Kidnapping is one of the things we're trained to fear from a young age.
Don't talk to strangers. Don't go to unknown places by yourself. If someone you don't know is offering you something? They're trying to kidnap you. It can't happen as often as you've been trained to think, right?
What about when it does?
Here were some of those stories.
Fun For You, Not For Me
My old teammate got kinda kidnapped. Nicest guy you'll ever meet. Told me a story about when he got kidnapped. Mind you he was a 190 lbs college athlete at the time.
Essentially he got car jacked and shoved in his own trunk. But the perpetrators just wanted to use his car for a joy ride. So after a night of speeding, smoking blunts in his car, and doing whatever else, they got pulled over by the police. He said the looks on the cops was something else thinking they were coming up on a routine traffic stop only to find the owner was in the trunk of the car.
I lived in Cambodia. I was at the local market with my then 2 year old daughter. I turn around and she was gone.
I was in a complete panic, rushing around searching for her.
I had to pay to local police $200 to do their job. Thats how it was back then.
My daughter turned up around the border, the person who took her was trying to take her out of the country.
The only reason she was noticed was because she had a distinctive yellow t-shirt on.
This was 13 years ago. She wasn't traumatized by the event. Thankfully, she was too young to remember.
The man who took her got sent to prison for 15 years. Thats the last we heard of him.
This Could Have Been Bad
When I was around 7-8 years old, my Mom took me to a karate lesson for the first time. The "dojo" was in a strip mall. The lesson ended and as I was leaving the room (for whatever reason I was the last one out), a man approached me asking if I enjoyed the lesson. I told him I did and asked if he was a friend of my Mom. He was dressed normally (not an instructor) and didn't have a kid with him, so I was confused as to his interest in me. He told me he was not a friend of my Mom's, but that He and I would be friends. He put his arm around my shoulder and started walking towards the front door.
As we approached the exit, I saw my Mom chatting with the instructor in his office through the small window on the door. The office was right next to the exit and the handle within reaching distance. I quickly reached for the door handle, turned, and pushed. The man left my side and walked out the front door before the door to the office fully swung open.
I walked in and the instructor/my Mom start asking about the lesson, if I enjoyed it, etc. As we talked, I asked about the man. Neither the instructor or my Mom seemed to know who I was talking about and shrugged it off. After we left, I told my Mom it wasn't for me and never went back.
It wasn't until a decade later when I finally grasped the possibility of the situation.
A New Installment In "Taken"
I've posted this story before, but here goes:
I was in Turkey for a while in my early twenties with two friends. We had made quite a few friends in the coffee shops. They were mostly Kurdish and I was pretty oblivious to the racial tension there.
One day walking through the market, 5 men walked up to us. The four beefiest surrounded us while the fifth told us we were invited to tea at his place and to come. He was all smiles but the beefy dudes and general posture of them all made it clear what the score was.
We were escorted back to a shop with a few more scary guys and the patriarch of the family. The doors were closed and bolted, and the window shades drawn down.
For the next 5 hours we were "guests." It started mostly outwardly polite and utterly terrifying with polite veiled threats. When they served us tea, we were sure it would be drugged, but couldn't refuse and escalate the situation.
It culminated with them trying to hand the three of us swords, while the rest of them stood around us with swords in hand smiling and talking about how some of them had been in the family for generations and been used to take the heads off of Western Europeans in the crusades (BS I'm sure, but the point was taken).
I was absolutely sure if we took the swords they offered, we'd be cut down and they'd have plausible deniability and could claim we attacked them or tried to rob the place.
We remained calm and kept declining the swords politely as they got angrier and angrier. They finally let us go with a warning to mind who we associated with because "sometimes people disappear."
Scariest five hours of my life and I have no idea how it ended well for us.
Divorce Does Awful Things
I was kidnapped when I was younger, but I didn't realize it at the time. My uncle and my aunt were going through a divorce, and he was staying at our house with my cousin. One day he said we were "going on a trip." I was young, and I loved going on trips, so I didn't think anything of it. He took us from Connecticut to Minnesota, and we stayed there for a few days. What I didn't know was he was about to lose custody of my cousin, so he took us and ran. I think he also took me just because I was there and he didn't want to leave me home alone. He was arrested shortly afterwards and sadly he killed himself in jail.
