This Halloween, Beliefnet asked its users to share their best ghost stories and photos and the result is the following collection of stories of otherworldly encounters. From a short piece about a black cat that wouldn’t go away to the tale of a terrifying week in the life of one frightened man, users share their memories in words and images as a special holiday treat–or should we say, trick. You decide.

The Day My Father Came Back

My father died thirteen years ago.

He passed away here in Florida, while the rest of our family lives in Michigan. My brother had come and taken my mother back to Michigan to prepare for the funeral. My father was cremated, and his ashes were resting in my living room until his funeral the following week.

My mother had told me to beware, because he had been "making his rounds" to my other siblings. I had been waiting and waiting, and nothing was happening and I was getting very upset, feeling sorry for myself, thinking he loved them more than me.

Then one night, I was just getting ready for sleep, and I felt somebody watching me, I turned and looked over my shoulder and there was my father, smiling so bright. He was young, like in his 20s. He had a aura around him, glowing. I immediately looked to see if he had both arms, since he had lost his left arm when I was just a baby, but he was behind the doorway and I couldn't see that side of his body. I quickly yelled to my husband, "Look, there's Dad!", but he vanished just as fast.

Mary Smith
Spring Hill, Florida

'Did You See That?'

The first time I saw Bessy was in the middle of the night. Something woke me out of my sleep. I looked over near the French doors leading into our backyard and saw a pale figure in a flowing gown (I know, it sounds so cliché) looking around. I screamed, which of course woke my wife, Kathleen, who asked what was wrong.

"Bessy was here," I told her, "and she was looking for Charlie." Charlie was her husband who had moved near his daughter after Bessy died. I don't know how I knew who it was and why she was there, but I knew. Kathleen walked around the house telling Bessie that Charlie moved out andit was okay to go to the other side.

A few months later I was lying in bed facing Kathleen's empty side of the bed (she was in the bathroom brushing her teeth). I felt Kathleen's side of the bed go down, and saw the depression that would be created by a body lying there--if there was one there. This time I was frozen solid, but managed to summon some kind of grunting noise. Again, Kathleen went around the house begging Bessy to go to the other side so she could get some sleep.

The fourth time, though, was the clincher. Kathleen was washing up the last of the dinner dishes and I was leaning up against the counter talking with her. The kitchen window is right in front of the sink and it was pitch black outside. I had a clear view of our hallway and Kathleen could see the same space in the reflection of the window. We both said, "Did you see that?" at the same time as a reddish light went streaking through our hallway.

John Sokolovic
Syracuse, New York