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People share their own 'ghost stories' that made them believe in the paranormal

Spooky entertainment for believers and cynics alike.

ghost stories

Haunting the human psyche since days of old.

Ghosts have been haunting stories across human culture since ancient times. Even in our modern age, with a scientific explanation for nearly every phenomenon once considered supernatural, many still believe specters of the past float among us.

Perhaps it’s a way to make sense of the unexpected, cope with loss or to create a universe that isn’t random and chaotic. On the other hand, no one really knows what awaits us on the other side—it’s all conceptual theories in the land of the living.

But whether or not ghosts are actually real, they can help us make meaning of life’s fragile existence and perhaps take a different view on death, reminding us that sometimes our legacy lives on long after we are gone.

Reddit user u/pyotrfojti asked people on the online forum to share experiences that made them believe in the paranormal, and the answers were certainly compelling. Even the biggest skeptic might get a kick out of these spooky stories. 'Tis the season, after all.

Here are nine of the best, most bone-chilling tales of the paranormal:


1.

While working overseas, the office we would normally work in was being renovated. The building was once part of a series of palaces [which] was later used by the Nazis as an interrogation and torture center.

I personally saw two stories come to life.

  1. The harpsichord piano in the grand ballroom began to play on its own. I know because I was the only person in the building at the time. Plus, it was missing several strings.
  2. The windows to the bedroom where a royal stayed were known to fog up and then open on their own. Saw the fog. Looked at them again a half-hour later and they were open.

– @JQuest7575

2.

I was alone at home with my 2 year old who was sleeping in his own room. An arm and hand of an adult human pushed open my bedroom door and it creaked loudly, waking me up. I saw the arm and the hand holding the doorknob. It then let go and retracted. I was afraid that it might be a burglar and then I smelled smoke and burning. I got the courage to leave my room and noticed smoke coming from my son's room. His window curtain was inside his night lamp and had just caught fire. I could put it out in time, thanks to whatever had woken me up.” – @Niqga4PolishBabes

3.

I haven't really had any super intense experiences, mostly just hearing my name clearly being called when I was a kid while everyone else was asleep. That and hearing a constant loud sound in a specific area of a known haunted park at night that had nothing to do with bugs flying nearby. There were no other people at the park and there wasn't anything electrical nearby. Just in the middle of a park near a willow tree.” – @WumboWings

4.

"I was six when I first saw her, in the woods. I followed my friend John even though he told me not to. I followed at a distance, watching my feet, making sure not to step on the bevy of fallen leaves…The first thing I saw was a small hut. Raw, bloody, and nailed into place. The second thing I saw was her on the stoop, eyes all white, lips red. John ran to her. She reached down and embraced him, and looked at me over his shoulder with her all white eyes.

I ran like hell. I ran, screaming like bloody murder, all the way to my father, who swooped me up in a way he never had, and hasn't had to do since. He asked me what happened and I told him about John.

‘Who?’

I described the kid I had met at the playground weeks ago. The kid I had played with three times before all this. Even now, John's face is crystal clear in my mind. I could count his freckles from memory.

My dad tells me: I was playing alone the whole time.” – @sentient_luggage

5.

When [my mom] died I couldn't be there for her, I was away in another state for work. Thank God that I could come to her funeral (this was in November of 2020). I was in the house of my mom, [and] one night I was in my bed sleeping and I woke suddenly and saw her in pajamas, like she was alive. If I didn't see her body early that week being buried, I would have thought that she was alive.” – @Upbeat-Ad-3316

6.

I was at my choir director's house to practice a solo. I started my recorder and when I got home to practice the song there was a voice on the recording that wasn't from either me or my choir director. I have let everyone listen to it and they always miss it the first time because it is so loud and clear they assume that it was someone in the room. Freakiest thing ever!” – @Euphoric_Device11

7.

It was late at night, like 1 am or so, [and] I was walking home till I heard a lot of noises. The street was empty and the whole entire neighborhood was silent. The lights of the lamp posts started flickering. Then I saw a black dressed, dark eyed lady with a black robe and black fingertips standing in front of my house ‘Hello? Are you okay ma'am?’ She then left and walked away towards the back of the house. My house lights started flickering. I quickly ran to my next door neighbor. Thankfully they were there and they rang my parents and all the lights started to stop flickering.” – @sleevlyboring

8.

“I did not believe for most of my life, until about 4.5 years ago. I worked in a very old hospital that used to be run by nuns in 1880-1940. My office was in the basement (next to the morgue) and strange things that could not be rationalized away started happening. Daily. Whispering, footprints thru newly waxed floors (angry janitor swears he checked the camera to see who ruined his work and saw no one) papers flying off my desk with zero draft etc. I don’t work there anymore, thankfully.” – @glass_heart2002

9.

