People Share Their Seemingly Insignificant Relationship Dealbreakers
Relationships are about understanding the ebbs and flows of others. Every person is unique, with their own preferences, their own quirks, and it's critical to comprehend how to properly adapt to them. The hope is they, too, will adjust and learn to work and live with you as well. However, sometimes there's a moment that goes one step too far. A dealbreaker to kill the relationship dead.
Reddit user, u/jbyrd13, wanted to know what would put the kibosh on a relationship for you when they asked:
What's a relationship dealbreaker to you that may seem insignificant to other people?
"Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way"
Needing to hear "Hotel California" every time we make love.
No One Wants To Date A Cow
Chewing with their mouths open/ making noise when they chew.
This makes my blood boil uncontrollably even for people I'm not in a relationship with.
Get On That PDA
If you're not touching me, putting your hand on my leg, wrapping your arms around me, kissing me for no reason, holding my hand, or grabbing my arm, then I think you don't care for me...
What's A Few Tunes?
Hating my singing.
My ex groaned every time I'd sing quietly to myself or along with the radio, and it took a lot of joy out of my life. Having someone who doesn't mind and ever likes it when I sing let's me actually be myself.
"No Little Johnny. Smoking Isn't Cool."
I don't want you to be a smoker.
My grandfather has emphysema from a lifetime of smoking. I don't want to go through that life with anyone.
I still blame cigarettes for my mom's cancer, especially when I remember her sneaking off to the restroom, barely able to walk and while wearing a freaking oxygen mask, to get a smoke in on her last day of life.
Sorry for going dark there, Reddit, but seriously, don't smoke tobacco.
Our Relationship Is OUR Relationship
I think another user might have posted this already, but having your friend's or family involved with every aspect of your relationship, to the point of them controlling it.
I had an ex who told me as soon as we started dating that his friend's and family's opinion and company came first over me, like as in, I was not priority. I agreed to it, (I was young and stupid) because of the family part (because family is important). But then, as the relationship progressed, he allowed his friends to control when we saw each other, as well as his mother, and it became too much. It was a huge red flag.
When I finally got fed up and confronted him, he seemed to understand, because we had the discussion privately. Next day, he broke up with me, because, you guessed it, he talked to his friends and his mom, and they said to. Two years down the drown. I could understand it if we were like really young, but we were out of high school... it shouldn't have ended that way.
Kids Aren't Alright
Wanting to have children.
I absolutely do not want children.
I had this problem. Came to a head at almost the 10 year mark. She changed her mind. I didn't. It sucked but there was no choice but to part ways.
I Am A Person
Invalidating my emotions, i.e., I'll be mad at you because you're mad at me, without trying to understand why you're mad at me. See also: never apologizing for anything
"I'm sorry that you're upset." Yeah no, that's not an apology.
"How Can I Miss You...?"
Wanting to be around all the time. I would go insane if I never got any time to myself.
Me and my lady recently moved from a house to an RV. The toughest adjustment is no alone time cause there is nowhere to go away to. I love her but as the saying goes "How can I miss you if you won't go away?"
Love Me For Who I Am
One time a close female friend of mine told the group about how she's made her boyfriend get rid of all his old clothes so that she could make him buy fancy new ones. One of my other friends made a comment to the effect of "Good for you! What's the use in dating a man with a nice butt if he's not wearing pants that show it off properly?" Everyone laughed and agreed. Over the years I heard similar stories from other female friends of mine who did that to their boyfriends, and other male friends of mine who's girlfriends did it to them.
Thinking back on it later I would actually break up with someone who forced that on me. I wear clean clothes, I brush my teeth twice a day, I shower daily; I'm not a slob by any means. If that's not enough for you, if you're going to try to forcibly control my body and my wardrobe because they don't live up to your fashion standards, then I would consider that grounds for a break up. I had that fight with my mother my whole childhood, I'm not spending my adulthood rehashing it with my partner.
Best Not Be Horrible
I didn't realize how important not being horrible at kissing was to me until I dated a lady that was horrible at it.
What's worse is that it's not even hard. Even if you're not *good* at it, it's extremely difficult to be *bad* at it and yet some people manage to go above and beyond.
Unplug For A Bit
Someone who is heavily into social media. I don't mind the special posts here and there, but if you're taking selfies or asking people to take a pic of you everywhere you go and posting it every day, that's a deal breaker for me.
Don't make promises or commitments you have no intention on keeping.
My last boyfriend invited me and my family over for steak dinner and he microwaved all the steaks in the microwave.
Communication Is Tricky
I genuinely hate text-based conversations, but if you can't even make the effort to add something to that conversation (or suggest an alternative), then I don't want to meet up with you. I *hate* them, but I'm trying anyways. You should, too.
TLDR: Online dating is a nightmare
I kind of have the opposite problem. I really really HATE talking on the phone. It makes me very uncomfortable and anxious but it takes a lot of effort to make people understand and respect that, especially people who are around 35 and up.
Let Me Be Me
having to constantly message or stay in contact. I really don't like having to stop what I'm doing to text someone back straight away, I get called out by family and friends for not responding enough but I'm really just not interested, I don't want to put so much focus on my phone or instant messaging and some people don't seem to understand this. When someone constantly wants your attention giving it to them becomes a chore and very one-sided. These days, once I see these patterns, I either confront them or cut it off with that as the reason.
Lying about little things - I've got multiple friends who date liars, and it blows my mind that they don't care, or don't notice.
Be Your Own Person
They must be capable of individual thought, if they follow trends and blindly adopt their parents politics and religious beliefs without question, I have no interest.
I Am Where I Am
Location updates... I don't know why, I've never even been tempted to cheat or anything like that. Had a girlfriend who wanted them regularly, wouldn't drop it, so I dropped her.
What happens what the manager can’t manage themselves? As these Redditors can attest, even bosses aren’t immune from a good firing. From the harassing department heads to the leaders in thievery, seniority offers little protection to un-super supervisors. With delicious luck, some of these employees had a direct hand in pushing their boss over the edge. Sharpen that resume to these 42 delicious stories about workers who got their bosses fired.
1. Fight You in the Unemployment Line
He grabbed the back of my neck and said, "If you ever say I'm wrong in front of a customer again I will beat you up." I went to the GM and told him, and my supervisor was relieved of his duties about 5 minutes later.
2. Cash for the Camera
I took a cell phone video of her taking money from the safe and putting it in her wallet. I knew she was doing it, and I also knew that the moment it came out that money was missing she'd blame it on me. She was so stupid that she didn't realize she should stop doing that while I was standing ten feet away with my phone out and facing her.
3. Should Have Focused on Your Own To-Do Listman standing beside wallPhoto by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash
The CEO publicly praised me for completing a task that my boss had struggled with, so my boss retaliated by forwarding all of his tasks to me in an effort to overwhelm me with work. I actually found his job pretty manageable, which the CEO also noticed and fired him, giving me his job and office.
4. Headcase at the Head of It
I was working maintenance at an ice rink. The rule for anyone who knows how an ice rink works is if the Zamboni doors open, you get the heck off the ice. Some jerk decided to ignore the fact that they were open, and that I was standing in the doorway, and decided to rip off one last slapshot. The puck bounced off the glass and hit me in the head. I was okay, but reported it to my boss, because we have to fill out an incident report for things like that.
The boss asked, "Are you okay?" I said I feel okay, then he responded with "Well, we don't really have to report it then do we?" I reminded him of the protocol, but it was clear he didn't want to do it. Since he wouldn't do it, I sent a descriptive email of the incident up to the administration, because I felt there should be some sort of documentation/paper trail, in case, god-forbid, I ended up having a brain hemorrhage or something a few days later. The boss was fired by my next shift.
5. Uhh, What?
When I was being fired, I told management the manager had said he wanted to off his ex-wife and her new boyfriend to orphan their child. He was fired shortly after and the authorities showed up to take him out of the building.
6. The Fall of a Drama Queena woman wearing glassesPhoto by Centre for Ageing Better on Unsplash
A tenured faculty member was controlling of the personal lives of members on her "drama team," She made them simulate lewd acts onstage and filmed it. I told the Dean. She was terminated. Saw her around town the other day and safe to say...11 years later...she still HATES me.
7. Dishonorable Discharge
My (former) immediate supervisor in the Armed Forces was a misogynistic jerk who just so happened to also enjoy occasionally harassing me for fun. He would discreetly touch me in front of everyone to see if I dared say anything back, so he could then berate me for "giving him attitude.” The breaking point was when he grabbed my hand and forced me to touch him during a pat-down. Moved on to a new unit, reported him. Turns out there were 7 other women with similar experiences—as there always are. He gone.
8. Not Moved by His Excuse
Our executive director was moving and took my practicum student and a low-level employee to his house to help him move furniture. I told him that was unacceptable, both from a respect and a liability perspective. His response to me was, “You know since I hired you, I can fire you, right?” I told him to go ahead and try it, then promptly called our board, who dismissed him that week.
9. Bad Griefman in green shirt and blue knit cap sitting on floorPhoto by Mulyadi on Unsplash
I phoned him to tell him I won't be at work for the rest of the week as my mum is terminally ill in hospital. The next day (about an hour after she passed), he phoned and asked why I wasn't at work. I just hung up on him so I wouldn't say anything that would get me in trouble.
The next day I sent the area-manager a WhatsApp message explaining what he'd be done and attached a video of him breaking the freezer door while having a tantrum which cost the store nearly £5000 in lost stock and the repair costs (which he'd told the AM had broke on its own). He got fired that day and I got two weeks off with full pay.
10. My Boss is a Heartbreaker
I had a doctor that constantly ignored patients in serious pain. He thought all of them were faking it to get pain killers. After a senior director at Microsoft had a heart attack in our ER that he refused to do an EKG on, and the guy didn't make it, I went to management and told them what I had seen.
11. Take a Mile in My Shoes
I was fired because I "abandoned my job" while on short-term disability, even though I was on approved leave. They made a date for me to return, never informed me (by their own admission), and when I obviously didn't return to work...I was fired. The locker I had at work had my work boots in it that the company pays $90 a year towards.
However, there isn't a pair under $100 available. So, you always end up having some come out of your paycheck. At that point, they are yours regardless of the company line. They disagreed and said they were thrown out, I reported them stolen, and the HR director responsible for getting me fired was fired.
12. Higher Learning for Somebodytwo men sitting in front of a laptop computerPhoto by Flipsnack on Unsplash
About 15 years ago, I worked at a major university in the IT department. After I was hired, it took me a couple of months to realize my boss was a sociopath, as was his #2 guy. Once I realized what I was dealing with, I just tried to keep my head down because I didn't want to job hop so soon after leaving my last job. But they made that impossible.
We had a database administrator and I was interested in becoming a DBA so I talked to him a lot about what I should do to transition from a programmer to a DBA. The VP of IT, my boss’s boss, would stop by and talk to me and ask me about my aspirations, so I told her about wanting to be a DBA and that I was actually taking night classes so I could.
This was a woman who my boss referred to as "she who must be obeyed" in a totally disrespectful manner. As the months went on, I saw more and more egregious behavior by my boss and his #2 toady. We had a large corporation consulting on transition to their database. This included a young guy who was doing the database install including ordering the right equipment and migrating the data.
We also had student workers in our department. They were students who worked part-time hours. One of these was a young woman. The big corp young guy and the young woman started going to lunch together. Apparently, this was offensive to my boss, who threatened both of them with termination for "fraternization.” The university had no such rule, my boss was just making it up as he went.
About six months after I was hired, the DBA quit. I went into our weekly staff meeting and at the end, my boss announces that I'd been promoted to DBA. My spidey-senses were tingling because of his tone of voice and because this was the first, I was hearing about it. After the meeting, I went to his office to thank him and tell him I really appreciated the chance.
He was very angry. Apparently, his boss had made him promote me. I had no idea. The next thing I know, I'm being called into my boss's #2 guy's office. He tells me that performance reviews were coming up and I would have to be reviewed on job description of DBA rather than the job description of my old position. That is, unless I turned down the DBA position.
Yep, he was threatening me to get me to turn down the promotion. I asked him to see the written description of my old position as well as the one for DBA. He couldn't give them to me because they didn't exist. Now, I can be a pretty stubborn gal, and this really made me mad. I didn't do anything wrong and now my job was being threatened.
Part of my job duties during the six months of my employment involved working with the head of every department of the university, including the law department. I had a good working relationship with every head of every department. So, I made an appointment with the university's head counsel. I explained the situation to him including my boss's boss making him promote me and my boss threatening me with my performance review.
I told him that, although I was studying to be a DBA, I was really not qualified to be one without some hard work and if the university didn't want me to take the position, I would absolutely turn it down. I also mentioned my boss's nickname for his boss, and the issue with the student worker and the big corp guy. Apparently, the student worker had already filed a harassment complaint, so the head counsel knew about it.
He told me I had been promoted by someone (boss's boss) who had every right to promote me and I should not worry about anything. He said if my boss gave me any more trouble that I should let him know. A week later, my boss and his #2 toady were fired. My boss ended up working at a small city college and is there to this day. I pity his employees. I left the university about two years later and had a successful career as a DBA.
13. Not Tickled to Work With You
In college, I worked in a take-out restaurant just off campus, and we were all employed by the school. I was 17-18 years old (back in 2007/2008) and my boss, the manager, was a 40-something creeper. Hitting on me, touching me inappropriately (trying to massage my shoulders, tickling me, putting his hands on/around my waist) despite me asking him to stop.
Then he friended me on Facebook, I declined, and suddenly my work schedule was changed. I was on shift during hours when I had class, and when I explained that problem, I got taken off the schedule altogether. I told the assistant manager what was going on (which I was explicitly told by the manager not to talk to the assistant) and he reported what was going on to upper management—boom, the manager was fired. I worried for a while if he was going to come after me for that.
14. Big Boss is Watching You…for Now
My manager wanted to prove I was slacking off so he could write me up. So, he watched CCTV footage then wrote, printed out, and SIGNED a detailed 17-page Word document what I did in the past two days. With timestamps (like, 07:59 arriving, 08:01 speaking with co-worker A and B, 08:07 sitting down to my desk, etc.). He told me that he's not happy with my work ethics, and if I won't improve my efficiency, I'm fired.
I took the papers and showed to his boss and told her that I'm not happy with my manager’s work ethics and his efficiency might be better if he wouldn't watch 17 hours of CCTV footage to spy on an employee. She was terrified (it would've been a rock-solid lawsuit for me, but I love my job) and we had to search for a new manager. Also, I got a raise.
15. A Matter of Life and Employmentwhite and black microscope on white surfacePhoto by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash
I worked at a facility that manufactured medical devices, mainly catheters. One day, a work order came in and my manager came into the clean room to hand me the work order and to enter in the order specs (things like dip speed, dwell time, extraction speed and cure time) for the production run. Entering in the specs is literally the one thing I wasn't allowed to do.
That had to be done by a supervisor or the manager. After he leaves, just for the heck of it, I double check the specs before I start the test run. The specs were off. Like, WAY off. I call the manager who literally just entered them in and asked him if he knew something I didn't and if he wanted me to correct them. He vehemently told me to leave the specs as is and run the machine as per his specs.
I ask for his reasoning (something I don't normally do, but I had a funny feeling) and all he said was, "They won't know the difference." Now, considering these catheters go INSIDE of people and can cause serious injury if they are faulty, I call up the production manager and tell him what’s going down. He's on the phone for less than ten seconds, and all he tells me is to stop production and to hang out.
Cool, I hadn't even started so I left the clean room and took a break. Not even five minutes later I hear some yelling, a door slam, and the production manager goes into the clean room to enter the specs into the machine and has me verify the specs right in front of him. He turns to me and says, "If this ever happens again, with anyone, let me know. Personally."
They put him on suspension and sent him home. They started an investigation, (there's a ton of paperwork and lots of paper trails when it comes to medical devices) and it turns out he had been fudging the numbers for a solid month and not with just this customer. The company that had been ordering the products threw a fit, and said they would find another manufacturing company if you don't fire the guy (my boss) immediately.
It was a multimillion-dollar contract at risk, so he was gone after the week-long investigation. All I got was a measly handshake and thanks from the owner of the company. In short: the boss was knowingly fudging the specs on medical device manufacturing. I found out, told his boss, he got fired.
16. Freelancer’s Choice
I took a phone call on my cell when at my desk. Middle manager came up and screamed at me. Yelling about how I was not allowed to take calls for clients while at that office. I was a contractor and made it perfectly clear that I did work for multiple clients prior to doing work for this company. The CTO’s office was 10 feet from mine. He came out and stood in his doorway listening to the rant.
When the middle manager was done, I just looked over at the CTO and said: “it’s him or me and at the moment I don’t give a hoot which you pick.” CTO walked the middle manager out right then. Funny thing: I didn’t hang up throughout the incident. And it was my wife on the other end. I was spending about 70 hours a week at their site digging their staff out of a hole they had dug themselves in.
17. In Bed With The Enemy
I’ve told this story a few times before, so I’ll keep it short. I didn’t get my boss fired, but she blames me. Boss and I didn’t get along, but she didn’t have the authority to fire me. But she promised her boyfriend my job. So, she hires her boyfriend in another position, with the plan they’ll drive me to quit, and then she can just promote him to my job. This lasted for about a month.
She fired him when they broke up. He confessed their scheme to me on his way out (we’d actually become friends at this point), and I tell him he should really tell HR. HR does their investigation, she’s fired because “sleep with me and I’ll give you a job” is textbook harassment. And she tells anyone who’ll listen that it’s all my fault because I didn’t quit like I was supposed to.
18. Skimming Off the Topperson holding a white and brown cakePhoto by LikeMeat on Unsplash
Not me, but my GF at the time. We were both working at a small burrito chain, she was front of house manager and I was kitchen manager. Above us was one senior manager and then the owner. We did tip pooling based on hours, and the senior manager always told my GF not to count the tips every night, as he divided it up at the end of the week.
Well. Of course, she counted them every night. Turns out the senior manager was stealing almost $500 a week from employees in tips, and because his previous FOH manager never questioned him it had likely been going on for years. She told the owners and he was gone the next day. A week later his wife left him.
19. The Fall of an Empire
Public agency hires someone out of the private industry at the vice president level. She immediately begins hiring all her cronies and butt-kissers from her old job at very nice salaries for jobs that didn't previously exist. That's the sort of corruption we're used to in North Carolina, so no biggie so far. But she runs out of slots she can just create with a little paperwork so she starts to harass people in order to get them to quit so she can fill their jobs with her friends.
One job was that of an executive assistant, and she was pretty harsh on the woman who had that job. I witnessed some of this and told the assistant to take it to HR—which she did, and HR just told her to document everything. So, she did and one day the VP caught her recording a yell-fest on her phone. The VP wanted to know what was up, so the exec assistant told her that HR wanted documentation and that I had told her how to record conversations on a cell phone (which was OK, BTW, I checked).
So, she yells at the exec assistant, yells at me, and then gets on the phone to HR, yelling at them that they were a bunch of incompetent fools, and that she wanted to know what kinda Mickey Mouse outfit she was working for if she couldn't fire whoever the heck she wanted to fire. Sure enough, HR initiates an investigation that took 300 hours (!!) of interviews with everyone in the department and a board of inquiry headed up by a Senior VP.
She was called to the Senior VP’s office at 4:30 in the afternoon and when we came to work at 8 the next morning, her office was cleared out. Most of the cronies she hired were gone with a couple of months; no one wanted to work with them so with no projects on their docket, they knew the writing was on the wall. When the last of the cronies left, her job was eliminated, and her staff transferred elsewhere. It was like the evil VP and her mob never existed.
20. Don’t Wake Sleeping Beauty
It was the night shift, and for years this freaking guy had been either locking himself in the office and playing video games all night, or going home and freaking sleeping on the clock…and no, I'm not making that up. Finally, one night, the regional manager showed up for a surprise visit at like 3AM...it was a group effort, the night crew took great pleasure in telling the RM exactly where his night manager was.
21. They Don’t Teach Manners in Management Schoolman sitting on couch while smilingPhoto by Tyler Nix on Unsplash
He'd show up every day and tell us a tale of his bedroom exploits. Whether true or not, none of us wanted to hear it. If an attractive looking female came in, he drops what he's doing and stares at her, drooling like a dog in a dog treat factory. After she leaves, he had to say a comment about her appearance. After talking on the phone with a certain manager, he always comments on how nice her bum is.
He'd be so awful to us employees and other managers. Called us bitches a lot despite us getting onto him for it. My female coworkers reported him. We all had a phone meeting with our district manager and HR. He was suspended until the investigation was over and they ruled to terminate him. Surprisingly HR worked for us that day.
22. PowerPoint or Power Don’t?
He was presenting a PowerPoint that I had put together to all the managers in the building. There was something he wanted to add at the last minute that he had never told me about, and when it wasn't there, he screamed at me for like 5 minutes straight. Yelling, name-calling, telling me to prove to him that I had a college degree and wasn't just making it up.
I was a contractor, so I was afraid to complain to HR because I assumed, they'd just fire me, but a lot of other people in the room did. After the meeting, I went into the share drive folder to find the presentation notes where the extra information was supposedly located. I watched the last changed time change from a day ago to the current time, then he immediately called and said it was right there in the notes file. He was fired the next day for unprofessional behavior.
23. Falling Down the Ladder
Not fired but demoted. I got fired and explained in my exit interview how the reason I wasn’t making progress on my project is that I had no idea what I was doing. I was never trained, my work-from-home boss in another location took off for 4 hours a day to run errands and go to the gym, etc. etc. They checked my story out and ended up demoting my boss, taking her off the project, and taking away all her direct reports.
24. Deep Fried and Fireda square metal container filled with onion ringsPhoto by Tal Molcho on Unsplash
I had a very old, by-the-book manager when I worked fast food. She would always criticize people for not doing their jobs 100% correctly and she often insulted employees. One time while I was on fry duty, I purposefully pulled the fries out a few seconds early and made sure a second manager was watching. She came up to me and said: "I told you before, take the fries out AS SOON AS THEY ARE DONE!! Next time, I'll dip your head in the fryer." The other manager saw, and more people commented on her behavior and she was gone the next day.
25. Not Too Old to Avoiding a Schooling
My wife and I worked at a level-four elderly facility on a part-time basis for four years. It was easy, we loved the clients, very low stress, etc. What we didn't know was the administrator was in a time card scam involving herself and several other people there. Other than some minor theft, she was a fantastic boss. They brought in this mousy little number cruncher as her replacement.
Soon after, the place went bad. The woman had no clue how to run a human services job and we all know we'd be out and fast. Soon enough, I got called in on a random day off to have a "meeting" and I knew I was going in to get canned. Taking the lead from a Dirty Harry movie, I stuffed a bunch of papers into a large envelope and was on my way.
She's waiting for me with the town board behind her, all ready to send my puny butt home...but it didn't go that way. I told the board president that I had personally witnessed and documented enough misdoings at the place that her not being busted for elder abuse would be a miracle. Not to mention she was having an affair with the cook. The woman turned the color of old parchment as I listed the places I was going with this information. I was let go, she was too, about a week later and the entire staff was replaced.
26. Bad Teamwork Dies Hard…With a Vengeance
About 13-14 years ago, I was working as a web designer for a dot-com. In our immediate group were a creative director, a creative manager, and two of us who were designers. We were all part of the marketing department. The creative director was a joke. He was brought in by the previous VP of Marketing, who he was friends with.
He hardly did any work himself, and just played online poker waiting on us to send him things for approval. And he'd never stick around late when the rest of us needed to stay late to hit a deadline or deal with a crisis, etc. The creative manager, who'd been in charge for a couple of years before the creative director's hiring, still ran the day-to-day.
So, the creative manager gave his notice that he'd accepted a new job, and when I met with the current VP of marketing to discuss transition, I mentioned that the creative director would need to step up and pull his weight. I guess a similar message was expressed by a number of people, and less than a week after the creative manager's last day the creative director was fired!
This kind of sucked because we went down from 4 to 2 people in our group. I was appointed acting creative manager, and we eventually did hire one more designer. I left the company a couple of months later, too, after the latest VP of Marketing was let go and there was going to be a 10th different person overseeing marketing in my 5 years there. And the jerk creative director?
He'd reached out at some point (looking for files for his portfolio, I think?), and it happened to be in the two-week window where I'd accepted my next job but hadn't yet started so I mentioned my new position. Well, he fires off a copy of his resume to the company president and tried to poach my new job out from under me! On my first day at the new job, the president mentioned that somebody else from that same company also applied for the job and forwarded me the application email to see if I knew him... saw that the date was after he and I had last communicated!
27. Who Protects Us from the Protectors?boy doing karate routines during golden hourPhoto by Thao LEE on Unsplash
So, this boss wasn't terrible until we found out what he was doing. I actually used to like him a lot more than my main boss. In high school, I worked as a martial arts instructor. A lot of my friends went to this martial arts school and not actually my high school, so I was very close to them. One of my friends happen to be 3 years older than me so when I was 16, she was 19.
One of our bosses (not the owner of the school but second in command) was an older man who was a retired law enforcement officer. Typically, my friend who was 19 would work the desk after teaching and close up the school at the end of the night (mop, vacuum, etc.) Typically that late, the only people there was our male boss and her.
Obviously, you can see where this is going...bottom line a few of us helped her get proof he was harassing her to get him fired because our main boss (older woman) didn't believe her and accused her of starting trouble. Well, it turns out he had actually done this to many other people who had never reported it and went off to college/quit, but he only ever did it to people who were legally of age (17+).
