My Blood Ran Cold: These People Were Saved By Their Gut Feelings
Everyone has experienced a sense that something isn’t right. Whether it’s a tingling in your gut, goosebumps, or the feeling of an unknown impending doom, these sensations force us to make a choice: Are we overreacting, or should we trust our guts? These people went with option B, and they made the right call. Their “gut feelings” protected them and their loved ones from harm and even saved lives. People call the gut the “second brain” for a reason.
#1 Just in Time
My wife called me while I was at work just to say she was home from her night shift and planning to go to bed. She had worked the night shift for years and never called me just to say she was home and going to bed before. She also sounded weirdly detached on the call. I asked her if she was okay, she said yes—she just felt really sleepy.
I got a weird feeling and told her I was going to leave work and come home. She told me I didn’t need to, I said okay…and then I left work and rushed home anyway. I found a suicide note taped to the garage door. I got to her in time, rushed her to the ER, and got her the help she needed. This was about five months ago, and she is so much better now.
#2 Hey, Deer
I used to just around country roads when I would feel stressed out or sad, just to get away and listen to music. One evening I was driving with my best friend in the car, and we were on a gravel road that has a huge hill. We were driving towards the sunset, but it was winter and the light was fading fast. As the car started down the hill, I had this moment where I thought to myself, “My brights should be on” so I flicked them on.
At the bottom of this super steep hill stood six deer on the road. I slammed on the brakes and the car turned sideways and skidded to a stop like 4 feet from the deer. Those stupid deer didn’t even move, they just stared into the passenger side of my car and my best friend pointed at them and said, “Hey, deer.” The car was fine, we were fine, and Bambi was all good. I don’t drive around like that anymore.
#3 The Car Thief
When my husband and I were in college, we came home late one night after a long day and had to get up early the next day. We were both so tired, and he wanted to leave his backpack and computer in the car because we were going to be getting up and back into the car in a few hours. My gut feeling said absolutely not and I made him take his bag and computer.
When we came back down the next morning his car had been broken into.
#4 Tsunami Dreams
Since my sister was five, she was always obsessed with tsunamis and would always ask my dad every night before she went to sleep if there would be a tsunami that night (we lived on a beach). Six years later, when our family was holidaying in Samoa, an earthquake struck at about 6 am. It was only a dull low rumble, but it went on for over a minute.
Everyone at the resort woke up and went outside for a few minutes then went back to bed. My sister, having been obsessed with tsunamis, ran down to look at the water and noticed the sea going out. She immediately told everyone what was happening, and made sure we all hid behind the cliff near the resort. She ended up saving a lot of lives that day, including my own.
#5 Bad Blood
I went to the hospital with shortness of breath and my heart racing. They did a chest x-ray, a blood test for clots, an ECG, and a few other tests but everything came back normal. After observing me overnight everything still looked good, oxygen saturation was perfect, my heart rate was still a bit elevated but nothing too crazy, and it seemed that it was likely leftover symptoms from a bad virus that I’d had a week or so earlier.
The ER doctor asks me how I would feel if they sent me home and I just had a bad feeling about it all. I told him as such and that I had no real basis for it except that I just felt off about it. He said fair enough, let’s try one more test and if that comes back negative then we’ll send you up to General Medicine and see if they can track something down.
That test was a VQ scan. When I saw the results, I felt a chill run down my spine. Despite all other tests showing no results for blood clots, I actually had a whole bunch of them in both lungs. I ended up with a diagnosis of unprovoked bilateral pulmonary embolisms and am now on blood thinners for life. Super grateful both for the bad feeling and the ER doctor who was willing to listen to it!
#6 An Electric Feeling
When my science teacher was a teenager, she was standing near some lights at a pedestrian crossing with her and her friend. Very chill, but out of nowhere, she had this gut feeling that both of them had to move. They moved just a couple of meters away, and the next moment a car had hit another car, which then hit one of the street electricity utility poles. It fell and exploded exactly where they were standing, just a moment ago.
That gut feeling of moving away saved both of their lives.
#7 Kitty Surprise
We already had two cats when my mother brought home a stray kitten. She couldn’t bear to know it was going to go hungry. A few years later and we now have five dachshunds, and the kitten is a very cute and healthy cat. One day I go outside to feed the dogs. One of them was sitting by the little doghouse, two were just sniffing about idly, one was laying in the sun and the other was missing but probably just in the doghouse.
