Haunting Childhood Memories
We all have those memories that, as much as we’d like to, we just can’t forget. They come creeping up from the back of your mind when you least expect it, even decades later. These Redditors shared the memories that still haunt them, and we feel their pain.
1. Man In The Window
I woke up from a bad dream and went to sleep beside my parents in their room. On the way to their bedroom, I had to pass the front door which had a big window next to it. What I saw made my blood run cold—two guys were trying to break in and when they saw me, they knocked on the window to get my attention, motioning for me to unlock the door.
My mom said it was a dream, but to this day, the image of those two guys at our front window is as real as any childhood memory I have. This happened over 40 years ago.
2. Can’t Make It Home
I had to be eight years old or so, coming back from a week-long camping trip the school provided. Well, on the return, we were stuck in traffic for what seemed like ages and I had to go #2 really badly. Imagine an eight-year-old holding on for dear life, white-knuckled to his seat as we pulled into the parking lot of the school.
The teacher told us to wait until our turn to get up and go, but I wasn’t having any of that, so the moment the doors opened, I bolted. I heard my parents yell for me, I heard the teachers yell for me, and my friends were laughing as I ran. None of it mattered—I was eight years old and had a thunder down under ready to explode at a moment’s notice.
I vividly recall the bathroom door as I rushed towards it, thinking I just made it—but I was so, so wrong. I threw my entire weight behind me as I smashed into it, and immediately, I shrieked in pain. Who knew the school locked the bathroom doors after hours? As I crumpled to the ground in a heap, my bowels seized the moment and led the charge. Someone picked me up, then immediately dropped me. That didn’t help either.
3. Lesson Learned
I remember having a friend in high school whose parents were practically absent for most of his childhood. We used to make jokes about how jealous we were that he got to do whatever he wanted. He could sleepover at anyone’s house any day of the week, and he never had a curfew. We got close and I started coming over to his house, which was filthy, to say the least.
All the food was microwaveable or non-perishable junk foods. They had a turtle tank in the kitchen between the sink and the stove, the dishes were always stacked, and there was trash everywhere. My friend would jump at any opportunity to stay at our houses whenever our parents allowed it, but I had to stop after a while because my friend didn’t clean up after himself often.
Things came to a head one day when he left bread crumbs all over our couch. My mom was furious: “He should know better, what would his parents think?” “Well mom, I don’t think they’d think much”. I proceeded to explain the conditions of his house. My mother was shocked and insisted he sleepover whenever he needed, but only if I made sure he learned to clean up after himself and was well-fed.
4. Like Mother, Like Son
My mom had anger issues. When she got mad, she’d deal with her frustration in the most psychotic way—by slamming her head on the wall. I thought that was a reasonable way to deal with frustration until I tried it myself and it really hurt…go figure. So, I stopped doing that, but I would punch walls fairly regularly hard enough to break a bone or put holes clean through the wall.
5. Fighting Through It
My worst memory was when my uncle was withdrawing from his substance addiction. He was always the fun, loud, and crazy uncle. I was around 10 years old and my mom and I were coming home from somewhere, but when we pulled up, he was sitting outside and said he needed a place to stay. My mom had to work the next day so she said no, but I hung out with him for a while outside the house.
Then, the worst happened—I could tell he didn’t feel well because he was dry heaving. It was terrifying. I asked him if I should call for help and he said that he’d be okay. Unfortunately, he ended up passing from liver failure as a result of his refusal to receive medical help.
6. Bad Priorities
I was about four years old at the time. My family was having a BBQ and we had a few family members over. Naturally, everyone was occupied with the preparations and getting stuff ready. I was hungry, so my mother nuked a corn dog to keep me satisfied until the food was done. I was also too young to really help, so I got bored and started balancing around the lip of our pool.
It’s important to note that our pool had been broken for months and had a few feet of algae-ridden water at the bottom. It was also full of tadpoles. Of course, after some time, I slipped and fell in. Mid-fall, all I could think was, “No, not my corn dog!” I raised my corn dog up and laid face down floating in the water. At that moment, I was stunned—I didn’t know what to do.
I began to drown with one arm raised. My oldest sister heard the splash and came running out and screamed, “OMG, OMG! Let me get my bathing suit on!” and proceeded to run back into the house. My brother jumped in, fully clothed, and saved me. My corn dog was dry as a whistle. My sister came charging out in a black one-piece a minute later.
7. Sad And Loved
When I was around six years old, I used to walk my grandma upstairs every time we visited her house. She said she liked holding my hand. When I went to her room, she’d always compliment my shirts and say things like, “What’s this on your shirt here called?” I’d say something like, “Oh that’s Winnie the Pooh,” or whatever character I was wearing.
She’d go on to tell me stories about the character or talk a bit about it. Then, when I was 16, she hit me with shattering truth—she’d been blind for years. She’d ask me to hold her hand up the stairs so that I could help guide her to her room. She’d ask what was on my shirt because she could feel a pattern on it. I don’t know why, but that kind of made me feel both sad and very loved.
She couldn’t see anymore but she never wanted to let me worry about it and still managed to compliment what I was wearing all the time. She passed on while I was still very young, but those memories stuck like glue.
8. It Wasn’t A Dream
Back in the fifth grade, I remember that I always felt as though I was going to die. I thought that life was a dream of mine, and I constantly tested if it was. My teachers would always call my parents about my odd behavior, and they were shocked to discover what I was up to. I would never swallow my own saliva, and I have no idea why. Then, one time, a kid brought in treats, and I threw mine away because I thought he poisoned it. I also twisted my hair because of stress-related issues.
I was a really paranoid kid around that time, and I’m sure my teacher thought I was crazy.
9. A Family Secret
I went to a friend’s house on the weekend to play video games at the age of about 10. We had a good time and played a lot of games on the PS2. His mom came upstairs from the basement to ask if we wanted food. I turned around and said, “Yes, please,” and before I could finish saying please I noticed she had a black eye. I asked my friend what happened to his mom’s face, and his reply gave me shivers: “I can’t say”.
10-year-old me just said, “Oh, okay,” and we proceeded to play video games. I didn’t realize until I was about 19 this happened.
10. I Can Still Picture It
When I was five or six, I lived in a complex with eight units. One day, my dad asked me to jump through one of the unit’s bathroom windows, run through the house, and open the front door. I didn’t really want to, as there was an old lady who lived there and I thought I’d get in trouble if I got caught. Anyway, off I went through the window and I made my way to the front door.
As I got to the lounge room, I was met with the creepiest sight—she was on the lounge chair, slumped, with her eyes opened looking straight at me. It scared the heck out of me. It was creepy, but I more so remember thinking I had been caught breaking into her house. Anyway, I opened the front door and ran past my parents and neighbors straight home.
The ambulance came not long after, but it didn’t really click what was going on. I later realized in my teens that she had passed. Apparently, she had been gone for a few days. Everyone in the complex was worried about her, so they used me to get into the house to check on her welfare. Over 30 years later, I can still picture it.
11. Cherish The Moments
As a kid, my parents were split up. I’d visit my dad on certain days and go to my mom’s on other days since they didn’t live far apart. One day, I really didn’t want to stay at my dad’s house. As a kid, I was an ignorant person and I didn’t enjoy spending time at my dad’s as much as my mom’s. I had more stuff to do over at her place, so I preferred it.
One day, I completely protested staying at my dad’s and had a tantrum for about two hours, saying how I wanted to go home. My dad’s reaction caught me off guard. I didn’t really acknowledge it at the time, but he was crying. He isn’t an emotional person, and although he was a nice man, he wasn’t overly cheerful or portrayed much emotion. So, looking back at it, this was really bad.
He did end up taking me home late at night and I got yelled at by my mom, not from him. It was never mentioned again. He passed in 2017, probably two years after what happened here. Ever since I started remembering times like this where I sometimes absolutely hated going up to his house. I hold a lot of regrets because I didn’t cherish the moments with someone who I wouldn’t have a lot of time with.
12. Framed For It
One of my worst memories is when I got framed for something I absolutely didn’t do. The act, in question, was absolutely horrific. Some kid threw a stone at a woman walking past the school and told the Headmaster it was me. I got suspended for it, of course. The only reason he believed the other kid is because I had thrown a stone at a car driving past a couple of weeks prior.
13. Never Again
When I was about 10, my dad offered to buy me candy. He stopped at a store to run in, even though we had a long drive back. I asked where the candy was and he said it was in the bag in the back, but that he’d get it for me when we got home since he was driving. I said, “It’s okay, I can reach it”. As I reached for it, he reacted in the most unexpected way—he slapped me and yelled that I could wait until I got home.
My father had never hit me before that and never did again. The most confusing part to me was the look of utter sadness and shock on his face after the fact. My dad was a drinker and he passed before my 18th birthday. It wasn’t until I was older that I understood he had bought a bottle of booze and forgot to place it in its own bag. There was never any candy.
14. Far From Normal
My dad had a rare type of cancer that affected the bones in his face and jaw. When I was five years old, he had a tumor the size of a softball removed from one cheek. They removed his cheekbone, bottom jaw, nerves, lymph nodes…basically everything. He survived, but the worst was yet to come—that’s because the surgeon did a horrible job with the skin graft and spaced the stitches way too far apart.
