Thought Catalog
April 3, 2017

25 People Tell Scary Stories That Still Give Them Goosebumps To This Day

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What is the issue?
Human beings can be even more terrifying than ghosts and goblins. Just ask these traumatized people from Ask Reddit.
Unsplash / Eva Blue

1. There was a grown man in her closet

“Wife’s story: As a kid she lived in a mobile home. Her room was at the other end of the home from her parents. She noticed that her closet door was partially open and she had left it closed. She told her Mom she didn’t feel like playing in her room, because it didn’t feel right. Her mother was not the best. No where near it. Drugs, sleeping around, forget her at school because she washing her car. Well, her mother wouldn’t hear it and told her to go back to her room. She did for few minutes but thankfully father came home. He was her saving grace.

He believed her and went to check. There was 40yr old man in her closet. Her Dad muscled him out of there and held him until the cops got there. Apparently he was a mentally unstable guy who wandered in. The cops took him away. Her Dad was furious. Her Mother was literally like no big deal and nothing happened so move on.

Please note that she had gone to play in her parents room at the time the man had come inside the home. It was also a nice day and they left their doors open so that they could get fresh air and air out the mobile home. Her room was literally right next to the front door of the home. So as soon as you walk in, her door is immediately to the right.” — unfocsdgaze

2. A face was staring through my two-story window

“Here goes… I used to live in a 3 story building which had 2 homes per story. The windows of my home would face a large open space which was open to the public (kids playing, people running, football matches and so on). During the night though, this space would be deserted due to having no lighting.

I have lived in this house for a while and usually sleep with the curtains open and the lights off. On this day, I got ready to hit the sack and once I switched off the lights and opened the curtains, I checked my phone and saw some texts that kept me occupied and awake for quite a bit. I hear a rustling sound outside my window and as its the 2nd floor with no trees or buildings nearby, I walk to the window without expecting anything. The next thing I know, I am looking at a face staring back at me. I freeze because my mind cannot comprehend how a man can climb a straight 2 story tall wall that has no pipes, projections or sills. My mind finally unlocks, I scream, he tries to shush me, saying he’s been watching me for days and to show him my body, I scream some more and he scampers.

Police were called. He was not caught ever.” — sinnerpinner

3. We were carjacked and had guns pointed at us

“Not so much creepy as seriously terrifying but my roommate and I were carjacked right after we pulled into my driveway. We came home at about 11:50pm still a little high from hanging with some friends. We park and get out and within 2 seconds two guys in black hoodies had come up on both sides of the car. They had guns and my guy had his gun pointed at my gut about a foot away from me. I remember being so terrified I didn’t even want to look him in the eyes. I did what he asked me to (throw my purse in the car, start the car, etc.) and afterwards he told me to walk into the middle of the street. I had snagged my phone and jammed it into my bra thinking I need to call the police as soon as possible. As I’m walking into the middle of the street I just take off running and I can hear them screaming after me. I feel bad because I left my roommate on the ground where they had her after the guy on her side of the car frisked her for her things but they just took off. I was on the phone with the police within 3 seconds of running off and jumping into someone’s yard. What freaks me out is that we’d be gone since 8:30pm and they had been hiding behind a nearby hedge just waiting there. Obviously we had been scoped out previously but it’s creepy to think how long they had just been waiting there. We’re extremely lucky we were okay and that I was able to get my car back in semi-okay condition. My other roommate hadn’t been home that night but left a light on in our apartment which is visible from the street and the driveway where all this took place. If she hadn’t left that on or they noticed no one was home they could’ve taken us upstairs and robbed our place or assaulted us.

It left me with some pretty severe anxiety and some moderate PTSD whenever I’d go outside at night. It was also the night before my 21st birthday which sucked but I remember trying to continuously find the humor in the situation. Like, when he kept insisting on me to put the keys in the ignition and me telling him sassily it’s a push-to-start. Probably not a smart move on my part but it made me laugh afterwards how I tried to simultaneously stand outside the car and put my foot on the break and press the start button.” — clauds

