5 Terrifying True Horror Stories in the News

Ghost Stories

When you put down a book by Stephen King, or get to the credits of a Hitchcock film, you can breathe a sigh of relief and laugh off what just scared the shit out of you. It’s fiction! But true horror stories, ones legitimized through respected news organizations, are harder to disconnect from. They happened… and could happen to anyone. Suddenly we’re not safe. The real world is more terrifying than anything we can make up. Here are five that continue to creep us out:

The Death of Elisa Lam

Elisa Lam was last seen on January 31, 2013 in the lobby of the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. She was vacationing through the West Coast, documenting the trip on her blog, and checking in with her parents every day. On January 31 those calls stopped. Lam had vanished. Soon the police were involved and her parents arrived to help with the search.

They had nothing. That February, LAPD released elevator surveillance footage of Lam before her disappearance. The footage shows Lam behaving strangely in the elevator, appearing to talk with invisible people, peering around the corner of the door, crouching in the corner, and opening and closing the door. But what exactly is going on in this video raises more questions than answers. Theories range from psychotic episodes, to demonic possession, to unknown assailants just out of the camera’s view:

Around that time, hotel guests started reported weird things happening with the Cecil Hotel water supply. As CNN reports:

“The shower was awful,” said Sabina Baugh, who spent eight days there during the investigation. “When you turned the tap on, the water was coming black first for two seconds and then it was going back to normal.”

The tap water “tasted horrible,” Baugh said. “It had a very funny, sweety, disgusting taste. It’s a very strange taste. I can barely describe it.”

But for a week, they never complained. “We never thought anything of it,” she said. “We thought it was just the way it was here.”

On the morning of February 19, a hotel employee climbed to the roof and used a ladder to investigate the hotel’s water storage tanks. That’s where authorities found the decomposing, naked body of Lam, whose personal items were found nearby. After an autopsy, her death was labeled accidental. NBC Los Angeles reported at the time about the strange circumstances in the hotel’s past:

The tank has a metal latch that can be opened, but authorities said access to the roof is secured with an alarm and lock.
The single-room-occupancy hotel has an unusual history. “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, who was found guilty of 14 slayings in the 1980s, lived on the 14th floor for several months in 1985. And international serial killer Jack Unterweger is suspected of murdering three prostitutes during the time he lived there in 1991. He killed himself in jail in 1994.
In 1962, a female occupant jumped out of one the hotel’s windows, killing herself and a pedestrian on whom she landed.

An Exorcism in Indianapolis

Last year, the Indianapolis Star published a lengthy report on a family terrorized by three children allegedly possessed by demons. The account of Latoya Ammons and her family tells disturbing stories of children climbing up the walls, getting thrown across rooms, and children threatening doctors in deep unnatural voices. It would seem like something straight out of a movie–a work of fantasy, except all of these accounts were more or less corroborated with “nearly 800 pages of official records obtained by the Indianapolis Star and recounted in more than a dozen interviews with police, DCS personnel, psychologists, family members and a Catholic priest.”

One of the more chilling sections of the report includes a segment about the possessed 9-year-old:

According to Washington’s original DCS report—an account corroborated by Walker, the nurse—the 9-year-old had a “weird grin” and walked backward up a wall to the ceiling. He then flipped over Campbell, landing on his feet. He never let go of his grandmother’s hand.

Another segment of the piece reads:

The 12-year-old would later tell mental health professionals that she sometimes felt as if she were being choked and held down so she couldn’t speak or move. She said she heard a voice say she’d never see her family again and wouldn’t live another 20 minutes.

Utah Murder-Suicide

In September of 2014, a Utah teen returned to his home to find his parents and three siblings dead. “In a notebook, a ‘to-do list’ had been scribbled on the pages … The list looked as if the parents were readying to go on vacation—items such as ‘feed the pets’ and ‘find someone to watch after the house’ were written,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported. It appeared to be murder-suicide, but there was no suicide note, no prior indication that they would do this, no explanation. Police could not figure out why two parents would kill themselves and three of their four children.

For a year, no one knew exactly what happened to the family, or what would drive the parents to do something so unthinkable. In January, police released more chilling details in the case. According to accounts from family members and an investigation by police, the parents were driven by a belief that the apocalypse was coming and an obsession with a convicted killer. As the Washington Post reported:

Friends and family told police that the parents were worried about the “evil in the world” and wanted to escape a “pending apocalypse.” But most assumed they just wanted to move somewhere “off the grid.” Investigators also found letters written by Kristi Strack to one of the state’s most infamous convicted killers, Dan Lafferty, who was convicted in the 1984 fatal stabbing of his sister-in-law and her 1-year-old daughter. According to trial testimony, he killed the victims at the order of his brother, Ron Lafferty, who claimed to have had a revelation from God. The story became a book called “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

Police said Kristi Strack became friends with Dan Lafferty, and she and her husband even visited him in prison.

The Phone Stalker

In 2007, ABC news documented a series of cell phone calls to families with terrifyingly specific death threats. The unidentified callers knew exactly what families were doing and what they were wearing.

The families say the calls come in at all hours of the night, threatening to kill their children, their pets and grandparents. Voice mails arrive, playing recordings of their private conversations, including one with a local police detective.

The caller knows, the families said, what they’re wearing and what they’re doing. And after months of investigating, police seem powerless to stop them.

This went on with the Kuykenall family for months, who reported a caller with a scratchy voice threatening to slit their throats.

5 Terrifying-But-True Horror Stories in the News

28 Terrifying True Ghost Stories and Strange Encounters

Ghost House

As you turn the last page of a Stephen King novel, or the credits of your favorite horror movie begin to roll, you can breathe a sigh of relief; it’s all over. It was all just make-believe. True horror stories are harder to forget and leave behind. The following strange and often terrifying encounters actually happened … and what’s more, they could happen to anyone.

Turn the lights down low and hide under your bedsheets because the truth is, we’re not safe. The real world is far more terrifying than anything we can make up.


1. Happy Birthday

We moved into a new house a few months ago. As we were in the process of purchasing the house, the renter who was living in it died unexpectedly of natural causes in his mid-40s. He died right in the middle of the living room. Shortly after, we move into the house, and almost immediately our two-year-old daughter starts talking about the ghost that lives in our house.

