Whether you call it instinct, intuition, juju, gut feelings or whatever - most of us have a word for that feeling when you just know something.
Most of the time that intuition saves us from things like bad dates, or that iffy tuna in the fridge - but sometimes it swoops in to save you from a whole lot more.
Reddit user CommanderDinosaur5 asked:
And yeah... a lot of people are only still here because that little tug in their gut said something wasn't right. A few of these stories feature times when mom just knew something was up. So what have we learned? Listen to the juju, folks. Especially if it's mom juju.
Mom's Gut Feeling
A couple weeks ago my sister's ex tried to kill her when she was dropping their baby off at his house.
My mom got a gut feeling that something was wrong, so her and my dad showed up at the house and were let inside by the ahole ex's mom. When they got to the back bedroom and knocked, my sister screamed "he's going to kill me" and a gun shot went off. My dad knocked down the door and tackled him.
When my sister had heard our dad knock, she grabbed her ex's arm and wrestled the gun away from her face so the bullet went into the ceiling.
It's so crazy that she was saved by my mom's bad feeling. Also, he said after he was done killing her, he was going to kill the rest of her family, so all of us were saved by that. He is in jail right now and we are all hoping he gets a good long sentence. He has two felonies under his belt from the late 90's and he's been charged with two more.
I was a young, naive freshman in college and had basically no experience talking to boys. This guy had sat next to me for My whole 2 hour psych lecture and casually talked to me the whole time. Just little comments about the lecture, showing me things on his laptop. Innocent stuff. When lecture ended and we got outside it was POURING. Like, to this day I've seen rain like that maybe twice in my life. Rain that would physically HURT to walk in. He offered me a ride and I said yes, but as he was pulling the car up I thought to myself "don't get in" and took off running to my dorm. Saw him on the news a few months later for assaulting two women.
When I was in college, I lived in a sketchy part of Chicago (Humboldt Park/Logan Square before gentrification).
I liked to take late night strolls, even when I was living in that neighborhood as a 20-year-old woman. Yeah, I know. Pretty dumb of me.
One night, I was feeling stressed out so I embarked on one of my late night strolls.
I was walking along a somewhat busy road. Cars were zooming past me. Pretty normal. I wasn't paying much attention because I was too wrapped up in whatever was stressing me out that night. Suddenly, a chill shot up my spine. Hyperviligance washed over me and I became more alert than I had ever been. Something was wrong. Someone was watching me.
I quickly spotted a car. It was driving in the opposite direction, a little slower than usual. It was too dark for me to see anyone inside the car, and the car was pretty unassuming. But I still knew something was off. They were watching me. I just knew.
The car drove past me and then made a u-turn. Now it was right behind me, creeping along the curb.
Luckily, there was a Walgreens a few blocks ahead. I started walking faster, and the car eventually sped past me and disappeared into a corner. I somehow knew I wasn't safe yet, so I still sprinted to Walgreens.
I told the security guard what happened, and we both went outside. The car was parked up the street, about 50-100 feet away. The security guard was a big guy who looked intimidating. He marched toward the car, and the car immediately backed up, made a u-turn, and then booked it out of there. The security guard called the cops, and they drove me home.
I never took a late night stroll again.
My gut made me more alert, but it was really the security guard who saved my life. I'm positive that if he wasn't there that night, something bad would've happened to me. I wish I could find that security guard to thank him.
Relaying a friends story: He was living in London and about to catch his usual bus when he felt like a cigarette. Just as he lit up he could see his bus pull around the bend. He considered throwing out his Ciggy but thought, bugger it, I really want my smoke, next bus was six minutes away. So he didn't board his bus and watched it drive a bit down the road when suddenly he was knocked to the ground by a powerful unseen force. His bus was the victim of a terrorist bombing and exploded just after the stop.
"I'm Pregnant And Something Isn't Right"
Almost 8 months pregnant, normal, complication free pregnancy. Walking through the grocery store I had a twinge of a headache. Told my husband we needed to go home.
At home I took a shower and relaxed a bit, but got an urgent "impending doom" feeling. Still just a tiny headache, not even enough for a tylenol. Packed my toddlers diaper bag and requested we go to urgent care.
