Older Couples Who Decided Not To Have Children Share How They Feel About The Decision
Once you become a fully committed couple, the questions start pouring in. "When are you gonna have kids?" "When are you having kids?" "When are the kids coming?"
The hardest thing to say is they might never come, but that isn't always a bad thing, as evidenced by the stories below.
Reddit user, u/throwawaygeneral8899, wanted to know:
Everything Should Stop With Me
For my spouse, I can only say that they have physical and psychological issues that they've mentioned that they'd rather not pass on to a child.
For myself, I've always said that while I'm occasionally afraid that someday I might regret not having children, that's not the same as wanting children, and that's an important difference to me. I have my own reasons to believe I'd probably not be a good parent.
Yeah, we both get concerned sometimes whether anyone will be arsed to care about the sole survivor once the other's gone or incapacitated. But this thought is the result of our decisions, not a basis for changing our minds about having kids, which we will not. Having kids or not is no guarantee that you'll end up cared for or not anyway, though it does probably move the needle on your odds.
No Need To Pile On The Issues
I go back and forth. My SO has some significant mental health issues and I know that I would be alone doing much of the emotional labor of raising a child, and I know I'm not really capable of doing it alone. Sometimes I worry very much about what I will do when I am old. I'm an introvert and dont have many friends and am not overly likable, so I assume I will be alone. I just hope that there are some kind robots to take care of me, and that I'll die before the robots turn on us.
Be Self Aware Of Your Own Limitations
I'm not a couple, just a person. I've been in lots of relationships and was married twice. I would not have made a good parent.
Regret sometimes I wasn't born into a different life, but given the cards I was dealt... I think I made the right choice in that department and have no regrets.
Been married for 21 years and initially we tried to have kids but found out that it was going to be hard to do. Wife was heartbroken at first, but I was somewhat relieved. It's a lot of responsibility and your life changes to accommodate a child.
Over the years, wife has actually said a few times that she was glad we didn't have kids because we couldn't have had the adventures we did. I feel like it was the right choice and we're better off due to not having kids. We love our life and are continuing our adventures now in our 50's and we're starting to make plans for retirement.
You Don't Always Have To Spend Time With Your Own Kids
We've been married twenty years. We are both 50. Neither of us wanted to bring children into our family.
I spent a WONDERFUL afternoon with my 16 year old niece yesterday. We talked about her boyfriend, picked blackberries and discovered a woodland clam [fingernail mussel] living in a mud puddle [vernal pool] in the woods, which we named Fred. It was magical. I just adore her.
Not having kids is just as normal as wanting kids, I've always felt.
Seriously, Hang Out With Other People's Kids
Well...I'm a dude in a relationship with a dude. 26 years. We could have had children but didn't. Have plenty of nieces and nephews to spoil.
Also...we've been able to save and we are retiring this week. I'm 54.
Sometimes, You're Escaping From Old Wounds
My husband & I are in our 50s & have been married 19 years. We both grew up with abusive dads, were the "smart kid" in the family, got the hell out ASAP, worked our way through college & made something of ourselves before meeting & getting married. A lot of common ground & we've built a strong, rock-solid marriage.
We considered having kids, but after working so hard on healing from the childhood abuse & escaping the cycle of poverty we grew up in, we decided long ago that just the two of us was enough. We still consider ourselves a family and we've been really happy with our life together. Our home is peaceful & that's the thing we care about the most.
If I had to choose now, knowing what I do, between becoming a mother & having the marriage & home life I now enjoy, it's absolutely no contest. Zero regrets.
You Learn To Deal With It Everyday
I (43F) and my husband (41M) tried unsuccessfully for about 2-3 years to conceive. We did clomid and 3 IUIs. We stopped short of IVF due to the cost and low chance of success at my age. Adoption also was eventually ruled out for a number of reasons but chief among them was I didn't feel called to it (and I'm adopted myself), I wanted to have a child that was half me and half my husband which adoption would not have given us, and the sheer cost of adoption which still does not guarantee you a child (I have friends who have been waiting 2 years now for a child).
We're slowly coming to peace with the decision and it gets easier day by day but I still have many days where it's hard to realize that we won't have what so many other people have attained so easily. Infertility really does change you and breaks down your entire sense of who you are as a woman. Ironically I didn't even want to have kids for years until I met my husband.
Kids? Or Sports Cars?
Me and my girlfriend don't want kids
we want sports cars and to live debt free.
There's too many kids out there without parents so we may adopt one day
"Just fine with it."
Just fine with it.
I'm retired and my wife will be retired next year.
Almost all of our retired friends that have kids are still dealing with some sort of dysfunction or drama with at least one or more kid that should allegedly be "grown up" by now.
One couple actually went to court and fought to gain custody of their grand-kids, taking them away from their dangerously irresponsible parents. Grandparents were well into their sixties raising two teenagers, but both are doing very well now.
