WARNING: This post discusses serious topics, including mentions of death and murder. Please proceed with caution.
Recently, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to share the creepiest experiences they've ever had. From true crime to the paranormal, here are 23 of their most bone-chilling stories:
1. "When my mom was in her 20s, she and a friend decided to go to a psychic, just for fun. The psychic told her friend that soon she would have more money than she ever imagined, but it would cost her everything. A month later, she nearly died in a gas explosion at her apartment. She was burned on more than 70% of her body, and received millions of dollars from the city because they knew about the gas leak and didn’t bother to fix it."
2. "A group of us were gathered in a second-floor classroom at church for a meeting. We were having an increasingly difficult time hearing each other because there were loud voices and raucous laughter from the classroom next door. Eventually, a guy from our group left to ask them to quiet down. He returned quickly, announcing that there was nobody next door. In fact, there was nobody in the entire church except for us. But we ALL heard the commotion. To this day, I have no idea who or what that was."
3. "When I was in the ninth grade, I spent the night at one of my best friend's houses. I knew she had a lot of family in the neighborhood, so seeing family in her house was normal. We went to sleep and it was just like any other night. When I woke the next morning, I saw something — or rather, someone — in her closet, which was directly in front of her bed. There was a man looking at me through her hanging clothes. He smiled."
"I figured it was just another one of her family members — perhaps playing a prank — so I just laid down and fell back asleep. We woke up for breakfast and I told her and her dad about the man in the closet. He said no relatives had been over, and definitely not a man. Truthfully, they didn’t seem too concerned about it, but I can still to this day picture that man smiling at me. I didn’t do sleepovers again after that."
4. "I’m a nurse who regularly works night shifts. I’ve witnessed a lot of deaths over the years — some very peaceful, and some very painful. I’m one of those nurses who experiences a lot of paranormal activity, too. One night, as I was punching in a key code to enter a locked unit, I heard someone shout my name from behind me. I turned around, but no one was there. Another night, I heard someone shout 'Nurse!' very loudly. Like normal, I went from room to room to check on my patients, but everyone was sleeping soundly. Eventually, I became so tuned into the paranormal activity of that building that I could predict when a death would occur within one or two days."
"If I saw a shadow figure or orb lights on the units, I knew someone was about to die. As a nurse, you become hyper-aware of the stages of death. But these shadows would appear to me right before a patient was going to die. Sometimes shadows would appear around a patient who didn't seem particularly low or ill that day, and an unexpected death would occur. In the two years I worked there, I was never wrong."
5. "When I was in college, I lived in an all-girls dorm. Like any school, there were ghost stories about how former students died on the property. Our dorm was said to be haunted by a young girl who had hanged herself in the '60s. One night, I was lying in bed around midnight. Our dorm had a nighttime curfew with quiet hours starting at 9 p.m., so it was normally silent at this time of night. All of a sudden, I heard the clacking of high-heeled shoes walking down the hall. It was so loud and vivid, I thought to myself, 'Who the heck is walking in heels this late on a school night?' The footsteps got closer, and it sounded like someone walked directly outside my door. It was then that I realized that this sound would be impossible to hear, because the hallways were fully carpeted."
"I jumped out of bed and opened my door to find nothing but darkness. I even walked up and down the hall, and there were no other doors open. It gave me chills. The next morning, I asked around. No one else heard it, but some had experienced similar things in the past. They all said it was just one of the ghosts."
6. "I swear I've been to a parallel universe, or I've woken up in another life. This happened recently. I'm an adult, currently in my late 20s. I was at my parents' house for Christmas, and I hadn't been feeling well for over a week. I had time off work and everything, but by this point, I was on the mend. On Christmas Eve, I got into bed in my childhood room on and started having violent coughing fits that prevented me from sleeping, which was strange because my cough was nearly gone. This went on for about an hour before I had enough time between fits to feel sleepy. Then I closed my eyes and I was somewhere else."
"I was wet and cold, laying on hard ground. A flashlight was being shone into my eyes. I opened them and I was at my parents house — no time had passed. I cannot stress enough that this was not a dream. You wake up from a dream and you realize it was just a dream, but this other world or life was calling me. It was like I was in two places at once.
There were two people — a young boy with brown coiled hair and an older girl with long black hair tied into a ponytail. They stood over me, shining the torch in my face, trying to see if I was conscious or alive. For a few minutes I jumped between what felt like two lives before I sat up in the bed at my parent's house and tried to shake myself out of it.
