No spookiness here, just the strangest drivers on the planet. Seriously, what is wrong with people that they would do everything featured in these stories?! Whoever works at truck stops nowadays definitely deserves a raise for the bizarre nightmares they've had to endure. Content has been edited for clarity.
Great, Another Kidnapping!
“I have tons of these stories. I worked management for truck stop restaurants for over a decade. One time while working overnight, a whole swat team goes flying through the parking lot. Apparently, a woman had run with nothing on across the parking lot into the shop area, where the mechanics hid her and called the police. She had been kidnapped in Oklahoma and chained inside this guys truck for over a month. That same week, another woman was waiting for the bus at a nearby greyhound stop, when someone kidnapped her and took her down to the river and attacked her.
One Christmas Eve, my cook was out front having a smoke, or so I thought, when his ex-wife pulled up and they had an argument. She drove her car into the building with their 12-year-old inside the car. The cook comes back in and asked me to call the police, because his 12-year-old was in the car, but I notice that he was limping. She had hit him, and he was trying to play it off so she wouldn’t get in trouble. If it wasn’t for the concrete pillar she hit, she would have probably killed the son. My other manager chased the wife down and held her down in the parking lot until police arrived.
This little girl, around seven years old, was eating at the bar area of the restaurant with her grandparents. The grandparents get up and leave, leaving her there. After about ten minutes or so when I see they aren’t just in the bathroom or something, I asked her if she’s okay. She says the people she was with are not her grandparents. Great, it was a kidnapping. I called the police. Another woman showed up, claiming to be the little girl’s sister. The little girl says she doesn’t have a sister. This ‘sister’ doesn’t have any ID, and she tries to take off when the cops arrive. I don’t know what happened afterwards, that but I know the little girl left with the police. It was a possible trafficking or kidnapping scenario.
Someone left a very nice, expensive sports car in the parking lot of another store I worked at. It was not a nice place to leave a nice car, and it was also tarped over with a car cover. It was there for over a week, so another manager and I went to investigate. This putrid smell was coming from inside the trunk area. The wind had blown the tarp, so we could see inside It was super clean, and the only thing inside the car was a bible in the back seat. We called the police, who picked up the car. Judging from the horrible smell and the cops questioning, I think there was a body in the trunk.
Finally, one day my manager was asking me why sales were down, and why we weren’t able to project a more family-friendly image. During our discussion, a man runs out of the showers in our building, with absolutely nothing on. He ran past every window in our adjacent restaurant before hiding behind some dumpsters and was overtaken by security. That spoke volumes, I didn’t have to say a thing.”
Small Town Shoot-Out
“This happened to my grandpa, and it’s a story that’s been passed down to literally everyone in my family. My grandpa knew these two local antique dealers, a husband and wife team. They would often stop at this truck stop that my grandpa worked at, while en route to bring back things from nearby cities to stock their antique store. My grandpa was serving this couple lunch one day, when another truck driver approached them. He told everyone, ‘Hey, my truck broke down and I’ve been stuck out here for hours. I could really use your help. I need to replace this part, and if you take me to a repair shop to get it, then I can take a taxi back to my truck!’
That didn’t seem to be a problem, so my grandpa and the couple drove this man over to a nearby auto shop in town. When they pull out of the rest stop, the man in the back pulls a weapon on the husband and demands all of their money. The couple kept all of their money in the glove box. They also kept a hidden weapon in there! The wife reached in, money in one hand, weapon in another. She handed the truck driver the wads of cash, while she covertly slid the weapon into her husband’s lap. The husband turned around and shot the truck driver several times, but not before the truck driver shot the husband. The truck driver died, but the husband lived through it. So now the husband has been shot, there is a dead man in the back seat, and the wife is racing to the nearest hospital. An hour or so later, the wife pulled into an emergency room and told the staff, ‘My husband has been shot. Please call the police, because the man who shot him is dead in the back of my van.’
