1. Frozen, I watched as the doll’s open mouth slowly shut.
“When I was little, I had one of those Minnie Mouse plushes, with the cute costume and the big open-mouthed grin. I even had a studio portrait taken with it that turned out beautifully. Well, I woke up one morning, and was just lying in my bed, looking over the edge of my bed at my toys scattered on the ground. All of a sudden, as I was looking at my Minnie doll, it started … talking. It made almost a hissing noise, then it started whispering my name. Frozen, I watched as the doll’s open mouth slowly shut. I ran out of the room as fast as my little feet would carry me. My parents dismissed it as my imagination. Until I showed them the doll’s permanently closed mouth. We went back and looked at the studio portrait. That doll’s mouth had been open. It would not come apart now no matter how hard we pulled. I don’t know what happened. Maybe I’ll never know. But I didn’t touch that doll again. It wasn’t as friendly looking with a closed mouth.”
2. I realized it wasn’t a rock … it was a thumb.
“I remember playing in my grandparent’s backyard when I was like six. My grandfather was tending to his garden and I was picking up rocks. One of the rocks I picked up looked weird. I realized it wasn’t a rock … it was a thumb. A severed thumb. No blood but it was hard and pale. I freaked out and threw it. Then ran to my grandfather. He searched the area I told him I tossed it but nothing. I swear I know what I saw. Really put off by rock collecting after that.”
3. She was so white under the bright and full moon, but she was so still even her wavy hair was not moving in the wind.
“When I was about five or six, me and my brother were playing and giggling and suddenly, I don’t know what came over me I peeped through a hole in the wall and I saw a woman outside. She’s so white under the bright and full moon, but she was so still even her wavy hair is not moving from the wind. I thought she was my cousin so I called her attention. I blinked and she was facing me instantly, I didn’t see her move. She’s really pretty but the fact that she’s not blinking and her eyeballs not moving scared me. I could never sleep alone again.”
4. A shadow woman would walk the halls at night.
“From five-six years old, I would see a shadow figure (perfect human woman shape) walk the walls in the night, back and forth. It really creeped me out that I would just put the covers over my head. I was an only child and my parents were in their bedroom. It was when I was still wide-awake way before I got sleepy. So creepy.”
5. I was dreaming about cousins in car crashes or a friend’s older sister cutting herself and it all happened within a week or two.
“When I was little, I would have dreams that came true. I’d dream of someone coming for dinner and then there would be a surprise guest the next day. Stuff like that. Then when I was about five or six it started to get dark. I was dreaming about cousins in car crashes or a friend’s older sister cutting herself and it all happened within a week or two. It started to freak me out so decided to tell my parents. At first, they tried to calm me down but then they started noticing it and getting freaked out, which only scared me even more. And then one day I stopped dreaming. I haven’t had a dream, prophetic or otherwise, since and honestly it kind of scares me to think about.”
6. There was a white pale hand waving at me from behind the closet.
“I was like nine years old. I was sleeping in my parents’ bed. At that point I think it was a Saturday morning and my dad had gone bike riding with his friends real early and I woke up and got in bed with my mom. I was having a bad dream and I woke up and looked around and went to go pee, when I got back into the bed there was a white pale hand waving at me from behind the closet. I thought I was dreaming but I was so shocked I couldn’t do anything. I kind of put it in the back of my mind until a year later my older cousin said she had seen a hand waving at her behind her mirror when I was at her house. It made me realize I really experienced that and didn’t imagine it.”
7. It started swimming towards me with a kind of serpentine motion.
“I was about eight or nine when this happened. My family had a boat that we trailered back and forth from Lake Hopatcong in N.J. We were coming in from a day on the lake and it was already dark. I was obsessed with fishing at that age and the dock was a great spot to fish so as my family was getting the boat hitched to the trailer I decided to throw some casts out. I noticed some activity in the water about 30 yards from where I was standing which was about 60 feet from the boat ramp my family was hitching the boat at. I threw my line towards what I thought was fish feeding/jumping and whatever was causing the activity turned towards where I was and started swimming towards me with a kind of serpentine motion. It was too dark to make out any distinctive features except a large head. I noped the fuck out … dropped my fishing pole and ran. No one believed me at the time but 20 years later and my story hasn’t changed and I still wonder WTF that thing was.”
