People Share The Scariest Things That Have Ever Happened To Them

Mathew Burke

They say that people like to go to horror movies because being scared is fun. Well, I think the folks behind these stories would disagree. From bumps in the night to strangers in the dark, these survivors have taken to the internet to share the most bone-chilling moments they’ve ever experienced.

1. Cry “I Quit”

I started babysitting my neighbors a little before I should have. I was 9 years old, I think, and I had just put the two girls to bed. I went downstairs and turned on the TV. Almost immediately, I heard one of the girls cry, run to the bathroom, and slam the door. But this wasn’t like them. I went back upstairs and tried to enter the bathroom, but the door was locked, and the little girl wouldn’t respond, just cry.

I decided to check on the second sister. They share a room with a bunk bed. Both of them were sound asleep…But I could still hear the hysterical crying. I ran back downstairs, still hearing the crying. Their parents returned half an hour later, and we all went to check the bathroom, still audible crying. But something was different.

This time the door wasn’t locked, and the crying quietly faded as we approached. I retired my babysitting career that night.


2. It Almost Happened Here

I was probably 14 at the time, and I was sitting in my living room playing Xbox. With the way my living room is, the front door to my house is basically right behind where our TV and couch were set up. I saw a shadow move across the wall that’s opposite the door (we have windows on the sides of the door, and there’s a street light directly outside) and at first I thought it was my eyes playing tricks on me, but then I heard the doorknob rattle around for about 10 seconds straight.

I went into a panic and slapped my hands on my mouth out of terror. After the rattling stopped, I heard some talking, and then footsteps leaving my doorstep. I’m guessing they were just looking for houses with unlocked front doors, as my neighbors two streets down got robbed that night. But the pure dread of hearing the door rattle stills spooks me out to this day


3. Big Words from a Big Man

I work overnights with the mentally ill. There’s nothing quite so terrifying as hearing a 350lb. man who’s prone to violence wake up and start screeching incoherent words at 12 AM before falling right back asleep like nothing’s happened.


4. The Heartbreak Kid

I was a student pilot at the time, maybe 14 years old at the time. I had about 15ish hours done, and I was getting close to soloing for the first time but still had a few hours and more landings to practice. I was doing some basics and getting ready to come back with my instructor to practice some touch and gos for a bit.

Coming back through, we had to pass through DTW’s bravo airspace (which means we needed permission to go through it). A few minutes before I was about to call for permission, my instructor got really quiet. I looked over at him, and he looked really bad. I thought he was going to puke, so I started looking for a bag. But then I noticed he wasn’t breathing.

I figure out where I am at and call up DTW approach. Declare a medical emergency and that my instructor was not breathing. I also told them I am a student and have never landed on my own before, and never in a large airport. Detroit approach was amazing at helping me. They gave me an option for DTW or Willow, but Willow would have added a good 5-10 minutes.

Opted for DTW and they were great at giving me vectors while also getting the big jets out of the way. I remember hearing them tell several planes to go around and put several more into a hold. Anyway, I did my approach and made the most butter smooth landing I have ever made in my life (even till this day). Ambulance was right there on the taxi waiting for me.

Turns out, my instructor (who was only 25) had a heart attack. He ended up being ok. All in all, from first call to him in the ambulance was less than 10 minutes thanks to ATC and DTW tower.


5. Stranger Danger!

This happened almost 30 years ago, but I remember it like it was yesterday. I was probably 8 or 9 at the time and had been at the store buying candy for the weekend with the girl from next door, she was one year younger than me. A car stopped and the man inside opened the passenger door and asked me and my friend to get in the car. He was picking us up for our parents, he told us.

I could not shake the feeling that something was wrong and remember thinking “this is what my parents were talking about!” I grabbed my friend’s hand, said that we lived in that house “right over there” and pulled my friend with me. Went to their door, rang the bell, went straight in and told the people living there what had happened.

Turned out I was right, we were about to be kidnapped.


6. Medical Advice from the Patients

I did community service at the local hospital. One of my duties was to deliver the food menus to EVERY patient early in the morning, so that meant starting my rounds around 5-6am. The first floor was ICU and it was still fairly dark around that time. I walked into a patient’s room and all the blinds were shut and the only light that lit the room came from the equipment she was hooked up to.

I wasn’t sure if she was awake or not, and so I quietly announced myself and waited for a response. Sometimes patients were unable to make meal choices and so I would stick around to help them out. I stood there for a couple seconds and saw her eyes closed shut. Thinking she was still asleep, I made my way towards the door.

Halfway through, with my back towards her, I hear her say, “Make sure they don’t follow you out.” I stopped in my tracks and slowly turned around and saw that her eyes were still closed and quickly ran the heck out of there.


7. Knocking On Heaven’s Door

In the morgue at my hospital, I would always hear knocking coming from inside the freezer. It really creeped me out, especially when the pathologist looked up, grabbed me by the shoulders, stared me straight in the eye and said “You hear that? You never open that door when they’re knocking. Never.” It turned out to be some loose pipes, he thought it was hilarious. I didn’t sleep that night.


8. That Escalated Quickly

I was sitting in my back garden with my best friend, and we’d recently acquired an air rifle. So obviously we started shooting it at things in an increasingly destructive manner—because we were 11. We shook up and banged out a can of Coke and then laughed as it went nuts spraying its contents everywhere. Then, we got a can of deodorant and it was even MORE ridiculous because it basically went bang but in a relatively harmless way.

Then we got a can of shoe polish. Turns out shoe polish is…a little bit flammable. A little bit more flammable than you might expect. The explosion set fire to my step dad’s shed. The can itself went straight up like a surface-to-air missile. Armed police arrived shortly afterwards. At the time I lived in reasonably central London, and this was in 1991, which just happened to be slap-bang in the middle of the biggest-ever spate of IRA terrorist attacks on the city and a couple of months after some IRA members had driven a motorboat up the Thames and fired mortar shells at the actual Houses of Parliament.

The bollocking we got from the police was…extreme. But it was nothing compared to the look in my mother’s eyes the whole time it was going on, because my friend and I knew that it was when the police left that things were going to get very bad indeed.

The sense of apprehension was even worse than a riot cop carrying a rifle screaming in our faces about how stupid we were. It was horrifying. We were doomed. And so it came to pass. She went absolutely mental. My mother is a mild-mannered person but not that day. Not that day. It still terrifies me to think of it almost 30 years later.


9. What’s the Postage On Anthrax?

The other day at work we were basically told to look out for ourselves and others, wait for a security guard etc. Now this was a normal thing for the suburb we live in but it was still a bit strange. My friend from night fill told me why. Their friend and coworker finished up at around 12 and was approached by this guy when he was at his car.

The guy looked pretty normal, tracksuit and all, and gave him an envelope claiming there were free Fringe tickets inside. (Side note for clarification: Fringe is an art festival, like music and comedy and dancing etc. in the CBD) There was some sort of white powder on the ticket, but he just assumed it was cocaine or something (again not uncommon in this area) so he just grabbed it, planning to throw it out later because it was probably counterfeit.

His mates came out around 12:15 to see him with something like burns on his hands (where he touched the powder) and felt like he was burning on the inside and couldn’t breathe properly. Luckily, he was still conscious and told them to take him to the hospital which luckily wasn’t that far away. They got there and practically everyone that came into contact with him felt like they were burning under their skin and were all having breathing difficulties within minutes.

They had to call HAZMAT/the fire department and everyone was decontaminated. Luckily everyone is okay. Knowing that this is so close to home really is unnerving, it was like the anthrax issue except there were no deaths.


10. Rock(et) and Roll

Went to see fireworks one time. As I was watching, I got a bad feeling, being as close as I was, and I wondered how many people have died from fireworks. Not even 30 seconds later, one of the launch pipes for the fireworks tipped or something. All I remember was fireworks launching and exploding right in my direction, and one of the firework tails whizzing right past my head, then me running away like mad.


11. This Isn’t Part of the Lease Agreement

Bit of Background: I’m a university student living in a house with three others near a fairly rough part of the city. One night, I was on my own, as two housemates had gone home and the other had gone out getting drunk for the night and said she’d be back home around 12. Now, the house is a bit old, so it naturally creeks and groans as the temperature cools at night. On top of that, there is a railway running past our house so I’m very used to sleeping through a variety of noises.

This night was like any other and nothing was out of the ordinary. As I was the only one in, I did the routine checks (locking doors, turning off lights, making sure taps aren’t on, etc.) and went to bed. At around 1 in the morning, I woke to a large thud downstairs, as I was the only one in when I went to bed this scared me for a while. I carefully picked up the swiss army knife on my bedside and walked onto the landing.

I peered over the railing to see the downstairs light was on and I could hear someone walking in the kitchen (directly under my room). I soon realized that it was probably my housemate getting back drunk and looking for food. This was a good enough excuse to not go and investigate and I went back to bed and fell asleep.

In the morning I wake up and the whole event has slipped my mind. While chatting with my housemate about her night she goes on to tell me about all the drama that happened and as such didn’t get home until 4 AM. It’s at this point that I remember last night’s events and am quite freaked out, despite me being tired and her being drunk, there was no chance that our sense of time was that bad.

Someone or something was definitely in that house, and what it was we still don’t know over a year later…


12. The Road is No Place for a Gentleman

I work for a food delivery service and on one delivery, I had to go about two miles down a one-way road at about 10:30 pm. There were banks on both sides, so if I wanted to leave and another car came down the road; I wouldn’t be able to get out and would have to reverse back to a driveway. Houses around were pretty scattered and everyone’s driveways were at least 100 yards from the houses.

I took notice of this driving in, because I’m a woman and I definitely had my guard up. I get to the address, which is an abandoned home with no lights, and the driveway is blocked off with boards. Ugh. Immediately the hair on the back of my neck stood up. It was a dead-end and the nearest house was about 700-800 yards away.

I parked and locked my doors and called the customer and they said they were in the trailer across the street and they would come out to meet me. There was no trailer across the street at all, but this dude came off of a dirt trail and started walking up to my car. As they were coming towards me the guy asked if I could wait about five minutes for his friend to come back with a tip for me (the bill was already paid).

I politely declined, saying that I had to go back to work. I didn’t say anything but I was so scared. He then got a phone call and his literal words were, “Yeah bro, can we make this happen? Are you on the road or what?” I put the food on the ground said goodbye and booked it out of there so quick you could probably see dust behind me.

That incident taught me to always trust my gut and to never worry about the tip. I could have just been extremely paranoid, but I feel like I got lucky that time.


13. Evil! Evil! Evil!

I work at a nursing home and went in to feed a dementia patient her supper. So we were eating and were about halfway through the meal when she became fiercely agitated. Now, this resident has a lot of social anxiety and she does normally get upset, so I didn’t think much of it at first, just spoke to her softly and tried to calm her down so she could finish the meal.

I got her settled down enough so she would go back to eating and I was about to put something in her mouth when all of a sudden she sat straight up in bed. She stretched out one pale white arm and pointed with her bony fingers at the corner of the room and started moaning and saying, “evil evil evil,” over and over again, and telling someone in the corner to get out and then looking at me with terror in her eyes.

Now I know people with dementia often think things that aren’t true and she is a very confused resident, but regardless, I got chills and had to keep myself from running out of the room. I finished her meal as quickly as she would let me and then had the other nurses take care of her for the rest of the night…..


14. The Dead Are Rising and They Went to Med School

I have a lot of weird encounters outside my office on my smoke breaks, but I think this one takes the cake, even with how anticlimactic it was. Today I was sitting on the wall outside my building smoking and messing around on my phone. I had probably been sitting there for about two minutes without looking up when I finally do and notice a guy on the corner about 20 feet away staring intently at me.

He’s hunched over facing me in the classic zombie pose wearing a large coat, a surgical mask, and gloves. I didn’t know how long he’d been standing there, but it was day time and the area is relatively populated so despite being the only people on the street, I wasn’t too worried. I went back to looking at my phone but kept discreetly glancing in his direction to see if he was still there. He didn’t move or stop looking at me for probably another minute of a half, just sunken shoulders with his unblinking eyes pointed directly at me over his mask.

Finally, I notice an older man walking towards us and my cigarette is almost finished so I assume worst comes to worst, this guy will be near if anything happens. I glance back at my phone and hear what I assume are the older man’s footsteps approaching.
Before I have a chance to look up, the surgical zombie is sitting within an inch of me on the wall.

I’m a polite girl, so I give him a vague smile while my inner self and personal space are screaming at me to get up and leave. He asks me for a cigarette, so I give him one and he just continues to sit there with it unlit. I can’t fight my manners, so I ask him if he needs a light, and he gives me a gloved double-thumbs up and stares at me.

I ask him if that meant he had one, to which he responds with another double thumbs up. I assume that was him saying he did, so I turn back to my phone planning on taking one more drag before getting up to leave. He then says “Yes, I need one” so I give him my lighter. He hands it back and I put my smoke out and stand up.

He then begins laughing, like full belly laughing. I didn’t really know how to respond so I tell him to have a nice day and walk into my building. To be honest, I’ve never really had a fear of people, and I can’t say this is the first time I’ve had someone has done something like this, but the mask and gloves really added to the absurdity of the situation.


15. Carry Capacity is No Joke

I stepped into an elevator on the eighth floor of a hotel and hit the 10th-floor button. Right before the doors closed, a group of at least 15 people jammed themselves in while I’m standing in the back corner. The elevator was rated for 10 adults. Instead of going up, the elevator slowly started to go down. I can’t imagine what my face must have looked like at that moment.

