I have never seen anything I thought was potentially paranormal, and I definitely don’t believe in ghosts. But I also do my best not to shoot down other people’s experiences just based on what I think is probably true.  There are plenty of reasons things might go bump in the night, but some of these AskReddit stories are a little bit less explicable than fits into my world view. Creepy? Definitely.

1. A Haunting in Japan

We lived in Okinawa for a while a few years ago. I don’t believe in ghosts, but I can’t explain so many of the events that happened in our apartment.

The least scary had to be the boy. My son was describing this little boy that looked like his friend (who was Japanese), and how the boy wanted my son to follow him to the hallway. It was very matter-of-fact and only happened once. My son then said that the boy was trying to turn into a monster. I tried my best to ignore the goosebumps all over me and when he said that the boy had a yellow hat on, I almost lost it but managed to outwardly stay calm. I had been dreaming of a little boy coming to my side of the bed wearing a yellow hat and then turning to dust.

Later, I talked to my friend about it and she laughed and said the boy had been hiding in her daughter’s closet for a year now. Yellow hat and all.

Soon, a new neighbor moved in and she came banging on my door one night. She said something had grabbed her leg and she saw a boy in a yellow hat run away. My neighbor didn’t know my friend and I never told her about it. My kids were too young to be out and about talking to the other kids at that point.

A local friend told me to put salt across my threshold and scissors out, because scissors signify the end of a relationship in Japan. I didn’t feel really threatened until I began dreaming about a woman standing in the doorway of our spare room, staring malevolently at me. I hated going in that room because of the dreams and just a bad feeling I got there. I just always felt uneasy. There were always earthquakes so the little things like toys going off and especially the phone cord (yes, we had a landline) swaying back and forth didn’t seem too out of place.

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One night I stupidly decided to google ‘ghosts of Okinawa’ and after a lot of boring stuff I already knew, I found a story that struck a nerve … it described a man whose wife was ‘targeted by a female spirit’. It sounded very frightening and when I finished the story, I was shocked to my very core to discover my actual building listed as their previous residence, which they’d moved out of a month before we’d moved in. The chances it was the same apartment were slim, but I slammed my laptop cover down and vowed to salt every freaking room in my house because at least it might ease the tension I felt there. Like a placebo.

The absolute breaking point came when one of my kids ran screaming out of bed one night and I found them huddled in the corner, and I swore I heard a set of heavy footsteps as I jumped out of bed. It could have been sleep hallucinations, but I cried and held my child and whispered that we’d leave, and we did.

2. “She’s still there”

When I was about 14, I was staying up way too late on the computer. It was about 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, and everyone else was asleep. I got thirsty and wandered down the hallway to get a drink. I didn’t bother to turn on any lights since there was a nightlight in the hallway and there was enough light to get by. I’m walking back to the bedroom when I get this weird feeling like someone is watching me, and turn around. There is this big white mist just floating right behind me. I immediately turned around and moped my way back into the safe bright room.

The thing is, there were no windows facing that hallway and I hadn’t passed the nightlight yet, so it definitely wasn’t a trick of the light. All the doors leading to the hallway were also closed. A few years later when I was moved to the small room closest to that spot, I got the heebie-jeebies and couldn’t sleep without a lamp on.

It wasn’t until some time later after the sighting that I learned that in the 80’s, a guy was renting out the house. He was arrested for the kidnap, rape, and disappearance of a bunch of kids in the area, and for the suspected murder of his wife. They never found her, and she supposedly ran away, according to him. Cadaver dogs went over the farm but they never found anything. The cops must not have done a good job though because when they moved in, my mom found a pair of boy’s underwear in the toilet tank. The missing wife was never found, and he died in prison about a decade ago. I think she’s still there, though.

3. Man in the Mirror

Sharing this on behalf of my partner.

When he was about four years old, he would talk to a man he saw in the mirror. Naturally, his parents were curious about his behavior and asked him questions about the man. He told his parents details about the man including his appearance, hobbies, and how he died. It turns out that one of the former owners of the house was a man who had committed suicide in the house, and he matched the descriptions of the man my partner saw in the mirror.

When his parents found out, they moved out of the house a month later.

4. Seeing Spirits

Not me but my twin brother, we were around six years old, and in central Australia with our dad and older brother. We were doing some nature walk and he fell back a bit. He then screams and runs and catches up. He told my dad he had seen something.

Later that day we were in the town nearby and my twin pointed at a painting in an art gallery and said that the figure in it was what he had seen.

My dad went in to the gallery and asked the person at the counter what the figure in the painting was, and they said it is an Aboriginal spirit that takes children who wander too far from the camp or family.

5. Haunted House

A lot of weird incidents happened at the house I grew up in–stuff moving on its own or turning on or off by itself. A couple friends who came over claimed to see figures or experience their own things. But one of the most memorable things happened when I was in high school.

One night I was sleeping and woke up when my bedroom door opened. I saw the silhouette of a person moving around my room, looking like it was rummaging around near my dresser. I assumed it was my mom dropping off a late load of laundry for some reason.

Anyways, a few seconds later the figure seemed to disappear into my wall, but I was still pretty sleepy and figured I just hadn’t seen my mom walk back out my door in the dark.

The next morning, my mom asked me if I had gotten up in the middle of the night for any reason. I said no and asked why. She told me she’d seen my bedroom door open from her room, but she never saw anyone go in or come out.

Usually, these incidents happened to me or my brother when we were alone and there was no one else around to witness them. This was one of the few times when more than one of us saw something happen, so it was kind of weird to have one of my experiences sort of validated by someone else.