As every parent knows, kids are great at doing two things: being absolutely adorable and utterly creepy. There’s a reason that films like The Exorcist and Village of the Damned are so disturbing; when a cute kid starts acting sinister, it’s hard not to run away screaming.
— Mr_Marzy (@Mr_Marzy1) February 25, 2018
Unfortunately, children seem to love creeping people out. We collected some of the creepiest things that kids have said or done, then edited those stories slightly for grammar and readability. Whether you’re a parent or you’re looking for reasons to avoid parenthood, these tales should send a tingle up your spine.
1. When you’re tucking your kid in for the night, weird stuff tends to happen.
Sure, parents know that there aren’t any weird monsters lurking under the bed, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t get creeped out on occasion. Kids don’t make that any easier.
“I was tucking in my two-year-old,” wrote Reddit user UnfortunateBirthmark. “He said ‘Goodbye dad.’ I said, ‘No, we say good night.’ He said ‘I know. But this time, it’s goodbye.’ Had to check on him a few times to make sure he was still there.”
Reddit user Falicor was tucking his daughter in when she began crying. Naturally, he asked her why she was so upset.
“‘Bad man,’ she said.”
“‘What bad man?’”
“‘There.’ She points behind me at a dark corner of the room. A lamp on [the] bookshelf next to said darkened corner falls off as soon as I turn to look. She slept in our bed that night.”
Some kids seem to see mysterious, shadowy figures on a regular basis.
“While changing my daughter in front of the open closet door, she kept looking around me and laughing,” QuagmireDP recalled. “I asked her what was so funny. She said, ‘The man.’ To which I replied, ‘What man?’”
“She then pointed at the closet and said, ‘The man with the snake neck.’ I turn around and nothing was there. I’m afraid to look into the history of my house to see if anyone hung themselves in the closet. At least she wasn’t scared.”
2. Kids say the damndest things.
The creepy stuff doesn’t always stop when the kid’s asleep.
“My mom has told me a story about my brother when he was younger,” wrote Hsertich. “I guess he was sleepwalking, and she was trying to coax him back to bed. He said something along the lines of ‘I would, but the devil is behind you.’ Yeah, nope.”
As Reddit user NotTomPettysGirl wrote, kids can be brutally honest—which can make for some awkward (and disturbing) family conversations.
“He didn’t say this to me, but to his grandmother,” she recalled. “He was cuddling with her and being very sweet. He was about 3 at the time. He takes her face in his hands, brings his face close to hers, then tells her that she’s very old and will die soon. Then he makes a point of looking at the clock.”
And if you’ve got multiple kids, you can expect them to be pretty creepy towards each other.
“My 3-year-old daughter stood next to her newborn brother,” wrote Like_I_Was_sayin. “She looked at him for a while, then turned and looked at me and said, ‘Daddy, it’s a monster. We should bury it.’”
Reddit user Olafthebent has a similar story about his daughter.
“She was holding her baby brother for the first time,” he wrote. “[She asked], ‘So I shouldn’t throw him in the fire?’”
3. Playtime is fun…right?
Not when you’re playing with a kid who’s apparently the spawn of Satan.
“My 5-year-old adopted little sister has a game she would play where we would pretend to go around to people’s houses and take their children,” wrote Borkmeister. Okay, that’s terrifying, but certainly imaginative.
“Once we rounded up enough, we would eat them, violently and maliciously. This was her idea, through and through. The name of the game? Social worker.”
Maybe they should have just played with crayons instead. Actually, on second thought…
“My younger cousin was around 5 at the time,” explained Nilliak. “He once drew a picture of a black monster, looked up at me, and said, ‘He told me to draw this. He’s coming for you. You better hide.’”
We’d probably take that advice.
4. Granted, kids can make just about anything creepy.
“I don’t have kids, but once, visiting some friends on a farm, my buddy’s youngest girl—she was 5 or 6 at the time—was afraid of the chickens,” wrote Jonuggs. “I tried to explain to her that the chickens weren’t there to hurt us, but she wasn’t having it.”
“So I’m sitting around the fire pit, looking at one of the chickens a few feet in front of me when I feel hot breath in my ear as she whispers: ‘See. He’s always watching.’ Horrific and hysterical all at once.”
We’d love to introduce that kid to the kid in this next story.
“I asked my three kids what they wanted to do when they grew up,” wrote one Reddit user (whose later deleted his account). “10-year-old Jason said, ‘I want to be a teacher.’ 8-year-old Mitzi said, ‘I want to be a writer.’ 6-year-old Nick said, ‘I want to run the machine that cuts the heads off the chickens.’ All-righty, then.”
