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."
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."
"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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
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."
"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."
"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."
"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!"
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."
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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The Mandela effect is when multiple people share the same, incorrect memory.
Its name stems from when paranormal researcher Fiona Broome falsely believed that the future president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, died in prison in the 1980s.
A false memory she shared with a number of others.
Our memories have been known to deceive us, as we might frequently forget someone's name or one of our numerous online passwords.
But when we share a memory that turns out to be false with many others, convincing ourselves it wasn't the truth can be a very difficult ordeal indeed.
Redditor Mysterious_Boat_1701 was curious to hear people's most unsettling experiences with the Mandela Effect, leading them to ask:
"Which Mandela effect freaks you out the most and why?"
A mysterious gym
"Just had one personally."
"Went to a mall where there was supposedly a gym, asked around and nobody that worked at the mall knew what I was talking about."
"Looked around and couldn't find it."
"Come back a few months later and it’s right there in front of my face, you'd have to be strung out to not notice it."
"idk how or when it just appeared but it freaked me out."- prex320278
A "fruit"ful logo.
"That the fruit of the loom logo never had a cornucopia."
"What’s crazy about that one is that someone emailed the creator of the logo about it and he said even he remembers it having one."- mrcock2·
Less well intentioned than they thought.
"I Mandela effected my whole family once."
"Years ago there was a football player on a rival team that always did a dumb celebration after he got a sack and my family and I always hated it."
"One night after he did it my family started trashing the celebration and I said as a joke 'we are all going to feel terrible when we find out he is doing that celebration as a request from a make-a-wish kid'."
"Fast forward to years later and our team is playing that team again."
"The player got a sack and did the celebration."
"I rolled my eyes and said 'I hate that celebration so much' my mom instantly turned and said 'don't say that, he is doing it for a sick kid'."
"'I actually like it."
"So I was like 'what?'"
"'No there is no sick kid', my whole family then proceeded to argue with me'."
"They all vividly remembered reading articles about it, seeing special report segments before games about it, and other information."
"Some of them even thought they knew the disease the kid had and even extra details about why the kid chose that specific celebration."
"They all had these shared memories that they were sure were true."
"I was floored by all this and insisted none of that was true."
"So we looked it up.'
'No kid like that ever existed.'
"They still have trouble wrapping their heads around this one."
"Turned out human memory is not near as reliable as we think"
"It was American Football and the player was Jared Allen of the Minnesota Vikings and his cattle roping sack celebration."
"This was maybe 10 years ago."- AUSpartan37College Football Win GIF by Michigan State FootballGiphy
His eyesight was better than we thought.
"Mr. Monopoly's monocle."- Additional_Day9903
It's not easy being green.
"I have a personal one that to this day a decade later still destroys my mind."
"I had an old(ish) 2001 dodge neon."
"With BLACK SEATS.'
"I drove this car for years and years, like 80,000 miles.'
'All through college."
"I took work breaks in my car, commuted hours every day total, to college and then the opposite direction to work and back."
"I even lived out of this thing on several occasions.'
'The day I go and trade it in, I'm pulling misc things out of the car at the dealer."
'And the seats are GREEN."
"Not even a little."
'Like very unmistakably GREEN."
"In my black Neon, with black interior, that ALWAYS HAD BLACK SEATS."
"My girlfriend then, wife now, goes oh they've always been green."
"EXCEPT THEY F*CKING WEREN'T DON'T LIE TO ME."
"This is still upsetting to this day..... life is a lie and nothing is real."- ZakuLegionWinona Ryder Omg GIFGiphy
An urban legend was born.
"Not a global one, just a family thing."
"Back in 2002 my grandma had her 60th birthday, my father took us home at 10.00pm, ready for bed."
"We, me and brother, were 12 and 14 at this time."
'All went well."
"Over the years, a story was made up that we went missing after visiting the local playground after dinner at said grandma's birthday party."
"Some neighbors help to search us, the whole train of 'missing children in a smal village'-thing."
"Fun fact: we never went missing."
"Dad brought us home, put on 'Toy Story' on tv and left."
"My brother and I heard first about this in 2015.'
"From different people on different occasions."
"'Ah your one of the missing boys'."
"I first thought they were mocking me for a different event.'
"I got lost, but it was 2013, alcohol inflicted, different story."
"But then they ALL tell us the same story about us going missing."
'And the stories are damn close to 'true' in every story my mum is driving around the same neighbors to different locations to search, old wine yard, old mill etc."
"Sometimes I think I got lost on the most brutal way."
