Jose Antonio Gallego Vazquez /Unsplash

There are few things in the world as surreal or unsettling as the sudden realization that you need to get away, and you need to get away now.

That building dread, rush of fear, and jolt adrenaline is one of those things you see in movies, or you hear talked about in self-defense classes, but there's nothing like experiencing it yourself.


In a perfect world, most of us would only feel it if we wanted to in controlled environments like haunted houses. But we don't live in a perfect world and sometimes life gets ... terrifying.

Reddit user the-70s-kid asked people to talk about it when they posed this question to Reddit:

"What is Your Most Terrifying 'We Need to Leave, NOW!' Rush of Fear You've Felt?"

So you know how sometimes you almost wish people were LESS open and honest? Yeah...

What Happens On Tour Stays On Tour

scott hoying wtf GIF by Superfruit Giphy

"I'm a touring musician. At one point in time my tour vehicle broke down in bumf*ck Mississippi. We were able to pull into a gas station, but had thrown a belt and needed to get it replaced."

"Cue a bunch of hicks helping us work on our car. A couple of band members rode with a random do-gooder to go get a replacement belt forty-five minutes away."

"The local sheriff pulled up and bought us all coca-cola. At this point we're stressed because we don't want to miss our next show in Arkansas, but not worried about safety... YET."

"Time stretched, and through trial and error we ended up getting things close to finished up. Then our lead guitarist pulls out his iPhone. He said he had an airdrop request, but we all kinda ignored it until the job was finished."

"Then, just as we're getting into the car to pull away, he opens the airdrop."

"There were seven pictures of dead bodies, although they appeared to be cleaned up like in a morgue or something. Among the corpse pictures was a picture of one woman sitting up and smiling at the camera, the next shot she was dead."

"The last two pictures were of us repairing the car in the gas station parking lot."

"After that we lost it. I don't know whether we were just freaked or it was genuine danger, but the car behind us followed us for almost twenty miles until we got to a major highway and gunned it."

"Once we got home (2 days later) the guitarist went to the local police department."

"They basically said since it was a different state they wouldn't do anything, and since we had absolutely no info about who airdropped it, he had nothing he could 'call in' to the sheriff of the small Mississippi town."

"They also insinuated that it was probably just someone who was a mortuary or something because all the pictures had posed bodies."

"Could be someone's sick joke (and if so, I guess they got us), but I don't see how someone fat-fingers an airdrop of corpses."

"No context, no explanation, no answers. It still freaks all of us out to this day."

- Kylar21

Following A Blood Trail

Penn Badgley Joe Goldberg GIF by YOU Giphy

"I was walking home one night, head down because I was dumbly looking at my phone. I almost stepped into what looked like barbeque sauce."

"Turned on the flashlight function for my phone - it was blood. Every step, there was a small blood splatter - less than a teaspoon. I followed it along the entire long street while walking home."

"Maybe eight blocks. It was hard to tell, in the dark, but the trail seemed to end at a residential facility in my neighbourhood."

"I'm not sure what type of facility it is, but I've often met people with intellectual disabilities in the area - I've helped them with how to order a train ticket, counting cash for groceries, etc."

"There were two people in the fenced off yard, talking low. I could only see their lit cigarettes in the dark."

"Suddenly I was filled with a sensation of wrongness. All the hairs stood up on the back of my neck and I felt cold. I kept walking, and did some loops before going back home and calling the cops about the blood trail."

"My partner felt I overreacted, and it was probably just an animal or someone with a bloody nose."

"But that was a lot of blood in total, over eight blocks. And something felt deeply wrong. I didn't sleep well that night."

- manlikerealities

Heading Home

Dance Music Dancing GIF by DEEPSYSTEM Giphy

"I was overseas at a competition and my friends and I left the after party. We part ways with me going my own way."

"Almost immediately I see a few men on the other side of the road, out the front of a bar look up, nudge each other and say something between them. As I walked past I see them cross the road to walk behind me."

"Mentally I'm thinking 'oh sh*t' - the rest of my walk would be down a not well lit, and sometimes very quiet, stretch of road."

"I turn down a shorter street and pick up my pace a bit, and sure enough the men follow but I've put some more distance between us. I make the turn I was dreading and just bolt."

"There were a few houses here with decent gardens and I just needed to make it to one before the guys turn the corner."

"I make it to one of the houses, it has a giant hedge surrounding a small gate so I lean right back into the gate and hedge. I'm in total darkness, peering through the hedge when the men turn the corner, take a few steps and stop."