After half a floor, the elevator went into free fall for roughly two floors until the emergency cable caught. I thought I was going to die that day.


16. Looks Like He’s Going Back There…

Not my personal story, but when my mom worked as an ER nurse, a guy came in from a car accident and was losing blood. In the midst of resuscitation, the man jolts awake and screams “Don’t let me go back there! Please, please, please don’t let me go back!” A few seconds later they lost him.


17. This Is Not a Drive-By

So, I don’t know that I would call it “babysitting,” but it was me as a 19ish-year-old and my two younger siblings (who were about 13 and 9) at home alone one night. My bedroom was at the corner of the house, and was always warmer than the rest of the rooms, so I would open up my bedroom window all the way and sleep with just the screen. (Very quiet, no crime, suburban neighborhood).

That particular night, I was watching TV and I just sensed something was wrong. I don’t even know what came over me, but I felt watched. I heard a bit of a rustling noise and I panicked, ran over to my window, and slammed it shut. I checked all of the doors to the house and just got over it after calming myself down for a while.

The next day I went outside, and both my car and my mom’s conversion van had been broken into, trashed, and stuff was stolen out of it. To this day, I feel like the person was standing at my window, but I just reacted and slammed the window shut, so I don’t know.


18. Don’t Trust a Damsel in Distress

I used to pick up hitchhikers in the 1980s and early 90s. I was into Jesus and wanted to do good deeds. One day, I saw two women who looked rough hitchhiking on the side of I-295 in Jacksonville, Florida. Based on their appearance, I thought they were leaving an abusive situation or something. I pulled over to pick them up.

As they walked up to my van, they exchanged creepy looks, sort of a “are we gonna do this?” expression. I got bad vibes and drove off right as they were reaching for my door. I felt bad later and beat myself up for it. What if they really needed help? A few days later, I saw sketches of them on the news. It was Aileen Wuornos (the serial killer from the movie Monster) and her girlfriend. The guy who picked them up after I drove off was murdered and dumped in a swamp.

Trust your gut!


19. Something Is Coming From Inside the House

I was babysitting a little boy, and he was taking a nap, so I turned the baby monitor on and went to the kitchen to get a snack. After a few minutes, I hear a man’s voice coming from the baby monitor. I freak out and grab a knife, and go to the kid’s room… No one’s there, the kid’s fast asleep. I go to the kitchen, telling myself to calm down…

…but then I hear the man’s voice again. He’s talking about drilling holes in floor joists to get the plumbing set up, and I can hear heavy machinery in the background. It’s only then that I remember that the house a few doors down is under construction. The baby monitor was running on the same frequency as their radios, and it was picking up conversations from the construction site.


20. To Thine Own Self Be True

I work as an EMT, and the one I have that best fits the question is an elderly male who had fallen and hit his head a few hours before they called for an ambulance. The guy was screwed. All of the signs of a traumatic brain injury. All of his responses to our questions to this point were nonsensical. We were about four minutes from the hospital when we tried talking to him again, and he seemed to come as clear as day and open his eyes and stare at us to say “I’m dead.” My partner tries to say “oh, don’t say that” and he stares more intensely at us to reiterate and say “no, I mean it, I’m dead.” He died an hour later.


21. Bum Rush

I’m a second-generation Vegas native, I’ve spent countless hours on the strip, as well as the Downtown area. The downtown area has changed a lot from when I was younger. It’s a bit more seedy and strange than it was back in the nineties or back in my grandfather’s day when he was a Pit boss at the Golden Nugget, but I digress.

It was my friend Maggie’s birthday and I found out her fave band was giving a free concert at the Fremont experience. I rustled up our other three friends Brittany, Heather and Chelsea and we piled in Maggie’s van and headed to hear good music and then hit a casino for drinks and food. We trudged out of the casino at 3 am after filling ourselves with $10.99 breakfast platters, and various drinks. We had parked a few blocks away so we all linked arms and set off for the van.

We had made it one block when we saw a figure pushing a shopping cart. Now this area is crawling with homeless folks, so we didn’t pay them any attention at first as they were on the opposite side of the street. I was mid-sentence when one of the ladies gasped the figure had set the shopping cart to the side and was slowly walking towards us. We picked up the pace and started speed walking towards the parking lot.

I glanced backward and saw that the figure was now running after us. We couldn’t tell if it was a woman or man as they were wearing a jean jacket with a grey hood and they were walking in the shadows, so we could not make out a face. Heather whips out her cell and we encourage Maggie to get her keys out, so we can make a mad dash to her car.

The parking lot is coming up so we all run for it, I hear the figure kicking up rocks and I know they’re literally behind us now. Maggie hits her key fob to open the door and we all literally dive into the car. I’m slamming it shut when the figure reaches the door. I’m holding it shut screaming for someone to hit the locks, Maggie is freaking out as she’s attempting to start the car.

Heather is dialing 911 and the other two were trying to find things to use as weapons. The door is locked, and the figure pushes his face against the window. I can see now it’s a man, anywhere from 40-60, scraggly long hair, unshaven, and he had maybe two teeth and he’s grinning a crazy toothless grin as he bangs on the window. Luckily Maggie gets her together and guns it and we peel out of there the guy jumps backward and I can hear him screaming “crazy witches!!” Heather tells the dispatcher we are ok and gets a lecture that maybe next time we should just park closer. That was the last time I set foot in the area after dark.


22. Everyone’s Worst Nightmare

We were flying from San Francisco to Cincinnati. In the middle of the flight, the pilot requests for everyone to fasten their belts because they are expecting a bumpy ride. Apparently, there was a weather disturbance that had been reported. Just prior, he had casually announced that we were at 40,000 feet, due for the expected time, and so on.

After the announcement, we hear tons of these sort-of popping sounds, and we’re all like WTF is going on? It got really bumpy… and it turns out, it was giant hailstorm hitting the plane. Then it got really bumpy. The pilot again announces more sternly for all crew to take their seats and for no one to get up. Now it was getting really really bumpy.

Then, it happened. We fell right out of the sky. There is no other way to describe it. It was like you were just sitting in a chair suspended from a rope at the top of a cherry picker and someone cut the rope. We dropped like crazy, and then WHAM. It was like the plane landed in an enormous vat of cream filling.

I don’t know how else to describe it—it was like, kind of soft, but still a big jolt. The jolt impacted on one wing more than the other, so the plane went askance and all sorts of luggage went flying out of the overhead compartments on the right side. They flew over to the left side, smacking a bunch of people in the head.

Some people who were not completely or at all buckled up—not the smartest folks—flew up and hit the ceiling, then fell back into their seats. There was screaming everywhere. Absolute chaos. Then, as if it couldn’t get any worse, the pilot screams over the intercom, “Denver, we’re in serious trouble up here, I need…” and then a few other words we could not understand.

He freaked everyone out even more. He had forgotten to turn off the cabin speakers from the earlier announcement. It was super rough for a few moments, and then we drop like crazy again. The same thing as before, but a much harder landing. I mean, we dropped for what seemed like minutes but was probably only 10-15 seconds.

Wham! A much harder landing. More stuff went flying everywhere, more people were crying, praying, and screaming. It was nuts! We cruised through that, and it became smooth again. The pilot later announced he was sorry about the “mistaken” overhead announcement, and kind of downplayed that we were ever in any real danger.

He also said the current altitude was something like 18,000 feet. Whatever the exact numbers were, we had dropped about 10,000 feet, or 2 miles. It was the worst of the 500,000+ air miles I spent. You never heard so many people clapping upon landing.


23. Trusting The Spidey Sense In The Rain

It was 1:30 am, raining, I was riding my motorcycle down a four-lane road with two lanes in each direction and a middle turn lane. I saw a car approach a stop sign, perpendicular to me, in the parking lot of a bar and though to myself “He’s going to turn left in front of me.” I was going 45mph, let off the throttle, and about 200 to 250 feet from him, he did exactly what I thought he was going to do.

Grabbed my front and rear brakes, back tire locked up and kicked out to the left. I had maybe 40 to 50 feet in which I would either high-side in front of the car and likely be run over, slam into the driver door or rear driver door or jump off to the right in a tuck and roll fashion. I jumped and my motorcycle slammed into the rear driver side of his car. I had a couple scratches, bruises, and a sore tailbone. But I wasn’t run over or hanging out in his back seat via glass window.

Thank God for spidey senses.


Bad Feeling ExperiencesShutterstock

24. You’ve Struck Oil (and the Heart of My Anxiety)

When I was really young, I lived out in the middle of nowhere. There was my house and my grandma’s less than a mile away, so I spent a lot of time with her. She is really religious and beat me over the head with religion. I was aware of my own mortality before I was four. Well, one part of the stories she told stuck with me, and I couldn’t get out of my head.

The part where the end of the world would be marked by seven trumpets. When I was about seven or eight, an oil rig was built not far from where I lived. And every night I’d hear the horns from the oil rig and freak out. I don’t know how late I’d stay up, but I’d only go to sleep when I got so exhausted that I’d pass out.

I knew it was the oil rig the entire time, but still, it’d terrify me. I’d have panic attacks about the end of the world and my own death.


25. Wait for It

I was about nine years old shopping at Party City with my mom and four-year-old sister. We walked near an aisle full of Halloween masks, so I snuck over and put on the scariest one I could find. I waited for my mom and sister to almost reach the end of one aisle until I started a full on, intentionally loud sprint their way.

At the very last second, my sister turns around to see a demon screaming at her about six inches from her face. I’ve never seen so much true fear in someone’s eyes and I felt so awful, I had never really felt bad for picking on my younger sister until that moment. My mom was furious with me—rightfully so—and swore that she and my dad were going to scare me even worse than I scared her.

For years, I was checking around corners and terrified to take the trash out at night. I even resorted to a nightlight for far too long than I would like to admit. It wasn’t until I was about 20 years old when I finally told them that I had been afraid they were going to scare me for literally half my life. They didn’t even remember me scaring my sister at all and never made an attempt to scare me, but they had me scared for 10+ years so I think it’s safe to say that they got me back.


26. Sharp Criticism

I was babysitting a couple of siblings: a brother and sister, and the sister had a friend over to play with as well. The two girls were 5, the boy was probably 7 or 8—a little older. I was watching them during the day on a weekend because their single mom had to go into work. When I got to the house, the boy was zoned out watching tv, and the little girls were playing with dolls in another room.

The morning went fine, but in the afternoon, as I am making lunch, I hear screams in the backyard. I run back there, and the boy is wielding a seriously sharp kitchen knife—the two little girls have barricaded themselves into one of those plastic playhouses and are screaming in terror, and the boy is madly stabbing the knife through the slits in the windows, laughing.

As I run over, I am shouting at him to stop, but he keeps stabbing, and I have to tackle him and wrestle the knife away. I ended up getting some cuts on my hands in the process, and the boy was kicking, punching, and biting, trying to get out of my grasp. I somehow manage to drag him away, throw him in his room, and call his mom at work.

She comes home a few hours early, clearly pissed that I called her and grumbling about how he obviously wasn’t going to hurt the girls. She gave him a good smack, but basically told me I was a bad babysitter. I was not that old myself, only 12.


27. Restroom in Peace

I was eight and I needed to use the restroom, so I sneakily sneaked out of the sleepover pile of children and went to the in-bedroom bathroom. I opened the door, but the girl whose house we were staying at was on the toilet. She didn’t make a noise but covered herself, so I quickly spun back around to go back to my spot to wait patiently for my turn.

Except she was still in her bed, completely asleep. I turned back around, and she was gone. I closed the door behind me, did my business, constantly looking around for that girl I “saw.” The door never opened, and I saw no trace of any other human in that bathroom; not in the closet, under the sink, in behind the curtains, nowhere.

Of course, that freaked eight-year-old me out.


28. Keep a Cool Head

So, first off I’m not very fond of traveling but my friend was going so I really had no choice in the matter. Anyway, the day starts out with the normal airport panic and running to catch our flight. When we get there, it’s a full plane and we are crammed into the plane like sardines in a can. Now there must have been something wrong with the AC, because it was hot.

Imagine sitting in a leather-covered sauna wearing a fur coat. It was something like that. My friend strokes my hair and reassures me and then we take off, suffering silently with the heat getting worse. 20 minutes of boiling Hades later, my vision is starting to blur, my tongue is hanging out of my mouth, and I’m panting up a storm, feeling dizzy.

My friend tries a few things to cool me off, but that just causes a commotion and leads to having the whole plane staring at me. NOT the best thing for you, if you are already in distress. You probably won’t believe this but I kid you not, maybe it was the heat, maybe too many drinks, but my best and trusted friend FLIPS OUT and tries to STUFF MY WHOLE HEAD into the airplane vent overhead!!!

Well, I’m ashamed to say I just lost it. Wouldn’t you?! I was clawing at everything just trying to get away. I tried climbing into the seat in front, jumping around and begging for help, you name it. Five minutes into my panic attack I felt this pain in my chest and I pass out. The next thing I know I’m looking down at this chaos from above.

My friend is sitting there weeping and sobbing cradling my head. Crazy right? To top it off, some jerk a few rows back thinks this is the funniest thing in the world and takes a picture.


29. Unfriendly Advances

I was on a road trip with my twin brother, my dad, and a friend of my dad’s, who we’ll call Dick. We stayed with a family friend, who I’ll call Kay, for a couple nights. Dick’s a funny guy with good stories, so my twin and I were talking to him the whole time we were driving to Kay’s house. When we got there, Dad and Kay went downstairs to the den to watch TV, my brother used the restroom, and that left Dick and I alone in the hallway together.

