Most of us have been in some kind of close call that could’ve landed us in the hospital, or worse—the morgue. But few people have had experiences that are as jaw-dropping as these. From highway mishaps to seemingly small life choices that had massively unexpected results, these stories take the phrase “dodged a bullet” to the next level.
1. Quick Thinking Saves The Day
One time, my sister, my buddy from work, and I all had company tickets to see the local NBA team play at the new huge arena that had just been built. On the way there, I positioned myself in the left lane of the freeway. At one point, there was an on-ramp that merged into the left side. Well, right as I was passing that ramp, this one car that was winding around the cloverleaf made the most dangerous move I’d ever seen.
He jumped the solid white line into my lane as soon as his ramp was parallel. The driver must not have looked or anything because he just came right on over. I checked my blind spot, which was thankfully clear, and I swerved right hard. Then, I laid on the horn and somehow avoided what would have been a bad collision in the span of a second. It was so, so scary. Always check your blind spots before merging into fairly heavy rush hour traffic, kids.
2. Making It Literal
I was out kayaking on a lake and several bullets whizzed by me. There was a distinct buzzing sound as they went by. I think some people were just out plinking in their back yard, adjacent to the lake, and I didn’t think a backstop was necessary. This also happened to me a few weeks later when I was paddling on a small stream. Bullets whizzed by above the bank, just over my head.
I don’t think anyone knew I was there either time. Regardless, when you go out and shoot stuff, you should always make sure there’s a backstop. I don’t know how big the bullets were, so I’m unsure which was actually the biggest bullet dodged.
3. So It’s Not Like Riding A Bicycle
I went skiing yesterday. I haven’t skied in six years, so I forgot you need to bob and weave in an S-form. I just went straight down, so I got up to like 30 mph on the bunny slopes and I barely missed slamming into a five-year-old kid. I only stopped by just falling. God, I love skiing.
4. Toys In The Attic
When I was five, I was at a kid’s house who my parents didn’t know too well. He took his dad’s pistol off the top of the refrigerator to show me. It made me very uncomfortable. I didn’t like being a tattle-tale, but I did tell my mom when I got home because I just didn’t feel right about it. At first, she didn’t believe it was real. Then she decided to call the parents. There was no answer.
The next day, we heard the chilling news. Just a few hours after I’d left, the kid had another friend over—and he’d accidentally shot and killed him. That’s why my mom didn’t get any answer when I called because they had been dealing with a big emergency. There were ambulances, law enforcement, etc.
5. Location TBD
About a year ago at my job, I was offered to switch from my current team where I was already established to a new department that had just started to kick it off. It was a lot more work for the same amount of pay. I figured “Why not!” and went. Turns out, that would end up being the best decision I’d ever make.
Soon after, the company announced that it would be closing the HQ office that held my old department. Everyone in that entire part of the company would have to either move to an office in one of 14 random states that they couldn’t pick from, or they were going to be fired.
Thankfully, since I became part of the new department, I wasn’t included in that mandate. Phew.
6. Driver’s Reeducation
When I was in my early 20s, I used to be a delivery driver for a vending company. I drove a big, jacked-up Ford F350 that took up a whole lot of road. One afternoon, at a somewhat busy intersection, I pulled up to turn right. I was looking over my left shoulder, waiting for a break in the traffic, and was about to step on it. What happened next still haunts me to this day.
I hesitated for some reason and turned to look in front of me. That’s I saw a wisp of hair above my hood. I waited and saw three small children appear to my left. The truck was so high that while they were on the crosswalk, there was no way I could have seen them, and I was too busy looking to my left to see them approach.
I was a pretty aggressive driver in those days and had a demanding schedule. On any other day, I probably would have flattened them and might not have even known it. This single event completely changed the way I drive and I think about it often. Some 20 years later, it still gives me chills.
7. Off The Beaten Track
I was supposed to take the train down to visit my parents, but something came up and I needed to stay home. There was a new route that had opened up that went around a curve and a highway bridge, and evidently, some safety features were disabled. The train I was supposed to take flew off the track, going far too fast around the curve, and it went into the highway.
Several people didn’t make it, and almost everyone on board was severely injured. I still think about that day from time to time and shudder.
8. Timing Is Everything
When I was 16, I used a fake ID to go out clubbing. The drinking age in Ireland is 18, so I passed for it and did it all the time. One night, I felt sick and decided to go home. I knew there was a taxi stand in a small alley somewhere and I was looking for it when an older guy who was probably in his 20s offered to show me.
I said yes, but I quickly made a disturbing realization. The alley he brought me down was not where the taxi stand was. I tried to go back, but he pushed me against a wall and told me I wasn’t going anywhere. I just remember not being able to scream; like I was frozen. It felt like forever, but it was probably only a few seconds or a minute.
That timing was the difference between life and death. As I was stuck there, some guys I went to school with just happened to walk by the alley and saw me. One of them yelled out my name and when he realized the guy had his arm across my throat, he went mental. The guy jumped the wall at the end of the alley and I just burst into tears.
