You just found a new restaurant, and you're so excited about it. You sit down. You reach for your fork and knife...but then, something happens.
Something that changes how you feel about the restaurant.
Here were some of the answers.
The Spout Test
I worked as a server and occasional line cook for several years.
Number 1 red flag is the spouts on the soda fountain. Those things are one of the easiest things to clean in the entire place, so if they're mildewy that kills my interest in eating there. I'm fine with a bit of mess elsewhere, especially in a high volume place since it will get messy over the course of the day. But those spouts take multiple days of no washing to get to a point where they are noticeably disgusting.
What's ON The Menu?
Anthony Bourdain said dirty menus.
If they're not cleaning the menu they're not cleaning other things.
Can I Axe You Something
I went to brunch recently and the head chef/owner walked in the front door with an axe, walked through the dining area and into the kitchen where he proceeded to axe the walk-in cooler to shreds.
Not a chef but I think that's a red flag.
The Red Flag List
Hi, actually a chef here.
1- divorce your mind from the "bathroom is dirty" idea. Bathrooms are not always the responsibility of the kitchen and don't necessarily reflect the state of the kitchen. Also, bathrooms see a lot of use so it being untidy (NOT covered in sh*t but paper on the floor, etc) isn't uncommon, especially at peak hours. A clean bathroom is a sign of good management.
Same idea applies to menus.
2- check the glassware and silverware, and plates. If they're spotty there are two reasons. They're not polished, or the system they are using isn't being maintained. This is a good sign of very few f*cks being given in both the front and back of house.
3- If you have the opportunity to see the entrance to kitchen (from the outside) that should give you a clue about whether or not the kitchen staff is trained to take care of the premises. If there is a stack of empty boxes, bags of trash, litter then they don't care. Pests and rodents eat anything. If you leave it out they learn where to be. Then they find how to get in.
4- A little harder, but the trained eye and experienced eater can learn a lot by what is in the menu. Some places use whatever processed product their main liner sells them (Sysco, US Foods, Aramark, etc) They might be clean and well run, but still shitty. I suggest looking for the local places over the chains, though this doesn't always help.
5- server attire. Generally speaking, a well dressed staff means good service. It might not say anything about the food, but appearances count.
6- Are they busy? If they're in the main part of town and not busy that should tell you alot.
Overall if your first experience doesn't leave you satisfied (not WOW amazing, but good) then don't go back.
To you guys saying that the bathroom being disgusting is a sign of gross staff...please go work at a restaurant for a week. Unless you're talking about non-busy hours, the bathroom is going to get super gross in a matter of minutes. I could not keep up with the public's disgusting bathroom habits and still do the rest of my job, and I am a picky but fast cleaner. It was much easier to keep the kitchen and tables clean than the bathroom. For some reason, people think it's okay to stop being a decent human being in public bathrooms.
A New Buffet, A New Life
Personally I'm very cautious of any buffet at all. Whenever I've had to replenish food out at the buffet, the customers just f*ck everything up with the utensils, and sometimes the utensils for dishing the food is clean, so that means they're using their own forks or spoons that they've had in their mouths.
Then you have the little sh*thead kids that the parents aren't paying attention to, that are just grabbing food with their bare hands, or spilling into other foods.
Old people, like 80 year olds that frequent the buffets are gross enough when they're constantly coughing and clearing their throats, and spitting while talking in the line up.
Judge me for being judgy, but I've seen it first hand at nearly every buffet I've worked, but I won't go near one that isn't manned by a cook or server at the stations.
If I see customers in sweatpants and a t-shirt at a buffet, I order from the menu.
List List List
- When the menu has a large variety of options but they're not closely related to each other or even the theme of the restaurant
- Empty parking lots at peak times and an empty room
- When front of the house or servers don't know their menu
- When it takes 10 minutes just to get water
- Flies (Not gnats i'm talking about house flies)
- Dirty menus, cups, and plates
Tap Dat Sass
When I sit down at a bar I watch how the bartenders pour from their taps. If they stick the tap into the beer while they're pouring I stick with a bottled beer.
I was taught very early on not to do that and having worked at a lot of places where I've seen the smegma of built up moldy, beer residue, dead fruit flies that comes out of those things when they're cleaned, usually after many many months or years has passed in some cases...I'll always pass on tap beer if I see that shit.