I keep wondering what happened to the version of me laying on the ground. I keep thinking that I had a choice of which life to stay in, which one to save. If I had kept my eyes shut and accepted the other life, would I still be alive in this one? It's conceivable that I would've choked from coughing. And why was I wet and unconscious on the ground in the other life? Had I been drowning? It would explain the coughing in both lives. It really spooked me, I get goosebumps thinking about it still. I've not slept well since."
7. "When I was in my mid-'20s, my fiancé and I visited his family in Norway over Christmas. We were driving through the countryside, sightseeing on the snow-covered roads. We had spiked tires on the car, so it wasn’t slippery at all. All of a sudden, I had a really bad feeling that something terrible was about to happen, so I told him to slow down. He told me that he was already going well below the speed limit, but, overwhelmed, I yelled at him to JUST SLOW DOWN! He gave me an incredulous look but he did what I asked, just as we were heading down a hill into a curve."
"As soon as we got around the corner, there was a very narrow bridge, and a car was just coming off of it. It was really narrow, due to the snow build-up on both sides. We clipped the other car and we both lost the outer mirrors on the driver’s side. If we had been going any faster, we would’ve hit them head-on. Needless to say, my fiancé turned white as a ghost, didn't say another word the entire way home, and couldn’t even tell his parents what had happened when we got there. One good thing about it all is that he never hesitates to listen to me again when I get a bad feeling about something!"
8. "My cousins and I were in our early to mid-teens, staying overnight at a relative's farm in northern Europe. They set up mattresses for the kids in the loft of the barn, and the parents slept in the farmhouse. The only way up into the loft was a square hole in the floor, which had a ladder leading up to it. We were getting tired, so we turned the lights off and settled in quietly. Shortly afterward, I started hearing footsteps at the other end of the loft. I whispered, asking the others if they heard it, and they all did. It was around 2008 at the time, and only one of us had a cell phone — which, of course, was a flip phone. My cousin opened it, using the screen as a flashlight. The screen was small, though, so blue glow only reached about two feet ahead."
"We heard the footsteps walking towards us, and right as they got to exactly where the light reached, my cousin stretched his arm further to shed light on it. Exactly as he did, the thing took two stumbling steps backwards, avoiding being seen. We all screamed, and our relatives ran to check on us from the farmhouse. Nothing left through that square hole down the ladder and no one saw anything when we turned the lights back on. I still have no idea what it was."
9. "When I was in college, I worked as a phone psychic. The company was dodgy, but since I was a mother of two very small children, it was a perfect job for me. I made sure my personal ethics as a tarot reader were met and I never used the 'script' they gave me — a seven-page, photocopied set of questions and answers meant to keep the caller talking (they were being charged $2.99 a minute). I was working there for three months and had my regular callers. It was 1998, so they'd call the hotline and be 'patched' to our home phones. One day, I got a new caller on my rotation — a man. I started reading for him and his cards were a bit strange."
"There were lots of indications of violence and death, so I told him. That’s when he got really quiet and started confessing to some really horrible stuff. He said he was having issues controlling his urge to kill and he said he had done it before. I started feeling very creeped out by what he was telling me, but I kept him talking.
The call lasted about an hour. In that hour, he told me he had killed at least two times and was going to do it again. After he disconnected, I called our central number. I was freaked out and told them everything he had said. I pleaded with them to check his info, but they said they would not do it. Mind you, they had his credit card information (I never got the callers’ information, only the company did).
I quit working there shortly after that. Their lack of concern for this was the main reason — believe me, at $12.00 an hour, it was the best job I could find working part-time after 10 p.m. I still to this day wonder who the man was and if any murders would have been prevented had the company done anything. The company has completely disappeared under lawsuits since then."
10. "I was about 14 or 15 and I was staying after school to study in the library. After a while, I fell asleep at a desk and had a really strange dream. I dreamt that the librarian — who was an old, scary lady — was shaking me while screaming, ‘Save me, help me! I don’t want to go, save me!’ over and over. I woke up very confused, only to see the librarian having a heart attack. I rushed over and started doing CPR on her. A teacher passing by noticed and called an ambulance. On the way to the hospital, one of the paramedics told me if I hadn’t saved her, she would've been dead."
"After the incident, me and the librarian stayed good friends. She passed only a week ago, and I recently went to pay my respects at her funeral, thinking how bemused she’d be to know that her legacy was being commemorated in a BuzzFeed post!"
