Teachers Who've Taught A Legitimate Genius Reveal What It Was Like
Teachers Who've Taught A Legitimate Genius Reveal What It Was Like[rebelmouse-image 18360916 is_animated_gif=
Do you know any geniuses? Have you ever even met them, or have you just read about them and heard tell of them? Well, somebody had to have known them before they were well known. And it's crazy, but someone had to have been their teacher, too!
[Serious] Teachers of Reddit: Have you ever taught a legitimate genius? What made them so smart?
Here were some of the answers.
Masterful[rebelmouse-image 18360917 is_animated_gif=
I've had some really, really bright kids in my classes over the years. Perfect ACT's, a kid on Jeopardy, Ivy League schools. But I think "M" might be the brightest I've ever had and quite possibly a genius. He took several AP tests without having taken the class and scored 5's. He didn't really self study them either. He just knew the subject. The AP Physics C teacher wasn't happy about it.
He was genuinely curious. Shows up at my door with an old smoke detector and CRT tv monitor and wants to experiment with the radioisotopes. I had to shoot that one down. Looked beyond the labs we were doing to find the more obscure uses or derivations that come from the lab, like the relationship between molar mass and specific heat capacity for some metals. And he understood it all. Every bit. Didn't pay attention in class because he was constantly looking something up. Incredibly frustrating for some of the other teachers. He wasn't too interested in homework but his English teacher commented that the one paper he did turn in was an original analysis out of this world - and she's a top notch teacher. He rarely used my methods for solving problems. He would develop his own that actually showed a deeper understanding of the relationships involved and it worked. Every time. Rarely was there a situation where I was actually teaching him. It was more me introducing something to him and then he would go off and master it. Come back to pay attention for the next new topic and then poof - off to M land to just get it.
He isn't just bright in one subject. If he wants to I'm positive he will master whatever is put in front of him. I tried talking him into graduating early because there's only so much we can offer him. He was interested but didn't get support from home. So I tried talking him into taking some CTE classes - like welding, autos, mechatronics. We'll see if he shows up next year.
As you would expect he's socially awkward and does not understand why other students don't get it. Comes off as cocky but he's not. I think he feels that everyone is this way - just smart. I really like the kid but he needs to move on
Lab Partner[rebelmouse-image 18360918 is_animated_gif=
My lab partner for college organic chemistry was a 15 year old high school freshman. He was taking it "for fun"since he had to wait for sophomore year for high school chemistry. He was the smartest student in the class, aced every test, perfect score on all homework, but was pretty clumsy in the lab. Gave me lots of laughs during our shared lunch hour. He used my cell phone every day to call his mom to pick him up at 5pm.
Thank Goodness For A Turnaround[rebelmouse-image 18360919 is_animated_gif=
I worked as a substitute teacher at a high school a long time ago, and I wound up getting the same girl in class multiple times over several years. Most notably, I subbed in for the school's AP Bio teacher for four months.
She clearly had problems at home, and maybe mental problems as well. Her clothes were always really ratty, and everything about her just screamed child neglect. She didn't seem to have any friends and she was hellishly awkward whenever you talked to her.
She was also one of those smart kids that wound up so bored with school that she just checked out completely at some point. By the time I got her in high school she never did homework and rarely did in-class assignments, and she almost never paid any attention to the lesson at all. She did just enough work to pass, barely. She just sat in the back and read or drew in her sketchbooks. Often the books she was reading were things like college textbooks or books in various foreign languages, and it was always kind of interesting to see what she was reading. She was an astonishingly fast reader. She'd burn through reading assignments in five minutes that took the rest of the class almost an hour, and she'd understand them when the rest of the class was struggling.
Initially I wrote her off as just being a slacker, until I subbed for that AP Bio class. Every test I gave out, she'd get every question right, and her essay answers were absolutely flawless and often really interesting. The first time this shocked me, because again this was a student that never did ANY work and never paid attention at all. And she blitzed through the test twice as fast as everyone else, and got a perfect score when even the best and brightest students were struggling to get Bs. When the AP tests came around, she took several including some for subjects she didn't take the class for, and as far as I know she got a 5 on all of them. I'm sure her ACT and SAT scores were equally amazing.
I don't know what made her so smart. She clearly had an amazing memory and was just... smarter than the average kid I guess. Or, smarter in some ways.
I've kept track of her on social media over the years. She never went to college and for a while it looked like she was just going to burn out completely. It was pretty sad. But eventually things turned around. She owns a company now and seems to be pretty damn successful.
Awwww[rebelmouse-image 18347002 is_animated_gif=
He built a solar powered motor for our class's robot. He wanted to be an electrical engineer when he grew up.
His parents and K teacher thought he might be on the autism spectrum because he was so strange and awkward. He didn't have any friends. He didn't really talk to anyone. Each year I usually have one or two students that I pick out as a priority. I make a goal to help that child achieve something outside of academics. That year my goal was to get this genius out of his shell and interacting with the other students. At the time I didn't know he was so smart. A lot of kids are good readers. A lot of kids know sight words and phonics. It wasn't until we started doing STEM activities that I noticed that this kid was special. He really liked an activity where we built a simple circuit with Christmas lights and batteries. After that he started reading books about electricity and engineering. I got a circuit set for him to mess around with and decided that our end of the year project would be something with solar energy. That's how the solar powered robot happened. The other kids build the robot body and he put together the solar panel and motor. It was awesome.
He was a funny little guy, but it wasn't 6 year old humor so he never spoke up. I wrote a comment in his weekly journal telling him he was funny. From that point on he opened up and crack jokes. Even if the kids didn't get it, I would laugh and they would follow suit. He became very popular with the other students. They looked up to him.
Clock Cycles[rebelmouse-image 18360921 is_animated_gif=
When I was in high school, there was a kid one grade older than me who was the smartest kid I knew at the time. Very bright, kind person, an excellent mathematician. He would regularly get perfect scores on tests and studied some advanced topics outside of class. He went on to study physics at MIT.
My high school was right next to an elementary school. One day, these parents hired this smart kid to tutor their 7-year old child in math. And when I say "tutor him in math" I mean "teach him calculus".
I would walk by a math classroom after school and see this 18-year old drawing gradients on paraboloids (so early vector calculus stuff) and lecturing a 7-year old. The older kid said once that "that kid's brain has many, many more clock cycles than mine."
When Kids Love To Learn[rebelmouse-image 18360923 is_animated_gif=
I have. The student could learn complex concepts in the span of minutes. Kid once missed an entire unit that I taught over the course of several weeks. I spent 20 minutes with her when she got back, explaining and drawing diagrams and she got it...and got it better than anyone else in the class had. It was so much fun teaching her!
Good Will Hunting[rebelmouse-image 18345838 is_animated_gif=
Yep. A medical resident. Reminded me of Good Will Hunting guy. His own history, as he'd tell it, was "I had 3 last names before I was 18. My dad was in prison for as long as I can remember and will be in prison forever. You can check my family tree as far back as you'd like: I'm the first one to ever attend college."
Scary smart. He learned Hungarian in his spare time as a trick to play on his (Hungarian) wife. When I first met him as a student I understood he spoke a lot of languages so I asked him if he could speak to a Greek patient. "I did not speak Greek". That was Monday. On Wednesday he was asking the patient simple questions in full sentences and understanding the answer. I was annoyed and asked him "hey I thought you didn't SPEAK Greek!?" Him: "I didn't. On Monday".
You could make an entire career of following him around with a notebook and writing down his many good ideas, big and small, about literally everything (which he seems to forget as soon as hey comes up with them). I do ok. I am a professor of surgery. I don't have any of this guy's pure mental horsepower.
I still know him and he's still white hot bright. But very much an easygoing dude, and still sometimes a product of a rough and tumble Early life. Years ago, I had to explain to him (back to Good Will Hunting guy idea) "you can't beat anyone be up in the hospital no matter how much they annoy you". Him, incredulous "never? But what if they do X?"
"No. Never". "But what if they do Y". "No. No beating up, ever, in the hospital." <>
Bizarro[rebelmouse-image 18360924 is_animated_gif=
I attended math classes with someone that was a literal rainman. As a junior he completed all the undergraduate and masters level math courses his elite university had to offer. They sent him to a special math program we were both in to challenge him further. He skipped 16 weeks of our very difficult advanced graduate level math courses to play video games, but aced his midterms and final exams (which included oral exams). He scored perfect on every standardized test he took including SAT, GRE, Math GRE. I never saw him put any effort whatsoever into anything he did. He also published in difficult areas of pure mathematics as an undergrad. He seemed to know everything about math and seemed as if his professors were below him. He ended up completing a PhD from an elite university in pure math. One of the smartest people I ever met. He was also very bizarre in his behavior.
