Whether you're nine years old or a full blown adult, finding yourself home alone brings a heightened intensity.
Silence is heavier and interruptions seem more sudden, and louder.
Unexpected creaks around the house and shadows in the periphery all seem gravely dangerous. The stakes are simply higher when no backup exists.
In those circumstances, even the most trivial occurrences feel like the end of the world, or at least the end of your life.
Sometimes, though, legitimately horrifying things go down when your home alone and defenseless.
A Horrifying Tator Blast
"I was home alone at my dad's while he was working nights, making my dinner and everything. I was probably about 14 or 15 at the time."
"I was watching TV while my potatoes were cooking when I head something slam into the front door. I grab my pocket knife and check it out, nothing."
"About 10 minutes later I hear another bang on the front door, repeat and still nothing. Really freaked me out cause we'd had a few houses get broken into on my street."
"Turns out I didn't put enough holes into my baked potatoes and they exploded in the oven."
It’s All Fun and Games U tim Someone Knicks an Artery
"I was probably 9 years old, my sister was 6. We had a babysitter who was 12, so alone in the sense that no adults were around."
"Jackass that I was, I squirted bug spray on my sister and she chased me in retaliation. I ran through some French glass doors to get away from her. She went for the knob and missed. Her arm went through one of the glass panes."
"She cut herself so deep, you could see muscle, tendons, and bone. It looked like a shi**ily cut piece of raw meat, since that's basically what it was. The babysitter held a piece of cloth on my sister's arm until my mom came home (called her right away) and took my sister to the ER."
"Got 60 stitches out of it."
Some Spooky Fowl
"I was watching some sort of ghost TV show about demons or something in my basement, home alone when I was probably 14 or 15..."
"A fu**ing turkey walked up to the sliding door and started tapping on the glass. I noped the f*ck out of that basement so fast. I don't think I ever watched that show again either."
Not What it Looks Like
"When I was younger my mom left me and my little brother home alone while she ran to the store."
"Mom leaves and me and my brother are watching TV in the living room and we see a bunch of smoke from the big bay window facing the front yard shortly after she leaves. We look, and a car has crashed into the ditch that is next to our driveway."
"My mom rounds the corner of the side road to pull onto [our road] and sees a ton of cop cars in out driveway and shutting down the road, 2 fire trucks, at least 2 ambulances, and, as any mom seeing this, freaks out."
"They allow her to park in the neighbor's driveway since ours is currently occupied. And we see her sprinting across the yards. The cops intercept her, she sees that me and my brother are okay and is able to calm down enough to talk to the cops."
Bringing in the Big Guns (Dad)
"I was 15 and I used to baby sit for my neighbors down the block. They had a really nice house, 3 floors with a built-in garage under the house, that connected to the basement."
"They also had the type of security system where anytime a door opens you heard 'beep beep beep.' After the parents left one night I was putting the kids to bed and I heard the "beep beep beep.' "
"I yelled out, thinking it was the parents coming back for something but no one answered. I was freaked out so I called my Dad and asked him to come by since he was only a few houses away."
"When he arrived, he told me to stay in the kitchen while he checked the house but before he could, we heard the 'beep beep beep' again and then the garage door opened - when we ran to the window to see if the parents were pulling into the driveway, they weren't."
"Instead someone in a hoodie was running out of the garage door and into the woods behind the house."
Not Creepy, Just Real and Intense
"Just me and my mom. She got drunk and fell down the stairs. She knocked herself out cold and I had to administer CPR while the paramedics came."
"She has no recollection of this incident, denies it, and no one else in my family can relate to how scary it is seeing someone almost die and having their life in your hands."
"I don't know how first responders do it."
"It was a hot summer and my parents went to a wedding. I had a project to do and it was like 1am and silent until a random drunk dude crawled in through my window with a bottle and blush face."
"I was 20ft away at my desk from the window and we both just stared at each other. He was flustered and said 'oh sorry there kid wrong house' and attempts to leave the way he came."
"He was drunk n dizzy so I helped him by pushing him out the window. I thoroughly shut it and stared at it for 2 hours until my parents came home."
Can’t Blame Him. Gotta Close a Sale.
"Once while I was home alone, I had been warned not to answer the door, for anyone, or I might get taken away."
"One sales guy had been banging on the door repeatedly for the last 6 minutes. I guess I hadn't muted the TV fast enough. He screamed, 'I know you're home alone in there!' I about died."