I fill their bowls, go back inside… and then immediately stop in my tracks the moment the door closed. Something didn’t feel right. I don’t know if it was because specifically the matriarch of these dachshunds was sitting by the doghouse, or if it was because she was sitting directly in front the doghouse entryway like they never do, or if maybe I just unconsciously noticed how attentive this normally scatterbrained dog was being, but I rush outside and make eye contact with her.
She moves over and sits facing the entrance and up-nods her head/nose which she’s been trained to do when she is pointing to something that needs our attention. The cat had kittens! It was surprising because she never had a span of noisy weeks when she was in heat, we always assumed she was spayed, and she carried three kittens to term without anyone noticing despite her being fed and given the same amount of attention as the dogs got.
And the mom of these four dogs knew if her children were allowed near them, they’d get eaten, so she was keeping guard.
#8 For Good Measure
When I was 10, I was learning violin from an instructor at my local music shop. I got the weirdest feeling from him even though he didn’t do anything out of the ordinary. I wanted to vomit every time I looked at him, especially his hands. After four lessons I told my parents that I had a terrible feeling about him and I never wanted to go back.
Luckily, they listened and didn’t make me ever go to him again. A few years later, we learned the awful truth. I was right to be scared. He was arrested for assaulting multiple students. I have no idea how I knew something was off. He never did or said anything but I just felt it.
#9 The Welcome Mat
I woke up from a deep sleep at like 2 am during a winter storm; something wasn’t right…I immediately went looking for my senior dog and couldn’t find her anywhere in the house. My roommates had a tendency to let her out for a walk and forget about her, closing the door. I ran to the front of the house and found her laying on the welcome mat, she was hardly breathing and covered in snow.
She had been outside alone for at the very least five hours. I got her inside and warmed her up. Thankfully, she was okay, but if she’d been out all night, she would have been terribly hurt if not dead. I moved out shortly after.
#10 Security Guardian Angel
When I was in college, I lived in a sketchy part of Chicago. I liked to take late-night strolls, even when I was living in that neighborhood as a 20-year-old woman. Yeah, I know. Pretty dumb of me. One night, I was feeling stressed out so I embarked on one of my late-night strolls. I was walking along a somewhat busy road. Cars were zooming past me. Pretty normal.
I wasn’t paying much attention because I was too wrapped up in whatever was stressing me out that night. Suddenly, a chill shot up my spine. Hypervigilance washed over me and I became more alert than I had ever been. Something was wrong. Someone was watching me. I quickly spotted a car. It was driving in the opposite direction, a little slower than usual. It was too dark for me to see anyone inside the car, and the car was pretty unassuming. But I still knew something was off.
They were watching me. I just knew. The car drove past me and then made a U-turn. Now it was right behind me, creeping along the curb. Luckily, there was a convenience store a few blocks ahead. I started walking faster, and the car eventually sped past me and disappeared into a corner. I somehow knew I wasn’t safe yet, so I still sprinted to the store.
I told the security guard what happened, and we both went outside. The car was parked up the street, about 50-100 feet away. The security guard was a big guy who looked intimidating. He marched toward the car, and the car immediately backed up, made a U-turn, and then booked it out of there. The security guard called the cops, and they drove me home.
I never took a late-night stroll again. My gut made me more alert, but it was really the security guard who saved my life. I’m positive that if he wasn’t there that night, something bad would’ve happened to me. I wish I could find that security guard to thank him.
#11 Tough Cook
Last year, December 1. I had slept for almost a week trying to fight what I thought was the flu. I woke up and had a gut feeling telling me that something wasn’t right with me. I called my parents to tell them, and then cabbed myself to the emergency room. The staff took blood and ran tests on me for 8 hours, then discharged me and sent me home.
I got a call the next morning asking me to come back because they found something in my blood: Bacteremia and Endocarditis. I was put on penicillin immediately, for two months. But I kept feeling like there was something wrong. I went for a specialized test on December 21, and woke up to the doctors telling me I need surgery as soon as possible. They’re trying to find a surgical team, earliest is the 24.
I go in and while they’re operating, I have an ascending aortic aneurysm and it caused an aortic dissection. They’re able to fix it. I’ve got a synthetic valve in there now. But that’s not even the scariest part: I work in a restaurant kitchen, just before the start of the holiday season. Normally, cooks will tough it out and just work. Most think they’ll get better soon.
I’m told that if I had done that, I more than likely would have died before my birthday and they would have found out about the aneurysm during the autopsy. That still sends freaking chills down my spine.
#12 Yank Rescue
I was walking out of a grocery store when I saw this kid about to cross the road. Something came over me and I yanked him back onto the sidewalk. Not even a second later a truck came flying past. He was probably around 7 years old.
