Nobody goes out in search of unsavory situations, but sometimes, they’re unavoidable. Sometimes you can just feel them coming on—a tinge in the air, telling you that everything is about to go horribly wrong. That’s when you know it’s time to push that FOMO to the curb, follow your gut, and get outta dodge. These Redditors all had that thought cross their minds: "I need to go." They got out of bad situations right in the nick of time, often before all chaos broke loose. It just goes to show that you should always trust your gut. It could be the difference between life, and a tragic end.
1. No Thanks Out of 10
I was visiting a 58-year-old Jewish lady, who had been kind to me for many years. I was in her apartment, drinking tea, when she excuses herself to the bathroom. Comes back out undressed, smiles, and says, "What do you think?"
2. Professionals Only
I was visiting Kowloon in Hong Kong, I ended up walking all day until my feet were killing me. It got dark outside and I was tired, so I decided to drop by a decent looking bar for a drink and a moment to rest my feet. It was all empty except a group of serious-looking local men in suits. They kept leering at me the whole time.
It was the most awkward beer I’ve ever had. None of them said a word, but I got the message: "You're not supposed to be here."
3. The Archery Kid
A guy sitting next to me at university was assembling a freaking crossbow. I got out of there fast
4. Not My Woodstock
Woodstock ‘99. Felt the energy of the grossly over-packed crowd, the building rage, and looked at my friends and said, “We need to go.” They stayed, I left. Shortly after, fires and riots started and my friends lost everything they had with them. Tents, clothes, food, everything. When you have 300k people shoulder to shoulder in 104° humidity, charge $4.00 for a bottle of water, and have half as many bathrooms as needed, you're gonna have a bad time.
5. Gotta Go FAST
Grocery shopping with my grandma. She’s tired (normal for her) but she’s getting a bit slower and dragging her leg more than usual. At the checkout counter, I saw her face was a little droopy and I said we are leaving now and going to ER. They gave her a bottle of water for the car ride, which she ended up choking on, vomiting up all the water.
I called ahead to the ER so they were ready and they took care of her ASAP. She was having a stroke and they were able to help her quickly enough so that she didn’t have any long-lasting issues.
6. Drinking Alone Tonight
I went to a sketchy party. It was in a building that's pretty obviously recently abandoned. No one checked my ID, and the "bar" was a coffee table full of 2-liters and fifths. Eh, whatever, I'm over 21 and this is more fun than the stupid club. I did, however, kinda move towards the back. Saw a lot of guys with six-packs of beer, and just a lot more people in general.
Music is getting cranked up, kids are getting crunk. I figure if no one's gonna stop me, I'm going to grab a six-pack at the party store, and if the party chills back out, I can hang around, and if it sucks I can drink it at home. I found a store down the block, got some beers, and came back to see 20+ cop cars surrounding the place. Drank the beers at home.
7. Not That Desperate
I went to meet up with a guy I'd been chatting to. I arrived at his house, which was very rundown. He was wearing dirty clothes. For some reason, I followed him inside. The house was filthy and smelled like wet cat. He took me into his room, which was just as grubby. He went to kiss me, and I noticed the spit in his beard. I pointed it out and he laughed it off, wiping it away.
For some reason, I still didn't leave. I kissed him and he pulled down his pants. I looked up to the ceiling and saw a spider web full of spiders. "I... have to go away from here," I said, and I did. Ran back to my car, leaving him there stunned.
8. Knife-y Vibes
I was 15/16 at a house party with my good friend, another girl. There were some gatecrashers who turned up—which weren’t unusual at London house parties—but these guys were older, and there was just a vibe. This girl I vaguely knew, who was very drunk, was being surrounded by them. I asked her if she was okay and she told me to, “Screw off, I’m fine.”
I looked at my friend and said to her, “I’m gonna call my mum and dad to come get me, do you want a lift?” My parents were always amazing and said to me that if I was at a party or out for ANY reason and didn’t want to be I could call them and they would come and get me. My parents turned up, coats on over pajamas, and took us both home. Apparently, half an hour after we left, someone was knifed, the girl we had asked earlier was assaulted, and lots of stuff was stolen.
People were beaten up and held at knifepoint. I had such an eerie feeling there that I’d hardly ever felt before or since, and KNEW we needed to not be there.
9. No Thanks
When I was 15, a friend and I went for a lot of walks around town (small town, around 5-6k people). We were going to the cyber cafe in town to meet a few friends and we often took different streets to get places, just to keep it interesting. We were about to go to Main Street off one of the side streets and a man on a bicycle approached us.
