Listening to your intuition could save your life — as I learned after writing about people who escaped dangerous situations after following their intuition. And it happens more often than I realized, as many people shared their own stories of when their perceptiveness kicked in and possibly saved their lives.
Many of these blew my mind, so let's get into them. Here are some of your stories of when you felt like something was off, and you were glad you listened:
1. "I used to work in TV news and had to go into work at 6 a.m. on Saturdays. I don’t have my own parking where I live, so I had to walk to my car a block away. While I was walking, I suddenly got this feeling like someone was watching me. I looked to my right, across the street, and noticed a tall man walking suddenly disappear behind a tree. I stopped and waited to see if he'd continue moving, but he didn’t. Then, I saw his head pop out, and he looked right at me."
2. "I was taking my little cousins ice skating around Christmas. I was young and in college, so I didn't feel like a very experienced driver yet. I was at a light about to make a left turn, but something told me not to pull all the way out, even though the light was green. On instinct, I glanced to my left. This huge SUV barreled through the red light. If I had trusted the light instead of my gut, that car would have plowed into my back seat, where three children under 10 years old were sitting."
"I always glance left at intersections now." —emilym4e8497a33
3. "When I was 11, I was reading a book one night, when I got a horrible feeling. I felt like I was going to be sick. My stomach and chest hurt. My grandma popped into my head. I was super close with her my whole life, and we had this strange bond where we knew when something when was wrong with each other. I ran out of my room and told my mom I had a bad feeling about Grandma, but she was on the phone. Mom hung up and looked at me. She was pale. She had just gotten a call from my aunt, who was playing bingo with my grandma. My aunt told my mom that she'd called 911 because she thought Grandma may have had a heart attack."
4. "It happened August 1, 2007, around 5:30 p.m., three weeks after my husband and I got married. We were driving to the Mall of America to watch a movie, and were heading toward I-35 West highway. Then, my husband got this feeling it wasn't a good idea to go that way — it was rush hour. So, we took a different route. When we left the movie that night, we turned the radio on. The I-35W bridge had collapsed at 6:05 p.m. We would’ve been on that bridge."
5. "I was helping a very close friend of mine back from the bar because he was too drunk to walk. When we got back to his apartment, he started to make a move on me. I dodged him, and he burned me with the cigarette he was holding. I was petrified. He started pulling me toward his room. Suddenly, my phone started ringing."
"I was getting a call from a friend I hadn't spoken to in almost a year. I answered, and immediately said, 'Your brother is in the hospital? I'll be there as soon as I can!' That's how I got myself out of that situation. I called my friend back. He said he had gotten this sudden gut feeling that I was in trouble, and he needed to call me right away." —emersinning
6. "I was out in the woods with my mom gathering berries, when I suddenly got this 'Fuck this, I need to get to the car now' feeling. I told my mom, and she said it was just my anxiety. Then, I heard a strange whistle — a noise that brown bears often make."
7. "I have autism, so I don't usually pick up on typical social cues, but I have this weird ability to pick out creeps and dangerous folks. A few years back, a friend of mine started a casual relationship with a guy, and something about him just freaked me out. Everyone else liked him; he was really personable and charismatic. I was honestly relieved when he moved back home and they called things off. A year later, my friend saw a news article that said that guy was arrested for being involved in a trafficking ring involving underage girls."
8. "My husband worked the night shift at a car factory early in our marriage. One night, when he was getting ready to leave for work, I had this sudden strange feeling out of the blue. I threw my hands around him and begged him not to go to work. He asked me why. I said, 'I just have this feeling that if you go to work tonight, I'll never see you alive again.' He put down his lunchbox and called in sick to work."
9. "I used to take the last bus at night home from work. I wouldn’t get out to my stop until about 2 a.m. I didn’t live in the greatest part of town, and I had to walk about a mile to get home. I've had a couple people in the past pull over and ask if I needed a ride, but I always said no. One night, I was about to cross the street at a stop light. There was a car going the same direction as me. I crossed, and the car went at the same time but pulled over about a block down the road and turned their headlights off. I thought it was a bit weird, so I took out one of my headphones just to see if they were going to try to say something. I walked past the car, but couldn’t see anything because the windows were tinted. They didn’t say anything either, so I kept walking. Then, they pulled out, pulled over ahead, and turned off their headlights again...but their brake lights were on. They weren’t in park. I felt like something was up."
