The Most Bone-Chilling Encounters Ever
Sometimes real-life experiences can be just as bone-chilling and inexplicable as a horror movie. From creepy run-ins with strangers to ghost-like haunting encounters in the middle of the night, these Redditors share their terrifying ordeals of wanting to run for their lives. Whatever their story, it's something they'll never forget.
A Narrow Escape
I’m a criminal defense investigator. I had a manslaughter case involving two brothers. The one accused of the manslaughters was very autistic, and his brother was a schizophrenic. The schizophrenic brother lived in a potato shack in the middle of the desert.
I needed to talk to him several times throughout the course of the investigation, and since he didn’t have a phone or electricity, I had to drive several hours out to his house and yell his name from the fence line until he came out of the shack. Weird, right? It gets even worse .
This investigation lasted for several years, and over time I developed a rapport with the schizophrenic brother, and I got to liking him. He would talk your ear off about aliens with golden eyes and the underground tunnels that connect all the Walmarts in the country, but he was pretty entertaining, and part of me wonders how much of it was for "show".
Eventually, the schizophrenic brother got a girlfriend who's not only a tweaker, but also mistook his schizophrenia for narcotic-induced psychosis. When she was in prison, I talked to her a few times when she wasn't intoxicated, and she was surprisingly charming and insightful. But things took a horrifying turn when she got out .
The last time I went to see the schizophrenic brother, it was a dark winter night. His tweaker girlfriend was there. She was lurking in the shadows and stared daggers at me the entire time I was talking to him. After our meeting, I started walking back to my truck to leave.
A minute later, he came running out and told me that he wanted to show me something in his shack. He had never invited me inside there before, and I was not thrilled by the prospect. The whole thing felt off to me, so I told him I had to get going, and started the truck.
The look of relief on his face when I declined to go inside convinced me that his girlfriend was waiting behind the door with a hammer or something. A few months later, I learned that she had shot him in his sleep and stashed his body in an old refrigerator. She had since plead guilty to manslaughter.
A Burning Realization
My partner and I were fighting a house fire. After realizing that our feet—through concrete-soled boots—became really hot, we decked the heck out of there.
Hot feet means that you’re standing above a fire. As fire burns upward, it weakens the floor beneath you. So we were about to plummet into a basement fire.
A Hair-Raising Moment
I was hiking with some buddies near the top of a mountain in Colorado. Suddenly, some bad weather started to roll in. But we were only 15 minutes away from the summit, so I went ahead while the others went back down.
As I was just about to reach the top, I felt static in the air and the hair on my head started to stand up . I immediately started to panic because I thought I was about to get struck by lightning. Naturally, I started to run down the mountain without ever getting to the top. I’m not sure if I was going to get struck but I sure as heck wasn’t sticking around to find out.
One Step Away From Disaster
While exploring an abandoned high rise with my friend, he suddenly grabs me from behind by the collar. After swearing at him, "What the bejeezus"?! he then ordered me to look down and I saw that I was about to step into an elevator shaft. The drop was about 20 floors to a concrete bottom with broken metal rods sticking out. We then went home. He saved my life that day.
Gruesome Discoveryperson sitting near bonfire surrounded by trees Photo by Jonathan Forage on Unsplash
I was solo camping in the woods during a phase where I wanted to be a survival expert. I hiked out, miles away from any roads or buildings, built a shelter and then hiked back the way I came.
Less than a mile away from my camp, I found something utterly terrifying . It was a slaughtered coyote, decapitated, gutted, and laid out like a sacrifice or something. The eyes were gouged out and it was strung across a big, flat rock—a rock which I used as a marker on the way in, so I knew it hadn't been there a day before.
I ran out of there as fast as I could, probably 10 miles back to my house. I still have no idea who would have done that, but I knew I didn't want to run into them in the woods alone.
Too Close For Comfort
My wife and I were camping on the Oregon coast and jogged through a guy's campsite that he'd set up on the trail down to the beach. On the way back to our campsite, I jogged a little bit ahead of my wife and she was really upset that I didn't stay with her. She said the guy looked really creepy.
We got back to Eugene and got a call from the state law enforcement officer asking if we saw anything strange (we were registered with the campground so they had our contact details). We gave an update of the guy camping above the beach and asked why they were calling us. They said someone had drowned an off duty female officer in a tidal pool, cut their tent lines, and took her car.
It turned out to be a homicidal maniac who'd been slaughtering people while traveling across the country. They caught him in southern California a few weeks later.
We definitely got the "dodged a bullet" feeling.
This Isn't A Drill
There was a lockdown at my school that wasn't a drill. It ended up being a false alarm since the guy who was armed never ran into the school, just running in proximity to the school.
But it sure was scary and I think what made it scarier was knowing that you couldn't escape. You couldn't leave without the risk of getting shot. You just had to stay in the classroom and pray that the shooter was dumb enough to believe that the room was empty after the teacher turned off the lights and closed the blinds.
You literally had nowhere to go or to hide.
Playing With Fire
One night, I was walking home from work, along a busy street. A man drove up beside me and told me that he was a firefighter. He said that a storm was approaching and I should get into his car. I said, "No, thanks" and kept walking. He kept insisting. Finally, I was about to walk past a hotel but he pulled partway into the hotel parking lot, enough to block my path.
Thankfully, the hotel guard saw how uncomfortable I looked. As soon as the hotel guard took a step towards us, the guy peeled out and sped away. That just confirmed that he was not a firefighter and I would have been in danger had I gone with him. Scary.
A Barking Mad Encounter
As a trucker, I've learned to find some creative ways to park. One night, I was at some random back road in the middle of nowhere in Texas. I found what I call a 'make-a-spot' area. I was alone with my dog. I decided to park for a 30 minute break.
When my dog got out to relieve herself, I realized that trouble was heading our way . My dog started getting really agitated—growling and snarling. I saw that off in the field next to my truck, there was a red light about six to eight feet in the air. And it was moving around very slowly.
It was deathly silent except for my dog who was barking maniacally. As the light got closer, she went totally ballistic. So I decided that I had seen enough and headed back to the truck. At this time, we were about 20 feet away from the trailer.
When we reached the truck, I heard a large crash coming from the brush. My dog became even more difficult to control and my adrenaline told me to run!
I opened the passenger door, tossed my dog into the truck, climbed in, and just when I slammed the door shut, something crashed into my truck. I have no idea what it was, but it made the whole trailer rock side to side.
I drove away as fast as I could without even putting my seat belt on. I drove for about 30 miles and only when I reached a gas station in a small town did I feel like I exhaled.
A few days later, I was walking up to my truck and noticed that the entire side of the sleeper of the truck was bent a little inwards. You could only see it when the sun hit the side at a particular angle, but the bend was definitely there.
A Sight To RememberInsomnia | Alyssa L. Miller | Flickr www.flickr.com
When I was a teenager, I was woken up in the middle of the night by some chaos going on in my house. I came out of my room and was shocked by what I saw . There was my dad, tearing through the house wearing nothing but his Red Wings jersey. He was holding his semi-automatic and headed towards the front door.
My mom swept me out of the way and locked us in my sister's room. Apparently, someone tried to break into my window but didn't realize that my parents' window was right beside mine. My dad woke up, grabbed his piece, and chased the dude down the street.
He was completely unclothed, running with a weapon at 3 am. He was screaming, "I'm going to find you, you schmuck"! I'm pretty sure every neighbor called emergency by that time.
Eventually, law enforcement officers came, with their helicopter–the whole nine yards. What they told us chilled me to the bone . It turns out the dude was a wanted felon. He had stood outside my window long enough to have puffed half a pack of smokes. The only reason he didn’t get into the house was because we had storm windows.
That's what he was trying to pry off when my dad woke up. They did eventually find him hiding in a neighbor's shed. At the time all this happened, my dad was in his 30s and was 6'2". He was a construction worker with a shaved head and a goatee. He was very menacing looking when he wanted to be.