A couple of weeks after his first operation, the wound got infected. I remember my mom and I were coming home after school one day and it was unusual to see that my dad was also home that early. He was getting out of his car as we were pulling up to the house, and the stitches on his face had started to rip open, but he tried to hide it from us as he ran into the house.
That was just one of the many horrible things that happened while my dad was sick. Being a kid and witnessing that level of gore so frequently desensitized me to it. I didn’t realize how bad it was growing up in a household with a mangled parent until I was much older. Seeing the stitches on his face rip open like that was not part of a normal childhood at all.
15. Close Call
When I was around five years old, I was out shopping with my mom when a man grabbed my hand and walked out of the shop with me. I didn’t realize it wasn’t my mom at first, but the moment I didn’t recognize him, I tried to pull away. Then, I went absolutely limp. He looked down at me and said something like, “Come on Tommy, your mom’s been looking everywhere for you”. Suddenly, my mom came to the rescue and he apologized.
He said he thought I was his nephew, and he immediately left. Looking back, he was definitely a kidnapper who was trying to take me to his van or something. I distinctly remember the entire shop full of people stopping and staring, and later, the person working there allowed me to have a toy for free. I think it was his way of making me feel better, though I had no idea what had happened at the time.
16. Not Today, Fools
When I was learning to drive, my father would accompany me. There was a football game in town that the rest of my family was at, but I was not going to attend for some reason. On my way home, and into my neighborhood (which was fairly large, I might add), we went past a plain white van that was off. At one point, it turned on and followed us all the way to the road that my house is on, right to the cul-de-sac.
My father took the truck to the game, leaving no vehicles in the parking area. I, myself, was alone at home. That white van then decided to pull into my driveway, so I ran into my father’s closet, grabbed the 16-gauge, two shells, and walked out onto my front porch with it drawn at the van. The van went into reverse and backed out of my driveway faster than it came in.
It was a very strange experience and I sat on my porch for a good thirty minutes before going back inside for the night.
17. It Could’ve Been Me
I was working at an ice cream shop when I was in high school. During winter nights, it would only be me and another manager. It was in a pretty nice area, and behind the store, there was a giant park that got really creepy at night. That night, the manager and I were closing the store and we had to take out the trash. We were both pretty small girls, but we could easily do it by ourselves.
I decided to take the trash out that night because she was counting money, so I got all the bags out and I walked outside into the parking lot. Big mistake. Next to the dumpster, there was a man standing there. He was wearing sweats and there was just this look of hatred on his face that I’d never seen in anybody before. I ran back in, locked the doors to be safe, and did some dishes, thinking that I could do the trash later.
I walked into the main room of the store where it is surrounded by windows and he was standing there, just staring in. I will never forget the smile that came on his face when he saw me again. It was the worst mix of evil and complete joy. I can’t even describe how his eyes were. I ran into the back room with my manager and we hid there for what felt like two hours until the authorities came.
By then, he was gone; however, he was taken in a few weeks later for brutally assaulting and killing a girl. The creepiest part? The victim had my stature and hair color.
18. Rusted Away
When I was 12 years old, my friends and I were riding our bikes through some woods down an old dirt road that wasn’t used much anymore. I decided it would be cool for me to go off-road, so I proceeded to drive into the forest. I got about 50 feet in before I got disoriented and started going towards the creek, which was in a dell down a steep hill from there.
I crashed down the hill and hit this huge boulder collection before coming to a rest. While I was sitting there, off towards the road, I could hear my friends calling to me so I knew which way to go. I started over towards their voices and saw a super old rusted-out car. I was a huge license plate collector back then, and finding rusted-out cars in the woods was not that odd of an occurrence, so I went to see if I could harvest the license plate.
When I got there, what I saw chilled me to the bone. There were bones in the front seat and a pile of rags. It was full-on Raiders of the Lost Ark with a skeleton on a pike kind of thing. I screamed like a little girl and got the heck out of there. I told my parents, who later called 9-1-1. After some investigation, it was determined that the man had disappeared during a blizzard in the late 50s and was never heard from again.
I met his widow and children and won an award from the town. I’ll never forget that feeling. Creepy as heck.
19. Under My Skin
Indirectly, my creepiest moment has to be when I had to sit with my mother’s corpse until the ambulance arrived to pronounce her lifeless. It was unpleasant, obviously, in and of itself, seeing that rigor mortis had set in and that the chest compressions were clearly a futile effort, but that’s not the thing that gets me.
What gets me is that every so often, I rub my arms when they’re cold and my skin feels just enough like her body that I’m taken back to that memory in an instant. No warning. No consistency. It gets super unpleasant in winter.
20. Dealing With A Jerk
When I was in fifth grade, around a year ago, I was riding the school bus home. I was sitting two or three seats ahead of this one eighth-grader. Now, I didn’t even know the kid at all. I’d never even talked to him. Anyways he started shouting hurtful and mean things at me. After about 15 minutes of that, he scrunched up pieces of paper with rude things written on them, like “End yourself” or “Screw off,” and threw them at me.
After another 10 minutes, I calmly said, “Throw one more paper ball at me. See what happens”. Apparently, the kid couldn’t take a hint and he threw another one at me. That broke a vein in my brain and I was filled with bloody rage. I grabbed a Pokémon Card Tin from my bookbag, walked to his seat, and smashed the right side of his head several times.
Blood splashed on my face and on the seat while blood was rushing down his face. I looked at my tin and it was fully dented. Screams erupted from the dude I had just beat up, and the rest of the bus was in a state of shock. Two months later, I found out the kid’s name was Cody and I had erased the last 18 months of his memory.
21. Game, Set, Match
Once, when I was 15, I was playing in a tennis tournament. It was a typical hot summer. Another player who must have been in his 40s was serving. He tossed the serve up in the air and then collapsed on the hardcourt. I rushed over to help and started CPR with his friend. We took turns until the ambulance came, which took about 15 minutes but seemed like hours.
The EMTs took over the CPR and tried to resuscitate him with injections and defibrillators to no avail. They pronounced him lifeless right there on the tennis court. I had to continue my match after they moved the body off of the courts. My hands kept shaking, so I forfeited the match and sat under a nearby tree, just staring into space.
His friend came back to find me near the courts to thank me. He told me about his friend, about his life, and his family. Strangely, that made me feel better. I learned from that day how precious life is and how it can all change in an instant.
22. Parisian Tragedy
It was the first day of a four-month travel holiday and I was in Paris. I was staying at a friend’s apartment, and he wasn’t due back in town for another two days. I decided I was going to find my own way to the Eiffel Tower, so I printed off a map and started walking. Probably two hours later, in a very roundabout way, I finally made it.
So far, so good. I wandered around for a bit and took all the usual photos. Anybody who has been to Paris before will be familiar with the big building across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Chaillot. It has a theatre and a few museums housed inside. The square between the buildings is also one of the best vantage points to see the tower, and lots of people think it’s a great idea to climb up on top of the wall at the front of the landing to pose with the tower in the background.
Anyway, I had taken my photos and seen what I had come to see, so I started heading down the steps in front of the landing. I looked up and there was another girl standing on top of the wall (which I would estimate has a three to four-story drop to solid marble). I thought to myself, “Well, that’s not a good idea”. Out of instinct, I snapped a photo of her.
I looked down to check my shot and when I looked up again, she was gone…She had slipped and was flying through the air. The image of her heading straight for the ground is burned into my memory. She didn’t scream or make a sound. She didn’t flail about. She just dropped, with her body parallel to the ground and her hands stretched out in front of her.
My instant reaction, before it had registered what I was witnessing, was to turn my head and look away before she hit the ground. But the sound of her slamming into the floor is something I will never forget. I was one of the closest people to her and probably the only person to see her fall. There was another guy making his way up the opposite steps with his wife and two small children. I just stood there on the steps, not sure what to do.
I didn’t speak of a word of French, and at the time, I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t even know the emergency phone number to call for help. She wasn’t moving, nor did she make a sound. Two of her friends ran down the stairs and started screaming and crying as soon as they saw her lying there. I felt helpless. I just stood there, watching. Within a few minutes, a fire engine had pulled up and a few men jumped out with a stretcher.
They didn’t touch her as she still wasn’t moving. I probably hung around there for about 20 to 30 minutes. The paramedics showed up but they still hadn’t moved her I still don’t know what happened to her. From that height, I assume the worst is possible, but probably not likely. As for neck or brain damage, who knows. It wasn’t the best way to start my holiday and it was a horrible way to end hers.
23. Bad Timing
My neighbor didn’t pick up his kid from school one day. I knew he was at home, but when I rang the doorbell, he never came. Worried that something had happened to him, I broke into his house. I couldn’t believe what I found. He was on the basement floor with no clothes on—I could tell he was still alive, but there was obvious brain damage as he couldn’t form words or even move.
I later found out that he had a brain aneurysm, and he had no clothes on because it happened while he was…well, you know.
24. Almost Too Far
When I was 10 years old, my dad was unemployed and we were struggling for a few months financially. Some kid in school called me a loser over something I don’t even remember. He told me to buy some decent clothes because I looked like a hobo. That really struck a nerve with me, so after school, I walked up to him while he was sitting on his bike and I punched him so hard on one side of his head.
Blood started coming out of his nose and his left eye turned red. He screamed, ”Oh my God, I can’t see!” I just felt sick to my stomach and as if I was a monster. I just wanted to disappear at that moment. Thankfully, he was fine after a few minutes.
