Unsolved Mysteries was one of my favorite shows when I was a kid. The cold cases were mildly interesting to me (and fostered a love of police procedural dramas later in life) but what really fascinated me was the weird stuff that nobody could explain. The stories of people and things randomly turning up in unexpected places after being missing were my real favorites.
Reddit user notgoodbutrying, who seemingly also has an affinity for the unexplained, asked:
Some stories users shared were creepy enough to keep you up at night, and some were just astronomical coincidences with no viable explanations. We've collected some of the best ones here.
Some responses edited for content or clarity.
It's Just A Baker's DozenGiphy
Came home from work with a 12 pack of drinks. I was walking up to my door when I dropped said 12 pack, a bunch of cans roll out of one end so I stop to pick them up and put them back in the box.. But there are 13. No matter what one of the cans won't fit, and they were all clean, no chance of a soda just being left outside. I count 13 cans when I get inside. No idea how that happened.
I once did a magic trick in front of 20 people as a teenager. We had orchestrated it, so there were 2 of us.
So the trick is, I ask someone from the audience to pick a card, hold it above their head in front of the crowd, but card back facing me, so the entire crowd sees the card. Now someone on the other side of the window behind the crowd also sees the card, and with the crowd facing forwards, they don't see him. So he plasters the card from another deck, on the window, and when he's done doing that, I throw the entire deck at the window, and lo and behold, their card is now stuck on the other side of the window.
What happened surprised not only the crowd, but myself and my co-magician as well.
I throw the deck and the EXACT card is not only plastered on the other side of the window, it is also stuck on OUR side of the window, right next to it. My mind was blown and I still can't explain it to this day. We played it as a part of the trick, so nobody in that crowd knows what sort of black wizardry went down that day.
Phantom Lunch BreakGiphy
About two years ago my sister was home alone while my mum was at work and I was at school. I finished early that day and was home at around 1pm. I was talking to my sister and she casually mentioned my mum came home for a while. Right away I thought that was odd because my mum works a few towns over and even if she came home on her lunch break she'd have to leave to go back by the time she got here but I thought maybe she had an appointment or something, so I asked my sister if she said anything.
Here is what my sister says happened: She was upstairs in her room when she heard the front door unlock, so she walked over to the stairs to see who it was (the stairs were facing the front door so you could see it from the top of the stairs) and saw my mum taking her coat off and hanging it up. She looked over at my sister without saying anything after which my sister was just like oh ok it's just mum and went back to her room. She also didn't hear her leave. When she told me this I was pretty spooked because my mum wouldn't have NOT SAID A WORD, she'd say Hi at the very least. I proceeded to call my mum to ask her if she'd been home recently just to make sure and just like I thought, she hadn't been home since she left that morning. We still don't know who or what my sister saw but I was afraid of being home alone for the next 2 weeks lol.
A Courteous Ghost
I have a personal mystery. When I got home from uni and before I found a job I had a period of time where I stayed at my family home. Due to being home alone often during this time I tended to be the one who collected the mail and did odd home jobs. One day we had a particularly large amount of letters and parcel (for my brother's birthday) and because two trips are for weak people I struggled and carried them all into the house.
I managed to throw the letters onto the table but about half slipped onto the floor (this is important). Thinking screw it, I carry the box upstairs to the office and come back down to pick the letters up. Yet, when I come back into the kitchen there are no letters anywhere. Confused, I check every downstairs table and eventually the mail box. Nothing at all. Finally I go back into the kitchen and notice one of the kitchen chairs is slightly pulled out from under the table. I pull it all the way out and under the cushion on the seat is a neat pile of the letters. There was no one but me at home for a few hours before this. Utterly confused till this day.
She's Still Taking Care Of Her Son
Personal mystery: 20+ years ago I had a very brief job selling gas services door to door (side note, I'm not good at selling things, especially those I don't truly believe in). Anyway, as dusk just started to arrive, near 5 pm, I knocked on a door and an old woman answers. I gave her my standard "we can save you $ by switching to xxx gas, my we look over your latest bills and our offerings to compare?" She tells me "I'm sorry, honey, I don't live here, this is my son's house, let me get him for you" and I politely accept.
