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    19 Unsettling, Real-Life Ghost Stories That'll Freak You The Hell Out

    Don't read these in the dark.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their terrifying real-life encounters with ghosts. Here are the ones that freaked us out the most.

    A young girl with black eyes holding a doll

    1. Never trust the basement:

    "I was at a friend's house while her niece was there. We took her down to the basement because that's where she kept all of her toys, and the moment we got down there she started crying and screaming, saying, 'There's so many people!' We were alone in the basement. She's three."


    2. The devilish dream:

    "Two years ago, I was half-asleep when I felt like I was being pulled off my bed by my legs. Suddenly, I shot straight up and started violently choking! It took me a few minutes to catch my breath, and it was so bad my mom woke up to check on me. HERE'S THE SCARIEST PART: The next morning, my mom said she didn't remember my coughing fit, but she told me she had a dream that the DEVIL WAS TRYING TO PULL ME AWAY FROM HER. WTF."


    A young boy sleeps in a dark room while a creature stands in the corner

    3. The freaky creak:

    "I was at my boyfriend's apartment waiting for him to come home. His place was in the attic of an old house that used to be a hospital and was just a large open space with the door on one side and the bed on the other. I was asleep facing the wall when I heard the door open and the creaking of footsteps. I noticed it got really cold, though it was summer. When the footsteps got to the bed they stopped. I asked my boyfriend how his night was, but there was no response. I rolled over and no one was there, but his cat was staring into the darkness with his back arched and fur standing on end. I grabbed my stuff and sat in the car until he got back. Then I made him drive me back home because there was no way I was staying there!"


    4. The surprise dinner guest:

    "My family was eating at my great-grandfather's favorite restaurant shortly after he had passed away. My brother was only a year old, and while we were looking at the menu, he turned his head and eerily said 'hi Tata,' which was my great-grandfather's nickname. Again, he was really little, and we assumed he wouldn’t even remember Tata at all. When we moved to a new house a few years later, he did it again while the family was sitting together. As an adult, he doesn’t remember any of this."


    A young boy with no face detail, like a ghost

    5. The almost-apparition:

    "I'd just gotten home from school and ran upstairs to the bathroom when I heard a small child say my name. At the time, my mom had been babysitting a little boy so I thought she'd brought him to our house. I raced downstairs to say hi, but no one was there, and the house was empty. I'd had paranormal experiences in the house before, but it was always the apparition of an adult woman. This time freaked me out because I know sometimes in cases of demons it pretends to be a child."


    6. The restless reflection:

    "When I was a kid, I'd occasionally get scared at night and crawl into bed with my parents, and I had to walk past my mom's mirror to get to her side of the bed. Every time I passed it I would see, as clear as day, the very detailed figure of a little girl IN THE MIRROR staring at my mom. She had atomic blonde hair, wore a blue t-shirt and green shorts, and never moved. I never tried talking to her out of the paralyzing fear that she would respond. When I told my parents, they said it was my imagination. Maybe they're right but I believe to this day she was really there."


    The silhouette of a woman in a dark room

    7. No one messes with Gran:

    "When I was 12 my family lived in a 100-year-old house. Both I and my mum would feel pretty unnerved while in the dining room like we were being watched. The cats wouldn't even go in there, and it just had a horribly odd feeling to it. One night my gran (who was a boss-ass bitch) was in there setting the table. We heard her shout in a very stern voice, 'DON'T YOU DARE DO THAT, GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE.' We ran in, wondering what the hell was going on, and she was white as a sheet. She said she felt like someone was breathing on her neck. The odd sensation in that room disappeared after that. Gran - 1, evil presence - 0."