He was fired and banned from the property, but that was the extent of his punishment. He actually opened his own martial arts school a few years later, so I'm sure nothing has changed. Honestly, this whole situation made me really sad and kinda ruined my whole view of my school but unfortunately my area has a lot of small tight-knit communities, so I know many teachers (regular school) who did inappropriate things (slept with student, struck a child, etc.) never got in trouble and were just asked to resign quietly.
Not even fired. Most of these teachers went off to other larger schools in the area, got caught but this time got punished.
28. Keep the Mind Games to the Field
Not a boss, but someone I worked with was pretty terrible. At my job, we are not supposed to have relationships with the athletes we treat because of HIPAA, also because our bosses didn't want employees who were there to date athletes and get the cool free gear and travel with the team. We were there to be an athletic trainer, nothing else.
So, this employee was there for all the wrong reasons and decided that she despised me because my boss chose me to travel and not her. Her course of action was then to talk to athletes, ask them to spread rumors about me so it would get back to my bosses and get me fired. Unfortunately for her, most of the athletes respected me, told me what was happening, and I reported her to my boss. Since this wasn't the first time that she had singled someone out like this, she was fired.
29. Telephone Game
Paranoid, sociopath boss wiretapped all internal phone calls and made life miserable for all who worked in that department. After moving over 1200 miles to the job location, called wife frequently to discuss the job and family progress in moving there. During those calls, I spun a story about how all of his top managers were plotting against him, which enraged him, and he took out his anger on them. Eventually they went to the company owner and complained, and he was fired the next day.
30. Not Here to Play Gameswhite Sony PS4 DualShock controller over person's palmPhoto by Nikita Kachanovsky on Unsplash
I used to work at a video game store (I'm sure you can figure out which one) as an assistant manager. A few months after I was hired, I was moved to a different location. The manager there was the laziest jerk I've ever met. When I got there, the store was a mess. The game cases were supposed to be displayed on the wall alphabetically—none were.
The accessories were supposed to be arranged according to system—everything was mixed together. It was nearly impossible to find anything in that store. And the store itself was tiny. Besides not cleaning and organizing, this guy just did nothing. He would spend his shift in the minuscule back room "organizing". He would take a 1-2 hour lunch break almost every day, then go in and change his time sheet to show that he was only gone for 30 minutes.
Granted, the store was slow as heck, but still. I got tired of his BS after a couple of weeks, so I went to the district manager with my concerns. He and the regional manager had me keep tabs on him for a while (noting when he'd leave for his break and when he'd come back). Then, when they had enough evidence, they fired him. I don't know if there were things going on behind the scenes that I wasn't privy to, but I would guess probably.
31. Not Worth the Sum of His Car Parts
He was stealing $5,000 in parts for his personal cars. He also was turning customers into cash jobs for a discount and then pocketing about half the money. I went to HR asked the proper way to report theft. I followed what HR has said, and then we were both fired. The best thing that ever happened to me.
32. A Hard Lesson in Bad Leadership
My first-grade teacher smacked me across the face for not memorizing hot cross buns. The smack hurt for sure, but having it done in front of a full class hurt more. I told the principal. We had a sub the rest of the year.
33. I’m Not Lovin’ Ita mcdonald's restaurant is lit up at nightPhoto by Visual Karsa on Unsplash
Worked at a McDonald's in high school at 17. I was being harassed by a co-worker twice my age. He said some really awful stuff to me that made me afraid to come to work. They refused to switch my shifts. They also were working me too much for being under 18 and tried to get me to sign a consent form saying I knew I'd be working the hours I was, when I constantly asked for different hours.
I called the corporate offices and told them. My parents even got a lawyer involved. I quit and a few weeks later a co-worker I went to school with said two of the shift managers, the supervisor, and the store manager were all fired and barred from working with the company again. They brought in a few temporary people who were high up and ended up sniffing out the other bad employees.
34. Gaydar Has No Place in the Office
She asked me if I was gay, and had apparently started telling people I was. Then she asked why I didn’t hit on her or if I found her attractive. I really didn’t intend to get her fired. I just told her boss it kind of put me in a weird situation as I was new. I really think she just needed some education on that type of thing as it was at a hospital, and there wasn’t much training for management.
35. The Ultimate Strike-Out
Our general manager just quit yesterday before getting fired. We had a bowling party on Sunday, and he came loaded as could be. I feel bad because he is going through a divorce, but he hit on so many of the female employees there. One was 19, and he offered to buy her a car if she went home with him.
36. Sick of the Stafftwo men standing beside shelvesPhoto by Christian Burri on Unsplash
Me and a friend both worked at a small neighborhood shop. The store was always short-staffed. The manager would call me or my buddy and demand we come in for a shift on days we weren't scheduled. This happened very often. My buddy got diagnosed with leukemia and had to quit. Less than a week later they "forgot" to pay me. When the manager called me into work (a shift I wasn't scheduled for) I said I would only come in if they paid me what I was owed.
The manager said I was being "difficult" and "immature" and fired me over the phone. The owner got so mad at the manager for firing one of their only employees, he fired her. In the span of a week, they lost over half of their workforce. I went into the store the next week to pick up my final pay cheques, the owner (who was forced to work behind the till at this point) offered me my job back with a $0.25/hr raise. I said no.
37. There’s No Secret to Safety
I got handed a complete mess of paperwork that OSHA requires that hadn't been done in years and was told to forge whatever wasn't there. I sent that email to OSHA with a handful of stuff that was missing that they should ask for when they came. He only made it a couple of days after they came in to review the complaint.
38. Exit, Pursued by a Boss
I left my last company due to a jerk of a general manager. Many people were leaving over him causing problems, doing things people could easily sue them for, claiming harassment. The list goes on. Everyone informed HR during their exit interviews. Hell, he even tried to make my exit interview not happen. Though they still weren't doing anything.
I had been at my new job for a couple of months now and was STILL getting complaints from my old team almost daily. So, I made an email account. Sent an email to EVERYONE who had an email account within the company explaining what he did/still did with events spanning from his start to the day prior. They fired him within the week and my old crew thanked me.
39. Didn’t Sign Up for Homeworka camera mounted to the side of a wallPhoto by James Yarema on Unsplash
My boss would show up at my house after work hours to discuss work stuff. When I asked him to stop, he tried to fire me. When at the HR meeting the following day, I explained my story and showed them the video from my door camera. They literally go "John (bosses name), we've talked about this" and asked me to leave. Two hours later he walks out and announces that he's leaving.
40. Out with the Old
My direct supervisor, Linda, was a cantankerous older woman with poor education and even worse people skills. About 3 months after I started, I got her so pissed off, just by doing my job, that she cursed me out, got up from her desk and quit. I don't even remember what I said that set her off. I probably asked her if she was done with her half of something that I needed in order to finish my half, and became exasperated when she wasn't, because she'd been farting around all morning.
It was a common occurrence. After Linda walked out, our boss refused to hire her back when she begged (even though she'd been there something like 15 years), because "her attitude was so terrible, and she'd become such a toxic, pathetic excuse for a human being." I got a pretty solid raise, most of Linda's tasks (our boss was not unkind and took over some things herself, while giving me more practical things that I enjoyed doing), and even though my car was fine, she'd always have me drive her car to go make coffee runs, deposit checks, run errands, etc.
It was a Toyota Solara convertible, and she'd tell me to take the top down and have fun. I liked that job, I learned quite a bit, and if I hadn't found something closer to home, for even more money, I probably would've been there quite a while.
41. Screw Me Twice, Shame on You
Our desks were separated by a 5-foot cubicle wall. He was under the mistaken impression that it totally blocked sound. Thus, I got to hear all his loud phone conversations, primarily his booty calls including those with his boss's fiancé. I figured it was none of my business and tried to ignore it. Well, there was a position in another department that I was interested in and as per procedure, I handed in an application to my talkative boss.
I didn't hear anything further and followed up a couple of days later, only to be told that something must have happened to the application. I filled out another one and handed it in. As I return to my desk, I hear the boss on the phone with a friend laughing about how he had just trashed my application again and how he was never going to let go of me.
I go to my boss's boss and angrily offer my resignation, telling him what I had just overheard, explaining that I was constantly hearing his phone calls like his booty calls like with and and . He got very quiet and told me to go back to my desk and he'll take care of everything. The next day I come in and boss is gone.
The day after, I have an interview with the other department (got the position). I tend to avoid office drama, but really, he should have stuck to screwing his boss's fiancé, and not tried to screw me as well.
42. The Higher They Creep, The Harder They Falltwo bullet surveillance cameras attached on wallPhoto by Scott Webb on Unsplash
It was my supervisor. It got to the point that I had decided to quit. I had my resignation letter in my purse but decided to let his boss know why I was quitting. The supervisor would talk about all the people on our team constantly, but only behind their backs. I got so sick of telling him to cut it out. My husband and I happened to work at the same place (different departments) and my supervisor would make comments about threesomes (with him, ewww), what hotel we picked for our afternoon delight, stuff like that.
It was so bloody uncomfortable. Apart from this, he spent most of his supervising time outside taking "breaks." The problem was that the supervisor was "one of the guys" and I was the only girl. Turns out his boss was disgusted, told his boss who lost his mind. They started an investigation which took three days. They interviewed staff—they corroborated what I said.
They checked the security cameras and saw he was spending most of his workday outside. And was fired. When he was told he guessed (wasn't hard!) that I was the person who complained and tried to get to me to "apologize that I took it the wrong way.” The best feeling was my coworkers surrounding me as he was walked out. That was a lovely ending to it all.
Owning a home is supposed to be one of the American Dreams—but Homeowner’s Associations can turn those dreams into nightmares. Whether it’s a nosy neighbor or a controlling president, bad HOAS take a perfectly reasonable neighborhood and turn it into a snake pit of infighting and endless revenge. These Redditors sat back and watched it all happen.
1. Some Neighborly Advice
Apparently, one of the members of our board, who into 10 years of living here and we've NEVER met, thought it was appropriate to stop by while prospective buyers were here. They wanted to let the realtor facilitating the open house know that our house was priced too low and that we needed to raise the price immediately. Oh, but she was just ramping up.
She then proceeded to be rude to a group of prospective buyers and to point out that we live very close to a major roadway. She then apparently treated them as if they would be idiots to think that you couldn't hear any road noise (you can't, but that is beside the point). I have her picture from my video doorbell. I am going to another board member’s house with it to find out who she is and where she lives.
I am then going to knock on her door and calmly tell her that if she ever sets foot in my house again, she will be trespassing and I will call the authorities. Can you imagine being so entitled that you feel like it's acceptable to interfere with someone trying to make the best home buying/selling decision for their family?! I am LIVID at this woman.
2. Animal House
Back in the 90s, my wife and I bought a new home that was part of an HOA. We made sure to read the HOA rules in advance, and thought we understood them. We kept a snake as a pet and wanted to be sure that there were no issues. The only pet restrictions stated were no livestock. Since we didn’t intend on owning chickens, cows, pigs, or other farm animals, we thought we were safe.
Soon enough, we found out we were so wrong. After living in the home for a few years, we expanded our animals to include additional snakes and assorted reptiles. Since they all were in locked cages, the neighbors never really knew about them. Eventually, the HOA board found out and sent us a letter demanding we get rid of them. Very stupid idea.
This is because this was in an area of north Phoenix, AZ, and wild snakes, lizards and other reptiles abounded. The people of the area were far more likely to run into a rattlesnake on their own front porches than to ever even see our ball python or bearded dragon. Still, the HOA board members viewed our reptiles as livestock, because they were a bunch of idiots.
Yee haw, let’s round up them corn snakes and herd them along! Bottom line, we were facing a big fight with them, one we couldn’t financially afford. Not ready to back down and lose our pets, we decided to reread the HOA paperwork again. That’s when we came up with a genius revenge. We discovered that, as HOA members, we were entitled to all financial records of the HOA.
So we sent them a registered letter requesting ALL financial records. All of a sudden, the board backed down and let us keep our livestock AKA reptiles. We never saw a single financial record, but we took the win. Not too long after, we moved out of that house and into another that didn’t have an HOA. We will never, ever buy a home that is part of an HOA again.
3. Winning The Battleblack and silver audio componentPhoto by Alexandr Sadkov on Unsplash
This story was shared with me years ago by a late family friend. He was an avid ham radio operator and had numerous antennas scattered around both his front and back yards. His subdivision was an older construction and did not have an HOA, so there were no issues with this. However, his lot backed up to another subdivision that was newer and did have an HOA.
You can probably see where this is going...One day he gets a knock on his door from one of these Karen types. She had just bought the house behind him, and needless to say, she was not a fan of all his antennas. She starts rattling off all these supposed HOA rules he's violating along with the typical "They're a safety hazard, eye sore, lowering my property value, hurting my feelings, etc" arguments.
He tried to politely explain that his house was in a different subdivision and was not part of their HOA, but she was having none of it. After a few weeks and a few more interactions that went just like the first one, he got a threatening form letter in the mail from the HOA’s lawyer. But they didn’t know one crucial thing. Coincidentally, his lawyer was a partner in that same firm.
One phone call got that line of communication shut down instantly. With that defeat, Karen finally gave up and he was able to go back to living in peace. Karen moved about a year later.
4. It’s What Inside That Counts
I hate this woman in my neighborhood. I have thrown her off my property twice over the eight years I’ve lived here and she has fined me twice for “visible trash cans from the street” because she could see them through the 1 mm gaps in my fence. I had to build my trash cans a shelter to finally appease her ridiculous interpretation of the HOA rules.
So it’s Sunday night and I put my trash cans out on the street. I have to do this after 6 pm because I don’t want to get fined, which I don’t think was an issue. We have two trash cans, one for normal garbage and one for specific recycling items. About 30 minutes after I put them down, I noticed a white SUV stopped in front of my house in the middle of the street.
By the time I went outside, I watched her get back in her vehicle and drive down to the next home that already had trash cans on the street. I watched her get out of her vehicle, take a picture of the bins in front of this house, open the recycling can, and snap another picture of its contents. She got back in her SUV and drove away. She definitely did the same thing at my house because she left my recycling bin and the other recycling bin open.
As far as I know, she has no authority to enforce the contents of a recycling bin as that is a city issue. But I guess we’ll see.
5. A Simple Solution
I bought a house in a (then) small town called Round Rock, Texas back in 2007. Now for a little background context: I was born and raised in the central Texas "hill country," and throughout my entire childhood, there had never been any HOAs. Some of the rich neighborhoods had Neighborhood Associations, which are far different from an HOA.
I went off to join the forces in 2001 and when I came back in 2006, HOAs were everywhere! Even the neighborhood where I grew up now had an HOA. My parents had moved to a new neighborhood, and my father had been constantly fighting with his HOA. Things like he built a tool shed in his own backyard without permission, and parked his car in his driveway instead of his garage.
That kind of stuff. So I'm seeing his constant struggle, and being raised in a culture where your property was YOUR property and NO ONE ELSE'S BUSINESS, I wanted no part of this HOA stuff. Anyway, it's now 2007, and I'm home from deployment and looking to buy a house. My number 1 priority is NO HOAs. After a couple of months, I find a home in a neighborhood without an HOA.
It surprised me because it was a fairly new neighborhood and it was also a relatively small neighborhood. It definitely looked like it would have an HOA, but it didn't. I move in, love the place, and proceed to go about my life. One day I'm talking to my neighbor about HOAs. I mention how one of the main reasons I bought that house was because it had no HOA.
My neighbor, who just so happened to be one of the first people to move to the neighborhood tells me, "Oh yeah, we had one of those when they first started building this place". I was surprised and asked him what happened to it. His answer stunned me. He says, "Well, back when there were still only about 20 or so homes built, there were two people who lived in the neighborhood that ran the HOA”.
He takes a long breath and starts smirking. “Well they were just awful people, and they were constantly harassing the other neighbors about grass being too high and trash cans being visible and silly stuff like that. So some of the other neighbors and I looked up the HOA by-laws and realized we could hold an election to replace the HOA council, and that's what we did”.
“I became president of the HOA and a couple other neighbors were council members. Once we were in charge, we just voted to dissolve the HOA. So now we don't have one".
6. Creature Comfortsperson holding black remote controlPhoto by Erik Mclean on Unsplash
My HOA, when established in 1999, made a 20-year contract with Comcast to bundle cable, not internet, into the HOA dues. Every house has Comcast no matter what. Every home in the HOA was paying $30 towards this per month in their dues. I’ve lived in this HOA since 2015 and every year the dues slowly crept up from $190 per month to now $290 per month.
Starting around September last year, I began talking to people and bringing it up in meetings that we could save money by getting out of the Comcast contract. A lot of my neighbors said they didn’t even have a cable box or use Comcast at all and I was in the same boat. The homes voted on it (2/3 majority) and we got rid of the Comcast contract.
The dues dropped by $30 per home the following month. Fast forward to today. Now there are about three to four Karens that are just blowing up the HOA page constantly whining and complaining about how they now have to pay more to have cable. You can’t win in HOAs because the people that live there (like me) are idiots. This is the first and last HOA I will ever live in.
7. More Than Just A Lemonade Stand
My own personal HOA Karen is requiring all residents of the neighborhood to have a garage sale. She is also requesting high-quality goods to be sold so that they "represent" the value of the neighborhood. Afterward, the HOA will be taking 10% of the earnings. We are also required to use Stripe for sale so she can verify what the 10% should be.
8. Free At Last
I just found out that "due to an administrative error," our lot and the two next to us weren't included in the original filing for our HOA—which was over 30 years ago. They sent that message, and along with that notice came an offer to join the HOA. It was *incredibly* gratifying to politely decline their kind offer. In fact, it took everything we had to not request a refund for 30 years (!) of past HOA dues.
To be fair, 27 years of those were paid by the previous owners. Guess it's time to paint the house purple and add a second storey...
9. Want To Tango Again?white and red housePhoto by Jacques Bopp on Unsplash
I invited a friend to spend a few days here and the HOA considers that a "lease" even though I'm not charging my friend, obviously, who is just visiting from out of state. So I flipped the script on them. I just told them I'm posting an ad on Craigslist every day for a nightly intimate get-together, and that they can try to enforce that provision every time someone comes over.
I've sued the HOA before and won—It was glorious. They took 6+ months to return a security deposit and I got over triple damages. So they're a little skittish now. Hopefully they back off or, even better, they pay me again.
10. Just Say No
Today was a good day. As a member of my three-person board for my HOA. I helped officially dissolve our HOA. I bought my house 21 years ago. Admittedly I was rather naive about HOAs and the nonsense about “protecting your property values” etc. But I had a family on the way, it was a quiet and (at the time) rural part of the state, and it was a nice house at a reasonable price.
So I figured why not, I'd only be there a couple of years and then I could sell and move on. For various reasons, we stayed at the house. Those included the housing market crash where I was underwater on the house for a number of years and I wanted to avoid uprooting the kids out of the schools they were in. During that time, I watched some of the most messed-up things happen.
Stuff like selective enforcement of the rules, or no enforcement on really important ones. At one point, the board decided to "outsource" to a property management company that embezzled thousands from the HOA. Just a whole mess of things. So if I hate HOAs so much why did I join? Well, because I figured I couldn’t complain if I didn’t contribute. Then one day, something really odd happened.
I had multiple neighbors ask me if it was possible to “dismantle the HOA”. I told them, “Yes but it’s a LOT of work. We need at least 2/3 of the homeowners to vote on ballots saying ‘yes’ to dissolving the HOA. A ‘no’ vote or not voting were the same thing”. So the board agreed unanimously to put it up to a vote. We went door to door and collected signed ballots from each homeowner.
While there, we answered any questions they had, including; “Well, what if people vote to keep it?” We’d reply, “Then the HOA stays, that’s clearly what the homeowners want!” And of course, there was the: “Well don’t you care about your house value?? We need an HOA!” Of course, we would tell people the same thing: “If you think keeping it is the right thing to do, you should vote accordingly”.
In the end, it was clear the people living here (some of whom were the first buyers of the house and still living here from when the development was first put in) had had enough of dealing with the HOA. They all felt the same pain and frustration that I did. We got OVER 2/3 of the homeowners voting to dissolve the HOA. We’ll be working on filing the results with the state.
Today was a good day.
11. Closed Door Policy
My garage door was open—which is a violation in my HOA unless you are actively working in it—and I got a notice saying I wasn’t using my garage for its proper purpose. Its proper purpose is for vehicle storage. “Please remove storage items so the garage can be utilized properly for its purpose”. You guys want to tell me how to furnish my living room too?
Just want to add: My garage is fairly organized. We have a car maintenance/washing stuff area, camping stuff area, and a few random boxes. We can fit one car in the garage, but apparently, the garage needs to be available for two at all times.
12. Do It For The Gramfour orange, green, blue, and red paint rollersPhoto by David Pisnoy on Unsplash
My HOA in the last neighborhood sent out a letter saying everyone needs to have their house painted this summer because the neighborhood is looking "a little dull". The next letter that came was a petition from someone in the neighborhood that they wanted everyone to sign. It was to tell the HOA that more than half of the neighborhood hasn't fiscally recovered from the pandemic and that they can essentially go screw themselves.
I was renting so the paint wouldn't have been my problem anyway. But it's just ludicrous to me that people who run these horrible Karen commissions think that they can just do this kind of stuff.
13. Be Careful What You Wish For
Last year at my townhouse in Washington state, I received a $50 fine from my HOA with a notice stating that I have potted plants on my (cement) front porch that need “catch basins”. The notice quoted the association rule 4.5 as stating “Potted plants on A and B Unit porches and patios must be contained within a planter that has a water catch basin”.
They gave four days to comply or get further fines. I found the requirement absurd considering the porch is cement, not wood, and my small plant pots don’t have a hole in the bottom for drainage. In addition, I noticed they didn’t state a requirement for what is commonly listed as a “plant saucer” in stores, but very specifically a “water catch basin”.
In order to avoid more arbitrary fines, I looked this specific type up in stores and online with Amazon. It appears a “water catch basin” is actually a storm drainage conduit having nothing to do with potted plants. The cheapest online being $49. The rule is written in such a way to allow the HOA to arbitrarily fine anyone for not having a specific impossible type specified in the rules. Oh, I gave them exactly what they asked for.
I have gone ahead and purchased the ugly storm drainage conduit kit and decided that I will lay it out on top of my porch this spring with a nice small potted plant sitting on top. I also hooked a bright piece of PVC pipe to it leading to my yard to make it “functional” and therefore be in full compliance with their rule as written.
14. Lost And Not Found
I'm in a condo with an HOA. This morning I found a nice lost pair of headphones in the gym. Too large to fit into the "lost and found" box slot. Our president is a thief, so I was leery of just passing them off to her and walking away. So, I found our last newsletter that was accidentally emailed to everyone instead of BCC'd. I just replied to this and asked if anyone lost a pair of headphones.
I said to give a description to me by email, and I'd return it to the rightful owner. All hell breaks loose. Since then, I've gotten a message from the president (the same one who has given me a threat from a lawyer never to speak to her again), DEMANDING I turn in the headphones to the very same lost and found box that they can't fit in. I then got a message from the manager, telling me not to use the mailing list and to just email her.
That way she can send the information to the current residents, as several on the email list are not residents and prefer to not be bothered with emails. Uh, whaaat? I'm not making this up, and it's probably going to get weirder.
15. Shut The Front Doorcars parked in parking lotPhoto by Luismi Sánchez on Unsplash
My HOA recently changed the front door code and refuses to provide it to any tenants or owners (I’m an owner). Now we all have to access our units through the back door with a key or via the underground garage. This minor inconvenience doesn’t really bother me, however, this creates a problem for the postal service and package delivery as you must provide them a door code for entry so they can access the mailroom inside the lobby.
I’ve witnessed USPS locked out a few times, and luckily I was there to let them in. But I wonder what happens if no one is there to let them in…this week I had two packages returned because UPS and OnTrac couldn’t access the mailroom. The regulations state that all owners have a non-exclusive easement of use and enjoyment in and to and throughout the Common Area and for ingress, egress, and support over and through the Common Area.
I’ve requested the new code multiple times, but the HOA has only given me radio silence. Is this an issue I can potentially win? My thoughts are: It’s a potentially dangerous situation if you get locked out, and there’s no other way to access your unit but from inside the building unless you follow someone in/out. Also, who prohibits access to your front door?
The conversation with UPS went: UPS: we need your front door code Me: this might sound crazy, but I’m not allowed to use my front door.
16. A Heavy Mistake
I purchased my first home, a condo. I have a dog who is about 40 lbs. As a responsible dog owner, I mentioned to the realtor I have a dog. I mentioned it at the open house to the other realtor, saying I have a dog, and I also asked him if there are let restrictions. Me knowing the area, I read the by-laws of the condo HOA to learn about their pet policy.
There was NOTHING about breed or size restrictions. Basically just, only one dog per unit, she can't be barking all night, and I have to clean up her poop. Cool. This place still works. About a week later I sign the papers, it's mine. I talked to someone from the COA yesterday. She told me horrible news. She informs me that their pet policy was changed a while ago and only dogs under 30 lbs are allowed.
I informed her I was NOT told this information—if I was I obviously would not have made the purchase—and it is NOT in their by-laws. She even admitted they need to make it clear to buyers (apparently they "emphasize" it with renters). I was seriously considering not even moving in and reselling, just cutting my losses. Leaving my dog is not an option.
So I contacted my realtor (who is also a family friend). She is willing to go with me to any meeting they force me into for breaking the by-laws (especially my dog being over the weight limit that did not exist). She looked back over the docs, and had her husband look over them (also a realtor, he's on the selling end of things) because she thought the changes in policy were weird too.
