24 Real Life Stories Of Stranger Encounters That Are As Scary As Any Horror Movie

via Flickr - David Ziaran
via Flickr – David Ziaran

1. A Nighttime Bike Ride, What Could Go Wrong?

Growing up, I always wanted to go on a bike ride at night, something about it seemed really cool to me. It wasn’t until I was 13 that my mom finally let me. She told me to wear my helmet, have my phone, take a flashlight, and she set the parameters for where I was allowed to go. She gave me about 4 miles, which was a lot to me. So right after the sun set, I was off.

I loved it. There were no people out walking their dogs, no kids running around, the temperature was perfect, etc.. It was really fun, so fun, that I ignored the limits my mom set. You see, where I was biking was all walking paths. It was one of those grassy areas between two neighborhoods. There’s this long path that went at least 600 feet at a 25 degree angle. I was flying down this hill, having an absolute blast, and darted right through the parameters.

My mom set these limits for a reason. Everything on the inside was close to houses and people. The outside, more specifically, the place where the path I was on lead to, was barren. I rode along this path for 10 minutes before I could only see some of the lights of the houses on the inside of the limits.

After 15 minutes of riding along this dirt path, I hear singing. It sounded about 30-40 feet in front of me. I stop riding to hear it better. It was a woman’s voice. She was singing Eleanor Rigby by The Beatles. But she wasn’t singing the words, just the melody of the vocals. Her voice was strange. You know how when you have phlegm in your throat, your voice gets scratchy? That’s what her voice sounded like.

I inch forward to try and see her. I get close enough to see the silhouette of hair bouncing up and down, like she was headbanging. I decide to get my flashlight out. I’m thinking that maybe this person is in need of help or something. Or maybe this is an insane person and the light will scare them away. So I take the flashlight out of my pocket, point it at her, and turn it on.

The moment the light hit her, she stopped moving completely. She was facing away from me. She had disgusting hair that seemed to be sticking together in clumps. Some of her hair was ripped off, too. She was wearing a very over-sized, bright red hoodie. I was almost too scared to move. I think she was, too. I conjured up as much bravery as I could and said “Sorry” in a very, oops-this-is-the-wrong-room, kind of way. She didn’t respond.

I turned off the flashlight and put it back in my pocket. Just as I was turning my bike around, she screams. She screams in an awful, awful, high pitched voice. I damn near shit myself as I throw myself back onto my bike. I hear her voice getting closer to me. I book it as fast as I can. I don’t look behind me, and I don’t stop pedaling. Her screaming grew quieter and quieter until it dissolved into the howling of the wind.

2. College During Summer Break

I once worked as a live-in staff member in a college dormitory. During the summer we housed the few summer school students who remained on campus (near 30). It may be significant to point out these students tended towards the highly academically-motivated, often times high-stress students, if quiet.

One warm day in late June my office received a call from a concerned sibling that she and her family was unable to reach her brother who lived by himself in a room on the summer school floor. This wasn’t unusual as our office frequently dealt with students avoiding their kith and kin due to frayed nerves or general social awkwardness.

Our normal protocol to check on a student is to try to reach them by our emergency contact information, failing that – go check their room to verify they’re living in the building and perhaps available then and there, then have them call their family to verify we followed up on the original request. Also – we are to only enter a room with another staff member present to ensure personal safety of staff and students.

I failed to reach this student on his room and mobile phone, and was working short-staffed so since I was on my own I decided to pop up to his room and check on him.

I arrived on his floor around 2 in the afternoon and the floor seemed deserted as I had expected. I found his room number and immediately noticed the sound of a movie playing on a TV or computer from behind the door. I knocked three times and announced that I was a staff member checking on his health and safety.

No answer.

I didn’t think this was that remarkable, college students are notorious for leaving electronics running while not in the room. I checked the floor showers and bathrooms and found them deserted.

I returned to his door and knocked three more times, waiting about 20 seconds between each knock.

No answer.

This is when my instincts started to buzz. I worked in residence halls a number of years as a professional and something about all the pieces of this puzzle weren’t adding up; family concerned about his health and safety, electronics running (someone must have started them recently, within the time frame of a movie run-time), summer school students and their idiosyncratic behavior, something wasn’t right.

I was by myself, so I probably let myself get more worked up than if I was with someone else. A deserted dorm floor, even at 2 in the afternoon, oftentimes evokes Kubrician memories of the Overlook Hotel . . .

I decided that for some sense of closure or sanity I needed the immediate resolution of keying into this student’s room, even though I was by myself and not technically supposed to do so.

I knocked on the door one more time for good measure, again announced myself as the hall director. I keyed into the room and my spider sense went off even stronger:

The room appeared relatively vacant; the student appeared to be living out of a suitcase (which is unusual for someone staying no less than 8 weeks for a summer school session). The bedding was tussled like someone had been sleeping in it and all the lights in the room were on. And as I had suspected, there was an open laptop on a desk running on battery power playing The Matrix. But no student.

I began to start rationalizing to keep from feeling unsettled; surely this student and I had crossed paths on my way to his room (I’d never met him before so I wouldn’t recognize him otherwise) and perhaps he was just down in the lobby picking up delivery food for a late lunch.

Sure, that’s it.

Then I turned to leave, planning on trying to reach the student later in the afternoon or that night. As I turned to leave I noticed another odd piece of evidence; the accordion closet doors (which are removed in most rooms due to disuse, particularly single rooms like his) were still in this room. And they were closed.

Odd. I couldn’t remember the last time I actually saw someone use those cranky, dysfunctional doors. Then my intuition spiked higher than ever. SHIT SHIT SHIT. I realized I was alone in a room with a potentially suicidal student who may, in fact, have completed just that. And I am about to be “that guy” who discovers the body and then has a shit storm of paperwork and undesirable tasks, not the least of which would be calling the family back to break the news.

