Fear is something that is nearly inescapable. It creeps up on us all at some point whether it's in the form of a traumatic event or something slower and more insidious. Sometimes the thing that jump scares you the most is actually also the cutest thing you ever saw... like your kids.
At least that's the case for this writer. A sweet pigtailed three year old tucked away in her bed, I hear a sound so I roll over and turn my phone flashlight on. As I swing it around to scan the room before I get up it illuminates her little face just a few over mine donning a huge crazy smile and wide bulging eyes. As soon as the light hit she let out this giant scream…
Just about fell out of the bed. Why are toddlers so creepy?
Deep-Television9794 asked the Reddit community:
"What's the scariest moment you've encountered in your whole life?"
“about 10+ officers were rushing to my location…”
“I was conducting a cell search and three cartel members ‘trapped’ me inside the cell by blocking the entrance. One of them held an improvised knife (shiv) and the other two proceeded to try to interrogate me on what I was taking.”
“I took off my utility belt as a show that I wasn't going to back down from a fight, an in doing so slyly triggered the panic alarm on my radio while simultaneously making it look like I was shutting the radio off. When the three saw that I was willing to fight to get out, they actually backed down and let me pass... of course by the moment, about 10+ officers were rushing to my location because I wasn't responding to my panic alarm.”
“Far as I know, they believed my reinforcements showed up because the bubble officer (camera watcher) called the emergency after not being able to contact me on my radio and never knew I had secretly summoned a small army to rescue me in the event of being jumped.”
“They even told me they thought it was ‘pretty gutsy’ that I didn't back down while in the cell, and from that day onward I never had any problems with them or their group.” TheRavingRaccoon
Racist, armed, and insane…he definitely wasn’t voting blue…
“Some lunatic put gun in my face while I was camping in an extremely isolated spot in The Olympic National forest. I listened to his xenophobic rant. It was mental chess. He was especially focused on race and orientation and luckily I am white and was able to playcate him. Had I been black or gay I'm convinced he would have buried my me out there. As soon as he was out of sight I packed my sh*t. Before he left he told me that nobody knew who he was or where he was. I bailed." Accomplished-Ad595
Children are terrifying.
“My younger brother sleepwalks. He would just stand by my bed, silently, until I'd snap awake and see his silhouette looming over me. Sometimes, he turns on the lights when he's sleepwalking. I woke up one night, and he was standing there, turning the lights on and off ... on and off ...”
“I get him back to bed, and I went downstairs to sleep for the rest of the night. Around 4:00 a.m. I woke up to see all of the lights downstairs were switched on.” __Dawn__Amber __
“Oxygen tank cut off air while on a scuba dive 15m under water at NIGHT. To this day no one knows how the oxygen tank closed. It wasn't malfunctioning cause I realized the problem 20 mins into the dive. For 20 mins there was absolutely no problem.” Laelaps_d_paradox
In flight terror…
“I was on final approach to a local airport and had chosen runway 26 to land because that's what you are supposed to do at this particular airport, unless the wind favors another runway. There was a 3 knot tailwind and I should have landed the opposite direction on runway 8 but I thought 'what the hell, I can basically fly straight in and it's only 3 knots.'”
“I'm running low on fuel and I'm a student pilot flying solo so I don't want to fly around the airport, I just want to get down and fill up. I get down to about 20ft from the runway and all of a sudden I feel a gust of wind pick me up from behind and the nose immediately points down. My lift is gone so I'm basically falling to the ground.”
“I instinctively yank back on the yoke but there's no air flowing over the elevator so I hit nose wheel first (and I thought the propeller hit too but somehow it didn't) and sort of bounce forward into a precarious position where the left side wheel and nose wheel are touching the ground and my right wheel is still 2 feet in the air.”
“It looked like the left wing might drag on the ground if I didn't just front flip onto the runway. Not really sure how that ended up settling, I guess the wind just died down”
“Next thing you know I'm stopped on the runway and the airplane is violently shaking (I'm thinking I bent the prop shaft) and I'm violently shaking (adrenaline) and I rev up the engine a little to get going and get off the runway. The engine ended up running smoothly after a few seconds and the shaking stopped.”
“Unsure about what just happened and how the airplane could possibly be okay, I taxied to the fuel pump and shutdown. It took me a few hours after I refueled, calming myself down and then building up the courage to get back in the airplane and fly home.”
“It is a 15 minute flight back to my home airport and I did the whole thing white knuckled and quivering. But I'm glad I did. I ended up having a great landing and had I not gotten back on the horse that day I may have never got my license.”
“Still though, that moment when I lost control and all I could see out of the windshield was runway… scariest moment of my entire life.” migwell28
"This was the moment I thought an man died in my hands…”
“I used to live near a large open stormwater drain with no fencing around it. Three drunk guys drove their car straight into it. I went out and found the driver trying to get his friend's foot out of the windshield."
“On the field on other side of the drain, I saw the third passenger who was covered in blood. I asked if they were ok and my neighbor called the ambulance/police. The blood-covered friend passed out and was twitching so I ran to the car, grabbed a towel from the back seat and ran to help him."