Dick slammed me against the wall, pinned me by my shoulder, touched my face, kissed me, and started grinding on me. He said he knew there was “chemistry between us,” and he could tell that I wanted him. OH. HECK. NO. I was a 17-year-old girl. He was my dad’s age. I just wanted to not be bored during a road trip! I spent the rest of the time clinging to my brother.

I didn’t tell anyone until about 15 years later. I didn’t want to cause trouble. I thought maybe I was being too forward, and maybe I deserved it.


30. Late-Night Playdate

I recall a few months ago I was on my 3DS when I heard my little seven-year-old brother calling my name. This wasn’t uncommon as he used to stay up a lot on his iPod watching YouTube and had questions for so-and-so thing in-game, so I put on a shirt and went to check on him. He was laying on the couch under his blanket, his phone still playing Minecraft videos when he looked at me and asked me to check his room for “the knocking.”

I’m usually paranoid about this stuff happening anyway so I went to look and turned on his light. As I glance at the window, I saw a kid—not a man, a kid, maybe 11-12 years old—just sitting there, smiling, looking like he just had the best day ever before running off. I ran to my brother and just scooped him up and took him to my parent’s room to explain what happened, but they didn’t believe me.

I later learned that the neighbor’s kid had been sneaking out at night to play with some other neighborhood kids and wanted to play a prank.


31. Mortality Transcends Time Zones

Was flying back to the states from Japan. The flight in itself was already a really long one. My family and I were seated at the very back of the plane, couldn’t get any more back than that as far as seats went. Anyways, halfway through the 9-10 hour flight, a couple rows ahead of us we just hear this poor woman frantically screaming in another language.

I believe it was Mandarin or something along those lines. I looked up and saw her constantly screaming something, it must have been a name or a cry for help. I believe it was her husband, he was unconscious and wasn’t responding. The flight attendants came by, and they even managed to find a doctor who was on the plane.

They dragged his body toward the back of the plane and found he didn’t even have a pulse, and were applying CPR to him literally right next to my sister, who was sitting on the other side right of me. They constantly tried, but nothing worked. He died from heart failure, and according to the people with the gentleman, he had many health issues.

After they stopped, the flight attendants asked my family and I if we could move seats. They had to wrap the body up in blankets and move him somewhere until we landed. They planned on putting him in one of the bathrooms and sealing it off for the remainder of the flight, but their regulations didn’t seem to allow that.

So instead, we moved and took the seats of the family of the deceased. They ended up buckling him into my seat, and I ended up sitting where he sat. So, for the remainder of the flight, there I was sitting in the seat of a man who had just passed away. this all while his body was buckled into the seat I was previously in.

It was a really strange feeling; it wasn’t comforting at all. Because of our positioning, turning the plane around wouldn’t have mattered. We were hours from any land that could offer medical help. That was another thing, too: It’s frightening to be in a situation where no potent help will come. I hope the family found some peace.


32. Dumpster Drivers

Around 9pm, I heard the tell-tale rumble that meant the forecasted storm was about to start. I couldn’t recall if I had rolled up my car window when I got home, so I went out to check. It was already dark out, and I live in a part town that isn’t big on street lights so at night sometimes it’s hard to even stay on the sidewalk without crashing into bushes.

The dumpsters are about 200-300 feet from my car on our U-shaped street, tucked into a corner that backs into trees and a small creek. I live on the back of the building, so once I round that corner you can’t see me from my car nor the dumpsters. I got out to my car. As I rounded that corner, I could see what looked like a flashlight in the dumpster.

It was weird, but not alarming as there are a lot of teenagers and younger boys who hang around in that corner of the parking lot. My window was down a bit, as I was rolling it up I hear a clattering sound from the dumpsters. I turn to see someone climbing out of the dumpster and start shining the light in the other dumpster.

My daughter had left her window down too, so I walked around to her door and rolled her window up too. I slammed her door shut a bit harder than I meant to, and since I was then facing the dumpsters I could see the dumpster man freeze and swing his light in my direction. He immediately switched it off and right as I started to walk back inside, he started full on sprinting toward my direction.

My usually sedentary ass has never moved so fast as I noped back on to the sidewalk and to the back of the building. I quietly opened and shut my door, locked in hopes that with eight apartments back here, he wouldn’t know where I was. Or maybe he was running for reasons entirely unrelated to me. Or maybe he was just screwing with me and is now having a laugh with his friends about the lady he just scared the snot out of. Whatever it was, I’m sure as heck not getting any sleep tonight.


33. The Nurse Healeth and the Nurse Killeth

Never anything paranormal, but I had an older patient who kept every piece of paper from every hospital stay. His heart was in bad shape so I was desperately looking for anything to help our cardiologists out with. I finally found his records from when he had heart surgery. It was in Perris, CA in the 1980s. I was just reading a book about nurses who became serial killers, when sure enough I see records with the name Robert Diaz. I was the nurse for a man whose former nurse was a serial killer.


34. Nightmare on Elm Street

I used to babysit for a family with 3 very young kids after school 3 days a week. On the parents’ anniversary, they asked me to babysit at night for the first time. When I got there at 7:00, the kids were already in bed and sound asleep. A few hours later, the oldest, a four-year-old girl, started screaming. Literally horror movie screams.

I grabbed my phone, dialed 911, and carried my phone upstairs, expecting her to be chopped in pieces or something, me being next. I walked upstairs barely able to hold the phone my hands were shaking so bad. I turned the corner, and she was sound asleep, no one was around. The parents failed to warn me of their daughter’s horrible night terrors, and were laughing about it when I explained the situation when they got home.



35. Now That’s Good Housekeeping

I used to clean vacant houses for a living. One day I was working at a house near the end of a dead-end street. There were maybe six or seven houses on the one side of the street before an intersection with a stoplight, so it was a pretty heavy traffic area. I was cleaning out the property just fine when my Spidey-Sense went off the charts.

I was inside the house, but I pretty much dropped everything, got in my car and started to drive outta there. On the corner, I saw a weird looking guy and had a nasty feeling about him. When I got home it was all over the news, that guy was now known for being a cop killer, making the start of his career right on that street corner about 15 minutes after I hoofed it.

Told my boss that I wasn’t going to go back to that property. He understood.


36. Oh, I Didn’t See You There!

I did my clinical as a CNA in a memory care unit. I helped feed this woman. She never really moved. Never talked. It was like she was in a coma or something. I would wheel her into the dining room. I can hardly get any real food in her. I’m able to slide in some special ice cream. For days she doesn’t move or have any response. So one day I’m feeding her and talking to myself pretty much. After about ten minutes she slowly turns her head and says “Oh hello”, then she rotates her head back to her blank staring position. Super creepy!!


37. Only Love Will Set Him Free

I babysat a little boy who had severe emotional problems. One time, he ran away while I was upstairs playing with his sister. He ran away to the park down the block, climbed a tree, and refused to come down because “no one loved him.” I was young and didn’t think about calling the police or anything. I just sat at the bottom of the tree and literally talked him down.

I convinced him that I loved him and wanted him to come home. His siblings also helped me by saying they loved him also. It was so scary.


38. Girl Talk

I used to work in a big city as a medical emergency responder/dispatcher. One night, I arrive for my shift and like one hour later, I get this call. A man calling for his wife who was choking on food, and who suddenly started to “feel better” during the call, which made him change his mind and say he didn’t need an ambulance anymore.

I could’ve stopped the call there, cancel it or rank it as low priority. But I had this feeling, and when the man asked me if I wanted to speak to her, I said yes. “Ma’am, this is the emergency services, are you sure that you don’t need help of any kind?” No answer. “Would need the services of the police?” “Maybe.” So, I ask. “Is the guy beside you dangerous?” “Yes.”

Man, the rush of adrenaline I got. I made her go to safety and then she told me all about how he had been beating her for a long time, how she had no way to get out of this, that she was choking while eating because of the stress of being beside him…I worked with the police and they went on the scene, probably preventing the woman from being beaten up again.

Always trust your instinct.


39. Blast from the Past?

Went for a bike ride at 3 AM. This is normal for me because no one is out, and I love the cool breeze. Riding down the bike path I see a group of people in the distance. I pull over to the right so I can pass them without bothering them. As I got closer, I thought they were dancing to music, something, I don’t know, just lots of odd movement.

I get even closer and I see it’s a bunch of people dressed in long black goth-like trench coats, black spiky hair, white “Victorian” make up all over their face with black eyeliner. They were chanting in what sounded like Latin and worshipping the sky? I guess they were worshipping the dark or the moon? Just do what you like, I don’t care.

I passed them minding my own business and one of them screamed “You!” and started sprinting after me on my bike. I freaking booked it and got the heck out there down the track. I didn’t stop all night, I just kept riding as fast as I could until I got home. Couldn’t sleep all day.


40. Blast from the Past?

Went for a bike ride at 3 AM. This is normal for me because no one is out, and I love the cool breeze. Riding down the bike path I see a group of people in the distance. I pull over to the right so I can pass them without bothering them. As I got closer, I thought they were dancing to music, something, I don’t know, just lots of odd movement.

I get even closer and I see it’s a bunch of people dressed in long black goth-like trench coats, black spiky hair, white “Victorian” make up all over their face with black eyeliner. They were chanting in what sounded like Latin and worshipping the sky? I guess they were worshipping the dark or the moon? Just do what you like, I don’t care.

I passed them minding my own business and one of them screamed “You!” and started sprinting after me on my bike. I freaking booked it and got the heck out there down the track. I didn’t stop all night, I just kept riding as fast as I could until I got home. Couldn’t sleep all day.


41. Upgrades Solve Everything

On one flight, the plane depressurized as we were climbing. Masks went down, eardrums were damaged from the pressure change and from people’s screams, and I nearly lost my lunch as the plane dropped to get to a breathable atmosphere. On the plus side, I got upgraded to first-class on the rescheduled flight the next morning.


42. Jump for Joy

The time I lifted a burlap sack with the tip of my rifle and found an IED underneath. We had apparently interrupted the emplacement, so it didn’t go off. The boys in the truck said they didn’t know white guys could jump that high.


43. Darn Those Pencil-Pushers

My cousin was a pilot for one of the feeder airlines. One night, he was descending into Pittsburgh during an ice storm when there was a bright flash and an explosion right in front of the cockpit. He and his co-pilot can’t see, can’t hear. Blind, they increase power and start to climb out. They hope it was the right decision.

After 10-20 seconds, their hearing and vision start coming back. They see: the flight instruments spinning randomly. Calmly, they start going through the checklist and reboot the plane. Ten minutes later, they make an uneventful landing. Ground inspection reveals a hole the diameter of a pencil in the nose of the plane about a foot in front of the windscreen, and another smaller mark on one of the prop blades.


44. A Bad Gut Feeling Is A Rational Deduction From An Observation

Got off the subway at night, there was one other person about half a block behind me on my route home. This is a totally normal thing, has happened thousands of times. Totally normal-looking dude, not even following me closely. I had a bad feeling. Such a bad feeling that, when I turned the corner on my way home, I broke into a dead sprint and hid behind a dumpster in the shadows partway down the street.

By the time he came around the corner, I was well hidden and could see him from my hiding place. As soon as I saw his reaction to the fact that I wasn’t there, I knew I had been right to hide. He started LOOKING FOR ME, muttering to himself, he went up and down the street, looked around corners, I hid and held my breath until he was gone. It was terrifying. I am so glad I had that sudden, inexplicable impulse to hide, and listened to it.


Bad Feeling ExperiencesGetty Images

45. No Rest in the Restroom

I was around 11-12, in a public restroom that had a couple stalls. Just sat down to start my piddle when the woman in the next stall asked if I could pass her some toilet paper. Sure, no problem—we’ve all been there! When I pass it under the divider, she ended up stroking my finger as she’s taking the paper, her index finger lingering on me. I didn’t think anything of it, it’s an awkward pass.

I finish up, flush and step out of the stall to go wash my hands. As I’m starting scrubbing, she steps out of her stall. Normal looking 40ish woman, just looks like someone’s mom. She starts washing her hands and just locks eyes with me in the mirror. It was only about three seconds in total, but I remember how her smile subtly went from generic to something a little darker.

It was hard to explain, but I felt like she wanted to eat me. Every possible spot of skin that could get goose-bumped stood to attention. Instinct told me to get out of that bathroom, so I bolted. Could have been nothing, could have been a childish dramatic projection, but I swear that lady was going to chew on me.


46. Take a Sharp Turn at Nopesville

I pulled into a gas station around 8-9 PM that wasn’t in a ghost town or anything, but it was insanely dark due to the time of year. As I pull towards one of the pumps, I see this dude slowly pacing near the entrance of the convenience store, and we make eye contact. I quickly pulled the car to another pump towards one of the entrances to the gas station, trying to be safer but thinking I’m probably just being paranoid.

Once I sit there for a minute and decide to put my car in park, he quickly rushes over to my me. By the time I’m back in drive and peel out through the entrance into an oncoming lane (luckily no traffic), I saw him pulling out what looked like a large knife out of his jacket…I’m glad I didn’t disregard my gut that night, that’s for sure.


47. Don’t Have a Cow, Man

So back when I was living way out in the countryside, I used to have to drive a good 20 minutes just to get to a county-maintained road, and then another 40 minutes into the city to go to school and work. I’d go to school in the mornings and then work with a video production company filming weddings and Bar Mitzvahs and such.

