Gas stations are a necessary evil. They often smell, they can take a while, you have to drop some cash, and there's no knowing who you'll encounter there.
It was that last detail that a recent Reddit thread zeroed in on.
Plenty of people have all sorts of alarming stories to come out of their time spent at gas stations. Nighttime stops are especially infamous.
So if you have any interest in thinking twice the next time you go to fill up, read on.
Redditor loftwinglink asked:
"What's the scariest experience you've ever had at a gas station or rest stop?"
Many people shared experiences that were downright creepy. Sometimes the vibes are just palpably unnerving.
"Bitter cold, dark MN winter, gassing up at 5:30am. Just barely awake."
"While I'm at the pump, I see a bundled up dude, hoodie pulled tight around his face walk out of the gas station, right past my pump, avoids eye contact and heads down the street. No big deal, it's winter, right?"
"I finish fueling up, pay at the pump. I head to the station to grab a snack and the door is locked. Lights on, I can see employees gathered in there...but they won't let me in."
"Suddenly it dawns on me... They just got robbed. At gunpoint. By the dude that had just walked by me a minute ago."
"Checked the news later that day. A robbery. If I had been 2 minutes earlier, I'd have been inside while it happened."
"Crazy world, I tell ya."
Nope, Nope, Nope
"A while ago I had an early flight leaving at 6am so I was driving to the off-airport parking and was very low on gas. I pulled into a gas station close to the airport around 4am."
"The station was poorly lit and I noticed there were two guys sitting outside drinking and a third guy came out - but I was the only one at the pumps. When the third guy started walking to my car I realized how vulnerable I was. I drove away immediately without getting gas."
Very Poor Maintenance
"Just last week I was returning a rental car to an Enterprise location in Philadelphia and needed to top up the gas tank. The only gas station the Waze app would show us close by was a Getty."
"When we pulled up to the station my eyes went wide: every single pump was vandalized (broken or missing panels/signs), broken glass all over the parking lot, all of the doors were shuttered except for one lone door and a weak 'open' light."
"We drove right through without stopping and just returned the car without filling the tank."
When YOU Are the Creepy
"This is probably the reverse of what people expect to read here. It's not like it's a spooky horrifying experience, just my scariest experience. Some friends and I wanted some snacks from corner store/gas station, I was sitting in the back right seat... so pulled up near the front and dropped me off in and out... "
"So anyways I grab all the snacks and come back out and enter back into the car and before / while entering I can't see my friends in the front.... huh? Anyways I continue to enter the car and sit down look to my left and there's a little kid just sitting there staring at me. I was the stranger."
"I entered the exact same car model/color where it dropped me off like 1 minute earlier but it was not my friends vehicle.... all I could think is that some dad is about explode on me... so I quickly get out of the vehicle and spot my friends parked just ahead in a parking spot now and quickly head over and recount what just happened."
"So that may have been my scariest experience and that kids scariest experience."
Nowhere to Go
"Waiting for a complete tire change at a garage in San Antonio years ago. Guy beside me noticed I smoked a pipe. (Since stopped smoking)."
"He pulls out a tobacco pouch, unzips it, and holds it out. 'Check what I keep in there,' he says. So I look. Find a severed human finger."
"He goes on to explain he was an interrogator for the Army and took it as a souvenir in South America."
"So I'm sitting beside a psychopath pretending everything's normal for like an hour. Freaked me out. Creepy as anything."
The Getaway Car
"4 friends and I were driving from Ontario Canada to Florida for New Years. We drove 21 hours straight to get there. In rural West Virginia our SUV ran out of gas and we luckily coasted into a super sketchy gas station in the middle of nowhere at 230am. Not a soul in site. The man behind the counter told us to put 5$ in the car and get the hell out of there."
"The gas station was notorious for late night robberies. As we were just about finished filling up, 3 men with guns emerged from the darkness and began walking directly towards our vehicle. I wasn't waiting around to see what they wanted."