25. Foul Play
When I was in first grade, my friend was killed just outside the school in the woods. A week or so after the incident, my friends and I were still walking through them (like idiots) and we found the knife still covered in blood. One of the guys picked it up and took it back to the school. Luckily, it was a simple case and the guy was already apprehended…otherwise, we could have messed up the evidence for the case.
26. Flipping Out
I saw a body getting pulled out of a creek on my parent’s property when I was 16. He had been trespassing and at some point, he flipped his truck while he was high. He decided to leave when the authorities were called on him. He didn’t make the turn onto the bridge and it flipped his truck into the creek. He broke his neck upon impact.
A bunch of guys tried to get him out, but the mud was suctioning him down. When the EMTs and officers showed up, they got him out, but he was bloated and white by that time. They put him on the rescue sled to pull him up the bank. His bloated, white head was bobbing because of his broken neck. That image is burned into my brain.
27. A Golden End
I grew up near San Francisco and for my fifth birthday, I wanted to walk the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. About halfway through, a guy climbed over the guide rail and jumped. I had no idea what it meant at that age, but I still remember almost everything about that incident—where we had parked, what I was wearing, the weather, everything.
My grandma ended up picking up the wallet he left for someone to find and she turned it in to the authorities. It was still warm from being in his pocket.
28. A Grave Thought
When I was younger I used to have really intense visual hallucinations. Some normal stuff –glowing orbs, floating hands. But the creepiest thing that I ever saw was my own unconscious body on the floor in front of me wearing the exact same clothes I was wearing at the time. That image is burned into my memory and to this day, it gives me nightmares.
29. A Creepy Year
When I was eight years old, my best friend and I found a corpse in a forest. It was almost completely decomposed. Then, when I was 12, I moved to California and saw more gang activity in two months than in one season of The Sopranos. Around the same time, I watched my cousin’s wife put a bullet in her head, right as I was sitting literally four feet away from her.
I also went to visit my older brother in Sweden that year and I walked in on him cradling the corpse of his girlfriend, who was killed by dealers in their apartment. The most painful part was watching him, a 6-foot-4 hulk of a man, scream like a banshee with tears streaming down his face. I would later see the people responsible for the incident hanged in an abandoned warehouse.
Then, finally, when I was 15, my best friend’s fiancé got pregnant. The baby didn’t end up being his, so they broke up and he eventually began dating an exotic dancer She invited all her friends over, and I ended up locked in a bathroom for 18 hours with one of them. She had enough illicit substances to kill a horse. During one of her bouts of paranoia, she absolutely lost it—she ended her life with a knife about eight or nine hours into the ordeal.
I think bad vibes just follow me wherever I go…
30. In The Wrong Hands
My uncle told me this probably five years ago when he was tipsy, and I haven’t heard anything about it since. When he was around seven or eight, some kid who lived on his street had gotten hold of his dad’s pistol and started playing with it in the street with another kid. At one point, he pointed it at him and yelled, “Freeze!”
The kid put his hands up jokingly and turned to walk away, but the kid ended up pulling the trigger on him. My uncle has no idea what happened after that though.
31. Going In A Different Direction
Back in the 70s, friends and I planned a camping trip for a long weekend. We picked up a hitchhiker headed to Kernville and dropped him off on the way. We thought it was no big deal, but when we got to our campsite, my girlfriend made a chilling discovery. She found a note from the hitchhiker on her bag. It said, “I could have made all of you disappear forever”. We didn’t sleep that night.
32. Distant Relative
I met a guy who had been traveling through Australia with a couple friends, hitchhiking around as many people have done. He told me a story that I’ll never forget. One day, one of his friends told him they were near his distant uncle’s house. He’d never met him before, but he got his uncle’s phone number from a family member. He called him and, as the hitchhikers had hoped, the uncle offered them a place to stay for the night.
He picked them up and drove them to his rural property way out in the bush. They said he seemed like a pretty friendly, cheery, and normal guy, so they had no worries about staying with him. When it was time to set up a place to sleep, the uncle opened a closet that was totally full of sleeping bags and bed rolls. They didn’t think too much about it at the time, but looking back, that was a sign that something wasn’t right.
They set up on the floor and stayed for a few days. Then the uncle drove them to the bus station, and they went on their way. A year later, the authorities took the uncle into custody. It turned out that he had been picking up young hitch-hiking backpackers, then killing them. The guy telling this story was 100% certain he had slept in the sleeping bag of one of his victims.
33. Lost Backpack
I was exploring the forests near my house with my cousin. We were on a steep hill and as we looked down, we saw that there were a bunch of craters at the very bottom. As we looked inside one of the craters, we saw something strange. There was a backpack in there. We tried to climb down, but the hill was too steep and slippery to do it safely, so we planned on returning later with a rope.
The next day, there was a news story about how there was a backpack with the remains of a girl in that forest. A guy walking his dog found it after the dog would not stop barking at the edge of the crater and staring at the backpack. My cousin and I decided not to go exploring in the forests anymore after we saw that news clip.
34. Let Us In
I lived with three other girls in college. All three took off early for spring break, leaving me alone in the house. During my first night on my own, I heard someone bang on my front door at 2 AM. Then I heard more knocks at my back door. A man yelled, “I’m an officer. Open the door!” I didn’t believe him. I stayed in my room and started to panic.
As I heard bodies slam against both doors, and a man saying, “Little girl, open the door. We know you’re alone,” I frantically dialed 9-1-1. Thank God I did. As the sirens approached, I saw officers chase four boys from our school hockey team and pin them face down on the grass. I had to file restraining orders against all of them.
35. All In Your Head
When I worked in healthcare, I had a patient who got a sinus infection. He stopped taking his antibiotics after a few days because he felt better. Then, overnight, everything fell apart. He got to the Emergency Department, where the doctors realized he was experiencing stroke symptoms. It turned out that the sinus infection had spread to his cranial cavity.
There was so much pus in there that it was twisting his brain. No one thought he would survive the surgery. The family was advised to expect the worst, but amazingly, he somehow made it through. It wasn’t an easy recovery though. He ended up needing three more surgeries to wash all the pus out and then spent almost two months in the hospital. Take your full dose of antibiotics, people!
36. Geriatrick Grandparents
My sister and I were playing outside when an elderly couple walked by our yard. Our yard had this cemetery in the back that was a common local attraction for tourists as the house was built in the 1800s. Most of the graves were of children lost to illnesses. The old couple were pestering my sister. They were asking her to tell them her name.
We got scared and ran inside to tell our mom what had happened. The following week, I heard a story on the news about an elderly couple approaching a teenage girl and attacking her. It was the same couple who came over to us that day. It still scares me.
37. Pause For Effect
When I was younger, my mother managed the apartment where we lived. Right before Halloween, she told a scary story about a tragic accident involving the two little boys and their mom above us in the vacant apartment. She said if you listened closely, you could still hear their footsteps running up and down the hallway.
At that very moment, we heard the sound of running upstairs. The look on my mother’s face was pure terror. She called the neighborhood patrol man and one of the on-duty maintenance guys to go and check the apartment. They found a homeless mother living there who had slipped through an open window with her two children.
My mom never told ghost stories again.
38. Warning Signs
My ex and I were out driving on a big Canadian road trip a year ago. One night, it was getting dark, so we decided to grab a hotel room and settle in for the night. On the way, we came across a car and a girl standing on the road and trying to flag us down. Keep in mind, this was in a rural area and we hadn’t seen any cars in a while, so we were already confused and weirded out.
Just to be safe, we stopped, mostly to see if the girl needed help. As my boyfriend rolled down his window to talk to the girl, I slammed my foot on the gas and took off. I happened to look at the opposite side of the road and saw three guys coming out of the bushes with baseball bats. I don’t know what that girl was doing, but I’m pretty sure she was going to lure us into something horrific.
39. Shed Some Light
I lived in a house with four housemates for a year. We had a pretty big backyard with motion detector lights, a garage, and a tool shed that we never really used. Two of my housemates were very superstitious—they believed in ghosts, spirits, and other stuff like that. So, when the lights in our backyard kept turning on randomly, I assumed it was animals, while my housemates were sure it was a ghost.
One even said that she had caught a man-ghost looking through our window one night. She thought it was scary; I thought she was just being ridiculous. A few nights later, though, I became a believer. I looked outside and swore that I saw a man standing behind the mesh-door that led into our back patio. I screamed, got my roomies down, and made us all investigate.
But by the time we got out there, whoever was there (if anyone had been there at all) was gone. Anyway, flash forward a few months. I moved back to my home country and FaceTimed with one of the housemates. Well, it turns out that man hadn’t been a ghost. A homeless man had been living in our toolshed for God knows how long. It gave me the creeps for sure.
40. What’s Out There
When I was eight, we all had to take swimming lessons at school. My mom worked late, so I went to after-school care and didn’t get home until after it was dark. One day, when we came home, my mom told me to get my swimsuit and towel, and hang them on the clothesline to dry. That way, I would be able to wear them the next day.
I was so confident going outside to do this. I had this real feeling of finally being a big kid, you know? But as I walked into our backyard, everything changed. Suddenly, a man leapt over our gate and started sprinting towards me. I screamed, jumped inside, and instinctively locked the back door. Thankfully, he ran off and didn’t try anything like that again, but it really messed me up. I slept with the light on until I was 16, and I get my husband to go outside for me while it’s dark.
