Thought Catalog

22 People Talk About The Paranormal Encounter That Made Them Believe In Ghosts

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These stories from Ask Reddit will make you believe in the unbelievable.
Someone who believes in ghosts
Unsplash / Janko Ferlič

1. I used to play with a family member who had died

“When I was a child, I always had bizzare dreams where I had a friend named Michael, he was a young boy a few years older than me, and we always played games and had fun. When I told my parents they didn’t seem to care too much until I described him; Unbeknownst to me, Michael had the same name and appearance as my uncle who died in a boating accident as a child. His death devastated my grandparents and so my family never displayed photos of him (Which freaked my mom out, how did I know what he looked and acted like if I’ve never seen him?)

After a couple weeks my family decides to light some candles and pray in an attempt to exorcise him I guess. When I went to bed that night I had a dream where a very serious Michael offered me some candy (it looked like a red jawbreaker), he kept insisting over and over that I eat a piece of candy. Seeing him so serious scared me, he’d always been so happy and playful, so I declined his offers, the last thing I remember before waking up is seeing how sad he was.

That was the last time I saw Michael, when I told my mom she looked relieved and told me that, ‘That was him trying to take over your body.’ No one’s talked about it in around 15 years so I’d have to ask my mom about the story again.” — Hobbsgoblin123

2. I saw a black shadow beneath the deck of my house

“I was probably 7 or 8 and my parents were throwing a big summer party for my dad’s birthday. All the adults were om the deck or inside so us kids (maybe 8 or so of us between the ages of 5 and 12) decided to play Ghost in the Graveyard. Our yard was narrow but very long with a lot of grass on the left and a raised deck that spanned the whole right side of the yard. For a short kid, you could easily crouch under and walk around under the deck, so it made for awesome hiding spots.

I was at the very back of the yard and hiding next to the shed, in the pitch dark. I had a little flashlight but this was my yard, so I knew every inch of it and was comfortable in the dark. I could hear the other kids on the side of the yard that was all grass but from where I was, I was looking directly at the underside of the deck that went around our above ground pool. I heard a noise and looked over to see if anyone was coming from under the deck and I remember suddenly freezing in place.

From under the deck, this thing came forward. It was all black, just this dense black shadow the size of a huge man, definitely not a kid and there was no way an adult could have crawled the whole length of the deck to the back of the yard with so little noise. It looked like it was made of smoke, and it moved weirdly, like it was unfolding. I was terrified, all I could do was stare and hear my blood pounding in my ears. It stood up all the way and it looked massive, the only way I could describe it was like a silhouette of the Hulk, I swear to god. It stood for a moment then walked through the chainlink fence into my neighbors yard and blended into the trees.

I started crying and ran for it, found my best friend Adam and just wailed. He was so confused and just brought me inside to my mom. I was so scared to go outside for a few months after that and I NEVER went back under the deck again. We moved from that house when I was 11 (I’m 28 now), but I can still clearly see that thing in my mind. I’ve seen other things a few times since but that was the first time and the scariest.” — Via-Kitten

3. As a child, I could imagine future events

“When I was younger, I had an ‘invisible friend’ that my family and people knew about named Tom. For some reason, from the ages between 6 and 10, I could just imagine what future events might be like for people I knew — my mom, dad, siblings. Pretty soon I could tell people exactly where they would be standing at the same time the next day. All of this occurred while I played with my friend Tom, who was always smarter and a step or two ahead of me. It’s hard to explain, looking back on those years now, but I know that there was something unnatural about what had been happening.” — dickfromaccounting

4. A ghost saved me from a deadly car accident

“Saved my life or a critical accident

Was getting home from work at midnight, driving recklessly 60mph down a curvy hill, saw a man with a white shirt waving his arms frantically, hard braked, there was a car about 100 yards down from the ghost.” — Hanzo__Main

5. We saw something strange while driving past the cemetery

“Okay so, to start off let me say that before this happened, my dad was very very VERY closed minded, and 100% absolutely did not believe in ghosts or anything supernatural. I didn’t believe in them either way. Ghosts might be real, they might not, I had an ‘ehh whatever’ kind of attitude.
That was until ‘the incident’ in 2014.

The incident:

I used to work late nights, and before I head learnt to drive my dad would pick me up from work. It was about 11:30pm and we were heading home. Our house is about 3 blocks from a cemetery, which isn’t really that relevant (or it could be?) but is still cool fact to mention.

