30 Short Scary Experiences Average People Had

Most of us have had a terrifying experience in our life that kept us awake one or more nights. Luckily, we are not alone in this, and a lot of people in the world experience the same things, like waking up to a mysterious noise at night. These 30 stories will probably keep you awake.

#30. Smoke

I was having a nightmare that my house was burning to the ground and when I woke up, I could still smell the smoke.

Photo: Courtesy of Fandom

I ran up and down my house looking for any sign of fire. Still, the smoke smell lingered, and I went out. It turns out my neighbors had a fire and did not realize because they had unplugged their smoke detectors.

#29. The Man Outside

My husband was working night shifts. This one night, when my daughter was 5, and I was home alone with her, she came into my bedroom around 3 am looking really scared.


Photo: Courtesy of Insider

She said ‘I can’t sleep. The man outside the window is watching me.’ Of course, I fled to her bedroom and there was no one there. Obviously, I did not sleep that night.

#28. Barks

My dog was barking. That would’ve been completely normal if we had not buried her for about a week. While I was sleeping on the couch, my dog’s barks came from the kitchen.

Photo: Courtesy of Canna-Pet

My mother came running downstairs completely freaked out. When we entered the kitchen, her cellphone, which had been charging, had turned itself on and played a video of herself playing with the dog.

#27. Hand Shadows

When I was 8 or 9 years and I went to bed, I would usually make hand shadows on the wall next to me. One time while doing this, I raised my hand and started waving like saying “hello”.

Photo: Courtesy of DPReview

After I put my hand down, a different shadow appeared and started waving back. From that moment on, I started sleeping with my back to the wall.

#26. Monsters

I have a 4-year old daughter that sometimes has problems going to sleep. One night, I was sleeping but I suddenly opened my eyes and saw my daughter staring back to me.

Photo: Courtesy of Deseret News

When I finally came to be fully awake, my daughter said “Mommy, I brought the monsters in here” and then she went back to her own bed.

#25. Knocking

About eight years ago, my husband and I were awoken at 4 am by someone pounding hard at the door. My husband went down and was told we needed to evacuate the house.

Photo: Courtesy of Dear Monty

I went downstairs and asked the police officer if it was a gas leak, but in reality, it was a person who was trying to kill himself and started to shoot randomly at houses. It took 4 hours to that person to surrender to the police.

#24. Memories

My oldest son Frank is named after my late father, who passed away years before they were even born. I will never forget those times when he was younger, where he would look at me with an inexplicable feeling of nostalgia.


Photo: Courtesy of Insider

There were even several times where he would say ‘remember when I would sing to you when you were a baby?’ And kind of smile like he was remembering a happy memory.

#23. Burglar

Approximately at 3 am, I was in the back bedroom of my house reading when I started to hear a person trying to open the window. I got up, took my gun and cocked it. It was so loud that the burglar jumped back off the window and ran.

Photo: Courtesy of The Next Web

I remember putting on my bathrobe and going outside to find the police were already out there. Standing there in their spotlight in my bathrobe with a big revolver the cops asked: “did you get him?”

#22. Broken Window

I was 11 years old and woke up to the sound of my 17 years old cousin and my mother screaming, while my little sister was crying. My mom rushes in and asks my cousin and us if we were okay.

Photo: Courtesy of American Banker

When I peaked out of the doorway I saw my stepfather holding a small 22 caliber rifle looking out the windows frantically. Suddenly cops show up and start arresting my step dad. What happened is someone was shooting at some people walking by our apartment and the stray bullets all hit our place.

#21. Burning Car

My boyfriend and I live in an apartment block and our bedroom window has a view of the front street. One night I awoke to my boyfriend screaming to me to please wake up.

Photo: Courtesy of WTVC

It seems that I slept through a car catching fire and exploding just outside my window.

#20. Nightstand

I woke up to a man in my room, my house had been broken into and one of them was right at the head of my bed going through my nightstand.

Photo: Courtesy of Dreams

In the time it took me to process what was happening he left my room and my housemate came running as he’d been woken by them.

#19. Fighting

I was around 11 years old and I woke up in the middle of the night to a man straddled on top of me with his hand over my mouth and nose. He told me to roll over and not scream.

Photo: Courtesy of Classic 105

My mom heard me screaming and came in and fought with the guy, he was at least 6′ she was 5’3″ and scared him enough with the fighting and screaming that he took off out the window he had come in through.

#18. Door Unlocking

When I was 22 years old I moved to a new home completely by myself, it was time that I started living on my own as I could afford it.

Photo: Courtesy of Youtube

The first night, while I was sleeping, the door suddenly started to open on its own. I had left it locked and there was no one on the other side of the door.

#17. Anesthesia

A few years ago I was in the hospital and I needed anesthesia. When I woke up several hours later, I had no clue where I was, so I ripped out my IV and tried to escape the hospital.

Photo: Courtesy of Medical News Today

Security guards stopped me and I started to freak out. Finally, some nurses gave me sedatives and the next morning they explained to me everything that happened.

#16. Glass of Water

A few years ago my three-year-old boy had a habit of waking up in the middle of the night to have a glass of water.