I felt like I was talking to myself when my voice cracked as I spoke to the closed doors and announced my name and title and that I would be opening those accordion doors in 3 seconds.

I fumbled with the latch on the doors, and finally managed to get them disengaged, and as I slid the doors apart, I was unprepared. I don’t know what I really expected, a hanging? gunshot wound?

I’ll tell you what I didn’t expect: a 7′ dark-skinned Indian man staring at me embarrassingly as though I had found his secret hangout. We stared at each other for a good 15 seconds without blinking, breathing or speaking.

I finally realized what was going on and my natural emotion was disbelief. All I could think to say was, “Um . . . are you in here hiding from me?”

He looked at me and said, “Yah.”

My heart was still racing, I turned to leave and before I shut his door I turned back to him and said, “Call your sister, she’s worried about you, and, frankly, I am too.”

3. A Police Officer Makes A House call

One night, around 3am, I was dead asleep with my ex-boyfriend next to me. All of the sudden I hear someone IN my house asking if anyone was home. I woke up my ex, and told him to go see what the hell was going on. He was a total chicken shit and made me go. I get out of bed, can’t find my glasses but the guy is still shouting. I come out of my bedroom in my pajamas and see there is a big bald dude in what looks to be a police uniform standing in my entryway.

I’m squinting trying to get a good look at him and he looks at me and says, “I just wanted to tell you that your door was left unlocked and you should lock it.”

I mumble something to the effect of “Uh, thanks?” and he leaves my apartment. I’m still as blind as a bat but I see that he walks away instead of getting into a car. (No policeman would be policing the woodsy area I live in on foot)

The next day I called the local police station and asked if any officers had reported this incident and they said they would check with the on duty officers and get back to me. The called me the next day and said no one had done this.

I still get freaked out when I think about this happening and I wish I knew what that guy was up to.

4. A Stranger On The Couch

My brother came into town on business and invited me to bar-hop on his expense account. I let my wife know not to wait up and met up with him once I got off work. We spent the night going from bar to bar catching up on what had been going on in our lives until the last bar closed (around 2-3am). Then we stumbled back to his hotel room and passed out.

I woke up the next morning around 7am and went home. My wife had already left so I didn’t see her. An hour or so later she called me and asked where I had gone so early that morning. I was confused cause I didn’t get home until after she had left for work. I explained this to her and she got really scared.

She explained that around 12:30-1am she heard a key in the front door and the door opening. She sat up in bed and saw a male figure come in (who she assumed was me) and go into the living room. She assumed that I had just decided to sleep on the couch rather than come into the room and risk waking her up. So she just rolled over and went to sleep. A few hours later (around 5-6am) she heard someone moving around downstairs again and then the front door opened and she watched the person leave and heard the door lock. She thought I was heading out and just rolled back over to sleep again.

We called a lock-smith and had the locks changed that day.

5. Psycho Masked Axe Killer

This story is 100% true, I experienced it myself in the Summer of 1991.

When I was about 10 years old, I lived on Woodway Drive in the Fox Harbor Apartments in Paducah, KY. If you look up the address, you will see some woods just to the north of the apartment complex. My friends and I played in those woods every day after school and all day on the weekends.

Through the few years I lived there, we cleared a small area in the woods and created a fort from various things we got out of dumpsters. It was our own place that no one else knew about, and it was awesome.

One day as we were walking to our fort, off in the distance we saw a man walking through the woods. He was walking parallel to us, but in the opposite direction – like cars traveling on a road, but with about 70 – 80 yards separating our paths. We stopped talking and stopped dead in our tracks when we saw him. We never saw anyone in the woods, especially not adults.

When we stopped moving, he did too. He turned towards us and looked right at us. As I stared at him and was able to make out the details of what he looked like, I noticed that he was wearing what looked like a Halloween mask (a generic mask, not Michael Myers) and carrying an axe in his hands. We stood there in silence and motionless for what was probably about 10 seconds – he looking at us, and us looking at him. The he started sprinting straight at us.

We did the only thing we apparently thought to do, run straight to our fort. We were probably about 50 yards from the entrance to the fort and in those 50 yards he gained a lot of ground on us. When we finally made it, he was upon us. All of my friends scurried up a tree and were screaming, but I was the last in line. By the time I could try and climb the tree, he was standing right there by us. He was screaming like a lunatic and waving the axe in the air. I was scared, had no idea what was going on, and my mind was blank on what I should do.

I grabbed a large stick and took a nice big baseball bat swing and cracked him on the face with it. He stumbled back a bit, moaned and took the mask off. I recognized the face. It was the landlord and manager of the apartment complex. A man who was probably about 50 years old. He wanted to play a joke on us and thought this was the most appropriate thing to do. He was a fucking psycho.

6. Why It’s Good To Be A Dog Person

When I was quite young I was out at the park walking my dog (German Shepherd) when I realized it was getting quite late and I was the only one left in the park. A man dressed in a dark hooded top and a black scarf covering his face jumped the fence that leads into the alleyway behind the park and started marching towards me, but he hadn’t spotted my dog, who was off sniffing around or doing whatever dogs do. My dog got between us though and there was a kind of stand-off for a while. My dog was really tense and growling with his hackles raised, and I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know if my dog was going to attack the man so I just kind of froze. After a while the man backed away, jumped back over the fence and ran away down the alley. I put my dog back on his lead and went home, but he was still tense the whole way back. I was a little freaked out, but perhaps not as afraid as I should have been, looking back on it now. I didn’t know what that man wanted, or what he was doing there, or what would have happened if my dog wasn’t there with me. There would have been no reason for him to go into that park by himself and come towards me like that. I shudder to think about it. I think if the man had made a move towards me my dog would have attacked him.

