Many of these AskReddit users found themselves acting hyper-vigilant when they were caught in an unfamiliar situation. Whether the situation ended up being 'just a coincidence' in how things played out or a 'this could've been worse' type of thing, a chill was definitely sent down the spine!
(Content has been edited for clarity.)
Feeling Home Sick
“My friend, who was about 8 or 9 at the time, was walking home from school one day and was getting her key out to let herself into her house. Her single mom worked and came home late on weekdays. As she reached up to unlock the door, her mom suddenly opened it. She was in a nightgown, as it turns out, she had stayed home sick.
Instead of greeting her, she looked straight past my friend and immediately asked, ‘Who are you?’
My friend turned around, and a man in a long coat hurried back down their path and onto the street. Thank god for her mom feeling ill that day, she had potentially just saved her daughter from something seriously terrible that could’ve happened.”
The End Call Click
“A 16-year-old girl was house-sitting for a family friend.
Late one night, when she was all alone, she started to hear a weird noise coming from the basement. The sound wouldn’t stop, but because she was all by herself, she decided not to go downstairs (as the fear began to creep into her mind).
She called 911, explained her situation, and told them not to rush as it was probably nothing. Within two minutes, several cops were at the door. Four cops made their way downstairs to the basement, and one stayed with the girl outside. She heard some yelling, and moments later, a deranged-looking man was brought up by the police.
He was found sitting on the washer banging a machete between the washer and dryer trying to lure her down. She asked how they knew that he was down there, and they said that when she called the police and hung up the phone, the operator heard another ‘click.’
He had been listening.”
A Traumatic Sight
“My uncle used to be a firefighter.
One time, he was the first one to arrive at the scene of a car accident. A log had fallen off a big transport truck and hit the car behind it. The log had sheared off the top of the vehicle.
Inside of the vehicle, there were two adults and a child sitting in the back seat. The child had been lying down and sleeping when the accident took place. He awoke to the crashing of the car, only to find his parents’ lifeless bodies still in their seats with no heads.
That poor child will probably never be the same again.”
“I used to work as a vet tech a couple of years ago. This man came in to put his old dog down. We used a standard euthanasia protocol, which was basically to get some background information and to ask them if they wanted to be present during the procedure, and so forth.
As a coworker of mine asked, ‘Do you want to be present?’
He quickly responded, ‘Yes. I lost both of my boys last week, and I wasn’t there for them, so, I need to be there to send off my last living family member.’
We found out later that both of his boys had died overseas. After hearing this, our whole staff went into that euthanasia room, and we just hugged him and his dog for several minutes even after his dog had finished passing.”
The Never Ending Ringing
“Was talking to someone who was first on the scene to the Virginia Tech massacre. He told me that although the sight of dead bodies was disturbing, what really stays with him was the sound of all the cell phones ringing from people trying to contact them.”
The Stranger At The Gas Station
“When I was maybe 4 and my sister was almost 1, my parents had been divorced a few months, and my mother was driving us from Las Vegas to Wichita to see our grandparents. At one gas station on the way, this man came up to the car and told my mother, ‘I hate to see a single mother traveling alone and I noticed we are headed in the same direction, do you want me to follow you for awhile to make sure you are safe?’ She politely said, no thanks and drove off.
At our next stop for gas, he again came up under the guise of ‘checking’ on us – he had been following us since the last stop. While he was talking to my mother, his sport coat blew open and I saw a weapon tucked in his pants. After she again told the man we were fine, she left and I told her what I saw. While she was driving, she wrote a note to give to the next gas station attendant saying who we were, where we were planning on spending the night, and that this creepy dude was following us and what he looked like, so could they please call the police and have them waiting at the hotel?
When we got to the next stop, mom raced in and handed the clerk the note and sped off with us. We got to the hotel and the manager had the cops waiting in one room and gave us another room with a pizza and pop. The man showed up and asked if his ‘wife and kids’ had checked in yet and what room were they in. The manager gave him the key to the one with the police in it. They questioned him and found out he had priors for assaulting women and also had a warrant out, so he was arrested.”
“I’m a funeral director, and one day we had a man come in who lost his teenage daughter. She was a daddy’s girl through and through, so he was torn up about her passing. He bought her the best that money could buy – nice casket, a good vault, etc. But after she was interred he kept having these nightmares that his daughter was drowning – in a bathtub, in the ocean, when a car she was in careened off of a bridge. They were a bit different every time, but the message was always the same. In every dream, he could hear her screaming, ‘Daddy, help me. I’m drowning.’ Now keep in mind, drowning had NOTHING to do with her cause of death. At first, he thought he was just grieving, but the nightmares wouldn’t let up. He came back to us, and after explaining the situation, we got a permit to disinter her and move her to another cemetery. When the diggers removed the lid off of her vault (which, by the way, is supposed to keep water OUT), it was filled to the brim with water. The nightmares stopped once we moved the body.”
“My grandfather’s second wife was a sleepwalker.
