Have you ever experienced something so traumatizing, you were never the same again after that moment? The following people shared their stories of creepy moments that changed their lives forever, and they’ll make you realize just how powerful a single instance can be, no matter how brief or short-lived it is. Read on for some truly disturbing tales.
1. Not Today, Fools
When I was learning to drive, my father would accompany me. There was a football game in town that the rest of my family was at, but I was not going to attend for some reason. On my way home, and into my neighborhood (which was fairly large, I might add), we went past a plain white van that was off. At one point, it turned on and followed us all the way to the road that my house is on, right to the cul-de-sac.
My father took the truck to the game, leaving no vehicles in the parking area. I, myself, was alone at home. That white van then decided to pull into my driveway, so I ran into my father’s closet, grabbed the 16-gauge, two shells, and walked out onto my front porch with it drawn at the van. The van went into reverse and backed out of my driveway faster than it came in.
It was a very strange experience and I sat on my porch for a good thirty minutes before going back inside for the night.
2. It Could’ve Been Me
I was working at an ice cream shop when I was in high school. During winter nights, it would only be me and another manager. It was in a pretty nice area, and behind the store, there was a giant park that got really creepy at night. That night, the manager and I were closing the store and we had to take out the trash. We were both pretty small girls, but we could easily do it by ourselves.
I decided to take the trash out that night because she was counting money, so I got all the bags out and I walked outside into the parking lot. Big mistake. Next to the dumpster, there was a man standing there. He was wearing sweats and there was just this look of hatred on his face that I’d never seen in anybody before. I ran back in, locked the doors to be safe, and did some dishes, thinking that I could do the trash later.
I walked into the main room of the store where it is surrounded by windows and he was standing there, just staring in. I will never forget the smile that came on his face when he saw me again. It was the worst mix of evil and complete joy. I can’t even describe how his eyes were. I ran into the back room with my manager and we hid there for what felt like two hours until the authorities came.
By then, he was gone; however, he was taken in a few weeks later for brutally assaulting and killing a girl. The creepiest part? The victim had my stature and hair color.
3. Rusted Away
When I was 12 years old, my friends and I were riding our bikes through some woods down an old dirt road that wasn’t used much anymore. I decided it would be cool for me to go off-road, so I proceeded to drive into the forest. I got about 50 feet in before I got disoriented and started going towards the creek, which was in a dell down a steep hill from there.
I crashed down the hill and hit this huge boulder collection before coming to a rest. While I was sitting there, off towards the road, I could hear my friends calling to me so I knew which way to go. I started over towards their voices and saw a super old rusted-out car. I was a huge license plate collector back then, and finding rusted-out cars in the woods was not that odd of an occurrence, so I went to see if I could harvest the license plate.
When I got there, what I saw chilled me to the bone. There were bones in the front seat and a pile of rags. It was full-on Raiders of the Lost Ark with a skeleton on a pike kind of thing. I screamed like a little girl and got the heck out of there. I told my parents, who later called 9-1-1. After some investigation, it was determined that the man had disappeared during a blizzard in the late 50s and was never heard from again.
I met his widow and children and won an award from the town. I’ll never forget that feeling. Creepy as heck.
4. Under My Skin
Indirectly, my creepiest moment has to be when I had to sit with my mother’s corpse until the ambulance arrived to pronounce her lifeless. It was unpleasant, obviously, in and of itself, seeing that rigor mortis had set in and that the chest compressions were clearly a futile effort, but that’s not the thing that gets me.
What gets me is that every so often, I rub my arms when they’re cold and my skin feels just enough like her body that I’m taken back to that memory in an instant. No warning. No consistency. It gets super unpleasant in winter.
5. Dealing With A Jerk
When I was in fifth grade, around a year ago, I was riding the school bus home. I was sitting two or three seats ahead of this one eighth-grader. Now, I didn’t even know the kid at all. I’d never even talked to him. Anyways he started shouting hurtful and mean things at me. After about 15 minutes of that, he wadded up pieces of paper with rude things written on them, like “End yourself” or “Screw off,” and threw them at me.
After another 10 minutes, I calmly said, “Throw one more paper wad at me. See what happens.” Apparently, the kid couldn’t take a hint and he threw another wad at me. That broke a vein in my brain and I was filled with bloody rage. I grabbed a Pokémon Card Tin from my bookbag, walked to his seat, and smashed the right side of his head several times.
Blood splashed on my face and on the seat while blood was rushing down his face. I looked at my tin and it was fully dented. Screams erupted from the dude I had just beat up, and the rest of the bus was in a state of shock. Two months later, I found out the kid’s name was Cody and I had erased the last 18 months of his memory.
6. Game, Set, Match
Once, when I was 15, I was playing in a tennis tournament. It was a typical hot summer. Another player who must have been in his 40s was serving. He tossed the serve up in the air and then collapsed on the hardcourt. I rushed over to help and started CPR with his friend. We took turns until the ambulance came, which took about 15 minutes but seemed like hours.
