Have you ever been truly frightened? Like actually scared for your life?
1. Saved by the dog
When I was around 14 years old, I really liked to go for runs with my shepherd lab. I lived in a fairly quiet, clean suburban neighborhood that was situated beside a broad expanse of pasture used by about 10 horses (I would say it was roughly 40 acres).
Anyway, a bike path ran between the pasture and my neighborhood, and I generally ran down the path. One night I decided to go with my pup around 10:00 P.M. May not seem like the smartest decision, but I had spent many nights with my group of friends biking/rollerblading around the neighborhood so I thought nothing of the late hour. I was running down the bike path with my dog, who is a a big pup yet the friendliest guy you’ll meet. As we ran I noticed a dark lump a little ways ahead, and because it was nearly pitch black I could barely see it. I dismissed it as a garbage bag.
As we drew closer, my dog perked up his ears and his hackles went up and he started to growl ... which he rarely ever does. He loves basically everything. I stopped running and stared as the ‘garbage bag’ started to move. Fourteen-year-old me still didn’t really know what the heck I was looking at, and it wasn’t until the supposed garbage stood up that I realized it was a man … who then started to run towards us!
My dog then turned around and, I kid you not, started to run and yanked me along behind him. We reached a street, my dog darted down it, then pulled me into a dark alley, onto another street, then another alley, then another street, until we somehow lost the guy. My dog saved my life, I’m pretty sure. The guy may not have been an axe murderer but it turns out some creepy ex-felon was arrested in our neighborhood about two days later. I love my dog <3
I was walking home from the beach one day around noon and a guy driving down the street in a Ford Escape slows down and in slightly broken English asks me how much, I tell him to screw off and he tells me $200 for an hour.
At this point I’m walking faster and his car is keeping pace with me, he crosses two lanes and parks in a driveway in front of me and opens his door and a passenger door opens as well.
Another guy steps out and walks towards me, I start screaming my head off and cussing them out trying to draw attention on this busy street while fishing my knife out of my bag. I walked into the street and around the car, call my boyfriend and tell them it's the cops.
I give my boyfriend their license plate number and almost run to his house because it was about a block away. They followed me for another minute and then drove past me really fast while shouting at me. I was 16 at the time and I really wish I had called the cops because as an adult I am 100% sure I was about to be kidnapped and raped.
Related: A Kidnapping Gone Wrong
3. Almost Snatched
Didn’t realize until years later that I was almost snatched.
Grew up in a small town. Out playing in the yard with my two younger siblings like every other summer day. Guy pulls up alongside the yard in a truck, calls me over. The driver asks my name, if I’m having a good summer. He says he could really use my help, he’s out looking for his lost puppy. He can show me a photo of the puppy if I come closer. No, closer. The picture is small, can I please help him? I yelled to my brother on the other side of the yard “Daaaaaan, come help us find a puppy!”
I have to assume he thought I yelled ‘dad’ because he screeched out of there without another word.
I remember being really worried about that puppy … until we had an assembly at our primary school about things strangers might say to lure you into their vehicles.
4. Holy BALLS
Rented a cabin for a week with my SO–first night there we had spent the day visiting her family (the actual reason for our trip), had dinner, she got pretty wasted. Get back to the cabin, carry my SO inside–to find all our bags opened/dumped onto the floor. This set me into panic mode.
I hadn’t been drinking and I routinely carry, so I pull out my gun and sweep the house–I check every room, closet, even under the bed–nothing. My SO is still fast asleep, so I check our stuff over and there’s nothing missing. It had just been dumped onto the floor. So I look around some more, all the windows are locked, the backdoor was even dead bolted.
It just really bothered me that there was no sign of break-in. I know I locked the place before I left, so either someone else had a key to my cabin, or whoever it was was still inside the cabin. Either way, I didn’t think I’d do much sleeping.
It was too late to make other arrangements, and most likely there wasn’t anything to worry about. We had been gone all day, from 9:00 A.M.–midnight. So odds are whoever dumped out our stuff had done so way earlier. But still … I couldn’t shake it. I went in and covered up my SO, used the bathroom, set up a rocking chair facing the front door–my hand on my gun on my lap, I started watch.
I felt pretty silly sitting there, but I couldn’t not sit there either. And some time around 3:00-4:00 A.M., I fell asleep.
