Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Rough Ride

 This happened in the fall of 1993, when I was 20 years old. In the interest of context, this was before I started college, and I was working in the material prep department of a plastics factory on the night shift. I was the only woman in the department, and my male coworkers were initially skeptical that I could handle the job, but I proved myself and earned their respect. It was hard work, but on the plus side, it also put me in the best shape of my life. It was also about this same time that I’d dumped my abusive boyfriend; he was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive, as well as an alcoholic. This fact, more than anything, is probably why I got myself into this situation in the first place.

I had just gotten off work, and it was about 1:30am. My car was running on fumes, so I stopped at a local gas station to fill up. While I was pumping gas, a woman about my age approached me looking nervous and scared. She said that she had been at her boyfriend’s house, and they’d had a fight. She’d walked to the gas station to use the pay phone and call a friend to pick her up. On her way to the station, a car pulled up as she was walking and the guys inside started catcalling and harassing her. With a slight movement of her head she indicated a car that was parked off to the side by the gas station dumpsters. I saw a large light green car, like a Caddy or a Lincoln, with at least 2 or 3 shadowy figures inside. She said they threatened her, and she was too scared to call her friend and wait.

The woman was neat, well-dressed, and didn’t seem high or drunk or anything like that…she just seemed really nervous and freaked out, so I didn’t even hesitate. I finished pumping my gas and told her to hop in the car, that I’d take her home.

At that time on a weeknight, there was little traffic, so I booked it right out of the gas station and asked her where she lived. She kept twisting around in the seat to see if the car was behind us, and when I asked her to put her seat-belt on, she ignored me and kept looking for the car. I assumed she was just scared.

A few blocks down the road, however, I noticed she was looking around the car, and she started asking me about money, “Where’s your purse? Where’s your bag? I need money. You need to give me some money.” My stomach sank. I have this woman in my car, and now she’s gonna rob me. Fuck. But when I thought about it, robbery just didn’t make much sense. I was driving a 1985 Chevette (affectionately nicknamed “Shitbox”) and was wearing my work clothes: a ratty T-shirt and jeans with combat boots. I did NOT look like a person with a lot of cash primarily because I wasn’t a person with a lot of cash.

She’d twisted around in the seat again and started yelling, “There they are! There they are!” She didn’t sound scared anymore. I checked the rearview, and sure enough, the light green car is right behind me. She started cackling and bouncing up and down in the seat, “My boys are gonna FUCK YOU UP, bitch! They’re gonna FUCK YOU UP!” She’s laughing like crazy, opening the glove box, looking in the back for a bag or purse, telling me all the messed up shit these guys are planning to do to me.

Now, if I had been smart, I would have just driven to the police station. Actually, if I had been VERY smart, I would have called the cops from the gas station and waited with her until they arrived. That would have been the intelligent thing to do. Unfortunately, none of this crossed my mind until later. In the moment, I just got really, really fucking angry. I realized 3 key things all at once:
  • There was an intersection up ahead, with cars on either side waiting to cross, and the light had just turned yellow.
  • I had a spare box cutter that I kept for work in the driver’s side door compartment.
  • The crazy bitch still hadn’t put on her seat-belt.
I didn’t think. I floored it and passed under the yellow light just as it turned red. I glanced back to see if the green car was still behind me, but the cross traffic at the intersection had started to move, and they hadn’t caught up. The bitch started yelling; I slammed on the brakes and she hit the dash and windshield with a solid, and viciously satisfying, crack. When she rebounded to the passenger seat, I had the box cutter in her face and was screaming some serious bat-shit crazy. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but it was along the lines of, “Get the FUCK OUT. Get the FUCK out of my car before I CUT OFF YOUR FACE AND MAKE YOU EAT IT, BITCH.”

The crazy screaming and box-cutter combo worked. She grabbed blindly at the handle and popped the door open, and I started shoving and punching her until the bitch tumbled out the door to the curb. I stomped on the gas, got to the next turn and squealed around it with the passenger door still open. I made a few more turns because I was afraid that the green car might catch up to me. After a little while I stopped to close the passenger door, and then I cut across town and got on to the highway to go home. I was on the highway for about 5 minutes before the shakes started. I pulled off to the shoulder to calm down and get my shit together, and then I drove home.

I told my older sister (I was living with her temporarily after the break-up with my ex) everything that happened. She wrapped me in a tight bear hug while simultaneously yelling about how stupid I was for not going to the police. I’ve never been so glad to be yelled at in my life.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Bridge (With Photo Links)

This is (was) going to be short, but the memory sprung into my mind a couple days back and I thought it would be worth sharing.

I live in North Wales, UK. For anyone who has had the pleasure of visiting, it truly is a beautiful place to live, though, for an adolescent boy, it is certainly lacking in things to do. As a result, my friends and I would often find ourselves mindlessly exploring areas of countryside and coastline.
Despite it being quite sparsely populated, in comparison to the closest cities, there is a dual carriageway running right along the coast from Wales into England. Also, train tracks run alongside this road for most of its course, occasionally passing overhead via a small cement bridge.
Anyway, there was one night a few years ago, when about four of us randomly decided to try and explore the inside of one of these bridges, as one of the group had observed a man-hole cover nearby which we believed to be the entrance. On closer inspection, we discovered that several tools would be required in order to gain entry.

We returned with the necessary equipment and proceeded to unbolt the cover. This had to be done stealthily as the train track was right beside us, not close enough to be of any danger, but definitely a sufficiently small distance to cause panic for any train driver. And panic usually means Police.
It wasn't long before we had removed the heavy steel disc, and had started descending the ladder down into the structure. Once we had all safely reached the bottom, we decided to progress to the other side. At this point, we are totally confined into the narrow space that leads into the main area. If you are confused as to what the hell this 'bridge' is supposed to be, you probably should be, because it was rather peculiar. I mean, I would have never known there was even an inside had we not found the man-hole.

