It's spooky season, which means--lights off, jack-o-lanterns, scary movies, candy corn...wait, is that a knock on my door?
Have you ever been terrified while at home alone, and convinced yourself you're hearing an intruder, or a scary animal? Have you ever been right? Our greatest fears are that we are isolated in our homes, alone, and something happens. Will we be equipped to deal with it?
Here were some of those stories.
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About 10 years ago my husband was gone overnight and I got an automated phone call sometime in the evening, after dark, from the county sheriffs department saying 2 inmates had escaped from the local juvenile detention facility. I live in a very rural area and this facility is only a few miles away, also in a rural area. And? The two escapees were NOT juveniles, for some reason, and they were armed.
They had somehow overcome the officer and gotten his weapon. So there are helicopters circling the area for HOURS. I was on the computer (before I had a cell phone) all night messaging my local friends and trying to find updates. All the while the helicopters were still circling within a mile of my house. Bottom line - I turned on all the lights, barricaded the doors and sat up all night. I finally went to sleep when the sun came up. Most scared I've ever been.
Ended Up Working Out In My Favor
I lived in an apartment by myself right after highschool when I was about 19 years old. I had lived there for about a whole month when something truly horrifying happened. My front door was locked, top and bottom locks. I'm sitting in my living room watching TV when all of a sudden I hear keys going into my door locks and I see the locks physically start to turn. My body froze completely and my heart sunk into my chest. I did not have maintenance or anything else planned, nobody to come by and visit, etc.
The door swings open and I see an older asian man with bags of clothes and a few boxes. He immediately started screaming at me in a language I did not understand.
He began repeatedly hitting me and he dragged me out of the apartment. He had me in a chokehold and finally my upstairs neighbor came down and pulled him off me. We called the police and long story short; By some bizarre mistake at the leasing office, they gave this man a key to my apartment and told him it was his.
He purchased it before moving here and had only seen pictures of an empty unit. He assumed I was some sort of squatter, in his unit. I was young and poor, I had a tv, a chair, and an inflatable mattress. I had almost no possessions at all, so I could see how he might've thought that I was there illegally.
He was actually meant to get unit 54 (empty) when I was in 56 (right next door). I was able to press charges on the man and also sued the apartment complex for them allowing a stranger to have a key to my door, which ended violently. He did not move in next door after the incident, and I actually stayed there an entire year rent free. Was able to save some money and bought everything I needed as an adult. I also bought a pistol for my own protection shortly after.
I was home alone around 12 years of age, my dad was gone often, on dates to "heal from the divorce" which he caused by cheating. I remember being outside in the driveway looking up in the sky, the air was warm but calm. Ive never seen a sky look green, then i watched the clouds start to turn in a circle. I hauled ass inside, and shortly after a tornado formed and stuck down very close to the house. I remember the familiar freight train sound. Thankfully it was short lived and an F1.
That's MY Tree
Lightning bolt hit the tree 10 feet out my window, as I was watching the storm from my bed. I was home alone, maybe 13 years old. It was the loudest sound I ever heard, and I admit, I went from loving lightning to being afraid of it (buy only when its close). The same tree got hit 2 more times in the following 10 years, also when I was home alone.
Used to work in one of the older buildings on my campus. Former dorm turned office building. I was working on December 23, so NOBODY was there (Lights were off, doors were all locked, etc.)
Once i turned our hall lights and set up in my office with my dog, I went to sit at my desk and set up the computer. Right after sitting down, I heard footsteps down the hall, but didn't think much of it. They started to get closer to my door so I looked over at my door to obviously see nothing. I listened as the footsteps went all the way down my hallway (And passed my office). Once they passed my office, I walked into the hall only for the door at the end of the hallway to open and slam shut as i watched.
OMFG I THOUGHT I WOULD NEVER GET TO SHARE THIS. This happened when I was eleven. My parents went on a date night and it was just me (and the dog). There's a knock on the door. I peer out the window and see an unfamiliar man. I panic and run to the basement. I call my mum and panic. I hear the knock again. She tells me to calm down.
As I walk back up he has a cute little dog. Btw I'm still on the phone. I panic because i think that he is trying to lure me out. This is how it went
Me : mom he has a puppy! What do I do?!
Mom : ignore him and make sure all the doors are locked
Me : wait...
Mom : what... WHAT IS IT ANSWER ME!
Me : mom the dog looks like our puppy's name
Mom : (confused sounds)
Me : Omg it IS our dog!
Turns out our dog got out the open back door and ran after my parents car. Our neighbor who I didnt recognized because we just moved found her running, saw her collar, noticed the adress was next to his house, and brought her to me.
All Was Well
While I was at my grandma's house, she left to go to the grocery store, so I was at her house alone, playing my Wii. While playing, I hear noises coming from upstairs that sound like footsteps. I get really worried, so I walk outside for a minute or two to calm down, then walk back inside. A few minutes later, I hear more noises, and this time the noises are coming closer to the living room door. All of a sudden I see a person walking, and I let out a loud noise.
