real life

Eight real life ghost stories because you weren't planning on sleeping tonight.

What do you do when you think you may have had a close encounter of the supernatural kind? Take your true tale of terror to Reddit, of course.

We combed through r/Ghoststories to find some of the most chilling real-life ghost stories and inexplicable paranormal experiences shared by Reddit users.

And we learned that sometimes, it’s best to sleep in the middle of the bed. You know, in case someone decides to get in beside you.

“I saw a little boy hiding in the bathroom. I thought it was my little brother. It wasn’t him”. 

Little brothers can be pesky, but not quite as pesky as ghosts, Reddit user  liiinzz discovered.

“I was upstairs talking to my mum. The bathroom is to the right of my mum’s door. I was walking out of her room when I saw this little boy – aged 8 to 10 – with his head sticking out of the door looking at me.”

“It was kind of dark so I couldn’t see the face clearly. I thought it was my brother at first because my little brother is 10. When I took a step toward it, it immediately FLEW back into the bathroom out of my view. I HEARD the sound of its feet when it took a step back. Still thinking it was my brother, I follow it into the bathroom expecting to see my sibling. BUT NOPE. NOTHING. WAS. THERE.

“Then I hear my brother in his room. DOWNSTAIRS. There was no way for my little brother to get from the upstairs bathroom to his downstairs bedroom without moving past me.”

"That wasn't you in my bed this morning, was it mum?"


With her trucker husband on the road, Reddit user sensitive_queen was home alone one night when she woke to a terrifying apparition laying right beside her.


"At about 3:40, I was awakened by something. The air felt... heavy, like it was hard to breathe. I opened my eyes and I instantly regretted it. I felt like something TERRIBLE was laying next to me. My heart started beating terribly fast, and I could feel myself starting to hyperventilate."

Too scared to look, she called out her husband's name, hoping in vain it was him. "I remember I kept saying 'Oliver' which is my husband's name. It wouldn't be the first time he has surprised me and finished his trip early, and come home and been there when I wake up. So I prayed and prayed that it was him. It wasn't."

"Whatever it was got up off the bed and I could FEEL IT MOVING OUT OF THE BED. I squeezed my eyes shut and prayed to God, Muhammed, Buddah, and every other God I could think of that whatever this was would just LEAVE MY HOUSE."

"I sat up in my bed and that's when I caught a glimpse of a dark shadow figure of a man. He was freakishly tall and thin, with super long arms, hunched over, and had this glowing red aura around him and what looked like fire for eyes. The scariest thing I've ever seen."

"I turned to the nightstand to flip on the light and as soon as I did, the thing was gone. The air became soft again, it was easy to breathe, my heart stopped racing, I stopped hyperventilating. I don't know if this was a dream, it's possible. But it felt so real. I felt the thing in the bed and move out of the bed."


"I turned towards the source of the heavy breathing". 

Reddit user Flyingpastakitty also woke with a stranger in their bed, except this one was a lot more... transparent.

"When I was 10-years-old I went to Mississippi. I had decided to spend the summer there. I stayed with an elder lady named Alice. She talked about her son James, who had died in a car crash. I had been staying there for about two weeks and a lot of creepy occurrences had been happening. The radio would turn on by itself. I often felt like I was being watched, and on several occasions, I thought something touched my head or shoulder. Other times I thought I heard whispering."

"Then one night I was sleeping in James' old room. I woke up to the sound of heavy breathing and for some odd reason, the lamp was on. This confused me since my friend wasn't there and I didn't leave it on. I then proceed to turn towards the source of the heavy breathing."

"I saw a white, transparent, silhouette of what appeared to be a man. He seemed to be laying on his back next to me. He looked over at me for a few minutes, before turning his attention to the ceiling. I looked up at the ceiling shocked and confused, and saw what appeared to be a dark figure going into the ceiling and disappearing."

"I turned back to the figure next to me. I then realise he was gone. There was an indent on the feather pillow next to me, as if someone had laid their head on it, and the blankets were wrinkled".


"I believe it was James. The silhouette looked like him."

I opened my eyes and heard, "Beth, come downstairs for a minute". 

Losing a close friend is hard to bear, but Reddit user pinka84  believes her deceased pal is still by her side.

"My best friend Jamie lost her 17 year old sister Allie when she was was hit by a car and died instantly. A week after her funeral my other friend Amanda and I went to Jamie's house for the weekend. While we were upstairs watching a movie Amanda had to go to the bathroom, but she was scared to go alone as the bathroom was right beside Allie's room."

"So I went with her. We decided to go into her room to just let the emotion of it all run through us. That's when Allie's music box started playing by itself. We both looked at each other and quickly stepped out of the room not before I said quietly said, 'Sorry Allie, won't happen again.' When we left the music stopped."

Things only got stranger as the night went along.  "As we were trying to sleep, I heard my named called from the downstairs living room. I opened my eyes and heard, 'Beth, come downstairs for a minute.'"

