Monday, August 30, 2010

To Shoot or not to Shoot

About 10 years ago I was exiting a convenient store and walking to my car. A very unsavory looking character was approaching the store and we were going to closely pass each other on the narrow sidewalk. I am approx 5’ 9” and 160 lbs…..this guy was about 6’ 2”, leather jacket and bandana around his head….he looked like a Hell’s Angel. Looks do not necessarily make you a bad person….but I made sure to get out of his way and turn sideways to allow him to pass. To no avail….he made no attempt to also avoid a collision and actually leaned into me as he passed and bumped me pretty hard. Wanting to avoid a confrontation I ignored the bump and continued to my car.

As I was shutting the door to my car I noticed that he was right there outside my car door. I quickly locked the doors…..he knocked on my window and I rolled it down about 4 inches and asked what he wanted. He informed me that “People like you are suppose to get out of the way for people like me…” I told him that I had tried but it was him that bumped into me. I guess he didn’t like the fact that I disagreed with him and he squeezed his arm through the 4” opening of my window and tried to grab me. I leaned away toward the passenger side and retrieved my Glock .40 cal. From under the seat. I did not have a carry permit at the time. I pointed the gun at him and I saw that he now had a knife in his right hand while his left arm was flailing about inside the car trying to reach me.

At the sight of the Glock I fully expected him to quickly retreat….but he didn’t. He actually laughed and said “You think that little pee shooter is going to hurt me?” Even though I had previously though about what I would do in a situation like that, I have to say I was scared and shaking, my skin became cold and clammy. In hindsight, I was scared because I honestly thought I was going to have to shoot him….and I didn’t have a carry permit and was not sure what would happen to me from a legal standpoint. I wasn’t sure if I was legally justified in firing at this point. He pulled his arm out and grabbed the top of my partially rolled down window and started jerking it very hard trying to break the glass. All I could see was him attempting to break the glass with his left hand and a knife in his right. I told him several times “

As soon as the glass breaks I’m going to shoot.” By this time I could see other people watching the unfolding event. It only stopped when his buddy came to him and convinced him to stop. If the glass had broken I would have fired. To this day I am still unsure if I would have been justified in shooting as he was attempting to break the window….or even what would have happen to me legally if I had shot him with me not having a carry permit.

The First Time I got Mugged

San Francisco, July 1995
It was my first night out by myself since I'd moved to San Francisco to be with Mark, a month earlier. I bounced around the Castro a bit, dropping in at The Midnight Special, Badlands and Detour, before heading over to The Jackhammer, which was somewhat on the outer edge of the Castro, at 16th Street and Sanchez.
The Jackhammer was packed as usual, even on a Wednesday night. It was Mark's favorite bar, he was friends with most of the staff, and had taken me there several times already during my first month in The City. I sat at the bar for an hour or so, and chatted with the bartender until he gave last call at 1:30AM. San Francisco, for all its gay fame, is still an early town.
From Jackhammer, I headed south on Sanchez Street, intended to turn right on 18th and suffer up that hill to Corbett Street, where we lived. I had gotten about a block and half from the door of the bar, when I noticed two very large men cross over from the east side of Sanchez seemingly on an intercept course with me, on the west side.
The street was rather poorly lit, I could see the men in silhouette only. My first thought was to turn around and head back for the safety of the bar. My second thought was to walk out into the middle of the street, where the light was brighter. Unfortunately, I also had a third thought flash into my mind.
"This is THE CASTRO. I am safe. This faggot ain't gonna turn tail and run, not this time, not now that I'm finally on home turf."
I was just processing how satisfied my third thought made me feel, as the men passed me on the shadowy sidewalk, when that thought was literally knocked out of my head by the fist of the closest man.
"Give it up, nigger! Give it up! We will FUCK YOU UP, nigger!"
The man speaking was brandishing a shiny silver handgun, with an impossibly long barrel. Later, it would occur to me that his gun looked like the type a circus clown might use, the kind that shoots out a flag that says "Bang!" I was dizzy from the blow to my temple and I staggered a bit as I jammed my hands down into both my front pockets, from which I produced all their contents and held them out. I never carry a wallet when I go to bars, usually just a small cardholder for my ID, and ATM card and some cash.
The second guy grabbed everything from both of my hands, then pulled something out his pocket and pointed it at me. Mace. Instinctively, I closed my eyes and jerked my head back and I felt the liquid hit the base of my neck, but none got in my eyes, mouth or nose. A moment later, I reopened my eyes and my two assailants were already retreating, back the way they came, not hurrying at all.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Too Much Coffee

First, a few years ago I worked at a Starbucks inside of a Barnes & Nobles. I was the cashier that day and this young guy walks in. He grabs a postcard from the postcard rack and comes to the Starbucks side to pay for it. I ring it up and he hands me the money for it. As I go to hand him his change back he starts waving his hands in my face making funny noises. Then he starts laughing like sadistic creepy laughing. After that he starts screaming at the top of his lungs, "Somebody kill me please, somebody kill me please!" Now, it was only me and this other guy working that day and we just were looking at each other like what the hell! There were like a million people behind this guy in line. Finally, he just stops everything and goes outside leaving his postcard and change on the counter. Afterwards, the girl that we were working with who was on break goes out and hands the guy the postcard and the money and she said he was fine and didn't do anything or say anything to her. It was the scariest crap ever because I had no clue if this guy was going to jump over the counter and stab me or what.

