Every month, I ask BuzzFeed readers like you to tell me their best, creepiest, most spine-chilling real-life "unsolved mysteries." If you're new here, a real-life "unsolved mystery" can be anything from an encounter with a ghost, to a doppelgänger sighting, to a glitch in the matrix, or literally any other experience you might have that fits into the category of "this is very, very strange, I cannot come up with a logical explanation for this, and I will not be sleeping tonight!" I read through hundreds of spooky and frankly unsettling submissions this time around, so now — without further ado — I present you with 25 of the very best, most horrifying ones:
1."We bought a house that belonged to an older couple who had recently died. The older woman had been a piano teacher and taught piano lessons in the home. My wife also played, and we brought her piano along when we moved in. We were there for about five years when we had our son, and as soon as he was old enough to reach the keys, he would tinker on it. One night, we were watching TV, and a re-run of the show Cheers came on. A few minutes after it started, we heard the first six notes of the opening theme playing on the piano. When we went into the room where the piano was, there was our then-5-year-old son playing those six notes over and over. When we asked if he’d figured that out by ear all on his own, he said, 'No, the lady showed me.'"
2."Years ago, my husband and I took a trip from New York to Florida. Starting at the NYC airport, I used my driver’s license as proof of identification. I always kept it close at hand in a specific place in my purse because of the many times ID was necessary during our vacation. I even double checked to make sure it was in its safe place before leaving the hotel, making sure the license was with my ticket. When we arrived at Miami airport, my license was nowhere to be found. I frantically spent an hour calling places, emptying luggage, double checking pockets, my purse, everything. Nothing. It was gone. The airline reluctantly let us depart because my husband was a known frequent flyer, but I was confused and upset. Hours later when we arrived at our apartment building, the doorman handed me an envelope with something he had found in the trash while we were away. It was my license, rescued from the incinerator."
3."My elderly father usually came to our house for dinner on Sundays. During the week, we seldom spoke. He did his own shopping and went out for dinner every night. One night, I had an uncomfortable feeling about him. I tried calling numerous times, but got no answer. After dark, I knew he was not at dinner, but we lived almost an hour away. I called my daughter who was much closer, and she and her husband said they would run over to check on him. I got a call from my son-in-law saying they had found him on the floor of the garage and he had been there awhile. He had bought ice — which was now melted — and had split his elbow open and couldn’t get up. We took him to the ER, and he was stitched up and otherwise seemed no worse for wear. He asked me how I knew he was in trouble, and I didn’t know what to say. I just had a feeling."
4."My parents' house…echoes. Growing up, I would hear my dad come home from work, his keys hitting the kitchen table, and his footsteps stopping as they hit the carpet. I KNEW it was my dad because he has a heavy brass anchor on his keys and wears steel toed shoes, both of which make distinct noises. I would go downstairs to greet him, and there would be no one there. Sometimes, I would even hear my mom talking to my sister in her room, even though my sister had moved out. Eventually, I joined the echoes."
"We had an old piano by the stairs that I would plunk three notes on, ascending or descending depending on which way I was passing the piano, just because. I was living at home and commuting to community college when one day, as I was waiting for class to start, I got an angry text from my mom asking why I was skipping class. I texted back, 'I am in class waiting for my professor.' A few minutes later, my mom texted back that she finally believed me about the echoes. She had heard the back door open and shut, footsteps, and three notes descending as if I were heading upstairs. She had assumed I had gone to my room and was ignoring her when she tried talking to me through my door. Everyone has heard the echoes now, and we all wonder if it will continue to echo in that home after we are gone, too."
5."I used to work nights as a nurse in a children’s hospital on the hematology/oncology unit. It was Christmastime, and we did our best to make sure the kids weren’t in hospital over the holidays, so the census was low. I had a patient on one end of the unit and no other patients for about six rooms, so I stayed at that end of the unit, just me and my book. In the morning, the mom of my patient came out, and we chatted. I asked how she had slept, and she said that the baby next door cried all night, so she slept pretty restlessly. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that no one was in the room next to hers. When I told another nurse, they said, 'Oh, room 3? Yeah, that room is haunted. It’s always the sound of a baby crying.'"
"Here's the backstory: For security, we had a locked the door into the unit and guests had to buzz in. From the nurse's station, we had a monitor that showed the entrance door, and we could talk to whoever was there and unlock it for entry. Just before I started working there, a patient had died who was beloved by the staff. A real sweet kid, always making friends with the other patients, asking how they were and checking in if they got really ill. After she died, without fail, if one of the patient's time was nearing an end, the door would ring, but no one would be there. Repeatedly. If you said, 'Come back later, Shelby,' it would stop for a bit, but she would come back. If you buzzed her in, the kid who was deteriorating would usually pass within a couple hours. We liked to think that she was their guide to the other side, always wanting to care for her peers."
