Terrifying Near-Death Experiences

June 28, 2023 | Scott Mazza

Terrifying Near-Death Experiences

Freak accidents, car explosions, and daredevil stunts gone wrong—some people have come scarily close to cashing in all their chips, but managed to live to tell the tale. After reading these Reddit posts by people who’ve survived close calls, you’ll feel lucky to be alive.

1. Muscles Over Oysters

I was working on an oyster boat. It was a beautiful day and we were sorting oysters on the boat deck. All of a sudden I felt the gentlest of taps on the back of my skull. When I turned around—my jaw DROPPED.

I saw my supervisor, red-faced with the effort of restraining the metal boom, which had come loose and almost slammed right into my head. He was able to slow it down just in time so I only got that little tap (guy's basically all muscle). If he hadn't done that I would have been a goner for sure.

Older man with mustache working on a fishing boatALPA PROD , Shutterstock

2. Elvis Has Left The Building

I rented a new apartment and was taking my first dump in the bathroom. In the wall across from the toilet was a heater built into the wall, but it was missing its on/off knob. I had a pair of cuticle scissors on the sink counter next to me and like the genius I was, realized it would fit perfectly into the opening and turn the stem. Worst idea EVER.

The heater erupted in blue electrical flame and sent so much current through the scissors they melted and fused together. If not for the thin plastic coating on the part you put your fingers in, I would most likely have been found sitting on the toilet, with my pants around my ankles.

Almost 30 years later I still have those scissors hanging near my workbench in my garage to remind me not to be a complete impulsive idiot. Almost “Elvised!!" I’ve got a couple more but that one would have easily been the most embarrassing.

Sad man sits on toilet wearing grey shirt megaflopp , Shutterstock

3. Patient Zero?

I went to Mexico in 2017 and nearly kicked the bucket on my first day there. It was all good, I was having fun, having a few drinks, nothing too crazy though. I went to my room in the evening and suddenly got a bad stomach ache that just got worse and worse with each minute that passed. I also got feverish and delirious pretty quickly.

I remember for some reason I decided a shower would be a good idea, and that's where my gf at the time found me heaped on the floor, screaming in pain. I vaguely remember a paramedic stabbing me in the buttock with some morphine which allowed me to calm down. (It was not all the fun it's cracked up to be, just made me sleep).

I get to the hospital, and they quickly find out the horrifying truth—that I'm going septic from a stomach infection. A few more hours and I’d have been dead. I spent three days there, lost 30 pounds, and could only eat soft fruit for about a week after.

I also got the worst strep throat on the plane ride home too... my immune system was already weak, so it was horrible. It made me cough so much that blood came up. That was another hospital trip when I got home. The doctor who oversaw my care in Mexico was the most amazing doctor though.

He spent the first 36 hours with me to make sure I was okay, didn't eat or sleep or anything. But here's the craziest part. Later, I found out that I didn't get the infection in Mexico, I brought it with me. I never did find out what caused it initially. The doc said it had been building in my system for at least a week from the strength of it.

Man in hospital bedTima Miroshnichenko , Pexels

4. A Mad Dash

I was seven. My family had just arrived back home from watching The Incredibles in theaters. I decided to try and run like Dash around the whole house. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up running through the kitchen toward the back door that led to our backyard way too fast and couldn’t stop.

This door had a window in it, and when I put my hands out to stop myself, I ran into the door and my hands went through the window. My parents heard the crash and called out for me to ask if I was ok. I came walking out of the kitchen into the living room, blood pouring from my wrist. I was in a Disney princess nightgown too, so it was honestly like a scene from a horror movie.

We lived in a remote area, so when my parents called the ambulance, they couldn’t find our house at first. My mom had to run out and flag down the ambulance while my dad was applying pressure to my wrist with a bunch of towels to try to stop the bleeding.

The ambulance finally got to our house and the EMTs were able to get the bleeding to stop and take me to the hospital. I lived! The scar is pretty gnarly.

Small girl in white shirt running at home leungchopan , Shutterstock

5. Just Keep Swimming

I almost drowned in Panama when I was in the Army. Some of my buddies and I tried to swim out to what we thought was an island from the beach—but we were so wrong. We got halfway there only to realize it was volcanic rock and that the waves crashing against it would surely crush/drown us.

As we were treading in murky Pacific water something very large bumped against my leg (I suspect it might have been a shark but cannot say for certain as I never saw a fin). As we tried to swim back to shore we were all caught in a rip current, swimming towards the beach but going nowhere.

