April 17, 2024 | Jamie Hayes

When Hide And Seek Goes Horrifyingly Wrong

Hide and seek—a fun game we played as kids, right? WRONG. Unfortunately, for these folks, playtime took a very dark turn.

1. Into The Woods

When I was about eight years old, my six-year-old brother and three-year-old sister were playing some type of easy hide and seek in my grandparents' backyard. Well, there are woods behind their house. Our sister, being a defiant toddler, ran into the woods and my brother just saw her run in and ran in after her. That's when things went wrong.

They were in the woods for hours because she ran in so deep and they both got turned around. Our brother found a hunting post, climbed up it into the tree, and found a way out. They then knocked on doors, covered in dirt and scratched up, until someone answered. A woman gave them a ride back because our brother was able to point out landmarks to get back to our grandmother's house.

They got back while my mother was on the phone with an officer, and they were discussing a helicopter to find them. We were this close to a search party. They walked a collective two to three miles. They could have gone miles deeper into rural woods if they didn't keep going one way and find the post. So yeah, watch your darn kids!

Telling them "Don't go into the woods" does not guarantee they will listen. The authorities were called and still showed up to give the kids a "talking to".

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2. Toby's Gone Missing

When I was eight, I was at a birthday party for my neighbor's daughter. We had mutual friends, and one of them, let's call him Toby, wasn't really the brightest. We all weren't, but he took the cake, like eating a wasp once and then wondering why his mouth was swollen. Anyway, the daughter challenged us to a game of hide and seek.

For context, they lived on a big farm, so there was plenty of space to hide. To keep the game from going too long, we all agreed to only hide in the barn and on the main plot, and not the meadow behind it. It only took the daughter about 15 minutes to find me and the other kids invited to the party, except for said Mr. Darkhead Toby. Soon, we started to panic.

By this time, it was about 5:30 PM and we were all getting ready to go home, but Toby was nowhere to be found. Our parents agreed to let us stay until 7 PM, hoping that he was found by then. After Toby wasn't found, Toby's parents called 9-1-1 and a search squad was sent out. Still no sign of him, the officers gave up.

The next morning, I woke up to my parents telling me, in a tone of relief, that Toby was found. When I heard what happened, I couldn't believe it. Apparently, Toby somewhat got lost in the meadow and was only found eight hours later standing on the side of a road that was four MILES away, with his shorts and t-shirt all ripped and damaged.

He was only found after a relative spotted him with his headlights. Oh, did I mention that Toby was new to the area and didn't know where what was? We are still friends to this day, 18 years later, and whenever we are really bored, we bring this story up and just laugh our guts out about it. About him not being very bright, yeah, he now has his masters degree in mechanical engineering.

So glad this story ended well, or else my life would be different now.

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3. The Greatest Hider Of All Time

Ok, first some backstory. I take hide and seek VERY seriously. And I’m very good at it. Like, savant good. When I was in high school, I went to a camp every holiday (four times a year) where one of our activities was a nightly game of spotlight. Spotlight is essentially hide and seek, but played outside on an oval in the dark, with weak flashlights.

Once you were found, you turned in your own flashlights and started looking for the remainder of the people hiding. It was a BIG deal to be the last one found. So, my first time going to this camp, I go all out. Full matte black clothing, a beanie, etc. And I pick the best possible spot—it was in long, wet grass on the side of the oval.

Weird thing was, three other guys picked the same spot a minute later as time was running out, only they bunkered down closer to the edge of the grass where it was dry. They had no idea I was there. Inevitably those casuals were caught. The guy that found them was peering into the grass, trying to find me. Then the craziest thing happened. 

As he moves further in, he actually steps on me. And thinks I’m just a pile of garbage. Because matte black clothes under torchlight look a lot like a garbage bag. So that hurt. Well, I stayed in that wet ditch for two hours. When I finally made my way back to the dorm...it was not to triumph. It turns out everyone had forgotten I existed. Owch.

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4. Taking The "Care" Out Of Daycare

One summer while in a horrible daycare, my younger twin brothers and I were forced to stay outside along with the older kids, who were 14-15ish, and were pretty entitled jerks if I'm being honest. I didn't like them. Anyway, we were allowed to go outside of the fence of the daycare and often went up a hill into a forest near the daycare.

So one day these buttheads decide to make us play hide and seek in said forest, lest they go back to the lady who owned the daycare, Susan, and come up with some excuse to get us in trouble. By the way, Susan hated our guts for some unknown reason, and favored the older kids over me and my brothers. After five minutes in the woods, things go south—HARD.

Both of my twin brothers are very allergic to bees—something that the forest was filled to the brim with, as it turned out. One managed to get stung right in the foot when he took his shoe off for just a moment. We had to carry him through the forest and down the hill because he couldn't walk at all. His screaming still haunts me.

When we got back to the daycare, Susan tried just fixing the sting on her own to avoid word spreading of how she didn't keep an eye on a kid with allergies. Well, she failed miserably. Sometime later, my brother was taken to the hospital and thankfully recovered. We didn't go back to that daycare the rest of the summer, and it was closed down less than a year later.

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5. A Little Too Good At The Game

We had just recently moved into our neighborhood and my sister, who was five at the time, was playing hide and seek with a neighbor kid. Long story short, kid couldn’t find her, all the adults started going around the neighborhood shouting for her, it was getting dark, after a while my parents called 9-1-1. Someone eventually found her.