8. An old lady used to come and read me stories when I was in bed every night.
“When I was around five or six I told my mom an old lady used to come and read me stories when I was in bed every night, according to our next door neighbor the lady I had described died a few years before we moved into the house.”
9. This blinding white light flashed twice.
“I was eight years old and my cousin was turning eight the next month. This occurred in early August. To add some context to this event, my family owns land. A few of my uncles built their houses on their property including my dad. My dad’s house and my uncles’ house are about 130 meters apart and in the evening the farm lights light up the dirt path between their houses.
The event; I remember this evening so clearly, it was a warm evening, the sun had just set, the evening was calm, no wind or inclement weather. My cousin and I are walking back to my dad’s house, we’re talking and as we come about 50 meters close to my dad’s house, this blinding white light flashed twice, we both just stood there. We were both silent, standing there. We both looked at each other and said, ‘Did that just happen?”‘ we both freaked out and ran the rest of the 50 meters back to my house.
We, both very excited by this event told my parents and his dad what happened outside but nobody witnessed this, as the curtains were closed inside. None of the adults believed us! They said nothing just kind of acknowledged us and continued visiting.
The light wasn’t accompanied with thunder because it wasn’t lightning. The light was blinding, the acreage is located in the prairies. I don’t know if there is any logical explanation for this event but ever since then I have always believed that maybe, just maybe it was aliens or some astronomical event.
I know this sounds absolutely ridiculous to some people but my cousin and I don’t try to convince other people what we experienced, because we both know what we experienced.”
10. She heard an unknown man’s voice say, ‘Your legs look so beautiful in those red shoes. Beautiful baby, too.’
“This is just a scary story—and it happened to my mom in the late 70s. She was a 34-year-old newly divorced mom of three small kids. She had gone downtown to do a little shopping with me, the baby. We hadn’t lived in that city for very long, maybe a year. My mom was very attractive, confident, well-dressed. She had just come home, and the phone was ringing. When she picked it up, she heard an unknown man’s voice say, ‘Your legs look so beautiful in those red shoes. Beautiful baby, too.’ She hung up the phone. It was incredibly scary because she was in fact wearing red shoes and had no male friends. One phone call, and no other. She nervously told me the story when I was a young adult—after all that time she never knew who the caller was and she never wore the shoes again. Sadly, she had a number of creepy things happen to her throughout her life.”
11. My mum put me to bed in my room, but I woke up downstairs.
“My mum put me to bed in my room, but I woke up downstairs.
I thought it was a dream but some man picked me up when I was almost asleep, carried me downstairs and put me down on some blankets between a sofa and chair. I was quite young so my parents still had a safety gate.
My dad wasn’t in (worked nights then) and my mum was asleep so no one knows how I managed to get downstairs.
I can still remember this now, strangely.”
12. The window would be on a different wall, the dresser would be somewhere else, and the beds were moved.
“At my family’s summer home there was this one bedroom that my cousin and I would share. I remember waking up countless times and shit wouldn’t be where it was supposed to be. The window would be on a different wall, the dresser would be somewhere else, and the beds were moved. It was always scary as hell but in the morning everything would be as it was supposed to so I didn’t ever tell anyone. I avoided staying in that room as often as possible. Fifteen years later, my cousin brought it up and said she had the same experience in there. It was probably just our minds playing tricks on us, but neither of us will stay in that room to this day. I have no issues putting my guests in there, though.”
13. I know I was there, even if they say I wasn’t.
“When I was two-three years old my family lived in Lithuania. Throughout all my life I’ve been sure that my whole family (my pregnant mom, my father and myself) visited the Hill of Crosses near Siauliai. I could distinctly remember the sensations of the ground as I was climbing up the steps and had vivid images of the center cross. But I never knew what this place was called. A couple weeks ago I Googled it and asked my mother if she remembers our trip to this place. She surprisingly answered that it was only her and my father there and I was staying with my grandma then. I’m sure they never showed any photos to me as this is a sacred place to many people rather than a tourist site to show to a small child. But I know I was there.”
14. When I looked up, I saw my grandpa’s ghost.
“I was young, maybe 8. Just so you know, I always go to sleep in my bed and I’d never, ever fall asleep on the couch. My grandpa died and we got back from his funeral. That night I went to bed, in my room as usual, but I woke up in the middle of the night on the living-room couch. When I looked up, I saw my grandpa’s ghost. It wasn’t scary or anything; at the time it felt natural. He didn’t say anything but there was this understanding between us. I went back to my room and went back to sleep.