The staff took care of the husband, the police show up to take the body, and the wife confirmed everything once again. The police drive back to that truck stop and find the truck driver’s truck. Turns out that the truck driver was a thief, and he had killed the real truck driver and hidden the body in the back. They suspected that the thief didn’t know how to drive the truck, so he hid in the rest stop, hoping someone would pull up in something he was familiar with. Now this story has been repeated by my elderly grandpa, so I don’t know how much of this story has been exaggerated over the years. Whatever the case may be, it makes for some very wild family dinners.”
Why Would He Do That?!
“I pulled into the parking lot to go to work. I was an overnight cashier, usually the only one at the store, my shift started at eleven at night. The first thing I notice is the large group of people all huddled in the corner of the parking lot, closest to the interstate. Next thing I notice is that an ambulance and cop cars are everywhere. There were no lights or sirens, which is why I hadn’t noticed them first. I pull into my usual parking spot, keeping my eye on the group of people. There was at least twenty people, and my manager is one of them. As I open the door to get out, I hear, ‘DROP THE WEAPON, GET ON THE GROUND!’ Here’s where I should let you know that I am not a smart person, apparently. I also apparently have severe tunnel vision. My first thought is not, ‘Oh no, who has a weapon, I should stay here and wait.’
No. My first and only thought is, ‘Haha, I don’t have a weapon.’
And I KEEP WALKING. Where do I walk? Good question.
I walk in between the person holding the weapon, and the two cops situated about ten feet away, with their weapons drawn. Now, the guy was running away, but it all happened so fast that I didn’t realize they were that close until after it has already happened. The cops don’t say anything to me, because the dude has decided at that moment to surrender. The weapon is on the ground, cops are on his back, and I’m walking over to the group of people.
There’s a man laying on the ground, screaming in agony, with a hole through his ankle. He was taking his friend to rehab, and they decided to get high one last time. That’s when the friend decided he didn’t really want to go to rehab, and shot his friend in the leg. Three hours after everything is over, I realize I could have been shot and have a severe panic attack beside the coffee machines.”
Robbed By Bigfoot
“I worked at a gas station that was straight out of the X-Files. I worked right by a long, empty highway curving through the woods of the Pacific Northwest. It was a single, lonely gas station that you would rive past while thinking, ‘Yeesh, who would stop at that creepy dump?’ There would be fifty more miles of road until you would hit an even creepier small town. Redneck lumberjacks would have wandering eyes literally pointing in two directions. My theory was that they were always trying to keep an eye out for Bigfoot. I think that most of our customers were people who drove past the shady-looking station and then realized that was their only option for quite a while, so they would turn around and reluctantly come back to fill their tanks. They go inside. The only other customer is a trucker whose pants are so low that you can see that he’s wearing an adult diaper. The weird gas station attendant looks like he could feasibly be an alien wearing human skin. That guy was me.
Kevin, the owner of this creepy gas station, believed in Bigfoot down to his very soul. He sold all sorts of Bigfoot garbage and really pushed for people to buy those old disposable cameras, just in case they see the creature. My boss saw Bigfoot several times, or so he claimed. I sometimes wonder if he hired me only because, from a certain angle, I could be mistaken for Bigfoot, or at least Bigfoot wearing human skin. In the corner of the gas station, Kevin set up a tiny Bigfoot ‘museum’, where hair that was obviously from Kevin’s own dog was being presented as real, verified Bigfoot hair. This was technically true, because his dog’s name was Bigfoot, among many other names.
One time, I came out of the bathroom to what I thought was an empty two in the morning store, and I stood by the register sleepily. Then I just let go of the biggest post-urination fart of my life. And suddenly, there was a nice woman who looked up from the chips section. Apparently, I didn’t hear the doorbell, which played not a doorbell sound, but a cow’s moo whenever someone walked in during the morning. I wasn’t even embarrassed about the fart. That lady just bought her chips and then left. Naturally, I got robbed next.
