“Stranger danger" isn't just a rule for kids at the playground--it's a mentality that everybody should have. Maybe it's my paranoia, or the fact that as a woman I get catcalled every time I leave the freakin' house, but I personally believe that we need to be wary of strangers. And these stories are exactly why.
Here are some of the scariest encounters people have had with strangers. I'm not excited to read these- my anxiety won't thank me. Enjoy!
Being a former resident of New York City, I have had plenty of stories of people sitting next to me and saying creepy sh*t. It’s strangely comforting to know that other people feel that pain too.
Thank you, Marty.
It's a mix of the scariest, and the best:
I was eleven, and at the park with my cousin who was three. My cousin being a stubborn three year old told me to leave him be, and I sat out on the bench.
I was just reading my book, and occasionally looking up, until this like fifty something year old man sat down next to me, and just started talking.
He asked me, which kid was mine like four times, even after I made it quite clear I was uncomfortble, and then he get's all close to me, and was like:
"Do you want another one?"
So I started freaking out, until this homeless man, (who I later knew to be Marty) pulled me off the bench, and told him that he was lucky he didn't 'pop his jaw' and told me to go home.
I'm glad Marty showed up, because I don't know what I would have done.
Update: Marty says hello.
Never go to the library in a big city. Trust me.steve buscemi trunk GIF Giphy
Not scary per se but deeply disturbing. Random dude at my local library accosted me while I was enjoying a new sci-fi novel and was absolutely convinced I was his son. Kept telling me he was sorry and he never meant to kill my mother who he called Pink and said some other heinous sh*t I won’t describe.
Bat sh*t crazy but he sounded so rational and calm the whole time. Sh*t gave me the creeps for a long time after.
I was in high school and worked at a truck stop.
One night a trucker came in and stared at me for a long time. Wherever I moved to he was staring me down. I told him that if he needed anything that he would need to come to the counter and order it.
He just grunted and kept staring.
I'm not a small person and at that time I was in football, wrestling, and track. I was also at the gym 6 days a week. I was 190 pounds of muscle and teenager hormones. But the vibes I was getting from this guy were making me nervous.
I called up my other co worker and told them I was going to be in the freezer for a while. So I was stocking the freezers and coolers for a while and then went to the bathroom.
As I entered the bathroom the trucker jumped up and walked in behind me and just stood in there while I took a piss and washed my hands.
As soon as I got out I grabbed the trash bags and bee lined outside to take care of the trash at the pumps until he left.
My co worker asked me why the trucker kept following me after I finally came in.
I had no idea why. He never said anything. Didn't order anything. Just filled up his semi and creeped on me.
I've never been as creeped out by a person as I was with that guy.
The scariest encounters are the ones aimed at kids. Absolutely no sympathy for these monsters.
This is deeply disturbing.
When I was about 6 I was with my family at an incredibly crowded street festival we'd go to every year. I remember we had stopped to watch a band play for a minute or two, and then my mom (I assumed) took my hand and we continued walking.
After a few seconds I realized the hand I was holding was puffy and hot, and my mom's hands were always cool and more slender, so I knew it wasn't her hand I was holding. I looked up to see a woman with long blond hair and sunglasses grinning down at me. I said "You're not my mom" and she just laughed and said "That's okay, you can come with me anyway!"
Obviously my mom and dad had realized I was not with them at this point and were freaking out. My dad just happened to look in the exact right direction at the right time and saw this lady leading me away through a break in the crowd. He ran over to us, grabbed her shoulder and she dropped my hand and disappeared in the crowd.
I still can't believe he spotted us. It was like shoulder to shoulder people at this thing.
Wtf....yelling steve carell GIF Giphy
I was 16 and sitting on a train station with my mother. Some man came over and started talking to her.
After a while I looked at the clock and informed my mother that we needed to go because our train was about to arrive. He flew up from the seat and started screaming at me and wanted to fight me. My mother was confused and tried to explain to him that I was her daughter and that we really did need to leave. He just continued screaming which of course made teenage me scream back at him. She had to pull me away from there.
