"There's this old abandoned hotel a couple hours away from me. It's not like a modern hotel, but like an old Victorian house that was turned into a B&B. It's totally boarded up, with a big fence around it with barbed wire. Apparently, it's haunted.
In high school, some friends and I went to go check it out. It's in the middle of this a circular road, not quite a roundabout, but you can go around several times before feeding back onto the main road. It takes about ninety seconds to go around this circle. Anyway, the first time we drove through, all the shades on the windows were drawn closed. We drove around again, only half of the shades are drawn. The next time we drive by all the shades were open. We drove around one last time and all the shades were drawn again. We freaked out and drove the heck out of there."
"A group of friends and I decided to take a small Saturday afternoon road trip into the backcountry of South Carolina. We figured we'd just drive around, head southwest, and see if we could find some antique shops, cemeteries, abandoned buildings and the like. We piled into my car and started driving. It was about an hour of nothing, just some light conversation, and southern pine forests.
We passed a few horse farms, some quaint old mill towns, and a few gas stations, but nothing interesting yet. 2 pm rolled around and we decided we wanted to get something to eat. As a rule, we always like to try local diners and restaurants, so we kept driving until we saw a faded road sign for a town. It was about five miles down the road and we figured that's good enough.
As we're driving through the town, we noticed there was no one out. No cars on the roads, no people on the streets, and no real houses. The streets were lined with abandoned and boarded-up warehouses, shops with broken windows, and a few broken down cars from the 90's. The further we went, the worse it gets. We finally got to a diner that's right off their main street.
It looked like there were about ten people eating inside and there were a few cars in the parking lot. It seemed like they're open. Here's where it started to get weird.
We opened the door and stepped in. As soon as we cleared the threshold, everyone stared at us. It was like in movies where the record scratches on the jukebox and everyone looks, except far more uncomfortable. In the middle of the diner was a large table with six people around it, who all turned back to their food and started whisper-talking. The waitress nervously shuffled up to us and quietly asked how many.
My friend Chris took the lead and said, 'Four,' in just a normal speaking voice. Everyone looked at us again and the waitress (who looked barely older than 16) recoiled but took us to our table. She sat us at a basic 4-top near the large table in the middle. She took our drink orders and left.
Once she went, we all whispered about how weird that was. While we're talking, the line cook was just staring at us with this violent look in his eyes. We all figured out what we wanted and waited. We sat in awkward silence for about ten minutes before the waitress came back.
She took our orders and disappeared into the back of the diner, leaving us alone in the dining room with the people at the other table. It gave us some time to look them over.
They're a basic southern family. Chubby, haggard looking wife. Husband with sun-leathered skin and oil stains on his coveralls. Three children, all girls, all in nice Sunday dresses. And then her.
The other woman was dressed like the younger girls but looked very much in her forties. She wore a red, paisley patterned dress, with frilled lace at the collar and cuffs. Her hair was long and stringy and covered the bulk of her round face. To the left of her was a doll, seated in a high-chair for babies. The woman would sometimes lean in towards the doll and whisper something, then giggle.
Soon the waitress dropped food off at their table but set a meal down for the doll, too. She commented on how pretty the woman's daughter was and left. About ten minutes later she came back with our food, silently left it, gave us the side-eye, and walked away.
The waitress came back to refill the other table's water, where she asked everyone how the food was. She asked the doll, too. When she asked the doll, she spoke in a baby voice. The woman then picked up the doll, held it in front of her face, and spoke in a little girl's voice. She was being the doll.
My other friend looked at me with the most terrified, wide-eyed expression. She worked with disturbed children as a therapist in a court-mandated facility. We shoveled our mediocre food down and my friend Chris just dumped forty dollars on the table and we left.
As we were leaving the town, Chris was looking for any sort of town name. I was checking to make sure we weren't being followed. This happened about six years ago and we still can't find that town. No one remembers the name or the road it was off of, but we remember being there and what the diner looked like."
"I was driving in rural areas in New England, near the borders of Vermont and Massachusetts, so I am not sure which state I was in. It was late. Well OK, so late it was actually early. And there was fog, dense, dense fog. Like Silent Hill levels of fog. And like an idiot who dies in the opening scene of a horror movie, I was driving on back roads. First, my headlight just up and went out and I couldn't use high beams because of fog. I was in the middle of nowhere, I hadn't seen a house or town in a long time. Suddenly, my car started making noises and the check engine light came on. So I pulled over and there was nothing much around, just a field, the fog, and darkness. Creepy. I gamely looked at the engine, but I can fix electronics, not engines. I tightened all the things I knew.