Thank god no one had security cameras at the time because the image of this angry, unclothed man, running down the middle of the road in work boots, already kept the neighbors' tongues wagging for MONTHS. This happened in the mid 90s.
Preying On Fear
My wife and I were on a search mission for some missing fern pickers. We were volunteers with the local search and rescue team. We decided to stay in the search area that night and had built a pretty nice fire. It was about 2 am and we were sitting there hoping the missing folks would wander into camp.
I heard animals around us throughout the night. No surprises there as we were in the middle of the woods. I was used to animals stalking around outside my camp. I knew there were two animals, one on either side of us. It was at about that point when we heard a bird-sounding chirp. It came from about the same area I figured one of the animals were. Then I heard another, from the opposite side.
I immediately realized we were being watched and stalked by at least two cougars. We quickly climbed into the back of my truck. It had a camper shell and was outfitted for truck camping.
My father-in-law suffered a heart attack on my back deck while we were working on something together. My wife and kids were out at the time. It was just the two of us and he actually passed in my arms.
I was talking to the emergency operator and could hear the sirens approaching. I also knew that my wife and kids would be returning home shortly and I would have to explain to them what had happened while they were gone.
I continued doing CPR on him but he hadn't taken a breath in two minutes and had no discernible pulse. I still can't believe what happened next .
Seconds later, he takes a massive breath and comes back to life. The ambulance arrived and rushed him to the hospital. He miraculously made a full recovery.
Those two minutes where I was certain he was gone and I'd have to deal with my wife and kids arriving and seeing it...absolutely chilled me to the bone.
Face Of Fear
Back when I was in college, I used to drive up the Oregon coast on the weekends. When I got tired, I would just sleep in my car. During one of these trips, I woke up from a nap while sleeping in the driver's seat. Something just didn't feel quite right .
It was just dusk and the light was fading pretty quickly. I yawned and stretched, and as I turned my head to the side, I caught a face ducking down below the rear passenger window. I hit the lock button just to make sure that the doors were locked but in my panic I accidentally unlocked the doors briefly.
I scrambled around and managed to lock them again. I stared at the window for a few minutes, knowing that someone was crouching just out of sight. Eventually, when I started the car, I thought I heard a scuffing sound. Whoever it was didn't reappear, but that was enough for me.
I cleared out of there as fast as I could, pulling back onto Highway 101. When I glanced back, I saw a bald figure in a red t-shirt with something wrapped around his face. He booked it into the woods from the side of the road.
That was the end of that weekend trip. I drove the two hours back to my dorm room with white-knuckled hands locked on the steering wheel. I had to pull over a few miles down the road to deal with the adrenaline shakes.
I was hiking in the Rocky Mountains, on a trail I knew pretty well. I was leading a group of 20 or so middle school-aged kids from the camp where I worked. As I turned a corner on the trail, I saw a jaw bone belonging to a deer.
It was pretty cool, so I showed it to the kids. There wasn't any flesh on it, so I assumed it was pretty old. A hundred feet further down the trail, I found another, a femur maybe. This one looked a little fresher. Further down again, I found yet another bone.
At this point, I was getting a little nervous, so I explained to the kids that we should probably turn around and head back. My students all groaned because they wanted to see more interesting stuff, but I herded them down the trail and back to camp.
Two days later, we got a call at the camp that someone had been mauled in the area by a mountain lion. Apparently, a mountain lion had set itself up in the caves on the cliffside and had gotten angry when someone got too close.
I'm glad we left the area when we did, even if my students would have loved to have seen more slaughtered stuff.
Deal Gone Wrongman driving a car wearing wrist watch Photo by why kei on Unsplash
One night, a couple of years back, I was driving an Uber and had just picked up four guys from a club. As I was listening to them talk, I realized that two of the guys had met the other two at the club and were on their way to get coke from one of their cousins.
There was an odd vibe and some of the conversation didn't seem to make any sense, but I was hyper aware that these intoxicated dumbasses were heading with two strangers to a drug deal—and I was the one driving them to it!
I did not want narcotics in my car, and I was very aware that we might be on the way to an ambush. If we started heading anywhere remote or sketchy I had to figure out how to end the ride.
The two wannabe dealers kept trying to get in touch with their cousin via cellphone. I dropped them off at an apartment just off a main street. After both of them left the car to go into the building, I just said to the two other guys, "Should we leave", and we did.
I still don't know if it was just a ploy for a free ride, or if the "dealers" were too inebriated or dumb to pull off a basic coke deal, or if it was something nefarious that didn't finish. I shall never know.
Close Your Eyes
It was July 27, 2002. I was at the Sknyliv air show with my dad. I had just turned five years old the day before. It’s one of my most vivid memories from my childhood—and the worst memory of my life.
When disaster struck, the pilot managed to land 10 meters away from me and my dad. He was on his knees, his parachute dangling in the wind and I remember him repeating, "What have I done"? over and over. I didn’t understand much of what happened. My dad only said for me to "Close your eyes, we have to go".
Years later, my dad told me that we would have gone further into the crowd but I refused because my shoelaces were untied. Him kneeling to tie my shoes was the only thing that saved us.
It wasn’t bone-chilling at the time but when I imagine what my dad witnessed that day, I get goosebumps.
Time To Move
I was 27-years old and dating a girl who lived in a crappy part of Hollywood, Florida with her young kid. The dad ended up going to prison for assault. The place she could afford was totally run down, with all sorts of addicts and strange folks living in the units around her.
She hated the place but she couldn't move in with me because I was just renting a room where I lived. It was still better than living with her parents. After my shift ended at 9 pm, I picked up some food then went to her apartment. I had no idea I was walking into my worst nightmare .
We were there for about an hour, just sitting on the couch watching her kid playing with a box when the banging started on the door. She looked terrified and thought it was her ex. I was freaked out too, because of all the stories I had heard about him.
The guy started cursing and hitting something against the door—hard. We didn't even want to look out the window or through the peephole in case he was armed. We called emergency but the operator was having a tough time hearing us.
Then we heard another woman screaming and cursing. He had the wrong door. We heard them start fighting, then things smashing, and more screaming. It sounded like she was spitting and we heard punches. We weren't sure who was getting hurt but it was loud.
The emergency operator finally told us that help was on the way, but this horror show was far from over . My girlfriend's kid got scared and started screaming. That's when the man outside started banging on the door again. He thought his kid was with us and shouted that he was going to hurt us for taking his kid.
My girlfriend completely broke down at this point and started crying. About 10 minutes later, law enforcement officers arrived. They apprehended both the man and woman and took our statements.
My girlfriend moved out a of couple days later and we ended up renting another crappy apartment but in a much better area.
Close Encounter Of The Strangest Kind
When I was eight years old, I lived in a trailer park. Most of my neighbors were fine but there were some sketchy folks around.
One day, I was really bored and asked my parents if I could walk up the street to my friend's house. He didn't live very far away but his house was still out of sight of my parents's trailer. Since it was the middle of the day, and we knew a lot of people on our street, my parents said yes.
So here I am, an eight-year-old little girl walking alone to my friend's house. Just as I got out of sight, I saw a strange man walking towards me straight ahead. I immediately became guarded because I was alone and also had never seen this dude before.
I kept hoping he would veer off somewhere away from me but instead, he kept coming towards me. I noticed his eyes were locked on me and he was smiling. I got the creeps but I was pretty close to my friend's house by now. That's when I made a bone-chilling realization .
I looked around and saw that nobody else was outside to witness if anything were to happen.
When he finally got close enough to me, he said, "Hey, do you think you could take your shoes off? Please, I want to see your feet". And I said, "Huh? What"? So he asked again to see my feet!!! That's when I turned around and sprinted as fast as I could back to my trailer. I was terrified.
When I was about four years old, I was playing alone in my front yard. My parents were both inside the house keeping an eye on me, but you couldn't see them watching me from the outside. We lived in a very rural area where maybe five cars would drive by a day.