Turns out the noises I heard were my grandma. She had never actually went to the store; I had misheard what she told me.
It was my first time being alone for an undetermined time, I was maybe 16 or 17. My mom had to take my dad to a doctor in Alabama and took my sister with me. I had no idea how long they were going to be gone, so I'm sitting in the hall on the computer and our dog starts barking. Not like "Hey, squirrel, it's a squirrel!" but deep, angry barking. "Something is in my yard and it should not be here" barking.
I had the phone in my hand and went to check out the window looking towards where the dog was, plus to make absolutely sure the back door was locked. It was a box turtle. I had never heard this dog bark like this before, was pretty sure I was going to find a burglar or worse outside the door, and it was a freaking box turtle trying to get across the yard while the dog barked and snapped at it. I went outside and helped the turtle to the far end of the yard away from the dog, but he definitely earned some pats and treats for being that watchful over the house.
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I lived in a basement apartment that had 3 windows and one of them was in our living room (left side of house).
Some guy, who I have no idea who it was, walked up to the living room window (had to walk around a big bush mind you) and started waving and saying hi.
Then they went all the way to the other side of the house where my basement door was and started knocking on it saying, "Let me in".
I was just trying to play guitar hero. Still to this day not sure if he was drunk trying to get to my upstairs neighbors house. Called the cops and he left before they could catch him.
An Important Thing About Myself
My SO works nights and wasn't home. I came home from a long night of gallery-hopping with no dinner, lots of wine and didn't eat enough food while I was out. Suddenly had a really strong blood-sugar attack and ended up on the floor being barely able to move. Super sweaty and cold all over. Felt like fainting only my heart hurt really bad and my whole body felt odd.
I couldn't even move get to the phone to call 911. About 20 minutes later, I finally was able to get to the fridge by crawling and got some OJ into me and a couple of bites of an old pie that was there. That got me strong enough to make a meal and get things back in order. Found out later that my whole system was out of wack and I have to have food about every 2 - 3 hours or it happens again. Hypoglycemia.
When Hinges Creak In Doorless Chambers
It was a short time ago.
As context: I'm 21, was 20 at the time, but I still live with my mother. So I was playing some ArmA III with a friend through Discord, completely alone, and I swear I hared the window in my corridor open (I live on a third floor). It felt so real, that I actually reached for my airsoft gun in case it was a burglar so I could scare him off, but everything was in its place. Was weird and that's the scariest I can remember.
Nape Of Your Neck
This was about a year or 2 ago but I felt a small breeze on my back while gaming and no one was home. I turn around and nothing. My door is closed, I don't have any windows in my room, my fan is off and the aircon wasn't functional at the time. Then I heard a thump coming from my mums room then extremely light footsteps slowly traveling but stepping fast. It reaches my door so I grab my weights (but made them light so it's heavy enough to be lethal but light enough to swing around) I open the door and it was my cat so I put 2 and 2 together and assumed that he jumped off my mums bed and wanted scratches. But it still doesn't explain the breeze...
A Ghost Or Just A Child's Mind?
When I was a kid I would always sleep with a closet light on because I was afraid of the dark. I remember that I used to see black shadows fly a cross my room when I was supposed to be sleeping which were too fast to see clearly, however one night when I was around 11 I remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing the shadow of a man standing directly in front of my bed.
Now the part that still confused me and freaks me out is the fact that it was standing DIRECTLY infront of the closet door. It was blocking the light. I hid underneath my covers for the longest 5 minutes of my life but when I gained enough courage to look back up it was gone, sort of manifested. My grandfather died a few years prior but I don't like to jump to conclusions.
Yeahhhh We Had To Move
My sibs and I (ages 8-12) were upstairs when we heard loud knocking and a loud bang. We went downstairs and saw our front door was wide open despite having multiple locks from the inside engaged. Weird that our parents always left thru the garage so the additional locks inside wont be open. But when we saw the door all the locks were open.
And these were the locks that you have to lift and slide over to open. Idk if we just forgot or if something is in that house but safe to say we no longer live there. This house was new when we got it but I always felt something was there.
A Phantom Sob
Once when i was home alone doing homework i was listening to music. When i took a brake to relax a bit i heard a low level noise from downstairs. When i decided to get up and check, in the hallway i could hear the sound of crying but it was that crying of a woman trying not to be heard. I was so afraid that i had to take a moment before asking "Who's There?" And by then it had stopped. Till today my mom says she has no idea what it could have been.
Get Off My Lawn!!!!
Owner of a house very near mine was planning to demolish it and build townhouses on the land. He allowed some young people to hold a party there, which went viral. There were hundreds of people there.
The police had to get involved, ended up with full riot squad turning out and herding hundreds of people away from the property up the street. I lived alone and got scared when I heard people trying to get on to my property (I have a high, gated, fence at the front of my property).
Loads of news crews the next day!