The robber left with what was in the register, and I called 911. My Uncle Bob, the demented sheriff, showed up. We reviewed the security footage, and my uncle swore that I was robbed by Bigfoot. The guy who robbed the store was not Bigfoot. He was like medium-footed at best. But there, on camera, it looked kinda like I was being robbed by Bigfoot. At a gas station themed after Bigfoot. Kevin is going to be all over this stupid footage as proof of Bigfoot’s existence. He would tell me that I saw Bigfoot and that I can’t deny it now. He’d probably have a photo taken and blown up and put in the Bigfoot Museum, and then point at the photo and then point at me behind the register, and even though I wouldn’t be able to hear what nonsense he was telling customers, I could tell it was about me seeing Bigfoot.
Uncle Bob went out and actually found and arrested the robber. That’s right, the guy who looked kinda like Bigfoot on VHS was caught, and he didn’t look like Bigfoot at all, as I suspected. This was argued by his lawyer in court. They won. I laughed so hard I think I pooped my pants, right there on the wooden religious pews of the county courthouse. Unfortunately, a lot of these townie stories about Bigfoot boil down to, ‘I saw a shirtless guy in the woods.’ There’s a very good chance that someone out there believes they saw Bigfoot, but they just saw me, on a trail, hiking shirtless so I could feel the cool breeze washing through my back hair. Why do I hike like that? It just feels right. Walking through the woods is about having feelings and exploring yourself. You should all go have a walk through the forest.”
Just The Night Man Licking The Window
“I worked at a weigh station for big rigs. There were two of us at the station working nights, waiting for trucks to pull onto the scale. If anything weighing more than a pound got on the scale it would send an audible beep into the booth and light up the computers. If it wasn’t a truck, then most of the time it would be the wild life wandering out onto the scale. Our only response was to simply ignore it then quickly go back to watching Netflix or whatever. One night though, we got an alert about something weighing 132 lbs. We couldn’t see it from the windows, but checking the cameras we noticed it was a hunched over man, wearing no clothing, shaking like a pooping dog, and scratching the side of his face. While my co-worker radioed for the State Troopers, I used the intercom to tell him to get off of the scale. Instead of listening to us, he lurched on over and began licking the window. He did this until he was checked out by EMS and taken away by Law Enforcement for public intoxication. It was later discovered he was using some really hardcore substances, which unfortunately made too much sense.”
Mystery Of The Mysterious Mop
“I worked at a highway fast food place for about eight years on and off. One story has always been my favorite. This was the night that the mop was stolen by the stoned guy. The store was just outside a small town that day beside the highway. It was eleven at night, and it had been quiet for ages. We had started to shut down and clean out the dining room. There was only me and one other person working. We had done about half of our duties and were taking a break, having a chat behind the counter. We were killing time until we could officially shut down and do the other half of the dining room. The front doors open and our immediate reaction is, ‘Ugh, customers.’ These customers stopped just inside the door and just stared. We realized they were locals, and they were high as kites. One of them just stands in the doorway, looking around in stoned wonder. The other sees the mop bucket we had left out there, in preparation for doing the other half of the dining room. He proceeds to pick up the mop, walk a lap around the restaurant and dragging it behind him on the floor, leaving a huge wet dirty trail. Then he and his mate turn and walk out the front door with the mop.
It was one of those moments where you honestly don’t know how to react. We just looked at each other and peed ourselves laughing. We then discovered it was a huge problem. Turns out that was our only mop. We had to leave the floor dirty. The worst part was the restaurant manager would be coming in to open the place the very next morning. We left notes everywhere explaining what happened, but I still got a call at five in the morning chewing me out for leaving the store in such a state. This manager was also the reason we didn’t have a second mop, because that was apparently too expensive?! No one believed us, and we didn’t have security cameras to back us up.
Fast-forward about six weeks. One of the locals comes to work, thankfully when my manager and me were both working, and he walks in carrying a mop. It was the very mop that had been stolen. He found it in the bushes on the back path from the nearby rest stop. Even now, almost twenty years later, I’m friends with the guy I was working with back then, and we often reminisce about the night the stoned guys stole our mop. So random. It was up there with the night the cat got stuck in my engine.”
