People Break Down Their Scariest Real-Life Experiences
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You know what's truly terrifying? The world.

It can feel like it's out to get you and based on some of these harrowing tales of death avoidance and last-minute escapes, you might be justified in thinking that way, The world is scary, much more than anything you can see in theaters or watch at home. Clearly, real life is where the fear should be.

Reddit user, Shaneshev, wanted to know when things became too terrifying to handle when they asked:

"People of Reddit; what is your downright scariest real-life story?"

Close calls are the worst kind of encounters, where you walk away with barely a scratch but the only other outcome was perhaps bodily mutilation or, worse, death.​

Keep A Phone Nearby

"I was home alone when I was 11. I had just fallen asleep and someone tried to break in the front door. I called 911 and hid in the pantry in the bottom shelf. They came to the door next to the pantry and tried to break into that door too. The police got there and one of them picked me up and held me until my mom got there. I wouldn’t let go and he made sure I felt safe. I’m 27 and haven’t stayed home alone much since. The day I signed a lease for my first apartment I got a dog so I wouldn’t be alone. It’s pretty traumatizing when you’re that young."


Get In. Don't Ask Questions.

"Years ago in one of my first jobs, a colleague told me a story. The night before, she had gone out for some drinks and on the way home she had got off the bus and was walking down her road to her house. A taxi pulled up alongside her and the driver told her to get in the car, she obviously said no. He then said to her "call whoever you want whilst you're in the car, but please just get in and I'll explain". So she got in."

"Turns out, walking towards her was a topless guy with no shoes on and a machete in his hand. Cab driver had already called the police but then saw my colleague so had stopped to look after her."


Bullet: Dodged

"I had a pulmonary embolism last year in late August. I was going to get a pain evaluation the following Monday, but the pain was so bad on Friday that I just went in. The doctor told me that I’d have died if I had waited."


Unsure Of His Next Move

"This is very tame compared to a lot of the stuff on here, but when I was twelve I saw this huge man drop a dollar bill. He seemed not to notice, so I ran across the street to hand it back to him. He thanked me several times, and I could see that he wasn't right in the head. I was a pretty small girl, probably only 100 pounds at the time. This guy easily had a foot on me. All of a sudden, he grabbed me by the top of my head and wouldn't let go. I am so lucky that my dad was nearby, and he pretty much just picked me up and led me away."


"dawg just open palmed your head like a melon? yeah, that’s terrifying-"


You're minding your own business. Thinking this day is only going to be great, nothing bad is going to happen, and you'll run a few errands before going home to relax. You never expect something so dreadful or terrible to happen to you or the people around you.

Not The Person You Want To See

"I was home alone (thankfully my kids weren't home) when my now ex husband's drug dealer came by. He busted I'm the door screaming at the top of his lungs that he's gonna f-ck us all up. I was hiding in my walk in closet under blankets on the phone to 911. He got so close a few times, I have never been so petrified in my whole life. The cops came very quickly and he ran off, they caught him just a few streets over."



"I used to sleepwalk when I was a child. We lived in a rough neighborhood (Decatur, GA) and I would wake up outside in the middle of the night, not knowing how I got there, and would have to walk home and walk into the darkened doorway I had left wide open for whoever might be lurking around. However, the time that scared me the most was when I was about 9 years old. I woke up and found myself with the bedroom curtains drawn back and staring out the window. As I came awake, I noticed a very large and completely hairless man (no hair, eyebrows etc) staring at me and slowly inching closer to the window and closer to my face. He was looking bewildered like he wasn't sure what he was seeing."

"At that moment, I realized what was going on and I started screaming uncontrollably, frozen in place and peeing down my leg. The man freaked out and screamed, did a tumbling move, and then ran off in a weird zig-zag like he was trying to dodge bullets. My mom woke up and thought I probably had a nightmare. The next morning we found a screw driver on the front porch and damage to the door jam and door handle."

"I still just about pee my pants when I tell that story, but now it is usually from laughing. I will never forget the look on his face when I started coming to life and screaming or his high pitched scream or his duck and roll and dodging and bobbing all the way down the street."


A Hair's Width Away

"I was riding my motorcycle on the highway, going through a major city. I was still pretty nervous about riding on busier highways since I was still pretty new on the motorcycle. I was in one of the middle lanes when about 250 ft in front of me an 18-wheeler (Semi) kicked up a plywood panel that was in the road in my lane. It flipped around, making it look like I was going to run into it like a wall. Didn’t have enough time to brake or move lanes since I was surrounded by other vehicles."

"Luckily another 18-wheeler passed by it, causing it to rotate perpendicular, making it barely graze my elbow as I passed by it. I don’t think I moved a muscle for a quarter mile in shock that I survived that."


Trust your gut. If a situation feels wrong, do something about it.

You'll Wonder "What If?" For The Rest Of Your Life

"I always parked in a certain spot at my last job for 12 years that I was there. It was accessible to the public as it wasn’t company parking but they wanted us to park in the back of the lot so the closer spots could be available for customers."

"One day my spots taken by a dark tinted caddy and I’m immediately pissed because everyone knows it’s mine. It’s morning shift so 4am so it can’t be one of the others cause I know what they drive. So newbie? Or maybe another employee from another shop in the plaza? It’s still there on my lunch break and when I go home and the next day I come in at 1pm till close. Around 9:30. And then also the next."

"Something about it really bothered me. It smelled wrong. Literally, it’s the South and high summer and who knows what’s baking in there. My dad was a marine then a police officer. He always said if you feel something is wrong there probably is. So I dialed the non-emergency contact police number. I felt like an idiot but every time I walked by it bugged me. So. I was stuck waiting for over an hour before anyone shows and honestly, if I hadn’t been off the next day would have been like f-it. But I waited, mostly because I can be really a petty SOB and that’s my spot damn it."

"The police show, all annoyed because who knows how many “they can’t park here” calls they get. They run the license plate though and then things go crazy. They want my info, want me to contact my manager, does this lot have cameras, have I touched the car, etc."

"Apparently the car is on Amber alert as the last sighting of a missing person who was a minor. A 15 yr old girl. When they pop the trunk they find her dead, mutilated body under a blanket and the source of the smell. She had gone out with her much older, controlling and insecure boyfriend but had decided to get out of the relationship. She only made the mistake of getting into the car with him. He drove three counties over after torturing her, stuffing her in there and who knows what else, then parked and walked away, left her to die in the trunk."

"I never learned her time of death so it haunts me sometimes thinking she might have been saved if I’d made a fuss earlier. So yeah, listen to your gut even if it seems petty."


When you're done reading this, maybe do a quick scan of your surroundings. Just in case, you know? Never can be sure what's coming around the corner or who might be standing behind you.

Good luck.

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