22 Scarred-For-Life Victims Share Their Kidnapping Story

These stories from Ask Reddit will remind you to stay far away from strangers.

Pexels / Vijay Putra

1. I was beaten, drugged, and raped

When I was 19 I went to hang out with a guy I kind of knew and had started to like. He took me to his friend’s house where him and 3 other guys locked me in a room and beat me, drugged me, raped me and cut me open. After two months I finally convinced one of them to take me outside where I screamed and ran towards the nearest group of people I could find in a close by parking lot. It was the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.

2. I was tied up and threatened with a gun

“Was in college when I was tied up at gunpoint with my roommates. Got beat up pretty good they took everything from electronics down to our liquor. one of my roommates untied himself and called the cops. They were caught and now serving a lot of time behind bars.” — Buckeye19

3. My ex broke into my parent’s house to abduct me

“I was abducted from my parent’s house by my ex shortly after I broke up with him. I had just turned 19. He broke open the back door and put me in a head lock and threw me in the trunk of his car. I managed to break out into the back seat.

He drove to a secluded location where we talked for a while. Then he drove to his place of work to get a shot gun to kill himself. (His words.)

The police were there looking for him and shot a taser at him but missed. He jumped back in the car and we got in a high speed pursuit and he ended up crashing into a tree.

He went to prison for four years and is out now.” — 5p33di3

4. I was taken by the neighbor who molested me

“I was around ten or eleven and was molested regularly by a neighbor, this molestation lasted over years and it was not one event. This neighbor had a country home that he had rented to his friends. One of his friends was also a pedophile. The two of them had arranged that I would be taken up to the country house. The friend picked me up on a Sunday morning and drove me there. I was excited to go because I had heard so much about this country home. I remember driving around with this guy and the next memory I had was waking up in a large camping trailer. At the base of the bed was a tripod and to my right was the driver, here is where I lose everyone. I get out of bed and I am disorientated, I get dressed and exit the trailer and start to walk down the street. I knock on a random door at a random house. The person that answers the door is one of the elementary school teachers from my community. At that very same moment the driver pulls up in front of the door and yells over to me that FD the neighbor, was looking for me and that I had to go back to see him, I returned to the car and the driver took me back to FD’s home in the city. I feel that if I did not knock at that door the outcome would have been different, the driver could not do another thing because now someone had seen him. Although I know of others who have been molested by the same neighbor, no one believes the story. To this day the neighbor’s good name is protected.” — bellisland

5. My cousin was abducted by a group of men

“Not my own abduction but my cousin was abducted. She lives in Mexico. One day as she was she was walking home after being dropped off by the school bus; she was pulled into a van by men wearing bandanas over there face. They tied her up and placed a hood over her head. They drove for a long time according to her. She was taken to a barn and was left there. Inside the barn were other young women tied up. She would ask what was going on and where are they? But the women wouldn’t answer her. She somehow got loose from her rope and started to look for an escape. She found a window and saw that the sun was setting. She broke the window with a chair. She urged the other girls to come with but they were too scared to leave. My cousin left them and she ran nonstop to the nearest town. She stayed off the roads in case they were looking for her. Luckily she found a phone in the town and called her family. She’s safe now but she could never remember where the location of the barn was. She still feels guilty about it all.” — TheDreamer_

6. We were pulled over by people with machine guns

“While on my way to visit relatives in Mexico my parents, little brother, grandma and I were pulled over in the middle of the night by what we thought were police. As they approached the car with sub machine guns and pistols we realized they were about to rob us. They pulled us out of our truck and loaded us face down in the back of their pickup and drove into a field. They were threatening us the whole time saying if we made any noise they would kill us. I’ve never been more terrified. When the truck finally stopped they told us to get out and to turn around. I was sure we were about to be executed in the middle of nowhere. Then they just drove off leaving us stranded. We wandered through the muddy field until we found the main road then followed it to a small village where we called the police. We spent the night in the police station waiting for my uncle to come get us and take us back to the U.S. border. I was 12 years old at the time and my brother was 10, we never recovered anything from that night.” — IDone_Goofed

7. A ‘friend’ took me away at gunpoint

“I was basically damn near kidnapped by a friend of sorts who was obsessed with me when I was 23. He had taken me from my driveway at gunpoint towards his car before my father came out and intervened. It was the most traumatizing event in my 30 years of existence, and I still suffer from mental health problems stemming from that day.” — MorbidlyMacabre

8. A drug dealer abducted me and my brother

“I was told about it from my dad and older brother at Christmas 4 years ago. Apparently my dad owed these two guys money for some meth and when my dad didn’t pay they took my brother and I. I was 3 and my brother was five. My dad, somehow through friends or some mutual acquaintance, found out we were holed up in a shabby hotel. He showed up with a wooden baseball bat and beat the shit out of one of the guys while the other one ran off.