The EMTs took over the CPR and tried to resuscitate him with injections and defibrillators to no avail. They pronounced him lifeless right there on the tennis court. I had to continue my match after they moved the body off of the courts. My hands kept shaking, so I forfeited the match and sat under a nearby tree, just staring into space.
His friend came back to find me near the courts to thank me. He told me about his friend, about his life, and his family. Strangely, that made me feel better. I learned from that day how precious life is and how it can all change in an instant.
7. Parisian Tragedy
It was the first day of a four-month travel holiday and I was in Paris. I was staying at a friend’s apartment, and he wasn’t due back in town for another two days. I decided I was going to find my own way to the Eiffel Tower, so I printed off a map and started walking. Probably two hours later, in a very roundabout way, I finally made it.
So far, so good. I wandered around for a bit and took all the usual photos. Anybody who has been to Paris before will be familiar with the big building across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Chaillot. It has a theatre and a few museums housed inside. The square between the buildings is also one of the best vantage points to see the tower, and lots of people think it’s a great idea to climb up on top of the wall at the front of the landing to pose with the tower in the background.
Anyway, I had taken my photos and seen what I had come to see, so I started heading down the steps in front of the landing. I looked up and there was another girl standing on top of the wall (which I would estimate has a three to four-story drop to solid marble). I thought to myself, “Well, that’s not a good idea.” Out of instinct, I snapped a photo of her.
I looked down to check my shot and when I looked up again, she was gone…She had slipped and was flying through the air. The image of her heading straight for the ground is burned into my memory. She didn’t scream or make a sound. She didn’t flail about. She just dropped, with her body parallel to the ground and her hands stretched out in front of her.
My instant reaction, before it had registered what I was witnessing, was to turn my head and look away before she hit the ground. But the sound of her slamming into the floor is something I will never forget. I was one of the closest people to her and probably the only person to see her fall. There was another guy making his way up the opposite steps with his wife and two small children. I just stood there on the steps, not sure what to do.
I didn’t speak of a word of French, and at the time, I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t even know the emergency phone number to call for help. She wasn’t moving, nor did she make a sound. Two of her friends ran down the stairs and started screaming and crying as soon as they saw her lying there. I felt helpless. I just stood there, watching. Within a few minutes, a fire engine had pulled up and a few men jumped out with a stretcher.
They didn’t touch her as she still wasn’t moving. I probably hung around there for about 20 to 30 minutes. The paramedics showed up but they still hadn’t moved her I still don’t know what happened to her. From that height, I assume the worst is possible, but probably not likely. As for neck or brain damage, who knows. It wasn’t the best way to start my holiday and it was a horrible way to end hers.
8. Bad Timing
My neighbor didn’t pick up his kid from school one day. I knew he was at home, but when I rang the doorbell, he never came. Worried that something had happened to him, I broke into his house. I couldn’t believe what I found. He was on the basement floor with no clothes on—I could tell he was still alive, but there was obvious brain damage as he couldn’t form words or even move.
I later found out that he had a brain aneurysm, and he had no clothes on because it happened while he was…well, you know.
9. Almost Too Far
When I was 10 years old, my dad was unemployed and we were struggling for a few months financially. Some kid in school called me a loser over something I don’t even remember. He told me to buy some decent clothes because I looked like a hobo. That really struck a nerve with me, so after school, I walked up to him while he was sitting on his bike and I punched him so hard on one side of his head.
Blood started coming out of his nose and his left eye turned red. He screamed, ”Oh my God, I can’t see!” I just felt sick to my stomach and as if I was a monster. I just wanted to disappear at that moment. Thankfully, he was fine after a few minutes.
10. Foul Play
When I was in first grade, my friend was killed just outside the school in the woods. A week or so after the incident, my friends and I were still walking through them (like idiots) and we found the knife still covered in blood. One of the guys picked it up and took it back to the school. Luckily, it was a simple case and the guy was already apprehended…otherwise, we could have messed up the evidence for the case.
11. Flipping Out
I saw a body getting pulled out of a creek on my parent’s property when I was 16. He had been trespassing and at some point, he flipped his truck while he was high. He decided to leave when the authorities were called on him. He didn’t make the turn onto the bridge and it flipped his truck into the creek. He broke his neck upon impact.
A bunch of guys tried to get him out, but the mud was suctioning him down. When the EMTs and officers showed up, they got him out, but he was bloated and white by that time. They put him on the rescue sled to pull him up the bank. His bloated, white head was bobbing because of his broken neck. That image is burned into my brain.
12. A Golden End
I grew up near San Francisco and for my fifth birthday, I wanted to walk the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. About halfway through, a guy climbed over the guide rail and jumped. I had no idea what it meant at that age, but I still remember almost everything about that incident—where we had parked, what I was wearing, the weather, everything.
My grandma ended up picking up the wallet he left for someone to find and she turned it in to the authorities. It was still warm from being in his pocket.
13. A Grave Thought
When I was younger I used to have really intense visual hallucinations. Some normal stuff –glowing orbs, floating hands. But the creepiest thing that I ever saw was my own dead body on the floor in front of me wearing the exact same clothes I was wearing at the time. That image is burned into my memory and to this day, it gives me nightmares.