41. Hang Up
My mom once stopped to help an overturned car on the side of a highway. As we got out of our vehicle, my mom immediately called emergency as I wandered over to see if anyone needed help. Near the wreck, I saw the driver treating a woman (I think it was his wife) roughly. I was only a teenager and the guy was almost three times my size, so I tried to get my mom to come over.
She was busy on the phone, leaving me with these two people. I quickly realized that the man was intoxicated and looking for a fight. I figured that the only way we were going to get out of this was by playing it cool and then driving away as fast as we could. Once I could get my mom’s attention, I’d find a way to tell her, but in the meantime, it was me and the two passengers.
The man asked me to help him move the car. I just stared at him and told him that was a ten-man job and there was no way he and I could do it. Then his wife started to scream at him. She was shouting that she got him hurting her and crashing the car on camera and that she sent the video to his sister. This caused the man to lose his mind.
He picked me up and literally threw me. Then he shoved my mom, took her phone, and pushed her down the bank. Panicking, I told him I had a knife, and I wasn’t afraid to use it if he touched my mother again. With that, he took his focus off my mom and stared right at me. As I tried to calm him, my mom snuck back into the car. When she was ready, I made a run for our vehicle.
On my way, a car that was speeding on the road almost hit me, but I made it to my mom. I heard her start the engine as I jumped in, and we tore off to the local station. The man was apprehended a couple hours later for two charges: one for hurting his wife and the second for assaulting an officer. We call emergency when we see crashes now.
42. How Kind
Once, my friend went out and met this girl who seemed really nice. After drinking with her, she passed out and woke up in an Uber. She told the driver that she didn’t know where she was. He told her that a girl brought her to his car because she wanted to make sure her “friend got home safe”. My friend insisted that something very wrong had happened and told the Uber driver to pull over. He was a good man; he immediately believed her, stopped the car, and called for officers to come and figure out what was going on.
When the officers heard what happened, they said they recognized the address that the Uber driver had been given by this mystery girl. It turns out that there was some kind of human trafficking operation. A girl would slip something into a pretty girl’s drink, then pour her into a cab, and send her to the same house. Until my friend called in, none of the girls had been seen again.
43. Freak Incident
When my friend came home after work, his wife was gone. He thought she had taken the dogs for a walk and so checked the normal walk route. Then he saw all of these flashing blue lights. An officer stopped him and said he wasn’t allowed to come any closer. But my friend had this sinking feeling. He looked over the officer’s shoulder and realized that there was a woman bleeding on the sidewalk. That’s when his stomach dropped: the woman was his wife.
It turned out that she had been on a walk in her neighborhood when a man randomly attacked her. He had just been released from a mental institution and randomly happened to cross paths with her. Sadly, her injuries were too extensive and she passed in the hospital. It’s the scariest story I’ve ever heard because it’s so meaningless. This man ended her life for no reason.
44. Young And Oblivious
When I was five, my dad would take me to the park on Sundays. Sometimes, he would then take me to this woman’s house nearby. They would sit me in front of the TV and put on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles before heading upstairs. It’s only now that I’m older that I realize the sad truth. I never made the connection that they were having an affair because I didn’t know what that was.
My mother eventually left him when I was older. I think about it now and again how oblivious I was.
45. Behind Closed Doors
I was in the basement of my friend’s place with his dad and sister. Without warning and for no reason I can remember, his dad did the most despicable thing—he grabbed my friend and his sister by their necks, thrust them up into the air, and pinned them against the wall. I had no idea what to do. He let them go and I thought…maybe I should go home now. I don’t think I even told my parents when I got home.
46. Silver Linings
When I was five or six years old, my mom used to never want to get out of bed and just kept saying she was sick. Finally, my stepdad took her to a hospital where she stayed for nearly a month. I thought it was so cool that her hospital let her do arts and crafts all the time. I remember telling her that I wished I could go to the hospital and draw all day.
She sat me down and told me that she hoped I would never get sick as she did, but that if I did, there’d be nothing wrong with needing help to get better, even if I had to go somewhere for a little while to do it. It wasn’t until I was probably 12 or 13 and didn’t want to get out of bed myself that it clicked. The truth was hard to swallow—the hospital she had gone to was a mental health hospital.
But because of her, I never feel ashamed about needing therapy when things get bad, or even just to maintain a healthy mindset.
47. The Harmful Aftermath
My worst memory ever was my mom pouring hair gel on the sunburn on my back. I thought it was normal, and that it was supposed to help. I realized later that she had a disturbing motive— she literally tortured me on purpose. It made a thick film all over my back and every movement I made would pull all my skin, causing the worst pain ever.
48. Rock Bottom
My dad got laid off from a job and we started to struggle financially for a year or so. He woke up early every morning to make breakfast for us all before school and cleaned the house while doing side jobs just so we would never know we were struggling. Here’s the kicker, though—apparently, he would always say he couldn’t get a job because he was always “overqualified”. Now that I’m older, I’m skeptical of that.
49. The Darndest Thing
My worst memory is a conversation I had with my grandma when she was explaining to me she had a miscarriage after her last child. I was only nine years old, and I made an incredibly tactless comment—I said it was for the best because my mom, aunt, and uncle were troublemakers, so it was better for her. She got extremely mad with me and I was so confused at the time. I didn’t realize how messed up it actually was.
50. Finding His Way
When I was a kid, I ended up in a chat room with someone who also claimed to also be a kid. He claimed to be 14 or 13 years old; I can’t quite remember the exact age. Well, he gave me this phone number and told me that if his voice sounded really deep, it’s just because he has a deep voice for his age.
While still in the chatroom, he also tried to find out where I lived. Thankfully, I didn’t tell him even though I did know my address by heart at that point…I just didn’t feel like telling him. I told him I’d give him a call in a few minutes, then I logged off and proceeded to grab the house phone to call the number.
I don’t know if I entered the number wrong or what, but the voice I heard was incredibly strange—this automated message came up and asked if I wanted to accept some charges for the call. If there was one thing I knew, it was that if I had any money charged to the house, I would have gotten a good whooping, so I hung up on that call pretty quickly.
I never wanted to call another number that someone gave me online again. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized he was an online predator, trying to find his way to a very young child.
51. A Bad Sleep
A horrible memory of mine was when I walked in on my mom having an anxiety attack in her sleep. I think she was having a really bad dream. She had her eyes wide open and was crying, yet she didn’t wake up when I nudged her. She took rattling breaths. After a few moments, my brother came in and she woke up.
We ended up rushing her to the hospital because she had a spinal procedure and was only two days out of the hospital. The truth of her condition was shocking—apparently, the operation had been botched earlier and the device that was put in her wasn’t properly cleaned, so she contracted a very severe form of meningitis. If we waited to go until the morning, which is what she wanted to do when she woke up, she definitely would’ve passed.
52. Forever Traumatized
I was 10 or 11 at a church camp that had kids from multiple different churches. I had a crush on this girl whom I knew from previous camps and everyone knew that I liked her. She was the daughter of the camp nurse who is part of a well-connected family within the denomination, which to a kid means nothing…I just really liked this girl. She had no interest in me.
I don’t know who allowed this to happen, but it’s very, very, messed up. Anyway, there was this “competition” where you write a letter to your crush and whoever wins gets a “date” with them. I had a chaperone help me, and they read mine in front of the whole camp of around 400 kids. I ended up winning.
I don’t remember if any other poems were even read. They took me to the stage along with the girl. I sat next to her and she slid far away from me, understandably. Here’s what really got to me…That evening, I was so excited. I tried to look my best and that’s when things got really bad. My “friends” all took me to the cafeteria.
They were wearing handmade security shirts and were armed with super soakers. They made me put on a shirt that said something shameful written on it. Then, I got anxious during the walk. When I got there, it was a candlelit table. The girl was not amused and everyone was staring. I sat down and then said something to the girl.
That’s when I got squirted by my “friends”. Everyone laughed and I just lost it. I ran back to my bunk and started bawling. Looking back, it seemed like a whole plot to shame me into not expressing my feelings for a girl. Now that I’m a father, I would be furious if this happened to my child. Needless to say, religion is no longer a part of my life and this is a big reason why.
53. Yes, That Actually Happened
When I was four or five years old and my sister was eight or nine, we were playing in the yard in front of our house when suddenly, a hooded motorcyclist stopped in front of the driveway and didn’t move for a while. He just stood there. Moments later, he made a shocking move—he took out a firearm and pointed it at us. I ran for cover, but my sister stayed in the yard and kept jumping rope because she didn’t want to show him she was scared.
I was so scared for her. Fortunately, the motorcyclist drove on again. The interesting thing is that my sister and I both forgot about it for a few years after that, and we both thought it was just a dream, until at some point I told her about it. To my surprise, I found out that she could remember it too–and it actually happened.
54. Just Need The Proof
This feels strange to think about to this day because I still believe it to be true, but nobody else in my family does. I had only just started walking and I remember throwing a teddy bear back and forth with my grandmother, who was pretty ill at the time. I could never catch it because I lacked hand-eye coordination, so she would throw it a little short, and I kept throwing short as well because I wasn’t very strong.
I had just started practicing walking, but couldn’t fully walk yet. Whenever I would throw the bear way off course, I would get up to try and walk to it, but I kept stumbling, so she would always go and get it for us. Now, my grandmother passed when I was about a few months old, so everyone in my family swore this never happened.