He got off his bike, and asked us a couple of small talk questions. Something didn’t seem right about him, he was probably mid-40s. We both kept inching away but didn’t want to come off as too rude, so we answered about the weather or traffic. Then he paused and we said we had to go, and he said (and I’ll never forget it), “You look so young, I don’t want to get in trouble, but I need to touch someone. I just need to touch you. You should come with me.” And he started rambling.
I just felt terror, couldn’t even speak. I grabbed my friend’s hand and turned. We sprinted the rest of the way to the cafe and as soon as we were inside, we asked to use the phone. I called my mom to pick us up while my friend told the worker what happened and what the guy looked like. A month later I got my first cell phone.
10. Through the Fire and the Flames
About two months ago I stayed up past my usual bedtime. As soon as I got in bed I smelled something odd and was hearing some inconsistent banging and clattering from downstairs. I don’t live in a great neighborhood, so none of this was unusual, but I got out of bed to check anyway and saw flames licking up the side of the building.
I yelled at my wife to get out of bed, threw on some clothes, and we high-tailed it out. Our building has a shared wall with the next and that one had an apartment on the ground floor fully engulfed by the time we made it outside. They ended up condemning the whole building. I was the first one to call 9-1-1. I have been jerking myself awake in the night pretty consistently since then.
11. Be My Friend?
It was in the late 80s, in high school, cruising around with friends. We get out of the city, cruising country roads and drinking beer when we see a nice pull-off gravel area, which was partially hidden from the main road. Aha! Let's pull off here and do some beer bongs. So, we throw down a blanket and one of us is on our knees while another pours a beer when we suddenly hear the very distinct sound of a piece being cocked and someone saying, "Freeze!"
Needless to say, we froze and I nearly peed my pants when I turned to see a large Deliverance-looking dude with a shotgun pointed right at us. He asks what we are doing, we point to the beer and tell him the story. He says we are on his property and he has the right to shoot us—he thought we were trying to take the gas out of his 18-wheeler, which was parked down the road.
We apologize profusely, but he makes us give him our identification anyway. This is where it actually gets crazy. Then he takes us to his house—AND STARTS GIVING US BEER. He suddenly shifts into a nice (but still very, very creepy) guy and tells us that anytime we want to come over and hang out, we're welcome. In fact, he says, he'll leave the back door unlocked and we can just hang out on his covered back porch while he's on the road.
We entertained him just long enough to get our IDs back and then we got the heck out of there as fast as possible, never, ever, ever to return.
New Year’s Eve in Moscow. I, a dark-haired brown man, was drinking with my S.O., a blonde white woman, in a bar getting friendly with some locals who tried their best to speak English. So friendly that one of them gave us a matryoshka doll that he was going to give to his mother later that night. They seemed a little too friendly, and maybe they just were, but at one point I went to order more drinks and the bartender—who had been watching and serving us—gave me a stern look and said, “You should leave... now”.
I found this a little strange and unexpected so naturally tried to question what he meant, but his face was drop-dead serious. He looked at the friendly group, then at my girlfriend, then to me and repeated his words. I didn’t really want to take any chances in Russia and wanted to see another bar anyway, so I grabbed my girl, the doll, and promptly left.
13. There’s No Escaping Bootleg Santa
I did a summer abroad in Hong Kong when I was 20. One day, my internship boss forced me and my coworker (a hot girl from my abroad program) to go with her to mainland China to a counterfeit mall. I had just bought a modded PS2 there and wanted to load up on cheap games (you could get them from $1-3 a pop) and bootleg DVDs, so I took her advice and asked around.
One shop told me they sell those, so I stepped in. Within three seconds, they slammed the metal gated doors down and it was just me and the two sellers stuck in the store. I was a 20-year-old white American dude who didn't speak any Chinese beyond a couple of lines I used to pick up women. It was the scariest moment of my life.
The dude then yells and (I kid you not) a ceiling panel opens with a dude dropping a sack of bootleg games and movies to the seller in front of me. Dude acted like he was freaking Chinese bootleg Santa Claus. The craziest part of all? I still haggled with the guy to sell me eight bootleg movies for the equivalent of $2 American.
Looking back, that was the part I could not most believe.
14. Too Much Padding
I was in Mexico City with family including two daughters. I grabbed a cab on the street around 10:00 PM to take us back to the hotel. I was somewhat familiar with the area since we had been there four or five days already. Cabbie totally passes the hotel district and starts heading away from the part of town we were in. Streets were getting more and more residential.
