The world is a big place. We may think we all have it figured out, but sometimes something happens that makes you think twice. From time loops in the middle of the desert to towns that don’t exist on any map, sometimes things just can’t be explained.
I do want to warn you on this one, these stories are legitimately spooky, so try not to scare yourself.
25. I’m sure There’s A Perfectly Non-Scary Reason This Place Exists
20 some odd years ago, I took my kids and parents on a driving trip through the Eastern Coast of Canada.
My dad (who was currently driving) decided to take this ‘short cut’ off the main highway down a dirt road.
About 5 minutes down this road, things got eerily quiet. We should be able to hear birds, the trees rustling, cicadas, yet nothing. It was too quiet. Dad starts slowing down.
I am busy looking at the map. I know where we turned off and there was no designated road on our map. I’m worried that I can’t find it.
I look up from the map as I have realized, nobody is talking. Everyone is looking out their windows. There are little stick people and stick designs hanging from the trees. Some are just shapes and others are more intricately made. Dangling, swaying slowly.
Between this and the fact that it was dead quiet, I made an instant decision and told dad to turn around and leave as quickly as possible.
I felt a huge pressure in my ears like they needed to be popped. Mom had goosebumps and my dad said we were just being silly. He obliged and got us out of there.
24. Spooky Ghost Store Is The Name Of My New Band
A music store seemed to just show up in my town. I’d lived here for three years and never saw it. I went in, and the guy had one bass guitar in the store. Me, being a bassist, played it and fell in love. Bought it, and then the next week when I was in town, the store was totally empty and looked like it hasn’t been open in a long time.
Got a new bass out of it though, so I’m cool with it being a spooky ghost store.
23. The Spooky Cave!
Near my hometown, there was a hiking trail that people went to very infrequently. It was along the side of the Niagara Escarpment so it had some climbable cliffs and some very shallow caves that you could crawl around on.
I went with some friends when I was 19/20 and we were crawling around and found a cave that went pretty deep. We had never been in there or seen it before. So we pushed forward and decided to check it out even though we had no flashlights and this was when cell phones didn’t really have a flashlight function.
We stepped into the cave and it was easily 20-30 degrees cooler than outside. Upon looking around with which light we had we noticed it was really clean inside the cave, as in it didn’t have cans littered everywhere as all the other small caves did. While in there we got a really eerie feeling after being in there shortly… hearing weird and strange things. Feeling like we were being touched, poked and pulled and not having any way to figure out who was doing it because it was too dark. We were just using lighters to see what was around us.
We were convinced one of us was messing with the others. Although anytime we sparked up a lighter, we were all decently far apart.
We decided to high-tail it out of there after only a few minutes, convinced to come back with flashlights. We came out to see that it was now dusk outside when we entered it was mid-day. Somehow we had lost roughly 3 hours inside of this cave.
We went back with flashlights the next week. But have never been able to find this cave again
22. Turns Out Even Extraterrestrials Like Tacos
I was driving through Illinois to get to Chicago about a decade ago with a group of friends and we stopped at a taco place. The first thing we noticed was that the workers were acting very oddly. Everything they said was monotone and rehearsed.
After sitting in this fairly busy restaurant for a bit, we kind of all just looked at each other at the same time as we realized that none of the conversations happening around us made any sense. The people were speaking, and it was English, but the sentences weren’t logical. They were just saying words at each other.
We didn’t say much about it until we got outside, at which point we all freaked out and confirmed each others’ experiences at once, and got out of there. We jokingly refer to that place as the “NPC Training Center” since the people didn’t seem to be real, or they were learning how to be human or something. Still freaks me out.
21. Know Your Horror Movie Tropes, It Could Save Your Life!
Driving in rural areas in New England, near the borders of Vermont and Mass, so I am not sure which one I was in. It was late… Well OK, so late it was actually early. And there was fog, dense fog. Like Silent Hill levels of fog. And like the guy who loses his life in the opening scene of a horror movie, I am driving on back roads. First my headlight just up and goes out, cannot use high beams because of fog. I am in the middle of nowhere, I haven’t seen a house or town in a long time. The car starts making noise, check engine light comes on. So I pull over nothing much around field and fog and dark. I gamely look at the engine, I can fix electronics, not engines. I tighten all the things I know.
The car now won’t start. So I am in the dark, in the middle of nowhere, on the side of the road. Because of the natural rules of how things work, my cell phone has no service as well. It is like one big cliche. But I am not dumb enough to go wandering the roads right now. So I recline my seat and decide to take a nap for a couple of hours until the sun comes up.
I wake up, the sun is coming up, the fog is going away… and I am on the main street of a tiny town, parked in front of what looks like the Bates Motel house. Houses everywhere. It was the creepiest feeling. I was sure I was off in the woods. There was not a light on in any house all night? There was a service station 50 yards up the road, I walked up to it, talked to the guy (who looked perfectly normal), he walked over to look at the car, asked me to try to start it…. and it did. Turned over right away. And… BOTH headlights were working.
I drove on, never got the name of the little village, and I couldn’t find it on a map. I always felt like I was in this big set up for a horror movie that just didn’t pan out.
20. Maybe He Did Get Raptured
My good friend and I decided to take a trip up to the North Shore of Mass one spring and arrived at our motel late, around 11 pm. We were both all keyed up from driving for 8 hours and too much caffeine, so as soon as we checked in, we left the motel to find the closest beach.
