1. I stumbled on two human skeletons laying side-by-side.
“I was a Canadian truck driver for over 34 years. One time I did a resupply to a remote mine camp and took a new road down from the mountains, (the Canadian Rockies) I stopped partway down to work the kinks out and stumbled on two human skeletons laying side-by-side. I reported my find and found out much later that they were pioneers from over two hundred years ago.”
2. I was the one who found him in his crib in the morning.
“My 7-month-old son died from SIDS three weeks ago. I was the one who found him in his crib in the morning. That feeling of how cold he was is something I will never forget.”
3. I saw the two halves of a guy that committed suicide by train.
“I saw the two halves of a guy that committed suicide by train being collected and wheeled onto an ambulance, a year or two back. Deeply unpleasant.”
4. My mom. I found her dead on the couch when I was about to go to bed.
“My mom. Long story short; she fell from the stairs and died from a stroke two days later. She was only 43 years old. Doctors didn’t do anything when she was still alive. I still remember she was complaining she had a lot of headache. Two days later I found her dead on the couch when I was about to go to bed and tell her goodnight because the day after I had to go to school.
Mom, I still miss you. It’s been almost 10 years already, but it still feels like it only happened yesterday!”
5. Lady cut him up and put him into a couple of trash bags.
“We found one in the truck of a car that was towed to our shop a couple of years back. Lady cut him up and put him into a couple of trash bags. Crazy shit car smelled horrible whenever I drove it out of police station onto our rollback.”
6. He looked so fucking fake I thought he was wax and it was some fucked-up prank.
“Found my fiancée hanging (suicide). He looked so fucking fake I thought he was wax and it was some fucked-up prank. I could not believe it was real, I was like jabbing at him when someone pulled me away. It wasn’t till the cops showed up that it sunk in. At which point I just kinda collapsed in the yard howling. Like literally howling, I have never hurt so bad so fast.”
7. I came home to find my girlfriend dead on my bed.
“When I was 30 I came home to find my girlfriend dead on my bed. It’s been almost two years and I’m still fucked up by that.”
8. I found what I thought was an excellent latex stunt dummy in the water…it wasn’t.
“Working on Johnny Mnemonic under Jacques Cartier Bridge in Montreal clearing up after a night shoot—found what I thought was an excellent latex stunt dummy in the water…it wasn’t.”
9. Turns out she’d died while I was asleep.
“A long time ago, when I was 7, my grandmother was very ill. My siblings and I would take it in turns to spend the night at her house to keep her company, which she appreciated.
One night, I bid her goodnight as always and went to sleep. Woke up to go toilet, as one sometimes does and went to check on her. Didn’t seem to be breathing. Called an ambulance. Turns out she’d died while I was asleep.
A wonderful woman. RIP Nana.”
10. I ran around the corner and came upon a man lying on the floor.
“I was with my dad in an office building. I ran around the corner and came upon a man lying on the floor. There was a large puddle of urine flowing out from under him. It was the first time I’d ever seen a dead person. I think I was around 9 or 10.”
11. I found the skeleton of an elderly man.
“In the 1980s while doing land surveying work in Florida, I found the skeleton of an elderly man. He had dementia and had wandered away from home about two years before I found him.
At first I had noticed some scattered bones but did not realize it was human until I noticed his skull. Then my heart kind of jumped into my throat. This was pre-cell phone era, but our work trucks had two-meter FM radio we used to talk to the office so I walked back to the truck and called it then and they called the law. LE had a good idea of who it was when they came out, as the man had been searched for when he had disappeared. Proved to be true.
I made the front page of the local small town paper at the time. At least his family got some closure and got to know what happened.”
12. We found a guy frozen to death in our backyard.
“I was in University and it was the middle of a cold Canadian winter. Our fraternity had just thrown a keg party the night before.
We had a few hundred people over, and things got a bit out of control. Police came by around 1 AM and ended the fun.
We thought all the drama was over, but in the morning after we woke, still slightly drunk from the night before, we found a guy frozen to death in our backyard.”