6."When I was a teenager, my best friend and I developed a habit of going out in the middle of the night and just exploring our rural town in the dark. We were just some kids having fun in a city where you can't do much, especially after dark. One night we went out and — without having a particular goal — we went to a park located right at the city border. The town spent good money to get rid of the ruins of the old farms in that area to make a recreational site for the people, so the park had pavilions, places to play sports, toilets, and a little creek running around, all surrounded partly by high fences and partly by just big walls of dirt with grass on them. We had to climb the fences to get in there."
"We were walking around and played a little hide and seek. I thought it would be extra clever to climb on top of the toilet booth, expecting my friend not to search there. After a while I saw him standing next to a bench and a light just 50 meters away, looking in my direction. He was just standing there, not moving at all. I soon got tired of sitting on the roof and waved at him. He didn't move. So I called him, and he waved back, like a puppet moving only his arm. I thought he was messing with me, trying to freak me out. But when I jumped down, I heard him walk up to me from the other direction, asking what I wanted.
There's no way he could've made his way around me without me seeing him, as the booth I was on was the only thing in that big, flat area. There was no way he could've covered that, like, 200 meters in a second. I was kinda freaked out and asked him how he got from that point to where he was now. He was just as confused as I was, because he swore he heard me following him the entire time, thinking I was trying to freak him out. When we looked over to where I thought I saw him, nothing was there. We haven't been to this park ever since, but every time we were out walking his dog, the dog would bark wildly around the park, refusing to go further when we got near. It still gives me chills."
7."When I was in high school, a friend and I went to a beach about 30 minutes from where we lived. We stayed all day until it was dark. Weeks later, we wanted to go again. We drove to the location and couldn’t find the beach anywhere. We drove around for hours trying to find it. We ended up stopping at a business nearby that had a security guard. We asked her about the beach, and she looked at us confused, saying there was no beach. Still to this day, we have no idea what happened and have never found that beach again."
8."One day I was having dinner with my mom and sister, talking about how my 4-year-old niece was obsessed with taking pictures on my mom's phone. She went to show me some of these (usually blurry) photos, and instead on her camera roll was a picture of the corner of my childhood bedroom where my parents still lived. In between the bedroom door and closet door stood an eerie shadow man. The photo was taken from a low angle, but it wasn't blurry at all. This 'man' was a clear shape — he was made of pure dark gray shadow. We all got freaked out with no explanation of who or what it was, and how exactly it got into their home. A few days later, I asked my mom to send me the photo so I could show someone else...but it had disappeared from her camera roll. We never saw the picture again and never figured out how it got there."
9."I grew up in an older New England home. Throughout childhood (and even into adulthood), my sister and I both experienced strange things there that we couldn’t explain — random voices, oven mitts shooting across an empty kitchen, etc. The one instance that has stuck most with me is the night someone (or something) broke our nightlight. In the early 1900s, our house had been converted into a two family home. When my parents bought it, they began the slow process of converting back to a single family house. Because of renovations, my sister and I shared a small bedroom upstairs while mom and dad (and the only working bathroom) were downstairs. There was but one nightlight hung by an extension cord on our bedroom door that lit the path for us if we needed to navigate the stairs in the dark."
"On this particular night, my sister and I were full of energy and doing anything but sleeping. We received MANY warnings from our parents to knock it off. All of which we ignored...until at one point we were horsing around and saw a hand reach in, pull the nightlight down, and throw it across the room, cracking it against the wall.
We both jumped into bed, thinking we had really crossed the line with my dad and that we better behave. In the morning, we were both grounded. But not for horse play, but rather because we broke the nightlight. We protested, insisting we didn’t do it, but neither mom nor dad believed us. To this day, my sister and I both get a chill thinking about that night. We know what we saw, but still don’t know who or what broke the nightlight."
10."One night my husband was working at a Christmas fair while I was home with the sleeping kids. I swear, I heard my husband come home. I heard everything: the door to our flat opening and closing, the kitchen door, him taking his shoes off. Odd thing was, he never said anything and also didn't come into the living room. I was used to little pranks from him and assumed he was waiting for me to come into the kitchen so he could jump me. I decided to wait it out, but after 10-ish minutes, I lost my patience and went looking. Neither him nor his shoes were there. I tried to call him, but he didn't pick up. He came home two hours later, telling me he had been too busy to answer his phone, let alone come back and then leave again."