The events tended to run well past midnight, and then we’d have to break down and transport all the gear, lock up the shop and then it’d be an hour of driving to get back to my girlfriend’s family’s home way out in the ranch land. I’m driving home one night—probably 2 or 3 AM, exhausted and probably in need of a tall glass of water (if you follow), and I get to the end of the pavement and start blasting down this tiny dirt road, in that real country dark where all you can see is a little cone of headlight.

Mesquite bushes and desert grass make this sorta wall on either side of the road so it’s like driving down a little chute of scraggly little branches—and I’m coming around this corner when up in the road is this messed up looking…thing. I slam on the brakes and shoot this wall of dust out ahead of me, but through the dust sitting centered in the beam of my headlights is this white, hunched figure. It has long legs and haunches like a jackrabbit, but it’s a good four feet high and kinda lumpy, like an illustration from those Scary Stories books and I am terrified.

It kinda rocks a little bit and shivers and I’m looking at this thing and it makes no sense at all the way it’s shaped. I stare at it for a good minute, just idling in the middle of this road trying to make up some kinda story to myself to explain what the hell I’m looking at, but I am completely stumped. So I start creeping the car forward, and as I’m getting close enough to see the shapes of its muscles and the shine of fur the thing hops up, and the bit I thought looked like a head with a long ear stretches up and out changing its whole shape like something out of The Thing and I about screamed.

Still nearly invisible, except for its white striped legs and underbelly, this black cow that had been sitting at the edge of the road stood up, showing part of its body that had been hidden behind a folded black leg and staggered off into the bushes to find a spot to sleep where people weren’t blasting it with high beams.

I felt like an idiot later, but in that moment where it was rising up and like…unfolding its self—if I had run off before I saw what it really was, I’d be swearing to this day I saw a chupacabra or a demon or some craziness.


48. Pop Goes the “Me”-sel

I had a sinus infection when I boarded the plane. About halfway through the flight, I felt a pop inside my face… and then the pain started. You know that pain, that spreads into your teeth? I was doubled over in pain for the next hour. Somehow, I got up and stumbled off the plane after we landed. I blew my nose, and blackened, bloody mucus came out.

For hours afterward. It cleared up, the pain subsided, and I didn’t think anything more of it‚ but while it was going on and I didn’t know what was happening, it was utterly horrifying. Take some antihistamines before flying.


49. Uncle Comes Home

A guy came to the door one day, looking for my mom. I was probably 13 at the time. Immediately, I had most of my body behind the door, ready to shut it. I just had this awful feeling about him. He said he hadn’t seen her in a long time, and that he was just coming from church and was in the neighborhood. Ok, so this guy is trying to communicate that he’s a good person, and that and his weird smile just made me trust him less.

I told him my mom was napping. She wasn’t. She was at work. So, he left a note for her with his name and number on it. I took it & closed & locked the door. Then I looked at the note & immediately recognized the name. It was my uncle. I hadn’t seen him since I was five when he went to jail for murdering my aunt and cousin.


Bad Feeling ExperiencesGetty Images

50. Country Road, Take Me Home

Driving with a friend of mine through a pretty remote forest road. A couple of guys in the middle of nowhere tried flagging us down. I almost stopped for them before an alarm went off in my head and I stepped on the gas. My friend started saying “what the fu…” and at the same time there was a shot and a bullet hit the back of the car.

We made it to a police station. Turns out there had been a bunch of people and vehicles going missing in the area that same week.


51. Doggone Deadly

This past weekend, my soon-to-be-wife Alexia and I had just settled down for a night of movies, pizza, and cuddling. We live in a residential area right outside of town; our home situated right across the street from a Presbyterian church with a large cemetery behind it. Most of our neighbors don’t own pets but there’s one in particular across the street and downwards a bit who owns perhaps the loudest, most annoying dog to ever exist.

Quite an annoyance on a night like tonight, but luckily it was quiet for the entire evening. It’s around a quarter after 10:00 PM and we’re lying down watching a film in our living room when the loudest dog on earth begins to go off. Unfortunately, there’s nothing much we can do, except maybe confront our neighbor or file a noise complaint, but who wants to be the neighbor that does that?

After about five minutes, I get up off the couch and decide to walk over to our neighbor’s home and say something about the dog. As I headed outside and made it to their driveway, unfortunately, I noticed that the neighbor wasn’t home; their only car not there. I decided anyway to walk up to the door and ring the bell. After a minute of no one answering, I gave up and headed back towards home.

I noticed that Alexia had stepped outside and was looking on towards the direction of the barking. I told her that no one was home and that we should either ignore it or finally file a complaint. No one should have to deal with a loud dog at night, especially if you’re trying to unwind after a long day of work or are trying to sleep.

Alexia and I had back inside for a bit and finally, after about ten minutes, the dog ceases to bark. Alexia and I exhaled and laughed a bit before continuing our film. But of course, not long after that, the dog starts up again. This time, it sounded vicious. I got up, went outside and approached our neighbor’s fenced-off backyard and saw the dog, who must’ve heard or saw me coming.

It stopped barking, walked up to me and began to pant in the cute way dogs do. I chuckled and said the dog’s name, to which he looked at me and sat down. Such a good animal, even if he’s so loud. I then heard something that sounded like somebody walking through leaves coming from behind me and to the right. I turn around to see somebody looking at me from behind a gravestone in the cemetery.

The dog must’ve heard this as well, as it sprung up and began to bark in the direction of the gravestone. I looked on as the person continued staring in my direction and as the dog continued to bark. I looked towards my house where I saw Alexia standing near her car, looking at me with a confused look on her face. I looked in horror as I saw the person reveal himself from behind the gravestone; his forehead and cheek were stained red with blood, dripping down off of his chin. In his hand was some sort of dagger.

The dog began to go ballistic as the person took a few steps in our direction before stopping. I turned to the dog, then back at my home. Alexia, who was still outside, yelled out to me what was wrong. I told her to call the police. She said “Why, the dog?” to which I replied, “He’s freaking armed.” Probably confused, Alexia went inside to grab her phone as I continued to watch on as the person now began to back off, the dog now going berserk.

It was going to take a bit of time for someone to reach our home, so I readied myself to go into self-defense as I watched the man finally turn around and walk away towards the back of the cemetery and towards the woods. When the police finally arrived, the person was long gone, and I was stuck there explaining to a couple of skeptical officers about my encounter.

They didn’t seem to take me that seriously but still investigated the area as I explained to Alexia about the person I saw. When the police left after finding no trace of anyone, Alexia and I didn’t feel much better. We locked our doors and windows and I decided to call our neighbors to fill them in on everything before heading back to continue our movie night in spectacular fashion: with The Exorcist.


52. Now My Watch Begins

I work a 6pm-6am night shift at a hospital for security. Honestly, the scariest thing is when you go upstairs, and the patients are sleeping. One time, I was walking by and I heard a dude snoring, so I didn’t look in. As I walked by no less than 15 minutes later, he was staring straight at me and made eye contact. I don’t make much noise while walking as I wear comfy shoes due to the amount of time that I tend to spend on my feet.

Really freaked me out though, I think he was sent to a better hospital for better care due to some mental illness. Freaky.


53. It’s a Longshot

A buddy and I worked at a stereo shop when we were younger. Our boss was a shady jerk. I had worked on a car for one of our local big ballers. We had to push back the car for other work, and I told my boss what needed to be done. Well he didn’t relay that info, and the car broke down right in front of a big club the next night. Big baller came back super-heated, and my boss tried to deny any wrongdoing.

A big argument ensued. I was working under the dash of a car, and my buddy comes up and says, “We gotta go.” I was like, “I’m busy man, what’s up?” He says “We gotta go, NOW!” and pulls me out of the car. I look up and see big baller with a gun up against my boss’s head. We were both like “later” and left.


54. Nothing Says Fraternal Bonding Like Fear for Your Lives

I had to get my brother to help recount this as I was 12 at the time (and scared gutless as a result). This happened about six years ago, as stated I was about 12 and my brother was 26 at the time. My brother had been serving in the US Army for several years when this happened and was deploying to the Middle East on his second deployment if I remember correctly.

Also, of note was that he is a Green Beret and had recently (three or four months prior to this trip) completed the Army Special Forces Qualification Course (Robin Sage and all that), and by then was an active duty SF Engineer Sergeant. Definitely not someone you’d want to mess around with. Given that we both grew up with a passion for the outdoors, he thought it would be nice to take me on a backpacking trip in northern Alabama (the Sipsey Wilderness for those familiar with the area) before he left for nine months.

The trip had gone smoothly up until the third night we were camping out. Around 8 pm, we had our camp set up, eaten dinner and were sitting by the fire talking about typical boy stuff—guns, girls, etc. For some reference, our spot was about 50 yards from a large stream, and about 50 yards downhill adjacent to the large path. Our camp, the stream, and the path formed a triangle of sorts.

This was summertime in Alabama, so it wasn’t quite dark yet when two guys, who looked to be in their late 20s wandered up and ask if we had seen any hogs while we were hiking around. Given that this is rural Alabama, we actually had seen some farther into the wilderness area and told them so. Even though they were relatively polite (my brother called them “good ole boys”) I got a seriously creepy vibe from them—dirty clothes, greasy hair, scraggly facial hair, etc. I think they probably looked like they belonged in the movie Deliverance.

They kinda hung out for a few minutes, maybe a little longer than they should have—looking around, asking us questions like how long we had been out there, how long we were staying, and what looked like them kinda sizing us up. They then abruptly said goodbye and walked away. I didn’t necessarily feel threatened by them, and I know for sure my brother didn’t, but I still felt uneasy about the whole thing.

Fast forward three or four hours. My brother and I had gone to sleep and were nestled in our tent when I woke to the sound of multiple dogs barking. I’ve always been a heavy sleeper and they sounded like they were only about 100 yards away. My heart immediately started pounding and I kicked my brother through my sleeping bag and asked if he was awake/had heard the dogs.

He responded, “I’m awake, they’ve been getting closer for the past hour or so, just lay still and don’t make any sounds.” Needless to say, 12-year-old me was about to poop my pants. We would also hear sporadic shouts from several different sources but neither came any closer. A few minutes later my brother whispered, “They’re just hunting for hogs, they use the dogs to pin them down and then they shoot them.”

This gave me some relief, but not much. Somehow, I managed to fall back asleep. The fact that they were doing this at night was a huge red flag my brother later told me, but I think he was just trying to keep me calm. Fast forward what was probably another three hours, around 2 am. I had managed to sleep pretty well after first hearing the hog hunters when I woke up to my brother squeezing my shoulder firmly, saying, “Wake up, put your shoes on quick and follow me, be as quiet as you can.”

My heart immediately went back to racing because I heard the dogs and voices in the distance, farther away than before but still distinct. Not asking any questions I did what he said and as soon as we were out of the tent he told me to get on his back (this was a breeze for him after rucking with God knows how much weight in the Army).

We snuck about 50 yards into the woods towards the junction of the path and the stream and crawled into some bushes. It was up a hill so we had a pretty good elevated view of our campsite. I remember as we were laying there how loudly I was breathing and how quiet he was when I heard the very distinct sound of a pistol slide racking.

I looked over and my brother had his pistol (an HK USP that he gave to me a few years after this story took place) and was watching the campsite and surrounding area. I started to whisper to him when he put his hand over my mouth and pointed at the campsite. The group of hunters had been steadily approaching our camp and by this time (30 or so minutes) had reached it.

There were five of them and like three or four dogs. They all looked relatively young but two had either rifles or shotguns and the dogs were going crazy, obviously having smelled our scent. They lingered for about 20 minutes shining flashlights around and talking to themselves when my brother put his mouth to my ear and said “If they come towards I want you to turn and run as quickly as you can, don’t stop, don’t look back, stay off the trail, and look for the flashing lights” (I didn’t know what he meant by this but that’ll come later).

I knew I could make it back because he had taught me “land nav” pretty well. He then handed me a flashlight and told me not to take the red filter off. He told me later that the red filter helps preserve night vision and cuts down ambient light, so it would be harder for someone to see from a distance. At this point, I was so scared I almost started crying, but at the same time had a rush of adrenaline and what I think now was confidence that he thought I could handle myself.

We laid there for a while longer when, out of nowhere, they started screaming “WHERE Y’ALL AT?!?!” at the top of their lungs and firing into the woods at random. My brother dragged me back behind the crest of the hill and threw himself on top of me. Thankfully our position on top of the hill we were protected from any potential gunfire.

They shot maybe five or six more times and then started walking back the direction they had come. They got maybe 100 yards away when I heard a blaring siren and saw emergency lights flashing through the woods. Turns out my brother had called the Forest Service Office on a satellite phone my family has for emergencies while I was asleep and they had sent out Forest Service officers and game wardens to our area of the wilderness. The Sipsey Wilderness is about 25,000 acres in size, so it took them a while to get there on the dirt roads.

When we saw the game warden truck, my brother signaled them with the light and pointed them in the direction the hunters had gone and the guy sped off shining his spotlight through the woods. As soon as they were all gone we went back to our camp, packed up our stuff and waited by the path for the game warden to come back, who then gave us a ride in his truck bed back to the main staging area.

On the drive back my brother told me how brave I had been and that we would talk about it with our parents the next day if I wanted to. I asked him not to do that because I thought they might never let me go camp again. Creepy rednecks in the woods, let’s not meet again, you might get shot next time.


55. Anything Voo Can Doo I Can Doo Better

Night nurse for four years now at an old folk’s home. Had a palliative who couldn’t sleep because of incredibly vivid hallucinations. She would describe voodoo people around her room that would just stare at her waiting for her to die. I didn’t take it seriously until the lady across the hall (who rarely ever spoke) starting seeing them in her room too. Legitimate shivers.


