Do ghosts only come out at night? Does bigfoot exist?
Just because the paranormal is the realm of the unexplained doesn’t mean there isn’t any explaining to do. Humans have always sought to give definition to the world around us, and even to the worlds that may be beyond us. As a result, over the course of millennia, we have developed countless theories and told endless stories within the realm of paranormal pop culture, and there have been a lot of misconceptions that have taken root in the public’s consciousness. Believe it or not, even when dealing with the mysterious realm of ghosts, aliens and creatures, there are some things we can fairly confidently label as false. So, to clear up some incorrect assumptions about the unexplained, let’s take a look at the Top 10 Paranormal Myths.
1. Paranormal Facts Exist
The term “paranormal” applies to anything currently beyond the range of scientific explanation. So anyone who claims they have access to the rulebook of the paranormal, and that they know a foolproof way of making a ghost go “boo!” is probably a charlatan … or about to be pretty famous. Plenty of researchers — including reputable scientists — have compelling theories about unexplained phenomena and are attempting to apply those utilizing the scientific method, but so far, paranormal facts don’t quite exist.
2. Ghosts Only Come Out at Night
There are a lot of reasons to ghost hunt at night: The world quiets down as the day fades away; some locations only let you enter after the close of daytime business hours; it is much creepier at night; and, most importantly, it’s the best time to play with your sweet night vision camera! But if you want to chase ghosts, you can just as effectively do it during the day, according to most paranormal researchers. In fact, it might even be a more effective time because that’s when the dead were probably most alive.
3. There is No Physical Evidence of Bigfoot
While there have not been any bodies found, Bigfoot researchers claim there is quite a bit of physical evidence to suggest the creatures exists — including hair, blood, tissue, tracks and, yes, poop.There is also a growing community of scientists who believe in Sasquatch, including famed primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall and Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum of Idaho State University, among others. Eric Altman of the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society stresses that, as far as the lack of physical remains (a dead Sasquatch), fossilization requires very specific conditions and Mother Nature has an effective system of breaking down animal remains in about 10 days — so a freshly-dead specimen of the already-rare creature would be hard to find.
4. Only Old Buildings are Haunted
A decrepit, ancient Victorian mansion with broken windows, creaky floorboards and moldy furniture may be the best haunted house in Hollywood, but it’s not where ghosts necessarily hang out. Beyond just old houses, researchers claim to have found paranormal evidence in jails, asylums, hospitals, hotels, museums, battleships, cruise liners, cars, roads and forests. New locations can also be haunted, as can the ground where a new building is established. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a death on the property, either. It is widely accepted within the paranormal community that objects and people themselves can be the focus of a haunting.
5. America’s Paranormal Fascination is New
Although the paranormal has become quite popular with the arrival of investigation-based reality shows, America’s fascination dates back to the origins of the nation. The paranormal peaked in the US in the mid-19th and early 20th centuries with the introduction of Spiritualism, a religious philosophy that espoused that communication with the spirit world is positive. Mary Todd Lincoln, Mark Twain and Harry Houdini were among the American celebrities who became part of the paranormal conversation, and the public gathered in homes and auditoriums to connect with the dead in séances. Beyond ghosts, future president Teddy Roosevelt wrote of a frontiersman’s encounter with a Bigfoot-like creature in 1893, and other Sasquatch stories would periodically make their way into the news. Long before the Battle of Los Angeles in 1942 or The Roswell Incident in 1947, “airships” were reported in the skies above America — and newspaperman S.E. Haydon wrote about the crash of such a ship in Aurora, Texas, in 1897, about 6 years before the Wright Brothers’ first flight.
6. Aliens are Little Green Men in Flying Saucers
Actually, the most popular aliens are little grey men, according to believers. In America, “The Greys” are the archetypes when discussing alien encounters, and were supposedly found in The Roswell Incident. The creatures supposedly have large, black, buggy eyes and a slit for a mouth on their oversized noggin. However, aggressive reptilians and blonde-haired Nordic humanoids have also been reported by eyewitnesses, along with dozens of other alien species. As for the flying saucer part, UFOlogists claim we should add flying crescents, cigar-shaped crafts, triangular ships and a V-shaped craft to the classic flying saucer motif.
7. No One Still Believes in Vampires
The bloodsuckers from folklore have enjoyed a nice comeback in paranormal pop culture in the last few years, but they never completely went away in some societies. Recently, Indian politicians placed a $2,000 bounty on vampires sucking the blood from villagers’ cattle in the town of Dharampuri in Tamil Nadu, which called to mind the 2004 exhumation and subsequent staking of a corpse in Marotinu de Sus, Romania. The supernatural ghouls may not resemble the sexy beasts of “Twilight” and “True Blood,” but they are still very much alive (or undead) in various parts of the world. Even within the United States, there are subcultures of individuals who believe they are among a class of vampire — with especially active groups in New Orleans and New York City.
8. Modern Zombies are Supernatural
The term “zombie” has been in use for well over a century and, before 1968, applied to seemingly soulless slaves created by Haitian voodoo “magic.” After 1968, when George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead was released, the term was forever changed. Modern zombies are the result of an unexplained contagion but are not supernatural. According to zombie expert Matt Mogk of the Zombie Research Society, the modern zombie is a relentlessly aggressive, re-animated human corpse driven by a biological infection. So, supernatural vampires, mummies, Nordic draugrs and all revenants need not apply for brunch with this bunch.
9. Skeptics and Believers Don’t Get Along
There are actually many skeptics involved in the paranormal community, and they are normally welcomed by investigative groups. When the 2 groups operate together, the skeptics can assist in disproving misidentified phenomena. If something cannot be disproven, it then leads believers closer to a possibly legitimate experience. Dave Schrader, host of the popular paranormal radio show Darkness Radio, says paranormal believers are not at war with the “skeptic nation,” and he embraces their input because he’d rather be taken seriously when findings are reviewed. Additionally, most skeptics are confused for cynics but actively want a paranormal experience — but they want it to be real and not just a false positive.
