September 9, 2019 | Casey Fletcher

Terrified People Share Their Scariest True Story

We've all had scary things happen to us. Those moments make the hair on our bodies stand up straight. They make us feel like our hearts are pounding so fast and so hard, they might just jump right out of our chest. If we're lucky, we get to live to tell our scary stories. If we're even luckier, the scare was just a scare, and that's it: no harm, no foul.

Some people have had such truly terrifying experiences that even just reading. about their stories will give you the jitters. A few of those stories have been collected here, and they are probably not for the faint-hearted. In fact, maybe it's best if you read them in broad daylight, just in case you get too scared and end up sitting up in your bed all night with a baseball bat.


Don't forget to check the comment section below the article for more interesting stories!

#1 The Difference Between A Bee Sting And A Gunshot Wound

When I was young, my parents and I went to see the fireworks show at a hotel in Florida. We were speaking to this really nice woman next to us—she was a foster mom for several kids and animals. I was dancing with her and my mom called me over, saying the fireworks would start soon. Less than a second later, the shot went off to start them.

The woman grabbed her chest and said, "Ouch! Something bit me!" When she pulled her hand away, there was a perfect hole in her chest. She stood there a moment in shock before it started bleeding and then she fell to the ground. Everyone started panicking, I was separated from my parents and hid in the elevator. I kept going to random floors with people until I saw someone that my parents knew and stuck with them.

The police came to our hotel room that night to get witness statements. We were on top of the hotel, and I never really looked into it after (I still can't do fireworks), but my dad told me it was a freak accident involving the gun they used to signal the fireworks. It was just the sight of her casually pulling her hand away, thinking it was a bee sting, and seeing this perfect hole. Then just... blood.

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#2 Never Trust Strangers

When I was four, I was at a mall with my mom. The department store we were in had a children’s corner with toys and a TV so parents could leave their kids there while they shopped. On this day, they were showing a behind-the-scenes special of the highly anticipated The Lion King, which was going to be in theaters soon. Thinking I would see the actual film, I sat down to watch while my mom did her shopping.

When it became clear they weren’t going to show the movie and I was watching a glorified commercial, I lost interest and wandered away to look for my mom. But the store was huge and I didn’t know where she would be. So I started calling out for her. Suddenly, a lady approached me and asked if I was lost. I knew I wasn’t supposed to talk to strangers, but she seemed genuine, so I told her yes. Then she offered to help and took my hand.

I thought she was going to help me find my mom or at least take me to the front desk, but we headed back in the direction I’d just came from. Soon, we were nearing the door that led directly into the parking lot. I remember thinking, "This isn’t right," as it was clear she was taking me outside, but she still had me by the hand. Moments after she led me outside, I heard a scream and my mom sprinted toward us. She had already been outside looking for me and had seen me exit with this woman. My mom flew into a rage: "What are you doing with my child? Where were you taking her?"

I remember the lady panicked and didn’t have a clear explanation, but I don’t remember the exact details from that point. The next clear memory I have was driving home with my mom while she wept and told me to never trust strangers; not even if they are nice, not even if they have candy or presents, not even if they need help, not even if they say they will help me. It really stuck with me.


#3 Don't Play In The Shower

I was in the shower with my girlfriend and we were playing around, getting water in our mouths and shooting it at each other, etc. She had some water in her mouth and she accidentally swallowed some and it went down the wrong way. She looked at me with this terrified face that signaled she couldn't breathe. I thought she was joking at first, but soon realized she was serious.

I started trying to give her the Heimlich, but it didn't work. Then I started banging her back on an upwards angle but that didn't work either. I was so close to grabbing my phone and calling 911 when she suddenly coughed the water up and managed to breathe. It was easily the scariest moment of both of our lives, and we never play around with water in our mouths in the shower anymore.


#4 A Middle School Horror Story

I saw a guy get his throat cut by accident. I was quite young and I saw a kid at the playground fall between two metal bars while climbing the metal jungle gym. One of the bars happened to be distorted into some sharp edge, so when he fell, his neck got caught. The kid is okay, but the scene was grisly. All of the kids there, including me, started crying.

