It’s the absolute worst when you see something you didn’t mean to see that you know you won’t be able to get out of your head for a while… or maybe forever.
The following Ask Redditors responded to the question, “What is the most disturbing or creepy thing you’ve witnessed in real life?”
As a disclaimer, you should know a few stories in this article may include disturbing content. Reader discretion is advised.
I was riding the subway and saw a guy dressed as a clown talking to a 20-something-year-old hipster girl across the aisle from him. This wasn’t a fun circus-type clown outfit…think sleazy greasepaint over day old stubble, stained clothing type clown.The the makeup, full get up with polka dot pants, big shoes and everything. Seemed to be his profession.
My dad died of cirrhosis of the liver. It’s not a pretty way to go. The worst part about it is that when the liver stops working the way it should, it causes a build up of ammonia in the blood that can severely affect the brain.
My dad was a former marine and was always a very level headed guy, so when his mind started to go, it was terrifying. I can remember one day, him and I were alone and he suddenly started talking in gibberish. He stood up, walked to the middle of the room and started peeing in his pants. I asked him what he was doing and he said “What are you doing in the bathroom? I’m trying to go pee, get out!” We were in the living room. A minute later, he collapsed on the floor and I had to call 911.
It might not sound creepy to some, but seeing your parent like that is awful.
I was walking with a friend on the sidewalk of a crowded street in the city I was living in a few weeks ago. There was a loud, terrible noise that made us both spin around and I witnessed someone being launched into the air after being hit by a car and their body being mangled on the ground from the impact. I rushed over and the person was obviously dead (eyes wide open, blood tricking out of mouth).
I’m not deeply scarred by it since I’ve come to accept things like this happen every day, but I do think about it often. The only person who knows about it besides me is the person I was with and my closest friends. I would rather keep that experience in the past.
I’ve experienced a lot of strange events in my life but there’s one memory I’ll never forget. My older brother and I would walk to my mom’s friends house after elementary school because our parents worked until 6 and the school was right beside her friends house. So anyway, my brother would always climb trees in front of her house to kill time. One day I’m hanging out front with him and he’s really high up on this tree, when out of nowhere I see him slowly fall from out the tree and immediately hits his face right on the pavement. Being really young, I thought he was joking but after looking at his face and seeing blood everywhere, I knew it was serious. I ran inside and told my mom’s friend what happened and she called my father and the ambulance. My brother broke his right leg and his nose. Every time he’d come around the corner I’d get scared because his eyes were black. I’ll never forget it.
My grandma was in hospice care at home, dying of cervical cancer. I was in high school at the time. A couple days before she died she was making these terrible gasping sounds that I’ll never forget. The day she died, I was playing League of Legends with a friend on Skype when all of a sudden my brother who was the first one to notice she wasn’t breathing anymore yelled, “Hey grandma’s dead.” I’ll never forget the whole family gathering at the foot of her bed, saying their last goodbyes before they carted her body out to get studied and cremated at some university. I held her cold dead hand and looked at her face. It was unreal. She was so cold. Her mouth was open. They sent her ashes to us in a UPS box, which sits in our closet to this day.
A little boy went missing at a beach pond we were at when I was a kid. I was about ten, he was younger than me by a couple years, I’m thinking he was about seven. We had seen his mom go from nervous anxiety to all out hysterics walking around on the sand – then they announced a beach wide search. All of the adults linked arms and walked out into the water searching. Everyone held their breath waiting.
My dad came walking forward with this little boy laying in his arms, mouth so blue. He had found him literally submerged under the murky water in deep mud out away from the shore. His mother was screaming and pounding on his father’s chest – the little boy had tried to swim to catch up to a little boat and had gone off in and he drowned.
I remember thinking he was alive, despite the blue lips. I think he did spit up mud when they laid him out for CPR but I doubt he was alive. Watching my dad walk out with him in his arms is something I’ll never forget.
We went to the funeral, the mother was inconsolable – you could tell that her and the husband were never going to get through this together. She clearly blamed him for the loss of their child.
I was on a trail ride with a woman and her horse. Her horse was really, REEEALLY old but was her best friend. All was good until we got to the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden her horse has a heart attack. When a horse has a heart attack they rear straight up. The horse feel over right on top of her.
