Waking up…and seeing a stranger in the room. Stepping off the curb…only to narrowly miss being hit by a car. Meeting an online friend…only to find out they’re hiding a dark secret. Life is unpredictable, and you can never tell what’s lurking around the corner. These Redditors came together to share stories about times when they got a little too close for comfort with danger. People get into close calls every day—but their stories are rarely as unforgettable as these.
1. No Better Deal Than Seeing the Rest of Your Life
I’m allergic to bees. One time I got stung while sitting at a red light. It was a rental and I forgot my bag. No EpiPen. I turned into a car dealership and yelled at them to call 9-1-1. Within four minutes (which felt like an eternity), my throat completely closed. The last thing I remember is the guy who was with me yelling that I was blue.
I don’t know how long I was out, but as soon as the EMTs pushed the epinephrine, I sprung back to life. Thank goodness they got there so quickly. The next day I brought the dealership and the EMTs baskets with cookies.
2. Just in Time to Say Goodbye
My grandma got diagnosed with cancer about a month ago. We caught it late so there wasn’t much we could do. She was too old and weak for chemo, so we decided against that. Last Sunday I just had a gut feeling I had to fly out to visit her. So, I did that, got back on Wednesday. She passed away Friday, a few weeks earlier than the prognosis predicted.
I’m really glad I was able to see her one last time.
3. Almost Slipped Away From You
When I was little my family went to Mexico for a holiday vacation. I was playing in the ocean when I felt myself being pulled out to sea. My parents were distracted, but I remember looking up at my sister screaming just as my head went under the water. I’m not sure how long I was underwater, but two guys came out of nowhere, dragged me out of the water, and as quickly as they appeared, they were gone.
My parents looked all over the beach and never found them.
4. Saved By a Lace
While walking down a street in a Nicaragua, I noticed my shoelaces were getting loose. At which point, I had a ‘gut feeling’ that I should stop and retie them, to avoid untied shoelace related accidents and injuries. In the 10 seconds I took to tie my sneakers, a bus stop with five people at it, about 10 seconds walk from where I was standing, got laid flat by an out of control bus.
The people that had been waiting for the bus were now under it.
5. No, You’re Playing…With Mortality
It happened when I was a teenager. Two of my cousins, my mother, and I were on the way to San Francisco. I was sitting in the backseat playing on my Nintendo DS. As my cousin was making a left turn (light was green), from my peripheral vision I could see a horrific sight. An SUV was speeding towards our vehicle.
It really felt like time slowed down in the few seconds prior to the accident. I remember thinking I would feel the biggest impact and would probably die because of it since it was coming directly towards my side of the vehicle. I braced myself, said a quick prayer, thought of my father and grandmother and everyone else we would leave behind.
I remember glancing up at the point of impact and watching my DS fall from my hands. The SUV sped away. Thankfully none of us were injured, just very shocked. Hearing my mom wailing out my name thinking I was hurt or dead right after we got hit was the worst.
6. Leave the Show with Your Lives
My mom and dad were at some sort of festival when my dad felt some sort of change in the air, like something bad was going to happen. He and my mom got out of there quickly, wouldn’t you know it, some drunk dude with a gun started firing at the crowd.
7. Who Says Hydration Is Good for You?
I fainted once while drinking a glass of water. The glass hit the table, and my chin hit the glass. It was sliced down to the bone, and when I woke up on the floor and saw blood gushing down my neck and shirt, I was convinced the glass had slit my throat. My response after was disturbing. I wasn’t scared, just mad.
I remember thinking, “Out of all the dumb stuff I did in life, a glass of water was gonna take me out? What the heck?”
8. Not What I Meant By Date & Dinner
Once at a party, I was about to kiss this girl, but my spider senses tingled. I took a few steps back, and she was like “what the he-” before throwing up. So glad I dodged that bullet.
9. Wrong Kind of Drive-Thru
While I was checking inventory at a liquor store I worked at in college, a lady drove her car through the building in the exact spot I was standing. If I had been just five inches to the right, she could have pinned me to death between the shelving. Literally experienced one of the two fears I had about working in the store. There’s still a video of it.
10. The Byes That Never Were
Years ago, I was staying the night at someone else’s house, maybe an hour from where I lived. That night I was so tired, but I couldn’t get to sleep. I was super anxious all night, which was very unusual for me, and I just couldn’t relax. I came so close to just grabbing my things and driving home in the middle of the night several times, but I convinced myself not to.
Turns out I should have. If I’d gone home that night, I would have had the chance to say goodbye to my dad before he passed away that next morning. I still regret that to this day, and I promised myself that the next time I get a feeling like that I’ll listen to it.
11. Father Knows Best
It happened when I electrocuted myself. I had this weird hallucination where my deceased dad was next to me, and I asked him, “Am I dead?” and he calmly replied, “Nope. You can still go back. You’re way too young to die, so please don’t do something reckless like this again.” Before I could ask him anything else, I regained consciousness. I’m still glad that I had that experience.
I work as an ER nurse and had a patient with a little dizziness, a little nausea and a swollen abdomen. She was fairly bright, able to talk, and nothing seemed too horrific. But she was turning a grim gray color and breathing quickly. Our average wait time today was two hours. I could have put her back in the queue and moved on.
But I had a little dark feeling that there was something sinister happening here. So I called our most senior doctor out of a consultation and asked him to see her. Right now. Ever heard of your abdominal aorta? Enormous blood vessel that can pouch out, suddenly rupture, and make you bleed internally to death in minutes?
It’s called a burst AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). You’ve heard of it now. That’s what she had. I’ve never seen one before. But now I have. Within five minutes, she was barely responding. Within ten, her blood pressure had dropped to a barely sustainable level. Within twenty minutes, I was pouring blood into her and eight people were around the bed.
Within an hour, she was on an operating table clinging to life. But because I raised the alarm, and because my team worked their butts off, that woman is still, somehow, alive. Feels good, man.
13. Not Everything Is Better Under the Sea
Stepped on a stingray at the beach and the stinger went almost all the way through my foot like stepping on a nail. I got out and laid down near my family (last day of family vacation) and got my foot wrapped tight in a towel. Then everything got worse all at once. It only took a few minutes for the poison to set in and my whole leg felt like it was on fire.
Everything in my body started going numb, I had a hard time breathing, my fingers and toes curled up and my lips were tightening up. I told my wife I loved her and thought that might be it. One of my brothers was bawling like crazy thinking I was done for. Somehow, I pulled out of it and was able to get to ER and get treated.
Hot, hot water is the only thing that neutralizes stingray venom/poison. Worst pain I ever felt in my life but so glad I pulled through. Only time I’ve ever been convinced I wasn’t going to make it. And it was a couple months after Steve Irwin’s death.
14. The Wheels of Fate
I was riding my motorcycle with a friend on the back. We were going down a country road behind a truck hauling a bunch of old car tires, when all of a sudden, I decided we shouldn’t be there. I slowed way down to let the truck go ahead of us. Just as I did, one of the tires fell off the truck and landed right where we would have been.
15. A Spoonful of Sugar Sends You to the Emergency Room
I was nine years old when it happened. I can’t remember exactly how, but I wound up with a piece of candy lodged in my throat. My mother tried to give me the Heimlich but wasn’t able to. Then it all starts to unravel. She runs out the front door and starts screaming for help and I fall to my knees by the couch. And I don’t know why but I never once thought, oh shoot I’m dying.
I was scared but I was more bothered my mom was upset. I honestly remember trying to tell her it was okay. Anyway, as my vision goes black and I feel myself just kinda slump to the ground, I feel two arms wrap around my mid-section and yank me into the air and start squeezing and yanking and this dude telling me to spit it up and breath.
I finally spit up the candy and start breathing and as my vision comes back, I see that it’s the headbanger from next door. Dude was supposed to be at a Metallica concert, but his ride never showed, so he was home doing whatever when he heard my mother screaming for help. Was an awesome guy, taught me about comics, taught me how to growl, even influenced my musical preferences in some ways. So anyway, if you read this Trevor, thanks again for saving my life.
16. No Party Favors Tonight
Had a friend who said we should go to this party he was invited to by a classmate of his. We ended driving out to it. We noticed the neighborhood was not too pleasant and sketchy. We saw that the house had some lights on in the backyard but seemed kind of quiet for a party. I decided that we should not go since something felt really off.
Friend ended finding out that the classmate that invited him got robbed and threatened when he went to the party. It ended up being a fake party.
17. Easy Come, Uneasy Go
This story is incredibly disgusting. About a year ago I woke up in the middle of the night with stomach pain. This isn’t unusual since I have colitis, so I got up, grabbed a Calvin and Hobbes anthology, and prepared to spend some time in the bathroom. Normally the pain comes and goes, and I can handle it. Unfortunately, this particular night I was horrifically backed up from nausea medication and couldn’t go.
I’d never had this happen before and suddenly the pain went from a manageable if unpleasant five to “oh no, I might actually be calling 9-1-1.” Unable to force anything out that way, I started vomiting uncontrollably. It honestly felt like my guts were being crushed by something. The only pain I can compare it to is like a Charley horse but in your entire colon.