I would’ve assumed it was a dream but it was so vivid and real that it stuck with me for years (especially since I woke up on the couch, which made the moment stick out even more in my mind). It wasn’t even an ‘I saw a ghost!’ moment … it was just a weird vivid memory that seemed so normal at the time that I didn’t think anything strange of it. When I was about 20 I told my mom that story and she said, ‘Was it the day of his funeral? Because I saw his ghost that night, too.’ That fucked my shit up.”
15. I felt my covers being tucked in underneath my body.
“When I was 10, I was lying in bed trying to sleep when I felt my covers being tucked in underneath my body. I literally jumped out of bed and flipped on the light. No one was there.”
16. I remember a man and a woman in a car driving down our private road. They stopped and called us over.
“When I was about four and my brother was around two we were playing outside in the front yard. We had a sprinkler so me and my brother were running around in it. I guess my mom was busy or taking a nap because she didn’t come outside while we were out there. I remember a man and a woman in a car driving down our private road. They stopped and called us over. I remember them taking a few pictures and laughing and asking where our parents were. At this point my little brother had decided to take off his trunks and was running around naked. They kept taking pictures and told us to be safe and left. I remember when I told my parents they were so mad and I thought I had done something wrong. Looking back now I’m surprised we didn’t get kidnapped or something. I wish I could remember more details but it was over 16 years ago.
17. There was a one-by-one foot glowing orb of light floating about three to four feet from the floor illuminating the dark room.
“Was about five or six. One night my parents and I were watching TV in the living room of our ranch-style house in the suburbs in the Midwest. A light coming from the hallway got our attention. In the bedroom at the end of the hall there was a one-by-one foot glowing orb of light floating about three to four feet from the floor illuminating the dark room.
The orb seemed to realize it was being observed and moved very quickly, and before we knew it the orb was outside like it had passed through the wall or windows. It then very quickly went around the house jumping or passing through two six-foot fences in a matter of seconds. We saw it do this through the windows and our dog started freaking out.
My dad freaks out and grabs his revolver and a flashlight and storms outside. It had rained recently and there was mud outside but no evidence of footprints or anything to rationally explain it.
While the event is family legend now my mom thought it was a ghost or spirit, my dad thought it was aliens, and quite frankly I have no idea. I lean towards ball of lightning but it seemed to have at least some level of intelligence and seemed to make deliberate, not random movements.”
18. Every so often I’d find a few small things rotated slightly.
“I bought a few small things from an estate sale once when I was nine or so and I swear I would find them rotated slightly (30°–45°) every now and again.”
19. I used to regularly see ‘figures’—most often clowns in my bedroom whilst my eyes were closed.
“I used to regularly see ‘figures’—most often clowns in my bedroom whilst my eyes were closed. I would ‘see’ the room, but the clowns were there and got bigger and bigger until their size overwhelmed me. I’d guess twice a week this happened when I was about nine.”
20. There was a HUGE SQUID in the toilet.
“I grew up on the central coast of California, and my family would frequently visit Big Sur for camping, hiking, or just hanging out and having lunch at one of the restaurants.
I must have been about 11. Old enough to visit the bathroom independently, but still rather new to the freedom of walking around somewhere that wasn’t my neighborhood or the woods alone. I went into the bathroom at a restaurant called the River Inn, and there were three stalls—one handicapped, and two regular. All but one of the stalls, (a regular one), were taken.
I distinctly remember looking under the doors for feet, because I was a little kid, and for whatever reason preferred the handicapped stall. I saw no feet, but the doors were locked. Whatever. I went into the one open stall.
There was a HUGE FUCKING SQUID in the toilet. Like, the body had to be at least a foot long, plus tentacles, coiled around the inside of the toilet bowl. It totally filled the available space. Cloudy dead squid eyes, gazing up at me from the pooper.
I ran out of the bathroom in horror, told nobody, and held my pee for the 45-minute drive home.
What the fuck was that squid doing there?? All I can surmise is it was a line cook prank, in an area that ubiquitously has squid on the menu.
Twenty-five years later, that terror toilet squid still haunts me.”
21. It looked like a dog, but it was kind of deformed.
“Walking to the school bus one day with my little brother when this animal walks over to us from the neighbor’s yard. It looked like a dog, but it was kind of deformed. No collar or anything like that. And it was totally silent. It stopped and looked at us with the most human-like stare. We backed away and took a different route to our stop.
