Imaginary friends

“You even match the drapes! The whole room, in fact! Con-sider yourself… part of the furniture…

And it occurred to me - If Riley’s eleven, she’s as old as this show and may have seen it as a toddler and associated Imaginary Friends with that gorgeous pink victorian interior design.
(Characters and setting © Pixar and Cartoon Network)


Imaginary Friends

Creepy imaginary friends stories told by Reddit users.

omegaweapon The Bad Boys in the Kitchen

I used to hallucinate/hear voices at night when I was around 4, they used to say shit like “is he asleep yet? no he’s just pretending” then I’d hear footsteps running to my room and sometimes actually shit myself and they’d laugh. that’s when I wasnt actually getting beaten up by them in a dream. it was just my parents and I at the house, and it wasn’t my parents. I called them the bad boys in the kitchen. I’m 39 now and my son who’s 6 now once told me that his friend ben said, he used to make me poop my pants when I was little. I laughed it off but my son gave me accurate details of the house etc and mentioned “the bad boys in the kitchen” and how they used to beat me up, which disturbed him because i’m his hero and no one can beat up dad. i literally froze and felt like I was 4 again, I asked who Ben was and he said it was his imaginary friend. I told him Ben is a liar and was just jealous and not to worry about it.

TravelsWithTheDoctor The Creeper Man

My son from the age of three always tells me about the “creeper man” who lives in my mom and dads bedroom. He brings it up after he visits them. I made the mistake once of asking what he looks like. My son said “Oh, he doesn’t have a face.”

BrownXCoat Dead Girl in the Closet

When my daughter was three she had an imaginary friend named Kelly who lived in her closet. Kelly sat in a little rocking chair while she slept, played with her, etc. Typical imaginary friend shit. Anyway, fast forward two years later, the wife and I are watching the new Amityville (the one with Ryan Renolds) and our daughter walks out right when dead girl goes all black eyed. Far from being disturbed she said “That looks like Kelly.” “Kelly who?” we say “You know the dead girl that lived in my closet.”

MidnightXII The Captain

A parent of one of my students told us in a meeting that she was concerned because her son (7 years old) talked about an invisible ghost who would talk to him and play with him in his room. He said the ghost was called The Captain and was an old white guy with a beard. The kid would tell his mom that The Captain told him when he grows up his job will be to kill people, and The Captain would tell him who needed to be killed. The kid would cry and say he doesn’t want to kill when he grows up, but The Captain tells him he doesn’t have a choice and he’ll get used to killing after a while.

NiceColdPBR Bunny Man

When I was 16, I babysat twins who were in the third grade at the time. They always spoke of a man in an Easter Bunny costume, and they were terrified of him. One day I was babysitting, and one twin was in the shower. His brother and I were sitting downstairs watching television when all of the sudden, he said, “you need to go check on Matt.” Seconds later, Matt yelled, “He’s in here!!! He’s in here!!!” I ran upstairs, and I had to check every room before he would calm down. I’m not sure which part of the experience freaked me out the most.

Weird shit for sixpenceee

When I was a little girl I had this imaginary friend named Wendy. She would “communicate” with me through the wind. I would let the wind howl in my ears and try to make out words, and that’s how she’d “talk” to me. I also decided that Wendy could tell the future.

Anyway, one day I told a friend about Wendy. My friend didn’t believe me so I gave her a demonstration. I did the old listening to the wind and what I made out was “Something bad is going to happen. Something that nobody can stop and it will change the world forever.” Of course that didn’t make my friend believe me, but that was all I got from Wendy.

The next day was Sept 11, 2001. It’s safe to say that I stopped playing with Wendy after that. But even now, at 25 years old, when the wind is really strong, I sometimes can’t help but wonder if she’s still there trying to tell me something.

Black History in Animation:

Goo Goo Ga Ga from Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends (voiced by Grey DeLisle)

Goo is a vary hyper-imaginative talkative girl who’s parents allowed her to name herself, hence her full name. When she first appeared in the series, she constantly created imaginary friends because she didn’t have any real friends of her own, due to her odd behavior. She then learns to get to know the friends she’s created and only creates more either on accident or to help out in situations. She also enjoys playing games like checkers or truth or dare, even though she doesn’t really know how to play them. Only Mac notices.

Find the other characters I’ve honored here


This week, we’re looking at the real science behind imaginary friends.

First up: Why do kids have imaginary friends?

From Dipper, the celestial dolphin; to Alice and Jewel, the pink-skinned twins; to Jim Scott, the invisible man in the moon, children’s imaginary friends come in innumerable shapes and sizes.

Categorizing these creations—while also trying to glean information about the mindset and personalities of their youthful creators—can be a daunting task for developmental psychologists.

Over the last two decades, researchers have pieced together unexpectedly diverse and nuanced profiles of the children who create imaginary companions. In the first episode of Science Friday’s The Real Guide to Imaginary Companions, developmental psychologists Marjorie Taylor and Tracy Gleason describe how scientists study this playful phenomenon in order to understand the types of kids who have imaginary friends, why they create them, and what role these pretend pals play in childhood development.


Imaginary friends are awesome because they are whatever you want them to be and they can secretly go with you absolutely anywhere. UK creative agency AMV BBDO held a workshop during which 60 kids were asked to draw detailed illustrations of their imaginary friends.

“Children create many amazing things. Take their imaginary friends for instance,“ said Arvid Harnqvist and Amar Marwaha, the creative team behind the project. "They are talked about all the time and often become part of the family. But when the child gets older, these marvelous creations fade away. This project aims to immortalize them.”

Those drawings were taken to renowned animators and model makers, including Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling (of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared), Aardman, BlinkInk, and Psyop, who creative life-size models of some of those special friends for an exhibit entitled The Imaginary Friend Collection.

The exhibit will be on display at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London through February 12, 2016.

Photos by Rankin.

[via mental_floss and Design You Trust]