I’ve got a high pain tolerance but at one point, the pain kept getting worse and worse until I was pouring sweat. and I had a real moment where I thought my guts might rupture or something. I panicked and things got really weird for a few minutes. My vision started going and I got really shocky. Dry mouth, more vomiting.
I almost passed out in the tub when the spasms got worse because I couldn’t keep myself upright. I couldn’t push to get my guts moving because even the slightest amount of force was enough to make me shriek in pain. Eventually, with a concentrated effort, I was able to get things moving and I unleashed hell on our toilet.
It sounds ridiculous, but I have NEVER been in that much pain. I was absolutely terrified, and that is the closest I have ever come to being like “man, I might die here.”
18. Not Good With Rejection, Or Humanity
I worked as a shot girl at a pub. One night, I rejected someone who attempted to get my number. Not unusual and he didn’t seem that bothered. The whole exchange wasn’t strange to me. In the early hours after the bar closed, I went to leave through the back door into the car park like usual, when I saw the sensor light outside was on. Someone was standing just outside the door.
I felt uneasy so went out the front and asked one of the bouncers to walk me around the back to my car. As we rounded the corner, we spotted this guy lurking outside the door holding his belt like a makeshift garotte. When he saw us, he started screaming that I was a freaking shrew and I should die. He scampered off into the road and never came back.
19. Mom to the Rescue
I had a near-death experience when I was about five. I was drowning in a pool. I probably didn’t have enough memories at that point for anything to flash before my eyes, and I was also very focused on trying to get my head above the water again. I remember looking up at the sky through the water, and that the surface started to look geometric, like tessellations.
Then I experienced some sort of depersonalization. I had a distinct feeling that I was outside of my body, and I watched what happened next—my mom saving me—from a distance.
20. You Nearly Blue Your Life Away
A guy dyed blue came into the motel lobby at 1 am. In and of itself, not terribly unusual. Clubs get out, you see folks with body paint, foam, etc. But he just seemed “off.” When he came up to the counter, I took a step back. It was a move that saved my life. Which is why his bowie knife hit my tie and not my neck. Slammed the fire door down, called the cops.
It wasn’t difficult for them to find a bright blue guy (who got naked for some reason after I slammed the door) running around in the snow at 1 am.
21. When Gotta Go, You Gotta Go!
A couple of weeks ago, I had ulcers that caused internal bleeding and my hemoglobin was down 50% by the time I went to the hospital. I almost died in one of the most embarrassing ways possible: pooping to death. Pay attention to your poop, people!
22. Day Care Don’t
Posted this before…took my two babies to an in-home daycare run by a lovely woman. About nine days in, the woman’s teenage son was home when I picked up my kids. He gave me a super creepy vibe. Pulled the kids from the daycare and placed them elsewhere. I didn’t find out until 10 years later just how right I was. That kid offed two people and then went for his own mom.
23. Jesus Take the Wheel
I was a passenger in a car driving home from holiday to celebrate my high school graduation when the car swerved and the driver hit an embankment. The car flew into the air and bounced off the ground three times, and I was asleep when it happened. I should have at least been hospitalized, and when ambulances—for the driver—police and passersby stopped, everyone mentioned how its a miracle that we were alive at all.
But no one knew what I knew. When it was happening, I didn’t have time to open my eyes before I experienced a violent force I couldn’t have imagined, which kind of felt like I was put in a metal box and shaken around and my head was so weirdly clear, I just had this intense feeling of like, “God no, the car is crashing.”
This is happening, and I didn’t feel any pain—I got banged up significantly—and I had this unbelievably overwhelming feeling that I was not ready to die, I was going to get out of that car, that my life was not over, and it was like my soul just said, “No.” I’m not exactly religious, but I’ve always tried to form a relationship with at least my idea of God.
In those incredibly fast, confusing seconds, I don’t know if it was my brain doing what human brains do when they freak out, but I really felt like I was talking to God when I thought, “Not today, thank you, I’m not ready.” It was such a peaceful, intense presence, and I’ve never been the same since. I can’t ever forget that feeling, like I was not alone, and I really want to believe I’m right about that.
24. Grandma’s Intuition
One afternoon some random guy comes knocking on the front door of my grandma’s house. My granny is a practical woman, she has never been to school because she grew up on a farm and was expected to pull her weight, but she is a smart woman. She goes to the door but doesn’t open it—it’s a glass door. The 40ish-year-old man is there asking if he can use the phone since his car broke down, but Granny doesn’t like the look of this guy.
If he doesn’t live here there is no reason for him to be on this road and if he was visiting someone their house or anyone else’s house would have been closer since she lives on a dead end. Anyways, she tells him that no he can’t use the phone and needs to leave. She backs up and picks up my paw-paw’s 410 as she goes. Once he sees the shotgun he hightails it out of there.
About a week later, she saw on the news that he’d been arrested for multiple crimes, including killing multiple people.
25. Every Inch Counts
I was crossing the street once and stepped off of the curb only to hear someone yell my name. I straighten up out of fear and see a semi blow by inches in front of me. I couldn’t believe I was still alive.
26. The Father of All Cries for Help
One night during finals my junior year at university I received a text from my father at 1:30 am. “I love you.” My heart sank. My family is not affectionate. My family doesn’t say “I love you.” My father does not text me. For some reason, I woke up three minutes after receiving the text while my phone was on silent. I called to see if he was okay. No answer.
I immediately got in my car and tore off to my dad’s place. I let myself in and found him in bed with a handful of pills and a loaded pistol on his nightstand. He immediately broke down in tears and I held him for what seemed like an hour. I saved my father’s life that night and have always checked in on him since. He’s in a much better place mentally now.
27. Soup Over Salad
My experience is different from everyone else’s. I nearly drowned in a swimming pool when I was nine years old, at a hotel, when my family was on a holiday. I remembered it like it was yesterday. At that moment, my legs and arms locked up, my lungs felt like stone, and then I slipped out of consciousness for I’m not sure how long. I woke up to the lifeguard pumping my chest.
During the time I was unconscious, I was floating—probably because I was in water—in a space filled with stars. I tried to “swim” over to one of the stars and found out they were fragments of my memories—voices, noises, smells, faces, places—all jumbled together. But a big part of those fragments were my mom, my dad, and my two younger brothers and a cousin who was also my best friend.
It wasn’t like a memory or anything. To put it into words, it was more like a soup of everything I’ve ever seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt all there. Then I woke up. I’ve never seen that vision again. But I still remember it clear as day. It wasn’t too complicated, as a nine-year-old there aren’t that many places I’d been to.
28. Country Road, Take Me Home
I was driving with a friend of mine through a pretty remote forest road. A couple of guys in the middle of nowhere tried flagging us down. I almost stopped for them before an alarm went off in my head and I stepped on the gas. My friend started saying “what the he-…” and at the same time there was a loud pop and a bullet hit the back of the car.
We made it to a police station. Turns out there had been a bunch of people and vehicles going missing in the area that same week.
29. Stop, Drop, and Roll
I rolled and flipped my truck…several rolls, couple flips. I just remember looking at the direction that I was traveling through my driver’s side window. I ducked down, grabbed the bench seat, and held on for dear life thinking “If I hit a tree on the door, I’m dead.” I hit a boulder that is many times bigger than a VW Bug and blacked out.
I woke up with my friends dragging me out with gas from the ruptured gas tank pouring on me. I was so out of it, I stood there with the truck being dragged onto a flatbed and told my buddies I had a dream that I crashed my truck.
30. Stand Your Ground
Some dude gets off the bus at the same stop as me. It’s about 8 pm and October so it’s quite dark out already. He had spoken to me on the bus, one line about nice weather. Anyway, he gets off the bus after me. I cross the road and make a mental note of him walking the opposite way to me. I make sure to watch him walking away. Something in my gut says not to trust him.
To get to my house, I have to walk up a hill with a path alongside a high stone wall. It is secluded. Usually, I listen to music as I walk. I decide not to this time. I’m about halfway up when I get this awful feeling. I take out my phone, dial my mother’s number and as I do, I hear fast steps of someone running up behind me.
I know it’s the guy before I turn around and, as I do, he is literally running full speed towards me. I look him dead in the eyes, ready to fight for my life. As I do this, my mother answers her phone and I say, “Hi mom.” He slows right down to a light jog and says “evening” as he jogs past me. I ask my mom to stay on the line. Her boyfriend comes out to meet me at the top of the hill. The guy is nowhere to be seen.
He was definitely running up behind me to strike me and by turning to face him I’m certain it threw him off.
31. Steam in the Engine
When I was eight years old, I learned how to fix small engines. One time, it just so happened that my dad had an old flathead Briggs and Stratton 5.5hp engine that didn’t work. He also had a riding lawn mower that had no engine nor blades. He gave me the task of getting the engine running. As a reward, I would get to put it on the riding lawn mower and have fun with it whenever I wanted.
I was sooo anxious at school the next day. Well, that day, I tore apart the motor and had it running by bedtime. The next day, we had the thing mounted and riding around. Fast forward a few weeks. My older sister and I were out riding when my shoelace got caught on the back spindle. It pulled me off and began dragging me (mind you, only going as fast as the machine could go).