They demanded to know what happened—and her response was the funniest thing I've ever heard. Apparently, she had heard everyone calling for her the whole time! But, she was playing hide and seek so duh she wasn’t coming out until someone found her! Parents called the authorities back and told them not to come. That’s how we met most of our neighbors.

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6. Well...This Isn't Good

Before I was born, my brothers and sisters played a game at my aunt's house down by the river. My eldest brother decided to hang by his fingertips inside the water well. Meanwhile, and unknowing of that fact, my other brother thought about hiding up inside the little steeple cover of the well. But, to get to it, he needed to slam shut the well cover...

SLAM...Blood-curdling scream...Splash...Cries for help...Between fits of unadulterated anger interspersed with disbelief and worry, my aunt, grandmother, and mom managed to get him pulled up, which wasn't easy because with all of those smashed fingers of his he couldn't hold tight to a rope.

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7. Tramapoline! Trambopoline!

I was playing hide and seek with my sisters when I was like in 4th grade. It was dark outside and you couldn't see anything, so I thought it would have been a great idea to grab my blanket, which was black all around, and put it over me while I lay on my trampoline. So I'm under a big fluffy blanket, on a considerably comfy trampoline, and it's night time. I fall asleep.

My hiding spot was so good, none of my sisters could find me. They finally got my mom involved—and that's where things went sour. Mind you, I am still asleep during all this, and I only know this because they told me afterward. My mom and stepdad start freaking out, thinking I ran away. My mom gets in her car and my stepdad gets in his.

They drive around the neighborhood to see if I'm out there. Of course, they don't see me. They were driving around for like half an hour. Eventually, I wake up. The way my room is makes it so you can see the trampoline from out of my window and vice versa. I wake up and I see that my bedroom light is on and my mom is walking around talking on the phone.

My mom was on the phone with the authorities. I didn't know at the time, I thought she was just talking on the phone and wandering around the house. So I get off the trampoline with my blanket still wrapped around me. I walk through the back door and sit on my living room couch. My mom walks out of my room in tears and sees me on the couch.

My sisters are in my parents' room and my stepdad is still looking for me. She asks me where I was and I tell her. She doesn't straight-up believe me. Some officers come and she makes me talk to them—they weren't impressed, to say the least. I thought it ended there, but no. My mom had those officers come to my school the next day to talk to me.

The most embarrassing thing to ever happen is having the Dean walk into your 4th-grade class and tell you to come with him. I was terrified. They took me to the guidance counselor's office and just asked stuff like what I wanted to do when I grow up, family life, stuff like that. I think they were trying to make sure I hadn't actually tried to run away.

And silver lining: It actually wasn't too bad and I got to miss class time.

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8. Locked In

So when I was a wee kid and a scout, we played hide and seek in the dark. We usually played something like this every time in the last 15 minutes of our meetings. It was a medium-sized cabin, essentially. There were a lot of places to hide, lots of stuff just lying around. For some reason, there was a coffin there and nobody, as far as I know, ever hid inside.

Because it's a coffin, and that's just creepy. But my genius butt hid inside it. Unluckily for me, another kid also looking for a hiding spot saw me. Then he did something truly horrific. He decided to lock the coffin I was inside of. Yeah, I had claustrophobia for quite a while afterwards. I have an intense hatred of the name Marcus since, because that was the guy's name.

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9. My Sister's Screams

My younger sister and I (seven and eight years old at the time) were playing nighttime hide and seek at my cousins’ house, all while our parents enjoyed a few bottles of vino. We had stopped over for the night before catching a ferry to France the next morning. It was my turn to seek, so my sister and cousins went off to hide as usual.

I found my youngest cousin first, then shortly after found my sister hiding on a windowsill behind a closed curtain. I dramatically pulled the curtain to reveal her. She hopped down and ended up in a pile of tears on the floor, holding her right butt cheek. She just couldn't stop crying. I comforted her and our game ended as our other cousin came to see what was wrong.

Through tears, she explained that she had hit the radiator under the windowsill as she had jumped off. She kept crying so I took her down to our parents, where she sat on my mom’s lap for a while. Once she’d calmed down, she came back to resume the game. But instead of hiding again, it went wrong again. She burst back into tears.

I took her down once again to my mom, who was now inspecting a spot of blood on her white jeans. That's when we finally realized what had happened. It turned out my sister had ripped a 4 cm hole in her butt cheek as she’d hit the corner of the radiator on the way down. It was gruesome. My aunt, a GP who’d had a glass or two of cabernet, got my sober uncle to drive her, my sister, and my mom to a hospital.

She stitched my sister together and all was fine. The story doesn’t end there though. The following day my parents, sister, and I left my cousins to catch that ferry to France for our annual holiday. Halfway through the holiday, my sister’s stitches needed removing. Fearing that a French hospital may freak her out, my dad proceeded to remove the stitches himself.

I will never forget her screams—they were truly bloodcurdling. They sometimes feature in my nightmares. She was left with a gnarly, purple scar that has slowly faded over the last 20 years. It’s still very visible though. My butt tingles and I grimace whenever I think of this story.

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10. Never Hide In A Bathroom

I was probably 11 or 12 and I was very good friends with the next-door neighbor kids. They consisted of two brothers one a year younger than me and the other three years younger and a sister who was two years older. I went over to their house all the time to play games. One day we decide to play hide and seek inside their house.

I’m hiding first and I find a great spot in the shower with the curtain closed. Some time passes and everyone is found besides me. I hear the door to the bathroom open and one of the brothers and sister are talking about where I could be hiding. The door then closes and I think nothing of it and stay as quiet as possible. To my horror, I realize what is happening.

