It’s no secret that not everything in this world can be explained. Like dark matter, the Bermuda triangle, deja vu, and whatnot—they remind us that there’s a seed of doubt, an underlying level of uncertainty in things we share this planet with.
No wonder some people are more superstitious than others. But even if you stand on the rational ground and have an explanation for virtually everything, it doesn’t mean weird stuff won’t happen to you. Like, these people in a Reddit thread who found themselves in experiences that defy words.
So when someone posed the question “Reddit, what’s your creepiest/weirdest coincidental experience?” it resonated with many and the answers started flooding in. Get your popcorn ready, ‘cause this is better than film.
#1Six years ago, because of my drinking, I’d been homeless for about 8 months. I’d been at a shelter for a few weeks and one day, as I walked from the library back to the shelter for dinner, I decided I couldn’t take anymore. I was ready to kill myself. That prior August my mother had passed away, so on the street that evening I said to her, “I can’t take it anymore, mom. Help me.” Back at the shelter, after dinner, us bums waited for showers and bedtime. That evening the shelter had more residents than usual and many of them needed clean socks or underwear, etc. On this night, it wasn’t scheduled, but the shelter opened the basement where they kept donated clothes. I didn’t need anything, but I was bored, so I went downstairs. I browsed the racks and didn’t find anything to my liking so I headed for the stairs. That’s where I found ‘LeMutt’. ‘LeMutt’ is a toy, a little stuffed dog, and I’d had one when I was a kid. In fact, I clearly remembered my mother and I in the store, 20+ years ago, buying him. I was in 3rd grade then. I asked a volunteer if he knew where the dog came from. He shook his head. This was, and still is, a men’s homeless shelter. People were not dropping-off stuffed animals for the junkies and drunks. I don’t know where the dog came from, but I kept him. Still got him. Anyway, my life is much better, and different, today. I’m set to graduate with a BFA next month. Life is really, really good. Thanks, Mom. I love you.
Image credits: euphonious_munk
#2Back about 10 years ago, I went on a first date with someone I met online through match.com. I lived in the Philadelphia suburbs, she was in the city. I drove into the city for your typical dinner and a movie, or a movie (Memento) and then dinner in this case. We enjoyed the movie and while we were talking and walking to dinner afterwards, I told her what I did for a living, which was write image processing software at a small company she’d likely never heard of.
She paused and asked, ‘you don’t by any chance know [name of coworker/friend I’ve known for many years], do you?’ Why yes, yes I do, I say. Turns out she knows him through some online forum having to do with singing, and they’d actually met before at some event. We reflect about the unlikelihood of this.
But that is not the coincidence I am writing about.
We continue to the restaurant, having a great conversation, hitting it off. About halfway through dinner, I feel comfortable enough to tell her about having gone through colon cancer the year before, and the long recovery after having had my colon removed. Not your typical first date conversation perhaps, but she was interested. Anyway, after I mention the surgery, she asks where I had it done. Penn, I say. She pauses. ‘Who was your oncologist?’ she asks. Oh-kayyyy, I think, not the question I would have expected, but I tell her. She pauses even longer. Then she says, in fact demands, ‘Who. Was. Your. Oncology. Nurse?’ I tell her.
At this point she gets the most amazed expression I’d ever seen and says ‘You’re…you’re…that Jerry!’ And starts laughing uncontrollably. Every time the laughter starts to die down, says says ‘you’re that Jerry!’ again, which sets off another fit of laughter. She literally can’t get out anything coherent for at least five minutes, she’s laughing too hard. The suspense is killing me.
Maybe ten minutes and a dozen “that Jerry’s” later, I finally am able to piece together that about a year before, she was sharing an office at Penn with my oncology nurse (she’s not in medicine herself, it just had to do with a shortage of space, I think). The nurse used to tell her, ‘I have this one patient who would be perfect for you, if only he wasn’t recovering from surgery and going through chemo.’ She even told her the name of this patient.
Of course ‘he’ was me, and she and I ended up dating for a year or so and are still good friends to this day.
Image credits: that_jerry
It seems that some people are more prone to weird events happening to them. Like your high school friend who swore they saw a ghost in their house one night in a creepy encounter that changed how they feel sleeping in darkness to this day. Isn’t it just because some of us are more superstitious, while others are realists who seem to always find an explanation for almost everything, even things that by their own definition are unexplainable?
In order to dig deeper into the topic, Bored Panda contacted Susan Petang, a certified life coach, teaching adults and teens. Susan runs “Quiet Zone Coaching” where she teaches essential life skills and coping tools people need when stress is overwhelming and life is hard.
