Time to sit back and read 10 short stories that are terrifying accounts of real life experiences. This will bring chills to some of you, while we are hoping that some of you may have stories of your own – you’d like to, one day, tell us about.
Back up against a wall, lights all on, knife by your pillow – and don’t waste your last breath screaming !
I come down to the kitchen for breakfast on a Saturday morning. My mom and my sister are already up, and they look exhausted. My mom asks, “Did you sleep alright?”
“Yeah,” says I.
“Even after you woke up?”
“…I woke up?”
Sometime in the middle of night, I had started screaming. My mom rushed into my room and found me sitting up in bed, screaming, “ROY! ROY! ROY! ROY!” She did her best to calm me down while shooing away my pissed-off sister who had stormed in to find out what the fuck was going on with me. She asked me who Roy was, but I would only say that he was “a bad man.” I didn’t say anything but “Roy is a bad man.”
I’m shocked as they’re telling me all of this. And they’re surprised that I don’t remember — but then again, I’m the sound sleeper of the house who can doze through lightning storms. We write it off as some weird nightmare that I don’t remember.
Years later, I’m off at my first year of college. My mom sends me a videotape in the mail; she didn’t mention it before I had left, as in “Hey, keep your eye on the mailbox” or anything. I press play, and it’s my mom taking a video camera through our house. She was moving, and sent the tape as one last walk through of the now-empty house before she left. It was sweet and a little tear-jerking, until she said, “So, here’s something you might find interesting,” when she approached a closet in her bedroom.
This closet, aside from being the hiding place for all the Xmas gifts, was also always packed full of old luggage and other odds and ends. You could only go three feet in before you would have to start climbing on things to go farther. She goes in with the camera and I see that there are purple crayon drawings on the wall, down at the height where a small child would draw. There are random scribbles, some stick figures, something that may have been a dog. I was already puzzled, because I had no memory of ever playing in this closet and I don’t know how I would have drawn on the walls when they were, in my mind, always covered.
Then the camera comes to a word on the wall. ROY
And my mom must not have remembered that night. She said on the tape, “Roy…I wonder who Roy is.”
You Finally Found Out
Long before I was born, my parents were renting a house in a different part of our state. My mother never really liked the place. Something just seemed ‘off’ to her. The feeling still hadn’t gone away even after a couple of months of living there. In fact, as time went on she began to feel even more ill at ease. She chalked it up to paranoia.
My father’s schedule was shifted and he was placed on night duty. The first night she was due to be alone in the house she had a terrible anxiety attack. Something bad was around her, she could just feel it, and she called a friend and had her stay the night. The next day my dad kidded her about being such a wuss.
Before my dad left for work the next night, my mother sheepishly placed a large pair of sharp sewing sheers under her pillow. She said she felt embarrassed, because of course it was all just her imagination. She had considered a knife but figured that was too silly and over the top. Still she wanted something, just to focus on really, that could help calm her nerves when she went to bed.
The dream was very intense, the kind where you have no idea it even is a dream. She said in the dream she got up to go to the bathroom. As she was on her way back to the bedroom, the dream her suddenly started to feel a tingling sensation all over. Then she couldn’t breath.
At first in the dream she was calm, but her breathing wasn’t coming. She tried swallowing and felt a hard pressure against her throat, a hand pushing and not letting go. Then the pressure jumped and was under jaw line, squeezing so that her whole neck was collapsing inwards. She fell to her knees. She was suddenly aware that she was making gurgling sounds. For some reason she said it felt like she wanted to retch out her tongue just so she could get some more air in. There was a throbbing under her ears and the hallway started tilting.
She didn’t know why, but she was overcome with only one thought- that she had to get to the bedroom. She began crawling along the hall on her knees, propelling herself along by her elbows, still choking and gasping. The carpet burned against her skin. It felt as if she were underwater, every slight movement met by resistance. Finally she made it into the bedroom.
Despite her best attempts to calm herself, her heart was beating so hard it had physically started to hurt her as well. Suddenly, whatever had her neck tightened to the point where she heard a cracking sound. She thought ‘I’m going to die,’ and this gave her dream self a surge of adrenaline. She thrust her arm up onto the bed and grabbed under the pillow….and that’s when she woke up.
