11 True Stories Of People’s Terrifying Encounters With Evil

A few weeks ago I asked Thought Catalog readers to share their scariest experiences with us. These are the scariest accounts our readers sent in. Tell us your own in the comments!

Pounding on the door

Child’s Play

I’m in college and live on campus in a dorm. This dorm is very old and community style. I’ve been living here for two months with my roommate and everything has been fine. Then in the last week, we’ve had all of our lights in our room, just our room, go out.

We’ve been trying to put maintenance requests in for the past week but the website won’t allow us to do it for some reason. So last night we went to bed in our many layers and multiple blankets to battle the cold. I’m usually a lucid dreamer and can wake myself up if I need to.

Last night, though, I heard my roommate yelling from the hallway that her key wasn’t working in the lock and that she needed in NOW. So I stumbled out of bed and was reaching for the lock on the door when I looked over and saw her asleep in her own bed. I backed away from the door to go back to sleep, thinking that it had been a dream that I’d thought was real. I took a last look at my sleeping roommate and went to turn around to climb into my bed when I saw the shadow under the door. The door is a good inch or two off the ground so I bent down to see if there was someone standing at our door or the one across the hall. When I was eye level with the crack I saw a pair of boots facing our door. Then the person turned away and I heard the stairwell door open. I couldn’t even turn on the lights because the bulbs were out so I crawled into bed with my lamp and sat there for an hour because I was freaking out.

To get onto a girls’ floor you have to have the student card of someone at lives here and they lock the building up at midnight every night to make sure that only students and guests are inside. We’ve had problems with homeless people sleeping in the basements of some buildings. I was freaking out because the boots were men’s boots

This is exactly why everyone needs a guard dog

This is a true story that happened to me.

I dated a kid in high school for about 3 months. He became very controlling and jealous over that time. He actually tried to choke me once over a comment I had made and I immediately ended things with him.

Fast forward about 9 years. I’m single, successful job, own a house, had a wonderful 220 lb St Bernard named Sargeant. My life was full. I had no want for anything, especially a relationship. Out of the blue I get a Facebook message from the guy I dated in high school. He asked how I was and things like he thought about me all of the time and wanted to get together to have dinner. I politely but firmly said no and I thought that was that. Unfortunately it turns out that he is extremely persistent. He started messaging me on Facebook 2 or 3 times a day, I ignored him and continued working and living my life. It got to the point that he would message me over ten times a day so I of course blocked him and again didn’t think anything of it.

Then things got a little concerning after that. He somehow got my phone number and started texting me more than 20 times a day. Some of the texts started creeping me out. He said things like “saw you in your yard today. You look good” and ” I always get what I want”. What bothered me the most was that he found out where I lived. As a 23 year old I have no reason for a home phone and just use my cell phone so my address wasn’t published anywhere I was aware of. It just sent up a couple red flags.

My St Bernard was a big ham so he sleeps in bed with me at night.

One night I woke up one night to my St Bernard covering me with his whole body and shaking all over. I lifted my head a little to get a better look at his face and was shocked to see he had what I can only describe as a silent feral snarl on his face, staring out my bedroom window. I turned my head because it was the only thing I could move, having an oversized lap dog pinning me to the bed, and saw the son of a bitch that was Internet stalking me for months.

The SOB looked straight into my eyes and hightailed it out of there. I unburied my arm, grabbed my phone and called the police. I live in a small town so they were there in under 2 minutes. When they looked around the house, they found cigarette butts on the ground by the window and a wet substance on the side of my house under the window that turned out to be, you guessed it, semen. He was arrested after they linked the dna of the semen to a rape he had committed and served time for in a different county.

I have absolutely no doubt, that if my dog hadn’t have been there, I would have been raped and possibly worse. Sargeant passed away two months later after being hit by a car. Nothing will ever replace my big hero, but my Cane Corso mastiff police trained protection dog I got shortly after Sargeant passed has a special spot in my heart. Just like Sarge does.

My brother’s girlfriend moved in, and brought her demons with her

This happened to my older brother.

His ex-girlfriend used to live with my parents and me at our house until they could get back on their feet after a financially difficult period. Krista used to tell me stories about how she has always been able to see “things” ever since she was a little girl. When they moved in, I immediately could tell that something had changed. The air felt heavier and it felt like there was always something was watching you, especially at night.