So, as we squeeze and crouch, and at one point scrape along our bellies, to the other side of the structure there is a growing sense of claustrophobia between us. The distance from end to the other is surprisingly long, but by the halfway point you can look down through narrow gaps onto the motorway below. This was actually pretty cool, which helped keep us calm, in a strange way.
At this point, apart from the mild discomfort and confinement, we were still just a group of guys on an adventure. This was about to change dramatically.

No more than a few metres beyond halfway (which we could tell due to the symmetry of the passageways through the bridge), one of us claimed they could see some object in the distance at the far end. Slightly hesitantly, we agreed to investigate. Bad move.

I reached the end first, and let me tell you, I have never felt the same sense of dread before or since. In front of me was a single fold-away chair positioned facing a wall. On the wall was a partially torn page from a newspaper, or a magazine, showing a fully naked lady in an erotic position. The reason I don't just refer to it as 'porn' is because something was different about it; I can't put my finger on it but it seemed more sinister than sexy, if that makes any sense.

More disturbingly the eyes of the woman on display had been cut from the page. Removed with precision, not just hastily ripped off. The scene that lay before us had rendered us completely speechless, and an overpowering sense of panic could be felt collectively. That was when we found the condom. The horrendous, gut-wrenching, blood-drenched condom.

Needless to say we got the fuck out of there as fast as humanly possible, smashing our knees and shins against the sharp cement edges, that lined the path to the ladder by which we had entered. Of course, we were all praying to God that the man-hole hadn't been re-sealed, as it was impossible to tell until you reached the ladder itself. Thankfully the exit route was clear, and we promptly dashed as far away as our legs could carry us.

I'm sure this ending comes as a disappointment to some of you reading this, as we (luckily) never bumped into the twisted individual who sits in that chair, but I must stress how radically out of the norm this was given where I live. The reason I mentioned the population earlier was with purpose; there is easily enough people here to escape the realms of 'crazy country folk', yet nowhere near enough people to have someone clearly lose grip on society without somebody taking notice. For example, there was literally only one homeless man, who everyone in the area knew and grew fond of, eventually resulting in a mass gathering at his funeral when he passed away.

I sometimes think, though not recently as I had more-or-less forgotten about that night entirely, about the person who climbs down into that bridge and navigates through the darkness to sit facing a wall, and do God-knows-what, that ends up with a condom full of blood. You honestly couldn't envision a more surreal situation.

It has just come to my realization that what we unearthed that night has not once been uttered to another soul. As a naive teenager, it was the type of thing you just wanted to forget, but thinking about we probably should have let the Police, or at least someone know about what was down there, because it wasn't the doings of a healthy-minded individual.

So, there you have it. Apologies for the length, I got a little carried away as it is my first post and I wanted to make the reading experience as similar to the reality as I could. Now I'm a few years older, and hopefully a bit braver, I'm considering going down there again, accompanied of course, to see what fucked up shit might be waiting. This could well happen in the next couple days, and rest assured I will 100% post an update as I currently have no job, so time is plentiful!
Thanks for reading.

 here are the photos from the return visit. We went early evening, so there was still plenty of light, and as a result I have decided to use a simple filter on most of the outdoor shots, simply to reduce the light, and give it the eeriness it deserves.

Unfortunately, I hadn't adequately conveyed my plans to those accompanying me, and they had presumed I just wanted to check out the small area before the entrance to the passageways, as they had been there before. When I expressed my wishes to navigate through the bridge, they instantly nope'd the fuck out of there! As you can imagine, I was massively disappointed. I hope to go back soon with a different bunch of guys, but I can't promise when.

Perhaps, if everyone who would like to see the re-return visit, just leaves a single comment saying 'Update', I could reply to you individually so you don't have to keep checking back, just wait for a message? Just a thought.

MORE PICTURES HEREhttp://imgur.com/a/JYb8a
Either way, the pictures are definitely worth your time!


Hooded Figures

I don't really tell this story often because I know it sounds insane and my wife hates it when I bring it up.

Anyways, my wife and I moved to a really small, mountain town just outside of a bigger town in the Northwest. The town we lived in was incredibly small and only had a population of about 475 people. We found a beautiful house to rent, though, and decided to try it out.

It was two-story and had a huge yard that backed up to the woods, and there were no neighbors for about a mile in any direction. It also had huge glass windows downstairs so you could take in all of the beautiful scenery outside. The yard wasn't fenced, so whenever I let our Pomeranian, Peanut, outside to do his business, I kept a watchful eye on him in case any wild animals wanted to make him into a lunchable.

All in all, things were great, the people that we met in town were incredibly welcoming and friendly, and there was a picturesque little mainstreet that had a bank, a pizza place, a grocery store, and a small park and public pool. Beautiful place.

We had been there for about a month, and were just about settled in when one night, I woke up at about 3 am in desperate need of a glass of water. When I got up, I noticed that peanut wasn't in his dog bed (we keep it in a corner of our bedroom), and I thought that was incredibly odd, but I shrugged it off and walked down to the kitchen, figuring that he maybe hid under the bed to sleep (he does that sometimes). I get down to the kitchen, and it's pitch black outside.

As I shuffle across the kitchen floor towards the cupboard, I see a small silhouette. When my eyes focus, I see that it's Peanut. He is standing perfectly still, staring intently at the sliding glass door. He's not barking, and he seems like his hair is standing on end (but it's really hard to tell with Pomeranians...their poofy hair is always standing on end). I follow his gaze and see two large figures wearing cloaks with hoods, just standing at my backdoor (which was a sliding glass door).

They were just standing there, not moving, not trying to get in or anything, their faces obscured by their hoods and just silently watching me. I freeze in terror for a long minute, and one lifts his hand in a silent wave-type thing.

I flip my shit and scream for my wife to phone the sheriff, and the guys turn around and begin walking back towards the woods. Peanut finally begins yapping his head off (some guard dog he is). I grab and load my revolver and head out to check the perimeter (probably a dumb move), and I can't find any trace of the assholes.