The sun was coming up and there was fresh light in the room. She was drenched in sweat and lay in the bed for about a half hour, too shocked to move. When she finally convinced herself to get up and swung her legs out from under the blanket, she felt a stinging, sore sensation. She looked down on the worst carpet burns she had ever seen; layers of skin peeled off, small streaks of red blood on pink skin. It was only after she’d slowly made her way around the bed and towards the door that she found out what had happened to the sewing sheers: they were stuck three inches deep into the cheaply made wall.
My mom packed her bags and had moved in with her sister before my dad even got home. She refused to go back in the house no matter how much my dad complained about the cost of getting out of their lease. Finally my dad gave up and called the landlord, ready for a fight.
He was surprised when the landlord relented and gave him a get-out that barely cost my parents anything.
“I guess you finally found out,” the landlord said.
“Found out?” said my dad.
It turned out that about five years earlier a woman had been found dead in the house. The coroner ruled it a homicide saying that she had been strangled. The woman’s boyfriend, who claimed he wasn’t anywhere nearby, was arrested and convicted.
“I know the boyfriend didn’t do it,” my mom finished up. “And that’s why I tell your dad I saved his life, because I did. I saved my own and saved him from having to spend the rest of his life in prison.”
The summer before my last year of college, I lived in a treehouse on a friend’s property on a large island. Set back in the woods a bit, it was pretty secluded. I loved it. It was quiet and I could do pretty much whatever I wanted which usually involved an entire six pack of PBR, nudity, a pellet gun and Grace Slick on vinyl (there was an extension cord running from the workshop up to my tree dwelling, allowing for a few lights, a record player and a cell phone charger). One night after a long day of working a fun but tiring tourist-town retail job, I came home, grabbed a beer, ditched my pants and got to work. I stayed up pretty late, maybe 2am, then tucked myself into bed.
To preface, I experience sleep paralysis a few times per year, usually when I’m stressed out. This was something entirely different.
I woke up sometime later, maybe a few hours -it was still dark. There was a shrill noise ringing through my head, almost like high-pitch static. My eyes popped open, and the entire treehouse was glowing red. My entire body felt like it was buzzing. I could look around, but I couldn’t move. Slowly, the red light, the vibration in my core and the noise faded out, pretty much in sync. Once they had all disappeared completely, I could move again. Breathing heavily, I sat up and turned on my lamp. The horses in the barn next door were losing their shit.
I was so freaked out I couldn’t get back to sleep for hours. I tried to read a book, but I couldn’t concentrate. Finally, as the sun started to rise, I dozed off again. When I woke up, I went into the property owner’s house (part of the rental deal included bathroom/kitchen/laundry access) and made some oatmeal. I was still freaked out, but happy to have slept. A few hours later, I headed into work.
Here’s where it gets creepier.
I worked with this awesome woman who is now one of my closest friends. We’ll call her Kelly for privacy’s sake. As soon as I walked in, she noticed how tired I was. Throughout the evening, I was just kind of floating, with my mind elsewhere.
“Come here,” she beckoned, when the shop had cleared out around dinner time. “What’s going on with you?”
I told her about the red light and the paralysis and the noise and the horses. She nodded.
“Let me tell you something,” she started. “There is some really fucked up juju on this island.” She went on to tell me this story:
When she was a kid, growing up on the other side of the island, her grandparents owned a big piece of property with a small farm. One evening, she was there with her family, including parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. When her grandmother called everyone in for dinner, the kids came running and left toys all over the yard. After the meal, her grandfather offered to pick up after the kids.
When he came back in about 10 minutes later, he didn’t have any of the toys with him. He looked like he had seen a ghost and his face was white as a sheet. “What’s wrong with you?” her grandmother asked him. He shook his head and went straight to bed. Some of the adults went out into the yard to check out the situation. The toys were right where all of the kids had left them. The field up beyond the yard was smouldering. Worried there had been a brush fire, everyone walked up to check it out. When they got there, there was a perfect circular ring, about six feet across, burned into the tall grass.
The grass never grew back and Kelly said she always got a weird feeling whenever she got near the circle. Her grandfather wouldn’t mow near it and everyone who saw it just picked up bad vibes. “This isn’t the first time they’ve been here,” she added. “They come all the time. My son used to see them when he was little and he would try to talk to them.”
“Who?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“He just called them the green men.”
