source: Thought Catalog
JUST STOPPING FOR GAS
My boyfriend told me this one, and his sister and mom confirm it.
He was driving through Texas on his way to visit relatives. It’s dead of night on a tonne lane highway in the middle of no where. He hasn’t passed a gas station in a while, and his tank was getting low, so decided to fill up at the next available station.
After a while he rolls into a small town, there’s a lit up diner on the right and local gas station on the left. All the lights are on and cars filling up so he figures this place is open.
It seems to be exceptionally busy for this time of night, but he really needs gas so decides to wait in line to fill up. There’s only two cars ahead of him so it shouldn’t take long. At this point his sister wakes up in the back seat.
“What’s taking so long?” it’s been like ten minutes and not one car has moved.
Then all of a sudden his sister blurts out “none of the people are moving” sure enough, the people waiting in the cars, the people filling up, the cashier and people in the convenient store. None had moved since they pulled up to the station.
His heart is racing at this point, but he pulls up to get a closer look. Sure enough, ever single person at this gas station is a mannequin.
So basically they peeled outta there, and never looked back. I wish they had taken pictures because I would have loved to see it.
VOICES IN THE WILDERNESS
I am from Finland, and that’s also where these things i’m about to describe to you happened. This was some years ago (pre-smartphone/GPS era). It was the end of the summer and myself and two friends were on a camping trip way up in the north, in Lapland. The mosquito season was over, and the weather was cooling down in anticipation of the coming fall. The three of us had packed food and gear for a 10 day trek. The car we arrived in had been left at the parking lot of a visitor center – this happened within the premises of the Urho Kekkonen National Park, a 985 sq. mile stretch of wilderness near the Russian border.
The terrain there varies greatly, from treeless and semi-mountaineous to dense forest of spruce and pine and dwarf birch. There are lots of swamps. Seeing reindeer is not uncommon and some nights you might hear wolves in the distance. You can run into a bear or a wolverine in this place, but of course normally they avoid people. We mostly camped in a tent, but some nights we used shelters and simple huts provided for travellers free of charge. The trip had lasted 5 days, we were at the furthest of any kind of civilization we were going to be on that particular outing, truly in the middle of nowhere – there really is nothing there. There are no villages, towns or industry, the place is a national park after all. Seeing other hikers happened from time to time, you’d see some people in the distance maybe, very rarely would you come face to face with anyone.
So, in the middle of our trip, we were camped in a small clearing, woodland extending around us for a considerable distance in all directions. It was already dark, we had eaten our evening meal and all three of us were jammed in our only tent. It was a bit cramped but we fit. We took turns carrying it during the hikes. We were just exchanging some jokes and crude humour in the dark, like guys in their twenties do, about to go to sleep in our sleeping bags. When we quieted down we began to hear it: talking. And the sound of machinery. Given our location, this was profoundly weird. We camped in a tent because there were no huts nearby. Maybe there was another camp somewhere near us? We couldn’t quite make out what was being said, but it was a human voice, no doubt about it. But nothing really could explain the sound of heavy machinery. It sounded like an excavator or a tank, something big, powerful, and really not too far away. Combined with the sound of talking, we thought “construction yard”. But at that time of night, in an unpopulated, protected nature reserve? We got out of our tent. It was cold and pitch black, the campfire had some coals stll glowing. We took out our flashlights.
My two buddies have always been a lot braver than me. The sound was clearly coming from the north, maybe half a kilometer away. We thought the construction might be going on behind a small hill some distance away. We could see no lights or anything. We still could not make out what was being said. The speaking-like voice was monotonous, and it was impossible even to say what language was being used. Still sounded a lot like a person speaking though. You may be aware of the sort of spooky phenomenon of hearing a human voice in static? Maybe you’ve used a blowdryer and been sure someone is talking – turn it off and it was just something the brain tried to interpret from the steady hum. Maybe it was sort of like that, it’s hard to explain. The machinery-like sound continued, not loud, but you could sort of make out the powerful engine, at times accelerating/adding power, at times at idle. My two friends resolved to go find out what was going on. We put our warm clothes back on, donned boots and i sat next to the dying fire, adding some more wood to it. I would stay at camp while my buddies left to check out this mystery construction yard in the middle of nowhere in the Lapland woods.