The sheriff comes out and he finds nothing but boot prints in one of the flowerbeds under one of the downstairs windows. Without more evidence, the sheriff couldn't really do anything besides filing a report, and he tries to convince me that it was probably some highschool kids screwing around. My wife and I are terrified, and I decide to keep a watchful eye open for the next few nights in case these "teens" try to do something like this again.

The first two nights after the event, nothing happens. I camp out at the kitchen table with my gun, looking out into the woods for any signs of movement, checking doors and windows constantly, etc.
However, the third night, I see some movement in the woods. It was them. Two cloaked figures, silently moving towards the house. I sit there frozen again, watching them make their way towards my back door. All of the lights in my house were off, so they probably weren't able to see me sitting in the dark kitchen their distance halfway across the yard.

As they get closer, I jump up from the chair, knocking it over and running to fumble with the back door screaming at my sleeping wife to call the sheriff.

They obviously heard me, or at least heard me fumbling to open the door, and began to turn around and walk back into the woods. At that point, I hear a BANG! on my front door, and realize there must be a third one at the front of my house. I run out into my back yard and scream at them that they better not fucking come back, and I shoot my gun into the air for effect. I see the dark figure that must have been in my front yard dart along the side of my yard into the woods, probably catching up with the others.

I hustle back in and lock the doors, and my wife has come downstairs at this point. Keep in mind that she never saw the hooded figures the first night, and I think she secretly might have suspected I was just tired and seeing things. Now, however, she was terrified. She had come downstairs when I yelled, and saw the one who must have banged on the front door standing in front of the living room window, lifting up his hand to wave at her. The sheriff came back out and again, nothing could be found, and another worthless report was filed.

I was pissed and scared, and of course I kept a vigilant watch the rest of the time we were there. The "kids" (or whoever they were) never came back...at least, to my knowledge.
When our lease was up, we moved the fuck out of there. It probably was some dumbass, small-town kids trying to have some sick, twisted version of "fun," but it has seriously affected me.
I'm paranoid about windows and doors, and I always sleep with my gun close by. My wife can't look out of windows at night anymore. Our new house has pretty much every security measure imaginable (an alarm system, motion sensor lights, heavy locks, etc). Anyhow, that's our story. We also ended up buying a big german shepherd, and though Peanut was initially pretty jealous, they are now quite good friends and my wife and I feel a lot safer with her patrolling the yard.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hillarious and Creepy and Interesting all in one Nordic Bundle

Alright, this is an essay but a LOT happens. Bear with me.

My next door neighbour's parents moved from India to the U.K back in the 60's. After retiring they made a habit of heading back there every year to visit family and friends, ultimately spending around half their time travelling through India and half their time here. Long story short, one year they invite my family along.

I was 15 (now 25) and thought I was some badass Viking rock-prince because I had long blond hair and read Kerrang. FUN FACT: Curly hair ruins everything. I looked like a fucking cherub.
Now, my neighbour's dad has planned this holiday like it's a military campaign; when we arrive he hands each of us (including my 11-year-old brother and sister) a brown folder containing our itinerary, hotel brochures, money conversion charts, train timetables, four passport photos of ourselves for forms etc. and a list of names under the header 'Useful People'. Forget Viking rock-prince, I'm James fucking Bond.

Other than the fact that I'm mistaken for a girl on several occasions (my favourite being when one of my neighbour's relatives asks my mum why she lets me dress like a boy and offers to have a sari fitted for me), I have an amazing time.


We rock up to this huge hotel in the middle of the jungle. Honestly, the arse-end of nowhere. The nearest village is a three hour drive down a dirt road. Just before sunset. In the fucking jungle. I pull out the brochure. It'd be safe to say that this place is under new management. There's a single light on about five storeys up. As we pull in to the drive we spot a group of men clustered around a large fire. One of them stands and starts shouting something but is silenced by the guy next to him with a slap to the back of his head. One of the group comes sauntering over and motions our driver to wind down the window.

Imagine Alfred Hitchcock as an Indian drug lord and you'll have a pretty good idea of the man now flapping his jowls through our window. He peers into the back, spots us and cracks the dictionary definition of a shit-eating grin. In broken English he welcomes us to the hotel, glances over our reservations and ushers us into the lobby. This is when shit gets really weird.

The place is deserted. Not 'the staff have gone to bed' deserted, it was like 'whoever WAS here fucking NOPE'D it out of this place in a hurry' deserted. There were toppled chairs. In the lobby.
Hitchcock tells us that our rooms aren't ready (it is now 9pm) and offers us some food while we wait. The dining room is huge, empty and our order is taken by a boy no older than nine who promptly vanishes, closing the doors behind him. We hear a motorbike engine outside and an hour later something vaguely resembling our order appears on a variety of mismatched dinnerware. No idea where any of it came from.

At this point we were all pretty unnerved and everyone started making lame jokes to ease the tension. We were only there for one night, everything had been paid for in advance and we were a large group (11 in total) with two people who spoke Hindi and Konkani so felt pretty sure we could deal with any weirdness.

Hitchcock waddles in and takes us to our rooms. Every one of them is stripped bare apart from the beds and bedside tables, exposed wires poke out of the walls where you'd expect a T.V and/or phone and there are rectangular patches of discoloured wallpaper, suggesting that someone finally took a stand against terrible hotel artwork. The only decoration is this creepy little metal horse that's just sitting on one of the bedside tables. I'm sharing with my little bro and insist on taking the bed closest to the door, presumably thinking that I could summon Thor if things got hairy. Hitchcock lingers in our doorway for a while, flashing his pearly browns and giving me the rape eyes. I close the door on him. We dump our bags, check the door is locked and have bro chats until we pass out.

