Home owners' associations (HOAs) are organizations created by real estate developers "for the purpose of developing and managing a community of homes, town homes and/or condominium units," meaning that your home is subject to a neighborhood's vote at any time. It makes the community easier to manage for the developer, but sometimes it really leeches on its members.
weeping_pegasus asked Reddit:
Here are some of the horror stories.
My Dad owned a house in an HOA about 15 years ago. Overall it was nothing noteworthy, until the vice president moved and sold her home. HOA required all front yards to have one tree, hers didn't the entire time she lived there. Sold the house and the new owner was fined for not having the required tree. She was a single mom who had just gotten divorced so it's not like she had money for a full grown tree. When my dad moved he said that killed HOAs for him.
A friend of mine lived in an HOA neighborhood, but because this house had been in the family for generations, before the neighborhood was even there really, they weren't part of the HOA, they never had to join. The HOA only formed a few years ago, but apparently didn't realize that my friend, let's call him bob, hadn't even been told about the HOA. Bob is single and travels a lot, but he comes home one day to find a total of $13,000 in fines for his house being the wrong color, his deck being unapproved, and a bunch of other bs. So Bob outright refuses to even acknowledge the fines, just has the post office return to sender. A few months later he comes home to see that his deck has been demolished and his house repainted. Apparently the HOA had granted itself the right to correct any violations of exterior appearance upon failure to pay the relevant fines. Unlucky for the HOA, Bob happens to be a former lawyer, he quit the practice a few years prior to help the family business, but Bob still knows how to lawyer. Bob sues the HOA, and the HOA smugly thinks it's a clear cut case in their favor. Bob only had to say a few words in his statement, most of which was "I'm not f*cking part of the HOA!" The HOA ended up admiring liability and had to pay a bunch of fees, and ended up disbanding.
My house flooded 2 months after I bought it. HOA got involved and blamed my kids putting toys down the toilet (they are too old for that). I spoke to neighbors, found out 5 houses in a row had flooded.
We all got together and demanded an investigation by an independent plumber. Long story short, our HOA owns the sewage and water lines under all the houses that connect to city water. They had not been repaired for years or flushed out, and were made of a material that eroded underground, it backflowed raw sewage into the 5 houses affected and flooded the grassy areas with sewage also.
All my neighbors are senior citizens. The HOA admitted responsibility and held an emergency meeting to repair damage. My house was done last and I agreed with that because the other ladies are 70+ and wheelchair bound or disabled, I'm under 40.
By time my house was done, the sewage had been wiped up from tile floor and treated with fungal chemicals, but mold was growing in master shower and carpet was destroyed. They had to replace brand new carpet in bedrooms, drywall, paint new drywall a color I chose, and re-tile my whole shower. When old shower tile was torn out, plumbing wasn't to code, so that was done too. They spent about $15k on my house alone. I also told the HOA never to accuse my kids again.
Day we moved in we got a 40 dollar fine for leaving trash cans in plain sight.
Bothering The Cops
My grandfather lived in a small community of one-story townhouses. There was a lady that we called the 'traffic Nazi'. There was literally one street that ran a block down the community and she was outside every time that we came to visit grandpa. She would run you down, yell at you and threaten to call the cops if you went one mile over the speed limit. Walked around everyday trying to find little infractions to fine everyone with. Never saw her have visitors, probably just a coincidence.
For real though, she was SUPER impressive at judging your speed. 21mph? You're getting yelled at. 20mph? You're getting a sneer, but no yelling. 15mph or less? Wouldn't call it a smile, but the nicest expression I ever saw her make. 25mph? Calling the cops which would have to come out, but couldn't give a ticket because there's no proof.
I had a tiny tree in my yard that was showing signs of dying (hard to get stuff growing here in the Vegas heat..especially if you don't water it lol). HOA told me to pull up the dead tree or I would be fined. It was so flimsy I was able to cut it down with a handsaw. Got rid of the tree and the HOA sends me a letter to replace it or I would be fined??!! It was my decision to plant a tree there in the first place. How are they going to force me to keep a tree there now??
Not a homeowner but work for a company that manages them.
Apparently, in southern states that is not mine, trees are valuable. Okay, sure, I get it. However, one homeowner claims that two trees and their roots in her front yard (each lot has two trees) are growing into her plumbing pipes and breaking them. She has spent like thousands of dollars fixing her foundation alone.