My schoolmate took me home and made sure I was OK. I’m in my mid-30s now, with three daughters, and I still shudder when I think of this.
9. Dodging A Dodge
I picked up my brother from the airport and had just dropped him off. It was around 5 or 6 am— I was waiting at an intersection for the left-turn light to turn green. The streets were empty. When the go-signal went on, I slowly started to turn. As I looked to my left, my face went white. there was a blue Dodge Dakota barreling right toward me. Clearly, it had run the red light.
I was a deer in the headlights. It was as if time stood still. The guy barreled into my driver’s side quarter panel and my car did a total 360. The airbag deployed and it took me a moment to realize that I didn’t even have a scratch. I got out of the car and saw the blue Dakota about 40 yards away at a complete stop. I assume the driver stopped in shock.
As soon as they saw me, they began to drive away. I sprinted behind them, but they still got away. I have never been angrier or had more adrenaline pumping through me. I assume they were under the influence. All I know is that if I had taken that light a little quicker, that car would’ve barreled right into my driver’s side door and I would have not been here, considering the speed of impact. Pretty cool.
10. Stranger Danger
When I was a kid, I lived outside of Buffalo, NY and I took a bus to get to school. There were a lot of young kids in my area, so we were all picked up and dropped off about a block down our street, at a busy corner. There was an ice cream shop there, so on nicer days, we often lagged around after the bus dropped us off.
They had put in some round, cement patio tables, so my friend Leann and I would play a game where we’d walk around the circular benches on one table, hop to the next, and so on. We’d then look into the sweet shop windows to watch them make some candy.
I moved out of there when I was nine and I only rode that bus until the first grade, so I was probably somewhere between five and eight at the time. One day, when we were lagging behind and whatnot, after my older brother had already started walking home, a car pulled up to me with two women inside. It was some kind of big boxy sedan, a dark maroon color. I immediately got chills up my spine.
The driver was older; what I would have considered “granny” age then. She was thin with gray hair. In the passenger seat was a heavyset woman with frizzy dark hair and thick-rimmed glasses. She kept trying to get us to sit in the car with them, promising to buy us ice cream and candy from the sweet shop. My friend was pretty much ready to get in, but I’d already seen quite a few episodes of Unsolved Mysteries and was not about to go.
I grabbed my friend and dragged her with me, running down the block towards home. We never told anyone, because Leann didn’t want me to get her in trouble and say that she was going to go with them. I had actually forgotten about it for years until something triggered my memory. It’s been eating at me to think that we didn’t say something.
It seems obvious to my adult mind that these women were looking to take some children and Lord knows where they went after they weren’t able to snag us. I’ve thought about trying to look up missing children from that time, but a part of me is scared that I will find one. It will be my fault for never reporting it.
11. The Sonic (The Hedgehog) Maneuver
This happened after watching a movie at the local theater with some friends. We all agreed to go to a nice Italian restaurant that was a short walk from the theater. My friends went ahead of me as I had to go to the restroom first. As I made my way across the street at a crosswalk with a stop sign to meet them, something caught my eye. I gasped when I saw it clearly.
It was a woman going far too fast on a tiny, two-lane road. She was passing a busy shopping center, just blatantly speeding above acceptable levels while talking on her phone. I was right in her path. Knowing I couldn’t get out of the way fast enough, my instincts and reflexes told me to jump and curl into a ball as best I could, which I did.
I landed on the hood of her car, cannonball-style, shoulder first, and proceeded to roll over the roof. I broke the antennae that were on the back as I rolled off and hit the pavement on my back as I uncurled. I was bruised as heck when I stood up, but it was better than getting smacked into a coma…or worse.
12. On The Razor’s Edge
I once walked into the trees to relieve myself during the night while camping. Looking back at the campfire, I decided to go a little further into the trees as I had a shy bladder at the time. Luckily, after a few steps, my laziness overcame my shyness and I decided to just do it. After I finished I turned, around, went back to my tent, and fell asleep.
The next morning, I got up and went once more to the trees. That’s when I made a chilling realization. We were actually on the edge of a massive cliff, roughly 400 feet high, and it was about three or four steps beyond where I had decided, randomly, to stop to pee in the middle of the night, the night before.
Because we had been traveling on foot for about two hours after dark the previous night, I had no idea we were camped beside a tree-covered cliff-line. The “responsible adult” in charge was too stupid to tell everyone this important information.
13. I Need That Like I Need A Rock In The Head
I was on the bus when some idiot threw a rock the size of a softball from a car going in the opposite direction. It came through the window in front of my face. The person who was driving the car I was in is a friend and he showed me the security camera footage. I was floored by what I saw. The rock went through the window about three inches from my nose.
If the idiot had thrown the rock less than a second sooner. I’d have been hit right in the head.
14. Cut The Cord
One night, I was startled awake. There was a man beside my bed doing something. The noises he was making were unnatural enough—not loud, just…out of place. As soon as he noticed I was awake, he jumped on me and told me to shut up. He started strangling me, hard.