It's an often under cleaned, uncovered, unwiped part of the bar and most people on the other side of the bar ever think twice. It's also a sign that other things like their soda gun and ice well potentially being cleaned and sanitized properly. Not to mention their rags aren't being swapped out and sanitized...the list goes on.
I don't bitch at the bartender, I don't make a scene, I just order a bottle because that isn't being handled by that establishment other than when they open it.
Also, don't get me started on staff snacking out of the garnish tray. Ugh.
Kiev Is Always Frozen
Son of a chef.
Oven chips. besides the fact oven chips are shit if they can't be arsed to hand cut potatoes I don't put much faith into the rest of the meal.
Anything that looks like a general piece of frozen food. Think chicken kieves, always look the same, shape size etc.
If anything comes out steaming hot that shouldn't be hot. For example Jacket potato, if that comes out and it's erupting with enough steam that the glass wear gets condensation, then it's been zapped in the microwave.
Melted cheese which hasn't got brown or burn marks on it (except on a burger) it;'s been microwaved instead of a flame
Service can tell things on the restaurant. If you enter the restaurant and servers don't pay attention to you, it can mean 2 things. They are too busy, or they are not motivated to work. If they are too busy, it means owner doesn't want to hire more people, which means the owner wants to save money or does not pay attention to his place. If he wants to save money by not hiring enough, he will do so in kitchen. If they are not motivated to work, there are problems among staffs or they are not getting paid enough.
I don't have a culinary degree, but I did spend 10 years of my life in professional kitchens.
Show up early and grab a drink at the bar. If the bar smells like dirty mop water, GTFO. If the bartender has to ask you what goes in an Old Fashioned, GTFO. If the bartender is a rude prick, GTFO.
If the front of house is bad, the back will be even worse. I consider the maitre d' as simply the guy who greets me, not necessarily how I judge front of house.
You can only tell so much from polished silverware. That's not hard to do and almost every place stays on top of it. Doing things like making sure there isn't any dust on the bottles behind a bar, even the ones that hardly ever get used and need a ladder to reach, that takes real dedication and attention to detail.
Other sure signs of trouble at the bar is last night's garnish. If your lime doesn't look and feel like it was cut in the last hour, GTFO. Conversely, if they use the good Luxardo cherries instead of the day-glo red abominations, you're probably at a place that gives a shit about ingredients in the kitchen as well.
Pastry student here!
Stressed waiters/stressed chefs. More likely to make mistakes. If their uniform is dirty (and I don't mean a small stain. I mean a stain that is at least several hours old. Bonus point if there's more than one.)
You see waiters, or chefs scratching themselves, touching their face, any part of their body. I can guarantee you they are not suddenly rushing to the bathroom to clean their hands after every face pat.
A bit gross to look into, but the mop water, jfc. If you walk by a mop bucket that smells like death, it probably hasn't been changed in several hours. If the table is sticky, but "clean," it means they are reusing dirty water.
Smudges on cutlery/plates. For cleaning them, there's a machine, but for wiping them down, there's a human that does not give a fuck.
At Italian restaurants, I look at the olive oil that's given on the table. If it's a light colored oil, then it's not that great in quality and they're cutting corners. It makes me wonder what other corners they're cutting.
My New Philosophy
I only really skimmed, but nobody really answered the question.
any kind of sushi burrito.
"always fresh, never frozen!" nope. sushi grade fish has to be flash frozen because almost everything has parasites. If they are actually serving fresh caught fish they are dumb about food safety.
lion king roll, shrek roll, any kind of "bombs", really big pieces of fish on nigiri: sushi for college kids and whoever is cutting the fish doesn't know what they are doing.
hearing water continually running behind the sushi counter. that means they are improperly thawing something that doesn't get ordered much, and whatever they are thawing will have most of the flavor washed away.
"Kobe beef burgers." They are lying. Flat out, lying, to the point where it's disrespectful because they think they can get away with it. (and they usually do)
"Grilled to perfection." You are at a chain restaurant
Perfect grill marks that only go in one direction. This piece of meat has never even been in the same room as a grill.
Red flags in general -
Almost all "pan-asian" inspired cuisine.
A paragraph at the bottom of the menu describing their philosophy on food sustainability, or saying (now this is a double edged sword) there is housemade anything on the menu.
