We recently asked members of our BuzzFeed Community to share TRUE scary/paranormal/just plain creepy stories that their families had passed down for generations, and they did not disappoint. Here are a few of the absolute ~weirdest~:
1. The death bed.
My great-grandmother's great-grandmother was the eldest of eight children, and her bed was the death bed of her father. At night, she would feel something grab at her legs, but when she'd look, there would be nothing there.
Just yesterday I was reading in that same bed and I felt a yank on my right foot—I was home alone.
2. The screech mayas.
I have MAJOR issues with driving at night, especially on long roads surrounded by forests, because my aunt used to tell me a Swedish urban myth about “screech mayas." They’re the spirits of abused women who come out of the woods and jump in front of cars to make the drivers swerve and kill themselves.
3. The duende's curse.
"Duendes" are dwarves from Latino folklore that cause mischief. My grandma’s brother-in-law supposedly had a duende traveling with him. When you befriend a duende, they bring good luck. Whenever he gambled, he would win. However, he did something to upset the duende and it made him sick (duendes bring misfortune if you upset them). The doctors weren’t able to find a cause and he passed away, but a faith healer identified it as a duende’s curse.
4. The ghostly grip.
My great-grandmother was very religious. On the first anniversary of her death, my relatives went to her home to mourn her. That night, my dad’s uncle slept in the hallway, since there were so many people staying over, and he woke up suddenly to my great-grandma’s voice calling his name. He felt someone grab his leg and pull him towards the stairs. He started screaming, and my relatives came out in the hall, but they didn’t see anything.
5. The wave goodbye.
When my dad was four years old, he went walking with his father outside. He stopped all of a sudden and said, “I just saw grandma. She was waving goodbye!” Two minutes later they got a call that my grandfather's mom had passed away.
6. The dark magic farm.
My parents are from the Dominican Republic, so stories of voodoo are common. One day my father was walking home from school and he heard shuffling coming from a nearby farm. When he turned to look, there was a man walking in the field with blood dripping from his mouth and a dead look in his eyes.
Later, my father found out from the newspaper that the man had been reported missing for two weeks, and that the coroner had confirmed his death FOUR DAYS EARLIER. My father still swears to this day that dark magic had a part in it.
7. The bruises.
My aunt told us that her husband used to wake up in the middle of the night because he'd hear footsteps or chains dragging on the floor. One night, he was fully awake and someone started choking him. He tried to fight them off, but there was nothing there. The next day he had bruises on his throat.
8. The ghostly goodbye.
My mom swears UP AND DOWN that she woke up in the middle of the night and her first thought was, "We need to call to check on my father-in-law." When she turned over to wake my dad up, there was my grandpa. He was just standing over my dad, looking at him while he slept. My mom screamed and he disappeared.
Within a few minutes my parent's got a phone call from my grandma letting them know that my grandpa had JUST passed.
9. The firefighter's toaster.
My mom worked as a firefighter her entire life. While we were relaxing at home on one of her night's off, she went into cardiac arrest. The second her heart stopped beating, the toaster in the kitchen caught on fire. It was unplugged, turned off, and nothing was in it.
She ended up being okay, but no one could tell us how or why that happened.
10. The clocks.
My grandfather was a jeweler and specialized in watches and clocks. When he died, all of the time pieces in his house stopped at the hour of his death.
11. The life-saving spirit.
When my dad was a teenager, his bedroom was outside in a shed because, you know, teenage boys. One night, he woke up and looked out the window into the main house and he saw his grandmother, who'd been dead for years, in the kitchen window. He freaked out and ran inside to see if it was really her. When he got in the kitchen, he looked out the window to his shed was in flames. It had somehow caught fire and completely burned down.
12. The day trip to Hell.
My grandma had an uncle who "went to Hell." He was having open heart surgery and flat lined for a few minutes. He said he had an out of body experience and was falling down a long, dark tunnel. It was unbearably hot. He said that he knew he was going to Hell. He eventually landed, but a voice told him it wasn't his time. He was pulled up through a white tunnel and thrown back in his body.
13. The unfortunate purchase.
My cousin's family lives in this literal mansion, but it was cheap. At first they thought they just got lucky, but realized something must have happened there because the house deed changed hands quickly several times in a row.
