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Predatory Business Tactics That Should Be Illegal But Aren't

Reddit user jwwin asked: 'What is a predatory business that shouldn't be legal, but is?'

Demonstrator holds sign that reads, "Drop this act of corporate gree!"
Patrick Perkins/Unsplash

Companies are typically in business for profit, and very few have the goal of keeping the customer's interests in mind.

But some corporations go even further to get more out of their customer in exchange for their "quality services" and as a result, the line between general business and scam becomes blurred.

Redditor jwwin asked:

"What is a predatory business that shouldn't be legal, but is?"

Students paying an exorbitant amount in tuition in order to seek higher learning should be warned there are additional expenses to cover for.

A Textbook Example

"College textbooks, they will release an 'updated' edition every semester but the information doesn't change. And then after you spent a fortune on the books the places that buy textbooks will give you like 5% of what you paid for the book."

– teethalarm

A "Double Whammy"

"Former Prof here. I talked with a book rep about this once and learned a lot. It is a bit complicated but worth understanding. Book publishers rely on large quantity sales to make any money on a book because the cost of production is so high up front (author, editors, printing, etc.). So, for a book to be profitable, it has to sell a lot of copies to spread the cost of production across all the books. A paperback in the fiction section might sell 100,000 or more. A textbook might sell as few as 1,000. So, the publisher needs everyone to buy the book to break even."

"Now add colleges into the mix. Somewhere in the 1980s (give or take), colleges saw publishers selling books and making larger profits on them than the college bookstore was making per book. So they got the bright idea to start buying used texts and reselling them. Before that, a text would come out and 97% (making the number up but it was close to that) of the students would buy the book in year one, 85% in year two, 75% in year three, 60% in year four and 50% in year five. A $50 dollar book would cost $25 to make (again, making the numbers up), sell to the bookstore for $40 ($15 publisher profit), and be sold to the student for $50 ($10 bookstore profit). Across the five years, the producer would make a profit."

"Then, college bookstores began offering students $25 for a used book and selling it for $40 ($15 profit - $5 higher than that of a new book). Students would then prefer the $40 used book over the $50 new book. But that cut the publisher's sales from 97% to 50% in the first year. Because they could not sell as many books they had to do two things: (1) raise the initial price of the text to cover the production cost in 1-2 years rather than 4-5 years, and (2) cut the cycle down from 4-5 years to 1-2 years to ensure that they got sales of the book. That is a double whammy. Texts that used to cost $50 now cost $300 or more. And they have a new version out every 18 months or so. Students refuse to pay that price and that cuts the sales numbers even further forcing the price up again. And, with new editions out so frequently, it is harder to sell them back to the bookstore."

"That's why you see so many 'course packs' now - where a professor will pick a few pages from a book to give to the students. I went from having nearly every student purchasing a text in my early career to having zero students with a text late in my career. Your professor probably dislikes the state of affairs as much as you do. I cut down what books I would select because I could not justify students paying that much for what they were getting. I would also recommend students look for older editions on Amazon and the like which got me in trouble with my administration because I was not supporting the bookstore. But, it was difficult to teach from a text that no one had or had access to. The University's desire to generate revenue from texts truly was killing the chicken because it was not producing enough eggs."

"So look for an older edition on Chegg, Amazon, or the like and match it up with what your professor is teaching from the new edition. You are right, it probably has not changed. Be careful for the problems at the end of the chapter - that is often where the changes are."

– BewnieBound

These businesses parade as services but they are notorious for taking more than what you're willing to pay for.

For A Future Owner

"Rent to Own (furniture, appliances, TVs, video game systems, etc.) The mark up on the interest over time ends up costing 4 times the purchase - or more."

– PartyAlarmed3796

"Well the trick is to not pay (seems to be what a lot of people do)."

– Expensive_Ad2695

"Which is why those places are so expensive and why they're actually kinda necessary for some people."

"They're taking a pretty big risk on people with no credit, and if a person with shi*ty credit needs a refrigerator or other necessary appliance, there's usually nobody else willing to work with them. Also, most of them report to credit agencies so you can build your credit through them."

