Whether you like it or not, you're likely going to deal with incidents that scare you, even traumatize you, and impact you in significant ways. None of us are immune.
After Redditor DrDisappointment asked the online community, "What has been the scariest moment of your life?" people shared their stories. Whether they are parents describing incidents regarding their children or others describing different experiences that affected them significantly, there's plenty here to be chilled by.
"90 seconds later..."
A few years ago we were expecting our second baby in two weeks. Wife got contractions but on call doctor said they were Braxton Hicks or whatever, aka false contractions or something. She said to call back in a few hours if they didn't get better.
They didn't get better.
Wife said to me "we need to go in now" and went to the bathroom real quick. Well, her water broke in our bathroom. I called 911 and explained frantically. The fire station is 5 minutes from my house so he told me they were en route and to hang up and comfort her.
90 seconds later my wife screams "ITS COMING" in a super demonic voice. She's standing up and I see a head coming out. We both reach down and she catches the baby. I call back 911, this time screaming. Actually got the same dispatcher and he said "OH S***" on the line (I can laugh about this now of course).
Paramedics arrived within two minutes of me being on the line. They take my wife and baby away swiftly because the baby was very cold.
I couldn't leave the house because it was 3am and my other son was sleeping. Had to call family to rush over, as I cleaned up.... What looked like a murder scene in my bathroom.
Rushed to the hospital and they were both ok.
Scariest night of my life. Dude turned 3 two months ago.
I was at a swimming pool party as a kid where there were a bunch of pool toys and floaties. There was this one floatie that all the kids swarmed to since it was the biggest and coolest. It was like this hollow cube with 4 Styrofoam bars on each corner. I was chilling on it when it flipped and a few kids landed on me as my head was stuck in the water. I panicked and spluttered in the water as my body was pinned on the base platform of the cube, my head was so close to the surface but not close enough to breathe. After what felt like an eternity, it finally flipped and I was able to wriggle to the surface. I'll never forget the sheer horror and panic I felt.
"I've never felt so much adrenaline..."
I was a post-divorce single dad with shared custody of my kids on an alternating-week schedule. One of the very first weeks when they lived with me I put my 5 year old son in the tub and after getting him all washed up, sat and chatted with him as he played with his toys. I went to check on my 8 year old for a minute then came back to find him laying motionless face down in the water.
I've never felt so much adrenaline rush through me in my life and I quickly grabbed him by the arm and yanked him out trying to figure out if I even knew how to do CPR. It was then that he started yealling "What are you doing, Dad?".
Turns out he was just practicing how long he could hold his breath underwater. And taking a couple of years off his old man's life, apparently.
Huddled in the darkness in my family's storm shelter gripping my dog so tightly I thought I may accidentally suffocate her as a deafening, nearly EF5 tornado ripped the house apart above me and spewed debris into the shelter. That was the longest and worst minute or so of my life.
Last year my 2 year old son knocked his head lightly on the coffee table and started to cry. Seemed relatively minor but on picking him up for a cuddle, I felt his body stiffen and saw his eyes roll back as he fell silent. Started having a seizure and frantically tried to recall paediatrics training from medical school. Two ambulances and sedation later we went to the kids hospital, all the while I feared bleeding/ tumours and a million other reasons why we could lose him. Longest thirty minutes of my life... Thankfully informed that post traumatic seizures were surprisingly common in kids.
"The pain was so bad..."
Bitten by a rattlesnake on the ankle.
I was praying it was a dry bite...30 minutes later I could feel the burning in my lower leg. The pain was so bad I threw up and thought I might pass out on the way to the hospital.
"I legit thought I was falling slow enough..."
Had a hole in my parachute while static line jumping. With a partial malfunction in static line, you don't release the main chute.
When this happens, you're supposed to start a rocking/ swinging motion, open the spare, hit it with one hand ( because the spring jams ) while catching the pilot chute as it comes out. At this point you should be rocking side to side far enough that you throw the pilot chute off to the side so that it won't get tangled by the main chute as it deploys.
I instantly had the thought that if I attempted this, my spare, it would get tangled in my main.
I just landed with the hole in my chute. Was a bit of a rough landing but I've had worse on future jumps, it was fine.
Still though, was pretty scary as it happened, static line jumps are close to the ground so not much time to react. I legit thought I was falling slow enough that I'll probably break both legs but if my spare got tangled, might actually die.
"I live in Dallas..."
Okay this one is kind of sad. I live in Dallas Texas which is commonly know for violence. My brother and I were going to a club downtown for a concert we came to a stop in traffic and three men got out of the car behind us and opened fire on us. My brother was shot in the neck and head, while I was shot in the chest and leg. He died I did not. I can no longer hear gunfire or I just start panicking. Not looking for attention just sharing my story.
