There are some seemingly farfetched situations that we think could only ever happen in movies...until they happen to us in real life. The following stories tell of unbelievable moments that unsuspecting people have experienced, and they prove that sometimes we can believe what we see in movies. Read on for some truly heart-stopping tales:
Growing up, my best friend’s family were all sleepwalkers. One night, I was sleeping at her house and I was standing in the kitchen with her and her mom. Out of nowhere, we saw a shadow of a man through the back patio windows and we all started screaming. It took a minute, but her mom realized it was her dad sleepwalking outside!
It was the scariest thing. He was totally fast asleep and she had to help gently walk him back to bed because you should never wake a sleeping person. They can sometimes get violent and he was a really big guy.
When I was 18 years old, I left for some missions group thing for my gap year. This took place on an island in Central America. Earlier that night, everyone had been swimming off the dock, but I didn't want to because of all the jellyfish. As this was a group of guys fresh out of high school, this decision earned me the title of "huge chicken."
Later that night, I go back down to the docks, just thinking about stuff. Because I want to be alone, obviously I creeped out of the house without telling anyone. I see the water and think: "While no one is around to judge me, I should get over my fear, quit being a coward, and jump in the water." But for some reason, I hesitated. I decided to shine my flashlight on the spot I wanted to jump to. Thank god I made that decision.
There was this weird, clear, worm looking thing that I had never seen before. It's not exactly swimming, it's like twitching erratically and gently moving with the water. I'm wondering what the heck it is, when I look around more and see a box jelly with a missing tentacle, and the tentacles look exactly like the "worm."
The box jellies there weren't like the kinds in Australia where you get hit and you're dead, but these were apparently bad enough to send you into shock with the pain. And if I had been in the water, with no one else around to find me, there's a very good chance I would've drowned if I just jumped in without checking. Never let name-calling convince you to do something stupid!
I used to trail run by myself a lot, not on super remote trails, but it also wouldn’t be uncommon for me to not see another person while I was out there. The last time that I went, I came around the corner and there was a guy eating blackberries from a patch along the trail. I ran past and gave one of those quick runner waves.
As I was entering the woods a little further up the trail, I glanced behind me—and what I saw shook me to my core. He was walking behind me, not directly behind me, but much closer than I felt like he should have been considering that he seemed pretty distracted by the berries not long before. I was especially freaked out because I was already tired and facing an uphill climb while he had been relaxing and I knew he’d be able to overtake me.
I sprinted into the woods, grabbed the sharpest rock that I could find, and cut through the forest parallel to the trail before I took the turn until I could get back on it and run back in the direction that I’d come from. He was probably some random guy who thought I was crazy, but I had some very bad vibes that day.
Growing up, I lived one block away from a street specifically for the elderly with an elderly home right across the street from it. I remember when I was in the sixth grade, I was walking home with my sister and as we were about to cross the sidewalk, this couple stopped their car right on the sidewalk and just stared at me blankly for a solid 30 seconds, without blinking or any movement whatsoever before driving off. I have no clue why they stared at me but it scared the heck out of me.
Me and two friends were on substances and pretty intoxicated. It was common for us to walk home from downtown while under the influence. While walking home, we walked past a house about two blocks away from the house we all rented together. There were about six guys hanging out on the stoops of this house. They wanted to talk, and my judgment-impaired friends were all too happy to stop and talk with these guys.
After a few minutes of talking, they invited us in for a few extra drinks. I had a bad feeling about them, so I didn't want to go inside. But my two friends wanted to go on and shoot the breeze for a while. I convinced my friends that we should go home and get my substances to smoke. After getting home, being intoxicated, they mostly forgot and were easily convinced to not venture back out just to smoke with these random guys.
We found out that two days later, two guys got invited into that same house and were robbed, violated, and fatally beaten by those same six guys. There is not a doubt in my mind that this was exactly what awaited us inside that house. They saw three intoxicated guys and figured we were "easy pickins."
But being guys in a relatively safe city, we just didn't have the fear we should have had about walking into a random house, especially so close to home.
It happened on Oxford Street (in London) on Black Friday. My friend and I were walking around jokingly said, "Hey, this would be the perfect place for a terrorist attack." Famous last words. There were thousands upon thousands of people pressed together in these busy streets. I swear, like five minutes later we hear this roar of thousands of people screaming all at once.
The sound pulsed through our bodies as the mass of people around us suddenly started running. I grabbed my friend who was panicking and dragged us into a store to go hide behind a pillar. After like 30 seconds they locked the doors and people who still wanted to get in started slamming the windows. Inside the store people were crying and there even was a kid without a parent, screaming.
After a few minutes, they finally said we could go out through the back. Heavily armed cops yelled at us to run again and we went to an office building that was packed with people, again waiting for news. During all that, my parents were there too, but not with us. All my mother had sent me was a text message saying, "Shots!"
I swear, thinking about how I felt that evening still gives me shivers. In those moments, you really believe people are shooting at you. There's nothing louder than the collective screams of people around you. The event even has a Wikipedia page: “Oxford Circus Panic."
I was staying in a hotel by myself and decided to watch The Exorcism of Emily Rose. It was a terrible decision. Some guy had played the cruelest hotel prank, and they had set the alarm clock radio to go off on full volume to a Gregorian chant channel…AKA, Catholic monk music played at four in the morning. I've never moved so fast in my life.
I jumped halfway across the room trying to figure out what was happening. I did not get back to sleep that night and have checked every hotel alarm since. I’ve also read that the actresses in that movie had some messed up things happen with radios during filming. What a weird coincidence.
I was working at a warehouse and there was a forklift that had an awkward load, like the guy sifted it a little bit. I went up to straighten the little bit off on it. Well, the guy operating the forklift was a complete idiot and backed through a doorway with the load quite a ways into the air and it smacked into the top of the doorway at great speed. He had gunned that forklift like he was racing the thing.
Now, back to me. I am right in front of this load that is now coming at me at high speed. The load was poorly stacked and heavy as lead metal. Time stopped. Two thoughts went through my head: try to stop it or get out of there. I went with getting out of there, which was the right choice because when that stuff hit the floor it left massive dents and gouges in the cement floor, there was no way I could have stopped that, too much weight, and too much speed.
I went to my urologist with epididymitis. He found the smallest amount of detectable blood in my urine. On a whim, he sent me to have an IVP. In this procedure, they put dye in your blood and a radiologist has a look at it. He saw a mass on my left kidney. Twenty minutes later, I knew I had cancer when I saw the blood supply to the mass.
That was on Thursday. Tests Friday. Monday, he took out my kidney with a grapefruit size stage three tumor. There was no margin. Many years later, my wife told me the doctor had warned her that I had a 50/50 chance of living six months. That was all the way back in 1992. Lucky me, I guess.
I had a lucid dream where it felt like my bedsheets were floating and like there was a presence nearby. I woke up literally terrified and immediately turned on my bedside light. There was a lot of static in the air, so much so that the sheets crackled when I moved them. Then, the light randomly went out on its own.
I immediately turned it back on in a panic. That was the end of whatever went on. I never experienced anything like that again in my life.
I'm not sure we definitely would have lost our lives, but it wouldn't have been pretty. We had a fire going in the backyard at a friend's house. My friend's dad decided to burn some junk from the garage. Mostly old boxes and papers and stuff. So we're helping feed that stuff into the fire and I grab the next small box to throw in, but I can tell there's something in this one.
There had been stuff in most of them, but it was always just pamphlets and little bits of packaging, so we had stopped really checking and were just throwing them in. Well, I'm standing there with the box over the fire about to drop it when I decide to check this one. I looked inside, and couldn't believe what I found. It was full of live mortar shell fireworks. My friend's dad decided we had burned enough garage junk at that point.
I've been through a lot of scary stuff but I think the most legitimately terrifying was someone breaking into our house from an adjoining attic crawl space to rummage for pills in our medicine cabinet. My (now) ex was working swing shift and my very pregnant self thought it was him coming home after the night shift to shower. I thought it was weird he didn’t kiss me but figured he’d had a bad night at work and went to shower immediately.
Imagine my surprise when he DID come in and kiss me a while later and I had a whole revelation moment that there had been a man in there earlier who was not my husband. It made it worse than I was pregnant at the time and extra emotional.
I volunteered in Rwanda in 1997. When I was driving back alone to my project area, I drove through a heavily forested area around noon. I found out later in the day that the local governor got assassinated in an ambush in that same area. 12 people were assassinated, two vehicles were burned. He’d passed through about an hour after I went through.
