Forget horror movies, real life is way more disturbing. These peoples' lives turned into waking nightmares, whether it was due to an evil predator or unexplainable events. No matter how old each person was in each story, these experiences are vivid enough to have happened yesterday for them. Content has been edited for clarity.
No One’s In Your Closet, Right?
“This happened to me when I was two or three, but it’s been burned into my mind. My mom and I lived in a cheap single wide trailer in a really terrible trailer park. My mom was a single mom working two jobs and putting herself through cosmetology school after my dad left. I stayed with my aunts overnight a lot because my mom would work graveyard shifts. Anyway, she picked me up from my aunt’s house around seven in the morning one day and we went back to our trailer. I remember immediately not wanting to go inside, begging to ride my bike, but my exhausted mother just wanted to go to sleep, so we went inside and she laid in bed. I sat up watching Barney for a while and being the obnoxious toddler that I was. I kept waking my mom up asking to go outside and ride my bike, which we usually kept in my room, because if we left it outside, it would get stolen. I told my mom I didn’t want to go play in my room, so I asked to lay with her. While we were laying there, for some reason I told my mom that there was someone in my closet and he wanted to hurt me. I have no idea how I knew that, I don’t think I even went into my room that day. She got up to show me that no one was there, and when she walked in my room, the folding closet door started to open and got stuck on something.
Turns out, a previously convicted child murderer had skipped bail on a new trial, watched my mom’s comings and goings for a few days, and broke into our trailer while she was at work. He took my bike in the closet with him, hoping I would come looking for it when we got home. The only thing that kept him from jumping out of the closet to attack my mom when she walked in there was the spokes on my bike getting stuck on the metal tabs at the bottom of those folding closet doors. Needless to say, we ran as fast as we could out of the house, got in the car, and drove away. Unfortunately, the guy got out of the house before the cops showed up. Closets still mess me up to this day sometimes, twenty-six years later. No word on what happened to that guy.”
“Ten Seconds Straight Of Screaming For Help”
“I worked at an Animal Hospital in Las Vegas, and I loved it. All until one day, when I hear something off over the radio as I’m doing my walks. We get a lot of feedback, and it was a short transmission, but I was certain that it sounded like someone screaming, with a dog barking in the background. It was very short though. I was unsure of it, but I trusted my gut. I jogged over to the main treatment building and looked in. No screaming, no panic. I thought I was tripping. I decided to check the ‘luxury boarding’ building, where my boss (Gabi) was located. Silence. I decided to trust my gut again, and I walk further into the building, despite no one else seeming alarmed here either. I walked to the end of the hall where my boss would be, and I peered through the small plexiglass window in the door.
The first thing I see is blood, smeared on the walls. I freeze for a second then bust in. There’s blood smeared on the wall, floor, counter tops, and doors. My quite petite boss is between two big dogs, who are ruthlessly fighting to the death. The dogs are locked onto each other, and she’s trying to pull them apart, repeatedly losing her footing from all the blood on the floor.
I grab the attacking dog from behind by his collar, and Gabi grabs the dog being attacked. It doesn’t work. I start radioing for help, and it was maybe ten seconds straight of screaming for help, before I dropped the radio and had to attend to the fight again. The aggressor unclamps and reclamps onto the other dog’s neck. I’m out of ideas and help isn’t coming, so I look around, and see a heavy metal food bowl on the counter. I grab it, pause, look at my boss to see if she’s cool with my plan, and she nods in agreement. So hit this dog seven or eight times until he lets go and walks away. I take the wounded dog to treatment, frightened and covered in blood, while the office continues to play some easy rock music.
A receptionist asks me later that day what all that noise on the radio was about. I asked her what she meant and what she heard. She told me, ‘I heard someone screaming and saying there was an emergency, but I was with a client and it was really loud, so I turned it down.’
What a lovely display of support! Of course, I had to be the one tasked with cleaning up all the blood. I quit after that shift ended, I was so done with that place.”
Only One Chance Of Escape
“I was about six or seven years old. I didn’t have any friends when I was that age, because my family was so messed up. I also had really bad ADHD and messed up teeth, which have since been thankfully corrected. I did meet this older girl next door, Angela, who was fourteen or fifteen. I didn’t know any better, and I happily met with her when she asked to hang out alone with me. One day she invited me in to play or something, and she brought me into her parents’ room. Her dad worked in the special forces or something similar, so there was a disgusting amount of weapons in that room. She picked a weapon up and joked about killing me and some other people. Me being six years old didn’t think anything of it. I just laughed and thought it was cool. So she then loaded this weapon in front of me and showed me how it worked, and then she pointed it at my face. She told me to crawl around her house for literal hours. She would follow me around, occasionally putting the weapon in my mouth. She would spook me with the other weapons and dry fire them at me.
