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Everyone knows someone who is a little off. Their humor is usually only funny to them, and they do things a little different than everyone else. Everything seems pretty innocent at first, maybe even funny at the time. After a while though something changes and their quirkiness shifts and becomes more sinister. Suddenly it stops becoming funny, and you start to fear for your life. The people in the following stories experienced the darkest parts of their friend and family member's minds and almost didn't live to tell about it.
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
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"So... my older sister. There are a thousand stories. One I'll always remember is when she had a poker in the fire and held it in front of me, it was glowing red. I was young. She told me to grab it, and said, 'It's not hot if it were hot it would be white.' Yeah, I grabbed it.
Anyway, what got me was that after she died (massive brain explosion of some kind when she was 51 years old), my mom took me aside. She was upset about my sister's death. She loved her very much and took care of her for my sister's whole life. She told me that she was confused now, and didn't know what to do because she always assumed that my sister would kill her."
Elizaveta Galitckaia / Shutterstock
"My older brother cut off a rabbit's head and hid it in the cupboard shelf in the barn as a joke. It was where we stored the cat food for the barn cats so he knew we would find it. He also tried to drown me in a pool I got for my birthday. He held me underwater until I sucked water in and I puked. His punishment was he had to drain the pool and wash it out. What did my parents do? They should have gotten him help, but instead, they thought he would grow out of it. There was a five-year age gap between us, so he tormented my younger brother and me."
Nadezhda V. Kulagina / Shutterstock
"My nephew (through marriage) is a crazy little weirdo. Once, the entire family was playing hide and seek. He was around 9 years old. He didn't like where I hid, so he flew into a rage. He tried to hit me, I grabbed his wrist and twisted just enough to subdue him. He screamed like a freaking manic. I released him. He then ran into another room stating he needed his nerf toy to shoot me because he shoots people whenever he's mad.
I looked at my sister-in-law and said, 'Seriously, you're okay with this?' She responded that his rage was my fault, I had no right to touch him and that I should have just let him hit me since he's 'only a boy.' I told her, quite firmly, that if her crazy little satanic son ever even gave the appearance of causing harm to one of my children that I would put him down like a rabid dog. Fortunately (I guess?) her husband, my wife's parents, and everyone else present told her that she was wrong, her kid was nuts and that this was a serious red flag.
Flash forward two years. The kid is still crazy, but that's everyone else's problem because he's still 'just a boy.' I'm staying at their house. Things have mostly settled from that prior incident. I wake up very early every morning. So around 4:30 a.m, I find myself awake. I don't want to get up and wake up everyone else, so I just sort of lie there and meditate. At around 5:20 a.m., the door opens. Thinking it's my kids, who were young at the time and still came to get us early, I just glance up. Then I notice that it's the nephew and he's holding what appears to be an AR-15.
Now, I suffer from PTSD from Iraq. So my fight or flight response is triggered, my heart is pounding, and I'm basically in survival mode. I wait. I watch. He creeps past the foot of the bed, walks up to my side and raises this weapon up to point the muzzle at my face.
So I figure, this is it. I'm going to die. Today it ends. The only goal I have for myself right now is to prevent him from harming my wife and kids. He raises it up, and the muzzle is a few inches from my face. I reached up, I grabbed the muzzle, and I pushed as hard as I could, sending the butt into the little psycho's face. His nose is bleeding; he's crying, he's screaming about how he's going to kill me, how I'm dead, etc.
So now everyone is awake. Lights are flipped on, and I see that it's a toy made to look like an AR-15. Apparently, this little psycho was planning to stick the muzzle in my face and pull the trigger to scare me with flashing lights and electronic sounds.
I feel somewhat torn. On the one hand, I just broke an 11-year-old's nose for playing with a toy. On the other hand, the kid had all of these tells that he was dangerous and what he was doing was super creepy and yet another red flag.
My sister-in-law was mad. Her chosen narrative is that I'm a mentally unstable lunatic who is a danger to all children. She calls the cops. She insists, despite the protestations of my wife, that she's having me arrested and charged with child abuse for hitting a boy for playing with his toys.
Police arrive. Interviews take the whole day. I'm a little worried that, getting arrested aside, I might not be able to leave this hole and go home the next day as planned because these cops might not be done with their investigation.
