A deep, sound sleep is vulnerable. You're on your back, your eyes are closed, it's usually dark, and you are--at best--30 seconds away from full and alert consciousness.

Usually, that's fine. Usually, you sleep hours and hours until the light comes again. The morning you expected arrives. You wake gently and take the time you need to return to waking life on your terms, at your pace.


But there's another version of returning to the land of the living. It occurs in one second whether you're interested or not. A sudden noise blasts you out of the slumber zone, you join a world that's still dark, and, inherently, you're faced with a sense urgency or danger. After all, what else would accompany such abruptness.

Thankfully, a brutal awakening ends harmlessly, more often than not. But even that brings a drawback: you have to attempt sleep all over again and feel like an idiot for beings so freaked out.

link229 asked, "What's the scariest thing that's ever woken you up during the middle of the night?"

Some of That Eerie Haunted House Stuff

"Once i woke up because i heard music playing from the kitchen and i thought maybe mum forgot to turn the radio off."

"I went through the dark hallway to the kitchen to turn the radio off but when i was standing in the dark kitchen there was no music playing everything was as quiet as always at 3am."

-- NesWhatElise

A Terrible Coincidence

"The night I watched the movie The Conjuring, I woke up to my bed shaking and all the clothes hanging in my closet rattling like crazy. Took me quite some time to realize it was an earthquake and not the devil come visiting."

"When I was in my final year at high school, I had trouble sleeping at night with my final exams approaching. I think I dozed off for a bit and suddenly woke up to see a person's face staring in through my window grill."

"I was in such a panic I literally couldn't move or scream. Luckily he saw me wake up and escaped."

-- cruxdude

CLOWNS

"My sister had an all white clown doll that hung from the ceiling on a little swing. In the summertime, we slept with our doors and windows open to get the cool air in. When I woke up one night hearing some tapping against her window down the hall. If i sat up in bed and look down the hall, and I could see into the front of her bedroom."

"So I did, and I see this clown swinging back and forth against her window, back lit by the street lamp, but clearly staring directly into my soul like it was all it desired in this world."

"I didn't sleep well that summer."

-- i_f***in_luv_it_mate

Beardad

"When I was a kid, we went camping in the woods. I heard what I thought was a bear outside our pop-up camper and it woke me up. Me and my two brothers were sleeping on one side, with me in the middle, and our parents were sleeping on the other side."

"It was completely dark so I couldn't see a thing. But, I could hear what I thought was a bear snorting around outside. I was scared to death. I couldn't figure out a way to climb over my brothers and cross to the other side to wake up my father, without making noise and alerting the bear to the tasty meal waiting inside."

"So, I just lied there perfectly still for the whole night, waiting for giant claws to rip their way through the canvas."

"As the sun came up and I started to see, I noticed that the lump that was my father in a sleeping bag was rising and falling with the bear's snorting. Turns out my dad's snoring had kept me up all night in absolute fear."

-- ButterDeLaPeanuts

Detective Work

"I woke up with chunks of teeth in my mouth and severe abdominal pain (probably swallowed some tooth). Then, I looked across the room and there was a pool of blood on the opposite side of the room."

"After quickly spitting out the rest of the teeth bits, I went to the bathroom and was shocked to see my ENTIRE face was bleeding, but from a deep cut in my chin and not from my missing tooth."

"I realized that I had sleepwalked, then decided to fall asleep while standing on the other side of the room and did a belly flop straight on the floor, and then somehow after all of that, got up again and WALKED BACK INTO BED and fell asleep for a few more hours."

"I had to get a new tooth from a student doctor that I've never gotten fixed. I also ended supergluing my busted chin together because I couldn't afford stitches."

-- bjorkmorissette

The Stuff of Nightmares

"I had an industrial size rat dying from rat poison come thru a panel in my closet and up into bed with me at 2am." -- BookwyrmsRN

"Well I'm sure we know how this ended." -- daniel06reese

"My story doesn't end with rat cuddles, but when I was in high school, a rat decided to chew on wires coming out of the circuit breaker, which was right by my bedroom. This was a trailer house, so the walls were incredibly thin."

"The noise of it crawling around kept me up all night. Then a few nights later, I could smell it died. Nothing I could do about it, so I got to smell death for two weeks. You just happened to remind me of this." -- Calypsoid

Adult Pouting

"It turned out to be funny. Someone was trying loudly to break into a car just outside my (ground floor) bedroom window that faced a large parking lot in an apartment complex. He was trying to smash the windows and wasn't strong enough, and was yelling a lot."

"I called the police. I heard every word they said when they showed up. It turned out that he was trying to break into his own car, because he was too drunk to find his own keys in his own pocket."

-- Jabberhakke

NOPE

"I had a large camel spider run over my face at about 3 am. That was not a pleasant sensation." -- davehone

"Oh god. Time to burn the house down. Was nice living here." -- ElfPaladins13

"Why do spiders need to be so NASTY. Why can't they just be cute at least. Evolution to make us avoid them really is paying back" -- JustHereToGain

Cops: "Well We Sorted Another One Out!"

"My dog barking because 'cops' were banging on the doors and windows of our airbnb, flashing their lights into each and every room. Called 911 and she told us to not answer the door because she doesn't see cops in our area. YUP" -- CriticalNatural9

"Oh my God I would totally answer the door not thinking anything of it" -- pattyice420

"And like then that was it? They didnt send someone over to check it out the people were just like 'welp no one's gonna answer i guess we can go home now'" -- homiej420

Disproportionate Horror

"A poster falling down from the wall. I'm pretty sure my neighbors heard my scream" -- FireAndFlame55

"Same here, except it was framed artwork that was just above my pillows so I was once clobbered awake by that." -- Jinstor

"The scraping noise it makes when falling down against the wall is awful. It has happened to me a few times until I just took it down." -- Alexjt02

"I had a poster fall o to my head, f***ing panicked thought I was being very gently attacked" -- PM_meyourchickens

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