People Are Sharing Horror Stories Of Meeting Online Friends For The First Time And It Is Alarming

Voting Rules
Vote up the stories that make you want to quit the internet.

Meeting internet friends for the first time can be a scary experience, no matter how long you have been chatting or gaming with that person. While most people are perfectly nice and lovely folks just looking to make new friends, there are always the occasional bad apples with more insidious intentions. Here are a few horror stories about IRL meet-ups gone wrong. 

  • 1
    215 VOTES

    'He Insisted On Hugging All Of Us'

    Posted by u/drrj:

    This is way back in the mid ‘90s. Bulletin Board Systems were all the rage. I made friends with this guy from NC - he was friends with a bunch of us from my dorm, mostly females, which should probably have been a red flag but I was extremely naive at the time.

    A couple months in, he mentioned he was coming to our state for a wedding and asked if he could come by our college to meet everyone. It was agreed he’d sleep in my dorm room since my roommate was almost never around. Now, there was no discussion or thought of sex, but I was pretty excited to meet this guy and see if he was as funny and charming as he was online.


    Day arrives, dude shows up. I should mention that I and all my college friends were 18 or 19, this guy was 24. Or so he said. Guy looked like, and I’m not exaggerating, a cancer patient. Pale, gaunt features, long greasy pale blond hair except where he was bald on top, and just generally looked like he was about to die or he was dressed as a ghoul for Halloween. He insisted on hugging all of us.

    I was trying to remind myself that looks don’t matter and that he was a cool guy despite his very unsettling appearance. But then, when we all started hanging out, things just got worse. He was asking really invasive questions of all of us, making weird comments to whatever was said, just all around creepy and distressing. I was sitting on the floor with another friend and actively rocking back and forth from discomfort.

    I lied and said I had hurt my back and that sleeping on the floor helped, because that night he kept insisting we could share my tiny twin college bed. Nope nope nope nope nope.

    Last time I ever met anyone from that site.

    215 votes
  • 2
    403 VOTES

    'I Don't Want To Talk About It'

    Posted by u/Glitch_in_the_pink:

    I met a guy online, we really got on and he came over a few times so we could hang out. I did find him attractive and tried to hint that I was into him (I can't flirt to save my life) but nothing ever happened. After a few "dates" he suddenly vanished offline. No social media, he wasn't answering texts or emails, nothing. I thought he'd ghosted me. After 6 months he reappears, I asked him where he'd been and he said "I don't want to talk about it".

    A few weeks after, there was a fad where people were googling their names and posting humorous stories they had found about similar people with their name (mine was about a ship that had my initials) and I started to Google friends names just out of boredom/morbid curiosity, Googled his name and found a local news story from his area, one of those "crime and courts" things that he had been done for statutory [assault] of a minor, online grooming and had his computer and phone seized as evidence.

    403 votes
  • 3
    357 VOTES

    'Figured Out Where You Live...'

    Posted by

    I was talking to a person online I'd known for a few years. We weren't best friends, but we talked daily. Seemed like a nice guy. At some point he asked where I was from, and I mentioned that I lived in Philly and I was going to the Art Institute there, living in the dorms. I didn't give specifics other than that. Most people knew I was an art student at the time (I posted it about regularly on LiveJournal).

    A few days later, I come home from class and see a message on AIM. "Figured out where you live. I'm outside of the dorms at the cafe across the street. Meet me." This guy lived on the West Coast, and after finding out where I lived, he makes an unannounced trip across the country, tracked down the building where I lived in, and was camped out at the cafe across the street... asking him to meet him. All of this without any head's up.

    I immediately felt uncomfortable, and didn't really know what to do. It's one thing to meet up, another thing entirely to make a trip cross country and camp out in front of a person's residence.

    I didn't answer the AIM message right away and needed some time to calm down and think, get more rational. More messages started coming through, each reading slightly more hostile than the last. Okay, this guy traveled all this way... it'd be a [jerk] move to ignore him, but at the same time, I felt like I was seeing red flags everywhere. I was legitimately creeped out.

    More messages came, and each time, they started to get more agitated, more impatient. He started asking for my class schedule so he could meet me outside class, asking where I'd be going, where I usually ate, what time my dinner schedule was. He started getting weirdly specific about wanting to know about every facet of my life.

    I was getting full-on stalker vibes. So I lied, and told him that I was visiting my sister and that I'd be back over the weekend, and I'd just miss him.

    That's when he said "That's fine. I can wait."

    And he did. Three days later, he's still there, still messaging me that he's "Still at the cafe. Waiting."

    What are you waiting for? Why are you here? Why didn't you tell me you were coming? My privacy was having huge issues with all of this, and it got to the point I started feeling legitimately scared.