I hear the toilet seat go up. The sister is using the bathroom and dropping the kids off at the pool while I’m directly across from her, hiding behind the shower curtain. I was terrified the whole time hoping she wouldn’t look in the shower and find me. I stayed as silent as I could until I heard her leave. I immediately left because I didn’t want to be found in there and raise any suspicion.

Unfortunately, I left a little too soon and they all watched me walk out of the bathroom. The brother a year younger than me immediately starts yelling “[me] and [sister] were in the bathroom together". I just kept denying it but the sister kept looking at me really confused and seemed to be wondering if I really was or not.

I went home as soon as possible and gave it a couple days before I went back over.

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11. Hit And Seek

A professor of mine's dad was a big time lawyer in Detroit, often prosecuting members of the local mafia. One summer day, when he was about seven, he decided he was gonna go to work with his dad and hid in the backseat of the car that morning. Once they actually got to the firm, he didn't say anything and kept quietly hiding while his dad went in.

Cut to a couple hours later, his mom is freaking out cause she can't find him. Because of his dad's profession, it's a genuine worry that their son has been kidnapped by some gang with a grudge. Meanwhile, he's starting to get heat stroke from being locked in a car during the middle of summer. Luckily, his dad found him when he was headed back to the car after getting the call from mom.

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12. Coffin Camping

When I was about 12, I was playing hide and seek during a church lock-in. It was great! Huge, dark building, tons of great places to hide. I was carefully looking everywhere for the best place, and finally found it in a small chamber off of the main sanctuary. There was what looked like a large, sturdy marble-topped table in one corner, but with also a raised bottom platform instead of just legs and the floor.

It was partly covered by a thick and weird-smelling cloth, and had extra “legs” in the middle that were ornately carved. So, I climbed onto the bottom portion and pulled the cloth over the side so as not to be seen. Stayed there for maybe half an hour. Kind of creepy. I was found last and won, but everyone was freaking out about my hiding place.

I couldn’t figure out why until someone showed me a photo of the weird item in use. Then it finally hit me. It was a coffin stand.

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13. Hidey Hole

When I was younger, about 3 or so, my great-grandmother was watching my younger brother, some cousins, and I. She decided hide and seek was a great idea since we all weren't able to open any doors without her help. Turns out, it was a terrible idea. I found this perfect spot tucked between the wall and a couch with a small coffee table between the arm of the couch and that wall.

So I got under the coffee table. Well, I got too comfy and fell asleep (back then I was a hard sleeper). My great-grandma gets so worried that I somehow got out of the house when I wouldn't respond to her calling out for me, she called 9-1-1. The fire department shows up first and starts asking her questions about what happened and all the basics.

They decided to do a quick sweep of the house and make sure. Well, one of the firemen sees a little shadow move under the coffee table (me) and asked if my grams had a dog. She didn't. So the search was over, and my grams never wanted to play hide and seek again with me. And that kids, is how I earned the nickname Hidey for the rest of my life.

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14. Trust Me. We're Sure.

I was about 7 years old, and we were playing in the dark at Grandma's house. I don't remember the exact reason, but I popped into the game a little late, and was waiting on my brother or cousin to come rushing around the house, and I was set to beat them back to base. As they came running around the corner, I turned and started to run.

I didn't pay attention to where I was, and tripped on the wire supporting a newly planted tree. I fell to the ground, my wrist landing on a rock. I didn't know exactly what happened, but I do know it hurt. Badly. Run to Mom and Dad, bawling my eyes out. Dad took one look and his face went pale. So, off to the hospital we went.

In the emergency room, Dad tells the admissions nurse, "We need to see a doctor, my son broke his arm". She got a little huffy, and says back something along the lines of "What makes you so sure?" Then Dad lifted the damp towel that was covering my arm, and it was immediately apparent. She just started repeating "Oh my God!"

Dad had to calm her down so I wouldn't start freaking out again. I don't know how much more force it would have taken, but it was a radial fracture of the two bones in my forearm, nearly compounded. I still remember seeing a couple bumps on my arm, but not much else.

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15. Baby Bee Bath

Recycling bins in our local district used to simply be 80-liter containers. They looked like baby baths. My little sister was somewhat hit and miss with hide and seek. She was either found first within the first 30 seconds of the game, or everyone would be out looking for her for most of the afternoon. Obviously this time she felt she had something to prove.

She hatched a plan to hide under one of these containers that had been lying in the yard for weeks and figured no one would have a chance to find her. The bins were black plastic, so there was no way to see inside of them. Suddenly, as I started to search, she jumped out screaming in pain. Little did she know that a small family of bees were waiting for her.

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16. That Ain't Water

I was playing outside a church at night after a service with some friends, and they had a whole new dirt pile next to the building. So when a buddy started counting, me and my other friend ran behind it. We slowly backed further and further then... Splash! I fell in a deep hole full of water. I warned my buddy I fell in some water, but then another splash...

A little after that my friend says "I don't think this is water..." That's when the smell kicked in. I realized why there was a big hole full of liquid poop behind the dirt pile. It was an open septic tank being worked on. Me and my two friends rode with my mom to church that night. Let's just say she wasn't too happy to be stuck in a car for 20 minutes with two kids that had raw sewage all over them.

My friend who was counting thought it was hilarious, though.

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17. The Webs From All The Spiders

I was snuggled behind a brush pile in my grandparent’s yard when I played hide and seek with my cousins. I lay there for about ten minutes while I listen to other kids getting found, thinking about what amateurs they were compared to me and my superior hiding skills. Then I started to feel something tickle my arms and my neck...a little itchy ya know?