14. A Creepy Year
When I was eight years old, my best friend and I found a corpse in a forest. It was almost completely decomposed. Then, when I was 12, I moved to California and saw more gang activity in two months than in one season of The Sopranos. Around the same time, I watched my cousin’s wife put a bullet in her head, right as I was sitting literally four feet away from her.
I also went to visit my older brother in Sweden that year and I walked in on him cradling the corpse of his girlfriend, who was killed by dealers in their apartment. The most painful part was watching him, a 6-foot-4 hulk of a man, scream like a banshee with tears streaming down his face. I would later see the people responsible for the incident hanged in an abandoned warehouse.
Then, finally, when I was 15, my best friend’s fiancé got pregnant. The baby didn’t end up being his, so they broke up and he eventually began dating an exotic dancer She invited all her friends over, and I ended up locked in a bathroom for 18 hours with one of them. She had enough illicit substances to kill a horse. During one of her bouts of paranoia, she absolutely lost it—she ended her life with a knife about eight or nine hours into the ordeal.
I think bad vibes just follow me wherever I go…
15. In The Wrong Hands
My uncle told me this probably five years ago when he was tipsy, and I haven’t heard anything about it since. When he was around seven or eight, some kid who lived on his street had gotten hold of his dad’s pistol and started playing with it in the street with another kid. At one point, he pointed it at him and yelled, “Freeze!”
The kid put his hands up jokingly and turned to walk away, but the kid ended up pulling the trigger on him. My uncle has no idea what happened after that though.
16. Stuck In The Reeds
I was playing football at a local park about six years ago when the ball went AWOL and ended up in a pond. A friend of mine tried to go in and get the ball out, but he got tangled up in the reeds and such. We called out for him but he never yelled back. When we went to check up on him after a few minutes, we discovered that he had actually drowned…None of us could do a thing.
The ball continued to float there for about two weeks after he passed, and I had to walk past that same pond daily to go to school. Seeing the ball floating there was the creepiest thing ever.
17. How To Save A Life
This summer, I worked as a nanny. I took the girls I looked after to Bethesda Pool a few times a week. One day, the older girl saw something at the bottom in the shallower end and she brought it to my attention. When I went over to check it out, I was horrified. I discovered it was a little boy, maybe six years old, all curled up in the fetal position.
When I reached in to pull him out, he was completely limp in my arms and he wasn’t breathing. I brought him to the side where there were some lifeguards. Apparently, they didn’t notice him even though there was NO ONE near him obstructing the view of the bottom. In fact, they didn’t even notice me yelling for them until I got to the side of the pool and lifted him up onto the concrete.
I gave him CPR, called the paramedics, etc. I put on a brave face for the girls, but I thought he was a goner. Then, later on, when the officers came, they let me know that he ended up getting his consciousness back. Thankfully, this is a pretty happy story, but the image of his body curled up on the bottom of the pool and the feel of his body limp in my arms just stuck with me for some reason.
18. Dinner Table Trauma
I found a woman in an apartment complex where I used to work who had been pinned under her dining table for two days after having a stroke. She had pulled it down on top of her during the episode. The whole time the maintenance crew were pulling it off and we were waiting for the ambulance, she was saying, “Oh dear, I hate to be a bother…Really, I’m fine, no, no…” In a very high-pitched and airy voice.
I immediately took my lunch and cried in my car.
19. Sudden Freefall
My friends and I used to climb onto the roof of my high school late at night. One time, my best friend and I brought two girls (whom we were crushing on) onto the roof to show them what we thought was a harmless and exciting discovery. After some time exploring as a group, my friend and I thought it was appropriate to go “explore” the rooftops alone with our respective crushes.
In the distance, I saw what seemed like a fitting spot to have a seat. Well, it turns out, it wasn’t so fitting because it was a skylight. My friend describes what happened next as the most horrifying experience of his life. After about a few minutes, he came looking for me. He approached a shattered skylight and it clicked—we were down there.
He yelled and yelled until I finally muttered back, “Help, I can’t move.” The authorities and paramedics were called. He never got a response from the girl. I woke up two days later with a concussion, a few broken bones, and some minor internal bleeding. My crush was declared dead on impact.
20. No Justice
A few weeks ago, a woman was repeatedly stabbed with a knife outside my window. I won’t ever forget her screams and rattled breathing that I heard when I went out to flag down the authorities. I feel guilty for not doing more than calling 9-1-1, but I am also angry because I overheard the officers interviewing a girl, asking if she heard anything.
She said yes, but she never once thought to call for help. How do you not call 9-1-1? How horrible are you to not bother to try to help? I hope she feels guilty. The poor woman deserved better. And now she is dead and the guy hasn’t been found yet.
21. A No-Win Situation
When I moved to Grenada, I had a lot of trouble finding off-campus housing that would permit my dog. The first house I lived in was practically alive—there were countless lizards skittering up and down the walls, roaches the size of small ponies, a particularly vengeful bat who didn’t take lightly to his eviction (he would eat passion fruits above the window at night and drop the pits on the sill, waking me up), and a poisonous centipede that decided to “show up” in my mosquito net by somehow circumventing its tightly-tucked corners to crawl right onto my leg. Nothing I tried would clear the house.