"They talk to each other, then turn around and leave. I wait a few more minutes to be sure then jog the rest of the way checking behind me."

- Grieie

Air BnB

red dead redemption 2 rdr2 GIF by Rockstar Games Giphy

"Several years ago, 6 of my friends and I were out of state for a wedding. We rented an Air BnB for the group."

"Immediately after getting there we learned that the guy who rented out his house had a roommate who was almost never home, but happened to be there for the first time in weeks, and didn't realize the house was going to be occupied."

"The owner insisted that he spoke with him and he was planning to pack up and stay at his girlfriends so we could have the home to ourselves as planned. Sure enough, he was gone that afternoon."

"We went out that night and came home intoxicated, as 20-something's do from time to time. One of our guy friends came up from the basement looking shocked."

"Apparently the roommate was back... and based on him being asleep, it was clear he planned to stay."

"We quieted down and rearranged where we'd all planned to sleep. But this was only the beginning."

"The next morning we were woken up by excruciatingly loud death metal blaring from the common living area/dining room upstairs. Two of the people who'd slept in the living room came down immediately and told us we needed to pack our things and get out FAST."

"We didn't ask many questions. Just sort of grabbed all our stuff, tries to clean up, and piled into an uber XL to head to the closest hotel."

"Apparently before the music started earlier that morning they woke up to a bunch of clank/banging only to open their eyes and see this dude sitting at the table cleaning a shot gun and a hand gun."

"Needless to say, I don't think he wanted us in the house."

"I wasn't the one who had rented the Air BnB. But yes, my friend was able to get a full refund and a big ol' apology from the owner. He said he didn't really know the roommate very well and hardly saw him, like he just sort of paid rent and stopped in only now and then."

"In retrospect the whole thing just seems mind boggling."

- jillaaa

We Could All See His Face

fast food robbery GIF Giphy

"It was more of a gut feeling than a rush of fear, but I was 12 or 13 with a friend in a corner store and a guy walked in. He didn't look like a criminal, he looked a bit shady but not too too off."

"But for whatever reason I just felt weird, and I whispered to my friend that I wanted to leave. so we quickly pay for our stuff, which was just a pack of gum 2 sodas and a large bag of chips and we leave."

"A couple seconds after we leave we hear 'Open up the drawer! I will shoot!' and we both book it."

"I don't know what this guy was thinking, his face was visible, I don't know if he put a mask on while he was somewhere in the store but either way the cashier, me and my friend all saw his face when he entered."

"Anyways he did get arrested, and the police found that his gun was in fact loaded, the cashier was not shot nor harmed, nothing too serious happened but it scared me that I was in a store with a man with a loaded gun."

- chonky_boiii

Bill

Get Out Leave GIF by Filthy Rich Giphy

"A few years back coworkers and I went to another coworkers house. The house was owned by an owner of the company but this one coworker, we will call him Bill, had a key and 'permission' to use it following a company Christmas party."

"Everyone was enjoying some drinks and some smoke. About 30 minutes into us partying, Bill started acting strange."

"Basically he started aggressively hitting on the girls at the party in disgusting ways. 'If I guess your age and you're older than me or younger than me you have to sleep with me' was a common thing he repeated to more than one girl that night."

"He started trying to separate other coworkers from their dates and got aggressive about it. When I say he got aggressive about separating other coworkers from their dates, he was taking dominoes and throwing them on the floor in front of coworkers and telling them they needed to help him pick them up."

"The first time he did this he got help from our coworker, at that moment Bill stood up and started trying to get our coworkers date to go into the next room with him. He was unsuccessful but about 10 minutes later he tried it with a coworker I was pretty close with, we will call him Dan."

"He threw a deck of cards and kept telling Dan to pick them up but Dan knew what Bill was up to. After a minute of Bill trying this sh*t I walked over started grabbing cards and stuffed them in his pockets."

"I was pissed, I kept repeating 'Come on Bill let's pick up some f*cking cards.' With a plain face and monotones voice Bill simply said 'I can clean it up myself.' "

"Bill was aggressively hitting on the girls at the party but Dan later told me that Bill told him 'You're hot, I can see why so-and-so wants to f*ck you.' Nothing against anyone sexual preferences but clearly Bill was going through some sh*t."

"Right around this time I started smelling gas."

"I walked through the house and realized he had turned the stove burners on but never ignited the flame. I turned them off but the smell kept building. I realized he had done this with the fireplace as well."

"As I turned off the fireplace gas I notice Bill messing with the stove again. At that point I lost it, I made a scene."

