Ally grew up in a 120-year-old house. As a child and teen she always felt like there was something watching her, and could often see a shadow or flicker of light out of the corner of her eye. Sometimes, she heard footsteps in the attic at night, but, of course, no one was up there.
While putting away linens, Matt was violently shoved from behind in the boiler room of his old workplace, Toronto’s Drake Hotel. He spun around to find—you guessed it—no one there. Perhaps it was the spirit of the Woman in Red who haunts Chicago’s Drake Hotel. He didn't stick around to find out.
Leah was watching a movie when strange noises came hiccupping out of her baby monitor. She paused the movie and put the device to her ear. A man’s voice became clear as glass. He was reciting the serenity prayer.
In gathering material for this blog, I put out a sort of call for submissions. I wanted ghost stories. Real ones. I wanted to know who of my friends, family, and coworkers had a paranormal story to tell. My only requirement was that it be true—at least to them. They had to swear it really happened. The responses were frightening.
Are the stories true? That’s up to you to decide. I tend to give most people the benefit of the doubt. Then again, I’ve never seen a ghost, or had a midnight experience I couldn’t explain (paranormal, anyway), but that’s ok; I scare myself enough as it is. I still check over my shoulder when I’m alone in a room that’s too quiet. I race up the basement stairs when I’m at my parent’s place, not entirely convinced I’m the only one down there.
Whether the stories my friends have told me are true or not, it doesn’t matter. The point is, many of the people I know have been spooked—I mean seriously scared—by an event they can’t explain, and they swear on the souls of their dead ancestors that it really happened. I’ve always found it fascinating that almost everyone has a scary story to tell. What does it mean? And how can anyone remain skeptical with such collective testament? Maybe we as human beings just like to be scared. Science can even testify to it.
Nonetheless, there hasn’t been enough light shed on the average citizen’s tale of terror. Allow me to illuminate a few (you might want to turn on the lights as well) and see if any chilling themes emerge from the shadows.
Chris Campeau is a writer and lover of all things horror and strange. He has studied both Small Business and Professional Writing at Algonquin College and is now shooting for communications gold. When he’s not writing, he spends his time singing in punk bands, drinking a hop-heavy IPA, or lounging with his two Maine Coons—sometimes all simultaneously.
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