"I'm not a fan by any means and I hate that people are buying video game systems and couches through them, but I still think they're filling a need."

– Pitiful-Pension-6535

Money Sucker

"Payday loan companies – they're like financial vampires, sucking the life out of people with high-interest rates."

– neonliolia

"And yet most of them are owned by major banks... hmmmm."

"Bank of America, Wells Fargo, US Bank, JP Morgan/Chase collectively all own the largest payday lender companies."

– Bramtyre

"In Canada, there is an effort to turn Canada Post into a kind of bank that offers basic banking services to the most vulnerable. Not sure what happened to that, but it was an alternative to check cashing and payday loan rackets."

– hobbitlover

Greedy Event Vendor

"Ticket Master."

– LTVOLT

"Agreed. We went to a preseason hockey game the other week. Tickets were $5 each but there was around $8 of Ticketmaster fees for each one and you had to use their app to get in the door because the barcodes change like every 30 seconds or something. It's ridiculous."

– darfus1895

Where can citizens turn to receive genuine care without drying up their financial resources?

Big Pharma

"Health Insurance and over priced perscription drugs."

"Wife is type 1 diabetic. Her pump is over $1000 a month WITH 50% coverage. $177 for just the sensor pack. We have the best coverage we can afford."

– Dukeboys_

"US pays the middle man for health care coverage. The middle man and the health care provider come up with "health packages" you can buy into, just in case you get sick. It's just sick how they funnel money from the middle class into this."

– dcoolidge

"Healthcare insurance industry. They can straight up reject claims you should be covered for and make you jump through near endless hoops to get them to pay for the service that is part of your plan."

– ColdHardPocketChange

All Out To Get Ya

"Homeopathic 'medicine' sellers."

"Psychics"

"Domain search engine registration scams (fake emails or physical mail that shows up saying 'your domain search registration is about to expire' and look exactly like warnings that your domain name is about to expire)"

"Fake homeowner warranty/car warranty scams loaded with so many limitations and exclusions they’ll basically never pay out."

"Multilevel marketing systems like Amway."

– 4wqrewtety

Losing Sight Of Kids' Well-Being

"From my experience working in group homes for youth are awful. The owners only want money and the more kids in care the more money."

– OddReputation3765

Going Nowhere Fast

"Car insurance."

"You get penalized for using it. Even just once in some cases."

– Effective_Sundae_839

"1000% agree. I was rear ended by a hit and run driver while i was stopped at a stop sign. Literally came to a stop for 3 seconds max and got destroyed. Car insurance wanted to give me 4k and shut me up. It’s called the nuisance fee. I eventually lawyered up and got 25k out of it. But like wtf. B*tch that’s what we PAY FOR, following renewal of my policy it increased hundreds of dollars a month and that was even after i switched to a different company. 'A claim is a claim regardless who is at fault.'”

– HitBackZach

Businesses taking advantage of their customers should be a crime, yet here we are.

What companies can you think of that legally continue to look after their own profitable interests above providing a decent service?

People Break Down The First Thing They Do When Entering A Hotel Room

Reddit user BlundeRuss asked: 'What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?'

red throw pillow on white couch
Photo by reisetopia on Unsplash

My family went on a lot trips when I was young, and we always stayed in hotel rooms. Around the time my brother and I were old enough to stay in a room by ourselves (our parents would stay in another one, usually across the hall), he also became a bit of a germaphobe.

At the time, I actually believed hotels changed the sheets on the beds daily, so when my brother fretted about the cleanliness of the hotels, I reassured him they were fine. He believed me at first, since I was his big sister, but by the time he was 12, he got suspicious.

During one of our trips, he decided to test this by making a mark on his pillow cover with a pen and turning the pillow cover inside out before we left for sightseeing the next morning. When we returned, he turned the pillow cover back, and his mark was still there, proving that the sheets hadn't been changed. He only had to do this one more time, during our next trip, for me to realize this wasn't a one-off.

Ever since, and even now in adulthood, my brother and I always intentionally spill something on our sheets during our first night in order to get clean sheets, at least for the duration of our stay. This, in fact, is the first thing we do.