10. The Paranormal is Bad for Business
Even if the phenomenon is unexplained, the business world is a big believer in the paranormal. Paranormal Tourism, where travelers spend vacation money on pilgrimages to genre conventions and famous hotspots, is an active industry. Instead of shying away from a paranormal reputation, locations are embracing it. Every city seems to have a few ghost tour operations, while haunted house attractions and vampire balls abound, and entire towns in America are defined by their paranormal personalities. The Roswell UFO Festival attracts droves of alien enthusiasts to New Mexico every July. Meanwhile, Point Pleasant, WV, belongs to The Mothman, and Salem, MA, has a tourism industry focused on the infamous witch trials. Zombie walks, runs and obstacle courses (along with proms, protests and pub crawls) are weekly occurrences in cities across America.
SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (2/7/2020) – A Saginaw County native is starring in a new Travel Channel series highlighting unexplained or paranormal experiences around the United States.
“Haunting in the Heartland” with Steve Shippy premieres at 10 p.m. Feb. 21.
During the series, Shippy visits towns traumatized by fear of the unknown. He uses personal experiences from his childhood in a “creepy house on the corner” to connect with families seeking help.
“Growing up in a haunted house in a small Midwestern town, I understand the isolation of the experience, and it was only when others in town started to have similar experiences that I realized I wasn’t alone,” said Shippy.
The first season features six one-hour episodes. Shippy uses eyewitness accounts, archival information and his own toolkit to investigate the towns’ ghostly past until he can develop a plausible resolution.
“Like my documentaries, working on this show is truly my life’s work,” Shippy said. “These small towns have a bigger story to tell, and in order to find the resolution these families need now, we need to piece together their past.”
He will document an alleged evil spirit holding the small town of Merrill hostage since the 1800s in the first episode. The Saginaw County town along M-46 has about 765 residents.
Shippy will investigate an increase in hauntings during the summer of 1974, which prompted investigations by police, firefighters and even the FBI. The paranormal activity may have included a spontaneous fire that burned down a family’s farmhouse.
The alleged evil spirit at work in Merrill may be connected with another haunting. Shippy gets help from a clairvoyant during the episode to ward off the spirit.
During the first season, Shippy also visits Malvern, Iowa; Atchison, Kansas; Hebron, Ky.; Holly Springs, Miss.; and Greeneville, Tenn.
Where can you meet likeminded UFO and paranormal enthusiasts from around the world? Check out these conventions.
At most comic cons and fan events, one expects to run into people dressed as supernatural entities, extraterrestrials, and mysterious creatures. But at paranormal, cryptozoology, and ufology events, fans are discussing the existence of them – and often gather to actively go looking for them.
And as much as I move about in the world of comic cons, for the past decade or so, I have spent weekends traveling the world to talk as a journalist and researcher about ghosts, demons, curses, aliens, UFO, and monsters. During the day, the world of paracons closely resembles most fan events, and there is quite a bit of cross-pollination between them. There are panels, vendor rooms, and signings by notable authors, television personalities, and occasionally actors from paranormal pop culture. But at night, the activities continue with a skywatch, ’squatch hunt, or ghost hunt in supposedly haunted houses (or asylums, penitentiaries, hospitals, and hotels).
Many paracon attendees skew towards the belief end of the spectrum, but most are an overwhelmingly curious balance of Mulders or later-season Scullys in the “I Want To Believe” or “The Truth is Out There” sense. While there are certainly eccentric characters, they are no more so than the most ardent comic con-goer – which is to say things can get delightfully weird. And though I could tell stories about times I was accused of being a reptilian from another planet, I rarely encounter tinfoil hats or (hardly ever) meet anyone possessed by the spirit of a dead president.
With that in mind, I wanted to offer a breakdown of some of the best paracons out there, worthy of a fantripping adventure. I have not attended all of these, but based my recommendations on reputation, location, or guest list. Whether you’re new to the scene, or the paranormal is an old haunt for you, give these a chance. Enter with an open mind, and an appetite for fun. And if you see me at any, come up and say, “Boo!”
Paranormal Historical Investigation at Morris-Jumel Mansion
New York, NY
Feb. 15, 2020 (and recurring)
The Morris-Jumel Mansion in Manhattan is one of the crown jewels of the haunted Big Apple. Notable investigators from Hans Holzer to Zak Bagans have looked for paranormal activity here, and now you can as well. The mansion offer bi-monthly investigations of “Manhattan’s Oldest House,” which also includes some tips, theory, and history. There are also snacks! While this is a recurring event, it’s an especially fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day weekend.
Hosted by Amy Bruni and Adam Berry of Travel Channel’s paranormal show Kindred Spirits, this four-day event is unique for its exploration of Hawaiian ghosts and spirituality. An intimate affair on the Big Island, limited to 20 attendees, this year the focus is on spirituality. Along with daytime lectures, the event includes cocktail parties, a sunset meditation, and private tour of Hulihe’e Palace. There is also a visit to the Pu’uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park, the Painted Church and Cemetery, and Kona Living History Farm. Look, I am all for dark and stormy nights in haunted prisons, or asylums, but sign me up any day for a paranormal/meditatitve/tiki mash-up vacay!
Regarded as a beloved paranormal community event, “Phenom” returns after a couple year absence with an impressive line-up. The guests this year include Jason Hawes from Ghost Nation, Dave Schrader from The Holzer Files, paranormal icon John Zaffis, prolific researcher Jeff Belanger, medium Chris Fleming, and the Perron Family fictionalized in the movie The Conjuring.
Combine a historic (and allegedly famously haunted) ocean liner, with a theatrical séance led by an illusionist, and seven-course gourmet meal, and you have “A Night To Remember” upon the RMS Queen Mary. Master Magician and Apparitionist Aiden Sinclair (as seen on America’s Got Talent, and Penn & Teller: Fool Us), casts a striking presence as he utilizes antiques, and artifacts, in a Victorian séance. But is the haunting evening that ensues an illusion or something more … unexplained? This special black-tie affair will be dedicated to the memory of the Titanic, which sank April 15, 1912, and includes cigar rolling, whiskey flights, and a menu inspired by the final first-class meal served aboard the doomed ship. If you miss the event, it is still worthwhile checking out Sinclair’s “Illusions of the Passed” séance on the Queen Mary throughout the year.