Now let’s be real here–she is two and two-year-olds are VERY impressionable. Halloween had recently passed, and she had this Halloween-themed picture book that she loved to read, so it’s entirely possible that all this talk of ghosts was just coming from looking through that book on a regular basis. Still, she was always telling me that the ghost was in her playhouse in the basement, or that the ghost was on the stairs, or that the ghost was standing in the corner.

She never seemed to be afraid of the ghost, and considered him to be her friend, so I wasn’t all that concerned even if there really was a ghost haunting our house. If he’s a nice and helpful ghost, it could certainly be a lot worse.

I would often tell the ghost that he was welcome to stay if he wanted to, but he was also welcome to go if that would make him happier. I was about 30/70 on the ghost being real and she could see and talk to him versus the ghost being just her imagination fueled by her Halloween book … until one day, when we were going out to the car to go to daycare in the morning.

It was still dark out, and rainy. My daughter told me that the ghost was on the back deck, and then she told me that today was the ghost’s birthday and she wanted to sing him Happy Birthday. Once again, I mostly disregarded what she was saying, as she is birthday obsessed and has in the past made us sing Happy Birthday to Mickey Mouse, a bowl of fruit snacks, and the bathroom. So we sang and wished the ghost a happy birthday and went on with our lives. Later that day, out of pure curiosity, I looked up the obituary of the man who had died in our house.

And wouldn’t you know it? It was his fucking birthday. – patentspatented

2. The Babysitter

This happened a couple weeks ago and is the most recent creepy moment I can recall.

I on and off again babysit this two-year-old while his parents have a date night. Once before my friend was babysitting him and he started talking to his “grandpa” (who his parents say he never met as he had died before the kid was born). So whenever I babysit him, I prepare for something weird like that to happen again.

Of course this night were in his living room and he points at an empty wall in front of us “Grandpa” is all he says. He’s two and doesn’t talk a whole lot so I didn’t ask for an explanation. Instead I start talking about other things because it’s creeping me out. The kid then widens his eyes and grips the chair he’s sitting in, chattering his teeth and shaking uncontrollably. Here’s me freaking the fuck out so I grab him and tell him that it’s time to watch a movie before bed.

Later that night, I’m about to take him upstairs when I noticed the door was unlocked. I locked it and turned the knob, shaking the door, to reaffirm that it’s locked (I do this without fail to every door I lock, it’s a dumb quirk) and then carry him upstairs to bed since he’s already half asleep.

I’m in his room for about 20 minutes and when he’s finally out I leave him and go back downstairs. The front door is directly in front of the stairs and guess what. THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED. Immediately I think that this is going to be a horror movie and think that it’s a smart idea to check around the house. Nothing out of the ordinary. I even go upstairs to check on the kid again. I didn’t bother looking in the other bedrooms because I had his door open when we were laying in there and would have seen anyone come up.

Anyways, after making sure he’s okay, I go back downstairs and watch tv until his parents get home, jumping at every little noise. Freakiest night of my life and I had to debate for a solid hour when they asked me to watch him again a couple days later. – peachskylines


3. The Accident

ghost stories

Photo: Nicole Mason / Unsplash

Something found me after a car accident and I don’t know what it was.

During our drive home from a family trip our car hit black ice on a curve that sent us rolling. That day I didn’t wear my seatbelt I was ejected out the car by breaking through my window using my face as a ram. From my perspective: One second I’m in a car, the next thing I know I’m laying in some bushes. I try getting up but I’m stopped by an intense pain in my shoulder (broke my collar bone). Honestly, I don’t know if I passed out or just went to sleep but at this point I lost consciousness. After an unknown amount of time to me, through my closed eyes I can see a flash light shine over me (it was 3:00 A.M.). My dad found me, lifted me to my feet with ease and pushed me towards where the totaled car and my family was. A distinct detail I remember about this moment is how firm the hands were.

The unexplainable part. After talking to my brother I realized something. My dad never actually went looking for me. My mom was badly damaged and no one had no idea what happened to me. They actually assumed the worst and thought I was dead, under the car. We didn’t even have a flashlight. I don’t know who/what found me lying there, but something did. I distinctly remember the light shining over me before firm strong hands lifted me up like I was paper. Before talking about it I always just assumed it had been my dad. I post this every now and then just kinda hoping an answer finds it. My collar bone healed so it’s protruding a bit, it’s stuck as a permanent reminder of that day. – XdannyX


4. The Farmer

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 four months old. Flash forward a few years. We live in an old 1930s era craftsman house in Pasadena, CA. Our son is about three.

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 Monday to Friday).

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 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 over hear 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 can’t 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. – Tucker48

5. The Man in the Top Hat

When my brother and I were around four/five we lived in a house that was about 100 years old. One day we were walking up the stairs when we saw a tall man in a black coat and top hat walk into the living room which was to the left of the bottom of the stairs. A bit freaked out we thought our dad was pranking us so called out for him. Shit. Both parents came out of the kitchen (opposite side of the stairs and isolated from the living room).

I hadn’t thought about it for a long time and we never spoke about it. Then about a month ago, my daughter asked if I believed in ghosts so I told her the story. Literally seconds later my phone bleeps. It was my brother saying “I was just talking to (partner) about paranormal stuff, do you remember the guy in the top hat?” – Swallows84


6. The Night Visitor

ghost stories

Photo: Krista Mangulsone / Unsplash

Okay, this is my go-to scary story that happened to me. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I stayed up sort of late. When I got to bed, I was still feeling restless. I pulled all of my blankets around me and tucked myself against the wall (my twin bed was flush with the wall). I was in bed awake for probably an hour when I started hearing a rather unsettling noise. Muffled crying. I focused on it, hoping it was my imagination or I was asleep.

After a few minutes, I needed to see what it was. I turned around in bed to see a woman in a dress standing at the far side of my room, crying into her hands. Her hair was matted and her clothes tattered. She was about seven or eight feet tall, crammed under the ceiling. After a few seconds she looks up at me and screams, but it sounded like it was coming from far away. She made eye contact with me, turned around and walked through the wall.

I stayed awake that night. – Coolman_Express


7. The Talking Portrait

When I was maybe six or seven, I was staying the night at my grandparents house. I was on the couch trying to sleep when I heard whispering. They had a painting of my aunt hanging on the wall in the living room and it was talking to me. Nothing creepy though. It was talking the way my aunt would talk to me. Asking me if I was behaving and typical aunt talk. She tells me to wake my grandfather up because she needs to talk to him.

I did and when he realized she wasn’t there he began scolding me.

