Few people wake up in the morning and expect that their life could almost end that very day, but near-death experiences can come out of nowhere and completely alter the course of your life in an instant. From terrifying ocean experiences to mundane games like hide-and-seek gone terribly wrong, these tales of close calls and brushes with death are so chilling, they’re unforgettable.
I was a senior in high school, and the student club I was in organized an unofficial beach trip towards the end of the year; no teachers or official permission, leaving me and a few other seniors in charge of supervising everything. After a couple of hours’ worth of fun, one of the other students came running up to me and said that three of the younger members of the club had been swept out by a riptide.
Me and two other older students, all experienced swimmers, immediately went to go help them; my friends got two of the three kids in trouble and started guiding them parallel to the shore to get them out of the current, but the guy I went for was panicking, barely staying above the water, and started dragging me down with him almost immediately.
I yelled for people to get a lifeguard and tried to keep both of us afloat, but after a few minutes—maybe five, maybe ten, it felt like forever—I was getting exhausted, having trouble keeping both of us above the water, and I couldn’t see anyone coming to the rescue. Then, it got worse. I started getting big mouthfuls of water and my leg muscles were starting to cramp up.
I remember thinking, “Holy cow I might actually die right here, right now” as the current started pulling us further and further away from where everyone was. Thankfully for everyone involved, one of the students on the beach had flagged down a couple of surfers, who made their way out to where we were as quickly as they could and hauled us onto the front of their boards and took us back to shore.
I’ll always be thankful and appreciative for those strangers who put themselves in the dangerous position of rescuing two drowning swimmers.
I was driving down a highway, doing 65 MPH, and suddenly my car started to shake. I tapped the brakes in reflex—what a horrible mistake. My entire car flipped 180 degrees. I'm now facing oncoming traffic, including a semi-truck. I was so close I couldn't even see the driver compartment. I screamed and jerked the wheel, bringing me in front of a sedan with two people screaming as they watched me appear out of nowhere.
I kept screaming and floored the gas pedal. Made it to the side of the road and cried for a long time. I had blown a rear tire. Hitting the brakes was a terrible, terrible choice.
I went out for a surf on a stormy day and thought to myself, “No one else is out, those idiots.” Well, later on, I’d regret ever thinking that. During the first wave of the session, I was thrown down and held under. While being tossed around, my leg rope wrapped around both my legs and one of my arms so I was probably being held at around 5 feet under with only one arm free.
My board tombstoned, which is when the board tip is barely visible at the surface but floats vertical… like a tombstone. I finally managed to catch a breath between sets before taking another three or four knocks on the head and for sure just thought...well, this is it. No one’s out here, fishermen will find my body or my board.
I managed to get my other arm free and got to shore very quickly and then avoided the ocean for a few days even though the waves were absolutely perfect. There’s a reason no one was out, everyone else was 10 minutes down the road at another beach where the waves were smaller and cleaner.
When I was 18, I was driving through an intersection with the right of way (going 70 mph), a man in a blue Mazda-3 hatchback decided to run the red light turning left. He was so close to me that I could see the whites of his eyes, and in a split second I thought, "I'm about to T-bone this guy’s driver side door and he is going to die".
Instinctively, I yanked on the wheel and swerved to the right, and instantly went over the curb and off the road, onto someone’s lawn. I slammed the brakes, but because I was on grass the tires locked and the car kept the momentum. I went through their wooden fence and garden, and straight into the brick wall on the side of their house.
As soon as I went off the road, I 100% thought I was going to die—and that’s when the most chilling part happened. My life didn't flash before my eyes, but people close to me did. It could have only been a second or two but time seemed to slow down and my brain was racing. I thought about how my girlfriend would react, what my parents would say, what my friends would think, etc.
When the car hit the wall, it punched a few bricks out of place and the entire front end of the vehicle caved in. The windows shattered, the tires exploded, the doors bent into an L shape and the car started to fill with smoke, however, the radio was still playing Vicarious by Tool. I was concussed by the airbag, broke my nose, jaw, two fingers, had whiplash and my left knee was dislocated.
I was in shock and couldn't believe that what just happened was real, and so I just sat there freaking out. A group of parents from a birthday party across the street saw what happened and ran to the car and pulled me from it as they thought it was about to catch fire. The man in the Mazda-3 drove away as quickly as possible.
If it wasn't for the testimony of those parents who told the authorities they witnessed the man run the intersection and that I didn't do anything wrong, I would have been completely liable for all of the property damage and additionally, insurance would not have replaced the vehicle as I would have been deemed at-fault. I am glad nobody else got hurt.
When I was about 16, I was mowing some lawns over the summer to make a little extra cash. One guy hired me to mow his lawn. He seemed nice enough—like a kindly old hippie, who lived alone. I get to his house, and he invites me in to give me some yard equipment. Once I step inside, he closes and locks the door behind me. That’s when I felt an eerie chill.
He says, “Just locking the door to keep the bugs out.” Wait…what? He leads me through his house, and starts saying all this weird stuff—“I don’t know what you’ve heard about me around the neighborhood, but none of its true. I’m straight—straight as an arrow.” We get to his basement door. “I keep the mower in the basement.”
