The Worst Thing My Doctor Told Me
For some doctors, the most difficult part of their job is bedside manner. These Redditors came together to share stories of the moments their doctors opened their mouths and put their feet right in ‘em. Sure, I wouldn’t say that medicine is a customer service job, but there was no reason for these doctors to be so cruel, insensitive, and in some cases, downright weird.
Age Ain’t Nothing But A Number
I once had a doctor say to me “You’re too young for that sort of pain, so I don't think you really have pain, do you”?
I went to another doctor and they also said: “It’s growing pains”.
I was 23, and by the time I was 28 my liver was so damaged that I almost died from an autoimmune disease.
Honesty Is The Best Policy
At 30 I was rushed to the hospital out of the blue with a heart infection, and needing a valve replacement. The professor who did my surgery was absolutely brilliant—but she told me something off the record that made my blood run cold.
A few days before surgery, she said: "You may want to get any close family to come and visit, and sort out any important paperwork as it's not guaranteed that you'll wake up again". I obviously pulled through, but her honesty was reassuring and even after ten years we still send the odd handwritten letter to each other.
We also had these stupid personal televisions at each bed which cost about £2 an hour to watch. The money would seriously rack up as I was in there for weeks but she blagged me a code so that I could watch it for free.
That’s Your Opinion
I would constantly complain to my doctor that I couldn’t breathe when I would walk and I would get shortness of breath, I was always tired and fatigue, I would get dizzy if I walked too long. She always brushed it off and told me to get more sleep or drink more water even though I was getting plenty of both.
Finally I made an appointment to talk to her face to face and she flat out just told me I was lazy and needed to exercise more. I was so embarrassed because I went with my husband and she made me feel like I was just this lazy couch potato. It took so much for me not to cry.
I switched doctors and my new doc decided to do blood work, which is something that other lady should have done in the first place. They found out I was severely anemic to the point of needing blood transfusions. I felt so much better after I got my infusions. Some people just shouldn’t be practicing medicine!
I’m 33, had a yearly check-up, and all that. I told her I was having to pee frequently and my stomach hurt, she interrupted me and said it was normal. She did a pap that day and made a joke about my cervix being closed…I bled during the pap which I don’t usually do. I started having pains a few days later and I’m thinking UTI. I called the office they had me go pee in a cup, didn’t hear back for a few days and called again to find out they destroyed the sample because I wasn’t scheduled correctly?
They called in antibiotics and I was still having pain and the symptoms of a UTI so I went up there. They didn’t allow walk-in appointments but had me pee in a cup again. This time it was positive for a UTI so more antibiotics and the pain still didn’t go away.
I made myself an appt at an OB-GYN and had an ultrasound—and they made an incredible discovery. I was 6 months pregnant by that point. I found out I was pregnant and found out the gender on the same day. I genuinely had no idea and I didn’t really have any of the normal pregnancy symptoms.
If she had listened to her patient we could have caught the pregnancy at 3 months rather than 6. I was high risk because of her negligence. And the stress of having 3 months to prepare for a baby did not do me any favors either.
Not So Cuteman in white dress shirt wearing black framed eyeglassesPhoto by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash
I had HPV and CIN3 pre-cancerous lesions on my cervix, which was the last stage before actual cancer, when I was 25.
The doctor who did my LEEP surgery says, and I quote, “Well this sex disease you have will probably make it very hard for you to have cute little babies in the future. Do you understand what I’m saying”? I could have slapped her right there.
I was 25, had already completed a master’s degree, was well-traveled, educated, and spoken. I also knew nearly as much as the doctors about cervical cancer, as every woman on my mom’s side of the family had had it. In no way did she need to speak to me like was 5 years old. Nor did she have to refer to HPV that way.
She apparently did a decent job with the procedure, as the margins were clear and I went on to have 2 cute little babies. But seriously, her bedside manner needs A LOT of work.
Falling On Deaf Ears
I messed up my knee in a crash. I saw a physiotherapist who said it appears the muscle is in a dormant state and the joint is twisted. They gave me a few exercises but never made a follow-up appointment.
A few years later, my knee was in the same condition but I decided to play rugby—stupid, I know—where I did some more damage. I could barely walk 20 feet without it swelling and the muscle going into spasm. I saw a doctor who kept saying I'm a lazy couch potato and need to lose weight. I was over 200 pounds, so a little on the large side. He arranged an appointment a little over a month later, telling me to try to lose 6 pounds or more.
Fast forward to the following month and I was 12 pounds lighter than last time. The doctor’s reaction was devastating. He just looked at me in disgust and said he refused to help me if I'm not going to lose weight, opened the door, and shouted into the hallway that my elbow won't get any better if I won't lose weight. I told him I have not mentioned my elbow, I have lost weight, and if he wants to start shouting stuff like that into the hallway, he can eat me and I want a second opinion.
I was blacklisted from that surgery. I lodged a complaint and appealed it with it being overturned. I spoke to someone else who put me on a waiting list to see a physiotherapist again. It's been nearly 10 years and I have not heard anything more about it. I've asked about it and they said I needed to speak to the doctor who put me on the waiting list, but they've retired and when I spoke to someone else, they said there's nothing they can do but recommend I stop being a bloody couch potato.
That’s A Real Eye Opener
Three years ago I went for an eye test and the optician gave me a note and told me to go directly to an eye hospital. I wasn't too worried—but I had no clue what I was in for.
I gave the note to reception at the eye hospital, the lady said, "Oh, right, come this way". I was taken right through the waiting room and put in a CT scanner within 20 minutes of arrival.
Shortly after, a doctor came and told me there's something in the middle of my brain and that an ambulance was going to take me to a neurosurgery specialist hospital.
A few hours later I was having a drain put into my skull to get rid of built-up spinal fluid pooling behind my eyes.
An MRI scan revealed a golf ball-sized cyst in the middle of my head that was causing problems.
That was a pretty bad day.
I fell over and immediately knew something was terribly wrong with my knee. Then I waited for hours in A&E with it out straight propped up on a wheelchair. A doctor comes, takes a cursory look at an x-ray, and tells me: “Stop crying over a small scrape”—but then it got worse.
She then violently tries to bend my knee, which had totally seized up. They told my mum she had to make me walk on it.
A week or so later there's clearly some kind of review of X-rays, and I'm called in to see a specialist. It turns out I'd fractured my leg and chipped my kneecap, and the chip had damaged my cartilage. I pretty much had to learn to walk again with over a year of physio and hydrotherapy. The specialist asked if I could see what was wrong with the X-ray and even a child could spot the problems. I have no idea how the doctor missed it.
Creep Doesn’t Quite Cover It
When I was 19, my primary care doctor (male) told me he could do a pap smear for me at my physical. When I told him I already had a gynecologist he said: “I can do it professionally or personally”. Needless to say, I never saw him again and reported him.
Bait & Switchwoman sitting on sofa while using MacBook ProPhoto by Mimi Thian on Unsplash
I did a video chat service to talk to a doctor for 15 minutes. I told her my symptoms and thoughts since we were low on time. I had been very sick for weeks, possibly a urinary tract infection and respiratory infection. Also gave the other ideas I had, based on my symptoms. She told me I had valley fever and told me all about it over chat and we got cut off at 15 minutes.
I got her final email which should have a prescription in it. When I read it, I was shocked. It said she actually thought I had somatic symptom disorder aka that I was making all of this up and was perfectly fine. Her prescription was for a freaking psychologist!