11."I used to live in an old factory building that was converted to lofts. It had thick walls and thick floors — I never heard my neighbors. One day, I came home from work after a night shift, stripped out of my scrubs at the front door (I worked in the ER, and my scrubs were always gross), and threw them in the washer. I started the laundry, heard the water turn on, and vividly remember accidentally slamming the washer's door shut. I made myself breakfast and turned on the TV. Around noon, I woke up on the couch, covered in a blanket that had been in a basket across the room. My breakfast plate was on the counter in the kitchen, and the washer door was open, and my scrubs hadn’t washed. I was confused, to put it lightly."
"I also noticed my dog would start playing, then suddenly stop and stare at a spot in the living room. I determined that I had a ghost, but I never felt malevolence, so I named her Ghostie. I told her I wasn’t upset she was there, but I wanted no more jokes and asked her to not scare my dog.
Many months later, my friend came over and asked if I have someone else that stays here. I said it was like, just me, my dog, and Ghostie. She told me that she is sensitive and could tell there was someone else there. She asked Ghostie to let us know she was there, and we heard a single marble roll down my long hallway. I did not have any marbles in my house. She’s followed me since then. I'm not entirely sure why, but she likes to let me know she’s still around. She likes to steal my now-wife’s belongings and hide them. I told my wife to apologize or ask for them back, and then they reappear. I actually think Ghostie is pretty funny and protects me from other spirits. We talk to her like she’s one of our pals, and she plays with the cats."
12."I used to live out in the country with my parents, on enough acres of land that you couldn’t see any neighbors. My parents had two houses on the property — my childhood home (which I lived in) and their one-story home (which they lived in). When I was little, my mom and I played with a Ouija board in that childhood home, and it brought about quite a lot of paranormal activity that always scared me. I never felt alone in the house, especially when I was trying to go to sleep. One time, I was walking from one house to the other during high noon, when out of the corner of my right eye I saw this very large, solid black figure in the grass. I watched it in my peripheral for a couple of seconds, because there was no way a shadow figure like that should exist in broad daylight against green grass. I looked over and, of course, it was gone."
"I quickly hurried over to my mom at the other house and didn’t mention a thing, since she saw me walk over to her. The rest of the day passed, and I forgot about the whole thing. That night when I laid down to go to sleep in my room, I felt very uneasy and had this overwhelming feeling that I was being watched. I sat up in the bed and, suddenly, in my right ear I heard someone or something scream, 'YOU BITCH!' I bolted up from that bed and ran over to my parents' house, waking my mom up to tell her what happened with the voice. What she tells me next is a complete and utter shock.
She told me that when I was walking over to her house during high noon, she saw a pitch black shadow in the shape of a large person standing on my right side. She didn’t tell me about it because she didn’t want to scare me. She saw it, too.
I’ve never had any other supernatural events occur outside that house — only inside. Nobody ever believes this story when I tell it, but to this day, it makes my hair stand on end."
13."I had a pair of small gold hoops that lived in a jewelry dish on my vanity. I kept them there so if I was ever in a rush, I could grab them as an easy accessory while I ran out the door. One day while I was cleaning my vanity, I picked them up and accidentally dropped one. I never heard it fall. I searched under the vanity, under my bed, under all the things around it. I searched the drawers, swept the floor...and still, nothing. It was missing for a couple of weeks. Then, one morning I woke up for work, and as I turned over, I saw it placed neatly on the pillow next to mine. I was frozen for a second before uttering a small 'thank you' to whoever had returned it."
14."One night we (husband and I) heard a child singing 'la la la,' when we were sleeping, at about 2 a.m. I woke up and nudged my husband, telling him our son got up from his toddler bed and was in the living room of our tiny house. My husband, wide awake, said, 'No, he's here, next to me. I’ve been hearing the boy singing for a while and didn't want to wake you up.' I then told him that we needed to stay quiet or he would be scared off. We then heard one more 'la la,' and he was gone. It did not feel creepy; it was actually strangely heartwarming."
"Many years later, we lived in another house in the same city (South Gate, California). I mentioned the experience on a local neighborhood app, called it 'the singing boy from South Gate,' and didn't expect any responses. Immediately, I got tons responses from people who either live in South Gate or used to, saying they, too, experienced a little boy singing. Some even saw him."
