Fight Or Flight: The Most Terrifying “We Need to Leave Now” Moments
There are moments in our lives when our “fight or flight” response kicks in, and some part of our lizard brain wrests control over us, overriding any semblance of rational thought. Whether this happens in an actual life-threatening scenario, or we just have a very bad feeling, everyone experiences that adrenaline rush sometimes—and it is always, always terrifying.
#1 Forest Fiends
In high school, my buddy and I were riding our dirt bikes on the trails that ran around the logging roads in Washington. Thousands and thousands of acres of undeveloped land with just gravel roads and trails. We were on our way back to the truck when we stopped at an intersection to figure out which way to turn. That’s when we saw an eerie sight.
Three dudes in overalls, no shirts, and full-face helmets rode out of the woods on quads. They rode a few slow circles around us, then took off back into the woods. We booked it the heck out of there. Whatever they were guarding, they didn’t want us to see.
#2 Stranger in the Woods
I was camping with a friend in a backwoods camping area. There weren’t many sites and they were all super spaced out. We had already been there one night, had the site fully set up, had been hiking all day—the works. We drove into town to get some food, and when we were driving back to our secluded campsite, we passed a man walking out of the only road to our site.
We both locked eyes with him and I got a super creeped-out feeling. He stared at us like he knew us and hated us, but we had never seen him in our lives. When we got to our tent, we went inside and everything we had in there was tossed. Our bags were dumped out and our clothes were thrown everywhere. We quickly realized both our hunting knives were gone, along with a bunch of our clothes.
We also realized it had to be that guy we saw. There were no other sites or hiking paths he could’ve been walking from besides ours. We jumped in the car and drove back towards where we had seen him, but he was gone. So we drove a bit further and found a common area where other campers were gathered. We sprinted down and asked “have any of you seen this guy…” and described him. Their response chilled me to the bone.
The people at the gathering just stared at us and didn’t speak, giving us an even more creeped-out feeling. It was at that point that I told my friend, “We need to leave this place right now.” Walking back to our car, we looked over the edge of a guardrail and saw all our clothes in the woods. We gathered them up but didn’t find either of our knives.
Knowing this guy was still out there with those knives and that no one around us cared freaked us out so much, we packed the car up and ended our camping trip early. No way were we staying out in those woods one more night!
#3 More Than a Feeling
My mom and I were walking our dog on a semi-secluded, dried-up river bed when I was probably 7 or 8 years old. A couple approached us, and instantly something in my gut told me that they weren’t safe. The man asked some weird question like, “Is it just you and your daughter here?”‘ and then proceeded to say that he took pictures of kids for a living and that he would love to have me model for him.
I didn’t wait to hear the rest of the conversation because after that I took off. I’m ashamed to admit, I left my mom and dog behind with the creepy guy. My mom was livid, saying how rude I was and how worried she was because she didn’t know where I went, but the intense “leave now!” feeling that came over me totally clouded any sort of reasoning.
#4 Sixth Sense
One of the times I ran away from my horrible mother, I was hiding out at an internet cafe. For context, I was 12 years old. I’d been there for a few days, and the guy running the show overnight knew me, and knew what was going on at home because I’d laid it on him a few months earlier when he was like, “Hey, it’s 2 am, don’t you need to go home?”
He didn’t care about me especially, but he didn’t care enough to kick me out either, so long as I wasn’t causing any trouble. He’d let me sleep under one of the desks at the back since it was always quiet overnight. Anyway, this night I was just hanging out the back of the cafe, bored with nothing to do, and my brain was like “GO TO THE BATHROOM” but I didn’t need to pee or anything.
And then my brain was more urgent “GO TO THE BATHROOM NOW” so I was like ok, and did. I went into a stall and just kind of stood there for a few minutes, confused, then went back out. The guy at the front desk comes over and was like, “Dude someone just came in asking if I’d seen you, she said told me she was your mother.”
After a cycle of running away, getting caught, and running away again, I finally got away from her and had CPS take my allegations seriously two years later. I moved to a different city but moved back about five years ago. I’m not really a believer in psychic links, but since I’ve been back, I’ve sometimes had this…feeling in myself like a deep dread, and then I look around and see my mother walking down the road across the street or driving past me or something.
#5 Not Alone
A couple years ago, I snuck into an abandoned orphanage with a couple of buddies. Dumb I know, but college kids seek dumbness. I step down through a basement window onto a barrel, easy. We get down and walk through a hallway when we notice a drop of blood by our feet. After close examination of ourselves, we notice none of us are bleeding. But then it got creepier.
We shined our flashlight further ahead and notice the blood continues into the darkness. Got the heck out as fast as possible. Trespassing with someone or something else injured in the basement of this building? No thanks.