Sometimes, You Just Need To Cheat The System
I'm 53, and has a vasectomy when I was 28. Never regretted not having children. I married a woman 10 years older than I am who had two grown kids (17 & 21 when we married,) and now I get GRANDKIDS! We've been married about 20 years, and I have three granddaughters, 10, 8 and just 7.
So I sort of cheated the system. But I am glad I didn't have to raise small children, and I get to enjoy being a grandfather.
Why Make Them Fix Our Problems?
We are both around 30. Both of us don't have the wish/urge to get kids.
I think we would be great parents, but its just so much work. So much time, risk and what not.
And [I] really don't [want] my kid/kids to go through school and fix (if possible) climate change.
Oh Yeah...The World...
Wife & I are older than 60 and retired. Neither of us ever wanted kids.
We are extremely happy we never had any kids. I am reminded every day I read the news that it was a good thing not to have kids.
Freedom Is More Important
I'm 33 and my partner is 43. Neither of us have ever wanted kids, nieces and nephews are enough.
My family constantly tell me I'd make an amazing parent and yes I'm wonderful with kids and kids adore me, they always have but I just know myself enough to know I'd resent them at times.
I'd want my freedom back, I'd rather focus on my life, my partner and my career. Instinctively I know eventually I'd get so frustrated I'd just become one of those jaded parents who can't be bothered and ends up treating their teenagers like a couple of friends just out of laziness. The teenagers would love it but that'd be some god-awful parenting. Plus financially? F-ck that in a bucket.
I honestly believe I'd be terrible. There is so much I want to do with my life. Raising, feeding and educating another whole human being is not f-ckin' one of 'em.
Braver To Take The Road Not Walked
It's braver to realize you shouldn't be a parent than it is to have kids and do a sh-tty job of raising them.
You Most Definitely Need An Even Temperament
I'm 60 now, been married for 29 years.
God did not provide me with the proper temperament to raise children. Have never regretted our decision to be child free. We're good 👍🏻.
You Find Love Elsewhere
I have a professor at my university who has been married to his wife for 50 years, and they have no children. He calls us his children and always talks about how he and his wife are inseparable. He's a really eccentric and energetic guy, even in his 70's. He gives out candy to the entire class before every lecture he gives.
He seems like he truly loves life and has no regrets about not having any children.
What's a reason why you don't want to have kids? Tell us all about it.
Having the support of family is a dream; they're always there when you need them, willing to lend a helping hand. However, sometimes family members are completely clueless, and their assistance has adverse effects. Here Redditors tell of what went down when their family thought they were helping when in reality, their good intentions were horribly misplaced.
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
My Sister Did Quite The Job On Me
One day, my little sister asked for my CV so she could base her own on it. A few days later, I got an email from Google Dublin telling me that my job application had been rejected. A conversation with my very embarrassed sister revealed that my mother had put her up to it. They sat down together and filled out the job application. When I saw what they wrote, I wanted to scream.
They included gems such as, “Q: Why do you want to work for Google? A: Because I LOVE technology'”. I imagine whoever viewed my application thought it quite ballsy for a music and Chinese language graduate to apply for the post of “Senior Technical Programmer”.
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
Grandma Doesn’t Let Up
My girlfriend and I both have great full-time jobs starting in our careers. My family lives about 60 miles away in my hometown. My grandmother sends us clippings from the newspaper of random job postings in hopes I will move back home. They are all completely unconnected to our jobs. Every month when we visit, she also insists that we should set up an apartment in her basement and live there instead of having to pay rent somewhere. I love her dearly, but that would be just a little too weird.
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My Mom Hit A Sour Note
My mother is a professional musician and had no greater desire than for me to be the same. Immediately after entering college, I completely minimized my time in music as much as possible to maintain my scholarship and put all my energy into medical biology. I was doing two doctorates in the medical sciences, so it is not like I slacked off.
Almost a year after I did this, my mother somehow found out. She then called the school, and multiple people in the music department, demanding that they require me to spend more time with music and get me back to “acceptable” levels of performance.
A Publix Humiliation
My grandfather insisted I call some random teacher he met at the grocery store to "set up an internship" for my last semester of college when I would have to student teach. No amount of explaining could convince him that that was not how it was done. I would have to apply through my university and my county, and they would assign me a classroom and a teacher. It started to get painful.
He would call once a week and say I was ungrateful for not taking him up on his help when he had worked so hard, and why couldn't I just make one small effort to help my future and secure a classroom? I felt awkward because it's pretty weird to call up someone your grandfather met at Publix and explain that you don't need their help.
Eventually, I started feeling guilty and called this woman up. When she picked up, I said, "Hello, my grandfather gave me your number because he thinks that—" and she responded with, "Don't worry, sweetie. He pretty much old man guilted me to give him my number. I know you can't control where you're placed in your internship. Bye". It was really awkward.