11. "This happened just a few years ago. It was late afternoon, my husband was at work, and our sons were at school. I decided to take advantage of having the house to myself and take a nice, long bath. For context, our house has a first-floor master suite. I locked both the bedroom and bathroom doors, then began filling up the tub. As I started to get in, our dogs hopped up and ran to the bathroom door. I heard the distinct sound of the door to our garage opening and footsteps heading towards the bedroom. I assumed my husband came home early and expected to hear the sound of him trying our bedroom door, only to find it locked. Instead, I heard the bedroom door open."
"I still assumed it was my husband, until I heard the dogs' slow, deep growls and saw that their hackles were raised. Our dogs don’t bark and rarely growl, so this was very unusual for them. They were staring at the space under the door with their heads lowered, growling, and backing away from the door. I could see movement on the other side of the door and — when I bent down to look — feet.
The panic really set in when I realized that I left my phone in the other room. I sat there, shaking and imagining the door being kicked in for over an hour. The only 'weapon' I had was a can of Lysol. Eventually, the dogs settled down and I stopped hearing noises. My husband came home from work and was shocked to hear the story. He checked the entire house, but there were no signs of an intruder. Every single door was locked. To this day, I don’t have an explanation for what happened."
12. "I used to have a recurring vision of a car crash in which I was in the passenger seat and a boy in my grade was driving. In the vision, we were driving at night and a drunk driver was coming headfirst at us, so the boy swerved the car, not knowing that there was a ditch right there, and the car rolled over. I could envision it vividly, right down to the side road it happened in front of. Fast forward a couple years — I'd had this vision a few times already. I dreamt about it sometimes, but other times it just popped into my head. Well, one night I got invited to hang out with a few of my friends, but I didn’t have a ride, so the boy from my vision offered to drive me."
"On our way there, I saw a driver swerving towards us, just like in the vision. Sure enough, the boy swerved, and we rolled over, right in front of the road I had seen. Both of us recovered from our injuries, but the fact that I knew exactly what was going to happen creeped me the fuck out.
After a few weeks in the hospital, I told the boy about my visions. He didn’t believe me at first. That was the case until I told him details about the crash I couldn’t have possibly known because I blacked out right after we rolled over. He had been awake the whole time, so he knew that the details I was saying were true. It was wild."
13. "At the beginning of COVID lockdowns, I volunteered with a group that brought food and hot meals to people who couldn’t leave their house or who didn’t have money for food. We quickly outgrew the community center we started in and were offered an amazing space in a century-old hospital run by nuns. There was an elevator in our kitchen and its doors would open randomly, but only when there were just girls in the kitchen. The elevator itself would only work for girls, too. If a guy tried to use it, it wouldn’t move."
"One day, as we were exploring the old hospital wards — which were very creepy — I saw what can only be described as a black fog move around a corner quickly as if to hide from us. We had a prankster who was laying in wait to jump out at us, but he never did. Instead, he came running back to the group, saying that he just saw a black fog coming from the room we were in. No one felt an 'evil' presence or anything, we just assumed the black fog was the nuns who ran the place a century earlier. Still, I never stayed there alone after that."
14. "When I was eight years old, we lived in the middle of nowhere. Literally — the closest actual town was a 30-minute ride away. I was sitting outside when all of a sudden, our guard dog started barking like crazy. I was out alone pretty late at night, so I figured it was probably a fox or something at first, but something about his bark was off. He had his tail between his legs and was barking aggressively. When I looked over at the road, I saw what I thought was a dog. Only it was not a regular dog — it had very distinct human features and no fur at all. It moved on four legs, but like a human pretending to walk like an animal, the back side being higher up than its head."
"I stared at it for a while, and it stared right back. Its eyes were very human and front facing, it was creepy. Then it took off at a speed that was way too fast for a human to be moving, especially on all fours.
I still have nightmares about this encounter. I don't know what it could have been — there are zero animals that I know of that look like that. I'm still a bit scared to go into the woods now."
15. "I had a too-close encounter with a UFO. I live in a small town in California on the central coast. Like San Francisco, it can be a pretty foggy place. We were dumb high schoolers and would go to this 'lovers lane' — a series of pullouts along the coast where we'd generally do idiotic things. This night, in particular, there were three of us. It was foggy, and we were going around one of a series of bends when seemingly out of nowhere, a humongous UFO appeared right over us."
