Image by Nick Magwood from Pixabay

Most of us have met people in our lives that just set off instant alarms or gave us the jibblies. Maybe they didn't even do anything, maybe they never even spoke to you.

But something in you just ... knew...


One Reddit user asked:

Who was the scariest person you've ever met?

and yeah, a whole lot of you have moments where you just knew you weren't OK.


A Wedding In Sicily

Marlon Brando Wedding GIF by The Godfather Giphy

Staying at an all-inclusive hotel in Sicily, suddenly get our dinner reservation canceled for reasons out of their control, spoke to reception who gave us cash to eat out.. never experienced anything like it, and were so oblivious.

Fast forward to dinner went down to reception to book a taxi, all staff were nowhere to be seen or avoiding us. Turns out the mafia had called for a wedding party, last minute & that's it. So many exotic cars, lots of guns, men in suits.

Even more bizarrely, the family apologized about our dinner reservation & invited us in for drinks.

We actually joined the after of an Italian Mafia wedding. Declining would have been unwise.

- kentgti

"For No Reason" 

I worked as an EMT for four years (I didn't quit, now I'm a paramedic).

My partner and I were sent out to an extremely sketchy hotel to pick up a patient for PD. Basically, this guy had been arrested for something was now swearing up and down that he had chest pain to waste the time of as many people as possible. An ambulance crew had to be dispatched to take him to the hospital in restraints, an officer had to sit with him there until he was cleared etc.

When we arrived, he was crying loudly, sitting on the sidewalk between two cops. I took exactly one look at him and I was terrified. I could feel my heart rate jump and my hands start to shake.

My larger male partner said he'd sit in the back with him. So this guy cries the whole time we put him on the gurney and restrain him (if you're arrested or a danger to us, you get soft restraints tying your wrists and ankles to the gurney). He sobs loudly, talking about how much his chest hurts and how he didn't even do anything. My partner at the time, being better than the rest of us, was polite, professional and kind.

The moment the cops were out of sight and he was shut in the back of the ambulance for the ride to the hospital it was like a switch flipped. His face was utterly, perfectly neutral. He stopped making any noise at all. I will never forget the way he looked at my partner. I've read a lot of books talking about a "calculating" gaze but I'd never seen one before.

So a couple of weeks later we find out why he was being arrested: He had flung bleach into the eyes of a cashier for "disrespecting him". She was now permanently blind.

If you're scared of someone for no reason, you're probably not scared of them for no reason.

- otempora1

"May We Never Meet Again" 

I got rear ended outside New York City in a brand new car in busy rush hour traffic in 1995 or so. I had recently been in a hit and run so the first thing I did was look in the rear view and write down the plate number.

It was either a black caddy or a town car. The passenger was an older man wearing sunglasses, wearing a fedora and smoking a cigar. The driver was a huge man who could have been a linebacker.

As I was writing down the color/make/model of his car the driver knocked on my window. I got out. He seemed annoyed.

No damage to my car, little to his. He looked at me and said "We are all ok here right?"

I thought better to go along with that. I said we should probably file a police report and exchange information. He said "no, we are ok."

Normally I would have insisted, but I had a pretty good idea of what type I was dealing with. He said "OK, all set then" and I said "ok" and went back to my car and he said "WAIT."

I almost pissed my pants. I turned around and he grabbed my right hand, shook it, looked right into my eyes and said:
"May we never meet again"

I went back into my car and drove off as fast as I could and kept checking my rearview every so often for that car. Never saw it again but shook for a while on my drive to my destination.

- Queasy-Peanut928

Dark

I'm lucky I've had limited interaction with people who set my alarms off immediately. The first one that comes to mind was meeting one of my friend's stepdad.

His mom was smart and good looking but was too sensitive and agreeable for her own good and had a tendency to pick guys who were basically defined by their red flags.

First husband was a guy who started out a very handsome dude but eventually did enough meth he lost it.