The Taste Of EmbarrassmentFormer Quiznos Subs Sign Downtown Miami | Completely empty i… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
When I was 18, my friend who was a cook offered me a delivery job at Quiznos; I told my mom that I was thinking about it. She got mad, emailed Quiznos corporate office, and said how it was irresponsible to offer me a job and that the manager was terrible. But that wasn't the end of the embarrassment. The message went to the manager, who went to my friend, who read it—embarrassingly—in a car full of my friends.
Mom, The Pickup Artist
I'm 26 years old, and every time I'm out with my mom, she tries her hardest to pick up girls for me, no matter the place. She's left my number for cute waitresses, girls that helped me into fitting rooms, bartenders, etc. It's never subtle, either. It’s always, "My son is single, you know? And very handsome and has a job and car".
Stop The Music!
My dad forced me to stop taking guitar lessons because "It is affecting your grades". I maintained a 4.0 in high school, did all of my homework, and would then proceed to play guitar for about eight hours a day. He actually threatened to burn my $800 Schecter. I have no idea why he thought it was ruining my life; I had a job, studied, and just loved music.
The Grass Isn’t Always Greener
My mom once mowed the lawn while I was out to "help me get my chores done”. It was a disaster. She put the blade on as low as it went and it absolutely scalped the lawn. She had shorn it all the way down to bare dirt. There was even dirt blowing all over the yard, but she said she "didn't notice". It took months for the grass to grow back.
What Once Was Too Much Is No More
My mother did a thousand things that drove me insane. She would write my name on my underwear, on every book I owned, and engrave it onto things that wouldn't keep ink. She'd do the laundry, but seemingly had no idea how to do laundry. My entire life she had to straighten things up, which consisted of taking everything in the room and putting it in one pile—papers, cell phones, empty coke cans, you name it.
This even occurred when I was 40 years old and in my own house with a wife and kids. She'd constantly tell me and my wife that we needed more furniture, more things on the walls, more knick-knacks, basically to clutter our house up like she had done to hers. She was a pretty annoying person for the most part, but she did cool stuff too, like give me money like take my wife shopping or babysit our kids.
She volunteered to babysit our kids on her 43rd anniversary despite having a stomach ache. The next day she went to the doctor where she found out she had cancer. The day after that she had an emergency operation which determined it was inoperable. She never left the hospital and passed two weeks later. Now, suddenly all that stuff that drove me insane doesn't seem like such a big deal anymore.
Meddlesome Mom Messed With My Mailpile of printing papersPhoto by Alexander Grey on Unsplash
My mom opens all my letters, especially my bank statements. She once came across an invoice for an adult subscription. You think that's embarrassing? It gets soooo much worse. She instantly assumed someone had gained access to my account. So, she decided to phone the bank and tell them that fraudulent activity was taking place, and had my account frozen. Not only that, but because I am self-employed, she thought she would ring HM&Revenue, and tell them about it.
As a result, I ended up getting investigated to make sure all of my accounts and business purchases were legit. Her response was, “I know my precious baby would not be buying [racy videos]”. I'm 21 years old!
Trying To Put The Hit On Me
My mom insisted I needed a boyfriend since the age of 12 or I was a lesbian. Typical ways for Mexicans to meet other fornicating Mexicans were at weddings and Quinceneras. I've always been a book nerd/tomboy and my mom kept insisting I had to wear fewer clothes and would force short skirts and dresses on me. I hated getting hit on because all the guys that would had already slept with at least three of my cousins.
Thankfully, I was one of the few in my family who ended up not pregnant by the age of 15. I didn't have my first boyfriend until I was 21—most of my cousins were married by then—and got married at the age of 24, and was able to prove once and for all that I liked men.
Duo Lingo Disaster
My wife's grandmother is Russian and wanted me to learn the language. So Babushka bought a huge carton of cassette tapes and handed them to me. When I saw what they said, it was so hard not to laugh. They were tapes...for Russians who wanted to learn English. She figured that I could listen to the Russian prompts, then hear the English parts, and reverse engineer the Russian language. Nyet. That's not how it works.
My mom is very religious and I'm not, so she hides religious icons all over my house. I'll find a crystal statue of the Virgin Mary in my toilet tank, little pictures of Jesus on my storage shelves in the basement, etc. It's always a little amusing when I find some random saint's picture stuffed into a book on my shelf. I probably have dozens of these things lying around that I haven't found yet.
My family is in the class under middle class. Through middle school and high school, going to the doctor was too expensive and our bills weren't ever paid on time. We had the financial credit of a squirrel. But my parents made it so much worse. It makes me sound shallow to say this to most people, but I was given well-intentioned, expensive, material things.
Clothes, cars, jewelry, technology—everything beyond our means—was bought for me and it was forced into my hands. Despite their best attempts, I remained frugal and money conscious. I have handed back 300-dollar watches and said, “Please just pay the bills”, only to be threatened to have them thrown away. Then, there were expensive clothes and shoes that were out of style.
