So many horror movies get reboots, remakes and endless sequels that it seems that new ideas are always welcome! I love reading creepy stories - even if it means I'm awake at night trembling with fear a few hours later - and these scarefests from Jezebel do not disappoint!
Check out 5 scary stories to keep you awake at night... I hope you don't have to be anywhere early tomorrow morning!
You Finally Found Out
Long before I was born, my parents were renting a house in a different part of our state. My mother never really liked the place. Something just seemed 'off' to her. The feeling still hadn't gone away even after a couple of months of living there. In fact, as time went on she began to feel even more ill at ease. She chalked it up to paranoia.
My father's schedule was shifted and he was placed on night duty. The first night she was due to be alone in the house she had a terrible anxiety attack. Something bad was around her, she could just feel it, and she called a friend and had her stay the night. The next day my dad kidded her about being such a wuss.
Before my dad left for work the next night, my mother sheepishly placed a large pair of sharp sewing sheers under her pillow. She said she felt embarrassed, because of course it was all just her imagination. She had considered a knife but figured that was too silly and over the top. Still she wanted something, just to focus on really, that could help calm her nerves when she went to bed.
The dream was very intense, the kind where you have no idea it even is a dream. She said in the dream she got up to go to the bathroom. As she was on her way back to the bedroom, the dream her suddenly started to feel a tingling sensation all over. Then she couldn't breathe.
She didn't know why, but she was overcome with only one thought- that she had to get to the bedroom. She began crawling along the hall on her knees, propelling herself along by her elbows, still choaking and gasping. The carpet burned against her skin. It felt as if she were underwater, every slight movement met by resistance. Finally she made it into the bedroom.
Despite her best attempts to calm herself, her heart was beating so hard it had physically started to hurt her as well. Suddenly, whatever had her neck tightened to the point where she heard a cracking sound. She thought 'I'm going to die,' and this gave here dream self a serge of adrenaline. She thrust her arm up onto the bed and grabbed under the pillow....and that's when she woke up.
The sun was coming up and there was fresh light in the room. She was drenched in sweat and lay in the bed for about a half hour, too shocked to move. When she finally convinced herself to get up and swung her legs out from under the blanket, she felt a stinging, sore sensation. She looked down on the worst carpet burns she had ever seen; layers of skin peeled off, small streaks of red blood on pink skin. It was only after she'd slowly made her way around the bed and towards the door that she found out what had happened to the sewing sheers: they were stuck three inches deep into the cheaply made wall.
My mom packed her bags and had moved in with her sister before my dad even got home. She refused to go back in the house no matter how much my dad complained about the cost of getting out of their lease. Finally my dad gave up and called the landlord, ready for a fight.
He was surprised when the landlord relented and gave him a get-out that barely cost my parents anything.
"I guess you finally found out," the landlord said.
"Found out?" said my dad.
It turned out that about five years earlier a woman had been found dead in the house. The coroner ruled it a homicide saying that she had been strangled. The woman's boyfriend, who claimed he wasn't anywhere nearby, was arrested and convicted.
"I know the boyfriend didn't do it," my mom finished up. "And that's why I tell your dad I saved his life, because I did. I saved my own and saved hm from having to spend the rest of his life in prison."
The summer before my last year of college, I lived in a treehouse on a friend's property on a large island. Set back in the woods a bit, it was pretty secluded. I loved it. It was quiet and I could do pretty much whatever I wanted which usually involved an entire six pack of PBR, nudity, a pellet gun and Grace Slick on vinyl (there was an extension cord running from the workshop up to my tree dwelling, allowing for a few lights, a record player and a cell phone charger). One night after a long day of working a fun but tiring tourist-town retail job, I came home, grabbed a beer, ditched my pants and got to work. I stayed up pretty late, maybe 2am, then tucked myself into bed.
To preface, I experience sleep paralysis a few times per year, usually when I'm stressed out. This was something entirely different.
I woke up sometime later, maybe a few hours -it was still dark. There was a shrill noise ringing through my head, almost like high-pitch static. My eyes popped open, and the entire treehouse was glowing red. My entire body felt like it was buzzing. I could look around, but I couldn't move. Slowly, the red light, the vibration in my core and the noise faded out, pretty much in sync. Once they had all disappeared completely, I could move again. Breathing heavily, I sat up and turned on my lamp. The horses in the barn next door were losing their shit.