13. I’ve probably found upwards of 50 bodies over my career.
“I work at a nursing home. It happens. I’d say I’ve probably found (as in been the first to discover) upwards of 50 bodies over my career.”
14. His head was lying in a pool of blood and his face was bloated from swelling.
“The CEO and I arrived early one morning and discovered a man lying flat out on his back on the tile floor of the employee locker room.
Neither of us recognized him at first as his head was lying in a pool of blood from the fall and his face was bloated from swelling.
Then, we both looked at each other and knew him—a long-time employee well-liked by everyone. He apparently had a heart attack and collapsed dead, then and there.”
15. I tried to speak to him with no response.
“I was leaving my home in a rural area. when I went around the corner a Ford Explorer was overturned. I was with my sister and we stopped and I got out to go check on him while she went back to my father’s house to use the phone. This was before everyone had cell phones. I climbed up on top the side of the SUV and looked in the window. I tried to speak to him with no response. There was a pool of blood on the driver’s window by his head. Not knowing what to do I jumped off and my dad and sister were just getting back. We waited for the ambulance and when they got there they said he was dead on impact.”
16. I try to wake him up but he won’t wake up.
“1979, I was 4 years old. At that time, my dad had a bad heroin habit. He’d invite his drug buddies to our house and they’d get fucked up and nod off. One night he invited his friend Gary over to shoot up and let him use a spare room in our house to crash. Gary would have to sleep on the floor but he could stay over.
The next morning, I wake up before the rest of my family. I open the door to the room in which Gary is sleeping. This is one my earliest memories. I look inside and see Gary on the floor, lying face up, with a TV table tray (a collapsible, portable metal coffee table, basically) on top of him, obscuring his head. I try to wake him up but he won’t wake up.
I go find my dad and wake him up. I wake him up and tell him that Gary’s got a TV table tray on his head and he won’t wake up. My dad goes to investigate, comes back, tells me to stay downstairs for a while (my grandmother lived downstairs from us at this time in her own apartment.)
A few minutes later I hear ambulance sirens, and I look out my grandmother’s window to see people taking Gary away in a stretcher. I learned later that Gary had OD’d and had somehow knocked the TV table tray over onto his head at some point. I say ‘later’ because at first my dad told me that the TV table tray falling on his head had killed him. It wasn’t until I was 8 that my dad would finally tell me the truth—by that point he was in a methadone program.”
17. Walked up on old drain pipe that was closed on both ends that smelled like death.
“Went to check out some property we owned in a neighborhood that I haven’t been to in a year. Walk up on old drain pipe that was closed on both ends that smelled like death. Sure enough there was someone in there. I was less than 18 then so my dad took care of contacting the right people.”
18. I rip the covers off and can tell he’s stiff.
“As a paramedic, I’ve seen plenty between working in an ER and the field.
One of the ones that sticks out to me was my first ‘dead on scene.’ I was on one of my first clinicals as a paramedic, and it is all very vivid to me for some reason.
We get the call for person not breathing, suspected overdose, bad area of town. No big deal (for us): show up, BVM, give Narcan intramuscular, transport.
On scene, the whole family is out in the driveway. Teenage/early twenties girlfriend, to this day, is the only person who literally said “please save him!” to me, like a movie scene. As we are going down the stairs, she yells after us that she got cold, woke up, looked at him, and he was blue. She thinks he took too many Xanax at the party.
We go downstairs, find him in bed. Kid looks about 25, my age at the time. Rip the covers off and can tell he’s stiff. No pulse. Roll him on his side, and there’s a crushed spider underneath him. We see lividity. All the signs of ‘too far gone.’ Police comes down next, we hook up our monitor/defibrillator to confirm no electrical activity in the heart per protocol. As we’re on the radio getting a time of death from the hospital, some random guy barges in. I try to direct him outside, but it turns out he’s the kids’ dad: an off-duty state trooper. One of his buddies on the city force probably called him when he saw the kid. I’ll never forget the look on his face. I didn’t have to say anything to him; he knew when he saw his son. I could tell he blamed himself for it. He punched a wall, answered his ringing phone, and started to cry. ‘Yeah, it’s him…no. He’s…,’and then I see my proctor pack up, so I follow him out and we were gone.
