The Scariest Real Paranormal Reddit Stories I found

I know many of you love to be scared. That is all well and good, but these stories will leaving you begging for your momma because, you guessed it, they are true.

in 2014, just days before Halloween, witnesses saw a man drag a decapitated body out of a Long Island apartment. He laid the body in the street then kicked the head to the opposite curb. It had all the signs of a macabre Halloween prank, and that’s what everybody thought it was. For a while, nobody did anything about it—one witness even said the whole thing looked fake. The horrifying truth only came to light when a Good Samaritan tried to move the corpse out of the middle of the street and realized that it was a real body. It didn’t take long for police to deduce that the body belonged to Patricia Ward, a 66-year-old professor at New York’s Farmingdale State College. Even before discovering her body, police had received another call about another dead Ward. This one had been run over by a train about a mile down the road. Soon, the tragic details of the murder came to light. Patricia’s son, 35-year-old Derek Ward, had a history of mental illness, but he seemed to be on the road to recovery when he moved into the small Farmingdale apartment with his mother. Then, for some reason, he snapped. He beheaded his mother then dragged her body out of the apartment, down the stairs, and through the front door of the building. After leaving the body in the street, he calmly walked away and leaped in front of an oncoming train. As to why he did it, we’ll never know.

For hours, motorists simply drove past the woman hanging from the tree. They saw her—she was hard to miss, dangling 4.5 meters (15 ft) almost directly over the road—but considering the season, they just assumed it was another morbid decoration. It was four days before Halloween, and Frederica, Delaware, was littered with glowing jack-o’-lanterns, stuffed witches, and plastic skeletons. This body, however, was real. Police were called to the scene hours after the woman was first seen, and it’s likely that she had been hanging there all night. Police only revealed that the woman was 42 years old, and it looked like she’d hung herself.

This isn’t the last time a Halloween hanging has been disregarded as decor. In 2015, a woman in Ohio was hanging from a fence for hours before anyone mustered up the curiosity to see whether or not she was actually a real person.


The 2002 film The Mothman Prophecies depicts characters seeing a giant moth-like creature appear before catastrophic events. While this might seem like an episode of the X-Files, this story is actually based on real occurrences in the small, tight-knit community of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, during 1966 and 1967, according to The Mothman Documentary. Dozens of townspeople claimed to have seen the Mothman, described as a 7-foot tall bird-like creature.

About a year after the Mothman first began appearing, a steel bridge connecting West Virginia and Ohio mysteriously collapsed during rush hour, killing 46 people. Survivors reported seeing the Mothman just before the collapse, and after the tragedy the sightings of the Mothman stopped. While some people think seeing the Mothman right before the collapse was an indication that the mythic creature was responsible, others believed the appearances of the Mothman during the year prior to the collapse was actually a warning.


The exorcist 

According to Mental Floss, a Washington Post article from 1949 with the headline "Priest Frees Mt. Rainier Boy Reported Held in Devil's Grip" followed Jesuit priests William S. Bowdern, Edward Hughes, Raymond J. Bishop, and Walter H. Halloran participating in the rite of exorcism on a boy with the pseudonym "Roland Doe" in Maryland.

"According to the priests, they allegedly experienced the boy speaking in tongues, the bed shaking and hovering, and objects flying around during the ordeal," Mental Floss reported. "The exorcism was one of three official Catholic Church-sanctioned exorcisms in the United States at the time."

The director of The Exorcist, William Friedkin, told Time Out that the coverage of the Roland Doe exorcism by the Washington Post leant the story some credibility. "Maybe one day they’ll discover the cause of what happened to that young man, but back then, it was only curable by an exorcism. His family weren’t even Catholics, they were Lutheran," he told Time Out.  They started with doctors and then psychiatrists and then psychologists and then they went to their minister who couldn’t help them. And they wound up with the Catholic church. The Washington Post article says that the boy was possessed and exorcised. That’s pretty out on a limb for a national newspaper to put on its front page. I don’t think you’d see that too often nowadays. Possibly in a Murdoch paper. But you’re not going to see that on the front page of an intelligent newspaper unless there’s something there."



Freddy Krueger Of all of the ghost stories and horror movies, Nightmare On Elm Street is the one I thought would be the least likely to be based in reality. However, the inspiration for the Wes Craven movies came from a real-life story published in the Los Angeles Times in 1987. "Since April, 1983, at least 130 Southeast Asian refugees have left this world in essentially the same way," the article stated. "They cried out in their sleep. And then they died."


While this seems totally unrealistic, in some cultures there is actually a name for this. "In the Philippines, it's called bangungut, in Japan pokkuri, in Thailand something else," Dr. Robert Kirschner told the Times. "But it all roughly translates as the same thing: nightmare death."

The deaths all came from the same community, the victims were all people who allegedly had no symptoms of ill health, and they all died while having nightmares. Autopsies revealed that some of the victims of nightmare deaths died by sudden heart stoppage, and the coroner also found something else strange.

"All of the 18 hearts [I examined] were slightly enlarged, and 17 showed defects in their conduction systems, the array of fibers that carries electronic impulses from the brain to the heart," the Times reported. "The fibers were frayed and curled, as if, Kirschner says, "'their hearts just shorted out.'"  Because all of the victims examined by this coroner had the same genetic defect, one theory is that the defect in tandem with the nightmares caused their hearts to stop. If you're scared this could happen to you now that you know that Nightmare On Elm Street is based on a true story, the Times reported that nightmare deaths are only found in certain Asian populations: Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, as well as the Philippines and Japan.

