Many of us have experienced things we can’t explain. Something that’s so out of the ordinary it stays with us for years, we can recount the story and remember every detail vividly. We love to share these stories with each other, whether it’s to give people a scare or try to find some kind of explanation for the things that happened.

Below are 20 short scary stories from posters on Reddit. Scroll through them all and share your own stories in the comments.

Thank you to the contributors on Reddit, link featured on the last page.

1/20

I was a kid when this happened… My uncle and I were finishing up chopping/gathering firewood for my grandmother because it was getting dark. Driving back on a dirt road at about 30mph (give or take 5mph) I had this awful sense of being watched.

Before I could turn to look out my window (passenger side) my uncle quickly shouted, “Don’t!” I completely froze. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest then completely stopped when I heard a tap tap on my window. My uncle sped up and was loudly praying in my native language. I didn’t know what was going on and thought it was over till our truck suddenly dipped from the bed.

My uncle then started saying, “Look at me” and “Don’t turn away” over and over. Then I heard it again, tap tap but from the window behind me. It was getting harder for me to breathe and I wanted to cry. A minute or two passed and the truck dipped again. My uncle looked around and sighed. It was quiet besides the truck and the road.

He looked at me and said, “We will ask your father to do a prayer in the morning. So the evil will forget our faces.” (Navajo to English equivalent). I remember curling up on the seat and just staring at the radio watching the time. Listening to my uncle sing an old prayer till we got to my grandmother’s house.

Navajo_Joe

2/20

A few years ago my brother would get a call on his cellphone around 2:00 – 3:00 A.M. every night. He would answer and it was this hellish sounding noise. Like static mixed with screams. He changed his cell number after a month of this and it stopped.

Then after a week or so it began again. The exact same noise. Exact same time. Finally one day he decided to back dial the call. It was an old man that had no clue what he was talking about. Still, the calls persisted. If he didn’t answer, it would call a few more times. No messages were left.

He decided to say screw it. Ended his contract with his phone company, switched to a new one and then got another new number. You guessed it, the screaming static calls continued after a short delay. By this time he was terrified every night. Unsure why this was happening. He back dialled the number again and got a different person.

Around this time he lost his job and his phone. The calls stopped of course. His phone was disconnected now. So one day my mom asks me to listen to this weird message she got on our home phone.

It was the static screaming. We showed my brother and he was freaking out. He back dialled the number again and it said the number was disconnected this time.

Never heard from it again after that.

Mastrius

3/20

This happened to a friend of mine – she told me about it a year or so ago. We’ll call her Minji.

Minji is in her late 20s and works as an English tutor in South Korea. One evening, a few years ago, she was tutoring a high schoolboy. They were up studying pretty late, and the buses stopped running. Being a long way from his house, the boy asked if he could crash on her floor overnight and get the first bus the next morning.

Minji was very reluctant, because inviting a teenage male student to stay the night didn’t sound like a great idea, but he was begging her and eventually she relented. They went back to her one-room apartment, and she got into the bed, while he laid a blanket out on the floor, and they both fell asleep.

A few hours later, at maybe 2 am, the boy wakes Minji up. “I’m really hungry”, he says, “let’s go get some food”. Minji opens her eyes and looks up at him in disbelief. “Food? Now? It’s 2 am, go back to bed.” But the student insists, “no, I’m so hungry, let’s eat something now.” She tells him that there’s some ramen in the kitchen, and he can fix himself some. This doesn’t satisfy him – he doesn’t want ramen, there’s a 24-hour place just down the road, let’s go there.

Eventually, after several minutes of persuasion, the boy gets Minji to come with him to the restaurant. They leave the apartment and head out. As soon as they’re on the street, the boy turns to Minji and says “I’m not hungry. I woke up in the middle of the night and looked under your bed. There’s a man sleeping there.”

They call the police and discover that a homeless man had been living in Minji’s apartment, sleeping under her bed, for over 2 months. The boy only saw him because he was lying on her floor, so had a clear view under the bed.

The police arrested the man, and thankfully there were no other issues, but that’s by far the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to anyone I know.

Adacore

4/20

My friend and I were going to a party a few hours out of town, so we decided to stay at her family’s holiday house about an hour south of the party (now three hours from home). We arrived around mid-afternoon, and it was winter in a holiday town, so the area was completely empty – no other cars on the street.