I was in the hospital due to a freak instance of my heart and organs randomly failing, but with nothing more than mild flu symptoms. One night, I'm up playing Breath of the Wild, waiting for my midnight shots and tests, when the nurse comes in. She suddenly freaks out and calls a code blue on me. She tells me she thinks I'm having a stroke.
It felt like half the hospital crowded into my room and were doing a bunch of stroke tests on me. I passed them all with no symptoms, but she insisted I was having one. She could only describe it as I wasn't as funny as normal. The doctors ended up siding with her to be safe and giving me medicine and doing tests. Turns out I actually did have a stroke.
They hadn't detected some clots that formed when my heart failed, but somehow me not being funny at midnight was enough for this nurse to figure out how much danger I was in. Fortunately, it was a very minor stroke that really only caused me to feel like my fingers were a centimeter off when typing for a few weeks. But it would have been a lot worse had the clots gone completely undetected.
I used to go out for these long walks in the woods at night, as depression makes me value my personal safety less than a few minutes of peace. I thought my worst-case scenario was a creepy stranger—I was so wrong. I went for these walks often, until one day I got stalked by a mountain lion that had wandered into the city.
The feeling of having an apex predator follow you is a nearly indescribable, primal thing. It's so disconnected from any fear I've felt in my modern life, but at the same time unmistakable for anything other than what it is. It's baked right into every cell of your body. You practically glow with terror. Externally, I was just walking home, but internally, I was absolutely and totally aware that there was a big cat behind me.
I knew that it wanted to eat me, and I couldn't stop it if it decided to do this.
The day after my 21st birthday I took a long trolley ride home from my friend’s house and I was in deep thought regarding some poor choices I’d just made. I got off the Southbound trolley and crossed the Northbound trolley tracks, still deep in thought I stepped up onto the platform just in time for the Northbound trolley to zoom past my face.
I was about half a second away from being turned into a red mist.
Early on in my struggles with drinking, I didn't know that withdrawals were a thing, or that they could be life threatening. At one point, I was drinking two fifths of very hard drinks a day. Considering that my life was falling apart, I decided one day to not drink. Big mistake. At first, I thought I was just having a bad hangover. My heart was racing even though I wasn't moving around.
I was shaking, hallucinating, going numb all over, and began wondering if I should go to the hospital. By the time I got there, my heart was beating about 170 per minute while at rest. The doctors acted very quickly and I just remember being surrounded by people, them stripping me, them shoving an IV in my neck, and them yelling, "He's gonna seize!"
After the first seizure, I was so messed up that they kept hitting me with an ativan over and over again, because it wasn't working fast enough. Later on, in the ICU, the docs told me I shouldn't be alive and that they gave me enough ativan to put down an elephant. When I think about what would have happened had I not gone to the hospital, it makes me sad that I wasn't more educated on the dangers of quitting drinking cold turkey.
I had a snowboarding accident. I was stupid and went with my brother up to the top of the mountain for one last run as a snowstorm was about to start. By the time we got to the top, it was getting worse. We had another genius idea and decided to go through the fun off-piste area. About five minutes down the mountain the wind had started gusting heavily.
My brother had an easier time as he’s on skis and is heavier than me. A gust managed to knock me over and I fell on my arm, breaking it. I was in too much pain to continue down in that kind of weather so we decided that my brother would continue and then alert the ski patrol about the situation. Sitting there on the mountain off-piste in the middle of a heavy snowstorm with a broken arm all alone just waiting was the most uncomfortable I’ve ever been.
I honestly don’t remember how long it took them to find me again but it was likely an hour or so. But seeing the lights of a snowmobile coming towards me was amazing. They got me down the mountain with no issues and then I received the standard lecture from my mom about safety. You know what I’m talking about.
When I was in middle school, I was walking down the last flight of stairs and slipped forward. I can't tell you how many steps I was falling for, it felt like a lot more than it probably was. Some guy who was walking behind me saw me slip and flew down the stairs and caught my head just as it was about to hit the tile at the bottom. I didn't even know him, he was just acting so selflessly.
One time, some friends invited me to play games at another friend’s house in the 'burbs, but we both lived near downtown. I normally jumped at the chance to go hang out, but this time I was just...off. I thought about going and then texted and changed the plans, even though I wasn't planning anything else, just to be at home. They then texted me at close to midnight to show their backseat touching the back of their front seat.
They were rear ended on the highway going 75, and the guy was going fast enough to smash the entire back of the car in. Luckily I wasn't in it.
I was 17 and was coming home from my girlfriend’s place around three or four in the morning. I live in an apartment and would regularly jump my backyard fence. I climbed up to the second floor and came down the stairs to climb through my window on the first floor. I got to the fence and heard a bone-chilling sound. It was a car screeching its tires at top speed.
Even worse, I got to the top of the fence and I heard footsteps running towards where I was. I was caught off guard because no one should be back there at that time. I landed and turned around to see who it was. It was a neighbor who lives in the building. This 32-year-old gangster. I felt relief because we were on decent terms and he knew who I was growing up—but he had an Uzi in his hand.
He half pointed it at me, shaking as he did so. I was so frightened. But he lowered it realizing who I was as I said "... What’s up?" He was obviously high. He asked me to hold the firearm so he could pee. He pushed it into my chest as he did so. I could feel him shaking from adrenaline and illicit substances. I felt like I didn't have a choice. I was stuck for a second but I managed to take a step back raise my hands and say, "Nah bro. I cant."
He said it was all good, telling me to use my shirt to hold it so he could pee. I repeated, "Nah. I can't. Put it on the floor. And do what you gotta do. I'll keep watch." He proceeded to pee. He was turning my way every other second because his loaded firearm is on the floor between us. I looked the other way. I was trying to not make him nervous.
I looked into the sky and hear a helicopter approaching. It was low and its searchlight was scanning the area. I told him, "Yo, I gotta go." He asked if I had keys to the backyard door. I nervously pull them out and said, "Yeah I do. Let's go through." I hurriedly walked to the door. I opened it for us. He lives on the first floor as well. We went opposite ways. It was a huge relief.
I had to jump through my window still. I could barely manage to get the screen off because I was shaking so much. I managed to get in 10 seconds later and was shaking and was nervous from what just happened. I washed my face and changed my clothes. I got ready for bed and tried to calm down. I began to think my nightmare was finally over—but it wasn’t.
I put Adult Swim on and tried to relax and drift to sleep. Twenty minutes later, as I’m drifting off to sleep, a red laser points through my curtains. I’m was scared because my bed was visible and the dot seemed like it was shaky and searching. I was terrified. My only thought was he went and got high again, thought about what happened, and decided I saw too much.
I was literally hugging my wall standing on my bed trying to avoid the laser beam. I thought I was dead. Then the light shut off. It flicked on and off a couple of times. I noticed the angle wasn’t floor level. It was coming in from the second floor. A neighbor girl I used to talk to had two younger sisters and their window was across from mine but on the second floor.
They were shining a laser in my room. Most likely they saw me jumping into my room and decided it was a good idea that night to shine a laser beam into my room. I was angry and sent her a few texts blowing up about them shining a laser into my room that late at night. She understood without me having to explain and they stopped immediately.
But jeez, the thoughts that were running through my head. I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry about the situation.
My dad got half of his hand crushed in a dump truck. My mother and I had to help him get out and I was terrified of what we would have to do if we couldn’t get it out. Long story short, he crushed his pinkie finger, and ring finger along with the right side of his hand. He had to get the pinkie amputated and as for the ring finger? It’s a miracle that the doctor could save it.
I got hit by a car while riding a motorcycle. An old lady in Palm Beach who could barely see ran a light and hit me. It was August in South Florida yet, for some reason, that day I had put on a leather jacket and full face helmet. The helmet and leathers were destroyed, but I walked away unharmed. Definitely had the feeling that a power greater than myself had made that decision for me.
My scariest experience was probably when I went to the park with my seven-month-old puppy and he got attacked. Two dogs came running at him and he thought they wanted to play, but nope. They lunged at him and one had him by the neck while the other had his back hind leg. My mother had to pry open the dog’s mouth to get it off of my dog’s neck. Somehow he had no scratches or bruises at all, but it was really scary.
The mountain at the boarding school I attended caught on fire. I will never forget looking over the balcony of the dining hall to a huge smoke cloud that was pouring through the sky. The fire turned it all red. Ash was falling from the sky as we all walked into town as a big long line. The younger kids were evacuated by bus off the mountain, but older kids were told to get into peoples’ cars. Everyone frantically got into random cars and drove down the burning mountain.
