17 People Share Real-Life Stories of Paranormal Encounters

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Reddit has the best stories. And though we certainly can’t attest to whether any of them are true, for the people in this Ask Reddit thread, they were terrifyingly real.

 17. “they saw someone peek through the blinds from the bedroom on the top floor…”

Told this story on reddit a while ago, but my friends and I still talk about it years later.

When I was in high-school, the days before cellphones were common, my friends were to come over to pick me up from my house one night. We had made plans at school for them to pick me up at 7pm. At 6, my parents said I had to come with them to do something, and I totally forgot to call my friends and tell them. They came to my house at 7pm, and called the house phone. No one answered. There was 4 of them in the car. They all told us the exact same story. They said that they were about to pull out of my driveway, but they saw someone peak through the blinds from the bedroom on the top floor right. That was my room, so they assumed that I was fucking around. five more times, they said that someone would peak through the blinds, and a couple of them said they even saw the persons eyes.

We got home at probably 7:10-7:15, and they were still in our driveway. One of my friends came over and said they thought I was messing with them. Then they asked me, “So, whose staying in your room?” I told them that no one. So they asked, “Whose…home at your house right now?” Again, I told them, no one. There stone cold faces then told me what they had seen repeatedly over the last 15 minutes. At first, we all thought there was a burglar in the house or something, so we called the cops.

They came over and inspected the house. There was zero signs of break in, nothing was touched and nothing was stolen. Our house had an alarm on it, so there is no way someone could have come into the house without setting off the alarm.

My family, my friends, and the cop all kind of stood around for a few minutes, trying to make sense of the situation. My friends swore up and down(and still do) that they couldn’t have imagined what they saw. All four of them saw the same things, and it wasn’t particularly a dark night so there eyes wouldn’t be playing tricks on them. To this day, none of us can make sense of the situation.

16. “…he asked her if she wanted him to perform an exorcism.”

So, this technically happened to me, but I was a baby and don’t remember. My mom told me this once when we were talking about paranormal activity and whether she believed. She had a couple of incidents, but the one with me went thusly:

Mom was at home waiting for the HVAC man to come do something – I do not recall what. My dad was at work, and she was alone with me. I wasn’t more than two. The HVAC man had a reputation of being a weirdo; he was weirdly religious and very superstitious and all the other women in the neighborhood didn’t like being alone with him. My mom figured he was just misunderstood, and she said he was odd but never made her uncomfortable.

Now, I was having screaming nightmares every night. No one knew why. I was in my own room, which was the first room a child had slept in, since the house was built after my sister was born. Mom didn’t tell the guy any of this.

So he is checking all the rooms for whatever he’s there to do, and he walks into my room and stops dead. He asked my mom if I had nightmares. She said yes, and he told her that the house was built on an Indian burial ground, and we had angered the spirits. They were upset, and that was upsetting me.

My mom said she didn’t really know what to say, and he asked her if she wanted him to perform an exorcism. Mom told him sure – wouldn’t hurt, right? He went to his truck, got his Bible, and wandered around my room muttering – she didn’t know what – waving the Bible, that sort of thing. After a few minutes, he turned to her and said that the spirits were calmed and everything should be fine. He finished his work and went in his merry way.

Mom said I didn’t have another nightmare after that. She has no idea how to explain it.

15. “I see what looks like the silhouette of a head”

You guys know what shadow people are, right? The name kind of gives it away. They’re shadows and also people, look like a silhouette, you get the idea.

Anyway, this was back when I was maybe 10 or 11 years old. I’m over at a friend’s place and we go out back in the forest behind his house. We walking through some tall brush, when out of the corner of my eye, I see what looks like the silhouette of a head and shoulders rise over the brush. I ignore it, thinking I was just seeing things. A short while later, we’re out on a wide trail, when something darts across the path in front of us. It looked like the silhouette of a man, hunched over, running from one side to the other, somehow leaving the plants on either side were perfectly intact. My friend turns to me and goes, “holy shit, did you see that?” I did, and we got out of that forest as fast as we could. We sat in his house, terrified, and I mentioned the head and shoulders I initially saw. Turns out he saw them too, and just ignored them like I did. What we saw still freaks me out to this day, nearly 10 years later, because we never really knew what we saw.

14. “I swerved into the opposite lane, just missing her, and hit the brakes.”

