There will come a time where each of us will find ourselves face to face with someone or something so traumatizing, so upsetting that we'll never forget it... no matter how hard we try. There's just something about those creepy experiences that still with us over the years.
The people in the following stories know that feeling all too well as they recently shared with Reddit. Each of the following stories include some of the most frightening experiences these people have the misfortune of remembering. All posts have been edited for clarity.
"I was sleeping at my cousin’s house on New Year’s eve 2014. My three cousins, brother and I all decided to sleep in the same bedroom as our parents were staying out all night (we were old enough to stay at home on our own). Point is, we were the only people in the house that night and all slept in the same place.
We woke up the next day and was getting in the car to leave when I had a look at my camera roll from the previous night. To my absolute horror, there were five photos of us all sleeping. Every single person was in the photos fast asleep, so there was no way any of us took them.
My aunt showed the photos to the landlord and he had no explanation. To this day, nobody knows who took them."
"I was 8 years old, playing in the drive of our home. One of our neighbors about four houses down on the opposite side, came stumbling out of his house, waving something around. It was an upbeat neighborhood, but not without quirks, so naively, I thought I would wave back. Just then, his wife came scrambling out after him, absolutely wigging out. Pleading.
Then, all of a sudden, an incredibly loud, sharp, piercing bang rang out. It lasted only a fraction of a second, but I swear that echo went on forever. It cut through the calm, warm, easy-goes-it summer air. Really sliced the day, the noise was so out of place. I saw his face contort and then deform, and he hit the ground. His wife started screaming bloody murder, and I didn’t really know what to do. I was 8, and can’t stress how loud and unusual the noise was.
I turned on my heel and walked into the TV room from our garage, told my dad I think we needed to call the police, but he blew me off. I insisted, but again, he blew me off. I was 8, and though I was aware of suicide and death, I didn’t want to be wrong about such a serious thing. It was a hard topic to comprehend, and I was afraid of being wrong. Did I see what I saw? Didn’t really know, that maybe minute was enough for me to doubt my own eyes. Went back outside and sat on the driveway for what felt like forever, before either someone heard the wife’s hysterics or she called herself.
Emergency responders showed up. That tormented man had committed suicide, and it was, frankly, my first true exposure to death itself, coupled with the concepts of adulthood and mortality. I just sat there, watching as the police came, tailed by the ambulance, the coroner’s truck, the gurney, the scene photographer, and eventually, them loading the body, spraying off the driveway, and leaving. It was eye-opening for me, watching it from start to finish, and I still feel eery thinking about how calm and quiet everything reverted to after they took his body away. It was like the most horrible thing hadn’t just happened. That single moment was spliced out from a picture-perfect day.
To this day, my dad thinks I imagined it. But I remember. I couldn’t ever forget so many aspects of that entire splice of time."
"Until the age of 4, I lived in an old, lower income neighborhood that was in slow decline. The small house we lived in sat on a corner and had a rear detached garage. The side street was more of an alley and was mainly used for kids going back and forth between two streets. My bedroom window faced the side street and there were vines that covered more than half my window, but I could see through to the side yard and street.
One night my mom must have forgotten to pull my shade and I laid in my bed across the room looking out the window. It bothered me that the shade was up and throughout the night I would wake up and look. Each time it was the same: vines, branches, and faint light from the corner streetlight illuminating the neighbor’s fence across the street.
At one point I woke and stared at the window for a long time. My brain finally sensed something wrong and my vision clicked into focus at one part of the vine-covered portion of the window. There were eyes staring at me through a gap in the vines! My four-year old self suffered a silent heart-attack as I clenched my eyes shut and moved under the blankets.
I don’t know how long I stayed like that but sometime later that night (or early morning, actually) our doorbell rang. I heard it and jumped from bed and moved down the hall. I have an image of my dad standing by the door, weapon in hand, saying 'Who is it?' My dad never answered the door and at that point I told my mom about the face in the window. The police investigated and they discovered that somebody had also attempted to light our garage on fire. As far as I know, they never caught the person and my parents had no known enemies. So apparently some random, creepy stranger decided to peep in my window before ringing our doorbell at 4 a.m. and attempting to light our garage on fire."
"A few years back, I was walking my sister's dog, an elderly cocker spaniel, since my sister was busy with schoolwork. I usually only walk at night because other people tend to just slow me down and annoy me, and the city I live in is small and usually safe.
As it was around midnight in early autumn, it was quite dark outside. We were passing this stretch of the road that has only an old, large (at that point abandoned) lock factory on the right, and a lake on the left across the road. This specific road is kind of at the side so at night it's usually always desolate. Suddenly I notice a black car with tinted windows slowly creeping past us, and I mean very slowly, like snail pace, to the point I did not even hear it coming over the music from my headphones. However, I wasn't that weirded out since my town is usually very safe, so I didn't really care at that point.
Now while I am a guy, I'm rather short and pretty feminine, which causes a lot of people to confuse me for a girl. I don't mind this at all most of the time, partly because most of it is my fault anyway for the way I dress. But people always realize I'm a guy because of my voice and the way I talk and that is enough for me.