I served in Afghanistan in 2009. I was a driver and I always used to cut corners aggressively while driving from place to place. One day, my gut just told me to take it easy on a turn, so I did. Unlike usual, I made the turn slowly and wide. Then, the very next vehicle behind me cut the corner, hit an IED, and exploded instantly. It was horrifying.
I fell from a height of seven and a half meters, ruptured my lungs, broke three vertebrae, two teeth, and a jaw bone. I was unconscious for about a minute, then started spitting loads of blood while lying on my back. I got anesthetized and put into a helicopter in about 15 minutes, but it sure as heck felt like an eternity.
One would think that the most significant thing you feel is pain, but the shock just hits you so hard that although you scream in pain, on the inside it's just this wild state of delirium, fear, and thinking, "This is it." The drugged nightmares were also something else, especially since they had to give me two times the anesthetics and kept me in an induced coma for about three days.
The fear in this situation doesn't only come from the first-person perspective, but also from the camp kids that were around to see me fall and most importantly my family nearly losing me. It’s definitely made me rethink my life choices and my view on life in general.
When I was young, probably about five or six, I was sitting on the curb in front of my mom's work playing with rocks or whatever little kids do to amuse themselves, while my mom and grandma smoked in the car. A strange man approached me while asking if I was alone. I guess he didn't see them in the car. I just froze and stared at him.
My mom noticed me acting weird. So she got out of the car and told me to get in the car and asked him what he said to me. He lied and said he asked if I saw his wallet. So, my mom brought me to report it and they had me look through some books to try to point out who had been talking to me. It was a book of pictures of people they had incarcerated. I'm 33 now so some of the memory might be wrong, but it's stuck with me all these years.
One time, while working at a grocery store at night, I had cart duty and had to collect all the carts from the parking lot and bring them into the store. It was dark out and I had my headphones in. I was looking at the ground and pushing a chain of carts, when suddenly it got darker. I stopped for a split second to wonder how it could get darker when it was already night, and BAM!
One of the huge 30 + feet high parking lot lights smashed onto the ground right in front of me. Hit the carts and missed me by only about two feet. I swear, I nearly had a heart attack I was so scared. The metal had rusted out and it snapped at the base. If I hadn't stopped to wonder how it got darker, I definitely would not be here today to tell you all the story. That was the scariest moment of my life.
I had metastatic thyroid cancer and my third surgery was to remove lymph nodes that were adhered to the nerve that controls my voice. There was a possibility that I could lose my voice altogether…and I’m a professional comedian & actor. Going in for that surgery was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Fortunately, I didn’t lose my voice!
A hunter fired a 12 gauge at a buck that was close to my cabin while I was asleep inside. They didn't know my cabin was even there because the roof was shallow and covered in the same stuff the hills around me were and four pellets landed in the wall just above my chest. They were aiming at its lungs, hit low, and the rest of the spray went over the ridge and into my cabin.
They were really apologetic and I knew them both, so a few days later they generously gave me the back straps and a few other good pieces.
The scariest thing that instantly comes into my mind is about my son who was at that time one year old. He was sleeping on the couch next to me and his mother was sleeping too (at his feet). For some reason, I'd had a bad feeling and as I touched his forehead, I made a disturbing realization. It was ice cold even though he was sweating. At that moment I realized that this was going to be serious. He had an epileptic cramp.
My brain was in panic mode. I grabbed him, holding him close to me, waking his mother up. We both were in a state of fear and panic we've never experienced before. As he cramped up I tried to call the ambulance and somehow between all the crying and stuttering, I was able to give them the proper details. After I hung up he cramped so hard that he got all stiff-looking, with big dead eyes to the ceiling and in the next moment his body relaxed.
He became like jelly. He was unconscious and we thought he had died at that moment as there were no signs of life whatsoever. His eyes were closed and I had a hard time holding him as his body was like running out of my arms. I really hope I never have such a moment again in my life. Finally, an ambulance came and I went with him to the hospital.
Like I mentioned before, he had a cramp, fell unconscious, and we knew that he had a mild form of epilepsy. He's now nine years old, perfectly fine, and the epilepsy is gone. Or at least there are no signs that can be detected by neurologists. I hope no one has the feeling that we had that night.
In high school, at a graduation party, I had a really bad feeling about the guy me and my friends had gotten a ride there with. I'll call him H. I didn't know him well, but I saw him drinking and wasn't sure how much. He was supposed to be our ride home when the party was over. My one friend said she trusted him and that I should not worry.
Well, I couldn't tell myself not to worry like she could. I said again to her that I didn't think it was safe to drive home with him. She insisted it was fine. Meanwhile, I had made a new friend that night. The first time I saw him, I felt like I should talk to him. Turns out he drove there alone and was intentionally staying sober to drive himself home safely.
By 5:00 in the morning, everyone was talking about grabbing an after party coffee and some snacks. People were piling into cars. I told my friend one last time that I wouldn't drive with H. I got in the car with my new friend, knowing he was 100% sober. We pulled out onto the country road, as it snaked through the trees. H came speeding out and passed us way too quickly.
As we drove around the next corner, we went through a cloud of dust and debris. When I realized what it was, my stomach dropped. H's car was wrapped around a telephone pole. Two of the four passengers were deceased, including the kid who got in the seat I would have been in. My friend was alive but has permanent injuries to this day. I appreciate everyone listening to my story. Please don't drink and drive, and please help your friends realize how much damage it can cause.
I had a mental breakdown last year, and one night I was lying in bed and all of the sudden the walls around me started crumbling matrix-style. My world was just collapsing and up popped the devil who revealed himself to me. He told me my entire life was just a simulation and I would now be going to the underworld.
I told my psychiatrist about it and she said it's actually a very common hallucination.
I was driving at the speed limit of 70 MPH on a highway that I drove on daily to get home from work. This particular day, there was an event downtown that had the traffic completely stopped for miles. There was an S bend in the road though, so you couldn't tell until you were nearly on top of it. I tried to brake, but nothing happened.
My brain broke and I kept slamming on the brake pedal, but nothing was happening, and I was in the left lane of a four lane highway with very little time to spare before I nearly hit the wall of cars in front of me. Left shoulder of the road was barely wide enough for a bike, and cars were coming up the on-ramp on the right side.
I noticed a small gap in between the cars on the on-ramp, but it was in front of me. So I actually sped up to sneak through that gap and onto the grass beside the highway. At one point, I was going over 85 MPH, knowing I had no brakes, in order to get through that gap. I barely made it, and eventually slowed to a stop on the grass.
I called my friends to come help. And when they showed up 45 minutes later, I was still clutching the steering wheel with white knuckles and staring straight ahead. It's a miracle that I walked away without a scratch.
My boyfriend, his sister, her boyfriend, and I were walking home from a bar in downtown Houston to her boyfriend’s apartment after a long night. A car full of teenage kids, some of whom may have been in their 20s, offered us some bud and we said no. They then continued to drive down the road catcalling me and my boyfriend’s sister.
The boys with us were telling them to get out of here and they eventually hopped out of their car and ran at us. Thankfully nothing really came of it but I was scared they would either 1) be armed or 2) get really physical with us. I was taking a video after some time and they literally parked in the middle of the road and charged us for just trying to get them to leave us alone.
I went to the hospital with a terrible headache and learned I had a cancerous tumor in the middle of my chest. It was blocking the superior vena cava, hence the headache. I knew there was something wrong but I never thought it would be that. It's a long time ago, I'm grand now, thanks!
In 1976, I was on vacation with my parents in Colorado and we drove through Big Thompson Canyon. My mom, brother and I all wanted to stay at one of the little hotels within the canyon, but my dad said no, and we continued on our way home to Illinois. After we got home, we saw on the news that the canyon had flooded, taking the lives of over 100 people. Had we stayed there, we would have probably lost our lives too.
My scariest experience was when my heart stopped beating one night. When this happens, your body screams for oxygen. You breathe and still suffocate because no blood is moving the oxygen from the lungs to the brain. You go into ultimate panic mode and see your life pass before your eyes. Eternities later (or, at least, that’s how it felt to me), or about three to five seconds later (according to the doctor who explained the process to me), my heart restarted with one of the "backup systems" the heart seems to have.
The scariest moment I ever experienced was when I was watching my brother nearly die from anaphylactic shock when I was six and he was only 18 months old. I was out with my mom when the person who was watching him called us to tell us that he had a rash and to come home immediately. I still remember being absolutely horrified at how he looked. He was covered in hives and his eyes were swollen shut.