Sucked Into The Whirlpool
“I worked overnights at a truck stop for about ten years. When your stint was as long as that, bizarre encounters are so ordinary that they lose all meaning. I’ve been propositioned by lot lizards, propositioned by truckers), lost count of the urine jugs I’ve had to throw out, seen the boss getting busy with the help, seen illicit deals go down, petty thefts, and a truck crash into a diesel pump. That one left me smelling like fuel for a week. I also gained a short-lived stalker who ‘settled’ for a guy with the same name, similar dress style, identical hair and beard style, with near identical interests as me, because, ‘If she couldn’t have me, she’d settle for the next best thing.’ But what sticks out most are the following two instances:
The first was when my town got from 7 to 11 inches of rainfall in a day. Our shop sat on the corner of an intersection, and myself and the technicians watched as idiot after idiot tried to get across the clearly flooded street, even with other cars flooded out and serving as warning signs. Also, outside our shop were massive drainage ditches, and the flooding got so bad that the ditches were full. The water started pulling cars into the ditches. An older woman got sucked into one of the ditches, and one brave mechanic raced out to save her. He dove into the churning water, pulled her out of her car, and got her to safety. When he came back, he had an utterly defeated look on his face. We asked him what happened, and he said, ‘She yelled at me for not saving her groceries.’
The other instance happened when a friend and I were smoking outside and chatting with an unusual trucker. We’d been shooting the breeze for ten minutes or so when he asked, ‘Y’all got any gentlemen’s clubs around these parts?’ I told him yes, but he interrupted me and said, ‘I’m not looking for any good-looking women. I want some that are ugly. I want them missing teeth or a limb or something!’ My buddy and I laughed, clearly thinking this was a joke, but it was not. The driver walked away, cussing us all the way to his truck. It was so strange!
The store got robbed while I worked overnights, but on one of my two days a week off. We had a guy spread his fecal matter over every surface of the men’s restroom on my day off. I never saw anything that I would have thought was human trafficking. Most of the lot lizards were locals looking for illegal substances. The only encounter that was ever strange in that regard was when a trucker and his wife offered to sleep with me if I paid them. They were young adults, but still older than I was at that time. You don’t typically see truckers riding around with their significant other, and it’s even rarer to see them tricked out, but that girl seemed very into the idea. That oddity aside, no, nothing even resembling trafficking.
Another of my favorite stories is the time there was some crime being committed on the lot. I think maybe it was a theft in progress, a burglary of some sort of vehicle. The lines blur because people can live in their trucks, and I am certainly not a lawyer. Either way, after it was reported to me, I walked over to the diner down the hall and told a group of about five police-folk who were eating there what was going on. They looked at me with the most disinterested look I may have ever seen, and told me to call it in. I said something to the effect of, ‘But you’re right here. If I call it in, aren’t you the ones going to get the call and have to go anyway?’ Their leader shrugged and repeated to call it in. So I did. They got the call. They were not pleased. I was actually on pretty good terms with most of the police that came in. The diner offered a 50% discount for on-duty police to eat there, and working overnights at the time left me free to do my own thing more often than not, so I spent countless hours talking with many of them and listening to their stories. These particular police-folk were not ones I knew well, nor they me. They were also relatively young, so I’m not sure if it was that potential inexperience, their lack of knowing me, them being on break, or if it was some mandatory procedure that needed to be followed for them to respond. I just know they seemed completely uninterested in the issue, and they were unusually angry when they had to take care of it anyway.”
Putrid, Unforgettable Night
“I used to work at a video poker room in a truck stop. A guy comes in, already so completely wasted that he can barely walk. He thrusts a large foam cup in my face and tells me to fill it with more Jim Beam. I tell him how expensive that would be, how I shouldn’t be serving that to someone already so wasted, and how I cannot use an outside cup. This man stops and stares at me for a moment, and then he thrusts the foam cup in my face again and repeats himself. I tell him this is not happening, for many legal and business-related policy reasons. This man tries to get aggressive with me, but he simply stumbles and falls over against the counter. I tell the (quite useless) security guard on staff to call the police for me. This moron was watching this entire encounter unfold and couldn’t be bothered to get off of his stool to do anything! But that’s when everything goes south.
