My Scariest Moment

March 22, 2023 | Laura Bergen

My Scariest Moment

From life-threatening illnesses to crazy stalkers, the stories from these Redditors are fear-inducing on their own. Imagine living them. Do you have a scary moment that could top this list?

1. Rabbit Trap

When I was seven, I was playing in my grandpa’s front yard. A random car pulled up beside me and a young lady with an older man pulled out a rabbit in a cage. She said, “Hey, want to pet my cute rabbit?"

Being the foolish and naive youth that I was, I approached the car and I was within an arm's reach of the lady when my grandma came running out, screaming at me. I don’t remember what she said but I had never heard anything like that before.

The car sped off and my grandma ripped me from the pavement and took me inside. I’m so grateful she was there and I always think about how different my life would be had she been a couple of seconds later.

My Scariest MomentPexels

2. The Ultimate Countdown

I had a heart attack at 25 years old on New Year’s Eve while I was at home on my own. Wasn’t really feeling well during the day (a bit like a flu) so I canceled my plans. At about 10:00 pm I started sweating uncontrollably and within half an hour had this indescribable pain in my chest.

Between the panic and the pain, I couldn’t really do much. I absolutely thought I was going to kick the bucket on my own on NYE. I somehow managed to call for help, and for a final joke to the situation, I went into cardiac arrest at exactly midnight.

My Scariest MomentPexels

3. It’s Gonna Blow

I knocked over a propane tank in the garage. It cracked the neck and it started off-gassing. It was between me and the door to the house (the garage door was closed). I cleared the door about a half second before it ignited from the gas water heater's pilot light. It was a close one.

I lost all the hair on my face and got a burn on the hand I used to pull myself through the door. The house was a total loss, but we all got out okay.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, dwstucke

4. Bye Bye Baby

A few months ago, I had been at work for two hours when I got a chilling call from the babysitter. She was watching my three-year-old and six-month-old. Her entire statement as soon as I answered was, “(six-month-old)’s not breathing!!!"

I talked back and forth and found that he was unresponsive and not breathing. Ultimately I took off at a high rate of speed down the interstate and made it to the sitter as my wife and her boss were about to head to the hospital and follow the ambulance. I jumped in.

We made it to the hospital while praying and holding hands the entire time. When we got there, they continued to do CPR and pump more meds into him. After we saw him and sobbed, they took us to a nearby room where my wife and I talked with a doctor. He told us they’d been doing CPR for 45 minutes….we knew the science.

In the middle of that conversation, a nurse ran in to tell us that he had just developed an erratic and inconsistent 20 bpm heartbeat. At this time, we knew that what would come back had no chance of survival and would be misery for him. We told them to stop.

It was the hardest, scariest, and most soul-crushing 30 minutes of my life. It was ultimately deemed to be SIDS and there was not a single thing they could find that caused it. He was perfectly healthy and the happiest baby I’d ever seen. We miss you, buddy.

We hope your organs went on to help some other poor souls in a similar situation.

My Scariest MomentPexels

5. Bucket Of Blood

I was on the way to the hospital for a routine checkup when I was 33 weeks pregnant. I wasn’t feeling too well so I left a bit earlier. At the lights, I suddenly gushed out all this blood. It was like a bucket pouring out blood. My husband ran the red light and got us to the hospital.

The baby’s heart rate was very low and within 20 minutes they got her out via emergency c-section. She survived and they told me I had a total placenta abruption. Had we been at home we both wouldn’t be alive now. I had such an adrenaline rush that it took me days to actually realize how close we were.

That was a year ago and my daughter is doing well!

My Scariest MomentFreepik, user15285612

6. Close To Home

The scariest thing that ever happened to me was only scary when I thought about it later. Recently, in a town over from us, a young man was reported as a missing person. He had just vanished from his residence two weeks prior to when he was reported missing.

About a month later, they found his body...half a block from our house. They had found his body under a blue tarp. I walk pretty frequently in our neighborhood, and I walked past that tarp multiple times.

Authorities say that the body was placed there, and I don't know what is scarier, knowing that a man's body was half a block away from where I was sleeping, or that his slayer was.

My Scariest MomentPexels

7. Flying Cars

I was walking on the sidewalk near a freeway overpass when I heard an enormous crash. A man, a 15-foot piece of guardrail, and a v8 motor came flying down from the freeway. I literally jumped out of the way as it landed on the spot I was just walking on.