The 133-year-old Ohio State Reformatory is a historic prison with a striking exterior, and haunting interior. A combination of Victorian Gothic, Richardsonian Romanesque, and Queen Anne styles of architecture, the facility was meant to inspire inmates to rediscover their spiritual sides. Instead, it has come to be known as one of the most haunted locales in America (though it should be noted that ghosts are notoriously reluctant to fill out surveys quantifying this). But I’ve been there numerous times, and it is an amazing location. ParaPsyCon taps into this history with a six-hour ghost hunt in the foreboding prison, as well as offering programming.
Running for seven years, the Paraunity Expo gathers the power of multiple Travel Channel paranormal series: Kindred Spirits, The Dead Files, The Holzer Files, and Kindred Spirits, while also including Daryl Marston from A&E’s Ghost Hunters.
The line up for this UFO and Extraterrestrial Life event looks out of this world (pun very much intended). George Noory of Coast to Coast AM, investigator Leslie Kean, Dr. J Allen Hynek’s son Paul, author Whitley Strieber, Ben Hansen of Ghosts of Morgan City and Fact or Faked, and so many more heavy hitters from the E.T. community will gather to talk about crop circles, abductions, forbidden archaeology, and more. There will also be some epic sky watch opportunities at night.
Cruising from the New York region to Nova Scotia, and Maine, this Strange Escapes tour features multiple paranormal lectures, as well as a gallery reading by psychic Chip Coffey, and a ghost tour/excursion in St. Johns. There are also cocktail parties, a shore day, and tours of Halifax’s Atlantic Maritime Museum, and Fairview Cemetery – both connected to the Titanic tragedy.
Roswell is bucket list destination for anyone remotely interested in UFO, aliens (and government cover-ups). The town is inextricably linked with the 1947 incident involving a crashed “flying disc,” or surveillance balloon, according to some. The so-called UFO Capital of the World has responded by throwing an annual festival complete with alien parades, cosplay, and carnival rides. Along with the light-hearted fun, the UFO Festival typically includes lectures from Roswell investigators Donald Schmitt, and Thomas Carey, as well as notable figures in the community, such as Travis Walton (whose UFO abduction story was the inspiration for Fire in the Sky).
Cryptid Con combines ghostly pursuits and cryptozoology with a comic con-style format that welcomes both the casual fan, the movie nerd, and the die-hard researcher. This year’s event is still being assembled, but it already boasts sasquatch researcher Jeff Meldrum, James “Bobo” Fay and Cliff Barackman from Finding Bigfoot, Nick Groff of Paranormal Lockdown, the cast of Mountain Mounsters, and a lot of other notable names. The event also looks like a lot of fun because of the wild assortment of crypto-crazy vendors.
Celebrating its eleventh year, the Michigan Paranormal Convention has earned a reputation for its top-notch roster of guest speakers from all manner of paranormal fields. This is a veritable who’s who of paranormal celebrities from Ghost Hunters, Kindred Spirits, The Holzer Files, Ghost Nation, Ghost Adventures, Finding Bigfoot, and more. The Michigan Paracon is notable for not placing focus on a ghost hunt, but instead for its presentations, and a social scene where attendees mingle with the speakers at the Kewadin Casino.
Dragon Con is first and foremost known as a Nerdy Burning Man event, where parties and cosplay reign. But in addition to those, and the traditional convention trappings of celebrity signings and vendor floors, the Atlanta event has a healthy paranormal programming track. The event draws notable TV personalities and researchers from the ghost hunting and ufology.
This one is something of a family affair at Den of Geek as contributor Alejandro Rojas is one of the organizers, and yours truly has spoken there. But the Congress also bears the distinction for holding the Guinness World Record for largest UFO conference. The guests are still coming together for the event, but it’s guaranteed to be a great one.
This annual festival commemorates the 1966-67 sightings of a red-eyed, winged creature (was it a cryptid? Alien? Interdimensional being?), and other supernatural happenings that led up to the collapse of the Silver Bridge. The events are a part of folklore, but the stories of the Mothman don’t end there. While the schedule is still coming together for this event, it is a slice of Americana, complete with speakers, entertainment, tours of the sighting areas, and of course photo ops at the Mothman statue.
I have admittedly never attended this event, but am quite enamored of the lore surrounding it. The small-town festival situated south of Des Moines is dedicated to a series of 1903 eyewitness accounts of a 9-foot-tall bulletproof, horned, bat-like creature (who shoots light out of its horn). The so-called Van Meter Visitor supposedly disappeared into a mine but has been seen into modern times.
This event is a new one to me, but touts an impressive lineup across the paranormal board. There are lecturers on the areas of cryptozoology (Loren Coleman), aliens (Chuck Zukowski, John E.L. Tenney), psychic phenomena (Chip Coffey, Chris Fleming), and a lot of ghosty folks, such as Grant Wilson, Amy Bruni, Dustin Pari, and actor/ghost hunter Chad Lindberg from Supernatural.
Hosted by the Chicago Hauntings tour group, and noted paranormal author Ursula Bielski, the Ghost Con is more than a decade strong as an “all paranormal” event with speakers, workshops, ghost tours, and ghost hunts. Details are still coming together for this year’s event, but keep an eye on the site.
Horror meets paranormal (and real-life ghost hunters meet Ghostbuster Ernie Hudson) at Fort Wayne Fright Fest. Along with modern horror icon Kane Hodder, Boris Karloff’s daughter Sara, and Cryptkeeper John Kassir, the event includes a diverse roster of paranormal authors, and investigators from TV, with a variety of expertise.
Before the year ends, it is certainly worth taking a jaunt across the pond for Sage Paracon at the historic Coombe Abbey in Coventry, England. The Abbey is a gorgeous setting, and the 11th century abbey – since modernized into a luxury hotel on 500 acres of scenic parkland. The location alone is worth a trip, and that’s before you consider the ghost stories, and tales of a murdered monk. In addition to a paranormal investigation of the grounds, organizer MJ Dickson offers a VIP dinner and Ghostly Great Gatsby Gala at night, with a group of diverse guests giving presentations during the day.
These aren’t blockbuster fiction films, but real life testimonies of the paranormal.