I never understood what made him see red like that. All I did was inform my mother our train was coming and we needed to leave.
I will never forget it. When Ghostbusters 2 came out I wanted to see it. My mom took me to the local theater I think I was around 9.
I needed to use the bathroom so I ran down the small hall and turned the corner. When I saw a much older man come out of the bathroom. When he saw me he stopped went back in. When I didn't move he opened the door peeking his head and arm out motioning me to come towards him. I probably looked like a deer in headlights I didn't move. It was frozen until he said: come on, come on in. Panic rushed over me and I ran back towards my mom, who said I was pale white. She quickly left the theater with me and went home. Stranger Danger worked out that day in the 80s.
I can still picture him, or atleast the picture my brain made of this memory.
So this one’s kinda obvious, but clearly there had to be a section about the horrors women go through every day if we dare step foot outside our homes. Here are a few intense stories.
Moms looking out for each other.
I dropped my son off at school one morning and then went to the grocery store with my infant daughter. It was so early, there was only 1 or 2 other customers. There was an older man with a walker that I didn't really pay too much attention to that kept popping up in the same aisle as us.
I got out to my car and put my groceries in and then was putting my daughter in her car seat when the man came up behind me. He asked me a question and when I turned to answer he shoved his walker into the back of my legs pinning me against my car inside the open door. I tried moving around but couldn't go anywhere except forward and he started pushing me down to the floor of my car. I was so scared that once he had me down there he was going to go for my daughter so I threw myself over her so my whole upper body was in her car seat and wedged myself in tight trying to cover as much of her as possible.
He grabbed me by the hair and was trying to pull me up when someone started honking their car horn. Another mom had been sitting in her car with her own baby asleep and had seen what was happening. Another car pulled up behind mine and the man ran over and got in quickly, obviously never needing the walker. The police were called but the plates on the car that he left in were stolen so as far as I know he was never found.
It can happen in your own home.Movie Stabbing GIF Giphy
I was taking a shower in the bathroom of the walkout basement. My 3 year old son was upstairs with my mother eating breakfast. I heard him open the door and told him "Mommy is in the shower, you have to wait."
The door didn't close but he didn't respond either so I asked him to go back upstairs and ask grandma for whatever he needed.
Instead I see a a shadow and outline of a hand touching the shower curtain and realize that there is an ADULT in the bathroom, not my son.
I scream and punch through the shower curtain. I don't think I connected, but I heard the man run out anyway. As fast as I could I jumped out and grabbed a towel to check on my son and mom. At the same time my mom was coming downstairs to see if I was ok from the scream.
The man never went upstairs and they didn't even know it had happened. The walkout basement door and window were open.
I called the police and they didn't find him, just my empty wallet about a block away. They did come back to me a few weeks later to let me know that they caught a guy in the area assaulting women at gunpoint and they think it was the same guy.
Never been so scared in my life.
Add: The most visceral part for me was knowing he was just standing quietly in the bathroom while I talked to him like he was my son. Honestly, I don't know why but that creeps me out the most. It felt really violating at the time.
I was walking home from the bus stop after school. About 15 years old. It was really not far but there were construction workers drinking on the side of the road. One of them got up and followed me home calling suggestive things. I honestly can't remember what but his intentions were clear. This was about 200m from home so I sprint home. We have an automatic gate so I realize he will catch me if I wait for it to open or he'll follow me in. So I climb over which is normally not easy but that day I flew over.
I was really shaken up. For me this story is actually about what happened next. Which is that I called my mom who had an intense job. She dropped everything at work, came home immediately, made me hot chocolate and pancakes. We had a long conversation where she validated my feelings and fear. She's the best.
Truck stops alone at night are the worst.
I was traveling home to California and I was in Nevada. It was an emergency so I'd packed and left at around midnight. It was about five thirty am or so in rural Nevada. I was at a stop on my usual route. I was very familiar with the particular stop, and it was just an hour or so before the California border.
