Everyone loves a good ghost story. The frightening ghost stories you’ll read on this list were gathered from spine-tingling threads around the Internet. So if you’re in the mood for a good scare, then sit back, hit those lights, and read the most frightening ghost stories that happened in real life.
The Most Frightening Ghost Stories You’ll Ever Read
1. “Laughter in the Middle of the Night”
They say that children are more likely to connect to the spirit world. If true, then it would make a lot of sense why babies would stare over their heads as if they were talking to angels. Children, on the other hand, tend to have imaginary playmates. But what if they weren’t just figments of their imagination? What if they were actually spirits that have yet to cross over the veil?
Unfortunately for this young man, the spirits that interacted with him as a child were anything but friendly.
“When I was a child, I lived in an old Victorian house, and I would always hear laughing while I was trying to sleep. I was an only child with a single mother, and when I was about 5 to 6, I would wake up hearing laughter in the hallway in the middle of the night. After mentioning this to my mum, she swore it was probably just the TV being left on late.
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“One night, I awoke hearing the laughter in my room. I went to sit up but felt like there was someone holding my shoulders down, invisible hands gripping into my shoulders while I heard laughing. I screamed my little heart out. My mum ran into my room, flicking on the bedside lamp, convincing me it was just a dream, until I said, ‘But my shoulders hurt.’ She lifted up my t-shirt, and there were two adult-sized hand prints on my shoulders.
“I honestly thought I had imagined it and that it had never happened, but the other day, I mentioned it in passing to my mum, and she went blanket white and said, ‘I don’t want to remember that.'”
Story told by D_Aeon, Reddit
2. “I Was Never Outside”
Spirits mimicking the voices of the living or the departed is not a good sign. Apparently, it signifies the presence of sinister entities: demons. It’s often the subject of the most frightening ghost stories, should anything like this happen to you, it is best to ignore the voices and avoid challenging it at all costs. The Bible indicates that the departed go to heaven, hell, or purgatory, so no matter how tempting it is to interact with the demonic entity, do remember that it is in no way connected to your loved ones.
“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 shit 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 10-ish. 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. The 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 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 shit. 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.”
Story told by Kickagnome, Reddit
3. “The Farmer”
As mentioned earlier, children tend to have imaginary friends and completely forget about them as they grow older. Psychologists often regard this as something kids go through as they develop. But some of these so-called figments of imagination prove to be a lot more sinister than the others. This man’s story about his son’s interactions with his imaginary friend is certainly one of the most frightening ghost stories you’ll ever read.
“My mother in law was a very funny and cool woman. She and my wife were really close, and sadly, she passed away when our son was about 4 months old. Flash forward a few years. We live in an old 1930s era craftsman house in Pasadena, CA. Our son is about 3 at the time.
“I was giving him a bath one night, and he starts looking over my shoulder, not at random stuff but at something. A moment passes, and he asks me why Grandma calls Mommy a funny name. Long pause. I asked him what he meant, thinking he was talking about my mom. He then says why does Grandma call Mommy ****** (my mother-in-law’s nickname for my wife). I was really set back by this. My wife and I never used the nickname, it was just what her mom called her since she was a baby. I asked him where he heard that. His reply: ‘The farmer told me.’
“I asked him who the farmer was, and he replied, ‘His friend.’ I tell my wife this story later, and she’s, of course, reduced to tears over the whole nickname thing. We both know there is no way for him to know this, and we just kinda marvel at it.
“Flash forward to the next weekend and my son is playing in his room. My wife is at work (retail), and I’m home (I worked M–F). I hear him start talking like he’s having a conversation. He’s saying things like ‘Yes,’ ‘No,’ ‘I don’t know that,’ then some laughing. I go into his room and ask him what he’s doing, and he says playing. I ask with who. He says [it’s] The Farmer.
“At this point’ I’m already thinking about the fucking Exorcist movie and Captain Howdy. It’s a little unsettling. I ask him where the Farmer is. He says he left when I came in. The fuck. So my wife gets home, and I tell her this and now she’s just as weirded out as I am. We have no idea what do and figure if it happens again, we’ll do something.
“A few days later, in the middle of the night, we both overhear our son saying the following, ‘Grandma says you and I can’t be friends anymore.’