Most of the clothes I liked were thrift store-bought or on sale, but I have 200-dollar coats hanging untouched in my closet. I can't be thankful for being handed essentially junk when there isn't enough food in the fridge or the lights go out.
Meddling Middle School Misfortuneboy leaning on brown wooden railingsPhoto by Tadeusz Lakota on Unsplash
When I was finishing primary school, our school gave us the choice of two middle schools to move to. One was really nice and in a decent area; the other was a little run down, and in a bad area, but was slightly nearer to where I lived. Naturally, even before seeing each school, the choice for me was an easy one. I would rather go to a nice school and suffer an extra 20 minutes of travel than the alternative.
This choice appeared to be shared with nearly everybody else as well and, as a result, we were told that not everybody would get their first choice. They would determine who would get into which school based on several factors. I figured I would be almost guaranteed a spot in the nice school since I was doing well academically.
I was in advanced classes for math and English. I was shocked to later find out that I had been sent to the bad school. This was exacerbated by the fact that nearly all my friends were being sent to the good school. What followed was the worst four years of my life, and some issues that I have no doubt screwed me up as a person, even now. When I found out WHY it had happened, I almost started to cry.
I told my parents I had been assigned to the bad school, and my dad said he was relieved. The thing was, he thought that I would not be able to get to school on time if I went to the nicer school, due to the extra distance, and the travel costs would be higher since I would need to take an extra bus. So, he wrote a letter to the school board.
He mentioned that while I preferred the nicer school, he thought the bad school was more convenient. I love my parents, so I have never told him this, but to this day I have never forgiven him for doing this.
God Mom, Lay Off!
My mom would force me to go to church on Sundays, weekly church youth group, church summer camp, and daily morning scripture study classes before school while I was growing up. Despite all that, she seems to think that I didn't get the memo about the whole God thing. So, she still gives me the conversion pitch every time I see her. I am 36 years old. Thanks, mom, but no means no.
An Invitation For Disaster
My mother-in-law tried to take over my wedding guest list because she “knew exactly who we needed to invite”. We ended up with all of her relatives and very few of my friends or family. She also wanted to invite all of her co-workers, all of her friends, and their children. I finally put my foot down and told her that I had limited room, a limited budget, and it was my wedding. Luckily, my husband agreed with me. All her relatives got mad as well because I refused to have anyone below the age of 13 there.
Dragged On My Dad’s Dates
My dad dragged me around everywhere he went when I was a child. He would take me on his dates too. Although it sounds cute and funny, all he would do was make fun of me and tell them how I spend all my time on computers. I hated every second of it. He did this for a bit until he clued in that women don't like when you trash talk your son or ask him questions like, "Why don't you draw anymore"?
I would reply, "You threw out my artwork in my room, so I gave up". They also don’t like when I just couldn’t take the awkwardness of being an 11-year-old forced to accompany two mid-40-year-olds “trying” to date. I would get up and go to the bathroom or walk around, only to be tripped by my dad, for which he would turn back and laugh. He thought he was teaching me a lesson by taking me because I spent all my time on the computer.
Garage Sale Granny
My grandparents are garage sale junkies. This really helped me out when I was just getting started on my own, as they had so much unused furniture just lying around in the garage. However, it just kept coming. I would get phone calls from home saying, "Oh Hunny, we picked you up a new microwave! It was only $5"! I've been given three different microwaves over the last three years.
They also buy socks for my baby daughter all the time—like every time I come to visit. My daughter hates socks, and she rarely wears them. There are SOCKS EVERYWHERE. I have two giant shopping bags full of unused baby socks in the closet, and I can't donate them because, apparently some places—in my area at least—don't accept socks unless they are in their original packaging.
It Didn’t Make Any Centssilver and gold round coinsPhoto by Art Rachen on Unsplash
I was going to a coin show with my co-worker and his stepfather. They came by and picked me up, and we went to the show. After they dropped me off, the stepfather was stopped and questioned by the authorities near my house. It turned out my dad had called the authorities thinking that the stepfather was a predator, and I didn't know any better.
But here's the messed up part: I was 21 at the time. It was very embarrassing when I heard what happened the next day.
A Numbers Game
Before my wife and I ever met, her mother would often give her phone number to "nice Jewish boys" that she thought would be good dating material. It was weird but not bad or unusual. Except that, for a period of nearly a year after my wife and I had started dating, her mother was still doing this. There were times when we'd go back to her apartment after seeing a movie or something, and there would be a message on her answering machine.
It would be from a guy that she had never met, who got her phone number from her mother. This was happening MONTHS after we were involved with one another, even after I went to her mother's house and had dinner with her.