Not me but my room mate at the time.
We lived in Johannesburg, and studied at the local university. One day I'm at class and he is at home. He steps outside to get something from his car (it's a typical SA block of flats with tall walls and a motorized steel gate)
Some guy climbs over the gate, runs up to him and throws him inside the house, demands he gets the keys and drags him outside to his car that was waiting on the street. He then takes my friend on a trip around Johannesburg, collecting debts owed to him (can only imagine he is a drug dealer)
After a good 6 hours of driving around, my friend is now terrified, the guy takes him home, drives into the driveway, strolls into the house and locks him in his room while he casually takes a shower. He comes back out and steals everything from my friend, clothes and all. Makes himself a sandwich and leaves like nothing happened.
My friend is still traumatized and this happened around 5 years go.
Lesson to learn, always keep your house locked, even if you have fancy security, electric fences and all that jazz. Sometimes this country amazes me.
I was almost kidnapped once.
I was visiting the mall with some others and left alone to go to the bathroom, which was down a long isolated hallway.
When I came out of the women's bathroom, a dirty old man rushed out of the men's and pinned me up against the wall.
There was an emergency exit at the end of the hallway, and he was dragging me toward it when another dude came out of the bathroom. He was big and bald and looked like a biker, complete with vest.
He yelled "HEY!" and the old man dropped me and ran.
I was 15 at the time.
When I was like 10, a friend's mother abandoned me in another state while she kidnapped her own children.
I was spending the weekend at a friend's house. The friend's mother had a manic episode and decided to leave her husband and move in with her recently deceased sister's widower. He lived in Vermont, we lived in Georgia. She packed us into the minivan at five AM and took off. Her two oldest children (13 and 15)got pretty upset so she left the three of us with an aunt in Pennsylvania.
It was pretty terrifying for my parents.
A friend of mine, not me.
So my pal goes to Bolivia every year and always tries to convince us to come with him. We never do, because he casually mentions to bring kidnap money with us.
Long story short, drugs are dirt cheap in the rural area his family lives. (A big round of drinks at certain bars will come with two/three grams of complimentary coke). And he loves the white stuff.
Anyway, every year he goes he gets kidnapped. They treat him good, no harm, gets a semi decent meal etc. And the ransom is like £150 or something equally irrelevant, apparently they once accepted £50 for his release.
After A Stunt Like That???
I was 10 and (half)sister 8, stationed with (Step)father and Mother in Europe at the time (military from the USA). I was told by my father that we would eventually be going on a Sunday school trip. My sister and I had pictures taken weeks before, and were told they were for the same trip. Turns out my mother had hidden our passports and the pictures were for new passports...
Sunday rolled around. As we were driving my Dad had us guess where we were going. We kept guessing tourist attractions in Europe. "farther!" he would say until we guessed correctly. It was to my grandmother's house in the USA.
At this point I still did not realize we were being kidnapped. In fact I didn't realize it until days after our arrival, when I kept seeing our picture in the papers (the front page in many cases). "CUSTODY BATTLE TURNS OVERSEAS". A reporter had showed up shortly after our arrival to grandmas house and I couldn't understand what the fuss was about.
The crazy part is that my (step)Dad ended up with custody of both me and my sister.
There's no shortage of excellent horror fiction out there. Recently I read The Terror by Dan Simmons and can't remember the last time I felt that claustrophobic and nervous. But I am also a fan of quite a few classics. Are there any other horror books that capture grief as effectively as Stephen King's Pet Sematary? What other book evokes folk horror as beautifully as Thomas Tryon's Harvest Home? Let's not forget this wonderful classic: The Haunting of Hill House. I could rave about that one (and Shirley Jackson) for days. All of these books left their mark on me and yes, I'd include them on a list (if I were to make one) of some of the scariest books I've read.
People had their own opinions to share––and books to recommend––after Redditor Tylerisdumber asked the online community,
"What's the scariest book you've ever read?"
"Gerald's Game. I've read lots of Stephen King and this one scared me the most. Slept with the lights on for several nights."
Everything about this book is creepy. Don't even get me started on the... degloving. I'm sorry I even typed that word out.
"It's not a long story..."
"The Yellow Wallpaper.
It's not a long story and I'd highly recommend going in knowing little to nothing about it. It's brilliant and terrifying. Published in 1892 as well if that's any interest!"