I look down to see hundreds of baby spiders had hatched out of an egg sac that had been in the brush pile. I ran out of there as fast as I could. I still get itchy just thinking about it.

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18. The Greatest Spots Have The Greatest Risk

One of my friends was playing hide and seek in a big group at his place when he was like 13 or 14. Their garage was an absolute mess. Like, completely packed with all sorts of random stuff (enough so that you had to walk on top of/through things), so he decided that it'd be a fantastic place to hide. But, just to add another layer of difficulty to it, he decided to hide by laying down on some of the beams above the track for the garage door. When things went wrong, they went WRONG.

At some point, he lost his balance and fell about 10 feet down onto a pile of bikes, trash bags full of clothes, car parts, etc. While he was falling he desperately tried to grab hold of the beam he was on and instead managed to barely reach the track for the garage door. His first finger on his left hand made contact right on the last knuckle before his fingertip.

That portion of the garage door track had a v shape to it and severed it cleanly. He landed on the pile of junk, bleeding and screaming, and he was rushed to the hospital. Some of his family searched for a while to find his fingertip hoping the doctors would be able to reattach it. They found it still cradled in the v shaped portion of the track.

Unfortunately, they didn't know to put it on ice. We sometimes now refer to him as "nine and three-quarters" since that's how many fingers he has.

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19. The Most Ingenious Spot

One spring, me and my younger sister (we were around 5 and 10) decided to play hide and seek. I was the seeker whilst my sister (let's call her M) went to hide. I looked everywhere and told my mom that she wasn't coming out after I said that I had given up and you win, so it was a search party for this small girl with everyone in the house.

As the garden was pretty large and filled with trees, I decided to look there. As she was little, I thought M might have fallen asleep. My grandparents and my mom got worried and dialed 999 (emergency services in UK). They came to the house and asked what she was seen last in and they even said they'd release the chopper. And where did we finally find her?

Behind the door to the study. I am not a great seeker...

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20. Rusty Nails And Broken Phones

We had played hide and seek in the dark at a friend's house. His parents were away for the weekend so we were able to turn every light off, only allowing us to use our phone lights in order to find a hiding spot or seek. My friend and I had decided to go to his front yard and hide by the pool pump, which is surrounded by a short brick wall.

I had climbed into a tree, but because my legs are being pulled to my chest, my pockets were too tight for my phone. So, I decided to put my phone in my shirt pocket. My friend, on the other hand, had decided to hide behind the pool pump, where my other friend (the one who actually lives in this house) uses this part of his yard to keep all the old broken childhood toys and such, like a small plastic slide.

The area is very closed off with bushes, so it doesn't look very messy when looking from outside the bushes. Well, as I was hiding in the tree, I saw my friend who went to hide in the bushes area by the pool pump start limping towards the house. Maybe it could have been nothing, but I immediately understood something was wrong.

He had blindly jumped into the bushes and landed on a broken plank that had a rusty nail. The nail went through his shoe into his foot. Seeing him limping back inside, I decided to leave my spot to help my friend. But the thing is, I forgot my phone was in my shirt pocket. I jumped out of the tree, and upon landing, my phone flew out and completely shattered on the ground.

It was a serious series of unfortunate events.

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21. Tanks A Lot

This one time a couple of my friends and I had gone to another friend's building to just get together. We decided to play hide and seek, but in teams. Since there were a lot of us, we figured that it was better than having one person be the one catching everyone. I was on the team that was catching the others. Basically, we split off and started seeking.

I reach the back of the building, which is mostly empty except for a small shed with a water tank on its roof which you can climb up to via a ladder. I spotted a couple of my friends on top of the roof next to the water tank and started climbing up to catch them. Once they saw me they started panicking. I'm pretty sure one of them just straight up jumped off the roof.

Anyways one guy made the impulsive choice to jump into the tank. He probably thought there would be water in. He was very, very wrong. It was completely dry except for a small puddle at the bottom. I saw him jump in...and heard him hit the bottom of the tank. I ran to the opening and looked inside but it was too dark and I got scared because I couldn't hear or see anything.

In the end we had to call the guard to come get him. He was fine, just sprained his ankle, but we all got shouted at pretty bad.

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22. Hide And Sleep

Back when I was younger, my friends and I would play hide and go seek throughout the whole street. This meant that whoever was playing could hide inside their house or hide wherever outside, anything was fair game. You can imagine how long these sessions would take. It was a summer afternoon and we had about 10 kids playing.

One of my friends decided to hide in his closet and ended up falling asleep after nobody found him. We spent the next couple of hours searching the street for him. Eventually, we gave up and told his parents we couldn’t find him. They panicked and called 9-1-1. The whole block was put on lockdown and an amber alert was promptly sent out to find him.

He eventually woke up later that night. Needless to say, that was the last time we played hide and seek.

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I lived in a two-story brick townhome and I was being babysat by my older brother. He had a bunch of his friends over and decided to play hide and seek. One of his friends had never been over before, we'll call him J. So, he was "It" first and we decided to turn off all of the lights. We all heard him counting upstairs and then heard him get near the stairs.

I couldn't see anything so all I heard was BOOM BAM SMACK and he groaned. Nobody moved for a minute, but he eventually got up and we all laughed. Could've turned out pretty bad though.

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24. Yes. You Won.