The whole ride there I felt fine, wondering what I was even going to tell them at check in. But that "you're not okay" feeling was still looming.
We pulled in, I carried my sleeping two year old inside and basically said, "I'm pregnant and something isn't right."
My blood pressure was 256/148. I had a seizure 7 minutes after getting in the room. If I had told my husband to drive past and go to the ER, we would have been stuck in traffic, as a truck had rolled over. If I hadn't left the grocery store or my house when I did, there's a chance I wouldn't have made it.
We got a ride to the hospital when I was stable, I was induced at 35-ish weeks, and my son was born perfectly fine, albeit small. I stayed on blood pressure meds for 8 days before it went back to normal.
Lungs Full of Popcorn
Three years ago I was planning a major fundraising event. I was working ridiculous hours trying to make sure everything was going to run smoothly. I had worst case scenarios planned out like a crazy person. One day I was climbing the stairs after getting home rather late when I became unnaturally short of breath. As I sat on my bed my breathing returned to normal. My face became hot with what I can only assume is what's considered a hot-flash in older women. I started to tingle with fear. I don't know how to explain it exactly. It was like I could feel electricity in the air warning me something was wrong.
I immediately packed my laptop, paperwork, extra clothing, toothbrush, and so on, and I slowly walked down the stairs to my car driving myself to the ER. As soon as I got through the doors I collapsed, unable to breathe. I don't recall everything that happened right after, but what I do recall was being in the hospital for 8 days because both of my lungs were littered with blood clots. I had gotten a blood clot in my lower left calf from sitting & working too many hours on the event. It broke loose and spread throughout my lungs (the Doctor said it looked like my lungs were filled with popcorn). Had I not driven myself to the hospital when I did, the nurse said I would have died. I will NEVER ignore shortness of breath again, and I WILL trust myself when I KNOW something is wrong.
Pre-Owned Piece Of Liver
Was very ill, woke up to vomit and made it to the sink. Thought about rinsing it and go back to bed, but felt like I should turn the light on. Did, and the sink was full of blood. If I'd gone back to bed I would've bled to death in my sleep. I got a fun ride to the hospital at 2am. Luckily that bleed finally got me onto the transplant list. And 2 years later I got my nice pre owned piece of liver. September 30th will be my 8th liverversary! Yay!
My husband,me, and our two young children were visiting my parents. They live in a rural farming area. There are steep hills, fenced acreages right next to the road. We left late the kids were asleep. We seat belted the kids in the back seat of the small car. Driving down one of the steep hills and around a curve I get an anxious feeling and say out loud, "it's a wonder we have never seen any cows loose out here."
Not my gut feeling, but my mom's. She wouldn't let me go out of town for a weekend with my best friend. We were supposed to go to an overnight picnic, where her older, responsible guy friend would "escort" us in his safe, new car. My mom categorically refused, and my teenage self became hysterical to the point of slamming doors and yelling profanities at her.
The next day I find out my best friend and another girl were decapitated in a car accident. The guy drove drunk waaaay too fast on a country road. The car hit the gravel on the side of the road, and the car flipped a few times before hitting a tree that ripped the car in half. My best friend's parents had to identify her remains through jewellery they found at the scene.
She was 17, I was 16. My mom saved my life that day. RIP Anna.
Phones And Money
It didn't exactly save my life, but I did avoid getting robbed. When I was in high school I was supposed to hang out with some friends after school. They were taking a long time to come out of class, and I just had this feeling that I should home. I tried to message them, but didn't get a reply so I went home. Later that day I heard from one of them that a group of guys came up to them as they exited the school and asked for their phones and money. Luckily they didn't get hurt since one of the guys had a knife. I felt bad for them, but I was glad that wasn't there because anything could have happened.
Then we start up another steep hill and I say "can you imagine if a black cow was out on a night like this?" My husband immediately slows down and at the bottom of the hill a black cow was standing in the middle of the road in our lane. We were stunned. We slowly drove around the cow and looked for a opened gate or downed fence. We didn't see anything. It was surreal. Looking back I have said it was sixth sense or divine intervention.