“Wife and I go check on him, both of us a little freaked. He’s just sitting up in bed. I ask if he’s OK, and he says, ‘Yea, Grandma says I cant play with the Farmer anymore.’
“He never once mentioned the Farmer again. Not ever. He’s 13 now and doesn’t remember any of it. We do, though.”
Story told by Tucker48, Reddit
4. “The Last Visit”
When people die, do you ever wonder where they head to before passing to the light? It is said that a spirit who lingers to life would often visit a place familiar to them. Oftentimes, this helps them move on and understand that they no longer belong in the land of the living. And this story will make you believe that it’s most probably true.
“Our elderly neighbor fell sick and had to go to hospital. Her niece asked us to take care of her dog while she was away. So after school work and dinner and all, me and my brother were sent over to make sure he was doing okay.
“So it was late at night, in this weird old lady’s house, my brother was in the shed with the dog, and I was in the living room looking at the creepy old photos on the mantelpiece. What follows is true: I heard the door creak and then a woman’s voice called out the dog’s name.
“I freaked out, turned around, obviously there was nobody about. I thought maybe it was the neighbor’s niece, but it had that weird ‘Did I hear that outside my head or inside it?’ echo to it (you know what I mean?) so I also thought I was just letting the creepy house get to me.
“But then I went out to my brother and Knocky, and he was freaking out too because he thought he’d heard a woman’s voice inside the shed with him, saying, ‘Oh, there you are.’
“We both agreed the voice had that weird in-your-head sound to it and were convinced there were ghosts in the place. Left the dog in the shed, went home, and were greeted by Dad who told us the neighbor’s niece had just called to say her aunt passed away in the hospital a few hours ago.”
Story told by Trachtas, Reddit
5. “Photographic Memories”
“I grew up in New Mexico and was always very into the outdoors, hiking, camping, rock climbing, etc. One summer when I was 19, I went on a four-day-three-night camping trip near my parents’ house on my own. Might sound weird but, I had been to this area many times and it was quite safe. Anyway, I brought my camera and took lots of pictures. When I came back and developed my film, there were three extra pictures that I didn’t take . . . of me . . . sleeping. One each night.
“None of my stuff was missing or stolen and nothing happened, but it freaked the hell out of me.”
Story told by AnnieBannanas, Jezebel
6. “The Uninvited Visitor”
“I’d like to share my story that brought about my belief in ghosts.
“When I was about 15, I was home sick from school. I lived in a large house with two floors and an unfinished basement. In the basement, I had set up a craft room for painting/staging war-hammer figures in what was once a photographer’s darkroom. It was noon and my step dad often came home for lunch, so when I heard the tell-tale sounds of the front door opening, I figured I’d call my mother and let her know he was home and tell her I was feeling better. As I dialed the phone, I listen to him close the door with a slam and walk through the foyer into the kitchen and turn on the tap directly above the craft room.
“My mom picked up the phone at work, and I told her that K, my stepdad, was home for lunch. She told me that he wasn’t going home for lunch, that he was really busy at the office. I froze in terror as the tap was shut off, and the person upstairs walked back through the foyer and up the stairs to the bedrooms. My mother told me to hide while she called K, minutes away, to come home. I crept upstairs quiet as a mouse and grabbed the largest kitchen knife, then back into the basement to hide.
“K was home about 6 minutes later. He scoured the house and found no one, but I never heard them leave.”
From: Reddit, JamesonZane
7. “I’ll See You Soon”
A restless spirit is often due to a turbulent life. For this lady, who has told one of the most frightening ghost stories ever, a few lost minutes came at the cost of her friend’s life. As a result, he decides to pay her a visit before he passes on.
“Not to me, but to my nana, and it freaks me out to this day.
“My nan has a very good friend she has known since her nursing days, and back when they both had their kids and had grown into women, her friend’s ex-husband rang up my nan. He was very depressed and needed someone to talk to, but my nan had to say that unfortunately, she couldn’t go over to see him as she had just had a newborn (my father), was breastfeeding, and needed to feed. He said he understood and said, ‘I’ll see you soon then.’
“My grandad was on nights at work at this time, so she wasn’t expecting anyone home or to visit until the next morning. At about 9:00 p.m. that night, she heard their front gate open (it was a very vocal gate, she liked it that way so that when she was alone, she knew when someone walked up to the house.) She assumed that maybe Grandad had been sent home or forgot something so thought nothing of it.
