People Who Live In Seclusion Share The Creepiest Things They've Witnessed
Not a lot of people like to be alone. That may be why podcasts are all the rage right now. Having voices in your ear all day is comforting for those with long commutes or who work at home. But, there are people who enjoy the solitude, like camping, or are forced to serve in lonesome situations, like if you're in the Navy on a submarine. Many of these people took to Reddit to answer user, r/EndlessRunaway, who asked:
Redditors who spend a lot of time in seclusion (at sea, in the air or out in the wilderness) what's the creepiest or most mysterious thing you've seen, found or experienced?
Most Dangerous Game
On a two week solo backpacking trip I had four days in seclusion between Ranger Station check ins. On the first day of the seclusion; I felt like I was being stalked. As I lay in my tent that night I could hear what sounded to me like footsteps around my camp but never coming too close. In the morning I checked all around and found no evidence of footprints or having any wild life around me. I broke down camp and took off trying to put it behind me.
The second night was the same thing. I grew so paranoid that when I would hike during the day I would go over rocks, walk through streams; anything to try and break the trail so I couldn't be tracked. I'd go around a blind turn and than sit there for an hour waiting to see if something would come behind. At night I couldn't sleep for more than 10/15 minutes before waking up.
Finally I got to the Ranger Station check in and told them what I had been experiencing. I went and set up camp as close to the station as I could. Later the Rangers; they offered for me to sleep on their couch for comfort and so I could actually sleep. I accepted and stayed the night indoors.
I walked out to my camp in the morning and it had been destroyed. My tent was cut on the side, sleeping bag ripped and backpack turned inside out. The Rangers came and reported it; took pictures and everything. I ended up getting one of the Rangers to give me a ride back to base camp and going home the next day.
While on deployment my ship found a ship adrift off the coast of Australia. As an engineer trained for vbss I was tasked with assessing the ships mechanical status on boarding.
It was deserted. Fish in the hold and stuff set out like people were just there. There was food on the galley area that was still warm, etc.
We never found the crew so we towed the boat in for the authorities.
Absolutely scared the f--- out of people and those who didn't board the ship didn't believe us when we were telling them about the state of it.
Not The Men In Black You Wanted
My fiance and I went hiking up a mountain in the Pacific Northwest last summer. It's perpetually muddy due to a large number of waterfalls along the sides of the trail, so there's no way you can avoid getting at least a little dirty.
Around an hour and a half up the trail, we passed two men wearing black suits, black hats, black glasses, holding black leather briefcases and wearing black dress shoes. Completely clean dress shoes. And immaculately clean, pressed pants. Not a spot of dirt or a wrinkle on either of their clothes.
As we passed each other, one of them whispered something in German. I looked back at them and they were both standing still and looking back at us, staring.
One of the creepiest things that has ever happened to me, and I've had my fair share of strange experiences!
Sometimes The Cold War Was A Bit Warmer For Everyone Else
Hearing the faint sonar pings from the Russian subs in the middle of the night out in the Baltic Sea
Commander! Target That Floating Plant
I was never really in seclusion, but I was a US Navy submariner. One time through the periscope, I saw a potted plant on a plank floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, several hundred miles from the nearest land.
Are You Sure It Wasn't Bigfoot?
I was in a remote area surveying populations of various organisms in mountain streams. One morning an older man crossed the stream I was standing in. We both froze for a second and he continued on his way.
He didn't have any gear with him and it's a 15-20 mile hike from the nearest (dirt) road. My point is he wasn't just casually wandering through.
Keep Your Cool Around The Cartel
So I worked at a ranch in southern Arizona, right on the border. I didn't really consider it to be secluded because I had horses and cows. In hindsight, I guess it was really lonely because sometimes they'd talk back to me.
Anyways, doing fence borders with a guy from another camp and we had to go down into this dry river bed. As we round the bend we see a bunch of beat up trucks sitting there armed to the teeth. Turns out we ran into some kind of big deal for a cartel. The other guy told me to keep steady and we just walked straight through them on our horses. Everyone staring at us, looking like they were ready to shoot us up if we made one false move.
