1. “Man, You’re Fast”
Back in 2003 while stationed in Portsmouth, VA I was going through a divorce and as such, had moved back into the barracks. Reeling from the stress of the divorce, I had trouble sleeping and would go for a run at all hours. One such morning around 4:00AM I took off for quick 5 miler. Portsmouth has some pretty dodgy areas and my run took me straight through one of them. As I got to the top of a bridge I saw someone standing on the side of the road. It was odd but not completely unheard of that I would see a non-runner standing somewhere other than a bus stop. Anyhow, he watched me the entire time I ran closer to him and as I got closer he turned his back to me but continued to watch me over his shoulder. Since I tend to become more friendly in awkward situations I said hi as I ran past him but I picked up my pace.
After a couple minutes I had pretty much forgotten about the encounter. As I continued my run there was a bridge that went over an interstate. After I crossed the bridge, I about shit myself as I saw the same guy standing on the side of the road again. No cars passed me and there was no way he could have gotten from where we first met to here in that amount of time without driving past me. Again, being nervous all I could say, was “Man, you’re fast.” I’m pretty sure I broke personal speed records after that.
2. Ruby Tuesday’s
In the winter of 2009 my brother and I took a road trip from Portland, Oregon to Port St Lucie, Florida and back again. We made the trip to visit my sister who lives in Port St Lucie. She and her husband just had their first child and my brother and I were excited to see the newborn.
On the trip to Port St Lucie we took a combination of freeways from the northwest all the way down to the southeast corner (basically a diagonal route), but several times throughout our voyage we were tremendously delayed by snow. The trip which should have taken no more than three days ended up taking five. Because of this delay, we had to cut short our visit with our sister’s family.
On the trip back to Portland we decided to take I-10 the entire way. This stretch of freeway runs all the way from Florida to Los Angeles and would completely keep us away from the snow. The I-10 route added several hundred miles, but we both needed to be home for work the following Monday, and this was a sure fire way not to be delayed.
The first day of the return trip was uneventful, but we did manage to drive 1,300 miles from Port St Lucie to San Antonio before stopping for the night. The plan was to make it all the way to Las Vegas the next night, which would leave us with about a fourteen hour final day drive. The trip was going well. It wasn’t until we left San Antonio that the glitches started happening.
The car we took on this trip was a 2008 Honda Civic Hybrid. The entire trip we had been getting right around 35mpg (this is digitally displayed on the dash), so we had become very aware of how many miles we could squeeze out of a tank. We knew to refuel around 350 miles, but we also knew we could stretch that number into the low 400’s if need be.
About 100 miles outside San Antonio, I notice the fuel gauge was dropping noticeably faster than usual, so I clicked the button to change the dashboard display only to see the car was getting barley 26mpg. At first I was shocked, but I reasoned it to possibly driving uphill the entire way (I still don’t know)? I thought throughout the course of an entire tank of fuel that it would eventually balance itself out and we would finish the tank within that 35mpg range. I was wrong.
I kept a very detailed log of this entire trip, and this one stop in Fort Stockton, Texas is the only anomaly in the entire book. The car which had consistently held around 35mpg suddenly finished an entire tank off at 25.8mpg. That is over 100 mile difference in the vehicles normal range. I still to this day cannot figure out why there was such a drastic shift in fuel consumption in that 300 mile stretch from San Antonio. I’ve reflected on that tank of gas several times since this happened, and I have almost come to the conclusion that it was an intentional glitch in order to make us pullover where we did.
Our original plan was to refuel about 50 miles later in a town that I cannot remember, but we obviously ran short on fuel. Anyway, with our GPS programmed to Las Vegas, Nevada, we headed back onto the road in which the GPS directed. Pretty soon after we got back on the road we realized we were no longer on I-10 heading west, instead we were north on highway 285 (here’s a TIL for some people. Evenly numbered highways and freeways are heading East/West while odds are north/south). We didn’t think much about being off the interstate because many times throughout the drive we had been directed onto bypass highways. We assumed this was just another such instance.
After about an hour and a half of driving on highway 285 we crossed into New Mexico, which was about two hours earlier than we should have crossed the border. By this time we realized the GPS thought this was a more efficient way to go to Vegas even though by all accounts it is about an hour faster if we had stayed on the 10. We were annoyed, but decided to just stick it out with the GPS and keep heading north through New Mexico.
Nearly five hours after refueling in Fort Stockton, my brother and I were hungry and decided it was time to find somewhere to eat. Driving through this part New Mexico is kind of lonely. There are very few towns, and where there are towns, they are small and on the verge of becoming ghosts. I think their economies are built around helping travelers fill up their gas tanks. Other than that, I cannot see a reason for them to exist.
My brother and I have talked about what happened next so many times, but we still cannot figure it all out. We passed through a small town with a couple gas stations and we know the town was named Vaughn, NM, and then about 20 miles later we drove through a town call Encino, NM which did not have a gas station (that we can recall). In fact, the second town didn’t really seem to have much there if anything. I wasn’t sure if anyone was living there. I seem to remember questioning why it existed in the first place, but then quickly dismissing it and driving right through.
