People Shared The Most Unsettling Things That Happened While They Were Home Alone

When you’re home alone, your imagination can easily go wild (especially at night). Little noises that you wouldn’t ordinarily notice are suddenly amplified, and strange things always seem to happen. The internet is full of people sharing their stories about the eeriest things that have happened to them while they were home alone. Here are just a few of those tales, from the odd to the unsettling to the downright terrifying. Can you relate to any of these?

Detergent Demonstration Not Needed, Thank You

home in the country
Scott Webb/Unsplash
Scott Webb/Unsplash

Redditor obelixir2002 had a very unsettling experience after being left home alone by their parents in their secluded house. “I was home alone one afternoon when my parents stepped out to go to the supermarket. [Fifteen] minutes later a guy walks up the driveway and knocks on the door. He was sketchy looking from the start. He carried a bottle of detergent (just average store bought stuff), wore a bad suit, and had a goatee and pony tail.”

The story gets creepier. The guy “said he could show me a demonstration of the detergent. I stupidly said my parents were out. He then propped the door open before I could shut it and said that he’ll just leave the sample inside. We have a big dog, and he could ‘sense’ something so just starting snarling and barking at this guy. He quickly left.” Fortunately.

Insert Your Name Here

alone
StockSnap/Pixabay
StockSnap/Pixabay

Many people have reported the same thing that Eddieswiss shared in this horrifying story. When asked what the creepiest thing they’d ever experienced when home alone, they wrote, “Probably hearing someone call my name from within the house, and I knew I was alone. My family was all away on a cruise and I was looking after the place. All the windows, and doors were still locked and shut tight.”

We’d have slept with the lights on for a few nights after this. Or even better, over at a friend or relative’s home.

Countdown To… What?

sleeping
Brucemars/Pixabay
Brucemars/Pixabay

Remind us never to use one of those sleep apps again. One redditor had a pretty unsettling experience with hers. “I have a sleeptalk recorder app on my phone,” she shared. “Basically, it only records when it hears sounds, so when you wake up you have a bunch of around 8-20 second sound clips. Usually, they’re the sound of me rolling around in my sleep.”

Cue the horror. “But one night, I was home alone (parents were out, brother was at a friends house), and when I woke up and was listening to the recordings, I heard ‘Mmm… one, two‘ in what sounded kind of like a German man’s accent. There’s no way I could have made that sound, I’m a teenage girl.”

It Might Have Been The Wind…

front-door
Thomas Debay/ Unsplash
Thomas Debay/ Unsplash

“When I was about 13, I spent a few days with my aunt and cousin. School had let out for me for the summer but not my cousin as we lived in different counties,” said redditor TheUnknown285 (appropriate username, btw).

“My aunt worked the day shift. So in the mornings and afternoons, I was there by myself. One morning, I’m laying in my cousin’s room being lazy. I hear the front door open (it was a small, one-story house). I investigate and find said door closed. I found out much later — well after my aunt and cousin had moved out — that she thought the place was haunted.”

Who Let The Dog Out?

dog
Marcus Cramer/Unsplash
Marcus Cramer/Unsplash

In the case of one redditor’s scary story, the jury is still undecided about who it was that let the dog out. “I was probably 16 at the time, I came home from softball practice, and everyone else was at work, so I was home alone with my dog. I was watching tv, when I heard the basement door slam… It didn’t strike [me] as odd, I thought my sister had come home early, my dog ran downstairs so I thought he went to greet her. Anyway, I went to the bathroom, and I noticed my sister never came upstairs to say hi, and my dog wasn’t around.

“I looked outside to see my dog running up and down the block. I went downstairs to realize that the separate entrance into the house was wide open. Someone opened the basement door, heard that the television was on, heard my dog come down to find them and ran out.”

What Lurks Down In The Basement…

basement-stairs
joergelman/Pixabay
joergelman/Pixabay

Corby315 described one of their scariest moments, and we’re not surprised that it took place in a basement. Those can be creepy places! “One day while doing my laundry one of the lights blew out in my basement,” they wrote. “[I]t was pretty…dark. I finished the laundry I had to do while dreading the walk through the dark basement. I exit the laundry room, get halfway through the basement, and I hear a loud cackle.

“Imagine a sound people make when they imitate a witch. Take that and imagine that the witch had been smoking for 50 years, making her voice deeper and hoarser. That is what I heard, clear as day, right behind me” before bolting upstairs.