You can Run but You can't Hide

This one happened in I would say the late 80's, I was about 9 or 10 years old. I know it was a nice sunny Sunday, late morning. I remember this because we would go to the early service at church, get done by 10am and head to my sisters house about 30 miles away for an early lunch. I remember it being nice and sunny because we had the windows down in town before getting on the highway. This was our weekly routine.

I remember driving down the road, I believe I was playing a game boy not thinking much of anything else, we pull up to the stop sign before turning onto the highway, this is when it all started. This large 70s El camino type of a car, pulled up behind us and flashed their lights dad couldn't think of what they would want, he kind of stuck his head out the window and put his hands in the air as if to say "what?". I remember the driver of the other car yelling something and then laughing and pointed at us, it was a grumbled voice yelling almost like a drunk bum or something, you couldn't make out what he was saying but its 10am on a Sunday, weird.
My dad said something like back like "WHAT?" and we turned onto the highway, I say highway but this is in a little town in Kansas, its a 2 lane highway and its used but not too much at that time and day, speed limit back then I'm sure was 55mph on that highway. We proceeded on the road not thinking much of it other then "that was weird", we kept driving, they were completely out of sight. Moments later that same car comes flying up behind us going like 100mph and slams on his breaks right before hitting us, I remember this vividly as I was looking out the back window once I heard my dad say something that car is behind us again. I remember looking at the two guys in the car in the seat laughing and staring at me, pointing at me. I started getting really scared.
We then go on to try to get them to go away by slowing down, speeding up, my dad would speed up fast, we would go over a hill and pull onto a side gravel road and wait for them to pass, they did, we waited, they came back going the other way and saw us or something because they stopped...we pulled back onto the highway and kept going, this went on for what seemed like forever.

We finally get to a house, (there were maybe three total between that exit and the town we were going to), we pull into their driveway go knock on the door, no one is home, yelling we need help, the guys in the car pull at the end of the driveway blocking us in....this was when I really got scared. When they realized no one was home they pulled into the driveway, got out of the car and started walking toward us (it was a pretty long country gravel , maybe 1/4 of a mile long) They didn't have weapons or anything that we could see but both, my dad yelled "what do you want?" they didn't answer and kept walking, he got back into the car as they ran after him, as they got about 15 feet away they were yelling (not sure what) he floored it through the lawn of these peoples houses, over small hills and ditches and everything back onto the highway, we went about 90-100mph (that's what it seemed like) all the way to the town...we saw them in the distance behind us almost the whole way there but lost them when we got closer to town they couldn't get any closer as fast as we were going...we went directly to the police station and filed a report.

Never saw anything of them again, but that is as scared as I have every been
- Chris

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Camping Amongst Crazies

This happened around three years ago. Me and six friends were camping out in my back garden. My garden is pretty big and at the end is a waist high fence. Over that fence is like a woodland area.
Me and four of my friends were in my garden in a tent. Two of my other friends wanted to sleep in the woodland area over the fence. After we set up both tents we all decided to go for a little adventure in the woods.
Things got creepy though, it was really dark and we kept hearing noises so me and three of the four people who were sleeping in my tent went back to my garden and got in the tent.

The other three were gone for about 20 mins and then the tent nearly caved in. It was the other three, they were crying (two of them were boys!), shaky and out of breath. They said they saw a man who told them to “come here”.

They started walking away when the man started chasing them another man joined him in the chase. They were totally shook up so we all stayed in my tent. That’s seven people in a four-man tent. We were squashed but warm.
We all talked about what those three saw and eventually drifted off. The next morning we went to pack away the other tent over the fence and was gobsmacked. The tent has massive rips in it, like someone sliced it with a knife.
What was really creepy though is that the fence is easy to climb over, the men could have easily got to us. It gives me shivers thinking about how they could have been walking around the tent while we were sleeping.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Mama Bear

My dad was a Col. in the arm,y so he was away a lot, on maneuvers and such, and he got transferred a lot, so we never lived in the same place for more than a year or two. A long time ago, when we lived in Virginia, and I was in first grade, my dad went away for a week or so. My room was directly across from my parents and my two older brothers had rooms in the basement, the house was a split level.

Anyway, its night everyone is asleep, and the phone rings. my mom answers it and the person says that he knows that she is alone and even says her name and asks where her kids are. she then hears a loud noise from the middle level, most likely the garage door, and she knew it wasn't my dad coming home or my brothers since they were asleep. she freaks and runs into my room and carries me, still asleep (I'm a deep sleeper) into her room and puts me in her closet. she then walks down the hall towards the kitchen.