I had to sit in the back seat with him on the way to the hospital. I remember not being able to look at him because it scared me too much. By the time we pulled up to the ER, he was making these weird noises since his throat was nearly closed, and a nurse grabbed him out of my mom's arms, called a code blue, and rushed him into a room.
I was outside the room watching doctors rush in. All I heard were monitors and yelling, so I assumed that he'd suffocated. That was quite honestly the worst feeling that I've ever felt. I couldn't do anything but sit in a chair and cry and shake. A nurse came out after they stabilized him enough to know that he was going to survive and pointed out that he was crying. She held my hand and gave me a popsicle and told me that as long as he was crying then he was OK.
He's 12 now, I'm 18, and I will forever have PTSD from that. Just typing this made me shake. I can't watch movies or shows with allergic reaction scenes or jokes. I can't even read books like that...I couldn't get through the beginning of One of Us is Lying because of the reaction. He's still allergic to peanuts like so many other kids.
It makes me mad when people make jokes about food allergies, especially because of how deadly they can be.
A few years ago, I had a cold that just was not getting better over the course of a week. I was exhausted all the time, even taking time off of work because the incessant coughing made me puke a couple of times. Overall, I just kept feeling worse than I had in years. One night in the midst of this, I realized that I was having pain in my chest while breathing.
Generally, that’s a “seek medical help immediately” thing, but it was already getting late and I would have had to drive myself to the hospital. I’m the only one with a driver’s license in my house. I decided to wait until the next morning. I didn’t want to make a huge fuss or have people worry about me, and I thought going to the ER for “just a cold” would waste hospital resources and my own money.
But as I laid in bed trying to sleep, I suddenly started getting extremely anxious about my condition. It shouldn’t hurt that much just to breathe. I told my partner I was going to the hospital just to be safe, and we both hopped in the car. Turns out I had double pneumonia. I was only in the hospital a couple of days after that, but it would have been life threatening if it went untreated.
I don’t wanna think about what would’ve happened if I had just went to bed that night and not gotten it checked out. Basically, the lesson I got from the experience was that hospital bills and possibly bothering people are better than risking your life. I’ve been far more adamant with myself and others about seeking care after this experience.
I was leaving work late at night, around two or three in the morning, for a half-hour drive back home. The town I was working in had lots of deer around. As I was leaving town, there was a deer that was at the side of the road trying to decide whether or not it was going to go. I slowed down to well below the speed limit—25–30 miles per hour—if I recall correctly.
It looked like the deer was backing off, so I sped up slightly, up to 40 or 45, and then at the last second, right as I cross the deer's path, it jumped into the road. I hit the brakes and lost control of the wheel. My car flipped halfway up and I was convinced at that moment I was about to have a very bad, possibly fatal accident.
But the car came back down and I was facing the opposite direction in the other lane. Had anything had been just slightly different—a stiff breeze, an oncoming truck (two-lane road), a rancher farting in the wind—I would have probably been dead. If the car finished its roll, it would've been down a fairly steep grade off the side of the road. There would've been no way I would have walked away from that.
When I was 14, I needed to get an operation on my knee because pieces of it were breaking off and needed to be reattached. The operation was successful, but about 10 minutes after I woke up from the anesthesia, I started to cough. At first it was just a little, but gradually it got worse and worse until I couldn’t breathe.
I wasn’t in my home country and only my mom was with me. She started to panic watching me cough uncontrollably and didn’t know what to do. I pressed the red button to call the nurse but I was starting to lose consciousness by the time the nurse came. They wheeled me to another room and I started to black out and I truly thought I wasn't going to make it.
I was at peace with it, but I just felt guilty my mom was gonna have to witness me go out like that. When I woke up, the doctors told me one of my lungs had collapsed because I had a bad reaction to the anesthesia and my lung had filled with fluid. That was 6 years ago but I can still remember how scary it was to be so sure I was going to die.
Back when I was about 18, I had been in this phase where I hadn't worn a seat belt for a couple of years because it would give me really bad anxiety and make me sick and have to use the restroom. It had probably been about three years since I had worn one, but this day, I was going to drive to visit a friend at his college and I decided you know what, time to break this mental roadblock.
So I put the seat belt on. About fifteen minutes into my drive, I hit a busy road that I always hit on my way to work, as it takes me to the interstate. I'm in the right lane in a Mitsubishi Galant, and there was a Ford Explorer in the left lane. We're both going 60 because that's the speed limit, and this little Honda darts in front of the SUV to turn on to the road.
The Explorer tries to not hit it and swerves into my lane, which causes me to swerve as a knee-jerk reaction. Except I swerve into the grass over a bumpy patch and flip my car three times. It was bad. I saw blood running down my arm and glass embedded in it. Everything hurt. My brain hurt. The whole works. Witnesses told the authorities what happened, as did the SUV driver, and I concurred with them.
I took one look at my car and shuddered involuntarily. It looked like an empty can that someone had tried to crush sideways. An ambulance came by. I declined and just had my parents take me to the ER. Yeah, another person not wanting to get hit with a huge ambulance bill. They spent two hours digging glass out of my arm from it going through the windshield and making a perfect hole.
This surprised me because I thought windshields were supposed to pop out or something. No stitches were needed. I was just badly bruised and sore. My parents were annoyed at me for totaling the car because they had just taken off the gap on it only a couple days prior. Needless to say, I think I would have been thrown from the car and instantly a goner had it not been for the seatbelt.
My firstborn son was born four weeks early. He had severely underdeveloped lungs. He was taken down to a better hospital in Anchorage. It was practically out of state. The little champ fought a little over six weeks before being discharged to our home in Fairbanks. It inspired me to be an EMT. But, jeez, no child should have to go through such things.
I'm happy to say, he is six now, and just fine but he is still my baby boy and I love that little guy to bits and pieces.
The first and only time I had sleep paralysis made my heart absolutely pound. It was one of the few times I had slept in my parent’s basement. It had happened twice in one night and both times it felt like the start of an assault. I was frozen in place on my back and hands/arms are coming up and wrapping around my body.
I couldn’t move and they were just getting closer. It was like I could feel the breath on my neck. I still have trauma from it, and I will never sleep in my parents' basement again.
My experience was short but definitely super scary. When I was a kid my mom and I were waiting for an elevator. When it came, I opened the exterior door and started stepping in. My mom grabbed me quickly on the shoulder and pulled me back. When I looked forward, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The elevator was not there at all.
It was a black void, basically. My mom saved me from certain doom there. That was a fall from the eighth floor in an elevator shaft.
There was a derecho here a while back. A derecho is kind of like a land hurricane. Extremely high winds from the upper atmosphere. It really didn't seem that bad at first. My ex even decided to take the dog out to play in the rain. But I just got this weird feeling and ended up insisting that they both come in and that we all go to the basement.
I can’t explain where that feeling came from or why I was so adamant about it. Who knows if we'd have lost our lives that night otherwise. All I know is that about ten minutes later, the wind really picked up and a good portion of our roof collapsed. That was followed shortly by nearly every tree within 300 yards of our house falling over. It took over four months to get the house fixed.
It's funny because my dog was always scared of the basement before then, enough so that I had to carry him down during that storm. But after that one experience, the basement became his safe place that he'd go anytime there was a storm or if I was out of the house. So it was a night that changed our lives on multiple levels.
No pun intended.
One time when I was about eight or so, my apartment got raided by the SWAT team and all that. I woke up at four in the morning, hearing banging on the door and my dad went up to open the door. When he opened it SWAT members rammed into him and got him in handcuffs. I went down to see what was happening and they all yelled, "Careful, there are kids in here."
They went rummaging through all the rooms making holes in the walls, breaking doors—all that jazz—and my dad got incarcerated for a month for possession of a firearm and worse. The thing is, he didn't even do what he was accused of. He just looked like the guy they needed.
I was once walking with some friends, two guys and two girls, and we didn't realize the sidewalk was closed due to construction until we were right up on it. We looked both ways and all that, trying to make sure we were clear to pass. One guy was still on the corner, out of the street fiddling with something. The other guy was in front of me with his arms around the girls.
To my left, I notice a white car approaching very fast and picking up speed. I didn't really think, I just pushed the guy as hard as I could, and the girls went with him. I was almost out of the way. Almost. It felt like I walked into a wall. Then everything was black. It was an instant, but felt like an eternity. When I could open my eyes, I was sliding on my elbows.
