In the spirit of Halloween, I want to share some scary stories that have happened in my past. These are actual events I have experienced and were terrifying at the time. Let me know if you have had similar experiences or might have reacted differently!
Breaking and Almost Entering
A constant fear of mine is the idea of having someone break into my house while I am home. I often find myself thinking of what I would do everytime I hear a strange noise at night. Would I hide in my closet behind my clothes? Have time to run to the bathroom where I can lock the door? Escape from my window which is only a short drop from the ground? Thankfully I have never had to act on this fear, but there have been a few close calls.
When I was in elementary school, my family lived in a small cul-de-sac in middle class suburbia. We lived a block away from our cousins and church members, played outside daily without parental supervision, and felt safe from any real world dangers. There were rumors in our neighborhood that one of the houses across the street was actually home to a drug dealer and none of the kids were aloud to go near there. There were strange people always coming and going at different times of day.
One night my parents were out later than normal leaving me and my older sister home alone until it was already dark out. We had a few rules we were supposed to obey while they were out; don’t answer the door to strangers, don’t leave the house especially after dark, and lock the door. Being young and reckless, we often disobeyed these rules. It was starting to get dark when we heard a knock at the door. We didn’t have a peephole at the time but there was a large frosted glass pane in the middle of the door to vaguely see who was there. From down the hall we could tell it was a younger man and figured it might be our friend from a house over or our older cousin from a block away. We never got strangers at our door and didn’t want to ignore someone we knew. We decided to open it and were shocked to find a teenager we didn’t recognize. He could have been in his early twenties for all we knew.
“Is Tony home?” He asked.
“No, no one lives here by that name.”
“Are you sure? Are your parents home?”
“No, sorry you have the wrong house.” We said while closing the door. It wasn’t smart of us to say we were home alone because so many different things could have gone wrong. The kid hovered at our door for a few minutes before leaving. Luckily, our parents came home shortly after that and any feeling of uneasiness vanished. The odd incident made us double check all the doors before going to sleep. We even locked the door to our garage which we hardly ever did.
Later that night, I found myself waking up with a jolt but I wasn’t sure why. Confused, I settled back in to my bed and tried to fall asleep. BANG! I heard it as clear as day that time. That was what had woken me up before. The sound was as if someone had tried to kick open our door. Not just any door, but the one that lead to our garage that we sometimes left unlocked. I froze in my bed scared to even move, waiting for any other sounds to follow. After sitting in silence for a couple minutes, I called across the hall to my mom. No one else had seemed to have woken and I was starting to think I imagined such a thing.
“Mom?” I whispered.
“Yeah…” She responded in an alert voice.
“Did you hear that?”
“Yes…” She said as we were both coming down from the adrenaline pumping in our bodies. We both came to the scary realization that we hadn’t imagined it. She awoke my dad to see if he heard it too but he dismissed it as her having a bad dream. She shook him again prompting that I had heard it too. Unconvinced that something had happened, he said he would check it out. He grabbed a bat and went downstairs. Terrified someone would come hurtling through the door the second it was open, I cried out not to do it. To calm our nerves, he hit the door with the bat making a similar banging noise as before to scare who ever might be in the garage. He forcefully opened the door and screamed “Hey!” as if he had saw someone. My mom and I had stayed upstairs for this and were hiding out in my room. All we heard after that was the door close as if my dad had gone outside. A few minutes later we heard it open and shut again with no other noise. Concerned it might be someone else who had walked in we called out.
“There was no one out there but the other door was unlocked.” He responded.
We had a cat door on the other door in the garage that lead outside. This made it possible to reach an arm through and unlock the door from the outside. I often think about what would have happened if we hadn’t locked the inside door that night. We think it was just a junky from across the street looking for stuff to steal for money, but what if it wasn’t? Would they have just robbed us? Would they have came upstairs?