She told me in detail about my possible valley fever even though I said I hadn't been to the areas she said it was prevalent. I made an appointment with my normal doctor and had a few tests ran. Had a respiratory infection and a freaking KIDNEY infection! 10 or so days of meds and I was fine.
My gosh I was so angry at that quack.
After my knee surgery, my doctor told me that I would still be able to practice my martial arts when I recovered. There was just one problem. I had never done martial arts before. I realized that he probably told me that because I'm Asian.
We both had a good laugh when I told him that I didn't do any martial arts. I was actually a tennis player, and he told me that my tennis days were over. I still play tennis to this day.
Three Strikes, You’re Saved
I went through treatment for acute myeloid leukemia 6 years ago. I went through chemotherapy and total body irradiation with an allogeneic stem cell transplant. My 28-day biopsy after my stem cell transplant results came in and my doctor literally came in stoic as could be with paperwork printed out. The news he had was devastating.
He just said the transplant didn’t work and I still had residual cancer cells in the flow cytometry of my marrow. I simply just accepted it and didn’t even look at the paper. My brain was just thinking of all the different scenarios. As the minutes went by I had a second attending come in and say that there were still other options which made me reassured.
But then I had a third doctor from the Middle East come in after her and told me I was still young and there were other treatments we could try so it lessened the shock at that point. I had always been pretty optimistic even with such a poor prognosis.
Fast forward another 14 days I had another bone marrow biopsy to see how much the cancer had progressed to see how we could attack it and there were no signs of any cancer cells. Ever since that day, I have been cancer free. My donor cells went after the residual cancer cells and saved me. I now have the DNA of a French woman that is 6 years old. Modern medicine can be amazing.
In middle school, I was seeing a psychiatrist for generalized anxiety and panic disorder. I had been struggling with my weight because I was too anxious to eat, and at one point I was about 15 pounds underweight. I started taking antidepressants, and I gained weight once my anxiety started improving.
One day, my psychiatrist brought me over to a scale so he could weigh me. He told me that I needed to watch what I was eating because I was “starting to get fat”. I was FINALLY at the low end of a healthy weight after struggling for months, and it was such a hit to my self-esteem after all the progress I had made. I broke out in tears as soon as he said it. It crushed me. My mom yelled at him, and we walked out of his office and never came back
I once told the wrong family member that her mother was coding. I have a decent excuse,but it was horrible.
It was late enough at night that I was the only doc on, with just a handful of nursing and tech staff. As we go into those quieter hours, one by one the other doctors sign out their patients to the overnight staff and leave.
I got called into a room to run a code. They had already worked on this woman for twenty minutes en route in the ambulance. It wasn't looking very hopeful for a meaningful recovery. A woman in her 40s appears in the doorway and says she's the daughter.
If I'm the only doc on, I have to do the intubation, run the code, and speak with the family, sometimes it's all at the same time. Since she turned up and appeared to recognize the patient, I failed to confirm the patient’s name with the daughter, and instead launched into the delicate questions—how long had she been ill, how did this start? But I was making a terrible mistake.
It turns out, the daughter was actually the daughter of the previous patient in that room, who had been moved out to accommodate the arrival of the coding patient. When she came in, she told the front desk that she didn't need any help finding her mom's room, so she brought herself back. This was very unusual but the code was monopolizing the staff. Her mom had the same hair color, and there's all kinds of tubes obscuring the face during these times. Her actual mom was just fine, two doors down.
Well, the daughter didn't have a heart attack, so that was nice. And never will I ever again gloss over confirmation of identity, no matter how obvious it seems.
Second Opinions Save Livesgrayscale photography of kid lying on bedPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
When I was 5, I woke my parents up in the middle of the night by yelling out to them. I woke up with my entire body hurting too much to even pull the covers off myself, never mind trying to walk, they came in and I was burning up, rushed me to the ER. The doctor looked at my mother and said: “He has a fever, haven’t you heard of a cool bath and a popsicle”? I've never seen my dad turn so red.
S as to not punch the doctor, my dad left the room and called my GP at home, who is a family friend. I was friends with his son, like sleepovers and all that, close.
My doctor called the ER. I have no memory of the next parts, but I was rushed by ambulance—the weather was too bad for an air ambulance—to the nearest capital city, 350km away, to a pediatric ICU. I had meningitis.
If It Looks Like A Duck And Quacks Like A Duck
My doctor immediately said my symptoms were from an STD. Then doubled down saying I was lying about my bedroom activity.
Like, dude, I'm a grown adult. If I thought I had an STD, I would have said so. I told him I thought I had a kidney infection, he said it didn't make sense.
They did all the blood work, all negative for STDs. What was it? A freaking kidney infection.
Although he asked me before I left how I knew it was a kidney infection. I knew just what to say to make him even angrier. I told him I had been watching House MD and the symptoms matched.
The Truth Hurts
After a horrific car accident, I was in unbearable pain. My doctor puts up my X-rays, looks down at me, and in the most condescending way said: "I hope you have a good attorney". He followed that up with: "You may never be the same again". I went from being in the best shape of my life to losing more than 50 pounds after the accident. I looked like a prisoner.
After months of painful physical therapy at a place I referred to as "Land of the misfit toys," I eventually made it back.
A couple years ago, I went to the doctor for headaches and stress. I run my own business. He sent for some tests and an MRI because of the headaches, since I never have had headaches before.
He told me to take a vacation and relax that I was probably just overworking myself and stressed from my business.
So I took the whole family—wife, kids, dog—on a nice getaway to the Smoky Mountains and rented us a nice private cabin and had five whole days to relax and take in the beauty of the smokies.
We got to our cabin around 4 pm, it was amazing, indoor pool, billiards table, indoor putt-putt golf, and an arcade room all to ourselves. I know it sounds extravagant and expensive but we actually paid like $1,000 for the whole week, I thought it was a great deal for everything that was included.
I woke up the next morning excited to check out pigeon forge and the kids wanted to go-kart and all that. Well, 8:30 am, I check my email against my wife’s advice. What I saw made my blood run cold. There’s an email from my doctor, with the results of my MRI.
It read like this: “Mr. Soandso, The results of your MRI have been reviewed by our medical team and we have found a large brain tumor on all of the scans. Please contact us IMMEDIATELY to schedule more testing, and to speak with a neurosurgeon”.
Try relaxing on vacation after reading that.
No Ibuprofen Is Going To Fix That
"Just take an ibuprofen". This was 3.5 months into what ended up as a 5-month stint with appendicitis. By the time they agreed to do surgery, my colon had fused to my abdominal wall from the scar tissue. It was such an intense layer of scar tissue that the surgeon bent the surgical tools trying to separate them during my first operation. Luckily the second operation was much more successful at actually removing my appendix and the lasting effects have been relatively minimal.
Lost And Foundmedication pillsPhoto by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash
The worst thing that a doctor said to me was that I had Bipolar Disorder. I was medicated for it, it didn't work, so he kept increasing the dose. Eventually, I was taking 800mg of Seroquel a day. I was so doped up I couldn't read. Dropped out of college. I couldn't sleep without it anymore, and when I tried I stood up for almost a week. Had to move back with my father, because I wasn't able to care for myself anymore. Ended up under observation. Doctor considered shock therapy.
After almost 10 years, 10 years lost, I had switched doctors, found a good therapist, and started the process to remove the meds.
It turns out I'm not bipolar, I'm autistic. I don't have mania, I have sensorial overload and hyperfocus. I act "weird" when put in chaotic situations because they overwhelm me. After 2 years of therapy, neurologist and psychiatrist appointments, and hundreds of pages of diaries and reports written, I finally got a proper diagnosis and I'm free from that.