Texted my bro about this a couple weeks ago and he also remembers this and how creepy it was and how odd the ‘dog’ was acting. This would have been around 10 years ago or so.”
22. One night, I wake up to tapping at the window. A man is standing there …
“When I was young, younger than 7, I’d sleep in my brother’s bed when I got scared. One night, I wake up to tapping at the window. A man is standing there, with a shaved head except a pony tail. He had a tattooed face and just stood there, staring at me. I shook my brother, half asleep, look away and when I look back to the window, he’s gone and my brother is pissed I woke him.”
23. I watched, wide-eyed and frozen in fear as a man I’d never seen looked straight at me through my window.
“I was a weird kid and slept with my bedroom lights on all night long. So from the outside I guess my second-floor bedroom was lit up like a display case. I wasn’t scared of the dark, just preferred it that way. One night I awoke to a metal scraping sound outside, like something heavy being dragged. I heard a hard ‘thunking’ noise against the wall outside my window and then someone climbing up a ladder. I watched, wide-eyed and frozen in fear as a man I’d never seen looked straight at me through my window. Our eyes met and we just looked at each other for a moment. Then I closed my eyes and pretended to sleep, but I was really squinting and watching him. He just stared at me for a few minutes, then I saw a bright camera flash. He climbed back down the ladder and dragged it away. I never saw him again.
A year or two later I was on a road trip with my dad. I think we were in San Diego, a few states away from home. We were staying high up in a hotel room with a balcony on probably the 20th floor or so. My dad and I had our own beds, mine was nearest the balcony. At some point during the night a bright flash woke me up, so I opened my eyes and sat up in bed and looked out. Didn’t see anything. Then another flash hit me full-on and that’s when I saw the outline of a person holding something (a camera, apparently) duck down beyond the edge of the balcony to somewhere below. Again I was frozen in fear, laid awake most of the night just terrified and staring out at the balcony.
Never told anyone and nothing like that ever happened again. But after the second time I had very vivid recurring nightmares about being abducted and forced into a child sex ring and never seeing my family again … which in itself is really fucked up since I must have been eight years old at the time, was never abused and generally had a great childhood. How did I even know that child sex rings were a thing? But I had these dreams, sometimes every week, of being forced to have sex with other children while men watched and recorded us. I don’t think my little kid brain even knew how awful that was at the time, the most terrifying thing was that these dreams were only hours long but they seemed to last for weeks or months at a time and I could remember the other kids’ names and faces and everything.”
24. Dear god, that face …
“I was young, five-seven, somewhere in there. I was sleeping in between my parents for whatever reason. I woke up, I remember the clock reading around 4:00 a.m. There was something standing by the window, looking out into the front yard. It looked like a man in a brown wool robe, about 6’4″ or so.
I started to stir and sat up in bed, and the thing turned and looked at me. Dear god, that face. Extremely pale white skin, lots of really pronounced wrinkles, and the face drooped like it was melting, down into a really pointy chin, almost similar to a Scream mask but with all of the features of a living being. Its mouth was hanging open and its eyes were wide, almost like it was worried or frightened.
It kept its gaze on me while it moved away from the window, in front of the bed, and out the open bedroom door. The second it exited the room, the lights turned on by their own and both of my parents jumped up on either side of me, breathing heavily like they’d both just woken up from a nightmare.
To be clear, I was fully able to move during this, I don’t think it was sleep paralysis, but I’m not sure what it could have been other than some kind of demon or really fucking ugly ghost. I’ve never seen it since, but I can still picture it clear as day.”
25. I just saw the dark shape of a man.
“One time when I was about eight, I woke up to ‘someone’ leaning over my bed. It was dark so I didn’t really get a good look at whatever it was, I just saw the dark shape of a man. I kind of gasped in surprise, and ‘he’ jumped and quickly walked out of my room. I thought it might be my dad but the way ‘he’ reacted didn’t seem right. I yelled for him and he came after a minute, he looked around the house but there was no one and no sign of anyone breaking in. I guess it was my imagination or something, it never happened again but I was freaked out for a long time after. I’ve had sleep paralysis but this was something different.”