All my confusion melted away at that moment and I realized I was going to die unless I got him off of me. I started squirming violently and he lost his grip. I fought him off, screamed as loud as I could, and he fled. My parents then called 9-1-1 and law enforcement came to our house to gather evidence. They took pictures of the handprints left on my throat.
Hours later, I went into my room to retrieve something, and to my dismay, I found that the extension cord to my stereo had been cut. I started running over in my mind what could have happened that led to the cord being severed. That’s when I made a bloodcurdling realization.
When the other end cleared into my view, I saw it had been neatly formed into a noose. The noises that he had been making were the soft sounds of him cutting my extension cord and forming a noose. It was more than big enough to fit my head through. To this day, I cannot sleep soundly at night and I take a sleeping medication just to stay asleep.
I obsessively check all the locks before bed. Any tiny sound will wake me up even though I take Ambien. It was only because I woke up when I did that I am alive today. If he hadn’t stopped to make the noose, he probably would have taken my life that night. This happened about 20 years ago. Every day I have is a gift, but I live with a lot of fear in my life.
15. Near Mississippi
In 2005, my friend and I evacuated New Orleans two days before Hurricane Katrina—but that was just the start of our nightmare. We drove to Mississippi with the little money we had. We were trying to decide on where to stay for the night, and it was between a mid-range hotel or the really cheap motel. We decided to spend a little more on the hotel.
During the night, the eye of the storm came through Mississippi and flattened the roof of the motel we had decided against.
16. Saved By A Stud
Our kids were out of town with my parents, so my hubby and I spent the day together. We ended up crashing on the futon in the living room. Early the next morning, we were awakened by a loud bang. My husband thought it was a gunshot, but I convinced him it was probably just the neighbor banging a cabinet. We ended up going back to sleep.
A couple of hours later, we got a knock on the door—it was an officer. He came over to see if we were alright. We came to find out a shocking truth. The neighbor’s two-year-old daughter had gotten a hold of the father’s pistol and shot a bullet into the wall adjacent to our apartment. The officer searched and searched for the exit point, but couldn’t find it. It must have hit a stud.
Measuring it from the neighbor’s apartment, it would have passed two inches above us, right at the height of my daughter’s bed. We lost our minds, especially after we found out the father was merely cited. We moved very soon after.
17. Stay On Your High Horse
I once got chucked off a horse. I hit the ground so hard that I felt my soul leave my body. I started to cough up blood and was having trouble breathing within 30 seconds. They rushed me to the hospital and the doctors were running down the hallway with me on a backboard. At the time, I was sure I was dying.
Later, I came to find out that I broke two bones in my back and had collapsed a lung. Once I less out of sorts, a nurse handed me my helmet and said: “It’s a good thing you were wearing this.” When I looked at it, my blood ran cold. It had been cracked almost in half. If I hadn’t been wearing it, that would have been my head, and I’d most certainly be dead or permanently disabled. Wear your helmet, kids.
18. Got Hit By Cupid’s Arrow
I had two job offers in different states at the same time. The one I didn’t take was offering more money, but I just didn’t gel with the guy who would be my boss and I really liked the guy at the company with the lower offer. The better offer was in a state I had always wanted to live in, for a company I admired, but something felt off so I went with the lower offer.
A few months later, the company that had given me the higher offer abruptly closed and laid off their entire staff with no severance. If I had taken that job, I would have been stuck on the other side of the country unemployed and with no money—but that’s not even the best part. I ended up meeting my wife because I took the job with the lower offer.
19. Distracted Driving FTW
I was a teen driver not paying attention at an intersection on the crest of a hill with low visibility when the light turned green. The car behind me honked and just as I was about to go, I felt a shockwave of fear run through my body. A truck barreled through the red light on the perpendicular road at decidedly ludicrous speed. If I had been paying attention and gone when the light turned green, I very likely would have been T-boned and not made it. It was the closest call I’ve ever had.
20. Young Love Conquers All
This one is a doozy—it changed the entire course of my life. I was in high school when my mom passed away suddenly from brain cancer, which we didn’t even know she had. She and my dad had been split up for a few years and he lived about an hour away with his new girlfriend. By all accounts, I should have gone to live with them, and he assumed I would. I refused.
It sounds almost dumb now, but I had just started dating my high school crush and I REFUSED to move away from him. In my 17-year-old mind, I just loved him too much and I was already dealing with the loss of my mom, so I didn’t want to give up my wonderful boyfriend too. After much debate and convincing my sister and her husband to move into my mom’s house to stay with me until I was 18 (they got free rent out of it, so it was a good deal for them too) my dad agreed to let me stay.
Fast forward nine or ten months—I turned on the news as I was getting ready for school and what I saw was absolutely terrifying. It was my dad’s house. His girlfriend’s ex-husband had been stalking them for months, keeping journals of what they did, and he had waited in their front yard that morning.