"Jumped in the suv and took off. 15-20 minutes down the road was a small town with a well lit station, we decided to stop their and finish filling the tank."
"Was trying to pay for gas at the pump with a credit card. It said card declined, please see cashier. So I tried a different card. That one also said card declined, see cashier. I didn't want to go in. So I drove my car around to another pump there. I use a different card again to try to pay and once again, it says card declined, see cashier."
"At this point I was annoyed so I was like, maybe if they swipe it inside, it'll work. So I went in. The cashier was like finally you came in, you're so beautiful, etc etc what is your number?"
"It completely creeped me out because I think he was purposely declining my card at the pump so I'd have to go inside and see him"
Others shared stories about the dangerous moments they've encountered at the pump. Remember, it's all flammable.
"Working at a gas station. This lady came in through the front door and said she was having a problem out at the pumps."
"She'd clicked the lever that let the nozzle keep pumping gas, but then somehow managed to pull the nozzle out of her car's receptacle. Not knowing what to do, she walked to the store and told me about it."
"I thought she'd just spilled a little gas on the pad, but no...she'd left the nozzle on the ground, spilling gallons of fuel onto the pad. By the time I got out there, it was a pool of flammable liquid."
"Holy sh**. Shut down the pumps, evacuate the area, call the fire department. No, ma'am, don't get into your car and drive away. Don't touch anything. The FD showed up and said 'wow...we've never seen anything this bad.' "
"Fortunately, the gas station didn't blow up. Took a few hours to clean up the mess. In the middle of an Arizona summer. In 100 degree heat."
"20 years ago I worked at a marina gas dock. Guy comes in to get his boat filled"
"What no one knew was that the guys who had just finished fixing his boat hadn't properly reconnected up his gas lines."
"So as my coworker was pumping gas into his boat, the gas isn't going into his fuel tank, but was instead flowing into his bilge"
"Then the bilge pump automatically kicked in to deal with the rising 'water' level inside the boat."
"Had that pump sparked, the fireball would have burned us all to dust. Instead it just created a bit of an ecological nightmare as all the gas that we'd pumped into the boat got pumped out into the lake."
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A Foot Away
"I was parked at a rest stop in the middle of Texas, stretching my legs. There was a good amount of traffic right behind me on the highway and plenty of road noise."
"As I stepped towards the restrooms, I heard some horns honking so I glanced over my shoulder while walking and felt a rush of wind and the roar of a truck engine go past me."
"Traffic was stopping on the highway and an 18 wheeler lost its brakes and went hauling a** through the rest stop parking lot and nearly took me and 4 cars out, but managed to avoid everything except a dog poop station on his way through."
"If I wouldn't have slowed down to look over my shoulder, I would have been a smear on the asphalt"
Zero Thinking Happening Here
"Dude flicked a cigarette but into a garbage can filled mostly with receipt paper and the whole can lit on fire; I quickly dumped the can over, stomped out what I could, and poured the absorbent cat-litter like stuff over it to put it out."
"When I called the guy a fu**ing idiot, he threatened to call the manager."
"Me and a few mates were driving back from getting McDonalds when I was about 19 and I stopped to fill up my car on the way back. I fill, pay, then head back to my car and decide to clean the windscreen because it's pretty dirty."
"As I'm doing so, the guy who works there comes barreling out the doors, screaming and waving his arms. He looked completely insane and he was running right towards me. I sh** myself and run through all the reasons why a perfectly normal station attendant has suddenly gone full axe murderer crazy."
"It's not until I look behind me that I see one of my mates standing next to the car, lighting a cigarette, 5ft from the bowsers. His reason as he would later quote was 'You were taking too long.' I stood there gobsmacked as the guy screamed at my friend and then at me, who honestly had zero idea it was happening or that he could be that fu**in stupid."
"For the record. I am not friends with that guy anymore."