#6 Knock Knock
My car was taken the very night I moved into my new house in a very good neighborhood. The neighbors had warned us that the neighborhood was being targeted at the time. They mentioned a woman around the corner who opened the door for knockers in the middle of the night and they attacked her, robbed her, and almost ended her.
We had reported the car stolen, and did the reports when it happened. Well, two nights later in the middle of the night, I hear a knock on the door. They said open up, it’s the authorities. Well, since I had heard the story about the other lady, I was suspicious and did not answer. I grabbed my kids and put them in my daughter’s room because it had access to the roof from the window.
I called the real authorities to say that two men claiming to be them were pounding on my door. They said there were no officers in the area and they’re sending a car. Turns out, these same guys took the car and came back for seconds. The best part of the whole story was that I did get my car back…because they brought it with them.
#7 Weird Vibes
When me and two of my cousins went camping with our family when we were probably about 8-9 years old, we stayed in a campground that had a playground near our spot. We would often go play, just the three of us, and run back to our camper when it started to get dark because it wasn’t too far from the site we were staying at.
One day, we were playing. We weren’t the only kids there, but this man in his 40s came up to us with a dog and started talking to my cousins, who were very trusting. He kept asking them if they wanted hot dogs or cookies, and where they were from. He was telling us that his camper was just over there if we wanted snacks.
This guy gave me a super weird vibe immediately, so I looked at my cousins after being quiet the whole time and said, “I think I hear grandma yelling for us, dinner is probably ready.” They argued and were confused, but after I gave them the ‘look’ they just shrugged and listened to me. That guy gave me the creeps, and we never saw him again after that day.
#8 In the Dark
I used to drive for Lyft. Last year, I picked up a young couple from a bar at about 1:30 am. They were fairly chill and I figured it would be my last ride of the night. The dude asked me to stop at a corner store on the way to their destination. I didn’t see any harm in waiting, so I stopped, and had a nice chat with the young woman while he was in the store.
He ended up being about five minutes. When he came out, he asked me to take him to a location that was in the opposite direction of their destination, but was only about a mile away. He said he wanted to meet some friends really quick and grab some drinks. Since I figured it would be my last ride of the night, I said “screw it, why not” and drove him over there.
Now, I know the town we live in fairly well, but the direction that we were coming from was not a way I was used to going when I would go to this location. So, when I turned onto the destination street, I missed the turn into the complex parking lot. I just came to a complete stop, since the roads were empty, and asked them if they just wanted me to park on the street or pull into the complex.
This is when the two of them started arguing, as he suddenly wanted to go in and hang out for a few minutes while she didn’t want to go in at all; she just wanted him to do his thing and get out of there so they could go home. And then something terrifying happened. Something hit my car. The sound is unmistakable to me, so I immediately started to look around to figure out what it was.
But there were no other cars on the road, so that couldn’t have been it. Then I moved to the next thing on my mental checklist: If something didn’t hit me, then what did I hit? But that didn’t make any sense either as I’d been in park and couldn’t have hit anything. It’s at this point that the young lady’s attitude completely changed.
She just kind of looked around, and then said, “Can we just get out of here? It hurts and I want to go home.” This was odd to me, as she’d been sitting in my car for about 10 minutes at this point and hadn’t said a word about any kind of pain. She followed this up with, “It hurts and I can’t move.” She put her hand to her back, and pulled it out covered in blood.
What. The. Heck. The guy starts freaking out, thinking that something in my trunk had exploded, but it was empty. As he reached over to tend to her, I noticed something white sticking out of the seat. This hadn’t been there at the beginning of the night, so I asked him what it was. He pulled on it; it was a piece of the filler fuzz from my seat.
It came out of the hole that had been made in the seat. Because she’d been shot. As soon as he grabbed that fuzz, we both had the same realization. He slammed shut his door and I drove them straight to the hospital, which was only a couple of miles away. That realization was one of the most terrifying things I’d ever experienced.
#9 Good Samaritan
When I was 14, I was walking home from school when a creepy older guy pulled over his work van, got out, and started asking me for directions to a well-known local place. He was feigning like he didn’t understand what I was saying, in an obvious attempt to draw out the conversation. So that alone set off alarm bells in my head, but then he kept looking around the whole time.
I knew he was about to try something. Some lady happened to be walking from her house to her car so I yelled out, “Hey Mom! Can you come here and help give this guy directions?” Surprisingly, the lady actually came over and as she did, she yelled something like, “Your father and your big brothers will be out in a minute, are you ready to go?”
He looked panicked, quickly got back into his car, and took off. Once he left, that lady told me she knew what was up and made sure I was okay, before letting me use her phone to call the authorities. Turns out, I wasn’t the only girl he tried to lure and abduct. My faith in humanity was both damaged and restored that day.