They said that even if I somehow remembered something from that early of an age, there is no way it happened because by the time I started to walk, my grandma was too ill to walk herself. But the creepy part about all this? I vividly remember my aunt taking a picture of us on our really old film camera while we were playing with that bear, but I could never physically find the photograph.
I hadn’t gone back to my home country for a few years, but I went back to visit when I was 11. We were going through old albums and it was there. My aunt swears she never took that picture. Everyone in my family I’ve asked swears they never took it either. The picture is me and my grandmother sitting across the living room floor, with that same teddy bear, both of us looking at the camera with her holding the bear out as if she was about to throw it.
My aunt, or whoever took the photo, caught us by surprise, so we both looked at the camera. It wasn’t on my mind as we were leaving, so I didn’t think to take it back. I wish I did. I was maybe a one-year-old in the photo and did not look like I could walk at all, so I’m not surprised my grandma didn’t even let me try. The memory is so clear in my head and to have everyone tell me it didn’t happen is just off-putting.
55. It Never Happened
My brother managed to get his head stuck in the scrollwork of an iron or wood banister at a hotel, and in the ensuing panic, I wandered off to this wonderful place where there was a table full of cookies and candy. As I was eating the cookies and the candy and whatever I could find, some really angry adult yelled at me, picked me up, and carried me out of the amazing room filled with sweets.
I was about three or four years old. Now that I’m older, I think I know exactly what that magical place was—I think I crashed a wedding or a bar mitzvah’s dessert table while my brother was being extracted from the banister. It was amazing, but my parents claim it never happened.
56. The Happiest Place On Earth
My most messed-up memory happened at Disney World. We were standing in some sort of line getting tickets, and I was distracted by something on the ground. Later on, when I looked up, I was shocked—my parents and family were gone. I decided that would be a good time to go the opposite way and look for them. I ended up with some park worker finding me. He ended up using the loudspeaker to call my parents.
57. Stuck In The Reeds
I was playing football at a local park about six years ago when the ball went AWOL and ended up in a pond. A friend of mine tried to go in and get the ball out, but he got tangled up in the reeds and such. We called out for him but he never yelled back. When we went to check up on him after a few minutes, we discovered that he had actually drowned…None of us could do a thing.
The ball continued to float there for about two weeks after he passed, and I had to walk past that same pond daily to go to school. Seeing the ball floating there was the creepiest thing ever.
58. How To Save A Life
This summer, I worked as a nanny. I took the girls I looked after to Bethesda Pool a few times a week. One day, the older girl saw something at the bottom in the shallower end and she brought it to my attention. When I went over to check it out, I was horrified. I discovered it was a little boy, maybe six years old, all curled up in the fetal position.
When I reached in to pull him out, he was completely limp in my arms and he wasn’t breathing. I brought him to the side where there were some lifeguards. Apparently, they didn’t notice him even though there was NO ONE near him obstructing the view of the bottom. In fact, they didn’t even notice me yelling for them until I got to the side of the pool and lifted him up onto the concrete.
I gave him CPR, called the paramedics, etc. I put on a brave face for the girls, but I thought he was a goner. Then, later on, when the officers came, they let me know that he ended up getting his consciousness back. Thankfully, this is a pretty happy story, but the image of his body curled up on the bottom of the pool and the feel of his body limp in my arms just stuck with me for some reason.
59. Dinner Table Trauma
I found a woman in an apartment complex where I used to work who had been pinned under her dining table for two days after having a stroke. She had pulled it down on top of her during the episode. The whole time the maintenance crew were pulling it off and we were waiting for the ambulance, she was saying, “Oh dear, I hate to be a bother…Really, I’m fine, no, no..”. In a very high-pitched and airy voice.
I immediately took my lunch and cried in my car.
60. Sudden Freefall
My friends and I used to climb onto the roof of my high school late at night. One time, my best friend and I brought two girls (whom we were crushing on) onto the roof to show them what we thought was a harmless and exciting discovery. After some time exploring as a group, my friend and I thought it was appropriate to go “explore” the rooftops alone with our respective crushes.
In the distance, I saw what seemed like a fitting spot to have a seat. Well, it turns out, it wasn’t so fitting because it was a skylight. My friend describes what happened next as the most horrifying experience of his life. After about a few minutes, he came looking for me. He approached a shattered skylight and it clicked—we were down there.
He yelled and yelled until I finally muttered back, “Help, I can’t move”. The authorities and paramedics were called. He never got a response from the girl. I woke up two days later with a concussion, a few broken bones, and some minor internal bleeding. My crush was declared dead on impact.
61. No Justice
A few weeks ago, a woman was repeatedly stabbed with a knife outside my window. I won’t ever forget her screams and rattled breathing that I heard when I went out to flag down the authorities. I feel guilty for not doing more than calling 9-1-1, but I am also angry because I overheard the officers interviewing a girl, asking if she heard anything.
She said yes, but she never once thought to call for help. How do you not call 9-1-1? How horrible are you to not bother to try to help? I hope she feels guilty. The poor woman deserved better. And now she is dead and the guy hasn’t been found yet.
62. A No-Win Situation
When I moved to Grenada, I had a lot of trouble finding off-campus housing that would permit my dog. The first house I lived in was practically alive—there were countless lizards skittering up and down the walls, roaches the size of small ponies, a particularly vengeful bat who didn’t take lightly to his eviction (he would eat passion fruits above the window at night and drop the pits on the sill, waking me up), and a poisonous centipede that decided to “show up” in my mosquito net by somehow circumventing its tightly-tucked corners to crawl right onto my leg. Nothing I tried would clear the house.
So when I heard of a two-bedroom, dog-friendly apartment near campus opening up, I jumped at the opportunity. One night, after returning from the grocery store with about $150 worth of food and settling into bed, I heard the most blood-curdling scream. Because of the apartment’s location, it echoed several times. I sat bolt upright.
The screams continued. I couldn’t even describe them with accuracy, but I can say that no human would ever make such a sound unless they were being brutalized to the point of lifelessness. My blood turned to ice. Then, I realized where the screams were coming from: the owner’s unit upstairs. I couldn’t leave the apartment without descending the veritable mountain it was perched on.
Because it was so late, there was no way to do so safely. I froze. The screams continued, interrupted only by loud bangs that sounded like someone getting thrown against the wall before crumpling to the floor. Besides the fact the owner was a large man, I couldn’t go upstairs without facing his territorial dogs. Not knowing what else to do, I called campus security.
They offered to come out but didn’t know how to find me (roads in that area are often unnamed and, if they do have names, few know them). I gave him enough direction to get him to the nearby marina and I held my breath as I flickered the porch lights of my apartment. A feeling of relief swept over me as I saw him make the turn on the dirt road that would bring him to the building.
The security officer tried to get to the upstairs apartment door but he was blocked by the dogs. The woman’s screams still continued as barking dogs joined in, each echoing individually off the low mountains. Also not knowing what to do, the officer called for backup. We repeated the process of flickering the porch lights and the security officer went to speak to the authorities.
I stayed on my apartment’s level, not daring to be seen by the owner. The officers then yelled at the owner’s door but were almost—if not entirely—drowned out by barks and screams. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the screams stopped. The dogs quieted. I heard the front door upstairs open and a brief muted exchange. I saw the officer speak again with campus security, who then returned to me.
He said, “The owner said his wife just found out her mother had passed and was just upset over the news”. I asked if either of them had seen the woman. They had asked but were told, “She’s too upset to be seen right now”. Both the security officer and I knew there was something fishy going on. We had both heard the screams, the disturbing sounds from upstairs.
The fact the woman was “unavailable” sealed it. He said, in a normal tone, that the officers would stay outside to “monitor the property” for the rest of the night, then he leaned in to whisper, “Leave. He knows [it’s you]. The officers, they can do nothing”. I called a cab and told the driver to park a certain distance away from the apartment building.
The security officer and cabbie helped me quickly load up my items. I offered them whatever food was there and they split it for their families. I went to a nearby hotel until the airport opened, then caught the first flight home.
63. Hanging By A Thread
I once saw a girl standing on the wrong side of the barrier, holding onto the railing while my family drove over a bridge. There were also some people on the path talking to her. I thought nothing of it and just wondered how she was going to get back on the right side. I used to hang onto the railing and walk on the wrong side of a path at school that wasn’t too high off the ground.
So, I just thought she was mucking around in a more extreme adult level way, chatting to her friends. Then the reality of the situation hit me. As an adult, I don’t remember what the outcome was. There’s been petitions to raise the height of the safety barriers on that bridge to reduce the number of times this occurs, but unfortunately, nothing has been done.
64. Flight Fright
I was flying to India and we had just stopped in Germany. I was 14 and sitting next to this old guy who I thought was asleep the whole time. I shook him because we landed and he was kind of laying on me, but he gave no response. I was an unaccompanied minor, so when the stewardess came to get me, she looked at him, checked his pulse, and then everyone was ordered to stay where they were, including me.
The paramedics came and declared him dead, and I never knew for how long. I had never seen a body up close before and I was surprised at the time. I thought he would smell of something rotten or would make a noise beforehand. To this day, I always think if I had noticed him earlier, I could have helped him somehow; or at least caught him when he started dozing off.
He had laid on my shoulders for eight hours, and I fell asleep during that flight as well, so there was a good chance I used his head as a pillow while I slept. Creepy, but that’s life.