I remember a man pulling up in front of our house where I was playing. He rolled down his car window to call me over. Even at that age, I knew I wasn’t supposed to get too close to this guy.
I took a few steps forward and he said, "Hey, can you tell me how to get to such and such place"? I’m FOUR. So I’m like, "Huh"? And he repeated himself, "I was just wondering if you could give me directions to this place".
The next thing I know, my dad storms out of the front door asking what on earth this dude wanted. The man mumbled something about needing directions and sped away.
Tracks With Eyesrailroad surrounded by trees at daytime Photo by Tom Barrett on Unsplash
My friend and I were walking on some train tracks while talking about mundane stuff. There were ditches on either side of the tracks. As we were walking, I glanced down and made eye contact with a guy who immediately started climbing up from the ditch, towards us.
I told her to run and we both got the heck out of there. We decided that we weren't going to do that again.
Vibes Don't Lie
My family and I were recently traveling all over Costa Rica. We love nature but we fear and respect it at the same time. We knew that there were crocodiles on the west side in Bahia Ballena. By talking to the locals, wherever we traveled, we learned of the dangers in the areas. Often, it was snakes we needed to be concerned with.
That day, we went to the east Caribbean side to Playa Negra. We unloaded our things on the beach near a ravine. I kept looking at the ravine and had a very unsettling feeling . I knew that crocodiles can look like logs and remain still until they are under attack. I kept staring but couldn't see anything.
For whatever reason, I just couldn't get myself to relax. I told my husband and we both became hyper aware. I checked the internet to see if there were any crocodiles in the area. The search results said that none had been spotted in nearly 10 years.
I then went on my Facebook group and everyone said not to worry about anything and that only in extreme drought do crocodiles show up in this place. But for whatever reason, I just couldn't calm down. We have a toddler so I was extremely cautious and nervous.
Finally, I apologized to my family about ruining their beach day but told them we couldn't stay. We ended up leaving and decided to do another activity. Two days later, we discovered why I'd been so afraid— and it was tragic .
We were at a restaurant and it was all over the news. A little kid about eight years old was seriously injured by a crocodile at the same area where I had those strange feelings. I almost passed out. I couldn't tell you if it was the exact spot since it was a rather large beach.
But it didn't matter. It could've been my family. I'm not easily frightened by things but when my vibes and intuition tell me to listen up, I don't try to rationalize it. I just listen. My husband totally trusted me and didn't complain, which makes me so happy. He's just such a good man.
Always listen to your gut even if you can't completely logically back up your reasons.
We Aren't Alone
About eight years ago, a friend and I were exploring an abandoned factory in North Philadelphia. When we got to about the third floor, I discovered a booby trap in the stairwell. It was a tripwire that swung an axe down from the ceiling.
Suddenly, we heard someone from up above shout, "YO"!
Time to go.
I've never covered as much ground so quickly as I did that day. I think we got two or three blocks away before we realized that we were riding each other's bikes.
Did You See That?
My mom's best friend owns a farm about a half hour from where I grew up. We would spend nearly every weekend there to help with the upkeep and to care for our horses.
As the sun was setting this one day, you could just feel the weather changing. The clouds were rolling in, the wind, the humidity, and the greenish tint outside all indicated that a storm was brewing.
Right after supper, it started to rain really hard. There was lots of wind and lightening, too. As I looked out the window, I thought I saw something strange above the barn on the far side of the yard. I was petrified. It looked like rotation in the clouds—and it started to lower down.
I pointed this out to my dad. He said that it was just rain bouncing off the roof of the barn. We both looked out for a moment and clearly saw it suck back up into the clouds. I got goosebumps. We looked at each other for a second in disbelief, then he shrugged, and went back into the living room. Meanwhile, I sheltered in the bathroom.
The next day, we saw in the news that an F-4 tornado ripped through a small town about 24 miles from where we were. I got chills when I saw the news reports.
We were tearing down an old outbuilding/office on my in-law's farm. While trying to save as much of the lumber as we could to reuse for a chicken coop, we pulled a large piece of plywood off one of the walls and discovered that the insulation was crawling with hundreds of snakes. These snakes immediately started slithering out of the wall towards us in a writhing horde.
We had seen rattlesnakes on the property before so I didn't wait a second longer. Never in my life had I moved as quickly as I did at that moment. I pretty much teleported into the back of my father-in-law's pickup. One minute I was standing in the way of hundreds of agitated snakes and the next, I was wondering if I could fit through the little rear window of a Ford F150.
Chills In The Nightman riding on white horse during daytime Photo by Taylor Brandon on Unsplash
I work as a private contractor and was working an overnight security gig in the middle of a large ranch near the border of South Texas.
My partner and I had been patrolling for hours without anything happening. We stopped for a few minutes to talk to each other when suddenly, we heard some cracking in the brush. Then we saw something that made our blood run cold .
There was an infrared light moving through the brush, freeze, then vanish. Obviously, we couldn't leave the job site, so we sat in painful silence for hours with rifles on the brush line. We never saw or heard anything else. It sent chills throughout our bodies.
Theoretically, no one else should have been running equipment like that in our area, and yet—here we were all huddled up.
Run For Your Life
I was 10 years old and living on Main Street in a small town. There were just a long row of shops on either side of the road. It was midday and I was only two blocks away from home.
An old red pick up with a 20-year old driver, and four other 20-year-olds drove by. They gestured over to me, but before I could respond, all four men hopped out at once, and darted for me. I had a 30 foot head start, and sprinted for my life.
I ran until I found a small crack, about 7 inches wide, between two buildings. I managed to squeeze in between the buildings just as the men caught up to me. One of them reached into the crack and touched my shirt but he couldn't get a good grasp of me. They were all too big to fit in the crack so they went around to the other side to get me.
By then, I had broken the line of sight and sprinted to a nearby place to hide. I stayed in a bush for over an hour—terrified. I don’t know what they wanted from me, and I’m glad I didn’t have to find out. I never felt safe again, and always thought they would come to my home to get me.
My best friend and I were heading down a mountain after hiking about 20 km from scouting bighorn sheep. It was a couple of days before opening day of hunting season. We were hiking along the bank of a dried up riverbed and heading back to the truck when his dog suddenly stopped cold in his tracks.
We thought he had just heard a squirrel or some other little animal, so we ignored it and kept walking.
All of a sudden, from out of nowhere, a black bear got to about 25 feet from us and BOLTED off into the bush so fast that he was probably over 100 feet away before I would have even been able to get the bear spray out of the holster on my belt. I was startled and petrified.
I just want to point out that if you and a bear startle each other, and he decides to attack, you are 100% doomed. I have never seen something so big move so fast in my life.
Stranger In The Night
It was the summer of 2019 and I was house sitting for my dad while he was away for work. The house is in the middle of nowhere and isn't easily found on Google maps. When friends come to visit, I would usually have to drive to the top of the nearest paved road then lead them down to my dad’s place.
One night, after having a few drinks with friends, I was dropped off at the side of the house by a friend who lived close by. It was easier for him to do that so that he could simply turn around and drive off. I walked up the stairs and got into the house with my key through the side door that led to the kitchen.
The kitchen overlooked the front garden but the front door was nestled into a small porch and wasn’t visible from where I was at the time. I was making tea in the kitchen when I came face to face with my worst fear .
I saw movement in the front garden. I immediately turned off the lights. That's when I saw a man trying to look into the kitchen windows from the garden. He walked around to the back of the house, and cupped his hands to the wall-to-ceiling glass doors, trying to look in.
I wasn’t completely clear-headed that night but remember thinking that this was all a dream—in reality, it was a living nightmare . The man couldn’t see me in the dark but I was hiding behind the wall that separated the kitchen from the dining room/lounge area. Stupidly, I had left one of the glass doors closest to the front door unlocked. He started to enter through that unlocked door.