But I'll never forgive my first doctor. I'm not getting those 10 years back. My mom passed on during that time, and I'm not getting her back either. I'm in college again, but the opportunities I lost are gone forever.
And the doctor? He's still out there.
Years back, I had surgery on my pinky finger to reattach a tendon I tore off the bone.
Surgeon gets in there finds no tendon to reattach and with permission from my wife takes a portion of the tendon from my wrist to replace the missing one and completes the op.
Being the klutz I am, I fall down some concrete steps and feel some pain in my arm, go to open the door to my house, and feel a POP in my forearm. Immediately know what it is and call the doctor’s office to see if there’s anything to be done.
I get the surgeon's assistant/trainee and tell them what happened and ask what to do as I have a lump in my forearm and pain. Her reaction was infuriating. She says they didn't operate on my wrist/forearm and basically, my pain medication is making me confused and no matter what I say keeps dismissing me.
So I call back and make a regular appointment for the same day and turn up. Guess who comes into the room with the hand surgeon but the assistant/trainee I fought with earlier.
She hears me retell my story and the whole time is looking at me like I'm wasting time and am what’s wrong with the world.
After I finish telling my side of things, I just say back and waited for karma to hit her. The surgeon says: "Well the lump, pop, and pain are probably the stitches in the tendon in your wrist coming undone". Making full eye contact, I just say "Oh really”? Very pointedly. The assistant didn't apologize but never met my eyes for the rest of the visit.
Unfortunately, I was the ultimate loser as there was nothing to be done to fix the "spare" tendon in my wrist, so I had to just let it shrivel up and be absorbed. It was really creepy having a lump slowly shrink up to my elbow and disappear.
Holier Than Thou
I asked for a professional opinion from my primary care doc about something regarding the neurological disorder I'd recently been diagnosed with, and I was told some garbage about prayer and God's plan. Not something you tell a 17-year-old who's trying to figure out if her career hopes are actually feasible. Spoiler, they weren't. We stopped going to that office.
I was 19 years old and 21 weeks pregnant. I’d just been told at my 20-week scan that my cervix was dilating so I needed to take it easy, but baby was perfectly fine and healthy.
Not even a week after the scan I was in hospital with bleeding and contractions. A “threatened miscarriage” they called it. It was April 1st and I wished I was being fooled.
The next day the OB in charge came in to discuss the situation and I asked him if there was any way to stop the contractions and keep my baby in until he was viable. What she said made my blood run cold.
“Miscarriage is just natures quality control”
I gave birth that afternoon and my son survived for an hour before passing.
I complained and received a written apology from the doctor and in my subsequent pregnancy I refused him for my care.
Dissed & Dismissed
When I was 19, I had a UTI. I knew it was a UTI. I went to urgent care to get antibiotics as I hadn’t established a new doctor where I was going to school. He asked me if I was sexually active, I said yes and explained I had one partner and we used protection. The doctor insisted I had an STD, not a UTI, told me again that I definitely had an STD and when he got the labs back he’d send a prescription for antibiotics. I never did a urine sample or anything.
I felt so mortified. Labs came back within the next day or two negative for any STDs and I never heard from them again. The UTI spread to my kidneys and I was in terrible pain but was so beyond mortified and anxious about what happened in the urgent care that I didn’t follow up with anyone else until over a month later when I ended up in the ER on the verge of sepsis. My right kidney still has degraded function almost a decade later.
Mind Your Mouthman in white crew neck t-shirtPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash
I had escaped a really bad relationship and found myself always on the edge of sudden anger. I had never been an angry person before. I was having uncontrollable outbursts at my children, who didn't deserve it. I tried everything to stop but couldn't, and finally went to a psychiatrist and what she said to me was infuriating. “Just be mindful”. I audibly rolled my eyes at her and never went back.
It turns out it was PTSD. You don't "mindful" that away. With actual, useful help, I managed to get past it before I destroyed my children. I still feel bad for having put them through it, and I learned a valuable lesson that psychiatrists are people too, and they don't always have the right answer. It's okay to quit that one and go to another.
Beating The Odds
I had a bad reaction to Covid, and the doctor came in and sat down. I was on a bi-pap, so I couldn't really hold a conversation. She talked about the weather and some things that didn't really matter. Finally, after about five minutes she took a deep breath and said, "This is such a messed up time, and so much is going on and I have had to tell families this for months now and you are the first I am telling that can still listen. You aren't doing well and are only getting worse. We expect you to die in the next day or so”.
Long story short, I made it through, but it seriously messed me up. I don't have a bad thing to say about her at all. Just the bad news I got. The medical team did a great job, and she was just human. She was probably getting tired of seeing people die. This was in the early stages before we even had a clue how to handle it. I couldn't imagine having to give this news to families daily.
Can’t Unhear That
I got a cyst removed from my tailbone. After removal, the area kept getting agitated/developed some inflammation and would reopen and leak from one spot. I swear to god every single time it happened it was on a Friday and I couldn’t see the doctor until Monday and by then it had healed.
After several Monday trips in with no real signs of my ailment, the dude tells me a horrifying story. A patient would sew excrement into hidden/unrelated parts of his body to force a reaction that required him to be hospitalized. I guess because he was mentally ill and liked that or wanted the attention?
I point blank asked the doc if he was insinuating I was making stuff up just to visit him or because I was mentally ill and he basically told me yes and he wasn’t counting it out as a possibility.
Unbelievable and an absolute headache to have a doctor that operated on you not believe you at your word. I’m a very stable person and this damaged my psyche intensely for several months as a result, but I’m better now. I still hate that jerk though and wish there was something I could do about it.
If At First You Don’t Succeed…
We spent 4.5 years trying to conceive and I had several miscarriages. The day after one such miscarriage, that ended my longest pregnancy to date (9 weeks), I had to go to my GP to have a thyroid panel done. The nurse came in to draw my blood, checked my chart, saw the note about the miscarriage and why I was there, and then cheerfully proceeded to tell me "Oh honey, don't worry that this baby didn’t make it. You can always just go get pregnant again”!
I complained as soon as my GP came in afterward. My GP didn't seem surprised and blew me off a bit. I complained to the practice manager though, and I never saw that nurse again.
More Than Puberty Blues
I was suffering from severe depression and anxiety and regularly had mental breakdowns. I booked a doctor's appointment to request medication or at least seek treatment because I truly felt like nothing I was doing was helping and I was spiraling. The doctor told me it was "just a phase" and that once I was done puberty, I would be fine. It was "just my hormones”. But the worst thing he ever said to me? He said it was "normal to be emotional on my period”.
Yes, puberty and periods raise hormone levels. Yes, people are more emotional and impulsive during these times. No, they shouldn't want to hurt themselves.
Anyway, several years of self-harm and an eating disorder later, it turns out it wasn't "just a phase”. I have Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and have been suffering from unprocessed childhood trauma and an environment full of triggers.
I wasn't being a stupid emotional teenage girl, I was genuinely hurting, and I needed help.
Trouble’s Brewingsmiling woman carrying babyPhoto by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash
After my fourth child, I was having some extremely sharp pains in my stomach. The OB said to call my primary.
The primary basically told me that they weren’t going to look at anything because I was probably still bleeding and that it would be gross. Her diagnosis was “Sometimes things hurt after you have a baby”.
It turns out I walked around with a bladder infection for six weeks until my post-partum appointment. It was not all that fun.
