It's terrifying when your body can just sense that something around you is off yet you have no clue why. So when u/inferno2808 asked people what their scariest "something's not right" moments were, I knew that the responses would be chilling...but I didn't think they'd be this creepy.
Here are some of the responses that had me on the edge of my ergonomic office chair:
1. "Late at night, I was sitting in my car waiting for my boyfriend to finish his shift. A guy walks past and we make eye contact. I feel this sense of danger but figure I'm overreacting. A few minutes pass and the fear won't go away. I finally decide to move my car away from the edge of the parking lot to the front of the restaurant in the customer parking area. I start up my car and just as I'm putting it into drive, the guy rushes out from behind and tries to yank open my door, pulling on it really hard."
"I hit the gas and he trails me for a second, then hits my window with a rock. I keep going, and he throws the rock at me then runs away. I was shaking so badly, I could barely steer. Pretty sure he was sneaking up on me just as I decided to start my engine."
2. "I was working on a radio system in the local water tower of a pretty remote outback town. It was a beautiful late spring day in October when I got there. But after about two hours, the bird noises stopped. The breeze stopped. I took my equipment out of standby and set it up as a live test, because I had the weirdest feeling I didn't have time to fully test it. Then I went outside to sit in the car. About 90 seconds later, there was a direct lightning strike on the tower I'd just left — it measured at the highest point of 200 Km."
3. "I was walking to school in middle school and this lady with a car pulled over next to me and called me Linda. That's not my name, but it was close enough so I looked up. She apologized and explained she thought I was her grandkid. Then she offered me a ride to school. Except that I was already standing on the school grounds. I had a half-block walk before I needed to turn to walk into the building. When I said no, she tried to demand I get into the car."
"I said 'no thanks' and took off running. It occurred to me much later that she probably had no intention of dropping me off at school."
4. "I worked as a bouncer in Missouri and at midnight one night, I got sent to Walmart for some things. Driving down Highway 50, I caught a glimpse of a figure on the side of the road — ghostly corner of your eye kind of thing. I don't usually stop for strangers at midnight, but something in my gut made me slam on my brakes for that woman. I pulled over and a young woman approached my passenger door. She was hyperventilating and really freaked out. I couldn't understand her so I just told her to get in my truck. As we sat there for a moment, she tried to talk. Just then, a van pulled up behind me, still on the side of Highway 50, and a man jumped out and approached the passenger side window that was still down. He started grabbing the girl and cussing me out. In my biggest voice, I calmly explained he needed to back off. She's wasn't leaving my truck. I told him, 'I have no idea what's going on but I'm taking her wherever she wants to go.'"
5. "It was at the local mall a few years ago. I was there with a friend. She went into the bathroom and I was waiting alone outside the bathroom. It was near closing hours so it wasn't surprising that some guard told me that it was almost time to leave. But before I could respond, I took one good look at him...and my stomach turned. He was not a guard. But he acted like he was. He offered to escort me out of the building but I noticed his badge was plastic and from some toy store."
"I kept telling him no and continued waiting for my friend. Every time I looked at him, my stomach turned and I got shivers. When my friend finally got out of the bathroom, he was gone. She asked me who I was talking to and after I told her, we got out of there quick.
A week after, I was there again to get some stuff and I asked an actual security guard about the guy from earlier. Turns out they escorted him out of the mall several times because he kept posing as a guard to get teenagers to come into his car."
6. "I’m a chalk muralist and was hired by my city to create art along walkways downtown for a festival. The thing with chalk art is you have to create it the same day it’ll be displayed, so I had to get started around 4 a.m. in order to be fully finished by the time the festival began at 10 a.m. It was around 5 a.m., still dark, and I was just finishing up outside of a coffee shop located in a stand-alone building when I noticed a guy slowly walking down the street. He was several blocks away and far enough away but still, something didn’t sit right. So I kept my eye on him. When he got about a block away, he took a left down a street where I could no longer see him. As soon as that happened, my inner voice told me I needed to get the fuck out of there. Without even gathering my chalk or any other supplies, I grabbed my car keys and hauled ass to my car on the other side of the lot."