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#5 Lock-It Up

I'm 52. When I was about eight years old, five other eight-to-ten-year-olds were in a kid's bedroom playing. This one boy and I were wrestling around when someone turned off the lights. When the light went off, there was a loud pop. I was laying on the bedroom floor. The shot missed my head by two inches. It was a straight down shot that narrowly missed.


#6 If They Would Have Gone Back, They Might Be Dead

This past summer, my best friend and I were driving up north to meet our other friends at her cottage. It was around dusk when we were on a two-lane highway surrounded by woods. We looked ahead of us and saw on the side of the road a truck with a man jumping out of the passenger seat and hopping as fast as he could on one foot into the woods.

We then saw the man in the driver's seat run out of the car and chase the hopping guy down. I like to believe I have some pretty strong instincts and I had the worst feeling about this for some reason. It clearly seemed like the guy hopping into the woods was trying to escape. We made the decision not to go back and check on them because we were scared of what could happen to us... We still feel bad about it to this day.


#7 Always Be Careful When Digging

I once dug up two WW2 mortars in our backfield (thankfully, I didn’t hit them and was fine). It scared me so much that they were just like... there. Chilling underground.


#8 He Was Right Next To A Serial Killer Without Knowing It

I was working with a serial killer who was arrested by a SWAT team moments after we were in the same lab together. He had a sharp object on him at the time.


#9 Losing All Your Hair All Of A Sudden Is No Joke

Ten years ago, I was 18 years old. As I was taking a shower and washed my hair, with every washing motion I pulled out more and more of my own hair until I was bald. No reason, no warning, nothing, just the pure horror of pulling out hands full of hair. The drain clogged with my hair as I silently stared in the mirror across the room at my own bald head. It felt like I was falling apart. Mentally and physically. I honestly thought I would die that day.

It was a sudden auto-immune disease. Alopecia overnight. It was scary as can be. The weeks after, I lost all my body hair as well. My hair never returned and I am very okay with it now, but I can never ever forget that moment in the shower.


#10 She'll Never Forget That Face

I was about nine years old, lying in bed and watching the snowfall out of a window that faced the backyard. Suddenly, a man’s face popped up just inches from my window, staring right at me. I still remember his beard coated in ice and his steamy breath. After a few seconds, I unfroze and ran into my mom’s room. She thought I was making it up and sent me back to my room. I hid so I couldn’t see out of the window. The next morning when we left for school, there were footprints in the fresh snow that went back to my window.


#11 Being A Girl Has Never Been Easy

When I was in high school, I was walking home alone in my school uniform and this car stopped in front of me as I was trying to cross the road. The guy driving asked if I wanted to hop in. I tried to walk around the car and ignore him but he kept moving to stop me from crossing the street.

I looked around to ask for help but the street was deserted. I had never been so scared in my lífe. I finally ended up walking back up the way I came as fast as I could hoping to find a way to hide or to ask for help.


#12 What Happens When You Sleep In A Bear's House

When I was 14, I was out camping in the Rocky Mountains with my grandparents. I was in my own tent, and they were in theirs. We had made sure to put all food into the car to be safe from bears, and made sure there were no crumbs or anything on us or in the tents.

I woke up at 1 or 2 a.m. in the morning to the sound of heavy, padded footsteps and breathing. It was moving around the camp, so I sat up and looked through this little plastic window in the tent. There was a huge bear outside. I got scared and lay back down trying not to move. I heard the bear lumber over to my tent. I heard it sniffing and actually saw it poke my tent. After about 20 minutes of it sniffing around, it left. Pretty terrifying for my 14-year-old self.


#13 Good Thing His Dad Was A Good Shot

When I was nine, I was sleeping in my bed like every other night, but I woke up to a loud bang and a weight on top of me. My dad had knocked a robber unconscious as he was trying to get the jewelry out of my box next to my bed, and his limp body fell on top of me. To this day, I cannot explain to anybody how different an unconscious body feels on top of you versus a live one.


#14 Forgetting Your Wallet Can Be Dangerous

The moment I realized I had an hour and a half's worth of gas to travel either two hours towards my destination or two hours back to go pick up my wallet that I left behind.