“I found a large, deep cut on the back of his neck/head. I rolled him to his back and used the weight of his head to put pressure on the wound. I was talking to him, trying to keep him awake and he went into shock, twitching and unresponsive."
“This was the moment I thought a man died in my hands. I was able to wake him and the ambulance took over from there. That was the most harrowing moment of my life" Dargroth-soul-taker
“This just brought back a memory. My dad, sister, best friend and I drove to San Felipe for a little get away for spring break. We would often go there for family vacations but this time we invited my best friend. Had an amazing week and started the drive home.”
“It was maybe 2 or 3 in the morning, pitch black in the middle of the desert when we got stopped at a random check point by a bunch of men carrying machine guns. They made us get out and stand on the side of the road so they could search our car and were asking us all a bunch of questions.”
“It was one of the most terrifying experiences of my life. Didn't help that my sister (probably 16 at the time) turns to look at my friend and I and very seriously says ‘I hope you know that they can easily murder us all right now and no one would ever know.’ Great, thanks a**hole.”
“Pretty sure my dad slipped them as much cash as he could and they let us go on our way. That was the last time we went to San Felipe” pineyruacarajoo
“So, 14 year old girl living in Northern UK at the time. (I'm now 27 happily married mum of one). MSN messenger was all the rage back then and every day was a race to rush home from school and log onto the family PC.”
“I probably should mention that my parents were teenage parents (mum 16 at my birth and dad 17), so I grew up in a really relaxed environment where sex, drugs and alcohol were regularly talked about openly to ensure I made informed choices in my teenage years. One night after logging into MSN, I got chatting to a really cute 15 year old lad (let's call him Luke) from the town next to me (10 minute bus ride).”
“We spoke daily for weeks and weeks turned into months of messaging, swapping pics and eventually we started talking on the phone. After around 3 month, Luke suggested we meet up, great idea I thought, I couldn't wait for my friends to meet him.”
“But Luke didn't want any of my friends to come and specifically states it should be just me and him on our first meeting (he's really shy). Ok no problem! So we arrange to meet at a local hang out spot for teenagers in my town, but Luke can't get there until 6pm - no issues - my parents were happy so long as I was home by 11pm on a weekend.”
“So the big Friday night comes! I race home from school, texting with ‘Luke’, both super excited. I've spent the whole day planning my outfit with my friends and they know where we are meeting up. 5.30pm turns around so I leave the house - now as I'm leaving the house USUALLY, I would always shout to my parents ‘Bye!’”
“But something in my head made me tell them where I was going and asked if my dad could pick me up at around 8pm - I still to this day do not know why I asked this - very rare that I ever asked my dad or mum to pick me up and never told them where I was.”
“So I arrive at the ‘spot’ and sit on a bench waiting. The time ticks by and Luke still hasn't turned up. By 6.30 I was getting a little prickly so I try to call him and get voicemail. I get up to leave - obviously heartbroken and a little confused - and start leaving the park to head home.”
“As I get to the main gate to leave, a man approaches me. Now let me just say, this man was very clearly in his 40's. He had sleeve tattoos and really long hair which was tied into a pony, with full facial hair. He was dressed smartly in black jeans and a black shirt.”
“He called my name and I just felt instant icy fear through my veins. I looked behind me as though to pretend that wasn't my name, but this guys seen multiple pictures of me and my friends, he knows it's me. I put my head down and rushed past him but he grabbed my arm and started to shout ‘wait, wait, I need to explain’.”
“By this time i was Absolutely terrified and started to run. Sheer panic and terror just totally put me into flight mode. There was a taxi parked up at the side of the park, I pounded on his window and he unlocked the door. The taxi driver knew something was wrong and started to drive while I was bawling my eyes out.”
“Taxi driver takes me home where my mum and dad are waiting at the front door - again something they never ever did. My mum still to this day says that she knew something wasn't right that night and they were about to come looking for me. Visit to the police station that night and handed over my devices, but because this guy, (turns out to be a reputable 43 year old businessman with a wife and 2kids from the next town over), never spoke sexually or indicated any sexual desires, nothing ever came of it.”
“My folks obviously ramped up the Internet security from that point and it's something I hammer home to my 4 year old already. So yeah, I don't know what his intentions were but, he posed as a 15 year old boy to get me to meet him, and I'm just thankful every day for that taxi driver who took me home no questions asked and to my own tuition for telling me something isn't right here and leaving.” daningham101
Don’t let these harrowing stories keep you up too late at night and stay safe out there friends!
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Horror comes in many forms.
Sometimes the scary moments we encounter draw their horror from the eerie unknown in the same way horror films spook us.
Other times, terror comes in a very real-world, pragmatic form--sudden and grave danger of complete vulnerability.
However it comes, it's a whole lot better to read about it on the internet than experience it first hand.
Redditor aggressivepicklenato asked:
"What is the scariest thing that's happened to you?"
Of course, driving an automobile is one of the scariest, most dangerous things we can do. We often forget that, until one moment reminds us.