Not even ten miles after passing through Encino, NM, we surprisingly came upon a city/town that wasn’t loaded in the GPS. This wasn’t a big deal, because I was using a cheap handheld that lost its signal all the time, but usually the only things it didn’t display were newly built roads and recent construction areas. This city was definitely not brand new, so I figured the GPS was being buggy. The oddest part of finding this city, neither of us remembers seeing any warning we were coming up on a town of this size. It had several fast food joints, restaurants, hotels, motels, grocery store (Albertsons maybe) and even some bars. If I were to guess, I would say this city was roughly 10-20k people.
We decided to pull off and grab a bite to eat. Normally we probably would have grabbed some fast food, but my brother saw a Ruby Tuesday’s and really wanted to try it out. There were a couple Ruby Tuesday’s around the Portland area at the time, but neither of us had been there. We had just heard they had a pretty good salad bar, and I guess my brother was in the mood for something other than fast food. I went along with the suggestion because I was sick of eating junk.
((((((for the rest of this story, I will be N and my brother will be G)))))
We pulled into the Ruby Tuesday’s parking lot, got out of the car and walked in the restaurant. Immediately upon entering a waitress who was milling around the hostess station says, ‘Oh my word, is that N and G?’ Both my brother and I answered that it was indeed us, and the waitress went on to ask how life was in Portland. Suddenly it clicked, this girl knows who we are, but we are over 1,000 miles from home. Did we know her from back home?
My brother and I both gave very basic vague answers to her question, and I could tell she was kind of unsettled that my brother and I were being evasive. When we were seated, my brother immediately asked me where we knew her from, which was the same question I was going to ask him. I told him that I had no idea who she was, and that she obviously had mistaken us with some other people. Not more than a minute later this guy bartender comes up and says, “No fucking way, G and N. You back for jobs?”
What? My brother went on to tell the guy they had us mistaken with some other people. He laughed and dismissed my brother’s response as a joke. The bartender continued on seamlessly and started asking us how we fared in the three month anatomy and physiology course we had taken at Oregon State.
I remember thinking all of the sudden; this is not a coincidence anymore. My brother and I had taken a three month 15 credit A&P class at Portland State University when we were in our early 20’s (We were late 20’s when this interaction happened). Finally, I asked the guy exactly where they knew us from, and he just kind of paused and started looking me over. Then he said, “Oh damn, you guys just look really similar to some people that used to work here.”
He apologized and claimed he had to get back to work. After a bit, our food came and my brother and I noticed they had switched out our waitresses from the girl who recognized us when we walked in. That wasn’t a big deal, although a bit strange. Next a guy who I can only guess was the manager starts walking over to our table with a big smile on his face. As he gets within about ten feet of us he kind of starts looking over my head and stops. I think someone behind me was directing him not to talk to us. After he received the message he sharply turned 90 degrees and walked away without saying a word.
This had quickly become the most awkward meal of our lives. It went from people acting like it was a celebration for us to have shown up to everyone avoiding eye contact with us at all cost. After we finished up with our meals the waitress came told us the cash registers were frozen and that our meal was on the house.
I really wanted to ask the waitress what the name of the city was that we were in, but I also really wanted to get out of there. After leaving the restaurant we were running pretty low on gas, so I decided to refuel before we got back on the highway. I assumed the name of the city would be printed on the receipt. We were not that lucky.
This city strip was a one way road on the eastern side of the highway. When we left Ruby Tuesday’s the only way to turn was right, and it headed straight back to northbound 285. In order to refuel I would have to head north on the one way street and turn right on a side street to head back to the southern part of town to the gas station. The only available right hand turn off that one way street was closed so I was forced back onto the highway without fueling up. About 20 minutes later we found a truck stop at the intersection of 285 and I-40 where we finally filled up.
The rest of the trip was very ordinary. We talked at length about how weird that Ruby Tuesday’s was in the middle of New Mexico. We came up with solutions about how we had doppelgangers with the same names. We joked about how people that look similar follow the exact same paths in life regardless of their upbringing. We talked ourselves into it being a major coincidence. When we finally got back to Portland we decided to do a little research and find out the name of this town.
Here is the google maps picture of that stretch of highway.
We know we refueled at a truck stop at the intersection of 285 and I-40, which means that we had to have passed through Vaughn and Encino, so there should be a city between the truck stop and Encino. I don’t see anywhere on the regular map or the satellite map where this little city could possibly be. We have never really been able to answer what happened that day. I can still vividly remember the waitress’s face of unease by the way my brother and I were behaving, the bartenders’ voice change when he figured out we were not the people he thought we were, and thinking the manager looked identical to the actor Ken Moreno. My brother and I know this stuff happened, but we have never been able to find the solution.
3. A Yellow Light
This was in early May 2002 if I remember right. My friends and I decided to climb Mount Massive in Colorado. So seven of us piled into a van and we’re on our way. We finally get to our base camp and it’s cold. We’re mostly prepared but we get quite a snow storm. No one else has been around all day while we were setting up. It’s clear that we probably should have waited a few more weeks for the weather to clear up a bit.
We had setup two tents for the base camp and it was getting dark fairly early. None of us were tired but with the snow coming down there wasn’t a lot we could do so we decided to try to sleep and get an early start up the mountain in the morning.