We found a little town beach a few towns over and put our bare feet in the ocean, took a walk on the shoreline, took a bunch of pics, and just goofed around. The streets surrounding the shoreline were residential and all oddly still and quiet. As we were hanging at the beach for about an hour, we noticed this really thick fog rolling in. The beach had those older streetlights with yellowish/orangish bulbs and it created this eerie effect – everything had a kind of otherworldly golden glow. At that point, we started noticing what a weird visual effect the fog was having and started taking pics to capture it. The fog was so thick that with the camera flash we could see these seemingly-huge drops of mist/water vapor hanging in the air. The fog was insulating and our voices seemed to carry only a foot or two before being absorbed by the mist.
Suddenly we see blue and red flashing lights, which were startlingly close before we noticed them. We got freaked out and started running back to our car and just took off. Although the beach was closed after dark, we probably wouldn’t have gotten in any trouble, but our adrenaline was already kinda pumping because of the surroundings.
So then we are on the road, of course, no cops are following us or anything, but we just want to get back to the motel at this point. It was supposed to be like a 10-12 minute drive away. We are joking around about how weird the night has been and following the GPS when all of a sudden we realized that we were driving on an interchange we had just driven. I remember that the GPS said we were supposed to follow signs for 1N.
So we take the exit and stop talking and pay more attention to our surroundings. The fog is so thick that we can barely see 30ft in front of us. We take the exit for 1N, take a few turns as directed by the GPS, and suddenly we are back on a highway or highway exchange again – the same exact one we had just been on 4-5 mins earlier. The same sign pointing out the exit for 1N sat in front of us. We flip on our flashers and slow down to about 15mph and take the same exit once again.
A minute or two later, we both realize that the route we are driving is the same one we just drove a few minutes ago. At this point, we are both having major creepy deja vu. There doesn’t seem to be any other cars on the roads at all. All the businesses we pass are closed. Houses are mostly dark with no signs of life inside. The whole world is cast in this weird thick orange air. We are completely freaked out… I didn’t mention that this was the night when the rapture was predicted to occur on May 21st, 2011.
So we drove around a bunch more, trying to find an alternate route back to the hotel. I swear we went through the same onramp/offramp we had earlier 2 or 3 more times. Somehow we made it back to the motel – approaching from the opposite direction we should have – at 3:30 am. We had gotten lost for 3 hours in this string of identical, small, sleepy towns on the coastline north of Boston. Either that, or we crossed into a parallel universe for a few hours and eventually seamlessly resurfaced in our usual reality – that’s pretty much what it felt like. It’s one of those memories I’ll never forget. I still look at the pictures we took that night every once in a while and reminisce.
19. This Guy Drove Through A David Lynch Film
I was relocating across Texas and, as I normally do, was driving through the night to skip traffic and because it’s more serene that way. I was driving straight through central Texas going northwest, so seeing the hill country change to desert in the full moon was super cool. Anyways, I was driving with my (now ex) wife and we were running low on gas. Luckily, we were pulling into a tiny no-name town and we could see an old gas station come around the bend. This encounter happened at about 2am.
Now, this town only has one road, and this station was right at the edge of town at the end of it. When I say old, I mean very old; the type that you have no option of prepaying, you simply flip up the handle on the machine and you hear the pump inside start struggling to get the gas from the reservoir. It had the old style tick readers too, not a thing electrical on it.
I, being the young man I was, had never seen one before, so I walked into the store to buy the gas before I pumped. The store only had one light in the far back on, and I almost thought it was closed since it was barely brighter inside than it was out in the moonlight. Upon entering, I saw the place was deserted; no customers, no workers, nothing. However, there was an odd tune playing on someone’s radio that I couldn’t place. An old sounding, upbeat piano piece was playing somewhere around the corner inside, and I heard shuffling once I walked closer to the source.
This place made me feel scared. Not the “Woah this is creepy” scared, but the “All hairs are on end, something is seriously wrong here but I can’t figure it out” scared. As I turned the corner, I saw a young man standing next to a large radio and… dancing. His dancing, though, was extremely off-putting and seriously didn’t match the tune at all.
Though the radio was cranking out what sounding like ragtime, this guy was running his hands up and down his body with his eyes closed in what looked like bliss. He was going far slower than the music and definitely wasn’t on tempo. For some reason, I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even move. I was in a trance as every part of me screamed to turn and leave.
Finally, I said, “Excuse me, I just need some gas.”
The guy kept dancing.
I said it a little louder, and he finally slowed down a bit and opened his eyes, and focused on me. But it was like he was looking at a finely cooked steak. He was looking almost through me and silently walked to the register, not saying anything. I said, “Uh, just $20 please.” He, again, didn’t say anything and just stood behind the ancient register, so I just figured maybe he didn’t speak the language or was embarrassed I caught him dancing, so I laid the money on the counter and went outside hoping he’d turn on the pump.
I filled up, told my wife about the weird scene in there, and turned off the pump to kill the horrible grinding noise from the interior pump fighting against gravity to get the gas up.
Weird thing is, when we were leaving, I looked back in the window and the guy was still standing there behind the counter. This may sound fine, but my money was still on the counter in front of him. It was like he was a robot who just turned off once I left.
This is where it gets super weird. A couple of months later, I was driving back to San Antonio to visit family, and we figured we’d stop at that old gas station to see it in the daytime since it had become somewhat of a running joke between us. We pulled into this tiny town, and… the thing was gone. The lot it sat on at the end of the road wasn’t even there. It was just grass. No rubble, no old pump, no lighting, nothing. It was like somebody picked it up and moved it. It looked like nothing had been there for years.