Being a lone female, I concealed carry (I have my extended permit which allowed concealed through several states, except California) and I was at my truck at an empty spot, and I was in the cab disassembling and putting away my gun to be in compliance. Stepped out to go to the restroom and someone had managed to get close to my truck and was hiding along the passenger side, and I didn't know it until I'd walked passed them.
Whoever it was grabbed me from behind. I let out the loudest, most blood-curdling scream. Oscar-winning scream. But there was no other people at this stop. I fought and tried to buck the guy off of me, but I wasn't doing very well. Kicking lead him to lift me off the ground where I couldn't get him, and trying to break through his arms made him bend me over with him still behind me. I'm not sure how long I was screaming and fighting, but then I heard tires screech and I figured it was the creepy van my parents told me to avoid as a kid coming to take me away. Nope. It was a Toyota Corolla full of local teenagers headed to the gas station before school. The teens jumped out and ran towards us, and the driver stayed in the vehicle. The guy who grabbed me took off, two of the kids chased him through the desert beyond the gas station on foot, and the driver and the other kid made sure I was alright.
I send these four boys Christmas and birthday cards every year. I'm sure if it wasn't for them I would've been kidnapped or killed. Josh, Austin, Mason, and James, thank you guys.
The world is terrifying, my dudes. I've been harassed by my fair share of strangers, and it's the reason why I'm super careful just was walking around my neighborhood.
Protect yourself, protect your kids, protect your friends. It's scary out there
I love characters I love to hate.
Even when I hate them I can always find the reason they're involved in the story, so I find it difficult to want them to be erased.
Certain characters flaws and the most heinous decisions are written to further story and bolster the audience's love for the heroes.
So as much as we loathe them, we need them; much like our enemies in real life. That is what makes compelling drama.
Redditor u/nekoandCJ wanted to spill the tea on the characters we could do without in our favorite stories by asking:
People of reddit, what fictional character do you hate with a passion?
The list is long for me. It all starts with the guy who shot Bambi's mom. Lord, to this day that is still traumatizing. But she had to go to give Bambi a story. And Michael Douglas's character in "Fatal Attraction," what a putz. He got what he deserved. But how else would we be able to sympathize with Glenn Close? Even though... well y'all get it.
Family FailHome Alone Christmas GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Kevin McCallister's uncle… "look what you did you little JERK!"
"Percy from the green mile, that freak can DIE IN THE MENTAL WARD!!"
"That was what was so good, there is a Percy in every large group and more that one in any team where failure isn't punished, like a government job working at a prison. He was a great comment on humanity."
Love Sharon Though
"Ginger from Casino."
"Major kudos to Sharon Stone, her performance made me utterly loathe that character. She was a manipulative junkie who tied her young daughter to a bed so she could go out to score. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke her."
"Loathe the character, but that performance is absolutely god-tier. Helluva an acting job. Her and Pesci just freaking nail it to the stratosphere, playing thoroughly unlikeable characters in the absolute most realistic way. Ginger is the holistic ideal of the gold-digging party girl. And Pesci is that moron Dunning-Kruger guy we all know."
"Manny from Diary of a Wimpy kid I think there's a while subreddit about that little monster."
Call a Doctor!Giphy
"Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My favorite antagonist ever. Louise Fletcher was perfectly cast for the role, too."
Ohhhh... good choices thus far. Although, I found Sarah Paulson's Ratched more detestable. You know who else is a mess? Elmira Gulch. Love the Wicked Witch. Hate Elmira! Go figure...
True Evilthe sopranos hbo GIFGiphy
"Livia Soprano made my blood pressure rise every time she was on screen. Great acting. Mission accomplished."
"I will say, I've seen Comic-Con panels with him and his smarta** sense of humor fit Micah perfectly. He may have hated the character, but boy oh boy was he a fantastic casting choice. As were all the main cast, for that matter."
All the Drama
"When I tell you I stood up and cheered when I originally saw Heather from Total Drama Island finally get booted out of the competition. 'Twas a good day."
"Season 1 I HATED her and loved when she lost her hair. But then it was more of a love-hate relationship with her. She's a fun character. Owen, now that monster I hate. Loved him season 1, but then he just got reduced to fat guy who farts and contributes nothing."
