It's funny how a situation can move from "perfectly normal" to insanely terrifying in just a few seconds.
We've rounded up some Redditors to share their horrifying moments with you. You may want to lock the doors and windows before you read the rest.
(Content edited for clarity.)
This Could Have Become Something Really Ugly
“I was about 10 or 11 and walking home from a friends house. It wasn’t a long walk, maybe 10 – 15 minutes, but shortly after starting my journey I noticed a man behind me. I’m not sure what it was, but something in my mind told me this guy was dangerous.
I wanted to play it off so I kept walking as normal, but decided to cross the street to see if he would follow me and he did. As he kept getting closer I picked up my pace. I went past my normal way home and decided to make a few turns that would not make sense if you were going somewhere, essentially going in a circle. The man was still behind me and getting closer.
The man was now about 20 feet behind me. As I continued to walk down the sidewalk, I saw a garage door that was open. I decided my best choice was to pretend this was my home and walk into the garage. I walked into the garage and to the door leading into the house. The man who was following me turned and started walking down the driveway.
I was terrified and turned the doorknob hoping it was open, and thankfully it was. When I opened the door, another man I hadn’t noticed popped out from under the car that was in the garage and looked at me and said: ‘What are you doing?’ My whole body was trembling and I whispered, ‘Please help me, this guy is following me.’ The man quickly sprang to his feet with a wrench in his hand and saw the other man walking down his driveway. He started shouting at the other man to get back and the man who was following me quickly ran away.
The man who saved me quickly brought me inside where I met his toddler and bewildered wife. After he explained everything to his wife they gave me some water and began trying to calm me down. After staying at their home for a short time, the couple ended up giving me a ride home.
I walked into the right garage that day and I’m thankful they were there to help me.”
“We Lock Our Doors Now”
“In my current house, we often leave the side/back door open, which is pretty stupid, considering where we (me and the girlfriend) live. But were in our 20’s and nobody in their 20s ever dies right? So that’s what we do.
Anyway, the side door has an outer glass door, and an inner solid door (with the deadbolt and lock). There have been a few times waking up where I’ve walked into the kitchen and down the little half flight of stairs to find the inside door open and the outside glass door shut. Chalking it up to us being idiots and not closing the door is generally how we stop that from freaking us out.
Around about 3 or 4 weeks ago, I wake up at 4 AM to go pee. I hear a faint beeping. As I start to walk towards the stairs to go down and pee, I realize it’s our fridge. There’s an alarm on it when you leave the freezer drawer or the doors open. I see that the freezer is cracked open just the faintest amount. Crap, that’s going to cost me a lot of electricity, how did I leave the freezer open, we didn’t even have anything frozen last night. Oh well, I close it and pee and go back upstairs to go back to sleep.
6 AM rolls around and my girlfriend wakes up and tells me I left the door open again, it’s cold outside and stop being such an idiot. I connect the dots in my head and get curious. Open the freezer up and check the contents.
We had 2 frozen pizzas, and one was gone. Had a fun time searching every nook and cranny of the house with a hammer to find nothing.
I’d honestly be less freaked out if something more edible was missing. Who on earth steals a frozen pizza? And did they cook it in my house? We lock our doors now.”
He Just Lost It
“I was in basic training for the Army infantry and you spend about 3 weeks going to the shooting range just about every day.
We were required to have a safety at each platform, so you would go up in pairs of two and one person would safety while the other would shoot.
The kid that was shooting on the platform next to mine had a mental breakdown on the platform, pointed his weapon right at the safety, and just started saying over and over that he was going to kill us all.
The Drill Sergeants came and tackled him and the MPs came and took him away. We had to have a meeting with the leadership of our entire training battalion to ask what happened.
I had never watched a person break down like that before and it was bone-chilling.”
“This Person Is Dead On The Inside”
“I was really super hungry once after some classes and had some time before my next class. I was really craving some burgers for whatever reason and there was one close by.