I've been scared of storms since I was a kid. Like a full on had to go to therapy phobia. It was mostly better when I got older, I just get really on edge. Then I was 18 and driving home from soccer practice that was cut short by a storm and a tree across the intersection from me got hit by lighting and it was terrifying.
Alone at night watching a B & W horror movie called Killer Shrews -- huge dog like creatures with 4 inch teeth menacing people trapped in a compound on a tropical island. For some reason a pile of books fell heavily to the floor in a nearby closet. If I could have jumped out of my skin.
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I was pretty young, and it was about 1 AM. My cat came in, and immediately hissed at something across the room. Then, my cat ran away. I then felt something like a human walking across the floor, and stopped at the end of my bed. The I just heard breathing, for about an hour. I then decided to get enough courage to look up, and I did. Nobody was there, but I still heard breathing. Checked under my bed, nothing.
Checked my closet, nothing. Checked my bathroom, nothing. I then went to bed, not knowing what to do. I probably just hallucinated, but it felt pretty real. I don't suffer from anything, and that was the only time I hallucinated, unless my dog just came in, and breathed like a human.
When I was about thirteen, I had the house to myself. I pulled out some Oreo cookies just before I went into the bathroom and, when I came back five minutes later, they were gone. I never found the cookies.
I've never taken a prescription before, but finally got some antidepressants in Feb.
I didn't know I was supposed to eat food with my medicine for the first couple weeks, and the first day I took it, I nearly passed out.
My dad was at work, and I'm not supposed to call him unless it's his lunch break. But I called him anyways. He told me to eat some crackers and lie down. I felt better. Dads make everything better.
Wasn't home alone, exactly, but everyone else was asleep so I hope it still counts.
I was pretty young, I'm assuming I was around seven or eight, and I just got back from the bathroom. I had one of those canopy-beds, and as I got in bed and looked in the direction of my door, I swear to God, I see this kid staring at me.
Straight up staring. For like five seconds, we stare directly at each-other and then it looks like she ducked down and hid behind the end of my bed.
So, at first I thought - for some reason - that my sister had snuck into my room to scare me. So I whisper her name and look behind the bed where the kid had hid.
Nobody was there.
To this day, I have no idea what I saw. I'm usually very skeptical about ghosts and stuff, but something about the whole experience rubbed me the wrong way.
The Shake Up
I was 14. my mom and twin were out of state, and early that morning (4 am) my dad left to go to Italy for work. my Gram was supposed to come pick me up that evening--I'd convinced my family I was grown enough that I could be on my own for a few hours, didn't need to spend the night before at grams.
4:30, my cat wakes me up, which was strange, she was usually happy to just cuddle on my feet. and my brain says " hey, animals know when a quake is coming..." and I roll off the bed and cover my head.
I lived in California.
so the house shakes, and shakes and the ceiling just comes down, slamming into my bed and the bookshelf near my headboard. glass breaking, I can just hear things crashing. my cat stayed cuddled up with me in this little sheltered pocket. I was terrified.
Called my gram as soon as the sun was up.
Lived with my aunt for a year and she would leave for business all the time. I swear her house is haunted and only did things when I was alone. A couple of times I'd go to sleep with my door open and wake up to it closed. Seen a girl in white walk into rooms. Front door would unlock itself and door would open. Bags of chips would be thrown from a box on top of the fridge. Would scare the crap out of me.
My Sister's Car
I was about 11 and staying home alone while my mom and my older sister was out running errands. I was sitting in my living room watching tv when I heard two men arguing. It sounded like it was coming from my basement. My cat even woke up and started acting disturbed by the yelling. I freaked out. This was before cell phones. In my mind the best thing to do was go hide in my sister's car that was in the driveway until my family returned home.
After about of an hour laying in the backseat of my sister's car my family came home. I told them what happened and they called the cops. There was no sign of break in and no men in the house. They just thought I must have imagined it. To this day I will never forget the screaming and the look on my old cats face. I know I didn't imagine it.
My best friend, her husband and I decided to get an apartment. It was a nice place, we all got on really well. It worked out great.
After about a month we'd notice food missing, that no one would own up to, but whatever we all brushed it off. My roommate's cats had a tendency to destroy the blinds on the windows, so it had a nice section missing out of the window that looked out from our living room to our front steps.
I was home alone, around midnight on a Wednesday. I was up late working on stuff for school in the living room. I'd been hearing weird noises all night, but brushed it off as the thin walls.
After awhile, I heard a noise out on the steps and looked over to see a mans face peering through the gaps in our front window.
As calmly as I could, I got up and locked myself in the bathroom. I called the police and then my roommates telling them they needed to come home.
After some investigating, we found evidence that there was someone living in our attic, which had outside roof access (with a broken lock).
We moved out of that apartment within a week.
Something that happened about five years ago. My MIL who is a pediatric nurse had stopped by for a visit one evening and told us about a patient she had been treating that passed away that evening. Sometime after she left, I was doing something in the living room when something at the top of my stairs caught my eye. When I looked up, I saw what appeared to be a small shadow figure dart across the entryway to the second floor. Kind of like it got spooked and was darting out of the way to hide.
