There are many haunted places in this world, which have filled tomes and tomes worth of literature on the matter. Places seem to indeed be hauntable, but what about actual people? Can a person be haunted, a spirit or some other entity attached to them and following them around like a shadow? There is indeed a phenomenon in the paranormal world which covers this, and here are some spooky accounts of people who seem to have picked up phantom hitchhikers that will not leave them alone.

The concept of what are called “spirit attachments” concerns an alleged phenomenon in which a ghost, spirit, or even demon or some other supernatural entity essentially attaches itself and even partially possesses a living person, following them around wherever they go and influencing them in a variety of ways. In a sense, rather than a building or other location becoming haunted the person themselves become haunted, and this can be for a variety of supposed reasons. Sometimes the ghost just wants to try and live in the physical world and relive the sensations that it knew in life, while in others might be trying to contact the living for some reason. It also might also be a decidedly more malevolent force, like a parasite feeding off the energy of the host or even a sinister entity seeking to fully possess or otherwise harm the "host." Others still might have more benign purposes, such as looking out for a host they have taken a liking to like some sort of guardian angel. It really seems to depend on just what you have managed to attract to yourself.

Depending on the type that has decided to follow the host around, these attachments can run the range from rather pleasant, to annoying, to downright terrifying, and these sorts of hauntings are said to potentially go on for anywhere from days to years and years, even full lifetimes, basically until the ghost gets bored, moves on, or is cast out somehow. In some cases, the spirit is believed to not even know that it is attached to someone, while in others these spirits actively seek people out to attach to. For those who don’t know anything about this phenomenon it can all be a rather harrowing experience, and can manifest in peculiar ways, such as personality changes, physical or mental ailments, picking up new habits good or bad or even obtaining new memories or skills, mood swings, potent dreams, often of places the host has never been to, conversely lucid nightmares, as well as intense poltergeist activity, shadow figures always lurking about, or other varied paranormal phenomena. Even facial features have been known to noticeably change depending on how far along the possession is, and it can all be very frightening indeed.

In most cases the spirit seems to be constantly following the host about and often harassing them in some way. A good example of this is an account given by Reddit user “byoung006,” who says that he picked up some sort of hitchhiking entity while working at a local pub. He claims that the building was over 100 years old, and that while there had always been some odd unexplained phenomena at the place, it really ramped up when it was renovated, and led to something he believes attached to him. He says:

As they started to renovate the building lots of employees started to have some strange experiences. Often the grill would be turned off in the middle of service. Bottles in the fridge would fall off the shelf, or be rearranged and none of the employees were involved with anything. I started feeling like there was something with me in about the second week of renovation. I would walk home and constantly feel like someone was walking behind me. Then I felt like there was a constant feeling of dread and I fell into this dark depression. I became irrationally angry, which is quite out of character for me, and many other employees had the same experience.


Eventually the owners made the decision to have a monk who deals in the spirit world do a walk through and cleansing due to the amount of people who fell into a depression and couldn't properly do their jobs. He said later that he encountered 28 different spirits during his walk, 7 of which were dark, or "evil" entities. I went to him and he explained to me that I had one of these spirits attached to me. He did a cleansing of my body and removed the entity. When he removed it I felt the dark feeling fall away. There was a tingling feeling move from my feet up to the top of my head, and I immediately felt lighter and the feeling of dread left me.

In this case the witness says the attachment followed him for a week, but the phenomenon can go on for much longer than that. One Reddit user called “Asteria1998” claims that she has had a very intrusive attachment hovering about her for many years. She says it started out small and escalated in intensity, and explains that it is sort of a symbiotic relationship in a sense. She says of her experience the gradual increase in intensity it involved:

It started when I was younger, mostly as intrusive thoughts. A thought would pop into my head that was extremely out of character for me and I would even question my own desires in ways I'd never thought of (things like power fantasies and sexual desires). I started getting this feeling in my chest that's kind of hard to describe but I'll try my best. It's like this electric current that pulses out from the center of my chest to the rest of my body. This doesn't necessarily hurt but it isn't exactly comfortable either (although it's almost pleasurable). It started out small but as I got older it became more and more intense and frequent as did the thoughts. Now, it's sometimes so strong that I can hardly breathe and it feels like I lose all control of my body.