Now the time schedule is quite blurry in my mind, so I can’t say exactly what time events occurred but I do remember the order. People started getting sick. In fact, almost everyone was stepping out to puke their guts out at one point. Who knows, bad food, or the sudden weather/altitude change. The result however, was that we couldn’t sleep very well so as we lie in our sleeping bags we could hear what sounded like a walkie talkie type radio extremely far in the distance. Not enough to make out the words, but we were certain we could hear words coming across it. We thought maybe it could be some sort of weather station deep in the woods for hikers but as much as we tried to listen to it we couldn’t quite make it out. This put us all on edge a bit as it just didn’t feel right.
As the night went on, my younger brother continued to feel ill and decided he would sleep in the van. We had hung the key remote from a hook at the top of the tent, he unlocked it and went to the bench seat in the van. Not long after (15-20 minutes) I’m almost asleep and I hear him calling, “Guys, the driver door is open! Who opened the drivers door?!”
None of us had left our tents and none of us had heard anything. We shouted back letting him know we had no idea. He quickly jumped out of the van, slammed the sliding door shut, ran around and slammed the drivers door shut and ran back into the tent. He said while he was in the van the first thing he did was check the seats behind him with the hair on the back of his neck sticking straight up.
We were all a little freaked out but in order to calm him down we stayed calm and told him to lock the doors and try to get some sleep. Using the remote locked the doors and he hit it a second time arming the alarm.
After a while, he’s feeling rather ill again and decides to blow off the earlier situation and tells us he’s going to go sleep in the van again. This time he unlocks the door with the remote and goes out to the van and the sliding door is open 3-4 inches. Now he’s really freaked out. We all heard him slam the door shut (consequently, the next day we checked and you can’t arm the alarm with a door open.) so being a good brother (and hoping it was warmer in the van than the tent), I told him I’d sleep in the van too. I did a quick walk around the van looking for foot prints in the snow but there was nothing. I chose the front passenger seat. We got in, got situated and locked it all up.
Next thing I know, he’s waking me up grabbing my shoulder with all his might. He points to the side and says, “Do you see that light?!” I didn’t see a thing. He told me that way off in the distance, there was a small flashing yellow light that looked like an emergency lantern light.
At this point I’m having some difficulty sleeping and I suddenly become fully awake when I see the yellow light 40-50 feet ahead of the van. This time, I’m the one waking him up and he sees it and confirms it’s the same light he’d seen earlier. I open the door and call out to the rest of the guys and both tents confirm they see it but it’s snowing heavily so we can’t see much else. We’re kind of discussing the situation trying to determine what this light is and for no logical reason we’re all feeling very threatened by it. So we decide to check it out but it disappears. We walk a bit in the direction and there are no foot prints or signs of it.
After trying to write about it, it’s hard to capture how eerie the situation truly was. Nothing came out of it. The next morning we did our climb and had an excellent time. That night we decided there was no way we were staying at the base camp again and went into town to get a hotel. We spent most of that night going over the details from the previous night trying to put it all together with no luck. I’m convinced there was no person out there but I can’t explain the light, the doors, or the noises.
4. This Isn’t The Appalachian Trail
This happened to me when I went backpacking on the Appalachian Trail a few summers ago. We woke up early in the morning, got out of our tents, and there was dense mist all around us. About the time we had packed up the tents and started walking back to the main trail, we started hearing little kids laughing. I didn’t react for a while because I thought I was hearing things, and because no one else seemed to notice. This line of kids and one parent come out of nowhere, walking diagonal to the trail, and keep laughing in this creepy way. This was early, early in the morning, on a mountain, relatively far from other human beings. One of the kids asks us, “Where are you going?” and someone in our group responds, “We’re hiking on the Appalachian Trail.” The kid says, “This isn’t the Appalachian Trail!” and they start laughing again. They continued diagonal to the trail and disappeared into the mist again, but for the rest of the morning we could hear them laughing. It was pretty creepy.
5. The Silent Hunter
My dad was deer hunting in the lake Rathbun area in southern Iowa. It was the middle of the day, bright and sunny, and he was having lunch on a tree stump. A man walked past him, about 15 feet away, wearing overalls and one of those old-time, wide brim felt hats. This puzzled my dad because he was the only person who was allowed in this particular area. He called out to the guy “do you have permission to be here?” The man ignored him and kept walking, which irritated dad a bit, so he raised his voice- “HEY! do you have permission to be here?!?” The man kept walking, so dad followed. The man rounded a tree, and when dad got to the other side, the man was gone. As dad walked back to his lunch, he noticed the crunching sounds of leaves and sticks under his feet, and realized the man made no sound as he passed. This was about 10 years ago.
6. Just Hope They Go Away
I used to work as a commish chef in a fairly posh rural pub in Southern England. We finished work one night, grabbed a couple of beers then went upstairs to the staff quarters to chill out. We’re just sitting/standing around when one of the guys shouts “What the f*#k’s going on out there?”. We all look out of the window and there’s a small bonfire in the middle of some scrubland at the back of the pub. The weird thing was was that there were three people, all wearing dark hooded cloaks, dancing around it. They were all facing towards the fire and every few seconds they’d crouch down and jump up again, only for the fire to jump up with them. Presumably one of them was throwing an accelerant onto it. Whatever was happening it looked creepy.
