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The Passenger That Didn't Exist, A Close Call With A Serial Killer, And 18 Other Creepy Experiences People Will Never, Ever Forget

"I’ll never forget her face, it’s forever engraved in my brain."

WARNING: This post contains mentions of rape, murder, and death. Please proceed with caution. 

Recently, I asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about the creepiest things they've ever experienced. Y'all...consider me thoroughly spooked. From true crime to the paranormal to everything in between, here are 20 of their most bone-chilling stories:

1. "Many years ago, I was scheduled to fly to Santa Barbara to visit a girlfriend who was attending college there. It was going to be my very first flight on a plane and I was nervous. The plane was a twelve-seater with six rows. I sat down next to this older, nicely dressed man who sensed how nervous I was and took my hand. He held my hand throughout the short flight, and it really helped. When the plane finally landed, I bolted from my seat to exit the plane, relieved. I stood at the bottom of the steps afterward, waiting for that man to disembark so I could thank him. But, he never did. I asked the flight attendant where the man sitting next to me had gone, describing him to her. She went back on the plane to check and came out saying there was no man on the plane with that description. It was freaky!"


A man with a blurred face on a plane

2. "I was in my bedroom reading a book while my family was in the living room. Suddenly, my eyes blacked out and the bed that I was sitting on started to wobble and shake. I distinctly remember looking up from my book to see black eyes in front of me. I froze. A few minutes later, everything seemed normal. I was frozen in terror. A few days later, as I was crossing the street with my family, I had the same experience. I froze and my parents waited for me, not crossing the road. As I was blacking out, I heard a loud bang. Two cars in front of us had crashed...right where we would've been walking. It still freaks me out to think about."


The young girl from Hereditary looking spooked

3. "This was back in the '80s when my ex-husband and I were going to UF and living in off-campus housing. He woke up one morning and looked really upset. When I asked him why, he said that he had a very vivid dream that the Challenger space shuttle had blown up. I assured him that it was just a dream, and hadn't actually happened. Well, hours later that afternoon, our neighbor Jerry was pounding on our door to tell us that the space shuttle just blew up."


A NASA archival image of the Challenger

4. "I was 15 and I had just woken up from a nap. I lived with my parents and three brothers at the time. I went to go lay down on the couch and watch TV when all of the sudden, I heard someone start vacuuming downstairs. I was in the middle of a really good show, so I yelled for them to stop, assuming it was one of my brothers. It stopped for a minute but then continued again. I shouted a second time to stop, and it did. A couple minutes later, I heard my mom drive up, and all my brothers walked in the door with her. Really confused, I asked if my dad was downstairs, but she said he was still at work. I was alone by myself the entire time, and still have no idea who, or what, was vacuuming."


5. "When I was about 17, my parents, dog, and I went to People's Park State Forest to forage for mushrooms, fish in the river, and have lunch. We knew the area well. It was early morning and no one else was around in our chosen spot. We were walking and joking around when our dog alerted us of something. We looked over, and there was a guy sitting on a picnic table, staring at the river as several kayaks with young teenage girls drifted by. He was wearing gloves and staring intently at the kayakers. The gloves might not sound that strange, but this was in the middle of summer. Something just felt off."

"My mom is the most logical, stable person I know. She never, ever, panics. She very calmly told us that we were leaving, immediately, even though we had barely just arrived. My dad protested, by my mom insisted, and so we left. A few days later, the news reported that yet another brutal rape and murder of a young woman had taken place in that area. The murderer was never caught, but it is assumed he was the so-called Connecticut River Valley killer. My Mom's hunch was spot on. Who knows what our fate would have been had we stayed. Still brings me chills after all these years."


A person standing in the dark forest

6. "On my walk home from my bus stop in high school, I’d walk past a house every day that often had an old woman in a rocking chair on the front porch. She must have had memory issues, because every time I’d walk by, she’d blankly repeat the words, 'Hi. Hi. Hi.' I’d say hi back, to no response. One afternoon it was raining, so no one else was out as I walked home. When I walked by her house, instead of saying her usual 'Hi,' she very clearly said 'RUN. RUN.' You’d better believe I took off and booked it all the way home. I was terrified."


An old, balding woman shushing

7. "When I was like 10, I was in the living room watching TV and my mom was upstairs. The front door was open, but the screen was locked so we could get fresh air. I got up during a commercial break and saw a man with a screwdriver trying to take off the screen. Our eyes met and I froze. Then my mom yelled in the deepest voice possible, 'CAN I HELP YOU, SIR?' and the guy made an excuse about wanting to sell something and ran off."


