People Break Down Their Scariest Real-Life Experiences
Photo by Gabriel on Unsplash

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 scarier 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?"

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."

– Good-Helicopter-9303

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."

– jeff_the_nurse

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."

– Simple-Muscle822

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

– ImThatMelanin

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."

– Mason3637


"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."

– issamurcle

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."

– FuryFlurry40

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."

– Fubar-is-my-life

A Very Close Call

"I was held at gunpoint by a kid in my school. I’m still in the same class with him and when I ask him about the gun he says he makes them himself. I’m still wondering what would’ve happened if he pulled the trigger. The gun felt so real and it had loaded barrels wich he showed me"

– Virtual_Display_4842

In The Nick Of Time

"I was working with a friend of mine (we work in Security) and we had a nightshift at an empty festival site. I decided to do my usual round in the woods and I saw someone running. I quickly paged my friend and he came to me. We both didn't see him but we decided to keep our eyes open. A few minutes lster I looked to my left and I saw him running again but he was too fast ao we decided to call the cops. 30 mins later they show up,without sirens,without lights just quietly. I was smoking a cigarette when they approached me and they asked: with how many security officers are you? So I said; just me and my friend...their faces immediatly turned white....turned out when I was smoking and on the phone with my head of security,there was a person standing nearby me with something really big and heavy (don't remember what it was) ready to attack me...cops showed up just in time"

– hetisjanken


"More-so scary for my family but maybe would be scary for little me if it happened…my whole family had a big party at one of those trail parks that had camp sites and hiking trails. I was 5 at the time and a lady lured me away from my group with her cute dogs. My whole family caught her in time before she “took me to the police “ stating “I didn’t know where her family was so I was going to help her.” Idk what happened after that. I will update if I remember to ask."

– violet-ack

Was He Really There?

"When i was around 10 I started seeing like 7 foot tall black shadow people with glowing red eyes in the corner of my room and when I slept in the lounge room, down the hall. To this day I still dont know if it was hallucinations, my imagination, sleep paralysis or a demon or something like that."

– WhoG1vesASh1t

That's Why You Don't Sneak Out

"When I was 12 me and my friend sneaked out during a sleepover. We found a shopping cart in the woods, we drove the cart trough the city and our plan was to drive it under a bridge and leave it then head to my house but when we were under the bridge we heard a loud cough, we started running up towards a university I looked back and I saw two guys running after us. We lost them with running inside of the university's yard and hiding inside of a garage."

– The_Orange_Burger600

A Strange Man

"A years ago, my younger brother was playing with his toys in his room, while I and our mom were sitting in another room. Few minutes later, we both heard crying from brother's room. We fastly came to him and after he chilled down, he said he saw a scary man, but there were no one except of us. A few days later we pictured brother's room and showed picture to great grandpa (he was working with spirits and that stuff at the time) and he saw something unusual on this picture. Later, father also saw something weird, but in mirror. Even now our cat just sometimes stays in the middle of different rooms and stares at nothing."

– oyomoyk

A Real Man After All

"When i was in 6th grade i was chilling in the class with some of my classmates. Our class was on the 4th floor, which is about 30 meters up. We had a beautiful view. All of a sudden my best friend comes into the class crying and shouts that he saw a hanging man out of the window in the train. He could see the man's face and body. At first, no one really believed him except me and we looked right out the window. A man with an orange top and a bloody face was hanging on a small bridge next to the rails (the bridge was 50-80 meters away from the window). I calmed him down and told him that the person didn't look real. 10 minutes later he calmed down a bit and we asked a teacher if we could go to the office to ask if they could call the police. The secretary called the police and we went back up to our class. We could see the police officers go up to the man and pull him up. It turned out that it was actually a real man. So many years have passed and I still have the image in my mind's eye."

– GucciBananaKing99

Heroic Mom

"i was a about seven at the time, and was playing in my front yard. i was alone out there, but we lived in a nice neighborhood, so my mother wasn't worried. i heard a car screech to a stop behind me, and a guy jumped out, grabbed my arms, and started to throw me into the back of his van, all the while, im screaming. my mom came out and punched the guy in the face, and saved my ass. my mom had heard the car pull up and went to see what was happening, and when i started screaming, that's when her mother bear instincts kicked in. the guy was charged, and i don't know where he is now."

– the_hentai_merchant

I Swear It Happened!

"I was walking home from my friends house at around 10pm. it had just snowed a few days ago so the sidewalk was icy. as i was walking, a car pulls in and is driving by me. i don’t think much of it since i live in a relatively safe neighborhood, but i speed up anyway. the car starts driving faster and i begin to run. as i turn the corner i hear a car door slam and footsteps. i’m now at a full on sprint and slip on the ice and face plant on the side walk. i get up and run the rest of the way home. nobody believed me except my aunt when i told them."

– Ok-Calligrapher9997

Nearly Drowned

"I was in the ocean. the water went to my neck. it was fun. jumping over waves. low tide. the tide was getting higher. i was in my regular clothes. I was being swept away by sea. but some guy saved me. mind you i was 9/10. i owe my life to whoever saved me."

– mantheman433

Look Into Your Future

"Alright so this is the scariest for me that continues to scare the shit out of me."

"I was a bartender at restaurant and this was around 2007. I was going through a terrible time in life and during closing I was talking to a friend/customer about it and he suggests I go and see this psychic. I immediately dismiss it and go about life for another painful month or two. I ended up seeing this person again and ask for the contact information."

"I call this lady we’ll call her Janice. Says she doesn’t do phone readings and if I really wanted a reading that I would have to go to her apt. Now, I was nervous and intrigued at the same time so I say fuck it and plan to go and see what’s up."

"Fast forward two weeks and I make the train trek to where she lived. She lived in the projects so I was already nervous af."

"I go up to the floor she lives on and knocked. An older lady answered the door very nice. I was told to wait in her living room."

"After a few minutes she calls me into her kitchen. Now I’m starting to become really skeptical because it is totally not the set up I imagined. At all. Like it’s just a dining room table. No tarot cards, no paraphernalia, nothing. Just a notebook."

"She tells me the reading is 30 dollars. Now, I am really skeptical at this point because I had brought a few hundred with me and what can I really expect for such a small amount. I resign myself to the fact that this is probably a bunch of bullshit and I wasted the day but continue on to be polite."

"She asks me to write down my full name. She mutters a few words and dead fucking ass her eyes roll into the back of her head and another voice starts to speak. Like a mans voice. Not like she tried to sound like a man. But a mans voice. I am terrified at this point but I cannot move from my chair. All I can do is listen."

"Whatever this was speaking told me shit that is still coming true to this day. Told me my sister would die of an overdose which I dismissed because my sister was just fine. Ended up happening. Told me another family member would take their own life. Ended up happening. Told me no matter how hard life is to never commit suicide because “I didn’t want to end up in there with them.""

"Told me also good things that happened. Certain things predicted haven’t happened yet but a few things keep ending up to be true to it is still terrifying."

– Dizzy-Cryptographer2

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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