    I made a decision. Rather than meet him, I'd log out out AIM, create a new handle, pretend I never existed at that point. I completely abandoned my LiveJournal and started posting under a new name, and went so far as to change my entire online persona.

    I never heard from him again.

    357 votes
  • 4
    366 VOTES

    That Kid Is No Kid

    Posted by u/samstar826:

    Said he was 14. Turns out he was 38. My parents gave him a stern “talking-to.”

    366 votes
  • 5
    381 VOTES

    'Those Pictures Are Kind Of Old'

    Posted by u/grenadinegarden:

    Long story short: When I was doing a lot of online dating, I had multiple accounts across multiple platforms. One happened to be FetLife. I used pictures there that I hadn't put online before, with my face cropped out. It didn't pan out however, I didn't really like any of the guys that messaged me, I was polite to them all but ultimately kind of abandoned my profile.

    Cue Tinder, I match with a guy that looks white collar, tailored, professional. Just my type. We match, talk for a week or so until we decide to get drinks. I get to the bar (took an Uber there) and look around... don't see him. Until this scraggly looking guy comes up to me and says, "Oh, hey grenadinegarden! I thought you'd never make it!"

    Now, I'm not unusually one to judge by appearances, we all have rough days, and lord knows I don't wear makeup or do my hair on the busiest of them, but his hair was significantly longer (think short, well manicured hair versus mid-back length uncombed waves), he was covered in a patchy beard, and dressed really badly. I honestly didn't recognize him, and he waved it off with, "Sorry. Those pictures are kind of old".

    Red flag stupidly ignored, we grab a small table with huge chair and start drinking and talking. One drink, just to be polite, but I'm turned off at this point.

    Then, the kicker.

    He leans in toward me, puts his hand on my thigh, and says, "You know, after you didn't message me back on FetLife, I'm surprised we matched on Tinder. You really are quite beautiful."

    At this point I'm like "I'm sorry?"

    He chuckles, literally chuckles like a villain in a movie, pats my thigh, and says "I'm going to the bathroom. You should look at your profile and figure it out. I found you because your body is quite distinct."

    It's worth noting we live in a MAJOR international tourist city. There are thousands upon thousands of new people here every day. Especially on Tinder. This is not a small town. I used to match with people that would swipe between connecting flights! So I'm beyond nervous, watch him get up and go, and I quickly check my FetLife inbox and lo and behold, he had messaged me months ago. His profile picture looked like an absolute serial killer. I remember why I rejected him. Incompatible on all fronts. And I was polite.

    So anyways, I got to use the whole "Angel shot" protocol... in which I basically ran to the bartender, explained the situation, and left through the back door. I was beyond uncomfortable. And deleted all of my social media for a few months. And I consider myself lucky that he only sent a few [nasty] messages for the rest of the evening but gave up after that.

    And I paid for my own drink, too. I'm not a monster.

    381 votes
  • 6
    228 VOTES

    Meeting A 'Friend' At A Convention Goes Awry

    Posted by u/kikistiel:

    I am an artist, and my main job before the one I have now was selling my work at comic, anime, and video game cons across the US and Canada, and sometimes in more countries. It was surprisingly a lucrative job if you did it right and I enjoyed it, and required a lot more work than people realized. But I digress, the point is I was familiar with the convention scene and this leads me to my next point:

    I used to take commissions at conventions but I stopped doing them years ago because I got too busy and my art had improved enough that $100 felt too low for my skill level, and I’m all about artists pricing their work fairly and not working for pennies. A couple of years ago, just as I had started phasing out commission work, a man had approached me at a con. You get a lot of socially awkward people at cons, to be expected, but 99.5% of them are really sweet and just like to talk about stuff the dig. If you have a good amount of patience, it’s enjoyable.

    But this guy... he immediately asked me if I did commissions. I said no, unfortunately not anymore. He asked me how much my prices were, and usually when people ask I just... quote some arbitrary high number just to get them to throw out the idea without outright telling them no. And if they want to pay it, well. Then we can talk. I said $350. He said, cool, done. In cash? I was stammering at him, not expecting him to go for it. Eventually I just asked him what he wanted. To make a long story shorter, he wanted furry art. Soft core, to be exact. I had never in my life done furry art, but I knew how lucrative it seemed to be. I said, "Oh, each character would be extra. NSFW would be extra too. This would be a big commission." He’s like, "Oh, no worries. How much extra?"

    This went back and forth for a while and to save time, he paid me $700, in cash, on the spot.  