I probably should have high-tailed it out of there then, but as a polite teenager, I followed him down the stairs into the dark basement. Once I get down in the basement, and my eyes adjust to the darkness, I start to get really scared. The entire basement has been plastered in 1970s Playboy centerfolds, but they’ve all been chopped up—missing heads, missing limbs.
That’s when I turn around and see the guy emerging from the darkness wielding a machete. That’s when I was sure I was going to die, I wanted to cry. I just didn’t know if he would hack me up right then and there, or lock me in the basement and play with me for a few days. My fight or flight response was about to kick in—
But then he hands me the machete and tells me to use it to cut back the kudzu. Huge relief. I mowed his lawn and cut back his kudzu, and the whole time I could see him watching me out the window. I finished as fast as I could and got out of there as fast as humanly possible. He called me a few times in the next weeks to mow his lawn again, but I never picked up.
Eventually, he moved away. To this day, not sure if he was an actual serial killer or just a kooky old man who didn’t understand how creepy he was.
When I was a kid, I was playing hide and seek with my siblings and I got the brilliant idea to hide in the trunk of the car. I meant to leave the trunk barely open so that it didn't latch but accidentally closed it too far and it latched. Mind you this was before they put handles in cars to open trunks from the inside so I was legitimately stuck.
It was almost completely dark so I started seriously freaking out and I thought I was going to die, so I started yelling for help as loud as I could and was kicking at the back seat thinking maybe I could break the latch that keeps the seat from folding. I was probably only in there for about five minutes before someone heard me and let me out, but it felt like an eternity.
To this day I firmly believe it was because of this incident that I developed some minor claustrophobia. I still have serious fears about being in small, cramped, and dark areas.
About 29 years ago, when I was around six years old, I went to a friend’s house. My mom and I moved a lot, since we were always renting, so I wasn’t great friends with this kid and my mom didn’t know their parents all too well. Anyway, I was upstairs in this kid’s parent’s room. It’s just him and me in there, sitting on the floor.
He asks if I want to see something super cool, obviously, I did. He gently pulls a box out from under his parent’s bed. It was a really nice, shiny wooden box. Hefty. He had to put some strength into pulling it out. I couldn’t wait to see what was inside. He opened the clasps, lifted the lid, and I felt an eerie chill run down my spine when I saw what he had.
He pulled out a massive revolver. I was initially curious and probably a little excited to see something I had only seen on television. He then points the revolver directly at me. I freaked out immediately, tried to gain traction as I pushed my feet out from under me. I just fell back and kept pushing myself away from him, and the gun, with my heels, my legs were jelly.
I quickly ended up in the hallway, at the top of the stairs, and just let myself fall backward down the stairs. I rolled to the bottom, jumped up, looked directly at his startled mother, who was standing in the kitchen, none the wiser, and I bolted out the front door. As soon as I got home, I told my mom. I remember her going over to their house, without me, immediately after. I never played with that kid again.
My friend and I just spent a few days at a beach shack. My friend just got her license, she was super excited so she wanted to drive us home, this was one of her first times driving alone. Being 17 we didn’t really see an issue. I rang my dad beforehand and told him I was getting a lift. He said, “I don’t think you should do that.”
He continued, “I can come to pick you up. I can drive some of the girls home too. I think you guys should wait until she’s had more experience”. Of course being 17, thinking I knew everything, I said it was fine and I was hopping in her car. We were on our way home, playing music and chatting. There were five 17-year-olds in this car.
I was sitting behind the driver's seat. My friend pulls out onto a two-lane expressway, from a country road (like an intersection). We notice she’s turned the wrong way and tell her to make a U-turn. She pulls to the side and decides to go for it (through 2 lanes). She didn’t check her mirrors properly and a large truck was coming up behind us—but that’s not the worst part.
My friend got frightened and put her foot on the brake in the middle of both lanes. We were all screaming at her to keep driving. But she was frozen. I remember, it was like slow motion. I looked at every single one of my friends, we all kind of shared a moment of fear, like ‘this is it, I guess…’ The exchanged looks haunt me.
We could hear the truck horn blaring at us. I looked out my window to the truck driving toward us, I locked eyes with the truck driver. Luckily, the truck stopped about five meters away from us. My friend pulled away and was really upset. The car was eerily silent the entire way back. It was honestly the scariest moment.
I am from a really small town and I think losing five people at once would really rock it. Seeing my friends' faces at that moment...it was actually horrific. After that day I have a real understanding that I’m mortal and can go at any minute, oh…and to trust my dad.
Once I was skiing in a super secluded glade in Colorado and ended up losing a ski. The snow wasn’t packed down, and I ended up hip-deep in fresh powder with a twisted ankle. Couldn’t pull myself out, so I pulled out my phone to call the authorities, but didn’t have any service. I honestly thought I was going to die there, stuck, until some six-year-old came along and helped me out. The kid was alone on this glade too.
My friend put me into a fold-out couch when we were 12, unaware of how to get me back out. Because of the weight and pressure on me, I started to panic and scream, making it worse. He cut me out of the center of it like a burrito c-section. My friend’s step-father was far from pleased and my friend was grounded for weeks. But that's my story…an emergency c-section from a fold-up couch.