When we left for the party I spent a moment deciding whether to pull the gate all the way closed. I’d had some trouble opening it earlier when we arrived, and if we were getting home late at night I didn’t want to be stuck outside. I decided to shut it for security.

Party was great, we got back to the house around 12:30, and the gate was open. I immediately felt on edge because not only did I know I’d locked it, but I knew it couldn’t just blow open in the wind, but I didn’t want to make a big deal so I was vague when my friend asked if I’d shut it. We went inside and decided to make a snack. I was wandering through the house when suddenly my friend raced from the kitchen into the hallway and virtually tackled me to the ground; she was convinced she’d heard someone walking around outside. We tried to calm ourselves down, but we had no cell reception and there was no one else around. Over the next half hour or so, as we sat in the hallway paralysed with fear, we heard footsteps outside, and the back door being jimmied.

We decided we had to leave, so we gathered everything up and got ready to make a break for the car. Just as we were at the front door ready to leave, there was a huge bang in the back yard, and suddenly what sounded like hundreds of birds started screaming. We legged it to the car, ended up starting it with all our stuff still on our laps, we hadn’t bothered to even put it in the backseat. As we reversed out the driveway we saw somebody running up the side of the house towards us.

Sped the entire way home and even once we got back to my place, didn’t sleep at all that night.

FindingAlaska

5/20

My grandfather died last year sometime when my son was maybe a year old. We had dinner with the whole family every Friday night so my son had seen him several times. My grandfather was a very quiet, proud man, but when he thought he was alone or unseen he would make silly faces at my son to get a laugh. A couple of nights after his funeral my son (who liked to crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night) started just laughing uncontrollably at like 2 am.

So I get out of bed to see what’s going on and find my son sitting in the middle of the living room, in the dark, laughing. I say “hey buddy what are you doing?” In toddler speak, he says “Papa funny!” I got a little nervous for some reason and went to pick him up and bring him to our room for the rest of the night. And as I’m hauling him away he says “Bye papa!” And blows a kiss at absolutely nothing I can see.

fatcage

6/20

A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I were sleeping together when I woke up to her saying “What are you doing?” She sometimes talks in her sleep, but this sounded so coherent and urgent that it jolted me awake and I asked what she was talking about. She then woke up and said she thought she saw someone at the end of the bed. Thinking it was just a dream, or semi-awake hallucination, we thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.

About an hour later, I woke up and saw someone standing on the bed, with the sheets wrapped up and twisted to their neck. I didn’t know what do but the first thing that came out of my mouth was “What are you doing?” My girlfriend then woke me up. I had been dreaming the exact same thing that she did, and said the exact same thing.

orangederps

7/20

When I was in eighth grade I went on a school trip that was called the Louisiana Tour. It was mostly going around to significant sights in south Louisiana. One of the places we went to was Myrtles Plantation, which is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country.

There are all kinds of stories about the place, but at one point we were standing in a room as a part of a larger group and the tour guide was talking about something, I don’t remember what. As I’m standing there I start to hear what sounds like someone hitting a piano key. After I heard it a couple of times I started to look around for the source of the noise. I didn’t see a piano, but I kept hearing it. So I asked my friends who were standing near me if they heard it, they said no. When I heard it again I said there is it again and that they must have heard it. They thought I was crazy.

So I went back to looking around the room. Everyone’s eyes were on the tour guide except for one woman. She caught my eye and pointed at me and then at her ear with a questioning look. I realized she was asking if I heard it too and I nodded.

At this point, the tour guide starts telling a story about a soldier who had died there and that he played the piano and multiple guests had reported hearing him playing in the night.

I honestly didn’t know what to think, I guess I still don’t. I talked to the woman as we were all leaving the room and she had heard the exact same thing as me, but her husband and son had not heard it.

scribbling_des

8/20

I work at the Myrtles Plantation and I have so many of these stories and events that visitors tell me. The creepiest is one, in my opinion, is that you can sleep at the Plantation kind of like a bed and breakfast, well we have a room that is filled with those creepy ceramic dolls.

There is one doll though that was one of the children’s favourite and always was in the bed with her at night. The child later died (too long to explain) and the doll stayed on the bed with her. When we started to house guests at the Myrtles we kept the doll on the bed in memory of the child. The first night when someone slept in the room they moved the doll to get more comfortable. In the morning the doll was back in the bed with its hands on the guest’s throat.