#15 Don't Say It If You Don't Mean It

Two years ago, a friend and I were talking. It was in the evening, and you could see many planes flying overhead. My friend had the FlightRadar app on her phone and we were checking out overhead flights, from where they were flying and to where. All of a sudden, while she had a flight from Paris to Cairo open, she just looked at me and in a very serious tone, said: "This plane is going down." Then she started laughing. I laughed too and I brushed it off as tipsy foolery. The next day, I saw a report that a plane, headed from Paris to Cairo, crashed into the ocean. We never spoke of it.

#16 And The Moral Of The Story Is: Never Let Your Guard Down

I was abducted off the street while jogging. I was traumatized by the experience, but I lived. He is on death row at San Quentin.


#17 This Close Encounter With Fire Could Have Been Deadly

I woke up around 6 a.m., super thirsty. I went to the kitchen a poured a glass of water. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a little yellow flash in the living room about 15 feet away. I didn't think much of it, but something told me to go look. I walked over there and a five-prong extension chord which was partially under the couch had a small flame coming from it.

 It was about the size of a softball. It was on fire. I ran over and began smacking it with my bare hands. I couldn't get to the cord to unplug it. I burned my hands badly, but I just kept swatting at it until the fire went out. If I hadn't woken up, if I hadn't got water, if I hadn't checked out the little flash, it would have caught the couch on fire while we slept.


#18 Elevators Are Clearly Not For Games

I lived on the ninth floor when I was a kid, and my friends and I had a stupid game where we'd lock the last guy in the elevator to make him go to all the way down and up the building. One day, I was the lucky last one, so while my friends tried to shut the door before I went out, I put my foot (with a sneaker on) between the door, but they still managed to close the elevator.

The ground floor button was already pressed so the lift started to move downwards and that was the moment when I realized that my sneaker gum got between the floor and elevator door. In two seconds, I was hanging down on my boot under the lift's roof. While scenes from my short life flashed in front of my eyes, my leg went outside the lift through a narrow hole and stopped at knee level (as it was thicker). I felt growing pressure on my knee against the roof and eventually the boot gum broke, then I fell down on my head and back on the elevator's floor.


#19 They Really Dodged A Bullet With That Hitchhiker

My fiance and I saw a guy on the side of the road asking for a ride. I told her there was no way I'd pick up a male hitchhiker. She told me it was the right thing to do, but I convinced her that we shouldn't. Three days later, he was on the news—authorities arrested him for ending a couple that picked him up earlier that week.


#20 Someone Is Watching You

As a teenager, I loved climbing trees. Well, we had just moved into a new house with no direct neighbors, but tons of trees. I found the best tree to climb and spent the rest of the afternoon there. After dark had come and I was back in my house, I realized I left my wallet by the tree. I took a flashlight with me to get my wallet. On my way there, a shadow of a man was reflecting from my flashlight onto the tree.  My heart skipped a beat and I immediately calmed down because I thought it was my own shadow. It wasn't until I picked up my wallet that I realized I can't create a shadow if I'm behind the light source.

#21 Bad Luck With Fires

When I was about eight months pregnant with my second child, we had a small fire at our house. We filed an insurance claim and got money to replace carpets, curtains, paint, etc. We went to the local big box hardware store to pick out paint colors and carpet. The paint aisle was busy, so we went to the carpet aisle first.

While we were looking at samples, we heard the loudest boom, then what sounded like the aisles literally falling over. It was deafening. We ran towards the back of the store and could see smoke. The fire alarm was blaring and the employees were ushering us out the back. About the time we were getting close to the exit, a lady ran past us literally on fire.

My husband chased after her, yelling for us to get out. We exited the building into a receiving area that was padlocked shut. The minutes it took someone with a key to unlock that gate so we could go around to the front (and for me to find my husband) seemed like forever. The lady was hospitalized for a long time and had many surgeries. She had been in the paint aisle.


#22 Military Scare

Soldiers interrogated me and my wife. We were in the back of a taxi, at 11:00 p.m., in Trinidad. We were on a road around a mountain and apparently, the military was looking for a crime lord who had escaped in the area.

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#23 Inside Of A Coma Can Be A Scary Place

In the summer of 2016, there was this long period where I thought I had been kidnapped. I remember waking up at one point and realizing I was tied down, unable to move, and surrounded by strangers who were poking and prodding at me. It was absolutely terrifying. Part of my brain kept expecting to wake up from a nightmare, but I never did.