An open door with the screen door slightly ajar

8. "I don’t believe in the paranormal or psychics/mediums or any of that stuff, but I did have a psychic chat with me as I worked at a bar late one night in 2014. It was a really quiet night, so we talked for a few hours. My coworker said she'd been a regular for eight years, and had never heard her bring her ‘work’ up with customers before that day. But, for whatever reason, she felt compelled to start telling me things. She started by telling me, in incredible detail, about my deceased Grandmother who died in the '60s in another country."

"I know a good two dozen things about my grandmother, because my mother was so young when she died. I’ve never talked about her to friends, ever. The place I was working was in a different city than my mother lived in, too. I had no family there, and I had no social media trail with this info. Nonetheless, this woman dropped my grandmother's actual first name, her unusual nickname, my deceased aunt's name — who is also someone I never really talk about, and if I do I don’t use her name. She continued to reveal things she had no way of knowing, like my aunt and grandmother's medical conditions, in absurd detail. 

My little non-believer ass thought I'd caught her when she mentioned that my grandmother was pregnant when she died. After hours of being spooked, I was like, 'Aha! Gotcha. No she wasn’t!' Internally, of course, because I didn’t want to be rude to the spooky lady.

Well, I called my mom later that day and told her about it. To my surprise, she confirmed that, yes, my grandmother had been about eight weeks pregnant when she died."


A psychic holding a crystal ball with stars edited around it

9. "When I was about seven years old, my mother worked overnights, so my older sister would watch us littles. I remember waking up in the middle of the night to the sound of someone pounding on the door. I was half asleep, so I assumed it was my mother getting home from work and needed to be let inside. I opened the door and found this lady standing there, yelling, 'CALL 911! CALL 911! HE’S GOING TO KILL ME!" She looked to her left and ran off to the right."

 "I slammed the door shut and locked it. I was so in shock at what happened that I just sat right in front of the door and yelled for my sister. We called our mom, who came home and found out through the police that the lady at our door's boyfriend was trying to kill her, and she was running away. I’ll never forget her face, it’s forever engraved in my brain."


The shadow of a woman with her hands up behind glass

10. "I was a stage manager at a theatre and it was my responsibility at night to lock up the control room doors, turn out lights, etc. When I entered the theater to make my way to the control room, I got a very eerie feeling that something/someone was watching me. It wasn’t the first time I got that feeling, but this night it was intense. After I locked up the control room and headed back towards the stage, I stopped dead in my tracks to a floating black mist, shaped like a human. The eye area on this thing was so intense, it was like it pierced my soul. My blood ran cold. I was covered in goosebumps, and I audibly gasped, because I was so stunned, I couldn't scream. I watched the figure dissolve down the stairs, to the basement."

"I high-tailed it out of there and met up with my friends that were waiting for me outside. They said I was white as a ghost and my eyes bigger than saucers. I told them what happened and we all got out of there. I never locked up alone again and I never saw it again, but I always had that creepy feeling of being watched. This wasn’t the first paranormal experience I’ve had working in a theater, but I sure hope it’s my last."


Red eyes in a dark black fog

11. "When I was around 11 years old, I lived in 1/3 of an old English mansion that had been divided into three separate houses. We lived on one end and were pretty good friends with the people who lived on the other end. They were going away on holiday and asked us if we would feed the cats for them. They gave us the side door key for their end of the house, which was about 20 feet from their front gate. The first night, my mom — who had been feeding the cats during the day — said she was going to feed the cats and would be right back for dinner. More than half an hour passed when my mom finally came bolting in the front door, white as a sheet, shaking a little. She closed the door and got dinner ready, silently."

"The next night, she asked me to go feed the cats. The instant I walked through that gate, I felt like I was about to die. I could feel waves of murderous hatred directed at me, as if someone was staring at me down the barrel of a gun. Even now, just writing this, my hair is standing up a little remembering the feeling, even though this was nearly 40 years ago. 

I bolted to the side door of the house, afraid that I was going to drop the keys and be murdered immediately. Somehow, I got the key in the door on the first try and stepped inside. Like a light switch being flipped, the feeling was totally gone. I was seriously freaked out. I closed the door behind me, already working on convincing myself that there was nothing there, and it was just my imagination. I went and found the cats, who had not come to the door immediately like they usually did during the day. Still, I got their food and played with them for a good 20 minutes before I gathered the courage to go back.

