These are the kinds of threads I get lost in for hours on end. Scary, creepy, frightening stories that are allegedly true.
1. Don’t let people borrow your phone
When I was younger my dad was out was out of town and my mom let me have a few friends over. We lived right by a pretty busy highway and over the years had quite a few people knock on our door for help (car broke down, lost, accident, etc.). While my mom was home with us a man knocked saying he wanted to borrow the phone.
My mother told him he could sit on the porch and use her cellphone. The man kept asking to come inside and asking if my dad was home. He eventually started trying to force his way inside. My mom slammed and locked the door, called 911, and put my friends and I into a closet. It took the police department 20+ minutes to reach us. By that time my mom had called our neighbor and he came over his shotgun and made the guy drop to the ground until the police arrived.
I’d just moved into a basement suite. Every time I went out I would lock the deadbolt but not the door handle but when I came home a lot of the time the deadbolt would be unlocked and the door handle would be locked. At first I thought I was just confused about which one I had locked so I started paying more attention. It kept happening and I realized someone must be going in when I went out. I assumed it was the landlady and was annoyed but didn’t say anything at first.
Then one day I came home and found the wrong lock locked again. I went in pissed off and opened the fridge to get something to eat. There was a book in the fridge that I had never seen before. I collected old books and this one was published in the early 1900s which creeped me out completely because it was like it had been left for me. I finally called my landlady and asked if she was going into my apartment and told her what had happened. She freaked right out, said the last person who lived there was a really creepy guy with mental health and drug problems. She got all the locks changed that day and it never happened again.
3. David Crist
I love to ride my bike along country roads. Not far from where I live is a tiny town called Three Oaks, in Michigan. One Saturday, my wife was working and I had nothing to do, so I strapped my bike to my car and drove the hour to Three Oaks. I parked in the scenic downtown area, and then rode out of the town and into the surrounding countryside.
As I wound my way into the remote countryside, houses and businesses and cars grew increasingly scarce. Eventually, there were only an occasional house or two every 1/2 mile or mile and corn fields and small woods flanking the dirt and gravel roads that I peddled down.
It’s on one of those back roads that a minivan drove past me. Within moments of it passing, it turned around pulled up along side me. I looked over and the passenger, a woman in her mid to late 20s, was looking at me with her window down. The driver, a man of seemingly the same age, leaned over the passenger and said to me in a slight southern drawl and with a big smile on his face, “Hey, do you know David Crist?” I thought for a brief second, but I don’t know any David Crist, so I said so. The driver said, “You don’t know of him at all?” I said that I didn’t and apologized, and then pedaled on. The van sat for a moment longer and then pulled a u-turn and drove off in the direction it was originally heading.
I thought nothing of the encounter. Maybe the driver was a friend of David Crist's, and he thought we had met or something. I don’t know. At the time, I didn’t think I had any reason to worry.
I continued on my ride, turning down this road and heading north, and then turning down that road and heading east. I didn’t have any agenda. I was just out to enjoy the summer day and meander through the relaxing countryside.
Maybe 10 minutes later, and on an entirely new road and heading an entirely different direction from the one I had first met the van, I saw the van again. We were heading toward each other, and I gave a smile and nod as I passed the driver. I remember thinking it was an odd coincidence that I should come across this van again. The driver stared as he passed and he had a big smile on his face.
At this point, I began wondering what they were doing. They might be lost, and looking for this David Crist guy, or maybe they’re just enjoying a scenic drive and thought I looked like a friend of a friend, or something. I didn’t know, but at that point I was starting to think about the situation a little more critically.
I continued taking a twisting, turning, meandering path. Taking this road, and then turning onto that, heading north, south, west, east.