I acquired the Association during the process. Both of us came to an agreement that she could remove the trees and just plant them somewhere else. They would still be in the front yard but just not on some water lines.
I let the Association know. It was reasonable and I had been through this with dozens of Associations before. Your property is more important than some aesthetics.
The Association straight up told me no. She can remove one tree but she has to pay to replant (that's actually really typical) but she will not remove the other one. I tried to explain this woman cannot keep fixing her pipes but they straight told me that moving into the place meant she accepted the plumbing issues.
That is not disclosed anywhere in any resale certificate or documents. I never heard of such a demand.
I had to call her back and tell her what the Association said. She's definitely gonna sue and it baffles me that there's no reason for it.
There's bad HOAs and then there's some with no common sense.
My long time neighbors were the first to move into the neighborhood where we live some 30-40 years ago. Their home was the first finished and sold. They had 8 kids at the time. The husband was out putting up an old school cable antenna on the chimney. While on his roof a man (the developer) came up and said, "Hey! you can't put that up there, it's against the homeowners rules!" He looked down at him confused and said "Are there any other members of the homeowners association?" "Well no.." " Then I hereby disband the association. The vote passes unanimously. Now get off my lawn." Saved us all a lot of trouble.
I'm in one that the was never turned over to the home owners. The declarant has elected his family as board members. Since he has a large number of lots that are not occupied, he maintains voting control.
We have never received a copy of the books (which is illegal). Our HOA fees are considerably higher than other HOAs in the area. We have no reasonable explanation where the money is going. My guess is that it's being embezzled.
My state has no oversight of HOAs - so this cluster continues with little recourse for the homeowners.
My parents bought a house in a now HOA neighborhood but they were one of the first residents in the neighborhood. When they first moved in there were no other houses around them. Now it is a full neighborhood. My dad built a really nice patio out back with a pergola a few summers ago and a week later one of the neighbors came over, whom my dad had never met, and told him that it violated the HOA. My dad basically told him to go pound sand. My dad is a carpenter and the patio/pergola looks great, not trashy or makeshift in any way. The neighbor was just being a nosy HOA d--che bag with nothing better to do. Nothing more came of it either. No fines, no letters, nothing.
No Real Reason
HOA president/vice president ( husband and wife) knowingly violated the rule of voting approval and and allowed someone to build a huge house on a tiny lot. The guy building the house show them a picture of a cute cape - get's approval without a vote - then put up something completely different. When called out on it their excuse was - "we're sick and no longer want to do it and nobody cares about voting"
We don't have HOAs in the small towns here, but we do have one woman who made a Facebook page of "people of the town" and has apparently appointed herself as Queen. She'll walk around town and then make passive aggressive posts towards anything she doesn't like.
She has started a battle with her neighbor across the street. The neighbor owns my grandma's old house so I'm on fairly friendly terms with her. So N (for neighbor) owns a house with two extra lots next to it and she also has two dogs. Now sometimes some poo will get missed in the pickup process, it's a very large area, and Queen decides to tell N, multiple times, that she needs to keep it perfectly clean AT ALL TIMES because Queens kids like to play in that yard. Out of pure principal N is now purposely leaving a few (not enough to look bad or smell) poo piles around the empty part of her yard.
I have many many stories about the crazy queen lady so I am for sure on Neighbors side.
Not an HOA but a National Registry Historic District which is like HOA on steroids.
Our house was built in 1880's and had original windows on the second floor. We wanted to replace them so that our house could be more energy efficient ($700 heating bills in winter). We learned that you cannot replace with modern windows but with ones that are period specific. In our case that meant single pane, wood only. The windows were not standard size and each one was slight different in measurements so that would be even more expense. And in order to do all of that you had to get approval through a design review which involved meetings and architect plans. Nope.
A year later a door to our shed was busted open and instead of just buying a door at Home Depot the design review panel wanted to go through the whole process (6+ weeks). Nope. We hired a friend to replace it at night with a store bought door and paint it so it matched the last one.
Selfish Dog Owner
This is my uncle:
There's a broken board in the fence in his backyard. On the other side is a vicious dog that presents a major threat to my uncle's 2 yo kid.