65. Brutality Upfront
When I was seven years old, my parents were going through a very tough time. They decided to split up for a while because my mom was going through a crazy partying phase. She got custody. I was too young to understand what was going on, but I hated my father (though we’re best friends now and my parents have been back together for years). My mom was just too young when they first got together.
One night, when my mother went out drinking with friends, she left me at home with my 12-year-old sister. We lived in an extremely bad neighborhood and apartment complex that was full of bad characters. I was playing Warlock on the Sega Genesis when I started hearing yelling outside. We had a double glass door facing the porch area that connected the apartments. We got up to look out the window and saw a white officer talking to a black man.
The black man pulled out a bag of something and consumed its contents. The officer instantly took his baton and hit him across the face. It knocked the guy to the ground and the officer proceeded to bash his skull into the concrete. After a minute or so, the officer stopped and called for an ambulance. He killed that man for swallowing a bag of an illicit substance.
My sister was on the local news the next day explaining what happened, but no one believed us. Even though there was blood all over the concrete, the officer claimed he choked after swallowing the bag. It’s one reason why I will never trust officers who I don’t know on a personal level.
66. The Unimaginable
I was in London with my dad when I was quite young, walking to a tube station to get home that night. I remember seeing a girl who must have been maybe nine or ten years old covered in scrapes and bruises. Clearly, something horrific had just happened to her. I could see scabs on her face and hands, asking people for help.
She was wearing a green tracksuit and pajamas, and she was thin with short brown hair. I don’t think my dad saw her, but I locked eyes with her as my dad pulled me along. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it—I’ve seen car crashes and I’m pretty sure I’ve seen a corpse, but that was the thing I remember the most.
67. The Demon Bird
It happened when I got home from school one afternoon. I had gotten home early and no one else was there. My dog had just had puppies—my mother breeds King Charles spaniels—and what I found was the most horrendous thing I’ve seen to this day. We had a parrot at the time who was a total jerk. It was basically super territorial and he decided to attack the puppies.
I’m not going to go into the gory details. Out of the five, there were only two left and they had to be put down. The smell though was the worst—it was freaking awful and I’ll never forget it.
68. Flash Warning
When I was 13, my friends and I were hanging around town like usual. We went to the park first in the morning. We saw a man who looked to be in his forties. He was wearing a hood and he had a long beard, as well as a can in his hands. At one point, he got up and started walking towards us, so we ran. Later on, we were taking a shortcut through the library’s car park to go to McDonald’s and we saw the same guy standing by some bushes, staring directly at us.
Two of my friends, both girls, started dancing for some reason (they hadn’t seen him; it was only me who saw him). I told my best friend Walter that he was watching us and we tried to get everyone else to hurry up. Walter turned around to check on everyone and he saw the guy right behind us. His fly was undone and he was just flashing us. We ran as fast as we could. We didn’t see him anymore after that.
69. Out Of Mind
When I was in primary school, at six or seven years old, I was lined up waiting for the bus to arrive. One of my classmates was tossing a ball up in the air and catching it, but at one point, she missed the catch and ran after the ball. No one expected what happened next. She was struck by the bus that was coming to pick us up. The front-wheel crushed her skull.
This happened about 10 feet from me. I saw her brain literally pop out of her head. The driver crawled under the bus and held the girl’s hand until the paramedics came. What was messed up is that no teachers came by to remove us from the scene until another bus came to take us home. I have no idea what happened to the driver, but I can’t even begin to think how she felt.
70. Gas Station Situation
Coming back from spring break in Key West Florida, the group I was traveling with had to stop in North Miami at 2 am for gas. Keep in mind that we were all blazed out of our skulls at that time. We got off the interstate and stopped at some sketchy gas station. Some of the guys went in, while the others went to the bathroom on the side of the building.
While inside, I got this really weird, uncomfortable feeling. Everyone in the store was making eye contact with us but not saying anything. Not a single word. You could hear a pin drop. I gave my friend ahead of me in line some money to pay for my food. I had to get out of that store as there were too many creepy vibes. The second I walked out, a lady started screaming at the top of her lungs.
A huge black guy with no shirt on started beating her through her car window. He was punching her right in the face, as hard as Mike Tyson would. She eventually got her car in drive and started to take off. The crazy guy hung on and was dragged down the street for about 50 yards. He eventually pulled the door off its hinges, and the lady drove off.
We were all standing there, watching this huge, crazy guy walk back towards the gas station, covered in blood, carrying a car door on his shoulder. We all jumped in the truck and took off. About a mile down the road, 15 law enforcement cars flew past us. No one said a word in the truck for the next hour or so. We were all trying to wrap our heads around what we had just seen.
71. Blood On Their Hands
I was a member of one of the first classes at UC Merced. Basically, they built a brand new campus in the middle of nowhere, so the only roads to the school were two, two-lane roads. They were the kind of roads that are straight and flat for miles but have no streetlights. My friends and I were driving back to campus late one night after getting some fast food and we saw another car, probably about two miles away, coming towards us with their lights on.
When the cars saw our lights, they turned their lights back to normal. I wish they never did that. Our two cars were getting closer and closer together. When the car coming toward us was about 10 feet away (both of our cars were traveling at approximately 50 mph) I saw the shadow of a figure directly in front of their car.
In a split second, we heard this thickening crunch. It happened so fast that we were all just in shock. I pulled over and we found out that the other car full of college kids had just hit some guy who was walking down a pitch-black highway.
72. Slowly Decaying
Three years ago, I was at work and it was a really slow day. I was walking around our parking lot to make sure nothing was suspicious (I work at an airport) and it’s really not uncommon for people to park like jerks and to leave their cars for extended periods of time. While walking about, I noticed a PT Cruiser kind of parked funny.
Peeking inside, I could see that it was a total mess. But then something caught my attention. It was the sight of what appeared to be long hair under a blanket. I initially thought it to be a dog, but I later found out that it was an older woman who had taken her own life. Apparently, she had been there for four months, and only her hair nails and some skin remained intact.
The authorities were contacted, but because of the company I work for, I was chosen to remain on the scene and watch her being pulled out. It was disgusting.
73. Wet And Wild
When my mother was young, she went swimming with her friends. While there, she had to watch helplessly as her friend was sucked into a whirlpool at the bottom of a drainage lake. They didn’t find his body for days. That’s why I never learned to swim.
74. Incognito Infiltration
I was a director of my college’s student government. There was this dude who was always willing to take on projects, so I assigned him a lot of work. I remember thinking he was pretty charismatic and well dressed, and he’d always done good work for me. So when he told me he owned a start-up clothing company, I bought some things from his website.
The next year I saw an article with his face on it. I found out that he was not what he seemed. He had been taking extracurricular classes as an excuse to stay on campus, even though he’d been kicked out of all his classes for a horrible reason. He’d been forcing himself on women at the university. His father was a wealthy professor and covered it up every time it happened. He seemed so normal.
75. No Strings Attached
A co-worker’s dad went into the nursery to check on his newborn baby only to find a horrific sight. The baby had reached for the blinds strap, somehow tangled his neck up, and began choking. The baby was already blue, and all of the veins in his face were popping up. Grandpa frantically called for emergency. Thankfully, EMS arrived in minutes and had the baby breathing again, but as a mother, I can’t imagine anything scarier.
76. Personal Emergency
There was a fatal car accident. The first officer on the scene had recognized that the victim was the daughter of an emergency dispatcher. The same emergency dispatcher who had been relaying all of the information about the crash to emergency services. This was before cell phones, meaning the officer had no easy way to tell her what had happened. He just had to keep that horrible information to himself.
77. Going Somewhere?
When I was nine, I was playing at the school down the street from my house. It was the middle of summer, and my friend and I were watching some local boys play street hockey. One of the boys called my name and said a man in the parking lot was looking for me.
The parking lot was mostly obscured by a nearby building, but I could see an old 70s style van that hadn’t been there earlier. I was walking over to the van when the mother of one of the other kids showed up looking for her son. When she saw me, she said hi and asked me where I was going. When I told her, she took my hand and started to quickly walk away with me. At that exact moment, the van pulled out and sped off.
My friend’s mom walked me all the way home, and I wasn’t allowed out of my yard without my parents for the rest of the summer. I was so upset and didn’t understand why I was being punished. It was only years later that I had understood that I was likely being targeted by some opportunistic loser for I don’t even want to know what.
78. Anybody There?
I once interviewed a woman who told me a horror story about something that happened to her as a girl. When she was ten, she had trouble sleeping. She thought that the Boogeyman was standing in her closet and staring at her whenever she tried to sleep.
Every night, she would go downstairs and tell her parents about how scared she felt. And every night, her father would tell her the Boogeyman didn’t exist and then send her back to bed. This happened over several nights, and the father got tired of it. That night, he walked her back up to her bedroom, turned on the light, and said, “I’ll show you there’s no Boogeyman”.
As he went to open the closet door, something on the other side held it shut. The dad immediately sent his daughter out of the room and forced the door open to find that a man was in there. He’d been sneaking into their house every night to stand in the girl’s closet and watch her.
79. Better Not Squashed
My mom passed an accident where two semis had completely crashed into each other. It looked like a normal accident, with both drivers seeming fine. They were walking around outside their cars, with emergency staff surrounding the scene. Because of this, my mom didn’t think much of it–until she learned the truth. The news covered the crash. They said there weren’t two semis, but three vehicles. There had been a car smashed in between the trucks. The driver was one of my brother’s teachers.