Then, I came across the van again. Again, they’re heading in my direction and I pulled along side them. The driver rolled down his window and leaned out. He was a late twenties white man, with a few inches of a goatee and a baseball cap. He had a large smile plastered across his face again. I stopped my bike and looked at him, waiting for him to say something, and he just looked at me for a good 30 seconds. Now, 30 seconds doesn’t sound like a long time, but you go flag down a stranger and then just look at them for 30 seconds, and you’ll realize that, in that kind of situation, thirty seconds is a lifetime. Finally, he spoke and said, “Hey, do you know David Crist?” Same question. This time there was no smile on his face. He stared at me, and I was thinking to myself, “Is he joking? Does he really not remember he asked me this same question twenty minutes ago? Is he just being funny? Is he high as hell?” After a moment, I told him that I still didn’t know anyone by the name of David Crist and I pedaled off down the road.
It’s at that time that I realized how far away I was from town. I peered down the road I was on and I didn’t see a house on its entire length. I was flanked by a corn field on one side and a forest on the other. I looked over my shoulder and saw the van slowly driving down the road away from me. It couldn’t be a coincidence that I came across this van three times now, not with me taking random roads heading different directions. It made no sense why anyone driving would take that same maze of roads. The only thing they could have been doing was just driving around, maybe a pleasure drive, but why would they stop me and ask that same question twice? It was quite strange, and I was beginning to become a little concerned.
I decided to begin to head back toward the town center. I pedaled hard, and the gravel road ahead of me continued with a bend to the right, and a dirt path, for it couldn’t really be called a road, to the left. As I neared the fork, who should come around the bend but the damned van. I gripped my pocket knife, which I always take with me on rides like this—just in case—and then realized, all they would have to do is run me down with the van, and I would be in serious trouble. As the van drew closer, I was ready to jump off and run into the cornfields.
The van slowed down as it approached me and the driver rolled his window down and leaned out again, but this time I didn’t stop riding. I increased my speed, even though I knew I could never outrun the van if they gave chase. I looked over my shoulder and saw the van sitting in the middle of the road. I took the right fork and continued on the gravel road until I could no longer see the van behind the corn rows and then I stopped.
I got off my bike and crept along the cornfield until I was at its edge and I peeked down the road I had just been on. The van was in the distance driving away from me. I ran back to my bike, and then as soon as the van was entirely out of sight, I turned around and took the left fork along the dirt path. I rode as fast I could, knowing that if the people in the van had nefarious things in mind, and if they caught me on this dirt path, flanked by cornfields and far from an area that anyone would come across us, that would be the time they attacked.
My ruse worked, or perhaps the van was never after me at all, and I made it the rest of the way to the town center without seeing them again. When I got home later that day, I was still replaying the events in my head and the name David Crist kept creeping through my mind. Was David Crist someone famous, I wondered, like a musician. Should I have known David Crist? I decided to Google the name. I tried a couple of different spellings for Krist, but it the Crist spelling that revealed a terrifying result.
I came across a newspaper article from Knoxville, TN. The article explained how a man named David Crist had turned himself in after stabbing another man at a gas station in 2013. The article included a photo of this criminal David Crist, and I believe it was the same man that was driving the van. Add a baseball cap and a few inches of a goatee and the man in the van was a dead ringer for David Crist in the article. I did an inmate search of the Knox country prison and there was no David Crist in the inmate population.
Somehow David Crist had gotten out of prison, or maybe he was never convicted, as I couldn’t find any articles about sentencing, in less than two years after stabbing a guy and for some reason he had made his way to Michigan. Why was he driving along these back roads? Who was the woman in the passenger seat, and why the hell did he keep asking if I knew of him?
Do I know David Crist? Yes, I do now.
4. Don’t hitchhike
Back in the 70s my grandfather dropped my grandmother, mom, and her 2 sisters off to do some shopping on his way to work. Since he wasn’t able to pick them up, they hitchhiked home.
My mom at the time was only around 10 or 11, middle sister would’ve been about seven or eight, and the youngest was about a year old.
They get picked up by a guy in pickup truck, who had them all sit in the back row with one of them holding the baby. My grandmother was giving directions to their home from the highway, but the guy ignored her and went by their exit claiming he had to make a stop first. Didn’t really say much else to them during the drive, my mom remembers my grandmother being very quiet and very nervous.