17. In The Weeds
I moved in earlier this year and amongst the chaos of moving, I did not realize the lawn was not kept from previous owners at all. There were BOATLOADS of weeds. We pulled them but not in time for our first notice. That’s fine, the letter said we needed to fix it within 14 days of the letter, which we definitely did since the letter was dated the day before we cleaned it up.
The second notice was sent because we didn’t pull them well enough I guess. Well, ok, we will try again. I saw a few visible weeds but nothing major. Still, I figured, ok sure, let’s just comply. Third notice. At this point, I have no idea what the heck they want from me. We pull any remaining weeds we see, which were maybe 2-3 strands and I went ahead and pulled literally anything that could be obstructive.
Fourth—fined. For weeds. The picture in the letter had no visible weeds. I ran to the spot they snapped the photo of, and to the eye of where they took the picture you couldn’t even SEE weeds. When you get super close you can see maybe two tiny weeds. I am appalled. At this point, it just feels like we’re being scammed or harassed. That, and/or their standards are ridiculously high and unreasonable.
Part of me feels like we’re being picked on for being new. But we’ve complied each time. The evidence of the picture is SO bad. I’m scared to repeal because I don’t want it to put a target on our backs. But I also don’t want to pay for a fine that is absolutely INSANE.
18. Power-HungryFile:DoloresUmbridgeCostume.jpg - Wikimedia Commonscommons.wikimedia.org
This is quite a long story, spanning through a period of a few years. About 20 years ago, my uncle bought an apartment in a new, fancy condo. Each floor was separated into two apartments, except for the top floor, which was a single apartment more than double the size, with a private attic (all other units had a storage area in the basement). He got the top floor.
The building had a large common hall, and a large yard all around it, so the owners decided to create an HOA to maintain the common areas and protect property value. My uncle has always been an independent man, so he wasn't keen on the idea, but he recognized it was necessary. However, he proposed an article in the statute allowing any member to recede from the HOA by paying a contribution and entering a limited agreement.
People under this contract would NOT be in the HOA, but would be required to contribute to common expenses (light, cleaning, administration, etc) and maintenance, though in this case the HOA was required to confront their respective quotes for the job before proceeding. Since the votes were based on surface owned, and he thus had the swing vote, the rule was included in the statute.
A couple of years go by without a hitch, the HOA works as planned, a couple more units are sold, everything is fine and dandy. Then disaster hits. Enter Karen. My uncle describes Karen as "your worst high school teacher, with a face like she was constantly smelling sewage". In reality, she was a plain woman in her 50s, dirty blonde, single, a pocket dog, and two cats, with a mildly annoyed expression frozen on her face and the fashion sense of Dolores Umbridge.
She was one of the original owners, but never had much interaction with the others. The first time my uncle took any notice of her was when she tried to introduce a rule preventing children from playing in the common hall, because "their rowdiness and the prospective damage they could cause might decrease property value". My uncle didn't like participating in the meetings, and he didn't have kids (yet), but that time he intervened.
He said that he'd rather have happy kids around, even if that meant losing a bit of value, and proposed creating an emergency fund for accidental damage instead. Karen was outvoted. While they were leaving the conference room, she threw a look at him "like she was about to breathe fire" on him. He disliked and distrusted her from that moment on. And she started trying to get revenge.
Karen tried several times to pass more restrictive rules, but she kept getting outvoted, even thanks to my uncle's double vote. But at the same time, she was doing something else: she was buying additional units and forcing her rules onto her tenants, including those regarding the common areas, so that meant that her tenants' kids couldn't play with the other kids in the common hall, for instance.
That one was nearly impossible to enforce, and lead to complaints. Over time, thanks to her by now four votes, Karen got a seat in the HOA. That was an alarm bell for my uncle, who filed to leave the HOA, as per his own article, on the same day. And not a moment too soon. That article was canceled even before his request was even processed.
The HOA then initially denied his request, and he had to sue and go to arbitration to prove he had filed his request before the rule was expunged. But from that moment, he was free. Over the next couple of years, he had to go to arbitration twice more, once because the HOA demanded payment for a renovation without giving him the chance to present an alternative quote, and once because Karen and her newfound clique kept harassing him with fines he didn't have to pay.
He won both times, and Karen was beyond hate. Every time they met each other, she looked at him with such contempt, he actually started fearing for his safety. But it was about to get so much worse. During this period, Karen's increasingly restrictive rules had caused a high turnover of tenants and owners. Even if everything was still in pristine condition (Karen was very good at that), the HOA rules were a hard sell.
This had decreased the value of the apartments A LOT, and Karen used this to buy even more lots (she ended up with six total). When my aunt got pregnant, they decided that the condo was not really kid-friendly anymore, so they decided to sell. As I mentioned, the property value had dropped in the recent years, but evidently not my uncle's apartment.
When he put it on the market, he advertised as "FREE FROM LOCAL HOA". He ended up selling it to one of the former residents for almost double the price per square foot than any other apartment in the building. Happy ending? Wait, there's more. A couple of weeks after moving, my uncle received a call from the very distraught new owner, saying that members of the HOA are harassing him.
He said that Karen has threatened to sue him because the HOA has a (new) rule that all new owners MUST sign up for the HOA. My uncle (verbatim): "...So? You're not part of the HOA, you don't need to care about the rules they make". New owner: "...[pauses as he processes the information]... ... HAHAHAHAHA!" They chatted a bit, and the new owner, after enduring her for years, was quite happy about the prospect of screwing with Karen and the powerless HOA.
19. Trying To Pull The Wool Over Their Eyes
These idiots. So we were trying to sell our townhome. We went through all the processes and such. We get through three attempts and months of nightmares and were finally getting there. My lender, who is also my buyer's lender, calls me up. "Hey, do you know anything about the litigation?" Me: What litigation?" Him: "Your HOA is suing the builder".
Me: “Do you have the case number?" Numbers. Computer typing. Cursing. Lots of cursing. These jerks are suing the builder and all the sub-contractors. Not suing someone who did something. No, suing everybody. Which, hey, the judge will see that. So why did this pop up? Because they lied on the documents for the loan. So here's the fun part.
Several houses have sold over the last year. My lender told me that this type of lawsuit is a hard stop on all loans. So they have lied on many documents, and it started over a year ago. Once I get my living situation sorted I look forward to snitching with all the righteous fury I have. I hate people.
20. Not So Free And Clear
I sold my house in a neighborhood with an HOA in May of ‘21. Since then, I have been contacted 8-10 times by forwarded letters, certified letters, and phone calls regarding infractions and fines that pertain to my old property. Every time, I contact them and explain that I no longer own that house or even live in that city. They apologize and tell me they will update their records, yet they fail to do so.
The last two times, I have been contacted via phone and they have threatened me with fines if I don’t rectify violations. To say the least, my reaction wasn’t very nice. I explained to them that I don’t like being harassed and to not contact me ever again. Well, they contacted me again today and I’m about to lose my mind. I was 100% paid up and had no outstanding balances when I sold my house.
The HOA sent a release to the title company that I had no outstanding balance and that there were no liens on the property.
21. Head In The Treehousea car is parked in front of a buildingPhoto by Lesia on Unsplash
My neighborhood in Florida had a very good HOA. For the past 20 years that I’ve lived here, they’ve done a good job making sure the neighborhood looks nice, throwing an annual block party, and generally minding their own business. Until this crotchety old guy down the street achieved his lifelong dream of being on the HOA board.
He would take his nightly walk with his phone always out, documenting each and every infraction. I wish I was joking when I say he was out there with a tape measurer looking at how tall grass was in different yards. This is a guy that would speed up when he saw small children playing in the street, and several of the parents on the street had already lodged complaints with the authorities about this.
My father always wanted us to have a tree house to play in when we were children. Sadly, he passed when my youngest brother was only two, and the one he built in our backyard had to be torn down due to hurricane damage. Luckily, my family planted an oak tree in our front yard right after we moved in, and about 15 years later it was big enough to put a small treehouse in.
I built a simple platform with some supporting legs and a wooden ladder for my youngest brother to play in with his friends. One day, while I was washing my car, an official from city code enforcement shows up. He said he was summoned by the HOA because of a “structure violation” being erected. After talking with him for a bit we came to the conclusion that not only was the treehouse fine, it was none of the city’s business.
The guy honestly seemed rather annoyed that he’d been called out for this. But it wasn’t close to over. Next, we started getting threatening letters in the mail from the HOA’s lawyer, threatening big fines for the perceived damage to the property value in the area. It was something to the tune of $100 a day for every day that the structure wasn’t taken down.
My mother not being able to afford a lawyer and me not knowing better, we eventually complied when the letters started coming daily. I’m glad my brother got to enjoy it for a little bit, but I was so bitter at that old guy down the street. A few months back, My mother called me and said that the old guy finally passed, alone, with no family to speak of. His house is scheduled to be demolished by the new owners.
I honestly couldn’t be happier that any trace of his presence is erased from this neighborhood. My brother is too old for a treehouse now, but I might just build one to spite his memory.
22. The Fine Print
We put in an offer on a house. Got accepted, had a closing date, put in earnest money. Two days later, their lawyer sent over an email stating they forgot to disclose the HOA, and if we could just initial and send it back to add to the contract. We said send the by-laws. Long story short, the $70 dollar annual payment meant we can’t park a truck in the driveway, have unapproved flowers in landscaping, have a guest for more than seven days… the list goes on.
So just a PSA, read everything. We were only able to back out free and clear because it wasn’t in the original contract.
23. Your Own Worst Enemy
How ridiculous. I got a letter stating my grass needs to be maintained between 2-4 inches and they are going to start assessing fines after X days and pay for a company to come mow my lawn at my own cost and expense. There’s just one thing. The HOA already pays a company to mow all of the grass. So the landscapers must have forgotten a patch and now some Karen on the board reported it.
24. An Unwanted Visitora woman making a funny face with her fingerPhoto by Artur Voznenko on Unsplash
Every few weekends, my manager comes over to my house to help work on a side project for the company. When he comes over, he parks in front of my house. The house across from mine just happens to be one of the HOA volunteers. She tends to take her job a bit too seriously. Anyways she complains to my wife and I every time she sees the car like clockwork.
She will either call or wait until she sees us outside. The first time she even took it upon herself to write a letter about how it’s better for everyone if we can keep up a certain image in the neighborhood. I explained to her that he is my manager after the letter about a year ago. She accused me of lying since I drive a nice truck and have a nice house, so she knows I bring in a decent salary.
She assumed that my manager made more therefore he "needs to own a nice car". I then explain that my manager makes 250k per year and drives a beater because he does not care about his image. She goes on some rant about how she goes into massive debt to keep up the right image for the neighborhood and that it’s ignorant of my manager to save his money and buy a beater when people like her are paycheck to paycheck to keep up with the Joneses.
Lucky for me, I can’t get fined but I still find it quite annoying that she is worried about the cars that my guests drive. I told my manager about her constant complaining every time he is over. He joked that he will spray paint his car with chalk next time he comes over to make it look as trashy as possible. I told him to dress in his worst clothes as well and slowly get out of his car to make sure she notices.
25. Not Who You Say You Are
Our HOA president is being a jerk and sending out violations like crazy. But I just had a genius idea. It dawned on me that long ago, I overheard him say that he was renting from his brother. I looked up the deed to his property, and yes, in fact, he is a renter, and the HOA covenants state that only owners can be members of the association and thus the board.
I'm curious if I should pay our president a visit and let him know or have my lawyer send him a nice letter.
26. What A Load Of Garbage
Our HOA has FORBIDDEN anybody from putting our garbage and/or recycling cans to the curb before midnight, but the garbage collectors come between 6-7 AM. We have requested to be able to put our garbage to the curb at 10 PM because of health issues within our household. Their response: "We cannot allow garbage out before midnight because there is a potential for bears to be drawn to our neighborhood".
They have also “allowed” us to place our garbage cans on the side of our garage (as opposed to the sidewalk) as long as we pay the garbage collectors extra money to walk to our garage to obtain the cans and return them to the garage door. So for some reason (that they have yet been able to provide evidence to support), the bears will only be attracted to the garbage if the cans are at the sidewalk and not if they're next to the garage door.
27. Keep On Truckingblue chevrolet crew cab pickup truck on gray concrete road during daytimePhoto by Keaten Chancellor on Unsplash
I do some accounting work for an HOA management company on the side. There is an HOA board president who wanted an association member's tenant fined for a truck. He said it violated the regulations as it was a commercial truck because it had a ladder rack. The maintenance manager disagreed with the president but couldn't quite think of an articulate way of expressing it, so he asked me to help him out.
I reviewed the regulations and they didn't define the term, so I checked the state definition. The definition was narrow enough that even if the tenant used it for business purposes, it still didn't meet the commercial vehicle definition. I let the president know that it didn't meet the criteria. He said that didn't matter because it was unsightly (shifted goalposts) and that I needed to fine the member.
I knew full well these criteria didn't actually matter to him and that he was simply being vindictive at this point. I came up with a plan to get him good. My response was "Well, give me the exact definition you're using for unsightly and I'll fine any owners whose vehicles meet it". At that point, he knew I had him, as his good friend and fellow board member had a total beater.
We're talking about a mobile rust pile here. The truck he was complaining about was a Rolls Royce by comparison. He knew that he couldn't give criteria that would exclude his friend. So, did he give up? Nope. He simply DECREED that we fine the person and that his word is final and the matter isn't to be discussed any further. At this point, he had stopped CC'ing the board.
So, what did I do? Well, I CC'd the entire board my response along with the email chain up to that point. It was simply "[HOA President], Committing such an action would expose the HOA to unnecessary financial risk. You, the board and I have a fiduciary responsibility to the HOA members to not expose the organization to such risks”.
“This is an extremely ill-advised action, so should you not respond, I will execute it in an ethical way that eliminates this risk. The only way I can think of to do this is to fine any and all vehicles that match (or are worse) how unsightly this truck is. I have prepared a list of members' names and unit numbers that will be fined along with this truck".
On the list, of course, was his friend and fellow board member. He decided that the matter wasn't resolved and that he would respond one last time, to drop the subject. I wonder what his friend thought when he caught up on the email conversation and saw that the president had gone down a path that could've led to his being fined.
28. Taking Him For All He’s Worth
My HOA cut the lock off of my storage unit, which is in the common area of the basement. I had some TV boxes, golf clubs, and camping gear in there with a padlock. I go down to put something in my storage unit—and made a chilling discovery. I realize that all of my belongings have been removed and there is a new thick chain and padlock attached to the now-empty storage locker.
There are other empty storage units that have no lock whatsoever. The previous owner left a vacuum and screens for the windows for me in the unit. The vacuum was removed but the screens remain. When I ask my board I get no response to my emails. This is also the unit the previous owner told me is mine. There are now rules in the by-laws that say the board can relocate my storage unit.
Is there any justification as to how this is not breaking and entering? Fortunately, nothing was stolen or damaged so that's good. I can't afford a lawyer and don't think I even have anything to go after them for as nothing was damaged and I have no proof it was the board who cut my lock and removed my belongings.
29. Look Before You Leap
So my neighbor (brand new to the neighborhood) put up a campaign sign. Less than 24 hours later, the president walked over and told him it needs to be removed and showed him a vague item in our regulations. Unfortunately, he took it down. But knowing I served on the board and know my stuff, he asked me to take a look. Well, the president was referencing the by-laws in the section about easements.
Not our governing residents. I told him that they are flat-out wrong and this does not apply to lots. I told him he can put it back up. He even gave me a sign so I can put it up. Then I started to fight them HARD. I emailed the board reminding them that they are incorrect. A day later, they walk to his house with a letter from the lawyer. And it is GOOD.
It’s basically saying, "We are in really HOT water, please forgive the oversight and pretty please don't sue us". Our president has such a god complex and always puts our association in potential litigation. She is such a liability to our association. I am pretty sure she NEVER talked to the other board members before she told him to remove the sign, nor our association attorney.
She thinks she is the landlord to everyone’s property. It was nice seeing them have to go over there and grovel to him!
30. No Garden Of Edengreen plants on black metal train rail during daytimePhoto by Markus Spiske on Unsplash
This happened to my girlfriend’s parents. Her father wanted to plant a vegetable garden. HOA rules state that a garden can be no larger than 8'x8'. Plants can't grow taller than 4' so it limits what he could plant. He measured out an appropriately-sized patch in the backyard. I came over with a few buckets of compost and my tiller to help him set it up.
Turns out that the old hag next door was angry the garden was bordering her property and complained to her friend on the HOA board. Two men from the HOA came by last night for an inspection and measured the garden as 8'-4"x8'-2". We must have accidentally expanded it when tilling. They fined her parents $350 and told them that they have to buy sod and cover up the garden by end of the week because they "lost the privilege to have a garden this year" and will be fined again every week they don't comply.
31. Not My Circus, Not My Monkeys
I’ve been in a condo for eight years, even served as treasurer, but haven't been on the board in four years. I went under contract when selling my condo, and inspection found moisture above all the windows/doors in the condo. It seemed like a siding issue—no worries, it's a condo association that regulates and is responsible for the exterior, they'll take care of it right? I soon found out how wrong I was.
Buyers wanted written assurances it'll be handled and any mold mitigated. The agent who gets in touch with the HOA gets the runaround, I get a phone call. Supposedly they just that week got a study that said no homes were properly wrapped and they need to do a massive siding project. My agent then gets an email stating that if it’s the windows, it's my responsibility to fix it.
But it’s not the windows. There is also a big battle over what happens with theoretical mold remediation. The HOA manager didn't want to commit to anything. Buyers though are understanding, they ask for an increase in seller’s assistance, so I am willing to take a $2,500 hit to be done with the HOA. We sign and are happy and great...NOT.
Today I get a call from my realtor. The buyers met with the HOA over the weekend to talk about this project and reportedly were spooked by the need for a special assessment, bankrupting the HOA, mold, etc. The HOA manager, in my agent's words, scared the heck out of them so they withdrew their offer. My HOA has a rental cap, and I have no idea if I'll be able to rent.
I doubt a lawsuit will get anywhere, I'm moved into my new place, I just hate that I made an HOA my starter home, I don't think I'll ever be rid of it. My agent wants to relist, but I needed some time to process.
32. Too Close For Comfort
My in-laws live on a golf course that is a private membership. The weird thing is living on the course does not get you a membership to it and you still have to pay HOA and membership fees to do both. In any case, my in-laws have an in-ground pool that is right below one of the greens and a hole. Think a 10-12 foot hill up to the green from the pool level.
So many entitled people will yell at my in-laws as well as us when we are over that we have to be quiet when they are putting. We just ignore them. The HOA and the club have sent letters as well as attempted to walk into the locked backyard while we were out in the pool to yell at us but were only told to leave the property. Nowhere in the HOA laws does it say you need to accommodate golfers while on your private property.
They once had a Karen who was both on the HOA board and part of the golf club yell and fake choke on the green while my father-in-law was grilling.
33. Something’s Fishywhite and blue concrete buildingPhoto by Asael Peña on Unsplash
About 10 years ago, my dad bought a condo in Orlando to rent out to theme park goers, and he used the HOA’s recommended rental management company (RMC). After a year, he reviewed his costs/profits and found that he more or less broke even, which surprised him because the condo was only vacant for two separate weeks that year. He tried to get in touch with the RMC to see if they could go over his unit’s costs, but the owner seemed to dodge dad’s calls.
Dad looked to see if the HOA recommended any other management companies. He made an alarming discovery. He found that the HOA by-laws restricted them from using any others except RMC. That raised a red flag for dad, so he went and dug up information on RMC and found the HOA board chair (HBC) was a co-owner of the company.
Dad emailed HBC, pointing out the conflict of interest and insisting the board needed to allow homeowners to use an alternate company. The guy replied back with something like, “Sorry not sorry. If you’re unhappy with the HOA leadership, you can attend the meeting on this date, when we will hold a vote for the other three board positions”. Oh, it was on.
Dad was mad and while digging through emails to build evidence for small claims court, he stumbled upon an email that had been sent to all the homeowners. However, HBC had forgotten to BCC the mailing list, so all the homeowners’ emails were visible. Dad sent a mass email and found lots of similar frustrations, and he walked into the election meeting with an insurmountable voting bloc.
They replaced all three members, who had all been enabling HBC, but they had to deal with HBC still because the board chair was not up for re-election yet. HBC was angry but was still trying to play innocent. Dad then recommended to the three new board members that they vote to hire a forensic accountant to go over the HOA’s books. HBC said, “Why should we waste fees on that?”
And Dad replied with, “So we can put you behind bars”. He said they eventually voted HBC out but never got anywhere with court repercussions; HBC cowered away and the drama fizzled. The end result was good though, because dad has been making good money off the rental in the years since. And he was a hero to that community.
They wanted to make him the new chair, but he declined since he lives out of state.
34. Taking Matters Into His Own Hands
I live in an HOA neighborhood that has a big common space in the middle with a gazebo. The HOA fees go mostly towards maintaining this space, however, there are two bushes planted right beside the road that the HOA has let grow to the point that the bushes hang out into the road. Due to how tight the road can be when people are parked on the street, you have to scrape your car down these bushes to get out of the neighborhood.
Today, this madlad of a neighbor came through and just screwed the bushes up in order to force the HOA to do something about them finally. He is my new hero!
35. David And Goliath
I live with my parents in a large (~500 house) gated community. For the past 20 years, the HOA has done a good job keeping the roads, sidewalks, pools, and small clubhouse maintained. A large number of houses overlook an old and well-loved city park, where a number of ducks, geese, and the occasional lost pelican or stork live. The park is completely unconnected to the HOA or gated community.
Early this year, park management announced they were going to be doing extensive deep maintenance, like cleaning and restocking the lakes, pruning trees, cleaning the gravel paths, etc. Included in this was a complete teardown and reconstruction of the restrooms, which my dad swears were from the 70s. Enter “Lucy”, a 30-something who got elected to the HOA board last year.
She somehow thought that the park was administered by the HOA, and thus all plans needed to be seen by her for approval. She was very vocal about her feelings on this on Nextdoor, and got together a small posse of supporters, ignored all the naysayers, and tried to shut down the operation via calls to the original community developer. When that failed, Lucy dreamed bigger.
Her next target was the city, but the city the development is not the same city that runs the park, thanks to legacy city limits. Obviously, construction and renovation have been going on without a hitch, so Lucy takes matters into her own hands and uses the tiny fragment of authority she has as a board member to file a lawsuit on behalf of the HOA against the government agency responsible for the park.
One problem: While the park is on the other city’s land, it’s actively run and managed by the state, because it was designated before the city was incorporated. So Lucy filed a lawsuit based on HOA policy against the state of California. There was an emergency board meeting called to deal with it, but due to scheduling errors, not enough members showed up to achieve quorum, although plenty of residents did.
Lucy refused to concede, and she couldn’t be removed from her position, so everyone went home angry. Yesterday, at the regular board meeting one week later, the residents learned the lawsuit had been tossed out of court, much to everyone’s relief. But the community is now on the hook for an unknown amount of fees. Lucy wasn’t at the second meeting, nor has she been active on Nextdoor, so we’re all hoping it’s over.
36. It’s A Dog’s Lifeman in black jacket and gray pants walking with brown short coated dog on snow coveredPhoto by Meritt Thomas on Unsplash
For context, I live in a condo complex and often walk my dogs in the subdivision across the street. I’ve been walking them there at least a few times a week for the past two years. They are always leashed and I always pick up their poop, and I have a friendly relationship with several residents in the community. Yesterday, a real-life HOA Karen basically stalked me.
She then chewed me out for walking my dogs in the neighborhood. She was upset because her yappy little dog barks when we walk past her house. In a very nonsensical rant, she told me I’m not allowed to walk my dogs in her neighborhood because she “pays fees”. It’s not a gated community and the streets are not private, according to the county website.
I know every community is different, but I couldn’t find their by-laws online. I would have been more than happy to stop passing her house, but she was so unbelievably rude that I’m considering passing by once or twice more before I find a new route.
37. Judgy Judy
This lady Judy thinks she is the judge and jury of the pool in our HOA. Her methods are ridiculous. Not only does she lock the pool for a day as punishment if someone from the renters’ side jumps the fence after hours, but she also sits and watches people, particularly racialized people. She goes so far as to follow them to their townhouse to make sure they actually have a key and aren't just faking.
Very strange that she doesn't watch my white husband, but she watches me and our neighbors. This is happening almost weekly. She also put a padlock and writes passive-aggressive notes as to why we can't swim in the pool we pay for. The only people she's punishing are the people that actually pay for the pool keys. She is the HOA vice president and has nothing better to do than marshal the pool.
I called the management company to get to the bottom of this. Their response stunned me. They had no idea about it, and were baffled as to why she took this upon herself. They are sending out an email soon with updated pool hours and rules but I'm not sure if this will deter Judy. I just don't understand. Is this normal?! It seems over the top to me but this is our first (bought, paid, have the deed, no mortgage) home.
We always pay our fees on time. We've lived here nearly a decade and I regret voting for this woman on our board. The pool is open today and I took several neighbors that didn't pay for a key because Judy is on vacation. We had a great time with no Judy. I talked to some of the teens (16 and up can swim without supervision) that came to the pool and suggested they record Judy if she follows them, and they can come to my house if they don't feel safe.
I will be taking my phone to the pool from now on. I didn't before because my house is right next to it.