#13 The Fast Lane
There’s a very fun road in Germany where you drive at 50 or 60 clicks along smooth tight turns and little rolling hills. I go there a lot to relax. On this particular day, something like wheat was growing and it was high. I couldn’t see around the corners, but I knew the road well and was staying in my lane. I was going fast, and smiling.
About halfway in, I heard a voice in my head as clear as if the speaker were sitting next to me and it said, “You need to slow down.” It was startling and I braked immediately. Two seconds later I come through one of the turns and into the butt end of a huge truck taking up both lanes and moving slowly. I barely stopped in time. Those extra two seconds of brake time saved a Volvo at least, but I’m pretty sure they saved my life too.
#14 Icy Scandinavian Roads
Back in 2011, my dad and I were driving down the country for New Year’s Eve. Suddenly he goes quiet, kind of starts breathing slow and steady, and tells me to look up the road. He was so calm and focused. I look up and see a car spinning in the middle of the freeway ramping up speed and knocking cars off the road.
This is in Scandinavia in the winter, and we were pretty much on ice. I imagine the driver of that car hoping, just hoping. So, my dad proceeds to accelerate towards the guy spinning, which didn’t even occur to me was weird. He was just so calm, which made me calm. The car hits us on my dad’s side, half a second earlier my dad turned slightly right, which was just enough for the car to push us out of the road and completely safe into a snow bank.
I realized a bit later that a lamppost on that same side we flew off to had crushed the back-right side of our car, just missing the angle that would’ve hit me. Years later I realized the reason my dad sped up the vehicle. Getting hit by that car was a question of when, not if, and if he had not accelerated, that lamp post would’ve been my death.
#15 A Friend Indeed
I went out with my best friend on New Year’s last year, and was having drinks with her friends when I realized I was out of smokes. I left to grab a pack, and ended up talking to a homeless guy for a while. When I went over to the entrance of the bar, my friend was outside and said something mean to me for no reason and walked off. I was confused so I decided it would be good if I took a walk to let her cool off and then figure out what she was upset about.
I was going to walk down the street for a bit but something told me to turn left, walking behind the bar and then turning to the side of the bar when I see a girl laying down on the sidewalk and people walking by her. As I’m walking over to help, I realize it’s my friend and she’s not conscious. She was probably drugged while I was getting smokes and who knows what would’ve happened if I hadn’t decided to go that way.
#16 Giant Bunsen Burner
I was sitting on one of those metal cylindrical electricity boxes outside my house when there was a blackout. Electricity was slightly flickering in my house, and no other houses had a blackout. I looked down at what I was sitting on and I was like: “Uh maybe this is the source of the problem?” I stood up and stepped away from it, and 2 seconds later it freaking BLEW UP.
Like a pillar of flame shot out and above it for almost a full minute. It was basically a gigantic Bunsen burner and I was a few seconds short of physically getting fried.
#17 Crummy Co-worker
I was with a co-worker. He had lied to me about inviting me to a family party of his. When I showed up, it was just him and I, and we went to a bar. I rolled my eyes and just thought I could clench my teeth through it. He knew the owner of the bar, and got me drinks (I was only 20 at the time, he was at least a decade older). I started pouring out the drinks when the dude was shooting pool because I didn’t want to be tipsy/drunk while dealing with him. Looking back, this decision saved me from a horrific fate.
I told him I wanted to go home, but he talked me into taking him home first. So, I followed the directions he gave me and I pulled into a hookah bar parking lot instead. He started getting really aggressive and trying to kiss me. I kept pushing him off. I was still trying to be polite but firm and telling him to stop. That’s when I noticed the group of guys around my car, talking to my coworker in my car in another language. He then opened my car door, got out, and proceeded to grab me by the hair to try to pull me out of my car, the other guys gathering around.
I had the mind to lock my door when I noticed the other guys. I also had put my car in reverse. So, when he grabbed my hair, I let off the brake and my car started rolling back so he let go of me. It was terrifying. I told our boss the next day and he quit when our boss asked him about it.
#18 Creepy Dad
When I was 10, I went to the beach with my older sister, her friends, and their parents. They had a van that was open in the back (think white creepy van), no seats. The other friends of my sister’s friends took turns sitting on the father’s lap when he asked if they wanted to steer the van. He then asked me and my gut said, “No! This man is creepy as heck.” The look in his eyes sent shivers down my spine.
Once we got to the beach, I forgot all about the creepy dad and focused on fun. Fast forward several months later, and my sister’s friends asked if my sister wanted to sleepover. She refused and my mom and I were baffled as to why she didn’t want to go. We kept encouraging her to. Soon she broke down in tears and told us that one night their father had touched her.