Circle Of Bees
I'm one of those sensitive people who are allergic to many things in varying severity, but I am deathly allergic to bees.
Many years ago when I was a teenager, I traveled to rural Pennsylvania in the fall with my boyfriend (at the time) to stay with his grandmother. We were to sleep in the basement, which looked like it hadn't been touched in a long time. I don't know why, but I had a feeling to check under the pillow on my side of the bed. What did I find?
A giant circle of dead bees.
It looked like something out of a horror film. We got the sheets changed right away, but I had a very hard time sleeping there after that... I literally have 0 idea what compelled me to check, and it probably saved my life.
A dead bee can still sting. A circle of dead bees can still sting... and horrify. Yuck. I have no idea how they ended up there or like that - but at least I have a creepy story to tell more than a decade later!
Forgetting To Sign
When I was in fourth grade my mother told me that my grandmother would be picking me up from school, so I needed to wait instead of riding the bus. However, at my elementary school your parent had to write a note and sign it in your agenda or the teacher sent you home on the bus. My mom forgot to sign my agenda so I got on the bus, which would take me to my grandmother's house.
We went through the intersection near her house and there was her car on the side of the road, the driver side was smashed in to hell. She had been taking care of my older brother - he was home from sick that day.
A Marine from the nearby base's platoon had been given their orders to be shipped out and he had two hours to get home, pack and say goodbye. He was doing eighty-five in a fifty-five zone, ran the red light, hit right on the backseat behind the driver.
Nana's car spun something like seven or eight times, and she managed to get it to the side of the road. Everyone was fine, miraculously, just shaken up. But it was my seat that got hit. I always sat behind her because she was short and I'd have more leg room. If I had been in the car I probably would have been severely injured or even killed.
I don't know if my mother just forgot to sign it or she came to some strange decision to have me ride the bus, but it saved my life.
I was backpacking in the Yukon territory in Canada which has a lot of grizzly bears. I was walking along the top of a mountain with big 10 ft boulders everywhere, which isn't typically where you find bears cause there weren't any plants or other animals for the bears to eat. Because of this we weren't being loud like we normally would to not accidentally surprise a bear but, for some reason when I was looking at a huge 20 ft boulder I decided to yell "HHEEYYYOOOOO BEEEAAARRRR".
Immediately you can hear movement on the other side of a boulder and out saunters a gigantic grizzly bear and a second smaller one. The big one starts to fake charge us but stops about 10 feet away. He stands up on his back paws and towers over us close to twice our height. We yelled at it and came together into a group so he backed off. He goes about 15 feet and hides behind a shrub that is about half his size and is staring at us. We kept telling and eventually they both ran off.
We think they might have been there mating. If we had walked by the boulder we would have surprised them and had them cornered in what was essentially a small cave under the boulder. This would almost certainly have gotten a violent response and the closest hospital was 3 hours by helicopter away, which means they won't get back to the hospital for at least 6 more likely 7-8 hours. The gut instinct to yell out stopped us from surprising them and stopped an almost certain mauling by 2 grizzly bears.
I was driving home from work at 2am. About a mile from my neighborhood I, for no reason at all, felt like I need to slow down. Right as I decrease my speed by about 15 mpg a deer jumps through the bushes in front of me and runs across the road. I would have hit it head on at 55mph if I hadn't stopped.
It wasn't mine...it was my wife's.
I'm an over the road truck driver and had just gotten checked into my room. It was a little after 10:00 and I was exhausted. As I was settling in when my wife called me.
The first words out of her mouth were: "Where are you?"
Me: "In the hotel room."
Wife: "Where's your truck at?"
Me: "In a parking lot across the road. Is there a problem?" (By "road" I meant 6 lanes of traffic going at 45 MPH with a 5 foot median in the middle.)
She took a deep breath and said, "I know this is going to sound crazy, but, is there any way you can sleep in the cab of your rig tonight?"
I told her that I had already PAID for the room and wanted a shower and she was like: "OK...take a shower, check out, and then go back to your truck. Try to get a refund, but if they don't give you one...fuck it. I just want you to sleep IN YOUR RIG tonight. Will you do it for me..PLEASE...? I just have a really bad feeling about it."