It was completely pitch black. He didn't realize that I was about 10 feet away from him. I had already called the friend who had dropped me off as I knew he would still be nearby whereas law enforcement officers would have taken at least 30 minutes to get to the house. I also knew that my friend's parents were ex-militia and kept artillery in a safe in his truck.
I remember just wanting to RUN and get the heck out of the house as soon as possible. But if I ran, I’d be alone in the middle of nowhere with a deranged man chasing after me. The situation felt like something out of a movie and not real at all. I was acting on adrenaline.
As the guy walked further into the house, I stepped out and pulled a blade on him—again, I was intoxicated and realized that it was a very stupid thing to have done. He tried incoherently to make conversation but I got him out of the door just as my friend pulled up with his piece.
The dude bolted to his car that was parked in an area concealed by trees on the property. It turns out he was the gardener. He had been keeping tabs on me. He knew that I was alone and house sitting for my dad while he was out of town. This guy was VERY high on opiates—he admitted this while I had the blade out.
Apparently, he had been waiting on the front porch for me to come home. Except that night, I used the side door, something I rarely ever did. If I hadn’t used the side door that night, I have no idea what would have happened.
I also have no idea what would have happened if my friend hadn’t come back when I called him, because the guy started getting aggressive and tried to come at me right when my friend got arrived.
We like to joke about it now, but it was the worst scenario I have ever experienced where I wanted to just run and get the heck away.
Trust Your Instincts
I was in medical school at the time. I was upstairs in the lab with a friend, practicing our surgical skills. The building had two staircases: a main enclosed staircase that led to the lobby and classrooms and another one that was outside that was only ever used in fire drills. It wasn't a fire escape but an older entrance that led into the lab classroom.
When it was time to leave, I grabbed the door handle to the main stairs that led into the lobby but was immediately filled with absolute fear and anxiety. My intuition kept saying, "Get out! Not that way"! For the first time in three years, I said. "Let's take the outdoor stairs...". My friend had literally no idea there even WAS another exit.
The next day, we discovered that at the exact time we were taking the outside stairs, a disgruntled classmate pulled a weapon on the staff and students in the lobby at the base of the main stairs. He was kicked out of the program due to poor grades and simply snapped.
My friend still talks about the incident and tells people to always trust their instincts.
Stranger Dangerboy leaning on black wall Photo by Luke Pennystan on Unsplash
When I was eight or nine years old, I was playing outside when a guy pulled up and called me over to his car. He pulled out a map and asked if I could hop inside and help give him some directions. My mom had put the fear of being hurt by strangers into me early so I screamed at the guy and he sped away really quickly.
I ran inside and told my mom what had happened. It was flat-out scary. I'm so glad she was smart enough to instill us with the dangers of following a stranger. I may have become another missing child had I gotten close enough for him to get a hand on.
Many years ago, I was working at the Cincinnati airport as a ramp agent for the now-defunct Comair Airlines. I was working to depart a plane by myself, so I was hustling around to get the baggage door closed, signaling the pilot on engine startup procedures, and I still had to unplug the power cart and marshal the plane out.
The power cart was a diesel generator, parked behind the starboard wing. The cable plugged into a jack on the plane’s belly. The pilot signaled me to disengage it, so I acknowledged him, and ran from my position in front of the nose, out toward the wingtip, and back in, following the trailing edge of the wing.
The exhaust from the turboprop engine was several hundred degrees, so you had to duck under the jet blast to reach the jack. I shut off the power cart, reached the jack, unplugged it and threw the cable clear, latched the door and then started running back toward the nose to get the plane rolling. Hurry, hurry, hurry…
I ran only a few steps when my left leg just didn’t drop. Instead, it extended. It did so for such a distance and time that I literally looked down at it, thinking, "What the heck…"? My foot finally planted on the ground, my knee locked, and I felt the impact in my teeth. My stride was interrupted, and I had literally been turned 90 degrees, and was now running directly away from the plane.
That’s when I realized that my next step would have taken me through the propeller. That was the closest I had ever come to fainting. I have no idea what caused that change in stride, but I was certainly glad of it.
I was maybe 11 or 12 years old when I witnessed something incredible—and terrifying . I love storms. There just happened to be a crazy thunderstorm that night and I decided I wanted to watch it from the doorway of our house. I got the bright idea to open the metal screen door to get a better look. So I was standing between the doorway, holding a chunk of the metal door.
Then suddenly, I see a flash of light, hear a sizzling sound, and then the loudest, closest BANG I've ever heard in my life! I let go of the door and ran back inside. I didn't get a scratch, but the hair on my arms were standing straight up and I had a huge adrenaline rush.
I don't stand in doorways to watch storms anymore.
Never To Be Forgotten
I was in the lobby of the World Trade Center on Sept 11th when the plane hit. Although I didn't know a plane had hit the building at the time, I experienced what sounded like a building bending and metal tearing. Then suddenly, all of the doors in the lobby blew open and burning hot air lashed into my face. It sounded like Hades was coming down those stairs. Turns out I was right.
I must've been around 10 or 12 years old when this happened. I was walking back home one afternoon, around 3 or 4 pm, after strolling around the neighborhood, which was usually very safe, friendly, and quiet. I was on the opposite side of the block, walking past the houses behind ours.
There was a park that connected the entire block which meant you could cut through the houses to get home. I was only a few houses away at that point. I went through the park, a park I had played at my entire childhood, without paying much attention to my surroundings, when about halfway through, this older guy who wore a hoodie whom I didn't know called out to me.
"Dude, come over here for one sec", he said. "Um, what do you want"? I asked. "Come here, I just wanna ask you something", he yelled back. "Ok, ask me from over there", I replied. "No, no, come over, please", he returned. "No, tell me from over there", I responded.
At that point, another dude who was sitting next to him on the bench started to get upset. I heard a, "That's it" from him and they both stood up quickly and started making their way towards me. I can't recall how far they chased after me, but my instincts just told me to run like heck and I did.
To this day I still don't know if they were going to mug me, if they were just taunting me or what was happening but it definitely scared the wits out of me.
Straight Out Of A Horror Flickempty room with bed frames Photo by Hoshino Ai on Unsplash
My 17-year-old friends and I used to sneak into this abandoned mental institute. We navigated our way through a lot of it over the course of three or four trips.
This place was creepy —like it came straight out of a horror flick. The one time we went into the basement was it for me. One room looked like a freezer area. We had to walk through the thick plastic that shielded the doorway to get into the room.
Someone flicked a switch and it actually turned on this loud machine. We all jumped and screamed like 12-year old girls. Never again.
Spine-Chilling Sounds Of The Night
After the movie ended around 11 pm, my friend and I walked out of the theater towards our car. The theater we had gone to was pretty empty with just a few other stores around. For some reason, we walked out of the wrong doors and ended up on the other side of the mall. It was a good ten minute walk from our car.
As we were walking through the empty parking lot, it was pretty silent until we heard the most bone-chilling scream from about 100 yards away. It was definitely a woman screaming and it was one long, continuous scream—which honestly made it worse. The scream sounded like she had walked in on the loss of a child, or something terrible.
My friend and I immediately turned to each other with the same shocked look. We booked it out of there and called the law enforcement officers. We never did learn of anything happening that night, but I will always remember that scream. To make it worse, we had just watched the movie NOPE.
Just In Time
I was ice fishing on a lake up north with my buddy. It wasn't a big lake, but it was known for good fishing. We were fishing for a while but didn't catch anything when suddenly we heard a loud craaaaack.
The ice started to split from one side of the lake to the other. We had to get to shore ASAP! One side of the shore had already split into two giant slabs and were sinking. Water started running over the top of the slabs.
We had to get to shore NOW. I yelled at my buddy to run.
By the time we got to shore, the one slab of ice began breaking up with the other close behind. The ice quickly sank and disappeared from sight. Luckily, we made it to solid ground just in time, and lived to fish another day.
Fright Of My Life
There was supposedly a haunted house that a bunch of us high schoolers would visit occasionally. It was about a half mile down a gravel road on what used to be a farm.