Out of Control
"Heart attack while I was driving. Pulled over and went into cardiac arrest." -- Big-Craft-72
"So you got arrested while driving." -- Quirinus84
"I was driving home late one night when I saw a girl on the side of the road, asking for help. I distinctly remember every nerve in my body suddenly going on edge, and I locked the doors as I drove past (old car had manual locks)."
"But something was telling me that no matter what, I shouldn't stop and help this girl. As I went by her I remember her yelling 'Fu** you!' "
"I felt guilty for not doing anything about it, so next morning I looked up reports in the area to see if I could find information on her. Turns out a guy got car jacked in the exact same area trying to help a girl in distress."
"He pulled over, and a group of people beat him and left him on the side of the road while they took his car. The girl in the report perfectly matched the description of the girl I saw."
Everything Stopped for a Second
"Truck swerved into my lane going highway speeds this last winter and smoked us. My wife, 3 kids and dog were in the car."
"The scariest part wasn't the impact, or the realization that we were about to get fu**ed. It was the brief moment of stunned silence after, the moment I turned around to see if everyone in my family was ok."
"Thankfully, my kids escaped with no injury, my wife had to undergo surgery for internal bleeding (but ultimately recovered and is great today) and my sweet, lucky old dog. Somehow, he survived getting tossed around in the trunk."
When You Realize How Fast You Were Going
"I had a tire blow out while I was on the highway. I felt the wheel start to vibrate and my heart just dropped. Cars were flying by at least 70 mph as I'm trying to merge onto the shoulder."
"I have had anxiety about driving on the highway since then"
Others traced their horror back to the unbelievable power of the natural world.
At the Whims of Giant Plates
"I live in San Francisco, in 1989 we had an earthquake. It was so intense, it moved my refrigerator to the other side of the room."
"I've never felt that adrenaline fright as much as that day."
"Nearly getting swept out to sea while swimming alone in the ocean and barely making it back to shore."
"This would be super scary now, but for 6 year old me this was TERRIFYING. I was out hiking with my cub scouts group, and I was trailing behind."
"I fell, slipped a couple feet down a hill, and got my leg caught under a log. It was only the start of the hike and it was pretty long, so I was terrified that I'd be stuck there for almost 2 hours. This is canada, during bear season."
"They came back after about 5 minutes. Present me would've know that probably would've happened, but that was terrifying for 6 y/o me."
These Are The Worst Job Interviews Ever | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
And others recalled the times they were sure violence--and even death--were coming straight for them.
A Surge of Violence
"My ex is an angry drunk.. one night we got drunk for our mutual friends birthday. The birthday girl and her bf started getting in a big fight so we separated them. While doing that we got separated and couldn't find each other. I found him after about an hour."
"He was pi**ed I took birthday girl home and didn't care about him being at the bar alone with her bf. So he punches my car windshield out and chases me into the house. He catches up to me and pulls me by my head down to the floor. Proceeds to put one hand over my mouth and one hand around my neck."
"I remember nothing but begging for him to let go. Every second felt like a lifetime without air. On top of him sitting on top of me and the crying I was doing. I never thought I'd ever beg for my life like that. I was literally saying sh** like 'please just take your hand off my mouth, I'll do anything, please, I can't breathe!' "
"Eventually he just snapped out of it and let go in self pity 'omg what am I doing' and I ran upstairs to my roommates as he chased me again to try to not let them know what happened. Luckily I got to them in time and they called the police."
Lock Up Your Guns!!
"I was 13 and baby sitting two 7 year old boys. One of the boys found his dad's gun. They proceeded to point it at me and threaten to shoot me, because they found it funny."
"I still don't know how I talked them into putting the gun away. I had been baby sitting them for a year on Wednesdays. That was the last night I did though."
"Found myself behind my high school with a bunch of kids who didn't know who I was. They threatened me and pulled knives."
"I still don't know how I managed to talk my way out of it but I got out of there as quick as I could"
When I was 12
"My step dad was angry in general and even angrier drunk, which he typically was. One day he decided to scream at me for some reason or another while I'm minding my own business, and he told me he was going to get his shotgun from his mom so he could shoot me. I was 12."
"I called the police, and he started to backtrack and beg me not to call on him. I told the officer to please take me to a friend's house. On the way, the officer was telling me that my stepdad was just drunk and didn't mean any of it. This was a small town where everyone knew each other."
"I suffer from psychosis and I would have to say hallucinations."
"Psychosis was def the scariest thing I've ever been through in my life, and I'm sorry you struggle with it consistently. I went through it three separate times, some lasting days last summer. It was like waking sleep paralysis. At one point I thought I was bleeding out into my carpet, hallucinating the blood and having tactile hallucinations I was wet and sticky and my blood pressure dropped so low I had to be brought to the hospital. I hope you're in a better place. Take your meds, that's what made my hallucinations stop and I eventually began to be able to function."
In the blink of an eye
"10 months ago when I heard a crash in the bathroom my husband was in and he didn't answer me when I called out asking if he was ok. Called 911 as I struggled to get the door open. Got in. Found him facedown. I rolled him over, and he exhaled for the last time in my arms. I tried to breathe for him, compress his chest."