I wake up (no clue when, clocks clearly didn't fit with the whole minimalist crack-den vibe the management were going for, but it's pitch black) to hear the door to my room clicking shut. The door that is no further than a foot from my head. FUCK THAT. I'm no Viking rock-prince, I'm a flying baby that plays a harp. I cower under the surprisingly clean blankets until my heart stops threatening to bust out of my ribs and redecorate the ceiling. Stealthy ninja roll out of my bed and to the door. The bastard is unlocked. FUCK THIS. Barricade that shit with the bedside table. Check little bro is alive. Get into bed. See our bags. Add them to the barricade. Notice that mine is open. FUCK EVERYTHING.


Nothing's missing. Camera, wallet, clothes, super secret spy dossier, everything is intact. I convince myself that I shat my pants over nothing and go back to sleep. Side note, little bro slept through the whole thing.

Morning comes and we all want to get out of there as soon as possible. Neighbour's dad kicks off about how weird the whole thing is to Hitchcock and gets half of our money back. Excellent. We head outside and my sister points out the charred remains of one of the hotel beds in what's left of the fire-pit. Excellent...

Turns out that our driver, who had a room in the place, had decided to sleep in the bus because he (his own words) 'didn't want their funny business'. Apparently there were people coming and going all night. He woke up to see a guy, nose against the window, just staring in at him. Driver hit the window and the dude scampered off into the jungle like fucking Mowgli. We give driver an extra huge tip. Hitchcock waves at us from the lobby, adjusts his crotch and plods back in. We leave, thinking the weirdness is over.


About an hour into the journey I decide to take a look at our itinerary so pull out my spy folder. My heart instantly sinks. One of my passport photos is gone. A perfect 35 x 45mm rectangle missing from the corner. Three little Viking-rock cherubs stare up at me, mourning their fallen brother. I search the folder, ask my parents if they took it for something, start losing my shit. Everything from the night before rushes back. I explain what happened and there's this weird moment of silence while everyone looks at each other. Turns out that everybody heard someone outside/at their door at some point during the night but had deadbolted them before going to sleep. Bro and I had no deadbolt. Hitchcock put us in that fucking room on purpose. Driver suggests that we head back to the hotel and demand satisfaction. Tips galore for Driver.

We arrive at hotel. The doors are padlocked. Hitchcock and his cronies have vanished. The cherry on top of this mindfuck cake is the horse. The little metal horse that was sat on our bedside table has been placed on the step in front of the doors. I took it*. Free souvenir. Fuck you Hitchcock.
TL;DR Basically, don't go to India.

EDIT: The TL;DR is a just me dicking about. I bloody love India and have been back there twice since this. It is an amazing country and the people are, on the whole, incredibly warm and welcoming. You just get the odd (emphasis on that word) few who really skew the average.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Number Stations

{Alone at Night staff note:} So, there are these things called Numbers Stations. They are these short-wave radio frequencies that  used by intelligence agencies, of many nations, to provide one-way communication with agents in the field. They're pretty damn interesting and can be really creepy too.

Give it a listen. We dare you.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Give me a Ride Home

Background on me; 19 y/o male, living in a semi-large city in Ontario.

It was around 11 at night and I had just finished working out at the gym. I went to the grocery store to pick up some food for the next couple of days. While at the grocery store, I decided to get $120 cash back; money that I owed my mum, and unbeknownst to me as I left the grocery store, money that I came so close to losing.

Instead of going straight home, I decided to go for a little drive. I just got my car not long ago, and the novelty of driving stick hasn't worn off yet. After about a half hour of driving around the city, I decide it's about time to head home. As I pass a gas station on the edge of town, but close to my house, I decide that now's as good a time as any to pull in and fuel up.

I pull in and I'm the only one at the gas station. I'm in an industrial/business part of town (the edge, like I said), so there isn't much around. There's an empty lot that's without light beside the gas station and I notice an SUV sitting there, about 100-200m away, but I don't think much of it. I get out and start pumping gas when I notice a woman come round the corner and walk straight towards me.
As soon as I noticed her, a shiver ran down my spine. I instinctively locked my car. She walked towards me quickly, hands in her pockets, staring at me pretty intensely the whole time.

"I got in a fight with my boyfriend and he left me here. Can you give me a ride to my mom's house?" she said casually in her raspy smoker's voice. Another chill ran down my spine as she repeated the question, word for word almost, in that same raspy voice.

"Uhhh... I have to pump gas first," I said to her, keeping my eyes on her the whole time. She walked around to the passenger side door (beside me - fuel port is on the passenger side) and grabs onto the door handle.

"Can you unlock your car? I'm cold. I've been here a while."

"I have to pay for the gas," I said, deciding to cut the gas-pumping short. I walked inside and talked to the guy behind the counter. I told him that the girl outside was kind of suspicious and I didn't know her. He just kind of shrugged and I could tell he wasn't interested in getting involved so I walked out. I figured she was high or something, but I would find a way to just get her to leave me alone.
As I walk out, the SUV that I had mentioned earlier started up. I watched the driver maneuver himself so he could just drive out the exit. He stopped, engine still running. He was still like 100m away.

"Can you open the door now? I'm really cold."

So many alarm bells were going off in my head already. First, she just looked sort of sketchy. She was dressed well enough, but her face was pretty rough. She was pretty covered in make up, but it didn't hide a nasty looking sore on her lip. Her sunken eyes were dull, bloodshot, and just... dead looking. Second, she didn't seem like a "damsel in distress," not at all. She didn't seem upset and she spoke without much emotion.

"No. That's not my problem. I need to go home," I said to her, as firmly as I could.
"Come on! You're driving me home, right?" 
"I can't. I have to get home right now."

 Reaching for my phone, I realized I had left it in the car.
"I'm cold! I've been out here for hours!" She shouts, pretty angrily for someone who's asking a favour, I thought. Then I noticed her look at the SUV. I started cluing into what was going on and raised my voice a bit.

