"Don't go in there," the wise voice in your head shouted as you clicked into this nightmare-inducing article. Well, if you have a fascination with the supernatural, all things mysterious, and have a super-cute night-light you'd like to get some more use out of, welcome to the team of Halloween and ghost story enthusiasts. It's good to have you. By now, you've probably already started planning your costumes for the best night of the year, so let's skip straight to the spooky highlight you came for: The scariest ghost stories ever. If you're thinking yeah, right, I don't scare easy, hear us out.
According to a 2009 survey, 18% of Americans say they've seen a ghost.
We've all heard all the classic ghost stories, but we felt like we needed to step up the scare factor, so we braved the deepest, darkest threads on Reddit to find the scariest ghost stories ever, straight from those who have experienced the paranormal activity. We also included a few first-hand ghost stories we've experienced on the MyDomaine team. Ghost stories are one of the best sub-genres of horror because they meet at the intersection of entertainment, belief, and fear of the unknown, and the ones we've included definitely do it justice.
As told by Reddit User quietvoice4846: "Late at night I usually go to the bathroom multiple times, but for the past four days, every time I go to leave, I can see myself still standing in the mirror from the corner of my eye. It is like the other me is watching me leave the bathroom. It terrifies me to the point where I almost run out without looking directly at the mirror. I never told my husband about it because I didn't want to acknowledge it out loud."
"Earlier today I took a nap in our bed while he sat in the chair next to it watching TV. When I woke up he told me that he had seen me sit up and crawl backward to the edge of the bed and stand up in front of our bedroom door from the corner of his eye. He thought it was weird that I got up like that because I'm in the last month of my pregnancy and I can't really move so good without it hurting, so he tried talking to me."
"When I didn't answer he looked at the door to find me not there and still sleeping in bed. I got really creeped out and I finally told him about what I have been seeing in the bathroom. He thought it was creepy as well but didn't want to really talk about it anymore because he thinks it will give whatever it is power or energy. I have no idea what it wants or why we both saw it."
As told by Reddit user Bright_Eyes10: "When I was 15, I traveled to Europe with my family. We stayed in Ettal, Germany in a small inn for a few nights. My parents had a double [bed] on the second floor, my sisters had the double bedroom next to theirs, and I was lucky enough to have a single room all to myself at the far end of the hall."
"When we went to check in to our rooms, as soon as I entered the hallway our rooms were in, I remember almost feeling as though I walked into a 'wall' of… bad energy? I just felt so unnerved and uneasy in that hallway, but I passed it off as an overactive imagination. I slept the first night without any issues other than waking up a few times. The next morning at breakfast, one of my sisters mentioned feeling really uncomfortable in the hallway, almost as if the air was crushing. It unnerved me even more that I wasn't the only one who felt weirded out, plus she was an adult at the time, so it further cemented in my head that that wing of the hotel was odd."
"Later that night, I'm sleeping peacefully, when at about 2 am, I'm woken by something ripping the covers off of me and being jerked about 2 feet towards the end of the bed by my ankle. At first, I thought someone had broken into my room, because when I turned towards what had grabbed me, a huge, looming black shape was visible in the darkness, like a man was in my room. I frantically flipped the light on, only to have there been nothing there. The window was locked from the inside, there was no one in the closet or the bathroom, and my room was also still locked from the inside. I stayed up the rest of the night scared, playing Cooking Mama on my DS."
"The next morning, we're at breakfast and my sister mentions that she was up half the night because she thought she saw a person silhouetted against the wall of the room, but when she turned on the light there was no one there. It was just a bizarre and creepy experience, we checked out that day, so I didn't get to experience anything after that, but it still freaks me out to this day."
The Rocking Horse
As told by Reddit user Heresyed: "One night, when I was maybe 10 or 12, I had trouble falling asleep. My bedroom was the entire top floor of our house with my bed and such being on the left side and storage closets and a play area on the right. I was lying in bed when I heard a noise from the other side of the room and saw a rocking horse begin to rock. It was sitting just outside one of the storage closet doors. It proceeded to rock its way halfway across the room and stopped dead under the ceiling light."
"At this point, I was freaking out and just buried my head under my blankets and never peeked out again until morning. When I woke up, the rocking horse was still in the middle of my room. Furthermore, I got a stern reprimand from my parents for being up out of bed playing with my toys well past my bedtime. Their bedroom was directly below the storage closet/play area and had heard creaking shuffling across the room."
As told by Reddit user FuzzyBanditz: "When I was a teenager, I used to babysit my cousin Alyssa. She was little, maybe almost two, maybe a little older, old enough to say sentences. I'm giving her a bath before bed when she looks out into the hallway and gets a terrified look on her face and starts crying. At this moment, my aunt's Pomeranian starts going nuts as well, barking and growling into the hallway. The atmosphere in the room became uncomfortable, and I started getting scared. I took her downstairs from the third floor in the townhouse to try and calm her down. I asked her what was wrong, and she said something along the lines of, "the man with the black eyes" was there. When I continued to pry, she looked up at the second floor stairs, her eyes getting big and looks at me, bringing her finger up to her mouth and said, 'shh,' while shaking her head 'no.'"