26. As I was staring into the darkness of the closet, I felt someone push me on my shoulders.
“The one that’s sticks out was when I was like three or four. For some reason I woke, went to my sister’s room and opened her closet. I remember staring into what at the time looked like this giant dark closet. As I was staring into the darkness of the closet, I felt someone push me on my shoulders and I fell on my butt. I wasn’t scared. I was more confused. After that I somehow unlocked the door walked a couple blocks to a busy street and a cop asked me where I live. The weird thing is that when I got older and I brought it up, my mom said that was creepy because my sister didn’t like sleeping in that room because she said she would see a man in the closet.”
27. There was a patch on the wall that would softly ‘glow’ in the dark.
“In my bedroom growing up, there was a patch on the wall that would softly ‘glow’ in the dark. It was so faint that it would disappear when I looked directly at it or got too close. It looked like there was a break in the curtains, but after I stood in front of it, I ruled this to be impossible. There were some nights it didn’t glow at all …”
28. Two red glowing orb things emerged … I’d say they were eyes, but I can’t be sure.
“The first incident was on a weekend; my Dad and I were sitting in the living room watching NASCAR, and during a commercial break he asked me to get him a beer. Unfortunately for me he kept his beer down in the basement in this little mini-fridge, and I was already kind of scared of going down there. Not wanting to upset him by telling him no, I went for it anyway. Before I even made it to the steps I was already getting that feeling that I shouldn’t go any further, and that I should immediately turn right around, but I kept going on. As I got to the basement steps that fear continued to grow and grow. You know that feeling you get when you can just tell that someone is staring at you? Like a fifth sense, your spine gets kind of tingly and you have this overwhelming feeling to look at in the direction, that’s what I was experiencing tenfold. When I finally reached the bottom of the steps I was almost completely paralyzed with fear, I slowly turned my head to the left towards where the open/dirt area was and said ‘Hello?’. As soon as I said that two red glowing orb things emerged from that dark part, I’d say they were eyes, but I can’t be for sure. I didn’t study them long enough before I ran up the steps as fast as I could.
My Dad must have heard my running and met me in the hallway, and asked what was going on. I told him about what I saw, and he immediately headed down there. I think he might of thought it was an animal or something, but after a few minutes he emerged with a beer in hand and telling me it was nothing.
The second event took place a year, maybe a year and a half later. It was during the summer, and my family and I were outside (Dad, Mom, younger brother, and myself). I had to use the bathroom and headed inside using the front door, as I had refused to use the side door since that previous event. When I went to go back outside though I had the thought I’d try and be brave, and face my fear. I headed towards the side door, sat at the top of the basement steps, and waited.
It didn’t take long for me to get those same feelings all over again—I shouldn’t be there, something was watching me, I needed to leave immediately. I was truly tired of the fear though, I wanted to be brave and face whatever threat was down there, so I stayed. It didn’t take long for me to run though, because as soon as I had made that determination I saw a shadow paint across the wall opposite of the handrail. It was human, looked male, seemed extremely large. No real fine details, again not enough time as I immediately bolted out the door.
I told my Dad about it, this time he seemed a bit more concerned. I didn’t follow him into the house, but I did hear him racking his gun before he descended down. Just like last time though, he emerged, nothing to be found.”
29. The never-ending rosebush.
“My family lives in a super rural part of east Tennessee, and we have a family homestead that’s been passed down for generations called the Turley House. Legend in the family has it that it was a civil war hospital, which I can totally see because it’s absolutely ancient and creepy. We also have a legend in the family that we’re all haunted by a demon/spirit/god-knows-what called Wool Eyes. He’s so prominent in our family’s history that he’s just a fact of life at this point, so it’s not unusual to hear somebody say something like, ‘Oh look, Wool Eyes is at it again. He must be upset.’
One of the creepy experiences I had growing up here is the never-ending rosebush. There were two rosebushes on the corner of the house that weren’t very big. I have some distinct memories of playing around them and getting absolutely batshit lost in the rosebushes, running in circles for hours and hours at a time. It was sort of like that scene in Spirited Away when Chihiro and Haku are running through the flower hedges. Eventually I would find my way out, but it would be hours later and my mom would be hella angry that I was gone for so long. I never really thought much of it because kid logic, but I asked my mom about it years later and she said that all the kids in the family have stories about getting lost in the same spot. Everybody always blamed it on Wool Eyes, saying he was just having fun messing around. Wish I could go back and explore the house some. It’s got some crazy stories through the years.”