I asked about it when we got to the other side without turning into swiss cheese and the more experienced rancher told me: "The Cartel only cares about Border Patrol and Cops. They know this is a ranch, and they know we roam around here, and they know we don't say much." Reason being, if they ever assumed the ranchers were the snitches, they could easily find our little ranch houses. Only had 1 person to so many acres. Could have been offed and left there for many days before someone noticed. With all that in mind, I had a very passive relationship with those kind from then on.
What's That In The Ocean?
I was on a the bow of a sailboat crossing the Atlantic in pretty heavy winds, going about 15 knots. Crew had to be stationed alone on the bow in two hour shifts at all times, keeping an eye out for anything in the water. About 10 meters away from me I see a weird glint in the water. Then I realize it's a partially submerged shipping container. Before I had time to even open my mouth, we passed it by, missing it by a few feet.
And that's the story of how I nearly got shipwrecked in a storm in the middle of the Atlantic ocean.
The Biggest Cat You've Ever Seen
When I was a scout in Iraq, I was setting up a concealed observation post when we saw the largest cat through our thermals. Like Lion/Cheetah/Leopard (the thermals were fuzzy, but we could identify size based on distance with the laser range finder)
The thing is all three of those animals used to live in Iraq - but they have been LONG since extinct in the area.
Former 68W with 3 combat tours, I might be able to explain this for you.
During Saddam's reign him and his friends were crazy wealthy. Like richer than God wealthy. Often times they'd be so wealthy they'd start running out of expensive s--- to buy. Seems like once they had the big houses and fancy cars they'd just buy crazy s--- like gold toilets (seen it), gold guns (also seen it) and even sometimes large animals of prey (vultures, falcons, tigers etc).
The thing is, when Saddam fell, so did a lot of his friends. I've heard stories of the house staff of a lot of these people not wanting the animals to be killed when looters ransacked the estates of the uber wealthy. Instead they'd release the animals. I guess they thought the animals had a better chance of survival on their own.
That's what we were told by our 1st Sergeant(he could've been f---in w us) Still crazy.
It's Your Best Beaver Friend
While out fishing i became good friends with a fat beaver. He chilled next to me while i fished for about 2 hours. Just watching me cast and catch fish. We watched an osprey dive into the lake and get a bass which was an amazing moment. When the sun started setting he sauntered back into the lake and we went our separate ways. The best fishing experience i had so far.
Learn The Lesson: Never Get Out Of The Car
Driving through the middle of Montana one night, going about 100mph, passed something on the side of the interstate that looks like a mangled body. Turned around at the next pass, came back. Definitely a body. Put my lights on it and tried to call 911 on my cell. No reception. Got in the car to see if i could pick up cell reception (lights were still on)...nothing there but the blood splatters. Drove away QUICK
Roll Em' Up!
Several years ago I was fly fishing in late February and stumbled on two guys disposing of a human body. The ground was still frozen so they opted to hide the body in a drainage pipe at the base of a dam. Needless to say I did a complete 180 turn while muttered something to myself like, " Jesus is it cold! Impossible to fish in these conditions." And made a somewhat chaotic bee line back to my car. When I looked back I could see them peeking out from behind a tree, so I followed the imortal words of Saint Clark W. Griswold and, " Rolled em up."
A few weeks later I saw those same familiar faces, but this time under a news headline saying that they had been charged with murder.
Asleep At The Mast
On a small sailing boat in the Pacific, sailing south from Panama to Ecuador in the middle of the night. Two people on deck -- the helmsman and me, theoretically on lookout but really just there to keep the helmsman awake. It's well after midnight and we're away from major shipping lanes...
...And then I see a light off the port bow. It's far off and distant and under the sail, and therefore hard to keep track of, but it's there. It isn't moving. And it seems to flicker and dim but gradually I become aware it's getting a little brighter, bit by bit. And then I realise it's a boat, and it's coming right for us, and by this time I can hear the engine and I yell to the helmsman: "Hard a-port."...