For those most adventurous and horror-movie loving individuals, these documentaries all describe non-fiction tales of the paranormal existing within our own world. Not for the faint of heart, we’ve rounded up 25 of the best documentaries filled with ghosts, the undead, and mysterious creature sightings.
Read on if you’re looking for a recommendation on your next scary movie, as we review both long form movies, paranormal documentaries, and show series.
1. Ghost Adventures
Created over a decade ago, Ghost Adventures is one of the most famous paranormal shows on television at the moment. Following the lead investigator, Zak Bagans, he and his team (Nick Groff and Aaron Goodwin) search haunted houses all over the globe, with each episode covering a new location.
2. Haunted Collector
While some people collect magnets or shot glasses, some individuals (like John Zaffis) collect haunted possessions. The show Haunted Collector is a tale of many show-style documentaries of how the Zaffis family comes to own and display their prized collection of spooky goods. Each episode breaks down how John and his family collect each object — and at what expense.
3. Killer Legends
Beyond the teachings of BigFoot and the Loch Ness Monster, many urban legends haunt the world we live in. The documentary Killer Legends follows investigators Joshua Zeman and Rachel Mills as they review crimes that have led to the uncovery of certain urban legends.
4. A Haunting
Ending in 2017, and running for almost 12 years on air, A Haunting is a spooky television documentary show that interviewed victims on their encounters with paranormal activity. An entertainment value is added to the show, as the re-telling of the victim’s stories are paired with narrations and reenactments.
5. Out of the Blue
Aired in 2003, Out of the Blue is a documentary film that speaks to the recently sparked UFO craze. Premiering on the Sci-Fi Channel, many viewers tuned in to see true accounts from eye witnesses, scientists, and previous government officials on space aircraft and the idea of extratraterrestrial life.
6. Ghost Hunters
Following the founder of TAP (The Atlantic Paranormal Society), Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson, Ghost Hunters answers and responds to those who report paranormal activity in their house. An interesting catch, both Grant and Jason are plumbers by day and ghost hunters by night.
7. Most Haunted
A British television show, Most Haunted takes the viewer into the site of the paranormal activity. The host Yvette Fielding and a team of paranormal investigators lock themselves in the haunted location for 24 hours (yikes), explore the place’s hauntings and search for evidence of paranormal activity.
A documentary feature film covers two investigators as they uncover what really happened behind the disappearance of five children. What makes it even scary? The documentary talks about how a real-life boogeyman could be to blame.
9. Paranormal Witness
Highly discouraged for those who become scared easily or can be unnerved by the idea of spooky television. Paranormal Witness is unique, as it tells accounts of paranormal activity through the use of personal material like home videos, witness photography, along with their testimonials. The show covers a wide range of the unexplained: haunted houses, UFO appearances, and ghosts.
10. The Nightmare
If you thought you couldn’t sleep before, imagine what will rush through your mind after watching The Nightmare. This documentary film follows eight different people who all experience sleep paralysis, and it may be at the hand of a paranormal existence…
11. Demon House
Created just last year in 2018, Demon House is a horror-style documentary film from Zak Bagans (The same individual from the famous Ghost Adventurers). The film follows the Ammons haunting case which happened back in 2014.
The Ammons family, living in Indiana, was experiencing mass hysteria and being possesd by demons. As Demon House moves to understand the story, the team realize they may have embarked on a dangerous encounter.
12. Celebrity Ghost Stories
What’s better than hearing ghost stories? Hearing celebrities tell ghost stories. As celebrities share their personal encounters with ghosts, both fans of their work and fans of the paranormal are able to see a new perspective at the lives of these actors, singers, and sports professionals.
13. Quiet Rage: The Stanford Prison Experiment
Featuring dated and authentic footage, interviews and testimonials by the cops and the prisoners, The Stanford Prison Experiment documentary breaks down what exactly happened during a study performed on those looking for insight on what life inside prison was psychologically like.
14. Hostage to the Devil
A documentary film following a possessed child is the premise for Hostage to the Devil. Available on Netflix, this film uncovers testimonials by creating reenactments and dramatic reconstructions of the tales told of the exorcists.
15. The Enfield Poltergeist
The Enfield Poltergeist is the given name to the paranormal spirit living at 284 Green Street in Brimsdown, Enfield, England. Serving as a council house between the years 1977 and 1979, the infamous Enfield Poltergeist had its encounter with two young sisters (ages 11 and 13).
16. The Dead Files
A true account of the show Medium, The Dead Files combines a homicide detective and a medium to be the ultimate crime fighting duo. As they combine their investigation powders, they uncover the truth where deadly crimes were committed.
17. Paranormal Lockdown
Instead of being in lockdown with the paranormal for 24 hours, imagine three times that! In Paranormal Lockdown, hosts Nick Groff and Katrina Weidman spend 72 straight hours living among some of America’s most haunted locations.
18. My Amityville Horror
This documentary, The Amityville Horror, was inspired by the book which tells the tale of a crime that took place in November of 1974. Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and murdered six members of his family at their home on Ocean Avenue in Long Island, New York. Look at what becomes uncovered, as Daniel Lutz tells the story of his family over 35 years ago.
19. Alien Boy: The Life and Death of James Chasse
Alien Boy is a documentary fill that tells the story of James Chasse. Uncovering the truths behind police accountability, the film covers the murder of James, a schizophrenic man who was murdered by police officers in Portland, Oregon in 2016. While not necessary a paranormal film, as the name would lead us to believe, it instead speaks to mental health as an unknown frontier.
20. Monster Quest
This television show covers (scientifically) the appearance and emergence of creatures all over the world. Some episodes include the most notable creatures like the Loch Ness Monster, werewolves, BigFoot, and (believe it or not) the breed of super soliders said to be raised by Stalin himself. Mixing science, paranormal activity, and history, viewers are able to get a little of everything each time they watch.
21. The Blackwell Ghost
Available on Amazon Prime, The Blackwell Ghost follows a ghost hunting filmmaker as he explores a haunted house. Having only one cast member, the ghost herself is the true star of this hour-long documentary.
22. Destination Truth
What happens when you mix global adventurers with paranormal investigators? A very interesting television series. Presented by Josh Gates, Destination Truth takes us around the world as the group of explorers set out to uncover supernatural wonders and phenomenon across land and sea.
