Life is full of defining moments, though given the choice, we'd rather not be scared out of our wits.
But guess what? Life's not fair, and chances are you'll have something happen to you that is bound to freak you out even years later.
"What is the scariest thing that has happened to you?" is today's burning question from Redditor croutonbeetle, and we have to admit we got a shiver down our collective spines reading some of these stories.
Warning: Sensitive material ahead.
"One day a bunch of family and friends were there..."
I think I was about 10 when this happened. My grandparents used to have this zip line that went from a tree out over the river that bordered their property. Lots of fun, we spent many a day the summer it went up zip lining out and dropping into the river.
One day a bunch of family and friends were there, and we were all using the zip line. Then my dad took a turn, but the handle snapped when he left the platform and he crashed down onto the rocks on the riverbank. I can't remember for sure, but it was probably around a 10 meter fall. My brother and I had just taken turns before him so we'd been coming out of the water as it happened.
He was passed out facedown in the water, and it took a few seconds for it to register for everyone. A few of my uncles ran down to pull him up onto the shore, and then he started having seizures, was swallowing his tongue, just really scary sh!t. Like I said, I was 10 so I don't fully remember everything that happened, and I was taken over to the other side of the yard with my siblings so we couldn't see how rough he looked.
My aunt called an ambulance and they came pretty quick, and it ended up only being an overnight at the hospital, and he just had a concussion, broken sinus, and a bunch of scrapes/bruises.
Scariest moment of my life without a doubt, I thought he was dead (and he very well could have been). Thankfully, he's still with us!
"I was hiking..."
I was hiking in the mountains with my friend, in an area where there are black bears. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a large black animal running towards and slightly behind us up the side of the hill.
"BEAR!!" I shouted to my friend and we both started running for our lives. I didn't even know I could run that fast. Obviously you can't outrun a bear, so I thought we were about to die.
After a terrifying minute, for some reason my friend looked behind us. And started laughing. As a huge, black, shaggy dog ran up.
"Sorry, he's friendly!" called the owners from a further down the trail. I couldn't answer them, because I was gasping for breath, crying with relief, and laughing hysterically all at the same time.
I was a 25 year old college kid. Never did drugs, barely drank, never touched a cigarette. However, I'd always had difficulties with anxiety.
I had a bad year my first year of college with it and so did poorly. However I got it together and pulled out great marks and was on track for medical school.
However, then I started to have flashbacks. Panic attacks. After a while it became clear it was because I was sexually abused as a child. I sought treatment but treatment takes a lot of time and can make things worse before they get better.
At the time I was living at home because my city is crazy expensive.
One day I had that home. The next, I was kicked out. No notice, no time to get my things. The locks were already changed.
My mother had decided I was too mentally ill (despite never being diagnosed with anything) to be around and she wanted me out of her life. She coincidentally got a boyfriend at the time.
I had had a job earlier that year but lost it after a car accident - I couldn't walk for about half of that year.
So there I was. No clothes. No food. No income. I went from being a great student with a bright future to having literally nothing.
Sleeping in public places is scary. Not knowing when you're going to eat is scary. Not knowing how you'll get a job without access to most necessities or a decent outfit is scary.
This only happened relatively recently. Still trying to get things together.
I still want to go to med school. Thankfully it's not too expensive in my country - I just have to work crappy jobs for a few years to get the money to cover living expenses during that full on of a full time degree.
But homelessness is a terrible, terrible thing.
"He lunged for me..."
When I was about 19 a guy taking acid for the first time freaked out and tried to stab me with a hunting knife. I was also on acid. What triggered his freakout? Cindy from the Brady Bunch (movie).
He lunged for me with the knife twice before his friends grabbed him and held him back while I left.
"I was making my way home..."
I don't think I've told any family or friends, out of fear of them not believing me, but I had an unusual blackout. Only happened once in my life and never again.
I was making my way home from high school. I lived about a mile away. I first walked to the local donut shop to buy a chocolate milk. I paid the nice clerk exact change and in a blink, quite literally, I was home in bed.
I have never been so terrified in my life. I felt as if I wasn't me, if that makes sense. I was confused and didn't sleep that night. Never found out why that happened, even to this day.
Was at a restaurant with my fiancé, we were the only ones eating there (it's one of our frequent spots). Two guys came in, one dressed like a construction worker and the other dressed somewhat nice. They asked for take out menus and just sat there by the front door.
We walked out to go to the grocery store which was in the same strip of buildings, but about 100 yards away. The nicely dressed man got up and walked out behind us, as he said something in a foreign language to his friend. We hopped in the car to park closer to the store. When we got out, we noticed he was standing in front of the store just awkwardly looking around. As I walked by, I could hear and see him talking into an earpiece in a low voice, still in a foreign language. I told my fiancé about this and we took our time in the store. I told her to wait inside while I grabbed the car, but she decided to come as she didn't want to be alone.
When we walked out, the guy was gone. But as we got in my car I noticed a vehicle with both doors open two spots behind me. Both of those men were sitting in there trying not to make eye contact. We looked in the rear view and the man in a construction outfit was motion with his head towards our car. We drove behind the car and noticed it was an out of state tag, took a picture and called the police station to let them know what had happened.
We're two of the most calm people we know, but I've never felt more "off" about something in my life. Way too many circumstantial things going on to not have something up. Why follow us out, why wait outside the store, why drive your car across the parking lot to sit behind mine? It doesn't help we live in a city that's one of the nations highest in sex trafficking. It may not be the scariest story, but I've never been that freaked out in my life, and I've been through some wild things.
"Next thing I know..."
Was driving along the coast with my GF. We were chatting, something really funny was said, and I laughed really hard.
Next thing i know my vision goes blurry, then black and I'm doing my best not to panic as i know we were halfway around a curve with traffic coming from the other direction.
Luckily, I was in enough control to tell my GF and she was able to take the wheel and steer us to part where you let cars pass. She just told me to ease off the gas and when to apply the brakes. By that time, my vision had returned. It probably took seconds but it was the scariest of my life.
She drove the rest of the way.