There are moments in life where everything changes in an instant. Whether it was uncovering a dark family secret or witnessing something that they just can't unsee, these Redditors can pinpoint the day when they lost some of their innocence and became scarred for life. Somehow, reading them secondhand feels almost as disturbing as going through them...
1. Turning A New Leaf
One New Year’s Eve just after all my parent’s friends had gone home, we heard rapid knocking at the door. There was a woman in a pink and white coat who was shivering and stammering in Spanish. My dad, who’s fluent, began calming her down while taking her into the house. My mom came to his side, and then reached out to touch the woman's jacket.
When she lifted her hand, she had a horrifying revelation...She realized that the jacket wasn't actually multi-colored. The pink was blood, and she was shivering from the shock of a broken arm. My dad had calmed her down enough to get her to tell us what happened while my mom called the emergency number. She said that she and her brother had hit an ice patch.
It happened a mile away on a steep hill, and they went over the bank to the bottom. My dad and I grabbed our coats to go find the car. When we found it, my dad went down the hill first after firmly telling me to stay where I was. Being a stupid teen, I went down after a few minutes and when the car came into view, I learned why he’d told me to wait.
The car was wrapped around a tree, and the poor guy’s head was twisted all the way around. That sight still haunts me to this day whenever I drive on cold nights.
2. Stray Lead
When I was 10, my school, St. Anthony’s in South Bend, Indiana, had a fair that featured a ride called the Lead. How it worked was two people sat in a revolving barrel that’s a small lead-shaped cage that revolves as you go around a circle like a Ferris wheel at average Ferris wheel height. Well, a six-year-old and I were getting on and the guy is loading us in and starts having us put on our belts, which I start to do. As the kid is getting in the seat, that’s when disaster struck.
The ride fired up accidentally. The operator ran to turn it off, but it was too late. We shot up to the top super fast, probably around 30-40 miles per hour. Remember how I said it revolves? It turned so the door we came in was pointing straight down and since it started suddenly, it was not latched shut. I was really lucky and had belted the top portion so my chest and upper body were held with my legs splayed out against the small cage above the door.
The poor kid though hadn’t had anything on, but I had grabbed him and he was doing the same thing with his legs holding onto the seat, with the doors swinging open below us to probably about a 100-foot drop to concrete. Everyone started screaming and gathering as the operator started slowly climbing up to us and we were just hanging there as a huge crowd formed.
I locked on to him for life and oddly enough, never got tired holding his likely 60 lbs. I also remember being very calm about everything just watching the crowd and the tree line and thinking how embarrassed I was for the attention. We said very little. I just asked if he was okay and he looked at me and nodded with a pale face and that was it.
We just clung there, waiting for the operator for what felt like forever. I remember at one point someone yelling for us to switch places because he was so young, which was weird but there was no way I was going to move or adjust my grip for fear of falling. Though it felt like forever it was likely about 20 minutes for the guy to finally get to us and close the door.
He told us to put on our belts as best we could. Then he climbed down, started it up, and we got down and off. My parents were pretty absent so, of course, they weren’t there to scream at the guy. I just remember being in a daze until my parents came and got me.
3. Lake "Eerie"
One year, my family and I went to Lake Erie for a mini staycation. We were swimming in the water when I felt something touch my leg. I just assumed it was seaweed or a fish. Then, my stepfather felt something touch his leg. I was underwater briefly when he felt it touch him, so he looked at me when I came up. His eyes were wide and afraid.
He asked me if it was me and I assured him it wasn't. When we searched the water, we came across a grisly sight. It was a body. He was holding my three-year-old little brother when we discovered it. We were maybe four feet deep at the time and I was struggling to swim. With his right arm, he held my little brother, and with his left arm, he unsubmerged the body of a seven-year-old boy from the darkness of the Great Lakes.
He had faced my little brother away so he wasn't subjected to the sight. He carried them both about 30 to 40 feet to shore before screaming for my mother to come and take my little brother. It was horrific—and then it got worse. Moments later, the boy's family came running towards us. I will never forget the screams of the mother who had left the responsibility with her 17-year-old son to take care of his little brother.
There was a nearby nurse who performed CPR but to no avail. His brother lost sight of him only 15 minutes earlier. His mother started beating the heck out of him while she was crying and screaming in Spanish. It was in the newspaper and although it matters little, the lifeguards on the beach were given full credit for recovering the boy, while my stepfather was not mentioned.
I was 13 on that day and will never forget the little boy or the sounds of his mother. Just writing this made my eyes swell.
4. Better Watch Out
My best friend’s parents were out of town one weekend and she had the house to herself. She went about her business, having dinner and watching TV. When she went to bed, she was lying with her back to her closet when she heard the door open. She somehow pretended to be asleep, and then the horror started. A man who was hiding in the closet walked around her bed to the side she was facing and gently stroked her hair and face, and then left.
She immediately called her boyfriend to ask him to come over, then called her parents and then the authorities. After the authorities investigated the matter, they found that the man had been getting into their home through their doggy door. He had been living in a tent in the forested area behind their home for months to creep on her. They found a ton of surveillance footage of her sleeping and pieces of her clothes and other belongings.
5. Delivering The Sad News
I delivered newspapers when I was 14. I had the route for the blocks around my house, so it was easy for me to do without a car. One day, I was walking down my street on my route when I saw sawdust on the road soaking up the large and long puddle of liquid on the road. I just assumed that there had been a car accident.
I thought it was probably there to soak up gasoline or something, so I continued. A few neighbors were out talking about a block down, and they asked me if I heard what had happened. I handed them their newspaper and told them that I hadn’t. They told me that something happened to my elderly neighbor across the street.
This sweet kind woman was in her nineties and had been showing signs of memory issues. Everyone knew she shouldn’t have been living on her own. Her husband had passed a few years earlier, and she had just met a new man around her age who picked her up and took her out to dinner and to church. It was the sweetest thing.
And she was very happy again. So, that day, she was late trying to catch the bus and about to miss it. She was on the wrong side of the street for the bus stop, so while the bus was paused at the stop sign, she grabbed the side rearview mirror to get the driver’s attention. But the driver didn’t have to look that way.
He didn’t notice her and hit the acceleration. She was dragged along the asphalt until the driver heard her screaming. That's when all the horrible puzzle pieces clicked into place. It hadn't been gasoline that the sawdust was there to absorb; it was her blood. I had to walk by it going home and realizing what she went through left me hyperventilating behind my house sobbing.
6. An Unexpected Dinner Guest
My wife and I were eating dinner one night when a stranger walked into our house. I’ll never forget looking up and seeing the look on his face as he stood there. He told us he was the angel of doom and was collecting souls for the apocalypse. He said there were demons outside everywhere. I thought “This is it, we’re done for.”
Luckily he didn’t have a weapon and didn’t attack us. I talked him into walking outside with me so I could help him out. As soon as he stepped through the door I slammed it shut, locked it, and called law enforcement. By that time he was in the road screaming nonsense. It turned out he was high on some really weird stuff.
The whole thing didn’t last too long but being told the angel of doom is in my house to collect souls almost paralyzed me with fear.
7. Lost And Found
When I was 10 years old, I was abducted while my family and I were camping at a state lake. My parents had to run some errands, so all of us kids were left with one of our aunts. I went to a creek next to where our camper was to go fishing, probably about 75 yards away or so. I had forgotten my bait and didn’t wanna go back for it.
(Un)lucky for me, a man was there so I asked him for some worms. He said they were in his car just around the corner. He guided me there, and that’s when it happened. I was gagged and taken to a different part of the park grounds. What happened next, as one could imagine, are the things my nightmares were made of for countless years to come.
I’m 33 now and still recall with vivid detail what happened. Thankfully, I was found within about two hours of my abduction. Unlucky for him, it was my father who found us first. The man somehow managed to escape my father’s wrath and fled. He was apprehended by state troopers and local PD about 30 minutes later. Queue all the court proceedings and sentencing.
The dude was a repeat offender and still only received like 12 years in correctional facility. My family kept tabs on him while he was in custody and were notified of his release. The second scariest thing was the day he was released; my heart dropped. He’s long been a fragment of the past and I learned to not live in fear over that any longer.
8. Team Reassemble
I was calibrating medical x-ray equipment in an emergency room of a level 1 trauma center. I heard the usual sounds—voices, doors opening, chairs shuffling—but then I heard this kid crying. He was actually screaming with what sounded like a very powerful set of lungs. I guessed he could’ve been around high school age.
Everyone was moving quickly as they normally did, but their faces showed grave concern. When one of the techs had a moment, I took the chance to ask if it was a kid who fell from his treehouse. He shook his head then said it was a full-grown man who came in, “some assembly required.” I could not resist and took a peek. Big mistake.
A man of over 6’ and 200lbs wearing a leather jacket lost his arm just above his elbow, and one of his legs was twisted in the opposite direction it was supposed to be in. It was a visual that I will never get out of my head. With that much blood, I can still smell the iron permeating the air. But that’s what I get for looking.
9. The Headless Horseman
I was driving on a road in between fields on a cold autumn evening. It was dark, and there was mist in the air just like in a horror movie. Suddenly, this creature walked in front of my car. A huge creature with almost no recognizable features. My old car didn’t have very good headlights, but it had functioning brakes.
I managed to stop a meter in front of this monstrosity by approaching slowly. It had the shape of an animal, but it was enormous. Its head was higher than the roof of my SUV while standing on all fours. It had a huge chest, almost no stomach, an enormous moving neck, and the head...The head! It had NO EYES nor a mouth.
Even with the headlights, I couldn’t see any of its features. It was somehow absorbing most of the light. It was like most of the creature had no hair—just some solid plate-like skin. It moved its faceless head to look at me and then back. Then with two long steps, it walked into the field and then disappeared into the mist.
I immediately stepped on the gas to get into the safety of the city. I talked about this with many people, but they all just said I was making it up or had no idea what it could have been. But a few years later, I talked with my ex about it who lived close to where I saw the creature, and she finally shed some light on that disturbing night.
There was a farm where a horrible man lived. He was known for neglecting and mistreating animals. Before officers took him in, there were some incidents when his animals jumped over a broken fence in search of food and to get away from him. That day I had seen a horse. A hurt, suffering horse with incredibly long hair.
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10. A Bad Decision
When I was like 12 or 13, my brother and I used to ride our bikes for hours in the afternoon after we finished our homework. It was a dreamy life—we lived in a small town in Mexico and there were a lot of places where we could explore (a creek, some hills, caves, other small towns a mile or two away, etc.).
