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Ex-Cons Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They Witnessed In Prison

Ex-Cons Describe The Most Terrifying Thing They Witnessed In Prison
Photo by Emiliano Bar on Unsplash

Prison is one of the worst places on Earth.

So it's best for all of us to do the most we can to stay far away from them.

Ex-cons and even ex-staff will have plenty of warnings about what it's really like behind those concrete walls.

Prison isn't the version you see in Hollywood films and TV.

It's much much worse.

Redditor Shrekisball101wanted to hear from people who have served time about what life is like in the inside. They asked:

"Ex-Cons of Reddit, what’s the most terrifying thing you saw inside of prison?"



Excuse Me No GIF by Late Night with Seth MeyersGiphy

"A dude got two full kettles of boiling water poured on his head. And a convicted murderer explaining how he killed, dismembered with an angle grinder then disposed of the body."


"It must have been tense waiting for that kettle to come to a boil for the second round."



"Not me, but- I spoke to a former inmate after his release who had developed severe ptsd from some of the things he witnessed while incarcerated. One of the stories was that he was playing cards with some guys and one of them was smoking a cigarette."

"Another inmate who was not playing with them approached the table and asked the guy smoking if he could get 'shorts' on the cigarette ( shorts means, before you finished smoking, you gave the cigarette to someone else so they got the last few puffs of the cigarette before putting it out) the smoker agreed, the inmate wandered off and they went back to playing cards. Well the guy playing cards must have forgot and finished the cigarette."

"A little while later the other inmate came back to the table asking for the short, and the guy at the table told him that he had forgotten about it and finished the cigarette. Guy wanders off again and they go back to playing cards. Shortly afterwards, the inmate who wanted shorts comes back to the table, comes up behind the player, pulls his head back and started shanking him in the eye and throat with a pen/pencil. Dude died over forgetting to give someone a damn cigarette butt."


Farts Away

"My brother said a guy across from him had a new cellmate who had gastrointestinal problems and wouldn't stop farting these rancid horrible farts after the guy told him repeatedly to stop (not like he could help it,) so the guy beat the farter to death in their cell with his bare hands. My brother said he had never seen so much blood from one person before."



"I did a 4 month stint in Kajang (Malaysia). This Nigerian dude used to pilfer from other cells. This Malay gang found him and dipped his hand in boiling oil (basically deep fried it while it was still attached to him). That scream, it still curdles my blood."



"I was in a South American prison, there was a lot of drug addicts, they usually sold their food in order to buy more drugs so they were always hungry. One day I was eating my lunch: rice, a leg of chicken and some beans. When I finished my meal there were some chicken bones left in my plate, and a drug addict approached to me to ask if I could gift him the chicken bones. So I lend him my bones and he started eating them. It was heartbreaking."


Until he was dead

"A guy got stomped to death my first day in. The 2 guys fighting were rival gang members. The guards didn't do anything until the guy getting stomped stopped breathing. Then they came in and took them both away. One in a bag and one in cuffs."

"The were in different cells and always talking sh*t to each other. When we had rec time they both ran at each other. They were both pretty big. One picked up the other and slammed him on the concrete and proceeded to kick him in the stomach and face until he was unconscious. Until he was dead."


What happened to prisons initially being about rehabilitation? This is a mess...

casually walked away...

"Brixton, A Wing. Coming back from canteen this scary looking wild eyed dude steps across and tells me to hand over my burn/tobacco. I laugh and say no and walk by, waiting for him to do something. Nothing happened. Few minutes later, same guy opened some poor lads stomach with one slash and he was lying there trying to hold his intestines in, I saw the fear and panic on his face. The scary guy just casually walked away. No idea what happened to either of them. Alarms went off. Everyone back to their cells and locked up again."


The Cool Kid

"I was never in prison, but in jail a bit for drug charges. I was in my 30s, but my bunky was a really nice 19 yo kid in there for selling drugs. He seemed a bit over his head, but introduced me to the jits (I didn’t know anyone) and we’d play cards and stuff. He had a real high bond, and one day they said to get his crap he got bail."

"He didn’t know who, but I was so happy for him. The next morning the CO told me he was shot and killed that night (Being very respectful, everyone liked the guy). It was confirmed on the evening news. Really messed me up, and I can guess who got him bailed."



"Not a crazy story but was in for a few days and didn't realize they put you in cells based on the color of your skin. I'm a white dude with a Hispanic last name and they put me in a cell with a straight nazi who told me if I went to actual prison (I was only in for a weekend) that I would be a misfit because I wasn't one thing or the other."


"million dollar man"

"My criminal justice professor always used to tell us about the 'million dollar man' in his prison he used to work at. The prison was an old school style with multiple floors and the open part of the middle like you see in the movies. To avoid jumpers they put chainlink fencing along the walkways."