My best friend growing up was pretty much the most socially awkward, unaware human being ever. We have thousands of stories of him just being a dork. Great dude, just always off. Not that I was exactly the coolest or whatever, but my house was always the gathering place. Probably more to do with a huge yard and my mom perpetually cooking.

In any case, one day everyone is over (~8 kids) and we play hide and seek, which turns into hide and seek in the dark (BEST), which leads to a late dinner. We all go in, eat, and put a movie on. Friend comes in and yells I WON. He had been outside hiding for literally hours.

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25. Don't Know My Own Strength

The summer after senior year of high school, we had a hangout at a friend's house as a celebration before we all went off to school. That night, the one girl I liked in high school showed up. It was then decided that we should play hide and seek, but normal hide and seek is too boring, so we would play hide and seek in the dark.

Well, we’re playing the game and I’m the seeker. You see, there was this one door that some people were hiding behind (including the girl), and I decided to try and push it open. It did not budge at all, so I decided to push a little harder, just with my arms though. I wasn’t putting too much effort into the door because I did not know who or what was behind it.

Later I found out the reason it didn’t budge was because one of my buddies had propped a small trampoline against it. Well, after a few seconds it gives way rather easily. Game continues and ends. Someone turned the lights on—and that's when we saw the damage. I had broken the door by snapping it entirely out of its frame.

I was even able to turn it in such a way that it twisted on its diagonal axis and one tip went straight into the dang ceiling and crumpled a big pipe. That’s why it didn’t fall and make a noise, so no one noticed until the game was over. Afterwards I freak out a little because, you know, property damage, and also the one time I break something is the one time the girl I like decided to show up.

Also immediately after the lights turned on, the dude that propped up the trampoline decided to dip...before we called the host's parents down. Then we all try and fix the door while some of our friends are making cringey comments to the girl (saying stuff like “omg, lol at how strong he is, those powerful arms”). In the end, it all turned out fine and we still can laugh about it.

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26. Actual Nightmare Fuel

Oh, finally I can tell my story. So when I was younger, my sister and I and a few others were playing hide and seek in our house and I thought I knew the best hiding spot: Behind the chair in the living room where we keep knitting needles. I was highly medicated back then for my epilepsy so I didn't think too straight, and I crouched down right on the needles. There's no easy way to say this...

The needles went through my sack in multiple places. I stood up and looked down in shock. I ran upstairs to my dad and he looked down at my crotch in horror. I was dripping blood from my...yeah. It was bad. He drove me to the hospital so fast and everything ended up being okay. Yes everything works just fine still. And yes I have some scars. No idea who won the game though.

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27. The Clock Is Ticking

It was a family reunion when I was five years old (I was extremely petite for a 5-year-old) and I was playing with all of my cousins, ages 7-12. I was hiding in the back bedroom when I heard one of my cousins running toward the room I was in. So naturally, I panicked and bumped into a huge grandfather clock. The room was carpeted so it wasn’t very stable. The worst happened.

It started wobbling and fell on top of me, and now I was pinned to the ground underneath this 300 lbs clock. I couldn’t breathe, so I couldn’t scream. All my cousins came running because of the sound, but none of the adults heard it. So all the kids start freaking out, and eventually decide it’d be a good idea to go get some help from the parents.

At that point, all the adults started yelling at their kids for being so loud and they were all getting in trouble. They didn't really understand what was happening. Until one finally got it out that I was stuck under the clock and couldn’t breathe. Then the whole family flipped out and finally came back to get my unconscious self out from under the clock.

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28. Broken Sardines

We used to play a game called Sardines, where only one person hides and everyone else seeks him/her. When you find the person hiding, you hide with them. The last person to find you all loses. It’s hilarious with a group of you trying to cram into some of the tiny hiding spots. My family used to rent a Chateau in France every other year for Christmas, so you could get all 16-odd members of my family in one place.

It was awesome and the place was huge, with a cellar and three staircases, so there was plenty of places to hide. It was so good we managed get our grandparents to join in. The game got pretty competitive—then things got rotten. In a mad rush between a few of my cousins and my grandad, he managed to fall down the stairs and break his leg.

That promptly banned us from playing that for the rest of the holiday.

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29. That's One Way To Christen The New House

We had just moved into our new house and my brother and I plus a few neighborhood kids were playing hide and seek in it. I was the seeker so I walked up stairs to look first as I heard someone run up there. I checked a few rooms and did not find anyone and then went into me and my brother's room, which already had our bunk bed set up in it.

I checked under the bed and as soon as I went to get up, my brother jumped out and yelled “BOO!” I instantly jumped back and hit my head on the corner of the wood table. Came out screaming to mom with blood all over my face. Ended up getting five staples in my head and blood all over my parents' new house. Good times.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

30. Not So Cute

I was really little at the time and decided to screw with my parents. I think they might have gone on a walk or something and when I heard the door open downstairs, I hid under the covers on their bed. Impromptu hide and seek, if you will. They called my name a few times and after I didn't come out they ran around the house looking for me.

I was really smug the whole time because I thought they were stupid for not seeing me right under the blankets, but looking back on it that was kind of a jerk move on my part. Anyway I popped out a few minutes later, only to get immediately yelled at to NEVER do that AGAIN we were SO WORRIED.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

31. Look In The Trunk

When we were little kids, my siblings and I were playing hide and seek in our house. My sister (6 at the time) decided to hide in an empty trunk in an upstairs closet. It was a good spot. A little too good. She ended up falling asleep in the trunk and no one could find her. We yelled her name and yelled that the game was over, but she was asleep so no response.

