Mo’ ghosts, mo’ problems. Have truer words ever been spoken?
During a few episodes of Spookin’ With Scoops, I asked Giant Bomb users to submit their own experiences with the paranormal. Now, granted, most of these can probably be boringly explained away by our minds entering weird states when it’s dark out and we’re tired, but can you go ahead and shut up and let us enjoy our scary stories, man?
Sadly, I don’t have any of my own to share. Nothing! I’m half bummed that I’ve been able to avoid to avoid a brush with the supernatural, and half excited for the exact same reason.
Doesn’t mean I don’t still have a series of irrational fears that cause me to act like an idiot late at night, though. One of my weird temperaments? When I’m sleeping with my wife, I almost always want to have my back facing her. On the odd time I don’t and I happen to think about something scary, it will drive me crazy until I flip around and have my back facing her. Not sure what it is, but there’s something about having an exposed part of my body that gives me goosebumps. (I won't drape my arm over the bed for similar reasons.)
I’m not ashamed to say that when I happen to forget something in the back room of the house and I’m forced to walk into the darkness in the middle of the night, I do so by sprinting through the various rooms, flicking lights on and off along the way, and jaunting up the stairs by the end. I don't know what's following me!
Since I didn’t ask if people wanted to share their usernames, I’ve axed all of them. Feel free to come forward in the comments, though, if you want to add any details that aren’t featured here.
Get closer to the fire, children, and let me tell you a story…
You don't want to meet "The Man With the Plastic Face."
"While this didn't happen to me, the house that my cousin lives in is apparently haunted. It is 3 stories and is a pretty old house that was given to her and her husband by his parents as a wedding gift. She says that around 3am she has seen an old lady in a white nightgown walk around the second floor (where her bedroom is). It has gotten too scary for her that she won't even get up in the middle of the night to use the restroom anymore.
They also have 3 daughters, two of which are 4 and 7 and share a bunkbed on the third floor. One morning the youngest of the two asked her dad why he was standing in their doorway in the middle of the night. He said he was never up there. She said she woke up and saw a man in a suit with dark hair and a plastic face standing there.
Some nights later they had some friends over for drinks and when one friend went outside to pee, he swears he saw the same figure the daughter saw, a man in a suit with dark hair and a plastic face, just standing out in the yard.
My cousin says they even found an old photo of people that used to live at the house and sure enough there is a man in the picture that closely fits the description of the man they've seen at night."
When "it" comes for you, it's best to just close your eyes.
"One summer a couple years ago, my father and I went up north to work on a property he owns up there. My younger brother elected to stay home. When we came back a few days later, my brother was noticeably tired because he had not gotten sleep last night. He told me that he had seen a ghost.
Before falling asleep in an extra room on the second floor, he was watching our cat napping. He suddenly noticed that something caught the cat's attention in the upper corner of the room. There was a mass much darker than the rest of the room heading toward my brother. As it crept closer, he started to feel more and more faint, barely reaching the light switch before he succumbed to whatever that was.
It's a little bit of a far-fetched story, sure. But I'm inclined to believe him. The sheer terror in his face as he was explaining that to me was definitely genuine. I should also point out that several electronics in the vicinity, such as my phone, permanently stopped working the day after."
Don't old women in the after life have something better to do than stalk us?
"In college, I joined a fraternity that had recently rejoined the campus that I was on. This campus focused on engineering and hard science, so it wasn't like these were the most superstitious people.
We had recently regained our campus fraternity house, a structure that had been around for over a hundred years, shifting between a rail tycoon estate, public apartments, an old folks home, and a fraternity house, an DIFFERENT fraternity house, and then finally returned to the first fraternity as a house. In our first year back, one of my brothers reported at dinner that in the 11th room, an elderly woman had approached him late at night out of nowhere, and then promptly disappeared. Everyone sort of laughed him off until an alumni, one who had lived in the house back in the seventies, approached him and asked if he had seen the ghost, completely unprompted. At that point, we still just assumed it to be a coincidence.
In my final year living in the house with my brothers, I had been forced to move out of my room to make room for an RA, into the supposedly haunted room eleven. By this point, I had forgotten the stories and move my things in just enough to say "I lived there" (hardly unpacked from my move). The room was one of only three single person rooms in the house (the other two reserved for the RA and president), so I spent most nights alone.