"I started choking on a clump of Mike/Ikes. Only survived because I tripped and fell on the couch in such a way that it dislodged the candy. I was nearly killed then saved by being a klutz." -- RQ-0430
"Got a hot dog stuck in my throat. I chopped myself in the Adam's Apple and it flew out." -- deadheadjim
In the Deep End
"I was actually at a friends house when her parents weren't home. We were maybe 10. It was her, my sister, her sisters and me. We decided to go swimming."
"There had been a rash of burglaries lately but mostly garages being broke into. Anyway, we were in the pool when we noticed the kitchen light turn on (it was evening)."
"We assumed her parents so looked in the window to do something stupid to get their attention when we realized we do not know the individual in the house."
"We hid behind the wall of the pool (above ground) terrified until her parents finally came home. It appeared as though he got spooked as he only ransacked the kitchen and left the garage door wide open when fleeing."
Covering It’s Eyes, At Least
"For me, I was 12 years old and my dad was at his girlfriend's house. I went into my room to take a shower. I always put a chair under the door handle in my room because it didn't have a lock."
"My Grandma loved giving me porcelain dolls and she decorated my room with shelves that had porcelain dolls on them. All of the dolls were on their shelves before I got into the shower. When I exited my bathroom, one of the porcelain dolls was 10 feet across the room, face down on the ground."
"The scariest thing that happened to me I didn't know actually happened until the following day."
"One day our friend came over and called me to let him in our building in a hurry. Turns out this guy had been crouched by my car in the parking lot and had approached our friend and closed in on him."
"Upstairs I noticed that the guy had left a green bundle near my car and assumed he would be back for it."
"Turns out the guy had escaped from county the night before with two other guys. He was in jail for assault with a deadly weapon and repeated domestic violence offenses."
"He had climbed the fence in the yard behind our building where our landlord kept his camper, broken into the camper, and stayed there the night before."
"I had been alone the night before and had taken my dog down to the yard to go to the bathroom. I noticed that the barbed wire on the top of the fence had fallen down, and my dog was nervous. But I brushed it off. The guy had been in the camper watching me the whole time and I never knew it."
2 Hours, An Eternity
"I was a young kid home alone and my mom called the phone and said a tornado was coming and I had to go shelter in the basement...The basement was incredibly creepy, especially as a child. I NEVER went down there on my own."
"So little old me grabs my toy lantern to descend into the basement all alone with rain hitting the windows, with only the flicker of my toy lamp to light up my surroundings while I make my way to the boiler room and shelter in place until someone comes to get me...."
"Imagine that, just sitting there in the darkness listening to all of the sounds for something like two hours. F*cking freaky."
This is How it Begins
"Early teen years. Power went out while I was taking a shower late at night. I got out of the shower already freaked out and looked outside through the window. My house was the only one without power."
"Stupid teenage brain: this is clearly an attempt on my life"
"Reality: house had a weird problem where the power would cut out if the water heater and air conditioner happened to turn on the same time."
"This just happened last week, I woke up to someone in my house, walking up the stairs to my bedroom. It was about 1 pm and I work third shift, so I was sleeping."
"In my haste, I didn't grab my bat. I whip open my door and it's my ex best friend, whom I've blocked on every social media site... she starts yelling at me for not responding to her and how she misses me..."
We're on TV!
"Police were chasing a guy and he ran into into our backyard and over the fence to another house. It felt like the helicopter was going to land on the house." -- JahLife68
"This happened inherent I was like 4 or 5 except he ran straight through our apartment." -- PC_nodnarb
With No Knowledge of Science That Must've Been Downright Biblical
"First time I was ever home alone an earthquake hit and being a 10 year old who had never experienced an earthquake I had no idea what was happening and lost my sh*t."
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
Love is crazy. I've finally come to that conclusion. And marriage, you take your life in your hands and just throw caution to the wind in hopes of survival with that step.
When love falls apart, things can get real messy, real fast. And I've always been stunned by people's behavior when love subsides.
More often than not, it's like they become different people. Sometimes people are beset by tragedy and grief and sometimes people smile wide and move on. It's a coin toss.
But my favorite post divorce personality has to be the sudden super villain. Oh honey watch out for them!
Redditor u/hyperyog wanted to hear all the tea from the divorcees out there by asking:
Divorced Redditors, what is the craziest thing you or your former spouse did after divorce?
I once had a friend who burned her ex's house down when he wasn't home. He had started seeing someone almost immediately, so she thought, lemme set their sparks. Yeah, she wasn't well. Whatever happened to just a quick goodbye?
Swipeddean winters crying GIF by MayhemGiphy
"She removed the retaining clips for my windshield wipers, but put the wipers back on the arms. First storm after I got my car back from her, driver side wiper flew off the car on Interstate 40. Good times."
