For all the countless discoveries made in the world of science, there are still some things that seemingly no one can explain. Legends of frightening, unexplained creatures permeate practically every continent and culture, and many of those creatures, known as cryptids, are rumored to make appearances every now and then.
The people of Reddit shared their experiences with these mystifying beings, and they range from unnerving to downright terrifying. Take a look at these frightening cryptid encounters, and vote up the tales that will make you think twice about those things you see out of the corner of your eye.
From Redditor /u/-Moksha-:
My entire childhood, my father and I used to take late-night walks due to his insomnia from shift work. Our neighborhood is considered very safe and ultimately was an urban neighborhood, besides one of the roads towards the back, [which was lined] with thick forest for about a mile and about a quarter deep, which [circled] back [on itself]. All of these walks are very dear memories of mine, except one, and it ended [up] being the last one.
Along the road with the tree line, there was a single streetlight to illuminate a small plot of land that someone owned, but [it] was very overgrown and ill-kept. It was very common for us to walk this road to enjoy the sounds of the forest, the lack of illumination, and the ease of circling back. One ordinary night as were walking and making conversation, my father abruptly stops, pulls me close, puts a hand over my mouth, crouches with me, and points towards the single illuminated plot roughly 100 yards away.
At first, I didn’t see anything and thought he was pulling my leg, but just as I began to protest his grasp, I see a very small, humanoid figure, roughly three feet in height, scrawny [and] with long limbs materialize out of the plot’s brush line and cautiously take in its surroundings before signaling towards the brush. After a few seconds, two other small, humanoid figures materialize, as well. After a brief moment of what looked to be a discussion, all three make a dash for the forest tree line. Once this happened, my father picked me up, threw me over his shoulder, and made a break for our home, which was roughly a half mile back.
Mind you, my father is 6'5" [and] 220 lbs, and I was roughly 120 lbs at this time, and he never showed signs of slowing due to his fear and adrenaline. After this night, we never took late-night walks, he installed four bright, motion-detection lights around our acre plot, and [he] brought home a dog. The few times I’ve tried bringing it up, he doesn’t want to discuss [it] and made it clear he never wanted to. Those figures still give me chills, and the image of the three huddled together is very vivid 15 years later.
From Redditor /u/AcidxChristxMessiah:
I was operating a raid camera in Afghanistan at about 0200, doing routine sweeps of a local COP [combat outpost]. I noticed something on IR [Incident Response] that looked like a bear, but skinnier and smaller, that was pacing the wall. I had the [radiotelephone operator] call over to alert them of the possible wild animal.
When the quick reaction force went outside to confront the animal, they gave word of "no sight or contact." In the camera, they were directly on top of whatever it was that was out there. It moved with them until they went back inside, and we watched it pace for another two hours before it left the AO [area of operations]. Still freaks me out - they were standing in the same place and there were lights all around, yet only the IR could see it.
From a former Redditor:
Awhile back, I lived way out in the middle of nowhere in Oklahoma. Due to coyotes and other animals, I'd always go outside with a knife or machete. Well, one night [when I was 11 or 12], I was taking out the trash... [and] the trashcan was a good 50 feet from the house, surrounded by bushes and shrubs. Well, I put the trash in the can and went to head back, when something reached from the shrubs and latched onto my ankle.
I figured I was caught on a branch or something, so I pulled my [foot] harder, [but] that's when I realized that those were fingers wrapped around my ankle, and that they were far too long to be human. I swung the machete at whatever was grabbing me, and I heard the most blood-curdling screech I've ever heard.
I ran to the house, [which] was one of those shipping container-shaped trailers, [but] the thing about those trailers is you get a hole in the side panel, and animals can get trapped under it. I heard it under the house that night. [It] sounded like a big dog or something. Never found out what it was, luckily.
From Redditor /u/LaVieLaMort:
I live near the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains. I hike up there pretty much from May [to] October. A few years ago, I decided to hike this pretty strenuous trail that leads to a huge rock slide. I park and notice I’m the only person there. I have two dogs. Get them out and start up the trail. About a mile in, I come to this clearing that has a huge teepee-like structure in it. The trees are all woven together. I put down my walking stick and stop to take pictures. Seemed weird but cool. Here [are] some pics.
I moved up the trail after the pictures, and as soon as I walked past the tree structure, I immediately felt like I was being watched and the woods went silent. It was so f*cking weird. No bugs, no birds, no small animal noises. [Completely]. F*cking. Silent. I hike by myself ALL THE TIME. I don’t get creeped out or really too scared. I’ve seen bears, and I’m sure there are cougars out there. I keep going up, and the feeling is getting way more intense. And my dogs are starting to act weird. These are experienced trail dogs. They don’t really get weird like that - staying super close to me, not making a lot of noise.
I realize that I left my walking stick down by the tree structure. F*ck. Oh well, I don’t want to go back down to get it and then back up. I got a 1/4 [mile] or so past the tree thing, and the feeling of being watched was unbearable. I’m thinking, [okay] rationally, it’s probably a big cat. So I head back down. The rational part of my brain told me to slow down. My flight response? Nope! Full speed down a 30- [or] 40-degree slope. I get down to the tree structure and meadow, and I look down, and my walking stick is gone. Like, it’s nowhere to be seen. It was pretty distinct because it was made of Aspen, and I’d picked it up somewhere else. There are no aspen in this part of the forest.
I’m f*cking terrified. I kept running. I felt like I was being chased, but I never saw anything. Never heard anything, either. Yes, it could have been a big cat, but why did it only start after I passed the tree structure AND how did my stick go missing? I was nearly to the parking lot before the feeling of being watched/chased left me. I will never ever go back there. Still, thinking about it gives me the creeps.