Some people have a particular penchant for ghost stories. If you happen to be one of them, then you might enjoy this selection of terrifying true stories. But be warned, these are the types of stories that you might want to read at the safety of your home. Don’t forget to keep those lights on because you’re definitely in for a scare!
8 Terrifying True Stories That Will Haunt You Forever
8. Photographic Memories
Capturing ghosts on camera is common in the paranormal world. But what happens when the tables are turned and it’s the unknown entity that starts taking pictures of you?
“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.
Scroll down for the video
“None of my stuff was missing or stolen and nothing happened, but it freaked the hell out of me.”
7. Bad Premonition
Ever had a small sense of knowing that something bad can happen? This sense of knowing is referred by parapsychologists as claircognition. An example is when you have a sudden rush of dread and chills as you enter the office—only to find out that you just got laid off your job. Even worse, you might suddenly get that sinking feeling that a family member or complete stranger is about to die . . . and they really do!
“My ex-wife had several weird experiences. I’ll just relate this one. I’m at work one day when she calls me out of the blue (we were still married at the time). She usually did not call me during the day because she worked the night shift. She tells me to call my friend Danny and make sure he and his family are okay. When I ask why, she tells me that she had a dream but can’t remember it, but that I should call Danny and make sure he’s okay.
“So I call Danny and check in with him. I tell him about my wife’s dream. He’s mildly amused but tells me that he and his family are fine and to thank my wife for her concern. I call her back and let her know all is well. She’s very dubious when she hears the news.
“I found out later that within half an hour of my phone call to Danny, he got another call from his uncle in Florida to tell him that Danny’s son had hung himself.”
6. The Drive-By
What would you do if you saw Death casually driving by? Would you wave at him? Or would you freeze to . . . death?
We were camping once, driving through some city, my dad was driving, my mom on the passenger seat, and I was kneeling behind them, leaning on the boot that separated the truck from the camper. It was evening, not full dark. We weren’t really talking, and my mom was looking out her window when she screams, “Oh, God. Oh, my God. Gene? Do you see it?”
“My dad says, ‘Yeah. I do. I’m going to slow down and let them by.’
“He slowed, and the car on the right passed us. I couldn’t see inside, but their window was down and the arm hanging out the window looked to be that of someone impossibly thin.
“I asked my mom what she saw, and she said it was nothing. My dad backed her up.
“Years later, I asked them about it again.
“My mom said, ‘It was a skeleton. It was no mask because you could see through the jaws. It had a tongue and eyes. It was Death.’
“My dad backed her up but years later (after my mom was dead) recanted, saying it was a mask because nothing could survive like that.”
5. Who’s There?
The story you about to read is a home invasion story with a very gruesome twist. It is almost as if this was a real-life episode of Goosebumps.
“A few years ago, I was home alone at night time. I was watching TV in the living room when I heard the doorbell ring. Whenever I hear the doorbell ring, especially when I’m home alone, I am cautious to answer it.
“I walk up to the peephole without turning on the porch light (so they don’t know if anyone is actually home or not) and look through. It’s really dark, but I can see a small figure (more like, black blob, I don’t know its definite shape and had to be around 3 to 4 feet) doing like a dancing motion. Dipping down and oscillating its ‘arms’ outward. Think of a person moving their arms like wings gracefully.
“It was dark outside, but this figure was more opaque, so I could see this going on. After a few seconds, I stopped looking through the peephole because it was too freaky to look at. I regained some courage and looked back through and whatever it was gone.
“To this day, I still don’t know what that was, and I get freaked out thinking about it.”
4. Cursed House
A visit from the devil himself marks the beginning of a curse that this poor family just cannot seem to shake off.
“When I was about 8–9, we lived in a house that my father built for us in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. My parents owned a small business that often brought clients to our remote little homestead, and over the years, we met some rather odd people. One such person was a strange man that gave me the heebeejeebees as soon as I saw him. He arrived at our home in a black car with tinted windows, wearing all black, with a black hat and dark sunglasses. His demeanor was very strange, and he was very interested in our black Persian cat named Mercedes.
“Nevertheless, he left after his consultation with my parents; but later at dinner, everyone admitted that he set them on edge. That night, Mercedes came down very ill. A few days later, after an illness the local vet couldn’t diagnose that included the cat vomiting up gobs of what appeared to be black tar, Mercedes died. In her final moments, she would swat and hiss at something in the air. I’ll never forget the chill I got when she took her last breath.
“After this, many strange things began happening around our home. We’d find footprints in the show that started and stopped out of nowhere. Noises in the middle of the night, the wallpaper would be torn halfway off the walls. My mother, who has always been somewhat of a sensitive person, claimed to start seeing demonic creatures around the house and became rather withdrawn.
“I had asthma, but had been a long while without an attack. Soon after all of this began happening, I started having episodes again. I was very sick one night, so I slept on the floor next to my mother’s side of the bed in my parents’ bedroom. Under their bed and around, there were a bunch of boxes: family photos, wrapping paper, etc., things that we’d been meaning to store elsewhere.
“In the middle of the night, I had a particularly bad asthma attack. I heard my mother wake up screaming “Get away from her!” and trying to get to me. Every box from under the bed and around the room had been stacked between where I lay on the floor and my mother’s side of the bed, preventing her from getting to me.
“She never told me what she saw that night, but strange things continued to happen for several more months. Eventually, the activity started to slow. My brother and his family live in the house now, and they hear unexplainable sounds every so often, but nothing like what happened that winter.”
3. Don’t Get Out of the Car
The first instinct when stumbling upon a crime scene would be to run and hide—but not this former Marine. This brave soul decided to check out the abandoned car in the middle of the desert—only to discover something shockingly terrifying.
