People Describe The Times They Were Scared To Their Core
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Many people put on a brave face in fearful times, and those are the people whom we often look to for protection.

However, it doesn't mean the brave are without their vulnerable moments.

Everyone–regardless of how they present themselves–has at one time experienced their share of terrifying situations.

They just don't open up about them to save face. Thankfully, for Reddit, the forum was open to discussion.

Curious to hear examples from strangers online, Redditor Wonderful-Wash-2145 asked:

"Have you ever been scared to the core of your soul? What’s the story?"

Some people have wildly vivid imaginations.

Lucky for them, they remained as such.

The Tall Man In The Dark

"years ago when I still lived at my parents house, I was sleeping on the couch in the unfinished basement with my girlfriend at the time. I woke up to her shaking me awake with absolute panic in her voice whispering that there was a very tall man across the basement watching us. Hearing that made my blood run cold so i slowly peeked over the back of the couch and sure enough, I could just barely make out the shape of an EXTREMELY tall man facing us in the darkness. He was so tall that his head was close to the ceiling. I whispered to my girlfriend at the time that I was going to jump up and turn the light on which had a string that you needed to pull to turn it on, and right when I did that she needed to use the light to run to the stairs and get out of the basement. So after a second of psyching myself up for whatever came next, I counted to 3 and jumped off the couch and turned the light on."

"I finally got a proper look at the guy. It was my dads f'king scuba suit that he hung from the rafters to let it dry. My hands were shaking for a half hour after that but we both got a good laugh out of it….eventually."

– Scuzzball666

The Pale Figure

"I was 11 maybe 12 years old. Dad worked late most nights so I was home alone per usual. Home however was a ranch house far out of town in a Florida pine forest. It was late and dark. The doors were all French style glass with no blinds or curtains. Outside those glass doors was only a hauntingly dark tree line, dimly lit by the moon. Leaving all the lights on and a TV gave some comfort but this meant it was much easier to see in than it was for me to see out."

"On this night I had to get something out of the 'back room,' this was our name for a garage that was absorbed into the house. The concrete floors and unfinished walls gave the room a cold air. As I’m searching for what I need, I glance up to see a large bleach-white figure standing outside the glass door. 6 feet tall with no head and no expression. Just white hair draped in front like a ring girl. This was the night I learned there was another option besides fight or flight. It was freeze. I stood frozen in fear, as if the blood in my body just drained. Unable to do anything until my brain recognized it was a horses a**. The horse got out of its pen and was chilling under the carport, with its a** against the glass door."

– LElige

Sinister Sounds

"Cleaning out an abandoned meat packing two-story celler that had been used as a brothel. Me and my coworker were opening this steel door that was bolted shut. It apparently led to the old boiler room. When we peeled it open, this high pitched shrieking, screeching noise started coming toward us in the dark like someone was dragging a steel chair on concrete. My blood turned to absolute ICE in my veins."

"I've faced down guns before and had my share of awful experiences, but the TERROR that grabbed my brain was unreal. We both turned and bolted up those stairs so fast there was probably smoke coming off our shoes. No idea what made the noise, but we didn't go back downstairs."

– thepadre27

What Can't Be Unseen

"I was in a prison in an africian country with a septic wound in my back and the malaria made me see things."

– rowenaravenclaw0

Some horrors are not entirely imagined.

Escaping The Wreckage

"Got into a head on collision when a dude swerved into my lane. When I came to I saw smoke coming from the engine and my driver side door was smashed in so I couldn’t open it. Was so scared I couldn’t think straight to try another door so I pulled myself out of the broken window in my drivers side door. Terrifying to think you are trapped in a burning car."

– BitchesBeSnacking

Meeting A Murderer

"I was almost murdered. It's a long story but I'll try to paraphrase it."

"When I was a senior in high school a girl in my neighborhood went missing and about a month later was found dead. During that time her adoptive father was contacting people left and right. Apparently he had his suspicions about my ex boyfriend of 3 years who dated the missing girl in middle school. Adoptive father comes to my house to talk to me about ex and never really asked me anything about him but he talked about himself the whole time and how he was in a white supremacy gang and kills 12 people a year. After he left my house he kept trying to get me to meet with him alone without my mom present to talk to me more about my ex because he felt like I was leaving stuff out in front of my mom. I told him no, I wasn't comfortable and he just kept insisting. It got to the point where I had to have security walk me to and from my car at work and school."

"Adoptive father ends up getting arrested on unrelated charges and the detectives come and talk to me to figure out what he said to me etc. They told me to stay away from him and that he is dangerous. They pulled my mom away to speak privately to her and I didn't find out til I was in college that they told her that they think he murdered the girl and that he was planning on murdering me and blaming it on my ex that he went crazy and started murdering all his ex girlfriends."

"It's been 7 years since this happened and the adoptive father was just convicted of murdering his daughter in February. But, I'm always terrified that one of his 'brothers' are watching me since I testified against him."

– lexyann03

Lost At Sea

"Sucked farther and farther out to sea on my bodyboard after sunset while surfing triple overhead waves, just as the fogbank rolled in obscuring the coastline- and the direction I needed to swim to get home."

"Took a couple hours in near dark open ocean to land a couple miles up the coast, guided solely by the faint, faraway string of a few streetlights and headlights that broke though the fog."

"Every splash I heard behind me was definitely a great white shark. I'd panic paddle whenever there was a big splash behind me (again, I was in 20 foot seas. this happened constantly) until I could regain my calm center and try to drop my heart rate, the whole while thinking about how all that fast paddling I did probably just attracted a shark."