As told by Reddit user Scarlett Beeswax: "I lived in this house with a basement, and every time I walked up the stairs I would get this weird, creepy goosebumps feeling on the back of my neck. It didn't make me uneasy to go down the stairs or to be in the basement. My craft room was down there I and I spent a lot of time there. After a while, I would have items I was using disappear when I would look away from them. I would search and search and one day I got frustrated and to no one, in particular, I said 'Arrrgh!! Can I please have my scissors back?'"
"I had just looked under the pile of new mail and when I turned my head, there were my scissors on top of the pile of mail. I talked to my neighbor and she told me that the original owner of the house was a jolly old man who loved to prank people and that he had fallen coming up the stairs one day and died. I think the goosebumps were him trying to tell me to be careful! And every time after that, when something would disappear, I would politely ask for it back and it would appear in a place that I could not have missed it before! Thanks, old man, it was fun!"
As told by Reddit User Vanilla Gurrila: "My daughter was 4 years old when we lived in our last home. I was a single mom at the time, so it was just she and I alone in the home. I always got an uncomfortable feeling in her room, particularly the closet area, but never thought much of it. Until one evening, I had put her to bed and as I was doing chores I walked by her room and heard her whispering. I listened for a bit, thinking she was talking to herself, but it was definitely a two-way conversation, with her saying, 'Uh-huh...okay,' stuff like that. I walked in and asked her who she was talking to. She smiled uncomfortably and said, 'No one.' I took her out into the hall and she wouldn't say anything but I could tell she was afraid. Finally, we went outside of the house. She said there was a man in her room who didn't want us in the house, and he had told her this and to tell her mom to leave. I moved us out a month later. She has not since ever had an episode like this."
As told by Reddit user bigchallah: "One day when my daughter was 2 we were having a typical 'terrible twos' moment. She was throwing a bit of a tantrum for about five to 10 minutes and we couldn't get her under control. At some point, she, rather suddenly, stopped and started staring at the wall. She then started lightly giggling. It was weird, one second she is crying and screaming and the next she is smiling and happy."
"Then she starts saying 'funny lady' over and over. We asked her who she saw and she pointed to the wall and again said 'the funny lady.' When we asked her to describe who she saw she described my deceased grandmother, I mean exactly described her. She had never met her, and I don't think had ever even seen a picture, not that a 2-year-old could remember a picture. I am not much of a believer in the paranormal, but I know for sure that my daughter got a chance to meet my Mom and that makes me happy."
"When I told this story to my parents, they didn't seem as shocked as I was. When I tried to get a response from them, they looked at me and said 'I guess you don't remember that you met your [deceased] grandfather when you were 3. The same exact thing happened to you 30 years ago.'"
As told on Snap Judgement: "I had been on the phone with my then boyfriend and he said something that made me think he was a chauvinistic, not nice person, and I remember telling him that if he knew anything about me, he knew exactly where I was gonna go. And I hung up the phone and got in my car. I drove to the park. The sun was kind of down below the tree line but it wasn't dark yet, and I pulled into the parking lot. I thought it was weird that there were two cars pulled side by side and talking to each other. When I got out, the guy in the truck just stared at me in a horrible way, you know, when someone just looks at you like they're looking through you as if you don't exist. I thought, well, this is weird, it's late and no one's ever here. And then I thought whatever, they're leaving. I don't care, I have my own problems."
"I only took my keys with me because I didn't want a big purse banging around. I headed across the field, which you have to cross through to get to the woods because there's no trail...I was taking my time and calming down...And then I realized it got really quiet. I didn't hear the birds and the squirrels anymore, I just heard something big moving through the woods. I thought to myself maybe it's a dog. And then I heard the voices. The first voice is a male's voice and he said 'I know I saw her go in this way, she couldn't have gotten that far.' Then the second voice comes, and it's quieter, and it says, 'Shh, she'll hear you.'"
"Okay, so there are two men in the woods and they're looking for something, obviously. And I kept thinking it must be their dog, they must have lost their dog. And then I thought they wouldn't try to sneak up on it…I stood there frozen because that's the kind of person I am…I could hear them getting closer to me. And I don't know how long I stood there waiting for them to get to me, but I was completely frozen. And then I heard the other voice. It was distorted, like if you heard someone talking through a closed door or talking underwater. You could understand what they were saying but the voice wasn't right. It wasn't in my head because it had a volume and a pitch that changed that my thoughts definitely don't do. I could almost feel where it was coming from…It was behind me and a little above like it was taller than me. It just said, 'go to the river now.' I don't know if I was more scared of the fact that there's some disembodied voice or a person talking to me or there are two men in the woods."
"I listened to the voice because I didn't really have other options. I took off toward the river. I made a ton of noise because I was just going as fast as I could and the voice came back and said, 'no, quietly.' I got to the river and jumped down the embankment. I squished myself against it, squeezing down into the smallest, tightest ball I could. The voice kept telling me to stay. And I just sat there, hoping whoever was in the moods was going to leave and that I wasn't having some kind of breakdown. And I kept hearing them moving through the woods and I could tell they had split off. As I sat there, the voice just kept telling me to stay and quiet, over and over again, like it was trying to comfort me."