"If I had to guess, at its closest it was about 50–100 yards overhead. The way it moved so effortlessly (and like no spacecraft can move now, let alone in the late '90s when this happened) was unbelievable. There was a relatively good-sized military presence here, but the technology that had to be on this aircraft was leagues beyond anything that seems even remotely possible today. It had a ton of lights as well.
We were instantly freaked out. The craft was moving at crazy speeds, going left and right over the ocean. It did seem to be following us, eyeing us. Then suddenly after about a minute or two, it was gone. Even with the fog, it was shocking we visually lost something so big and bright almost instantly. We were so moved by the experience we didn’t even really talk about it afterward.
But, the wildest part of this story happened 20 years later. One day, my sister called me, telling me I had to watch a documentary called The Curse of the Man Who Sees UFOs. Apparently, this man had been seeing UFOs in our community for decades. The main thrust of the film centers around someone who 'spontaneously combusted' at the local public golf course. I remembered the death in local media, but I obviously looked further into it after watching the documentary, and it's as crazy as it sounds. Guess where this poor person combusted? Naturally, right where we saw the UFO that night.
I’ve lived a pretty crazy life and had some unreal things happen to me, but this, without a doubt, stands out over all the others."
16. "The school I went to was really old. All throughout elementary school, the high schoolers would try to scare us by telling us the auditorium was haunted. It didn’t faze me as a child, but when I was 17 years old, I took an extra credit job in the auditorium, sweeping after the shows ended. I was going about my business, getting my supplies from the broom closet when the door closed and locked with me still inside. I was like, 'ha ha, very funny,' but when the lights started to flicker, I panicked. You see, the light switch was inside the closet."
"I heard what seemed like the giggle of a child, and after about three minutes i was able to break the door open. I booked it out of there and ran to my supervisor. After I told her the story, she said, 'Oh, that? Oh, that’s just Barbara!' Apparently, Barbara was the first principal’s child who died of a stroke in the auditorium. She's been haunting that room for about 230 years now."
17. "Years ago, an old friend came to my city for a conference. I was showing her around town and we decided to go to a street fair. One of the tents was a psychic/medium offering free readings, so we went in. Before she sat down, the psychic told us that one day we would have the same last name. This was funny to my friend, because she was already married and I was about to get married myself, so the last name thing certainly wasn't true. Well, 12 years later she got divorced, and a few years after that she married a guy with my last name. That's odd enough on its own, but it turns out the guy she married is a long lost cousin of mine. My Dad had an uncle who ran away from home at 15 and moved as far away from home as possible, and never contacted the family again."
18. "When I was about three or four, my family went to hang out at a local swim hole. Being typical parents of the early '80s, they weren’t paying attention to me while I splashed around without any floatation devices. Wandering off down the shallows, I suddenly stepped over a drop-off and completely went under. I could feel myself scrambling to get back up to shallow water, but the soft sandy edge kept breaking loose from under me. Suddenly I felt someone grab me under my arms and pull me back onto sturdy ground with my head above water. As I looked up, expecting to see a parent, I realized that I was all alone. All the families were back down the beach none the wiser. I still have no idea who or what pulled me out of the water that day."
19. "This is a cautionary tale of why you shouldn't perform random magic rituals and dark stuff you found on internet forums in the early 2000s. When I was 13, I did just that — drawing magic circles around the house, reciting various 'commands' to forces unknown, and dabbling with blood magic. It did wonders for my emo ego and gave me clout amongst my friends for being so edgy. Nothing came of it immediately other than the rush of doing dark things, but some months later a 10-foot tall, shadowy figure began to appear in the corner of my room at night."
"Now this sort of darkness and form should've been impossible, as it was right next to my window. Whether or not the blinds were open to let in the moonlight or our own lights outside, the shadow would be there. You could certainly play it off as the light not reaching the right spot, but the shade had two distinct red eyes that would glow and gaze down upon you. I was never really scared of this shadowy figure, and I came to call it 'The Watcher' and 'the unofficial warden of our home.' I figured some ritual or another had called a protective spirit over, to keep some of the more sinister things I'd also messed with away.
Now I wouldn't even bother bringing this up as it could just be the delusions of a sleepy mind and a troubled teen, but my sister — who took over my room when I went to college — talked about this presence unsolicited for years, as well as her friends who stayed in the room during sleepovers. Even my parents' friends who took over the bed for their stays had comments about the watcher from time to time. I knew where it came from, but given that no one else did, they were certainly a lot more creeped out by it than I was."