"This was near San Francisco, lost at sea in great white breeding grounds while looking like a seal on a winter night, in horrendous conditions. It's not easy landing on a tiny strip of beach when twelve foot waves are dumping onto dry sand and the current is ripping at a decent pace... two miles away, I landed safely."

"Slept like a baby, waking up screaming every two hours."


Encounter In The Woods

"Met a bear cub walking through the forest. It was 10 ft away from me, and was curious so was walking towards me. Couldn't see it's Mom. Just slowly backed away and kept walking backwards for probably half a mile."

– summertime_taco

Unstable Family Member

"Long story short, I had a family member who suffered a psychotic break and threatened to kill certain family members and make others watch as well as kill my mother, kidnap my sister and me and raise us as his own. From the time that he was released from the mental hospital until the day that he died I was terrified. Used my phone to watch behind me while I walked home from school and never answered the door while I was home alone."

– EmilyGram12

Maritime Anxiety

"Hit a mountain on a submarine at 250 feet and 6 knots."

"Hit it a second time with the rudder and emergency blew to the surface."

"Port side ballast tanks check valves froze shut until I hit them with a rubber mallet."

"My fifth day at sea."

– I_Am_Penguini

Missing Mom

"When I saw my mom in the ICU. She was fine one day, went to the ER the next, had 3 surgeries, wound up being put on a ventilator twice and developed a lethal infection that wasn't responding to treatment. She developed ARDS. Her heart was stopping every night."

"One time I was there and saw it happen and that's when I started to really think there wasn't going to be a way out for her. I fought the staff pretty hard about this but I realized she is basically being tortured at that point for nothing. They took her off the vent, gave her heavy doses of morphine to stop air hunger, and she died in front of me back in March. She was 60 so not particularly old. I turned 30 a couple weeks afterward."

"I miss her. We were very very close and lived together and now I am pretty much alone in the world. She was a powerful woman and I did not expect her to leave like that or so soon. But she had always told me 'If I get so old I can't wipe my own ass just throw me off a bridge.' (I also miss her sense of humor)"

"So I hope that what transpired was more preferable than winding up permanently and severely disabled if she could have survived all that damage--she would have absolutely and utterly hated that."


Even though their lives were not threatened, observing someone on the brink of death was a horrific ordeal for these Redditors.

The Student Who Was Not Entirely Present

"When I was new to teaching (HS), I was being observed by a principal. The class was being mostly good, but this one student was head down sleeping. I called his name, no response, so I went over to wake him up. I touched his arm and he just fell over, yellow foamy drool everywhere. He had Over dosed, thank God the principal was there with their walkie to call for help while I did what first aid I knew. Student survived- but I was so scared because I wasn’t sure how to help, or if my helping was hurting. Its the feeling of being utterly powerless and incompetent when someone’s life is in your hands."

– rockstoneshellbone

Wide Asleep

"Went into my then 2 year old nephew's room to wake him up for the day. He was in his crib laying in a kind of weird posture, with his eyes wide open staring off at nothing. I figured he was awake already and thought 'haha he looks dead...' to myself, and said 'Good morning Matthew!' and his eyes didn't move to look at me. I said 'Matthew?' and got closer to the crib and the way he looked was worse up close, just unfocused dead eyes looking at nothing, body limp."

"I shook him gently, then harder, saying 'Matthew? Matthew?! MATTHEW?!' and when I yelled his name his eyes suddenly focused and he smiled at me and stretched like he often does when he first wakes up. Little f'ker was asleep with his eyes open! It was only a few seconds but I swear my blood turned to ice, was never so scared in my goddamn life. No idea what caused it and he never did it again!"

– notdead_luna

Dad's Brush With Death

"I was about to fall asleep in my bedroom (I was 16 at the time so it's a while ago). Suddenly my dad calls me, which is weird considering it was 2 in the morning and my dad never calls me because we're literally in the same house. My dad tells me to come downstairs because he doesn't feel very well, so I do. My dad is rarely sick so I started worrying. When I came downstairs, he was drenched in sweat and held a hand clutching to his heart, making weird noises in pain. When I sat down beside him, he told me he called an ambulance. Then he went quiet, and around half a minute later he just said 'Can you hold my hand.'"

"It terrified me because it felt like he was making sure to say goodbye in case he died. It took longer than it should've for the ambulance to arrive, and my dads condition only got worse and worse. When they finally arrived, they were all very calm, but suddenly there was a change. They did an EKG on the spot and suddenly started hurrying around with bags of liquid and needles and monitors around my living room, and they even told me to hold stuff and carry things for them. I tried to keep my composure, but I was shaking in terror. I overheard them saying that he was having a heart attack."

"They asked me to call my mom (I lived alone with my dad at the time), so I tried but she didn't pick up. I told them she didn't pick up and they basically said 'Okay, take care of yourself' and left with my dad."

"My dad was admitted to the hospital and ended up surviving the heart attack with minor complications, but I was left alone at home for 5 days straight. I was 16 ffs, and no one did the slightest effort to make sure that I was alright. I didn't sleep, I didn't eat. I just waited for my dad to come home. My dad is my best friend, he's the only one I have, and I catch myself going to check on him during the night just to make sure he's alive. I'm terrified every day."

– y0ghurtl0ver

Nothing will ever compare to the fear of your life in danger.

Ghosts, ghouls and goblins, come at me, I can handle it. But being hit in a side-swipe collision at night by an 18-wheeler that raced off afterwards after swerving into my lane still terrifies me.

I count my blessings everyday after surviving and I'm reminded of the harsh reality that our lives can be zapped from us at any given time.

Live out loud, folks. You never know when the time comes when you will meet with your maker.

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