I was so freaked out I couldn't get back to sleep for hours. I tried to read a book, but I couldn't concentrate. Finally, as the sun started to rise, I dozed off again. When I woke up, I went into the property owner's house (part of the rental deal included bathroom/kitchen/laundry access) and made some oatmeal. I was still freaked out, but happy to have slept. A few hours later, I headed into work.
Here's where it gets creepier.
I worked with this awesome woman who is now one of my closest friends. We'll call her Kelly for privacy's sake. As soon as I walked in, she noticed how tired I was. Throughout the evening, I was just kind of floating, with my mind elsewhere.
"Come here," she beckoned, when the shop had cleared out around dinner time. "What's going on with you?"
I told her about the red light and the paralysis and the noise and the horses. She nodded.
"Let me tell you something," she started. "There is some really fucked up juju on this island." She went on to tell me this story:
When she was a kid, growing up on the other side of the island, her grandparents owned a big piece of property with a small farm. One evening, she was there with her family, including parents, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. When her grandmother called everyone in for dinner, the kids came running and left toys all over the yard. After the meal, her grandfather offered to pick up after the kids.
When he came back in about 10 minutes later, he didn't have any of the toys with him. He looked like he had seen a ghost and his face was white as a sheet.
"What's wrong with you?" her grandmother asked him.
He shook his head and went straight to bed. Some of the adults went out into the yard to check out the situation. The toys were right where all of the kids had left them. The field up beyond the yard was smoldering. Worried there had been a brush fire, everyone walked up to check it out. When they got there, there was a perfect circular ring, about six feet across, burned into the tall grass.
The grass never grew back and Kelly said she always got a weird feeling whenever she got near the circle. Her grandfather wouldn't mow near it and everyone who saw it just picked up bad vibes.
"This isn't the first time they've been here," she added. "They come all the time. My son used to see them when he was little and he would try to talk to them."
"Who?" I asked, already knowing the answer.
"He just called them the green men."
When I was 17 years old, I was an avid romance reader. I'd sneak all of my mother's Harlequin novels and lock myself in my bedroom and just absorb all of it's cheesy, dramatic, goodness. So when I started dreaming of this dashing, young fellow in a breezy, ruffled, white shirt (think Fabio or whatever any man on a historical romance novel would be wearing) and riding boots, I was ecstatic.
His name was James and he had this old time, English accent that I couldn't quite place. The dreams started out naturally, once a month he'd pop in, sometimes twice. Then it became more frequent, 1-2 times a week. It would always start the same, I'd be dreaming of myself sleeping in my bed and I'd wake up to find him standing in my room. His eyes glowed this vibrant green and he kept pushing his ruffled hair back in this sexy way. The way he looked at me is what I became obsessed with. There was this yearning, this deep devotion to me. I would wake up thinking, "that's what it feels like to be in love".
He would always approach me slowly, hesitant to make sure I wasn't scared. Then he would tell me I was beautiful and ask me to dance. Music would appear out of no where and I would look down and find myself in this beautiful, laced nightgown and flowers in my hair and we would waltz in moonlight (can you see why a 17 year old girl would just become obsessed with this?) I would become so eager to go to bed, sometimes forcing myself to sleep by 7:00pm just so I could see him.
Meanwhile, things in my waking life were becoming strangely dark. My music player would turn on in the middle of the night, full blast, waking the entire house. I'd be doing homework at my desk and would continuously see something from the corner of my eye. One time, with the house to ourselves, my best friends and I were all piled into my bed, eating cookie dough and watching reruns of "Cops" when we heard a male voice talking from the bathroom just down the hall from my bedroom. At first, we didn't think anything of it. Perhaps my Dad came home earlier than expected, or my brother. We were a family of five with an open door policy for friends. It was rare that we were alone.
The voice kept going on and on, until finally, my one best friend asked me who was here? I muted the TV and we listened and then I realized, the voice had an accent. I got this terrible shiver down my back and I yelled out "James?" and suddenly, the voice stopped. I finally told my best friends about my dreams and their faces went white. Two nights later, I dreamt the same dream. I was dancing with James but the energy was different. His grip on me was firmer and as we danced, the whole time he was growling in my ear, "you are mine and no one can have you".
A week later, I begged my mother to let me move out of that bedroom and come upstairs (it was in the basement). My younger sister switched with me and she stayed there for years. My dreams, gone.
A little over a year ago now, my sister and I were helping my mother clean out the room so she could transform it into her own office. My sister and I were going through things and she randomly started laughing and said, "James won't like this".
I have never felt more cold or sick or terrified in my life. "What did you just say?"
