Background Actors Confess What Conversations They're Actually Having Off To The Side
Background actors are needed for plays, for film, for commercials - if you want it to look convincing, you need people in the background. Production teams normally can't just shoot with strangers in the background, tons of people don't want to be filmed while they're just trying to get some pizza or something. So what to do? Cue the background actors! But with no real direction, and (let's be honest) nothing really important to offer to the storyline, what exactly do background actors talk about all day long?
One Reddit user asked:
The answers were everything we hoped for and more, lol. Brace yourself for a lot of talking about food, because apparently that's like 90% of being an actor.
The Produce Section
Typically something like:
"Peas and carrots, peas and carrots. Peas and carrots?"
"Oh! Banana banana banana!"
"Peas and carrots. Peas and peas and carrots."
Former theater kid here. I generally stuck to small talk and used exaggerated facial expressions/gestures to make it look interesting. When I'd be talking with a friend of mine, we either complained about something that had gone wrong in the show or exchanged a little gossip, lol. Theater was fun.
Sound Editor Says:
Friendly neighborhood Sound editor and mixer here!
Their words are almost entirely mouthed. The goal on set is to get the cleanest dialogue AND ONLY the main characters' dialogue. Almost all other sound is made in post. Door creaks, footsteps, clothing noise. This includes background voices. They come from what are called loop groups. And their conversations are normally nonsense so that nothing can be picked out and listened to. There jobs are to sound like mumble without mumbling!
16 Hours Of Silence
I'm training for Stunts, so I do a lot of background/extra work in-between. I'm in Chicago, so I work on things like Chicago Fire, Chicago med, Chicago Pd, empire, the exorcist, etc. Every time I've been on set, I've had to be dead quiet. The mics are so sensitive that even flipping a page to a magazine on the other side of the room will get picked up. Throw in 20 more conversations on top of that and you've got a hot steaming pile of useless junk. It's pretty awkward having to fake a conversation, especially since you normally don't even know the name of the person you're talking to. Having to repeat the same pretend fake conversation and actions for 10 takes, rehearsals, etc, kind of sucks but at least you never have to worry about getting the line wrong. Repeat for 12-16 hours. Sometimes you will literally sit in holding for HOURS at a time where you have to be silent, too.
TLDR: nothing, sets are crazy quiet 90% of the time
Netflix and Tacos
I was in a recent Netflix film as a background actor, and was paired with another girl for the scene. We had to act excited, so we started this long conversation about how great Taco Bell was. It was hilarious!
F The Proletariat!
This might just be me but I usually make up gossip that would fit in the context of the show. For example, I was a party guest in late 19th century Russia, and I would walk up to someone and quietly say something along the lines of "Man, f the proletariat, am I right? No way that'll ever come back to bite us!"
It's All About Chemistry
Depends on your chemistry with the person you're talking to. But it is always very quiet - almost inaudible. It can be talking about where you're gonna walk to next - sometimes you need to do this if your background character has to do a lot of movement without crashing into people or the set.
A lot of times it's nice to do some joking back and forth, trying to get the other person to "break" - just to keep it interesting. Example: One show, I had to have a really close-talking, kinda angry conversation with a girl in the background, and we ended up going back and forth saying the most outlandish stuff we could think of while making really serious concerned faces.
Oooh We Have To Bleep ALL Of This lol.
I was on Game of Thrones set dressing (props) and when Jamie Lannister was getting pulled down the hill at Rob Stark's camp all the extras were just shouting:
_"C_nt f_cking bastard f_cking dckhead"
and so on lol. When the director said cut everybody was laughing even Jamie Lannister
Larry v. Barry
I work as an extra to learn about the industry (I aspire to be and actor and director) and I always try to have fun with these background conversations and really try to flesh out a ridiculous subplot between myself and the other background artists I work with. For example, when doing a TV show last year, we did a couple of days where we filled out the same market setting for different scenes throughout the series. They often hired the same actors and had us wear the same costumes, so the people I was grouped with and I decided to create an arc in which one of extras was called 'Larry', but throughout the series he was replaced by his weird evil twin 'Barry'. You can watch the show and notice our reactions to the Barry/Larry character change as the 'plot' unfolds.