Single Straight Female
Years ago, my sister jokingly insinuated I was a lesbian. My parents gave me the whole "love you whatever you are" spiel later. I didn't tell them right away that I wasn’t because it made my conservative parents vote “No” on Prop 8, etc. I also didn't think it mattered, and I didn't want them to expect any grandkids. Later, I told my mom I was straight because the whole scenario got a bit aggravating. It only got more excruciating.
Despite telling her this, she kept insinuating certain things like the best places in China (I’m Asian) to find a wife, etc. I have absolutely no interest in having kids EVER, which I made abundantly clear. My mom, therefore, thinks I am a hermaphrodite or a female-to-male trans person. She's even asked me if I have a male organ or if I wanted to change my general doctor to a male one so I can talk about my "man problems". I'm a straight girl, so all of this was quite perplexing.
No Bed Of Roses
I had just moved back in with my mom after having some financial difficulties. I was 28 at the time and broke, sleeping on a twin bed. I was lamenting about how difficult that might make bringing ladies home. Her response was horrifying: "You can use my bed. Just call me first". Suffice it to say, during the two years I was back home with her, there were no romantic times back at my place.
Filling My Fridge For Nothing
Every time my grandparents visit my town, they stock my empty pantry with lots of canned goods and my empty freezer full of frozen entrees. I tell them that I appreciate their generosity, but that it is really unnecessary. They reply by saying they don't ever want to risk me going hungry because I am too proud to ask for food.
The reason my cabinets are consistently bare is that after they leave, I always make a point of donating what they've bought me to a local food bank. I own three restaurants, so there is no reason I would ever cook at home. In a bad year, I have an annual net income of around $2,000,000. They're stocking a $10,000 freezer.
Proper Phone Etiquettebrown rotary dial telephone in gray painted roomPhoto by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
My mom used to make me make phone calls under the guise of “teaching me how to talk on the phone”. But she was having me call adults as a young teen about business stuff like for example, the electric company. She would not give me the information I would need to complete the task, like the account number or whatever, so I’m absolutely sure I was just annoying people who were trying to do their jobs and my phone anxiety as an adult is almost crippling.
No Thanks For The “Expert” Advice
My mother-in-law sent me a text message with advice for editing the language on my personal portfolio website. She told me to change all of the pronouns I use when referring to myself to "my company name". When I told her most illustrators I know don't do this, she simply responded that she was an "expert editor". I am not being ungrateful; she is constantly doing this. Providing "expert advice" to people whose jobs she knows nothing about. When I told her what I did for a living, she responded with, "Well, gee, I could do that".
Coast To Coast Annoyance
My aunt constantly tries to introduce me to women who live 3,000 miles away from me. I have explained many times that I live on the East Coast, so her attempts to find me a girlfriend on the West Coast are not going to help. Not only that, but my girlfriend doesn't appreciate the efforts either. The funniest part is that she isn't even old or senile. She's just a bit nuts.
Grammy Was Out Of Step
When I was really young, my Midwestern, Protestant, fundie grandparents believed that black or gray clothing was exclusively worn by bad people, and they refused to see it on their grandson. They took particular issue with black shoes. As a six-year-old, I was given the chance to pick my own shoes out at the local Sports Authority.
I spent the whole day evaluating my options and settled on a gorgeous pair of black New Balance with orange mesh and white logos. Understandably, I couldn't wait to show them off to Grammy when I went to visit for the summer. I carefully explained the features of the shoes, and how they made me run faster, jump higher, and look older.
When she saw them, she said, "Oh my goodness! Those might be the coolest shoes I've ever seen"! Then, when I woke up the next morning, they had been thrown out and replaced by a pair of entirely white Nike sneakers with no explanation.
I grew up with a dad who had been a high school and college sports legend. I hated sports. I was overweight and liked D&D and drawing. My dad was friends with the high school football coach, so I felt like I had to try out for the team. I hated every second of it. I hated the training and I was terrible. My teammates knew I wasn't into it and wanted me out.
One day, I jumped off the bleachers and tried to land on my leg to break it. I sprained my ankle badly and missed our first scrimmage. Finally, I had to confess to my dad that I hated it and wanted off the team. I was so scared because I thought he'd be so disappointed. However, he told me, "Son, you're you and I'm me. Just because I played football doesn't mean you have to. I want you to do what makes you happy".
So, my dad watched football alone, while I drew and read and later skateboarded. Over the years, we found a lot of common ground, such as music, and cooking together. I lost him almost five years ago, and strangely, now I'm a huge football fan. I sit and watch football alone and I can imagine him with me. I appreciate it now and I understand what it meant to my dad.
Drowning In Questionsman doing swimmingPhoto by Richard R. Schünemann on Unsplash
I used to swim a lot in college, which was many years ago. I got tired of getting in the water, so now I mostly do weights and machines at the gym, like the rowing machine and the elliptical. But every time my mother sees me, she asks, “So, have you been swimming”? We have had MANY conversations about how I don't like swimming anymore and I have no desire to swim, yet I still exercise. But EVERY time I see her, it’s, "Have you been swimming? How's your swimming”?