The wasted guy pukes all over himself and the floor. When the police arrive, we are all standing over this guy, who is trying to get out of this puddle of vomit and failing miserably. He keeps slipping in it. It’s disgusting, and he is only spreading this vile substance. The police call an ambulance, because this man is so far gone that he could have poisoning. I tell the security guard to get some cat litter out of the storage, which we usually used to help clean up the fuel spills. Once he returns, a police officer suggests that we should take this wasted guy out back to hose him off. We all put on rubber gloves and carefully drag/carry this man outside, remove everything from his stained pockets, and use a hose to spray him off. Not only is this guy near death from drinking so much, but spraying him only made the smell worse. Spraying him did wake this guy up though. He tried to get up, but he was still so wasted that he couldn’t even stand up. He wasn’t anywhere close to coherent. The ambulance arrives, they strap him to a gurney, and they drive off. The wasted guy never returned to the poker room, so I have no idea whatsoever is he survived. What I do know is that the cops were obviously disgusted by the whole thing. I would see them constantly gagging as I worked with them during this putrid evening.”
“The strangest experience I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life happened at the height of the mayfly hatch. There were millions of bugs swarming the area. I was cleaning up a guy’s windshield and working on repairs, when I happened to look over across the way. I saw some dude driving a huge box truck around the diesel fueling area. He then got out of his car to scrape all of these mayfly bugs off of the front of it. He then ATE THE BUGS BY THE HANDFUL. This took place well before cell phones were a thing, but I wish I could have gotten a photo of this bizarre sight. I just stood there, my mouth wide iopen, fully not beleiving what I was looking at. And every time I think back on it, I desperately wish I had a cellphone to record this milestone. It was that crazy. Now I’m sure that mayflies can be nutritious, and I’m not knocking any sort of cultures that do in fact eat bugs. But mayflies smell like fish feces to me, and eating them directly off of the hood of your car is beyond bizarre!”
“I worked in a sandwich restaurant in a truck stop. One day several years ago, on one of my days off, one of our maintenance workers (we’ll call him Michael) was doing his rounds changing trash cans in the truck parking lot. Michael supposedly happened across this two or three foot length of PVC piping with caps on either end. For most people, alarm bells should be going off. Not for Michael! He started lightly beating things with it and tossing it on the ground, like one would with a small branch or something. This guy takes it INTO THE TRUCK STOP and throws it away in the garbage can under the cash register and forgets about it. Several hours later at shift change, he’s giving an informal report to the incoming shift manager and casually mentions that he found, ‘Something like a pipe bomb or something in the lot’ and that he threw it away under the register. The shift manager goes white as a ghost and says, ‘There’s… a pipe bomb… under the register?!’
Michael simply says, ‘Yeah.’
The shift manager immediately vacates the premises, herds all the employees and customers out, and phones the authorities. The volunteer fire department, which I happen to be a member of, was able to block all traffic into the parking lot and keep people at a distance. The sheriff’s department shows up, realizes this is above their pay grade, and calls the state police. They quickly realize the same and call in the bomb squad from the nearest major city and the ATF. All these important people are slowly gathering in the parking lot a healthy distance away from the building. My duty was to run across the parking lot (in the unbearable heat in full turnout gear) to explain to angry truck rivers why they can’t go to the truck stop. They aren’t allowed to visit the truck stop while there’s a bomb in it, and no, I didn’t make that rule. The news ended up visiting. The ATF showed up too. They suit up in bomb suits, walk in, carry the pipe bomb out, set it on the ground at the corner of two concrete walls of the building, run some detonation cord back to their truck, and set it off. The explosion was the size of a somewhat large fire cracker. Michael got fired. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any security cameras in the lot, as we were a very rural truck stop. I can’t speak for the FBI, but I never did hear whether or not they did any further investigations and found anything.”