9 Women Share Their Most Terrifying & Awesome Ghost Stories

Illustrated by Norah Stone.
This article was originally published on May 20, 2016.

Whether you're a self-identified scaredy cat or a wannabe Ghost Adventures crew member, it's undeniably fun to scare yourself once in a while. In fact, it's good for you — harmless little scares can actually activate feel-good neurotransmitters and hormones.

But, when you aren't prepared to feel afraid, those bumps in the night can have a totally different, unnerving effect. After all, who hasn't been snuggled in bed, safe and sound, only to hear a freaky noise from the hallway? Maybe if it were the daytime, or maybe if you weren't alone, you'd be able to convince yourself it was all in your head. But, at night, when you're all by yourself, any noise can turn into something insidious — a presence from the other side, perhaps.

We've probably all had these kinds of creepy run-ins, so why not talk about them? You might get over your fears and scare your friends in the process. That, or you might end up pissing off the ghost you're pretty sure lives in your closet.

Ahead, nine women share their scariest ghost encounters. Do not read these before bed.

Welcome to Death Week. This week, we'll attempt to unpack our feelings, fears, and hang-ups about death, dying, and mourning. We’ll do our best to leave no gravestone unturned.