When I think about telling ghost stories, I think about sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows, telling spooky tales with a torch under my chin before retiring to my tent for the night. Despite the fact that that isn’t an activity I’ve ever taken part in, ever, it just feels like the perfect way to share a scary story, especially with the sounds of the forest rustling around you and the stars overhead. Well, even if you’re not in the forest, telling short ghost stories is a brilliant way to pass the time, so we’ve rounded up some of the very best ghost stories for adults from around the internet that are sure to give you a fright. Pass the marshmallows!
1. The Puppy in the Basement
This short ghost story, found on Reddit, is super creepy:
“Mommy told me never to go in the basement, but I wanted to see what was making that noise. It kind of sounded like a puppy, and I wanted to see the puppy, so I opened the basement door and tiptoed down a bit. I didn’t see a puppy, and then Mommy yanked me out of the basement and yelled at me. Mommy had never yelled at me before, and it made me sad and I cried. Then Mommy told me never to go into the basement again, and she gave me a cookie. That made me feel better, so I didn’t ask her why the boy in the basement was making noises like a puppy, or why he had no hands or feet.”
2. Nun Chucks
Michelle Froelick Young had a strange experience with her two year old daughter, submitted to Movie Pilot:
“When my daughter was 2, I found her twirling paper towel tubes, tied with twine, in the air. I asked her what she was doing. She said she was practicing her “nun chucks”. I was very confused as she’d have no way of knowing what they were. I asked her what she meant and she said that Adam had told her how to make them and showed her each night how to use them. She went on to say that Adam told her to practice because she may need to know how to defend herself someday. I almost freaked out, but asked her what Adam looked like. She said he was tall, blond, and had blue eyes. She said,”Mommy, you KNOW how he looks – you know him! He died of a headache.” I had to leave the room.You see, 4 months before she was born, my tall, blonde, blue eyed, martial arts-pro friend had died of a brain aneurysm at the age of 27. She has not spoken of him since that day, so I’m not sure if I scared her with my reaction or if she had completed her lessons.”
3. There's Someone Under the Bed
Sometimes the very short ghost stories are the best, and this tale, from Reddit via Buzzfeed, tells the story of a father putting his young son to bed:
“I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy, check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy, there’s somebody on my bed.””
4. The Chair
This short tale starts benignly enough, with a friendly-seeming ghost playing with children, but when you learn the origins of the ghost – and just why the ghost is moving the object around the room, it quickly gets a lot creepier. Submitted via Reddit by Scoopwhoop:
“When my sister Betsy and I were kids, our family lived for awhile in a charming old farmhouse. We loved exploring its dusty corners and climbing the apple tree in the backyard. But our favorite thing was the ghost. We called her Mother, because she seemed so kind and nurturing. Some mornings Betsy and I would wake up, and on each of our nightstands, we’d find a cup that hadn’t been there the night before. Mother had left them there, worried that we’d get thirsty during the night. She just wanted to take care of us. Among the homes’ original furnishings was an antique wooden chair which we kept against the back wall of the living room. Whenever we were preoccupied, watching TV or playing a game, Mother would inch that chair forward, across the room, toward us. Sometimes she’d manage to move it all the way to the centre of the room. We always felt sad putting it back against the wall. Mother just wanted to be near us. Years later, long after we’d moved out, I found an old newspaper article about the farmhouse’s original occupant, a widow. She’d murdered her two children by giving them each a cup of poisoned milk before bed. Then she hung herself. The article included a photo of the farmhouse’s living room, with a woman’s body hanging from a beam. Beneath her, knocked over, was that old wooden chair, placed exactly in the center of the room.”
…Did it get colder in here, or is it just me?
5. The Ghost at Home
In one of my favourite short ghost stories, a man thinks that he loses his phone and someone is playing a trick on him. Turns out, there is someone playing with him, but it’s a ghoul rather than a person. Submitted via Reddit by Buzzfeed:
“Last night a friend rushed me out of the house to catch the opening act at a local bar’s music night. After a few drinks I realized my phone wasn’t in my pocket. I checked the table we were sitting at, the bar, the bathrooms, and after no luck I used my friend’s phone to call mine. After two rings someone answered, gave out a low raspy giggle, and hung up. They didn’t answer again. I eventually gave it up as a lost cause and headed home. I found my phone laying on my nightstand, right where I left it.”
6. Super, Super Short Ghost Stories
Finally, something a little different. The Metro wanted to put together something spooky and came up with these one or two sentence ghost stories that are designed to get you thinking – so here are my favourites.
Sometimes the very best short ghost stories are those that include a sense of creeping dread, or that tingling sensation where you’re not quite sure where the story is going to go or where it is going to end. Filling in the blanks of a story with your own thoughts from your own experiences is what can make these ambiguous stories even creepier… so where will these stories take you?
Find how far down the rabbit hole you can go, as we list the 12 scariest books ever written!