You never know what you’re gonna into out there when you travel to a foreign country…or your own country, for that matter.
There are all kinds of weirdos, creeps, and criminals you might encounter…so you best be on high alert.
AskReddit users talked about their scariest travel stories.
Let’s take a look.
1. Alone in India.
“In 2007 I went to India by myself, I was going to a friends wedding but first I decided to have some time in Delhi.
I was staying at a guest house that was attached to one of the embassies, I think it was the Andaman Islands consulate (edit: I can’t remember which one it was, it was arranged by someone else. It was 14 years ago). My friend’s dad worked in immigration so had arranged the room for me.
When I checked into my room late at night the bathroom window was open and they were muddy footprints going from the window onto the toilet and into the room. I immediately checked the room for any people but it was empty.
As a woman travelling by myself it was quite frightening.”
2. Keep driving!
“Driving up through the Arco Desert in iIaho and saw a guy pushing an empty baby stroller along the highway. no cars or stops for miles in either direction.”
3. Got any cat?
“I had just hiked all day in Arches NP in Utah. I decided not to camp that night as a thunderstorm was moving in. Upon reaching the hostel I was informed that their rooms were booked for the night so I bought a tent pass and decided to sleep in my car.
I was extremely sunburnt from the days hiking and striped down to my underwear. The car windows were partially left open to have some air circulation. Around 3am I heard someone outside the car talking, a few seconds later a man stuck his face in my window and exclaimed, “got any cat?!”
Half naked I arose like a cobra with my fist cocked. This old man again asked if I had any cat, I really don’t remember what I said or did I just remember yelling at him. I tried to fall back asleep to no avail.
Eventually I decided to drive off into the night to my next destination, Monument Valley, and witnessed one of the most surreal sunrises of my life.”
4. Beware of dogs.
“When I was in a coastal town in Colombia last year, I was cornered by a pack of domesticated dogs.
I was walking back to my hostel on the main strip of shops after dark and noticed a pack of dogs waiting outside a store. The store happened to be the last business on the main strip and also the last source of light between it and my hostel up the road.
As I passed the store, a man inside noticed me and signaled to his dogs to follow me. At first it was cute, but it turned scary when I tried to turn down my street and was snarled and barked at. The dogs cornered me between the road and a house, barking and jumping on me.
Flustered, I eventually pushed through the pack to get up the road, but continued being swarmed. I kept swatting and yelling at the dogs until I just a couple houses down from my hostel and the man whistled to recall his dogs.
The family that ran the hostel came outside when they heard all the noise and asked me if I was alright. Turns out this wasn’t a one-off thing; a local misogynist has literally trained his dogs to scare and trap women.
I shudder to think what would have happened if I didn’t shuffle up the street when I did or if the family hadn’t appeared in the street before the man caught up with me.”
5. Twilight zone.
“I spent a night at a hotel in Naples, Italy. It was the end of a long trip abroad & I was tight on cash so I booked a super cheap room at a surprisingly nice looking hotel near the airport.
My taxi driver laughed when I told him the name of the hotel & proceeded to tell me it was a refurbished hotel for “ladies of the night” basically a hotel for prostitutes. I didn’t see any other guests & every single staff member knew my room number off the top of their heads. It was a terrified sleepless night, filled with weird sounds. In the morning they had set up enough breakfast for 30 people, but there was not a soul in sight.
I’ve never been one to spook easily but something just felt WRONG about that place. I felt like I was on an episode of The Twilight Zone.”
6. That is messed up.
“Fell asleep on a cross-Atlantic flight.
Window seat, split from my parents cuz f*ck United. Woke up to the guy next to me sticking his hands down my pants.
I was in middle school at the time.”
“Drugged and assaulted while travelling in Croatia.
Was travelling solo, and had befriended another female traveller. In Split, met a guy who joined us for dinner, and at some point I blacked out (I am not a drinker, but was drinking a single glass of wine). Pretty sure I was roofied, and I woke up at his home.
To be frank, I’ve mostly blocked out what little I can remember. That was the beginning of a year long trip that took me across Europe and Asia, where I slept on park benches in Turkish bus stations and alone in huts in Thailand and that was the only incident. Stopped drinking any alcohol, point blank for the rest of the trip though.”