Fortunately, it didn't play out that way. See, this little We Need to Talk About Kevin jerk wasn't just crazy around me like in the movies. He was crazy everywhere and had been for years. The police had a file on him because the school was required to call the police every time he threatened a school shooting (which was often).
I laid out my version of events much like I did here. I didn't see him and have a flashback thinking he was an insurgent. I saw him, I knew what was going through his head, and I wanted to try to prevent him from killing my family.
They did let me go home on schedule. A week later the detective called me to let me know there would be no charges. He also told me that his interview with my nephew was 'chilling' and he hopes that my sister in law pulls her head out of the sand and gets the kid some help. I told him she won't ever. And when he's 30 years old, and on trial, she'll be crying and saying he's just a boy.
Hopefully, he doesn't hurt anyone, but I know the odds are stacked against that hope.
Before anyone asks, I refuse to stay at their house. If we are in town, we stay in a hotel. He is never allowed to be alone with either of my kids. And he is also not allowed in my house since he was caught trying to steal a pocket knife which he said he needed for 'surgery' on the family cat (he was almost 12 at the time)."
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"My mom was 19 years old when I was born, and we had a close relationship when I was younger. She was always more of a friend than a mom, and that's just how our relationship was. Before my stepdad, I was always sarcastic all the time, and we joked around a lot.
One morning my mom asked me to take the pizza boxes from last nights dinner out to the garage where we put the cardboard recycling. I jokingly told her no as I gathered up the boxes to take them out. I took them out, put them on top of the stack of other cardboard, and turned around to go back into the house, and I bumped into my stepdad who had come in behind me without me noticing. He then proceeded to lift my 13-year-old body off of the ground by my throat and pinned me against the wall of the house. He got in my face and was screaming at me about disrespect. I remember flecks of spit getting on my face. My feet were back on the ground, but I was still pinned, and his hands were around my throat. I was able to get one of his hands in my mouth, and I was biting and scratching him. I don't remember what happened next. I don't remember how I got to school. The next thing I remember is sobbing in a private ensemble room in the band hall. My mom still doesn't believe me.
Over the next two years, he continuously got worse and permanently destroyed my relationship with my mother. I started sleeping with a knife under my pillow when he was home. I started running away and doing illegal substances. Eventually, my behavior became bad enough that my mom sent me to live with my biological father. Life is better now. I am safe. I still have the occasional nightmare and cannot stand any confrontation whatsoever, but I'll be okay."
Memo Angeles / Shutterstock
"I have suspicions that one of my in-laws has some psychopathic tendencies. Every so often he makes such weird remarks about hurting or killing animals. He told us he worked as a vet's assistant and part of his job was castrating cats. I get it, it's part of the job, but when he told about how he used to do that, he came across like it was a magical moment for him.
A while ago he had some trouble with mice in his shed. Instead of buying regular animal-friendly traps, he took a large, lidless garbage can, spilled a bunch of peanut butter on the bottom of it. Put up a ramp to the top and a thin, wooden stick across the opening at the top, so that the mice could cross the garbage can. The mice would try to climb down to the peanut butter, fall in the can and would not be able to get out. Then he'd fill the can with water and watch a whole bunch of mice drown all at once.
He told me he would make traps and catch small birds when he was a kid. I asked him if he let the birds go after he caught them, but I didn't get a clear answer on that one. I have a suspicious feeling that the birds didn't live to fly another day.
He's also into dead animal art, like some funky taxidermy. (Not like that gopher riding a snake, but two dead giraffe babies cut in half and sowed to each other in the middle.)
He seriously gives my psycho-vibes."
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock
"I have a cousin who I always knew was crazy. We live in a major city, and he never leaves his family's apartment. He just stays in the apartment drawing and playing games. But even though he's weird, I didn't mind because he's usually charming and wouldn't hurt a fly (or so I thought).
When I was in college, I took him and my friend to see a concert. We got pretty inebriated, and when we came back, we were hanging out in his living room. His parents were out of town. He started drawing in his little book, and I asked to see it. It turns out he was drawing me sitting there. It was an extremely detailed and accurate drawing of me. I flipped through the book and found all sorts of cool creatures and landscapes until I landed on... a drawing of his brother, dead and mutilated. An extremely detailed drawing. Turn the page, my dad, dead and mutilated. Turn the page, ME, dead and mutilated. Quietly, my cousin says, 'Ah, did you find the drawings of the family?'