As my friends and I ran out of steam to the point that we were panting with our faces barely above the water, I put my foot down onto a coral reef or volcanic rock where I was able to catch my breath and then help my friends over to where I was.

We eventually made it back to shore after swimming sideways out of the rip current, but that is legit probably the closest I’ve come to death. Unfortunately, years later, I had a friend in the army stationed in Hawaii who kayaked to an island, his boat got pulled out by the tide, and when he swam to get it he went under and never came back up.

I knew we’d had a close call, but when that happened it really sunk in how incredibly stupid what we did was.

Tired man laying in waterfreepik ,Freepik

6. Witnessed A Tragedy

I was at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena in 2017. I’m not from Manchester, I had been to the arena a couple of times before but only ever used the main entrance so didn’t know any other exits. The inner concourse is basically an oval shape with the main entrance at the top and we were seated where it starts to curve.

Normally, we would head towards the back during the last song to make a quick getaway to best traffic but we didn’t this time as it was seated and the car was a 20-minute walk anyway, so less of a concern. As we started walking around the curve of the concourse towards the entrance there was an almighty boom.

I’ve never heard a noise like it, even in movies. It was incredibly loud yet, at the same time, oddly hollow. And the crowd (probably about a thousand people in our immediate vicinity) around us stood frozen still for what felt like a lifetime. In reality, it was only a second or two but after the loudness of the explosion, the silence felt amplified.

And then it was pierced by hundreds of people crying and screaming and running away from the entrance. I remember very little of the escape but being worried about being split from my partner or either of us falling and being crushed.

I also worried that there were secondary devices at other exits which is a common tactic employed by terrorists but there wasn’t much choice but to run with the masses of people turning and running towards us (despite arena staff trying to tell people to not run).

Running for what feels like your life but not knowing if you’re running into more trouble is not a feeling I’d wish on anyone. Once outside, the true horror of the event dawned on me. I didn’t see any badly injured people but a lot of minor injuries, some people covered in blood.

But the worst mentally was all the younger children separated from their parents (and vice versa) calling them trying to find each other. Just hundreds of people littered all over the outside of the arena, terrified and confused. It’s hard to judge how close we were to our night ending differently which is something I thought about a lot afterward.

Leaving even as little as two minutes earlier and I might not have been here to tell my story. The crowd being quite slow leaving originally is probably what stopped it from turning out worse for us as I reckon we couldn’t have been more than 30 seconds tops away from the entrance.

Young woman crying Kat Smith , Pexels

7. Fury Road

When I was 16, chilling at a friend's place, the weather turned to rain in minutes so I decided to head home (only five minutes away). I was driving my motorcycle in heavy rain and when trying to slow down at an intersection it just didn't work.

I wasn't even going that fast, because the intersection is right after a sharp turn which was already sketchy in the rain. Well, a car was coming from my left. I helplessly watched myself slide on the main road just a bit and it was enough for the car (doing 80km/h) to hit me.

I don't remember exactly what happened but I ended up sitting at the side of the road. My motorbike was annihilated, the car totaled, and I just had a swollen knee (the lady in the car was all good thankfully). This was less than 100 yards from my home, too. And my uncle was killed on this road when he was six.

He got run over by a car, so my family (especially my grandma) was reminded about that and got mad at me.

Man riding motorbike in the rainPrayoga Nugroho , Shutterstock

8. Locked And Loaded

I was at an indoor range, standing in one of the stalls with a buddy (we were using the range to test a potato canon). I was leaning against the wall of the stall, with my hands on top of my head. I felt a sudden pinching sensation on my right wrist, followed by a warm, sticky feeling that could only be blood dripping down my arm.

I looked at it, and beheld a chunk of missing flesh from my arm. The moron in the stall next to us was not sure if his handgun was empty, so he pointed it at the stall wall and pulled the trigger. It was not empty. The round grazed my wrist, which was about three inches from my head at the time.

I have never seen an RSO get that red in the face in my entire life. There's a post with pictures on my profile somewhere. It should be close to the top, I think it's my most liked post.

Man with injured handWut_Moppie , Shutterstock

9. Delayed Reaction

I had a perforated colon three months after GI surgery. I felt perfectly fine until I woke up at 3 am and literally fell onto the floor in pain. It was so bad I felt like I couldn't breathe. I was in the hospital for three weeks trying to get the infection at bay, lost 30 lbs, and ended up with an ileostomy for six months.

It took me months to shake the feeling of disaster being right around the corner. Cheers to good health.