I'm not the only person who does something a bit quirky like this when they first enter a hotel rooms. Plenty or Redditors have stories about this and are ready to share.

It all started when Redditor BlundeRuss asked:

"What’s the first thing you do when you get into a hotel room?"

​Preparing For Sights

"Go to the balcony to see if it's going to be public nudity or private nudity during my morning coffee."

– hoffarmy

"I love that this doesn’t change your plans, just prepares your mind. Excellence."

– sewahyelah

Show Me The Truth

"Put my bags up on something and check the mattress. I also bought a UV flashlight but after using it at home I’ve decided that bringing it to a hotel would be unnecessary torture. Nothing is clean when you shine the thing on it. And I mean nothing."

– Fatguy73

Temperature Check

"One of my close friends travels a ton for business. She also loves to sleep in a f**king ice box."

"She has found some resource for how to basically jailbreak hotel thermostats. Each hotel thermostat has a specific key sequence that unlocks the lower temps that the hotel normally doesn’t allow guests to set because, you know, money."

– Sp4ceh0rse

"I do this in every hotel."

– jubilee__

Sweet Relief

"Set bags down."

"Look at room for cleanliness."

"Take a dump."

– PuzzledCitron8728

"I showed up early to a hotel after 12 hours straight of driving. Took forever for them to get me in the room (really it was probably only 30 minutes and they were super accommodating)."

"Anyways, I had been feeling the tyrannical gouging of a sh*t demon trying to claw it's way out for about half an hour beforehand. I ran down the hall, opened the door, threw my bag at something, and was kinda hovering over the toilet just in time. Hadn't put cheek to rim yet and my darling baby began his exit."

"It wasn't until after I looked up that I realized neither door was the self-closing kind and you could see all the way in from the hallway."

– coreylahe

"You’ve unlocked a childhood memory. I stayed in a lot of hotels while growing up and I saw someone in your position once, trail of belongings leading to the toilet. So I went and shut the door for him."

– scarfknitter

Disney Magic

"Find the bible and flip through it. When my sister and I were kids, we went to Disney, and I think she asked why is there always a bible in the drawer, waved it by the spine and 20 bucks fell out. So I always check now."

– TyWiggly

"I found $100 that way. 5 crisp 20's,. I was pretty broke at the time too."

– weisblattsnut

Always Check

"First, I look at the area between the mattress and headboard for any signs of bed bugs, then under the sheets. I’ve never encountered them, but I’ve heard so many horror stories that I’m paranoid about them."

– triceraquake

"As someone who worked in hotels, I always double check the door locks and then inspect for bed bugs."

– Chatterbxer

Yikes!

"Look for cameras. I'm a paranoid f**k."

– Gubble_Buppie

"If anyone wants to see an overweight guy in his mid-40s eat pringles in his underwear while reading Stephen King novels, then they have my flabby white blessing."

– oppernaR

"They sell surprisingly easy to use scanners on Amazon. I found a camera in an air bb bedroom alarm clock, threw a towel over it and got the whole stay for free. Some will detect signals but the best way is there’s a looking glass that’s red and it emits a light and you turn off all the lights and look around the room. Any active camera will shine like a cats eyes when you skim over it."

– Vacation_Kinkycouple

The Things We Find

"I check in odd places to see if anyone stashed drugs or money. You would be surprised at all the sh*t I’ve found over the years!"

– Deathbot-420

"We found an axe under the bed once."

– Punkstarbabe

Ick.

"Yank the comforter off the bed and throw it in the corner. they rarely wash those things."

– whatever32657

"I discovered this recently while calling home to say good night to everyone. Dried food stuck to the comforter. Threw that bad boy off the bed."

– DuchessofSquee

"I cleaned an air BnB for a little while and I was so disturbed when they told me they didn't wash the comforter because hotels don't.... Like I guess I get it because they're heavy and they're trying to save water on the washes but yuck dude... Cleaning that air Bnb made me NEVER want to book one because of the sh*t the owners wouldn't LET me clean... I don't think I'd ever survive as a maid for a hotel, I could never travel again lol."

