I want cool creepy stuff but not stomach hurt creepy stuff
April 5, 2016 10:31 AM   Subscribe

Those articles that have been making the rounds lately, usually sourced from Reddit but not always, that ask people what the most eerie/scary/least explainable/most scary things that...

- their kids said
- happened to them
- unsolved family or other mysteries
- or some other thing, I'm sure you catch my drift.
I like all of them. My main thing is I don't want terror stories just designed for people into creepiness. I don't want my stomach to hurt, I want my mind to be blown. I like the real life aspect and the fact that the people find them crazy as well. Any suggestions?

PS I love the ones where kids allude to past lives. Thank you. Hope this makes sense.
posted by jitterbug perfume to Society & Culture (24 answers total) 89 users marked this as a favorite
Listverse Mystery section? I spent way too much time on there last night, alone, and slightly frightened.
posted by kellyblah at 10:47 AM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Are you looking for collections or are you asking for MeFites’ stories? I have a few “it happened to me" incidents…

A few months ago when I got home from work there was a ring sitting on my placemat at the kitchen table. It was an inexpensive ring that my grandma had bought me at an art fair when I was about 12. It doesn't fit and I couldn't have told you where to find it. My daughter can't reach the table and my husband denied ever seeing it before. After I saw it, I was trying to remember what year she died. I googled her obituary. She died EXACTLY 16 years to that day. I did not remember that it was the anniversary.

A few years ago, I had an extremely realistic dream about my high school lab partner (a guy I liked a lot 20 years ago and hadn’t about since). We chatted for a bit, and after a while, he said he had to go, but that he’d really dropped by to tell me something: that he was dead. Of course I googled him the next day… and did come up with his obituary. It wasn’t any particular anniversary; he’d had cancer and died earlier that year. But I hadn’t known about it before the dream or had any reminder of him.
posted by Kriesa at 10:57 AM on April 5, 2016 [16 favorites]

The Search and Rescue posts on Reddit seem right up your alley.
posted by headspace at 11:01 AM on April 5, 2016 [5 favorites]

From Mumsnet: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by Catseye at 11:22 AM on April 5, 2016

When my brother was 5 or 6 we visited some family friends to see the home they had recently purchased. It was an old house and the entrance was on the left side of the front facade. When he saw the house, my brother said that the house was pretty, but he liked the door when it was "over there" better, pointing to the far right side of the front facade. My mother told him that we had never been to this house before, but my brother insisted that he had, and that the door used to be on the right.

During the course of the visit, this exchange with my brother came up in conversation, and our friends went pale. When they bought the house there were some old pictures of the house that came with it, and the entrance had originally been on the right, and was moved at some point before my brother was even born.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:25 AM on April 5, 2016 [12 favorites]

I always enjoy the annual Fark.com Halloween scary stories threads. There's always some silliness and inside jokes in there, but there are definitely some great stories as well.

posted by erst at 11:26 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

You might enjoy Louise Hung's Creepy Corner over at xojane (I know, I know, but it's atypical for the site). She posts about interesting creepy stories -- stuff she's experienced, her family stories, stories from her friends, and sometimes other stuff. The comments are usually pretty interesting as well.

Jezebel's annual scary story contest may also be up your alley. (Note: tag also contains other scary stories; look for the Halloween story posts specifically.)
posted by pie ninja at 11:46 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

Here's my story of encountering a ghost dog. We still hang his picture in our living room.
posted by AzraelBrown at 11:55 AM on April 5, 2016 [10 favorites]

This episode of The Last Podcast on the Left has one story that scared the hell out of me.
posted by crazy sniffable at 11:58 AM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

The Lore podcast generally covers creepy true stories, most of them old enough to qualify as "historical". They are gently creepy but not jump-scary.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:11 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

Best answer: You might enjoy some of the stories from Reddit's /r/Glitch in the Matrix. It's (supposedly) true stories that don't seem to line up with reality.
posted by Deflagro at 12:55 PM on April 5, 2016 [3 favorites]

I love www.reddit.com/r/letsnotmeet

Search through the top posts, and here's one that scares the shit out of me: https://www.reddit.com/r/LetsNotMeet/comments/1fbovv/man_at_the_rest_stop/
posted by glaucon at 12:59 PM on April 5, 2016

Best answer: I kept looking for my favorite Glitch in the Matrix story but couldn't find it. Turns out it was a follow up comment of another weird dream the OP had. "My father stops me from disrupting space-time when I travel back in time."
posted by Deflagro at 1:23 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

From Deflagro's r/Glitch_In_The_Matrix:

My fiance's father called for me before I was born
posted by Rock Steady at 1:41 PM on April 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

Here is our spooky story: In the early 70s when my son was 2 years old we drove cross country to move to Utah, and stopped in Lawrence, KS to visit friends of my husband, who had gone to graduate school there. One of the houses we visited was a sort of commune, and I was rather disturbed to find they had an old wooden actual gravestone as a tabletop in the bathroom.