"I was lost and changed this plane of existence with another one."
"It sometimes made me think about my whole life."- tjorben123missing kenny mccormick GIF by South Park Giphy
Memories are a fascinating thing.
They can be changed or altered with even the tiniest suggestion.
And making the truth seem less believable than lies.
One last time. One last meal.
How do you chose a last meal?
Let's hope we never have to find out.
People on death row get that option.
Do they deserve it?
Whose to say?
But they have it.
A steak. A pizza... Burger King.
The food world is their oyster.
Oyster. Also an option.
The menu is endless...
Redditor No-Caterpillar4212 wanted to know what our menu choices would be if we faced the end. They asked:
"You're on a death row, you have one hour left, they ask for your final meal - what is it?"
I'd want 2 hours in a Golden Coral with a bar. Covers it all.
Masailor moon cooking GIFGiphy
"Everything my mom has ever made."
"I want a nice filet mignon, medium rare, a baked potato with everything on it, and a nice Cabernet from a good year - I'm thinking 2135."
"'Sorry, we couldn't get the Cabernet from 2135. So instead of what could have been a great wine request from a more plausible period of time, you get this crappy stuff we sourced from Wal-Mart. Enjoy your meal, I hope that maintaining your sense of humor was worth it."'
"Something badly cooked so I will be sick and want to die sooner and have diarrhea so bad it will be a last revenge!"
"Taco bell it is!"
"If Taco Bell makes you poop a lot, it's a sign that you probably need more fiber in your diet."
The Yuck Factor
"A huge bowl of baked beans, a bowl of shredded wheat, a six egg omelette, and a gallon of apple cider. I'm gonna make it awful for everyone."
"Save yourself the hassle of eating all that, just ask for one pack of sugar free Haribo gummy bears. Should make for an interesting time for the folks watching you die."
"You void your bowels when you die too so that should be lovely."
PerfectFried Chicken Scandal GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
"Fried chicken with some Fanta."
Fried chicken is on the top of everyone's list!
DetailsInterested GIF by Nick CannonGiphy
"150mg of MDMA. I’m dying happy."
"This should absolutely be allowed. If our leaders insist on the practice of capital punishment then the condemned should be able to ingest any substance they damn please."
"McFlurry. Those machine are always broken. I just bought myself some time."
"Is this like an American thing? I worked at a McDonald's in Denmark once and our machine was never once broken when i was there."
"I saw a video about this once. I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I think it has something to do with the contract that was signed in America. Only one company is allowed to do maintenance on the machines and they basically lock out if it's cleaned incorrectly. It's a crap system."
"Cabbage!! Add some cabbage. I don’t know if an hour if enough to take effect but there was an old coworker on a cabbage diet. Omg she smelled, like it was coming out of her pores. She knew she smelled and kept apologizing and reminding us of the diet."
The OG Always
"Olive Garden. Unlimited soup and breadsticks."
"I saw a sketch once, can't remember who it 2qs from. But a an inmate ordered the all you can eat buffet and had been eating for like 8 years. He's constantly on the toilet and takes micro-naps between bites."
"Unlimited for 1 hour. Cool."
How GoldenGolden Girls Dorothy GIF by HULUGiphy
"If my grandma is still alive her potato soup and cheesecake. Hopefully I'd be able to cook said meal with her one last time."
Let's hope none of us has to make this decision.
Most people have friends they've been close to for most of their lives.
But at the same time, friends evolve, and everyone finds themselves losing touch with any number of people they at one point considered their friends over time.
Most of the time, this isn't intentional, but just simply happens.
On rare occasions though, people might realize that their friends were not exactly who they thought they were, and didn't like who they revealed themselves to be.
Redditor One-Refrigerator69 was curious to hear stories of people who realized their friends were not exactly the nicest people to be around, leading them to ask:
"When was the moment you realized that your friends are assholes?"
Compared to others...
"When I started hanging out with better people."- Darklink326
All it took was getting my life together
"When I quit drinking ‘cos it was killing me."
"There were people I literally saw every single day who just disappeared as if by magic."
"12 years ago this week, as it happens."
"I’m not anti-drink, far from it."
"Some people, me included, just can’t enjoy it without it becoming a problem."
"Everyone is different."- bigdaftgeordie
A little perspective goes a long way.
"After I realized that other people don't sh*t on each other on every possible occasion in their circle."