"Craig from Malcolm in the Middle. He's a selfish, annoying coward. Like the episode where he's injured and he makes Lois drive all over town to different restaurants for him. I love when the helper monkey turns on him, that's what he gets for treating it like crap. I especially hate the episode where Hal asks Craig to help him buy a comic book for Malcolm."
"And Craig also makes Hal drive him all over town for different meals and treats and gifts, then when Hal dares to ask when they're actually going to the comic book store Craig flips out and demands to be let out of the car and says he won't help Hal anymore. Like come the hell on, I just want to slap him."
"Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?!"
"I loved Umbridge for the simple fact that she brought out McGonagall's savagery like no one else, and it was glorious."
"Voldemort is just another generic, pointlessly evil type of character that only seems to exist in fiction. Umbridge is the type of tight @ssed bureaucrat that mimics the actual villain in many average people's real lives."
This thread could be endless. So many villains and loathesome characters so little time. But Lord the drama is good!
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Everyone has their own little quirks.
What's the weirdest thing you find attractive?
Perhaps the thing you find the most attractive is completely unnoticeable to the average person. As in, if you weren't looking for this one tiny, small, completely negligible thing, you would never notice it.
But these people did.
Whip It Back And Forth
"My wife had shoulder length hair for a while. Once, when I called her name and she did the hair-swish-smile thing, I just about f-cking died from cuteness."
Little Stragglies Of Cuteness
"The neck, when a woman has her hair up and those little bits of hair curl around."
"Seeing a girl have to stand on her tiptoes to do basically anything, especially to hug or kiss me.
I think it's the cutest thing ever"
Then there are those people who find things attractive that, on first viewing, someone else wouldn't see as "Wow, that's a real turn on!" However, you have refined and cultured taste. Of course you'll love it when someone's bones stick out a little bit.
"Collarbones. Can't even explain it. Just a shirt low enough to show a pronounced collarbone."
"Omgyes! Protruding collarbones and (at least imo) hipbones are crazy hot! It doesn't have to do with them being skinny though! Slightly curvy people can also have really nice defined collar- and hipbones!"
Controlling A Massive Machine
"My husband reversing the car. He puts his arm around the passenger seat and looks over his shoulder...."
"Oh, man, I love watching people drive. The arm-around-the-passenger-seat-while-reversing thing for sure, but also just people driving in general. There's just something about that focus people get when they're behind the wheel; the way their expressions are usually passive, but their eyes are attentive... oh man. I'm with you on this one for sure."
Someone Has A Thing For "Teen Wolf"
"Long canines. The teeth, not the species.
Not unnaturally long like vampire fangs, but just enough that they're longer than the rest of the teeth."
"Huh, weirdest compliment I've gotten from a guy before was that he liked my 'pointy teeth.' This was at a bar and it made my coworker do a double take."
Then there's these, which you may not have known did it for you, but after reading these there's no going back. You're hooked, now, and that's okay. Embrace the weirdness.
I See You Are Also An Individual Of Class And Substance
"Chokers, f-ck those things stir up something primal in me"
"Ah I see you also grew up in the 90s and watched buffy the vampire slayer..."
Wait, That Seems Pretty Obvi-Oh, That's Why...
"Guys who wear glasses.
For some reason I think it's sexy when we're making out and he has to take them off."
Seems Like You Like Everything They Do. Which Is Great.
"I like when women have to go pee really bad and do that dance. Yea it's weird.
Or when you successfully feed your girlfriend at the appropriate time of day and she does a little dance or starts humming a song as she's chewing.
I like watching the daily skin care routine as they furiously and rapidly circulate their little raccoon sized hands in various nonsense that I'll never understand"
Everyone is different. Everyone has different tastes. Everyone has things that speak to them. These are all perfectly acceptable, and steering into them might actually help you along as you continue your search for a viable romantic partner. Don't shy away from the things you find sexy. Embrace them. Be happy.
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When we're kids, we expect the adults in our lives to notice everything, know everything, and maintain a just, sound moral order.