Eventually they come up to a farm, driver tells them to wait in the car and goes inside the house. While he’s gone they just sit there terrified, they’re in the middle of nowhere and know they couldn’t make it out on foot. A few minutes later the driver comes out with a second guy who looks into truck and sees my mom’s youngest sister. He starts flipping out, screaming at the driver that he shouldn’t have brought the baby back, they aren’t going to do anything with her and some other things I can’t remember, ends up telling him to get them away from the farm.
Driver gets back into the truck, apologizes, and they get back on the highway and drive again in silence. My grandmother, normally a very smart woman, had him drive directly to their house (although I suspect her reasoning was she’d already given him the address before anything seemed off). They lived at that house for several years and luckily never saw either of them a second time.
5. “Answered the door late one night…”
My (female) friend’s dad once answered the door late one night, like 11:00 P.M. or so and there was a weird man asking for directions to the main road. Her dad usually works nights, but on this rare occasion he’d taken the night off. So, he told him the route, and the weird man thanked him and went off, but in the opposite direction. He’d seemed quite nervous and jittery, which is odd, but what’s even weirder is he was known in the area, he’d lived there years, he wouldn’t need to ask directions to the main road.
Anyway, it was revealed in the news that on the same night, he’d broken into a house and violently raped a woman and her daughter, and later tried to sexually assault another woman in the street but a passerby managed to help her get away. This was after he called at my friend’s house, so he’d gone there then went off in that wrong direction and tried to rape someone.
Now, my friend’s family was having a lot of drama at the time, her mum is a nutcase alcoholic and the whole street knew that she’d been sent to rehab. With her dad working nights, it’s likely that the weird man knew my friend would be home alone. We think she had a very close call with that one.
6. Bathtub Terror
When I was about 14 my parents left me alone overnight for the first time. I grew up in a small farming community, so my parents really had nothing to worry about. They left and I decided to take an awesome bubble bath and paint my nails like all girls everywhere, obviously.
While I was in the bath, I heard our back door open. I thought I was hearing things, and besides, I had locked all the doors per my mom’s orders. But then I heard the kitchen floor's squeaky spot. I didn’t know what to do so I just went under the bubbles and left my head out. I saw two shoes through the crack between the door and the floor. I could hear a person breathing. They stood there for about 30 seconds and then walked away.
I heard the door slam but I didn’t move, I just stayed there until the water was freezing and cried. Then I got out, called my grandma, and checked the doors. The back door was unlocked and the lock hadn’t been messed with or broken. Later that week we learned that a man was breaking into farm houses.
7. Group Therapy Session
In freshman year of middle school (6th grade) there was a once-a-week ‘group therapy’ session with developmentally delayed kids that involved them doing some crafts activity or playing with legos or watching a movie as a group. It was half normal kids, half DD kids, and the normal kids could sign up for it. I signed up pretty instantly as it meant an escape from History once a week. One of my best friends at the time had the same idea, and it basically turned into a second lunch period for us. The whole thing was overseen by a therapist named Bruce and it was generally pretty laid back. Bruce was an overweight 50-ish balding guy with the attitude and general appearance of Santa Claus. He ran most of the school’s extracurriculars and was pretty much universally liked.
The other important player in this story was a kid who I’ll call G. You know that stereotype of psychopaths being obsessed with animal torture as a kid? This was dead-on G. He’d regularly tell these long excited stories during group about how much fun he had last week tearing the leg off a squirrel he caught in his live trap, or other similar things. Most of us just sort of ignored him as it was just sort of assumed that he was all talk and just making up gross stuff to get attention.
So one week we were playing with playdough. The huge tub of playdough had long since assumed a uniform shade of turd brown and the general drive was to get people to build things and tell stories about them. Most people just built dinosaurs or threw clay at eachother. G, for whatever reason, had a huge flat square slab laid out and was building four large pillars on the corners. He eventually put a roof on it, which wouldn’t stay on due to the lack of interior supports. The normal kids would always leave a few minutes early as the group ran right into the start of the next period and we’d need time to get to class. I was no different, and walked out while Bruce and the DD kids were smashing playdough, giggling and throwing chunks of turd-dough back into the bin.