After maybe 5-7 10 of waiting, I think maybe they'd forgotten me or were trying to blow me off so I have one last knock and this time a younger man, mid-40's I'd guess, answers and asks if he can help me. I give him the same sales speech and he stops me midway and says "now is not a good time, we just buried my mother today". I'm apologized and quickly backed away. I tell myself it was a nice way to mess with the door to door guy but I really don't know to this day.
That Would Explain A LotGiphy
We lived in a bi-level house with a chest freezer in the basement and the kitchen on the second floor.
When I was younger I was a teenager I was asked to bring tatertots upstairs so my mom could make a casserole. I went and grabbed them and came upstairs.
When I got upstairs the tater-tots were no longer in my hands, and my mom asked where they were, I thought I had just spaced out and forgot them. So I went back downstairs and they weren't in the freezer anymore. Searched literally every square inch/nook and cranny between the chest freezer and the kitchen and they were not anywhere.
They never ever turned up. To this day my mom thinks I was playing a dumb prank on her. My most plausible explanation is that we live in a computer simulation and they got accidentally glitched out of it
She's Well Informed
When I still lived at home and came back from a night out my mother would often be up reading & if I wasn't too tired I'd sit with her a bit and chat before going to bed. This was regular occurrence for years.
A couple years after I moved out I get a text from my mom one Sunday morning asking where I'd gone.
Was a little surprised as I was just in my apartment.
She tells me that last night I came home late and we chatted for a bit and she was surprised that I had left the house so early in the morning.
Now occasionally, I would still stop by my parents place to crash for the night depending on where I was in the city but I'd always let them know first.
Figured my mom has just dreamt this. So I call her and explain that I wasn't there & ask what we talked about.
She summarizes the conversation and gives me details about things she shouldn't have known about my night out eg. What was going on in the lives of the friends I had seen that night.
Never figured it out but now my mom teases and says she knows what I'm up to all the time.
It Was Meant To Be His
I bought my husband a watch for his 30th birthday engraved with his name. Not long after he lost it somewhere in the house. We searched everywhere for it but it couldn't be found. Fast forward 13 years and my husband has a heart attack and dies instantly. Two weeks later our 2yo son walks out of the bathroom holding his watch. There are no cupboards in there- just a shower and bath. He's very excited to have it and to this day, I have no idea where he got it from.
I haven't shared this story with many people because it sounds too crazy! I'm very much a realist- not a believer in the paranormal or the unexplained or 'signs'- which is why I'm still amazed when I remember it happening. My son has just turned 8 and the watch is in safe keeping until he's older. He and his twin sister struggled with separation anxiety for a couple of years after but are now amazing, compassionate kids. Their older brothers are just hitting adulthood & are becoming wonderful men.
Milk Of The VoidGiphy
In college, eating breakfast with 3 friends. All have cereal with milk. One friend, K, also has a glass of milk. He's seated directly across from me. I watch him pick up the glass and drop it onto his lap. It disappears from my view as it strikes the table. Absolutely no reaction from him. We ask K if he's ok. K has no recollection of the glass of milk. We search the immediate area and no milk anywhere, no glass anywhere. 3 of us remember the glass of milk. K has no recollection to this day.
TLDR: Friend dropped full glass of milk into the void in front of 3 people and had no memory of it.
Lost my class ring when I was 20. About 8-10 months later I move 1000 miles away. Only brought a few clothes and my car. Someone hit me and totaled my car while there...twice, be careful driving in Florida. Bought a new car (twice). Lived there for a year. Then moved about 200 miles away. A month after moving to the new town I receive a call from a church. They received a donation of clothes. While sorting them out they found a class ring with my name etched inside the band. My new home number came up when they searched my name. The church was about two miles from where we just moved. My wife didn't get rid or donate any clothes. I thought it must be a mistake, but decided to go take a look. Sure enough, it was mine. I looked through the clothes they found it in and they weren't mine or my wife's. Still no idea how it could have ended up 1100 miles from where I lost it.
