People Share The Scariest Thing They’ve Ever Seen
When we experience something terrifying, it may not register at first. With the abundance of scary things a person can experience in life, it’s easy to repress the memory or brush it off as nothing. But, there are some instances where we’ll never forget the scariest thing we’ve ever seen.
#1 Ready for School
I was 14 years old and getting ready for school one morning. Whenever I went downstairs to my kitchen, I found my dad slumped on the kitchen floor. I yelled and he didn’t respond; I started shaking him for a minute and still nothing. I went to get my mom, she came out and also yelled. As she was preparing to call 911, he finally got up. Luckily for us, he had recently started a new medication that made him extremely tired. Apparently he fell asleep while making coffee. He is still with us to this day, but that memory always scares me.
#2 Over a Girl
Mine was when I saw my brother coming home one day almost completely naked and beaten up. Some Albanians had jumped him, stripped him and ganged up on him over some girl, apparently. The fact that he was beaten up wasn’t so scary to me, but he didn’t have any clothing. My mind immediately jumped to worse stuff.
#3 Dog Walker
A few years ago, I used to work as a dog walker. This one time, I opened the door to my most frequent client. Around her neck, she had a slip-lead that she had received from me. I found out later that she had been gone for two days. Going to her house and seeing that honestly messed me up for a really long time.
#4 Western Winter
My best friend growing up was a few months older, so he had his license first. Right after he got his license, we were just driving around. It was winter in Western Pennsylvania and a solid sheet of ice flew off the minivan in front of us. I guess they hadn’t cleaned their car off. The piece coming for us looked almost exactly like a car’s windshield. Same size, shape, everything. It was one of the scariest moments of my life.
#5 Surprise Visitor
I was backpacking in Sydney and got a job helping renovate a guys house. I was walking out of the garage one day and something like dust or plaster fell on the back of my neck. I swiped it off, it hit the floor and started moving. My first instinct is to crush it, which I’m glad I did. It was a redback spider that had been on my neck .
#6 Green Sedan
The inside of a green Sedan when a guy tried to kidnap me when I was 18. He had the door opened and tried to push me inside several times. I remember thinking, “if he gets me inside, I’m a goner.” I put the heel of my shoe at the bottom of the door, one hand on the roof and pushed against the car with all my strength while crying. I bit, scratched and hit, but I’m thin and he was a muscular young guy. So the inside of that car is the scariest thing ever. An old man with his tiny white dog saved me and I wasn’t brave enough to look for him and say thanks. I know it sounds like I’m being too dramatic but I have always felt that he saved my life.
#7 Steady Stream
I remember cleaning out our old garage and I leaned a broom precariously against something. It slipped and tapped the wall. For the next 10 minutes, we saw a steady stream of termites coming out of a few small holes in the wall. They filled the air after a bit and we had to bolt out or start breathing them. 0/10 would go through that again.
#8 Dinner Guests
My basement is a dirt cellar. For those of you who live in the developed world instead of Pennsylvania, it’s basically a cave from Skyrim. I kid you not, I have a stream in my basement. It’s as feral as you think. It’s also full of centipedes who routinely invite themselves to dinner in the summer months. My nightmare is that one of them will come into the house and crawl on my face! I could not handle that.
#9 Ice Cream Shop
One of the scariest moments in my life was when a little girl ran right in front of my car. Her family and friend group, like eight adults with a bunch of kids, were split between this small park and an ice cream shop right across the street. She darted between two parked cars, trying to cross the street and nobody was paying enough attention. I was just pulling into the street and luckily couldn’t have been going more than five mph.
Her mom screamed, I screamed as I slammed on my brakes. She happily ran into her mom’s arms, two other women in the group started crying, and the mom and I just made the most intense, shared moment of terror eye contact. It shook me up so badly that I had to pull over and vomit. I just couldn’t stop thinking about how so many lives were almost ruined in a split second.
#10 Shaking Doorknob
A few years ago, my family and I lived in a house with a rather large basement. Our basement had a door, which led to a smaller room where my dad mainly kept his tools. When I was about 16, I went downstairs to get a textbook because I was working on a science project at 3:00 a.m. While I was halfway down the stairs, the doorknob which led to a smaller room started violently shaking. Whoever was trying to open the door couldn’t because the door was locked.