So when I heard of a two-bedroom, dog-friendly apartment near campus opening up, I jumped at the opportunity. One night, after returning from the grocery store with about $150 worth of food and settling into bed, I heard the most blood-curdling scream. Because of the apartment’s location, it echoed several times. I sat bolt upright.
The screams continued. I couldn’t even describe them with accuracy, but I can say that no human would ever make such a sound unless they were being brutalized to the point of lifelessness. My blood turned to ice. Then, I realized where the screams were coming from: the owner’s unit upstairs. I couldn’t leave the apartment without descending the veritable mountain it was perched on.
Because it was so late, there was no way to do so safely. I froze. The screams continued, interrupted only by loud bangs that sounded like someone getting thrown against the wall before crumpling to the floor. Besides the fact the owner was a large man, I couldn’t go upstairs without facing his territorial dogs. Not knowing what else to do, I called campus security.
They offered to come out but didn’t know how to find me (roads in that area are often unnamed and, if they do have names, few know them). I gave him enough direction to get him to the nearby marina and I held my breath as I flickered the porch lights of my apartment. A feeling of relief swept over me as I saw him make the turn on the dirt road that would bring him to the building.
The security officer tried to get to the upstairs apartment door but he was blocked by the dogs. The woman’s screams still continued as barking dogs joined in, each echoing individually off the low mountains. Also not knowing what to do, the officer called for backup. We repeated the process of flickering the porch lights and the security officer went to speak to the authorities.
I stayed on my apartment’s level, not daring to be seen by the owner. The officers then yelled at the owner’s door but were almost—if not entirely—drowned out by barks and screams. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the screams stopped. The dogs quieted. I heard the front door upstairs open and a brief muted exchange. I saw the officer speak again with campus security, who then returned to me.
He said, “The owner said his wife just found out her mother had passed and was just upset over the news.” I asked if either of them had seen the woman. They had asked but were told, “She’s too upset to be seen right now.” Both the security officer and I knew there was something fishy going on. We had both heard the screams, the disturbing sounds from upstairs.
The fact the woman was “unavailable” sealed it. He said, in a normal tone, that the officers would stay outside to “monitor the property” for the rest of the night, then he leaned in to whisper, “Leave. He knows [it’s you]. The officers, they can do nothing.” I called a cab and told the driver to park a certain distance away from the apartment building.
The security officer and cabbie helped me quickly load up my items. I offered them whatever food was there and they split it for their families. I went to a nearby hotel until the airport opened, then caught the first flight home.
22. Flight Fright
I was flying to India and we had just stopped in Germany. I was 14 and sitting next to this old guy who I thought was asleep the whole time. I shook him because we landed and he was kind of laying on me, but he gave no response. I was an unaccompanied minor, so when the stewardess came to get me, she looked at him, checked his pulse, and then everyone was ordered to stay where they were, including me.
The paramedics came and declared him dead, and I never knew for how long. I had never seen a body up close before and I was surprised at the time. I thought he would smell of something rotten or would make a noise beforehand. To this day, I always think if I had noticed him earlier, I could have helped him somehow; or at least caught him when he started dozing off.
He had laid on my shoulders for eight hours, and I fell asleep during that flight as well, so there was a good chance I used his head as a pillow while I slept. Creepy, but that’s life.
23. Brutality Upfront
When I was seven years old, my parents were going through a very tough time. They decided to split up for a while because my mom was going through a crazy partying phase. She got custody. I was too young to understand what was going on, but I hated my father (though we’re best friends now and my parents have been back together for years). My mom was just too young when they first got together.
One night, when my mother went out drinking with friends, she left me at home with my 12-year-old sister. We lived in an extremely bad neighborhood and apartment complex that was full of bad characters. I was playing Warlock on the Sega Genesis when I started hearing yelling outside. We had a double glass door facing the porch area that connected the apartments. We got up to look out the window and saw a white officer talking to a black man.
The black man pulled out a bag of something and consumed its contents. The officer instantly took his baton and hit him across the face. It knocked the guy to the ground and the officer proceeded to bash his skull into the concrete. After a minute or so, the officer stopped and called for an ambulance. He killed that man for swallowing a bag of an illicit substance.
My sister was on the local news the next day explaining what happened, but no one believed us. Even though there was blood all over the concrete, the officer claimed he choked after swallowing the bag. It’s one reason why I will never trust officers who I don’t know on a personal level.
24. The Unimaginable
I was in London with my dad when I was quite young, walking to a tube station to get home that night. I remember seeing a girl who must have been maybe nine or ten years old covered in scrapes and bruises. Clearly, something horrific had just happened to her. I could see scabs on her face and hands, asking people for help.
She was wearing a green tracksuit and pajamas, and she was thin with short brown hair. I don’t think my dad saw her, but I locked eyes with her as my dad pulled me along. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it—I’ve seen car crashes and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a corpse, but that was the thing I remember the most.