Man in the bed with stomach painAndrea Piacquadio , Pexels

10. Camp Careless

I was at a sleep-away camp when I was 11 years old. I arrived at camp on Sunday. I developed appendicitis Monday afternoon and was taken to the nurse's cabin. But the staff and counselors refused to believe that I was really sick. The camp nurse took me to doctor number 1 on Tuesday.

I overheard him say that "it might be appendicitis, but I doubt it. I'll give her some penicillin just in case". These days, that would be enough to send me home, but this was in 1971. So she took me back to camp, and the camp director had a "talk" with me.

She was sure I was homesick and making myself sick, and wanted to know what was going on at home. Nothing, I just wanted to go home. That was Wednesday. (Let me note here, this was my third year attending this camp. Homesickness was not a problem in the prior years).

Thursday I was sicker, so they took me to doctor number 2. I don't know what he said, but on the way back I was so nauseous that I had to sit in the back of the car with a bowl on my lap. When we got back, I developed abdominal pain so bad I was screaming. The nurse gave me some kind of oral liquid medication that made me sleep.

When I woke up, I was told to come with her. I could barely walk, I was so weak. I assume that some staff gathered my stuff. We drove to the director's cabin (more like a full-fledged house), and my brother was there with his wife. She yelled at me to "get in the car" which I did.

Turns out that my mother was unavailable as she had gone out with friends, so they called the alternative emergency number, which was my brother (he was in his late 20s, so clearly an adult. And this was long before cell phones, so reaching my mother was not an option until she got home).

They did NOT want to "let" me go with my brother, which is why his wife yelled at me, she was upset with the staff and wanted to get me in their car and out of there asap. We got home, my mother got home, she took me to the ER (thankfully, very close to our house). I had a ruptured appendix.

The doctor said I had an abdomen full of poison from the rupture. Had they not "let" me leave, I'd have died that night at the camp. Because those idiots didn't believe an 11-year-old girl who said she was sick. Yes, we should have sued. No, we didn't. I was young, don't know why we didn't sue. I'm just glad to still be here.

Sick girl crying in the bedRon Lach , Pexels

11. Horsin’ Around

It was "take your son to work" day. My dad has been a cowboy for 30 years. When I was 10, he brought me in to work with him (I had a dentist appointment that afternoon and my mom couldn't get me there). He figured we'd ride pens. I'd stay outside and just cut stragglers off if they made a break for it.

One got away and my dad's coworker slapped my horse on the rump and he took off on me. That horse had been cutting for almost a decade, so he chased the cow down to the end of the aisle where the gate was closed and hit it at full speed. I was insanely lucky though.

My dad's horse was younger and faster, he caught up to me, grabbed me by my jacket, and dropped me on the ground right before impact. My dad also kicked his coworker's butt and got him fired the next day

Kid on a white horseCleiton Silva , Pexels

12. Spiderman?

Got bit by what was likely a brown recluse spider based on the way my leg reacted. I thought it was just a regular bug bite for a day, then it started turning black on day 2. Went to urgent care and got antibiotics, but they didn’t work, so I had to go back on day 4.

My leg was hot and I felt like trash, and my wife later told me I looked so bad she was thinking about if she knew where all my life insurance info was. On that day, urgent care gave me what they called the “peanut butter shot” in my butt cheek, along with a stronger oral antibiotic.

That made the bite start to shrink and cool off finally.

Man with leg pain with a doctorwutzkohphoto , Shutterstock

13. Avalanche!

I was skiing along the area boundary on the Nevada side of Heavenly Valley in 1982. I was skiing on a gentle slope along the ropes and the whole slope cracked. I had started a huge avalanche and I was in the center. I didn’t panic but rather rode with it for a few moments. The stress on my body was insane. It was trying to rip me in half.

I ended up tangled in some very large trees as the waterfall of snow maybe 50 yards wide roared around me. The tree I was against started to crack. I was screwed. Then it was over. Just like that. From the brink to calm. I still had my equipment and was able to ski right back to the run. Huge bruises for weeks. The purple kind.

Don’t ski alone and don’t be greedy.

Man skiing in deep snow on the ,mountainJiri Kulisek , Shutterstock

14. Silent Killer

I almost died of carbon monoxide, and it was one of the most frightening experiences of my life. I was 11 at the time, and to celebrate my sister's 10th birthday, we threw her a surprise party at our church. Although we weren't aware, the furnace in our church began leaking the night before. (For some reason, our church was not equipped with a carbon monoxide detector).

It was a Saturday, and my Mom and I arrived early (around 10 am) to start decorating and cooking. The guests arrived at 2:30 pm, and my sister was dropped off at 3. Gradually, throughout the day, I started feeling worse and worse. I could see my mom getting sick, too.