Finally, plenty of people have been unlucky enough to encounter violence at the pump. Though it didn't involve them directly, it was horrifying to witness.
A Nearly-Lethal Blow
"Gas station in Poway CA in 2009, I witnessed an attempted murder. I was sitting in my truck with the lights off late at night. I saw a a teenager hit another teenager in the head with what looked like a chunk of rebar. Kid went down and the other kid ran away. Somebody called 911."
"Kid was unconscious and bleeding. Ambulance came for the kid. I Gave a description to the cops. They found the kid in a garage a block away. I identified him from the back of the police cruiser while the cops had him pressed against the wall. I had to give a statement of what I witnessed to the juvenile court in San Diego."
All for $60
"I went to pick my sister up from the circle K she worked at. There were cops and an ambulance (leaving) when I pulled up. Found out that my baby sister had been jumped and was robbed."
"I get to the ER and she has a blanket pulled up to her face and she is saying. 'Don't freak out. Don't freak out. I'm ok' she took it like a champ I'm telling you.
"She had 2 black eyes. A broken elbow. A split lip. Broken nose."
"The video was hard to watch. She came out of the freezer to say hello and he hit her so hard in the face that she fell backwards into the freezer and hit the floor. He stood over her and continued to punch and kick her. My 100 lb sister is seen kicking and punching him back."
"She was more mad that she was beat up over 60 dollars in the register than anything else. Because she had pulled the drop out and had it sitting in a folder under the register and the man didn't grab it. 😂 'If I am going to get beat up he could have at least took the 400 dollars under the register.' "
"The crazy thing was the man was caught. Covered in blood. They tested the DNA on from the on him for the trial…. The blood didn't belong to him or my sister. 😳"
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that this is a biased sample of people's worst moments. But nonetheless, keep that head on a swivel next time you're gassing up.
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Pumpin' the tane down in New Orleans sounds sexy, but Tina and the group left out the part of having to deal with actual people. Those hard working people who work in the gas stations have to deal with far more drama than we could believe.
Redditor u/tylerpv10 wanted to know what all the petroleum attendants needed to share by asking.... Night shift gas station clerks of reddit, what's the weirdest thing you've ever encountered?
Years ago I worked overnights at a gas station, in a pretty bad neighborhood in Florida. My first night working there an older guy came in, walked up to the counter and reached across and punched me in the jaw pretty hard. The guy I was working with chased him out the door while I called the cops to send someone over. My coworker came back in pretty quick looking frightened and said to send an ambulance because the crazy guy just died outside. EMT and police came, guy was alive but had a pretty bad heart attack. Every other shift was pretty timid compared to that.
"I sing for my supper!"
Not a gas station, but a train station cafe. There were overnight works going on so we stayed open until 1 or 2am for the builders. One night this older gentleman comes in, well dressed. Asks for a coffee but can't pay when I make it. I give it to him anyway since I'll just throw it otherwise, and he asks me for some cake. I refuse, and he goes "I sing for my supper!" And then starts to belt out Frank Sinatra right there in the shop. And he just. Won't. Stop. He's there for like, half an hour.
I tried to get security to look after him because he clearly wasn't all there. Found him later, singing for the builders who were giving him sandwiches. Eventually called the local police who got him supervised until he could catch a train home in the morning.
"See you later...."
I worked in a rural gas station/ garage when I was in high school. One evening I was working and there were some pretty bad storms brewing. It didn't take long for there to be a fairly large group of people stopped at the station to find some shelter.
I didn't think much of it, wasn't the first time it had happened, but then they started blowing the tornado sirens. All the sudden there's a bunch of adult and families looking at little 16 year old me looking for answers.
There's no basement so I did the first thing I could think of and shoved them all in the walk in cooler. Shut us all in and rode out the storm. When it passed I went out and there was a big plate glass window busted and some stuff blown around the store.
All the people came out of the cooler and were pretty much like, "See you later," and left.