My sister tried to help. This was the beginning of the nightmare. She stopped the lawnmower and went in reverse, which caused her to accidentally drive right onto me. The chain and chain wheel caught my lower right back, ripping my skin open and pulling my large and small intestine out. It severed my right lung, broke my spine in two places, and shredded my right kidney.
I felt the thing roll onto me and then everything went blank. I couldn’t see, move, speak, or anything. No pain as well. All I remember is the blackness. After my father got my heart beating again, I remember just laying there in pain. I also remember feeling my back injuries and shortness of breath. I felt what I still believe to have been my stomach in my hand while I was feeling my back.
Once I was in the ambulance, everything went blank—except this time I saw myself lying there and the medics shocking me. I felt a hard pull and I was suddenly back inside myself. A few minutes later, I was on a table with strangers in white all around me. I remember being in a panic, then suddenly standing next to my grandmother who had passed away when I was only three.
She told me that she was my Nana. We were there watching them jolt my heart with tiny round paddles. She kept telling me that everything would be ok. They called my death time at 6:06 pm. Then, all of a sudden, I wake up and I’m all fixed and stapled up. My parents told me I had died three times. The first time had been for five minutes, the second for a little more than 12 minutes.
But the last time was the most astonishing to the doctors. My heart had stopped beating for 20 minutes. My parents made them continue jolting my heart even though they believed that there was no chance of reviving me at that point. They told me that the doctor kept telling them that I was going to have a 98% chance of being brain dead.
Today, I’m 25 years old and as healthy as ever. I’m fully capable of walking as well. I’m forever grateful.
32. Read, Aim, Fire!
I’m a firefighter. We got called out to a tree fire started by fallen power lines. We pull up in the truck, and I’m trusting that my driver and crew leader are doing their job and have good situational awareness. We get out of the truck, and we’ve parked next to a set of power lines (not fallen). It’s a very windy night and I can see the lines swinging so I voice my concerns to my crew leader who says it’ll be fine.
We get out hose out (risk of the tree fire catching onto a house outweighing potential risk of arcing plus the line disconnected when it fell), and I’m on the branch ready to start putting it out with 2 others near me when I get a chill. I look up to see the lines swinging violently and yell “everyone freaking move!” As the three of us sprint and dive out of the way we hear a thwip and crack, and, sure enough, the line we were under came loose and stayed connected to the power pole.
If I hadn’t got that chill chances are, we would have had three fried firies.
33. Surf’s Down
I was surfing and wiped out. Normal occurrence. But there was suddenly a large, fast set of waves. I couldn’t get up. Every time I surfaced for air another wave crashed down on me. I became disoriented and had a moment where I couldn’t tell which way was up anymore. It looked beautiful and the panic quickly turned to resignation and peace. I was totally ok with drowning at that moment.
I relaxed enough that I was able to surface and there was a break in waves, so I managed to surface and get to shore. It was the strangest feeling.
34. Get Your Own
Not me but my best friend, who was driving to California from Arizona with her two-year-old for work (about 5 months ago). She stopped at a gas station and just got a weird feeling. She normally doesn’t lock her car when she pumps gas, but she decided to do it. During that process, a woman came up to her and started talking all nice and whatnot.
She got an uneasy feeling about it and heard a noise like someone trying to open a door. She turned around and her blood ran cold. The woman’s husband was trying to get into her car to steal her baby. She told him to get the heck away from her car, and the man tried to play it off. She told them to screw off and got in her car to leave.
The couple got in their vehicle and followed her, tried to swerve her off the road and brake check her on the highway for a few miles. She was smart enough to call the cops (this was in Primm, Nevada), and they caught up to her and ended up arresting the couple. They had gotten multiple reports that day of issues like that.
35. Green Light Means Go in
I was fifteen and full of hormones and bad ideas. Those two things are notorious in being the right ingredients for the perfect disaster. My girlfriend at the time missed me in the middle of a post-St. Patrick’s Day March night and wanted to see me, so I snuck out. It was around the beginning of spring, so I underestimated how quickly the weather could change.
I dressed lightly because it was really beginning to feel like spring and my desire to lose my virginity made me suddenly oblivious to the fact that she lived on a hill 10 miles away in rural Northern Pennsylvania. As I rose in elevation, the inverse effect happened to the temperature, and I was too stubborn to turn around because I would be there “any second.”
It turns out that I took a wrong turn, so I was completely lost and alone in a snowstorm so dense that I couldn’t see in front of myself. That wasn’t even the scariest thing. The scary thing was, I was quickly dehydrating and my clothes were getting progressively more soaked, and then my phone died. I wandered for what felt like hours, screaming for someone to help to no one in particular. It was all an idiot teenager could have thought to do.
I never did get help in the way that I had wanted. Instead, I saw a bright green light in the middle of nowhere, so I stumbled toward it with the rest of my energy and found myself at a glass door with a shamrock-shaped light over it. I tried the door and—it opened. So I went in and collapsed next to the woodstove inside.
I awoke to my clothes being dried and an older woman asking me if I wanted breakfast. I broke into this lady’s house and she was asking if she could do anything for me. I was so lucky, and I thanked her every second that I could that morning. To get home, I helped her relatives down the road with some early morning manual labor, as they lived on a farm.
Once I paid my way home, my mom whipped the ever-living daylight right out of me for being so stupid. I won’t deny that I deserved it, because I really could have died in that storm. Sometimes, fate just cuts us a break.
36. Never Too Young to Be On Edge
At age five, I was almost abducted by strangers at the park who had a bunch of toys on a blanket and tried to lure me into their motor home. I looked back to my dad, who was talking to his friend maybe 100 yards away. I got a “tummy ache” when one of them tried to coax me by reaching for my arm to lead me away, and I screamed and ran like hell back to my dad.
Years later, I found out those same people had abducted other kids who weren’t so lucky. Never ignored a gut feeling since. FYI, trust me, once my Dad got over the shock, he let me have it for not only wandering off but speaking to complete strangers. I talked to my mom a bit about it today. and she told me my dad broke down and blamed himself.
Positive outlook on this though, guys, this is just one instance (scary as it may be) where my gut led me in the right direction and my instinct for danger is now uncanny. I truly believe everything happens for a reason. I trusted my instincts and it kept me safe still does.
37. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Garcia
When I was maybe six or so, my friend and I thought it’d be a good idea to play in her pool without her mom there. I didn’t know how to swim and found myself slipping into the deep end. For a while, I was panicking and struggling against the water. I held my breath as long as I could and eventually started to breathe in the water, which made me panic more until eventually, I stopped resisting.
Eventually, this great sense of calm came over me. I remember pooping my pants and not caring. The last thing I remember was looking up and seeing the light dance and refract beautifully against the water with so many colors. Then it just went black. Apparently, my friend who could swim got her mom who did CPR on me long enough for an ambulance to come.
My lungs were full enough of water that I was medically drowned. My mom was at the hospital and they were scared that even if I woke up I would have brain damage. But I woke up fine. Then I told my mom the strangest thing. In my delirium, I told her that God has big hands and that I saw Jerry Garcia. I’ve kept a picture of Jerry Garcia in my room since high school to watch over me.
38. First Isn’t The Worst
When I was in middle school and around 14 years old, I was returning home. I live like five minutes away from my school, and I noticed there was a man following me. He wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at his phone. He wore a cap, so I wasn’t able to see his face fully. And he gave off this weird vibe. I reached my apartment building, and the guy was still behind me.
I know mostly everyone who lives in my neighborhood and I couldn’t recall him. Last moment. I decided I wasn’t going to go inside the hallway; I turned around and went to a store where I waited for my mom to come. A few weeks after, there were some news about an 11-year-old girl from my school who was assaulted in the building right behind mine two days after the incident.
The guy they caught looked a lot like the guy who had followed me and given the time frame and the proximity there’s a high chance that it was him.
39. All the Colors of the Pain-bow
When I was a kid, I was messing around in our house that was under construction. I fell through the open floor to the floor below. My brother saw me land on my head and called 9-1-1. I “woke up” the next day watching TV and eating Teddy Grahams in the hospital. Then I don’t remember anything until a few days later when I was at home. But I learned the truth.
My parents said I was never unconscious because I was complaining the entire time, and I was able to eat and use the restroom on my own, but I don’t remember a thing. I’m colorblind where I have a hard time seeing green; it comes across as blue, grey, or brown most of the time. Yellow and purple are also hard for me. I didn’t actually realize I was colorblind for a few years. I found out that the type I have can be caused by a head injury.
40. Missed a Hot Departure
Not me, but when my mum was a teenager on November 18, 1987, she was going to London to visit a friend. It was around 7:20 pm and she decided she was going to take a taxi instead of going by tube because it didn’t feel right (King’s Cross tube station). Ten minutes later, the whole station caught on fire, and 30 out of the 40 people died.
If she had decided to take the tube, she would likely have died.