My brother told me the story and when I asked my dad if it was true he didn’t respond at first. The shame that covered his face said a million things I never understood about my childhood. Then he said, ‘Yes, and I’m still very sorry.'” — [deleted] 

9. My uncle was held hostage

“My uncle was kidnapped and held hostage before being rescued one month later on Christmas Eve 1995. It was Thanksgiving weekend. A family from his church was selling their car but had gone out of town for the holiday. They asked him to show the car to any potential buyers. While on a test drive, a hood was thrown over his head, his hands and feet were bound, and he was taken to a location where he was held. Ransom demands were made but refused. My aunt and uncle are church missionaries and meeting ransom demands would put everyone in the field in danger. His rescue was incredible and witnessing the reunion between he, our aunt, and our four young cousins was the most emotional experience of my life at that time. Listening to him recount his experience is intense and awesome. He is the same loving, wonderful, strong man he was before — he reports nor displays any emotional or mental trauma. All of his kidnappers were killed during his rescue. They’ve recently retired from field missions and now tour North and South America so that my uncle can share his story.” — PrivateSchoolChick 

10. A kidnap victim was taken to my apartment

“Couple years ago a guy on crutches was kidnapped and taken to my house (by some friends of my flatmate), where he was tortured overnight and released in the morning. I was in another room watching a movie, then went to bed, still completely oblivious. Ended up having to testify at the trial.” — reaperteddy

11. My grandmother was grabbed by a man at the movies

“My grandma (great aunt, but like a grandma) was kidnapped when she was 8. Its a long story, but here it goes.

She was sent of to babysit her 6 year old cousin at the theater (yeah, an 8 year old babysitting a 6 year old, great idea) and they started watching the Sunday cartoons. The plan was that they would meet their parents outside of the theater when the movie finishes. About an hour or so into the showing, a man came in to the theater, and walked straight to her row. He grabbed her by the wrist, where she was wearing a locket, and told her it was time to go. She got up with him, and they started walking out of the theater. About 50-60 years ago (roughly the time this happened), They used to have attendants at the doors of the movie theater. When walking by the attendant, there just happened to be a manager standing there also. She was afraid he would hurt her if she said anything, but she decided to take a chance. Walking by the two men, she said, ‘Where are we going, you are not my father.’ And he squeezed her locket, and ran pulling her. The two men gave chase. He made it to the parking lot, when she started to fight back. She stopped running, and was trying to pull her arm off. The man, now realizing that he had no chance with her, threw her into the gutter, and jumped into his car. He sped off, but not before someone was able write down the license plate number. When she was questioned by the police, she wasn’t really able to tell them much. She gave his description (which she says the closest person she can describe as looking slightly like him was George Costanza) and told them that she remembered he was wearing a green tie, and had an accent. The police, having processed the license plate by now, decided to pay him a visit. They went to the house, and the door was answered by a boy of about 11 years old. The police walked in, and found a man fitting the description. He denied everything, until they searched his closet. Balled on the floor was the same green tie that my grandma had described to them. They took him in, and he confessed to everything. This guy had a family. 2 kids, a wife, he was a Russian immigrant to come work in the small Midwest towns factory. What even would he have done with her if he had successfully kidnapped her? My grandma says she never got the answer to that. After she successfully chose him in a line up, her family was told that this wasn’t his first kidnapping attempt. Or his second. Or his fifth. It was his ELEVENTH attempt! He first started out with a girl of about 18. Then every time he failed, he went younger and younger, until he reached my 8 year old (at the time) grandma. He was tried at court, and yet again, was released after 6 months in prison. He went on to kidnap two more girls after my Grandma. When telling us the story, she showed us the scar of where he clenched down on her locket.” — Lucasfc

12. I escaped an attempted kidnapping

“I escaped an attempted kidnapping several years ago in my hometown. I had left my cell phone at home that day. By the time I knocked off, it was dark, but I didn’t live too far away. I started walking back to my apartment listening to music when a blue Mini Cooper pulled up beside me and started yelling something. My boss drove a Mini as well, so I took my headphones off and asked him to repeat himself, which he was saying he would give me a ride and to trust him. I declined after realizing that it wasn’t my boss and kept walking. He got out of his car and started chasing me down. I ran like hell, but he was faster and caught me by the arm and gripped on pretty tightly. I fought hard, but I’m a pretty tiny woman and he was definitely stronger than me. I screamed my head off hoping someone was still awake in the neighborhood and could come help me. If it weren’t for the bear spray my brother had given me to keep as protection when I walked home, I don’t know what would have happened. I sprayed that fucker right in the face and ran for my life. I ended up running into two people out jogging who had heard me screaming and they walked me home. Called my parents and the cops the second I got in the door, but nothing came out of it.” — UrethraFranklin13