The black car drives past us for 10 meters or so, and then just randomly pulls up right on the sidewalk in front of us, effectively making it impossible to pass. Ok, so at this point I think these people are either creepy or just very inconsiderate. One of the doors facing me opens, but just a tiny little bit - no one exits the car at all.
At this point, I was a bit creeped out, but also annoyed because someone was disturbing my walk. So, I turn around to avoid having to make my way around the car via the road or God forbid socialize with people. Turning around I see a dark van that had, as if out of nowhere, appeared behind me also driving very slowly close to the sidewalk, before stopping as well right next to me, on the road I might add. Which means I'm pretty much trapped in between these cars and the chainlink fence of the factory lot.
I make a mental note and loudly urge the dog to pick up her speed, making sure I don't sound creeped out when I do. Right after I say this, both cars just randomly take off and speed away, as if as a result to hearing my voice and realizing I'm a guy?
To this day, I still wonder what those people were doing on that road in the middle of the night, and why they had to stop literally where I was, when there was plenty of room to park elsewhere. Surely was very darn suspicious, and absolutely creepy."
"I gave a wanted fugitive a ride without knowing who he was until he was caught. I don't watch the news. I don't read the paper. I only have Facebook because people don't answer their phones when you call them, so messenger is unfortunately a must have.
The dude seemed super normal. I just thought he was an addict that needed to get himself clean. He looked super rough, but he was friendly and nice. He chatted with me about a lot of different things and I got him a sandwich and some water. Then he said that he's been clean for a week and was thinking about killing himself or turning himself in. I thought he was talking about getting wasted the whole time. Then he went on a rant about politics and how everyone is so crooked these days. I tuned him out after a bit because he went on and on.
A few weeks later, I was out to eat with my friends when one of them brought this article up about the guy being caught. I knew it was the same guy because of how close he got to me when he was going on his rant. They wouldn't believe me when I told them."
"My father is schizophrenic. One night he was reading to me in bed, but then, out of the blue, he picked me up and threw me across my bedroom. I ran into my parents' bedroom where my mother tried to comfort me. After however long, she walked with me back to my room, where my father was still just lying in my bed. She gently asked him to get up and leave, which he did, but not before making a threatening gesture as he walked past me.
A few years later, after my parents divorced, my father was visiting. We were alone in the apartment and he started stabbing at me with a screwdriver, chasing me down the hall with a big smile on his face like he thought he was playing a game.
He did eventually get proper medication and got his life back in order and our relationship improved, although to this day it's still, shall we say, complicated. Still, those two instances are seared into my memory."
"I grew up in Florida and my family would always be on the lakes any weekend that my parents weren’t working. We had this older houseboat that we could pull right up on the shore on the lake and cook and play in the water until it got too dark and the mosquitoes would come out in force.
One weekend when my sister and I were probably around 5-7 years old, it was around dusk and we were sitting in the water/mud playing and making mud castles. The water was probably about a foot deep and my dad was cooking burgers on the grill. He came over to us and told us it was time to eat dinner so we were getting into the boat when I looked up in my dad's face and saw his facial expression go from a mild smile/neutral to complete shock and terror.
I turned around and still remember a perfect picture of an alligator that must have been 10 feet long literally exactly where we had just been playing and his head was barely out of the water. He didn’t charge us or anything but my dad talks about having nightmares about that for years because if we hadn’t gotten in the boat literally that second, that gator could’ve gotten us and there’s nothing you couldn’t done about it.
Just a little bit of extra story...they call these particular lakes 'black water' lakes because the water is so filled with so much dirt and algae that you couldn’t see your hand if it was a foot under the surface. So being that it was getting dark and the mud is black, we never even saw the gator."
"I didn't see it but it scared the living daylights out of me. I was home alone for one of the first times at night, I was around 10 or 11. I was heating up some chicken strips in the microwave since my parents had gone on a date night and my older sister was at a sleepover. It was only for an hour or two, I was going to be fine!
Well, I was listening to some CD and pulling my chicken strips out of the microwave when I hear three bangs. I froze and swallowed thickly, what was that? BANG BANG BANG. I pause the CD and look around, shaking, my dog starts barking and going ballistic. I was scared out of my wits now.
Then I heard BANG BANG BANG followed by someone yelling, 'Open Up!'
There was an older sounding man at our front door, banging on it and pulling. I start crying and my mind didn't want me to call my mom and dad since I didn't wanna be a bother, I call my grandma who lived 10 minutes away. She tells me to hang on and she will call the police on her way over. I am waiting, curled up in a ball in the corner, squeezing my dog. The guy pounds one more time, 'OPEN UP NOW (insert neighbor here).' He thought we were our neighbors from across the way.
The police show up, yeah, the guy was a buddy of our neighbor who had gotten wasted and wandered over from his garage (which was a man cave), how he got that turned around to think our house was his... Who knows. They just walked him back across the street with a verbal warning since no harm was done and told me it would be okay. My grandma took me back to her place until my parents could finish dinner and come and get me."