The Babysitter Wasn’t Laughing

Arizona
psyco72/Pixabay
psyco72/Pixabay

TX_Chainsaw_Manicure relayed a creepy babysitting story to reddit. “I was babysitting at a house that was kinda in the middle of nowhere so right off the bat… Scary… The baby is asleep in his room, and I’m watching tv waiting for the parents to come home. It’s about tenish. All [of a] sudden I hear this horrifying sound that I can only describe as demonic laughter. A huge group of laughing demons.

“…After panicking for several minutes I realize… I’m up in the mountains… In Arizona… It’s definitely a pack of coyotes. I had never heard a group of them before but when they’re all together like that, they sound [really scary]… Not the stereotypical howl you would expect from movies.”

Couldn’t Even Go Back Inside

A man inserts a key into the lock of a house door
Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images
Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images

Toolatetocare describes their story as “scary rather than creepy” and we definitely agree. “When I was about ten years old I was at home when my mum went to the shops. I had been in the sitting room watching television before deciding I wanted a drink and heading to the kitchen.

“From the door of the kitchen I saw the tall thin outline of a man outside of my back door and could see the door knob turn. He put his hand through the cat flap but was unable to reach the door. He went after a few minutes and so I removed the key from the back door and put it on the kitchen table. I sat on the stairs in front of the front door until my mum got back. Terrified.”

A Haunting Whistle

whistling
Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images
Joe Giddens/PA Images via Getty Images

“My dad loves to whistle,” writes Ohbubbles. “When he comes home, I often know it because he mostly enters the house whistling. Anyway, I was alone in the house, in my room. I can’t remember where the rest of my family was, but I know I was waiting for my dad to arrive home from work first. I was doing something on the computer, and I heard whistling in the living room.

“I figured I just didn’t hear the door opening. The whistling continued, and after a while I got up to go say hello. Yeah…nobody there. Door locked, gate locked. The whistling stopped when I was on my way from my room to the living room, though.” This one is goosebump-inducing.

A Phantom Visitor

drawer
publicdomainarchive/Pixabay
publicdomainarchive/Pixabay

Someone with the username CaptnSkyhook had a close encounter by a phantom visitor who might have an interest in knives. “I was upstairs and I heard what sounded like footsteps, followed by a drawer opening and the sound of cutlery moving around,” they wrote.

“I went downstairs (with a hockey stick) and checked all the rooms, closets, cabinets, the garage, etc. No one was there and all the doors and windows were locked, but my tv was on a static channel.”

Child’s Play?

toy
Markus Spiske/Unsplash
Markus Spiske/Unsplash

There’s a reason that toys are so commonly featured in scary movies. They can be pretty creepy, especially in stories like this one that redditor Whataworldahhhh posted. “I was maybe 15 and looking after my [sleeping] 2 year old sister… I was [sitting] downstairs, it was about 1am and I was eating pizza and watching a movie when all of a sudden I heard my sister’s toy.”

The sound of the toy “kept getting louder, I looked and it was downstairs. No idea how it ended up downstairs because I checked on my sister and she was asleep but for the rest of the night I took a knife and slept on the floor of her room. A couple of months later the landlord made a joke of how he sometimes he would hide in the house and I freaked.” Wow, we were not expecting this horrifying plot twist.

Haunted By The Tin Man

The Tin Man recieving some essential maintenence from his friends Dorothy and The Scarecrow
MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images
MGM Studios/Courtesy of Getty Images

Babysitter KreepyPasta has a story you might not want to read in the dark, involving a job in a remote area. “I had put the kids to bed so was downstairs by myself watching T.V. However every so often the T.V would flicker with static,” which was understandably upsetting.

But then things got even worse. KreepyPasta looked up at the window, and “[t]here wasn’t actually anything outside but it seemed as if it was in the reflection. I saw what looked like a tin-man standing not too far from me behind the couch.” Rather than bolting (their first instinct), they went upstairs and sat with the sleeping kids until the parents came home. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the end of the nightmare. “I particularly remember when the parents came home and I had started to leave. I was pulling out of their driveway…and I looked up into the kids’ bedroom window. The same… reflection I saw earlier was looking back down at me with a hand raised as if waving goodbye.” Shudder.