4. Kids really love their demonic apparitions.
“My co-worker’s four year old daughter always thought that the rattling of the water pipes in the kitchen cupboards were ‘white wolves,’ and the sound always scared her,” wrote Darinfjc.
“One day she was sitting at the kitchen table and she said, ‘Mom. The white wolves aren’t bad…they’re our friends!’”
“Her mom encouraged the idea by saying, ‘Yes! The white wolves are protecting us. They are our friends.’”
“Then her daughter added in, ‘They’re our friends, but not the man who crawls on the floor and stands by my bed.’”
We’ll give you a moment to finish shuddering after that story. Finished? Okay—this one’s even worse.
“I work in a preschool. Creepy s*** [happens there] all the time,” wrote Maryomorevna. “The one that sticks out to me happened last year. There is a small kitchenette area in our classroom that the kids use during free time for playing house or whatever pretend games they think up.”
“There was one little girl that I was keeping a close eye on, mostly because of how withdrawn from the other kids she was. I noticed she was playing with a baby doll in the kitchenette, rocking it back and forth and singing to it.”
“She took the baby, shoved it into the play oven and slammed the door shut. She turned around, looked straight at me, and said, ‘Sometimes bad babies go in timeout,’ in the creepiest little girl voice I’ve ever heard before smiling and running off. That one kind of shook me.”
5. Sometimes, the creepy stuff has a fairly simple explanation.
“My niece was sitting on the couch with a weird look on her face,” wrote Hrhomer. “Her mom asked her what she was thinking about, and she said, ‘I’m imagining the waves of blood rushing over me.’”
“As it turned out, they had been at a local science museum with an exhibit on the circulatory system. One of the features was a walk among some giant fake blood vessels, and she was remembering that.”
Reddit user Psalm_69 also has a creepy story with a fairly mundane background.
“I was sound asleep, and at around 6 a.m., I was woken up by my 4-year-old daughter’s face inches from mine,” they wrote. “She looked right into my eyes and whispered, ‘I want to peel all your skin off.’”
“The backstory here is I had been sunburned the previous week and was starting to peel. In my sleep-addled state, however, it was pretty terrifying for a few seconds. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or what was going on.”
6. This kid might be the freakiest toddler on the planet.
“When my son was little, maybe 3, he used to do this weird crawl where he would slide his forehead along the floor,” wrote Seethella. “That was pretty creepy in and of itself. Then, one night, he crawled across the hallway into my room like that and stood up a few inches from my face while making a weird meow sound. He got into bed with me and went to sleep.”
“Another time, he was freaking out about a monster in the basement, so we went down and saw nothing (of course). As I turned out the light and headed upstairs, he said ‘He’s right behind us now.’ I might have peed a little.”
“Possibly the creepiest thing he did: One day, I scolded him for misbehaving, so he hid his head under his blanket. I pretended I couldn’t find him by saying ‘Where is my little Carson?’”
“He slowly lowered the blanket and with a dead-evil stare said, ‘Carson is gone. I am Rick.’ I’m certain he’s possessed. We never knew any Ricks, as far I can remember. Still don’t. Never figured out where he picked up the name.”
7. Some kids become strangely obsessed with their parents.
We know, we know; all kids are obsessed with their parents at a certain age. That doesn’t make it less disturbing when your kid thinks about your inevitable demise. This story comes from Pipperfloats, whose kids are both disturbingly imaginative and practical.
“My 5-year-old: ‘Mommy, when you die, I want to put you in a glass jar so I can keep you and see you forever.’ To which my 6-year-old responds: ‘That’s stupid. Where are you gonna find a jar that big?’”
Apparently, that’s not such a strange inclination for kids, according to Reddit user GatorMcGovern.
“A friend of mine’s child told him, ‘Daddy, I love you so much that I want to cut your head off and carry it around so I can see your face whenever I want,’” he wrote.
Even when kids promise not to do something disturbing, it still comes off as creepy.
“My 3-year-old son generally has a happy-go-lucky attitude, so this is pretty odd,” explained Lord_of_hosts. “Sometimes when he’s cuddling with his mommy, he’ll say very seriously, ‘Mom, I promise I won’t ever chew on your bones. I promise.’ I have absolutely no idea where he got this.
8. Kids basically act like little aliens…and yes, sometimes we mean that literally.
“My mom likes to tell this story,” wrote Bladel. “Apparently, when I was 5 or 6, I told her that aliens had stolen her real son and replaced him with me, an exact copy. Someday, I would return to my home planet. But she shouldn’t be sad, because her real son had a good life in our zoo.”