One day, my mom came home kind of sad from work. She used to work as a secretary at the local high school. Apparently, her best friend, another secretary at the school, had a father with Alzheimer's and he had just gone missing the previous night. He probably went outside, wandered into the nearby woods, and forgot his way back home.
Days passed and my mom's friend had to take time off work to look for her father. Her mother had passed a few years prior, and she only lived with her father, so it was a particularly depressing time for her. She organized some searches in the woods with people from the town. A couple of weeks passed but there were still no signs of the dad.
Then, one afternoon, and my brother and I were riding our bikes on some fields near the creek, and we stopped to drink some water from our bottles. We stayed there for a few minutes, discussing if we should get back or not, as it was getting darker. Then, the smell...it hit suddenly when the winds changed direction. We thought it was a deceased raccoon or something, so we set out to look for it.
And there it was, in the middle of a puddle—a body. I still, to this day, wonder why didn't we throw up at the combined sight and smell. We obviously got the heck out of there, pedaling as fast as we could. We did not tell anyone that night. The next day, we realized we had to do something about it. We should tell our mom, the authorities... anybody. But we didn't.
We went back for some reason, thinking we needed confirmation that there was a body in the fields. After we got our answer, we stayed there for 10 minutes or so, discussing what should we do next. What we ended up doing was not the most logical thing...heck, I still don't know why we did what we did. We gathered some stones and positioned them on the dirt road, forming an arrow that point to the body. We don't know who found it, but the next day, my mom came back from work crying: "They found it, they found my friend's dad...deceased.
They say somebody liquidated him and left an arrow pointing at the body." That's when my blood ran cold. "I know sweetheart, I know how you feel; he was a good guy. My poor co-worker, she must be hurting so much..." I didn't know what to say. My brother was not there when I had that talk with my mom. If he were, he would have probably said something.
As soon as I saw him, I made him promise over our mom and dad's life that as long as we lived, we would not say anything to anyone. I don't know what the final conclusion on the case was, but it was the talk of the town for months to come. I felt terrible every time I overheard any conversation about the guy.
11. The Sea Slug
This was pretty weird for me. My mom used to take me and my brother to the beach every summer for a week. Well, one year, we were walking along the beach and we got pretty far. It was at a point where the beach got kind of desolate. While exploring the empty area, we saw something lying in the sand. My mom just said it was a sea slug or some kind of worm from the ocean and I bought it.
Well, a few years later, I realized my mom was just trying to protect me from a dark truth. I remember the day when I had the sudden bout of clarity, thinking to myself: "That was no worm! That was a man's intimate part" Yes, someone had cut off a man's "appendage" and it somehow ended up on a beach on the East Coast.
12. Pickup Line
When I was seven, I was raking rocks in my aunt’s front yard and a beat-up pickup truck pulled up. A man got out, fiddled with something under the hood, and then closed it. He said to me, “Hey kid, do you know how to pop a clutch?” Spending my childhood on a farm, I did indeed know how. “Yes,” I responded. “Give me a hand really quick,” he said.
I started walking toward his truck and at the last second, I heard my mom call out to me from the garage, so I turned around to see what she wanted. That's when I heard the truck door slam and the engine start-up. I turned around to see him drive away really fast. I never really thought about it again after that, until now, about 30 years later.
I jumped up after laying down to go to bed when out of nowhere the memory came back, and it hit me: This guy was probably trying to abduct me. I really avoided a bed situation that day, thanks to my mom. I’ve never been so scared from just a memory. I was shaking for at least a half hour over it. It still freaks me out thinking about it.
13. One In A Million
A neighbor just regaled me with this heartbreaker. His sister, her husband, and two kids went up to Washington to camp every year. So, they were up there in May, early June, sometime during 2002-2003, and the son went to use a rope swing to jump into the lake. The whole family was watching, fun times. But then everything took an incredibly dark turn.
The boy botched the jump and ended up with the rope around his ankle, fell badly, broke a bone, and was just dragging underwater, flailing. The dad immediately springs into action to save his son and dove in—into shallow water. He smashed his skull open, was instantly paralyzed, and drowned. The mother obviously tried to save them both, dove into the water, and suffered a fatal heart attack.
The son stopped flailing and was just hanging there, head underwater. The daughter, 10 years old, had no idea two minutes prior that she would be sitting safely on shore, watching her whole family pass. So incredibly heartbreaking. She was raised by my neighbor as a daughter. I just can’t even imagine what that would be like. Just normal, mundane risks proving lethal in less than 200 heartbeats.
14. What's In The Bag?
I grew up in a house with woods and a bike trail behind it where I spent most of the time with the other neighborhood kids. We were all between 12-14, and each had our own fort in the woods that we built with our best friends. We did our best to keep our forts hidden, so even the other kids didn’t know where they were.
One day, we’re outside and watching who was coming through on the trail especially listening out for when we heard bike tires. A car recently fatally hit one of our friends, and we all thought that he’d just show up again on the trail on his bike. So, we always ran out of the woods to the trail whenever we heard tires.
We heard some pass by and ran out to see who it was. We saw this out-of-shape adult man without a shirt on with a bag slung over his shoulder. He was riding away from us so didn’t know we’re there. We noticed that he gave off a whole creepy vibe, so we kept watching. He went a little further and pulled off to the side.
He walked into the woods with his bag and then returned a few moments later without the bag. He grabbed his bike and got back on when my friend yelled, “What’s in the bag?” He looked down the trail and saw one or more of us. Then he started coming right for us, cycling down the trail in our direction at a much faster pace than he did before.
We all booked it into the woods, but because none of us were familiar with where each other’s forts were, we didn’t end up running to the same places to hide. We split up and hid in our respective forts. I cannot remember how long we hid for. I just remember hearing movement not too far away but not knowing who it was.
When we finally came out of our hiding places, the man was nowhere to be found. We eventually walked down the trail to where he’d ditched the bag but couldn’t find anything. We just assumed that he’d gone back and grabbed it when he left.
15. We Have Company
When I was growing up, my parents were looking to buy a new house. There was this new neighborhood under construction nearby, and my mom had seen a model that she liked. So, the realtor said that one was halfway through its construction, but she could bring us to take a look around so we could get an idea of the space.
We all hopped into the realtor’s car to go see the house. She showed us the first floor then brought us upstairs. Then, in one of the bedrooms, we happened upon something that scarred my mother for life: A man without a stitch of clothes on furiously engaged intensely in self-indulgence. It was impossible for him to not have heard us coming up since the house was echoey already.
Well, my mom screamed, the realtor screamed, my dad shouted, and I just started to hysterically laugh. The guy grabbed his clothes and ran past us out of the house.
16. Road Rage
I was driving to a concert years ago with my brother and two friends. We’re driving along and noticed this sedan in the right-hand lane about half a mile in front of us swerving. We figured that maybe they were also going to the concert and pre-gamed too much. So, my brother drove next to them to see what we could see.
As we approached, handfuls of papers were being thrown out the passenger window. Confused, we sped up and were just about to pass them on the left. We saw it’s a couple in their 50’s inside. The husband who was driving was just throwing major punches at his wife right to her face in the passenger seat while he steered.
Time felt like it stood still for a minute. We drove alongside them with me in the passenger seat window rolled down flailing my arms around and yelling trying to get the guy’s attention. Both of our cars were going over 50. Another car came, and together we managed to box the sedan in and get him down to a slow crawl.
Meanwhile, my friend was calling for officers who showed up within what seemed like an instant. They took our statements and brought the guy in. The rest of the ride to the concert was very quiet.
17. Surprise Viewing
I’m a guy and once had to deliver a note to the girl’s gym teacher in high school. She was in her office, which was connected to the girl’s locker room by a window. I knocked, and she told me to come in, which meant that nobody was in the locker room. I gave her the note, and she began typing something on her computer.
Just then, my best friend, who she somehow didn't notice, walked right in front of the window. My jaw dropped. She wasn't wearing a shirt. Instead of the expected course of action of covering up and running, she just smiled and waved, and then walked off seductively. When I met her after school, she wasn't even bothered.
18. Spot On Casing
Once, our dog was barking viciously when it was close to midnight. The dog could only move around in the backyard and normally barked at cats in the front yard. But this time, something about his bark sounded different. So, I walked to the window to see what was going on. When I looked outside, I saw a strange man looking back at me.
We both froze, and after a few seconds, he ran off. A few weeks later, when we came home after work, all our electronics and expensive stuff was gone.
A girl I knew passed out in front of me on the beach after turning yellow. I saw after she passed out that she had a bloody hand. But that wasn’t the scariest part. The worst part of it was that I screamed for help in five different languages. So many people were close (20-30 of them were closer than 50 meters) to me and yet no one came.
They did not even turn around to check what was happening. I still have nightmares to this day.
20. High Stress
Despite having no history of epilepsy or related issues, I had a series of seizures at work back in 2018. It started with the simple “walk into a room and forget why” at the time, except I completely forgot the few seconds it took me to walk there. Then it escalated and I could feel something coming on. I didn’t have convulsions, but my body couldn’t respond to anything.
I was just stuck, staring straight ahead unable to speak or move. I didn’t know what was wrong with me. EEG and vitamin deficiency tests all came back okay in the hospital, so it was written off as stress. I’m constantly worried about it happening again.
21. Scared Off By Grandpa
Me (I was seven at the time), my cousin (who was four at the time) and my dad went to the beach and my cousin tripped and hurt herself pretty badly, so my dad had to run back to the house with her to get access to the first aid kit. I didn’t really want to run so I walked home. It was only about a five-minute walk anyway.
On the way home I passed this man’s house (who I want to say was about 40?) and he started catcalling me. I didn’t really know what that was so I just stared at him and kept walking. He didn’t like that I didn’t respond I guess and he started chasing me. My grandpa saw and started yelling at the man and the guy ran off. If I wasn’t in view of our house, so if he hadn’t been there, who knows what would’ve happened to me.
22. Good Samaritans
One of my husband's sisters got married at this super cute lodge in a very small town. His other sister came to get my son for pictures and said she'd bring him back when they were done. I warned her he had lost his hearing and wouldn't understand directions. She responded with a huff and said she would bring him back. I should never have let them go.
She was just a college kid with no experience with babies or toddlers. When they were done, she set my two-year-old down outside the building (that he'd never been to before), told him to go find me, and left to follow a friend. He tried to follow her and then couldn't find his way back. She wasn't being malicious or anything.
I waited too long to check on them, thinking that little kids are difficult to pose for photos and knowing they didn't want me in their "family only" photos. The sheriff found him over an hour later after coordinating the men into a search party. Some tourists had found him wandering near the highway, stopped to catch him, and then had to walk to get a cell phone signal to call law enforcement.