Once as a kid, I was in the backyard swimming while my family was nearby eating dinner at a round table. Most had their backs to me, but I was like 11 and an experienced swimmer. I got into a toddler’s float with leg holes. It ended up flipping over and I was stuck in it. My legs wouldn’t come out of the leg holes. I kicked and thrashed as much as I could, but I was so stuck.
And you can’t hear someone screaming underwater. But there’s one thing that I remember the most. So many thoughts ran through my head… mostly how sad I was that my parents were about to find me dead in a matter of minutes and how they’d never forgive themselves for allowing me to silently drown as they talked with friends. I tried one more time to kick with all of my might.
One leg slipped out and I was able to get the other out after. I was fine. Totally spooked, but physically ok.
I was coming home from a party at 2 am in 2016, and made a conscious choice to drive through town rather than take the big highway that skirts the city limits. It would add like 10 mins to the trip but hey, it was the first time I'd been back in ages. That decision immediately got me in serious trouble. Not even five minutes after that, the road passed in front of a mall, and there was a signal light there.
Well, some person decided to turn right into the mall from the far-left lane, and I was in the middle lane. I had absolutely no time to stop so I slammed into the side of his car at 65 mph. I remembered yelling and trying to keep control of the wheels. I wanted to get the car off the road and onto the grass before I blacked out from the collision.
The airbag and the seatbelt combined had fractured my sternum, which took the air out of my lungs and made me faint, I guess? My vision came back into focus and I was aware of everything. But those few moments I was still kind of conscious and in IMMENSE pain. Every single inch was in pain and I was like, "So I'm dead, this is my body telling me I'm dead.” But that was just the start of my nightmare.
When I came to, a wave of intense heat hit me, cause my car was messed up and the engine was as hot as standing IN a fire. I was convinced my car was about to go up in flames (it didn't), so I tried to get out but the door was wedged shut from the crash and I started to panic. I put my back against the passenger seat and kicked the door over and over until it opened and climbed out.
Every single officer, EMT, and even the tow truck guy, took one look at my car and told me something so terrifying, it's unforgettable. They said, "You shouldn't have walked away from that crash AT ALL. The fact that all you have is a fracture and some lacerations is a literal miracle.”
I was a young child and for some reason, I had removed my life jacket while on our family’s boat with my parents. I was attempting to sit on a little board that sticks off the back for climbing onto when I toppled off into the water. I was still in swimming classes at the time and couldn’t do much but weakly doggy paddle.
I was bobbing up and down in the water and I couldn’t get enough air to scream in between gasps. I was little and got panicked and tired really quickly and began to sink, a little bit at a time, until I couldn’t surface anymore and realized it completely. I thought about my parents on the boat who didn’t know I was gone.
I wondered when they’d realize I was missing and if they’d find me. A big grey fish swam by and I saw my mom dive in just as everything went dark. I woke up on the boat in a towel.
This happened when I was about 23. There's an ocean pool near where I live. Man-made, and during big storms it basically turns into a vortex of danger. Some friends and I went down there and arrived when it looked fairly placid. We jumped straight in and paddled around, as you do. Then, the next set of waves started coming in.
On the ocean side of the pool, the waves were trying to suck us back out to sea. On the cliffside, it was trying to turn us into mincemeat. I got halfway across the pool when I realized a friend of mine with no experience with ocean swimming was struggling, so went over to help. I made him swim to the middle of the pool with me to wait for the set to pass.
We managed to get out once it calmed down again. There was a large stretch of time while we treaded water, that I thought we were both going to go under. There were some bruises and cuts, but that was way better than the alternative.
I was pregnant and got meningitis. At work I fell ill and they sent me home because I looked grey. That night my head felt like it was going to explode to the point I started slamming my head against the wall to relieve it. My husband was absolutely terrified and wanted to call an ambulance but I refused, thinking it was a bad headache.
Fast forward to things getting worse and to being taken to the hospital and them saying it's probably a migraine. I have migraines and this was no migraine. A quick-witted nurse saw how confused I was. Without her, I wouldn’t have made it. I couldn't remember my birthday or our son’s b-day, or even how to sign my name. She took my temp and did a urine test.
As she's taking my temp she goes, “Whoa, whoa, did you take your temperature at home? Your temp is 104!” Suddenly all these alarms go off and I can't move. My body felt like I was locked up in a giant cramp. I was having a fever-induced seizure and was conscious for the first bit. I saw a storm of doctors and nurses and equipment rushing in the assessment room.
I thought about how my husband is going to get a call that I’m gone or a vegetable and my son won't have his mother and this kid in me won't know life. Then nothingness. Lucky for me they covered me in ice to bring down my temperature and that had actually stopped the seizure. They took me to ICU and sent me for an MRI.
All I remember is them telling me they may have to put me in a coma and asking if I want my life to take priority over the life of the baby. Sitting in that ICU room in total isolation—they didn't know if it was bacterial or viral for a day or two so no one could visit—I made a terrifying realization. I had a lot to think about things and really had to come to terms that I may not make it out of this and my baby may not either.
You have to make your peace and stop fearing the consequences and kind of get to work. I wrote letters to loved ones with the help of a very brave and kind nurse. I’m happy to report it ended up being viral meningitis, which is the less serious kind. I fought hard and both myself and now my perfectly healthy three-year-old are doing great.
