Everyone and their aunt has a childhood memory that they swear by. Yet, the older we get, the less plausible it seems, thereby turning it into an inexplicable memory. But as impossible as they seem, you know they happened. These people share stories of their most unfathomable childhood memory.
#1 Water Dream
Every year at our cabin, I used to have a dream that I fell into the lake. Though, I was told later that I actually fell into a lake when I was younger. I never have this dream at home. Now, I don’t know if the repressed memory is trying to tell me not to go in the water or to just not be stupid and fall face first.
#2 Late Night Visitor
When I was 10 or 11, I woke up very early in the morning to someone driving down our long driveway. It was dark outside, but I peeped out my window to watch a man look into all of our car windows, survey our flower beds, and finally peer into my bedroom window. I played asleep and when I looked out the window again, he was driving backwards out of our driveway.
In the morning, I mentioned what I saw to everyone, but no one acknowledged hearing or seeing anything, despite the man’s headlights being very bright, maybe even switched to brights. Plus, he slammed his car doors very loudly. But, I can remember how scary it was having his face pressed against the window above my head and praying he didn’t try the lock. No one believes me to this day. I swear it was not a dream.
#3 Vampire Friend
When I was a kid, I had a classmate who claimed he was a vampire. I didn't believe him, but I told him if his eyes glowed in the dark, that would prove he was a vampire. So, we went into the bathroom and I turned off the light. His eyes were glowing. It scared the bejesus out of me. I opened the door, ran outside, jumped on my bike and got as far away from my house as I thought I could. When I eventually came back home, the classmate was gone and my dad was angry that I abandoned my friend.
#4 Christmas in July
When I was younger, I remember one birthday of mine in particular. Despite inviting a decent number of people, my neighbor was the only person able to make it to my birthday party because of an incredibly strong and sudden snowstorm. I can remember the day and the snow so clearly in my mind. But my birthday’s in July.
#5 Childhood Powers
I could hold my breath underwater for what the adults called a scarily long time and it was because I could take a second breath under the water. I cannot explain it now and I’ve tried to repeat it as an adult, but that resulted in a) not being able to, and then b) very painful aspiration followed by coughing up fluid and a subsequent lung infection.
#6 It’s a Bird...
I lived on farmland in the country and I was pretty familiar with the local wildlife. I'd seen plenty of eagles and owls in the past, so I could recognize them from a distance. One day, as I'm riding home in the car, my dad points at one of the power lines along the road and perched on top I see something huge.
This thing looked taller than me, too solid of a profile to be a crane, too big to be an eagle or turkey vulture. It was still half a mile away, so I couldn't make out any fine details or colors. Before we got close enough to see it well, it swooped down off the pole and flew away. I never saw anything like it again. That thing looked bigger than our car. My dad is convinced to this day we saw a pterodactyl. Grandma thinks it was a Thunderbird.
#7 The Same Dream
My sister and I apparently both had the same, scary dream one night. We were staying in this villa where we had to share a room and we both woke up suddenly. The window was open when it hadn't been before. I realized she was awake as well and told her I'd had a bad dream. As I started to describe it, she started talking along with me, describing the same dream.
In it, this black creature that looked like a bull, only it had shiny, scaly, plastic-looking skin. It stood in the open window with this weird mechanical device, and it somehow fired a projectile at the lamp in the room, which started rocking back and forth. Neither of us wanted to get up and close the window in case the thing was actually out there, so we called for our mom and she closed it. She then reassured us in typical mom fashion, etc. For months we would talk about that incident and we could never figure out how we both managed to have the same exact dream at the same time.
#8 Extinct Humans
My mother walked into my room and woke me up to tell me that most of the world's population was dead. I spent the rest of the day as normal, eating breakfast, going shopping with her, going to a playground, then eating dinner (albeit, quite nervous throughout). The next day, she tried to make it clear that what started the previous morning wasn't true. I asked her if she remembered, but she told me she didn't. I'm certain it wasn't a dream because I recalled the rest of what happened the previous day to her, only to be met by her confirmation that everything I remembered was correct, right down to how shaky I was. All except for the part that humanity was on the brink of extinction.
#9 Peter Pan
When I was a kid, I used to have nightmares. Naturally, I had some trouble getting to sleep. In order to help me sleep at night, my dad put up a poster of Peter Pan in my room and told me that when I went to sleep, Peter would fly out of the poster and chase all of the monsters away. I never had another bad dream.