"Bill looked shocked when I yelled 'Yeah f*ck this. Everyone out, Bill is doing some weird sh*t. Out everyone out!' "

"He rushed to the door and tried calming everyone down. I'm telling you all it was weird."

"We had to push through Bill, who was blocking the front door telling us we were being crazy. 9 of us crammed into a friends Chrysler 300 as Bill tried blocking us in with a golf cart."

"He ended up moving it and saying we were all over reacting. I have no doubt Bill was up to some nefarious stuff and to this day I believe I saved a few lives."

"People reported it and Bill was fired not long after. A few months back I was doing some home improvements and while at Home Depot I hear Bill shout 'Hey!' "

"I turned around and had a few words with him. He works there, apparently loving life. I now shop at Lowe's."

- jupitersrise

Window Cleaners Share The Best Things They've Ever Seen | George Takei’s Oh Myyy

Window washers have quite an interesting job. From death-defying heights, they see cities from unique perspectives and often catch glimpses into the lives of...

BBQ Bummer

zac efron bbq GIF by NEIGHBORS Giphy

"I had just moved to South East Georgia. I moved into a predominantly black neighborhood which was totally fine by me. My neighbors were so welcoming and accepting."

"About 2 weeks in, I'm approached by a few white men in suits at work, asking me if I was new. I said I was."

"They said they were from the Chamber of Commerce. They wanted to invite me to a BBQ that weekend."

"Free BBQ? Sold!"

"... It was a Klan Rally. Many of them were wearing black shirts with the distinct symbol of the cross and flame."

"They introduced themselves as such eventually, though growing up in Portland, I was already pretty familiar with the symbols."

"Yeah, I wasn't keen to find out what was going to happen if they found out I was gay."

- DamionStJames

The Mall

Fast Food Mall GIF by Billie Eilish Giphy

"A friend dragged me to a mall (her old workplace) to visit her old coworkers. After arriving, I suddenly started feeling ill but not normal ill."

"Like really ill accompanied by a really bad gut feeling."

"I kept trying to get my friend to leave and she kept saying 10 more minutes but wouldn't leave."

"Something in my gut felt like something was really wrong and we HAD to leave and I was so panicked that I finally decided I'd leave without her if she wouldn't leave this time even though I'd have to walk over 5 miles to get home since she drove."

"She finally agreed to go and when I got home and flipped on the computer to do homework I saw that there had been a shooting at the mall after we'd left and it started at the store we were in."

- Informal-Amphibian-4

High Alert

Breaking Despicable Me GIF by Regal Giphy

"One time I was shopping at a Walmart with my wife and a young, bald guy seemed to be following us around the store. He had a very intense look on his face and was speaking urgently into a headset."

"He wasn't wearing a Walmart uniform, but he was dressed in business casual with a name tag. He wasn't always following us; sometimes he would pass us going in the opposite direction."

"At some point, I realized he was making announcements on the overhead speaker for people to gather at the back of the store in the electronics department because there was going to be a drawing for cash prizes."

"I couldn't tell if he was actually making the announcements on the headset or relaying a message to another guy who was, but he was pacing through the women's clothing section (I was there buying scrubs for a job that I started the next day) and intently repeating the message for people to gather at the back of the store."

"He had no expression on his face and was just repeating the message in a monotone."

"Out of the two of us, I'm the level-headed one and my wife is the one who is scared of everything. In this moment, however, I just knew there was going to be a mass shooting at that store."

"I told her to put what she had down and get the hell out of there with me. Since I'm not normally scared of much, it freaked her out and we bounced."

"Of course, nothing happened and we had to go find scrubs somewhere else, but it was the strongest fight or flight reaction I've ever had."

"I think it must have happened right after a high profile shooting (god bless america), so I must have just been on high alert."

- CryptographerShot296

Party Pranks

Punch Alcohol GIF by Grease Live Giphy

"I was getting ready to go to a party with my friends after prom. We never go to the big parties because we were not as popular, but it was open invite and our parents let us go."

"We all got there and something felt off right away. I got a wave of anxiety and almost had a panic attack and we all left the party after being there for 15 mins."

"I thought it was just me being shy or overthinking until we wake up to the news that one of our classmates put drugs in drinks as a party prank and caused people to trip out. One girl overdosed."

- the-truth827

The White Vans

scared inglorious basterds GIF Giphy

"I was at work one night and walked to my car before leaving to bring some things inside. I hate parking lots so I always park pretty far away to avoid having to pull out around other cars."