There were two ways to get to the house: down a gravel road from the main road or down a long meandering path that led to a closed road in a neighborhood that backed up to the farm.
One time, a large group of us decided to head out to the area. We chose the longer path since there were more places to park for the six cars we had with us. My best friend had his foot in a walking boot due to an injury he had.
Anyways, after our usual bout of screwing around, we decided to leave. Everyone left rather quickly but I chose to stay behind and walk with my friend who was moving much slower. I soon came to regret that decision .
About half way back to our car, we looked over to our right and about 20-30 yards away in the field, we saw four guys holding artillery—just standing in the field. There was a bright moon that night so we saw them clearly. We both stopped, crouched down and whispered, "What the heck"?!
We peeked up over the high grass and they were just standing there pointing their artillery at us. We just bolted. Suddenly, my friend with the injured foot was able to run incredibly fast too. It was so freaky.
When we caught up to the others, they said they hadn’t seen a thing. We're still not sure what the heck happened out there and what was going on.
It was a nice summer's day. I went urban exploring with my mate in a storm drain. We only intended to explore the first couple of hundred feet but decided to keep going.
After a while, we could hear a lot of water echoing in the distance. Suddenly, I noticed the water level getting higher with a bit more flow. My mate tried to convince me that it was just a diverted river. I wasn't having any of it and made us head back as quickly as possible.
Suddenly, a freak rain storm, which became torrential, made things more difficult for us. Several times, I wasn't sure if we were going to make it out. Luckily we managed to escape. It was absolutely terrifying.
Let's Get Out Of HereFile:BG Waffle House.jpg - Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org
My friend and I met at Waffle House for lunch. A guy came into the restaurant looking for a piece of paper that he had accidentally left on a table. The waitress didn't know where the paper was located and might have thrown it away.
The guy got upset saying the paper was important and he was going home to get his pistol stored under his mattress. My friend and I quickly paid our check and got the heck out of the restaurant!
When I was about 11 years old, this house down the street from my grandparents' house had a reputation for being haunted.
One day, I was walking to the shop to get supplies for my grandparents and I saw the owner of the house outside. He was about my dad's age and started talking to me. I really wanted to be the first of my friends to go in the haunted house, and I was asking a million questions about ghosts and stuff.
He told me that I could come inside if I wanted to. I said I had to go do my errands but he was pretty convincing and promised he wouldn't tell anyone. So we went up his driveway and into his haunted house. When we got inside, things took a dark turn . I heard him lock the door. I became hyper anxious and said that I had changed my mind about staying.
He had blocked me from the door and tried to change my mind by calling me a scaredy cat and stuff. I don't remember exactly what happened for him to let me out, but he did, and I ran for my life. I sat at the shop for ages just shaking and feeling nauseous without even knowing what I was scared of.
It turned out that the house wasn't haunted. The guy, however, was a monster who liked to do awful things to kids. His house burned down while he was in prison.
The Hunter Or The Hunted?
My late friend was an avid hunter and outdoorsman. He was literally born in the wrong era. He should have been a mountain man. Every year, he would go hunting in this sweet spot where he'd get the biggest bucks I'd ever seen. He loved this spot so much that he would never disclose the location to anyone.
Well, one day, as we were all hanging around, he mentioned that he had a new hunting spot. This was totally out of the ordinary for him. So we asked him why he decided to switch. He told us that when he got to his usual hunting spot, he set up camp and set out to scout the area. As he was walking, he smelled something that he had never smelled before.
This guy lives in a cabin in the woods and knows this area like the back of his hand. For him to smell something unusual is a big deal. But he simply shrugged it off and kept hiking around. He said he kept feeling like he was being watched or stalked, like what you'd expect a deer to feel as it's being hunted.
He then decided to head back to his camp and called it a night. When he got to his truck, he found prints he had never seen before all around his truck and camp. He left and never went back. The look on his face as he told the story was like none I had ever seen on him before.
He later found a new spot that he disclosed to us right before he passed. I'll be hunting there with my dad next season.
Last year, a month before graduating from high school, I had a really creepy encounter . I was walking to school when an old man yelled at me from across the street. He kept yelling his name to me. He eventually caught up to me and told me that he was looking for a lady to marry.
He asked for my name and then asked if he could see me later. I naturally said no, but he kept persisting. I told him that I was still in high school. But it only got worse from there . Rather than backing off, he asked for my age. I told him that I was 18.
He kept asking to see me later. I eventually just said, "Sure", just to get him off my back. I walked away, and my school bus picked me up.
I later learned that he had a reputation for doing this. I also learned that when he was intoxicated, he once broke into a couple's house and wore the woman's pants.
Prowler On The Loose
I lived in south Everett, WA, for a couple years. Once I was walking home from the bus stop to my apartment, which took me behind a Home Depot. Suddenly, a van started following me. I heard the side door slide open and when I looked behind me, I saw only the top half of a man hanging out of the door looking at me.
I darted towards my apartment, running as far as I could. That's when the van started to speed up. It was at that exact moment, a guy started pulling out of the driveway of my apartment complex. He saw me running for my life, and stopped his car. The van immediately turned around and sped off.
The guy asked if I was okay. I asked if he could stay and wait for me to walk safely into my apartment, which was the building next to his. He did, thank goodness. I started carrying mace and a very large blade the next day.
Lucky Escapea red and white bus driving down a snow covered street Photo by Brian Jones on Unsplash
One night, a co-worker got off the bus in Scarborough, Ontario, when a guy stepped out from behind the bus shelter and started calling to her to wait up. He ran up to her, but she screamed, "I don't know you", and ran into a convenience store.
The guy hung around outside for a few minutes, then walked over to a vehicle, got in and drove off. She waited for a neighbor in her apartment complex to come over and walk her home.
She filed a report and it turned out she had narrowly escaped Paul Bernardo, then known for his crimes against women in Scarborough, and later known as a homicidal maniac alongside his wife Karla Homolka.
A Terrifying Affair
A 500 lb hog got loose at the state fair and started charging right at me. I have never run so fast in my life.
I was living in Baltimore some years back and was driving home through a rough area of the city. I was sitting at a stop light behind a car when another car pulled up next to me on the right. I didn't think anything of this until the light turned green and neither of the cars moved. Then I saw another car zipping up behind me. I then looked to my left and saw two guys running towards me.
I am so thankful that I left a good deal of space between me and the car in front. I hooked it around the car and sped off. I'm pretty sure I was going to be a victim of a carjacking or maybe something worse. I'm so glad they ill-timed their plan and I gave myself that extra space. The lesson here is to always keep your head on a swivel in Baltimore.
I was sleeping over at a friend's house when I got up in the night to get some water in the kitchen. That's when her father hugged me from behind. I was 14. I never went to their house again.
Signs From Above
When I was a kid, I used to be a Jehovah’s Witness. One day, I was with my mom and a few others going house to house, and preaching to strangers. My mom and I walked up this slanted driveway with trees around each side. The others waited for us in the car. They couldn’t see us from where they had parked on the street.
We knocked on the door and everything seemed normal. Just as the man answered the door, something incredibly strange happened. My ears started to ring and buzz like crazy. It felt like someone threw a helmet on my head and my body was screaming for me to leave.
The man listened to my mom’s spiel. He then said he was interested in hearing more, and invited us inside. Meanwhile, the feelings I had got more intense. The air felt thicker and prevented me from moving. My mom looked at me and she said I looked pale and distant.
She told him that I seemed to be ill and that we had to leave. As soon as we stepped away and I saw the car, I was completely fine. My mom decided to take me home anyway. We lived just two blocks away.
A few days later, we read in the paper about how the same man we had spoken to when I had those strange feelings, was apprehended for slaying several women. I think one of them was as young as 16 years old—just a child. I was 12 years old at the time.
My mom, a dutiful believer at the time, was convinced that the angels had stepped in to protect us and kept us safe that day.