The van incident and feelings came flying back to me. I wish I had not forgotten my gut feeling and shared it with my mother and sister before anything happened to my sister. Sometimes I still feel guilty over it. That was over 30 years ago. I don’t remember what happened to the guy. I just remember a state vehicle at my house a lot afterwards. No one ever talked about it again and I never asked.
#19 Bloody Barbers
I was walking to the barbershop, and for some reason, everything felt off. I ignored the feeling, but every step I took just made me feel like something wasn’t right, so I decided to go grab some food and come back. While I was eating, I saw police cars and ambulances driving to around where I was before, it turns out there was a murder. Now I always listen to my gut feeling.
#20 Dream Job
I was offered a dream job at almost double my salary in a different city. It was only 2 hours away, but something told me not to take it. I had a number of people tell me I would never have another opportunity like this, and my fear of leaving my hometown was holding me back. Two months after I turned it down, that division of the company was sold, and everyone in that department lost their job. I’d have been stuck in a new city with no friends or family nearby, and no job prospects.
#21 Translation Please
Some people I knew in high school were bar hopping. They were all underage and traveling to a bar about 45 minutes away. All of a sudden, one of them got a really bad feeling and started panicking. His friends made fun of him and wouldn’t let him out of the car, but it got so bad they had to dump him in this small town in the middle of nowhere. He used a payphone and called a cab home.
The next morning, he saw that his friends had been in a car accident, obviously due to drunk driving. Most of the friends died, one survived with a severe brain injury. His life was saved all because of a gut feeling. Sometimes he has survivor’s guilt now.
#22 An Alarming Thought
When I was 6, my brother (8 at the time) and I would go to my grandma’s house while our mom worked late some nights. Anyway, one day I was just randomly thinking about fire alarms. I don’t know what caused me to think about them but after I started, I couldn’t stop. I have ADHD and this super focus thing, so whenever I’m thinking about something as simple as fire alarms it consumes my mind.
I asked my grandma and she said she hadn’t tested hers in a while. Just for kicks she did, and sure enough the batteries were dead. She replaced the batteries and made sure they worked. The VERY next morning her house caught on fire while she was asleep. If she didn’t hear the fire alarms, she would’ve been trapped in her room on the second story without a phone or anyway to contact help. She most likely would’ve died. I always make sure fire detectors/alarms work in my house now.
#23 Sixth Sense
My boyfriend and I were visiting friends for a week in Phoenix. We girls were lounging at the pool while the guys were flexing their grilling skills. My boyfriend paused a moment, stood very still then told me to go get dressed, we had to go. Right now. I wanted to fuss but something told me not to. We drove straight through to San Antonio right to his parents very rural house (this was before cell phones and they didn’t have a landline within a half-mile).
Seconds before we arrived, his little sister had jumped off of a rain barrel and landed on a metal spike that went straight up through her foot and into her leg. His dad was at work so there was no car available there. She was bleeding like crazy and his mother had just walked out and found her. I don’t know what spoke to him in Phoenix, but it would have been all bad if we had not arrived exactly when we did.
#24 Home Horror
I was an unpopular kid, and I always wanted to go on sleepovers but it rarely happened. In 6th or 7th grade I get invited to this girl’s house for a birthday party. I am friendly with her but not close. I go to her house and I feel weird right away. Her mom and stepdad were sitting in the living room smoking, but being perfectly friendly.
The whole night, I couldn’t shake this feeling of oppressiveness, despair, and danger. I spent the evening keeping my guard up and keeping an eye out for the entire family, without any idea why. At night the girl begs me to spend the night. Even though it hurt to say no when I could tell she was desperate, I lied and told her my parents wouldn’t let me, when they said over the phone they would.
A couple of months later, a student told me she had left the school and moved because her stepfather would touch her at night in her bed. I think of her often, and hope she wasn’t hurt that night, and I hope she’s doing better – but I’m glad I got out.
#25 Plot Armor
About 10 years ago, I was working security at a site about 50 miles from home. I got off at midnight, and didn’t bother to change out of my uniform because I was only going to stop for gas. Two stations in the town I was working in were open after midnight, but it slipped my mind as I drove past the first one. Pulled into the other (same brand, same gas price) and just didn’t like something about it. There was nobody else around but the clerk that I could see, but I decided to go back to the other one.