80. A Big Part Of Life
Back in the late seventies during her first semester at college, my mom met this guy named Bob. They were lab partners, and she’d thought he seemed cute and nice. She was too shy then to ask him out, but she definitely liked him. If Bob had asked her, she would have happily gone on a date. But he never did, so they just stayed friends.
But then things got…weird. Even though they studied different major, my mom kept noticing that Bob was often waiting for her. He’d be outside of her other classes, the library, the student union, and out in front where her dad picked her up and dropped her off. This continued into the spring semester.
Puzzled, but not yet alarmed, she asked him how he always knew where she would be. Bob loudly said, “oh, I asked the registrar’s office for a copy of your schedule!” My mom went to complain to the secretary who gave it to him. She blew it off because, “you guys are dating”. It was creepy, but since my mom was doing an exchange program the next year, she just left it at that. She figured that when she came back for her final year of university, he would have moved on.
Flash forward to her final year. She returns to university and…Bob is nowhere in sight. She figured she was free, but the whole situation was far from over. While my mom was at one of her grad school classes, my grandma heard a knock on the door. It was a man wearing a naval uniform. Since my grandmother had been a Navy nurse, she let him in.
The man started off by saying how sorry he was for my mother’s loss, which completely mystified my grandma. Before she could ask him what he meant, he continued, saying: “Well, ma’am, I just came back from overseas, and I found out my old friend Bob had passed. He had spoken so highly of his fiancée, your daughter, and I wanted to meet her”.
My grandmother told him her daughter didn’t even have a boyfriend, let alone a fiancé. It didn’t take long for the friend and my grandma to realize that Bob had made up his entire engagement. The whole thing was so creepy.
81. Barely Making It
I was living in a big city a few years ago and didn’t know anyone. A guy I was seeing came to visit me. At the end of his trip, I accompanied him to his train home. After that, I slowly walked back to the streetcar to go back to my apartment. It was about 2 PM and very bright and sunny outside, and I was feeling friendly. As I sat down on the bench at the streetcar stop, the man sitting next to me said hi.
I said hello back, but I felt something was off. I tried to ignore it and keep enjoying my day. Shortly, the streetcar came, and we both got on. It was crowded so we ended up sitting pretty close to each other. Once I saw my stop approaching, I got up. The man stood up too. I could feel him breathing right behind me. Even worse, I could see his reflection in the metro car window. He was very slowly looking my legs up and down. I started to feel very uneasy. The doors opened; we got off.
I made my way quickly to the end of the platform but realized he could be following me. There were several exits around, so I suddenly changed direction to go to another exit. He changed his course as well. Then I turned around again; he followed. I did this a few times, and he changed his path to match mine every single time.
Eventually, he caught up to me and approached me. He got closer and closer until I was up against a wall. A he smiled brightly at me, he said “Hello, how are you?” I was terrified. No one stopped to even glance at us, so I knew that unless I did something, I would not get away from him. I glanced to the right and saw a staircase. Without warning, I sprinted away.
Since I’d caught him off guard. It took him a few seconds to start following me. Somehow, the stars aligned and I managed to get on a train right as the doors closed in his face. That incident and several others of men following me home or in the street make me paranoid when I walk outside alone.
82. You’re Coming With Me
My friend came back home with her first date. They were both a little tipsy and high. She went in to change, and when she came back to her bedroom, her date bent down to remove his shoes. As he got up, he immediately grabbed her and dragged her out against her will. She struggled, but he just covered her mouth and brought her outside.
He took her out of her apartment complex with a strong hold the whole time. Then finally, he let her go, and she asked him what exactly was wrong with him. He told her that he had seen a man who was hiding under her bed.
83. Baked Even
There’s a big bread factory in my town. One day, years ago, maintenance men had to go into the bread oven to fix some issue. The oven had been off for 24 hours before they arrived, but it was still hot. The maintenance men didn’t want to go in, but the company insisted, saying that anymore time wasted would lose them even more money.
So the maintenance guys took out baskets that held the raw bread on the conveyor belt, climbed onto the conveyor, and started up the machinery. Almost immediately upon entering the oven on the conveyor, the maintenance guys realize that something is terribly wrong. It’s way, way too hot to be safe. They tried to run out, but there were too many baskets on the belt for them to get out. The path was blocked. They were trapped.
The only thing they could do was stay on the conveyor and go through the oven, a slow and horrifically painful process that essentially baked them alive. Those outside assisting with maintenance had to listen to their screams. Then the oven went completely silent. They saw one burnt body emerge on the other side of the oven. The second man somehow lived, but only for a few moments.
84. Like Riding A Bike
I was a toddler and lived with my mom in a cheap single wide trailer in a really bad trailer park. I slept at my aunt’s overnight a lot because my mom would work graveyard shifts. She picked me up from my aunt’s house around 7 AM one day, and we went back to our trailer. I remember immediately not wanting to go inside. I just had this terrible feeling.
I begged to ride my bike, but my exhausted mother just wanted to go to sleep, so we went inside, and she laid in bed. I sat up watching the TV for a while. And being the toddler that I was, I kept waking my mom up asking to go ride my bike. She said no and told me to go play in my room. I didn’t want to, so I asked to lay with her. I told my mom that I felt like there was someone in my closet, and he wanted to hurt me.
My mom, who was exhausted and just wanted to go to bed, got up to show me no one was there. We went in my room, and then we saw the folding closet door open, but then it got stuck. Inside was a man who had skipped out on his bail, been watching my mom’s comings and goings for a few days, and came into our house when she was at work.
We bolted out of the house, ran to the car and then drove to the station. Unfortunately, the guy escaped before the officers showed up.
85. Little Help Here
One time when I was about 16, I went to a laundromat with a friend. I wasn’t as familiar with the neighborhood, since it was near my friend’s house instead of mine; I was just there to hang out with her. As we walked inside the laundromat, we saw an older man standing near his car looking. My friend walked right passed him. She didn’t give him a single glance, but he caught me looking at him and asked, “will you come help me find my phone. I dropped it down here somewhere and I can’t find it”.
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up. I looked into the car and noticed a second man in the car staring at me. I’ll never forget how he looked at me. I just snapped my head away and followed my friend inside. When we got inside, she told me that those men were known in the area. They would use ploys to get young women into their car. After that, you don’t want to know what they did.
I was shaken up because if I had been a little younger and a little dumber, I don’t know if I would have seen the other man in the car. I might’ve helped him.
86. Seen Some Stuff
My friends and I were drinking one time and going around asking, “hey, whatever happened to…?” In this case, it was a guy who had a free period with a few of us in high school. He was a nice kid. We Googled him, and there were a couple appellate court decisions visible in first few results. We kept looking into him and discovered his chilling story.
He had gone to Afghanistan. It had really messed him up. The court notes said he saw things there that completely undid him. He came home with PTSD and delusional schizophrenia. He had been on a mission to hurt his mother to save her from demons and send her to heaven. He’d tried and failed numerous times. We looked for his social media accounts.
It was just threads and threads of manic rambling about demons. It was sad to find this but also terrifying to think you could be “normal” then through one set of circumstances or another, become completely insane within a few years.
87. A Step Back
I had the most likeable, kind stepfather. When I was a ten-year-old boy, he treated me really well. We would rent movies together and do lots of nice activities. But everything changed when he cheated on my pregnant mother. When she broke up with him, he became enraged and threatened her, and she didn’t take it too seriously at the time. Until one horrible night, when he lashed out.
He hid in our apartment. Luckily for me, I was with my grandmother. He tied up my mother when she got home and beat her viciously. Neither she nor her unborn baby survived that night. He said in trial he would’ve done the same to me. Since then, I’ve learned more awful things that he did. I couldn’t see it as a kid. I have had no contact with him for 17 years.
88. Just Close Your Eyes
When I was about five, I woke up to my house surrounded by loud voices and bright white lights. It turned out that a group of dangerous people had broken into our house after a heist and were using my parents as hostages.
89. Listen To Your Elders
My mother-in-law was a very funny and cool woman. She and my wife were really close, and sadly, she passed when our son was about four months old. A few years later, we moved into an old 1930s era craftsman house. Our son was three by then. I was giving him a bath one night, and he was looking over my shoulder at something.
He asked why Grandma called Mommy a funny name. I paused and asked him what he meant, thinking he was talking about my mom. He then said, “why does Grandma call Mommy [very specific nickname]?” I was shocked. My wife and I had never used that nickname. It was something her mom had called her since she was a baby.
I asked him where he’d learned that. He said, “the farmer told me”. I asked him who the farmer was. He said he was his friend. I told my wife about it later, and she was reduced to tears over the whole nickname thing. We both knew there was no way for him to know it, and we just marveled at it, not knowing what else we could do.
The next weekend, my son was playing alone in his room. My wife was at work, and I was at home in the office next to my son’s bedroom. Through the shared wall, I heard him talking like he was having a conversation. He was saying things like, “yes,” “no,” and, “I don’t know that,” and then laughing. I started to get a little creeped out, so I went into his room and asked him what he was doing.