We were in Western Saddles, the saddle horn went right through her sternum and killed her. We rolled the dead horse off of her and all we could hear was the rush of air leaving her (or entering I have no idea she just made a strange gurgling noise that sounded like an old coffee maker).
When I was 12 I was coming home from playing Saturday morning cricket. To get home I walked down a pathway like a park lane with no houses. As I turned into the lane, there was an older guy – looked like Fred Flintstone with bad acne scars, and was talking to two little boys. It just seemed off… When I was half way down the lane I turned around and the older of the two little boys had pulled his pants down. He looked at me then back to the old guy. I ran the rest of the way down the lane and found some teenagers and said what was happening. They ran back to the alley but there was no-one there. Just two bikes. I hope they hightailed it. I told my folks but I wish I’d just stood my ground.
I used to be an Emergency Medical Technician and while I was working we got a call for a multiple car collision. We get on the scene and there are a few injuries among the car drivers but nothing too serious.
Going through each person, I noticed a man kneeling on the ground facing away from me. I ran up and asked if he was hurt and noticed he was holding his son. Apparently one of the cars hit and killed the kid while the dad and son were walking. I put my hand on his shoulder.
The dad was so grief stricken he was not breathing and when he finally took a breath, he screamed like something I’ve never heard before. That still haunts me. No one should have to see their child die.
I saw an old lady walking down the street screaming stuff like,”Mom, I want my mom, where’s my mom? I can’t do it anymore I can’t.”
She was in tears and seemed so disturbed and not well mentally.
I’m sitting on the couch alone at night watching TV, lights are off, and I’ve got my cat in my lap. Suddenly something startles my cat and he sits bolt-upright, facing me, looking directly over my shoulder. His eyes go like saucers and he starts low-growling (never heard him growl before). He was frozen, staring, didn’t move.
I’ve got nothing behind me (that I know of) but a brick wall with maybe a half meter gap between the couch and that wall. So I’m frozen in place watching my cat who is frozen in place watching something behind me, and he is watching it intently.
At this point there’s no doubt in my mind from his reaction that there’s someone behind me (he’s only scared of one thing – strangers). Now if it was a bug or a moth his gaze would be darting and he’d have some playfulness about him. Nope. Not in this instance. He was locked onto something that truly scared him. He was a statue. Fight or flight mode.
Eventually I get the balls up to slowly turn around. Nothing. I look behind the couch in the gap. Nothing.
My cat settles and goes back to sleep.
Either a frigging ghost was in the room with me that night or my cat is a jerk. He scared the life out of me though with sheer, creeping fear as I genuinely thought someone had snuck up behind me.
I was at a movie alone, and I came out to get get some soda and there was a guy waiting outside the theatre just looking…off. I came out 45 minutes later to pee and the guy was in the movie theatre just standing around in the lobby. There was something totally out of place about him. He was dressed normal for the area, but he was looking around nervously and trying to avoid any sort of eye contact. So I look at the movie times and there are like 3 kids movies getting out in a half hour.
I ask him,”Are you waiting for your kids to get out of a movie?” And he ran out the door. It was a theatre in a mostly empty strip-mall and it was like 40 degrees fahrenheit out so he probably wasn’t out for a stroll.
I don’t know if he was just an odd ball or if he had actual nefarious intentions, but it stuck with me.
This happened when I was around 22-years-old. I was driving over a mountain pass, going around a corner, when I saw a mob of crows on the body of a deer that had been hit by a truck. As my vehicle approached, some of the birds flew off the body…and the deer attempted to stand up. These crows were eating the deer ALIVE, after he had been injured by the impact of the semi-truck.
When I was severely sleep-deprived – maybe six or seven days without sleeping – I stupidly tried to go into work, seeing triple. Of course, they immediately realised something was up and ordered me home. My fiance came to pick me up and made me go to bed. While I was getting undressed, I saw this thing in the corner of the room. I can only describe it as a spider, but it wasn’t a spider. It was about three feet across and looked like a big, shiny black cannonball with eight really, really sharp legs. It was crouched in the upper left corner of our room and it was going to shred me if I fell asleep.
I started screaming and crying, of course, and my fiance had to call an ambulance and have me sedated.