...So we steer to the left, and the oncoming boat passes on the starboard bow. It's less than 10 metres away, a big RIB with a massive outboard engine at the back traveling at full throttle. There's enough light from the moon and our running lights to see that there's only one person aboard, slumped upright over the steering column, and a load of fishing equipment in the back. Then it's gone into the night, still travelling straight at maximum speed.
This was over ten years ago. To this day I have no idea if that midnight fisherman was alive or dead, if he'd fallen asleep at the wheel or suffered a sudden heart attack or what...
...I still wonder sometimes.
Best Pickup System, Ever
I went on a two and a half week long hike in the middle of nowhere Nevada. Like a couple of hours from even the smallest of towns. One night, I decided to set up camp on a ridge line overlooking a valley with a dirt road bisecting it.
Most nights I would've had a small fire, but it was breezy and was cutting across the ridge pretty hard. I think the weather saved my life.
At about 10pm, a truck drove down the road and there was a rhythmic pattern of "door opens, dome light comes on, driver grabs something from the passenger floorboard, drops it out of the truck, closes the door, drives slowly for 20 seconds, and repeats." He did that for what looked like a mile. I thought it was weird, but whatever. 15 minutes later, a different vehicle, a suburban, drive up along the road. The driver was holding a flashlight out the window and stopped in the same spots the truck did. Open door. Pick up something. Close door. Drive. Open door. Pick up something. Drive.
I don't know what the f--- it was, but I'm convinced that I would've ended up with a couple more bullets in me than I'd like, if I had that camp fire.
Check In To The Taxidermy Hotel
I was living in a dirt floor cabin for about 6 months. I would pack a lunch and hike out half a day in random directions. One day I found an abandoned hotel with an attic full of bats. The old kitchen was full of taxidermy.
Not abandoned old taxidermy...current taxidermy, in various states of finish.
There was a closet with stacks of dead birds, tools, woodworking tools and glass for the display cases, etc. I noped out of there in a hurry. I took my brother there later because he didn't believe me...so I have a witness.
Bambi's A Creep?
I was 13 and on a week long camping trip. There were two adults and five other kids my age. One night we had spent all day kayaking and got caught in a deluge that threw off our whole schedule for the day. We couldn't quite make it to the location where we were supposed set up camp for the night before sunset so we just settled a few meters off of the river. We were so exhausted that the adults didn't even want to build a fire. Since we didn't have much light and it was hot they told us that we didn't have to build our shelters we could just lay out in our sleeping bags.
Everyone put their sleeping bags near a clearing that was created by a fell tree. But I saw the hole created by the roots and thought that there were possible creepy crawlies living in it. So I set my sleeping bag a little further back about four meters away from the clearing. I woke up a few hours later to these rapid clicking sounds and sniffing. (Thanks to the Internet I later identified it as deer noises.) There were a bunch of them. The clicking grew closer and was surrounded me on all sides. I had my flashlight but I didn't want to shine it because I was afraid to scare the deer/creatures because I thought they would trample me.
The most vocal deer then stepped on my sleeping bag and eventually sat down on it. I could hear the other deer get comfortable too. After a while I allow myself to peak out (not wearing my glasses) and I see maybe 15 deer/creatures all just watching the other campers. After several hours I fell asleep and woke back up as they were leaving at sunrise.
It was wholesome/creepy.
Check Your Watches
Three of us were sitting around a campfire on a bluff overlooking Bell Lake in Killarney Provincial Park, when suddenly there was a blinding flash that lit up the entire sky. We were stunned. After several moments of silence, one guy said, "everyone check your watches." To this day, none of us have any idea what that flash was, but we all saw it, and it freaked us out pretty good.
Finding A Gruesome Surprise
So, I rode my horse the ~2 miles through the deep woods to get to this house, which is itself probably 1000 feet from a lonely gravel road that cuts through the forest. It is very secluded and almost creepy. The house is about 3 miles from a paved road.