Always give it 100% as an actor, folks.
Time To Learn French
When I was in a production of Les Miserables, the director instructed that all background conversation and ad-lib had to be in French. It was a really cool addition, in my opinion, once everyone learned to pronounce things properly.
Playing Wilbur in Hairspray on a cruise ship. Every show I had about a 45 second "conversation" with Little Inez. One day she says "Ohmigod! Did you hear about Phillip Seymour Hoffman?" That's how I found out he died. On with the show.
Dirty Talk And Strippers
Usually, you cannot talk... but have to mouth words.
One set I was on we turned it into a game. Mouth a sentence and when the director yells cut try and guess what the other person said. If I was in a scene with a person I knew well... it was usually PRETTY dirty...
EDIT: The most hilarious experience was on the set of a future TV show filmed in Chicago. It was a strip club scene, and the director wanted authenticity so he hired real strippers. They had to be told "tone it down" multiple times...
Tech here, one of my favorite examples from a stage show I did. Two actors had to have a background conversation upstage on set, while another scene took place. They were both huge Monty Python fans and would sit there reciting the entire dialog to various MP films. Some of the crew could hear them in the wings and had to work at not laughing, or blowing their cues. But the real problem was a young actress that was supposed to be sleeping next to them... she wasn't familiar with MP and broke several times.
So my experience was a little different than most the other ones mentioned here. I was an extra at a cattle auction and was required to yell for some of the takes. They kept telling us to get louder so by take 3 or 4 we were pretty much screaming. It was quite odd, especially since most of the time extras have to be silent.
People In Love Need To Poop, Too.
One time me and my girlfriend were extras for a film and we were in a cafe scene pretending to be in love on a date. I really needed to poop and all I was saying to her under my breath was "I need the bathroom" while looking at her in the eyes and smiling.
It cracked me up when I saw the film and you could read my lips and what I was saying.
Depends on who you're with:
Sometimes you get an older person, they over act with their face and actually pantomime (pretending to talk without actually talking). It's what we're all supposed to do but they're usually the only ones that do it.
Then there's the person with hearing problems. They try to whisper talk but end up being too loud and get everyone in trouble.
The person who doesn't have hearing problems but talks to loud anyway, everyone gets yelled at like above.
There's not really a limit or anything when it comes to the whisper conversations for backgrounders.
I usually talk about work, like "what have you been on? Have you worked with X before?" stuff like that. There's some networking as well, as some people who work as background are just getting their foot in the door for crew.
Every now and then you get a super annoying BG on set and you end up talking about them while the cameras roll, since you can watch them try and push their way in front of the camera.
I went on a couple dates with girls I've meet being randomly paired up with them. Made a lot of friends the same way as well.
Dancing To Silence
Did some background extra work. One scene was meant to be at a festival. For each take we would have to dance to silence.
The extras on set do not talk during filming.
"Crowd talking noises" are added in post production. That way they can use different takes without an audible cut or change in the background conversation.
There are two main ways this can be done. Typically, a "loop group" will come in, a troupe of five or six voice artists, who will ad-lib background conversation, read radio/TV reports, or otherwise make noise for people in the background of the shot. They can do a full movie in a day or two.
Other times, if there's only one scene where background noise is needed, after they finish shooting the whole scene and before they wrap the set, the main actors will leave and they will record 60 seconds of the extras talking, moving plates, using silverware, etc. There are SAG rules, however, about whether or not they have to be paid extra for doing this, though, so it only happens under certain conditions.