– ModestMeeshka

It's A Process

"Make a condom for the TV remote control. Take the ice bag from the ice bucket and put the remote in it. Now I never have to touch the remote."

– dontknowafunnyname2

"I'm sure disinfectant wipes could do the job."

– Pheobe0228

Check For Monsters...People Monsters

"Make sure no one is hiding under the bed or in the bathroom 😂😅"

– HeadInTheClouds916

"I travel a lot for work…and I’m shocked no one else mentioned this. First I check the closet, under the bed, the bathroom for a hiding serial killer…then check the mattress for bedbugs…"

– pdxmikaela

Today I Learned

"Check for cleanliness and then take pictures Traffickcam."

"Traffickcam is an app where you take specific pictures of your room and then upload them to their database. They use these pictures to check on the location of human trafficking victims."

– slappymasterson

"Take a picture of the room and post it on the Trafickcam app so if the room or similar has been used by human traffickers maybe it will help find someone."

– CatsInTrenchCoat

And thanks to those last two stories, I'm a little scared to stay in another hotel.

Two young girls walk away with their arms around one another
Photo by Andrea Tummons

Small acts of kindness that only a few know about can change the world.

You never know.

One smile can change one person's day.

And that person could carry it on.

So doing it ourselves may be the only answer.Redditor sashayingthru wanted to discuss the ways we know the world is still good, so they asked:

"What small act of kindness were you once shown that you will never forget?"

As someone who has waited on many tables, just tip properly.

You'll go to Heaven.

Strangers

Robin Williams Dancing GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy

"I once walked to a store to buy bags for my vacuum cleaner and I forgot to take my wallet. The shop owner gave me the bags, shook my hand, and told me to bring him to money tomorrow. He put his trust in a total stranger to do the right thing and I did."

Independent-Bike8810

In the Rain

"A man in a full business suit with a briefcase handed me an umbrella in a torrential rain storm and wouldn't take no for an answer. I still had to walk through Times Square to get to the train and I'm sure he got soaked going wherever he was going. A couple of weeks later, I gave the umbrella to a lost girl in my neighborhood when it started to rain and she didn't have one. Felt like the universe wanted it to happen."

"I'll never forget that man though."

im_not_bovvered

Leggo my Lego

"When I was maybe 4 or 5 years old, I made friends with another kid in an airport, and he was playing with a couple glued glued-together Lego cars. Me and that kid played for like an hour with those things and when it was time to go our separate ways and board the plane, the kid insisted I keep one of the cars, and while I insisted he should keep them, he said it was proof that we were friends, and to this day roughly 20 years later, I still have that car packed up with my childhood mementos box."

"That friend of mine was a good kid. Hope he’s doin' well."

givebooks

Don't Cry Tammy

"My husband and I were sitting on our porch holding hands and crying, just feeling overwhelmed because we were waiting to find out whether or not my tumor was cancerous. Our neighbor saw it when he was coming home. About half an hour later he came over with some freshly baked cookies. He didn't even say anything, just smiled, handed them to us, and then went back home."

"Just thinking about that moment has me crying again. From his kindness, not the fear. Tammy the Ti**y Tumor turned out benign!"

Reflection_Secure

Coasting...

Fail Will Ferrell GIF by Paramount PicturesGiphy

"I literally coasted into a gas station out of gas on my motorcycle, then realized I didn't have my wallet. Some lady saw me patting all my pockets and I was upset and offered to fill up my tank. I only let her put $5 in, which on a bike is a lot. But it meant so much to me."

Twours1944

Give people gas as often as possible..

Pay it forward.

Generosity

happy silent film GIF by Charlie ChaplinGiphy

"My realtor took less commission so that I could get my dream home. It was a rare find in a great neighborhood."

SheLight2

Egged Away

"Years ago my car got egged real badly overnight while parked on the driveway of our duplex. We had to go somewhere the next morning so took the wife’s car. Came back hours later and my car was shining like new on the driveway. The neighbor whose name I didn’t even know at that point had washed it for me while we were away."

Ceristimo

Are those still a thing?

