People have instincts for a reason. When that sickening feeling hits right in the stomach, that means something's definitely wrong here and it's best to get out while it's still possible. That instinctual, gut feeling has helped many a person out of a potentially life threatening situation and it's the feeling they credit for the reason they're still alive today. Always listen to the gut, it has a way of knowing things before the mind can even comprehend the danger it's in. Content has been edited for clarity.
"There’s been a few times where I hadn’t listened to my gut but one sticks out where I did. I used to live in a smaller Minnesotan town down near some train tracks and a bike/running path that extends out of town into the woods. One evening I’m sitting outside on my porch drinking with my buddy. Two dudes walk up on us kind of out of no where and immediately something seemed off with them. It’s a college town and wasted people come up onto your porch a lot or randomly just say hello on their way to or from the bars downtown. But these dudes had a bad vibe to them. I had a little black Louisville slugger lying next to me on the porch so I grabbed and just held it across my lap. One dude asks us, 'You guys got an extra smoke?' Buddy says nope.
The other guy comes up real close almost onto the porch and says, 'Did you see my face?'
I just kept looking forward but not directly at him and just said, 'Nah man we didn’t see anything.'
He said something like, 'Good...Lil punk...' and they both walked away.
Two nights later I’m sitting in my living room with the same buddy and the local news is on. Two guys arrested for robbing and stabbing a man a couple nights back on the trail down by the train tracks next to where I live. My buddy had looked at their faces coming up and I had seen the dude clear as day that had asked for the smoke. It was those same guys."
"I woke up at 3 am once sitting upright in bed. I felt on alert and my heart raced when I saw that my cat was on alert too, wide awake by my feet with his ears perked up. But I didn’t see or hear anything weird. Something didn’t feel right and I couldn’t relax. So I got up and went to the kitchen. Turned on some lights and ate food even though I wasn’t that hungry. Eventually went back to bed.
We discovered the next morning that someone had stopped while in the process of using some kind of tool to silently cut a big hole in the glass window in the living room. They were trying to break in. Right next to the bedroom. I think the lights I turned on scared them away."
"At age 5, I was almost abducted by strangers at the park who had a bunch of toys on a blanket and tried to lure me into their motorhome. I looked back to my dad, who was talking to his friend maybe 100 yards away, I got a 'tummy ache' when one of them tried to coax me by reaching for my arm to lead me away, and I screamed and ran back to my dad. Years later, I found out those same people had abducted other kids who weren’t so lucky. Never ignored a gut feeling since.
Trust me, once my dad got over the shock, he let me have it for not only wandering off but speaking to complete strangers. I talked to my mom a bit about it today and she told me my dad broke down and blamed himself. Positive outlook on this though. This is just one instance (scary as it may be) where my gut led me in the right direction and my instinct for danger is now uncanny. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I trusted my instincts and it kept me safe still does."
"I was walking home. Wasn't late and I'm from a pretty safe area but it was that time of year when it starts to get dark really early so felt kind of ominous.
Anyway, I pass this guy in a red sweater and red tracksuit bottoms and he looks at me funny. Maybe he's high, maybe he's hammered...either way something not quite right about him.
I keep going. Look behind me, he's still there. Cross the road. He crosses with me. As soon as I turn a corner I sprint to my apartment complex and run into the coded gate and wait. He rocks up a minute later and stares at me through the gate. He just stares at me for a good 10 or so seconds then runs back the way he came.
"I'm a firefighter. We got called out to a tree fire started by fallen power lines. We pull up in the truck and I'm trusting that my driver and crew leader are doing their job and have good situational awareness.
We get out of the truck and we've parked next to a set of power lines (not fallen). It's a very windy night and I can see the lines swinging so I voice my concerns to my crew leader, who says it'll be fine.
We get the hose out and I'm ready to start putting the fire out with two other firefighters near me when I get a chill. I look up see the lines swinging violently and yell, 'Everyone MOVE!' As the three of us sprint and dive out of the way, we hear a thwip and crack and sure enough, the line we were under came loose and stayed connected to the power pole. If I hadn't got that chill, chances are we would have had three fried firefighters."