Cocktail menus that describe in too much detail using words that people other than bartenders don't really understand, "gomme" "shrub" "oleo saccharine". This just means "look at me I know how to make duck fat washed bourbon".
I Can Feel The Pressure
Waiter, not chef, but I agree with a lot I've read here.
General cleanliness - if they can't keep the small things clean, they're cutting corners everywhere with hygiene. A good restaurant keeps on top of that stuff. Maintenance - again relating to cutting corners, if items aren't maintained, condiments and the like, then you can be sure that there are lapses elsewhere. Staff - this is an interesting one, but from experience if the staff don't seem to work well, together or not, there's a red flag that the restaurant isn't being looked after properly, leading to issues with the first two.
There's probably a bunch of other stuff I've missed. Truth be told, restaurant biz is usually high pressure, so everything, like cleaning, is done as quickly as possible. Often, that translates to poor quality. I usually go out with a skeptical eye because of what I've seen/heard. Some of it can be right dodgy...
ITT: a lot of people who aren't chefs.
There's not a lot that'll put me off tbh. Basically only if there's nothing on the menu I'm willing to try (I don't eat fish), but I'm willing to give anywhere a chance. Dirty toilets aren't always the responsibility of the staff, someone could have come in and ruined them just before you go in there and the place is so busy that the servers/runners haven't had a chance to clean(and it's usually before/after service they're cleaned)
Salt and pepper mills.... Hmm.... Any place I go to I'm hoping I'm not gonna need them, the food should be seasoned correctly to the chefs tastes so that extra salt is not needed.
In general if the staff are rude I'll probably give it a pass, but apart from that I'll give anywhere a go, it's a good way to get inspiration for new stuff too and what not to do sometimes.
There is so much we as civilians don't know or understand about everyday life. The law is far more complicated than we could ever comprehend. But we need to get on top of it.
There are some laws on the books that would leave you stunned. In fact, in some states, we're constantly breaking the law. And we never knew.
The truth is many of our laws were constructed when our founding fathers were not thinking clearly. Thanks moonshine... let's dive in...
Redditor u/Krallorddark wanted everyone to get educated about dealing with society's "rules" by asking:
What is illegal but most people don't even know it?
Part of me doesn't even want to know about some strange, never known law I maybe breaking. That way I can play dumb and it would be truth. Is dumb a proper plea in court? At this point it should be.
"In Arizona it is illegal to hunt whales. (Arizona is a desert and landlocked on all sides)."
"In Alaska it's illegal to whisper in someone's ear while they deer hunt."
"hey honey, tonight I wanna doo some "ogie doogie" with you.."
"accidentally shoots someone"
Tie It Up
"In Florida it's illegal to tie an alligator to a parking meter unless you pay for parking."
"It has to do with the fact that Florida was where many carnival and circus troops spent the winter months when not traveling. Many of them had exotic animals that they brought with them. The town of Gibsonton, FL is one the places where a large post circus population remains."
"Chico, CA, it's a $500 fine to make or have a nuclear weapon within city limits. No person shall produce, test, maintain, or store within the city a nuclear weapon, component of a nuclear weapon, nuclear weapon delivery system, or component of a nuclear weapon delivery system under penalty of Chapter 9.60.030 of the Chico Municipal Code."
PoisonScared 30 Rock GIF by HULUGiphy
"Washing oil paint down the sink. It can contaminate drinking water."
What in the world? Whales in Arizona? Well that I'd like to see. But I guess they're making sure, which is always a good thing. American laws are funny. Let's keep laughing...
Fingers OffFun Tickling GIF by Zoo BerlinGiphy
"Tickling someone without their consent is a form of assault. But yeah."
being a mule...
"There is a long list of over the counter medication you can legally purchase, but cannot take it into another country."
"You can't legally transport drugs in containers other than their original ones with original labels so transporting drugs in those pill sorting containers is technically illegal. That being said I do it all the time so."
"In Texas, there is still a law on the books that it is a crime to carry bolt cutters around. It is a leftover from the days of cattle rustlers, when the bad guys would use bolt cutters to take down barbed wire fencing. Pretty sure it hasn't been prosecuted in a hundred years."
"The failure to spend 2 hours a week practicing with a longbow. This law was setup in the middle ages and it required ever male over the age of 14 to practice with a longbow every week. The laws still in place but has been massively overlooked and forgotten."