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#10 A Tornado
I remember laying in bed one night, staring hard out the window because it was storming pretty bad. All of a sudden, it got even darker. My mom calmly walked in my room and said, "Stop looking out the window, honey. It's not safe." Then she left and I saw garbage tossed into the air. I could hear the shingles slapping against the roof because they nearly got ripped off.
At the time, it seemed pretty obvious that it was a tornado given all the destruction. But the next day, my parents acted like nothing happened. We even went outside at one point and everything looked the same as it always had. So, thinking about it now, I don't know if it really happened or if it was a dream.
#11 Friend in Dreams
I could lucid dream when I was a kid. I would actually get really excited to go to bed because I could decide what to dream and then dream it. I had a recurring character in my lucid dreams. He was a boy my age with blonde hair. We would always play in this backyard-type setting that had a big brick wall on the edge.
One night, I dreamt that we really wanted to find out what was on the other side of that wall, so we climbed a tree and the boy climbed onto the wall, looked back at me, waved, and went over it. I never lucid dreamed again after that. It actually caused me a lot of distress as a kid. I legit missed him terribly and tried so hard to lucid dream but just couldn't do it anymore after that.
#12 Cat Tails
I was around three to five years old when this happened. I woke one night while camping in a cabin, and I saw a cat tail dangle from this lamp. It'd sink down, and then disappear back up into the lampshade. It also started calling for me, going, "Whoo hoo!" It unnerved the heck out of me when I was little. I can't remember if I just never checked to see if there was anything there, or that I did check and there was nothing there. I chalk it up to being so tired that I hallucinated.
#13 Internet Cafe
The whole neighborhood thought I was kidnapped when I was a kid. I never really knew why or what the thought process was, but apparently the people frantically searched for me. What I remembered was that my elder cousin and her husband took me to an internet cafe to let me watch them pick their wedding outfits.
When we returned, everyone was shocked. My brother smiled because he knew I was in trouble, my mom was crying, and my dad got really upset with me. It was so surreal.
#14 Memories of Molly
When I was six, I had a girlfriend named Molly. I moved away the next year and never saw her again. For the next 40 years, one of my earliest and most vivid memories was me watching a six-year-old redhead girl running away from me, up towards her house, yelling, “Mommy, mommy, Jonathan kissed me!” and her mother’s voice coming back, “Well, that must mean he really likes you.”
A few years ago, I had a little sangria and decided to see if Molly was on Facebook (I know, I know). There she was! Right name, age, hometown, the same lovely red hair. I messaged her asking if she was the right red-headed girl. She wrote back that she was definitely the right Molly (and was happy to hear from me) but she’d only started colouring her hair red after college. Memory’s a trip, man.
#15 In the Hallway
When I was a child, I remember, very vividly, seeing a leprechaun in the hallway of my house. It freaked me out so bad that I had to tell someone. I woke my mom up yelling, "Someone's in the house!" We walked from room to room with cutlery from the kitchen, looking for the leprechaun, but never found that shifty little weirdo.
#16 The Tooth Fairy
I very vividly remember seeing the tooth fairy in my room at night. I called my mom in the room, but the tooth fairy was gone. However, the money was under my pillow. I now think it’s the only time I experienced sleep paralysis because I couldn’t move for what seemed like a long time while the fairy was telling me to go back to sleep. It may have been my mom telling me so she could put the money under the pillow without being caught.
#17 Exploding Head Syndrome
I remember being at a playground with my family and seeing lightning strike right in front of me. I didn’t hear any thunder, no one else saw it, but I remember seeing it pretty vividly. Not sure if there’s something that can go on in your brain that would cause something like that to happen, but I remember pleading with my mom to believe that I had just seen a lightning bolt strike right in front of me, and she just ignored me.
After more research in adulthood, I’m pretty sure this was “exploding head syndrome.” I’d never heard of it before, but it most accurately represents what I experienced.
