Dear David will be out in theaters and digital this Friday, Oct. 13. and the viral saga that inspired the movie will still go down as one of the creepiest yet most addictive things that I have ever read.
However, let’s be honest. The sleep paralysis and other paranormal events that terrified Adam Ellis in Dear David form just one of the many terrifying stories we’ve read on the internet over the years. Here are some others people have shared that still haunt me to this day.
*WARNING* This post discusses serious topics, including mentions of death and murder. Please proceed with caution.
1. "When I was about eight or nine years old, my mother worked nights and we shared a double bed. One day I felt a strange presence in the bedroom. I had my eyes closed and when I opened them, I saw hands wrapped around the bed from underneath. The hands were made of blood, bone, and hanging skin, and they tried to climb up the bed. I turned away and there was a white "shadow" lying next to me. I managed, after a loooong time, to get up and run to my grandmother's room. She didn't dare come back to the bedroom with me."
2. "So this was around 2010. The internet was new to me and video calls were the shit among my friends during those days. One day, one of my friends called me on Skype and we spoke about stupid things that I can't even remember. Suddenly, my friend froze for a second but the video wasn't interrupted. After some seconds, he asked, 'Who's the person behind you?'. I didn't turn to look because I thought that he was playing a lame-ass prank on me. But I asked him to describe the person and he said that it was a boy of around 10–12 years, wearing a red T-shirt. He kept on asking me to look behind me and I finally did. However, as expected, there was no one there. It has been almost 10 years and he still maintains that there was someone behind me."
3. I was sitting in my living room one day and I heard something fall in the kitchen. I have an open floor plan so I knew my cat wasn't there. I walked over and saw a cup that had just fallen on the floor for no reason. It didn't shake me too much, I just picked it up and put it back on the counter. That evening I was again in the living room when a painting just fell off the wall. The nail was still firmly in the wall and none of the other things hung on the wall fell, just that one. I was a bit freaked out at this point so I said out loud, "You're scaring me. If you are trying to contact me please do it another way." And nothing else weird happened.
4. "My cat is a psychic. One night, she woke me up by climbing onto my chest with one of my favorite necklaces — a gold chain that my best friend gave me for my sweet 16 — dangling from her mouth. Confused, I scolded her for taking the necklace, put it back on my dresser, and went back to sleep. The next morning, my best friend called me to tell me she had been robbed. She'd come home before the burglar had a chance to steal anything except a gold necklace. I told her about my cat's odd behavior, and we were both spooked."
5. "I was visiting a friend in Sweden who is a medium and has things happen to her all the time, especially at home. Towards the end of my stay, my air mattress was getting a little deflated, so when my weight was on it, it would really dip down. Just as I was dozing off, I felt the edge of the bed dip down like someone was sitting on it. Then, it felt like they laid down to spoon me, draped an arm over me, and leaned over, almost like they were going to give me a kiss goodnight. I sat up so fast, turned the light on, and saw the door was shut and no one in the room."
6. "I’ve always felt that something has followed me from each place I’ve lived. Just weird little experiences. [One night I was] home alone in middle school, upstairs in my room when the power went out. In short, the power went out and I decided to sit on my bed and wait it out, when a couple minutes passed and nothing happened I got up to go downstairs and when I got to my doorway I heard a loud scratching, like claws, going across the wall of the small office that was right across from my bedroom. We didn’t have trees around the house so nothing could have made noises by brushing up against the house and never an issue with rodents. Before that when I would have friends stay over we would sleep downstairs so we could watch cable on the tv and I remember one time where we just sat and listened to footsteps walking around upstairs (everyone else’s room was downstairs and the stairs were right next to the living room, so it would have been obvious if someone went up there)."