She then told me at one point to get undressed, and I told her I would do it in the bathroom, because I was uncomfortable getting undressed in front of people. So I crawled to the bathroom, slammed the door and locked it, and I jumped out of the window. That window was about a story and a half up. I landed on my face and chipped my tooth. I got away and kept this secret for about two weeks from my mom. I didn’t know any better. When I finally told my mom, she absolutely lost it, called the cops, and they immediately questioned Angela and her parents. Her reasoning was that I shot her with a Nerf weapon one time, so this was payback. I didn’t see her for years later, until I found out she was admitted to a mental hospital by her parents. I don’t know how that day would have ended up had I not made my last-minute escape, but I am so glad I’m still here to wonder about it.”
Bright Smile Of Terror
“A few years ago, I was living in a big city, and I didn’t know anyone. A guy I was seeing came from abroad to visit me. At the end of his trip, I accompanied him to his train home. After that, I went back into the metro to go home. It was about two in the afternoon, very bright and sunny outside. I sat down on a bench near a man. We made eye contact and I said hello, so he said hello back. I felt like something was off, but I tried to ignore it. The metro car came and we both got inside. It was crowded. I took a seat, and he took one of the few available seats, which was right across from me. I started thinking I was overreacting, since he started talking to a man near me, and it seemed like they knew each other. His friend got off after a few stops, but he stayed. Once I saw my own stop approaching to change lines, I got up. He got up too and was right behind me. I could see his reflection in the metro car window, and he was very slowly looking my legs up and down. I started to feel very uneasy. The doors open and we get off. I start walking quickly to the end of the platform, then I realize he might be following me. There were several entrances and exits around, so I suddenly changed direction to go to another exit. He changed course as well. Then I turned around again, and he followed. I did this a few times and he changed his path to match mine each time.
Eventually I knew I had to leave somehow so he wouldn’t catch up, so I went to the exit I needed to take to change lines and go home. Unfortunately, the passageway to the next line was flooded with people, so I was slowed down. He caught up with me and started crowding me in, getting closer and closer to me. I was backed up against a wall at this point, him just smiling brightly at me. ‘Hello, how are you?’ he asked me, still inching towards me. I was terrified at this point. No one stopped to even glance at us, so I knew unless I did something myself, I wouldn’t get away from him. I glanced to the right and saw a staircase downwards.
Without warning, I SPRINTED away to the stairs. He was very caught off guard, and it took him two or three seconds to start following me. I flew down the stairs and straight into a metro car. I turned around to see if he was close behind. He was sprinting down the stairs as well. Thankfully, the doors closed before he could get to the bottom, and we pulled away.
Surprisingly, I had gotten onto the right metro line and direction to go home, not that it mattered much to me at the time. That incident, along with several others of men following me home or in the street, make me paranoid when I walk outside alone.”
The Answer To The Nightmares
“I used to love swimming, I would go snorkeling, scuba diving, and I even jumped off a few cliffs into the water. When I was nineteen, I went to Crete on holiday with my family. I jumped right into the ocean with my dad, and we swam out into the open ocean. Lo and behold, I felt something tickling my legs. It was way too deep for seaweed to reach me, so I dived underwater to see what this was. Maybe I would see a really cool fish? What I saw were tentacles everywhere. I was so shocked that I lost my air and completely panicked. I started breathing in water. It looked like glowing eyes, sharp beaks, and suckered tentacles were right in front of me. Thankfully, my dad noticed me and got me to shore. He didn’t understand what was going on. He hadn’t seen that monstrosity! But he suddenly grew a dark look upon his face.
We went to the doctor’s office. It turned out I had a Schizoaffective disorder, which ran in my family. My dad was horrified, since he didn’t suffer from this like his brother and mother did, so he assumed that I would be safe. The doctors diagnosed me early, but this revelation then lead to numerous aspects about my life being thrown completely up in the air. Entire people in my life became false. Ideas I had actually turned out to be delusional. Outbursts I previously expressed made more sense due to mood swings. Schizoaffective disorder is part of a larger spectrum, and the major symptoms are split into three categories: positive, negative, and disorganized. Positive and negative don’t mean that the symptoms are good or bad. They mean that the symptom adds or removes something from my personality. I personally suffer from various Hallucinations that cover multiple senses. My delusions tend to be those of grandeur, but I do get paranoid every now and then. I also have giggle fits, cry randomly, and feel compelled to hit stuff. I am doing so much better now, but I still won’t go in the water.”
When Dusk Falls, His Face Emerges
“This happened back when I lived at home in Karachi, Pakistan. My family lived pretty close to a CID building, which was the Pakistani FBI. I always thought it was an ordinary government building until one unforgettable day. I had just finished work for the evening and decided to hit the gym. I’m walking over there when I feel the ground shaking. I suddenly hear the loudest band I ever heard, followed by a kick to my chest. Both my ears started to bleed. The next thing I know, I’m on the ground covered in dirt trying to figure out what was happening. I can see all the cars alarms have gone off. Anything made up of glass has been completely shattered. I started smelling something burning. Rock and dust particle started landing on me and the surrounding areas. Then came the human flesh. Pieces of human flesh, about an inch wide, started raining down onto the area.