Ended up looking for a while. Parents catch on, they freak out, call 9-1-1. Officers show up, they proceed to shut down the neighborhood and call in backup to search for her. The main theory at this point is that she got kidnapped while looking for a spot to hide outside. A couple hours of anxiety and panic go by and my sister wakes up from her nap, comes downstairs, and helps herself to some goldfish in the kitchen.

A few minutes later my mom and the officers walk in. I wish I was there to see her reaction. A mixture of fury, embarrassment, joy, and relief I’m sure. My sister was just a little too good at hide and seek for her own good.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

32. Don't Mess With The Dolls

My friend lives in a huge house, and when his parents weren’t home, my entire friend group would play hide and seek. We haven’t done it in almost two years now that we are all in college, but it was still something to do. His dad owned a set of these Mexican mariachi band dolls, but they were really creepy. He said they were supposedly possessed and weird things would happen if we touched them. I didn't believe him until that one terrifying day.

The dolls all had bodies like cats or rabbits, but really freaky-looking human heads. One night when we were playing, my friend Todd and I were the ones seeking for our other friends. Little did we know, one of our friends took the guitar-playing doll and set it on the dining room table, along a really long hallway. My friend and I entered the room and thought someone was under the table, and then we noticed the doll.

Of course, it scared the heck out of us, but we thought nothing of it. I turned to go around the table, when the cabinet doors that the doll was looking right at swung open and hit me in the knee and stomach. Everything fell out of the door and Todd and I took off in the other direction. We called our friends to come out and show them what happened.

We put the doll back with the rest of them in the basement and never touched them again.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

33. Nice Kitty...Kitty?

When I was in 7th grade, my best friend and I were playing hide and seek with my little sister. So my friend goes into my grandpa's room (because he lives with us) and goes to hide under his bed. When he finally gets under the bed he sees my cat lying there so he starts to pet her. He started petting her, but then he noticed something was horribly wrong.

She was stone cold. So he comes and gets me and says, "Dude I think your cat is..." I look at him straight in the face, surprised, and told him "Where!? She's been missing for months!" We told my parents and they immediately called Stanley Steamers to clean up the carpet under her. For some context, my cat loved to go in the storm drain and she was really old so we assumed she left and went in some storm drain.

Surprisingly she DID NOT smell. She went out completely odorless.

Scorched earthUnsplash

34. Just Act Natural

I went to boarding school and we often went home at weekends to visit family. One Sunday evening I saw my friend being dropped back by his dad down in the parking bays, so I ran into his study and hid in his cupboard, thinking I could jump out at him and surprise him. Next thing I hear while I'm in there is his dad's voice.

He's helped my friend carry some bags up to the room and now they're standing in the study chatting while I'm in the cupboard. A short moment later my friend opens the cupboard to put some stuff away and I'm just sitting in it. I couldn't think what else to do so I just said, "Alright Darrell". Then climbed out of the cupboard and walked out of the room.

I often think back to how odd that must have been on the receiving end.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

35. A Horrible Ending

Years ago, three little boys were playing hide and seek. One of them climbed into an old unused freezer in the garage. The freezers in those days locked automatically when closed and of course were air-tight. The neighbors searched for ages before the parents finally called 9-1-1 and reported their little boy missing. When the officers showed up, they asked, “Do you have any old fridges or freezers on the property?”B

They rushed to the freezer, but it was too late. Apparently, there were kick marks on the inside of the lid. Broke my heart...

Not Notice FactsShutterstock

36. All I Want For Christmas...

The seeker found me, but I had time to run. When I tried to flee to another hiding place, I tripped on a step and two teeth came out. Thank God they were already loose, but that didn't stop me from panicking when I felt the metallic taste in my mouth and saw blood all over the floor...

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

37. Sinkhole Spill

I was having a conversation with my cousin whilst looking for a hiding place and didn't notice the mini sinkhole right in front of me. I tripped and fell into it, and he ran off, thinking time was up and I'd settled for a spot. I ended up falling onto something sharp (not sure to this day what it was) that resulted in a bone-deep gash just beneath my kneecap.

I remember the blood seeping down my calf, and I will never forget the sight of my bone when they peeled back my shorts-leg to get a better look. That will haunt me forever. Needless to say, my day ended up with a visit to the ER and five glorious stitches. Fun times!

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

38. Shoulda Put An "H" On That Shed

My best friend and I played hide and seek a few years ago with some girls we knew from high school. We were at a park and it was getting dark so, as dumb high-schoolers do, we played hide and seek. I got a good hiding spot up in a tree that had leaves around me, so the only way you could really see me was if you were under the tree.

It was, in my opinion, a brilliant spot. Meanwhile, my friend hid inside some shed that was open. It was full of things like hoes, a garden hose, and a shovel. While he was inside the shed, he said he felt something like paper. He didn't realize the truth until it was too late. It was a hornet's nest and he was stung about 175 times. He had to go to the hospital over night.

Unnerving Last WordsShutterstock

39. Jimmy's Not A Friend Of Mine

My house has a deck on the second floor that you can use to get onto the roof which is REALLY STEEP. My friends knew about this. So one time I had my friends over, including one guy, let's call him Jimmy. Jimmy decided it would be a good idea to climb onto the roof, even though I told everyone the roof was off-limits and he knew the dangers.

I was chosen to seek first and as I'm looking down from the deck trying to spot people, I hear a noise coming from the roof. I climbed up, intending to yell at whoever was up there. So I got on the roof and it's Jimmy. I guess I spooked the heck out of him because he slipped and fell off of the freaking roof and broke his right arm and right leg.