In our kitchen, behind a rather large 'fence' is our 1 or 2 year old black lab, and let me tell you, this dog was a beast in his prime (he could jump from the ground up to our top bunks, drag me and my brother around like dolls and was very protective of the kids) so she gets to the kitchen, which is on the right, and begins to turn left towards the stairs that lead to the basement. well our dog jumps the fence and moves past her, growling like a dog from hell at the staircase my mom is heading towards. his hair is raised a foot off his back and when he looked like this, he was the scariest looking dog of all time, and keep in mind, its the middle of the night and dark in the house, so she can barely see him, or anything else, just the outline of this black beast staring towards the faint light on the middle landing.

Anyways, she walks past him but as she goes he grabs her hand with his mouth and begins to pull her away as if to warn her. Well w/ my mom it would literally take a dog from hell to stop her from getting to the kids, so she slaps him away and hurries downstairs, with the dog right next to her. she wakes up my brothers and hurries them to her room. she even let the dog stay with us even though he always slept in the kitchen at night since he was young and would tear up the house normally, but that night he laid on the floor awake all night staring at the door.

Nothing else happened but we never found out who called or what the noise was coming from the garage/downstairs, but for a mother home alone with three kids you can imagine how scary it must have been. i wouldn't know since i slept through it all and only found out the next day, but we still talk about it to this day and it was almost 15 years ago

Maybe it was the Maid that was Murdered

A few years ago I lived in Costa Rica for half a year. After three months, Costa Rican law stipulated that you had to leave the country for 3 days. Two of my friends and I decided to go to Nicaragua.

We took a 12 hour bus ride to Rivas, Nicaragua and took a ferry across Lake Nicaragua to Isla Ometepe. The ferry ride itself was a thing of horrors as it was a steal vessel that had been welded together, conjuring up images of third world ferries that sink mid voyage. And, it must be noted that Lake Nicargua has fresh water sharks. Alas, we survived and made it to the island.

As it was late, we booked a room at the hotel next to the ferry launch. We asked for the cheapest room for three. We saved three US$, paying a total of about $10. The room had three beds and a strange oscillating fan attached to the ceiling that moved 360 degrees. On the wall where strange, smeared, red hand prints. The beds all had new mattresses with the clear protective plastic still left on. We joked that someone must have been murdered there and blood had ruined the previous mattresses. Our jokes became more real when we went into the bathroom and saw blood drops in the shower. Being adventurous and maybe a little naive, we thought it was all in our heads, decided to stay and went out to look for food and drink. We came back, full and drunk and slept pretty well, considering the heat and the dreams of murder.

We left the next day and traveled the island for a few days. Three days later, we decided to stay in the same hotel and in the same room, before we took the ferry back to Rivas. This time, they offered no discount on the same room. We were a bit astounded when we entered the room and it had been freshly painted since we hade been gone. Since then, my two friends and I have always joke about how we stayed in the "Murder Room" in Nicaragua!


Police; Worth Their Weight in Gold

I was working in a very run down very large building with boarded up windows, sort of an old warehouse type building but a little smaller, late one night.  I went in late and left late.
One evening I had the building to myself as I usually do and having to go to the bathroom I walked down the corridor to go to the ladies room, and heard men breaking into the back door of the office. Terrified, I ran for the front door, but heard someone there (the lookout maybe), and ran back into my office and locked the door. As I called emergency,  I heard the robbers actually get into the inner office (you need to go through 2 doors to get into it,) so they were right outside my door. I was whispering to the dispatcher about what was going on and she was trying to calm me, saying police were around the corner and on the way.
I heard 3 different voices all together, and then they knocked lightly on my door, and said in a sing song voice "open up, we know you are in there". At this point I was crying and they started knocking louder on the door and they were trying to push the door open. I heard one say, "just kick it in", then thankfully I heard the sirens. They yelled "oh crap, lets go" and I heard them leave.

The police were great, they literally sent out 8 cars to help me. When the officer knocked on my office door I was so freaked out I was terrified to open it. The police checked the building with me, and could see the door had been kicked in. It was a wholesale jewelry place so there was gold, platinum, etc. perfect for thieves. I gave notice the next day.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dead Beat

This happened to me when I was 4-years-old, I was too young to really understand what was going on but when my mom told me what really happened when I mentioned it to her a few years later she told me what happened and it still freaks me out.

We live in Arizona and in the summer it gets really hot so we normally leave are door open at night and leave the screen door locked. From what I remember, it was really late at night and I was out in the living room sleeping on the couch, while my mom and grandma were watching TV. I'm a light sleeper and I woke up when the TV was shut off. I opened my eyes and noticed that they had shut off all the lights and closed the door. they were standing over me peeking out the window (The couch was up against the window). I asked what they were doing and my mom kept shushing me. I was really curious so I jumped up and pressed my face against the window trying to figure out what they were looking at. My mom quickly grabbed me and moved me across the room. She told me that nothing was wrong and that I should go to my room, so I did...