I made chicken soft tacos for dinner last week. Halfway through cooking realized we didn't have tortillas. I sent husband to the store to buy soft flour tortillas. Dinner is ready so I tell my two teenage boys to dish up. Shredded chicken is on the stove. All the fixings are on the island including the unopened bag of tortillas.
Husband and I wait in the other room for the boys to finish dishing up before we get ours because crowded.
Boys come sit in the living room with two burritos each. Husband and I go into kitchen and grab plates. I reach to grab a tortilla... The bag is sealed. Unopened. I look around totally confused. Examine the bag, no tears anywhere. I look in the trash for an empty bag. Nope. Ask the boys where they got their tortillas. They both said from the bag on the counter. I asked, the new bag? My oldest says yes, he opened it. Wtf?
Thanks for the 4 free tortillas, glitch.
I was late for an appointment one day and was speeding up a hill with a big curve to the right, the direction I was going. Almost as soon as I got around the curve I saw there was an accident in front of me, blocking both lanes on my side. (Since there were only one or two other cars stuck behind it it must've just happened, because there were no emergency vehicles there yet.) To the right of me was a sidewalk where people were standing gawking, and to my left was oncoming traffic in the other two lanes, so I couldn't go around it, and I was going too fast to be able to stop in time. I knew if I relaxed I was less likely to be as severely injured, so I quickly shut my eyes and relaxed as much as I could.
*And absolutely nothing happened.*
When I opened my eyes, *I could see the crash behind me in my rear view mirror* and I was continuing along an empty (on my side) road.
This happened about 35 years ago, and to this day I have no idea how that happened.
Personal story and a something that still bothers me till this day.
I'm a soccer/football coach of kids (great way to earn money when you're a student) and each year we have a couple of 'open' practices where parents bring their kids to see if they like soccer etc. After one of these practices a kid walks up to me and says 'I'm sorry that you lost your grandma'. I was a bit confused and I said 'Ooh no, you must think of someone else' and I just shrugged it of.
The next day I woke up for school and my parents told me my grandma died in her sleep and that her nurse found her in bed that morning.
The kid might have mistaken me for someone else but it still bugs me. Also; he never showed up at practice again.
Pleasant Wake Up
I once had an old boom box in my first apartment. First night there I was using it to listen to CDs and such. Turned it off before bed. Woke up when it turned on by itself playing "How Sweet it is to be loved by you" by Marvin Gaye. I wasn't even scared. I was like, now isn't that a pleasant way to start the day.
I was given a potato in school (cannot for the life of me remember why) and I was having a weirdly good time playing with it, I went into my room and started throwing it up in the air and catching it, but one time I threw it up it just seemed to inexplicably curve backwards over my head, I heard it thump on the ground, but when I turned around to pick it up it was gone. I spent ten minutes looking everywhere for it and it just wasn't there, when we moved house a year later and I was emptying my room I fully expected to find a gross, rotting potato somewhere, but still, it was nowhere to be found, I asked my parents and even my sister if they'd found and got rid of a potato in my room, nobody had any idea about it. I'm going to spend the rest of my life wondering where the hell that potato went.
I was at a friend's house in high school. He was gone to some family event, and I was there alone chilling till he got back. While he was gone, I heard footsteps in other rooms, things falling over, doors opening and closing. I freaked the fuck out and locked myself in one room. The footsteps came up right outside the door of the room I was in and just stopped. The room I was in had 2 windows, opposite sides of the room, curtains on each. A few minutes after the footsteps stopped outside my door, there was a *very* loud bang on both windows at the same time, and the curtains on ***both*** windows (opposite sides of the room, remember) flew straight out. I'm talking almost perfect 90 degree angle from the wall, as straight as a sheet of paper. I called my friend thinking he was fucking with me, he wasn't. I could hear his family in the background.