They stopped another man from taking him because my son was scared to go with a stranger. They explained that they hadn't cared who that man was. A child that young, found completely alone by the highway, was going to be turned over to law enforcement and no one else. They wouldn't let me pay them a reward. I don't even know their names.
The officers checked him over and confirmed he didn't show any signs of being harmed. Those strangers kept him safe.
23. Not Today, Fools
When I was learning to drive, my father would accompany me. There was a football game in town that the rest of my family was at, but I was not going to attend for some reason. On my way home, and into my neighborhood (which was fairly large, I might add), we went past a plain white van that was off. At one point, it turned on and followed us all the way to the road that my house is on, right to the cul-de-sac.
My father took the truck to the game, leaving no vehicles in the parking area. I, myself, was alone at home. That white van then decided to pull into my driveway, so I ran into my father's closet, grabbed the 16-gauge, two shells, and walked out onto my front porch with it drawn at the van. The van went into reverse and backed out of my driveway faster than it came in.
It was a very strange experience and I sat on my porch for a good thirty minutes before going back inside for the night.
24. It Could've Been Me
I was working at an ice cream shop when I was in high school. During winter nights, it would only be me and another manager. It was in a pretty nice area, and behind the store, there was a giant park that got really creepy at night. That night, the manager and I were closing the store and we had to take out the trash. We were both pretty small girls, but we could easily do it by ourselves.
I decided to take the trash out that night because she was counting money, so I got all the bags out and I walked outside into the parking lot. Big mistake. Next to the dumpster, there was a man standing there. He was wearing sweats and there was just this look of hatred on his face that I'd never seen in anybody before. I ran back in, locked the doors to be safe, and did some dishes, thinking that I could do the trash later.
I walked into the main room of the store where it is surrounded by windows and he was standing there, just staring in. I will never forget the smile that came on his face when he saw me again. It was the worst mix of evil and complete joy. I can't even describe how his eyes were. I ran into the back room with my manager and we hid there for what felt like two hours until the authorities came.
By then, he was gone; however, he was taken in a few weeks later for brutally assaulting and taking a life of a girl. The creepiest part? The victim had my stature and hair color.
25. Rusted Away
When I was 12 years old, my friends and I were riding our bikes through some woods down an old dirt road that wasn't used much anymore. I decided it would be cool for me to go off-road, so I proceeded to drive into the forest. I got about 50 feet in before I got disoriented and started going towards the creek, which was in a dell down a steep hill from there.
I crashed down the hill and hit this huge boulder collection before coming to a rest. While I was sitting there, off towards the road, I could hear my friends calling to me so I knew which way to go. I started over towards their voices and saw a super old rusted-out car. I was a huge license plate collector back then, and finding rusted-out cars in the woods was not that odd of an occurrence, so I went to see if I could harvest the license plate.
When I got there, what I saw chilled me to the bone. There were bones in the front seat and a pile of rags. It was full-on Raiders of the Lost Ark with a skeleton on a pike kind of thing. I screamed like a little girl and got the heck out of there. I told my parents, who later called 9-1-1. After some investigation, it was determined that the man had disappeared during a blizzard in the late 50s and was never heard from again.
I met his widow and children and won an award from the town. I'll never forget that feeling. Creepy as heck.
26. Parisian Tragedy
It was the first day of a four-month travel holiday and I was in Paris. I was staying at a friend's apartment, and he wasn't due back in town for another two days. I decided I was going to find my own way to the Eiffel Tower, so I printed off a map and started walking. Probably two hours later, in a very roundabout way, I finally made it.
So far, so good. I wandered around for a bit and took all the usual photos. Anybody who has been to Paris before will be familiar with the big building across the river from the Eiffel Tower, the Palais de Chaillot. It has a theatre and a few museums housed inside. The square between the buildings is also one of the best vantage points to see the tower, and lots of people think it's a great idea to climb up on top of the wall at the front of the landing to pose with the tower in the background.
Anyway, I had taken my photos and seen what I had come to see, so I started heading down the steps in front of the landing. I looked up and there was another girl standing on top of the wall (which I would estimate has a three to four-story drop to solid marble). I thought to myself, "Well, that's not a good idea." Out of instinct, I snapped a photo of her.
I looked down to check my shot and when I looked up again, she was gone...She had slipped and was flying through the air. The image of her heading straight for the ground is burned into my memory. She didn't scream or make a sound. She didn't flail about. She just dropped, with her body parallel to the ground and her hands stretched out in front of her.
My instant reaction, before it had registered what I was witnessing, was to turn my head and look away before she hit the ground. But the sound of her slamming into the floor is something I will never forget. I was one of the closest people to her and probably the only person to see her fall. There was another guy making his way up the opposite steps with his wife and two small children. I just stood there on the steps, not sure what to do.
I didn't speak of a word of French, and at the time, I didn't know where I was. I didn't even know the emergency phone number to call for help. She wasn't moving, nor did she make a sound. Two of her friends ran down the stairs and started screaming and crying as soon as they saw her lying there. I felt helpless. I just stood there, watching. Within a few minutes, a fire engine had pulled up and a few men jumped out with a stretcher.
They didn't touch her as she still wasn't moving. I probably hung around there for about 20 to 30 minutes. The paramedics showed up but they still hadn't moved her I still don't know what happened to her. From that height, I assume the worst is possible, but probably not likely. As for neck or brain damage, who knows. It wasn't the best way to start my holiday and it was a horrible way to end hers.
27. Not Santa
A few years ago, the exact day after I got my dog, my boyfriend decided to fly home for Christmas, leaving me in the apartment alone. The dog is a small Jack Russell mix and even though he isn’t physically intimidating, he has a very loud bark that sounds a lot bigger than he is. Nobody in my apartment building had really seen him because I had only had him for two days and I had been leaving through the back entrance to walk him.
The next day after my boyfriend leaves, I wake up to him barking like crazy. I grabbed my skateboard because it was the most weapon-like thing near me, held it like I could strike someone, left the door only cracked slightly so the dog wouldn’t rush out, and went to go see what he was barking at. When I walked into the room, my heart skipped a beat.
It was a big man standing in the middle of my apartment. He said, “my bad wrong apartment” and left. But my apartment had a really girly color scheme, fake flowers and ivy hanging everywhere. If he opened the door and just peeked in, I’m sure he would be able to tell at a glance it wasn’t his unit. He was literally halfway in the living room, several steps from the door.
I can’t imagine if the dog hadn’t been there and had such a big bark, or if he’d been able to see what it looked like, what he might have done to me.
28. In An Instant
A woman I worked with a few years ago told me how her life had changed drastically after she went from having a decent job to becoming an alcoholic and losing her job. As a result, she had planned to move to Spain with her husband and young daughter and had a great job lined up out there. The plan was that her husband and daughter would fly over first and she would fly over a week or two later due to finishing her old job a little later than planned.
Her husband called her on the day he arrived and said the house was lovely and the furniture had arrived by ferry. That was the last time she ever heard from him. Her husband and daughter were found deceased by authorities a few days after she called them, explaining she was concerned for their welfare as she had had no contact with them. It was carbon monoxide intoxication. It is so scary to think how fast your life can change.
29. Clean Freak
Years ago, one evening my brother was getting ready for bed and he had a retainer he was supposed to wear to bed. Now here’s the thing, my brother is a clean freak, especially with personal hygiene. He actually has some minor OCD with personal hygiene rituals, and he’s gotten better as he’s gotten older, but the point is he is rigorous about personal hygiene.
So, my brother was getting ready for bed and opened the sealed container where he keeps his retainer after he washes it every morning, and he pops his retainer into his mouth. He feels something wiggling. He pops it out of his mouth and there’s a GIANT MAGGOT in his retainer. No freaking clue how it could have possibly gotten into his retainer case. He threw the retainer away.
30. Playing Dress Up
In 1968, I was 11. My mom's brother had just retired and been divorced. He and my five cousins—three boys and two girls—moved in with us for a few months while he looked for work and a place to live. I have one brother, so it's a pretty full house. One day, the adults were all out, so I thought the kids were out too. I hung out in my room and decided to go downstairs.
I left my bedroom and noticed that my parent’s bedroom door was closed, which struck me as unusual. So, I opened it. There standing in my mother’s underwear in front of the mirror was my teenage male cousin. There was an awkward pause, and then I just closed the door. I never mentioned the incident to him or anyone else until very recently.
31. Bad Working Conditions
I used to be an exterminator. One time, I had to go to an apartment for a monthly treatment. I knocked on the door. A guy yelled to come through the back door, so I did. Well, the guy’s house was hoarded. And he was just lying on his back on a table looking at the ceiling and eating canned cat food with his bare hands.
I got out of there so fast and then called my boss to tell them that I couldn't treat his apartment. It scarred me for life.
32. Buried Alive
I once had to watch as my best friend was swept away by a massive avalanche while we were skiing. I then proceeded to have to locate him and dig him out after he was fully buried. I’ll never forget that. Still makes me shiver. He got carried a total of 1,400 meters over an elevation drop of 900 meters. He was fully buried, but luckily not too deep.
We were able to locate and rescue him within eight minutes all the while knowing we were completely exposed to being buried in another slide ourselves. It was pretty scary.
33. Claustrophobia Engaged
When I was young I once snorkeled in a reef. I went through a reef cave and got disoriented and stuck. I panicked, found a very small hole in the roof of the cave and crammed myself through it. That was a huge mistake. It wound up cutting my flanks. I was half convulsing and seeing the grey blur closing in on the edges of my vision as I surfaced.
That was over 20 years ago and I still remember everything about the experience.
34. Under My Skin
Indirectly, my most scarring moment has to be when I had to sit with my mother's body until the ambulance arrived to pronounce her lifeless. It was unpleasant, obviously, in and of itself, seeing that rigor mortis had set in and that the chest compressions were clearly a futile effort, but that's not the thing that gets me.
What gets me is that every so often, I rub my arms when they're cold and my skin feels just enough like her body that I'm taken back to that memory in an instant. No warning. No consistency. It gets super unpleasant in winter.
35. Dealing With A Jerk
When I was in fifth grade, around a year ago, I was riding the school bus home. I was sitting two or three seats ahead of this one eighth-grader. Now, I didn't even know the kid at all. I'd never even talked to him. Anyways he started shouting hurtful and mean things at me. After about 15 minutes of that, he wadded up pieces of paper with rude things written on them, like "End yourself" or "Screw off," and threw them at me.