In between threats and insults, he noticed someone moving outside the window. He grabbed his pistol and told me to stay in the room with my grandmother. A minute or two later we hear a gunshot. Turns out there is a prison for young adults about 20 miles from where they live. Three of them killed a guard and escaped. They were sizing the house up to take his truck and whatever they could, but he saw them first. Ended up shooting one of them in the shoulder. I have no idea why that fucking picture was talking to me. They’ve never experienced ghosts before or since. – Tucker33

28 Terrifying True Ghost Stories and Strange Encounters

The 20 Scariest Urban Legends

Urban legends are rarely strictly, factually true, but they do reveal important truths about our deepest, darkest fears. Embracing these fears by sharing them in a group is a way of confronting and coping with what we’re afraid of. So on some dark night, maybe around a campfire, during a sleepover, or just a quiet evening with friends, try telling one of these tales of terror…if you dare!

of 20


Scary Clown

Willi Schubert / EyeEm / Getty Images

An adolescent babysitter caring for two small children phoned their parents late in the evening to ask for permission to cover up the life-size clown statue in the corner of the family room. “It’s not that I don’t like it,” she said. “It just kind of freaks me out. I can’t watch TV with that thing in the room.” Their reaction freaked her out even more.More »

02 of 20


The Dead Boyfriend

Color Day Production/The image Bank/Getty Images

A teenage couple is parked late at night on lovers’ lane. The boy gets out of the car and heads for the bushes to go to the bathroom, but doesn’t return. After waiting what seems like an eternity, his girlfriend finally hears what she thinks are his footsteps approaching. Only it’s not footsteps. It’s something scraping back and forth across the roof of the vehicle. More »

03 of 20


Aren't You Glad You Didn't Turn on the Light

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

As if we needed proof that scary things happen in the dark, this unnerving tale about a murderous madman lurking unseen in a dark dormitory bedroom proves that sometimes what you don’t know can hurt you — even if it chooses for the moment to hide and wait. More »

04 of 20


Vanishing Hitchhiker

M. Eric Honeycutt/Vetta/Getty Images

As darkness fell, the honeymooners came upon a female hitchhiker in a tattered white dress. She begged them to take her home. They obliged. Then a strange thing happened as they pulled into the driveway of the address she had given them. It was a moment they’d never forget. More »

05 of 20


Russian Sleep Experiment

James Bruntz/Moment/Getty Images

Not long after the end of World War II, Russian researchers conducted an experiment in which five prison inmates were confined in a sealed chamber and exposed to a powerful stimulant gas to test the effects of long-term sleep deprivation on human subjects. The inmates had been promised their freedom if they could stay awake for 30 days straight. What could possibly go wrong? More »

06 of 20


Bloody Mary

Alain Daussin/Image Bank/Getty Images

Five young girls stood before the bathroom mirror in dim candlelight, chanting together: “Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary.” The thirteenth time they said it something very odd and very frightening happened. Not all of the girls lived through it. Some of those who did wished they hadn’t. More »

07 of 20


Laurie Noble/Dorling Kindersley/Getty Images

While vacationing in a tropical clime, a young woman went sunbathing on the beach and fell asleep. She woke up a short while later and noticed a stinging sensation on her cheek. At first she attributed the irritated patch of skin to sunburn, then it began to swell and grew into an unsightly boil. Except it wasn’t a boil. More »

The 20 Scariest Urban Legends

TOP 10 Scary Stories for Kids to Tell

The Clown Statue

A girl in her teens babysat for a wealthy family one night. The wealthy family had a very large house with many rooms. It was filled with lots of artefacts and old ornaments from all over the world. As the parents were leaving to go out, the father told the girl that once the she put the kids down, she must go down to the basement, watch TV there, and not go wandering around the house.

Once the kids are asleep, the girl retires to the basement room to watch TV. However, she cannot concentrate on her show because in the in the corner of the room is a life-size clown statue grinning at her. She finally decides to drape a blanket over the statue so she can ignore it. After a while she can’t stand looking at the clown statue’s over-sized feet sticking out from under the blanket. She decides to call the father and ask his permission to watch TV in another room, because she is freaked out by the giant clown statue in basement room.

“Listen very carefully,” says the man to the girl.

“Our children have been complaining about a clown that comes into their room in the middle of the night. We just thought it was nightmares. We don’t own a clown statue. You need to get the kids and get out of the house NOW! I’ll call the police.”

The girl hangs up the phone, turns around to look at the covered clown statue, but all there is a blanket on the floor! She hears steps coming down the basement stairs.

Hide and Seek

short scary stories for kids

This scary story for kids ends with a question, the answers to which can make the story even scarier.

Two young brothers were at home alone in the apartment while their parents visited their neighbours next door for a while.

“Be good boys,” their parents said.

To keep themselves occupied the boys decided to play a game of hide and seek. The older boy turned his head to the wall and began to count. He could hear his little brother’s feet as he scampered about looking for a place to hide.

“Ready or not I’m coming,” cried the older brother and off he went looking for his brother. He looked in all the usual places, behind the sofa, in the bathroom behind the shower curtain, behind the curtains in every room, and under all the beds, but he couldn’t find him. The apartment was eerily silent.

Then he heard a scraping sound coming from the wardrobe. The boy was sure he’d already looked there, but he went anyway and called out, “Come out I’ve found you!” but there was only silence.

Again he called for his brother to come out and again nothing. Opening the door, the boy tried to peer behind the wall of dresses and coats hanging there. He bent down, but he did not see any feet standing there. He began to rise up and put his hand out into the mass of clothing to feel for his little brother when a small, white, icy cold hand came out, grabbed his wrist, and tried to pull him into the closet.

As he is trying to pull himself free, he hears a noise behind him, looks over his shoulder, and sees his brother behind him. “Couldn’t you find me?” asks the boy.

The older brother screams in fright and desperately tries to free himself from the grip of the hand, all the while being pulled into the wardrobe. The younger brother grabs him and together they manage to pull free. They both run screaming from the apartment.

Nobody knows what would have happened if the hand had managed to pull him in. Do you!

The Flying Dutchman

An old legend and famous scary story, there was even a movie based upon this legend in the 1950s. Some versions say the Dutchman must sail the seas until he finds the love of a good woman.

The legend of The Flying Dutchman began 1641, when a Dutch ship sank off the coast of the Cape of Good Hope. The captain, a Dutch man named VanderDecken, failed to notice the dark clouds looming. Only when he heard the lookout scream out in terror did he realise that they had sailed straight into a fierce storm.