"That's not my problem." I'm at the driver's door now.
"I'm freezing! You said you'd drive me home!"
"That's not my problem!" I started to raise my voice, she started raising hers. We weren't yelling, but it was getting a little heated. We went back and forth like that for a couple of minutes. My mind was racing; I thought about losing my car, about getting stabbed or shot, about getting robbed for the $120 I had in my wallet... I just lost it on her.

"GET THE FUCK BACK. YOU DON'T KNOW WHO I AM. GET THE FUCK BACK RIGHT NOW." I guess I was in fight mode at this point. I was pretty ready to just fucking clock this bitch if she tried anything, as awful as that may sound. I think I caught her off guard or something, because she stepped back right away.

"You better get out of here right now then," she said, walking backwards. I instantly felt my balls tingle sadly and climb up inside me after she said that. I was out of fight mode and into fucking FLIGHT mode. I watched her until she got a decent distance away, noticing she was walking sort of towards the SUV. I didn't watch for much longer. I hopped in my car and peeled the fuck out of there.
I turned into a random subdivision, making sure I wasn't being followed. I called the cops and they said they'd send a car but there wasn't much they could do because there was no real crime committed, but I did the right thing and she was most likely bait for some kind of robbery. I drove home as quick as I could.

Sorry if this is a bit wordy, but I'm not sure the best way to tell this story yet. I'm a bit obsessed with the details of what happened, that's what's got me so disturbed. The emotionless way she spoke, the creepy way she looked, that SUV.... fuck, I'm surprised I didn't just burst into fucking tears there. I mean I've been jumped before but this just seemed so crazy and predatory. The last thing she said to me has absolutely haunted me... "You better get out of here right now then." Laying it all out like that, so suddenly giving up the damsel in distress act... that has to be the worst part of this for me.

Why You Don't Date Someone you Met at Work

This story came from a great thread at reddit.

I'm 28 now, but this happened back when I was 19.

When I worked in a coffee shop after high school, I had several customers ask me out or ask for my number & I said no to every single one. However, Dave was persistent. He ordered a strawberries and creme frappuccino from the cashier and chatted me up while I was making it for him. He asked for my number, but I politely declined to give it to him. He got back in line 20 minutes later and ordered the same exact drink again. He said "I ordered 2 drinks I didn’t want just to talk to you again!" I thought it was cute so I agreed to give him my number.

We started texting that night and made plans to meet for dinner the next day. He worked at a video rental store and asked me to visit him at work a few hours before we were scheduled to meet up. I stopped by and we went for a walk, where he tactfully blurted out, "So this is just going to be a fling right?" I was insulted that he was already thinking about hooking up but somehow he recovered because the date was still on.

He made dinner at his house (looking back, not meeting in public was a bad idea, I realize this) and gave me flowers when I arrived. Things were looking better. After dinner we played some drinking games with his roommate, Joe, who turned out to be a great guy & made the evening tolerable. At one point Joe & I were having a great conversation and laughing a lot. In a sudden jealous rage, Dave snapped at Joe, asking why Joe didn’t just take me out. It was scary since I hadn’t even know Dave for 24 hours.

Joe mentioned that he had to head out soon. When Dave left the room to grab another beer, I begged Joe not to leave me alone with Dave. Joe apologized but did eventually leave. The evening degenerated from there, with the most memorable bit of conversation being Dave telling me how his dad tried to kill his mom with a shotgun. Luckily, I was saved by a phone call from my younger brother, Matthew. He needed a ride home from a party. I thought Hallelujah. I’m saved! ...until Dave insisted on coming along for the ride.

When we arrived, Dave went to mingle at the party while Matthew said his goodbyes. I sat and chatted with some friends until Matthew signaled that he was ready to leave. The short ride to my parents’ house was incredibly awkward and quiet. I walked Matthew to the door and he told me he had accidentally bumped into Dave at the party his response was "Your sister & I were having a great time until you ruined our night. Also, if you bump into me again I’ll break your fucking arm."
I gaped in horror as I realized I still had to drive this psycho back to his apartment. Luckily the ride was without incident, unless you count him trying to talk me into going back inside with him. I firmly said "No" until he got out of my car and then I sped away.

The next day I got a text from him saying 'Not a good sign when the flowers are left behind :(.' I responded with 'Not a good sign when you threaten my brother and accuse him of ruining your night.' He tried to say he had been kidding & that Matthew had taken it wrong but I didn't believe him, especially after the shady things Dave had already done the night before. Plus my brother is sacred to me, and I would never let anyone harm him in any way, so the incident from the night before was enough to turn me off of Dave forever.

I replied, "Matthew thinks you’re a real piece of shit. I trust his judgment completely. Piss off and don’t contact me again." Luckily, he heeded my bitchy text.

Looking back, I realize I should have done a lot of things differently and that I was extremely lucky that Dave never did anything to harm me when we were alone. My brother was only 17 at the time, but he was a big guy (6' 2", 200+ lbs). I'm not sure why I didn't drive Dave home first and keep my brother in the car with me, but never fear, I have learned from this experience.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Man in the Red Underwear

About a year ago I was attending film school, and I lived out in Hollywood. I was 21 years old, and stayed in a gated apartment complex. Getting home at late hours the community gym would be closed, So I'd go jogging at nighttime -- Usually doing laps around the outside of my complex.
After doing this for about a year, I came completely accustomed to running at around 10-12 at night...
Until the last time I ever did that again.

While jogging I slowed to a walk. I took my headphones off, and looked at my iPhone to change the song I was running to. I had a weird hunch like I was being watched. I looked across the street, and there was a tall dark skinny man. He was wearing nothing but red underwear, and unbuttoned shirt.
As soon as I noticed him, he began to open the unbuttoned part of his shirt seductively revealing his torso.

After being in Hollywood for a while I was use to these crazy vagrants, and all the weird shit they do. I just looked back at him in a disturbed manner, and thought to myself 'whatver, just another---'
Then mid thought I hear-

I turn my head over and he's screaming, pointing, and flailing around. I begin to walk faster. His screaming grows louder. I turn around and he's shirtless, just in his red underwear -- crossing the street coming towards me.