25. The Demon Bird
It happened when I got home from school one afternoon. I had gotten home early and no one else was there. My dog had just had puppies—my mother breeds King Charles spaniels—and what I found was the most horrendous thing I’ve seen to this day. We had a parrot at the time who was a total jerk. It was basically super territorial and he decided to attack the puppies.
I’m not going to go into the gory details. Out of the five, there were only two left and they had to be put down. The smell though was the worst—it was freaking awful and I’ll never forget it.
26. Flash Warning
When I was 13, my friends and I were hanging around town like usual. We went to the park first in the morning. We saw a man who looked to be in his forties. He was wearing a hood and he had a long beard, as well as a can in his hands. At one point, he got up and started walking towards us, so we ran. Later on, we were taking a shortcut through the library’s car park to go to McDonald’s and we saw the same guy standing by some bushes, staring directly at us.
Two of my friends, both girls, started dancing for some reason (they hadn’t seen him; it was only me who saw him). I told my best friend Walter that he was watching us and we tried to get everyone else to hurry up. Walter turned around to check on everyone and he saw the guy right behind us. His fly was undone and he was just flashing us. We ran as fast as we could. We didn’t see him anymore after that.
27. Out Of Mind
When I was in primary school, at six or seven years old, I was lined up waiting for the bus to arrive. One of my classmates was tossing a ball up in the air and catching it, but at one point, she missed the catch and ran after the ball. No one expected what happened next. She was struck by the bus that was coming to pick us up. The front-wheel crushed her skull.
This happened about 10 feet from me. I saw her brain literally pop out of her head. The driver crawled under the bus and held the girl’s hand until the paramedics came. What was messed up is that no teachers came by to remove us from the scene until another bus came to take us home. I have no idea what happened to the driver, but I can’t even begin to think how she felt.
28. Gas Station Situation
Coming back from spring break in Key West Florida, the group I was traveling with had to stop in North Miami at 2 am for gas. Keep in mind that we were all blazed out of our skulls at that time. We got off the interstate and stopped at some sketchy gas station. Some of the guys went in, while the others went to the bathroom on the side of the building.
While inside, I got this really weird, uncomfortable feeling. Everyone in the store was making eye contact with us but not saying anything. Not a single word. You could hear a pin drop. I gave my friend ahead of me in line some money to pay for my food. I had to get out of that store as there were too many creepy vibes. The second I walked out, a lady started screaming at the top of her lungs.
A huge black guy with no shirt on started beating her through her car window. He was punching her right in the face, as hard as Mike Tyson would. She eventually got her car in drive and started to take off. The crazy guy hung on and was dragged down the street for about 50 yards. He eventually pulled the door off its hinges, and the lady drove off.
We were all standing there, watching this huge, crazy guy walk back towards the gas station, covered in blood, carrying a car door on his shoulder. We all jumped in the truck and took off. About a mile down the road, 15 law enforcement cars flew past us. No one said a word in the truck for the next hour or so. We were all trying to wrap our heads around what we had just seen.
29. Blood On Their Hands
I was a member of one of the first classes at UC Merced. Basically, they built a brand new campus in the middle of nowhere, so the only roads to the school were two, two-lane roads. They were the kind of roads that are straight and flat for miles but have no streetlights. My friends and I were driving back to campus late one night after getting some fast food and we saw another car, probably about two miles away, coming towards us with their lights on.
When the cars saw our lights, they turned their lights back to normal. I wish they never did that. Our two cars were getting closer and closer together. When the car coming toward us was about 10 feet away (both of our cars were traveling at approximately 50 mph) I saw the shadow of a figure directly in front of their car.
In a split second, we heard this thickening crunch. It happened so fast that we were all just in shock. I pulled over and we found out that the other car full of college kids had just hit some guy who was walking down a pitch-black highway.
30. Slowly Decaying
Three years ago, I was at work and it was a really slow day. I was walking around our parking lot to make sure nothing was suspicious (I work at an airport) and it’s really not uncommon for people to park like jerks and to leave their cars for extended periods of time. While walking about, I noticed a PT Cruiser kind of parked funny.
Peeking inside, I could see that it was a total mess. But then something caught my attention. It was the sight of what appeared to be long hair under a blanket. I initially thought it to be a dog, but I later found out that it was an older woman who had taken her own life. Apparently, she had been there for four months, and only her hair nails and some skin remained intact.
The authorities were contacted, but because of the company I work for, I was chosen to remain on the scene and watch her being pulled out. It was disgusting.
31. A Reason To Quit
My dad was a first responder when he was in his 20s for a while, and this incident made him quit. He was called to the scene of a motorcycle accident. The guy on the motorcycle was following a large truck, so he couldn’t see around it. When he went to pass it, he instantly hit an oncoming car. The guy went flying over the car, and for lack of a better word, he was splattered all over the road.
They declared him dead on the scene. The worst part was that the woman who hit him (it wasn’t her fault at all) had two toddlers in the back—they were all fine, thankfully, but their car was totaled. When the woman’s husband arrived, he started screaming at her about totaling the car and how expensive it was going to be to get a new one, with insurance and all that stuff.