I woke up the next morning around 7am, sun shining through. I actually half scared myself because I hadn’t meant to fall asleep–which then scared me again because I wasn’t holding my gun. I start looking around, and on the couch is my gun. I’m like What… then I look–the front door is wide open. I’m like.. NO WAY. I jump up and start running to check on my SO–thank God she was still there, untouched. I go back out into the living room and pick up my gun, all my bullets are missing.
I go outside and look around, car and everything is still there–no signs of anybody. I walk back inside, look in the far corner of the living room and I see the corner of the main living room rug lifted up. I investigate–it’s covering the opening to the crawlspace.
That means this guy was IN MY CABIN THE ENTIRE TIME. I must have pulled up and caught the guy in the act, he thought fast and hid in the crawlspace. Then some time during the night, crawled out, DISARMED ME, and walked right out the front door.
5. Crazy Family
It was 1990 and I was 13 years old. It was a Friday night and my parents went out for the evening. They were visiting an aunt's house which was about 45 minutes away. My best friend was staying the night and we were upstairs chilling in my room. Now, the bedroom I was in and previously been my sisters just a few weeks prior. She moved in with a friend so I jumped on the chance to get the big room. It was on the second floor with two windows. One on the front of the house and another on the side, right next to the chimney.
My back was to the side window when my best friend screamed a horrible scream. I turn and look and she’s yelling that there was a man in the window. She saw his face and he had his hands on the window sill. I question what she saw because, hello, we’re on the second floor.
About 10 seconds later my dog starts going off down stairs. Our house was positioned weird. We were right around a bend in the road on a very steep hill with a thick forest about 20 feet from the back of the house. There was a large deck that ran the stretch of the house with a door to the kitchen on one end and a set of French doors going into the family room on the other. We got a lot of animals on the deck so I tried to write his barking off on a possum. No dice. He is running back and forth across the back of the house chasing something. It’s pitch black and I am not going downstairs to turn the outside light on. Then it didn’t matter, the dog was at the front door, freaking out. So I did the stupidest thing you can imagine. I went for my dad's gun that he kept in his sock drawer.
It wasn’t there.
I was afraid to call the police because if it was a false alarm my dad would have been very upset with me. So I called my neighbor. He was an FBI agent and for some reason I thought that made him cop-like. I told him the brief rundown and that we were home alone. A span of about five minutes had passed and I finally realized I need to call my parents. No one answered so we made arrangements for my friend's mom to get us so I could stay over there. I was not staying in the house alone.
A few minutes later my neighbor knocks on the door. He said that as he was walking into the yard a car peeled out right around the bend. There was no street parking so the driver didn’t live nearby (there was also a parking lot across from where they were). He said he would talk to my parents when they got home and would look around the yard the next day.
Finally my friend's mom arrived about 20 minutes later. I left a note, left my dog, locked up and took off.
The next day my dad was pissed. He said my friend made it up for attention and I blew it out of proportion. He was such a nice guy. The neighbor came back over and looked around. He mentioned some holes that were under the window next to the chimney. Finally my dad starts taking it seriously. He immediately starts checking our belongings and we start inspecting the house thoroughly. I found pry marks on the front door (we seldom used it so we wouldn’t have noticed right away), but little else.
Now, I didn’t tell him about the gun because I assumed he moved it and if he knew I went looking for it he’d be pissed. Well, he didn’t know it was missing and flipped his lid. He then went through his important paperwork and discovered that several credit cards were missing as well as some collectibles that were stashed in his closet.
We inventoried our belongings. My mom was missing some jewelry and I was missing (sob) all my Z Cavarichi clothes as well as some knickknacks.
Cops were called and a report was filed. It took a few days, but he was able to get info on charges made on one of the cards. It took over a week to get all the statements. There were charges for jewelry, clothing, alcohol, and the one that stood out, lots of baby supplies including a crib.
All of the clues led to one person. An old friend of my sister's that she had recently started hanging out with us again. She was pregnant.
There’s a family meeting and my sister says that she lent her car to the girl a few times while she was at work. Our dad had her call the girl and tell her that if she confessed to what she did he wouldn’t press charges against her. She admits to copying the house and car key when she borrowed the car. While everyone was gone her and some friends came in and took things. She didn’t know about the gun or that something happened that one night. It seems her friends were coming back without her.
I’m trying to remember if she got in trouble or not, but I know a few of her friends got arrested. They changed the locks, added a keypad on the garage and my dad started setting booby traps. The worst trap was a series of razor blades that he duct taped around the doorknobs. That one almost caught me sneaking in one night.