Years ago, my wife and I went on vacation for two weeks, and we had her parents watch our house and cat for us. Never again. We left the house at a comfortable temperature as it was the middle of summer in Atlanta, and we didn't want our cat to bake. We also wanted the house to be comfortable for them and my brother for the couple of days he stayed.
When we returned, the house was about 90 degrees on the inside, and our cat was chilling in our basement—somewhere she never went—where the temp was a good ten degrees cooler. They also decided to wipe down our kitchen counters, even though the kitchen was 100% clean. They are marble and she used a cleaner on them that left these little spots all over them that never came off.
My brother came over for a couple of days and said that he actually turned the A/C back on and noticed that when he came back a couple of days later, it was back off again. So he turned it on again and when we returned, it was off again. Our cat was not amused and decided that she would hang out in the basement for weeks at a time, and we rarely saw her.
Our power bill was enormous that next month and the constant heating and cooling of the house caused the wallpaper in two of our bathrooms to peel. When we asked them about it, they explained, "We were just trying to save you guys some money on your power bill. You know you shouldn't keep your house so cool all the time! And we wiped the dust off your counters too with the cleaner you had”, which was hardwood floor cleaner as it turned out.
She took all of my pants and cut them into shorts and gave them to my brother because they were "too small for me" when, in reality, they fit perfectly. After she realized that what she did might have irked me a bit, she came back with a few pairs of light blue wrangler jeans that were a 40" waist because they would "fit me better". I wore a 36, so needless to say, they didn't.
She also told my little brother, who was chubby and pretty self-conscious, that he had a gut and that he needed to swim with a shirt on. I wouldn't be critical if she were old enough not to know better regarding what she says, but she just turned 65.
Dressed To Impress
My mother was in love with the idea that I would go to work in an office with a suit and a tie. She had some ideal image from television that this was a great lifestyle. Meanwhile, we came from a farm, and I was an artist. For a year or so after finishing a degree, I worked in tech support and this required a dress code. My mother got me so many collared shirts and ties, it was crazy. I've worked mostly in offices since but rarely need a tie. I know she's always been disappointed.
Temptation Almost Took Over
When I was in my 20s and a dateless wonder, my stepmother tried to talk me into marrying an attractive young woman who was a friend of the family, and was in the US on a green card. It would be for citizenship, but my stepmother also said that whatever other “private arrangements” we worked out were up to us. I was tempted for about five minutes, but then my father caught wind of my stepmom's scheme and put a stop to it.
Harrowing Hook UpGiant Dipper queue entrance | Santa Cruz Boardwalk @ Santa C… | Flickrwww.flickr.com
One day, I was at the wonderful Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk with my family. My dad had been drinking and suddenly asked me, "Why don't you have a girlfriend"? I was around 11 or 12 years old at the time. I told him I just never found one, and that's when he decided to become Cupid. He called over this group of overweight, goth chicks to "hook his son up".
Naturally, I was embarrassed beyond belief. I walked away to go find my mom, who was furious with my dad’s conduct. She even went so far as to ask, "Why did you choose some goth chicks"? His response was terrible and inappropriate. To this day I have never forgotten that.
When I was 11 or so, I was riding my bicycle home from school and the wind started blowing like crazy, hard enough that I had to push my bike the last couple of blocks home. The tornado sirens went off while I was half a block away. I ran straight to the back door that led to the basement, went downstairs, and over to the “safe” corner my parents taught me about.
I sat and worried about the house collapsing on me. Then, the phone started ringing upstairs. I ignored it for as long as I could, probably around two minutes. I finally ran upstairs and answered the phone. It was my mom, and all she said was, "Get your butt downstairs"!
Bound And Gagged
My mom and sister came to visit me for a few days the weekend after I moved into a new apartment by myself. I had to work on the first day they were there and gave them suggestions on a whole bunch of fun activities they could do while I was gone. I asked them to please not unpack any of my stuff so that I would know where I had placed everything.
Obviously, there were also things my mom didn’t need to see. I arrived home after work and everything was unpacked. Then, my mom handed me one bag which she had not emptied. The content had bed straps, and she asked me if I had wanted her to set those up too. It was mortifying.
College Control Freak
My mom took over my entire college experience. She became really controlling about my course schedule and degree options. Somehow, it got worse the older I got. She would contact my academic counselor and bug him about why I couldn’t get into ENGL 3044 or why HIST 4513 didn’t give me the same general ed credit as ENGL 4513 for the multi-disciplinary degree that she pushed on me.
I wanted to major in sociology, but Mom thought that was stupid and it was a hippy-liberal communist degree. It made me hate college, and avoid any professors she had contacted. She would also get really mad if I changed my university password to try and lock her out. Basically, she threatened not to pay for my college if she couldn't control me and she threatened to cancel my car insurance too. All because she was afraid I would leave for greener pastures.