Few years ago now, I was driving home towards Chelmsford (England/Essex). Middle of winter, probably around midnight, my girlfriend is in the passenger seat.

There is no moon and the road is unlit and empty and I am enjoying the drive, i’m pretty much flat out on a long right hander coming out of a roundabout when I notice there is a girl in the middle of the carriageway. She is tall, skinny and dressed head to toe in black with a long billowing skirt, she has long black hair and is facing away from me with her arms by her side.

Like I said i’m pretty much flat out so it happens quickly, I swerve into the opposite lane just missing her and hit the brakes. In my rear view mirror she is momentarily lit up with my brake lights and is again facing away from me but still on the same spot and no sign of movement. I am spooked and instinctively get off the brakes and back on the gas, I can see her silhouette recede in the mirror. My girlfriend didn’t see a thing but is startled awake when I swerve. I circle around the next roundabout to come back to prove i’m not crazy, but there is no sign of her. There is no path near that part of the road, it is on a slightly raised embankment through farmland, no reason for anybody to be there especially at that time of night and nowhere to hide when I came back around.

I’m not religious or superstitious in the slightest and I think it’s pretty easy to explain away (probably just a drunk girl or something) but it just didn’t feel right, it creeped me out enough to consider it a potential paranormal experience.

I had a pretty vivid night terror about the same girl sometime later, I woke up and she was tapping on the window (ground floor flat), then she was in the room but had no face. Weird.

13. “Brother and I had never seen this door before…”

My brother reminded me of this the other day! When we were growing up, we were best friends with a brother and sister pair who were our exact ages so we spent all our time with them and at their house. Their house was big, it even had a movie theater in the basement. My brother and I slept over often, and the four of us usually slept in the basement in the theater since it had a huge sunken couch that fit all of us.

Around the time I was about 9 or so, and brother was older so he remembers it better, our friends were really excited to have us over because they had gotten a few couch cushions in “the crawl room” so it would be like camping. Brother and I both had no idea what they meant, we knew every inch of their house, so we went to see this room. In their basement around the corner from the theater there was a short door, so short that we had to crawl through to get in. Brother and I had never seen this door before even though we had practically grown up in this house.

We questioned it, but neither of us remember the answer they gave other than “they just found it”. They were rich, so I guess we assumed it was new construction? Anyway, we slept on couch cushions in that short room that night and neither my brother or I can remember anything remarkable about it, and we slept in the theater again after that night.

The remarkable thing happened a few years later. It was my friends 14th or so birthday and I was keeping her busy while her brother was hiding her present, presumably in the crawl room. At the end of her birthday party, he brought up the crawl room. He said something like “you remember going in and out of there a few times, right?” I said yes. He looked confused and asked me to show him where I remember the door being. We go into the basement and lo and behold there is no door. Not even an outline where it would have been sealed. My brother kicks the wall and it’s solid, cement. We ask our friends parents and they have no idea, they’ve never done construction down there and there is no room other than the theater in the basement.

Reddit, I was in this room in the basement. All night, we sat on cushions in there and brought a small TV with Nintendo, we went in and out for a solid night. We all remember it. After our friends moved, the new neighbors had us over and my brother and I went in the basement with fresh eyes of logical adults, still nothing. No door and we realized that there would have been virtually no room for us to sit comfortably because the basement only extends about four feet past the edge of the house; the room would have been Under our friends lawn. I know it’s not outright scary but i think it falls in the category of paranormal because it’s just baffling.

12. “At basically the moment I saw someone walk in, the video froze…”

I was working a night shift at a call center and it was a slow night so I was watching Netflix or youtube or something. We have a camera that looks at the back door and I saw someone ealkimg down the hall (towards where I am working). Didn’t recognize him, but not wanting to get in shit I quickly close netflix/youtube. A couple minutes go by and I don’t see anyone, but noticed a door had shut that usually stays open so I go and open it back up. I still don’t see anyone in the office, so I do a check of the entire building and nobody is around. I get back to work (data entry) and wait for my shift to end and for other people to come in (thinking somebody might pop up behind me any second). Next shift comes in and I tell my manager (they give me a look like im crazy) and I leave. Next night I get to work and they tell me they checked over the recording. At basically the moment I saw someone walk in the video froze on a single frame for about thirty minutes. Video starts up again just as the door closes and shortly after I go open it again. (I should add its one of those magnetic fire doors that would close if the power went out).