After a while one of us decides to get a camera and try and get some pictures but just as he’s zooming in, all the cloaked guys stop dead and turn in unison so that they’re all staring straight at us. We can’t see their faces but they’re clearly not happy. We pretty much dropped to the floor there and then and killed the lights. Eventually, we decided it was probably best just to draw the curtains and hope they went away. We never did find out what was going on.
7. Paralyzed With Fear
About 14 years ago I was was in Ireland doing the college-dropout backpacker thing. I wound up happening upon a hostel just north of… Killarney?… that happened to be an old castle.
At the time I was a strict atheist and 100% stone sober.
Anywho. I was there with two fellows from Philadelphia whom I had met in Dublin, and there wasn’t much to do as the castle was rather removed from town, so we went to bed quite early. Perhaps 8 or so.
The first 30 minutes or so were restless, but at some point a vision of a girl entered my consciousness. I wasn’t dreaming. I can only assert this in the most severe terms. I was 1000% fully awake, and yet, with my eyes closed, I saw the distinct (if somewhat phantasmal) image of a girl staring at me. Fully animated, or at least as animated as a staring girl ought to be. Blinking, sometimes, the head shifting ever so slightly, but mostly just being stared at.
This was strange, of course, but I figured that it was just a trick of my mind, so I just tried to tinker with it. This psychological phenomenon. After a spell of consciously trying to move her, make her do something, to no avail, I decided that I just wanted her to go away. Of course, it wouldn’t. The more I wanted this image to go away, the more it wouldn’t. So I began to get concerned.
Without much thought, I opened my eyes.
Into my vision poured a kaleidescopic whirlwind of carnage. My entire field of vision was taken up with discarded arms, legs, heads in any manner of impossible destruction. Eyeless sockets, bloated tongues profanely spilling out of rotten cavities. And this whole mass of carnage was simply swirling about me in perfect 3 dimensional clarity.
I closed my eyes and once again saw the girl. Staring at me. Emotionless, but somehow vastly more sinister.
By this point, I am absolutely petrified, in the truest sense of the word. My left leg was so tense that I got a charlie horse. But I was too frightened to move to help work it out. All with this vision of the girl staring at me, and obviously completely incapable of opening my eyes to the horror outside.
This went on for roughly 12 hours. Cramping, motionless, cold, the staring girl completely omnipresent in my reality, unable to open my eyes, unable to move, completely unable to do anything but sit completely still and to hope for it to end.
At some point, my consciousness registered daylight. I steeled myself and opened my eyes and flew out of bed simultaneously. My two traveling partners were sitting on their respective cots, just staring dejectedly at the floor. I looked at them, they looked at me, and we just shook our heads.
The hostel owner, upon seeing us as we prepared to leave, said, “You boys look like shite. Did the girl keep you up?” and he just sorta giggled. We took a bus into town, and I made a bee-line back to Dublin. I spent the rest of the day just sitting in public places, enjoying being around people.
8. A Day Of Fishing
I was fishing with my uncle, and we were in a small aluminum boat just sorta floating down a river looking for a good place to drop anchor and start fishing. We went around a bend in the river, and saw the scene of a small plane crash on a steep slope on one side of a hill leading down to the river. The plane was on its nose and kinda crumpled. There were probably five people standing around. Two of them were in suits. There was a blue tarp on the ground with a white sheet over it. I assumed that was a body. That wasn’t really the creepy part. Next to the body (not covered in a white sheet) was what appeared to be a collection of body parts. They weren’t even recognizable as human, except that one of them had a shoe on it. It was eerie, because for the past 2 hours we had been floating in the middle of nowhere with nothing but the sound of the river, and then out of nowhere we come around a turn with just a total scene of horror.
I’ve seen fatal car crashes that weren’t as creepy as that.
9. Parenting Done Right
When I was nine my extended family and I went camping on the shore of Lake Michigan. About a mile down the beach from us was an abandoned religious summer camp. It consisted of a chapel, a main lodge house with a rec room and two wings of dormitories, as well as several out buildings. It represented a great opportunity for exploring and lockjaw.
One day my cousins, my brother and I found a ventriloquist’s dummy. Time had lent it a demented Howdy Doody like aspect. This freaked us out, so we left and continued along the beach blowing up frogs and dead fish as children often do around the 4th of July. We made the mistake of telling our father and uncles about the discovery. That night our dad did two things. First, he told us a spooky story about the evil ventriloquist’s dummy and it’s horrible need for revenge. Then, he and my uncles went to the abandoned summer camp, found the dummy, decapitated it, and placed the head so that upon entering the main buildings of the camp it would be staring directly at you.
The next day we returned to the abandoned summer camp, opened the door, screamed, peed a little, and then ran the fastest mile you’ve ever seen a chubby nine year old run. Sometimes I still see it in my dreams.
9. A Few Beers At Ye Olde Insane Asylum
When I was in high school me and a buddy decided to go out to “the insane asylum” to drink some beers. It was this old abandoned place out in the middle of the desert. It might have actually been an old boys camp or something. Well we drive out there and I get this weird scary feeling like something bad is going to happen. So I tell my buddy that I’m gonna drive around the circle (it was buildings that were built around a circular driveway/road) to make sure no one weird was out there. Well we drive around and it looks empty (its in the middle of the desert at least five miles from the nearest house). We get out and I crack a beer. My buddy cracks a beer. All of the sudden I hear what sounds like a little kid laughing but it sounds like its coming from all around even though its just one voice. I ask him if he heard that and then we both hear a whole group of child like voices laughing and you cant tell where its coming from. I threw my beer and jumped in the car and took off. Never went back there. This happened like four years before Blair Witch Project came out and when I saw that scene when they were in the tent and you hear the kids outside of it, I got really creeped out. I still get hairs standing up on my neck when I tell this story.