    8. The kissy kid:

    "I was a kid sleeping in my brother's room while mine was getting painted. His closet doors were mirrors, and when I woke up in the night I saw the silhouette of a girl staring at her reflection while on the edge of my bed. Her hair was pulled back, she wore a cream shirt and a long pink skirt, and looked like she was made of TV static. I was excited 'cause I believed in ghosts and was happy to see one! I said, 'hello?' but was NOT prepared for her face. Her eyes were huge, and she was pulsing her lips in a kiss position like a fish. It was terrifying! She lifted her hand and reached for me, but I screamed. My dad ran in with a baseball bat and turned on the light. She was gone. Don't sleep in a room with mirrors!"


    A young girl with short hair has her eyes and mouth open as wide as possible
    Monkeypaw Productions

    9. Casper in the cabin:

    "My dad and stepmom moved into a 200-year-old log cabin. During one of my early visits, as I was waking up, I was 100% certain that someone had come into the room and sat down on the bed. The mattress felt like it was weighed down, and I thought it was one of my sisters about to bug me to get up, so I rolled over. I was ready to tell them off but was shocked that no one was there. It was the weirdest feeling. When I told my family what happened they weren’t too surprised — a 200-year-old cabin, you know, people died in there."


    10. The worrisome whispers:

    "My office is in a Queen Anne-style house, built in 1893. It gets very creepy at night, especially when you’re alone. One night I was alone, closing up, and was setting the alarm pad which is next to the basement door. I always make sure that no one else is in the building before I leave and was positive I was the only one left. As I started to set the alarm, I heard whispering coming from behind the basement door. I moved closer and couldn't make out words, but it sounded like female voices. I thought someone was maybe still there, so I called out, 'hello?' and the whispers immediately stopped. It chilled me to the bone. I walked with my back to the exit, eyes fixed on the basement door, and booked it out of there!"


    Someone with a sheet over their body sits on a bed
    Centro Nacional Autónomo de Cinematografía

    11. The wake-up call:

    "When I was 10, my family moved to a new house. The first night I woke up because I felt my covers pull down slightly and the weight of someone sitting on my bed. I opened my eyes, annoyed that someone just woke me up for no reason, but my door was closed. When I looked at the foot of the bed, I saw nothing but the indent of someone who'd been sitting there. I was so terrified, I couldn't do anything but barely whisper for my mom. After moments of silence, I sat up. Before I took the covers off, I heard a man's voice behind me in my left ear say, 'Jessica.' I saw some of my hair by my ear my move forward and brush my face as if someone were behind my left shoulder. I spent the rest of the night sleeping in my parents' room, and we moved about a year later. My parents still don't like talking about that house!"


    12. Jeepers peepers:

    "My middle school was built in the 1940s. The gym weirdly had an old stage in it, and below that were locker rooms. When I was in fifth grade, we'd race to those locker rooms after class. I was the fastest this particular day and started to take my shirt off when I noticed yellow eyes glaring at me from the showers. Mind you, we never used the showers because there wasn't time. I sprinted back up the stairs, freaking out, and told our teacher. She got the principal and they found nothing. Years later, I was watching TV one night when I noticed something outside looking at me. It was a thing with, you guessed it, yellow eyes. It was perpendicular to the wall and perfectly still. I jumped over the back of the couch and sat for three hours until my mom came home. Luckily, I haven’t had another experience with that 'thing.'"


    A ghostly man stands behind sheer curtains
    Blumhouse Productions / Filmhouse

    13. Mommy dead and dearest:

    "In 2003, my mom woke up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She walked into the hallway and looked toward the living room. There on the couch was her mother, who had died in 1985, staring straight ahead. The couch was facing the window, not the hallway, so her mother wasn't looking at her — but she could see her profile perfectly. In shock, my mom went into the bathroom. When she came back out, her mother was still sitting there, unmoving. She went back to bed. I asked her why she didn't go down the hallway and she said, 'My mother was scary enough when she alive, I didn't want to see her dead.'"