I stepped outside, and instantly the feeling was back. I pulled the door closed behind me and sprinted to the side gate. Immediately, the feeling was gone again. I grabbed a stick to pull the gate closed so that I wouldn't even need to reach past the threshold of the side wall, then ran back along the front of the house to our front door, and nearly dived in. Apparently, my mom had been standing there the whole time, getting ready to come and get me. She took one look at me and said, 'So you felt it too,' then hugged me and said she would make my dad do it tomorrow.

The next day, my dad went over, and came back moments later, looking like nothing had happened. The day after, my mom sent my brother over. Also no reaction. The day after my mom and I went together. Nothing. No one else reported anything like that, and I have never felt anything like that since then."


Dani from Midsommar saying "What is happening?"

12. "In high school, my sister invited me to go with her friends to a hookah lounge. I declined because I wasn't 18, so there wasn't much I could do. They were supposed to be gone for a while, but came home much quicker than expected, visibly shaken up. While driving, my sister noticed a car following them. She made some random turns to verify it, and, yep, they were definitely being followed. They called the police, who gave them instructions on how to lose the car, including driving illegally like going the wrong way down a one-way street. They ended up guiding them to an abandoned parking lot where several cop cars were waiting with the lights off. They got there safely, but the person following them noticed the cops and sped off while they chased after them. The cops lost them. It still scares me they were never caught and I'm beyond glad I didn't go with them that night."


A car in the rear view mirror

13. "I was about six or seven years old walking home from school alone. This was typical for the early 1960s. Suddenly, I heard my grandmother calling for me. I was her favorite grandchild, and she was my favorite person, so I was elated to think she was surprising me by visiting us in Los Angeles when she lived in Mexico. I ran the rest of the way home, burst into the door shouting for her. My mother told me, much to my disappointment, that she was not there. The next day, my parents showed up at my school and pulled me out of class. Confused, I asked why and where were we going. My mother explained that my grandmother had passed away the day before, the same day I heard her. My mother said that as she passed, she called for me one last time."


The abuela from Coco smiling sadly

14. "This was my senior year at U of I Champaign/Urbana. It was late springtime, around noon. I had just gotten out of my last Friday class and was hurrying to get to my dorm for lunch and enjoy some intramural sports. The engineering building I left was on a one-way street, and as I scurried between the parked cars to cross the street, I checked for traffic from the one direction and saw nothing. As I started my step into the street, a faraway voice yelled my first name in such an alarming way, I immediately froze in my tracks. At that same moment, a speeding car going the wrong way zoomed past me, mere inches away. I was stunned, realizing what a horrible disaster — if not death — I had just narrowly missed. I turned around to see who had called my name, but no one was around. To this day — 53 years later — I still always look both ways on one-way streets before crossing."


Carson from A League of Their Own saying "Who was that?"

15. "My house is in a village surrounded by wheat fields. My friend and I were training for a 10k and would run through the footpaths through the fields. One day as we were running, we noticed a guy in a black shirt, black pants, and black cowboy hat about 20 feet behind us. This sort of attire is unusual where we live. On top of that, our village had like 300 people, and we basically knew them all. This man freaked us out, so we ran a little faster. But every time we looked back, it was like he was walking but not progressing. We were getting further away, but he didn't seem able to walk past the brambles, despite his legs still moving. He looked almost like a sim."

"When we got home, I told my dad there was an odd man in the field. Before I was able to explain anything, he asked if he wore black and a cowboy hat. He told me that the man was called 'Black Jack,' locally and my dad had seen him doing the same thing in 1959! He hadn't  seen him since, but it turns out Black Jack was a bit of an unspoken urban legend in our village."


Jupe from Nope in a cowboy hat and suit, looking up

16. "When I was a little kid, I was terrified to go into my room, because I claimed to see a giant black dog the height of a man standing in the dark. I was so scared that my mother would have to turn the light on for me, so it would go away. She always told me it was the shadow of my dresser, which was ridiculous because shadows don’t hang in midair. I called it 'The Dark Animal' and I had nightmares about it all the time up until I was about seven or eight. Even after that, I would always reach around the threshold and flick the light on before ever walking into that room after dark."

"Flash forward about 15 years. My stepmother, who never heard any of these stories, called me frantically in the middle of the night. In the intervening years, they'd converted my bedroom into a living room, which she has to walk through to get to their bedroom.  She was freaking out, telling me there was a huge dog standing in the middle of the room in the dark. I told her to just reach past the threshold and click the light on and it would go away. I tried to sound calm, but knowing someone else — someone who didn’t even know what I went through as a kid — had seen 'The Dark Animal' scared the hell out of me. I was glad when they moved a few years later, because I hated going back to visit in that house."