After that night I forgot what happened till I remembered it when I was older and asked my mom what they were looking at. She told me when they were watching TV they heard a very raspy breathing sound and kept hearing foot steps in our front yard (Our yard was full of rocks which you could easily hear when someone walks in them). So they shut off the TV and looked out the door but saw no one. My mom shut the door and locked it just to be safe but they started hearing a cough and sometimes a sniffing noise which had them peek out the window and my mom noticed a guy was standing on the side of our house because he kept peeking his head from around the corner. When she saw him she closed and locked all the windows and back door. The next morning she found a syringe in the front yard and a huge knife in the back yard.
The reason why she didn't call the cops when she noticed that a guy was standing against the wall was because he was my dad. My parents got divorced when I was two and my dad was a dead beat and also did drugs and was an alcoholic. He was a lunatic.

Hijacked at the Holliday Inn

This happened to us about 7 years ago. My husband, son, and I drove to Little Rock for the Taekwondo World competition. Our son was, at that time, one level away from a 2nd degree black belt. We stayed at the Holiday Inn by the airport.

The first night we were there, everything was fine. The second night, we came in around 8, ordered room service, ate, then went to bed, our son in one bed, and my husband and I in the other.

The next morning, we got up, and found that we'd been robbed during the night while we were sleeping! Someone had come in our room, taken my laptop computer, over $200 out of my husband's wallet, and about $50 out of one of our son's sneakers; he'd put the money in his shoe, and his shoes right between our beds. So whoever had come into the room had been standing over us as we slept.

I'm a mother of two (now grown) children, and all moms here know that we wake up at the slightest sound. I never heard a thing.

I called the hotel manager, who could not have cared less...she told me that I had to call the police because she was busy. The police came, and they told us that there were a LOT of robberies in that hotel (which was very nice, and quite expensive), and they figured that management was in on it, but could never prove it. The thing I couldn't figure out was how they got in and out, messing about in our room, without at least one of us waking up. It scares the crap out of me to think what could have happened had we actually woken up and caught them.

As we were checking out, the hotel clerk had the GALL to present us with a BILL!! I laughed and said, "Get your manager, stupid." (I was PISSED.) I told her we had no intention of paying for this room, and she could comp both nights or take us to court. She quickly agreed to comp the rooms, and we left. Thank God hubby had put the rest of our cash in the car, hidden.

When we got home, I was telling one of my father's friends about it, and how we couldn't figure out why we didn't wake up. The first thing he asked was whether we had eaten at the hotel or not. I told him that we had ordered room service. He said that that was why...Our food or drinks had been drugged, and we just snored away while these people were in our room!! No wonder these creeps weren't afraid to go into a room with one grown man and another older teen who was very well trained to fight if need be.

According to the Holiday Inn public relations department, who investigates anything like this, the electronic key makes an entry on a paper every time it's used, and they got the one from that night, and said that it had not been opened by anyone but us. So we know that it was an inside job, done by someone with a hotel key.

So now, when we travel, we are armed and we only stay in rooms with deadbolts on the doors. And of course, we NEVER have room service or hotel food, either.

You can never be too careful!

A Lesson Learned

This happened when I was a kid, about 13 years old. I was home alone on a Sunday evening (my parents and sister were out). I was bored, so being the nosy little kid that I was, I decided to get the binoculars, turn out all the lights and spy into the windows of the houses across the street from me. Pretty pointless exercise in truth, as it was dark outside, and most of the curtains of the other houses were drawn.
I was crouched down at the bedroom window, when I spotted a guy walking down the street. He was walking really slowly, so I focused in on him and he was having a right good old chin wag to himself. Then he stopped dead in his tracks and just stood there, right across the street from my house. And he started laughing to himself. I gave a little chuckle to myself at this point, safe in the knowledge that there could be no way that this guy could even know he was being watched (all the lights in my room were out). But then, he turned around so that he was facing my house, and looked up right into my window, and stared right at me. Then he pointed right at me, and made a "slit-throat" gesture towards me.
Needless to say, I almost *beep* myself. I jumped right back and ran downstairs. I sat there for a couple of minutes, feeling totally freaked out. Then, the front door to my house opened. I ran straight back upstairs, at a speed that I reckon would have done Ben Johnson on drugs proud during the 100 metres, and locked myself in the bathroom!
Next thing I heard were my parents and sister pissing themselves laughing at the sight of me legging it upstairs while screaming like a little pansy!!! I learned my lesson.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Bastard in the Bush

I live in a forested suburb in a rural area just outside a city in Western basically i live on a block of land where there is bush (forest) surrounding about 4/5ths of the house. But the land envelope, garden and firebreak leave a clear patch of about 15 meters between the bush and the house.

Alongside one side of my house there is a main road, but apart from that just swampland and not another house for about 400m or so...