41. You Leave Me Breathless
Ran out of air while scuba diving. There are few accidents in diving, but this was one of them. I’m a cautious diver and have had a great teacher, so I checked my gear carefully back at the resort and again on the boat. All good, all working. When I turned on the air, the air gauge read 200. As it should be. So, we went in.
33m wreck dive. Kept close watch of the time, the depth, and the remaining air while we were down there. We were well within our time (and depth limit) when I grew a little suspicious. The air gauge had been at around 80 for a bit too long. Didn’t think much of it yet, though, so I shook it off. After a minute or two, I’m checking it again: still at 80.
Now I’m growing concerned, signaling to my buddies, but it’s still all good—we’re basically on our way back up anyways. Then I notice that my breaths are growing slower and longer and I’m finding it harder to focus—have so for a while, actually—and realize the awful truth. My air gauge must have gotten stuck and stopped counting down while I slowly ran out of air.
Here’s the thing: You don’t just suddenly breathe “against a wall,” but instead it creeps up on you while your brain slowly gets deprived of oxygen, so when you actually realize what’s going on, it’s nearly too late. So, the “this is it” moment? Actually, not that exciting; I was rather content with everything at that point, which scared me more than anything else. I didn’t feel much, I didn’t think much; I more or less had made my peace.
Then—thank God—my self-preservation drive and good training got the better of me and I managed to signal my buddies. The eejit of a diving guide wanted to check my air gauge first, so I was up and about to kill him and leave his body. I managed to wrestle the alternate air supply from him so he realized I wasn’t screwing around.
After that? Rather underwhelming, actually. You faced death and then, suddenly, you can think—and breathe—again and it’s all good. I’ve dived again, after, and would do so in a heartbeat: it actually made me feel safer, since I saw that I could handle a difficult situation and come out on top.
42. Beats the Ambulance
I stood up and had a quick Matrix-like wave (just like how the walls flex in the move). I turned to the closest person and asked for a ride to the emergency room. Honestly, it felt like a little head rush or lightheadedness that I’ve had a hundred times before. If I would have brushed it off as such, I would be dead. My lungs were at 30% capacity as I was drowning from fluids and had absolutely no other symptoms than the brief lightheaded feeling. Also, I had been feeling a bit down and hadn’t eaten.
The more I analyzed the situation, I have no idea why I asked a stranger for a ride to the hospital.
43. Shout Out to the Mouse
I was 18 months old and was visiting family in Richmond, VA. My dad and uncle took garbage cans across the city street and I ran out after them. A car hit me, and I flew ten feet down the street and bounced. My mom screamed as she watched thinking I was dead. Then I let out a massive wail. My aunt and her were nurses, who rushed me to my Aunt’s hospital.
Much to everybody’s relief, my only injuries were scrapes and bruises. Toddler bodies are still pretty pliant. There was just one thing that saved my life. I was wearing my favorite Mickey Mouse Ears cap. The woman that hit me only saw the ears and then slammed on the brakes. Otherwise, she would have kept on trucking and mowed me down.
44. A Walk Up the Stairs is Good For Everyone’s Health
I work in a mental health hospital—there’s a set of communal stairs, a lift, and some locked staff stairs. I was working on the top floor that night, and my gut told me to use the locked stairs. More of an inconvenience than the lift…I went through the last door and found the patient who lived closest to that door hanging in their room. They were only there about 1-2 minutes, so I managed to call for help and get them down before they died. What a close call.
45. This Is Not a Drill
It happened with a shock. My roommates woke me up at 4 am screaming my name. I thought they were playing a joke on me. I laughed, rolled out of bed, walked to the stairs, looked down and they were opening the front door. Fire leaped through. That was our only door out. My roommates slammed the door and ran upstairs.
We went to a window and noxious black smoke was billowing from below. My instinct was to get away from the smoke and wait to be saved. My roommate had the wherewithal to take the screen out and get us to climb out onto the roof anyway. My other roommate almost jumped four stories down, but thank God she didn’t.
We used another apartment’s window to get in and then down and out. We were panicked but the one roommate kept a clear head and saved our lives. Or 24-year-old neighbor wasn’t so lucky.
46. What’s Up Pussycat?
Was hiking by myself (real smart). I get this feeling that something wasn’t right, but I normally act on that feeling. That day, however, I ignored it. Went to a lookout, turned around and headed back. About the same place as I got the feeling, I noticed cougar tracks cross mine in the snow. They followed mine for a few meters and then went to a bit of shrub that overlooked both where I was now, and the lookout.
I immediately left and avoided going anywhere near something that would give a cougar cover. Occasionally behind me, I would notice a small rustle in the bushes and trees or some snow falling off a disturbed branch.
47. Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who’s the Biggest Hazard of All?
I used up sleep with a large, heavy mirror on the wall above my bed. It weighed 50-60 lbs. One night, I had the urge to take it down, fearing it’d fall on me and shatter. As soon as I took it off the wall, the two mason anchors holding it crumbled and fell to the floor.
48. Long Hair Rescue
I should be dead. I climbed onto one of those underpasses that allow river water to flow through when I was like, 5 years old. I got swept in the current and taken down the river. The only reason I survived is that my dad saw my long hair barely under the current and jumped in to save me.
49. Two’s Company, Three is a Felony
My fiancé worked with this guy who had this weird crush on him. He always called him randomly to hang out, which wasn’t a problem, but he just made me uncomfortable. If we ran into him at the store, he’d tag along and completely ignore me. He’d give me dirty looks and I would tell my fiancé I didn’t like him. He once called him 10 times one day when we had a date night.
Well eventually, he left us alone and we hadn’t heard from him for a good four months. That’s when we found out the dark truth. We saw on the news the other day that he was arrested for stabbing a guy 12 times over some disagreement.
50. If the Shoe Fits, Call the Cops
I was clubbing and felt something was wrong—I realized one of my friends was missing. I looked in the club, then outside, and saw her barefoot in the car park with glass in her feet being dragged off by a stranger to his car. I started screaming and making a scene for people to realize what was happening; the guy drove off and I spent four hours with my friend in the hospital getting a broken bottle out of her feet.
51. The Deadly Toilet
I was carrying a toilet by myself after having painted the bathroom. I got caught up in the drop cloth and fell on the toilet, smashing it, and a piece of the porcelain cut into my knee. My father was there with me and immediately took me to the hospital as the bleeding was pretty decent. The doctor told me that the piece missed an artery by 1/4” and that if I had been a smaller man I’d have bled out before I made it to the hospital.
Being a very large man (6’2” and 350lbs at the time) saved my life.
52. Flying Fish
Many years ago, I owned a pub. I went upstairs to the house area to find all the lights were off. I flicked the trip switches to turn the lights back on; which they did. I then heard running water from my co-owner’s fish tank in the lounge, turns out the protein skimmer had flipped over and was spilling water over the wall socket.
Instinctively (and very stupidly), I went to turn off the plug and as soon as I touched it got sent flying over the back of the sofa. I don’t know how I’m still alive to this day.
53. Eye of the Tiger, Thrill of Your Gut
I was visiting the area my family was from in India. We were just about done with the visit and called some “auto-rickshaws” or tuk-tuks as some people know them because those are the only things available there. We get our baggage and get loaded up. It’s about 9 PM, which for that place is basically ghost town time. As we ride out, we pass rice fields illuminated only by the glowing moon.
I feel like we’re being watched by something not quite human. I tell the driver to drive faster. Note that rickshaws are open on both sides, they don’t have doors per se. As soon as we take two steep turns, we hear a growl. Turning back, we see an honest to god freaking tiger standing there. If we had been a second late, which we would have been if I hadn’t told them to drive faster—the tiger would have knocked us into the rice fields and who knows what would have happened.
The interesting part is I had not seen or heard anything; it was pure intuition.
54. You Can’t Sting Me
I worked in an industry where kickbacks to customers were not uncommon. Bribery is a very grey area with the law. There’s a fine line between thanking a buyer with something like game tickets and enticing them with things much more valuable. Whether you’re dealing with a private company or government-related is also a big difference.
One day, I took a call from a potential customer who said that he had been dealing with a competitor who went out of business. He wanted to place a very large order, for which I would have received thousands in commission—but right up front, he asked what was in it for him. He made it clear he wanted cash directly to him, that his employer could not know about.
My gut told me he was bad news and not to oblige him, and I didn’t. I was certain he was out to screw us in some way, so I even went a step further and told him that what he proposed was illegal, and we want no part of it. If somebody was recording me, I wanted to be clear as a bell. Sure enough, that phone call stopped a government sting operation in its tracks.
Several companies were raided, and many individuals arrested in its wake. Many had fallen for it because their greed got the better of them. This was back in the 80s and 90s when a lot of industries and companies were doing very bad things with only occasional repercussions, like this one.
55. The Dud
Driving over an IED in Iraq. Its battery had gone bad in the heat. If the battery was alive, I wouldn’t be. I was in a rural area. I didn’t see some disturbed dirt in the dirt road that we were driving on, but my lieutenant in the passenger seat almost pooped his pants because his life flashed before his eyes. He literally curled into a ball in his seat.