I wrote it off as my eyes playing tricks on me, but it did seem a little weird and my mind immediately went to the child my MIL told us about.
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Tornado came through the neighborhood. Took off part of the roof. We didn't have a basement. Could only sit in a doorway in the middle of the house and watch.
Within the Fire
I was almost 15. I lit a candle... my mom doesn't like vanilla scent. So I would light it when she wasn't home. I'd done it many times before.
I still don't know how this happened... I went into the next room for a minute at most... and I came back to the curtain on fire. And I froze. I can't say how long I just stood there. I snapped out of it and called 911.
I frantically look for boots because it snowed that morning. And I grabbed the 1st coat I saw. I remember standing outside watching the fire trucks pull up. Next thing I remember is that I was in a kitchen I'd never seen before. It took me awhile to realize I was across the street. I have no idea how I got there.
We lost everything in the fire. I went into therapy because I kinda started to shut down... and sleep was hard. Legit nightmares and waking up extremely panicked.
I'm 30 now. I have dreams about it once in awhile. Especially walking back into the apartment where it happened. It was fixed and remolded. And I pass it a few times a month... I've wanted to just knock on the door and asked if I could walk around and see it ... because my last time inside was seeing everything thing burned... and the smell... something that stays with you.
While the fire it's self was scary & traumatic... it's the fact most of that day and a day or 2 afterwards... I can't remember most of it.
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Remember back when people thought the world was going to end or some crap back in 2012? Well me and my siblings were home alone when the power went out. My parents came home to a group of children huddled around the table playing clue, by candlelight, during a power outage, on the day the world was supposed to end.
Not the Wind
Not sure if this qualifies as I wasn't all that scared. Was visiting my in-laws and dozing in the basement bedroom while everyone else was in church. Not really a church-goer, they're cool with that. Started reading a book when I noticed someone was tinkering on the old piano upstairs in the living room. Odd, I hadn't heard anyone come home and it was a small house, hard for anyone to have gotten in without me hearing.
But obviously they did, so I went upstairs as the person on the piano tried a weak cord or two, but then stopped when I got close. There was nobody home. Door was locked, and the piano was closed. Huh.
Told my wife when she got home and she smiled at me sympathetically. Must have been a neighbor or something. Nope it was definitely coming from upstairs, no question, and it wasn't a mouse or something as it wasn't just random notes. Odd.
Next morning my wife and I are lying in the same bed while my very-catholic in-laws are again at morning mass. We're reading and then ... the piano again. Definitely from inside the house and not random notes again. We look at each other with raised eyebrows and listen for a bit. "I think we can rule out the wind", I say. We go upstairs to check, again door locked and piano closed. Still wasn't all that alarmed but it was pretty strange.
My husband was working nights and I was home alone with my children in a small town. Someone started banging on my door at 2 a.m. Everyone knew everyone, and my father-in-law lived next door, so I just opened it in a sleepy state.
A man I've never met tried to walk into my house. I got the door closed just enough to block him. He had blood running down his face. For a moment, our eyes were within inches of each other. It was terrifying.
After a struggle, I got the door closed. And he started yelling at me. He said he wanted to use my phone because someone hit him. I yelled through the door that I'd call 911 but he had to stay outside. When I dialed, he bolted off the porch.
The next morning, I took my daughter to the bus stop and while waiting in the car, this same guy jumps out of the bushes and onto my car-cussing me out and trying to get in. Pure panic!
Turns out... he was on meth. The cops came and got him.
The Walk Home
I used to walk home alone at night from work. Part of the path was this old wooden bridge that I had to cross over. At just the right angle and light level I could clearly see a ghost standing on the bridge looking at me. Looked kind of like the grim reaper without the scythe. It would quickly disappear once the angle changed. It was interesting because if you look at the scene in isolation there's not really anything there that resembles what I was seeing. But the brain is good at pattern matching. Give it certain inputs though and things go haywire.
I remember I was alone in my house. I lived in rural Texas, and we had a shooting not long ago at that time. So I was pretty scared being alone, especially at night. I had a tangled pair of friendship necklaces that I meant to give to my friend. They were tangled PRETTY BAD. So, to calm myself down, I started untangling them.
A minute or two later my phone in another room rang. I went there and it was an unknown number. I didn't pick it up and went back to the room with the tangled necklaces.
But they weren't tangled anymore. They were perfectly straight and completely separate. Never figured out how that happened. Didn't sleep that night, either.
Off the Meds
I wasn't totally alone so not sure if this counts. I was with my older sister alone at home.
My mom called us and told us our grandmother had gone off her meds. They were told she took the car and was heading to us. Granted we lived three states away.
My mom told us to lock all the windows and doors and her and my dad where heading home as fast possible.
My sister and I did just that. We sat up in my sister room. We heard a noise of the door and went down stairs expecting our parents.