I guess I should also try and explain the weird pseudo-relationship I've developed with him (it? This? I'm not sure how to refer to it.) His voice started quiet and I'd usually confuse it with my own. As I got older, it became clearer and clearer to the point where I knew I wasn't making it up. I decided to get evaluated because surely something had to be wrong with me but they decided it was most likely due to stress or a lack of sleep. I don't think calling it a possession is accurate because it's like we're sharing control. I can feel what makes him excited or angry and more than anything I can feel his extreme pride. Sometimes it feels like he takes partial control of my body and actions, almost like we're sharing a consciousness.

She goes on to say that she almost enjoys it when this entity takes over, as she describes herself as nervous and meek, whereas it is very confident and in control, and this infuses her with a sense of power that can be intoxicating. In a sense, although it is terrifying at times for her she doesn’t seem to really want to be rid of this spirit or whatever it is, yet she is aware that it is leading towards further intensity and that she is unsure of how this will all end up. The witness ominously says of this:

It feels he's trying to bring me to this tipping point but I have no idea what'll come after that. I'm almost curious what could happen if I just let him do what he wants but am more scared of what would happen to me.

Another witness who seems to have had an attachment for many years and has a rather odd relationship with it is a witness on Your Ghost Stories, whose own attachment is described as being both frightening and comforting at the same time, depending on the situation. She says that it began with a sort of shadow figure appearing in her room at night right around when she was in her early teens, of which she says:

I first grew aware of his presence when I began puberty. This time period, he was the most aggressive. I remember laying in bed and watching a black mass of a man walk around my room. The crunch of the papers I had on the floor would crunch under his feet. At times, I thought this was a living human that had snuck in, but with the lights on, he would disappear. My bed would violently shake and at times, my hard to open drawers on my nightstand would fly open and slam shut. Books would be thrown at my head some mornings and other times, I would just cover my head and shut my eyes tight and pray it will go away. I am born and raised in California and have had my fair share of earthquakes, so I know what to look for and none of that was part of an earthquake.


He would often times appear to me the night before something bad would happen. The first time, my mother got into a car accident with a semi-truck. The second time, my grandma was sent to the hospital with kidney failure. The next time, the place next to ours got broken into and ransacked. The last time he appeared to me in an aggressive way, the hotel across the street caught on fire. I don't believe that this was his causing, but him warning me.

She says the menacing spirit made a habit of following her around wherever she went, often speaking into her ear to startle her. He would also appear in her dreams, sometimes in a decidedly sexual manner, and that these dreams were extremely vivid and realistic. This entity then seemed to have gone dormant for some years and she almost forgot about it all until she was living with her husband, and they began to experience paranormal activity such as shadow figures, moving objects, and something that would spook their dog for no reason they could detect. It would all pick up in intensity when she got pregnant with their first child, of which she says:

Things became dormant for a while, but then I got pregnant with our daughter. He started to make his appearance again. But once again it had more of a loving feel to it. I was sent to the hospital with premature labor and I squeezed my eyes during a labor pain and when I opened them, I saw him there standing by my bed, smiling affectionately at me. I closed my eyes with another contraction and when I opened them, he was gone. I was worried that he would latch on to my daughter, but he has been acting like she is his own. She is 8 months now, but was born with a rare genetic disorder, so she is very small and a bit behind. I would walk in on her squealing and playing with someone or something above her. She would have her blankets in a ball under her and I would check and the blankets would be draped around her and tucked in. She doesn't have the abilities to do that and I was the only one at home. I wish to know what he is and what he truly wants. I've grown affectionate of him, but scared at the same time.