10. "My cousins and I went surfing one morning at a busy beach. After a few waves, I got this really eerie feeling. The waves were crap, so we were just hanging out on our boards. The feeling turned into a pit in my stomach. A few minutes later, my cousin got smacked by a shark tail — we saw the fin come up out of the water as it left. Ten years later, I was surfing at a different beach with my cousin and son. I got that same terrible feeling again."
11. "I was taking my daughter to Union Station one morning. I drove all the way there, but once we got there, I had a really sick feeling in my stomach. I felt like it wasn't safe to go inside. I decided to leave, even though my daughter was really upset. When we watched the news later that night, they arrested someone threatening to shoot up Union Station at the same time that we had been sitting outside in the car. I'm glad I trusted my intuition."
12. "I pulled out some of my old CDs during lockdown, including this stuffed frog case that holds CDs in its mouth. One night, I was walking back into my room to go to bed, and the frog case was sitting on my nightstand where I left it. Its eyes seemed to be looking at my closet, and for some reason, the eyes of this stuffed frog CD case just looked really freaked out to me. I froze in my doorway and just felt too scared to move. My mind was telling me it was nothing, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep without checking..."
13. "I used to share an apartment with a friend, and we were both flight attendants. One morning after a flight, I came home and felt something wasn't right. When I entered the living room, the feeling only got worse. I knew something was wrong with my friend. I checked if the coffee machine was used. It was. I checked for her coat and shoes. They were there. Then, I checked her bedroom where I knew she was sleeping — the first time I ever did that. I stood next to her bed until I heard her breathe a couple of times. She seemed fine, so I left her room. The next morning, my friend was still sleeping, so I decided to stay home until she woke. I was worried and made a lot of noise, so she would wake up, but she didn't."
14. "I was visiting my grandad at his care home. I knew he was going to die soon and that it could be any day at that point. But I had a bad feeling that particular day. It was raining, and my footsteps sounded like a ticking clock as I headed to the care home. I visited him every day, and that day he wasn't acting any different, but I stay longer than I should have — it was a one-hour walk back to my place and already dark. Just as I was about to leave, he died peacefully. At least I was with him. He was even smiling."
15. "My apartment doesn't have laundry, so I do laundry at my dad's. One day I texted him and asked if it was OK to come over. He hadn't responded in a couple hours, longer than if he had been taking a nap. Normally, I probably would have just let it go, but a strong feeling told me to go anyway and just apologize if I woke him up or something. When I got there, he wasn't well. He was out of his mind, as if he had a stroke or Alzheimer's. I called 911 and my sister. Dad spent a week in the hospital. He had a severe bladder and kidney infection that turned into sepsis, which sent toxins into his brain to the point that he was delirious, incoherent, and had to be restrained."
"He's OK now and taking better care of his health, but the doctors said he would have died that day if I hadn't gone over there. I trust my instincts a lot more now." —arflurer87
16. "One night years ago, I woke up feeling something was wrong. I was a single mom at the time, and my daughter was 3 years old. I can't identify what woke me up, just the feeling that something was terribly wrong. My daughter had her own room and was a normally sound sleeper. That night, I got up and went to check on her. She was asleep in the bathtub, with the water running."
17. "I had a 'friend' who was super cheerful and the life of every party. He was super loved by our mutual friends, but I always got a weird feeling about him. My gut always told me to not be alone with him. But one time, we were hanging out, and it was just us two. He kept trying to convince me that my lack of a love life was due to my 'inability to let go of monogamy' (he was in an open marriage), and that if we slept together it would fix everything."