10. Led On All Fours
Being on a hike in the countryside, and seeing a half naked human being chained like a dog being led on all fours by another human.
At first I could not believe my eyes and felt certain it must be an animal, until the chained person tilted his head and looked me in the eye.
NOTE: True story –
I live in a country with large uneducated rural populations suffering from a lack of social services. I imagine this person must have had a mental condition and was being ‘taken care’ of by his handler.
11. At The Railway Station
I was at a railway station in a rural part of the country, the kind where many trains zoom by without stopping. An old woman took a shortcut across the tracks, and a man pulled he back second before she’d get hit by a train.
She stood there frozen, in shock, and then suddenly took another step across the tracks. Before anyone realized what was happening, she was killed by another train.
I’ll never forget that scene. She disappeared in the blink of an eye. One second she was there, frightened by her near-death experience, and the next moment there were just organs scattered around, unrecognizable, like bits of meat on a slaughterhouse floor.
We all reacted weirdly. There was a man yelling at everyone for being squeamish. I bought a coffee just because I wanted to hold something warm. When I gave a statement later, the cops recommended counseling. I never took it. Sometimes I wish I did.
12. Missing Hours
When my son was 3 months old my wife and I would take him for a drive if he was having difficulty sleeping, the movement of the truck would put him right to sleep.
Well one night we took him out, the drives were usually 20 minutes, 5 minutes until he feel asleep, and 15 to get him to deep sleep, we had a little route we always used because we liked the scenery. So one night we leave the house at 9:32pm, digital clocks on microwaves make this stuff easy.
We’re 18 minutes into the drive coming down creek road only 1/2 mile to go before our we turn onto our street and then another 1/2 mile to our house. One moment I’m driving and the next moment it seems like I’m being awakened by the light coming from my truck’s headlights, the truck is moving but at less than 10 miles per hour, on the road in front of us, about 40 yards, is a group of about 15 animals, groundhogs, skunks, foxes, opossums, deer, who are at that moment startled by the headlights, they pause for a second and then scatter into the forest on either side of the road.
I looked at my wife and asked her what she thought, and she said that she felt like she just woke up at that moment. I looked at the clock in the truck and it was 1:12am. We have no idea what happened, there were no intoxicants involved as a matter of fact I gave up my recreational habits years before, and my wife always was a teetotaler. The animals is what creeped us out the most, it felt like they were doing something and we were interrupting what ever they were doing, but how we lost 2 1/2 hours in the blink of an eye while driving to arrive at that spot at that time.
13. A Carefree Childhood
My family maintains a rustic cabin on a lake in the mountains, that my great-grandfather built almost 100 years ago.
One autumn night, when I was probably about 8 years old, I vividly remember the experience of going to the general store on the other side of the lake for some fishing lures a bit late in the day, and the sun setting on my way home. There’s a long dirt road that winds around the lake between the cabin and the main road that the general store is on, and it was good and dark out by the time i started on it towards my family’s property. I had neglected to bring a flashlight, but my eyes soon adjusted to the natural light and i’m sure that I upped my pace.
At first I thought it pretty cool traipsing through the dark woods listening to the crunch of dead leaves underfoot among the livelier sounds of fall in the brisk evening air, but the pleasure of the adventure soon became unease as the feeling of being followed edged its way into my focus. I don’t remember the details of my reactions in their full specificity, but gather I would have done some quick whirl-arounds and maybe a sudden but short sprint-or-two at around this juncture of the trek and i’d imagine by the time i was a mile in on path, that the paper bag of fishing lures I clutched must have been fairly well molded to the grip of my small damp hand. Slightly more than halfway down the road, I saw my Father’s flashlight and he shouted greetings at me several times as he shone the beam on my person and continued his approach.
That’s my side of the story. It was creepy enough to remember it well about 15 years later when it came up in a family discussion regarding the wildlife in the area. I added that while I could attest to encountering the evidential “cat scat”, I’d never actually seen any of the mountain lions that supposedly occupy the area. My parents looked at each other before my mother responded with a cryptic, “They’ve seen you”… After a moment, my father recounted his version of the night on the dirt road as i would have presumed up to the part where he shouted his greetings as he pointed the flashlight in my direction. Apparently, about 15 feet behind me (according to his estimation), the light reflected off a pair of eyes about half the height of my own. He says he never heard a sound as the creature bounded off into the woods.
I’m really rather glad he decided not to finish that story for me until recently…
14. The Accident
I’ll never forget this phone call I got from my mum.
“I’ve hit a man driving home and I think I’ve killed him.”
I drive out to the scene, about a minute up the road from our house. It’s dark, and I can see the ambulance and police lights from the corner. Fuck. It wasn’t just my mum’s twisted sense of humour.
An officer approaches me and he takes up to where my mum is with the paramedics. In order to get there, I have to walk past my mum’s car and the dead body under the sheet. I can see the top of his head. It’s soaked in blood, and the contours of the body under the sheet suggest the body is pretty badly mangled.