Then they banged on the door one time and stopped. I thought it could’ve been my brother or dad who probably got stuck in there, so I wanted to go check. But just in case, I went back upstairs to pick up some kind of protection. I opened the door and no one was there. It was impossible because there was no other way out of the small door other than that door. And even if the person opened the door and left, I would’ve seen them while I was upstairs. My parents dismissed it as me hallucinating but I know what I saw. Thankfully, we moved out a while back. By far, it was the scariest moment of my life.
#11 Incoming Shadow
It was 3:00 a.m. and my bedroom door was half-open. My fiancee was asleep next to me. I saw a shadow of someone walking in the hallway, then I saw them walking through the door. I was literally about to wet my pants. Then the “person” walked into my bedroom. It was an old birthday balloon that had floated to the ceiling a few weeks ago. The helium had leaked just enough to cause it to float six feet above the ground and hover silently into our room.
#12 Main Street
I once saw a bear at 1:00 a.m. walking down the main street of a little town in Montana. It was maybe 150 yards away, but knowing that in the next minute or so my life may depend on the can of bear spray at my side was surreal. Fortunately, the bear was preoccupied or something because it didn’t even notice me.
#13 After the Inheritance
I’ll never forget when my mother’s husband came at me, trying to end my life. I stumbled and fell. Mark my words, it’s not a silly horror movie trope, it happens. I still hear the sound of it hitting the floor, inches away from my feet as I scrambled backwards. Did you know that machetes make sparks when they hit hard surfaces?
My brave brave mom stopped him. She was the one with the money, which I would inherit when she passed away. So, he didn’t do anything to her since as long as she was alive and married to him, he could spend her money. They’re divorced now and I live in a different country. My mom had to go into hiding for a while.
#14 Blow Back
My father-in-law’s neck squirting red after just being hit with shrapnel that blew back at a shooting range. It was the scariest 20 minutes while multiple 911 calls dropped and I frantically tried to figure out where we were to get EMTs on their way. (Lesson: always pay attention to where you’re going even as a passenger.) It barely missed any major arteries and he’s totally fine now. This happened because we used tannerite to blow an old computer tower. Don’t plan on trying that again.
#15 On the Overpass
One time, I was driving down the street, approaching a freeway overpass and saw a tanker crashing into the bridge. It then exploded on the overpass. I stopped about five feet or so from the flames but couldn’t back up because of all the traffic behind me. I jumped out and ran. My car also pretty much melted from it.
#16 Unexplained Coma
I had just finished watching Insidious . My son, who was around six at the time, was asleep in his room. I could see his room and him and his bed out of the corner of my eye from the couch. I was talking to my best friend on the phone and I saw some movement. I stopped talking and turned my head to the side to see him.
He slowly sat up in his bed and slowly turned his head to face me. Just his head. His eyes were closed. It was especially terrifying because the entire movie I was thinking about how it was weirdly like my son. He had an unexplained “coma” for 12 hours, had night terrors and sleepwalking. He talked a lot about “monster vision” and, at one point, had an imaginary friend with no face that told him to hurt me. He’s normal now and has, to my knowledge, not hurt anyone.
#17 Painful Memories
I’m 22 and my father once fell right in front of my eyes. I didn’t know what to do besides call out to him and try to wake him up. He’s good now, he just had a very big cramp that led him to lose consciousness. But, the panic and seeing my dad, that big solid man in my eyes, laying on the floor completely vulnerable is one of the most painful memories I have to this day.
#18 On the Other Side
I live with my family in an old farmhouse (over 100 years old) in the midwest. My son was home alone one day, chilling on the couch. He said there was a loud bang from the other side of the basement door, like someone or something hit the door very hard. He said the whole thing even the dogs freaked out a bit.
#19 Rejecting the Virus
My daughter, at eight months old, in an ICU connected to several tubes, screaming in pain, followed by a doctor telling us she needs chemotherapy. We were transferred to the oncology department of a children’s hospital (the most depressing place in the world). A few days later, they told us it was a misdiagnosis, and that she was responding well to antibiotics.
She had some rare flesh-eating virus that created sores. Also, when the sores started to heal, the infected area just sort of fell out while I was giving her a bath. It scared the absolute heck out of me (it wasn’t a large area). The nurses calmed me down and explained that her body was just rejecting the infection. After two weeks, we were released.