Chucky - This is another one I had no idea was based in reality. Apparently the writer of Child's Play, which features demonic doll and killer Chucky, is based on Robert Eugene Otto's real life experiences growing up with a cursed voodoo doll in Key West, Fla. According to the video Robert The Doll: The True Story Of Child's Play, Otto talked to the doll when he was a child, his family would find things missing or moved in his room, and they regularly heard him screaming at night.




was driving home from work one night around 9pm midweek so the roads were quiet. As I was driving downhill I heard a sound that was like a jet engine roaring behind me. The next thing I know a car goes flying past me going twice the speed limit. It looked like a fairly old crappy car. The car started to get the speed wobbles and then one of the tyres came flying off and rolled at speeds downhill whilst the car spun out and crashed. I stopped my car to make sure whoever inside was ok. A guy got out of the car and looked over at me then started moving extremely quickly towards me. I dont know why but I hit my internal locks on the car which was fortunate because no more then 2 seconds later the guy started grabbing at the drivers side door and smashing on my windscreen with his fists trying to get in, ill never forget the crazy look he had in his eyes. I put my foot down on the accelerator and drove off back home.

I decided to swap cars once I got home and drove back to see what was going on. I saw 2 fire trucks and about 4 police close to where the incident happened. When I got back to the crash site the guy was no longer there so I decided to head home.

The next day at work I was online bored reading the news when I saw an article that shocked me. The article was about a guy who had been in a police chase for 1 hour and the police stopped chasing him because it was becoming to dangerous. Turns out the guy was high on meth, had stolen a car an hours drive away and had been in a hot pursuit since. After crashing the car the guy apparently crossed to the other side of the road and hailed the first car that appeared which was a taxi. He got into the taxi and stole it, in the process he pushed the driver out of the driver side door and the driver got stuck and dragged at speeds. The driver died from the incident. I called the police and had a detectiive assigned to me. He fingerprint checked my car and got a statement.

I had to testify in the supreme court as a key witness in a murder trial. The guy got 30 years and they told me that my testimony was one of the main factors in convicting him.

I often think back to that night and wonder if I hadn't locked my doors would I have been the one who got murdered.

EDIT - Found the article about it. He got 17.5 years not 30. "A man who murdered a Melbourne taxi driver during a violent rampage two years ago has been sentenced to 17-and-a-half years jail"


Fatal Familial Insomnia. The whole story is batshit and perhaps the most terrifying Wikipedia rabbit hole I've ever gone down. Only a few families have this genetic disorder, iirc, and once you develop it, that's it, you die an agonizing death from an inability to sleep. It starts off like regular insomnia, but progresses over a few years until you legit go insane and finally shut down. NOTHING, not even the most potent sleeping pills can help


In the late-70s a bunch of people in a tiny Ohio suburb named Circleville started receiving weird, creepy, anonymous letters. The letters all had the same chunky, overly-blocky handwriting, and would often include threats & intimate details about the peoples' lives.

But they were just letters, so most of the town chocked it up to a crazy person and moved on.

The person who seemed to get the most venom in the letters was a school bus driver named Mary Gillespie. Whoever wrote these letters fucking HATED Mary, alleged she was having an affair, and threatened to expose her affair to her husband. Mary told her husband, Ron Gillespie, about the letter straight away and swore she wasn't having an affair, and he believed her.

One night Ron was home with the kids, just watching TV, when he received a phone call. Nobody knows who was on the other end (this is just from the kids' reporting) but Ron gets FURIOUS, grabs his shotgun, and tells the kids to stay put while he goes to take care of something.

A few hours later Ron's car is found smashed into a tree, seemingly having crashed, with Ron dead inside. His blood alcohol level is .16, he's covered in gunpowder residue, and his shotgun had recently been fired. No bullet was ever found.

Time goes on and one day, a year or so later, Mary was driving along when she spotted a sign on the side of the road with same chunky, blocky writing as the letters. It said, "MARY GILLESPIE SUCKS." Exasperated, Mary stopped and tore the sign down, revealing this weird little cardboard box mounted to the pole behind the scene, with a handgun taped inside and crudely rigged to go off if the sign was disturbed. It was just dumb luck that the gun didn't go off, Mary had tugged the sign off the "wrong" way or something.

So now everybody is freaked out. The local sheriff gets involved and manages to trace the gun to Mary's brother in law, Paul Freshour. Paul claims the gun was stolen, but it looks bad for him. Now here's where the sheriff's department shits the bed: They claim Paul confessed to sending the letters (which they have no record of, and which Paul disputed for the rest of his life), Paul is imprisoned... then the letters immediately start back up. Even Paul is getting them now, delivered to him in jail.

Paul wasn't paroled until 1994, when an investigative reporter took an interest in the story and found the sheriff's department basically had zero evidence that Paul had actually done anything. The only thing that tied Paul to the so-called Circleville writer was the gun, which Paul claimed had been stolen from his garage.  Unsolved Mysteries takes an interest in this case, but before they even arrive they get a letter from the Circleville Writer too, threatening them to stay away and to not do anything to make the sheriff look bad.

To this day nobody knows who was behind the Circleville letters.