38. See Ya Never
A number of years ago, we moved into a subdivision with what seemed like a pretty-laid back HOA. Now, the former owner was a first-class jerk who would never win the good neighbor award. Among the worst things he did was pave most of the front yard because he got tired of the neighbors whining at him to cut his grass. About six months later, I got a letter from the HOA telling us the driveway was "out of compliance".
I called the number in the letter and asked what they meant. They said it was far too large and needed to be reduced in size. Me: "Okay, so just let me know when the contractors will be here so I can move my cars". HOA: "No, you're the one who needs to pay to have it reduced in size”. Me: "Sorry, there were no covenant violations listed in the settlement papers, so there was no problem then, which means there's no problem now".
HOA: "But, but…" Me: "Let me know when they'll be here and I'll move my cars". Never heard from them again, and that was 17 years ago.
39. Stormy Weatherwhite and black tree paintingPhoto by Sigmund on Unsplash
I received an email from my HOA saying each unit owner will be assessed a Reconstruction Loss Assessment of $12,700 for replacing several units’ roofs. Following a hailstorm in June of 2021, the HOA filed a claim with their current insurer, which was ultimately denied, and their insurer attributed the damage to a storm in June of 2018.
The reason each unit owner is being assessed $12.7K is because the claim did not meet the deductible to allow for any payout. I bought this property in August of 2020 and was not made aware of any damages that occurred to the community prior to moving in. My insurance policy covers up to $15K for Reconstruction Loss Assessments.
However, since the damage was attributed to a storm that occurred more than two years before I bought my property, I cannot file a claim under my policy as it was not active at the date of the incident. The insurance agent said that it would need to be filed under the previous owner’s policy as it was active during that time, but I don’t have any means to contact the previous owner.
I sent an email to my HOA management stating that since I was not the owner of the property at the time of the damage, it would be on the previous owners that are responsible to file the claim. I asked if they would reach out to the previous owners to get that claim filed. The HOA management responded that the only information they had on file was a phone number that was disconnected and that they were sorry they could not reach them...
The HOA posted the $12K to my account and I told them I am changing my auto-pay setting to the flat monthly fee and I’m ignoring the full balance. It doesn’t make any sense to me that I would be liable for $12K for damages that occurred 2+ years before I bought the home. They also said, “You are not the only owner that is in this situation. They have had to look at financing options with their lenders or other financial institutions to deal with the assessment”.
40. Target On Your Back
Our condo association is evil and power-hungry. A few years ago, they called Child Services and tried to get my sister and I to go to foster care. Now, I have a service dog for my disability. It was fine for the first year, but then they turned downright nasty. They started issuing fines, and we are up to $6,000 dollars now. I know exactly why it’s happening, too.
One of our neighbors is on the board and for the past year, she has been taking photos and videos of me and my dog. Yesterday, I was leaving the car and I saw her in her window recording me. Someone put up a paper saying no dogs in our unit. I took it down and they fined us for destroying their property. Oh, and the cherry on top?
They violated HIPPA and talked to my therapist without my consent. They now send angry emails to us every day and send threats to foreclose. This association will harass anyone who doesn’t fit their mold.
41. Hello Entitlement, My Old Friend
Years ago, I moved into a new house in a fairly new development and foolishly thought it was the right thing to do and went to the first HOA meeting. The outcome was my worst nightmare. I somehow came out of that meeting the newly elected HOA president, a position I loathed for the 18 months I put up with it. As president, I was pretty lax on what was allowed.
As long as you aren't asking to paint your house all black with a giant middle finger on the side, we are cool. My main concern was keeping the common areas maintained (eg stormwater runoff pond, a couple of green spaces), everything else was just noise. Now the development one street over from ours had a much more, let's say "aggressive" HOA, but to be fair they had a lot more houses and common property to maintain including four different playgrounds.
In my community, we didn't have any. Somehow the president in that other neighborhood got my number and I had to have this conversation with her: Me: Hello? Her: Hi, I'm the HOA president for XXXX community, I need to talk about a problem that affects both of us. Me: Ok........ Her: We have had a lot of kids that I know that aren't a part of our community playing basketball at one of our playgrounds and it's very disruptive and keeping our kids from using it. I know a lot of those kids are probably coming from your neighborhood.
Me: What am I supposed to do about that? Her: Well I have asked them many times to leave, but they just don't listen to me. So here is what we should do, next time this happens and I know they are from your neighborhood I am going to call you and I need you to go over and tell them to leave. I literally didn't say anything for a minute, I was so stunned she thought this was a good idea.
Me: No, I will not ask some kids to leave your playground. If those kids are not leaving the playground when you ask what makes you think they are going to leave when I ask? Her: (getting huffy now) So you are saying you are not going to help with this problem, what do you propose we do then? Me: Get rid of the basketball court, if there is a basketball court, kids will go there to play.....period.
Her: Well, that is not acceptable! Me: Well short of hiring private security or calling officers every time you think someone is trespassing, I don't have any solutions for you. Her: I can't believe you won't help your fellow HOA president! . Ironically, my wife and I moved into that same neighborhood recently and this woman was one of the first people to greet us.
I am pretty sure she doesn't realize it was me she was talking to years earlier.
42. It Wasn’t Mebrown concrete building during daytimePhoto by Henry Becerra on Unsplash
When my wife and I were first married, we lived in a condominium complex with a very stupid and uptight HOA. Our condo was owned by my parents who rented it to us (the only reason we could afford it), and most of our neighbors were retirees. Most of our neighbors were actually very sweet, and many we even considered almost adopted grandparents.
However, there were also a bunch that had nothing but time on their hands to nitpick every tiny problem with the place. Unfortunately, these are also the types of people who apply for HOA positions, and the “wonderful” part about being the only young couple in the building was that we got blamed for EVERYTHING. Here are a few incidents.
After we were living there for a couple of months, I received a knock on the door from the HOA head. He at least was reasonable but often uninformed and would act on rumors spouted by his crazy board). He was asking to come in. He then proceeded to give me a lecture about the noise our dog was making, how they had received several complaints, and how we would be fined if we did not calm it down more. Here’s the outrageous part.
We didn’t own a dog. When he realized this, the guy apologized and left; however, we still received two more written warnings from the HOA board until they finally figured it out. The second frustrating incident was shortly after the birth of my son. My wife had had a c-section and was sleeping in the living room because she could not climb into our tall bed.
One evening while she was sitting there, she smelled a strong smell of smoke that made her nauseated. When I walked outside our condo into the lobby to check, I noticed a heavy haze there. My wife was very sensitive to smell at the time and the c-section made puking agonizing. Since the building had strict indoor smoke rules, I actually reported the issue via email to the HOA hoping they would do something about it.
And what do they do? I couldn’t believe the outcome. Two days later we get a written letter citing complaints resulting from the haze, demanding we stop otherwise we get fined. Even though we were the first ones to complain! We then get no response when we reply and proceed to get two more warnings (the smell became a regular evening occurrence).
They eventually did send us a fine which they quickly dropped once my dad (the actual homeowner) gave them a very angry phone call. The smell never stopped. Finally, when it was time for us to move out, we informed them two weeks in advance that we would have a moving crew (a bunch of friends) coming through. This was in compliance with their rules so they could notify residents and provide covers for the elevator so they wouldn’t be damaged.
I never hear a response. Two days before the move, I ran into the new HOA head and remind her of our weekend moving plans. She acknowledges that she received my email and says she will provide me with the equipment the morning of the move. She never does and so we move without it, and we do it without damaging the elevator. And what do they do?
Try to fine my parents for not providing advance notice of the move. That one also didn’t go down well for them…There were also tons of other petty things, too. Comments about us being noisy late at night even though we both worked and went to bed early, lots of accusatory questions about things out of place, etc. We were essentially the first pick to blame whenever something went wrong without an immediate explanation.
I’m so glad we no longer have to deal with them.
43. We All Know One Of Those
So we're sitting in the cafeteria having breakfast just talking and my co-worker brings up how his neighbors are being a pain and he took pictures for the HOA. This dude literally walked on everybody's property and took the most ridiculous pictures. No joke, he took pictures of a single weed sprouting up in a driveway. Halfway through this roll of 50 pictures, it gets better.
He starts complaining about people having trash cans in front of their houses. I ask him why it's a problem and he tells me he doesn't want to look at them and having the cans there will devalue his house. I tell him a simple fix is to just not look at them and mind his own business. Honestly, I was floored. This guy seemed like a decent dude but after this, I am just dumbfounded.
Who the heck complains about stuff like that? He literally walked up onto people’s porches to take pictures of some green mold on their railings. It looked like it hadn't been cleaned in maybe two months, that’s it. I honestly can't believe these people exist.
44. Unfriendly And Dangerous
This happened about three years ago. I was living with my dad before moving out. This is in central Texas a little north of Austin on a county road. My family had lived there for almost 30 years, long before any thought of a neighborhood even existed. We have our two gate posts painted purple, which means keep out for anyone who doesn’t know.
We also kept the gate dummy locked to avoid unwanted guests. The most recent neighborhood at that time had a rather strict HOA that luckily up until that point we had the pleasure of never dealing with as we lived two miles down the road from the back entrance to said neighborhood. One day on my day off while my dad was at work, I heard a knock at the door.
I looked through the peephole to see a woman in her mid-40s dressed like a businesswoman. I assumed it was someone offering to buy the property as we live on 20 acres. I opened the door and she said, “I’m blah blah blah with the neighborhood HOA, I just wanted to speak to the property owner about the purple posts. It doesn’t really match the aesthetic of the neighborhood”.
I was so lost. I started to talk and then was left speechless. Her reply floored me. This witch snaps, “Can you speak?” in the most malicious tone I’d ever heard. So I said “Lady, purple posts mean ‘keep out’ and that gate was dummy locked. I don’t know how long you’ve been in Texas but your actions in the past five minutes would’ve counted as a signed death wish to a lot of people on this county road, including my dad”.
I paused, then said, “We’re not a part of your stupid HOA, we live TWO FREAKING MILES down the road from it. If we want to spray paint our trees red and grass blue, we can. So turn around, close the gate behind you and screw off”. She started to talk some more, so I slammed the door in her face and watched her leave from the window.
A few months later, a friend of mine moved into that neighborhood and told me that my dad and his property are regularly posted on their Facebook page as “unfriendly and dangerous”.
45. Not A Smart Thing To DoPhoto by Mahsa Habibi on Unsplash
I've never had a problem with my HOA before, as they usually stay out of everyone's business. My HOA has a nice park that our HOA fee (only $10/month) funds, which is really the whole point of this neighborhood having an HOA. It's a nice green space with a canal, tennis courts, basketball courts, and a large open field. Recently, a breeding pair of burrowing owls made their nest there.
As per Florida law, they protected the nest by putting up some caution tape. Annoyingly, people have been letting their dogs into that area, but generally, the owls have been fine and happy. They had chicks this summer; I'm not sure if they have left the nest yet or not. On Friday, I was walking my dog and saw some landscapers in the area, so I turned around and walked the other way to give them space.
Saturday, I took my dog out and saw that they had clear-cut the whole nest! I'm furious. Those owls are a threatened species and have state protections. Rationally, it may have just been a miscommunication between the HOA, the landscaping company, and the guys who actually do the work...but I'm still mad. I reported them and hopefully, some action is taken and the nest is better protected.
46. The Shoes Are Coming Off
My reject hall pass monitors are at it again. We’ve had a number of issues with the hypocrisy of our HOA board. Conflicts of interest to be specific. A petition went around to remove the corrupt board, but not enough votes were put into place due to her strong-arming residents into signing a counter-petition. So, now the board is going after anyone who signed the petition.
See, the management company told the board who signed it, another conflict of interest. My wife is a Buddhist. Every place we have lived unfortunately has had an HOA, but none have ever bothered her for following her rituals. As a Buddhist, your home is your temple where you pray. Your shoes do not come into the home. We live in an 18-unit condo complex.
Each unit has a deep alcove. My wife and I leave our shoes in our alcove. This has started a total firestorm. Just constant threats of fines. We had to go to an appeal and for the fourth time had to explain this is due to our religious observation. We pointed out the hypocrisy of the board members keeping things in common areas, as where we keep our shoes are not even common areas.
The alcove is not cleaned, but they keep redefining what is a common area and what is not. The president lied about who filed the complaint (we have a recording of her telling us who filed the complaint) and they signed an affidavit saying they never complained. The rule they are attempting to enforce is a very vague, up-to-interpretation type rule that changes constantly to benefit themselves.
We have a lawyer and previously gave the president a cease-and-desist order. So she now has her lackeys coming after us. We’ve spoken to everyone in the community, and they are beyond angry. We informed them (both the board of directors and the community) that we will not be paying their fines and if they want to hurt the community by being bigoted, court action will be taken.
47. All Bark And No Bite
I posted on my neighborhood Facebook group this morning about a person who lets their large dog outside to bark constantly from 6:30 to 7:15 am every morning. It wakes me up every day. It has been going on for months, but I also pointed out it has been well below freezing outside most of the days this has happened in the last two weeks.
I do not know which house it is coming from, and every house has a fully fenced-in backyard. I do not hate dogs, and we also have one. Within an hour, my post was deleted, I received a message chastising me, and a four-paragraph diatribe about my post and how our neighborhood is full of nothing but great people and our Facebook group is for uplifting and positive comments.
It also said the entire HOA board discussed my post and decided to take it down. At 8:30 in the morning within 30 minutes of it being posted. I would like to thank my HOA for teaching me a valuable lesson: posting on Facebook is actually more disrespectful and offensive to your neighbors than letting your dog bark incessantly every morning for months. Who knew?
48. A Sign Of The Timessilver and black car enginePhoto by Clark Van Der Beken on Unsplash
So there I was driving at about 45mph in between neighborhood exits when a 15-year-old kid pulled out in front of me even though he had a stop sign. I had to choose: slam into his driver-side door, or swerve—so naturally, I swerved. When I did, my brakes locked up and I lost control slamming into and over a curb and smashing into a granite sign.
The car was totaled. I was bleeding, but we were right next to a cop shop, so I figured officers would be there soon. Well, I was very wrong about that. The first person to arrive was some old guy who immediately told me I had damaged the sign and would have to pay for it. Mind you, I hit the corner of the sign and there was not even a scratch on it.
I could not believe he had the audacity to not even ask if me and the other driver were ok or anything. The old man then called his HOA hot-shot, who was all dressed up in a suit, so that she could tell me the same thing. Months later, they kept making claims on my insurance and trying to sue to get their fern replaced. Long story short, they are scum who don’t care about anything other than exercising what little power they have.
For what it’s worth, even the 15-year-old kid did the right thing and pulled a U-turn to see if I was ok. He also admitted fault to the authorities. He had a permit and was driving his older friend to his job.
49. Over The Line
When I was a child we lived in Florida and our neighborhood had a really horrible HOA. I don't remember all of the details and I don't know precisely how an HOA works, but I do know that the biggest problem was one board member, in particular, I’ll name him Mr Creep. Mr Creep hated children, and had no regard for personal property whatsoever.
He would often yell at me whenever I went outside, one time while I WAS GOING TO A SCHOOL BUS. He also kept fining my dirt-poor father for every single infraction and inspected our house nearly daily to find things to fine for. The last straw, though, was a doozy. It came when he tried to inspect the inside of our house.
Without any by-laws on his side, he told my father that he must let him inside his home to inspect every single room by threat of monetary loss. Of course, dad said no, and he got yet another fine. After a few weeks, and many fines, we were supposed to go on vacation, but we found out at the last minute that after the last fine we couldn't afford to leave.
That night, I heard a window break. Dad ran downstairs, and then I heard my father's double-barrel go off. Mr Creep had waited until we were supposedly on vacation, and intended to break into our house when we were away!
He never bothered us again.
50. Dog Day Afternoon Gone Wrong
I am a landlord with a decent portfolio of properties. I have a tenant with a major disability who requires an actual service dog. The president of the HOA was somehow convinced this wasn’t a “real” service dog. They went to disgusting lengths to “test” this theory. I wish I was making this next part up, but the president illegally entered my home and put his fingers down the dog’s throat, then struck the dog to see how we would react.
I have a restraining order against him and he has been told verbally and in writing that he is not allowed on or in any of my properties without my written permission. Long story short, mistreating a service animal is a good way to get charged, plus be investigated by the ADA and fair housing. He spent a long time in the county clinker for that one.
Have you ever experienced something that felt like a “glitch in the matrix”? From slips in time to places that simply shouldn’t exist, there are some moments in life that you just can’t explain. These Redditors came together to share their eeriest experiences—and they’re so creepy, they’re impossible to forget.
One day 16 years ago, when I worked at a gas station, I was watching a teenage couple get slushies at the back of the store. I was taken aback when the young man looked toward the till, because I noticed that he had a very severe facial deformity. But then, when I kept watching, I noticed something bizarre. When he looked to the girl, he looked perfectly normal in profile. Confused, I assumed I imagined it the first time.
Well, they eventually came to the front of the store. Then his face was distorted again, like a terrifying gargoyle. I kept looking at the girl to see if she could see what I was seeing but she didn’t seem to. And every time he turned to her, his face was normal. Trust me—this was like a Halloween mask. It was not an expression anyone could possibly make.
It was SO DIFFERENT and terrible. Anyway. As he looked at me and finished paying, I felt like a massive black cloud of hate inside me, like an actual thing. It was like I had drunk a glass of liquid hate. Then they left. I’ve never been able to explain it.
2. The Twilight Zone
In the 80s, my aunt had won $14 million in the lottery. With her winnings, she built her own house from scratch on this big plot of land. It's still there today, but owned and renovated by its new owners. My uncle who bought her the ticket had unfortunately passed on in 2000 from an abrupt heart attack, so needless to say, she moved out of her dream home because it was too much for her to bear. It sat there empty for over a decade.
Before she sold it, my younger cousin, my older cousin, and I, as well as our dads, uncles, and a close family friend, went there to get family mementos and reminisce about the "good times." From the beginning this was hard to do because, after years of abandonment, it had no lights or water and was overgrown on the inside.
At around 4 in the morning, we’d been hearing the weirdest noises ever, which I now think was just an old house deteriorating. I mean the house was huge and had a basement, and then another basement underneath it, and was built in the 80s. We decided to go out back and decompress and say our goodbyes around a fire before going home.
So, there are four levels to the house, two above ground, and two below ground, and on every level, there was some way to get out of the house directly to the yard. We were all walking up these long creepy stairs from the bottom basement to the yard. My older cousin's friend who came with us, B, had to go back down for something he left.
The stairs came out of a hill so it was such a long hike up, we were all like, "We just walked all the way up, we aren't going back down." About 10 minutes pass after coming out and we had the fire all set up and were sitting around it. All the adults noticed B hadn't come back up. They joked, saying he got stuck or lost or something, but eventually the jokes weren't funny anymore.
My dad and uncle went down to look for him and came back up to say they couldn't find him at all. My younger cousin and I started freaking because we were scared and young, like 14 or 15, and the other adults started tripping out and worrying because all the doors got locked before we left. We all left by the sub-basement door, which was the only one left to lock. My dad and uncle went down again to check if all the doors were still locked, and they were.
We all decided to sit there, waiting for B to come out of this door that's about 10 yards away from us. All of a sudden, my older cousin gets a call from him. What he said was so disturbing, it’s impossible to forget. B told my cousin, "I don't know what to tell you, but I just woke up at my house, dude." B lived over 40 miles away at this time. My older cousin started uncontrollably sobbing.
My younger cousin's dad, Z, said, "Nope, it's time to go now," and starts to get up to throw water on the fire. Then, out of completely deafening silence, this sound that was unbearably loud just shook all of us. It sounded like a giant generator getting shut off. Me, my younger cousin, my dad, and my older cousin immediately start screaming, "Did you guys hear that?"
What happened next still haunts me.My uncles were totally stuck like something out of a late-night episode of The Twilight Zone. One of them was in a position of getting up, but was just stuck where he was. The other was laughing at everybody, but wasn't anymore, he was just open-mouth crinkled-eyes smiling like he did while laughing.
My dad and older cousin started shaking them. My dad was freaking out and must've thought they died, because he just kept saying, "Please no, please don't do this!" My younger cousin and I were absolutely terrified, in every meaning of the word. My dad and older cousin took us back up to the car and locked it, despite us crying our eyes out because we didn't want to be left alone, and then went back.
I don't know how much time passed but soon enough, lights came up from the hills and it was all of them walking toward us. My dad decided my younger cousin was going to stay with us for the night, and my uncles just went home…without looking in our direction or saying anything to us. We kept asking my dad and older cousin what exactly was even happening and what was going on.
My dad just kept saying, "For as long as we live, we will never talk to you guys or anyone about this night ever." He said those words four different times, during this long rant about not knowing what life was anymore. My older cousin turned and looked us in the eyes and said, "There are some things you just want to accept as never being able to know the real answers to.” We rode home in silence.
My younger cousin and I talk about it at least once a month since it happened, but have never dared to talk to them about it—except for one time. We tried to bring it up, but they all got extremely mad because we kept pressing about it and they wouldn't give answers.
3. A Double-Edged Swordbrown wooden handle bar on brown wooden tablePhoto by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
My friend Ian and I had been on Cape Cod for three days, staying at my grandfather's beach house. We started drinking around 11 pm. By 1 am, we had chatted, smoked, listened to music, the usual. We were feeling good, but not hammered, and decided to go outside for one last smoke before bed. On the way out, we spotted my Grandpa's collection of swords and knives on the wall of his garage.
Being buzzed, young, and stupid, we decided, "Let's have a sword fight." Smart right? We took a couple of swords off the wall and began dueling immediately. A little clanging and a few good laughs later, we found ourselves on the main road. It was empty at this hour, just a streetlight and the two of us, "dueling" away.
This is where things got weird.After a few more minutes of silly swordplay, we found ourselves in an intense battle. Soon, the battle turned from friendly idiocy to something more intense. I have no idea what started it, but we were really having it out. I lunged, he lunged, things escalated, and it was quickly out of hand. Then, out of nowhere, I got the better of him.
I'm still not sure how it happened, but my final attack ended up being much more than I had bargained for. He went pale after my final thrust, and my hands shook as I released the sword, but it didn't hit the ground. I never meant it; but my sword ran straight through his abdomen. I stood there in disbelief, wondering how this happened.
After what seemed like forever, with moaning and me in shock, I ran for help. I rushed into the house yelling. My grandfather came out of his room, and I told him to call 9-1-1. I then ran back to the street to stay with Ian until someone arrived. Law enforcement showed up first, then an ambulance. After they saw what had happened, we were rushed to the hospital and taken into the ICU, where we were split up and I was forced to wait.
After a couple of strenuous hours, a doctor and a policeman entered the waiting room. I expected the worst...and I was right. Ian had passed on from massive internal bleeding, and hemorrhaging in his liver. I went outside for a smoke, still trying to comprehend what had happened. Midway through my smoke, a man approached me from behind, asking for light.
I nodded, took out my lighter, and faced the man. The man I faced wasn't who I expected.It was Ian. He looked at me, puzzled at my hesitation and shock. I lit his smoke, speechless, and immensely confused. "You alright dummy?" he said. I looked around, and we were back on the main street swords in hand. "Let's fight coward."
He swung his sword around in the air, then smacked me on the arm, jolting me back into reality. I took a drag of my smoke, picked up my sword, and parried his second swing. I wasn't myself, and he knew it, so we went back to the house, watched TV, and passed out. I didn't tell him what I had seen until years later, and even then, he didn't believe me.
He still teases me about "murdering" my best bud, and calls me "the swordsman" whenever we drink together. And that's my glitch.
4. Blink And You’ll Miss It
Eight years ago, I was living in a two-bedroom apartment by myself with two cats. I had a girlfriend, who I’ll name Elsa for this story, who lived 45 minutes away, on her college campus. Most weekends, she would drive into town and stay at my place until she had class again on Monday. We did regular things, as we didn't get to see much of each other.
So, here's the scene. It's Saturday night, 11 pm. Elsa and I are sitting on the couch, watching a movie—I can't remember which. We are dressed, sober, and alert, as we slept in that morning and had plenty of sleep. We are chatting, laughing, talking. The TV is illuminating our immediate area, and I kept the light on in the kitchen to provide some ambient light for the living room as well.
My cats are asleep in their favorite chair, all is well. Everybody is safe and comfortable. Suddenly, without any kind of warning or inkling, the “Jump” happened. You know when you're watching dialogue in a movie, and they're using two cameras to film? When they switch from camera to camera to capture the one speaking, it is seamless? With no clipping, interruption, fading, or transition effects? It was that sudden.
We were having a good time together in the living room when in an instant, I found myself sitting on the foot of my bed, clothes removed, in the dark. For about one half of a second, a million thoughts entered my mind. Had something fallen off the wall and hit my head? Did I have a seizure? Was I dreaming the whole time? Where is Elsa? Then the scary part.
I turn to my right, and Elsa is also sitting on the foot of the bed next to me, clothes removed. Her eyes are the size of golf balls and she's trembling. I realize I am as well. I try to speak and ask her if something happened, but I'm so frightened. I only stutter. After looking around the room and realizing we are alive, she managed to ask me what happened.
I didn't want to answer, in case it was just me, and I didn't want to come off as nuts. I just looked at her. After a pause, she started asking me again if I had turned off the lights, or removed our clothes, or if I knew what was going on. I didn’t. Neither of us had experienced grogginess or confusion before the event.