My dad died a few years ago. I had been living with him to give him assistance as he needed full time care and couldn't afford a nurse. He always, always, freaking always complained about being cold, even during the summer. I came home several times to find the heater cranked up to 80, no matter the time of year. We used to fight about it often. A couple weeks after he died, I would wake up hot and find the heater turned up to 80. It only persisted for a few weeks and stopped after I woke up again sweating and yelled out ‘Damn it dad, you're dead, stop fucking with the heater!’” – @DeaconStGone

Photo by Eliott Reyna on Unsplash

Gen Z is navigating a career landscape unlike any other.

True

Every adult generation has its version of a “kids these days” lament, labeling the up-and-coming generation as less resilient or hardworking compared to their own youth. But Gen Z—currently middle school age through young adulthood—is challenging that notion with their career readiness.

Take Abigail Sanders, an 18-year-old college graduate. Thanks to a dual enrollment program with her online school, she actually earned her bachelor’s degree before her high school diploma. Now she’s in medical school at Bastyr University in Washington state, on track to become a doctor by age 22.

a family of 6 at a graduation with two graduatesAll four of the Sanders kids have utilized Connections Academy to prepare for their futures.

Abigail’s twin sister, Chloe, also did dual enrollment in high school to earn her associate’s in business and is on an early college graduation path to become a vet tech.

Maeson Frymire dreams of becoming a paramedic. He got his EMT certification in high school and fought fires in New Mexico after graduation. Now he’s working towards becoming an advanced certified EMT and has carved his career path towards flight paramedicine.

Sidny Szybnski spends her summers helping run her family’s log cabin resort on Priest Lake in Idaho. She's taken business and finance courses in high school and hopes to be the third generation to run the resort after attending college.

log cabin resort on edge of forestAfter college, Sidny Szybnski hopes to run her family's resort in Priest Lake, Idaho.

Each of these learners has attended Connections Academy, tuition-free online public schools available in 29 states across the U.S., to not only get ready for college but to dive straight into college coursework and get a head start on career training as well. These students are prime examples of how Gen Zers are navigating the career prep landscape, finding their passions, figuring out their paths and making sure they’re prepared for an ever-changing job market.

Lorna Bryant, the Head of Career Education for Connections Academy’s online school program, says that Gen Z has access to a vast array of career-prep tools that previous generations didn’t have, largely thanks to the internet.

“Twenty to 30 years ago, young people largely relied on what adults told them about careers and how to get there,” Bryant tells Upworthy. “Today, teens have a lot more agency. With technology and social media, they have access to so much information about jobs, employers and training. With a tap on their phones, they can hear directly from people who are in the jobs they may be interested in. Corporate websites and social media accounts outline an organization’s mission, vision and values—which are especially important for Gen Z.”

Research shows over 75% of high schoolers want to focus on skills that will prepare them for in-demand jobs. However, not all teens know what the options are or where to find them. Having your future wide open can be overwhelming, and young people might be afraid of making a wrong choice that will impact their whole lives.

Bryant emphasizes that optimism and enthusiasm from parents can help a lot, in addition to communicating that nothing's carved in stone—kids can change paths if they find themselves on one that isn’t a good fit.

Dr. Bryant and student video meeting Dr. Bryant meeting with a student

“I think the most important thing to communicate to teens is that they have more options than ever to pursue a career,” she says. “A two- or four-year college continues to be an incredibly valuable and popular route, but the pathways to a rewarding career have changed so much in the past decade. Today, career planning conversations include options like taking college credit while still in high school or earning a career credential or certificate before high school graduation. There are other options like the ‘ships’—internships, mentorships, apprenticeships—that can connect teens to college, careers, and employers who may offer on-the-job training or even pay for employees to go to college.”

Parents can also help kids develop “durable skills”—sometimes called “soft” or “human” skills—such as communication, leadership, collaboration, empathy and grit. Bryant says durable skills are incredibly valuable because they are attractive to employers and colleges and transfer across industries and jobs. A worldwide Pearson survey found that those skills are some of the most sought after by employers.

“The good news is that teens are likely to be already developing these skills,” says Bryant. Volunteering, having a part-time job, joining or captaining a team sport can build durable skills in a way that can also be highlighted on college and job applications.

Young people are navigating a fast-changing world, and the qualities, skills and tools they need to succeed may not always be familiar to their parents and grandparents. But Gen Z is showing that when they have a good grasp of the options and opportunities, they’re ready to embark on their career paths, wherever they may lead.

Learn more about Connections Academy here and Connections’ new college and career prep initiative here.

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