Nobody else was around, and we were driving past the cemetery, heading towards a small intersection. Next thing we knew, right in the middle of the intersection, our cars headlights lit up the figure of a man standing right in the middle of the road, and facing our car.

I had already started to push my foot into the passenger footwell, mimicking breaking, and I was about to warn my dad to slow down because of the man standing on the road, but I didn’t even get the words out of my mouth, as he had already started breaking.

Next thing we know, we’re driving through the exact spot the man had been standing, and there is nobody to be seen. Vanished into thin air.

My dad momentarily slowed the car down to look for him, but there absolutely no man to be seen, and no place for anybody to hide on the sides of the road.

At this point my dad and I still hadn’t said anything to each other. This whole incident had taken place over the course of about 20 seconds, and it had happened in complete silence from both of us.

We kept driving towards home, each of us figuring we were just going crazy and our minds were playing tricks. About 20 seconds later we both looked at each other and said, at the exact same time, ‘where did he go?!’

Once we arrived home and my dad had parked in the driveway, we turned to face each other and started discussing what we saw, and how I was about to warn him to slow down, but he had already done so because he too saw a man standing on the road.

We had the exact same recollections of what we saw, and we had both reacted accordingly. And despite not saying a word to each other the whole time, we both recalled the exact same details, right down to how the man was standing and what he was wearing.

It was absolutely hair raising. We couldn’t believe it, and I couldn’t believe that my ‘anti-supernatural’ dad was agreeing, because he’d seen it, and reacted, too.

We both agree that if it had of been just one of us that saw the man, we would have just assumed it was a hallucination or our minds playing tricks. But that just wasn’t the case, as we both saw the same thing.

We don’t speak of ‘the incident’ very often because people think we are lying, but it was the moment that we both started believing in ghosts.” — Liquidgypsy

6. An elderly ghost occupied our house

“Multiple reports of elder female around the house. Serious skeptics were turned into believers. One night, we began discussing it around the kitchen table.

My grandfather, who had been drinking all night, had a tumbler of vodka in front of him and has some ice cubes in it. He has not filled it or taken a drink in minutes. When we begin speaking of Francis, the ghost, he proclaims it all to be bullshit, loudly. ‘There’s no ghost named Francis here!’ He didn’t quite yell, just said it with conviction.

His glass shattered. Not broke, not cracked, shattered. As if it had been slammed down or something. That was the last weird occurrence and no sightings since. I’m convinced she was unaware of her purgatory like state and his yell in her presence shook her from that fog, and she was able to move on.” — AlastarHickey

7. I heard a young girl giggling in the hall

“Saw someone walk by my room out of the corner of my eye, when no one else was home. Heard a young girl’s giggling from the hall, but there are no women in the house. And there have been a number of times where I can FEEL someone watching me, in a curious way rather than anything sinister, and that’s happened with others home but asleep and when I’m alone in the house, at different times of day.

The odd thing is that these have happened in multiple houses/apartments that I’ve lived, so I feel like I may be followed by the spirit of a young girl. Granted, I haven’t felt that watching in a while, so she may have moved on, or found someone else to watch.” — DoctorDM

8. There was a ghost causing chaos inside of my apartment

“Still not sure if I believe, but here is my story:

Moved into a place where the family next door and the last tenant of my apartment died in their homes. One night, I was in bed and looking at my phone. Probably reading through Reddit. It suddenly got really cold. Like walk-in cooler cold. I thought that was weird for a hot summer night with a sub par air conditioner but I just pulled on some covers and kept reading.

My phone dies. Alright thats weird, I thought. I go to check my computer and shortly after browsing there, it died too. What the actual fuck. So I’m sitting there, suddenly aware that I don’t feel alone anymore, covers pulled up to my eyeballs, no phone, and I’m just looking around my room waiting for something to happen.

The light turns on.

NOPE. I frantically fumbled for my phone and grabbed a bat under my bed (because I was going to beat the ghost?). I eventually calmed down enough to remember that people who believe in ghosts say that you can ask them to leave. Worth a shot, I thought.

‘Hey…so um….I work really early in the morning and I need to sleep. You’re scaring me and I would prefer it if you left. Sorry…no hard feelings.’