I got to my next class and the teacher wasn’t there. Nobody knew what was going on. About 10 minutes later she finally showed up looking frazzled and wouldn’t give us any information other than ‘something happened’ that needed staff attention. Being 6th graders, we went nuts with speculation.
A few hours later I ran into the friend from group, who was visibly jumpy and disturbed. He wouldn’t tell me why other than mentioning that therapy group was cancelled indefinitely. I kept prying for information and eventually got the story out of him.
So during the cleanup the playdough had to be compacted back into its tub. This involved lots of smashing playdough sculptures, a bit that the DD kids greatly enjoyed to the point where they’d try to smash other people’s stuff. G’s house was one of the last things to go. He smashed down two columns, let one of the other DD’s smash another, and finally dared Bruce to smash the last one really hard.
The last one with the pocketknife in it.
I never saw either Bruce or G ever again.
When I was about 9 or 10, my older brother and I had a few friends over to stay the night. My Dad had to work the next day so we were all left at the house by ourselves for the day. We were excited to play playstation all day on our Saturday off. Well my Dad worked late that night (until probably 8:00 or 9:00). As soon as the sun went down we went into one of the rooms upstairs to play Uno. Fast forward 30 minutes and we start hearing footsteps slowing walking up the wooden stairs. My dad wasn’t going to be home for another two hours so we didn’t know who it was. There were four of us, me, my brother, my friend, and his friend.
We would take turns walking out of the room to see what it was but before we could look down the dark stairs we would hear what sounded like someone running down the stairs as fast as they could so they couldn’t be seen. This continued for probably two hours ending with all of us huddled in the room upstairs with the door wedged shut with a chair until my Dad got home.
None of us were really believers in anything paranormal but a child’s imagination is a crazy thing. Now 15 years later, I still don’t know what to make of it but every one of us heard those footsteps walking up those dark stairs. I bring it up to my friend who I’m still friends with and he remembers it just as vividly as I do. It kind of creeps me out just thinking about it.
My mom was kidnapped, blindfolded, taken to a dark place she still isn’t sure was even a man-made structure, and then tied to a chair. The guy that took her kept talking to her the entire time; she has never told me details except that the man was crazy. After a while she started talking to him, asking him questions, getting him to talk to her about less crazy stuff. She isn’t sure how long this went on, just that it was a long time. After quite some time, the man (whom she never saw directly or recognized the voice of) told her, “I don’t know why, but I need to let you go”.
My guess is that she humanized herself enough to him so that he couldn’t go through with whatever it was he had initially kidnapped her for. He loaded her back up in the car and dropped her off, still blindfolded, at a convenience store up the road from where she lived, told her to count to 1,000 before taking the blindfold off, then he left. After she got home and told her parents they didn’t believe her and thought she was making it up so that she wouldn’t get in trouble for being out late.
10. Road Rage
Once as a teenager, I was leaving a fast food drive-thru and someone in an old bronco started to follow me. At first I thought it was a road rage situation and did the “sorry” wave, and tried to let him pass but he swerved at me like he was trying to hit my car. He pulled up alongside of me and was screaming out the window, just incoherently furious, continuing to swerve at me.
This was before the days of cell phones and I was in an unfamiliar area of town. I was driving a Firebird and tried to outrun him, but he would run red lights and make crazy turns to keep up with me. I eventually ran into a dead end and he pulled his truck across the road to block it. There were big ditches on either side so I was stuck.
He got out and started scrambling at my door handle (doors locked) and pounding on the windows, his face inches from mine just screaming and screaming in a way that seemed like he couldn’t even quite see me. Shaking and crying, I turned on my overhead light so he could see I was just a teenage girl and not who he was looking for and he jumped on my hood and started pounding (and drooling in thick, white smears) on my windshield.
I was screaming and crying and he stopped, held up one finger like “wait a minute” and scurried off to his truck. I floored the gas and ran into the ditch and drove like a crazy person for 45 minutes until I knew I had lost him.
No idea what his deal was. My mom thought I made up this entire story to lie about the damage to my car, and still seems hesitant to believe me …
11. “My poor friend”
This happened to my friend. She was 15 at the time and lived with her parents. She woke up in the night feeling that someone was watching her. She had a big room in the main floor. She woke up and was just sure she wasn’t alone in the room. Heart pounding she turned on her night light, and there was a strange man sitting in a chair by the corner of the room, he was masturbating.