6. Another hospital
This happened at a small hospital in Kansas. But about seven years ago they had a physical therapist that was generally loved throughout the community. Those that received PT would go to his office, change into comfortable clothes in the restroom, begin therapy. It was kind of a communal locker room but had a lock on the door so you could be sure no one would come in.
One day one of assistants was changing in there and noticed something was off about the PT’s gym bag that was in there, and when she looked closer she noticed a hole facing the changing room in the side of the bag. She stuck her finger in and felt glass, opened it and found a video camera, set to record.
Of course she immediately brought this to the hospital leaders, who brought him in and questioned him. He confessed to recording the videos for some time, and was immediately fired. His clients are of all age groups, so it’s particularly disturbing to think he had videos of children.
So here’s the thing: you’ve caught someone doing something highly illegal red handed, and have the evidence, and what do you do? Not call the police, but fire the man and walk him to the door. Well this man, in hysterics, drives his car head on into semi truck on the way home, killing both himself and the truck driver. There was a huge communal outpouring of sympathy for the PT, and the hospital never released the true reason for firing him, just a tragic “accident”.
What really bugs me are that those videos might be out there somewhere, on the Internet or in storage somewhere. The hospital wanted to save face and not tarnish the reputation of someone who was already dead. Really gives me the creeps how small towns can cover up this kind of thing.
7. Mental Hospital
My father was a supervisor of a now defunct inpatient mental health hospital. He supervised the children’s unit. These were kids, mostly boys, that had done some terrible stuff. Or they came from terrible families and through no fault of their own, ended up there. One day a group outing had been planned for some of the kids on his unit. Two boys decided it would be a good time to start a fight right as they were about to leave. My dad decided that their behavior didn’t warrant a trip (I forgot where they were going, but it was somewhere really fun I believe). He kept them back at the facility that day. I was six at the time. Later that night my dad gets a phone call from home–it’s the police. Two boys had managed to slip past a psych tech sleeping on night shift at the facility and were found blocks from our house with duct tape and knives in their backpacks.
Apparently they hadn’t taken kindly to being left behind and waited until they knew the night crew would be distracted doing rounds or tending to patients. They had found my dad’s home address by breaking into his office and saw a picture of me on his desk. Needless to say they confessed to my dad’s face later that night they had planned to rape and murder me. The cops picked them up because they were too young (I believe they were 14 or 15) to be out as late as they were. My dad quit a few weeks later and we moved cross country.
About 15 years ago my mom and cousin were coming home from visiting my aunt who lived two hours away. The drive takes you through the desert and up some mountains but there is a shortcut you can take to avoid the mountains and shave about 10 minutes off your drive time, only problem is the shortcut takes you literally through the middle of nowhere. Its a two-lane road with nothing for 30 miles, no houses, no shops, no lights, not even those roadside emergency phone booths.
They’re driving along through the shortcut at about 11:00 P.M. when they spot something on the road. At first my cousin thinks it's a rock so she slows down to go around it. When she gets closer she realizes its a lady with long black hair and what looks like a burlap shawl wrapped around her. She’s crouched down facing away from my cousin. My mom says that she thought the lady might have been in trouble so they pull up next to her and ask if she’s OK and if she needs help.
My cousin says the lady stood up and looked at them and let out a shriek like a banshee. She insists that the her eyes were pitch black and her skin was as white as a sheet and she was really skinny, like almost anorexic skinny. I debate this because it was dark out and her mind might have been playing tricks on her, but none the less it was enough to spook the heck out her and make her punch the accelerator and get out of there.
The lady briefly ran after them but they lost sight of her after a short bit. They didn’t stop for anything, even running a stop sign, until they got to the next town where they stopped at a gas station to get something to drink and to collect their thoughts.
A few weeks later my cousin was telling her co-worker what happened and she said it might have been a skin walker that she saw and that she’s lucky she got away. That spooked her even worse so now she won't go through the shortcut, even when someone else is driving she insists on taking the main highway. My mom maintains that it was probably some crazy lady on drugs.
I’ve heard of that happening out here in the country side in Kansas. I grew up out in the country on the Arkansas river. Weird things happen in those woods along the river. Ranging from possible KKK rallies deep in the woods (seen the smoldering cross) to weird government experiments. We were six miles away from an AFB.
