Sometimes, people are in situations that can turn scary, and fast. When that happens, it's important to leave as quickly as possible. After all, it could be the difference between life or death.
People on Reddit share their "We need to leave now" moments. Content has been edited for clarity.
"I was waiting for an Uber on the outskirts of Atlanta with a couple friends around 10pm. We were just messing around talking after leaving a nearby restaurant and talking about what bar to go to. A disheveled older man walked up a few feet behind one of my friends and struck a weird pose for two or three minutes while looking in our direction, and there was no one else around. Then he walked off without saying a word. He came back a few minutes later and sat down on the sidewalk about five feet away from us.
At this point I'm just wondering if he wants something from us, because there was absolutely no other reason to plop down that close to us on an empty sidewalk. Then a small sedan pulls in a nearby parking lot. The car parks behind some bushes in the spot closest to us and consequently furthest from any of the shops in that lot.
I only noticed because I happened to be facing that direction. But, then I saw six guys pile out of the sedan and immediately cross the street directly towards us. I realized there were not any shops or restaurants still open nearby. It suddenly occurred to me that the strange dude might have been sizing us up when he was watching us earlier, and he came back to 'mark' us. We were all dressed nice with smartphones out and watches visible, basically the fanciest stuff we had for a night out. Right as I started to speak up that we should head back towards other people, our Uber pulled up to the curb.
As we drove away, I watched those six guys talking in a circle where we had just been standing, and then they crossed the street again and got back in their car. I'll never have a definitive answer, but I'm pretty sure we were 10 seconds away from some unfortunate shenanigans."
"A couple of friends and I were outside a house party talking. I noticed out of the corner of my eye something dart behind some bushes towards the end of the block - maybe four houses down? It was dark out, so it was hard to tell. We stood there a bit long and I swore I saw something again move to a tree a little closer. This wasn’t the best neighborhood (heck my whole hometown isn’t the safest) and I knew a couple of people at the party were involved in some stuff so I don’t know if that entered my mind or what, but I got immediate goosebumps.
I said, 'Let’s go- NOW.'
A couple of my friends looked at me weird, but later one told me they knew by the look on my face something was up. I apparently look possessed. I had my keys so we ran to my car and got in. I didn’t even let anyone get their seatbelts on - I just hit the gas.
Based on the news stories, less than probably five minutes later a group of people shot up the house where we were- the others standing outside were severely injured or killed. Turns out, a couple of guys at the party were thought to have killed someone’s family member and it was a revenge thing. This was over 20 years ago, and I still get nervous if I’m standing around outside - especially if it’s dark."
"I moved out at 17 and moved in with my then boyfriend. I was working two jobs. One being a cashier at a gas station. I was constantly working and we had a lot of regulars since we lived in a small town. I started making a few friends. One evening, I was invited to a bonfire and fishing. There was of course some drinking. I didn't know these people very well, but I liked all the couples. They seemed nice.
A little while went by, and we needed some more drinks. The one who just showed up and hadn't drank decided to drive us. They asked if I wanted to ride too, so I did. We got the drinks and instead of going back, they turn the other way. I asked where we were going, and they said someone needed to be picked up. They told me it was only right down the road. Right down the road turned into 20 minutes, and I was getting worried.
We pulled up to this house, and I could feel something wrong. I knew it wasn't someone getting picked up, it was something getting picked up.
Before I could ask to get out an argument started. Then I heard a guy ask if that was 'A' in the back seat. As soon as he said 'Yeah, who the heck wants to know?' I see a loaded weapon pulled out.
Driver floors it. I hear shots and I'm dunked over. The driver ended up having a heavy-duty toolbox in the back and it stopped two bullets. As soon as they pulled over a few minutes later, I pushed my way out and took off running. Called my boyfriend to please come get me.
