Can Ghosts Scratch You?

Ghost scratches

Have you ever woken up to find that you are covered in ghost scratches that you simply cannot explain? Some may take this as a sign that you have been visited by a ghost or demonic entity in your sleep.

So… are ghost scratches real? While there is no scientific evidence that suggests ghosts can cause scratch marks, there are many people who believe otherwise. In this article, we’ll discuss potential reasons for unexplained scratches and why people tend to blame the paranormal.

Why People Believe That Ghosts Can Scratch

Dozens of ghost movies depict scenes in which ghosts have the power to physically harm the living. In addition to these films, there are plenty of old ghost stories and folkloric tales that involve ghosts scratching their victims.

Another reason why people believe that ghosts have the ability to scratch may be because we often like to blame the unexplained on the paranormal. Waking up with scratches and other marks can be scary, so it makes sense why you may automatically think that there are ghosts and spiritual entities involved.

Online platforms like Quora are filled with people sharing their experiences with sleep demons and unexplained ghost scratches on their skin. If you had to read through some of these compelling stories, you may soon believe that you are at risk for nighttime ghostly attacks.

College student Ian Adler told the Muhlenberg Weekly the following story about his scratch marks: “I think the spirit caught the scent of my stress, accumulating in my energy points from my plethora of assignments, failing relationships and a recent stressful bout with vegetarianism.”

Potential Causes Of Unexplained Scratches

Before you jump to conclusions and assume that your scratch marks are because of a ghost, you should consider a few other possible causes. Chances are that there is a very normal explanation. These include:

Skin conditions

If you have a skin condition, like eczema or psoriasis, your skin may become itchy from time to time and you may end up scratching it while you are sleeping.

This is a very common underlying cause and may require treatment should you want to reduce your symptoms.

Bed bugs and other insects

Bites from insects like mosquitoes and spiders can be incredibly itchy. This irritation may cause you to scratch the bite while you are asleep. When you wake up, the bite mark may have disappeared but the scratches may still be there, leaving you to wonder what on earth happened during the night.


If you live with a dog or a cat, your scratch marks could very well be from your pets. Try to keep your furry friends away from your bed at night. Not only can your companion animals scratch you, but they can also transfer fleas and ticks to your bedding.

Sleep disorders

Parasomnias – sleep-related disorders that include things like sleepwalking and extreme nightmares – can have all sorts of negative effects, one of them being scratching in your sleep.

These disorders are often linked to stress, so you should definitely consult your doctor if you want to improve sleep quality.

Reaction to certain medications

Some medications can cause itching or make you break out in a rash. If you have recently started a new medication, you may want to have a look at the possible side effects. In most cases, this will help you determine the cause behind your unexplained scratch marks.

Sleeping partner

Do you sleep with another person? Whether it is your child or your spouse, they could be the reason for the marks on your body. If this is the case, it is likely unintentional. However, it is common for sleeping partners to accidentally scratch the skin of the person sleeping next to them at night.

The Physical Realm vs The Spiritual World

Ghosts are tied to the spiritual realm, while we exist in the physical world. While ghosts may be able to communicate with the living, they should not be able to harm you physically.

It is important to remember that if you have been scratched, the cause is most likely something in the physical realm. Even those who are deeply spiritual and in tune with nature agree that there is no reason to fear ghosts.

What Can You Do If A Ghost Is Scratching You?

If you truly believe that a ghost has scratched you, you are not crazy. In fact, there may be some truth to your claim.

Maybe you live in a haunted house and waking up with scratches has some sort of paranormal explanation. If you find yourself in this position, there are a few things that you can do.

Rule out sleep-related scratching and other potential reasons

Do your best to investigate whether or not your scratches have any logical explanation. Your investigation can involve filming yourself when you sleep to see if you are rubbing or scratching your body. You may also want to visit your doctor to rule out sleep-related disorders.

Invest in ghost-hunting equipment

If you feel like your house may be haunted, you might want to invest in some ghost-hunting equipment to find out once and for all.

Some of the equipment that may prove most useful in your ghost-hunting ventures include:

Cleanse your home and perform rituals

If you feel that there are negative energies occupying your home, there are a few steps that you can take to get rid of them or make peace with them. There is nothing worse than having tension with the spirits that occupy your home. Luckily there are plenty of cleansing rituals that can help.

Call a professional paranormal investigator

A paranormal investigator is a person who specialises in all things paranormal – as the name suggests. They will be able to lead a professional investigation to determine whether or not you have a haunted house and if any unfriendly spirits wish to cause you harm.


How to treat scratches?

Most scratches just require a bit of antibacterial cream and a bandage. However, if you have deep scratches that are raw and bleeding, you may need to seek treatment from a healthcare professional. Seeking treatment may also help you determine the cause of your symptoms.

Can ghosts harm people in any way?

While ghosts should not be able to cause you any physical harm, living with a ghost can result in emotional turmoil. For example, ghosts can often play games with your psyche. If you find yourself in this situation, you should seek support.

Should I try to communicate with the ghosts in my home?

If you want to let the ghosts in your home know you are there, you should speak to them with a clear and confident voice. You can also make use of divination equipment to establish clear communication with any paranormal entities in your home.

How do I prevent myself from scratching my skin in my sleep?

  • Don’t allow your companion animal to sleep with you.
  • Trim your fingernails so that any sleep-related scratching is not as bad.
  • Be careful about what creams you use before bed.
  • Seek treatment for potential underlying conditions.
  • Get in touch with pest control services if you have a lot of insects in your home.

In Conclusion

To put it simply, there is no scientific evidence that proves that ghosts can cause scratches. While many people claim to have been scratched by ghosts, there is probably some sort of logical explanation, such as a skin condition. It is up to you to decide whether or not you believe any of the claims you may come across online.

At the end of the day, you shouldn’t immediately assume that any marks on your skin are because of ghosts. Look at other potential causes and remember to seek treatment for deep scratches that are red and swollen in appearance.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!