My dad lives away from home and my mum had gone out with my brother to a family do or something, so i was home alone (about 1 year ago so i would have been 17). So, I’m sitting in my bedroom and i hear my dog barking. He has different types of barks, and this one was a "there’s someone there bark". this isn't too weird, cause maybe once a week someone will be walking along the road at in true crazy fashion I go to the door to check out who is there (just being safe), but I can't see anyone.

I unlock the door and walk out from the patio, down the stairs and onto a large grassed front of this area is dense bush and behind that the main road with street lights. I call my dog inside and put him in the garage, and then go back outside onto the grass again (i have no idea why because i would never normally do that). Being night and out in the bush it was just dark, but the street lights from the road let in streams of light. So, I’m looking in the bush to see if maybe it was a kangaroo or something when I hear crunching and snapping of twigs and leaves. As my eyes adjust to the dark i could make out the figure of a man and he was just crouched down in the bushes in the dark. So, I’m like what the hell? I move a bit closer, not scared for some reason and then this guy just stands up and his face goes into a light patch and he just stands still, and i think he thought i couldn’t see him. BUT I keep staring him down, so he crouches down again and starts to shuffle along in the darkness. Then, I realize what’s going on. He has seen that the car has left and he has been waiting in the bush staking out the house (it has happened before).

I start to get real scared, then he stands up and I hear walking but its too dark to see where he is anymore. I move backwards, and then all of a sudden I see he has appeared standing at the fence and he is just staring at me. My heart beats a bazillion miles an hour and i just quickly walk backwards keeping my eyes on him...then all of a sudden walking backwards i feel a bang from behind on my back and head. I yell and turn around, then i realized it was just a tree i hit, which i had forgotten about when i was all scared. Slightly relieved, but pissing myself i ran back inside, locked the doors and watched this guy from the blinds. Eventually, he got up and walked onto the main road and out of sight.

Running Scared

Our house (a large ranch-style home) was the only one built on the street when we moved in; the rest were only foundations. The house wasn't that far back from the street, but it was raised up a bit so we looked down on the street, which was very short (only five lots each side) and ended at a two lots to our left, where a small mountain range started. A long walkway extended the length of the front of our house (to a driveway on the side), and a chest-high privacy wall separated that walkway from the front yard and street below for half the house. I always hated that wall because we couldn't see a thing down on the sidewalk or street, so if someone was at the door we had no idea how they got there -- not to mention it was very dark on the inside of the wall where the front door was. Even worse, if someone was at the door a witness on the street would never be able to tell.

The only view of the street we had were our floor-to-ceiling dining room windows in the center of the house. There was only one street lamp on our short street, which happened to be at the extreme right of our property when we looked outside, which gave that side an eerie glow, and made the left side overly dark in comparison. It was a very dark street in general, but it was ridiculous when we moved in because we were the only ones there and there was absolutely NO ambient light from other houses. Also, helicopters always searched the mountains looking for... who knows. We had no window coverings in the beginning (Mom wanted to take her time and decorate properly) and it always creeped me out; I hated the fact that someone could be watching everything we were doing inside.

On most nights after dinner I would run laps in the house for half an hour because we had a big center wall with rooms built around it and there was great space for that. (I sure as he

wasn't going to be running around outside in the dark by myself.) One night my parents were out somewhere and I was doing my laps. I could see the street below with each pass through the dining room, and about five minutes in I noticed a large car going up the street slowly toward the mountain (I saw the headlights). I didn't think anything of it until a few laps later I saw it go by slowly again. There was no reason to be on that street unless you were visiting us because there were no other houses and pretty much nowhere to go (you couldn't drive up into the mountain range from there). A few laps later I saw it again, but this time coming from the mountain instead of toward it, and this time with its lights off. That pretty much did me in -- instant panic, I can still feel the fear today! I finished the lap, shut out some lights on my pass, and stopped short of the windows.

I pressed myself against the front wall just to the right of them and peered through them at the edge, and that's when I saw the car slow to a crawl and park right in front of our house. I was shaking like a leaf. Our dogs weren't making any noise. I had no idea what I should do (if anything). It was completely dark now in the room i was in, but there was one light on in another room, so I knew if I ran for the phone on the kitchen wall I'd be back-lit and they'd know where I was in the house. So I stayed put and kept inching my eye by the window to watch what was going on even though I couldn't see inside the car. I then saw a non-descript guy with longish hair get out of the driver's side, walk around the front of the car to the sidewalk, and lean against the front passenger side of the car with his arms folded. He then just stared at the house. I was about to cry at that point because I SWORE he saw me running around in there while he was driving by and I figured I was in trouble. I moved a little to the side (away from the edge of the window) and slid down to the floor with my face in my hands, completely freaked out. A couple minutes later I heard BANG BANG BANG on the door, at which time my heart pretty much froze and I held my breath. The front door was all of twenty feet from me, and he was inside that privacy wall I mentioned.