7. The Laughing Woman

In Toronto there is a subway system run by the TTC or Toronto Transit Commission. They often square off certain parts of the subway route (Which is pretty fucking basic) in order to do some upgrades or fix bits. Lately they’ve been shutting down the subway rides into downtown on the weekends.

Anyway, They were doing some upgrades on the track and we were going by pretty slow making sure not to run over anyone while they scampered out of the way. Out of no where the power cut out. Now, I should say that I wasn’t the only one in the train car. The cars are decently long and I was at one end, and some woman was at the other end.

When I walked onto the train it was up at her end where there was a giant bubble of seats empty around her. She was displaying the typical signs of Batshit Crazy and people sort of avoided her. Everyone else was off, getting off at Yonge but I still had another couple stops east to go.

She was laughing, audibly, and I tried to tune it out by listening to some music but it never really worked. It was so chilling that my brain sort of just kept ignoring the music and focusing on her, so eventually I just unplugged the music and sat back, trying not to shit my pants.

So anyway, the power cuts out and here I am sitting at one end, as far away from her as I could possibly be, and the lights turn off for some reason.

She stopped laughing.

In fact, she stopped making any noise at all.

When the lights came back on about 5 seconds later when I had sufficiently shit my pants, she wasn’t at the far end. She was about 3 seats away from me.

Staring at me.

The second the train stopped I bolted for the fucking door.

After she ‘relocated’ she didn’t make another sound, she just kept staring.

Fucking creepiest moment of my goddamn life.

8. Legs On The Tracks

I’ve got one hell of a disturbing story that happened to me a few years ago in the Parisian metro.

This happened at station “Filles du Calvaire” (which is a pretty nice neighborhood actually). I had a regional train to catch at a bigger station to visit my aunt in another city, but first I needed to reach the central station (Gare de Lyon) using the metro system.

So I entered the Filles du Calvaire station and waited for my train. There were only a couple people on the platforms. I waited, and waited but it still wasn’t coming.

In Paris it’s not unusual to be able to see the next or previous station through the tunnel, from the platform. So people stand on the edge of the platform and impatiently look in the dark of the tunnel to see if they can spot the next train coming, or, if they can see it arriving at the nearby station. Here’s a Google Images pic of how the station looks, it’s very small.

So I did just that, I looked at the previous station through the dark tunnel and saw that the train was actually there, but it was not moving, and not coming toward my station. I thought it must have some technical issues and since it was only a few hundred meters away from me, I figured it would eventually just start again and come. After a few minutes of waiting, it got to a point where I could miss my bigger train if I didn’t leave this station now. So I had to make a decision quickly, either know that it’s coming and wait some more, or bolt out of the station and take my bicycle to rush to the central and not miss my train.

But then, I heard some kind of weak moan coming from the tunnel. I figured, maybe there are some technicians on the tracks, who I can’t see because they’re in the dark portion of the tunnel between my station and the other one where the train is standing by. Or maybe there’s just some random person on the tracks and that’s why the train is stopped, which happens a lot in Paris. But usually they tell you on the speakers.

I walked to the end of the platform to have a better look at the dark part of the tunnel. I couldn’t see a thing at first, but as my eyes adjusted to the dark, I got chills down my spine. Close enough so I could see there was something, but far enough so it was still too dark and I couldn’t be sure what I was seeing, I saw what roughly ressembles a naked male human body laying on the track, but the position was weird and the angle such that I couldn’t see a head and wasn’t sure of the position it was in.

And then it moved.

Thanks to the movement I could make out a pair of hairy flexed legs that were extremely skinny (I would said atrophied), with very white skin. The legs were facing me as if someone sitting in front of you fell backwards from their chair.

It moaned a little more, making my shocked self snap back into reality, realizing that “it”, was an actual person, and one in a very unfortunate position. I couldn’t see much but it was clearly someone crippled. I figured if there had been any impact with a train already it would be much messier, so this probably hadn’t happened yet. But the poor guy seemed completely dizzy, barely conscious.

I turned around and started running to the middle of the station where the safety lever was (if you activate it it cuts off all electric current to the tracks), but as I was about to reach it I saw two security guards rushing the opposite direction to me, obviously to the rescue of the poor guy. It was clear that the current was already off and there was no service. I really wanted to know what happened exactly but I was about to miss my bigger train, so I rushed out and took my bicycle.

Later that day I googled the shit out of this and checked all the news websites to see if there were any reports and find out more. I couldn’t find anything. My best guess is that some sick fuck had kidnapped and stripped naked a disabled/paralyzed person and put them on the track for “fun”, in the hope they would be squished by a train.

9. A Drunk Chat Gone Wrong

I once got on a pretty crowded Bloor bus and thought I had begun a jovial conversation with a random guy. We said random drunk things to each other for a while, and it seemed as thought we were getting along merrily. Then we passed the shoe museum, where there was a gigantic pair of high-heeled shoes in a window display. ‘Whoa, what the fuck are those?’ Said my new friend. ‘I dunno,’ I replied. ‘But I’d give her the dick.’

I thought this was funny. Because we were drunk and that was the kind of stupid talk we’d been talking the whole time, and because if someone actually existed to wear those shoes she would have been 20 feet tall.

‘Yeah?’ he asked calmly. ‘How about I fucking skin you?’

‘Huh?’ I said. Confused at the sudden turn in our discourse.

‘I’m going to fucking kill you and skin you alive!’ He shouted.

I am 6’4 and probably had 60lbs on him, but where a moment ago I had been happy and laughing, I was suddenly afraid. He crazied me into stunned and frightened silence.