I asked him what was up. And he said he was sure that there was something back there. We were currently escorting troop carriers to drop off a foot patrol in the middle of nowhere, so after we completed our drop off, we went back on his order to check out the spot. My truck was the only one with an RF jammer, so I took the lead up to the spot my lieutenant had seen.
I thought to myself, “Holy heck, how did I not see that?” I was the “demo” guy since we didn’t have enough EOD in the area, so I went up to it and saw the pressure plate and wires. I dug it up and there is was. A battery with the battery acid all leaked out. They didn’t bury it deep enough, and it was the middle of summer. About 130 degrees out. Not good for the battery.
Under the battery and pressure plate was a box, about the size of a footlocker, filled with explosives and accelerant. If it had gone off my whole truck would have been dust. We had to do a controlled demo since EOD was busy, and after we took it out, half the road had a 5-foot-deep crater in it.
56. Blessed by the Belt
This past Sunday, actually. I was with 2 friends of mine going on a drive to a Magic the Gathering tournament, and it was raining to all hell. The friend that was driving is a habitually reckless driver but just in this case, he took precautions and slowed down to a safe 60 mph on the expressway. I should say that just that morning I had a discussion with my mother about how fast and heavy a car needs to be to hydroplane.
So, we are driving down the expressway, me sitting behind the passenger seat, when I realize I’m not wearing my seatbelt. I clip it in and make the joke “good thing I put my seat belt on before we hydr-” and then we spun out and ended up totaling his car. Messed up my hip and back and my bag nearly gave me a concussion when it hit me upside the head.
57. I’ll Pencil You In For Survival
So, when I was about 8-9 years old, I was coming from school later than usual, and right before I came to my house, I decided to go to a nearby store instead to buy a new package of pencils. (I used to like drawing back then). Returning from the store, walking in the courtyard, I saw from afar two people coming out of the house I live in, and they did not look friendly at all.
As you probably guessed it, our house was robbed, and sadly, I couldn’t remember the intruders’ faces. To this day I wonder, what would have happened if I have not decided to buy those freaking pencils…
58. The Mix-Up
In 1986, my mother came for a routine pregnancy exam at the hospital… It wasn’t her usual gynecologist because they were on holiday. As the gynecologist enters the room, she’s waiting with her two feet in the stirrups, wearing the typical hospital grown with the opening at the back. He revealed the instruments for the exam.
My mother was a nurse. She recognized the instruments for an abortion and asked the doctor, “What’s going on? Is there a problem?” and the gynecologist said, “Well yes, as you know the baby is dead, we need to remove it.” My mother threw the biggest tantrum in the history of tantrums. My dad usually picks up the narrative at this part of the story, “I saw your mother storming out of the exam room, she passed by me as she was howling, ‘WE GO, NOW!’ with her clothes in her hands and her exposed butt.”
The gynecologist had mixed up the files. He was supposed to do the abortion on someone else.
59. Not So Cuddly A Plan
I tell this story a lot. An old friend and I used to cut through a construction site a lot to get to the lake we’d skip rocks on. We did it like weekly for a year and a half. One day, I just felt an intense urge to go the other way. I said we should just go the long way today friend. He asked why. I didn’t really have a reason, I just felt uncomfortable.
Long story short, he called me a wuss and we walked up on a family of bears.
60. Mr. Invincible
Car crash at 80km/hour. I hit a car that was going through a red light perpendicular to my direction of travel and came to a dead stop after hitting the back-quarter panel/wheel of their car whilst they barrel rolled three times into the nature strip… I hit the windscreen with my head because I’m 6’5″ and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt because I thought I was invincible.
Both myself and the other driver walked away unscathed which was the most surprising of all. I was taken to the hospital because of my collision with the windscreen, but was released shortly after some scans that came back okay. I don’t know what saved me or the other driver that day, but I thought I died for several seconds after the impact and airbags went off, only to realize I was a bit dazed but generally fine, which followed with moments of disbelief and joy.
61. Time for a Detour
The first month I was a student at college, I was bored and lonely and decided to walk to my best friend’s house across town at midnight. It was a walk I’d made several times with no issues, but this time when I got to the edge of the campus parking lots, I had a gut feeling hit me that I needed to go back to my dorm, NOW. I did, and the next morning a campus alert went out through email that around 12:30 that morning, a student had been attacked in the parking lot I would’ve passed through.
62. Blessed Backtracking
Driving from Italy to France. I was going to meet up with my husband and should have just flown but I wanted to bring our dog – and I wanted to avoid renting a car when we got there. It was supposed to be a 12-hour drive, but once I got to Rome, I realized I forgot my passport at home. I had to turn around and double back, putting me behind by two hours. What was the close call?
Well, because of my backtracking, I wasn’t on the Morandi bridge when it collapsed that day.
63. A Big Sibling is the Best Lifeguard
My siblings and I were swimming at a neighbor’s house with their kid, but the adults were inside. Randomly, a thought came into my head: “Where’s my sister at?” She easily could’ve gone inside or have walked across the street and be home, but I felt like I needed to find her ASAP. I got all of us kids to search when we noticed she was at the bottom of the pool, completely blue.
She made a complete recovery and is one of the best parts of my life. One brother got her out, one sprinted home across the street to get my mom, and I called 9-1-1 to get paramedics. We are very lucky and grateful we got a happy ending, but not everyone does.
64. A Split Decision
Riding my motorcycle, like an idiot, on back roads. I thought buddy gave the signal we were going to pass a car on a double yellow. I proceeded to throw the bike into the next lane without thinking it through. I was greeted by a work-truck with a utility bed on it (wider than normal truck bed). I was already ahead of my buddy and almost next to the minivan that I thought we were going around. Decided my only option was to pin it, think skinny, and split right down the middle of the double yellow.
I should be a grease stain. Had to pull over and think for a while after that one. Don’t really ride on the streets much anymore because of this incident. I found the racetrack and am much happier taking my hooliganism to a closed course these days.
65. Now That’s Good Housekeeping
I used to clean vacant houses for a living. One day I was working at a house near the end of a dead-end street. There were maybe six or seven houses on one side of the street before an intersection with a stoplight, so it was a pretty heavy traffic area. I was cleaning out the property just fine when my Spidey-Sense went off the charts.
I was inside the house, but I pretty much dropped everything, got in my car and started to drive outta there. On the corner, I saw a weird-looking guy and had a nasty feeling about him. When I got home it was all over the news. About 15 minutes after I’d left, he’d shot and killed someone.
Told my boss that I wasn’t going to go back to that property. He understood.
66. The Sharp Part of Town
Four students of mine won the first prize for a project they did, and we all got a free trip to London. We had spent the day sightseeing and were exhausted, so we got an ice-cream and sat on a bench in a park to relax. A couple of minutes later, I notice this couple walk by slowly, staring at us. My spidey-senses go mental.
I do not like these people for some reason. She walks by and sits on the bench next to ours, and he sits on the bench across from hers. They aren’t talking, just looking at each other. And that is when I notice her reaching into her pockets. I jump up, grab my students and run out of the park. My poor students are confused and wondering what the heck is wrong with me, when all of a sudden, we hear screaming.
It turns out the woman stabbed another couple walking through the park, trying to rob them. It scares the ever-loving heck out of me, knowing had I not gotten my students out of there, we would have been stabbed and robbed.
67. Crossing the Road
Crossed an interstate without looking. I got hit by a grandmother doing 55. Managed to not only not die, but also not break anything. I did, however, get first and second degree friction burns on a good portion of my right arm and first degree friction burns on my right leg, with further scrapes and contusions all over the place, plus a deep tissue bruise in my right leg that kept me from walking for about a week.
I pretty much got scooped up by the car and, I don’t believe I’m going to say this, but basically “yeeted” about 100 feet down the road.
68. Take a Sharp Turn at Nopesville
I pulled into a gas station around 8-9 PM that wasn’t in a ghost town or anything, but it was insanely dark due to the time of year. As I pull towards one of the pumps, I see this dude slowly pacing near the entrance of the convenience store, and we make eye contact. I quickly pulled the car to another pump towards one of the entrances to the gas station, trying to be safer but thinking I’m probably just being paranoid.
Once I sit there for a minute and decide to put my car in park, he quickly rushes over to me. By the time I’m back in drive and peel out through the entrance into an oncoming lane (luckily no traffic), I saw him pulling out what looked like a large knife out of his jacket…I’m glad I didn’t disregard my gut that night, that’s for sure.
69. A Tough Pill to Swallow
I was trying to take a Nyquil pill last night, but I choked on it instead. It was lodged in my throat for maybe 8 minutes, I think. I got lucky; it gave me just enough room to keep some air flowing, but lord, there was a lot of pain as my body kept trying to eject it with more mucus than I have ever shot out before.
My poor girlfriend called 9-1-1. She tried her best with the Heimlich, but she’s just not strong enough to force a good thrust of air out to dislodge it. The pill finally started dissolving and went down about a minute before the local fire department got here. That was by far the scariest moment in my life.
70. Watching The Ones Who Do Not Smile
I was at a party when I was in college when two older dudes showed up. The place was packed and most people were drunk. I noticed something was a bit off about them. They never smiled and weren’t really talking to anyone. Finally, someone accused them of feeling around in their back pocket and it turned out they were lifting wallets from drunk college kids.