So, there i sat. The guys took out their maps, took a compass heading and left and i could hear them make their way through the forest, see the light from their flashlights. Then they were gone. The weird sounds continued, unaltered. They were gone 15 minutes, then maybe 30. Then the better part of an hour. It was odd, judging by the volume of the sound, they should have reached it, checked it out and been back already. I added more firewood, and tried to make out what the person talking was saying but it was too tinny and obscure. The guys had been away for over 2 hours. I figured they had stayed for coffee with the construction guys or something. Then the sound stopped. Just like that. It just ended, all at the same time. The engine sound and the voice both just quit. It was very silent. I waited for another 30 minutes, very worried now that something had happened, that maybe my friends were lost. Should i go and try to find them? I shouted their names several times, and built the fire pretty big. I was scared shitless when suddenly i saw the flashlights of my friends. Apparently they were returning in a hurry.
The guys got back to camp, out of breath. They told me the following: They had followed the sound beyond the small ridge in the distance. There was nothing there and it seemed like they were not getting any closer to the source of the sounds. They had to stop every now and then, be quiet and listen to it to be able to walk towards it. They walked and stopped like this for some time, then realized they were not getting any closer. The sounds did not change in volume at all. They decided to go “just a bit further” several times, when suddenly the sound just stopped like someone pressed a button on a recording. They realized they had been going on for a long time. They were in the middle of the dark woods, alone. They reversed the heading and started back at a brisk pace. Eventually they saw my big ass fire from the top of a hill and found their way back.
The weird thing is, we seemed to think the sound stopped at different times. They had been gone 2,5 hours in total. They said the sounds stopped at around the 1 hour 15 minutes mark after they left, they then started to head back immediately, return trip taking a bit longer even though they kept a good pace, they apparently wandered around a bit. For me, the sound stopped at the 2 hour mark, just 30 minutes before they returned.
We did not sleep that night. Nothing more happened on that trip and we never found out what the weird construction yard like sound was about. When we returned to the parks visitor center some 5 days later, we asked around but no-one knew of any ongoing construction taking place in the whole national park area. Been bugging me ever since…
A DREAM SO REAL THAT IT MUST HAVE HAPPENED
I had a (subjectively) long, involved dream where I was a vendor in a fish market. I remember getting up early, dressing, doing a whole morning routine, going to get tea, heading out to the docks, buying fish, loading them in a cart and going to get ice, then haggling for ice, buying some less fresh fish while I was at it, then going to a market to my stall, setting up and selling fish all day. It was so real. I talked to friends, smoked nasty cigarettes, haggled customers, ate lunch, had tea and just lived through the day. At the end of the day, I cleaned up, counted my cash, paid the stall rent, went home, cooked some of the fish I hadn’t sold, sling with some veggies and rice that I’d traded for. I drank more tea, relaxed for awhile, then drew a hot bath, soaked and smoked some more cigs, then went to bed.
The next morning, I woke up refreshed, ready to go down to the docks to buy fresh catch…. Except I was in my house, next to my wife, truck parked outside and it was Saturday – no work. My wife and I were getting geared up to go skiing in Oregon and the car was already packed. Weird thing was….
In the dream, I was single. And a smoker (I’m not). And the whole long dream had been in fluent Chinese. The effortless kind of fluency that only comes from a lifetime of speaking it. Oh, and I had been Chinese.
I’m a big, hairy white dude – somewhat fluent in Spanish and I know a little bit of Russian, but I’ve never…. It was just weird. I’ve never worked in a fish market.
I wonder who I was. I wonder what that was.
SPEAKING FRENCH…WHEN YOU DON’T SPEAK FRENCH
Several years ago I woke up in bed next to my (now ex) girlfriend and we had a conversation in fluent French. I got up and got in the shower, and as the water started running I realized, neither of us spoke French. When I got out I asked her about it. She remembered it happening but was as confused as I was. I can’t even remember what we talked about because I don’t fucking speak French.
I’ve experienced deja vu a couple of times when I was younger, and while that is certainly freaky, nothing beats its opposite,jamais vu, which I experienced twice during a period of work related stress a few years ago.
On both occasions I was driving in my car, in perfectly familiar surroundings near my home, when suddenly I had no idea where I was or where I was going. It was like being instantly teleported to a foreign country.
It only lasted seconds, but very creepy nonetheless. Until it happened to me, I had no idea that this even existed.
AN ODD NIGHT AT THE HOTEL
I work as a security/nighttime attendant at an apartment building. It’s 24 stories and one of the oldest buildings in the city.
One night I’m sitting here when the phone rings at about 3 AM, and I answer “Hello this is Rick at the front desk how can I help you?” the voice on the other end sounded female, but was totally garbled and the only bit I could make out was “23rd floor.” I tried to tell the person I couldn’t understand them, and asked what apartment they were in, but again garbled response and “23rd floor.” After the 3rd time of trying to understand them and the same response, I said since I couldn’t understand them I’d come up and to meet me in the hallway.