“That was until the family dog, Ben, began to stiffen up and growl toward the front door, and nobody opened it. He began to bark. Nan insists he had never been like that. He was a dog that had been brought up around four youngsters. Placid, patient, and kind.
“She tried to get up to open the front door to see if some kids were playing around with her, but she couldn’t. She was frozen in her place on the chair. She said she felt icy cold for about 2 minutes. The fire was blaring. Nan described that after the cold began to fade, she felt very calm and serene and heard the front gate go once more.
“In the morning, when Grandad returned home, she explained to him what happened and at what time. He told her he had some terrible news. That her friend’s ex-husband had committed suicide at about 8.50 p.m. that evening. It took about ten minutes walk to my nan’s house then from his.”
Story told by loeleetah, Reddit
8. “The Little Girl Ghost”
“Six years ago when I was 19, I was staying the night at my two best friend’s house. All three of us were sleeping on the bed, and I woke up in the middle of the night. There was a girl, around six or seven years old, standing at the foot of the bed looking at us. I was so freaked out, I just kept looking back at her. I was too scared to do anything. She slowly faded away. I swear this really happened, but I’m not sure if it was a ghost or if I was somehow semi awake and dreamt it. Scariest thing I have ever experienced, though, regardless if it was my imagination or really a ghost.
“I didn’t tell my friends for a couple months because I couldn’t really believe it, so I thought they definitely wouldn’t. Then a few months after I saw the girl, they were telling me how one night they were in their room and they heard children laughing in the living room. They went to their bedroom door to listen better, and when they got to the door, there was a loud thunk on it, like someone hit it. They ran out of the room, thinking someone was in their house, but when they checked the house, there was no one there, and all the doors were still locked.
“I told them about the girl I saw when they told me what happened to them.”
Story told by RosiePALM5, Reddit
9. “You Are Not Allowed to Touch Them”
Can spirits hear you when you communicate with them? According to paranormal experts, they most certainly can. Think about the times you asked a departed loved one on how to solve a problem, and all of a sudden, an idea pops into your head.
For this woman, the only way to stop the unruly spirits in her home was to tell them who was boss. Luckily, things turned out well for the family.
“When I was eight, my family moved from urban south Florida to a really small town in north Florida. It was like from a Goosebumps book. A lot of weird stuff has happened in the 15 years since we moved there, but the weirdest has got to be when my sister moved back in with my parents.
“My sister’s husband had been shipped off to Afghanistan, so she was left alone with a newborn son. Not wanting to go through the soul-crushing loneliness of raising a newborn all alone in a trailer in the woods, she moved back into my parents house for a while.
“She said it started first when the headboard of her bed would slam every now and then. Then one day, she woke up because somebody was tickling her.
“She didn’t really think about it until one night she woke my mom up by screaming (my sister is almost 30, she’s not a little kid), and my mom went in and the whole fucking bed was rocking and shaking like. Really violently up down, to the sides, like a boat going through white water.
“But my mom and sister have been through a lot of shit, so they persevered. One night, my sister was nursing her son, and something grabbed her pony tail and started yanking her head around. My mom went in the room and very sternly, like talking to a bad kid, said, ‘I understand things are different. There’s a little baby here and there never has been before. You’re curious, I understand that. But you will not touch them anymore. You can look, you can stay. You were here before us, but I swear to god you are not allowed to touch them.’
“It stopped happening.”
Story told by PeeingInLove, Reddit
10. “Footprints in the Snow”
“Most memorable unexplained event in my life happened while snow-shoeing a few miles away from a small north eastern town in Oregon. The sun was just up, and there was a fresh layer of snow about four inches worth. The forest was quiet, eerily quiet. It was one of those places that just makes your hair stand on end. I felt someone, something, was watching me. At this point I turn around to head back to my car only to find a fresh set of human size prints right behind my own. Scary part is that the snow is about two feet deep, and these prints were only pressed in a couple inches. There was only a right print, and it only occurred in intervals of ten feet or so. They started from no where and ended near where I had stopped to turn around. What the hell was following me?”
Story told by _sakmeat_, Reddit