When I was 16 or 17 years old, I was texting with a friend's older brother whom I had only met once in person at a ball game. He was about 19 or 20 years old and was a local paramedic. He was very sweet on me. At that age, I didn’t know any better and just loved the idea that an older guy was so smitten with me.
One day, he randomly showed up at the little country side cafe where I worked. He insisted that I take his letterman jacket even though it was in the heat of summer. It was weird but he was insistent so I took it. That was a big mistake .
We kept texting and things got weirder. He started getting possessive. I got scared and basically ghosted him. I never told him where I lived. Not even a few days later, I was home alone—way out in the middle of nowhere—with my younger stepsister when I heard banging on the door.
We live in an old, run-down, single-wide trailer so nothing was really "home invader proof". It was him. He was yelling for me to come out right away. Then things got even more terrifying . He started beating and kicking the door—hard. The whole trailer was shaking. He started throwing stuff at the windows and screaming.
I got my mom's pistol, hid my step sister in the closet and called the authorities. It felt like an eternity waiting for help. He didn’t stop until I heard tires on the gravel pull up. An officer came inside the trailer and said the boy claimed I took his letterman jacket and class ring and he was just there to get his stuff back.
The ring was apparently in the jacket pocket but I didn’t know that. I gave the jacket to the officer. I don’t know what happened to the guy but needless to say there were no further contacts. I still don’t know how he knew where I lived.
Reddit user nekorei2023 asked: 'What did the person do/say that made you go "what the f**k is wrong with you?"'
We all have that moment where someone we know says something so completely absurd, the only response we think of is 'WTF is wrong with you?'
Sometimes, it's something woefully inaccurate that you can't wrap your head around the fact that someone believes that.
Othertimes, it's something completely offensive and you regret your association with that person.
My college roommate was a girl I knew from my high school. I didn't know her too well, but we had some big things in common, so I figured it'd be fun to live with her.
This girl was half-Korean and talked a lot about racist people. At first, I let her rant, figuring maybe she or someone in her family faced some racism. I faced some myself, and I agreed with most of the things she said about racists. Eventually, however, I realized she was equating the word 'racist' with the word 'white.'
I spoke to her once, telling her she can't use 'racist' and 'white' interchangeably. She agreed to stop doing that, but within a few days, she started doing it again. She was a very bright girl, so I was a little concerned about this, especially since her own dad was white and was possibly the nicest man in the world. Not to mention, this made her and her siblings half-white too. Did that mean they were all half-racist?
I stuck by her for a while, but when she started saying things about what she wanted to do to racist people (once again using the word 'white' instead of 'racist'), I realized I couldn't be around her anymore. She couldn't talk about anything else after a while, and every time she spoke, I wanted to say, 'WTF is wrong with you?'
We did not room together the next year.
Redditors have stories similar to mine (and some even crazier), and they are eager to share.
It all started when a Redditor asked:
"What did the person do/say that made you go "what the f**k is wrong with you?"
How To End A Friendship
"In college I used to kill time between classes hanging out with a guy who was from the same redneck county as myself. We didn’t really have much else in common, but he was nice enough and seemed eager to socialize so I figured why not. I wasn’t overly social myself and didn’t know a whole lot of people."
"One day we decided to go somewhere off-campus, and he drove us. While driving, on an interstate mind you, he proceeds to show me his handgun that he kept in his truck - not in a menacing way, but in a “Ain’t that cool?” way."
"I was not immediately frightened, but I respect firearms enough to recognize we are going like 60-70mph on an interstate in daylight, and nothing good can happen in this scenario. I calmly asked him to put it away because I was not comfortable in this situation at all. He then tells me “Oh it’s not loaded” and presses the gun to his head before pulling the trigger."
"Thank f**k he was right, but still it was a wild and frightening display of reckless disregard for his own life and mine for that matter in the event that he’d accidentally killed himself while driving us. I didn’t hang out with him much after that, certainly didn’t get in a car with him."
"“It’s not loaded” famous last words of many an idiot."
The Worst Kind Of People
" When my dad was in the nursing home, they weren't running certain expenses, like ambulance rides, through his insurance. When I took over his financials, he was tens of thousands in medical debt that shouldn't have ever been charged to him in the first place. He was in numerous collections, and his credit score was tanked. "
"When I complained to the nursing home director, he said, "Well, it's not like he's going to be buying a house or a car!" Then he laughed. "
"My dad was paralyzed from the waist down and needed lifelong care, so he was never going to leave the nursing home. Even though he was technically correct, I gave him the "WTF is wrong with you look." Then I complained to HIS boss and he got canned a couple a weeks later. My dad's insurance was fixed pretty quick, too."
"“Sorry, what was funny about that? Could you please explain.”"
"MIL told my wife she should divorce me bc I googled whether a lasagna should be covered with foil while cooking."
"This is my first laugh of the thread lmao wtf."
"It actually ruined this entire trip. It was at my BIL’s wedding, which was only close family (siblings + parents) and they had the caterer make a lasagna for an evening dinner."
"Father of the bride was gonna pop it in the oven and asked if it should be covered. I googled lasagna cooking instructions and said yes it should be covered and cooked at this temp. MIL said absolutely not!"
"Me and the father of the bride kinda gave each other a look and he covered it. MIL was furious and texted my wife that I was an a hole and she should divorce me before we had kids."
Hostile Work Environment
"Boss at old job told the team we needed to ‘get used to a healthy level of conflict, fear and anxiety in the workplace.’ I dipped so fast after that."
"Similarly, a boss told me that I owed him my loyalty because he was paying me."
How To End A Relationship
"A girl I was with while we were still together just looked at me while I was driving to her house and said.” You know I would get over you faster than you’d get over me” I was like …… Tf did you just say?"
"Huh. And just like that I'm over you."
"Honestly, that would absolutely do it for me. When I was younger, I would be stupid and hurt and argue. I'm past 50 and I got no time for that nonsense."
There Are Other Ways To Stave Off Boredom
"I was DD for some buddies who wanted to go to a particular dance club in Baltimore. They're all hammered, it's too loud and we've been there for several hours. Casually an older woman next to me chats me up and notices my eyes are nearly crossing from boredom. I explained what I was doing there and casually (stupidly) mentioned I'm a bit bored. This psycho BITES ME on the chest! Afterward says "Well ya ain't bored now, are ya??""
"Well, were you bored after that?"
"I must say, I was not!"
That Goes Both Ways!
"I'm a man who works with kids, and when I started this job, I was talking to one of my old coworkers about how every once in a while I'll get weird looks for being a man working with kids and my coworker said I deserved it because some men can't be trusted with kids. I was shocked and she went on to say that I did it to myself and deserve to be questioned about it. I immediately stopped talking to her."
"What? What in the actual f**k? Doesn’t she know there are women who can’t be trusted with kids?"
That Escalated Quickly
"The lady that accused my kids of cutting the line. (They hadn't, I was watching). When I went to ask her what was wrong, she told me to go back to my own country with that sh*t. (I was born in Massachusetts.)"
"The line was to pet dogs at a Renaissance Fair."
Everything All At Once
"While alone with a coworker, he told me that "women in the work place will lead to the decay of the fabric of society" to me. A woman. He also asked me out, got an attitude when I didn't say yes and continues to walk around with huge incel energy. He always complains that he has no one to go home to yet refuses to look at himself as a possible reason."
"Sounds like they should learn something from the phrase, "if you meet one a**hole, they're the a**hole. If everyone you meet is an a**hole, you're the a**hole.""
"I told a coworker my wife had died."
"Her response: "You're one of those bald middle aged guys with a dead wife.""
"I want to think this was a wholesome thought that came out wrong. An awkward attempt at dark humor."
"Had an otherwise normal co-worker who was completely convinced windmills will cause the earth to stop spinning."
"WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY! GOOD NIGHT!"
These are all crazy 'WTF is wrong with you' stories, but that last one blew my mind in 'how is it possible people think that could be true' sort of way!