I was 14 and had just had a major fight with my mom so I stomped out if the house and walked to the school yard to calm down. A 4 year old boy is near the side if the school throwing a ball against the wall and catching it. I look around for his parents. He is alone. He looks at me with these piercing blue eyes and says “Hello, and how are you today?” in a totally adult voice and formal manner with a weird smile. I instantly felt a chill run down my spine. I booked it home and hugged my mother.
I think it was raining and I was driving to my girlfriend’s house to drop her off. It was around 8pm. So I’m turning right and that took me to a hilly back road (don’t know how to describe it, streets in my country are way different than the ones in the US). Right after I took the turn, a car dropped off a little girl, no more than 12, pale skin (in my country everyone is a shade of beige). She looked scared. It is of note that nobody would have dropped off someone in that turn.
Me and my now-ex were still kind of high so our decision-making was impaired, we literally thought it was a ghost girl. I now wonder what happened there that night, wondered if I could have done something, or if she was kidnap bait.
What I’m sure of is, that was not normal, and something happened.
Walking home one evening from the pub at about 1:30am or so. Saw a guy had pinned a girl up against a wall just outside a shop. She ducked under him, got a little further on, but he grabbed her, pinned her against the wall a second time, and started to pull her towards the alley next to them.
I was probably about 40 yards away at this point, and other people were walking past but they didn’t seem to pay any attention at all.
The closer I got, the more distressed she obviously was. Tears, her top was obviously torn at the shoulder, and he was pressing himself up against her.
Once I got about 10 yards away – and with me being very English – I quite firmly said “Excuse me, are you alright?”
He turned, looked at me, then ran off into the night. She kind of garbled a thank you and rushed past me in the opposite direction.
Called the police to report that there had been some sort of assault, but obviously both of them were long gone by that point. Never seen either of them again, but the fact that no-one else seemed to be bothered to come to the aid of a person obviously in so much distress has disturbed me ever since.
One that comes to my mind is when I was driving my car home through the highway at night (it’s a 40 minute ride) and the traffic slowed down. There were no ambulance’s lights, neither police’s light, but I spotted a car at the side of the road, and two guys on their cellphones. I thought “Ok, maybe their car just broke and their calling for support, the curious people are slowing the traffic down.”
But then, when approaching the car, I saw that cars from the left lane were diverting from something. Well, it’s has a blanket over it so I realised it was a run over. It was ok as run overs can happen on highways, but the disturbing part was when I noticed that maybe 40 meters away from the car/blanket scene, it was the other half of the body with no blanket covering it, and all cars deviating from it. It just happened cause neither ambulances or police was there yet.
That was messed up, because you really couldn’t notice what you would see until you already have seen it, I hope no kids watched that cause it could be traumatising.
When I was 8 years old my dad had gotten a rabbit. We lived in the woods so he let the rabbit live outside without a cage. The rabbit never left our yard, maybe because it was too tame and knew we were the source of most of its food.
I would pet it and love on it whenever it let me.
One day I really wanted to pet it, but it was running from me and I was having fun chasing it, kinda like playing tag. It ran under a pile of logs and I was small enough to fit in as well.
As I’m looking for the rabbit a large log falls directly onto the rabbit and I was forced to watch it as it died. My uncle was visiting at the time and must have gotten an adrenaline rush because the next thing I know there is a bunch of logs being lifted and thrown and I’m being pulled out.
I cried for hours and never forgot what I had seen. My dad felt terrible.
I was sitting on a fairly empty train on my way home when I notice the only person in front of me is facing me and staring at me. I look at him and he smiles this weird smile which made me feel really weird so I just decided to look out the window. He gets up and starts doing really exaggerated karate moves in front of the doors and ends up kicking the door. A woman behind me starts shouting at him telling him not to do that so I turn around to look at her and see she actually works on the overground. So I’m thinking this will all be fine, he’s not going to start anything with an employer. Also we were the only three in the carriage.
He continues doing moves and kicking things and she makes a call to report him as the train was terminating at the next stop. I try to take my time getting up and getting off the train because I don’t want to be anywhere near this guy but somehow end up behind him and the woman on the stairs leading into an isolated tunnel connecting platforms. I’m half way down the stairs and the woman is already in the tunnel, the guy starts moving really quickly to her side (no one else was in the tunnel) and reaches in his pocket and then turns around and sees me and stops. By this point I’m panicking, there’s no one around and he might have a knife and my voice isn’t really working anymore. I freeze on the stair case and he squares up to me (the lady has now left the tunnel). I almost piss myself and turn around and run back up the stairs to wait on the platform for another train to get me out of there. He didn’t follow. I sometimes wonder what would have happened to her if it were just him and her in the tunnel.