While this all seems almost benevolent in nature, although definately unsettling, there are other cases where the attachment is anything but friendly. A creepy account was given by Reddit user “rchl_ann00,” who claims that she has had the spirit following her around for 7 years, and that it manifested itself in the form of all manner of paranormal activity wherever she would go. While this was mostly creepy but innocuous things such as moving objects and the opening or closing doors, and indeed seemed almost playful, its demeanor would one day suddenly become decidedly more sinister. The witness says:

After 3 months of this I BELIEVED and we settled into life with a ghost that played with the dog and walked our hallways. But for some reason he decided (I later learned it was a he i will explain in a bit) that he didn't like me. it started with him opening my bedroom door while i was out and opening all the cabinets in the bathroom and spilling my pill bottles. These bottles are the pharmacy bottle that you have to pinch the sides and twist to open, they don't just pop open. i had to get up very early in he mornings to get ready for work and i'm a deep sleeper and it takes me awhile to wake up. I would stumble across the hall to the bathroom and slam my leg into open cabinets and have to sit on the floor to pick up my medications. It happened so often but my still asleep brain would apparently forget and hit those cabinets at least 3 times a week. The front of my lower legs were covered in bruises.


He escalated one day and I felt a full on slap on my back while i was in the shower while i was facing the water stream, I jumped out of the shower and ran out of the bathroom with just a towel. My best friends boyfriend had just come home and when I spazzed to him about what happened he checked my back and saw a hand print. 4 days later I had a heart episode that landed me in the hospital for 3 days. I HAVE NEVER HAD HEART ISSUES BEFORE THAT DAY. My pulse jumped to 150 BPM and I lost consciousness my mother found me in the living room (I was feeling faint that day and asked her to pick me up and take me to my GP) and got me to a hospital where it wasn't until the 3rd day that my pulse went back below 90. Ever since that day I have had arrythmia and syncopal episodes, its nearly debilitating with how often it happens.

She would move out and go to live with her boyfriend, but the strange phenomena would continue and indeed get worse, as would her health condition, which still plagues her and which she is convinced is caused by the attachment. She is rather morose and fearful when she ends her post thusly:

After 2 years of living there my ex and I broke up and I moved out of state. I moved to Cali where my brother offered to help me get my life re-started. By this point my medical issues had progressed and I ended up needing a service dog. She is always by my side and at the same time I feel him near she reacts and focuses in the direction of where I can feel him. sometimes a far corner or behind me. He never gets close when she's by my side but he's always around. Its when I feel him that I start to have my heart episodes and Im afraid he's been causing them, I'm afraid he's going to escalate more. My current BF and I have moved from Cali to Utah. The house/land we live on has been in his family for over 100 years and there are spirits here. They are neutral and I have no problem with them but he is here too. He has been attached to me for 7 years now and is always close. He's mean. My BF wants to smudge me with sage and I have asked, begged and demanded he leave me alone but he never leaves. WHAT CAN I DO?

These negative spirit attachments are often described as taking their toll on the health and mental well-being of the individual being targeted and invaded, and this can be seen in a report by Reddit user “Balgoth55.” He rather spookily claims that his attachment came about after using a Ouija board, actually sometimes said to be a wellspring of spirit attachments, and that the dark forces following him were not at all friendly, slowly draining him and wasting him away physically and psychologically. The witness explains:

I started having vivid nightmares like a movie screen on the back on my eyelids every time I'd go to sleep. One night I had a dream where I stumbled over a block and woke up to a high pitched ringing or like a gnat buzzing inside my ear. As I opened my eyes I saw an expressionless pale ghost standing by my bed looking at me. I rolled over and pulled the cover over me until morning. I still thought that it must just be sleep deprivation or something psychological... Because science says spirits don't exist right?