Backwards And Forwards And In One Place
A few years ago, I asked my SO if he had ever seen a ghost. He got really uncomfortable and squirrelly, lots of hemming and hawing. Annoyed, I said “Just say yes or no! I won’t judge if you think you have seen a ghost.” (I’m a sceptic and figured he didn’t want to sound like a rube or something).
Turns out he was hesitant because he believes he saw one but it was while he was deployed on a mission in the Middle East, and he was trying to think of how he could describe it without giving up any classified info. The story is this:
He was in the spooky town in the “Middle East” when there was a commotion from the soldiers watching the perimeter. Apparently, they could see a man about 100 yards away from the camp. He had appeared out of nowhere, no one saw him walking up. The man was just standing there, not doing anything threatening. But since it was a strange man in a war zone, they broke out all the high tech gear to see what was going on. They could see his face, his clothes, his height, but he looked bizarrely distorted and was not giving off a heat signature (they have infrared jimjams and whatnot, it’s the freaking military not a piddling ghost hunting troupe here). He was not the temperature of a human being, he was the temperature of the air around him. They had no idea what was going on and people were freaking out.
At this point I said some obvious stuff- “Maybe it was a scarecrow or dummy. Or a shadow. Or the soldiers were really tired and delirious and their eyes were playing tricks on them. Or it was a hologram weapon shaped like a human”.
His response: They called different people up to come look at the man, it wasn’t just a few soldiers who saw this- dozens of people came to look and everyone confirmed that it was definitely a person. Eventually they decided to send out a team to check this guy out. When they got about 50 yards away, the man started walking- only it didn’t look like he was walking toward or away from them, only walking in place. They froze, expecting an attack. But the man never got any closer.
Me- “So he was, uh, moonwalking? OooooOOoohh a terrorist with dance moves, scary!”
His shaky response: It looked like it was trying to walk but instead of moving like a regular person, its bones were breaking and splintering backwards and forwards at the joints. I can’t think of a better way to describe it. Its head was jerking around like a puppet. When the convoy got a few yards closer, it disappeared entirely. The team hauled ass back to camp and as soon as they returned, the man-thing reappeared in its spot. Everyone took turns watching it for an hour or so until it disappeared for good. Didn’t walk away, didn’t fly or melt or explode, just stood there for a long time then vanished.
When I was 17 years old, I was an avid romance reader. I’d sneak all of my mother’s Harlequin novels and lock myself in my bedroom and just absorb all of it’s cheesy, dramatic, goodness. So when I started dreaming of this dashing, young fellow in a breezy, ruffled, white shirt (think Fabio or whatever any man on a historical romance novel would be wearing) and riding boots, I was ecstatic.
His name was James and he had this old time, English accent that I couldn’t quite place. The dreams started out naturally, once a month he’d pop in, sometimes twice. Then it became more frequent, 1-2 times a week. It would always start the same, I’d be dreaming of myself sleeping in my bed and I’d wake up to find him standing in my room. His eyes glowed this vibrant green and he kept pushing his ruffled hair back in this sexy way. The way he looked at me is what I became obsessed with. There was this yearning, this deep devotion to me. I would wake up thinking, “that’s what it feels like to be in love”.
He would always approach me slowly, hesitant to make sure I wasn’t scared. Then he would tell me I was beautiful and ask me to dance. Music would appear out of nowhere and I would look down and find myself in this beautiful, laced nightgown and flowers in my hair and we would waltz in moonlight (can you see why a 17 year old girl would just become obsessed with this?) I would become so eager to go to bed, sometimes forcing myself to sleep by 7:00pm just so I could see him.
Meanwhile, things in my waking life were becoming strangely dark. My music player would turn on in the middle of the night, full blast, waking the entire house. I’d be doing homework at my desk and would continuously see something from the corner of my eye. One time, with the house to ourselves, my best friends and I were all piled into my bed, eating cookie dough and watching reruns of “Cops” when we heard a male voice talking from the bathroom just down the hall from my bedroom. At first, we didn’t think anything of it. Perhaps my Dad came home earlier than expected, or my brother. We were a family of five with an open-door policy for friends. It was rare that we were alone.
The voice kept going on and on, until finally, my one best friends asked me who was here? I muted the TV and we listened and then I realized, the voice had an accent. I got this terrible shiver down my back and I yelled out “James?” and suddenly, the voice stopped. I finally told my best friends about my dreams and their faces went white. Two nights later, I dreamt the same dream. I was dancing with James but the energy was different. His grip on me was firmer and as we danced, the whole time he was growling in my ear, “you are mine and no one can have you”.