Yeah, well, it's true what they say: dogs are pretty incredible security systems. Our dogs (we had four) went NUTS, and the next thing I know I heard running footsteps and then heard the car start and leave. I immediately went and grabbed the phone, then turned off all the lights so I could sit on the floor near that dining room window without being seen, and I sat there like a hawk watching the street until my parents got home an hour later. I never once thought to call the police and I don't know why... maybe I felt a little foolish, I'm not sure really. I didn't call anybody, but I had the phone there if I thought I needed to. (This was 1980 -- we didn't have cell phones so I couldn't exactly reach my parents.) When my parents got home, my dad mumbled something about having a shotgun under the bed if there was "any more weird stuff" and said he didn't want me running around in there anymore even when they were home. My mom was pretty freaked-out... pretty sure she hustled to pick out our drapes after that.

Scotish Terror

e live in the central belt in Scotland, which is the kind of place where town and deep countryside sit alongside each other and you often have to travel only a tiny distance to leave a populated area. Anyhoo, my friends and I live in a small town that is surrounded in the most part by wooded areas, fields, parks etc. When we were around 17/18 and some of the group first passed their driving tests, we would drive out to a local nature park at night for lack of anything better to do. It was very secluded, quiet and intensely dark at night. We were very fond of driving out and telling each other scary stories in the dark.

One night we drove out in a group of around five/six, and for some strange reason (I still can't quite comprehend our stupidity) we decided it would be both fun and creepy to get into pairs and play hide-and-seek in the woods, in the dark. So we paired off, one team waiting to seek and myself and my friend choosing to go hide. We quickly found a spot under some dense fir trees and settled down, quite secure in the knowledge that we had a fab hiding place and our other friends would have real trouble finding us. Since we felt so calm and assured, we sat and very quietly whispered to each other, chatting about inane things until it started to rain quite suddenly. As soon as the rain started to fall, I can only describe the change in atmosphere as chilling. Have you ever been in the woods during heavy rain? The sound of the droplets falling onto leaves in such a quite environment is shockingly creepy. It suddenly starts to sound as though there are large numbers of people slowly converging on you in the dark. So, understandably, I start to get a little spooked.

As I start to panic, my (male) friend who is usually very stoic and calm, starts to look a bit unsettled himself. I ask him what is wrong, naturally. He pauses for the longest time, then finally meets my eye and says, "I can hear animal noises that are disturbing me a bit. It sounds like a fox barking, but it's too high pitched. I think it might actually be a little girl." I, of course, am now essentially wetting my pants with fear. As soon as he points out this noise, I also realise I can hear it. Not only this, but we realise the noise is gradually getting closer. Deciding to give the game up as a bad job, we crash out of our hiding place back to the parking area and start screaming for our other friends to return. When they appear 2mins later, running from a wooded area not far from where we had been hiding ourselves, they look positively terrified. As the get closer, one of them starts screaming for us to open the car and GET THE HELL IN. We quickly open the car, and just as the four of us throw ourselves in a cr with its full beams appears from a break in the trees, and heads straight for us. Because we have only just managed to get in the car, we only have time to pull the central locks down before this car has blocked us in.
I for one am holding my breath as the car slowly pulls up alongside us, and an older man rolls down the window. The moment he leans his head out, we realise something is very wrong with him. He looks as though he's high on seven different types of drugs, and none too sane to boot. "I'm looking for the people that did my son. Was it you?" He's aggressive, and utterly terrifying. My friend, who is driving the car, pleads with the man that we don't know who or what he's talking about. When he starts brandishing a bat from the passenger seat and rambling about us being the thought police, my friend decides enough is enough, turns on the engine and mounts a grass verge to drive away. As we speed out onto the country roads (which are unlit, bloody perfect), we realise he's following us. Not only this, but the crazy bugger decides to put his headlights off. We now have literally no clue how close behind us he is, or what he's planning.
He followed us for half an hour before my friend managed to shake him off by nipping into a hidden junction and dimming the lights. We sat and watched him turn back and forth several times before he finally gave up and left. It was the most frightening 'fun' time we'd ever had!

Country Dark

I'm from New Mexico and when I used to live at home, it was out in the freakin boonies on our farm. When it gets dark it's literally pitch black and our closest neighbor is a mile away. Recipe for disaster, right?

Well, my parents went to town one evening on their anniversary and left me home alone. Not a big deal. I'd stayed by myself many times before and it was fine. But this night, as I was watchin TV, I hear a scrape/bump sound from the front door. I'm like what the f, right? So i get up, go to the foyer and I see it...the door is open. (out in the country, we just don't lock doors. Now i think it's stupid!) I hesitate, start to panic a lil bit. This door is a heavy wooden door. It does NOT just open from a breeze or anything like that; it opens because someone opened IT. I make my move and go to close it, but right when I do my dog outside starts losin her s hit. She's barking and going crazy and I freak out because I've never seen or heard her do that. She sounded scared.

