Sometimes you just get a gut feeling that things are about to go very wrong, very soon. These people also got that sinking sensation in their stomachs, but they decided to trust their instincts and get the heck out of dodge, just in the nick of time.
(Content has been edited for clarity).
"I was at my local mall looking around when I had a very strange thought out of nowhere, 'What if someone came in with a weapon?' This was years ago before that was common in the US.
A few weeks later, it's the day of a party I'm attending. I woke up very early in the morning and my first thought was, 'I wonder what time the mall opens.' I decided I should get new shoes for the party, as I didn't have nice ones that matched my outfit. I'm normally an 'errands, then get ready' person. But that day, I thought, 'I shouldn't go to the mall yet. I should get my shower, shave everything, then go.' So I did.
But I shouldn't go to the mall yet. 'I should polish my toes first. I should worry more about matching shoes and outfit than polished toes, but I absolutely must polish my toes before I leave.'
But I shouldn't go to the mall yet. 'I should put moisturizer on my entire body. I'll have skin showing at the party.' At this point, I feel like I'm just stalling, but I don't know why. So I moisturize.
But I shouldn't go to the mall yet. 'I should put my makeup on and get my outfit out and set it on the bed.' So I did.
But I shouldn't go to the mall yet. But now I'm out of things to procrastinate with and I don't understand why I've delayed for literally hours. I need shoes for the party.
So I went to the mall.
As I was walking in, people were running out, screaming about a shooter and warning me not to go in. I ran back to my car and speed away with my heart pounding. The shooter killed multiple people at random, standing right where I had been when I had chills and a thought of a shooter weeks before. I would have been standing nearby if I had arrived earlier that morning."
"A story about someone NOT listening to their gut feeling. My mom and dad went to Texas via train, and then a bus. They got to the bus station in Dallas after leaving the train station, and while walking into the bus station, my dad got a 'bad feeling.' He stood outside the building, overwhelmed with this bad feeling. My mom asked what was wrong and my dad said 'I don't know. Something doesn't feel right.' He couldn't explain it any further other than it being a feeling of impending doom. My mom laughed and told him he was being foolish.
After a minute he said okay and went to the bus station. My mom sat on a bench and dad went in to use the restroom. While he was taking a leak, a young guy jumped him and stabbed him repeatedly, a total of 27 times. He was trying to steal my dad's wallet. Dad fought him off as best he could. Finally security heard the commotion, ran into the bathroom and saved him. He almost died from his injuries, recovered, then had a massive heart attack about six months later. He survived the heart attack and lived another 16 years after that. Dad died in 2012 when he was 83. He was a tough old goat, and I miss him every day."
"In high school around everybody's birthday, all their friends would go all out, bringing balloons, brownies, gifts, you name it. It was just a fun tradition the whole school partook in to help with stress and whatnot. Fast forward to my birthday and, as per usual, I was given balloons, cake, and funny letters from my good friends. All of a sudden, I felt like someone was watching me and I turned around to see a girl in our class staring at me. I walked over and just started a conversation with her, asking her when her own birthday was and made a mental note. I had such a strong gut feeling that I NEEDED to do something for her on her birthday even though this was our first time talking. I knew this girl was very shy, a little strange, and had recently been given a lot of crap for coming out to a few people at our school, so I figured her birthday might not be as recognized or participated in as maybe mine was.
Fast forward to her own birthday. I brought her the biggest balloon I could find and some baked goods. As classes went on, I soon realized that was the only thing anyone got her that day. I caught her in the parking lot to say happy birthday one last time before heading to practice and she seemed happy and normal.
Fast forward to about four months later I got chatting with her again. She pulled me aside and told me that for the last year or so, she had been planning to kill herself on her birthday. I was in shock. She told me that the balloon and goodies showed her enough of a brighter side to life to hold off and rethink things, since a stranger seemed to care enough about a special day for her. I still can't believe it."
"Two years ago, I was backpacking Asia. At this point, I had been gone for almost three months and I really wanted to go home, but before I went home, I had a five-day 'layover' trip booked. I was flying out from Indonesia, going to Malaysia for 15 hours, then heading to Istanbul for three days and then to London for one day, and back to Canada to get home. About three days before I head off to Malaysia, I had this sickening feeling in my gut, like something bad was going to happen.
So I canceled my flights the day before I left and rebooked to Taiwan and then to South Korea, with me getting home about five days before I thought I was going to. Little did I know, that as I was on my flight from South Korea to Vancouver, that the international part of Istanbul's airport was attacked by terrorists. I landed in Vancouver, turned my phone on, and had a crazy amount of texts from family and friends. I never told them I changed my plans (besides a family member living in Vancouver, so I could crash at their place for the night). I had no idea what was happening when I got off the plane, so after I called my dad and told him I was fine, I asked what was he worried about and that's when he told me what happened.
