15 True-Life Paranormal Stories That Will Keep You Awake Tonight

Entertainment, Ghosts, Paranormal, Unexplained
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By Occult Museum

Looking for a spooky tale or two? Thousands of people around the world are sharing their terrifying true-life paranormal encounters on Reddit’s’ ridiculously popular Subreddit ‘AskReddit’. From tales of ghostly night-time visitors to phantom hands and children who play with the dead, here are the creepiest stories ever shared. Good luck sleeping tonight…

1. Visitor In The Night

When I was 7, I woke up in the middle of the night with an earache. I decided to tell my mom and stepdad and walked out of my room. Someone was sitting on the chair in the living room (about 3 feet away from my bedroom door). The person looked strange (the face was just kind of distorted) but it was dark and I couldn’t see well.

“Mom?” I asked.

The person shook their head, and I started getting scared.


The person shook their head again. I decided the best course of option was to go back to bed so I wouldn’t have to walk past this…person. I climbed in bed, and closed my eyes for a second, before opening them and seeing the person standing in my doorway, smiling madly and nodding furiously. I screamed at the top of my lungs and closed my eyes. My step dad came running out of his room in his underwear with a baseball bat (that was a scary sight in itself). There was nothing there, but clothes my mom had folded and put on the chair where strewn about the living room. For the longest time I told myself it was my cat, sitting on the clothes.


2. The Nightwalker

The only one I have is when I was in 4th grade. When I was little, I would always sleep with my door open. I went though a faze where I would wake up between 3:00 /4:00 AM every night, and every single night I would hear footsteps walking up my stairs, around my living room, through my dining room, across my kitchen and down my hallway. They would always stop right before my doorway, then turn around and go back into the basement. But one night they didn’t stop, what I saw was a shadow of a little girl/boy (couldn’t tell) walk right in front of my doorway, look at me for a few seconds, then it walked away, back down the stairs.

3. The Sleep App

A few months ago I downloaded a program for my phone – Sleep as Android. I bought the premium version of the app for the extra features to record sound throughout the night when volumes reached a certain threshold. It would activate when I would snore or move around. I would usually spend the next evening going over some of the recorded sounds. Everything was pretty normal until I listened to something out of the ordinary.

It was near the beginning of April, and I had the apartment to myself. I’ll let you listen to the sound before I go on explaining it.

It started out picking up my snoring, and then the hairs on my neck stood up as I hear my doorknob moving. Following this, you can hear my door open slowly. I was confused and a little worried. Everything was still locked up, nobody came home (the chainlock was still latched on the front door), and my landlord certainly didn’t come.

I don’t use the app anymore.

– Merrell0

4. The Gift

From 3 until 13 I lived in a nice home out near Yosemite national park, nothing super spectacular about it, 4 bedrooms, a den, dining room, the norm. Just down a little dirt road and (if you’ve ever been around those parts you’ll know) miles away from civilization. My whole childhood I was visited by this girl in white, she never spoke, I would just wake up at night and see or feel her there.

I asked my dad and his response every time was ‘the men in our family can see ghosts.’ My rationale of this (I’m a skeptic, I remain that to this day but the story I’m telling made me question) was that we had some sort of mild schizophrenia running through our family. It didn’t bother me, she didn’t look like other people. There was something ‘off’ about her. After my father died my mother decided to sell the house and went through a realtor. We never once had contact with the buyers, only knew them by name. The buyers had a son who went to the same school as our old neighbors (dear friends of the family) and the son apparently came to school without sleep repeatedly, complaining that there was a girl who watched him at night and that he needed to get out.

– oiraves

5. The Basement

I am the eldest of 3 siblings and of course as we moved house to house I got the basement bedroom most times. I was fine with this being the eldest this let me have privacy. The last home I lived in with my family before I moved out on my own I spent 5 years in the basement bedroom.

Through those five years I experienced amazing night terrors and sleep paralysis on a very regular basis. There were a few incidents where I would wake up and the closet on the far side of the room would be open just a crack, and I’d stare at it knowing I had closed it, and it would creek open just a touch more, then after what would seem like hours slowly close and click shut (not a slam, not a regular door close, a very slow methodical one if that makes sense).

On 2 specific nights I woke up, not suddenly like something jarred me, but just kind of rolled over and at the foot of my bed saw a girl standing there. She looked very young, black hair, dark dress, and she did not move, didn’t make a sound, and I never could make out a face. Both times I reverted immediately back to being 5yrs old and hid my face under the sheets while my heart rate went full marathon pace. Eventually I would feel like it wasn’t there anymore and I’d peek out and it would be gone.

My parents are not believers in anything paranormal and I never told them anything thinking they would think I’m crazy. I chalked it up to night terrors and extraordinarily realistic dreams during paralysis. I moved out and far away, my next sibling in line got the coveted “adult room” in the basement and life went on.

I had a few Christmas visits and other holiday runs and at one point I remember going into that room to get a chair and seeing the closet door nailed shut from the outside. I didn’t question it as I thought there’s no way it’s related to my experience. Not long after that on another return visit home I went and checked the door to that closet. The nails were gone but in place was a padlock and there was clearly bundles of sage/sweetgrass handing above the closet and above the only exterior window in.