So I go to the main elevators, and both are up on the (surprise) 23rd floor. Luckily, we have an older service elevator and it’s only on the 7th floor so I call it down. I get it and hit the button for the 23rd floor, but it won’t move and the inner door won’t close, so I go to unlock the reset panel and boom we start going up, door still open. I’m freaking out, and the elevator is shaking because it goes pretty fast and is old. As I’m going up, I just stay towards the back and finally I reach floor 23.
I step out, door closes just fine, and I look around the hallway. There’s nobody around. I walk along slowly trying to listen for anyone awake who might’ve called, but there’s nothing. So now I head the opposite direction and go towards where the regular elevators are and when I get to them they are just sitting there with their doors open. I was pretty freaked out but I knew it could just be the elevators on the fritz, so I get in and figure I’ll just reset them when I get to floor 1 when I hear the sound of the back stairwell closing.
So I quickly get out and go to the stairwell and lo and behold, no one’s there, but the maintenance door to the machine room is ajar, and at that time I’m the only one in the building with a key. At the top of the building is a large machine room housing all the really really loud machinery that does stuff in the building and allows access to the roof. I don’t like going into it because it’s creepy as fuck and no one ever goes there, so at this point I’m seriously freaked out but I muster up and head in.
I shout “Hello?!” and there’s no response. The lights in this room flicker because they’re shitty florescent so I can’t see well either, but at the end of the room I can make out the roof access door and sure as shit, It’s slightly open. So I slowly continue forward checking the space in between each machine as I walk by, and there’s no one there so I open the roof access door. I can’t see anyone ahead of me on the roof but there is a slight wrap around and if there was a jumper or something I needed to be sure so I step out and leave the door ajar like it was.
Almost immediately, the door is pulled shut. Now I might’ve written it off as wind or something, but this door is hard to shut and hard to open. Really hard. I immediately grab the handle and hank it open, slam it behind me and run straight for the maintenance door. It automatically locks when it’s closed so I slam it shut too and go back to the 23rd floor hallway, get into an elevator (doors still open) and go all the way down to the first floor. I go back to the main lobby and as soon as I sit down, the phone rings. I pick it up, don’t say a word, and sure as hell garbled voice again only audibly saying “23rd floor.” I hung up the phone, turned the ringer off and spent the rest of the evening just staring at the parking garage security monitor.
THE DEAD UNCLE WHO DIDN’T DIE
I knew my uncle had died.
My mom had called me and told me the news. It was very sad. She told me in the middle of work and I told one of my coworkers. He expressed his condolences on my loss.
A couple weeks later, my sister mentioned my aunt and uncle doing something. I said “but…he’s dead.” And my sister said no, he wasn’t.
I called my mom. No, he wasn’t dead.
To this day I’m still not sure how much of it my brain imagined and how much was real. Did I really talk to my coworker? Was I even on the phone with my mom at all that day?
It still freaks me out knowing that my mind could fabricate so complete and real a memory like that.
THE MAN WITH THE DOG
About 10 years ago I was walking my dog in the park. It was a nice, sunny morning, lots of dew on the grass, so wherever you walked it would leave a “path” of dark grass where the dew was knocked off the blades. It would be impossible for anyone (or a dog) to walk through the grass without leaving such a trail.
So, Mr. Dog and I are strolling along, he is ahead of me, pissing on bushes, snuffling, etc. when he stops cold. His hackles go up and he looks across the park, growling. I look to where he is staring and there is this guy with a dog about 100 yards away, near a large tree, legs moving like he is walking. Thing is, even though his legs are moving his ground speed doesn’t seem to match up with the speed of his legs. Kind of like seeing someone moonwalk.
Anyhow, I write it off to perspective or humidity or something and keep walking. The dog however won’t walk with me and stays rooted to his spot making this high pitched whine. I walk back to the dog and look over to where the guy was and he is still in just about the same spot, still moving funny.
So I decide to check out this odd walking dude. I hook up the dog to the leash and we start walking across the wet grass to where he is, thinking our dogs might play together.
My dog is not happy. He is clinging to my left leg like velcro as we make our way across the field. As we progress I notice that it appears the guy is actually walking away from me, as I don’t seem to be gaining on him. At this point I still don’t think anything is odd…until I get to the place where I first saw him, the large tree.