I topped off and headed back out of town, and I get close to the station that had creeped me out again. Three city cop cars, two deputies and a state trooper are outside blocking the road with guns drawn. Turns out a city cop walked in on a robbery. Dude put a bullet in his vest, and the store owner knocked the robber out cold with a bat before the cop could recover enough to get his gun out.
That would have been me, in a uniform with a nice shiny badge, but no body armor.
#26 A Daughter’s Intuition
We had all started to walk around the development, when my mother, after about 50-75 meters from the house said, “I am going to go back and check on dad.” I went with her, and I nearly witnessed my grandfather die. He was on the chair, conscious, but unable to move or talk… just looking at my mother with bulging eyes. She called 9-1-1 once, then twice when she felt that they were running late.
The ambulance came, got him on the stretcher, but it was too wide to fit out the door. We ended up tearing the door frame off to get him out. Because he was conscious, he actually remembers the ride to the hospital. He told us later that he heard the driver or someone say, there is not a chance that this guy lives. That was when I was around six years old. He is still alive to this day, more than a decade later.
At my mother’s funeral, part of his speech was about how, without my mother’s actions, he would not have been able to spend time with her during her final years of life. And for that, he is eternally grateful.
#27 The Rollercoaster
I’m afraid of rollercoasters (mostly heights but they go hand in hand). My friends and I went to a theme park, and went on a rollercoaster that was in darkness and went underground. I rode it once, sitting in the back, and really enjoyed it surprisingly. When we reached the start again, there was no line (as it was the end of the day) so they asked if we wanted a final go before they shut down.
Something in my gut told me not to go on, so despite my friends nagging, I didn’t and waited with the bags. When my friends got off the ride, they were white as a sheet. About 3/4 of the way through the ride, there’s a big drop then it goes fast and just before that, my friend in the back’s bar had risen up. Apparently, they had to grip onto her for the rest of the ride while trying to push the bar back down.
#28 Perfect Timing
My aunt told me a story about my dad (who greatly dislikes his sister and is an all-around jerk 98% of the time) calling her out of the blue one night while she was in college. She answered, he said he didn’t know why but he had this urge to call her, to make sure she was okay. She told him she was fine and thanked him for calling to check on her. She never told anyone else except me, and hopefully a therapist or two, but she was holding the bottle of pills and she was planning to take them all right when he called her.
Twenty-some years later and she’s very happy with her decision to live.
#29 The Station Wagon
I was 15 and my mom dropped me off at McDonald’s to get breakfast while she went across the street to get Starbucks. It was a shopping mall in suburbia and we were on the way to pick up a new kitten a few hours away. Instead of walking the 100 yards to my mom, I sat outside waiting for her to pick me up. Teenagers, I guess.
As I’m standing there a guy in an old station wagon with two kids in the back starts talking to me. He asks me where I’m going and I say whatever town it was. He says he’s going there too with his kids and asks if I want to come. I tell him no, that my mom is across the street and he comes closer. My gut is saying something is off so I see a random woman walk out of Starbucks and I point to her and say that’s my mom right there. He freaked out and left really quick. I still remember those two kids in the backseat. They looked so off. I wonder to this day if they are okay.
#30 A Drink at the Club
I normally go to the club with my husband. He was out of town but I had friends that said they’d be out. My club has always been a very safe club, but the area it’s in has had its ups and downs, because drinking and a bunch of clubs in a small area comes with drunks and ne’er-do-wells of all kinds. I parked on the street two blocks down from the bar.
The block itself was dark but the next block up was very brightly lit thanks to a big-name hotel. Basically, it was a straight shot from my car to the club, with one section of darkness. The MOMENT I got into the building I knew something was wrong but I couldn’t put my finger on it. First, none of my friends showed up so I’m alone. Then, the vibe was seriously off. Some dude kept trying to buy me a drink that I kept turning down.
He was so insistent, so eventually, I said I’d have a water because it comes in a sealed bottle. Dude comes back with the type of glass that mixed drinks usually come in. The moment he gives it to me he leaves and I don’t see him again for the rest of the night. The “water” went straight down the bathroom sink. My alarm bells were going off so I decided to get out of there.
I left the bar and THE MOMENT I crossed the street, this voice in my head says, “You messed up! Get your keys out and get ready!” I’m full-blown panicking at this point. And when I got to my car door, I learned that my instincts were completely right. As soon as I get my door open another car pulls up and slides into the spot directly behind mine.
I hit the door locks and start to back up. In my rearview mirror, I see the torso of some guy jump out and head toward my passenger door. I’m already pulling out of the parking spot but I could see his tensed-up arm and closed fist just outside my passenger window. As I sped down the highway in the most deafening silence I’ve ever experienced, I tried to understand what just happened.