I was unable to realize what was going on. What actually happened was I had a really bad heatstroke, and went into a coma for three weeks. At one point, I was given medication to help stabilize my condition, but one of the side effects was intense hallucinations and nightmares. Being in and out of consciousness, unable to process anything, but knowing that you are being restrained was a feeling I'll never forget.


#24 Irresponsible Parents

I was 16 years old. One night, a noise woke me up and I went downstairs to find my mom lying on the floor and my dad lying next to her. Neither of them was moving. I thought they were gone; that maybe my dad lost it. Turns out, they drank way too much again and my mom fell face-first into the hard floor, breaking her nose. My dad just decided to lie down too.

That was 10 years ago, but I will never forget that moment of coming down the stairs and seeing them lying there with blood pooled on the ground. I completely froze and then had to work up the courage to go over and check them for vitals. The rest of the night involved locking my little sister in her room to keep her safe, calling 911 for my mom, and cleaning up the blood while my dad yelled at me.


#25 She Was On His List

In my senior year of high school, I attended a boarding school. There was a guy there who was nice to everyone. He and I had study hall together and he would often offer to walk me and my friend back to our dorm. One night, he made a move on me and I pushed him away. I told him I had a boyfriend, but he flipped out, screaming and cussing at me.

I kicked him hard and ran inside the dorm. The next night at study hall, he came after me. I ran into a room and hid in the closet. I took a pair of scissors and was standing there, listening to him pound on the door. It took three guys to pull him away so I could escape. They dragged him to the dean. The next day, they searched his room and found a disturbing list of names. I was one of the names of the list. Still haunts me to this day.

#26 Where Is Macaulay Culkin When You Need Him?

My whole family (except for me) went to a baseball game one day. It was a night game and, being baseball, it ran a little later into the night. I was working as a lifeguard in high school and would get off around 9 p.m. usually. When I got home, I took a shower, trying to be quick because there was a party that night. I got out of the shower and walked into my room to hear all this shuffling and running downstairs. I yelled, thinking it was my parents. No answer.

But I heard footsteps running downstairs, and next thing I knew, I heard our garage opening up (you could just manually lift the door at the time as our garage door opener was broken). Anyway, that kind of freaked me out because literally, no one was home except for me. I ran across the street and got my neighbor and walked through my house with a samurai sword because I was afraid whatever was in there was still there.

The neighbor ended up calling the police. When we did another walkthrough, we found that my dad had about $200 to 300 cash stolen, my mom's diamond jewelry was stolen, and there were earrings lying on the bedroom floor with the jewelry box lid askew. What happened was my parents' house was in the process of getting robbed while I came home.

I was in the house with the intruders for some time before they realized I was home and heard the shower running. When I yelled for my parents, they got startled and made a run for it, hence the footsteps I was hearing. The escape route they used was through the broken garage door, which they must’ve scouted out about our house for some time. The cop said that was the third break-in on our area within the past week and they had been on the lookout for suspicious people without tipping off the public. The moment I realized my parents weren’t home and someone else was in the house with me was a terrible, gut-wrenching feeling.


#27 The Ghosts Of After-School Hours

Almost every day, as soon as I entered my home after school, the lights immediately turned on without me switching them on. It really freaked me out until one day, I noticed that when I entered my home, the reason why the lights turned on "by themselves" was because when I turned around to lock the door, the schoolbag on my shoulders pushed the light switch on. I didn't notice for WEEKS! Dumb 11-year-old me.


#28 The Age Of Human-Like Dolls

I found a head in a garbage bin. It was in the middle of the day in a small college town. I had skipped morning class, slept in, and was tossing the trash when I saw the head. It was a woman's head, with long blonde hair and eyes still open. Before I started screaming, I took one step closer and realized it was just a hyper-realistic doll head.


#29 Not A Funny Joke

My niece asked me to go on the trampoline. I jumped, landed, and she got launched above my head. She landed on her neck and I heard a crack or something. She cried for 10 seconds, making me think I broke her neck, but then she just got back up laughing.

