This is not only every parent’s worst nightmare, but pretty much every person’s worst nightmare. The idea of being taken, just taken away without any agency or control over what might happen…it’s terrifying. These 10 AskReddit users all survived their ordeals, and many of them even fought until they escaped. But some were just plain lucky, and that’s the most terrifying of all – sometimes, survival is just dumb luck.
1. “She..wanted to fill the gap”
When I was maybe 10 or 11, my neighbour kidnapped me. She was this single woman in her 50s who was always super, super nice to me. She was always on her porch, and she’d wave when I came home from school. Anyway, I was walking home from school and she was waving as usual, but this time she was beckoning me over. I went up to her porch and she asked me if I wanted some meatloaf she made. I loved meatloaf and she seemed harmless, so I said yes. I expected her to come outside with a plate or something, but instead she called me in and told me to sit downstairs. I felt weird about it, but I followed her into her basement and sat down on her couch. She brought me a plate of meatloaf and I watched Pokemon 2000 on VHS. She had a freezer with those tube popsicle things too. After I ate, I told her I needed to go home, and she told me my parents called and asked her to keep me while they ran errands. I felt weird about it and suspected she was lying, but I just kinda went along with it.
I remember I asked her if I could get my gameboy at one point from my house and she said my parents told me not to let me out of her sight. I remember watching Men In Black and falling asleep. When I woke up, I tried leaving, but the door was locked. She left some banana pudding for me on the table for when I woke up, so I just had that and went back to sleep. She opened the door at like, 5 in the morning, woke me up, and asked me if I wanted to go home. She looked like she had been crying. I told her yes and she let me go.
My parents asked me where I was and I just told them I went home with a friend after school. I didn’t have a cell phone, so it was pretty normal for me to just be gone for a day.
I didn’t see my neighbour on her porch the next Monday, so I knocked on her door. She came outside and we talked on the porch about stuff. We never talked about that night, and she probably thought I didn’t even realize what happened. She didn’t say, but I think she had a kid who died a couple years prior and wanted to fill the gap. I never hated her for it or anything. Until I moved a couple years later, I would sit on her porch after school most days and she’d listen to my neat facts about space.
2. For Ransom
This happened a while ago when I was 6. I come from a place where kidnappings are unfortunately common, and when this happened it was at an all time high. We lived in a fairly nice neighbourhood, no kidnappings there, no theft, great neighbours. We felt pretty safe and therefore, my mom wasn’t too worried. Our house was a gated residence so we had a front yard and backyard. I was out one morning in the front yard, playing with some toys while my mom was inside working or cooking or whatever. Someone knocked on the front gate, me being a dumb child decided to go up and ask who it was. It was this fairly old man who asked for some water, me being the nice, helping child opened the door and was snatched immediately.
I don’t particularly remember what happened after that but I woke up in a compound which I’m pretty sure was far from home. They hadn’t done anything bad to me as far as I know. But they did try to feed me food that I didn’t like. I was a picky child and so, all I ate was fruit. They had asked for ransom, which to this day, I don’t know how much it was. They just kept me in a room all day with duct tape on my mouth and ropes around my feet and hands. They did take duct tape off to let me drink water or eat food. Anyways, a few days later, the police busted them and arrested them. They ended up in jail for life is what I was told.
Not too long after that, my parents decided to move to a different country and now all is well. I still think about what might have gone wrong if they had sold me into child slavery or something (fairly common in my country). Life resumed after that, I’m as happy as a 20 year old can be. Nothing really changed. I still don’t know why I was kidnapped, maybe for ransom or whatever. In exactly a month, it’ll be my 14th kidnapping anniversary!
3. Custody Kidnapping
I was ‘kidnapped’ when I was 7 and it was the best thing that ever happened to me.
I lived with my mother and her awful boyfriend. I wasn’t abused physically, but looking back the mental abuse and neglect was very traumatic. Some borderline Lifetime movie things…
Anyways my father had visitation rights and picked me up every other weekend. One weekend he came to get me and saw that I had not eaten much (food was almost always under lock and key) and my mom and her boyfriend were nowhere to be found. So, my father told me, “Pack your stuff.”
We spent some time hiding out at different places with family, friends, even hotels in Laughlin and Vegas. It was like a mini vacation. I even remember staying at my dad’s girlfriend’s house when the cops showed up. I hid under the bed while they talked to her.
At the end of the day, I never had to go back to my Mom’s boyfriend’s house and my father won majority custody. I’m not sure how I would’ve turned out if I had stayed there. Thanks Dad.
