Though policing has been a hot subject of debate over the past year, it's important to remember that many officers are still working, often dealing with humanity at their lowest points.

Rushing into a situation with only little knowledge of what's going to come can seem terrifying, and most of the time it turns out exactly as bad, or worse, than you thought. Most experienced officers will tell you their most insane tales if you let them, usually leaving you with heartaches and an awful imagination.

WARNING: Stories of abuse and self-harm.

Reddit user, u/blairetaylor09, wanted to know what spooked the men and women in blue when they asked:

Cops of reddit, what has been the creepiest call of your career?

Some calls, while seemingly straightforward, can take a turn for the macabre.


"Got a call about a man that beat his wife and took off with the kids. We found his car 2 hours later parked in the desert. Empty. No one to be found. We conducted a search that lasted 3 days. They have completely disappeared. This was 10 years ago and still none of them have been found"


Unsure How To Take A Load Off

"Wife was a cop for a while and told me of a really odd story about a guy that decided to walk into the station one day - but wouldn't sit down. He acted real out of place but didn't know what to do, so he asked to speak with someone about domestic abuse. The standard procedure was to check him out so they noticed he had cuts and bruises on his wrists and arms. Again, the guy wouldn't sit down and was on the verge of tears.

After asking if he wanted the Chaplin or maybe see a doc about what happened, he finally told someone the story, he got himself a really nice Russian wife, but she didn't like how little money he was giving her, so her answer to that was to tie him up and ugh, do things to his lower half (hence the no sitting). Apparently, he managed to escape but didn't know what to do because she was technically illegal in the first place."


You wouldn't think humanity is capable of some of the things they do.

You would be wrong.

Just All The Parts Missing

"My former coworker responded to a call where a guy killed is own girlfriend then stabbed himself in the throat about a dozen times and then cut his own hand off with a mitre saw in a failed suicide attempt. He then called 911 and asked for help and my coworker who was called to check it out showed up and sees this guy missing a hand/arm and stabbed in the throat asking for help. The guy survived and is now in prison. You can read the story here"


The Stench Is Prominent

"my step dad used to be a police officer the scariest call he ever gotten was that a man was eating rotten animal eyeballs and that the stench of them had filled the neighbourhood"


Emotionally Deflating Situations

"Most of the calls those who are in law enforcement, or, were in law enforcement in the past (I'm former law enforcement) repond to aren't "creepy", but, just sad. Some involve fatalities, missing persons, etc. Mine was a call responding to possible drug use."

"I respond with a backup unit. Find numerous individuals in the residence. Find evidence of drug use (paraphenalia, residue, etc)."

"What made it sad was that some of the individuals were just young girls (age was anywhere from late teens to early 20's) that had gotten pulled into the drug usage, gotten addicted, were being exploited due to their addiction, etc."

"I remember looking at these young women, thinking of how their entire life had been derailed, not to mention the exploitation, due to getting addicted to drugs... and just how sad the realization made me."


The biggest takeaway from a lot of these tales is you may not get a good night's sleep for years after encountering someone dying in front of you.

Things Change On The Fly

"Not overly creepy, but almost every call I have been on, it always seems to turn out to be way different then what is dispatch to us. Things get weird fast."


"I can give some examples. Call text states the mother is calling about her son and daughter fighting. We show up, and she has stabbed him in the chest with a carving fork which has collapsed his lung."

"Call text states EMS is hearing an argument come from a nearby apartment and needs PD to respond. I get there and hear glass shatter, screaming, and "no no no!!! Don't do it! Don't do it!!!" I force entry, and I see a 350lb dude running toward his balcony screaming "I can't breathe, I can't breathe, I need air, just let me jump" with his tiny 100lb girlfriend pulling on his t shirt. She is screaming bloody murder. So I grab him and take him to the ground, which was hard due to his size.

He keeps saying he can't breathe. I sit him up and put his hands on his head. I get EMS there and he says his name and keeps talking about being unable to breathe. He gets loaded up and taken to the ambulance. The second he touches the back of the ambulance, his ears, eyes, and nose start bleeding and he just dies. So I went to a disturbance call by EMS, and it turned into a dude dying."


Where's The Baby?

"This is one of the reasons my dad only lasted a year in the highway Patrol."

"He was dispatched to a single car accident on a very rural highway in a remote area. Found two women in the car, one about 60 the other late 20s. Turns out they were mother and daughter. Both were unconscious and had to be transported to the hospital. Dad took some photos, made some diagrams, whatever they did back then (mid 1970s). Went to the hospital to see if he could get a witness statement from either woman. Mom was dead, daughter in a coma, but there was a relative there so dad went to talk to her. First words out of her mouth, "but where's the baby?" Turns out the daughter was also a mother and nobody knew where the baby went. This was before car seats were common, so there was a real possibility the child could have been ejected from the car."

"So dad and a couple local cops and a couple firefighters went back to the scene at 2 in the morning to beat through the trees and wheat fields in search of a (probably dead) infant. And wondering what would be worse, to find it or not."

"They later found out the baby was with a babysitter, but dad had nightmares about that night for years."


Life Leaving The Eyes

"I've been a Police Officer for 7 years in two different agencies in Los Angeles County. Countless stories to share. But I'll start with this one…"

"Around 3am, my partner and I heard gun shots go off 1-2 blocks away. We were on scene in less than a minute. We located a young man that had been shot on the sidewalk outside of his hotel. I believe the bullet had entered through the back of his neck and exited through his mouth."

"He was flailing around on the sidewalk in the same manner a fish out of water would. My partner and I asked him several questions (Who did this? Where are you hit?) But every time he opened his mouth to reply, blood gushed/spewed out. The blood was thicker than I would have anticipated."

"Normally, there are lots of ways to assist a gun shot victim (packing the wound, applying pressure, applying a tourniquet, etc.) But there was zero I could do to assist this poor man as he flailed around in agony and reached out to us for help. In retrospect, it was the powerlessness of the moment that I believe made this event so haunting… I kept telling him it was going to be ok, but I knew it wasn't."

"I've seen countless dead bodies during my career. Many of them were people who died in truly grotesque ways. But a lifeless body almost seems like a movie prop. After a while, they become like any other inanimate object. It's not that creepy."

"But watching someone suffer and die, while being helpless to do anything to stop it… I'm not sure if this meets creepy criteria, but it is easily the most haunting thing I have witness in my life."

"Ps. To make matters worse, this young man was killed for simply crossing the street. A car full of gang members almost struck him while driving recklessly. He yelled at their car. Video surveillance shows them circling the block and killing him for it."

"The hotel had a large glass front door entrance. I remember his mother came down stairs after we had the crime scene taped off. She pounded on the glass door and screamed in agony when she saw her son's lifeless body. Very surreal like. He was visiting LA w/ family for his sister's college graduation."


"This is just too sad and horrifying"


"I agree… It helps me to talk about these things w/ people not in law enforcement. The conversations help remind me that these things are not normal."

"There is a tendency in law enforcement to stuff these types of events away. Not speak of them, or avoid thinking about them. But they will eventually come to surface (often in the form of self-destructive behavior like alcoholism, infidelity, suicide, etc)."

"I recently read a book called "Emotional Survival for Law Enforcement". It said that in the 1990's, an average of 69 officers died a year from being attacked/responding to felony crimes. But 300 officers a year died as the result of suicide during that same time period."


Policing is a difficult job. That's never been the argument. The argument has been if we're going to ask people to handle situations like this, then the right kind of people need to be the ones to handle them. People mentally strong enough, with the right kind of therapeutic support, designated to solve these types of situations.

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

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