After another 10 minutes, I calmly said, "Throw one more paper ball at me. See what happens." Apparently, the kid couldn't take a hint and he threw another ball at me. That broke a vein in my brain and I was filled with bloody rage. I grabbed a Pokémon Card Tin from my bookbag, walked to his seat, and smashed the right side of his head several times.
Blood splashed on my face and on the seat while blood was rushing down his face. I looked at my tin and it was fully dented. Screams erupted from the dude I had just beat up, and the rest of the bus was in a state of shock. Two months later, I found out the kid's name was Cody and I had erased the last 18 months of his memory.
36. Game, Set, Match
Once, when I was 15, I was playing in a tennis tournament. It was a typical hot summer. Another player who must have been in his 40s was serving. He tossed the serve up in the air and then collapsed on the hardcourt. I rushed over to help and started CPR with his friend. We took turns until the ambulance came, which took about 15 minutes but seemed like hours.
The EMTs took over the CPR and tried to resuscitate him with injections and defibrillators to no avail. They pronounced him lifeless right there on the tennis court. I had to continue my match after they moved the body off of the courts. My hands kept shaking, so I forfeited the match and sat under a nearby tree, just staring into space.
His friend came back to find me near the courts to thank me. He told me about his friend, about his life, and his family. Strangely, that made me feel better. I learned from that day how precious life is and how it can all change in an instant.
37. Bad Timing
My neighbor didn't pick up his kid from school one day. I knew he was at home, but when I rang the doorbell, he never came. Worried that something had happened to him, I broke into his house. I couldn’t believe what I found. He was on the basement floor with no clothes on—I could tell he was still alive, but there was obvious brain damage as he couldn't form words or even move.
I later found out that he had a brain aneurysm, and he had no clothes on because it happened while he was...well, you know.
38. Bad Neighbor
Last year my neighbor plotted to abduct and liquidate my wife and me. I was working from home one morning and heard a knock at the door around 8 am. I ignored it at first, hoping whoever it was would go away. After a minute of knocking, I finally opened the door. It was my neighbor who I had spoken with only a few times.
My wife was at work, and I could tell he was surprised when I opened the door and saw me instead of my wife. He was expecting her to be home and not me. He noticed that I recently purchased a new car and asked if I could show it to him. He tried to walk inside but I asked him to walk around to the garage. I showed him the car and he was still acting strange.
He always kept one hand in his pocket. My garage is very small, so we were in close proximity to each other. He kept inching closer to me, which made me uncomfortable. He brought an opened coke bottle filled with a tan liquid, and said, "I brought you a coke." I declined the offer. After a few minutes, he asked if he could see my gauge cluster.
We walked around to the driver’s side, and I sat in the driver's seat to turn on the car and show him the gauge cluster. With the door open, there was very little room between the side of the car and the garage wall. After turning on the car, he pulled a large hunting tool to my neck. I immediately grabbed his wrist and slammed him back into the wall.
At this point, we are wrestling between the car and wall as I try to get the sharp tool away from him. During this 30-second period, it seems like an absolute miracle that I was not hurt. The blade grazed past my stomach multiple times. I was eventually able to grab the tool and force him out into the driveway. Immediately after grabbing the sharp tool, he started saying, "What are you doing? I was just trying to show you my tool!"
He was acting like I was trying to hurt him. I was in such a state of shock that I actually started to believe him and wondered if I had overreacted. I know this seems ridiculous, but I was completely delusional at the time and did not know what his intentions were. I stood in the driveway, hands shaking, with the authorities dialed on my phone, but did not make the call.
He acted like nothing happened and then started asking me questions. Really suspicious questions like, "Do you have a security system?" I lied and said yes. I asked him to go home multiple times and eventually I went back inside the house but did not shut the main garage door. At this point, I needed to head into work and started getting ready.
I showered and got dressed; I assumed he had just walked back home. After getting ready, I went outside and walked around the house to the garage with a can of bear mace. I searched around the garage because I was worried he was still there. As I started to get into my car and leave, I saw my neighbor laying down behind some boxes in the garage, staring at me.
I yelled and ran as fast I could back to the front door and called the authorities. They arrived quickly and my neighbor had disappeared. They searched around his house and mine but could not find him. They said they would stay in the area but were going to leave for now. My house is surrounded by woods and I have a large back porch.
Frightened, I stood in the middle of the porch while holding bear mace. I looked around and noticed my neighbor hiding in the woods, staring at me. I ran back inside and called the authorities again. They arrived quickly again and caught my neighbor and apprehended him. He later said, "I was just trying to scare him." They found the hunting tool, zip ties, and a note on him that read, “Turn around and put your hands behind your back."
It was later discovered that the coke bottle he wanted me to drink contained pesticides. He was there to liquidate me or my wife. He was charged with three counts and is currently awaiting trial.
39. The Nanny
My mom was a corporate flight attendant her whole life, and my dad wasn’t in the picture. Because of this, my mom had to hire a nanny for us when she went on long trips. We weren’t rich or anything, we were close to poor. She did it solely out of necessity. The first nanny we had was this lady since before I can remember, who watched us but eventually got cancer and couldn’t anymore.
When this happened, our nanny met my mom at a coffee house in upstate New York, where we lived. She told her she had to resign, but that she had lined up a replacement. This lady she knew, Karen, was going to meet my mom and interview for the job. They exchanged all this information openly at the coffee house in public. This is where it gets almost unbelievable.
See, this random woman had overheard the whole exchange and showed up at the time and location for the interview saying she was Karen. The real Karen never showed up. This was probably between 1991 and 1992. Long before the Internet was used how it is today. Apparently, the interview went fine, my mother hired her, and we never really talked to the previous nanny again.
Until, that is, about five years later. The original nanny survived the cancer and ran into my mom at the mall. My mom thanked her for the recommendation and said Karen had been working out great. That's when she told my mom that her recommendation had to move out of the state and never went to the interview. She just thought since my mom never called her, we hired someone else.
So a complete stranger watched me and my sister from the ages of five to 10. We went on road trips with her, and she even had her own room in our house. She didn’t have any family and we never met any of her friends. She watched us for weeks on end while my mom was away on flights. My mom came back after running into the original nanny and confronted her.
She broke down crying and said she was in a bad place at the time and needed a job. She had fallen in love with her kids and she loved being our nanny. I guess my mom was like, whatever, you’ve been watching them this long and they’re both still alive. She continued to be our nanny until I was old enough to watch my sister on my own. And that was 90s parenting.
40. Misery Loves Company
I was driving home through backroads I had never been on before and came across a bookstore in a tiny town in the woods. The bookstore was actually in a house, where the front of the home had been converted into a store. There was a box on the porch that said, "50 cent books!" so I stopped to see if there were any Stephen King books in there.
A middle-aged woman comes out with a huge smile and gives me a bowl of fruit and some tea. I'm like, "This place is awesome!" and rummage through books while eating the fruit and downing the tea. Inside the store/home, there were a lot of cool art books and stuff, so I spent some more time in there. She brought me more tea. Even when I said, "No thank you, that's plenty," she kept refilling.
She gave me dessert too—brownies and cookies. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was in big trouble. She was drugging me. It's hazy to remember the details, but at some point, she closed the shop, telling me to take my time looking at the books. She told me that she was going to go take a shower and was gone for a while. When I was ready to pay, I had to wander back through her house to find her.
I found her in her bedroom. She was in bed. I'm pretty sure she was uncovered. At the time, I thought, "Weird, she's watching an exercise video in bed?" but later realized that’s not what she was watching. You might think this is hot, but it isn't. She was my mom's age and had been telling me how she reminded me of her kids in college. So NOT hot.
I told her I was ready to pay, and she told me how to open the register, so I went and opened it, put in what I thought I owed, took out the change, and left. When I stumbled outside, a fire engine drove by, screaming with sirens. In the distance was the glow of a big forest fire, and the stars were being covered by smoke. A tall man on a horse watched the fire truck pass.
He looked right at me, took a piece of wood or something out of his mouth, and said, "Town's burnin'." I swear to God I have a crystal-clear memory of this happening, even though I'm sure it couldn't have. By this point, I guess I was seriously tripping balls on SOMETHING. I'm not a drug guy, so I don't know what I had, but I was out of my mind and could hardly walk.
I got back in my car and drove home along twisting roads on tall cliffs above the ocean. Twice I realized I was on the wrong side of the road. One of the times I realized this was because a massive truck was headed straight for me, laying on the horn and flashing its lights. I kept thinking about how my car could be like an airplane AND a submarine if I drove it off the cliff.
I can't believe I made it home alive. Later I realized I was in that house for about four hours looking at books. At least that's what I hope I was doing.
41. Big Show Off
My friend and I lived on an island and were out on his little boat going for a ride. One guy on the island had just bought a Jet Ski and had purposely splashed us as we were leaving the dock. There’s a line of big rocks piled up to shield the boats from big waves by the dock that also blocks people from the open water.
On the other side of the rocks was where our ferry came in to dock. We saw the guy on the jet ski riding at a high speed to the dock. He was trying to get between two rock piles, but there was a cable running between them just below the surface. He hit it, and the cable ran up the front of his jet ski, decapitating him.
42. Poking Around
When I worked for my dad, I’d meet him at the station in the morning. One time, there was a man there begging who came over to us. Luckily, my dad handled him well. He looked like a homeless man and gave off a weird vibe. We’re just about to leave the station but looked back one more time to make sure the man was okay.
He was talking to a young woman still begging. We were listening to their conversation, and the woman aggressively refused to “help” him. After this, the man pulled out a cutting tool and charged the woman. Fortunately, she was wearing a big jacket, so the wound wasn’t severe, but we immediately called for emergency services.
43. On The Inside
I was little at a children's festival where the big show starred the Bananas in Pyjamas. I was too short to watch but decided to follow them at the end. I peeked in to see if they were still there. That's when I learned that bananas may have been in those pyjamas, but inside those bananas were bored, annoyed teenagers.
44. That’s Not In The Scout Oath
When I was 14, I had gone camping with the Boy Scouts and we met another troop and decided to play a game of capture the flag. Since it was the night before we were leaving and the other troop showed up at 9 PM, our scoutmaster said we couldn't play. About 15 minutes later, we were heading to the bathroom in pairs and we ran into a group of boys from the other troop, my bathroom buddy ducks out as one of them puts an arm around my neck and drags me out into a field. It was already terrifying—but that was just the start of my nightmare.
I kept trying to explain that we weren't playing and that there was a misunderstanding, and then the punches started flying. I had been training in martial arts since I was 8 and it's nothing like the movies. I was trying to throw off a hit from one guy while five others were throwing punches and kicks at me. I may have landed two or three hits before I was knocked down and then all I could do was curl into a ball as they all kicked me.