The Call Was Coming From Inside The House

cell
stocksnap/Unsplash
stocksnap/Unsplash

Although Spyingeyes00 was not alone in this tale, the story is still too good not to share. “We were both turning in to sleep… when my mobile rang. I looked at my mobile and it said ‘Home Landline.’ To say I was scared… is an understatement. Many thoughts ran through my head, mainly involving a sick serial killer having gained access to my house, and calling me from my landline downstairs to tell me it’s all over. I even started thinking of what I could [possibly] do to defend us.”

Fortunately, things never got to that point. “I finally answered the call and it was an automated call from my home security system informing me that the battery was low.”

A ‘Come Hither’ Motion

headlights
MEAX/Unsplash
MEAX/Unsplash

Alice_in_blunderland’s horrific story took place when she was nine or so, back in the days before cellphones were common. “We lived in a rural area with few neighbors, so I thought it odd when an unfamiliar car suddenly pulled into our driveway and cut the lights. It was pitch black outside, except for our front porch light and the lights from inside the house illuminating the driveway… I heard the car, so I peeked out our large bay windows and watched as a strange, blonde man exited the car and walked up to our front door.

“He saw me right away through the windows. His eyes locked on me as he lifted his finger in a ‘come hither’ motion.” Fortunately, alice_in_blunderland reached her uncle on their landline and the strange man went away.

Watching While She Slept

sleeping-woman
Free-Photos/Pixabay
Free-Photos/Pixabay

Redditor found_a_new_low lived in a shared duplex when she was in college, and her roomies “would be in and out at all hours… I was having trouble sleeping at the time and was up around 4 am and was finally falling asleep when I heard the stairs door open…I hear them walk in, open and close the door to the room next to mine, then open the door to my room and I pretend to be asleep thinking it was a drunk roommate. After about a full 2 minutes of them standing there and my heart beating out of my chest they walk out and close the door.”

She decided to investigate. No one was there and her roommates had both slept elsewhere. “Nothing was stolen, but it scared the crap out of me considering the person stood there staring at me ‘sleeping’ for a few minutes.” We’ll never know what this mystery person’s intentions were.

Hopefully, This Was Just A Prank

cables
Yung Chang/Unsplash
Yung Chang/Unsplash

Redditor das_hob101 had friends over for a scary movie while their parents were out, and things got rather interesting. “Right as the height of the story (and the scariest part) was about to happen, the TV cuts off. It has never done that before. Obviously we were a little spooked. But then we hear some shuffling happening outside my house. Literally felt like we were in a horror movie. We just went up to my room and acted like nothing happened so that we would stay calm until my parents got home.

“We told them what happened and they went to go check our cable box. The cables to our TV were cut…. We never found out who did it.”

What’s That Scraping Sound?

house
Aasha Edwards/Unsplash
Aasha Edwards/Unsplash

Boomsapple wrote, “I was like 15 and was home by myself watching a scary movie. It’s night time and I hear something literally scraping against the side of my house. I am [freaking out]. It keeps going.”

What was causing this terrifying noise? Was it a chupacabra or a werewolf? Boomsapple finally summoned the courage to go check things out, and it turned out to be the family’s goat, which was busy eating grass right outside the window and scraping his horns against the house the entire time he’s snacking. We’re sure Boomsapple was relieved by this discovery!

Thought The End Was Near

Students at a Brooklyn middle school have a 'duck and cover' practice
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images
GraphicaArtis/Getty Images

When LittleDolly was 16, their family lived by a “huge military base.” They were home alone in the middle of the day to study when the base’s siren started up, which “signifies a major incident, i.e. nuclear attack…. I almost wet myself in fear, ran and grabbed some food, water and blankets and shut myself in the tiny hallway that is the only room in the house without windows. I genuinely thought I was about to die all alone in a nuclear holocaust.

“Anyway, an hour or so later and the blast hadn’t come so I thought I’d risk crawling out, retrieved the phone and rang my mum at work. Turns out the base had notified everyone in the area that they’d be testing the siren and not to panic, mum had just forgotten to pass on the message.” Oops.

In Broad Daylight

shovel
Goumbik/Pixabay
Goumbik/Pixabay

We tend to think of most scary things happening in the middle of the night, but horrifying situations can crop up any time of day. Just take this story shared online about a neighbor whose daughter was deceased. “On a day off from school I saw my neighbor digging in his backyard,” wrote the reddit user.