"But I already knew he was gone. And in that moment, it was like a bomb exploded in the middle of my life. It's scary when you've lost your person, your love, the most important thing in the world to you. When your life changes in an instant. I went from being a happy wife to a 31-year-old widow with an uncertain future. In the blink of an eye."
A Trip to Florida...
"Wend for a scuba dive trip down in Florida. On the second day we were just finishing the dive in the Spiegel grove when out of the blue I see a panicked diver heading towards me. He shows me his digital console and there is a big fat 0 there. Gave him my spare second stage."
"The current was very strong and we still had to either descend another 15' or so to the main deck holding on to the railings to reach the boat line which was tied to one of the cranes , or gun against the current directly to the line. I chose the second. By the time we barely made to the line, i started to feel a little water in my regulator. That is a sign my air was depleting. The panicked guy was breathing like a bull. I switched him to my buddy's air and signaled to continue the ascension."
"Luckily as the pressure decreases, air expands a little in the system so o could still breathe up to 15'. I left the two of them there to do a safety stop and surfaced. With them surfacing 3 minutes later. Long story short, he lost visual contact with his buddies during the dive, panicked and used all of his air looking for them. Not following your training can get you killed."
Testing for Weakness
"Woke up around 3am one night to loud tapping outside my bedroom window (my bedroom was in the basement of our house). I assumed it was raccoons or something trying to get into our neighbour's shed. After listening for a while longer I managed to fall back asleep. In the morning I brought up the noise to my mom who said she had heard a similar noise coming from that same side of the house, only she got out of bed and went to the front living room window to investigate."
"What she saw was a man emerge from between our house and our neighbour's place. He stopped in front of our home, took a long look before removing a pair of latex gloves and then proceeded to walk down our street. I assume he was testing for weak spots or something and luckily didn't manage to make it inside that night."
"Mugged and beat up at 1AM behind a dumpster in Denver when I was 19."
"Spinning out on a highway due to hydroplaning. Ended up barely tapping another car, but I thought I was done for."
"Sorry to make it about me but you just reminded me of my first "accident" a few years ago. It had rained the week prior so the ground was very mushy. First snow of the year and it had snowed a good 3-4in (and it was the nasty lake effect snow all Michiganders know)."
"I'm in the left lane, there's a smallish SUV ahead of me and a semi next to them. Then a pickup truck was trying to merge on to the highway. I think what he did was to try to beat the semi truck by speeding the heck up instead of being smart and just entering the highway like a normal person. This fool literally spun out a MINIMUM of 6 times."
"I tried following the path of the little SUV in front of me (in a company Nissan Sentra) which included slightly going off the road. I would have been fine until the pickup barely clipped my car and sent me into the median. And since it had been raining the week before, I was completely unable to get traction to get out. The pickup? Never stopped. By the time I realized he wasn't going to stop, it was too far away to read the license plate. A**hole."
"Also, sleepwalking. Holy crap, is it scary and disorienting to go to sleep in your bed and wake up mid stride through the living room, bruised and bleeding from bumping into things. Night terrors and sleep paralysis are also quite awful. I've experienced all of the above more times than I care to remember."
Dad, what are you doing?
"Fell asleep in the living room watching TV. Wake up around midnight to my Dad walking pass me. He heads to the side door, unlocks it and starts walking to the chicken coop. By the time he's outside I'm up and following after him; calling out in a whisper "Dad, what are you doing?" - no response, I think maybe he can't hear me despite being only a few steps behind him."
"Dad walks in to the chicken coop and I lose sight of him for about two seconds - I walk in to chicken coop and... it's empty. I'm very confused now. There is only one door for the coop and I'm standing in it. Suddenly, there's a hand on my shoulder. Almost jump out of my skin and whirl around - it's my Dad. He heard me walking outside, had followed after me trying to call out my name but for some reason I hadn't heard him."
Surely you have your own example of the most horrifying moment of your life. Here's hoping the scars haven't lasted too long or burrowed too deep.
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Ghost, zombies, vampires, and other beings of the supernatural are terrifying, and we hope to never encounter them under any circumstances.
But some of the terrors rooted in reality are scarier.
Whether it's a brush with death after hydroplaning on black ice while driving or being held at gunpoint, they are the stuff of true nightmares.
However, the jury remains out about the reality of ghosts.
"What's the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?"
One of the worst things must be to look down the barrel of a gun as these Redditors did.
Kid With Pistol
"Pistol in my face by a kid no more than 13 years old. I was sure that little f'king idiot was going to kill me."
"A guy stopped traffic and walked up to the window of the taxi I was in and pointed a gun at my head through the window. Then said 'wrong taxi', and casually walked away."
"I hope he never found the right taxi."
Cashier At Gunpoint
"I got robbed at gunpoint when I was working alone one night at Subway when I was 16."