#10 Office Stalker
This was by far the creepiest thing to ever happen to me. For context, I live only a few streets away from my workplace. This guy came to my floor one day for a team meeting. Ever since then, he made a point to pass my desk when walking to the kitchen, which doesn’t make sense logically as the elevator basically opens right onto the kitchen.
Keep in mind, this guy is a complete stranger, nobody had ever seen him on our floor, so my work friends KNEW he purposely came to our floor just to see me. He would make excuses to be near me whenever I was in the kitchen, for example to get a glass of water while I am washing my dishes. He was always alone, never spoke to anyone, and only watched me. This happened for about three months.
One day, he happened to be downstairs at the time I finished work. He then knew EXACTLY what time I finish and waited downstairs for me every day. He just sat there watching, waited for us to leave, then went back up. One day, I walked out with a friend. We saw him sitting downstairs, quickly walked out of the building, and parted ways, assuming he would go back up now that we’d left. Boy, was I wrong.
My friend walked off in the opposite direction, leaving me alone. I had crossed the road and was just about to turn in the direction of my apartment, when some higher power compelled me to turn around. The feeling that rushed over me just then, I had never felt it before. It was like a mix of all the most negative emotions in the world all swirling into one massive super-cloud of fear.
When people talk about the flight or fight response, THIS was literally the epitome of that. To this day, I still cannot understand what made me turn around when I generally never do that. I was smart enough to go in a completely different direction so he wouldn’t know where I live. He walked a short distance behind, crossed the road, and checked to see where I was walking home to!
Another male colleague who happened to finish work at the same time as this went down followed him and waited to see what he was doing. He confirmed that the guy absolutely followed to see which direction I was going, and then went back into the building once I had walked too far ahead. He would’ve only needed to follow me a short distance to see where I lived.
This happened a few more times before I finally reported him and got him banned from entering all buildings associated with my company. Turns out, he didn’t even actually work for my company and shouldn’t have even been in my building in the first place. After they caught him via his access pass records and on CCTV, he was escorted out of the building by scary-looking guys and his contract with my company terminated immediately.
It was awesome to watch the head of security in action. I’m so impressed with how well it was handled and how seriously my accusation was taken. After I reported him to my boss, within two hours they found him and confirmed what I was saying was true. The firm he worked for asked him not to come to work for a few weeks. After that, nobody ever saw him again. But, I’m still super vigilant and am always hyper-aware of my surroundings now.
#11 Unnamed Savior
One night when I was very young, I was at a bar. Some guy proposed going back to his place, and I was up for it. I left my car, because he told me that he could give me a ride since I had been drinking a lot. We went winding down the road. He drove for quite a while, and I started to question where we were going. He said it was just up the road on the river.
He pulls over to the side of the highway and points to a two-story house on the river. It was very dark and the only light was from the moon. We walked down the dock to get to the front door. He gets in front of me and is playing with the doorknob. As he pushes it open, he turns to me and says, please don’t make me turn the light on and let you see how dirty my place looks.
So of course, young and stupid, I said no problem. And probably giggled. He guides me by the hand up a set of stairs. We get to the top and he says, “I just have a mattress on the floor, I hope you don’t mind.” And again, young and stupid me just sits down on the mattress, not thinking about anything. As I sit there in the dark, though, my vision starts becoming clearer.
Everything looks off. The mattress has no sheet on it and I hear a whisper in my ear, “Get out!” I jumped up. I ran down the stairs. I ran out of the door and down the dock. I ran across the highway, and up to a house that was across the street. I ran up to the door and started beating on it and screaming for help. Then I hear a sound. When I look, my blood runs cold.
The guy is running across the highway, chasing me. I start screaming more and more, as now I’m afraid this house is abandoned. Right as the guy gets up about ten feet away, the porch light turns on. The guy stops, turns around, and goes back to his truck. The poor guy whose door I was beating on came out and saw me crumbled, crying on his porch.
The sweet man got in his car and drove me back to the bar 20 miles away so that I could get my car. I never saw him again. I never even knew his name. But he saved my life. I know he did.
#12 Compelled to Leave
I was a 13-year-old girl, camping with my best friend and her mom by a lake. My friend’s mom was not the world’s best mother, and allowed my friend to drink a lot. I had one drink, so I was a little tipsy, but still had my wits about me. It was about 11 at night, and my very not-sober friend randomly decided to go swimming, so I chased after her to keep an eye on her and make sure she didn’t hurt herself. And god, I’m so glad I did.