I didn’t really like that one cause there was always a guy there that creeped me out. Doing things like talking to random people and having no idea about personal space. But I figured he might not be there and if he is, I’ll go through the drive-thru. Well, something was wrong with the drive-thru but I looked and noticed it didn’t look like he was in there.
Went inside and almost like a joke, as soon as I walk in he comes out of the bathroom. ‘Oh, well,’ I thought. I’ll just make it quick and try to avoid him. I order and there weren’t any problems.
A group of black people was sitting in the back just eating and talking. The creepy guy, who is white, approaches me and proceeds to talk about them using some of the most racist words I have ever heard in my life. He also is so close to me that I am backing up to almost the wall.
He’s laughing about what he is saying (stuff like lynching), thinking it’s hilarious. He randomly talks about eating poop too and how the black people are the same color as the poop.
I tell the creepy guy to leave me alone and he looks at me with the deadest eyes I have ever seen. Like suddenly he was revealing himself at that moment. He goes sits somewhere by himself in another part muttering to himself.
My order was called and I made a complaint to the manager but he didn’t really seem to care. I knew then I would never go back to that McDonald’s ever again.
About 3 months later, the creepy guy ended his girlfriend’s life with a hammer. I only interacted with him for like 5 minutes but something about him indicated to me he was not right, like something was missing from him. I know it is a cliché, but something about his eyes just said to me ‘this person is dead on the inside.’ He is in prison for life and will never get out and shouldn’t.”
This Guy Wasn’t Letting Up
“When I was about 8, my mom was pregnant with my little sister and wanting to be a good little helper, I told her I would take the trash out. Now it was rather late out and completely dark so I had to go by the light of street lamps. Living where we did, we had a sort of communal trash bin outside that I had to cross the road to get to. As I’m turning around to go back inside, I hear someone knocking on my friend’s door screaming at them. I turned around to see what’s the matter and see a man with a weapon banging at the door. I freak out and hide behind the trash can for about 10 minutes (it felt like years) until I finally get the courage to sneak around the houses to go through my back door. Not long after my friend comes knocking at the back door having managed to escape with his family.
I later found out the dad was a dealer and this was somebody looking for a fix.”
Band On The Run
“My band was about to release its first EP so I was anxious and stressed out. We and a couple of band members were driving around in a hurry trying to pick up some equipment in time for our show and I ended overtaking, wrongly, a big truck by the right. He started to chase me and try to hit my car and throw me off the street.
This happened for around 8 blocks when I saw a red light. I had two options: stop and see what this dude would do to me or go through the red light. I choose the latter. This was a high traffic avenue with buses passing by all the time. I choose to try my luck and, well, was lucky. The truck stopped at the red light and I entered another street and went to hide in my garage a few blocks from there. When I went out of the garage, I saw this same truck on a parallel street a few blocks from where I was, possibly still looking for my car. Scared the life out of me.”
An Unlucky Morning May Have Been A Lucky Escape
“I’ve been attacked more than once, but the scariest time was probably after a taxi cab didn’t show up to drive me home. I was coming from my friends’ house, which taxi cabs could never find (this is pre-everyone-has-GPS). So I waited for the cab by a convenience store, which was closed. After an hour of waiting, I started to feel like a sitting duck. I felt like I was being watched, and when I called the cab company they said it would take 20 minutes to send someone out. I felt it was safer to be moving, and the walk home was about 20 minutes anyways– it was just 3 in the morning.
So I do my best with the materials I have. Pull my hoodie up, put my slip-on sandals in my bag, dial my phone to 911, ready to go at a button. I have to go through a woodsy area to get home. At a certain point, I hear someone running behind me. I always turn around when I’m afraid of the person behind me because predators know you won’t turn around if you’re scared. The guy looks like he’s jogging. He’s in brand new sneakers, clean socks, a sweatshirt, and jogging shorts.
Before I know it he breaks my nose with his forearm and tried to drag me into the forest. The phone is out of my hand before I can move my finger the few centimeters to hit the dial button. This is not the first time I’ve been attacked, and I grew up with violent brothers. I am small and weak but getting hit doesn’t shock me. I am also very hard to keep hold of. I know some very effective ways to break a grip and I bite. I was also screaming bloody murder.