Signoffmarker total physical response GIF by ALO7.comGiphy
"Carrying a permanent marker or other permanent-staining stationary is illegal in many countries under graffiti laws."
Now I've heard it all. Literally. This thread is too ridiculous. And we need to hire a fleet of people to start reviewing and rewriting the paperwork. I always have a permanent marker... don't ask. I better be careful.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Being young is most definitely the time to make mistakes. You deal with minimal consequences at all times and can generally learn without it taking a toll on your greater life.
But the sad thing is that that is not always the case. Sometimes something you do when you are very young actually does follow you around for the rest of your life and fully brings more pain and consequences.
"What is something you did when you were younger that you are still facing the consequences of?"
They had some sad stories to tell.
"I was taken from my mom at age 10 and put into foster care. After a while social services found my dad, who left right after I was born and who I had never met."
"Eventually I was asked who I wanted to live with, my dad or my mom. I said my dad, because I had always wanted one and being torn from my mom basically severed our bond through trauma."
"It turns out he and my step mom were abusers and I was abused for 6 years before I ran away. Still haunts me to think who I would have been had I chosen my mom. Now I'm estranged from them all."-Emmalema_dingdong
"When I was about eleven or twelve I had a cold and as a child I'd had otitis a few times. It was winter and I was outside without anything covering my head and ears."
"My mum told me to put something on otherwise I would get otitis again. I didn't. That night I woke up with unbelievable pain in my left ear."
"I was awake all night, crying from the pain, tried to sneak out of bed to find painkillers but whatever it was that I found it did not help."
"Eventually the pain went away but so did parts of my hearing. Never told my mum about it. Still have hearing loss on my left ear."-DenyEverythingTA
"I started working on a farm when I was 16, worked there for nearly 10 years. The way we sort of crouched over to pick herbs for 6 to 12 hours a day f**ked up my spine."
"I have trouble standing for more than 10 minutes now. I also now understand why my grandmother, who worked on farms for more than 50 years pops painkillers like candy."
"The bone itself is gone and because it's gone it's exposed the sciatic nerve which is apparently a vindictive little b*tch because if I twist wrong or bend over too far it gets hit/pinched/ compressed and just ruins my day."
"According to several different doctors I have 3 solutions. Just deal with it, dope myself up on painkillers or have the problem vertebrae fused together which won't actually eliminate the pain, just lessen it. "
"Oh and I'd have to learn how to walk again so no thank you."-AmLikelyDrunk
These things may have built up over time or been instantaneous, but they hurt regardless.
That Ankle Pain
"I broke my ankle and stretched the tendons badly skateboarding when I was 16. My dad told me to deal with it and didn't take me to any hospital or doctor to check it out. I kept it wrapped and followed protocol I found on the internet."
"As an adult I now have terrible pains in my ankle whenever I'm walking too much or working too hard. Got it looked at around 27 and I have a piece of my ankle bone missing. Probably could've used that medical attention, dad."-evanjw90
Not Even Once
"Smoking. I quit 9 years ago."
"It took me three tries but I finally decided to quit in 2012. My ex-wife and I were smoking on the balcony of our apartment."
"My baby girl was lying down on the floor on the futon of our bedroom and some of the smoke got sucked inside and she started coughing because of it."
"I said 'I'm done,' put my cigarette out, and crumbled the half-full pack up. And that was it. It went from the hardest thing to the easiest thing in a span of 5 minutes."-UnbeardedPedestrian
Being A Doormat
"I was a shy awkward girl that willingly accepted whatever happened. Unfortunately my parents didn't help as they would always badger my sister for speaking up which caused me to hide even further into my shell."
"You never realize how much can be taken away from you or taken advantage of you until you hit your ultimate limit. It's a price that can last for years."-VulpixBlades
Always. Bend. Your. Knees.
"I had a treehouse that was about 10 feet off the ground and I would regularly jump out of it."
"Being an idiot, I wouldn't brace myself when I landed because I thought I looked cooler doing it that way. Just straight up land on my feet without so much as bending my knees."
"Well guess who's got sh*t knees before they've hit 30."-Technicolorlovr
These stories should serve as cautionary tales to anybody who reads them.
How To Raise Habits
"Overeat and eat poorly. Please please please teach and demonstrate nutrition and exercise to your kids."