Second was a guy who loved mma and for a while was pretty fit and made good money at his job. At the same time was also the type of alcoholic to have seizures if he withdrew and would do things like punch holes in doors while drunk.

I met the second. We had almost no interaction, all the stories I knew about him I knew secondhand. He had this way of entering a room, and just immediately making things tense without saying anything.

I remember turning to my buddy and saying:
"Dude... That guy's vibe is DARK."

I never felt anything exactly equivalent to it. He could get up off of the couch, grab a glass of water and sit back down again and the way he'd do it would make me feel like all the air went out of the room.

It didn't hurt he was super stockily built, had a shaved head and perpetually looked pissed off. Just the force with which he would sit down on the couch made me feel like I wanted to avoid eye contact so he wouldn't explode on me for something even though I never talked to him.

- Doubt-Grouchy

But the bulk of the stories didn't come from people who had brief encounters. Most people had extended or repeated exposure to their particular nightmare ... and it was definitely life changing.

"I Thought He Was Just Annoying"

kaley cuoco penny GIF by The Paley Center for Media Giphy

I thought he was just annoying.

He was a good friend's neighbor. I had only met him once before. The friend and I went going to take his boat out, dude saw us and invited himself along.

Five minutes after launching, the dude is already working on his second beer and yells a racial slur at two guys fishing.

Later on, we pull up to the beach, some people in a giant boat ask if we can move farther away. They wanted to set up a tent.

Words are exchanged and he yells that he'll kill them. They called the cops and he ran into the woods because he had warrants.

He comes back after the cops leave. My buddy vowed never to let him hang out again.

This proves pretty easy to do. Unfortunately that winter, he got drunk, got into and argument with his 21 year old son and shot him dead.

- Catlenfell

He Wouldn't Hesitate

I worked in a behavioral management unit in a maximum security prison for a couple years. It's a unit that houses borderline personality cases, sociopaths, psychopaths, et cetera. Basically a small unit to house the most disruptive inmates in the DOC.

We had an inmate who was in prison for burning down a building with a bunch of people in it due to selling his girlfriend some bad drugs. He killed at least one of them I don't remember the particulars.

This inmate was usually polite, courteous, hard working, everything you'd want from an inmate. Hell we'd watch jeopardy most nights and I would be blown away by his ability to answer a massive majority of the answers correctly.

Then suddenly he wouldn't be okay.

The most minor perceived slight or minor transgression would change him. He would shut down and become incredibly violent.. and he was so strong. He looked forward to the violence kind of like what's captured in Bronson movies.

It happened intermittently but when it did he was a force to be reckoned with.

We never had it out, but I was always aware that when I was speaking to him, it wasn't like I wasn't having a normal conversation... it was like he had programmed responses that were designed to be exactly what I wanted to hear.

Then there are the eyes, you hear the saying often inside the walls "nothing behind the eyes"... he was the only one I ever really felt that. His glare felt dangerous, and I can't really compare it to anything I've ever experienced before or since.

He made it through the program... eventually. The carrot that they dangled was a choice of what prison they would like to transfer to. He choose one that had a particular staff member that crossed him too many times years and years back. He was going there to kill them. He waited years for the opportunity.

Luckily he slipped up and someone caught on before he could make it there.

Without a doubt the most dangerous person I have ever meant. There was no doubt in my mind that if he had the opportunity and he felt like he needed to he wouldn't hesitate to kill me. I am so glad he'll never see the streets again.

- Deuteronomysfuntosay

So Uncomfortable

A friend of my brother's, who cornered me in the kitchen in the middle of the night when we were all hanging out at my sister's place and everyone else was asleep.

I was trying to politely sidle around him to get away, but he kept outmaneuvering me. It was just mildly irritating at first (I was tired and wanted to go to bed) until he finally stood blatantly in the middle of the door and said something to the effect of:

"God, you're so uncomfortable, you keep messing with your hair, you can't even make eye contact with me."