She had to leave the party to vomit in the bathroom for a long time, and I started getting a throbbing headache. Other girls at the party started complaining about having headaches, and some left early. I vomited a couple of times and passed out once. We stayed through the remainder of the party and did a half-hearted job cleaning up and got out of there (around 8:30 pm).

At this point, I had a headache so painful I was bawling; I was vomiting on myself and hardly staying conscious. My mom was even worse. We made it home safely, (we lived less than a quarter mile from the church) and when we got home, my father immediately knew something was really bad (former paramedic) and rushed my sister, my mom, and me to the hospital.

We were on oxygen overnight and through the next afternoon, but we all ended up being fine. I heard some other girls went to the hospital, too. It's scary to know that I was literally dying and I had no idea. There was no smell, nothing suspicious. I could feel my body shutting down and I had no explanation for it.

It's hard to describe, and it was hard to understand as a kid. I knew I didn't feel right, but I had no way of knowing that I was actually being poisoned. And the really scary part is that the party was supposed to be a slumber party, but a couple of the girls' schedules didn't work out so we changed it to the afternoon.

If it had actually been a slumber party as intended, they would have opened the doors the next morning to 15 dead girls. It was just really scary and really eye-opening.

Girl in hospital wearing oxygen mask.Halfpoint , Shutterstock

15. Chew On That

I ate a ton of sweets/candy and the next day I felt a bit weird. Eventually, I threw up and a massive ball of the semi-digested candy got lodged in my throat and prevented me from breathing. I was on my own, and the only thing I could do was slam myself back-first into the wall of my hotel room and swallow to try and dislodge it.

Eventually, it released back into my stomach and I could breathe again…for about 30 seconds—then it happened again. Same thing again, but this time I am really scared. I was in a hotel room in Berlin all on my own and here I am about to choke on some Maoam (the Aldi version though) because I eat like a pelican.

No one will find me for two days if I cannot save myself, so there I am back humping the wall until it dislodged for the second time. I fell to the floor in tears. Since then I have understood the importance of chewing food, and I no longer eat maoams.

Man with beard choking and holding his neckEbtikar, Shutterstock

16. Follow The Light

It was February 26th, 1993 and I was working in IT for a Forex in the world trade center. I recall it was a Friday during lent and I had absent-mindedly ordered the Philly cheesesteak. I said to myself if there is a God he'll forgive my stupidity of eating meat on a Friday. So I began to eat.

And then what felt like a concentrated earthquake exploded in the parking lot basement, its wave causing the building to sway and a pulse to ride up the building. My first thought was we were hit by a plane. My mom had always told me a story of a WW2 bomber striking the Empire State Building so that's why I thought plane. Nobody panicked.

The PA system worked and they said stay at your desks. But guys we worked with who had been on lunch break in the underground interconnected plaza called us and said someone bombed the path train. Things were still calm, until someone opened a stairwell door and smoke came in. Then they panicked. We were on the 55th floor.

Somewhere amongst whomever it was decided that we should go down the stairs. I was the only person with a flashlight. So I had everyone form a line behind me, each with their left hand on the left shoulder of the person in front of them. Then I held the flashlight high over my head so those in the back could see and led about 150 people down 55 flights of stairs and it took appx 1hr 15min.

That's the closest I've come to dying.

Man holding a flashlight in his hand in a dark roomDCStudio , Freepik

17. Sick Day

When I was 18, I was working out of town as a cook in a hotel in the middle of nowhere. I started feeling really sick the night before so I told my coworker I'm calling in sick for the morning shift. The owner called my room in the morning calling me a liar and to come to work.

As I walked into the lobby where the owner and all the other employers were standing, my lungs decided to just shut down and I couldn't breathe in at all for 15 seconds I collapsed, and then they decided to start working again. I made the owner drive me to the hospital in a snowstorm after that.

I ended up catching a mutated form of pneumonia, which further mutated into another disease that none of the doctors could figure out what it was, and went into a coma for 10 days. I always wondered if it would have been different if I didn't walk down in the morning.

Sick man drinking teacottonbro studio , Pexels

18. No Fun In The Sun

Last summer I nearly died of heat stroke. I had lost my job due to a hit-and-run car accident and couldn't pay the lease on my apartment. I ended up out on the streets, walking around all day on one Gatorade in 90° heat. I passed out to sleep in direct sunlight for several hours. This was a recipe for disaster.

I woke up and felt like something wasn't right so I called an ambulance. The ambulance got lost trying to find me and by the time they finally started taking my vitals, I had a pulse of 164 and a temperature of 104. They said that if I would have been out there another hour, I probably would have expired before they could get me to the hospital.