13. A child molester tried to steal a group of kids

“When I was 10, on November 1st, this guy came up to me and some kids in my apartment complex, and offered to take us trick-or-treating. Naturally, the 4-7 year olds bolted towards him. My friend (12) and myself were a bit more skeptical but decided to walk with him to make sure nothing happened to the kids. I had a pocket knife, and being 10, that made me think I was fucking invincible.

So he starts taking us to random doors in the complex and knocking and doing the whole trick or treat thing. The little kids are going nuts, to them, there’s now 2 days of Halloween. The few houses are owned by fucking idiots apparently, because they were just kind of surprised but still handed out some candy if they had any.

This goes on for about an hour and the parents get nervous (not that any of us know) and the guy offers to give us a ride to another complex. The fucking 4-7 year olds bolt for the car, which was oddly parked. It was parked parallel in 3 perpendicular spots (assumedly so he could just drive out easily). AND THE LITTLE SHITS GET IN. Luckily, their mom notices, freaks the fuck out and calls the cops. Turns out, dude’s a child molester, and broke allll sorts of parole/legal boundaries. Guy gets put in the car, and the cops talk to all of us for a couple minutes.

Granted, we didn’t actually get kidnapped, but it was still pretty damn scary to think how close I was to seeing 2 little kids get abducted.” — [deleted] 

14. My grandmother was kidnapped and murdered

“My mom told me about my grandma being kidnapped in Gary Indiana during civil rights protests and she was murdered. She took the garbage out while my grandpa was watching the kids after dinner she never came back. Found the body sometime later really messed my grandpa up.” — Oddfeeling

15. My mother refused to return us to our father

“I was 6, my brother was 5, and our mom decided one time she just wasn’t going to give us back to my dad. So we packed some of our things into a couple small suitcases and a couple black garbage bags. It was very spontaneous, one minute we were watching tv and then we had less than an hour to decide which of our possessions would be going with us.

We were gone for about 9 months, living in an awesome house with a spiral staircase in central Oregon. Child services found us when my mom registered us for school. So my brother and I were pulled out of class on the first day of school by police officers and taken to a conference room with two officers, the school counselor, and the principal. We were questioned about why we never contacted the police (because we were children who had little idea of what was really going on, we moved to a new house with our mom and got new skate boards). We were resistant to cooperate, because they were very clear that we wouldn’t see our mom anymore and they were taking us back to Seattle. We didn’t want to live with our dad, he didn’t know how to cook.

So my brother snapped, and started screaming and running around the room. One of the officers grabbed him, which transformed me into a very defensive big sister. I started kicking the officer holding my brother. My brother got a hold of the officers baton and hit the guy with it. At this point everyone had had enough of our shit, my brother (a 5 year old boy) was handcuffed, and I was picked up by my ankles and carried outside (up unto that point I was doing a great deal of kicking). We were then manually transported through the school, right as classes were being released for lunch. I was wearing a blue cotton dress, and at 30 years old I vividly remember being hauled out through the school by my ankles and the embarrassment of knowing my underwear were showing. We were put into the back of the police car, like criminals and driven to child services in Seattle. No we didn’t stop for food or bathroom breaks. My brother and I both pissed our clothes in the car. We were so hungry when we got dropped off at the office building but all they had was cocoa.

We were never scared with our mom, our needs were met and we were pretty happy. The way we were treated through the whole “rescue” was dehumanizing. The courts awarded my dad full custody and a restraining order between us and our mother until we were 18. My father was a neglectful parent, as well as physically abusive. I can’t even count the number of times he was in court for child abuse, he used to brag about how all they would do is make him take an anger management course and how well he could bullshit his way through them.” — uncomfortably__numb

16. A man ‘looking for a lost dog’ tried to take me away

“When I was about 8 years old I was walking to my friends house (3 houses away) and I’ll never forget it a dark/olive green 2004ish Taurus pulled up next to me and asked me If I had seen his dog named Sirus and told me to come closer so he could show me a picture of him and when I walked over to him he grabbed my sleeve and tried to pull me in the car. I started screaming at the top of my lungs and I looked over as the mail man turned onto my street and saw what was happening. The man let go of me and sped off. Before anything else could happen I ran into my friends house.” — Dallas343

17. Someone tried to kidnap me in a public restroom

“When I was young, can’t remember how old I was… just that when I asked to go to the bathroom at the mall, my mom let me go by myself in the men’s room.