"It is SO F**KING HARD to defeat a lifetime of bad habits when you're in your adulthood and already feeling the effects of ill health from years of bad eating habits."
"And no I don't just mean 'force them to eat their veggies' and thus just create a totally negative relationship with healthy food."
"You have to find ways to make their importance clear and introduce new ways of eating healthy. Don't just feed a kid whatever they want whenever they want. I see that SO much and the end result is not good."-kpsdarlin
No More Lies
"I couldn't stop lying about things I had done because I was so worried people would lose interest in me if I didn't seem super interesting, until I lost track of my lies and couldn't stop."
"I ended up burning bridges with a lot of awesome people that I may have been great friends with, who we shared so many commonalities, awesome personalities, people I genuinely liked."
"I literally have no friends now and have trouble even being able to hold conversations with anyone any more. I did it to myself, and I regret it so much that I have dreams about things turning out differently all the time."
"It SUCKS, and if I could go back in time, I'd grab younger me's tongue immediately and tell me people liked me and wanted to be my friend, even if I felt like I was boring or not pretty enough."
"I'm glad I said this, finally. I had to say it somewhere. It's been driving me crazy, when it finally hit me how deep and insane it had gone."-TastelessAlien
Credit Ain't Free Money
"Overspending. Got a credit card as soon as I turned 18. It had a limit of £5000 and I was not financially responsible."
"Cut a long story short, more credit cards, horrible cycle of debt, had to dig myself out of it."
"I got out of debt at 32, lived pay check to pay check for a while. I'm 37 now and this year is first year of my life I have savings."
"If anyone out there has crippling debt, don't feel hopeless, there's always a way out, even if it takes years. You can do it!"-jennyrob669
Do you see yourself reflected in any of these stories? If so, the time may be now to get it under control so you don't face these difficult and sometimes dire consequences in your personal future.
You've got this! You can do it. Learn from your peers.
Ah, to be a child again. Except not if you have strict parents. Like my dad, for example--because I was the oldest child, I basically existed as the “experiment", so lots of weird disciplinary decisions were made that my younger sister never had to go through.
It seems like a lot of people share my pain. Thanks Reddit, you make me feel less alone. GiuseppeJO3 asked:
How were you disciplined as a child?
Be warned, a lot of these punishments can be a little questionable, to say the least.
This encourages bad emotional habits.
“'Stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about.'"
“My parents would often use our imaginations against us like this. 'I'm coming upstairs, and not gonna come empty handed,' etc. Sometimes I think Judo-ing our own creativity against us was worse than anything."
Break that chain.Mothers Day Wtf GIF by IFCGiphy
“My mother was a stay at home mom/frustrated housewife who would take her frustrations out on me. I was spanked quite often. One time I kept track and I was struck in some form for 33 straight days. That was the record. She even carried a wooden spoon in her purse for easy access when we weren't at home. Often a wooden spoon would break while she was beating me and that would REALLY piss her off. Looking back, I should have given her a new set of wooden spoons every year for a Mother's Day present to piss her off.
The most confusing thing to me was that I was a GOOD KID!! I was too afraid to be otherwise. When I became older and confronted her, she told me that it was BECAUSE of the beatings that I turned out to be the great person I was.
When I had kids I broke the chain. No beatings. When they wanted to hang out with grandma, I pulled her aside and told her that if she ever laid a hand (or wooden spoon) on them...I would kill her."
Schools are just as guilty.
“As a kid, time out and isolation. It also came with losing points so it took me forever to get to the level where I could talk with my classmates or get up from my desk during breaks.
In High School, they would take away electives.
My parents only punished me if the school complained hard enough. I wasn't bad at home because my parents wouldn't berate me for things I didn't do.”
Other times, disciplinary actions are meant to strengthen character.
THIS is the way to raise a child.
“So many sh*tty parents in the world, hitting, abusing, punishing kids.
When I lived with my uncle he used to lead by example, prepare kids for situations, use time out as a means of emotional regulation, use natural and logical consequences, talk you through things and teach you, be extremely selective about what mattered, understand the stages of child development, and had a huge amount of patience.
Be more like him.
Also, he has 8 kids. All different personalities, all different temperaments, all different challenges, all different levels of hmmm, let's call it 'perseverance'. He's never hit any of us. Don't be coming at me with "oh, but some kids..." or "oh, but some situations...". People hit kids because they want to."
