Terrifying true ghost tales
The best ghost stories feel so real, so believable, and so utterly chilling that they virtually guarantee you at least one night (if not more) spent tossing and turning while listening for creaking floors and the sound of ghostly moaning. Of course, that is the paradox inherent in ghost stories. The better they are, the worse you’ll sleep at night. This is true even if you’re a dyed-in-the-wool supernatural believer—you know, the type of person who has memorised details about these Halloween urban legends and spends Friday the 13th reading Ouija board stories.
We’ve rounded up some spooky stories—all of them based on true events—that are guaranteed to haunt you. So turn off the lights (if you’re brave enough) and get ready for ghost stories so real and so terrifying that you won’t sleep through the night.
The Little Hands
“I’ve never lived in a haunted house, but my mother did as a teen,” writes Reddit.com user PatentedSpaceHook, recounting a true event. “Other houses on her street had strange things going on too. A few homes away from her lived a family. One night, the daughter went to bed with a bad headache. The next day, she was dead—she’d passed away from an aneurysm.
“After her funeral, the family went away to get their minds off the tragedy, and the father asked my uncle—my mum’s brother—to check on their pets. My mum and dad (who were dating at the time) went with him; my mother had heard there was a grand piano, and she wanted to play it. My dad was studying to be a veterinarian.
“After entering the house, my uncle and my father headed to the basement to see the animals, and my mother went to the piano on the ground floor. She was playing it when she felt something brush her ankles. She thought a cat must have left the basement and walked past her. She kept playing. And then she felt it again.
“She looked under the piano and saw nothing. When she started again, she felt hands clasp her legs tightly. She dashed to the basement door, called my uncle and father, and waited for them. Back outside, my uncle could tell my mother was rattled and asked what was wrong.
“She told him what had happened, and he turned white. He told her the daughter who had died used to play a game with her father. When he played the piano, she’d crawl underneath, grab his ankles, and push his feet up and down on the pedals.”
The Phantom Patient
“The ambulance company that I used to work for had a ‘haunted’ ambulance: rig 12,” recounts Reddit.com user Zerbo. “A lot of EMTs had stories about it, but I never put much stock in paranormal stuff. That is, until I had my own experience with rig 12.
“My partner and I were working in a rural community at 3am, and it was pitch-dark and completely quiet. We were both dozing; I was in the driver’s seat, and she was in the passenger seat. I woke up to a muffled voice, but I thought my partner was talking. I told her I was trying to sleep and closed my eyes. I distinctly heard a male voice say, ‘Oh my God, am I dying?’ followed by a few seconds of heavy breathing. My partner and I sat up straight and looked back into the patient compartment, where it sounded like the voice had come from.
“Things were quiet for a couple of seconds; then we heard the click of an oxygen-bottle regulator and a hiss, as if it was leaking. I turned on the lights, and we ran out of the rig. I thought a transient might have climbed in while we were asleep, so we opened the rear doors. No one was there. I checked the oxygen bottles; neither was opened. We didn’t sleep much after that.”