People Describe The Scariest Sound They've Ever Heard

While we have not all witnessed something that will forever keep us up at night, we've all seen or heard something that was terrifying.

And it seems the scarier it was, the harder it becomes to forget.

Redditor AncientTranslator405 asked:

"What's the scariest sound you've ever heard?"

Unidentified Animals

"A fox in the middle of the night. It sounds like a legitimate screaming ghost. I was in bed and chilled from the sound until I learned what it was."

- Due_Difference8575

Feeling Territorial

"My dog ran out the front door one night and didn't see the opossum on the porch until she turned around to come back in."

"That growl scream thing they do is horrifying, especially when it's a large opossum standing between you and your dog."

- mel2mdl

An Accident's Aftermath

"Two years ago, I witnessed a near-fatal accident. A truck t-boned a small sedan with kids in it."

"I'll never forget that sound of the crunch, the mom crying hysterically because she thought her kids were dead, and the sight of it all."

"The worst part is I knew the kids. They were students of mine. Everyone survived but not without permanent injuries."

- amahler03

Living with Dementia

"One thing my grandmother did when she was near the end of her dementia was to call out, 'Mama, Mama' in a long and drawn out 'Maaaaaaammaaaa.'"

"She passed in 2007, and now my mom lives with us and is also suffering from dementia. I was awakened one night by the same long drawn out 'Maaaaaammaaaaa...'"

- pastelpizza

Sad Goodbyes

"My grandmother passed last month. She was 96 and the absolute best."

"She was suffering from vascular dementia. Luckily she was peaceful with it and not violent or agitated. She remembered everyone but kept thinking people who died 50+ years earlier were still alive."

"The day before she passed, she sat up all of a sudden after being asleep basically for the entire previous week."

"She looked at me, a tear rolled down her face, and she said, 'Take care.'"

"I told her I loved her. She then said, 'I love you' back."

"I am so glad I was able to be there for that and to be there for her at the end."

- Gravath

Lost Partners

"I woke up in the middle of the night with my elderly neighbor crying and asking for help because she had just found her husband's body in their house."

"It made me horrifically sad, and when I finally went back to bed, I couldn't let go of my wife, fearing the day this might happen to one of us."

- TheAwesomePenguin106

Bad News

"I was at work and a mom got a call that her 19-year-old had just died in an accident."

"That sort of misery is a sound I hope to never hear again."

- Independent-Face-959

Missing Child

"When I worked in retail more than a decade ago, a woman came into the store crying for something in another language."

"Her cries were blood-curdling and it was her daughter's name."

"She lost her child somehow in the parking lot and hoped she wandered into the store (she didn't)."

"I can still hear her cries echoing in my head."

"Thankfully, they found the little girl wandering between parked cars. Happy ending."

- itsmarvin

Waiting for the Inevitable

"Sudden screeching car tires behind you."

"A few years ago, we were sitting at a stop sign and got rear-ended by a girl texting on her phone (going 60 miles per hour) and it was the scariest three seconds of my life. My two-year-old son was in the back seat too."

"We had been at the lake and had bags piled up, so we couldn’t really see out the back window, and all of a sudden, there was the sound of LOUD screeching tires erupting behind us."

"I just knew I was about to die while I waited a couple of seconds for it to hit us. Thank god it wasn’t a semi-truck or something."

- masterpate

A Mechanical Error

"A CNC machine I was operating made a horrifying screeching noise as it dropped a 10-inch saw blade and fired it at me. Nearly lost my leg that day, it missed the main artery in my leg by two millimeters."

"I still get PTSD dreams where I hear it screech, bang, and it whistling toward/through me."

- natha134

Storm of the Century

"My husband and I were awakened by a thunderstorm so loud and physical that we thought it was an earthquake, and a strong one. It was extremely loud and shook the house and everything in it, and the rumble that woke us up lasted for probably 10 seconds."

"It was such a violent shake, I was thinking, 'This will be the earthquake that kills us.' I swore that the ground was going to open. It took several seconds to realize what it was."

"I only have experienced thunder like that a few other times in my life, and I grew up in a high-altitude part of the Pacific Northwest."

"Where I live now, we have a fault line, and they always go on about 'the big one' and how devastating it will be. So in my disorientation, I thought it was the beginning of the big one that had woken us."

- SapphireHaze

Someone Approaching

"I was standing in the middle of Death Valley at midnight several months ago, with no light or anything else around me, as I was taking pictures of the Milky Way."

"I suddenly heard footsteps approaching. I grabbed my camera and turned to run."

"It ended up being another photographer who had been sleeping near me and then woke up and came to talk with me. It took a good two hours for my heart to calm down."

- jscheel

Breaking In

"Someone breaking into my home is genuinely my worst nightmare. It doesn't help when you have a cat that likes to do zoomies in the middle of the night, either."

- PlayerAlert

A Child in Need

"Hearing my seven-year-old scream/wailing from their room at 2:00 AM. That eerie sound of fear and despair and hopelessness calling for someone to stop whatever is going on. Hearing it come closer and closer before you can even get out of the covers to check on them."

"Fortunately, it turned out their hand had fallen asleep and they thought it was a dead hand stuck in the pajamas. They stopped screaming as we were yelling 'What?! What?!'"

"'Oh. It's just my hand.'"

"Still the scariest sound I have ever heard. I have nightmares about it sometimes..."

- mel2mdl


"When I was 13, I was lying in bed, trying to fall asleep."

"I went to grab a drink of water from the bottle next to my bed, and my elbow bumped the wall next to it by accident."

"Almost immediately, a singular bump ‘responded’ from the other side of the wall."

"I froze, stared at the wall, and then knocked twice in the same spot."

"Two knocks responded a moment later."

"The other side of the wall was our lounge room. There was no one in there, and I know because I didn’t get another wink of sleep until the sun rose."

"Still freaks me out, and I occasionally knock the walls of my bedroom now, hoping I don’t hear anything knock back."

- Anxiety_bunni

While almost all of these sounds are explainable, if tragic or terrifying, they undoubtedly would keep someone thinking about them for a long time.

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