23. The Institute
As the digital age starts to pick up, what’s more freaky or paranormal than being sucked into an alternate reality universe from playing a game? The Institute covers just this, as this 2013 documentary tells the tale of players in San Francisco who spin out of control after playing an alternate reality game.
24. Paranormal State
Covering the director of Penn State University’s Paranormal Research Society, Ryan Buell, this television show uncovers paranormal mysteries. Some include demonic hauntings, sixth sense experiments, and ghost encounters.
25. The Sallie House
In 1906, a house in Atchison, Kansas become a paranormal staple and was named as one of (if not the most) haunted house in America. The reason behind the house’s reputation has to do with the owner back in the early 1900s. Home to the town’s doctor, it’s said that a girl passed away while being examined in the house and underwent tremendous pain.
Many of us have experienced things we can’t explain. Something that’s so out of the ordinary it stays with us for years, we can recount the story and remember every detail vividly. We love to share these stories with each other, whether it’s to give people a scare or try to find some kind of explanation for the things that happened.
Below are 10 short scary stories from posters on Reddit. Scroll through them all and share your own stories in the comments.
Thank you to the contributors on Reddit, link featured on last page.
I was a kid when this happened… My uncle and I were finishing up chopping/gathering firewood for my grandmother because it was getting dark. Driving back on a dirt road at about 30mph (give or take 5mph) I had this awful sense of being watched.
Before I could turn to look out my window (passenger side) my uncle quickly shouted, “Don’t!” I completely froze. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest then completely stopped when I heard a tap tap on my window. My uncle sped up and was loudly praying in my native language. I didn’t know what was going on and thought it was over till our truck suddenly dipped from the bed.
My uncle then started saying, “Look at me” and “Don’t turn away” over and over. Then I heard it again, tap tap but from the window behind me. It was getting harder for me to breathe and I wanted to cry. A minute or two passed and the truck dipped again. My uncle looked around and sighed. It was quiet besides the truck and the road.
He looked at me and said, “We will ask your father to do a prayer in the morning. So the evil will forget our faces.” (Navajo to English equivalent). I remember curling up on the seat and just staring at the radio watching the time. Listening to my uncle sing an old prayer till we got to my grandmother’s house.
A few years ago my brother would get a call on his cellphone around 2:00 – 3:00 A.M. every night. He would answer and it was this hellish sounding noise. Like static mixed with screams. He changed his cell number after a month of this and it stopped.
Then after a week or so it began again. The exact same noise. Exact same time. Finally one day he decided to backdial the call. It was an old man that had no clue what he was talking about. Still the calls persisted. If he didn’t answer, it would call a few more times. No messages were left.
He decided to say screw it. Ended his contract with his phone company, switched to a new one, and then got another new number. You guessed it, the screaming static calls continued after a short delay. By this time he was terrified every night. Unsure why this was happening. He backdialed the number again and got a different person.
Around this time he lost his job and his phone. The calls stopped of course. His phone was disconnected now. So one day my mom asks me to listen to this weird message she got on our home phone.
It was the static screaming. We showed my brother and he was freaking out. He backdialed the number again and it said the number was disconnected this time.
This happened to a friend of mine – she told me about it a year or so ago. We’ll call her Minji.
Minji is in her late 20s, and works as an English tutor in South Korea. One evening, a few years ago, she was tutoring a high school boy. They were up studying pretty late, and the buses stopped running. Being a long way from his house, the boy asked if he could crash on her floor overnight and get the first bus the next morning.
Minji was very reluctant, because inviting a teenage male student to stay the night didn’t sound like a great idea, but he was begging her and eventually she relented. They went back to her one room apartment, and she got into the bed, while he laid a blanket out on the floor, and they both fell asleep.
A few hours later, at maybe 2am, the boy wakes Minji up. “I’m really hungry”, he says, “let’s go get some food”. Minji opens her eyes and looks up at him in disbelief. “Food? Now? It’s 2am, go back to bed.” But the student insists, “no, I’m so hungry, let’s eat something now.” She tells him that there’s some ramen in the kitchen, and he can fix himself some. This doesn’t satisfy him – he doesn’t want ramen, there’s a 24 hour place just down the road, let’s go there.
Eventually, after several minutes of persuasion, the boy gets Minji to come with him to the restaurant. They leave the apartment and head out. As soon as they’re on the street, the boy turns to Minji, and says “I’m not hungry. I woke up in the middle of the night, and looked under your bed. There’s a man sleeping there.”
They call the police, and discover that a homeless man had been living in Minji’s apartment, sleeping under her bed, for over 2 months. The boy only saw him because he was lying on her floor, so had a clear view under the bed.
The police arrested the man, and thankfully there were no other issues, but that’s by far the creepiest thing that’s ever happened to anyone I know.
My friend and I were going to a party a few hours out of town, so we decided to stay at her family’s holiday house about an hour south of the party (now three hours from home). We arrived around mid afternoon, and it was winter in a holiday town, so the area was completely empty – no other cars on the street.
When we left for the party I spent a moment deciding whether to pull the gate all the way closed. I’d had some trouble opening it earlier when we arrived, and if we were getting home late at night I didn’t want to be stuck outside. I decided to shut it for security.
Party was great, we got back to the house around 12:30, and the gate was open. I immediately felt on edge because not only did I know I’d locked it, but I knew it couldn’t just blow open in the wind, but I didn’t want to make a big deal so I was vague when my friend asked if I’d shut it. We went inside, and decided to make a snack. I was wandering through the house when suddenly my friend raced from the kitchen into the hallway and virtually tackled me to the ground; she was convinced she’d heard someone walking around outside. We tried to calm ourselves down, but we had no cell reception and there was no one else around. Over the next half hour or so, as we sat in the hallway paralysed with fear, we heard footsteps outside, and the back door being jimmied.
We decided we had to leave, so we gathered everything up and got ready to make a break for the car. Just as we were at the front door ready to leave, there was a huge bang in the back yard, and suddenly what sounded like hundreds of birds started screaming. We legged it to the car, ended up starting it with all our stuff still on our laps, we hadn’t bothered to even put it in the backseat. As we reversed out the driveway we saw somebody running up the side of the house towards us.