The problem is that the fence technically belongs to the neighbor, not him, so he can't fix it in order to keep the dog from coming through. The neighbor refuses to fix it. He's not allowed to build a second layer of fencing or anything like that because of the HOA.
I recommended: * a log pile to put in front of it * a fake log pile * a gun. Just in case. It's his child over a dumb dog.
I don't know if the situation is solved yet.
I moved into a condo with an HOA about six months ago, and just had my first real encounter with the HOA. They mailed me a letter warning me that I needed to remove my lawn chair from my balcony because it was partially folded up. Apparently this meant I was using the balcony as a storage space which is not allowed. I guess it's correct, I was storing the chair I planned to use on the balcony when the weather got better... on the balcony. It was folded to keep the seat from getting dirty in the meantime.
I own a condominium, apartment style individually owned units for those that aren't familiar. I could regale you with so much craziness. The HOA itself is terrible, but even worse seems to be the management companies they hire. I'll recount my first interaction with them.
I first became engaged when they slapped us with a $10,000 special assessment fee soon after I moved in. Went to the meeting and it seriously felt like I was on Jerry Springer. To this day I'm still unclear on what are facts vs speculations, but at least some of it was very much real. The night before this meeting, some angry neighbor types had brought in the cops and a news organization to publicly arrest and shame the building manager and assistant (staff members for the management company hired by the board) over a large chunk of missing money. Now the manager seemed like she was maybe into some ***, but this poor assistant was a woman in her 60s that had always been very kind and helpful to me and didn't directly even do the budgets. She teared up afterwards telling me how it was the worst experience of her life, being strip searched and treated like a degenerate in jail. She quickly quit and moved to a new city.
Back to that night, there is a faction of homeowners out for even more blood. Reveling in the arrests and convinced that not just both the staff, but the board members themselves must be prosecuted as well. The claims made were mainly that the management company had been making unsavory deals with contractors, leading to overcharging for work that was often inadequate. The building was out of money and out of code. The books weren't kept well. Money was certainly mishandled, but the extent of the malice was unclear. In addition, some strange events happened such as a homeowner having new appliances swapped with old appliances immediately after purchase. Aka his property was stolen and something of lesser value put in its place. But this whole meeting was a crazy, off the walls screaming match full of many other accusations and personal attacks. The board, clearly overwhelmed about the whole situation, didn't have the adequate evidence to prove their innocence and they had to play the unfortunate role of being the bridge between the management company and the homeowners. I don't personally think they were in on it, but some did. They were accused of getting kick backs and personal favors, with one member having claims made against her that she wasn't having to pay for her parking spot. She spoke up, at this point very distressed, about how not only yes is she paying for her spot and has multiple times shown the accusers evidence of that, but that these nosy "do-gooder" aholes were verbally harassing her every chance they got. She shared stories of the awful things people said to her and broke down in front of everyone about not feeling safe or welcome in her own home, all while actively trying to fix it through her role on the board. In the end, the building manager's whole family was tied to sketchy themes and the charges stuck. Unfortunately, we were left footing the bill of getting our building into shape.
At our old neighborhood, there was a section of the road that made a 90 degree turn, went straight for 3 houses, then made another 90 degree turn. As you can imagine, it was quite dangerous if you were going above the speed limit.
One day, a stupid 16 year old went 40 when she should have been going at a 20, and ended up flipping her car at that spot. Her keys were promptly taken away from her.
A couple years after my family moved out, we heard through the grapevine that a woman had started advocating for speed bumps, as our neighborhood had a lot of kids. She used the above event as evidence. As it turned out, the head of the HOA was this girl's mom. Speed Bump Woman was told "Oh, we don't talk about that here," when she brought it up.
Don't know what happened after that. At least the HOA in our current neighborhood consists of a bunch of old people who could care less what goes on.
When I was still living with my mom, I bought a boat. I always kept it at my dad's unless I was going to take it out the next day. Well one day I left it in the over flow parking and came out to a note saying I could not park it there. So my mom did some digging and found out that I could. It just couldn't stay for more then 72hrs. Which it never did. So we printed the part of the HOA rules that states that on pink paper and put it on my boat. As we are putting said paper on the boat one of the HOA people walked by and mentioned that it could not be parked there. Well needless to say we proved her wrong right then and there. Was so glad when we moved out of there.