He had a whole arsenal of weapons, as well as duct tape, electric cattle prods, and some rope in the trunk of his rental car. He ambushed my dad as he walked out the back door to go to work, shot him, then came inside the house to grab his ex-girlfriend as she was running out the front door. He ended up shooting her too, then he shot himself. There were no survivors.
If I had been there that morning, I seriously believe I would not be here today. If I had not made such a huge stink about not leaving my high school boyfriend, I would have lived there with them. That boyfriend is now my husband, and we just celebrated our 13th wedding anniversary last weekend. I consider him my lifesaver.
21. Saved By The Spill
I was at a bar with my friend and she was talking to a dude she met on Tinder. When she turned around, I saw him put something into her drink. I knew I had to do something. I walked up to him, pretended to stumble, and knocked it out of her hand. Then, I apologized, told her I’d buy her next drink, and when we walked over to the bar, I told her what he did.
We left right after, decided to grab drinks of our own, and played Mario Kart at my place that night instead. I had only tagged along because she asked me to, and I’m so glad I did. We talked to the bouncer later, who then spoke to the owner. He said he banned the guy from the bar before, and a few days later, he added one of those “angel shot” menus in the girls’ bathroom.
22. Missed It By A Hair
About a decade ago, my grandma had a hair appointment. Just before she left, the house phone rang, so she went to answer it. The person on the other end was just chitchatting, and grandma was too polite to say she was running late. At some point, she finally got off the phone and rushed to the hairdressers, prepared to profusely apologize for her tardiness.
When she arrived, she was taken aback by the sight of the scene. there were tons of law enforcement officers there and the whole place was taped up. It turns out, a disgruntled customer had come by and shot her hairdresser. Had my grandma been on time, she probably would’ve been there when it happened.
23. Seeing Red
I was at a point in my marriage where I finally got my partner to agree to start a family. I had gotten off birth control and was trying for a few months in between his business trips. Upon his return home from a long trip, I discovered he had been cheating on me with his co-worker, with whom he traveled frequently. I had never been so happy in my life to have gotten my period a few weeks after I found out.
24. Ride The Lightning
This happened when I was working on a survey crew. To set the scene: It was a cloudy overcast day. No thunder. No lightning. No rain. Just overcast. We were surveying an undeveloped part of a subdivision. There were new construction houses nearby and the area we were in had no houses. It was graded, but there was no grass or any roads yet. Just dirt.
My cousin was “holding the rod,” as we tend to say in the surveying game. I was shooting through the scope. He was about 40 or 50 feet in front of a large dirt pile. I’d say the dirt pile was a little under two stories high, and I was about 100 yards away from him. As I was looking through the scope, I suddenly felt very “odd.”
It’s very hard to explain. All of my body hair, especially the hair of my arms and the back of my neck, started standing up on end. This lasted for maybe four or five seconds. It was long enough for me to be like, “What in the world?” As I backed away from the scope, I was looking at my cousin and suddenly, there was a “CRACK!”
A bolt of lightning hit the dirt pile behind him and it literally bounced him off the ground. He was closer to the lightning strike than I was, but I still consider 150 or so yards to be a close call myself. He immediately got on the walkie and said, “Pack it up, we’re going home!” With surveying, you have to tie back your progress into the beginning when you’re done, or else most of your data won’t be any good. That said, we lost that full day’s worth of work.
The funny part about the whole thing was that there were a couple of roofers working on a house nearby and we could hear them say, “Holy smokes! Did you see that? That almost hit that guy!” The other guy added, “I bet he just about filled his pants!” We were able to laugh about it later that day, but the car ride back to the office was filled with silence.
He didn’t talk until he opened a beer and chugged half of it. He went back a couple of days later to check out the dirt pile and said there was a large scorch mark on the top.
25. Fire That Landlord
I was subletting an apartment in college. This place was just a block from the school and was owned by elderly absentee owners. Basic maintenance was not a thing there. They had rented to college students for at least 20 years before I got there. One night, I got zapped by the electric stove. I gave notice immediately and moved out.
I made the reasons why I was moving out very clear. The building burned down a few weeks later.
26. Stuck In The Middle With You
When I was 17 years old, I finally got my driver’s license. My mother, ever the cautious one, wouldn’t let me get it prior to that because I was “irresponsible.” She was probably right. Unbeknownst to her, I had made a copy of her car key one night at a local Wal-Mart. She was out of town at the time; probably down at the lakes.
My then-girlfriend and I decided to take her car to that same Wal-Mart that night to shop for school supplies. I was driving back along the interstate after purchasing droves of notebooks, pens, and folders. I was in the middle lane, going 75 in a 50 through town.
It was stupid, but I just told myself everyone does it. My old “behind the wheel” instructor told me once that it’s safer to go with the flow of traffic than it is to go against it. That’s exactly what I was doing when I noticed something absolutely terrifying—a one-ton truck coming into my lane. I didn’t have time to think, so I laid on the horn of my mom’s little Pontiac Sunfire and felt helpless as this much larger truck pressed against my car.