15."A few weeks ago, I lost the keys to my car. Through process of elimination, my husband and I determined that they had to be somewhere in the house because I had driven the car that night, and it was impossible to leave them in the car since the doors would not lock. Over the next two days, I searched in the two or three places I normally put my keys, some of them even three or four times. I even went so far as to empty out the garbage and the recycling bin. I was desperate enough to yell out to no one, 'OK, joke’s over. Please bring back my keys.' Later that evening, just as I was about to leave using my spare key, I glanced toward a small buffet in my dining room, which had a drawer that I never once have put my keys in. I said to myself, 'Well I didn’t look there.' And there they were! No idea how they got there. The next day I bought a locator tag, which I immediately attached to my keychain."
16."When I was a kid, my mom, dad, younger sister (8), and I moved into a new house. It faced a big field, beyond which was a row of bungalows and fields. The horizon and sky after it went on and on — it was a beautiful view of the north of England. The field was E-W facing — this is important to the story because of where the sun always is in the sky. I was about 11 or 12, it was late in the night, and it was September. We had the windows open a bit, and my mom, sister, and I were upstairs chatting. In the sky to the east (left of the field), high up but maybe a mile away, was a big orange circle. It looked 2D, not like a sphere. It wasn't glowing, it was just there, we all saw it. Then, it got stranger."
"The circle started to move at a very slow pace, in a perfect line from east to west. We all watched — it took maybe five minutes to get from one side of the field to the other. Then, it just stopped. We were mulling over what it could be when all of a sudden, it started to 'go down.' That's the only way I can describe it — it was as if someone was holding a piece of paper in front of it, because it went from a perfect circle to a semi-circle, with only the top half showing. THEN, as if that wasn't odd enough, the right-hand side started going up, like a backward clock hand, until it was a perfect quarter circle. Finally, the invisible clock hand continued until the circle disappeared behind the invisible giant card altogether. Now, this was in the mid-'90s. There weren't drones, and it didn't look alien — it was just this huge, solid orange circle in the sky. We all saw the same thing and couldn't explain it.
Well, last year (which is about 30 years after the previous incident) my mom and I were trying to find the source of a strange noise outside (I told you — many odd occurrences in this house) and happened to look into the sky and in more or less the same spot the disc first appeared when I was a kid. We saw what can only be described as a light anomaly. For reference, it looked like if the DeLorean from Back to the Future had taken off into the sky. It was all lit up, and there were no clouds, just lights. We later found out that a huge asteroid had been seen in the UK skies that night, but that did not look like an asteroid to me. I don't know what else it could have been."
17."My fiancé and I moved into a trailer and had many paranormal experiences there. Occasionally, I would go outside to sit on the porch to smoke. I’d often hear what sounded like a child running through the house, so I would go in to check on my toddler, but he was always fast asleep. He refused to sleep in his bedroom for the first few months after we moved in. One night, we took our toddler out of the bath and heard the sound of running footsteps, feeling the floor shake under our feet. The running came all the way to our bedroom door and stopped. Anytime my son napped in his room, his toys would go off until he woke up. We took the batteries out of the toys that were doing it, and one toy in particular would do it even without the batteries in it. We later found out a child had previously lived in that house and passed away in a wreck."
18."When I was 7, we lived in this two-story home that always felt off. One time I was coming from my parents' downstairs bathroom and passed the second bedroom. I peeked in while passing and thought I saw my dad bending over, tying his shoe. He looked up at me. I stopped and called my dad's name, asking where he was. He said, 'I’m down in the den watching TV.' No matter how many times I think back to that story, I still cannot explain it."
19."The night before my very first day of college in 1985, I had a dream about a kid I'd been in ninth grade with. His name was Scott, and he'd moved away from the area and started another school at the end of that school year. I was not friends with Scott and maybe never even spoke to him in school. I never thought of him either after he left, so it was strange to dream of him that morning. Anyway, in my very first class of my first year in college, guess who walked in? Scott. Damndest premonition I ever had."
20."I used to work in an escape room back when they first became popular, so around 2015. We opened up a horror-themed room (think Cabin in the Woods), and it was always extremely dark in there and pretty creepy because of the way it was decorated. We had cameras set up in all the rooms so we could monitor people’s progress while they played and make sure they weren’t breaking anything. One night while my coworker and I were watching the cameras, we noticed there was something at the bottom of one of the screens that looked like the top of someone’s head. It had hair that was light in color, just sitting there, blocking about 1/3 of the view of the camera."
"We spent awhile trying to figure out what it could be — no one was playing the room at the time, we only had one team in the building playing a different escape room, and everyone was accounted for. Because the camera was in the top corner of the room, it couldn't be reached, either. It was about 12 feet off the ground. It made absolutely no sense for someone to be in there OR to be tall enough that the top of their head was blocking the camera. We were both super freaked out and couldn’t explain it. The team in the other escape room finished their game, so we both went to work, and by the time we got back to the screens, the head was gone. I still have no explanation for it other than that the building had a 'visitor.' It wasn’t the only experience I had while I worked there, but it was the first."