My old townhouse I rented was in historical Old Town Alexandria, so any repairs to places like that was tricky b/c many of the homes there are historical or some sh-t. HOAs are b-tchier than usual.
Raw sewage backed up in the bottom floor bathroom and flooded the hallway and one bedroom. It didn't come out of the toilet, it came out of a drain in the floor of the laundry room. He thought it was just dirty water until we saw actual s***.
HOA tried to blame me and my roommates. Turned out tree roots had grown into the ancient sewer line and when a very heavy rain storm soaked the ground that weekend...well sh-t piled up, literally. HOA was irate when they found out this was something they had to pay for.
When it came time for us renew our rental agreement with the townhouse owner, who lived out of state, the HOA has kicked up such a fuss, mis-representing how it happened and basically causing such a stink trying to act like the damage was our fault, the owner wouldn't renew our lease even though we'd been renting from her for years. We were the one who had to coordinate with the plumbers and contracts fixing the townhouse, we did all the work to get the townhouse back in shape and sterilized b/c the owner couldn't.
B-tches on the HOA's say-so with 3 weeks notice and it's hard as f-ck to find housing in that area, especially on short notice. So I just moved away entirely b/c by that point I loathed the DC area and everything in it.
I live in a huuuge association (1 mile by half a mile, thousands of houses and apartments) and generally things are great, but after Hurricane Irma f-cked up all our sh-t the association turned a field near my house into a holding area for storm debris. It soon became a dump. Local contractors/handymen found out and we had mattresses, barbecues, bicycles, toilets, and everything else you'd normally take to the faraway dump if you didn't have one suddenly 20 miles closer and free - you just had to do it at night when the security guards were patrolling elsewhere.
99% of the garbage is now gone and security is posted there 24/7, but the field is still bare and full of things too small to clean easily - broken glass, nails from all the fences that were there, etc.
I'm still pissed and the association still has its' head up its' -ss about what it's going to do.
When you go on a job interview, the last thing you probably never think about is asking a question.
But we should also be prepared and ready to ask the right questions to have a leg up on the competition.
"What is THE best question to ask on a job interview?"
A company's history or information about a past employee were suggested subjects appropriate for questioning.
"When you were interviewing here, what would you have liked to know before you joined?"
"This worked for me. I asked my interviewer a question about how she had personally dealt with a company policy she had just explained. She bragged about her stellar adherence to the policy. I nodded my approval. I got the job."
A Previous Employee
"One that has always gone over well for me:"
"What were some qualities that the previous employee in this role brought to the job that you would like to see carried forward?"
"Another good thing to do is research the company you are interviewing with and you can ask things about what they may be involved in or you could drop that while reading about the company, you wondered this."
Hypothetical questions were suggested as helpful examples of inquiry.
Indicators Of How Companies Treat Employees
"A question that landed me a job once was: 'If I asked your direct reports about your management style, what do you think they'd tell me?' Stumped a hiring manager and he emailed me personally to tell me about it, no one ever asked him that question but got the job.
"In my current interviews I'm asking 'what did your company do for its employees during [the virus] to improve their day to day, work life balance, etc.' and I ask 'Is there anything your company adopted during [the virus] that they plan to keep post [the virus]?"
"These questions give a lot of insight into whether a company treated their employees well."
Past Performance & Adjustments
"If we were currently sitting in my 1 year review, what would I have done in this year for you to say I excelled in my role?"
"If I could snap my finger right now and change anything about your job or the company, what would it be and why?"
The following questions about a prospective company may not be answered from initial digging on their website.
Measure Of Success & Career Trajectories
"How is success measured in this role?"
"What are some possible career trajectories within the company that could stem from this position?"
Being A Solution
"Ask them what is the biggest problem you can solve for them in your first six months with the company. Similar to 'don't think of a purple hippo,' this forces them to imagine you succeeding in the position."
"What do you like best about working here?"
Simply The Best
"Who is your best employee and why is he/she the best?"
"You will then face 2 situations mostly:"
"panicking CEO who can't answer you 'Bob who works 17 hours a day for a slice of bread' so the fear in their faces must be a big nono for you"
"entusiast CEO who actually follow their business and can tell you who is an added value for the company and why."
My experiences with job interviews are different than others seeking work in office environments.