Not more than 5 seconds later, the light goes off.

I slept in the living room with my dog that night.” — Ridiculous_Diagnosis

9. I worked inside of a haunted house built in the 18th century

“I work in a house built in the 18th century (owned by a signer of the Declaration of Independence) and I’ve had plenty of encounters. Just yesterday as I was walking up to the second floor to turn out lights, I heard someone sigh really loud and could feel the breath on my shoulder. I’ve heard conversations occurring and foot steps while I’ve been the only one in the house. Doors that are completely shut will open by themselves. Thankfully, everything that I’ve experienced has been benign, but it’s still weird.” — QueenoftheBunnies

10. I felt an unseen presence on the bed with me

“Was awake, felt someone scooting up on the bed. Then I felt fingers tapping on my hip. No one else was in the room with me.” — Nopefuckthis

11. A tall figure walked into my bedroom at night

“I was 12 and woke up in the middle of the night. My door which is usually closed at night was wide open and I could feel someone glaring at me. I looked up to see a tall man right outside my room looking towards me. He seemed really angry and would just keep staring. Although my dad is short, I just assumed it was him because he’s the only other male in the house. I called out and asked him what was wrong. There was no response. It only took me a while to notice that something was seriously wrong and I got so scared and hid under the covers praying the figure would go away. (Now that I think about it, why the fuck didn’t I scream for help…? I guess I was just scared senseless??)

I was crying and shaking under my covers when I started to feel as if he wasn’t looking at me anymore. I looked out from my covers.. AND HE WAS RIGHT IN MY FACE!!!! (j/k) The figure was nowhere to be found. So I ran out of bed, locked the door, and shoved my chair under the handle. (Like that would stop a supernatural entity…)

I guess I fell asleep somehow after that terrifying incident because I woke up to my mom pounding the door screaming for me to open up. I was scolded for locking the door like that and just to check I asked my dad why he was staring at me in the middle of the night. He had no idea what I was talking about.

So I tried to chalk it up as 1) My dad was sleepwalking, which he had never done in his life, 2) I was dreaming, and somehow locked the door and shoved the chair up in my sleep, 3) Someone else came into our house, but didn’t steal anything (omg which is way worse) but something just told me that it wasn’t any of the above and I had an encounter with a ghost.” — takeru91

12. We lived inside of a haunted house where the old owner had died

“When I was around 12 my family and I moved into a new house. Money was tight so we were renting it. It was a fairly nice place and newly built, so I liked the sound of it. We arrive to start unpacking, and I step inside to check the place out but it just seems…off. I tell my mum and she tells me it’s because it’s a fairly new place and to get over it, so I do. On the first night, I’m sitting in what was supposed to be the dining room, playing games on my DS and I hear my little brother who’s around 6 say, ‘Hey, guys.’ and when I look over, I see that ALL of the cupboards are open. Now, none of us could have reached the ones on top because they were WAY too high. My dad was the tallest at the time and he was 5’6, and somehow my sister manages to convince everyone that I am playing a prank, but I’m freaking the fuck out, but I somehow manage to convince myself it was my sister trying to get me in trouble. After a few days we all begin to notice weird things. Shadow’s moving past windows, our puppy barking at one specific corner of the house and the shed in the backyard was a no go zone for everyone, even our puppy hated it. One Saturday morning we wake up early while our mum was taking our dad to work (He didn’t drive. He got into an accident when he was 18 and refused to drive since.) and as my sister and I are watching cartoons, our little brother screams and runs to us crying, and says he saw a Witch, we hide in our rooms and we tell mum when she gets back, she thinks asks my brother what he saw and he describes a black, shadowy figure (It was broad daylight.) and she obviously thinks it was the imagination of a kid and dismisses it. I’m scared shitless by all these weird things, and I ask my sister if I can sleep by her that night (She was doing karate so I felt safe by her.) and she agrees, that night I wake up early, I look into the corner of the room and it’s there. Just fucking standing. Staring. It scared the fuck out of me and I run to sad and he lets me sleep by him and mum. After 3 months we move the fuck out.

