We recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share a creepy story that their family has passed down for generations. Here are just a few of the spookiest responses:
1. This terrifying carnival experience:
"My grandfather grew up in rural Kansas. When I was growing up, he always refused to go on rides at theme parks and carnivals, and I never knew why. When I got older, my mom finally told me that, when my grandpa was at a county fair as a young boy, he was standing in line for the swing ride. There was a young girl on the ride, and as the swings hit full speed, the chains on her seat snapped and she went flying. She was flung hundreds of feet and was decapitated when she hit a tree branch. He saw the whole thing happen and never went on another ride for the rest of his life. I can't say that I blame him."
2. This death day curse:
"Ever since my mom's death in 2007, the date she passed — Nov. 25 — has been cursed for my family. On Nov. 25, 2008, my granddad had a heart attack. On Nov. 25, 2009, my dad had an aneurysm. On Nov. 25, 2010, my grandma found out she had kidney stones. The list goes on. Basically, every single year since then, there’s been something."
3. This child's laughter:
"My very nondramatic, pragmatic grandmother used to hear children laughing when she logically shouldn’t have. She'd hear this when she was home alone without kids around, on buses by herself, at work with all adults...everywhere. This began happening when my mother was a teenager, so when my grandmother was around 40. Then my equally nondramatic, pragmatic mother said that she ALSO began hearing the same thing at the same point in her life. I swear, I am three years away from 40, and I’m just WAITING to hear them any day now."
4. This actual nightmare:
"My family has passed down the terrifying true story of how my great-great-great-grandma was buried alive. They found out when plots in her cemetery were being moved around years after her death, and when they opened hers, they found claw marks on the inside. According to everyone, she was also vocally afraid of being buried alive throughout her life, which makes the story even creepier."
5. This inexplicable prediction:
"When my great-grandfather died, my great-grandmother had her name preemptively added to his tombstone; however, they also added the year of her death as '195-,' leaving a blank spot for the specific year. My grandpa, her son, was furious that they assumed his mother would die in the '50s...but she ended up dying in late December 1959."
6. This Ouija board no-no:
"One story my parents used to tell us was about my older cousin's birthday, when someone was dumb enough to buy him a ouija board. Here's what happened: All the kids had gathered around the table. 'What’s your name?' my cousin asked. No response. My other cousin got more aggressive and said, 'If you’re not a coward, then spell your name!' All of a sudden, four letters pop up: Z-O-Z-O. Everyone was scared out of their mind, and to make it even better, all the pictures on the mantel suddenly fell off. Needless to say, no one in the extended family is allowed to use ouija boards now."
7. This witch lineage:
"A maternal ancestor of mine, one Alice Lake, was hanged as a witch in Salem, Massachusetts, about 50 years before the infamous witch trials even began. According to our family legend, this was because she truly WAS a witch, and her power survived in her children, who've passed it down the line to us."
8. This haunted home:
"According to my mom and her sisters, they lived in a haunted house in Northern California while they were growing up, and they all had creepy experiences in it. The creepiest story they tell is that one night, when there was a storm and a power outage, my aunt went downstairs where her bedroom was to get matches. She couldn't see anything, but then suddenly a small light lit up the room. She turned around and saw an old woman in the reflection of her vanity mirror holding a candle to help her see."
9. This teen terror:
"My dad and my aunt always tell us this story about two elderly witches who were sisters and lived together in a creepy house near theirs in Indiana. The women would chase my dad and my aunt when they were teens in a pickup truck with a shotgun. One time, one of the women even jumped on the hood of their car as they were driving by the house. While I'm not sure how 'witchy' those two women actually were, the house itself sure was creepy, since my dad and my aunt would drive us by it as kids while they told the tale."
10. This odd death:
"While this may not be 'creepy' in a traditional sense, it's still a really weird family story: Basically, my great-grandpa served in World War II, but the circumstances surrounding his death were INCREDIBLY suspicious. They found his body abandoned in a burned car with his uniform missing, and then later, another dead soldier was found with my great-grandpa's uniform and all of his documents (like his passport and ID). Also, my great-grandma wasn’t allowed to see his body, and they hardly answered any questions she had about his death. To this day, my family believes that my great-grandpa was very likely a spy, which is kind of cool."
11. This strange disappearance:
"According to my family, my great-great-great-great-grandfather decided to travel from his home in Utah to visit his daughter in Nevada. His horse and buggy returned to town just fine...without him. They found his bones the next summer, and it's largely suspected he was murdered by the people in town because he wouldn't give up the water rights on his property."
12. This mysterious demise:
"My family has a lot of creepy stories about people accidentally dying under very odd circumstances. The two that stick out the most for me are when my great-great-grandma was smoking a cigarette and accidentally lit her bathrobe — and then herself — on fire, thus killing herself, and when my great-great-great-grandpa fell off of his tractor and it ran him over, killing him instantly."
13. And finally, this holiday tragedy:
"One Christmas morning, my great-grandfather went outside to get water from the well and never came back. When my great-grandmother went out to investigate, she saw his hat resting solemnly on the rim of the well. She slowly peered over the edge of the well and was greeted with his shadowy, lifeless form at the bottom of the chasm. Was he pushed? Did he trip? Did he jump? No one knows. It's often argued about at family reunions, with the main point of contention being WHY his hat was placed so perfectly on the rim."