7. "When I was 10 years old, my grandma was watching me and my younger siblings while our parents were out of town. We were eating pancakes in the living room and my siblings were watching cartoons while I was reading the latest Harry Potter book that just came out the day before. My brother asked my grandma for more pancakes and she started to get up. I was engrossed in my book but out of the corner of my eye, I felt like she was taking longer than usual. She tried to get up but her leg wouldn’t move. She tried to pick it up with her hands but one of her hands wouldn’t move. I knew something was wrong and I put down my book. Then, she fell out of her chair onto the floor. I screamed and she tried to tell me that she was fine. That her leg had just fallen asleep and she had tripped. But her voice was coming out all slurred and only half of her face was moving. I recognized signs of a stroke from The Baby-Sitters Club."
"I ran into the kitchen — she had no cellphone back then — and called 911. Well, first I called my best friend, the only phone number I could remember, and asked her mom if I need to dial an area code before 911. Then, I called 911.
Meanwhile, my siblings got the handyman who was mowing the backyard to come in and help out. The ambulance arrived and they took her to the hospital, and I don’t remember much else. My best friend’s mom must have somehow gotten hold of my parents because they did eventually show up at the hospital. She was treated so quickly that she made a full recovery and is still alive and in good health almost 20 years later!"
8. "I was home alone and someone rang my doorbell. It was dark and I could see a person, but I couldn't see his face, only a shadow. I asked who it was. I didn't open the door because he never answered and went back to playing games. However, my dog would look straight at the door like he knew something was not right. After, like, two hours, my parents arrived and told me there were two police cars on our street. Apparently, that person was a burglar and he knocked out one of my neighbor's windows and stole from their house."
9. "During the first lockdown, I hadn't seen my dad (who lives alone) for three months but we spoke on the phone every day. One night while I was drifting off to sleep at 2 a.m., I suddenly started feeling overwhelming anxiety. I was sweating and just felt like something was off. I couldn't get back to sleep so I decided to ring my dad since he's a night owl and would pick up... But to my surprise, no answer. I woke my partner and told him something was really off and my dad hadn't answered his phone, which had my anxiety running tenfold at this point. He suggested if he still hadn't answered the phone in the morning, we would drive over and check on him. Still, I couldn't shake this feeling so at 3 a.m., my partner and I got in the car and drove 3 hours to my dad's home. When we arrived at my dad's house, I walked in to find my dad staring at the wall... He was gray and yellow in color."
"He was slurring his words and utterly confused about where he was. I immediately called an ambulance. He spent the next four weeks in hospital with acute kidney failure from undiagnosed end-stage liver cirrhosis. The doctor told me if I'd arrived at his home a few hours later, I would have been calling an undertaker and not an ambulance. Sometimes anxiety can be a lifesaving gift."
10. "One day, I was in a parking garage across the street from a courthouse after filing a document. I got off the elevator where I think my car is parked and it's nowhere to be found. I wandered around, pushing my car keys and listening for a beep. After about a minute, I noticed a guy walking around too. He didn't appear to be following me but I kept an eye on him. There was no one else on that level except him and me, and he was giving me the creeps. Finally, I determined my car must not be on that level, got in the elevator, and went down a floor. I got off the elevator and kept an eye out for a second. The guy didn't appear so I brushed off my feelings as paranoia. I started walking around, pushing my car keys again. Then as I turn the corner, there's the guy again. This time, I know he's following me. Again, we were alone on the level. I head for the elevators and notice he's heading that way too. He's on pace to cut me off and I start to panic."
11. "I had plans to visit my dad one afternoon. I called him in the morning to ask if he needed anything because I was about to go to the store and could easily pick up some things for him. He didn't answer. A little weird for him but not uncommon. But I had this weird feeling in the back of my head. So I tried again 30 minutes later. Again, nothing. Neither landline nor mobile. I decided to drive over there early and check. I can't really explain but I just knew that something had happened."
"I found him dead in his house. He fell and cracked his head open. To this day, I don't know what was worse: finding him like that or the 30-minute long drive where the feeling grew that I was going to walk into something like that."
