People Describe The Scariest Thing They've Ever Experienced In Their Life
Photo by Kamil Feczko on Unsplash

Life is a roller coaster of experiences—from the amazing and happy to the truly horrifying. As great as moments like winning a contest, graduation, and your wedding day might be, there are also terrifying moments like losing a loved one or getting into an accident that you might experience too.

Redditor LuckyAdair asked:

"What is the scariest experience you have gone through?"

[Content Note: the following article contains stories of various traumatic events, such as loss of a loved one, injury to a child, armed robbery, murder, and suicide. Reader discretion is advised.]

"Get The F*ck Out Of My House"

"Someone breaking into my house last year."

"It was really early in the pandemic and my wife was in the bedroom asleep, I was in the living room with headphones in playing video games with some friends while my son was asleep in his little jawn next to me. Was maybe 8PM."

"Basically I stood up and took my headphones off, and turned around just in time to see this guy in a bright red ski mask (which is way scarier than black it turns out) opening up the doors into the living room / dining room area I'm in. Nearly sh*t myself."

"He pauses, I'm like, frozen for a second but then stammer out 'get the f*ck out of my house' and he just lunges at me. Like, he wasn't armed, he wasn't bigger than me, I think he just panicked and thought he could knock me down and run...or worse..."

"But uh, it turns out when someone breaks into your house and your entire family is home and your child is now crying while you fight a tweeker in your living room...some really primal sh*t kicks in, and I fought the guy until I had him in like, my approximation of a choke hold (not a fighter), before shouting for my wife to call the police, who arrived like, instantly because:""My friends heard the entire thing on/through discord and one of them called the police."

"Was over in under 5 minutes but I couldn't use headphones anymore while I gamed in that room (we've since moved), I don't like having my back to doors, and I had to get a few stitches on my hand from how I fell.​"


​Armed Robbery Is Traumatizing

"Scary, just a few weeks ago I got robbed at gunpoint by three guys that came up behind me. It was 9PM and right in front of my house. Even when I complied and gave them my cash, they still punched and kicked me afterwards. My focus was on trying to make sure they didn't get my keys either to my house, where my wife and kids were at the time, or my truck that I was unloading. They did get my phone though and dumped it off a bridge.

"The police found it, but it was smashed to hell, but they did get prints off of it and there is a warrant out for one of the guys. Still scary that they know where I live."


Get Out Quick

"​My husband calling me to tell me his brother killed his parents and that I needed to get the dogs and myself out of the house immediately in case his brother was on his way to our house."

"I was incredibly fortunate that a neighbor let me hide the dogs in her garage and come in until my husband gave me the all clear to go home."


"How did this end? Did the brother go to your place? Did end up in jail or underground?"


"He also set several fires across town (including his own property and his parents) and then killed himself in a confrontation with the police."


Close Encounters

​"Was doing some mineral exploration work up in Alaska this summer in a very remote mountain range. I was working at a drill site where a grizzly had been spotted at the rig earlier that day and I was naturally a little on edge. I was laying out some wires through very thick brush (couldn't see through it at all), and all of a sudden I hear a really large animal close by, and I smelled the typical wet dog bear smell."

"Before I had time to react the wire gets ripped out of my hands and dragged into the brush at probably 20mph. I'm freaking out trying to reach my gun and this massive bull caribou just pops his head out and looks me over, then walks away lol."


Fear Isn't Always Short-lived

"It's happening right now."

"My wife is in the ICU with pneumonia on top of a year+ long battle with cancer. Sedated, on a ventilator and barely clinging to life, her heart could just give out at any time and that's it."

"I'm literally sitting in her room all night fully expecting to lose her sometime tonight or in the next couple days."

"Ive been through some scary moments in my life, but in a completely different way, this is by far the scariest night of my life."


​Just Trying To Make Pizzas

"Got a couple knives pulled on me one night while working at a pizza shop. Had a little mexican standoff. First time experiencing the thought "I might have to stab this dude or be stabbed'"

"Luckily our pizza knives were bigger and with my coworker backing me up the two dudes both left. I owe my life to my coworker from that night, dude had my back."