I still have the letters in my safe and hope I never need them handed out. It was a long road to recovery but I've never taken my health or life for granted again.
I was at a party and I drank the drink of a female friend. Afterward, I left for home on my own, fell from my bike five times, and landed in the bushes next to the road. I threw up everything I had inside me and was so disoriented that I couldn’t get up anymore. I slept through the night in the bushes while it was 13 degrees Celsius.
There were multiple occasions where I thought I would die, I called emergency numbers multiple times but they wouldn’t come, and eventually got picked up by a taxi chauffeur who brought me home after laying in a wet bush for eight hours. Eventually, I made a disturbing realization. My friend’s drink had been drugged.
I couldn’t leave my bed for 3 days after that. The silver lining is that the female friend didn’t drink it and got home safely.
I own a ‘65 classic Mustang which I enjoy driving anywhere it can go. I once took it up a large mountain with a group of friends, the roads weren’t steep or especially dangerous, but there was danger present because of how high up it was. We made it up the mountain with no issues and stopped at the bar at the top where my friends got plastered.
I didn’t drink because I was the designated driver. Before I continue, I need to clarify that the brakes on a STOCK classic Mustang from the 60s era need to be primed before use. Basically, you have to hit the brakes twice before they work. On the trip down, the brakes cut out and stopped working. I primed the brakes over and over, but they didn’t engage.
The parking brake hadn’t been working the past month and was going to be replaced that Monday. I soon lost control of the car and we started to barrel down the road, we turned a shallow right corner and saw a long road that ended with a sharp turn. At that moment, I thought I was going to die and take my friends with me—they had no clue, as they were plastered in the back.
Luckily, the brakes reengaged halfway down the road and we managed to turn the corner. It has been four months and I haven’t touched that car, to this day my friends have no clue what almost happened.
After this happened, I knew I had to end this friendship. I had a perpetually clueless friend and we were hiking. We got to this waterfall and he goes, "Dude let's climb it!" I told him I would absolutely not be climbing it. He says, "Well I'm gonna do it and if I fall and die, it's on you for not coming." So, I climbed it with him and then got stuck halfway up on the world’s slickest rock.
I pinched a nerve in my shoulder, so my right arm was useless. I thought I was certain to slip off the rock to my doom, but we managed to get me unstuck. That was the beginning of the end for him and me.
I was at the end of a 2-hour journey, about 10 mins from home, pretty rural and I was probably complacent because I took that road every day. I took a bend at 40MPH—the posted limit was 60MPH, so wasn’t breaking any speeding rules—which I’ve done many times before, probably faster, which looking back was really reckless.
I didn’t see it until it was too late. A car had spun out on the other side of the corner and another car had pulled up to help. I slammed on the breaks, but I wasn’t going to stop in time before hitting the cars pulled up/crashed. I was hurtling straight towards the other cars and people who were stood in the road from the other crash.
It was like time slowed down and I was at a crossroads. In my mind, I had three choices. Continue on my path and hit the other cars and people, veer to the right and go into a field, but there was oncoming traffic and there was a chance I’d hit them, or veer to the left and fly into a wooded area. I chose the last option.
In that moment I knew the chances of me surviving or not being seriously injured after a 40MPH head-on collision into a tree in a 10-year-old Ford KA was pretty slim. I just felt a complete peace come over me, turned the wheel, and woke up slumped over the steering wheel to some poor man shouting, “OMG, I THINK SHES DEAD!”
It turned out I passed out from shock or something before the impact so when I hit the tree I was completely floppy and this contributed to me having no serious injuries. The front of my car was completely disintegrated, after coming to I tried to put my clutch down to take the car out of gear out of habit and my foot hit the tree trunk.
The tree was absolutely fine. I drove past that tree every day for years after and you could see the chunk my car took out of it.
I’m sitting on this hill with my old BMX bicycle, me being the dumb teen that I am, I put the helmet on but didn’t buckle up the helmet. Fast forward all of three seconds and I’m speeding down the hill at probably 40 km/h. That’s when disaster strikes. My brakes fail and I think, "oh no." My memory blanks for the duration of this accident and a couple of minutes after.
Apparently, I either clipped a rock and was sent flying or got hit by a car and sent flying. Either way, I woke up with a concussion and a newfound respect for helmets.
I was a kid and made the dumb decision to climb the fence into my local park after hours. Well, the fence is topped with large spikes, I slipped and felt the spike hit my stomach then poke out through my shirt. For a moment I thought, "That's it, I'm impaled," but luckily it glanced off my stomach and ripped my shirt open instead.
I ended up with a nice cut along my stomach and my mum was mad at me for ruining a brand-new shirt, but other than that I was fine. I never tried to climb that fence again.
I was in the turret on an MRAP vehicle in Afghanistan, we hit a bump in the road and the vehicle tilted hard. If we had gone much more, or if the driver had eaten even a slightly lighter breakfast, we would have tumbled down a steep slope into a river. I would have either been crushed in the rollover or drowned in the river.
Fortunately, we righted and kept going, but for a second I was looking at an awful lot of open space where normally I'd only see armor. There's also the time I almost lost my life to dysentery. Same place, about two weeks after the truck incident as it happens. Good times.