20. "I was in a new relationship and after a few months, he had already moved in. One morning, he was standing by the window getting ready for work. My window had sheer white curtains, and the sun was already shining through and outlining his frame. I was on the other side of the room admiring the light and dark contrast when a sudden voice in my head said, 'He's not going to live long.'"
"This totally freaked me out. My boyfriend was six years older than me (he was in his early 40's), smoked, and did not eat the healthiest. I became so scared he would die from a heart attack. I did my best to fix healthy meals and encourage him to cut back on smoking. In less than a year, the relationship had ended —badly. After the break up, I got a job at an Italian restaurant, but needed to make more money for me and my son. I found a second job delivering newspapers. Usually I would have an extra newspaper from the shift, or there would be one at the restaurant. Every day, I would turn the pages until I got to the obituaries. Fast forward to two years later, when I was on my lunch break. I grabbed the newspaper and opened the page to the obits. I got the chills because there was his picture, dead at 46."
21. And finally, "When I was six or seven, I kept having this reoccurring nightmare. It would start as a normal dream, and then whoever I was with (normally my parent or friends) would walk away, leaving me alone. A lot of what happened in the nightmares is fuzzy, but I remember this part very vividly — a doppelgänger of whoever I was with would walk towards me. I knew it wasn’t actually them, because of the big, creepy smile they would have on their face. Even writing this many years later, I still feel terror picturing the scene. They would slowly advance toward me, and I wouldn’t be able to move. They would reach out toward me, and I would feel like I couldn’t breathe. I would always wake up before they got to me, but I knew that if I stayed asleep a little longer, I would see who they really were."
"When I was too afraid to fall asleep one night, my dad — in his matter-of-fact way — told me to just wait it out and see who they really were. When I had the dream a couple days later, I didn’t try to wake myself up like usual — I just waited to see who they were. I didn’t resist, just let them reach towards me. I don’t remember this next part, but both of my parents told me the story later, when I was older. They both woke up at the same time around one in the morning, with the urgent feeling they needed to check on me. When they went into my room, I was lying in the middle of the floor, dead asleep, with my mouth open like I was trying to scream. I felt hot when they picked me up, and when they took my temperature, I had a ridiculously high fever. They took me to the ER, and the nurse said if they hadn’t brought me in, I might’ve had lasting damage, or even died. They said my fever was so high, if I hadn’t gotten the medical treatment when I did, the heat might’ve begun to kill my cells. Who knows what state I would’ve been in by morning. They never figured out what caused it, and they wrote it off as some medical anomaly, sending me on my way. I haven’t had the dream again since.
I wish that was the scariest part of the story, but it’s not. I strangely managed to forget all about it until very recently. My great-aunt has dementia, and so my whole family has been helping her clean out her house before she moves in with my aunt and uncle. I was talking to her one day, and she kept repeatedly asking me to grab the photo albums in the hole in the wall behind the horses. I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, but she seemed so distressed that I decided to follow her instructions. I went to her bedroom, where there was a big painting of horses hanging on the wall. I checked behind it, and lo and behold, there were a couple photo albums.
I brought them to her, and we started to look through them together. She started pointing at a picture of a teenage girl, calling her 'Catherine,' and then pointing at me. My grandmother is long dead (she died during childbirth, as far as I can tell she had no connection to any of this), and as far as I knew at the time my great-aunt had no other siblings. But there they were, posing for a family picture with my great-grandfather and great-grandmother. My name is not Catherine, so I had to remind her who I was. I didn’t think much of it, because she often calls people by the wrong name. But then I looked at the picture. This girl looked exactly like how I did at her age. I imagine she would’ve looked just like me at any age. I asked what happened to her, and for a minute it was like my great-aunt was fully back with me. She said she died of a fever, given to her by 'the smiling, shapeshifting devil who haunted her dreams.' I tried to ask more questions, but all she said was that 'the devil got her…he likes the blonde ones.' The girl in the picture, Catherine, and I are the only natural blondes in my whole family.
Unfortunately, my aunt had a stroke a couple of days later which left her unable to speak, so I never got to ask her any more questions. But I still wonder about Catherine sometimes, and what could’ve happened to me if my parents hadn’t woken up that night. I like to think that it was the ghost of Catherine, making sure no one else died from the dreams. But I’ll never really know anything more about the dreams, or Catherine, and I guess I’ll have to live with that."
Have you had a creepy, bone-chilling experience like these? If so, tell us about it in the comments below or via this 100% anonymous form. And if you enjoyed these creepy tales, you can read more of them here and here.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.