The same doctor who told me things hurt after babies told my husband he could fix his panic attacks by relaxing and having a beer. Spoiler: you can’t fix panic attacks that way.
All Fired Up
I'm a type 1 diabetic, had some sort of throwing-up virus, was 21, and glucose kept tanking. I went to the ER because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to keep it up and end up seizing/in a coma. The ER doc told me he thought I was lying because I wasn't old and overweight—a common misperception of not knowing the difference between type and type 2.
So, he ordered a psych evaluation.
I had a seizure right as the psychiatrist swung back the curtain. I spent a week in the ICU. But I still got revenge for what he did to me.
I got that doctor fired from that ER, and did my best to try and get his license pulled. They did remove his ER certification or whatever it's called. So he at least can't practice emergency medicine anymore.
“That’s not supposed to happen”. That’s what a doctor said after my vasectomy, when within two hours of having the procedure, the whole area down there had grown to roughly the size of a cantaloupe…it hurt like the dickens and I could no longer go to the bathroom, as was now a swollen mass.
I had to have surgery to drain what he said was around 12-16 liquid oz of blood and fluid.
Apparently, I was the “lucky” point 1% of people who experience complications of this nature…and with the extra bonus that the emergency surgery cost me another $4,000.
He intimated I had some form of hemophilia, but I literally cut myself at work like 3 times a week and have no issue with clotting, and it still hurts down there 5 months on.
Still better than having another kid though.
The Sound Of Silence
I got tinnitus at the end of high school and it was terrible for me. I could barely sleep at night it when started and I would just try to drown the noise with TV at night. I was so miserable. My parents didn’t understand why this was happening and they didn’t know what I meant by ringing but I was literally crying because I wanted it to be quiet again.
My dad has good insurance so he took me to an ENT who was just really straight up. But that didn’t make what he told me any less devastating. He told me it’s never going away and that millions of Americans have it. I waited for an hour to meet him and he only spent like 5 minutes with me. I was tearing up during it and I didn’t know how to cope with it.
My dad was nice enough to get me another appointment to meet another ENT (I’m so lucky and privileged for that). He was amazing. He said the same things but he definitely more compassionate. He said it just happens and it wasn’t something I did. He recommended a white noise machine to drown out the sound and to avoid loud noises and stuff. It still sucked to have it but I kind of felt better. The ringing doesn’t bother me anymore.
Let’s Get Physical
The doctor told me: “I saw you fall asleep in the waiting room. Excessive exhaustion is a sign of sleep apnea, so I’m going to have to fail you on your physical. If you lose weight I’ll reconsider”.
The jerk tried to take my job away all because I had to wake up at 4 am that day and nodded off—and then called me fat.
I had to get three other doctors to give me physicals and override her failing me just to keep my job.
Wake-Up Callshallow focus photography of people inside of passenger planePhoto by Suhyeon Choi on Unsplash
As I’m packing to leave on a business trip across the country, my Doctor calls me and tells me to stop whatever I am doing and go to the ER, I’m gonna die. I had blood work done the day before and had an appointment with him next week, but he had received my results and my blood glucose was over 20 and my A1C in the mid-teens.
I felt fine and went on my trip instead. I learned to regret that decision.
I was a non-compliant diabetic for years culminating in the below-knee amputation of my right foot in 2018. That’s what it took for me to start taking my condition seriously.
Can’t Stop Won’t Stop
I have a cyst on my heel so I went to see a doctor. Also, on top of a cyst, I have a random ankle pain when I'm more active (playing basketball, jumping, volleyball, football). And I said this pain is reoccurring for the last two years. The doctor said that maybe it's better to stop playing these sports, because I'm too old for this. I was only 23!
Then, I went to a real professional, paid a lot of money, and he said that I have progressive flat feet and I get inflammation in my ankle.
Take A Long Walk Off A Short Pier
I was 16, and seeing a rheumatologist for a bunch of problems, but mainly fibromyalgia. I had lost 60-ish pounds and was finally at a healthy weight. But, my pain had gotten worse along with fatigue. He asked me what exercise I was doing, and I answered walking about 3 times a day (long effective walks). His reaction was brutal.
He looked me right in the eyes and said “walking isn’t exercise”. It wasn’t even that mean of a comment, but it broke something in me, and I felt so angry and discouraged and helpless. I stopped seeing him after that as I had other issues with him in the past and this was the final straw.
Less Than Zero
Doctor: You have high cholesterol so you should eat less meat.
Me: Well, I have been a vegetarian my entire life. There must be something else I can do.
Doctor: Meat is definitely the issue here. Just cut back on that and you should be fine.
Me: What should I cut back on? The current amount of meat I eat is 0, but I should eat less than that?
If He Only Had A Brain…
I was struggling to regulate my blood pressure due to Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), and I passed out while I was in the shower. I knew I had a concussion from hitting my head during the fall, and my girlfriend decided I should go to the emergency room. I had been fainting on and off every few hours for a few days and with the concussion, we were both worried. I passed out on the car ride and nearly collapsed inside the ER.
After checking in, a phlebotomist came to draw my blood and she was muttering under her breath. What she said was so vile, it’s unforgettable. It was all about how I was a waste of time, saying it was too busy to be taking care of someone healthy, saying I was just looking for painkillers, assuming I was faking everything, and proceeded to tell my girlfriend that she shouldn't have brought me in.
Then, after she left, someone else came in and looked between me and my girlfriend, and said, "This must be your sister, is your boyfriend on his way”? And I had to tell the lady that I am a lesbian and that my partner brought me in. She gave the typical, "Oh, I see” response and left.
I was taken back for a CT and I was told that everyone passes out, it's not a big deal, and concussions happen all of the time, so I shouldn't have even taken up their time. Low blood pressure isn't a big deal, and POTS is just something teenage girls make up for attention.
After the scan, a nurse came in to tell my girlfriend that the doctor would be in shortly, and my girlfriend had asked if there was something they could do because I was still struggling to stay conscious and I wasn't acting right. The nurse told her, "If you notice any changes in her behavior, we'll see what we can do, but there's nothing we can do right now”.
My girlfriend said that nothing about my behavior that day had been normal, and given the fact I don't remember the days prior to the ER visit, I'm going to make my best guess and say something was probably very wrong.
An hour or so later, the doctor came in and looked around the room. He said, "Oh, I thought surely your boyfriend would be here by now”. But then he made it so much worse. He said: “Well, when he gets here, let him know that the doctor says you do, in fact, have a brain. I have seen it firsthand. You must be a smart young lady”. Like...That was the most condescending thing that could've escaped his mouth at that moment. Then he said, "Looks like you have a concussion. There's nothing we can do for you tonight. It just takes time to heal. Go home and rest, and if you notice any changes in your behavior or mood, come on back”.
No. No, thank you. I will not come back, actually. I just spent $1,500 to be told I have a vital organ that he does not have. Cool. That was the most frustrating interaction with a healthcare staff I have ever had.
I Can Hear Clearly Nowgray sand with water dropletsPhoto by Dylann Hendricks | 딜란 on Unsplash
Every time I went to a doctor, they'd look in my ears and complain they couldn't see anything because of the wax build-up. My mom would tell me I need to clean them more. At one point, I was cleaning them with a Q-tip almost every day.
Finally saw a doctor who said she couldn't see anything, but decided to do something about it. I had said how often I cleaned them, and she warned me against Q-tips. We spent almost 2 hours cleaning my ears. What she found was twisted. My ears bled. She had it looked like I had had an ear infection in one ear for quite a while but it was hidden under the wax. I refuse to use Q-tips now and often have a doctor drain them for me. I had minor hearing loss in the ear that had the infection. It's amazing what having the right doctor can do for you.