"I’m a type one diabetic with Gastroparesis and chronic vomiting disorder. When I get sick, I get REALLY sick. Back in early January I got a stomach bug from my daughter. After not being able to hold down even water for a few hours and my blood sugars spiking upwards with insulin not even touching them my partner and I ubered to the closest hospital. I was given IV fluids and antiemetics plus IV insulin for a few hours and then told that had “gotten me through the peak” of my illness and sent me home.
As soon as I got home and the meds wore off I was back in the exact same spot. So three days later we go back to the ER. Exact same song and dance. As the doc was telling me she was going to send me home, I was leaning over the side of the bed and puking into a bag my partner was holding. She had to raise her voice to be heard above my retching to tell me, 'I think you’re fine and I’m sending you home.' I begged her to keep me longer for treatment. I told her I wasn’t comfortable with that and felt unsafe going home like that. She basically told me that was too bad and that they needed the ER bay for 'someone with an EMERGENCY and not the tummy flu.'
I don’t actually remember much after that. I remember going home and asking my partner to kill me because it hurt so bad and no one would help me. I remember paramedics in my house. I remember being in the ER and suddenly not being able to breathe after nine failed attempts to get an IV into my dehydrated veins. Then I just remember my partner saying, 'This is too much, I need to call your mom. I’m sorry,' and then I woke up two days later in the ICU.
So I guess after we got home from the second ER visit, I was still uncontrollably vomiting and heaving. My blood sugar wouldn’t budge a single inch. My husband was wetting down my hair with washcloths in bed while I was puking into a giant mixing bowl. He says he went to empty it for me and noticed solid pieces in the stomach bile and had a terrible feeling about it. I hadn’t eaten anything or even had more than a few sips of water for the past week. There shouldn’t have been anything solid. So he ended up calling 911 for me. When the paramedics got there, they said I was so sick they would have to take me to the closest hospital, the same one that kept sending me home.
So he lied to the EMTs. Told them my endocrinologist was at a different hospital so they’d have to take me there. He saved my life that night, without question. My body had gone into complete DKA and was starting to 'eat' my internal organs for energy. The solid bits in my puke? Pieces of my stomach lining, apparently.
If it wasn’t for him, I would’ve stayed home that night and most likely died in my sleep. His gut feeling told him I needed help and he was right."
"Some dude get off the bus at the same stop as me. It's about 8 pm and October, so it's quite dark out already. He had spoken to me on the bus, one line about nice weather.
Anyway, he gets off the bus after me. I cross the road and make a mental note of him walking the opposite way of me. I make sure to watch him walking away. Something in my gut says not to trust him.
To get to my house, I have to walk up a hill with a path alongside a high stone wall. It is secluded. Usually I listen to music as I walk. I decide not to this time.
I'm about halfway up when I get this awful feeling. I take out my phone, dial my mother's number and as I do, I hear fast steps of someone running up behind me.
I know it's the guy before I turn around and as I do, he is literally running full speed towards me. I look him dead in the eyes, ready to fight for my life. As I do this, my mother answers her phone and I say, 'Hi Mom.'
He slows right down to a light jog and says, 'Evening,' as he jogs past me. I ask my mom to stay on the line. Her boyfriend comes out to meet me at the top of the hill. The guy is nowhere to be seen.
He was definitely running up behind me to strike me and by turning to face him I'm certain it threw him off."
"My mum was a teenager on 18th November 1987. She was going to London to visit a friend. It was around 7:20 pm and she decided she was going to take a taxi instead of going by tube because it didn't feel right (King's cross tube station). Ten minutes later, the whole station caught on fire and about 30 people died. If she had decided to take the tube, she would likely have died."
"I'm about 7, my neighbors 8 and 9 and we're at a bus stop. A guy in stereotypical white van pulls up and asks if we've seen a dog. He doesn't describe the dog, and the truth is, dogs ran around in our neighborhood.
My mother taught me stranger danger since as long as I can remember.
So one of the boys at the stop, we'll call him Paul, Paul describes a dog and man in van is like, 'That's my dog, why don't you get inside the van, we can all go look for him.'
Well, I had red flags going off at this point, and said, 'No, I have to ask my mother,' and as soon as those words left my mouth, he peeled out.
It was only later that I realized I saved us all from child abduction, specifically Paul who was walking toward the van to get in.