Our son fell asleep on a blanket on the floor in the living room but shortly woke up crying and saying something about "the army man" and pointing to a corner that was empty. he was wide awake by then. We later learned there had been heavy fighting in that area during the civil war. I was glad to leave that house and move on.
posted by mermayd at 2:47 PM on April 5, 2016 [2 favorites]

My mom's very awesome and unforgettable mom passed away when I was 17. She'd been in ill health for a while, but her final decline happened very abruptly and quickly--she came down with an infection during an unrelated hospital stay, and the drugs she was given irreparably damaged her lungs. I got to talk with her a bit as this was all happening, before she slipped into the semi-conscious state she stayed in for the week or so before she passed away.

In those last days, when it was clear what was happening, my mom and sister and I joined the other aunts, uncles, and extended relations in rotating from hospital to houses. My mom's dad wasn't a very warm or approachable guy. He carried himself in that taciturn way people who lived through dust belt / Great Depression / WWII years tended to. He came to the hospital once or twice, but otherwise didn't make a fuss about it and mostly stayed at home. This is ultra-rural deep south USA, mind you, so the house to hospital trip was about an hour by car. This is pre-cell phones, and my grandparents never had a phone. Per routine, I stayed with my grandad one night, made him dinner, did laundry, and went to bed. I woke up in the wee hours to the sound of my normally silent grandad laughing, deep belly laughs. It startled me--I don't think I'd heard him laugh before. I wanted to make sure everything was ok, so I got up to check on him.

He wasn't in his room, though. He was in my grandma's room (they slept separately). There he was, sitting on the edge of her bed by the nightstand, grinning ear to ear. From the door, I eeked out, "Grandpa? Are you ok?" And he turned to me and said, still smiling, "That old woman came to say goodbye and we were just having a good time talkin's all." Then he got up, turned off the light on the endtable, and walked right past me back to his bedroom.

I did not sleep a WINK. A couple hours later, my sister drove up to tell us the news that grandma'd died.

20 years later and I still get goosebumps, man.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 2:54 PM on April 5, 2016 [17 favorites]

Atavist: The Ghosts of Pickering Trail
posted by Mr. Yuck at 3:11 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

I first saw this link here on Metafilter, I think--What's your best nursing ghost story? It's a megathread in the forums at allnurses.com, started over 10 years ago, still going strong. There are some pretty great stories in there.

[Ah, here it is in this AskMe thread: spooky tales, let me be annoyingly picky about them]
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:57 PM on April 5, 2016

One night in college, I had an extremely vivid dream about looking into a coffin and seeing my grandfather lying in it. It was bizarre, to say the least, but it seemed to me that he was at peace.
The next morning, my mom called rather early. I sure freaked her out when I said, "Are you by any chance calling to tell me Grandpa died?"
She was, of course.
I don't know if it's scary, exactly, but it's certainly ... unsettling.
posted by bookgirl18 at 4:44 PM on April 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Have been watching a lot of Atlas Obscura's 100 Wonders videos.
Super spooky: The Dyatlov Incident
Different spooky: Saint Catherine of Bologna
Spooky natural wonder: The Milky Seas
posted by Glinn at 7:56 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Still some to explore but these are great, guys!
posted by jitterbug perfume at 3:08 PM on April 9, 2016

Personal one here. My father died this last October. All his life, he loved trains. He was a Train Guy. Imagine the stereotype of a guy obsessed with trains and streetcars, that was my dad. He helped found a museum dedicated to Streetcars in Baltimore.

He also helped raise my niece and nephew, who called him Dad-uh - but my son (who is just two) didn't know him at all, and had only met him a few times, so didn't call him anything, because he didn't know him well enough. I live on the opposite coast from my family - so my son has also never really been exposed to my niece and nephew very much. *I* call my dad "Dad." and on the few times I've talked about him to Typechip, I've called him "Your grandpa (my dad's name)".

But about two months ago, my son was playing with his toy trains that my mom got him for Christmas and pretending to talk on his toy phone at the same time. Saying the usual things he does - "hello hello", "I love you", "talking phone" and also talking about his trains "choo choo" "Chug chug a train!" "Train go!" ... And as I do, I said "Typechip, who are you talking to?" Usually he says "Mimi" (my husband's mom) or "Wawa" (my mom).