​Rockslides Are Terrifying

"I got caught in a rockslide and fell off a cliff while backpacking. Early Spring, things were starting to melt, we were hiking on a ridge and looking for a way down the side, maybe a 60 - 70 degree loose scree slope, to a stream about 500 feet below. I was in the lead, heading down at an angle, rocks kicked out from under my feet, and I fell backwards onto my butt."

"All of sudden, the entire slope around me began to move en mass, like an island of broken up rocks with me sitting in the middle. I rode it down the hill, bouncing off stuff and trying to stop myself and dig in but no luck, just picking up speed."

"At the bottom, the hill dropped off to a 40 ft cliff, and I was launched off with the slide. I landed in a pile of debris and loose stuff that previously came down, including a lot of loose snow, which mostly absorbed the energy. I was mostly OK, muddy, lots of scratches and bruises, a separated shoulder and broken tail bone, but I was able to walk out."

My one memory is being in mid air, time standing still, and looking to my left at a stove-size boulder likewise suspended in the air, about 6 feet away. Any good size rock would have killed me.​"


​"Impending Sense Of Doom" Doesn't Quite Cover It

​"When I was a teenager I had an irregular heart rhythm, and required a medication called adenosine."

"Adenosine is usually given via infusion just once or twice, in hospital under careful monitoring, and the side effects include an 'impending sense of doom'. This side effect relates to your heart beat temporarily stopping. This fires signals to your brain, telling you it's time to panic. Or you've reached the end."

"'Impending sense of doom' doesn't begin to describe it. I was told in advance, but nothing prepares you for it. I went from sitting on the hospital bed, just finished a sandwich and thinking about my year 11 exam, to suddenly being certain that I was going to die here. I've never felt so sure of anything - I couldn't move or speak, and my mind suddenly raced very fast, to the extent I couldn't keep up with my own thoughts. It was similar to what you hear about your life flashing before your eyes."

"My brain was drowning, and telling me to find more oxygen - even though I was breathing fine. I was suddenly sure this was a nightmare, that this hospital was fake and all the doctors and nurses were actors, and I was poisoned."

"Then it was over in seconds. I haven't had a single heart problem since."


​Seizures Can Be So Scary

​"My son had his first seizure while I was driving. He was in the back seat and I heard a noise. I looked in the rearview mirror and he was convulsing with blood running out of his mouth. Then he collapsed, I thought he had died. To this day, I don't know how I was able to get off the freeway, call 911 and check his pulse. He was 7 years seizure free on Nov. 29, but that one day changed my life forever."


​Am I Going To Drown?

"​Being held underwater by some classmates in highschool. Not the worst or most damaging thing I've gone through, not even close to being the worst incident of bullying, but it was the most frightening."


Words Nobody Wants To Hear

"'It is cancer. I'm sorry'"

"I was 34, and had just gotten married a few months earlier. Stage 2. Grade 3 triple negative, invasive ductal carcinoma."

"I'm OK now, treatment was successful."

"But three years on, my husband cheated on me, we're getting divorced and my only chance to ever have children (after the chemotherapy left me infertile) remains with the 12 embryos currently stored in a freezer somewhere."

"So now I have to decide if I want to be tied to the man who ruined everything and betrayed me, by having his children... its my only option if I ever want to get pregnant."


Where Is Everyone?

"​I don't think that's the scariest thing that happened to me but it's the one I can remember now."

"I was sleeping in class and when I woke up the class was empty and it was dark outside so I got up started panicking and ran down 3 stories of stairs in 10 seconds only to find out that it was break and it was dark outside because a storm came in the half hour I was sleep in and made it look like night time."


​Don't Build A Bomb

​"Being 18 and waking up to the FBI screaming and pointing guns in my face with bright lights and dragging me out of bed and getting cuffed and thrown into a van."

"Don't build a bomb and then try to sell it online. The feds dont like that shit. 1998 was a wild year for me, I didnt know what was going to happen to me. Sentenced to 10 years federal prison and was paroled after five."

"I dont do dumb shit anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."anymore and I dont buy anything that would make them think im up to my old ways."

"I'm on the straight and narrow now and after all that the only job I could get was in the trucking industry and now I own 5 trucks and built a nice life and try my best to be a up standing member in my community."