To make it worse, the next day at work I heard the shooter was looking for everyone in the truck that night. Another regular couple told me about it because the shooter was his cousin. When I started telling them what happened he called his cousin in front of me and said not to bother me. I was his and his girls friend, and they knew I had no clue what was going on that night. He and his girlfriend apologized and asked if I was okay. We talked for a bit while I had no customers. Then his cousin shows up. I froze and was terrified. He apologized to me and said he didn't realize I wasn't involved in any of it. Then they said they'd always watch my back.
The whole situation was so freaking bizarre. I never would have pictured a situation like that. I don't mess with illegal substances. I never would've gone to the bonfire had I known what they were involved in. Forget that whole night."
"I was walking to my home with my little sister at night back from a party-like gathering. About 15 minutes into the walk, our slightly hammered underage selves decided we could use the path which was in the park, near our apartment complex. As we were chatting about how creepy it felt, I realized that someone was behind us. I didn't get to look but I tapped on my sister's shoulder and started to walk a little faster. Then the person behind us started to walk a little faster as well. I thought maybe they were taking this route as well, and were kinda creeped so they wanted to keep close to other humans or something (I know, stupidly optimistic).
But I couldn't risk the chances, so I held my sisters shirt from her arm and started running like our lives depended on it until we arrived to our destination. When I looked back, there was nobody so we got into our house.
One week later, a guy that we've known who lived three blocks away got arrested for kidnapping a little boy, beating him and right before he got arrested, doing horrible things to him.
That boy is still around but he had never been the same since. We're somewhat close, but thinking that if we took his place maybe he'd be an amazing person makes me feel guilty."
"Three of my friends and I were drinking underage at a local pub when we were about 14/15. There was a local darts team playing and everyone was pretty hammered, having a good laugh.
My friend knew one of the players from playing darts with him. When the games came to an end and we were all hammered, we were invited back for drinks at one of the darts team houses. Being fairly gone at this point and not feeling at all like there was any danger, we all agreed. My friends and I headed back with maybe four or five guys from the pub. They must have been late 20’s/early 30’s.
We arrive at the house and we all sit around in the living room drinking adult beverages. Suddenly the vibes had changed, my mates and I noticed and were giving each other glances to acknowledge something was up.
The men started making dirty comments, and one of them stood by the front door which now thinking back he was guarding it. With that, one of the guys actually takes his member out his pants and shows us all. He put it back in his pants and sat down and they carried on chatting about random things.
My mates and I immediately got up, and announced we were going for a smoke. We went out the back door and ran for our freaking lives.
I remember turning my head back to see if they were following us and seeing one of the predators out the front shouting, 'Where the heck did you go?'
We got so luck that evening."
"I was around 16, cruising around with a friend in his Jeep. We stopped at a gas station to get some smokes and we start talking to these two girls our age in the store. They invite us to a lock in for their youth group at the YMCA, but we have to attend some youth group meeting first. Neither my friend nor I are religious, but these girls are cute so we accept.
We run home to grab some things to keep us occupied for the lock in and drive up to the church. We go in and are greeted by our new friends and taken to the sanctuary.
The sermon starts and it gets progressively more and more weird. And it is dragging on and on and on. To the point my buddy grabs a pen and draws this crazy dragon breathing fire on the leg of his jeans.
Anyway... I notice that the doors have large older men standing beside them blocking them. Then the minister drops this line, 'Tonight, when the bus crashes on the way to the lock in, where will you go?'
We both looked up and at each other to verify what we heard and got up to leave. We were immediately called out, so we booked it towards the only non-blocked door. It was locked. The folks blocking the doors were now running towards us. We both took off jumping on the seats of the pews hopping the backs. We managed to get to a fire door and pull the alarm and run to the jeep.
Once in the Jeep, we peel out and look for the exit. The idling charter bus that is taking everyone the 10 miles to the YMCA is now blocking the exit and the people from inside are running at the Jeep.
We ended up just cutting through a field and down to a service road that eventually took us back to the highway and we booked it back to my buddy's house.