After what felt like a lifetime but was more than likely only a few seconds of getting kicked they ran off. One kid chose to run back and kick me one last time and I bear-hugged his leg as he made contact and I'm pretty sure I punched him in his crotch as hard as I could. I got clocked in the head as I heard a weird groan. I can't be sure that it wasn't me though.
After a few minutes, I was able to collect myself enough to get up and make it back to my group where I detailed what happened. As we're getting worked up about this, the other troop shows up and starts asking what's wrong. I recognize a few faces and point them out and one dude was limping hard so I pointed him out too.
They all denied it though so nothing came of it. Sunday morning after breakfast before we were leaving we sat in a circle and had to say what we were thankful for. I got in trouble for saying I was thankful for being alive. I never went to another Boy Scout camp out after that.
45. He Didn’t Start The Fire
I lived in a second-story apartment for a few years. I was woken up around 2:00 AM one morning to someone banging on my door and someone yelling, “Fire!” When I opened the door, everything was bright orange and I could hear the very loud crackling of burning wood. I thought it was either my apartment or the apartment underneath mine that was on fire, and my first reaction was to find my cat and get her out.
Halfway through grabbing her, I realized I may have been putting myself in serious danger and thought I’d have to escape off the balcony. Thankfully (for me), it was the apartment across from mine that was on fire, so I was able to get downstairs and to safety with my cat. The next hour or so was a completely different kind of scary as I crossed my fingers the fire wouldn’t spread to my apartment.
It didn’t, but two buildings were destroyed, 14 residents were displaced, two cats lost their lives, and a firefighter was hospitalized.
46. Silence Is A Virtue
A random man came up to me late one evening when I was putting groceries in my truck. He was sitting on a bike and asked me for a ride. I told him, no, but he continued to insist. I went to put the cart away and he had put his bike into the bed of my truck and climbed into the passenger seat. I had no phone, no one was out, and I froze.
I made the poor choice to give him a ride. I was goddamn terrified and I don't think I blinked the entire time as the man said things like, "Your husband is a lucky guy," or "Wow your lips look nice.” Fortunately, my lack of response seemed to deter him and we finally parted ways.
47. Almost Too Far
When I was 10 years old, my dad was unemployed and we were struggling for a few months financially. Some kid in school called me a loser over something I don't even remember. He told me to buy some decent clothes because I looked like a hobo. That really struck a nerve with me, so after school, I walked up to him while he was sitting on his bike and I punched him so hard on one side of his head.
Blood started coming out of his nose and his left eye turned red. He screamed, ''Oh my God, I can't see!'' I just felt sick to my stomach and as if I was a monster. I just wanted to disappear at that moment. Thankfully, he was fine after a few minutes.
48. Foul Play
When I was in first grade, my friend was liquidated just outside the school in the woods. A week or so after the incident, my friends and I were still walking through them (like idiots) and we found the cutting tool still covered in blood. One of the guys picked it up and took it back to the school. Luckily, it was a simple case and the guy was already apprehended...otherwise, we could have messed up the evidence for the case.
49. Flipping Out
I saw a body getting pulled out of a creek on my parent's property when I was 16. He had been trespassing and at some point, he flipped his truck while he was high. He decided to leave when the authorities were called on him. He didn't make the turn onto the bridge and it flipped his truck into the creek. He broke his neck upon impact.
A bunch of guys tried to get him out, but the mud was suctioning him down. When the EMTs and officers showed up, they got him out, but he was bloated and white by that time. They put him on the rescue sled to pull him up the bank. His bloated, white head was bobbing because of his broken neck. That image is burned into my brain.
50. Not Him
When I was about six years old, I went to this seedy carnival that was set up in a mall parking lot with my dad and my grandma. We were waiting in line for the infamous pirate ship ride. My dad got out of the line to get us drinks. Maybe about five minutes later, a man grabbed my hand and said, "Come on! This line is too long," and started to lead me away.
I remember my grandma yelled after me, "Mel! That’s not your father!" I looked up and saw this man wearing a matching faded denim jacket and jeans, cheap Nascar sunglasses, and a firefighter's mustache. When he saw that my grandma was screaming, he let go of my hand and vanished into the crowd. We told these officers that were standing by their cars, and they said they couldn't do anything. It actually bothered me for a very long time.
51. Don’t Listen
Someone close to me suffers from schizophrenia and the voices convinced them that they should chop up their significant other and child—who didn’t exist— and should end their life. They tried to do that and thankfully their significant other got home early to see smoke billowing from the kitchen. Both of them were safe. That's how the significant other found out that they had schizophrenia.
We got them all the help they could, and they are doing a lot better now. It was one heart-attack-inducing moment for us.
52. Midnight Visitor
When I was about 12, I had a lot of issues with night terrors and rarely slept a whole night through. This one night, I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I sat down, half asleep and thinking of nothing but emptying my bladder and going back to bed, when I saw movement out of the corner of my eye.
There was a man standing by the other door to the bathroom staring at me, not moving. He was wearing a tattered grey jumpsuit, had a crutch, and little to no hair. I don't remember how I got down into the basement where my parents slept but suddenly there I was, freaking out. My dad finally went up and looked in the bathroom and kitchen.
He didn’t see anything but allowed me to sleep on the couch down there anyway. I didn't fall back asleep. About an hour or so later, I heard the sliding door to the bathroom that was connected to my sister’s room and limping footsteps. The next morning my dad searched around and noticed that the fridge and pantry had been raided. We never caught the guy.
53. Street Smarts
One day, I was coming home from my school, and there, in between two buildings, were three big guys beating up another guy. The guy was on the ground and had blood all around his head. One of them noticed me and walked over. He was wearing an orange ski mask and pulled it off. He got on one knee, so he was on my level.
This massive guy stared me straight in the eyes and said, “This is a bad guy. We’re teaching him a lesson, ok?” I nodded very fast; I was so scared. He smiled at me then said to keep it a secret and not to tell anyone what I saw. I nodded again, and he told me to go home. I obeyed and took off running all the way home.
When I got there, I just sat on my porch shaking. I realize now that the fact he took off his mask was to make me feel less scared. But if he was a different person, he could have taken off his mask because he didn’t care if I saw his face. He would have made sure I didn’t live to remember.
54. What To Do
I’m a medic. There was a woman in the middle of nowhere on the roadway who called for emergency with her phone. We got there, and she’s totally out of it. All she knew was her name; she didn’t even know what state she was in—she thought she was in Florida. There was snow on the ground. We called the only number on the phone.
The guy who answered said he didn’t know her but would come pick her up. We thought something felt off. So, we took her back but didn’t know what to do with her after treatment. Putting two and two together, we realized that this girl had probably been trafficked and whoever had been in charge of her was done with her.
They had probably injected her assuming she would be harmed of the substances and then dumped her on a rural road in the middle of winter. A woman later showed up claiming to be her friend and wanted to take her. Thankfully, the hospital did not allow that, and officers sat with the woman to keep an eye on her. It happened several times.
55. Fire Hazard
I left a laundry basket on the space heater at my apartment because it was a warm day and we weren't using it. We had the windows open and went somewhere. But it was late spring and the temperature dropped sharply and the space heater came on. The basket melted and dripped into the space heater and set the towels on fire.
We drove into the driveway and saw firetrucks there. The fireman asked if we lived in the apartment. My heart felt like it got squeezed in an iron fist. Things started to go black around the edges of my vision and grew until all I saw was a pinprick of light. I almost fainted. Fortunately, someone had heard our fire alarm and called the fire department. They got it just before the walls ignited. My cat was ok too. She literally jumped into my arms when I called her.
56. Bad Vibes
I used to trail run by myself a lot, not on super remote trails, but it also wouldn’t be uncommon for me to not see another person while I was out there. The last time that I went, I came around the corner and there was a guy eating blackberries from a patch along the trail. I ran past and gave one of those quick runner waves.
As I was entering the woods a little further up the trail, I glanced behind me—and what I saw shook me to my core. He was walking behind me, not directly behind me, but much closer than I felt like he should have been considering that he seemed pretty distracted by the berries not long before. I was especially freaked out because I was already tired and facing an uphill climb while he had been relaxing and I knew he’d be able to overtake me.
I sprinted into the woods, grabbed the sharpest rock that I could find, and cut through the forest parallel to the trail before I took the turn until I could get back on it and run back in the direction that I’d come from. He was probably some random guy who thought I was crazy, but I had some very bad vibes that day.
57. Mass Hysteria
It happened on Oxford Street (in London) on Black Friday. My friend and I were walking around jokingly said, "Hey, this would be the perfect place for a terrorist attack." Famous last words. There were thousands upon thousands of people pressed together in these busy streets. I swear, like five minutes later we hear this roar of thousands of people screaming all at once.
The sound pulsed through our bodies as the mass of people around us suddenly started running. I grabbed my friend who was panicking and dragged us into a store to go hide behind a pillar. After like 30 seconds they locked the doors and people who still wanted to get in started slamming the windows. Inside the store people were crying and there even was a kid without a parent, screaming.
After a few minutes, they finally said we could go out through the back. Heavily armed law enforcement officers yelled at us to run again and we went to an office building that was packed with people, again waiting for news. During all that, my parents were there too, but not with us. All my mother had sent me was a text message saying, "Shots!"
I swear, thinking about how I felt that evening still gives me shivers. In those moments, you really believe people are hitting at you. There's nothing louder than the collective screams of people around you. The event even has a Wikipedia page: “Oxford Circus Panic."
58. There’s A Reason You Need A License For Forklifts
I was working at a warehouse and there was a forklift that had an awkward load, like the guy sifted it a little bit. I went up to straighten the little bit off on it. Well, the guy operating the forklift was a complete idiot and backed through a doorway with the load quite a ways into the air and it smacked into the top of the doorway at great speed. He had gunned that forklift like he was racing the thing.
Now, back to me. I am right in front of this load that is now coming at me at high speed. The load was poorly stacked and heavy as lead metal. Time stopped. Two thoughts went through my head: try to stop it or get out of there. I went with getting out of there, which was the right choice because when that stuff hit the floor it left massive dents and gouges in the cement floor, there was no way I could have stopped that, too much weight, and too much speed.
59. Attic Invasion
I've been through a lot of scary stuff but I think the most legitimately terrifying was someone breaking into our house from an adjoining attic crawl space to rummage for pills in our medicine cabinet. My (now) ex was working swing shift and my very pregnant self thought it was him coming home after the night shift to shower. I thought it was weird he didn’t kiss me but figured he’d had a bad night at work and went to shower immediately.