17. "When my dad was in high school in the mid-'70s, he and my uncle heard fire trucks going by their house. They decided to walk out to see what was going on. When they came back, the front door was open. My dad asked my uncle if he had closed it, he said he did. They got a little creeped out, but decided to go in and check the rooms themselves. They grabbed some 'weapons' from the kitchen to arm themselves and made their way through the house. They cleared each room and nothing happened, so by the time they get to my aunt’s room, they were feeling pretty cocky. They’re also both over six feet tall and were pretty strong guys... My dad and uncle walked in and yelled, 'Come out boogeyman!."

"My aunt had a double mirror sliding door for her closet. Well, the sliding door opened, and out popped a guy. They dropped everything they were holding and started sprinting out of the house. My dad said he looked back behind him and all he saw was a blue shoe. We think the burglar ran out the back and into the desert."


18. "When I was five years old, we lived in an apartment overseas while my dad worked back in the states. I used to share a bedroom with my older brother. Every few months, my mom would sit me down in the morning and ask me if I was OK or if I remembered what happened the night before. I said I didn’t, and she never pressed further. As I got older, maybe around seven, it started happening more often, and I started to remember. I would be looking at the room from the corner and seeing myself running and screaming hysterically while crying. I was terrified, not wanting anyone to touch me or come near me."

"I can recall two instances where that happened, but I was young and never thought anything of it. When I was 14 or 15, the movie Insidious came out, and it described the young boy leaving his body but still looking at himself. It brought back the memories of the times when I was looking down at myself as my mom and older sister were trying to grab me and calm me down. That memory made that movie so much scarier to me. It never happened after I turned eight, but I still get the chills just thinking about it."


Two young girls looking forward and back at each other in the same image, with a red overlay

19. "When we were little, my family used to travel around a lot due to my dad’s job. My grandma would always tell us what fun things we could do in the place we were going to visit next. We were about to move to a very rural country. My grandma excitedly said we were going to love running around with horses and donkeys. A few days after we arrived, we were supposed to go to the countryside with some of my dad’s friends. As we were leaving, my grandma called and I answered the landline. She was a little frantic and made me promise her that we were going to stay by my parents' sides at all times on the trip."

"I promised, and then she talked to my mom. My mom was uneasy, but we went anyway. On the way there, I fell asleep and dreamed about a big field with a small red shack in the middle of the tall grass. A little girl was calling me and my siblings to go play with her. When we finally arrived, it looked just like the place in my dream. I asked my mom if we could go out and play, and she said absolutely not. This was very strange. The friends we were visiting told us that it was better for us to stay near, because a little girl had drowned a few months back. My mom then got very flustered and told them that my grandma had called and told her that my grandma had a very vivid dream that me and my sister were going to drown in an open well next to a red shack. When we were leaving, we saw a picture of the dead little girl. She was the girl in my dream."


A red shack in the middle of a grassy area

20. And finally, "My grandma lived in the most haunted house I have ever been in. The hair on your neck would stand up when you walked in. Ghostly experiences happened every day — from the TV changing on its own to someone pinching her toes at night — but didn't bother her. My own mother moved out as a teenager because she couldn't handle it. Well, one year on Thanksgiving, my entire family was downstairs at my grandmother's house, eating. I needed to use the bathroom, but it was upstairs, and I NEVER went up there alone. For some reason, though, I did this time."

"As I turned the staircase at the top, the air got thick. I suddenly couldn't hear my family downstairs. It was like time stood still. I looked up to see a young woman dressed in a 14th-century ballgown, her hair up in loose curls, holding hands with a little boy wearing overalls and a hat. They were completely gray, but looked like real people. I stood there, frozen, and watched them walk out of a bedroom. In utter shock I said, 'Hello?' They slowly turned towards me, and the ghost woman's face looked horrified. She screamed and quickly shoved the young boy into another room. She turned to me again, terrified, and slammed the door.

In that moment, it was like I was transported back to reality. I could hear my family again. My grandma came out of the bathroom and told me that she heard the door shut and it wasn't like that when she came upstairs.

Now, I wish encountering this ghost was the scary part. But, that's not all.
What haunts me 15 years later is that the ghostly woman I saw, looked just like me. As I get older, I resemble her more and more. I can still see her in my mind, like it happened just yesterday."


the back of a woman in a 14th-century dress with her hair up

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 24 more of them here.

Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.