Furthermore, we didn't experience any sensations other than fear and confusion after it. No aches or pains, no bumps, bruises, or cuts. I reach for my phone to call my mom and see if a doctor would be appropriate. I notice that it is not 11 pm anymore. Now it's 3 am. In that sudden instant, that instantaneous change of scene, four hours had passed.
Everything in the house had been turned off, and we had been stripped. We went to the ER, as my mom's fear was a gas leak. No signs of toxins or injury were found on either of us. Elsa made an appointment for a CAT scan, which also came back as expected. I explored possibilities like a gas leak, poisoned consumer goods like our soda or fast food, neurological malfunctions, and more.
But the one thing that always bothered me was the fact that Elsa and I lost and acquired the time at the exact same instants, four hours apart. Neither of us witnessed anything that the other didn’t. And there were no lingering effects. For weeks I kept bringing it up with her, just hoping one of us would remember something. I browsed forums from all types of sites searching for answers.
Every time I brought it up, Elsa would get scared at the memory, and beg me to just let it go. I couldn’t. I'm no writer, so I'm sure I left some things out that would have been helpful in understanding the magnitude and surrealism of this event and how it affected Elsa and I. Somebody, tell me what happened to me.
5. Road To Nowhere
When I was 19, I owned a car. I haven't driven since, because I never want to go through that ordeal ever again. I was driving at night, trying to get home from a friend's place. My friend lived out in the country, so I had to take back country roads home. I was never a proficient night driver, so when I got lost, I wasn't surprised.
I tried bringing up Google Maps, but I didn't have my 3G coverage out there. I decided that I was probably going in the wrong direction—just a gut feeling—so I got out of the car to look around. At the time, it was May, but when I got out, it was freezing cold. The weather had been mild all that week, even at night it was brisk at the worst.
The second I stepped out of the car, though, I knew everything was wrong. Not only was it unimaginably cold for that time of year, but the forest that was below the hill my car was on was gone. It had been there just moments before I stepped out, but now, there were four large houses where the patch of trees had been.
The houses didn't look like houses I was used to seeing in the area. They had domed roofs with a skylight in the middle, and what looked like elongated entryways at the front, kind of like your classic igloo. I started to panic, and called my dad, but the call went nowhere. I had forgotten that I lost coverage. Then, I suddenly heard a voice below me.
I looked down at the houses, and a small floodlight had been turned on in one of the front lawns of the houses. This guy was standing outside with a dog. He was talking to the dog in this language I had never heard before. I'm no linguist, and I couldn't hear him very well, but I swear it sounded practically alien. Lots of elongated vowels and “chirping,” for lack of a better word.
I was dumbfounded. Freaking out. At that point, I was considering throwing myself off that hill hoping to hit my head and wake up back in my car. I was fully awake though, freezing, and panicked. I rushed back into my car, and drove for another few minutes before passing by another car. That car, though, was totally not the kind of car we see today.
There was a weird symbol on the windshield, and lights accenting the chassis. It had no outboard mirrors, and didn't make a normal sound as it passed by. I can't even describe the sound it made. Not a “whoosh” like normal cars, it was almost like a slithering. I think the driver noticed that my car was super different too, because as I instinctively slowed down to get a better look, so did the strange car. That was it for me.
I stopped at the side of the road a few seconds after it had passed, and took a lot of deep breaths. I turned off my car and sat for a long time, but eventually worked up the nerve to get out of the car again. This time, it was barely cool out, and I could recognize my surroundings. I was a 20 minutes’ drive away from home.
I walked down the road a ways, around a bend and up another small hill, and could see a familiar billboard out in the distance. The problem was that I was way too afraid that if I got back in my car, things would change again, so I was determined to stay outside. I thought, just to be safe, I'll open the car door, and grab the flashlight I keep in the driver's side door compartment.
I walked back down the hill, around the bend, and the car wasn’t there. It occurred to me that after I shut the car door, I hadn't looked back at all. So maybe I had just forgotten its position. I kept walking back, but nope. No car. I checked my phone, and it had been hours now since I left, and my parents were surely in bed asleep, so I called my friend, and he picked me up on the road.
I told him some made up story about how the car had crapped out on the roads going through the woods, on a different, longer route back to my house. I was getting scared in the woods, so I decided to hoof it home, gave up by the time my folks had gone to bed, so I had to call him. He laughed at my misfortune and apparent stupidity, and said he'd help me look for the car the next day.
I led my dad and him on a wild goose chase for that car for the majority of the next day, before my dad gave up and said it must have been stolen, and reported it. To this day, the car hasn't been found, because as far as I know, it's on the side of the road in what I firmly believe to be an alternate dimension, a parallel universe, or what have you.
6. 23 Years In One Nightman's portrait photographyPhoto by Donald Teel on Unsplash
First, some details. I’m 22 years old. Currently, I serve in the Marine Corps. In April of 2019, I had what can only be described as a hyper-realistic dream. So much so that it feels more like a legitimate memory than a dream. It starts off with me waking up the following day and going about my daily routine. Slowly but surely, day after day passes.
Eventually, I get out and go to college. I propose to my girlfriend of eight years and get married the following year. Nine months later I have a son, Timothy. It’s one of the happiest times of my life. I'm going to school and working as a Lyft driver. With my VA benefits, things are at least moderately comfortable. My now-wife works a small part-time job as well.
About two years later, and we are expecting again. This time it’s twins. My children Johnathan (John) Matthew and Gracelyn (Grace) Marie are born. By this time, I'm finishing up my degree with only one semester left. We eventually save up enough to get out of our two-bedroom apartment and make a down payment on a nice four-bedroom house using the VA home loan.
I finish school and become a pastor. Day after day goes by. Eventually, Tim graduates high school and enlists in the Marine Corps like I did. When he graduates boot camp I admittedly tear up. John graduates with honors and gets accepted into a mechanic trade school. Grace, against what her mother and I advise, gets married immediately after graduation.
Being good parents, we accept her decision and I walk her down the aisle on her wedding day. Months later, I become a granddad. Holding my grandson for the first time is equal to holding my child for the first time. A year later, in 2042, my daughter is expecting her second child. One day, when she is seven months pregnant, I go to sleep and wake up. Like, actually wake up.
Imagine my surprise when I'm in my 20s and it's 2019 again. I never felt such loss before. Realizing the family I had didn't exist.
7. Don’t Wake The Baby
This morning I wrecked my car. It was such a silly way to wreck, but it happened. I started up a hill and there was a truck and trailer turning up a hill in front of me. I was a good few cars lengths behind him, but I still slowed down because he was moving slowly. He quickly made the turn, I sped up, then he stopped suddenly leaving the trailer sitting out in the road.
I slammed on my breaks and tried to stop, but still ended up sliding into him. The next couple of seconds were a bit blurry, but I remember seeing the front of my car slam into the Mansfield bar as the back of the trailer came through my windshield. The whole crash only lasted a few seconds, but I know my car had gone under the end of the trailer, jarring the bar loose.
I saw it swing into my windshield, hitting me in the face. The next thing I remember is feeling the metal slam into my face and tasting blood. My face hurt badly and my two-year-old was screaming in the back seat. My head was hurting worse than any pain I had ever felt, but I had to make sure he was okay. I laid my seat back enough to twist around to look at him.
He was safely buckled in his car seat and had no signs of injury. He was obviously just scared as he had been asleep a few minutes prior to this. When he saw my face, he screamed louder and started crying even more. He was screaming “Mommy!” “Mommy!” Through sobs. He was crying so hard he was going silent between breaths.
The last thing I remember is hearing the guy I hit calling an ambulance. As I drifted off, I could hear my baby screaming but I didn’t have the strength to get to him. The next thing I know I’m waking up in a panic and my eyes pop open and I’m hitting the trailer again. But this time it was different. The trailer twisted up and swung in the opposite direction, throwing a riding lawnmower off into a ditch.
When the car was still, I quickly turned around and my two-year-old was still asleep in the back seat. I was so confused and scared. My first thought was that I had died, and I was stuck in a loop of crashing into this trailer. I know how silly that sounds, but that was the first conclusion my mind gathered. I sat there dumbfounded for what seemed like forever until I heard the guy I hit telling me to please say something or he was calling 9-1-1.
I turned to him and told him I was fine. There wasn’t a scratch on me and my two-year-old was sleeping peacefully in the back seat. This time several things were different. Instead of hitting him directly with the front center of my car, I only hit him on the driver's side. And I wasn’t injured at all, not a single scratch. Previously my face had been hit and I felt pains in different parts of my body.
There were vehicles stopped behind me and things continued as they normally would after a wreck. Law enforcement was called and they started cleaning up the accident. The lady in the car behind me finally got out and came to ask if my little guy and I wanted to sit in her car until all was done. I declined and she asked if I was sure I was okay.
What she said next made my blood run cold. She said she just knew I’d be hurt because she saw the trailer come through my windshield. As in, she’d seen the crash the way it happened the first time. When she looked at the front of my car and saw my windshield still intact, she too was dumbfounded. I don’t know if this was a glitch, a divine intervention, or a coincidence.
Did my mind simply fill in the blanks and she perceived the accident differently than what actually happened? I don’t know, but I’m so very thankful my baby and I are both unharmed.
8. Well, I’ll Be A Monkey’s Father
I have a 10-month-old son. He’s a great kid and is just starting to crawl and move around on his own. Tonight, before I put him to bed, he passed out on this big pillow in our living room after he had a bottle. I picked him up and put him in his crib in his room down the hall, then let the dog out and sat down to watch some TV before I brushed my teeth and went to bed.
My dog walked down the hall to my bedroom to go to bed and about an hour later I get up to turn the TV off. I notice my son asleep, facing away from me on the same pillow I picked him up from an hour before. Now, thinking that given his skill level at walking and crawling there is no way he was getting out of his crib, down the hall and back there, I chalked it up to me not paying attention.
So, I walked over, picked him up, slung him over my left shoulder, went over to the front window, shut it, and went back down the hall to go to put him in bed. I opened the door to his room, turned the corner, and with the dim light from the nightlight, I notice that he is in his crib asleep. It took about a second to put together what was happening.
How did I have him on my shoulder while he was in the bed at the same time? What felt like a millisecond later, I hear my dog kind of bark/whimper in a confused tone right behind me, then I looked to my left bringing my arm down, and I see that his stuffed animal monkey is in my arm. Now, I am as sure as anything in my life that I picked up my son and that I would have known the difference between a 25 lb. kid and a 1lb. stuffed animal.
I've checked the carbon monoxide detector, the windows were open, and I've only had a single drink tonight. The weirdest thing though is that my big ol’ black lab will not leave my son's room. I'm really, really baffled.
9. An About Faceman sitting on floorPhoto by Jesús Rocha on Unsplash
A really bizarre thing happened today that left me a bit shaken. Earlier today, I went to an otolaryngologist appointment with a sore throat. At the end of my 30-minute slot, I was sitting at the table across from the doctor, with her writing out the prescriptions. Suddenly there was a knock on the door and, without waiting for a response, a man stepped in.
He was tall and slightly stooping, in his 30s or maybe 40s, with balding blond hair, wearing jeans and a checkered shirt. I guessed he was the next patient in line eager to start his appointment, and only paid him a quick glance before turning back to the table. The doctor called out something to the effect of, “Sir, could you please wait outside? I’ll call you back in a few minutes” and resumed writing.
The man, however, didn’t leave right away, but continued silently standing in the doorway for several more seconds. Then, out of my side vision, I noticed something truly disturbing. There was something strange going on with his face that wasn’t there a moment ago. I couldn’t make out the details, so I cautiously gave him another look.
What I saw is difficult to put into words. The best I can describe it is, well, a glitch effect, like a corrupt image in a video file. The man’s face was now a blob of different shades of pink, misshapen and somehow almost pixilated. I was only able to catch a flash of it, though, as the man quickly turned back to the door and stepped out.
As he was turning around, I noticed that in profile his face looked flat and featureless, like that of a Lego figure. This encounter was so unexpected and so unusual that at first, it didn’t even register with me as something noteworthy. After a moment’s consideration, I figured it must’ve been a simple brain hiccup on my part due to a lack of sleep, or maybe some weird visual illusion.
But then I met eyes with the doctor. She paused, pen in hand, and asked me hesitantly: “Did you see it? His face…” “Yeah,” I said. And that was that, we didn’t discuss it further. She finished filling out my paperwork and I went home, feeling a bit lightheaded. As I left the office, the man was sitting in the corridor outside occupied with his phone. As far as I could see, his face was once again perfectly normal.
10. The Doppelganger
It happened in early 2000, when I was working at a juvenile detention center in a small town in Oklahoma as a corrections officer. I was working nights at the time and went to work at 9 PM. This one night when I arrived for work my supervisor looked confused and asked me what I was doing there. I said, "I work tonight." And he said, "But they said you called in a few hours ago saying that you were sick."
I was a bit confused and said, "It must have been someone else and they got the message wrong." After everyone else showed up for work that night it was a bit weirder, but we carried on as usual and assigned everyone their places for the night; I went to work in the control room where I usually work. The control room is the center of the place, and it has direct control over the cameras, doors, phones, pretty much everything.
After I relieved the guard on duty and settled in for the night, I looked at the message that said I called in. It said that I had called at 6:50 and said that I had gotten sick while out cleaning up after the storm. There had been a storm the night before and it was a bit bad, but not anything that I had to go out to clean up. It was truly weird—and it was about to get weirder.
The supervisor came into the control about that time. He was also a friend of mine outside work and we started talking about it, and how odd it was. I decided to call my wife at home and tell her about it while he was still sitting there. I picked up the phone and dialed. After two rings a man picked up the phone and with a raspy voice said, "Hello?"
I didn't know what to say for a few seconds. I looked at the phone to make sure I dialed the right number, and I had. After a few seconds, the person said, "Hello?" again in the same raspy voice. I said, "Hello. Who is this?" They replied, "This is Taylor, who is this?" My head started spinning.My name is Taylor. In almost a scream I said: "Where’s Ann?"
He said, "Ann's in bed. Who is this?" I dropped the phone and told my supervisor to ring me out, I had to get home, and I took off towards the door. I could hear Dave pick up the phone behind me and say, "Hello?" followed soon after by "What the heck!" rather loudly. I ran to my car and drove home faster than I should have, my mind racing the entire time.
I busted through the door and my wife was sitting watching TV and was shocked at me being home. I asked her who was there and she said no one has been over. After a rather long talk with my wife, I went to call the center to tell them what was going on, but the phone was dead. I went back to work and when I came in, Dave was acting weird and asked me, "How are you doing this?"
He told me that when I left, he picked up the phone and the person on the other end sounded like me. He kind of freaked out and hung up the phone. A minute later, as he could see my car leaving the parking lot, the phone rang. What he heard made his blood run cold. He said that I had called back from home and asked what theheckwas going on.
He said that I was a bit irate and said I was sick and did not feel like playing these games and was telling him to stop prank calling me and hung up. After convincing him I had no idea what was going on, we went back to work. Later, I find out that the phone line for my area had been knocked down the night before by the storm.
This is absolutely the strangest thing that has ever happened to me.
11. Nine Lives, Two Stories
When I was in high school my little sister, mom, and I would eat dinner together every evening and tell each other about our days. At the time my sister was young, only in elementary school. On a Monday during summer break we were all having dinner and my sister told us about how she and our next-door neighbors were playing with their new cat when it got loose outside. They had to spend the whole day looking for it.
Fast forward two days at dinnertime, my sister tells the exact same story from two days prior. My mom and I looked at each other funny because we both clearly remembered the cat story. When we asked my sister if she had mistaken the day since she told us the story on Monday, she just gave us this blank look and had no memory of it.
The creepy part is, when we called our neighbors to ask them about the cat incident they told us all of it happened that day, Wednesday, and they weren't even in town on Monday.
12. Down The Rabbit Holewoman in white and black polka dot shirt with face maskPhoto by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash
My mother did all her GYN appointments with a doctor in downtown Austin. He was on the 5th floor of this hospital building and had a long time nurse/receptionist named Alison. I remember attending her appointments when I was little and my mother would make a game out of finding the office and being in the waiting room, which was colorfully decorated with a forest scene.
Alison was a super sweet woman who was half babysitter for us kids, too. She would read us books and give us coloring books and occasionally even listen to our dreadful knock-knock jokes. We all referred to her as Alison Wonderland. Anyway, years down the road, I got married and pregnant and started searching for an OB since I had moved back to Austin relatively recently before that.
My mother suggested I go see if that doctor, who had been super young when I was born, was still in business. Well, I could not find his name in the hospital directory, so I figured I would just swing by the office and check. My mother happened to be in town—she had moved years ago—and came with me. We both joked about it being so familiar but reversed situations now.
As we reach the stairs, we ran into a problem. There was no fifth floor of this hospital office building. Odd. We both must have misremembered it. We knew it was on the top floor, so it must have been the fourth. Nope, not there. We thought maybe we were in the wrong building. Except we parked in the same parking garage thing from 20 years ago and walked the same route.
That doctor does not exist. Never did, apparently. My mother and my brother and I are the only ones who remember him and Allison Wonderland. We have asked around, including among the hospital staff. We even looked up our birth certificates which are new copies and just list "Attending physician." One of my childhood memories is fake, but shared with my brother and my mother.
13. Weekend Warriors
This happened when I was 19, I'm 27 now. At the time I was still dating my high school boyfriend, he lived two towns away from me but we spent every weekend together. My best friend Jill had also been friends with Alan, my boyfriend, since middle school, so we were all very close. Jill and I worked together at a medical supply factory, and we would occasionally come up with some great adventures to go on on the weekends.
This week was no exception. We had made plans to all drive out to Alan's after work on Friday, spend the night, then get up and go on our adventure Saturday morning. Friday rolls around, Jill and I get off work and swing by our apartment to pick up our guitars and backpacks for our sleepover. We drive out to Alan's, start cooking up our frozen pizzas, and bust out the guitars and Xbox.
We play and talk and eat till around midnight, then decide we should get some sleep for our trip in the AM. Alan had a futon in the living room that Jill slept on, while Alan and I went to his room on the other side of the living room. We all said goodnight to each other and went to sleep. Saturday morning, I wake up and walk through the living room to go to the bathroom.
Jill grumbles a good morning at me as I walk past. I tell her to get up, it's almost 7 and we gotta get on the road. We all get ourselves ready and into Alan's '92 baby blue Ford Taurus. Then it got weird. We backed down the driveway, Alan driving, me up front, Jill sitting behind Alan. Then the next thing any of us remember, Jill and I are backing down Alan's driveway, in her car, having just returned from our day. It was 6:30 pm.
We were both smiling…but when Jill looked at me and her face fell. She looked me dead in the eyes and asked me what had just happened. It took a second for my feeling of euphoria to clear, like I'd just had a REALLY good dream, but then I realized that I couldn't remember where we'd all went after backing down Alan's driveway that morning. So, being reasonable, level-headed people, we pulled back into Alan's and went to see what he had to say.
We knocked and when Alan opened the door we knew he'd had the same reaction as us. He was pale and wide-eyed and just mumbled out a "doyouguysrememberwhatjusthappened?" And none of us did. We sat down and went over the details of the night and early morning over and over. We kept crying and having to stop to console each other, but we could not come up with any details past backing down the driveway.
Alan remembered going into his house, but not driving up to it or parking his car. Jill and I don't remember getting into her car or seeing Alan go inside. Oh, and none of us can recall what the plan for our Saturday adventure was. We know we had a destination and activities planned, but not one of us can recall a single detail about what the plan was other than: 1. Drive to Alan's 2. Spend the night 3. Get up early Saturday.
Eventually, we were able to calm ourselves down and just reasoned it must've been an abduction but it was no big deal, we were all fine. No weird side effects or physical evidence of anything. Stuff like this must happen all the time. Through the years we've brought it up to each other now and then, just a passing thought of how freaking bizarre it is that we still can't recall any other details of that day.
Part of what bothers me about it is how it's become such a nonchalant topic to bring up now, even though it was very traumatizing at the time. We just so willingly fell into calling it our abduction, even though none of us have a clue...
14. In The Eye Of The Storm
When I was 13, my father and I experienced something that still makes me question reality. It happened on a summer afternoon when we made a quick stop home between games from the softball field not far from my house. My sister and I had both made all-star teams through our local league and she was in the middle of a game so my mother stayed with her while my dad brought me home to change and eat between a double header.
The softball field is less than a mile from where we lived, so it would take us a whole three minutes to get home. During those three minutes, the sky went from sunny with almost no clouds to a very sinister, dark gray. We live in Rhode Island, so this is not totally weird as New England weather changes more than most people change their underwear, but I do remember thinking I never saw us drive into a storm cloud or recognizing how it got so dark so fast, it just suddenly was.
My dad made a comment about how my second game would probably get postponed because it looked like a serious thunderstorm. Another thing I'll mention was that when we pulled onto my street coming home, it was unusually deserted. We live on a dead-end side street and most people had multiple cars; almost all of our neighbors parked a car on the street in front of their house.
We all had unspoken "designated" spots and I remember thinking I'd never seen the street so bare when we pulled onto it. I went into the house with my dad, went to the bathroom, changed, and grabbed a sandwich. My dad went downstairs to check his work email and I walked outside by the car to wait for him. It was so dark out at that point because of the cloud cover, it felt pointless to even go back to the field.
I was mulling this over while eating my sandwich when I got this insanely ominous feeling. I looked to my left and saw a giant tornado coming down the street towards me. I watched as my neighbors gutter three houses down came flying off of their house and their shingles started to rip off. Living in an area where tornadoes just don't exist, I'm pretty sure I went into pure shock from disbelief.
I was just standing there and the next thing I remember is my father grabbing me from behind and pulling me in the house while yelling. He rushed me down into the basement locking the door behind him. In the next few minutes there was just a ton of commotion with him swearing, trying to call my mom's cell phone to warn her and everyone at the ballfield, while I sat there like an idiot unable to comprehend what had just happened.
When my dad got through to my mom, she told him there were absolutely no storm clouds anywhere she could see but pulled my sister from the game nonetheless and told everyone on the two teams playing what he called to warn her about. There was confusion at the field and they stalled the game. My dad told me to wait while he investigated as we heard NOTHING after entering the basement.
After the longest five minutes of my life, my dad came back, color completely drained from his face, telling me it was gone and I could come upstairs. When I walked up, I noticed right away the sun was out. I walked outside, there were several cars on the street in their normal spots that weren't there 10 minutes ago, and my neighbor's house was completely fine.
No local news reports, my neighbors never saw a thing even though two of them claim they had been home the entire time. This was not a small tornado that we saw, there is no way this thing materialized that quickly and disappeared just as rapidly. My dad still doesn't like talking about it, and even when I get him to he has convinced himself it must have been a freak thing that began and ended on our road.
I know he noticed the same things I did, like the cars suddenly being there and our neighbor’s house magically being repaired. He’s not a very open-minded guy and I can tell the cognitive dissonance makes him really uncomfortable so I don't push him too much, but it's obvious he is just as disturbed by the entire thing. It still freaks me out to relive it. It makes me question reality in a serious way.
15. Throw In The Towelwhite towel on stainless steel towel rackPhoto by Lukas Schroeder on Unsplash
So, this is a very odd thing that happened to us last night, involving a towel and our bathroom. I was in our bedroom, getting a load of laundry together in a rush. We have a bathroom attached to our bedroom. It's located in the far-left back corner and there's a small hallway that leads to it. There is only one door in and out of the bathroom. There are no closets or windows in there.
We also have a walk-in closet located in the same hallway, adjacent to the bathroom, which you pass on your left-hand side before getting to the bathroom door. My husband entered the bedroom doorway, which is nowhere near the bathroom door. You have to walk into the bedroom, and across the room to the back in order to get to it. He asked me if there was anything I needed to do in the bathroom, as he was going to be taking a shower.
I quickly told him no and heard him close the bathroom door behind him. A few moments later, I took the hamper a short distance to the laundry room and set it down when I realized I had forgotten to grab some facial towels from the tub in our bathroom. Without even thinking about it, I quickly rushed back into our bedroom and towards the bathroom.
The door was open, so I simply walked in, reached into the tub to get the used facial towels. I also grabbed a towel that had been hanging from the shower curtain rod. Afterward, I walked into our walk-in closet to retrieve the hamper of dark items. I was ready to walk out of the bedroom with said items when it hit me. Wait. Wasn't he just taking a shower in there a few moments ago?
I didn't remember him passing me and it would have been a very quick shower, which is not like him. He always takes long, steaming hot showers. I set the items down, called out for him from the bedroom doorway, but didn't get a response. We have an open-concept layout so it's fairly difficult to not notice someone entering a room, but it happens.
I walked towards the bathroom again and, sure enough, the door was closed and the shower was running. I tried to open the door, but it was locked. I was trying to retrace it all, maybe he had passed me? Though, any possible explanation was refuted. He wasn't in the bedroom when I walked in, he wasn't in the bathroom when I walked in, and he wasn't in the walk-in closet when I walked in, either.
I couldn't have walked into the bathroom without seeing him, if he was in there. He wasn't in the shower, and the shower was off, curtains pushed to the side when I had retrieved the facial towels. He couldn't have passed me after I had left the bathroom, to go into the bathroom, shut the door, and turn on the shower without me noticing. There wasn't anywhere for him to hide, either.
Another thing that was strange to me, when I began to analyze it, I couldn't recall the mirror being fogged up or the bathroom being steamy when I entered it, as it usually was. I was sitting on our bed, waiting for him to come out so I could ask him. Then, I heard him yell out for me. I walked up to the bathroom door and asked him what was wrong. He said he needed a towel.