She was the kind that would get out of bed and do things like make a sandwich in the kitchen. My grandfather got used to it, and whenever he would wake up in the middle of the night, and she wasn’t still in bed beside him, he would find her and gently lead her back without waking her up just as he had been advised.
One night, he woke up and she wasn’t there. Instead, she was sitting on the edge of the bed with her back turned to him. He called her name to ask, ‘What’s wrong?’ But she didn’t answer, and he realized quickly that she was still asleep. He could tell that she was doing something like holding onto something in her lap, but he didn’t know exactly what it was.
He sat up, looked over her shoulder, and saw what she was doing. Still, in her sleep, she was loading his weapon.”
“I was driving through West Texas on my way to California and took a detour on 41 to see a friend out studying bats at Devil’s Sinkhole. I stopped at the only gas station for about a zillion miles to top off my tank, use the bathroom, and get a snack. I was at one of those rickety old gas stations from the ’70s with old pumps where you have to prepay inside.
While I was inside looking around at the snacks, I noticed that all of the bags of chips and candies were dusty and expired (by about two years). The refrigerators holding the soda didn’t even sound like it was on, and it was sweltering inside with no A/C. I looked up, out the window, and saw that one of the only two employees there was circling my car while running his fingers along the edge of my trunk. Then, he reached over and tried the driver’s side door handle.
I turned to the guy behind the counter and got pissed, ‘He’s trying to get into my car!’
He looked out at the guy now pulling on the passenger’s side door, looked me right in the eyes, and said (in a flat, matter of fact tone), ‘I don’t see him doing anything.’
Then, I noticed him reaching for something from under the counter and felt myself go into autopilot mode. I flipped around, banged open the door, and screamed at the other guy outside to get away from my car, or I’d break his face. Somehow, I managed to work my keys fast enough to get in and peel out before the other guy could get out of the door behind me with something in his hand. I floored it for the next 50 miles trying not to freak out because I knew that if I looked in the rearview mirror to check if they were getting into the truck in the parking lot to follow me, it wouldn’t be good.
I called the police about 20 minutes later, and they told me since nothing had happened, they weren’t going to ‘waste the gas driving out there.’ I still shudder when I think about how that man in the convenience store never broke eye contact with me while he was reaching under the counter.”
Fighting For Air
“A woman I dated, who went to school in Missouri, had some friends who went cave diving a lot.
While diving one day, their line ‘fell from the ceiling’ (as she put it), and they got lost. She said that when they recovered their bodies, it was apparent that they had been fighting over the last of the air that was in their tanks.”
Lock Your Doors
“I was playing house at my parents’ place when I was 18, and they had gone on a summer holiday. I lived in an outhouse and never locked my room as I figured it was pretty much safe and that the main entrance was where it would be risky.
One day, tired of being home alone, I went to visit the local haunted house where a gruesome family murder had taken place in the ’80s. My friends were all joking around about how weird it would be if something like that happened to me at night.
I didn’t think about their words after that, but I did grab my little brother’s baseball bat and put it beside my bed anyway. I went to bed like usual and pulled the curtains on the window. Anyway, I fell asleep but had always been a light sleeper. At around 3 am, I knew that someone was watching me. I could feel it. The silence was deafening, and I was struggling with trying to emerge out of my sleep. I was drowsy, and a part of me was yelling, ‘it’s just a cat or something.’
However, the second I heard the creaky front door open, I froze with my eyes open but was unable to move. I’m not sure if I was in shock or still half asleep or something. I saw a man in my room, staring at me, take two paces towards me… breathe… and after what felt like an hour, walk out of my room. I crawled off of my bed and, eventually, mustering up the balls to grab the baseball bat and crawled to the door.
The door was left open, and so was the main house one. Nothing was stolen, but I still have no idea what happened that night or why.”
“I was living in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Eastern Canada), in an old, creaky house.
After I had been living there for a while, one of my friends from the West Coast came out to visit and check out the city. He was staying for three weeks and brought a lot of bags and suitcases with him (at least five bags plus other stuff like a squash racket, etc.). I told him he could sleep on the futon in the living room.
One morning after a late night of drinking, my friend came into my room and started yelling, ‘FIRE! FIRE!’
In my hungover state, I was barely even sure what exactly he was saying when I decided to jump out of bed. The floor was hot against my feet as I ran out into the hallway following my friend. I couldn’t see the fire anywhere, but as we ran towards the front door, I could hear the fire roaring all around me, it was coming from inside the walls. We ran out to the front yard and looked back at the house to see black smoke billowing out of the roof.
We were standing there watching the house when I suddenly looked down and noticed all of my friend’s bags and suitcases neatly lined up on the front lawn including his squash racket. When he noticed that the house was on fire, he decided to take all of his luggage out in at least two loads and place it all safely outside BEFORE coming back inside to tell me about what was happening.
That fire had initially started near the furnace in the basement. It spread up into the walls and was burning the entire foundation of the floor we were standing on. The entire floor and much of the house collapsed into that fiery pit not long after we escaped. The firemen even told us that we were lucky to have gotten out when we did.