Still get freaked out thinking about it.
18. Just… So Much Milk
When I was about 12, my mom and I were traveling cross-country to move. We were staying the night in Missouri, at a typical roadside hotel next to a chain diner, so we went in for dinner. It was packed, despite us being one of only a couple guests at the hotel, so we sat up at the bar. We noticed something weird after a few seconds – every single person had a glass of milk in front of them. Even the dudes around the bar. Nothing else, just a tall glass of milk. Someone opened the fridge under the center bar and we saw just gallons of milk. The bartender took our dinner orders and bought each of us a glass of milk without us asking for anything to drink. It was so weird. My mom told me not to drink it.
On our way back to our room my mom stopped at the front desk and asked the woman working there, half-jokingly and half-concerned, why everyone drinks so much milk in this town. The woman said she had no idea what she was talking about and we just moved on. When we were putting our leftovers in the mini-fridge up in our room, there were like ten mini-cartons of milk. No brand, just the word MILK in black lettering.
It was a weird place and I’ve never been able to figure it out.
17. Nothing To See Here, Move Along
Many years ago me and two of my best friends decided to go for a day of mountain biking at Snowshoe in southern West Virginia. Now, this was way before the days of GPS, so we were kinda doing this by some half-remembered directions and an old map. The point is we got very lost. Sometime along the way, we ended up in this very tiny little town and we figured we would ask for directions. It appeared to be absolutely deserted. I’m talking not a single person to be seen anywhere.
We parked the truck and split up looking for anyone we could find. This was at around 9-10 a.m. so not exactly early mind you. We went into the post office, nobody, we went into the only bar in town which was unlocked, unattended with music playing, but not a single person present.
We went business to business to business and walked the streets and after about 25 min finally found one old guy who just seemed to appear out of nowhere in the middle of town walking alone. The first question we asked him wasn’t even for directions. It was “Where is everyone” to which he replied: “Well I guess folks around here don’t get up much till around noon”. We asked him for directions to Snowshoe and he pointed to the road we came in on and said to go that way about 10 miles and make a right and you will find the interstate. We left quickly. We were all very uneasy about the whole thing.
As we left we were about 5 miles down the road and saw a lady dressed up in a state road uniform standing in the middle of a very long straightaway holding a stop sign. When we approached her she turned the sign from “slow” to “stop”. We asked what was going on. She stated that there was road construction ahead. We told her what just happened and she just kinda laughed and said those people in that town are kinda strange, but let it slide.
So we started talking to her waiting for a line of traffic to come by from the opposite direction. We actually ended up talking to her for about 45 min to an hour. Kinda got lost in the convo. Not one single vehicle EVER approached from the other direction or behind us. Eventually, she said: “Well I guess it’s clear now and y’all can go ahead” and slowly turned the sign from stop to slow and motioned for us to go ahead.
We went straight ahead; the only direction you could possibly go for the next 30 some odd miles and didn’t see any signs of construction, state road workers, or maintenance going on at all. She had no vehicle we figured she was a flag woman dropped off by some crew up ahead. After the encounter with the town and this woman we had enough and called it quits. We turned on the interstate as soon as we found it and headed north and home.
Every single one of us still remembers this whole encounter in vivid detail to this day. I asked my friend about it actually about 3 months ago at his wedding and it still freaks him out to no end.
16. Gas Stations Are A Hotbed For Paranormal Activity
A few years ago, I was driving home from Florida to Pennsylvania with three of my friends. It was late, probably sometime between 1-3 am, and we were somewhere in North Carolina. We needed gas soon, so we agreed to take the next exit off the highway that had a gas station.
The second I took the exit, it was pitch black. There were no streetlights along the exit ramp or on the roads up ahead, the only lights in the area came from my headlights and the lights from 95 behind us. The sheer darkness was enough to creep me out (especially because my vision isn’t the best to begin with but really sucks when it’s dark) but we really needed gas so we pressed on.
While driving to the gas station, the only building we saw was a massive, old looking church. we drove by a sign informing us that we were in a town, but there were no businesses or houses other than the church.
When we finally got to the gas station we saw an assortment of giant farm animal statues outside the building, standing tall and barely illuminated. They weren’t fenced off, and there were no signs explaining why they were there, so if it‘s considered an attraction it’s a confusing one at best.
However, the weirdest thing happened inside the gas station. With me on this trip was one other girl and two guys. We had all been friends for years and our dynamic includes making fun of each other a lot, but never deliberately messing with each other’s heads. At this point in our trip, we were all tired and eager to get home.
The gas station itself was huge on the inside, filled to the brim with shelves, all of which were jam-packed with an assortment of junk food and junk items. In hindsight, this seems weird given how empty the town was, but at the time we were all distracted by just how much stuff this gas station held. The other girl and I went to the restroom while the two guys paid for gas. The restroom was hard to get to as there were boxes piled just outside the door, and the sign just had a piece of paper with “women” scrawled across it in green highlighter.
Upon leaving the restroom, we saw one of our friends entering the men’s restroom (also marked by a piece of paper with “men” written in highlighter). He gave us a weird look as he entered, but we shrugged it off and walked towards our other friend who we could see standing at a shelf a bit away. He was facing away from us, and as we approached I started to get a bad feeling in my stomach.