Teach your kids what to do if this situation happens. Get the license plate, the guys face, the car type, and what to do if something does happen. If I had known to snag his plates, we might have had a chance at catching him, but I only knew to 'say no!'
Another time I was speeding down a hill and thought, 'What if there's a deer around the corner?' So I slowed down and sure enough, there were three deer in the road. Saved my own life by a random thought.
"My best friend was driving to California from Arizona with her 2-year-old for work, (about 5 months ago) and she stopped at a gas station and just got a weird feeling. She normally doesn’t lock her car when she pumps gas but she decided to do it. During that process, a woman came up to her and started talking all nice and whatnot, but my friend got an uneasy feeling about it and heard a noise like someone trying to open a door. She turned around and saw the woman’s husband trying to get into her car to steal her baby. She told him to get away from her car, and the man tried to play it off. She told them to buzz off and got in her car to leave.
The couple got in their vehicle and followed her, tried to swerve her off the road and brake check her on the highway for a few miles. She was smart enough to call the cops (This was in Primm Nevada) and the cops caught up to her and ended up arresting the couple. They had gotten multiple reports that day of issues like that."
"My mum saved me once when she woke up in the night and went looking for my dad because he wasn't in bed. She saw him just outside my door staring at me and she described it as disturbing and said it made her nauseous. She didn't know what made her say it, but she told him to get away from me. A few years later in 2010, my half-sister finally broke down and revealed that my dad had been touching her for 12 years. My sister told me a few years ago that he threatened her that he would start on me and my other sister if she did anything.
He got sentenced in 2014-15 (can't quite remember) because the court stuff took a really long time. He was sentenced to 5 years/3 years and 3 months for good behaviour. When I found out about what he'd done, I stopped going to his house (my parents divorced because of what he'd done). One time when he came to pick me up, yelling and screaming at my mum, I kinda went outside a shouted at him, calling him a child predator in front of the whole street and made him cry. He ran back to his car without saying anything more. The look on his face gave me everything I needed to solidify his being guilty. Haven't seen him since I was 10-11 (I'm almost 18 now), but as far as I know, he's in prison until next January. He somehow made it so we were no longer allowed updates a while ago. When I turn 18, I'm legally disowning him and changing my last name.
My family is doing great now. My sister has taken a hold of her life and has her dream job, and I'm so proud of everything she has achieved."
"I worked as a Shot Girl at a pub. One night I rejected someone who attempted to get my number. Not unusual and he didn't seem that bothered. The whole exchange wasn't strange to me. In the early hours after the bar closed, I went to leave through the back door into the car park like usual when I saw the sensor light outside was on. Someone was standing just outside the door. I felt uneasy, so I went out the front and asked one of the bouncers to walk me round the back to my car. I'm normally not very observant, actually. The only reason I acknowledged the light is because of the overwhelming sense of dread I felt walking towards the door. It put me on high alert. As we rounded the corner we spotted this guy lurking outside the door holding his belt like a makeshift garrote. When he saw us he started screaming that I was an effing witch and I should die. He scampered off into the road and never came back."
"The first time was three weeks after getting my gall bladder out. I felt terrible, like I still had a drain in my stomach. I called my sister and said I was afraid I'd be dead tomorrow. We went to the emergency room and turns out the surgeon had nicked my liver and I was bleeding internally. It turned into a blood blister on my liver and if it'd popped, I would have bled to death.
The second time, I had been feeling like someone was squeezing around my chest for months. I passed out one morning, went to the hospital and they found a tumor between my heart and lungs. Turned out to be cancer. A couple surgeries and chemo and I've been in remission almost 5 years."
"My daughter was a year and a half at the time. She had a cold, but bedtime went off without a hitch. I woke up in the middle of the night that night, really uncomfortable and anxious. Something was off and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I got up, had a midnight snack, tried to calm my nerves. I decided to check on my kids, who shared a room, before trying to go back to sleep.
I get in there and immediately I hear a light sound coming from her crib—wheezing. It was so quiet, there was no way to hear it outside of the room. I got her up and saw that her breathing was fast and labored. I took her to the hospital, where she ended up with an overnight stay, oxygen, and nebulizer treatments because her oxygen had dipped. She was diagnosed with Reactive Airway Disease due to the cold (which triggered the asthma attack)."