My wife was pregnant and we went away for the weekend to the house we rented in the mountains. The second day, she went to bed early and I stayed up drawing. At 3 am she comes downstairs and says she’s in a world of pain and is worried about the baby. It was two months before her due date. We head out and tried calling for help but there is no cell reception.
By the time we can call her doctor, we realize that with the time needed to get to a hospital that has the right level NICU, we might as well head back to our own town’s hospital. Two hours later, we are there and due to Covid restrictions, I can’t come in. It was freezing outside and they wouldn’t let me be anywhere in the hospital where I could lay down.
I talked my way into some room in the lobby and tried to sleep while sitting. Got kicked out of there and just bummed around waiting for an update. Around noon they say they’ll be keeping her for observation—but we weren’t out of danger yet. I still needed to clear out from the rental house. Driving back takes two hours, and it starts snowing pretty hard.
It’s a semi-rural area and if they even plow the snow at all, they haven’t gotten there yet. I’m being careful and fighting off sleep. The roads are super winding and high in the mountains. At some point, the car starts drifting across the double lines. Panicking, I did my best to even out but it completely got away from me.
I slide through the opposite lane and continue to the shoulder. I see the ledge and realize if the car doesn’t stop, I’ll plummet to my death. I have a brief moment where I think about my daughter and the kid in my wife’s belly I haven’t met yet. It felt like a stab in the heart. Fortunately, there was enough snow in the space before the ledge to trap my car.
I passed out in the crash but luckily a couple was a minute or two behind me and their honking snapped me out of it. They pulled me out of the car and went to get help (no service on the mountain). A couple of other people stopped including a guy who had a big pickup. We dug the car out and rigged the rope so he was able to pull me out.
Despite COVID, I had to be physically removed from both of these guys because I was hugging them so tight. I was able to make it back to the hospital without my wife knowing. I only told her after the kid was born. I sent my guardian angels pictures and $100 gift cards…as if that’s adequate.
My brother had a full blockage in his throat from a Sour Warhead at about nine years of age. I was the only other one home, on the computer. He bursts in with a purple face, gestures wildly at his throat, and then continues his panic circuit around the house. I chased him down, threw him chest first against the kitchen sink, and struck him as hard as I could across the back.
The candy went flying out, and I released the breath I didn’t realize I was holding. What I did in panic was actually close to textbook first aid for a choking victim.
I’ll never forget the moment I injected the stuff into my vein. I knew it was too much about two seconds after I did it. At that point, it was too late. There was no going back. My girlfriend at the time was in the other room. I had no idea if she was going to come back in time. I knew I was going to overdose. All of those thoughts happened in a matter of two seconds.
Then, after what felt like less than a second, I am in the hospital with an IV in me with doctors standing over me. Luckily, as my girlfriend told me later, she came back in the room and I was light blue and cold to the touch. She called the authorities and a fire truck had luckily been around the corner. They picked me up. She told me that I had flatlined and they had to shoot me with Narcan to bring me back—but my trail of destruction was just beginning.
After spending 20 minutes at the hospital, I ripped the IV out, got dressed, and went out so that I could use again. Despite that, I survived. And now, I am grateful to say that I am two years sober as of last month.
I was only about three years old, but my mom and my aunt must’ve thought I was marked by the devil. I had two run-ins with the reaper in one day. My first encounter was when we were getting ready for the beach and I stuck my head through the bars of our balcony on the seventh floor of the hotel. I seemed to have every intention of fitting my whole body through.
Adults saw me and snatched me up before I could fall to my demise. Later that same day, we were at the beach. Ma’s chilling under the umbrella, I’m with my aunt by the ocean. She holds my little hand and we’re walking deeper. We turn around cause my mom was yelling. I’m being held now in my aunt’s arms and my mom is like “WAVE!”
My aunt turns around and the wave was bigger than her, probably about seven-ish feet. She hates herself for her next action, to this very day. First, I’ll tell you what the smart thing to do was; the smart thing to do is hold the child close to your chest to keep them safe. What did my aunt do? Well…she decided to throw my body up into the air to try and avoid getting knocked down.
Let’s just say I got smacked down onto the sand and almost dragged back into the ocean by the wave. The only memory I have of this incident is what it looked like lying on my back under the water, staring up at the sky, and being dragged… Also, the feeling of not being able to breathe. My aunt searched for me for so long.
I remember her telling me, “I don’t know what I would’ve done if I didn’t find you.” “I really thought that was gonna be it.” I don’t test my mortality as much anymore; I’m a relatively safe person now. But that was the first real time I almost didn’t survive.
I was playing hide and seek in my house as a kid and I hid inside a fully functional laundry machine and I couldn’t open it from the inside out. As my voice wasn’t loud enough, nobody would be able to help me even when I yelled at the top of my lungs. It has been around 20-ish minutes and it became kind of hard to breathe.
Luckily, the others that had already been found joined in the search and they found me before I suffocated. I hate laundry machines. I also hate doing laundry.
This happened two years ago. It was the middle of February in the UK and I had a late-night date next to the canals with my S.O. We had a favorite place that didn't have any street lights next to the path that led to a small forested patch. We went out there so often we felt that we didn't really need any lights anyway.