Having had a years-long career as a dancer, my "interview" was the dance audition, where hopefuls dance in small groups of people at a time after learning a routine and then awaiting their fate after the panel evaluates their performances.
The question I may or may not have asked in such a scenario earlier in my career was: "Did I make the cut?"
I did not make the cut. And I learned never to ask that again.
I have a few wealthy friends and I've seen a thing or two that has made my eyes pop out of my head. Let's just say that the priorities of a wealthy person and a dude who has never broken six figures are entirely different. But that doesn't compare to working for the fabulously rich. A friend of mine was a nanny for a super rich family for several years and described the lavish trips she took with them (and how picky and out of touch they were, too).
People told us their own stories after Redditor NeighborhoodTrolley asked the online community,
"People who cater to the super rich: What things have you seen?"
"It is so wide..."
"My dad's client bought a whole block of houses to build theirs. It is so wide that they installed a moving walkway like the ones at airports."
"A friend did some work..."
"A friend did some work on Sylvester Stallone's home. Apparently, there's a ton of statues and art of himself, some of which are naked and very well endowed."
Guess what, guys? It's not a joke! Those statues are weird.
Here you go: You're welcome.
"A friend from high school..."
"A friend from high school worked a few years as a deckhand on yachts in the Mediterranean and he said he once jumped in to get a customer's bag and got tipped €4000.
"Was a boyfriend of a girl from an obscenely rich family. The sister used to have the nanny (who was sleeping with the husband, but that's another story) fly to Paris in their G550 to buy the newest Hermès bag so she could show it off a few days before it went on sale in the U.S."
I did know a rich girl who would do something similar: She would fly to Paris for Fashion Week to get cute new outfits before they ever ended up in the United States.
"I used to work for a company that modified aircraft for really rich people. I'm talking 747s, not Gulfstreams.
This company had made several aircraft for this one customer, who I was told had purchased a new one solely because his spiritual advisor had told him that one of his current planes was bad luck. He still let his wife use it for her personal travel.
To me, one of the most exquisite features of these planes wasn't the gold-plated everything, or rare wood veneers, it was the silk carpet. That stuff costs over $1,000 per square foot and feels like walking on a bed of angel feathers harvested in the most inhumane way possible. Granted, these guys don't deck out the whole plane, just their personal areas (the aft third is usually reserved for staff and such and is more like a fancy economy class), but yeah… silk carpet."
"A woman who owned..."
"A woman who owned a small private jet business told me one time someone paid them to fly their dog (by itself) to NY for about $45,000 for some training. No other passengers."
The service that dog received must have been stupendous... but that's also so wasteful, I just can't get over it!
"I became personal friends..."
"I became personal friends with my boss and his wife; super nice people. The wife turned out to be an heiress and would buy me whatever I mentioned, like in passing during a conversation. I learned gifts were how she was raised to show love.
I've trained myself to only talk about things I already own unless I find something useful she might like and suggest it for her."
"Have the money to support their eccentricity.
One guy I cook for wanted his house built so that his bedroom was right above the cow barn, with a retractable spot in the floor so he could fall asleep listening to (and smelling, I presume) the cows."
Smelling the cows?
Are we certain he ever smelled a cow? Because I've been on a farm and I have and it's a terrible smell.
Would not recommend.
"I am an art student..."
"I am an art student working as a gardener. We work in one of the wealthiest areas in my country. Some customers are really eager to show me their collection of artworks that they have hanging on their walls once they find out that I study it.
I remember one time standing in a bathroom, with my dirty gardening clothes and there was a Picasso above the toilet."
"Once saw him..."
"I used to 'work' for an Arab billionaire's son, a Daddy's money guy, terrible garbage human being.
Once saw him spend $16 000 on a wallet, was a fancy one with little gold spikes on it and stuff. He had shoes with gold on them.
I remember one year for his birthday he received like 30+ cakes, big fancy cakes and he told us to leave them on the floor in the hallway outside his room.
We walked by those cakes every day for two weeks waiting for instruction, after the two weeks we were told to throw them away."
Anyway... might as well ask: Any of you rich people out there looking for a poor friend?
Need a houseboy?
Or just someone whose bills you can pay?