I see huge cracks between some walls of the building, which has been destroyed by the shock wave of the bang. People are crying, cars are on fire, and dead bodies litter the ground. I figure out that this must have been a bomb blast. That CID building was no longer there. There are hundreds of people lying on the ground crying for help, as some of them don’t even have legs or limbs to stand up on. The sight was beyond horrifying. One thing, which haunted me for sure was a young guy, who couldn’t have been older than twenty. He was dead on the ground, with his neck turned towards me. I can still remember him looking straight into my eyes. His feet were flipped the other way around. After the police and media arrived, I came back home. When it turned to dusk each day afterwards, I would see that young guy standing and staring into my eyes. I would wake up screaming throughout the night. That guy would be standing at the doorway, just staring at me. To this day, even the slightest bang or even a loud music drops will freak me out, reminding me of that shock wave. I’m married, but I haven’t told my wife everything I witnessed on that horrific day.”
“Someone In A Van Is Looking For Me”
“When I was a little girl, nine years old or thereabouts, I was playing at the school down the street from my house. It was the middle of summer, and myself and a girlfriend were hanging around, watching the boys play street hockey. One of the boys called my name and said a man in the parking lot was looking for me. The parking lot was mostly obscured by the building, but I could see an old seventies style van that hadn’t been there earlier. I was walking over to the van when the mother of one of the other kids showed up looking for her son and asked me what I was doing. When I told her someone in the van was looking for me, she took my hand and started to walk with me, and the van pulled out and sped away. My friend’s mom walked me home, and I wasn’t allowed out of my yard without my parents for the rest of the summer. I was so upset and didn’t understand why I was being punished. It was only years later that I understood that I was likely being targeted by some opportunistic scumbag for who knows what. Thanks, Mrs. Gibson, wherever you are.
My parents didn’t say they were punishing me, they just kept me close to the house, so I assumed that I was being punished. I lived in a very small, safe ‘we don’t lock our doors’ sort of town. Kids roamed the streets from sun up until sundown, typically, playing in the old quarries and on railway tracks and on gigantic limestone hills, and all kinds of stuff we would never let our kids do now. A few people were worried about Mrs. Gibson’s son, but he was fine. We all were. She had come in from the other entrance to the schoolyard behind us, whereas the boys were closer to the parking lot. I barely got within shouting distance of the van before it sped off. Most kids are unfortunately abducted by people they know, so I have no way of knowing if it was some creep who knew me from all the activities my parents had us in, or just some opportunist guy who said to the boy, ‘You know that girl over there? Can you call her over for me?’
We were all taught about stranger danger, and because Mrs. Gibson showed up, I’ll never have to know if those lessons sunk in or not. My ‘punishment’ was just a ‘you stay around the house from now on’ type of thing. And I was young enough at the time that I needed permission to leave anyway. My parents were great, my dad took us all over the place every summer hiking and biking and fishing and camping, so it’s not like I was dejectedly locked in at home.”
“When I was about eight years old, our school was doing swimming lessons as part of the curriculum. My mom worked late, so we went to after school care and didn’t get home until after dark. When we got home, mom asked me to take my bathing suit and towel out to the clothesline to dry, so I could use them the next day. I was so confident going outside to do this and had this real feeling of being a big kid. I walked into our backyard, only for a man to come RUNNING at me. I screamed, jumped inside, and I instinctively locked the back door as I did so. As this was happening, my mom told me she heard the guy jump the gate, which was next to her bedroom, just after she heard me scream and came running to find me. I slept with the light on until I was sixteen, and now I get my husband to go outside for me while it’s dark. Yeah, it was pretty terrifying and obviously impacted me for life. The cops believed the guy was trying to break into our shed, and I had startled him when I opened the back door. I don’t think he was expecting a little kid to walk out.”
The Police Did Nothing
“This happened with my sister-in-law, when she was about eleven or twelve. She and her family lived in a trailer park, and just down the street was her bus stop for school. Each morning, she would see a man in his trailer taking pictures of her and her friends, it creeped her out, so she went to tell her mom (my mother-in-law) of what this guy was doing. He would just stand in the window, staring at them and taking pictures. So, her mom calls the police and report him. The police didn’t do anything. This went on for about another two weeks, with no action from the police. At that point, my sister-in-law was terrified to stand and wait for the school bus, and her mom had to call the police again! This time, the police actually arrived at this pervert’s house, and lo-and-behold, the police find a wall covered in pictures of my sister-in-law, some of the other neighborhood little girls, and other illicit substances. She and the other families watched from afar with this guy cuffed up and being taken to the police cruiser.