Getting Authentic Tacos
"I got stopped by the Cartel in Mexico. I live on the border and we decided to go eat some authentic tacos. My dad, my brother and his blonde girlfriend and I (12) were driving to our favorite taco place when this truck behind us started honking at us. Unfortunately there were 3 speed bumps in a row right in front of us. So the truck got impatient and pulled up in front of us. Then they stopped at the intersection which was right in front of us. Along with another truck that was behind them. And a van. Then, like insects, they all swarmed out of their vehicles with AK's and body armor. They lined up pointing to both out car, and then down the street in the direction our car was facing. 2 guys started smacking the car with the butt of their guns and yelling at us to leave. Then they shot some warning shots at the ground in front of the car. My dad floored it backwards while my brother shoved his white girlfriend into the floor and I tried to become one with the seat. Almost died that day. At least thats what it felt like."
Sound Of Gunfire
"An hour ago. Waiting for an Uber outside in Nashville. All of a sudden, shots fired. Like twenty shots total… everyone runs for cover (where there is little). It happened so quickly, it was hard to know what was happening. Scariest moment of my life, especially knowing that two minutes prior we were standing in a way more exposed location. We were fine, but… nothing on Twitter or the news. WTF."
Vegas Mass Shooting
"I was in the middle of the crowd at the concert shooting in Las Vegas in 2017 (deadliest mass shooting in US history). Jason Aldean was performing and we thought it was fireworks until he was pulled off the stage. Everyone got down to the ground and eventually I couldn't take getting shot at anymore and sprinted out of the venue, leaving my friends behind. (If you know or Google, he was using an automatic so it was just round after round after round of gunshots, not knowing if/when one was going to hit me or my friends.) Called my parents hysterical to let them know I was okay and walked to MGM. They had triage set up in there, otherwise no one else there had any idea what had happened outside. Finally met up with one of my friends and thought we were safe. Then someone comes running through the casino saying there's an active shooter (there wasn't) so my friend and I darted and got split up again. I am freaking out trying to get a taxi/Uber back to my hotel because I'm thinking there are shooters everywhere now. One taxi kicks me out because I'm screaming to get to my hotel. Eventually I walk a couple blocks and am able to flag down a Lyft and get to my hotel. As I'm walking through the lobby, they announce they are shutting down the entrance to the hotel for safety so I sprint to the elevators to finally get to my room before they shut down elevators too. Spend all night not sleeping, unable to comprehend what had happened. Still triggered by gunshots."
These Redditors recount the times they were asked to be taken to the ATM. And not in a very polite way.
"I stopped at a light in a questionable part of town and a strange lady hopped into the passenger seat of my car. She told me to drive her to the ATM and get her some money...I told her that I had forgotten my purse and could not do so (my purse was behind my seat and I was really hoping she wouldn't look around and catch my lie). She kept insisting that I give her money and I kept driving and telling her I couldn't... I'm pretty sure the $20 or so dollars I had in the bank would not have been enough anyway."
"Finally I saw a cop car stopped on the side of the road. I pulled up behind it and told her she could either get out then, or I'd start honking my horn to get the cops attention. She decided to leave."
"I was pretty shaken by that... I'm not sure what I would have done if I hadn't seen the cop and she was getting increasingly insistent and I know I would not have won a fight with her."
"Also... She took my bag of gummy worms."
Crazy Historical Events That Sound Fake But Are 100% True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
Drive To A Construction Site
"Something similar happened to my friend's dad. Guy got into his car, pointed a gun at him, told him to drive to an ATM, and pull out money. The dad was scared shi*less, but seemingly, calmly agreed. He drove the car to a construction site nearby, hoping that the workers would be on duty that day. Fortunately, they were and the dad, driving a luxury car, looked so out of place that a bunch of the workers started watching him. The dad then told the guy, 'You can either get out of my car or you can shoot me and have a dozen witnesses. Your choice, but you're not getting money from me.'"
"Guy with the gun got out of the car and ran off. The dad called off work that day and went home to spend time with his wife and kids. My friend said she had never seen him so freaked out before in her life and he made sure to tell them all that story so they would be able to do the same in that sort of situation."
Sometimes, a brush with death is caused by fate and not by gun-toting lunatics.
Out In The Elements
"I was driving on the northern part of the ring road in Iceland. Buddies and I were seeing the whole country and it was bad weather in the middle of winter. Roads were closing behind us so we couldn't turn back. We finally had a clear day ahead of us where we should have been able to drive and prevent being snowed in for a few days. We hit a stretch of road with no gas stations for many miles and we fill up on gas and go. Along the way the weather starts declining and eventually it gets to white out conditions. We couldn't stop for fear of being snowed in. so we crawled along at 10 miles and hour. Closest I felt I ever came to dying on a road in the middle of nowhere in Iceland in a blizzard. great trip though 10/10 would go back"
The Treacherous Slope
"nearly fell off a cliff when skiing (but got rescued)."
Swerving Towards Death
"Me 17, on a rainy day with slippery tyres went through a corner too fast. Two friends in the car with me. Lost control, car swerved, we missed on-coming traffic by probably an inch. It happened in an instant."
"I regained control when the car was pointing in the driving direction again, by lifting from the brakes so we moved forward as if nothing happened."
"A week later going around the same corner an accident happend, head to head. I was second on the scene, and held a strangers hand as they are trapped under the steering wheel. Slipping in and out of consciousness, in total pain, while waiting for emergency services. I was asked to leave by the police when they learned I was not an eye witness to the actual accident. But I knew what happened, because I escape a crash like this just a week before. I never asked people what happened to the people in the other car and I do not know if the person I assisted made it."