Imagine my surprise when he DID come in and kiss me a while later and I had a whole revelation moment that there had been a man in there earlier who was not my husband. It made it worse than I was pregnant at the time and extra emotional.
60. A Lion’s Trip To The City
I used to go out for these long walks in the woods at night, as depression makes me value my personal safety less than a few minutes of peace. I thought my worst-case scenario was a creepy stranger—I was so wrong. I went for these walks often, until one day I got stalked by a mountain lion that had wandered into the city.
The feeling of having an apex predator follow you is a nearly indescribable, primal thing. It's so disconnected from any fear I've felt in my modern life, but at the same time unmistakable for anything other than what it is. It's baked right into every cell of your body. You practically glow with terror. Externally, I was just walking home, but internally, I was absolutely and totally aware that there was a big cat behind me.
I knew that it wanted to eat me, and I couldn't stop it if it decided to do this.
61. Stuck In The Reeds
I was playing football at a local park about six years ago when the ball went AWOL and ended up in a pond. A friend of mine tried to go in and get the ball out, but he got tangled up in the reeds and such. We called out for him but he never yelled back. When we went to check up on him after a few minutes, we discovered that he had actually drowned...None of us could do a thing.
The ball continued to float there for about two weeks after he passed, and I had to walk past that same pond daily to go to school. Seeing the ball floating there was the creepiest thing ever.
62. How To Save A Life
This summer, I worked as a nanny. I took the girls I looked after to Bethesda Pool a few times a week. One day, the older girl saw something at the bottom in the shallower end and she brought it to my attention. When I went over to check it out, I was horrified. I discovered it was a little boy, maybe six years old, all curled up in the fetal position.
When I reached in to pull him out, he was completely limp in my arms and he wasn't breathing. I brought him to the side where there were some lifeguards. Apparently, they didn't notice him even though there was NO ONE near him obstructing the view of the bottom. In fact, they didn't even notice me yelling for them until I got to the side of the pool and lifted him up onto the concrete.
I gave him CPR, called the paramedics, etc. I put on a brave face for the girls, but I thought he was a goner. Then, later on, when the officers came, they let me know that he ended up getting his consciousness back. Thankfully, this is a pretty happy story, but the image of his body curled up on the bottom of the pool and the feel of his body limp in my arms just stuck with me for some reason.
63. Dinner Table Trauma
I found a woman in an apartment complex where I used to work who had been pinned under her dining table for two days after having a stroke. She had pulled it down on top of her during the episode. The whole time the maintenance crew were pulling it off and we were waiting for the ambulance, she was saying, "Oh dear, I hate to be a bother...Really, I'm fine, no, no..." In a very high-pitched and airy voice.
I immediately took my lunch and cried in my car.
64. Sudden Freefall
My friends and I used to climb onto the roof of my high school late at night. One time, my best friend and I brought two girls (whom we were crushing on) onto the roof to show them what we thought was a harmless and exciting discovery. After some time exploring as a group, my friend and I thought it was appropriate to go “explore” the rooftops alone with our respective crushes.
In the distance, I saw what seemed like a fitting spot to have a seat. Well, it turns out, it wasn't so fitting because it was a skylight. My friend describes what happened next as the most horrifying experience of his life. After about a few minutes, he came looking for me. He approached a shattered skylight and it clicked—we were down there.
He yelled and yelled until I finally muttered back, "Help, I can't move." The authorities and paramedics were called. He never got a response from the girl. I woke up two days later with a concussion, a few broken bones, and some minor internal bleeding. My crush was declared gone on impact.
65. No Justice
A few weeks ago, a woman was repeatedly pocked with a cutting tool outside my window. I won't ever forget her screams and rattled breathing that I heard when I went out to flag down the authorities. I feel guilty for not doing more than calling 9-1-1, but I am also angry because I overheard the officers interviewing a girl, asking if she heard anything.
She said yes, but she never once thought to call for help. How do you not call 9-1-1? How horrible are you to not bother to try to help? I hope she feels guilty. The poor woman deserved better. And now she is gone and the guy hasn't been found yet.
66. Eight-Legged Foes
I once found myself in a cave, along with eight or nine other people. It was the middle of the Pennsylvania wilderness, and the only entrance was a small hole in the ground. To enter, you had to sit on the ground, grab a tree root, and drop about seven feet down a steep wall to the floor. We all dropped in and spent at least half an hour exploring this cave.
My friend Dan then tapped me on the shoulder and whispered, "Dude, look at the ceiling." The ceiling was just high enough above our heads to hide the thousands of spiders crawling around on it. We tried to keep quiet about it because we didn't want anyone to flip out, but there was no stopping it. Just seconds later, the whole group noticed them.
Everyone got silent, and you could actually hear the spiders crawling on the surface of the stone. It was an extra nerve-wracking situation because the only way to exit the cave was to basically jump up and pull yourself out of a hole surrounded by spiders. Two of the girls with us were terrified and refused to climb out. They just couldn't muster the courage to put their faces next to a giant spider nest.
They came around though, and everyone got out safely. I had the honor of being the last one to exit. Alone in a dark cave filled with spiders, and nobody around to give me a boost. Fortunately, Dan was brave enough to reach down and give me a hand. When we first discovered that cave, we were all like, "I can't believe we've never heard of this place." Now I know why.
That cave sucks. A few months later, I found out the cave is off-limits in the fall because of the rattlesnakes.
67. Unnatural Strength
A buddy of mine asked me and three other friends of ours to come over and help him remove some trees from his backyard. We had two chainsaws going at once, and the friend who owns the land was cutting down a tree when the tree I was cutting fell in the wrong direction. The tree fell on him and pinned his leg and hand to the ground.
Instantly, me and my other friend all had adrenaline running through us and three of us picked up a 50-foot tree and freed our friend. A couple of days after that, we tried to pick up the same tree and it would NOT budge. It’s freaky how strong you can be when adrenaline is pumping through you; my friend lived with a couple of broken bones.
68. Surprise Staring Contest
I was a sales rep and looking for a meeting room in a rural hospital’s pathology department. I got lost. I was opening doors to find someone who could help me. I opened a door and saw a non-human primate suspended by its wrists with all its skin flayed off. Presumably, it was a primate cadaver used for anatomy lessons.
But it was still terrifying for me to see. The skull had no skin, but the eyeballs were still there. It appeared to be staring at me when I entered the room.
69. Early To Arrive
My office contacted a co-worker’s apartment management when they hadn’t heard from him. The superintendent checked and found him gone from a heart attack. I had to get office equipment and files he had. When I got there, he was still in his recliner; the funeral home hadn't picked him up. I did not have a pleasant day.
70. Out Of the Woodwork
When I was little, my family lived outside a city in the woods. We had a nanny stay with us when our parents were away. One day, it was only me, my sister, and my nanny at home, and we were playing outside. Then, out of the forest near our house, a bunch of people came walking out slowly like zombies towards our house.
They tried climbing the fence, but they were too out of it to do so. The nanny called our mom who immediately came home from the city and took us all to our grandparents. What we found out later sent a chill down our spines. Apparently, there was some drug-infused party going on not too far from our home where two people overdosed and one was fatally charged.
71. Panic Mode
The scariest thing that instantly comes into my mind is about my son who was at that time one year old. He was sleeping on the couch next to me and his mother was sleeping too (at his feet). For some reason, I'd had a bad feeling and as I touched his forehead, I made a disturbing realization. It was ice cold even though he was sweating. At that moment I realized that this was going to be serious. He had an epileptic cramp.
My brain was in panic mode. I grabbed him, holding him close to me, waking his mother up. We both were in a state of fear and panic we've never experienced before. As he cramped up I tried to call the ambulance and somehow between all the crying and stuttering, I was able to give them the proper details. After I hung up he cramped so hard that he got all stiff-looking, with big shallow eyes to the ceiling and in the next moment his body relaxed.
He became like jelly. He was unconscious and we thought he had perished at that moment as there were no signs of life whatsoever. His eyes were closed and I had a hard time holding him as his body was like running out of my arms. I really hope I never have such a moment again in my life. Finally, an ambulance came and I went with him to the hospital.
Like I mentioned before, he had a cramp, fell unconscious, and we knew that he had a mild form of epilepsy. He's now nine years old, perfectly fine, and the epilepsy is gone. Or at least there are no signs that can be detected by neurologists. I hope no one has the feeling that we had that night.
72. Catcalls Gone (Even More) Wrong
My boyfriend, his sister, her boyfriend, and I were walking home from a bar in downtown Houston to her boyfriend’s apartment after a long night. A car full of teenage kids, some of whom may have been in their 20s, offered us some bud and we said no. They then continued to drive down the road catcalling me and my boyfriend’s sister.
The boys with us were telling them to get out of here and they eventually hopped out of their car and ran at us. Thankfully nothing really came of it but I was scared they would either 1) be armed or 2) get really physical with us. I was taking a video after some time and they literally parked in the middle of the road and charged us for just trying to get them to leave us alone.
73. A No-Win Situation
When I moved to Grenada, I had a lot of trouble finding off-campus housing that would permit my dog. The first house I lived in was practically alive—there were countless lizards skittering up and down the walls, roaches the size of small ponies, a particularly vengeful bat who didn't take lightly to his eviction (he would eat passion fruits above the window at night and drop the pits on the sill, waking me up), and a poisonous centipede that decided to "show up" in my mosquito net by somehow circumventing its tightly-tucked corners to crawl right onto my leg. Nothing I tried would clear the house.
So when I heard of a two-bedroom, dog-friendly apartment near campus opening up, I jumped at the opportunity. One night, after returning from the grocery store with about $150 worth of food and settling into bed, I heard the most blood-curdling scream. Because of the apartment's location, it echoed several times. I sat bolt upright.
The screams continued. I couldn't even describe them with accuracy, but I can say that no human would ever make such a sound unless they were being brutalized to the point of lifelessness. My blood turned to ice. Then, I realized where the screams were coming from: the owner's unit upstairs. I couldn't leave the apartment without descending the veritable mountain it was perched on.
Because it was so late, there was no way to do so safely. I froze. The screams continued, interrupted only by loud bangs that sounded like someone getting thrown against the wall before crumpling to the floor. Besides the fact the owner was a large man, I couldn't go upstairs without facing his territorial dogs. Not knowing what else to do, I called campus security.
They offered to come out but didn't know how to find me (roads in that area are often unnamed and, if they do have names, few know them). I gave him enough direction to get him to the nearby marina and I held my breath as I flickered the porch lights of my apartment. A feeling of relief swept over me as I saw him make the turn on the dirt road that would bring him to the building.