But it gets worse. Once confronted, one of the guys stabbed the kid in the stomach with a smallish knife. They left slowly and were never caught. It was pretty surreal. The kid who got stabbed turned out fine.
71. Forbidden Snacks
I found an AC cord with exposed wires as a kid. It didn’t connect to any device; it was probably just a spare part. Being a child at that time, I thought I could “eat electricity” so I plugged it in and just chomped the wires. Naturally, I was exposed to 220V of electricity, and it was strong enough that I couldn’t pull away. I passed out after what felt like five minutes.
When I woke up, I already had discoloration on my tongue, so it was probably not a dream. I have a theory that all the events in my life after that are just a simulation and that I actually didn’t survive that incident.
72. Sparing The Other Passengers
I got to the airport early and got something to eat at the restaurant, boarded the plane, everyone is on, and I suddenly get a feeling of panic. Nothing else, just panic. I was used to traveling most of the month, back and forth every week, so no problems flying, but in this case, I had to get off that plane. I grabbed my stuff, ran past the flight attendant and said don’t wait for me, I will get another flight and sat down trying to calm down.
The announcement comes over the speaker that they are looking for me, my flight is leaving. It leaves. I watch the flight start to take off. This was in Detroit. Then it happened. The worst cramps I ever had, ran to the bathroom. Food poisoning from the restaurant. I would have been on a two hour flight stinking up the plane while ejecting the contents of my stomach from both ends.
I am sure the entire passenger compartment thanks me, though they do not know.
73. Trusting The Spidey Sense In The Rain
It was 1:30 am and raining, I was riding my motorcycle down a four-lane road with two lanes in each direction and a middle turn lane. I saw a car approaching a stop sign, perpendicular to me, in the parking lot of a bar and thought to myself “He’s going to turn left in front of me.” I was going 45mph, let off the throttle, and about 200 to 250 feet from him, he did exactly what I thought he was going to do.
I grabbed my front and rear brakes, back tire locked up and kicked out to the left. I had maybe 40 to 50 feet in which I would either high-side in front of the car and likely be ran over, slam into the driver door or rear driver door or jump off to the right in a tuck and roll fashion. I jumped and my motorcycle slammed into the rear driver side of his car.
I had a couple of scratches, bruises, and a sore tailbone. But I wasn’t run over or hanging out in his back seat through the glass window. Thank God for spidey senses.
74. A Long Way Down
A few months ago, I was lying on the rocks at Taft Point in Yosemite on my belly–my face looking down over the edge. I crawled back from the edge, got on to my hands and knees to stand up and my foot caught on my backpack I’d put down. As I stood up, I tripped and stumbled towards the edge. I managed to stop myself from going over; my hand catching me as I fell forward right by the lip of the edge…
Thinking about it gives me a rush of terror and I’m sick at the thought of how close I came to falling over the edge and dropping hundreds and hundreds of feet down.
75. Read the Fine Print
So about three days ago, I started developing a cough (as a result of getting just sick overall). I hate coughing and how it tears up my throat, so I finished off a bottle of Delsym and bought 2 bottles of Theraflu that I could basically sip throughout the day to keep the cough away. And so, I did. At about 7 pm on Tuesday, I started drinking the Theraflu.
That night I had gone through about half a bottle. No biggie. The next morning the cough persisted so I kept drinking, and by 11 am I had gone through both bottles. Now, of course, I didn’t read the bottle or what was inside, because it’s cough syrup how bad could it be? Right? Wrong. Turns out there is 650mg of acetaminophen per 30ml dose of Theraflu, with 245.5ml per bottle.
I had taken something close to 10 THOUSAND mg of acetaminophen. Now so you don’t have to google it, the recommended max dose is about three thousand mg, and the DONT GO ABOVE THIS AMOUNT number is about four thousand mg. I had accidentally drunk 10 thousand mg. Over double the ‘you’re going to die if you drink this much’ amount.
The next 36 hours until today were spent trying to flush my system out (at the direction of a nurse friend) with as much fluid as I could as it was too late to throw it up – and closely monitoring for signs of liver failure.
76. Rock(et) and Roll
Went to see fireworks one time. As I was watching, I got a bad feeling, being as close as I was, and I wondered how many people have died from fireworks. Not even 30 seconds later, one of the launch pipes for the fireworks tipped or something. All I remember was fireworks launching and exploding right in my direction, and one of the firework tails whizzing right past my head, then me running away like mad.
77. Watching Wildflowers
I live in Texas. As a young child, my family drove out to this scenic spot out in the hill country to look at wildflowers and chill. I must have been like 6 years old or so at the time. Anyway, we get there, we’re at the top of this hill and at the bottom there is this huge expanse of blue bonnets, so of course, I take off at a flat sprint to see the flowers.
But I was too young and stupid to understand gravity and slopes, and about halfway down the hill I completely lost control of my legs and was flinging down this hillside like the flash. And, surprise, the at the base of the hill before the flowers start is solid rock. So, I start screaming hysterically and making peace with my god.
Little did I know, my dad had seen my dumb mistake far before I had, and had taken off behind me. All I remember is my body being perpendicular to the hill and the rocks getting bigger and bigger, and then being lifted into the air. My dad had managed to sprint down the hill at a diagonal angle, and he snatched me out of a path that lead to certain doom.
It was pretty incredible. The dad reflexes were strong that day.
78. A Criminal Record Would Be the Real Party Pooper
At a party in college. Two thoughts occurred at the same time… 1) “Wow there’s a lot of people here!” and 2) “A lot of these girls look really young…” So, I got the heck out. Found out later party was busted, and several people who were there ended up in jail for a variety of things.
79. Just Say No, Mmmkay
At a research institute, I walked into a mouse procedure/surgery room for a quick moment to grab something and leave. After walking out I felt, well to be honest, like I was a little high. There were three other people in that room, including two undergraduates, so I got worried and went back inside to check things out.
When I got back inside I asked if they were feeling ok, one of the undergrads turned to me and said she was fine, but was flushed and looked a little out of it. So I went around to all the isoflurane chambers (it’s an odorless volatile liquid that KOs mammals at low doses and kills them at higher) looking for leaks. Sure enough, the gasket at the bottom of one of the chambers had failed and it was leaking out and immediately boiling into a gas, and filling the room.
I told them their isoflurane was leaking, and the postdoc told me they were fine and that he uses that machine all the time. He also pointed out that the isoflurane was in an air curtained biosafety cabinet and so even with the leak, they were protected. I called him an idiot because a biosafety cabinet recirculates air and doesn’t evacuate it like a fume hood—which is what he should have been using.
So I ignored him, propped open the door, and ordered the undergrads to get out of the room. I then went to their lab manager and told her what I had found. Their lab manager came down like the wrath of God.
80. The Mental Hospital
Back in high school a group of friends and I decided to explore an abandoned mental hospital located in Indianapolis (sadly torn down now). We got up to the roof and we were hanging out enjoying the view. We saw some plastic looking things on the roof. A couple guys started breaking them, so I full-on sprinted at one and jumped on it.
Turned out they were sky lights and I immediately began to fall through before one person grabbed me and stopped me from falling four stories. I should have been toast that day.
81. Hand of God
Literally the dumbest thing I’ve ever done is a good one for this. 19-year-old me (2 years ago) walked to the gun safe to show off to my girlfriend the very nice new pistol I had inherited as a result of a family member passing away. I hadn’t shot it yet and was positive it was unloaded. She was very nervous, so I stupidly put it to my head and go to pull the trigger just to show how harmless it is when it’s unloaded.
Without knowing it, I instinctively moved it away from my head and it went off. It couldn’t have missed my head by more than an inch. I still wonder what’s in store for me for the future because there’s no reason I shouldn’t be dead. I didn’t try to move it, it just did. I thank God and question why… I think about that a lot – I’m definitely much more respectful of a gun and treat every single one as if it’s loaded, which you should anyways.
82. Don’t Drink and Jerk
I went out for beers with some friends. A guy at the bar kept staring at my female friend. Didn’t think anything of it initially, thought maybe he’s just into her. Then, alarm bells start ringing in my head for some reason. Minutes later, he went to my friend and I saw him try to slip something in her drink while she was talking to another friend of ours.
Good thing I was watching told him to screw off with that roofie crap. He tried to punch me, but missed. Bouncer saw; he got kicked out.
83. Baleful Brook
I was maybe 13 or 14 years old. A friend and I were hanging out near a really fast running brook that was swollen due to massive rain falls a day before. We jumped in thinking it would be fun to ride the current, get out a couple hundred feet away and do it again. We realized quickly that getting to the bank and climbing out was not an option.
We wound up finally having a chance of escape about 2 miles away where there was a bridge. The current could have sucked us down under the overpass but we got lucky instead. We had been treading water for what felt like an eternity taking breaks by grabbing trees for rest periods. I’ll never forget it and have made sure to teach my two boys the dangers of rapidly running water. Got lucky that day.