Rhymes With Meadow
When I was 14 I was seeing a male dermatologist for bad acne. He told me he was going to write me a prescription for birth control to help clear it up. Then he told me: “Once your skin is all cleared up, then you will really need to be on the pill”! And winked. It made my skin crawl.
The same doctor on another visit was excising a small mole on my back. When he was numbing the area by injecting local anesthetic, I didn’t flinch at all because I had been having allergy shots for years and needles didn’t bother me. He chuckled and said: “Looks like you don’t mind a bit of pain” and slapped me on the back when he was all done.
Show & Tell
I now know I have hypermobility, but at the time I was having multiple knee dislocations for unknown reasons as an otherwise healthy 20-year-old lady with high pain tolerance.
The doctor decided that I wasn't having dislocations, despite documented evidence from other medical professionals. According to them, dislocations were too painful for me to imagine and I probably just had bursitis. This absolute reprobate lectured me for 20 minutes about how I couldn't possibly have dislocations while I sat there in sheer shock and horror. That’s when I snapped.
I got so mad I stood up and without a word twisted my right leg hard in just the right way to cause a complete dislocation of the patella. I maintained eye contact, didn't even whimper, and hit the deck like a bag of bricks. I usually have good pain tolerance but the sheer anger made me almost superhuman that day.
Worst Case Scenario
"Well, looks like you're probably going to go blind”!
While I have visions of myself walking about tapping a white cane in front of me, he blithely adds, "But don't worry about it. Corneal transplants are 99% effective, you'll be fine”.
I did have transplants later when my eyesight got bad enough to warrant it. They worked a miracle, but man, lead with the "you'll be fine" next time.
The Acid Test
When I was in middle school until 10th grade, I would get violent nausea anytime I got hungry. It felt like my stomach was on fire, and I would miss a lot of school from feeling like garbage, although I was a good student and wasn’t falling behind in any way. After a lot of fighting with my mother who accused me of exaggerating, she agrees to take me to a gastroenterologist to be checked out.
Before agreeing to do an endoscopy, the gastro accused me of exaggerating because I was a teen girl and that’s just apparently what young women do, he suggested I was just making up these symptoms for attention, and then asked me point blank if I was lying about my pain level to skip school and suggested I had a mental health issue I was trying to cover for. I had GERD and severe acid reflux, as confirmed by the endoscopy he reluctantly agreed to perform on me.
Instead of letting it go, the gastro made a point of angrily telling me that I had “the stomach of an 80-year-old man” and must have been intentionally eating in a way to mess up my stomach.
I have a family history of stomach problems and GERD. I don’t understand why it was so implausible that my brother could have acid reflux at a young age, but I must be a liar when I claim to have the same symptoms in my teens.
He Was Thinking Inkperson in red shirt with black leather strap watchPhoto by Daniel Eliashevskyi on Unsplash
I went to see my doctor about a pain I'd been having in my lower left abdomen for a couple days, and he asked me a few questions and waved his hand and said, "It's just a pulled muscle, don't worry about it. But I AM going to talk to you about that tattoo on your arm”. He proceeded to lecture me about the risks of tattoos and how unclean tattoo parlors are because they use the same needles over and over, the ink is synthetic and I have plastic in my skin, blah blah blah—all this outdated information they used to scare people in the 80s/90s.
I was 31 and he was talking down to me like I was a kid that gave myself an India ink tattoo with a stickpin. Years go by and it turns out the pain was diverticulitis.
Not Pulling Their Legs
I was 18 and had just had a baby, and my epidural was taking a long time to wear off. The nurse came in to transfer me to the recovery room and I told her I still didn't have any feeling in my legs. She said, "It should have worn off half an hour ago," and started trying to get me out of bed and into the wheelchair. I said I was going to need help so another nurse came in and they had to move my legs off the bed—which should have been the second clue—and then they hoisted me off.
I of course crumpled immediately. As they're trying to get me off the floor the first nurse yells at me, "You have to try to stand up”! I yelled back, "What part of ‘I can't feel my legs’ did you not hear"?!
When my mom heard about it she went and chewed them out. I didn't see that particular nurse again.
That’s More Than A Bad Day
In 2009 my fiancé of 36 hours passed on from a pulmonary embolism caused by birth control. A few days prior I took her to the doctor for shortness of breath. The doctor said it was an asthma-related issue and not to worry. I said that’s odd because she doesn’t have asthma.
After she passed and services were done, I made an appointment with that doctor. With a straight face, he said, “This is a medical practice and sometimes you have a good day at practice and sometimes a bad day at practice”.
Her father had to grab me before I choked the life out of the doctor. I’ve never heard something so bad come out of a doctor's mouth.
The Bearer Of Bad News
I woke up in the hospital and heard a nurse running out saying “He’s awake”. The doctor comes into the room and tells me to move my toes. I ask them where I am and what’s going on, he just gets more insistent that I move my toes. I asked again where I was and what was going on, and he almost yells at me “Move your toes”. I said I am moving my toes. What he said next was horrifying.
Immediately he tells me: “You will never walk again”. That’s how I found out I was a paraplegic at 21 years old. I had been in a single-car wreck and was thrown 70-80 feet from the car and my vertebrae was dislocated and lying next to another one. I don’t remember the car wreck but that exchange with the doctor is burned into my brain, and that was 31 years ago.
Haste Makes Waste
I heard this story repeated while I was working in a hospital. A guy was gravely injured due to being shot in the face. There was no chance of recovery and he was expected to die within a very short period of time. An intern walks inand, without realizing it, says the most horrible thing.
He asks: "Is this the guy we are going to harvest the kidneys from”? The doomed patient was reported to have reacted by briefly bolting up into a sitting position. I hope it’s not true…but I heard they did get the kidneys.
Automatic Fcouple dining outPhoto by Wiktor Karkocha on Unsplash
I have cystic fibrosis. And while the doctor who diagnosed me was cruel, honorable second place goes to someone who's not quite a doctor yet but well on the way to it.
I went on a Tinder date with a med student who had super liked me and about two sips into my cocktail, he calmly explained that he's not actually here to date me, he just has a medical ethics class he took with our university’s philosophy prof for extra credits. His exam was coming up and it would be on the ethics of pre-implantation genetic testing for cystic fibrosis. I couldn't believe what I was hearing.
As a philosophy student and someone who has that, could I be a bro and explain to him why exactly some people say we should not throw embryos with this condition away? It’s horrible isn't it?! Why would I wish that on others? Really, shouldn't I be in favor of it?
Yep, he really thought he was gonna invite me on a DATE, buy me a drink, and then quiz me on why people with my chronic illness should or should not die before they're born. To pass a medical ethics class because he needs the points to improve his grade a little bit. But he didn't outright ask for that even through text—not that it'd be less rude.
He really made me get all dolled up to ask me about the pros and cons of currently being alive cause it's quicker than a textbook.
"Reddit user sasukelikescarrots asked: 'what do you think are some overrated places to have sex?'"
Certain locations really damper on a good time.
For instance, it's not fun to do it in cramped spaces.
Looking at you, airplane bathrooms and backseat of cars.
Many cannot be bothered to maneuver in some odd location.
Beds. Beds are sexy.
Always were, always will be.
Redditor sasukelikescarrots wanted to hear about the places we should all avoid when getting it on, so they asked:
"What do you think are some overrated places to have sex?"
One... I'm claustrophobic.