Well what happened to my brother was nothing short of a “Paranormal Activity” scene. Anyone who owns an Xbox Kinect knows that it throws those green dots all over the place. My brother woke up in the middle of the night and saw a reflection in their TV. There was someone standing at the foot of his bed and the Kinect registered it. The figure crossed the length of his bed and stood next to him. His girlfriend woke up and the figure vanished.

After he told me that, I always kept a light on and was happy when they moved to Ohio. When Krista left, so did whatever she brought with her. I believed in paranormal stuff before, but it was what nightmares are made of.


We lived in a bungalow type house. The dinning room would be a hallway away from the two rooms facing each other.

I was in one of the bedrooms, after not finding an interesting show on TV I turned it off. I grab a magazine and flip through the pages. I usually love to read about horror stories or articles since it’s more interesting than the local news.

When I finished the last article I hear footsteps coming from the hallway. You see, I know my family really well, I know who’s footsteps belonged to who so when I heard a different type of thud my heart started beating fast.

The footsteps sounded like it was running around, it would run in circles at a certain part then ran back to the end of the hallway, it continued a few times. I wanted to wake my niece whom was peacefully sleeping but she wouldn’t even stir. Gulping down, I went to open the door and ran to the dining room where the hallway ends.

I saw my other niece watching TV with the maid and my father cooking. With a shaky voice I asked “We’re you running around?”

My 6 year old niece looked at me oddly before shaking her head. “We’ve just been watching T.V. ever since you went inside.” The maid answered.

I looked at my father whom was suddenly intrigued of my sudden nervousness “Pa, didn’t you hear anything?”

He shook his head.

“Someone was running around.”I exclaimed.

My father shook his head with a smile.

“Must be one of our friends again.”

Our house used to be a rice field, they say the Spaniards killed some people here and left hidden until someone find their remains.

My friend who lived in the attic

I live in oh, USA, in a house built in 1931. As an infant I always stared at a corner in the living room. Upon getting older ( about 3), I told my mom I made a new, his name was Jay. She pushed it off as an imaginary friend, I talked to him often and told her about him. One day, I started whispering to the attic. She asked what I was doing so I told her Jay lives there, later that night her younger sister heard whispering in her room and saw a shadow in the corner. She told her mom in the morning and upon further research the man who built the house murdered his wife and only child for no apparent reason. The son’s name was Jay.

We still live here and my little brother has started talking to the attic.

Can anyone help me figure out what this is?


I’ve had this reoccurring nightmare since I was 7. It’s about this thing that lives in the mirrors I have in my room, but it seems to follow me to other places because I had the same nightmare when I went away to college.

It started simply enough. One night I “woke up” and looked over into the mirror hanging on my door and I could see this thing hunched over me, looking into the mirror and smiling. It had green yellow eyes, dark scraggly, long hair and entirely too many teeth. I guess at that point I woke up for real and turned on the tv in my bedroom, and it just went away. My mom took the mirror down the next day for me.

Nothing happened again until my senior year of college. I had a room where I had my own bathroom and my bed was right across from it. You could see into the mirror from my bed. There was also an old mirror hanging on the door leading to the hallway of my dorm building. From my bed you could see a little table and chair set that I had set up. Well, first night I’m there I “wake up” and there the thing is again…laying in bed with me but staring into the mirror and smiling at me.

I freaked out and turned on my television to get some light in my room and it was gone. Got out of bed, closed the door, and slept fairly well the rest of the night. Next night the same thing happens, I “wake up” and I look around and my eyes settle on the mirror on the door leading out of my room. She’s there again. And she’s smiling at me with her mouth full of too many sharp teeth…and then she stands up and walks out of the view of the mirror toward my bed. Toward ME. I freak the fuck out. I turn on the tv. Cover the mirror with printer paper and tape and don’t get much sleep.

The next night my boyfriend at the time invites me over to his place. I go over around 8 and fall asleep pretty early because I’m exhausted. Well, you guessed it… I “wake up” and notice a mirror next to the ladder leading up to his bed…and the thing is climbing up to the bed to me…I freak out and wake him up and have him walk me back to my dorm.