21."I’ve always had inexplicable, eerie feelings in certain areas of my childhood home. I was about 7 years old and lying in bed asleep one night. I’ve always been a light sleeper and was scared of the dark, so I slept with a couple of nightlights on. Suddenly, the power went out in my room. I tried to be brave and lay there for a while, attempting to go back to sleep. About two minutes later, I felt a cold hand touch the side of my face and whisper in my ear, in a male voice, 'Which way?'"
"This, of course, freaked me out. I jumped up out of bed and ran to my doorway. The doorknob was gone. Like, completely gone. Just door and wall where it once was. I tried to find the light switch that turned on my overhead and closet lights, but the switches were gone, too. I started really panicking at this point. Finally, I found my doorknob, but when I opened my door, it felt like some physical force was pushing me back. Like, I physically could not get out of my room. I started banging on the wall, screaming for my grandparents because I couldn’t leave to find them myself. My grandpa came to my rescue with a flashlight and found nothing out of the ordinary. I later discovered the power only went out in my room, and nowhere else in the house that night."
22."When I was roughly middle school aged, I had one of those dreams that feels so real that when you wake up, you feel disoriented. In my dream, I woke up and immediately went downstairs, and my dad met me halfway up the stairs to tell me to be quiet because my mom was sick and resting. He said that he received a call that my mom got sick during her night shift and he had to pick her up. My mom never got sick growing up, so the dream was strange. In it, though, I got ready and then went into the living room, where my mom was resting. There was so much detail in the dream that I retained — the full glass of tea to her right, the blanket she was using, which recliner she was resting in."
"I woke up immediately after this, and it was about 6 a.m. I had this gut feeling that I should go downstairs to check on things. As I did, everything that had just occurred in my dream happened in real life. Every detail in my dream was captured perfectly. I was freaked out, but didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t think they would believe me. I was terrified to dream for awhile because I was afraid it would actually happen in real life."
23."My mom passed away in December 2021, and I gave birth to my youngest son four days after her funeral. In July of 2022, my husband and I decided to take a roadtrip with our two toddlers and 7-year-old son to see my brother in Pennsylvania. I left home wearing a diamond pinky ring that she’d left for me. While in Pennsylvania, we stayed at a hotel for one night. The day that we checked out, I realized that the ring was missing from my finger. We’d spent the last two days of our trip at my brother's house, but returned to the hotel twice to re-check the room and see if they'd found it. I kept hearing my mom say, 'It’s not lost, it’s just misplaced,' in my head, which she had often said in life to comfort me whenever I’d misplaced something. Anyway, we traveled back home, checked the rental car thoroughly before turning it in, and, eventually, I gave up hope and kind of forgot about it."
"Months later, the ring showed up in my driveway. Just sitting there as though it were gently placed. I think of this often and smile. She brought it back to me, and it brings instant comfort."
24."One time when I was about 11 or 12, my mother and I were staying at my sister's house in a nice area in Philly, Pennsylvania. The two of us were sitting on the porch when we saw some blue, red, and green flashing lights down the street. My sister's house was situated near the top of a hill, so we leaned over the banister to get a better look. We saw a disc-shaped object floating in the air. A couple of the neighbors were outside and also saw it — we were in complete shock. This (what I am assuming is a) UFO made no sound at all, and the lights were flashing in a pattern like a traffic light going wild. It shot up into the sky, and after that, we never saw the lights again. Every so often, we would talk about it amongst ourselves. To this day I believe in UFOs, and I always will."
25.And finally, "One summer, my family and I went tubing in the river. It was the first summer after my sister, who loved tubing, passed away, and her daughters were with us. I was using a koozie I had made to honor my sister, which had her name on it. At the very first bend, the kids and I got caught up in some trees and lost most of our stuff, including the koozie. I was incredibly bummed, but we were all fine, and I still wanted to enjoy the trip. We stopped on a bank a little ways later to swim. It was only about a foot deep where my niece and I decided to sit in the water and relax. All of the sudden, I felt the koozie sliding by my hand under the water! The water was moving fast, so there was no reason it should not have passed that area yet. I was thrilled that my sister made sure I got the koozie back and that she showed me she was still there on the trip with us!"
If you enjoyed these stories, you can read a bunch more of them here.
Have you ever experienced an "unsolved mystery" like these that you just can't explain? A glitch in the matrix, run-in with a doppelgänger, paranormal experience...anything! If so, tell us about it in the comments below or via this completely anonymous form.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.