People Share The Worst Thing That Has Woken Them Up In The Middle Of The Night

When we sleep, we put ourselves in an extremely vulnerable position. Just think about it—we are nearly defenseless, and even when we wake up, we don’t quite have our wits about you. That’s why waking up to anything out of the ordinary can be quite a terrifying experience, regardless of whether or not there is actually any danger.

The worst-case scenarios often include break-ins. However, most times, it ends up being just a nightmare, an illusion, or something else that is non-threatening. The following stories are from internet users who have been scared out of their minds by being woken up in the middle of the night by something unexpected. They will either leave you laughing or with your heart pounding in fear.

Don’t forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 Ghosts Have Needs Too

Back when I lived alone in a studio apartment, I used to wake to just about anything. But I never woke up more terrified than on the night when I heard the sound of my toilet flushing. To this day, I can only assume that a ghost just couldn’t hold it anymore. Either that or someone a stranger was really in my house that night.


#44 The Extraterrestrial Sounds Of The Night

I woke up to scratching, chittering, and screeching noises at my second-floor window. It sounded other-worldly. When I finally got the courage to look outside, I held my breath and pulled back the curtain. That’s when I saw two squirrels messing around on a tree branch. I felt so silly afterward, yet I still had trouble going back to sleep because of all the fear-ridden adrenaline.


#3 Smoke Alarms Save Lives

I woke up to the sound of the smoke alarm in the building I lived in. By the time I got up, the fire was almost at the top of the steps. My roommates and I barely made it out. I learned that day to never ignore a smoke alarm. Often times, my building would conduct test runs that most tenants don’t take seriously, but there’s a reason for them.


#4 Breathing Is An Essential Part Of Waking Up

I woke up at 6 a.m. with a collapsed right lung. I initially had no idea what was wrong with me; I just couldn’t breathe right or catch my breath. The condition is called a spontaneous neurothermax and I guess it’s common for tall, lanky white guys with big growth spurts. I was 27 when it happened. I had d to call 911 and get transported by an ambulance to the hospital.

The paramedics thought I just had some anxiety and they downplayed my incident during the ride to the hospital. But the doctor cleared that up quite fast and let me know my body was in shock and my blood oxygen levels didn’t look good. It was a life-changing event. I couldn’t fall asleep without fears of waking up unable to breathe for about two years and I still have the scar where they put the tube through my ribs and into my lung to reinflate it. Let me tell you, it was not fun.

#5 A Very Sad Way To Wake Up

My girlfriend’s mother told me there were two police officers at the front door. My own mother was standing with them as well. It was 4 a.m. and I was sleeping at the girlfriend’s house. They had come to inform me that my dad had passed away. That was around 14 years ago. It was the first time I experienced being awakened that way and I hope it’ll also be the last.


#6 The House Was Literally Falling Apart

My house was falling apart. I was remodeling a nightmare of a room in a 1925 house. I got into the walls and it was terrible. I removed the layer of plywood behind the drywall to see what the studs looked like. Well, the freaking plywood was holding up the walls, the studs had more or less disintegrated. So, the whole night I heard constant, loud settling noises, not normal ones. Loud pops, wood crunching, etc. Next morning I set up an exterior brace and that kept it sound long enough to properly repair it.


#7 A Dog On Two Legs

We used to have this weird old labrador that lived next door but would come sleep at ours some nights. It was weird because it would stand on its hind legs and trot around for a bit before getting on all fours again. One night, I woke up to what sounded like someone walking around the room. For about five seconds, I thought there was a child walking around my room until I realized it was that dog.


#8 Watch Out For The AI

Does anyone here have one of those robotic vacuums? When the power goes out, those things start wandering around, bumping into stuff. It’s absolutely terrifying to be woken up by one at 3 in the morning. The sound is even worse (and more startling) when it gets stuck on the corner of a rug or carpet. They’re definitely not for the easily spooked.
| Humaverse

#9 Nightmares Can Seem A Little Too Real

My wife and I positioned our bed so that if the door to the kids’ room was open, you could see into their room from our bed. In the middle of the night, I woke up for no apparent reason. Before turning over and returning to sleep, I glanced into our kid’s room and noticed our daughter’s bed was empty. I called out to her, but there was no reply. As I called louder, my wife woke up and asked what I was doing.