A week later, I begged my mother to let me move out of that bedroom and come upstairs (it was in the basement). My younger sister switched with me and she stayed there for years. My dreams, gone.
A little over a year ago now, my sister and I were helping my mother clean out the room so she could transform it into her own office. My sister and I were going through things and she randomly started laughing and said, “James won’t like this”.
I have never felt more cold or sick or terrified in my life. “What did you just say?”
She looked embarrassed, and waved her hand to pass it off before carrying back to the boxes.
“James, English man who dances?” I asked.
She nodded. “He’s not a very nice man”.
The Judge’s Chambers
My fiancé and I met in the Washington DC area and after being together for about a year, we moved from the city to the nearby suburb of Rockville, MD.
It was a strange-feeling house even if you’re not particularly woo-woo or believe in vibes. It had a tendency to just attract crazy. One of the upstairs tenants was a painfully-shy and awkward man who worked at the library and looked like the caricature idea of a serial killer. He had been living there since before my mother-in-law owned the building, and sometimes when he was drinking heavily late at night (which was most nights), he would pace back and forth loudly and yell. He was unwell to say the least.
More than once, a mentally ill homeless person showed up at the front door of the building, insisting that they either lived there or wanted to rent an apartment. The historic district of Rockville was a “nice” part of town in which you almost never saw people living on the street, so it was even stranger.
A lot of creepy shit happened in the building and a number of things in our apartment in particular.
My fiancé’s cigarettes were inexplicably hidden from him a number of times, once on top of the fridge.
The radio in our kitchen would frequently get turned on or off, despite having a manual dial that had to be cranked to the side and clicked on order to power it on or off.
A random smiley face that looked like it’d been drawn by a finger showed up once on the medicine cabinet mirror when we were taking a shower.
My fiancé woke up in the middle of the night once and asked me why there was a Confederate soldier walking through our bedroom.
A couple of times, the smell of sulfur would come from the non-functioning fireplace in our bedroom. Twice, the smell of sickly sweet perfume that I can only describe as “Eau de Grandma” flooded our bedroom for reasons I can’t fathom. You couldn’t smell it in the hallway outside of our door or anywhere else in the apartment.
While at home along a few times, I heard a distinctive and animalian growling coming from one of the corners of the ceiling in the living room, but saw nothing. My dogs would lose their shit and bark at the area of the noise until they began shaking and curling up with me.
One morning, we woke up and walked into the kitchen to find a drinking glass sitting in the centre of the floor. The glass had previously been sitting in the sink, so it was a bit puzzling. It was sitting upright and as we moved closer to it, we found that it looked as if something had taken a BITE of out of it and then neatly placed the shards INSIDE of the glass. There was not a speck or splinter of glass anywhere on the floor around it. The other side of the glass had 3 long scratches in it. I didn’t want to touch it and didn’t want my fiancé to touch it either, so I picked it up with a plastic bag around my hand like it was a pile of dog crap and took it to the outdoor trashcans.
A couple of days later, a branch from a large tree over the carport (where the trashcans were) fell onto the carport and almost nailed one of the building residents.
If we burned candles in our bedroom, for some reason they would burn so high and hot that it made the room unbearable to be in, even if there was no heat on and it was cool outside. This is in a VERY large bedroom with a 14 foot ceiling.
I’ve been prone to issues with depression and anxiety since my childhood years and even though I loved that beautiful building, living in it was NOT good for me. Even when we weren’t stressed about weird stuff happening there, we fought a lot more when living there, we got sick a lot more, and had just plain bad luck. My fiancé had to go back on medication for depression for the first time since before we’d moved in.
We learned at some point that the house had once functioned as a halfway house for psychiatric patients transitioning out of a huge sanitarium that had been open nearby from 1910 to 2001. The sanitarium was called Chestnut Lodge.
About 3 months before we moved into that house, the abandoned Chestnut Lodge building burned down and collapsed. A developer ended up buying the land and building very expensive housing on it, calling the development Chestnut Lodge after the facility. Apparently the sanitarium was an inspiration for “I Never Promised You a Rose Garden”.
We didn’t find out until we were moving out a couple of years later that the scary upstairs neighbour originally moved in as one of the last halfway house patients.
My mother in law sold the house awhile back, but it took over a year on the market to finally get bought out.