On the ride back to the station, it hits me: She got cold enough to wake up because she had been losing all her warmth due from cuddling a corpse for the past few hours. I’m glad that’s not a realization I ever had to have about myself.
Don’t do drugs, people.”
19. I’d literally just kind of shuffled around a guy like he was just an object on the sidewalk and didn’t pay him any mind.
“I used to live in Philly for about 5 years. One thing you get to used to is quasi-navigating around the homeless, especially early in the morning. In the winter, the homeless tend to sleep on open grates where heat exhausts. Philly usually tries to stop this by putting large smoke-stack like devices over the grates to discourage sleepers, but they find bedding where they can, and there are a LOT of grates in Philly.
One morning I’d stepped around a guy sleeping on a grate. Just kind of ignored him. You kind of get used to it in a city. You want to help, but Philly has a fairly large homeless problem and it’s one of those cases where if you gave a buck or two to every single one, you’d be broke. So you’re encouraged to donate to shelters where they can better put the money to good use, buy food, makeshift lodging, help get people back onto their feet.
I went into Wawa after walking around the guy, ordered breakfast, came out…and there were EMTs outside loading the guy into a body bag. He’d died sometime over the night. I’d literally just kind of shuffled around a guy like he was just an object on the sidewalk and didn’t pay him any mind. I’d realized what living the city had kind of done to me. I’d gotten so used to the homeless problem that, somehow, I’d stopped seeing them as people. He was just there.
I still think about that shit to this day. I mean, I’ve seen people die, I’ve seen some really horrible fucking accidents, too. But there’s something tragic about realizing that you and almost everyone around you stopped looking at the homeless as people. This is going to be an odd comparison, but I think about it like the movie Groundhog Day. Where Phil finds the homeless guy, but no matter what he does, he just can’t save him. It was his time to go. So the only thing you can do is make sure you did your best. But in my case I couldn’t do anything.
I was probably 23 then, and that shit has haunted me for 14 years. I think about it every so often, and pondered if there was something maybe I could have done. But you live in a city and you kind of learn to tune it out. It becomes second nature.”
20. I tried to nudge her and she was frozen solid.
“I used to live next door to a halfway house for women out of psych treatment. One morning I went on my back deck to smoke a cigarette. It had snowed and was very cold. I saw what looked like a pile of clothes in the backyard of the halfway house. I went to take a closer look and it was a woman. I called out and got no answer. I tried to nudge her and she was frozen solid.
Called the police and they came out. They finally determined she jumped out of the bathroom window. It was only on the second floor, so she was injured but must have crawled farther into the yard before dying, because she was too far from the house to end up there from the jump.”
21. Her body was cold, her skin was dark and mottled, and her bottom lip, jutting out, was dark blue.
“She was a friend.
She had called my cell very early that morning, which was unusual enough, because we usually texted, but didn’t leave a message. She didn’t answer my texts, which was also unusual, but I figured maybe she was doing yard work, which she had said she was going to do that day, and had maybe left her phone inside or didn’t hear it over the sound of the mower.
I went over to her house a couple hours later to check up on her, and as per usual, she had left her front door unlocked. I knocked, opened the door, walked in, called her name, and noticed the house did not smell of cigarette smoke as it usually did. That too seemed strange.
I called her name again. She still didn’t answer, which still didn’t seem too odd at first, because she was a bit deaf. I went from room to room downstairs looking for her, but she was nowhere to be found. I started to worry.
Finally, I went upstairs to look for her, and as I got to the top of the stairs, looked around into her bedroom, and saw her, collapsed on the floor, wearing a bathrobe, and with a makeshift noose around her neck, the other end tied to the top of one of the posts on her four-poster.
Her body was cold, her skin was dark and mottled, and her bottom lip, jutting out, was dark blue. Her eyes, thankfully, were closed, and in that moment, she just looked so small and sad and just utterly defeated by life.