"One day this guy managed to squeeze through the fencing on the third floor and swan dive face first to the concrete floor below. When they came in they all thought he was dead until he began making noises. The prisoner was then transferred to a hospital for a year and a half getting around 12 different surgeries. Eventually he was released back to the prison and on his second month back he did it again but didn't survive this time."

"The running joke was that he was named the million dollar man because he had cost taxpayers millions from all his surgeries and time in the hospital. Our teacher also liked to add in every time he told the story that some how his glasses survived both falls completely fine."



"I don’t know if this counts but, my dad was in prison with Richard Speck, who is, if you don’t know, an American mass murderer who brutally murdered and raped 8 nurses. My dad told me during his time in prison, Speck bragged about what he did all the time, and said prison was a wonderful vacation for him and he would do it all again if he had the chance. He would even go as far as saying how much he loved to kill those women. So sickening. Speck also made porn in prison, which I’m sure is on the internet somewhere."



"I saw someone take a hotpot fill it up with baby oil add a pound of sugar, add some magic shave, bring it to a boil then splash it in a person's face... It literally melted the guys face off. This happened around 1999 and I still have the occasional nightmare about it."


So Casual

"Just the way that some people talk about murder. Some of the people in there would be telling a story, casually drop the fact that they killed someone, then keep going on with the story like nothing happened."


In the Yard

"I’m not a con but my dad told me when he was up stream, guards informed them that they had a high case child rapist coming in. When the guy got there he ended up being this old white man walking with a cane. He didn’t last very long on the court yard. (They killed him on the prison yard)."


Where to Begin?

"I spent time in county on misdemeanors. During my first week an alcoholic died in the cell below me. We could hear him moaning and calling for help and the guards had been in multiple times. The last time I heard the guard tell the “bum” to deal with his bad choices like a man. The man had a seizure and died in that cell in a pool of crap. The following week the jail was on lockdown and inmates where rioting in their cells."

"Fire sprinklers where broken and the pods flooded. I saw multiple inmates hauled out after being peppered and subdued. The guards left the inmates not participating alone in their cells, just bored. This all happened in a relatively small town jail (population ~80,000). The man who died was a well known homeless fixture."

"He was known for getting petty charges to have a warm bed during especially cold nights. He was arrested for drinking on the courthouse lawn. I consider this to be terrifying because as an incarcerated individual your medical care is given through the facility, and I have never met a more callous individual than the medical staff in jail."


Photo Proof

"Some forensic photos the guy in the cell next to me showed me of his victims (corpses, he killed them after he tortured them), in gang related abductions. He 'removed' a tattoo with an electric sander, and knives in both eye sockets, still in. (They were part of his trial evidence.)"


The Corner Spot

"Ok so unfortunately, my bunk was close to the corner where everybody came to fight or whatever. So this one guy claimed that he was a gang member but it was discovered that he was a false-flagger. So, the gang members put him in the corner and took turns beating him."

He was in the infirmary for about a week. When he came back, the gang got him all over again. He was transferred after that. I promise there aren't many things more terrifying than hearing a grown man scream while he's being attacked."



"I’ve had ex-cons as clients. One saw his friend get stabbed (a lot, to death) and couldn’t jump in to help him or he’d get stabbed too. Same guy was in charge of removing gang patches from other inmates. Patches, in this case, meant tattoos. You don’t see many elderly gangsters for a reason."


Well those stories are horrible. Let's all stay on the straight and narrow.

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People Reveal The Weirdest Thing About Themselves

Reddit user Isitjustmedownhere asked: 'Give an example; how weird are you really?'

Let's get one thing straight: no one is normal. We're all weird in our own ways, and that is actually normal.

Of course, that doesn't mean we don't all have that one strange trait or quirk that outweighs all the other weirdness we possess.

For me, it's the fact that I'm almost 30 years old, and I still have an imaginary friend. Her name is Sarah, she has red hair and green eyes, and I strongly believe that, since I lived in India when I created her and there were no actual people with red hair around, she was based on Daphne Blake from Scooby-Doo.

I also didn't know the name Sarah when I created her, so that came later. I know she's not really there, hence the term 'imaginary friend,' but she's kind of always been around. We all have conversations in our heads; mine are with Sarah. She keeps me on task and efficient.

My mom thinks I'm crazy that I still have an imaginary friend, and writing about her like this makes me think I may actually be crazy, but I don't mind. As I said, we're all weird, and we all have that one trait that outweighs all the other weirdness.

Redditors know this all too well and are eager to share their weird traits.

It all started when Redditor Isitjustmedownhere asked:

"Give an example; how weird are you really?"

Monsters Under My Bed

"My bed doesn't touch any wall."

"Edit: I guess i should clarify im not rich."

– Practical_Eye_3600

"Gosh the monsters can get you from any angle then."

– bikergirlr7

"At first I thought this was a flex on how big your bedroom is, but then I realized you're just a psycho 😁"

– zenOFiniquity8

Can You See Why?