This went on for fifteen minutes — a long time to struggle for your life with someone. Eventually, I think he realized he better look for an easier target and took off. I dialed 911, and the lady wanted me to stay where I was. I refused and told her to direct the police to head south on the street I was on. The cops drove me home but didn’t take a report or anything, and I called the police department several times but no one ever got back to me.
I left town for a while and came back a few years later, and started seeing reports of a violent serial abuser in the area.”
Maybe A Lucky Coincidence Saved Her Life?
“There was an old guy in the country town I live in who always went out of his way to talk to me whenever he saw me. At first, I just thought he was a lonely old guy, but then he started to try and touch me, caressing my arms, etc.
The town would hold events we all went to and one day he told me in a very sleazy way that he had taken some nice photos of me at the event.
I freaked out and said to my mother I wish he would just go off and die. He dropped dead ten days later and yes, he had many many candid pics of me on his computer.”
A Terrifying Moment That Seems Frozen In Time
“Once, many years ago, I got a taxi to the bus station late at night. I’m sitting up front in the car, and the guy is quiet, but he’s driving in the right direction, and I let myself get distracted.
When the station is more or less in sight, the driver takes an unexpected right and heads up a hill above the station. It’s totally dark, no street lights, and the only thing you can see is from the beams. He just pulls into this lot and parks up.
Everything about it feels off.
Now I had my wallet out as I was getting ready to pay, and I had at the time a credit card shaped multi-tool. So I slip this out instead of the cash, and crack it open, exposing one of the tools.
I don’t say a word, but I just flip it around my hand like a butterfly knife, and then grip it with the ‘blade’ exposed, and look over at the guy.
He also doesn’t say a word and starts driving again. He drives down the other side of the hill, and into the bus station, and doesn’t open his mouth again until he asks for the fare.
I never said a word back the whole rest of the journey, but I was on high alert the whole time, and I honestly believe if he’d moved too fast I would have stabbed him, I was that tense.
We can’t have been more than 30 seconds drive from the bus station in that lot, it was close enough I could almost believe it was just a convenient dropping off point, but it seemed like the middle of nowhere.
To this day I don’t know what the plan was, but whatever it was, it wasn’t worth it to him.”
A Pain In The Neck
“I was at a few days long conference for youth. It was pretty much just a time for teenagers to do stuff and have fun.
On the first night, I met a girl who was shocked to find out we were the same age, because of my incredible shortness. When I told her my name, she said that was the name she went by at school. She didn’t tell me her real name.
There was a dance that night, and she was pulling me (literally) over to her group all through the night.
During the drive to the house I was staying at, another guy started saying things like, ‘Don’t talk to Anne, she’s creepy.’ I did not follow the advice the next day, although I did try to.
During breakfast she kept walking over to stroke my face or hug me from behind, calling me ‘My little one’ and ‘My Gay,’ which I’m still not sure where she got that from. For clarification, she did call another guy ‘My Straight.’
At lunch, she came to my table and started running her hand through my hair and said ‘This is just the beginning. Wait till I get warmed up to you a bit; then you’ll think I’m crazy!’ The concerning thing was, I already thought she was crazy.
There was another dance that night, and it went fine. I did a decent job of avoiding Anne for most of the night. After the last song played, Anne walked over to me and motioned me to come closer. I didn’t, so she did. Anne hugged me over the shoulders and I felt something weird on my neck. I wasn’t sure what had happened until after Anne gave me a creepy smile while walking away and the guy standing next to me asked: ‘What just happened?’ I responded: ‘I think she just licked my neck…’ I reached up to touch where I had felt it. ‘Yep… My neck is wet.'”
Followed From Work To Home
“A delivery driver dropping off a package at my job tried to follow me home. I passed him in the hallway as I was leaving. He just looked crazy/off and gave me a really bad feeling. He was parked right out front and by the time I got to my car he was heading down the driveway to the street. He turned right. I turned left. I checked my rear view mirror just as he made a bad U-turn.