The car now wouldn't start. So I was in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road. Because of the natural rules of how things work, my cell phone had no service as well. It was like one big cliche. But I was not stupid enough to go wandering the roads right now. So I reclined my seat and decided to take a nap for a couple hours until the sun came up.
I woke up just as the sun was coming up and the fog was going away and discovered...I was on the main street of a tiny town, parked in front of what looked like the Bates Motel house. Houses were everywhere. It was the creepiest feeling. I was sure I was off in the woods. There was not a light on in any houses at night? There was a service station 50 yards up the road. I walked up to it, talked to the guy (who looked perfectly normal), he walked over to look at the car, asked me to try to start it and it did. The thing turned over right away. And both headlights were working.
I drove on, never got the name of the little village, and I couldn't find it on a map. I always felt like I was in this big set up for a horror movie that just didn't pan out."
"A couple years ago, a buddy and I got turned around on a side road in rural north Missouri. I had no service for GPS and it was pouring rain, so I headed south toward my destination hoping to run into the main highway. We ended up coming into the town of Skidmore, MO. It's a tiny town in the middle of nothing but there's something dark about that place. Infamously in the 80s, a man known as the town bully was killed in broad daylight in the middle of town there. Not one person spoke up about who killed him and it's never been solved despite many witnesses.
There have also been disappearances, and a brutal crime a few years ago involving a baby being cut out of a woman's womb. Keep in mind, this is a town of only 270 people. As we drove down the main drag, several people gave us a blank but intimidating stare, it was completely unnerving. Once we got out of the town, my buddy mentioned he'd had a sense of impending doom or danger as we drove through; weirdly enough, I'd been feeling the same way. I'd never had a such a persistent gut feeling of danger like that before. We agreed to never ever go through Skidmore again. There's something seriously evil about that town, it shouldn't exist."
"Holy cow. Skidmore, Missouri.
I too, I kid you not, have had a weird occurrence in said town. About 3 years ago my roommates and I were traveling to Panama City Beach for spring break from Des Moines, Iowa. Our route took us not through the town, but just around it. As usual, we drove through the night to get there quicker as we were salivating at the opportunity for our first vacation away from parents. Life was about to get real interesting.
I can't remember the exact time, other than super late at night maybe around midnight, we pulled into a gas station to stop and get gas. There was only one gas station that was still open because Missouri is weird like that. I, being the driver at the time, got out and started pumping the gas. When we first pulled in, there wasn't anyone else at the gas station.
Everything was cool. We were blasting 'Trap Queen' by Fetty Wap, much like we did 152 other times that trip. Gas was full, my buddy was in the bathroom taking a leak. That's when a car pulled up at the other side of the station. From what I remember, it was three dudes in a red, older-style car. I got this weird sense that something bad was about to happen or like we were in a town we weren't supposed to be in. Again, we don't know anything about this place, much less where we even are. I can remember the gas station was along a long dirt road, with hardly any street lights as you're coming up to it, pretty much a scene out of any horror movie, only this was the reality.
As my buddy was coming back to the car, the driver of the other red car was doing the normal thing of getting gas with the other guys just chilling inside the car. He got back and literally out of NOWHERE, another car pulled up next to my side of the car and rolled down his window in a strange panic. At the time, we didn't know if he was wanting to hurt us, rob us, or what the heck was going on. He said, and I quote, 'You boys need to get out of here now. That car over there and those guys want to hurt you. You need to leave.'
After that, we freaked out, like any normal person would. We raced off, all while trying to keep an eye on the red car at the gas station. The car that pulled up was a very distinct blue color. Not your normal baby blue or darker blue, but a greenish blue. The reason I mention this is because after we took off, the blue car went the opposite direction, FLYING down the road. About an hour later, as we're driving, heading toward Kansas City, we see a car on the highway about 8-10 car lengths behind us with the SAME EXACT color shade, just casually hanging out behind us.
Once we passed Kansas City, we lost track of the car, and nothing else really went weird that week, but that was the weirdest/scariest feeling I've ever had."