I demanded that he pull over and we GTFO and walked back to the hotel, probably three or four miles. He was probably just padding the fare, but I was not going to take a chance on being kidnapped, so we flew.
15. None of My Business
I was around at a friend’s place a few years back, just having a few beers, and his girlfriend at the time comes running in, screaming at him saying that her friend had found his online dating profile, calling him a cheating jerk, etc. Yeah, I got out of there fast.
16. Just Plane Lucky
My dad saw the plane jolt in the air, and he realized that something went wrong and started running and yelling at everyone else to run. I was sitting on his shoulders, so he just took off with me. The plane crashed into the crowd killing 77 people, 35 or so children among them. Not us.
17. Lion in Wait
I was on a date with a girl, hiking a trail system that I knew like the back of my hand. Something felt weird but I shook it. We went in around sunset. We were going to swim in one of the deep pools in the creek. Maybe two miles into the trail I get the feeling again, and she's talking her head off, but I was just listening to everything around me. I told her to stop talking, and she looked at me very concerned. I just put my finger to my lips and listened. I heard something familiar, but I couldn't place it.
We never stopped walking. We came to the arroyo just before the creek pool, and I heard it again. By this time I knew. I told her we were going to walk to the clearing where the arroyo was at and turn around. She told me she heard something weird. As we came to the clearing, we stood there like statues, dead silent. Her nails cut my arm from gripping it so hard. Then around 15 feet from us, the biggest mountain lion I've ever seen crossed the clearing with two of its young.
She looked at us, and as our eyes met...my soul left my body. I felt her grip tighten around my arm even tighter. The lion stopped and so did her babies. I'm guessing she sized us up...and then just kept going. The babies kept turning around looking at us, but ultimately, they just slowly crossed the top of the hill and that was that.
We turned around and told everyone we saw on the way in that there were three mountain lions on the trail. They all turned around and left. That was the first time I was ever scared out in nature. I didn't have a piece on me, I had been there a hundred times. She told me the sound she heard was a deep purring, and that was what I kept hearing also, I just hadn't put it together.
18. Not My Problem
It was my first day on the job. We had just closed, and I went outside to take out the trash. As I opened the door I heard sobbing and saw my training manager crying with the store manager's arm around her shoulder. She says, "...and on top of it all I don't have my herpes medicine and I’m having the worst outbreak I have had in years."
I launched the trash bag toward the dumpster, literally nailing a 15-20 footer, while simultaneously sprinting back inside.
19. Never Help Anyone
I was in a mall in Indonesia and two tourists seemed to be having problems communicating with the cashier at a bookstore. I decided to help translate. They wanted to buy me drinks to thank me. I told them it’s not necessary and I have to get back to my mom soon. They told me to meet them for dinner. I told them I have to have dinner at home.
That's when it got weird. They told me to sneak out and meet them after dinner. At this point, a bookstore staff member noticed something was wrong and went up to question them. My sister and I dashed off while they were distracted. We continued wandering around the mall and realized they were following us. To see if we were just paranoid, we ducked into a lingerie store since we figured two men don’t usually need to go lingerie shopping together. They followed us in.
Ran so quickly back to the jewelry store our mom was at. The store had intimidating security guards and I guess that stopped them. I was 11, my sister was 10.
20. Mean Girls
Junior year of high school I was on the varsity softball team, starting either right field or third base. The thing is, I was the outcast; I ran track and was in better shape than the rest of them, so during conditioning, I was their enemy because my coach had the fantastic idea of making everyone run until I got tired.
Then they discovered I liked Battlestar Galactica and schoolwork and actually enjoyed the track, and they did everything they could to exclude me. Team bonding nights? They "forgot" to invite me. Three times. Prom night? The limo was full, but then a lot of people canceled and they didn't feel so bad because I'd found another group to go with.
The last straw was when I overheard their new game of seeing how many days in a row they could go without initiating conversation with me, and whether I'd give up on opening my stupid mouth. Yeah. At the end of the season, I told my coach I was done and wouldn't return for senior year. I actually really liked the guy and still talk to him when I visit my high school. But those girls made me hate everything about the sport.
I realized that when you're weird, it's usually fine and they can ignore you, or learn to love you. But when you're good at something and weird, it's like you're mocking everyone else, and nothing you can do will make them like you.
21. Last Exit
About a decade ago, I was driving my Miata with a friend to a track about four hours from home. We left after dinner the night before so we could wake up there and get an early start. About an hour from our destination, 11:00 PM, a crazy summer storm hits... heavy rain, high wind gusts, lots of debris. I told my buddy that early-90s windshield wipers couldn’t keep up, I couldn’t see anything, and I just felt like I was white-knuckling the steering wheel.