"He wrote suicide notes and put them in my kids backpacks for them/me to find. Then he turned off his phone and went to a coworkers house to play crib and have drinks.. all the while knowing I would be freaking out searching for him thinking he was in danger or worse. Thankfully my kids didn't see the notes and didn't know what was going on. This was just one of the many, many crazy things he did. Two years out and he just recently stopped showing up at my work and driving by my house at night."
A Sad End
"Died of a drug overdose. To be fair, her drug addiction was the reason for the divorce, so maybe that isn't too crazy."
"That's so incredibly difficult to have gone through. I unfortunately know the depths of this kind of pain, and while I'm sure the circumstances surrounding it are different, the loss that still happened is a tragedy. My condolences."
"Stalked me for 5 years. Would make fake social media profiles to try to follow me (which I would block endlessly) and would try to find where I worked so she could talk to me. This lady cheated on me with 7 different men 2 months after we were married. I kicked her a** to the curb and made her sign the court papers."
"When we had our day in court she cried in the judges office while I just wanted to get this crap done. After, my dad was with me and he threw 50 dollars at her and told her to "change your freaking last name." Good guy Pops. I haven't seen or heard from her in about 5 years, thank goodness."
Take it All!skin care spinning GIF by Primal Life OrganicsGiphy
"I had an ex-boyfriend go through my apartment and take back every gift he had given me that he could find. Then he went in my bedside table and took the condoms. And the vibrator he had given me."
See now, when I'm out... I'm out! I don't want to see you, hear from you or know you. I wish you well in life, but please live it far from me. Anyone agree? Clearly not the people here. Let's continue...
For the Boybicycling father and son GIF by NETFLIXGiphy
"All I wanted was custody of my son, I gave her everything else except one of our cars. She fought me through 5 hearings, I won. She never came to see him again."
"My ex cheated on me the week my mom died in the hospital. She spent a year and a half trying to get in touch with me. She would call my old work and make fake accounts trying to message me on FB. It was insane. She later sends a certified letter explaining she was sorry that she did what she did and that she aborted our child."
"Wanted me to meet her somewhere so she could apologize face to face. She already married some other guy that she had children with and was still trying to get in touch with me. I never understood her."
"After years of telling me she wanted a child, that she wanted to be a mom, that her life's dream was to be a stay at home mom, she got pregnant with the first guy she slept with while we were getting divorced and put the kid up for adoption even before it was born. This was a long-standing thing with her, she always wanted something (car, house, dog, cat, marriage, etc) and the second she got it she immediately hated it."
"Called me and pretended he had been hit by a car while we were talking. He even tried to voice the crowd that had gathered around his "body." God-awful acting, but pretty funny listening to him try to mimic a woman's voice. Points for trying to be inclusive, I guess."
"I think he was trying to get me to re-live my trauma of being on the phone with a friend who actually HAD been hit by a car while we were talking. Too bad he didn't realize that hearing the real thing is worlds different than hearing a dumba** try to act it out."
"I was sending 600 dollars a month to support my daughter because she's the only thing I give a sh!t about. My ex texts me and tells me I need to be sending 1200 a month because she's broke and can't pay her bills and I should feel guilty about it. She left me for another guy while I was on deployment I told her to go screw herself--call my lawyer."
Pop OffTom Hanks Drinking GIF by The Good FilmsGiphy
"Took the sodas from the fridge as he walked out the door. Dumfounded."
See, I blame Alanis Morissette and her "Jagged Little Pill" album. All I'm going to say is... the secret song. I think she gave people ideas. (I love that song) Y'all, seek therapy if you can't shake people. When it's done, let it be done.
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Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is highly regarded for his delicious plates, his ability to run a solid restaurant, and, let's face it, his stage presence.
He's also a foul-mouthed Brit who is all too willing to dismantle people's self-esteems and compare them to livestock animals.
Alas, as watching all reality television goes, we love to see the crashing and burning.
But what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if you were the one being torn into by the sailor of all chefs, Mr. Gordon Ramsay.
Wondering what horrible dishes were lurking in unknown kitchens all over the place, Redditor FalloutSl*t413 asked:
"What's something you made that was 100% delicious but Gordon Ramsay would slap you for anyway?"
Some people talked about those purely functional meals that are just perfect for piling on enough protein and calories to get through the day.
"My mom used to make us 'Volcanoes.' Mashed potatoes topped with ground beef with some ketchup. I still tear it up to this day."
Quick and Easy
"I make weeknight 'enchiladas.' "
"You stick frozen taquitos in a casserole dish and cover them with canned or frozen chili and cheese. Bake them until everything's hot, serve with a dollop of sour cream. They sound disgusting but they taste amazing, and they take like, five minutes to prep."