#20 Late-Night Bike Ride
Maybe eight years ago, I went on a late-night bike ride to Niagara Falls from my house in the neighboring town. It was kind of spooky fun going there at 1:00 a.m. with no one around, but that’s not the scary part. Heading home around 2:00 a.m., I had to pass underneath the bridge leading back to Grand Island, where I lived at the time.
Just on the other side of the dark underpass were three naked dudes throwing a rope up in a tree. One had a torch, like an honest-to-goodness Indiana Jones torch. They all just kind of looked at me as I rolled past. I noped out pretty fast. To get home, I had to sort of loop around from the bike path and double back to get onto the bridge. As I was climbing up the bridge, I chanced a look down on the scene I’d just passed. All three guys were just staring silently up at me. It was another big nope.
#21 Large Golden Mask
I’ve experienced sleep paralysis only once, but it scarred me a long time. Basically, I was ten and “woke up” to a figure in a red robe and a large golden mask at the end of my bed. It just stared at me for an eternity until it removed the golden mask to reveal a disfigured and unnerving face. It just gawked at me until it laughed at me and slowly faded away. I didn’t know about sleep paralysis until about 10 years later, so until then I could’ve sworn it was real. I sure hope it wasn’t…
#22 Trip to the Park
I had a spider the size of a quarter start to come down from my visor while I was driving. I tried to remain as calm as possible, I was approaching a stop sign at a non-busy intersection. I leaned my chair back slightly, looked for a receipt, napkins, anything within reach. The spider was about three inches hanging down, maybe eight inches in front of my face.
I found a receipt, let my foot off the gas, and slightly swerved to the right. I remember telling myself to just brake and then deal with the spider, but you act differently when it’s right in front of your face. I was about 60 feet from some cars and I grabbed the spider, but didn’t want to squish it. I held it in the receipt and I could feel it’s legs because it was trying to escape. I stopped, threw it in the park, and threw the receipt on the ground. I should’ve just let it go, but I squished it with my foot.
#23 Figure in the Dark
I was walking home at night and saw what looked to be a very tall, burly man standing next to a tree right off the sidewalk in front of my neighbor’s house. I slowed down a little to cautiously approach this large dude. As I got within about 10 feet, it dropped down onto all four legs and I realized it was a bear. I slowly backed up and walked all the way back around the block to get home, trying not to soil my pants.
#24 Sheet of Ice
This winter I was driving a trailer with two horses from NY to FL. The day before it had just snowed about eight inches or so. On the highway, there was a massive big rig in front of me and I saw this huge slab of ice fly off the top of the trailer. It was this enormous piece, looked at least 5ft by 5ft and a few inches thick of just solid ice. The way it flew off the top of the trailer, it caught some wind underneath and went up even higher. I immediately knew that this piece was going to come down directly onto my windshield.
The highway was full of cars, so swerving wasn’t an option and being that I was carrying horses and pulling a trailer, a sudden movement would risk me losing control. I sat there staring at this huge piece of ice, knowing in a few seconds it would come crashing down onto my windshield. I just hoped for the best and hoped it wouldn’t smash through it.
My brother was sleeping in the back and when it hit. It made one of the loudest noises I’ve ever heard, immediately waking him up! Luckily, it didn’t shatter the windshield, it did however rip off the side mirror on the left side of the car. It was very scary and I consider myself very lucky that it didn’t end up way worse.
#25 Building Roof
I saw a young teenage girl sit on the edge of a nine-storey building’s roof, contemplating ending her life. Me and my work partner were on the ground watching a negotiator working with her to talk her down. I’m getting anxious just remembering it. She was talked off the ledge and brought to the hospital. She also didn’t jump.
#26 Dad’s Ex
When I was nine, I was coming home. We got out of the taxi and the next thing I know, my dad’s ex came up and started yelling at him. I ran up the steps that led to the house and turned around to see my dad on the floor, getting kicked. Imagine being a nine-year-old and seeing your dad getting beaten and knowing you’re not strong enough to fight off a man in his late 30s. I still blame myself for not stopping it. It gives me nightmares and a lot of episodes to this day from the trauma.
#27 Through the Alphabet
I was once interning at a research place and doing inventory on a storeroom of chemicals. I started with the As to make sure that what we had matched what was written, that everything was stored properly, and it was all good, etc. Imagine how I felt when after weeks of doing this I got to the end of the alphabet and noticed that we had uranium acetate, sitting on a shelf in a bottle, otherwise not stored in any special way. All along, it had been in a small room for countless hours. I have never been so happy to look up an SDS sheet and breathed in relief at seeing that it wasn’t very radioactive.