"All I do remember is the total chaos in my memory of arriving at the scene, linked to my irresponsible behavior behind the wheel a week before."
Carnival of Fear
"I was 14 I think. Went on a swinging boat ride at the fair, the kind that pause upside down. The auto locking seatbelt bar didn't lock all the way down against me, so when it stopped upside down I started to slip out of my seat. It probably only lasted 10-15 seconds until we went down again but I was holding myself into that car for dear life. Pretty scary, but it didn't kill my love of roller coasters!"
Shortness Of Breath
"About two years ago, I had severe bronchitis. Severe coughing and shortness of breath were the main symptoms. I couldn't talk without coughing. I couldn't lay down to sleep without coughing. It got so bad one night I was home alone and I couldnt breathe deeply anymore. I could only take a shallow breath. My roommate was out of town and I had no one to reach out to. I started getting panicky because I was afraid I wouldn't ever be able to breathe normally again and that I would die because I couldn't breathe or catch my breath."
"I had a pretty high fever once and i started to dream. I vaguely remembered having a choice of saving earth or destroying it and for some reason I destroyed it, woke up feeling so guilty I seriously contemplated jumping off the roof. Made me realize how crazy fevers can be."
Pricked And Spared
"Was stupidly free climbing a big rock in Sedona and lost traction and just started to slide down and couldn't stop myself. There was a small ledge with a cactus on it beneath the rock and then a drop of at least 100 feet. That cactus stopped me and likely saved my life."
Waves Of Death
"I nearly drowned. I was swimming way out in the ocean when a really bad storm came out of nowhere. I was a strong swimmer but it didn't matter. It felt like my lungs were on fire and being shredded with knives. There was so much sand in the water that I couldn't see; I figured out which way was up by being slammed into the seafloor and swimming in the opposite direction."
"I was underwater long enough that I lost consciousness and my last thought was 'I'm going to die now and nothing will ever hurt me again.'"
"When I came to, I was being dragged up the beach. I coughed and vomited up what felt like more than a litre of sand and seawater. Every time I blew my nose for weeks afterwards more sand would come out."
Friend For Life
"I was walking down a sidewalk, just about to cross a trolley track."
"My friend pulled me back, and the trolley drove on just a few feet ahead of me. Really saved my life."
"Taught me to keep my head up, and look both ways, no matter how sad or down I'm feeling that day."
My brush with death continues to haunt me and I still count my blessings.
Years ago when I still lived in Los Angeles, I barely avoided a head-on collision with an eighteen-wheeler – presumably driven by a drunk driver – who was swerving in and out of their side of the road at around 10:30 p.m.
I was blinded by the headlights, and as the truck came careening towards me, I steered the wheel at the last second and my vehicle's rear was clipped by the truck.
I spun out of control and luckily managed to not collide with the parked cars on the street.
My car was not drivable after that hit-and-run incident.
But I sure was glad my life was spared that night. I have never been so scared in life until that moment.
For the record, I'll take being haunted by ghosts over these brushes with death anyday.
Many people take having a roof over their heads for granted.
According to a report from the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), over 580,466 people were homeless in the U.S. on a single night in 2020.
The homeless crisis was made worse due to the pandemic. That statistic saw an increase from 2019 by 12,751 people.
"People who have been homeless before, what is your scariest story?"
Some people who found makeshift places to sleep in thought they were going to die while battling the forces of nature.
The Unbearable Cold
"For a while, after my mom lost the house we lived in a burned-out camper in the woods. One night it got really cold. We honestly thought we were going to freeze to death. It was one of my first near-death experiences as a kid. After that, my mom reached out to my dad and had me move in with him while she got our stuff together."
"The first night we had a tornado. We were between two hills so it mostly jumped over us. Though it also picked my brother and me up in our tent and flung us a good twenty or so feet. We were awake so we knew what was going on, but it still terrified me. It felt like we flew for ages. We joined the circle after that and everyone sort of tied the tents together."
A deadly Bite
"I almost died getting bit by a snake in arizona while sleeping in front of a old store."
With drugs added to the mix, the situation became nightmares for these Redditors.
The Crack Den
"I was 19 and needed a semi-warm place to stay. I was in New Orleans and not dressed for the cold winter night. I didn't know anyone there and found a dark, abandoned house on the outskirts of the quarter. I crawled under the porch and found a place to pass out. I woke some time in the night to a LOT of screaming and breaking things. Some very serious sh*t going on. Turned out it was a crack/meth den I was sleeping under. The fighting continued until just before dawn. I waited for about an hour of quiet before I slinked away."
Drugs And Consequences
"I almost died when someone gave me 'medical e' and my stupid a** took some. I'll never know what really happened that night under the bridge, but I'm alive tho."
"I suffered from something which I now believe is called Alcohol-induced-psychosis. It's what some can get if you drink way too much hard liquor and begin suffering withdraws."