The jerk never once asked if his wife or kids were alright. It infuriated my dad, and after seeing the motorcycle guy’s body and the jerk yelling at his wife, my dad quit the next day.
32. Child’s Play
I was born in South Africa when the apartheid was ending and I had a best friend who was older than me. Because of all the messed-up stuff and happening in the nation, there were dead bodies on pretty much every construction site around. I was young, maybe about seven years old, so I didn’t understand it much. At one point, we stumbled upon a few bodies, and out of boredom, we would mess around with them.
They were all pretty fresh. The construction people would clear them away eventually, but early in the morning, they were there. The things we’d do for fun were horrific. I didn’t know any better, but I knew to keep our behavior between me and my friend. Then, we left South Africa and I just pretended like it never happened.
Nothing shocks me anymore because running around collecting eyeballs and popping people’s heads in when you are young kind of desensitizes you to everything.
33. You Think You Know Someone…
One of my co-workers told me this story. She told me that when she was younger, she was part of a church youth group. They would occasionally take trips and stuff. Well, one of the guys who always went with them was one of her neighbors and he was about 10 years older than the other kids. On one particular trip, they were staying in this hotel, and she and her two friends decided to go hang out in his room for a little while.
She said something didn’t seem right when they went in. The bathtub was full of water, and he was wearing a shirt that he had clearly cut the sleeves off of. She said he was also acting kind of strange. She kept trying to get her two friends to leave with her, but they kept saying no. They insisted that nothing was wrong. Eventually, she convinced them to leave with her. Later, they found out the disturbing truth about him.
Fast forward a week later—the same guy brutally took some girl’s life. He also confessed that he was planning on doing the same thing to one of those three girls the weekend before if any of them had come alone.
34. Battle Remnants
I had been in Iraq for four months of a 15-month deployment. Up until that point, the deployment had been relatively quiet, as far as a combat deployment goes. We had been mortared regularly for a brief period during Ramadan, but at that point, things had quieted down. I had become desensitized to the “pok-pok-pok” of distant gunfire, the smell of burning metal, and the constant deep thuds of helicopter flybys.
My shop was located in the motor pool, where all the vehicle maintenance was done. We would regularly get vehicles brought in that had bullet marks on the sides of them—some trite inspection would be performed, perhaps a window replaced, and the truck would be given the clear to go back on mission. On one particular day, an HMMWV was towed into the bay that was suffering from more than minor combat damage.
One of the huge, 300-pound doors had been warped and charred by a projectile, akin to the blackened leftovers of a slab of wood with steel supports burned in a bonfire. What really got me was the smell. I could smell the inside of this vehicle from across the bay. Usually, the HMMWV’s in Iraq reek of sweat, oil, and dust.
That smell was still there but it was being usurped by a more pungent smell. The inside of this vehicle was completely soaked in blood. There were two inches of it pooled in the footwells. The windows, one and a quarter-inch thick bulletproof glass were cracked and splattered with blood, and there were clear handprints, smears on the doors where the driver had been wrestling with the hefty door to push it open.
I had never seen that much blood. It was leaking through small screws in the floor of the vehicle, dripping onto the floor, like the truck was actually bleeding everywhere. I remember standing there and staring at the inside of this truck, and the smell was just brutal. That thick coppery smell, combined with the smell of hot metal, the sharp bite of gunpowder residue, the foul stink of sweat, the dull tinge of motor oil.
The smell was making me sick. I could taste it like I had bit my tongue and was bleeding all over my mouth. I’ve never been disturbed by the sight of blood, but the sheer quantity here was baffling to me. It was almost impossible for me to comprehend what I was looking at. I kept thinking, “There’s no way, that’s just too much blood.”
Apparently, the driver, passenger, and one of the men in the back had all been hit with shrapnel. Two had lost their lives instantly, while the driver bled out over the course of a couple of minutes. I walked away from the truck as two mechanics got hoses and began to wash the blood out. I spent an hour sitting in my shop, quietly evaluating my life.
35. Seeing Red
When I was 16, some friends and I decided to go for a drive because we had just gotten our licenses. We headed up to a local canyon but on the way there, we came to the scene of a motorcycle crash seconds after it had happened. A car had apparently run a red light at roughly 50 mph and clipped a motorcycle traveling through the intersection.
The driver of the car was just getting out of the car, crying frantically. A friend and I walked up to the man lying in the road because we had some minor first aid training. The man was laying on his back and his breathing was slow and visibly difficult. Blood was coming out of his nose, mouth, and ears and I remember hearing a gurgling sound when he breathed.
Only now does it occur to me that he may have been drowning in his own blood. The fire department was a few blocks away, so they arrived before we could do anything, not that we would have tried. This situation was obviously way more than we could handle. Once the situation was under the control of the authorities and the fire department we set out again for our drive up the canyon.
