The safety and comfort-zone hierarchy while traveling starts with a staycation, then progressively moves up to in-country, and then overseas. The farther away from home, the fewer words you can speak or read; the more foreign the customs, government, and people; and the greater chance you have of encountering something weird, creepy, unsettling, unfamiliar, or downright unsafe.
People who shared their creepy travel experiences via Reddit - whether they ventured to the most beautiful cities abroad or ones that might be considered a little less desirable as safe travel destinations - have strange stories to tell. Blockades, shaky transportation options, curious critters, foul weather, natural disasters, and more led to their harrowing tales.
Perhaps their stories should serve as a warning about overseas travel, but most vacations abroad offer fun and recreation rather than fear. You could worry about parasites and pickpockets, or be extra careful while still enjoying the adventure.
From Redditor /u/cancercuressmoking:
I went to visit Ukraine with my parents because they wanted to see the small villages where their parents were born. We have no family in the area so we hired a guide to take us around since the country can be a bit corrupt.
As we were driving around on a highway we suddenly were stopped in traffic (literally [in the] middle of nowhere). The guide gets out of the car and takes a look, then quickly jumps back into the car, does a U-turn and drives off telling my mom we can't go to her mom's village.
We ask why and he says that was some kind of Russian militant roadblock. This was during the whole Crimea thing.
From Redditor /u/BarryAllen85:
Met a guy in Munich on the street who had lived in the same house as I did... in Cincinnati... 40 years ago.
From Redditor /u/Sir_Francis_Burton:
I was walking around in a town in Algeria. I wandered in to a neighborhood and noticed there were hardly any people out. A little farther, and there were literally no people out. I started to feel a little uneasy.
And then I see an extremely tall man walking... straight towards me, obviously with intent. He gets closer, and I see an older gentleman with a long gray beard and wearing a gray tunic. I stop.
He comes right up to me and says, in pretty good English, “You’re not safe here; we need to get you off the street.” I say “OK,” and he says, “Follow me.”
We walk a few blocks and come to a door. He says, “Wait here a minute,” and goes inside. He opens the door again and invites me in. When I get inside, there are maybe a dozen men. They are all dressed in black, and they are staring absolute daggers at me.
Gray-beard lays in to them - starts shaking his fists at them, gets really worked up. Then one of the younger guys goes in to the kitchen and brings out some tea and cookies, and offers them to me.
So I’m drinking tea, and trying to smile, and one of the young guys asks where I’m from and I say, “the States,” and he starts talking about the CIA and stuff...
And then I say, “You think the CIA is bad here? Let me tell you about Central America.” And then pretty soon everybody is warming up to me and we’re laughing and talking...
After a bit of that the older man invites me back to his apartment. He has a huge library. I [give] him a book that I had finished. And then he tells me what just happened.
His little brother, one of the younger men, was the leader of a radical group - all the other men I had met. He had overheard them getting ready to [take off with] me. But he had shamed them for not being good hosts, and for disrespecting him because it was his house. He said I would be safe from then on.
TLDR: Gandalf saves my life and got a copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance for his trouble.
From Redditor /u/ThoriumJeep:
[I] fell asleep on a train from Croatia to Italy. I woke up to find myself locked in the train car, which had been detached from the engine and parked in a yard.
I had missed my connection and no one must have checked the train before parking it. [I] found out I was in Slovenia after finding a way out of the train.