8. That is scary.
“Riding my motorbike cross state, 2:30 am no lights no moon just my headlamps and the thump of the engine, and miles of dark endless fields on either side, I am almost floating on a boat of light in the darkness, heck if you lost concentration it became hard to balance, it was that dark.
All of a sudden the road infront of me is covered in slick blood, like covered, almost as if someone deliberately painted it red, blood red. I had to slow down as my tires began to loose traction a little, and stopped looked around found nothing, nada, no herd of deers massacred, no accident signs, no broken glass, no bodies, just the irony bloody smell and the eery quiet all around.
I noped the heck outta there, and I believe set some kind of speed record that night, still to this day I have no idea what happened there.”
9. At the pub.
“I was in London for 6 days on a stop-over on my way back to Canada from 6 weeks in South Africa. I’d been working in South Africa, very long but rewarding days, so the London stop was touristy and lazy, just a nice reset before I got back home to Canada.
There was a pub a block or two from the hostel I was staying in that I ate at every night. It was cheap, cozy, and never too crowded so I’d bring a book, order a pint and eat supper. I had chatted with the waitress a couple nights in a row, she was very kind, my age, and we exchanged a few stories and she knew from chatting that I was travelling alone, and staying in a hostel nearby.
Well on day 4 I followed my usual route from hostel to pub and greeted the waitress. She said “hello” and quickly brought over a drink menu. Not 30 seconds after I’d sat down, a man walked in and sat a few tables away. She motioned to him and mumbled “do you know him?”. I kind of laughed and said, definitely not, I don’t know anyone in London.
She nodded, and positioned herself between myself and the man and said quietly “he got off a bench and followed you from the street over, I don’t like the look of him and I just thought I’d ask. Might be nothing, but thought I’d mention it.” I thanked her and said I’m sure it’s coincidence, she shrugged and took my order, and the evening proceeded as usual. The man also ordered a drink but no food.
I stayed for over 2 hours, reading, eating and drinking. The pub was quiet, a few other people or groups came and went, but the man stayed. He drank the one pint and refused top ups. The waitress kept a close eye on him, and me, and stopped over to chat several times between refills but didn’t bring him up again.
When I was finishing my last drink and preparing to leave I glanced over at him and noticed he looked on the edge of his seat, like he was preparing to leave too. I hadn’t really thought much of it til then, but my stomach suddenly knotted up. It was dark, it was drizzly, and I had a short, but lonesome, walk back to my hostel.
I suddenly felt distinctly unsafe. I summoned the waitress over to pay and asked her if she’d mind calling me a taxi as well. She nodded vigorously and I knew she thought this was a good idea.
The taxi showed up, I thanked the waitress and left. I hopped in the taxi and I swear that old man thought I was so dumb for needing a drive for such a short distance but whatever. I felt so much safer. I went back the next evening as it would be my last night in London and I wanted to say goodbye, and thank the waitress for her hospitality, friendship and ultimately looking out for me.
When I arrived she ran over and said she was so glad I’d called the cab. I guess right after I left the man left too, seeming really agitated. He’d not even asked for a bill, just left money on the table and stormed out. She felt very confident he’d seen me walking alone, followed me in and was planning to “approach” me when I left. What would have happened then neither her nor I really wanted to think about.
I had a lovely last night at the pub and we even shared some small glasses of wine together for a quick cheers before I left. I don’t walk places alone at night anymore, even if it’s just a short distance.”
10. In the woods.
“I was camping with a friend (a male friend, and I’m a chick) and I went to find firewood while he set up camp. I found a place where you can rent cabins and I found a worker outside chopping wood.
I asked him how much for a bucket of wood and he sold it to me. He also invited me and my friend to a concert this cabin place was hosting. He was friendly but a bit…weird and reeeaallly chatty. He asked if we were camped up by the river and I said, no we’re by the bridge. As soon as it came out of my mouth I knew I shouldn’t have said it. I headed back to camp, told my friend what happened, and went to the woods to pee.
While peeing, I heard a truck pull up to our campsite and I headed out to see what was going on.
