Knock on wood, I’ve never had anything bad happen to me when I’ve traveled abroad or in the U.S.
There were definitely a few incidents that looked like they were gonna turn sketchy, but I removed myself from the situation before anything bad went down.
But the fact is that there are a lot of dangers out there that we can all encounter at any time.
What’s your creepiest travel story?
Here’s what folks on AskReddit had to say about this.
“In Argentine Patagonia, almost got hunted by a puma.
It was dusk and I was overlooking the lake when I heard rustling behind me in the tree line. I kept staring for a while before I saw it and thank god I didn’t make a run for it as it would’ve been my initial reaction.
Instead I started yelling and cursing and throwing rocks at it as I had been told to do by the locals, and it left me alone.
That night I kept a fire lit until late in the evening and then went to sleep with a flashlight on and my knife at hand (and that’s not to sound bad*ss, I never used it to hunt and I was scared as sh*t).”
2. F that.
“Travelling in Asia at the time. I got a tuktuk to go to the center of a village with a young driver.
We started driving and he turned around while telling me he wouldn’t take me to the center of the village because he knew a better spot in the jungle – a place he and his friends loved… I told him no, I want to go to the center of the village and that’s it. He got angry and sped up while I was considering my chances of just jumping out.
But then he also grabbed my arm in a tight grip so I knew for sure no good would come from the situation. Luckily for me I had an umbrella with me and with my free hand I started slamming him with it as hard as I could till he stopped the vehicle and he offered me to “take me to the center of the village. lol. No. I ended up walking 3 hours to the village.
I had planned one more day there and was constantly confronted by people that I was the girl who attacked the tuktuk driver offering me rides. Pretty sure they were his friends.. I strictly stayed in busy areas till I was able to take a train out.
F that situation.”
“About 4 am I was sleeping and heard someone trying to come in my room.
They had opened the door but couldn’t get past the bar that was locked. I got up, threw clothes on, and went to the door to see what was going on.
Two guys outside the door with their hand in the door, yelling at me. They kept saying “Come here pretty girl. Oh, a pretty face”. I called the front desk to see what was going on and they said “Oh I didn’t know you were still here.”
I was beyond furious and went to the front desk with all my stuff. The lady at the desk said I didn’t have a reservation even though I had my paper saying I checked in, my car decal stickers for parking there, and the room key. She said she rented the room out that I was in for the next month.
Flabbergasted I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. She looked up my information and said “oh I see you didn’t book with us but Expedia. We don’t partner with them.” Still confused as to why the world I was given a room, paid for it, and had issues being in it. She refused to call her manager at 5am by that point.
So I waited until they got in at 9am, demanded a refund, got it, and checked out. No matter how terrified the ordeal seemed I think it would have ended differently had I not locked the bar on the door.”
4. Gotta be smart.
“I was walking through Paris looking for the closest metro station to go back to my hostel.
I was trying not to look lost, but I was very lost. There was this intersection shaped like the hub of a wheel, and I knew the metro was on one of the streets radiating out from it, so I started going down the streets one by one.
As I went down one particularly deserted street I passed two men sitting in a doorway. In French one muttered to the other, “a woman”, and they both got up to follow me. Luckily I could see the train a block ahead, so I checked my imaginary watch and started running. I made it before the train left.
I don’t know how far the men followed me, but there was hardly anyone at the station so I’m glad the train was there.”
5. On the trail.
“In 2016 I hiked from NJ to Virginia on the Appalachian Trail.
I was on the part of the trail known as “the rollercoaster” not far from Harpers ferry. I hit heavy rain , the trail became a stream and all my rain gear decided to give out. Everything I had was soaked. I had to spend the next day waiting for my gear to dry out at the nearest shelter.
Around noon I can see someone walking intersecting to the trail. I can tell he is not hiker, being he had no bag and was wearing jeans. He told me his name was Steve.
He starts asking me if I Know Chris or Jim. Being that no one uses regular names on the trail, there would be no way to identify them even if they were real people. Steve said he walked from DC (80miles) and was told to meet Chris and Jim for further instructions. He said he had information , and the NSA was after him.
I figured the guy was having a mental break and felt sorry I couldn’t help him. Not to far off was a free Hiker hostel, maybe a 4 hour walk. The hostel was just a shelter that was enclosed with a wood burning stove. But next to it was a house that a ridge runner(does trail maintenance) lived at. I directed him towards that.
After all my stuff dried at I headed to hostel and got there early evening. As I am walking up I can see the ridge runner and Steve arguing. The ridge runner is yelling at Steve, telling him to take a trail to a road and to leave this area. If he did not the ridge runner would call the police for trespassing. At the shelter I saw familiar people who filled me in on what happened.
At every shelter is a trail log. The log is journal that keeps track of people who pass through and notes about what’s happening on the trail. It is also a way to pass messages to people you might know behind you.
Steve got a hold of log and started looking for a message for him. He thought he had to decode the messages to find instructions for him. Steve started to write random things and crossing things out through the log.