It was forcing me to fishtail into the lane to my left…where another truck was waiting to sandwich me. The rest was a blur, but I’ll relate as much as I can recall. I was slammed into the other truck and got crushed against it while going 70 or 75 mph. The truck that caused the accident got clear of the tangle and I ripped the wheel to the right, lest I force the second truck into the concrete dividers along the interstate.
The other driver had the same idea and he ripped his wheel to the right as well. During all of this, my girlfriend was screaming and my head was absolutely on fire from the good whack that I took to the noggin against my window during the initial impact. The driver of the truck hit my rear quarter panel in an attempt to steer himself away from the dividers, and my car spun out.
It was the late afternoon—rush hour, even—in my modest metro. I went into a series of three terrifying 360-degree spins and somehow came to a rest along the side of the interstate. Both of the trucks continued driving, and at this point, I couldn’t even see them ahead of me. Moments after coming to a stop, a huge knot of cars went racing by us.
They would have hit me during my spins if they had taken even a few seconds longer to get out. I probably should have lost my life there on that desolate patch of the interstate. Instead, I walked away from it virtually unscathed. I had to call law enforcement, who apprehended the man at fault a few miles down the interstate.
The second truck driver had also called 9-1-1, and we all met at a gas station a few exits up from the accident scene to give statements and exchange information. The kicker? The at-fault drive claimed I had hit him. Thankfully, the second driver stated that he’d seen the whole thing and told the man he was an idiot.
The best part was when I looked over at the at-fault driver’s truck. There was a wide-eyed toddler just sitting in the back seat. Truly classy.
27. Shots Fired
I took my wife to an indoor shooting range. I had been at this range many times and safety was always their top priority. They would make you sit through a safety video, take a quiz, and get a temporary certification before they allowed you onto the range. The place got really busy and their safety policy became less stringent as time went on.
One day, I noticed that the lane next to us had three people in it, which was already a violation. They were two big guys and one tiny woman, probably in her 20s. They were handing her various weapons and laughing when she couldn’t handle the recoil—another big violation there. This girl was literally muzzle-sweeping everyone, and at one point, I just had a really, really bad feeling.
I told my wife to pack it up because we were leaving. As soon as we started walking away, BANG—that girl had fired a round right where my wife had been standing just a few seconds prior. I told the range officers that they needed to get in there and do something about those idiots.
I have only been to a range a few times since that happened, and now I don’t even go at all. Too many idiots.
28. The Blitz
I was once walking down to the beach when a massive ball of flame leaped over the seven-foot wall next to me. It missed me by the skin of my teeth and detonated all over the van that was parked there. When I found out where it came from, I was livid. It turned out some kids had filled a football with gas and set it alight. Presumably, in a parallel universe where I take a second longer to find my keys, I would end up looking like the Phantom of the Opera.
29. Big Brother Is Watching
I dated a guy for a little under a year and the relationship went sour quickly. The last night I ever saw him, we were in the middle of a heated argument when my best friend showed up on my doorstep in tears. She had come to tell me that her mom, who was like a second mother to me, was on a heart monitor for the next few weeks. She was rightfully scared out of her mind.
The guy I was dating at the time looked at my sobbing best friend and he said something so horrible, it’s unforgettable. He asked her if she was blind and could not see that we were in the middle of something. My best friend lost it and reminded him that he was a guest in my home and that the situation with her mother took priority over whatever petty bone he was picking with me.
His reaction was chilling. He took a sip of his beer and launched it at my best friend and me. As you can imagine, the situation exploded rather quickly after that. My roommate picked up the phone and called my older brother. Within three minutes, my big brother and his best friend were walking into my apartment, telling me: “This situation is out of your hands. You, your best friend, and your roommate can go now…”
Fast forward four months—I went into the bar I work at and one of my coworkers handed me a folded-up napkin. She told me this guy came in on a date and handed this to her, to give to me. I unfolded the paper napkin and there was his name, phone number, and a “Please call me” message scribbled on the napkin. I threw it straight in the trash can without giving it a second thought.
Two days after that, I got a phone call from a mutual friend asking me if I’d heard the news. I asked her to explain, and what she told me was devastating. She said that the guy I dated was locked up for attempted murder. He’d beaten up the girl he’d shown up to my workplace with so badly that she barely made it out with her life.
I thank God my big brother and his best friend were there to handle that situation for me because looking back on that night, things were getting pretty intense until they showed up.
30. Save The Last Trance
My father was driving and my younger sister and I were in the backseat. We were stopped at a traffic light about a block away from our house. When the light turned green, my father just sat there, staring straight ahead like he was in a trance. Weird. We tried to get his attention, but he didn’t respond. That’s when it happened.
A car going about 90 mph sped through the intersection, followed by a ton of flashing lights. My dad suddenly came to his senses, but he still didn’t really react to what just happened. I looked at my sister because I felt like I was going crazy. Sure enough, she was looking back at me with the same scared expression that I must have been giving her.