Two... there is not enough time.
Fatal Attraction lied to us y'all.
The WorstThe Beach Summer GIF by Kel CripeGiphy
"The beach is the worst."
"I hate sand so much so I agree with you."
Let Alone Two
"Airplane bathroom. Too cramped, and smells gross. Keep your Mile High Club pendant."
"I was thinking this too. I am also willing to bet that 99% of people who claim to be in the Mile High Club are lying through their teeth. Seriously, there's barely any space in those lavatories for one person, let alone two, and it's a little hard to get aroused when you're worrying about turbulence and people waiting to use the toilet knocking on the door."
"Public toilets... Why would you even..."
"The only reason I can think of is being a kid of an overprotective parent in high school and you want to desperately get it on with your boyfriend. Public restrooms are the only option sometimes. (Experience)."
"The pool and the shower."
"I hate the shower. I think it was a comedian who said, 'I’ve never been having sex and thought you know what would make this better… If one of us was freezing.'"
"I personally like the shower cause my partner likes to be in the water and I like being cold so it works out cause sex gets me pretty warm anywho."
"The shower is for foreplay, not sex. Pretty much every time we shower together it’s a given that it will lead to sexy time, whether we were planning on it or not/in the mood or not…. intimacy and touching, etc.,?…. we just B-line for the bedroom. But sex IN the shower?… no."
And a Happy Meal?happy ronald mcdonald GIF by McDonald's CZ/SKGiphy
"McDonalds ball pit…"
"They have a cleaning machine that can clean all the balls and it's all sanitary. I think that could be a really good time"
Have some decorum people.
I'd go to Burger King.
Check PleaseApplebees GIFGiphy
"The men's room at Applebee's during Happy Hour on a Tuesday."
"I spent my teens and early 20s having sex in cars. About a year ago (I'm almost 40) the wife and I are out and in the mood so let's have sex in the car like we used to. Bad idea, how the f**k did we used to have sex all the time back there, now it's uncomfortable and I got a cramp in my leg."
"Yes. The handful of times I’ve tried this, it’s always been so cramped and you need to keep repositioning or someone bumps their head. I guess it could be fine if you had one of those huge American tanks, but cars here in Australia never have that much room inside."
"Churches and graveyards. I've done it in both, and it's not really that great."
"Never in my life have I thought either of those locations sounded like a fun place to have sex. I guess if you have a kink for getting caught then it's as good as any because there's this perception of it being sacrosanct, but it just seems at best uncomfortable and at worst going to get me on a registry somewhere.
"Waterbeds. One of my GF's had one, and I *hated* it. It's impossible to get traction or the proper angle."
"Good call. There’s nothing to push off of. Nowhere to plant knees either. A true s**t show."
"I knew there was a reason why I forgot about my waterbed! Thanks for reminding me about that abomination!"
Wow. I mean. Y'all have really gone out and experimented fully.
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 treesPhoto 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 | Flickrwww.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 watchPhoto 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 daytimePhoto 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 daytimePhoto 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 wallPhoto 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 framesPhoto 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 - Wikipediaen.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 streetPhoto 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. Thenthings 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.
In August of 1982, author Stephen King's publisher—my fellow Maineiac—released his book Different Seasons. It was a collection of four novellas set mostly outside the horror genre King had become famous for.
The four novellas—subtitled to reflect the four seasons—were:
- Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption: Hope Springs Eternal
- Apt Pupil: Summer of Corruption
- The Body: Fall from Innocence
- The Breathing Method: A Winter's Tale
The first three became the major Hollywood films The Shawshank Redemption, Apt Pupil and Stand By Me respectively. 1986's Stand By Me helped launch or solidify the careers of Wil Wheaton, Jerry O'Connell, Corey Feldman, Kiefer Sutherland and the late River Phoenix in the critically acclaimed coming of age film directed by Rob Reiner.
I read the book when it was published then saw the film four years later. Both are superbly done and I immediately think of them every time the experience of finding a dead body is discussed.
That is the central plot point of the story—four boys on the cusp of adolescence take a pilgrimage to see a dead body discovered in the woods by the train tracks. The journey is life-changing for the fictional characters.
But what is it like in real life?
Reddit user JohnnyNuclear asked:
"Anyone ever find a dead body unintentionally? What’s the story?"
The Scene of the Accident
"I was at a family reunion forever ago. On my 13th birthday Papaw and I wake up early to go fishing on the big lake right next to the campsite."
"We get in my uncle's bass boat and start making our way out to find a spot. We eventually come across a jet ski, with the front end and handle bars all messed up, floating amongst some rocks."
"I will never forget it."
"We both immediately looked at each other and we knew what we were going to find."
"We didn't say a word, just took the boat over to the rocks and sure enough, there's a guy face down in the water in the rocks, obviously dead."
"We called the cops and waited so they could find him easier. They showed up maybe 20 minutes later and pulled him out..."
"Apparently he was drunk and riding his jet ski fast as Hell the night before and smashed into the rocks head on. Poor dude, think he was in his 40's if I remember right."
"We fished all morning and didn't say a thing. Didn't catch anything either."
"Had a paper route when l was a kid. Part of my route was delivering to a retirement block."
"On this day l stepped out of the lift and as l approached the door to the corridor l saw a trail of blood running underneath it. As l opened the door an old lady was laid head first on the floor with blood pouring from her head, her front door open."
"Tried to help her but she was clearly gone. I chucked the paper over her body and into her flat and ran down to the warden's flat."
"40+ years later, remember it as clear as day. Got offered counselling and a trip to McDonald's from the police."
"I did search and rescue for a long time."
"I left because I was tired of the lack of rescues and mostly finding or recovering bodies."
"It was pretty draining."
Or Maybe the Scene of the Crime
"A buddy of mine skipped school one day to go fishing."
"He thought his fishing line was caught on debris, but as he reeled in a human hand surfaced."
"He called the cops and they yelled at him for skipping school."
"Well, the hand was connected to a whole body."
"My friend just freaked out when the hand emerged."
"My youngest sister would babysit for the woman at the end of our block. She was a divorced woman with 2 kids."
"The ex-husband hadn't heard from her for a few days and came by her house to no answer. Came to my house to see if maybe the kids were there with my sister and if she had an answer why he hadn't heard from his ex-wife."
"Sister wasn't home but he and I went to the house. Knocked a few times, and then he just went to open the front door. It was unlocked."
"Her body was in the living room. She was murdered and her children were gone (turned out kidnapped by her then boyfriend)."
"The ex-husband was rightfully shocked and terrified, immediately called the police and reported as much info as he knew. My little sister had to answer some questions about the boyfriend, help give a description vehicle type. Just basic stuff."
"The kids were found unharmed at the boyfriend's mother's house if I remember correctly. I know for sure that they were OK and their dad was able to get them safely."
"I think the boyfriend was caught because of his mom. She called the cops once she saw the story on the news."
"Playing hide and seek in the woods . I was running after my cousin and tripped and ate dirt over what I thought was a rock."
"Turned over to get my shoe unstuck and saw it was something white and I pulled my shoe out. I got up and saw it was actually a pelvis (I didn’t know what the bone was named at the time but I knew what a bone was)."
"I screamed and my older cousins came running out from their spots to see me crying and trying to get away from the skeleton sitting in the dirt."
"We went and told my parents. We were pretty deep in the woods so one of us stayed near by it and another one of us waited about 50 feet away but to where we could still see each other."
"We basically made a trail of human bread crumbs to make sure we got back to the body to show the cops."