One night, after my usual stint of staying up til 2am playing video games and/or studying, I fell asleep in this tiny, crowded room. Now, I should note here that I long ago gave up fear of the supernatural, playing around with games like Amnesia, and finding Insidious to be one of the stupidly laughable movies of the year. But I woke up later in the night in the pitch dark, with a luminous old lady standing five ft away. I tried to move, because OBVIOUSLY something was horribly wrong here. I hadn't been drinking; I wasn't under stress; but here there was this elderly lady standing above me and I couldn't move a muscle.
She walked up and stroked my face, saying something like "You look just like him..." and I found my voice, "Ma'am, I'm not him. I'm sorry..." She looked disappointed until another luminous figure appeared, this time masculine. She saw him and looked pleased, and they gripped each other and faded away. Next thing I realized, I could move again, and was sweating all over."
Maybe there's a way to just delete 3:30 a.m. from your clock?
"My wife has consistently touted stories about ghosts and other supernatural occurrences the whole time I've known her. At first, I thought she was just embellishing. After all, fear is a very human emotion; early humans survived precisely due to their ability to sense their surroundings and flee, if necessary. So, for years I had this professorial perspective on things. "Give me evidence," I would say, being the rational person. It was all bologna to me!
We live in an old rickety house, so that might explain some of it. But, my wife claims that for months, when waking in the middle of the night, she would see a shadowy figure standing by our back door! She prayed for weeks and weeks that it would leave and it finally did so. Of course, not being religious, I continued to attribute these occurrences to whatever seemed logical: sleep paralysis, sleep apnea, and so forth. However, my wife continues to tell stories of when she lived with her family near a cemetery. She claims that 'shadow people' habited the house, attached to her family, and have followed her since. Over the past few months, we both have been consistently waking up during the Witching Hour, around 3:30am. Needless to say, my former stalwart rationality has crumbled. Now, I'm not saying I actually believe in ghosts, demons, or whatever else, but, damn, it sure is terrifying to wake up to someone who thinks there's something else in the room with you. We've been particularly on edge after The Conjuring recently."
Closets might seem like your friend, but it probably makes more sense to just burn them down.
"It happened maybe 8 or 9 years ago, I was around 14 or 15 years old, and at the time I was living in a mobile home. It was somewhere between midnight and 4 or 5 in the morning, I was sleeping. At that age, I was still afraid of the dark, and I had a walk in closet in my room which I left open with the light on, my bed was directly across from my closet, against the wall, and I was sleeping with my back to the closet.
I remember slowly waking and from the corner of my eye I could see a rather tall silhouette of what appeared to be a man standing in my closet. For a few seconds I didn’t really think much of it because at the time some of my dad’s close was hanging up in my closet, and he worked for a sweeping company, so he worked super late at night and usually came home around 5 or 6 in the morning, so I figured he came into my room to grab some clothes or something.
But I soon realized it wasn’t my dad, for one he was a bit too tall to be my father and secondly, he was making strange noises. Also stored in my closet was a large puffy dress my sister worse for her Quinceanera (which is a Mexican celebration when a girl turns 15, similar to a Sweet 16), it had one of those dress covers over it made of that weird waterproof material windbreakers are made of (those ones that make annoying scarping sounds whenever you move), or something like it. It sounded as if whoever was in my closet was running his hand, or something, over the dress cover over and over again, making that annoying scratchy noise.
My heart was beating incredibly fast, and I couldn’t move. I was terrified and I remember even trying to call out to it, but I couldn’t speak. It then starting making weird high pitch nonsensical noises, which got louder and faster over the next few seconds, being so terrified and unable to call out or even turn my body to face the closet, I was able to move my hand, albeit slightly, and started banging on the headboard, I guess the hope was that someone would hear the banging and come into my room, but then the thing in the closet just suddenly vanished and my body jerked over to face the closet, as if it had finally given way to me trying to turn that whole time.
Needless to say, I was fucking terrified. It may have been a nightmare or maybe it was a supernatural occurrence, I don’t know, probably never will know, but I do know that I had never felt that kind of fear ever before in my life, or since. It felt incredibly real and the memory has obviously not left me since, remains as clear as day in my head. In an ironic twist, it took a “monster” to get me to conquer my fear of the dark, as I never again slept with my closet door open, and since then, now at the age of 23, whenever I go to bed, all doors have to be closed. It had a profound effect on me, clearly, haha."