Two men followed us out to the lake. We didn’t notice until my friend and I had swum a few dozen yards into the water. The men had also been drinking, and were stumbling with their bottles in hand. They were catcalling us as they waded into the water, getting closer and closer. My friend was so gone, and wanting so badly to seem cool to these grown-up men.
13-year-olds aren’t the most rational thinkers at the best of times. At first, she tried to respond to their questions. But I knew something very bad would happen if we didn’t get away, so I repeatedly whispered to her, “They’re going to attack us. They’re going to attack us. We need to leave. Now!” I think that finally knocked some sense in her brain, and she agreed to swim towards the shore with me.
They called after us, asking where we were going, and my friend yelled, “AWAY FROM YOU!!” Back then, I second-guessed myself and wondered if maybe I had been a little dramatic after the fact. But now, as an adult, I realize just how much danger we were in, and I’m so thankful that 13-year-old me knew to trust her gut.
#13 Hors D’Oeuvres
The time I felt a small, curious shark delicately scrape my foot with its teeth in its effort to figure out what I was. It literally felt like it gently took my heel into its mouth and I felt the barest brush of teeth all around my heel. It didn’t break the skin. I didn’t realize it was a shark until I reflexively kicked and felt its shark-y skin against the bottom of my foot.
It felt like a small shark, so a juvenile of some species, not sure. My mom told me my eyes got huge and I looked at her like I wanted to nope right out of the ocean that second. I didn’t go back in the water.
#14 Predator Radar
I used to climb up to the Hollywood Sign all the time. I took a bunch of friends there one night who had never been. Usually it’s just an uneventful climb other than some fairly steep parts. This time was different in all the wrong ways. About half way up, I get a really weird feeling. Wasn’t sure what it was. Two steps later, I hear this quickly repeating whistle-y sound. Unmistakable.
I knew what it was immediately; I’d heard it once before in Northern California when I was in elementary school. I couldn’t see it right then in the Hollywood Hills, but I’d seen the source of the sound clearly when I was younger. It was a freaking mountain lion. I put my hand out sharply, straight behind me with my palm open towards everyone else.
They told me later that they could tell by how much my body language changed that it was really serious. I leaned backwards while not breaking line of sight with where I thought the sound was coming from. My friend leaned his chin up on my shoulder, and I told him in the calmest voice I could to make everyone start climbing down very slowly.
I think because there were so many of us, we got away without incident. But the absolute stone-making fear I felt that night was intense. Going from laughing and having a good time to immediate silence and maximum sensory perception. It was wild. Never climbed to the sign again after that. It just didn’t seem worth running into that guy again.
#15 No Time for This
I was sitting in a park by my house at night with some friends when I got the sudden feeling to turn around. I saw a guy about 15-20 ft behind us with his hood on and his hands in his pockets, walking quietly and with purpose towards us. My adrenaline instantly shot through the roof. I stood up quickly and started moving away from him.
I said, “Let’s go, NOW.” to my friends, who kind of protested, and the guy stopped and said he just wanted to know the time. I told him “Nah, screw that” and “let’s GO” once again to my friends. We got the heck out of there with the guy just kind of standing there from what I recall. Things get a little hazy here because my adrenaline was really going, and I knew I needed to get out of there.
Could’ve been something, could’ve been nothing. Point is, I’m still here. ALWAYS go with your gut feeling. People don’t just go creeping about like that when they just want to know the time.
#16 Getaway Car
I was at a rest stop in upstate New York near Troy around midnight. This was before cell phones and GPS, and we stopped to use the pay phone to find a hotel for the night. On the way back to the car, a couple of random guys approached us from behind asking for direction. I told my wife to get in the car when I noticed two other guys coming towards the car from the opposite direction.
I hopped in the car and drove away before anything else happened. Might’ve just been me being overly-cautious, but I swear I avoided a mugging or worse by the skin of my teeth.
#17 The Van
I was walking by a long stretch of road with no houses, and there was a cemetery nearby. A van with two guys in it stopped to ask me if I needed a ride. I say, “No thanks, I’m nearly home.” Yet they wouldn’t budge. They kept following me with the windows down, and kept saying, “C’mon, just get in…” I didn’t know how long I could fend them off.
At some point they just stop, and they start getting out. I was just a teen, and they were clearly twenty-something. I just took off running. I must have sprinted half a mile to get to an alley, and hid by the nearest building near the road. I waited about 15 minutes before moving on to make sure they had given up, so they wouldn’t follow me home.
#18 A Mother to All
I think I was in 8th grade when an old guy drove up at my bus stop. He asked me which way I lived. I pointed in the opposite direction. Luckily, another kid’s mom drove up at that time. He must’ve thought she was my mom, because he high-tailed it out of there. She asked me if I knew him. I told her I didn’t. After that day, she was always waiting at the bus stop when we got there. I never knew the kid or his mom, but I’m thankful for her.