Just a few months ago mum and I got to talking about that house and she told me that she thinks it was haunted, I ask her why and she said something that scared the fuck out of me. ‘I saw a black shadow in the corner of your room when you were a kid. It was just staring at you. I used to hide crosses in your room thinking it would scare it off.’ Also, after doing some research, mum found out that the owner’s husband died in that house.” — JustAnHallucination

13. I heard a strange sound in the middle of the night

“I don’t really believe in ghosts, however I did abruptly wake up one night due to coughing. I then saw a figure in my room bent over the bed and looking at me, it then stood up and slowly faded away. I don’t know how I can explain it, or wtf it was.

I did confirm that I was awake and not dreaming. My dad says its my grandpa just watching out for me (since I was pretty ill at the time) I’d like to believe that but probably not. He did die at the same day I was born and he says we are very similar in personality.” — whatsyourD2F

14. Everything I saw was completely covered in blood

“There are three times that I can think of off the top of my head. When I was 3ish, I had 2 imaginary friends. I don’t remember their names anymore. It was forever ago. It was something simple and white though like Tommy or Timmy for both. These friends were both boys, both the same age, and looked exactly the same. They both wore overalls and no shirt and were dirty. One carried a pitchfork. Not like the devil but like an old hay pitchfork for farming. And one little boy carried a shovel. They were generally nice, sometimes they would get angry but it was never a big deal. They showed up at the foot of my bed every single morning. My parents pretty much ignored it. When I got older we were talking about imaginary friends at my grandma’s house and I brought them up. My grandma went white. Apparently, the two little boys were my Great Great Grandfather’s twin boys from his first marriage. They were free bleeders and one day when they were playing outside on the farm, they got caught up in the barbed-wire fence. By the time anyone found them, it was too late. The second time was when I was about 4. I was asleep and my parents were watching a scary movie. They heard something thumping against the house but they thought it might just be wind or something normal. They went to sleep. I got up the next morning and went outside to play. EVERYTHING was covered in blood. It was smeared on my swing set, smeared up onto the house (like a good 20-25 feet up), smeared around my pool, and it was all over the grass. The only thing that was clean was the inside of my pool. It was crystal clear, not even a drop of blood in it. I went in the house to tell my mom something was off and she saw me covered in blood and freaked out. After she determined I wasn’t the one bleeding, she ran outside, looked around and screamed for my father. We never figured that out. There were no dead animals, no buckets, seemingly no source and there was no possible way for a person to have gotten it up on the house like that. The other time was soon after the blood incident. So my dad didn’t love me when I was little and my mom had to work like 3 jobs. He would sleep in every day and not feed me. So I had to learn to get up and cook for myself and all that. I had a routine, I would get out of bed, look down the hall to make sure my father was asleep, go make food, and watch Blues Clues until my mom got back. Well, one day, I got up and nothing was off until I stuck my head around the corner to see if my father was still asleep. He was. That wasn’t the problem. The problem was the massive, dark red, huminoid figure looming over his sleeping form. I was a brave lil shit so I took a stance in the middle of the hall facing it and screamed at it to get away from my dad. It surned it’s head towards me. It’s didn’t have a face. There were just two circles, one slightly smaller than the other. The small one in what was supposed to be the t-zone and the larger one where the mouth would be. But there were no holes. It growled like a dog but louder, much much louder. Feel it in your bones loud. I ran and hid under my bed. After a little while I figured if it was going to find me, it would probably check under the bed first. So I checked if the coast was clear, ran into the living room and hid there by the front door until my mother got home. I still don’t know what that thing was, I’ve never seen it again and I’ve never found any legends about it.” — SecretGaygent128

15. Something grabbed my foot in the middle of the night

“I’ve always believed, but living in my first one bedroom apartment confirmed there is paranormal shit in this world that defies explanation. This is one of many events that took place there.

My boyfriend (now husband) was sleeping beside me. My bare feet were sticking out of the blankets and something had a hold of my right foot just under my big toe. Not painfully, just gently holding on. I did not look down, I pulled the covers over my head. Freaked me all the hell out and lasted a good 5 minutes before whatever it was let go. I didn’t say anything to my boyfriend.

2 nights later it happened again. This time I was dead asleep and the feeling woke me up. Again, I freaked out, but I looked down to my feet and nothing was there. It was still gripping my foot, so I whispered hey, let go of that please? And a few seconds later it let go. The next day I told my boyfriend who kind of laughed it off. He said if it grabs my foot again, wake him up.

So a week later, when it got hold of my foot again, I woke him up. He looked down and shrugged because he didn’t see anything, but I could tell he was bugged out a little.