I'm totes available.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us all about them in the comments below!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
Oh the matters of the heart are just never going to be easy. Love seems to be a never ending mess. I've dated a lot and can attest that the percentage of bad to good is 70/30. And that may be generous math.
I've heard about people fighting on dates, setting fire to the restaurant, discovering hidden identities and dramas I thought only ever occurred on daytime television.
I use to believe the biggest fear about dating was that the other person may turn out to be a serial killer, but they at least tend to show you a respectable time before they strike.
Oof. Let's see who has been left scarred by the hunt.
Redditor u/givemeyourfreefood wanted everyone to share the stories that almost made them re-think searching for love, by asking:
What's the worst date you ever had?
I remember the worst date I ever had. My biggest regret is that I stayed for the entire thing. I should've left as soon as I realized this was not going well, which was basically at hello. But he was paying so I drank, a lot. I'll keep names and dates to myself to protect the innocent.
0/10Big Brother Reaction GIF by Big Brother After DarkGiphy
"Went to brewery, date said I had hairy arms and that meant I was horny, said "you look really awful in this light" and then tried to dig out of that hole by saying in his native language that was a term of endearment long term couples said to each other. 0/10 did not date again."
"My wife wanted to plan our 13th wedding anniversary. I was excited because usually, I plan it. She bought us some new disc golf discs and after a quick supper, we went to play. We hadn't played in forever. We were laughing and I had a great time. She served me with divorce papers and told me that the date was a test to see if she still had feelings for me. I also learned that she was having an affair that started well before our anniversary."
Two Hours from Home
"Not necessarily a date but a person I was dating invited me to his parent's house for the afternoon. He wanted to introduce me to them and show me the house he grew up in. I thought it was super sweet and had no problems going. He was also in the middle of moving and needed to pick up a few things, so it really didn't seem that unusual."
"Yeah, we got there and it was awful. His entire family was there. They traveled from hours away too. This was not just meeting the parents, it was meeting the ENTIRE family. Even worse? At some point, this idiot told his parents that he had proposed. We had been dating TWO months. I spent the entire afternoon dumbfounded and just playing along."
"We were two hours from home and I had no cell service, no way to leave at all. We ended up spending the afternoon brainstorming wedding ideas and planning an Alaskan honeymoon that his parents planned to gift us. His brother even called to say congratulations! We drove back to his apartment in silence. When we got there, I got in my car and left, didn't even bother grabbing my stuff. Weirdest experience ever. I have no idea how he broke it to his parents that we weren't getting married."
You're Cut Off!
"Got set up on a blind date once between mutual friends. She shows up to the restaurant already a little tipsy, orders multiple appetizers and only takes like one or two bites from each one. Then she proceeds to order 3 or 4 more drinks and is visibly drunk at this point. She gets up and says she's going to the bathroom and staggers off. About 15-20 minutes go by so I try to call her several times but no answer."
"Finally I decide to pay the check and just leave. About 2 hours later I'm sitting at home and I get a call from an unknown number. It's the police department. She was picked up on a DUI on her way home after she ditched me and gave the cops my number to see if I could go bail her out!"
Sorry?Bbc Three Idk GIF by BBCGiphy
"Well, I gave this answer on a different topic, but it ties in with this. We were out on a date, we had been seeing each other for a while, close to a year maybe. She gets a phone call. Suddenly she looks destroyed. Her fiancé had just died in a motorcycle accident."
What in the world? I mean how can we ever expect to pair off with the dating pool being inundated with liars and nut jobs? I'm going to delete my apps.
Girl, Bye.Sassy Beyonce GIFGiphy
"Had a girl openly flirt with the bartender in front of me. She says she wasn't. But handing him her own phone and asking for his contact info in front of her date seems like it to me."
"Came out from a movie, late at night, and date's Camaro was stolen. Apparently, he called his WIFE (that I did not know he had) and let her know where he was and what happened. She showed up and realized he was on a date! She started chasing ME around the parking lot telling me she was going to kill me. Saved by the cops who showed up just in time to take the auto theft report."
"Met a girl at a country bar one night in my 20s. We were both pretty drunk but hit it off pretty good. Ended up getting her number and we agreed we'd go on a real date. Fast forward to the date, she gets in my vehicle and... she looks almost identical to my mom. I was mortified. I was polite and we went for lunch where I found out she also had a boyfriend she "wasn't sure if she was into". Never talked to her again."