Historic Genius Movement[rebelmouse-image 18360925 is_animated_gif=
Unquestionably a musician I've worked with is on the genius spectrum. Only one example being: We were playing a movement from John William's Five Sacred Trees concerto for basoon. It's actually quite modernist and not at all repetitive or "popular" sounding. Well... he left his percussion part at home and the show was starting in the next hour. Without skipping a beat, upon realizing he didn't have the auxiliary percussion part (which contains many different instruments all on one page), he pulled out his manuscript paper and wrote, from memory without consulting other parts or the score, his part perfectly. All different instruments, many time changes, measures of rest etc... Genius indeed and this is only one instance....
From Scratch[rebelmouse-image 18351384 is_animated_gif=
Kid came to Australia at 15 from Somali, never went to school in Somali . Both parents dead. He walked his two younger siblings out of Somali to Ethopia using a map he found. Then he came to Australia and entered into school. Picked up English and math so fluently he was able to graduate high school in 4 years.
He's doing computer science at uni now. If that kid had grown up in Australia he'd be on the news for being in uni at 12.
The Workroom[rebelmouse-image 18360927 is_animated_gif=
I'm a substitute teacher and I went to cover a middle school math class. There was one very shy kind of awkward kid who was working on an assignment involving square roots. Without using a calculator that kid was coming up with answers left and right. I thought I was some kind of joke or prank but for the heck of it I took out my phone's calculator and asked him to multiply different three and four digit numbers. Without batting an eyelash this kid would give me the answers almost as quickly as I could ask the question. A few occasions he had to recalculate things in his head once or twice but it was scary how quickly the answers came. I asked him what it was like and he said that it was like having a tiny room inside his head filled with white boards. You can go inside this room to work on calculations. To this day I have not met another kid like that.
Photographic Memory[rebelmouse-image 18360929 is_animated_gif=
My buddy was a genius as a kid he could read something and remember it exactly. It was unreal.
Smartest dude I ever met as far as every single subject. Went to Harvard after high school and we lost touch. He's a judge now.
His memory was so good.
The Seven Ways To See History[rebelmouse-image 18346424 is_animated_gif=
My one/ favorite history professor in college told me about a kid named Gabe. Gabe wasn't great with math, wasn't great with science, but this kid could create a complex map of history in his mind to be able to explain a situation in history from multiple historical standpoints.
An example was when he was in my professors Nazi Germany course and my professor was talking about Hitler's takeover in a general sense (quick overview of the course type stuff/my professor learning what people do and don't know to shape the course a little) and one questioned how they let Hitler be elected considering Hitler's jail sentence and mein kampf. Gabe apparently cited 4 or so different sources of German people at the time as well as examples of sympathizers in other countries after the Nazi take over to explain Hitler's zeal and demagogue capabilities.. My professor still uses the sources Gabe cited because he wasn't even read on them!
A Genius By Any Other Name[rebelmouse-image 18360930 is_animated_gif=
I taught a girl who was an absolute genius. She hated it when I or other people called her that, because she didn't think she was.
The main thing that set her apart was her ability to understand a concept as well as the significance that concept had to other areas based on me explaining something orally once. Most students wouldn't realize that class had started yet by the time she already figured out my lesson.
See, most students, after several attempts at me explaining something, will just memorize my explanation word-for-word and regurgitate that on the test because they still don't understand what on earth you're talking about. Bright students? They actually figure out what you're talking about and can explain it in their own words. But this girl? She not only understood, but then applied it to other areas. That's why she was brilliant.
Intense Topics[rebelmouse-image 18360931 is_animated_gif=
I once taught a four year old Chinese kid who really enjoyed talking about the collapse of Yugoslavia.
Nature Vs. Nurture[rebelmouse-image 18355675 is_animated_gif=
Yep, a few. One was a genius in math (not the subject i teach), and the other is a genius when it comes to writing/research/reasoning/etc.
What makes them both so smart is probably a combination of environment (they both have very supportive families), and an intense desire to learn on their own. Both of these guys did way more independent learning on their own than what they got in school, and the math kid is now in grad school working on electromechanical engineering and has been published multiple times. The philosophy kid is doing his own thing and writing books.
Information Intuition[rebelmouse-image 18360932 is_animated_gif=
I've taught for 12 years: all math Algebra 1 - AP Calculus, Robotics, Engineering Math, and Computer Science. All high school grades.
In that time, I have taught a lot of really smart kids. I have met a lot of really smart kids. I am not sure just how you are qualifying genius, but I am reading it to mean the truly exceptional student who displays intelligence in a way that outshines average "best" students.
To that extent, I would estimate that I have taught about five such individuals.
What these kids all have in common is that everything came naturally to them almost like it was intuition. Tons of smart kids will get bored and actually do poorly in class (they don't do their "easy" class work). But usually the genius kids have a thirst for knowledge. They are inquisitive and motivated to find answers.
As for what "makes them so smart", I would say that their lucky genetics plus an internal motivation to learn is what made them so smart.
I will end by saying that I think anyone can be "smart" with enough hard work. Depending on your genetics, your environment, and your determination it may take a little bit of work or a whole bunch of work.
Several Types Of Genius[rebelmouse-image 18360933 is_animated_gif=
I've taught a lot of smart kids, and while these two stories may not be the most genius kids (I mean, maybe they were, but I can't really tell), they're good stories.
One was a little boy I had when I taught first grade. At that age he figured out that the squares of numbers always end in a pattern (0, 1, 4, 9, 6, 5, 6, 9, 4, 1 and repeat). He asked me what that was called and I didn't even know it was a thing. I spent most of his first grade year trying to teach him how to not be so obvious when he thought people were wasting his time. The kid could already read and do math, but he did not yet know how to control his eye rolling. That was sincerely the most useful skill I could teach him.
The other was a girl I taught in 6th grade a couple of years ago. Her parents had homeschooled her for a while, and basically she just learned whatever she wanted to learn. That worked for my class, so she did random reports on the history of Chinese food or essays about her grandmother or whatever. Just recently she was part of a young composers workshop, and I got to see professional musicians perform her work. She's 13.
The thing is, geniuses don't always do stereotypically genius things. The boy from the first story is now attending a pretty average state university. I'm sure he will always be smart and always be great at what he does, but that super amazing genius thing is only one aspect of a person.
A High Trajectory[rebelmouse-image 18360934 is_animated_gif=
I'm a preschool teacher so I can't accurately judge a genius or not. My students range from 3-5, but I did have one student that stood out. He was a peer (not special ed/not on an IEP) and he was one of our younger students (4). We would often let kids have some supervised computer time playing on a site with lots of letter games, math games, etc for all grades. This kid taught himself how to tell time, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and started division at the end of our school year. He had little to no help with the work. If he couldn't figure something out on his own he'd ask for help once and then be perfectly fine continuing on his own. He's going on to kindergarten now and I'm so excited to see where he goes in life.
Jason[rebelmouse-image 18360935 is_animated_gif=
Okay, I'm going to shamelessly brag about this kid. For the record, I teach high school Spanish.
We'll call the kid Jason because that's nothing like his real name and I don't wanna break FERPA. Jason played basketball and soccer. He was in Art Club and Beta Club and National Honor Society. He was even the Valedictorian. Jason basically taught himself Spanish 1, and by the time he got to my Spanish 2 class, had vastly surpassed his classmates. He asked great questions and even caused me to learn quite a few things about the subject. His Spanish was f-cking impeccable. He never made even a single B in my class. When we played games, his team always won. He studied hard, he was focused, and he was so fucking affable. And he was like this in every fucking class, including the AP classes.
He went on to the best college in the state, full ride. He's done study abroad in several countries , and he's been recognized several times in the school's magazine. And not a single person has a negative thing to say about him. He's so genuine and good. He's a serious, preppy white boy that gets along with everyone: the athletes, the nerds, the goth/emo kids. He can even freestyle.
I've gotten off track with the question, but he just makes me so proud. Jason is a f-cking genius.
Sometimes, the strangest things happen when we're not paying attention. Thankfully, we have security cameras to catch us up on what we miss out on. From awkward situations at work to creepy occurrences taking place right outside one's front door, these unreal moments captured by security cameras will make you want to install a CCTV system of your own.
1. Staring Contest
A neighbor was walking by, which he does every day, and he realized that cameras were being installed at my place. The next day, on his walk by, he did the most peculiar thing—he stood still and just looked at the camera. I could understand him looking for a few seconds to see how they were wired, what brand they were, and what they might be able to see, etc...
But he just stood there, looking at a single camera for about 14 minutes.
2. A Case Of The Ex
My ex-wife snuck up to my front door and peeked through the window...at 10 pm one night. But what made it extra creepy was that it happened right after the divorce was final. I had already established in my mind that I was no longer going to have anything to do with her, so it startled me to see her. Probably a full four minutes' worth of footage was captured.
She was definitely up to no good, so I ordered three more cameras from Amazon that night.
