapsed and it was unsafe to live there). It seems to have been lost in the move.
I never had the pleasure of seeing the picture myself, but loads of my family saw it and they all agree it was creepy. We never experienced anything else abnormal in the house.” – ShadowTaker
11. Whispers in the Night
“When I was a baby, my mom woke up in the middle of the night and heard me crying. She heard my dad in my room across the hall saying, “Don’t cry, your mommy is gonna be here soon.” She thought to herself ‘Why the hell is he saying that I’ll be there if he’s in there now?’ She looked over and my dad was sleeping right next to her.
She jumped out of bed and ran to my room, and there was nobody there and I was smiling.” – pilotjackson
12. Folded Clothes
“I was alone in my apartment and I decided to take a shower. I locked the door out of habit; it can only be locked and unlocked from the inside. My clean and dirty clothes are thrown on the floor of the bathroom in two separate piles.
When I finished taking the shower, my clothes, both dirty and clean, were neatly folded in two separate stacks on the floor. The door was still locked. I take very quick showers. This happened in the span of five minutes. I have no explanation and I get goosebumps just thinking about it.” – thatdude33
13. The Basement Door
“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
14. 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 and I think, “Oh, I must be dreaming.” Then I look over at fiancé and he’s staring at it too. It was the most horrifying moment ever. Suddenly, 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
15. “Come Over Here”
“This isn’t my story, so it takes away from the horror factor a bit, but it’s from a good friend that I know doesn’t make sh*t up.
His story happens when he was about 8. He was playing hide and seek with his friend at his house, it was late… Probably about 10ish. It’s my friends turn to find his friend. He’s looking everywhere around the house, but he can’t seem to find him anywhere. He eventually decides he must be hiding outside. So he leaves the house to find him.
He starts searching around some bushes when he hears his friend’s voice coming from a dark corner maybe 20 feet away. They voice calls for him to come over. He didn’t, because he was already spooked out enough being outside in the pitch black. My friend yelled back, “No! You come over here!”
That’s when he said it really started to get spooky. He told me the voice that sounded just like his friend kept insisting that he come over to the dark corner. My friend kept saying no over and over again. At this point, he said the voice suddenly changed to a dark, horrible sounding voice demanding he come over. At this point he ran back inside, only to see his friend in the living room. When questioned how he got inside so fast, the friend said he never went outside.
Now, I know both of these two guys. None of them make up sh*t. And I doubt it’s the case of an “imagination gone wild”.
Whatever that voice was, it still spooks me just thinking about this story.” – Loffae
This Story Was First Published on Occult Museum.
Featured photo: Guy Lejeune / Flickr (CC); Additional photos: Montgomery County Planning Commission / Flickr (CC) ; mrplough / Flickr (CC); Patrick Fitzgerald / Flickr (CC); Alan Levine / Flickr; Civixen / Flickr (CC)