People Describe The Scariest Thing They've Ever Witnessed Firsthand
Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

*The following article contains discussion of suicide/self-harm.

Traumatic scenes depicted in movies–as convincing as they seem–will never compare to witnessing real-life horrors.

Curious to hear from strangers who wish they could unsee the tragic situations in life they happened upon, Redditor RoyalAd1555 asked:

"What is the scariest thing you witnessed with your own eyes?"

These deaths will haunt the following Redditors for a very long time.

Dying Mother

"Finding my mom unresponsive 6 months ago and subsequently watching her die as a result. Neither cellphone or landline would connect to 911 so she was dead by the time we got through to anyone. It was 20 minutes but it felt like a lifetime and now 6 month later I get the grief and the trauma with no mom to comfort me."

– Practical-Implement3

Helping A Bereaved Woman

"Helped a woman move out of her apartment maybe 90 minutes after the murder-suicide of her husband and son. Police were done, but the room had not been cleaned."

"A very sad and harrowing experience for me."

– HoarsePJ

The Site Of Tragedy

"When my son drowned in my in-laws pool, they had put that yellow crime scene investigation tape all around the pool. While planning his funeral, my mom and i had to make a trip out to my in-laws to get his favorite animal for him (It was at their house because I was working that day and they were watching him). My mom pulled all the way up into the driveway not even realizing what she had done and I had a clear vision of the pool with the tape. when I saw that, I immediately felt nauseous and had to vomit."

"It’s been almost 1 1/2 years and I still can’t bring myself to go out back. The rest of the family still gets in the pool when they have get togethers but I have no desire to get in that pool. I just hang out inside the house and people will come in and talk with me but when I see their pool, it’s like I get hit with a semi truck-i feel like my breath is knocked out of me as the image of my baby going down the pool slide and then laying in a hospital bed fighting for his life take over my brain and I can’t make it stop."

– NecessaryCod

Watching A Friend Flatline

"Was there in the emergency room with someone close to me who had just died from a completely random brain aneurysm/seizure episode. Being there overlooking someone you know well, and had just spoken to hours earlier, with a flat line on the heart monitor is pretty terrifying. Especially when we had talked about death (as an idea/concept) not long before."

– Mathgoat123

Many horrific sights can be seen while driving.

A Malicious Plan

"When I was around 6, we were going to my grandparents' house. On the interstate, a woman seemed to fall out of a car in front of us. My dad had to swerve to avoid hitting her. That's all I saw with my own eyes."

"It turned out the woman's husband was trying to murder her and make it look like a suicide. The intention was for my dad to have run her over, but he had time to swerve. The husband had an accomplice behind us, but he couldn't hit her because of how my dad swerved."

"Some other good Samaritan stopped and gave the woman a ride to the hospital. The guy who gave her a ride and my dad were both called as witnesses at the trial. The husband and the accomplice were both convicted for conspiracy for attempted murder."

– Awdayshus

The Roadside Conflagration

"Car ablaze on side of road with passengers crawling out very slowly and on fire."

– BillyBobbaFett

"Driving home from work one night. Tons of traffic. I am sitting second at a red light turning left and this truck stops in the opposite lane to leave an opening so the car in front of me can turn(it was a traffic jam so he would have stopped in the intersection if he didn't). Car turns, out of nowhere this semi is driving super fast along the side of the road (not in a lane). One second the turning car is there, the next second it is blown to pieces. I was turning right behind them. Maybe was 10 feet away from it. Felt almost surreal how close I was."

– Korbindallas912

These Redditors talked about people taking their own lives.

The Graphic Scene

"Driving up to an Amusement Park, King's Island, there is this longer exit as it gets off the highway. My friends mom just started getting on the exit lane and me and my buddy, probably around 10 watch this person jump in front of a semi. It was like the whole world just kinda stopped for those few moments. As we drove passed the body I fully remember the jeans around their ankle and the body just twitching."

"I really don't think I will ever forget the image."

– Sarnick18

The Siblings Who Didn't See It

"My mom tried to kill herself Infront of me, watching my siblings hide away from what was going on was the only reason I stayed remotely sane. I'm glad they didn't see any of it."

– user deleted

The Passenger Inside

"Well it wasn't me but my friend noticed a vehicle in the parking lot at his work had been there a few days in the same spot. He walked up to it and found a man who blew his head off with a shotgun. Suicide note was on the dashboard."

"His work offered him counseling with a professional if he needed it but he declined."

"He did tell me though months later he had a nightmare about it, but that was it, and he never really thought much about it after that."

– Trickery1688

No One Should Ever See This

"Step dad hanged himself in front of my mum and me. I feel you."

– RinaPug

Handling Death Claims

"Working property insurance I see death claims occasionally. Usually when someone tries to or successfully commits suicide. I had one where a mother and daughter were murdered by the daughter’s ex boyfriend. You could see the trails of blood in the hallway of the mom trying to drag herself to get help and where he caught her and shot her in the head. It was awful. I cried and ended up having to have the claim transferred to a more seasoned adjuster."

– Moxson82

These Redditors thought they were about to witness shootings.

Threatening The Dog

"When I was a kid, I witnessed my drunk step father wielding a loaded shotgun with the safety off. It was pointed inches from the face of my dog, and he threatened to blow her head off right then and there. Fortunately, he didn't shoot her in front of me. Bad news is that she 'ran away' (leaving her collar and tags behind) a few days later."

– VeloxFox

In The Face Of Death

"Guy pointed a revolver at my face and pulled the trigger, thought for sure in that split second I was going to die."

– bigsam63

These are examples of the unpredictability of animals.

A Kid And A Horse

"I was standing 6 feet way and watched a full size horse kick some kid in the face.. The kid is now considered mentally challenged."

– IllprobpissUoff

Happy To Be Alive

"Happened to my friend a few months back. She owns several horses and this happened with the last horse she would've ever expected. The wound on the right side of her head, was 6 inches long, down to the skull. I wanted to faint when I saw the pictures. After several months of complications with swelling and infection, she's finally healed up, but she now suffers with all that comes with TBI and PTSD. She said she's just glad to be alive. It's crazy how your whole world is changed just like that."

– Abject_Presentation8

One incident I will never forget is a house party gone wrong, where the apartment's occupant had her brother and his friends over. They were high and one of them carried a firearm while another guy had a knife.

A brawl broke out in the living room, and all I remember is jumping off the second-floor balcony with a handful of my friends and running to the car as we were being pursued.

Six of us managed to pile into the car as the guy pounded the rear window of the vehicle with his fists.

Cops eventually showed up.

Nobody was killed, but some of my friends were taken to the hospital to have their wounds treated. It was the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced and made me never go to another party in a long while.

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

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