Photo: Courtesy of Unsplash

One night he decided that, as he was thirsty, I had to be thirsty too. Then, he poured a glass of water and helped me drink it while I was sleeping. Regardless to say that I almost drown.

#15. Exploding Transformer

One night I heard a very, very strong noise and woke up to the sky a lime green color. First thing I thought that it was the end of the world.

Photo: Courtesy of T&D

What happened was that an electrical transformer blew out just outside my apartment.

#14. Screaming

This summer I had a dream about someone screaming in a completely horrific way. I went out of my balcony and saw a woman lying on the ground and crying.

Photo: Courtesy of Getty Images

The next morning, when I woke up, the neighbors told me that a few days before, while I was on vacation, there was an attempted kidnapping and the poor woman was left scared to death on my very street.

#13. Pillow

One peaceful summer night I woke up to my boyfriend screaming and hitting me with a pillow. He looked completely out of his mind and hard as I tried, I couldn’t get him to stop.

Photo: Courtesy of Daily Mail

My boyfriend has night terrors and thought I was a demon. Luckily, the only weapon around was the pillow.

#12. Car Keys

I woke up to what sounded like the car keys in my kitchen being moved followed by 2 men talking. At the same time, I could feel myself slip into sleep paralysis.

Photo: Courtesy of Adult Family Care

I was so afraid they were going to murder me. I snapped out of it after a while of struggling. And checked the house. No one was there and my car keys were in the same spot.

#11. Bat

I got late from work to my house and after I opened the door, I started hearing the most horrible and weird sounds I ever heard in my whole life.

Photo: Courtesy of Medical News Today

The sounds came from my bedroom. When I got there, I realized that it was a poor bat that came in through the window and was hurt.

#10. Shadows

The first night that my wife travels for work, which is pretty frequent, I always get a little jumpy. One night, I turned off the lights and started falling asleep.

Photo: Courtesy of Esther By Design

After 10 minutes, I opened my eyes and saw a large, human-sized shadow, dart from the door of my room to the window across. I turned on the lights but there was nothing there.

#9. Kicked Door

I was renting a house and was my first night in it. I did not have internet nor cellphone service and woke up to the sound of someone kicking my backdoor. I did not know what to do.

Photo: Courtesy of Groupe Marlin

I did not have any means of self-protection, so I started shouting that I had a gun and that I was calling the cops. After a few times, the kicking stopped. Nonetheless, the door had to be replaced and reinforced.

#8. Dog

We recently moved into a new house and the first night we heard a loud noise in the door downstairs. Luckily, my dog ran to the front door and started growling and snarling.

Photo: Courtesy of Fandom

When I finally got down with my gun, the person was running away on the driveway. The person had tried to kick the door open.

#7. Snow Tent

I was camping outside by myself when one night I woke up and felt that there was not enough oxygen to breathe. It was completely dark and couldn’t see through my tent, so I turned the overhead lamp.

Photo: Courtesy of REI

It seems that it had snowed so heavily during the night that the tent was covered in thick snow that it did not allow oxygen to come through. I opened the zipper and moved some snow around to allow oxygen in.

#6. Baby Crying

Three years ago my husband and I were talking about having a baby. One night, we woke up to the cries of two babies inside our bedroom.

Photo: Courtesy of Parents Magazine

After that, we decided that we would not have babies in the foreseeable future. We were deeply scared.

#5. Laughing Kids

A few years ago, my boyfriend and I woke up at 3 a.m. to the sound of kids laughing outside my bedroom window.

Photo: Courtesy of Freepik

When I opened the window, I came face to face with a coyote. I started screaming so loud that the coyote ran away.

#4. Lightning

I was heavily asleep and suddenly saw myself in the third person. I thought I had died or that it was an astral projection.

Photo: Courtesy of Thought Co

A few seconds after that, I heard a thunder hitting the tree right outside my house. It seems that the lightning made a shadow of myself to the wall.

#3. Phone Music

Every night I like to listen to YouTube on auto-play to help me sleep. One night I woke up in the middle of the night to some of the most ear-grating and terrifying sounds I have ever heard.

Photo: Courtesy of Popular Science

After a while of freaking out, I realized it was my phone which was reproducing some kind of black metal hardcore band.

#2. Sleepwalking

When I was 17 I used to sleepwalk every night. One night I sleepwalked two floors of my house into a concrete basement, which was wet because it had recently flooded. I tripped and fell to the floor.

Photo: Courtesy of Sleep Disorder Resource

I woke up alone, in the dark, on the wet floor of the basement and I did not know how I got there. So I started screaming until my parents came for me.

#1. Sleeping Boy

In the very early hours of the morning, while it was still dark, my daughter came rushing into my bedroom and started screaming that her brother would not wake up.

Photo: Courtesy of Parents Magazine

I ran to my kids’ bedroom fearing the worst, but it turns out he was in a really profound sleep. My daughter only wanted to play with him.

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  • About Author

    Luke H.

    Certified Translator recently graduated at the Universidad de Buenos Aires.
    Gamer. Bookworm.

    What we do in life echoes in eternity.

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