Sped the entire way home and even once we got back to my place, didn’t sleep at all that night.
My grandfather died last year sometime when my son was maybe a year old. We had dinner with the whole family every Friday night so my son had seen him several times. My grandfather was a very quiet, proud man, but when he thought he was alone or unseen he would make silly faces at my son to get a laugh. A couple nights after his funeral my son (who liked to crawl into bed with us in the middle of the night) started just laughing uncontrollably at like 2 am.
So I get out of bed to see what’s going on, and find my son sitting in the middle of the living room, in the dark, laughing. I say “hey buddy what are you doing?” In toddler speak he says “Papa funny!” I got a little nervous for some reason and went to pick him up and bring him to our room for the rest of the night. And as I’m hauling him away he says “Bye papa!” And blows a kiss at absolutely nothing I can see.
A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I were sleeping together, when I woke up to her saying “What are you doing?” She sometimes talks in her sleep, but this sounded so coherent and urgent that it jolted me awake and I asked what she was talking about. She then woke up and said she thought she saw someone at the end of the bed. Thinking it was just a dream, or semi-awake hallucination, we thought nothing of it and went back to sleep.
About an hour later, I woke up and saw someone standing on the bed, with the sheets wrapped up and twisted to their neck. I didn’t know what do but the first thing that came out of my mouth was “What are you doing?” My girlfriend then woke me up. I had been dreaming the exact same thing that she did, and said the exact same thing.
When I was in eighth grade I went on a school trip that was called the Louisiana Tour. It was mostly going around to significant sights in south Louisiana. One of the places we went was Myrtles Plantation, which is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the country.
There are all kinds of stories about the place, but at one point we were standing in a room as a part of a larger group and the tour guide was talking about something, I don’t remember what. As I’m standing there I start to hear what sounds like someone hitting a piano key. After I heard it a couple of times I started to look around for the source of the noise. I didn’t see a piano, but I kept hearing it. So I asked my friends who were standing near me if they heard it, they said no. When I heard it again I said there is it again and that they must have heard it. They thought I was crazy.
So I went back to looking around the room. Everyone’s eyes were on the tour guide except for one woman. She caught my eye and pointed at me and then at her ear with a questioning look. I realized she was asking if I heard it too and I nodded.
At this point the tour guide starts telling a story about a soldier who had died there and that he played the piano and multiple guests had reported hearing him playing in the night.
I honestly didn’t know what to think, I guess I still don’t. I talked to the woman as we were all leaving the room and she had heard the exact same thing as me, but her husband and son had not heard it.
I work at the Myrtles Plantation and i have so many of these stories and events that visitors tell me. The creepiest is one in my opinion is that you can sleep at the Plantation kind of like a bed and breakfast, well we have a room that is filled with those creepy ceramic dolls.
There is one doll though that was one of the children’s favorite and always was in the bed with her at night. The child later died (to long to explain) and the doll stayed on the bed with her. When we started to house guests at the Myrtles we kept the doll on the bed in memory of the child. The first night when someone slept in the room they moved the doll to get more comfortable. In the morning the doll was back in the bed with the its hands on the guest’s throat.
She came out outraged accusing us that we did something in her room. No one went in or out of her room that night at all. The next guest moved the doll as well and when he was sleeping he heard tapping on the wood floors. He woke up and noticed the doll on the floor were the sound was coming from. Everyone who stays in the room and moves the doll, the doll will come and go back in its bed.
When I was growing up one of my best friends told me a about a very creepy situation involving him, his younger brother, and a man in the window. When my friend and his little brother were younger they shared a bedroom. They’re some years apart, but his younger brother was born with a multitude of different health issues, including multiple sclerosis, and he’s confined to a wheelchair and cannot care for himself. So, to keep an eye on him overnight when his parents couldn’t, they shared a bedroom.
One night my friend randomly woke up for no in particular reason and happened to glance over at his younger brother, but noticed something very startling; a strange silhouette of a man wearing a top hat looking in through the window behind his younger brother’s crib. The first thing my friend did was jump up and turn the light on, then ran into his parents room to tell them what he saw. When his parents came back into their room to investigate, his younger brother was having a seizure in his crib.
A few of his family members say it was his younger brother’s guardian angel standing in the window that night; my friend believes it was death.
When I was younger, I had an imaginary friend who lived in this massive antique dresser. We’d chill out and I vividly remember him telling me stories, although I have absolutely no recollection of what they actually were.
I remember one day talking to my parents about it (Dad traveled quite a bit so he wasn’t up to date with what I was into) and when I started telling him about my dresser buddy, he wanted to know his name. It was something innocent like Peter or Patrick but I can still see him going white in the face.
I drew Peter/Patrick out for him and the very next day him and my uncle took out that dresser and burned it. It wasn’t until a few years later when I found out my Dad’s little brother (my uncle) also had the same friend with the same name who lived in the same antique dresser. After a few months of the typical imaginary friend shit, my uncle started having night terrors and couldn’t sleep because of Peter/Patrick. It got so bad that they had to move him out of his room before he managed to get back to normal.
These Woods Are Haunted is back with a new season of mysterious woodland encounters that defy reality. Plus, the new series The Alaska Triangle examines the strange activity that characterizes one of America’s most unusual and foreboding locations. Read on for full details.
Alaska is the most sparsely populated of all the states. In a vast expanse of rugged wilderness, one area – known as “The Alaska Triangle” – has been home to so much unusual activity that it has struck fear across Alaska and the world. More people disappear in this area than anywhere else in the United States, with countless sightings of strange creatures, impossible moving lights in the sky, unexplained phenomena and even malevolent ghosts. Are lay lines and electromagnetic anomalies within the Triangle causing these bizarre events? Or is something more sinister at play? From strange reports of military personnel seeing UFOs and missing aircrafts that have vanished without a trace, to sightings of fearful monsters and an underground alien base hidden inside a mountain, each episode of “The Alaska Triangle” seeks to unlock the paranormal mysteries hidden within this foreboding location. [Hour-long episodes]
SERIES PREMIERE: “The Secrets of Mount Hayes” – Premieres Sunday, February 9 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
An eyewitness shares startling video evidence of extraterrestrial activity in Fairbanks, Alaska, and a UFO hunter flies over Alaska’s highest mountain in search of a secret underground alien base.