Psh, don't hold your breath.
Whether it's a teacher, the parent supervising a playdate, or mom and dad at home, kids expect them to have eyes on the back of their heads.
That way, when a kid gets into a spat with a peer, has something stolen, or feels a quiet emotion, the adult in the room will respond with full knowledge of all the facts at play.
But adults are just human beings with a limited bandwidth in their heads. Half the time they're doing other things when the incident goes down.
So they weigh in as best as they can with the limited info they receive--usually in the form of two screaming children pointing at one another.
Curious to learn about the times when the adult got it wrong, Redditor Butterat_Zool asked:
"What minor injustice was wrought upon you as a child that you're still salty about today?"
Many people talked about times when a prized possession was stolen, destroyed, or squandered. Sure, things are just things.
But to kids they mean a whole lot.
Covering Her Tracks
"We had a special arts and crafts week when I was about six, maybe younger. I made my dad a Christmas stocking out of clay, because I'd always thought it was unjust that he didn't have one. It was going to be my Christmas presents to him."
"I took it to the teacher to show her, and so it could be fired later. She methodically destroyed it by balling it up in her hands, and then tried to put it down to a brain fart. I was shocked, but mostly I wanted a replacement stocking, since it was meant to be a gift. I asked her to remake it for me, since she, a teacher, would be allowed to use the clay any time, but I only had a few minutes left."
"The next day I was told I'd been bad and I wasn't allowed to participate in the arts and crafts week any more, and that was that."
No Help From Pa
"When I was 4 I had a little red rocking horse necklace. It was my favourite. I wore it to a puppet show my dad took me to one day and took it off and put it beside me."
"The kid next to me picked it up and wouldn't give it back. We fought."
"My dad told her dad he didn't recognize the necklace and let her take it. I'm 45 and still salty."
In-School Pawn Shop
"Teacher took my 2ft long pencil and sold it to another student."
"Yup. A few teachers at that school sold supplies like pencils to students. It just so happened that this one was taken from me because it was 'too distracting' "
All Them Nintendos
"When I was younger I wanted a Sega Dreamcast. My parents wouldn't just buy it for me, since 'I already had enough Nintendos.' I got a job at Hollywood Video. I couldn't even drive yet, so I would ride my BMX to work in my tuxedo uniform."
"When I saved enough money, I told my parents I was going to buy it myself. They told me no. When I asked why, they said it was to teach me that I can't always get what I want, even if I can afford it."
"I bought one anyway and successfully hid it from them. Every night when I went to 'bed,' I'd hook up the Dreamcast and play as quietly as possible. I still give them sh** for that decision, but they stand by it."
Other people fixated on the times an adult embarrassed them in front of multiple people. Of all the examples given, these are enough to make you really worry about some of the people watching kids out there.
"We were on a field trip to some Washington forest and the ranger started asking about products that grow in or are made from forests."
"3rd grade me who had just discovered in some Ranger Rick article that latex rubber comes from tree trunks confidently raised my hand to share."
" 'Uh rubber from trees, now that doesn't sound right does it' and she moved onto another. 35 years later and the salt is still there."
"In 4th grade our teacher told us to write a paper about what we thought of our school, now our school wasn't great and I was homeschooled up until that year and struggling with the change so wrote about my frustrations and how I was generally unhappy with it..."
"...and she insulted me in front of everybody until the point that I cried and then told me I should get up and read the paper to the class, I refused and she made me rewrite that paper until it was positive, you know instead of trying too help me with the problems I had"
Don't Cross a Paleo Nerd
"I was failed on an essay in English class because my interpretation was incorrect. The poet was describing an airplane and they asked us to figure how what it was being interpreted or anthropomorphized as."
"I was a paleo nerd and chose a pterosaur, because the author described the engines as screeching, and heaving, wings outstretched but still, etc. This was in 6th grade and in my essay I wrote 'and pterosaurs weren't like modern birds, they certainly didn't chirp!' "
"The teacher specifically read my essay out loud to the class as an example of something bad and wrong and 'incorrect.' She also didn't know what a pterosaur was or how you say pterodactyl. Big Salt could mine me until the sun explodes."