My grandmother got inside the house. She had a deck of cards and asked to play go fish with us. My sister locked me in my parents bed room and played go fish with grandma.
My parents made it home and grandpa made the next flight out to drive her home.
Yay mental illness!
One time late at night I was vibing until I saw my reflection in my glass door and thought someone was watching me.
In the house that I'm in: in November this young woman knocked at our door. I recognized her from 3 years prior because she does this like clockwork every three years. She had her sleeves pulled up and all her arms were bleeding. She had cut all the way up her arms. She was demanding that her ex-boyfriend let her see her kid (he won custody). She was very drunk and drugged and bleeding everywhere.
The neighbors all came around and explained she was on meth and because she isn't sober she can't see her kid. I had to keep pressure on her wounds until an ambulance and police arrived. Her parents had driven down at this point and I could just see the disappointment in her mum's eyes. Her dad apologized profusely for her. I was just hoping she would get help tbh. I hope in time she will get better.
Be Back Soon
This thing still scares me. I was 10 at the time, and my mom and step-dad said "We'll be back in an hour." They took 9 hours. They never told us what went on. Also not responsible to leave a 10 year old home alone with their 12 year old sister.
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In my old home I was hearing movement in the walls. Like it sounded like small do it steps and it got so bad I had nightmares over the sound. Low & Behold it was a mouse in the walls... scarred me for life.
Creaks and Footsteps
This happened back in 2007 when I was 15. As I was doing homework on my computer, I felt someone blowing their breath on the back of my neck. It started off slow, then it was like a loud woosh, as if someone was trying to scare me. When I looked back, nobody was there. Since I was in my bedroom, nobody was behind me because I would've heard creaking footsteps. The window was on the other side of the room, so it can't be the wind from outside.
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I heard something in my mothers room and was about to go in and check, until I realized i was home alone, so I thought 'forget that crap' and went downstairs and called my mom she came home and checked there was nothing in there, i sh!t you not redditors i had a knife under my covers, armed and ready.
When my neighbor broke Into our house repeatedly, everytime our parents were gone, he would stand in the bush with a sharpened star picket and throw rocks at the house, he shot a crossbow bolt above my dad's head and my dad bashed the crap out of him, but the scariest time was he snuck in whilst no one was home but me and my younger brothers. He was walking into our bedroom about to get close to where we was sleeping and the alarm on the fridge started going off because one of my brother's left the fridge open, he then ran out of the house.
Late one Night
Sitting in my kitchen late one night watching a movie. I was sitting in a chair that has its back to a window. I was watching a movie when I randomly heard this tapping on the window behind me. Almost like someone was tapping their nails on the window. I freaked out and turned around not knowing what to expect.
here i saw our next door neighbor grinning at me. She was looking for my parents. So instead of knocking on the front door or ringing the doorbell she decided to go into our back yard and then to the window in the back where she found me sitting watching a movie, and then decided to give me a mini heart attack.
Grandma? Is that you?
Was home alone for a few days when i was 15, parents visited relatives while I didn't want to go. And my grandparents, who lived in the apartment beneath and besides us (they where separated by a door but it was basically one big house separated into an apartment, and the house of my grandma and grandpa) left for the same reason. It was about 2 days of being home alone and I was upstairs watching tv, when I suddenly heard something downstairs. It sounded exactly like the door, which separated our apartment from the house, was opened up and I was scared as hell. I ran Into my room and got a knife (As if a knife would help in that scenario) and looked through the rooms.
There was nobody. After being paranoid looking through every room in the house I heard the front door closing. Ran downstairs and saw nothing. As I found out a few years later, It was my Great-grandma looking for my Grandma because she just felt like seeing her. She lived nearby and her Alzheimers didn't help her remembering that they drove away for a few days.
Not alone but everyone was asleep. When I was a kid of around 8 or 9 I had a small Hot Wheels metal trash can by my bed, a small single bed. Woke up one night from metal scratching noises, like claws scratching across metal, sounded exactly like it was coming from my trash can. I was petrified and couldn't move, sound just kept getting more and more intense, not louder, just more frequent. After lying there for what seemed like forever, I was finally able to scream out for my dad. He came into the room and turned the lights on, he looked in trash can and nothing there and made me look.
He says that I'm imagining things and to relax and go back to sleep, just as he's leaving the room and turning out the lights, he hears the noise! Ends up that the screen cover over the little chimney for our electric furnace had come loose on the roof and a bird had gotten into the furnace, which was right behind the wall next to my bed. Lucky for the bird that it was summer and not winter. Only time I have been petrified to the point I couldn't move.
Everyone hates Eddington
I was staying at my parents house, they had gone out, it was after midnight and stormy as hell outside. I was feeling a little uncomfortable in a house that was slightly unfamiliar with the storm and the lateness.
I thought I heard a voice but tried to deny it. A bit later I heard as clear as anything a voice saying "bye bye!" And this musical tune.