The captain and his crew battled for hours to get out of the storm. At one point it seemed as if they would make it. Then they heard a sickening crunch; the ship had hit treacherous rocks and began to sink. As the ship plunged downwards, Captain VanderDecken knew that death was approaching. He was not ready to die and screamed out a curse: “I WILL round this Cape even if I have to keep sailing until the end of time!”

So, even today whenever a storm brews off the Cape of Good Hope, if you look into the eye of the storm, you will be able to see the ship and its captain – The Flying Dutchman. The legend goes that whoever sees the ship will die a terrible death.

Many people have claimed to have seen The Flying Dutchman, including the crew of a German submarine boat during World War II.

On 11 July 1881, the Royal Navy ship, the Bacchante, was rounding the tip of Africa when they were confronted with the sight of The Flying Dutchman. The midshipman, a prince who later became King George V, recorded that the lookout man and the officer of the watch had seen The Flying Dutchman and he used these words to describe the ship:

A strange red light as of a phantom ship all aglow, in the midst of which light the mast, spars and sails of a brig 200 yards distant stood out in strong relief.

It is pity that the lookout saw the Flying Dutchman. For, soon after, on the same trip, he accidentally fell from a mast and died. Fortunately for the English royal family, the young midshipman survived the curse to become The King of England!

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

The Vanishing Hitchhiker

This urban legend appears in many forms in different parts of the country. Resurrection Mary is the most famous and is associated with the southwest suburbs of Chicago and Resurrection Cemetery. Tell this story as if it happened to a personal friend.

My Uncle Joe was driving home late one night when he picked up a pretty girl hitchhiking in a white dress. The girl was very nice and they have a good conversation. He drove her home and dropped her off at her house. The next day, he realized she left her sweater in his car. He decided to drop the sweater off at her house. When he rang the bell, an old lady answered the door. He tells her his story and she tells him he must be mistaken – her daughter died in a car accident after a night of dancing many years ago.

Variation: The hitchhiker never gets to her house. She mysteriously vanishes from the car as they pass the cemetery gates.

The Big Toe

This is a story that is not too scary for young children and can actually be quite funny. This traditional Southern tale should be told in a serious tone.

A woman is gardening when she digs up a hairy toe. She brings it in the house and puts it in a jar. When she goes to bed that night, she hears the wind moaning and groaning and then she hears “Where is my Hair-r-r-y To-o-e?”

She creeps further under the covers as the house creaks and cracks and she again hears, “Where is my Hair-r-r-y To-o-e?”

Continue this story as long as you wish, with more details about the scary noises in the house and repeating the question “Where is my Hairy Toe” more forcibly and louder.

Finally, say “Where is my Hair-r-r-y To-o-e?” in a low, menacing voice and then jump up, point at the listeners, and scream, “You’ve got it!”

The following stories are a bit longer. To build the suspense, tell them slowly, with a great deal of vocal expression

The Lady with the Emerald Ring

A rich man’s wife became deathly ill the night before Christmas in 1798, so he called for the doctor. By the time the doctor arrived, his wife had died, or so it seemed. Her husband was so grief stricken that he locked himself in his room and did not attend the funeral the following day. The servants of the house carried the rich woman’s body to the Vicar who, in a drunken stupor, held the ceremony quickly. The veil was drawn across her face, the stone lid lowered, and the iron grille locked.

Just before the clergyman fell to sleep later that night, he remembered the beautiful emerald ring on the finger of the woman he had laid to rest. Wanting the ring and thinking no one would find out, he went downstairs, unlocked the lid, opened it, and tried to pry off the ring. It would not budge. He ran and brought back a file to cut the ring off her finger. When that did not work, he severed her finger and pulled the ring off. As he left, he turned around to pick up the iron lid, and screamed at the top of his lungs. He dropped the ring and ran. The woman had awakened, was moaning, and held her severed finger towards him with an evil smile on her face.

Wearing nothing but her fine silk dress, the woman walked back to her home, knocked on the door, and rang the bell, but to no avail. The servants had all gone to sleep, for it was late on Christmas Eve. She lifted a heavy stone, threw it at her husband’s window, and waited. He came to the window with a sorrowful look on his face.

Suddenly, to her surprise, he yelled, “Go away. Why must you torture me so? Don’t you know my wife has just died? Let me mourn and do not bother me again.”

With this he shut the window. He did not realize it was his wife who had thrown the rock at the window. She repeated her actions, again throwing a rock at the window. He opened the window again, and she yelled to him, “I am no one but your so-called dead wife. Now come down here and open this door, unless you’d like me to die a second time on our doorstep.

TOP 10 Scary Stories for Kids to Tell


1. The Jersey Watcher

For sale: large, six-bedroom home in Westfield, New Jersey. Three bathrooms, wood flooring, and one unnerving stalker. Soon after Derek and Maria Broaddus purchased the Westfield home (above) in 2014, they received a letter from someone who called him/herself “the Watcher.” The anonymous individual seemed to be the latest in a long line of family members who obsessed over the Jersey home. “My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched it in the 1960s. It is now my time,” the letter read.

More letters arrived once the couple moved in with their three children. “I am pleased to know your names now and the name of the young blood you have brought me,” one read. Another chilling missive asked: “Found out what’s in the walls yet?” The Broaddus’ have since moved out—and sued the home’s previous owners for failing to mention its, uh, pre-existing condition. According to CBS New York, the house is back on the market.

2. The Cell Phone Stalkers

Getting a threatening phone call from a stranger is terrifying. But for three Washington state families in 2007, the calls became unnervingly personal. The families received calls at all hours of the night, with threats made against their families and pets. It seemed as if the anonymous tormenters were watching quite closely—and listening in, as well.

Voicemails arrived, playing recordings of the families’ private conversations, including one with a police detective. One family member’s cell phone would send text messages to friends … by itself. The callers knew where the families were, what they were doing, and what they were wearing. Once, when one of the victims was at home slicing limes, a call came in from a restricted number—and the voice on the other end said it preferred lemons. When the calls were traced, they led back to the families’ own phones.

Authorities and cell phone providers were flummoxed by the reports; “We’re not exactly sure what is being done to these phones,” said Sprint spokesman Matt Sullivan. Electronic surveillance experts noted the ease with which our cell phones can be hijacked, while others suggested the calls might be coming from inside the house—i.e. a disgruntled family member.