And finally, others shared the times they found themselves doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The adult only saw a snippet of a much broader context of behavior.
And the minimal knowledge led them to punish exactly the wrong person.
"Someone's phone went off in class, so teacher demanded that person turn their phone it. No one budges. She holds us in class for a good 20 minutes into the next period antagonizing us about this phone that rung. Eventually she let us go and warned all other teachers about this phone incident."
"My 8th period teacher then gets involved and antagonizes us all again. Said he was gonna stand out in the hall and whoever knows anything to report to him. Some kid went out there and said it was my phone. I got yelled at, got written up for Saturday detention, and later that year found out the kid who told on me was the one who's phone rung in class."
The One Time
"In kindergarten, we sat on this foam mat made out of large puzzle pieces, and we were all assigned one. My puzzle neighbor, Tommy, threw his garbage onto my square. Every time I pushed it off, he'd put it back."
"I eventually got mad and told him to knock it off, and the teacher noticed and yelled at me for throwing garbage into his square. I sat out for the rest of the day and my pin was brought down to 'bad day'. I accidentally broke his nose on the metal spider a few weeks after during tag, though."
Pulled In to the Chatter Hole
"Once a week, in kindergarten, they would pick a name of a kid who would win a toy. Only good kids could participate."
"I was alway a good kid, but not really lucky. My name got picked only once in the whole year. That day, unfortunately for me, I was next to a kid who would not shut up during the lesson. I spoke once to ask him to please stop talking. Guess who the teacher chose to punish for disturbing the lesson? That's right. Me. Didn't get my toy."
Until some kind of horrifying technology comes out that allows adults to see and know every facet of their child's existence, tiny injustices like this will proliferate.
But perhaps those couple slights are totally worth the freedom of adults that don't know everything we're up to.
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Modern medicine is a marvel. It's the reason why we've been able to effectively eradicate some serious diseases and improve the quality of health care around the world. When you take these two things into consideration, it's easy to see why vaccine hesitancy can be such a frustrating topic for people right now.
Many people would not be able to survive without the benefits of modern medicine. That's what we learned after Redditor forevernostalgic23 asked the online community,
"If modern medicine didn't exist what medical condition would have died from or been severely impacted by?"
"Bad vision alone would have made me terrible at most things."
I had bad vision until my early 20s. I second this.
"I would have had a very short life..."
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. I would have had a very short life without modern medicine."
Having known many people who live with diabetes, I am glad that they are still here.
"I probably would have died..."
"I probably would have died at 6 years old from strep throat."
This is a big one: In the past, it commonly killed many people. And guess what, it still does? The CDC estimates approximately 11,000 to 24,000 cases of invasive group A strep disease occur each year in the United States, with 1,200 to 1,900 of those cases resulting in death.
"I was born..."
"I was born with a bilateral abdominal hernia and amniotic fluid in my lungs, no way I would have survived infancy without modern medicine."
"My brother and I..."
My brother and I were bitten by a rabid farm kitten when we were 6 and 4 years old. Without the foresight of my grandfather who had the cat tested and modern medicine creating the vaccine, my parents would be childless."
Frightening! I saw Cujo as a child and that told me all I needed to know about rabies, thank you very much.
"I would have gone deaf..."
"I would have gone deaf from recurrent ear infections as a child and then died at 14 from pneumonia."
"But since that..."
"I was born two months premature, so I'd likely not survive that in an earlier era. But since that, nothing."
"Mom and Dad..."
"The way I was born. Mom and Dad had to feed me through a tube down my nose the first year and a half."
"If the recurrent..."
"If the recurrent tonsillitis didn't get me, my appendix would have been the end of me as a teen."
"Neither kiddo nor I..."
"Giving birth. Neither kiddo nor I would be alive without emergency surgery."
Amazing, right? Be grateful for modern medicine––there are new developments each and every day. And who knows what the future has in store for us? Will there be a cure for cancer? Alzheimer's disease and dementia? The sky's the limit.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!