I had blurry vision and heard people yelling. There was a white car shrinking into the distance. My shoes were in front of me. I realized I was lying down, and didn't want to be in the street, so I stood up and walked to the curb. A passerby jumped out of his truck and yelled at me to lie down and not move anymore. The guy I pushed frantically called my parents while someone else called an ambulance.
My parents were there first, only three blocks away. I had a broken clavicle, nerve damage on my forehead, 16 stitches on my shoulder. The local anesthetic didn't work, so I felt the suture needle the entire time. That, and the volcanic rock of a sponge they used to clear the road debris from the wound. All things considered, I was lucky. I was 14 at the time. 15 years later, and it's still painful to recount.
I was running down escalators to catch a train during winter, and happened to slip on some ice on the platform. I slid quite fast on my bum, and I ended up getting stuck in between a train and the platform. I couldn't get myself out because of the awkward position I was in. So I called for help. The platform was full of people who just stared at me and did nothing.
I was eventually pulled out by an intoxicated person, just before the train started moving. I had a pulled hamstring, as well as several cuts and bruises in my arms and hands. I still get quite angry thinking about the bystanders not doing anything to help.
I got stranded in a strip mall parking lot at night and these two guys with full helmets on in sports motorcycles kept circling the parking lot and stopping in front of me. I got really nervous so I got up when I thought they had gone away I went to cross the parking lot to a store that still had all the lights on inside.
They came out of nowhere and drove up onto the walkway and blocked me in on both sides. I tried my best to look unfazed but I was terrified. I stepped around them and kept walking and they started charging at me and faking out at the last minute. I just kept going until I reached the store and they sped out of the parking lot finally.
Three months ago, I went to the doctor for bloating and constipation. The symptoms had been coming and going over the previous two months and then finally getting progressively worse in the last couple weeks. One CT scan later, I learned I have advanced ovarian cancer. There were terrifying statistics regarding prognosis.
I’m living with gratitude every day that I have access to excellent care and tons of loving support from family, friends, and neighbors.
I was standing in line outside of the club Mohawk during SXSW 2014 to see Tyler the Creator. At the last minute, I decided I'd rather go back to Stubb’s and catch Damon Albarn's set. As I headed back up the street, an intoxicated driver trying to escape the authorities smashed the barrier. The crash missed me by just inches, and took the lives of all four people I was standing next to.
My daughter was five and went into anaphylaxis. We drove to the hospital as she turned purple and pink and spoke in delirium, then went flaccid and even beyond flaccid (it’s hard to describe; it was like her spine relaxed). I thought she had died in my arms. They gave her adrenaline and she came back. It was 20 years ago and I still feel freaked out when I think about it.
This past Monday, I was traveling by myself so I could see my grandparents. I took the long way because I wasn't comfortable driving through a canyon in the winter. When I was about 30 miles (48km) from their house, the snow got horrible. I ran over some ice and lost control. That led me to hit the semi on my right twice before I spun out towards the center barrier.
I wasn't injured, but it was honestly the scariest thing that has happened to me, especially now that I'm living out on my own. I now have some anxiety surrounding driving and had to "fix" my car myself.
My mother made me meatloaf and I was super hungry. She insisted that she could reheat it for me, and that she would also make me some side dishes and brew some tea. It really sounded like a great situation! But, for some inexplicable reason, the whole mood felt weird to me. So I declined and said that I wasn’t in a meatloaf mood.
Her response was: “Oh well, perhaps that’s for the best. I did use a lot of Worcestershire sauce when I made this, so I don’t know if you’d like it.” Worcestershire sauce is made with anchovies. And I’m deathly allergic to fish.
I was on a tugboat that sank last winter at midnight and I spent 8-to-10 hours on the beach in -40°C weather. I ended up with fourth-degree frostbite and I lost two toes. All I was wearing was PJ pants and a long sleeve shirt with no socks or shoes.
My most heart-pounding moment was being told that I've developed a functional neurological disorder that's likely incurable. I get dizzy and nauseous, and feel weak at times. Other times, it gets so bad I collapse and throw up. It’s not exactly passing out, but it's very much like being super intoxicated. The room will spin and move.
At the beginning, they believed it was benign vertigo, but after running almost every perceivable test they could think of on every conceivable part of me, they gave me that diagnosis. It wrecked my life. Now, it's just dealing with that on a daily basis and trying to live.
I was driving on the highway one morning, and the fog was super dense. I had the headlights on and was probably going about 50 to 60 MPH. There was a red Honda behind me that wasn't quite riding my tail, but was maybe a little closer than I would have preferred him to be given the weather. Suddenly, my hands are moving on their own and abruptly jerking the steering wheel into the lane to my left.
No brakes. No mirror or blind spot check. I remember thinking to myself, "Why the heck did I do that?" As I look back over to my right, I’m just in time to see the Honda that was previously directly behind me slam at full speed into a three-car pileup that I didn't even realize was in front of me. I missed it by maybe half a second.
I still don't know what it was that kicked my reflexes off, but I'd probably be either gone or disabled for life if they hadn't.
On an inner canyon hiking trip, I took the wrong way back up and had to climb a small section and grabbed a rock that moved three inches towards me. You never experience true fear until it’s something that’s out of your control.
I am a Swede, so I'm not that used to sharks and other large fishes. When I was in Spain last year, I loved the big waves and I was in the water 24/7. But, just when the biggest wave of them all came, there was a long shark in it. I have never felt panic like that. I was running up to the beach with my heart pounding like it would explode and the image of the shark stuck in my head.
Wanna hear a crazy story where my life was literally saved by a gut decision? I once had a change in my bowel movements, so I went to the doctor, got screened for colon polyps, and had a huge one removed. It would have eventually turned into cancer. Scopes aren't fun, but they save lives. Always get things checked out if they don’t feel right.
I was in Africa and every evening a big male lion would walk through the camp. He would roar outside my tent and it was blood-curdling. I could even smell him he was so close. Nothing separated me from him but a thin layer of canvas. He would hang around for 45 minutes to an hour at a time. You cannot imagine the horror of that sound.
My most heart-pounding moment was being in an Army C-130 in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, 500 miles (805km) from the nearest landmass, as the plane started rapidly losing hydraulic pressure. All I could think was, “I joined the Army because I’d rather get shot or blown up than drown, and now I’m about to crash into the ocean in a screwed-up C-130?” Jesus Christ.
I'm not used to going to the doctor or hospital when I feel sick. Four years ago, I had a very, very bad stomach ache. No matter what position I was sitting in, it hurt like heck. I would throw up like a gulp of water. I couldn't sleep all night. I thought it was probably food poisoning or something, and kept recalling what I ate.
I called my brother early in the morning to ask him what he thinks. Does he know if there's any tea or medicine that can calm my pain? He's no doctor and knows nothing about medical stuff, yet he's my big brother, so I always assume he knows it all. He insisted that I go to the ER immediately. He said that such pain isn't normal and shouldn't last that long.
I listened to him. Turns out it was appendicitis. I had the surgery and all went well. But had I waited more, things might've turned out really bad. Moral of the story: something wrong? See a doctor!
I was at a park with my dog. He was playing with other dogs off-leash and having fun. Then a dog started messing with him and trying to pin him to the ground. He basically said screw this and ran out of the park. My heart stopped. He started trying to run home, but he has no idea how traffic works so he just bolted down the middle of the street.
I ran after him as fast as I could. Fortunately, he was a puppy so he hadn't reached his full running potential yet. I caught up to him and grabbed his tail (the only thing I could reach) and pulled on it and he stopped and yelped. He missed getting hit by cross traffic by about three inches.
A few years ago, me and 10 of my cousins were all standing at the bottom of a very small dam. But, all the snow had melted recently, so the water was higher than normal. One of us fell in and couldn't get up and eventually all of us were in the water nearly drowning. Two people blacked out and had to be pulled out.
Thankfully, we all got out safely after a while, but it was scary as heck not knowing if me or my closest friends would live through it.
I was having breathing problems, gaining weight, and having trouble sleeping, accompanied by difficulty waking up once I did get to sleep. One night, late, while watching TV on the couch, I got up and walked across the apartment to go out on the balcony and smoke. I saw stars after doing that. I booked an appointment with a family doctor who suggested that I might have anemia because of my pale color.
He ordered blood tests. Turns out both my kidneys had completely failed and probably had been in that condition for weeks or months. Doctors said if I'd waited just a few more weeks I probably would have slipped into a coma and never woken up. I was sent to the ER, placed into ICU, received a catheter in my upper chest, and started emergency dialysis the same day the results came back.