“I’m calling for Wilma,” I replied. “But honey, don’t you remember, she lost her life in the car crash,” she said back to me, concerned. As my world crumbled, I woke up again, for real this time. Our daughter was safely asleep in her bed. It was the worst nightmare I ever had. It still gives me the chills, 10 or so years later.


#10 Am I Going Crazy?

In grad school, my roommate stood directly over me, staring me down. She couldn’t decide if she should wake me up or not. She kept hearing this deep voice mumbling at inconsistent intervals and was torn between “there’s someone in the house” and “I’m finally losing my mind” (she was studying psych at the time). We finally figured out that it was the smoke detector needing new batteries.

#11 There’s A Car In My Bedroom

I had just gotten home from visiting my parents. I went to bed around 12:30 a.m and half an hour later, a car crashed into my bedroom. My ensuite was completely destroyed and the car was partially in my room. My roommate and I went outside after calling 911 to search for the driver. Thankfully, we found him and he was okay.

He was lying on the ground about 20 feet away from a car. He had empty cans in his car and pill bottles in his hands. He told us he was 25, but we soon found out from the police that he was 19. This whole situation has been a mess because my landlord wanted to do all the repairs himself. I just moved back into my room last week after living in the common room for the past two months.

I’m glad to finally have a bedroom again, but sleeping in that room still makes me nervous at night. I still can’t use my bathroom after 10 pm because it makes me nervous. I’ll be fine eventually, I just need to get used to it.


| Humaverse

#12 Thankfully, It Was Not A Bear

My buddy and I were camping and we saw a bear, so we decided to sleep in his car. I was still worried about the bear, so it took forever for me to fall asleep. Right after I finally dozed off, I woke up to screams and something grabbing my face. I immediately started crying, knowing that a bear was about to rip my face off. Then I realized it was just my friend having a night terror. I was livid.


#13 Some Children Need Extra Child-Proofing

My two-year-old stood over me with a kitchen knife. He wanted sliced apples at 4 in the morning and somehow managed to climb up on a table to pull out a knife. Now we keep them in the cupboard.

#14 Heart Attack Material

One time, I was taking a nap in my bedroom and happened to have a really horrible nightmare. I then woke up to some strange man standing in my bedroom shining a flashlight in my face while I lay in bedBoth of us freaked out. He turned out to be the maintenance guy for the apartment complex I lived in, and he was finally responding to a maintenance request I had put in like, six months before.

He thought the apartment was empty, then heard me thrashing around, so he went into my dark bedroom to look. After both of us recovered from our near heart attacks, he was extremely apologetic, and he did finally fix my garbage disposal… but man, that was freaking terrifying for a few seconds. Sometimes it’s scary living alone.


#15 It’s A Twister, It’s A Twister!

I’ve woken up several times to the sound of tornado sirens going off in the middle of the day. They test them on the first Wednesday of every month, but when they wake you up, your first thought isn’t what day it is. Every single time the siren goes off, I literally snap up and throw my blanket off my mattress. Then I check my phone for the official alerts and realize I got my blanket dirty for nothing.
| Humaverse

#16 And This Is How People Swallow Spiders

A spider landing on my face as I was opening my eyes. In retrospect, the little guy was probably as terrified as I was. I think it had accidentally fallen somehow. I’ve never been afraid of spiders, but ever since that incident, I’ve been having a hard time falling asleep. It doesn’t help that I sleep on my back and the last thing I always see before dozing off is my bedroom ceiling.

#17 Some Unknown Powder

While studying abroad, I was staying the night in a hostel in Barcelona. The room I was in was fairly small, probably about six bunks. I was sleeping soundly when I suddenly woke up choking, covered in some unknown powder and hearing a loud whooshing sound. It turned out, an extremely tipsy Australian decided to spray a fire extinguisher in the room.

#18 What Was Behind That Door?

My dog barked only once in a low voice, which was weird because he generally goes wild if someone is at front of the door or passes through the hallway. He then sat up in a way he never did before, just staring at the door. Nothing happened, but it was still scary because he was acting completely opposite from his normal behavior.

