Most people have had at least one experience they just can't explain. Maybe your keys disappear, only to reappear in a place you know you never put them. Maybe you've seen shadows lurking in your hallway, so you sleep with the light on, just in case. Or maybe, like some of the people who have shared their creepiest experiences on Reddit, you've heard mysterious footsteps, only to discover that you're completely alone.
Unexplained footsteps are some of the most common paranormal phenomena - at least, they seem to be, given how often they factor into stories of the unexplainable and downright creepy. Here are some chilling tales from people who heard footsteps, even though no one was there.
Their Motion Detector Wouldn't Stop Beeping
From Redditor /u/TheRedArmyStandard:
My family [was] being followed by some kind of haunting or creature... We moved to Alabama, and it... finally stopped. I never knew why, until... a friend [said] moving to a place with iron in the hills keeps them out. Alabama is known for the rich iron in the mountains...
Every night, between 2 and 4 am, it would come from the basement. It usually wasn't a physical thing I could see, but I would hear its footsteps start near the water heater, which was placed in the back corner of the basement. The heater created an L-shaped crevice in the room, [and] the entire family and guests said something made them feel uneasy over there...
Anyway, every night, or at least a few nights out of the week, footsteps would start in the basement...
It would come up the stairs and open the door... shut it, then walk through the living room, sometimes causing the rocking chairs to start rocking or turn with it. I heard this many nights. [I] only watched it happen once and refused to sleep on the first floor ever again. It would then come up the stairs to the [second] floor... where everyone slept, and it would pace around the [second] floor and up and down the stairs through the night.
One night I [got] a bright idea to finally prove if it [was] real or not. I bought a motion detector, a simple toy that opened and closed like a clam, with a sensor at the front. When opened and turned on, it made a beeping alarm when something passed in front of it - fairly simple. So I place[d] it on the half-wall that overlooks the staircase. You have to pass this wall to come to the top of the stairs. I turn it on and go to bed.
A little after two, I [woke] up [and heard] the basement door close. And the steps [started] toward the stairs. [I was] so ready to prove it [was] real, I [couldn't] wait. The steps [came] up the stairs, closer and closer. Then they [stopped]. Suddenly this all seemed like a terrible idea...
The alarm [went] off, beep beep beep beep, then a pause, then again, beep beep beep beep. Beep beep beep beep beep beep; it [wouldn't] stop going off. My body ran cold; I knew it was standing there, waiting for me to come get the alarm. I [was] freaking the f*ck out, [so] I [threw] the covers off of my body, [and] I [started] openly cussing and yelling. I [threw] the door open, [stomped] out into the hall, and [grabbed] the f*cking thing.
In my hands, it [stopped]. I [got] to my room, [and] it [was] silent. I [waved] my hand in front of it, beep beep beep beep; [worked] fine. I [took] out the batteries, [closed] it, and [threw] it in my closet, and I never ever wanted to ever document that thing ever again. I never took any videos [and] never set up a camera because I never wanted anything else that solidly proved... it was there.Chilling?
They Heard A Baby Run Down The Hall
From Redditor /u/BeercornPonghole:
[I] moved to an old... apartment last year. I'm living there with my girlfriend and my two sons, ages seven and one, who share a room. So this one night, I'm tucking the oldest one in, and he decides he needs to go to the bathroom... So I hide under his covers to mess with him. I hear him walk into the room.
He sits at the [foot] of his bed, [and] I can feel the pressure on the mattress. He says nothing, asks nothing about why I'm all covered. Weird. Well, I go, "Boo!" and... he isn't there. He comes back from the bathroom two minutes later, but I'm too weirded out to "Boo" him.
A few days later, I tell this story to my wife, and she tells me she also had a weird experience in their bedroom. The baby was already asleep, and she was negotiating sleep with the older one. Suddenly, she hears footsteps and sees the shadow of the baby running away to the living room. She gets up to follow him, then notices the baby is still in his bed, sound asleep.
About two months later, [it's] one of those nights when Baby wins and gets to stay in our room. Around 4 am, the [seven-year-old] also comes into our room. We ask him what's wrong, and he says the baby (who has been sleeping soundly all night) has been crying all night, and he can't sleep.
We let him sleep in our room and say nothing about the baby not being in their room.Chilling?
A Silent Visitor Interrupted Their Work
From Redditor /u/fheytee:
It was near payday, so I worked overtime to finish the payroll. It [was] already late, I [was] alone in the office, and I was busy typing while looking at my computer. I suddenly heard footsteps coming toward me. I still didn't move [because] I [was] so busy. With my peripheral vision, I saw the man's shoes on the ground and his body facing my table. I waited for him to speak up... He didn't say a word, just [stood there] in front of me.
Finally, I felt awkward and rude, so I decided to look at him while saying, "What can I do for you..." Coldness rushed to my body and I [couldn't] even move...
No one one was there... I was so scared, but I somehow managed to call the guard and [ask] if someone entered the office. When he said no one, I asked him to come upstairs. I lied about the AC being broken. I didn't finished the [payroll].Chilling?
A Timid Spirit Climbed Their Stairs
From Redditor /u/Siprox :
A few months ago, my girlfriend [and I] were at my place at around 1 am getting ready to go to sleep. We live alone in the house, and no one else is able to enter it. That night we were just sitting on my bed... and casually chatting (top floor of the house). That's when I heard footsteps on the wooden steps at the bottom floor.
I've been living in that house my whole life and can always tell exactly where in the house someone is just based on the sound of the footsteps. I can also tell how heavy the person is and who it is if it's someone I know.
At that point, adrenaline rushed through my body, but I just sat there still and listened. After a short pause (which is normal when moving from the first staircase to the second), I heard the footsteps again, now louder, coming towards us. There were no animals in the house, and those were definitely human steps.
My girlfriend was still talking at this point, so I signaled her to stop. At that point, the steps just moved from the second staircase to the final one (leading to our room). We were both in shock as we heard that. We went completely silent and just listened.
At that moment, the footsteps stopped halfway through the stairs (as if the person noticed we went silent and froze). Everything was completely silent for a few seconds. Then the person started to slowly back down the third staircase as quietly as he could. The only problem is that on those wooden stairs, if you try to walk slowly, you end up, for some reason, being even louder than normal (same happens with wooden doors).
After a few minutes, we decided to search the full house. I searched every single room in the house from top to bottom, every closet and every place where someone could hide. I checked every window and every door. Everything was locked, and there was no sign that anyone was in the house. Nothing was [taken].
To this day, I have no idea what happened that night, but I know for a fact that those footsteps were human and it was not a member of my family.Chilling?