31. Caught In The Act
When I was 17, I was dating this girl who had mega-rich parents. They were all really nice people and all, and even though people didn’t believe me, I was dating her because I genuinely liked her. Anyway, a couple of years into the relationship, her parents decided to take us on a cruise. I rarely leave my state, so I was incredibly excited to leave the country on a luxury cruise ship.
It was better than you think. Amazing food, awesome shows, fantastic atmosphere. All of this built up to a “romantic getaway” for me and my girlfriend. Her parents were always off doing their own thing, so we spent the entire time on the boat together, usually alone. Well, being teenagers “in love,” we decided to take this fantastic opportunity to “become one”…or whatever it was she said.
I should preface this next part by saying I live in the South. Dads are generally pretty protective of their little girls, especially if they are the youngest. So are older brothers, which she had several of. And they were hunters, so they had an entire arsenal at their disposal. Just as we finished up our little ritual, we heard the door being unlocked. My heart stopped in my chest.
There was literally nowhere to go. The door was six feet away and it was a straight shot with nothing to hide behind or anything. All we could do was pull the covers over ourselves and close our eyes. The door opened and I was petrified. I just did their daughter in their bed on the cruise they took me on and I was stuck with them for another week.
In that split second, I made up my mind to jump ship and take my chances in the water. Then we heard, “Oh! I’m so sorry!” and the door closed. It was a maid. We got dressed as fast as possible.
32. Junkyard Funeral
My fiancée saw cars stopping ahead of him, so he slammed on his brakes. When he came to a stop, he looked up in his rearview and saw a semi coming at him full speed. In just a couple of seconds, he was able to maneuver his car so that he didn’t take the full brunt of the impact. Thank God he was alone and that no one was in the backseat.
He made it out with a concussion and a couple of head staples. The car was obviously totaled. When we went to clean out his car from the junkyard the next day, their reaction was devastating. They asked if we were “the family.” My fiancé says it was his car. They asked if he knew the driver, and his fiancée said HE was the driver. They were shocked, and they led us outside.
They had a cover over his car. The owner said they only covered up the cars when the driver or passengers die. Apparently, they saw the car and thought there was no way anyone could have survived.
33. Snow Day
At the beginning of 2008, my family and I were visiting some of my siblings in Denver. We were driving home and had to drive through Wyoming. We stopped in Laramie to grab lunch and noticed that it had started snowing lightly. By the time we were done with lunch and got back on the road, it was coming down pretty hard.
We stopped at a truck stop before getting out of town to grab some snacks and my wife overheard some truckers saying that they were getting ready to shut down the interstate. We decided then we better grab a hotel. I drove to the other side of the interstate to a Best Western, but by that time, the snow was so heavy, I could only see 50 feet in front of me.
We quickly checked in and brought our luggage up to our room. The lobby was pretty deserted, but when I came back downstairs, I was shocked. About a half-hour later, the line to check-in was practically going outside. I heard somebody at the front desk tell a colleague to call Hotwire to stop booking rooms because there weren’t any left.
Before I went to bed, I looked out the window started counting the semis waiting for the interstate to open up in the morning. After I counted a hundred, I just quit. That wasn’t even counting the cars that had to wait it out overnight. God, that must have sucked.
34. Father Knows Best
I was cruising home through my neighborhood one day and there were a ton of cars parked on both sides of the street. I slowed down because I was approaching my house, when suddenly this kid flew out between two cars on his bike, not paying any attention to the traffic. But that’s not the craziest part—it was my own 11-year-old son.
If it had been anyone else driving, they would have nailed him. He got a major talking-to after that one.
35. Hard Over Scrambled
I was doing construction labor and I climbed up between two large scaffolds. There were big wooden beams running lengthwise at the top. A tower crane swung a heavy load of column steel into the scaffolds making them crash together…but the kicker? My head was between the beams.
It split my hard hat and lifted it off my head. My head was about three inches from being crushed like an eggshell. I grabbed what was left of my hat and went back to work…I didn’t really think much about it at the time, but it was very close.
36. Authorized Avoidance
I was driving my brother to his first-ever Packers game in a rental car. I was going about 80 mph and got pegged by an Oshkosh trooper about 40 miles from Green Bay. I was very polite and apologetic, explaining that we were very excited because it was my brother’s first-ever Packer game and it was his 15th birthday. He took my license and ran it.
It turned out my license had been suspended due to a ticket from four years earlier—I’d paid the ticket but not the reinstatement fee, so I had no idea. That’s when the officer said something that blew me away. Outside the car, he told me: “I don’t want to ruin your brother’s birthday, so I’m gonna go back to my car and if you drive off, well, there’s nothing I can do I guess.”
I still got $400 in fines, but I did not end up with a messy towing situation. I shook his hand and thanked him. We made it to the game with plenty of time to spare and I drove the speed limit the entire rest of the trip. The Packers beat the Titans 55-7 that day and it was something my brother will never forget.