12. "I was living about five hours away from my parents and spent Easter with them. My plan was to take Monday off work and drive back that day, but for some reason, I decided to go back on Sunday night. At about 3 a.m. I woke up to a weird noise and hit the touch lamp next to my bed. It made a loud popping sound and turned off. Thinking, Hm, something isn't right here, I got up and grabbed the bedroom door handle. It was so hot that I immediately pulled my hand back. Once I opened the door, I was met with my entire apartment up in flames. The only ways out of my apartment were through the living room to the front door or through the dining room and kitchen to the back door, and I couldn't get to either."
13. "I got home from work and as soon as I stepped out of my car, something felt off. My upstairs neighbor left his dog out, which wasn’t super uncommon but she was acting strange. That just added to my weird intuition. Normally, she’s super excited to greet me but that day, she just sat by his door. About 20 minutes passed and I still couldn't shake the feeling. I decided to go to his door and invite him over for a drink. As I approached, I noticed his dog made it inside but now she’s barking nonstop. I knocked and knocked until I was pounding on his door. I jiggled the handle. It’s locked."
14. "I remember for several weeks I felt something was off, but I could never pinpoint what it was. I felt as if someone was following my every move. I had regular customers at the coffee shop I worked at. One stood out. He'd ask for my number over and over again, give me large tips, and hang around longer then he had to. Every time I rejected him, he became more persistent. I told him I was a lesbian, which is true, but even that didn't deter him. I was creeped out but I ignored it. On the bus ride home, as soon I got off, I noticed someone behind me was following the same path I was, shortcuts and everything. When I fast-walked, they fast-walked. Then when I ran, they ran. It wasn't until they were out of sight that I went in the direction of my apartment. The next day, I asked my boss if I could see the security footage from last night. To my horror, that very same guy had been waiting around the corner of the store and only moved when I left to go to my bus stop."
"The further we looked at past footage, the more sick I felt. The same guy had been waiting outside at night, every night, for the past three weeks. That day, I waited for him to come in while my boss called the police. As soon as he came in, the cops questioned him.
He wasn't nervous at all. He was convinced that we were in a serious relationship and had memorized my work schedule, bus schedule, and even what stops I frequently used, so he always knew where I was. As it turned out, my gut feeling of something being horribly wrong was more accurate than I imagined. I found out later he had done this to other women before. With one of them, he broke into her house. It scared the hell out of me knowing how far he was willing to go for a 'relationship.'"
15. "One time, my grandpa took me and my cousin with him to the gas station to get diesel for his tractor. We lived on a farm in the middle of nowhere so there wasn't much else to do. I rode in the middle seat and my cousin in the passenger. We were about 12 years old at the time. When we got to the gas station, my grandfather parked at a pump and headed inside, leaving the keys in the truck. Just before my grandpa walked inside, an elderly man on a bench outside stopped him and pointed at us. I couldn't hear them but I got a weird feeling about it. My grandfather walked inside to the register after the short interaction. The man hadn't taken his eyes off of us from across the parking lot. Then, he got up and started walking toward us. I started panicking. My cousin did too. As soon as the man reached the truck, he opened the driver's side door. My cousin unbuckled and told me to get out as he hops out. I start mashing my buckle release...but it's stuck."
16. "I was tripping on shrooms once with a friend in the dead of winter in Chicago. We were wandering around in the snow because snow is magnificent while tripping. We ended up on the beach near the Planetarium and we just kept walking, not paying attention and focusing on the crunching of the snow and other sights and sounds. I noticed this cool thing that looked like a frozen bubble below me and started stomping on it. Suddenly, I realized why there was a frozen bubble. We were standing on a frozen lake...like, 50 yards out. I called to my friend and told him to not move. We were on the lake and shit was cracking."
17. "It happened back in junior high, one or two days leading up to finding out one of my best friends died. We had a few classes together and we were both hugely into the band the Offspring. They'd just released the music video for 'Self Esteem.' I wanted to tell my friend about it and see if he watched it the next day, but he wasn't on the bus. Everyone assumed he was out sick. The day after that, still no friend. My gut felt really strange and I overheard a couple kids talking about someone who 'got shot' and something about a possible botched robbery attempt. I didn't catch it all but Immediately got this dreadful feeling that my friend was part of whatever those other kids were talking about."