I was in shock and disbelief. 'What is this? Why would you draw our family like this?'
He says something like, 'I think about it all the time. I think about killing you and the rest of them all the time.' My friend and I look at each other, frightened and silently planning on how we're going to get out of there. Our shoes were off, and our stuff was downstairs. He could see we were upset. He looked disappointed like we were trying to upset him. 'Are you scared?' As he said that he moved to the kitchen. You had to go past the kitchen to get out of the apartment. I was apprehensive that he was going to get a knife and try to stab us or something.
I said, 'Haha no, they're excellent, was just surprised at first. They're impressive though.' I had to trick him into thinking I was okay with the drawings so that he would let us leave.
He never did anything like this again, but he gets weird and creepy whenever he drinks or does illegal substances. I told my parents about what happened, and they just shrugged and said, 'Wow that's weird.'"
marcwitzel / Flickr
"My mother dated a crazy person after her divorce. We moved into an apartment, and he moved in with us not long after. He had long hair and blue eyes and a beard and was the spitting image of 'White Jesus.' He took it to heart after a few people told him about the resemblance.
He pulled me aside one day and told me that he had a secret and he wanted to tell me but I couldn't tell anyone else because the government was looking for him. He confided in me that he was, in fact, Jesus Christ and he escaped from a government facility after being captured in 1964. He said he escaped with the help of the Pope during his visit to the USA. The Pope's private security force broke him out, and once he was free, the Pope advised him to blend in with regular people. He said the Pope told him to not draw any attention to himself... so no miracles... and tell no one. But he trusted me with this information.
Jesus Christ was a roofer in case you were curious.
He constantly carried around his roofing hammer, and one day it went missing. Jesus lost his mind. He locked my mother, my girlfriend, and me in our apartment until it was found. This lasted three days. I was 18 at the time and was much larger then him and would have had no problem physically removing Jesus from our apartment but my mother insisted he had a mental episode and if I hurt him or did anything it may mess him up even worse.
It turns out he left the hammer (which is pretty much a hatchet) at a job site, and a co-worker drove over to return it.
I sat there like an idiot and watched this guy hand an ax to this lunatic and did nothing - big mistake.
Our three-day lockdown turned into five days. The final two days consisted of this illiterate nutcase attempting to read aloud from the Bible, getting maybe one in five words right. Remember in school when the teacher would have people read aloud and go around the room, and there was always a dude you knew couldn't read, and his part would last ten times longer than everyone else's part? Imagine that for 48 hours.
Jesus would only let us eat bread and water. And the bread ran out quickly.
There was a lake outside our apartment, and on the fifth day Jesus was looking through the blinds at the lake and called me over. He confided in me again. He said, 'You know I could walk right across that lake and right up Into heaven.'
I replied, 'If you do that I'll follow you anywhere. Go for it man I would love to see you do that.'
I planned to get him out of the apartment and lock the door, so my mom and girlfriend would be safe and pray to this guys dad that I could run faster than him and make it to a pay phone to call 911.
He looked at me with his crazy eyes and said, 'YOU TRYING TO GET ME CAUGHT?! I SAID NO MIRACLES!'
He raised up his roofing hammer and told me the only way I was following him anywhere was in the afterlife. It was at that point I thought, 'I'm going to die and then he is going to kill my mother and girlfriend.'
I realized that I no longer cared if Jesus's mental breakdown would be affected by me beating the tar out of him or not. That was no longer my problem. Mid-rant about some religious stuff about two inches from my face. I swung as hard as I could and punched him right in the sternum. He still had the hatchet cocked over his shoulder (like someone throwing a football), so the blow caused him to lose his balance and fall over a dining room chair.
He crumpled in a heap and my mother, ever the cool head screamed at me for hitting him. I had knocked the wind out of him, and he was gasping for air. My mother assumed he was dying. I would learn later in adulthood my mother was not the brightest lightbulb.
My girlfriend booked out the door with me close behind after grabbing my mother's arm and dragging her out of the door.
I called the police, and they came and got him.
Last I heard he was in a hospital after he locked himself in a bedroom still saying he was Jesus. He was committed after he used a metal throwing dart to pick veins out of his arm.
Never did get to see him walk across that lake though."