From that point I’ve made it a habit to cover mirrors with paper or scarves or whatever I can find.

The weirdest thing is that sometimes when I talk about the thing, whatever I have covering the mirror will randomly fall off of the mirror. I try to rationalize it as pure coincidence, but sometimes I’m not so sure.

My chest demon

When I was 13, my older sister who was 20 or 21 at the time and had been having some issues with her relationship and drugs and depression. She came back home to live with us.

Naturally, she was staying in my room with me since I had the spare bed. There was a night very soon after she came home, I was asleep for just a bit, as was my sister. The room was dark. We were in a second floor apartment. My sisters bed was opposite mine but we were sleeping with our heads transverse from each other. I was able to look over and see her.

Now for the incident. I was sound asleep. I started to come to and it felt weird. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t breathe. I opened my eyes and in the dark room I could still see the dark figure on my chest. I could feel it on me. It was pushing me down with its weight. In my panic, I screamed out in fear.

The scariest part of my memory of this event is as I was screaming I specifically recall looking over to my sister as if I was attempting to get her help visually and I saw her sitting upright in her bed staring at me and screaming also. Suffice to say, My mom and step dad came in to see what was up and we determined there was nothing in the room.

The next morning, my sister confirmed to me that she saw the creature on me. She said she was screaming first and that’s when I woke and started screaming because I saw it too. To this day, 20 years later, she still says with clarity that she saw it. Her story has never changed. It has never come back to me. Just that once.

My Hissing Friend


It all happened about 18 years I was a junior in High School and during this point in my life I was frequently experiencing strange occurrences. Shadows caught in the corner of my eye, the feeling of being watched. Voices that seemed to be whispering in a strange language like an invisible swarm of bees flying around my head trying to speak to me.

However nothing compares to what occurred on this night. My bedroom had a bunk bed that ran along the east wall when you walked in. I had a single window that sat on the opposite wall directly across from me and I typically slept on the top bunk on my side, facing the window.

For some reason I was awaken suddenly out of a deep sleep and immediately succumbed to a feeling of being watched. As I adjusted from deep sleep to awakening, I noticed a shadow standing in the middle of my room. I knew immediately it was not cast from anything in the room because the shadow was standing in the middle of the only light that peered in through the window from the full moon that stood outside. The black shadow staring right at me began to let out a growl as it stood there that still gives me the creeps to this day. Before my still adjusting senses could make sense to what was going on it changed its gruesome growl to a high pitch seething hiss.

As it made this hissing sound it raised its arms up and what I can only describe as claw like fingers grew longer and longer until they reached across and down through my body. The feeling was unlike anything I have ever experienced before and every part of my body that it was ripping through felt a dead cold burn that registered absolute hopelessness and lifelessness, a very horrible and unequal feeling. Again the shadow let out the unforgettable hiss while it lifted its arms again, reaching out and clawing through me again… and again, and again.

As it repeated this I felt the hopelessness and lifelessness over and over tearing through what I can only say was literally my soul. My family is very religious and I was too at the time and knew I had to do something to get rid of this evil presence. So with what felt like all my might I slowly raised my left hand and said “with the power of Lord Jesus Christ I command you to be gone” and pushed at it, not with my muscle force, I felt like I was using an energy from within. During this instant the shadow was letting down one more rip but my efforts actually physically pushed the shadow slowly back.

Its seething hiss changes to a “heeeggghhhh” sound and it flew back and away in slow motion. But the shadow wasn’t done; it still stretched its claws out one last time to rip through me as it slowly flew back. I distinctly remember one of its fingers edge near my neck and curl around my medal chain I had on, as if hanging off the edge of a cliff. On the chain hung a crucifix and I never took it off. The shadow was still slowly fading back, the one claw curled around the chain allowed it to continue to hang on until I heard a “snap”. I will never forget feeling the chain unravel around my neck and slide off. The chain along with the crucifix fell off the side of my bunk bed and onto the ground. The shadow faded even more while still reaching out to me with both arms until it disappeared. Before all could register in my head I remember being so exhausted and drained from what just happened I literally hit the pillow and passed out back into a deep sleep.