I am less brave than I used to be, so when I entered the house I felt out-of-place and slightly scared. But I used my cell phone light to explore the rooms anyway. A lot was just as I remembered, but right as I was about to leave, I found a calf skeleton in the corner of the entry room.
I have no idea how this calf got shut up inside the building. The doors were firmly shut when I approached it. Also, the screen door opened one way, while the actual door opened the other, so that it was impossible for both to be open at once for some creature to accidentally wander in. Furthermore, the nearest cow pastures are a good bit away from the house.
I left the abandoned house with the image in my head of some deviant cruelly trapping a calf in there for sick purposes.
Stalked By Ronald
This happened once while camping with my then-fiance and a friend of ours. Camped out in the woods in the middle of nowhere on a hot July day. Night came, and it was a full moon so around midnight we decided we'd take a hike around for fun. We basically hiked a trail for a bit and then turned around and hiked it back to the campsite. When we were almost back, we saw a McDonalds cup sitting at the edge of the path. I found this strange as I didn't see the bright red and yellow container when we began the venture, but whatever. However, my buddy decided to open the cup up and found ice cubes at the bottom.
That day was easily 90+F and at night it was still in the high 70's, so that ice would not have lasted long. Somebody was definitely out there by us and we never found another sign of them. No sound of a car, walking or rustling - nothing.
We decided to pack up and go home that night.
It's Your Best Wolf Bro
More mysterious than creepy. We were camping in Montana near Yellowstone park in a small campground. It was the off season and there were maybe 5 other people there, including a couple 3-4 spots down who had a large dog with them in their RV. I walked by and the dog was friendly so I petted it and talked to it and went on my way.
Later that night I am sitting watching the sun set and reading on my Kindle when a cold nose bumps up under my arm, like dog does when it wants attention. I figured it was the dog and started scratching its head. Before i could look around, my friend came around the corner and froze with a look of fright on his face. I was scratching the head of a pretty big grey wolf. I had no idea what to do, I didnt want to keep touching it but I didnt want to stop and piss it off either. I scratched for maybe 5-10 more seconds and it just looked at me like "Thanks, bro" and walked off into the woods. We went to a hotel that night...
And The Winner...
I live in the only house down a country road, everything else is pasture land and National Forest for several miles.
About 3am, my three large dogs go absolutely nuts barking, which sends my husband and i flying out of bed to check on our livestock, assuming coyotes were in the yard.
Before we could even get our shoes on, we hear muttering on our front porch. He grabs his rifle and whoever it is starts knocking on the door, with no real urgency but more like a casual visitor. I had my cellphone already dialing the cops, and my husband slid up to the peephole. A woman right around her late 20s-early 30s was standing outside, patiently waiting a few minutes and gently knocking on the door, not fidgeting or nervous, not being aggressive.
My husband said, "Ma'am, the cops are on the way. If you need help, they'll be here in just a few minutes and you're welcome to sit on the swing right there and wait on them, but if there's anyone with you, we are armed in here and will not hesitate to shoot if anyone tries getting into this house."
He said she kind of smiled, not creepy but like she was glad her knocking woke someone up. "That's okay, sir-i just wanted to let you know the thing in the woods is coming, and he'll be here soon. Good luck."
He said she turned around and walked down the driveway like she hadn't a care in the world. The cops looked all over the place and couldn't find her. It's a ten minute drive to our driveway from the main road, with no houses until you get into town, another 20 minutes away. Freaked me out for weeks.
College Professors Share Their Funniest 'I Don't Know How You Made It Out Of High School' Experiences
Now that college has become a standard requirement for so many jobs and careers, there is a massive push by high schools to get their graduating students accepted and enrolled at an undergraduate college.
On the whole, that's undoubtedly a great thing. A more educated workforce will be prepared to solve the most complex issues facing human beings in the next several decades.