My older sister and I were home alone one night during a storm (brother at a friend’s, parents at the bar). The lights had gone out for a bit earlier so we were hanging out in her room together in case it happened again. Her room had a sliding glass door that faced the backyard. The backyard had two sections, the concrete porch area just outside the house, and steps that led up to an elevated part with grass and the pool. She looks outside and noticed a pair of man’s legs visible – someone standing on the elevated part and facing the house. The overhang from the roof made it so you couldn’t see the rest of him. The guy didn’t do anything, just stood there in the rain. She thought it was her boyfriend trying to scare us so she calls him to yell at him and doesn’t believe that he’s actually home until he puts his mom on the phone. We look back and the guy was gone – and I’d seen him too so it wasn’t her imagination. Called the bar to talk to our parents and our dad convinces us to not call the police, that they’re on their way home, that it was probably some neighbor just cutting through the yard. They didn’t actually get home for another two hours.
I lived in a haunted house a long time ago and there were always things going on that were creepy. The memory that jumps out at me right now is when I was laying in bed, staring up at the ceiling fan that hadn’t worked in months. (Faulty wiring in the house and such.) So one morning I was just laying there, staring up at it, not really thinking about much. Just sort of in a meditative state, when suddenly the ceiling fan turned on by itself full blast, with the light on and everything. It’s probably because of the faulty wiring somehow connecting again, but it still scared me so much. I jumped up and ran out of the room.
When I was in college, I worked at Target. When anything major happened in any of the stores security wise, we would always get a heads up. Most of the time it was thieves in the local area. This one time though we were told that in another state, a 10-year-old girl that was by herself in the toy department was grabbed by an older man and walked into one of the employee bathrooms. He shaved her head and changed her clothes and walked out the front door with her. It took less then 7 minutes from start to finish. I didn’t have kids at the time but now I have three and it really disturbs me still to think about.
I was outside work one day having a smoke when I heard something that sounded like a car crash so I walked around the corner to check it out. Turns out a woman had hit an elderly man on a motor scooter who was crossing at a crosswalk with his elderly wife, also on a scooter. She sent him flying about 20 feet and his head was split open like a watermelon – blood everywhere, he was obviously dead.
The woman then gets out of her car, sees what she’s done and immediately vomits everywhere and collapses. Horrible screaming that I won’t forget from the man’s wife while she just sits in the middle of the street on her scooter. That was some messed up stuff.
Pay attention when you’re driving kids. You are responsible for about 4000 pounds of steel when you’re behind that wheel.
I lived in the downtown area of my city for 3 years with my husband. One night after our favorite bar closed down we decided to walk down the street and get a couple slices of pizza instead.
On the way there we see a girl who is so messed up she literally cannot walk. She was falling down drunk trying to walk down the street with her head rolling from side to side as she is walking. Just picture a 110 pound rag doll trying to stand. Then we realize that she is digging in her bag like she’s looking for keys.
So I stop her and ask if she is okay, and she just keeps going “I have to get away. I have to get away.” That’s when we notice the trail of blood on the sidewalk behind her. Her neck is bright red like she had been choked, and her lip is swollen. We call 911. She finally takes a deep breath and says she thinks she was drugged, but knows she was sexually abused
Before we can even get her calmed down enough to tell us her name, a guy with a big scratch on his face and blood on his shirt comes walking up and starts saying she is his wife, and he needs to get her home. My husband stepped in and says no I think we will find out where she needs to go from her. The guy tries to swing at my husband, who knocks him and pins him down.
Then the woman starts seizing.
So we were on the sidewalk, my husband has the guy pinned to the ground, I’ve got this woman’s head in my lap hoping she doesn’t die while we wait for the ambulance to get there. What I always found the most disturbing wasn’t the evil that drove that man to so that to the woman, it was that 10 people gathered around us in the course of the exchange, not one offered to help. But one did take a video.
The most disturbing was probably picking out what I wanted to be buried in when I was 21. I was about to have surgery and the neurologist told my parents there was a good chance I wouldn’t make it.
I still think about it sometimes and I’m 44 now.