"WHERE THE FUCK - FUCK #$%#@$%" He was just screaming nonsense. I'm now sprinting at full speed. In the midst of this that nutjob in his underwear is STILL chasing me, STILL yelling. I eventually turn around; he's gone.

I re-entered my apartment complex, and went home. After I got inside I told my roommates what what happened. We joked about it for a little, --- Then there was a loud bang at my our door.
We all went up to the door, and opened it. Nothing. --- No one was there. We all went outside looked around. --- No one was there.

After that nothing ever came about this, and never seen or heard of the midnight underwear marauder again...Except for the fact I'd only run inside of the community from that point on.
... Let's NEVER meet ...



This is a long post, but it is the most severe, gut reaction to a creeper I've ever had. I want to just say outright to that I am NOT a person given to hysterics of any kind. Anyway. I was staying out of town for a class in a motel by myself. Being a student, I went cost over amenities and ended up In one of those deals that's two stories with all doors accessible from the outside. On this night, my room was in the back of the motel on the bottom floor. After I'd gone in to get settled I came back out in front of my car to have a cigarette. As I was smoking, I looked up and noticed a 30 something guy in a red shirt on the walkway above. Nothing really significant about him. The only reason he really caught my attention is because he didn't seem to have come from a room. He walked the length of the upper balcony, down the stairs and then back across the bottom, passing where I was standing. He didn't stop or speak, but as he approached I was terrified. Hairs on neck raised, goosebumps, the whole deal. I recall thinking that I shouldn't dart back into my room because I didn't want him to know which was mine, so I held my ground. After he passed and walked toward the other building on the side and across the parking lot from my building, I grabbed my computer from my car and went back to my room. Quite irrationally I searched every inch of that room. I knew there was no way he could have gotten in but I just couldn't shake the awful feeling I got from him.

Fast forward 45 minutes. I had been on the phone with my sis and made no mention of the man because at that point I'd calmed down and decided I was being silly. Right before we hung up though my sis said, "Just be careful, okay?" Now we are not a family who says "be careful" and "I love you" on the phone so I asked why she said it. She replied she just had a weird feeling, so I told her about the man. We decided I should call the front desk and at least see if he was staying there, so I hung up with her, put a chair in front of the door (because of course I was scared again) and made the call.
I told the girl at the desk that I knew it was crazy, but there was a guy on the property who was kind of giving me the creeps. She immediately replied, "With the red shirt?" I swear my blood ran cold. Turns out he was a guest but he'd been walking around for the past 3 hours and intermittently coming to the lobby only to abruptly leave when another guest entered. The check-in girl was so freaked she called her roommate to stay with her until her shift ended. After I hung up I could not stay there through the night so I packed up, ran to my car and drove around to the front to check-out and get the story from the girl. She was just as scared as me. The guy had an out of state plate and even when he didn't enter the lobby he would stand outside and peer in. The girl had the distinct impression he was trying to get her alone. Needless to say I haven't stayed at that hotel since. Sort of anti-climatic there but words cannot describe the terror (not an exaggeration) that I got from the presence of this man. I fully expected to hear about a murder the next day at that hotel. Thankfully that didn't happen, but even now if he were to flash across the television as a serial murderer I would believe it.


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Catfished in Camden

This is possibly one of the weirdest things to ever happen to me.

I had just moved to London, and being a bit lonely and wanting to get into the dating scene I tried doing the whole OKCupid thing. It was alright. I honestly wasn’t too active on it. I’d check my account a few times a week and message some profiles of girls that I thought were pretty. 95% of the time my messages would go unanswered. I’d guess it was mostly because many of my messages in retrospect were pretty uncreative and dry.

One day I was messing around looking through various profiles when I saw an extremely attractive girl and decided I had to message her. In my opinion, she was a perfect ten. Not just the fact that she was a gorgeous blonde, but we liked a lot of the same music and movies and well I could actually send her a decent e-mail because of all the things we had in common. I also need to reiterate that her pictures were smoking which most definitely clouded my judgement. I should also mention that I’m former military and an Afghan veteran, so nothing really scares me.

Almost immediately after pressing “send” she responded. We messaged each other through the OKCupid messenger service for about a week and I got to learn a lot about her. Her name was Aoife (pronounced EE-FAH) and she was from Belfast. She told me she had a daughter named Rosin (which didn’t really bother me) and had a very long complicated story about how she grew up a Catholic in Northern Ireland during the troubles and was orphaned at a young age. She seemed really driven and had such an amazing story. I had so many questions and in all reality a lot of respect for her, so it was really easy to keep talking to her.

Within about another week we started talking on the phone and then sometimes on Skype. She’d never do an actual videochat (which at the time I didn’t think was too weird) but she’d send me pictures of her and her daughter, friends, etc. For the most part this whole thing seemed legit. The stories she had were pretty detailed and she was talking about stuff that I really didn’t know a lot about and honestly couldn’t comprehend.

Then there were parts of the story that seemed to get kinda weird and didn’t add up. At first she told me she was a hair stylist at some swank place in Central London. I don’t really frequent Central a lot... so ok... no biggie. I’d just met her online... I wasn’t going to head into central to stalk her at work.