84. A Bad Gut Feeling Is A Rational Deduction From An Observation
Got off the subway at night, there was one other person about half a block behind me on my route home. This is a totally normal thing, has happened thousands of times. Totally normal-looking dude, not even following me closely. I had a bad feeling. Such a bad feeling that, when I turned the corner on my way home, I broke into a dead sprint and hid behind a dumpster in the shadows partway down the street.
By the time he came around the corner, I was well hidden and could see him from my hiding place. As soon as I saw his reaction to the fact that I wasn’t there, I knew I had been right to hide. He started LOOKING FOR ME, muttering to himself, he went up and down the street, looked around corners, I hid and held my breath until he was gone. It was terrifying.
I am so glad I had that sudden, inexplicable impulse to hide, and listened to it.
85. A Matter of Inches
Not my mistake, but it did almost kill me. A friend was driving my car up to a lake where we were going to hike, and he thought it would be funny to do a little swerve maneuver to spook everyone in the car. We spun all the way around, and had to start the car again. Everyone was fine and it was kind of funny in the moment, but on our way back up the hill we saw our own tracks, and the back wheel of my car was maybe an inch from the edge of the cliff.
Had we gone any further we’d have rolled down a steep cliffside and into a river below…
86. The Dangers of Photobombing
Okay. This happened about 5 years ago (I’m almost 18 now). I was with my family and we’d gone to a waterfall (in Karnataka, India). I was with my immediate family, cousins, the lot. At the top before the waterfall, it is common practice there for people to sit and soothe their legs in the pools (the bottom was rocky and the banks weren’t nice there).
We planned to take selfies. Now remember, what do 13-year-olds like to do? That’s right, photobomb. I tried to get behind one of my cousin’s heads and do the horn thingy. Well let’s just say it didn’t go as it planned. I slipped and fell. As if by instinct, I held on at the literal edge of the waterfall. Half my body was down and half was up grasping for anything to hold onto.
Water was flowing over me. It was a good 100ft drop mind you, and a certain death (rocky bottom). Anyway, other people that were there formed a man-chain and pulled me out.
87. Nick of Time
I was at a bar in October of 2013 or 2014, if I recall. Anywho, I lived in a particularly rough neighborhood at the time, and I was enjoying a few drinks. I had this horrible feeling of uneasiness looming in the back of my mind, so I told my buddies I’m turning in for the night. They called me the following morning and informed me that the bar had gotten shot up and like three people were injured.
It was about two hours after I left.
88. Not Trusting Those Other Kids
My friend asked me for a ride home. I told him I wasn’t going his way and he was like “okay, I’ll catch a ride with those people.” I wasn’t a huge fan of the people he was going to go home with, so I said screw it and gave him a ride. Turns out the kids who were going to take him home decided to speed down a windy, wooded road near his house at 80mph.
They hit something and flipped the car multiple times. They all lived, but barely. The EMTs said that if they were bigger kids (they were all scrawny and under 5’10”) they would’ve been crushed. My friend who almost went with them is 6’2″. He absolutely would’ve died that day.
89. The Nice Driver
I drove a stranger to Walmart so he could buy his younger brother a copy of Resident Evil 5; it was also 10 degrees out and he was on a bicycle. We chatted for a while about our lives, like how he doesn’t have a dad and neither do I, and how we both live pretty poor lives. He told me he was going to buy his mom a mansion after he made a million dollars.
I told him I believed in him and that he could do it. He said I was the only guy who’d ever believed in anything he said, and that I was the nicest guy he’d ever met. I dropped him off at Walmart, and went back to my job. I come to find out from the state cop who’s stationed up the road that the kid was wanted for 10 counts of carjacking and 1 count of gun crime. He could’ve pulled a piece on me but he didn’t.
I guess that wasn’t really an accident, but I never expected the dude would be a criminal or anything so it was just pretty naive. I lived though.
90. Pass the Pea Shooter
Early on in my law enforcement career, I was ridiculously naïve and excited to show off my sidearm to whoever showed interest, even with people whom didn’t seem to care, I’d flaunt it. I would jump at the chance to unholster my shiny .38sp and hand it over to anybody who eyed it up on my hip. I was cool and felt incredible whenever the piece was on my hip, even more when noticed.
One fine evening, a complete stranger, nice enough, asked a few questions about my revolver from the counter at the station. Without hesitation I grabbed it out and handed it over to him without unloading it. I was confident enough this complete stranger, my newest bud, would definitely have experience handling weapons, having made a sound character judgment in less than two minutes.
Within seconds I realized he had absolutely no experience with a firearm due to being muzzle swept twice with his finger on the trigger of a loaded pea shooter. Saying, “Wow it’s a lot heavier than I thought!” I gasped quietly as I pooped a little, then sighed with relief when I gingerly coerced him into handing the piece back to me.
I later lost it when I found out he was a parolee signing in as part of his conditions of release.
91. The Runaway
I passed out in the woods after running from the cops. I was at a party in college and decided I was done, so I started walking home. I got like half a mile from campus when a cop pulled over to talk to me (It was like 3 AM and I couldn’t walk in a straight line on the sidewalk). My instant drunk reaction to seeing the blue lights was to bolt into the woods at full speed.
Naturally, I can’t see what obstacles are in my way, so at some point, I had tried to either climb a fence, or ran through thorn bushes. Eventually, I ran headfirst into a tree and fell down. I had probably the most absurd thought I’ve ever had… “If I hold my breath the cops can’t see where I am.” So, I did that and passed out while lying on my back in the woods.
I woke up a few hours later as the sun was coming up, and realized I had shredded my clothes. My face/arms looked like I had been attacked by an animal with all the scratches—the worst one being a vertical cut that went lengthwise down the interior of my forearm, starting at my wrist. This was 12 years ago and I can still see the scar from that particular cut; the rest have healed and faded but that one is still prominent.
Had that been a little deeper, I have no doubt I would have bled out while lying on the ground in the woods (If I didn’t already die from alcohol poisoning). There were probably 3 or 4 things that should have killed me that night but didn’t.
92. Pick of Destiny
I was 17 years old, driving down country roads at like 2 am with a friend. We had just left the movies seeing The Pick of Destiny. We went and bought the soundtrack right after and we were blasting the CD. I was driving like a maniac. My car was older, so the speedometer only read up to 85 but it was pinned the whole time.
I didn’t see a turn and there was about an 8 ft drop off right next to the road. We jumped over it and ended up in the middle of a field. After we calmed down, we went and looked at what we flew through. My car had split right between 2 trees, hitting either one would’ve killed us both; we didn’t have seat belts on.
93. Look Both Ways
This was 13 years ago. I was skateboarding with some buddies at a busy shopping center. A few minutes before leaving, we were waiting at a crosswalk to cross the street. One of my friends takes off running across the crosswalk, and my other buddies follow suit. So, I took off as well. I was not even paying attention to the light, but the lane crossing the crosswalk was on a green light.
My two friends in front were in the clear, but myself and one of my other friends were both hit by a U-Haul truck (yes really, trust me I got chaffed for YEARS about getting hit by a huge, bright orange truck) going probably 40-45mph. My friend in front of me didn’t get hit too bad. I got hit square in the chest. I had no clue at the time what had happened.
I was running, then I was on the ground in a daze, with no pain, and I even got up and instinctually ran back to the sidewalk that I had come from. No clue I’d been hit by a truck, I was more just like what in the heck just happened. A nurse that was at the light came and helped me; she told me what had happened and helped me stay calm. She asked if I was having trouble breathing. I was, but it was attributed to me having asthma. Later, I found out it was because both of my lungs were punctured.
Anyways, the ambulance shows up. I’m holding up very well, no clue why. I was kind of just thinking okay, I must have gotten super lucky. I’m conscious, talking fine, no biggie. They only had one bed in the ambulance, so my buddy was lying on it, and I was sitting hunched over on the bench for the ride (I wish I was joking).
We get to the hospital, and I try to pull myself up to get out of the ambulance. And I can’t, my shoulders hurt way too bad. The EMS guys tell me I probably dislocated my shoulder and that I’ll just have to get it popped in and before I know it, I’ll be back home. Once inside, WE GET PUT IN THE WAITING ROOM. No, I am not joking. We had skateboards with us, and the desk people had no clue. They assumed we just fell on our skateboards or something.
So, I’m still feeling pretty good, other than some sore shoulders, just chilling there watching Wheel of Fortune. All of a sudden, I start feeling super clammy and disoriented. I remember hearing my mom screaming, “HE’S GOING INTO SHOCK,” and then next thing I know I’m being wheeled down a bunch of hallways. It was like in shows where it’s a blur of those florescent lights just flashing overhead one at a time.
I start having severe pain. Like the worst pain you could imagine. But I can’t be given any painkillers yet, because I have to go through a bunch of tests first. I’d assume these tests should have been done right when I got there, but what do I know. The one I really remember is having to be picked up off of the bed and put onto one of the machines that required me to be on my back.
They had people grab each corner of the sheet from the bed that I was on to move me onto it. I remember it kind of squishing my shoulders inward a bit and holy moly, that was the worst pain I’ve ever felt. Anyways, after a ton of tests, it’s found out that both of my lungs are punctured. Both of my collar bones are snapped in half. Broken ribs. Cracked sternum. Concussion. The works. I ended up spending the next couple weeks in the ICU.