4. I got tangled in red yarn that held doll heads

“I worked as a busboy for a 50s style diner. The cooks, manager and most of the servers were all huge stoners. We had all finished our Sunday morning shift and they invited me to go to the local butte to smoke out. The butte was a city park and you could drive on a road that corkscrewed up the hill. They all squeezed into a car, but I rollerbladed ( heh the 90s) part way and then walked up the rest of the way. I was a light weight and they got me stoned to the gills. After awhile I started feeling paranoid and decided to go home. After about 30 feet of stoned, downhill rollerblading I had enough sense to put on my shoes. I didn’t want to waste time taking the twisting road and started to cut through the trees and brush. But this is the Pacific Northwest and it really dense growth. Besides my general marijuana paranoia I’m also wary because this is a ‘cruisy park’ that always has tons of creepy dudes fuckin n’ suckin in the bushes. I’m stoned and stumbling through blackberries etc. Suddenly my arms and neck are tangled in red yarn. I do a couple Rusty Shackleford Sha-sha-sha hand chops Before I look up and around to see a dead tree with maybe 100-200 doll heads hung by Red yarn. I yank myself free and bolted downhill as fast as I could. I never went back and doubt if I could’ve found it again. And that’s why I’m a stoner now.” — jarbidge

5. We saved a little girl from getting kidnapped and raped

“9th grade, my friends and I left campus for lunch, and were walking through a neighborhood. my friend noticed up ahead on the other side of the street, some guy in a pick up truck was talking to a little girl right outside his front door with the front door open. He said something wasn’t right and i thought it must just be her father.

Anyway, my friend walks up to him, my friends and me following, and asks if there’s a problem. The older guy said no leave him and his grand daughter alone. My friend asks her if that’s her grandfather and she said no. When he asked her if she knew him she said no. That’s when my friend john stepped in between them and started talking shit to him threatening to kick his ass.

My friend called the police. Police came. It got the neighbor’s attention. Some guys across the street came out with baseball bats and chains when they saw what was going on, the police had to go and keep them from intervening, that the cops were taking care of it.

The girl’s mom came outside and was crying and screaming which is what got the neighbor’s attention besides the sirens. We had to write down a report for the officers. Give our contact information, though they never contacted us.

If we didn’t decide to walk to lunch that day, this little girl could’ve been kidnapped, raped and killed.” — nujurzy87

6. A sketchy car lingered in my driveway when I was home alone

“When I was around 13 my single father worked nights and because of this I was in charge of babysitting my 10 year old sister. I was up at 3am on a school night in the living room watching tv (this is around the time I discovered the ‘girls gone wild’ commercials) when I hear a car pull in my driveway. Thinking it was my father I did what any sensible child would do and I turned off the tv and like a bolt of lighting ran to my room. As I waited pretending to be sleeping I noticed that the vehicle never turned off, and so I mustered up some courage and peeked out my bedroom window. Outside there was a truck I didn’t recognize just sitting in the driveway with it’s headlights on. I heard the front doorknob jingle and for whatever reason I grabbed a metal pole ran into my sisters room locked the door and started hitting it making it sound like a house alarm. I did this for what felt like an eternity while my sister kept watch and saw two men get in the truck and drive off. They could’ve been lost, they could’ve been looking to rob us, who knows, but I never told my father (for fear of being punished being up at 3am) and I never saw anything like that again.” — Simmonater93

7. A man recently released from prison stalked me

“When I was 18 or 19 I went out to a New Year’s Eve party in the city and dropped my ID in the street. It was mailed back to me by a gentleman named Leopold.

Leopold was 53 and had recently been released from prison. He sent pictures of him ‘volunteering’ at a soup kitchen. Leopold was determined that him finding my ID was ‘a sign’ and that ‘we were destined to be together.’ He sent Bible verses that, to him, justified this belief.

He mostly expressed regret that I lived to far away, and that he didn’t have a car to come visit me. I was not at all regretful about this. Leopold sent other letters, but I never opened them.” — drunkenbusiness

8. A stranger harassed me at a gas station

“When I was in college, I was stopped at a gas station putting air in my tires and this man came over and started talking to me. It started off fine, it seemed he was just friendly and without much social finesse. But then he continued to get closer to me and lean on my car… it is very difficult to explain, but I very much felt like I was in danger. There was no real way I could get into my car without trapping myself and it just really seemed like he was intent on sticking around. My keys were also in the car NB because I was a 19 year old Midwestern girl who still trusted the world. He also kept glancing toward the gas pumps, which I felt was a sign he was waiting for me to be alone. I know all the comments to this post will be “You should have….” but I felt very trapped by the situation.