As the bus made a normal stop he leaped at me and started shoving me towards the door. Not like one big shove, but like a hundred little frantic shoves. Bemused and startled, I just kind of let it happen, and then watched as he stared at me through the window of the leaving bus.

I have no idea if he was wasted or crazy or just randomly decided to fuck with me. But in the future I know to be more careful when I suggest that I would enjoy intercourse with giant imaginary women.

10. Strangers And Strange Cars

I went on my first vacation without any adult supervision and minors under my watch at 19; we went to St. Thomas for a week and stayed at a really nice Marriott on the island. It was me, my best friend (17) and her little sister and her little sister’s best friend both 16. Everything was going wonderfully the drinks flowed we bronzed our ebony skin on the local beaches and we clubbed/bar hopped as we expected to.

On our second to last night of parent free paradise we decided to take a taxi to the other side of the island to meet up with an American bartender/waiter that we had befriended at one of the restaurants on the Marriott property.

This is where the night began to go the way of shit.

A nice taxi driver who had taken us to most of our destinations and who had become like a grandpa figure to us over the course of our vacation picked us up and told us to call him and he would pick us up when we were done.

So once he drove away we realized we were at the wrong spot. So we (already being pretty buzzed) walked away and began to do a recon for this dude walking from club to club (steadily getting more and more wasted) we ended up at this local bar filled with older, sketchy, Rasta type dudes but by this point we had been looking for like 3 hours and decided to just enjoy the music and dance the night away.

I excused myself from our dance circle to use the bathroom but after about 10 steps something told me to look back at my friends. There standing over my friends was a huge Rasta sprinkling some type of powder over the unsuspecting teens. I quickly looked down on myself and their was this dust all over me too! I was officially freaked out so I run over to them and tel them what’s been going on; WE’RE ALL FREAKED OUT NOW! So we call our grandpa taxi driver and his wife picks up and tells me that he fell ill unexpectedly and can’t come pick us up! We have no way to get back to the hotel so the younger girls begin to get paranoid and begin ranting about voodoo (I’m tired, drunk and now officially creeped out but need to keep my cool in front of the girls) so I call the hotel and see if they can send a shuttle (it’s like 3AM) but they say they can’t.

Wouldn’t you know that while i’m talking on the phone with the Marriott Rasta man has made his way over and starts in on us

Creepy Rasta Dude: “You girls staying at the Marriott I can take you there no problem I’m actually a taxi driver”

My BF: “No we’re good thanks though”


Me: “Hey man calm down no offense meant we’re good but really thanks for the offer”

Creepy Rasta Dude: “WHO THE F*** WAS TALKING TO YOU!”

At this point we’ve moved outside and are trying to flag any kind of taxi down; a crowd has gathered and they are all pro creepy Rasta Dude.

We’re are heavily outnumbered both by locals and by Men and now the younger girls are crying.

And suddenly like out of a dream a taxi driver pulls up and tells us to get in so we do so without really looking at the car.

He’s happy and talkative for the first minute of the car ride and then he completely shuts down stops talking and begins to blast some reggae music to the point where we can’t here each other speak in the back.

we get within half a mile of the familiar path to the hotel and he stops the car.


There isn’t a light

He hasn’t run out of gas

We certainly haven’t asked him to pull over

He just stops the car and turns off the music and sits there like he’s trying to debunk Einsteins theory of relativity.

and then he turns his left blinker on…his left blinker that would lead us to the shanty side of St. Thomas…the left blinker that would go Away from our hotel….

My heart drops to my stomach and the worst case of pins and needles kicks in. I turn to the door that I’m sitting next to and try to open the door but they are LOCKED!!!!


I was scared not really for myself but for my friends and for their families and especially for my parents who had already lost a child.

So I pull it together and try to make my voice as strong as possible and squeak out:

“This is not our turn I think you’re confused”

and for what felt like an eternity but was probably like 30 seconds he was quiet and then turned his blinker off, nodded and began to drive us to our hotel.

When we got out the security guy who we had also made friends with scolded us when we got out about getting into random cars.

Turns out there wasn’t even a taxi sign on the car he had just yelled taxi and we had gotten in due to how distracted we were from the crowd.

To this day I wonder what would happen if I hadn’t said anything about the turn.

11. Late Night Visitors

One winter I was pushing my limits and winter camping a lot, but I had this crazy tent with a fireplace. The limits part was just the fact that I was solo and pretty remote in these places. This was rural SW colorado canyon country, there wasn’t that much snow at all on the ground but it was 0 degrees F that night. Well, it was a full moon and I was restless so at about 2am I got out of my tent (fire still going) and went for a long walk. I ended up climbing up some stuff that was probably a quarter or half mile from my tent/vehicle but up above it so I could see down on my tent and campsite clearly. It was really beautiful down there, dimly lit from the inside by the stove’s fire and dimly lit from the outside by the big moon. I was enjoying myself and just about to head back down when I heard distant gravel crunching. I had been there since noon that day and not a single vehicle had driven past so I was kind of put off and decided to stay up there until they drove passed.

The noise grows louder (amazing how far away you can heard in the canyons at night) slowly and eventually I can see that it is a car on the same road so I stay put and watch. It’s going really slow, I can see a lighter being used quite a bit (i’m not saying they were smoking meth, but they were smoking meth). And it’s something like a 89 caprice or something. Like the old cop cars, and really crappy. So I’m just watching, still in a very wistful mood and feeling somewhat powerful from my perch. They near the bend where they’ll be able to see my tent and round the corner. Brake lights. They slow way down and seem to pause at my tent for an eternity. Probably only a minute or so but now I was on high alert and pretty nerve wracking. I had no kind of anything weapon wise on me, just a hatchet down by the tent for firewood.