"I would see ghostly figures of people who weren't actually there, I saw blueish holographic people that weren't there, I would hear random auditory hallucinations and the only thing that seemed to make it die down was to drink beers. Basically I'd walk down the street and see figures working in their front lawns, or friends sitting on porches, etc. When I walked closer to inspect them, the figure had vanished. Sometimes they'd appear erratic, like a person with Parkinson's disease. Once, I saw a large menacing holographic head of a personal friend in a window, and it terrified me."
"The scariest time is when I walked to the park alone during night, I could hear children's laughter, and I could see figures walking about, I looked towards a fence and saw two figures pointing at me, I kind of just laid down on the ground and shut my eyes to ignore it all. Eventually it all subsided on it's own and I left the park. I haven't suffered any of this since gladly. But mind you some homeless are stuck in this hallucination mind state every day, and that must be a living hell to live through. Drinking alone was the stupidest thing I ever did. Please only drink with friends, it's always better anyway."
As if life couldn't get any worse, the following people were victims of physical violence.
"Had a junkie hold a knife to my neck for next to nothing and a cop threaten to kill me but the worst was a business owner that came out of his business and asked me to panhandle further down the block. I was sober and being polite and to top it off I wasn't even in front of his business I mentioned this and told him I wouldn't move."
"He snatched a skateboard that had just been given to me by somebody that had picked me up hitchhiking and turned around. I started standing up to try and get it back from him and the next thing I know I was in the back of an ambulance with a broken jaw and a bunch of missing teeth and to top it off the emts didn't know who they had given my dog too just that they thought it was my friend."
"I refused treatment, we were still right where it had happened and I had to find my dog. Turns out she was with someone I trusted but the emts couldn't even describe who they gave her to and no one I knew was with me when it happened."
"I tried talking to some lawyers in the area but no one seemed to want to help some homeless kid (I think I was 19 at the time) and I didn't plan on staying in that city for more than a couple weeks anyway."
"I got jumped by 3 people. I'm sure this isn't the rarest experience but it truly terrified me. One of them held me on the ground, one of them repeatedly kicked/stepped on my face, and the other guy acted as a lookout. They finally stopped when he told them there were people coming."
These Redditors wouldn't be alive to tell their stories if their situations ended differently.
Interaction With The Police
"Someone called the cops on me for parking a little too close to a neighborhood. The cops knocked and asked me to come out of my RV. Having a dozen guns pointed at you is really scary. They never put them down either while asking me questions why I'm there and asking me for proof which like if they wouldn't let me move how can I get you my ID or my work cards, my work schedule, etc."
"I only parked near my work because I had a three jobs which all needed me that day with one shift starting at 7am for setups. And I'll be there until 10pm."
"It's really scary to think because someone had negative ideas and didn't think I deserved to be there, I could have died if that interaction went wrong. I had been called on maybe 4 times in the year and the others thankfully weren't this. It was usually just 2 cops, ask me to kindly move and that was it. This particular cop group had a hard on to get me on something. They towed my RV. Made me miss my shift, and I had hundreds dollars worth in impound fees I didn't have."
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Marcia L. Fudge expressed optimism for the relief effort to end homelessness.
"Thanks to President Biden's leadership, we are once again putting Housing First to end this crisis and build strong, healthy communities, as reflected in the American Rescue Plan," said Fudge.
"I look forward to working with President Biden to implement this historic package to deliver robust, equitable relief to those experiencing homelessness. Housing should be a right, not a privilege, and ensuring that every American has a safe, stable home is a national imperative."
Far from home, trained to commit violence on a second's notice, and protecting ready to give their lives to maintain our current way of life, soldiers face a brutal task every single day.
Of course, some days are especially brutal.
It only takes a second of mindlessness, a hardware malfunction, or some miscommunication for things to become very dangerous, very quickly in a warzone.
And that's not even taking into account the enemy's active attempts to kill.
Thus, many soldiers have been faced with truly terrifying moments where death felt only moments away.
Some Redditors who've served gathered to share their close calls. Luckily, they made it out of the situation with their physical safety intact.
VentSauxe asked, "Soldiers, what's the scariest thing that ever happened to you?"
Many people talked about the horrors of flying in the air.
Helicopters, a very common piece of warfare and regular patrolling, are far from flawless machines.
"In 2006, I was riding a Chinook from Balad to Kuwait. It was dead of night and we were landing for refueling. Well, somehow, some way, the pilot lost control of the aircraft for a few hundred feet as we were descending. He recovered before we crashed, obviously."
"I was on my way home, since I'd already been in theater a year, and got shot at more times than I could count. There was a moment, about 100 years long, that I thought I was going to die in a helicopter crash in southern Iraq. It was unpleasant."
"The worst part was the look on the face of the crew chief, a guy who'd spent a lot of time in the air and knew what was what. The best part was hearing the veteran warrant officer scream at the captain who was flying when we finally got to Kuwait."
As If They New
"Was on a helicopter for a reenlistment, the flight was supposed to be about 3 hours long, after about an hour they decided to cancel the rest of the flight so they could use the helicopter for training."
"Upon return they did a quick inspection to see the tail rotor disconnect was almost completely sheared. Had we have been on the flight any longer, that aircraft would've gone in a downward spiral and would've ruined a lot of peoples' day."