56. Childcare Is a Crusty Calling

When I was a preschool teacher, we would do lunchtime followed by nap time. The room was quiet, and I was cleaning up. I was at the sink washing my hands when I looked over at one of the boys. He was sleeping on his back. He had vomited and was basically suffocating on his own puke. I don’t know how long he had been like that.

I rolled him over and started cleaning puke out of his mouth and nose. He coughed and started breathing. I started bawling. I got him cleaned up and held him until his dad got there. Unfortunately, I have too many gross stories about kids. I was also a nanny to 5 kids. They are disgusting creatures.


57. A Big Sibling is the Best Lifeguard

My siblings and I were swimming at a neighbor’s house with their kid, but the adults were inside. Randomly, a thought came into my head: “Where’s my sister at?” She easily could’ve gone inside or have walked across the street and be home, but I felt like I needed to find her ASAP. I got all of us kids to search when we noticed she was at the bottom of the pool, completely blue.

She made a complete recovery and is one of the best parts of my life. Thought I should clarify a little bit and add ways to prevent drownings. She was only four, and my brothers and I were around 10. One brother got her out, one sprinted home across the street to get my mom, and I called 911 to get paramedics.

We are very lucky and grateful we got a happy ending, but not everyone does.


58. Feeling Blue?

Back in my early teens, some buddies and I would get together to do weekend sleepovers. One night after getting bored from playing video games til 2 AM, we decided to go on a night walk. After saying goodbye to one of our friends heading home early, me and one friend start to head up to the top of the neighborhood hill. After a few minutes of walking, I turned around and hollered back asking about making plans tomorrow.

A giant, light blue orb of light flew down below the mountain line and took off diagonally into the sky and disappeared. All taking less than five seconds. Shocked, I hollered back if he just saw that. He repeated what happened, reassuring my sanity.


59. Son of the Slaughterhouse

There was this guy called “The Butcher” on my street growing up. They called him that ‘cause he was a butcher. His family had at least a screw loose though. I was semi-friends with his oldest kid. On Halloween I go up to his house, I was like 11 or 12. They had these large spear looking things up on each post of their little wood fence that ran up the side of the driveway.

On the top of each spear was what looked like pig and cow heads, with blood dripping down the spikes. I got up there, said, “Hey man, those things look so real,” to the son. And he responded, “They are. Wanna come in the garage and I’ll show you all the other cool dead stuff we got?” I never trick or treated there again.

I’m glad it was the kid who said it though, if the big creepy dad had I probably could have cried or soiled myself right there.


60. I Could Do Without the Soundtrack, Thanks

Around two years ago, I finally moved into a brand-new house in a brand-new building estate in Australia. I was one of the first to have a finished build in the area and was elated to finally gain independence. The first few weeks went by as normal and during that time, I’d often take walks alone with the dog in the afternoons and roam the surrounding estate area.

All the roads around us had been partially completed and all the other properties were marked out, but no other houses were built, excluding one that was directly opposite mine. The house looked finished, but there was no driveway laid yet and from what I could gather, no one lived there.

One night as I was heading to bed, I turned off the television in the living room and again, could hear the faint sound of a violin playing, however, it sounded more muffled and rehearsed. I froze, and a cold chill flowed through me instantaneously. Considering that it was about midnight and not the usual time I’d hear it playing, I went to the front window and peeked out to see that there was a light in the house opposite mine. It was clearly a candle as I could see the dim light flicker in the empty window and the music sounded like it was coming from an old record player, but in the ten minutes I watched, I never saw any movement inside the house.

I moved away from the window sufficiently freaked out and after another five minutes, I heard the music abruptly stop. I peeked out again to notice the light was now out. I never saw anyone. I began to become unsettled in the house and would often invite friends over to hang out until late, but of course, nothing would ever happen when someone else was with me. I never bothered to tell any of my friends without evidence, I figured they’d just give me heck about it and I’d just become more agitated.

But nothing compared to what happened next. In my living area, the desk sits right next to a small window which looks out to the fence surrounding my property. The steel fence is literally an arm’s length from the house and about six feet tall, so I always figured that, unlike most of the other windows, I’d never need to cover this one with a sheet or blanket because no one could ever see in. I usually had headphones on when I played, and I always had the lights off, for no other reason than I preferred to play games in the dark.

One night when I was gaming, I got up and walked into the dark kitchen and got a beer out of the fridge. It was dead silent excluding the faint sound coming out of my headphones. As I closed the fridge and turned around to face the desk, I saw directly out the window two very, very faint lights. I didn’t even catch on and immediately started walking back to the desk fixated on the small glowing balls and it wasn’t until I had my nose almost pressed against the glass that I realized the two lights weren’t lights at all.

They were eyes.

A set of eyes, sitting just above the fence line staring wide open at me. They didn’t blink. They didn’t move. My entire body locked up, all I could do was simply stare back as my brain was still comprehending that there was an actual person looking at me in the scariest way I could possibly ever imagine. I don’t know what happened, either my head kicked into gear or my muscles loosened but my body automatically collapsed, and I fell to the floor, scurrying to hide against the wall away from the window.

I could hear my heart beating through the carpet like a drum as I tried to lay as flat as possible and as my mind was still processing the sheer severity of the situation, a violin started playing. That violin and the haunting tune it always emitted started up, except this time it was directly outside my window and much louder than I’d ever heard it before.

The lights were still off, and I wanted to get up to turn off the PC screen, so I couldn’t be seen, but my whole body just wasn’t ready to cooperate. Not only was the sound of the instrument extraordinarily loud, but it sounded like it was being played with frustration, notes been missed frequently and the strings screeching. The pace of it was getting faster and faster and by this time, my dog Jeb out in the backyard had picked up on the situation and registering an unfamiliar sound, gave one solitary, deep bark.

The violin instantly stopped, and the house was finally dead silent excluding my headphones which I could hear quietly working away. I was still frozen to the carpet and it wasn’t until Jeb gave a second menacing bark that I heard the figure outside the window start to walk away in the direction of my yard.

Once that first footstep hit the ground, I instantly thought of the welfare of my best mate and finally, my head connected with my extremities and my entire body kicked into overdrive. I leaped from the ground and slid across the laminated floor to the backdoor where Jeb was standing, staring into the backyard. I ducked to keep low and quietly unlocked and slid open the door.

Usually doing so would notify Jeb that he was allowed inside, but when the door opened up, he didn’t move an inch and was completely fixated on the pitch-black backyard. Everything told me not to go outside but there was no chance I was letting anything happen to my dog and I moved out onto the alfresco, moved behind Jeb, put my hand under his collar and attempted to back him toward the house. Jeb is a pure Labrador and weighs like a sack of sand so when he doesn’t want to move, it takes a sheer force to pull him in the direction you want him to go and right now, Jeb wasn’t going anywhere.

I yanked at his scruff and as I did, he emitted a bark like I’d never heard before, a deep, bellowing “screw you right off” sound that elevated my nerves to an all-time high. We both just stood there, waiting for some form of reply and I couldn’t remember how long we both just froze there, but eventually, I heard footsteps from around the side of the house begin to walk away. But not a simple walk, almost like whoever was doing it was slowly dancing in a circle, the footsteps keeping to a beat as they drifted away from the house into the distance.

Once I couldn’t hear anything, Jeb licked his lips, gave me a look, and wandered back inside. I followed, locked the door behind me and spent the night reverting to my child-like self; hiding under my bed covers with my dog. I didn’t sleep a wink. That was the last time I ever saw or heard the violin player. The following morning when the sun finally came up, I called into work sick and called the police.

They scoured the lot next to mine and found footprints in the dirt, but there were so many there that it was impossible to tell whose were whose. The only description I could give to the officer was his height, he would have had to be over 6ft to stare over that fence at me, but they explained that he could have been standing on something, or on his toes.

They also told me that they’ve never received a report of anyone playing a violin in the area or anyone been in the fenced-off hill either. I essentially looked like an insane person, but the officers were very nice about the whole thing and offered to patrol the area for the next few nights which helped put my mind at ease. Nothing else has happened since then.

Over the next year or two, people finally started moving in and I tell them all the story about the figure I saw, some of whom still use it to keep their children in line, which I found funny. One guy nicknamed the council lot “Violin Hill” and the name has stuck around our street since then. I even spent a period of time scouring the depths of the Internet for that violin tune I kept hearing but could never find it.

There were a few classical pieces that seemed reminiscent, but I’ve since thought that whatever tune was played must have been self-composed, which creeps me out even more. I’m still in the house, I still tell people the story and I haven’t changed my routine one bit which has really helped me to block out the fear of the experience. I game with the blinds closed now.


Disturbing Interactions With Strangers factsPixabay

61. Long-Term Contract

I babysat two girls, maybe eight and six. Their mom said she was planning on being home around supper time. Well, supper time comes and goes, and mom doesn’t show. A few more hours, and I receive a drunk phone call from mommy dearest. I asked her when she expected to be home, and she said she didn’t know. She asked to talk to her oldest, and I put the little girl on the phone.

Kid gets upset and runs to the kitchen, grabs a large knife and runs out into the night. I panicked—I was sure I’d just lost this kid—but I managed to find her. She was hiding in the yard, didn’t get too far. Anyway, long story short, it’s now the next day and I call a friend of mine to take over since I was exhausted. Mom shows up three days later, and gives my friend $20 to give to me.

I’m furious and vow to never sit for anyone again. A few weeks go by, and her boyfriend shows up and apologizes for her actions and hands me $150. That family moved soon after that.


62. Ride Home Alive

When I was 19, I was walking home at midnight from a tram stop and I got the feeling I should pretend I was on the phone. A minute after doing so, a car pulls up next to me on the empty road. It’s four guys all leering at me, the one in the passenger side starts saying things like, “how about we take you for a good time,” and his tone is predatory.

I try to keep it cool because I didn’t want to look frightened to encourage them that I am prey, so I start telling my “friend” there’s a group of guys in a car harassing me and describing the car. I hear the driver say to his mate something about my conversation on the phone and then they take off. I ran home faster than Usain Bolt with 000 now ready on my phone should they change their mind and come back.

A couple of months later, I hear on the news that in my area there was a group picking up girls and assaulting them. The description matched the car and the guys in it that followed me that night. I had the sense after my encounter to tell my work what happened and refuse to do night shifts anymore unless they paid for my taxi home.

I shudder to think what may have happened if I hadn’t pretended to be on the phone that night.


63. Red, Blue, and Yellow-Bellied

When I was like in sixth grade, I was up late, as I always was, and was just about to drift off to sleep when I saw flashing blue and red lights. I then heard “stop!” And “back here!” And I look out my window to see a shadowy figure run up my street and jump into my backyard. Both of my parents were asleep at the time and I was too afraid to wake them as I feared that the guy was in my house.

I then go proceeded to see an entire police unit pull up to my street with a full search party to find this man. Parents slept through the whole thing and I still don’t know what happened to the guy.


64. He Gave You a Warning

I went to a university in a not-so-nice area of my city. My senior year, I lived off campus by a few blocks close to the edge of what most students considered the “safe zone.” So one night, I’m walking to the other end of campus to grab drinks with friends and when I reach the end of my block, a guy riding a bike with one hand, drinking a Four Loko, comes riding by saying, “Get off the block someone’s about to get shot.”

I said “thanks” and booked it about 30 seconds before the shooting started. Didn’t stop until I was on the other side of campus. If a guy tells you someone’s gonna get shot, start running.


65. A New Meaning to Ride or Die

Just to give you a bit of background I’m female and I drive for Lyft at night. I’m on the shorter side at 5’4” tall and have been driving for nearly six months. I tend to drive downtown Denver especially on weekends when there is the most money to make. In this time, I’ve only had a couple truly scary encounters and I drive seven nights a week at least a couple hours a night.

The first scary one started out normally enough for that late at night. I had just dropped off a passenger in Aurora and was marking my way back towards Market Street since the bars hadn’t closed yet. I get a pick up that’s on the way. It’s a nice enough area that I don’t feel uncomfortable but anyone who knows Aurora CO knows it’s not really the best even with the few nice areas.

A couple of guys hop in, one in front one in back. Both have on hoodies and are carrying backpacks, but this is Colorado and almost 1:30 in the morning so not that odd. Where it gets odd is after they get in. I give my normal greeting, but they completely ignore me shove their backpacks onto the floor and pull their hoods up while shielding their faces from the windows with their hands. I was instantly uncomfortable, and I could feel something was off.

It was only a 10-minute drive and we were in a secluded area so I decided the safest thing I could do was complete the ride. I could feel my fight or flight instinct kicking in. Within about a minute I had decided if they tried anything I was going to crash my car. Neither one had put on a seat belt, so I figured that would be my best chance. Once we arrive at the location they wanted to be dropped off at I could tell it was not a good area. Bars on all the windows, trash everywhere, and cars in disrepair.

They get out but don’t shut my doors and start whispering to each other while glancing at me. One of them has his hand in his pocket fidgeting with something (I have no idea what). At this point, I’ve had enough and step on the gas driving off with the doors open. I drove a couple of miles until I get to a gas station with lights and people before I stopped to properly close both doors. I called it a night and headed home to cuddle my toddler and my husband before having a good cry in the safety of my own bed. I have no idea what they were planning but I do know I was terrified from the moment they pulled their hoods up to the moment I drove off with my doors open.


