Did something just move out the window? Did that light just blink? These people went through the truly horrifying experience of being stalked, usually by someone that they knew quite personally. It was beyond chilling, and it required extreme action to gain freedom from these awful people. Content has been edited for clarity.
Content warning: these stories contain disturbing experiences, as well as online and in-person harassment.
"I was chatting with a gal online through a dating site. She was nice enough and we were having good conversations, but we had not yet even began speaking on the phone. It turns out a friend of hers was friends with one of my friends. Small world.
I'm at home one day puttering around and I hear a knock at my door. I look out the window and see a car I don't recognize. My anxiety meter starts pinging, so I pull a butcher knife, brace my foot so the door can only open a bit, and crack the door. She is standing there and tells me she got the address from my friend and is asking to come in. I was weirded out and declined, so she got upset. She started crying and telling me how this was supposed to be a pleasant surprise. I tried to send her on her way gently, and she got angry and stormed off, finally driving away.
I thought that was it. Then she starts emailing me, saying that she loves me, then starts calling me, (my idiot friend gave her my number), and even leaving gifts at my door that would be there in the morning. I lived in Mesa, AZ, and she was in Tucson, about an hour away. I eventually had to threaten her with a restraining order. My friend had talked to hers about what was going on, and she said, 'Oh yeah, she's nuts, she's done this before.'
I felt a lot better when I left the state."
"I broke up with a physically abusive boyfriend, and at the time I worked about a 25-minute drive from where I lived (and I always drove the same road home). My schedule never changed, and I began seeing his car and occasionally his friends' cars along my drive, always parked off from the road a little and around some seriously sharp corners. At first, I didn't think anything of it, until it began happening at night (I'd do inventory every Tuesday night and be at work until 10 p.m.; this was my only full night shift). This went on for about a month, until I started switching my routes to and from work because I was getting creeped out. Easter ended up rolling around and I, again, had to stay late to help my coworker change the signage (I worked at Subway). It was getting close to 9 p.m., and the work phone began ringing off the hook (was my ex). My coworker, who knew what was going on, just muted the phone, and we continued doing what we needed to do. Shortly after, we saw my ex standing outside, in the middle of the road, staring into the restaurant. I hid behind the counter as soon as I could and my coworker ended up telling me when he left. I got calmed down enough until we got to my car to find out he broke into my car and left a bunch of weed and a threatening note.
I bought a new car the next week, fully equipped with a very loud alarm. I ended up moving to a town 6 hours away to be safe! But we all live and learn."
"It was terrifying when my dad showed up to my place of work. We had been estranged, but he knew I worked at Starbucks and had traveled from location to location, in order to figure out where I had transferred to and when my shifts were scheduled. He even had the guts to call the store and pretend to be me to get my schedule information. I saw his vehicle parked out front and freaked out and ran inside. He followed in after about thirty minutes (right as the morning rush was hitting full swing), and he started berating me in front of all my coworkers and customers.
That is the day I went and learned about restraining orders.
He had a bizarre obsession with trying to insert himself into my life. I had made it very clear that I did not want to have anything to do with him. Several times. It wasn’t until he stalked and harassed me openly that I realized the situation was getting way out of hand."
"I was bartending at a local hole in the wall, and I had a regular that was nice and flirty (typical bartender/customer stuff). One day he says to me, 'You were at John's house Sunday morning. You guys a thing?'
I asked him how he knew I was there, and he said he saw my car. I was a little taken aback, but I was parked on the main road and my car was fairly distinctive, so I didn't think much of it. A couple weeks later, he'd made a joke that I was never home, because my car was always gone when he passed by. That made the hair on my neck stand up, but I don't exactly live off of the beaten path, so okay. When I finally realized that it was more than casual observation was when he started complimenting me on different outfits and hairstyles I wore on my days off or prior to my shift. He'd also make comments about receiving packages or coming home after shopping. For example, he would say, 'You should find someone who would carry those groceries into the house for you. I'd never make you carry the bags in the house after all that shopping you did on Saturday.'
It was really creepy and I couldn't shake the feeling of being watched for a long time. I stopped being friendly and was just very professional in the way I interacted with him. Eventually he stopped coming into the bar during my shifts. I don't know if that's when he stopped noticing my comings and goings, but I still felt like there were eyes on me. The whole thing made my skin crawl."