"Many years ago, my family and I moved from California to Nebraska. I was still a young kid, probably 5-6 years old. We were driving through Nevada and shortly after leaving Las Vegas, we needed to stop and fuel up. We stopped at your typical old-school gas station with the bell that rings when you pull up to the pump. I don't remember it that well, but my dad told me it looked normal. He got out to stretch while my mom went inside to pay for gas. My mom said that when she walked in, the gas station had quite a few people inside (despite us being the only car there). When she walked up to the counter to pay for gas, everyone turned to her and at the same moment, the lights went out. She ran outside where my dad had witnessed everything. He helped her into the car and we sped off down the interstate, not caring whether we ran out of gas or not. To this day, my mom says that's one of her scariest encounters because she can't explain nor figure out exactly what was going on. And yes, we found a better gas station down the road and made it to Nebraska."
"I'd been living out of my car for some time. There's a stretch of road in the southwest that runs along a few national forests. One night, I was looking for a good dark place to pull off to sleep in. I found a good one, it had trees to pull under so the headlights out on the two-lane wouldn't be as disturbing, as it had truck traffic.
In the morning, I heard a car pull off and watched as it went past me into the forest on a dirt lane. I hadn't seen that lane when it was dark, it looked inviting.
I decided to try driving on it myself; it turned out to be a lovely area, and eventually, I found a really nice spot under some trees out in there where it was very quiet and I could see the milky way at night, although it was subzero most nights.
I stayed out there for several days. Data service was good, so I kept applying for jobs, and during that time I got an interview invitation, the first in a long time. They called while I was sitting under those trees, the guy who had called later told me that I had sounded very relaxed.
Heartened by that call, I drove out to the highway to get some groceries and water. When I came back up the highway, I could not find the original entry point. It was gone
Months later, I took a temporary house about 40 miles from there and sometimes still use that stretch of highway.
I look carefully every time I pass through, sometimes irritating other drivers; have not yet found the original entry. None of the pull-offs have a lane at the back or even a break in the fence, and none of the lanes have even a slight wide spot, much less a deep place with trees.
I am not that kind of person at all, which is why I re-examine that stretch every time I pass through, but I'm slowly resigning myself to having spent at least one night in a place that doesn't currently exist."
"I was relocating across Texas and, as I normally do, was driving through the night to skip traffic and because it's more serene that way. I was driving straight through central Texas going northwest, so seeing the hill country change to the desert in the full moon was super cool. Anyways, I was driving with my wife and we were running low on gas. Luckily, we were pulling into a tiny no-name town and we could see an old gas station come around the bend. This encounter happened at about 2 am.
Now, this town only had one road and this station was right at the edge of town at the end of it. When I say old, I mean very old; the type that you have no option of prepaying, you simply flip up the handle on the machine and you hear the pump inside start struggling to get the gas from the reservoir. It had the old style tick readers too, not an electrical thing on it.
I, being the young man I was, had never seen one before, so I walked into the store to buy the gas before I pumped. The store only had one light in the far back on and I almost thought it was closed since it was barely brighter inside than it was out in the moonlight. Upon entering, I saw the place was deserted; no customers, no workers, nothing. However, there was an odd tune playing on someone's radio that I couldn't place. An old sounding, upbeat piano piece was playing somewhere around the corner inside, and I heard shuffling once I walked closer to the source.
This place made me feel scared. Not the, 'Woah this is creepy,' scared, but in the 'all hairs are on end, something is seriously wrong here but I can't figure it out,' way. As I turned the corner, I saw a young man standing next to a large radio and... dancing. His dancing, though, was extremely off-putting and seriously didn't match the tune at all.
Though the radio was cranking out what sounding like ragtime, this guy was running his hands up and down his body and pretty much 'feeling himself' with his eyes closed in what looked like bliss. He was going far slower than the music and definitely wasn't on tempo. For some reason, I couldn't speak. I couldn't even move. I was in a trance as every part of me screamed to turn and leave.
Finally, I said, 'Excuse me, I just need some gas.'
The guy kept dancing.
I said it a little louder, and he finally slowed down a bit and opened his eyes, and focused on me. But it was like he was looking at a finely cooked steak. He was looking almost through me and silently walked to the register, not saying anything. I said, 'Uh, just $20 please.' He, again, didn't say anything and just stood behind the ancient register, so I just figured maybe he didn't speak the language or was embarrassed I caught him dancing, so I laid the money on the counter and went outside hoping he'd turn on the pump.
I filled up, told my wife about the weird scene in there, and turned off the pump to kill the horrible grinding noise from the interior pump fighting against gravity to get the gas up.
Weird thing is, when we were leaving, I looked back in the window and the guy was still standing there behind the counter. This may sound fine, but my money was still on the counter in front of him. It was like he was a robot who just turned off once I left.