"I am a petite woman and was 19 at the time. I had a late shift that ended at 10 pm. I hit the grocery before my walk home (about 10 blocks). I’ve got arms full of groceries and notice a car drive past me in the opposite direction. Heard it pull a U-turn behind me and park. I tell myself, ‘Probably just getting home from work, too,' but then I hear foot steps behind me. I turn around and it's a man in his 30s, I’d guess. He doesn’t say anything, but stops walking when I stopped walking. I keep walking, bit faster now and I can hear him speed up, too.
I turn around again and say, ‘Hey man, what's up?’ He says nothing. I turn around and keep walking, almost at a mini-jog pace and I hear him speed up too. I was about 4 blocks away from home at this point. The adrenaline kicked in, I dropped my bags and booked it. Made it home, told my boyfriend what was happening. As he goes outside to find the guy, the dude drives by in his car. Right past my house. We call the cops, give them a description and the operator tells us they’ve had other calls about the same guy. Really hoping he never actually caught someone. Really hoping his creepy butt wound up in jail. Really happy I listened to my gut.
I went back for the groceries with my boyfriend and roommate flanking me. Only a jar of salsa was forfeited- the jar broke."
"I was 14 and traveling Italy with my dad. We arrived in Florence by train, at the station with our bags and preparing to exit and find a hotel to stay at. Heading out, we are confronted by this dude who was very friendly, pleasant faced and all.
He shoves a brochure in my dads hands and starts in on the utterly fantastico hotel. There are pictures, vague but pleasing, and the price is incredibly cheap and he has the van here ready to take up 'right now.' My dad was happier than a clam about this, never planning any step before he takes it and glad to have such a cool opportunity slap him in the face. I’m listening and getting that cold feeling from my stomach to my neck about this guy. I interject with, 'I think we’ll walk around town a bit and head to the hotel ourselves later.'
The guy looks at me and shakes his head and tells me we have to go now or the deal is 'off.' That seals it for me. He and my dad even start loading bags into the van. I’m incredulous at this and grab my dad, telling him to listen to me. He almost argues with me, the guy was still watching us, but he finally relents.
We pull our bags out and promptly walk away. The guy wouldn’t even let us take a brochure with us. No way that deal was legit or going to end well for us."
"Someone came into my work that gave me the 'I’m in danger' feeling. I work in an arcade where 60% of my customers are children and I naturally get very protective of them, but you can’t call the police just because someone’s creeping you out.
He kept getting close to children but not doing anything or even making them uncomfortable, so there still wasn’t anything I could do. He leaves and I shrug it off. Another customer soon comes in and gives me the same feeling, so I’m thinking, 'I’m just anxious today.' He’s talking about Donkey Kong and stuff, casual conversation. Then he says, 'I’m best friends with Martin Bryant,' the spree killer from the 1996 port Arthur massacre, who is in solitary confinement and can’t even interact with whoever has to throw his food at him. So I’m getting a bit nervous now.
Then the first creepy guy comes in, and the one I was talking to says, 'I know him, we went to prison together!'
So immediately I start having a panic attack and have to end the conversation as quick as possible so I can contact the manager to say I need someone else to come into the store (I was there alone), and they immediately call the police. Turns out they were both registered offenders, neither were allowed anywhere near my work because it’s too close to a school, and they’re legally not allowed near anywhere that could have children there.
I actually recently went to court for this, waited hours to go in and he plead guilty at the very very last second."
"I was in Turkey for vacation when I was about 7 or 8 years old and I made friends with some other tourists but also some locals, all around the age range of 8-16. These two local guys were about 16, and at one point during the late afternoon they asked if I wanted to go with them to go-kart outside of the hotel area, and I agreed. Approximately 30 seconds of walking along with them, I got the most chilling feeling I've ever had in my life. All the hairs on my skin rose up and I had this super uneasy feeling deep in my gut. It actually felt like some supernatural force was beckoning me to dip. I turned on my heels and sprinted so fast to get back to the hotel. I didn't even look back. When I returned, my mother asked where I had been. I told her I was taking a rough poop.
Oddly enough, I was quite fond of those guys before this happened. But, thinking about this in retrospect, why would two local 16-year-olds have any genuine interest in go-karting with a young 8-year-old tourist? I feel like I may have dodged a bullet. We may never know."