The guardrail made a huge gash in the sidewalk. I would have been squashed. The man was already gone. Apparently, he hit the guardrail in his car with such force the motor was ripped from the motor mounts, and he flew through the windshield. It was right across from a fire station, but the guy didn’t survive.

I just walked away, but it's always been a terrible memory.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, drobotdean

8. The Watcher

A man stalked me until he got my morning routine down: I would wake up at five, see my spouse off, workout in a detached garage-type room for two or three hours, take our dog to the park, then work in the garden or house until my spouse came home in the afternoon.

That morning, my husband decided he wasn’t going to work. He woke up before me and left me in bed to sleep in. When he let the dog out, he noticed the door to my workout room was open ajar, but didn’t notice anything else wrong, so he closed it, called the dog, and came back inside to play video games.

The guy had been waiting for me in my workout room. He had heard someone come out, so he checked the back door and it was unlocked. He came into the house with his shoes off and his pants and belt undone and had taken one of my blades from the kitchen drawer.

When he rounded the corner to the living room, my husband and dog were there between him and me sleeping without clothes on with the door open in the bedroom. They were taken totally off guard.

The dog went into crazy mode and my husband grabbed him and opened the door to get the guy outside and call the authorities. Everything happened so quickly, it could have all gone down so differently. This happened eight years ago, but I’ve thought about it a lot recently.

What if my husband hadn’t randomly decided to stay home that morning?

My Scariest MomentPexels

9. Tractor Terror

I was nine. I was in the car with my mom, who was 36, and my cousin, who was almost 14. We were traveling out of state (about ten hours) to visit my mother’s parents and siblings, including my cousin's mother (his mom and dad were divorced and he lived near us with his dad at the time).

I got tired, told my mom I was going to take a nap, said “I love you" to both and immediately fell asleep. Some undetermined amount of time later, I woke up and heard just noise. People. Vehicles. Sirens. Looking around I couldn’t tell what had happened. I was covered in blood that wasn’t mine.

I began to panic, and someone in white (it’s all I can remember and I assume it was a paramedic) came to me and told me to stay calm, I would be ok. I was life-flighted out shortly after. We’d hit a tractor-trailer parked on the side of the road. He had no signals out, and it was kind of foggy.

I was told he had THC in his system too. By the time my mom must’ve realized he was there, it was too late and the brakes gave out (six months later there was a recall on that car for that exact thing). I won’t go into gory details, but suffice it to say my mother had a closed casket. My cousin had internal bleeding.

I almost didn’t make it, but the doctor said the only thing that saved me was that I was asleep, so I was relaxed enough when we hit, and while the internal damage I suffered was life-threatening, I was close enough to medical help that I survived.

I can’t think of a time I was more scared than in the back of that Lincoln town car. Somehow my young mind “shielded" me from the horror of what had happened to my mother. Because I should have seen her. Doctors believe it’s a trauma response and I’ve blocked it. I have zero interest in unblocking that.

Whoever that paramedic was, thank you. You were there to calm me down when all I knew was terror. I think you’re a big reason I’m still here today. I’m sure what you witnessed haunts you, but that little girl you calmed down is beyond grateful.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, stefamerpik

10. Overboard

When I was a kid, I was mucking about with a friend of mine. We stood on an old disused railway bridge which had a crazy drop to the road below. We should not have been up there as there were no railings. But kids will be kids!

My friend decided to scare me by pushing me, and then grabbing my coat, and pulling me back. But for that second, my center of gravity was over and I was going to fall had he not pulled on me. For that split second, I knew this would be the end. I was very mad at him.

My Scariest MomentPexels

11. In A Puff Of Smoke

I started coughing up blood after having a smoke a while back. A lot of blood. I’ve puffed for 20 years. I was in denial for a day and refused to see a doctor. Finally, I went to the ER and got a scan done. I was already starting to think about how to get my affairs in order. It turned out to be pneumonia.

I quit the stuff on the spot, scared straight.

My Scariest MomentPexels

12. Dizzy Spell

I breathed in too much carbon monoxide while house-sitting for a friend. I thought I was just coming down with something, I had a headache, and I was very tired and weak…until I passed out in the kitchen, and my (then) boyfriend decided to look up my symptoms. Apparently, he also wasn't feeling well.

Long story short, we called the gas company to come out and check. I don't remember the exact reading but the guy tells us that at the level it's at, he shouldn't even be going into the house. He then urged us to go to the hospital. It took over a year for me to feel normal again.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

13. Belly Ache

My appendix was about to burst when I was eight but I didn't feel anything until I woke up early one day feeling a little sick in the stomach. Slowly over the course of the morning, it built up into the most unbearable pain.