4. Big Tony
Two years ago, I was very hungover on a summer Saturday in Manhattan. A girl I was seeing at the time was angrily getting her things together and proceeded to storm out of the apartment, which was shared by myself and four other guys. My old roommates had moved to a new apartment the night before. There are boxes and miscellaneous stuff everywhere. I’m laying in bed, dying. It’s around 9 or 10 am.
About five minutes after the girl storms out, theres a knock at the door. She must have forgotten her phone charger or something. I get up in my boxers, walk across the living room where all the unpacked/half packed stuff is, and open up the door. Behind the door was one of the scariest faces I’ve ever seen. Very beady eyes, thick mustache, scarred up face, balding man in his 50’s. I was holding the door slightly ajar. Since it wasn’t who I thought it was, I stepped behind the door a bit to hide my pale, half-naked body, and stuck my head through the crack.
He asked if Billy was home (one of my old roommates). I told him that Billy had moved out the day before. With that said, he put all of his bodyweight into the door, sending me flying back. This dude was enormous. As I was recovering from this and trying to think why someone would be so angry with Billy, this gentleman open-hand slaps me so hard I hit the ground. I am now awake.
My new houseguest identifies himself as Big Tony, and demands to speak with Billy. I go into my room (right off of the living room where Big Tony is now setting up shop) and put on pants and grab my phone. Tony has already made it very clear not to call the police, or try to run out of my apartment or I might fall out of the window or get shot in the knees.
Apparently, Billy owes him a lot of money. I call Billy, who says he never heard of Big Tony, and Billy is convinced it’s a joke. Tony asks for the phone, where I hear Billy telling Big Tony where he can stick it and to get out of his old apartment. Tony is now upset, and starts telling Billy that his roommate (myself) might get hurt if he doesn’t learn some manners and come to the old apartment. Billy hangs up.
Tony, for some reason took a liking to me. He apologized for the slap, gave me cigarettes, and said he hoped that this would all work out. He constantly comments on the fact that I’m living like an animal (since theres stuff all over the apartment), and asking if me and my old roomies watch betting sports. We never watched sports, never had cable. He asks if Billy’s last name is something which it isn’t, and then asks if Billy is from somewhere that he isn’t, and than asked if Billy is enrolled in a university that he isn’t. I inform Big Tony that I’m fairly confident he is in the wrong apartment.
Just as I’m getting him to back off and believe that there might be more then one Billy living in an apartment building, there is another knock at the door. “If it’s the cops or your parents, I’m the maintenance guy”. (My parents were coming to help me move out that afternoon). I open the door, and it’s Henry, another one of my old roommates. I inform him he’s picked a bad time as he’s already waltzing inside to get some things. Tony poses as my uncle for a few minutes, before I intervene and tell Henry that this giant man is looking for Billy, who he believes owes him money. “Henry, do you guys gamble?” “Yeah, we gamble all the time.”
We played dice/cards a lot. I try explaining to Tony that we don’t gamble on sports, but now we have to go through the whole gambit again. After another half hour of questions with Henry, Tony is back to believing he is in the wrong apartment. He calls his “coworker” to get a picture texted to him, it’s not Billy. Okay. I tell Tony good luck and try to shoo him out of the apartment. No, it’s never that easy.
Tony wishes to take Henry and I out for coffee and doughnuts, his personal apology. I refuse. He won’t have it. I’m in a Starbucks ordering doughnuts and coffee, which we consume in a nearby park, and listen to Tony’s stories.
Half an hour later, he says we can leave (at this point it didn’t seem like we were being kept though) and we head back. Naturally no one believes us. We have a party in the old/pretty empty apartment. I stay at a friends place in the building, and wake up to knocks. Straight up ‘Nam flashbacks. It’s my buddy Tom, who also lives in the building. He tells me someone’s outside looking for me. Great.
I get dressed, and head outside to find Big Tony, who gives me a grocery bag filled with Beer and Cigarettes. Tom and a few other friends from the building come outside and we drink beer in styrofoam cups on the street whilst listening to Tony’s stories. Everyone believes Henry and I, and if I’m ever in Tony’s neighbourhood, I should call him for dinner on him.
5. Never accept a ride from an unaccredited taxi. Just don’t do it.
Me and my mate spent 2010 new years eve in Philly. We were partying with bunch of our friends but we wanted to go “downtown”. Additional vital information, we’re both Icelandic, completely naive about our surrounding.