This man had 100% COME TO FIND ME AND MY FRIEND, he was asking about me. I’m sure he had assumed he was going to find 2 young women alone at their campsite, not a dude. He had unchopped wood in his truck, and an axe, and he pretended he came to give me more wood. So he started chopping up wood beside our camp with his axe.
I politely said thanks and whatnot and managed to get him to leave. I hugged my friend so f*cking hard. That man was not expecting me to be with a male friend, and I shudder to think what could’ve happened if I had been alone or with a girl friend. He literally had brought an axe with him. I guess he could’ve been genuinely being kind, but that’s not what my gut was telling me.
Lesson learned folks. Don’t let dumb sh*t slip out!!!”
11. What happened?
“I went to a big city in Colombia (I’m a man from USA) and the hostel had a rooftop hangout spot.
People left one by one until it was just me and a girl from Europe. It was around 10:30 pm when i last remember checking. She was quite friendly, and the conversation was very surface level casual – asking about the best restaurants in town, or something.
Now I was not drunk or doing drugs, I only had two Aguila lite beers (they’re less than 3% ABV) in 2.5 hours, but the next thing I remember from the night was waking up in the early morning hours in a hotel hallway bathroom shower with a jacket on now, but no undershirt. The lights were completely out and I struggled to gather my senses as I crawled around utterly confused in pitch blackness until I felt a toilet and realized I was in a bathroom.
It was my jacket by the way, but it was previously in a suitcase in my room.
I then went back to my room, shared with 3 other people by creaky wood bunk beds, to sleep more after that. The next day when I asked, nobody noticed anything strange about my night; they all slept soundly the whole night… which is also strange given I apparently came in “inebriated” to some degree, got a jacket out of a suitcase on the top bunk, left, then came back. I found my shirt outside my door the next day when I woke up.
I honestly didn’t bring it up to the girl ever, because I truly don’t believe she was the cause of anything. We both saw each other plenty after that around the hostel for another week. She was genuinely a kind person.
I didn’t feel physically hurt whatsoever, and nothing of mine was stolen (and I had a smartphone and about $150 cash in my pocket). I never got an explanation for this night. I have never been aware of a sleepwalking habit.”
“I’m American, and lived in Malaysia for several years towards the tail end of high school.
I traveled to Vietnam with my sister and father. One of the places we visited was an area of concentrated tunnels upkept from the Vietnam war era. We had the option of touring some of the tunnels, and jumped at the chance. We started out in a small room with holes at eye level that just cleared the earth’s surface. Perfect for shooting at the feet of the enemy.
We were then led down a tunnel that required us to stoop, seeing as we were significantly taller than our vietnamese guide. We came to another small room. Our guide told us that one tunnel led up and out, the other led to what was once a weapon cache. My sister and I really wanted to see that room, but my dad had enough and asked to be led out.
To this day I have no idea what my thought process was, but I decided to lead my sister to the next room. I might have been under the impression that there was a second guide there, waiting for us?
Unsurprisingly, it got dark. The guide had the flashlight, and the hanging lamp from the previous room got harder to see by. I kept thinking “it has to be just a few feet further.” Instead, the tunnel got shorter and shorter, until we were basically crawling forwards in the dark, single file.
I remember looking back, and realizing the tunnel must have curved or something because the lamp light was gone. There wasn’t enough space to turn around, so I kept going. I felt horrible, like I had just condemned my sister and I to dying in the dark, crushed by the ever shrinking tunnel.
Eventually the floor in front of me ended. Thinking back, we had probably reached the weapon cache room and only needed to drop a couple of feet to stand, but in the dark I only felt empty air in front of me. I’m pretty sure that moment is the moment I developed a fear of really wide open spaces, because to this day I can imagine some giant maw inches from my flailing arm looking for purchase.
I told my sister we’d have to crawl backwards, and godd*mn if that middle schooler wasn’t an absolute trooper about the whole thing. Unfortunately we must have taken a turn without realizing it, because we started down there blind, lost, crawling in the dirt for what I would later learn was about an hour.
The guide eventually found us, and I’ve never been happier to see a flashlight.”
How about you?
Have you ever had anything scary happen to you while you were traveling?
Please share your stories with us in the comments. Thanks!