18 People Describe The Creepiest Non-Paranormal Thing That’s Happened To Them

List Rules
Vote up the tales that disturb you despite the lack of supernatural shenanigans.

Not everything that's unexplained can be chalked up to the paranormal. Some things do have answers, even if they come years later. Still, it's a strange world. There are moments in life that defy logic, and these moments can influence the rest of our days. At their worst, they can be the cause of irrational, deep-seated fears. But at their best, they make for really great scary stories.

We've compiled a few stories from Redditors of those unexplainable moments. Here, people describe places, other people, and events that, at the time, sincerely creeped them out. If you can relate to waking up in the middle of the night to strange noises or meeting a stranger that says things that makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, then this is the list for you. Which of these do you find creepiest?


  • 1
    549 VOTES

    An Arsonist In The Darkness

    From Redditor /u/BridgetteBane

    When I was a kid, we'd go to these beach cabins in Maryland, right by the Chesapeake. They were small and rustic with basic comforts - nothing fancy like TVs or air conditioning. Two bedrooms and a cot in the kitchen. My siblings and I rotated on the cot so that no one got too sore from it.

    A small tradition was that my mom and I would have a hot cup of tea before bed in our summer jammies. This was just our way of relaxing while everyone else went off to read or listen to music. Well, one night, I was settling onto the cot when she picked up the tea kettle to fill it. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her flinch, then say in a steady voice, "What are you doing there?" My head whipped over to the kitchenette to see her looking out the window. Then she jumped back and started screaming for my father.

    Somehow he knew sh*t was getting real. He ran from the back bedroom and barely paused to see my mom point towards the left side of the house. He burst out the door and towards the left of the cabin. I'll be the first to admit I ran like a motherf*cker and baseball-slid under my parent's bed... I was 10, and that's what kids do when they're terrified. I still remember the smell of the old wood and the feel of my teddy bear shielding me from whatever the hell was happening. I remember seeing my 14-year-old brother, then a medium-ranking karate student, following my dad out of the cabin at full speed. The rest of the story is an amalgamation of what I heard and what my family filled in for me.

    My father, a former Army Sergeant and MP with a Bronze Star, managed to tackle the guy that had been peeping into our kitchen window. He put him in an elbow lock facedown on the ground. My brother stood sentinel over both of them while my mom ran to get the cell phone we'd bought just two weeks earlier (this was in '95 when those suckers had cords and everything).

    While my mom called 911, I remember hearing the guy talking. He was saying things like, "The Ouija board f*cking told me," "I want the devil to suck my f*cking brains out," "Satan is in cabin 10, I have to get to cabin 10," "The devil wants me to [end] myself," and so on. We were in cabin three, over half a mile from where he apparently intended to meet the devil.

    My dad kept a grip on him for probably a good 15 minutes until the cops showed up. The first thing out of the one cop's mouth was, "Jamie, when'd they let you out?"

    He'd been released from jail just two weeks earlier for arson. You know where he was standing when my mom was at the sink in the kitchen? Right beside the propane tank.

  • 2
    569 VOTES

    The Man In The Woods

    From Redditor /u/jake0818

    I was out hunting in Northern Ontario. There were no roads (except for a logging roads) within 130 kilometers - it was late on the bear season, so no one was out hunting in my quadrant. I found a nice campsite alongside a river and hunted from there. On the second day of my hunt, I came across the bear tracks. I tracked them for about two hours, then turned around.

    This is when sh*t got very f*cking weird. I always track on one side of the tracks and return on the other. About 200 meters down the east side of the tracks, I ran into another human footprint which disappeared across the trail and into the woods on the west. My dog (Czechoslovakian Wolfdog) didn't seem to smell anything, so I returned to camp with minimal concern.

    I got back to camp at around 7:30 at night. I made a quick dinner and had a cigar by the camp. At around 12:00, I heard a snap of a branch.  After hunting for 20 years, I know only two things snap branches - bears and humans. I grabbed my firearm and a flashlight and went out after the noise. Every 100 yards, I would scan with the flashlight. My dog freaked and started growling and advancing into the woods slowly. I pulled back on his leash to slow his advance and switched on my flashlight. I saw a pair of eyes looking right back at me - they stared for about five seconds and disappeared into the woods. On the walk back, I felt anxious, scared, and uncomfortable, and I could feel someone watching me.

    The next night, the same thing happened. My dog went wild like I have never seen... He was whimpering, growling, and clearly very anxious. At this point, I was terrified. I didn't go hunting that day and didn't close my eyes once. That night, I sat up with my flashlight constantly scanning the tree line. I guess I dozed of at around one and woke again at three. I was sweating, confused, and very scared. I scanned the forest and just barely visible, about 25 yards away, there was a man and his dog. He was looking right back at me. I stared to approach him and shouted to him. I got within 10 feet. He looked awfully disheveled and stunk. The worst part was that he just stared and smiled. His eyes showed zero emotion as he whispered, "Good night."

    I ran back to my tent, packed it into my pack, loaded it onto the trailer of the ATV, and drove out of there.

  • 3
    465 VOTES

    The Subway Stranger With Murder On His Mind

    From Redditor /u/[deleted]:

    A few years ago, I was visiting my girlfriend who had newly moved to New York.

    We had a long wonderful weekend but we really didn't want it to end. The whole subway ride back to her place, on the last day, we were making out and generally canoodling.

    Anyway, we finally get to her stop (I'm staying on to head to the bus station); as she gets up so does a large male passenger. She gets up to the door and he stands right behind her. I wave goodbye as she steps off the train. Then he (the large, male passenger) looks at me with a demonic smile, points at my girlfriend's back, and mouths the words "I'm going to kill her."

    I jump up and try to get to the door but it's closed by the time I get there. I try desperately to call the police but I can't get a signal. At the next stop, I bound through the station to the surface where I call my girlfriend. She was fine, but freaked out. I ran the 14 blocks to her place and stayed with her all night rather than going home.

  • 4
    341 VOTES

    The Bag By The Side Of The Road

    From Redditor /u/psychohistoric

    The summer after I graduated from high school, I worked as a highway litter crew supervisor (I drove two younger teens around and had them pick up litter on the side of the road). One day, one of the kids flagged me over to him and showed me a weird bag he'd found. The bag was a very thick, semi-translucent plastic, double-bagged, and tied off at the top with black electrical tape. It was down in a ditch covered with brush, so the kid and I dragged it to the side of the road for closer inspection. It was really heavy, and it took two of us to get it out of the ditch. Once we got it to the road side, it became apparent that the bag was filled with a reddish-brown slush and a bunch of hard pieces... bones. It was then that I realized that this was a sack filled with a rotting corpse of some kind.

    I called my boss, and he told me to call the police. The police showed up pretty nonchalantly, but became visibly upset once he'd inspected the bag himself. He took down my statement and contact information then shooed us along as he called into the station for assistance. We never heard anything back from the police, and I never did find out what, or who, exactly was in the bag.