Few stories make you feel this sad. A pretty stunning piece of work––and yes, unnerving. Can really get under your skin.
"I think it was mainly..."
"For some reason, Salem's Lot by Stephen King.
I think it was mainly because I was on a week-long hiking trip in the Australian bush and it got dark and scary at night. But damn, I had trouble sleeping for a couple of nights. Then the friend I was hiking with read it, and he couldn't sleep either."
This is probably my favorite early King––and for good reason. The sense of atmosphere is impeccable. Those characters are loveable and you genuinely care about what happens to them. Then the book veers from horror into tragedy. It's quite moving.
"Just the knowledge..."
"On The Beach.
It's the most soul-crushing book I've ever read, and there's really nothing scary in it.
Just the knowledge of impending death for everyone that feels so awfully heavy."
This is one of those books that makes you feel hopeless.
It's impeccably written but wow... it's a truly heavy read.
"You never knew..."
It's a classic. I found it to be immensely chilling. You never knew what would happen and the writing instilled a sort of dread. I read it in the dark before I went to bed until I finished it."
A book I can read and re-read over and over again. It's a beautiful horror novel. It's also a really fascinating window into the era and manages to say a lot about social and class mores.
"I'm Thinking of Ending Things by Iain Reid. Very creepy and unnerving, definitely scared me reading it at night."
I wanted to really like this one––unfortunately, I did not––but there's no denying that the first third or so (especially once the two protagonists get to the house) is pretty unnerving. Shame the payoff wasn't all that.
"It was disturbing and horrifying..."
"Helter Skelter. It's about the Manson murders and goes into quite a bit of detail. It was disturbing and horrifying because, unlike the King novels also mentioned, it's true. What they did to Sharon Tate is so absolutely devastating. Pure evil."
This book is gruesome and not for the faint of heart. The level of detail we dive into learning about the Tate-LaBianca murders is remarkable and also rather nauseating.
"So the book's characters..."
"Bird Box by Josh Malerman.
Forget the Netflix movie. The book's monsters are terrifying, in that you simply just don't know what they are or what they look like. They could be anything. What they are is enough to drive people insane by just being looked at.
So, the book's characters have to navigate a world mostly without one of our most used senses, and what's more terrifying than something you can't see?
This leads to some utterly scary scenes in the book that sent my heart racing and I had to put down for a breather."
It's a shame that movie wasn't all that and a bag of potato chips.
"It's a different kind of scary..."
"It's a different kind of scary, but The Handmaid's Tale. Atwood's dystopian nation feels not that far from reality sometimes, and it absolutely terrifies me."
We're going to go there.
Yes, this book is terrifying.
"I feel like the movie..."
"The Ruins, by Scott Smith, messed me up pretty good. My favorite kind of horror is psychological, and while there is a physical "entity" the real horror is the helplessness of this stranded group trapped by something they don't understand. Their desperate struggle to hold on to their sanity and the slow descent into hopeless desperation just really hit hard.
I feel like the movie was a fairly faithful adaptation, although it's been a while since I've seen it."
I love this book and have read it multiple times over the years. It's slow-going... and then the final one-hundred pages are just horrifying.
Well, if you haven't read any of these... What are you waiting for? Get on that. You won't regret it.
But also... the world is pretty scary right now, so we understand if you need to take a step back.
Have some suggestions of your own? Feel free to tell us in the comments below!
Have you ever traveled to a city you've always heard good things about, only to be totally let down upon arrival?
When a friend insists we travel to certain cities because we would "just love it," they're setting the bar pretty high.
And a city can also boast a rich history or an attraction that makes us curious enough to find out what makes it so appealing.
But, alas, when we finally reach the destination, it's never exactly what we thought it would be.
Curious to hear from strangers online, Redditor tshirtguy2000 asked:
"What city is overrated?"
These are not officially real cities but they do have a rotating population.
It's Always A Party There
"As a former
slave associate at party city. I 100% agree."
"Lego City. There always has to be someone falling into the river."
"Cabot Cove, the murder capital of the world."
"Sure, the murders are all solved, but would you really want to live in a city with that much, easily solved, crime?"
Neighbor To Springfield
Shelbyville. Those f'kers steal trees from neighboring cities.