I remember I was 18 years old and was bombing down the dirt road by my house. The neighborhood had only entrance to it with the river serving as a barrier on the other end. I drove past a convoy of six black Chevy Tahoes with G-men driving. They had U.S. government issued tags and two of them towed large white dual axled covered trailers. For weeks after that me and the neighbors saw a lot of white and green lights shining out of the woods. The creepiest was the night a large dark green spot light shone out of the woods near my house and illuminated the grain elevator in the town three miles away! We traced the origin of the light to the riverbank but it was so bright that we couldn’t see much else. Never figured it out.
I think weird stuff just goes down in the country side.
10. Gas Station
I used to work as a cashier at a BP that was right off the interstate. It doubled as a truck stop and was open 24 hours. I had worked there for about a year so I was fairly comfortable with the job and I was used to working night shifts alone, despite being a smaller female.
So I was working one night and everything was going as usual … it was about 1:00 A.M. and I saw a pickup truck pull in. Three passengers got out and entered the store. The two men were wearing camouflage outfits and the woman was wearing jeans and a sweater. The men talked to the woman outside of the door before entering and then they all went straight to me at the counter and asked for some cigarettes.
As the one man was paying, the other one went to the other side of the store looking at drinks. I looked at the woman and realized that she had a look of panic on her face. I immediately felt in my gut that something bad was going on. We made eye contact and she mouthed the words ‘help me’. Then the man grabbed his cigarettes with one hand and the woman’s arm with the other and yelled at his buddy that they were ready to go. I was only 19 and wasn’t really sure what to do so I waited until they walked out the door and slid my hand under the counter and hit the panic button.
About 5-10 minutes later the cops got there and I told them what happened. They looked at the surveillance videos and told me that they were investigating a kidnapping with a description of that same vehicle. I told them which direction they went on the interstate and the rest of the officers left after them while I gave my statement to the one who stayed behind. I never did find out if they caught them or not.
11. The Porch
A girl in my high school English class was about four at the time of this story. She lived in a house that bordered a park with no fence around the backyard. She had a glass sliding door in her room that opened out to the park. It’s the middle of the night, she’s asleep. Hears a banging at the door, being a little kid she hides under the blankets. In the morning there’s a dead woman covered in blood outside the door, blood smeared down the glass.
Apparently she was attacked in the park, ran for help and was trying to get someone in the house to help her. Ended up getting stabbed to death on the girl’s back porch.
Related: The Brutal Murder that Started 9-1-1
Scary thing happened to my oldest brother once. I’m a little hazy on the details of who this was or why it happened, but my brother was at a guy’s house, probably to do some work for him. The guy offered my brother a beer after the work was done, so my brother went to the living room while the guy poured a couple glasses. When he came into the room, my brother noticed that his beer had no foam on top, while the guy’s beer did, which meant his own beer might have had something in it which had removed the foam.
Suspicious, my brother asked for a snack and, when the guy went to get it, scooped the foam off the guy’s glass and put it on his own then switched the glasses. The guy came back and they drank, and in no time the guy was out like a light. My brother bolted and called the cops. They arrested the guy and searched his house, and they found lots of wallets containing other men’s IDs and cards. They also apparently found remains in his walls or closet or something.
My mum and I were driving out on this rural road one night. It was very late and I was about 10 years old. My mum stopped at a gas station to fill up our car and then we would be on our way. This particular gas station was the last stop before two+ hours of highway.
My mum got gas for the car and then we were off. My mum noticed a car behind her was following quite closely. At one point the highway separated into two different roads. Each road was at least 2+ hours before the next town. When my mum (accidentally) put on her blinker to turn left for one road she noticed the car behind her put on their left blinker. When my mum noticed she meant to turn on her right blinker the other car slowed down and turned on their right blinker. My mum (very smartly) thought it was strange that another vehicle made the same mistake she had. So, instead of going the way we needed to go she changed her route and went left instead. Again, the car behind us followed us.
By this time my mum knew something odd was up. There then appeared a small farmhouse off to the side of the road. My mum pulled over as if we lived at this farmhouse. The car that had been following us passed us, turned around, and then parked on the highway across the road from the farmhouse.
At this point, mum was sufficiently freaked out and she pulled out of the farmhouse driveway and drove back to the gas station a few miles back (Other car did not follow us at this point).
When we arrived at the gas station we realized that two of our car tires had been stabbed/punctured. Mum then realized the first time she stopped for gas was when the tires were punctured and if we had been stranded alongside the road of the desolate highway where we were headed we would have been at the mercy of strangers/cars following us.
