I love to wonder about in the dark of night; especially in winter. I do some of my best thinking and writing on long walks in peace.
I do have a curfew about my strolls though. I'm home by midnight, unless I have to walk my dog or I'm coming in from the club.
Doing walkabouts in the dead of night, like say in the wee hours, can be a gamble. I also am an avid Dateline NBC fan, so I know who is out there, hiding behind cars.
So, walk with caution. Because night maybe tranquil but it has a dark side no matter the hour.
Redditor u/red-f1sh wanted to compare notes with those of us who stoll in the dark, by asking:
People who take walks at night, what's the scariest thing you've seen?
I just recently went for a long walk to clear my mind around midnight. I had my music going, my mind clear, my soul smiling and then BAM!!! Racoons. Evil racoons jumping about on a scavenger hunt. They nearly gave me a stroke. I hate racoons. In the daylight you can see their evil watching.
Behind MeLet Me In Conan Obrien GIF by Team CocoGiphy
"One time I turned around to see what was behind me just out of intuition, and I saw someone step behind a tree rather quickly and try to hide from me. I stood there for a second to confirm this, then I speed-walked home. Freakin' creepy."
"A co-worker found a kid sitting in front of a house while delivering, it was freezing and she was in PJs. Called the police, turns out the kid locked herself out while parent was out on drugs on the couch, probably was looking for help since father wouldn't wake up. They took the kid away. To this day that couple stares daggers at my coworker when he passes by, what was he supposed to do, let the kid freeze?"
"Walking home from a late night gym session at 24hr fitness. A white van past by me, slowing down. Slowly took a right turn in front of me. A couple minutes later I reach the turn and see the van stopped at the exit of a parking lot. It's facing back my way. It's like 4am and nothing else is going on and I'm creeped out."
"The van starts coasting forward slowly after I make the turn and I sprint across the street to a gas station and into this small dead end water/air pump station and press my body against an area of the wall that the van can't quite see me. It literally pulls into the air/water station and stops. I hear the engine running right freaking next to me but they never get out of the van."
"I just stand there pressed against the wall until they pull out and drive around the gas station into the lot on the opposite side of the wall. I hear the van lingering for some time before it goes silent. Still I wait a while longer before I leave and run the rest of the way home."
On an Overnight
"I'm an overnight security guard. One night I was watching cameras and saw someone underneath a grass tarp where some landscaping was taking place on our property. I was guessing this person had probably tried to stash something before they went into detox which is next door to our property."
"I get over to the tarp and don't see the guy anywhere. So I start walking over the tarp and lifting it to look for any stashed items. Well I ended up stepping on the poor homeless guy, scared the sh*t out of me. He was cool though and we fist-bumped and he went on his way."
I hear you!Hannibal Lecter Killer GIFGiphy
"There was one night where a car stopped up the road, a girl got out, yelled for help, then got back in and they drove off. I have no idea of it was serious or not, considering she got right back in the car."
Ok that is a ton of mess straight out of a horror movie. All of that could keep me locked away night or day. I'm nervous to continue but alas...
Tiny HandsStephen King Clown GIF by MauditGiphy
"I once saw tiny hands reaching out of a sewer grate. Took me a minute before I realized it was a raccoon."
"I worked night shift for 7 years. One night a young, thin blonde woman was walking down the street at 2am with no pants or underwear on and a button up shirt open. I tried to ask if she needed help and she just stared forward, slowly walking staring forward. I called the police and they came and stood in front of her and she slowly walked into the cops hand and stopped."
"I didn't stay and went back to work. I still think about her and what the hell was going on. I tell myself it was sleep walking on Ambien or something, and that she wasn't just in complete shock. I'll never know. But she was very pretty, and seemed well groomed. Was very strange."
People Share Which Social Norms Absolutely Baffle Them | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
The Red Truck
"One time I was walking around my relatively safe neighborhood with two of my friends after midnight (we were probably 16 at the time). This loud red truck speeds by us, which is normal for the road we were on. Then a few minutes later the same red truck drives by the opposite way going much slower. Again just a couple of minutes later he drives by but this time stops a hundred or so feet away from us and just sits there. Realizing that this is not normal we booked it through the yard to the next street over."