I was riding my motorbike. Suddenly, a bus turned into the next lane. I wasn't going fast—I was under the speed limit—but it was so sudden I was sure I would hit it. I hit the brakes hard and went into the longest skid of my life. I went on driving for 500 meters shaking as adrenaline was pumping in my veins. I stopped and drank half of my water bottle.
I decided to never drive behind a bus ever again.
My first really scary experience was when my first son was born. He was fine, but my wife was bleeding and they couldn't control it. I held her hand and talked to her while the doctors were working on her. I watched as all of the color drained out of her skin and she got cold and clammy and she started to shake uncontrollably while my mother-in-law held my son.
They ended up giving her five units of blood, which is about half of what you have in your body at any one time, and got her stabilized. It was terrifying.
My family and I were on holiday in Thailand over the Christmas period years ago and were staying in a hotel close to the beach in Phuket. I was only seven and my two brothers were even younger. We had been bugging my parents to go jet-skiing for days on end, much to my parents’ annoyance. On Boxing Day, they finally relented.
After breakfast, we went down to the beach to have a look around for somewhere to find a rental. But before any of that could happen, my dad, who is a surfer with many years’ experience, saw the tide receding in a way that was completely unnatural. He recognized the coming tsunami. We thought he was full of it, but he was serious.
So we raced back to the hotel where we considered running for the hills, but on the consultation of another couple that also recognized the impending disaster, we decided to sit tight in our building. The building was relatively short and stout, so we figured it was probably safe to be in during the storm. Plus, we were on the top floor.
Sure enough, the tsunami came and bulldozed Phuket. It destroyed the lobby of our building, but we were safe in our room upstairs. I have no doubt that none of us would be alive today if my dad hadn't known the early signs of a tsunami. We were also on Phi Phi Island a couple days before that, and if we had been there on Boxing Day instead we might well have lost our lives too.
Just an all around crazy experience that I'm lucky to have made it out of.
My scariest experience was the time I wasn't able to control my hands or fingers, and couldn’t speak properly due to a sudden drop in my blood potassium levels when driving home. I called an ambulance because I thought I was having a stroke. Then I started getting better at the ER and cried thinking it was a panic attack and thought I had wasted everyone's time. Well, I was in for a surprise.
They ran an EKG that was normal but looked odd compared to my history and they checked my blood. I had a potassium level of 2.2 which is apparently very, very bad as it causes muscles to seize up. What they were seeing on the EKG was that it was having some effect on my heart. Yeah. That was scary. Eat your potatoes.
My scariest moment was being a kid during 9/11 and living in New York City. I watched the towers collapse with my own eyes and my mom took me to hide in a nearby McDonald’s with a bunch of people to avoid the incoming dust shockwave that came after. I'll never forget the sound of people just crying and trying to comfort their loved ones.
I was surfing while exhausted. My board strap came un-velcroed and my board floated away. So I’m swimming to shore, but at one point hit that tired state where the current is stronger than I am swimming and I realize I am not moving towards the shore anymore. I panic, which doesn't help my swimming any. It was not my proudest moment.
Suddenly, I remember the surf instructor saying there is a reef far out from shore, but whatever you do don't stand on it unless you want really bad coral cuts. I was so panicked that I thought, what the heck, maybe the reef is there. So, I kind of just stood up in the middle of the water. My foot hit something (the reef, I assume) and I was able to stand there with my head barely above wave height and rest.
Once I got my strength back, I swam back to shore and have not gone surfing since.
I used to live near a large open stormwater drain with no fencing around it. Three intoxicated guys drove their car straight into it. The scene was horrific. I went out and found the driver trying to get his friend’s foot out of the windshield. On the field on the other side of the drain, I saw the third passenger who was covered in blood. I asked if they were okay and my neighbor called the ambulance.
The blood-covered friend passed out and was twitching so I ran to the car, grabbed a towel from the back seat, and ran to help him. I found a large, deep cut on the back of his neck and head. I rolled him to his back and used the weight of his head to put pressure on the wound. I was talking to him, trying to keep him awake and he went into shock, twitching, and was unresponsive.
This was the moment I thought a man died in my hands. I was able to wake him and the ambulance took over from there. That was the most harrowing moment of my life.
I was climbing up a small cliff and I fell into a freezing river wearing a heavy winter jacket. I had been on a road trip with my brothers and we stopped for a scenic walk in the woods. I ended up climbing down the cliff right next to the river when I fell down. The water where I was wasn’t as fast as it was in the main stream, so I made it to shore pretty quick.
I had my phone, wallet, all those kinds of things in my pockets when I fell. I let my clothes air dry for about half an hour before my brothers wanted to go. I lost about $200 in cash, some important business cards, a picture of my niece, and ultimately my phone due to water damage. This was one of a long list of stupid things I did on that trip, but it was also the most notable.
I sprained my ankle in the beginning of November and was diagnosed with a serious illness at the end of the same month. Those two things, along with taking an oral contraceptive, led to massive blood clots forming in my leg. The clots then broke off and traveled to my lungs. Before I knew what was going on inside my body, I was experiencing major pain in my leg.
I told my parents about it, but they both insisted it was just my sprained ankle that was causing the pain. My gut told me something more was wrong though—and it would end up being completely right. I ended up going to the ER. It was there that the blood clots were found, and I was treated in the hospital for three days. I’m so thankful that I listened to my gut, because the consequences of the blood clots in my leg and lungs could have been much, much worse.
Doctors informed me that our two-year-old daughter had high white blood cell counts and is likely an indicator of pediatric cancer while my wife was traveling for work. I had to go get additional blood work and wait days for the results. It turns out she was fighting some bug and was healthy, but those precious few days were the scariest time of my life.
I wrecked a motorcycle going about 50 mph (80kmph) with no helmet or protective gear whatsoever. At night. I hit a dog and slid a couple of yards. I hit a curb and flipped into grass. It was eerily quiet, except for my bike still sliding down the highway. I repeated, “What the heck?” to myself about 10 times in a row and got up.
I had a very bad road rash, but no broken bones, no spleen injury, and no head injury. I didn’t even get a ticket. Every day, I think how lucky I am to be able to walk and to still see my babies.
I almost fatally choked on a hot dog. I had a few ways I could've responded. 1) Freak out and make it worse; 2) Try swallowing really really hard, only to fail; or 3) Stay calm and preserve enough oxygen to think. Thankfully, I kept calm as my husband was about to pull me out of the car to give me the heimlich. I took in as deep a breath as I could, and managed to cough it out.
That's the story I tell to people about the importance of chewing your food. Especially hot dogs.
Earlier this year while backing our truck up at night on a mountain road, our rear tire slipped off the road. The truck rolled twice down the side of the very steep mountain. We miraculously landed upright on a fire road below the road we’d been on originally. The moment the first tire went off the side and I could feel us falling was by far the scariest moment of my life.
I was chased by a cult with guns after trying to rescue my friend from them. In the process, my three friends and I got banned from the town they were in at the time by the local officers. So, we had nobody to help us since the officers told us to leave, then ignored our calls. It took me driving on the interstate exceeding 100mph (161kmph) for many miles to lose several members of this cult in three different cars. It was terrifying.
In 2016, my wife and I were in Berlin to explore and visit the Christmas markets. The plan for that evening was to go out to eat and then get the train back to stop into the markets at Breitscheidplatz. It was close to our hotel, so this had been the plan for the entire trip, as it was our last night there. We had finished our meal and were headed to the train station.
Just as we were about to board the train, my wife decided that she didn't want to go to the markets at Breitscheidplatz anymore and instead would prefer to double back to a smaller one we had passed on the walk from the restaurant to the station. I, being a stubborn jerk, didn't want to change the plans. But she got her way and we headed back, staying at the smaller market for about thirty minutes.
After finally riding the train back, we got off and walked towards our hotel. After a minute or so, there appeared a seemingly never ending stream of emergency vehicles. Not knowing what was going on, but obviously realizing it was something serious, we sped up and locked ourselves in the hotel room. We had the English language news channel on and, after about an hour, reports started to come through about a terrorist attack.
A man had driven a truck into a crowd at the Breitscheidplatz market. Obviously, I'll never know if we would have been in the exact spot at that exact moment, but we definitely would have been there at the same time, and I am never allowed to complain about my wife changing her mind ever again.
My oxygen tank cut off the air while I was on a scuba dive 15 meters underwater at NIGHT. To this day, no one knows how the oxygen tank closed. It wasn’t malfunctioning because I realized the problem 20 minutes into the dive. For 20 minutes, there was absolutely no problem.