After walking around the area, going to a whole bunch of strange parties, etc… We’re trying to find a taxi when this guy drops by us and offers us a ride, mind you, it was 2 AM and we were like “Heck yeah man! Thank you so much!” and we jump in the rear seat. He said it would only take 10 minutes, after about 30 minutes, in a really strange and shady hood we figured something wasn’t adding up. He then parked the car, told us he was going to pick up a friend of his.
About a minute after he left we were going to run for it but he had locked the doors with the baby lock, so we’re like.. welp.. this is it.. this is how it ends..
Neither one of us remembers what happened but we somehow managed to escape and we hid behind some fence. We saw the guy coming back with like couple of friends and they began searching for us.
Being rather inebriated, we have no memory how we got back home, we didn’t remember what street our apartment was at, which part of town but around 7 AM we finally got back. When we told our friends about this story, they all agreed that we were probably the dumbest and luckiest guys they’ve ever known.
6. Internet Horror Story
I met a man online who was around my parents age, he pelted me with compliments and told me how pretty I was and everything a teenage girl wants to hear.
I met him in secret every other weekend for three months. I would tell my parents I was staying at a friend’s house and then he and I would get a hotel room for the weekend.
He started getting really controlling, bordering on physically abusive so after a particularly harsh fight I told him I didn’t want to see him anymore.
A few months later he showed up at my job as I was leaving and told me he wanted me to come to his house (2 hours away) so we could talk about stuff. I told him I had nothing to say to him and tried to leave.
He told me he had recorded us together and that if I didn’t go with him he would make sure my parents, my siblings and my boss got a copy of it. That we were just going to talk so he could explain why he acted the way he had.
I was terrified of my parents finding out I’d been lying, so I went with him.
He made me drive his car there (probably because we had to go through a toll booth with a camera and it would look less against my will if I was the one driving).
We got to his house and he immediately turned violent. He shoved me into his room and locked the door.
He ended up keeping me there for a week. During that time he pretended to be my father and called into work for me. He made me sign onto all of my accounts online (email, AIM, MySpace) he had a key logger set up on his computer so now he had all of my passwords. He took my phone the moment we got to his house.
He wrote a “script” and had me call nearly everyone in my phone and tell them I didn’t want to be friends with them anymore and never to contact me again.
One day he took me for a drive to this park bordering a river and told me that was where he was going to bury me. That night I started actively fighting back (prior to that I thought he was just going to let me go eventually).
I kicked him in the testicles and hit him in the face but that only made him mad and he shoved me on the bed and knelt on my back with my hands behind my back while screaming at me and whacking me in the side of the head.
He was so pissed off that night that he used my phone and called my dad around 6am and left him a voicemail saying “You don’t know where your daughter really is or what she’s been up to and you never will.”
My dad called my phone probably 20-30 times.
The guy eventually was afraid he’d the police so he had me answer and told me to tell my dad it was all a joke. He sat pretty much on top of me and told me if he caught me trying to tell him where I was he would kill me.
I told my dad my friends and I had been drinking and it was one of my friends idea of a prank.
When I was little I had this friend who I would play with but she ALWAYS wanted me to spend the night and would pressure me into calling and asking my parents. My dad came up with a trick where he would ask me “Are you going to watch wrestling tonight?” And if I said yes it meant I wanted to stay. If I said no it meant I wanted him to say I could not stay.
At the end of our phone call for the first time in probably ten years he asked are you going to watch wrestling tonight? And I said no.
When we hung up he called the police and called all of my friends that he could get ahold of. He eventually called the ONE friend who I had told about this guy. And he had all his info, name, phone number, everything.
Within 24 hours I was safe at home, confessed everything to everyone, got a bunch of phone calls from friends who were confused and worried and everything worked out.
I never ever go anywhere without multiple people knowing where I’ll be and who I’m with.
I carry pepper spray and a self defense weapon.
And I never met another person online.
I’m 31 now and it’s still something I think about more often than I’d like to.
7. “I’m going to kill you. You’re going to die.”
Around three years ago I had just started a relationship with my current girlfriend. She hadn’t told any of her family that she was gay as they were very homophobic, so they knew nothing of me and our relationship. However, we were slightly careless as you are in the beginning of a relationship, and we updated Facebook with pictures of us together- although we didn’t state that we were in a relationship.