Black man on stretcher.RDNE Stock project, Pexels

19. Grief-Stricken

I didn't have anyone in my life whom I loved as much as my mother. She fought her best but eventually, cancer won. Once she was gone I just laid down in bed, getting up to go to the bathroom. At most, I was just lying down for 2-3 days without knowing or eating/drinking anything.

My body then started to twitch and I was shaking with every breath as if an electrical impulse was going through my entire body... After a while, I drank a little water, and woke up to a few friends trying to break the door open of my house. I'm trying to live to the best of my abilities since then, enjoying possibly every moment till my last breath.

Young man feeling sickcottonbro studio , Pexels

20. Don’t Pop Your Clogs

When I was a kid we lived off-grid way out in the woods. Once a month we would go into town and get groceries and propane. Myself, my brother, and my disabled sister along with our parents were all inside our van navigating the narrow winding road that led up to our cabin. My parents got into a fight that got physical while they were driving and rolled the car.

My brother was pinned under multiple tanks of propane, and my sister being disabled had zero ability to move. My dad kicked out the windshield and freed my brother and my sister. After we got out and were about 100 feet away the car exploded. Aside from almost dying, while in town I just got my first pair of (Nike?) pumps.

I was so excited to wear them and sadly they were in the car. Never worn a pair.

Sad kid seating by the road.Nina Unruh, Shutterstock

21. Into The Wild

I traveled to Malaysia alone for spring break. I went to Kuching Borneo. Outside of town is a pretty remote national park called Bako. I rented a tent and decided to go on an 18 km hike through the jungle to this beach, camp out, and turn back. But it got dark and I ran out of water, and lost the path in a canebrake. I almost fell off a cliff. It was a nightmare.

There were monkeys following me, snakes, and all sorts of other creepies. I finally found the beach, dying of thirst. Found coconuts. Cracked them open. The next day I found the path, but it rained torrentially, so it took me two days to get back without any food. Kind of dumb on my part but one heck of a story.

Man walking thru the woodsRachel Claire, Pexels

22. Birdemic

One time my mom and I were waiting in gridlock traffic and a falcon swooped down and plucked a pigeon from the sky. However it was flying straight at me, full speed, and my mom and I were stationary and had nowhere to drive to avoid it. The way it was flying, it would've gone through the windshield and into my chest.

But at the last second, it pulled up and its talons chipped the windshield in front of me. It happened in a matter of maybe 3-4 seconds. I had enough reaction time to unbuckle my seat belt and unlock my door. There's no way I would've made it in time if the bird wouldn't have had the control to go upwards.

I've also had near misses with reckless drivers, but this was the one that's always stuck with me. (Almost) killed by a falcon.

Falcon flying in to the skyBrett Sayles , Pexels

23. Mount Kill-a-man Jaro

I once fell down Mount Kilimanjaro, but only after I'd got to the top. Our group was joking about having an accident to save the walk down. I pretty much passed out on the way down and went head over heels, knocking myself out for a few hours. Conditions were too bad for a helicopter so I got stretchered all the way down.

I needed stitches in my head but avoided any broken bones. My friend walking behind me when I fell said she feared the worst, and now whenever we see each other she looks so relieved that I'm ok!

People wearing winter clothes walking in mountain in deep snow.frimufilms, Freepik

24. It Really Is A Health Hazard

When I was three I thought I'd be cool like my great-uncle and light a cigar. I found a 8" dowel in my dad's toolshed that looked the part and pretended to smoke it. I went into my living room and was jumping from couch to couch (with the "cigar" in my mouth). It was the worst thing I could've done.

When I tripped and fell face-first into a pillow. The dowel punched a hole out the back of my neck, which only missed my brain stem by about 2cm. Three-day coma.

Kid laying in hospital bedwavebreakmedia , Freepik

25. The Bystander Effect

When I was diving in Mexico, my weight belt slipped off unexpectedly at about 30 meters. I started to shoot to the surface, so I grabbed onto the anchor chain, which promptly broke. I managed to hang onto the anchored end, whilst the boat and chain drifted swiftly away.

The strong currents meant I was soon to be separated from everybody else on the dive, but luckily somebody navigated back with the weight belt. I did have a dive buddy, but he had been ahead of me. He was NOT in a good position to dump BCD air, plus not very experienced.

30 meters in cold (Pacific side) deep water meant nitrogen narcosis was maybe having some slight effect. The main concern was not just shooting to the surface and getting the bends, but losing the boat and dive party altogether. The currents were strong, so all of the divers were heading into it first.