"I was in maybe 4th grade and my parents just had my younger sister, so newborn focused. I went to my school lunch, opened my paper bag (are those still a thing?), and unwrapped the foil holding my sandwich. There was nothing inside. It was actually just 2 slices of dry white slice bread and I was sad."

"Literally, my table mates all chipped in various components and made me the most amazing ham and cheese sandwich I’ve ever had. I’ve been chasing that dragon of ham sandwich since but I’m sure it was the response and not the ingredients that I loved."

I_Am_The_Grapevine

Thanks guys...

"19 years old, first apartment, first winter, first winter utility bill. I smiled and told my coworker I'd just pay it, skip lunch, and eat cheap Mac and cheese for dinner. It'll be ok. All that month co-workers accidentally got extra chips from the vending machine. A wife packed an extra sandwich. A box of my favorite crackers would be on my desk when I came in. It was still hard but I didn't starve. Thanks, you guys."

alady12

Just Tears

Big Brother Omg GIF by Global TVGiphy

"I was on the subway, sitting there crying because I had just ended a relationship. I wasn't making any noise, just tears, but the guy sitting next to me gave me some tissues. I'll never forget that."

screamingcupcakes

Some of the best people ride the subway.

Everyone has tissues.

Man holding onto partner's hand
Photo by Seth Reese on Unsplash

Content Warning: Toxic Behavior

As much as we might like to hope otherwise, not all relationships are meant to work out.

Not only are some couples not meant to be, but sometimes there are super valid reasons for a relationship to end beyond simply not being compatible, like toxic behaviors.

But a significant other being toxic will not be obvious upon first meeting them or going on a first date with them. Otherwise, we never would have dated them in the first place.

Redditor BlackenSphinx asked:

"What did your partner say or do that made you realize that they were a toxic person?"

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

"When they kept apologizing for the same thing, then doing it anyway, never changing for the past 10 years."

- crunchy_soupp

"My wife got a quote from a teacher that we've tried to instill in our kids:"

"'Saying sorry means not doing it again.'"

"Obviously, accidents aren't included, but yeah when you hurt someone and apologize, don't do that thing again."

- JollySquatter

A New Kind of Arranged Marriage

"Lots of things, but I think probably the worst and most impactful was when she peed on a stick for her friend while she was pregnant."

"Her friend then convinced her boyfriend to marry her. They were divorced several years later, after what I can only assume was an absolutely awful marriage."

- conspirized

Emotional Abuse

"'Nobody as good looking as me will ever love your personality.'"

- MrNobody26501

"Ugh, that's the kind of s**t I'd think about and let eat me away for YEARS."

- SenorDangerw**k

In Sickness and In Health

"I was at a party with my ex-wife and someone brought out a newspaper with headlines about a local official being in an accident and being paralyzed."

"My ex-wife, without hesitation, said, 'If that happened to my husband, I would be out of here.'"

- nobody333254

"My biggest motivator of leaving an ex was that I couldn’t see him taking care of me if something were to happen to me."

- Puzzleheaded_Elk6243

Children Come First

"This one is minor, but I had an ex who wanted to buy her daughter some new shoes. We were at an outlet mall and they had a BOGO (Buy One, Get One Free) sale."

"She found a cute pair for herself but was having trouble finding a pair for her daughter."

"I love being helpful and found a pair that fit her daughter's personality to a T."

"But she wouldn't buy them because they were $5 more expensive than the pair she was getting for herself."

"Both were combined under $50, and she wasn't hurting for cash. She just refused to spend more on her daughter than on herself out of principle."

- Calm-and-worthy

"This one reallyyyyy irritates me. She sounds like the kind of 'parent' who wouldn't give up a meal to make sure their baby ate if it came down to it."

"As someone who has to make that decision nearly every day... my baby eats, even if I don't. Always."

- DakotaTheAtlas

The Silent Treatment

"We weren't living together, but he randomly cut me off for like a full week. He wouldn't answer my texts or anything. We were long-distance (different colleges halfway across the country) so I couldn't, like, go check on him."