A few days later he woke me up in the middle of the night shaking like a leaf. He whispered honey, it’s got my foot.” — Artsy215

16.  A ghost used to visit me inside of my bedroom

“I live in a 150 year old house that has been in and out of the family for about 100 years. My great great grandmother died in that house, specifically in my bedroom, and her funeral was held in my living room. I was not aware anyone had died in the house until I was a little older but from the time I was 3-6 years old I frequently was woken up in the middle of the night to see an old woman in a night grown staring over me at the foot of my bed. I would say hello, but she would never respond, and after about 10 seconds of her staring at me she would disappear. No one believed me and told me I was dreaming, until one day we went to my great aunt’s house. She was showing us old photographs from when she was a child and I came across a familiar face: the ghost from my childhood, my great great grandmother who had died in my bedroom. Apparently she loved children and frequently tucked my great aunts and my grandfather (her grandchildren) in at night. I am freaked out by the whole experience and still am over a decade later but its nice to know it was a friendly ghost…” — formerlygolden 

17. A little girl saw her father fly toward the afterlife

“A friend of mine had a young daughter (around two or three years old, I don’t remember) and the poor guy died of a drug overdose. two days after he died, my mom and the girls aunt were watching her and she was just staring out the glass door, waving and saying, ‘It’s daddy!’ and she just looked like she was watching something move upwards. she turned around and said, ‘Daddy flew up to heaven.’

Kind of fucked me up.” — jackal_head

18. My grandmother visited us after her death

“This past summer, my grandmother suddenly passed away from a stroke.

The day after, I was sitting in my living room with my mother when the TV suddenly turned on and started blaring Japanese music on YouTube (she was Japanese). We checked the source and turns out, it was the laptop connected to the TV. It was turned off. We were all freaked out so we checked all of our YouTube accounts histories, and nothing came up…

A few days later, my brother was looking for videos of her to play at the funeral, and he found a video of her looking back and waving. The date stamp on the video was the exact date and time as when she passed away, just a few years earlier.

After the funeral, all of my house’s applicances started breaking down (fire alarm, washer, fridge, microwave) all within a few days. We got everything fixed up except the microwave, which had to be taken to a specific factory for repairs. When my dad drove out there, he realized that the factory was right beside my grandmother’s grave.

Around the same time, my mom (who always drove my grandmother around) started noticing that her car’s seatbelt alarm (the one that goes off when you sit on the passenger seat without a seatbelt) started going off when she was driving alone.

I’ve never been a believer in ghosts before, but it oddly gives me a sense of comfort knowing my grandmother could still be with me.” — twopercentmilks

19. I had a dream about the grandfather I never met

“My father’s father committed suicide in 1988. I never got to know him since I was born years later. There was a dream I had that I’ll never forget – me and my grandfather were hanging out getting to know one another. Talking, laughing, and I was so happy to see him. I woke up in tears and like I was missing something. And the weird part is, I look JUST like him. Even down to the fact that we are both (or were both) left handed. My whole life I’ve been longing for him and that relationship because I feel like I embody him and I feel like I’m living the life he wanted but never had. I felt like he is the best friend I never got to know. And I love him, even though we never ever met in real life. I feel him in me though, and from what my dad has told me about him (which wasn’t a lot) he would have been someone I relate to the most out of my entire (small) family.

Wherever you are pop, know I love you and I can’t wait to meet you one day.” — anonymous_trash

20. I saw the ghost of my dead father

“Apparently, when I was 3, I saw my dad’s ghost in Kentucky right around the time he killed himself in Virginia.” — KiloLee

21. I saw a man in the mirror who wasn’t actually there

“When I was 22, I worked at the Banshee Pub and everybody said the place was haunted. I didn’t believe it until one day before we opened, I look up into the mirror, you know, behind the bar, and I see this old man dressed all in black, but when I turn around, there’s no one there. So, I tell the cook my story… and he said, That’s what everyone sees, that’s the Man In Black.” — hurricanedth

22. We both saw a boy who was glowing

“I don’t know what to believe but when I was younger out at the park with my cousin we both saw a neon-blue bright glowing boy playing on the other playground like 50 meters away. We both still remember this, maybe it’s some confirmation bias thing though. Still, vivid.” — KoTaoWoof TC mark

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