It's the scariest time of year as witches, vampires, and ghouls prowl the streets for scares and thrills. Still, no haunted mansion can send shivers down our spine like an old boo's name popping in DMs. We must be mediums because ghosts always try to come back from the dead.
You know the drill: a person starts to mean something to you, and without warning, they disappear without a trace and leave you on read. What was once a self-actualized person is now a ghost. They belong to the afterlife now, or specifically, not your life. Time goes on, and you make peace with their untimely demise. You bury them in the graveyard of your heart and wish them good riddance. Rest in peace, sweet ghost, far, far away from me. Then, like a poltergeist, they apparate into your home or in a late-night "Sup" text. Bone-chilling, indeed.
In the spirit of the season, we've rounded up our favorite ghost stories from our community—all based on true events. So, please allow your phone's blue light to shine on your face as it leads you into darkness.
Casper, The Friendly Ghost
"I went on a handful of dates with this guy, and then he went on vacation for a few weeks. We texted while he was on vacation, but not much, so I got the hint. Then, a few months later, he responded to my story, "Cute." He did this again a couple of times. Afterward, he unfollowed me, and we never talked again. To be honest, I was a drunk mess on every date we went on, and he had severe depression. Maybe the respectful thing to do would have been to sit me down, but truthfully, I was okay with how it all went down. Who are we to tell people why we don't like them? It's self-righteous. Just disappear. It's the right thing to do." — Judy
The Disappearing Act
"She showed me shirtless pics of a magician she'd been hooking up with lately UNPROMPTED and then, like ten minutes later, said she was going to the bathroom and just left. 11/10 incredible performance, no notes." — Hinge User
House of Horrors
"My brother's best friend ghosted me after I asked him out. He had agreed and we set up a date. A month goes by, and I don't hear from him, but he shows up in my home often, acting as if nothing has happened. No one knew what he had done, so everyone loved him, while I continued to be haunted by him. I think ghosting is acceptable when it's been a couple of dates, but when you're in the same circles, you owe that person a text." — Manal
The Jump Scare
" I once ghosted this gorgeous man because, during sex, he made the blue steel face in Zoolander." — Sam
The Soft Ghost:
"I used to pride myself on not being a ghost, only to discover I was a "soft ghost." It's even worse than ghosting. It's like rather than instantly dying, you're in hospice. I come back to life and slowly respond and give you hope, and then nothing, radio silence." —Bridget
" A coworker and I were sleeping together for a while, and he ghosted me while we were still working together. We had an explicit plan to hang out on a Sunday night, and he just never came over. He didn't answer my texts asking if he was still coming over. A whole two weeks later, after us being in the same office and him not saying a word to me, he texted me during the workday and said, "Sup." To which I responded “wtf”. We eventually did go for a walk, and he said, "Sorry, I don't know what you want from me. I'm not going to date you." The way he went about it traumatized me. He sucks, and if he no longer existed, that would be fine." — Colleen
The Seasonal Ghost
"It was January, and he was pulling away, and I texted, "Hey, want to hang out next week?" He responded, "I'm really busy with work right now, maybe in the spring?" He was a junior Art Director." — Lily
A Haunting in Brooklyn
"I was at a restaurant closing in Brooklyn. I took a shot with the bartender, and we made conversation. He mentioned taking a trip to Palm Springs, so I gave him my Google Doc travel guide. Months later, I got an email: "I never really got to thank you for your travel guide. Let's grab a beer sometime." We never did. A year later, he writes, "Let's get that beer.". We exchange a little back and forth but never meet up. Again, months go by, and his name flashes on my phone. "I saw you on Hinge. Let's meet up!" In a last-ditch effort, I give him a date when I'm free. "That works," he replies. The day of the date rolls around. I felt a shiver in my spine, and I could sense it was coming. "Let's rain check," he writes, "I'm feeling under the weather." Go figure, the living dead are unwell." — Corely
The Lost Soul
"A few years ago, I matched with this guy. We texted a bunch while we planned our first date. Mid-planning, he stopped responding. Imagine my surprise when, FIVE MONTHS LATER, he replied as if we never stopped speaking. He continued the conversation from where we left off. Many red flags, but I was curious, so I went on the date. He was sloppy, cryptic, and wouldn't answer my questions. He ordered drinks for both of us and drank both of them. My parents always warned me to leave the dead alone, and honestly, after that night, I let go and let the lost souls rest in peace." — Bibi
These spiritual disturbances can stir our confusion, disbelief, and confidence. But the truth is, ghosts only have power if you give it to them. Just because they make sudden noises and flicker lights to make contact does not mean you need to provide them with a body to possess. In life and death, people go away without explanation. And in some cases, an exorcism may be in order to cleanse evil spirits. Talk to a priest or a therapist, sage the grounds, remove their personal effects, and bid their memory adieu.
Ghosting, while scary, is still its form of communication. They're saying they do not have the capacity to engage in a meaningful relationship with you. If you've been ghosted, try to see it as a gift. If they're emotionally unavailable, your connection will always be lacking. Conjuring the spirits to get their attention only uses your valuable, precious life force over someone best left alone. If they want to be a ghost, respect the dead.