3. The Demon House of Indiana

zak bagans

Photo of Gary house via Crime Feed

Evil children are a familiar trope in horror movies. But finding possessed tykes in a police report is far more rare. The trouble started when Latoya Ammons and her children moved into a rented home in Gary, Indiana in November 2011. Paranormal encounters followed suit; there were ghostly shadows, phantom dog barks, physical attacks by invisible beings, and a mysterious oil that seemed to drip off furniture. Then, in April 2012, a demonic force attacked Latoya’s seven-year-old son during a visit with a family physician. After being thrown across the room, the boy—in front of nurses, social workers, and paramedics who all reported seeing the same thing—glided backwards up a wall while growling and gurgling.

Even Charles Austin, a police captain and a skeptic, called the home’s basement “a portal to hell” after investigating the case. Photos he took of the house disappeared from his phone, a threatening voice yelled “You outta here” through his AM/FM radio, and the driver’s seat in his car started moving backwards and forwards by itself while he stood outside the vehicle. After a series of blessings and exorcisms, Latoya Ammons and her family left the house. In 2014, famed ghost hunter Zac Bagans purchased the cursed property—only to knock it down after paranormal activity became too intense.

4. Death at Dyatlov Pass

The infamous Dyatlov Pass in Russia’s Ural Mountains got its name from a doomed group of experienced hikers led by Igor Dyatlov. The nine members set out on January 1, 1959. When they failed to arrive at their scheduled end-point on February 12, rescue groups went looking for them.

What they found produced more questions than answers. A tent was discovered at the foot of a mountain, seemingly cut open from the inside. Inside were the group’s belongings, and leading away from the tent through the snow were footprints—suggesting that some of the members fled without shoes or socks. The first bodies were found about a mile from the tent, while the rest were discovered in a makeshift shelter. Some had broken bones and internal injuries but no external signs of a struggle like scratches or wounds. Another victim was missing her tongue and eyes. Despite an extensive investigation, what happened on the mountain remains unknown.

5. The Missing Scuba Diver

true scary stories vortex spring

The warning sign near the entrance to the cave. Photo: Wikipedia

When diver Ben McDaniel descended into the water of Vortex Spring, a large dive park and underwater cave near Ponce de Leon, Florida, he knew it wasn’t going to be an easy plunge. One narrowing tunnel below the surface is even sealed by a locked gate, with a key available only to divers experienced enough to handle its challenges. With the tightest spots in the cave measuring just 10 inches from floor to ceiling, the only way out is the way you came in. McDaniel went down, but he never came back up.

Recovery divers searched every inch of the cave. They explored hundreds of feet beyond the end of the cave map, squeezing through 10-inch spaces. They found just two decompression tanks belonging to McDaniel—but not McDaniel himself, and no other signs that he had been there. No scrapes on the limestone, no feeding fish, and no disturbed silt. His disappearance remains a mystery.

10 Creepy Urban Legends From Around The World

2 Couple In Car

Urban Legends are often thrilling stories, which contain many folkloric elements; and so they often spread quickly through a community or society. The tales are told dramatically, as though they were true stories that related to to real people—although they may in fact be one hundred percent fabricated.

Local touches are often added to the legend—but strangely enough, you will often hear the exact same story in different versions throughout the world. Urban legends often carry a warning or have some significance that motivates the community to preserve and propagate them. The only sure thing is that some of these creepy urban legends have been the cause of many a sleepless night. Here are ten of the best:


The Choking Doberman


This urban legend comes from Sydney, Australia, and features a bizarre story regarding a choking Doberman dog. One night, a couple who had been out for a few too many drinks came home to find their dog choking in the living room. The man panicked and fainted, but the woman decided to call her old friend, a vet, and arranged to drop the dog off at the vet clinic.

After dropping off the dog, she decides to go home and get her husband into bed. It takes her a while to do this, and in the meantime, the phone rings. The vet screams hysterically that they need to get out of the house immediately. So without any clue as to what’s going on, the couple leave the house as quickly as possible.

As they come down the stairs, several policemen run up to meet them. When the woman ask what the problem is, a policeman gently tells her that the dog was choking on a man’s finger. A burglar must still be present in their home. Soon enough, the former owner of the finger is found unconscious in the bedroom.

Read more terrifying urban legends just like these in Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid: The Book of Scary Urban Legends at Amazon.com!


The Suicidal Boyfriend

2 Couple In Car

This story, also known as “The Boyfriend’s Death” has many different variations and has been interpreted as a more generalized warning not to stray too far from the safety of home. Our version takes us to Paris in the 1960s.  A girl and her boyfriend—both of them college students—are making out in his car. They have parked near the Forest of Rambouillet so that they won’t be seen by anyone. When they’re finished, the boy gets out to take some fresh air and smoke a cigarette, and the girl waits for him in the safety of the car.

After waiting for five minutes, the girl gets out of the car to look for her boyfriend. Suddenly, she sees a man in the shadows. Frightened, she gets back into the car to drive away—but as she does this, she hears a very faint squeak, followed by more squeaks.

This continues for a few seconds, until the girl decides that she has no choice but to drive off. She hits the gas as hard as possible, but can’t go anywhere; someone has tied a rope from the bumper of the car to a nearby tree.

Finally, the girl slams on the gas again and then hears a loud scream. She gets out of the car and realizes that her boyfriend is hanging from the tree. It turns out that the squeaky noises were made by his shoes, scraping across the top of the car.


The Slit-Mouthed Woman


There is a legend in Japan and China about a girl called Kuchisake-Onna, also known as the slit-mouthed woman. Some say that she was a samurai’s wife. One day, she cheated on her husband with a younger and better-looking man. When the husband returned, he discovered her betrayal; enraged and furious, he took his sword and slit her mouth ear-to-ear.

Some say that the woman was cursed to never die, and still wanders the world so that people can see the horrible scar on her face and pity her. Some people claim that others have actually seen a very beautiful young lady, who asked them: “Am I pretty?”  And once they replied positively, she ripped off the surgical mask, and showed them her horrible wound. She then asked the same question—and anyone who no longer found her pretty was met by tragic death from her hands.

There are two morals to this story: a compliment won’t cost you a thing, and honesty isn’t necessarily the best policy.