I’m twenty-eight now, and my sister-in-law is a year younger than I am, so it probably was about fifteen or sixteen years ago, but it still feels like it happened yesterday. It’s a horrible feeling of being watched. I know for sure that the neighborhood was in total shock, and that creepy definitely got arrested. He must have done many years in prison, but I never got confirmation as to how long his sentence was. It goes to show you that if you have kids, you better keep an eye out on them! Also, seriously, be aware of your surroundings!”
“Loud Voices And Bright Lights”
“When I was about five, I woke up to my house being surrounded by loud voices and bright white lights. A group of robbers broke into our house after some kind of heist, and they were using us as hostages. They had fully loaded weapons. The police had our house surrounded. My parents, grandparents, and I didn’t really speak English back then, so my 12-year-old sister had to translate the demands to the police and instructions to us. My grandma told me to go back to sleep, which I somehow easily did. After falling asleep and waking up the next day, everything was miraculously fine. The only thing everyone kept talking about were where the robbers were standing. They decided not to have too many entrances from the house, so they barricaded themselves in our kitchen. Apparently the entire kitchen floor was covered in weapons. I kept asking what happened, but my family was firmly in the mindset of ‘don’t tell the kids anything, ever’. Since little kid me was kind of dumb and nothing really happened to me directly, I forgot about the situation for years. I asked again, but they still don’t want to talk about it. It’s still kind of scary to think that, had the robbers wanted to, I could have died in my sleep that night.”
Terrifying Time Nightmare
“This happened about twelve years ago now. I’m a 39 years old anesthetist from Egypt. Twelve years ago, I was working in a small hospital in the rural city of Rosetta. The hospital consisted of five floors, with the fifth floor acting as dormitories for employees to stay in. On that particularly fateful day, there was nothing in the operative theatre that afternoon, so I was in my room surfing the web. I heard some knocks on the door. It was the janitor, and he mentioned how the new beds and wardrobes for the dormitories had arrived. He asked me to stay out of my room until they finished the replacement. This security guy ran up and told me that there was a big road traffic accident that involved a school bus nearby, and everyone available is needed downstairs. When I entered the ER department, I noticed the new color of the walls. Before it was green, and now it was blue with silver decorations. While I was helping the children, I asked one nurse when they changed the colors of the ER. She looked at me confused and said it was always like that.
There were many injured children, along with tons of pediatricians, nurses and surgeons. A lot of them were new faces to me. I had been working in this place for several years, so I almost knew everyone at that point. I was asking the people I know about the new doctors, and I always got the same answers: you don’t know him?! how?! He was here for several years. We met over lunch! Again I was confused, but I didn’t pay much attention. Thank god nothing was serious. No one was admitted to ICU or went through an emergency surgery. A couple of hours later, everything is fine and things began to settle down. So I went outside the ER to have some fresh air. I won’t forget what I saw. The hospital place is near the Nile, so that’s what I usually see when I leave the hospital. But what I saw was simply the Mediterranean.
Rosetta City is near the Mediterranean, but not that close. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I began to look to the surrounding buildings. Some I knew, and some I didn’t. Now I freaked out. I ran inside to my colleagues and I asked them where I was. My colleagues tried to calm me down and better understand the panic. I tried to call my parents on my cellphone, but they didn’t answer. I wanted to call this older anesthetist, who I considered a mentor figure. I couldn’t find his name in my phone. I asked my colleagues for his phone number, but no one recognized that name. I was sure that I wasn’t dreaming. I had been treating children, so my mind was at least somewhat sharp. I decided I needed to leave the hospital at once, in order to see my family. I ran to the fifth floor to my room, to change my clothes and get my things before I leave the place. Once I opened the room, I noticed the usual furniture, even though the maintenance guy said he would be adding in the new stuff. I stood there for a moment, totally lost. Then I heard someone calling me. It was a security guard, who told me that there is a big accident down that involved a lot of children, and they needed everyone down there.
I kept staring at him without any response. I had a look outside the window, and here it was, the Nile, which I usually saw outside. But I was already lost. I went down to help. There were the same children with the same injuries, but I was completely lost. My hands were shaking and my legs barely carried me. It was easy to manage the children, since I knew them already. I knew what kind of injuries we would find. My colleagues asked if I was alright, and they noted how pale I looked. The next few days were beyond terrifying. I had nightmares. I wasn’t able to think clearly during my day. I took one week off to calm down. I have never experienced anything similar since then. I wasn’t on any medications at that time or under any kind of stress. Everything was clear. It wasn’t a dream at all. As I said, my mind was clear enough to pay attention to the details of prescriptions and injuries. I have only told this story in person to that older anesthetist and my wife. To this day, I still have no idea what happened to me.”