These were once considered destination cities but their popularity eventually took a nose dive.
"Atlantic City. Venture a few blocks off the boardwalk and it's incredibly depressing. Very clearly an area exploited by the big casinos while the locals have been driven to absolute poverty, while they still force a smile to work the shops that are required for the tourist traffic."
Lots Of Water
"Niagara Falls, Canada. I grew up there. Mayor pumps most of tax $ to casinos and tourism with flashy vegas-esque attractions."
"Myrtle Beach. I'm not even saying that it has a good reputation, I'm just saying that any shred of positive thinking about it makes it overrated."
Where A Creek Is An Exciting Attraction
"Lamb's Grove, Iowa. It's not the paradise on earth that people always say it is. Don't get me wrong, it's got great Chinese food but the motel 6 is meh at best."
Impressions for these cities fell far below expectation.
"Dubai. It's the clickbait of the world. 'We have the biggest/tallest/most expensive YOU WON'T BELIEVE when you see THIS...' It's hot as f*k, everything's a man-made tourist trap; labor exploitation and racism are rampant, and they try so hard to prove to the world how modern and Westernized they are. Really, it's just government propaganda."
"Miami. Horrible place filled with horrible people."
Truth be told, many cities can be overrated.
It just depends on a person's experience, or a resident's perspective about what it is about the location they live in that is nothing worth writing home about.
If I had to choose, I would say Las Vegas is overrated, but that's because there is nothing in Sin City that is of personal interest to me.
I may be severely judged for my opinion, but that is a gamble I'm willing to take.
The opposite sex can be a bit of a mystery sometimes. Our brains work differently just like our bodies and this can lead to certain sensitive questions. Guys tend to be a little less open but today it's time for the ladies to ask away. Even wondered what they really think or feel about their body, yours? Today's the day to get the answers you didn't know you needed.
Redditor William84000 asked:
“Women of reddit, what question do you have of men that you'd really like an answer to?"
His question started an informative thread for women to ask men the questions they've been wondering and receive honest, real-life answers.
“How long does it take to recover if you've been hit in the balls?” Snowy-avocado
“Anywhere from 5 minutes to literally turning to dust like we were Thanos snapped.” secondhand_organsdust whirls GIFGiphy
“The Big Dumb Object...”
“I've always wanted to know: why do you like loud machinery so much? For older men it's mowers, leaf blowers and such. For younger men, it's modified cars and motorbikes. What's the deal with the loud machines?” marshmellow_bunnyx
“Power and tools. Tools are a thing that gets stuff done, and they are loud because they contain the
natural essence power of violent explosions and fire. Most men like powerful things, instead of powerful people.”
“In sci-fi, this is called 'The Big Dumb Object', and is pretty much a trademark of sci fi books written by men” Connect-Zebra7173
To shave or not to shave?
“Does body hair on a woman bother you that much?" reillydean28
“Leg/arm hair? Don't even notice. Armpit hair? Not my thing but not my choice/decision. Pubic hair? I'd prefer not, but it's not going to stop me from getting the job done." wHUT_fun
It’s a power and control thing...
“Why send a d*ck pic?" stavinlawrence
“I think for most men it's a power dynamic thing. Either it gets them off or it just makes them feel in control."
“Then I assume there's the added bonus of if she likes it she might send a nude back. But these losers have a greater chance of buying a "get bigger penis pills" that actually work before a girl appreciates an unsolicited nude." InertialEclipse
"Do you notice the little things?”
“Do you notice the little things about women like a new hair cut, when they wear makeup or a nice outfit?” xforeverlove22
“I can't speak for everyone but for me, nope. Not at all. My uncle had a moustache for like 20 years and one day decided to shave it off. I didn't notice it. I noticed there was a weird atmosphere around me like ‘come on, say something’, so I small talked with him.”
“A few hours later after he left they asked me if I seriously didn't notice that his moustache was gone. My answer was ‘What moustache?‘ And makeup would definitly fly over my head.” PleaseTakeThisName
Lets just not touch people without permission...
“What things have women done that make you uncomfortable?" charloget
“Had a few grab my junk at random. Even had a couple that just forced a kiss on me. I don't usually experience women trying to pick me up, but the few times I did was never great. It was either negging, overly sexually aggressive and always in a group." bahamabanana
On today's episode of sink of float...