I swear the scream he let out could be heard a mile away. I ran back to where he fell to be greeted by my dad, who was understandably shocked. I told him what happened and he called Jimmy's parents. They got there in two minutes (we lived close). Here's where the twist comes in. They decide it's my fault he fell off the roof. So they TAKE US TO COURT.

The judge hears my side and dismissed the case and they got fined for "Wasting his time". We are no longer friends.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

40. Instant Regret

My brother is small and very flexible and we even have a saying about gatherings “if he fits he sits” because he can basically fit himself anywhere, no matter how crowded. One time when we were very young and playing hide and go seek, I realized that he was hiding in our clothes dryer machine with the door closed. Par for the course for him.

Being the classic older brother, I thought I would turn it on and give him a quick scare and turn it off right after. Unless you’ve used a dryer before, you don’t know that you turn it off by opening the door, and there’s no off button. I, being like 9, had never used one and was expecting an off button. You can guess what happened next. 

Around and around he went as I yelled for my parents to help and they yelled back to open the door while they ran over. Luckily he was completely unharmed despite being spun nearly 10 times. Could have been so much worse, but we can laugh about it now. Why do we do this to our younger siblings?

Near-Death Experience FactsShutterstock

41. The Horror! The Horror!

My siblings and I lived in a big house in the suburbs growing up, the kind with a huge finished basement that seemed to go on forever. Our favorite game to play when the cousins came over was hide-and-go-seek tag in the dark. That basement could get pitch black when you turned the lights out and covered up the one window.

To add another element, we made a rule where you could only crawl during the game. So, there we are, on our hands and knees waiting in our hiding spot in the dark. I hear the seeker "find" my brother, which immediately turns into a game of crawling tag. They are FLYING around this basement at top speeds. Then suddenly, we all hear my brother SCREAM.

Being the big sister, I go right for the light switch and pause the game to see what happened. He holds up his hands, which are COVERED in....dog poo. Our dog had snuck downstairs while he thought no one was there and took a giant dump in the middle of the room, and my brother fast-crawled right through it. 20 years later, this is still the funniest story we tell at family get togethers—about the time that a game of tag went horribly wrong.

Other people's housesShutterstock

42. Always Check The Coats

When I was a kid, I was playing hide and seek with my cousins at my aunt and uncle's house during some family gathering. I hid in the closet behind everyone's coats (excellent hiding spot, by the way). After waiting in there for a while (without being found), I finally got bored and came out to find everyone, adults included, panicked and looking for me.

They asked where I had been and I was super confused because I had just been hiding in the closet during the hide and seek game and it hadn't been more than like 10 minutes. Turns out I had been missing for like 45 minutes. The explanation my parents came up with was that I must've fallen asleep in the (warm, dark) closet and then woken up without realizing I had been asleep.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

43. You're Lion

I was 8 or 9, and we had this huge church youth campout at one of the kids' family cabins in the mountains in Utah. We were playing hide and seek in the dark with nothing but flashlights and I was crouched down in my hiding spot. I turned my light off so no one would see it and looked up and saw two bright eyes low and staring in my direction.

I stood up, frozen in place, and started screaming in fear. I threw my flashlight towards it (I was not the brightest child) and by then a bunch of kids and adults came running over to my area yelling my name and shining their flashlights. I found out later a mountain lion had been stalking me.

Hunters in the Woods factsPixabay

44. When You're Too Good At Hiding

When I was about seven or eight, my younger sister and I were playing hide and seek in my parents' house. It was my turn to hide. My mother was taking a shower so I picked the lock on the bathroom door to hide in the bathroom cupboard under the sink. I was thinking I was a genius because my sister would never find me in there.

I sat for a while waiting for her to find me, then my mother finished her shower (she didn't know I was in there either). My father came into the bathroom as well. Long story short, they started going at it while I was in there and I was too scared, embarrassed, and utterly mortified. to move or say anything. So I did the worst thing ever.

I sat just frozen in position, petrified. After they finished and left, I stayed in the cupboard for at least 5-10 minutes disgusted by what I had just witnessed but unable to stop thinking about it. I made sure the coast was clear and made a run for it, just to find my younger sister sitting in front of the TV, completely forgetting that she was supposed to find me.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong facts Shutterstock

45. A True Nightmare

I was playing hide and seek at a friend's house when I was seven or eight. I was running to get behind the house and took the corner and stepped on top of the metal grate above the basement escape window. Suddenly, my life flashed before my eyes. The grate somehow gave way and I fell to the bottom, managing to scrape my legs arms and head as I fell. Then I saw where I was and just started screaming.

The bottom was dirty gravel strewn with the skeletal and still decomposing remains of countless frogs. To make matters worse, years of undisturbed spider webs crisscrossing was also triggered and I swear I could see the spider's eyes looking at me as dozens of thicc booty spiders crawled frantically towards me to enjoy their feast.

I am laying at the bottom, blood seemingly gushing from my elbows, knees, and forehead as I started climbing the infinitely long ladder to the surface while screaming and crying. Each rung of the ladder was also covered in webs and spiders, who started crawling up my arms. I made it to the surface and my friend's mom tried to comfort me to little avail.

This series of events took maybe 15 seconds but felt like slow motion the entire time. To this day I have trust issues with any metal grate (storm drain, city sidewalk vent) and what I consider a reasonable fear of spiders.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong facts Shutterstock

46. Leap Of Faith

So to give some background, it was the morning after my brother's 10th birthday party and his friends were still over from the sleepover. My parents' house had a fully finished basement that was often used as the place for all the kids to hang out and play. I was only five at the time, which meant I could get into all the best hiding spots. Except that day, I made a terrible mistake.