She came out outraged accusing us that we did something in her room. No one went in or out of her room that night at all. The next guest moved the doll as well and when he was sleeping he heard tapping on the wood floors. He woke up and noticed the doll on the floor where the sound was coming from. Everyone who stays in the room and moves the doll, the doll will come and go back in its bed.

abderp1022

9/20

When I was growing up one of my best friends told me a about a very creepy situation involving him, his younger brother, and a man in the window. When my friend and his little brother were younger they shared a bedroom. They’re some years apart, but his younger brother was born with a multitude of different health issues, including multiple sclerosis, and he’s confined to a wheelchair and cannot care for himself. So, to keep an eye on him overnight when his parents couldn’t, they shared a bedroom.

One night my friend randomly woke up for no in particular reason and happened to glance over at his younger brother, but noticed something very startling; a strange silhouette of a man wearing a top hat looking in through the window behind his younger brother’s crib. The first thing my friend did was jump up and turn the light on, then ran into his parents room to tell them what he saw. When his parents came back into their room to investigate, his younger brother was having a seizure in his crib.

A few of his family members say it was his younger brother’s guardian angel standing in the window that night; my friend believes it was death.

It’s all still pretty unsettling to me.

StinkyRaptor

10/20

When I was younger, I had an imaginary friend who lived in this massive antique dresser. We’d chill out and I vividly remember him telling me stories, although I have absolutely no recollection of what they actually were.

I remember one day talking to my parents about it (Dad travelled quite a bit so he wasn’t up to date with what I was into) and when I started telling him about my dresser buddy, he wanted to know his name. It was something innocent like Peter or Patrick but I can still see him going white in the face.

I drew Peter/Patrick out for him and the very next day he and my uncle took out that dresser and burned it. It wasn’t until a few years later when I found out my Dad’s little brother (my uncle) also had the same friend with the same name who lived in the same antique dresser. After a few months of the typical imaginary friend shit, my uncle started having night terrors and couldn’t sleep because of Peter/Patrick. It got so bad that they had to move him out of his room before he managed to get back to normal.

TonyFX

11/20

About a couple of weeks after I was born my dad’s best friend Jim died. They were really close, and one of the last things he wanted was to hold little me before he passed. His wish was filled, and some short time after that he was gone.

Fast forward 7 years. I’m now a happy 7-year-old with a 5-year-old brother and recently born sister. One day the phone rings, and with my mom out and dad in the washroom I thought it was going to be ignored as we kids were still too young to answer the phone (no call display, we didn’t know if there would be a stranger). But my brother broke the rules and answered. “Hello?”

At this point, my dad is out of the washroom and is asking my brother to hand him the phone. He ignores him and keeps listening to whoever is speaking. Before my dad could ask a second time my brother hangs up, looks at him and says, “Jim says hi, and he misses SkywingNova (OP),” then goes back to playing. The look of shock my dad had is what I remember most about this.

SkywingNova

12/20

My mom had three kids. There’s me, the youngest, and my older brother – but before either of us were born, there was Jonathan. He was a sweet little blonde boy, big blue eyes, known for accidentally repeating Dad’s swears in church. Wholesome kid, great in school, active outside.

When he was almost six, he was riding his bike and fell and hit his head on a rock. He got up and said he felt fine. My mom found him the next morning in his bed when she tried to wake him up to get to kindergarten, one pupil dilated and the other not. She got him air-lifted to the nearest hospital.

During this time, Jonathan’s best friend Nick was sitting at the breakfast table eating cereal. Nick suddenly gets up from the table and goes to the door. When his mom asks him what’s up, Nick says that Johnny was calling for him.

You see, Nick and Johnny lived on separate blocks, but they weren’t allowed to cross the street without a parent yet because they were still fairly young. But they lived close enough to call to one another to come out to talk at their respective street corners.

So Nick goes out to the street corner while his mother receives a call from mine that Johnny was just declared dead in the hospital (idle brain aneurism that was triggered by the fall). Nick’s mom can hardly handle this news and is now wondering where her son went.

But Nick comes back a few minutes later and says that he heard Johnny calling to him but he wasn’t at the street corner when he looked, then sits down to continue eating his cereal. When his mom asks Nick what Johnny was saying, Nick says he had come to say, “Goodbye.”