"I bought one of those super-powerful fans to dry a basement carpet. Afterwards, I realized that it can point straight up and that it would be amazing to use on myself post-shower. Now I squeegee my body with my hands, step out of the shower and get blasted by a wide jet of room-temp air. I barely use my towel at all. Wife thinks I'm weird."

– KingBooRadley


"In 1990 when I was 8 years old and bored on a field trip, I saw a black Oldsmobile Cutlass driving down the street on a hot day to where you could see that mirage like distortion from the heat on the road. I took a “snapshot” by blinking my eyes and told myself “I wonder how long I can remember this image” ….well."

– AquamarineCheetah

"Even before smartphones, I always take "snapshots" by blinking my eyes hoping I'll remember every detail so I can draw it when I get home. Unfortunately, I may have taken so much snapshots that I can no longer remember every detail I want to draw."

"Makes me think my "memory is full.""

– Reasonable-Pirate902

Same, Same

"I have eaten the same lunch every day for the past 4 years and I'm not bored yet."

– OhhGoood

"How f**king big was this lunch when you started?"

– notmyrealnam3

Not Sure Who Was Weirder

"Had a line cook that worked for us for 6 months never said much. My sous chef once told him with no context, "Baw wit da baw daw bang daw bang diggy diggy." The guy smiled, left, and never came back."

– Frostygrunt


"I pace around my house for hours listening to music imagining that I have done all the things I simply lack the brain capacity to do, or in some really bizarre scenarios, I can really get immersed in these imaginations sometimes I don't know if this is some form of schizophrenia or what."

– RandomSharinganUser

"I do the same exact thing, sometimes for hours. When I was young it would be a ridiculous amount of time and many years later it’s sort of trickled off into almost nothing (almost). It’s weird but I just thought it’s how my brain processes sh*t."

– Kolkeia

If Only

"Even as an adult I still think that if you are in a car that goes over a cliff; and right as you are about to hit the ground if you jump up you can avoid the damage and will land safely. I know I'm wrong. You shut up. I'm not crying."

– ShotCompetition2593

Pet Food

"As a kid I would snack on my dog's Milkbones."

– drummerskillit

"Haha, I have a clear memory of myself doing this as well. I was around 3 y/o. Needless to say no one was supervising me."

– Isitjustmedownhere

"When I was younger, one of my responsibilities was to feed the pet fish every day. Instead, I would hide under the futon in the spare bedroom and eat the fish food."

– -GateKeep-

My Favorite Subject

"I'm autistic and have always had a thing for insects. My neurotypical best friend and I used to hang out at this local bar to talk to girls, back in the late 90s. One time he claimed that my tendency to circle conversations back to insects was hurting my game. The next time we went to that bar (with a few other friends), he turned and said sternly "No talking about bugs. Or space, or statistics or other bullsh*t but mainly no bugs." I felt like he was losing his mind over nothing."

"It was summer, the bar had its windows open. Our group hit it off with a group of young ladies, We were all chatting and having a good time. I was talking to one of these girls, my buddy was behind her facing away from me talking to a few other people."

"A cloudless sulphur flies in and lands on little thing that holds coasters."

"Cue Jordan Peele sweating gif."

"The girl notices my tension, and asks if I am looking at the leaf. "Actually, that's a lepidoptera called..." I looked at the back of my friend's head, he wasn't looking, "I mean a butterfly..." I poked it and it spread its wings the girl says "oh that's a BUG?!" and I still remember my friend turning around slowly to look at me with chastisement. The ONE thing he told me not to do."

"I was 21, and was completely not aware that I already had a rep for being an oddball. It got worse from there."

– Phormicidae

*Teeth Chatter*

"I bite ice cream sometimes."


"That's how I am with popsicles. My wife shudders every single time."


Never Speak Of This

"I put ice in my milk."


"You should keep that kind of thing to yourself. Even when asked."

– We-R-Doomed

"There's some disturbing sh*t in this thread, but this one takes the cake."

– RatonaMuffin

More Than Super Hearing

"I can hear the television while it's on mute."

– Tira13e

"What does it say to you, child?"

– Mama_Skip


"I put mustard on my omelettes."

– Deleted User


– NotCrustOr-filling

Evened Up

"Whenever I say a word and feel like I used a half of my mouth more than the other half, I have to even it out by saying the word again using the other half of my mouth more. If I don't do it correctly, that can go on forever until I feel it's ok."

"I do it silently so I don't creep people out."

– LesPaltaX

"That sounds like a symptom of OCD (I have it myself). Some people with OCD feel like certain actions have to be balanced (like counting or making sure physical movements are even). You should find a therapist who specializes in OCD, because they can help you."

– MoonlightKayla

I totally have the same need for things to be balanced! Guess I'm weird and a little OCD!

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.