#19 A Comfy Seat
My cousin and I were once sitting at the waterline of a sandbar. There was crystal-clear salt water, our legs were dangling in very shallow water, and we were absent-mindedly pulling up handfuls of wet sand and letting it pour through our fingers as we chatted. We’d been doing this for about 10 minutes when we suddenly both felt our butts shift.
The sand plumed under the water…and a freaking massive stingray literally swam out from under us. I’ve got to say, it’s probably a much crazier story from the stingray’s perspective. What a chill dude to just let us sit there on him for so long.
#20 Corn Field Fun
For no good reason whatsoever, me and a friend were running around some farmer’s corn field one night. We both clearly heard the “CLICK, CLICK” of a shotgun—AKA the renowned sound of, “You’re in a whole heap of trouble.” We both ran until we got home and never looked back. I suspect he was just scaring us. Well, I gotta hand it to him. It worked.
#21 Take Shelter
I grew up on a farm, and many times I would be walking fences and would feel the hair on the back of my neck stand up. I would feel like I was being watched. I’ve been tracked and hunted by bears both by foot and horseback a few times. Mostly sows; boars you can smell, especially down wind. There was one time though where it almost all went wrong.
I was out on a trail ride alone after doing some training, which is something I did frequently as I didn’t usually go far and it was a great cool down. Anyway. I was riding my mare around the bottom field and it was mid-summer. The wind suddenly changed direction and picked up. I felt a sudden urge to get to the barn, now, so we raced back there.
By the time I arrived a few minutes later, I could see huge dark clouds coming. I untacked, put my horse out into the pasture, and ran to the house. By the time I made it inside, it was hailing and storming so heavily it broke a few windows and dented the cars. The horses had a run-in shed, so I wasn’t worried about them. A few minutes south of us, a small tornado touched down.Never been scared like that before.
#22 A Slippery Slope
At a summer camp, a buddy of mine and I climbed out onto a tin roof of a big hall that was built on the side of a steep hill. On one side you could climb out, right onto the roof, while on the other side it was a three-story fall onto concrete. Being teenage idiots, we climbed from the low side over the peak of the sloped metal roof and were inching down towards the edge of the high side.
We had sneakers on, and had pretty solid footing, so it wasn’t outrageously dangerous. Then, out of absolute nowhere, raindrops started falling. We both look at each other and realize this is really bad and try to start backing up, but wherever there is even the slightest dampness, the metal is now completely slick. There is nothing to hold onto; the grip of the rubber shoes on dry metal was all we had.
I look at him and see the panic in his eyes that I’m feeling, too. We are trying to move up this roof as fast as we can, and the raindrops are falling harder every second. I see him break completely free and start sliding down with his eyes frozen in terror. Somehow, miraculously, he stops sliding. But I still have to think very fast.
I made it to the top, scrambled down, grabbed a branch, and leaned back over the top, trying to give him something to grab. He eventually makes it high enough to grab the branch and I pull him up and over. I have never felt panic like that. We were so lucky to make it out of there.
#23 Tension You Could Cut with a Knife
I was at a party during my freshman year of college, and some seedy people were present. The night was getting very tense, but no fights or anything happened. As the night went on, though, it became very clear to me something was going to happen. I told my friend it was time to leave. No more than five minutes after we left, someone was stabbed, and the assailant was shot.
#24 Calamitous Crater
I was at a national park on vacation. The layout of the park was kind of like a crater with a rim you can walk under, almost all the way around. Whenever I looked into the center, I had this major gut feeling of, “Yeah, I’m not going down there.” I was proven right in the worst way. Later that day, a lady was killed from kids throwing large rocks and tree branches into the opening.
#25 Vile Smile
A couple years ago, I sat waiting at a bus station for my brother so that we could travel together. The seats were set up similar to airport seats. I noticed this man, who sat across from me, staring at me. Every time I looked up, he would advert his eyes. Each row had three seats and there were already two ladies sitting next to me.
I brushed off the weird feeling and was praying so hard that either my brother showed up soon, or the bus that the ladies were waiting on took longer. Well, their bus came and they got up and left. Not even 10 seconds after the bus left, the guy ripped up whatever paper he had in his hand and came to sit next to me, turning his body so that he was facing me. He looked at me with this creepy smile and I was so scared for my life, I just got up and speed walked to the nearest coffee shop about 20 minutes away.
#26 A Close Call
Years ago, my boyfriend owned a truck tire repair company. He stopped by a customer’s house unannounced one day to try to get a check, as they owed a lot of money. When he came out of the house, he was pretty shaken up. He explained that the man’s numerous other brothers were there, and everyone was very jittery but they cut him a check and then rushed him out. He had a scary feeling that day. Two days later, that customer and his brothers were detained for a murder that they had committed the night before we stopped by.