My mum thought it wasn't as bad as I was making it out to be and took me to the doctor after dropping my siblings off at school. The doc said to take me to the ER immediately.

I was in so much pain and was trying to stay curled up in the fetal position. I think there were two or three nurses holding me down and trying to get an IV into my arms, but struggling to find the vein.

While I felt like my stomach was burning and about to burst, I kept feeling needles jabbing the inside of my elbow to the point where I was begging them to stop because the constant jabbing feeling was almost as unbearable as the appendix.

I still remember this poor nurse trying to make jokes and get me to engage with him, like he was trying to get me to relax, but I was in so much pain I couldn't function properly. At some point, they finally found a vein after what felt like forever.

I get rushed into surgery and the surgery goes from an expected few hours to almost ten because my appendix burst while they were operating, amongst other complications, and they had to clean up all the filth.

They said if I came in thirty minutes later then it would have been a different conversation, which still kind of freaks me out. What would have happened if it burst while I was conscious? I never wanted to find out and just hoped the doctor was being dramatic.

The hospital stay was even worse than the lead-up because I had to be there on my own at night. For the first two or three nights, I woke up suddenly in a bed full of poop, or having vomited all over myself, while also having this giant six-inch-long scar covered in sickly yellow solid holding gel.

The look of disgust on one nurse's face is permanently etched into my mind, but all I remember is sobbing and apologizing and being terrified that I'd go to sleep again just to wake up in my own filth all over again and have someone upset with me. Plenty more happened to contribute to the scary experience but that's the gist of it.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, DCStudio

14. The C Word

Cancer. I had it when I was 13, and some nights I would be afraid to go to sleep because I wasn't sure whether or not I would wake up again, it was so awful. Also, the doctors' appointments afterward, knowing that I have to go back to the hospital and this fear of my cancer coming back was just so terrifying.

I barely ate anything the week before because my body was just overwhelmed with fear. Nowadays, I only need to go to the hospital once a year but it's still so scary.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

15. The Driver

When I was about 13, I was walking home from the gas station, and I always took backways/alleys. At some point, I realized that I kept seeing the same vehicle off in the distance behind me, even though I was kind of zig-zagging around. It was enough that I was on alert.

I panicked and took a sharp turn and hid behind a dumpster. I could see them coming down toward me, driving slowly as they had been the whole time and then I saw some brake lights and one man got out.

I just remember sprinting full force and very much on the main road all the way home and locking the door and just being filled with fear because I also knew both parents weren’t home. I always tried to reason with myself that it was a coincidence, but I’m not so sure it was.

I had bad dreams about it for a very long time afterward. I also never took backways ever again and it took me almost a year to feel safe walking anywhere alone again.

My Scariest MomentPexels

16. Apocalypse (S)now

It was “Snowpocalypse 2010” in DC, which dumped almost 18 inches of snow on a city that wasn’t equipped to handle it. We didn’t have to work so I went out for the night (I was in my early 20s) with friends. I was walking home, slightly inebriated, and went to cross the street (I had the right of way)...and then, boom!

I woke up on the sidewalk with a bunch of people hovering over me. I started freaking out, thinking I’d fallen given my state after a few drinks, and insisted on getting up and leaving the situation. The bystanders refused to let me get up and informed me that I’d slipped on a patch of ice and gotten “clipped” by a station wagon as I crossed the street.

Although I felt no pain, I instantly thought that I was going to pass and called my parents hysterical as we waited for the ambulance to arrive. I ended up in Georgetown Hospital for three days and suffered a fractured nose, two chipped teeth, a broken arm, and my face looked like I’d been literally mauled.

They never found the station wagon/driver who hit me. I’m so thankful to the bystanders who stayed with me that night. It was just before Valentine’s Day, and one even brought me balloons in the hospital.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, wayhomestudio

17. House On Fire

We lived on the corner of the street, and the house across the street on our right was also a corner house. Well one day, that house caught on fire because the lady living there decided it was a great idea to fall asleep with a candle on a wicker to curtains. It was really bad.

We saw the lady jump out the second-story window, and make it across the street. Well, she left her children in the house. One by one, they jumped out the second-story window. Three tiny little children. My eldest brother ran across the street each time and brought them back.