“Alaskan Bigfoot and Mysterious Forcefields of the Triangle” – Premieres Sunday, February 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
A cryptozoologist hunts for scientific proof of Bigfoot in the remote Alaskan wilderness, and experts investigate a mysterious vortex of energy that may be behind unexplained disappearances and paranormal activity in the Alaska Triangle.
The great outdoors aren’t always so great. In fact, the woods are filled with mysteries that sometimes cannot be explained. These are the true accounts of people who ventured deep into the forest only to come screaming out with stories that defy reality.[Hour-long episodes]
Some of the most amazing, eye-opening and downright scary paranormal videos from around the world are featured as a panel of experts breaks down the footage and analyzes what exactly the eyewitnesses captured. Insights from some of the most knowledgeable specialists in the field and firsthand accounts from the people lucky enough – or perhaps unlucky enough – to witness these strange phenomena for themselves just might make a believer of even the biggest skeptics out there. [Hour-long episodes]
A paranormal presence follows an investigator home, a UFO plays chicken with a freighter, a fearless family captures compelling evidence of Bigfoot and the ghost of a small child runs through a Savannah cemetery.
“Believe It!” – Premieres Thursday, February 6 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Zak Bagans and the team look back at the collection of oddities that is Ripley’s Believe It or Not! museum, where after encountering the ancient spirit of a stolen mummy Bagans reveals his love of … feet?
New Episode – Premieres Thursday, February 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Zak Bagans and the guys revisit the Enchanted Forest, an amusement park in rural Oregon where Aaron Goodwin spent much of his childhood and where they encountered bizarre entities including the spirit of … Humpty Dumpty?
Paranormal investigators Amy Bruni and Adam Berry, along with psychic medium Chip Coffey, enter America’s darkest locations, demanding answers to the most chilling haunted mysteries. Bringing peace to the living by giving a voice to the dead, their multilayered investigations dig deep into the past to identify the restless spirits and analyze the threat. Throughout the season, America’s most intense paranormal activity takes them to evil and historic locations, including properties that were used as orphanages and asylums, as well as personal homes inhabited by aggressive entities.
“Nowhere to Run” – Premieres Friday, February 7 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Paranormal investigators Amy Bruni and Adam Berry help a single mother left home alone with two frightened children after terrifying, full-bodied apparitions drove away her family. Psychic medium Chip Coffey must figure out who – or what – is to blame.
“The Trunk” – Premieres Friday, February 14 at 9 p.m. ET/PT
Amy Bruni and Adam Berry visit a Florida museum where multiple attacks on volunteers have sparked the urgent need for a paranormal investigation. They bring in psychic medium Chip Coffey to find out why the aggressive entity is lashing out.
The all-new series “Ghost Loop,” follows a team of highly specialized paranormal experts – paranormal investigator and medium Sean Austin, empath Kris Star, researcher and tech advisor Chris Califf, design specialist Eric Vitale and tech support Matt Lytle – who focus on the distinct type of haunting known as a “ghost loop.” This is when paranormal entities terrorize the living through endless and repetitive supernatural cycles, manifesting again and again in the same location. The team will attempt to break these cycles of trapped paranormal activity and restore peace to both the living and the dead by drawing out each spirit through re-created trigger environments. [Hour-long episodes]
“Secret Slaughter” – Premieres Friday, February 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
A couple calls on the team to investigate an aggressive ghost that’s terrorizing their three-year-old son in Auburn, Washington. They’re worried the activity will escalate and hurt their three young children if the vengeful spirit isn’t stopped.
“Demon Mine” – Premieres Friday, February 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT
The team heads to South Jordan, Utah, where a demonic entity is tormenting a woman and her son on a nightly basis. They step up to cast out the demon and save the beleaguered family from a terrible fate.
“Haunted Hospitals” tells chilling tales of paranormal activity inside hospitals, nursing homes, morgues and medical institutions. Past patients suspended between this world and the next, departed medical professionals who insist on overseeing their wards long after death, spirits roaming corridors to signal unfinished business with their presence – these terrifying stories are told by the medical professionals and patients who experienced them. These are not random encounters, but part of paranormal patterns experienced by hospital staff all over the world. [Hour-long episodes]
An IT technician receives mysterious phone calls while working the graveyard shift at a hospital, a nurse battles the Grim Reaper to save a patient’s soul and a ghost girl plays deadly games with terminally ill children.
In the new series, “Lost in the Wild,”filmmaker and explorer J.J. Kelley and journalist Kinga Philipps are reinvestigating perplexing cases of adventures gone terribly wrong, where people have met mysterious ill-fated ends. Venturing into the perilous unknown in search of answers, the duo pick up where the official investigation has ended and set off on foot to follow the path they believe will lead them to answers. From trekking deep in the Amazon jungle in search of idealists looking for a lost city to climbing a treacherous mountain in Africa where dozens have vanished, the duo combine their wilderness and sleuthing skills to navigate their way toward the truth, testing their own limits to investigate missed clues and new evidence behind these baffling cases. [Hour-long episodes]
J.J. Kelly and Kinga Philipps investigate the 2014 disappearance of a man on Zimbabwe’s fabled and feared Mount Nyangani. The treacherous climb leads them to a confrontation with a danger that could crack the case – if it doesn’t claim their lives first.
SEASON FINALE: “Evil Woods” – Premieres Sunday, February 16 at 11 p.m. ET/PT
Kinga Philipps and J.J. Kelley venture to the Philippines to investigate the disappearance of Bryan Francisco, a young man said to have been lured into a vast forest by shadowy forces that defy description. They reexamine the route that search and rescue parties took when looking for him and learn of a recluse living on a nearby mountain who may know the truth about what happened – and might even be living with him. They ultimately make a discovery that is equal parts horrifying and heart-rending – that some who are lost in the wild might not want to be found.