Flirting With Beggars
A unique perspective but for many years as a kid I was an extra in large ballet productions for a pretty prominent ballet company. Non dancing rolls I'd be "village woman" "market place lady" "beggar" "Ball attendee". Our job was to make the scene come alive so the village or ball or what have you seemed bustling and lively while all the dancing happened. We were meant to react to the environment and react to the action in that airy ballet type way.
Well large ballet productions like that are anything but silent. There are all manner of little jokes going on in the back and fooling around. Especially in the production where I was a beggar. I was 16 and there were 6 of us teens paired with 6 or so 20-something men from the Company. Our job was just to go around and create mischief, beg for money. We'd harass people in the background, create alternate story lines for ourselves and try not to get caught cracking or goofing off while also trying to flirt with the beggar boys. It's always the time of my life.
I actually did background for a year or so when I first moved to LA. The conversations run a gamut. Much of the time you don't actually say anything; you're just mouthing words.
Other times you'll just say inane things like "watermelon" over and over. Rare, but it does happen.
But a lot of the time you're just talking to the other background. It doesn't matter what you're saying (as long as you keep your voices low and don't break character visually), so you're just chatting. Granted, most of these people are one-day friends from diverse, artistic backgrounds, so often your topics will get really weird, really fast.
The fact itself that you're on set leads to much of the conversational hilarity. For example, one time I was working on a big crime procedural show and we were doing a rain scene outside of a murder victim's house. So me and two other background actors are huddled off to one side of the set under these big rain machines suspended from cranes. Right before they would call action, rain on, then cut, rain off. All we have to do is stay under our umbrella and look gossipy, and we're golden.
But of course we're chatting, and to hear each other over the water we had to project a little, even standing two feet away from each other. And we're having a conversation about one of the lead actors on the show, a very famous, masculine action star, and making very racy puns about him. Because, you know, it was 3 in the morning and we're standing out in the fake rain and we were a little punch-drunk. And this is what you talk about with new actor friends.
They called cut on the latest take, and immediately the Assistant Director calls over his bullhorn: "Background, be quiet." We didn't think anything of it, they'd been saying that for a few takes no matter how low we tried to get our voices. But then he added: "The mics are pointing right at you."
We shut up immediately. If one of the parabolic mics was indeed pointed in our direction, then a lot of the crew could hear all the butthole zingers we'd been coming up with about their star. Whoopsie.
Supposed To Be Miming
I did a promo as a background actor for the mother of a girl I liked who was directing. I didn't know that I was supposed to be miming talking, not making any actual sounds. Every time she stopped and said how she could still hear me through the sensitive mics I would just talk lower but it wasn't working. I still feel bad about that.
A Never-Ending Stream Of Profanity
I'm a pianist for musical theater, not an actor, but... In the show "Breaking Up is Hard to Do", there's a scene where an actor is talking directly to the audience and then the scene "flips" to other characters talking "backstage". As the scene flips, the actor's mic fades out, he turns around to face directly at me, and continues to improvise a monologue for about a half minute or so. Every night, it got more and more ridiculous... One night, it was just a stream of never-ending profanity. Thankfully, he chose not to go with that on any actual performances; our sound crew isn't always on top of things and that would not have gone over well.
I'm in opera and yea, we say some pretty messed up s*** to each other. The benefit over musical theatre is that we're never directly mic'ed so there isn't the worry of being overheard.
Professionals try to get each other to laugh all the time.
There's an opera, La Forza del Destino, where a character finds out at a climactic moment that his best friend has been sleeping with his sister. He finds this out by finding her portrait among the friend's personal effects. It's a common prank to remove the portrait and replace it with dirty magazines.
Talking About Squash With Amber Heard
I work as an "professional" extra, meaning I do it so much I almost make a living of it and have starred in a large number of Blockbusters and international productions. The funniest incident regarding weird background talk, was when I with two other guys, were made to talk with Amber Heard during the filming of The Danish Girl. If you've seen the movie, it's during the party scene, and we basically talked about how to say squash in different languages as well as our favorite cocktails. 10/10 would do again. She is super nice and down to earth, and absolutely one of the most approachable actors I've worked with :)
When you go on a job interview, the last thing you probably never think about is asking a question.