Once the firefighters put out the fire, they went inside the window to check out the house. The firefighter came out carrying the body of a child. He had his arms up as if he was pounding on a door. That was the most horrifying thing I have ever seen.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, sf-dvs

18. Splashing Around

When I was very young I attended a pool party with my family. I watched one kid with such envy because he could backflip off the edge into the pool. I summoned the courage to try it without ever attempting it before. BIG MISTAKE. As I launched my body, I remember in mid-arc that time felt like it slowed down.

Something told me to turn my head to one side. Just as I did, my shoulder slammed off the edge of the pool. I remember walking it off as if I was embarrassed, but that moment really messed with me. Had I not tilted my head, it could have ended very differently.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, au_tiger01

19. Headache

I was in a car accident (I was not driving) and I suffered a horrible brain injury. I was wearing a seatbelt. Basically, the whiplash of the force from the cars caused my brain to hit my skull which caused my brain to start bleeding.

I was in a medically induced coma for like three days and had to learn how to talk and walk again. The doctor said I couldn't be an engineer. I'm 28 now, and am a design engineer at a high-end lighting firm and studying to be an aerodynamics engineer. Don't let anything stop you.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

20. In Sickness And In Health

What’s happening to me now is the scariest thing I’ve ever experienced. I am sitting in the hospital with the love of my life having stage four metastatic colon cancer. I’m not a praying person but right now that’s all I do because otherwise, I can’t do anything else.

I love him so much and we’ve only been together for such a short time, I can’t lose him now. I won’t.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, freepik

21. Something’s Watching You

It was an outdoor education class field trip with a group of us in grade ten, it was night and we were all in our tents. I got up to pee. I looked into the woods—and my blood ran cold.

There were many eyes staring back at me. A pack of curious coyotes no doubt. Later that night, there was something sniffing around the tent. It scared the life out of me and my tent buddies.

My Scariest MomentPexels

22. Stranger Danger

I was about seven, walking to my Grandma’s house after getting off the school bus. It wasn’t a long walk and I had done it pretty much every day. At this particular time, a woman was standing on the sidewalk and walked up to me.

She said she was a good friend of my Grandma’s, and that my Grandma told her that I could come to her house for popsicles after school. I had never seen this woman before, and something told me this was dangerous.

I told her no and started walking again and she kept following me telling me I didn’t have to come over all day, I could just help her get the popsicles out of her freezer and I could leave. At this point, alarms are going off in my mind, but being the kind of kid who was told to never disrespect adults I got nervous.

I told her I don’t want to, and she grabbed my shoulder hard. I immediately screamed as loud as I could and ran off to my Grandma’s house (which was only about a block away). When I got there I was crying and told my Grandma what happened. She and my aunt ran outside to find the woman but they never did find her.

My Grandma told me I did the right thing and that the woman lied to me. I then got a full lecture from every adult in my life about stranger danger. From that day on my aunt and Grandma made sure to wait at the bus stop for me.

My Scariest MomentPexels

23. Ready, Aim…

I was ten years old and living on the west bank of occupied Palestine. I walked home from the store with a gallon of milk. IDF forces rolled into town on their army jeep and started firing. I happened to be the only person on the road at that time in that part of town. It's not like there were others. Just ten-year-old me.

They started aiming near and at me and one of the rounds struck the gallon in my hand while I was running and obviously, I freaked out and dropped what was remaining of it. I myself did not get struck directly. Later I found out the rounds they were firing were rubber.

But still, like I said I was alone on the road and did not agitate them but still got targeted. That same day, a kid I knew from school lost his eye because the same army jeep rolled up to different parts of town and just started randomly spraying people with rubber rounds. Definitely the scariest thing to ever happen to me.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, Brian Evans

24. Bumpy Ride

I'd say sitting through severe turbulence during a commercial flight was the scariest thing. This was roughly 15-20 years ago. I was on a commercial flight to Los Angeles and midway through the flight, my plane shook violently for what felt like an eternity.

At one point, it felt like the plane was in freefall, but in all likelihood, my panicked brain was catastrophizing. The plane eventually regained control but the folks sitting around me panicking didn't really help matters.

And yes, I'm aware that statistically, you're more likely to be injured on the way to the airport (driving) than by a plane crash, but that feeling of not being in control can be terrifying. I’m not nearly as afraid of flying as I once was, but the thought of something going wrong occurs to me every now and then.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

25. Sane Or Insane

When I was younger we did a fair bit of urban exploring (entering old abandoned buildings and just poking about). Well, one time we decided to go to this old abandoned psych hospital, it had been closed down since the 70s (this was around 2005 at this point) and it had a very ominous feel to it.