But they drive on. I’m pretty relieved but still shaken, now thinking about what if they come back. So I decide to chill for a little longer and make sure I see them exit. Nope. They turned around down the road and came back. I watched as they parked a ways down the road and got out and started walking down the road towards my camp. It was such bright moonlight with slick rocks all around that I could see this all happening SOMEWHAT clearly but I couldn’t make out much more than the basic scenes and there were still lots of big shadows.

I proceed to watch for quite a while as they approach my tent, look all around the outside, look in the vents (where it probably looked like I was sleeping, the bag was in there with bedding), mess with my vehicle, and then walk back to their car and leave.

I pretty much stayed up there until just before dawn and only came down when I knew I could break camp and bail. There were footprints in the snow on the outside of my tent and I kept imagining what it would have been like to have just woken up and not known what happened, just see the footprints.

After that I started carrying A) a spot locator beacon B) battery powered motion detector alarm C) shotgun. And I started using a much smaller tent and sometimes I even camp in a bivy 20 or 30 feet away from my tent and just put my pack in the tent. This way if someone starts messing with the “honeypot” I have enough time to get some awareness and do the right thing.

12. Serious “Crystal Lake” Potential

My Senior year of High School me and three of my friends went up to this tiny cabin in the middle of Fucking Nowhere, Michigan that my friends grandpa owns. Now by middle of nowhere I’d say this is probably the most remote location I’ve ever accessed by car, about 30 miles out we lost cell phone service, google maps didn’t have a map of the location, there were no street signs, and the roads barely qualified as such. The last leg of the drive was one single “road” went for maybe 5 miles with no intersections and ended at the cabin and nothing else.

Anyways, cut to the next evening we have been swimming and drinking a few beers at this nearby pond but it’s getting pretty dark so we decide we need to head back. We get close to the cabin and realize that not only is the light on but the door is open and there is the creepiest looking dude I’ve ever seen just kind of standing there looking out the door in our direction. Sensing danger we immediately bolt and get as far away as possible, none of us can sleep and we don’t have cell phone service to call 911 so we basically just hide and freak the fuck out all night long.

The next morning we work up the courage to go back to the cabin where the door is still open, we rush inside, grab our shit, take note of the fact that nothing is missing (we had laptops, ipods, liquor, etc. there) and that the fucking panel to the crawl space/attic area is open, get in the car, and drive all the way back to Ohio.

To this day I have no idea who the fuck he was and why he happened to be in the middle of absolutely nowhere looking through the cabin we where staying in but to this day I refuse to go camping, etc/ anywhere too far from civilization. Fuck now I’m going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

13. Nightmares Confirmed

My sister’s bedroom was on the second floor. All of a sudden she screamed and said she saw a hand on her window. We thought she was having a nightmare, told her to go back to bed. Next morning we found a ladder up against our house by her window.

14. A Lewd Voice From Out Of Nowhere

I once lived in a sort of bad neighborhood in a very tiny house with my brother, who was rarely there. Old house, so it was a little creepy and also felt like anyone who wanted to could have broken in.

One night I was getting ready for bed, it was pretty late and during a hot summer. We didn’t have A/C, so I had one of those two fan window deals. The blinds were pulled down to the top of the fan. I was changing for bed, I sleep in underwear and a t-shirt.

I slipped out of my pants and changed my shirt. I don’t wear a bra to bed because Fuck that. I am about to hop into bed when I hear a low, masculine voice say, ” Let’s see those titties again”

I think my whole body stopped working for 5 seconds while I absorbed the fact that there was a creepy peeping tom right outside my window and I was alone in a house that he could get into if he wanted.

It was the first and only time I called the 911. I had a panic attack waiting for the police and the very nice 911 lady had to calm me down. Bright note, apparently it was a slow night because they sent 3 cars. I was so happy when I moved.

15. So Scared He Joined The Army

When I was 17, my friend and I were walking down the street near my house at about 1:00 am. We lived in dense neighborhood dominated by three decker houses. We came around a corner to see this huge bull sized man on his knees, over a woman. He was furiously smashing her head into the concrete sidewalk. When I say this guy was bull sized, I mean he was not fat. His muscles had muscles and they were bulging. He reminded me of the Hulk. Only, he was not green. He was red. Red as if he was in heatstroke. We screamed at him right away.

He looked up, and I will never forget that face. There was snot pouring out of his nose. Long strands of it hung all the way down to the woman’s head. His eyes were bright white, crazed, wide, and far too circular. His face expressed a murderous fury I have never seen before, and hope I never see again.

He lifted the woman’s head by her hair, and with a loud “crack” spiked it into the cement like a football, and screamed “you want some of this huh!” I had not seen my friend pick up the rock he had, but he threw at the guys snarling face. He hit him right in the nose. It was a big ass rock, but it did not even phase the guy.

They guy lunged at my friend, who took of running. They guy took off chasing my friend. I knew there was no way a guy that size would be able to catch up to my buddy who was a track and field athlete. I ran to the woman.

Her hair was completely matted, and dark red blood was gushing from a huge deep gash across her forehead. I could not believe she was not unconscious. I tried to tell her I was here to help and she became combative. She started punching me screaming to leave her man alone. I was afraid that her screaming would bring that monster back to us.

With that thought I said “fuck this” to myself and I grabbed her wrists and dragged her to the nearest door and started pounding on it. This time it was me screaming “open the fuck up!” I was scared shitles that this guy would be back before I got to someplace safe.

Two men opened the door and pretty much freaked out when they saw that I was restraining a small woman covered in blood. I think they were about to take me out, but I screamed “call the police! Call an ambulance!” I told them that we needed to get in before he comes back. I told them “He WILL come back!”

We quickly dragged the woman into the hallway, shut, and locked the door. One of the guys called the police and they showed up in what seemed like seconds. An ambulance arrived soon after.