"Anyway, he finally comes back and tells me it was a punishment for not being interesting enough. He liked me because I was an intellectual who would have Deep Conversations (tm) with him and I'd been talking too much about things he didn't find interesting."

"I dumped him shortly after and he acted like it came out of nowhere."

- baby_yaga

Overly Critical

"He criticized everybody. He was mean about his family, his friends, and his colleagues. It seemed very small at first, I knew he was depressed and so was naturally more cynical and had a low view of himself, but he'd laugh and joke with friends on the phone or in person for hours and then the minute they were gone... Awful."

"I rationalized it for too long and then realized it would be the same about me. Then convinced myself it wouldn't be because he always hyped me up... Until I heard it."

"He played the victim so, so well. Scary, really."

- Important_Sprinkles9

Ableism at Its Finest

"I had an ex say. 'What could you possibly be depressed about?'"

"I was an id**t and stayed with her for three more years after that."

- WhatIsAJahBone

Not Over Their Ex

"He slept with his ex frequently for six months... in the house that I bought us... in my childhood bed that I took with me from home... all whilst I was at work."

"He was changing over phones from an old school brick type to an iPhone. He went out to work and his old phone kept buzzing. I saw a very familiar name pop up…"

"He told me that she was crazy and they weren’t in contact as she was obsessed with him (Red flag, I know). There are some things I read that I wish I could erase from my memory."

"When everything was out in the open, she began bullying me online about it."

"We were engaged. as well. Lucky I found out before we got married!"

- MissQII

Different Definitions of "Cheating"

"She cheated on me with a Yankees player because I 'cheated on her first.'"

"How did I cheat? By going to her favorite burger spot without her while she was having sushi with her girlfriends."

"I found out she cheated with three other guys too."

- HawaiianSteak

"Somehow the most venom in this story came from 'a Yankee player,' lol (laughing out loud)."

- SoftcoverWand44

"I'm guessing he's either a Mets or Red Sox fan."

- ScorpionX-123

Gone with the Rose-Colored Glasses

"It wasn't so much what he was saying but the action he did about it."

"He used to tell me all the time that I should get contact lenses because he wanted to see what I looked like without glasses."

"I need glasses full time to see because I have an extremely bad prescription and astigmatism. They're both very high and it's impossible to see without glasses. If I take my glasses off, I can't even find them so I have to make sure I know exactly where I set them."

"One day out of town for a large event we had been planning to attend for over a year, he hid my glasses and acted like he couldn't find them."

"I had NEVER had glasses just disappear. It might take me a while to find them, but if I have someone else around me, it's usually somewhere obvious."

"I figured, 'Oh, that's okay, I have prescription sunglasses on me, as well; I'll just wear sunglasses for the event.' I asked him to pull them out of my bag as they were in a zip glass case, I know for a fact they are in there because I switched them out after arriving at the hotel."

"He pulled out the case and tried to tell me they weren't in there and that I must have dropped them somewhere."

"I begged him to help me search the hotel, I called downstairs, I had staff members helping me search, and I was in the lobby on my hands and knees feeling around trying to find them."

"He was busy getting ready upstairs and told me to just go to the event without them; I'll be fine."

"I absolutely refuse to leave without my glasses. I told him to go have a good time but I'm not leaving the hotel room and going into a crowded strange place in a strange city being unable to see."

"Well suddenly, right before we're about to leave, he pretended he found my glasses and they were just sitting on the bathroom counter the whole time. As if I didn't search every single inch and feel around every inch of that vanity."

"After some crying, he admitted that he hid both of my glasses because he just wanted me to see that it's not so bad and that if I just go without them for a little while my eyes will adjust and I'll be able to see fine."

- ConceptAggravating95

Silence to the Extreme

"I had a girlfriend who got mad at me, and I had no idea why. For three days, she would call, say nothing, and if I hung up, she would call back."

"I turned off my phone, and she'd call my parents or show up at my house (in high school still living with my parents). This went on for three days. I basically didn't sleep."

"I was a senior and still in school, and she had graduated the year before. On the third night, she yelled at me for keeping her up, and it was the end of the fight."

"The next day, I asked what I did. She said nothing she was just angry and wanted to fight."