"And that it isn't right when a 'friend' uses every known insecurity as an argument against you when you do not behave the way he/she would want you to."- ViscousPlatemanThe Simpsons GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Lack of respect for other people's things
"I let my friend borrow my ps2 when I went to boot camp."
"When I came back, he said he sold it and gave me $50 I think?"
"This was in 2006."- madmike-86
Lack of mutual respect
"When he does sh*t to me and acts like it’s no big deal, then I do the same back and he gets offended."- Primary-Maybe-2749·
Constantly being taken advantage of.
"They only bothered with me when it suited them."
"I'd rather have nobody than have to deal with that."- zombi33mjhappy eric cartman GIF by South Park Giphy
When they literally revealed themselves to be criminals
"When they robbed me at gunpoint."- Ok_Student8032
When they stopped liking them after a change of situation
"Fourth grade, when my parents economical situation went downhill and suddenly no one invited me to their birthday party."
"Until Seven years later no one had never invited me to their birthday, or to anything at all actually."- Justalittletoserious
Not being able to get a word in...
"When they tell me to shut up when I say anything."- the_golden_cheesela respuesta GIF by Becky GGiphy
Violently playing with emotions
"She got a boyfriend and would let him listen to our phone calls and not tell me, even if I was crying about personal stuff that I would only ever tell her."
"Then they both started lying to me about my crush liking me back, forcing both him and me into awkward positions, telling everyone we liked each other so they'd play along, swapping places constantly to make us sit next to each other, pressuring him into giving me a lap dance, making him kiss the prettiest girl in the room, etc, and encouraged me to shoot my shot more and more."
"All the while they knew he didn't like me, he had told them both directly."
"One night I was crying on the phone cause I was so confused why my advances weren't working, and they just kept explaining it away, blaming some other bullsh*t reason and telling me to try again."
"The next day they told me they were laughing throughout the whole call, because I didn't get it and I was so upset."
"I should add I had no dating experience at all and nobody had ever liked me at this point."- Juliemj
It's always sad when our friends disappoint us.
But when our friends proved to be completely different people than we thought they were, it can be devastating.
As the saying goes, one never truly knows who their friends are.
When visiting any foreign country, one should always be familiar with the laws and customs of the land.
After all, what might be generally accepted on your home turf, might be frowned upon, if not illegal, elsewhere.
For that matter, even locals might need a refresher course on what they can and can't do while at home.
A recent Redditor was curious to hear what tourists and locals alike should avoid doing in the USA, leading them to ask:
"In the United States, what should you never do?"
Stay out of the skies!
"Don't fly a drone in Washington, DC."
"The whole D.C. Area is a no fly zone."
"It's a federal offense."
"Just don't do it."- PeytonCarrK
Cops can't be bribed.
"Don't try to bribe cops when you get pulled over."
"I had some Argentinian friends immediately pull out their wallets and start pooling their cash when they got pulled over once.'
"Fortunately someone in the car noticed and told them to put it away immediately."- PeytonCarrK
"Don't pay off the police."
"My dad has friends from several third-world nations where it is common practice to give the police some cash when you are pulled over."
"However, if you try to bribe a police officer here, you'll get into a lot of trouble."- JohnASmiley
Know your rights.
"Everyone, including foreigners, has the right to be silent and have a lawyer when being questioned."
"Don’t say anything."
"Also, even if you speak English fairly well, ask for an interpreter."- WickedLilThing
Enjoy all that nature has to offer... carefully!
"Don't wander off in the national parks."
"It's very real wilderness and you can get lost and die out there."
"This includes going over railings you aren't supposed to, or off trails."
"People have died accidentally falling into a steam geyser that looked like normal water, mauled by animals or left to the elements."- AlphaOhmeganational parks GIF by Visit The USAGiphy
Allow plenty of time!
"Expect consistency at TSA in airports."- WickedLilThing
Some terminology doesn't translate...
"If you’re from England, they’re called cigarettes here."- Yung_Onions
Make sure your license is up to date.
"If you come from a walkable country don’t come here expecting the same."
"There are some areas with good public transportation and bicycle/pedestrian friendly streets but for the most part, especially outside of cities, the areas are designed to accommodate cars more than anything else."
"The reason a lot of Americans drive everywhere is because, depending on where you live, we have no choice."- The_Cars93Dog Driving GIFGiphy
Wait for instructions.
"Get out of your car and approach the cop when being stopped by a cop unless told to."- hildrash
Whether your'e waling down a street in a foreign country, or the street you've lived on for your entire life, it's always wise to be on guard and aware of your surroundings.
Not to mention, obey the law.