The windscreen of the car is completely smashed in, and the broken wipers are erratically flipping back and forth at odd angles. I don’t know how exactly it happened, but it appears the man was flung up and hit the back windshield as well. There is more blood than I have ever seen in my life throughout the back seat.
My mum gets checked out in emergency and comes home. She’s taking it all a little bit too well for my liking. Over a year later, I talk to her about that night. She tells me that while she’s now come to terms with it, that night she had a nightmare, where she saw him in the mirrors next to her bed, scratching and clawing and covered in blood, trying to get out.
15. Arizona Biological Services
In 2004, I lived in Tempe, Arizona and I received a call at 1am in the morning. It was an “operator” alerting me that an emergency caller had been trying to reach me all day and that I was now being transferred to the emergency caller. I was transferred to a girl named Kate, who informed me that “Arizona Biological Services” needs to speak to me, but the main offices are closed at that hour, and that she’d transfer me to a Tuscon office and they’ll be able to take care of my call. SO, I’m transferred, the person who answered the phone in Tuscon, another girl, named Stephanie, lets me know that a girl I had dated 5 years ago in high school had a child, named me as the father, and that the kid was ready to be adopted and they needed my signature/dna sample(!?) in order to get the child adopted. I asked for the name of the girl, and they eerily named a girl I had dated exactly 5 years from that current date , Katrina(real name). Stephanie knew where I had moved from, what I looked like(she told me my kid looked like me when I denied the kid was mine), and the “mother’s” name.
The conversation with Stephanie stopped when she put me on hold and I eventually hung up.
I only dated two girls in high school. Never had sex with Katrina. The next day I call Katrina who had no clue what I was talking about, no surprise, and then called Arizona Child Services, who told me 17 other men from the area had called with the same exact story, and the people on the other line all knew the names of girl’s they previously had dated, their physical stats, where they had moved from…..
The number to the fake biological center, that Stephanie they gave me, in case we were disconnected, *was a dallas radio station. A Top 40 station with no djs doing pranks or anything, just music….I called someone there who confirmed no pranks were being done.
16. John from the dating site
I used some online dating services to meet people. I went on dates with a couple really cool guys (and a couple major social rejects). I even found the love of my life doing so! But anyway…
I had talked to this one guy named John twice online, really funny and REALLY good looking and I was looking forward to chatting with him again and arranging plans to meetup for coffee or a walk in the park or whatever. Anyway, I happened to not get online at all one day (because of work, meeting with friends, having a life, etc) and I hop on the next day to this guy (whom I have BARELY SPOKEN TO) freaking out on me about how I “didn’t tell him where I was going” and how “he can’t trust me” blah blah crazy blah. So I was like… man, gotta gtfo that, PEACE. Stopped talking to him, he left me alone. Cool.
Flash forward 5 months, my friend who, at the time, was going to UMBC was telling me about this girl who had been bludgeoned to death, raped and cut up – and left on I-95, dead, the night before. I’m like whoa dude, effed up. I end up seeing a link to the story on someone’s myspace (this was in late 2005) and go to it, and it’s John, the guy I had been chatting with only a few months ago.
Talk about absolutely every hair possible standing up on my body.
17. The Stone And The Graveyard
This happened when I was a younger kid, maybe 10 or 11. My cousins and I were staying (with our parents) our at our family’s camp grounds, way out in the Appalachians in WV.
We were always going off and exploring the woods and the all the nature and everything, and we knew that down the road from the camp (it’s not like a tent-style camping area, but we have cabins and an uncle who built a big house for everyone to stay in) there was a path that led up to a BIG field. So we all decide we’re gonna walk down one day and take that path up to the field and just go play around. When we get to the field, we’re kind of surprised to see it’s maintained and the grass is mowed or at least it’s not tall, and we’re playing out there and we see off in the distance that there’s something out there with a black wrought-iron fence around it… and it turns out to be the this incredibly old cemetery.
Now, what immediately registers as creepy is the fact that there is no way to get to that cemetery except by foot. It’s surrounded by acres and acres of field. The gate to the fence is locked, and so we climb it and go in and we’re checking the tombstones out, and they’re all from like the 30s and back, old old old. We notice a lot of them have little mementos and stuff left there, and my cousin sees this big shiny stone on one of them, and he pockets it, and eventually we end up back home.
So, where it gets creepy, that night we all wake up to a LOUD banging at the front door. It sounds like someone is straight up trying to kick the door down, and we’re all FREAKING out. We’re in the cabin for the kids, by ourselves, and all of our parents are surely asleep. I’m paralyzed on one sofa, begging my cousin to look out the window, when suddenly the banging stops. We all crowd together on my couch, and no one moves until the sun comes up. So my cousins and I figure maybe it’s the stone he took, and we need to put it back.
There’s just a little problem… we can’t find it. Eventually we assume he lost it somewhere or something, I don’t remember the exact details, and it’s not until we make our way back out to that cemetery a few days later with some cousins that just arrived, that we find the damn stone, right back where he took it from, sitting on top of that tombstone. We. ran. for. our. lives.
I was posted in Bosnia doing peacekeeping. We were patrolling through some woods that we knew had some slovak forces in them. Recon came back looking pretty green, had obviously just vomited, pointing back the way he’d come from.