66. A Million Little Cuts

I was once babysitting a 7-year-old who was mad because I didn’t allow him to go to his friend’s house when his parents specifically said not to let him. He then proceeded to take a large knife and make small cuts on his arm and face, and told me that he was going to tell his parents that I did it to him. So I started secretly recording him in case the parents didn’t believe me.

When his parents returned, I had to explain the situation, and of course they believed their precious son because he had (minor) cuts all over him and was crying hysterically. After being threatened, I showed them the video, and they tried apologizing. At that point, I was so fed up and annoyed that I left. Needless to say, I never babysat for them again.


67. When You’re the Responsible Adult

About 15 years ago, I left work early, like really early, for no real reason. I got home and all these kids were standing near my door (apartment complex next to a pond) and they were all staring at me and not saying anything. I went inside and dropped my bag. It wouldn’t stop weighing on me how weird it was, so I went back outside.

I spoke to them asking what was going on and one kid meekly asked if I could help his friend. A kid I didn’t see was sitting on a curb surrounded by all the rest. They had all jumped the fence next to the pond, except he slipped and impaled the flesh of his inner thigh and got stuck, the kids helped pick him up off of it, but he was just sitting there bleeding everywhere with a bunch of meat hanging out. I got him treated and ambulance on the way, he came back a few weeks later with his family to thank me, said I saved his leg.

There were 6-7 kids who all just followed me with their eyes without any sound (no talking, no shuffling, no kid sounds) as I walked down the sidewalk, that’s what freaked me out. The kid in question was sitting on a curb in between them facing away so I didn’t notice him. When I asked what was going on, they parted like the Red Sea.

He was in shock and asked me if he needed help and then lifted his shorts leg. Everyone was eerily calm about the whole thing. However, once lights and sirens came, they scattered to the four winds. The railing was made of 1/2” steel tubing. The top had a horizontal runner about eight inches from the top of the picket. Each picket was four inches apart and the tops of each picket were pinched together flat then the edges were folded in, creating a spear but without any barbs.

This created a place to put your foot to hop the fence, provided you didn’t slip. So luckily it was smooth in and smooth out. What’s horrifying, and I never thought of until now, is the way that he had to fall to impale his thigh means he hung there with all his weight on it. Jesus.


68. Blowing Hot Air Up My Nightmares

My significant other at the time was asleep in bed, I was on the couch in the living room. My son’s room, between our bedroom and living room, was vacant while he slept at his mother’s. I heard one note begin quickly repeating at random intervals from the floor piano in my son’s room. I walked down the hall, and just as I stepped in front of the doorway it stopped.

I peeked in for a moment without turning the light on and didn’t see anything, so I turned around. When I was about two steps back toward the living room, it began again. I booked it into the bedroom, the sound stopped after maybe 10 seconds. The scariest part came after my SO woke up partially while I stood there for a few minutes regaining my composure.

I left the room and turned the light on in my son’s room, looked around for something that might have fallen on the piano or anything, found nothing. I went back to the couch for a few minutes, then headed down the hall to use the bathroom, directly across from my son’s room. Just when I reached the doors and turned towards the bathroom, my S.O. blew her nose right on the other side of the bedroom door.

I have never been as terrified by anything as I was by the sound of her blowing her nose at the moment.


69. Do I Pass?

I was in a car accident in my early 20s. I was driving around a bend under a freeway on my last lesson before going for my probationary license when a car driving at least 70km/h over the limit (160km/h in a 90km/h zone; about 100mph in a 55 zone) smashed into my rear drivers’ side. The car I was driving spun out of control and smashed into an underpass.

My teacher and I were both desperately lucky to be alive though we both sustained serious injuries.


70. Anime Was a Mistake But My Instincts Weren’t

This happened a few years back. It was December, and I was staying in my family’s second home in Mexico. I was alone, with the lights on. I didn’t want to sleep so I watched some anime. At around 1-2 AM, I hear a loud bang on the outside of my bedroom door. I freaked out and scrambled to get the nearest blunt object I could find. I patrolled the house, nothing. Next, I started knocking on the surface of any material I could find, hoping that I had just misheard it.

I start running out of things to tap until I tap my bedroom door. It. Made. The. Same. Sound. I couldn’t fall asleep after that and I rose with the sun the following morning.


71. Slick with Fear

When I was in fourth grade, my family went on a vacation to Bermuda, and we went on a snorkeling “adventure” outside the hotel we were staying at. The first 15 minutes were wild. I got to see reefs and all these awesome sea creatures and whatnot, but then I get a little closer to the rocks to have a better view. Soon after, this giant freaking moray eel slithers its head out.

I froze in fear. I was a tiny kid then, and at the time this thing was massive, staring me down with its mouth open and teeth out. It seemed like forever. Finally, I had enough sense to slowly work my way backwards and once I felt safe, I swam as fast as I could to shore. In hindsight, it’s cool to be able to say I was that close to a moray eel, but I’m surprised I didn’t soil myself then and there because I was terrified.


72. Addicted to You?

At about 3 in the morning, I was playing videogames in my living room when my front doorknob turns but doesn’t open. I ran over to it, locked it, looked through the blinds and there was a crackhead standing on my front patio.


73. God of Thunder

When watching The Exorcist home alone at night as a teenager. It was raining with loud thunder and lightning and just as the girl spends her head 360 degrees and looks right at me a huge clap of thunder hits and knocks the power out at my house. I almost had a heart attack.


74. Don’t Call Me a Swinger

Trekking through the woods behind my friends’ house while playing manhunt. Midnight in December. No sensible reason for anyone to be outside. Snow everywhere. I’m walking along and approach this ramshackle cabin/crackhouse. Hear a faint squeaking of a swing set moving back and forth. Audibly to my friend, who was with me, I say: “What the heck is that?”

Dead. Freaking. Silence ensues. The swing stops moving the minute I stop talking. I’m not known for my running, but I think I broke land speed records that day.


75. Nobody’s Home

I was watching TV, sitting on my couch, when I saw the silhouettes of three men, one with a gun drawn, walking up to my door. They knocked on my door. I didn’t respond and sat there with my crummy little shotgun.  They started knocking loudly, I guess to make sure if anyone was home? Then they started to pry open the door with a crowbar.

I called the police, but by the time they arrived, the dudes were gone. The men who were trying to break in were standing next to a broken window the entire time. Not quite sure what those guys wanted from me.


76. Who Needs Sleep When You Have Nightmares?

I have an anxiety disorder and while it was untreated, it manifested as extreme insomnia and paranoia (like not sleeping for days). Lemme tell you, sleep deprived hallucinations suuuuuuuck. Mine usually involved spiders, clowns, and combinations of the two. For anyone who is wondering, I am now medicated, in therapy, and doing much better.

Also, the spider-clown was like a creepy clown with eight black, soulless eyes, spider mandibles, and long, spindly arms and legs. I don’t have much more specifics than that since I usually just saw them out the corner of my eye.


77. We’ve Got Creepy Company

When I was in Mexico, I was staying on a decent-sized resort with a good amount of wildlife. When we first arrived, an employee warned us about the possibly aggressive wildlife (spider monkeys, lizards, fish, etc.) on the trails and in the waters. These trails had cenotes, gardens, historical pieces, and a bunch of other cool stuff. I wanted to see a “pre-Hispanic oven” offered as a “historical piece,” so I walk down a dirt road in the furthest corner of the resort to see this oven.

On my way out, at LEAST 30 of these freaking lizards were lined up making all sorts of sounds at me, with their necks all flared up and stuff. Also, at the resort they told us to stay on the trails, because of other potentially dangerous wildlife. But I was cornered by 30 of these freaking things in nothing but wet shorts and sandals. How do you prepare someone for a situation like that?

I said screw the trails, and I ran through those woods faster than I have ever ran before.


78. Tall Order of “No Thanks”

I was babysitting my cousin one time and we were playing dress up, so she decided to start making my hair. We were sitting in front of the mirror and the entire time, she kept looking at something over my shoulder in the reflection. There was nothing there, so after about 10 minutes I asked her what she was staring at.

She goes, “The tall man, he says he wants to play with you.” Needless to say, I did NOT want to play with him…


79. The Ninja Turtles Wouldn’t Stand for This

This happened a few months ago. I had an argument with my girlfriend, so I decided to do the healthy thing and take a walk to cool off. Live in a small city and it was around midnight so not many people around. Most of the walk was normal. I had calmed down about half way and just wanted to get home, so I was walking down a sparsely lit street and a figure with a hood on was standing on the edge of the sidewalk across the street from me with a parking lot behind him.

I’m on the opposite side of the road, but as soon as I noticed him, my heart begins to pump faster, and fight or flight kicks in instantly. As soon as he’s out of my immediate line of sight, I notice he has silently made it halfway across the street towards me. It freaked me out. He was absolutely silent. I tried to keep him in the corner of my vision, but he was quickly behind me and I still couldn’t hear him.

I was just getting to a line of apartments on my left, and each apartment had small porches with lights on each one. I could see my shadow in front of me, and the figure’s quickly closing in behind me. My mind is racing, I’m fast walking, and I see the shadow within arms distance. This entire encounter has been five seconds, six at most. I’ve decided fight is my only option, so I twist up the plastic bag in my right hand with a big Gatorade in it and I’m about to duck and swing high while turning right to surprise him and hopefully catch him off guard, so I can run while he regains his stamina.

Just then, as I’m coming up to the end of the line of cars parked to my right, a woman holding a baby and a child following her (four years old or so) turn the corner from behind an SUV. She made eye contact with me and I felt instant relief. Still no sound from shadow guy behind me. As I’m passing the family, I turn to look behind me and see nothing, anywhere.

I continue looking behind me the entire jog home, but nothing. Nobody. I didn’t even see where the woman with the kids went. I’m not deaf, no hearing problems at all. I know somebody or something was about to attack me that night, but the complete lack of sound from it freaked me out to my core and still bothers me today. So, shadow ninja a few blocks from where I live, let’s never meet again.

I should note that I don’t believe anything supernatural happened here. I think this stalker was going to rob me and was likely timing his footsteps in sync with my own, so I wouldn’t notice him until he was already robbing me. I think he probably did duck out behind a car or porch nearby when the mother and kids noticed us. I am by no means posting this to suggest he was a demon, alien, actual ninja, or bigfoot, trying to eat my soul. I think he was a man, albeit a very quiet, skilled (on his feet) man who wanted my money or Gatorade.


80. Bystander to the War at Home

After I’d been babysitting all night, the Mom and dad came home drunk and fighting. The dad went out to walk the dog, and the mom locked the door with me inside. She kept saying “Shh-shh,” while the dad screamed from the outside. She started saying things like, “He wants to kill himself instead of be with me—who says that?” I reached for the lock to get out, and she pulled my hand back, saying, “No, leave him for a while.”

I waited as long as I could, then busted out of there.


81. Taking a Slice of This Cat Burglar

I was working from home, third shift, and at about 2 AM, I heard the stuff on the coat rack in the living room rattle like it does when the door opens. I thought it might be my cat climbing on the coats and went to get her down. I found not a cat climbing things she knows she’s not allowed on, but a person I didn’t know standing in the middle of my living room. He demanded to know where his stuff was, and after me insisting for about five minutes I had no clue who the heck he was, he threatened me.

My phone was in my room, and I wasn’t willing to turn my back on this guy, so I reached for the katana my mother had gotten me for my birthday, sitting against the wall behind me. I got to chase a man out of my apartment with an actual sword. Unfortunately, the whole experience freaked me out so bad that now I keep the sword next to my bed in case of…noises in the night.

I also lock the door.


82. Cry Chicken

When I was 19 or so, still living at home, my parents were out of town. To set the stage first though: My parents’ house. When they broke for the foundation, they found human remains. Long story short, there is an unconsecrated graveyard in the woods on their property that includes slaves, ex-slaves, children, babies, and a murdered woman who was killed in 1931. All in all, there are about 30 random unmarked graves and one grave with a headstone (that’s the murdered woman). The house is seriously creepy, no two ways about it, so this didn’t help in this situation.

So, onto the story. Parents are out of town. I have the house to myself. I decide to hook my PlayStation up to the big living room TV and play some Resident Evil. Like an idiot. Like a goddamned idiot. That game used to scare the daylights out of me lol. It’s nice out, I have most of the lights off and I’m sitting in the bay window with the floor to ceiling windows open.

I played for an hour or so, getting progressively creeped out. I’m at the point where I’m so tense I’m clutching the controller with a death grip, half scared anyway, and I hear this long, drawn-out screech of a scream on the other side of the screen from where I’m sitting, right in my ear. That was it, I snapped. I mean snapped.

I fell all over myself, screaming and trying to escape the house. Break the latch on the back-screen door trying to get out, fall down the side steps, screaming the whole time. Cop neighbor that’s keeping an eye on me for my parents is out smoking on his deck. Hears the commotion. Comes charging up the driveway armed with his service pistol.

He’s yelling am I ok? I’m gibbering incoherently at him and pointing. He goes full cop mode and he walks over to where I indicated. Makes this startled BWAH sound, then full-on starts laughing his ass off. It’s a goddamn chicken. Doing that goddamn chicken death metal screech that they do, on my front porch. The neighbor’s rooster had gotten out. Then the story comes out of what I was doing, and he laughs harder.

Oh yes, he made sure to tell my parents. My dad, a cop himself especially found it extremely entertaining. 20 years or more later that neighbor will still occasionally ask me if I’ve run into any chickens lately, then recount the story to my dad (before he passed anyway) and they both would crack up. “So, I ran up the driveway and there she was, hanging on her car door…”

To sum it up: I live in a house with a backyard full of graves. I am home alone playing a scary video game, hear a scream right outside the window, flip out. Involve cop neighbor. Turned out to be a chicken.


