First, ghost stories are terrifying. And second, they're terrifying in the best possible way. So please grab the nearest bowl of Flat Tops and prepare to nervously shove the whole thing in your mouth while you scare yourself (and your friends, if they can handle it) silly with these truly terrifying and real paranormal stories. Remember: It. could. happen. to. you. Buckle up.
"Dear David" is a ghost story that originated on—of all places—Twitter. It started in 2017 when illustrator Adam Ellis tweeted about a ghost living in his house:
And then he followed up with this freaky illustration:
This ghost first came to Adam in not one, but two dreams (which you can read about in detail over here). "Dear David" is supposedly a child who was crushed and killed by a shelf. But the thing is, the ghost did not stay in Adam's dreams. Said ghost began to majorly creep out Adam's very furry, very real cats:
Finally, one night, Adam worked up the courage to go to the peephole of his front door and take a photo to see what his cats were so drawn to. He ended up snapping a pic of some suspicious-looking fog, which naturally freaked him out, so he ran to his bed, poured a line of protective salt around his door, and downloaded an app that can record sound in the middle of the night. Annnnd it picked up 33 recordings. Then he took another polaroid (thinking maybe he had accidentally blocked the first one with his finger) of his hallway and the image turned black for literally no reason:
To prove he wasn't fucking around, he took another set of photos of the hallway from a spot inside his apartment with a regular camera and with his polaroid camera. And THIS HAPPENED:
Meanwhile, a couple of Adam's dedicated followers brightened the hallway photo and discovered the outline of a person:
Adam then had another dream in which David dragged him and—get this—he woke up with a bruise on his arm. Around that same time, he started getting calls from a No Caller ID number over and over again, and when he finally answered, he heard a faint child-like voice say "Hello." At this point, he got a pet cam, which recorded the rocking chair where he first saw David move...on its own.
Plus, he saw David outside on his roof:
And next he discovered a creepy crawl space above his apartment where he found a child's tiny leather shoe. Oh, and to make matters worse, he set up another camera while he was sleeping, and this happened!
At this point, everyone who had been following along assumed Adam must have been possessed. To make the whole story even creepier, he told his followers everything was "fine" and he suddenly left his job. So, how does this ghost story end? Why, "Dear David" is being made into a movie, obviously.
The Amityville Haunting
Let's go back to basics for a minute with the Amityville haunting, which is perhaps the most iconic IRL ghost story ever. The location? 112 Ocean Avenue. The date? 1974. The crime? A man named Butch DeFeo killed six members of his family. The following year, the house was sold to George and Kathy Lutz, and that's when sh*t got real.
The Lutzs claimed they were veritably haunted, complete with doors flying off their hinges, slime coming out of the ceiling, and, well, ghosts. Just, like, HELLA GHOSTS. Some other delightful things that happened? George Lutz used to randomly wake up every morning at the exact time of the DeFeo murders, and the Lutz kids started sleeping in the same positions that the murder victims' bodies had been found. AHHHH!
So, did any of this stuff actually happen? Plenty of people think the Lutz family fabricated the whole thing (and some people have found proof), but according to the Lutzs *and* a lie detector test, it's all true.
Ariana Grande's Haunting
Yes, that is correct, Ariana Grande was haunted by a ghost. Her experience went down circa 2013, when she visited Stull Cemetery in Kansas—a place so fucked up that the Pope refuses to fly over it because it's reputed to be one of the seven gates to Hell. Here's Ariana explaining what happened to Complex:
"I felt this sick, overwhelming feeling of negativity over the whole car and we smelled sulfur, which is the sign of a demon, and there was a fly in the car randomly, which is another sign of a demon. I was like, 'This is scary, let's leave.' I rolled down the window before we left and said, 'We apologize. We didn't mean to disrupt your peace.' Then I took a picture and there are three super distinct faces in the picture—they're faces of textbook demons."
When she tried to send the photo to her manager the next day, Ariana got an error message that read 'This file can't be sent, it's 666 megabytes.' WTF!? Eventually, Ari claimed "weird things" started happening to her, so she deleted the pic. Weird things like...