But we should also be prepared and ready to ask the right questions to have a leg up on the competition.
"What is THE best question to ask on a job interview?"
A company's history or information about a past employee were suggested subjects appropriate for questioning.
"When you were interviewing here, what would you have liked to know before you joined?"
"This worked for me. I asked my interviewer a question about how she had personally dealt with a company policy she had just explained. She bragged about her stellar adherence to the policy. I nodded my approval. I got the job."
A Previous Employee
"One that has always gone over well for me:"
"What were some qualities that the previous employee in this role brought to the job that you would like to see carried forward?"
"Another good thing to do is research the company you are interviewing with and you can ask things about what they may be involved in or you could drop that while reading about the company, you wondered this."
Hypothetical questions were suggested as helpful examples of inquiry.
Indicators Of How Companies Treat Employees
"A question that landed me a job once was: 'If I asked your direct reports about your management style, what do you think they'd tell me?' Stumped a hiring manager and he emailed me personally to tell me about it, no one ever asked him that question but got the job.
"In my current interviews I'm asking 'what did your company do for its employees during [the virus] to improve their day to day, work life balance, etc.' and I ask 'Is there anything your company adopted during [the virus] that they plan to keep post [the virus]?"
"These questions give a lot of insight into whether a company treated their employees well."
Past Performance & Adjustments
"If we were currently sitting in my 1 year review, what would I have done in this year for you to say I excelled in my role?"
"If I could snap my finger right now and change anything about your job or the company, what would it be and why?"
The following questions about a prospective company may not be answered from initial digging on their website.
Measure Of Success & Career Trajectories
"How is success measured in this role?"
"What are some possible career trajectories within the company that could stem from this position?"
Being A Solution
"Ask them what is the biggest problem you can solve for them in your first six months with the company. Similar to 'don't think of a purple hippo,' this forces them to imagine you succeeding in the position."
"What do you like best about working here?"
Simply The Best
"Who is your best employee and why is he/she the best?"
"You will then face 2 situations mostly:"
"panicking CEO who can't answer you 'Bob who works 17 hours a day for a slice of bread' so the fear in their faces must be a big nono for you"
"entusiast CEO who actually follow their business and can tell you who is an added value for the company and why."
My experiences with job interviews are different than others seeking work in office environments.
Having had a years-long career as a dancer, my "interview" was the dance audition, where hopefuls dance in small groups of people at a time after learning a routine and then awaiting their fate after the panel evaluates their performances.
The question I may or may not have asked in such a scenario earlier in my career was: "Did I make the cut?"
I did not make the cut. And I learned never to ask that again.
I have a few wealthy friends and I've seen a thing or two that has made my eyes pop out of my head. Let's just say that the priorities of a wealthy person and a dude who has never broken six figures are entirely different. But that doesn't compare to working for the fabulously rich. A friend of mine was a nanny for a super rich family for several years and described the lavish trips she took with them (and how picky and out of touch they were, too).
People told us their own stories after Redditor NeighborhoodTrolley asked the online community,
"People who cater to the super rich: What things have you seen?"
"It is so wide..."
"My dad's client bought a whole block of houses to build theirs. It is so wide that they installed a moving walkway like the ones at airports."
"A friend did some work..."
"A friend did some work on Sylvester Stallone's home. Apparently, there's a ton of statues and art of himself, some of which are naked and very well endowed."
Guess what, guys? It's not a joke! Those statues are weird.
Here you go: You're welcome.
"A friend from high school..."
"A friend from high school worked a few years as a deckhand on yachts in the Mediterranean and he said he once jumped in to get a customer's bag and got tipped €4000.