We drove for maybe two hours but nobody said a word. We just sat in silence. We found out later that the driver of the car was tipsy. The man driving the motorcycle, an off-duty officer, passed a few hours after being airlifted to a hospital. That gurgling sound has stayed with me ever since. I can still hear it and I can still see his face covered in thick coagulating blood that almost looked fake.
When I was about 16, my cat didn’t come home for a couple of days. At the time, we lived on about two acres of farmland, and our abutting neighbors had another 12 acres. Needless to say, there was a lot of empty space. I went out to look for the cat, and my neighbor’s kid came out to help me look. He was about seven years old at the time.
I really believed we would find the spunky cat hunched over a mouse or something. Instead, I heard the neighbor kid say, “Uhh….what color did you say the cat was?” We found one black leg with a white paw. I went nuts, and the poor kid just patted my back.
37. Surprise On Landing
I was on an international flight (from Germany to the United States) and upon landing, the flight attendant was unable to wake the lady in the seat directly behind me. They called the paramedics, but it was obvious that she was gone. I also heard them say, “She’s not responding.” They made us all get off the plane so they could remove the body. Perhaps not creepy, but more of a “Did that really just happen?” type moment for me.
38. Last Breath
I was a lifeguard at a pool where a little kid drowned this summer. We did everything we could, but we couldn’t revive the kid. The CPR made his stomach become incredibly bloated. His legs were also twitching and his eyes were bloodshot. I have nightmares where I look down and see my own feet twitching like that.
39. No Remorse
This story is about my mom when she was around 10 years old. There was a large earthquake in Nicaragua which resulted in thousands of casualties. She managed to get out of the rubble and she just sat on the curb. Her next-door neighbor’s body was taken from her house and dumped on the curb next to my mom. The most traumatizing thing for her though, was when these guys started stealing a woman’s jewelry and cutting her fingers to get to her rings.
40. Parkour Gone Wrong
I witnessed the aftermath of an accidental 18-story fall. I turned the street corner and thud! The sound sticks with me just as much as the visual of seeing the person literally folded in half. His face was purple. His friends were screaming from the balcony. Apparently, he was tipsy and tried to hop between two balconies.
41. Burned In The Brain
I watched my mother die of complications from pneumonia shortly after having a gastric bypass. It was at a friend’s house, mowing the lawn when I saw an ambulance scream past. Somehow, I immediately knew it was headed to my house. I left the lawnmower running in the middle of the yard and sprinted home. I arrived in time to see three paramedics giving my mom CPR.
I saw my mom’s body convulse, and then it was over. It’s been over 25 years since that dreadful day. I still sometimes get the occasional nightmare of this horrific experience.
42. Swept Under
More traumatic than creepy, but I saw the immediate aftermath of a kid getting run over by a school bus that was next to the one I was on. It happened on a cold morning and there was steam coming off the body. I remember the scene so clearly, with his lifeless body and the spilled lunch box. This is why they have sweeper bars on the front of buses now—to make sure kids walk far enough in front of the bus that the driver can see them.
I have a young daughter and these are the things that keep me up at night.
43. Black Ice
I was driving to an out-of-state funeral with my older sister early one morning in late December. As we drove on the nearly empty I-95, we came around a corner that was a little slick with ice, so we slowed down. We later came to find that around that corner, there was a huge wreck—A Jeep had rolled and smashed into the guard rail.
The young man (who was 16) had been thrown from the car about 20 feet, and a blood-soaked sheet covered some of the body. You could still see his bloody socks and jeans, though. We slowed down just because of the initial shock. Then, we saw this guy (who we later learned was the kid’s dad on the news) pulling his car over on the opposite side of the highway, and sprinting with this look of terror and anger towards the body.
We had stopped the car at that point so he could run past, and the officers stopped him. He just broke down screaming. We couldn’t hear him because the windows were closed but it was even creepier seeing this go on silently. So we continued to drive, and then we saw the kid’s shoes in the middle of the road. Brand new green Nikes, just a few feet from apart from each other.
We accidentally ran over one, and the thud sound just broke my heart. The kid was 16. It still bothers me to this day.
44. The Undeserving Mom
When I was 11 years old, my mom and my stepfather were drinking a lot and they started arguing. He told her it was over and he left the house. I was sitting at the kitchen table eating a snack. She walked in, grabbed a steak knife from a drawer, and cut herself right in front of me. While I freaked out and attempted to bandage her with a towel, she went on about how lousy and worthless I was.
45. The Worst Kind
I work at an emergency vet clinic. We see messed-up things all the time, so we got desensitized after a while. There are some things, however, that really stuck with us. I was working the front desk one night, and it was about 3 am. Nothing was going on, until at one point, I saw a car fly into the lot. The driver almost drove through our front bay window.
An older lady got out of the vehicle and came running in, screaming hysterically and holding something wrapped in a towel, dripping blood. She came up to the counter, set it down, and unwrapped it. It was a young kitten cut completely in half. It was absolutely the most disturbing thing I’d ever seen at work. My doctor on staff and I calmed her down as best as we could and we drove her home.