#27 The Basement
When my mother convinced me that it was a good idea to go see a house for sale in the middle of nowhere. A guy showed us the house and then led us to the door of the basement, insisting we absolutely had to see it. From the top of the stairs, I could see a bed and what looked like a semi-furnished room. He insisted we go down first—and in that moment, I got this strong feeling of unease.
So I excused myself, turned on my heels, and headed for the road. My mom said the guy got really upset, started to swear and sweat, and cut the visit short, so maybe my instincts were on point. I wanted to add that I did not abandon my mom. I just figured out that my best chance was getting the heck out of the house and to ask for help. I didn’t think he’d hurt my mother, considering I was a potential witness.
#28 Feeling Shaky
On September 19, 1985, a huge earthquake hit Mexico City. Hundreds of buildings collapsed, and at least ten thousand people perished. Every year, the earthquake is commemorated. In 2017, two hours after the commemoration, I was outside a classroom with some friends, waiting for our teacher. I saw one of my friends was uneasy, and she asked me to go to a small store outside the building with her.
I noticed she didn’t actually want to buy anything, she just wanted to get out of the building. We were just beginning to walk to the stairs when the earthquake sirens began to sound, and the building began to move. The building we were in suffered little damage—just a couple of broken windows—but many other buildings in other parts of the city collapsed, and more than 200 people lost their lives. Again. Somehow, my friend knew it was going to happen.
#29 Party Pooper
While in college, I was at a house party. I had been drinking and was passed out on the couch. Suddenly, my buddies ran in to wake me and get me out of the house in a hurry. One of the other guys at the party got into a fight with someone, then ran to his car and got a shotgun from the trunk. He started running after the guy who had fought him. That was the fastest we ever left anywhere.
My town got hit with a firestorm. At the time, we knew there was a fire somewhere. Maybe another town? We weren’t too worried. Yet the power was beginning to go spotty, and the winds were howling outside. Then my roommate gets a call from a friend on the other side of town, “My house is on fire! You guys need to pack a bag!” After the call was over, the power went out and stayed out.
So, we packed our bags, and I start to hear little plinks against the roof, almost like rain. But it isn’t rain. It’s just ash. Not 15 minutes had gone by, and I look outside. We lived by a large hill only two blocks away, and it was burning. The fire got there so fast. I got back inside and told my roommates we had to leave right away.
This is when our neighbors started wigging out, too. We had to then capture our three very scared and confused cats. It was so crazy to drive away and see only blackness ahead of you, but in your rearview mirror only flames. Our neighborhoo and home ended up being spared, however many of my friends who lived closer to the mountains were not so lucky.
#31 Pernicious Party
I was at a house party, and the people hosting were aggressively telling people to have a good time and go to the basement. Like with a scary tone and a smile. Almost none of us had a good feeling about it, and all of us who felt weird refused. Most of my friends left right away, and the one person who wanted to stay ended up getting mugged.
#32 Trust the Gut
Many years back, I attended a motorcycle rally. One of the days, a bunch of people went and rode, but I elected not to. Well that day, one of the guys, a friend of mine, crashed and was severely injured. It was so bad, he was actually in the hospital with a coma. The rally ends and I head home. Five days later, I got a call that he had passed a short while ago.
Shortly after that, I get a call from a buddy saying he was going for a ride and asking if I wanted to go with him. I said yeah because I thought it would be good to clear my mind. So, I hop on the bike and ride to my buddy’s house to meet up with him and another friend, and all is good. At first. We hang out for a short while, and we start getting ready to head back out.
As soon as I put on my helmet, I get this bad feeling in my gut and something TELLS me to go home. I try to ignore it and just tell myself that it’s just because my buddy had passed, and I was being paranoid. We start heading out and get maybe five miles down the road and I’m in the middle. As we are coming up to a road, again something TELLS me to turn around and go home, but yet again I ignore it. This was such a big mistake.
Still, I do slow down a bit. Five more minutes later, we are cruising down a back road and I lose sight of my one buddy because he was riding fast and I’m just cruising. I come down a hill toward a hard left-hand turn and I see people running out of a restaurant. I look forward and realize the road is covered in gravel…and my buddy has already crashed.
The people from the restaurant were running toward him. I then also crash, and go tumbling toward a road sign and telephone pole, which I luckily narrowly miss. All three of us crashed. The other two broke a leg and an ankle, but I was fine. If I ever get that feeling again, I’m going to listen to it. I believe had I not acknowledged it and slowed down, it would have been far worse.