My buddy, seeing the lights of the squad cars, returned to the scene. He out ran the guy, and got to a store and had the clerk call the police. So I guess they were already on the way before we made the call.

The police had a lot of questions of course. We had no idea who the guy was. We never saw him or the woman before. In the end the police gave us a card and said that if we see this guy again, call 911 right away. Like I would even hesitate.

The next day, the events of the night before were in the paper. I read the article sitting on my porch. It said that the woman was in critical condition. It mentioned my name as well as my buddy. It also said that the man was yet to be identified, and was yet to be apprehended. Here is the part that really messed with my head. The place where this happened was one block away from my porch. I looked up and could see the spot where he was smashing her head. I remember thinking “That fucker is still out there!” and looking down at the paper “he knows my name.”

Two weeks later I turned 18, and I was on a plane to boot camp. This guy scared me THAT much.

16. An Older Boy On AIM

Not quite an “encounter,” but this is a scary story nonetheless, I think.

I first got AIM when I was about 13. I wasn’t very smart about using it, so I was always talking to these random people that I didn’t know. One day, some guy who claimed to be from my school and just a couple years older than me IMed me and we started talking. Being 13 and niave, I talked to him for days and developed a “crush” on him.

He asked me if I wanted to meet up to “hang out” and we even planned a specific time and place to do so…but I was a little skepical. I made the smart choice to ask my older sister (who was his age) if she knew this guy. She didn’t, which was a red flag to me, since the school is small and it’s impossible to not know someone there. I decided not to meet the guy, and blocked him on AIM because I was creeped out that he obviously had been lying to me.

The scariest part? About three years later, I saw a news article with that guy’s name. He didn’t lie about that, or the fact that he was from my town, but he was really 25. Why was he in the news? He was convicted of raping three young girls who he’d lured from AIM. He planned to murder one of them, but she managed to get away.

17. “I Never Want To See That Hungry Look Again”

During my first year of college my brother (8 years older) lived about 2 blocks up the street from where my dorm was. This made it super easy to go over and hang out since we’ve always been close.

Well this particular night, a Thursday I think, I decide to head home a little early and leave his place at about 11. I step outside onto the street and it is oddly empty. I can only see one other person in sight and hes directly across the street.

He was making all sorts of weird guttural noises and wigging out but this being in the city I see that all the time. So i just head left and think about putting in my headphones to listen to some music. God damn glad i didn’t because the noise from the guy suddenly stops after i walked about 10 feet. The abrupt silence was unnerving and I looked back over at him. He had stopped moving and was staring directly at me. Then he made a fucking beeline across the street (wide quad lane, no cars though) for me.

I picked up my pace and looked back once i reached the end of the block. He was about 70 feet away now and hobble/running like some kind of zombie. So I freak out and start running back to the dorms with him in hot pursuit, and now he’s making these slurping noises with his tongue and groaning.

As I near the door to the dorm I hope to god that my security card works on the first swipe (it never did). I jumped the short 4 stairs and zipped my card as the guy is now about 25-30 feet away and still running.

Card reader flashes green and i grab the door, rush inside, and slam it back closed behind me. A group of students are just about to go out the door but I stop them and tell them to wait. The guy comes all the way up to the door and paces for a little bit outside before slinking back off into the darkness.

The thing about him that scared me the most was whenever I looked back or when he was at the door he had constant eye contact. I never want to see that hungry look in someones eyes again. Maybe he just wanted my gum.

18. Running On His Hands And Feet

Took my ex to Red Rocks one evening. It’s a natural amphitheater that is sometimes used for concerts just out of Denver. If there isn’t a concert going on, it’s just a park that you can run around in.

We got down to the stage without being bothered. Then we see a silhouette of some guy not far away. He is creeping around trying to be quiet, but I could make out his shape while my ex could hear him breathing. We go up a few rows of steps and make a big circle around him to get to the steps. The guy is following us.

We climbed the stairs looking back at him. He’d creep from seats to the side of the wall. He must have thought he was being stealthy and he followed us up like that. We didn’t let on we knew he was there until the last few steps. I had my ex run for it with the car keys while I half ran keeping myself between her and the guy. At this point the guy is following us doing an ape like impersonation by running with his hands on the ground and grunting.

When we get to the car he is hiding, my ex unlocked the doors while I looked around. We get in and the guy comes from behind a car as I start it. He beats on my windshield a few times, yells something I don’t understand, and runs off. He was probably on something pretty powerful.

19. A Veteran Tells A Girl A Story

I was sitting at a bus stop next to an older man in rumpled slacks and a white dress shirt.

I had seen him a few times before because we took a similar route. I rode one bus in particular that he was usually on to get to some summer classes that I was taking at the local public college. He’d made eye contact on occasion and said things like “You look very nice,” or “Your hair is very pretty today.” I honestly thought he was a very sweet old man being harmless and friendly and it made my afternoon a couple times.

On this particular day, my bus was nowhere to be seen and I’d been sitting there next to him for several minutes. All we’d said to each other was “hi”, so I started a conversation with him. Immediately he began telling me about his experiences in the Vietnam War and it became readily apparent that he was very mentally disturbed. He claimed that he heard God’s voice telling him, “Moses, I call you to this war to atone for your people,” and that he immediately enlisted, but not before a night of passion with his then girlfriend who he described as a “Chinese hippy”.

He then went on to describe in very explicit detail the physical characteristics of the various Vietnamese women he had sex with over the course of the war. And then about his girlfriends of varied Asian descent when he returned from the war. The universal defining characteristic that he never failed to mention was long black hair. “Long black hair” — while pointing at my head, immediately followed by “Loooong black hair” — while pointing at my crotch.