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#30 September 11, 2001

My husband was working for the major financial services company in Boston. Because of a financial downturn, the company cut employee travel to conferences. So he opted not to go to a seminar in New York. Had the economy been in better shape, he would have been on the 102nd floor of the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.


#31 One Wall Away From Being A Tornado Victim

The time I was in the top of an apartment building that had a tornado develop and drop on it before the tornado sirens even went off. We were hunkered down in a central room (bathroom). It got really loud, the pressure changed, the walls visibly moved, etc. I went outside afterward and the next-door apartment on the other side of the bathroom wall was completely gone.


#32 Popping Noises

I’m sure most people already have heard about the Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, Florida, so I won’t go into extreme detail... On February 14th, I was in a school shooting. I was far from the building it occurred in but I was coming back from the bathroom and I heard popping noises. Shots were the last thing I would have thought the noises were. Upon getting back to my classroom, I found out an armed man was on campus. Luckily, I didn’t see anything graphic like some of my peers in the 1200 building. They really had it bad.


#33 Don't Worry, It's Just An Earthquake

Several years ago, I was house-sitting for my former in-laws in their big three-story house. I went to bed the second night on a very comfortable pullout couch in a spare bedroom, leaving the door to the room open. I woke up at about 2 a.m. to the sound of the door swinging slowly closed, and in the ambient light saw it accelerate and slam shut.

Ten or so seconds later, as I'm frozen in terror, the metal frame of the bed starts to rhythmically rock. I realize after a moment that it's an earthquake, which put me immediately at ease. Not a poltergeist or intruder after all. I had never been so relieved in my life.


#34 The Tipping Point Of A Wardrobe

I was about 12 or 13 and I opened the wardrobe we had in my bedroom. I kind of pulled the handles and instead of it opening, the entire thing tipped over and I sat in fear as it hung in the air for a little bit, probably right on its tipping point. It went back without crushing me. Its slam got me shouted at though.

#35 The Burglar Knew His Name

I was seven years old and I fell asleep in the living room on the couch. I woke up in the middle of the night to see a burglar rummaging throughout the house. We have an open floor plan so I watched him frantically open and close drawers. The scariest part was when he stood over me and said, “Hey Michael, I don’t know whether or not I should take you.”

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#36 Luckily The End Of The Story Is Getting Abandoned In A Field

I got kidnapped while in Guatemala. I was serving as a missionary and had only been there for about three months. About 12 of us missionaries had gone to the capital that morning, and we hired a van to take us all back to the coast where we lived. On our way back, a truck drove up next to us and started firing off warning shots.

They ran us off the road, and before we knew it, they were in our van. They had us put our heads down while they held a gun to the driver's head and told him where to go. It was terrifying, especially because it wouldn't be the first time missionaries had been kidnapped for ransom. I've never had to look death in the face the way I did that day.


#37 Tattling On A Friend Can Save Lives

I was in detention with this kid in high school. He was weird but we started talking and found out we liked a lot of the same stuff. After that, we became friends. One day he said to me, "You should stay home tomorrow." I asked why and he said, "You just should." I was immediately sick to my stomach even though he wasn't weird about it.

I went and told my principal after much thought about possibly being very wrong and ruining a friendship. I guess they had worried about him for a while, so they sent the cops to his house while we were still in school. His mom let them in and they found many suspicious things in his basement bedroom. He planned to do some really bad stuff to the school the next day. I never saw him again.


#38 Watch Out For Dynamite When Playing On Mining Equipment

A close friend of mine and I used to hop the fence to a nearby quarry and play on the mining equipment. One day while exploring, we came across five holes that were drilled into the ground with yellow cables coming out of each. It was dynamite. My buddy and I got out of there as quickly as possible, literally running for our lives. Not even two minutes later, they set off the charges.



#39 Mothers Gain Superhuman Strength When Their Baby Is In Danger

I was at a friend's house testing out the new stroller. Being dumb and unaware of my surroundings, I walked behind our car that my husband and his friend were working on (it was in the driveway and we walked on the sidewalk behind it). It was on a couple of jacks to let them get to the brakes to replace them. My friend, who also has kids, wanted to push my daughter since strollers have vastly improved in just the last 10 years. As she walked behind the car, the lifts suddenly failed and the car dropped down and rolled back pinning the stroller between two cars WITH MY INFANT STILL IN IT! I didn't know I could hold back a car while simultaneously ripping my kid out of a stroller. That stroller was amazing, by the way.