I checked the times of my old flights and I would have been there at the time the attack happened. 45 people died, over 200 hurt. I could have been one of them, who knows. But I am glad I trusted my gut and rebooked my flights. Still gives me goosebumps when I talk about it."
"When I was about 10 years old, I used to water my neighbor's plants for her when she was on vacation. Normally my older brother and I went together, but the previous day we got into a giant argument which turned into a water fight while doing the task, so my mom decided we would go alone on alternate days for the rest of her trip. Now my neighbor had A LOT of flowers both in front of and in back of her house and tiny 10-year-old me had to drag a hose between the two. It wasn't an easy task.
I started by dragging the hose from the side yard to the front. I noticed the back sliding screen door was in the center when I thought it was usually to the side. I shrugged it off and got the hose to the front door. Then, all of the sudden, I had a gut feeling something was off and I needed to get out of there. I dropped the hose and went back to my house next door (separated by about an acre of a heavily wooded area). I told my mom something was off and I was too scared to finish watering. She brushed me off and we went about our day, telling me we could finish the task together later. She thought I was just too tired or lazy to do it all on my own. I told her that it wasn't true and I got a weird feeling over there. But anyway we decided we would return that evening when it cooled off.
When we returned that evening, the back window was broken and my neighbor's house had been robbed. One of the large flower pots was now knocked over, where it hadn't been that morning. The screen door was now off to the side again. That means the burglars were probably inside while I was outside watering the plants. We were both terrified and called the police of course.
My mom now believes my gut feelings."
"I was a delivery driver for a Chinese restaurant. My boss was a real jerk - he had no limit as to how far we would go to deliver. So I was on my last delivery before I could head home, and where I was headed was 30 minutes from my house. There was no address, just the name of the college hall I was delivering to and a phone number to call to tell them I was outside.
Going there, I had an uneasy feeling. I knew this was a bad area with lots of illegal substances and violence. Even though it was a college town, it was right dead in the middle of a horrible area. I got there at 10 pm; my anxiety was through the roof and something in me was telling me to just get out of there, but I called the customers. They didn't answer, so I called and, again, they didn't answer. I called one more time, and they didn't answer, so I left. I got home and my mom was hysterically crying watching the news.
A different delivery driver from a different Chinese restaurant with the same name as the one I worked at was delivering to the same college hall I went to. He was shot dead five minutes after I left."
"I was working solo in a small urban hotel as a front desk/receptionist and a girl, about 17 or 18, came in to check in for a room. This wouldn't normally be weird except that it was 8 am, and she didn't have a reservation. Still, not exactly a deal breaker. I informed her that we had a check-in time of early afternoon and to come back at that time since I was in the middle of a few checkouts. She left without a word.
A few hours later, at around 11, she returned asking for a room. Since I had finished everything and had a few spare moments, I decided to give her a room, which was the first and only time I've ever had a visceral feeling of dread and unease. She was a petite girl, quite pretty, and definitely young, but her eyes were completely and utterly dead. It was like staring a corpse in the eye. I had never experienced something like that and doubt I ever will again, but nevertheless, I continued with my duties and gave her a room.
While I was giving her the rundown of the place, she seemed distant and distracted. At first, I thought she was high. It happens and it's none of my business unless they bring anything with them into the room. She went up to the room and I didn't see her until near the end of my shift when I saw her returning to the hotel, holding a plastic bag from the hardware store down the road. I greeted her but she didn't seem to notice me. I finished my shift and went home.
That night, I told my mother about how odd she made me feel and that I had a bad feeling about her. The next morning, I went back to work and the cleaner told me that there was a guest who wasn't opening her door to check out. I recognized the room as hers. I knocked and let myself in using the master key, and I was greeted with an odd sight: clothes neatly folded and a pair of bloody scissors. I scanned the room and found nothing out of the ordinary. I figured she was in the bathroom, so I called out to her and knock on the toilet door. I opened it and was greeted with a sight that is burned into my mind to this day. That was the first time I'd ever seen a suicide with my own eyes and hopefully the last. The next few hours were a blur of police interviews and statements and sympathy. All I could think about was how my gut was right.
Sometimes it pays to listen to your instincts."
"I'm a recovered addict and party girl. For two years of my life, almost every day was focused on going to parties and getting hammered and high. I would go to random parties and take random substance just to achieve this.
One Saturday, a good friend called to invite me to a party at his brand new house. It was going to be a good party, with a bunch of my friends, and lots of substances to partake in. For some reason though, my brain told me to sit this party out. It was probably the first Saturday, in over a year, that I had chosen to stay in.