I am a 90 lb Asian female who was, at the time, wearing a sundress and carrying a bag of cookies I had just purchased.

I gave him a cookie and got on the first bus that came by. We were alone at that stop for maybe 45 minutes.

20. Teenager Rebellion That Nearly Turned Tragic

I was 17 and just entering my rebellious phase. I had gone to homecoming with a new group of friends. I was the only one old enough to drive and had full use of my mother’s car, a brand new VW bug. (Admittedly, I was spoiled.) I gave my parents some bullshit, “all girls slumber party after the dance” story and they totally bought it. I had a car, I had the whole night, and I had friends to impress. Of course there was the typical dance after party lined up and we went with bells on. There was a boy that I was sort of interested in. I was the (2 years) older woman and he didn’t drive yet. After I dropped my friends at the party I went to pick up my love interest.

I grew up in a very rural area of Southern Maryland. There are long stretches of road with very little activity. As I was making the 25 minute drive my car suddenly started shaking and I had to steer it off the road as smoke had started to come out of the hood. I pulled over a little frantic as I was about to be caught in a lie because obviously the car was broken and I was not where I was supposed to be. I was also alone because the girls had decided to hang at the party so I could go pick up my guy friend. I got out and started to pop the hood to investigate the source of smoke. In the distance I saw a pair of headlights. As naive as I was at 17 I assumed that I could get help from the car that was approaching.

The car pulled up. It was over 10 years ago but I still remember the shitty little Celica with three men who looked like they had just won the lottery. They slowed to a stop next to my car. They never said anything. They just started to unbuckle their seat belts. Suddenly red and blue lights cut through our field of vision and we both looked in the direction of the state trooper who was pulling up behind us. I’ll never forget her. She just glared at the men in the car confirming that the dread that had been rising in me was totally justified. As quickly as their perverted hopes were dashed, they were gone. She asked me if I was ok and waited with me until my mom came to pick me up.

21. Psycho Joe Nearly Kills All His Friends

After my Freshman year in college, a group of my friends rented an extremely large house. They had seven or eight people living their, so between rent and utilities each person had to pony up $125 a month. Even in the mid nineties it was dirt cheap.

But, because everyone was blowing all their money on beer, they were always throwing parties to make rent.

One of the guys didn’t want to deal with it and moved out. About two weeks later I come over and one of my buddies introduces me to the new room mate will call him Big Henry. Big Henry lived up to his name. He had been in the military, got shot in the ass and got discharged. That is all he would say on the subject.

Big Hank had a friend, lets call him “Psycho Joe”. Psycho Joe was an ex-military sniper. The story I heard was that he was discharged on a section 8 after his last mission was a failure. He had his target in his sights, pulled the trigger and had a young child walk into the line of fire. Joe had issues to say the least.

One night my friends are throwing a kegger and Joe got pretty drunk. He started picking a fights and Big Hank kicked him out. It gets to be about 2 A.M. and I find a couch to crash on.

About 3 A.M. I am startled awake by what I though was a crack of thunder. I sit up and look out the window. It isn’t raining and I decide to decide to go out and have a smoke before it starts getting heavy. As I reach for the door handle Big Henry tackles me.

He informs me that Joe is outside and having an “episode”. The sound I heard wasn’t thunder. Joe had shot at the house. Next thing I know I have about twelve guys age 18-24 debating on if we call the cops. Have of us are hammered and underage and one of the roommates has a very large amount of marijuana in his closet. The last thing most of us need is the cops showing up.

While we are having this debate, Big Henry is going around checking windows for Joe. He slides downstairs and catches Psycho Joe sliding through the basement window.

Henry and the roommate/dealer begin to have a calm conversation with Joe about his guns. Joe hands Henry the gun in his hand. Joe swears he wasn’t going to do anything. Henry asks if he has any more guns. Joe pulls one from his boot leg.

They chat for a bit. Henry asks if he has any more guns. He pulls one from his other boot leg. Henry goes back to chatting. Henry asks again and Joe pulls two more from shoulder harnesses under his jacket.

This continues for a good thirty minutes. They talk for a bit. Henry asks if he has any more guns and another one seems to appear out of nowhere. In total, Joe had the gun he was holding and 7 others on him.

Some where secured others were just in a pocket of his jacket. All the while Joe is swearing he just wanted to talk to us. After all the guns are laying out for everyone to see, Joe looks at Henry and says “I suppose you want the knives too, huh.” And out come four knives of varied sizes.

After all this he looks at the drug dealer/roommate and asks to get some weed. Joe stated “I don’t have any cash on me but you can keep the weapons as collateral.”

22. Another Dog Saves The Day

When I was around 12, a neighbor had a party where I met a girl my age. My mom was happy to see me making friends so we head to my house to play games. My dog was a sweet lab who had never been angry or growled ever. This girl walks up to him to pet him, and he immediately growls and barks, and eventually cowers close to me. I couldn’t believe it, but even by 12 I believed you don’t just ignore a dog’s intuition. So I take note of the sign but we go play and then go for a walk. Not 10 minutes into the conversation and this girl is an obvious sociopath. I realized what I and the dog had felt about her. She was empty and fake, in very visceral way. She starts talking about rape. Not in a ‘maybe she was abused’ way. In a ‘doesn’t that sound interesting, but how do the logistics work’ kind of way. She specifically wondered how you rape someone while holding a knife to their neck. Her parents invited me to spend the night at her house. I declined.

23. What A Real Sociopath Looks Like

WARNING: NOVEL Below is my 100% true experience with what I (and others who encountered him) believe to be a genuine sociopath.