I look and can barely make out her figure, it was so dark but I could see her growlin up at something and I could make out what looked like a man. Then it happened. He kicked her in the face and she made the worst noise. Ugh, just thinkin about it gives me chills really. It was awful. I yelled, slammed and locked the door, ran for the back door to lock it and grabbed the phone. I called my parents and I was way upset and scared. I was so messed up, i'm surprised I was able to tell them what happened. My mom calmed me down as best as she could, told me to turn off the lights, take the phone and lock myself in my thats what I did.

My parents were on their way home and they called in backup (my grandparents lived 5 miles away) and they would call to open the door. I hid underneath the covers in my room with a pillow over my head. I'm not completely sure, but i think I heard pounding on the front door, but I didn't want to find out. I was terrified.

The dog's jaw was sore and swollen from where he'd kicked her and it took me awhile before I was able to be alone in our own home. The dude must've taken off right before my family got home because he was long gone. It was so scary. I hope nothing like that happens again because it was whack.

Wrong Parking Spot

Once, when I was 16, and I was sleeping in my bed, around1:30am, when my three dogs, sleeping in my room, all started barking their heads off at the same time. This wasn't out of the ordinary, so I told them to shut up andI rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. However, They started up again and when I turned my head to look, I saw all three dogs gazing through my window and barking their heads off. All of a sudden, I heard A loud CRACK!!! followed by what sounded like gravel falling to the pavement. I didn't move as I waited. Another crash identical to the first followed and still failed to alarm me.
I was extremely tired and I assumed that the noise came from my neighbors across the street. They were loud people, always moving around their house at night. I thought nothing more, and I drifted off and fell asleep once more.
In the morning, I woke up at 6:am, and got up to use the bathroom. As I did so, I wearily recalled the strange noise from earlier in the night. I was suddenly, spooked, and I didn't know why. I went out my front door and studied the street in front of me, in the dark, morning blue from the sky. My sight fell to my dad's car parked near the curb...across from my bedroom window. I cautiously walked to the car. I circled around to the driver's side, where what I saw chilled the already warm, summer morning and brought me to my shivering point.
Both the driver's and the back passenger's windows had been severely smashed and only a few gummy shards remained in each pane.

A hastily scribbled note, written on a torn scrap of paper had been gently placed on the driver's seat among the pool of broken safety glass.

It read: "You parked in my spot. Don't touch what doesn't belong to you. Next time, I come inside."
.....The night before, my brother, older by four years, had driven to pickup to his friend Amanda's, at her apartment complex. We live in Chandler, and Amanda lived in phoenix. A good 45 minute drive.
The person whose parking space my brother had waited in, followed him through two smaller cities to give him that warning. My brother was parked for less than ten minutes.
The noises I heard at one in the morning, came from this person, breaking into my father's car, while I carelessly hushed my dogs from barking at him.
When the police questioned the office, and residents of the apartment complex about who owned the assigned parking space, all of them confirmed, that nobody did. It was an open space.


 At the time of this story I was about 20, living in Lubbock, TX going to university there. I shared a house with another college student; the house was in an okay neighborhood and there was a park down the street. Well, I had a beagle puppy, and I had gotten up at about 3 am to take her out; I went outside and our house had been toilet papered pretty badly. My roommate was in a sorority so I figured it was some kind of joke on her.

I wake up my roomate we go out and started gathering up toilet paper; that's when I saw it. On the back bumper of my car was a very lewd, very disturbing, picture of, to put it nicely, someones er, backside, stretched to a rather disproportionate size. It was disgusting and frankly I was very startled. Basically someone was calling me an a-hole, I guess, but I had absolutely no idea who it could have been. I didn't have any enemies or anything like that.

I took the paper off my car and we went in and called the cops. They took about 10 minutes to get there,  butthe scary part of this is that while we were  inside waiting for the cops someone had taped another picture back where I had taken the first one. This really scared the hell out of me. Even the cop seemed a little startled and disturbed when I told him. We had only been inside maybe ten minutes, and they had known we went inside, and then snuck back up to the house and retaped the photo, so that meant someone had been watching the house. The lewdness of the photo knowing someone was probably watching me the whole time -it was very creepy. The police said they would "patrol the area" but you're damn sure I didn't get any sleep that night.

Blue K.

*Beep* My Pants

I have a story that was pretty freaky for me at the time; don't know if it will scare you guys though.

This past summer my friend Autumn and I spent the day at our friend Sarah’s house. Around six, we decided to go for a walk (there is a high school right across the street). Before we left for the walk Sarah’s mom asked us to buy a newspaper from one of those quarter paper dispenser box things. We got back from the walk around 8, but had forgotten to get the paper. So we go back outside and go to fetch the paper. It is pretty dark out by now.

We arrive at the newspaper dispense and couldn’t get the damn thing to open (we realized later that the price was different on sunday, and we hadn’t paid enough). We were at the thing, trying to get a paper for about 5 minutes when we noticed headlights. We turn around and see there is a car coming down the street – slowly -- with its high-beams on, so of course we couldn’t see anything. The car then turned off its lights and just sat there in the middle of the road, about 30 feet away from us. We realized something was up, so we slowly started to walk away. We turned a corner onto another street and then we hid among some trees and bushes. After a few seconds we see the car drive by.