"For the next 20 or so minutes we see this truck creeping up and down the neighborhood while we hid behind some bushes and when we finally thought he was gone, we booked it to my house. He turned the corner onto my road just as we were about to open my front door."
Shifts in Japan
"I worked night shift on Kadena AB on Okinawa, Japan. I started walking to work because I didn't have a car. I really enjoyed the walks. It was a good way to wind down after work as the nights were cool and quiet and I could listen to my music without worrying about anyone else around."
"One night while walking home I heard some rustling in the jungle of trees on the way home. Next thing I know all of the lights went black and all I heard/felt was a loud wooooosh coming right at my head. I screamed like a little girl, ran, and dropped my ipod (it broke). Once I made it past the trees I realized it was one of the giant bats that lived on Okinawa. It scared the ever living shit out of me."
A Warning...dorothy gale what GIFGiphy
"Dead body on the side of the street with a sign around its neck saying "I'm a cellphone thief, don't be like me." This was maybe 20 years ago in Manila, Philippines."
"In high school, late at night walking home from a friend's house maybe a mile away. Halfway car comes cruising super-slowly down the street. I hear someone screaming in the car. I was sure they were calling for help. I start following the car, and as I get on the phone with the cops the car starts pumping the gas, so I just run after them and try to follow them, but I lost them pretty quickly. Never learned what really happened."
"Was out for a late walk in the rain, always enjoy it because it's peaceful, smells great, quiet and never see anyone. Walked off this trail back into the road and saw a big pile of garbage under a tarp at the end of the cul de sac the trail ends in, got a creepy chill like "that could be a dead body or something and I'd never know" just got a weird feeling that snapped me out of my calm walk. Picked up the pace. About 500yds away parked car with a guy sitting there, in the dark, in the rain, like 11pmish car off, just sitting there."
"Got super creeped out at this point and changed my route back to the main road and hurried home. Turns out it was a dead body someone had dumped under that tarp, was under there for 4 days before someone investigated it. The guy in the car turned out to be just a random dude, guy lives there and totally unrelated to the body. Still, took a few months off from my late night walks alone in the woods."
Dear Lord ManFriday The 13Th GIF by 100% SoftGiphy
"An old man who walked very aggressively. Like Jason from Friday the 13th but sped up. I was ready to run but I walked past him and nothing happened. Put me on my toes but holy change change your walking form man."
"A 7ft tall male brown kangaroo in the middle of the footpath. Buff as hell just staring me down. You bet your butt I turned and went the other way, he just went about his business."
I Knew It
"Was at work on this dirt trail and to the left of the fence I had to unlock was something laying. My first thought was that it would be crazy if it was a dead body but I just assumed it was trash. Couple days later I found out that it was a dead body. I truly believe that my mind knew it was a dead body but that it wanted me to ignore it to maybe protect me from seeing something like that."
"I remember camping once and was heading back to the site alone when I could hear a noise like someone bearing a plastic drum. I was curious so I went towards the noise into a bit of scrub and suddenly there was the emu, looking at me, making the noise. I just backed away while it stared me down."
The Back & Forthfight couple GIFGiphy
"What I thought was a body in the woods, and after a bit of back and forth on the phone with the police I returned with a few helpful coppers to find a slightly miffed drunk person who'd had a argument with his missus."
On the street...
"A bear right up the street; or, maybe, an empty baby carriage on the side of the road."
"One time someone left a baby stroller on my property. As I got closer to it, I noticed there was something under a blanket and a bunch of flies buzzing around it. I didn't want to look but felt like I had to. It was a dead dog."
"I was walking on a forest trail and startled a black bear. Only problem was he was in the tree above me at the time. He came crashing down out of nowhere, landed in front of me, and took off. Scared the crap out of me."
Taking a Walk...
"I saw a tarantula use a crosswalk as if it was a law abiding pedestrian."
"Had a similar experience with a fox, I was on a very long footbridge over a river in the heart of a large city taking night skyline shots and dude just trotted by like it was no big deal."
BAAAHHHH!!!!Sheep Farm GIF by TLCGiphy
"Living in a rural village i was taking a late night walk with my gf, when suddenly we hear a loud what we thought was a human scream. Turned out is was a sheep, jump scared us hard though."
Yeah no. the world is a mess. At this point though, is day really any safer than night? We're all living on borrowed time. Are we not? Maybe we should train to run in the night. Just a thought.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.