3. Step Into My Officewhite and black corded devicePhoto by Oxa Roxa on Unsplash
At work, the IT guy reviews our restaurant security videos. One day, he called me and told me to open his email with my office door closed. The first part of the video showed the restaurant manager opening up the restaurant after hours (at around 1 am) to let a woman in. Fine, nothing wrong with that. But the next clip made my jaw drop.
They were totally going at it in the manager's office while drinking straight out the bottles from the cabinet. Then, they started arguing and the manager dragged the woman down the stairs, throwing her out of the restaurant. The manager was obviously fired. The woman later claimed the manager had taken advantage of her.
IT turned over unredacted and unedited to the authorities and I don't recall if the charges against the manager were upheld.
4. Guilt Trip
I work surveillance at a casino. Several years ago, when tokens were still used in the casinos, we received a call for a possible token theft. While one of my coworkers was reviewing the coverage we had, we overheard a radio call for a guest outside the exit. I pulled up the coverage to watch the EMTs perform CPR on him and I noticed a spilled bucket of tokens around him. It was not unusual for a guest to take tokens home and bring them back another day.
Well, my coworker completed the review for the theft and said, "Okay, we're looking for a black male wearing a red shirt and black pants." That’s when I put it all together.I took the camera I was using, put it on his monitor, and said, "You mean this guy?" It was the same person. Further review showed that he took the tokens and immediately walked to the exit.
When he was about 20 feet from the exit, one of our security officers exited right behind him, simply to walk outside. He had NO CLUE the man in front of him had just stolen over $100 in tokens. Our only assumption then was that the man thought the officer was coming toward him and had a heart attack.
5. She's Into Self-Serve
A bartender was accused of getting tipsy on the job. I happened to walk into the office while a manager was watching the security footage. You could see the bartender do several shots with customers and by herself. A regular customer was watching her nervously, trying to tell her to stop. Her response was appalling—she just twirled her hair around in the most disrespectful way, then sat at the guy's table where she snuggled against him and kissed him on the neck.
He was not her boyfriend, by the way. Later on, she disappeared outside for like 10 minutes. Oddly enough, she was actually the bar manager and she did make a lot of money. She got fired.
6. Historic Hauntsround wooden cafeteria tables and chairs inside roomPhoto by Nikola Jovanovic on Unsplash
I worked in one of the oldest buildings in my college town. It was once a Wild West saloon where two people were documented to have lost their lives in a shootout when the state was still a territory. In the 20s, it served as someone’s house, where the youngest daughter was documented to have died there in childhood. When I got hired on, even the owners talked about it being haunted.
I’ve never truly “seen” a ghost or had an encounter, but something about the building, particularly the office to the back and definitely the dirt basement, did not feel right to me at all. Not malevolent, but always “off.” During my first closing shift after I get promoted to the keyholder, I was helping a new girl who had really taken the whole ghost spiel she got a few days prior to heart.
This particular store ranged from small little treasures that were almost too easy not to shoplift to a few items that cost five times the going rate for tuition at the local college. Naturally, the owners had 15 cameras installed that played on a live feed in the office and in the storefront. I was counting the drawer while she was anxiously watching the security camera, just waiting to see something crazy.
All of a sudden, she let out a bloodcurdling SCREAM. She called me over to the camera feed, and there it was—right on the top of the feed, there was what looked like a figure in a white, boxy nightgown-type dress. We were both terrified, but we couldn’t leave as there was still a bunch of stuff to get done. So we just watched it, stunned as it appeared to sway.
Then, a huge spider obscured the view of the figure...Yup, we were scared to tears by a freaking spider web that the AC blew into view of the camera.
7. Fly On The Wall
I remember closing the store one night. I was alone, which was against policy. I had sent my colleague home so she could catch the train (a customer had taken ages to leave). There were two monitors in the office: one with the security feed and another one that I was closing the last programs on. Out of the corner of my eye, I sensed some movement on one of the cameras pointed at the entrance of the store.
I looked, but there was nothing there. I was super creeped out at that point. It didn't take much to put me on edge since I was alone, and it didn't help that we'd all been joking that the store is haunted. I dismissed the thought when I didn't see anything and continued what I was doing. After finishing, I looked one last time at the security feed and I just about jumped. There was a massive black shadow filling the whole screen!
It turned out to be a stupid fly. It was fine.
8. The Chicken Lady
My stepdad woke up one morning and found a bucket of fried chicken in our driveway. For some reason, he didn’t think it was odd at all. I checked our camera recordings and it ended up being this lady who walked up to my car at like 3 am with a bucket. She was obviously unwell and probably on something. When the camera light turned on, she yelled, "I brought you some chicken and left the bucket on the ground!"
To this day, I wonder what was up with the chicken lady.
9. A Ben And Jerry's Adventureben and jerrys chocolate fudge brownie ice creamPhoto by Hybrid Storytellers on Unsplash
I went with some friends to a club in a big shopping center. The club was part of the center, but the door to it was outside and you couldn't access the rest of the mall at all during the night. Well, after some table dancing, one of my mates was desperately looking for the toilet. He went through a door. Then another door. Then another one. And somehow, he ended up inside the mall.
Unsure of what to do, he walked around and found an unlocked door which he pushed through. He then found a freezer. Just when he was about to take the leak inside, he opened it and...JACKPOT. Dozens and dozens and dozens of Ben and Jerrys. He immediately attacked the chunky monkeys, brownies, and phish foods, gorging himself until he realized that he was still locked out.
Picking up a stock of ice cream, he kicked a door open and found a girl that worked at the club. Covered in ice cream after eating it all with his hands, he asks her to let him back into the nightclub. She obliged and ice creams were had by all. The whole place was covered in security cameras, and we always wondered what his little Ben and Jerry's adventure must have looked like to anyone who happened to stumble over the tape.
10. Villain Origin Story
This happened about three years ago. I was living on this pretty short street, about 25 houses I’d say. We had recently set up cameras because we were having some really bad issues with this one neighbor. Most people on the street knew each other—we’d all barbecue and party together—and we all collectively hated this family. Their son, whose name I will keep secret, was one nasty guy.
One time, he pulled a knife out and pointed it at me from 20 feet away or so. He's also tried to get his dogs (two big pit bulls) to attack me, and we're pretty sure he was the one who took our quad. He was becoming a serious problem, so we set up the cameras solely because of him. So one night, he snuck out of his house and came over to ours. We had no clue why he was coming to our house, but whatever.
He got about halfway up our lawn, then stopped, noticed the cameras, and did some weird, creepy smile thing where he tilted his head a bit. He ended up leaving and we decided not to do anything because we were moving very shortly anyway. Supposedly, he has also moved, but out of state. I hope to never see that delinquent again.
11. Canine Cunning
One time, my roommates set up a webcam in the living room which was motion activated because we had four dogs in the house. Three of the dogs were pretty average in intelligence, but one of them was too smart for her own good. Upon returning to the apartment that day, we checked the carpet and there was what appeared to be a little chocolate smudge on the carpet. Of course, we checked the video, and the culprit ended up being the smart dog.
She did her business, and right as she was about to walk away, she stopped, turned her head to look directly at the camera, and after a moment of realization, she gobbled up the evidence.
12. Act Of Kindnesscabin in forestPhoto by Daniel Tuttle on Unsplash
I caught something on video that ended up being surprisingly heartwarming. I have a brick house and the mailbox is bolted to it. Somehow, one side managed to come loose, so it had been dangling for a couple of weeks. I just didn't have a chance to get to the hardware store. I got home from work one day and it was bolted back properly. I checked to see if there was a note or anything, but nope.
On one hand, I was really grateful; but on the other, I was kind of spooked, wondering if I was totally losing it and if it maybe had never come loose at all. At the time, I did think my house was haunted, so that definitely added to that feeling. A couple of days later, I remembered I have cameras around the perimeter, so I checked them to see if they caught anything.
Turns out, an older guy with a tool belt just casually walked up, fixed my mailbox, and left. He wasn't there for more than three or four minutes. Eventually, I was able to piece together that one of my neighbors was having some roofing work done and this was one of the workers. I guess he had just seen my mailbox dangling for a few days and decided since I wasn't making any moves to fix it, he would.
I hadn't been living there for that long, and it really warmed my heart to know someone would go out of their way to perform a simple good deed for a stranger.
13. From The Top
Bit of backstory—I rent the upper floor of my best friend's house so we see each other quite often. I also use the kitchen and washer and stuff like that. One day, while we were in class, someone broke into the place. Nothing was stolen, but the house was a disaster. So I checked the footage of the camera we had out front...and what I saw chilled me to the bone.
We could see the guy go in, but we didn't see him come out. We called 9-1-1 and the officers checked the entire house. He was nowhere to be found. To add to the strangeness of the situation, we didn't have neighbors, so there was no one we could ask who may have seen what that guy was up to. But eventually, we discovered the dark truth.