"In my first college apartment I would always hear this clicking noise coming from the corner of the room when I was trying to fall asleep, it happened all of the time. It almost sounded like a hair straightener just being opened and closed. It would only stop if I sat up in bed suddenly. I’ve never felt super uncomfortable or uneasy anywhere, and I know noises can come from a lot of different things, but all of the weird things I’ve experienced have been, in my mind, unexplainable. But I’ve also had good experiences that I believe were signs from loved ones. When my beloved grandma passed we had a rosary ceremony at our church (she was a devout Catholic), she had gifted me one blessed by Pope John Paul II, I was determined to find it when I got home so I could use it. I had boxes everywhere at home still, yet when I went to look for it I picked a specific box and found it immediately. It could have been luck, but I’d like to think she guided me to the exact right spot."
7. "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."
8. "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."
9. "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."
10. "When I was little, every night when the lights were turned off and I went to sleep, two dark forms would descend from the ceiling near the doorway into my room. They walked quietly up to my bed and one stood on each side of my headboard, looking at me. I would cover my head with the blanket, until one day I had the courage to tell my mother. She put a lamp in my room and told me to pray and ask them to leave. I sleep with a lamp on all night to this day."
11. "I work in an old building that was built in 1929. The space was closed for at least 20 years before we moved in because the previous owner had killed his wife, and then himself. We moved in two months ago and almost every day at exactly 12:08 p.m. the bell for the front door rings, but there's never anyone there. We've looked at the security recordings and everything, and there's never anyone there."
12. "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."
13. "About a year ago, I was working in a pizza shop. I was driving home in the dark as usual after a night shift. On the road home, there's an orchard on the left side that's blocked off with a chain-link fence and a house on the right side. As I crested the hill, something stepped onto the road from the left, took two steps out to the yellow line, and vanished when I blinked. It looked as if it was 7 or 8 feet tall with grayish skin. It had clawed feet and hands, pointed ears, and large, slanted, pitch-black eyes. It was so lanky, I could see its ribs. Still, it was weirdly humanoid. It startled me so much that I stomped on the brakes. I sped home, shaking."
14. "I bought a house in Bristol, VA. A friend would bring his dog over, but the dog would not come in. He would stand by the door and shake. I happened to meet a 'sensitive' who told me my house was built on blood and carnage, but that nothing would hurt me. She did say I should trim the doors with metal stripping to keep anything bad out. A few months later, I visited the house with two friends. One slept in my room, one slept in the guest room, and I slept on the sofa. The friend who slept in my room said she was reading when she heard something hit the floor. She got up but didn't see anything. She was a little unsettled, so she laid on her side and pulled the covers up to her chin. Then, she felt someone rubbing her back. When she turned to look, she felt the mattress give as if someone were standing up from it. Needless to say, we were out of there like bats out of hell."
15. "Once when I was asleep, I felt someone stroking my hair. I thought it was my boyfriend, because he does this a lot, but the petting of my hair got more aggressive to the point where my head was forcefully being pushed into the pillows. I fully woke up and turned over. I saw the figure of a man slink into my closet with a creepy smile plastered on his face. I jumped up and ran out. I came back with a knife, and nobody was there. However, in the closet, there remained this horrible smell."
16. "If there's any haunted house I'd believe in, it's my dad's. I could write about the randomly closing/opening doors, the music boxes/stereos turning themselves on, etc., but I think the wildest is the shadows. Dark, semi-transparent silhouettes of 'people' in/around the house. After moving back in with my dad when I turned 19, I had some very intense experiences, one that I hope, to this day, was simply sleep paralysis. One day, I woke up around 3:00 a.m. (as it always seems to be for this stuff) to the sound of metal clanging in the front yard. So, of course, I got up to go look and noticed two problems when I got to the living room, 1) The blinds were completely open (we keep them closed) and 2) There was one of those shadows I used to see."
17. "Once when my family and I went on a trip, our car broke down in the middle of nowhere. There was only forest on either side of the road and no signs of civilization for miles ahead. My mom and I stayed in the car while my dad went to investigate what was wrong — and that's when I began to sweat and have full-on chills. Moments after my dad got back in the car, I saw a sinister-looking black figure outside my window just staring at me, and then we drove off."
Ready for more horror? Mark your calendars for the release of Dear David, the sleep paralysis demon coming to haunt us all on digital and in theaters Oct. 13. Check out the trailer here:
Note: Some stories have been edited for length and/or clarity