#18 An Intruder
As a kid, it was only my mom and I. Sometimes she'd leave me home alone while she was at work (e.g. during school holidays and some weekends). I was about seven and the first few times, I was terrified. I was completely convinced someone would break in, so I'd take enough food from the kitchen then lock myself in my bedroom all day. I also wouldn't drink too much water, to avoid using the bathroom. When I watched television, I set it to the lowest volume possible and sat right up close to listen, and I wouldn't turn on any lights when it got dark. That way, burglars wouldn't know I was home. I also played hiding games with myself sometimes, so that burglars won't find me if they broke in.
After a year of nothing happening, my nerves settled, though I still locked the bedroom door after me. I don't remember what I was doing, but I was in my bedroom when I heard a door slam in the living room during the daytime. I froze. There was a rustling, and I could hear heavy footsteps back and forth. I remained totally still. Whenever it went quiet, I thought maybe it would be okay to get up, but the noises would start again. I heard things moved around, maybe shuffling. The movements were purposeful, in a hurry.
I don't remember how long it was until they stopped long enough that I thought they left. I don't recall whether I heard the door slam shut again. Honestly, I think I just got sick of sitting completely still in one position. The sun was setting, so I crept out to look around. The place was maybe messier, but our apartment was always in disarray so I couldn't really tell. For some reason I thought I'd get in trouble if anything was missing, so I started tidying up. My mom came home later, and I didn't say a word. It was probably just my mom coming back for something, or a neighbour, or at most, an opportunistic thief who didn't find anything worth stealing. But I did always wonder what happened that day.
#19 Not Barney
When I was really young, I was babysat by a couple of teenage girls who were friends with one of my older cousins. They took me to a party, laid me down in a random bedroom upstairs, and put on a random video tape that definitely wasn't Barney or anything else suited for children. My mom swears this never happened, but I remember it way too clearly for me to make it up.
#20 A Red Light
I’m about 95% sure that I sort of got hit by a car when crossing the street with my mom. There was a red light and we didn’t cross at a crosswalk. A car inched forward and I remember falling onto the hood, but I was fine. I used to literally get flashbacks for years. But my mom swears it never happened. I think she’s lying.
#21 A Vivid Dream
I have this weird memory of sleeping in an office block in south London with my mom on an air bed. I recall looking out of the window and feeling sad. Years later, I was driving and got a very strong impulse to stop outside this building. I was 100% certain it was that one. Every time I went past it, it felt odd.
My mom says it didn’t happen and everyone else concurs. My best conclusion at this stage is that I probably had a very vivid dream that became conflated with something else.
#22 Apartment Above the Salon
There was an apartment above a beauty salon in my town with outdoor walk-up stairs. I vividly remember going up those steps and standing on the porch while my mom talked with an overweight woman with a cane. My mom denies it to this day and at this point, I have to assume I just dreamt it. But I remember being a kid and being so confused about why my mom would deny going there when I remembered it so clearly. My mom can be weird but I don’t think she’s lying because honestly, I think she would’ve just left me in the car like she usually did.
#23 Alley by the House
I have a strong memory from when I was three or four years old. I decided with a similarly young friend to take an unaccompanied walk down an alleyway to a supermarket that was behind our house, where we ate strawberries straight from the shelf. Of course, someone noticed us and managed to get us back to our parents, possibly with the involvement of the police.
We moved from that house when I was four. My family has always said this didn't happen, but fast-forward to the Google Maps era and I confirmed that my memory of the alleyway being there and having a supermarket behind the house are absolutely correct, so it's hard for me to believe that the rest is a figment of my imagination.
#24 Mountain Ranges
When I was a little kid, I used to think that the mountain ranges on the horizon on the way to my grandma and grandpa's house were actually built by my uncle Richard. I have no idea how this idea came into my head. But I remember that when I figured out that there was no way it was possible, I was pretty bummed out.
#25 Are You There, Dolly?
I met Dolly Parton when I was a kid. I have no idea why or how, but it was in Illinois. It was like meeting the sun. She was just the nicest person ever. It was also the first time I ever met anyone with a Southern accent and I told her that and she cried laughing. I know my dad took me, but nobody really knows why.
#26 No More Humans
My mom once told me that all of humanity was virtually gone. I went about most of my day thinking most of humanity was gone, and seeing practically no one around. But my second-grade brain, in the middle of the day, suddenly said, "This doesn't make sense, why would most of the world population disappear?" And suddenly, I could see everyone, and realized everything was fine. A very surreal experience.