As we were on a lock—as in, canal locks are spots where they raise the sides of the canal, make the water very deep to help barges through—I was launching into an exciting story. That’s the moment it happened. I accidentally fell in the seven-meter-deep lock full of icy water. I immediately sank as my muscles and lungs reacted to the icy water by tensing up.
I couldn't move any muscles; I just heard the air bubbles passing by my ears. My eyes were open, it was pitch black, and it took me a few seconds to even realize what had happened. As I was sinking, I thought, “Well, this is a stupid way to die.” It felt like someone has put dozens of belts around my body and kept tightening them.
That’s when my heart began to break. I thought of my mom, I really didn't want to make her sad. I thought of my dog. I had zero air in my lungs. It's not like when you're watching a movie and try to keep your breath for as long as a character does whilst drowning. You have no air at all to hold on to. I was just trying to keep myself calm and not inhale water.
It felt very long, I had so many images in my head but no narrative really. At the very last second, I'm guessing due to adrenaline, I felt very warm and strong, and I got control of my limbs back. I started kicking with my feet and pushing upwards with my arms. I knew I didn't get to the top when I inhaled water. But I was close enough to the top that my SO could reach down for me and pull me up.
He couldn't see anything either. He pulled me out and once I was back, I had a massive fit of laughter with uncontrollable shaking. He was super worried and wanted to rush us back home, but I said I just want to sit for a little and laugh.
I thought I was done for when I lost control of my car and flew off a 13-foot embankment and slammed into a tree. My knee was up near my ear cause the axle came up through the floor. I thought I could fix it, because I knew if I didn’t my dad was going to be so mad at me. I walked away with zero injuries, but the car was totaled.
To this day we have no idea how I didn’t die. No, dad wasn’t mad at me. We did sell the van to the farmer across the street though, he wanted it. Three weeks later we see the car back on the road, in good condition and we have no idea how. In fact, 20 years later, the dude’s daughter is still driving it.
I was in middle school jumping on a trampoline my parents got second hand on the internet. I was ecstatic with it and jumped on it quite often. I got really comfortable with doing flips that I was doing them constantly. One day after school while my parents were returning from a doctor's appointment out of town, I wanted to jump on it really bad.
I was too overzealous and tried too many flips with not enough height, and landed straight onto my head. My head instantly went from being perpendicular to the ground to parallel. I heard my neck crack and there was so much instant pain. I knew I messed up. I remember laying face down after that, scared I couldn't move thinking I had paralyzed myself.
I laid there for quite some time doing nothing as I was deathly terrified of the answer. Akin to looking at your test grade in college knowing you failed. Still lying face down, I checked to see if I could move my fingers and then my toes. The sense of relief was impalpable. I sat up and checked to see if I could look around.
It hurt incredibly badly, but I ended up being fine. Though, I could not move my head very much for about a month and a half. It felt like I was wearing one of those neck braces, except it was entirely molded out of pain.
I once ran into two grizzly cubs while working a forestry job in Northern Canada. Grizzly bear mothers are insanely hostile towards anything that even looks at their cubs. I got out of there quickly and unharmed but for a moment I was sure mama bear was going to come sort me out. I remember saying aloud, "Well this is it."
I got lost in the backcountry in Colorado. It was -20F outside. All our water slowly froze—but the worst was yet to come. At around 10 pm, my friend and I collapsed. We were dehydrated and hypothermic. I couldn't stand up. Most of the day we hadn't had cell reception but eventually, I was able to get a few bars. I called for help then my parents to let them know we were probably dying.
Then I had a lot of time to sit there under the stars and be with my thoughts while experiencing the later stage effects of hypothermia. Rescuers found us at 7 am. I had lost 15lbs. in a day from dehydration. My ski boots were so frozen to my feet they had to cut them off. I did have to spend a few days hospitalized and had pretty bad frostbite, but I made a full recovery.
Another in the group lost a full 25lbs. just in water weight. A few others did get toes or fingers amputated, but everyone is alive and happy today.
As a 14-year-old I was climbing the cliffs in the woods near my house and realized I'd come to a dead-end, I couldn't reach another handhold and I couldn't go back because of the odd angle I stretched to get to that point. I cried a little, then used my fingertips to climb up to the top of the rock I was on. The cliffs below me were uneven and jagged, and ended several hundred feet below. It would've been a terrible fall.
When I was about 10, I went on a hiking trip with my family. I was walking ahead of everyone else, and on the path, I saw a small snake. Snakes being my favorite animal when I was a kid, I was super excited to see it. I grabbed a short stick and gave it a poke, at which point it lifted its head up and hissed me before slithering into the bushes.
I attempted to follow it before being immediately stopped by my parents. As it happens, snakes in Australia are generally quite venomous, and I'd say I was quite lucky in my encounter.
I’ll never forget it. The moment I felt it happen, I thought I was done for. So, when I was younger, my dad set up a zip line in my backyard, and I volunteered to test it first. I started out fine, but right at the highest point, the line snapped and I fell straight down probably like 7 meters. Luckily the ground was soft and I was fine, but when I felt it break, I seriously thought that was the end.
When I was younger, I was just biking to the corner store nearby, when all of a sudden, a car came out of nowhere and hit me. I remembered just flying off my bike and landing on my butt with just a couple of scrapes and bruises. Of course, I was spooked by it, because it could’ve been so much worse. The adults just helped me up and the car driver bought me ice cream and told me not to tell my parents.