.. and he said "Dad-uh."
He's never said it before that and hasn't said itr since.

and then I cried for like ten minutes.
posted by FritoKAL at 9:54 AM on April 20, 2016 [3 favorites]

In 2009 I was living in a very small town on the outskirts of a bigger town. About a mile from my house was a failed subdivision that I will call Morton Mills. Someone had spent a lot of money on the entryway to Morton Mills: on either side of the drive into the subdivision were big brick terraced structures that had beds in them for flowers (and which were now just filled with pokeberry bushes and reedy grass); a black wrought-iron gate that stood open, leaning on its hinges; matching black wrought-iron letters that were attached to one of the brick structures and that spelled out Morton Mills in a sweeping, luxurious kind of font.

Once you’re through the gate and into the place, though, you realize how desolate it is. It’s hilly, unusually so for this part of Georgia, and so you can look down and see acre after acre – 100 acres in all -- of empty lots marked off, the pvc pipes for the plumbing sticking up through the dirt like bones. The roads wind through these abandoned lots, each with a little sign optimistically declaring its number. There are 62 of them.

I would roller blade in Morton Mills about once a week or so. Very often I would startle deer grazing on the edge of one of the many cul-de-sacs. The lots had been there so long that trash trees were growing in the middle of them, and wildflowers were starting to poke up through the cracks in the pavement I was skating on. Once I skated down the “Community Nature Trail” (according to the faded sign at the start of it) and across a narrow berm that separated two man-made ponds. There were fountain thingamabobs in the middle of each of them, but they were rusty and collapsed in on themselves. The road ended at the “Community Recreation Center,” which was being used as the sales office for the fledgling subdivision when the whole thing was abruptly aborted.

There were blueprints everywhere, and surveys. Things that cost hundreds of dollars to have done. They were piled on a desk, under a fine chalk of pollen. I skated around the office. Brochures advertising Morton Mill’s quality of life were scattered on the floor. I picked one up. Grills! Foosball tables! I skated out of the building and back down the road the way I’d come.

In the very middle of the subdivision, in a sort of valley, sat four model houses. They were very large, and built in the creepy-artisanal style you’re familiar with if you can picture Alexandria, the most-recent holdout of the characters in the Walking Dead. Each house sat on a small patch of violently green rye grass. The lawns were so tiny compared to the bulky houses, which were right up next to each other. No one with enough money to buy this big of a house would buy any of these particular ones. Anyone could figure that out. There was no privacy at all. No big yard for the kids to play in. Your neighbors would stare down at you from their dining room as you tried to barbecue. This was not an urban renewal project in a city. This was the suburbs, for crying out loud. Only one of these houses was occupied, by a cop and his wife and kids. The other three empty ones were starting to fall apart.

One day when I was skating the cop came out of his house just as I was passing by, and I stopped to chat with him. Back then I was a 39-year-old white lady on rollerblades. Clearly I was not up to no good. The cop talked to me freely, answering all my nosy questions about what it was like to live here and even throwing in some anecdotes of his own.

“What about that house up there?” I asked, pointing at the highest hill in the subdivision. At the top of this hill sat a gray stucco house that was completely different, architecturally, from the 4 model houses it was looming over. It had mansard windows and was trying to be French, or something. (Aw hell I can’t describe it. It looked like this, only smaller.)

“That house up there,” said the cop, “Is haunted.”

“What?” I said, overjoyed. “By whom?”

“By the developer of this subdivision. It was the original family house. When it went belly-up, he shot himself.” He pointed up at the hill.

“In that house?”

“Yep,” said the cop. “That’s what they say.”

“OK, well,” I said, skating around on the driveway pad, “It was nice talking to you.”

I immediately skated up the winding road to the house. I did not care if the cop was watching me. Why would you tell someone something like that and not expect them to go check it out? That’s what I’d say if he came after me, I decided.

The drive led up to the back of the house. There was a filled-in swimming pool, and a carport. The door into the house from the carport was standing open. I took off my skates and went inside.

I was in a kitchen that had last been updated in 1987, probably. It was all jewel tones and black counter tops. There was an island in the kitchen and there was one thing on it: a plaque thanking Scott Morton (not his real name) for sponsoring the town’s kids’ soccer team. I left it alone, and walked down the hallway towards the front of the house. The stairs were off to the left, and at the foot of them, there was a dead pigeon. It had probably gotten in the house and starved, or broken its neck bouncing off the remarkably few windows, trying to get out.

I climbed up the stairs and walked down a hallway towards an open door at the end. There were closed doors on either side of me but I didn’t open them. The room at the end of the stairs had probably been a bedroom. There was no furniture in it at all, but there were two trash bags on the floor. One was filled with Christmas garland, the other with 45 singles; old records. I picked one up, but I can’t remember what the song was.