"It was a super uncomfortable and suggestive situation. Even though we were in public, he was clearly trying to get me alone in a very aggressive manner, so I knew I had to get out of there. I wished I'd listened to my gut." —jessicav4975e0320
18. "When I lived in Hawaii, I was part of a running group that met every Tuesday. One week, a new guy showed up. He was very friendly and all smiles. We had the same pace as we jogged, so we ended up running together for 10–15 minutes and talked. He was nice, but something felt...off. He was almost too nice. We met back up with the rest of the group, hung out, and had some drinks. When I went home with my boyfriend that night, I told him that the new guy seemed weird, but I couldn't put my finger on it. He continued to show up to run, and everything seemed OK enough. Days later, texts and emails started flying within our running group about him."
"It turned out that the guy was having an affair, and he had his mistress kill his wife. The crime had already happened before the first time he ran with us, but he wasn't suspected of being involved in the murder until about a year after it happened. Search for 'Michael Walker, Hawaii.' You can read all about it." —kaswe
19. "I FaceTimed with my grandma every day on my lunch break while we were in lockdown. One day, she didn’t answer my call. My mom said she was probably just busy or forgot, but I knew something was off. I kept calling her and my mom in a panic until my mom called the nursing home’s security to check on her."
"My grandma had fallen in her closet and couldn’t get up or reach the phone, because she was seriously anemic from an undiagnosed bleeding ulcer. If it wasn’t for my anxiety, she might have been lying there all night." —hailcthulhu
20. "I was in the mall once with my family when I was younger, and I had a soda bottle I was going to throw away. I even asked my mom if she knew where a trash can was, but I still didn’t go to throw it for some reason. One minute later, people were rushing, screaming, and running to a corner."
21. "Five years ago, I was in a very bad, controlling relationship, and my ex didn’t want me to go see my parents anymore. We were in my parents' neighborhood one day, and I insisted I wanted to see my mom. He was driving and kept refusing to take me. I started throwing a fit until he finally agreed to take me. When I got there, I found my mom crying. She told me she thought she might have breast cancer."
"The next day I went back to my ex’s place, packed up all my things, and left the relationship. My mom ended up having stage 4 breast cancer, and I was with her throughout her whole journey. She sadly passed away last year. If I didn’t have that urge to go see her that day, I would’ve stayed in an abusive relationship, and she would’ve passed away sooner. My whole life changed from that day on." —evic89
22. "When I was 15 years old, my mom (a nurse) picked me up from school and casually mentioned she had a headache. She was nauseous and her left arm ached. I stayed home sick the next day, and when I woke up around 11 a.m., she mentioned that her symptoms hadn’t gone away. A switch in my head flipped, and I freaked out. I knew in my bones she was dying."
23. "From a young age, I found myself occasionally thinking about who would give me away at my wedding and do the father-daughter dance with me if my dad died. Fast-forward to 2020. After finishing work for the day, I put on a movie to relax. But that whole evening, I had this weird feeling that something was off. The next day, I get a text from my mom asking if I had plans that evening because they wanted to come by for dinner. I knew something wasn’t right and remembered that my dad had been in the ER last month with stomach issues. I asked my mom if everything was OK with my dad and if they had discovered something, or if he had COVID-19. She called me to tell me that yes, they had found something: stage 4 liver cancer. They came to see me that evening so that we could talk about the journey ahead."
24. "My family was meeting my grandma's new boyfriend one night. This was the first man she was seriously seeing after my grandpa died, so it was a big deal. The moment I met him, I got the weirdest feeling in my stomach that told me something was off about this guy. Basically, he failed the vibe check. I told my mom this on the way home, and she said I just needed to get used to him. Later on, my mom began to pick up on his bad energy as well. So she googled him. He had previously been arrested and convicted for killing his wife, and trying to dispose of the body."
"Still, my grandma stayed with him. He was manipulative AF. My mom told her he was not to have any contact with us, but he tried to friend my sister on Facebook. My mom called my grandma screaming that she'd never see us again. Grandma started crying, so he tried to argue he was hacked and even called the police. I don't know why. One of the officers took my grandma aside and said he was dangerous and probably a psychopath. Then she broke up with him." —monikap6
What's a moment in your own life when you had a strange feeling that something wasn't right and it saved your, or someone else's, life? Let me know in the comments, and it could be included in a future BuzzFeed post.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.