Well, it turned out that the guy was hiding...ON THE FREAKING ROOF. He was up there a good week before we realized anything. He is now facing trial.
14. Those Teenagers
It started out being slightly creepy, but it ended up being really funny. I have external cameras with night vision all around my house. My family and I were on vacation several time zones west of our house. One night, right before I was about to go to bed, I got an alert and logged in to see what was going on. I saw a car pull into my driveway and four people get out, acting all sneaky and stealthy.
It was well past midnight at my house, and it didn't look good. I called my wife and kids in to watch it. I was preparing to call the authorities in my hometown. We saw them all sneak away and teepee another neighbor's house with toilet paper. They then ran back to their car in my driveway and sped off. My family and I laughed so hard. It was a highlight of that vacation.
15. Digging For Goldwoman with red lipstick and red lipstickPhoto by engin akyurt on Unsplash
There were many security cameras at my former workplaces, and turns out, a lot of them were actually recording! One night, things were really slow, and after a while, you get numb and forget about all those cameras hanging from the ceiling...So this girl who worked there was walking towards the bathroom, and she stopped in the entryway just past the security gates.
She proceeded to pick a big, long, gooey booger out of her nose and slurp it up. The manager was reviewing the tapes, and instead of chuckling and keeping it to himself, he showed the store manager and whoever else was in the building at the time. So now, who knows how many people have seen her embarrassing moment...
A few days later, there was a bag of candy to share, and the manager commented to the store manager, "She doesn't seem like the kind of girl to eat sweets," all while the girl was standing right there! Sometimes you just zone out, you know? By the way, that girl was me.
There was a guy living inside of one of the broken-down cars out by the barn at my parents' house during the winter. We lived about 10 miles out from the closest town, so he was likely a drifter or homeless. We honestly didn’t do anything about it. We just kept in mind that he was there during the nights in case something shady ever went down. I think he really just needed somewhere to sleep that wasn’t outside.
He left and never returned after winter passed. When it had been a few weeks since we saw him on the cameras at night, we went and looked inside of the car—so many empty cans of Beanie Weenies...I hope he managed to find his way onto another area that didn’t turn him away or was able to get himself into a job and a real home.
It was definitely really jarring the first time we came across him. We did some investigating after our dogs went wild in that area a few nights in a row. We thought it was some kind of animal at first, but it ended up being him. We watched for a few nights to make sure he wasn’t trying to come into the house, but he literally would just get in the car, stay through the night, and leave early in the morning.
It became pretty obvious what was happening and we just took the chance that he wasn’t some awful person; simply because he was looking for some means of shelter. Once winter was on its way out, we would play some footage of the night before and that morning, before the sun came up, we didn’t see him. In fact, he didn't end up on the footage for a good few weeks after sporadic checks.
We didn’t want to make him feel bad by looking into the car in case he was anywhere nearby during daylight hours, so we just waited until it was nearly confirmed he had moved on. I think about him a lot, actually—I wish we could have talked with him and listened to some stories he may have had or maybe find out what put him in the position he was in. Maybe get him some warm food in his stomach too.
17. Come And Go
Well, today I caught two random adult men in my backyard measuring the fence or something while I was home alone. As a girl, you could imagine all the scary scenarios that were going through my head. Luckily, they left right when I saw them on the security cameras (I guess they were done measuring the fence) and I told my dad. Turns out, it was just the neighborhood gardeners and they called my dad to let him know they were there.
But no one thought to let me know...Way to give me a heart attack. Then, a few days later, another incident—I caught some random woman also in my backyard, but this time, a creep was trying to look into the windows. I felt like my soul left my body when I saw her. She looked mad and she wasn’t alone. Some guy was waiting in a pick-up truck for her. She left and I never saw her again.
18. Cat Calledselective focus photo of adult big cat familyPhoto by Leah Huyghe on Unsplash
My parents live just outside a town of about 400 people. One morning, they woke up and saw an alert from their motion-activated camera that covers the area outside their bedroom. I should mention that their bedroom has a sliding glass door with a screen that they sometimes leave open on hot nights. When they replayed the camera footage, their jaws dropped.
A cougar walked up and stopped about 10 feet from the sliding glass door. And the worst part is the footage cuts off before the cougar leaves...
19. Office Game
A colleague of mine was just telling me about his previous workplaces when this tale came up. Anyway, their office had a covered walkway running all the way around the floor, so on a quiet shift, they decided to have an office chair rally. The four of them scooted off on their office chairs as fast as they could, down one side of the walkway, around the corner at top speed, then all the way back.
As they headed back, they found a security guard at their desk, arms folded, looking quite grumpy. He started to apologize to the security guard for being silly, and the guard replied: "No worries, I had a fiver on the fat guy."
20. Ambien Daze
One night, at about 3 am, the dogs went crazy. I checked the cameras and there was this guy just sitting on a windowsill beside the front door. He wasn't threatening or trying to break in; he was just sitting and looking around. I called the non-emergency line. They came and determined he was a neighbor. He thought our house was his job site and he was just waiting for the plumbers to finish.
I am not sure if it was a weird Ambien sleepwalk or one of the odd stories about UTIs or CO causing delusions. He got taken for medical evaluation and it appears got the treatment he needed. He ended up moving out a few months later after being in and out of the hospital.
21. Joker Imitationgray car parked on parking lotPhoto by Bence on Unsplash
My friend saw his brother's ex-best friend set his 30,000-Euro Peugeot classic on fire because his brother took the friend's girl...The creepy thing was that the dude had makeup like the Joker, and he looked directly into the camera before lighting the fire. He was caught the same night and was put behind bars.
22. Creepy Co-Worker
I installed a Ring camera and lock on my gate as couriers and postmen kept leaving it open and my dogs would run down the street. Nothing too out of the ordinary for the first year. I just bought a solar panel for it as I always would forget to charge it, installed it, and let the solar panel charge up the camera from flat to see how much charge it would give the camera.
It worked like a charm and in low amounts of sunlight during the winter mornings, it was more than enough to keep the camera going nonstop. Literally, two days later, I got home from work and my camera was missing. It was ripped off the post and the solar panel was destroyed. I checked the footage and someone had come up and ripped it from the post to put it in their pocket before walking off with it.
However, here's the odd part. The person who took it was an ex-work colleague who looked directly into the camera. Previous footage showed his car driving past the house and parking down the road. I hadn't worked with the guy for over two years and I never told him where I lived. Anyway, now that guy has acharge against him and I've got cameras and floodlights absolutely everywhere around my house.
23. The Glimmer
Our outdoor kitty had cancer and we didn’t have the money to get her help. She wasn’t in pain; just quickly deteriorating. We made up a bed for her outside, gave her food and water, played with her favorite toys, and said our goodbyes. We went off to bed and hoped she would go peacefully. The next morning, we woke up and got her out of bed.
Frantically, we looked for her, until we found her curled up underneath a shelf, cozy and tucked away; but she had passed. My dad had a security camera in the garage, so he looked at her last few moments of living. She got up from her bed, walked around, sat at the door, and mewed for a bit (that part tore me up), then slowly slinked under the shelf. But that’s not the most surprising part.
About two minutes later, we saw a brief glimmer, and what looked like a sheer silk window curtain flowing in front of the camera. Now, I know that it wasn’t an actual spirit or ghost, and it was just vapor and dust, but the fact that I had never seen that before, and how it was timed to coincide with her passing...
24. Peeping Tomperson watching through holePhoto by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash
Back when we didn't have gates on the driveways, I set up a game camera. I have a whole file called "Weirdos In My Yard." It's mostly random people who look lost. One guy drove into my side yard, sat there in his car for 20 minutes, backed out of the yard, waited, then drove back in...before eventually leaving. That was pretty tame, until the next time when I caught the same guy peeping through the windows.
We decided to upgrade after that. The massive gates across all of our driveways stopped the weirdo creepers, but our new camera system now tells me when anyone so much as slows down on the road by my house.
25. Invasion Of Privacy
In my town, there was a fairly popular restaurant that everyone went to all the time. Everyone loved the place. The owner was this short, adorable, loveable guy that everyone liked. A few years ago, someone noticed something off in the bathroom. Upon investigation, they made a disturbing discovery. They found a camera set up in there.
Apparently, the owner had been videoing people doing their business for years and was even found to be a part of a child trafficking ring on the deep web. Needless to say, our small town was shocked. Everyone used that bathroom at one point or another.
26. Dance When No One's Looking
When we first installed a video security camera, I knew my husband was anxiously awaiting for the motion sensor to trip and start recording, which would then send him an instant notification on his phone. He went out for a drink, so I quickly put together an outrageous costume with a crazy headdress and did an eclectic dance past the camera, complete with a kazoo marching band song.
If only I’d had a camera to view him at the bar as he spewed his drink with laughter!