Dates on Dates on Dates<p>"As a college freshman, I took Advanced English with a student who didn't know how to write a research paper or even possibly read (I don't know). When I realized she didn't know how to research, I gave her my sources and showed her how to navigate them."</p><p>"The next class when we were supposed to edit each other's rough drafts. I handed her my paper to edit, she gave it back to me after 10 seconds without reading it and said it was good."</p><p>"She then handed me her 'paper' and it was just a list of random dates."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptxevt?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JustEnoughDarkToSee</a></p>
The Be All End All<p>"Not a college professor, but I worked in my university's writing center for a while."</p><p>"I had a girl come in with a research paper bibliography that listed 'my mom' as a source several times."</p><p>"When I pressed, she told me her mom looked up everything and sent it to her and she just...put it in the paper. She told me she had always done it that way."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpttedl?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">SalemScout</a></p>
Sloppy Writing, Everywhere You Look<p>"I worked at my university writing center and saw a lot of really terrible writing. SO MANY poorly written essays. I really don't know how you can graduate from high school without at least being able to perform simple tasks like 'Point to your thesis statement.' "</p><p>"The whole point of a writing center was to teach students to correct their own work, but there was a direct correlation between how awful a paper was and how likely the student was to throw it at you and say 'I'm going to go have lunch. Will you have it fixed in an hour?' then try to leave."</p><p>"The tutors all got really good at an authoritative, 'Stop right there! Sit down. Now let's talk about how YOU are going to improve YOUR paper.' "</p><p>"The most frustrating papers were the science majors. I could never tell if the paper was terrible or I just wasn't following the details of their experiment on chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons or whatever."</p><p>"The absolute worst was the ENGLISH MASTERS DEGREE STUDENT who came in several times with absolute gibberish. To be fair, English was his second language but... are you absolutely sure you do not want to consider a career change, my good sir?"</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpulz8a?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">hananobira</a></p>
Gorillas at War<p>"Not me, but a friend who taught in the politics department received a paper about 'gorilla' warfare in South America."</p><p>"It was so poorly written she couldn't tell if it was a typo, or if they genuinely thought Colombia had been overrun by a Planet of the Apes style revolution."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptfcg3?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">ZoeAWashburne</a></p>
Wrong Guy<p>"I once got an exam essay that mentioned how much Mandela hated the Jews. After scratching my head for a bit and wondering if I'd missed some obvious signs of his anti-Semitism I realized she meant Mengele."</p><p>"As in Josef Mengele, the Nazi 'Angel of Death.' Hard to think of a worse person she could've confused him for."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpu4rn5?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">WhiskyTangoNovember</a></p>
Time Scales<p>"Not a professor but in undergrad I was taking an American history course. Our professor was from Maryland and was probably in her early forties."</p><p>"This kid asked her if she was one of the pearl harbor survivors. He couldn't grasp the fact that she was very much not alive at that time and that Pearl Harbor was not a harbor in Maryland."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpubapq?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Whowhatwherewhenwhy6</a></p>
Measuring is for Nerds<p>"For a couple years I taught first-year college students in an ENGINEERING program, <em>the majority of whom</em> didn't know how to do unit conversions."</p><p>"Not even, like, inches-to-centimeters. To repeat ... <span style="background-color: initial;">college</span> ... <span style="background-color: initial;">ENGINEERING</span> ..."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpswuau?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">JSanzi</a></p>
That's the Whole Thing<p>"I once spent an hour explaining to college junior that an even number is divisible by 2." -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpuki9z?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">KingofSheepX</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"wh-, what? how? literally the definition of an even number is a number that's evenly divisible by 2. what?" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpuyke9?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">TheDonutPug</a></p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Not as big of a deal, but in freshman year, I was the only one out of me and a few friends (including a math major) who knew 0 was even" -- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpxmgog?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">StaleTheBread</a></p>
Convenient Reasoning<p>"My first year teaching I had a student who had failed the previous year due to missing too many cooking labs to pass and not handing in half the assignments."</p><p>"I had rewritten the curriculum and assignments."</p><p>"I noticed that this student hadn't been handing certain things in and had been skipping my lectures, so I decided to have a chat with them."</p><p>"They thought their marks for that semester were cumulative with their previous year's mark (with a different curriculum, different assignments, and a different professor) so they just had to make up enough marks to get a passing grade."</p><p>"This is a post-grad program. They had a BSc in dietetics."</p><p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gptoeow?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">PM_ME__RECIPES</a></p>
LISTEN"Not a professor, but I used to TA for undergrad organic chem lab courses. Had a... challenging student once who was not great at reading directions or thinking critically. We were setting up an experiment that required GENTLE heating of a volatile solvent.""I explicitly told the class, multiple times, 'only turn your hot plates up to 2 when heating, these things get very hot." Maybe 30 minutes later I'm making my rounds through the lab and I pass said guy's fume hood and notice his reaction is smoking.""I look closer and see that all of the liquid in his flask is gone and its just a charred, black smoking mess (which is still heating). I ask, "Student! What's going on with your reaction??? What's the temperature set at?!" "The guy goes, oh, I wasn't sure how hot to heat it, so I just turned the plate all the way up to 10. Is my reaction going to be ok?' No, no man, it's not going to be ok... he literally boiled the thing dry 🙄"<p>-- <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lyhz9x/college_professors_of_reddit_whats_your_im/gpswxgm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">jpiethescienceguy</a></p>
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
The person on the other end of a 911 call has a truly remarkable job.