It took me a bit to put the pieces together but I THINK the drink dude was spiking drinks and the car dude was picking up. The more I think about it the more I get the feeling that it was a trafficking operation. If I had been two seconds slower for any reason, I can only imagine how that night would have ended.
#31 Jungle Silence
I was in the Amazon as the end to a 3-month solo trip around Latin America. I wanted to enjoy one last walk through the jungle before leaving, so I left the lodge around 8am to walk down to a small river nearby. I stop and close my eyes to listen to the sounds as the jungle is super loud with crickets, birds, insects, etc. Almost immediately I got a weird feeling and felt really uncomfortable—which was weird because up until then I’d only felt peaceful and happy.
When I opened my eyes, I realized everything had gone completely quiet which was definitely NOT normal and not something I had experienced in other rain forests I’d been to. It was bizarre. I immediately felt that I had to leave and fast. After I dipped and got back to the jungle lodge, I told the tour guide what happened and he said it usually only gets quiet when there is a big predator close by—thanks, but no thanks!
#32 A Certain Smell
When I was 15, I smelled burning plastic early in the morning at my family cottage. I almost went back to sleep but in the end, I decided to get up to investigate. Thank God I listened to my gut feeling. A socket on the outside of the building had caught fire and flames were shooting up the wall. The rest of my family was still sleeping and there wasn’t enough smoke for the alarms to go off.
I ran and got the fire extinguisher, got my dad up, put it in his hands, and pointed him towards the fire. He stopped it and called the fire department.
#33 The Forecast
On Boxing Day 2004, my extended family went on a trip to visit the coastal South of Sri Lanka. It was a well-planned trip, but at the last moment, my mother didn’t want to go. No reason at all. None of us could get her to explain why but she refused to go. So, we went inland on a different trip to see some other relatives. Around midday, the entire extended family now on both sides were sitting shocked in front of the television watching the very same hotel we booked being washed away live by the tsunami.
To this day, she still can’t explain what she felt.
#34 The Carpet Sellers
A few years ago, when I was 19 and studying abroad in Europe, my friend and I decided to go to Turkey. It was our first time really traveling on our own without a group and we decided to walk around the square outside of the Blue Mosque. We felt very safe during the day and decided to see the city at night with the lights. As we were in the square, we were hounded by typical store owners trying to sell us something.
Finally, most went away and as we were going back to our hotel, a younger guy approached us. He said he had a shop on the corner, which he pointed to with lots of souvenirs including carpets. I grew up with a lot of handmade, woven carpets from my parents travels to the middle east and Asia. I decided it would be a nice gift. So, we follow him, when we get to what we thought was his shop, we stopped.
We started to walk in and he said not that one, the one around the corner. We poke our head around and sure enough see a store, only selling carpets. I started to get a slightly strange feeling but nothing overwhelming, so we followed him as we could see the store. When we walked in, about 13-15 other men were in the shop. They were pointing out carpets and showing us around and I started to get really uncomfortable. My friend seemed completely at ease, so we followed the group around the bend to the other part of the store.
In Turkey, it is common to be offered tea, so that part is not particularly odd, but the men, who were now circling us, were insistent that we have tea with them in the basement. I kept saying no but they were leading us towards steps, completely surrounding us. We got to the steps and my friend started walking down, my body began to sweat, my heart went crazy, and I never had such an overwhelming fear. I kept trying to think of how we could overpower these men.
I grabbed my phone, stopped in my tracks, and gasped. “Friend’s name, we need to go right now. My mom just texted me asking why we aren’t back at the hotel yet cause the map shows we’re at this store. We’re supposed to Facetime with them in 10 minutes.” The men kind of look around and tell us we can have tea in less than that amount of time. I keep insisting that my parents are freaking out because they can tell were in the carpet store and not the hotel and that they will likely contact the embassy if we don’t get going.
They continued blocking the staircase. I told them that we would come for tea in the morning as I still really wanted a carpet and that we needed to get out of the store and back to Facetime. It took a little persuading but they eventually opened a path for us to go to the door. One of them followed us back to the square insisting that we return/come back and see them. Of course, we didn’t.
I have no idea if they were completely harmless or not but I had never had such an overwhelming feeling. They easily could’ve drugged us, placed us in carpets, and taken us out. My parents didn’t actually have our location as my phone was on airplane mode. So, who actually knows, on the other hand, I might’ve been paranoid, but it wasn’t a situation I ever wanted to be in again. Once we were back at the hotel, she told me she was really scared too but that she thought I was fine so she went with it.