27. Party For Twowhite ceramic sink with faucetPhoto by Buchen WANG on Unsplash
I came into the retail store one morning to open it and the lights were already on, along with the radio and the TV. There were empty cans in the bathroom trash and put-out smokes on the floor. I went back to watch the security tapes and I couldn't believe my eyes—the manager had brought a woman in at midnight and they had a party for two in the bathroom.
When they came back out, they had fewer clothes on. Needless to say, the manager didn't have a job by noon that day.
28. Shady Operation
I live alone and I have had some truly weird stuff happen. At my last place, which was a townhouse, I had security cameras set up in my backyard after I noticed the screen pulled off my back window. I also put a padlock on the gate (which I usually didn't do so the landscapers could come in and mow.) One night, I got a notification that there was a motion in the backyard.
I looked at the camera and didn't see anything. Then, I noticed the gate was shaking. I saw a hat appear over the top of the gate and some guy peeking over it. As luck would strangely have it, my boyfriend at the time was on the SWAT team in my city and he had just gotten to my place to spend the night after a SWAT hit. He ran in the back, half-dressed in all his gear, tackled the guy and I called the authorities.
It was my neighbor's boyfriend, who also had a pistol on him. He was high as a kite. They ended up arresting my neighbor, as well as a bunch of people in the house because apparently, the pistol he had was stolen. There were a ton of other stolen dangerous goods and illicit substances in the house.
29. Running Scared
At around 2 am, a woman ran across our front yard and into the little cove that is our porch. She ran right next to the house, past our front window, past the door, and then hugged the wall before running past our garage. It was like she was sticking as close to the building as possible. She looked possibly scared in the video—hard to tell, but her mouth was open a bit.
This was very abnormal since the front door is about 40 to 50 feet away from a sidewalk or road. There was absolutely no reason for anyone to be that close. The only thing we could think of was that a vehicle was following her and she cut across our yard and into the porch area to try and keep out of view. Perhaps she kept on running because our motion-detecting lights had lit up and she didn't want to be seen.
30. Fatal Crossingtwo bullet surveillance cameras attached on wallPhoto by Scott Webb on Unsplash
We have cameras installed inside our business because we've had problems with people coming in and stealing. Most of the cameras are only filming inside, but because we have pretty big windows, you can sometimes get a glimpse of the outside. We're located on a pretty busy downtown street in a large city. One day, I finally got to work after painstakingly circling around in my car because many roads surrounding our business were cordoned off by the authorities.
From inside my business, I saw clothes just scattered all over the street, but didn't think much of it. The next day, officers came in and asked if we had cameras that overlooked the streets. Apparently, there had been a very bad accident involving a pedestrian and a car in the early hours the night prior, and there were no witnesses.
The driver of the car was hospitalized due to shock, and the pedestrian had died on the way to the hospital. Our cameras have limited storage space and will overwrite themselves, so we hurriedly removed the cards and started going through them one by one to see if the accident might have been caught on tape. We didn't expect to find anything as the accident happened a bit further down the street.
Plus, it happened at like 3 am while it was still pretty dark out, so we didn't have a very lit-up view of the street. Wrong. We saw, in HD video, a skinny older man get hit right in front of our business and dragged several meters down the street. Prior to the discovery of the footage, many people believed that the driver of the vehicle was probably speeding as is usually the case down this street.
But the pedestrian had actually crossed the street on a red light with his back turned to traffic and he was struck like a brick. Probably the most horrifying thing I ever saw. Apparently, the man was a newcomer that had just gotten a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant and was returning home after his shift.
31. See But Don't Speak
I’m an I.T. Director at a private school. This was so gruesome, I’ll never forget it. Many years ago, there was an issue where someone late at night was going into the computer lab at the school and looking at sensitive videos on a specific computer. We assumed it was a maintenance worker, so they asked me to place a hidden camera to see who it was. I placed the camera and about a week later, the culprit did it again.
Unfortunately, I had to watch the guy do his business. Let me tell you, as a network guy, this is actually the lesser of what I have had to deal with before. I have witnessed worse things like spouses cheating, bosses doing the deed in the office with co-workers, underaged kids with adults, and the list goes on. I feel like a soldier when they are sent overseas. They see crazy things but don’t talk about them.
32. The Godfather Squirrel
One year, we grew giant sunflowers in our backyard. I opened the front door one morning to find a decapitated sunflower head missing its seeds on our front step. The security footage showed a squirrel hopping across our driveway carrying the sunflower head, dragging it up 10 stairs, and then eating every last sunflower seed while sitting in front of our main door. He left it there like some squirrel Godfather parody.
33. Wasting Waterperson holding black dslr cameraPhoto by Steve DiMatteo on Unsplash
There is a mentally ill homeless woman living around my neighborhood and she frequently goes into people's yards if their gates are unlocked. She often turns on their outside hoses and leaves them spewing water all over the yard. My family heard about this through a neighborhood website, so we hid our hose in our backyard as a precaution since we had no lock on our gate.
We got up one morning and the back patio and garden were pretty much flooded. We were obviously confused and annoyed, so we checked our security camera footage—we saw that around 2:30 am, the woman had come into our backyard, looking for our hose. She couldn't find it at first, so she started looking under chairs and peering into our windows, getting more intense in her search with each minute that she didn't find it.
It was just strange to see this grown woman so intent and feverish on finding our garden hose in the middle of the night. As a side note, none of us have reported her for fear of her being taken in for trespassing or taken to a hospital, but we do sometimes leave food outside for her, which is rarely eaten.
34. The Beige Tahoe
I had security cameras installed a few years ago after someone attempted to break in through my back door. The door itself is steel, and the doorknob is one of those that has a keypad with an actual keyhole above it in case the keypad quits working. The installers messed up the keyhole and even pulled out the pins, but the door somehow stayed locked.
The cameras were put up for a couple of years. Nothing of interest aside from a fat opossum who liked to hang out by the carport. Then, at about 3 in the morning one night, the camera captured me outside. I was doing my usual nightly things (I'm a total night-owl and will go outside periodically throughout the night to walk around the property).
I headed inside and not even 10 minutes afterward, a beige Tahoe towing an empty trailer showed up. It approached not from the road, but from a field behind the property. The Tahoe stopped right at the back door and two men came out. The driver hid out of sight from the camera. But that’s not the scariest part. The passenger was wielding a big hunting knife, hiding it behind his back, and he knocked at the door.
To make matters worse, they were hiding in the field behind the house. They had to have seen me. They were also probably hiding with their lights and engine off for quite some time as I was outside for almost a full hour. I would've easily noticed the lights or the sounds of a car engine. There was no telling exactly how close they were to me in that field because, at the time, there were no lights near the area.
I also did hear the knocking. No one else in the house did as I was the only one awake at the time. The knocking was quite loud, frantic-sounding, and lasted for at least a couple of minutes. I didn't answer it as I just never answer the door after dark unless I am specifically expecting somebody.. To watch the exact situation unfold on the security cameras the next day was honestly scary, and it really put into perspective exactly how close I was to losing my life.
35. Paranormal Activity
During the first six months of a newly-constructed building, the cameras caught a couple of different things. On one occasion, we'd heard a huge crash; like a bowl of bolts falling. Sometimes, we'd find them sitting thread sides up. The printer tray would also be left open. When we checked the cameras, we didn't find anything suspicious. We were convinced the building was built on some sort of sacred ground or something—there were definitely some paranormal forces at work that were causing those things to happen.
36. Donut Dangerdoughnut with toppingsPhoto by Kobby Mendez on Unsplash
Back when I managed a donut shop, I saw a guy staring at me and another young girl. He was dressed in dark clothes and a dark hat. When he realized we could see him, he ran off. I locked all the doors and the drive-thru window. Thankfully, it was closing time anyway. My co-worker called her best friend, who was a very large young man on the wrestling team, and he walked us to our cars.
The spot he was standing in was a point of poor visibility from the inside after the sun went down. Our store had a deep porch, and along the window that he was staring through, there was a wall-mounted bar counter. At night, we turned the stools over and put them on the bar, so the chairs were blocking the view of the window. If he hadn't moved suddenly, I might never have noticed him.
Before we left, I decided to review the cameras to see if I could catch him getting into a car. I went back to the moment I noticed him and kept rewinding. That's when I realized a startling truth—he'd been staring at us from the dark of night for three hours.
37. A Street Situationa car that is sitting in the grassPhoto by Tobias Tullius on Unsplash
It wasn’t MY camera, but my friend's. The camera feed was recording at maybe 2 am. It was dark, but it was a night vision feed or something, so we could clearly see what was happening. Also, my buddy lived on a hill that was right next to a very busy road connecting two different towns. That day, while his family was asleep, a car was speeding down that road really fast.
I, who lived three blocks away, was awake, so I could hear the screeching. I decided to ignore it considering it wasn’t my problem. Then, the next day, there was a giant hole in his fence and the place looked really messed up from what I saw. I visited my friend and he was very shaken up about the incident. He proceeded to show me the weirdest and most insane feed I ever saw...