I decided to hit the exit, we’d get some late-night food at a waffle house and wait out the storm. We sat down and I had a TV in sight that I was casually watching. Almost immediately, a weather map came up and showed a tornado pass right over where we would’ve been a few minutes later had I not exited.
22. Bolting Like Lightning
In college, there was a big rock/cliff at the top of a hill that everybody used to climb. It had lights pointing at it to light it up at night. Some friends and I decided to climb up to the top at night. It was a nice evening but there was a chance of rain. So, we get to the top and I see lightning in the distance. I count the time between lightning and thunder... 15 seconds.
I tell my friends: Hey that storm is coming our way, and I'm guessing we have 15-20 minutes before it gets here. It took some convincing for them to agree that even though I was being a negative-Nancy we would head back down. Getting down took about 15 minutes. Just before we got to the cars, lightning hit the rock and blew out all the lights.
Everybody made it off the rock. When the lightning struck one of my friends said, “Don't say I told you so.”
23. Taking my Chances
I went to a friend’s house that I had slept over at a couple of times already. He left the room and I noticed something under his pillow. I lifted it to find a revolver (we were 12). Well, I stupidly picked it up to see if it was plastic, confirming that it was metal and reasonably heavy. I grabbed my stuff and told him I need to leave, but he stopped and told me it was a BB he spray painted black.
I stayed, but these days I question the truth of that situation.
24. The Winds of Regret
I was at a convention and was invited up to a room to party with a bunch of my friends. The room was packed, with almost no space to move. I was trying to get over to my friends to chill... when an older guy walked past. As he did, I felt a warm rush of air flow over my crotch. And then came the smell. He'd passed gas on me.
Worse, I felt it. I felt that rush of warmth. I immediately had to leave and go take a shower. Totally violated.
25. Wrong Place, Wrong Guest
I was home from college for a holiday weekend. A college friend was from the same town and he was home too. We were looking for something to do on Saturday night and heard that an old friend was having a party, so we decided to stop by. This old friend had developed new friends while we were gone. With many very visible, very offensive tattoos.
Did I mention that the friend I brought is definitely not a white guy? We got right out of there pretty quick.
Late afternoon in the summer, I'm waiting in the bus station near my house, most businesses are closed, not a lot of cars in the street. Guy passes in front of me, he passes again two minutes later watching me suspiciously. Alarms start to go in my head, screaming to me that I need to leave and get the heck out of here, but I ignore it since the bus will come in ten minutes.
The third time he passes he charges to me, pushing me to the wall with his member out. I freeze for some seconds then start punching and kicking him. I manage to get away and the rest is history...Yeah, trust your guts, guys.
27. Candy Can’t
It was an OkCupid first date. The date started out in a somewhat cute manner. He decided we'd each write down five things and go on a visual scavenger hunt while walking around the city. It was getting close to Christmas time so most of our things were Christmas-related/decorations. He was having trouble finding a giant candy cane.
His solution was to walk me into a club looking for a dancer named "Candy Cane." Who exactly walks a girl into a club like this on the first date?! Mind you, this was about 30 minutes after we discussed how important his ex-wife still is and three minutes after he "jokingly" pinned me against a wall because he really wanted to kiss me (he got no kiss).
Good thing he was too cheap to pay the cover at the club, so I immediately initiated my exit strategy and got the heck out of there.
28. Heavy Accusations
My friends and I stopped at a 7-11 around midnight in a sketchy neighborhood—we'd taken a wrong turn and were trying to find our way back to the highway. Two uniformed officers were getting coffee and donuts. A group of local youths came in, kind of roughly messing with each other. The authorities looked at them, looked at us, looked at each other, and power-walked out of the store.
My friends and I decided not to complete our snack food purchases and went to leave—and then one of the youths yelled to his friends that we'd called him a name when we hadn't even spoken to them. I'm glad my car started on the first try, and glad no one was coming the other way as I ran a couple of stop signs.
29. Gas-Powered Trains
I had to build a 1:50 scale model of a house I was designing for arch school and thought it would be a good idea to check out a model train store for materials. So my classmate and I were browsing the store when we decided to separate to make our search more efficient. As I am checking out the grass felts, this old dude with a walker trudges past me.
All of a sudden, he lets passes the saltiest wet gas I've ever heard. It actually seemed to oscillate with each slow step he took, and it lasted about 15 seconds. The dude wasn't even phased by his brown symphony; I was completely stunned. It got to the point where I had to drop everything I was looking at and get the heck out because I was teary-eyed and on the brink of erupting with laughter.