SlutRapunzel

13/20

Before my family and I moved to another state, my father went and visited the area to check on the progress of our new house which was being built. My father was there for a few days and was staying at some crappy Motel 6 in a shady area of town. His room was the last room at the end of the hallway on the top floor.

In the middle of the night on the last night, he was in town he is woken by the phone ringing in his room. He groggily answers. It was the front desk and they say something along the lines

“Sorry to wake you, but we’ve been receiving a couple of reports about rooms being broken into and some stuff being stolen. We are calling to make sure you lock your door and are safe.”

My father replies that he is fine and hangs up. He decides to go double-check that he locked the door. As he sits up in bed he notices that the door to his room is ajar. Being spooked, he cautiously checks the room and finds that nothing is missing and no one else is in the room.

He creeps to the door and peaks out. Sitting right outside his room on the window sill of the hallway window is his shaving kit. Creeped out of his mind, he quickly grabs it and locks the door. After he calms down a bit he calls down to the front desk and says

“Hey, you just called me about the break-ins around the hotel, and I just want to report that my room was broken into when I was sleeping, nothing was stolen and I am fine. Figured you would like to know”

The front desk replies, “You must be mistaken, we never called your room and we haven’t received any reports of breaks ins”

7Raulphie

14/20

My wife’s mother passed away in 2003 from cancer. After the funeral, family and friends gathered at her house for a final celebration of her life. The gathering went late into the evening. My son, 3 at the time, needed to go to bed at that point.

I walked with him up the stairs to where he would sleep. The room that my mother-in-law passed away in was upstairs, and straight down the hallway as you reached the top of the landing. My son and I walked upstairs together, with me holding his hand. As we nearly reached the top of the stairs, my son stopped and wouldn’t move…at the point which he could just see down the hallway. He was staring straight down the hall.

I looked at him, then down the hall to an open doorway to a completely dark bedroom. He just stared, and would not move any further. I asked him “Buddy, are you OK?” His response was…”Daddy. The light. The light scares me.” I looked again down the hallway where he was staring into darkness. “Buddy, you see a light?” “Yes daddy. It scares me.”

I promptly picked him up and went back downstairs. To this day, the hairs still stand on the back of my neck when I think of it.

mcboone

15/20

My dad used to work in a juvenile detention centre in the Miami area in the early 70s. He said there was one inmate that reminded him a lot of a young Hannibal Lecter. He wasn’t strong but he was smart and very persuasive. One day he started a riot in his block of cells, just by talking the other inmates into it. My dad and another guard were sent in to check it out and try to calm things down.

Everybody in the block was going crazy, banging on the bars, howling and yelling at each other. Everybody except young Hannibal Lecter. He was standing still in the middle of his cell with his arms folded, smiling and muttering the same phrase over and over, quietly. My dad tried to focus on what he was saying, and after a couple of seconds, he understood.

The inmate was reciting my dad’s home phone number.

4clvvess

16/20

My mom is Native American. She named my sister Chula which means fox. Most likely because of her namesake but maybe not, my sister loved everything that had to do with a fox. Last November my mom was doing dishes at the sink and looking out the window at the woods like she always does. Well, she looks up from the dishes to the edge of the woods and at that moment a Fox steps out of the woods.

It sits on its hind legs and stares right at my moms face while she stares back through the window. She said it seemed like five minutes they stared at each other. Suddenly the fox got up turned around and slowly walked into the woods. Mom said her first thought was to call Chula to tell her about the fox.

My sister never answered she died in a head-on collision that day due to some asshole drunk driver. My mom keeps looking for the fox. It has never come back.

Nik00las

17/20

About four years ago I was sleeping and woke up randomly to see a person standing next to my bed. This person was clearly female but very petite — perhaps a teenager or just tiny in stature. She was facing away from me and had her shoulder cocked up to her cheek, like the way you sometimes see people holding phones. Her hair was in a low ponytail.

There was nothing surreal or ghostly about her. She appeared exactly as you would imagine a person would if you were to waken in a dark room, somewhat illuminated by moonlight. There was no mistaking the fact that someone else was standing only a couple of feet away from my bed.

I jolted upright immediately. Shock is putting it mildly. I remember my heart was POUNDING, POUNDING, POUNDING. The worst part about it was… she heard me sit up, and reacted, turning her crooked head around to face me, as if equally surprised to see me as I was her. I was so scared I actually closed my eyes, as they do in the movies, thinking that when I opened then she would be gone and I could chalk it up to some kind of half-dreaming state.