#33 Bad Company
I was walking in my old local park with my sister. We entered the park at about 3 pm, and were hanging around until about 9-9:30, when we saw three people all wearing somewhat similar outfits, all the way on the other side of the park. I immediately noticed but didn’t think much of it. We walked for about two more minutes and I noticed one of them stopped and was staring at us.
I immediately had a bad feeling, and told my sister we should leave. She noticed and obliged. Later that night, there was word of a stabbing in the park, and the suspects were all the people we saw in the group of three.
#34 American Psycho
I was on a second date with a guy who wanted to stop at his house to grab something, and he invited me in. He was really hot, but I wasn’t feeling comfortable with him for a reason I couldn’t put my finger on. We get to his house, and it was just…creepy. He was well-off, and the house itself was gorgeous. Spotless, and totally sterile. Nothing on the walls, every surface empty.
No books. No CDs. Nothing. I ask how long he’d lived there, and he said, “five years.” While he was in the kitchen, he then asked me to go into his room and grab something from the top drawer in his dresser. I got the coldest chill up my spine, and immediately stepped closer to the front door. There was NO way I was letting him come between me and the exit.
He asked me again to go to his room, and I “laughed” and said, “No dude, I’m hungry, let’s go!” He asked one more time, visibly annoyed at this point, and I proceeded to pretend that I was a “stupid” girl, and made a fuss about being hungry and what the heck was taking him so long. He was so mad. So, I walked out of his house down the sidewalk and made him follow me.
We got to the car, and I kept pretending to be a clueless chick, and demanded he take me home. He did. In cold, furious silence. Then, when he stopped the car in front of my place, he grabbed my face to kiss me goodbye. He bit my lip so hard I was bleeding, and he reached under my shirt and pinched me. I luckily got him off me, falling out of my door, and ran inside to the sound of him laughing. I ended up with a bruised face, cut lip, and was scared that he knew where I lived, but I still feel like I survived a legit psychopath.
#35 Raging Bull
I was taking pictures of a family who wanted a fall photoshoot in a field. I hear something, look behind me, and a HUGE bull is pawing the ground. When I make eye contact, it starts running towards us. I see that there is a fence between us, so I’m not as fast as I could be shooing the family to the car…Until the bull gets to the fence and immediately turns away from us to run along it. I then notice that the fence ENDS halfway up the field, and that bull is MAD and running pretty fast. That adrenaline rush was for real.
#36 Right Place, Wrong Time
I live in Dallas, Texas. Almost a month ago, it was Sunday night and I was doing my typical UberEATS drives around 9pm-ish. I notice there’s a thunderstorm warning right when I thought about stopping for the night, but it cleared so I decided to try to stay out until 10pm. I needed to get cheese, so I walk into a Kroger and park there.
As I’m walking in the door, I hear the tornado sirens go off. Then my phone sounds off with the same watch alert. I run, get the cheese (silly I know) and hurry to head home so I can get safe. It clicked in my head that if the siren went off it was a big deal, and I was terrified. I was speeding home and it seemed that every time I passed a stop light they were turning off behind me.
I get closer to my apartment complex—and see a horrific sight. It’s all torn up. Shattered windows, trees down everywhere. But it was so ironic because had I been home, I would have been worse off than when I was sitting in the Kroger parking lot.
I was driving my friend and myself (both girls) back from a bar on the way to our Airbnb, out in the middle of nowhere in a small town. At some point early on, a car turns onto the road behind us. It’s dark and like 2 am, so I don’t think anything of it. They’re also driving super close to me, but I’m not about to speed due to road rage pressure.
Eventually, they chill out on tailgating. Yet the longer we’re on the road, the farther we get from civilization. It is very unusual for another car to be going out the way we are. So, about half a mile from our Airbnb, I pull off to a side street and let the car pass. Then we wait five minutes, turn around to get back on our road…and lo and behold, the car is just sitting there waiting for us.
So, we nope the heck out, and now I’m FLOORING it back to town to the bar so we can get to safety. I do a rolling stop through a stop sign, and the car finally turns its cop lights on and pulls me over. Dude has the audacity to ask me why I ran a stop sign and I just go off on him about how terrifying it is to be stalking two college girls all the way back on the 25-minute drive home from the bar.
I was literally on the phone with 9-1-1 when he pulled us over. The officer looks real apologetic and lets us off with a warning (for what I don’t know), saying that he thought we saw he was an officer and that people usually turn off onto side streets like we did when they’re trying to avoid the authorities. Yeah, they also do it when they’re trying to avoid STALKERS.
#38 Midnight Run
My girlfriend and I were car camping in the woods, and had a nice spot by a rushing river. The evening had gone well and we turned in for the night. Sometime later, I wake up needing to pee. I do my business and head back to the tent. I’m sitting on the edge of the tent taking my shoes off when I see it….A vaguely human shape suddenly jumps out in my mind and I freeze.