#27 Don’t Touch That
One of my first memories as a child was when I was playing outside when I was three or four years old. I was hiding behind a bush and some kind of bug (I’m guessing it was a spider) crawled up the side of the house next to me. When I reached down to pick it up, someone grabbed my arm. I remember it scaring the soul out of me and when I instantly turned around and no one was there. I don't believe in God or angels and I've always wondered if this was a dream because it's the only thing that I can't explain.
#28 I Believe I Can Fly
Sometime before the age of five, I remember being convinced that if I tried hard enough, and believed in myself, I could fly. So I would practice flying; I’d jump down the stairs when nobody was watching. I never developed my ability to fly, but I vividly remember basically cannon balling down 14 steps, and just gliding down in mid air. I’d also land at the bottom totally safe and uninjured. This happened many times over the years.
#29 Colours in the Sky
I was punished by my foster parents, who were really old, for fooling around in church. The old woman got so angry that when we got home she had me kneel in the corner as punishment all day. I remember looking out the window when I was taking a peek behind me. Time sped up and I watched the sun move across the sky in seconds. It was early (after morning Sunday mass) right up until the sun left my view from the window and the sky was the colour of a sunset. It was so weird. It was a common form of punishment, but it’s a clear memory but I’ll never be able to explain it.
Me and my friends used to visit a "haunted" mansion regularly when we were younger, hoping to see something weird. Well, one day we did. It was a giant building and it was always beyond me why someone would just abandon it and let it rot away. It was always apparent that no one lived there, so we got scared when the lights went on in every room.
My friends to this day swear they saw a figure running through the buildings at an incredible pace, not trying to look out the window but just running really fast. Nonetheless, the moment they started running I also went full-on Usain Bolt mode. Since they still say it's what happened, I don't have any reason to doubt it.
So, either we saw something paranormal or just a hobo that really liked installing light bulbs in an abandoned mansion so that he can run from room to room just to scare people that are watching the building from the outside. Either way, for the rest of my life, I definitely won't go remotely close to that building anymore.
#31 A Small Gathering
I have a distinct memory of this weird event, but my parents have no idea what I’m talking about. I remember being seven or eight, standing in a smallish crowd alongside my parents, staring at the front porch of a white farmhouse at night. All the while, a vibrant green light shone back in my face. Someone was speaking intensely, maybe like an angry preacher or the way someone whips up an angry group of people. Everyone was staring and super focused on him. I remember all the adults being mad and feeling like something was coming. I can see this so clearly in my mind, and to this day I associate feelings of fear with this memory. But I have no real idea what it was and my parents swear it never happened. But I still think about it sometimes and it sends shivers up my spine, like I’m forgetting the rest of what happened and it was bad.
#32 Missing Books
One night as a child, I was laying down in bed and trying to fall asleep. All of a sudden, it appeared that a ghost hand emerged from behind my bookshelf and grabbed the book on the end of the shelf. I was scared out of my mind at first, but then convinced myself it was just a dream so that I could fall asleep. The next day when I woke up, the book on the end of the shelf was missing. I never found it.
#33 Worm Box Theory
I clearly remember my mother explaining to me when I was around six or seven something she called "Worm Box Theory". Basically, she explained that supposedly you have a wardrobe full of boxes with worms. Each box represented time and each worm a human being. If you removed a box, you removed a certain time period and the humans that lived during that time. In the same fashion, if you took a worm from one box and put it in another or vice versa, you removed or added a person to a different time than the one they lived.
I clearly remember with graphic details of how the boxes and the wardrobe works, how the removing and adding work. She seemed like she genuinely believed what she said and claimed that there was a being who controlled the box. She believed that one day he’d order a stop — all the worms would stop moving and the sickly ones would pass. She claims nowadays that she has no idea what I'm talking about and that such a thing never happened.
#34 Night City
I was a seven-year-old kid in rural Utah. I was staying the night at my grandparents' house. I didn't want to sleep, so around midnight I went down into the basement. I took my matchbox cars and played "night city" with my glowing "Better Blocks". I had this little metropolis going on when my uncle came down to play with me.
Should I mention my great uncle passed when I was two? Well, he did. Anyway, my great uncle and I played "night city" for a good hour. I remember it like it was yesterday. He drove the Lincoln, because that was his favorite car. Anyway, it got late, he had to leave so he wouldn't miss his train. He left, I went to sleep.