I briskly made my way to the opposite end of the store where I found my classmate, who was laughing his butt off because he saw the whole situation unfold from afar.
30. Cows Never Forget
I was hiking with two friends and we were crossing through some big farms. One of the fenced-off areas had a herd of cows in it. They had like, 20 calves and 150 cows. As we were walking through, they slowly ganged up on us from behind and literally encircled us, facing inwards while standing next to each other.
I think they surrounded us by like 300 degrees before we realized what was happening and freaking ran for our lives the last 50m to the edge of the fenced area. I think the opening between the two ends of the open circle was like 20m and they were like 20m away from us. That was pretty insane tbh, I will never forget it.
I learned to differentiate between the behavior of one creature as opposed to a herd. It blew my mind how they all worked together in silence. I have never experienced physical fear like in that moment. When we hopped the fence, they followed us to the edge. There was one black bull in particular who didn't seem to like that we got away. I always assumed he was the leader.
31. If It’s Snowing, I’m Going
So, it's January of 2014, Southeast US. It's a workday. News has been talking about a chance of snow, but school isn't canceled, so off to work I go. Around 11:00 AM snow flurries start falling. There's talk that schools will be closing early. At 11:30 AM, I look out into the parking lot and suddenly see that the snow flurries are starting the stick to the asphalt
I tell my co-workers, "You should go, snow's going to get bad," and back up my words with action. I go home. Fast forward 24 hours, and you have 8,000 children stuck. My co-workers that stayed at work "just another hour" ended up trapped in cars overnight, or had other adventures.
32. The Worst Vibes
So, I was waiting at the train station to pick up a friend of mine. I was early so I decided to stand in the sun right outside of the station. A guy with a bicycle walked up to me asking in broken English if I knew how late the train would arrive. After I answered the question he stayed around and started talking to me.
Now I know that's not weird at all but the things he asked and the way he acted and looked just gave me a creepy vibe. Eventually, he asked if I would walk with him while he dropped his bicycle off. I didn't want to because the place to store bicycles at this station is very secluded and to be honest, I didn't want to be alone with this guy. So, I noped out and walked into the station.
He started yelling at me, calling me names, but at that moment the train came in and it got very busy. So, he left. A few months later I read this article in the local paper about a girl being assaulted at the station. They had put a drawing of a guy next to the article, as he was not yet caught. My blood ran cold. It was the same guy. To this day I'm very happy I didn't go with him.
33. A Little Harmless Destruction
A friend of mine was having issues with his two other roommates in their apartment on campus. We and some other friends go out for my 21st birthday and get pretty drunk. Friend receives text from roommate instructing him not to come back to the apartment tonight, or he'll fight us. In our drunken state, we gather up a bunch of people we met up with at the bar and go back to the apartment.
We find no one there. Friends decide to absolutely destroy the place. Knives and scissors were plunged into the wall, chairs strewn across the room, the foosball table somehow got broken in half. Someone brought a bicycle into the room and just threw it against the wall. My friend and I were sitting on the couch watching all of this unfold around us, unable to really do anything because we were so drunk.
He kept saying, "This is so messed up dude, we need to go.” We left. I haven't been back to that place since.
34. Explosive Squad of One
When I was about 16, I went to visit my grandmother at her place. The smell of natural gas was intense, even though Nana didn't seem to notice it much. She was groggy—sort of half-asleep—not her usual responsive self. So, I made her get out of the house at once and opened the windows and doors. I called Dad and he reported it to the gas company, who sent inspectors right away.
They shut off the gas (valve in the street) immediately and sent a repair crew to fix a leaking joint in the gas supply pipe. The inspector said that if I hadn't acted then and there, the probability was great that there would soon have been an explosion.
35. Teachers After Dark
I was in a school play when I was about 12/13. This was one of the rare opportunities I got to be in the school after it had closed so I took the chance to have a walk around the empty rooms while the other kids and teachers were all in the main hall. It was about 7:00 PM. At the back of the school was a bunch of temporary classrooms all in darkness so I wandered in.
The temp classrooms had a storeroom that joined the classrooms together, it was only small with nothing but the usual classroom equipment in. From out of this storeroom came my English teacher. Now, the class and storeroom are in darkness. I know I shouldn't be there and I'm pretty sure he shouldn't either. Strangely, he doesn't act at all surprised, and in fact, beckons me over and tells me he has something he wants to show me in the storeroom.
It all just felt wrong. As soon as he disappeared back into the storeroom I ran as fast as my legs could go.