Crybaby Bridge

Sadness 4B6B8C939Ad0B

According to this legend, a couple was driving home from church with their baby, arguing about something. The rain was falling in torrents, and they soon found themselves having to drive over a flooded bridge. As they started across, the water was deeper than they first thought, so they got stuck and decided to get out of the car to find help. The woman stayed behind, but left the car for reasons we can only guess at.

While her back was turned to the car, she heard her baby crying out loudly. She returned to the vehicle, only to find that her baby had been carried away by the water. According to the same legend, if you go to that same bridge you can still hear the baby crying (the bridge’s location is conveniently unknown).


Zanfretta’s Alien Abduction


Fortunato Zanfretta’s abduction story has become one of the most famous urban legends in Italy over the last few decades.

According to his own accounts (originally made while under hypnosis), Zanfretta was abducted by aliens called Dragos from the planet Teetonia, and experienced repeated abductions by the same group over a period of several years (1978-1981). As frightening or creepy as this case might sound, it seems like we can paint a more optimistic picture of the intentions of these visitors when we consider the words of Zanfretta during one hypnosis section:

“I know you are trying to come more frequently . . . no, you can’t come to Earth, people get scared if they look at you. You can’t make friendship. Please go.”

Zanfretta has probably given more details about his alien abduction than any other person in history; his detailed accounts may cause even the most vehement skeptic to pause for thought. To this day, the Zanfretta case remains one of the most curious and fascinating ‘x-files’ around the world.

10 Creepy Urban Legends From Around The World

20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are True

The Texarkana Moonlight Murders

The Texarkana Moonlight Murder... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  American International Pictures

A series of murders that occurred in the Texarkana region of the Texas/Arkansas border in 1946 is most certainly one of the catalysts for lover’s lane urban legends (the hook hand, hanging boyfriend, etc). In a period of three months, (an) unknown criminal(s) murdered five people and seriously injured three more in attacks on couples in their cars and homes.

Most historians believe The Phantom Killer (the mysterious perpetrator of the crimes) was able to get in and out of town without being caught thanks to a railway hub that once sat in the middle of Texarkana. Regardless of where the killer went, the city owns its legacy. Every year, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, a ’70s exploitation movie about the killings, is shown in Spring Lake Park, where most of the crimes took place.

The Hinterkaifeck Murders

The Hinterkaifeck Murders is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: Andreas Biegleder/Public Domain

You know that urban legend about a killer hiding in a family’s home for weeks, learning their movements, and waiting for the opportune moment to kill them in their sleep? Well, get freaked out, because it actually happened to family in 1922, in the rural town of Hinterkaifeck, in Bavaria, Germany.

The story begins six months prior to the murder of the Gruber family, when the maid quit because she believed the family’s house was haunted. When a new maid was brought on, she mentioned hearing footsteps in the attic. More bizarre things happened that winter – footprints in the snow leading from the woods to the house appeared one day, as did a strange newspaper, found in the house. Someone tried to break into a tool shed on the farm, too. But in the end, nothing seemed to come of it.

At least not until March 6, 1922, when each family member was lured to the barn, where they were killed one by one with a mattock. The bodies were discovered a week later, and the crime was never solved. If that weren’t creepy enough, the weekend of the murders, neighbors reported that someone fed the cows and let the dog out, and smoke was seen rising from the chimney.

Spitman Pays for Watersports and Footjobs in London Council Estates
Spitman Pays for Watersports a... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  Channel 4

A character known as Spitman (linked video has some NSFW material) haunts the urban council estates of West London, where he pays teenage boys and young men for bizarre sexual favors, which range from garden variety water sports (Spitman likes to be pissed on) to all manner of foot fetishism (he enjoys simply being rubbed by bare feet).

Marlon Tavares made a Vice documentary on the subject, after overhearing talk of Spitman at a pizza place. In the short, various anonymous young men talk about the things they’ve done for Spitman, and how it works; he gives out a fiver (£5; about $6.50) every three minutes while the favors last. According to Tavares, there were whispers of Spitman’s debauchery reaching back decades.

Is it possible there have been multiple iterations of Spitman over the years? Something similar happened in Philadelphia in the late ’80s and early ’90s.

Ted Bundy’s Trip to Florida

Ted Bundy's Trip to Florida is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: Donn Dughi/State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory/Public Domain

Everyone knows Ted Bundy was a heinous serial killer who would pretend to have a broken leg in order to trick women into approaching him. But in his final crime spree before he was arrested, Bundy brutally ripped through an Florida State University sorority, attacking four women in 15 minutes, and killing two of them. If there weren’t reams of evidence for Bundy’s trip to Florida, during which he also smashed a dancer’s skull, ruining her equilibrium and destroying her career, and tried to assault a 14-year-old girl before her older brother showed up, it would sound like something college freshmen tell each other on Halloween.

Stalker Hides Under Teen Girl&... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo:  20th Century Fox

If you’ve ever wanted to live in a real-life horror movie, get jealous, because this girl did it. In July 2014, a teenager living in Ellesmere Port, England received texts from a random creeper named Kyle Ravensport, who claimed he was watching her. Ravensport also told the girl he would hang himself outside her window, so she would wake up to see his dead body swaying in the breeze.

Over the course of his creepezoid texting spree, Ravensport scared the girl so badly she slept in her mom’s room that night. Good thing, because the next morning she discovered Ravensport sleeping under her bed. Heinous.

Man Dies from Atomic Wedgie

Man Dies from Atomic Wedgie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list 20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are (Mostly) True
Photo: National Nuclear Security Administration / Nevada Site Office/Public Domain

Stories of kids dying from atomic wedgies are about as believable as that story of a guy dying from breathing his own farts. However, as it turns out, at least one unlucky wedgie recipient died from the childish prank. In December 2013, Brad Lee Davis and his stepdad, Denver Lee St. Clair, got into an argument that culminated with Davis giving St. Clair an atomic wedgie so brutal he was choked to death by the elastic band on his manties.

Davis, a former Marine, pleaded guilty to first degree manslaughter in 2015. As per an article in The Oklahoman, “The man who killed his stepfather with an ‘atomic wedgie’ told a judge Wednesday, ‘It’s like a bad dream.'”

20 Stories That Sound Like Urban Legends, But Are True

21 Scary Stories For Kids To Tell In The Dark

Here is a collection of top scary and spooky stories you can tell your kids. What you are about to read are short, abridged versions and summaries of the actual stories. You can add dialogues of your own when you narrate the story to make it interesting.