Not surprising.Disappointed Schitts Creek GIF by CBCGiphy
“My mom would yell and scream and take our toys/phones away. My dad would sit me down and say "I'm very disappointed in you."
My dad's method was always the most effective.”
Level headed parents are the best.
“I grew up in the 70s with very level headed parents. My dad would just slide his reading glasses down to the end of his nose and say 'well, let's revisit what happened'. No yelling, I think 2 spankings in my life. My husband grew up with a very strict 'whip your a**” Air Force colonel dad.”
“That was my Dad, too, but I much preferred the "2 halfhearted swats on the butt and it's back out to play" vs. "Let's analyze your mistake for evvvver". I was lucky, though, because he raised three kids to adulthood before me so nothing really fazed him.”
“I knew where my parents hid the presents for Christmas: under the bed. So one day, age 6, I "casually" roll off of their bed while watching tv with my family. I came up and announced that I saw NOTHING. My very wise mom later figured out what I saw, a Christmas Barbie I REALLY wanted. Next day she takes me to the grocery store where there is a toy drive. She makes me donate that exact doll to the drive.
As an adult, I love this so much. As a kid, I was so so sad. Edit: I still got the doll for Christmas. My mom tricked me. Sorry, important detail.”
Parents- be sure to not traumatize your kids. It’s the bare minimum.
Makes for a very tough childhood.Get Out Parenting GIF by A24Giphy
“I was disciplined by my school.
As far as home is concerned, parents didn't discipline me, they completely controlled me, manipulated me and verbally abused me. I wasn't even allowed to play with friends or do any sports or anything extracurricular.”
“The most common punishment for me as a child was water boarding. I would be dragged by the hair to the kitchen pined of the counter and have water from the sink run over my face until I almost blacked out. This was used for anything from messing up on a chore to talking in the wrong tone of voice. Worst part this was done by foster parents.”
Spanking needs to end.
“I would get spanked in front of people. The worst one in my opinion was getting spanked in front of family members I didn't like. This was followed by teases and encouragement from others that my spanking wasn't enough."
Anyway, sorry to end this on a sad note, but this should be a wake-up call to parents that treat their children this way. They WILL end up seriously traumatized, and that WILL affect them as adults.
I swear, some people don’t deserve to be parents.
Scary stories that make our heart race can be exciting and entertaining, but what if the scary story was a reality? There's a bump in the night that either makes you jump up, ready to fight, or freeze out of fear that it will come for you.
Some of these stories seem paranormal, some of them are real encounters with creepy people. Reddit shared some of their scariest stories that made our hearts race just reading them.
Redditor Cartisayslatt777 wanted to know:
"What's the strangest/scariest thing you've seen in the middle of the night?"
If you're ready for a spooky story or two, make sure your doors are locked before proceeding.
Didn't even flinch.
"Woke one night when I was about 5 years old. Was gazing around the room for a bit. I looked at the window and there, staring wide eyed at me was a man. Hands pressed against the window just staring with his head cocked to the side. Didn't even flinch when I noticed him. I hid under the covers, then peeked out to see if he moved. He was still there. I decided to just stay under the covers. I don't know why I didn't scream."
"I'm telling you man. Trespassers and home intruders are the scariest things. Never mind the paranormal this is real as day and still horrifying."
"For me the thing that makes them stand out is that they have a complete disregard for their own safety. Like they're on unfamiliar ground and they don't care. That's what I think makes them even more dangerous."
Through the skylight.
"Something similar happened to my stepdad. He and his brother shared a room growing up that had a skylight in it, and one night he ran to his dad's room several times to tell him a man was up there looking in their room. After the third time being woken up, his dad goes to look, and sure enough a grown man laying on his stomach watching two small boys sleeping."
"F*cking people not believing their kids. The child says something is happening check to see what's what."
Nature is scary.
"Didn't see it but heard it, for years after midnight I would always hear children playing in the distance. Couldn't ever see them but I could hear them. A couple years back was walking my dog on a late night stroll and I heard it closer than I ever have before. Like right next to me. Looked around and there was about 3 coyote about 100 ft away from. Apparently they sound like small children."
"A bears nose pressed against my tent."
"I politely asked him to go away, and he did."
"I slept the rest of the night in my car."
"'Please go away.'"