It's probably a good idea to STOP reading this article, but you've come this far, dear reader!
"I currently live in Tucson, AZ and have lived here since the summer of 2001. The first 21 years of my life were spent in New Jersey. About a month before we moved, I was in my bedroom (which consisted of the entire basement. Yep.) and was looking for something in the closet. I was digging around in a box for something (I don't remember what I was looking for), when, behind me, I hear a man's voice say "Stop!" Needless to say, I stopped. I didn't recognize the voice, and by the time I had the balls to turn around (which was about 10 excruciating minutes), there was nothing there. I have no idea what it meant, and it never happened again.
A few years prior to this, I was again in my basement bedroom sleeping. One night I awoke suddenly. I didn't have my glasses on, so I couldn't make it out completely, but I saw a blurry silhouette of a man sitting in a chair near my bed, and he was rocking back and forth. I couldn't move out of the prone position for a minute or two, and once I was finally able to sit up, the silhouette was gone. I imagine this was sleep paralysis, which I have had before and have had since, but this was the only time I saw something."
The solution to any problem is to make sure you're not on the road in the middle of the night. Just seems like a bad idea.
"I am a police officer in rural Utah. Late one night I pulled over a vehicle for speeding. It was two in the morning and we were in the mountains. It was a two lane road with trees on both sides. I approached the vehicle and talked to the driver. I collected her documents and stated to walk back to my patrol car. As I did this I noticed it was really dark and quiet. When I got to my door I could have sworn I heard something moving in the bushes. I shined my flashlight in the bushes and found nothing. I sat in my patrol car and was getting ready to return to the driver ( who was getting a warning ).
As I approached the vehicle I heard the noise in the bushes again. This time it was going away from me to the vehicle I stopped. The noise stopped right past the vehicle. I still couldn't see anything and started to talk to the driver about slowing down. Out of the blue the driver gave out a loud shriek and her eyes darted to the front of the vehicle and across the dash. At the same time I heard a noise of something exiting the bushes and running across the pavement. My flashlight could not move fast enough to see what it was and the object made no sound. I asked the driver if she was ok, and what see saw. At this time the driver was crying and stated "it was just a large dark figure" when asked if she thought it was an animal she stated it was "too big to be one".
I flashed my light in the area it went but didn't see anything. The driver I stopped then asked if I could follow her out of the canyon because she was so scared. Too be honest I was pretty freaked out my self and was happy to help her and get out of that area. We drove down the canyon and I never returned to that area. I firmly believe it was an animal of some sort but at the moment we were there we were both pretty sure it was some monster. I later asked my friend who I work with to go check out the area again and he told me "hell no man, I've seen slender man videos". Needless too say I no longer stop people on that stretch of freeway anymore. You never know who is watching....."
If I've learned anything from horror movies, it's that sleeping is the best way to invite the bad guys. Don't sleep!
"I was in college and signed up for a summer study abroad tour of Italy. The study group was in Siena for the weekend, staying at a very old, kind of run down, but otherwise nondescript hotel. The kind of place that college kids looking to mess around in a foreign country would frequent.
We had been out drinking and my roommate and I came back to the room late. We both went to sleep and maybe an hour or so after we dozed off, I heard the door open. I looked up and there was a woman standing there. She appeared to be wearing some sort of long dress and I was unable to make out any facial features. Thinking it was maybe a drunk student who had somehow managed to open our locked door, I yelled "Hey" and turned the light on. When the light was on, she wasn't there.
My roommate had woken up to. We looked at each other and exchanged a look that said "You saw that too, right?"
After bit, we decided to try and get sleep and forget it.
Another hour or so passes and my roommate sits up in bed suddenly and screams the most bloodcurdling scream I've ever heard. I look up. There is the woman, sitting on the edge of his bed. I turn the light on and again, she's not there.
We decided to just stay up for the rest of the night trying to make sense of what we had seen.
So morning comes, we're exhausted and we go down to breakfast in the lobby. We're sitting, drinking coffee when the two girls who were staying in the room next door to us come and sit down. We had decided not to mention the ghost, or whatever it was, so we just asked the girls how they'd slept. One of them looks at us and says:
"Not well, Amy kept having nightmares and woke up covered in sweat, screaming that 'the woman' was in the room.""