I had the brilliant idea of hiding behind the TV and TV stand. It was a huge old tube TV, maybe 30 inches, so lots of space. There was a DVD rack to the left of the TV stand that stored the VHS tapes. I was small enough that I was able to hide on top of the sub-woofer for the sound and couldn't be seen from in front of the TV. Perfect, right? Wrong.

Well, this all turns bad when the three other hiding places were checked and behind the TV was checked. I was found out and tried to make a break for home base. The only safe way from behind the TV was where "Joe" was guarding. So with the logic of a five-year-old, I thought I could jump over the DVD rack to get past "Joe" to get to base.

I didn't make the jump, got my foot got hooked on the rack, and collapsed onto the glass coffee table and shattered it. I got rushed to the ER, happened to need stitches for all the glass that went into my chest. Had the glass gone a millimeter deeper, it would have punctured my heart. We were told many times by my parents to not to play hide and seek and run around in the basement.

Funny that you don't listen to rules until you find out why.

Lowest Point factsPixabay

47. The Pits

When I was about seven we were playing flashlight tag (essentially hide and seek in the dark) around the neighborhood and the spot I picked was in someone's backyard area by a trampoline. I'm sitting there and I started hearing some rustling behind me, but didn't want to move because I thought it was the kid looking for me. If I'd known what it was, I'd have run for my life.

Next, I hear a chain sound—and suddenly a pit bull latches onto the back of my leg and wouldn't let go. I lay there screaming until my brother finally found me. He gets the dog to let go and run away, but he took a chunk of the back of my leg with him. Doctors had to take some fat from my butt to patch it up and now I have a pretty sweet-looking wound on the back of my leg.

Paranormal FactsPxHere


48. Bloody And Bloodier

I have two stories. One was with my brother. Another was with a childhood friend. Two separate occasions. First, when I was about 6 or so, we went to visit some family at my uncle's house. All us kids thought hide and seek would be a great idea, so off we went. My uncle at the time was kind of an amateur race car driver and built this racing simulation seat.

It had the pedals and everything nailed to these little 2x4 boards. Well, there were some sharp corners on it that had sheet metal nailed on the outside of it to reinforce it. We all decided to hide in the basement where this prototype gaming chair was and my brother went to go hide behind it. He slipped going around behind it and fell head first into one of the sheet metal wrappings.

He sliced his forehead WIDE open. It was like a horror movie. Blood everywhere. 13 stitches to close that bad boy up. It was the most horrific thing I saw as a child...other than my second story. We were playing hide and seek at the neighbor's farm and they were redoing the tin roof on the barn. There were some scrap pieces laying on the ground next to a couple of round hay bales.

Now, if any of you have seen those tin pieces, they are quite thin and can cut you pretty easily. Well, our friend thought it would be a good idea to climb the bales and get on top of the barn roof and hide on top. When he jumped from the top bale, his foot got caught up in the plastic and it pulled him to the ground on one of those pieces of tin.

It sliced his throat. We thought he was a goner. By the time his dad got over there, it was a mess. Blood all over the side of the barn, he's screaming, we were all crying (this was a few years after my brother's incident). They rushed him to the emergency room, only to find out he missed his carotid artery by .5mm... Luckiest kid I've ever met.

That was the last time I played hide and seek. We all kinda agreed that we wouldn't do again without really even saying it.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock

49. Locked In The Trunk Of A Car

When I was about 8 years old I was playing hide and seek with two other kids on our street. One of my friend’s dads was an officer with one of those dated patrol cars in his driveway. My friend decided to hide in the trunk of his dad's car, which he was able to jimmy open using his finger on a broken trunk lock. I was “seeking" at the time.

My friend led me to the trunk that was cracked open a few inches. As soon as I walked up, my buddy popped up to scare me...For some reason I decided to slam the trunk back shut as a joke? I guess? As soon as I did this we realized we could not get him out. He was shrieking in pure fear. Me and the other kid did not dare go up to his dad's front door to tell him.

We were scared of getting thrown in the slammer or something super reasonable like that happening to us. After a few minutes of panicking, trying to get him out, I hear my name being called from my house. My grandma was visiting and it was time for dinner... I'm not proud of what I did next. I sat at the dinner table, eating as fast as I could, pretending everything was fine, while my friend was locked in the trunk outside.

I piled it down, made an excuse, and went back outside. My friend had found a latch in the trunk and gotten himself out by the time I got there. We didn’t have to tell his dad and my parents never found out. I was just talking to my partner the other night laughing about this story and decided to share with you guys.

I’m In Big Trouble FactsFlickr

50. Gremlins 3

When I was a kid staying at my grandma's house, I used to hide from her in the house and make her come find me. On one particular occasion I decided to hide in this closet in her back room. The closet was filled with junk she had collected/hoarded over the years. Well, it was taking her a particularly long time to find me this time.

So I started shifting around in there to get more comfortable. My movements jostled an upper shelf and caused what I thought was a Gremlin to fall on top of me. It turns out it was a taxidermy baby alligator that I had never seen before. It scared the life out of me. I grabbed it and threw it off of me, but it was old and brittle and its leg crumbled off in my hands.

I may have peed myself. I never played hide and seek again. Anywhere.

Hide And Seek Goes Wrong factsShutterstock


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