Hell of a Pilot
"I've posted this before but the scariest moment I had was when I was flying in to an airbase one deployment. We were in a 'friendly' country but there are usually people that don't like us wherever we go."
"On final decent, the aircraft went pitch black and started juking back and forth. The crew chief came running back shouting to close all windows and extinguish any lights. It was then that I noticed the tracer fire going past the wing in the darkness. I would have put $100 on that being my last night on earth, but we made it down."
"Once the pilot saw the tracers from ground go past the nose, he immediately took evasive action, which saved us all. I assume it was small arms fire, but still, aircraft do not general respond well to bullets."
Others discussed the horrifying nature of explosive mortar fire. Sometimes on purpose, sometimes on accident, these moments were terrifying no matter what the backstory was.
A Back Spasm Chain Reaction
"So back about almost 5 years ago. Our battalion was doing a training exercise out in 29 palms ITX. (Those who've been there know what it's about). So there's an exercise on machine gun hill where gunners and mortar men practice support by fire. Couple of rotations of groups later. One of our guys has a back spasm and ends up falling down the hill a short distance. Get a call for evac due to the injury and our corpsman jumps in the medical truck."
"Mind you at this time, the mortar teams is mid fire mission with live ammo."
"So our corpsman tells the driver (who we found out later didn't know the route to the due to not being briefed) started towards the hill. The driver starts driving to the hill where the mortars are dropping. A few of us are watching this and start to question whether they were going the right way or not."
"About 5 seconds after saying that a mortar drops pretty damn close to the truck and me and about 5-6 of us got up and started running to the mortar position screaming cease fire over and over again."
"Good news is nobody got hurt on the truck but it was decorated with some new pieces of shrapnel. I swear. All our hearts were in our throats after that. Never had I covered 200-300 meters so quickly in my life."
"Mortar richocet 30 feet away from me. Flew past and never detonated." -- exec-order66
"I don't know the whole story, but something similar is the reason I'm alive today. Grandfather had that happen to him (think it might've been closer) in '45 somewhere between the Netherlands and Hamburg." -- ImNotAWhaleBiologist
"Haha similar sh** happened to me except it legit slid up against the building I was in...and I was directly on the other side.
"Sad thing is - and I'm sure you know the feeling...when I found that out later it phased me zero by that point. Weird the sh** we can get used to." -- HotStool
"Was doing some refresh training with some new guys on pretty standard call for fire missions with white phosphorus from 81mm mortars one day. We knew that our target range wasn't far from another range where some engineers were doing C4 training. Had my guy call in a mission and observed two rounds hit, and while looking for the third round noticed it landed way off target right into the next door range."
"Called cease fire on the radio and that a rouge rounded had landed on possible friendlies, heard the mortar line (about 100 meters away) start screaming orders, sent a runner for the FSO, and then called range control. Had a truck barreling out to the range to see what got hit."
"Was pretty concerned we may have hit someone, or at least scared the sh** out of some guys. Turns out the engineers left the range 30 minutes prior and it was empty. Was wondering whose a** was getting smoked and found out later one of the mortarmen left an extra c-charge on the round. He got NJP'ed and everyone got some extra training. Good day."
The Worst Zone to Be In
"120mm Mortar round landed about 30 feet from me at a checkpoint near Balad."
"It was a training round and didn't explode."
"If it would have, I was well within the 'nothing survives' radius."
Other times, some rather bizarre situations arose that, despite their somewhat strange elements, were just as horrifying.
"Not me, but my cousin, who I wish like hell was still with me... He used to talk to me sometimes about his time in the service. I guess it was like therapy for him."
"It was early on in his long career. He was in an apc of some sort, and their column or whatever you call it was stopped during a massive dust storm. He said they were stuck in it for what felt like ages, and he eventually had to pee."
"He gets outside, goggles on, unable to see his own hand in front of his face, had to figure out how to piss in the middle of a dust storm... He ends up getting turned around, and spent the next 15 minutes trying to find his way back to the stopped vehicles."
"He said it was one of the scariest things that he'd experienced, worrying that he was going to stumble onto some bad dudes and end up bagged and held hostage."
A Terrible Split Second Nonetheless
"I had it really good compared to most. I acknowledge that 100%. However, I was in Djibouti, visiting an ATM...(stay with me, cushy a** job in the DJ I know) I turn around and a little kid is pointing a gun at me! It took a second to realize it was a toy."
"For half a second I hoped my mama was sure I loved her with all my soul. I did some deployments, didn't do hard time. But that moment has stayed with me all the years since as a reminder to be aware of every single thing around me."
"Had a round ricochet off some cinderblocks next to me which then caught me in the front of my helmet. I don't know if it was the force of the round or my reaction but I spun face-first into the little wall I was behind."
"That cut me a bit so now I'm thinking I got shot in the fu**ing face. Took me a while to calm down from that. For a brief second there I thought my 18 year old a** was gonna die on some unnamed street in what was/is Fallujah, Iraq."
Stories like these go far in reminding us of the human element of all that's going on across the world. Concrete, specific anecdotes like this remind us that nothing can be taken for granted.
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