    14. The sinister scratches:

    "My sister and I were staying at my aunt's house right after my grandma passed away. While my sister slept I stayed on my phone for a bit. As I rolled over on my side, I felt a sting on my leg that was near the edge of the bed. When I touched my thigh, I could feel raised marks and it was burning. I went to the bathroom to see what happened and noticed four claw marks that scraped down my thigh going in a direction that I couldn't have made myself. My heart started pounding but I decided to tell myself I must've scratched myself so I could calm down and fall asleep.

    The next morning I told my sister about the marks and my aunt overheard. Her face turned white and she told me that my cousin used to see weird evil things in that house when he was little but she never believed him. I noped right out of that house and haven't been back since."


    The dark shadow of a woman is at the end of the hallway
    Blumhouse Productions / Paramount Pictures

    15. The patient intruder:

    "My parents built our house across from a graveyard. When I was 11 I started to see and hear weird things in the house, like apparitions of a little girl named Mary and our uncle that died the year before I was born. One morning I woke up before my dad as usual to catch the bus. I always turned on every light in the house so I could see into every room clearly. When I entered the kitchen that morning there was an apparition of a bald, shirtless man sitting cross-legged in the middle of the kitchen floor. He smiled, stood up, and approached me like he'd been waiting. I screamed and stumbled backward, turning on a chandelier. There was a blue flash of light and he was gone.

    Years later, I finally told my sister about my experiences, not knowing if she'd ever seen anything. She told me that not long after we moved in, she used a Ouija board. She talked to a little girl named Mary and our dead uncle. Mary warned her a bad man was coming and they needed to leave. They did not heed her wishes."


    16. The ghoulfriends:

    "I lived in a horribly haunted house with my girlfriends. Weird stuff happened like birds flying into windows and scratching in the walls but we honestly never worried much. One day I was napping in my room and suddenly woke up because I felt a presence. I opened my eyes to see a giant figure standing over me. It was made of what looked like the static that appears on old TVs when a channel doesn't work. It crept closer and I was finally able to break out of my paralyzing fear to grab the remote and switch the TV on. The figure disappeared. I moved out shortly after but heard that the girl that moved into my room later experienced the EXACT SAME THING."


    Ghost woman staring at herself in a mirror

    17. The lurker:

    "In 2004, my mother, sister, and I moved into a new house that we'd later find out was very haunted. We all saw and heard some terrifying things in that house, but never talked about it until after we moved out in 2010. My mom would often burst into my room when I was a teenager to simply ask if I was okay. It annoyed me to no end. I found out years later it was because she often saw a shadowy figure walk down the hallway and turn the corner toward my bedroom. She told me she felt unsafe in that house a lot. I asked her why we never talked about it, and she said if she had acknowledged how bad it was, we would probably have had to move and she really couldn't afford to. They tore that house down after we left. I think it's better that way."


    18. The stomping spirit:

    "I grew up in the middle of nowhere, near a small Midwest town. In high school, my family moved into a 150-year-old farmhouse surrounded by cornfields. Upstairs, there was a huge room. Even though it was the biggest bedroom, neither my brother nor I chose it because there was something about it. We used it for storage. My dad would come home from work late and get on the computer, which was below that room. A few times a week he'd hear someone 'get out of bed and walk around.'

    When we were moving out, I'd make solo trips to the creepy house for boxes. One day I was grabbing one last box from the computer room when I heard someone get out of bed. Then I heard footsteps. They stopped. Then they got closer. Then stopped. Then they started DOWN THE STAIRS. I have never moved so fast in my life. They tore that house down a few years ago."


    Two women in wedding dresses smile with wide eyes

    19. The madness in the mirror:

    "When my son was 5 he would see things all the time. My mom and I constantly heard him playing with a little boy who we couldn't see. One night before he went to bed, he pointed and said, 'Grandma, cover the mirror, please.' She asked, 'why, baby?' to which he replied, 'because they're mad at me.' My mom covered the mirror with a blanket and freaked out, and I slept with him that night. He's 17 now and doesn't remember this, but frequently has horrible nightmares."


    A ghostly woman is hovering and floating above a girl who is laying on the couch

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