"Was a boyfriend of a girl from an obscenely rich family. The sister used to have the nanny (who was sleeping with the husband, but that's another story) fly to Paris in their G550 to buy the newest Hermès bag so she could show it off a few days before it went on sale in the U.S."
I did know a rich girl who would do something similar: She would fly to Paris for Fashion Week to get cute new outfits before they ever ended up in the United States.
"I used to work for a company that modified aircraft for really rich people. I'm talking 747s, not Gulfstreams.
This company had made several aircraft for this one customer, who I was told had purchased a new one solely because his spiritual advisor had told him that one of his current planes was bad luck. He still let his wife use it for her personal travel.
To me, one of the most exquisite features of these planes wasn't the gold-plated everything, or rare wood veneers, it was the silk carpet. That stuff costs over $1,000 per square foot and feels like walking on a bed of angel feathers harvested in the most inhumane way possible. Granted, these guys don't deck out the whole plane, just their personal areas (the aft third is usually reserved for staff and such and is more like a fancy economy class), but yeah… silk carpet."
"A woman who owned..."
"A woman who owned a small private jet business told me one time someone paid them to fly their dog (by itself) to NY for about $45,000 for some training. No other passengers."
The service that dog received must have been stupendous... but that's also so wasteful, I just can't get over it!
"I became personal friends..."
"I became personal friends with my boss and his wife; super nice people. The wife turned out to be an heiress and would buy me whatever I mentioned, like in passing during a conversation. I learned gifts were how she was raised to show love.
I've trained myself to only talk about things I already own unless I find something useful she might like and suggest it for her."
"Have the money to support their eccentricity.
One guy I cook for wanted his house built so that his bedroom was right above the cow barn, with a retractable spot in the floor so he could fall asleep listening to (and smelling, I presume) the cows."
Smelling the cows?
Are we certain he ever smelled a cow? Because I've been on a farm and I have and it's a terrible smell.
Would not recommend.
"I am an art student..."
"I am an art student working as a gardener. We work in one of the wealthiest areas in my country. Some customers are really eager to show me their collection of artworks that they have hanging on their walls once they find out that I study it.
I remember one time standing in a bathroom, with my dirty gardening clothes and there was a Picasso above the toilet."
"Once saw him..."
"I used to 'work' for an Arab billionaire's son, a Daddy's money guy, terrible garbage human being.
Once saw him spend $16 000 on a wallet, was a fancy one with little gold spikes on it and stuff. He had shoes with gold on them.
I remember one year for his birthday he received like 30+ cakes, big fancy cakes and he told us to leave them on the floor in the hallway outside his room.
We walked by those cakes every day for two weeks waiting for instruction, after the two weeks we were told to throw them away."
Anyway... might as well ask: Any of you rich people out there looking for a poor friend?
Need a houseboy?
Or just someone whose bills you can pay?
I'm totes available.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
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Oh the matters of the heart are just never going to be easy. Love seems to be a never ending mess. I've dated a lot and can attest that the percentage of bad to good is 70/30. And that may be generous math.
I've heard about people fighting on dates, setting fire to the restaurant, discovering hidden identities and dramas I thought only ever occurred on daytime television.
I use to believe the biggest fear about dating was that the other person may turn out to be a serial killer, but they at least tend to show you a respectable time before they strike.
Oof. Let's see who has been left scarred by the hunt.
Redditor u/givemeyourfreefood wanted everyone to share the stories that almost made them re-think searching for love, by asking:
What's the worst date you ever had?
I remember the worst date I ever had. My biggest regret is that I stayed for the entire thing. I should've left as soon as I realized this was not going well, which was basically at hello. But he was paying so I drank, a lot. I'll keep names and dates to myself to protect the innocent.
0/10Big Brother Reaction GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"Went to brewery, date said I had hairy arms and that meant I was horny, said "you look really awful in this light" and then tried to dig out of that hole by saying in his native language that was a term of endearment long term couples said to each other. 0/10 did not date again."