So, her parents basically worked out what was going on between us, and one night I get a call from my upset girlfriend saying that her parents had turned up at her house unannounced (they lived abroad so this was a big deal) and had told her they were taking her to their home (abroad) the next day, and she had no choice about it. Bear in mind she was 22 at the time and an adult, but they made significant threats to her and she didn’t know what to do as they stopped her leaving the house. They took away her phone and she couldn’t contact me, so I hopped on a train and travelled the 2 hours to her flat to find out what was going on.
I wasn’t really aware of the situation and how dangerous it was, and I certainly should never have entered the house, but I was worried about my girlfriend.
As soon as I turned up her parents took me inside, and locked the door. This is when I started to get scared. They didn’t speak great English and were shouting at me in Spanish, and they grabbed my bag and took my phone, wallet and iPod away and locked them in a different room. My girlfriend and her sister were there, and they had my girlfriend trapped in a different room. They sat me on the sofa and started interrogating me in broken English, and pulling my hair and stuff. I was surrounded by my girlfriends mum, older sister, and her dad who was this huge guy that I would have no hope in fighting off as I was just like, a little 19 year old girl. We were on the top floor of an apartment building so I had no escape except the locked door. I kept asking to leave, and trying to leave but they stopped me, and were shouting still. Also, I could hear my girlfriend shouting help from in another room (it later came out they had been hitting her and stuff).
They started bringing in towels, which was strange and I kept saying ‘what are these towels for’, then her dad looked me dead in the face and went deadly silent.
He said to me. ‘I’m going to kill you. You’re going to die’. And I thought, ‘welp…’.
I suddenly went really calm and stopped trying to resist. I remember thinking, okay, this is how I die, and I was very calm. I started thinking how they would get rid of my body (I don’t know why) and how my parents would find out, or if they ever would, and that no one knew I was there. I also started becoming really sarcastic to whatever they said as I knew I was completely overpowered. Oh, and I remember that I really needed to pee, and for some reason this became the only thought in my head. It’s like, when you’re being kidnapped there’s never a good time to ask for the toilet? And I wanted to die with some dignity I guess! So I kept asking to use the toilet, and for some reason they said yes but that I had to be watched. So that was humiliating.
Anyway, whilst they were distracted by the whole toilet thing, my girlfriend found where they had hidden my phone, and she managed to get out of the front door and ran away. Her mum and dad chased her, but she hid (she told me this later) and she called the police and they came and saved me, thank god. They denied the whole plan to kill me thing when the police got there, even pretended they didn’t speak English! In terms of what I wouldn’t do now: I’ve very careful about knowing my exits (I’m a mental health nurse and have to visit patients home often so it comes in handy at work too!) and I’m wary around my partners family, who I still have to see a couple times a year and pretend they didn’t try to kill me.
8. Home Invader
My sister was taken from our home at knife point. We stupidly left a back sliding glass door unlocked and a man who worked at a traveling fair that was in our town came in, took a knife from our kitchen, went upstairs and grabbed my little sister who was 9 at the time. I luckily awoke when she let out a little scream and saw the man dragging her down the stairs. I screamed for my father who jumped out of bed and gave chase. He caught them about 10 feet outside the sliding glass door. The kidnapper told my dad he would kill my sister if he got any closer. My father told him you’ll have to kill me first. My sister elbowed the guy and my father immediately jumped him. Just to let you all know my father was then and is still a big dude. At 67 he’s still lifting but back then he was beast. The fight didn’t last long and the guy was in a coma for 2 days.
The aftermath was tough. My sister couldn’t sleep in her room for over a year. I would often stay up all night with a baseball bat guarding my family. Slowly we all healed. My sister is married with her own kids now and is a great but over protective mom.
I was around 18 years old, I’d been dating this guy for about 8 months and I broke up with him because my parents were treating me differently and I didn’t like it. It put too much strain on both my bf and I, and my parents and I’s relationship and I just couldn’t take it any longer. About a week after I broke up with him he showed up at my parent’s house wanting to talk to me. My mom answered the door, I didn’t want any part of it, so she told him to go away. He got belligerent and eventually left, so she called the police. He was pulled over, and given a warning, then they let him be. In retrospect they, probably should have examined his car a little closer.
Dad was at work, mom took sister somewhere, and I was playing Mario Party alone. There was a knock at the back door and I look through the glass from the couch and he was there looking in trying to talk to me. Again, I didn’t want any part of it so I ignored him. He got mad and shouldered the door. The frame cracked. He did it again and the door burst open. I said, ‘What the heck are you doing?’ and he grabbed me and put me over his shoulder and carried me outside. I figured he was just going to put me in the front seat and leave with me but then he popped the trunk of his car with the remote and I realized what was going to happen. I twisted a little, which surprised him, and he dropped me, but then he put me in a headlock where I couldn’t breathe and I stopped struggling. He tossed me in the trunk and shut it and drove off.