I was on edge at that point but didn’t want to make assumptions, so I decided to continue with my plans to stop at the store. He followed me three miles. When I parked, he parked a row away facing me. This just confirmed he was stalking me.
I was very familiar with this Super Walmart and knew they had many security cameras. I casually walked inside as he waited in his vehicle. Once inside I ran to the manager’s stand and told them what was happening. As I’m talking, the crazy guy comes into the store looking for me.
He guessed incorrectly that I’d gone down the main aisle on that side when in fact I was hiding next to the manager. The manager had an employee walk me to my car.
Luckily a police officer had just pulled someone over two rows away. I drove over there real fast. As I waited for the officer’s help, I saw crazy dude leave the store. He was looking for me but left when he didn’t see my car. The officer just wrote down what I told him.
The next morning I reported the incident. It was escalated and I got a visit from the HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) Director. Turned out he knew the owners of the delivery company and found out this guy had some major issues and lengthy criminal background.
Crazy guy was taken off of his route and I never saw him again. The HSE also made the local police department send an officer to take a statement. I was given tips on staying safe if it happened again. It didn’t make me feel much better, mostly because the officer told me maybe the guy probably didn’t know how else to get my attention. Like what? All I did was walk past the guy, we never spoke.”
A Parent’s Worst Nightmare
“A few years back, I woke up in the middle of the night. We had a 2-month newborn sleeping in the room next door. I had a video monitor on my bedside table so that my wife and I could easily check on him. So, I clicked the button that turns on the video image, and what I saw scared me like nothing ever before. My baby boy was gone. Now, I know that instincts should have made me run right into the baby’s room. Instead, I froze. I looked over, and my wife was sleeping next to me. Finally, I moved. But not to run into the other room, like I should have done. Instead, I turned up the volume on the baby monitor. I heard another woman’s voice singing a lullaby. I’m not kidding. Another woman was singing to my baby in a very soft, gentle and melodic voice. I don’t remember what song it was, something like ‘Go to sleep, little baby.’ Finally, my freeze broke. I jumped up, ran through the hallway and burst into my boy’s room. He was sound asleep in his crib. No woman. No singing. Turns out, the monitor was picking up my next-door neighbors’ monitor. They had just bought the video monitor for their own newborn (on our recommendation). Nothing supernatural here, but I don’t know if I’ve ever experienced something scarier.”
“The Next Thing I Know, He Was…”
“When I was younger, probably five or six, I was in one of those public farmers markets where people come to trade away old items or sell fresh produce. I had wandered away from my mom and found one of those intricate gumball machines that put on a little show of giving you a gumball when you put your twenty-five cents in. I was so mesmerized by the display I didn’t see a man walk up behind me. The next thing I know, he was slamming my face into the machine. I quickly spun around and threw the man’s arm away from me, screaming as I ran back to my mom. When I looked back at the man, I saw he was foaming at the mouth and falling over on the floor, trying to use the machine to stay on his feet. The next thing I remember is seeing an ambulance arrive as we drove away, and I never really found out what was happening to him. I do hope he was okay though, despite traumatizing me.”
The Close Call In The Car Park
“I was nearly homeless and I had to sleep in my car several months ago.
I would get paranoid that people would see me sleeping, so I covered the windows with bits of newspaper and whatnot. One night, I wake up and see the outline of a person outside my car.
They were just standing there. I was half awake, so I just tried to ignore them and closed my eyes. When I opened them a second later, the person had turned their head like a dog or a curious serial killer. Then they tried to open the doors, every door, slowly pulling on the handles as to not make a lot of noise.
They walked slowly around my car, trying every door until they got to the door closest to me. That’s when I noticed I hadn’t locked that door. I waited, they waited. Then I heard the door click open; they had slowly been opening it. I felt the cold air drift in through the crack but then the next second a car pulled into the rest area and the person swiftly walked away. If a car hadn’t pulled into the lot at that moment, I don’t know what would have happened. I still think about it.”