Thought Catalog
February 21, 2016

31 True Stories Of Grisly Encounters With Strangers To Remind You To Lock Your Doors Tonight

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What is the issue?
Every day people post their nightmarish true stories to the Reddit group Lets Not Meet. If you’ve ever been curious about what kind of creeps are out there in the world, here are some of the most interesting recent posts.

It felt like a safe place

I was reminded of this recently, but it happened >10 years ago. I was living in my first apartment, alone. It was a third floor studio with vaulted ceilings in a huge complex that promoted itself as a “community”, with socials planned and picnic/playground areas among the buildings. Staff would drive around on golf carts waving hi. It felt like a safe place.

So one day I called up maintenance because my a/c wasn’t working. A man comes up to look at it. He’s short but kind of wiry looking, maybe late 40s and leathery, like he’s spent most of his life in the sun. He’s in overalls, has a bushy mustache, all smiles.

He’s inside my apartment with a screwdriver looking at the a/c and we’re making chit chat. All seems innocent until he stands upright, says it’s fixed and takes a step toward me.

He’s looking me in the eyes while he flips his screwdriver, suddenly not so friendly anymore. Then he says (I still remember the words exactly) “You know what I think? I think you’re pretty naive to be living in an apartment all by yourself. Here you’ve let a strange man in to your apartment – you even let me close the door. Anything could happen.”

I could feel the smile melting off my face but I tried not to let on I was afraid. Then I kind of laughed and said “Ha! That’s what my boyfriend said when I told him I was calling you guys. He insisted he come over. He’ll be here any second and you guys have already finished! You’ll probably run in to him on the stairwell.”

At that he left abruptly and I locked the deadbolt after him. I’d lied about my boyfriend coming over but immediately called him to make it (almost) the truth. At the time I thought I was overreacting and didn’t mention it to anyone. Looking back ten years later I realize just how sinister what he was saying was.

“Room service”

In the 1980s, my family went to the SEC Basketball Tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. Because of so many fans showing up for the game, all of the good hotels and decent motels were sold out, so my family had to stay at a very seedy-looking Travelodge.

The door wasn’t very secure, the phone was two-toned black and white, the TV had only one channel, and you could barely tell Three’s Company was on. I had to pee so I went to the bathroom and noticed the toilet top wasn’t there. By toilet top, I don’t mean the seat, I mean the lid over the water tank in the back. I didn’t think much about it since the rest of the room was so messed up.

My dad was out trying to find tickets to the basketball games and I decided to take a nap. After a while, there was a knock on the door. I guess the door didn’t have a peephole, because my older sister asked, “Who’s there?” The reply was,”Uh, room service.” I guess either my sister or my mom opened the door and I heard them slam the door and go hysterical, going, “OH MY GOD! OH MY GOOOOOOD!” The knock on the door had already half-woken me up, but their shouting woke me up for real.

I asked them what was going on and they said there was a scruffy looking guy holding the lid to the toilet, using it upside down as a tray, with a dildo, anal beads, and two packaged condoms sitting on it. The dildo was white or maybe off-white and my mom and sister said it didn’t necessarily look unwashed, but it had a brownish stain on most of the shaft.

They pushed chairs up against the door until dad got back, and then we changed motels.

He almost got me

I was 11 years old, i spent the night hanging out with my closest friend at the time, I left around 7 o clock. She was about a 15 to 20 minute walk away from my house. it was the month of december, so it was icy and dark outside.

While i was walking down the long sidewalk, i had to make a turn half way. Across the turn down the sidewalk i noticed a man way further down, he was alone at that moment. 10 seconds later a 4 door car drove up to him, it was a long street till my turn so i watched him talk to whoever was in the car, it sped off and he just stopped, watching me walk.

As i kept walking all i heard was “HEY YOU, COME HERE, STOP, HEY YOU!” I freaked the fuck out. I started walking faster..and then noticed he started running towards me. I started running for my life. Since the ground was covered in snow and ice, all i literally thought as i was running was “please god don’t let me slip, mom mom mom please help me” i was crying as i was running. He caught up extremely fast, I kept looking back and noticed the car slowly driving behind him, as I ran i felt his arm reach out and try to grab the hood of my sweatshirt.

By gods grace his hands slipped, and i ran a block trying to find a house with it’s lights on. I finally found one and banged at the door, almost ready to break it down to get in. this older couple finally answered. I ran inside explaining what happened. the husband then went outside to try and find him, when we went out he saw the man standing at the end of the street staring at him, then he ran off. my mom called the cops and pulled me out of school for 4 days afterwards, he was never found. For a while after I would would buy flowers and a card and leave it on the couples step, thanking them for saving my life.

God only knows what would of happened if he got me, and dragged me to the car. Let’s never meet again.