The cropped clip showed a small backyard and it was facing the once normal fence. Soon, out of NOWHERE, there was the sound of loud screeching of tires, and seconds later, a car came bouncing in as the bus does in The Magic School Bus. It was so weird and frightening because out of nowhere...BOOM. There’s a car in your backyard.
38. Night Intruders
When I was 16, my family's house phone rang at 3 am. I'm a night owl, so I was the only one up and I answered. A lady rang from a security firm saying that the alarm in our business was going off and that the authorities were notified. I went out of the house to look around the corner so I could see up the street. I didn't get too close; maybe a hundred and fifty yards. I thought of getting closer, but I thought it wasn't worth it.
A day or two later, I saw the CCTV footage and I almost choked.There were four absolutely gigantic dudes with a few crowbars. I'm glad I didn't go up because they would have beat me into next week. And that was a long while ago. That's a lot of beating. On the bright side, I got a hundred euros for my heroics...
39. Standing Up To Evilbrown wooden book shelves in libraryPhoto by Shunya Koide on Unsplash
I used to work in a public building that included a library. It was in the middle of the city center next to the railway and bus station. One time, there was some boy, maybe around 15 years old, acting strangely in the library for several weeks. The people working there didn't know what was going on with him, but he seemed afraid and unsure of what to do. Then, one day, he mustered up the courage to talk to one of the librarians.
He told him a shocking secret—there was an older guy harassing him in the men's room of the library in one of the toilet cabins. The older dude was also blackmailing him, putting pressure on him not to say anything. Needless to say, the authorities got involved and they happened to catch that guy who was still in another section of the three-story library.
They ended up arresting him, and we went to check the bathroom afterward. It was a grisly scene that I wish I could remove from my mind. The next day, I was sitting in my office and I got a call from my boss. The authorities wanted to have the recordings of the camera that is sitting on a pole outside of the building, filming the front side and entrances.
Apparently, the dude claimed that none of what the boy said was true. So, I checked the footage, and lo and behold—there was the guy entering the library together with the boy. Well, I saved it, put it on a USB stick, and handed it to the officers who later arrived and also watched the footage. I have no idea what happened after, but there was enough evidence.
It's terrifying that stuff like that happens. I applaud that boy for speaking up and ending his nightmare. Not the best days at work, let me tell you.
40. In Plain Sight
While working in a hotel on a popular nightlife street, I saw plenty of weird shenanigans. One night, I went home at around 11 pm, walking alone as usual. I woke up the next day to reports of murder on the same street I was walking home on. It's a few hundred meters long, so it was unclear how close the incident happened to my work, but it was concerning nonetheless. Well, as I got to work, that's when I realized just how close it was.
The authorities were right outside, stretching 10 meters on either side. The hotel bar windows look out directly onto the street below, so that's where the investigators were doing their sweeps. I heard through the grapevine that the night porter heard a commotion and went down to see what was going on. That's when he heard the lads dying screams.
I knew we were going to be getting a visit from some officers, so I thought I'd get details of the time to be able to pass that information on. Lo and behold, the officers turned up looking for CCTV, and I was the only person who actually knew how to work it. So me and two detectives went through the CCTV feed of the areas of importance running on a large screen, and there it was.
Two lads were having a back and forth, and one of them beat the other on the main street, just when people were heading home from bars. The guy who lost the fight was just left on the floor, bleeding out. He was eventually found by other drinkers who had just headed home from a night out. It's horrifying how it just happened in plain sight.
41. Warehouse Wraith
I worked security at a warehouse and installed a small camera near an item that was being stolen regularly. Rather than watch days of video of people working, I would jump 5 to 10 minutes at a time to see if there was a change in that area, or jump an hour at a time to when no one was working, just to cover my bases. If someone bumped into the boxes, even the slight change in position of the box or items would be noticeable.
Now, these boxes were on angled roller racks, so once the front was empty and removed, the one behind would slide down into place. I was skipping along and saw the motion of a different item on the top shelf during a time when no one was working in that area. There was one thing left in the box; I don't remember what it was but think something about the size of a Rubik's cube.
It slid sideways, from one side of the box to the other. To this day, I can't explain how that was possible, because gravity was pulling it down and forward into the front edge of the box, and it was too heavy to be simply blown around. I showed it to my boss and my coworkers—we never came up with a good answer for how it moved.
42. Haunting On The 4thtime lapse photography of sparkler and U.S.A flag letPhoto by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash
This was so creepy, I still can’t explain it. It happened when I was seven years old. It was the 4th of July and we had fireworks and stuff. When it got late, my aunt said she was staying over. A little side note: my dad had a “bad” problem checking the security cameras in the morning and I was overly fascinated with the paranormal. When I walked into the living room, my dad was already checking the security cameras.
He wanted me to look at the footage as well and when I did, there was this sound of a kid screaming—not like he was about to be killed, but more like a playful scream. It sounded a lot like my little cousin, who we'll call Luke for privacy purposes. We did have a lot of family members over, so we thought that he just snuck off with some of the other kids and was playing.
We didn't think much of it until my aunt was leaving and said she was going without Luke. We asked her, "Where's Luke?" She looked confused and said, " Luke wasn't feeling well, so I left him at home with his dad." Our faces went pale. We showed her the video and she was shocked as well.
When I got older, I did some research on the house and it turns out that a woman had drowned her kid, a four-year-old boy, in the bath on the 4th of July after finding out her husband had passed.
43. Spiritual Stalker
I used to work in a fairly upscale resort and the whole place was covered with CCTV, so in the security control room, you had a pretty good overview of everything. We had guards assigned to patrol the hotel at all times of the night. One guy did his rounds by the pool while the supervisor was watching on the screens. He saw that there was a lady following him, so he radioed the guard and asked who was behind him. The guard’s response was so chilling, it’s unforgettable.
He turned around and on the screen, he appeared to be looking directly at her, but he called back saying, "What lady? It's just me here." The supervisor thought he was just joking around and said, "OK, sure man." About an hour later, the guard reported to the control room and the supervisor asked him again who that lady was.
It soon became obvious that he really had no idea who he was talking about, so they pulled up the footage. It was undeniable that he would have seen the woman. After their radio exchange, he kept walking and the woman followed him. Then, she went a separate way, but she still never showed up on another screen.
I was the front office manager at the time and was asked to investigate which hotel guest that was; however, we couldn't find anyone matching the lady in the video. She just walked into the frame at the pool and walked out of the frame again, seemingly out of thin air and never saw her again. The security guard put in a transfer request the next day.
44. Putting On A Show
One time, I woke up at 3 am to the closing of car doors next to my house. I keep my cameras going on my PC screen, and when I glanced up, I saw someone run past my front camera. I pulled my pants on quickly and heard a slight tap tap tap at my door. I looked at the camera and there was a guy darting out of my camera view again. This happened twice and I was terrified.
I kept thinking I was hearing rustling around my house as well, but am partially deaf, so I wasn't sure. I decided I was going to arm myself and see what was going on. This thing just kept darting past my cameras. I turned to grab my weapon and I heard the tap tap tap again. I opened the front door and stepped out to someone at the corner of my garage. I yelled something along the lines of, "What the heck is your problem?"
Then, I hit the ground. There was lots of screaming, and the marshals came running out from behind every bush, tree, corner of my house. They had a federal warrant to serve on a prior tenant. Everything ended up being fine and they eventually left. My attorney said they were setting up to kick my door, and that no-knock warrants had been getting cases thrown out so they put on a show of knocking for the cameras before they made entry.
Between waking up at 3 am to someone methodically running around my house attempting to avoid cameras, to watching the replay of me stepping out of my door and two marshals launching themselves from behind an overgrown bush onto my back, it was all pretty creepy. I got extremely lucky in many ways that night, but I am really glad I woke up.
I'm not sure what would have happened to my dogs if they had kicked that door. Also, I'm glad I put my weapon in my waistband...Had I yelled at that officer thinking he was a would-be intruder with a weapon in my hand, it wouldn't have ended well for me.
45. Cheaters Never Prospertopless man standing near windowPhoto by Marcos Paulo Prado on Unsplash
My sister's boyfriend installed a camera in her apartment bedroom because he suspected she was cheating on him. Turns out, she really was and he saw it on his phone at work. His reaction was incredibly disturbing. He busted out, got his pistol, and went charging through town to her place. She fled with Boy #2 and hid in a parking lot nearby. Her boyfriend entered her apartment, turned on the oven burners, and waited with his pistol.
Her sister called the officers, who later arrived and escorted the guy out. SOMEHOW, they don't book him (he was a security guard still in uniform, so maybe they had a "bro" moment). It's my theory that he was probably going to push her face into the stove before blowing the place up. The officers did make him give them her key. It's literally the third time she's cheated on someone.
