Gas stations are a necessary evil. They often smell, they can take a while, you have to drop some cash, and there's no knowing who you'll encounter there.
It was that last detail that a recent Reddit thread zeroed in on.
Plenty of people have all sorts of alarming stories to come out of their time spent at gas stations. Nighttime stops are especially infamous.
So if you have any interest in thinking twice the next time you go to fill up, read on.
Redditor loftwinglink asked:
"What's the scariest experience you've ever had at a gas station or rest stop?"
Many people shared experiences that were downright creepy. Sometimes the vibes are just palpably unnerving.
"Bitter cold, dark MN winter, gassing up at 5:30am. Just barely awake."
"While I'm at the pump, I see a bundled up dude, hoodie pulled tight around his face walk out of the gas station, right past my pump, avoids eye contact and heads down the street. No big deal, it's winter, right?"
"I finish fueling up, pay at the pump. I head to the station to grab a snack and the door is locked. Lights on, I can see employees gathered in there...but they won't let me in."
"Suddenly it dawns on me... They just got robbed. At gunpoint. By the dude that had just walked by me a minute ago."
"Checked the news later that day. A robbery. If I had been 2 minutes earlier, I'd have been inside while it happened."
"Crazy world, I tell ya."
Nope, Nope, Nope
"A while ago I had an early flight leaving at 6am so I was driving to the off-airport parking and was very low on gas. I pulled into a gas station close to the airport around 4am."
"The station was poorly lit and I noticed there were two guys sitting outside drinking and a third guy came out - but I was the only one at the pumps. When the third guy started walking to my car I realized how vulnerable I was. I drove away immediately without getting gas."
Very Poor Maintenance
"Just last week I was returning a rental car to an Enterprise location in Philadelphia and needed to top up the gas tank. The only gas station the Waze app would show us close by was a Getty."
"When we pulled up to the station my eyes went wide: every single pump was vandalized (broken or missing panels/signs), broken glass all over the parking lot, all of the doors were shuttered except for one lone door and a weak 'open' light."
"We drove right through without stopping and just returned the car without filling the tank."
When YOU Are the Creepy
"This is probably the reverse of what people expect to read here. It's not like it's a spooky horrifying experience, just my scariest experience. Some friends and I wanted some snacks from corner store/gas station, I was sitting in the back right seat... so pulled up near the front and dropped me off in and out... "
"So anyways I grab all the snacks and come back out and enter back into the car and before / while entering I can't see my friends in the front.... huh? Anyways I continue to enter the car and sit down look to my left and there's a little kid just sitting there staring at me. I was the stranger."
"I entered the exact same car model/color where it dropped me off like 1 minute earlier but it was not my friends vehicle.... all I could think is that some dad is about explode on me... so I quickly get out of the vehicle and spot my friends parked just ahead in a parking spot now and quickly head over and recount what just happened."
"So that may have been my scariest experience and that kids scariest experience."
Nowhere to Go
"Waiting for a complete tire change at a garage in San Antonio years ago. Guy beside me noticed I smoked a pipe. (Since stopped smoking)."
"He pulls out a tobacco pouch, unzips it, and holds it out. 'Check what I keep in there,' he says. So I look. Find a severed human finger."
"He goes on to explain he was an interrogator for the Army and took it as a souvenir in South America."
"So I'm sitting beside a psychopath pretending everything's normal for like an hour. Freaked me out. Creepy as anything."
The Getaway Car
"4 friends and I were driving from Ontario Canada to Florida for New Years. We drove 21 hours straight to get there. In rural West Virginia our SUV ran out of gas and we luckily coasted into a super sketchy gas station in the middle of nowhere at 230am. Not a soul in site. The man behind the counter told us to put 5$ in the car and get the hell out of there."
"The gas station was notorious for late night robberies. As we were just about finished filling up, 3 men with guns emerged from the darkness and began walking directly towards our vehicle. I wasn't waiting around to see what they wanted."
"Jumped in the suv and took off. 15-20 minutes down the road was a small town with a well lit station, we decided to stop their and finish filling the tank."
"Was trying to pay for gas at the pump with a credit card. It said card declined, please see cashier. So I tried a different card. That one also said card declined, see cashier. I didn't want to go in. So I drove my car around to another pump there. I use a different card again to try to pay and once again, it says card declined, see cashier."
"At this point I was annoyed so I was like, maybe if they swipe it inside, it'll work. So I went in. The cashier was like finally you came in, you're so beautiful, etc etc what is your number?"
"It completely creeped me out because I think he was purposely declining my card at the pump so I'd have to go inside and see him"
Others shared stories about the dangerous moments they've encountered at the pump. Remember, it's all flammable.
"Working at a gas station. This lady came in through the front door and said she was having a problem out at the pumps."