I woke up the next morning and found out that some of my friends, including the one who had invited me, had gotten into a huge fight. One of the guys pulled a weapon out, chased the others through the house, and shot two guys: one in the stomach and one in the face.
Literally dodged a bullet there."
"I was driving my teenage nephew to a job interview. Also in the car was his grandmother and younger brother. Suddenly and unexpectedly, I felt as if I was compelled to speak; I had an intense feeling that he shouldn't take the job. I warned him that I felt a terrible dread and felt that awful suffering and death was associated with the place. It also felt as if these weren't my words and I was just transmitting a message like I was passing on an official warning. He got the job (it was in a restaurant), having ignored my warning.
The place was a hotbed of junkies who soon got him hooked, too. Death, despair, and madness followed. His friends died, one by one, of overdoses. His girlfriend, too. He became a hollow-eyed scarecrow and opportunistic thief. He broke in and stole his grandmother's engagement ring while she was at her husband's funeral. He went to prison, where he was attacked, and he eventually lost his mind.
It's strange to report he is still alive when so many others along the way died. He's about 40 now and living on a pension and doing ok, but the damage to his brain is permanent.
You can call my message a gut feeling if you want, but it felt more like I was acting as a transmitter."
"A guy I was friendly with at work asked me to lunch. We had lunch, the conversation was ok, but something about him seemed odd, and I decided not to date him if he asked. About an hour after that lunch, he sent me a love poem, via work email, and I would find him waiting at my desk when I came to work several mornings.
My co-workers teased me about it, but I was creeped out and pretty forceful in telling him that I was not interested, telling him to go away. He became infatuated with a married a girl in another department. Several years later, one of the co-workers who teased me emailed me a link to a newspaper article reporting he'd been arrested for violating a young girl. She apologized and told me I was right to be wary."
"Freshmen year at college, I had a buddy who decided to get completely smashed for his 19th birthday. Since he was 'legal in Canada,' that means you get plastered in Michigan, right? Okay, whatever.
Anyway, we lived on the third floor of our dorm and the staircase was situated in a way where you could lean over and fall to the next descending set of stairs next to it.
My gut feeling was, 'This dude is going to do some dumb stuff and fall over the guard rails.' I, slightly tipsy, bolt it down the stairs to the parallel second floor and as I look up, my friend comes crashing down backward. I grabbed the back of his shirt near his neck and he fell face first, one inch away from busting his nose on the bottom of the second floor. I was shocked that I not only predicted it, but was able to firmly grab him by the back of his shirt in mid-air."
"My parents went to a party when I was about 2 or 3, leaving me in the care of my grandmother. After the party was over, they decided to leave me at my grandmother's for the night instead of bringing me home. That night, the house caught fire and my parents had to jump from the third story windows. My dad landed on a car and my mom slid down the drainpipe.
I would have most likely died from the fall or one of my parents would have while trying to protect me from the fall. Both of my parents were critically injured.
My parents say that they both had a feeling of dread when they were on their way to get me, but they passed it off as just being extremely tired and decided to go home."
"So, just a few important points of note here, to set the stage for what is to come. I used to love just sitting on a swing in my backyard at night, and listening to music. It was, and still is, really very cathartic because I live basically right on the edge of a fairly large and densely wooded area. Also, my best friend B lived two houses down from me, and went running every single night- rain, snow, sleet, sick, whatever- I could probably count on one hand the number of days he hasn't gone running in the past ten years or so.
There isn't any wildlife where I live that I'm really nervous about, aside from bobcats, or maybe black bears or coyotes, but all of those avoid people, and I've never heard of someone seeing a bear where I'm from. Also, I make it a point to try to work through things as rationally as possible, and I also make it a point for myself to try not to freak out about random creepy stuff, because I hate feeling afraid or helpless, and there's always an explanation.
Anyways, one night, just like any other night, around maybe 10 pm or so, I decided to go sit on the swing. I gathered my jacket, headphones, and brews, and walked outside. Immediately upon stepping into my driveway, I got this really weird feeling, like I was being watched. Thinking nothing of it, because it was night time, and it was probably just my primitive brain, I turned the corner by the edge of the house and started walking back towards the swing set.
Every step that I took, that uneasy feeling got stronger and stronger until it had almost reached panicky levels. I could feel it in my stomach, my body suddenly felt very cold, and at this point, I accepted mentally that I was alarmed about something. However, I still rationalized it as my primitive brain just doing its job. The weird thing is, as I got closer to the swings I started getting more and more nervous than I already was. I reflexively started walking slower, to the point that eventually, I came to a complete stop about ten feet away and, accepting that something felt really weird, began to look around and at the woods. Something was seriously wrong. It felt different outside than ever before.