“He was trying to bury his dead daughter’s dollhouse. Really eerie…. The wife was yelling at him to come inside and he kept repeating, ‘It’s got to go, it’s got to go.'” So sad and scary, all at the same mid-day time.

Thank You, Whoever You Are

Nintendo DS handheld video game console
Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images
Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images

A lost gaming system led to this next creepy story. “I remember a while back, when I was around 11 or 12 years of age, I was looking for my Nintendo DS,” said a redditor. “I looked everywhere. Under my bed, behind my pillows, on my shelves, in wardrobes, and even the inside of my bed cover. I completely took off my bed covers, which were white, compared to my Black DS which would have been easily visible. I looked everywhere. I was pretty annoyed, and aloud I said ‘Ugh, I can’t believe I’ve lost it again.’

“I then quickly went to the toilet. I was no longer than 60 seconds. I came back into my room and saw my DS, opened, right in the center of my bed. I was spooked to say the least. All I could muster was a timid ‘Thank you’, to who ever found my DS for me.”

Mirror, Mirror

remote
Adriano Gadini/Pixabay
Adriano Gadini/Pixabay

The babysitting stories are so, so good. Redditor opaloasis was watching a five-year-old girl and wasn’t able to get the family’s DVD player to work. They found something else to do, but opaloasis kept thinking she heard a quiet voice in the background. In her words: “I was looking all over the house and I cannot find the source of the noise that sounded kind of voice like. Eventually I get to the TV remote in time to turn the volume off and just in time to hear a VERY VERY deep voice say ‘Is anyone home?'”

Needless to say, she freaked out and even had her dad come over to search the house for the intruder — to no avail. Eventually, the child’s parents get home, and “the husband goes for the DVD player and turns it on. The Magic Mirror from Snow White, the default screen of the DVD, pops up on the screen. I died that day of embarrassment.” Well, that’s better than dying of something else!

Nightmare On Any Street

freddy
New Line Cinema
New Line Cinema

Twitter user GlennDanny reported this story of returning to an empty house after seeing a scary movie at the theater. “In high school I went out with some friends to see Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors. Back at home on my own (parents were out), I started feeling a little creeped out, like I was being watched. Our house had lots of big, uncovered windows so that you couldn’t really see out when the lights were on at night.

“I was making a snack in the kitchen when I heard a noise at the glass-paned side door. I approached and used my hands to block the light so that I could see out. My heart nearly stopped as I saw a shadowy figure with two glowing eyes at my same height (around 6ft) staring straight back in at me. I jumped back and turned on the outdoor lights only to discover the neighbor’s black cat sitting and staring from the top of my car which was parked in front of the door.”

The ‘Postman’ Always Rings Twice

mail slot
Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash
Clem Onojeghuo/Unsplash

“We lived in a house that had a slot in the door for mail, rather than a mailbox. My dog and I were home alone while my parents went to the store and my brother stayed at a friend’s house. I think I was ten or eleven years old. A man came up to the door, opened the slot (it was dark and I couldn’t see anything on the other side) and asked me twice if my mom was home. I told him to leave or else I would order our dog to go after him.”

What sounds like a horror story is actually more of a “huh??” story: “[It] turns out that the ‘man’ was my mom making a fake voice while my dad got groceries out of the car. She was pretending to be an intruder because she wanted to see what I would do if someone approached the house while I was home alone.” Way to traumatize your kid, Mom!

‘It Was Looking At Me’

bedroom
Daniil Lobachev/Unsplash
Daniil Lobachev/Unsplash

Like many people who share their creepy stories online, Asian_Prometheus saw something they just can’t explain. “I got up around 2am… [s]aw a figure in the hallway, like a silhouette. Couldn’t see the face, but I could swear it was looking at me. I went back to my room, took a breather, went out again, and it was still there. I closed my eyes and shook my head, looked back, it was gone.

“Went to the washroom because I felt like I [needed to use the bathroom], and when I got out to go back to my room, the figure was in front of my room, looking at me. I closed my eyes and reopened it, it was gone. Never saw it again.”

‘I Was Going To Leave You A Note’

note
Free-Photos/Pixabay
Free-Photos/Pixabay

After a “rough night” of drinking while her family was out of town for the weekend, a reddit user named em-soup took a shower, then “left the bathroom to find a note in the hallway that [very confusingly] said ‘I was going to leave you a note but I see that you are here.’ Naturally, I was walking around my house naked as I THOUGHT I was alone, but when I opened the door to my room there was a guy with his hair in his face standing in the middle of the room grinning at me!