"I honestly can’t remember why it was there but I know it was only like a year old and partially buried."
Sometimes It's Just Natural Causes
"Leaving my house for quick errand briefly noticed an elderly lady parked on side of the road."
"When I returned, her car was still in same location and as I looked closer she appeared unconscious so I stopped but her doors were locked so dialed 911."
"It was determined she had passed away."
"Had a guy collapse dead of a heart attack in my store."
"He put his full
coffee cup down first."
"My friend Vinnywent to a new worksite. The supervisor brought doughnuts and coffee and was introducing everyone to everyone."
"He said this is Joey, Vinny, Jeff, Chad, Morris and then just fell over dead."
"He didn’t even finish introducing everyone."
"Worked at a movie theatre. It was a weekday morning, so usually pretty slow for us."
"Went in to clean a showing of The Hateful 8, there were only two people in the theatre. One in the very back, and one towards the front."
"Walk in to clean the theatre, see the guy up front. Figure he was sleeping, happens sometimes. Say a couple things to see if he’ll wake up. He does not."
"Get spooked and call my manager. Manager shook him a couple of times, realized something was wrong, called the police."
"Dude was dead."
Over 53% of Deaths Occur at Home
"When I was 11 I woke up and was looking for my mom. Couldn't find her anywhere. Walked to her side of the bed and she was dead on the floor."
"That was in 92. She was 27. I'm 43 now."
"My hardest birthday was 28. I felt so young still and my life was just picking up, but I just imagined all the stuff she missed."
"I had a friend who called me around midnight when I was 15. I had a very lax childhood so both me and my mom were awake, but she wasn't exactly happy about my friends calling late at night."
"She chewed me out before I picked up the phone, so I picked up the phone and yelled at him because obviously I was upset that I had just been yelled at."
"He had just found his mom dead. She died of natural causes. She had been sick for a while, I don't recall what exactly was wrong with her."
"He called me after 911 because he didn't know who else to talk to or how to process the situation and the first thing I say is 'why the hell are you calling me this late?!'."
"I will never not feel like the biggest pile of human garbage for that."
"I woke up around 2 in the morning to get a glass of water. I walked past my fiance, who I thought fell asleep on the couch playing his video game."
"Went to touch him to tell him to come to bed.. well, he was cold to the touch and wasn't breathing.. worst day of my life."
"We had celebrated our 10 year anniversary just the night this all happened. He had a heart attack in his sleep."
Regardless of Circumstances, It Makes a Lasting Impression
"In 2017 I used to work as a photographer for one of the biggest shoe stores in Gdansk, Poland. Like one of those with limited, mostly overpriced rare kicks mixed with normal New Balances and Nikes."
"I was responsible for doing packshots (pictures of the product on white background you see on every website) and more lifestyle type of content for social media. The latter was really fun, because I got to take 5 or 6 pairs and go somewhere to shoot with my friend, who would just put them on for pictures."
"Guy was very athletic so if I envisioned him standing on his hands, jumping very high or running super fast for photos, there was no problem with any of that."
"The golden rule was that location had to match the shoe in some way. For example soccer cleats somewhere on the field, basketball shoes on court, running shoes on track etc...."
"It was my role to get creative with it."
"One day I had to do a pair of Timberlands, some Puma running shoes and Vans’ in collaboration with Nintendo."
"I was really looking forward to those Vans because I managed to book a local arcade spot before it opened, so creatively it was dope."
"We shot quick pictures of running shoes on a local track and decided to take Timbs to a nearby forest where we knew there were some old, post-war bunkers."
"It was winter, so grey concrete, some snow and trees seemed like a perfect spot for mustard-colored shoes to pop up."
"And it was in theme since in Poland 6 inch Timbs are more of a winter shoe than work boots."
"So my friend put the shoes on, went to a spot near the entrance to the bunker where I told him to stand and froze..."
"He turned around and said 'Come here and tell me that I’m not seeing what I’m seeing'."
"So there I went thinking he found some money or a phone or something. Nope, there was a body like 2-3 steps inside the entrance. Completely covered with some rugs and cardboard except the creepiest, now engraved in my memory paper white face, with open eyes and open mouth 'looking' right at us."
"He was lying on his side and his head was turned up towards us, which made it even creepier."
"We just stood there for like 20 seconds not moving, not breathing in complete silence. Like we were waiting for him to say something or I don’t know, stand up."
"It was clear the guy was dead but we yelled 'hey' a few times because we couldn’t believe what was happening."
"The fact that this guy was near the entrace and there was this whole, huge, dark hallway with bunker behind it started to create weird scenarios in our heads straight from zombie/Friday the 13th movies."
"We went back to the car and called the police. Patrol car came in like 2 minutes. We told the two cops where to go since we really didn’t want to go there again."
"Turned out it was a homeless guy who got very drunk and went to sleep right after downing a whole bottle of vodka. Froze to death."
"Cops said they knew him, he was about 60, in and out of jail. It took them like 2 hours to take our statements."
"I remember one of them not believing that taking pictures of shoes can actually be a profession so I had to show him the pictures we’d taken already that day."
"We didn’t go to the arcade to take those Vans pictures. We went to a bar instead."
Luckily most of us will probably never have the experience of stumbling across a dead body.
But death is an integral part of life.
Whether we witness it first hand or not, it's something we all need to be prepared to face.
Is it just us, or does it seem like as the internet continues to grow, so do the solutions and "hacks" that turn out to be total snake oil?
And we don't mean "snake oil" like oil that comes... from a snake. Because that sounds painful.
Rather, we mean "snake oil" like deceptive marketing, scams, and fraudulent medical claims, like cure-alls and overnight dramatic weight loss options.
But every once in a while, there's a solution offered that sounds too good to be true, but it turns out to be totally legit.
Curious what surprisingly good hacks others had come across, Redditor ThePonyboyCurtis asked:
"What seems like snake oil but is actually 100% legit?"
The Powers of WD40
"WD40 cleans candle wax off your living room carpet. If ever in doubt, consult an old housewife."
"There is a guy on Snapchat that I follow and I can't think of his screen name right now, but he legit uses WD40 on just about everything. It's crazy some of the sh*t he does with it."
"That’s because it’s a solvent. It’s not a grease meant to loosen up tight screws, it’s a solvent that breaks down the crap making your screws stuck."
Everyone Likes the Smell of Cedar
"I had a weird-smelling basement. Someone said to get aromatic cedar blocks, sand them down, and leave them there. I thought there was no way this could work. But it did. The smell is totally eliminated."
"12 blocks. Each two by two by two inches. Just top layer sand down, half a millimeter maybe. I left them next to a pipe that I believe is the culprit. The basement is like 900 square feet."
"An offering to the stink gods."
"Ah, inches, millimeters, AND square feet. You like to confuse both sides of the ocean, nice."
Don't DTR with Your Hiccups Just Yet
"The whole 'hold your breath to get rid of hiccups' trick."
"The thing is, most people just don't know the proper way to do it or why it works."
"It's got nothing to do with simply holding your breath. It's got to do with using your lungs to hold down the diaphragm and stop it from spasming."
"You breathe in until you cannot fit literally anything else into your lungs. When your chest is as full as humanly possible then you hold it and within about 15 seconds the hiccups are gone."
"So THAT's why it works sometimes and not others."
"I've never had success until I held it until my lungs burnt. That 'oh my god, we're suffocating' feeling is a legit life hack for making your body stop acting stupid."
"It also works for stuffy noses. If you exhale all your breath, then nod your head repeatedly until your lungs burn, and then breathe back in normally, your nose will magically unclog."