"When I was in college many years ago, before the advancement of cell phones and social media, I was chatting with a girl I met on a BBS who lived on Long Island, NY. I was 18 at the time, but lied and said I was 22 because she said she was 25. We spent a few weeks emailing each other, as well as calling each other."
"We even exchanged pics. When we finally met up, things blew up. Turns out we both lied about our ages: She was really 33, and lied because she thought she looked younger. She admitted she sent a college photo to me. We still had dinner together, but it was awkward as hell. We never spoke again."
DoublesKill Me Now Season 1 GIF by FriendsGiphy
"It was a double date. She was more interested talking to the other girl throughout the whole thing. Found out later from the other guy that his girl cheated on him with my date."
Ummm... I think I'm just going to stay single. That is a handful of crazy. Why can't people just be honest? I swear the search for love warps people's brains. Be careful out there people.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.
As much as we'd like to assume spirits, ghosts, and paranormal happenings are relegated to movies and books, plenty of real-life stories abound.
Inexplicable sightings, things heard, and cold pockets of air are encountered by plenty of people all the time.
It's up to you if you want to believe them. But it's hard to argue with the conviction of the contributors to a recent Reddit thread.
Redditor ihadanightmarewithu asked:
"What is the scariest / paranormal story you have ever experienced?"
Many people talked about the things that caught their eye once upon a time.
Two Places At Once
"I was staying with a group of friends rock climbing in Spain. Really creepy air bnb, lots of strange things happened while we were staying there. The creepiest was one morning we were getting ready for the day, packing food and generally getting our things together, and I went upstairs to grab something."
"As I was heading back downstairs I walked past my friend's boyfriend on the landing and saw him turn and go into his and my friend's room; I think I asked him something but he didn't reply. I thought 'rude' and headed downstairs."
"Walked into the kitchen and he was there sorting food out with my friend."
"Everyone swore he'd been downstairs the whole time, plus there was only one staircase and it would have been impossible for him to overtake me and get to the kitchen before me without me noticing. I went back upstairs and checked their room and there was no one up there but me."
"I've never experienced anything creepy or inexplicable before we stayed in that air bnb and I'd say I'm v. sceptical about supernatural/paranormal stuff but multiple things happened on that trip that spooked me."
"A floating head."
"I was putting beef in the slow cooker because I wanted it done for morning, it was late at night. I reached up to grab some seasonings, and heard creaking. I told my kids to get in bed."
"I see something out of my peripheral vision and there was no body but a head of a bald, pale man floating 3 1/2 maybe 4 feet off the ground in the middle of the floor. It's face kept looking as if it was sad, or like it was begging. It locked eyes with me....I froze."
"I had a darker wall, with a coat rack with my husbands work jackets so it stood out like a store thumb. I looked away thinking it was my imagination but when I looked back it was still there so I ran out the back door because I'd have to pass it to get upstairs with my husband and kids."
"I ended up calling him on my phone to come walk me in. I was wide awake, not sleepy, not out of it, on no medication. I have no reason to see that ever."
Presences, Seen and Felt
"When I was a kid my mom took my sister and I on vacation. I only remember this happening one night while we were there but the hotel we stayed at was pretty much all flats with one bedroom. I slept in the bed with my mom and my sister was on the pull out sofa. I can't remember if I was trying to go to sleep or woke up in the night to this but I just know everyone else was asleep."
"It was really dark with just a little light from the street outside coming in on the sides of the curtains. On each side of the bed stood a black silhouette and it felt like they were all staring right at me acknowledging their presence. I didn't feel threatened or afraid of them at all and turned on the bedside light and not surprisingly nobody was there."
"I turned the light back off and there they were still in the same positions. I just looked at them for a while but must have eventually fell asleep. The only other detail of that experience I remember is waking up the next day and mentioning it at breakfast and my sister saying she felt like she was being watched the whole night. I have no explanation for it but it's a memory that has stuck with me over many years now."
"One time I was going home in my car and saw a guy that appeared to have no arms no hair and a longa** neck in a JUST a hoodie no pants no underwear trying to climb a tree in the woods with their legs and idk know if that's paranormal but it was such a fu**ing weird experience that I think it qualifies"
For others, it was all about the things they heard.