18. "I took a class on lighting in a theater. One day, I was using a single-person lift to put myself 20 meters above the floor to change one tiny thing on one light. As I raised the lift closer to the light, I had this strange feeling that got progressively worse. When I inspected it, literally every single safety thing that could be wrong on this very heavy light 20 meters above the crossroads of multiple walkways was wrong and about as wrong as it could be. It was a miracle this light hadn't fallen off and killed someone yet, because it was about to."
"Whichever idiot had managed to screw it up this badly also managed to touch the power coupling to the crazy hot light. The power coupling was melted and somehow still functional. It was a miracle the entire auditorium hadn't burned down whenever this idiot did this.
It was extremely scary to me as I'd been doing extracurriculars in that auditorium for nine years then and I don't think that light was touched in that entire time. So every one of the thousands of times I had used that path, my life had been in danger. Every other light in the auditorium was perfectly fine."
19. "About 10 years ago, my dad and I were visiting my grandma in the nursing home. I was just wandering around the nursing home, which was undergoing renovations at the time when we got there, but something made me linger in the main corridor. I didn't know why. I usually went to the lounge and waited for my grandma. Then I heard this loud BANG. I ran down the corridor to the public toilets and I found this elderly lady lying on her back, on the floor, covered in blood. She was coming out of the toilet stalls, turned around to close the door, tripped on her shoes, fell back, and slammed her head against the bench near the door. There was blood everywhere. Fortunately, I spent five years as a first-aid officer so I knew what to do. I got her sitting upright on the floor, resting against the wall, and I took out my clean handkerchiefs and started to try and stop the bleeding. Since the nursing home was being renovated, the panic buttons wouldn't work."
20. "I was 15 years old and babysitting four younger cousins. I was watching TV in the living room when there was a knock at the door. It was late. I knew it was odd. I approached the door with a 'Hello?' A male answered and asked if someone random was there. I said no. They then said, "Can you open the door? I need a light for a cigarette.' I replied no again. I walked back into the living room and saw two faces trying to look down the side of the curtains. Then they started knocking again. I walked into the kitchen to arm myself. As I walked in there, there was already someone half inside and another behind him. I went into protective mode thinking I wouldn't let them get to the children, so I picked up a large knife off the bench."
21. "I caught some creepy guy trying to expose himself to my 11- year-old daughter. It was a gut feeling to go check on her. I was in another part of a store and walked up just in time. Always follow your instincts and trust your gut."
"My daughter was fine and could not understand why I was freaking out so much — she was too young to explain it well. Thank goodness she had no idea. Her head was in a book and I saw his arm moving back and forth from behind. When I walked up, it was still in his pants but the intent was clear. She’s 16 now and has figured it out.
My husband was there with us and that guy literally came up to him and told him he was sorry! Cannot believe that part. I was outside calling the police and my husband tried to follow him out of the store. The guy ran off across the street but later came back, and we got his license plate. I gave a statement to the officer and they followed up on it. They came by our house to tell us they couldn’t really do anything because I hadn’t actually seen 'it' if that makes any sense, but they put him on some sort of list. Apparently, he told the police he was taking some weird medication that made him do it. Ugh. Such a nightmare."
22. "My mom and I have fought like a cat and a dog since I was 4. We are the same person basically and still love each other dearly. One morning, we fought before I went to school. I screamed that I hated her before slamming my dad's car door and him taking me to school. While driving there, he told me an old adage: Never leave a conversation mad because if you die, the person's last memory of you would be you saying you hated them. Or if they die, my last memory of them would be me hating them. I broke into a panic attack and told my dad he needed to call my mom immediately. He had left his phone at home so he told me to go to the front office and ask to call my mom when we got to the school. The office tried my mom's personal phone — voicemail, voicemail again. Told me to go to class and if she calls, they will call me to the office. I had a horrible feeling in my stomach at that point and yelled at them to call the school she teaches at."
"At first they refused, but I broke into a screaming/crying panic that I needed to speak to my mom right away. They did it finally and told me she isn't required to arrive for another hour; though usually she came early to help out at school and hadn't shown up yet. That was strange for my mom.
She works in a school in the inner city. Teachers had been harmed walking to and from their cars. Her school sent the resource officer for some reason and they found her. My mom had been mugged, was unconscious, and bleeding. She would've been there for another hour or until she regained consciousness, if she did."