#40 A Babysitter's Worst Nightmare

I was babysitting these two kids. I put them to bed (they both slept in the same room) then ordered a pizza and chilled out. Between their bedroom and the lounge room was only a laundry room with a glass sliding door to the backyard. About an hour after I put them to bed, I could hear them talking. I muted the TV and walked toward the bedroom.

I walked into their room. Their bedroom light was on and they were both sitting up. I asked them why they were talking to each other and they told me they weren’t; they were talking to the man. A shiver ran up my spine. I got them back down and turned off the light. As I headed for the lounge room once more, I looked into the laundry as I passed. The sliding door was open.

That was the longest night of my life.


#41 When There Is No Snow, There Are No Footprints

I used to live in a house in a quiet neighborhood. I’d often stay up late in the living room, which had a fairly large glass door to the backyard that you could slide open with no curtain. Sometimes I’d hear noises in the backyard, but it would usually be my cats. Sometimes, the motion-sensing porch light would turn on, but again I figured it was some nighttime critter.

One day after a night of snow, I noticed a fresh set of shoe prints that stopped dead right in front of that glass door. Someone had obviously been there at some point in the night. Another time, I noticed the glass door’s lock was slightly tampered with. I’m actually freaking myself out writing all of this because at the time I figured it was just a one-time thing, but in reality, this person could have been making repeat visits anytime he wanted before and after that snow day.


If They Would Have Gone Back, They Might Be Dead

This past summer, my best friend and I were driving up north to meet our other friends at her cottage. It was around dusk when we were on a two-lane highway surrounded by woods. We looked ahead of us and saw on the side of the road a truck with a man jumping out of the passenger seat and hopping as fast as he could on one foot into the woods.

We then saw the man in the driver's seat run out of the car and chase the hopping guy down. I like to believe I have some pretty strong instincts and I had the worst feeling about this for some reason. It clearly seemed like the guy hopping into the woods was trying to escape. We made the decision not to go back and check on them because we were scared of what could happen to us... We still feel bad about it to this day.

#42 An Active Shooter Was After Him

My school had an active shooter. It someone I constantly argued with. I still remember hearing him trying to open the locked door, and screaming, "You are dead, you are so freaking dead." I wouldn't wish this fear on my worst enemy. He ended up hurting one student before being taken into custody by police. That person is okay.


#43 The Only Time You Should Ever Hit A Baby

My son was a premature infant. I had to give him liquid vitamins every day. One day, he choked on them. I flipped him over and pounded on him as they taught us to do in infant CPR. It wasn’t working. He was trying to breathe but he couldn’t and he was turning blue. It was horrifying. But even worse than that was knowing the ambulance couldn’t get there in time to help. I hit him as hard as I could and his airway opened. He started screaming and I held him, sobbing. I never gave him those vitamins again.

#44 Peanut Allergies Are Deadly Serious

In 2006, when I was seven, I was severely allergic to peanuts. I had to carry an EpiPen with me at all times because it was so bad that even if a peanut touched my lip, I could go into anaphylaxis. My entire class knew about my allergy, and nobody was allowed to bring peanuts to school because of it. This girl in my class, who was bullying me at the time, decided to open her peanut butter sandwich and shove it in my face. It about an inch away from my mouth. I legitimately thought I was going to die. She got nothing more than a “don’t do that again.”

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#45 What It's Really Like To Be A Millennial

I was 17. I wanted to be a veterinarian but I had to go to vet school first. Vet school requires college. Four years later, I owed 50k. I have a degree in horses. I applied to vet school with 4.0 GPA and got rejected the first year, then again the second year, and again the third. I went to an out-of-state school. I lived in a cheap off-campus apartment with roommates, no car, no vacations, etc. Four years later, I owed 320k, and 250k of it was at 6.8% interest. Then, I got a job paying 75k. I couldn't afford payments. I decided to do an income-based repayment. I paid $1,000 per month for an entire year.



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