The next thing I know, I’m waking up, its morning and I begin thinking about what had just happened. I remember thinking “wow that was a crazy dream that felt so real, as if I was awake. It had to be a dream because I still have my crucifix on”, and reach for it on my chest.

The crucifix is gone and my heart begins to pound. I look over the edge of the bunk bed to see if it still was in the spot I remember it falling to during the night and sure enough it was there, on the floor, rolled up and broken exactly as I remember it unraveling and falling over night. As the reflection of the cross and broken chain shined back towards me my heart was now pounding out of my chest because it was clear physical evidence to me that what I had experienced the night before was not a dream that felt undeniably real but an event with physical evidence. To this day it was one of the most terrifying and mysterious moments of my life. I strongly feel like I was able to defeat the evil shadow with sheer will and faith.

My demonic television


I grew up in a very quiet, upper-middle class suburban neighborhood of a medium sized town in CT. Gorgeous tree lined streets with big homes on acres of woods, nothing exciting, other than the occasional tree limb falling and causing a power outage, ever happens here. I have no idea what the hell this was, and I still think about it to this day as being the weirdest and scariest thing that’s ever happened to me

One night a few summers ago, I was 17, and I was supposed to be going to dinner with my family. But I wasn’t feeling well, and there was a show on that I really wanted to watch, so I elected to stay home and just rest instead. My family was fine with it, and I relaxed on the couch with my dogs as I BSed around flipping channels, waiting for my show to start at 9.

I had the remote next to me on the couch, and one of my big dogs, being the klutz he is, tried to jump up on me, knocking the remote on the floor in the process. I picked up the remote, but somehow, even though it had only fallen like a foot from the couch onto soft carpeting, it was broken and wouldn’t work at all.

Annoyed, I got up to manually change the channel back to the network that my show would air on on the cable box. As I started pressing the buttons on the cable box, the TV made an incredibly loud and weird sound I can only describe as a “WHOOOOOSH”, like a gust of wind, and shut off.

A little bit pissed at this point, I just moved to one of the other rooms in the house with a TV, but the same shit happened. I turned on a different TV, heard a loud “WHOOOOOSH”, and it abruptly shut off. This happened to yet another TV in a different room, so I texted my friend, who lives a few houses down, to ask her if her cable was being weird. She replied almost instantly (as usual), that nope, everything was fine.

Beyond confused and worried about how I would explain breaking every single TV in my house to my parents, I finally sat down in the kitchen, and decided I would watch on that tiny TV as a last resort. This time, it worked well for a few minutes, and then all of a sudden I heard the all too familiar “WHOOOOOSH”, and abruptly shut off. At this point I was so annoyed I just retreated to my room upstairs, relegating myself to avoiding spoilers and watching the show tomorrow when it would come out online.

My room is in the top corner of my house, right under the main part of our attic, which we didn’t use for much besides storage.
I kept going back downstairs to check the TVs, but, still, none of them would turn on.

When I got back into my room about 45 minutes later, inexplicably, I started hearing the same fucking “WHOOOOOSH” sound that the TVs had made, but this time coming from the attic.

I was beyond creeped out, there weren’t even any old TVs up there, and certainly none that were plugged in, capable of turning on and off. It also wasn’t at all windy outside, and it was the exact same sound as what the TVs were making. I was both scared and annoyed, I had no idea what the fuck was going on, I wasn’t feeling well again, and I just wanted to go to sleep.

I barged up into the attic, hoping to see what was making the sound and make it shut up so I could go to bed.

Right in the attic, in the middle of the room, was a TV I had never seen before in my life, turning on and off, making the fucking “WHOOOOOSH”. I FREAKED out, and was basically paralyzed with fear/confusion as I was watching this TV, which wasn’t even plugged in, turn on and off. I booked it back to my room, slammed the door, and had no idea what the hell to do about this demon TV in my attic that was haunting the rest of the TVs in my house.

I called my parents, who thought I was tripping acid and said they’d be home eventually, but I could call the Cable company if I wanted. The “WHOOOOOSH” continued for a good hour, as I sat on my bed, crying and convinced this is how I would die, death by demon TV.