#28 Between Two Buildings
My family and I were harassed by some dude in the city when I was really young. Because he was a coward, he hid in this dark crack across the street between two buildings as he screamed at us. The scary part to me was that I really couldn’t see him — he was just a faceless, shadowy blob yelling threats at us. It’s maybe not the scariest thing of all time, but I was six and it’s one of the few things that has stuck with me to this day.
#29 At Dad’s Race
My dad used to race speedway in flat track motorcycles. We were at his race and I was young, probably about eight. He was just starting to get really good, getting podium finishes consistently and picking up a few sponsors. The race began and he was in second. As they came around the third lap, a rider clipped him and I watched my dad go flying through the air and his bike come down. It smashed into his back peg first. He lay there unmoving and the ambulance came and took him away. He woke up halfway to the hospital. He broke his back.
#30 Candle in the Window
I live in the far East of Russia, so there are 1000 kilometers of solid forest. Once, my brother and I went fishing and our path went straight through an abandoned village. Inside the village was all looted long ago and overgrown with grass. At the end of the village there was also a cemetery, just as neglected and abandoned. There were small buildings in addition to simple graves. In one of those buildings, I saw a lit candle in the window. My brother and I looked at each other and thought, “Who would want to go to such a remote place just to light a candle?” That was easily the scariest thing I’ve ever seen.
#31 Head-On Crash
A highway car crash at the front of my friends. We heard the noise inside the house and ran to see what happened. A guy from my high school crossed to the other side of the road and collided head-on with a truck. He lost his life in front of us; we were 15 at the time. It wasn’t the first body I had seen, but it was definitely the most gruesome. The smell was awful and the visual was horrifying. Also, the total feeling of helplessness I had hasn’t been matched since. Thankfully, it didn’t mess me up too much, but my friend was pretty traumatized for a while.
#32 Fresh Wounds
I was walking in Walgreens and a little out of it. I looked over and saw a man with fresh wounds in his face and neck. I thought there was no way that was real and no one else seemed to be panicking. The man himself also seemed fine. I’ve had hallucinations before, so I shrugged it off. Then I looked back at him and the wounds were still there, which is unusual for my hallucinations.
He looked at me and we stared at each other. I thought I was being rude by staring because there was no way this man has actual fresh wounds on his face. I moved on, only slightly shaken because I might need to up my medication. Then a bunch of police officers came in and arrested him. It took a few minutes for the dread and fear to really sink in.
#33 Michigan Dog-Man
When I was about 10, I heard from one of my friends a local urban legend that only came out during years that ended with a seven. The year was 2017 and it was a warm June night. I had gone downstairs to get myself a glass of water from the kitchen. I then went to the bathroom and while I was washing my hands, I looked out the window and saw a huge set of red-stained teeth. I told my parents and they didn’t believe me, of course. To this day, I still wondered if those teeth I saw that night could’ve been those of the Michigan Dog-man.
#34 Outside the Door
When I was around five, my parents got a divorce. At the time, I didn’t know what was going on, so I wasn’t really upset. Soon after that, me, my brother and sister had to move out with our dad. We found a house down the street for $500 a month and it was around 125 years old. We started to move in and I thought it was creepy.
One night, I randomly woke up and just thought “go to my brother’s door.” I went outside and stared at his door. A few seconds passed and a big skinny tall creature opened and ducked under. We just stared at each other. We also had a 10ft ceiling and its head was really close to touching it. After a few more seconds, I got scared, walked into my room and went to bed. I almost fell asleep instantly.
#35 Tunnel Vision
My now-ex-wife told me she had gone behind my back with someone else. My vision went all tunnelly and I felt the ground drop out from under me. I’ve never experienced anything like that before and it scared the heck out of me. We’re divorced now, but it was a rough half year before it was finalized. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
#36 Three Classrooms
My mom works at the school and the church, so I was around to help a lot. We were cleaning up after an event and I was to make sure there were no messes in the main hallway in the school. On either side, there are three classrooms. As I passed the middle rooms, the doorknob to my left shook violently. Nobody besides myself and my mom were in the building. Each classroom door has a large glass window as well. There was nothing on the other side of the glass, so it scared the heck out of me, but nobody believed me.