Drop The Dating Advice
My brother, my sister, my sister-in-law, and every aunt and uncle whom I've seen in the past four years all take the opportunity to give me dating advice, ask me about what kind of girls I like, ask me to pick the most attractive girl in the restaurant/building, etc. One of my uncles, in particular, was telling me in none-too-uncertain terms to just find girls to bed, not for relationships.
His reasoning was that, obviously, no 23-year-old guy wants to have a girlfriend metaphorically tying him down, holding him back from things, etc. Of course, every college dude just wants to just go sleep around indiscriminately. This was a dinner conversation with my parents at the table. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Every time it happens, I'm tempted to tell them that I'm gay—which I'm not—so they'll get off my back. But then I know they'll just do the same for dudes.
Something Was Fishy With My Juicebrown and yellow medication tabletsPhoto by Leohoho on Unsplash
I'm a vegetarian and have been for seven years. One summer, my mom was going through a phase of making me these orange juices every day; they were nice. I always thought to myself that the oranges must be coming from a different place this year because they were so sweet. One day, I was scrambling through the fridge and found this jar that looked like some weird medicine.
I opened that baby up and took a whiff. It smelled like oranges—sweet, sweet oranges. When I read the label of the “medicine”, that's when I realized that my mom was spiking my drinks with fish oil. A “vegetarian” who eats fish is called a “vegequarian pescatarian”, not a vegetarian like I was. Needless to say, I was mad and didn't talk to her for a week.
My mother tries to set me up with Jewish men. Our family is Jewish, and I have told them explicitly, many times, that I don't want to marry anyone overtly religious and that I find most Jewish men not to be my type, to put it lightly. So lately, my mother has been trying to hook me up with cute girls. She believes that since I'm a 26-year-old pretty, single girl, I MUST be gay to not be married with kids.
The Devil’s Devices
My grandmother throws out appliances that have the number 666 in the serial number or barcode. She thinks these appliances will eventually turn on us because they’re the devil's appliances. This includes a brand new lawnmower she received as a gift from her children. Of course, she didn't give the lawnmower to anyone because she didn’t want to be responsible for the impending doom the appliance would bring; she just threw it out. She's done this at our house before as well. She's a nut, but I love her!
My Family Was Full Of Gay Abandon
When my mother and father found out I was gay, my mother said it would be best for me to come out to everyone who lived with us. At the time, it was my sister, brother, grandmother, and great-aunt. She said if I didn’t do it, she would do it for me because it would help me have a better relationship with all of them. When I went to talk to my grandmother, she had just had some really intense surgery and she was on some serious pain meds.
So, I sat her down and told her I was gay and she just went on this half-hour rant about how she knew a teacher that was a queer when she was in high school. It turned out she then emailed several relatives about my coming out. An aunt of mine then sent me a letter saying that she wished the best for me and told me that I could "still live my life as a gypsy", I just needed to be careful because "AIDS is really dangerous" and that I shouldn’t sleep with anyone until I was married.
Time To Cut The Cord
My parents can't accept that I am a married adult and don't need them to do everything for me. They did all they could to make me as dependent as possible, and they don't understand that not needing them to do things doesn’t mean I don't love them. For example, I am pregnant and at high risk. My mother calls all the time wanting to take me to my appointments.
I get that she is nervous, but this little girl is very healthy, and I don't want her there. She doesn't help, she only makes me nervous. My husband wants to go with me, after all, it's our baby, and she doesn't get it. She called my last daughter "her" baby, and she is starting again. It infuriates me beyond belief. My parents also hate that I live about two hours away in a different state.
They want us to visit every weekend and get mad that we only visit every few months. I talk to my mom every day, mind you, yet sometimes she calls me several times a day and doesn't get that I have things to do. She also constantly says she and my dad are moving to Las Vegas and she thinks it would be great if we moved there too.
She has all these people call my husband about jobs that are not anything he would be interested in. Plus, my parents don't have any good business contacts. My mom has not had a real job in fifteen years and my father has been looking for a better job for years. They are not even in the same field as my husband. Even if the job sounded perfect, we would never trust it.
We don't want to be associated with anyone they do business with. My parents have some serious separation issues.
Two Sides Of A Shielda person holding a babyPhoto by Polina Kuzovkova on Unsplash
I had cancer twice before I was five years old and so my parents really shielded my life. If I was invited to a kid’s birthday party, my mom would be there too. I wasn’t allowed to play outside until late, and even when I was older, there was no going to nightclubs. I had to be in by 10 PM and had to argue my way to let my boyfriend (now husband) stay the night.
As a result, I'm terrible at socializing, struggle to make my own decisions since someone was always there with an answer for me, and don’t know anything about running a house as it was all done for me and not by choice. When I moved in with my boyfriend, they were all, “Do you not like us anymore? What have we done to deserve this?”