Irritation turned immediately to fear, because he went from "social idiot who can't take a hint" to "predator who knows exactly what he's doing" in a snap. He held that position for just a few seconds, but it felt like hours, until he finally let me go.

I had planned on sleeping on the living room floor (the creep was in the guest bedroom and my brother had passed out on the living room couch), but I was so freaked out went and crawled in bed with my sister. I didn't sleep that night.

They left before I got out of bed the next morning, and the next time I talked to my brother I told him I didn't like his friend. I don't know what the dude said to him, but my brother kind of paused and said:

"... Yeah, he turned out to be kind of a d*ck."

and that was the end of it.

- littleyellowbike

Notorious Neighbors

An extremely notorious gang member.

I wondered why bikies had started hanging around the apartments I lived in, then one day I got in the elevator and saw him with the massive dude who was obviously his personal protection that day. Thought to myself:
"Isn't that the dude I've seen in the media...? Oh f*ck, it is."

We talked about dogs until I got off on my floor. Good guy to talk pets with, but I always checked to make sure no one looked like they were hanging around to do a drive-by shooting before I walked into the building after that.

- EducationalTangelo6

My old neighbor was a member of biker club with a reputation for extreme violence. We got along fine, I kept my distance and tried to mind my own business.

His wife was more of a talker though so we chatted and one day she mentioned how his dad had died and left him his bike shop and they were talking with some rando lawyer to get his dads bills paid and some things to take ownership.

I'm not a legal expert but what she said didn't quite make sense so I said I'd have my sister (who is a lawyer) look at it to make sure it was all above board. Turns out they both had only rudimentary reading skills and this lawyer was predatory as hell.

I wish I remembered the legalities but that's really not my thing. In the end I helped him keep his dad's shop and I never had to worry about my safety at home or my house or pets when I went out of town after that.

He tackled an attempted burglar outside my window a year later. They were great neighbors and very appreciative.

-sagegreenpaint78

The Replacements

I had a customer with capgras syndrome.

She was convinced that all her relatives were replaced by actors. "It's just really crazy, they look like them, speak like them, move like them. Ask them something about the childhood and they will know it. It is as if they were your relatives, but they aren't! It's all stored in a tiny chip in their arm".

At that time I wasn't aware of her condition, I learnt more about that syndrome years later.

When I talked to her at the time (as said, didn't know about the syndrome, just thought she was completely crazy) it was more like the World had stopped working for her. But it didn't matter much - as though she didn't know / couldn't say if or where all her relatives were living now, it was completely clear for her that all of those had been replaced by actors and that was completely logical for her.

But yes, I assume she had a really lonesome life. I quickly learnt that police was looking for her and during the next talk I called police on non emergency number for this reason, but I saw her around for a while later so it can't have been something too serious. I don't know what happened to her.

- satures

Oh we had a patient with Capgras when I worked at an inpatient psych center. She was actually a retired psychiatrist who was taking care of her elderly mother (she was in her late 60s so the money was pushing 90) and she was convinced that her mother was replaced by an imposter. She kept yelling at her mother to get out and eventually pushed her and she got hurt (which is how she ended up with us).

We only had her for a short while to restore her to competency so she could work with her attorneys so I didn't get to meet her. By all accounts she was a lovely woman and a perfect patient.

- DamnitRuby

McVenting

I worked at McDonald's and this dude applied, I'm the one who handed him an application, he gave off instant creepy vibes.

When he came in for an interview I told my manager he was weird but he smiled his way through the interview and got hired.

Pretty sure he was a psychopath. And he knew he couldn't fake being a real human in front of me, he would give me real sinister looks behind people's backs.

He ended up getting fired. He pushed a big ladder over that almost nailed someone and the camera saw it all.

He claimed he was "just venting off a little steam".

He came back as a customer and reordered the same thing like 10 times and just creeping up the place and trying to walk into the kitchen, to eat in the break room etc. Manager finally called the cops.

He laughed and bailed on foot across the highway. Haven't seen him since.

- DewyWannaGoThere

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