I had a similar experience a couple years later, when we lived in a different neighborhood. I woke up to someone kicking our front door and my window is right next to it on the floor above it, so I even heard their footsteps as they ran away. No one else had heard it and my mom often tells me that I was probably dreaming.
It was Halloween during my freshman year of high school. I wasn’t a partier but I still wanted to do something for Halloween. My friend and her sister wanted to go trick or treating even though we knew we were too old. It was convenient because they had just moved down the street from me and were in walking distance. I don’t remember what my costume was that year, so it probably was unoriginal and generic. I think I might have been a ninja turtle, I remember I was so small I had to buy a boys youth size. There’s a chance that was a different Halloween though. I met up with my friends on the corner near their house and we begun our journey. We worked our way up and down the neighborhood until almost all of the trick or treaters went home. Receiving many comments and side eye from parents because of our age. Not wanting the shenanigans to end we kept walking around the neighborhood, only stopping at houses of people we knew now.
I remember we decided to go down a more wooded area of our neighborhood because a boy from our school lived down there and his dad worked at a candy factory. That meant regular sized candy bars! We skipped our way to his house only to find they weren’t home, but they left a box of them on the door step to take. Surprisingly, there were some left this late in the night and we collected our fair share. As we were walking down his steps and back on to the street we saw a guy in a costume staring at us from across the street. He was wearing a robe and mask similar to that of the Scream movies. He stood there unmoved and we wondered if he was a fake prop to scare people.
“Was he there before?” I whispered to my friends, skeptical we would miss something like that.
“I don’t think so, he is probably just trying to scare us” my friend replied.
“HA HA VERY FUNNY! YOU KNOW YOU’RE NOT SCARY?” We taunted as we scurried by him on the opposite side of the street. My friends sister had been dragging her feet for some time now and didn’t want to run. We walked slowly with her for a while until we realized that the guy had started following us. Wanting to put as much distance between us and the guy we scampered off. Only to turn around and realize her sister hadn’t followed and didn’t believe us that the guy was close. We pleaded with her to hurry up and to look behind her, but she kept thinking that we were joking. It wasn’t until he was only a few strides away from her that she turned around to see. She screamed and ran after us as we all started screaming and running down the street. We saw some people walking with a baby and decided he wouldn’t hurt us if we were with a group. We caught up to them and started following them closely. Thankfully the guy stopped once he realized there were a lot more people around and was gone the next time we looked back. The parents with the baby didn’t appreciate us following them and had no idea why we were out of breath and freaked out. We all made it home safe but I never wanted to go trick or treating again.
Last night, I experienced a pretty creepy case of sleep paralysis. This is was spurred my desire to share some scary stories. For those of you who don’t know, sleep paralysis is a phenomenon when you experience temporary immobility as you are in the process of falling asleep or waking up. It is usually accompanied by vivid hallucinations as your mind begins to dream.
Mine happened around 1AM last night as I was waking up to something. I remember being awake but my eyes were still closed as I felt a hand reach underneath my hips as if to pick me up. Then it felt like someone started tapping my stomach in a weird gurgling way. It move up my stomach and begin making a noise that was equivalent to heavy breathing and qhostly moaning. It reminded me of the noises that the tooth fairy makes in the scary movie Darkness Falls. I knew I was probably dreaming and couldn’t move my arms or legs. That is when I opened my eyes to what looked like something under my sheets climbing towards me. I kept telling myself it wasn’t real but there was nothing I could do to deflate it. I lifted my head up and bit down to make a noise with my teeth since that was the only thing I could move. After that the rest of my body woke up, and the anomaly disappeared. I assume the creepy hallucination had to be spurred by the marathon of scary movies I had playing in the background. I messed around on my phone and changed the channel before passing out again.
In psychology, sleep paralysis is often associated with people’s claims of seeing apparitions and aliens. I can understand why they would think these things are actually happening because the hallucinations are so vivid and real. If I had no idea what sleep paralysis was I would’ve thought the same thing especially since it happened on a day such as Halloween.