14. Bloody man
About three years ago, I was at my parents' house alone. While watching a movie, I fell asleep. About an hour later, I woke up to see a man covered in blood standing in the middle of the living room. I was a little freaked out to say the least. I ran out the front door trying to get away. It was then that I saw a totaled truck in the road in front of the house. Turns out he had wrecked his truck and wandered into the nearest house looking for help. Called 911, ambulance came, guy was okay. Just a concussion.
A buddy picked me up to go to a couple bars, have a few drinks and what not. Everything was fine, I had a nice little drunk going on. Around 11:00 P. M., I went outside to smoke a stogie, then … boom I woke up at my house in my bed, the following morning. I don’t recall even leaving the bar, let alone how I returned home, I had multiple missed calls from my buddy.
Called him up to see what happened, and he said I just disappeared. The creepy part is, after I got off the phone with him, I went to the bathroom. I discovered that somehow during the time I went M.I.A. I had received a haircut. Someone also shaved my face ... hmm weird. I do my business, only to realize my privates had been groomed as well, with expert precision. To this day don’t know what happened, but upon sharing this story with other friends, I was spotted at other bars though out the night, pre-hair cut, and alone.
16. “You might have saved me”
I told this once before, but it fits this thread well.
I was working at a manufacturing company that was sold. The new owners came in and laid off about 30% of the workers. I was not let go, but a guy in my department (we will call him Dave) was. Dave was shocked to be fired because he was certain he was too valuable for them to lose. He was very angry when they let him go.
About a week later he calls me while at work to thank me (this is pre-cell phone so he called me on the company line at the extension for my department). I had recently taught him how to run a new machine and his knowing this helped him get some decent job prospects. He said he wanted to take me out to lunch as a way of saying thanks.
A few days later we went. He picked me up at work during my lunch break and we drove down the street to this deli. For the first half of the lunch he was pissed off and venting about being fired. I understood his anger and just let him vent. I tried to say the right things and encourage him by telling him he would likely end up with a better job soon.
As lunch wore on things took a dark turn. He started talking about how he could do some real damage in the plant if he wanted to because he could sneak in the side door where nobody would see him and cause havoc before they even knew he was there. He told me how he could slide boards into the handrails of the doors and lock everyone inside if he wanted. He went on to list people he didn’t like that he blamed for his being fired.
As lunch came to an end I was still trying to stay positive, but was getting worried that Dave was going to do something rash. As we drove back he told me not to worry. He said he liked and respected me so he would never do anything to me, but some people might need to pay.
We get back, I wish him good luck and I suggest he try to relax a little and maybe spend a few days just unwinding and enjoying the time off. He says goodbye and I head inside.
My department had a window that looked out into the parking lot. I could see where he was parked from that window. He didn’t leave after I went inside. He sat in the car with an anguished look on his face. I started getting worried so I told my boss what was up and that I thought we needed to call 911. He did.
The police showed up and at first Dave wouldn’t get out of the car. Finally they talked him out of the car and got him handcuffed then they search the car. In the trunk of his car were several short boards, two rifles, a pistol, and a machete.
I was freaking out for two reasons. First, the idea of what he was planning, and second because I was certain he would blame me for his getting caught. He asked to speak to me before they took him away so I went outside assuming if he was going to threaten me it was best if he did it in front of the police. He asked if I called 911. I told him it was me who said to call 911 so yes, I was responsible for the police being there. He then looked me in the eye and said, “Thanks. You might have saved me.”
I get goosebumps just thinking about it.
17. The tenant
My mom owns a bunch of rental properties. Her first ever rental was to a nice man who was looking to move into town. Mom and I are setting up the paper work and the apartment for him. A week goes by and we haven’t heard from him. Then he suddenly starts contacting us about the apartment over the phone. He never wants to meet face to face. He asks us to stop by one day to on the place, which was really odd. My mom and I head over; she makes me stay in the car and goes inside to check it out. It was mid-day when we got there so she felt safe enough to go inside.
A few days later she sees our renter's face on the news. He was shot and killed 2-3 weeks prior and was accused of being a drug trafficker. The guy contacting my mom over the last week about the apartment, who would not meet up with us but wanted us to go check out the place, was not the renter.
This story was first published on did you know?
Featured photo: Carl Milner / Flickr (CC); Additional photos: Christopher Sessums / Flickr (CC); Joe Clay / Flickr (CC); olavXO / Flickr (CC); Kostya Vacuum / Flickr (CC); Timo Kuusela / Flickr (CC); Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr (CC)