I have learned since that she likely killed herself with a so-called ‘blood choke’—she had not cut off her airway, but the ‘noose’” had put pressure on her neck and obstructed the blood flow to her brain. She probably lost consciousness quite quickly, and I believe she did not suffer long or struggle.
It has been almost two years now, and I miss her terribly. I have a certain amount of insight into the problems she was dealing with, and I understand why, in her frame of mind, and in retrospect, she felt she had no other way out, but I wish she had gotten the help she needed while she still could. To the best of my knowledge, every one of her problems, on its own, was reversible, or manageable, but in the end it was just all too much for her.
She left behind many people who loved her very much.”
22. I start taking pictures from like 20 feet away. I walk up to it and it’s a dead person.
“I was walking along Lake Michigan, taking pictures. I was at a nature reserve and it was the middle of winter so nobody has been there since it was nice out. I was about 15 minutes from my car and noticed what I thought was a pile of clothes in the trees. Cool, I start taking pictures from like 20 feet away. I walk up to it and it’s a dead person. He looked homeless, he was still holding a coffee cup and had a duffel bag next to him. He must have died right before it got super cold because it looked like his skin was starting to rot off but then got preserved. I got called the 911 obviously and it ended up being a guy who was voluntarily homeless.”
23. The smell was so terrible I almost threw up.
“Had a job at a storage company years ago and we noticed a foul smell coming from one of the units that had been delinquent on payments for a few months. When we finally opened it, there was a dead guy lying on the floor. It was august so the units were hot, the smell was so terrible I almost threw up. I was told that the guy needed somewhere to live so he had his friend lock him in there for a few weeks until he decided what to do next. Needless to say, for whatever reason the friend didn’t come back. There were drugs involved. He could bang on the door for hours straight but people rarely go into that unit building, and never heard his screams.”
24. It was a face. An old rotten one, all cozy and nestled up to a tree.
“Mine started off like any other dead-body-finding adventure. I was out in the forest, looking for a location to install a new psychedelic mushroom patch (I live in the Pacific Northwest, where silly people like me live). Anyhow, my dog and I were wandering through a lesser known area, where I came across backpack that looked very full. My first thought was something along the lines of, ‘oh shit, homeless people never leave their bags behind…I’m about to be attacked…deep in the woods!’ I postured for a defensive moment (I’ll tell you, you get attacked by ONE CRAZY HOMELESS GUY and you start fearing them all…or the simple possibility of their existence, anyhow), and began to look around for a possible adversary. With my eyes wandering and my heart pounding, I noticed a brief flash of what seemed like a face. You know what? It was a face. An old rotten one, all cozy and nestled up to a tree. No, I didn’t install a mushroom garden there.”
25. I looked over and saw a dead woman face-down in the grass about 15 to 20 feet away.
“I was about 10 and I was collecting cans to raise money with my mom. We were collecting most of them at party areas in the woods by the lake. We go into a little clearing with lots of beer cans and debris and my mom pointed to something and asked me what it was as she was not wearing her glasses. I looked over and saw a dead woman face-down in the grass about 15 to 20 feet away. It was the 90’s and we didn’t have cell phones so I yelled to my mom what I saw and we ran to the car and booked it to the nearest house to use their phone. Two of the people who lived there ran to the area and said she was pretty gruesome and bloody up close. Turns out she has been drinking with a couple guys she met at the bar, something went down, and they shot her several times and dumped her body in the clearing. One of the guys woke up bloody the next morning and turned himself and his friend in.
That was about 1997 and I found out a few years ago that it has spawned an urban legend and kids go out there trying to get scared.”
26. He wasn’t moving so I kinda softly kicked at him thinking he was just passed-out on drugs or something and he was stiff and…just odd.
“Came home and a guy was just lying in the parking lot face down near where I parked every night. I parked nearby and I got out and saw he wasn’t moving so I kinda softly kicked at him thinking he was just passed-out on drugs or something and he was stiff and…just odd. I realized he was not alive and called the police and they came by and removed him and taped off the area including my car. Took imprints off all the tires in the lot. I guess they thought he was run over but there were no distinct tire marks on or near the guy ( due diligence I suspect?). He had no wallet on him either. Case is still open so I hesitate to provide too many details.