This is where it gets super weird. A couple months later, I was driving back to San Antonio to visit family, and we figured we'd stop at that old gas station to see it in the daytime since it had become somewhat of a running joke between us. We pulled into this tiny town, and... the thing was gone. The lot sat on at the end of the road wasn't even there. It was just grass. No rubble, no old pump, no lighting, nothing. It was like somebody picked it up and moved it. It looked like nothing had been there for years.
Still, get freaked out thinking about it."
"Centralia, Pennsylvania - the whole town and interstate was removed in 1962 to accommodate an enormous underground coal mine fire that's still burning today. The whole neighborhood grid and the highway are still there, and there's still smoke coming up through cracks in the street. The whole dystopian vibe that always accompanies an abandoned town and wondering if I'd fall through a hole in the street into some literal hellscape below was plenty for me. Walked around for an hour or so and then hightailed it out of there."
"By my hometown, there was a hiking trail that people went to very infrequently. It was along the side of the Niagara Escarpment so it had some climbable cliffs and some very shallow caves that you could crawl around in.
I went with some friends when I was 19 or 20 and we were crawling around and found a cave that went pretty deep. We had never been in there before, had never even seen it before. So we pushed forward and decided to check it out even though we had no flashlights and this was when cell phones didn't really have a flashlight function.
We stepped into the cave and it was easily 20-30 degrees cooler than outside. Upon looking around with what light we had, we noticed it was really clean inside the cave, as in it didn't have cans littered everywhere like all the other small caves did. While in there, we got a really eerie feeling after being in there shortly, hearing weird things. Feeling like we were being touched, poked and pulled and not having any way to figure out who was doing it because it was too dark. We were just using lighters to see what was around us.
We were convinced one of us was messing with the others. Although anytime we sparked up a lighter, we were all decently far apart.
We decided to high-tail it out of there after only a few minutes, convinced to come back with flashlights. We came out to see that it was now dusk outside. When we entered it was mid-day. Somehow we had lost roughly three hours inside of this cave.
We went with back with flashlights the next week but we have never been able to find this cave again."
"10 years ago, my friend and I were bored one night and were driving around. We were on a highway in New Jersey about 30 minutes from our houses. Through the trees, in the middle of nowhere, we saw this beautiful freshly paved cement pathway with lamp posts every 100 feet just lighting this pathway up. It was beckoning to us and so we found the nearest exit.
We drove around for a while through the darkness until the road came to a dead end and the path began. We got out and started walking on this path through the trees and these beautiful wide open fields until eventually, it ended at a little small town after a couple miles. At this point, it was like 2 am and in a small town like this, nothing should have been open. But this pizzeria was. It was odd but we went in. It was empty except for the older gentleman behind the counter. We ordered and started eating, then another, older customer walked in.
The gentleman behind the counter and this customer did a double take at each other and then smile. Both of them ran around the counter and embrace. 'Mario!?' 'Stefano!?' 'What has it been, 40 years?'
They talked the whole time about their childhood and growing up back in Italy. We thought, what are the chances we would be here, at this moment, seeing friends reunited after 40 years. It was just plain, odd. My friends and I finished up. We headed back down the brightly lit path and back to the car and call it a night. Ever since that night, my friend and I tried to find that brightly lit path, but to no avail. We haven't seen it since from the highway or driving down that road. In the small town, the pizzeria is there, but it closes at 10 pm, so no explanation for why it would be open at 2 am. It's just plain odd and something we never could explain, experiencing an unlikely moment to watch friends be reunited after 40 years."
"Not just one, but there's a whole lot of places in rural New Zealand that will scare the heck out of someone who isn't used to it. Even some of my Kiwi friends would sometimes be like, heck no I'm not hiking out there with you guys, good luck.
If I had to choose one: we were doing a 5-day hike, had pretty good maps and directions. Now there's a lot of nationally funded huts throughout the island, very well marked. We found this one random hut that was definitely not on the maps, with a bunch of older guys just hammered partying inside. And this was way out of where these guys could've just walked up from town to party in for the afternoon. They had no gear whatsoever, they were just the craziest looking 60+ guys hammered in this random unmarked cabin. When we came back by later, the place was absolutely empty and musty, so they'd packed up their trash and stuff, but it still seemed all gross and dirty. We were all kind of baffled, did we actually meet all these crazy hillbilly old men partying in the middle of nowhere? They obviously weren't going up there to clean it up, and where the heck did this cabin even come from just in the middle of these mountains? And how did they just randomly hike up there with cases of brews and some speakers?"