For those who don't play that professional role, we hope to never encounter the 911 call interaction. But if we do find ourselves making that call, the moment is an anomaly in our lives.
The chaos, the panic, the racing heart, and the desperation are all emotions we, ideally, don't experience on a regular basis.
But for the operator on the other end, our call is one in a long line of calls they've received all day, and all the workdays before that one.
It's difficult to imagine being embedded in those uniquely urgent, emergency moments all the time.
Some Redditors who are on the other end of that call shared their experiences on the job.
WhimsicalxxButcher asked, "911 dispatchers what has been your most creepy/unnerving call?"
For a few, the most unnerving moments were the calm callers.
There was something just so eerie about how level-headed the faceless human being on the other end could be through such a desperate, tragic moment.
"I had a friend who worked as a 911 dispatcher and he always said the worst call he ever had was a ~20 year old kid who committed suicide by mixing a bunch of chemicals together in his car to produce hydrogen sulfide gas."
"He said that the most unnerving part was hearing him calmly listing off the chemicals, the type of gas produced, and the effects of hydrogen sulfide on the body (namely the almost instant death it causes at high concentrations)."
"He ended the call by providing the address of the parking lot he was in and saying that nobody should approach the vehicle without hazmat equipment."
"Apparently after that there was a whooshing sound as he dumped the last chemical into the mix, and then the line went dead silent aside for a quiet fizzing noise."
"I know that call screwed him up because he almost never talks about stuff that happens to him on the job. He quit a few months later to go into construction management, and frankly I can't blame him."
"A woman called me, saying she was going to kill herself. She was gassing herself. Gave me her name & address then said she was just going to lie down and 'go to sleep.' And stopped responding to me."
"I kept the line open, trying to get her to speak to me, and eventually heard officers forcing their way in to find her body. I guess she just wanted someone to find her body."
Before It Set In
"When I got a call from a 6 year old who got home from school and laid down to take a nap with his dad. His dad never woke up."
"The kid was so calm when calling it broke my heart."
"I ended up leaving dispatch shortly after. I was good at compartmentalizing the job for the year I was doing it, but it would've broken me in the long run."
Other 911 operators were unfortunate enough to receive a call from the very last person they wanted to hear from: a loved one.
These dispatchers' unique position gave them the unexpected access to a family member or friend at their most dire moments.
No More of That
"My family member is a long time first responder, and 'retired' into doing dispatch. He heard the address (someone else was taking the call) and realized it was his daughter's house."
"He rushed over there just in time to see them wheeling her body out. Overdose."
"Five months later, he was called to his ex-wife's place because his grandson (son of the daughter who recently passed) had his door locked, lights on, but wasn't responding to his grandma."
"He broke the door down and found him deceased in bed. Overdose."
"He's very stoic after years of all sorts of traumatic situations but my heart hurts whenever I think of what all of this must have felt like. Like sand through your fingers."