It looked as if staff and patients had just walked away one day, leaving everything behind. There were gurneys everywhere, big huge beds that fit multiple people in them in one room, old nurses' uniforms, IVs and stands, patient clothing, etc.

We wandered around for a bit and went to the basement where there were single cell-like rooms with steel doors. Those were creepy enough, but there was this one room, with this short red door that we checked out. Inside, it was just super tiny. It had a short ceiling and you had to bend over to get inside.

There was nothing technically scary in there, just an empty storage place or something, but the feeling inside was as if someone had sucked all the oxygen out and you couldn't hear anything from the outside of the room. Needless to say, I ran out of that room and we went home shortly after.

Over the course of the next few weeks, there was this repetitive scratching noise in the top corner of my room that would start while I was asleep and would wake me up. My room was at the top story of the house, so I assumed it was an animal or something.

The more I ignored it, the louder it seemed to get at night and I was getting freaked out. Then one night I had a dream where I was in that little room laying on the floor, I could hear muffled voices and people talking to each other about me saying, "I don't know, I just found him like this!"

And someone else saying, "We have to get a handle on these beetles!" I woke up and sat straight up feeling panicked. At the end of my bed, there was a mirror, and in the mirror, I could see my face crawling with hundreds of tiny black beetles.

I screamed and started swatting at my face only to look back and see just my face, no beetles. After this dream, the scratching abruptly stopped. I've never had a more realistic dream since that night and I hope I never do. That stuff was scary.

I never went back to that place again either even though my friends all called me lame for not going.

My Scariest MomentPexels

26. Strange Sensations

I thought I had Covid: low-grade fever, cough, headaches, etc. I was told to social isolate, quarantine, get fluids, rest, etc. Unfortunately, it got worse over the course of a week and a half until one morning I got up to take out the wheelie bins and I got super dizzy, my hands started tingling, and my hearing went out suddenly.

My husband caught me before I hit the ground, thank goodness. One ER visit later and an emergency thrombectomy, I learned the awful truth. We found out I have a genetic blood disorder that causes my blood to clot too quickly. I was 28 and had no clue.

The imaging showed submassive pulmonary emboli blocking my entire right lung and most of my left. Per the ICU, I would have passed that day. No DVTs or other apparent cause. I’m on blood thinners now and will be for life so I have to be careful about bleeding issues but otherwise, I’m okay! Definitely scary though!

I thought I’d never see my toddler again. Moral of the story: Double-check if you have anything new happening in your body. I also had two retinal detachments requiring buckling surgeries so I wouldn’t lose my vision. So please! Even if it seems like no big deal, get a second opinion or a third!

My Scariest MomentPexels

27. In The Shadows

There was a period of about a month when I was 15 when I was displaced from my house after a fire and partially unable to walk due to an angle grinder accident. I was living with my grandfather who was not home most days.

One day, I started seeing shadow people of varying heights and conditions in the corner of my eye and occasionally hearing things. Eventually, these got more frequent and started being accompanied by nightmares.

I kept getting worsening hallucinations until they started being near constant and appearing in my main, non-peripheral visuals. I could make out details and the noises had developed into frequent whispering. I eventually called my father after I couldn’t take it anymore and moved into a hotel.

I didn’t tell him about the hallucinations. They went away after that and I haven’t had them since. The other time I had a similar experience was the night my step-grandfather stopped breathing when I was five. I saw him standing in my room as an apparition when I was five. But that's not the scary part. 

I didn’t learn about his passing until the next night.

My Scariest MomentPexels

28. Off The Rails

In the late 80s, my husband, pre-teen son, and I were traveling in rural Minnesota in our Chevy Suburban. It was a foggy day and hubby was driving. I was in the front passenger seat, and my son was in the back seat. I was doing needlepoint and had an odd, uneasy feeling.

I looked up and, through the fog, saw a flashing red light. Train crossing? I yelled, "STOP!" And my husband slammed on the brakes. We slid to a stop as a locomotive barreled across the intersection just yards in front of us.

I remember watching my husband's shaking hand reach out and shift the truck into reverse, and he backed us up a few yards. From the rear seat, our son's voice said, "Wow, was that...?" We sat for long minutes as the train cars raced by, realizing what almost happened.