It was Eddington. The alphabet caterpillar that my dad bought 18 grandchildren ago and that we all hate because he just will not die. Eddington was speaking from the toy cupboard.
Eddington is only supposed to talk when someone pushes one of his many legs. I do not believe in ghosts but fully expected to open the toy cupboard to find some ghost child playing with Eddington. Eddington was switched on. I switched him the hell off and huddled on the couch 'til my parents came home.
Everyone hates Eddington but I treat that dude with respect. I don't trust that grinning purple creep.
The Look in his Eyes
I was 19 still living at my moms house, she was out for the night with friends, around midnight someone knocked at my back door and my dog started barking like crazy. I then heard my neighbor I've known for years, he was calling for my mom so I opened the door & told him she was gone & if everything was alright. He had a bat in his hand which I did not see before opening the door. He then began to tell me he had locked someone in his closet and they wouldn't stop screaming & it was driving him crazy & that he needed me to come look.
His eyes were glazed over a bit I remember, & I was totally freaked out. Long story short, I got him to leave & I called my mom. Few weeks later when everything settled down we were told by his mom that he has schizophrenia that was apparently getting worse over the years. I've since moved away & It's been almost 6 years since I've seen him or his family.
My dad said, "I had a beach house in a very isolated spot of Montauk, and I had just seen the Blair Witch Project with a group of friends. They dropped me off at the dark, relatively isolated, unlighted house. I walked up onto the porch to find a cairn of stones, just like the one from the movie."
The Weight of Zues
I had gotten myself tense with scary videos when the sun was going down. My parents then texted me if I wanted to go eat something with them, so I said ok. I was already pretty freaked out because I kept imagining noises around the house. I was walking down the hall from my room towards the front door when my backpack fell from my bed and hit the floor. It was a heavy backpack, with 5 full binders and other assorted school crap, easily weighed 30+ pounds.
It slammed like the fist of Zeus onto my floor, making me give an audible yelp and bolt through the front door, not even to fully pull on the screen door handle before shoving it with all my weight. I ran full speed into my parent's van and had to take a couple seconds to recollect myself.
Take it from me, and don't leave items on the edge of surfaces.
Had been to see an alien horror movie. Stopped at grocery store on the way home to my apt. Parked in a dark area and carried in some bags. Came back out for more bags. When I pulled the door handle a cat jumped out of my car thru the open sunroof. Aaaaahhhh.
I'm Movinghaunted black and white GIF Giphy
My house is actually haunted. Once, all the cupboards were being slammed. Like all 6. No joke, I pooped myself.
Sometimes you just don't have any money and you have to make it work. I learned how to make the most out of bargains at the grocery store and know how to make food that is hearty and will last more than a day or two. Beans and rice are your friends, by the way. You'd be surprised by how many delicious meals you can make with just these two basic ingredients.
Being poor requires you to be creative.
Penny pinching is an art, as we were so deftly reminded after Redditor naranja_cheese asked the online community,
"What is the most penny pinching you've ever done?"
"I used to steal..."
"I used to steal half-used rolls of tp when I was a janitor. Lived off white rice and Worcestershire sauce for months. Got a job as a cook & always saved a few scraps while plating people's food so I would have something to eat without paying for a meal. Also worked at a butcher shop& would take home bones to roast and make a stew with. I can share hundreds of things like this."
"I worked part-time..."
"I worked part-time in school, but was pretty broke. I wasn't being paid until the following day, and I needed soy sauce for my extra super tasty stir fry. I literally had negative funds in my account. So I went to the grocery store, grabbed a sushi tray, threw a ton of packets of soy sauce in my pocket (they don't charge you for these), wandered a bit, pretended I changed my mind, and left."
"While at the grocery store..."
"While at the grocery store, putting back that pack of chicken breast that cost $2.98 for the other pack of chicken breast that cost $2.95."
"Things were insanely tight..."
"Used to make my own laundry detergent during a time when we had relocated and our prior home had not sold so we had rent on top of a mortgage for 18 months. Things were insanely tight in those days, to say the least."
I definitely know what this is like.
"I took some cedar boards..."
"I had no money for Christmas gifts. I only had enough to pay rent. I took some cedar boards in the backyard, cut them, burnt them a little black as I had no money to finish them. Then I passed them off as cutting boards."
"One Friday night..."
"One Friday night in college, my two buddies and I had a grand total of $3 to our names. I bought a box of Mac 'n Cheese, a can(!) of escargot, and three Lil' Debbie Star Crunches. We had a full meal with starch, protein, and dessert."
"I lived on pasta..."
"When I was at university my entire budget was less than £40 a week. I lived on pasta and stolen sauce packets from the Students Union. The cafeteria ladies would always take pity on me at closing time and give me free burgers."
"I lost my job..."
"I lost my job and lived in a $1400/month apartment where electricity (which included heat) and internet were ludicrously expensive. $400-450 a month in the winter because the building was an old mill with huge windows and no insulation. Fortunately, gas and water were free."