We ended up waking his parents up and explaining everything to them, who in turn called the police.
The church was locked up tight with no one in sight and the YMCA didn't have a scheduled lock in that night. There were no reports of a crashed charter bus that we could find though. Who knows where all those kids ended up."
"I was driving around on Halloween in 2005 with a few friends in my Jeep, one year out of high school. It was about 10 at night and we were headed to a party not far from our house. We were waiting at a red light, waiting to make a turn onto the main road when a guy in a van pulls real close to the passenger side of my vehicle. The guy gestures to roll the window down, which I do, and then tells me to take the keys out of the car and put them on my dashboard. I laughed at the guy and told him, 'No thanks.'
My friend in the passenger seat then looked at me with daggers in his eyes and grabbed my wrist and says 'He's got a loaded weapon.'
I looked over and saw the guy had a weapon positioned under his elbow pointed directly at me/us. I looked forward, saw no cars in the intersection and just floored it. I drove so recklessly, swerving over the median multiple times driving on both sides of the road trying to call attention to myself, while the guy followed closely behind us. I drove about a mile down the main road until he turned off onto a side street, then I went the opposite direction and was able to make it home into my driveway.
I told my parents what happened and my dad chewed me out telling me if somebody pulls a weapon on you, you do whatever they tell you to. It could have ended way worse if that guy really wanted us. I had a sketch artist come to my house, but I never heard if they caught the guy."
"My very first job was at an absolutely insane office. It was in a decent part of town but for whatever reason attracted total nut jobs, and the boss was terrible at hiring.
One of the employees was pretty good at his job, but a complete addict. He was really nice too, and we got along well but he obviously was unstable. Came into work (this is an office space) on pills or whatever almost every day, and one day straight up trashed. A few times I caught him doing lines of coke at his desk, the guy was a complete freaking mess.
After a series of extremely inappropriate encounters with another employee, it was clear the two hated each other. So, Addict employee is gone for the first half of the day and apparently there’s some other issue going on with the other employee. She’s having a complete breakdown, freaking out over who knows what. So me and only one other person are actually working while the other eight employees are feeding off the workplace drama (which is a daily occurrence at this point). One of the drama-feeders busts through the office door and says 'He's here! He's here with a loaded weapon!'
The police were already on their way at this point, and I had this very surreal Fight or Flight moment. It felt like an email notification pinging in my brain, which said Do I stay and confront this, or get out?
In about half a second, I choose get out and left. Nobody got shot, however; One employee went on the run from the cops, one was threatened with a knife to the gut, and one had a miscarriage due to the stress of everything that happened."
"I was visiting Portland for the first time in the summer of 2005 with some friends. We were all metal heads, checking out some shows and we had people from all over meeting up. This was when band web pages had forums and people would hang out there and Facebook wasn't really a thing yet. My buddy and I decided to stay near the airport for a hotel because it was much cheaper than downtown. We had heard public transportation in PDX was amazing, and would use that to get around. My friend and I were from a state that has little to no public transportation, so we weren't really used to big city life.
We had a few mutual friends from Seattle drive down and join us, since we were going to be drinking. As we make our way downtown, a sketchy looking dude gets on the light rail/MAX holding, no clutching, a largish cardboard box. He's holding this thing for dear life and looking around constantly. My friend and I are seriously eyeballing this guy because he seems very suspicious. My big city friends don't even think or take notice of this guy, probably because they are used to seeing sketch dudes on buses in Seattle all the time.
I point this dude out to them, and they completely ignore me. They called me paranoid. I normally would have relaxed after this, but this was days after the London Tube bombings. In 2005, Americans were still on high alert for terrorists and whatnot. On the next stop, this dude just drops his box and runs off the train. My buddy and I start to panic, and run off the train too.
We make it just behind some trees next to the stop, and my Seattle friends are like 'What the heck?'