"It took me going to college and her finding some other poor sap to torture to finally get away from her. I was young and naive, and now know I should have involved a court order and police."

"It was h**l. But from it, I ended up with my now wife, and without that h**l, I would not be where I am today, which is something I would never change."

- FineSL

The Most Controlling of the Controlling

"She yelled at me for wanting to talk to my family after she and my dad had a minor argument. She also blocked my old friends, family, and coworkers in my phone while I slept."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

"Throw the whole girl away."

- BlackenSphinx

"I did that a month ago, and this has been the best month I've had in three years."

- Arcane_booty_Magic

These accounts were terribly eye-opening, and they're a great reminder that a toxic relationship may not be identifiable until it's made glaringly obvious to us.

Fortunately, all of these Redditors were talking about exes, which means that they were able to move beyond these tough situations.

Creey forest at night
Adrian Infernus/Unsplash

People love horror films because they know the terror depicted on the big screen is pure Hollywood magic and completely fake.

But when it comes to true-life terrors, even the most dedicated horror film aficionados can be left trembling in their boots.

Curious to hear some of the most absolutely hair-raising events from strangers online, Redditor Ok-Bid-1179 asked:

"What’s the scariest 100% true story you’ve heard of?"

These real-life stories may keep you up at night.

Befriending A Murderer

"My uncle was in a bar one night and started talking to this random guy. He described him as 'a really nice guy.'"

"He met him a few other times in the same bar. They drank and talked about random stuff. Soon after, my uncle stopped seeing the guy at the bar."

"Idk how long after, but my uncle got notified that he had jury duty. He showed up and found out what it was for. A serial killer and the killer was his friend from the bar. Derrick Todd Lee."

"My uncle was promptly dismissed from jury duty for obvious reasons."

– I_am_dean

People had sinister stories related to jobs.

Late Night Shift Employee

"I work midnight shift at a gas station and I have for quite awhile at various stations in different areas with varying levels of criminal activity."

"I have regulars, of course. I’m a small-statured woman (as is my partner the other half of the week, and we’ve always been partners) so these regulars often worry about us and keep watch on creepy occurrences when they can."

"I had one man who worked in the metro an hour away who would stop in every morning for his cigarettes. He never smiled or seemed friendly, and as I often do, I tried to think of what I could do that might make him smile one day."

"It took many months but I finally pulled it off by having his cigarettes ready on the counter and already scanned for him to pay for as he walked in. He smiled, and then asked me"

“Do you ever get scared on the night shift? You small girl, is not safe.”

"I said I sometimes did but we could lock the doors and hide if we had to, and that the provincial police (think state troopers, if you’re American) had a station close by and came in often to get their highway vehicles washed. I had a good rapport with those police. He nodded and then told me a story about when he first moved to our country from Eastern Europe with his wife and child back in the late 80’s, early 90’s."

"He fell asleep at work one night at the gas station he worked midnights at. When he woke up, the phone had been ringing for hours and his manager was shaking him violently asking if he was alright. He was fine, he said, what was the problem? He was sorry he fell asleep."

"His manager screamed that it was fine he fell asleep, to look outside. All of their motor oil was missing and the outside of the place was a mess."

"The thieves had come and swiped all the oil and left him be because he slept through the entire thing, and then moved down the road to the next station for an encore. At that station, the clerk was awake and fought back, so the thieves stabbed him to death and left him to bleed out."

"When he finished telling me this, he concluded with."

“If you ever feel sleepy just lock the door and do it, it might save your life”

"I don’t work at that station anymore but I think about that guy all the time and wonder how his grandkids are."

"Here is a link to an article talking about how that poor other clerk’s killers were finally found 25 years later:"

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/mobile/arrest-made-in-1990-murder-of-gas-station-attendant-1.2650933

– IgnorethisIamstupid

Trapped

"There was an incident in Trinidad where some maintenance divers were removing a plug from an oil pipeline and were instantly sucked into it. One was able to escape but the other 4 were trapped for days in a small, oil coated pipe for days with only a small air pocket to breathe in before they died. Thinking about it in detail and imagining what it must have been like for them makes me extremely uncomfortable."