"She'd clicked the lever that let the nozzle keep pumping gas, but then somehow managed to pull the nozzle out of her car's receptacle. Not knowing what to do, she walked to the store and told me about it."
"I thought she'd just spilled a little gas on the pad, but no...she'd left the nozzle on the ground, spilling gallons of fuel onto the pad. By the time I got out there, it was a pool of flammable liquid."
"Holy sh**. Shut down the pumps, evacuate the area, call the fire department. No, ma'am, don't get into your car and drive away. Don't touch anything. The FD showed up and said 'wow...we've never seen anything this bad.' "
"Fortunately, the gas station didn't blow up. Took a few hours to clean up the mess. In the middle of an Arizona summer. In 100 degree heat."
"20 years ago I worked at a marina gas dock. Guy comes in to get his boat filled"
"What no one knew was that the guys who had just finished fixing his boat hadn't properly reconnected up his gas lines."
"So as my coworker was pumping gas into his boat, the gas isn't going into his fuel tank, but was instead flowing into his bilge"
"Then the bilge pump automatically kicked in to deal with the rising 'water' level inside the boat."
"Had that pump sparked, the fireball would have burned us all to dust. Instead it just created a bit of an ecological nightmare as all the gas that we'd pumped into the boat got pumped out into the lake."
People Share Which Social Norms Absolutely Baffle Them | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
A Foot Away
"I was parked at a rest stop in the middle of Texas, stretching my legs. There was a good amount of traffic right behind me on the highway and plenty of road noise."
"As I stepped towards the restrooms, I heard some horns honking so I glanced over my shoulder while walking and felt a rush of wind and the roar of a truck engine go past me."
"Traffic was stopping on the highway and an 18 wheeler lost its brakes and went hauling a** through the rest stop parking lot and nearly took me and 4 cars out, but managed to avoid everything except a dog poop station on his way through."
"If I wouldn't have slowed down to look over my shoulder, I would have been a smear on the asphalt"
Zero Thinking Happening Here
"Dude flicked a cigarette but into a garbage can filled mostly with receipt paper and the whole can lit on fire; I quickly dumped the can over, stomped out what I could, and poured the absorbent cat-litter like stuff over it to put it out."
"When I called the guy a fu**ing idiot, he threatened to call the manager."
"Me and a few mates were driving back from getting McDonalds when I was about 19 and I stopped to fill up my car on the way back. I fill, pay, then head back to my car and decide to clean the windscreen because it's pretty dirty."
"As I'm doing so, the guy who works there comes barreling out the doors, screaming and waving his arms. He looked completely insane and he was running right towards me. I sh** myself and run through all the reasons why a perfectly normal station attendant has suddenly gone full axe murderer crazy."
"It's not until I look behind me that I see one of my mates standing next to the car, lighting a cigarette, 5ft from the bowsers. His reason as he would later quote was 'You were taking too long.' I stood there gobsmacked as the guy screamed at my friend and then at me, who honestly had zero idea it was happening or that he could be that fu**in stupid."
"For the record. I am not friends with that guy anymore."
Finally, plenty of people have been unlucky enough to encounter violence at the pump. Though it didn't involve them directly, it was horrifying to witness.
A Nearly-Lethal Blow
"Gas station in Poway CA in 2009, I witnessed an attempted murder. I was sitting in my truck with the lights off late at night. I saw a a teenager hit another teenager in the head with what looked like a chunk of rebar. Kid went down and the other kid ran away. Somebody called 911."
"Kid was unconscious and bleeding. Ambulance came for the kid. I Gave a description to the cops. They found the kid in a garage a block away. I identified him from the back of the police cruiser while the cops had him pressed against the wall. I had to give a statement of what I witnessed to the juvenile court in San Diego."
All for $60
"I went to pick my sister up from the circle K she worked at. There were cops and an ambulance (leaving) when I pulled up. Found out that my baby sister had been jumped and was robbed."
"I get to the ER and she has a blanket pulled up to her face and she is saying. 'Don't freak out. Don't freak out. I'm ok' she took it like a champ I'm telling you.
"She had 2 black eyes. A broken elbow. A split lip. Broken nose."
"The video was hard to watch. She came out of the freezer to say hello and he hit her so hard in the face that she fell backwards into the freezer and hit the floor. He stood over her and continued to punch and kick her. My 100 lb sister is seen kicking and punching him back."
"She was more mad that she was beat up over 60 dollars in the register than anything else. Because she had pulled the drop out and had it sitting in a folder under the register and the man didn't grab it. 😂 'If I am going to get beat up he could have at least took the 400 dollars under the register.' "
"The crazy thing was the man was caught. Covered in blood. They tested the DNA on from the on him for the trial…. The blood didn't belong to him or my sister. 😳"
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that this is a biased sample of people's worst moments. But nonetheless, keep that head on a swivel next time you're gassing up.
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The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.