It wasn't until hours later that we were able to talk about it, and it still gives my heart a stutter when I think about it.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, born1945

29. After Dark

I'm a truck driver. Early on in my career before I knew my limits and warning signs of fatigue, I fell asleep while driving one night, woke up on the wrong side of the road at 100 km/h just in time to see oncoming headlights and swerve back into my lane.

The time between me waking up and getting back to my side of the road would have been no longer than four seconds. A semi went by in the opposite direction with another truck behind him.

To this day I wonder if it wasn't the big man upstairs tapping me on the shoulder and saying, “Wake up, it's not your time yet," because if I hadn't woken up when I did, I have no doubt that head-on collision would have ended me, and both of those other truck drivers coming the other way.

Fortunately, I know my limits now. Feeling sleepy? Time for a power nap.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

30. Locked Up

I sat in the slammer for defending my mom against a road rage driver after he followed us home. I then got abandoned by two lawyers and spent 180 days in solitary confinement in a detention center of a different state until I was released on my own recognizance.

Needless to say, 99% of the proposed charges were dropped. Since then, I've considered those places unethical for unlawful holding and believe we should have a MAJOR reform (US) so that our inmates are properly taken care of and those who don't deserve to be there are set free.

My Scariest MomentPexels

31. High Highs And Low Lows

Bipolar disorder. My mind took off on me. I hurt many people that I care about. I was the life of the party, but didn't care about anything serious. I made good money because I was super energetic/charismatic on the high part (but I spent it as fast/faster than I made it). Then I dropped. That was the worst.

I hope nobody else has to go through that.

My Scariest MomentPexels

32. Blood And Gore

My cousin and I were left to watch five of our very young cousins after a family get-together when the parents all went out to dinner and a movie. We put the kids to bed upstairs and then went to watch TV in the living room. We then heard a bang and something that sounded like a scream.

We went running up the stairs and there was blood splattered all over the walls going up the stairs and on the walls leading to the bedrooms where the kids were.

We were obviously freaking out and my cousin ran to grab the phone and call for help while I tried to muster the courage to go further toward the bedrooms and uncover a grisly scene...only to then notice my dog cowering in the corner of the hallway with blood around her. The bang?

The dog knocked a box fan off of a dresser that had been moved to the hallway to make extra room in one of the bedrooms while relatives were visiting. The scream and blood?

The fan had somehow landed on the dog's tail or caught it wrong as it fell, cutting the tail open. She then ran around the hallway and at the top of the stairs made a very weird yelping noise while wagging her bleeding tail and sending blood flying left and right and splattering the walls.

But, for that initial moment, the only thing that made sense was that something horrific had happened to the children and I was having to decide if I would charge in and have the same thing happen to me or wait for the authorities while more awful things could be happening.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, wayhomestudio

33. Night Man

I had really bad night terrors when I was little. There was a time that I had them for two weeks straight and I still remember everything I saw. I was little so it scared me even more when this happened. I wouldn’t stop screaming once I woke up, until my mom came in to help me relax and breathe.

I would always see this man at the end of my bed staring at me sleeping, reaching out to me, and each night he would get closer until he was right in front of me. To the point where I thought he was going to touch me.

After that, it stopped, but then after a week, I would always see a man in the corner of my room. As you know, usually when you have night terrors they mostly happen when you’re half asleep—but that time I wasn’t, and I distinctly heard every step he took.

I know it wasn’t any of my family because they were sleeping. I even got up and checked that no one was there. This happened again for another week. I never left my door open again. The light outside made it worse. I saw his shadow and figure but he had no face.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

34. Well That Escalated Quickly

I had taken my kid to the doctor for a backache. While there, they gave him the flu mist vaccine. He had taken it for years. On the way home, I heard an awful noise coming from the backseat.

I looked in the rearview mirror and my son was having a full-blown tonic-clonic seizure with blood pouring out of his mouth. He then collapsed. I thought that was it. To this day, I have no idea how I was able to stop the car safely and call for help.

My Scariest MomentPixnio, Amanda Mills

35. Dunk Tank

When I was seven, my mom brought me to a wave pool. She left me with another little girl my age to go to the bathroom or something. I remember trying to make friends with the other girl, but instead, she did the unthinkable. She grabbed me by my ponytail and forced my head under the water.