46. Mischief Managed
My old apartment had incredibly unprofessional repair staff. I'd call them because my AC would be out, and they'd come over while I was at work, rather than at the agreed-upon time while I was home. They'd use my bathroom, poke around through my stuff, type on my keyboard, mess around with my pets, etc. Needless to say, I was pretty livid, so I made it my mission to serve them some sweet justice.
I set up a camera and caught them, then took the footage to the front office. I got a personal call from the owner of the apartment complex to apologize, and almost the entire repair staff got fired.
47. The Lady IS The Tramp
I have cameras in my house for my dogs. They're miniature robots that alert me when they bark and I can send them treats remotely, so they basically function as a security camera. Anyway, we went on a vacation one time and I warned our dog sitter in advance that we have cameras in common areas of the first floor of our home.
One day, during my trip (at 3 am) I reviewed the camera recordings because I got an alert on my phone that my dogs were barking like crazy. I normally wouldn’t creep, but I was concerned that maybe there was a fire, or break-in, or the woman fell, etc. The footage shook me to my core. The dog sitter (a 70-year-old lady) was running around the house, terrorizing my dogs, in underwear only.
I turned the video off right away because I didn’t want to invade her privacy, but I got on a flight the next day and went home. I never asked her to dog sit again.
48. What Did He Say?white and black dome security cameraPhoto by Bernard Hermant on Unsplash
I've got cameras downstairs that cover my living room, kitchen, and front door, as well as one in my second closet where I have two large pistol safes. Maintenance came in to clean and test the smoke detectors. One of them opened the closet and started poking around at the keyboards on my safes. He gave the other guy a startling promise: "I'm gonna figure out this code one day."
The other guy was by my nightstand commenting on the intimate goods I had in my drawer. I simply called the authorities and met them there. The guy by my nightstand was wearing one of my watches. They both went to prison.
49. Just His Luck
During my senior year of high school, one of my friends saw a freshman struggling to get something out of the vending machine. Being the heroic senior that he was, he walked up, pulled the vending machine back a bit, and let it fall back. The entire front glass front shattered at this point. He reached in, picked up the bag of chips, and handed it to the freshman with an absolute poker face.
He knew there was a security camera on the vending machine, so he went straight to the Dean of Students' office and they ended up watching the video. The Dean was usually kind of a jerk, but he wasn't even mad. He just laughed out loud and said, "Haha! You actually gave him what he paid for!"
50. Plot Twist
I installed some security cameras at my place after my neighbor told me they thought they heard someone walking around my yard at night. I scanned through the footage the very next morning and saw a guy come into frame wearing only boxers and laced-up combat boots. He stood by my bedroom window, stared in for about 45 minutes, then walked back out of frame.
I was able to get a pretty good look at his face, and that's when I realized a bone-chilling truth. It was me. I'd been freaking sleepwalking. I have no idea how long it had been going on or where else I'd been that night, and that freaking terrified me. I honestly think I might've preferred seeing an actual intruder.
The basics of human behavior have changed so much over time.
The change feels especially rampant over the last decade.
Somethings that were considered "normal" or "just everyday behavior" have been researched, studied, and cast aside.
A lot of these changes are for the better.
Once you do a deep dive into a few "traditions," you stop and ask yourself...
"Who the H*LL thought this was ever a good idea?!"
But once you learn more, than you do better.
Redditor irish-springs wanted to hear about which norms in life feel very outdated, so they asked:
"What are some social norms that are pretty f**king weird if you think about it?"
I'm used to odd behaviors.
So I doubt I'll be shocked by this list... well, maybe.
Sorry Bob...Roses Funeral GIF by Un si grand soleilGiphy
"Spending so much for a funeral. Uncle Bob is dead, a $1200 coffin or a $100 coffin is the same for him."
"Funerals are just weddings with really muted colors and a few extra sad people."
"Paying tens of thousands of dollars to bury corpses in the f**kin' ground."
"It's even worse: we are not burying in the ground. That would be better. We are paying to embalm corpses so they are preserved for a long time, in wooden/metal boxes, using valuable space."
"Modern embalming techniques can preserve a corpse for a long time. If we were simply burying them in the ground and letting them decompose, it would be way, way better."
We Hear You!
"I feel like too many people talk on speakerphone. Do you remember when conversations were private?"
"I live in a cul de sac and a neighbor has their phone hooked up to the car Bluetooth. I can hear the phone ringing while calling someone and I can hear the entire conversation from my garage with 2 houses in between us. It's fascinating and I don't think they have any idea how loud it is."
"If someone is having a conversation on speakerphone in my presence, I am now part of the call and will insert myself into it as much as possible."
"The expectation to have a huge wedding."
"The expectation to have a wedding at all. They’re overrated IMO."
"My fiancé and I are having a registrar's office wedding, just us, two witnesses, the registrar, and the paperwork. His sister complained we weren't having a proper one and that solidified my position to do it this way. No frills, no drama. We can't decide if we want a reception of any kind."
A Creepy Customwedding fail GIFGiphy
"Garter toss is f**king weird."
"Yeah, we did not do this at my wedding. Really creepy custom. I don’t need to see my coworkers and my husband’s friends clamoring for something that’s just been around my thigh. And I wanted to keep my bouquet, so I tossed the maid of honor’s bouquet instead."
That garter idea always seemed off to me.
Danger AttireBlack And White Vintage GIF by FilmStruckGiphy
"I can’t think of a single reason for ties being the standard for business attire other than it’s a reminder to everyone in the room that you could be easily strangled at any time."
"Asking people how they're doing as a matter of courtesy when you truly don't care and are hoping they just say 'good hbu' in response."
"You know, you walk out the door. You see someone that you know, and they ask you how you are, and you just have to say that you're fine when you're not really fine, but you just can't get into it because they would never understand."
"It’s even perfectly acceptable to respond with, 'Hi, how are you?' And have neither person ever actually answer with how they’re doing."
"Blowing out candles on a birthday cake."
"It never occurred to me to look up the origin until now..."
"For the Ancient Greeks, putting candles on a cake was a special way to pay tribute to the Greek moon goddess, Artemis. They baked round cakes to symbolize the moon. Candles were added to represent the reflected moonlight. Candles on cakes became a popular tradition long ago in Germany, too. For religious reasons, Germans would place a large candle in the center of a cake to symbolize 'the light of life.'"
"Some scholars believe that other meanings have also been attached to the use of candles on cakes. People may have believed that the smoke from the candles carried their wishes and prayers to gods who lived in the skies. Others probably believed the smoke helped to ward off evil spirits. Today, we still put birthday candles on cakes. Many people still hold superstitious beliefs about them, too."
"Cards. I'm just giving Hallmark money in exchange for a piece of paper that someone's going to look at for about 10 seconds and then completely forget about."
"Lately I've been making my own handmade cards and they get a lot more love than your average store-bought ones, and I see the ones I make always end up out on my friend's dressers for display over anyone else's."
"Hallmark cards are an all-too-common phenomenon of capitalism replacing a genuinely heartfelt gesture with a store-bought, mass-produced one… and in so doing, removing the meaning from it altogether."
Hard LaborWorking Out Of Office GIF by This GIF Is HauntedGiphy
"Working your butt off for 65 years to then live for 10 years."
There are so many things on this list I never thought about.
We really need some life updates.
I like the idea of working less, for sure. (Or at least not to death!)
Growing up was full of learning opportunities and expressing ourselves, but some of those phases were more successful than others.
Some of them were so embarrassing or cringey, it's almost impressive.
Redditor SurfinRay12 asked:
"What's an embarrassing phase you went through?"
The Favorite Accessory Phase
"In high school, I would regularly wear a top hat to school because I thought it made me look cool and edgy."
The Choosing a Style Phase
"I used to wear an old, thrifted black trench coat and fake Birkenstocks to school in the 90s with a knitted beret."
"I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be goth or grunge. But I was mostly supporting myself and definitely didn’t have the money to buy more than a few pieces of clothing a year anyway."
The Enlightened Phase
"I went through the edgy intellectual phase as a teenager because I read one book on philosophy and was therefore an enlightened genius."
"I bet it was Nietzsche, lol (laughing out loud)."
"It was. I felt like I had gained access to secret elder lore that no 15-year-old should possess."
"Thankfully I kept most of my thoughts to myself, and that there was an even more insufferable guy in my year because otherwise I would have been one of the cringiest people in the school."
The Nihilism Phase
"Reading Kurt Vonnegut in high school started that phase for me. That idea that everything is bulls**t along with my parents going through a nasty divorce really turned me off to basically everything."
"I didn't take the SAT, didn't go to college. Never wanted to work in an office. Now that I'm 31, it's definitely changed and I would love an office job, but I still think everything is bulls**t."
The Fake Accent Phase
"I spoke in a fake British accent for a whole month at school."
"In middle school, I brought a dry-erase board to school and communicated by writing on it instead of talking for literally no reason at all."