About 5 or 6 minutes into this, I locked eyes with a different guy (much older) across the parking lot. I tried to convey “something is WRONG” as hard as possible… and he quickly walked inside the gas station. I felt like he was trying to avoid seeing something unpleasant and I was going to end up alone.

A minute later the older guy comes out of the gas station with a few sodas and walks directly out to me and said something like “Good thing you stopped, your mom has been hinting about being thirsty for the last half hour. I got you a soda too while I was in. Now do you know how to get to (some town name) or do you want to follow?” I replied that I had better follow because you know how I am with directions. So yhis accomplished two things:. he gave me an out to the situation and let the creepy guy know that someone was watching.

So I followed him for about 3 miles out of town at which point the guy just kind of waved like “You’re good” and I turned and went back to my dorm.

I never got a chance to thank him in person, so every time I tell this story, I have to say a big thank you to anyone who has ever done anything like this. I have gotten two opportunities to step in and do something similar (both times pretending to be the BFF of a drunk girl because it looked like she was in a bad position). I wish I could tell that guy that I will now always get involved when someone looks like they are in trouble, because if I’m wrong, well then I look crazy/can be embarrassed, but if I’m right I can basically save someone.” — EventuallyFormer

9. An escaped inmate was loose in my town

“9 years old. I was playing cops and robbers in the woods at night and a police search helicopter was patrolling over us with a spotlight. Turns out they were looking for an escaped inmate from the state pen.” — TulsaBrawler

10. A woman lured him toward a gang of men

“My brother was selling some of his old laptop stuff on Craigslist. He got an email from a middle-aged woman inquiring about the laptop. They eventually agreed on a price, and she asked him to meet her behind a nearby Farm Fresh (a neighborhood was behind the building, they were only separated by a chain link fence). My brother got slightly suspicious, but not enough to back out of the deal. When it was time to meet up, my brother didn’t park behind the Farm Fresh, but in the neighborhood with a good 50 yards between him and the fence. There was only one car parked behind the building, but the windows were too tinted to see into from there. While still in the car, he texted her that he was at the discussed location. She texted that she couldn’t see him, so he said that he was right around the side of the store and to get out and meet him. Then, all the car doors opened, and 5 thuggish teenagers came out, one of which was carrying a baseball bat, and walked to where my brother said he was. No woman with them at all. A minute later, the same ‘woman’ texted back saying that she still couldn’t find him. Needless to say, the deal was off.” — Marksmenright

11. We snuck into a haunted sanitarium

“When I was about 12 yo a bunch of us decided to go ‘ghost hunting’ in an abandoned tuberculosis sanitarium. We waited until about midnight and sneaked in. The place was creepy and silent with dozens of those old wooden high-backed wheelchairs just scattered around. (this was about 1962) We were just getting ready to go up some stairs when one of these wheelchairs came bouncing and crashing down them. We ran as fast as we could out of there and never went back.” — nannylinn62

12. I was almost raped by a man in Moscow

“When I was a little kid, like 8 or 9 I was walking down a pretty main street in Moscow, with a friend of mine. I don’t really remember where we were headed, but I was the type of kid that was always out and about. So we turn down a smaller street and I see this guy, he was sorta sick looking, like his face was weird. He was standing in front of an open door and it was really dark inside. He calls to me and he says: ;Could you please go inside and grab my glasses for me? I can’t see without them.’

I look inside and all I could see is a table and a chair. So he tells me it’s right there on the table. I was a little weirded out plus the door was one of these thick metal doors so it got me even more scared. So then I tell him if you know where the glasses are why can’t you get them yourself? And he tells me it’s hard for him to see so why don’t I do it. At this point I just walked away really fast. Sometimes I still think of that moment and I think that I could’ve been easily raped or molested or killed that day.” — CommiePatrol83

13. A stranger followed our car and slept beside us

“A couple of months ago, my husband and I were road-tripping across the U.S.

At 3AM, we stopped at a run-down gas station in the middle of nowhere in Nebraska. By the middle of nowhere, I mean the middle of nowhere. The gas station was the only building in the area, and it was surrounded by empty fields. It was maybe 2 miles off the interstate. At 3AM, it was pitch-black outside and the lights at the gas station were the only thing that illuminated the area.