I couldn't swim and I was a really small, scrawny kid so I couldn't fight back. I still remember inhaling water and feeling increasingly panicked. Thankfully my mom came back and pushed the other girl out of the way and got me to the hospital. I spent a night in the ER and had a fear of the water for the last 12 years.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, anuarsalleh

36. Mirror Monster

Hi. I have hallucinations. I remember going to the bathroom one night, it was dark and probably past 1:00 am (I’m an insomniac too). I do the deed and turn off the lights to go back to my room, but for some reason, I decided to look up and into the mirror. Through the dark, I see a figure hunched over me.

I don’t think I can even describe what I saw, but I’ll try. Its skin was pasty and bleached, I couldn’t make sense of its face. It was huge, and its face was right next to mine through the mirror, leaning over my shoulder. I ran. I ran so fast that I almost slipped, and cornered myself in my bed for a few hours out of fear.

I’m a very loud screamer, but at that moment, I didn’t even think to scream. It was literal fight or flight, and there was no way I would throw hands with that thing, even though I knew it wasn’t real.

My Scariest MomentPexels

37. Being Ballsy

I went to the hospital with a bit of pain in my groin, but it was rapidly getting worse. By the time the ER staff saw me, I was moaning in pain, intensity ten. They knocked me down with some Dilaudid, so the pain was manageable.

They gave me a CT scan, and they told me that they were going to rush me downtown for emergency surgery, and they were worried I might not make it. So, I had to tell my parents that I might not come back. Obviously, I did make it, but it wound up that I had metastatic testicular cancer.

Six months later, I came out of the hospital, and I've been pretty much okay ever since.

My Scariest MomentFreepik,freepik

38. Open House

Me and my sister were home alone and heard the front door open and close and someone going up the stairs. Nobody had a key to our house and when we called out nobody answered. I felt like something was wrong so we took the dogs into the garden and waited right at the back in case we needed to run.

I couldn't hear anything, and after a while, I went to check. For some reason, I had a frying pan in the living room so I picked that up and went into the hallway. I did a full check of everything and nobody was there. The only thing I noticed was that the door wasn't locked.

I let my sister and dogs back in and we started talking. First of all, one of our dogs was in the hallway by the front door. And the dog didn't react at all to the sounds we heard. Meaning she either knew the person or was so scared, she hid and stayed silent, which freaked us out.

We sent our family members texts asking if they came to the house. None of them had. At the time, our cousin made a habit of coming around to use our bathroom quickly and then leaving. But he didn't have a key so he'd have to knock and be let in. My cousin said he was at work at the time, nowhere near our house.

We still don't know who it was.

My Scariest MomentPexels

39. Shakin’ All Over

I was in an interior room in an office building on the fourth floor when a big aftershock hit from a quake earlier that day. I was okay at first because it just bounced the room, but then the room started to sway back and forth, dropping things off of shelves and tables.

I ran out of the room and down the stairs to get out of the building. I’ve never felt fear like that in my life. I've found that I actually have PTSD from that event; whenever I feel a slight rumble, I get nauseous and nervous.

I feel much more sympathy now for PTSD sufferers; the feelings that come back from those fear-inducing events are horrible.

My Scariest MomentShutterstock

40. Whispers On The Web

I was going on an unsafe website (similar to cookie clicker) and a random creepy ghost image popped up. I was frozen in fear and I tried to forget about it until I heard a whisper behind me that sounded like “hey”. I looked around to see if anybody said that, but nobody was there.

Keep in mind that this happened when I was seven years old.

My Scariest MomentFreepik, freepik

41. Choking Hazard

I had Covid last Christmas and woke up at around 3:00 am one morning trying to gasp for air. My throat had become so constricted and was so full of mucus and phlegm that I could not breathe. For whatever reason, I ran to the bathroom and looked at myself in the mirror. I couldn't believe my eyes.

I was turning blue and thought to myself "this is it".

My efforts to cough it all out weren't doing anything until I decided to put everything into my next cough. It was so violent that I tore the lining of my throat (I think) and coughed up a bloody mess. I also hurt my neck in the process but the air I breathed afterward was the most satisfying feeling of my life.

I have never been so scared in my life.

My Scariest MomentPexels

42. Cliff’s Edge

I was riding a horse on a narrow mountain road, herding 20 other horses to a pasture. The horse reared up and fell over backward. But that wasn't the worst part. We both went down a cliff. I was lucky to land on a small shelf about four feet down.

The horse rolled over me and then went head over heels the rest of the way down. When I looked down, he was on his back wedged between a couple of trees with one leg sticking up. I thought he was a goner. How could his neck not be broken?