I was in a pie-eating contest and the only rule was you were not allowed to use your hands to eat. The person next to me used their hands to hold my head in a pumpkin pie. I couldn't breath and almost choked/drowned. The smell of pumpkin pie still freaks me out and will cause me to go into fight or flight mode.
A mentally unstable kid tried to take his own life by crashing into my car head on. At the very last second, I veered right and jumped the curb to get out of the way. He was still able to adjust and smack me pretty good, but nothing like a head on collision.
I carried a baby for the first time in my life at 19 years old. I miscalculated the force needed to pick him up and ended up having to catch the baby with my shoulder. I had just caught him before he went over my back and, well…I shiver every time I remember.
The time where I almost lost my life was when I became unconscious in the middle of the highway as a result of a motorcycle accident and was then run over by a car. I still scratch my head when thinking about it. To this day, I have no idea how I was able to make it out of that situation alive. I feel lucky and privileged to be here.
My boyfriend went through something with his gallbladder last year. This is a dude who never goes to the doctor or hospital. He could barely stand and before we left for the hospital, he put a lockbox down on my dresser and said if he dies then everything inside it was mine. I've never seen him like that before it was really weird and scary.
I still don't know what's in that lockbox.
My mate had a seizure in the woods. It was the craziest thing he just turned to me and said, “I don’t feel so good,” then bam, he’s on the ground fitting. It probably lasted less than a minute, but it was pretty violent. All I could do was watch in horror. Then he just went dead still. I was basically convinced he was dead.
Anyway, long story short, he wasn’t dead. After he’d recovered a bit, I was able to walk him out to the car and drive to the hospital. He was totally out of it for like an hour. Then, he was just really sleepy. It’s a normal thing but pretty disturbing to watch in particular when you’re on your own.
I was over at a friend’s place playing some board games and just hanging out. Out of nowhere, we heard knocking. We ignored the first couple because the sound was very light. Eventually, we started checking the doors and we saw no one was there. We went down to her basement—and what I witnessed made my blood run cold.
I saw the palm of a hand smash against the basement window. We ran upstairs and grabbed knives. I ran towards my phone and called the cops. While telling them the address, my friend yells, “It’s just my mom!” Apparently, my friend had been out on a long walk with her phone off for hours and her parents got scared when they couldn’t reach her. So, they scared her as revenge.
I had cancer. Bad cancer. The "completely incurable and you should get your affairs in order right away" kind of cancer. I have no explanation, yet I am still here and still kicking thirteen years later. I say this after many rounds of intense chemo, radiation, and Rituximab. All I can say is thank you, Stanford Medical Center. And screw you, cancer.
I went out for a few drinks with friends one Saturday night, left the bar, and went back to my apartment where I live alone. I got into bed and fell asleep. The next morning, my friend sent me a message on WhatsApp saying, "Send me the photos from last night." I opened my phone, and started screaming. After the photos from that night, there were at least 20 pictures of me sleeping.
In the background of the photos, there’s a shadow of someone on the wall, clearly holding up my phone taking pictures all dated and timed during the time I would have been asleep.
My wife and I were eating dinner one night when a stranger walked into our house. I’ll never forget looking up and seeing the look on his face as he stood there. He told us he was the angel of doom and was collecting souls for the apocalypse. He said there were demons outside everywhere. I thought “This is it, we’re done for.”
Luckily he didn’t have a weapon and didn’t attack us. I talked him into walking outside with me so I could help him out. As soon as he stepped through the door I slammed it shut, locked it, and called law enforcement. By that time he was in the road screaming nonsense. It turned out he was high on some really weird stuff.
The whole thing didn’t last too long but being told the angel of doom is in my house to collect souls almost paralyzed me with fear.
When I was three years old, I was sucking on one of those long sticks of hard candy. It was the length of a ruler and as thin as a ruler. Anyway, it ended up sliding down my throat and I started to choke pretty badly. Luckily, my stepdad had a nurse’s book handy. The book said to pour warm water down my throat and put my head down.
It slid right out and I lived to tell the tale.
My dad kidnapped me and my brothers when I was 10 or 11 years old. He has a manic/depressive disorder. He seemed normal when he picked us up from mom’s house on Friday. Very quickly we realized something wasn't right. He got rid of every phone in the house before we arrived so we had no way to call for help, and this was before cell phones.
Sadly, we were good at managing irrational adults by that age, so we managed to survive most of the weekend unscathed, except my older brother was beaten very badly on Saturday morning. On Sunday, he loaded us in the car to “take us home.” He then proceeded to race through the city, out to the country, and up and down highways and country roads for 15 hours.
We were supposed to be home at mom’s by 11 AM on Sunday. He kept us until about three Monday morning. Intermittently, he would pull his truck over and ask us to do random tasks, like hand him a hanger, or give directions, or tune the radio. If one of us failed to do it to his satisfaction, he would make us all run around the truck until he allowed us back in.
He was also having auditory hallucinations that led him to accuse us of saying disrespectful things, changing the radio station, etc. Sometimes, he would get out of the truck, stand in front of it, pray for a long time, then raise his hands to praise god and spin. I tried to get help when he stopped at a gas station once, but was too afraid of the punishment if dad caught me.
My dad picked us up at five on Friday, and returned us at three Monday morning. He did not feed us the entire time. Mom spent her night calling for officers begging them to look for us, and they kept saying it hadn’t been long enough. She had seen a movie in which a mother and stepfather blew up the kids rather than return them to the stable parent, and it really affected her.
Also, my dad had knives and guns and was known to be violent while intoxicated. When we finally arrived home, we collapsed as soon as the door closed behind us. All three of us crumpled to the ground in relief and exhaustion. It has been nearly 20 years and I still tense and shake when I think about it.
I was out late one night. My car had broken down in the middle of an interchange that was so deserted there was no one there for miles. I did what any other person would do and called a tow truck. When I finally got through, it was almost 1:00 am. I decided to go to the bathroom down in some bushes when suddenly I heard some bikes approaching the car.
I wanted to head out immediately to stop them for help, when my legs froze up and I thought twice. Then, from behind the bush where I was, I basically saw them try to ransack the car. Apparently, they were all armed. Thank goodness I remained still and out of sight, because these guys meant business. They fired multiple shots into the windscreen and door of my car. That's the moment I started to panic.
It was an old Toyota, so there was nothing in there. They busted all four wheels with bullets before getting back on their bikes and zooming off. I believe they were all under the influence, which was why they didn't bother to check around. Or maybe they thought I just deserted the area. Long story short, I walked a bit further into an open field and sat on the thick branches of a tree from where I could see approaching objects.
The tow truck didn't get there until past 4:00 in the morning, and I can tell y'all that that was definitely the longest night of my life. I’m just thankful that I eventually made it home in one piece.
When I was 10, my school, St. Anthony’s in South Bend, Indiana, had a fair that featured a ride called the Bullet. How it worked was two people sat in a revolving barrel that’s a small bullet-shaped cage that revolves as you go around a circle like a Ferris wheel at average Ferris wheel height. Well, a six-year-old and I were getting on and the guy is loading us in and starts having us put on our belts, which I start to do. As the kid is getting in the seat, that’s when disaster struck.
The ride fired up accidentally. The operator ran to turn it off, but it was too late. We shot up to the top super fast, probably around 30-40 miles per hour. Remember how I said it revolves? It turned so the door we came in was pointing straight down and since it started suddenly, it was not latched shut. I was really lucky and had belted the top portion so my chest and upper body were held with my legs splayed out against the small cage above the door.
The poor kid though hadn’t had anything on, but I had grabbed him and he was doing the same thing with his legs holding onto the seat, with the doors swinging open below us to probably about a 100-foot drop to concrete. Everyone started screaming and gathering as the operator started slowly climbing up to us and we were just hanging there as a huge crowd formed.
I locked on to him for life and oddly enough, never got tired holding his likely 60 lbs. I also remember being very calm about everything just watching the crowd and the tree line and thinking how embarrassed I was for the attention. We said very little. I just asked if he was okay and he looked at me and nodded with a pale face and that was it.
We just clung there, waiting for the operator for what felt like forever. I remember at one point someone yelling for us to switch places because he was so young, which was weird but there was no way I was going to move or adjust my grip for fear of falling. Though it felt like forever it was likely about 20 minutes for the guy to finally get to us and close the door.
He told us to put on our belts as best we could. Then he climbed down, started it up, and we got down and off. My parents were pretty absent so, of course, they weren’t there to scream at the guy. I just remember being in a daze until my parents came and got me.