As we got closer, he turned and gave us the most sinister look I’ve ever seen. Alarm bells are going off in my head at this point and my female friend and I proceed to the car, unsure of what to make of the interaction we just had. The second we stepped outside and looked towards the gas pumps, we saw the same two friends we had just seen standing behind us. The one who was entering the bathroom was leaning casually against the car, while the one who gave us a sinister look was finishing up pumping gas.
My female friend and I were dumbfounded and asked them how they were standing in front of us when they were both just behind us a few seconds ago, and they looked at us like we had multiple heads. After paying for gas the two immediately went back out to the car, as the gas station gave off too weird of a vibe to wait in there for us. Sufficiently creeped out, we piled back in the car and noped out of there.
I’m not sure why we saw two of my friends doppelgängers in a gas station, or why the doppelgängers seemed to be in such a bad mood, and I’m really not sure why the gas station had a collection of farm animal statues outside of it. I’m pretty content never going there again though, that place definitely should not exist.
15. Even Africa Knows How To Get Spooky!
Back in the day, my dad had a company that rented out 4×4 vehicles to foreigners who wanted to explore rural Africa. These cars were kitted out for off-roading and rarely broke down. But this time one did. My dad had to retrieve the vehicle as he’s done a few times before, and since we lived in the neighboring country It wasn’t more than a 20-hour drive (we live in Cape Town, South Africa and the vehicle broke down in Namibia).
To my delight, my dad was setting off to retrieve this 4×4 in the upcoming school holiday and asked me to join him. I should add that I was about 16 at the time and ghost stories never really got to me. So we set off on our long journey and the trip goes smoothly as planned. We get to the collection point, hook up the broken down 4×4 to ours and off we go, no problems at all… Until it turned dark. Now I know Namibia quite well, it has some well-known ghost stories, ghost towns and other eerie occurrences have been reported, but in my mind that was just fantasy.
Fast forward to about 2:30 am (remember kids, nothing good ever happens after 2 am) and my dad wakes me up with noticeable uneasiness in his voice. He asked me to look in the rearview mirror and tell me what I see. I looked in the mirror and noticed two dim headlights almost on our rear bumper that appear to be bouncing around a bit. My dad told me he wanted to make sure I see it too and it isn’t just his tired eyes playing tricks on him. I looked around and the area we were in was terrifying, to say the least. We were surrounded by hills, but because of the lack of light, it was just pure blackness against the night sky, covered in leafless trees with pointy sharp branches all over.
I ask my dad where we were and he simply said that he doesn’t know, he’s just been following the GPS and asked me to look if there were any towns near. There wasn’t, not for more than 300 kilometers. He pointed back at the mirror and said “look”. He then proceeded to shift over the center of the road to the other lane and the lights followed suit without hesitation as if they were tied to us. I asked my dad what it was and he said that he thinks its a truck. Now that in itself is not totally uncommon on these long cross country roads but something about this just seemed off.
I mentioned to my dad that the truck may simply want to pass us, we are pulling quite a bit of weight so we are way under the speed limit at this point and he could be impatient. Dad decides to slow down to 60km/h and moves into the yellow line in an attempt to get this truck to pass. Nope, the truck slows down too. Okay, let’s take it down a notch, dad slows down to 40km/h. Nope, same result. We had to drop down to a speed of 20km/h for this truck to start overtaking us. And then it did…
We heard a groan and the grinding of gears and what seemed like an eternity till this truck started pulling up next to us. Now keep in mind these are quite windy roads with hills, so overtaking isn’t recommended, especially not that slow, but this truck took its sweet time until it was right next to us.
It was one of those car hauling trucks that have two levels that it can carry cars on. It had chains all over the sides that were slowly clinging and clanging through the night. The back of the truck where the cars get loaded appeared bent out of shape and the metal was rusted and held together by pieces of wood and loose torn pieces of fabric were blowing in the wind. I was terrified. I shifted my attention to the cabin, black as the sky that night and no driver in sight. I’m not making this up, we saw nobody.
The truck pulled in front of us with a groan and it didn’t seem like it could speed up anymore. Now we were behind this terrifying mess of a vehicle and my dad started getting impatient, we started overtaking the truck and checked again for life inside the cabin as we passed. Nothing. Once we were in front of the truck I noticed the headlights getting ever dimmer and dimmer, and when we picked up speed so did it. The lights kept dimming until there was but a spark left.
This is where I got convinced something supernatural was going on. We were driving on a hillside and a bend was coming up, not a tight one, but if missed one would go straight off the road and down the hill as there were no barriers. We go around the bend slowly, considering our heavy load and the truck just goes straight without hesitation. We both saw it drive straight off the road and down the hill where at the bottom it finally got to a stop and all the lights died.
We stopped at a rest stop for the night and head back there that morning to have a look if anyone was hurt or if the truck was there. It wasn’t and there were no tracks or broken bushes where we saw it go off the road.
14. This Is Why We Need Better Electric Cars
I was driving from Dallas to Tuscaloosa. I left at midnight and drove straight through the night with two friends passed out sleeping. It was probably 4 am and I had a 1/4 tank of gas which translates to about 100 miles. I see that the nearest town is about 90 miles so I’m pretty worried about making it.
Before I hit that town, I ran into a tiny town that wasn’t on the map. A few houses, a gas station, a convenient store, and that was about it.
I walk into the gas station and hand the guy a 50$ so I can fill up. He was a really tall skinny guy. Like skin wrapped around bones level skinny. Probably 6’5 at least. And he just had this eerie look about him.