"If you have really bad congestion because of allergies or a head cold you sometimes have to do this several more times (the most I've had to do is five times)."
Impossibly Clean Windows
"Vinegar and newspaper to clean windows."
"I thought the ink would come off and make an even bigger mess."
"Almost turns the window invisible."
Magical Mystical Magnesium
"Taking magnesium. It really can cure some joint, nerve, muscle, heart, and breathing problems."
"Of course, the only ones it can cure are ones that are caused by a magnesium deficiency which a surprising number of people have."
"Some life events that can rapidly use up magnesium in the body are pregnancy, surgery, viral illness, and major periods of stress."
Not Just for Painting Toinails
"I was suffering with plantar fasciitis for over six months. I tried new shoes, new insoles, pills, and physical therapy, but none of those things fixed it."
"A friend kept suggesting I try these gel toe separator things like they wear when painting toenails. I thought it was silly, but they were only $10 on Amazon, so what did I have to lose?"
"I wore the neon blue gel thing at night feeling very silly. After the first night, my foot hurt like h**l, but after the second, it felt a whole lot better. I wore it for two weeks straight and plantar fasciitis was gone. Those things were like magic."
"The toe spacers are stretching out your tendons in the feet, therefore reducing the tightness that causes plantar fasciitis! Another thing that should help is putting something like a tennis ball underneath your foot and rolling it around."
"Sitting on your deck in summer or are you having a nice picnic when suddenly you're being accosted by the h**lspawn known as wasps? Get rid of them with this one easy solution: burn some coffee!"
"'Burn coffee?' I hear you say incredulously. Yes, burn coffee! Take a little saucer, pour a little pyramid of ground coffee on in, and use a lighter to light the top."
"It will smolder slowly and give off a smoke that smells, well, like burnt coffee. It will also instantly get rid of any wasps that are bothering you. No idea why, they absolutely hate the smell."
"Some people also dislike the smell of the burning coffee, I understand this. But ask yourself this important question while the smell is annoying you: what do you dislike more; wasps or the smell of burning coffee? I know what I would pick."
"I keep coffee grounds in a short jar on the deck for burning and put the lid on when we are going inside. It keeps the wasps away, and also, it repels mosquitoes."
The Indoor Sunrise
"Someone mentioned melatonin, so it reminded me of the opposite. I bought a daylight lamp last winter because I get depressed when it’s dark outside for long periods of time."
"I got one off Amazon for 40 euros, and now I can’t live without it in the winter."
"I thought it was a sham initially, but the light basically imitates the wavelengths of light emitted by the sun (bar the UVs) and inhibits the production of melatonin. Not only that, but it also boosts my mood and morale. You just have to be careful because it’s difficult to fall asleep for a couple of hours after using it."
"There's a subset of these types of lights that also work like alarm clocks. Wakeup Lights."
"The slightly more expensive ones even fake a sunrise for you. It actually slowly increases in brightness from a dull red, all the way to that bright white/yellow, and THEN starts making noises."
"I used to be such a heavy sleeper before I got mine, and now I can pretty easily get up even at 4:00 or 5:00 in the morning even in the dead of winter. I could not imagine living without one going forward, HUGE quality of life improvement for myself."
"And I have not managed for a single family member to try it, not even outright borrowing mine for a week or two. Because they think it sounds dumb and pointless."
"I had chronic back pain for years. Then, just a few years ago I slept on my neck wrong and had neck pain that wouldn’t resolve."
"I saw a physical therapist and the first thing she did was look at how I sat and how I stood and walked. She told me nicely but essentially that my posture was horrible, affected by years of slumping in my seat and also being told continually by my mom to 'suck in that tummy!' when I stood or walked, which led to me thinking a pelvic tilt was necessary for good posture."
"The therapist showed me how to sit and stand with a straight back, my chest up and forward, and my back keeping a healthy lumbar curvature."
"Let me tell you, it was HARD. My shoulder/back muscles were not used to it and I had to train them like any muscle is trained, with a posture bra and also using a long sheet tied like a strap around my neck, arms, and waist. It also felt so unnatural at first to be sticking my chest and butt out, like I was looking for attention, which is part of the reason people have such terrible posture; we feel that’s 'immodest.'"
"No lie, three weeks later, all my back pain symptoms were gone and haven’t returned. I can do some slumping when I sit with no great penalty now, but when I walk, or when have to stand for a duration, or sit on something backless, I use my good posture and I am pain-free."
"I'm trying to spread the word on this makes me feel like a 1950s health movie ('Posture Pals!') but it’s so effective, I can’t stop sharing. Years of chronic back pain completely eliminated by just a few weeks of good posture training."
The Power of Meditation
"Meditation. When I was an alcoholic and drug abuser, my friend used to tell me about meditation to help with anxiety and stress."
"I thought, 'B***h, we use Xanax around here, no one’s got time to meditate.'"
"We no longer use Xanax and have the time to meditate."
Water in the Ear
"Hopping on the opposite leg when you have water in your ear after swimming. It works every d**n time."
"I need to try this. BRB (Be Right Back), gonna get water stuck in my ear..."
"Saltwater swish and gargle for toothache and sore throat (as long as it’s not something like strep). Source: currently have strep and ain’t nothing working."
"Otherwise, even the dentist tells me to salt water swish if I get tooth pain or something stuck. Total relief."
"I’m a once-a-year strep throat sufferer. For a severe sore throat, my doctor told me to mix a one-half cup Mylanta (kept in the fridge) with a tablespoon of Benadryl. Gargle every few hours. The cold Mylanta cools and soothes and the Benadryl reduces inflammation."
"She said saltwater only dries the throat out more and creates more pain. It works wonderfully."
"A few jobs ago, I worked as a pharmacy tech. There was a doctor out there who would call in 'Magic Mouthwash,' a one-to-one-to-one ratio mixture of Mylanta, Benadryl, and Lidocaine."
"It's great for strep, as well as mouth sores often caused by radiation and chemotherapy. Sounds like you got the over-the-counter recipe."
The Importance of Vitamin D
"Vitamin D supplements. it's much more important than any of us realized."
"I started doing this a few years ago and it's not straight-up noticeable right away but hot d**n, even a couple months into that first winter, I was like, 'Huh, I don't have that soul-crushing gloom like I usually do this time of year.'"
The Truth About Yoga
"Yoga. I have severe upper back pain and went through months of physical therapy. I couldn't keep up with the millions of appointments and started doing yoga as a way to stretch my upper back instead. I was doing it for 30 minutes each day and forgot that I had pain."
"It's so annoying that it does what people say it does because this whole time, I thought they were just being annoying but they're one hundred percent right."
"There's an app I like that's called 'Down Dog Yoga.' It's a blue dog as the logo, that's the app I really enjoy! You can customize the time and focus area so you can fit things in when you have time."
Something For Our Four-Legged Friends
"Does a dog thundershirt count?"
"I had an anxious dog with storms and loud noises, so I got him one, and while not perfect, he did seem to calm down with it on more often than not!"
Whether it's mocking back-and-forth conversations in the comments section on social media about, 'But have you tried yoga?!' or laughing at an informercial about Dog Thunder Shirts or Wakeup Lights from the comfort of our couches, we've surely all questioned at least one of the items or hacks on this list.
But it's humbling to know that every once in a while, the thing that seems too good to be true... will actually deliver on its promises.
Fortunately, for most of these hacks, trying them for a week or two wouldn't be a serious feat, and who knows, maybe they would work for us, too!