"I know it looks like, smells like, and probably tastes like cat food but potted meat sandwiches. Look, when you're poor as hell and you can make 3 sandwiches with one little can that cost like 20 cents, it's pretty good."
"While I'm at it, Treet and bologna are pretty great. I have the taste palette of a raccoon and I like it that way."
"When I was younger I would make this thing where it was a patty melded of:"
- "a can of tuna"
- "two eggs
"And I would eat that almost daily, pan-fried, for lunch. Just slap me now and lets get it over with."
Others shared the recipes they make to feel fancy despite being totally trashy.
A Nuanced Process
"I call them 'chicken puffs.' Some par-cooked chicken (white or dark meat, either works) with sauteed serrano peppers and onions and garlic."
"All wrapped in crescent roll dough in little balls (a bit smaller than a baseball), put in a casserole tray filled juuuuust above the top of the little dough balls with cream of roasted chicken soup. Baked to completion/safety."
"Overly indulgent and delicious."
A Famous Side
"I consistently make a box of pastaroni angel hair and herbs as a side with meals I prepare for people. EVERYONE always asks for the recipe LOL please don't tell my secret"
Just a Couple Additions
" 'Fancy Ramen' Ramen made normal. Don't mix seasoning. Drain water. Add Mayo. Then mix in seasoning. And Volia. A lot of people question it. Until they try it."
Others outlined the things they eat that combine some ingredients it may seem disgusting to mix together.
Throw An Egg On There
"Fu** it lasagna, alternating layers of bread and shredded cheese (your choice which, I use cheddar) then crack an egg on top and put it in the microwave. Old depression meal, but it still holds up."
Hard to Wrap Your Head Around
"As a kid I would eat a banana with a cheese slice. Haven't tried it in years but it might hold up" -- Send_it_to_me
"Let's not" -- Sea-Entertainer-4974
"When I was younger I would make toast with peanut butter on it, then add pepperoni. Delicious then but I cringe thinking about trying it today"
The truly horrifying thing? There are so many more recipes out there that would leave Ramsay trembling.
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People love to talk about food. There are blogs, books, television shows, conversations in bars and farmers markets. In all likelihood, there is a recipe swap happening right this second in some deep corner of a suburb somewhere.
But sometimes talk is a lot of hot air. And the topic of food sure isn't immune to that criticism.
You can't get through a day without some telling you what "you gotta try."
The problem is, talking about food is often far more exciting than the food itself.
Redditor anicaodha asked:
"What food is overhyped?"
Many people were angry about garnishes. They hated the way restaurants try to entice people to eat certain menu items by slapping some kitschy ingredient on there.
A Very Expensive Burger
"Anything with gold flakes, absolutely pointless." -- Spend_Total
"ugh, i just remembered throwing up gold flakes from goldschlager, yuck!" -- spaceygracie12
"Aka how to add a crunch to your dish like a douche." -- CakeBot_TheReckoning
Catches the Eye Though
"Any rainbow food, rainbow grilled cheese, rainbow smoothie..."
"Just a cheap money grab."
No Breath On My Meal Please
"Dragon's breath/ nitro puffs or any dessert that contains liquid nitrogen to make it look cool." -- throwjango
"This stuff exists? God, I'm out of the loop." -- -The-Magic-8-Ball
"Truffle oil, usually doesn't contain a single truffle." -- BlckontheMoon
"The 1 thing I love about Truffle oil is I've never seen someone use it on a cooking competition show and not lose." -- igotmadshirts
Some people talked about the big trends that they just never could quite figure out.
That Almighty Nectar
"Remember when people were treating Nutella like it was the second coming of Christ?" -- Grapezard
"I had an Italian friend once invite me to his birthday party in high school. His mom made a Nutella pie and it was one of the greatest desserts I've never had the pleasure of trying again. It was so simple, like a soft flaky dough covered with Nutella."
"I don't want to come out of the blue and ask this kid for his mom's recipe 15 years later so I'll just suffer I suppose." -- JupiterTarts
"Red velvet is literally a red chocolate cake that has nowhere near enough chocolate and to much red food coloring. It literally was invented when done dudes chocolate turned kinda red when he added vinegar to the chocolate cake mix."
"Friends loved the color, but it was finicky to get the red color without changing flavor of cake, so he decided to use red food coloring."
"Fu**ing Avocado Toast.
"Avocado is a buck. Toast is few cents. Avocado Toast is $10+"
And some discussed the things that people insist are fancy and delectable, but are really just run of the mill entirely.
Meat is Meat?