This action p*ssed off people who were already wary of Steve because of appearance of not being a fellow hiker. Steve also argued with a few people before this and made a fire to burn some paper he was carrying. They notified the ridge runner.
People were pretty upset about Steve so I never told them that I ran into him previously. I never saw Steve again and still think he was a person with mental issues having a episode. However I do imagine the scenario where he was telling the truth and what his story was.”
6. Sad story.
“Met a British guy while backpacking across Australia on the “Oz Experience” bus.
He was down to his last few bucks and decided to spend his final $20 on chips and booze. I asked him what he was thinking… and he said “it’s part of his trip – to take each day as it comes.”
He was extremely depressed and said he was traveling to get over a recent breakup. We bonded as I had told him I was doing the same. I gave him $20, which at the time was a lot for me. He wouldn’t take it. He left his bag and all his belongings at the hostel and never went to bed.
I learned later the next afternoon, he had killed himself by jumping off a rocky cliff near the ocean. I later learned some travellers had stolen some of his clothing and GoPro. Life just sucks sometimes.”
7. Near mugging.
“Almost got mugged in Paris on the steps of Sacre Coeur.
Surrounded by five assailants and had no choice but to shout at the top of my lungs.
As soon as I did they scattered.”
8. Time to bail out.
“When I went to Prague, my GF was supposed to come too but due to circumstances couldn’t. I spent money on this trip and didn’t want it to be wasted so I went on my own.
One night I decided to go to a local club, which was amazing, where I live the club is cr*p and closes at 3am at the latest, so this was a nice change to be able to leave at 5am and the club wasn’t even closed yet. I started walking home which was about a half an hour walk when a taxi driver pulled up next to me and asked if I wanted a taxi, I said no, as I didn’t have enough money, but he insisted and said I could ride for free, I clarified around 4 times before I got in and he seemed okay with it (bear in mind I was quite drunk, so I wasn’t thinking straight at all).
It was only around a 7 minute drive to my hotel and as we pulled up outside, I heard the car doors lock. The driver then proceeded to try and charge me over £150 for a 7 minute drive, considering Prague is generally cheaper than the UK and in the UK at that time of night I would usually only pay around £15, so £150 is outrageous. I told him I wouldn’t pay and he shouted at me and threatened to call the police, I shouted back and basically told him to f*ck off.
He then started to drive again with me in the car, I started kicking his chair and hit his head from behind whilst climbing over the seat, In the end he slowed down and unlocked the door but refused to stop moving, he was only going around 15mph but I had to jump out of a moving vehicle.”
“Walking through a shady part of the old city in Cartagena, Colombia (Caribbean coast) I was drunk around 3 in the morning.
Needless to say I should not have been there being all white and touristy and sh*t. A clear target. This massive man puts his hood on as I’m walking past him and he start following me for a block or two. I’m nervous and my place is getting quicker with every step when out of jo where this taxi toots its horn at me and signals to get in. Thank god. He points at the guy behind me and says “bad man”
This awesome taxi driver drives me to the main entrance and populated area and let’s me out free of charge. Love that man.”
10. Man in black.
“I was hiking alone in the mountains. To get there you obviously had to come through the woods way down below.
As I made my way back down to the tree line, I headed into a clearing and decided to take a moment to rest. Took off my hat, took in a breath, shook off dust and pebbles. Suddenly I just became very aware that I wasn’t alone. Normally when this sense kicks in there’s a deer or moose or bear nearby. Some animal. I turned towards the trees and saw a man all clad in black just staring at me.
He was completely motionless. Didn’t look like an inch of hiking or climbing gear on or around him. I thought it was odd so I wanted to snag a photo. Reached out for my camera and when I stood back up the dude was just gone. I immediately got flashbacks of that scene from David Fincher’s Zodiac when the killer appears by a tree at Lake Berryessa then disappears. I was extremely spooked. Now of course, I’m in the wild.
Surely I’m not the only one out there. But this was in a relatively remote spot and I hadn’t come across anyone until then. I had to make my way into the area where I saw this person. I was on high alert for some intuitive reason. But when I passed by where he or she stood there was no one to be found.
I looked around, called out even. Nothing. And the whole 8 hours back down I still came upon no one. Not one single soul. I think of that day often.”
11. Sounds sketchy.
“Had a layover in Moscow, flying from Seoul to Barcelona a few years ago. Aeroflot, of course.
Standard economy ticket, nothing special.
We land as usual, and are leaving. Cabin crew and pilot were thanking us as we left. When I got to the door, the captain looks at me and grins. “thanks for flying with us Captain (last name).” I was a military Intel guy at the time, and it seemed apparent they wanted me to know I was being watched and tracked.
My phone immediately started blowing up with Russian phone numbers calling it once I cleared security and hid out at a different terminal than my follow on flight. Never been to Russia before, no friends or family.
Do you have any creepy travel stories?
If so, please share them with us in the comments.
We’d love to hear them!