I was pretty much left there by myself like what the heck just happened.
We Close Soon....
So, my store closes up at 10 pm. I come in one morning at around 4:45ish to find an old Native American man passed out in our kitchen. We have a rather large kitchen because we work next to an industrial area w lots of truck drivers/oil field workers who start their work day early, so we make lots of food for breakfast and lunch.
So I call the police because what the hell am I supposed to do (There's a very bad neighborhood behind the store that's constantly hit for drug busts.. like hard stuff.. plus we find bloody needles in the bathrooms all the time.) the police show up like 15 minutes later with some paramedics and the guy was just asleep lol. Apparently he came in around 9:30 pm the night before to use the bathroom and got locked in when the two night shift employees locked up. He didn't have a phone and didn't think to look for ours, so he got a six pack of beer out, ate some of our bread and went to sleep next to the grill 😂
I had a friend who worked at a gas station. He said someone came in one night and produced a gun and told my friend to empty the register. Being completely dumbfounded by the situation my friend told him that he had to buy something first. This is because to open the register an item from the gas station needed to be scanned at the register. According to my friend they stared at each other completely silent and bewildered for a few seconds. After that my friend had regained enough of his faculties to explain this to the robber. Then the robber scanned a Twix took all the money in the register and left.
Meth heads that just need "to be let in for a second" because their car broke down/injured/sick granny/anything to try to trick you into letting them in so they can stab and, rob you, and kill your corpse.
Idk if this was necessarily weird but more luck. During and after high school I worked a this crappy gas station that closed up at 11pm. I started doing my cleaning duties when I noticed a penny on the ground I picked it up kept sweeping until I noticed a dime by the door. This wasn't unusual since people drop change all the time. As I was picking it up though something caught my eye as it blew past the door I went outside looked right, nothing, looked left and there sat a fat wad of cash it was nearly $300 laying on the ground.
Yes I kept it.
No one ever stopped back by asking about it ether.
"don't worry, it's not my blood."
A friend of mine worked nights in a convenience store by herself and she told me about a time when a woman came in drenched in blood. When asked she said flatly, "don't worry, it's not my blood." She bought a pack of cigarettes and was on her merry way.
Another time around 3 AM.....
I was a 7-11 night clerk for about 5 years when I was young. Nothing too outrageous happened. The big nightly event was the 2 AM rush, the cut-off for selling alcohol when I'd run a bar through the beer cooler doors. There was always a bunch of people coming in just before, and always a few coming in after that would beg and argue and I'd just have to say no.
One time around 3 AM an older drunk but well-dressed Mexican guy comes in, two really pretty girls with him, argues and pleads with me to sell him some beer for about 15 minutes. He was oddly pleasant, seemed like a guy no one said no to, but I said no. He went out with the girls then came back in alone. Looked at me and smiled, pulled a giant wad of bills from his pocket and peeled off a twenty, sat it on the counter, walked over to the cooler and pulled out a case of beer through the bars. Then as I'm telling him I can't sell that to him he reaches in his other pocket and pulls out a baggy of drugs, wags it in the air in front of me significantly, sits that on the $20 bill and says "esta todo bien, mi amigo", with a wink, and walks out the door with the beer.
Another time around 3 AM again these two young girls came in and wandered the store for about a half hour, laughing their asses off at everything. Literally rolling on the floor laughing, reading the labels of the candy bars and stuff like that. I talked to them enough that they told me they'd eaten some mushrooms. Finally they picked out a couple of candy bars and a couple sodas. At the counter I rang them up and they realized they didn't have any money... which was hilariously funny and they were on the floor laughing again. I bagged their stuff and told them not to worry about it. Sweeping the lot after they left I could hear them still laughing down the street.
Working security in a bad neighborhood . This guy walking minding his own business in a cowboy hat, cowboy shoes . And a thong carrying around a raccoon. It looked like he was feeding the raccoon something. I locked my doors asap.