The boat ended up motoring to our last known location and using engine power to maintain position. The whole time this was happening there was a huge male sea lion watching me. Bro never even tried to help.

Diver approaching sea lion underwaterAndrea Izzotti , Shutterstock

26. Just Walk It Off

I was five years old and playing on the playground and was waiting to go off the slide. It was one of those big red ones that wraps around itself like a corkscrew. They always taught us to peer over the edge to make sure the person before you was already off before you went as to avoid kicking someone in the back on the way down.

I didn't see the kid who went before. "Where did that lil guy go?" I thought as I started leaning over more to get a good look. It all happened so quickly. My foot slipped off the top of the slide and I did a complete flip and planted my back into the mulch.

On the way down, I instinctively tucked my head and I'm pretty sure that's the only thing that prevented me from breaking my neck. The weird thing is despite that 12-foot fall I didn't even say anything or cry; I just went to play on the swings instead.

Kid s is on the top of the slide Ahmed akacha , Pexels

27. The Cliffs Of Insanity

I was camping with a group of friends out in the middle of nowhere by this lake. There were cliffs around the lake and one of my friends suggested we go cliff jumping. They had been there before so they knew where to go. We had been drinking and my friend told me to jump a certain way. The first time went perfectly.

The second time, I jumped the complete opposite way from where he had told me. I landed a foot away from a bunch of rocks. I don't want to think what would have happened if I hit them. I would have shattered every bone in my legs and drowned. Even as it was, I slammed my feet on the bottom of the lake and had trouble walking the next few days.

I scared the heck out of my friend. He told me he was about to jump in after me. So glad that I was lucky.

Man jumping from a cliff. I Bautista , Pexels

28. Better To Forget

I had childhood Epilepsy. Multiple times, I had tonic-clonic seizures which progressed into status epilepticus, in which I stopped breathing. Sometimes I was found undergoing central cyanosis. However, after a long period of taking multiple medications, I was finally cured of it.

It's strange because I barely remember the incidents where I nearly died or what happened, it's mostly what my parents told me.

Sad kid talking with his motherKindel Media , Pexels

29. Thick Skull

When I was 13 I got hit by a van going 40 mph. I flew 30 ft into the air, crashed on the hood, and broke the windshield with my head. But that's not the wildest part. I read in the accident report that the woman who hit me was so convinced she was going to end me that she didn't even brake, she covered her daughter's eyes.

I walked away with a concussion and a cracked arm. The ER doctors were amazed.

Kid crossing a busy street.manuel arias duran , Shutterstock

30. Lucky Escape

I had my first seizure while driving, a year and a half ago. By some miracle, I didn't crash my car. I blacked out and woke up in the median and was being carried by a paramedic to the stretcher. I had another one while in the ER 20 minutes later. I was diagnosed with epilepsy, and haven't had an episode since.

Man sleeping in car.user18526052, Freepik

31. Lucky Mistake

The light was red so I put my car in park because it was taking a while longer than usual. It went green and I forgot to take it off park, but as soon as I put it in drive a semi truck ran a red light.

Scared man inside carEzume Images , Shutterstock

32. Rollin’ On The River

I will start by saying that I have always been an extremely strong swimmer and grew up around water my entire life. I never feared the water and always felt comfortable and confident in any water environment.

So, in high school, my friends and I enjoyed going down to the river where there were some rocks and a bit of a current to just lay around and hang out. We might get in the water if it seemed safe to do so. So on one occasion, a guy who joined us and I decided to hop in and walk through the water over to another set of rocks.

Well, the current was much faster and rougher than we anticipated. I jumped in first and got my bearings, with the water up to my upper thighs. It was deeper than we thought but I was not daunted. I could feel how powerful the current was, but I still thought I was strong enough to wade through it. So I took a few steps and suddenly slipped. That’s all it took for a disaster to happen.

I remember tumbling head over heels and feeling like I couldn’t get back upright. I was just being pulled downriver and continuing to tumble. Out of nowhere, I felt a hand grab my wrist. This guy I barely knew had grabbed onto me and was pulling as hard as he could.

Finally, my head made it up and out of the water and he grabbed my waist and dragged me onto a rock. He saved my life. It was probably a minute or less, but it felt like an eternity to me under that dark water. I was spitting out water and gasping for air. I was bloody from tumbling around and scraping on the rocks.

I was shaking for so long from the experience, and he was so nice to me, just playing it down. But in reality, I was an idiot and should have known better. I am much more aware of river currents and depth. No matter how great of a swimmer you are, you can still get bounced out of existence by even small rapids. Be careful.