"I only turned on my lights when I had to, turned off the heat entirely, and heated my apartment by boiling a huge pot of water on the gas stove 24 hours a day and going to the business center to use the free DSL connection to apply for jobs. I ate rice with frozen vegetables and spices for three months."
"It sucked, but I got by."
Hopefully things are much better now.
"If I ate fast food..."
"If I ate fast food or takeout food, I would ask for extra sauce packets or garnishes that they give out for free. I would stock up on them, use them when I cook instead of buying the stuff from the store. For example, a $1 box of pasta, a clove of garlic, and 2-3 ramekins of parm cheese, half ramekin of chili flakes, and a pinch of Italian herbs I got from a pizza place makes a quick meal."
"My local mall..."
"My local mall used to do paid surveys, you'd watch a video or try some new soda or whatever and they'd give you a couple of dollars. Then I'd use that to buy a meal."
Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. It's not easy.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
Now, this isn't going to be a long, "Let's all pile on how bad the internet is and only think about the good ol' days when the rocks were soft and we could only communicate using cans with string."
People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?
Many habits we used to possess were made completely irrelevant thanks to the internet. Not that we didn't enjoy doing them, we just started asking ourselves, "What's the point?"
Completely Devoid Of Technological Interference
"Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with."
No One Needs 24 Hours Of Nonsense
"News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew something serious went down."
You Mean We Actually Have To Go?
"It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You'd have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically if you were gonna bail you'd give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they're bailing last second since you're always reachable."
"RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a--hole and everyone knew it."
You can get almost anything on the internet. Almost. Still no sign of real working Lightsabers anywhere out there, but the internet has eliminated many of our purchasing practices.
Just In Time For The Holidays!
"The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys."
"Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn't need ~really~ easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready."
1 Good Song Out Of 15
"When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best."
"There was so much excitement to going to a cd store to buy an album that you only knew one song of or the band/artist name and just listening to that entire cd over and over again picking out which tracks were your favorite while still learning every lyric to all the songs on the album.
Building a cd collection was also fun."
Talk About The "Immediate Gratification" Generation, Huh?
"The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore."
Finally, there's these activities, to difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there. How do you get someone to understand that not having a supercomputer in your pocket at all hours of the day radically changed your life?
Keeping It In Front Of You
"I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds"
"It's so weird. I can only vaguely remember what it feels like to not have a smartphone and to be alone and think.
Wondering what my friends are doing and if they'd like to do something on the weekend. We'd have to talk during lunch break at school and plan it...
Trying to find the answer to a math problem... Having to figure it out by re-reading the problem and explanations 5 times."
There Used To Be A Time When You Couldn't Play Everything
"Not being overwhelmed by choice.
Don't get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could.
Now, its hard to give it more than 2 seconds before i try one of the 20,000 games i have access to.
New game plus used to be cool. Now, I'm happy if just beat the game"
Floundering. Just A Little.
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared sh-tless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.
I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.
I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed."
We can never go back. Not really, anyway. The only way is to keep going forward, be aware of the effect the internet has on us, and do our best to not let it take away the things that really matter in our lives.
Look, unless you enjoy cooking, no one likes spending time in the kitchen longer than they have to in order to whip up something mediocre to eat.
Ordering food or, for the time being, enjoying a socially distanced lunch at an establishment is convenient, but it can take a toll on your wallet.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are plenty of them that do not involve nuking a frozen entree.
"What's your go-to under 5 minute meal?"
These dinner selections are super sufficient.
A Loaded Course
"Two hotdogs and a side of judgement from my fiancé"
In Case You Didn't Know
"Quesadilla. super quick and easy to make and there's a ton of ingredients that you can add without much effort that will make it even better."
"Ramen and an egg, but not the traditional way."
- "Boil roughly half an inch of water (we want just enough water to boil the noodles, with very little water left over when it's done boiling)."
- "Smash up the ramen noodles, while still in the package (optional but cooks MUCH faster)."
- "Open the package and remove the seasoning."
- "Dump the noodles in."
- "While boiling, crack an egg and whisk in a small bowl."
- "Noodles should be done and almost all the water should be gone, if not strain out some.
- Remove from the heat."
- "Slowly pour in the egg while mixing very quickly, try not to let the egg touch the pan."
- "Mix as much of the seasoning packet as you like (I prefer 1/2 - 3/4 because I usually add a salty component at the end.)"
- "Add to bowl and top with some chives, thinly sliced, ripped up ham/salami and/or parsley. Leftover bacon or pancetta are fantastic crunchy components to dial up the texture."
"Easy, fast and checks so many of the 'munchie' boxes for me."
Don't Underestimate Soups
"Tomato soup and add tortellini. I like the spinach ones from Trader Joe's and Progreso creamy tomato with basil. It's bomb and it really makes a decent meal."
For people in a rush, these tasty snacks would suffice.