Well, the negative air followed me everywhere for years. Eventually I talked to a few psychics who cold read that I had three dark spirits that had been following me. Lately I've become more open to the reality of the spiritual and also more lucid in my dreams. I've been experiencing the feeling of being pushed downstairs or hit, which usually wakes me up in a bit of a startle, and I always feel super drained the next day. I've actually suffered from chronic fatigue for the past ten years, despite all healthy lifestyle changes, and I'm wondering if it's connected. The number three keeps appearing in them. I actually just woke up from a minor nightmare where I saw three "spirits" though invisible, and felt one push me.

In another report we have a witness whose mother had just spent some time in a hospital, and that on the day she was scheduled to go home she was in good spirits and her health had improved considerably, but things would suddenly take a turn for the worse. He says:

However, about an hour before she was to go home she suddenly felt as if someone had punched her in the stomach and she became nauseous and extremely weak. Her doctor released her anyway and we took her to my sister and brother-in-law's home to recuperate. By the time we got her settled in all she could do is lay on the couch with her eyes closed. After about an hour my brother-in-law and I gently lifted her up in order to take her upstairs and put her to bed. As we got her to her feet she suddenly started to fall straight backwards almost as if someone had pushed her. Thankfully, my brother-in-law caught her in time but as he steadied her onto her feet I saw a gray mist or smoke leave my mother's chest area. The best way I can describe it is if you can imagine someone smoking a pipe has just exhaled the smoke from their mouth. The smoke drifted away from her and disappeared. At the time I was mystified as to what I had just witnessed. I knew I hadn't imagined it and none of us smokes. The next day my mother wasn't doing much better and we were perplexed as to why there was this sudden downturn in her health. I didn't say anything about the smoke to my family because I suspected they would assume I had imagined it. However, it finally dawned on me that what had occurred is that I had witnessed a spirit attachment. I couldn't believe it took me that long to figure it out. Once I figured it out, I told my family about my experience. As it turns out, my sister had seen the smoke as well but didn't say anything assuming it was her eyes playing tricks on her.

The witness goes on to explain that he had his mother and whole house cleansed with white sage, which seems to have done the trick, his mother’s health dramatically improving after that. He also asserts that hospitals are havens for spirits looking to attach themselves to someone, with these entities roaming the halls and taking advantage of people in their physically and mentally vulnerable states, which makes it easier for them to take hold. He gives a stark warning about this, saying:

So please take heed of this cautionary tale. Any time you find yourself inside a hospital for any reason assume that you're taking home a spirit hitchhiker. The symptoms can vary so you may not experience the same ones that my mother did. They can be as simple as causing insomnia or forgetfulness or as serious as weakening your immune system making you susceptible to illness and disease. Just spend a few minutes kindly talking to them telling them they cannot go home with you and that they have family, pets, and friends waiting for them in the Light and that they need to look for the Light or these loved ones who will guide them to their true home. Spirits can remain attached for a long time so even if it's been a while since visiting a hospital it's never too late to release anyone who may still be around you. By doing so you may be pleasantly surprised to have a long term problem resolve itself.

What do these attachments want? What are they and where do they come from? Why do they choose to follow people around to torment them so? Are they even real at all? There are only ideas and speculation, but one thing that is for certain is that for many people out there they seem to be very real indeed. What can you do to stop this from happening to you? It is recommended that you do not enter haunted areas without proper protection and that you always maintain good physical and mental health when visiting such locales. It is also often said that one should pay attention to the warning signs of a spiritual infestation, such as sudden mood swings, personality changes, recurring paranormal phenomena wherever you go, and strange physical symptoms that cannot be readily explained. If you do feel you are the host of a spiritual attachment, well, it is best that you purify yourself and seek help from a specialist in such things, which is unfortunately beyond the scope of this article. Are spiritual attachments real and what do they mean? They remain another strange oddity of that realm that eludes us.

Brent Swancer

Brent Swancer is an author and crypto expert living in Japan. Biology, nature, and cryptozoology still remain Brent Swancer’s first intellectual loves. He's written articles for MU and Daily Grail and has been a guest on Coast to Coast AM and Binnal of America.

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