We snuck up and saw about 15 soldiers systematically putting women and children into a woodchipper.
19. Seeing Something You Shouldn’t Be Seeing
I saw a woman dressed in a circa late 1900’s dress hanging from a rafter in a barn in Dillsburg, PA when I was around 6. I remember thinking that I shouldn’t be seeing what I was seeing. Then terror hit and I ran in to tell my mother that I had seen a ghost. It still gives me goosebumps over 30 years later.
20. “See You Soon”
I was around 11 years old and my friends wanted to do a seance after messing with a Ouija board for about a week and having some freaky experiences. So we record the seance with a fresh, in the plastic, cassette. Half way through upon listening to the tape we hear trains, crickets and some bitch says “see you soon” (fuck i still get a tingly feeling through my body).
I heard the tape again years later and it was what i thought it was as a kid some lady saying see you soon. It doesn’t even interrupt our recording, a statement is made the train clicks in with the crickets in the background. As soon as the lady finishes speaking our conversation picks up right from where it left off.
21. A Simple Question
When I was an undergrad, I worked at a independent coffee house to pay the bills. It was a great job – 4 P.M. to 11 P.M. with no supervision and plenty of tips if I could muster sufficient charm for the repeat customers. As you can imagine, my friends would routinely use the place as a hangout since not only was the coffee free, but the neighborhood was generally fun. The only downside was that I had to clean and close the place myself. This took about an hour, and it could get somewhat creepy since the cafe was mostly underground, and the rest of the local businesses – save for a pizza shop around the corner – closed around 9. But most of the time somebody would hang around to help me close.
Vacuuming alone was the worst. I always hated that one of my senses was effectively turned off while my back was to the door to the street – a glass affair that sat at the bottom of a concrete staircase. I would always imagine that I’d look up and – BAM – somebody would be standing there ready to take the easy money from the cafe, with me in his way. Never happened.
The worst part was that bank of switches that controlled the lights was in the “back” by the counter. After throwing the cafe into total darkness, I had to walk the length of the building towards door and standing on a small landing, I would unlock the door to let myself out. The corner of the landing was the darkest part of the cafe – absolutely no illumination from streetlight through tiny windows, nothing. Just inky blackness and total silence. It was awful standing there for even the few seconds it took to unlock the door if I really got the ‘ol imagination going.
One night I’m fumbling with the keys, and I hear a barely audible but absolutely clear whisper from the corner, “So where you going now?” After screaming like mad and practically kicking the door down, I managed to get outside to the staircase leading up to the street. It took everything in me to turn around, face the glass door, and relock it before getting the fuck out of there.
22. Suffering In Silence
I was spending the night at my friend Rich’s house with two other friends (I was 14-15 at the time). We were all sleeping out on his second floor porch. At some point during the night, I awoke to a strange blue light that looked like an LED or something – and it was shining directly in the window, nearly lighting up the whole room.
I remember being absolutely terrified and confused. I slowly turned my head to see if I could get a glimpse of the source of the light. As I turned over, the light began moving around the side of the porch until it reached the far side – then it faded away. After a substantial amount of time (never moving mind you in fear due to being terrified) I finally fell back asleep.
Upon waking, I told the story to my other friends. I was certain that they’d think I was crazy, but they had seen the light too. All three of them were too terrified to move at the time. We had identical stories – they finished my sentences as I described what had gone on and what I had seen. Please keep in mind that this porch was a good 25-30 feet off the ground making it nearly impossible for a person to have been shining a light into the window. Very creepy shit. We’ve grown apart and I don’t see them often – but every once in a while if we’re out having a beer someone will bring it up. It still gives me chills thinking about it.
23. A Child Whining Or Crying
I once heard a noise coming from the corner of my kitchen that sounded like a child sort of whining or crying. I couldn’t make out the words. At first I thought it was my sister saying something to me, so I called out her name. Then I realized it was coming from a section of the room where nothing could fit. I looked inside the cupboard wondering how my sister fit in there. My mom heard it too, she thought it was an animal. Gradually the noise grew quieter and quieter, but it was fairly disturbing.
24. Eaten By A Grue
I was wilderness camping down in the Aravaipa Valley between, approximately, Tucson and Safford, in Arizona – not too far from the Peyote Way Church of God, for those familiar with it.
The moon had set and it was the middle of the night. The valley is isolated, and bounded by mountain ranges so there is no ambient light at all from light pollution.
In the middle of the night I got up to take a piss in the frigid wasteland there and there was no wind, just perfect silence, and perfect blackness where you literally could not see your own hand one foot in front of your face.
I have never been afraid of the dark but the stillness and silence and darkness to that degree did kind of wig me out.
I was likely to have been eaten by a grue, if you get my drift.
I have never experienced such darkness in my life.
25. The Tailgater
I was driving home late at night from a high school football game a few years back. I lived about 10 miles out of town, so I got on the freeway. Not two seconds after I merged, I looked in my mirror and saw headlights right behind me. I hadn’t seen any cars while I was getting on the freeway, so I figured the guy had been going very fast and came up on me suddenly. For whatever reason, he wasn’t passing me, so I tapped my brakes to tell him to get off my ass.
