As a journalist, the “truth” is supposed to be my currency.
And it is. Mostly.
To be honest with you, I’ve always preferred the line of thinking, “never let the truth get in the way of a good story”.
I tend to let people tell me absolutely anything. Aliens, ghosts, monsters… If you’re telling the story well, fuck yes I wanna hear it.
Actually, even if you’re not telling it well, I still want it. I’ll be nodding along, gasping at dramatic intervals, saying “oh my god” and “uhuh uhuh”.
Do I think you’re lying? Maybe.
But if you are, I don’t care. That’s between you and your god. I’ll likely pass your story on to the next person I see, opening with that telltale caveat, “someone told me…”, which is now – in the era of ubiquitous TikTok shittalk that has normalised the spread of questionable information – colloquial code for ambiguous authenticity. One of those “no it really happened… to my sister’s best friend’s brother’s girlfriend, I swear” moments.
The bar I used to work at was haunted. Most bars are, to be honest.
We’d always joke about the ghost, constantly seeing shit out of the corners of our eyes and feeling strangely unsettled. It wasn’t until I started working closing shifts by myself that I really felt afraid there. One time, I had customers come in and comment on the fireplace, asking me if it was real. It was – I told them I hadn’t lit it that evening because I didn’t know how to. Which was half true: I just hadn’t been bothered. After I’d closed up, I went outside for a wine and a smoke. I returned inside 20-30 minutes later to find a FUCKING FIRE CRACKLING IN THE FIREPLACE. I ran out of there so fast.
When I was a child, I rented a book from the library called something like “The Supernatural, Paranormal and the Unexplained”. It was a catalogue of what seemed like every last monster, witch, UFO, demon, poltergeist and alien sighting over the last century. It fucked me up for months and has given me a lifelong fear of the dark. I couldn’t put it down though – I read it cover to cover – devouring the cold fear it sent shooting through my CNS.
There is an intangible lust in scaring ourselves. It’s my favourite kind of conversation to get into – I crave the stories.
So, I asked some people to share theirs.
My brother in Christ, my sister in Mary… do I have a story for you.
I wanna preface this by saying TW for suicide, violence and abuse.
In high school, my friend’s family bought this abandoned house that was hardcore neglected. There were no doors, the windows were smashed, and there were nail marks on the inside of the closets.
Upon communicating with the neighbouring houses they found out that the family that lived there before were incredibly violent, and the father had taken all the doors out because he didn’t want anyone keeping secrets from him. The mother would lock the children in the closets – hence the nail marks – and unfortunately a member of the family died by suicide in the downstairs bathroom. One day they all just vanished and no one knows where they went.
Fast forward to my friend living there, a couple months into them moving in I went for a sleepover. My friend had one of those beds that have the little single beds that pull out from underneath, so I was basically on the floor (slay).
We went to sleep and I had the strangest dream where I woke up, got out of bed and turned around and saw myself sleeping. Initially from there I was like ‘sick, this is a dream’ and continued to walk through the pitch black house. I went downstairs into the bathroom where the family member had died and sat on the floor for a bit (again in pitch black), then went upstairs into the parents’ bedroom AND WATCHED THEM SLEEP. After all of that I went back to my friends room and climbed back into my body, but before that I hit my leg on the edge of my friend’s bed because I was on the damn floor (slay).
The next morning we woke up and I looked at my friend and was like ‘I had the weirdest fucking dream’. As I said that she was like, ‘I think you slept walked last night’. At that moment I got up and saw the biggest bruise on my leg, the same leg that hit the edge of the bed as I was climbing into my body in my dream.
I never went back to her house ever again.
Bro a ghost was using my vape.
I was at my parents’ house and there was a scary, scary noise coming from some hidden place in my old bedroom. Then, I find the noise, and it’s my vape, in a cupboard, upright, turned on and the ghost is hitting it.
It was so scary. Lol. I lowkey think Collingwood is the most haunted suburb.
So, maybe like eight years ago now when I was living down the coast I seriously must’ve seen a UFO because no-one has been able to come up with another explanation.
Basically, my friends and I had this cute little spot with a beat up couch where we used to go to smoke weed, that overlooked a huge swampy marsh area. Think of a real flat, coastal horizon. I also don’t want the fact that we were high to affect the fact I’m talking about aliens because WE ALL SAW THE SAME THING.
It was maybe 11p.m. or so, super dark, clear sky, and we were all just talking shit when one of us noticed this really bright reddish light really high up in the sky. It was so out of place that we all started fixating on it trying to figure out what it was.
After a while it started very slowly moving vertically down which confused us even more coz what moves like that??? A satellite?? A plane???
Anyway, eventually it made its way all the way down to the horizon and as soon as it touched the horizon it lit up SUPER bright and then proceeded to zap off extremely quickly in a bright flash of red light in both directions??!!!!
Like HOW and WHAT the hell kinda thing does something like that??!!!!
It was very cool and I still talk about it with anyone that will listen hahaha.
Arielle (yes, I have another one)
The bar I worked out rented an abandoned building two doors down for a series of summer parties. It was a huge, derelict, spooky two story terrace with incredibly cursed vibes. One time, I was asked to clean there alone on a Monday afternoon.
An intense feeling of unease settled in my stomach the second I entered, and the discomfort just kept building. I was reflexively looking behind my shoulder every few seconds. It started getting dark outside and it felt like the weight of the house was bearing down on me. I started to get really scared when I started vacuuming. I kept thinking I was hearing shit over the sound – screams mostly. I knew it was in my head but I kept turning off the vacuum to check, then the silence would be thick. I’d turn the vacuum back on and hear the screams again. I couldn’t take it and left without finishing.
Months later we found a ghost tour listing that had the house billed as a destination – some guy in the 80s had shot his whole family and their 16 year-old boarder in there.