"I could hear what sounded like someone was right above me and If I leaned out, they could see me. But I had to look, I just tilted my head up a tiny bit and I could see the tips of these construction boots hanging over the edge. And I could see hanging next to them, this dirty old rope. Just swinging next to them swinging… I don't think I even thought anything, I was so scared. I just tried to not breathe. It felt like hours, but I know it couldn't have been that long. The voice even was completely silent. There was nothing but me hearing this man breathing. He started to walk away at some point. And the voice kept telling me to wait. So I waited. And finally, the voice said, 'go, now to the field. Go now.'
"It was screaming at me so loud. So I ran through the woods and just got out to the field, far, far, from the cars and street. It was getting dark and I could see the parking lot but it was so far away. I'm running and I start hearing footsteps running, and first, they're farther away but they're so much faster than I am, barreling after me…and there was nothing…I fully expected to see at least one of the men there but it was silent. The only thing I could think was that the footsteps must have belonged to the voice. And I hear it again screaming at the top of its lungs that I need to run right now. And the footsteps come back and they're in pace with me, running next to me through the field. I had a thousand crazy thoughts because none of this made any sense. Finally, I get to my car...and I see both the cars were parked in different places with nobody in them. I refused to look behind me. If there hadn't been a voice, I would probably be a missing person's case…It got me out of there."
And now, a few ghost stories directly from the MyDomaine team.
During August 2018, my friends and I took a road trip from New York City to Rhode Island. None of us had been to Rhode Island before, so we were excited about the drive, especially because we had rented a Mustang convertible for it. We left a little later than expected—it was about 10:30 p.m., and since it was a busy Friday night, we decided to punch our destination into the Waze traffic app to beat the traffic.
Eventually, we started losing steam, so my friend in the back seat fell asleep and I just kept driving along quietly, when my friend in the passenger seat told me to exit the freeway to take a side road. At first, driving on the unlit, winding back roads was relaxing, but then the wind picked up and it got increasingly foggy and misty. I wasn't scared, per se, just a little on edge. I thought about pulling over to put the top up but decided against it since there were no cars in sight. Heavy rain was projected for the entire weekend, so I wanted to get the most out the convertible.
So I kept going along as normal, if not a little too fast to get back to the main roads as quickly as possible when something just shifted. I don't know how to explain it other than an unsettling, exposed feeling. I remember pulling my sweater over my legs to cover up. Then my friend up front told me to look at the street sign in the distance. It read, "Purgatory." We woke up our friend in the back seat, who sort of scoffed.
Seconds later, we went around a bend where a large red cross was installed on the side of the road with nothing else in sight. We just shrugged it off as a creepy coincidence. By then, we were kind of joking about and indulging in the spookiness, but around the next bend, a big truck came hurtling down the one-lane road— aimed straight at us. Luckily my impulse was to swerve a little to the side, otherwise, it probably would have resulted in a head-on collision. My friend tried to get his license plate number but he sped off, while my other friend found the quickest route away from this particular road.
We didn't really discuss what happened afterward because we were too creeped out, and we haven't talked about it since. While writing this story, I decided to look it up. I spent an hour trying to retrace our route and found the little road—it was indeed named Purgatory, and though we didn't notice it at the time, Google Maps revealed that Purgatory Road was situated next to an old graveyard. Curious about this road, I researched it further and discovered that two teen girls had died there in August of 2011 in an accident on their way to visit the grave of Rhode Island's infamous "vampire," Mercy Brown, who died in 1892. Apparently, they decided to go for a drive down this "dark, windy road" because they thought it looked "haunted."
A Watery Grave
I didn't grow up believing in ghosts. Then one morning when we were 16, when my friend's mom picked us up for carpool, I mentioned that I was really creeped out by this bathroom under the stairs in my house that no one ever used. I couldn't exactly define why I felt this way; I just found it eerie. The house I grew up in was an old Victorian home built in the 1800s, so eerie vibes were part of the package. Hearing this reminded my friend of her own creepy bathroom association.
She told me that when she lived in the German countryside for a year, there was a little section in the home that no one but her middle sister used, who was about 9 years old at the time. During this time period, her sister would wake up with bloodshot eyes, sometimes even bruises, and feel totally exhausted.
They did everything to investigate what was going on, including sleeping in her room, working with a child psychologist, and a school counselor. My friend doesn't remember much from this time period, other than her sister being disturbed by something the year they lived there.
She mentioned that she and her other sister, the oldest, also hated using that bathroom because they would always feel "off" and find thick black hairs stuck in the drain, even though each of them had fine blond hair. At this point in the story, my friend's mom abruptly stopped the car and jerked her head around and said, "that's where the woman [who once lived there] killed herself. She drowned herself in that bathtub." Her mom was clearly shaken. She said part of the reason they moved was because something felt "off" in the house.
Pew Research Center. 18% of Americans Say They've Seen a Ghost. October 2015.