There were no other towels in the bathroom, either. I gave him a towel, then he dried himself off and got dressed. I asked about it, and he assured me that he had not left the bathroom. He was in there the whole time. He said he walked into the bedroom, saw me getting the laundry together, asked me if I needed anything from the bathroom, when I said no he walked into the bathroom, closed and locked the door behind him, and proceeded to take a shower.
He did think it was very strange because he was absolutely certain that he had set his towel on the curtain rod, though when he turned around to grab it, it was suddenly gone. My husband was in the bathroom, then he wasn't, but then he was, all at the same time, and I took his towel.
16. Aladdin’s Lamp
My last semester at college, I was nearly killed by a football player for walking where he was trying to drive. While unconscious on the ground, I lived a different life. I met a wonderful young lady, she made my heart skip and my face red. I pursued her for months and dispatched a few jerk boyfriends before I finally won her over.
After two years we got married and almost immediately she bore me a daughter. I had a great job and my wife didn't have to work outside of the house. When my daughter was two my wife gave birth to our second child, a son. My son was the joy of my life, I would walk into his room every morning before I left for work and doted on him and my daughter.
One day while sitting on the couch, I noticed that the perspective of the lamp was odd, like inverted. It was still in 3D but...just..wrong. I was transfixed, I couldn't look away from it. I stayed up all night staring at it, the next morning I didn't go to work, something was just not right about that lamp. I stopped eating, I left the couch only to use the bathroom at first, soon I stopped that too as I wasn't eating or drinking.
I stared at the lamp for three days before my wife got really worried, she had someone come and try to talk to me. By this time my cognizance was breaking up and my wife was freaking out. She took the kids to her mother's house just before I had my epiphany. The lamp is not real. The house is not real, my wife, my kids...none of that is real. The last 10 years of my life are not real!
The lamp started to grow wider and deeper. It was still inverted. It took up my entire perspective, and all I could see was red. I heard voices, screams, all kinds of weird noises and I became aware of pain. A metric ton of pain. The first words I said were, "I'm missing teeth," and then I opened my eyes.
I was laying on my back on the sidewalk surrounded by people who I didn't know, lots were freaking out, I was completely confused. At some point, an officer scooped me up, dragged/walked me across the sidewalk and grass, and threw me face down in the back of his car. I was still confused. I was taken to the hospital by the officer—it seems he didn't want to wait for the ambulance to arrive—and given CT scans and whatnot.
I went through about three years of horrid depression. I was grieving the loss of my wife and children and dealing with the knowledge that they never existed, I was scared that I was going insane, as I would cry myself to sleep hoping I would see her in my dreams. I never have, but sometimes I see my son, usually just a glimpse out of my peripheral vision. He is perpetually 5 years old, and I can never hear what he says.
17. Sleep Paralysis Meets Lucid Dreaming
When I was around 7 or 8, I had pretty bad sleep paralysis. One night I went to bed and in the middle of the night, I began having what I thought was an episode—however, it was absolutely evident that the shadow of an adult figure was sitting on the edge of my bed. I know this is a common misconception among the sleep paralysis crowd, because your mind is going into self-defense due to the nature of your current situation.
You begin to see and hear things. But what freaks me out about that night is what happened next. I then fell asleep and dreamt that I was in that exact situation again and I was able to move this time, I was able to project my voice. I completely lost it and started throwing everything about the room, kicking and screaming.
The shadow got up, opened the door, and left. When I woke up in the morning, my blood ran cold. My room was a mess, the covers were on the floor, and my bedroom door was open. Normally, I couldn't sleep with the door open because it freaked me out. There was something about that dream that always felt so real. 20+ years ago now and it's as fresh in my mind now as it was then.
18. Don’t Chase Your Own Tailgolden retriever lying on ground during daytimePhoto by Helena Lopes on Unsplash
About six years ago, when I was 14 years old, I was walking through the small trails throughout my parents’ property that we lived on at the time. This was a regular thing I used to do because I had just moved into the area and there was all sorts of old-fashioned farm equipment and old shacks in the woods on the property. My parents were pretty wealthy and they had purchased well over 100 acres of land.
There were even a few streams that ran through there as well. It was sometime in the afternoon that I was walking on this narrow path and I noticed a golden retriever run out into the path in front of me from out of the brush. I was curious, considering I didn’t have a dog and there were not any neighbors within around five miles of the property.
It began to bark, and stopped in its tracks, looking at me with a very agitated look. A few moments later, a man around 19-20 years old comes running out of the brush and stops in his tracks and looks really confused to see me and yells, "Hey, what are you doing here?" and starts to chase me. I instantly sprint as fast as I can back to my house.
I didn't have any intent of looking back at him but I heard him yelling "HEY WAIT" and the voice sounded eerily familiar. Eventually, halfway through the thickly wooded thicket, I couldn't hear his voice anymore and he didn't seem to be following me. However, that didn't stop me from getting back to my house as fast as possible.
I told my parents this and my stepfather actually went and retrieved the rifle from his safe and proceeded to go look for this guy for an hour or so before basically finding no evidence of this happening. I actually got grounded for this, because they thought I was lying, and my parents being very strict basically assumed it was just another tall tale from their rebellious child.
Now that you've made it through this part of the story, this is where it starts to get absolutely weird. Around five weeks ago I visited my parents’ house with my girlfriend and her golden retriever Bentley. The first few hours of the visit went just fine. I talked with family, had some drinks, enjoyed being at home for a change instead of working my daily 9-5 shifts. It was nice.
I stepped out to let the dog out and to smoke, and for no reason, Bentley decides to dash into the woods full speed. As fast as I could, I ran out after him into the thick woods and eventually actually lost track of him. It wasn't until about five minutes of walking into the woods that I heard him barking at something.
I quickly ran to the sound and found him no more than 15 feet away from a kid playing in the woods. I looked at him confused, and said, "Hey, what are you doing here!" I start to walk towards him, and the kid booked it as fast as he could and ran through a thicket of brush and literally completely vanished. I've never experienced something like this.
During the moment, I actually had no idea, but the kid was wearing the exact same clothes I used to wear as a 14-year-old. I've told my girlfriend about this and even she thinks I’m insane, but it actually happened and I can’t explain it. Anyway, that's the story about the day I chased my past self.
19. Lights Out
Right around before Christmas, me and my SO were both home and just both doing our own things when I went to the kitchen to grab something to drink. It was already dark outside, so I flipped the switch to turn the lights on but accidentally hit it again as I was lowering my hand which turned the lights off. So naturally, I tried turning the light back on, but it didn't go back on, so I figured the light bulb fried and thought nothing of it.
I hollered to my SO that when she comes back from meeting a friend, she could drop by a store and get a new light bulb. She couldn't hear me properly since there's a hallway between the kitchen and the living room, so she came to me and after I told her to get a new bulb, she asked which light bulb I'm talking about. I was pretty confused about why she would ask me that, since we only have one light source in the kitchen if you exclude the fridge.
I told her I'm talking about the lamp of course, to which she replied, "Why do we need a new one, it's working fine?" For her, the light was perfectly fine and the kitchen was lit. To me, the light was off and everything was dark. I told her that the light's off and it's obviously dark in here, which was the point she started looking at me strangely, as if I'd gone a bit insane.
She then flipped the switch on and off repeatedly and for me nothing changed, but she told me it's working fine and asked me how I couldn't possibly see it turning on and off. At that point, I was confident she was just trying to mess with my head and told her to stop playing jokes and just get a new bulb but she kept arguing back the lamp works fine.
I was still sure she was trying to mess with me, just to a greater extent than I'd thought, so I said, "Alright, I'll take out my phone and take two pictures, one when the light is off and one when it's on for you, if I get one picture where the light is on when you say it's on, I'll agree to anything you want from me for the entire week."
By then, she started looking a bit more freaked out, but agreed to it anyway, so I took the first photo with the light off and when she flipped the switch, I took another and immediately noticed the thumbnail in the iPhone's camera app that shows the latest photo that it was bright. I opened the photo and the light was on, even though I was still seeing nothing at that very moment.
We tried it again a couple of times and each time produced the same result. For her, everything was the way it was supposed to be and for me the light was constantly off. She was now completely freaked out and insisted I call an ambulance or a psychiatric help line and kept asking me how I feel, if anything else seems off, etc., although I felt completely normal other than being completely stunned by what had just happened.
I did question my own sanity for a bit, but dismissed it once I realized this was just one thing that was wrong and everything else was completely normal and I felt completely normal. I have no idea what to think of this, we were both right there, talking to each other, but one detail was different for the two of us.
20. Living In The McFuture
A couple of hours ago, I was in the midst of a coding frenzy when my stomach started rumbling constantly. I decided that my coding project can wait a few minutes and that I needed to go grab some food. I live in the western United States, so the nearest place is always a McDonald’s. I just wanted some quick food. I wasn't dressed and I hadn't showered all day, so I wanted to run to the nearest drive-thru and get back. McDonald’s it was then.
I picked myself up from the computer, threw a leash on my dog, and headed out. I loaded the dog in my car and turned the ignition. Outside, there was still a bit of light. The sun had just dipped behind mountains in the horizon and it was just dark enough to warrant headlights. As I'm winding my way out of my neighborhood, I started to notice that the streetlamps kept going out as I passed under them and then coming back on when I'm passed them, which I thought was strange.
I chalked it up to coincidence as I've had streetlights go out on me before. I eventually made it to one of the last turns to get out of the neighborhood, but as I pulled up to the stop sign, I felt a wave of...something...pour over me. I heard my dog whimper. I looked back at her and she had ducked back into the middle of the back seat, tail between her legs, with her fur sticking straight out.
It felt like I went through a thick sheet of static electricity. I began hearing a loud feedback noise inside my head and the world got blurry. This went on for a few seconds before it cleared up. My car had stalled during this time, so I turned the engine back on and made my way past the stop sign. When I pulled out into the main road, I immediately noticed that the streets were vastly different.
They were the usual black, but they had a bright white iridescent color to them as well, lighting up the environment. The streetlights that were usually on the medians on the road were gone as well, replaced by trees. McDonald’s was still right by my house. I could see the sign. It was in a different building, though. The building was much bigger than usual, but so far this is the least strange thing to happen on this drive.
This is where it gets really strange. I drove towards it, still very much confused as to the sudden change. My dog in the back of my car seemed to acclimate to this change much better, as she was back to sticking her head out of the window and sniffing the air. I pulled up to the only stoplight between me and my destination and the car in front of me was something I had never seen before.
The logo on the back was a silver circle with what looked like a silver Sicilian eagle in the middle. On the eagle's chest was the letter "G" in a cursive font. The model of the car was "Vapor." The license plate was the same as any other, though. So I go through the light, still wondering what the heck happened when I reach the McDonald’s.
I get to the drive-thru menu, which is all LCD screens updating to show featured menu items and looping gifs of people smiling while they eat. My usual is still on the menu, though for $2 more than I'm used to paying for it, so I order that. I pull up to the window with my credit card out and at the ready so I can pay.
The worker opens the window and greets me. I greet him and hand him my card. He looks at it and then back at me and says, "We don't accept that here," and then hands me a gadget that reminded me of my dad's blood pressure monitor. I guess I was supposed to put my finger in it, but I was so thrown off I just asked, "Uh, can I just pay with cash?"
"Cash? Sure, I guess." So I hand him $20 and he inspects it for longer than anyone should, and then proceeds to give me my receipt without my change. When I ask him about the change, he looked at me with a very confused face and said, "We don't have cash at this location, sir. We only can give cash vouchers." Okay…So I look at my receipt and, lo and behold, the bottom of it says, "Cash value: $11.26."
Good enough for me, I guess. I pull up to the next window. After waiting for a few minutes, the next worker opens up his window with my bag of food in his hand and a big smile on his face. He hands me the bag and I put the receipt in it out of habit. He then says to me, "Oh wait, I forgot your fries! Can I have the bag back, please?" This was the most terrifying part of the whole experience.
So I hand him the bag and a few seconds later he returns and says, "I hope you have a great day! I made this spe-sp-spespe-spe-mm-I-great day!-spe-spe..." This went on for a few seconds. His face and body motions were moving and resetting like when you tilt an N64 game slightly out of the console. I didn't have time to be terrified during the moment, because as this happened, I felt the wave of electricity come over me again.
Just like last time, I heard my dog whimper, and when I looked back she was crouched in the back, her fur extended. And just like last time, I heard a loud feedback noise in my head. My eyes took a second to adjust, but when the world came into focus, I saw that I was in a parking lot. I recognized everything. This was the parking lot in which the McDonald's I'm used to is placed. And sure enough, the McDonald's was visible in my rear-view mirror at its usual location.
So I go through and buy food, again. My $20 was missing, as was my cash voucher or whatever, and I drive back home.
21. Wheel Of Fortuneman driving vehicle with GPS system turned onPhoto by Dan Gold on Unsplash
On July 15, 2013, at about 7:45 AM, I was on my way to work, approaching the intersection and getting ready to take a left-hand turn. This is a notoriously dangerous intersection on any day, and there have been many accidents there. It is hard to see if the intersection is clear from the right and the left turn is particularly hazardous.
I was running late and in a flustered state of mind. I looked to the right and believed that I had correctly viewed that nothing was approaching from the right, so I made the left turn. As I crossed the intersection, I glanced right once more and saw a vehicle heading straight for me at what could only have been in excess of 90 miles per hour. We saw each other.
I saw the look of terror in the other guy’s eyes. We were that close. A collision was absolutely inevitable. There is no way on this earth that it could have been avoided. What happens next is EXTREMELY difficult to describe, but I will do my best. Across from the front of the car on the left, in almost the opposite direction to the oncoming vehicle, was a field.
I suddenly became aware of a very large “object” approaching slowly on a diagonal across this field. It was coming directly towards my car. Time was not functioning normally while this was happening, if it was functioning at all. I had the space to notice this happening, but I can’t explain how I was able to do that. The object when I first saw it, appeared to be about the size of a ten-floor tower block.
It subjectively seemed to be about two or three hundred yards across the field. The object resembled a giant waterwheel lying on its side and rotating as it approached me and my vehicle. It got closer. I saw that my first observation about its size was wildly inaccurate. It was more like the size of a small city. As it got closer still, I understood that all scale and distance estimates were meaningless. It was larger than what we think of as the world.
As the object drew near to me, a kind of sensation came over my person and I knew exactly what this thing was. I had seen the object before I was born and I will see it again when I die. We all knew it before we were born. We will all see it when we die. But this information is eclipsed from us while we are alive. And that was why I was seeing it now in the experience, because I was in the process of dying in a fatal car crash.
The wheel WAS reality, itself. It represented EVERY CONCEIVABLE POSSIBILITY for a life or for a world that could ever be envisioned or imagined. As it approached, I became aware that what we call our world was contained within it. It was simply one of the numberless slots or paddles in the “water wheel.” At that moment, the truly terrifying dimension of this experience began.
Words cannot even begin to describe the level of fear I experienced. The water wheel sort of rolled across me and then across the place where my car was in the road. As it did so, I began to be hit by each of the paddles in the wheel. Imagine a film of water being thrown outward from the wheel in each slot, as if by centrifugal force.
Imagine being slapped or splashed by each of these films as you collide with it and pass through it to the next one. This is what was happening. Except these weren’t just films of water. They were (for lack of a better term) possible realities or what we might think of as universes or worlds. Again, our world, our entire universe as we normally think of it, was simply one among an infinite number of these.
The event, or perhaps the imminent event, on the highway had caused me to slip out of or fall between the paddles on the wheel. This structure had some kind of cosmic purpose of sorting things into their correct natural place. I was afraid and resisted being “sorted” so the wheel stepped up its aggressive attempts to “sort” me correctly.
With this came another understanding that frightened me even more. I knew that unless I soon selected one of these realities to slide back into, that the wheel would coerce the situation by deciding for me. I seemed to file or flip through numerous conceivable (quantum?) possibilities for the outcome of the accident. I began to grow extremely panicked.
Each time I thought I was just beginning to get a handle on things, I would be slapped over violently and ruthlessly into a new slot in the wheel. Then, it happened. I found myself back on the highway in what seemed to be a very short distance back up the road, still approaching the intersection.
This is just one of the many mysteries associated with the event that I cannot explain. Did I choose a world that was a version of our universe in which the accident hadn’t quite happened yet, but was just seconds away from happening? I can’t say, because I have no memory of making that decision. I remember the look on that driver’s face as clearly as if it were yesterday. I remember him bracing back on the wheel. But I braked as I reached the intersection and that driver, or his car, were simply nowhere to be seen.
22. Grey’s Abnormality
I work at a hospital as an RRT (Registered Respiratory Therapist), and the following happened only a few hours ago. I was running three floors with 13 patients under my direct care, six of them I had treated for a few days, and I know them in terms of we have talked while I treat them. I am considered a kind person by most patients, so they talk to me and tell me about their lives and about the family, etc.
There is this one particular lady, 73 years old—sadly, a terminal patient. I have been treating her for four days now, so she knows me well enough to not confuse me with anyone else, as I stated, we have talked before and even joke around. Very nice lady. At around 1:30 am, I was headed to her room to provide treatment.
But, as I was walking through the hallway, a code came in, and I had to turn around and instead run all the way to the ER to deal with the code the ambulance was bringing in. I was with that coding patient for a good 25 minutes with all the nurses and the doctor trying to save his life. Unfortunately, we couldn't help him.
After that, I had to continue my normal rounds, and my next stop was obviously the lady I was going to treat prior to the code's arrival. So, I went to her room, and she saw me and asked: "What happened? Did you forget something?" I thought nothing of it, and told her it was time for her treatment, to which she replied, “Son, but you already gave me the treatment! Only a few minutes ago!”
I said, “Ma'am, I have not, did someone come in and give you treatment?” This should not have happened anyway, as I had with me her treatment chart. She said: “YOU gave me treatment only a few minutes ago, you came in like you always do, asked me how I felt, and we talked about adjusting my dose because it's making my heart ‘race like a horse’ and you said that you would look into it.”
Mind you, she was not alone, her granddaughter was there too and she also said that I had been there only a few minutes ago. After trying to process what she said to me for a few seconds, I asked, “Ma'am are you sure someone came in here and treated you?” To which she replied: “Not someone... YOU!! You are the only one who treats me at night...you and that crazy nurse out there.”
I was confused and told her to hang on a minute, so I went outside, and went to the nurse's desk where the patient records are kept, to see if anyone had written on it, looking for any treatment anyone else had given her, but there was none written. I went back into the room, and said that I still had to give her treatment—obviously I had to or I could have lost my job for that.
Anyway, as I am treating her I am asking her granddaughter about it, and she also is 100% certain it was me, and that I gave her treatment, and that we indeed talked about adjusting her dose. Now, I am here thinking and asking myself...WHAT THE HECK!? I was in the ER and there are several witnesses, I was there for a good 25 minutes.
But, the patient and her relative claim I was in the room with THEM during that time. There are no records of any treatment on the main patient records and we RTs carry around a little chart of our personal patients for the shift, and no one else but ME had it, so, what happened here? I asked the nurse outside at the desk if she saw anyone going in, to which she replied..."Other than you, no one.”
I asked again, “Are you sure? You didn’t see anyone going in?” "Well, no, just you, you went in, were in there a few minutes, came back out, walked right past me, and went down the stairs...and just came back!" So, the nurse is saying, that I indeed went into the room, then left, and now came back...but, it wasn't ME, I was in the ER!!!!
After this all happened, I talked to the security guard, and asked him to please check the security footage and let me know if someone went in. What he found was blood-chilling. About half an hour later, I came back and he said yes, someone went in, looked physically just like me, wearing the same uniform, but he couldn’t make out the face as I never actually faced the camera, so the footage never caught my face.
So, now, we have footage of "me" walking into the room, and... brace yourself...footage of "me" in the ER at the same time!!!!
23. This Takes The Cake
It happened about eight months ago. We lived in a small apartment with our two young children and our dog while we saved up for a down payment on a home. It was a typical Monday night around 7 pm. We had just cleaned up after dinner, my husband was surfing the web, and I was relaxing on the couch. I was reading the back of a cake mix trying to decide if I had time to bake it, let it cool, frost it, and eat it before I needed to be in bed.
My husband was watching a video on the internet, he said something funny about it, we both laughed...Then BAM! I woke up, face-down in bed. My clock read 8:00 exactly. My alarm hadn't been turned on. I was very confused and could smell the strong scent of coconut. I sat up and looked at my husband who was also just waking up.
He looked at me with a really confused look, and we both jumped out of bed and ran to our kids' room. They were in bed asleep. We went into the living room and the second our dog saw us, she started whimpering and sort of army-crawling toward us. It was such unusual behavior for her. I had never seen her act that way before, and have never since.
Nothing looked out of order in our apartment…aside from one small detail. The cake mix I had been looking at that night was gone. I searched everywhere for that cake mix and never found it. Another odd detail from that day is that we were all dressed in our pajamas when we woke up, except my youngest. He was in the jeans and t-shirt he had been wearing the night before.
Neither my husband nor I would have ever put him to bed like that. Neither of us have any memory of getting into our pajamas or anything else after laughing at the comment he made on the video. We were already late for work so we both called in sick that day. We spent the day talking about it and trying to make sense of it. At some point that day, he asked me a question that made my blood run cold.
He was wondering if I had smelled coconut when I woke up. We never found the source of the smell. To this day, I can't look at a cake mix or smell coconut without feeling a little anxious and sick.
24. We Saw It Plane As Daygreen leafed trees during daytimePhoto by Filip Zrnzević on Unsplash
A few years ago, my wife and I were driving through the national forest about an hour outside our town headed to a neighboring town. We were on a two-lane main highway coming over a hill when we both saw a large passenger plane billowing smoke and fire as it descended towards the forest. It was so close to us we could see the people's faces in the windows.
We both watched, stunned, as the plane disappeared over the hill next to us. There were no roads in that direction so we hurried as quick as we could to the town that was about 20 minutes away. When we got there, we asked some people we knew if there were any reports about the plane crash or if anyone had heard anything.
They looked at us like we were crazy. There was no plane crash, no reported emergencies, nothing. My wife and I spent many hours discussing what we each saw in detail. There is no question we both saw the people in the windows. We both saw the flames and smoke. The plane was about the size of a 737. We have had a few strange experiences around the national forests, but this was by far the strangest.
25. Guardian Angel
Let me begin by saying I was born in 1998. This is by far the weirdest experience I've had. Anyway, I'm not much of a dreamer, but when I do dream it's usually very lucid and memorable. I had a dream that my mother was alone in an old, really poor-looking house with my newborn sister and was waiting for my dad to get home.
It was dark out and my mother was anxious waiting at the door hoping my father would show up. The house was a one-room structure with only four or five candles illuminating it. I was casually talking to my mother saying it's all okay and just reassuring her that everything is okay. Suddenly my mother looked at me and was thanking me for being with her while she was alone and for protecting her.
The next thing I know I wake up. I thought it was an odd dream but didn't think much of it after I showered and went to work. Fast forward three days. It's a Friday night and my parents and I are outside in my front yard sitting around a fire talking. And my parents began to joke about how my mother used to pop my father's bike tires when they lived in Mexico. My parents are Mexican and came to the US in '95.
I ask what's the story behind that, and they begin to explain to me that back when my sister was born in 1991, they lived in an old shack in a poor part of a small town in Mexico for a year. My father had the habit of going out on his bike with friends to drink and not coming home until the next morning, so my mother would pop the tires on his bike so he wouldn't leave. I laughed and didn't think much else until they continued on about it.
My mother said she'd be terrified of being home alone in the tiny home because they lived in an alley known as "El callejon de la Llorona," which translates to “Alley of the weeping woman.” For those unfamiliar, the weeping woman is an urban legend in Mexico about a ghost woman who roams areas of Mexico and even parts of the US, weeping for her missing kids. Naturally, an alley named after the ghost is going to be terrifying as all get out.
My mother continued on by saying how terrified she was in that house all alone and how she would wait praying for my father to come home. My father then made a joke saying something along the lines of, "Why did you want me there, you claimed your guardian angel was protecting you." At this point I thought, "Wow, weird."
So I asked my mom more and she told me that she one night was visited by a man who seemingly came out of the wall, but she felt comfort and familiarity around him. He sat and spoke to her reassuring her it's okay before the man seemingly walked back into the wall. My mother said that after this, she felt a strong calmness around and was no longer afraid of being there.
This tripped me out, considering I was born in '98 and I had never heard a thing about my mother's story until after I had that dream. I'm not sure if it's just a coincidence or if it's something more complex.
26. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner
Last night I was on phone with my mom, and she told me to come over for dinner. Everything was going great. Then suddenly she comes out with, "Janet is going to be there!" I was like, very funny mom, great one. But in my head, I was thinking that's really not funny, why would you say something like that? Then my mom keeps going on with this. "You haven't seen her in forever, it'll be nice, etc."
Here's the thing. Janet died last year! I have a vivid memory of it. I did not attend the funeral, but I remember everyone talking about it and making a scene of it because she passed on so young. She had cancer and I remember her husband coming to visit and being very depressed. I never saw her body or anything, but I'm 1000% certain this woman is gone and I remember many family members talking about it.
I never saw the body or visited her grave, and I wasn't that close with her so I never had much grief over it. But I have vivid memories of her passing on and my relatives being depressed over it. I was really weirded out by my mom on the phone, and finally, I came out and said, "Janet's dead, what are you talking about?" And my mom just kept talking like it was ridiculous or like I was kidding around.