"I was going to sleep about two weeks ago. I had just gotten off the phone and as soon as I closed my eyes I heard this really loud rumble right by my head. When I opened my eyes it stopped immediately, but when I closed my eyes it started again with whispers. Every time I closed my eyes I started seeing these really disturbing images with, like, red shapes. Then I opened my eyes and got back on the phone and was like, 'I’m really scared and I don’t want to go to bed tonight.'
"And then I scooched over to the left side of my bed, because that’s where the best service is in my room, and there was this massive black matter. I don’t know what it was. It was like a cloud of something black right next to me. I started crying. I was on the phone like, 'What do I do, what do I do?' and they said, 'Tell it to eff off.' I thought, I’m not going to do that. It’s going to upset it, so I’m just going to chill and not feed into it because all it wants is fear. It feeds on fear. I watched it move to the front of my bed and then I fell asleep on the phone. I woke up and it was gone. The next night my friend Tyler was staying with me. She said she was trying to sleep and her body felt paralyzed almost, and she described the same exact thing I saw."
This one comes courtesy of Reddit, so you know it's gonna be good. By which I mean horrifying. In a nutshell, shortly before a couple moved into a new house, they learned that the previous renter had died "right in the middle of the living room." They decided to go ahead with the move anyways—and "almost immediately" their two-year-old daughter started talking about ghosts.
"She was always telling me that the ghost was in her play house in the basement, or that the ghost was on the stairs, or that the ghost was standing in the corner. She never seemed to be afraid of the ghost, and considered him to be her friend, so I wasn't all that concerned even if there really was a ghost haunting our house. If he's a nice and helpful ghost, it could certainly be a lot worse. I would often tell the ghost that he was welcome to stay if he wanted to, but he was also welcome to go if that would make him happier."
Sounds fine-ish right? Wrong. This kid told her parents that the ghost was "on the back deck" and it was the ghost's birthday so she wanted to "sing him 'happy birthday.'" Which, NOPE.
The Redditor continued:
"Once again, I mostly disregarded what she was saying, as she is birthday-obsessed and has in the past made us sing 'happy birthday' to Mickey Mouse, a bowl of fruit snacks, and the bathroom. So we sang and wished the ghost a happy birthday and went on with our lives."
But guys, guess what happened next? Later that day, the Reddit user grew curious and looked up the obit of the man who died in their living room, and—to quote directly—"it was his fucking birthday." GOODBYE, WORLD!!!!
The Pancake Ghost
This one is also from blessed Reddit. It takes place in a home that was built around 1904. The Redditor's brother and his best friend were leaving band practice, only to realize they'd forgotten their pancakes inside in a to-go container. And as anyone who loves pancakes knows, that's A VERY SERIOUS ISSUE.
"So after my brother walks back, he is about to retrieve his food container, when out of the corner of his eye he sees it. It is a shadowy figure, right at his peripheral vision, this feeling of dread and uneasiness washed over my brother. We had been taught that if you are in the presence of a spirit or ghost and you felt a bad vibe, to say quick prayer or to cuss at it. My brother chose the latter, he basically just told it 'hey fuck you, I don't have time for this shit.'"
Not exactly what I would have done, but whatever. Either way, this guy walked back to his car, feeling the presence of the ghost with him the entire time.
"He climbed into the driver's side of the truck, putting on his seat belt and getting ready to pull out of the parking spot directly in front of the house, when one of his friends asked 'Hey, wait, what about your brother, isn't he coming with us?' My brother answered 'What do you mean? He went to work early tonight, he is already gone, do you see his car anywhere?'"
And then, yeah, you guessed it: "The next question they asked 'So then who was walking behind you when you were leaving the house?'"
Miley Cyrus' Haunting
Nope, it's not just Ariana. Miley Cyrus also experienced a haunting around 2013, when she was staying at the apartment she owned in London and saw a little boy watching her shower. Um, creepy.
"I thought I had seen a little boy sitting on the sink watching me take a shower so I felt really freaked out. I was sitting there the next night and maybe I'm crazy, but I could have sworn I could see this little boy sitting there on the sink, kicking his feet. My mom was getting mad that we were looking into it because she thought it was going to scare Noah so then my aunt, who we hadn't told about this, comes in and she starts freaking out. She's like, 'I had no idea what happened but I left the apartment and I came back and all the doors and windows were open. I locked the apartment.'"
Miley started looking into the history of her building, and found out that a man and his son had owned it as a bakery back in ye olden days, and so she thinks the son was the little kid who had been watching her.