#35 A Shady Character
I was president of a club, and a guy who’d recently joined just set off my alarm bells, but he never did anything wrong. I still couldn’t shake the feeling that he was off. I asked my best friend, a pretty burly guy, to just keep an eye on him during a conference we went to. Most of the club (minus me) went to a party at the conference, my best friend kept an eye on the weird guy for most of the night, and ended up stopping him from touching a passed out drunk girl.
I pretty much always trust my gut feelings now.
#36 The Perfect House
We were looking at houses a while back, and found one that was in a great location. It would have been the perfect size for us, and didn’t appear to need any work other than new carpet besides stuff I wanted to do like painting and switching it over from an oil-burning furnace. I just had a nagging feeling about it, and my husband agreed.
As much as we loved it, something was off with it (I actually thought a ghost or something silly like that), and we ended up passing on it. I was still kicking myself about it until a few months later when it had a major electrical fire. The whole house and everything in it was a total loss, and the family that lived there barely got out alive.
#37 The Tinder Match
I matched with a guy on Tinder. We exchanged messages, and everything was fine. We decided we would meet up for coffee in a week. A few days after we arranged the coffee date, and he messaged me saying his father had passed away in those few days. He couldn’t meet me in public. He could only meet me in private at his apartment.
I trusted my gut, sent my condolences, but said I couldn’t meet him somewhere private. He tried to tell me I could trust him because he had a dog. I still declined. He got really aggressive and started messaging me horrible things. He called me every name in the book. I ended up blocking him. I tried to find him later on, and he basically never existed. He could have blocked me on all social media. But I couldn’t find a trace of him anywhere.
I don’t know what the outcome would have been, but I just couldn’t do it.
#38 The Creepy Coworker
Years ago my partner at the time had a coworker that kept inviting us out to drink. I had never met the guy and was wondering why he seemed so eager to meet me, especially since I wasn’t even old enough to drink at the time. He eventually told my ex that we should come over to his place for drinks (in order for me to partake). I remember around this time creeping his Facebook and seeing the squirrelly guy posing in front of his Honda.
Something about it all made me laugh and wonder why does this 20 something year old want to go to such lengths to hang out with a 17-year-old girl he knows is taken? A couple of years later, I learned the awful reason. He got arrested on a multitude of assault charges. They seized several devices that proved he’d been doing stuff with children and animals since he was at least 13. Cherry on top? He was the local star cop’s son.
#39 Clairvoyant Boss
It was any old day at work, the dinner rush was about to hit, and I was tired. As usual, I was going to go to the dollar store to get some Red Bull. I asked my manager if he wanted to split it because they were 2 for $5, and he said no but as soon as I reached the door, he said wait. I asked him what was wrong and he said I should go later.
He didn’t give me a reason and we were pretty relaxed, so I told him to screw off and as soon as I pushed the door outwards, I hear a sound I can’t even describe aside from just BREAKING. Whatever it was it was broken, that’s all I knew. Turns out an SUV drove straight into that dollar store’s front door and their Red Bull fridge. My manager has annoyed me like that a million times, but I’ll never forget the time he saved my life.
#40 Bad Party Vibes
I had gone to this bar back home with a few friends, and afterward, everyone was supposed to go to this house party. I was game to go from the moment I was invited. Halfway through the night, I had this gut feeling to not go. I told my best friend that she shouldn’t go but she insisted that she wanted to go because there were a few cute guys there. I couldn’t shake the feeling that we shouldn’t go, but she talked me into it.
When we got in my car to head to the party, the gut feeling got even worse. I grew up around cars and drive a manual (my best friend is completely clueless when it comes to cars) so I deliberately grinded the gears and jerked the car and made it stall, acting like something was wrong. I pretended to try to fix what wasn’t broken and after about 15-20 minutes of “fixing” my car, cops and fire trucks followed by EMS flew by us.
I “fixed” my car but told my best friend that I just wasn’t feeling well and she agreed and said my car breaking down ruined her mood, so we went back to my place to watch movies. About an hour after getting home we got a call from a friend of ours saying that the girl who owned the house and who was throwing the party was cheating on her husband who was deployed. He came back on leave to surprise her and caught her in bed with his buddy. Dude pulled out a piece and started unloading at this girl and his friend while everyone else fled the house.
#41 Scary Snow
I was driving and it started to snow. I noticed that I was going a bit fast and strongly sensed I should slow down. I did, and a couple of seconds later I came up around a bend with the road suddenly being covered in ice. I started to fishtail while sliding directly towards two people standing outside their car. They had wrecked in the same manner that I was about to do and were standing outside their car, with me heading straight for them.