Years ago when I was in grade school, a kid in our class, “Matt,” moved away with his mom from our town in the midwest to the pacific northwest. Matt and I had never really got along- I was a fat little shit and a tattle-tale; he was a cocky little shit and a bully, likely due to his home environment- but thanks to skateboarding and punk music, we bonded through daily AIM conversations over the course of a few years. Eventually, I lost touch with Matt when I entered high school, and presumed he’d end up just fine. He was the type who was good at everything: good at soccer, good on the guitar, very good at arguing, good with girls, and good at being good looking (this is relevant, just wait).

Years pass and we reconnect when I’m a university sophomore. Matt is now back in our hometown living with his dad, and he’s undergoing a personal revolution. He discovered his bisexuality, started using drugs, constantly formed and reformed his philosophy on life, and settled on a new occupation: male prostitution.

I was a bit shocked by all of this information, but I resisted the urge to judge him, as did most of our old circle of friends- until they started hanging out with him. Matt would show up almost daily to our mutual friend’s house to smoke blunts, drink, and play video games. The more time Matt spent with my friends, the more stories about his weirdness began to trickle out.

On one occasion Matt showed up to our friend’s house with a huge shiner, and refused to discuss how he got it (this was before my friends knew he was a prostitute). Another time, Matt was high on meth and ran out of gas in the middle of an intersection while my good friend was in the passenger seat. It must be noted that he was shirtless, still had a massive shiner, and had just finished getting a spray tan at a salon. After acquiring some gas, he proceeded to break the nozzle of the gas can due to unfamiliarity with handling one. My buddy had to take over before the cops showed up.

Matt’s behavior around women was particularly odd. One night at this same friend’s house, Matt showed up for a party, obviously under the influence of some sort of stimulant. He proceeded to tell an asian girl who happened to be there about his passion for “asian pussy,” how it was the best, and how he bet hers was amazing. Naturally, he was essentially shunned for the rest of the night. The next morning my friend’s mom got on her work computer and noticed a website called adamforadam.com or something like that in the browser history, which, unsurprisingly, is a gay dating/escort site. Matt apparently had visited the site in the wee hours of the morning to make arrangements with his next client. When he was called out on it, he simply didn’t understand what he had done wrong. His social faux paus went completely over his head.

I was at university while all of this took place and was only in contact with him via facebook. During this period of time his drug use was increasing dramatically because he’d entered into a relationship with the rich drug-using owner of a famous gay nightclub in our city. He often related to me how much money and drugs this guy showered him with, and how he was purposefully manipulating him (the owner) into giving him more money and drugs in exchange for companionship. Matt was using mounds of coke, meth, weed, and probably more that I’m not aware of, and his behavior was becoming stranger and stranger because of it. He’d occasionally make very telling statements- about how he was superior to people in some way or another, how he was an excellent manipulator, or some kind of glib compliment that I would brush off. His instability and beneath-the-surface malice became continually clearer to me.

A month or two later, he got kicked out of his dad’s house because of all the shit he’d been doing, and moved with no money or possessions to the city that my university was located in.

One night, while I was home for the weekend, I noticed I had about 20 missed calls from him. Turns out he showed up at my dorm building and was at the front desk. I laughed, not really believing him since I’d never told him where I lived or even which campus I was on, and he told me flatly: “you have a package waiting for you, it’s on the board here.” I’d been expecting a package. My stomach turned a little bit and I told him that he couldn’t just show up at my dorm like that, and to call me ahead of time if he wanted to hang out.

When I got back to school, my roommate mentioned to me that he’d had a weird encounter with someone in the basement laundry room. After unloading his clothes into the washer, he turned around to see a man, probably 20-something, wearing a short-sleeved white collared shirt and a thin black tie, standing between him and the door. My friend, who is a very spiritual person (he claims to “see” auras and shit like that), saw him shrouded with an aura black as night, and had an accompanying mental “flash” of him holding a knife or a gun. The person asked him if he could borrow his cell phone, but my roommate had left it in his room. He told him no and hurried out of the basement back up to his room, locking the door behind him.

I thought nothing of this story at the time, and two days later, Matt called me and wanted to hang out, so I met him at a big park down the street. We took a walk while he told me about how he lied to an old woman and convinced her to let him stay in her hotel room, how he’d been stealing food and toiletries from stores, and how he was sure he was going to be more famous than John Mayer in a year.

During our walk we came upon a spot notorious for narcotics distribution, and Matt took the opportunity to scam a pot dealer out of a .5g nug by promising he “just had to hit up his Chase account” before he’d buy an 8th. I smoked the weed with him feeling a bit uneasy, and once it kicked in, I had to separate myself from him. His beady, empty little eyes were scaring the shit out of me. I told him I was tired and needed to take a nap and that I’d see him some other time.

We parted ways, and then it dawned on me: Matt was wearing a short-sleeve collared shirt and a black tie. My roommate and I went to the front desk that night and told them to call the police if they saw Matt in the building.

Matt is currently in jail for contempt of court and telephonic harassment. He was previously in jail for breaking into his ex-landlord’s house and hiding in her closet.

24. Run-In With A Serial Killer

When I was younger I went with my family to Yosemite. My dad remembers going to the campground bathrooms there and seeing a janitor there who just gave him the chills for some reason. He’s a dentist, so he gets to know a lot of people. He has gotten very good at reading them. He says he has run into a few people in his life where he could just tell that something wasn’t working correctly upstairs and it freaked him out. I don’t mean the people had a mental handicap, I mean the people were cold. They were psychopaths. It doesn’t necessarily mean they were serial killers, he could just tell that they couldn’t comprehend empathy. When he saw the janitor, he immediately picked up on this. I don’t know if he talked to him at all though. Later that year he reads in the newspaper that a serial killer was caught in Yosemite. Sure enough, it was that janitor that he saw. The guy had killed four people earlier that year. I believe the guy’s name is Cary Stayner. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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