I stare through the dark at this shape, just silhouetted by the dim starlight, wondering if I’m seeing things or if someone is creeping on us. Then the shape moves. It rises up, becoming a larger outline partially blotted by the trees. BEAR my mind screams at me. I whip into action, reaching for my knife with one hand, while zipping the tent closed for some paltry barrier between me and it…
It’s then that I hear a noise over the rush of the river… “Hey, wait for me.” Apparently, my girlfriend had come out after I did and I just didn’t realize it.
#39 Don’t Stall
One time, it was about midnight, and I went into a 24-hour supermarket with my boyfriend. He went into the bathroom, and I decided I’d go too. So, I walk down this corridor and turn right into the ladies. We had been drinking and I wasn’t completely clear-headed, so I spent a second looking at myself in the mirror before picking a cubicle.
All the doors were weighted, so they stayed shut. But as I was looking, I noticed something strange. Under the reflection of one of the doors was a pair of feet. Male shoes, crossed at the ankle, as though sitting in a very relaxed position. They didn’t move at all. I was overcome by fear, feeling that someone had been sitting there waiting for an unsuspecting woman to come in, and I said, “Oh heck no!” out loud and literally ran out the door.
#40 When Twigs Snap
In my early 20s, I’d go urban exploring with a group of friends from college. One cold night in October, seven of us went to an abandoned, formerly state-run asylum. It was on a big campus with several large buildings. The roads were disused but not closed, so we were able to get pretty close by car, and luckily found a good spot in some brush to hide the vehicles in.
We were pretty bad at sneaking—people were talking, one dude was messing with a laser pointer, etc. Luckily, there really wasn’t any security patrolling, but I knew there could be other people to hide from. We went to explore one of the main buildings, 10+ storeys tall, surrounded by a chain-link fence. Eventually, we found a hole and climbed in.
Searching between the fence and the outer wall, I swore I heard twigs breaking in the wood behind the building. We were basically trapped between the fence and the building, and the only way out was the way we came, which was also the direction the sound was coming from. Two of the girls with us were joking around, and the kid with the laser was still playing with it.
I started to get nervous and told them to knock it off, but they were having fun and didn’t care. All of a sudden, there was this loud yelling like an old man in pain. Everyone shut up, and after a moment we heard tons, TONS of twigs snapping. Now I was panicking, and I yelled for us all to run. We scrambled out of the fence and back to our cars, sure that danger was right behind us.
Looking back at it now, it was probably just a few raccoons going at it, or a squatter who was more scared of us. But at the time, I never felt the need to run more in my life. Needless to say, we cooled off on the exploring for a while.
#41 Is Someone There?
A few years ago, I was an intern in a medical department and happened to be on call one night. The nurses informed me around 1 am that there was a new admission to the isolation room. She was a female inmate had pneumonia and likely tuberculosis. The isolation room was right at the end of the ward, and you have to go through double doors just to enter it.
So, in addition to being a room for isolation of infectious diseases, it was also really isolated from the nearest human contact. I went in to do a clinical assessment, which involves a thorough history. One of the questions I wanted to ask was if she shared her cell with anyone who could have passed on the infection to her.
It being late at night and me being not very proficient in her native language, what I actually asked her sounded something like, “Was there anyone else in the room with you?” Right after that question escaped my lips, she smiled really widely, put her finger to her lips as though saying “shhhh,” and then flicked her eyes to a spot near the window behind and above me.
This horrible chill went through me and I decided then and there that I’d done enough history-taking for the night, and fled to the safety of the nursing station.
#42 The Suspect
I went to a movie on Halloween night when I was in high school with my boyfriend at the time. It was a huge theater where there was a staircase all the way to the top row that opened in the middle of a row, so you could sit on either side of the opening. My boyfriend and I sat in the back row on one side of the opening.
We were watching the movie, and around 30-40 minutes after it started, a guy walked in by himself wearing a big sweater and sat on the other side of the opening. He didn’t really do anything at first, though he gave me a bad feeling and I felt uncomfortable. Still, I continued watching the movie. I then noticed the guy seemed really nervous and wasn’t paying ANY attention to the movie.
I really couldn’t figure out why, but he was stressing me out big time and I just felt like we had to get the heck out of there. I told my boyfriend that I was probably being silly but I wanted to leave. As we were leaving, we informed the staff about the guy just in case. Turns out, they had been looking for him as people had reported seeing a guy of that description behaving strangely in the parking lot earlier. The authorities came, and he apparently had quite a few large hunting knives hidden under his sweatshirt.