I worked up the nerve to ask my mom what’s the deal with the basement and she reluctantly told me that my brother had seen “things” come in and out of the closet and that he had a girl appear beside his bed and terrorize him on several occasions.

Now, no joke, I still haven’t told them what I saw because I don’t want them to have to move or be bothered with their basement over this, they are both retired, all kids have moved out, and they seem happy. They have also since gutted and renovated the whole basement, I’ve stayed there a few times now with my wife and nothing has happened.

– Guyfromthenorth


6. The Lamp

A few years ago one night at around 3AM my wife and I were sleeping and I feel myself slowly waking up from a really deep sleep. My eyes started lifting up and as soon as they focused on the lamp on my dresser it slid off and shattered on the floor. My wife and I quickly sat up and looked at each other horrified at the startling noise. We agreed we would clean it in the morning and went back to sleep. The next morning when we woke up the lamp was at the foot of the bed (about 5 feet from where it fell) completely intact and not broken at all. We are still trying to make sense of it.

7. The Young Man

We moved into a house and everything was really quite the first 6 months or so. The neighbors told us that the people who lived there before had moved after their teenage son died in a motorcycle accident. Then after that first 6 months my dad died, not in the house, after that, stuff started to happen. I would have friends sleep over and one night my friend woke me up because she said there was a young guy standing in my bathroom.

So I went and checked and nothing was there. Over the next few years just about any friends that stayed over night had said they saw the tall blonde young guy walking around the house. We did have a few other things happen like a wine glass was on the counter and it broke. No one was touching it, it just shattered on the counter. Another time during the winter we had the heater on and my room was always the warmest in the house and it was ice cold as you walked across my bedroom to the bathroom that was connected.

The creepiest thing was when my boyfriend was sleeping on the couch in the middle of the night and he said he woke up to a young guy pushing him off on to the floor. He said the guy didn’t say anything, but my boyfriend at the time knew that he had to leave and he did. He wouldn’t stay at my place after that.

– PeopleInMyHead

8. The Little Black Box

One night when I was 10, I was asleep in bed and was woken up by my bedroom door opening then someone sitting on my bed. I felt the graze on my leg and the bed sink as they sat.

Thinking it was my mom having something to tell me, I open my eyes only to see a pale, eyeless (just black empty sockets) boy who seemed to be my age sitting at the foot of my bed with his legs crossed “staring” at me, or facing my direction since he had no eyes. He then reached his hand toward me and he was holding what looked like a little black box. I was freaked out, but as I reached to grab it, he hesitantly pulled back. I reached out further for it and said “give it”. As I did so, I blinked, and by the time I reopened my eyes, he was gone, the spot of the bed where was sitting lifted back into place but the imprint of someone sitting there was still present.

I told my mom in the morning and she was slightly freaked but assured me I was just dreaming Fast forward 5 years. I had my girlfriend over to do homework. After homework she took a nap while she waited for her parents to pick her up. When they arrived, I tried waking her to let her know. I nudged her, and she opened her eyes so sudden already looking in the direction of the corner of the room where the wall meets the ceiling, lifting her finger and pointed. And as fast as she woke, she fell asleep again. I attempted to wake her again. She came to full consciousness, and I asked her what the hell that was about and explained what she just did. She said, “oh I thought I was dreaming, but up on the wall I saw a little boy with no eyes just there in a ‘Spider-man’ pose staring at me” That’s when I freaked out and told her the story, for the first time, of when I saw what I guessed was the same kid.

Fast forward another 5 years, still with the same girlfriend, and by this time we had a 2 year old daughter. We were living in my old bedroom at my parents house. My daughter would wake up at the same time every night and start talking. For a while we thought it was a normal baby thing, until I noticed it was almost the same conversation every night. I playfully asked her one night who she was talking to every night. She responded, “a little boy, he talks to me, he’s nice. He’s lost and looking for his mommy” I told my mom what happened the next morning and before I got to tell her what I thought, she said “I remember when that happened to you, then your girlfriend, I have no idea what that is” By then, neither my girlfriend or I have seen the “little boy” after our first encounter, but my daughter continued her nightly conversations until we got our own place later that year.

– kmendo4

9. When They Call

My old co-worker had a son named Hunter that was 4 or 5. She said that Hunter would have bad dreams and that he would sleep with his dad when he got scared.

One night his dad woke up because he heard Hunter calling him. But he was calling him by his name, not ‘dad’. So he went to his room and he was asleep.

He woke him up and said “Hunter, you were calling me. Is everything okay?” And Hunter said, “Dad, when they call you you’re not supposed to answer.” and fell back asleep. He asked him about it in the morning but he said he didn’t remember saying it.

I get chills when I think about it.

– LumosTheNox


10. The Shower

Woke up one night around 1am, heard the shower was on… I first thought it was my brother, he works night shifts, so thought he had came home late and was in the shower… It went on for about half an hour until I got up and went to see wtf he was doing…

No one was in the shower, my brother wasn’t home yet, I was the only one in the house. Still to this day, I have no idea how it turned on or who did it.