Knowing the Address
"Not me, but my grandma. I was sitting in the dispatch office, (very small one only 2 dispatchers including my grandma) but she put out a dispatch that there was a gun shot from my best friends address."
"My heart sank to my stomach and broke later that day. He committed suicide."
When it Happened
"My uncle passing away. Worked as a small town dispatcher for a year or so. Had a bunch of messed up stuff happen on shift, but this call came in in the still hours of the night. Small town, so not many calls after midnight."
"I answered and recognized the name and address on caller id. Aunt was in a frenzy so didn't recognize my voice. I remained calm and got ems and fire rolling to them, but by my aunt's own words he was already blue."
"I went thru debriefing and mandated therapy for a couple other things that happened, but never really talked to anyone about this. I just try not to think about it."
"That was the call I figured out I needed to find a different job."
Finally, some simply had a front row seat to sudden tragedy.
These operators were flies on the wall when disaster struck. They never asked to witness what they witnessed, but sometimes that came with the territory.
A Holiday Tragedy
"My mom is a 911 dispatcher. Early on she said one Christmas Eve while working she got a call from an elderly lady who's husband had just collapsed(and died) from a heart attack and in the background Alvin and the Chipmunks Christmas music was playing on blast."
"The lady was screaming and crying and begging for her husband to wake up but my mom could hear his gurgling in his last breathes. She doesn't listen to or watch Alvin and the chipmunks since."
What is it About Christmas?
"Christmas night. 911 call with crying child on the other end. A neighbor had run her car over her mom during a domestic."
"The mom crawled to the porch bleeding and the child saw the car coming back. I had her hide quietly in a closet with the cordless phone."
"The 10 year old child was crying and screamed that she hated Christmas. She was afraid of the police when they got there."
"I kept her on the phone until she felt safe enough to give the phone to an officer. I almost fainted after that call was over. Had nightmares for a while."
Close to Home
"Not a dispatcher but I handle radio communications for the Coast Guard. One night I was on the radio and got a call from an 11 year old kid whose boat had started to sink. He was out with his dad and 6 year old brother."
"They had been hit by another boat and his father got knocked unconscious. I remember the entire conversation up until the radio had gone underwater."
"They ended up finding his dad floating on his back alive but the two boys didn't make it. That one really fu**ed with me because my two littlest brothers were around the same age as the youngest."
A Horrible Clock
"Another one that stays with me was the man who called in. It was the anniversary of his adult son having hanged himself. He'd now come home to find his wife had done the same."
"That date is always going to be a black day for him."
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Again, we hope you never have to use the 911 call in your life. Nobody wants to be involved in a sudden emergency or a tragic incident.
But hopefully, if you do, an operator like one of these thoughtful, sensitive Redditors is on the other end.
When I was moving on from middle school to high school my parents had me tested for the "gifted" program. By some miracle I passed and was accepted. And then I turned it down. Everyone was irritated. "This will pave the way for any college you want! You'll learn so much!" his path will set you up for life!" Every adult tried valiantly to sell me this merchandise but in my gut I just wasn't buying it. So I "settled" a level below, merely advanced classes. And upon reflection... it was the best choice I ever made.Redditor u/dauntlessdaisy was wondering how far some in life got by asking... For those of you who were considered "gifted" in school, what are you doing with your life now?