I was sliding off a 14-foot-high gazebo roof onto a black rod iron fence with the pointy metal triangles on top. I slid off, fell about 6 feet down to the fence, and both legs hit between the rods, which caused me to backflip and land on the ground between 2 big green garden spikes. I could have been impaled several different ways, but I only ended up with minor scratches.
My brother was also on the roof painting and can verify everything. He said it was the most amazing thing he's seen.
In flight training for my personal pilot’s license, we were practicing an engine-out emergency landing at a small local airfield (basically you just pull the power to what amounts to idle and effectively glide the airplane in). The field had a very wide, very deep, and very cold river immediately before the runway threshold.
As I was lining up to land, I neglected to account for the massive downdraft caused by the cold water. So, at about 50 or 60 feet in the air, suddenly the plane felt like it was just falling out of the sky. This shouldn't have been a problem, but I was so focused on not touching the throttle, since we were practicing an engine-out landing.
I didn't slam the throttle open to gain power and altitude for a go-around, which is what I should have done. Instead, like an idiot, I made a brutal mistake. I pulled back on the yoke, almost stalled the plane, and then to avoid that I had to push the nose back down. We SLAMMED into the pavement, nosewheel first. I somehow avoided going off the pavement into a ditch when a gust hit me at the same time.
I got the plane under control and taxied off the runway, radioed that the runway was clear, and then just shut down the plane, right there on the taxiway. After our adrenaline calmed down a bit, my instructor and I got out to look the plane over to see if we were in any shape to try and fly it back to our home airport.
I don't know what exactly the engineers at Cessna do, but they make a RESILIENT aircraft. There was no damage we could see at all, and the runup checklist also revealed nothing concerning, so my instructor flew it back for a more thorough look over with the mechanic. No problems at all. The next day we tried it again. General aviation is fun! Everyone should try it!
I was running around in a playground at night. It was dark and I was playing hide and seek, but if you get found, you have to get tagged. I was found and was running away so I turned around to look if the kid who was behind me, but he stopped and just stood there. I turn around to get ready to run and was confronted by a sight that I’ll never forget, as long I live .
Standing in my face is a PACK OF COYOTES. Right there, just a breath away. They get in a circle around me and I think I might’ve run onto the breeding ground or something, because they were all showing their teeth. I remember hearing somewhere that you should make noises, so I do. I try to roar, but instead, it’s a squeak, so they don’t back off. That’s when my chasing friend runs over with a stick and starts to hit the ground and the coyotes run off. I seriously thought I was done for.
I was crossing a crosswalk at night, where I had the right of way. Still, I had a weird feeling before I turned to my right. A guy driving a truck didn’t see me but I saw him right before he hit me and I flew. I remember thinking before he hit me, “Oh no. Guess I might die today.” And then after I flew and I was on the ground—still in the road—just repeating over and over again, “Get up.”
I knew I was going to get run over if I didn’t get up. But it was peaceful for the most part. Just a realization of, “Well, this isn’t how I pictured today going.” and calmness.
I had an experience while doing whitewater training that absolutely stunned my doctors. They could only explain it as “a self-percussive cardiac restart.” I was jumping into shallow water for rescue drills (this was intended) when I landed with my entire body weight on a pointed rock straight to the center of my chest. If not for my life jacket, it would’ve caved my rib cage.
But instead, I rolled on my back, and yelled, “Oh my god that hurt!” And then I wasn’t conscious for about 30 seconds. I remember something...but I can’t express what it was. It’s not like when you go under anesthesia and just blink to the future, I just remember I was gone and then back again.
I had an intense allergic reaction as we were leaving our hotel room after a weekend-long festival once. The last thing I remember is feeling odd, and trying to call out to my husband as he left the room, while I tried to make it to the bed. I remember the words getting stuck in my throat and coming out weird, and a VERY brief moment of thinking "I'm about to die. Well, that’s not good."
And this split-second feeling of extreme guilt before I was out. Nothing flashed before my eyes or anything like that. I woke up on the floor surrounded by people and was told I'd just had a seizure that had gone on for several minutes. I was confused and didn't understand. I didn't get why everyone was panicking. In my mind, I'd woken up, so I must have been okay. I wasn't, I could barely speak or remember anything, or move.
I apparently kept trying to close my eyes, kept getting shaken awake. I had three more massive seizures that day, but fortunately survived. I never attended another festival after that.
When I was 12-13, I hallucinated while I nearly froze into an icicle. One minute I was freezing and scared and miserable and the next, it was a warm sunny day and I was sipping lemonade at a table with other ladies like Southern belles (I am from the deep South). The only reason I am alive today is because some part of my brain swam up through the illusion.
It informed me that something just wasn't right, and then dragged me out of it. I finally found a house nearby and knocked on the door and the person who opened it literally dropped the breakfast in her hand and screamed, saying I was blue. I imagine I sat there sipping lemonade for quite a while if I had time to turn blue.
I was alone at home and choked on a piece of steak I was eating outside. At first, I could only get little gulps of air in, then I tried to take a bigger breath and just lodged the steak further down my windpipe, completely blocking it. I considered throwing myself onto the back of a chair to attempt the Heimlich maneuver but was convinced it wouldn't be successful.