#3Once on the Fourth of July, our dog Svejk escaped the yard and ran for it during the fireworks. He was missing for a couple of days, during which we plastered signs all over town with his photo.
A family called, thinking they had our dog. We drove over there (about three miles away, across a busy highway and on the other side of a major commercial district), and sure enough, it was him. They said they almost considered keeping him, as he was so sweet and they had lost their dog Norman on the same night.
The next day, an old woman two doors down the street from us called, having seen our flyer and thinking she may have seen our dog in her yard (also a black lab). We told her we already had Svejk back, but she called again and insisted we come over (she was a little senile).
We walked over, and on a whim, called “Norman?”. He immediately came running droolingly over and followed us home. We drove him the three miles back across town, and sure enough, it was him. We’ve always wondered if the two dogs met each other during their respective epic journeys
Image credits: unknown
I’m about 18 and moving to the big city to start uni, looked at heaps of apartments and finally found somewhere nice. The real estate agent shows me around the apartment and I decide to take it. A couple of days later I’m in the realtor’s office to sign the lease, chatting away with the ladies. Just the usual ‘Where are you moving from?’ chatter as I filled out all the paperwork, and the nice agent who showed my the apartment gave me the keys.
Cut to a few weeks later and the phone at my new apartment rings. It’s my realtor calling to tell me that she’s my birth mother.
She swears to this day that she recognized my familiar family facial features on the day she showed me the apartment (and it’s true, I do look a lot like my cousins and her daughters), and the day I signed the lease she got all my details, birth date, etc. It took her a few weeks to contact me because she wanted to confirm with the Government Adoption agency and to let her family know what was happening.
Bit of a spin out.
Image credits: Salinger
Susan confirmed my inkling that some people are indeed more superstitious than others. “Many folks take their cues from their parents. What we were taught to believe as children can become important to us as adults,” the life coach explained.
“For example, if we were raised in a very religious family, we’re more likely to be religious as adults, Susan said and added: “If people we loved and respected as kids were superstitious, we’ll have a tendency to be superstitious, since that way of thinking is familiar to us.”
#5In high school in Los Angeles I drove a friend down to Dana Point, CA to look at a car on sale on Craigslist. At the house of the car owner I shared a moment with the cute girl living next door via prolonged eye contact as she left her house. Friend bought the car. We left.
Five years later I move to south Orange County and take a job near Dana Point and start dating a girl I sort of worked with. When I went to her house for the first time I stopped cold while walking up her driveway as I realized where I was. It was the house. She was the girl. She asked me what was wrong because she could almost literally see my mind exploding. I told her the story, and we shared another moment on that same lawn from five years before.
We’re getting married next July.
Image credits: TheThingInTheBassAmp
#6Around six or seven years ago, a large portion of my neighborhood burned down in the fires that swept through southern california. While helping my friend’s family pick through the rubble of their home for anything that could be salvaged, I saw a speck of white paper in the midst of one of the more blackened areas. I picked it up and read it–the only text on this bit of paper, left over after the rest of the page had burned away, was “from the ashes, new life is born”.
Image credits: saawariya
#7I worked at a library for a very long time, and in an effort to not lose my soul, I collected stuff I found in books. My favorite discovery was a hilarious postcard between two friends. I immediately thought, ‘I’d like to meet these people.’ I kept it next to my computer for a few years.
After a few years passes, I’m going through my papers and find a postcard from my girlfriend that I don’t recognize. It takes me a few minutes to understand that I’m reading the postcard I’d put aside years earlier, between someone who was now my girlfriend and another person I’d come to know as a friend. It was probably the weirdest event in a series of events that defied probability regarding a ton of surreal linked events in our lives.
Image credits: unknown
When we experience something out of the ordinary, Susan argues that we tend to look for explanations since humans like to understand things. “We’re curious, and if something doesn’t make sense, we look for reasons why. We also seek explanations for things that we fear,” she added.
#8My grandmother was in her first year of high school when the United States began sending soldiers over seas for World War II. She said it was very common for the young men to toss scraps of paper with their names and addresses onto the ground when they drove through cities – hoping someone would pick up the paper and write to them while they were deployed. One day when my grandmother was working at the local penny store, a convoy drove by. She rushed outside and snapped up the first scrap of paper she saw. She began to write the solider, and they quickly became interested in one another.