He looks at me, leans over the counter, scans the outside, and looks back at me. He hands me my 50$ back and a hat and says “Look, you look like a nice young fella. You don’t want to be out here at this time of night looking like that. Put the hat on, get to your car quickly, and get gas at the next town.”
I was super confused and just said “I don’t have enough gas to get there, that’s why I’m here. I didn’t even know this place existed.” He responds “It doesn’t. Here, there’s 2 gallons left in this can. Just drive another 15-20 miles out and use those two gallons. But please, you need to move now.”
At that point, I stopped questioning him and left. On my return trip, it was day time. So I wanted to stop back in and return the can with 2 gallons in it. But wouldn’t you know? Couldn’t find the little town again. It’s like it disappeared over the weekend.
To this day, I refuse to stop in small towns that aren’t on the map. I have no idea what that gas station employee was trying to save me from, but he pushed me out of there with some urgency and even gave me free gas to do so.
13. This Is How Skynet Gets You Before The Robot Uprising
So, my best friend and I are driving from Texas to Kansas City. We wanted to pick up some tacos for a friend in KC on the way back, so we wanted to find the closest taco shop to KC. Google Maps says there is one on the way, just like two hours away from home! Score, right?
When we get close, it is near 2 AM. We have been driving all day. We are tired. Google Maps tells us to get off the highway, so we do. It drives us through a small town, Christmas lights and banners hanging, street lights on and everything holiday levels of cheer. Apparently, the place isn’t in the town, which is unfortunate, but hey, fast food tex-mex. We keep driving, the roads get dodgier and dodgier until google maps has us turn down a literal dirt road. Another mile or so in, and Google Maps calmly says
“You have arrived at the destination.”
We are surrounded by trees on all sides. It is pitch black. It is getting foggier by the second. I turn the car around and get out of there.
We can’t cancel the google navigation, but instead of saying rerouting, that cold robot voice just keeps repeating:
Turn back. Turn back. Turn back.
I have to figure out how to get back on the highway, and it is made all the harder by the sudden shut down of the town. The lights are gone. The buildings are closed down and run down. Everything that had been alive ten minutes ago was rubble and regret. My friend is losing it, thinking we have entered Silent Hill. I am furiously driving, watching blankets of fog roll in behind us at every intersection. At last, I find the on-ramp and get back on the highway.
Sometimes I want to go looking for that town. Most days, though, I am smarter than that.
12. Now I Want T-Rex Pancakes!
My family has a cabin in Cook’s Forest, Clarion, PA. The cabin was built by my great granddad and has expanded a bit over the years. It has a nice little nook at the bottom of a long dirt road off the main path down a nearby hill. There are a few other properties around, but most are up and off on the dirt road, only one is down the hill and only halfway down at that. It’s not modern by any means; no internet, cell service, the TV still has dials you have to twist to get to watch a DVD. It’s very rustic and I love it.
The property halfway down the hill is visible from the front of our cabin, which is where the kitchen window, parking, porch, and fire pit are. For as long as anyone can remember, it’s been this abandoned lot that had what was once a cabin with a concrete basement. The cabin was built on a hill so half the basement stuck out, but the remaining part was crumbling. It also was at the fork where we would ride our ATVs to get to the firebreak, so even though it’s creepy it was a very common and familiar sight.
On Memorial Day, which is when we opened the cabin after the winter, our family went to the cabin for the long weekend to spend time together. Everyone would usually get there in the early evening, and then all come together for my great granddad’s dinosaur pancakes for breakfast.
So I wake up, expecting to smell pancakes and hear chatter from the older members of my family down in the kitchen, but nothing. I assume I’ve gotten up too early, and go downstairs to use the bathroom and then go back to sleep. Looking back, the whole upstairs was just mattresses with an aisle between them, I should have noticed that most beds were empty.
I get downstairs and see all the adults outside, and I go out to say good morning and demand my T-Rex pancakes. I walk out and see all my family adults in a kind of semicircle facing an older man and a woman I didn’t recognize. I assume this is some adult situation so I go back inside to wake up my cousins, but not before looking at the clock on the microwave and seeing that it’s about 3 pm.
Now, I LOVED the cabin. I’d doodle the cabin itself, 4 wheelers, and the area around it for months leading up to Memorial Day weekend. I was usually up at dawn because I was so excited to just be there. Sleeping until 3 pm was not in any way normal.
I wake my cousins up and by the time they all mosey downstairs the adults are all back inside. Everyone is pretty silent but then great-grandpa fires up the stove and gets us kids excited for dino-cakes, so all seems normal.
I was there with one of my aunts and my uncle, no parents, and my aunt is pretty close in age to me and was for sure the “cool aunt”. So when I saw her pale as a sheet I went to ask what’s wrong.
She took me outside and pointed at the aforementioned abandoned and crumbling property. In its place was a sprawling cabin-mansion, parking area full of SUVs and the coolest looking 4 wheelers my 13-year-old self had ever seen. Aunt tells me that the owners had come to say hi (the couple I saw earlier) and invited us over to hang out with their nieces and nephews, as they were having a Memorial Day get together just like us.
Me, having zero thought besides AWESOME 4-WHEELERS, almost ran to the house but my aunt caught me and rather forcefully reminded me of my dino-cakes. I conceded and ran back inside, to an atmosphere so thick with tension that even my undeveloped brain could detect it. The oldest of the adults were acting normal and playing around with us kids, but something was very off. I finally asked what was up, and my aunt bonked me on the head and asked if I had seen that massive cabin-mansion last night, last year, the year before? We’d come to the cabin every few weeks until December, did I see any construction? Well…no..but they invited us over and they have cool 4 wheelers auntie come on!!