I quickly thought of my options and ended up doing a hard right straight into the highway barrier. I slid nearly 100+ feet dragging the front of my car to slow it down. Because I had decided to slow down, I was able to give the two guys enough time to get out of the way before I slammed into their cars. Even though I totaled my car, which was sad, I did not end up hitting two people that night.
#42 Hot TV
It was Christmas eve in my childhood house and my mom had gotten a large TV for my dad and hid it in my closet along with some other presents. At one point in the night, she had come back into my room to retrieve one of the smaller items and ended up moving the TV right in front of my wall heater, and didn’t put it back. I didn’t notice and went to sleep a little later.
I don’t know if it was the smell or a gut instinct but thank god I woke up, because early the next morning I woke up to find my room filling with smoke and an orange glow coming from the back of the TV box. Luckily no large flames had formed yet and I was able to stop it simply by moving the box out of the way, and of course, turned off the heater and evacuated the room. If I hadn’t, we would have woken up on Christmas morning to our house on fire.
#43 The Daycare
My mom dropped my 3-year-old brother off at daycare before she had to work in the morning. When she got to work, she had this terrible feeling something was wrong with him. She ended up leaving work and drove to the daycare. She found the daycare lady inside sleeping while the daycare kids (including my brother) were running around the pool. My brother never went back to that daycare again.
#44 The Missed Train
A few years back I went to a university in Brussels. I would always take the train to get there. One morning I just woke up and didn’t feel great at all. Keep in mind I have had a horrible flare up of Crohn’s for the last weeks. But this felt different. Guess it was my gut. So instead of pushing through it as I did with my Crohn’s, I decided to stay home for once.
This was the only day that I ever stayed home from university. That day the terror attack happened on the train that I usually ride to get to school.
#45 The Carpet Sellers
I met a guy at a bar. He was totally mild-mannered and not creepy at all. He asked me how to sign up for karaoke and pick a song. Sat beside me and talked casually. Didn’t touch me once. But then he pointed to something behind my head to distract me. I looked away and looked back at him, and he said he must have made a mistake. It was strange, but I had no idea how dark the night was going to get.
Then, I saw him screwing one of those little canisters back shut on his keychain. I asked him what he kept in there to call him out. He was cold and expressionless as he began to slowly twist it back open and said there was nothing in there. I stopped drinking my drink and he performed his song. When he was on stage, I immediately left. I just knew he’d tried to slip something into my drink.
What always freaked me out was how normal he seemed (before he became suddenly cold and robotic when I called him out on that canister thing). But it made me realize, of course a criminal like him would seem normal – that’s how they get close enough to attack you.
#46 A Shady Seller
I was going to meet up with someone from Facebook marketplace to buy a phone and the feeling hit, me so I called the woman and a man answered trying to play off the fact he’s a man. I passed by where we were meeting at and it was dark. I heard voices in the background on the phone call. I never stopped the car and kept going. Pretty sure I saved myself from at the very least a mugging but learned a good lesson, always meet in a public place.
#47 The Mugging
I had a gut feeling I should pull my wallet and phone out of my purse. Not even 20 seconds later, I get mugged. The man dragged me across the sidewalk and stole my purse BUT all he ended up getting was a juice box.
#48 Toxic Thoughts
My dad left for work, got a weird feeling, and drove back home. When he walked in, he entered a nightmare. Everyone in the house was unconscious. He had to drag or carry them all outside one by one and call the ambulance. It turns out that my mom and her entire family had severe carbon monoxide poisoning. Because he trusted his gut, they all survived.
#49 Anxiety Strikes
A couple of months after my 10th birthday we went on a family vacation to visit my dad’s side of the family. They lived a state away. At the time, my mom was about 6 months pregnant with my baby brother. We got to our hotel at about 2:00 pm and by 3:00 pm we decided we wanted to make the most of the day and go to the aquarium. I got fully dressed and ready to go, and suddenly I was hit with this crippling feeling of dread.
At that age, I’d never experienced anything like it. Pure anxiety. But I knew, I just freaking knew if we waited 5 minutes, I would be fine. I tried telling my mom this and she was having none of it. I even tried to just stall her by begging. Nope. Got dragged (not literally) out of the hotel and into the car. We pull out of the parking lot and get T-boned so hard we do a 180 into oncoming traffic. As soon as we all realized we were okay I was like, ah, yep, there it is. I’ve never let either of them forget it either.