"I didn't think anything of it till after, but the parking lot was mostly empty apart from two white vans RIGHT NEXT to my car with people inside. I work next to a park, so it really isn't too unusual for people to just chill there in their cars for awhile."

"As I was walking up, the door of one of the vans slid open but no one stepped out. I wasn't paying attention so I didn't see the faces of the people inside."

"I was a little creeped out so I called my boss and he came with his dog. As soon as he stepped out of his car, both vans left."

"I get a call from my boss at 3AM that night, asking me for better descriptions of the car. Someone was assaulted and carjacked there that night."

"I don't park far away from the building anymore."

- euphoriugh___

For His Wife To Find

Season 19 Nbc GIF by SVU Giphy

"Several years ago I was outside on a Saturday morning cleaning out my truck in the parking lot of my complex."

"A guy who lived in the building right across from me, but parked on the other side of the complex normally, suddenly pulled in a couple parking spots from me and just sat in his vehicle."

"I had my back to him, but I got such an overwhelmingly creepy feeling all of a sudden. I switched sides so I could watch him."

"He sat there watching me for about 5 minutes and then started his truck and drove off. I couldn't shake the weird feeling I had."

"Fast forward 2 weeks later and I'm just coming home from shopping with my son. On our walk to the apartment, I watch the guy's wife and two sheriff's go into her apt and 2 min later they come speeding out."

"Come to find out, when the wife went to work, he called a sex worker, they did their thing and then he killed her. He then stuffed her body into one of his military bags."

"Then he left her there in the middle of the living room for his wife to find. It was terrifying to learn that!"

- Pretend_Impression90

Storm Chasers

Oh My God Omg GIF by Audible Giphy

"Californian in foreign Kansas ground. Always loved the severe thunderstorms - so cool with nearly constant booming rainfall and torrential downpour."

"One day when I was playing on my computer and hear sirens. No clue, look outside and sunny outside and some people walking their dogs. Go talk to my wife and we look on TV and there is a tornado warning."

"Having no clue what to do, we huddle in the bathroom under a mattress with the news on display. Panic on the news is increasing (shocking I know) and they say this is a big one and if you're in a second-story place, you are not safe."

"Soon after they abandon the news station and all we hear is pounding hail, almost a deafening silence. Well sh*t."

"We panic and start knocking on neighbors' doors but no one is there. Not a cloud in the sky. Adrenaline is kicking in and I'm getting shaky."

"I call friends and they are all true Kansans and say 'noooo problem easy peasy.' Thanks alot."

"One offers for us to come to his house for safety. Me and my girlfriend jump in the car ready to go."

"We turn the corner and a sheet of golfball-sized hail starts pelting the car. It sounded like the car was being torn apart."

"Gut-wrenching metallic pounding mixed with glass clacking to hold with every ounce of its might. My wife starts screaming and crying and I just put my arm across her chest to try to calm her."

"I look out the car and the wind is whipping on itself and leaves are circling about. She reminds me the nearby grocery store has a shelter, since our friends house is far and not easy to find even in broad daylight."

"I begin speeding there racing through an intersection with a red light. I veer up to the grocery store greeted by dozens of cars with smashed in windows."

"To this day I have no idea how ours held."

"We get out right in front covering our heads in hopes we don't get hit by hail. The doors to the store are closed."

"Panic sets in. A man is beating the front doors screaming 'LET US IN! ITS HERE ITS HERE!.' "

"The store employee inside is pale and confused and shrugs to indicate no way to open. I contemplate throwing a pot through the window."

"After what seemed an eternity a fellow employee sprints up fumbling her keys and opens a side door."

"I look back and I can see nothing but wind and tree branches circling about... and darkness. My girlfriend and I run to the door and... she trips."

"I have that movie moment where my mind thinks.... should I grab her and risk us both or just go? Well I'd be dead either way lets grab her."

"We bolt inside to the meat locker shelter. As soon as we get in all conversations stop and everyone stares at us."

"We must've been white as can be and they could see the mixture of terror and relief in our eyes."

"We learn later that the guy banging on the door beside us was a tornado chaser and the tornado got rain-wrapped, or impossible to see, and he panicked."

"To this day I get a powerful feeling in the bottom of my stomach whenever I get a phone warning of a severe thunderstorm."

"At least picking up my girlfriend paid off as she's now my wife and we have a beautiful baby girl :)"

- getloppy

Welp. We'll be doing a LOT more trusting out gut from now on.

What sorts of "near danger" experiences can you recall? Sound off in the comments.

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