A resounding NO from multiple family members made my emotional girl self almost flee and cry until my grampie (a 6’7” hulk of a man) got down to my level and explained that he felt there was something weird going on. He said the couple didn’t act right, I assumed that meant they were rude, and that we should just keep to ourselves this weekend. I agreed and we went about our day, all adults keeping us occupied with activities either inside or behind the cabin.
We get ready for bed when I see my great-granddad (WWII vet) who had the only bedroom on the first floor loading 3 shotguns, handing one off to my grampie and the other to my uncle/cool aunt’s husband. To my shock and awe, my Gramie pulls out a Glock from her purse. I go to bed with images of my little Gramie taking down a bunch of bad guys with her shiny pistol.
I wake up the next day to the smell of pancakes and the sound of adults chatting downstairs. I’m sad because today is when we have to pack and leave, but things seem back to normal so I’m very glad. I run downstairs, note that the clock says 7:30, but ignore the weirdness and sit in front of a plate of dino-cakes that I dig into while asking my aunt what time we have to leave.
“Leave? We don’t leave until tomorrow.” Wait, what day is it? “It’s Saturday, we just got here last night.” I notice just a bit of doubt in my aunt’s eyes that I know something is up, and I run outside. The abandoned lot is back to its decrepit state. I resolve to brush it off and enjoy my ATV riding and forget about everything pretty quickly.
It wasn’t until I got back to school and was called to the main office where the asked why I wasn’t at school on Monday. I told them that today was Monday, what are they talking about. Nope, it’s Tuesday, and my absence was unexplained despite several calls to my parents.
11. The Grove Of Tranquility
I’ve been living out of my car recently. There’s a stretch of road in the southwest that runs along national forests. One night I was looking for a good dark pull off to sleep in. I found a good one, it had trees to pull under so the headlights out on the two-lane wouldn’t be as disturbing, as it has truck traffic.
In the morning I heard a car pull off and watched as it went on past me into the forest on a two-track. I hadn’t seen that lane when it was dark, it looked inviting.
I decided to try driving on it myself, it turned out to be a lovely area, and eventually, I found a really nice spot under some trees out in there where it was very quiet and I could see the Milky Way at night, although it was subzero most nights.
I stayed out there for several days, data service was good so I kept applying, and during that time I got an interview invitation, the first in a long time. They called while I was sitting under those trees, the guy who had called later told me that I had sounded very relaxed.
Heartened by that call, I drove out to the highway to get some groceries and water. When I came back up the highway I could not find the original entry point. I found another two-track and eventually got back to the same spot, but that lane had no place to pull off and park.
Months later I took a temporary house about 40 miles from there and sometimes still use that stretch of highway.
I look carefully every time I pass through, sometimes irritating other drivers; I have not yet found the original entry. None of the pull offs have a lane at the back or even a break in the fence, and none of the lanes have even a slight wide spot, much less a deep place with trees.
I am not that kind of person at all, which is why I re-examine that stretch every time I pass through, but I’m slowly resigning myself to having spent at least one night in a place that doesn’t currently exist.
10. This Seems Like A Deleted Scene From “Big Fish”
10 years ago, my friend and I were bored one night and were driving around. We were on a highway in NJ about 30 minutes from our houses and through the trees in the middle of nowhere we see this beautiful freshly paved cement pathway with lampposts every 100 feet just lighting this pathway up. It was beckoning to us…and so we found the nearest exit.
We drove around for a while through the darkness until the road came to a dead end and the path began. We got out and started walking on this path through the trees and these beautiful wide open fields until eventually, it ends at a little small town after a couple of miles. At this point, it’s like 2 am and a small town like this nothing should be open except for this pizzeria….which is odd…so we go in. It is empty except for the older gentleman behind the counter. We order and start eating…then another older customer walks in.
The gentleman behind the counter and this customer do a double take at each other and then smile. Both of them run around the counter and embrace… “Mario!” “Stefano!” “What has it been 40 years?” “They talk the whole time about their childhood and growing up back in Italy. We think what are the chances we would be here..at this moment, seeing friends reunited after 40 years, just plain, odd.
My friend and I finish up and we head back down the brightly lit path and back to the car and call it a night. Ever since that night my friend and I tried to find that brightly lit path but to no avail. We haven’t seen it since from the highway or driving down that road. In the small town, the pizzeria is there, but it closes at 10pm, so no explanation of why it would be open at 2 am. Just plain odd and something we never could explain, experiencing an unlikely moment to watch friends be reunited after 40 years.
9. Got Some Real “Jonestown” Vibes
Near where I live there is a little town called Ridgeview Park.
My friend was talking to a new girl, and we were scoping out where she lived so he wouldn’t get lost on his upcoming date when we took a wrong turn.
After a slight decline, the road sharply rose until we crossed some train tracks and were met with a fence about 20 feet tall made from wood pillars about the size around of telephone poles. There was a gate that was open, so we drove in.
Once inside, there is a single loop that winds through the whole complex. Only wide enough for one car. One way in, one way out. In the middle sits a large dome/church. The houses that surround it are all square two-story homes painted brightly in strange colors. There is a drained community pool off to one side with grass growing in the basin. Lined up along the very back of the loop are 50-70 single car garage doors, all right next to each other. No house appears to have their own.