Nope.

She was still there, staring at me. I started to fumble for the lamp on my nightstand. It felt like god damn forever — I couldn’t take my eyes off her. I was so nervous that the noise would further prompt her to come towards me, or something. When I finally switched it on, she was gone.

I called my boyfriend, hysterically crying and begging him to come over. He refused and said I hadn’t actually seen what I thought I had seen. I slept with the light on for three entire weeks, I was so scared. I remember I told my mom the next day and she advised me to search every closet in my apartment for squatters, which is perhaps even more terrifying than a ghost appearance, thanks mom!

pizzaplustequila

18/20

Spring break of 2010. My buddies and I decided to camp out on an island at a local lake. One night as we are cooking food and drinking beer, a canoe floats by with one guy in it. He asks how we’re doing and we invite him to our island for grilled meat and beers. Being in South Arkansas, we naturally assume that everyone is friendly and wants to hang out. His name was Curt and he was super friendly but really seemed to be sad.

We asked him what was up and he replied: “Oh nothing really, it’s just that my friends are probably worried about me.” He looked at me and winked. “they’ll find out soon enough.” That still haunts to this day. Everyone liked Curt and, noticing that it was getting dark and he had been drinking, we offered to let him stay with us that night. He declined to say that he had to get to where he was going and he seemed very adamant about that. I asked where he was headed thinking maybe we could give him a ride on a jet ski or something.

Curt ignored the question and said, “you boys don’t know how lucky you are.”

He hopped in his canoe and left. We didn’t think much about it. The next morning we woke up early to do some fishing. As we’re fishing, a police boat pulls up. The officer asks if we’re part of the search party that found the body. We obviously have no clue what he is talking about so he tells us a story about a young man in a canoe that disappeared last week. Apparently divers found his body at the bottom of the lake two days before. The young man’s name was Curt Clark. This was so freaky for us that we all packed up and left camp that day.

GarrettDHall

19/20

I was stuck in a bathroom in a creepy house my family was staying at. I was home alone. You had to force the door into the jam to get it to close and latch, only to find out that the knob didn’t work the latch. I heard the side door slam shut downstairs and thought my dad was home.

I called to him. “Dad. Dad! I’m stuck in the bathroom!”

I heard him walking on the hardwood. The kitchen. Down the hall. Stopped at the bottom of the stairs.

“Dad! I’m locked in!” I yelled.

I immediately heard him run up the stairs and stop at the top.

Once more I exclaimed, “I’m locked in the bathroom!”

4 more steps to the other side of the door.

“Dad?!”

BOOOOOOOOOOM

The door swung open and slammed into the wall. I stepped into the hall. I looked around. Nobody was there. Nobody at all.

I politely said “Thank you!” and went straight to bed.

TeeReks

20/20

I have a younger brother who had an imaginary friend when he was younger. He was also an avid sleepwalker.

When he was around three or four, he started talking to someone he called Friya (Fry-uh). He described Friya as a dark-skinned man with little clothes who loved to hunt in the wilderness. Then one day he told me that Friya used to live nearby the house a long time ago. And then some white people came and burned him alive and killed his village. Not exactly something you expect to hear from a four-year-old.

I remember I would be in my room and hear him talking like he was having a conversation and when I would try to check on him, he would immediately become silent and turn his head as soon as I peeked around the corner. Very unsettling.

Well, my other brother, the middle child, was visiting his dad for the summer but the day before he got back, my youngest brother told my mother and I that “Friya does not like when (brother) is mean to me. He’s going to scare him.” The night he got home, my mom and I were downstairs and heard a scream that I can still hear to this day.

We ran upstairs and found the middle brother swearing that someone was shaking his bed violently. It was a bunk bed. My youngest brother was sound asleep. A month later, my youngest brother took a bad fall and cracked his skull. He was fine but never talked to Friya again after that.

He would also sleepwalk constantly. And show up right next to my bed and stare at me until I woke up and promptly shit myself.

One night I heard my front door open and close. Since it was 4 am, I went to check it out. I opened the door and found my brother at the far end of the yard, in the snow, only in his underwear, staring right at me. Then he slowly waved. Those shivers weren’t from the cold.

BuddyChrist117