When I was a kid, I had a few imaginary friends.
There was some dude named Michael who I think was just a representation of how I thought I'd be like when I grew up. I mean I always loved the name Michael (Mustafa wasn't really all that cool where I was from), so that made sense. There was also this trio of cartoon cats that would come out and play every once in a while, I have Paula Abdul to thank for that, as well as a talking bird I could tell my secrets to.
My mom would be supportive of my imaginary friends, but eventually when I started going to school they began visiting me less and less until they ultimately faded away.
I didn't really think about imaginary friends that much until I watched A Beautiful Mind and thought about how terrifying it would be going about your daily life when there are individuals you can hold conversations with, individuals that never age and you care about, and you're the only one who can see them.
In fact, the entire concept of imaginary friends is pretty darn scary when you think about it, and it's made even more scary when a kid tells you about an imaginary friend that doesn't seem "friendly" at all. Like this 3-year-old girl who's got a pal named "Grateful."
A magazine asked some toddlers to illustrate and talk about their imaginary friends and while I'm sure some of them are absolutely adorable, there were some that are absolutely terrifying. Just read the description for this metaphysical comrade of Ruby's and tell me this isn't something straight out of a new-age horror flick:
This is my imaginary mum, Grateful. Her yellow eyelashes mean she can see in the dark - she only comes to see me at night-time. It scares me sometimes, but I always want her to come back. She has two babies in her belly. She's 14, but can never have a birthday.
Once word of Ruby's imaginary friend broke out online, people pointed out the obvious.
And it's that she wasn't talking about an imaginary friend at all, but a g-g-g-GHOST!
Now kids have been known to say some pretty creepy things that have freaked their parents out. I remember my younger brother and sister, when sleeping in bed with my mother when they were toddlers, complaining about the "fire babies" that circled above their heads, keeping them up at night.
Parents on Reddit shared some of the more bone-chilling things their kids have told them. WARNING: don't read these before going to bed.
I was tucking in my two year old. He said "Good bye dad." I said, "No, we say good night." He said "I know. But this time its good bye."
Had to check on him a few times to make sure he was still there.
This snake-neck man story is pretty scary, as well.
While changing my daughter in front of the open closet door. She kept looking around me and laughing. I asked her what was so funny. She said, "the man." To which I replied, "what man?" She then pointed at the closet and said, "the man with the snake neck." I turn around and nothing was there. I'm afraid to look into the history of my house to see if anyone hung themselves in the closet. At least she wasn't scared.
Some were just plain messed up:
Not to me, but to his grandmother.
He was cuddling with her and being very sweet (he was about 3 at the time). He takes her face in his hands, and brings his face close to hers, then tells her that she's very old, and will die soon.
Then he makes a point of looking at the clock.
This "Bad Man" one would have me moving out immediately.
Why are you crying?
What bad man?
"There." Points behind me at a dark corner of the room
Lamp on bookshelf next to said darkened corner falls off as soon as I turn to look.
She slept in our bed that night
Some of these shouldn't be allowed to watch Black Mirror:
My five year old son asked me last week "what do you see through the black circles in my eyes when you're controlling me when I'm at school?"
Others maybe shouldn't hold a lighter. Like, ever.
"So I shouldn't throw him in the fire?"
3 year old daughter holding her baby brother for the first time.
Out of all of them, this one creeped me out the most though:
My co-worker's four year old daughter always thought that the rattling of the water pipes in the kitchen cupboards were "white wolves" and the sound always scared her.
One day she was sitting at the kitchen table and she said, "Mom. The white wolves aren't bad... they're our friends!"
Her mom encouraged the idea by saying, "Yes! The white wolves are protecting us. They are our friends."
Then her daughter added in, "They're our friends, but not the man who crawls on the floor and stands by my bed".
Yeah, no thanks. (h/t fox 5)