Since the gas station was closed, we were the only people there. My husband filled up the Jeep and we spent a few minutes rummaging through our bags because I couldn’t find my purse. (Turned out that I had left it in a relative’s car in Chicago. Oops!)

After a while, an SUV pulled up right next to us. The driver was a white man in his late 20s or early 30s. At that point, I was sitting in the passenger seat and my husband was about to get into the driver’s seat. The man approached my husband and said, ‘I lost my iPhone here. Have you seen it?’

Suddenly, a sense of dread filled the pit of my stomach as I noticed that he already had a phone. A flip phone on his hip. I studied his face. While he looked unassuming, there was something off about him. Something sinister.

‘I must’ve left it in that field over there,’ he said. The field was pitch-black. ‘Can you help me look for it?’

My husband already had his iPhone out with the flashlight on. He’s such a good Samaritan. He started to follow the man.

I whipped out my phone and texted him: ‘Leave.’

My husband immediately saw the text and looked at me. I must’ve looked terrified because he ran, jumped into the car, and we booked it out of there. As we were leaving, I looked back and saw the man get into his car.

We drove for about 20 miles on the interstate to a rest stop and slept there. After a short time, my husband woke me up and told me to look through the passenger side window.

The man had pulled up right next to us.

There were some empty parking spaces at the rest stop, and he still parked next to us. The creepy part is that we were parked at the very end of the rest stop and the spot next to us wasn’t a parking space. We had our seats down to help us sleep so he probably didn’t see us in our Jeep. We quietly watched him get out of his car, look over our Jeep, and walk into the building. Probably looking for us.

As soon as he entered the building, we snapped our seats back up and hauled ass outta there.

We drove for about 50 miles and found a hotel about 6 miles north of the interstate.

We never saw him again.” — choogiez

14. My bus driver tried to lure me back to his house

“When I was about 10 y/o, I took a public transpo from my school to my house. It is about a half hour drive and I was sitting beside the driver. Few minutes before my destination, I noticed I am the only passenger left. He then asked me if I wanted to come with him in his house to drink some juice because it is blazing hot outside. Luckily, we stopped in a stop light and I immediately got out.” — Thesisitpansit

15. A wild man knocked on my door because he wanted to watch me

“I was at home alone, about 18 years old at the time. I had seriously bad agoraphobia at the time, I would keep all my blinds shut, and everything locked up tight. I also had a tendency to avoid answering the door if someone knocked.

It was mid afternoon and a knock came at the door. I wasn’t expecting anyone and so was instantly on guard. I decided not to answer, and ignore it but they kept knocking. It was giving me really bad anxiety. Then they started trying to open the door, just turning the door knob as it was locked.

This went on for about 20 minutes, them still knocking and trying to get in so I finally answered the door. I kept the screen door locked though. There was a very dishevelled, homeless looking man there, big scraggly beard, long knotty, wild hair. Dirty clothes. He asked if he could come in and stare at me. I said no sorry, and shut the door. Then he started yelling out ‘Pretty girl, pretty girl come back, let me in, just let me look at you.’ Continued knocking and trying to get in.

I had no phone on me at the time. I couldn’t call the police. I was terrified.

Eventually my boyfriend came home and found him standing on our porch. He asked my boyfriend if he could come inside and look at the pretty girl. My boyfriend told him to go away or he would call the police but he still wouldn’t leave.

Boyfriend called the police and they came and took him away and talked to him. Police came back and told us he was actually our neighbor whose brother had passed away recently and he had gone completely off the rails and had been binge drinking every day and not leaving his flat. We didn’t recognize him because he was so messy and dirty looking, like a wild man.” — PoisonousPrincess

16. Someone let the dog back inside the house

“This was probably 10 years ago – I was around 13 years old. I was at my house with my brother (around 11 years old), and our two friends/neighbors (who were brothers, and the same age as us). Both our parents and their parents had gone out together for the evening.

Our house has large, double front doors. The second of the two doors (which is hardly used) has the locking mechanism where you have to unlatch it along the bottom of the door-frame to open it. The main door is your standard front door.

Anyway, we were playing video games in the basement, when I decided to let our dog out. I went upstairs, unlocked the main door, let her out, shut the door, and locked it. I went back downstairs and we continued to play whatever it was we were playing.