They called me in for a statement next morning and never heard anything else about it. It was jarring because I was more scared of him being high and attacking me than of him being dead as this was at like 2 AM on a residential street with poor lighting in an iffy neighborhood.
It was also odd to stand there by him waiting for the police to show. I remember a lot of details because of that though and it’s satisfying on some level to have a clear memory of it.
Just to add. Even though I was scared of him being alive and attacking me I was also scared he had od’d and needed help or that someone else might not see him lying there and actually run him over and so I went over to see if he was alright.”
27. The operator asked if I could make sure he was not living and I told her ‘there is no head.’
“This 18-year old had been missing for about a month when I found him. They had found his car parked near a bridge over a lake. At the same time my mother and I were in the process of moving to our new home on the lake. My mom desperately tried to keep me from knowing about the investigation because I’m easy to fright and all. I already knew about some of it just before we moved but it absolutely didn’t occur to me how close the situation was. About 3-4 weeks after moving in I walked upstairs to my room after my mom left for work. I took a brief look out of my window which overlooked the lake and I immediately saw a human body. I started shaking, threw on a robe, typed in 91 on my phone and headed down to the pier to make sure I wasn’t just imagining it. I wasn’t. My cat was acting very odd and sniffing around the pier and when I walked to where I remembered the body being my worst fear was confirmed. Shaking worse than I ever had in my life I dialed in the last of 911 and said in the most movie-esque tone, ‘That guy that went off the bridge? I just found his body.’ The operator asked if I could make sure he was not living and I told her ‘there is no head.’ I was panicking too much to realize that it was there, just ducked under the water. I later also noticed that he appeared to have been nibbled on by some fish. I texted my mom (I didn’t have proper phone service at the time) and she didn’t believe me until I begged her to come home. It felt like hours but it was only about 20 minutes before an ambulance showed up, then sheriff and maybe twenty other emergency service vehicles. They spent a really long time trying to get the body out of the water. They were unable to lift it in a normal way so they actually used one of our boat lifts to carry the tub they’d gotten him onto he pier where he could be properly placed in a bag. I don’t remember much of the next few weeks because I had a brief problem with pills thanks to the trauma but I did attend his Celebration of Life. His grandmother (who I’d never met before) stayed with me after the service and the little lunch they had. This happened just over two years ago. It was clearly a suicide but I’ve seen these crazy people on Facebook made up some BS that the autopsy report indicated foul play. They claim that there were injuries to places that I saw with my own eyes and I know did not exist. Nobody seems to take them seriously, luckily.
28. He was an immigrant that drowned trying to cross the borders.
“The first one I found it on the river that borders Greece with Turkey (Evros). He was an immigrant that drowned trying to cross the borders. He was in the water for about 5-7 days, not a good sight. After that I found 3 more, same story, and I was first to arrive in a fatal accident car vs truck. All in the same year.”
29. I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a young man hanging from a tree in his front yard.
“Almost two years ago now, I was on my way to the grocery store when I saw a young man hanging from a tree in his front yard. I didn’t trust my eyes at first, he was just so…still. I don’t know how to describe it really. He had hung himself from a low branch, his feet were still on the ground. I kept thinking about how he must really have wanted to die if he had the option to stand up and did not. From the road, it was such a surreal sight. A grown man just standing there—completely motionless—with his head tilted to the right. I will never forget it.
He was only 27…from what his mother said, she’d had no idea that he was suicidal that day. They had even been discussing what he wanted for Christmas before she left to run errands…but that he had been really sad after losing his father months earlier. After visiting her later, she told me that although he was prescribed meds for schizophrenia, the toxicology reports said that he had no meds in his system.”
30. I found a kid in a park who had shot himself in the head.
“I found a kid in a park who had shot himself in the head. The sight is burned into my brain forever.”