83. The Unexplainable

I work midnights in a long term care facility as a nurse’s assistant. I have two men under my care and both of them are unable to use their call lights. They have severe dementia and debilitating Parkinson’s disease, but stillm, their lights are looped around their bed rail. One night their light came on and I went to answer it already confused and creeped out.

I turned it off and left the room. Before I could get two doors up the light came back on. I went in there and both lights were unplugged from the wall and thrown under their beds. I fished them out, plugged them back in and left. I’ve seen shadows standing over the dying and felt a tap on my shoulder while doing chest compressions so I knew that lady had passed. I’m not a believer but some of those things can’t be explained.


84. When a Stranger Knocks

It’s Friday night at around 8:45 pm. The little one’s in bed, and I’m chilling with some friends online, gaming. There’s a loud bang and I’m instantly freaking out, due to having my home, my safe place, invaded by some creeper twice in the past three months.
I turn the volume on my computer down, trying my best to come up with excuses.

Oh, it was the neighbors doing something. Who in their right minds would try to break into my house when they can see that I’m awake? Front outdoor light on, lounge light on. It’s quiet for a while, so I return to playing the game and talking to my friends. That’s when I hear rustling. I think it’s coming from the game, despite the volume being super low, but to be on the safe side I turned the sound on the computer off completely. The rustling’s still there.

At this point, I think it might be that annoying pest possum. The banging could have been it jumping onto the garage roof, and now it was snuffling around outside the leaves, searching for some food. As I said earlier, who would try to trespass when they could clearly see someone was home? If they did trespass, why would they be doing so so loudly?

I wanna say it put me at ease, but it didn’t. Fast forward half an hour and the noises have stopped, and my cat’s begging me to be let outside. Little bastard (I love him, really). I hate opening doors/curtains/windows at night. Paranoia at its finest. But tonight, I had a reason to be paranoid, at least. I kept the chain lock on the door and let the fat fuzzball squeeze out, and had a bit of a peek through the crack, seeing if anything was amiss on my front lawn.

Nothing out of the ordinary, so I lock the door and head back to the lounge. Five minutes later, someone tries the door handle. Finding it locked, I hear a laugh, and they start scratching on the glass as I frantically grab my phone and call the police. Whoever it was had left by the time they answered the phone, and police couldn’t find evidence that anyone had been on the property.

They did a sweep of the neighborhood, but couldn’t find anyone on the streets, either. Whoever you are, I’d say let’s not meet, but I’m pretty sure you’re the same person who came the other two times. And I’m fairly certain that that person is my ex. So, Mr ex. If it IS you. Smile for the cameras next time you come around. They just arrived in my mailbox.


85. Something’s Not Right

My sister and I—in 2010—had just gotten unlimited texting for $25 a month. I was 15 and didn’t pay for it. Between us, we sent and received almost 30,000 texts that month, which without the plan would have charged us $0.15 a text. End of month, the bill comes round and the cell company never applied the unlimited texting so we received a $4,500+ bill.

They fixed it quickly, but I never thought I was going to die that much before.


86. Go Back Up the Waterspout

I worked at a coffee shop and one of the baristas was cleaning the bathroom. All of a sudden, I heard her scream. She comes to get me, saying I need to take care of a weird looking spider. I love bugs and get kind of excited to catch and release the “weird-looking” spider outside. Walk into the bathroom and it’s not a spider—it’s a freaking scorpion.


87. Looney Tunes Logic

When I was about ten, I was playing with a friend who lived down the street. His younger brother and my younger sister both wanted to play hide and seek. We begrudgingly agreed and said we would be “it” first. We found this bucket of liquid and for some reason thought it was glue. It was at this point we decided to spread it all around the safe zone thinking if we couldn’t catch them it would stop them so we could tag them.

It wasn’t glue. It was some kind of solvent. My sister ran through it, slipped, and landed directly on her head. Blood and tears everywhere. Thought she was dead. Was convinced I was either going to jail or my parents would kill me. Turned out to be fine. Didn’t even need stitches. Only grounded for like two weeks.


88. Don’t Lose That Sixth Sense

I was walking home when I suddenly had this gut feeling, “I will be mugged.” I kept walking. When I got to the corner, two guys jumped me. They started delivering some punches and man, I’m no Rocky. My shirt was devastated, my nose was bleeding, my glasses flew like three meters away. My gut didn’t exactly help, but at least I saw it coming?


89. Turn Left at the Next Sign of Danger

The first time I babysat for my little brother and sister, I had to call my parents from a firehouse about an hour after they left. I was 20 at the time, my brother was 12 and my sister was 10. They wanted McDonald’s for dinner, and since they’re never allowed to have it, I brought them there. My house was two away from the corner, where I’d then turn left, drive about a half mile, and end at McDonald’s.

We pulled out of the parking lot, with a few cars and a van behind us. As we were about to turn back onto my block, I got a glimpse of the moon before it was hidden behind some trees. One of those giant parchment-colored, harvest moon types. The kids missed it (thank God) so instead of just pulling up in front of the house, I circled the block.

By this time, all the cars behind me had turned off because I was essentially just going in a circle, but the van was still there. I pulled over at one point to do a k-turn, and I pulled to the curb. The van pulled up behind me and two older guys got out and started walking towards my car. I thought it must be their house, and for whatever reason I felt awkward turning around there, so I just pulled away.

They ran and jumped back into the van and started following. That’s when I knew stuff was weird. I kept making erratic turns through our neighborhood, trying to let them know that I knew what they were doing without freaking the kids out. “Yeah guys let’s just cruise the neighborhood for a while,” I told my brother and sister.

This went on for about ten minutes until at one point I put my blinker on like I was going to make a left, started doing so (so did they), and pulled out at the last second (so did they). That’s when the kids figured it out and FREAKED. I obviously couldn’t just go home and show them where I live, so I went up around the back of main street.

I consoled my sister, who was absolutely hysterical, and just pulled into the (fortunately wide open) door of the fire house, holding down my horn. A guy ran out, I said “please help someone is following us,” at which point the van peeled out and was gone. They were behind me with the light on, so I could never get a look at their license plate.

I wasn’t the slightest bit freaked out at the time, I just completely calmly and rationally did exactly what I needed to do to get these guys to safety. They offered to bring us home with a police escort, but I just didn’t feel comfortable, seeing as the van had passed my house a couple times already during this whole thing, not knowing it was ours of course, but still.

It wasn’t until I got back to my house later and was explaining it to my brother that I started violently shaking and couldn’t even really speak for about an hour. I’m 5’1 and was about 100 lbs. at the time. It still frightens me to think what would have happened if the kids had seen the moon when I did, and we just went home.

These guys had gotten out of their car and were already approaching me when I stopped to make the turn. I don’t know what the heck they were planning, but it definitely didn’t seem friendly. I still get scared about going to my dad’s in my car, worried they’ll see me and remember.


90. Want to Hear a Knock-Knock Joke?

I went to bed around 3 AM as I usually do. Laying in bed for an hour or so, just started drifting off to sleep when I hear “knock knock.” Doesn’t sound like something falling down, it’s perfectly in rhythm for someone knocking on a door. At 4 AM. That’s bad enough but it wasn’t on the door, it was on an outside wall of my bedroom, a few feet from my head.

My bedroom is on the second floor by the garage, so if it was someone knocking (and at that point I was sure it was) they were either in the attic over the garage or on the roof of the garage. I pull out my phone and check the garage door, it had been closed for hours. Not someone in the garage. On the roof? Doesn’t seem likely.

I lie awake for a couple of hours but don’t hear anything else. My best guess is it was a stick that was being blown by the wind, but it really, really sounded like someone knocking.



91. Pray the Dysfunction Away

I was a nanny to two of the most emotionally disturbed kids I’d ever seen. Kids of divorce, lived with their Fundie-Christian mom. They were 7 and 9. The dad was only interested in speaking to the 7-year-old (girl). She would hide in her bedroom and talk to her dad on the phone for hours, always whispering. The dad wouldn’t even bother talking to the boy.

He was desperate for attention from his dad, but this man would hang up the phone if the girl gave the phone to her brother. This resulted in a LOT of acting out violently from the boy. So obviously you know what I thought was going on. I shared my concerns with the mom, to no avail. She dismissed it time after time, no matter how hard I tried.

Anyways, I was informed to never let the dad in the house or let him take the kids (custody battle). The problem was, any time I said no to this little girl, she’d run to her room and call daddy on me. Then he’d show up, threatening to hurt me for not indulging his little girl’s every whim. I didn’t know what to do, and it got so much worse.

One incident ended up with me trying to call the cops on him, and the girl taking my phone and smashing it on a tile floor. She then grabbed the home phone and ran to the other room to call the cops on ME for not allowing her daddy to take her away because I was hurting her. I had told her that her brother got to pick the movie today because she picked one yesterday.

Cops show up, and while they’re interviewing the dad and daughter, the mom comes home. She defends me, and the cops end up telling the dad not to violate the court-mandated custody agreement. The girl locks herself in the room and the mom looks at me, sighs, and says, “You know what it is…I forgot to pray today.” I quit.


92. Nightmare Date

About five or so years ago, I was 23 at the time and had just gotten out of my first and only serious relationship a year prior. That guy was my first love and my first sexual experience and so needless to say when things ended, and he had zero interest in trying to work things out, I was heartbroken. After about a year of moping and being stupidly sexually promiscuous, I decided to try actual dating.

I met this guy, let’s call him Rick, on a dating website. He was a couple of years older than me, was an ex-Marine, was cute, and good at making conversation. After a few days of talking online, he asked for my number and we decided to meet up. I drove to his house and come to find out he lived with a few other guys who looked really shady. Now he actually lived in a good neighborhood, but the way they kept their home and the way his roommates looked was my first red flag that an inexperienced, naive girl would not fit in his crowd but I decided to stay and give it a chance.

Once he saw me, he came up, gave me a hug, and handed me a helmet. To his motorcycle. Now I have never in my life rode a motorcycle before, but I had always wanted to, so I thought why not and hopped on. Now the street he decides to take me up is known to be a very long and windy road that is pretty secluded. It’s also important to note that this is the springtime and it’s about 5pm when we go on our ride.

I didn’t realize at the time he had decided to take me on that specific road but once we got on it, my red flags started to kick in. I began to realize that 1. It is dead silent and there are no other cars on this road right now, 2. It’s starting to get dark, and 3. Uh yeah, I don’t know this guy so what the hell am I doing, and my alarm bells start ringing!

Now I will say that while I made a ton of mistakes within this story this instance is where I am proud of how I reacted. Once my anxiety kicked in, I told him that I think we should turn around and go home. He started laughing and asked if I was scared and I said no I just need to head home because my parents are expecting me for dinner soon. He kept riding forward. More alarm bells ringing. Pictures of me lying dead in a ditch came up. I kept asking him can we please turn back can we please turn back, and he finally gave in and turned around.

The next day comes and I told myself that maybe I was just overreacting, and he was harmless and decided to agree on a second date a few days later. We met up at a sports bar for dinner and a couple of beers, so we can watch the hockey game. The entire time we are sitting there, Rick has his arm around me and has me literally attached to his hip, constantly trying to make out with me, and is acting extremely possessive. At this point, I’m completely freaked out because I barely know this guy and all he is talking to me is about our future and how he would be such a protective boyfriend because he was an ex-Marine. At this point, I knew I was done with him, but unfortunately, my car was at his house.

When we are done and head home, he insists that I come inside and hang out for a bit. I decide to walk in and stay for five minutes (yeah, I don’t know what I was thinking). We walk into his room, and he immediately pounces on me, making out with me and trying to feel me up. I kept pushing his hands away and kept telling him that I needed to get going but I could tell he wasn’t going to give up until he got what he wanted, especially after I realized his little friend was aroused. He told me that he would not let me leave until we “did something.”

I had no idea what he would have forced me to do if I kept rejecting his advances, so I decided that my only way out of there was to finish him off. So I did. And the entire time I’m trying to act like I’m enjoying it while dying inside and hoping he would hurry up and finish, so I can quickly leave. Luckily, I only used my hands and luckily it took him a few minutes to finish before I literally ran out that door and sped home.

After that night he tried to ask me to hang out again and I told him that I think it would be best if we stayed friends. This guy began to relentlessly call me and text me and beg me to see him, then proceeded to call me a b**** because I was ignoring him, then would apologize for calling me a b**** and it was because he liked me so much. So I blocked him. Then he tried to message me on Instagram. So I blocked him there. And then on Facebook. And finally, on Snapchat. So Rick, please let’s not meet ever again!


93. Guns Are Scary

Many years ago on the way to the UK, we had a brief stopover in Dubai. I was around 9 years old, first time flying, and really suffering air sickness. We debark the plane and the heat hits me hard. I stumble from the steps to the tarmac and proceed to vomit foamy water…inches away from the toes of a security guy armed with a machine gun.

I was scared witless and couldn’t move. My family apologized profusely and dragged me onto a waiting bus. Granted, this fellow didn’t change expression or even move from my sad puddle, but darn, we were green travellers and had never seen guns before, let alone potentially pissed off a gun owner. I still cringe when I remember the look in his eyes and my mother’s face.


94. At Least They Were Already in a Hospital

I work at a psych hospital. I was in the cafe with an adult unit and the adolescent unit was also there. I had known one of the kids from when she was on the children’s and normally we had a good rapport. I went to say hi and told her I was proud she had been staying out of trouble, and a few of the other girls reacted weirdly to me saying it and the girl looked guilty.