Real Moment / Shutterstock
"I have a male cousin who I strongly suspect is some kind of sociopath. When I was a child (I'm female by the way), I lived next door. He was in high school, and I was in grade school. His family had a pool and we would often go over and hang out, which I dreaded because this cousin would sneak up on me and either throw me into the water or get in with me if I were already in and hold me under until I was so out of breath I would actually breathe in water and go limp. He would pull me up with me coughing and choking, or I would claw desperately gasping for breath, he was laughing all the way. It was horrendous and it was creepy how jovial his expression was. He did this all the time and his parents or one of mine, usually, my grandmother, would either mildly admonish him if caught or he would do it when no one was around. For some reason, I was afraid to tell the extent of his abuses. There were smaller things, little acts of harassment like scaring me, taking my stuff, pulling my hair, taunting me, but the near drownings were the worst! This all went down between the ages of me being 5 and 9 years old and he was 14 to 18.
He also picked me up and held me, feet first, over the railing of the Royal Gorge Bridge on a family vacation. I think I went into shock and I just recall becoming very still. For that, he did get in trouble at least. He apologized because he was forced to, but his eyes were always kind of dead but with a sparkle if he were doing something egregious. Like a happy kind of twinkle.
Oh yeah, once he had his brother hold me down while he poured adult beverages down my throat, he did get caught for that because I had to go to the ER.
As a kid he was always running away and once killed a stray cat by choking it with barbed wire, he had some kind of leather gloves. The weird thing is is that all the neighborhood boys thought it was cool rather than call out his crazy. When he turned 16 and drove, he would purposefully run over stray animals and laugh and brag about it. NO ONE DID A THING! Enablers for sure. Talk about normalizing/minimizing bizarre behavior.
He was handsome, like model material (but not to me because I saw what he was under the skin), the high school quarterback, adored by all, girls fought over him, he played football on a scholarship at a Division 1 SEC school but suffered a knee injury that ended his career.
In high school and college he was always getting in trouble for frequent fights and driving under the influence, but he got bailed out every time, and again, probably due to his athletic ability, it was swept under the rug. He also bragged he had his girlfriends do his school work.
He has been married three times and has stuck with his third wife who is a martyr type. The scary thing is he is now a high school football coach and has been for decades and was just promoted to assistant principal. Scary, because I think he has no business working with minors."
BONEVOYAGE / Shutterstock
"I grew up with an abusive father, both emotionally and physically, although he 'dialed down' the physical abuse when I was around 11 or 12 years old, because my golden-child older brother had learned the ways of abusing me, physically as well.
Anyway, when my parents got divorced my brother went to do a year at a boarding school, so guess who was left alone with an emotionally abusive father who'd just lost his wife? His abuse increased exponentially, and it was of course even worse after I had spent the weekend at my mom's house.
People who've experienced abusers know that it is all about being in control. When my parents got divorced, my father insisted that my brother and I kept living with him. My brother went off to boarding school, and my father lost his job, plus the house we lived in was too expensive, so we had to move out. That's a lot of control to lose for an abuser, especially on top of a divorce, so you can probably imagine the abuse was at top level.
One weekend I was at my mom's, I fell very ill with the flu, so I ended up staying for a week. Then Monday the deal was I went to school from my mom's, and after school, I would come home to my father's. I was so sad at going back to that place, but back then I had no idea what abuse was, or that my father and brother were abusive (I was 13 at the time). My father wasn't home, so that was nice. He didn't come back before I had badminton practice, so I made myself some dinner and went to practice.
I was home around 9 p.m., and my father was furious! He yelled and screamed at me, demanding to know where I had been, and before I could answer he went on and on about how he had called everyone and no one knew where I was, and the deal was I was to come straight home from school. Completely shocked and baffled, I told him I had badminton practice, as I have had every Monday for almost three years straight, and it always ended at 9 p.m. there was nothing different about tonight. Then he got even mad at me because I never told him when I was going anywhere, and he screamed at me that if it was always on Monday, then I should write it on the fridge calendar, and all his misery was my fault because I couldn't even think to myself that I had to write it down and he screamed at me for so long I can barely remember what else he berated me for.
It left me completely hollow. I went to my room and just sat in silence, trying to understand why he was so mad at me, and I felt so ashamed of myself (a bitter side-effect of an abusive upbringing). Then, after a few minutes he came charging up the stairs, barged into my room and said, 'Get in the car, we're going for a drive.'