23. "I was driving my car and I started noticing that my steering wheel felt very stiff. I tried to keep driving, thinking it might be low on power steering fluid. After a few minutes though, it became clear something was very wrong, and so I started to pull over. As soon as I turned the wheel, my car lurched to one side and I completely lost steering. I also quickly realized that my breaks didn’t seem to be working and that since I was trying to pull over, my car’s path was leading onto the sidewalk. Thankfully, there was no one on the sidewalk, as my car skidded up onto the curb and stopped just a few feet from a business’s front window."
"There had been a mechanical ball joint failure in my car, and both the front and rear tires were completely perpendicular to the car, facing sideways. The scary thing is, I was only minutes away from getting on the highway."
24. "My brother was walking home when he was about 7 or 8 when a man pulled up, demanding to take my brother to the hospital — he was limping since he previously had foot surgery. The man was starting to push my brother into the car when our neighbor, whose kids we used to play with, suspected something was up. She yelled at the man and took my brother inside her house. The police didn’t catch the guy but years later, the guy and his car matched the description of the man who kidnapped Steven Stayner a short time later, which was a famous incident in our parts. Life could have been very different if our neighbor hadn’t been paying attention."
25. "I was about 16 years old driving back to my place from a 7-Eleven in my mom's car with a friend. It was the middle of the night around 2 a.m. and the streets were deserted. We pulled up to this stop light and a motorcycle with a passenger on the back pulled up unnecessarily close to our car's passenger side window. I had a bad feeling, but ultimately did nothing and proceeded to chat with my friend while waiting for the green light. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the person on the back seat pulling a rod or hammer from his backpack and starting to wind up."
"I peeled the fuck out of there real fast. Managed to lose the bike and got home safe. Friend didn't even know what was going on until we reached my place."
26. "I was home from college visiting my parents' house for the weekend. My sister had taken my old bedroom and I was sleeping in the guest room next to it. I was on my way out and had absolutely no reason to go into her room but something made me peek in there last minute. My sister’s old-school portable space heater was left on and had tipped over, lying on top of a cardboard box…. I was the last one to leave the house that day. My whole house could’ve burned down with all our pets in it if I hadn’t gone in her room."
"Another fire situation that almost happened: I was back at school and was going to just crash at my boyfriend's apartment one night. I couldn’t shake this weird feeling of needing to go home. Even though it was late and cold out, I trekked back to my place. When I got inside, all my roommates were already sleeping but I noticed the stove light letting you know the burners were on. I went to check it out and realized my roommate accidentally left the stove top burner on low...and there was a kitchen towel left on top of it."
27. "Few weeks ago, my baby woke up in the night. I settled him but instead of going back to bed like normal, I sat outside his room waiting for him to settle. I thought he wasn't settled because the movement icon on the monitor was flashing. It also flashes if the cot is empty of a breathing creature. I poked my head in, thinking, Why is he moving so much? Except it was silent in his room. The voice in my head sounded. Something was not right. I went to put my hand on his back and found he wasn't breathing."
28. "I woke up an hour and a half before my alarm and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up to make my partner's lunch. I got up and the front door was cracked open and the living room light was on. My mom was staying with me and had her dog so I assumed she took her outside, but the air around me felt really weird. So I started making the lunch and realized she still hadn’t come in. I opened the door to look outside and saw my mom at the bottom of the porch steps lying in a pool of blood."
"I thought she had gotten shot. Turned out she tripped walking down my stairs and cracked her head open. Spent a week in the hospital with a brain injury. She’s okay now. The doctors actually had found a spot in her leg where her cancer had spread and found it earlier than they would have if she hadn’t fallen."
29. "I accepted a ride home from a party from a male friend. We were from a small town. Everyone knows everyone, and my boyfriend had left the party early. My friend said he'd be happy to take me home and I thought nothing of it. Hours later and I am very drunk. He started driving me home. I was playing with the radio and chatting a mile a minute. Some time went by on that 35-minute drive home and it occurred to me he had stopped talking. Something came over me and my senses were on high alert. I was suddenly clearheaded. I noticed we were on a rural road. We lived in the country with all rural roads but this was certainly not our direct route home. And then I looked at his face. He was not there. He was up in his headspace...and I just felt terror."
What's a scary moment in your own life when you could just sense something wasn't right? Let me know in the comments.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.