I told the staff on the unit and said they should keep an extra eye on the girls because I had bad vibes about it. The staff kinda brushed me off. A half-hour later four girls (including the one I knew) literally almost killed the two staff, one got her head bashed in and suffered brain trauma and the other staff was blinded in one eye.


95. A Change in Your Morning Dental Routine

When I was 10 or so, I woke up before everyone in the house (it was like 7 am) and decided I would sneak into the pool. I was waist deep in the water before I saw the alligator on the other side of the pool.


96. Second Time’s a Charm

When I was a student, I got called in on a stroke patient. She had coded and they were doing CPR. They worked for 45 minutes, but she died. They cleaned her up, and called on the family to say goodbye. By the time the family left. She had been both brain dead and without a pulse for more than 45 minutes. Blood had filled her brain, and she was completely grey and started to smell. Suddenly, she sat up and called for her family. The nurses rushed to get monitors and equipment back on her. Started working on her again, she stabilized, said goodbye to her family, and promptly died a second time.


97. Unwelcome Visitors

One night after having a few drinks, I came home to my small house where I lived with two other girls, probably around 2:30am. We were all serious students (I was probably the least serious, actually), and when we partied it was not your typical UCSB mega-rager. More like a small get together with friends. We would often have a few people spend the night, sleep on our furniture our in our beds as the case may be.

That night my roommates had had a few people over whom I didn’t know, and I saw when I returned home that one of them had opted to sleep on the couch from the shadow that I saw there (I didn’t turn the light, so I wouldn’t wake anyone up). But as I was passing the couch to enter my bedroom, I noticed that the figure was lying very stiff.

He just had this weird energy to him. He was lying down, but it was like he was putting all of his energy into lying as still and rigid as possible. I paused, and the guy quickly jerked his head to face me, without moving his limbs, so quickly that it startled me. I could see his wide-open eyes glinting in the dark.

Figuring that I’d startled him or that he was drunk or maybe on some kind of stimulant and unable to sleep, I just hurried past into my bedroom and locked the door. The dude made me nervous and I wasn’t taking any chances. I fell asleep. At 4:30 am I woke up. There was a strange sound at the door almost like somebody was drumming their fingers against the wood very quietly.

I lay still and listened. There were more quiet sounds like someone scratching the door with their fingers, which got louder and louder until it was clear that he was using both hands and scratching as fast and as hard as possible. It created an extremely loud and intimidating sound that filled me with fear.

I got my cell phone and texted my roommate because I was afraid to make a sound. “Your friend is freaking me out, is he coked out? Can you talk to him? He’s banging and scratching on my door.” She didn’t text me back, probably because she was asleep. I texted my other roommate to the same effect, covering all my bases. Keep in mind that the scratching has been going on at this point for a couple of minutes. I have no idea how he could have sustained it, scratching a wooden door with your fingernails can’t feel good. He also grabbed at the knob and jiggled it super forcefully.

Because neither of them answered, I decided to call and really wake them up, though I was scared to make a sound. I know it sounds stupid but there was something seriously horrifying about being teased like this through the door. I knew that he was trying to terrify me. I felt like a little kid but I could tell this guy was up or something and maybe the police needed to be called, and I wanted to loop my roommates in since it was one of their friends.

The scratching stopped abruptly, and I called my roommate, who answered sleepily. “Yo, your friend is messed up, can you please deal with it? Do we need to call the cops? He’s seriously scaring me and he was scratching at my bedroom door, really weird.” She didn’t say anything for several seconds and when she did speak, her voice had no sleepiness in it at all. “What friend?” She said.

“That guy that was sleeping on the couch!” I said. She was quiet again. “We didn’t have any guys over,” she said. “Call the police.” My adrenaline surged, and I told her to please lock the bedroom door as quickly as possible. I realized that I hadn’t heard scratching in a while and I had no clue where the dude had gone.

Suddenly I heard a loud banging in the other end of the house, where my roommates, Lauren and Monica, shared a bedroom. The bangs were followed by the sound of them screaming in fear. I quickly dialed the police as this maniac proceeded to bang against the (luckily) locked bedroom door of my two roommates as they screamed. The heaviness of the blows left no doubt that he was trying to break the door down.

I’d told the 911 operator the situation and she’d dispatched two squad cars. At one point the banging stopped and everything was quiet for a while. I talked with the dispatcher and suddenly looked down to see that this guy had slipped his fingers through the 1-inch gap between my door and the floor and was just kind of waggling them around, making this weird growling sound. I screamed and backed away, which is my biggest regret about this situation, since when I look back it would have been so awesome to just stomp the heck out of those fingers and hear the guy howl in pain.

When the cops rolled up, I heard running and the sound of our sliding glass door opening and closing, and then he was gone. The cops never caught him. He had broken in through our side door by jimmying the lock somehow. My door was covered in what turned out to be huge gauges he’d made using a pair of scissors, which he discarded on the ground before he left.

What terrifies me most about this was that I walked right past him. I looked him right in the face. I realize now that he was not trying to sleep or on drugs but was lying so stiff like that because he was hiding. He probably heard me open the door and freaked out because he hadn’t realized there was another girl living there and tried to blend into the couch in the darkness.


98. From Playdate to Child Abduction

It was a very long time ago—back in 1973. I know that it was summer, I was six, and we were living on Monica Lane in Madison, Wisconsin. Thing is, I sort of recalled it but never put two-and-two together until a few months ago when I was talking to my mom who went into great detail.

I was a very gregarious child; outgoing, extroverted, friends with anyone. It was at the time a middle-class neighborhood, and three houses down from ours, on the same side of the street, was a huge park. My mom was a nurse and my dad was a salesman, but mom worked 2nd shift at Merriter, while my dad worked days. I rarely had a babysitter, only if they went out for dinner or a movie. But they did go out often and there were always older kids in the neighborhood to babysit.

One sitter who I really liked lived a few blocks or so away, and down the street a little bit. Vicky had babysat a few times before that and it was pretty uneventful. She’d play games with me, and do my hair, play dress-up, pretty basic stuff. So anyhow, one day I had gone with friends down to the park. I remember there was a ball field at the time, and a sandlot next to the field. My friends wanted to play on the monkey bars, but I wanted to play in the sand. I looked at the sandbox and my babysitter Vicky was standing there. I told my friends I was going down to the sandbox and ran off.

We played in the sand, building a castle, and then she asked me if I wanted to go get something cold to drink. It was stifling hot, and I, of course, said yes. So she takes my hand and we start walking to her place. She starts telling me about her puppies and asking if I want to play with them. Of course, I get giddy and now can’t wait to get to her house. This was where my memory had stopped and after my mom told me what happened, the rest of it flooded back.

My mother just happened to be talking to my sister and I about some of the places we lived, and we got to Monica Lane. I told her I remembered the park and how big it seemed, and she asks me if I remember being kidnapped. I immediately thought she was kidding and then the look on her face told me otherwise. She said it was around five in the afternoon and one of my friends had come to the door to ask me to come back outside, sure that I had gotten bored and walked back home. When my mom checked the house, she realized I wasn’t there and (seven months pregnant with my sister) sprints to the park, screaming my name.

After asking several kids if they’d seen me with no clue, she went to the ball field and asked the older boys if they’d seen me. One of the boys (she guessed around 14) said that he’d seen a younger woman playing with a girl that fit my description in the sand and walk off in a general direction and that was all he knew.

My mom ran across the street to one of the houses and asked to use their phone and called the police. By the time the police got there, my dad had come home and some of the neighbors were trying to help my mom. So there’s this search party out looking for me, screaming my name and knocking on doors. The police had gone back to the park to ask the boys if they knew who had been with me and if they knew who she was.

Between the boys and the neighbors, they had deduced who it was that had led me off, but I have no idea how, honestly. The police and the entourage go to her home (she lived with her parents but they weren’t home) and knock on the door. She came to the door and told them she hadn’t seen me, and that she’d been home all day.

The police asked to come in and for some reason, she said okay. They went through the house and went to the basement and found me. That’s what my mom knew and then I remembered. It was literally like a flood gate had opened and I started crying. At six, you sort of trust everyone, and she’d been in our home. I never got a bad feeling from her and my parents didn’t, either. But when we walked into her house I remember that cold, holy feeling washing over me and getting very worried. I remember starting to cry and saying I wanted to go home, over and over.

She takes me into her kitchen and gets me a glass of water and a tissue. I hear dogs barking, and next to the kitchen is an open stairway that goes down and where the barking was coming from. She starts trying to cajole me into going downstairs—telling me there’s all sorts of toys and games. I reluctantly agree, and she grabs my hand to head down the stairs. The dogs are going nuttier and I start screaming.

At this point, Vicky is getting bizarre. She’s screaming at me to “SHUT UP!! IF YOU DONT SHUT UP I WILL THROW YOU IN THE CAGE WITH THE DOGS AND THEY WILL EAT YOU!! SHUT UP!!” Dragging me down the stairs and still screaming. I was scared out of my mind. I remember crying so hard I was hyperventilating, and I am screaming so hard I’m not making sounds. Vicky then flips a switch and starts being syrupy sweet, trying to calm me down. She tells me that she was just playing a game and tells me she wants to play hide and seek.

She must have been relatively skilled at calming me down because the next thing I know, I hear knocking on the door upstairs and I wasn’t crying. The houses were all the same sort of tract houses that Sears used to sell, not huge but not small, but you could hear everything at any spot in the house. I keep hearing the knocking and she tells me that it’s her friends. They’re coming to play hide and seek!!! She convinced me to let her put a piece of masking tape over my mouth, so I wouldn’t make a sound, and lifted me into this big wooden box next to the kennel. She put a big pile of blankets over me and told me to be really quiet, so they didn’t find me.

The whole time the dogs were going crazy but when she calmed me down, they calmed down, too. They still looked incredibly mean, but they were no longer frothing at the mouth, and only slightly growling. Until the knocking started. I remember scrunching in there, confused. Still scared and convinced that the dogs were going to get out and eat me. I was crying again and hyperventilating. I remember taking the tape off my mouth because I couldn’t breathe, but remembered I needed to be quiet because I was afraid of what she’d do if I screamed.

I laid in that smelly box next to a big bag of dog food, sweating to hell, tears rolling down my face. I sort of pushed the blankets to the side but only enough so that I could pull them back over me when someone came. I recall thinking about my dad and wondering if he’d come find me. All of a sudden, I hear what sounds like adults yelling my name. They come down the stairs and the dogs are going crazy again. Over and over men are yelling my name and then I hear a man say, “If you don’t shut those dogs up I will!!”

I was in a large storage box (like a carpenter’s toolbox type of thing) with tape hanging off my mouth when they opened the lid. I remember a very nice man asking me my name and if I was okay. I don’t remember answering him in anything other than screams and tears and grabbing his neck so hard my dad had to practically pry me off of him.

I remember my parents taking me to the hospital to be checked out and that’s all I really remember. Mom said that Vicky was found guilty of attempted kidnapping, and last she knew was in prison but couldn’t remember when the last time was she had heard anything. We moved from the area shortly thereafter, and I haven’t been back since.

I do know that mom said that her parents were odd but that they didn’t know them. She had met Vicky from neighbors that had used her as a babysitter and had never heard of anything bad and that I always seemed happy with her. She lived in the general neighborhood, but it would have been two blocks over and one block down. Mom said they never picked her up, she always walked over. When they’d get home, they’d drive her home but never noticed anything out of the ordinary.

Mom and dad had only met her parents when they came to the door to ask for forgiveness; that Vicky hadn’t meant to do anything bad, and was a good girl. Mom said my dad picked up her dad by the shirt and told him that if they ever came on our property again, he’d kill them. I remember her name and sort of what she looked like, but would have no idea if she walked up to me who she is.


99. Could’ve Been Worse

I think I was four or five. There was a rock quarry/gravel pit about a mile from my home that my parents didn’t want me going to because a bunch of unseemly youths hung out there. So, of course, this is where my flying experiment took place. I tied four kites to my bike and thought if I rode fast enough and then took my bike off the steepest bank of the quarry, the kites would lift me off and I’ll glide to the bottom.

Probably lucky for me, but the strings of the kite wound into the bike spokes and completely locked it, throwing me and I slid all the way down the edge of the gravel pit rather than make a measured jump. Scraped up to my elbows and from my knees down, all I could think on that painful walk home dragging my busted bike full of kites was how my mom was going to kill me.

Suffice to say, when your five-year-old walks in looking like the finale of Carrie you don’t immediately jump to punishment.


100. Nobody’s Home

I was babysitting my little sister while my grandparents were out of town (we lived with our grandparents) when we hear my grandparents’ bedroom door open. I grabbed the only weapon I had, a mini Yankees baseball bat, and was just sitting with my sister quietly in my room. We heard someone walk down the hall to the kitchen when I called my uncle to come check on us.

This whole time, I wasn’t completely convinced that what I was hearing was real, so ten minutes later he arrives and comes in through our front gate (we had a large outdoor courtyard). He comes and searches the house. We go into our grandparents’ bedroom. Their sliding glass door to the courtyard was open, and the chair in front of it was pushed forward, propping up the blinds.

So, someone had clearly entered the house, but my uncle searched the house, and no one was there. We assumed whoever it was had probably left when he heard someone come, so my uncle left. After that, my sister and I were in the kitchen eating some food when the doorknob to the garage door starts rattling, first softly then harder (the knob was broken and is almost impossible to use).

I grabbed my sister, ran out the front gate, got in my car and left. I have never been so scared in my life.


Sources1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

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