I had an old house that was haunted. The ghost started a small fire one night after we’d been talking shit about them to a guest.
The ghost had been there for >4 years (in a rotating share house) and its favourite haunts were usually just chasing the weaker-willed housemates down the hallway, opening closed doors, or imitating sounds of other housemates – we think in an attempt to get us to hang out more (e.g. I’d hear my friend crying and go to check on her but she wasn’t home).
One night when I had a friend around, me and a housemate were telling her about the ghost and all its antics. Before bed she got freaked out and asked if we could do a quick ~cleanse~ (which never helped, but I digress), so she went out to the separate garage to find the smudge stick while I went to the bathroom. While in the bathroom ghosty smashed the door open on me, like ok…
My friend came back in saying she couldn’t find the smudge stick after I’d told her *exactly* where it was – earlier I’d sat in the garage literally spending 15 minutes making sure it had gone out before leaving it in a glass ashtray beside a couch.
So, I went in with her to find it and it actually wasn’t there – for context it was a new smudge stick and should’ve lasted another few months easily. I kept looking around the garage confused until I found it had moved to the dead centre of the room, between all the couches.
Not spooky in itself ~but~ now the THICK glass ashtray was shattered into 4 pieces, the smudge stick itself was completely burnt out into a pile of ash, and a 2-3 knuckle deep hole had burnt in the floor underneath. I checked with all the housemates and 100% no-one had even been out there, let alone moved the stick or set it alight.
For a happy ending though, I did end up having a long sit-down chat with the ghost and they finalllllly left and didn’t come back lmao.
A friend and I had finished work on a weekday, it was midnight. I was a dishy, he was a chef and we were going to pick up weed. As we were driving to get the weed – we weren’t even high yet – we saw a bright light and a dome-shaped object, about the size of a soccer mum car, flying up above us, maybe like 50 to 80 metres off the ground.
We thought “what is that… let’s follow it”.
Initially, we thought it was a helicopter with a bright spotlight, but then we realised it didn’t have rotors. It was just a hovering object, with a bright light coming off of it.
We followed it and it led us to a beach, where it disappeared. Then, it reappeared, and it flew back the way we’d come. We followed it to a golf course. It landed on the green. We were watching it, waiting to see what extraterrestrials would come out.
We’re freaking out. I’ve got watery eyes, I’m scared, I’m thinking we’re going to get beamed up to the mothership and probed. It just sat there for a bit then went back up into the sky. We were in the car, but this thing was really silent. We kept tailing it, where it went back out west, then it finally disappeared over the mountain ranges.
Then, gobsmacked at what had just occurred, we went to pick up weed. I’d say it was a no-sleep hallucination, but my friend saw it too, so.
In 2006 my family and I moved into a new house to renovate. It used to be three apartments, and then we renovated it to be one house. We decided to pull the boards off all of the fireplaces to see what they were and, like a renovator’s dream, they were beautiful – tiled, wooden, stunning pieces of art. One of them, in the main lounge room, kind of had some scratches on it that were kind of unrecognisable as anything. Months and months went on, we renovated and renovated, to all of our dismay, the hammers kept going, drills etcetera, builders, blah blah blah.
One night, my sister and my mum, sleeping in different rooms, were both disturbed in the middle of the night. In the morning, they spoke about it. My sister thought that the dogs had come in and were jumping around in the lounge. But when she spoke to mum about it, mum said she’d thought it was my sister running around in the lounge room.
When my sister had gone to check in the middle of the night, she saw there was a doll sitting on the lounge that was moved from another room. And she thought that was strange, so she asked my mum in the morning, and my mum asked her if she’d put the doll there or not. My sister said no, it was already in there.
So mum said, did you see anything else in there? My sister said no, she’d thought the dogs were in there, but it sounded like they were jumping on the couch, then on the floor. Like one, two, three on the couch, then four on the floor, like someone was jumping from the couch to the floor.
Then they went into the lounge room, and they noticed there was a different etching on the fireplace. There was a new, like, child’s drawing of a balloon where they had pulled the boards away. It was completely new.
That was it, they were kind of spooked.
Three years later, my mum, my sister and I were sitting at the table after dinner one night, having a cuppa tea and a bit of a goss sesh, whatever. And I said something jokingly about a ghost. And my mum and sister both looked at me strangely. I was just like ‘oh yeah, the ghost, whatever’ and sort of brushed it off.
My sister looked at me and was like ‘…the little girl?’
And I was like ‘….yeeeeeah?’
My mum was like, ‘the one that runs down the hallway?’
And I was like ‘…yeaaaaaah.’
And then all three of us shared what we thought we saw. And we all saw the same thing. It was a small girl, under the age of nine, in a pink dress, that was running down the hallway, and must be the one scratching the pictures in the fireplace. But we’d never spoken about it, until that moment when I joked about it. And then more and more came out about it.
And then I joked about ‘the other one’.
Mum was like, ‘what does he look like?’
I’m like, ‘…how do you know I’m talking about a he?’
My sister said ‘how old is he?’
I’m like, ‘oh he’s like, 85.’
Mum’s like, ‘where does he stand?’
I’m like, ‘how do you know he’s standing?’
And mum’s like ‘because he stands at the bathroom door.’
And, yeah, this old man ghost used to stand at the bathroom. Whenever I’d get up in the middle of the night, I could see him more, because I was sleepy or like more perceptive to le spirits or whatever. I’d come out from the bathroom and almost wave to him or like, nod. Because I used to come out like ‘oh!’, but then I got so used to it.
So yeah, we had a little girl and an old man that the three of us just lived with and never spoke about it until it came up. And that’s my spooky tale, I’m sure it would’ve been spookier by the fire with a vino and a vape but there you go.