She looked embarrassed, and waved her hand to pass it off before carrying back to the boxes.
"James, English man who dances?" I asked.
She nodded. "He's not a very nice man".
The Judge's Chambers
My fiancé and I met in the Washington DC area and after being together for about a year, we moved from the city to the nearby suburb of Rockville, MD.
It was a strange-feeling house even if you're not particularly woo-woo or believe in vibes. It had a tendency to just attract crazy. One of the upstairs tenants was a painfully-shy and awkward man who worked at the library and looked like the caricature idea of a serial killer. He had been living there since before my MIL owned the building and sometimes when he was drinking heavily late at night (which was most nights), he would pace back and forth loudly and yell. He was unwell to say the least.
More than once, a mentally ill homeless person showed up at the front door of the building, insisting that they either lived there or wanted to rent an apartment. The historic district of Rockville was a "nice" part of town in which you almost never saw people living on the street, so it was even stranger.
A lot of creepy shit happened in the building and a number of things in our apartment in particular. My fiance's cigarettes were inexplicably hidden from him a number of times, once on top of the fridge.The radio in our kitchen would frequently get turned on or off, despite having a manual dial that had to be cranked to the side and clicked on order to power it on or off.
A random smiley face that looked like it'd been drawn by a finger showed up once on the medicine cabinet mirror when we were taking a shower. Fiance woke up in the middle of the night once and asked me why there was a Confederate soldier walking through our bedroom.
A couple of times, the smell of sulfur would come from the non-functioning fireplace in our bedroom. Twice, the smell of sickly sweet perfume that I can only describe as "Eau de Grandma" flooded our bedroom for reasons I can't fathom. You couldn't smell it in the hallway outside of our door or anywhere else in the apartment.
While at home along a few times, I heard a distinctive and animalian growling coming from one of the corners of the ceiling in the living room, but saw nothing. My dogs would lose their shit and bark at the area of the noise until they began shaking and curling up with me.
One morning, we woke up and walked into the kitchen to find a drinking glass sitting in the center of the floor. The glass had previously been sitting IN the sink, so it was a bit puzzling. It was sitting upright and as we moved closer to it, we found that it looked as if something had taken a BITE of out of it and then neatly placed the shards INSIDE of the glass. There was not a speck or splinter of glass anywhere on the floor around it. The other side of the glass had 3 long scratches in it. I didn't want to touch it and didn't want my fiance to touch it either, so I picked it up with a plastic bag around my hand like it was a pile of dog crap and took it to the outdoor trashcans.
A couple of days later, a branch from a large tree over the carport (where the trashcans were) fell onto the carport and almost nailed one of the building residents.
If we burned candles in our bedroom, for some reason they would burn so high and hot that it made the room unbearable to be in, even if there was no heat on and it was cool outside. This is in a VERY large bedroom with a 14 foot ceiling.
I've been prone to issues with depression and anxiety since my childhood years and even though I loved that beautiful building, living in it was NOT good for me. Even when we weren't stressed about weird stuff happening there, we fought a lot more when living there, we got sick a lot more, and had just plain bad luck. My fiance had to go back on medication for depression for the first time since before we'd moved in.
We learned at some point that the house had once functioned as a halfway house for psychiatric patients transitioning out of a huge sanitarium that had been open nearby from 1910 to 2001. The sanitarium was called Chestnut Lodge.
About 3 months before we moved into that house, the abandoned Chestnut Lodge building burned down and collapsed. A developer ended up buying the land and building very expensive housing on it, calling the development Chestnut Lodge after the facility. Apparently the sanitarium was an inspiration for "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden".
We didn't find out until we were moving out a couple of years later that the scary upstairs neighbor originally moved in as one of the last halfway house patients.
My MIL sold the house awhile back, but it took over a year on the market to finally get bought out.
The upper back half of my parents house is haunted. Or posessed. I don't know, but it's wrong up there. When you go upstairs and open the door, there's a large room with a walk in closet, about 700sf. There's a hallway to the right with a little bathroom, and then a door that leads to the other half of the upstairs, another 700sf or so and with two little doors to attics on either side of the room. The lightswitch to the room is outside of the room, meaning to turn on a light from the bed by the window, you have to get up and walk about 30 feet, open a door, reach your arm out and turn on a light. In 1999 when I was 17 and my brother was 15, he lived in the upstairs part of the house (obviously very choice as it's basically it's own house just without a kitchen) and I lived in a bedroom downstairs. One day, he ran downstairs and asked me if I wanted to change rooms. He said his knee injuries hurt to badly to go up and down the stairs all the time and asked if I would like to switch rooms. OF COURSE I SAID YES!