“I was driving a shortcut from Twentynine Palms, CA, to Albuquerque, NM. Twentynine Palms is located in the desolate high desert east of LA. The shortcut was all two-lane road through total nothingness, except for passing through Amboy, CA. Amboy is a nearly abandoned town nearly as far below sea level as Death Valley.
“So I was driving by myself in the afternoon and proceeded to drive up into the mountain range between Amboy and I-40.
“Once I reach the top, I am driving north through a canyon with high grass on both sides of the road. Up ahead I see some stuff in the middle of the road. As I approach, I slow down to see a red Pontiac Fiero stopped sideways across both lanes, a suitcase open with clothes scattered everywhere and two bodies laying face down in the road, a man and a woman.
“I stop a hundred feet or so away, and the hair on the back of my neck is standing up. Being a Marine, I reach under the seat and pull out a 9 mm pistol and chamber a round. Something seemed very wrong, it looked too perfect as if it were staged. An ambush? Something was just wrong.
“As I scanned the road, I saw a line I could drive. Pass the guy in the road on his left, swerve to the right side of the woman, behind the Fiero and I’d be on the other side. I dropped it into first gear, punched it, and drove the line I planned.
“I passed the back of the Fierro without hitting it or either of the bodies in the road. I continued forward a couple hundred feet and slowed down so I could breathe and let my heart slow down. As I looked up into the rear-view mirror, I saw that the two bodies had gotten up to their knees, and twenty or so people emerged from the tall grass on either side of the road by the car and bodies.
“At that moment, my right foot smashed the gas pedal to the floor and did not let up until I had to slowdown for the I-40 east on ramp.
“I will never know what would have happened to me had I gotten out of the car to check on the bodies or stopped my car closer to them. Somehow, I do not think it would have been good. Sometimes real life can be scarier than a movie.”
2. Exorcist: Part 2
Possession is a serious yet common occurrence. According to paranormal experts, malicious entities target spiritually weak people. This was most likely the case for the victim in this story. As soon as he let his guard down, he became the unfortunate target of a demon.
“It was my 40th birthday. I came home at 1:30 a.m. as I just got done work. I stayed up for about an hour and went to sleep in my son’s room, he had just moved out. There was always an eerie feeling in that room, and my son had said through the years that he has seen ghosts in it. We kinda brushed it off as he was a kid and imagining or dreaming it.
“I moved him into a different bedroom as this was now our spare room. When I lay on the bed about 20 minutes later, I could feel the sheets moving a bit, and then all the sudden, I could feel this pressure on my chest and I tried to push it away but it kept getting heavier. All of the sudden, I could feel this thing inserting in me and I am not joking either.
“It lifted me out of the bed by my hair and whipped me all over the room, picking me into the wall and on the floor. Then lifting me up again and throwing me down on the bed!
“I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and there were no signs that anything had happened. My husband was in the other bedroom, and he said that he heard nothing through the night. I was absolutely terrified.
“I could not walk the next day, and I was sore below my waist. It never happened again. I never allowed anyone in that room again alone, and the house was sold!”
1. The Little Girl That Wasn’t Human
There’s usually a reason why ghosts manifest themselves: they could develop a special fondness for you or they could have more malicious intentions. In certain cases, these “ghosts” are actually demons in disguise. So what could this entity be? Read on and you decide.
“I lived in a house from hell for four years, from age 11 to 16. There was constantly something happening. Doors flying open and shut, voices, footsteps. Nothing ever stayed where you put it. I was alone there a lot because both my parents worked, and I was constantly terrified.
“One of the most gut-level disturbing things, though, was the little girl in my bathroom. Every time I walked past my bathroom door (which was constantly since it was right outside my bedroom), I saw a little girl with blond curled hair and a rose-colored dress. She just stood there, staring, looking like a photograph from 1905. I started keeping the door closed so I could walk by without seeing her, but she was always there when I opened it. Once I stepped in past her, I couldn’t see her anymore, but I could feel her there. She scared me, but I felt really sorry for her because she was trapped there, just like me—but probably forever.
“As the years went by and things in the house continued to get worse, she started seeming . . . darker. I started feeling like she wasn’t really a little girl. I knew there was something ugly in the house, and I felt like it was presenting this sympathetic image to me. Then I started thinking I was completely losing my mind.
“One day, when I was 14, I had a friend from out of town come stay with me for a week. I hadn’t told her anything whatsoever about the house because I didn’t think she would come if I did. Right after she got there, we were sitting in my room, and she left to go to the bathroom. About a minute later, she walked back in with a puzzled look on her face and said, ‘So there’s a little girl in your bathroom.’ ‘Um, I, yeah, she hangs out in there. Blond hair?’ ‘Curls? Pink dress? Yeah. You know that’s not really a little girl, don’t you?’
“I almost threw up. I was so relieved and terrified and excited and ready to run out of the house screaming. She wouldn’t use my bathroom the rest of the week, and I started using it as little as possible without pissing off my parents (who did not want to believe).
“Eventually, we moved out and I could not have been happier. I distanced myself from it mentally as much as I could. Then when I was 18, I took another friend on a road trip to pack up a few things I’d left in the house (my parents hadn’t managed to sell it and wouldn’t for 5 more years). The minute we got on the property, my friend seemed uncomfortable. I could tell something was wrong, but he insisted he was OK, so we got to work. After a while, he asked to use the bathroom, and I directed him to mine. Not 20 seconds after he left, he came running back in, gasping for breath, and slammed the bedroom door behind him. He started babbling about a little blond girl who isn’t really a little girl. All of a sudden, he went dead still, looked me in the eye, and very solemnly said, ‘She’s not happy. With you. You left, and you weren’t supposed to.’
“We threw whatever we could grab in two trips in my car and got the fuck out at top speed.”