36. How Do I Remove Blood Stains?
I used to drive for Lyft. April 2018, I picked up a young couple from a bar at about 1:30 AM. They were fairly chill and I figured it would be my last ride of the night. The dude asked me to stop at a corner store on the way to their destination so that he could get smokes. I didn’t see any harm in waiting, so I stopped and had a nice chat with the young woman while he was in the store.
He ended up being about five minutes since everyone was trying to get their pre-2:00 AM. beer. When he came out, he asked me to take him to a location that was in the opposite direction of their destination, but was only about a mile away. He said he wanted to meet some friends real quick and grab some beer. Since I figured it would be my last ride of the night, I said, “Screw it, why not,” and drove him over there.
Now, I know the town we live in fairly well, but the direction that we were coming from was not a way I was used to going when I would go to this location. So, when I turned onto the destination street, I missed the turn into the complex parking lot. I just came to a complete stop since the roads were empty and asked them if they just wanted me to park on the street or pull into the complex.
This is when the two of them started arguing, as he suddenly wanted to go in and hang out for a few minutes while she didn’t want to go in at all; she just wanted him to do his thing and get out of there so they could go home. And then something hit my car. The sound is unmistakable to me, so I immediately started to look around to figure out what it was. But there were no other cars on the road, so that couldn’t have been it.
Then I moved to the next thing on my mental checklist: if something didn’t hit me, then what did I hit? But that didn’t make any sense either as I’d been in park, and couldn’t have hit anything. It’s at this point that the young lady’s attitude completely changed. She just kinda looked around, and then said, “Can we just get out of here? It hurts and I want to go home.”
This was odd to me as she’d been sitting in my car for about 10 minutes at this point and hadn’t said a word about any kind of pain. What happened next was so disturbing I've never forgotten it. She followed this up with, “It hurts and I can’t move,” put her hand to her back, and pulled it out covered in blood. What. So, the guy starts freaking out, thinking that something in my trunk had exploded, but it was empty.
As he reached over to tend to her I noticed something white sticking out of the seat. This hadn’t been there at the beginning of the night, so I asked him what it was. He pulled on it; it was a piece of the filler fuzz from my seat. It came out of the hole that had been made in the seat. Because she’d been shot.
As soon he grabbed that fuzz we both had the same realization. He slammed the door shut and I drove them straight to the hospital, which was only a couple of miles away. That realization, and the follow-up realization of, “Oh, someone could still shoot you while you’re sitting here,” was one of the most terrifying things I’d ever experienced.
37. Horror Movie Nonsense
A friend and I were exploring an abandoned hospital, and the way it was set out was via a bunch of joined buildings. All the windows and doors were boarded up aside from one place where we could squeeze in past a loose board, and the layout meant that once we were in through there, we had access to pretty much the entire main building.
Obviously, it was darker than dark in there, and we had to remember which wing we'd come in from. We had flashlights so it wasn't too bad, but then we got to this room where there was a lot of cool stuff left behind (beds, filing cabinets, etc.) and we wanted to take pictures, so we turned the flashlights off so we could use the flash on the camera.
We did this for ten minutes or so, only seeing the room in the bright flash from the camera. Everything was cool—until we both slowly became aware of the noises. Usually, an abandoned building is pretty quiet apart from water dripping and wind doing weird things, but we could hear floors creaking, doors creaking... the occasional scrape or crash of metal against floor. Basically, it sounded like someone was blundering around in the dark.
Now, the layout means that in order to get back to where we came in, we have to walk back towards the noise. There's only one route. We're getting freaked out so we start moving back through the rooms, stopping to listen all the while. Finally, we get to the side hall that we came in from, and we bolt to the door at the end, finally risking turning the flashlights on and making noise.
It's the wrong freaking door. We stand there, listening to the footsteps get closer. We're frozen, standing in the dark, totally cornered. If whoever or whatever is making that noise comes down this short hall, we're screwed. We wait and listen, holding our breaths. The scraping and shuffling approaches, slowly goes past, and then fades.
We wait a bit and then creep out of the hall and into the main building again. Carefully we move one hall over, where we can see a sliver of light from the loose board. We quietly make our way towards it. Then we hear an almighty scrape and bang behind us, as though someone tipped over one of the huge metal filing cabinets—I mean, it was loud.
I yell, "Time to go!" and we sprint for the door, and there are clear footsteps right behind us. We launch ourselves through the loose board and down the overgrown path, before taking a quick look back. We can't see anything through the small gap, but we do not stick around to see if that changes.