She screamed bloody murder and her dad woke up and ran to her room. A small fight ensued, cops were called. My poor friend went to years and years of therapy and is doing well today.
12. Stalked by car
It was 2001 and my friend and I were 17 (both female) and driving back from a late movie to my house one night. I lived in a pretty rural area in Maine, about 20 minutes from the nearest town.
As we were driving down the highway through the woods, we passed a median with a car sitting in it, facing the oncoming direction, with all its lights off. Right after we drove past it, the parked car flashed its lights, did a three point turn and started driving behind us. We giggled that “oh, it must be a gang initiation, we’re gonna get murdered!” because this was Maine and that was obviously not what was happening.
The turnoff for my road was a few miles away and this car stayed behind us the whole time. We made the left turn and the car kept going down the highway. Phew! But 30 seconds later we realized that the car must have backed up on the highway and made the turn after us. Now we were getting a little worried. There was still one more road to turn down before we got to my house (this is way in the woods) and the car did the same thing…backed up and made the left after us. Now we were legit freaked.
I had a long driveway and the car followed us right into the driveway and almost up to my house, which had all the lights on because my mom was home. We ran into my house, just in time to see the mystery car reverse back down the driveway and drive away.
To this day we still have no idea why that car was following us–if they thought we were someone else or if they actually had bad intentions and only changed their mind when they saw that my houselights were on. Since we only ever saw the front of the car, we didn’t get a license plate or a better description than “a blue car”.
When my wife was in college, she took a philosophy class or something. On the first day everyone announced who they were etc. turns out she was sitting next to a police officer who was taking the class for continuing education or a promotion. This was really great for her because she’s small and it was a night time class.
They became friends (as much as two people sitting next to each other for a few classes can become friends). He agreed to walk her to her car after class since the school wasn’t in the best area and it made her feel safe.
Around midterms he stops showing up. She’s kind of confused, but figured life happens and something else probably came up.
A few weeks later we’re at her parents house and her mom asks if we had heard about the police officer that had been arrested. We hadn’t so she begins to fill us in on this police officer that had been pulling women over and raping them in their cars.
We live in a small town, but it gets super rural super fast if you leave, so nobody is passing these scenes as they’re happening.
Anyway, turns out that the officer assaulting women was the same guy that was walking her to her car after class every week and the reason he wasn’t in class was because he had been arrested.
Related: 10 Creepy Books to Read Right Now
14. Weird Noises
When I was in college I lived in a decently safe apartment complex. You needed a gate clicker for your car, and the foot entrance required a code. All doors had a dead bolt, and extensive locks for the sliding patio door. Well when the complex went under new management, the foot path gate code stopped working so anyone could push it open.
In mid-October a note was sent out to all residents stating that a new gate code would be issued in the following days and for everyone to keep their doors locked due to suspicious behavior. The following week another note was sent out describing a man that had been seen peering over balconies and through windows, but the gate code still hadn’t been fixed. On Halloween I distinctly remember locking my deadbolt after a night out because I had friends staying over, and I usually locked my door anyway since I lived alone.
I woke up the next morning and my door was unlocked, I asked if anyone had gone outside and they all said no. The following night I was by myself, and a little skeptical of my door so I made it a point to check my door before I went to sleep. Woke up next morning and again the door was unlocked. I was a little freaked out so I scanned my apartment for anything missing, or a sign that someone had been in there. Nothing.
So by the third night I was certain I locked my door, and checked my sliding door locks as well. Around 5:30/6:00 A.M. my cat started to get restless so I threw her in the living room until I was ready to wake up. She starts making some weird noises a few minutes later, so I go into the living room and hear a weird noise, like a thud or something, I look at my door and it is UNLOCKED.
By this time I’m freaking out. I called my apartment manager and got them to inspect my apartment to make sure there was no way for anyone to get in, and had my locks changed. Never happened again but I’m about 99% sure someone had been sneaking in to my apartment when I wasn’t home and watching me sleep. Maybe I was just being paranoid, but I know for a fact I had locked my door all three nights.