The next day, we got in touch with her again—turns out, her tipsy husband got upset at her and took her kitten’s life in an act of rage. He was charged for animal cruelty and was put behind bars.
46. Lake “Eerie”
One year, my family and I went to Lake Erie for a mini staycation. We were swimming in the water when I felt something touch my leg. I just assumed it was seaweed or a fish. Then, my stepfather felt something touch his leg. I was underwater briefly when he felt it touch him, so he looked at me when I came up. His eyes were wide and afraid.
He asked me if it was me and I assured him it wasn’t. When we searched the water, we came across a grisly sight. It was a body. He was holding my three-year-old little brother when we discovered it. We were maybe four feet deep at the time and I was struggling to swim. With his right arm, he held my little brother, and with his left arm, he unsubmerged the body of a seven-year-old boy from the darkness of the Great Lakes.
He had faced my little brother away so he wasn’t subjected to the sight. He carried them both about 30 to 40 feet to shore before screaming for my mother to come and take my little brother. It was horrific—and then it got worse. Moments later, the boy’s family came running towards us. I will never forget the screams of the mother who had left the responsibility with her 17-year-old son to take care of his little brother.
There was a nearby nurse who performed CPR but to no avail. His brother lost sight of him only 15 minutes earlier. His mother started beating the heck out of him while she was crying and screaming in Spanish. It was in the newspaper and although it matters little, the lifeguards on the beach were given full credit for recovering the boy, while my stepfather was not mentioned.
I was 13 on that day and will never forget the little boy or the sounds of his mother. Just writing this made my eyes swell.
47. The Sea Slug
This was pretty weird for me. My mom used to take me and my brother to the beach every summer for a week. Well, one year, we were walking along the beach and we got pretty far. It was at a point where the beach got kind of desolate. While exploring the empty area, we saw something lying in the sand. My mom just said it was a sea slug or some kind of worm from the ocean and I bought it.
Well, a few years later, I realized my mom was just trying to protect me from a dark truth. I remember the day when I had the sudden bout of clarity, thinking to myself: “That was no worm! That was a man’s private parts!” Yes, someone had cut off a man’s “appendage” and it somehow ended up on a beach on the East Coast.
48. A Bad Decision
When I was like 12 or 13, my brother and I used to ride our bikes for hours in the afternoon after we finished our homework. It was a dreamy life—we lived in a small town in Mexico and there were a lot of places where we could explore (a creek, some hills, caves, other small towns a mile or two away, etc.).
One day, my mom came home kind of sad from work. She used to work as a secretary at the local high school. Apparently, her best friend, another secretary at the school, had a father with Alzheimer’s and he had just gone missing the previous night. He probably went outside, wandered into the nearby woods, and forgot his way back home.
Days passed and my mom’s friend had to take time off work to look for her father. Her mother had passed away a few years prior, and she only lived with her father, so it was a particularly depressing time for her. She organized some searches in the woods with people from the town. A couple of weeks passed but there were still no signs of the dad.
Then, one afternoon, and my brother and I were riding our bikes on some fields near the creek, and we stopped to drink some water from our bottles. We stayed there for a few minutes, discussing if we should get back or not, as it was getting darker. Then, the smell…it hit suddenly when the winds changed direction. We thought it was a dead raccoon or something, so we set out to look for it.
And there it was, in the middle of a puddle—a body. I still, to this day, wonder why didn’t we throw up at the combined sight and smell. We obviously got the heck out of there, pedaling as fast as we could. We did not tell anyone that night. The next day, we realized we had to do something about it. We should tell our mom, the authorities… anybody. But we didn’t.
We went back for some reason, thinking we needed confirmation that there was a corpse in the fields. After we got our answer, we stayed there for 10 minutes or so, discussing what should we do next. What we ended up doing was not the most logical thing…heck, I still don’t know why we did what we did. We gathered some stones and positioned them on the dirt road, forming an arrow that point to the corpse. We don’t know who found it, but the next day, my mom came back from work crying: “They found it, they found my friend’s dad…dead.
They say somebody killed him and left an arrow pointing at the body.” That’s when my blood ran cold. “I know sweetheart, I know how you feel; he was a good guy. My poor co-worker, she must be hurting so much…” I didn’t know what to say. My brother was not there when I had that talk with my mom. If he were, he would have probably said something.
As soon as I saw him, I made him promise over our mom and dad’s life that as long as we lived, we would not say anything to anyone. I don’t know what the final conclusion on the case was, but it was the talk of the town for months to come. I felt terrible every time I overheard any conversation about the guy.
49. A Desperate Escape
This really freaked me out when it happened. Four years ago, when I was in high school, I used to exercise in the basement of my house, which was connected to the garage because my house is built into the side of a hill. Anyway, I was exercising when I heard this loud clicking noise coming from the garage. I had no idea what it was—it was like 10 pm and everyone else was either asleep or in their bedroom on the other side of the house.
I opened the door to the garage and I couldn’t even comprehend what I was looking at. A bat had gotten its wing stuck to some fly tape and the clicking sound was coming from its teeth gnashing against its bone. It was trying to bite off its arm. The clicking was so loud.