My guy had to show me everything from using the washing machine and paying bills, to cooking. Everything I know is because of him! They continued to message, email, and phone several times a day until I asked for space and to be allowed to live my life. We have a better relationship now, and I have my own little girl, so I do understand to some extent.
However, I know I'd want her to be supported and loved but allowed to scrape her knees and be included in everything. My job as a parent is to make her feel confident about herself and teach her everything I know to help her become a well-rounded and independent individual.
The Only Bad Influence Was Her
My mom tried to protect me from my dad. My dad was a lazy guy when they were together in Vietnam. Even when they had my sister and me, my dad didn't do much for us. My mom had to take care of him and us, so we moved to the US without him. This is when my sister and I were pretty young. He missed us and he would write to us, but for 12 years I never saw his letters.
Then, through the magic of technology, we got into contact again. My mom warned me about him because she thought that he would have a bad influence on me. My dad and I exchanged emails and I told my mom about it. Then, she finally confessed the dark truth. She had kept all of his letters away from us so that we wouldn't think of him and just forget about him.
When I read the letters that he sent us, they were filled with nothing but loving and encouraging words like, "I know I'm not there for you two, but you both are in my hearts". There were no bad words or any negative influences in any of his letters. Then, my mom demanded that I let her read my emails. My email exchanges with my dad were us talking about my life and what I was doing in school.
She thought that he was going to be a bad influence on me by making me quit school and move back to Vietnam. He was doing none of that. He encouraged me to stay in school and told me that I should be grateful for living in America. Then, one time, I left my email open to go and do a quick errand. My mom went into my email, sent my dad a letter pretending to be me, and cursed him out.
I found out about it and asked her why. She said she was trying to protect me. This all happened when I was 21. My grandmother also told my mom to not let my sister and I talk to my dad because she, too, thought that he would have a bad influence on us.
The Cost Of High Tuition
My mom is paying off her student debt 20 years later from a college she didn't even graduate from. She's convinced that if I go to an in-state college, I will save money and never have to do what she was doing. Then, I moved to NYC last year, and now I'm getting in-state tuition at one of the cheapest state school systems in the US.
Even so, my mother keeps suggesting and is trying to guilt-trip me to go to private colleges back home, a couple of which are religious, and most of them don't offer what I need, while at the same time costing four times as much a year compared to where I'm at now. She also went as far as to tell my siblings that I didn't love them and that's why I was moving so far away, in a "one final effort" to try and keep me in the state. That really, really sucked.
Living The High Life
My grandmother was a nasty blue-blood rich woman until she blew all her millions on furniture and stupid material possessions with no resale value. Yet, she still acts like she is rich and demands the country-club lifestyle she is accustomed to from my mom and aunt. She really is insufferable. She has set me up with rich potential husbands, one of whom was a third cousin.
She set up an appointment with the Dean of my school to discuss my merits; she lives nearly four hours away from me. She invited me out to dinner for my 21st birthday at a $90-steak-type place so that she could "culture me" and introduce me to her friends. She then told me to pay for her. The total bill was $459 and I was in college. This list goes on forever and every time, she does things so that she can "help me get ahead in life", but it’s really just for herself.
Out Of Service
This happened to me right before I graduated from high school. The men on my mom’s side of the family were all associated with some form of service like the Navy, Army, etc. My aunt decided that, since I had no job or any college courses, she would go ahead and forge my application to the Marine Corps and the Navy.
I got a call two weeks after my birthday saying to come in for an evaluation test. She went to all my uncles and told them how excited I was to serve, and how I couldn't wait to "be a part of something bigger than me". When I found out, I lost it. I called her and explained to her how that was totally not cool and how much respect I had towards people who serve, but that it wasn't my calling.
I told her that I was very disappointed that she faked an application just because she thought I'd have a better life! I cut all ties with her and had to explain to my uncles how this was all her idea, and to my surprise, two of them were going along with her. So I moved up North to get away from pretty much all my family.
TMI!woman in black long sleeve shirt covering her facePhoto by Ivan Aleksic on Unsplash
My parents were way too open about the birds and the bees. Sex positivity should make you feel comfortable and safe; it shouldn't make you uncomfortable or be pushed on you when you aren't ready. I got a comprehensive talk when I was seven. My mom gave me an entire book and told me to tell her if I "had any questions", all because I asked what a word meant.
My mom asked me if I wanted any toys and gave my sister her USED ones. It was definitely unsanitary. My mom also smacked my booty a lot and told me I had a good body. It took a few years of asking her to stop in order for her actually to stop. She would interrupt my sister's dates when she was 14–16 years old to ask her if she needed protection.
That just made my sister feel pressured to use them, even if the date wasn't going in that direction. My dad was just plain gross about the subject too, but he never had talks exactly in the same detailed and crass way my mom did with me.
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.