Black man drowning at water.Rawpixel.com , Shutterstock

33. With Friends Like These…

My friends choked me in primary school. I used to be in after-school, and our caretaker went to talk with someone, out of sight. Then, my friends got a rope and put it around me. I didn't like that. They pull on the rope and the rope goes from my arms to around my neck. They add more ropes.

I couldn't breathe or talk. I was wheezing "help". At my last breath, the caretaker runs out shouting "stop" to them. That was super scary.

Kid playing with ropefreepik, Freepik

34. The Cyclist’s Curse

A guy opened his car door right in front of me when I was riding my bike. In a split second, I managed to change direction so I only scratched the door with my handlebars. It still made quite an impact though but I kept my balance. If I had reacted just a little bit slower I would have collided with the car door instead, fallen, and been run over by multiple cars on the busy road.

Man driving bike at city street.Mike Jones , Pexels

35. Go With The Flow

I almost drowned in the ocean in Hawaii. I had swum out from shore, started getting tired, and tried swimming back, but the current was pulling me out to sea! Scary as anything. I started to panic, but I remembered that the side stroke is the one that takes the least amount of energy, so I started doing that for 10 or 15 minutes, and just headed toward the shore.

I wound up a few beaches south of where I had started! I had to walk north to return to my group.

Young kid swimming in the waterYassin Doukhane , Pexels

36. Balloon Hallucinations

I got the swine flu. Never felt so sick in my entire life, for like three weeks too. I was constantly shivering, could hardly think, I even hallucinated. I watched the entire balloon boy thing unfold before my eyes and thought it was a dream so I wrote it down as a short story thinking I was a genius.

Then I found out it actually happened and was severely disappointed that my career as a writer was created and crushed in a matter of hours. Screw swine flu. I thought I was gonna be a millionaire.

Sick young man laying in bed cottonbro studio , Pexels

37. Dropkicked By The Murphys

I was at a Dropkick Murphys concert and decided crowd surfing sounded fun (spoiler alert: it was)—but it was the most dangerous thing I'd ever done.

The first time I went up I fell into the middle of a mosh pit after traveling about twenty feet. I almost got trampled about seven times by all the moshing and I did get kicked a few times. As soon as I finally got up I got punched in the face.

Best concert ever 10/10 would do again.

Crowd surfing in a concert full of people.Wendy Wei ,Pexels

38. This Is Not A Drill

I came very close to being run over by an army tank. I was a young TV reporter covering national guard exercises. They let us walk about on the grounds and this tank just came over this hill driving straight for me. I literally had to dive on the ground to get away from it. Would have been the end of me.

Man in front of a army tank Art Guzman ,Pexels

39. A Gentle Ribbing

This was incredibly stupid of me. I was eating these ribs you see, when I bit off a bit more than I could swallow. The piece got stuck in my throat. My eyes began to water and I began to make gurgling sounds. I grabbed the nearest drink I could but it wasn't working.

So I stood up and tried to go to the toilet to puke it all out. While standing up, I guess the piece of rib dislodged itself and just exited my mouth.

Man choking in restaurantMinerva Studio , Shutterstock

40. Capture The Castle

When I was pretty young (not clear on the exact age, most likely 7-8) I was at a summer camp and they had a bouncy castle. At some point, a bunch of people were running back and forth trying to get it to roll, all they succeeded in doing was making a dog pile with me on the bottom. Pure panic set in.

Face down in the inflatable, I couldn't breathe at all and genuinely thought I was going to die. Eventually, the pile broke up and I managed to breathe again. I was terrified of bouncy castles and became somewhat claustrophobic after that.

Children jumping in inflatable castle.Lukas , Pexels

41. Break The Chain

When I was three (or so?) my dad saved my life. I was playing in the yard where his dog was chained up and the dog was running around me. My dad told me the chain got wrapped around my neck and the dog was running away. It would have broken my neck if my dad hadn't seen it and got it off me.

Small kid playing with a dog.Maria Mirabella , Shutterstock

42. Dodgeball Defenestration

When I was seven, I was playing hide and seek with a friend and his brother. I hid behind a curtain, and the person who was 'it' walked in holding an exercise ball. He saw me and threw the ball across the room at me, which hit my upper body.