We each suffered some serious cuts and bruises, but we both got up and walked away.

My Scariest MomentPexels

43. Masked Man

I used to live in a kind of rough neighborhood. I went walking down to the Dollar General near where I lived and saw a guy approaching the store wearing a ski mask. I immediately noped out of there and started walking in the other direction. It was then that I realized it was January and below-freezing out. I might be a coward.

My Scariest MomentPexels

44. Haunted House

I was home alone, getting ready to go out for the evening. For background, a lot of people who knew that house believed it was haunted.

I was sitting at the kitchen table, waiting for my ride, when I heard HEAVY footsteps come running up the stairs from the basement. Unmistakable stomping up the steps, not just the random creaks and pops houses make.

The real “oh no” came from realizing that I lived in a place where I didn't know what scared me more: having another human in the house or not.

My Scariest MomentPexels

45. Do Not Enter

My friend and I were out late one night and were on the way to her house so I could drop her off and decided to stop at 7-11. She stayed in the car and I went up to the door. The guy entering the store before me pulled the door closed in my face, looked me in the eyes, and just shook his head "no" while holding the door closed.

I just kind of looked at him for a few seconds and went back to the car. We left quickly after I told her that so we never found out if he held the place up or what he was doing.

My Scariest MomentUnsplash, Nathan Dumlao

46. Craigslist Crazies

Someone was giving away a free mini fridge on Craigslist. I drove there deep in the heavy woods with no one else around. I was already nervous, but I pulled up to the house and saw a hand close the curtains, and there was a sign that said, “go around back” with an arrow. I noped out of there. I don't need a used mini fridge that bad.

My Scariest MomentPexels

47. Something’s Fishy

I met a guy on Plenty of Fish who held me captive in his house for 14 months. He was a raging narcissist and there's no way to predict crazy. Finally, one day he was nodding off and I saw the code he used to get into his phone.

He soon fell asleep on the couch and when I heard his breathing become rhythmic, I grabbed his phone, tiptoed to the bathroom, and called my best friend. She jumped on a plane, flew 2,000 miles, and rescued me, like right out of a movie.

That was nine years ago and I still haven't really recovered from it. I am never dating anyone again. I don't care how lonely I get.

My Scariest MomentPexels

48. Halloween Hog

There was this guy called "The Butcher" on my street growing up. They called him that because he was a butcher. His family had some screws loose though. I was semi-friends with his oldest kid. On Halloween, I went up to his house (I was like 11 or 12).

They had these large spear-looking things up on each post of their little wood fence that ran up the side of the driveway. On the top, it looked like there were pig and cow heads on spikes. I got up there, and said to the son, "Hey man, those things look so real".

He responded, "They are...wanna come in the garage and I'll show you all the other cool stuff we got?" I never trick-or-treated there again. I'm glad it was the kid who said it though. If the big creepy dad had instead, I probably could have cried or pooped myself right there.

My Scariest MomentPexels

49. Basic Instincts

I (and several other people) almost drowned in a boat accident. The thing flipped over 180° and the railings formed a cage underwater. It wasn't easy to get out. But that's not what haunts me.

What scared me the most afterward was that I kicked and pulled on people to move them out of the way and I didn't care about them at that moment, whether they'd make it or not. Survival instinct is something else, man. I felt super guilty for acting like that, but right that second, thinking straight was impossible.

It didn't take long all in all, but during the actual accident, I was totally NOT in control. And that's scary stuff.

My Scariest MomentPexels

50. Street Smarts

When I was about nine years old my crazy father (who was supposed to be watching us while my mom was working) locked himself in the bathroom for about 30 minutes doing only god knows what. In that time frame, my youngest sister (two years old at the time) got out of the front door, and I realized she was nowhere to be found.

I was frantic looking everywhere for her. Then I saw the front door swing open. I went outside with no shoes or socks and saw this little girl two blocks down from my house. I started running for my life to get her because she was nearing a busy intersection. My neighbor, Lilly, put down her baby to run after my sister as well.

I never realized the severity of the situation until years later I remembered that as my sister was approaching the busy intersection there was also a guy watching her walking toward him and he was opening the back door of his car.

It was almost too obvious that his intentions were not good at all and that was the reason my neighbor left her baby to get my little sister with me. I was nine, and I was the only one out of my whole family that went to get her. Not even her own father cared enough.

My Scariest MomentFlickr, Lance Shields

Sources: Reddit

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