We're programed to feel sheer terror when we are startled awake by something in the middle of the night, whether it be a noise, or a flash of light or a physical sensation (if you've ever woken up to a spider crawling on your face at 2 a.m., you know what we mean).
Even as adults, the dark and it's ominous presense still make us fear monsters under the bed or ghosts in the attic. Most the time it's nothing...
...Most of the time.
We have a window AC unit basically right above our bed. One night, ice must have gotten built up inside, and it fell onto the fan that blows the air out. I remember hearing a loud bang and then being sprayed in the face by liquid. My first thought was that someone broke in and shot my wife and I got covered in blood. Fucking terrifying.
Edit: The liquid was cold, and that should have been an instant giveaway that it wasn't blood, but I was in such a panic and confused from just being woken up that the temperature didn't register right away.
My ceilingfan pulling off my ceiling and hanging a few inches from my face.
I had stumbled downstairs to get some water from the tap at about 2am.
I look out of the window directly in front of of me and stare into pitch darkness (you can't see anything more than a few feet).
Turn the the tap off, look up and there's a dude's face just staring back at me. He's so close he's practically got his nose to the glass. A face that makes Gollum look like a model. This guy is obviously a serial killer (at least that's what my sleep addled mind was thinking).
I shit myself and just keep staring, he's also shitting himself and keeps staring. Until he starts pointing, he's pointing at the outside tap. He's pointing at the outside tap because he's a homeless dude who is getting water for himself and his friends who have started living in the woods nearby.
He smiles at me, this black toothed grin so I smile back and nod. He fills his water bottles and buggers off back to the woods.
Over the next few months I got to know them all and they were super nice. They'd come for water and I'd leave them little care packages of food until they moved on to somewhere else. Presumably to scare the shit out of someone else in the middle of the night.
TLDR: went to get water, a madman's face appears at the window out of the darkness. Turns out he's a homeless guy after water and not a murderer. So starts a beautiful (but brief) relationship.
My daughter had a Ring Around the Rosie doll when she was little. You put the doll's hands together and it would sing the song. Anyway, she left it out outside one night apparently and the dew in the grass shorted it out. I woke up in the middle of the night to this faint Ring Around the Rosie song playing over and over.
It was creepy and we didn't have an outdoor light in the back yard so I had to go by myself with a flashlight and search the yard for this creepy doll.
Someone slamming on the door of the apartment across the hall screaming "your apartment is on fire."
It sounded like it was on mine. Woke up and immediately started choking on smoke. The fire alarm then went off.
Everything ended up being okay (someone flicked a cigarette butt off their balcony, it landed on the one a few floors beneath it and set their patio furniture on fire, hence why someone saw it before the alarm went off). It was just so disorienting and terrifying to wake up to the pounding on the door, the screaming, and the smoke.
"OPEN UP! POLICE! WE HAVE A SEARCH WARRANT!"
It was about 6am, accompanied by banging that was loud as shit. Turns out it was for the apartment beneath my bedroom window but I sat straight up and my first thought was, "Oh no, they got me!" despite being one of the least shady people alive.
Daughter had this Minnie Mouse baby doll that crawled on all fours when you touched a button on its back. Wife and I woke up at 2 am to the sound of the dolls creepy laugh. Went out to the living room and the doll was walking straight into the corner. Each time it stopped it would just start right over again. The button wasn't broken or anything, so i'm not sure what happened. Donated it.
I'm sure there were worse things. But one time when I was a kid, my parents placed a full-body shaped Elmo balloon in my room while I was sleeping.
Ever woken up to a floating body...?
Housemate coming home drunk after midnight from a Halloween party dressed as Jason from Friday 13th, walked into my room by mistake in his full Voorhees costume and just stood in the middle of the room looking around trying to work out where he was.
Woke me up as my door opened and I was frozen terrified for a good 30 seconds. Bought a lock for my door the following week.
I lived w/ my oldest sister & her two daughters. Her youngest (3 years old) was a sleepwalker. She was tiny, white-blonde & liked to wear a white nightgown that was too big for her.
Yeah, wake up to the sound of thumb-sucking right next to my head, roll over & see the world's shortest ghost.
We had a rooster who was pretty aggressive, but he watched the rest of the chickens. He was so aggressive though that only certain people could go near him otherwise he'd attack and spur. For awhile he had free reign of our yard, but we had to pin him because he'd attack people. Well, he'd figured out he could sort of halfway fly out and get back into our yard after we'd all gone to sleep.
One night we woke up to what sounded like a young girl screaming at the top of their lungs. We ran outside to see what it was and old Bach Bach (his name) was walking around decapitated. He'd picked a fight with a raccoon and lost, but that sound he made that night still haunts my dreams sometimes.
Woke up to the feeling of something on my face, tried to brush it off and in my half asleep state thought it was attacking me. Cue absolute freak out because something is crawling all over me and i cant get it off, just for me to find out it was my own hand that had gone numb while i was asleep
My dinkus neighbor was drunk and thought my apartment was his. He broke the lock on my door. He then opened up the door to my bedroom and scared the crap out of me at 1am. I screamed and he apologized profusely and asked if I wanted to drink Modelo with him and his wife at their house. There had been a baptism so everyone was partying it up across the way. I went because they're nice, and they had tamales.
My cat giving birth on the corner of my bed
This is my favorite story to tell:
I'm absolutely terrified of a home invasion type of situation, I'll blame it on the copious amounts of true crime podcasts I listen to. So, when I'm home alone I constantly check the locks and sleep with a knife next to my bed.
Husband goes out of town for two nights, first night all is good. Second night I check the doors, lock my bedroom door and go to sleep. Well, I wake up at around 3am to the sound of the door rattling a bit. My first instinct is that it's one of the cats pawing at the door wanting out, but after I've fully woken up I realize it's someone trying to twist the door knob. I completely freeze, heart is racing, and I slowly reach for the light switch. I then start to think that maybe I don't want them to know I'm awake by turning the light on, so that maybe I can hide or grab my knife.
Our indoor doorknobs if you twist them hard enough will just pop open, so I finally hear it click and the door just barely opens about 5 inches. I can see the outline of a man standing there just barely lit from behind from moonlight coming in the living room sliding door. So I'm just sitting there in this frozen position with my arm halfway reaching for the light and the other half reaching for the knife for what feels like an eternity. He just stands there, staring in the door and I'm convinced I'm about to be murdered.
And then the door opens a little bit more, and the mans outline starts to become more clear. I manage to just barely whisper my husbands name, and hear back "Yeah, why is the door locked?" This asshole, had decided that the friend he was sharing a hotel with was snoring too loud and drove home 4 hours in the middle of the night.