In my 30 years of life, I have never even come close to, being as scared of dying as I was when I sat in that car, waiting for my father to get in. He just started the car and started driving. I cannot describe it. I was so sure he was going to kill me.
It turned out we were just going to see a house. He even got mad at me for not asking where we were going.
I don't talk to neither my father, brother or mother anymore."
Andrey Armyagov / Shutterstock
"I have/had a very charismatic friend. People joked about him being in love with me because he sang high praises about me. I admit there was a bit of a fixation, but he was a cool dude, even if you couldn't count on him or his word. He'd say he'd be somewhere, and most often wasn't (on purpose - he rather not confront or deal with people trying to convince him to come). He was a compulsive liar, but it took me a long time to realize it, I just thought he didn't like saying no.
He confessed long ago in a group setting that he experimented with killing household pets (some rodents his family kept), including microwaving one. My then girlfriend said shocked, 'That's how psychopaths start.' He played it off as stuff kids do, I don't think he saw a problem in that (at least until he was called on it, otherwise he wouldn't have brought it up). Another story was how he ordered his four or five trained rottweilers to attack a few kittens that had hidden beneath his grass mowing tractor. He said he just wanted to scare them so he could turn on the tractor, but when the kitties ran away, the dogs caught them and tore them to shreds. He said it wasn't his intention.
A few years ago, we were all on a motorcycle road trip. Both of us got detached from the group speeding for a bit and then parked at a gas station to refuel or wait for them (very fuzzy memories). He told me he wanted to record me (he had a helmet GoPro), and he would signal me when he wants me to overtake the group and take the lead.
We saw the group go by us, we sped up and caught up with them, he signaled to me, I overtook his dad, and the bike just... skidded in a straight line. I loved riding on rainy days, it was not like I was short on experience losing traction momentarily, but it was a very sunny day. I don't recall what went through my head, but the video shows my bike just sliding from under me.
My arm got caught in the railing and ripped off right then and there. My friend almost hit me and my bike because he was right behind me. My whole body was left in a quite bad shape. Everyone gave me first aid, and as you can imagine it was a very shocking experience for us all. Handling an amputated limb, being forced to deal with the possibility of death, and confronted with the risks of our hobby. We all got scarred one way or another. I lost an arm, some of them stopped riding, and my friend sold his K1200R, eventually buying a slower 1200GS.
He started drinking. He started taking recreational substances. More than one friend in common tells me when the night is long enough, he might voice his regret in uncertain terms about my accident. He has avoided me since.
I recall him checking my bike up close. I think it was the day of the accident, but I'm not sure. I recall him saying he'll pay for my gas, but not to top it off. We were still far away from home, so I told him, I'll pay it, and our tanks just take enough gas for like 250 km, I'll top it off. Otherwise, I'll have to stop in 100 km again. I topped it off, and he still paid for it. When I go to pay they told me it was taken care of. I'm walking back, and that's when I see him crouching near my bike (possibly the front tire). I ask him what's wrong, and he tells me he is just checking it out.
I mean there is no way to know. There are many things that led me to think it wasn't caused by him. He was recording me from behind me, so causing a wreck on purpose would be weird as it'd endanger him, his father, and everyone else. He wasn't positioned for prime wreck filming, and quite the contrary he had to dodge both my tumbling body and my flying motorbike. He says when inebriated he shouldn't have, but he might just feel guilty just for suggesting I take the lead and being the butterfly flutter that led to that hurricane. Everyone was changed by that experience after all. It was traumatic stuff.
On the other hand, there are little details that rouse my suspicion. On the day of the ride, he uninvited two girls that'd be coming as our pillions. He always did stuff like this, so it wasn't out of character. Saying he'll pay for my gas, but not to top it off, is just weird on a bike. He paid for my lunch that day. Heck, he took me (and my girl) to Germany, all expenses paid before. I feel guilty even thinking he might have done something so nefarious.
He still hits me up every now and then via messages. Once he wanted me to hack someone's account (said not possible), another time he wanted 40 or 50 bucks (I said sorry I'm broke), and a third time he just showed me a photo of my father's internet contract (he was working for them in the call center, I didn't even reply because why would he even show me that?)."