People Describe The Scariest Thing They've Ever Seen While Traveling
Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

As much as I love to travel and see the world, I know the world is full of a ton of crazy.

Traveling is such a fantastic part of life, but one must travel smart. Other lands and other cities don't just let you know their secrets up front.

That is why research is imperative. But even with all the information at your fingertips, there are things you're going to see that no amount of therapy can prepare you for.

That's why half the fun of traveling is survival. So pack a bag and get ready, the world awaits.

Redditor u/SaphireJames wanted to hear about all the crazy things people have witnessed once left the comforts of home by asking:

Frequent travelers of reddit, what's something you saw when traveling that was so scary you never went back?

I remember my excursion to London to stalk Adele. I was nervous to talk to any strangers, mostly because I watched the movie 'Hostel' one too many times. But I was never sure who could be trusted once my American accent was on display. I fear others can relate.

In Manila

"One afternoon when my dad was in college, he was at a bus stop with his friends and cousin when he noticed a pretty girl his age beside them, so he gathered courage to approach her. He says that just as he was about to talk to her, a van came skidding and stopped in front of them. The side door opened and three men snatched the girl into the car. My dad says it all happened so fast that the girl's scream was cut short by the door getting closed and the van speeding away."

"Around a dozen people saw what happened but it was so fast and shocking that it took around half a minute before anyone broke the silence. This was in Manila's university belt and not at all somewhere secluded and yet nothing came out of the investigation - the police never even found out who she was! My dad says he still dreams about it and how the girl's books fell by his feet."

- MisanthropeInLove

"You come with us."

"Throughout high school me and some friends had these trips to south Texas desert near the border. We would camp out in the wilderness and shoot guns or build a bonfire. We graduated in 04. Our last trip was in 05 and we had a really scary experience. We had a campfire going at night. For those that don't know deserts actually get cold at night due to lack of humidity. So we had a campfire going and three guys came out of the darkness into the light of the campfire."

"No hello. No whats up. In very basic English the first guy says. "You come with us." This was not a request. We politely declined and the another guy said. Something in Spanish and was extremely angry. The first guy said to come with them again. We refused and he stepped forward. My friend panicked and pulled his shot gun out."

"Screamed we weren't going anywhere. The English speaking guy simply said. "Ok. Ok. Stay." As he backed up. They left and we quickly put out the fire. I made sure everyone grabbed thier wallets and phones. (Old razor flip phones) We got the he'll out of their and sprinted towards the car."

"As we were driving away we saw 3 sets of headlights driving over the flats. We killed the cars lights and drove in darkness on the road until we lost sight of them.We drove to a sheriff's office to report what had happened. We were told that if our story was true. It's a REAL good thing we did not go with them."

- TheLightningCount1

The Scary Ride

"I went to an ayahuasca retreat in Peru. The retreat itself was amazing and I'd recommend it to every living person. It was held pretty deep in the Amazon and in order to get there you have to either pay for a group bus or take a small motorbike taxi. No one is really willing to drive that far otherwise. After the retreat was over I had a couple days to stay and relax before I came back to the states. The girl that I bunked with had some time as well and we decided to go into Tarapoto, the nearest town, and just adventure around a while."

"We shopped and ate and took a tour through a chocolate factory. She was staying in a hotel in town to catch her early morning flight the next morning so I took a motorbike taxi back to the jungle alone. About halfway down the road the driver stopped and a man holding an AR came up the cab and started asking me questions about where I was going and what I was doing, etc. I was completely alone with the driver, who stopped for this guy and the guy with the really big gun in the middle of the Amazon. I was beyond terrified."

"The whole ordeal lasted less than 5 minutes and ended with me paying the gun guy a "toll" of 10 soles (I think less than $8 USD, not completely sure on the conversion). The driver insisted I had to do this, so I did and we thankfully drove away. A few miles later the driver stopped again and I almost had a heart attack, he insisted he had something to show me and that I should get out of the cab, so I did. It might have been stupid, I still don't know what the right thing to do was."