He told me that he was playing. I asked him who he was playing with. He told me he was playing with the farmer. I asked him where the farmer was. He told me that he’d left when I came in. What?! My wife came back, and I told her what happened. She was just as weirded out as I was. We had no idea what to do and figured if it happened again, we would do something.
A few days later in the middle of the night, we both heard our son saying, “Grandma says you and I can’t be friends anymore”. We went to check on him while freaking out. He was sitting up in his bed. We asked him if he was okay, and he said, “yeah, Grandma says I can’t play with the Farmer anymore”. He never once mentioned the farmer again. Not ever. He’s 13 now and remembers none of it. But we do.
90. Something’s Down There
During university, I was living in a sorority house with 20 other women. The house was super old and in terrible condition. The basement had items from residents who had lived there years ago, but never took their stuff when they moved out. With so many of us, we wouldn’t notice stuff moving around because we assumed someone else just moved it, took it, or ate it.
One day, a girl was doing her laundry in the basement and noticed a bed set up behind the giant piles of junk people had left behind over the years. Then she nearly screamed when she noticed a man. He tried to calm her down by saying her that he was dating someone at the sorority and she knew he was down there. But the girl wasn’t buying it.
She called the campus officers immediately and they investigated the man. They told us that he had been living in the basement for who knows how long. They guessed that he had used the basement door to get in and out of the house. He never came back to our sorority, thank God, but I don’t think campus officers caught him either. Who knows where he’s living now?
91. Just Mom’s Friend
I moved to my dad’s when I was 10 and didn’t know anyone in the area. Being an outgoing kid, I quickly made friends with some of my neighbors. One was a girl who was 12, and we ended up having the same circle of friends. One day, I’m at her house when we hear a knock on the door. My friend thought it was her mom since she knocked a certain way, so she answered the door without thinking.
Meanwhile, since I wasn’t supposed to be there, I took off through the window and went back to my house. Later on, I learned about the danger I’d escaped. The woman at the door was not my friend’s mother. Her mother worked at a mental institution, where one of the inmates had recently been released. She was the one at the door.
Thankfully, my friend’s little brother was able to run away to find help. But my friend wasn’t so lucky. The lady must have had a breakdown because she attacked that 12-year-old girl, removed her head, hid it, and left her body in the tub. The officers eventually found the head in the worst place: the family’s Christmas presents.
92. Parental Guidance
Listening from the next room to my parents arguing about my father’s internet history having dirty websites in it, followed by a full-on argument about their declining sex life, was pretty rough on me when I was 12 years old.
93. It’s All A Lie
My childhood was very abnormal. I slept in a bedroom with my dad, in two separate beds, while my mom slept across the house in her own bedroom. So it was obvious that things weren’t okay, even to young me. He was gone on weekends, and until the early hours of the morning most weeknights. But I only found out the whole truth much later.
I found a text message on my dad’s phone to an unsaved number saying that he would love to be spending Christmas with his “real” family. I was 13. I just wanted to play Snake, man. Even later, an adult with a family and life of my own, I found out that my dad was openly cheating on my mom with the same woman for the duration of their 18-year marriage, and I had a half-sister who is my age.
I’m 90% sure that the text message was to that woman, but I never bothered to ask.
94. Everything Changes In An Instant
This happened six years ago. It was a week after my birthday and we decided to throw a late birthday party; my parents were busy with work on my actual birthday, so we rescheduled the party. I invited quite a few of my friends, but one of my friend’s fathers called my parents saying he’d be late to the party. The party was from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.
He never showed up. Once the party was over, we were heading home and talking about how fun the party was. That conversation was cut short when a vehicle drifted into our lane and collided with us, and I blacked out. When I woke up in a hospital bed, I started to panic, but the doctor that was running tests on me told me to calm down and that I was alright.
After about 20 to 30 minutes of questioning and small tests, I asked the big question. Me: Sir? Where are my parents? The doctor basically froze there for 10 seconds and responded, and I’ll never forget what he told me. Doctor: I’m so sorry but… your parents didn’t survive the crash. I was informed that my dad perished on impact, and my mom was pronounced dead when she arrived at the hospital with me.
I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to cry, but all I felt was anger. I knew the person who drifted into my lane was at fault, so I asked who crashed into us. It was my friend’s dad—and he was the ultimate entitled parent. Apparently, he was under the influence of something when he arrived and was currently handcuffed to a hospital bed.
One of the nurses told me later that he was demanding help before his son (who was also in the car) got treatment, even though his son was on life support. He eventually went behind bars and I don’t know if he’s been released or not, but if he’s out there he better hope we don’t cross paths. I’m currently living in a foster home with a wonderful family who treats me like I’m their own flesh and blood.
But as long as I’m alive, I’ll never forget my real parents, and I’ll never forget my best friend, and I’ll never forgive that father for what he’s done.
95. The Widowed
So, my mom remarried about two years ago. My dad died when I was twelve so she had been widowed for over ten years. This new relationship was very whirlwind with her meeting the guy, dating him, and getting married within three months. I didn’t know much about the guy, but my mom was happy, so I just tried to be supportive. She moved into his house in upstate Virginia and invited me and my fiancé to spend a weekend in her new home getting to know her new husband.
My mom’s new home was pretty isolated. It sat on a few hundred acres of lovely rolling hills, and was very picturesque. I was nervous about getting to know this guy, but really trying to make the most of it. Over the course of our first day there though, I started to feel more and more uneasy. We were being made to feel very at home, yet I still couldn’t shake this oppressive feeling. I finally chalked it up to me being more upset about my mom getting remarried than I was willing to admit to myself.
That night, my fiancé and I showered together. When I turned my back to him he stopped talking mid-sentence and asked, “What did you do to your back?” Well, nothing. Why? “You have a large bruise”. I hopped out to try and see it in the mirror. He was right. It was so strange; I had no idea how it got there, and the whole thing made me feel even more creeped out.
The next morning I had a complete meltdown. I woke up and just couldn’t stop crying. I told my fiancé we had to leave. He tried to calm me down by telling me all the things I had been telling myself. My feelings of anxiety were just a result of seeing my mom with someone. The longer I spent with them the easier it would become. But I just had to leave, I felt completely hysterical. I knew I was on the verge of a panic attack, so in the end, my fiancé drove me away.
As soon as we were on the road I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was even feeling embarrassed for my behavior, hoping I hadn’t insulted my mom’s husband by leaving early. Then my fiancé broke the silence, “That bruise on your back….did you get a good look at it?” I had. It looked like some had touched the middle of my back, with fingers spread wide, with their hand at a tilt. I want to make completely clear, no one had touched my back the previous day, especially hard enough to bruise me.
Cut to three weeks later. My mom comes to visit me. The entire time she’s hounding me to come stay with her again. After finally trying to change the subject for the fifth time, I level with her. Before I’ve even finished telling the story her face is white as a sheet. She tells me she has been feeling the same way in the house. She hates it. She wants them to move as soon as possible. And the real kicker…her new husband’s previous wife shot and killed herself in the house.
96. Ronald McSecrets
This one time when I was little, my dad woke me up at like 2 am said “Get ready, we’re going to McDonald’s”. I was so confused and kept asking why, but he wouldn’t answer anything besides, “because” or “to have fun”. The rest of my family—my two brothers, my sister, and my mom—didn’t come with us and they were still asleep when we left.
The play place was closed, and we just kind of sat there for an hour or so eating, then went back home. To this day, I still have NO idea why he frantically needed me out of the house, and he swears he doesn’t remember that happening, but the whole thing was SO weird that I kept the toy that I got from the Happy Meal to remember it by, and I still have it to this day…
It’s my only proof of this weird freaking night that my dad (almost scarily) hurried me to McDonald’s at 2 am. I have two guesses why. First, my sister pooped the bed and they were worried I’d make fun of her. Or maybe they somehow noticed something like rats in my room? Were they worried I wouldn’t be able to sleep if I knew that there were rats and they needed an hour or so to get them out???
Either way, a very strange night that my dad refuses to tell me the truth about, which only makes me think it’s something much worse. Like. I’m 23 now. If he said “Yeah, your sister pooped the bed and we didn’t want you to know,” I’d have been like cool, nice, good thinking. But he REFUSES to believe that it happened at all. WHAT HAPPENED.
97. Calling All Angels
After I totaled my car, a man with burn scars all over his face and hands came up to my window. He asked if I was ok and then came and sat in the passenger seat. He said, “I need you to know that everything happens for a reason”. I said, “I know”. The next thing I know, I’m talking to the other driver and the authorities, and the guy is just gone. No one else saw him.
98. A Sweet Treat Before It Ends
When I was in kindergarten my dad would routinely show up, sign me out of class, and take me for ice cream. Best memory ever. In retrospect, my dad knew he was dying, and passed when I was 6. He routinely did stuff like this. I feel as if I missed nothing, I’m now 35.
99. Don’t Look Down
I was in class, and the teacher was asking us how our weekends were. The quietest girl in the class started to speak, only to break down in tears. She said she was on a trip in the mountains with her mom. They stopped to stretch their legs during the drive, then looked over the cliff, only to see an overturned vehicle with an entire, deceased family scattered around it.
100. Sudden Loss
I had my first ever sleepover with my best friend in the first grade. Things at night were awesome. However, when I woke up the next morning, everyone at his house was super distant, and they called my mom to come and pick me up ASAP. I didn’t know what was going on. As it turned out, unfortunately, his father had an aneurysm that night and didn’t survive.
Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
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