I look down at the ground and I see this almost perfect circle about 10′ in diameter of dry, dew free grass. Thing is, there are no footprints leading to or from this circle. The dog on the other hand is flipping his shit and is looking at were we just came from.
I look up and see that the guy isn’t ahead of me anymore. He is back on the other side of the grassy field and he is standing just about where I was standing when I first saw him.
He has a dog. He is staring at me. He hooks his dog to the leash and starts walking toward us.
Needless to say I freaked out and we cut sideways out of the park and down to a populated street. I kept looking back but didn’t see him or his dog again.
After telling this story to a couple friends of mine, they speculated there was some kind of refraction of light or optical illusion which gave me the impression I was seeing another person but I was actually seeing myself reflected in mist or fog or something.
But I think I saw a time warp of myself walking my dog one day and tried to chase it.
A LIFESAVING BAD DREAM
One night, I had a dream of my mom and I dying in a bomb blast. It terrifying and I was sweating like a mad man.
Anyway the next day, my mom and I went to this marketplace to get some of her fabric tailored. It was probably 3:30 in the afternoon when suddenly I got a stomachache. I started to cry and whine about how bad my stomach was hurting. My mom finally gave up with my whining and took me back home.
Back home, I was suddenly feeling okay and went out to play with my friends, my mom thought that I was probably pretending to be sick just to play with my friends but when I return she hugged me tightly and started to cry. A bomb had been detonated in the same marketplace we were in 1 hour ago, And the most freakiest thing is that my mom tells me to this day is that she believes I actually saw the man who placed the bomb and started to cry. But I don’t really remember.
A CALL FROM A FRIEND
I was a total idealist back in high school so when choosing a college I chose to go somewhere that none of my friends were attending so that I could strike out on my own in a “finding myself” sort of way. Well I ended up making a few really close friends my first semester. I mean, these guys became like family to me in a matter of months. One day during winter break one of those guys, my buddy Kimbo, had gone back home to visit friends and family and on his return trip to our college he hit a bad patch of ice and got into a car accident and was killed….it hurt like a son of a bitch for a long time and I still think about him all the time but anyways a few weeks after Kimbo’s accident me and the rest of the guys were getting back from a party off campus and as we were standing outside our dorm building smoking a cig I felt my phone vibrating and when I pulled it out I saw that I was getting a call from Kimbo’s phone! Dumbfounded, I showed my friends the phone quickly and then answered. When I picked up it just went directly to his voicemail which played the same message it always had…..It never happened again and we never really talked about it but for me it was one of those “someone’s looking after me” moments. I hadn’t been doing very well after his death but seeing his name show up on my cellphone screen one final time made me feel a whole lot better for a time and really helped me get out of the slump I was in. I have no idea how his phone could’ve possibly called me and I doubt I ever will but this was one “glitch in the matrix” that I’ll forever be thankful for.
Rest in peace, Kim. But feel free to call again.
“SHARP BEND, HM?!”
When I was like 10 or 11 I was going to the beach with my aunt and her friends. There were two cars of us. To get there we had to go through a very large industrial area. We didn’t know the direction, so our car was following the other. Suddenly, they did an unexpected turn and so our driver had to take a sharp bend.
In that moment we heard a very clear, loud voice inside the car saying laughing “Sharp bend, hm?!” The driver immediately hit the brakes. We looked at each other, puzzled: we all recognized it as a voice not belonging to any of us.
In the very same time, we noticed that the other car has stopped as well. The other driver got out of the car with a scared face and shouted to us: “Did… did you hear that as well?”.
They heard the very same thing inside theircar. The area around was full deserted.
INTO THE FUTURE
When I was a teenager I had two really intense dreams one night. The first one was about an online friend of mine calling me to say she’d broken up with her boyfriend, and I sang a few lines of Seal’s “Don’t Cry” to her over the phone. The second dream was finding a (real life) friend dead body floating in her bathtub.
I didn’t think anything of it up until I logged online that evening and the online friend came online to tell me her boyfriend broke up with her. I immediately asked if I could call her, and she said no. I remember thinking that it meant something, like I could change it. Not long after, my phone rang, and it was Real Life friend from the dream calling me. I was completely freaked at this point, but talked to her normally… she was just talking about school and shit… up until I realized I heard a splash in the background. I asked her, “Are you in the tub?” and when she said yes I felt like my heart had stopped. I asked her, “What did you do?”. She didn’t answer me right away, and then after a very long pause she told me she’d taken an entire bottle of pills and chased it with mushrooms and vodka. She’d gotten scared waiting for it to hit her… so she called me so she’d hear someone’s voice. I hung up and called 911. By the time they got there she was unconscious, but alive. Today she’s a mom to a beautiful little girl, and she’s ok.