Since they’ve moved in, they’ve found a human handprint made of out ash on their wall, their daughter was found talking to her closet, and they'll randomly hear loud screaming. They called a priest and he did an exorcism, but said that their basement is "dangerous" and to "keep the door locked at all times" if they want to be safe.
14. The cattle murders.
My dad grew up on a farm that had cattle and, one morning, they went out and found a cow had been killed. They couldn’t find any animal tracks in the dirt, and it looked like it had been methodically cut open. This happened a few more times over the next couple of years. They had investigators come out to look at the cows, but no one was ever able to determine who or what was killing them.
15. The ouija board.
Not long after my grandpa died, my aunt was at her friends' house and they decided to mess with a ouija board. They made contact with my grandpa and, according to my aunt and her friends, there was a knock at a window and when all three of them looked, they saw my grandpa in his deputy uniform waving from outside the window.
16. The crawl space.
When I was 10 years old we lived in Bell Gardens, CA. My sister would always run to my parents room at night, crying, saying that she heard a man talking. The house was older, and had a crawl space under it. One night, we were all woken up by the sound of my dad screaming. He saw the man.
The next day a priest came to our house. It didn't help. The following weekend, my dad and his brothers went into the crawl space. They found a body wrapped in army blankets. They called the police and we were not allowed back in our home for a week. We moved out of that house the following year.
17. The mischievous spirit.
My family has a spirit that has been a part of the women in my families lives since my great-grandma. The spirit steals stuff. Not anything particularly important, but things you want in the moment. If anyone in the family is missing anything we just say, "Okay Sam. Give it back please." Whatever it is that you're looking for will be in the next place you look.
18. This lucky illness.
This isn’t supernatural, just creepy to think about and obviously passed down for generations: My great-great-grandmother bought a ticket for the Titanic, but didn’t end up going because she got sick. Without that illness, there’s a good chance she would have died, and I never would’ve been born.
19. The Grey Lady.
The house that my grandparents lived in during the 1950's was haunted. The spirit was called, "The Grey Lady." My dad remembers her tickling him when he was four years old. I went back to that house in 2013 and asked the owner if the Grey Lady was still there. He looked at me, terrified, and asked, “How do you know about that?!”
20. The sausage maker.
I cannot stress enough that this is a TRUE story, because it sounds unbelievable: My great-great-aunt was murdered by her husband. He was a sausage maker. He dissolved her body in a vat of lye. The investigating detective found her wedding ring in the bottom of the vat. The newspapers spread a rumor that he turned her into sausage, and sales dropped across the county for years.
21. The OTHER ouija board.
My mom is the youngest of five, raised in a Catholic household. Two of her sisters, my aunts, found an Ouija board. They were playing around with it, asking harmless questions. Eventually, they asked the board who among them would be the first to die (which is a HUGE no-no), and the planchette said it would be their dad, my grandfather.
Shortly after, he was killed in an accident. It was VERY unexpected.
22. The imaginary friend.
When my great-grandma was little, she had an imaginary friend who she said looked exactly like her. She told everyone that her name was Emily. Turns out...she had an identical twin who died when they were two days old who’s name was EMILY.
23. The serial killer.
Our scary story wasn't passed down for generations, nor is it paranormal...just freaky. It happened to my grandparents. They lived in Tallahassee at the time. My grandma was working as a waitress and one night she noticed a man had been following her around. Well, he ended up following her all the way back to their house. She ran inside, terrified, and my grandpa went outside with his shotgun. The guy freaked out and took off.
A week later, they said they saw him on the news, and that's when they realized the guy my grandpa had threatened with his shotgun was TED BUNDY.
24. The sixth birthday.
On my great-great-great-grandma's sixth birthday, she woke up in the middle of the night and went into the kitchen to get some water. Behind her, she heard a floorboard creak. She turned around, and saw something run into the pantry.
She finally shared that story recently, and we have heard from EVERY woman in the family after that (including my mom) that they saw the exact same thing on their sixth birthday. It's blurry in my head, but I do remember going into the kitchen to get water in the middle of the night on my sixth birthday. And, recently, the morning of my daughter's sixth birthday, she told everybody that she had a "friend" hiding in the kitchen.