    After I did it in one night in my hotel room, I found he had taken my business card and had given my email to his friends who may be interested in commissioning art. The requests for weirder and weirder, but the pay stayed surprisingly good. Eventually, I ended up making a FurAffinity account under a fake name and tweaked my style and techniques enough that no one could ever trace the art back to me. I decided to just fully embrace the furry art bank life. It was open season — I guarantee you I was a no-name in that community and still made good money, so I’m horrified to think what the really popular artists get.  

    Things went downhill when I mistakenly befriended someone in the community. She was another furry artist, and we just sort of hit it off in the online community. She seemed like an edgy self-hating furry so our jabbing humor at the expense of furries made us bond. She was cool, all was well. Eventually I admitted to her that I didn’t actually [care] about furries, and she took it in stride. Said she understood why I used the community to make money because she wished she wasn’t a furry either, but you can’t help what you like.

    She told me that if I really wanted to make bank, I should go to a furry convention. I was immediately like no. Never in my life, but she told me about an anime con that I regularly attended that next year would be sharing the same venue and weekend as a furry convention. Just table hop, she said. She told me to split her table with her, try it out, see how I fared. I already had a table at the anime con, so I was like sure, why the hell not? What could it hurt?

    We decided to even share a hotel room. This isn’t uncommon. In artist alleys many artists room share together since we have similar schedules and don’t tend to party hard because we are working. She seemed like a good person and it’s not uncommon to just meet someone irl when you’re rooming with them.

    I arrived Thursday before the con, but the furry con had already started. I got a text from my friend to come sit at her table in the furry con “dealers den” for a few hours since my con didn’t start until Friday, just to see if it clicked. She had already checked in to the hotel room and had the keys anyways, so I picked up my badge and went. I was... surprised to find her at the table. In full fursuit.

    They was the weird part. She was a self-hating furry, or so she claimed, so to go full commitment and be in a suit was... ok. Hmm. I was already out of my comfort zone in the sea of furries, and my friend was supposed to be like my anchor, my guide through this Other world to protect me from this [stuff]. I was immediately on edge. It got worse when I sat down and introduced myself and she did that... thing. That thing that furries do where they are in fur suits and don’t talk. She nodded when I made sure she was who I thought she was, but she just did the overly exaggerated cute poses and even had a squeaky toy in her fursuit to make noise. But she didn’t say a word. She hugged me, and somehow??? Managed to interact with customers who all knew her and adored her (I guess she was well know in the community) and if she wanted to communicate, would write. Or text in this big a** oaw things. She said she hates wearing suits but because she doesn’t have to talk in them, she doesn’t have to interact much with customers.

    Okay. That I could kind maybe believe. Sort of.

    At around 7 p.m. we packed up to leave to go to the hotel room. She stayed in suit the whole way up. In the room I flopped down on my bed exhausted. I asked her if she was going to come out of that thing, understandably a little freaked out... from this whole thing. Then she did the thing that made me want to run out of the room, which I didn’t against my better judgment. I had flopped on the bed with the upper half of my body, my feet still on the floor, my shirt had ridden up my torso. She stepped in between my legs and TICKLED me on my exposed belly. I flipped out, as one does, when sneak attacked by tickles and wriggled out of her reach.

    She made that “laughing” pose that furries do where they hold their paws to their mouths bashfully but still silent. I was so creeped out. My go-to way of handling stress like that is laughing it off nervously. She got the hint and motioned she was going to get a shower.

    As soon as she was in the shower I decided I didn’t want to be there when she got out, for now. But instead of lugging all my stuff I decided I would come back for it, preferably with friends. But I needed a key, so I went to her wallet she had taken out of one of her suit pockets, and tried to find the keys I had seen her slip in to her wallet. And of course as soon as I opened it I just had to see her ID. I just had to, I was too curious not too. And when I opened it I looked at the ID slot and I flipped. My. S**t.

    Whoever was in that ID was not in any way who I was expecting to see on that picture. I didn’t know the super personal details of my friend besides her name and age and general descriptive factors. Mid 20s, white girl, etc. That was not who was on this ID. It was a man, with long greasy hair, glasses, and stubble, in his mid 40 or early 50s I’d wager. I was so shocked that I literally threw the wallet across the room after grabbing a key and ran out of that hotel room. I took fifteen flights of stairs down to the lobby and called up a friend who was coming to the con freaking out.

    I never saw the real person under the suit. My friend, a tall burly scary looking dude, went up for my stuff later that night with the key I’d grabbed. When he came back with all my things, he said there was no one in the room. I stayed with him in his room that weekend, and kept only to the convention my “friend” didn’t have a badge to get in to unless I was with a group outside of it. The next night I deleted my furaffinity account, blocked my “friend” on my chat app, and deleted every connection I had to the furry world. The money be damned. I would never venture in to that mess again.

    (This post was edited due to length. Please read the full post here.) 

    228 votes