Ghosts are meant to be a little scary — that’s why they’re such a popular character for Halloween. While everything must eventually die, it’s often a little eerie to think that our late loved ones may start haunting us.
However, enough people have experienced a story they attribute to ghosts that it’s important to take them somewhat seriously. Whether it’s a house that’s “haunted” or just an odd experience or feeling someone gets, stories involving ghosts may give you a bit of a fright.
However, for some, talking about ghosts is more of a spiritual exercise that gives them peace. Regardless of what you believe, it’s hard not to feel comforted by the fact that your loved ones are still around in some form.
Not every kid will come in contact with a ghost. And sure, some of the stories may be fueled by childhood imagination. But when people’s children talk about seeing a ghost? It’s hard not to avoid. Especially when they have tons of details to support what they saw.
Here are 13 of the best ghost encounter stories parents have shared online. It might be the exact thing you need to get into the Halloween spirit. Or they may lead you to question everything.
1. Aunt Amy
It’s always nice when family members want to come and play, but it’s a little scary if they happen to be dead at the time. But the second story is even scarier. It’s possible that the young girl saw an image of what happened, technically witnessing something she should have never seen.
2. The Great Aunt
It’s wonderful that this girl’s parents asked follow-up questions surrounding the ghost. Asking kids questions like, “What does the ghost look like?” may help put families more at ease and figure out the puzzle in front of them. This Redditor may not be a believer now, but it’s a terrifying story.
3. The Cowboy
This one’s extra creepy, but props to this Redditor who actually told her landlord about the sighting. While cowboy hats may be common, they’re an odd-enough detail to make this story very scary. Hopefully, the ghost didn’t cause anyone any harm, as the red eyes seem terrifying.
4. The Second Life
Kids really do say the darndest things. But this exchange is even weirder due to the specific details the child shared. Maybe they were remembering a past life, or perhaps they knew something creepy that the future would hold. No matter what, this mom surely had some follow-up questions.
5. The Poor Lady in a Bonnet
This seems like a story too odd for anyone to make up. But it’s also a little unnerving to know that it was actually your presence that scared off the ghost. A lot of people who claim to see ghosts comment on what the ghosts were wearing, and it seems like in this case, the ghost may have actually been from the 1800s.
6. The Man With the Big Hat
Redditor v1ntage_m1sery shares a story about their son. “My son is ten now, but when he was three he said he saw a man with a big hat standing in his bedroom doorway staring at him while he tried to sleep,” they wrote. “The man disappeared after a while, but he could feel him sit down on his bed. He still randomly brings it up so I don’t think it was just a three-year-old’s overactive imagination.” Creepy.
7. Sharing With a Ghost
It’s always really good to share with others, but what if those “others” aren’t really there? This story is hard to ask follow-up questions about, if the boy is still mostly nonverbal. Aside from the ghost, this story seems to showcase how sweet this kid is.
8. Ghost Chats
When most people describe seeing ghosts, they recall a similar pattern. Sometimes they’re vivid and quickly disappear when spotted. One Redditor didn’t happen to see a ghost, but they heard one. “Typically he would just say hi in my basement,” they wrote. “Later I found out that it was a guy who used to live in my house, hung himself in our garage, and he used to rent the basement from an elderly lady.”
9. The Old Home
Ghosts don’t have to always be terrifying. They can also be quite nice. Sometimes, when you buy a house, you don’t know the full history of it. Not only did this family get to share the place with those who lived in the home prior, but they got to know their personalities by some of the keepsakes left behind.
10. The Crouching Girl
Not everyone believes in ghosts — and that’s completely OK. This story is baffling since, even though the family doesn’t believe in spirits, they couldn’t hide the fact that their daughter was so disturbed by what she saw. Hopefully, she hasn’t had any encounters since this one, since her story is enough to make everyone in that house scared to fall asleep.
11. The Ghost Twin
This one is terrifying on a number of levels, but proof that sibling bonding is real. While this girl couldn’t have prevented what happened, nor could she have known that she’d be the one to survive, it’s scary to know that she still has a secret sister looking out for her. Hopefully, the next time they connect, it won’t be so spooky.
When we’re kids, there’s a lot we don’t realize. And this story is proof of that. “When I was a child I saw ghosts of my family members quite frequently. My mother would catch me sometimes having tea parties alone in my playroom, laughing and talking with myself,” wrote Redditor cat4820. “She figured it was child’s play until one day she decided to join me at the table. She sat in the chair and across from me and asked if she could join me, and I said sure mommy, but you’ll have to sit in THAT chair because right now you’re in Johnny’s seat. This shocked my mother greatly, considering Johnny was the name of my father’s older brother who had killed himself in our home when he was 18.”
Finally, there’s the story of Jonas. There’s nothing in the world that’s more sad than the death of a child. It’s even more sad when that death could have been preventable. If Jonas really stayed on the farm after his death, hopefully that would have been a soothing revelation for his parents.
Children saying they see ghosts is actually a very common occurrence. But if it happens to you, as a parent, you should not dismiss any “invisible friends.” Oftentimes, the child who witnesses ghosts isn’t all that scared by them.
“A lot of parents get worried about imaginary companions and strange experiences,” Charles Fernyhough, a psychologist at Durham University, told The Washington Post. “Unless there’s real distress, do not worry.” So take it for what it is — and don’t punish the child or accuse them of lying. It may very well be another way of expressing themselves through imagination.