"My wife wanted to plan our 13th wedding anniversary. I was excited because usually, I plan it. She bought us some new disc golf discs and after a quick supper, we went to play. We hadn't played in forever. We were laughing and I had a great time. She served me with divorce papers and told me that the date was a test to see if she still had feelings for me. I also learned that she was having an affair that started well before our anniversary."
Two Hours from Home
"Not necessarily a date but a person I was dating invited me to his parent's house for the afternoon. He wanted to introduce me to them and show me the house he grew up in. I thought it was super sweet and had no problems going. He was also in the middle of moving and needed to pick up a few things, so it really didn't seem that unusual."
"Yeah, we got there and it was awful. His entire family was there. They traveled from hours away too. This was not just meeting the parents, it was meeting the ENTIRE family. Even worse? At some point, this idiot told his parents that he had proposed. We had been dating TWO months. I spent the entire afternoon dumbfounded and just playing along."
"We were two hours from home and I had no cell service, no way to leave at all. We ended up spending the afternoon brainstorming wedding ideas and planning an Alaskan honeymoon that his parents planned to gift us. His brother even called to say congratulations! We drove back to his apartment in silence. When we got there, I got in my car and left, didn't even bother grabbing my stuff. Weirdest experience ever. I have no idea how he broke it to his parents that we weren't getting married."
You're Cut Off!
"Got set up on a blind date once between mutual friends. She shows up to the restaurant already a little tipsy, orders multiple appetizers and only takes like one or two bites from each one. Then she proceeds to order 3 or 4 more drinks and is visibly drunk at this point. She gets up and says she's going to the bathroom and staggers off. About 15-20 minutes go by so I try to call her several times but no answer."
"Finally I decide to pay the check and just leave. About 2 hours later I'm sitting at home and I get a call from an unknown number. It's the police department. She was picked up on a DUI on her way home after she ditched me and gave the cops my number to see if I could go bail her out!"
Sorry?Bbc Three Idk GIF by BBCGiphy
"Well, I gave this answer on a different topic, but it ties in with this. We were out on a date, we had been seeing each other for a while, close to a year maybe. She gets a phone call. Suddenly she looks destroyed. Her fiancé had just died in a motorcycle accident."
What in the world? I mean how can we ever expect to pair off with the dating pool being inundated with liars and nut jobs? I'm going to delete my apps.
Girl, Bye.Sassy Beyonce GIFGiphy
"Had a girl openly flirt with the bartender in front of me. She says she wasn't. But handing him her own phone and asking for his contact info in front of her date seems like it to me."
"Came out from a movie, late at night, and date's Camaro was stolen. Apparently, he called his WIFE (that I did not know he had) and let her know where he was and what happened. She showed up and realized he was on a date! She started chasing ME around the parking lot telling me she was going to kill me. Saved by the cops who showed up just in time to take the auto theft report."
"Met a girl at a country bar one night in my 20s. We were both pretty drunk but hit it off pretty good. Ended up getting her number and we agreed we'd go on a real date. Fast forward to the date, she gets in my vehicle and... she looks almost identical to my mom. I was mortified. I was polite and we went for lunch where I found out she also had a boyfriend she "wasn't sure if she was into". Never talked to her again."
"When I was in college many years ago, before the advancement of cell phones and social media, I was chatting with a girl I met on a BBS who lived on Long Island, NY. I was 18 at the time, but lied and said I was 22 because she said she was 25. We spent a few weeks emailing each other, as well as calling each other."
"We even exchanged pics. When we finally met up, things blew up. Turns out we both lied about our ages: She was really 33, and lied because she thought she looked younger. She admitted she sent a college photo to me. We still had dinner together, but it was awkward as hell. We never spoke again."
DoublesKill Me Now Season 1 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"It was a double date. She was more interested talking to the other girl throughout the whole thing. Found out later from the other guy that his girl cheated on him with my date."