Goes Well With Veggies And Cheese
"Hummus is such an underrated food. It goes well with a lot of veggies and breads and chips or heck even cheese. All the time I hear hummus being listed as one of those weird, gross foods when its actually an amazing snack, or a meal if done correctly. It's not really unhealthy, either, especially if eaten with veggies (celery and carrots go great with hummus)."
Ready In Seconds
"All I do is get a paper towel, and put 5 Oreos on it."
"Then go back and get the whole package."
Peanut Butter Fantasies
"Peanut butter sandwich."
"If I'm feeling extra froggy I'll add nutella to the peanut butter and honey sandwich and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Goes down about as well as a popeye's biscuit though."
"It's like cheating the system. You eat sweets and call it healthy."
Start your day without all the hassle of a fancy breakfast.
Put It In A Bowl
"Oatmeal or cereal."
"Cereal is definitely underrated as a meal outside of the breakfast dynamic."
"A very simple recipe my grandma prepared for me when i was a kid."
"It's basically scrambled eggs...but before adding the egg she would cook sweetcorn (from a can) with a little bit of butter, add the eggs and then when the eggs were almost ready, add small cubes of cheese and cook for a minute or until the cheese start to melt (she was using fontal, but any swiss or white cheddar will do). Just a little black pepper and salt."
"Takes 5 minutes to do but it's absolutely delicious, fill you up, not so unhealthy and I feel my late grandma with me."
'I tried variations with chives or spring onions, paprika or other stuff. Still good but nothing as good as a simple "uova strapazzate con mais e formaggio.'"
I consider yogurt a healthy snack/lunch option.
I like having a bowl of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey.
It's packed with nutrients and gives me a nice boost of energy.
Yogurt also makes for a perfect chip dip. I sprinkle some onion soup mix and stir in the mixture. Who knew quick and easy food prep could be so delicious?
We all like to assume that a big old scar has an amazing, hardcore story behind it: maybe a valiant fight or some life threatening-escape.
But despite what Hollywood would have us think, that is so rarely the case.
Usually, some kind of bizarre accident leaves us with the biggest scar of our life. There's no action movie story behind it, just a careful mixture of foolishness and bad luck.
Clearly not put off by some gruesome anecdotes, Redditor fluffybear45 asked:
"People with scars, how did you get them?"
For many, it was the wild antics of childhood that left them slightly maimed. With many years now separating the Redditor from the event, these were pretty hilarious.
Out of Nowhere!
"I was playing on a swing and then my leg got stuck in barbed wire." -- Soviet_God-Emperor
"I feel like we missed a couple steps here, or your local park had some serious issues." -- Henfrid
"Yo that went from 0 to 100 real fast" -- IHaveButt
"2nd grade, defective slip-n-slide." -- AdmiralAkbar1
"I'm pretty sure the general design of the slip'n'slide was defective. Those stakes weren't covered originally, so you had to be straight down the middle of the slide or else....." -- Q-burt
"Could you refer to this incident in a gravely voice while staring into the middle distance, pausing only to shudder and sip your scotch?" -- CaptValentine
That's Why You Need an Axe Yard
"My dad hit me with an axe (bladed side) in the face. Stupid 10 yo me just had to look over his shoulder while he was hammering in herrings for our tent."
Others talked about freak accidents that came not from the stupidity of childhood, but the bad luck of mistakes made as an adult.
Bad Conditions for Practice
"Dad gave me a folding knife for Christmas"
"I read online that you could flick it open with one hand"
"So I practiced it, after my hands were greasy from eating a burger"
Take Your Pick
"Multiple long scars on my back are from falling onto a old soviet steel welcome mat ( i dont know how to describe it in english but its meant to wipe dirt of your shoes with triangle shaped steel beams."
"Medium sized one on my forearm is from a barbed wire fence, another one next to it is from a motorcycle accident and one on the base on my thumb is from a cars hood slipping and cutting me."
One Heck Of a Fall
" 'This one is from a skateboard, this one was a truck accident, and this one was a fire hydrant.' "
" 'Oh really? I bet each one has a very unique story.' "
" 'Not really, I skateboarded off of a truck into a fire hydrant.' "
Last, some people talked about the medical procedures that left them with the big gash. These stories had some ninth grade words and not nearly as much stupidity.
"A rare auto immune disorder called pyoderma gangrenosum twice... Don't google If you don't like gore... I had to have daily wound care and high doses of medical steroids"
"My intestines telescoped on themselves 8" scar on my belly." -- Anom8675309
"I never wanted to see the words 'intestines' and 'telescoped' together. Ouch." -- LadySygerrik
"I was born 2 months premature. I wasn't born with an esophagus so drs. cut my stomach open and used parts of my colon or intestines and created a new one for me. I have a huge scar on my neck and my stomach is one big scar. Also had a stomach feeding tube for quite a bit and heart surgery at 2 days old."
"I love science. I wouldn't have experienced life if it hadn't been for advances in medical science."
So if you've been sitting on an embarrassing backstory for one of your scars, feel free to share. You're hardly alone.