"He took me to the edge of the road where there was a cliff and below was the spot where a smaller river smashes violently and spectacularly into the face of the Amazon River. It was among the most beautiful and fantastic things I saw in Peru. We stood in silence and watched the rivers merging for a while before he safely delivered me back to the retreat. It was a scary ride, but man what a freaking story."

- Creamofzucchini

911 Dispatchers Share The Most Ridiculous Calls They've Ever Received | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

911 operators have a front-row seat to the moments when people are most stressed out. They are the professionally calm voices on the line when somebody is in...

My Brother's Story

"When he was in college, my younger brother took a cab ride in a border town in Texas. The driver crossed the border (which is fine), but veered off into side streets. Only when my brother and his friends badgered him did he seem to get back on a main road. Then veered off onto a dirt road. My brother (who was 6'6") and his friends told him to stop, to turn around. The man wouldn't."

"Kept saying he knew a better part or club than the one they wanted to go to. My brother's friend threatened the guy. Finally he pulled over and they got out. Heard the next day about a gang that would bring in Americans and kill them and collect their teeth and bones. There was a detective there looking for missing college guys. That story absolutely terrified me to hear."

- One-Armed-Krycek


"We went to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon. One day we decided to take a day trip that the resort was offering. The trip included sightseeing by bus, lunch, a trip to a waterfall and ended with a horseback ride. There were about 7 of us in the group. At the end of the day, we were on our way back to the stables and we ventured underneath a bridge."

"A dude appeared out of the dense bushes/trees cussing at us and swinging a machete. One of the horses dumped it's rider and the rest of us took off while the tour guide "negotiated" ($) with the man. We all made it back to the bus safely but wide-eyed."

- FuftyCent

Well now I'm compiling a list were NEVER to go. And I swear if I see one machete, I'm packing a bag and getting on a plane. In fact, no, forget the bag, just get me to the plane. And what is with all the kidnapping?


"I got into a mini-bus accident in the mountains in Bolivia. The air brakes failed as we were driving down the mountainside. All of sudden the driver side passenger jumped out of the bus on to the road, then all of us passengers started to jump from the moving bus hitting the dirt & rolling. The bus ended up crashing into one of those run-offs built into the side of the mountain. Terrifying experience. From then on I took trains & planes when possible. I don't know if I'd venture to Bolivia again."

- Zan-Tabak

Into the Woods

"Little wood exit in Louisiana. It was dark as sh!t, every sign and street lamp had bullet holes in it. Same night had a car burning on the side of the road. Apparently someone was burned to death in the trunk of the car that night. I'll never take that exit again even if there is daylight with police presence."

- thien228

Duck and Cover

"Olney, Illinois. Had my car windows (left rear and rear) shot out as I was traveling south and approaching a railroad overpass. Bullet entered through the left rear window and exited out the rear window. I continued south until I was able to pull into a convenience store to examine the damage and to call the local police."

"When the police arrived, they looked at my shot-out windows and said 'Hmm, this hasn't happened for a couple of months now.' So it must be a somewhat regular thing in Olney Illinois for the cop to be so blaise about it. I will never go back to that place."

- Aftershock5150

When in East Texas

"Went camping with buddies in East Texas. There was a national forest campsite but when we got there it had apparently been abandoned. turns out the campsite had been closed for years but they'd never updated the website. There were holes in the roof of the bathroom, etc. We were there anyway so camped. But then at night heard people shooting guns nearby with people yelling and flashlights in the woods. We got out of there quick."

- valeyard89

Poor Pooches

"As much as I loved my time in China overall, there were a few moments where you saw the horrendous treatment of animals and there was nothing you could do."

- Usidore_

No Mingling

"I visited a college friend who moved to Kentucky a few years after we graduated. He was driving me around and said that there was a local diner that wouldn't serve us if we went in. When I asked why, he said it's because he was white and I was Asian, and they didn't believe in "mingling of the races." Thought he was kidding, but nope. My dude drove us through a sundown town like it was some kind of tourist attraction."