Ummm... I think I'm just going to stay single. That is a handful of crazy. Why can't people just be honest? I swear the search for love warps people's brains. Be careful out there people.
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As much as we'd like to assume spirits, ghosts, and paranormal happenings are relegated to movies and books, plenty of real-life stories abound.
Inexplicable sightings, things heard, and cold pockets of air are encountered by plenty of people all the time.
It's up to you if you want to believe them. But it's hard to argue with the conviction of the contributors to a recent Reddit thread.
Redditor ihadanightmarewithu asked:
"What is the scariest / paranormal story you have ever experienced?"
Many people talked about the things that caught their eye once upon a time.
Two Places At Once
"I was staying with a group of friends rock climbing in Spain. Really creepy air bnb, lots of strange things happened while we were staying there. The creepiest was one morning we were getting ready for the day, packing food and generally getting our things together, and I went upstairs to grab something."
"As I was heading back downstairs I walked past my friend's boyfriend on the landing and saw him turn and go into his and my friend's room; I think I asked him something but he didn't reply. I thought 'rude' and headed downstairs."
"Walked into the kitchen and he was there sorting food out with my friend."
"Everyone swore he'd been downstairs the whole time, plus there was only one staircase and it would have been impossible for him to overtake me and get to the kitchen before me without me noticing. I went back upstairs and checked their room and there was no one up there but me."
"I've never experienced anything creepy or inexplicable before we stayed in that air bnb and I'd say I'm v. sceptical about supernatural/paranormal stuff but multiple things happened on that trip that spooked me."
"A floating head."
"I was putting beef in the slow cooker because I wanted it done for morning, it was late at night. I reached up to grab some seasonings, and heard creaking. I told my kids to get in bed."
"I see something out of my peripheral vision and there was no body but a head of a bald, pale man floating 3 1/2 maybe 4 feet off the ground in the middle of the floor. It's face kept looking as if it was sad, or like it was begging. It locked eyes with me....I froze."
"I had a darker wall, with a coat rack with my husbands work jackets so it stood out like a store thumb. I looked away thinking it was my imagination but when I looked back it was still there so I ran out the back door because I'd have to pass it to get upstairs with my husband and kids."
"I ended up calling him on my phone to come walk me in. I was wide awake, not sleepy, not out of it, on no medication. I have no reason to see that ever."
Presences, Seen and Felt
"When I was a kid my mom took my sister and I on vacation. I only remember this happening one night while we were there but the hotel we stayed at was pretty much all flats with one bedroom. I slept in the bed with my mom and my sister was on the pull out sofa. I can't remember if I was trying to go to sleep or woke up in the night to this but I just know everyone else was asleep."
"It was really dark with just a little light from the street outside coming in on the sides of the curtains. On each side of the bed stood a black silhouette and it felt like they were all staring right at me acknowledging their presence. I didn't feel threatened or afraid of them at all and turned on the bedside light and not surprisingly nobody was there."
"I turned the light back off and there they were still in the same positions. I just looked at them for a while but must have eventually fell asleep. The only other detail of that experience I remember is waking up the next day and mentioning it at breakfast and my sister saying she felt like she was being watched the whole night. I have no explanation for it but it's a memory that has stuck with me over many years now."
"One time I was going home in my car and saw a guy that appeared to have no arms no hair and a longa** neck in a JUST a hoodie no pants no underwear trying to climb a tree in the woods with their legs and idk know if that's paranormal but it was such a fu**ing weird experience that I think it qualifies"
For others, it was all about the things they heard.
"This is something I've never been able to rationalize."
"For months after my dad died, we were getting landline calls where no one would answer on the other end. This was in 2002, so, while robo callers were a thing, it definitely wasn't as prevalent as it is today, but we did assume they were probably wrong numbers or something. (We didn't have any phones that displayed caller id at the time.)"