I agreed to what she asked, went back to the hotel room, got my stuff, checked out, went back to my rig, climbed into my bunk, called her back and snipped at her, "OK, I'm in my rig...so you can quit f*cking worrying now. Go back to sleep, I'm going to try, and I'll call you in the morning."
About 6 AM the next morning, my alarm goes off, I crawl out of my bunk, put my boots on, get out of my truck, and look across the street at the hotel...and all I see is cop cars, police tape, and news crews.
I walk back across the street towards the hotel...and go to the Denny's next to it for breakfast and see the clerk who had checked me in (and out) sitting there...so I asked what happened. She just looked up at me, shook her head, and said, "I don't know where you went or why...but you should be thankful."
I asked her, again, what happened and she said that a little after 4 AM that morning, some people got into a shoot out in the parking lot. I asked her what that had to do with me and told me that about an hour after I left, another guy got checked into that room. When the shoot out happened, it was right in front of that room...and one of the bullets busted the window...and hit him as he was laying there in the bed.
"They carried him out in a bag under a sheet."
The next thing I did was call my wife, told her I loved her, and apologized for snapping at her.
Two Passengers Paralyzed
Friends offered to take me out drinking, wasn't really up for it as I knew the guy who would be driving had a habit of DUIs. Guess which vehicle was found in the ditch with the driver dead and two passengers paralyzed, yep.
When I was around 4, my mom went on a challenge to find a hidden bow in the wilderness. I went with her and ran off to play.
As I was running, I stopped short because of a rattlesnake's rattle. I didn't see it. It honestly took me a bit to see it even though I liked snakes and knew what to look for.
I had never heard a rattlesnake rattle before that, so it was a pure gut instinct to freeze.
When I was still taking driving lessons, I stopped at an intersection with an all-way stop sign, and I had the right of way to proceed (which my instructor also noted) but something told me to wait the stop out a bit longer and let the semi approaching from the right to go first. The driver behind me honked impatiently as I watched the semi blow through the intersection without stopping or even slowing down. Would have been t-boned had I proceeded.
Scared And Alone
I was heading to my moms house for dinner and my gut told me to go back and get my dog. I couldn't shake the feeling. I got home and rushed in as soon as I could cause I had this terrible feeling.
I walked in on him choking on who-knows-what. I was able to help him and he was okay. I took him with me to my moms. If I hadn't gone back I would have lost my baby boy. He would have been scared and alone, too.
Felt like someone was watching me when I was walking home from a bar. Decided to sprint home and looked behind me halfway there and there was someone running after me but luckily a distance away, like half a street away. I never ran so fast in my whole life.
Him And The Baby
I'm a bit late to the party and this didn't save my life. It did save two other lives and saved me and my colleagues from a whole world of pain.
In 2003 I was deployed to Kuwait for the invasion of Iraq, I was "voluntold" to be part of the advance party that went over the border first to set up a small field hospital before the main party arrived to make a much bigger facility. We were all pretty hyped/scared. We were on edge.
We set up a perimeter and a couple of us were guarding a particular road when a man in full local garb came out of the blue running towards us with a bundle in his arms. We cocked our weapons, shouted warnings (in English because the Arabic had escaped us at the time), and prepared to shoot him.
I suddenly felt a strong feeling that we shouldn't do this. I yelled at my people to stand down. The phrase "Wakev wala anna batushack" (sp?) sprang into my mind, so I yelled it.
The man immediately stopped and revealed that the bundle that we'd thought was a bomb was just his sickly baby.
If we'd shot, we'd have gone through him and the baby.
A White Trailer
I was driving to work at 430AM. Going up a ramp to the expressway, I checked my left hand mirror for traffic, and saw none. I can't really say why, but I touched the brake lightly, and just as I did, an eighteen wheeler with no lights on roared past, and came as close to touching my car as you can, without touching it. I still remember that it was a white trailer with corrugated sides, and the rear trailer doors were aluminum with a cross hatch pattern.
We are told that, if you're not confident, you should just "fake it til you make it."
This is great--in theory. In practice, sometimes "faking it" can have extremely real and terrible consequences, which these people found out the hardest of hard ways.