Urban Legends for Kids

1. The Hook

Age Recommendation: 12 years and up

One evening, a teenage boy took his date to the secluded lovers lane for some alone time. That same day, his girlfriend had heard about an insane man who had escaped from an asylum. He was called ‘The Hook’ because his right hand was cut off and was replaced by what looked like a hook.

It was very dark that night. The teenagers were in the car and began cuddling up when the announcer on the radio repeated the warning about ‘The Hook’. On hearing it again, the girl got scared and insisted that they get out of the place immediately. Just then, the car shakes vehemently, as if someone has hit it or was pushing it.

Equally scared, the boy starts the engine and drives away from that place and back into the town. Once they were back on the road with some traffic and people, the kids decide to stop at a coffee shop for some food. When the girl gets out, she is shocked to see something hanging from the passenger door’s handle – it was a bloody hook!

Notes for telling: Create interest around how the girl gets frightened when the car moves and how they get out of the place quickly, giving an impression that the hook may have been caught in the door because they sped away.

[ Read: Spooky Halloween Stories For Kids ]

2. Candyman

Age Recommendation: 8 years and up

Once upon a time, there was a slave named Daniel. He worked at a candy factory in New Orleans. He was also a talented painter, who was hired to paint a portrait of the mill owner’s daughter Rose. Daniel and Rose fall in love, which makes her father angry. The townspeople also get upset with the fact that the slave fell in love with a wealthy man’s daughter. An angry mob chased Daniel out of the town with pitchforks and tortured and killed him for loving a woman who belonged to the aristocracy.

Daniel died in pain, but his spirit never left the world. It is said that even today, Daniel’s ghost comes to you if you say the word ‘Candyman’ five times. So remember, you can say the word Candyman once, twice, or even thrice but never five times. If you do, you’ll be sorry!

Notes for telling: Do not focus too much on how the Candyman was killed, as it can leave an impression on their minds. You could, however, emphasize on why they should not say the word five times.

3. The 13th floor

Age Recommendation: 8 years and up

According to legend, there is a haunted house somewhere in Pennsylvania. A long time ago, people were asked to visit the house for a Halloween party, and no one knew it was haunted. Jack and Mary were among those who went to the party, and they even signed a waiver that they were there on their accord, and no one forced them to be there.

Both Jack and Mary were excited about the party and the little adventure that led them to the house. They had to pass through numerous identical hallways and staircases to reach the 13th floor. On each floor, there were people who were dressed in Halloween costumes to scare the guests and entertain them. A lot of people were scared to go to the 13th floor. They had left before they reached there. Jack and Mary did not. They went up to figure out what was on that floor.

Did they find out what was in the haunted house? We will never know because they never made it back. (You could use a low voice here to make the ending dramatic)

Notes for telling: Use voice modulations to emphasize how the couple was feeling through the journey.

4. The Flying Dutchman

Age Recommendation: 8 years and up

In 1961, a Dutch ship called the Flying Dutchman was traveling the seas, approaching the Cape of Good Hope. The captain saw black clouds looming and realized that they were going straight into a storm. The crew tried hard to stay afloat and at one point they thought they were safe. But luck wasn’t with them. The ship was sinking when the captain screamed –“I will round the cape if it means I have to keep sailing until the end of time”. To this day, if you travel in a storm near the Cape of Good Hope, you’ll find the Flying Dutchman sailing into the storm, along with its captain and the entire crew.

Notes for telling: Try to create drama when talking like the captain and in the end narrate slowly about how one can find the ghost ship sailing across the Pacific.

5. The Clown Statue

Age Recommendation: 12 years and up

A family with two little boys lived in a huge house. A few days after they moved in, the kids started complaining about a clown who kept coming into their room. The father dismissed their claims as imagination.

One day, a young girl came to babysit the kids. The parents tell the girl that she can watch TV after the kids go to bed, but asked her to use the basement and not the living room. After putting the kids to bed, the girl went to the basement to watch TV. But she started feeling uncomfortable because of the clown statue in the corner. She called the father and told him about it, and asked if she can watch TV in the hall instead.

The father said, “Stay calm. Take the kids and go to the neighbors. Call me from there. We’re coming home.” The girl did as the father asked and wnt to the neighbors. She called him back from there and asked, “What’s going on?” The father replied, “We don’t have a clown statue.”

Notes for telling: Create a little eeriness when mentioning the statue. You could even show how the girl would see the statue from the corner of the eye. Towards the end, emphasize on the urgency that the girl displays on getting the kids out of the house

21 Scary Stories For Kids To Tell In The Dark

7 Creepy Urban Legends That Happen to Be True

The Homemade Self-Decapitation Machine


The Legend:

As humans, we’re pretty emotionally attached to our heads, which probably explains why there are so many urban legends that incorporate accidental or intentional decapitation (“Then the man fell out of the elevator … WITHOUT HIS HEAD!”). But if some guy around the water cooler were to insist that he once heard about a guy who TOTALLY committed suicide by BEHEADING HIMSELF with a COMPLICATED SAW-LIKE BOOBY TRAP DEVICE and that he TOTALLY SAW IT ON THE NEWS, DUDE, you’d tag him as one of those people who can’t separate reality from low-budget torture porn.

Well, buckle up.

Photos.com Don’t let the picture fool you — there’s nothing wacky or cute about what you’re about to read.

The Truth:

Usually, when cops get a call about a domestic disturbance, it’s just another day at the office. You show up, make Cletus put his pants back on, confiscate the bath salts, the usual. Not for the poor guys who responded to a disturbance in Yorktown, Virginia, in 2011. For one thing, the guy they were there to help was sitting in a car with a trailer attached. A flaming trailer. For another, the guy in the car attached to the burning trailer refused to get out, not for the police or for the firemen or for the promise of a Big Gulp, a trick that usually works with these types.

“Come on out so we can have sex with you. We love arsonists, and we’re totally not cops.”

And that’s when one of the firefighters noticed the wire around the driver’s neck … the wire that went out the back window and was snugly tied to a tree 10 feet away. This was no ordinary domestic disturbance. This dude wasn’t just a troubled soul having a freakout at the trailer park; he was going out like the shiniest star in the crazysphere.

Before anyone could stop him, the driver stepped on the gas, the car zoomed forward and the wire snapped. The unnamed victim was whipped out the rear window and his head was removed. And the whole ordeal wasn’t even over — the trailer detached from the truck and kept rolling, flames sky high in the air, head and body both left behind. Here’s the ABC News link if you don’t believe us. Welcome to the goddamned Cracked Halloween Real Urban Legends list, baby.