Almost 5 years later I still think about it… Even writing this now I feel like turning every light on in the house ahah whyyy do I do this to myself!!


11. The Phantom Hand

To really get my story you have to have an understanding of my third floor landing.

There’s a single set of stairs that lead up to it, once on the landing it’s a T-Shape, with an Office the left, my bedroom to the right, and straight ahead is a bathroom with a shower.

Anyway, one night, ~10PM I’m taking a shower before I head to sleep. The glass panels on my shower is that like, concave/convex glass that blurs everything, so everything was blurred and unclear. I glance at the door and I see some kind of hand like figure. Now, it was pitch black, so right there it freaked me out because I come from a family of pale white welsh people. What freaked me out more was how the hand seemed to come through the door, or at least an angle where whomever the hand belonged to would be visible.

All it did was hit the lights. That’s it. No noise, no attack or anything, it just turned off the fucking lights. So there I am, I just witnessed a phantom hand, and now I’m in my shower and it’s pitch fucking black. I’ve never been so chilled to the bone before, something about being in the darkness of the night, with the only noise being the water hitting the floor beneath me, just reduced me to the most primal state of pure fear I’ve ever been in. I eventually get myself to leave the shower and hit the lights. The relief that came over me was immense.

I’ve never been able to explain it. The stairs up to the landing are old and creek like hell, I would’ve heard someone come and go down. No one was in my room, or the office. Weirder still, nothing like it has happened since.


12. The Imaginary Friend

I lived on 13 acres, most of it was forest. I was eight, hardly ever home alone but when I was this kind of thing would happen all of the time. Only when I was alone. The doors would open while they were locked, my young dogs would run up to the door and stay 10 feet away barking at something I couldn’t see while I hid behind the bar clutching a knife.

At the same home, my younger sister and I would play in the woods with just our dogs. At 5 and 7 years old we had an imaginary friend that we both would talk to and could hear what it was saying. Our dogs would follow it when it would walk away and run around it in circles as it moved around.

I revisited that house 8 years later and saw a figure moving along the edge of the woods, it looked the same size as our friend. When I told my sister, she told me she saw it too but no one else did. I didn’t realize until I was older that there was no way we both should have been able to hear it, or that the dogs shouldn’t have been able to see it.

– robotangst

13. The Other Mother

When I was sixteen I was sitting at a table with my mom talking about life, musing on the afterlife and reincarnation.. The usual. I began to laugh and say “you know, I’m pretty sure I remember my past life”. This was about the time her face went pale. I asked her why.

That’s when she began to list all of the details of my silly past life which I always felt was just a recurring dream I must have. She told me how I was the youngest child in a family of poor travelers. How my crib was the top drawer of any dresser where we would sleep and my mother was a tall, bony, angry looking woman with her hair pulled high, always wearing a long dress. All the details I was about to tell her, for what I thought was the first time.

“How did you know all of that? I’ve never told you before!” I said.

“Because that isn’t the first time you’ve told me”, she said, “you told me that story many times when you were a baby, after you first learned to talk.”

“I don’t believe it!”

“And the worst thing…” she said with a dark brow, “was when I would come to play with you…and you would tell me your other mother was behind me.”

– lukeyboy767

14. The Man Dressed In White

My mom had a really bad car crash when I was about eight. It was so bad that her face was crushed. My dad, sis as well as myself were with mom but she was hurt the most. I was taken home by my grandmom that fateful night.

In the middle of the night, an elderly gentleman came home. He was dressed in all white and he came to my room and sat beside my bed. He told me that my mom would be okay and that I should not worry. I wanted to talk more but when I tried getting up I woke up from the dream I was having. My grandma came to me asking who was I speaking with. I told her about the elderly gentleman in white. She became quite emotional as I was describing my grandfather’s features and he always dressed in white. He had died 25 years before I was born.

My mom survived the accident after battling for five nights and my father says that for those five nights I was very calm and told him multiple times that mom would be okay as the elderly gentleman had said so.

15. The Bad Feeling

I was visiting my grandparents. There is this restaurant we frequented. It had amazing and cheap Chinese food. My cousin and I used to bike up there. I loved it.

One fine evening, my cousin suggested that we bike up there. I was free and bored. I agreed. An hour before we were to leave, my grandmother who had never had any problem with us biking or the restaurant begged us not to go. I wanted to know why. She said she had a bad feeling. I checked the news. There was nothing wrong with the town.

And moreover, they lived in a quiet and boring suburb where nothing interesting ever happened. No crime, no riots, no demonstrations, no threat to security. However, she was adamant that we do not leave the house. And this was very unlike her.

So we grudgingly complied. We were supposed to be sitting there at around 8pm. Instead we were at home when it happened. In the exact same restaurant.

There was a gas explosion. Several people died. The place burned down.

I don’t know what it was that gave my grandmother the ‘bad feeling’. But she saved our lives.

[This article was originally published on and was reposted with permission.]

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