Several months later, the principal of her all-girls catholic school pulled her out of class, saying a young solider had come to see her. The principal allowed her to meet with the solider for ten minutes (supervised) in the school’s auditorium. It was the young solider that she had been writing too these past few months. He told her that he was in love with her, but he was going to go back to battle in a few days. He gave her a pocket watch, and reminded her to wind it every night before she went to bed. He promised that he would come back for her, and that he would continue to love her for as long as the watch ticked. He was soon sent back over seas, and they continued to write one another.
One night, the watch would not wind. My grandmother was heartbroken, but figured that she would save her money from her job at the penny store and have the watch repaired. Two days after the watch stopped working, my grandmother received a call from the solider’s mother. He had passed away in battle two days before, at the same time that the watch had stopped ticking. My grandmother was distraught, and soon mailed the watch back to the solider’s mother.
Two years later, she met a young man and fell in love again and eventually married him. He had the same first, middle and last name as the deceased solider. They also would have been the same age.
Image credits: stephanieyo
#9When I was eight years old a man walked up behind me, called my name and said, “You won’t remember me, but we are proud of you. We are watching you. Be good now. You are important.”
I ran inside the barber shop to my mom and told her. She went outside, but there was no one there. Ever since then I’ve felt like I’m being watched, but that I’m destined for something special. Epic troll possibly, but inspiring none the less.
Image credits: Mr_Monster
#10My wife and her brother were traveling through Europe in the spring of 1986. I was home working in California. I knew their itinerary but did not know exactly where they were. I hadn’t talked to them in a couple of days. Got bored, called an overseas operator, and got her to call a pay phone outside of Monet’s Garden in Giverny. After about 15 rings, someone finally picked up the phone. It was my wife. Needless to say, it blew both out minds. One of the strangest thing that ever happened to me in my life.
At the time cell phones were still in the distant future. And the operator picked this phone, not me. Because of the itinerary, it was not a total shot in the dark, but the fact that the time and place lined up for the phone to ring will baffle me until the day I die. My wife said she and her brother were walking out of Monet’s Garden when they heard a pay phone start ringing. They ignored it, walked past it, and for some reason, my wife stopped, walked back and answered it. I have no explanations, just a very strange and cool experience. And a great story.
Image credits: Godd–mittChuck
Meanwhile, a lot of superstitions have been established a long time ago in our culture and they’re not something new that just pops up one day. “They have their origins in times when we didn’t have as much scientific information about how things work. The appearance of comets meant something bad would happen, for example. Droughts were viewed as punishment from the gods.”
#11was at a gas station a while ago and i bought a pack of cigarettes, the clerk asked for my ID and commented how we have the same birthday, but he was born 10 years earlier. the guy behind me hearing the date repeated a few times started laughing and showed us his license, same date just ten years after me.
Summary: a gas station clerk, some guy in line and I, all happened to have the same birthday, just 10 years apart#12My dad was visiting our summer house (he lives about 500 miles away). It was really windy one day and this random guy who was kayaking decided to come ashore and set up camp on the beach. We went and talked to the fella and offered him to stay at our guest house. Turns out this guy lives in the apartment under my father and had paddled the whole way. The cool thing is that my dad (he is in a wheelchair) is having trouble getting snow and ice of his car in the winter but for the last two winters his car was mostly snow and ice free in the morning. It turns out this guy was taking care of that every time he was doing it to his own car.#13I used to play the flute in elementary school. I put these tie-dye hippie stickers on the case so I could tell it apart from everyone else’s and scribbled my name under the velvet liner. I grew bored of it a few years later and let my parents sell it to a family friend.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m over at my boyfriends parent’s house one day. I’m sitting on the couch and his little sister comes in from school and plops down next to me and shows me her new instrument. Lo and behold it’s my old flute! It still has the stickers, so I pull back the liner and there is my name. Apparently they had bought it off someone that lived fairly close to my parents.
Well 5 years, a marriage and a beautiful baby girl later we still get to play on it some times.
Image credits: Deliverme88
However, Susan believes that “while we now understand how many things work, there are always going to be times when it’s just more fun to be superstitious.” She gave an example: “my husband and I see 11-11 all the time—in phone numbers, coincidentally when we look at clocks, totals on shopping receipts, etc. It doesn’t mean anything, but it’s a lot more fun to think it does,” the life coach concluded.
#14I went to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington when I was 12. When you first go in, they give you this passport thing which tells you the story of someone who lived during the Holocaust. The one that I got had a young man whose birthday was the same as mine, except 50 years prior. The day I went to the museum was 50 years to the day since his death.