Fast forward to a few months later.
It's a school day and I am in bed. The sun is not up and my alarm has not yet gone off. I wake up, and I don't know why I woke up as I am a heavy sleeper who needs a lot of hours. I felt something near my bed. I rolled over to see what/who was in there, assuming it was one of my parents or a sibling or something trying to wake me up, and I see a life-sized crucified Jesus on my bedroom floor, living and evil with dark green eyes that glowed. It was obviously NOT Jesus, just some kind of 'thing' taking on a shape and existing there, trying to scare me. I stared at it and the eyes locked on mine and the cross rose up to a vertical position, slowly, until the life-sized crucified Jesus was before me, radiating hatred and anger and loathing and disgust. I wanted to turn a light on so so so so bad. To do that, I would have to get up, run around him, make it 30 feet, open a door and turn on a light. I pulled the blanket over my head and waited for the sun to come up and tried to pretend I had a nightmare and none of it was real. I got a lamp and put it next to my bed.
1 year later and I am a senior in high school.
I have put my mattress on the bedroom floor so that I can bang with wild abandon without my parents hearing my bed creek from the family room down below. My boyfriend and I bang it out and then roll opposite directions on the mattress to fall asleep. I don't know what time it was, but it wasn't daylight yet, when I woke up. I woke up because I felt something breathing on me.
When I opened my eyes, I could see a man's face, illuminated by the neighbors outdoor lights and a street light, very close to mine. There was a man down on the floor with his face near mine and his eyes were black, solid black, any part that would have white or color was entirely black and shiny. He had dark, ruddy skin and very hard, craggly features. Like a very square jaw and deep lines in his face. He was not wearing a shirt. He had muscular arms. From the waist down? Dude was a goat. He had freaking goat legs. I screamed and screamed and screeeeeamed, my mouth and eyes open wide, terrified....and no sound came out.
As I was screaming, the goat man, face inches away from my own, eyes still locked on mine, opened his mouth to mock my scream, no sound coming out of his mouth either. I closed my eyes and shut them and counted to 60. When I opened my eyes again, he was gone. My boyfriend rolled over in bed and said 'WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!?!?' 'What do you mean? What did you see?', I said. 'I kept trying to move and trying to get up and I couldn't move. It's like my body was being held down and I couldn't move!' I tell him he must have had a nightmare, because I want to believe none of this is real, and we go out and meet some friends.
The next night, as I slept on the floor mattress (too lazy to put it on and off my bed every day. Why bother?) a large hooded figure, maybe 10 feet tall or so? Wearing a head to toe black cloack and with no eyes or face, just darkness, floated through the door from the other room and toward me. It faded before it got to the mattress.
I didn't tell anybody because I thought I must have had a night terror or lucid dream. I didn't care that my boyfriend had felt immobile at the same time I saw the goat man. I assumed we had simultaneous nightmares because how could any of this be real?
I had friends come over who would walk into that room, feel cold and get goosebumps on their arms and want to leave. Downstairs in the family room, we could often hear the sound of heavy feet walking around in my bedroom above us.
A few years later, my brother and I are hanging out. I have never told him or anybody else about this stuff. He says he wants to tell me something and he's sorry and to not be mad. I say ok because he' s my brother and I generally don't get mad at him anyway, so who cares? He tells me that when he still lived upstairs, he was in the front room playing FIFA and he heard a woman screaming in the back room. He got up and went to look in that room and see wtf was going on.
When he opened the door and turned on the light, the little attic door on the left had streams of blood coming out from around the tops and sides, like the blood was seeping out of the door frame. The screaming was coming from inside of that little attic. That's when he ran downstairs and asked me to switch rooms. He told me he knew it was probably just a nightmare, but it felt real and he didn't want to stay up there anymore and he was sorry he lied about the severity of his knee injuries to get out of that room. I said I didn't care at all. (true.) and told him about what I had experienced up there.
I don't want to believe any of this is real. It doesn't make sense to me that it can be. But it's hard to deny it when I, my brother, my boyfriend and multiple friends have experienced seeing, hearing or feeling different non-human things up there. It felt to me like the Jesus thing and the goat man were the same entity, hard and cold and hateful and rage-filled, and that the tall dark-robed figure was a different entity, but I don't know what they were. Whenever it comes up now, I say it must have been night terrors or lucid dreams, but I kinda don't actually believe that. But I want to believe that.