The Engagement Ring and the Grave


The Legend:

Getting buried alive happens so much in fiction that it has its own TV Tropes page and comes up even more frequently in spooky campfire stories (“And when they finally dug her up, they found SCRATCH MARKS ON THE COFFIN LID, and her dead face was FROZEN IN A SCREAM!”). The only things more implausible are the stories where the victims dig their way out (like in the second Kill Bill). Hell, Ryan Reynolds starred in an entire movie with that exact premise. That’s Hollywood for you.

Via Movieposterhut.com If you picture him as his character from Waiting …, you find yourself cheering inversely.

The Truth:

A Polish man named Marcin Kasprzak decided that his girlfriend of six years, Michelina Lewandowska, wasn’t pretty enough for him. But instead of letting her find him in bed with her sister like most men would do, he took a more terrifying and infinitely more complicated route. He and a buddy shot her with a Taser, taped her hands and feet, stuffed her in an old television box and loaded her up in the trunk of his car. Kasprzak and his friend then buried his fiancee alive in a secluded part of the woods and promptly withdrew 500 pounds with her ATM card, because hey, that wouldn’t look suspicious at all.

Getty “It’s the perfect crime because these things are totally untraceable!”

Fortunately, Kasprzak was as bad at murder as he was good at buying jewelry. Lewandowska used her engagement ring to cut through the tape binding her and clawed her way to freedom through the dirt and branches that her boyfriend had slipshoddingly buried her under. Ladies, let this be a lesson — make sure you get a nice, big, sharp diamond out of him. Especially if he has a television box he just doesn’t want to get rid of for some reason.

The Very Unhappy Ending

The Legend:

A man falls passionately in love with a beautiful, exciting woman. After a whirlwind romance, he permanently seals the deal with a wedding. It’s only then that he discovers that he has married THE DEVIL.

Wait, we’re going to say that there is such a thing as marrying a she-devil? Read on.

Getty “Honey, do you have a cold? You sound like the lead singer for Cannibal Corpse.”

The Truth:

Newlyweds Shriya and Bimal Patel had spent most of their first year as man and wife with him in Austin and her in Dubai. You’d think that once they were reunited, some freaky sex stuff would get started. That’s probably what Mr. Patel pictured when his wife offered to give him a hot oil massage in the bathtub. She even set the scene — romantic candles, a faint scent of gasoline …

Photos.com “Don’t worry, it’s just diesel!”

The hopeless romantic was already in the tub when he realized that the oil she was pouring wasn’t so much oil as it was gas, and the candles weren’t there for ambience. For all we know, he didn’t figure it out until he found himself bathing in a roaring tub of hellfire.

Shriya fled the scene, jamming the bathroom door on her way out. If Mr. Patel had been paying attention, he would have noticed that the fire alarm was off the wall and the apartment sprinklers were wrapped in plastic bags. In other words, this wasn’t a spontaneous “douse my husband in gas and burn him alive” impulse that had hit her in the heat of the moment — she had planned it out to the last detail, and during the entire process never stopped to think that maybe there were easier ways to break it off. Shriya was, as you can imagine, charged with murder.

7 Creepy Urban Legends That Happen to Be True

20 Real-Life Ghost Stories That Will Make Your Hair Stand On End

There are two kinds of people in the world: The kind that appreciate a good ghost story, and the kind that don’t. Then again, the kind of people that don’t like ghost stories might have had a few ghostly experiences of their own — in other words, ghosts are all fun and games until they actually happen to you.

Below are some chilling ghost stories told firsthand by the people that experienced them, and they are so bizarre, it’s hard to believe they could be made up. Turn on all the lights and start reading: #17 will scare you to your core.

#1. This woman saw her cousin in her aunt’s home — but there was something more insidious going on.

“I was about 9 years old when I was walking down some stairs in my aunts house where they have a mirror hanging on a wall at the end of the stairs so you could see behind you as you walk down. Well I saw my cousin behind me so I turned around & yelled ‘Louie’ but he disappeared so I ran back up the stairs looking for him in every room. I couldn’t find him so I run downstairs & ask my aunt if she’s seen him & she got mad & told me it wasn’t funny & then she finally realized that I wasn’t lying that I saw him & she broke into tears wanting to know everything he said. Later I found out he passed away recently & no one told me yet so I freaked out especially because I spent the night in his old room. His dog ‘wrinkles’ still barks at his chair as if someone is sitting there.” – Sharon J.

This woman saw her cousin in her aunt's home -- but there was something more insidious going on.

#2. This baby’s bath time turned terrifying, but they didn’t realize it until they got the photo developed.

“Over 10 yrs ago was bathing my grandchild in sink and felt like someone trying to help me . I could feel something fighting my moves and it was becoming difficult to handle the baby. At the same time I was colder than I ever have been. When the pictures came back that my daughter took of us there looks as if there are arms, skeletal in appearance, in the water with us!!” – Jennie S.

This baby's bath time turned terrifying, but they didn't realize it until they got the photo developed.

#3. This home was possessed, and only the toddler knew it.

“…When my oldest son was about 2 1/2 we were walking around our neighborhood and stopped at a house that was for sale. We talked about looking into it, and asked our son what he thought about the house. He said he didn’t like it because the grandma killed the little boy in the attic. He freaked us out, we went back home. I cannot look at that house the same way anymore. He will be 8 in 14 days.” – Stephanie H.

This home was possessed, and only the toddler knew it.

#4. What would you do if you saw something like this coming toward you in your hallway?

“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, idk it’s definite shape and had to be around 3-4 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 was gone. To this day I still don’t know what that was and I get freaked out thinking about it.” – Reddit user buzzlightbeer27

#5. This person believes that she saw the devil himself.

“I was 4 and I saw the devil in our driveway. I used to climb up on our mantel and there was a window that looked out onto the drive. For years after i wouldn’t go to that end of the mantel. The reason I think it was real is he looked like an evil man until I got to his feet. They were hooves. At 4 I would have had no way of knowing what that meant. My childhood home is in close proximity to an old cemetery and an alley behind us has a big house where a woman committed suicide. It was always creepy!” – Barb B.

This person believes that she saw the devil himself.

20 Real-Life Ghost Stories That Will Make Your Hair Stand On End