They didn’t have any hospital beds open for me at the time so I actually ended up being transferred to a children’s hospital. It was freaking sweet. People came and sang to me and brought me teddy bears and stuff. And I was just jacked up on morphine watching Lord of Rings all the time. But yeah, it was a pretty tough recovery, and I went from just hanging out with a smile on my face to a scary place really quickly.
I went to a world-renowned clavicle specialist at Duke Medical for my collar bones. He normally had an insanely long wait list, but apparently when he found out that I broke both at the same time he was willing to see me ASAP. He told me that he’d only ever had a few patients that broke both at the same time, because the force required to do so almost always resulted in death.
Eventually I got better; a full recovery. I was a bit of a hypochondriac for a while though, and was scared to cross the street…
94. 100 Feet Underwater
Decades ago, I was 100 feet underwater on a scuba dive in the Mediterranean Sea. The ‘octopus’ is a rubber piping that connects your breather to your air tank. The pressure gauge on my octopus collapsed under the pressure – it had been badly maintained, and I started to inhale water instead of air. I switched to my second breather but of course, that was leaking in massive amounts of water too.
So, I’m now drowning. My dive buddy was a beginner. I was supposed to be looking after him, as opposed to him looking after me, but he swam off without doing the thing where you look back on your buddy every now and again. I’m thinking If I shoot to the surface, I’ll get the bends and die. If I stay down here, I die. I’ve no chance of reaching my buddy to get a go on his oxygen.
By now, I’m oxygen depleted completely. There’s nothing left to do than inhale water. Drowning isn’t peaceful. It’s terrifying, a bit like being on fire. Your vision narrows, like looking down a tube, and your brain stops thinking about anything other than get the heck out of here. So, I’m flapping, screaming inside my head, and decide that shooting to the surface is the best option. I inflate by BCD, the inflatable jacket you wear, dump my weight belt and up I go.
Then I feel something pulling me down. I look around and see a guy, another diver holding onto me and doing everything he can to pull me back down, and see he’s also deflating my BCD. “He’s trying to drown you!” is how my brain reads it. So, I decide to pull his mask off so he’ll be distracted and let me go. As I reach for his mask, I make eye contact with him, and that instant, in my utterly blind panic by that point, the eye contact brings me right back to my senses.
I reach for his spare breather, suck in sweet, sweet air, and my vision immediately returns and I become rational again. We surfaced together, after spending some time at the required depth to make sure pressurization stopped us from getting the bends. Turns out, he was the guy who’d been responsible for kit maintenance.
Looking at the rubber octopus afterwards, the crack in it had likely been caused by him not rinsing it after dives and then being left in the sun, meaning salt and heat caused the rubber to deteriorate. The massive water pressure eventually caused it to collapse. It was difficult to decide whether to thank him or ream him out. So, I had a beer, smoked half a dozen cigarettes and thought about my life, instead.
95. Not a Highway to Heaven Today
This last summer, I happened to run into someone I knew from school at McDonald’s. We were talking about cars and he was very excited as he had just purchased his first car from his grandparents, a 2008 Ford Taurus. We go out into the parking lot to look at his car and he is really excited to take us for a ride.
My friend and I reluctantly agree. As I’m reaching for my seat belt, I get a weird feeling in my gut. I thought that maybe I would be needing it. We get onto a busy road, and about a mile or two down the road he gets into the left turn lane. The light was a blinking yellow arrow, meaning he should yield to traffic.
My friend in the backseat and I in the front seat alert the driver that a truck is coming, but he ignores our warnings. About mid-way through the turn, I see a beautiful 1991 GMC Jimmy coming straight at my door, on a 55 mph road. I thought this was the end, that the Jimmy was going to tear right through the door.
I silently said a prayer and closed my eyes. Time seemed to slow down and eventually the impact took place. At the last minute, the Jimmy driver (God bless him) must have swerved out of the way and impacted the front fender instead of my door. Kid’s car was totaled, and the Jimmy had to be towed away as well. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured, but I thought for a brief moment that it was going to be the end of me.
96. Girl of His Dreams
When I was around 20, a few years ago, I kept having dreams about a woman with long black hair named Aroura—pronounced A-roar-uh. They were different dreams but for some reason, her distinct face and name always ended up in them. It got to the point where I would wake up frustrated and confused, trying to Google her name or find out how I was connected to her.
After a few months, she stopped showing up and I dismissed it, thinking my brain was just messing with me. Fast forward a few years later, Halloween 2009, and I’m in the car with a friend stopped at a gas station. I’m about to pull out and merge onto a highway when I get a phone call from a random number, so I stop the car, but no one answered.
There was a person behind me who grew impatient, honked at me, and then swerved in front of me instead of waiting for two seconds for me to move. The second they got on the highway, some silver Civic loses control of their wheel and crashes into the car that swerved in front of me. I called the cops and waited at the gas station for them to come.
It turns out that the drivers of both cars died. It 100% would have been me if I hadn’t gotten that phone call. I called it back a few hours later out of gratitude and curiosity. It rang three times and went to voicemail. The message stopped me in my tracks. It said: “Hi, you’ve reached Aurora, please leave your name and number.” I’ve never had goosebumps like that in my life.
I called it again the next day because I was that confused about the whole situation. Some woman answered, we got to talking and I tell her my entire story, including the dreams I had. She tells me she doesn’t know how I got her number and that she never called me as far as she remembers. Weird. I ask her if she has a Facebook to confirm if she is in fact the woman in my dreams.
I check her Facebook and sure enough, it’s her. If that’s not a glitch in the matrix, then I’m just losing it.
Airline pilot here—warning, do not continue reading if flying makes you uneasy. One day we loaded up passengers and cargo and everything and we were ready to taxi. I noticed that the nose of the airplane seemed to be higher than usual while we were sitting on the ground. I told my first officer about it and he agreed.
We double-checked the weight and balance and everything seemed to be right. I decided to just taxi out towards the runway and see if the wheel struts would go back to their normal positions during taxi. Still felt weird to me. Something wasn’t right. I told ground control we needed to go back to the gate. I called Ops and told them we’re headed back because I think something isn’t right with the weight and balance.
After we get back, I ask them to check how much ballast we have in the aircraft. It’s verified on my sheet as 500lbs., but I have a feeling. Turns out, yep, they forgot to put it in the plane. So had we taken off, the center of gravity would have been out of whack—way past limits. It could have resulted in an airplane that was impossible to control.
Just like that 747 that took off and had the load slide to the back. That was a day that I was really pleased that I had so much experience flying to give me that feeling & that feeling could very well have saved my life along with others.
98. The Assassin
I tried to poison my mom’s boyfriend. I was probably around 11 years old. I had one of those science kits from the Scholastic book fair. I took the citric acid and dumped the whole container into his drink. He sipped it and just said, “this tastes like trash” and dumped it out.
99. More Like Lake Eerie
In the seventh grade, I had a friend that lived near a beach on a bay of Lake Michigan. One day in early May it reached 70 degrees, nearly unheard of for that time of year in northern Wisconsin. My two friends, including the beach friend, excitedly rode our bikes down to the beach to maybe dip our toes in, expecting still frigid waters, and then “tan” for the rest of the afternoon.
The water, though, was surprisingly warm. Like bathwater warm. In this particular area of the bay, the water was shallow for about a half-mile out, and we joyously splashed around, wading deeper and deeper until we were about chest-deep. As we dunked each other and swam with abandon I started to feel sick. Bad headache, nausea, wobbly.
Just then, my other two friends mentioned that they also felt sick. We headed back to shore, nearly crawling by the time we got out. The three of us collapsed under a tree and fell asleep for 2 hours or so. When we woke up we talked about how weird it was. I dipped my toe back in the water and it was freezing cold. To this day I have no idea what was in there.
I do know that there is a chemical plant in town that used to manufacture things like Agent Orange and that their practices were known to be less than environmentally conscious. I have never touched that water since.
100. One Step Ahead
My old man was an avid outdoorsman in the Colorado Rockies in the late 80s. He’d go on week-long treks with his buds. One summer, they’d been out for a few days in Pikes National Forest. They set up camp in a ravine they thought was safe. That night my dad unzipped the tent to take a leak in the dark and outside stood a pair of pale bare feet.
My dad screamed and zipped up the tent. Everyone else woke up and asked what was wrong. My dad said someone was barefoot out there. They went out and flashed their lights for a bit, hollering. My dad swore he saw what he saw and described the feet in detail: they were old blotchy feet, one even had a lump on the ankle. Tony, his bud, asked which foot, left or right.
My dad said it was the right. Then Tony said they needed to move their camp immediately. Dad asked why. Tony said they didn’t have time. They went along with it and packed up and moved on top of the hill. The next morning they woke up to find a flash flood had torn through the ravine during the night. It would have surely killed them.
Tony’s grandfather had just died a month prior and one of the last things he said to him was that he would always watch over him. The feet my dad described reminded Tony of his grandfather’s feet.