37. Two For One
I moved to California from Reno a couple of years ago. When homecoming rolled around, I had two options:1) go to my first homecoming, or 2) go with my dad to the Reno air races like we usually do. I chose to go to homecoming. At the football game when they were announcing the king and queen, I got the most chilling news—a plane crashed at the air races.
It crashed into the tent that we sit in every year and took the lives of seven people. I would have joined them if I had gone—but my night didn’t end there. I went to the homecoming dance, where my crazy ex-girlfriend charged at me with a knife. There was an officer nearby who saw the whole thing go down. He tackled her and detained her.
I’m not talking small pocket knife, either…it was a 14-inch Bowie knife that she duct-taped to her inner thigh to sneak in. My school never did a pat-down before a dance until after that night. She was expelled and I haven’t seen her since.
38. What A Trainwreck
I grew up close to a set of railroad tracks. There were three tracks that ran parallel to each other. When I was 15, a couple of my friends and I used to walk the tracks to get back and forth to each other’s houses. One day, we were all walking down the tracks and there was a train approaching on the track directly to our left.
We were on the outside track and the train approaching was on the middle track. As the engine was closing in, one of the operators was literally hanging out the window screaming at the top of his lungs and pointing behind us. We could not hear what he was yelling, because when you’re right next to a freight train going 70 mph, that’s all you can hear.
Well, we looked behind us and our blood ran cold. There was another train on our track coming at us at full speed. It was probably 30 to 40 yards from us at that point. I was the furthest from the right and had both of my friends in the way, so I never would have made it if I had tried to jump in the same direction. At that point, I had a train coming directly at me at 70 mph, a train going in the opposite direction on the track directly to my left at 70 mph, and my two friends directly to my right leaping for their lives off the track.
I had about one second to get out of the way. Leaping to the right was no sure thing, so I did a sort of half jump to the left and laid down in the small space between the two trains. I would say I was about six inches from either train. I have never been so scared or shaken in my entire life.
39. Mother Knows Best
It still gives me chills to this day. I had just gotten my permit and was driving with my mom. We were at an intersection and my mom was telling me that I should always wait for a second or so after the light turns green at that particular intersection, because people tended to run reds there. Sure enough, not even half a second after she said that, the worst happened—a car came whizzing thru the intersection way over the speed limit.
I was in my mom’s van, so I probably would’ve been better off than the other guy. Still, my mom was in the passenger’s seat, so she may not have made it.
40. Rock Hit Bottom
My father would take our family to swimming holes in the Vermont area. This particular spot had a waterfall that you could swim under, as well as a boulder you could stand on. Long story short, there were some local yahoos walking around the top of the waterfall messing around. At some point, they started pushing massive boulders over the waterfall.
I hadn’t noticed because I swim breaststroke and the sound of the waterfall muffled the sound the boulders were making. I came up for a breath after feeling something run down my side. My dad, who was sitting outside the water, looked over, and apparently, his face went white. He started yelling at the top of his lungs at these kids. I later learned that they pushed a massive boulder just as I went under the waterfall and the boulder grazed my shoulder.
My father was certain it had crushed my head like a melon until I re-emerged from the other side of the waterfall soon after.
When I was about seven or eight, I went on a vacation to Vermont where we own a house at the top of a rather isolated mountain. It was the middle of winter and having lived in a more southern region, the amount of snow was baffling to me. Well, my dad, my brother, and I ventured outside the morning after arriving and decided to have some fun in all the snow.
We walked around to the corner of the house where my dad pointed out some huge icicles. I was amazed at them and just watched as they dripped. I then looked at the holes in the snow that the icicles’ dripping had made. There were about two to three feet of snow, so I tried to see how deep the melted water dripped. I leaned over the small hole to get a birds-eye view of the depth.
Then I heard a loud creak. That’s when I froze in fear. I looked up at the icicles and right as I whipped my head, they breezed by my face and impaled the snow where my head just was. My seven-year-old self didn’t know how to react, so I grabbed the icicle and ate it. I didn’t really notice how close that was until years later.
42. Dancing With Danger
I went to a small and seedy club that had dancers around 10 years ago. I nursed one drink because I was driving and didn’t want to be over the limit. My friend wanted to stay, but since I wasn’t drinking and we’d been there long enough, we left. I dropped him off at home and jumped on MSN Messenger to talk to another friend. She asked what I did tonight and I told her “I went to the club.”
Her reply made my blood run cold. She wrote: “Isn’t that the place that just got shot up?” She then linked me to a news story about how somebody went in and opened fire inside the place. It happened in between the time I left and dropped my friend back off at home. Now, the place wasn’t very big, so there’s a good chance that we could’ve been shot.
43. Hit The Road, Jack
This happened in my school’s automotive lab. I was the only kid in my grade willing to jump through all the hoops needed to get into auto servicing as a freshman. Generally speaking, people don’t get admitted into the lab until 10th grade. Anywho, being the only freshman also meant I was also the smallest in the class; both in height and bulk.