I was a chaperone for a Girl Scout camping trip when I was 16. The kids were about 5-9 years old. I had a cabin with six kids I was in charge of at night, and helped out during the day.
Night one: one of my kids had a bit of a developmental issue. I wake up to her leaving the cabin. I chase after her thinking she is going to the latrine, but she’s sleepwalking. I’m out in the dark barefoot trying to coax this creepy kid back inside when I hear something big out in the woods. I grab the kid and she starts screaming like an infant and goes stiff. I carry her back inside, everyone in my cabin is awake, I don’t sleep the rest of the night.
Day two: Sleepwalker is moved to another cabin. That afternoon, when I’m walking the kids back from the latrine, sleepwalker and another kid sneak away from the group. I realize they are gone, get help, find kids fifteen minutes later. Back at camp, they start telling scary stories about their sneaking away, saying it was the “KittyCow” who lives in the woods.
Night two: Wake up and it's very cold. Get up to close the windows and shutters and see a light in the woods, like someone has a lantern. It “walks” to a point in the woods, then stops. I stay still in the dark and watch it for a long while, about to shrug it off when the light moves again, coming around and going down the side of the cabin, closer, but not close enough to see who is carrying it. I realize it's heading to the window by the kids' bunk beds. I sneak over and close the window and shutters. The light stays close on the other side of the shutters for a long time before moving on and disappearing.
Day three: Tell adults about light. They dismiss it as probably a ranger checking the campsite.
Kids by this time are totally freaking each other out over KittyCow. Literally starting to be afraid to leave the craft area in broad daylight because KittyCow might be there. There’s all sorts of weird KittyCow stories.
That afternoon, we find out a bear broke into another camp and ate food, so in addition to a real threat, we think that may be the origin of KittyCow. Plus, it would make sense that there would be rangers out looking, as there’s a bear on the loose.
Night Three: I stay up listening to music to see if the lights will come back. About 1 am, I see it coming by again, again walking to a point in the woods and waiting. Around 1:30, it starts closer to the cabin. As it walks around the side, I hear one of the other chaperones start to yell “hey, who is that? Who’s out there?” The light cuts off. I yell back to the chaperone that I saw it too, what should we do? I’m terrified at this point.
The chaperone tells me to bring my kids over to her, holding hands. We all cram in one cabin, and a bit later a thunderstorm starts. For another night I basically don’t sleep.
The next day everyone sort of laughs it off again, sort of saying we weren’t seeing anything, that maybe it was heat lightning or the kids were playing with flashlights and we saw them reflected. I’m so sleep deprived it hurts and I’m hearing popping noises.
I end up being paired with another chaperone and we go for a hike with the kids. It’s all foggy in the woods, and the kids are really strung out between the excitement the night before, which they blame on KittyCow. Out in the woods the kids start claiming they are seeing KittyCow everywhere, sneaking up on us.
I can’t tell you now how weird and terrifying things got then. You had this Silent Hill-like fog, all the girls are wearing matching ponchos, so the scene was surreal. The kids are freaking out over every tree, screaming KittyCow is coming to get them, and I’m barely holding it together with no sleep, convincing myself that some weirdo has been creeping around our camp.
Things devolve into mass hysteria, the kids are falling to the ground screaming and sobbing, and the other chaperone LEAVES. She just books it out of the forest back to camp while I am coaxing, pulling, and CARRYING screaming children out of the mist.
I got the kids almost back to camp when the other chaperones come rushing out. The chaperone who left claimed she saw a bear and ran for her life. I didn’t leave any kids behind.
I have never and will never experience anything as creepy and terrifying as that afternoon in the woods. While nothing happened, it's haunted my dreams since then.
This story was first published on did you know?
Featured photo: Stuart McAlpine / Flickr (CC); Additional photos: Will 668 / Flickr (CC); Travis Wise / Flickr (CC); Michael Benz / Unsplash; Cook24v / Flickr (CC); Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington / Flickr (CC)