At this point, I was doing everything I could to get out of the trunk ((It was a Buick Le Sabre; the model which, of course, doesn’t have a way to open the trunk from the inside)) so I started kicking the back of the seats to get out. I eventually got one open enough to stick my head through to get some air. It was in August, and the temperatures outside were riding 95 degrees, so inside the trunk was about 110. I got my head out and could finally breathe. He had calmed down a bit, and I knew he just wanted to talk to me, so he didn’t really freak when I was able to climb into the backseat.
When he was putting me in the trunk, the neighbor kids were outside and they saw what was happening and ran inside to tell their parents. Parents called the police, police called my mom, and my mom was doing 95 down the highway to get home.
Ex-bf drove me an hour and a half away to an old camp he used to go to and we talked for a while. He then took me to Pizza Hut cause I said I was hungry. I remember wondering why no one was concerned that I was waiting for a pizza without shoes or socks on. Because no one said anything, I figured my parents hadn’t realized what had happened yet. Little did I know, an Amber Alert had already been issued.
Anyways, he decided he didn’t want to go to jail, so he was going back to his workplace/place of residence to get his shotgun. When he got there, the cops were waiting for him and tried to taser him. They missed and he jumped back in his car and did a backwards u-turn. He started driving through the city at speeds of 60-85 MPH.
If you’ve never been in a high speed police pursuit, let me tell you; it’s a rush. Sooooo much adrenaline.
Anyways, he was going to get on the highway but the police had it blocked off with spike strips so he turned onto a backroad that dead ended. He ended up crashing into a tree. ((I was in the front seat by this time.))
The cops swarmed the car, pulled us both out, and since they didn’t realize who we were, cuffed us both and put us in separate cop cars. Once everything was situated, the un-cuffed me and put me in a police SUV and transported me back to the police station in my city. Parents and sister were there, freaked out, found out I was ok. The whole ordeal lasted around 10 hours. Ex got 4 years and is now out of jail in a half-way house.
10. Mall Burglary
It way my 13th birthday party, and to celebrate my parents allowed me to invite about 8 girls over for a slumber party to celebrate. In addition to the slumber party, my mom took us out as a group to the mall since that’s what a bunch of 13 year olds in the late 90s liked to do for fun.
Everything started out great – we were having fun, going places together like Abercrombie, Limited Too, Claires, etc. We had just left the Limited Too store when all of a sudden we heard loud bangs and a bunch of screaming. About 5 stores down was a jewelry store, and it had just been robbed. My best friend and I were standing next to each other and were a little ahead of the rest of our group. The burglars were running straight at us, and we panicked and stood still not sure what to do. They kept running for us, and started reaching out to grab us. A woman saw all of this, and quickly grabbed both of us and dragged us into the nearest store. The store manager quickly slammed the safety gate, and the burglars grabbed someone else right next to where we were standing as a hostage and ran off. The woman who grabbed us and the store manager, still in panic mode, had ushered us to the back of the store and we sprinted down the back alley to get the heck out of there.
Now outside, the woman told us she was a mother herself and wanted to help us get back to my mom. But seeing how this was before the age of cellphones and the mall had been robbed for the first time in its history (it had only been open for about a year), we had no direct way of finding my mom. So this lady offered to let us hang out in her minivan while we waited for my mom to come and find us. I couldn’t remember where my mom had parked, so we decided to wait out by the main entrance parking lot until things died down. About 90 minutes later, we finally spotted my mom…and about 8 cops who all were trying to figure out where the heck we were. I don’t blame the lady for helping us, and I still think she was trying to do what she thought best, but she probably shouldn’t have made us stay in her van with her for so long without trying to contact anyone to let them know she had us.
My friend and I both freak out when people suddenly grab (or even touch) us unexpectedly, and I spook at the slightest of sounds anymore, especially if it sounds even remotely like a gunshot.
Want more? Check out the articles below:
- 17 Horror Stories Starring An ER Near You
- 23 Stories That Will Make You Re-Think Trusting in Modern Medicine
- 18 People Tell Their Craziest Ex Stories.. and Hold Nothing Back
- 17 Parents Reveal Horrible Secrets They Can Never Tell Their Kids
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