She jokingly said, "She's back!" or something like that. I asked my dad later on and he looked at me like I was insane. I also couldn’t find the obituary online—but I never looked for it to begin with. Lo and behold, Janet comes to dinner. I remember getting a really creepy feeling when I walked in and saw her sitting there, but everyone was acting perfectly normal.
Nothing extraordinary happened, but we sat around talking for a long time. The eerie part is that I was sitting around having dinner with the same people I remember talking about Janet's passing with. Some of my aunts were there, and I distinctly remember last year one of them crying over it and being in the same spot. The memories didn't clear up once I saw her, and I still know what I saw/heard a year ago. It's just...very bizarre.
27. Kentucky Fried CreepyKFC emblemPhoto by Maxime Lebrun on Unsplash
This happened around eight years back, my two teenage male cousins were staying over at our house for the weekend during their summer break. So instead of going out for a drive, my mom suggested we walk to a KFC in our neighborhood. It was about an hour/hour and a half walk. Later, as we were walking home, we started going through alleyways between houses as a shortcut instead of the main street route.
As we were passing the last alleyway shortcut before continuing back on the main road, I felt a weird sensation, like a faint magnetic pulse waved through me. My mom and cousins later confirmed the same sensation at the same spot. We emerged on the main road and it was completely silent. It was like the world was put on mute and everything seemed very familiar but quite weird at the same time.
The roads/houses looked way older, they had cracks in them and the paint was almost completely faded away or chipped. To our left was a roundabout, which now was completely gone and there were freakishly tall trees in its place. To our right was the road that we had to take to get back to the house, we could see the small grocery store we passed on our way to KFC, yet the neon lights were much brighter and in different colors.
We stood there bewildered by it all. My mom lived in this area before I was born and we can basically navigate blindfolded through it. It's usually alive with people and stray cats 24/7. I thought we can go back and retrace our steps but when we looked back at the alleyway we came from it was PITCH BLACK DARKNESS and it was just emitting creepiness…
My mom just said to keep walking back to the house. We walked for what felt like 30 minutes. It was like we were walking on a treadmill while staring at a large image. We finally started to get closer and I glanced at my watch again and it was 9:32 pm! Two minutes only?!? Even on normal days that distance would take at least 5 minutes if you were walking REALLY fast.
We were joking around to lighten the mood but we were all obviously freaking out but trying to maintain our cool. We made it down two roads and finally reached the house. I had quite a few pet cats then and they usually run up to us when we get back to the house, this time only a few of them were around and they kept a huge distance away from us while standing still and staring at us like they had seen a ghost.
I remember going to my room and sitting on my bed looking out of my window trying to make sense of what happened but I couldn't shake the creepy feeling. The world felt terrible, not a single sound, not even a breeze. The trees were still like rocks and everything had an eerie feeling to it. I looked at my clock again and it was around 9:40/9:45pm…which again, is impossible for the distance we covered.
I forced myself to sleep that night and when I woke up in the morning everything was back to normal. We went out for a drive to backtrack our steps and it was back to normal, everything was clean and new. I can’t explain it.
28. This Split Is Bananas
Last night, around 11, I was getting ready for the next day. I was packing for the gym that I visit right after work every other day. I packed all the necessities in my bag and went to the kitchen to get bananas I had prepared for right after the workout. There were four bananas in one bunch. I had ripped two off and left two in the fridge. I packed the two I've taken and spent some more time watching YouTube videos.
However, I got worried that the fruit will wither in my bag through the night, so I took them out and put them back in the fridge and wrote myself a note that I left on the table saying “bananas” and to not forget them the next morning. Then I went to sleep. Right after I woke up and went through the bathroom routine, I went to the kitchen.
As I was remembering what I should do, I took the bananas out and immediately and unmistakably noticed that they were again in a bunch, naturally connected. I have never before been so sure that it was an impossible error. I knew it in my guts and when I ripped them again, listening to the sound of them being torn, I knew that yesterday's act of doing it was erased.
My mind was speeding to cross out all the possibilities and the last one was eliminated when I saw the piece of paper saying “bananas” on the table. It was not a dream. Two of the fruits were in my bag for good 10 minutes and now they were again a bunch, not glued, not taped, not placed next to each other, a holding bunch.
I examined the fridge, there were no more fruits in the whole apartment. As I mentioned, I live alone, no outside involvement was possible. Now, the most terrifying part begins. Immediately, and I mean IMMEDIATELY, afterward I was 100% positive that I encountered an error that had only one possible explanation: That I do not live in a real world.
I began to feel that this glitch was not important. I caught myself getting ready for work feeling easy and THAT was when a shiver crossed my spine. Something, some unknown force, a program encoded in my bones, wanted me to forget it, to ignore it. It is still so strong that I have trouble writing it. There are constant glitches, and something wants us to forget them.
29. About Time
As a child, my parents ALWAYS introduced me to everyone that ever came to our house. I was taught to shake hands and say "Hi, my name is ____. What is yours?" This was a rule that could not be broken. One night when I was 7-8, I had a bad dream about being old. I went out to the living room to talk to my Dad, who always used to play with Legos with me when I had a bad dream.
This time, we got the Legos out, but there was a man in a chair. I went to introduce myself, and to my surprise my dad shooed me away, got out my Legos, and proceed to talk to the man instead of play with me. The man and my father talk for some time about things I don't understand, and neither say a word to me. It was weird, but I was young and the Legos were fun.
Eventually, I forgot the whole thing and went to bed. I never thought about it again. Fast forward 12 years. I head to bed one night after having a beer or two with some friends and immediately start, from what I can tell, lucid dreaming. I've never had a dream this vivid since or before. In the dream, I am sitting in a chair talking to my dad about what I have done with my life.
He is happier than usual and very interested. In the distance I hear a young person calling for him. He gets up, walks out of the room, and returns a minute later with me as a child and box of Legos. Young me approaches me, my dad shoos child me away, so young me goes and plays with Legos. My dad and I commence talking about the danger of the butterfly effect and how everything could change if we spoke.
He insists we wait until young me falls asleep to continue talking about the future. I then have two more similar dreams where I see myself from the perspectives of mysterious forgotten people and situations. All with my father, all discussing time travel, my future life, and the consequences of changing things. I woke up absolutely convinced I had time traveled or the ghost of Christmas past decided he wanted to take an off-season shift.
It took me a week to rationalize it and still gives me the willies just typing it out.
30. International House Of Panican aerial view of a beachPhoto by Valeriia Neganova on Unsplash
My parents were on a small island in Florida on vacation and there were not many places to eat. They drove around and randomly found a restaurant. They said there weren't many cars in the parking lot, which made what they saw inside even more weird. They walk into the doors and see a very full restaurant of people. Everyone stops, stares, and smiles at them. Everyone.
Then they go back to what seemed like scripted conversations while still looking at my parents. The hostess comes up to them and smiled and simply said, "Sorry, everything is full. You should go now." The phrase my mom and dad kept using was "they were like actors..." My parents left as instructed. They couldn't stop talking about what happened the next day and decided to go back and see it again.
They drove all over the small island and never found the restaurant. My parents hate telling this story and hate when I ask about it. Visible goosebumps appear on their arms immediately at the mention of it.
31. Hey Little Sister
I just had the strangest experience today. I was in the kitchen getting dinner ready and was about to tell my daughter to get ready because her father and sister will be home shortly. I froze because I only have one child, but at that moment in time, my heart and soul knew and loved this non-existent child. At the same time, I realized what was happening, I had deja vu of a girl running around the living room who wasn’t my (real) daughter.
However, in that memory she was. All of this happened in less than a second, but now I have this strange sense of loss. It’s more than a little unsettling!
32. There’s Jet Lag, And Then There’s This
My brother was taking a trip out west. From my dad’s perspective, he dropped my brother off at the airport before work. My brother was supposed to have over an hour before his flight, followed by a four-hour flight. After work, about eight hours later, my dad received a phone call from my brother. So, from dad’s perspective, my brother should have been at his destination for less than three hours.
But, to my brother, he took his flight, got to his destination, was picked up by his friends, went to dinner, spent the night, spent the following day sightseeing, and called my dad that evening. He thought he had been there over 24 hours. The confusion ended in a weird argument, but both stuck to their version of events and both have things like printouts of flights to prove that they were right. I have no idea how either dad lost a day, or my brother gained one.
33. It Doesn’t Hold Watera couch sitting in a living room next to a wooden wallPhoto by Clay Banks on Unsplash
This isn't super freaky or anything, but one time I walked back from my first class to my dorm room and sat on my futon while talking to my roommate. She was pretty tired and while in the middle of talking and ruffling through her backpack she gets quiet and pulls out her agenda. It is soaked through with water. Everything else in her backpack was perfectly dry, and we were both searching it for any moisture.
She hadn't taken her agenda out of her backpack in a week and hadn't put any water bottles in her backpack within that week to get it wet. It hadn't rained for a week and a half so we were both mystified by where this water came from. I just assumed she was too tired to remember properly. But the story doesn’t end there.
So I was still sitting on the futon and I stood up. The area of one of my legs that was pressed against the futon was completely soaked through with water. No other part of me was wet. There was no liquid near me at all. Once again, although a portion of my pants was soaked, none of the surrounding material was wet. The area of the futon my pants were pressed against was perfectly dry. My roommate and I were never able to come up with an explanation.
34. Rescue Me
I once had a weird dream where I was driving home and listening to some oldies. It was raining a bit and the wind was quite heavy. After a while, I saw a heavily damaged car on the left side of the road. The driver must have hit a tree. I stopped my car to call the ambulance and to look for the driver. It was a woman in her mid-20s with short curled blonde hair.
She was unconscious and there was some blood. She wasn't breathing, so I dragged her out of the car to give her first aid. After a while, I heard the sirens of the ambulance. I shortly looked in the direction of where the ambulance was coming and then back to the woman. She suddenly had her eyes wide open and a look of total terror on her face. The dream then ended there.
Some weeks ago, we celebrated my 25th birthday. I got some awesome presents but one was very special. My uncle made a photo collage of my family. He found them in an old box as he mentioned. I already had some shots so I decided to put it in the corner of my room with the other presents. When I was about to leave the room, the collage fell over so I turned back to arrange it properly.
While doing it I glanced over the photos. I've never seen old pictures of my parents before, so I was quite curious after all. There was a wedding photo of my parents. I recognized my dad, he looked really sharp in his suit. Next to him was a lady—she was gorgeous and pregnant. It looked like she had some wounds and/or scars at her arm and at her neck. Then it all kicked in.
She was the woman I dragged out of the car to give first aid. My whole body trembled. I immediately ran to my dad to ask what happened back then. He told me she had a car accident 25 years ago. When the ambulance and law enforcement arrived, she was laying on the street and a man was running away from her body. The doctor told my dad if my mother hadn’t received first aid in that situation, she may have lost her unborn child because of lack of oxygen.
I was still trembling at this moment and could not get a single word out of my mouth. After some time I just went back to my party guests. But I didn’t feel like celebrating anymore. It was all so weird.
35. Mixed Messages
I'm a newlywed. We'd been married less than a month when I woke up at 5:30 am next to my husband's sleeping form and saw a notification on my phone. It was a text from him, he’s in my phone under “Sam <3.” It was sent at midnight. It said, “Who is this?” Now, I was pretty sure that Sam had been stretched out next to me, snoring away at midnight.
I'm a light sleeper and it's likely I would've awoken if he had gotten out of bed or turned on his phone. Still, stranger things have happened. I figured he was playing a weird joke on me or something. I decided to play along so I wrote back: “Who is this?” Seconds later I got a reply that sent chills down my spine. It said: “I asked you first.”
I could feel Sam pressed against my right side, warm and breathing regularly. I looked at his nightstand and confirmed that his phone was still there, dark and silent. Me: "Seriously who is this? Why are you coming up on my phone under one of my contact names?" Sam <3: "What name am I under?" Me: "Obviously there's some crossed wires somewhere. We don't know each other."
Sam <3: "Are you in (town I live in)?” Me: “Yes....are you?" Sam <3: "Yes." Me: "Ok there ya go. Wires are crossed. It's weird but I'm sure it happens." Sam <3: "We must live near each other. What street are you on?" I’m trying to change the subject because I definitely do not want to tell this person the street I'm on. So I ask, "Do I come up on your phone under someone else's name?"
Sam <3: "I was looking through my contacts and I saw one I didn't remember creating under the name Wi-Fi, with a heart built like this <3 next to it. Lol I was just curious who this is. I live on Violet St., btw." I went cold. My husband's nickname for me is Wi-Fi but pronounced "wife-y." It's a silly inside joke. No one knows about it but us...or so I had thought—and that’s not the worst part.
We live on Violet St. Also, we both make little "<3" next to each other's name. And something about this person's writing style was so familiar. I confirmed that my husband was still slumbering next to me. His phone was still on the nightstand. Someone was messing with me. I turned my phone off, got up and got ready for work.
Later that morning I showed the texts to Sam, who was completely baffled. His phone had no messages on it. He texted me to test things out and his message "hi" popped up right underneath the last message the other "Sam" had sent to me. I assumed it was someone playing a joke on me, or maybe it really was some technical glitch.
As the days have passed I keep thinking, what if that was Sam? A Sam in an alternative reality where we never met? My husband and I have texted each other since with no problems. I tried to put the incident out of my head, but yesterday I started scrolling up to find the messages. They're gone. I did not delete them. They're just gone.
If it is another Sam in a different reality, am I there too? If I ever hear from him again should I tell him to find me? I love him so much. I want all his versions to be happy.
36. I Hardly Know Her!woman in white coat holding green shopping cartPhoto by Tara Clark on Unsplash
This morning, before work, I stopped by the supermarket close to my house to buy some pens and a clipboard. I walked in a rush because I was already late and quickly grabbed the items and made my way to the front. I sat my items on the conveyor belt and looked up and there was no cashier behind the counter. You know that strange feeling you get when you know someone is staring at you? Or standing too close?
I started to feel that way. I turned to my right and this beautiful woman was standing right beside me. Probably late 20s with long brown hair and blue eyes. She wasn't a comfortable arm's length apart, she was less than a meter away. I looked up at her as she smiled at me. You know the way people look at you when you know them very well? Like, know them deeply?
That is the look this woman was giving me. "Did you call for help yet? Do they know we are standing here?" she said like we were more than acquainted. I just stared at her. The way she said that combined with the way she looked at me made me feel so uneasy, like we had come here together though I had never seen her in my life. "No, not yet," I replied to her.
She walked around the side of the counter and looked into the manager's office that was behind the end of the registers. The cashier came out of the back room and apologized for the wait. I only half heard what she said because I watched the woman come around the counter, smiling a beautiful toothy grin and looking at me the whole time.
"I got herrrr," the smiling woman said in a playful tone before bouncing right back next to me, close enough that I crossed my arms to keep our hands from touching. Close enough that I could smell her hair. I looked up at the clerk and realized that this wasn't strange to her but that she definitely thought we were together. "Yall doing okay today?" said the cashier.
The woman beside me bounced back to one of those candy racks they have by the register and said, "Oh yeah! I needed gum, remember?" I just stared as she put the gum on my clipboard and came to rest again close to me. I backed away and looked at her, my face had to be as confused as it ever has been. She looked at me, smiling still, and then stopped. "What?" she said.
I looked down at the gum on my clipboard and back up to her again. "What?" she said again, this time with worry in her voice. I looked at the cashier who was confused and then back to the woman who was now looking down at the gum with no expression on her face. She looked back up at me and this time, she looked at me like you would expect from someone you had never met in a grocery store.
The smile, gone from her voice, she said, "Sorry." She took a few steps back. I quickly ran my card through and grabbed my bag from the corral. I turned back to the woman who looked lost and confused. I walked back to my car, the experience still fresh in my mind and instead of leaving, I waited, hoping there would be an answer walk out of those doors.
Maybe she had a husband, boyfriend, significant other who has a long beard and blue eyes as I do. Maybe she embarrassingly mistook me for that man. I waited for a lot longer than it should have taken for her to ring up the gum that she had grabbed. Finally, she emerged with the gum in hand and an expressionless look on her face all alone. She got in her orange Kia Soul with a Hello Kitty plushy hanging from the mirror and drove away.
I took off to work and that quickly consumed my thought processes. On the way home a few minutes ago, I remembered my dog was out of food. I pulled into the same supermarket and grabbed a bag. I got to the register and the same cashier came to the till. "You’re back again, I see," she said, "and without the girl this time." "Yeah, did you notice that woman? I didn't know her at all! She was acting so weird."
The woman kind of half smirks as she gives me my receipt, "To be honest," she said, "I thought you were being a jerk." I looked confused at her again, "What do you mean?" "I was watching the camera earlier when you guys came in together. There was a man in the same aisle you two walked to who I thought was putting printer cartridges in his backpack."
"I watched you two look at the pens for a second then walk to the register but I didn't come out because I was sure that guy was stealing ink. Never found out because that girl came and got me." "What do you mean came in together?" I said. "She walked in with you, stood behind you while you grabbed your pens and walked with you to the register, then you acted as if you had never met her."
Goosebumps my friends. That chill took over me like a freaking breeze from a deep freezer. "Ma'am," I said, "I had never met that woman in my life." At 31 years old, I can say definitively that this is the weirdest thing that has ever happened to me.
37. Dine With The Devil
We used to own a racetrack in Ohio years ago, but we lived in southeast PA. You had to take the turnpike to get there in any reasonable amount of time, and one of the times my mother, my sister, and I were together to go meet my stepdad who was driving separately with a trailer to haul equipment. We got off at an exit after paying a toll and headed off into a strip mall with a bunch of rinky-dink looking buildings.
They had a diner, though, and we hadn't eaten since we left four hours before, so we stopped in. The food sucked and was completely tasteless. People stared at us the whole time. It wasn't dark like a cave, just not a ton of windows. There were some, enough for ambient light. Like a Denny's if the power went out, that sort of thing. And an unreasonable number of people, we noticed, had bandages on them.
The only person who said a word to us was the girl who took our order, who also rang us up at the end. We decided not eating was better than going back there, so we wrote down the exit in a little journal we'd been keeping in the glove compartment so we knew not to make that mistake again. A couple of hours later we get to the track and my stepdad asks how everything went.
We said it was uneventful but told him we'd recorded a real whopper for the journal and not to take the exit we'd marked because it was garbage. He gets really excited and we're all kind of wondering why. He tells us he thinks we ate ghost food and that the people in the diner were vampires. He wouldn't stop talking about it for like ten minutes and it was making my sister uncomfortable.
We have the race weekend, it's time to drive all the way back. He asks me if I want to come with him, since he had to drive alone the way there. I say sure. Two hours in, he pulls off. I think it's weird because we ate a gigantic breakfast before we left. I didn't recognize it at first coming from the other direction, but eventually it occurs to me he's going to the diner's exit.
He wants to see it for himself. He stops to pay the toll, doesn't mention our story, but he asks if there's a diner at the exit to make sure he has the right one. The guy’s answer was chilling. He says there was one, but it burned down. Okay, so there weren't vampires, but what a coincidence. We just eat there and then right after, in the span of two and a half days, they have a freak accident.
This almost intrigues him more than the supernatural bit, and I am one hundred percent on board for checking it out. We drive over, same humdrum strip mall, except where we went to eat it's just this charred mess. No vehicles, no tape, and they'd cleaned the area around it well. We go to get back on the turnpike, and these poor toll guys are stuck in a booth hardly bigger than they are, so it's the same dude we talked to before.
Anyway, my stepdad's like, I thought you said there was a diner there. Guy says, there was, like I told you, burned down. He asked if they'd figured out yet what caused it, was it a grease fire or what, that kind of thing. The guy says, "Yet?" "Yeah, it had to have been in the last two or three days, they didn't investigate it? It wasn't on the news?" Then the guy says, "Oh, we know what happened. It was on the news when it happened, eight years ago."
It sounds ridiculous, and cliché, and there are tons of stories like it. I know what I saw, it was the same exit, the same distance from the road, same buildings save for the one.
38. Future Shock
I had an experience in 1992 that I've never been able to explain. I lived in a townhouse and had a daughter Emily who was a toddler. While I was at home and awake during the day, I found myself somewhere else, but it felt like the here and now moment. I was standing in "my" kitchen in the dark, at night, in front of a sliding glass door. I turned, mounting a short flight of stairs and opened the first door on the left, entering Emily's bedroom.
She was a teenager, wearing glasses, lying on the bed in her tiny square room, reading a hefty textbook. I greeted her, then proceeded down the hall, opening the door to the room directly in front of me. My son Robert was lying on his bed reading a comic book. The room was long and rectangular. At that point, my experience faded out and I was back in my townhouse.
I thought it was amazing I'd seen both of my kids, at some time in the future, when the "me" in 1992 realized I didn't have a son named Robert. I seemed to exist simultaneously with this other "me," who screamed in my head,"Where's Robert?" because that "me" knew I had two kids and the thought of the younger one not existing was unbearable.
After a few minutes the other "me" faded away, so there was only me in 1992. I felt at the time I'd had a vision of the future and told all my friends about it. The following year, my husband and I bought a house and I recognized the layout the first time I saw it. Emily had a choice of two possible bedrooms and picked the smaller, square one, the first door at the top of the stairs.
I developed a habit of looking out the kitchen sliding door in the dark, where I could see the stars, without being bitten by mosquitoes. My son Robert was born in 1995 and eventually moved into the long rectangular bedroom. Did my vision ever come true? No, it didn't. Emily never wore glasses, Robert had a bunk bed in his room. So many details were similar, but there were some discrepancies.
39. Fifth Avenue Freakoutlow-angle photography of buildingsPhoto by Shot By Joe on Unsplash
Something happened to me years ago when I was in NY. I was on Fifth Avenue near Central Park and walked toward lower Manhattan. I went maybe three blocks and decided to cut over to 4th to the East. I turned a corner, not into an alley, but a regular cross street, and the second I took one step into it, I was shocked into standing still.
The buildings and cars were gone. The noise of the city was gone. There were just trees and a field to my right. A dirt road was where the paved street and sidewalk had been. I was standing on dry dirt. The road was full of deep ruts. Further down the dirt road was a dark brown house with a low fence in front. In the road at least a block away a horse-drawn buckboard full of wood crates was creaking and bouncing on the rutted dirt road.
I was overwhelmed with panic. My mind raced. What if I was trapped there forever. I was dressed in a shorter skirt. I didn't speak the way people of that time would speak. I had visions of being thrown into an asylum for the insane and being lost there for the rest of my life. I quickly walked backward and instantly was back on Fifth Avenue.
A man slammed into my back since I was walking in reverse. I mumbled an apology. The street I had just backed out of looked normal. The traffic was loud. My heart was pounding and I stopped a cab and got out of the city as fast as I could. Even though it was fascinating it was also terrifying.
40. Between Two Fires
Way back when, Grandpa and Grandma were driving through Pennsylvania to an old family farm. Grandpa was a city kid, and had visited the farm every summer for years as he was growing up. It was around 25 years since he had been, but he loved that farm, and wanted to introduce Grandma to his cousins and show her around the farm.
As they drove closer to the farm, Grandpa began to tell Grandma about the little town that was on the road on the way to the farm. Soon, they reached the little town. Grandpa was amazed that it hadn't changed a bit. Towards the end of town, they saw that a hotel was on fire. The road was blocked by firemen using an old-fashioned fire wagon with a water tank pulled by horses.
They thought it was strange, but they chalked this up to being in rural Pennsylvania. Eventually, the water wagon moved, and they could drive on. They reached the farm, and after greeting Grandpa's uncle and cousins, they shared the news of the fire at the hotel. Grandpa suggested that they all go down to see if they could help. The relatives looked shaken.
That's when one of the cousins explained that there was no town—not anymore. About 20 years before, the hotel burned down, and the fire spread to most of the small town's main street. After their businesses were lost, people left the town. In fact, the uncle and cousins were the last people living in the area. Grandpa and Grandma couldn't believe it.
They had just seen the town, the fire—even smelled the smoke! Grandpa, Grandma, and some cousins got in the car and drove back to town, going back the same way they came. And the town was gone, just some burnt-out shells of a few buildings remained.
41. Two For One
At the end of last year just before Christmas vacation, I left work around 3 pm instead of the usual 5 pm. I started to drive home, and the plan was I'd get home, mow the lawn (I live in Australia, and I'd promised to get that done for my housemates), clean up, and drive the three hours to Sydney to my parents' place to get there somewhere after dinner Friday night.
It should have gone like this: 3 pm, leave work. 3:50 pm, arrive home and start mowing. 4:30 pm, shower, clean up, dry off. 5 pm, leave for mum's in Sydney. 8:30 pm, arrive at mum's. What happened instead was I drove home, and rushed through to start mowing the lawn like I'd promised my flatmates. I got back inside, stripped off, got in the shower.
When I woke up, I couldn’t believe my eyes.I was revived in my parents' shower three hours away. Apparently, I'd arrived at my mum's house before she'd come home, mowed the lawn THERE, got in the shower, and passed out from a touch of heat exhaustion. My mum came home and found my car in the driveway, the grass mown, and me in the shower a bit too long before she checked I was OK.
The thing is, she woke me in the shower at her house a little after 6 pm on Friday. Even if I'd driven breaking every speed limit for the 250km from work directly to her house, I couldn't have reached there much before 6:30 pm, let alone drive, arrive, mow the lawn there, and shower. The distance isn't quite three and a half hours’ worth, but it's a tight winding city/mountain drive with city speed limits for a good third of it.