"When I was 5 years old, I have this really strong memory of being asked by a older teenager (or who knows) if I wanted to go slide down this giant indoor slide in the municipal building. There was a bunch of other kids that were with this guy.
My mom left it up to me to decide. I didn’t want to leave her and the flowers around me, so I declined.
I brought this memory up a decade later with my mother and she told me that there never has been a slide in that building or any surrounding buildings. She’s lives around it for twenty six years.
I wonder if I almost got kidnapped that day. Probably not, but my town does have a notorious messed up case involving the assault and murder of a little girl, and the guy that did that was never caught. I have no explanation. It's scary though. Maybe to just me."
"When I was 12, we used to live in an apartment. It was my turn to take the trash to the garbage chute out in the hallway. This was around 11:55 pm on a Saturday night. Everybody started going to bed already and I was still up playing video games. When I went out with the trash bags, as I approached the trash chute room, another man popped out from his room on the other end of the hallway with his trash. I remember he was unusually tall.
The shy, socially anxious kid that I was, I slowed down to give him time to dump his trash and leave before me. The guy went in (had to duck because he was so tall), but he was taking forever, so at one point I slowed to a stop and just waited for him. He never came back out, and I never heard any sound of the trash chute opening, closing or even trash falling down the chute. So I approached carefully, to take a peek. The guy was gone. Nobody there. Mind you, this is a closet sized room, no space to the left or right, and no roof hatch at all.
I quickly opened the chute to throw out the trash but the bag was too big to fit. Didn't care. I left it stuck there and high-tailed it back to my apartment. When I told my mom, she said, 'I bet he didn't have a face, did he?' At first I was like what do you mean? Of course he had a face.
Nope. I realized I could not remember or even describe a single thing about him other than his abnormal height. I could not even recall his clothes, and this literally just happened mere minutes ago. It was like a fading dream, you remember the feeling, but none of the details."
"A number of years ago while I was in university, I was living in an apartment complex just off of campus. Each apartment had its own indoor assigned parking spot, in a private garage for the apartment building only. The garage could only be accessed with a fob that was given to each of the various tenants. My spot was the first parking space next to a tiny set of stairs beside the elevators.
I came downstairs to get my car one day and noticed it wasn't in its spot. I turned and realized that it was parked in the closest spot on the opposite side of the steps. I had never parked in that space before and always parked in the exact same spot: my assigned, numbered space. The car was a manual transmission and I always left it in neutral when I parked it. When I opened the door and sat down, I noticed that my seat settings were slightly off, the radio station was one setting off from where I had left it, and the car was in first gear. The weirdest part? There was an entire spare set of keys -- physical key and button key fob -- sitting in the cupholder. I tried the keys and the fob and sure enough, they fit my car exactly.
It was as if someone had taken my car, then tried to put it back as they found it so I wouldn't notice (but did a very poor job of it.) I had only ever had one set of keys prior to that day -- mine -- and no one else had ever driven my car. I was also the only one with keys to my apartment. The car wasn't stolen (obviously) or damaged in any way. I have never been able to make sense of it and everyone I've told thinks I just got confused and parked in the wrong space."
"Last summer, my family and I went to Canada for a family vacation. We packed up everything, including the family dog, and went on ahead to a super cool cabin up in a remote area. It was very scenic, was in the middle of woods, next to a large lake. Basically a heaven to me and my dog, who love to go hiking and explore nature together.
The first couple of days, I would take my dog out and we would go hiking on our own (I've now learned this is very stupid and know to go with another human) while my family went fishing. It was great and the trails were amazing.
Well, one night I couldn't sleep. Just for some reason I was literally wide awake. So what do I do? I take my dog and go outside for a midnight stroll. For more context, my dog is a 53-pound pitbull. I always feel safe with her and know she'll do her best to protect me in any situation. Because of this, I've put myself into some pretty stupid situations trusting she'll help me out if things turn south. I know, stupid.
We hit the road. I don't put her on a leash because the closest cabin is many miles away and we're basically cut off from other people so she won't bother anyone. After maybe 20 minutes of walking, I swear to god I can hear footsteps. Like hard, crushing leaves, breaking sticks, footsteps. My dog doesn't growl or bark, just looks behinds us, so I trust her and we keep going, walking further and further away from the cabin until it's no longer in sight. The moon is bright, the trees aren't very dense, so we have a lot of moonlight. We finally reach the lake and I sit down on the bank, skipping rocks and just enjoying myself. My dog wanders off down the shore, sniffing things and being a dog. I glance down in the water and there is a silhouette of a man is in the water. He's standing maybe ten feet behind me. I can't breathe. I'm frozen stiff. My heart is pounding. Finally, finally, my dog turns and begins to growl.
To this day I know I wasn't making it up because her growl was like nothing I've ever heard before. Full on, back of the throat, snarling. Beast mode. I keep my eyes on the water, still not moving. Finally, he backs up and leaves. As soon as I feel able to move again I book it back to the cabin, dog running behind me.
I told my parents and they never believed me because we were so far away from people they didn't think anyone would be out this far."