#19 Night Lights

My son has taken to sleepwalking. He used to just stand by the bed, silently, until I’d snap awake and see his silhouette looming over me. Now, he’s taken to turning on the lights while he’s sleepwalking. I woke up one night, and he was standing there, turning the lights on and off, on and off, completely zoned out. I got him back to bed, and right when I think I’m done with it, I wake up again at 3 a.m. to find all of the lights downstairs turned on.


#20 The Mating Call

I woke up to the sound of a fox doing his mating call. It sounded like a woman screaming, and it was right outside my window. It was making that noise pretty much the entire night, so every time I went back to sleep, I’d be awakened by the fox again. I had to call in sick the next day because I woke up with the biggest migraine the next day after all that intermittent sleep.


#21 Protecting Her Young

I had adopted a cat and a kitten in the same week. The cat was super obsessed with the kitten and would constantly carry him around. She’d also yell when he was out of sight. One night, I woke up with the feeling of being watched and the cat was sitting in front of my face, just staring at me. The kitten had fallen asleep curled up against my side. I had never felt so threatened by an animal.

#22 Waking Up To The Earth Shaking

A 6.0 earthquake rumbled through my area at 3 in the morning. It was probably the most helpless I have ever felt. I expected my ceiling fan to fall on me. When you’re lying in bed with no protection nearby, you basically just have to hold on and hope everything is alright. Luckily, I made it out of that one and nothing in my apartment was overly damaged.


#23 Why Can’t I Hear You?

I slept with earbuds in by accident. When my dad walked in to wake me up, I couldn’t hear anything for a couple of minutes and I was terrified I went deaf. On a separate occasion, I slept with my earbuds in again and I woke up in the middle of the night to a song on full blast playing in my ears. I had accidentally pressed the play button on my cellphone which was under my pillow during my sleep.


#24 Candles Can Be Dangerous

The scariest thing was when I woke up to my bed and pillow being on fire after I accidentally fell asleep with a candle burning (I was reading, and dropped off). I was lucky enough to have several bottles of water nearby and was able to put it out, but it was a terrifying way to wake up. All I could smell were burnt linens and ash.


#25 “I’m Not Even Here”

I lived in a basement apartment which is pitch black at night. One night, I heard a noise, was shushed, and a voice that said, “I’m not even here. Sorry to wake you.” It was my landlord, who came in to reset the timer on the external lights. I’m guessing he didn’t wake me the last time. I took to leaving a chair in front of my apartment door and moved out as quickly as I could.


#26 A Good Guard Dog

I woke up to my dog growling. Someone was shining a light into my window at 2 a.m. I was super out of it, trying to process what was going on since the light was coming from someone in my fenced-in backyard. Then, my dog barked loudly and the person ran away. If it were not for my dog, I might have been robbed that night.

#27 Cats Sure Can Be Selfish Sometimes

I woke up suffocating with something heavy pressing down on my face, covering my mouth and nose. At first, I thought it was my duvet, so I tried to shift it, but it wouldn’t budge. Then, I tried to reach up and force the thing off me. It turned out, it was just my fat cat who decided to curl up on my face and was unwilling to move. I used all my strength to slide him off.

#28 She Was Possessed For A Minute There

I was in college and shared a bedroom with one of my roommates. I woke up to my covers being dragged off of me (which was scary enough) and I turned over to see my roommate wrapped in my blanket. I said, “Lauren, what is going on?!” She just sat up and yelled, “HE TOLD ME TO DO IT!” pointing to the dark, empty corner of our bedroom. I couldn’t fall back asleep.

#29 Nobody Messes With This Guy’s Daughter

This is the scariest thing I’ve woken up to. My sister was taken from our home at knifepoint. We stupidly left a back sliding glass door unlocked and a man who worked at a traveling fair came in, took a knife from our kitchen, went upstairs and grabbed my little sister who was 9 years old at the time. I luckily woke up when she let out a little scream and saw the man dragging her down the stairs.

I screamed for my father who jumped out of bed and chased after them. He caught them about 10 feet outside the sliding glass door. The kidnapper told my dad he would kill my sister if he got any closer. My father told him he’d have to kill him first. My sister elbowed the guy and my father immediately jumped him.