“Do penis' float like a buoy? I heard they do but have never been able to verify it.” TheFantasticV
“I mean it's buoyant but it can't really do much besides lazily sorta half float there. Still amused the f**k out of my wife to learn.” secondhand_organsGiphy
Everyone just wants to be loved...
“What makes you feel loved?” linedizzy
“A compliment, a hug or a kiss we don't have to initiate.” Nuitari8
“Do guys care if women get cosmetic procedures done?” dookieconductor
“I don't necessarily care about the work itself, I'd be more concerned about understanding why she felt like she wanted to get it done and help her feel body positive for whatever work has been done or if she feels like she needs work.” -notjosh-
Math will kill a mood everytime...
“What does it feel like when you're having sex and you're trying not to 'get there'? Is it frustrating? What do you do/think about to keep it from happening?" uhohoreolas
“I sometimes do math like 333*3... But often I am fine with just controlling things to focus mostly on her pleasure instead of mine. Tho sometimes she is excited and ends up moving in unaccounted ways while I am a hair away and there is no stopping it. I definitely don't find it frustrating. It is still very enjoyable." Fkire
Some of these Q&A's were unexpected but now we know! This important thing here though is knowing it's ok to ask questions sometimes.
Everyone's got their own favorite food.
What are two foods that actually taste great together......even though most people don't eat them that way?
Breakfast is the most wonderful meal of the day. As the wise Leslie Knope once said, "Why would anybody ever eat anything besides breakfast food?" So mixing it up can feel blasphemous, but what if it's tasty?
Jam It On
"When I was growing up, it was standard procedure for us to put grape jelly on scrambled eggs. I did it when I went to college and everyone at the table stared at me. I still like it."
"That sounds gross af, but not too gross that I don't still want to try it. Haha"
Bringing People Together
"Peanut butter and maple syrup."
"My husband and I both grew up eating PB and syrup on our waffles. We took that as a sign it was meant to be."
"Peanut butter and syrup on waffles is one of the single best things I have ever had, also growing up with it"
Mustard?! Don't Let's Be Silly.
"Mustard with scrambled eggs. Actually I haven't had it in a while but from what I remember its really good"
"Mustard with eggs period"
Sauces and dips are critical to enjoying some foods. Mess with it too much and you risk ruining the delicacy. So that's why it's reassuring to see these people offering up their new spins on dip combinations.
Only For The Elegant Dining Experience
"Hummus and salsa mixed together with tortilla chips."
"Fancy bean dip."
Peanut Butter With Everything!
"Peanut butter and cheddar cheese (like the proper brick kind, not kraft cheese slices). When I was a kid I sometimes made myself pb and cheese sandwiches. They're very filling but delicious!"
"Toasted English muffin, butter, peanut butter, raspberry jam and marble cheddar on top. Lord have mercy on me."
"Add a litte hot sauce on the peanut butter."
Better Than Garlic Sauce?
"I already posted but I'm eating pizza with my friend right now and he likes his pizza with hummus."
"Hummus is good with so many things."
"So I make spaghetti noodles, but break up the raw noodles into smaller pieces. Once they're done I put in a an egg or two (mix it around) and let it cook. I swear it's not that bad. My Nonna always makes it for me when I go back to the Midwest to visit. It's good with parmesan cheese too."
And then there's these taste combinations. Mixtures so strange, you might just be willing to walk away from your phone or computer and try one now.
Sweet And Savory?
"Watermelon and feta cheese."
"With red onion and balsamic vinegar."
"Thats like the most basic summer thing in Greece, Balkans, Turkey together with some Uzo or Raki"
Who Lives In A Cheddar Under The Sea?
"Pineapple and cheddar."
"A guy at work introduced me to dipping a peanut butter and honey sandwich into chili. That was surprisingly great."
A Creative Spin On An Old Favorite
"Root beer float except with cherry Coke and chocolate ice cream. I was in middle school on a field trip, last in line at the cream shop, and ordered this after everyone else had done the standard root beer and vanilla. One of the cool girls who had never spoken my name before gave me this piercing look and asked if I would switch with her. I instinctively knew I would get zero benefit from this deal, so I said "Nope, ya gotta just remember it next time." That felt good."
Keep an open mind. Don't do this for every meal, sure, but always be ready to try something new.