"Watching my husband..."
Watching my husband almost drown, and there was nothing I could do to help.
"Walking to the bus stop..."
Walking to the bus stop in the city one night, I pick up a five dollar note I find on the ground. A bunch of drunk lads a block or two behind me take notice and start calling out to me. They're drunk and sound jokey, so I call something back and move on. Suddenly they pick up their pace and are pretty close to me, saying I took their money. I joke that it didn't have their name on it, since of course a random five bucks on the ground ain't theirs.
Then they surround me, start demanding the money I picked up. I keep walking and tell them to f*** off. They're walking in a circle around me, nobody's joking anymore. One of the pricks gives me a shove, another threatens to take my bag. In a split-second I realised I was in a tight spot, felt a massive adrenaline spike, shoved one of the f***ers out of the way and just bolted to the bus stop. Disappeared into the waiting crowd and slipped onto the back of my bus. Heart was beating like crazy the whole time.
"When my wife..."
When my wife gave birth to our kid, he wasn't breathing so the nurse took him away to help him. At the same time, my wife's IV had been empty for awhile or disconnected or something and her body was completely drained of fluid. She was as white as a piece of paper and her lips were solid blue/purple. She closes her eyes and the doctor yelled "stay awake stay awake!" I just sat there pleading with God and letting him know that if my wife and kid were to die i front of me, that I was going to kill myself when I got home. Luckily, after the worse 45 minutes of my life, both baby and my wife were fine.
"She came running into the kitchen..."
My five year old almost choked on a piece of candy this summer. She came running into the kitchen unable to speak with tears streaming down her face. She was clawing at her throat. I was terrified and immediately grabbed her and started to hit her between the shoulder blades with the flat of my palm. I was about to start the Heimlich when it came flying out of her mouth. I was shaking so hard and we were both crying.
"My middle child..."
My middle child got RSV as a baby. I had no idea it wasn't a regular cold. She was six months and no fever. I put her down to sleep and went to take care of my other kids. My husband decided to go check on her since she had been coughing earlier. She was struggling to breath and was turning blue—just in a matter of ten minutes! We rushed her to the ER and she was fine but it terrified us.
"Being in a fight."
Being in a fight. I did jujitsu, but I swear it was unfair. They attacked me and I didn't know what to do so I kneed them once in the gut and they got off yet I didn't know if I had done the right thing. That wasn't the scariest part. That was being in the principle's and getting told off although they started it.
"My aunt had picked up my brother..."
My aunt had picked my brother and me up at 9 am to drive us to see Wicked when I was 8. She was an alcoholic and as we were on the freeway, she was swerving a lot and almost hit a few people. I thought I was going to die but we made it out fine.
"It was a good day."
A few years ago I went with my Mom to New York. When we were riding that double-decker bus thing somebody threw a huge rock (the size of a fist) at my head. It barely missed me. So that was traumatic. To be honest, I think this scared my mom more than me. I was like twelve so all I said was "Yeah, that was scary. Can we get popsicles?" We did. It was a good day.
"It was early spring..."
My family and I were hiking up somewhere with a group of other people. It was early spring, so there was still a good amount of ice and snow on and around the trail. At one point, on the way back, we were walking along a narrow path at the top of a steep incline. Below, we could hear the icy river cracking and flowing down the mountain beside us. I slipped and fell down the slope several feet until I heard voice in my head call me to grab a bush I was about to fly past. So I did. I looked behind me and there was the river rushing past my toes. I could have died that day. At only eight or nine years of age.
Freshman year, I was told I had a 75% chance of dying from a heart attack due to a condition I had been born with. This was just a few months after my father had died of, you guessed it, a heart attack. I had to have open heart surgery to fix it and was terrified every day up to surgery.
"She left me with a bunch of trauma..."
The moment my brother snapped while arguing with my mother and flipped the table over and started yelling 20 cm away from her face.
I hated his girlfriend at the time who was there too, but I still flew into her arms because I was terrified of my brother and thought he would hurt our mother. The only thing I could do was cry and hold his girlfriend. I was 15.
Note that violence has never occured in our family so I wasn't used to seeing that at all. It was a real shock and I have never seen my brother the same way since, even though I understand how he felt back then because our mother is an afwul person to live with. She left me with a bunch of trauma because of her bad life choices and I broke contact not so long ago. I'm 24 now.
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Oh the beginning of the interwebs.
We really thought it wouldn't be much of a fuss.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
The internet is God.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
Those were the days.
Redditor EzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.They asked:
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
"Rip flash games... A neat alternative I've found a lot of games on is an application called Flashpoint. Check it out!"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
And those were the.... DAAAYYYYSSSS!!!!
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.