We decided the cost was clear and we went back to the machine (stupid us) to get the newspaper. A moment after we reached the machine we saw that the car and come back around and was sitting at the corner! We didn’t even hear it, and it’s lights were off. At this point I was about to *beep* my pants. The guy in the passenger seat stuck his head out the window and asked if we needed help. We were about to say something ,but then we noticed the guy in the drivers seat had a rubber mask on! This just did it! We ran full speed in the opposite direction. Luckily, the car didn't follow us and we made it safely to my friend’s house.

I still wonder what that man was up to in that mask. Nonetheless, it scared the *beep* out of me

-Ms. M.

Red Bird INN

One time, a job took me to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. It was during the dead of winter. The rental car company only had a Sebring convertible for me, a horrible car for winter driving in the UP, working my way along the west coast. By nightfall, my second day, I had hit tens of McDonald’s locations, making my way into the U.P. Night had fallen that second evening, and even though it was not too dark because of the all the snow on the ground I had to stop working. The company I worked for issued us Tom Tom Gps units. These were old, large, boxy units that had to be first generation. As such, they sucked. Faulty GPS directions got me in a lot of trouble during my time working as a zoning specialist. This was one of those times.

Around 9 o’clock I finished working and I searched the GPS for a hotel. There was a Holiday Inn Express just over an hour away or a motel called Red Bird Inn just a few minutes away. I was tired and wanting a shower, so I chose the Red Bird Inn. Following the GPS’s instructions, I traveled along a desolate country road, which in the UP is not uncommon. Flanking the road were forests deep with pine trees. The snow was too white, the woods too dark, and the road was far too quiet. I hadn’t seen a car in miles.

My senses were already on high alert, because I was driving this terrible sports car in deep snow. The road probably hadn’t been plowed for days. I was certain if I went off the road I would be irrevocably stuck in the snow. Also, to make matters worse, there was no cell coverage, so I would be completely fucked.

Senses on overdrive, and nerves tight, I jumped when in the midst of all the quiet my GPS chimes “You have reached your destination.” I slow the car even more, though I was already under the speed limit, and I look for the Inn. I see nothing. Trees and snow. Deserted roadway. No Red Bird Inn. I continue to drive, thinking that perhaps the inn is a little further down the road. The GPS had often missed a location by as much as half a mile. I drove a mile past the spot the inn was supposed to have been, and then I decided to turn around. Carefully I made a U-turn and backtracked. Again my GPS says “You have reached your destination.” Quietly I cursed the GPS, and I drove another mile the way I had come from, searching for a drive way, parking lot, or something. Nothing. Again, I make a u-turn. I crawl down the road, creeping slowly, searching for that damn Inn, and finally I spot something. Tire tracks leading off the road. I follow the tracks with my eyes, and I can tell that the woods have been cleared to allow a path. That can’t be the drive, I say to myself. It was getting close to ten and I didn’t want to travel another hour to find that Holiday Inn, so I decided to go for it.

I ease the Sebring off the road, following the tracks and make my way into the woods. After a short drive of maybe thirty seconds, I loose sight of the road in my rear view. I remember looking in the mirror and then when I looked out the windshield being startled. There not fifty feet in front of me was the Red Bird Inn. It was small, an obvious mom and pop place. There was a small office, with a neon open sign, and then a detached one story building that had the rooms. The buildings were both a deep red. I saw no other vehicles. I parked outside the office and sat in the car for a moment, visions of Norman Bates running through my head. A boy’s best friend is his mother…

Steeling myself I got out of the car and crossed my fingers that the inn was in fact open. The office door was unlocked. I entered a small, wood paneled, dingy room. It was claustrophobic. Behind the counter, which ran the length of the room, was a doorway but no door, simply darkness as far back as the eye could see. There was a bell on the counter and I knew, before even ringing that bell, that whoever or whatever that would come through the dark doorway was not going to be good. I rang the bell and held my breath. Seconds passed. I rang again. I heard a sound in the darkness. This was it. Quite suddenly a figure emerged from the ink dark, and what form should he take but a one-eyed Indian man. This man, with a gaping hole where his second eye should have been, appeared as shocked to see me as I was him. The proprietor smiles, as I stutteringly ask if I can have a room. He doesn’t make any small talk with me, but quotes me a price, $30.00, and hands me a room key. I pay, thank him, and leave.

I find my room, a tiny, dirty, foul smelling hole, but for thirty dollars it wasn’t bad. I sit on the bed and think about what just happened. I know that in all likelihood the man was an honest, decent, non murdering-cannibal, individual. I know that he probably had a fake eye somewhere and just forgot to put it in. I know that I’m probably safer here then some Ramada in Atlanta. I get ready for bed and to do it all again tomorrow.

- Staff of Alone at Night