The next morning I asked when my uncle was coming back to play again. My grandparents were slightly offended that I bought it up. They hadn't seen him since before I was born and wanted nothing to do with him. He was the black sheep of the family. I said he and I played cars and showed them the car that he drove in our city. They were uncomfortable with this and chalked it up to my imagination.
I never met my uncle. Over the years since then, I learned that he drove both a train (for Union Pacific) and a Lincoln MKVII. Like I said, I don't believe in ghosts, but I don't know how I knew things about an estranged relative who passed before I was born and was never spoken of, due to certain family issues. To this day, I don't know what happened that night.
#35 Orb in the Sky
I was probably eight years old when my mom looked out the window and said, "Come look at this." I saw she was pointing at a silvery orb in the sky, I'm guessing a mile or two away. It was moving left, right, then closer, then farther. Each movement was very quick and probably half a mile in distance. I remember I looked up and said, "What is it?" She said, "I don’t know. Do you think it's a UFO?" Just then, it vanished with a streak, followed by a rainbow flash that instantly went away.
#36 Suspended in Air
When I was about five or six, my younger brother told me he wanted to show me a secret. At the time, he was around three or four. We waited until no one was around and he started jumping on a trampoline. He said, "Ready? Watch this?" and then just sort of... hung suspended in the air for about 10 seconds. It sounds crazy, but to this day we both know it happened.
#37 A Boy’s Fort
Once at a summer camp on the edge of the woods, me and my friend went a different direction than we normally did and found this fort. Not like an ancient stone one or anything, it was built by a couple of boys who were standing in it, but it was really impressive. I remember having to look way up to see the boys, and we talked to them for a little, until we heard the whistle that meant we had to get back to the main camp area. We never found that fort, or those boys, again despite how hard we looked, and I’d be convinced I dreamt it if the friend didn’t say she remembers it too.
#38 Night and Day
I was outside during recess in kindergarten playing catch with my friend. I suddenly saw the day turn into night in the blink of an eye. There was no warning or "gradual" setting; the day simply turned into night. Everyone stopped playing and looked up. I remember my friend's eyes looking at me in horror as my other classmates started to scream. Suddenly, the memory stops. I don’t remember anything else that happened after and I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
#39 The Easter Bunny Cometh
I swear, one time I saw a full-sized adult in an Easter bunny costume in our dining room. This was in my first house, so I had to be three or younger because we moved after that. My mom and dad swear no one dressed up, but I know I was awake and saw it. I thought it was magical as a child, but now my adult mind just remembers it and gets creeped out.
#40 Vanishing Act
I used to sleep on the top bunk when I was around six. It was the middle of the night and I woke up, then looked down to the floor. My toddler sister was walking around the room. I said her name, she looked up at me and vanished. I remember this vividly, down to the pyjamas she was wearing. (She’s alive and in her 30s now, in case anyone thinks I saw a ghost.)
#41 Burnt Photos
I was maybe five or six when I was visiting at my uncle’s house. He and my aunt had kind of a farm where they lived. I was just playing around the far side of the property and happened to stumble upon a burnt out fireplace. I saw half burnt photos of a mysterious woman in a pool. I never asked because it seemed very wrong.
#42 Slithering Fabric
When I was very young, like four or something, I had some weird things wake me up. This happened at least four times that I can recall. I would fall asleep somewhere and wake up to a part of a blanket or something like a ribbon slithering all over my chest. In bed, it was a part of the blanket that seemed to come to life and just crawl over my chest. On a couch it was a strip of the fabric that would come out from under the cushions. It had to be some weird dream… right?
#43 A Summer Together
I once had a dream that I met a girl around my age when I was a kid. We shared a whole summer together, playing games and doing all sorts of fun things. Just before the dream ended, though, I faintly remember her smiling with the sun behind her. I woke up crying and feeling like I just lost someone important.
#44 The Hole
My family had a backyard that connected to another house’s backyard. The other house wasn’t well kept the grass was always way too high and we were told not to cross the property line. Well, me being a kid, wanted to inspect this hole that happened to be in the ground. As I got closer, I realized the hole was huge, like a sinkhole.