I totally lost track of time, and my friend, whom I’ll call Steve, noticed that our dog was sitting next to the couch we were on. I was confused, thinking perhaps our parents had just returned, as I hadn’t gone and let her in.

I went upstairs, calling for my parents (to which there was no response), and noticed both of the front doors were wide open. So not only had the main one been unlocked and opened, but the latch on the second had been undone, and that door had also been opened. I was terrified.

I slammed both doors shut and locked them, grabbed the home phone, sprinted downstairs and let the others know about the doors. We hunkered up in a spare bedroom, called our parents and them immediately left wherever they were to head home.

Nothing ever came of it. To this day, I still have no way of explaining it. But it was terrifying.” — sharkbit3

17. We were almost robbed — or worse

“As a teenager, I was sleeping downstairs in my parent’s split-level house. The cat jumps up on my bed and smacks me in the face to wake me up. What the fuck? Then I hear a noise. I go take a look and some dude is at the window next to our front door. I flip on a light and he takes off. The cat saved us from getting robbed or worse.” — clownface23

18. A stranger was hiding inside of our house

“I live in a small culdesac in the middle of no where. The next nearest neighborhood is over 4 miles away. One night a few years ago we got over a foot and a half of snow overnight. So far from main roads and on the weekend I knew our roads will be remain unplowed for quite some time. I went to my out back deck door to admire the snow Draped trees and the still heavily falling flurries when I noticed foot prints leading to my door then turning around and leaving.

I looked and saw that they came from my neighbors side and thought that one of their more delinquent kids played a joke as my sledding tube on the railing was popped. I decided I’d wait till later as it was early to call their parents. I went on facebook and after scrolling for a bit I noticed one of my neighbors closer to the entrance posted “did someone knock for me or something at my back door?”

We immediately called her and told her I have an idea. I called the first house on the entrance and told him what was going on. He went and checked and sure enough they were there too. Everyone started calling everyone else. I called the family at the far end and they told me there was none there. Then I got a call from my next door neighbor. She called the women that lives next to the end house. She said that there were footprints that led to her door. But none led away.

We already called the police by this point but now we called them back and said that it’s an emergency now. They told us the roads are still all unplowed and they can’t send a plow truck to clear the way as they are a privately owned company. The woman was losing it so one of the husbands (huge bear of a man) across the road from her texted her to say he was coming over to “invite her over”. He came and she left. We put up one guy’s live feed motion recording hunting cameras facing all exits. Nothing came out. Around 7 pm a plow truck came as well as 3 cop cars. The couple she was staying with and her went to her house and stood in the doorway as the police searched. They found nothing. She begged them to keep looking so they did.

Two of the cops went into the basement again. This time only one came up. He took her to the side room and we could hear hysterical crying (by now we are all out there). Me and a few of the other guys started towards the door when several police confronted us. They told us they found someone hiding under a cover opening in the stairwell that she didn’t even know existed . A few minutes later a scruffy man screaming and kicking came out in cuffs and was led away.

In his little camp out they found blankets she just cleaned and put away. In the room next to hers… She stayed in other people’s houses for a long time before going back. Even then she wouldn’t stay alone. She sold the house the next summer.

He turned out to be a thrill seeking junkie who was on probation for assault against a family member. The cops told us that they feel like he didn’t want to stay at his apartment after a fight with his roommate and drove off in his roommate’s car from the county over and got stuck in our unplowed roads . We all were called as witnesses in the case and he took some electronics from her basement (couldn’t get him on that since he never left with the stuff) it was about 4 months of court.

And that is why you always make sure you locked your doors.” — suitology

19. A man tried to open up the front door while I was inside

“About two years ago I was up late one night in my living room when I heard my steps creak and then I saw a shadow of a man in front of my door. I have a glass pane door with frosted glass, so I could see a clear outline of the man. He then proceed to try to open my door and when he noticed it was locked he just stood in front of my door. I was freaking terrified! I ended up quietly crawling to my dining room and calling the police.” — VivaLaSea

20. I found baby doll heads in the middle of nowhere

“I posted in another thread a couple days ago that I was hiking and found hundreds of baby doll heads hanging in a tree in the middle of nowhere and when I approached the tree something rushed at me.