So yes. She moved.
Chances are you've seen The Conjuring movie, or at least, you heard about the movie, saw the trailer, and decided to skip it since you didn't want to have nightmares forever. It is, in fact, based on the true story of demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who helped the Perron family deal with their haunted Rhode Island home. The story goes that the Perrons moved into their place in 1971 and weird stuff started happening right away. Weird stuff like random piles of dirt showing up in their kitchen for no reason, furniture mysteriously moving, unexplained noises, and—ah, yes—ghosts. Not to mention the occasional possession! The main spirit that haunted the Perron family was the ghost of a real-life satanist from the 1800s named Bathsheba Sherman.
Turns out the Perrons' house had previously been owned by the same family for many generations, and numerous members of that family had died in terrible, tragic ways. We're talking about kids drowning, murders, and a hanging in the attic. No, thank you!
Oh, look, another Reddit ghost story here to ruin your life. This one comes via a dude who was living with his girlfriend's parents and was hanging at home alone one night playing World of Warcraft when this went down:
"Where my computer and desk sat, right above my head, was an AC vent. Often, I could hear her sister playing in her room from that vent. I was leveling my Paladin or something when I heard laughing and giggling coming from the vent. Nobody was supposed to be home, so my heart picked up. I glanced at the clock on my computer, and it read 1:36 a.m.. I remember this all very distinctly."
He went upstairs to investigate and when he got there, he used his cellphone to light up the room. Which brings us to this moment:
"I saw a small figure, what I assumed was a small girl wrapped in a white sheet in the center of the room. Cue pants shitting. This figure, this young girl, stops playing with the dolls and slowly looks at me. It let out the most ear shattering scream you can imagine. My skin crawls just thinking about it and my chest tightens just remembering it. I wish I could tell you what transpired, but I remember waking up at the bottom of the landing, right next to the door of the kitchen. I stumbled into the kitchen to get a drink of water and contemplate what the fuck just happened. I glanced at the clock on the microwave. The clock read 4:46 a.m.."
What. The hell. Happened in those three hours.
The Great Grandma
Time for a lovely story about a person who saw their great-grandma's ghost right when she died. Yay! The horror! Basically, this person (also a Redditor) was in second grade and was watching Lord of the Rings on VHS super early one morning, as ya do. Suddenly, all the sound of the movie started fading away, and the Redditor got the sense they were dying.
"Keep in mind that I'm in second grade so this is a pretty intense conclusion, but I just knew. I rolled over onto my back ready to, and excited to except [sic] my fate. That was when I saw it. There was a large white figure in my doorway, just hovering, and pulsating a white aura. I quickly panicked, and began calling out for my brother (his room was across the hall). The figure glided to the end of my bed and just sat there, watching. I'm not really sure how much time passed, but the figure suddenly vanished, sound came back, and the euphoria disappeared."
Suddenly, the phone started ringing over and over again at exactly 5:30 a.m. And naturally, this is how the story ends:
"My great-grandma passed away in the hospital at 5:30 a.m. and the phone calls were my grandma calling to notify us. Me and great-grandma were extremely close. To this day I get chills thinking about it. I know that there are a few ways to explain the occurrence, but I know for a fact that it was 100 percent a paranormal experience."
Demi Lovato's Haunting
"I think her name is Emily. I've had a medium come over and ghost hunters, and they both told me the same name, Emily. There were so many times that I saw her when I was growing up. I saw her in my closet one time. When I was three years old my mom caught me talking to something by myself. She asked, 'Who are you talking to?' and I said, 'My best friend Emily.' She's playful. She'd probably be around 11 or 12 years old, maybe younger."
But wait, it gets worse:
"One of my friends, Tucker, came over one time and he asked, 'So your house is haunted?' I said, 'Yeah, just watch. Something will happen. Something always happens.' We started to watch a movie when all of a sudden a laptop in my kitchen started to play a movie also. It was a black screen before, so it was a question of who turned it on and hit play. And after that Tucker texted a friend saying, 'I think this house is haunted, a movie just turned on by itself,' and there was a 'glitch' in his phone that kept texting him back the word 'definitely' over and over again. That happened about 30 times."
And on that note, have fun sleeping tonight!
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.