Now, I'm a pretty big guy and athletic. I say that to emphasize that I was in no way concerned about a person walking out of the woods. Absolute worst case scenario, I feel comfortable asserting that I'd be able to outrun 95% of people, and that's if I couldn't physically beat them.
Anyways, I tried to force the weirdness out of my mind, but as I settled down onto the swing, I was afraid. I had no idea why, or of what, and I was trying to suppress it, but I knew deep down I was scared. Something was seriously freaking wrong, but I still tried to suppress it. I swung through one song, pausing the music every once in a while to listen to the night, which I never do. I literally got through one song, stop and go, and the feeling just kept getting stronger.
It wasn't the normal hairs standing up on the back of your neck scared. It literally felt like there was this overwhelming, malicious presence that was just heavy in the air. I swear, I could almost feel it just pressing down on me, from all around. It felt hateful, and, I never use this word because I think it's been cheapened by religious fanatics, but it was evil. There's no way around it. Something bad- really bad, was there. Something was really, really freaking wrong.
So, I got up and turned to swing facing the woods, which I NEVER used to do, because my friend B would sneak up on me from the front yard sometimes if did that. I got through maybe half of the next song, and somehow this feeling had continued to get stronger. It felt urgent. I've read in books descriptions like 'bone-chillingly terrifying,' and 'too scared to move,' and I always kind of shrugged them off as hyperbole. I certainly had never experienced anything even close to that- until that night. I was freaking terrified. I was literally shivering. I've never been worried like that before. I'm a person, I reign supreme of all the animals. But at that moment, it hit me like an epiphany - I felt like prey.
I couldn't see anything bad out there, I couldn't hear anything, smell anything, but I was completely and utterly horrified beyond all rationality. Like, almost on the brink of tears. I didn't know why, and I couldn't rationalize it, so I tried to just go on with what I was doing like nothing was up, but it just kept getting - the only way I can think to describe it is heavier - heavier, and heavier.
I turned my music off, and just sat, brew forgotten, looking around and at the woods. Searching. Desperately searching for anything that could explain how I felt so I could write it off as a stupid overreaction on my part. Just completely stock still except my head, refusing to surrender to my baser instincts, despite everything in me telling me to run. It was a warm summer night, and I was freezing. I know how corny that sounds, but I swear, I think about this moment several times a week, and it was years ago.
I literally couldn't take it anymore. Physically, I just couldn't take it. I could barely breathe, I was such a mess! I jumped off the swing, and SPRINTED back inside, closed and locked the door, checked all the doors and windows, closed all the curtains, turned on all the lights and surrounded myself with an arsenal of melee weapons, in the middle of the living room. I could still feel it, but it slowly faded. I didn't sleep that night, which never happens to me. I can pass out almost at a whim. But I was too high strung to sleep or eat or leave the couch. I just sat. No TV. No books. Just sat, thinking about what the heck just happened.
The next morning, I saw my friend B out by his car. So, I walked over and started telling him about it because I was so confused and pretty deeply disturbed by the experience. Even after that long body of text, I don't feel like I've conveyed how bizarre and terrifying it actually was. So, as I was telling him, he held up a hand and said, 'Hold on, hold on - stop right there, come with me.'
So, we went into his house and we walked up to his little sister, S. He said, 'Hey S, what did I say last night when I came in from running? Why didn't I go running last night?'
And she looked at us weird and said something to the effect of, 'You felt like something was out there, and you didn't feel safe.' She said that, completely unaware of what I'd been saying.
Apparently, and he lives two houses down from me, he walked outside to stretch before his run that night, and felt a weird vibe. As he walked to the end of his driveway, it got stronger and he started getting nervous. He started running, and stopped after a few feet, turned his music off, and scanned the woods. Then, he started running again, got to my driveway, and was so scared, uncomfortable, and freaked out that he just decided to call it quits for the night.
He NEVER does that. When we were talking about it the next day after talking to his sister, he said that he literally felt like a prey animal being stalked by something evil. It was exactly, almost to the T, how I'd felt.
Everyone always kind of laughs it off when we tell them that story, or thinks we somehow colluded and matched our stories up, but he specifically took me in to talk to S before I spoke, so that I'd know there was no funny business.
I have absolutely no idea what it was, and it hasn't happened again since, and that was like three, four years ago. Anyways, now I only swing facing the woods, and I carry a bat down there with me, even though I don't feel like I need it. But just in case.
That's the weirdest thing that's ever happened to me, and I still think about it all the time."