My father is a big guy. The fight didn’t last long and the guy was in a coma for 2 days. The aftermath was tough. My sister couldn’t sleep in her room for over a year. I would often stay up all night with a baseball bat guarding my family. Slowly, we all healed. My sister is married with her own kids now. She’s a great mom, but understandably overprotective.


#30 Gotta Protect Grandma At All Costs

When I was a freshman in high school, my family went on a beach trip. The condo that they got didn’t have enough room for everyone, so my grandma booked another room directly under the one my family stayed in. My cousin and I stayed in there with her. The entire week, we had thought we felt something in that room. There was just some sort of energy that felt very bad.

One night, I had a dream that my grandma was dead, floating in the living room. I woke up from that dream and my grandma started screaming the most violent, blood-chilling scream I’d ever heard in my life. She was just nonstop screaming in her sleep. I woke her up and told her she was just dreaming. I stayed in the room with the rest of my family for the remainder of the trip.

#31 Mississippi Is Wild

I was on a very long solo bicycle trip. One night, I camped by myself in the middle of a forest in Mississippi. I had been warned about the wildlife there. A coyote howling to the left of my tent woke me up at 3 in the morning. Then, he howled again and about six of his buddies answered to my left. They all howled and about six more came to my right.

There was no getting around it. I was surrounded by a pack of coyotes and they wanted to let me know this was their turf. I didn’t move. I just sat in my tent with a pocketknife in one hand and a can of pepper spray in the other until the sun rose. As soon as there was daylight, I packed my gear on my bike and got out of there.


| Humaverse

#32 Driving Tired Sometimes Does Not End Well

I woke up to my car thumping over the dirt shoulder at 60 miles an hour. We had been at an all-day music festival, and I was driving home at 3 a.m. I didn’t even feel tired, but somehow I ended up dozing off at the wheel. I was jolted awake by the car bouncing over a hump of dirt. I slammed the brakes and stared out the windshield for a moment, white-knuckled on the steering wheel and trying to stop my heart from pounding in my throat. I was wide awake after that; I drove home jittery with adrenaline. Don’t be dumb like me. If you’re sleepy, just pull over or let someone else drive.

#33 Wishing The Dream Were The Reality

My daughter passed away and I’ve had several dreams of her being alive. Waking up and realizing she’s still gone is like losing her all over again.

#12 It’s Not Time For School Yet, Honey

I heard my front door open and close in the early morning on a Saturday. I got up but didn’t see anyone in the apartment. Then, I checked on the kids, and my son (he was about 7 at the time) was gone. OH NO!!! I woke up my husband and we spent a few frantic minutes searching the complex. Just before calling the police, I got to the main road, and there was our son. He was in school clothes with his backpack. He thought it was a school day and went out to wait for the bus.

#35 Near-Death By Cuddly Dog

One of my friends lives way out in the woods. A group of us decided to go camping on her property. Mostly everyone shared a tent, but I was in a hammock. Around 6 a.m., just when the sun was starting to rise, something heavy slammed down on my chest. It was breathing right in my face. In a split second, I had accepted my fate of being breakfast for a bear or mountain lion (both rare, but had been seen on her property before, so it wasn’t impossible). Turns out, her boxer dog Maggie. She just wanted some morning cuddles.

#36 Creepy Toddler Songs

I woke up in the middle of the night hearing “hi-hi-hi, ha-ha-ha” through the baby monitor. Apparently, my 3-year-old learned a new song at school. For the next couple of nights, she would break out into that song while everyone was sleeping. Despite knowing it was just something he learned at school, it still creeped me out to hear him sing it at 2 a.m. in the morning.


#37 When Lightning Strikes Too Close To Home

A few years ago, a lightning strike hit 10 meters away from my house and into a lantern at 4 a.m. It was so freaking loud and bright. After that, I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I spent some time just looking out my window, watching the lightning strikes nearby. I needed around one hour to calm down and get back to sleep.

#38 Just A Cockroach

I heard a rustling noise in the mini trash can near my bed. At first, I thought it was my fan making the bag move, but when I put my iPhone light near it, something jumped and moved. It was a cockroach, rummaging through my garbage. A cockroach woke me up at 3 a.m. and kept me up for the rest of the night. Ew.