I was lying on my stomach, some of the ground gave way and I fell in. I got up and was standing and my hand just touched the rim of the hole. I remember feeling so terrified that I was stuck. I asked my parents about this hole and what they did when I fell in. Turns out, they have no memory of it at all. This makes me question if was even real. The fear from my “memory” is so real that even now, some 20 years later, I remember it very vividly and a lot of details about the hole. It’s one of those things that has always bothered me.
#45 Castle in the Clouds
I live in a town surrounded by rice fields and that’s the main source of income to all of the people there. I was maybe in elementary school and me and my friends would always play by the rice field any time of the day.
One time we saw this blue castle that was more like a Disneyland castle built on a mountain. Every time we played, we would often see that and joke about how rich the owner of that castle was. But a decade had passed and whenever I told them about that castle, they’d often get confused and give me this confused look, which was weird because these people were the ones that I’d played with during those times.
The castle is no longer there. I don’t know what happened to it or why my friends couldn’t remember anything about it.
#46 Monster on the Wall
My friend once told me a story when he was seven or eight years old. There was a blackout. So, the family lit candles in every room. He was fascinated by the shadows created by the candles in his room. Being a kid, he made shadow puppets of some typical, friendly animals such as ducks, rabbits, dogs, and similar things.
Then he made a shadow of an evil monster. His two hands formed the face, and his pinkies formed the horns. He was quite satisfied with it. Then he put down his hands; but the shadow remained there. It wouldn't move. Even after he tried to create other shadows. He ran to his room and hid underneath the bed covers.
#47 IV Drip
I don't remember how young I was, but it was definitely before age eight. I was old enough to form coherent sentences, I was hospitalised (with an IV drip) for long enough that my dad would take time off work to see me. I do remember my mother forcing me to name my IV pole (I think we called it Jimmy), which is apparently a thing people do. I also remember when they were about to un-IV me, one of the doctors said, "Do you need me to tie you down because you're gonna cry like a baby?" However, both of my parents deny this ever happening.
#48 Something in the Attic
I remember an attic and being genuinely afraid of it. I would sleepwalk as a kid and wake up underneath it, more than once having wet myself. Weird thing was there was always Lego there when I woke up. I'd sleep on it and recall it being quite sore. It was over thirty years ago but I remember one incident with an incredibly lucid dream that still troubles me to this day. I'm fine around attics now, never had a problem anywhere but that house.
#49 Hallway Shadows
I remember laying in my mom’s bed while she was asleep. It was dark, but I could make out the frame of the bedroom door, and it looked like there was a shadowy figure just standing there. It was probably my mind making things up in the darkness. It must have been at a very young age before I understood fear because I don’t remember feeling anything in particular.
#50 The Woman Inside
My sister is ten years younger than me. When I was in middle school, both my parents worked swing shifts, so I would take care of her after school on any given day.
One of those particular days, she was napping in her bedroom, which was on the far end of the house, and I was watching television in the living room. I even remember very specifically that I was watching Clarissa Explains It All and that the show was on a commercial break when all the weird stuff started happening. Aside from the TV, the house was as quiet as could be, when from the other side of the house I heard a sudden and very decisive slam come from within the house somewhere. I sat upright and froze in that position.
I don't remember having any way to verify it, but I swear it was my parents' bedroom door that had slammed. Well, a full minute or so goes by before my sister (she couldn't have been a day older than three at the time) saunters into the living room with the most sleepy look on her face. At that point, I was so jostled that I couldn't really speak. My sister was the one to break the silence to ask, "Where did she go?" As I regained my wits, I asked "Where did who go?" to which my sister replied, "The lady that was just talking to me." I have no way of really knowing for sure, but I'm certain that at that point I must have gone pale. I distinctly remember the intermingled feelings of vertigo, nausea, and paranoia.
My sister shrugged it off and with humor in her voice said, "never mind" and went back to her room as if all was business as usual. I don't remember what eventually broke my paralysis, but I eventually got the nerve (after getting the largest kitchen item I could find, of course) and did a relatively poor sweep of the house.
To this day, the part about the whole thing that sticks with me the most - and still sends shivers down my spine - is how nonchalant my sister shrugged it off. Almost laughed it off. It just didn't sit right with me. Something about her mannerisms that felt far beyond her years. Of course, through the years I've brought it up and she has always maintained not have any recollection of it whatsoever.