"Jamie and Amanda were both asleep and the mum and other siblings were in their rooms. I was too chicken to go down - though now I kinda wish I did. Allie would often make her presence known. Lights flickering. Music starting. TV turning off and on. It was comforting in a weird way".

"It wasn't you in my bed, was it mum?" 

Reddit user ninnyd123 woke one morning with their mother asleep beside them in bed. Or so they thought.


"I stared at my mum sleeping next to me on her side, in her white t-shirt, through the corner of my eye. Not wanting to wake her up as I could see her breathing softly in and out, I turned back and slept. When I woke up my mum had gone so I made my way downstairs for some breakfast."

Their mother was also downstairs - in completely different pyjamas to the ones she'd just been wearing that morning in bed.

"I asked my mum why she came and slept in my bed. I also asked her why she changed her clothes into different pyjamas. She looked at me, a little puzzled and said, 'Oh yes, I couldn't sleep.'"

"A week went by and my mother and aunt were staring at me, whispering to each other and giving weird looks. I asked them, "whats up?" and my aunt asked, "Does your mum always sleep next to you?" I immediately understood what they were talking about. I said, "Mum? It wasn't you sleeping next to me that morning was it?'"

"She just looked at me, not knowing what to say, and didn't want to worry me. I knew what I saw was real. I remember it was 7am as I looked in my phone. My room looked exactly how it always does. The person next to me was REAL. I could tell it was a female by the body shape, as well as the sound of their breathing. Someone slept by me that day."

"The apparition looked exactly like James".

"You live in the murder house".

A few odd things happened at the home in which Reddit user Spinningalltheplates lives. "A light bulb exploded over the dinner table once, a space heater turned on by itself, and there’s always a 'someone watching you' feeling in the basement," she says.


It wasn't until a fateful taxi ride that she learned that the house had a horrific history.

"A few years ago, my husband and I grabbed a cab home. We gave the driver our address and he looked back at us in shock and said, "You mean the murder house?" Surprised and confused, we asked him what he was talking about."

"During the whole ride home, he proceeded to tell us that in 1994, a cab driver murdered his girlfriend and her 14-year-old daughter in the house. When I got home, I Googled our address, and sure enough it was true. There was a list of times that police had been called to investigations all over the city, listed by year. Scrolling down to 1994, there’s our house and the ages of the two victims."

"Digging deeper into it, I discover through old archived newspaper articles that the guy sure enough did kill the two women, then tried to burn the house down to cover the evidence. The reason the bodies were found was that a man walking his dog early in the morning noticed smoke coming from the house and called 911."

"Those are my grandma's dead sons. They were always smiling."

Reddit user Hiems_Somnus was home alone at a farm owned by her then-boyfriend's father. Her boyfriend and his dad had made a long trip into town to pick up some farming equipment. And that's when the old farmhouse came alive. Or rather, the dead came to life.


"I was in the kitchen making breakfast when I heard noises in the attic, like running feet and things falling to the ground," she writes. At first she thought she was hearing her kittens playing upstairs in the run down old attic, which had rotten floor boards and wasn't inhabitable. At least, not by humans. But then the laughter of children rung through the air and stopped her in her tracks.

Psychic investigator Debbie Malone talks to Mia Freedman. (Post continues below.)

"It was crystal clear and coming from the attic - footsteps followed by this laughter. I got worried some village children could be up there and hurt themselves, so I was about to confront them when I heard my boyfriend and his father suddenly arguing in the stable under me."

"I was relieved they were home, so I went downstairs o tell them about the children. As soon as I reached the stable, which always had its door opened, there was no one there. I had heard them even when I was on the stairs, but as soon as I turned the corner, silence."

"Baffled, I entered the house again and called out to the children, but there was no answer at all. One of my cats was sitting on the kitchen counter beside me, and he began to stare at me intensely. I pet his head, but he didn't move or stop staring. He continued to sit that way for an hour as I cooked. I got worried for him. He was breathing but nothing more, not even blinking."


"Finally my boyfriend came home, and in that very second the cat returned to his normal state as if nothing happened. I asked my boyfriend if he was in the stable before with his father, but he had no clue about what I was saying. He'd been miles away in the car at the time."

"I told him about the children. He just laughed and said, "Those are my grandma's dead sons, they were always smiling." He was used to their presence and told me, "This means they like you in the house." Neither of us heard any voices or sounds ever again."

The still man in the closet. 

Reddit user myownbigworld was always unnaturally terrified of the closet in her cousin's apartment, and she discovered there was a good reason why.

"The bathroom door was right next to the closet. I used to hate having to walk by the closet because it was always opened and I would always feel uncomfortable every time I passed by. I would feel as if there was someone standing still inside it, just watching me."

"The feeling would be so bad that every time I had to go to the bathroom, I would run in and out just to avoid the closet."

Eventually her cousin was moved out, and as she was packing up she struck up a conversation with her neighbour about the  spooky old apartment. The neighbour replied, "Oh, you lived in the apartment where the guy hung himself in the closet".

*Entries have been edited for clarity and length.