Then she said that she owned a bar in Camden called “The Lock Tavern” (which I looked up on the internet and is a real place) and managed it on weekends. She had detailed stories about the bouncers and regulars, etc. This didn’t seem to make a lot of sense but ok.. .I mean I guess you could do both jobs and be a full time mom? It seemed odd, but she seemed driven, and she also seemed really hot so who was I to judge? Again, I wasn’t going to be super creeper and pop down there... I just took her word for it. She also said she lived in a really nice penthouse near Covent Garden... which if anyone knows the London real estate market didn’t seem plausible on a hairdresser/barmaid's wages (She explained this by saying that she’d fallen into some money after the troubles. It seemed kinda far fetched, but again, without actually meeting her who am I to judge?) I started to notice some other weird things. She’d send me pictures and in some of them certain tattoos were present, in some they weren’t. I figured she was just sending old pictures but I remember that is what started to tip me off that things were fishy to say the least. But again, there’s really nothing wrong with sending old pictures and I had no real reason not to believe the photos were Aoife. They all seemed like the same girl and with the excpetion of the tattoos and some small changes in hair colour. Nothing really seemed out of the ordinary. She would also send me pictures of her daughter, Roisin (whom she claimed was 14).

Finally after talking to Aoife for a few weeks online I asked her out on a date. I figured it was time I finally meet her. We’re set to meet up on a Friday night and on that Friday she doesn’t respond to a single text or call. I had nowhere to meet her. By around 9pm she texts saying things got out of control at her pub, and she was really sorry but she had to cancel. I was upset and should have bailed there, but I forgave her and we agreed to set up another first meeting.

Things from here really started to get weird. As I said I was doing the online dating thing, and in this time I’d met a few other girls. Another girl named Jo had asked me out (who turned out to be a psychopath, but that’s just because she had an uncontrollable temper... and is nothing interesting enough to put on this subreddit). I went out with Jo one night in an area of London called Shoreditch (which isn’t too far from where Aoife’s pub was). While I was out Aoife called and texted me a few times. I basically just ignored the calls. When the date was over, I said “bye” to Jo and went home and called Aoife. She asked where I was, and basically... well I lied... I said I was out with a friend. Aoife didn’t say anything and we talked on the phone for a bit and then said goodnight.

This situation got strange a few nights later when Aoife caught me in my lie. She claimed knew that I was out with another girl. She knew which restaurant I was at and the night that I'd been there. She knew what Jo had looked like. Aoife claimed that one of the bouncers from her pub knew what I looked like because she had shown him photos and he recognised me when I came through the doors at the restaurant in Shoreditch. (This didn’t make a lot of sense because I didn’t see any bouncers at the restaurant we were at... but maybe he was bartending or something. I didn’t know. She had details and they were spot on.) This was odd to say the least.

I basically told Aoife that the date was set up before I’d even met her, and that we weren’t really dating, so she had no right to be upset. Plus she’d stood me up, if anyone should be mad, it’s me.
To be honest I forget what really happened in this part of the story. I think we fought for a little bit. Didn’t talk for a few weeks. Then one night she called me really late. It seemed off so I answered. She was panicking. From what I could tell she was suffering from sleep paralysis... which I know is scary so I stayed on the phone with her until she went back to sleep. This happened a few more times. I really had no intention to date or even see her. I went home to the US for about a month and while we did keep limited contact, there was nothing too serious and my expectations were pretty low.
After I had gotten back to London she invited me out. I don’t remember much of the details but, she ended up canceling on me again. I basically decided “fuck it.” I wasn’t even upset. We’d text a little bit, but the communications really started to die down. I really didn’t think much about it and went on with my life.

Then one night I entered the Twilight Zone

One day I was in the King's Cross/St. Pancras area with a friend of mine from the States. He had to make a meeting nearby so I was by myself in the area. That's when I got a text from Aoife. She asked if I wanted to meet up and I figured “hell might as well finally meet this girl.” I was in the same area of town (2 stops away) and I didn’t see any harm in it. She told me to meet her up in Camden and she’d be at the Wetherspoons’ Pub at noon. It wasn’t a date (at least in the romantic sense--which was good) and at this point I was really curious as to who she was. I’d literally spent hours talking and texting to this girl.

So I don’t know Camden that well and I’m getting texts from her on the way up there as I’m trying to find the Wetherspoons’ (It’s right by the Lock in Camden by the way). She’s telling me she’s at work and in the process of selling her share in the bar but she’s on her way. Another friend of her’s is at the bar, but “he’s a great guy, you’ll like him.” Again, I was already right there. Might as well meet her friend.

That’s when I met Reece.

Reece was a tall skinny Ginger kid. He was about 21 and had a thick Irish accent. I walked up to him shook his hand and we got drinks. He seemed nice enough and for as weird as the situation could potentially be it wasn’t all that uncomfortable. Another one of his friends was there as well. They seemed like two nerds in their early twenties. They talked about football and videogames and all the other stuff twenty-something kids talk about mixed in with a little bit of politics and a couple random questions about “how do you know Aoife?” etc. I’d been in Afghanistan fighting the Taliban a few years prior, this situation was’t anything to be concerned about.

Then I got a text from Aoife. Something along the lines of “Hey, getting tied up, be there in about an hour.” Reece seemed nice enough. So we hung out got a few beers, and moved on to the next pub. Still no Aoife.

Reece and his friend were nice. We did rounds, and fortunately I hold my beer pretty well. Another apologetic text from Aoife rolls in. “Fuck it...we’re drinking” I thought and we were having a good enough time. Reece would ask me random questions about Aoife, but I basically shrugged it off to it being one of the only few things we had in common. We bar hopped around Camden and went to the Hawley Arms (Redditors may know this bar because it’s one of Amy Winehouse’s old haunts). At one point I was in the cue to buy a round of drinks and felt like this guy was way too close to me. I turned around and saw an overweight old man with an ugly brown jacket and a pock-marked face. He had a crucifix tattooed on his neck. In all honesty; a typical barfly you’d see in any British pub. I said “excuse me” and walked past him. We continued to drink and bullshit the day away.

By this time it was like 2:30-3 and Aoife is nearing three hours late. I decide “Fuck it... lets go to the Lock Tavern (her bar).” Reece and his friend seemed cool with it. We get there and there’s two Irish tri-colours flying above the place. “Yeah... you can tell Aoife owns the place, huh?” Reece said. The part of the story kinda added up.