- CircusMasterKlaus


"Crackhead knife fight. Never going to Tennessee again."

- DatGingaSnappaCracka

"Some people have to pay to see that. Consider yourself lucky."

- richard-777

That was the reason the dogs barked...

"We were fixin' to move from OKC to Florida my husband was in the process of getting out of the Air Force. We had already out processed our base housing and we were staying at a motel til we could leave. One night our dogs started to bark woke up and told them to be quiet. The next day we were coming back from getting some supper and there were cops and a corner outside the hotel."

"We go in and they don't let us go to our room. I am standing holding my one year old son as they wheel out the body of the guy from the room next door. He had shot himself the night before. That was the reason the dogs barked. We didn't hear a thing."

- rednkgerman

In a Mexican bar...

"A terrible port city in Mexico, bar. Electrician I had been working with for a few days gets hammered and decides he needs to confess about his time working as an enforcer for the cartels in Haiti. The work we were doing, (electrical stuff on ships) he could have ended me at any time and it would have been just another work accident."

- n_eats_n

PR in 03...

"This happened in Puerto Rico back in 03. I would often take long drives to random and secluded or closed beaches at night so I could study in peace. One night while I was out studying I just happened to glance at my rearview mirror and saw that an illegal firearms deal was taking place right behind me."

"Apparently they weren't concerned about the presence of a witness, which I found to be a huge red flag. Without turning on my headlights, I crept out of that spot and drove off. No one followed me. Definitely ranks in my top ten creepiest encounters."

"Edit: yes there are more. Mostly involving handsy old men in public places. #1 is a neighbor who declared his undying love for me within a week after first meeting me. I started going on my walks before dawn after that."


"I'm a truck driver so not so much travels. But one day when I was on the road I seen an accident happen right in front of me and a baby no older then 1 get ejected. Of course I slammed on the breaks and ran over to the kid he was fine. The parents didn't have him strapped in. So I don't like going down that highway but I have to sometimes still if that counts."

- Olaf636

Dangerous Shoppers

"This happened when my family was visiting my cousins in Frankfort. My sister and I went to Walgreens to pick up some pictures. When we were at the checkout, a man came in the store with a gun and started yelling. My sister started crying and since the checkout station is right next to the exit, I told her that we should stay put until the man was gone. Luckily no one got hurt and we made it out safely."

- aleiaz

Girls Abroad

"Back in 2014 I was with my study abroad class in the old town area of Brussels, so the most touristy area. I was with 3 or 4 other white American college girls, so not alone. Just a block or two from the main gorgeous square was a street we had been told had loads of affordable restaurants. When we get to said street the men in front of the restaurants told us verbatim "this place isn't safe for little girls."

"We GTFO of there really quickly because that was such a weird and creepy thing for the restaurant staff to tell us. We got amazing fried food near the train station instead, but I do not recommend Brussels as a solo female traveler. We felt we were being followed several times after that, again not in a rough part of town or alone. Only place in Western Europe I've felt nearly that unsafe."

- bunbunstyle


"Traveling cross country from Boston to California. Had a great time except in Pennsylvania where we each got speeding tickets and had to pay them on the spot. Nebraska was frightening to us as we saw one tornado during the day and then woke up to sirens at 2am. An employee pounded on our door and told us we needed to take shelter. We left as soon as it got light. We wanted to get away from tornado alley."

- cynner69

The Witch

"We brought our big pickup truck out in the middle of the woods, and right as we were going across a train line, an old lady that looks like a witch (a seemingly paranoid camper warned us against something like this) comes out of nowhere and she kept insisting we get out of the car so she can help us with something. My dad just kept saying no, and eventually he revved on the engine, and the back of the car swung around like a movie, and we got out of there."

- Total-Success2207

Well now I'm depressed. And henceforth will only plan staycations. The loopiest person I see is my mailman. And I only see him from the window. Home is where the safe is.

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