Creepy & Disturbing Rideshare Experiences

If you’ve read my book, “Rideshare by Robert,” and you’ve been reading my monthly blog, you will find that I’ve noted that most rides are typically uneventful. Most ride experiences weren’t forever seared into my mind like some hot branding iron ensuring I will never forget.

I believe most rideshare drivers and riders would agree with my assessment.

Eight years of driving, or if you prefer, “story-hunting,” and over 26,000 rides, have yielded a lifetime of great memories. The experience of meeting with people from all over the globe, while sharing a slice of life for a moment in time, is unique and special. The rich learning experience from conversing with people from many histories and walks of life is unmatched.

The subtitle of my book is Every Ride’s a Short Story. This is indeed true.

However, there are many stories out of the 26,000 that fall into the creepy and disturbing categories.


For example, imagine you just finished a ride with a sweet elderly person who makes you feel like there is abundant love, care, wisdom, and sunshine in this world, and then the next ride this happens…

“Where’s the Exorcist App?”

When you’re in a theater or curled up on your couch watching a horror movie, characters like Leatherface, Chucky, Jason, Freddy Krueger, and Ghostface can scare you, but cognitively you know it’s not real.

Your heart is pounding, your eyes are wide, but you know you’ll survive.

There is a distance between you and the characters on the screen.

When these types of characters, or experiences are four feet behind you, you can feel a different kind of adrenaline flowing through your body.

Fight or flight.

What’s going on?

Suddenly, you find you simply can’t reach for the remote control or exorcist app to stop what’s happening inside your little box with four wheels.

It’s unfolding and it’s real.

Courtesy of Bob Reilly.

“A Killer or Just Pissed Off?”

“I hate people. They should all die.”

This was his good morning greeting as he got in my car.

The young person appeared very frail, pale, and weary. From my rearview mirror, I could vaguely see large circles under his eyes. His face was shrouded by his dark hoodie. The angry words penetrated the entire cabin of my vehicle and my soul.

“Only dogs and other creatures should exist. People need to be wiped off the face of the earth. Now!”

This time the tone of his voice seemed other-worldly.


Usually, I tend to interject with a troubled soul and ask how they’re doing or if everything is okay. However, due to the intensity of the situation, I chose to simply listen for a while and allow him to vent.

“Everyone needs to die, right?”

So much for restraint, I suddenly found myself in the conversation.

I asked him, “Did you say everyone needs to die?”

He leaned forward and pressed his face against my plexiglass partition yelling into my right ear, “That’s what I said. Everyone needs to die, right? Right? Somebody needs to do it, right?”

I responded with the first thought that came to mind, “Everybody that’s ever been born or will be born, will die. 100% guaranteed.”

He didn’t care for my response.

“F**k you! I hate you. You’re part of the F*****g problem a**hole.”

So much for rational thought. I again decided to bow out of his internal struggle, and simply pray silently for his soul.

He continued to rant from the backseat. I looked at the remaining time for the ride. Less than five minutes.

“Stop the car. I want to get out. Stop the f*****g car!”

I pulled over, and he screamed out another handful of expletives, got out, and slammed the door.

I closed out the ride on the rideshare app and moved on to another, hopefully, less frightening ride.

Courtesy of Bob Reilly.

“Your Choice”

According to rideshare community standards for both the drivers and riders, weapons of any type are not allowed.

The problem with this and other infractions is if a complaint is registered, it becomes a “he said, she said,” and could result in the driver being removed from the rideshare platform for days if a rider retaliates by complaining to the rideshare company that they were wrongly asked to leave the vehicle because they had weapons.

And so, my choice 99% of the time is to accept the ride if I don’t sense an immediate danger.

In some cases, I’ve regretted my decision once I’m in the middle of the ride.

“Aspiring Surgeon or Jack the Ripper?”

I picked up a rider who was carrying a briefcase. It was approximately a 20-minute ride.

“Good morning! Welcome to Thursday (Name),” I said in my usual way.

This opening remark sparked a very pleasant conversation for about 15 minutes with Dr. Jekyll, and then Mr. Hyde entered the picture.

“I love knives. I collect them. Can I show you them?”

I wasn’t too concerned at that point. I know plenty of people who collect knives, guns, and other things that can be considered weapons.

I told him, “Well, I’m driving now, so I really can’t appreciate your collection.”

I thought that response would close out that topic.

But no.

“That’s okay. I’ll hold them up so you can see them in your mirror.”

He continued, “I love the intimacy of using knives. Not impersonal like a gun, you know. Here are some of my favorites.”

He quickly opened his case and proceeded to show me a few of his favorite “tools.”

“Precise and cuts through the skin like butter. This is a top-of-the-line gold-handle surgical knife. Perfectly balanced. The perfect instrument.”

I was thinking, the perfect instrument for what?

I inquired, “Are you a surgeon?”

“Nah, not professionally anyway. My nickname is Doc.”

I decided to try and close that conversation out with a simple, “Cool.”

I didn’t want to know anymore.

The sound of several clicks was two of the best sounds I’ve ever heard as Doc closed his treasure chest.

He departed my vehicle with a pleasant, “Be safe.”

Deep breath. Exhale.

I am thankful he didn’t have “cutting” remarks during our ride together.


Author Bob Reilly at Mad City Coffee in Columbia. (BPE Staff photo)

My “Rideshare by Robert” blog continues with new stories based on my published book, “Rideshare by Robert: Every Ride’s a Short Story.” The book, and the blog, are short stories about actual rides, observations, revelations, and reflections on the rideshare experience. I hope you will find the writings informational with humor and compassion for the human family.

So, climb in, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

Welcome to “Rideshare by Robert.”

A place where anything can happen and usually does.


I have tried to provide anonymity to all individuals portrayed in my writings while maintaining the integrity of the story. The names have been changed to protect the innocent. And, in some cases, the not-so-innocent. I have substituted the characteristics of individuals in my writings to further my attempt to maintain anonymity. Conversations and other details are based on my best recollection and notes. Although I have spent time driving with many celebrities and public figures over the years, I have intentionally omitted their names, and their rides, in my writings. Actual locales, along with other details such as when and where the rides occurred, have been modified to maintain my objective of rider privacy and anonymity.

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