The security officer tried to get to the upstairs apartment door but he was blocked by the dogs. The woman's screams still continued as barking dogs joined in, each echoing individually off the low mountains. Also not knowing what to do, the officer called for backup. We repeated the process of flickering the porch lights and the security officer went to speak to the authorities.
I stayed on my apartment's level, not daring to be seen by the owner. The officers then yelled at the owner's door but were almost—if not entirely—drowned out by barks and screams. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, the screams stopped. The dogs quieted. I heard the front door upstairs open and a brief muted exchange. I saw the officer speak again with campus security, who then returned to me.
He said, "The owner said his wife just found out her mother had passed and was just upset over the news." I asked if either of them had seen the woman. They had asked but were told, "She's too upset to be seen right now." Both the security officer and I knew there was something fishy going on. We had both heard the screams, the disturbing sounds from upstairs.
The fact the woman was "unavailable" sealed it. He said, in a normal tone, that the officers would stay outside to "monitor the property" for the rest of the night, then he leaned in to whisper, "Leave. He knows [it's you]. The officers, they can do nothing." I called a cab and told the driver to park a certain distance away from the apartment building.
The security officer and cabbie helped me quickly load up my items. I offered them whatever food was there and they split it for their families. I went to a nearby hotel until the airport opened, then caught the first flight home.
74. Flight Fright
I was flying to India and we had just stopped in Germany. I was 14 and sitting next to this old guy who I thought was asleep the whole time. I shook him because we landed and he was kind of laying on me, but he gave no response. I was an unaccompanied minor, so when the stewardess came to get me, she looked at him, checked his pulse, and then everyone was ordered to stay where they were, including me.
The paramedics came and declared him gone, and I never knew for how long. I had never seen a body up close before and I was surprised at the time. I thought he would smell of something rotten or would make a noise beforehand. To this day, I always think if I had noticed him earlier, I could have helped him somehow; or at least caught him when he started dozing off.
He had laid on my shoulders for eight hours, and I fell asleep during that flight as well, so there was a good chance I used his head as a pillow while I slept. Creepy, but that's life.
75. Brutality Upfront
When I was seven years old, my parents were going through a very tough time. They decided to split up for a while because my mom was going through a crazy partying phase. She got custody. I was too young to understand what was going on, but I hated my father (though we're best friends now and my parents have been back together for years). My mom was just too young when they first got together.
One night, when my mother went out drinking with friends, she left me at home with my 12-year-old sister. We lived in an extremely bad neighborhood and apartment complex that was full of bad characters. I was playing Warlock on the Sega Genesis when I started hearing yelling outside. We had a double glass door facing the porch area that connected the apartments. We got up to look out the window and saw a white officer talking to a black man.
The black man pulled out a bag of something and consumed its contents. The officer instantly took his baton and hit him across the face. It knocked the guy to the ground and the officer proceeded to bash his skull into the concrete. After a minute or so, the officer stopped and called for an ambulance. He took that man's life for swallowing a bag of an illicit substance.
My sister was on the local news the next day explaining what happened, but no one believed us. Even though there was blood all over the concrete, the officer claimed he choked after swallowing the bag. It's one reason why I will never trust officers who I don't know on a personal level.
76. The Unimaginable
I was in London with my dad when I was quite young, walking to a tube station to get home that night. I remember seeing a girl who must have been maybe nine or ten years old covered in scrapes and bruises. Clearly, something horrific had just happened to her. I could see scabs on her face and hands, asking people for help.
She was wearing a green tracksuit and pajamas, and she was thin with short brown hair. I don't think my dad saw her, but I locked eyes with her as my dad pulled me along. I don't think I'll ever forget it—I've seen car crashes and I'm pretty sure I've seen a body, but that was the thing I remember the most.
77. Out Of Mind
When I was in primary school, at six or seven years old, I was lined up waiting for the bus to arrive. One of my classmates was tossing a ball up in the air and catching it, but at one point, she missed the catch and ran after the ball. No one expected what happened next. She was struck by the bus that was coming to pick us up. The front-wheel crushed her skull.
This happened about 10 feet from me. I saw her brain literally pop out of her head. The driver crawled under the bus and held the girl's hand until the paramedics came. What was messed up is that no teachers came by to remove us from the scene until another bus came to take us home. I have no idea what happened to the driver, but I can't even begin to think how she felt.
78. Gas Station Situation
Coming back from spring break in Key West Florida, the group I was traveling with had to stop in North Miami at 2 am for gas. Keep in mind that we were all blazed out of our skulls at that time. We got off the interstate and stopped at some sketchy gas station. Some of the guys went in, while the others went to the bathroom on the side of the building.
While inside, I got this really weird, uncomfortable feeling. Everyone in the store was making eye contact with us but not saying anything. Not a single word. You could hear a pin drop. I gave my friend ahead of me in line some money to pay for my food. I had to get out of that store as there were too many creepy vibes. The second I walked out, a lady started screaming at the top of her lungs.
A huge black guy with no shirt on started beating her through her car window. He was punching her right in the face, as hard as Mike Tyson would. She eventually got her car in drive and started to take off. The crazy guy hung on and was dragged down the street for about 50 yards. He eventually pulled the door off its hinges, and the lady drove off.
We were all standing there, watching this huge, crazy guy walk back towards the gas station, covered in blood, carrying a car door on his shoulder. We all jumped in the truck and took off. About a mile down the road, 15 law enforcement cars flew past us. No one said a word in the truck for the next hour or so. We were all trying to wrap our heads around what we had just seen.
79. Blood On Their Hands
I was a member of one of the first classes at UC Merced. Basically, they built a brand new campus in the middle of nowhere, so the only roads to the school were two, two-lane roads. They were the kind of roads that are straight and flat for miles but have no streetlights. My friends and I were driving back to campus late one night after getting some fast food and we saw another car, probably about two miles away, coming towards us with their lights on.
When the cars saw our lights, they turned their lights back to normal. I wish they never did that. Our two cars were getting closer and closer together. When the car coming toward us was about 10 feet away (both of our cars were traveling at approximately 50 mph) I saw the shadow of a figure directly in front of their car.
In a split second, we heard this thickening crunch. It happened so fast that we were all just in shock. I pulled over and we found out that the other car full of college kids had just hit some guy who was walking down a pitch-black highway.
80. Slowly Decaying
Three years ago, I was at work and it was a really slow day. I was walking around our parking lot to make sure nothing was suspicious (I work at an airport) and it's really not uncommon for people to park like jerks and to leave their cars for extended periods of time. While walking about, I noticed a PT Cruiser kind of parked funny.
Peeking inside, I could see that it was a total mess. But then something caught my attention. It was the sight of what appeared to be long hair under a blanket. I initially thought it to be a dog, but I later found out that it was an older woman who had taken her own life. Apparently, she had been there for four months, and only her hair nails and some skin remained intact.
The authorities were contacted, but because of the company I work for, I was chosen to remain on the scene and watch her being pulled out. It was disgusting.
81. A Reason To Quit
My dad was a first responder when he was in his 20s for a while, and this incident made him quit. He was called to the scene of a motorcycle accident. The guy on the motorcycle was following a large truck, so he couldn't see around it. When he went to pass it, he instantly hit an oncoming car. The guy went flying over the car, and for lack of a better word, he was splattered all over the road.
They declared him gone on the scene. The worst part was that the woman who hit him (it wasn't her fault at all) had two toddlers in the back—they were all fine, thankfully, but their car was totaled. When the woman's husband arrived, he started screaming at her about totaling the car and how expensive it was going to be to get a new one, with insurance and all that stuff.
The jerk never once asked if his wife or kids were alright. It infuriated my dad, and after seeing the motorcycle guy's body and the jerk yelling at his wife, my dad quit the next day.
82. Give Me A Hand
One morning, someone using an angle grinder woke me up. I knew it was my younger brother who usually used it to cut stuff. A few minutes later, I heard a noise of liquid splashing just like in the horror movies. I wasn't sure if it was a dream or not because I was half asleep. Seconds later, my brother came into the room.
He held his right hand with his other hand to keep it on his arm. He looked at me and told me to help him stay alive. I was in shock and then grabbed something to put around his arm and called the emergency number. But I was so shocked that I could barely talk. I put myself together and told the operator what happened.
So, we waited for the ambulance. I don't know how long it took them to arrive, but all that time, I sat there with my brother trying to keep him awake. I watched how slowly the light in his eyes faded. He passed out a few times. When the ambulance came, I got out of the house to get some air while they did their stuff.
The first thing that I saw was the angle grinder with the power cable cut off and a long line of blood. There was no time for them to get him to the hospital fast enough, so a helicopter came. My brother survived. He can move his arm and carry things but lost most of its dexterity which sucks because he’s right-handed.
83. House Rules
When I was younger, I worked at a hospital delivering food to patients. I walked into a psych room unknowingly, and there was a crazy lady sitting in a chair holding a bedpan full of poop. And let me tell you when I say crazy, this woman had a look in her eye that I have never seen and don't ever want to see again. She said, "if you don't get out of my dwelling, I'm gonna throw this on you, little boy!"
I'd have never been so freaked out in my life! So, I dropped the tray and ran out.
84. You Think You Know Someone...
One of my co-workers told me this story. She told me that when she was younger, she was part of a church youth group. They would occasionally take trips and stuff. Well, one of the guys who always went with them was one of her neighbors and he was about 10 years older than the other kids. On one particular trip, they were staying in this hotel, and she and her two friends decided to go hang out in his room for a little while.
She said something didn't seem right when they went in. The bathtub was full of water, and he was wearing a shirt that he had clearly cut the sleeves off of. She said he was also acting kind of strange. She kept trying to get her two friends to leave with her, but they kept saying no. They insisted that nothing was wrong. Eventually, she convinced them to leave with her. Later, they found out the disturbing truth about him.
Fast forward a week later—the same guy brutally took some girl's life. He also confessed that he was planning on doing the same thing to one of those three girls the weekend before if any of them had come alone.
85. Battle Remnants
I had been in Iraq for four months of a 15-month deployment. Up until that point, the deployment had been relatively quiet, as far as a combat deployment goes. We had been mortared regularly for a brief period during Ramadan, but at that point, things had quieted down. I had become desensitized to the “pok-pok-pok” of distant gunfire, the smell of burning metal, and the constant deep thuds of helicopter flybys.
My shop was located in the motor pool, where all the vehicle maintenance was done. We would regularly get vehicles brought in that had slug marks on the sides of them—some trite inspection would be performed, perhaps a window replaced, and the truck would be given the clear to go back on mission. On one particular day, an HMMWV was towed into the bay that was suffering from more than minor combat damage.