38. Abort Mission
It was probably the time I tried to confront a friend of mine about feelings. I had this really well-rehearsed speech in my head about how I needed to know what he meant when he said something, it was really eloquent and made my point and I could have had freaking citations for it, okay? And then I actually got him alone to talk, froze up, stuttered a butchered version of the first line I meant to say, and then just said, “Never mind, I'm sorry, never mind,” and physically ran off.
I was out in the country late at night taking some long exposure photographs of the Hale-Bopp comet as it approached the sun (which was marvelous by the way). I had driven out of town and just picked a dark, empty farmers field to setup. Nice and dark. I'm out there for a couple of hours when I get this massive feeling of "I need to leave now." I pack up my camera, tripod, and lawn chair, throw it all in my car, get in, and start the car.
When the lights of the car come on, I see a wolf 20 feet from where I was positioned, just sitting there staring at me! I've never gotten bigger chills in my life.
40. Pony Up
I was ten years old and my aunt had a small 100-acre farm that was also used as a livery yard for horses. I had a pony called Toffee. We often had kids come in our fields from the neighboring park. They would antagonize the livestock and horses, set dogs on the sheep, set fire to hay, and just generally cause stress and damage.
We were told to stay away and ignore them and tell an adult if we saw them. The authorities often did nothing as the kids would escape to the park and the council refused for us to close off the public footpaths through the fields. It was a true misery. I went to catch my pony from the field and saw he was sweaty and wide-eyed.
I don't think he understood for a moment that he was safe with me from this frightened look he gave me. I realized suddenly there were six people in the corner of our field. I was suddenly frightened and tried to encourage Toffee to come with me quickly. Initially, the boys ran. I believe when they saw how small I was and that I was no threat, the group made their way back towards me. The field was five acres and this all occurred in one of the corners.
Three of them dropped their trousers and flashed at me. Keep in mind, I was a ten-year-old little girl who did not understand but had an idea what was implied. In a panic, I went to grab my pony, but he was scared of them and backed away. One of the boys shouted, "If you touch that horse I'm going to come for you."
Toffee, at that moment, charged briefly toward them. I don't know if it was fight or flight kicking in, or he sensed my terror, but it was enough to scatter the boys. I started to turn and bolt as fast as my legs could carry me toward the gate. One of the boys chased after me. I obviously screamed for my life and felt his hand briefly run over my hair before he fell over. I sprang the gate and ran down the drive to the barn where my aunt and mom were.
I always wonder what would have happened if I had not run at that moment, or Toffee had not charged at them. I wonder if I'd be alive. The field was far away from safety, my parents would leave me for hours alone at the farm. There was a forest and stream as well so my small body could easily have been hidden...
If any are curious, I still have Toffee about 13 years later. He's 27 and a very old grumpy pony. I'll keep him till he departs the world, he has given so much joy and he might have saved me had he not taken off when he did.
41. Abandoned Scholarships
Once, while I was in high school, word got around about a party at an old abandoned barn in the middle of nowhere. With little else to do, my best friend and I drove out there to see what was what. We got there, and the place is crawling with kids in various states of inebriation. Cars parked all over the place.
We saw this was a bad scene, and noped out of there. We ended up saving ourselves in a big way. On the way back to the city, we passed a bunch of cop cars hauling it in the other direction. We missed getting swept up in the raid by about three minutes. It was a minor scandal next Monday, as several student-athletes were caught and lost their eligibility.
42. Gut Your Back
I used to really enjoy driving around at night, especially because around where I live there are a lot of country roads. They were fun to zip around. One evening, after I'd been at a friend’s house, I decided to drive to my church (about half an hour away from home) and back just listening to music. The route is one I've been driven down most Sundays for 17, and I’d been driving it myself for about 4 years at that point, so even in the dark, I felt fine to go 60mph (speed limit).
I got maybe... a quarter of the way there? And my stomach started really twisting. I knew that if I kept going I'd regret it. But I shook it off, it wasn't that late, and the weather was fine, I wasn't going to miss this driving opportunity. But as I got further the feeling in my stomach got so much worse and I realized I had to turn around.
Just before I reached the hill pass that's about halfway to the church, I pulled a U-turn and went home, and stopped feeling so anxious and forgot about it. The next day, I woke up and got in my car to go to church, to find my usual route had been closed. Turned out that on the hill pass, the road had crumbled away leaving a sheer drop that would have been around a blind bend for me.
The road issue had been called in by a driver going the opposite direction to me about five minutes after I'd pulled a U-turn and driven away. I'd definitely have been, at the very least, badly hurt had I kept going.
