“I was a loner as a child. I had an imaginary friend—I didn’t bother with him.”—George Carlin.
Many adults had imaginary friends as children. At their best, these make-believe buddies were cute, helpful, and whimsical respites from the scary “real world.” But for reformed dreamers, like the adults below, not every fake friend was so innocent. Imaginary friends sometimes took shape in scary animals, derivative cartoons, slightly “off” other kids, and even amorphous shapes from the great beyond. In other words, kids are weird and so are their friends.
Reddit asked adults to detail the creepiest and outright terrifying highlights of their ex-imaginary buddies. From the doctors without medical licenses to the pocket pals and brutal feuds, we’ll be happy to report that these friends are all imaginary (at least we hope…). Travel to Dreamland for these 42 startling stories about the creepiest imaginary friends in history.
42. No Imagination Without Inspiration
I had characters from cartoons. Sometimes when I was playing I would pretend I was in a cool cartoon, because everyone in the cartoon were such good friends and I didn’t really have any.
41. Nothing Like Self-Improvement
There was another me but the other me went by Crystal instead of my real name. I started calling myself Crystal because I liked the other me more.
40. My Literally Little Friends
I had a series of small friends, who were kids like me but small enough to fit in my hand. I don’t know why I never imagined them regular human size, they just always seemed weird and stretched out when I did that.
Sometimes my parents would give me old junk mail and I would use it to be a teacher to my small friends. Penna was my most well-known small friend. She was a very interesting character and I talked to her a lot, but she was also very mean and rude.
Treeland was my other well-known small friend. She was nicer than Penna, and she wasn’t afraid to speak up against Penna’s injustices, so I liked her a lot better.
One day, Penna got run over by an imaginary bicycle in the flowerbed of my backyard. I felt OK about it. During a particularly hard hour on the toilet, I tried to reinvent her to be more friendly and stylish, but it never really stuck as well as good old mean original Penna.
39. Nothing Cures Your Constipation Like A Good Friend
When I was little, maybe four or five, I had an imaginary friend called Mary. She lived in the bathroom. The only time I ever talked to her was when I was pooping. My parents would hear me chatting away to “Mary” while on the toilet.
38. Don’t Go There
Not imaginary, per se. I used to break into houses as a little kid. I lived in a really run-down part of town with a huge amount of foreclosed and empty houses. So, I would pry off the window screens and if the windows were unlocked, I would crawl inside them. I was maybe like five or six.
Well, in one abandoned house there was always this young Hispanic girl hanging out in the upstairs bathroom. I would go up there, and she would talk to me and we’d play tag and hide-and-go seek and truth or dare. I’d always invite her home for dinner, but she said she couldn’t leave because she had to wait for her mom to come home. I guess it made sense to me at the time, but when I think back, there was nothing in that house. Not even silverware in the kitchen drawers. The carpets were all mildewed, and it was seriously empty. I don’t think she could have really been there.
Her name was Sarah. (I don’t think she ever told me her last name). She always wore these cut-off tank-top shirts (I really can’t remember what of, but I’m fairly certain they were graphic tees) and always these pastel-orange spandex shorts. She had a bobbed hair-cut where the hair was shorter in the back than the front. She was missing a couple of teeth in the front of her mouth. She was a little chubby, especially in the stomach.
LegoArcus 37. The Bojo Diet
Bojo (pronounced BA-zhjo). He lived in a crack in my stairs and ate “mush” from my sandbox.
36. Playfully Possessive
When I was little I didn’t have many friends. In fact, everyone hated me. I made up a friend I called Angel, which is my middle name. We did everything together. But as time goes on, even losers make friends. Angel didn’t like that.
Sometimes he would take over, do things to ruin relationships, things I would have to make up stories in order to explain. I’ve lost a lot of friends because of him, and I have no idea how to get rid of him.
35. Business Quack
I had an imaginary friend named Business Duck. That’s right. I can still picture him in my head. He was the back half of a tugboat and the front half of Donald Duck (if he was doing his duck thing in the water, not standing upright). He would do absolutely nothing except occupy seats that other people wanted to sit in. An aunt or uncle would go to sit down, and I would tell them they couldn’t sit there because Business Duck was sitting there, and they had to find another seat.
The origin of the name: the duck part is obvious, but the “Business” part came from my mom answering the phone when I was little. I would ask who it was, and she would say it was business, meaning a business call. I concluded business was a person’s name.
34. Run, Boy, Run
My daughter had an imaginary friend named Boy for years. I had to intervene in their arguments many times. She spoke for him in a deep gravelly voice that scared the snot out of me. Red-rum.
33. Name a More Iconic Duo
When I was a kid, young, maybe between five and eight years old, I had an imaginary friend that was a skeleton dog. It would race everywhere, and always be beside me when I reached my destination. The animals in the woods around me were afraid of it, of course.
Also, I had a sweet long-sleeve shirt that was yellow, with blue and red racing stripes down each arm. There was a G.I. Joe-sized superhero guy who could totally fly and would run down either arm (situation dependent), launch into the air, and fight evil.
Because, you know, there’s evil out there.
epsdelta 32. Here, Kitty Kitty
Not imaginary friend but imaginary species. They were called Chin-chin. They were tiger-like creatures who were as big as the Earth, but only I could see them. We’d mess stuff up.
31. Stick It To The Man
I don’t remember it but my Mom likes to remind me how she thought I was possessed when I was two or three. She came into my room once to find a giant mess and asked why I did that. I apparently responded by dropping my voice to a freakishly low level for a two-year-old girl and responded, “I didn’t do it. The man did it.”
I blamed the man for a lot of things I did.