Image credits: Gravee
#15Here’s one that mum told me. A while back, mum and her family were gathered around her uncle in his home, who had been terminally ill with cancer, and wanted to die in his home. Anyway, being Catholic, he wanted to receive his last rites. His breathing pattern was extremely odd until the priest arrived, and gave him his rites. He died about 15 seconds after the priest had finished. But here’s the weird part.
After roughly 30 seconds of being out of it, he ‘came back.’ He turned to his wife and muttered very softly ‘I can’t go yet, it’s too busy.’ He then slipped into a state of unconsciousness, and died probably 2 hours later. The next day we turned on the news, and last night at seriously 15 minutes after his first ‘death’ was the detonation of the historic Bali bombings that killed many people.
I’ve never really been sure on religion/afterlife, but this experience of mum’s has always made me think.
Image credits: Fleetyy
#16My grandmother had schizophrenia and severe paranoia. One of her major fears was that she was being watched, specifically people filming her. This is a common symptom, so we didn’t think it was that strange. One day, we were visiting a large city (far from our home), and there was a man with one of those old hand-held cameras pointed at us. This was making my grandmother quite upset, so my dad went up to ask the guy if he could put the camera away, but the guy took off running. About 10 or so feet into his run, he smashed into another guy and dropped his camera. He kept on running and after a bit, I think he realized he didn’t have the camera, because he looked back, had this big face of fear and anger, shook his head, and kept on running. Dad picked up the camera and on it was about three-to-four hours of us walking around the city.
Only us walking around the city.
We never saw the guy again. A few years later my grandmother died. This isn’t the first strange thing that’s happened to my family though.
Image credits: Sithoiuz
#17I got into my car once after having driven to a different city. I flipped on the radio and all there was was silence. I shrugged and was about to change the channel, assuming it wasn’t a valid station, when all of the sudden it said “Daniel.” This is my name, so I said “yes?” out of amusement, and the voice said “I am the Lord your God, Daniel. You must follow My commandments”. Another pause as I freaked the [hell] out for a moment. Then the voice came back and was like “and this is the part in the bible…” and I realized that the classic hits channel in cincinnati was a bible thumper channel in Bloomington#18My grandmother died, so my family cleaned out the house and did the usual thing when people die. A few year later, my mom, being a crafty lady, went to a craft store and purchased a pack of papers with different designs on them (maps, newspaper clippings etc). One of the papers was a collage of recipe cards. She recognized the writing and the recipes. It was my dead grandmother’s recipe cards that had been scanned and turned in to artsy paper. These were thrown out in garbage bags in Toronto. The paper company was from California. Crazy!
Image credits: Margerine_Man
#19Back at University, me and my (randomly assigned) flatmate separately took the train down from Newcastle to Bradford to visit our best friends. Turns out they were also (randomly assigned) flatmates. I found that pretty bizarre.#20I was taking some picture at a graveyard for a class and my friends were there modeling for me. I ask one of my friends to try fake cry, while I adjust my camera. When I go to take her picture, I see she is doing a great job crying. I take a couple of pictures before realizing that she is looking at this big family grave… with the exact same names of her relatives. There was her dad’s name, mom’s, sister’s and brother’s, exact name with exact last name.
Her family lives in another state and they are alive. So that was spooky, but later on we are all in my car, and we are listening to some music off a USB device. We were listening to a song for like the third time, when the sound goes off and a horrible voice says ‘Get back from where you came from,’ and the song continues where it left off. We were so creeped out we had to stop and catch our breath.
Image credits: Kaidra_Drakka
#21A couple years back, I had a dream of my grandfather, who I was not particularly close to by any means. In my dream I saw his casket formally covered by an American flag– he served in the military. He stood next to me in a room full of mourners and held my hand. He told me not to follow him out of the doors when he left. I watched him leave. When I woke up and went downstairs to get breakfast and call my father to tell him happy birthday, my older brother informed me that my grandfather had just passed away in his sleep while I also slept.
TL:DR: My father’s father came to me in my dream on the night of his death to wish me goodbye, which was also on my father’s birthday
Image credits: MultipleColoredChloe
#22The first was the day I interviewed for a graduate assistantship. That evening, the girlfriend and I hit an Asian joint, and my fortune read, “An important discussion involving you will take place today.” A day later, I was offer the position.