One of the huge, 300-pound doors had been warped and charred by a projectile, akin to the blackened leftovers of a slab of wood with steel supports burned in a bonfire. What really got me was the smell. I could smell the inside of this vehicle from across the bay. Usually, the HMMWV's in Iraq reek of sweat, oil, and dust.
That smell was still there but it was being usurped by a more pungent smell. The inside of this vehicle was completely soaked in blood. There were two inches of it pooled in the footwells. The windows, one and a quarter-inch thick bulletproof glass were cracked and splattered with blood, and there were clear handprints, smears on the doors where the driver had been wrestling with the hefty door to push it open.
I had never seen that much blood. It was leaking through small screws in the floor of the vehicle, dripping onto the floor, like the truck was actually bleeding everywhere. I remember standing there and staring at the inside of this truck, and the smell was just brutal. That thick coppery smell, combined with the smell of hot metal, the sharp bite of gunpowder residue, the foul stink of sweat, the dull tinge of motor oil.
The smell was making me sick. I could taste it like I had bit my tongue and was bleeding all over my mouth. I’ve never been disturbed by the sight of blood, but the sheer quantity here was baffling to me. It was almost impossible for me to comprehend what I was looking at. I kept thinking, "There’s no way, that’s just too much blood."
Apparently, the driver, passenger, and one of the men in the back had all been hit with shrapnel. Two had lost their lives instantly, while the driver bled out over the course of a couple of minutes. I walked away from the truck as two mechanics got hoses and began to wash the blood out. I spent an hour sitting in my shop, quietly evaluating my life.
86. Seeing Red
When I was 16, some friends and I decided to go for a drive because we had just gotten our licenses. We headed up to a local canyon but on the way there, we came to the scene of a motorcycle crash seconds after it had happened. A car had apparently run a red light at roughly 50 mph and clipped a motorcycle traveling through the intersection.
The driver of the car was just getting out of the car, crying frantically. A friend and I walked up to the man lying in the road because we had some minor first aid training. The man was laying on his back and his breathing was slow and visibly difficult. Blood was coming out of his nose, mouth, and ears and I remember hearing a gurgling sound when he breathed.
Only now does it occur to me that he may have been drowning in his own blood. The fire department was a few blocks away, so they arrived before we could do anything, not that we would have tried. This situation was obviously way more than we could handle. Once the situation was under the control of the authorities and the fire department we set out again for our drive up the canyon.
We drove for maybe two hours but nobody said a word. We just sat in silence. We found out later that the driver of the car was tipsy. The man driving the motorcycle, an off-duty officer, passed a few hours after being airlifted to a hospital. That gurgling sound has stayed with me ever since. I can still hear it and I can still see his face covered in thick coagulating blood that almost looked fake.
87. Missing Elevator
My experience was short but definitely super scary. When I was a kid my mom and I were waiting for an elevator. When it came, I opened the exterior door and started stepping in. My mom grabbed me quickly on the shoulder and pulled me back. When I looked forward, I couldn’t believe my eyes. The elevator was not there at all.
It was a black void, basically. My mom saved me from certain doom there. That was a fall from the eighth floor in an elevator shaft.
88. Mistaken Identity
One time when I was about eight or so, my apartment got raided by the SWAT team and all that. I woke up at four in the morning, hearing banging on the door and my dad went up to open the door. When he opened it SWAT members rammed into him and got him in handcuffs. I went down to see what was happening and they all yelled, "Careful, there are kids in here."
They went rummaging through all the rooms making holes in the walls, breaking doors—all that jazz—and my dad got incarcerated for a month for possession of a firearm and worse. The thing is, he didn't even do what he was accused of. He just looked like the guy they needed.
89. Hooligans on Motorcycles
I got stranded in a strip mall parking lot at night and these two guys with full helmets on in sports motorcycles kept circling the parking lot and stopping in front of me. I got really nervous so I got up when I thought they had gone away I went to cross the parking lot to a store that still had all the lights on inside.
They came out of nowhere and drove up onto the walkway and blocked me in on both sides. I tried my best to look unfazed but I was terrified. I stepped around them and kept walking and they started charging at me and faking out at the last minute. I just kept going until I reached the store and they sped out of the parking lot finally.
90. In Need Of Adrenaline
My daughter was five and went into anaphylaxis. We drove to the hospital as she turned purple and pink and spoke in delirium, then went flaccid and even beyond flaccid (it’s hard to describe; it was like her spine relaxed). I thought she had perished in my arms. They gave her adrenaline and she came back. It was 20 years ago and I still feel freaked out when I think about it.
91. Shaken To The Core
Our first apartment was on the ground level with windows looking out to the brick-paved courtyard. I used my home as a daycare and was in the living room watching two toddlers. That was when I heard a loud sound from outside. I felt the thud through the floor. It sounded like someone had dropped a heavy box from above.
I looked out the living room window to see what junk got tossed out a window. I couldn't really see anything so stepped out into the lobby. After opening the door leading to the courtyard, I saw the body of the man who had just jumped off the roof.
92. Your Periodic Warning Against Drinking And Driving
I used to live near a large open stormwater drain with no fencing around it. Three intoxicated guys drove their car straight into it. The scene was horrific. I went out and found the driver trying to get his friend’s foot out of the windshield. On the field on the other side of the drain, I saw the third passenger who was covered in blood. I asked if they were okay and my neighbor called the ambulance.
The blood-covered friend passed out and was twitching so I ran to the car, grabbed a towel from the back seat, and ran to help him. I found a large, deep cut on the back of his neck and head. I rolled him to his back and used the weight of his head to put pressure on the wound. I was talking to him, trying to keep him awake and he went into shock, twitching, and was unresponsive.
This was the moment I thought a man was gone in my hands. I was able to wake him and the ambulance took over from there. That was the most harrowing moment of my life.
93. Caught Red-Handed
My then-boyfriend had let me use his iPad to watch a movie on Netflix. He had his messenger account linked to both his tablet and his phone, and messages kept popping up on it while I was watching without him realizing I could see. I got to watch in real time as he got his best friend's wife to agree to sleep with him over the coming holiday weekend; with the promise that he'd get rid of me for that weekend so they could get intimate in our bed.
94. A “Shameful” Family Secret
My great-grandmother hated me. I was an "illegitimate" child, and my parents split when I was three. When my dad got his girlfriend pregnant, my great-grandmother said that she would cut him out of her life if "He didn't marry this one." My father married my stepmother, who was a single mother, and my great-grandmother was fantastic to my step-brother and my sister, but not me.
She flat-out refused to have anything to do with me. I spent Christmas with the family, but I came home crying to my mum, asking why Grandma wouldn't talk to me. For the entire four days I was there, she ignored me, while cuddling my brother and sister as much as she could, because they lived in another country by then.
I didn't find out any of this until after she passed. I wasn't included in her will—the only grandchild not included out of about 7 grandchildren, and many more great-grandchildren. My dad took some of his inheritance and passed it on to me, along with a few heirlooms, keeping up the pretense that she didn't hate me up into my 30s.
I was so hated by her that I'm only just starting to meet family members, who had no idea I existed. My dad, siblings, and nana were forbidden to speak about me to other family members, so the few who met me when I was a baby had forgotten I existed. I’m 36 now… It’s a long time to be keeping me a secret from the rest of the family.
My sister only told me all of this a few years ago, though she'd known my great-grandmother hated me from when we were kids because she would speak very hatefully about me behind my back. My nana's partner confirmed it a couple months ago, with my mum finally telling me about it the last Christmas I ever saw her.
95. Parental Guidance
Listening from the next room to my parents arguing about my father's internet history having dirty websites in it, followed by a full-on argument about their declining intimate life, was pretty rough on me when I was 12 years old.
96. No Show
My wife's grandmother, who raised her, believed that when you are about to pass your unalive relatives show up to accompany you to heaven. She was by all accounts a horrible person. On her deathbed her last words were, in a quiet terrified voice, "They're not coming."
97. Calling All Angels
After I totaled my car, a man with burn scars all over his face and hands came up to my window. He asked if I was ok and then came and sat in the passenger seat. He said, “I need you to know that everything happens for a reason.” I said, “I know.” The next thing I know, I’m talking to the other driver and the authorities, and the guy is just gone. No one else saw him.
98. Figuring Out Why
I'm a therapist. I had a very troubled patient who was consensually sleeping with her own uncle. These were very wealthy, high-society type people. During our one-hour intake appointment, she went very in-depth about the relationship. It was the longest hour of my life. I'm taught not to judge my clients, but...that session weirded me out.
99. Everything Changes In An Instant
This happened six years ago. It was a week after my birthday and we decided to throw a late birthday party; my parents were busy with work on my actual birthday, so we rescheduled the party. I invited quite a few of my friends, but one of my friend’s fathers called my parents saying he'd be late to the party. The party was from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am.
He never showed up. Once the party was over, we were heading home and talking about how fun the party was. That conversation was cut short when a vehicle drifted into our lane and collided with us, and I blacked out. When I woke up in a hospital bed, I started to panic, but the doctor that was running tests on me told me to calm down and that I was alright.
After about 20 to 30 minutes of questioning and small tests, I asked the big question. Me: Sir? Where are my parents? The doctor basically froze there for 10 seconds and responded, and I'll never forget what he told me. Doctor: I'm so sorry but... your parents didn't survive the crash. I was informed that my dad perished on impact, and my mom was pronounced gone when she arrived at the hospital with me.
I couldn't believe it. I wanted to cry, but all I felt was anger. I knew the person who drifted into my lane was at fault, so I asked who crashed into us. It was my friend’s dad—and he was the ultimate entitled parent. Apparently, he was under the influence of something when he arrived and was currently handcuffed to a hospital bed.
One of the nurses told me later that he was demanding help before his son (who was also in the car) got treatment, even though his son was on life support. He eventually went behind bars and I don't know if he's been released or not, but if he's out there he better hope we don't cross paths. I'm currently living in a foster home with a wonderful family who treats me like I'm their own flesh and blood.
But as long as I'm alive, I'll never forget my real parents, and I'll never forget my best friend, and I'll never forgive that father for what he's done.
100. Peering Into The Inner Self
My mother had to spend a few months in an asylum due to her being maniacally depressed. There was a woman in the asylum who painted the “inner selves“ of visitors. When she spotted me, her reaction was chilling. She started crying and screaming and called me a monster and devil and so on. It was my first visit there and I had never talked to her before.
After a few weeks, my dad and I went to the asylum to take my mother back home. One of the nurses approached me and handed me a painting from the lady who was so afraid of me. It literally was a black canvas with only two red eyes. It still creeps the heck out of me.
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