Anyways I was freaked out for the entire night next shift.

11. “he had no memory of what had happened that night and still doesn’t remember…”

My family and I had just rent this beautiful historical house that was built around the underground railroad era. It had small hideouts and doors where slaves would hideout in. As soon as soon as we moved it, we got uncomfortable vibes from it. We’d here footsteps coming from the upstairs when everyone was downstairs, the tv would turn off/ on by itself and doors would open and close by themselves. We eventually accepted the fact that we had a ghost and it seemed harmless, so we called “her” Claudia. Each of my family members had a least seen Claudia once, she was a tall dark figure who would move fast. Most of the hauntings would come from my bedroom, it was always cold and had an unpleasant smell. My little brother began sleep walking and would have terrible nightmares. One night became the final straw for my family and our relationship with Claudia. My sister and I were away at our friends while my parents and brothers were at home. The whole house was asleep when my dad woke up from screaming coming from my bedroom, when he ran out past the living room (where my little brother like to sleep because of his sleep walking) he noticed that my brother wasn’t there. So he ran up stairs where he met my older brother who had heard the screaming as well and they both saw the my bedroom door was shut and they realized that it was my little brother screaming in my room. They both went to open the door but it was like something was blocking it, so finally my dad busted door down and as the door flew open, a black shadow ran right past him and my brother. He then entered my room that was so cold, that he could see his own breath. He looked over at my litte brother, who was laying on my bed and covered in sweat and tears, and started yelling his name to wake him up. But my little just pointed (still “asleep”) at the corner of the room and started yelling “get her daddy, get her!! My dad looked over but saw nothing but pitch black, that was enough for him, he quickly grabbed my brother who was as stiff as a board and ran the hell out of there. When my brother woke up the next day, he had no memory of what had happened that night and still doesn’t remember when he talk about it almost five years later. We moved out of that house a few weeks after the incident and my brother stopped sleep walking as soon has we did. We’ve heard a few other stories from the people who currently own the house, but nothing quite as terrifying as what happened to my brother or my dad. The house has a great history behind it, but it was too creepy for my family.

10. “Then she looked around to make sure we were alone, and asked..”

In 2000, my wife and I had just purchased a large old Victorian style home to have room for our 3 kids, ages 2,5,7. Early one beautiful spring morning, with the sun shining bright, half asleep, I opened my eyes to see a woman in an early 1900s yellow dress with little flowers smiling down at me. She said, “Don’t worry, the children will be safe here.” Still mostly asleep, I thought, OK, good, and dozed off again for a few seconds. Then the realization hit me of what I just saw, and I sat straight up in bed fully awake. The woman in yellow wasn’t there of course. But that’s not the creepy part…

Fast forward to the next spring. I was teaching at the local middle school. I was in the break room with a number of people. All of them filtered out, except one older lady who was a teacher’s aid at the school. She had been close friends with the previous owners of the home, another family with young kids who had moved away for job opportunities. She asked me how I liked the house, I said it was great to have room for the kids. Then she looked around to make sure we were alone, and asked, “Have you seen the woman in yellow yet?” I nearly crapped my pants on the spot, and by the look on my face she knew I had. I told her my story, and she said one of the little girls who had lived there before talked about the yellow lady keeping her from getting hurt.

9. “We all turned around, and no one was there.”

A few years ago,my sister was married to a solider in the British Army and he was stationed in Germany. We all visited her and she knew I was interested in history so for a day out,we visited Belsen Bergen,the former Nazi concentration camp. As we were walking around,my sister was pushing the pram with my nephew in it,he was 1or 2 years old at the time. The thing about Belsen Bergen is that after the way,it was burnt to the ground so it’s more or less blank fields. As we walked,we passed a tree when my nephew asked my sister who the kids were behind us. We all turned around and no one was there. My sister asked which kids, and he replied “the ones in the pajamas”. Yet again,no kids anywhere to seen. We all knew for a fact that he has no idea what country he was in, yet alone know about the horrible events which occurred at that camp.

8. “Out of nowhere, I heard and felt footsteps rushing towards me…”

I just started working in a lab in August. Since I started, my coworkers have told me about all sorts of paranormal activity that has happened in the lab. I listened to their stories but never put much stock in them.