A week or so later, we got take-out from the same restaurant and went to a local park to eat. At the table we sat at, someone had left an iPod . There was no identifying information on the device, so I pocketed it and taped a note to the table telling whoever it was to check Craigslist lost and found for instructions on how to retrieve their Touch. They never replied, so I wound up keeping it, which my fortune cookie wanted me to do, anyway, because after finishing my meal, I was met with “You will soon receive an unusual gift freely given. Accept!”
Another week passes, and we again order take-out from the same place. Before getting our meal, though, I stop at a small used book store and buy a few novels. After lunch, I’m told “Treat yourself to a good book for a needed rest and escape.”
The next time I ate there my cookie contained “You will live a long and healthy life,” which I hope is as true as the previous trio. And, as if breaking the chain, the one after that was empty.#23When we were kids a group of us used to hang around near a small stream. One night we were there I got a really bad feeling, and told my friends I was going home. I begged them to come with me, but only one did. I practically legged it up the hill from the stream, I was so afraid. The next day I found out the girls that stayed got beaten by a girl gang less than fifteen minutes after I and our friend had left.
Still freaks me how I knew to get outa there.
Image credits: IslaSorna
#24My grandpa has always been the type of guy to love science fiction and the paranormal. One time he told me a story that has always freaked me out:
Years ago when my mother and her sisters were little, my grandpa had a ouija board that he liked to mess around with down in their basement. One day, he asked the ouija board questions about himself that the board could answer, i.e., ‘Where am I from?’ ‘What’s my address?’ ‘Who is my mother?’, just to see what it would say. He asked ‘How many daughters do I have?’ and it responded with ‘3.’ My grandpa said, ‘I have four,’ and the board responded with, ‘Not for long.’
Two weeks later one of his daughters died in a car crash.
Image credits: M1nneapolis
#25This didn’t happen to me, but it happened to my ex. He was at a singles tennis tournament as a kid and he was reading the roster. According to the sheet, he was playing himself. Turns out, his opponent had the same very uncommon first name, middle initial, and last name. Years passed, and someone shouted his name in a grocery store and he turned around… so did his tennis opponent.#26My aunt (dad’s sister) died young of cancer on October 3, 2007, when I was a junior in high school. In my senior year, I took advanced art and we were working on clay sculptures one day. At the tables of four, one person was instructed to go and grab a stack of old newspapers from a cabinet that contained hundreds of old newspapers the teacher supplied for protecting the tables during projects. Another guy goes to grab the paper and tosses me some for my area of the table. I begin work on my sculpture and realize my materials are on the obituary section. I read over them for a second and see my aunt’s obituary right where my hand was. The date happened to be October 2, 2008, and since 2008 was a leap year it was a full 365 days from my aunt’s death.
The stack of coincidences seemed too much for me, I believe it was her trying to give me a sign of something.
Image credits: RaggedJagged
#27In high school there was a kid who had the same middle and last name as me, the same birthday, and our parents had the same names. Not even kidding. It blew my mind.#28When I was in 7th grade I had a serious crush on a girl. One day her mom was driving a bunch of us somewhere and everyone was talking and making jokes. I can’t remember the exact conversation, but I had a moment of silence where it was my chance to make everyone laugh. I made a super lame joke that brought silence. My moment to impress was ruined.
Come 10 years later. I am driving a car with the kids of family friends. In the same seat in the back sits a kid that reminds me of me, and there is a girl in the front seat he likes. The EXACT conversation (something about not enough of us to do something) starts progressing. I look into the rear view mirror at the kid and was thinking “don’t say we will multiply. Don’t say we will multiply!” (Seriously wish I remember exactly what the conversation was). I was going to intervene before he said it but BAM he drops the same lame joke I did 10 years before. And it seriously had no context or comical value at all.
I was in awe like I was psychic (a useless one apparently). I’m assuming he did not get the girl either.#29My last boyfriend was a Dutch man from Amsterdam that I met in Saint Petersburg, Russia- and now I am seeing a man from Saint Petersburg, whom I met in Amsterdam. Mildly strange.#30My grandmother was in hospice back when i was still in high school. My aunts family and my mom and all my siblings went to see her. As is common, she was pretty drugged with all kinds of morphine and wasnt making much sense. Didnt know who we were. Gibberish really. but she would keep mentioning, there was people near the ceiling and stuff. my aunt and mom kept trying to talk to her, asking if she was comfortable etc. then all of a sudden, she turns her head and stares at me. in the clearest voice id heard from her all day, she says, “oh my, there’s a little one next to you”, and smiles.
Still freaks me out.
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