"'Understandable, have a nice day.'"
Peeping through the blinds.
"I live in a ground-level studio. My bed is near the window. I reached to turn off the bedside lamp and saw someone in a white hoodie through the gap in the blinds. I went, 'What the hell,' and moved closer to get a better look and hopefully scare the creeper off. The person in the hoodie aggressively moved closer and put his face directly into the blind gap. I jumped back and he ran away. Installed a security camera the next day."
This story took a turn.
"I had a similar story to yours, same environment (ground floor of quadplex) and only saw the shadows of a man, but my story went much further than him running away."
"I was a college student at the time and was on a late-night phone call with my long-distance girlfriend (now wife), so she can recall most of that night too. We were talking while in bed at around 2AM when I saw the shadow of a man attempt to peep in and enter my front door, denied via lock and bolt, so he started walking around the side and back towards my bedroom. I didn't have lights on, so he didn't know I could see him. Nervous and curious, I snaked my way out of bed to find out more."
"Here's where the messed up stuff happens. I had previously worked out an understanding with the other ground floor tenant, who was once SpecOps. We worked out a deal where if one needs the other, regardless of time, to do a specific knock on the divider wall. He had PTSD and therefore didn't sleep much, poor guy."
"So anyways, I knock on the divider wall, he meets me at the front door with only his hands. I inform him of the man around back and he goes and confronts the guy. The man starts trying to argue back, sees the tattoos of my neighbor, and decides he better 'drunkingly' walk away to his car down the side of the road. So here my neighbor and I are talking about what happened, how screwed up it was.....when the guy circles back around the block. Not once, not twice but three times. The neighbor tells me to go bunker down inside with the blinds closed and to call the police and give them the license plate that he memorized as the man re-lapped."
"I call the police and give them the story and plate info, soon followed by "sir, please stay on the line and do not disconnect this call. We will be right there" from the dispatcher. The surrounding neighborhood was soon lit up in red, white and blue for the next 5 blocks all around. Cop cars everywhere. A few police officers came and talked to the neighbor and I about what was going on. The man they were after was wanted in several states on several warrants and was expected to be armed....oh yeah, and most likely A HITMAN......WHOEY-SAY-WHAT?!?!?!"
"The police said to remain on the lookout and to pat myself on the back for locking my door...yay, I feel like a big boy now. I was a larger size muscular man at the time (emphasize time), but what better way to put another perspective of size into a man than finding out he was a hitman and your strength would have been worthless. I attempted to follow up with the police a while later to see if they ever found the guy, lo and behold they really couldn't say. I take it as the guy was still roaming around and got away."
"I still have flashbacks of this night that haunt me. I lock every door at night, installed a surveillance system (not that it would protect me so to say) and plan on a security system soon down the road. My cocky youth understanding of security and control was quickly matured into understanding that I am not invincible and even the strongest men can feel powerless in a situation like this. Had that door been unlocked, who knows what would have happened...."
Was it a dream?
"Saw a guy... with a shotgun... in my house."
"My brother and I were sleeping in the TV lounge. Woke up and saw a guy with shotgun near the front door. Thought it was a dream. But, just in case I woke my bro up and asked him who is that."
"The guy heard us and ran out."
"We were 7 and 8 years old at the time."
Something only you can hear.
"My parents were driving us home through a suburban area of Buffalo NY in the early 1980s. It was late spring I think. The windows of the car were open a little. I heard a woman scream 'help me!!!!!' No one in my family heard it. It happened again. I started crying but no one else heard it. Still haunts me 40 years later."
"This same thing happened to me but not super late at night in PA outside of Philly. Windows rolled down and I heard a woman screaming to the point of it almost being a gurgle, then the screaming abruptly stopped as we drove past a big empty field adjacent to Peter Wentz Farmstead. I freaked the F*CK OUT and made my parents stop to listen. Nothing happened once they were stopped. I still wonder if I heard someone being abducted or murdered."
"This was 2001 so I wasn't some little kid with an active imagination. I was 15 at the time."
And this one's just for laughs.
"F*cking laundry on a chair can be terrifying."
"That's why I always f*ck laundry on a table instead."
Okay, take a deep breath. You made it to the end.
These stories are definitely scary. Though there's no way for us to know if they're true, they make our minds wander to some pretty dark places regardless.
By the way... what's that behind you?
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.