One day about three months into the job, I was late setting up a specimen and ended up staying behind while everyone else left. The hood I was using is in a corner, and I couldn’t really see anything except what was right in front of me without turning my chair. Out of nowhere, I heard and felt footsteps rushing towards me (the lab is on the third floor of a four-story building, and the rest of the building is completely unoccupied) and a gust blew past me. I turned to look, and there was nothing/nobody there.

7. “…while the house is still there, it’s not home anymore.”

Two years ago, I woke up around 1:00 AM thinking, “I can never go home again.” It was the most intense sense of homesickness I’ve ever experienced, full of panic and regret. I tried to calm myself down – logically, of course I could. My parents lived just a couple hours away, still in my childhood home. I’d fought hard to get away from the suburb I grew up in, so why this sudden intense longing?

The next day, I got a call that my dad had been hospitalized during the night and was in the ICU. He didn’t make it out. And while the house is still there, it’s not home anymore.

6. “…they wouldn’t let her leave.”

My grandmother died of brain cancer about twenty years ago. About two weeks after she died I was hanging out over at my parent’s place and my mom got a call – no number, no unknown number, just blank caller ID. She answered it, got quiet, hung up and went to her room without saying anything. When I finally got her to talk about it she said it was her mother, saying she was trapped and please come get her because they wouldn’t let her leave, over and over again, and then the phone disconnected. I asked her about it a few years ago and she denied that it happened for a bit and then admitted that it had happened two more times that year and then stopped, but she didn’t want to discuss it any more.

5. “She looked terrified, her eyes welled up with tears…”

When I was about 12 and started getting left alone at home, something used to shush me. I’d be pouring cereal, singing along to the TV and suddenly, “shhhhhhh!”. First time it happened I absolutely crapped myself and didn’t say a word until someone came home. I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I’d even start to convince myself it was just my imagination but then it would happen again. I think it happened about 5 or 6 times.

One Saturday morning I was in my top bunk, the beds were super noisy and the slightest of moves would result in them creaking.


I thought it was my younger sister and decided to annoy her further. I started rocking about in my bunk making as much noise as I possibly could and suddenly


I chuckled, still thinking it was my sister, and then she whispered nervously from below “.. Was that you? The shushing, was that you?”

I popped my head down and said “no, it was you”. She looked terrified, her eyes welled up with tears and she said “no it wasn’t”. She ran out of the room crying and wouldn’t come back in for a long time. I realised it must have been the shushy ghost and was overcome with relief that I wasn’t crazy because someone else had actually bloody heard it.

Haven’t heard it since. I’m always kind of waiting.

Edit: So happy so many of you think it was a librarian ghost. That was my first conclusion back when I was 12.

4. “…something grabbed me by my wrists and jerked my arms straight up into the air.”

Nothing too crazy, but…

Camping in the desert in Utah. I was a wilderness guide and lived out of my truck, so camped nearly every night, so totally used to weird noises, twigs cracking, whatever. But one night it was extremely calm and quiet, just a weird vibe in the air. A couple friends and I were on BLM land in Utah near Moab, and we had just put out the fire and laid our bags out. Just as I was starting to fade out, something grabbed me by my wrists and jerked my arms straight up into the air. I sat up immediately and two of my friends bolted up at the same time. We all had it happen to us, and we couldn’t explain it. Nothing else happened, but still makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up when I think about it…

3. “My parents tried locking the door and it would still swing open on its own.”

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.

2. “It was nice to hear from him a few more times after we lost him…”

A week or so after my childhood dog had to be put down due to cancer in his mouth me and my family started hearing his usual foot steps coming down our stairs. He was the best dog. We buried him in our yard and 10 year old me painted him a grave stone that still marks the spot.

It was nice to hear from him a few more times after we lost him.

1. “I’m certain if I hadn’t followed that urge, I wouldn’t be here today…”

When I was younger and dumber, I was on a road trip the summer after my freshman year in college. I had been driving for maybe 5 or 6 hours straight without wearing my seatbelt. I then had a sudden urge to buckle my seatbelt. Less than 2 minutes later a driver crossed the centerline, clipped my car, causing a massive accident. My car rolled over and I walked away with bruises and scratches. I’m certain if I hadn’t followed that urge, I wouldn’t be here today. Still can’t explain why or how that happened.

Check out the links below for more spooky stories shared by real people:

19 People Share Their Creepiest and Most Inexplicable Stories

18 True, Unsettling Experiences That Will Creep You Out