One of the possible wonders of adulthood is home ownership. But homes come with so many things that can break.
And the last thing you want is a nonfunctioning furnace when temperatures dip below zero or no water when you're covered in dirt and grime.
That's what routine maintenance is for—to make sure things work when you need them.
Reddit user drop_user_table asked:
"What is a home maintenance task most homeowners are probably not doing but should?"
"You know the exhaust from your dryer that vents outside."
"Pull the vent off, take a dry vac and vacuum the lint out of there."
"You’ll be surprised."
"Cuts down on dryer fires."
"There are a shocking number of dryer fires!"
There are TikTok and YouTube channels of just people cleaning dryer vents and dryer hoses.
Carbon Monoxide Detector
"Not sure I'd call it 'maintenance' but installing a carbon monoxide detector is a good idea."
"You can get ones that just sit on a shelf somewhere."
"A $20 carbon monoxide detector saved my life. We put them in when we moved in, the previous owners didn't have any."
"A year later it went off, hot water tank malfunctioned and dumped gas into the basement. The firefighters confirmed the levels in the house would have killed us."
"It's surprising how quick the gas can get through your house. A family of 6 lived there before us."
Smoke detectors have become common in homes, but carbon monoxide awareness isn't quite there yet.
"I worked with a lady who once told me (when I asked if she had plans for the weekend), 'Well, it is the first of the month, so it is time to wash the baseboards'."
"In my house, they only get washed if something spills in them, we are painting, or we are getting ready to sell the house."
Washing baseboards monthly might be excessive, but you should dust, mop or vacuum them when you do the rest of the room to keep dust and allergens down.
"Turn the main valve for your water off and on once or twice a year."
"If you do not, eventually it will corrode and stick and when you have a major leak you will not be able to shut the water off."
"Only do this with hardware stores open in the event it actually is defective and in need of replacement because consequences."
Locate your main water shut-off BEFORE you need it in an emergency situation. This can be especially useful during cold weather since in-home plumbing can freeze.
"Caulking around your roof vents every 3-5 years. That stuff deteriorates and it WILL leak."
"I can’t count the number of homes I’ve seen with interior water damage as a result of deteriorated sealant around the roof vents."
How to create a watertight seal around a vent pipe.
" Cleaning the gutters."
"My husband goes up with a leaf blower and blows them all out. So much easier, but much, much messier."
Leaf blowers make the job quick and easy.
Working Fire Extinguisher
"Having FIRE EXTINGUISHERS on hand and turning them upside down to prevent settling."
"Minimum once a year. My company does fire extinguisher inspections."
"An annual inspection for a fire extinguisher is turning it upside down for a few seconds and then removing the hose and checking for obstructions/debris."
Routine inspections of your fire extinguisher will ensure it works when you need it.
"Clean out the filters/traps in your dishwasher."
"This is one I truly didn’t know. First time homeowner and didn’t know about that until about 3 years into owning the house."
"Apparently the previous owner didn’t know anything about it so that first cleaning was a doozy."
Cleaning your dishwasher improves efficiency.
Hot Water On Tap
" Drain hot water tank and check anode rods if you've got an electric unit."
"We replaced a rod a couple of years ago. That thing was scary looking!"
"The couple we bought our house from apparently did no routine maintenance, so we've had to do almost everything listed in this post."
Replacing a water heater anode rod extends the life of the tank.
There are a lot of things to add to the to-do list here.
Is there anything else you'd add?
One the strangest and most perplexing things about being a human is the fact that we can only experience what's going on inside our own bodies and minds. Sure, we can ask someone questions, we can listen to their accounts, and technology is increasingly closing the gap, but there's still nothing like a fully immersive experience.
For this reason, it can be easy for us to think that we're the only one having trouble with something, like the only adult who can never seem to keep their laundry pile caught up, but on the reverse side, it can also mean missing something that's abnormal.
It's, quite frankly, shocking how many people live with some kind of physical abnormality while assuming that it's normal.
Fascinated, Redditor amistakewasmadehere asked:
"What did you think was normal about your body until someone pointed out that it wasn't?"
A Double Uvula
"I have a double uvula. That little hangy thing in the back of your throat... Mine looks like a ballsack."
"I thought that's just what they looked like, because how often do you look in people's throats? I remember seeing cartoons as a kid where they'd zoom in on a character's mouth when they were screaming or something... And I just thought the artists were lazy, drawing a simple droopy line. But no, that's what most people's look like."
"When I was in my 20s, I went to the doctor for something unrelated, and she checked my throat and just said, 'Huh, you have a double uvula. Neat!'"
" I went home and told my roommates and they all had to look in my mouth. I thought they would think the doctor was the weirdo but they were all shocked..."
"I'll never forget one saying, 'You've got balls in your throat!'"
A Popping Jaw
"My jaw pops whenever I open my mouth. I thought it was normal for your jaw to just "unhinge" because how else could you open your mouth wide? Turns out, nope."
The Wrong Number of Organs
"The first year of menstruating, I had intensely painful periods and severe constipation. The periods would last two weeks, with two weeks in between each one."
"Everyone told me things would calm down and even out."
"Then one night, at a friend’s sleepover, I was in so much pain that I was sobbing on the bathroom floor. My parents rushed me to the hospital."
"Everything I was describing, pain-wise, made it sound like I was in labor. But I was 14 and still very much a virgin."
"After a week of tests and painkillers, they finally figured out the issue; I then had surgery to open up my second uterus and cervix, which had been sealed shut by a membrane."
"I had been having periods for a year and had built up like 2 liters worth of old blood in my sealed second uterus. So once that was drained out and I was put on major antibiotics, I got to go home and tell all my friends that I had two uteruses."
" I was also born with one kidney. Not sure if that’s related, but I sure am a mess down there, lol (laughing out loud)."
Heart Flutters and Palpitations
"I used the phrase, 'You know when your heart does that fluttery sensation and it’s like you can feel it beating for a few seconds?'"
" Apparently not everyone does know that; in fact, most don’t and my colleagues looked at me like I’d lost my mind."
" Mine does this. I’ve mentioned it to my doctor but it didn’t show up on a heart tracing (I wore one for 24 hours)… Some days, it will happen multiple times, and then nothing for a month or two. It’s really odd."
"That I had eight wisdom teeth grow into the extra space in the back of my jaw (two for each side, top and bottom) that all grew in just fine after 20... Only to find out on my last trip to the dentist that I have eight more growing in sideways..."
" The normal amount of wisdom teeth is four. Not 16."
"Some of the women in my family grow a third set of teeth in their 30s. My great aunt had a nearly perfect set, only one came in crooked, but my mum's sister had hers come in next to her adult teeth, so she has two rows in some places, like a shark."
"My mum got a couple extra, but they were pulled, and I haven't gotten any yet, though I got to keep all my wisdom teeth and they didn't."
"I’ve got ‘alternating exo,’ the eye doctor called it. I can choose which eye I can see out of and can switch as I please, and whichever eye is not picked 'turns off,' and I don’t see out of it since I chose the other eye."
"Since I've been able to do it all my life, both of my eyes can operate alone, so if I lose one, it won’t be as bad adjusting. Pretty nice actually but the ‘exo’ makes me hate selfies cuz whichever eye isn’t picked drifts outward, which is noticeable to me at least."
Precordial Catch Syndrome
"You know when you’re breathing like normal, and suddenly when you inhale you get this sharp pain in one side of your chest, at the ribs behind your pectoral muscle? And every time you try to inhale further it comes back, then goes away entirely after a few minutes?"
"Yeah, that’s called Precordial Catch Syndrome."
"Doctors don’t know exactly what causes it, but the running theory is that a nerve near your ribs occasionally gets pinched when you inhale and it takes a few moments for your body to dampen the signal from that nerve. It’s very common, and does not indicate any underlying or dangerous medical issues."
Literally a Large Head
" I have a big head. I've never once found a hat that fits. Not even a toque."