"Sounds Nuts"<p>The rigid routine for the gifted kids is just too much for people that age. It almost feels like it's built to make you fail. So that if you succeed, even with a C/D average, at least you're alive. Like, how in the world does 4-5 hours of homework a night sound reasonable? All while engaging in extracurriculars for college and having some kind of life. And what really is the payoff?</p>
Chems & Beats<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDg3Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTk5NTkxNH0.qusPPfEvnWh50Geq4LP1HE8sjmkK97WZSrOBjfSVprU/img.gif?width=980" id="95784" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0268259a753568e56c8d749d3c940ef2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="360" />axl rose GIFGiphy<p>Chemist during the week. Drummer on weekends. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpo4jgx?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Best_Detective_2533</a></p>
Average People<p>I was "gifted" in elementary school. Looking back, I realize that I was just average in a below average school district lmao. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbiln?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">CLE_Till_I_Die32</a></p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbiln?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer"></a>I think that's what it really boils down to. How are you compared to your immediate peers? Then the school can round up a few, put them in a faster class, and justify their jobs. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppd7ww?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">neveraskmeagainok</a></p>
Meow Meow<p>After a long battle with depression and burnout at university, I've found repairing electronics to be quite soothing/rewarding. I think mostly, because it's very clear when a project is done (it was broken, now it's not), which really removes the pressure and anxiety of failing to live up to people's expectations.</p><p>I also have a wonderful partner and a very handsome cat.</p><p><em><strong>Edit:</strong></em> <a href="https://imgur.com/a/jd0g7GE" target="_blank">cat tax</a>. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnnsx8?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">MarcelLovesYou</a></p>
Say Ahhhh<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDg4OC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDI2NjU3NH0.iRFYsfod945abO2DqTbt3aDEZ5CPlq3OHSqTtkjU-RQ/img.gif?width=980" id="456d4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e86eb4cf1863827259219cd38604077b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="230" />head feels GIFGiphy<p>I'm a doctor, been aiming for this since I was 10! Finally succeeded 18 months ago. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gppbktv?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">grc208</a></p>
Useless<p>I was praised for my intelligence, not my work ethic.</p><p>I got lazy as heeeell.</p><p>I'm trying to instill into my children that hard work and practice is more important than being able to figure it out first try. I praise the effort, not the end result. I hope this works out better for them. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnurd1?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">openletter8</a></p>
Days with the Dead<p>I went into a profession that is less about being "gifted" and more about being personable. I studied Funeral Science and all my peers and high school students thought it would be a waste of my time and talents, yet 27 years later, here I am. I actually own my own Funeral Home where we provide affordable funerals and cremations and enjoy helping others through the rough times in their lives. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpoeiqm?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">iseedeadpeople1973</a></p>
I Object!<p>Went to law school, which I stupidly thought would be a breeze because high school and college were. Quickly discovered that everyone there was "gifted" and the professors didn't give a crap about our prior achievements or LSAT scores, etc. Had to really work hard for the first time in my academic life and definitely did not breeze through with As. <span></span></p>
I wanna Care<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDkwMC9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyODkyMDYxOX0.oQUbPvjRftqI6V62pYIyN_-CXpIW1B4qO9AVpZjSZ0I/img.gif?width=980" id="dd8d8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="19540e96f68bf1079ba3279efbb513e3" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="500" data-height="281" />Spongebob Squarepants Reaction GIF by NickelodeonGiphy<p>I work my 40 in logistics to keep the lights on. Its a low-stress gig that pays enough that I can focus on the crap I actually care about. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnmuzw?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Reddit</a></p>
Deep Breathes...<p>Panic attacks over the idea of failing. "Gifted" children more often than not weren't taught to work hard because they just 'naturally got it', so they grow up not knowing how to problem solve and tackle difficulties in healthy ways and thus are extremely paranoid over the idea of not being the best. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpo0dp2?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">Ahstia</a></p>
Slackers<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTc5NDkwNy9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1MDk4NjE0OH0.Vk6OppgF8-RtV2byZa-Wl75izrGgdi3TAF84y3j70UQ/img.gif?width=980" id="bf81d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="565d606bdd560de62b3f4ffdeef0c865" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="600" data-height="411" />Tired Back To School GIF by OriginalsGiphy<p>Procrastinating.</p><p>The thing about those "gifted" classes is they don't provide you with any work ethic. As a kids we were just expected to meet the criteria, and we expected it too. now as crap gets harder in life, a lot of us procrastinate and slack off. </p><p><a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/lxlszi/for_those_of_you_who_were_considered_gifted_in/gpnn5ep?utm_source=share&utm_medium=web2x&context=3" target="_blank">asteliia</a></p>
There's a million things that can happen to you while out on on the road.