I started to get scared. This was this man’s stuff; his records, his plaque. Why had his family left these things behind when they cleared out the house? Were they going to come back for them? It occurred to me that I should have checked out the entire bottom floor of the house before coming up the stairs. I was stuck up here. The stairs were the only way down. I hurried down them before I could think about it too long. “I’ll just go downstairs and get out of here,” I said to myself. I was sorry I had come. This wasn’t a joke.

But when I got downstairs, I talked myself out of it. I knew if I didn’t see the rest of the house I’d have to come back, and I didn’t want to come back. I’d do it quickly, just a quick walk-through, and then I’ll get out.

The floorplan was disorienting. There was another big bedroom and a bathroom with a tacky garden tub that had mildewed. A living room that smelled chemically, like the paneling was deteriorating. Another, smaller room that might have been a more formal living room. I walked through this room towards an arch in the far wall. Through this arch was the front door and foyer. It was so weird, the way it was configured. If you came in the front door of this big, grand house, there would be a wall on your right and a wall straight ahead of you, boxing you in. You’d have no choice but to go through this dinky archway into the formal living room, which had no windows, and the only way out of that room was through the door at the other end of it. There was only one way to go. It was claustrophobic. But even worse was what was in the foyer.

It crouched there, black and shiny, like a spider. It was the only thing in the house besides the trash upstairs and the plaque and the dead bird. It was a huge, expensive telescope, with a lens like a tank barrel. The lens was pointed at the front door, which was inset with a big, single piece of glass. Through the glass I could see the four model houses at the bottom of the hill. In fact, with my own eyes I could see the cop walk out to his car and open the trunk. With a lens like the one on the telescope in front of me, I thought, I could probably read the labels on the cop’s spice jars in his kitchen, assuming he was the kind of cop who used spices.

“Probably,” my brain started insisting, “Probably the poor man who lived here and who killed himself here last used this telescope way before these model houses were even built. Probably he just liked to look out this glass door at the undeveloped land outside, where there are rabbits, and deer, you’ve seen them yourself. Or, at the empty pavements and crumbling infrastructure of his failing dream.”

These thoughts were not helping. I stared at the telescope, struggling to process its presence there. And then I noticed something. The telescope wasn’t dusty. Not at all. The whole rest of the house was slowly being buried under pollen and dust and crumbling drywall. The carpets were yellow with it; I could see my footprints in the room I’d walked through to reach this dead end at the front of the house. There didn’t seem to be any footprints in the dust on the gold and brown linoleum covering the foyer floor, but it was hard to tell. The telescope, though, was so shiny and dust-free that it was practically gleaming in the afternoon sunlight coming through the front door.

I noticed this, and that is when I turned around and hied the fuck right out of there. I put my skates back on and skated down the hill and through the weedy lots and out the black gate. When I got home I took my skates off and went on the internet. I Googled his name, the one on the plaque, and the name of the subdivision. This was a big deal in the community, it turns out. The paper was full of news of the groundbreaking, and minutes of various meetings tell the story of sewer rights and easements granted, and of taxes, and complications, and liens. And then there is his obituary. Really, his obituary, 5 years after the groundbreaking. It doesn’t say what he died from, but you don’t need a lone cop in a model home to help you put together these clues.

Does the family know it’s there? Will they ever come and get it? Does it even belong to them? It haunts me to this day, that telescope.
posted by staggering termagant at 11:19 AM on April 25, 2016 [10 favorites]

I work on a cross-country train. I haven't seen anything myself, but my coworkers have, so take these with a grain of salt.
  • On one trip, one of the dining car attendants told me one of the deluxe sleeper rooms had a man in it. He was standing in a corner, just standing there, and she caught him out of the corner of her eye every time she passed.
  • Another co-worker swears he saw someone walk down the hall and into a sleeper room, and when the co-worker passed no more than ten seconds later, no one was in the room.
These are most of the kinds of stories I hear. Someone sees someone in the yards, working on a car or setting things up, and when they callout to that person, the person vanishes. But there's one that really stood out. Again, grain of salt and all.

On a stretch near Glasgow, MT, the one of the engineers spots something in the rearview mirror. It darts out of the brush and starts pacing the train. Now, two things about this: one, this stretch of the route is always in the daylight either way, and two, at top speed we can get up to 79 miles per hour.

So this thing is pacing the train for a moment, and then zooms ahead, cuts in front of the engine, and blasts back to the rear sleeper car. It darts through the car and out the other side, and back into the brush.

Three minutes later, a call comes up from the conductors. They need to stop the train. Someone in the rear sleeper has died.
posted by gc at 5:57 PM on May 7, 2016 [3 favorites]

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