"Well, one time, after getting yet another call with only silence on the other end, I jokingly said, 'Dad, if that's you, call my cell phone.' "
"I want to preface this by saying I rarely ever got calls on my cell phone, and never spam calls in those days. I was 18 with an unlisted number that only my family and a few friends had."
"Just a few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I'd never seen before. With what I'd just said fresh in my mind, I kind of freaked out and didn't answer. I was on my way out to go somewhere with my mom, so when we got in the car, I told her what happened. We made the decision to call the number back."
"It never rang, but there was activity at the other end: muffled static and the sound of numbers being dialed slowly. It was the weirdest thing. Both my mom and I said hello, but no one ever answered."
"Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them when dialing a number? I've never had it happen before or since."
And the Crying Stopped
"About 10 years ago (I'd have been 24) I was still living with my parents. My bedroom was in the basement. One night, around 3am I was woken up to the sounds of a young child crying. It sounded like it was coming from just outside my window. I couldn't just look out the window because it was covered in ivy, so I quickly hopped out of bed to go help the kid."
"As I got closer to my bedroom door I could hear the crying was actually on the other side of the door. I opened the door. No one is there and the crying stopped. Spooked, I immediately jumped back in bed and the crying started again."
"Later that day at dinner, my family was sitting around the table and I brought up my experience I had. One of my sisters told a story about how when she was a kid she'd always leave her room at night to go sleep with my parents because she'd see a little girl walking out of her closet."
"As she left her room and got to my parents' door waiting to be let in because the door was locked she'd see the little girl walking up the stairs that were right there. After her telling this story my youngest sister looked scared and asked, 'the little girl, is she wearing a pink nightgown with shoulder-length brunette hair?' "
"Now my other sister was scared because that is exactly who she saw. My youngest sister told how she had similar experiences with that little girl coming out of the closet at night or walking up the stairs at night."
"I'm convinced that something happened either in that house before we moved in or on that land that my parents' house was built on."
Crying From Afar
"Not my story but my moms, apparently when I was just a baby I was always a calm sleeper and once when my mom was having a friend over downstairs they could hear a baby crying so they naturally went to check on me and I was still calmly asleep..."
"...but every time they went back downstairs they could hear some more crying, but apparently the crying was somehow off in a different way as well, one day when mom and dad were downstairs watching tv while I was sleeping upstairs, they heard crying and finally pinpointed the thing that was off..."
"...apparently it came from the opposite side of the house compared to my room and that room had the latch to the attic. Creepy stuff, but I'm not that surprised. This place is totally haunted in my book, I once heard my mom call me downstairs while I was home alone."
Finally, some people interacted directly with the spirits.
Advice From Beyond
"So once while I was home alone, my neighbor knocked on my door. This was when we still lived in Oklahoma, and I was homeschooled. He was bit younger then me but we still played Halo together. I was thirteen at the time."
"I let him in and we had a conversation about what I thought the afterlife would be like, and this was really odd for him. We talked for a few minutes before he decided to leave. When my parents got home they told me he had a heart attack at school and died."
One Time Only
"I once felt a hand on my face when I was sleeping. I had the covers covering my entire face and felt something push down lightly and then a bit harder."
"I was absolutely terrified and when I finally mustered up the courage to look, nothing was there. It never happened again but there have been a few times where something similar has happened."
A Very Helpful Ghost
"I was staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in 95 for a snowboard trip and I was leaving the room and forgot my jacket."
"When I remembered right at the door, I turned around to grab it from the bed where I left it and it was being held 2' above the bed like it was being being pinched by fingers."
"The moment I turned around it dropped to the bed."
"That blew my mind!"
"My GF's sister at the time was working concierge and she said there was a bell hop ghost and gave the paper story...lol It wasn't threating at all, but was crazy to see!"
Here's hoping you manage to sleep well despite all these spooky stories!
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