True-Life Ghost Stories You Should Not Read Before Bed

Oct 5, 2018 at 12:00 p.m. ET
Ghosts coming out of a book
Image: Efoxly/Getty Images. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows.

Well, it's October, and while you can go ghost-hunting all year long, there's something about this month that makes even skeptics open up to the supernatural and spooky. 

While ghost stories were once reserved for campfires or friend-of-a-friend retellings, you can now spend hours going down a paranormal wormhole on the internet. Here are just a few real-life ghost stories that will send a shiver down your spine. Hope you weren't planning to sleep anytime soon.

1. Whispering ghosts in the attic

"My parents' house has a big garage with an attic space that my dad converted into a sort of summer hangout spot for my brothers and me. One day, my best friend was over, and we were out on the lawn when we clearly heard laughing and whispering coming from the garage attic and we assumed it was my brothers, so we ran in, climbed up the ladder to the attic space, turned on the lights, and it was totally empty." — Kenzie Mastroe

2. The haunted dorm

"The College I went to in Boston was haunted. Almost every night at 2:36 a.m., my room would get really hot and I would hear footsteps pacing back and forth. On one occasion, my girlfriend and I saw a long black-haired figure apparition gasp and run through a locked door out of the corner of our eyes." — Mike Commins

3. This story about a teenager who asked for guiding “spirits” to come to her… & got her wish

“Days later my mom tells me that a few nights earlier while she was getting up in the middle of the night to use the restroom she witnessed a male ghost standing over me while I slept on the couch in the living room, she sat in her bedroom's doorway afraid and kept silent.” — GilgameshvsHumbaba/Reddit

More: The 18 Most Haunted Castles to Visit This Fall

4.  This parent whose toddler sees dead people?

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5. This super-creepy room of whispers

“There was a black orb just there, I couldn’t tell if it was on the wall or if it was floating but I knew it was clearly visible. I figured it was my eyes adjusting to light so I flipped back around. After about 10 minutes I looked to see if it was still there and it was but I kinda just disregarded it. As soon as I turned around I heard a whisper in my ear threatening to kill me. From that day my room was full of whispers no matter the time. It would be multiple voices just whispering, I could never make out anything they were saying.” — vryuix/Reddit

6. This terrifying vision of a black figure

“I was awoken one night by the sound of tissue paper rustling (I had received a gift the night before and left the gift bag on the floor) now I was awake but I didn’t turn over thinking his ac must have kicked on. That is what I thought until my purse that had been sitting on a shelf fell over. I immediately sat up, and to my horror I saw a black human looking figure crawl to the bedroom door. I say human looking because to me at least it did not seem to be fully human. Anyway it looked back at me opened the door and crawled out. Now I know what some skeptics may say. I was dreaming or experienced sleep paralysis but the sound of the door opening and closing woke my boyfriend up. We got up searched the house nothing was missing.” — spectra27/Reddit

More: The 10 Best Haunted Destinations to Visit This Fall

7. This story of a doorbell camera that gets scary fast

“Another buzz, this time, I didn't need the video. There was a crash at my door and what sounded like a hand dragging across it. I swallowed hard and suddenly realized that maybe I didn't want to look at the video. The chittering came again, it was louder than before.” — SunHeadPrime/Reddit

More: What's the Deal With Ouija Boards? We Talked to 3 Experts to Find Out

8. This nightmare playroom freak show

“I was downstairs watching television when I heard [my brother] and a friend running around upstairs. He’s 16 so he makes a lot of noise when running and walking. It sounded like they were banging around so I called up to them to keep it down because it sounded like someone was gonna fall through the roof. However, no one answered back.

"I call my brother on his phone and tell him to stop running and jumping around upstairs. He tells me he hasn’t been home at all and he’s been out for hours and doesn’t plan on coming home. So the logical part of my brain tells me there’s someone in my house upstairs. I grab my taser and look through every room and closet, every place someone would hide. No one.

"My house is empty except me. As soon as I realized this, toys from our playroom (my mom owns a home daycare) start going off. Not just one or two that fell or are malfunctioning. At least ten toys are making sounds and going off. The last straw was when I heard what sounded like one roll across the hardwood floor. I immediately locked myself in the bathroom downstairs and called my boyfriend until someone else in my family returned home.” — BigB00tyRedHead/Reddit

9. The creepy babysitter incident 

"I can't remember exactly what game we were playing, but my brother and sister and I were sitting on the floor in a circle playing some board game with our babysitter when three pennies fell from the ceiling and onto the game board. We all looked up, and there was nothing on the ceiling, and the pennies fell straight down. We were in the middle of the room, and there was no way they could have fallen from anything else. It was the creepiest thing ever." — Ashley Anderson

10. Flying angels 

"I came home from school one day, and I was home alone. I laid on the couch and turned the TV on. From where our couch was, you could see straight into the bathroom at the end of the hall, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw something in there move quickly and then I heard a huge crash in the bathroom. I got up to see what it was, and a picture that my mom had hanging on one wall of the bathroom had been thrown across the bathroom and smashed across the wall on the opposite side. The picture was of an angel holding a baby." — Reilley Wheeler

11. The vengeful ghost on the street

"One evening, I was walking my dog not far from my house and smelled burning incense. Normally, I wouldn’t think anything of it, but right when I smelled it, it sent some sort of tingly sensation through my whole body, which made me stand straight up. At the same time, I saw this older Indian lady just disappear. I kept walking my dog but had this intense feeling of anxiety — like I just needed to get out of that area as soon as I can. After I made it a few blocks, I felt calmer, came back home and told my family what happened. I didn’t really think much more of it after that.

"A few days passed, and all of a sudden, one evening in the shower, I felt pain in every single bone in my body. I was almost down on the shower floor, thinking, “What could be wrong with me?” My body was tingling and my vision went black, and all of a sudden, I saw the woman again. Instantly, all the pain was gone and my vision returned within seconds. Next thing that happened — my wall creaked, my towel fell from the hook and my robe, which hung next to my towel, started to sway. 

"I called my mom on the phone, and she said she was sending the spirit of my grandfather to protect me. Instantly, the light in my room started getting brighter than I have ever seen it. And then… a sense of peace and quietness. Afterward, we blessed the house with sage and haven’t had a problem since." — Shayal Kumar

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