“I FREAKED OUT and screamed… as one tends to do when they’re a naked 19 year old girl encountering an unexpected stranger in their empty house at 2:30am, until I recognized him,” em-soup continued. It turned out to be a guy she had briefly dated years earlier. After she dressed, the two chatted for a while, but em-soup added that she “found out 2 years later that he’s been institutionalized with schizophrenia,” which might explain this creepy episode.

Heavy Footsteps

boots
angelsharum/Pixabay
angelsharum/Pixabay

When redditor WhiteRun was a child, their mother left them home alone to run a quick errand. It might not have felt quick to WhiteRun, however. “I heard the front unlock, door open, and footsteps. They went into the kitchen but were very slow and heavy footsteps. I assumed it was my Mum but thought it sounded weird for her, normally she calls out when she gets home [and] she’s a slim woman. This sounded like a big built guy with boots on. So I called out and the footsteps stopped. Dead silence. I freaked out and grabbed our dog from outside and hid in a corner.

“A short while later my Mum really did come home and I told her about it and that I didn’t hear them leave. However, the door was still locked. The windows were locked. And there wasn’t a single sign anyone had entered. Not even a mark on the carpet from a shoe. To this day I have no idea what happened.”

Lock The Door!

locked door
cocoparisienne/Pixabay
cocoparisienne/Pixabay

Dixon_Adjei123 writes that their scariest “home alone” moment came “when [I] was home watching tv after school, when suddenly my dad called the home phone and said ‘lock the door‘ and hung up. So I crawled to the door so as not to be seen through the window and locked it. Pretty mild but my heart stopped when he called.”

Another redditor was curious about the reason for the warning call. “After he came back I asked him and he said that there was a sketchy looking homeless guy walking around picking at peoples locks,” was Dixon_Adjei123’s response. It’s a good thing Dad thought to call… who knows what might have happened otherwise.

Must Not Be Superstitious

black-cat
angeleses/Pixabay
angeleses/Pixabay

Even die-hard cat lovers might be unnerved by the unusual situation redditor aarontbarratt found themselves in late one night. “I was looking after my mother’s house for a week while she was on holiday,” they explained. “She had two cats that come in and out the house via a cat flap, very nice animals.

“So I get woken up in the middle of the night by loud meows from downstairs. I thought maybe the cat flap was stuck and they wanted to get out. I go downstairs to check and open the hallway door and there are at least 15 black cats sitting in the hallway staring back at me. Then I see my mother’s cats… [among] them just chilling and meowing happily. I left them all [to] it and they were gone in the morning.”

It’s Not Always The Cholesterol That’ll Do You In

Photo of a plate of grilled shell steak with mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables
Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images
Alejandra Villa Loarca/Newsday RM via Getty Images

Redditor Heaps_Flacid shares a story about being home alone that’s a little different than the rest of the tales we’ve read. This story isn’t eerie or creepy but is just as terrifying as the others. In their own words: “Was chowing down some steak and, in my haste, got a large chunk lodged in my esophagus….scary enough when you’re eating dinner surrounded by folks, but when you’re the only person in the house it is [absolutely] terrifying.

“I resorted to sticking my fingers down there and just managing to fish it out. This was followed by 5-10 minutes of staring at this chewed up piece of steak sitting on the carpet, pondering life,” they continued. Another user chimed in to emphasize just how fortunate Heaps_Flacid was. “You’re lucky you survived. My boyfriend is an EMT, and his very first call was to a restaurant where a lady died by choking on a piece of steak. The restaurant was packed and still no one could help her,” said ninjabeth.

First Time Home Alone At Night

watching-tv
rhett_noonan/unsplash
rhett_noonan/unsplash

A redditor shared this tale of their very first time home alone at night. “I was watching TV. Someone knocked on the door for a while, but I didn’t think anything of it. As I normally did… I hid out of sight behind the couch and waited. A few minutes later, I figured they were gone and I went back to TV watching.”

You know this is not the end of the story, however. “Within seconds, 5-10 police cars and officers on foot were searching my neighborhood with searchlights and flashlights. I never found out what they were searching for, but I was very glad I didn’t open the door.”