One of my friend’s had a story where he got a few phone calls from a random person who kept repeating their full name. One late night when he got the call again, the person said his address over the phone and said he could see him in his living room window. My friend looked out the window and saw a black car speed off. Strangely never got any further phone calls.” — _coyotes_

21. The front door opened all on its own

“So my dad had just came back from the hospital after the 2nd chemo round and decided to stay at his mom for recovery as she would be home all day. I was living back at our place alone, business as usual. This one day I arrived at home around 3am, turned on the TV and went to bed. Eventually fell asleep and woke up around 11am. I woke up and the TV was off (nope, no sleep timers here) AND the door to my house was wide open. I called my dad and asked if he came to the house to which he said no – because it was still a struggle to walk.

Well, ok then.” — tetrastructuralmind

22. Two men chased me with a knife to get drugs

“When I was 17 I was selling weed and got pretty big to the point where I had saved up a little over 2 ounces to sell one day a random number texted me saying she got my number at a party and she wanted to buy like 40 grams for 400$ me being blinded by money met them at the meeting spot a public park but it didn’t feel right as I called them I heard a shuffle and running behind me 2 full grown tweeker looking guys were chasing me one with a knife and one with a 2 foot piece of plastic pipe they cornered me on both sides and I reached into my bag and grabbed the weed I threw it as far as I could they chased it and I ran the other way. Never sold weed again after that.” — Teabag11697

23. A drunken man wanted to bring us into his garage

“One time me and my brother were walking down the street, about 10 minutes away from our house. I was probably somewhere around 14 at the time, so my brother would have been 19. Suddenly from across the street this guy starts yelling at us from his garage, saying that we were ‘looking real fine tonight’ and that we should come on over. He sounded drunk, and so we just ignored him and kept on walking as he repeated that we looked good and should come in his garage. He started yelling at us angrily then, saying things like how we shouldn’t ignore him and that he liked us but now he’s just really angry. It was in a cul de sac so if we just walked straight we would have had to walk directly past his house, so we quickly cut through the grass of the houses closest to us and started running. We could hear him shouting profanity at us and that he “would find us and teach us a lesson!”, and we just ran until we couldn’t hear him anymore. Living in the sleepy little town that I do, having something like that happen to you so close to your house is terrifying. I still don’t walk in that cul de sac anymore even though it was years ago.” — AzeriaHaiiro

24. A stranger kept calling up my house and making sexual noises

“Not as extreme as some of the others here but a few years ago I started getting strange calls from an unknown number. At first I just thought it was a prank: The person (sounded like a man) would moan in a sexual way and say my name. I don’t know how they knew my name. But this person kept calling for weeks. They would call late at night and if I didn’t answer they would keep calling. Eventually I would make my husband answer but they hung up every time he would pick up the phone. It seems so minor but it honestly scared the fuck out of me. I started sleeping with a knife on the bed side table and had nightmares. The calls continued for two weeks until I got my number changed. I still don’t know who was doing it or why. I don’t give my number out to random people either.” — Bela_Ivy

25. I heard growling and thuds on the roof

“I lived in a rural area, mountains and woods around the premises, anyways I used to smoke outside on this slab concrete type thing on the side of the house. I was standing under a dim outdoor porch light which lit about 20 feet around the area so not very far, it was late at night just me and my baby home but my baby was sleeping. Not even halfway into my cig, I heard a deep growling noise, and it slowly got closer and closer and louder as it did. When I first heard it my reaction was to freeze, didn’t want to make eye contact with anything so I don’t even know how close it got, I just know it wasn’t in front of me but next to me.. how close I don’t know. Didn’t want to make a slow sudden movements either so I flicked my cig into the distance and jumped into the house, slammed and locked the door. Made a plan that I’d tip over this large wooden cabinet in front of the door if something tried getting in. Waited a few minutes in case whatever it was tried busting through then looked out the windows around the residence and didn’t see anything. Assumed it was a bear.

Another time, same residence. Heard numerous (4 maybe 5) slams on the back door, slowly crept to the door and tried looking outside without being obvious though the lights were off back there. But then I heard some thuds on the roof above me. I called the police. They came out within 10 or so minutes. They searched the area and said they didn’t see anything suspicious and it could have been a bear. So yeah but it doesn’t explain the roof thuds.” — hexyourex TC mark

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