The next morning I checked with my housemates and the lawn there had indeed been mown by the time one of them had arrived home after finishing work at 5, and my grass-covered work clothes were in the corner of the bathroom. I remember mowing the lawn there. I remember stripping off to get in the shower, but I don't remember showering, driving, or mowing the Sydney lawn.
I'd left my work clothes with grass clippings in the bathroom at my place, but in mum's shower it was a fresh change of clothes, and I don't remember getting into covered in grass clippings.
42. Like Father, Like Sonblack porsche 911 on road during daytimePhoto by Martin Katler on Unsplash
I’m a law enforcement officer. In November 2012, I was on regular patrol when a Dodge Challenger SRT 8 blew past me on the highway going 99 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. I whipped my car around, and the chase was on. The Challenger was outgunning me, with speeds reaching about 131—as fast as my Vic would go. On one particular road the Challenger turned down, there is about a four mile stretch of straight, hilly road that has a T intersection at the end.
I had almost lost sight of the car, but happened to catch his tail lights just in time to see him turn East at the intersection. Now, this is where it gets weird. I remember coming up to the T intersection, trying to slow down. Within I'd say, maybe 200 yards from it, I looked down at my speed and noticed I was going way too fast to make it—approximately 95-100 MPH.
I remember hitting the brakes as hard as I could and seeing the dirt berm coming up quick. I remember closing my eyes and asking God to watch over my kids, because I knew I had made a fatal mistake, and was a goner. But nothing happened. No loud crash, no tires squealing, no glass, no airbags, or anything of that nature.
I opened my eyes and I was traveling eastbound from the northbound road at 50 MPH. It still drives me crazy to this day wondering what happened. Did I die and this is all a dream? Did the universe reach out and save me? I wish I knew the answers. I even caught the guy as a highway patrolman had put out stop sticks a few miles down the eastbound road. From the video on the dashcam, I was 35 seconds behind the Challenger.
Later, I got home from work, and I was telling my dad the entire story. What he tells me next absolutely floored me. Apparently, he had pretty much the same experience when he was a truck driver. He was overloaded, driving on slick, wet roads and was traveling down a hill when his brakes became too hot and quit working, which is weird because the exact same thing was going on with my car.
In fact, I literally had to blow through two stop signs on the Northbound straight away without slowing because my brakes were smoked. They were done. I remember seeing them glowing orange after the pursuit was over. Anyway, he remembers the truck skidding and the trailer turning sideways, and then all of a sudden he is on the adjacent street, traveling normally.
He doesn't remember the directions the roads were going (I asked, I got pretty freaked out), so I can't make that particular connection, but he told me how creepy it made him feel. I don't know. I'm kind of in a weird spot right now. I don't know how I'm supposed to be feeling at this moment. I need to see if any other family members have had a similar experience.
43. I’m Not My Best Self
Yesterday my boyfriend and I went on a fairly long hike around a nature reserve in the southwest UK. It's our go-to place when we want to get out of the city. It was a very hot day yesterday (about 31C) and we were nearing the end of the walk, so I was physically pretty tired but mentally fine. I had drunk about 2l of water over the last couple of hours so was not dehydrated, and I had been eating fruit cake so wasn't hungry.
We got to a big rock formation which my boyfriend wanted to climb, but I didn't want to, although I had done it before. So, he disappeared behind it to start climbing while I walked about 200 meters away to meet him at the other end of the formation. Then I stopped and looked back at the rock, feeling a little anxious, worrying that my boyfriend had hurt himself because he was taking longer than normal.
I should say here that I have had anxiety problems and low self-esteem since I was a young child, due to trauma. I am working on it, but I have always been (and see myself as) an unconfident, not independent, kind of helpless person who doesn't believe in herself. Harsh but true. I'm below average height, with dark blonde hair, and physically weak at the moment because I'm recovering from surgery.
I am also partially deaf, as a result of the surgery, and I can't hear higher-pitched sounds like birds singing or the sound of the wind anymore. So, back to what happened. I thought, "Where is he, I hope he's okay, I hope I don't need to come and rescue him," and then suddenly, I was somebody else. My next thought was "Rescue who? I came here alone, why am I thinking that, do I need to drink more water?"
Nothing around me had changed at all, but I had become a different person with a different past, but I was also still myself. The new person I had become was a little disgusted at how she had been feeling so anxious and weak just now, because it wasn't like her to feel that way. She was irritated by the intrusive thought.
She had a tent and all the stuff needed for solo camping in her backpack, whereas before I had only been carrying water, and she adjusted the pack, and thought about where she would set it up. She had hiked up there alone with the intention of camping there for a few days, something I had never done before, and would never even consider doing alone.
I brushed the hair out of my eyes and it was dark brown, my natural color, but shorter than it was before. She was a little taller than me but I think it was because she stood up straighter, and she was more muscular like a soldier or someone who works outside. I work at a desk and I'm not overweight, but not in shape either.
The main difference was the confidence I felt when I was her. She only needed herself and unlike me, she was practical and completely level-headed. She knew the way back to the car park and also the way to where she was going to camp—I still know this now and confirmed it on a map, even though normally I'm terrible with directions and rely on my boyfriend to navigate.
The strangest thing was that she had just had an image in her mind of my boyfriend, the guy I had been hoping to see reappearing on the rock, but she had never seen him before and she was a little weirded out for a moment that she'd had a vision of a stranger. I think she was single. She turned to go back the way I had come.
But, as I was about halfway back past the rock, I looked at it and saw my boyfriend up there. I became myself again, but now I felt very scared about what had happened, and also sad because I had felt so much stronger and determined a second before, and I had never felt that way in my life before. I looked at my hair and my arms to confirm they were how they normally were again.
The worst part? I felt like a better life had just been snatched away from me. The whole experience only lasted about five minutes but it was the strangest thing that has ever happened to me. I can't stop thinking about how it FELT so different being someone else, and how “using” her mind to think thoughts felt so different because her personality was different.
I was a mature woman, although I was the same age, and I felt like I could defend myself, I even felt more confident moving around on the rocky terrain and could move more quickly while I was walking. I knew some things were the same, like we had the same name, but she wasn't in pain, so I knew she hadn't had surgery. I wasn't craving nicotine while I was her, and I could hear the wind and the birds just like I used to be able to.
These thoughts only came after I changed back, while I “was” the other me I only thought things that made sense in her situation, like I'd only had a glimpse of the previous few minutes of my “normal” life and for her, that had been the weird experience but now she was back to normal. She was angry but it seemed like a general constant feeling of anger, and she seemed to be the type of person who looks for reasons to start fights, which is the opposite of how I am.
But she wasn't tense and constantly worrying either. If I hadn't seen my boyfriend I don't know how far I would've walked towards the location she'd planned to camp at, which is the scariest thing to me—I started walking away from where I should be going for no reason. Would I have looked in my pack to get the tent out, only to see it wasn't there? Or would there have been a tent in there??
Since then I've been fine, I didn't have heatstroke or a headache. There's nothing physically wrong with me that wasn't there before, but I can't stop thinking about it. Last night I think I had a dream where I was her again, because when I woke up I was crying and I felt like I had been very happy and now I had to go back to my normal life again, but I never remember my dreams.
44. Riding Off Into The Sunset
I was working construction in Arizona. It was fall and about 70 degrees at night time. My buddy and I had just got done working on a multi-family development outside Yuma, on the way to Tucson. We parked the pick-up off a dirt road, on a ridge overlooking the desert floor. We had to be about 15 minutes from Interstate 8.
We both cracked a cold one and watched for the imminent and beautiful Arizona sunset. All of a sudden, about 2-4 miles in the distance, I saw a cylindrical structure or maybe vehicle appear on the desert floor. We both saw this and didn’t say much beside, “What the heck is that?” The thing, imagine a giant bullet sitting upright, illuminated with a very bright light.
A spiral walkway appeared and ran down the object from the top. We began to see numerous, small outlines walking down the ramp. We were both speechless. It happened so fast. Only about 45-60 seconds had taken place. Staring at these figures walking down the ramp, they all stopped abruptly, and disappeared. This is the last thing we both remember.
I just ceased being conscious—I can only describe it as being similar to getting knocked out in a fight. I awoke at about 6:30 in the morning, sitting in my car, with buddy in the front seat, 90 miles away in Tucson, a block from my drive way. We both never talk about it because no one would believe my story. But that was the only thing that has happened in my life that I can’t explain, and it's led me to be much more open minded.
45. Hanging On The Telephonewoman sleeping on bed under blanketsPhoto by Gregory Pappas on Unsplash
This story took place about five years ago and every single word of it is 100% true. To this day, my family and I still can't explain what happened. My mum, dad and two sisters went on a family trip across Europe. I stayed at home with my husband and 12-month-old baby. It's 3 AM and my phone's ringing. It's my dad.
I'm thinking that's weird, dad's usually well aware of what time it is here when he calls…maybe he doesn't realize? So, I ignore it. My phone rings again. I'm now thinking it's somewhat urgent and I should answer, but it rings out before I can pick it up. I then notice I have a dozen missed calls from both mum and dad and my sisters. I also have a heap of messages.
So, now I'm wide awake and thinking the absolute worst—if only it were that simple. I open up the text messages and they're all along the lines of, "Everything will be okay, we are going to get the next flight home to be with you, stay strong we love you." I'm thinking what the heck are they on about? My phone rings again and I answer straight away.
"What the heck is going on dad?! What do all those text messages mean??" Now, it takes a lot to make my dad concerned. On the phone he's really concerned and trying to keep it together. Through gritted teeth and his voice shaking he says, "I've just been on the phone to you for an hour...what do you mean 'what's going on?'" I'm completely dumbfounded.
I went to bed at 10 pm and have been fast asleep until now. The last time I spoke with my parents was three days ago. How could I have possibly been on the phone with my dad for the last hour? I tell him he must be confused, I've been asleep and definitely didn't make any phone calls. "Don't play games with me!" My dad almost shouts. This is where it gets scary.
He tells me: "I've been on the phone with you for the last hour, consoling you because you've just found out your pregnant and [husband] has left you!" "WHAT?!!!" At this point my husband has woken up to all the commotion and is asking what's going on. "Dad, what are you talking about?! He’s right here, asleep next to me. He hasn't walked out on me and I'm definitely not pregnant!"
Dad's angry now. He's telling me to stop lying to him and that this isn't funny. He's demanding I tell him the truth, asking if both me and my son are okay and do I know where my husband has gone? At this point, I'm thinking I've been sleep talking. I've somehow called my dad in my sleep and told him this ridiculous story. My husband doesn't believe it, saying he would've woken up to me crying on the phone to my dad if I had in fact done that in my sleep.
I tell my dad to hang on a minute while I check if I made any calls to him. I look though my phone log, and apart from multiple missed calls, I haven't made any calls to my dad or my family for that matter. The last phone call received was three days ago. I check my husband’s phone, in case I somehow clambered over him and used his phone to make the ridiculous phone call. Nope. Nothing.
"Dad, I've just checked my phone. I haven't made any calls to you..." I ask dad if my caller ID showed up when I ‘called him.' He says he can't remember, so he checks. A minute or so later he says, "It says unknown...I haven't received any calls from your phone number." My dad is suspicious now, thinking who the heck did he just speak to.
My bewilderment turns to anger. Has someone pranked my dad? Who would make up such a story and upset my whole family? My dad denies it, saying he knows my voice and says it was definitely me. Even my sister got on the phone and said she was there the whole time, talking with me while I was in complete hysterics on the phone.
She said that I had told them my husband got angry and walked out on me when I told him I was pregnant. I didn't know where he went and he wasn't answering my calls. I said I was scared to be home by myself with my son so I went to stay with a friend. My sister said she could hear my friend in the background, but I wouldn't tell them which friend I was staying with when they asked.
Dad asked me why I didn't go to his house as I still have a key and I said I didn’t want to because of their family friend who was staying there. The creepy part? That’s completely true. If it as a stranger or a scammer, how would they know that? My mum and dad had a family friend staying with them for a few months, and they were looking after the house while they were traveling.
My sister said eventually I calmed down and said I had to go as I didn't want to keep my friend awake any longer. I said I have to go to work the next day and need to cancel my dentist appointment. Another true piece of information. I was, in fact, called into work the following day and had told my husband the night before I'll need to cancel my dentist appointment.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing. And at the same time, my family couldn't believe that I was telling them otherwise. I had to take a photo of me and my husband to prove to them everything was fine and none of that happened. We stayed on the phone with each other till six in the morning, me convincing them that they definitely do not have to get on the next flight home.
No one could make sense of what happened. My dad and family still didn't 100% believe me until they got home from Europe and saw me in the flesh. We speak about it every now and again. I always ask my dad and sister to tell me again and again exactly what I said to them over the phone. I find it fascinating and terrifying at the same time.
My dad doesn't like talking about it. He just shakes his head and says, "I don't know what to believe." And I don't blame him either. What he and my family heard was real. They really were on the phone with “me” and were all devastated at what I was telling them. Ready to jump on the next flight home and telling “me” to stay strong! Imagine then being told a few minutes later by the real me that I had no idea what they were talking about??
46. We’re Ready To Believe You
12 years ago my boyfriend and I went to the video store to rent Ghostbusters because I had just found out he’d never seen it before. After we rented the movie, we went for a late lunch. He had two beers and I had one. We were definitely not wasted. We got back to my place, made popcorn, poured soft drinks over ice, and sat down on my couch.
We put the movie in the DVD player and pressed play. We were not sleepy. We were still in that hyper awake flirtatious stage of dating, if that makes sense. It was 6 pm. It was summertime, so the sun was shining brightly through the shades. Cut to—I suddenly come to consciousness by taking the hugest breath I’ve ever taken. I hear my boyfriend take a huge breath at the same time next to me.
It was the kind of breath you would take after coming out of the water when you’ve stayed under as long as possible. We were both sitting on the couch in the exact same positions but it was dark and the movie was long over. The glowing clock showed it was 4 am! We both remember the same thing. We lost consciousness at the exact same time and came back into consciousness at the exact same moment.
We don’t know what happened. We still talk about it sometimes. It’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me. The poor guy has still never seen Ghostbusters to this day, which is too bad, because I think it’s a really good movie.
47. A Tempest In A Teacup
So when my grandparents were very young, right after they got married, they went to Devon for their honeymoon. This was about 60-ish years ago. Now, they'd been to Devon many times in a similar spot and so they are reasonably familiar with the area. They decided to go on an afternoon stroll one afternoon down a forest track. After about half an hour or so, they stumbled upon a gorgeous old worldly tea room, so they decided to go in for a little snack.
My grandmother had a tea cake, my grandad a scone, and a pot of tea between them both. They particularly enjoyed the tea and asked what brand it was so they could purchase it for themselves. What struck them most about this quaint little tea room was how old-fashioned it was, even the waitresses were wearing uniforms that seemed very out of date but were still smart.
They spoke again to their waitress, paid, and complimented how wonderful it was. After about a week they decided to return because they had enjoyed it so much and they were eager to get another cup of that tea! So off they went down the path, taking every single step exactly as they remembered to get to the tea room.
When they finally reached where it should be, they came to a dead end, no tea room, just a wall of row upon row of adult trees. They just couldn't understand it, it was absolutely impossible. They had followed the route perfectly and yet there was absolutely no sign whatsoever of this tea room. Confused and dumbfounded, they wandered around the woods a bit more putting it down to their own silliness and just getting lost.
After a while, they crossed paths with an elderly woman who was walking her dog and they stopped and asked her where they could find the little old-fashioned tea room. The woman looked confused and told them there was no such tea room in the forest and that she had lived in the area her whole life so she would know.
My grandparents started to feel delusional and they told the woman that they had actually been here a week ago and had actually gone in for a bite to eat and drink so it was impossible. The woman seemed very confused and said they must be mistaken. The only tearoom which was in the woods had been closed down many, many years ago even before my grandparents were born, but she had been to it as a little girl.
After pressing the woman a little harder and describing the tearoom with as much detail as they could remember, even down to the tea brand, she seemed dumfounded and agreed it sounded exactly like the tea room she remembered as a child. They parted ways and joked that it must have been a slip in time.
48. Non-Playable Character Failed To Loadwoman wearing black crew-neck shirtPhoto by Aiony Haust on Unsplash
I met a girl at university and after we graduated, we decided we'd move in with each other. The plan was whoever got a job first would pay the rent etc. while the other looked for a job in the same city. I got the job and we moved into a small house together. Months later, she's still having no luck finding a job. I feel like garbage one day, which is unusual for me, and come home from work extremely early, before lunch.
I walk in through the front door and I’m greeted by a bizarre sight. I look into the lounge and see her just...sitting there. The TV isn't on, nor the radio, and she's just staring straight ahead, not even moving. I stood there and watched her for a while out of curiosity. I'm sure everyone wonders what their partners/friends do when they think no one is around.
She did nothing, just stared dead ahead. The closest I can describe it is like in older computer games where you'd get into a room and an NPC hadn't noticed you yet and would still be stood there, waiting for you to get in and "activate" them. We'd had a fight the night before so I just shook my head and went off to bed.
At around 4, I get up and go downstairs again and she's still there staring dead ahead, at which point I obviously worry and try to get her attention. Nothing I did, even shaking her or shouting would wake her up from whatever it was, so I called my dad—he's a dentist but knows a lot about medicine generally—and ask him what I should do. He says he'll be round in 20 minutes, and to keep an eye on her till then.
Around 4:30 she suddenly gets up, goes into the kitchen, and starts doing chores, washing up and getting tea, etc. I follow her and watch before asking her if she's okay and she says she's fine, pretty casually like nothing had happened. I asked her what she'd been up to that day and she launched into this long explanation of how she'd gone out job hunting and where she'd gone and managers she'd spoken to that day. It was creepy.
I told her what had actually happened and she looked at me oddly like I was the crazy one, insisted that she'd been out job hunting and had only just got back. I told her I wasn't judging her and it was fine that she hadn't been out job hunting, but I was worried about her and she had definitely been sitting there all day.
My dad came by and suggested she may have been having an "absence seizure," which is a type of epilepsy. She had scans, etc., and nothing showed up (no tumors either). Since she didn't believe MY story things got pretty tense between us, especially because after possibly having an absence seizure, she had been banned from driving for a year.
Over the next six-ish months before we broke up, I did some pretty odd things to try and prove what had happened, including booking days off work without telling her and then pretending to go to work, only to park around the corner, come home sneakily and then observe her. A lot of the time I'd find her stood there doing nothing again.
When I asked her about it she'd still have these long explanations of what she'd done that day. It happened so often that I kind of got the feeling my girlfriend was only really "on" when people were around, and when she thought no one was around she'd just go into a default "off" state until people got back. It doesn’t make much sense, but it’s all I could come up with.
Weirdly, some of her stories were backed up by other people. Like she said she'd gone to meet a friend that day, and later when I checked with the friend, she said that it was true. This is the only part I can't really explain to myself, and I've kind of just dismissed it as the friend being nice and trying to back up her friend. We broke up, though we're still friends, and I haven't mentioned it to her since.
It still freaks me out though, and I worry about what other people are like when they think no one is around.
49. Seeing Double
My dad used to get up around 3 AM every morning for work. Starting at a very early age, I would wake up on my own and wander downstairs to see him before he left. One morning when I was about four years old, I made it to the bottom of the stairs and noticed that the front door was ajar. I opened it up and saw my father in his favorite work shirt making his way down the driveway to his truck in his typical work outfit, a plaid shirt and Dickies.
I swung the door open wide and yelled for him to come back for a hug before he left. I’ll never forget what happened next. He slowly turned around and just STARED at me and started walking back towards the house. He was looking so strangely at me that it started to scare me and I began crying and asking what was wrong.
Just as he had almost reached me, a pair of arms encircled me from behind in a bear hug. I turned my head to see my understandably freaked-out father staring at his doppelganger in the SAME outfit—and that’s not even the creepiest part. The double took one look at my dad and ran down the driveway. Meanwhile, my dad yanked me in the house and locked the door.
Weirdest morning EVER. Never did quite figure that one out. I would not trust my four-year-old memory of the event if it wasn't also witnessed by my father. He won’t really talk about it these days but my mom has since told me that he called out of work and she spent the day reassuring him he wasn't a nutcase.
50. Just Another Manic Monday
About 4 or 5 years ago I worked at a Little Caesars Pizza. Usually I would work inside on the pizzas but we had just started up this Monday Madness deal where pizzas were only $4 on Monday so we needed someone to advertise. I was a wild and weird metalhead so I took up the position on Mondays of just going out there, throwing around a sign to get attention and bring people in for pizza. Not exactly glamorous but I had fun.
One day while I was out there doing my thing, I see a van coming straight at me. It jumps the curb and slams into me. I feel it crush me against the electrical box controlling the street lights. I see a quick flash as the traffic lights flick off…then I black out. I open my eyes with a gasp and I'm still on the corner and nothing has happened. No van or anything—but the story doesn’t end there.
Well, I was a little shaken up so I decide to pack it up and walk back to the store for a break. I walk no more than 15 feet away from the corner when I hear a crash. I look back and a van just hopped the curb into the electrical box and I watch the traffic lights flick off. Needless to say, I took the day off. Still think about that from time to time.
Adult entertainment has seen a boom in the last few years.
And it's real work for many.
Who is anyone to judge?
Yes, it's still a taboo topic for many.
But if that is where your success lies, than who is to judge?
Redditor Isuckathis22 wondered what everyone would say if they discovered someone close was a sex worker, so they asked:
"What would your reaction be if your friend was a porn star?"
I actually have friends in the business. Doesn't change a thing for me.
Family MattersSeason 18 Omg GIF by America's Got TalentGiphy
"We found out our cousin was a porn star, my mom and aunt (both 70 at the time) asked me to google her name to see if it was true... Um, safe to day I don't google family members anymore."
"Not necessarily a pornstar but I do know a couple of people that successfully out-earn me to varying degrees on OnlyFans. None of our friends really care, but we are a little jealous of the money and not having to answer to a boss."
"They actually re-use old videos and pictures. I know someone who did it for a while and is now retired but they have a huge vault of videos and photos that they pay a management company to post and chat with subscribers. They just sit back and collect checks now at least $150k a year after management fees."
"Depends on the friend either a bleach bath for my eyes or a night of studying."
"I've watched professionally produced videos of 3 girls I know IRL."
"One posted a NSFW picture on FB with a more known actress which got me wondering since she was a dancer and I knew her stage name. One was through the rumor mill and the last I just stumbled on by accident. Thankfully no eye bleach was required but the dancer made me realize some things are best left to the imagination."
The Day Player
"I wouldn’t care."
"Source: my college best friend was never a star, but she did a few scenes, including with a famous pornstar."
"This happened nearly a decade ago. She used the money to fund her drug addiction. She is married now and is no longer involved in sex work (not that there would be anything wrong with it if she was). So no, I will not be giving more information, sorry lol."
Past DueLiving My Life Lol GIF by The MickGiphy
"I just asked her a lot of questions. (She was retired by the time I met her)."
The topic itself fascinating.
Who wouldn't have questions?
Good for You!heath ledger joker GIFGiphy
"As the Joker said, 'If you’re good at something, never do it for free.'"
"But in seriousness no big deal. As long as it’s consensual and they aren’t being coerced into stuff, sex work is work and shouldn’t be stigmatized."
"LMAO wouldn't necessarily call her a porn 'star' but somewhat encountered this situation. A girl I knew from when I was younger didn't really know what she wanted to do and tried becoming an influencer for a couple of years, but that didn't work. I followed her and always tried to be supportive of her doing influencing stuff because it was semi-related to the industry I'm in."
"Anyways that wasn't doing well so she decides to start an Onlyfans, she asked all her friends to subscribe and support her. It was like 5 bucks so I said alright f**k it lmao. For a while, I didn't want to even check it out because it felt weird but I did at some point sift through what she was posting but it felt so weird I was like... nah."
The Happy-Go-Lucky Guy
"I have a friend who’s done more than one professional porno. It’s been about 8 years since his last one. He received an offer from a producer shortly after we graduated high school. He claims he and the producer totally randomly connected over Snapchat. I suspect he researched the producer and reached out first."
"My friend is a good-looking guy and hasn’t been shy about his manhood. He made home videos with a girl, and I believe he passed those along. The girl in his home videos did amateur porn after. When he first told me I didn’t believe him. He’s shown me some of his work, and frankly, I’m pretty impressed that he put himself out there. The one 'film' he showed me featured him and an actress twice our age."
"I’m jealous that he had the opportunity. I’m not sure I’m secure enough to do it myself. He made enough money to put a decent down payment on a Dodge Ram, and he stopped after his parents found out, which is hilarious to me. He was also told that if he wanted to make real money he had to switch teams."
"I asked him his thoughts on the whole process, and he basically said it was easy money and a lot of fun. He’s a happy-go-lucky kind of guy. I was curious if he felt any pressure or nerves, and he said he didn’t. Nowadays, he’s in the trades, he’s single."
"I ran into a high school friend about 6 years after graduating and learned that she was doing porn. It made all the sense in the world because was always highly sexual in school and she was open and not sorry about it at all. Was nominated for a VPN award too so she was doing quality stuff, I’ve been told. I just asked her question after question. It’s a pretty f**ked up world they live in. Wild and fun, but brainwashy and not good for the soul."
I got you!in living color GIFGiphy
"No judgment. Earn your snaps however you want. I'd only check out their content if they're comfortable with it. I'm loyal, we're going to be friends always, now let's have drinks."
How people make their money is their business.
As long as no one is hurting anyone, who cares.