I was initially worried about passing out and falling out of my wheelchair, so I started pushing myself to a nearby sunbed so I could lie down, but then realized since I wasn't breathing, it was probably going to be The End. I remember thinking something like, "Wow, so this is how I die; I didn't expect it to be this soon."
Fortunately, the steak dislodged itself, possibly from the motion of me pushing the wheelchair, maybe helped by some slimy throat saliva or something. The whole experience lasted about 45-60 seconds, but really freaked me out, and I still don't really know what to make of it several months later. I eat a lot of steak, but now take smaller mouthfuls, chew more, and avoid big pieces of gristle. My dog is grateful, I'm sure.
I think the scariest thing is that it can really happen at any time, even when you're just relaxing at home, enjoying a steak and the view.
The hood on my car came open at 60 on the highway and completely blocked my sight in heavy traffic. I panicked and jerked the wheel a little bit which caused me to fishtail. Believe me, my driver’s education teacher's words from five years prior rang in my head. They said to lean down and look through the space at the bottom of the hood.
I pulled over and used some wire I found in the trunk to keep the hood closed. Any time you close your hood make sure it latches securely by pulling on the hood like you're trying to lift the front of the car off the ground!
It happened at a hotel, when my family was on a holiday. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was swimming, and at that moment, my legs and arms locked up. My lungs felt like stone. And then I slipped out of consciousness for I'm not sure how long. I woke up to the lifeguard pumping my chest. During the time I was unconscious, I was floating (probably because I was in the water) in space filled with stars.
I tried to "swim" over to one of the stars and found out they were fragments of my memories, voices, noises, smell, faces, places, all jumbled together. But a big part of those fragments was my mom, my dad, and my two younger brothers. It wasn't like a memory or anything. To put it into words, it was more like a soup of everything I've ever seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt all there.
My boyfriend woke me up shortly after we had fallen asleep in a small upstairs bedroom—and when I opened my eyes, my blood ran cold. The room was on fire and filled with dark smoke. After we collapsed on the floor and couldn't find the door that was not even five feet away, we kept hitting walls and corners and started to not comprehend anything. After feeling like I was baking in an oven I laid my head down on the floor.
I was thinking I'd never see my son again and how sad it was to die. It felt like an eternity and was very lonely. My boyfriend somehow found his phone on the floor and called the emergency line. The fire department showed up in what felt like two seconds but couldn't break down the front door. They shone the flashlight up to the window so he could kick out the AC unit, which he did.
They finally came upstairs and we crawled to them and they took us straight to the burn unit since they didn't know what shape we were in. I'm pretty sure the entire hospital toured through our room since they've never seen anyone make it out and still look the way we did.
Two years ago, I was sleeping soundly in my then-girlfriend’s bed with her and her two young kids. Around 3 or 4 in the morning I hear someone walking around in the room and open my eyes—only to make a disturbing discovery. I see her ex-boyfriend, who she had left months ago but wouldn't leave her alone and "let her" leave him, walking to turn the light on.
As he turns the light on, I see him grab something from behind his back. At this point, I'm thinking that he is going to just turn and come at me and I am worried about the kids getting hit. I go to roll onto my back to get up and as I roll, I get hit in the throat by his fist. I can't swallow for a few seconds and I think to myself I need to calm down and try to breathe before I panic.
Once I realize my windpipe isn't crushed, I sit up in the bed and tell the kids to go hide in the closet. At this point, he is screaming at me and I am barely awake, I get hit in the side of the head with a gun, I try my best to move with it and sit back up. The screaming continues, girlfriend is now screaming at him to leave and he hits me in the other side of the head.
Once I sit back up again, he points the thing in my face while screaming. He finally decides that it's not worth it or something and leaves through the door he broke in from, empties his clip into a field across the street, and he and his friend drive off. The authorities get called and they get him not even an hour later.
He is now in prison for 12 more years and I walked away with just a bad headache the next morning. I thought I was dead the moment I saw the look on his face and was lucky no one was seriously hurt. The worse part of it all is the kids having to go through it and how many people tell me they would have beaten him up.
One of the most surreal experiences of my life was riding my bike on the sidewalk next to an extremely busy road at night. I hit something on the sidewalk - I don't know what - and tumbled sideways into the street. As I fell, I saw the road light up from headlights from a car behind me, and when I hit the asphalt, I just laid there because I knew I couldn't get out of the way in time—but that’s not the most chilling part.
After a second or so I opened my eyes. I wasn't dead, so I looked around and the street was empty. But it hadn’t been empty when I fell. There were cars going in both directions. That was 20+ years ago and I'm still not entirely convinced that I didn't die. It's entirely possible that I imagined the headlights, but that road is NEVER empty like it was.
It's a major street in a major city. It always has cars on it, even at 3 AM. It was the first of many experiences that lead me down a path of questioning the nature of reality.
I was lost and running in the woods without looking where I was going when I made a fatal mistake. I ran straight into a barb wire fence and it hit me in the throat. The last thing I remember, I couldn't breathe and was passing out and there was blood squirting from my neck. I woke up an hour later and walked home looking like an absolute mess. I changed my shirt before heading to the hospital.
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