It was strangely quiet and as we drove passed the homes, residents would step outside and watch us. The loop isn’t too large, and we eventually made our way around and exited through the gate and some people walked closer watching us leave.
I haven’t seen anything else like it. Their website is password protected, and their Facebook page is private. The part you can see says it is a “summer community” that started out as a Methodist camp and still has religious services, and that they only sell homes to members of the family.
Such a creepy vibe to the whole place, and we try to drive through at least once a year (when the gate is open).
8. Nope. I’m Done. This Is Too Creepy
A friend had a recording studio in his parents’ house in Colrain, Ma. We were up late, having fun and recording, and for whatever reason, we took his 4 track to the barn to record ourselves singing. On the tape, there’s a take of the two of us singing, and then there’s a pop, we stop and start laughing all of a sudden, because in real life the single light bulb in the barn had suddenly burst and surprised us. Ha ha! We hauled everything back inside and went to listen to the takes and add more.
But it’s western Massachusetts and everything is haunted here. So, of course, on a separate track, we heard a faint voice. New tape, unrecorded area. As we’re singing on track 2, a frantic voice is on track 3, quiet but clear enough. It yells “I GOT AWAY! I GOT AWAAAAAAY! I’LL SHOW YOU!!!” And as soon as it says “I’ll show you” that was when the light bulb burst and we start laughing.
18 years later is gives me chills to think about. That night we left all the lights on, it was too creepy. There were high tension lines nearby, it wasn’t unusual to pick up AM radio on the tape but… On an untouched track? And such a terrified voice coming from the local oldies station at 1 am?
7. You Can Checkout Any Time You Like, But You Can Never Leave
There’s this old abandoned hotel a couple hours away from me. It’s not like a modern hotel, but like an old Victorian house that was turned into a B&B. It’s totally boarded up, a big fence around it with barbed wire. Apparently, it’s pretty haunted.
In high school, some friends and I went to go check it out. It’s in the middle of this a circular road, not a roundabout but you can go around several times before feeding back onto the main road. It takes about ninety seconds to go around this circle. Anyway, the first time we drive through all the shades on the windows are drawn. We drive around again, only half of the shades are drawn. The next time we drive by all the shades are open. We drove around one last time and all the shades were drawn again. We freaked out and drove out of there.
6. Run For The Hills, Run For Your Life
Many years ago, my family and I moved from California to Nebraska. I was still a young kid, probably 5-6 years old. We were driving through Nevada and shortly after Las Vegas and we needed to stop and fuel up.
We stopped at your typical old-school gas station that rings when you pull up to the pump. I don’t remember it that well but my dad told me it looked normal. He got out to stretch while my mom went inside to pay for gas. My mom said that when she walked in, the gas station had quite a few people inside (despite us being the only car there).
When she walked up to the counter to pay for gas, everyone turned to her and the lights went out. She ran outside where my dad witnessed everything and helped her into the car and we sped off down the interstate, not caring whether we ran out of gas or not. To this day, my mom says that’s one of her scariest encounters because she can’t explain nor figure out exactly what was going on. And yes, we found a better gas station down the road and made it to Nebraska.
5. Maybe It Was Pumpkin Hill?
When my brother and I were 10 and 12 respectively our family went on a hike through the cemetery and into the woods not far from our house.
My brothers and I would explore these woods every day. Even camped in them before. We knew it like the back of our hands.
Anyway, as the family hit our usual spot by the creek halfway through the hike my brother and I said we would be back in a few, we wanted to wander off further up creek. So we did.
We came across a very large hill we had never seen before. It was littered with what looked like all of someone’s worldly possessions. As if they turned a house upside down, shook out the contents, took the house and left. There were tons of painted X’s on the trees showing someone intended to cut them down at some point. We poked around for a few when we thought we heard our mom hollering at us. So we turned tail and walked maybe 20 feet back down the hill to where our parents were. The entire encounter was maybe 45 minutes long…. on our end.
As soon as our mom saw us, we got the scolding of a lifetime. We had actually been gone for almost 4 hours. She never saw us walk up any hill and remembered seeing us meandering down the straight path by the creek, not turning up a hill that was 20 feet away. My mom, dad and our other brother combed the woods for over 4 hours screaming our names and couldn’t find hide nor tail of us.
We pleaded our case and even tried showing her the hill. Surely she was messing with us. So we stomped up to the turn off for the hill and….it was gone. Nowhere to be seen. For YEARS we explored the woods determined to find that hill. We covered miles and miles of off-path woods. As we got older we mapped it out. To this day that hill does not exist. We never found it again. Never found the weird furniture, toys, clothes, and other household items that were scattered across the hill. And never met anyone in the area that had a clue about the hill.
We probably just wandered way further then we meant to but I always found it weird that we never found the hill again.
4. But What Is Buffer Night?
This story takes place in the mid-’90s, a time before widely used cell phones and GPS. My two best friends and I freshly able to drive decided we would head out on a Saturday to a water park in Southern Missouri, about a 3-hour drive from our home town in Northwest Arkansas. We had never been before and just used road maps to get there.
We had a pretty fantastic time but as the sun started to reach the tree line we thought we ought to head home. It’s about 7 o’clock and we missed a turn but my friend Paul who was navigating said not to worry another turn was coming up that would get us their just as fast. The next turn took us from detoured to completely lost. By 8 o’clock we are on a road that seemed to be lacking in informative road signs and zero lights.