"This is something I've never been able to rationalize."
"For months after my dad died, we were getting landline calls where no one would answer on the other end. This was in 2002, so, while robo callers were a thing, it definitely wasn't as prevalent as it is today, but we did assume they were probably wrong numbers or something. (We didn't have any phones that displayed caller id at the time.)"
"Well, one time, after getting yet another call with only silence on the other end, I jokingly said, 'Dad, if that's you, call my cell phone.' "
"I want to preface this by saying I rarely ever got calls on my cell phone, and never spam calls in those days. I was 18 with an unlisted number that only my family and a few friends had."
"Just a few minutes later, my phone rang with a number I'd never seen before. With what I'd just said fresh in my mind, I kind of freaked out and didn't answer. I was on my way out to go somewhere with my mom, so when we got in the car, I told her what happened. We made the decision to call the number back."
"It never rang, but there was activity at the other end: muffled static and the sound of numbers being dialed slowly. It was the weirdest thing. Both my mom and I said hello, but no one ever answered."
"Has anyone ever had something like that happen to them when dialing a number? I've never had it happen before or since."
And the Crying Stopped
"About 10 years ago (I'd have been 24) I was still living with my parents. My bedroom was in the basement. One night, around 3am I was woken up to the sounds of a young child crying. It sounded like it was coming from just outside my window. I couldn't just look out the window because it was covered in ivy, so I quickly hopped out of bed to go help the kid."
"As I got closer to my bedroom door I could hear the crying was actually on the other side of the door. I opened the door. No one is there and the crying stopped. Spooked, I immediately jumped back in bed and the crying started again."
"Later that day at dinner, my family was sitting around the table and I brought up my experience I had. One of my sisters told a story about how when she was a kid she'd always leave her room at night to go sleep with my parents because she'd see a little girl walking out of her closet."
"As she left her room and got to my parents' door waiting to be let in because the door was locked she'd see the little girl walking up the stairs that were right there. After her telling this story my youngest sister looked scared and asked, 'the little girl, is she wearing a pink nightgown with shoulder-length brunette hair?' "
"Now my other sister was scared because that is exactly who she saw. My youngest sister told how she had similar experiences with that little girl coming out of the closet at night or walking up the stairs at night."
"I'm convinced that something happened either in that house before we moved in or on that land that my parents' house was built on."
Crying From Afar
"Not my story but my moms, apparently when I was just a baby I was always a calm sleeper and once when my mom was having a friend over downstairs they could hear a baby crying so they naturally went to check on me and I was still calmly asleep..."
"...but every time they went back downstairs they could hear some more crying, but apparently the crying was somehow off in a different way as well, one day when mom and dad were downstairs watching tv while I was sleeping upstairs, they heard crying and finally pinpointed the thing that was off..."
"...apparently it came from the opposite side of the house compared to my room and that room had the latch to the attic. Creepy stuff, but I'm not that surprised. This place is totally haunted in my book, I once heard my mom call me downstairs while I was home alone."
Finally, some people interacted directly with the spirits.
Advice From Beyond
"So once while I was home alone, my neighbor knocked on my door. This was when we still lived in Oklahoma, and I was homeschooled. He was bit younger then me but we still played Halo together. I was thirteen at the time."
"I let him in and we had a conversation about what I thought the afterlife would be like, and this was really odd for him. We talked for a few minutes before he decided to leave. When my parents got home they told me he had a heart attack at school and died."
One Time Only
"I once felt a hand on my face when I was sleeping. I had the covers covering my entire face and felt something push down lightly and then a bit harder."
"I was absolutely terrified and when I finally mustered up the courage to look, nothing was there. It never happened again but there have been a few times where something similar has happened."
A Very Helpful Ghost
"I was staying in the Banff Springs Hotel in 95 for a snowboard trip and I was leaving the room and forgot my jacket."
"When I remembered right at the door, I turned around to grab it from the bed where I left it and it was being held 2' above the bed like it was being being pinched by fingers."
"The moment I turned around it dropped to the bed."
"That blew my mind!"
"My GF's sister at the time was working concierge and she said there was a bell hop ghost and gave the paper story...lol It wasn't threating at all, but was crazy to see!"
Here's hoping you manage to sleep well despite all these spooky stories!
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.