When I was 16 I went to California with my mom. We were there on vacation and were doing some shopping in La Jolla. Mom wanted to go into an artist’s studio that I wasn’t too interested in so I decided to wander around the area to see what I could see. I walked past an alley between two shops and saw a figure resting against to a dumpster. From the entry to the alley I could tell he was very likely homeless due to his tattered, dirty clothes, well-traveled shoes, and grungy demeanor. He looked up at me and in a raspy, tired voice asked “Son, might I trouble you to spare a dollar?” I’m not usually the type to approach such situations, but I figured since we were in a relatively active area that I didn’t have too much to worry about. Plus, he’s a human in need. I walked closer to him and pulled a dollar out of my wallet. As I handed it to him I noticed his hat was a Vietnam War Veteran hat with a few pins on it. I asked him if he served and he said that he most regrettably did. He also said that “Since you were kind enough to donate a dollar, I believe that can buy you a story or two.” Now, I LOVE war stories, memorabilia, strategies, anything. Love the stuff. I was more than happy to listen to him.
He began to tell me his story. He was 19 when he first arrived in ‘Nam, under the colors of black and yellow. “Yes sir. I was one of the First. Damned proud of it, too.” He told me the story of how he was a helo-gunner in the Pleiku Campaign and during the Tet Offensive he was the “unlucky sumbitch that had to carry that goddamn meatsaw around.” (He carried the M60) He said his entire squad was wiped out by a 122mm rocket barrage, and that none of them even made it out of the city.
It was at this point that he got visibly distressed and I felt extremely human. I don’t want to experience war like that. The men you’ve done so much with, who all have families and stories of their own…suddenly gone.
He never once mentioned his name.
Anyways, after a few moments of silence, he looked up at me and said “Thank you for listening, and thank you again for the dollar. I promised you two stories, but as I could barely make it through one, I’d like you to have this. You seem like you’d appreciate it more than me.” and he pulled off a pin from his hat and handed it to me. It was a poorly made and weathered M60 pin.
I thanked him for the pin and for the story, and thanked him for his service so that people like me could live our lives comfortably and without knowing the horrors of war.
My phone began to vibrate. I pulled it out of my pocket and answered it. My mom was asking where I was. I stepped out of the alley and flagged her my direction.
When I turned back to the man to tell him it was time for me to go…you know in those movies where the protagonist is talking to some mysterious being, turns away for a second, and then turns back only to find their guest has disappeared without a trace? Just completely gone?
There was nowhere he could have gone, nowhere he could have hid, nothing there but the padlocked dumpster.
I heard nothing, mom didn’t see anyone run past me, nothing.
I told mom about him and showed her the pin, and she agrees it is totally weird.
Later I thought back on it and remembered that he said his entire squad was wiped out and none of them made it out of the city.
None of them made it out of the city.
JUST A FLASH, THEN IT HAPPENED
I used to be pretty skeptical about most things paranormal, One day while driving home late one night I was passed on the freeway by a car.
In my head I saw clearly the car flipped over in a ditch, the flash was vivid as hell but I shrugged it off.
When I exited the freeway sure enough the car that passed me was at the light waiting to turn opposite way as me.
The light turns he goes, I make the decision to follow him based on that flash, I had waited a few secs and had already lost sight of him.
When I turned, I go about two blocks, sure enough I reach the ditch, and in it is the overturned car.
I get off and help the man out of his car, call the cops, he was drunk as hell.
Anyway that one experience makes me acknowledge theres more out there than we know.
REALITY CHANGING RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU
Me and my friend were at a Chinese Restaurant and we ordered a General Tso chicken Dinner and a shrimp lo mein dish. When we both sat down we took out both boxes and set them on the table about two feet apart. he opens the first box and we see ashrimp lo mein dish. It has all the things in there…noodles shrimp. Fried rice. He closes the box and opens the other box. Inside that box is a shrimp lo mein. Shrimp. Noodles. Fried Rice.
“Oh,” I think, “they must have mixed the order.” I was just about to say this when my friend says out loud “looks like they made a mistake and gave us two…” as he opens the first box again. Inside of it is a General tso chicken order. General tso chicken, white rice, and an egg roll. He froze and looked at me…I looked back at him…and we sat in silence. it took us five or so minutes to collect ourselves. I have no idea what the fuck happened.