TRAVEL CHANNEL’S NEW SERIES ‘HAUNTING IN THE HEARTLAND’ INVESTIGATES COMMUNITIES HAUNTED BY UNEARTHLY RESIDENTS SERIES PREMIERES FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21 AT 10 P.M. ET/PTNEW YORK
Why do so many communities across America have stories of unexplained paranormal experiences that, through word-of-mouth and consistency, turn into lore?
In the new Travel Channel series, “Haunting in the Heartland,” paranormal investigator and documentary filmmaker Steve Shippy visits Midwestern towns that have been traumatized for generations by ripples of fear.
Growing up in a rural Michigan “creepy house on the corner,” Shippy uses his own personal experiences to make intimate connections with the families who’ve reached out to him for help. He then puts the puzzle pieces together to identify and decipher the larger mystery of the town’s haunting.
Through eyewitness accounts, town archives, visits to historic sites and his own paranormal toolkit, Shippy explores emerging theories until a full picture of the town’s ghostly protagonist appears, and a peaceful resolution can be formulated.
On his journey through a new heartland town in each of the six one-hour episodes, Shippy seeks to directly confront the entity and bring closure to the people of the town. This season will aim to provide true investigative closure to the mystery of paranormal presence found in Malvern, Iowa (pop. 7,621), Atchison, Kansas (pop. 10,636), Hebron, Kentucky (pop. 5,929), Merrill, Michigan (pop. 735), Holly Springs, Mississippi (pop. 7,621) and Greeneville, Tennessee (pop. 15,062).
“Growing up in a haunted house in a small Midwestern town, I understand the isolation of the experience, and it was only when others in town started to have similar experiences that I realized I wasn’t alone,” said Shippy. “Like my documentaries, working on this show is truly my life’s work. These small towns have a bigger story to tell, and in order to find the resolution these families need now, we need to piece together their past.
“In the premiere episode, Shippy travels to the old farming village of Merrill, Michigan, to confront an evil spirit holding the town hostage since the 1800s. In the summer of 1974, the hauntings seemed to spread when a malevolent force invaded a family farm, spurring a massive investigation by the local and state police and fire departments, and even the FBI. The reign of terror culminated in a spontaneous fire, forcing family members to eventually flee the home they’d built by hand. The encounters never ceased and today, less than a mile away, another family is under siege by something so powerful, they fear for their safety. Joining forces with local authorities and historians, Shippy uncovers a town ravaged by a smallpox epidemic and tragic fires, and a shocking connection to another notorious haunting. Shippy enlists the help of a clairvoyant to dispel the evil entity before another heartland family is forced from their home.
Steve Shippy is a filmmaker and paranormal expert. He grew up in a small town near Saginaw, Michigan, and literally was the kid living in the “creepy house on the corner.” Shippy was a victim of a severe haunting, and actually witnessed several apparitions. After investigating his own haunting, he discovered a shocking truth – the previous owners had been brutally murdered.The story became local legend, the hauntings never stopped, and Shippy and his family ultimately had to move away. The experience stayed with Shippy and as he grew older he realized that running should not have been the answer. He instinctively knew that what his family should have done was stand tall, toe-to-toe with the entity in his home. He sought out paranormal experts who worked with him to develop a way to understand what is really going on in hauntings – and how to confront the entities to either make them leave or to bring them peace and to end the haunting. It wasn’t long before families and victims of other hauntings were contacting Shippy to ask him to investigate their cases.
Shippy began documenting his work on film, and to date has produced and directed 10 feature length documentaries (all available on Amazon Prime), including “A Haunting on Hamilton Street,” “A Haunting on Dice Road,” and “A Haunting on Brockway Street” where he investigates haunted locations to uncover the truth, and hopefully bring closure for residents of small towns like his.Shippy is also an independent rapper better known by his stage name, Prozak. As a national recording artist for more than 15 years, his music has hit the billboard charts over 200 times, with his most notable album “Paranormal,” charting over 100 times alone. Even his music career is inspired by his childhood quest to solve the equation of what is on the other side of the vale of mortality.
Paranormal 911 dials up the terror for a new season on Travel Channel.
Paranormal 911 returns to Travel Channel to dial up the terror for Season 2. When police, firefighters and EMTs show up at a crime scene sometimes they don’t know what to expect. However, what happens if they are dealing with an entity not of this world?
What makes this an exciting series is the fact that viewers get to experience exactly what the first responders and the victims do. Paranormal 911 is like a mash-up of Live PD and A Haunting.
In the first season, a paramedic who is called to a suicide finds that when he returns home, he isn’t alone. It would appear that a dark spirit has followed him. Another episode dealt with spooky mannequins and demonic possession. Fans of the ID Channel should definitely tune into this program.
Season 2 starts on January 25 with three terrifying segments. “Uninvited Houseguest,” “Perimeter Breach and Asylum Attack.” When a law enforcement officer is assigned to investigate a home invasion, there is more to the crime than meets the eye. Apparently, an apparition might be the cause.
At a top-secret government site, an entity is turning the facility upside down. Meanwhile, EMTs at an asylum are contending with a ferocious unseen force that ambushes them.
The following episode on February 1 is just as harrowing. A firefighter arrives at a residence that may have a darker side to it while police pursue the spirit of a dead physician. When an officer is called to investigate an abandoned vehicle shadow people and a mysterious fog surround the scene.
Expect the unexpected this year.
Tune into Paranormal 911 on Travel Channel, Jan. 25 at 9 p.m.
In 2017 Adam Ellis captured the image of a ghost child in his New York City apartment. In a state of fear and confusion, he documented his haunting on social media under the hashtag DearDavid. Fourteen-million people feverishly followed his terrifying experience in real time. Now Adam and two of his friends — Jen Lewis and Paul Bradford — are on a mission to help others understand and escape their own paranormal nightmares. In assisting others Adam hopes what he learns from his hands-on investigations will lead to a deeper understanding of his own infamous haunting.
Trending Fear – Video Highlights
I LOVE this new show. It is SO insightful. Episode 2 was definitely my favorite so far. It was called Voodoo Vendetta… I learned some seriously interesting stuff from it. I haven’t been able to find a video of that episode to post, but if you can go back and watch it, or find it elsewhere, it’s definitely INTERESTING!
It’s on the Travel Channel at 11:00 pm Eastern Time every Friday night.