Birth Scare

​"Giving birth to my son, they put him on my chest for about 5 seconds then snatched him up and an entire team of medical types crowded around him working in complete silence. He wasn't breathing. I got to see him for all of 3 seconds, and only heard a couple of weak cries before they rushed him to the NICU."

"Two hours later they came up to tell us he was on a ventilator and not doing great, they suspected a heart defect and were going to helicopter him to the closest children's hospital (about 90 miles away). We did not get to see him for five hours and it was a couple days before we could hold him. I gave birth at midnight, so all of this was happening in the late late hours."

"A couple of relatively common issues had happened, both of which on their own need immediate attention but are not difficult to deal with, but the resolution of one caused serious problems because of the second. His heart is fine. He's a perfectly happy healthy preschooler now who is squirting bath water into the tub faucet and laughing hysterically."


Parent's Worst Nightmare

"​Woke up in the middle of the night to my smoke alarm and found my baby's crib on fire. Some people's literal worst nightmare (and mine now too)."


"Is he okay?"


"Aye. Thanks for asking. You can read my story here if you'd like."


"Oh my goodness! I’m so thankful your son is ok now! I can’t even imagine what y’all went through."


​Carnivals Are Supposed To Be Fun

"​I was visiting some family in Edmonton years and years ago and they use to have this big fair full of rides and attractions. I wish I could remember the name sorry. All the rides were your standard carnival rides, the gravitron, tilt-a-whirl, log flume, etc. I had gone to many of these traveling fairs in my time and had a good time so thought nothing of it."

"After going on a few rides and having fun I decided to go on that ride that is the boat the goes back and forth before going all the way around. So at the beginning everything seemed fine."

"However at a certain point when going back the safety bar that was suppose to hold me in place just fell forward. It had not locked in and the ride was underway. The ride started heading the other way and the safety bar fell back on to me again. I pulled it as hard towards myself hoping to lock it into place."

"Yet when we started heading back the bar just flopped completely open again. I was sh*tting myself. I literally thought I was going to fall out of this ride and die. All those carnival horror stories were true I was fearing."

"I just wrapped my arms around the bar and held myself with my hands. If worst happened I would dangle from the bar I thought. Fortunately after a rocky ride it came to an end and I was safe with maybe only leaving my seat a few inches."

"I immediately ran to one of the workers after I got off and told them. The ride was shut down for 30 minutes after and I was done having fun for the night. The only other time I've been that scared since was the few times I've had sleep paralysis."


​Just A Bad (Or Good?) Year

​"I have cheated death 3 times this year."

"2. ⁠At 2am a couple months ago carbon monoxide detectors go off in my moms house we start opening windows and calling the fire dept as we wait outside (w 2 dogs). The minute he opens the front door the detector starts going off like crazy. He said longer than 20 min we all could’ve died with the amount that was in the basement caused by a problem with the hot water tank."

"3. ⁠A large patio chair flying out of the back of a pickup truck which almost smashed my windshield had I not swerved just in time."

"An angel has my back and is watching out which I’m grateful for!!"


Terrifying Tie

"​Two are tied:"

"Being shot when our neighbor’s gun 'accidentally discharged' and the bullet came through the shared wall, severing an electrical line, barely missed my head, glanced off my chest, and landed on the other side of the room. The sheer thought of what could have been if I’d been laying an inch further left is terrifying."

"Gas pedal getting stuck while driving home from my mom’s funeral. I somehow managed to get the car pulled over and turned off, but I was going 85 mph+ going uphill. If it had got stuck three miles earlier, I’d have plunged off a seaside cliff, taking my aunt, cousin, and 9 month old daughter with me."


​Feels Like You're Dying

​"Kidney stones. They were only about 1-2cm in size, but the pain they caused me was the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Doctors thought my appendix burst."


"God I think the worst thing about getting kidney stones for the first time, is that you never know what the f*ck it is. It’s literally one of the worst pains people can experience, and yet not knowing what it is just f*cks it up more."


Life can be truly terrifying, but not all of it is bad. The bad parts may stick out the most because of how human brains work, but the good parts are what helps get us through the bad.