43. Mixed Emotions
I was 20 years old, working as a DJ for a large local club. On one of my days off, one of the barmaids invited me over to her place for pizza and a few beers. It became apparent after a while that this was not a date and that this was not going anywhere romantically, however, we were getting pretty drunk (and stoned to be fair) and having a good laugh.
Eventually, the drinks caught up with us and I began to make my excuses and asked if I could use the phone to call a cab (this was the early 90s, no mobile). " Hey look, why don't you stay, your car is outside, save the cab fare and drive home in the morning," she said. Now I was doing the gentlemanly bit and preparing to sleep on the couch when the girl became insistent that I share her bed, pointing out that we could keep our underclothes on and that she shared a bed with her flatmate anyway (not unusual for students trying to make ends meet in those days).
The flatmate had returned from a night out, alone, an hour earlier and gone to bed so it was safe to assume she would be sleeping by now. In my drunken state, this whole situation appeared quite normal. So, we went to bed, somehow I ended up in the middle, however, the flatmate was fast asleep and I was not long about passing out myself.
When I awoke a few hours later, I was surprised to find a hand in my underwear. I assumed my dinner companion had suddenly lost her earlier reluctance to get jiggy, then I realized that the hand, and by now mouth, were coming from the opposite side of the bed. I panicked and jumped out of bed grabbed my stuff and ran home like a child.
The poor girl handed in her notice the following day. I never saw her again but I later found out that both girls were bi and did this kind of thing frequently, one of them picking up a man and the other one joining in. If only I had been a year of two older this would have been a story with a much happier ending.
44. Beach is Closed
We were sitting on the sand at the beach, talking and having drinks. I looked up at the sky behind my friends and saw this huge, dark, ominous cloud mass moving towards us. I got up and said, “Guys, we have to leave NOW. Huge thunderstorm coming right at us. We have about five minutes!” We managed to reach the car but had to sit in it for a good hour while the wind and rain ravaged everything around us—trees were left bare, benches were upturned, trash cans were dragged for half a mile.
The beach club tents were blown away and some people were seriously injured when stuff fell on them. It was all over the news that evening. My friends still talk about how I “saved” them that day—most people didn’t move from where they were sitting, even though we tried to warn them.
45. Just Gang Things
We were playing hoops in a bad neighborhood. At some point one of the guys we were playing with got real nasty, "White boys leave now. We ain't messing with you, you need to leave." Real aggressive. I had noticed a black BMW circling around the playground but nothing much else. All his friends started insulting us and pushing us etc.
Which was weird, we played with them every weekend. I had given free tutoring classes to one of their brothers. We left, angry. That was a really good playground, and it felt special to play with the thugs, us being white nerdy boys. Well, 15 minutes after we left, the black BMW shot at them. Multiple casualties.
46. Picking Battles
At Reading Rock festival. Watching a band not too near the front, far back enough that there is space between every person. I was standing with my girlfriend (now wife). In front of me, these two teenagers were snogging and moving about as though they were trying to dance to the music at the same time, which obviously is not great for coordination, personal space, and balance.
The bloke was probably about 6'3" and muscly, and during his escapade sucking the face off this girl, he stamps like full strength on my foot. So obviously I shout out about it! I said, "OUCH JESUS CHRIST. Why don't you two get a freaking room?!" Well, Broseph with his hat on backward didn't like that. He walked off, leaving the drunk girl he was with just stumbling around, and returns with about six other guys, all probably called Chad. They start asking me if I still want them go get a room. I said, "Yes," grabbed my wife’s hand, and ran.
Bit of a cowardly move on my part, but still. Was definitely a YIKES we need to leave before I get beaten up for yelling at someone bigger than me, even though they were totally in the wrong.
47. The Good Husband
Probably two months after my wedding, I invited my then-best friend (maid of honor) to a party my husband and I were going to. She agreed. Some time into it, I'm drunk and in the pool and my husband swims out to me to tell me she just asked him to sleep with her. I have never sobered up or left somewhere so fast.
48. The Worst Kind of Surprise
I met this cute girl at a party. We spent the whole night dancing a flirting. I offered to drive her home and she agreed. We were making out in the car in front of her house when another car pulls up with its headlights beaming at us. I ask if that’s a neighbor and if we’re blocking their driveway. Her reply blew my mind. She said, “No, that’s my husband.”
The husband’s car door opens and I noped right out of there. I dropped her straight back at the party and never saw her again. Her excuse was that they were separated and he shouldn’t have a problem with it. I sure wasn’t sticking around to find out.