My mother had to spend a few months in an asylum due to her being maniacally depressed. There was a woman in the asylum who painted the “inner selves“ of visitors. When she spotted me, her reaction was chilling. She started crying and screaming and called me a monster and devil and so on. It was my first visit there and I had never talked to her before.
After a few weeks, my dad and I went to the asylum to take my mother back home. One of the nurses approached me and handed me a painting from the lady who was so afraid of me. It literally was a black canvas with only two red eyes. It still creeps the heck out of me.
I moved to a new city for college and was trying to make friends. There was a comic book store near my apartment and I signed up for a Dungeons and Dragons group. I used my first name, phone number, and a gamer email address. This turned out to be a horrible mistake. The store employee and I made some casual conversation about our favorite comic book series. We both really liked Batman so we talked for a good 15 to 20 minutes before I purchased a book with my credit card.
Around nine in the evening, the employee texted me like, “Hey, this is [store employee]. I really enjoyed talking with you today.” I was a little unnerved by this because the only way he had my phone number was because of the Dungeons and Dragons sign-up sheet. I didn’t really want to respond at first, but I didn’t want to appear unfriendly and not be invited to the Dungeons and Dragons group, so I responded.
“Yeah…I’m glad to have found [comic book store]. I Can’t wait to meet the DnD group. See you next time!” He proceeded to text me a few more times that night, but I didn’t respond. He tries to add me on social media. He got my last name from my credit card. The final straw was I was on my college campus after hours studying in the library. I’m packing up my things when he calls me. I look at the phone, hit ignore, and put my phone on the table.
HE THEN APPEARS FROM BEHIND A BOOKSHELF A FEW FEET AWAY and has the balls to ask, “Hey, why did you ignore my call?” I literally had this feeling…like a wave of cold water from my head to my toes. I broke out in a cold sweat. I managed to put on my professional retail smile and was like, “Oh my god, hi! Sorry I ignored your call, I was just trying to pack up and head home for the day. How are you?!”
I was talking very girly and loudly because I honestly just hoped I can either make him happy enough not to murder me or to get someone’s attention because I’m being loud in a library. He was oddly calm and he was smiling but not in a warm way. “Why haven’t you been returning my texts?” Without missing a beat, “I have to pay for my data. I have the cheapo Walmart plan. Look at this phone, it’s ancient! Anyway…I can’t wait for DnD on Friday though! I am so ready to socialize and relax.”
Then he talked about the campaign and roles that are open. He asked to walk me to my car and I lied and said, “No thank you, my boyfriend is coming to meet me in a few minutes.” His face turned for a minute and I was so scared. I remember kicking myself because it was a straight up lie, but I didn’t know what to say to have him not follow me to my car.
Then, I don’t know if god is real or what, but one of my male classmates walked by and I took my chance. “OMG [male classmate]! Hey, one minute!” I turned to [store employee] and said, “Hey, sorry…I need to catch up with [male classmate], I’ll see you friday!” I bolted for my classmate. I grabbed his arm like we were best friends and I just started talking about class.
I walked us outside and he got me to my car. It was pitch black outside. I was so scared, but the classmate was so sweet. He got in my car, chilled for a bit, and I drove him to his car. I never went back to the comic book store. I still go to conventions and I saw the store employee a few times but we never spoke again.
It was the mid-1990s. I had traveled to northern New Jersey with a friend from college. It was his hometown. We had plans to visit New York City and see a former roommate who had graduated the year before. I’ll call that person Friend 2. Well, apparently Friend 2 had been quietly dabbling in the business of low-level organized mobsters since his last years in college.
We had some knowledge of this but were not involved. He invited us to an associate’s house with plans to go out afterward. We declined. Not our scene. In fact, both of us had applied to law school. I planned to pursue a career in federal law enforcement thereafter. We both wanted to distance ourselves from that nonsense and steer clear of any association with it.
We tried the following day to reach Friend 2 for a low-key lunch before heading back out of town. No answer. Well, local authorities found his body two days later, along with two other bodies, at the very house to which he had invited us. Everything went down at the meeting/social gathering that he had invited us to. So it could have been us too if we had accepted the invitation.
I knew those guys were bad news.
I worked as a night auditor at an old hotel. One night at around 2am, I got a phone call from the pool room, which was supposed to be closed. I picked up the phone to answer and all I heard was very heavy breathing. I hung up the phone to check the cameras, and all the lights are on in the pool room. So I go down the hallway to kick out whoever it is in there.
As I get close to the glass door, it’s so cold that I can see my breath, the door is completely fogged over, and all the lights are out. I open the door and the light above me comes on, because they’re motion sensor lights. I am looking around but I don't see anything. Then the light comes on across the pool from me, but again, nothing is there.
Then every light in a path begins to light up around one side of the pool as if something is walking towards me. I ran out of there so fast and locked myself in my manager's office and stayed until sunrise—but the worst was yet to come. I had played it off in my head as insects causing the motion sensor lights to go off.
I was telling my manager about my whole spooky experience, thinking he would get a good laugh. When I told him about the phone call from the pool, he didn't laugh at all. He asked me if I was 100% positive the caller ID said the pool room, and I said yeah. Then he told me there hasn't been a phone in the pool room for 30 years.
I told him there was no way, because that would be impossible. I knew what I saw on the call display. He told me to go look for myself. I looked and there was no phone. I didn't believe in the supernatural at all before that. But to this day, no matter how many ways I try to rationalize it, I just can't. It is completely unexplainable.
My mom and older sister describe how I used to randomly start crying and asking where my mom was, even when she was right in front of me. When my mother would try to comfort me by saying she was right there, I would shout for my other mom. I would then describe this person, who apparently always held a bloody hammer. They said it scared them out of their wits, but one day when I was two years old, they tried to ask me about it and I couldn't remember anything.
When I was 14, we shared our house with another man who lived on the floor below us. I was home with my younger brother while our mom went out. All of a sudden, the man came screaming and banging on the door. He was yelling about how downstairs was flooding and it was coming from our bathroom. I didn't know what to do.
But because he was an adult, I trusted him and opened the door. He came in, ran into the bathroom, and did something. After I told my mom, she called management. What they told her was truly disturbing. There had never been a leak. There didn't find water marks or any other signs of flooding. So, my mom told us not to open the door for him again.
The next time my mom went out, he came banging on the door again. We told him that our mom said we shouldn't open the door for him. His reaction was terrifying. He did not appreciate that and he went absolutely crazy. "Let me in now!" He screamed over and over again all the while banging on the door. We never found out why he wanted to come in.
I was in class, and the teacher was asking us how our weekends were. The quietest girl in the class started to speak, only to break down in tears. She said she was on a trip in the mountains with her mom. They stopped to stretch their legs during the drive, then looked over the cliff, only to see an overturned vehicle with an entire, deceased family scattered around it.
My dad left for work, got a weird feeling, and drove back home. When he walked in, he entered a nightmare. Everyone in the house was unconscious. He had to drag or carry them all outside one by one and call the ambulance. It turns out that my mom and her entire family had severe carbon monoxide inhalation. Because he trusted his gut, they all survived.
My uncle used to have a cabin in the woods near Winter, Wisconsin. I used to spend time there in the summer tearing through the woods with my two cousins. One extremely early morning, when I was about ten, my uncle woke us up roughly and told us it was time to go fishing. It was still super early and we were all confused because it was pitch dark.
He hustled us down to the dock where he kept his little fishing boat and quickly launched us into the water and away from the house. At this point we were all getting a little freaked out—but this was just the beginning. My uncle wasn’t talking. We just sat, shivering under a blanket at the bow of the boat, while my uncle stared wild-eyed at the shoreline and waved a flashlight furtively ahead of us.
We eventually arrived at my uncle’s friend’s cabin across the lake and tumbled into his house. Our uncle sent us to the loft to sleep. He and his buddy locked the doors and left, not returning until well after sunrise. Eventually, our uncle showed up with the truck and trailer already packed with all of our gear, and he told us it was time to go home.
Many years later, my uncle confided to me that the reason he’d hustled us home was because he’d woken up around 3 AM to a strange “Thok! Thok! Thok!” sound from outside the cabin. He’d gone out to investigate, when a massive jack pine fell directly across the narrow driveway, blocking us in. Startled by the noise, he swept his flashlight along the tree line.
Just in time, my uncle saw a man, holding an axe. The man slinked away into the dark of the trees and woods. He and his buddy returned to his cabin later, and had to take turns chainsawing the tree that fell across our narrow driveway apart, while the other stood watch with a rifle. He never found the man, and he never found the axe.
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