Some kids belong in a zoo, so we’re not really seeing where the horror comes from. Then again, maybe it wasn’t just a story.
“When my oldest was about 3 years old, I had a really weird dream where an alien was trying to take my son,” wrote acefamilia. “I was lying in bed watching this alien take him by the hand and started walking off towards the window.”
“When I started to scream, I woke up. Here is the creepy part: I wake up to find my 3-year-old turning on the night light in our room. He turns to look at me and says, ‘Oh, its okay, Mommy. The alien is gone.’ I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.”
9. Most of these stories take place late at night.
Hey, that’s when the really creepy stuff happens.
“Around four or five months ago, at like 3:00 a.m., I was awoken by a very weird growling sound,” wrote Catch22milo. “Disoriented, and in complete darkness, I started to come to. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what the sound was. I had fallen asleep on the couch in the living room, which added to my confusion. I was thinking maybe the cat had caught something, but I really had no idea.”
“As my vision started to come around, this three-foot grotesque-looking shadow thing starts to appear a few feet in front of me. Just standing there, growling. Creepy. In reality, it only took me a few seconds to figure out what was going on, but I imagine I looked visibly shaken.”
“It was my son. My 3-year-old son had snuck out of bed at three in the morning, found his Hulk mask in the dark, and decided to go find Daddy to play superheroes. I guess his idea of playing was to do a Hulk growl, two feet from my sleeping face until I woke up in a panic. He ended up doing the same thing to my wife a few weeks later which, to me, was way more hilarious.”
It’s always cute when kids disturb their parents’ sleep, right, parents?
“My 5-year-old, at the time, had night terrors and would scream in her sleep,” wrote Thingsimeanttobe. “One night, I said, ‘Mama’s here. It’s okay.’ She looked right at me, still half-asleep, and screamed, ‘Mama? But who is that behind you?’”
10. We’ve got one more story about a dark, mysterious stranger, and it’s a doozy.
“When my son was in kindergarten, I received a call from his teacher while at work saying that he refused to go outside at recess time,” wrote Opud. “He was sitting there terrified.”
“He said there was a guy named Otie who had brown hair and a brown beard who kept telling him to ‘come here, buddy’ over and over while he was playing outside before school started. They reviewed tapes and didn’t see anyone. It scared the crap out of me that some man was trying to abduct him, but I’m pretty sure he either sees ghosts or has a very active imagination.”
“He also said this guy talked to him at the bus stop or outside his window—his room is on the 2nd floor. He refused to go anywhere near half of our home when he was 1-2 years old. He would just stand in the doorway and point.”
11. This story’s oddly charming (emphasis on the “oddly” part).
“My mom’s dad died 10 years before I was born,” wrote NejKidd. “I was about 6 or 7 when my parents divorced. The day before my mom told me they were divorcing, I was at the kitchen table drawing or something while my mom made tea.”
“She says I stopped instantly and looked toward the front door as if I’d heard it open. I stared for a long time, then giggled, turned toward my mum and said, ‘Granddad says don’t worry. Everything will be okay, and he won’t let anything bad happen.’ I then began humming and went back to my drawing. My mom says it’s the single creepiest thing that’s ever happened to her, and I have no memory of it happening.”
While we’re on the subject of strangely prescient kids, Surethingsugar’s son came up with a surprisingly detailed story for his fictional sibling.
“‘Before I was born here, I had a sister, right?’” he said. “Her and my other Mom are so old now. They were okay when the car was on fire, but I sure wasn’t!’ He was maybe 5 or 6 years old. It was totally out of the blue.”
12. Many kids have imaginary friends, but they typically don’t share them.
“My 2-year-old daughter used to scream in the night,” wrote Jimslam. “She told my wife and I it was because she was visited by a lady. A few weeks later, she stopped screaming. Offhandedly, I asked if the lady had stopped coming. She answered ‘No, she’s just nice now. Her name is Shelia. She sleeps in my bed sometimes.’”
“A year later, my youngest daughter turned 2 and started having the same screaming fits. Talking to her, she described the same lady named Shelia.”
That would be creepy enough, but it doesn’t end there.
“Skip forward three years. We’d never talked with our kids about it, figuring there had to be some active imaginations and sibling storytelling involved. It hadn’t come up in at least two years. We moved with our three kids, including a 2.5-year-old son. On his first night in the new house, he asked, ‘Where will Shelia sleep now?’”