We finally see a gas station and are relieved to get some directions as well as some gas. My one friend and I go inside while my other friend pumps the gas. We come inside and a very friendly old man in his early 60s who gives us a very large grin and says “Weeeeell Hello there” it was very foghorn leghorn-esk. He looked like he was from the country but very pleasant.
We explained that we were needing gas and wanted to fill up. He explained that he was about to shut down for the night but would be happy to oblige us. He then said something I’ll never forget, “You have to make haste though… tonight is buffer night.” My friend and I looked at each other and shared an awkward look. We asked him if he could point out our location on the road map.
While he was finding it two people entered the shop from the back and called out for the old man. He said he was up front. The two approached us, A man and a woman, and at first looked confused then as though hit with an epiphany they smiled. They asked the old man “Are these the guests tonight?” He shot them a look and said “No these are some lost children.”
The way he said “Children” caused the hairs on my neck to stand up. Not sure why. They looked at us and said “The three of you should make haste, because tonight is buffer night.” Two things scared me right then. The first being how did they know about my other friend pumping gas out front when they came from the back and the second being that they repeated the old man verbatim.
We clarified the directions to get back on the main highway and paid for the gas without waiting for change. My friend and I booked it out of the gas station to find my other friend already in the passenger seat. When we got into the car we were nearly airborne from the speed we took off. Before we could say anything, my friend in the passenger seat told us about how three men from across the street stood under a tree just watching him. He waved but they didn’t move a muscle.
We just drove as fast as we could until we got back to the highway. To this day I will still have a nightmare every so often about that gas station and what my imagination has twisted “Buffer night” into being.
3. I Did Promise A Milkshake
So back when I was younger I was kind of a terrible kid. To deal with being just totally unmanageable as well as being a child of two narcissists the decision was made that I would work on a huge ranch deep in the countryside of Arizona (should be noted I was a pretty accomplished equestrian rider at this time so ranching wasn’t really out of the realm of what I could do) . On cattle drives it was not unusual to stumble upon houses, encampments and even whole towns in also in the middle of nowhere. These all had their own movie like situations that came out of them but one, in particular, I will NEVER forget.
Here we are on another cattle drive this time pretty far into it, we have been out in the desert if I remember correctly easily three or more weeks when we stumble upon this town in the middle of a canyon that is picture perfect in addition low and behold there is a diner. Like an old totally chromed out east coast diner. We have not eaten anything really of substance for a while and the head wrangler promised me a milkshake for my birthday. I was beyond stoked if not a little weirded out but honestly, after you spend enough time in the wilderness of the US, nothing really surprises you.
So we leave behind some of our mates to watch the cattle who are resting in the shade after getting over this rocky wash and hike into the canyon to go to the diner. The second we set foot in the diner the head guy, this older cowboy who is the head of all of us grabs my arm. This place is packed and everyone is wearing odd clothing like stuff from maybe the 40s or 50s? My head wrangler (T) is a really tough guy who from ranching for his entire life had definitely seen some weird stuff. T grabs my arm (as I am just focused on milkshake and about to go grab a booth) when I realize everyone is just staring at us and there is a really strange feeling in the air. Now we were used to getting looks all the time from being smelly and dirty but these people had these almost fear and/or shock . T and the two others with us slowly back out of the diner dragging me in tow and we immediately go back to our site and leave without a word. I was so confused I just went along with all of it.
To this day I have no idea what that place was or if we stumbled through a time warp or what but my wrangler told me later that night when we were away from them that he felt like we had stepped back in time. Like truly stepped back in time and that place was stuck in some sort of loop and if we stayed we would get stuck too. T never really spoke a lot, nor was he to be messed with, he also had a mean sweet tooth despite having almost no teeth so for him to have reacted that way really shook me.
I have no idea if what he told me is true but I will never forget the look of all those people in that immaculate diner.
2. Here Come The Men In Black
When I was small I went to check out a local graveyard (it’s not as weird as it sounds, there was Norman art and scattered human bones. These are neat when you’re 10)
Anyway, I’m cycling in there and I see like 4 guys in Ordnance Corps gear. Walking from grave to grave, before I had much chance to investigate, two soldiers pointed their weapons and told me to leave.
So I headed back home and told my mom what I saw. Explosive scares happen every once and a while here in Kerry as they find ammo from the civil war so we (me, mom, dad, brother) decided to go drive down. This is only a few minutes after I was there. We turn into the junction and that’s all I remember.
I wake up in a field next to the graveyard. My head hurt so much. After I realize where I am. I begin yelling out for my family and I hear replies from over by the graveyard. Hopping over the wall, I see my brother lying the wrong way over a bench and my dad coming out from the abandoned church (he says he was sitting against one of the walls). We go over to the car, which is haphazardly in the middle of the car park. And my mom is slumped over the wheel. When we wake her up she jumps back with a panicked look on her face. She yells at us to get into the car and we speed off.
When we get home we start talking about what happened and me, my dad and my brother all remember nothing past the junction. My mom remembers past that the junction. She says she saw “something” there was a bright white flash. And there was nothing.
It still freaks me out just thinking about it.
1. Honestly, They Probably Just All Decided To Move To Canada.
There is a town right near me in Pittsburgh, PA (Lincoln Way in Clairton, PA) where a whole street full of families disappeared overnight back in the 70s. Everything (bills, food, clothes, etc…) was left behind, no trace of them to this day. You can go on google maps and look it up, the houses are abandoned and almost closed off from the rest of the town.