One day, we had to replace a sensor on a transmission. Unfortunately, both of our hydraulic lifts were in use, so we just jacked the car up and crawled under. As I was watching, I heard my teacher call out from under the car: “Hey you, get under here. We jacked up the wrong side and I don’t feel like fixing it.”
I was eager to prove my worth, so I rolled right under there and started fixing stuff. Since the teacher was no longer there, the group of kids slowly went away until it was just me and my pal Alfonso. He was talking with me as I tried and get this little piece into place. In the middle of our conversation, we heard an echoing BANG.
“Whatever,” we thought to ourselves. “We’re in an auto shop. These types of noises happen.” A minute or two later, Alfonso leaned against the handle of the car jack and it rolled straight under the car, bumping my elbow. After a couple of seconds, everything clicked. That jack wasn’t there before. It was supposed to be holding up the car…
…the car whose transmission was DIRECTLY OVER MY STERNUM. Swallowing slowly, I looked over to the safety stand that we were required to put under the frame. It had caught the car by just barely a quarter inch. If the frame had been one pinkie width closer to me, that transmission would have been one foot lower…roughly halfway into my chest cavity.
I got out from under there and didn’t work for the rest of the class. The teacher was understanding once I explained. Five years later, I still haven’t told my parents.
44. Forget And Forgive
I was searching my pockets for the keys to the front door of the building I was living in at the time. A friend of mine, who had given me a ride home, shouted at me from the car because I had forgotten something inside his car. The moment I got to the car, the most unexpected thing happened—part of the stone facade of the building fell exactly where I had been a few seconds prior.
45. Not-So-Anonymous Tipster
I was driving home on the highway at 3 am. As I approached a bend in the road, I saw oncoming headlights. It was a divided four-lane highway, I was basically the only car on the road. The oncoming car whooshed by me, driving on the wrong side of the road, in the left lane. I pulled over and called 9-1-1. The next day, I turned on the news and my jaw dropped. They had detained a 49-year-old woman who had a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit and was driving the wrong way on the highway.
They only got to her because they received an anonymous tip. It scared the heck out of me. If I was in the left lane I would have been roadkill.
46. A Bumpy Ride
When I was in college, I used to work in an amusement park. I would come home from classes on a Friday afternoon and usually pick up shifts for the weekend. During the month that the park was only open on weekends, I was a manager at my “attraction.” One particular Friday, I got home and was too exhausted to do a Friday night shift, so I called in and decided to just work on Saturday and Sunday.
When I woke up on Saturday morning, my phone was ringing off the hook. My good friend who I worked with was calling, and what he told me was bone-chilling. He said that our attraction had caught fire and that there were casualties. A couple of my friends and coworkers were missing. Seven people lost their lives that day. My coworker went back in and pulled people out to safety. Thankfully, he was okay.
I was in shock for a few days. If I’d done what I usually did, I would have been there, in charge. However, I also know I would have gone in to help, no matter how exhausted I might have been.
47. Call-In Carsick
I was supposed to go on a six-hour road trip with a friend and her family. She even promised me the front seat because she knew I get pretty car sick. But I decided not to go at the last minute—we had a bit of a falling out leading up to the trip and so they left without me. Little did I know that my decision to not go would spare my life. An hour outside of town, they rolled their minivan off the freeway trying to avoid some road debris.
The front passenger seat was completely obliterated by a huge boulder when they rolled. I would have been dead. Sadly, her husband had to be cut out of the car and is permanently paralyzed from the waist down.
48. Stamp Of Disapproval
Years ago, I went on a first date with someone I met online. We met at a bar and the bartender carded us. Even though we were both older, they were still doing stings in the area, so he was carding every single person. I handed mine right over, but my date was a real jerk about it. The bartender checked mine and handed it back to me.
Then, he checked my date’s ID, and rather than handing it back to him, he placed it on the bar right in front of me. When I saw it, my blood ran cold. It had an “intimate” offender stamp on it, which is a thing in my state. The guy picked it up, looked at the bartender, looked at me, and then got up and walked out. I immediately Googled him.
He was on the registry and had been in prison. Lesson learned. Always Google. And that bartender? We’re still friends.
49. A Real Blue Falcon Of A Teammate
I matched with a guy on Tinder who played for the Atlanta Falcons. He was really charming and he seemed nice. He asked me to fly down to Atlantic City for Memorial Day weekend, saying that he would pay for everything (airfare, hotel, food, etc.), but I had never met him before. He also refused to give me his phone number.
I was uncomfortable flying to meet a stranger, so I told him no. Two weeks later, he was on the news and my jaw dropped. He was arrested for kicking (and killing) his girlfriend’s dog.
50. Slow Burn
I was born two months early, as my mom had to start chemotherapy. Right after I was born, I got an incredibly high fever. The medical staff couldn’t figure out why; they were completely stumped…until they made a gruesome discovery. After two days of trying to solve the puzzle, they noticed that one of the nurses had turned the incubator up too high. They were literally cooking me.