"So, when I joined the army they didn't have a hat big enough for me. I was the only person out of 60 of us without a hat. Drill sergeants I had never met would run from across fields to yell at me for walking outside without my hat."
"When I explained that they didn't have a hat big enough for me... they cracked up and called me Charlie Brown. It took two weeks of that before a hat arrived big enough for me."
The Tensor Tympani Muscles
"I can activate my Tensor Tympani Muscles (they make that roaring in your ears when you yawn) at will."
" For some reason, they also activate when I feel a sudden pain, even when there’s no sound or noise involved."
"Wait, this isn't normal?"
" I thought I was bad at running because my throat would seize up and get painful whenever I ran for more than a minute. I mentioned this to my doctor when I was 30. Turns out I have asthma."
"Dermatographia. I have really sensitive skin with an overactive histamine response. When I’m gently scratched with a blunt object, I get a hive in the shape of the scratch. I can write my name in hives on my forearm."
" I get itchy as soon as I get overheated. Like an all-over body itch. There's no rash that pops up, I just get very, very itchy."
"I once took part in a study as a paid participant. The doctors used ultrasound probes to examine the blood vessels on my face."
"They commented on how strange my face's blood vessels were, they struggled and puzzled a little while examining my face."
"Then they handed me more cash and asked whether I would be willing to donate my body after I died to a medical study."
" (They were polite and respectful throughout the whole process, just seemed excited?)"
Restless Leg Syndrome
"I constantly have to flex my muscles. Not in the douchey 'check me out, ladies' kind of way, but in a more frustrating, 'I need to move this muscle in the next three seconds or I will feel like I am being tortured' kind of way."
"I'm constantly rotating my shoulders, flexing shoulder blades, neck, arms, wrists, ankles, legs, wherever. It makes it hard to sit still or sleep."
"I only seriously noticed when I slept with my first partner, who was very confused as to why I wouldn't stop twisting and flexing for at least two hours before falling asleep. I just figured everyone got that feeling."
"Being under a weighted blanket or feeling my arm or leg fall asleep, both feel like utter torture and will make me scream and writhe about. I would love to know what the h**l this is and how I deal with it, because so far, I have no clue."
" It sounds like restless leg syndrome (which can affect your whole body, and not just your legs). Have your iron levels, specifically your ferritin levels checked. RLS is torture, but there are treatments!"
In Need of Glasses
"I thought I had great vision until I tried glasses and found that everything was so much sharper and more vivid! Apparently, my left eye has a vision defect, but my right eye learned to compensate so I never realized!"
It's amazing what we can go decades living with, even when it technically is not the norm. In many of these cases, there are even treatments or tools to improve them!
This just goes to show how important it is to ask questions if you have a concern, and if one doctor is not willing to properly discuss it with you, perhaps try talking to another one.
Most restaurant menus have caught up with the times to offer plenty of options to patrons with various dietary restrictions.
Vegan dishes tend to be a top priority, with gluten-free options being a close second.
Thanks to these options, groups of family and friends can dine together and not be limited by restaurant choices.
But when there's a sudden break in routine on the next outing, it can be jarring when the vegan in your group suddenly orders prime rib or a juicy burger that is not a plant-based patty.
What the whaaat?
Curious to hear from those who did a dietary 180 after routinely nourishing themselves with food grown from the earth's soil,
"Vegans that started eating meat again, what happened?"
Some people were told what's good for them.
"I know someone who was a vegetarian for 13 years simply because someone told them they couldn't do it. I guess he figured 13 years was enough to prove a point and went back to eating meat after."
"I feel like 2-3 years would be enough though??"
On A Dare
"I knew a girl in college who did that. She was dared in middle school to become a vegetarian and... she just stuck with it. More power to them."
Some people were left with no choice but to ditch veganism.
Thanks, Mickey Ds
"Got cancer. Ate whatever my body would take without throwing up and that just happened to be chicken nuggets."
When Choices Are Limited
"Homeless and pregnant = eat what I was given."
"I’ve always wondered this actually. If a homeless vegan eats what they’re given. I’ve given homeless people subs in the past because of veggies, protein, and carbs (all necessary things) and wondered if they would eat it if they’re vegan. I’m sorry you’ve been on that road. I hope things are better for you now."
The Saying Goes
"There is a reason for the saying 'beggars can’t be choosers,' you give what you can/have and you can’t always accommodate the person you are giving it to, don’t think too hard about it. Also, hope OP is doing better."
Certain medical conditions prevented these Redditors from sticking to their restrictive diets.
Cooking For Two
"I still eat mostly vegetarian food and have done all my life. However my husband was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and coeliac which means that a high fibre/lower iron diet is not an option and a lot of the substitutes aren’t gluten free. More often than not when he has meat I’ll leave it or have the veggie equivalent but there are just not enough hours in the day to make 2 separate lasagnes and sauce etc."
"As someone who has UC, that's very cool of you to cook a more UC friendly diet. I dated a woman for 6 months who was a pescatarian. Every time I cooked, it was something we both liked and could eat. Every time she cooked, she focused on what she wanted and it didn't seem to matter whether I could eat it or not. She was nuero divergent and had it in her head that veggies = good regardless of what it did to my insides. For anyone who doesn't know, UC is inflammation due to my immune system attacking the lining of my colon. So it's inflamed (unless you're in remission, which a fair amount of people aren't). Large amounts of fiber makes the food sit there longer and get more packed, which hurts like all hell being tight up against inflamed tissue. And certain ones create gas of an unimaginable magnitude and strength."
"Anyway, a fair amount of the time, I had to order delivery or takeout because otherwise, I would have been farting or sh*tt ing my brains out overnight. So I appreciate what you've done like you wouldn't believe."
Bye Bye Veggies
"My gastroparesis diet led me off my vegan diet as well. I can’t handle legumes, leafy greens, and most vegetables. Hard to be a healthy vegan without any of those."
When Vegan Ingredients Turn On You
"Yup. Crohn’s Disease ended my 17 year vegetarian stretch. I’m in remission now and don’t eat red meat but I am sensitive to several vegan friendly ingredients like garlic, onions, cauliflower family and now I can avoid them without starving."
Cooking For A Full House
"Back when COVID had everyone in lockedown, myself and my roommate's family would take turns cooking dinner and it was fine. Then my roommate went on the NOOM diet, her daughter was diagnosed with GERD and couldn't have anything acidic, and her husband was diagnosed with celiac. Oh, and another family member disliked potatoes. I finally had to bow out. It was way too much of a pain in the @ss to cook a meal that met all of those restrictions."
Sometimes, you just gotta have meat.
"Not my story, but a good friend of mine was vegetarian, very nearly vegan for over 10 years. One day she was in Costco and walked past the rotisserie chickens. Without thinking she put it in her cart. When she got home she stood over the sink and ate it with her bare hands. She had no idea what came over her. Her telling me this story is still one of the funniest things I've ever heard. She is still very plant forward in her eating, but she won't hesitate to order a burger or a steak when she wants it now."
"I went on a weekend backpacking trip with a girl who had been religiously vegan for a few years. It was a pretty physically intense trip, and the last day heading back was in pouring rain the whole way, so by the time we got back to our car, we were absolutely exhausted, filthy, and starving."
"There was only one restaurant anywhere nearby, one of those highway diners. We get there and I notice she's got this kind of crazy look in her eyes. I ask if she's okay, and she just says 'I need a steak.' I laugh, but she goes ' I'm serious. I can't help it. I need a big greasy piece of meat right now or I'm going to die.""
"Sure enough, she orders the biggest steak on the menu, and wolfs it down in minutes, and the crazed look goes away. After that, she went right back to being vegan like nothing had happened. The look in her eyes was a little scary to be honest."
Unless it's a matter of life or death, there's no way I can survive being a vegan.
I don't have a strong enough will power to avoid eating meat.
So if that day ever comes when I'm forced to make a major change in my diet that won't include red meat and you're around me all the time, apologies in advance for my perpetual state of being hangry.