"steak is good, and I'd even say a high quality steak can be very very good. But people act like it's better than busting a nut and that's just not true. It's just meat"
"Lobster. It's good, but poor value given it's almost always the most expensive protein available."
"Plus most places just drown it in butter, which again, fine, but if all you taste is butter, why spend that much?"
Depends on the House
" 'Housemade' ketchup. Give me the damn Heinz and get your banana aoili mess away from me." -- peanutbutterallytime
"I live in Pittsburgh and I have seen multiple restaurants try and fail to make housemade ketchup work. Every single time they go back to Heinz." -- HooBoy401
So if you find yourself tired of hearing people go on and on about something you don't go wild over, know that there are others fuming too.
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It's not easy to always do the right thing.
Which is why most people don't usually do the right thing. Doing the right thing involves a lot of thought, empathy for others, and a self-awareness of your place in the world. You're not making a choice just for yourself, you're more often than not doing it for someone else. This, in itself, presents a difficult hill for most people to climb so, usually, they feel it's easier to make the selfish choice.
Doesn't mean people always do. They can surprise you sometimes.
*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.
What's the hardest moral decision you've ever had to make?
Even when the choice amounts to something small, it can still matter to someone else.
How Dare You Make Me Morally Astute?!
"This is small potatoes compared to most of the people on this thread but many years ago I was travelling and had very little money. I went to a stall at a market, handed them a 10 dollar bill. Item cost 5 dollars but instead of handing me a five dollar note, the handed me a 50."
"I was walking away from the stall when noticed. My first thought was BONUS. But I had lately been hanging out with a bunch of people who were really into karma. So I stormed back to the stall, slammed the 50 down on the counter and told them off for making me make moral decisions. Lady behind the counter was like "ahhhhhh, thanks"
Didn't Believe The First Time, But Can't Deny Visual Evidence
"I told a co-worker his wife was cheating on him. It ruined our friendship for a good amount of time, until he caught her himself."
"To bad he couldn't just believe you."
Owning Up To The Mistake
"Fessing up to an error I made at work that cost the company 5k. I was a manager and misinterpreted a sales promotion. I almost lost my job, this is the one time that telling the truth actually saved me. It's true what they say that the cover up is usually worse than the crime. Lesson learned.."
Doing something morally correct when it comes to family can be tricky. On one hand, you don't want to ruffle the feathers of the people you're going to be related to for the rest of your life...which is how family works.
On the other hand, do the right thing.
Making The Best Call For Your Children
"Removing the mother of my two sons out of their lives completely as she was unfit and abusive while I was on deployment. They were 3-4 years old then and now they are 17 and 15 with their mother never attempting to come back into their lives which I would prefer at this point."
Because They're Going To Be Sad Later...
"My grandmother died, and I lied to my parents about it."
"My grandparents were 95 and my parents hadn't had a vacation in 30 years. So when she passed away with only 5 days remaining on their vacation, my family decided not to ruin it for them; instead, we'd plan the entire funeral and if my mother wanted to make adjustments when she returned, we'd arrange it for her; there was nothing they could do to get her back."
"Having to decide on the DNR (do not resuscitate) order for my father who had been victim to a massive stroke..."
"I know millions have done it before and millions will again but to me it was devastating....."
"As a health worker, you did the right thing by your father. I've come across families of patients who keep them alive for their own peace of mind while the patient themselves is tired and in alot of pain mentally and physically from the constant treatments and would rather rest from it all. Don't feel bad for your decision."
Never doubt your actions when it comes to protecting children.
"Calling CPS on a student's family after she begged me not to. CPS did an investigation and she was pissed at me for months until the vice principal had a talk with her and explained that I only did it because I care and didn't want her to get hurt."
"That VP is awesome. I sat in his office while he coached me through the call, since it was my first time calling CPS."
Standing Up For Your Friend, Even When No One Else Will
"I was in high school and my best friend was being bullied on the bus. She brought a knife to school and had previously mentioned a list of people. I cried a lot when I went to the principal to turn her in. I knew I was ruining her life but I wanted her to get help. I didn't want anyone to get hurt because we were all just kids. She was expelled and forced into therapy. We had been friends since we were 11."
"My mom listened on the phone line when I was trying to comfort my friend (while absolutely not admitting it was me) and my mom jumped on and told her I'm not allowed to be her friend anymore. I had told my mom I had turned her in and she had no empathy for this girl. Because I had been bullied and stood up for myself and never "did anything like that". My friend was getting cornered on the bus by 4 people whereas I was normally taunted in public and was lucky enough to always have an upperclassmen or school employee around to help me out. I felt guilty about turning her life upside down for many years but would do it again because she did get help."
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/