The Poser Phase
"My ninth and tenth-grade years."
"Black leather motorcycle jacket heavily customized with spikes, leopard print fabric, band patches, and stripes made with white-out. Black jeans sewn tight with more band patches. Black band shirts with sleeves and collar ripped off. 14-inch Doc Martens boots. Studded, bondage, and/or bullet belts placed loosely around the waist."
"And I'm deaf and almost never attended a concert. What a f**king poser."
The Unique Typing Phase
"I ussseedddd to typeee like thisss."
"Lol (laughing out loud) I Used To Type Like This !"
"I Know Someone Who Uses To Type Like This Too And I Started Doing It Back To Her And Found It Can Become Strangely Addictive Lol."
"I Used To Talk Like This Too But It Just Looks Like I'm Writing A Book Title."
"i u s e d t o t h i n k t y p i n g l i k e t h i s w a s c o o l"
The Name-Changing Phase
"That time at 16 when I wanted to change my name to Shampajne."
"What a Tragedeigh."
The Celebrity Connection Phase
"During an 'introductions game' on the first day of second grade (six or seven years old), I told the entire class that Amanda Bynes was my step-sister."
"I then kept up the charade for the school year. One kid even asked for an autograph and I gave him a piece of notebook paper with her name written down in my baby cursive handwriting."
"I once told a girl in my class that Melissa Joan Hart was my stepsister, and the girl gave me a letter to give to Melissa that said how much she loved her and her show. That's crazy how similar our stories are."
The Emotion-free Phase
"'Emotions are weak and useless. I have no emotions, I'm a logical robot.'"
"Sad girl. Very sad. Emotional unavailability is nothing to be proud of. I'm happy I grew past it."
"Oh my god, I went through that phase, too. I actually recently found my Fictionpress account from 2005, where I described myself as a 'prototypical human' who was 'missing the emotions of sadness and love.' Not really something to brag about, is it?"
The Oh So Classy Phase
"In junior high, I went to Chess King and bought a black nylon button-down shirt with a red Japanese sun cheaply printed on the back and red Japanese characters down the front. It had a big floppy collar and glossy black buttons."
"I wore that s**t to school with the top three buttons unbuttoned. A 13-year-old kid in a rural New England town in 1986 wearing a cheap, shiny disco shirt that's at least eight years out of fashion tucked into his Tuffskin jeans without a belt. Pure class at recess."
The Country Pride Phase
"After I graduated from boot camp in the Navy and finished A-School in Florida, I went home on leave and wore my dress blues to IHOP when I went to dinner with my family."
"This was back when the Military was glamorized, so I considered it celebrity status. I was young and it was the pinnacle of achievement for me and wanted to show it off. And I figured I had the right to because I earned it."
"Now, I cringe every time I think back to when I did that."
The Tough Breakups Phase
"Crying over dudes who treated me like garbage. Embarrassing."
The Book Series Phase
"I read 'Warrior Cats' religiously in sixth grade, hissed at people when I was mad, and insisted on going by 'Scourge.'"
"Dude, I f**king LOVED that series in middle school! I never did anything like that but godd**n did that series have me hooked! Ironically though... I'm a dog person, and allergic to cats."
The Random Words Phase
"I have a thing where I pick up words and just use them a lot for no good reason and I can't help it. Ever. It happens pretty automatically."
"The worst one I had was Ahoy. Said Ahoy instead of hi and a lot of other things I wish to forget."
"Currently, it's Goofy, which arguably is a lot better than saying Ahoy to everything."
A lot of these were really cringey, mostly because we could see ourselves doing some of the same things when we were younger.
At least we can say that we grew past these things, and now we can look back and laugh.
When we were kids, we could not wait to grow up. We had big dreams about what we were going to do and who we were going to be, and we could not wait to get started.
But there were some things we were expecting that were totally off the mark, too.
Redditor Caseated_Omentum asked:
"What's the biggest misconception you had about adulthood?"
Staying Up Late
"I thought that I could stay up as late as I wanted. I envisioned myself adventuring all over town until the wee hours, meeting interesting people and experiencing life."
"Turns out 'as late as I wanted' is about 8:00 PM after a quiet night in with my girlfriend and a cup of tea."
Going By Too Fast
"Time. It turns out adulthood is stuck on fast forward."
"Boy! Is this ever true! A week used to crawl by and now you blink your eyes and it's, 'Is it (choose a day) again already?'"
"Summers were almost never ending and now they are over in a blink of the eye!"
Lots of Guesswork Included
"I always thought that adults knew what they were doing."
"We're all winging it. Most of us are competent at certain s**t and can function day to day. I've been in my field for nearly five years now and work with people in my field that have been in it for nearly forty years. I'm not bad at what I do and they're great at it."
"We still end up scratching our heads, wondering what the h**l we should do next on a project, because that s**t's just weird."
Forever High School
"I thought graduating high school meant I'd be out of high school. It turns out that all of life is high school. I'm still dealing with the exact same problems except even fewer people care."
"That was the biggest disappointment of my life. As a kid growing up, I absolutely hated most other kids for all the bulls**t mind games, bullying, playing favorites, etc. I couldn't wait to be an adult where that all stopped, life was fair, and bad people were brought to justice."
"Holy f**k was I ever wrong. As you said, adults are just kids in grown-up bodies as nothing else has changed."
"I was always a little salty that my dad was kind of a goofball. He'd play pranks and s**t and you couldn't confide anything seriously in him like you had a crush on a girl or something, because he'd make fun of you."
"I wanted a dad like in the movies where they put you up on their lap and say, 'Now listen here sport...+ and go into some kind of sage-like monologue on how to handle life's problems."
"Then I got to be an adult and I'm EXACTLY like my dad. And so is every other adult male I know."
So Much Free Time!
"You could do anything you wanted, whenever you wanted."
"I never have the time between working full time and being exhausted the rest of the time, lol (laughing out loud)."
Owning a Home
"Homeownership apparently, lol (laughing out loud)."
"I came here to say this! Embarrassing, I even thought I'd have like a beach house as well. I was so dumb."
"Growing up, I was told I may inherit my parent's house one day. I was grateful but wasn't that excited because it was a small house on a small property and I always wanted a nice piece of land."
"Now home prices in that area are creeping into the high six-figure range and I'd be over the moon to have it."
Hard Work Means Success
"If you work hard and give everything you got, then you’ll succeed and get what you worked so hard for."
"As someone who works in finance, the most valuable lesson I've learned is that money doesn't come from hard work, it comes from the presence of existing money."
"Wall Street bros who make seven figures don't work any harder than your average teacher or public servant busting their butt making 50 thousand a year at best."
A Living Wage
"I thought that most jobs actually paid a living wage. When I was a pre-teen, I thought that all you had to do was show up to basically any job clean, polite (and don't be a total id**t obviously, but you don't have to be Einstein either), and work 40 hours a week, and you would have everything you need."
Easier After Graduation
"I was under the false impression that having a job would be less stressful than going through school."
"Well, it depends. Until I was 14, I used to go to school from 7:30 AM to 4:30 PM with an hour to get lunch. When I got home, I still had to do homework or study for tests. Now I work the same amount of hours but when I finish working, I'm free to do whatever I want. So I would say at least in my case that school was way more stressful."
Happily Ever After
"I thought you'd always have a relationship and money and you lived happily ever after."
"I thought that your body would remain healthy. I got chronically sick in my late 20s (27+). I'm 33 now, and I hate it. Docs still don’t know what’s up. SMH (Shaking my head)."
"I believed quicksand would be a real concern."
"I thought being on fire would be a more common occurrence, what with how often we were taught about stop, drop, and roll."
"I used to think adults had autonomy in their jobs. Like, as a professional who went to college, your expertise and knowledge would be sought after and people would treat you with respect. But no, we're just capitalist pawns."
Actually Much Better Than Expected
"That it would be zero fun and all bills."
"This is way better and more carefree than childhood! No one controls me and I don’t have to babysit anyone if I don’t want to! No one yells at me and I can 'talk back' if I want to!"
"I can just… be. I don’t have to beg and plead to leave the house and see friends."
"I think this ALL the time. I'll be having the time of my life just... I don't know, WEARING SHORTS IN PUBLIC, or HANGING OUT WITH SOMEONE THAT ISN'T A FAMILY MEMBER, or something absolutely crazy like that, at almost 30 years old, and think, 'Wait, why were all the adults in my life when I was little telling me adulthood would suck so much because I would have to figure everything out for myself?'"
"That's the part I love the most about adulthood. No controlling, narcissistic, emotionally abusive a**holes around to dictate my every move and tell me I'm a worthless female. H**l, I don't even have to speak to them as an adult!"
For most, adulthood fell far short of what their childhood dreams called for.
But a few loved the independence that came with adulthood after having traumatic childhoods.
This is one of those concepts that is all about perspective, and all we can really do is try to make the best of it.