#39 Bees Do Not Belong In The House

About 50 to 100 yellowjackets were buzzing at my bedroom window on the INSIDE trying to get OUT. The sound of the buzzing and tapping on the glass woke me. My wife and kid were in the bed with me at the time. The bees had bored a hole into the outside trim and created a HUGE colony inside the wall. Apparently, that morning, they finally made it through the drywall and into the house.


#40 Lucid Dreams Aren’t Always Fun

One time, my son woke me in the middle of the night, crawling into my bed and telling me a man was bothering him. I usually try to go “banish the monsters” in his room so he can go back to sleep in there, so I went and admonished the air: “Leave my son alone! This isn’t your place!” This time, my son wanted to stay in my room and not go back to his own bed, so I made room for him and moved over to the edge of my bed.
About 30 minutes later, I had a frightening lucid dream that this tall, shrouded man was at the side of my bed. He started jabbing at my side, telling me that I interrupted his fun, and now he was going to bother me. I couldn’t move and I just had to put up with it until I was able to snap out of it. It was one of the scariest things I ever experienced.

#41 A Stray Hair

The first time I visited my significant other and her family, we stayed at a hotel. It was on the cheaper side because I was staying for a week and we didn’t have a lot of money. That night, we were in bed together and I woke up to something on me. I’m a little baby when it comes to surprises. I felt this thing crawling on my chest and I flipped.

I literally pulled the covers off and bolted for the door. I was standing in the hallway in my boxers breathing as if I had just run a marathon. My significant other came out and asked what happened. I explained to her a giant bug was crawling on me. After some searching around, we didn’t find anything. I went into bed again and after a few minutes, I felt it again. Being awake this time, I looked around to see what it was.

Hair… it was my partner’s hair that had scared the heck out of me. In my slumbering stupor, I had mistaken her hair for a giant insect and she still does not let me live it down. From that moment on, I tried not to sleep in such close proximity to her. I get startled way too easy and I figured I’d never get any sleep if I kept feeling her hair on me.


#42 Oh, Canada!

I was camping with my brother and cousin at the time. We went to sleep in our tent. Next thing I knew, we were being trampled and flipped over by a moose. Canada, eh.


#43 Maybe It’s Time To Move To Higher Ground

I woke up to tsunami warning sirens at 2 a.m. Scary stuff, you only have six minutes to get to the high ground where I live. I grabbed my dogs, some food, and texted my family that I loved them. I then spent the next two hours alone in the dark waiting to die before the warning was finally lifted. It was a really terrible memory.

#44 Poor Dog Was Probably Scared Too

I was awakened by the sound of my stepfather screaming, “Get out of our house!” I was in bed thinking that a person was in our house, but turns out it was our neighbor’s dog! Ha! That night, there was a storm and it knocked over one of their trees onto our fence. The dog came through our backyard and into our house through a doggie door.


#45 A Service Dog Exceeding Expectations

My daughter’s service dog came running into my room barking, so my husband and I jumped up to go check on her. She was nowhere to be found. The back door was wide open; winter. There were footsteps in the snow, leading towards the road. I ran in, pulled on some clothes, took the dog and headed out. My husband called 911 then got in the car to follow us.

My dog ran after her. He found her, barefoot, walking along the side of our rural road, over a mile from home. Dog prints went both directions for a good distance. Best we could tell, she had a seizure and became disoriented. My dog followed her, as always, and then at some point realized she needed more help and LEFT HER to come back and GET US.

We would not have known she was gone for hours, at which point she likely would have died from exposure. She was in a t-shirt and underwear, nothing else, mid-winter in snow. That dog saved her life several times. But being woken up like that was the scariest thing ever.


#46 “Mr. Whiskers?”

I woke up to my son crying in our room, and an immense weight in the center of the bed between my wife and I. I reached over and felt damp, coarse hair. My first thought was, is that my cat? Followed by “THAT’S NOT THE CAT!” I immediately jumped out of bed and was screaming both involuntarily and uncontrollably to the point of hyperventilating and almost passing out, when I hit the light switch, nothing was there. My wife confirmed afterward that she felt something in the bed with us too. To this day we still have no idea what we experienced that night.