– superficial_user

There's no creepier place than being in the woods. Especially when these sorts of encounters happen.

The Wrong Friends

"When I was 17 I was hanging out with 2 friends and they wanted to go smoke in the woods. I didn't feel like it so I drove them and waited in the car."

"After a while I was getting bored and decided to go meet them but there were 4 paths going off in different directions so I just took the biggest one. After walking for a few minutes in the pitch black forest (before flashlights on phones), I come across this dip in the trail and on the other side is a bench lightly visible due to the moonlight."

"On the the bench is sitting a man and another one in standing in front of him but I can only make out silhouettes. Being sure these are my friends I yell out to them before walking over. If you ever walked the woods at night it's just an uneasy feeling all around so I was cautious to begin with."

"Well it turns out, juste after yelling out to my 'friends,' both silouhettes turn around towards me. Not a word, not a sound, the guy sitting down starts sprinting FULL F'KING SPEED towards me in complete silence. I got the absolute f'k out of there sprinting also the other way and tripping over sh*t because I couldn't see anything."

"I finally get out and lock myself in my car, but I was really worried for my friends. Maybe a minute later I see them both coming out of a completely different path, they also confirmed they never saw me or anyone else. My heart still sinks just thinking about that dude sprinting in silence wtf was that sh*t."

– NoFutureGuy

The Homeless Camp

"Weird....I have a similar story!"

"Years ago I remember sneaking out of my friends house at night to really do nothing but walk around the neighborhood and hide from car headlights. We were young and bored. There was a 'homeless' camp that was down in some woods off the railroad tracks not too far from his house. We had seen the trail and knew what was back there."

"One of the homeless guys that lived there was actually an old friend of my buddies Dad, and he had stopped over a few times and my friends Dad let him shower there and everything. He could have worked if he wanted, but legit told us he just liked living 'off the grid'. Just wanted to give you some backstory on the reason why we thought it would be cool and 'safe' to go check it out at night."

"We were a bit nervous at first thinking what if we get there and his Dads friend isn't there...so we were sneaking up on it. It was a longer walk than we thought. We got kind of close and saw there was a fire going lighting up the woods a bit."

"We start sneaking closer but the trail seemed to continue straight, while the camp set off the trail to the left. We got idk maybe 100 feet from the camp (about 30 meters) and we looked down the trail and saw a faint silhouette of what we thought was a person. The silhouette looked like it was coming from deeper in the woods towards the camp. We froze and ducked slightly to the side of the trail."

"I told my friend that I didn't like it, and we should just sneak the hell out. He said he had the same feeling. As I said, the fire at the camp was just enough to light the area well enough to see. We end up slowly creeping slightly off the trail back to the railroad tracks. We get probably 30-40 or so feet (9-12 meters) and I told him I would rather just hit the trail and just slowly walk back because the bushes and trees and everything were hard to navigate and I would rather be able to see something coming so we could book it out. We played football and were both pretty fast."

"We slide out of the brush and see the silhouette has gotten closer, however moving further from the fire, the light was dimmer, but we could still make out someone or something was standing there moving closer. My first thought was that maybe they saw us duck into the bushes and were coming to check, but it just felt off. My friend and I looked at each other and both mutually and silently decided to pick up the pace. Almost on que, we both looked back and the silhouette was now BOOKING IT TOWARDS US ABSOULTELY SILENT. No noise, just fast movement. We high tail it as fast as we can."

Thankfully, the trail was wide so we weren't bumping into each other or anything. Neither of us looked back until we hit the railroad tracks, then hit the railroad track bridge and were on the other side. I looked back as I was slowing down, past the bridge and didn't see anyone. We got back to his house pretty fast and luckily that was the end of it."

– ZekeMoss18

Life is full of many creepy mysteries.

It's no wonder many films are based on actual events.

The ones that terrify me the most are the home invasion movies like The Strangers.

It may have been Hollywood that dramatized events depicted in the film, but there's no doubt such horrific events that have happened in real life are enough to keep us up at night and on high alert.