It sent my head flying back, which smashed through the window. I stopped my head from moving just before the back of my neck fell onto the shards of glass still connected to the frame. As it turns out, smashing your head through a window doesn't hurt much at all.

 girl playing hide and seek in room .Alex Green , Pexels

43. What The Truck?

One time I was walking home from work and a railroad track halted my journey. The arms were coming down and I could see a long train in the distance. Now it was about 11 pm and I had just finished a long shift, so I desperately wanted to get home I was very tired which resulted in a lapse of judgment.

I saw the train coming and I, without thinking, ran the tracks, narrowly dodging the incoming train. Just as I was walking past it all, a man in a truck looked at me and gave me a thumbs-up. I walked home proud because I earned the approval of a complete stranger by risking my life.

Man crossing the train rail at night.Anna Roguszczak , Pexels

44. Hold On Tight

14-year-old me went skiing in the woods, unsupervised in Colorado. My buddy and I ended up nearly falling off a fifty-foot cliff. I still get nightmares of trying to claw myself up the edge sometimes.

Two young persons wearing winter jackets standing in the snow.Djordje Petrovic , Pexels

45. Not Part Of The Game?

I was sitting at my computer on the ground floor playing TF2 when a car came through the wall, smashed my desk and computer, and almost crushed me.

Silver Jeep gone thru the house wall inside.Lee O

46. Look Both Ways

On an 8th-grade trip to New York, I almost got hit by a truck. I had just gotten an iPod and was so happy that I forgot that it is important to check the street when walking.

Stylish young girl crossing road.PaniYani, Shutterstock

47. (Almost) A Stairway To Heaven

I was nine months old. My dad was carrying me down the stairs and tripped over a lunchbox left there by my older sister earlier in the day. I went tumbling and took the full brunt of those steps. I was in intensive care for about four days, unconscious.

When I awoke and they took me for x-rays and stuff, they discovered a blood clot that had developed near my brain. Needless to say, this only added to the fear of my already terrified parents. From what I've been told, they had to call in a brain surgeon to operate on me (I am unsure of the terminology, a very good doctor removed a clot from my brain) and was able to remove the clot with no issues.

My mum was told that it was going to be hit or miss whether I would ever walk and talk, if I would be able to be independent, and live a normal life. The accident did nothing to my brain, I am an honor student in my school, with high prospects for the future. But I didn't walk away completely unscathed.

However, when they were getting to the clot, they had to remove pieces of skull to get to the clot which they couldn't return, so I now have a rather large hole that currently takes up about 20% of the top of my head.

Getting hit there (even flicking it) causes a huge amount of pain, not migraine painful, but it throbs for about 30 minutes which means I have no choice but to abstain from contact sports and ball games, though it really is a small price to pay for the ability to walk, talk, and be able to live my life.

Crying baby in doctor's handsrawpixel.com , Freepik

48. Hand It Over

I was mugged in a park when I was 17 (well, it was the day before my 17th birthday). The thugs who mugged me and my group menaced us with a blade, a tree branch and, when we still refused to give them our money, nearly threw us into the park lake. Two of our number could not swim and might have drowned.

I was very, very bitter about this incident for years and years. It gave me a very bad view of humanity. I was actually angrier at the bystanders who stood around and did nothing than at the five hooligans who did it. That said, do I claim personal responsibility? Yes.

We should probably have just given them that stuff. Our persistent refusal to hand it over made the situation escalate and spiral out of control. When I told a teacher about this, she blamed me. Not for not giving those thugs what they wanted. That wasn't her criticism of my behavior. Do you know what she blamed me for?

For going to the park in the first place.

Teacher talking to a kid.Katerina Holmes , Pexels

49. Live Wire

When I was around 3-4 years old, I picked up a live electric wire on the ground to play with. I got electrocuted immediately. A good samaritan grabbed a wooden stick and hit it out of my hands. People told me later that they told my dad not to touch me because I was probably gone. That good samaritan saved my life.

They acted when no one else did.

Little redhead bad boy with sparkling wiresNejron Photo , Shutterstock

50. Too Hard To Swallow

This happened 25 years ago. I know the approx date because my daughter was a newborn and my wife was busy tending the baby instead of watching me as I was having a massive multi-day blinding migraine. The doctor prescribed a nasal inhaler-type narcotic for the pain.

I was in bed and my wife brought me a pork chop for dinner. Just prior to eating I tried the med for the first time. But I didn’t think I’d done it properly due to deviated septum; so I tried it again and again. That's when it all went wrong. Halfway through chewing and swallowing a bite of the pork chop I became immobile.

I nearly choked to death until I managed to roll over and cough it out. I forget the name of that med but it starts with “N”. I read later it was pulled from the market due to accidental overdoses.

Bearded man coughing and choking Voyagerix , Shutterstock


Sources: ,


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