Standing at a urinal doing my thing, I was suddenly grabbed from behind, almost like a bear hug, and almost being dragged.

I kicked and screamed, loudly, and finally broke free.

To this day (38 now) i still will not use public bathrooms unless I can lock the door and am the only person who can be inside.” — tightiewhities37

18. A man pulled my hair to yank me inside his car

“When I was 14, I was waiting for the bus at the end of my driveway and this pick up truck pulled off the road onto the driveway. The drive kept waving me closer to the cab and held up a map book. At first he wouldn’t roll down the window, but he did and said he needed direction to wherever [can’t remember]. I went closer to the window and I didn’t realize what was happening until he reached across and attempted to grab me by the hair. I dropped my book bag and ran for the house while he sped off.

Woke my mom up and she flipped out. Went to the window to look out it and, surprise surprise, the truck was sitting across the street and we could see the dude looking up at the house, which made me flip out. I assume he saw my mom looking because he left rubber getting out of there. My mom called the cops and a patrolman showed up and took information on the truck. Me and my mom went to the police station and I talked to a detective and they did a composite sketch of the guy.

The detective left to take a call and came back saying they had pulled someone over and wanted me to ID the driver. They put me in the back of an unmarked car with tinted windows and drove me past a guy who was being questioned outside his truck not too far from my home. It was him and I had my first panic attack in my life. I thought for sure he could see me.

They charged him with attempted kidnapping and something else that I don’t remember. It made all the local newspapers, but my mother wouldn’t let me read them because they wanted me to testify and I guess they didn’t want whatever was there to, I dunno, spoil my testimony? They pulled him over, btw, in front of an elementary school where he was idling.

I ended up testifying for the DA via videotaped interview. He was acquitted because he claimed he was deaf or something. I never quite understood how that worked. Found out later that he had been arrested for similar things and some sex crimes, but this was before the sex offender registry. Also found out why they didn’t want me to read the papers–when they searched his truck, they found rope, duct tape, a bunch of sex toys, vaseline, and an ax. It certainly could have been a coincidence, but… My family filed a restraining order against him and apparently he was ordered to stay away from schools.

It wrecked me for awhile–I had trouble going to school because I kept having panic attacks, I kept thinking I saw his truck everywhere, and I kept hiding from windows and the like. Had a lot of nightmares and got diagnosed with PTSD. For a long time, I had trouble getting past what might have happened if I hadn’t gotten away.” — needlestuck

19. A sketchy car pulled up beside us

“Closest thing that happened was my cousin and I were walking home from my next-door neighbor’s house. It was getting dark and we were 6 or 7 I think and a car pulled up, door opened, and a foot stepped out. I was able to kick into panic and yell run. My cousin froze for a second but ran after. We were essentially in front of my house so we just climbed through the gate (two think bars horizontally) and run towards the house. I looked back and the car had slammed the door and sped off.” — AdrianHD

20. My father took me across the country

“I was about 2 years old. My parents had split up, and my father had weekend visitation. From what I understand, my mother went to pick me up from my father’s house and no one was there. He took me across the country, it was months before my mother was able to find out where I was, get his custody rights revoked, and get me back.” — coinoperatedgirl 

21. My mother’s boyfriend took me and my brother

“This will probably get buried, but here it goes. When I was 11 my mom was dating a pretty shady guy and while they were in the process of breaking up, he decided to kidnap my brother my next door neighbor and I. One day he comes in our house and tells us to get in his car, were going for a ride. He then took us to a car dealership and kept us there for 8 hours or so holding us ransom until my mom came with money to buy him a new car. The neighbors dad finally came to pick us up and pay him off and we never saw him again. Pretty sure my mom got a restraining order after that.” — salem85

22. A hand grabbed my neck to abduct me

When I was eleven years old we lived in a small villa behind a Canadian university. Just for reference we live in a Muslim country — Dubai UAE. When I was 11-14 I was really into skateboarding and would skate in front of our house. I heard my mother calling my name, and as I picked up the skateboard, a white Nissan Patrol came flying down the street with the passenger’s door wide open. I dropped my board and fled for the gate. As I opened the metal gate I felt a cold hand grab my neck and try to pull me. I grabbed the gate and forced myself through it, closing it behind me. I was not abducted, but the feeling of the cold hand still haunts me ten years later.” –Maxmakesthemillion Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Holly Riordan is the author of Lifeless Souls, available here.

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