Everyone loves a good story. And the best stories, more often than not, are true stories. Separating fact from fiction isn’t easy, but some websites are aimed at being a platform for people to tell their honest tale. That’s where the gold lies…
Whether it’s something you are narrating to your kid at night or recounting an encounter with a bunch of friends over drinks, stories are what keep us going. Every movie, every book, every TV show, every song is a story that entertains us. The Internet is a treasure trove of such true tales.
Like with real life, you won’t ever be 100% sure that the story you are reading in any of these is completely true. But allow for a little suspension of disbelief, trust the writer, and you will be rewarded with entertainment beyond your wildest imagination. After all, that’s what stories are about — entertainment!
Reddit has long had some freaky subreddits that will keep you up at night, but most of them are fictional. Some Redditors craved real-world action and so r/LetsNotMeet was born. You will find stuff here that will haunt you for days — heck, I’ve had entire nights out with friends just recalling stories from here.
The forum’s moderators do a good job of staying on topic and never straying into paranormal encounters or such. It’s all about encounters with scary people, nothing else. The moderators even follow up with certain posts to verify their credibility, and will mark a post as “verified” if the original writer has been able to prove their claims.
It’s difficult to believe someone saying they saw a ghost or a monster or a UFO, but remember, a great story isn’t about your own beliefs, it’s about the narrator’s beliefs. If he or she is convinced it happened, give them your trust and you will be rewarded with a fantastic story. That’s where Weird U.S. comes in.
This website only chronicles paranormal encounters in America, but that does not mean there is any dearth of them. In fact, the site is so wonderfully categorized by type of story as well as state, that you’ll be tempted to consider a road trip just to go to some of these spots, especially once you start browsing through Roadside Oddities.
If Weird U.S. doesn’t satisfy your craving for non-human freaky tales, then Ryan has you covered with some of the best websites for weird but true stories.
You know who is the best person to buy a drink at the bar? Whoever works in customer service. Seriously, people are weird and you will find some of the best stories from a person whose job is to interact with people who feel entitled to some sort of service. Not Always Right is a collection of such stories.
From tales of shocking bigotry to hilarious stupidity, most of the stories are good-natured and written in a lighter vein. Customer service does require that sense of humor to see the funny side of everything, after all. You might want to start with the top stories of when the customer isn’t always right, but the “Random” button will throw up some zingers too.
After reading those, you’d be wise to go through some of these tips to be noticed by customer service reps on social networks, because if you make an ass of yourself, you’ll probably end up on this site!
Not Always Right is part of a family of similar user-submitted stories, which are all worth checking out based on your interests:
- Not Always Working: Funny and unusual employee, colleague or boss stories
- Not Always Friendly: Funny and unusual stories about friends, acquaintances and strangers
Not every story has to be long. “FML”, where the F stands for exactly what you think, is a popular hashtag on social networks to talk about something you wish hadn’t happened to you, whether done by you or someone else. FMyLife is the original site where such stories are submitted by users.
The allure of the site is that it lets you talk about personal issues under the cloak of anonymity, so you aren’t exposed while still getting to vent. FMyLife is one of the oldest sites to whine about life and let off steam, so there are plenty of submissions daily and there is a vast archive to go through, which you can browse by categories (love, money, health, animals, etc.) or by country.
Here’s one of the more recent and hilarious samples:
“Today, the new girl told me that a guy at the back of the class was being creepy. I looked over and saw him picking his nose and flinging boogers at the girls sitting in the front. That guy is my boyfriend. FML”
When someone announces their engagement, the first question most people ask is, “So, how did he propose?” Sitcoms have drilled this into us as a reflex question. But really, the story of a proposal can be beautiful to read and reaffirm your faith in the concept of ever-lasting love. That’s what How He Asked is all about: people sharing their proposal stories.
Don’t worry about the masculine pronoun, that’s not indicative of the site’s liberal stance. How He Asked has several stories where the woman was the one to propose, as well as plenty of same-sex stories.
From intimate moments shared just between the two people to outlandish and well-planned flash mob proposals, the site has a little bit of everything. And if you’re an Instagram user, then follow @HowHeAsked to bring a smile to your face every day.
Needless to say, this one is only for adults and Reddit has a prominent disclaimer to that effect. It was only a matter of time before there was the Internet’s version of “Letters to Penthouse” and that’s what makes r/GoneWildStories a little difficult: you won’t be able to easily separate fact from fiction.
The subreddit is very active, so it’s wiser to sort it by the top all-time posts (which are moderated and seem more believable) and follow “rediquette”—all of which you can learn in our awesome guide to Reddit.
Most posts also have tags in the headline itself, indicating whether it’s written by a male or female, whether it’s a long read, and the sexual orientation of the story. Once again, you’ll need a bit of suspension of disbelief here.
We can’t stress this enough though: ADULTS ONLY!
If something cool happened to you but you don’t think any of the above forums are the right place to talk about it, then you’ll love r/PointlessStories. This sub-reddit is all about those tales which don’t really have a clear message, but are still fun to tell and fun to read. It sounds weird, but that’s what Reddit specializes in: bizarre but enjoyable sub-reddits.
Take for example, this story of a girl who was convinced by a Hooters waitress that she wasn’t straight, or another tale of a guy who might have stopped something terrible from happening but can’t confirm it. These are the everyday incidents that so many of us go through, but aren’t significant enough to be a long and fabled tale.
And that is actually what makes r/PointlessStories the most believable of all these forums. Yes, the others are also probably true or based on a larger truth, but you sometimes get the feeling the author is embellishing. Here, there is no embellishment because there really is no deep message to be told. It’s weirdly awesome.
Is Anonymity Important to Sharing a True Story?
The Internet allows you to be anonymous, which can help in sharing a story you wouldn’t normally tell otherwise. Then again, if it’s a story that troubles you, isn’t talking about it openly, as yourself, more important?
What’s your take on the role of anonymity in sharing true encounters?