We went into her place and I text her to tell her we’re there. “Oh great, I’m almost done with this, I’ll be down in a minute.” She never comes down. But this is when the story gets really really weird.
This other dude named Pete shows up shakes Reece’s hand and Reece says “oh you’re here to meet Eva” (Keep in mind that Aoife and Eva are phonetically almost identical names). I look at Reece and he’s like “Ah this must seem weird...Eva is Aoife’s best friend." Now this seemed really weird but I needed to figure out what was going on. These two girls have almost exactly the same name and I had never heard Aoife mention Eva before.

I start talking to Pete and Reece starts asking similar questions to him about “Eva” that he was asking me about Aoife. But some of these questions were getting more serious. He was asking him things like “Do you love her?” Pete’s story then starts to sound eerily similar to mine: Pete meets Eva online, she’s from N. Ireland, has a daughter named Roisin (In his version she's 12). He’d tried to meet up with her a few times but it fell though. He was invited last minute to hang out today.
“Oh shit, this is weird.” Is all I could think. Something wasn’t right. At this point I knew that someone was getting played (probably me) and I was in some kind of game but I needed to figure out what exactly was going on. Pete and I started to figure out things right about the same time and right in front of Reece who stuck to his guns on the story remarkably well. “They both have similar names...they both have daughters that are around the same age with a really common Irish name.” I’m not buying it. Neither is Pete. I decide that the pub we were in might not be friendly territory and I don’t want to get Shanghaied in Camden, so I suggest we leave. “Aoife” sends me a text saying she’s almost on her way down. “Great, I said... meet us up the street at some other pub.” Pete and I start walking out. On the way out I asked the bartender “Hey is Aoife ********** working today? He responds “no mate, Aoife *********** hasn’t worked here in three years.” At this point I know something really really creepy is going on.

We head to the next pub. I’ve got a good buzz going on, but I know I need to sober the fuck up and fast. I think Pete might be a victim in this game too, but he might not be. He for sure can't be trusted. Reece and his buddy are suspect as well but I don't have any proof yet and my curiosity is keeping me there. We walk into another pub. Reece’s friend says something to Reece and I don’t hear it. Neither does Pete. Reece looses it. He yells at his friend and his friend basically says “fuck you, I’m out” and takes off. Pete and I are still trying to put things together. I find a table on an outdoor deck. It’s quiet. I can think, and I can piece this together. It's amazing how fast you can sober up when you think you're in trouble.

I ask Pete if he has any pictures of “Eva.” and Pete pulls out his phone. He shows me a picture that I’d seen before. “Wait, That’s Roisin (Aoife’s daughter).” “No mate, that’s Eva.” Pete replies. This is making no sense. I’d been sent the same picture of the same girl and been told it was Aoife’s 14-year-old daughter.

I showed Pete pictures that I had of Aoife. He claimed he’d never seen the girl in the photos before. Reece was sticking to the story that I had pictures of Aoife and Pete had pictures of Eva and that he wasn’t sure why I thought the pic was of Roisin. He also kept claiming that Aoife and Eva texted him and they were on their way.

That’s when it dawned on me. I simply looked at Pete and asked him “what number do you have in your phone for Eva?” Pete reads the number on his phone and it turns out being the EXACT same number I had for Aoife in my phone. If all the other clues hadn’t added up, this one sent it over the edge. It also sent Pete out of the bar as he literally jumped over a table and ran out of the door in a panic (It was actually quite the sight to see).

At this point it was just me and Reece. I don’t think that he had overheard that we both had the same number for someone that he was telling me were two separate girls. Reece said that Aoife and Eva had texted him and that they’re on their way. I don’t know who Aoife and Eva are at this point or if they even exist. I basically tell Reece that I think he’s playing some kind of fucked up game and that he’s “more than suspect” of wrongdoing. He took offense this and at physically threatened me. He wasn’t a big dude and knew that if he stepped to me it wasn’t going to end well. I basically walked right through him, knocking him into a doorframe and tore out of the bar.

I headed straight for the tube. I needed to jump on the Northern line and get home. I wasn’t waiting for anything. At this point I have no idea what the fuck is going on. At best I’d been in some sort of weird Manti Te’o type Catfish scam at worst I was almost a victim in a snuff movie.

I get on the tube and there’s a guy right behind me. I look at him. He’s overweight, pock-marked face, brown jacket. We make eye contact. I look at his neck and there’s the crucifix tattoo. It was the same guy from the Hawley Arms. I'm a bit worried, but I've been under worse pressure before in my life. I calmly sat down on the train. The train was being held in Camden for some reason and wasn't moving. That’s when who jumps on the same carriage as the two of us? Reece.

I could have sworn he made eye contact and gave a nod to the man in the brown jacket. At this point I played dumb that they were there. On the London Tube there’s a certain dinging noise that’s made right before the doors close. I waited to hear that noise and then bolted out of the door. I ran around and doubled back on the tube several times. When I finally got back near home I texted a friend in New Cross and told her I was scared I was being followed. She was having a party that night and invited me over. I really didn't want to head home alone.

At this point, I think I doubled back and switched lines enough that if Reece and the man in the brown coat were following me, I’d lost them. I made it to New Cross safe and sound.
I had a few calls from “Aoife” the next few days but I never wanted to answer them. She also sent a few texts saying we needed to talk. Eventually she stopped calling and texting altogether. I have a few theories on the whole issue. One of my friends thinks that Reece and Aoife are the same person. I wouldn't rule it out but the person I talked to on the phone definitely sounded like a woman.
Anyway, I thought I'd share. To those of you who are dating online and meeting sketchy people, be safe about it. Never let your curiosity get to you like it did me. If there's anyone out there who has any idea what was going on feel free to share or play your theories off me. I'm still baffled by the whole thing.

tl;dr Met a hot girl on the internet, tried to meet her, met a guy at a bar with the exact same story about a similar girl with a similar name, realised girl doesn't exist, followed onto tube by creepy people instead of meeting hot girl