I’m not friends with him anymore.”
“A friend of mine was a bike messenger in Chicago. He was rowdy even for that line of work (known to kick cars that cut him off and the like). He apparently got into a confrontation with someone in an SUV about ten years ago. The driver literally runs him down and plows right over him. The guy drove off and nobody managed to get the license plate number or a good description of the vehicle or the driver. The EMTs roll my dead friend over and he’s cradling the guy’s front plate in both arms like a football.”
Everything Happens For A Reason
“When I was in 11th grade, my math teacher went off on a tangent about ‘how everything happens for a reason’ and why ‘it is always important to be kind.’ At first, I was only half listening, but then things started to get interesting.
When he was a senior in university, he decided in his last days that he would go around to students sitting alone in the cafeteria and strike up a conversation. He approached a girl sitting alone and asked her if he could have lunch with her. She seemed hesitant, at first, but agreed. They struck up a conversation and ended up talking for a while. She eventually asked him (in a kind of startled way) why he had come and sat with her. He explained that it had become his goal to sit with people he didn’t know. She told him that this wasn’t the first time someone had randomly asked her to have lunch with them.
Apparently, when she was in high school, she was shy and unpopular and usually spent her lunch breaks in the library. Towards the end of the year, a group of popular girls asked her to eat lunch with them. She was shocked and didn’t agree to it at first. However, they persisted and (eventually) she agreed. They got in one of the girl’s cars and drove away from the school’s property and headed to a restaurant. As they were driving down the road, dozens of cop cars started whizzing past them.
She went to Columbine High School. It was April 20, 1999. She had escaped being in the library, where the majority of the shooting took place, all because a group of girls decided to reach out to her.”
“When I was 17, I went back to take out some trash and heard a noise in my backyard. It spooked me out so much so that I ran back inside. Everyone was laughing at me until my mom thought she heard something as well coming from the basement. We all got the heebie-jeebies because we knew that the outside door to the basement was open. My mom decided to call the cops because of the noise, which was frightening because she was always the first one to say that people were just ‘overreacting.’
After about an hour and a half (at this point, it was maybe 2 am) the cops still hadn’t arrived yet, and we kind of just moved on since we hadn’t heard anything else. We were sitting on the front porch when this car came down the block slowly, turned their lights off two houses down and then stopped just after passing our driveway. We sat there for a moment, afraid to move, when the driver got out, retrieved something from his trunk, and took off walking down the block.
At that point, we decided that we had enough of this creepy night and went inside to lock the doors. The car immediately left after we got back inside, and about an hour later, an officer finally showed up. We told them everything that had happened. He left took note and we went to bed, and everything remained silent outside for the rest of the night.
The next day around noon, my mom came into my room and said there were a bunch of emergency vehicles outside of our house. We all headed outside, and of course, all we could talk about was what had happened last night. After a few minutes, my mom decided to walk down and talk to the media outlets to see what information they had. It turns out, my neighbor had a man kick in their door, murder the husband, and robbed the wife.”
“When my uncle was 4, he went to visit his aunt’s house for the summer. There weren’t any other children around who were about his age, so he mainly just rode his bike around the neighborhood to amuse himself.
One day, he rode a little bit too far and got lost, but luckily a car pulled over and told him that it was okay and that he would take him back to his aunt’s. My uncle loaded his bike into the car and got inside. The man started driving and my uncle, thinking that it was one of his aunt’s friends, didn’t ask any questions. It wasn’t until they turned onto the highway that my uncle started to ask the man where they were going and that his aunt’s house wasn’t near the highway.
The man didn’t say anything to him and just kept on driving until suddenly he pulled over to the side of the road and seemed to think hard about something. He then turned the car around and dropped my uncle off at the neighborhood entrance.
Years later, my uncle realized that this man had attempted to kidnap him, but at the very last moment, decided not to.”
“Exactly two years and six days ago, I was in a car wreck that almost took my life. I was driving home late at night, fell asleep at the wheel, and slammed into a tree on the driver side of my vehicle.
For the next couple of days, I had no memory of what had happened, but I woke up in the ICU strapped to a bed with a respirator and feeding tube. I fractured my skull, broke my collarbone, collapsed both of my lungs, and ruptured my diaphragm. Every doctor I had ever seen since then just looked at me in shock and told me that I shouldn’t even be alive.
The chilling part, however, was how the someone found me. Some neighbors of mine were driving back home late after dropping their daughter off at a bus that she was taking to camp where she was a counselor. The bus left late. It was delayed because another couple of counselors were an hour and a half late. One of them was my best friend from elementary school.
After they finally dropped their daughter off, they headed home and were driving down a secluded road near our neighborhood. The wife saw a car parked on the wrong side of the road, but she couldn’t tell if there was any damage because of how dark it was outside. She was on the opposite side of the car. They kept on driving until she thought she had heard some honking noises and convinced her husband to turn around.
I was unconscious. The car was dead, and the horn was found not to be working later. They didn’t know it was me until two days later. They saved my life.”