Happy October! The air is crisp, the leaves have turned crunchy, and the Halloween season is upon us. What better time to share some real-life ghost stories?

Nah, not the dead people kind. The terrible dating kind!

If you haven’t lived through this lovely phenomenon, you’ve definitely heard about it: that in which you are dating a person until, for reasons unbeknown to you, they disappear! They don’t answer their texts, or pick up the phone, or like your very cute picture of your very cute dog on Instagram. This is definitely one of the shittiest ways to end things with someone, yet it happens all the time because, guess what? People are shitty!

If you’ve fallen victim to a ghost, take comfort in the fact that you aren’t alone, and read these truly spooky tales of dating gone wrong.

Exhibit A:

When I was a freshman in college I ran into a guy that I had met at 16. Originally when we first met we hit it off immediately and as teenagers do, he asked me to be his girlfriend the same day we met. Obviously, I said yes. The next day, when I called him, a girl answered the phone and politely told me that he couldn’t date me because she was actually his girlfriend.

Fast forward to freshman year, and there he is standing at the end of the bar. I approached him, asking if he remembered me, it took him a minute, but he placed me. I spent a better portion of the evening jabbing at him and poking fun at him for what a jerk he had been. Somehow, at some point in the evening the banter became less and less pointed and far more playful and flirtatious. Before I knew it he was owning up to his past sins poking fun at himself, and I was once again kissing him goodnight wondering if I’d see him again.

We dated for three months after that. I was going to school at SUNY purchase in westchester and he lived on Long Island. He would visit me most weekends and sometimes even during the week. In the last few days before the end of the semester he came up to visit and helped pack up about half of my dorm room. He headed out and delivered my belongings to my parents house awkwardly meeting them for the first time without me even being there. But it was so sweet and helpful. I was really enamored.

The semester ended and I moved home, super excited to be living so close by to my boyfriend. I got home and called him hoping to make plans for the weekend. He didn’t answer. I called again…and again…and again. But to no avail, this deja vuish story repeated and he had once again vanished….

ghost gif

Exhibit B: 

I met Sam on OKCupid. She was butch, chunky, and just super gay. I was immediately obsessed.

She messaged first, “Hey, you’re cute.” Typically I wouldn’t have responded to a message like that, but as a masculine of center woman, I’m almost never approached by other masculine women and I desperately wanted to be.

So, we met up at her favorite bar. I ignored that she had the same name as my mother, and that she drove a stupid car, and that she name-dropped musicians too much. She was so hot. Over the next few months we “hung out.” I went to shows where her band played, I played with her very cute cats, I tried to laugh when she gave me the nickname “Biz Cas.” She was a punk, didn’t answer to any authority if she could help it, and was the utter opposite of me.

She also had the infuriating habit of flaking. Not totally, we’d still hang out, but we’d chill at her place instead of going out to eat/see a movie/walk around the conservatory/grocery shop/attend an art opening. I got wise to this pretty quickly and always had a low key back-up plan. She finally caught on when she whined at me, “I don’t want to go to the gong bath I begged you to buy tickets for weeks ago, can’t we just watch Broad City again” and I had a full cheese board and cider flight ready to go in my backpack for eating in front of Abby and Ilana.

It was Spring, post cuffing season, when I ended up in the hospital after a night of hanging with her, followed by a very boozy brunch. Kidney stones. She texted me sweet things, offered to come help out (I declined), and then promptly told me she wouldn’t be able to make our next date because “she was really missing spending time with her guitar.” Furious, I didn’t respond.

Late that night, after I’d just gotten home from the hospital, she texted apologetically and asked to come over. I agreed, let her in just before midnight, and we fell asleep to The X-Files. In the morning, I’d decided to forgive her, walked her to the front door where she kissed me and (literally) said, “Have a nice life.” I never heard from her again.

ghost with sunglasses

Exhibit C:

I had been dating a guy for six weeks (but we’d gone to college together, and had a fling then, too, so I’d actually known him for years). He had seemed quite into me—taking me out to nice dinners, talking about the future, even expressing an interest in going on a trip to France together that summer.

And then I went on Birthright. I was worried about the timing, but he seemed committed, told me to text him while I was away, and had said—and I quote—”Don’t forget about me while you’re in Israel.”

We had made tentative plans to do something the weekend I was back. I did text him once or twice while there, but nothing crazy, and he had responded enthusiastically. When I came back a short 10 days later, I texted him again to let him know I was back, and received no response. I waited probably two weeks to hear from him—meanwhile seeing him post constantly on Instagram—until I finally worked up the courage to email him and ask what was up. It turned out he had “met someone else” in the 10 days while I was away. Ten days!!!

I’d also left an important necklace at his apartment and asked for him to send it to me. When it did arrive, weeks later, it was just the necklace. No note. Not even a post-it.

ghost throwing up boo

Exhibit D:

When I was still living in Baltimore, I decided that I was really ready to take dating seriously. That meant that I had to give up Tinder and OKCupid. So I joined Match—because obviously that’s the way.

So I met this guy who I was super into, he had a tattoo and a good job. He owned his own home and was tall—basically he checked my boxes. So we went on our first date and it was amazing. We really clicked, had a really good time, and he locked down the second date, immediately. He took me to wine fest which was on my birthday weekend. We had a great time, laughed, took pictures together, talked, and when he dropped me off, he never texted me again. He completely disappeared. No explanation.

A year later, a week before I was moving to Texas, he texted me to “catch up.” WTF? So I invited him to my going away party, at the same wine fest that he took me to. I told him I was moving for love, etc. He said he would come—he was excited. So once the conversation was going well, I asked him why he disappeared a year ago. The conversation immediately went dead. He unfriended me, blocked me, and never responded. Mmmmmkbye.

sad ghost

Image credit: T Kira Madden