The doors are closing and the sketchy dude just jumps back on and starts to clutch his box again while my friend and I have to wait for the next train. We may have been wrong, but I sure as heck didn't want to be right. My friend and I were thinking the same thing during the entire ordeal, even though we didn't say much to each other. About 15 minutes later, we got on another train and met up with my Seattle friends who said we needed to stop being so paranoid and 'Get out more.'"
"When I was 15, a friend and I went for a lot of walks around town (small town, around five or six thousand people). We were going to the cyber café in town to meet a few friends and we often took different streets to get places, just to keep it interesting.
We were about to go to Main Street off one of the side streets, and a man on a bicycle approached us. He got off his bike, and asked us a couple small talk questions. Something didn’t seem right about him, he was probably mid 40s. We both kept inching away, but didn’t want to come off as too rude, so we answered about the weather or traffic.
Then he paused and we said we had to go, and he said (and I’ll never forget it) 'You look so young, I don’t want to get in trouble, but I need to touch someone. I just need to touch you. You should come with me.'
And he started rambling.
I just felt terror, couldn’t even speak. I grabbed my friends hand and turned. We sprinted the rest of the way to the café. As soon as we were inside, we asked to use the phone. I called my mom to pick us up while my friend told the worker what happened and what the guy looked like. A month later, I got my first cell phone."
"We planned to spend one of the last weekends of winter at a sky resort quite close to us. It was me, my boyfriend and another couple. The plan was to spend the weekend at a cabin that we had access to but that we knew was is very poor condition. We didn't mind, knowing we had electricity and heating and that was all we needed. We got there around 6 pm, it was already dark because we left after work and decided that we will party that night and sky the next day.
Anyway, so we get there and soon realize there was no electricity in the entire resort. The whole mountain was in a blackout. We didn't want to leave, even if we could because it was close to out home (one-hour drive). I felt weird about it, I said maybe we should leave multiple times, but the rest where really into staying. So I said ok, we will try to stay for a bit but if things get ugly we leave, and wow they got ugly. Because there was no electricity, we didn't have heat. The cabin has a heating system that requires electricity and wood. Wood for heating a container of water and electricity to pump the water in the radiators. If we stared the fire, the water container would blow up.
The boys decided to go into town and get a generator from a friend. They got back with the generator at around 11pm. Meanwhile, me and the other girl stayed at the cabin freezing our butt off. We stared drinking and dancing and playing music on our phones to keep ourselves warm. Outside it was a snow storm, you could barely see one's shoes. The boys came back and we had to help them get some water bottles from the car. It was so dark outside, windy and cold I never experienced something even close to that.
Anyway, so the cabin has a semi basement and we thought it was smart to put the generator there. You may know where this is going.
We got electricity and started a fire for the heating. It was so much smoke in the cabin we had to open the windows. That was the moment when I was out. I told them I don't want to stay anymore. I know how that was supposed to work and it was not ok that the chimney was not pulling the smoke away.
It was already one am and we were all so tired and a bit trashed. So, we still decided to stay for a bit more.
Now let me tell you, it was still freaking cold. I never in my life felt so cold. My body was shaking and I literally forgot how warmth feels like.
We went to sleep, or at least trying to sleep. Me and my boyfriend got a room upstairs and the other couple stayed downstairs. I tried everything to warm myself. I was so scared of the smoke (by then it wasn't that much any more) that I couldn't rest my mind at all.
Fast-forward two hours later, the other couple comes rushing into our room, barely standing telling us that we have to leave right now. No time for packing we just had to leave. They told us nothing more, and we were already out the door.
It seems the fumes from the generator got into their room, the guy almost blacked out and the girl managed to get out but passed out in the snow for a few minutes.
On the way home, they told us that he got up to put more wood in the fire and he felt really dizzy and told his girlfriend to wake up and get out. They were by the end and the fumes didn't manage to get upstairs to us."