All of a sudden, it stopped, and I was even more freaked out than before. I decided I would go back in the attic to see what was up with this possessed TV, but I got up there and it was just sitting there, like your classic mid 90s huge TV, not making a peep. I wanted to bring it down to later show my parents (which in hindsight was a horrible idea, trying to release the evil into my house), but it was way too heavy and dusty for me to carry down the steps. I was just happy it stopped, and headed downstairs to try the other TVs again, but they still refused to turn on.

My mom finally got home (they had taken separate cars since my dad was meeting them at the restaurant from somewhere else), and I practically threw her up the stairs into the attic to ask her where the hell we got this TV from.

We get upstairs, and you can probably guess, THE FUCKING THING WAS GONE. COMPLETELY GONE. And obviously, all the TVs in my house, including the remote I thought my dog had broken, were working perfectly.

I tried to relay everything that happened to my mom but she, and the rest of my family after I told them, understandably think I’m absolutely insane, and they had long ago thrown out all the 90s TVs.

It never happened again, and I still have NO idea what the fuck happened that night, but even now, in college, I sometimes get freaked out watching TV alone at night (I know, sad right?)

The man who haunts Guantanamo Bay

Now this is 100% true. It’s a little long but seriously, its the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.

I was stationed in Guantanamo Bay in 2011 when I was nineteen. Because of GTMOs past as well as from the other Cuba side, there were lots of myths and paranormal stories that went around. Anyway, I lived in a two story duplex with five other girls with two bathrooms. Due to seniority in the house, when the room opened up with its personal bathroom I called dibs. Even though it had two beds, I wanted the room to myself and none of the other girls had an issue with me taking over the whole room.

I had placed my ruck and uniform for the next day on one bed, and the other bed was pushed against a wall so I could sleep facing the room. After falling asleep I woke up with my back to the room which was unusual because when I fall asleep I’m pretty much dead to the world and stay in one position. I can feel that I’m being watched and instead of feeling on edge, I’m incredibly relaxed.

I sit up and turn around to see a blonde man in a black cloak sitting on the bed with my gear on the ground. He was incredibly good looking but had completely black eyes. I know we spoke to each other for a long time, but I don’t remember what about. But I do remember he told me to go back to sleep and I did. When I woke up I panicked because everything came flooding back, and my gear that I had placed on the other bed was on the floor when I KNEW I hadn’t put it down.

I was freaked but got ready for shift and headed out. Now here’s the really scary part. At guard mount, another soldier told me about her dream that night and it was the same thing, except she had the dream a few times before. Later on, a male soldier admitted he had the same dream except the man he saw had the hood up of his cloak and his eyes were red instead of black. I never had a repeat of that encounter, but to this day it gives me chills all over and brings tears to my eyes.

Always trust your intuition

When i was about 21 my first car was dying so my then bf and I went car shopping. I was looking for something cheap and reliable, nothing exciting because I’ve never really cared about cars that much.

We went to a small used car dealership in the bigger town next to us. I explain what I’m looking for and the guy has a few options. The first is a 2 door black Honda. My bf was enthusiastic about it and wanted us to test drive it.

I was the opposite, i felt creeped out for some reason. Of course I let him win because I was a dumb 21 year old. I get in the drivers seat, bf in the back, and car guy in the front. I didn’t even want to turn it on, but I did. We pull out into the street and as I’m driving I point out there is no stereo — just makes it a cheaper deal the car guy said and my bf thought that was great because he knows about them and we can get a good system in there. I stopped at a red light and notice the drivers side window isn’t tinted like the others. Car guy acts like, well I don’t know why that would be.

I suddenly got an awful pain in my head and felt like i was going to throw up. I had to get out of the car immediately. I made an illegal u turn at the light and sped back to the dealership. I hadn’t even turned off the car before i was trying to get out.

I felt better immediately after exiting the car and the two men started talking about a deal. My bf loved the car and the price. I violently said ‘no! I am not buying that fucking car!’

I ask the car guy again why its so cheap, what happened in that car, was it in an accident or something?

I think he could tell how freaked out i was so he sheepishly says yes. The 17 year old owner had been carjacked. Shot in the head through the drivers window, they pulled his body out and stole the stereo and the speakers.

I so did not buy that car.

Cliff Barlow’s second book, Darkness Prevails, is not for the faint of heart. You’ve been warned.


About the author

Chrissy Stockton

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