Some of the scariest horror movies feature children as the villain, but books, such as the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark series, show that even kids can be victims to the dead. Here, we have gathered five ghastly and ghoulish tales written by real people who encountered ghosts when they were children.
1. Peter – The Man in the Dresser
Tony was a young boy when he met Peter for the first time. Peter was his new friend who lived in a large antique dresser in his parents’ house. Somewhere in the back of his mind, Tony knew that his mom and dad couldn’t see Peter, but this didn’t concern him. Peter spent countless hours telling stories and listening to him talk about his life.
One evening, after Tony’s father had gotten back from an extended business trip, Tony told him about his friend who lived in the antique dresser. His father’s face began to falter. He turned to his son and asked him what his friend’s name was. When Tony told his dad, he grew extremely pale. Ignoring the questions of his wife, Tony’s father asked his son if he could draw what Peter looked like.
Tony obliged and handed his dad a picture of Peter. Tony didn’t think anything of it until he woke up the following morning and found his father and uncle lugging the massive dresser out of the house. They took it to the backyard and proceeded to burn it. A few years later, Tony’s father came clean to his son about that day. The antique dresser had once been in the house where Tony’s father and uncle had grown up.
Once it had been moved to Tony’s uncle’s room, he began to tell his brother about a man named Peter who lived in the dresser. Everything was fine for a month or two, but then Tony’s uncle began to experience night terrors, all of which were about Peter. They had to move the antique dresser out of his room before he was able to sleep normally again.
2. A Ghostly Melody – Trip to the Myrtles Plantation
Many years ago, an eighth grader named Des went on a school field trip, which her teacher had deemed the Louisiana Tour. The trip included several historical stops, including the notorious Myrtles Plantation, which is considered one of the most haunted places in the United States. Her class was small, and was integrated into a public tour of the grounds. At one point, Des and the rest of the group were listening to their guide in the house when Des suddenly hears the sound of a piano key being pushed down.
The key is hit several times, until Des started looking all around, in search of the nearby piano. But none were nearby. Puzzled, Des leaned towards her friends and asked them if they heard the notes as well. But they didn’t. When another, particularly loud, note was played, Des alerted her friends again, certain that they would have heard it that time. Instead, they all looked at her as if she was crazy.
Everyone’s attention was focused solely on the tour guide, except for one woman towards the back of the group. As Des turned around, looking for the piano, the woman caught her eye. She pointed to Des and then to her own ear, her expression puzzled. Did you hear the piano? Des nodded to her. The moment their silent exchange was over, the tour guide began to tell them a story about a soldier who died at the Myrtles Plantation. While he had lived, he loved nothing more than to sit at a piano and play songs for his friends. The tour guide then told them that overnight guests who stayed at the plantation sometimes heard a phantom piano being played in the middle of the night.
3. The Accident – Messages to a Friend
There once was a young boy named Jonathan. Jonathan was five years old and had just started kindergarten when his mom and dad began to discuss the idea of having more kids. One day, Jonathan was out riding his bike in front of the house when he fell and hit his head on a rock. His mother was, naturally concerned, but Jonathan got right back up on his bike again and insisted that he was fine. The following morning, however, Jonathan’s mom came into his room to wake him up for school and found that he was unresponsive. She noticed that one of his pupils was dilated while the other one wasn’t. A helicopter was sent to airlift Jonathan to the nearest hospital.
As Jonathan was being taken to the hospital, his best friend, Nick, was eating breakfast at his house across the street. The two boys often spent their weekends standing on their respective driveways, talking to each other from across the street. They weren’t allowed to play together unless an adult was there to walk either of them safely across.
That morning, Nick’s mom turns towards the table and found that Nick was no longer eating cereal, but was at the door, peering out across the street. When his mother asked what he was doing, he told her that Johnny had called for him, and that he was going to quickly talk to him before school. As Nick walks down the driveway, his mother receives a phone call from Johnathan’s mother. Johnny had died at the hospital, due to a dormant brain aneurism that had been triggered by his accident.
Distraught by this news, Nick’s mother wondered who had been calling her son’s name. As she’s about to step out onto the lawn, Nick appeared again and resumed eating his cereal. Trembling, Nick’s mother asked him about who had called his name. Nick told her that Johnny wasn’t on his driveway, but had called to him and told him something. When Nick’s mother asked him what Johnny had said, Nick replied that Johnny had come to say goodbye.
4. The Blue Woman – A Tale of Murder
A young boy was ten years old when his parents had moved him and the rest of their family into an antiquated house that had been built in the early 1900s. The boy remembers that they didn’t have a lot of money growing up, but the house wasn’t in the safest of neighborhoods, so the rent was cheap. Things became strange just a few nights after they had moved in.
It was late into the night when the boy woke up, feeling an intense chill all over his body. This wouldn’t have been surprising, had it been winter. But it was in the middle of the summer, and the old house did not have air conditioning. The boy slowly stood up in bed, peeling off a sticky blanket, when he noticed a soft blue light coming from his closet. The door stood wide open, and inside, perched on some moving boxes, was a young woman. Her skin, like the light, was blue in color. As the boy watched, the young woman had her head bent forward as she cried. Her sobs were muffled as if the boy was listening to her through several layers of plastic.
“What’s wrong?” the boy asked softly. The woman immediately stopped crying and slowly turned to look up at him. She looked shocked that he was speaking to her. After staring at each other for a few seconds, the woman slowly faded away. Over the next couple of years, the boy saw the crying woman several more times. While the experience was strange, he never felt as though he should be afraid of her. The boy’s family moved to a different house when he was twelve. Once all of their things had been removed, his mother admitted that the rent had been so cheap at their old house because a young woman and her mother had once been murdered there.
5. An Uncle’s Request – Desires from the Grave
Opie was very young when his uncle John first got the news that he was terminally ill. As John’s condition steadily worsened, he started going to church again and spent many hours reading his bible. He often tried to convince his sister, Opie’s mother, to start going to church again as well. When Opie’s mother didn’t show any interest in doing so, John sent her a bible in the mail, which she quickly placed on a bookcase and forgot about.
As his illness progressed, John got into a fight with his daughter, Katie, about something, and refused to answer her phone calls. John continued to suffer, but his body did not yet seem ready to give up. So, John took it upon himself to end his own life, by way of a shotgun. Not long after he died, the bible he had given to his sister leaped off the bookcase by itself and landed on the floor.
Thinking it had simply fallen, Opie’s mother placed the bible back into place, only to see the bible leap again, this time clear across the room. By this time, Opie and his mother were both very unnerved. They placed the bible back on the shelf, and waited for it to happen again. After several moments of waiting, both gave up and went into the kitchen to start dinner. Thump. They ran back into the family room, and found the bible open on the other side of the room. The page was titled “Nook of John.”
“I think my brother is dead” Opie’s mom whispered. This was confirmed a few minutes later, when she contacted John’s wife. While this was occurring, Katie, John’s daughter, was having weird experiences of her own. She began getting phone calls right after her father died. Each call was from an unknown number, and it always sounded like John on the other line, telling her that he was sorry. These calls went on for several weeks after her father’s suicide.
These children are now adults. Years have passed since their paranormal experiences, but what happened, and how they felt about it is impossible to forget. Some of them dealt with evil forces, but many of them were visited by beloved friends and family, trying to say one last goodbye. We hope that while these experiences were plenty creepy, these children found comfort in these last messages, from beyond.