Apparently, he didn’t like that. He leaned on his horn and swerved into the other lane, where he passed me. Then he swerved back in front of me and slammed on his brakes. I went to pass him, but he swerved in front of me again. It was clear he was pissed. He didn’t stop, but he made sure I was stuck behind him the entire time I was on the freeway. When my exit came up, I put on my turn signal, hoping he had cooled off a bit and wasn’t going to cause me any more grief. Unfortunately, this was not the case. He swerved onto the off-ramp and slammed on the brakes again, but I managed to get back in front of him.
By this time, you could say I was freaked out. I live in a fairly rural area, so I was worried that bullets were going to start flying at any second. And at that time of night, there were few populated and well-lit places (such as gas stations) where I could pull over and find safety in numbers. I didn’t think cops were a viable option, either, considering how far away from town I was. At any rate, I wasn’t thinking clearly. I was definitely in “flight” mode.
In the interest of self-preservation, I blew through the stop sign at the end of the off-ramp and sped off. I knew this area well, so I figured I could lose him. But every time I looked in the mirror, I could see his headlights closing in on me. So, after I rounded a corner on a particularly dark and winding road, I turned into a driveway, pulled away from the road, and shut off the car, hoping he would just drive on by. Thing is, he never did. I waited for a while, but no cars came down the road. I turned the car back on and drove home, very shaken.
The next day, there was a bit in the police blotter about a drunk who had totaled his car on that road. Obviously, I had no way of knowing for sure if it was the car that had been following me, but it was too much of a coincidence for me to ignore.
26. The Tunnel
This happened to my brother one or two years ago.
We had discovered a hidden entrance that led into the maintenance tunnels of a bridge.
Inside, it was pitch-black: even with two 14 LED flashlights, we couldn’t see more than 1 meter in front of us.
Later, my brother decided to return with a few friends, without me. He had brought his MP3 player to record the expedition.
My brother came back to the house white as a sheet. I listened to the recording.
At first, we hear my brother and his friends joking. Then, we hear them enter the bridge. They are deep inside the bridge when my brother decides to shout, as a joke, “Is there anyone here?”.
On the recording, we hear two cars passing above, on the bridge. Then, suddenly, we hear footsteps. Someone is running. And the footsteps are getting louder and louder, meaning someone is inside the bridge and running towards my brother and his friends. My brother screams “Oh shit! Get the fuck out!”.
Judging by the footsteps, that guy was probably less than 2 meters away when they finally reached the exit (remember it was so dark inside that they couldn’t see the guy even with a flashlight).
To make it even more creepy, not even maintenance workers knew about this entrance. They thought it was blocked. So that person clearly had no business here. And, inside of the bridge, the walls are covered with creepy graffitis depicting hate crimes, swastikas and rape.
When I was 10(? I’m really bad about dating events from my childhood), I went over to Tony’s house for trick-or-treating, and he had over a number of neighborhood kids, including Ronnie. Ronnie was a morbidly obese and thoroughly irritating kid who had a bag of candy with him every time I saw him and the only reason anyone hung out with him was because we could get sweets. After trick-or-treating, we all (maybe 10 of us) went to sleep in a large guest room after passing out watching Tales from the Crypt on HBO. I used to wake up early back then, so I came to as the soon rose c. 7:00 to see the television on static and Ronnie sitting awake in a chair watching us all sleep. It was deeply disturbing.
28. Half Dead, Half Alive
Passed on to me by a girlfriend’s Aunt who was an EMT.
Some guy decided to commit suicide. He took a shotgun out on the porch, leaned his back against the railing, barrel in mouth, and pulled the trigger. Due to the odd angle at which this occurred, the gun shifted and blew only half of his head clean off. Apparently, after attempting to blowing his head off, he fell back through the porch railing breaking both his arm and leg on the left side.
So the EMT’s show up and see whats happened. They go over and, per procedure, examine the body to confirm death. They check for a pulse and breathing, the guy’s dead, of course. So they all head back to ambulance to get whatever they need in this type of situation. All of a sudden they start noticing this deliberate jingling. After a few seconds, on EMT turns and screams.
This guy, with half a head, a broken arm, and broken leg, has gotten up off the ground and started hobbling around. The jingling sound they’re hearing is his car keys which he has dug out of his pocket with his good arm and started walking towards the car.
One EMT pukes, one screams, another calls for backup. Personally, I would have hoped there were other shells left in the shotgun.
29. The Old Man At The Window
When my friend was a kid, his parents were trying to ween him off getting out of his bed and going to sleep with them, and he had been having bad dreams and “seeing” things that weren’t there because he wasn’t quite used to being alone yet, I guess. One night he looked out his window and saw the face of an old man that was wet, dirty, and covered in blood just staring in at him and not blinking. So he ran into his parents room to tell them, and they were obviously dismissive and didn’t believe him because he had been doing a lot of this stuff lately. He went back to his room and tries to ignore it almost convinced it isn’t real, but he can’t handle it so he goes back to his parents, which gets them to go check it out.
Well it turns out the guy was real. He was an Alzheimer sufferer who had wandered away of a nursing home, had fallen into a ditch or puddle causing him to be so wet and dirty, injured his face causing it to be bruised and bloodied, and for some reason made it to their house and was content to just stare in the window.
He says he can still perfectly see the face in his mind, just extremely old, wrinkled, dirty, bloody, and vacant.