I've gone through every possibility I can think of. I thought maybe an intruder. But no, his house is so small, I would've heard forced entry from anywhere in the house. The footsteps wouldn't make sense, they would stop in one place and then be heard again in a completely different part of the house. Nothing explains the curtain thing, they had no central A/C so no air movement to account for that blowback, and nothing can account for the simultaneous bangs on both windows. He's told me over and over he believes his house is haunted. I've never believed in ghosts, but I questioned my beliefs that night.
Edit: Feel free to ask questions, this experience went on for an hour or more, so I really just hit the highlights.
Bag O' Plenty
My husband and I were once on a MAX train in Portland when some stoners got on and sat across from us. They were all loudly bored and hungry, and one of them was scrounging around under the seats.
As we watched, he pulled a McDonald's bag out from under a the seat a few sections behind him. That bag was full of food. He began distributing burgers to his stoner buddies, until the last guy said "no thanks. I don't like burgers." Then the guy reaches into the bag and says "That's okay. Here's a chicken sandwich." And he hands his buddy the last item.
The bag had exactly enough for them to each have a sandwich, and adequately fed the guy who doesn't eat burgers. I still think about it.
In Australia 2008, an olive grove of 400 trees was stripped of every single olive OVERNIGHT by hand. The owner (who lives on the grove btw) says it usually would take a team of 6 a full 3 days to harvest the grove.
He heard nothing overnight - no machinery - and found not a single olive on a tree nor the ground the next day. None!
I can't imagine the size of a team of silent thieves picking and hauling 4 tonnes of olives in a single night!!
The owner says he knows of 5 other similar raids in the area cumulating in 7.5 tonnes being heisted at a value of $10,000.
The numbers here are just confounding - the number of people it would take to do the work, not get caught and for such a comparative measly payoff?!!
When i was dating a guy in Chicago, we reached a point where i was considering how serious i wanted to get with him, as i was beginning to see little red flags pop up. Meantime, the lawyer I worked for moved out of state and I got a temp job at a random law firm I'd never heard of before.
I walked in, they showed me where to go, and I started working. At some point, I needed a pencil or a paper clip or something and i opened a drawer of my desk to look for one.
The entire desk was empty except for one item: a framed wedding photo of the guy i was dating and his ex-wife. It had been her desk.
The city of Chicago is a *huge* place, and it has more than its share of lawyers. The odds of me and my boyfriend's ex sharing that desk are rather incalculable to me. I'd never temped before, never met the woman, and never even been in that building. She wasn't a temp either - I asked her co-workers after finding the photo, and she'd worked there in a mid level position for something like ten years before leaving directly after their divorce. It wasn't even a desk normally assigned to temps, which is why it still had the item of hers in it.
I never got over the image of her leaving just that one thing that she didn't want in an otherwise empty desk. I thought, of course, that this was the biggest strange coincidence I've ever personally had ... But i thought even more of what would be going through a woman's mind that would compel her into so deliberately leaving that one thing? And my thoughts illuminated the red flags (correctly, as out turned out) and i ended our relationship.
However it came to be that i was assigned that woman's desk, I will always be grateful to her for the warning her abandoned photo gave to me. I hope she's had a happier life since :)
Still Keeping Tabs
This happened a few years ago to my brother and my mom. It was parent teacher conference at my brothers high school (literally the largest high school in the US with about 6,000 students) and after waiting forever to finally meet with the teacher they walk in and sit down. The teacher then says that our father was just in there right before them and my mom was shocked and told him that there was no way. The teacher insist that he just walked out and gives his name and a perfect description of my father (very tall man with alot of freckles, brown hair and a thick mustache) and summarizes their meeting. My mom then informs him that my father has been dead for over 10 years and is in disbelief. The teacher had absolutely no background of our family and no way of knowing this is shocked himself. To this day we have no idea what happened that day.