#37 A Gazillion Legs
I woke up at about 4:00 a.m. to my hand wiping something off my face. I must have instinctively done this and the action itself woke me. I heard a small tap as whatever it was fell to the floor. I was still half-asleep and thought, for some crazy reason, it must have been food stuck to my face from making broth before going to bed (like a bay leaf). So, I tried to go back to sleep.
I couldn’t, though, because I had to go to the bathroom. I went and checked my face for food. Nothing was there, so I washed my face. I realized as I became more awake that it couldn’t have been food because I washed my face before bed. I went back to bed and got my phone to use as a flashlight, dread slowly filling me, to see what it was.
I shone the light on the floor and there it was, a house centipede about 2 inches long with a gazillion legs. It then started skittering and I yelled. I grabbed my house slipper and smashed it before it could go somewhere unseen. After three attempts, I succeeded. I then started inspecting the entire room. I pulled the covers down and checked under my pillow to see if there were more. No, thank God.
I then ripped the covers off my unsuspecting husband, but he was in the clear and remained undisturbed. I checked the slanted ceiling because I suspected it was climbing on there and fell on my face. The thought that it actually crawled up my bed, over my hair, across my forehead is too terrifying to consider. With no indication that there were any others, I tried to go back to sleep, clutching my phone and checking the ceiling with the flashlight every few minutes. I eventually fell asleep a good hour or so later, but it wasn’t a restful one. I constantly felt the need to wipe my face to feel safe.
#38 Effectively Boxed In
I was on a motorcycle maybe 150’ behind a five-ton truck with stake sides. It was carrying a big stack of, apparently unsecured, drywall. All of a sudden, they were standing up one at a time in the wind blast, then flying off. The sheets would either land right behind the truck, instantly shattering to pieces that I could mostly dodge, or flying over my head and landing behind me. It happened several times.
I froze up for a few seconds, considering my options. I was relatively safe where I was, but I couldn’t slow down as the sheets were landing behind me. I also couldn’t speed up as I would drive into the kill zone. I was in the middle of six lanes of rush hour traffic, effectively boxed in. I had noted there were about three seconds between sheets standing up, so I waited until the next one took flight.
As soon as I had ascertained the trajectory, it was going over my head, I gunned it, came right up behind him, cut into the left lane, zoomed past him and cut back in front. When I looked in my mirrors at him, the giant loser was giving me the finger through the windshield! Whatever, man. I don’t feel bad at all.
#39 The Boy Upstairs
A long time ago, I was playing hide and seek with my neighborhood buds. I was counting against a tree next to my friend’s grandma’s window. I looked up and saw a boy around my age in the window, looking right at me. He stared at me as I walked past. I waved but he didn’t wave back. We finished playing about an hour later and went inside grandma’s house.
I noticed a very large entertainment center blocking that window. No way a person could be standing next to the window. I didn’t see it initially because the curtain was closed, so the little boy was between the window and curtain. I told the grandma a few years later, and she confirmed that she had experienced paranormal stuff many times in that house. She had her church come out and cleanse it I guess, so she hasn’t had any since.
#40 Behind the Dumpsters
Walking to my parking garage late at night. A woman stopped me, asking if I could give her a ride to buy milk for her newborn. No way was I going to do that, so I politely declined, but still felt kind of bad. My parking garage stairwell had windows I could look out of and I decided to watch where she went next.
She walked towards a set of dumpsters which I had passed by, and from behind them arose two men. They then walked down the alley together. I still wonder what they had in mind. If they were going to mug me, they had that opportunity as I passed by them before she stopped me. They were maybe going to jack my car since she asked for a ride. Either way, my stomach dropped when I saw them pop out from behind those dumpsters.
#41 Plane Ride
I watched a friend taking a plane ride. Something went wrong when they landed (NTSB determined pilot error) and they crashed. My friend survived with critical injuries. The pilot didn’t make it. That was one of the two times I’ve cried in the last 10 years, thinking I’d just seen a good friend lose their life. I still flashback to seeing it from time to time. I can’t imagine what my friend still goes through.
#42 Waiting in the Backyard
DEA agents swarming around the house and their SUVs materializing out of the black of night. They were waiting in the backyard. I was 11. They were after my dad and had been watching us for years. They intentionally waited until us kids were there so he’d be less likely to use violence. It was very traumatizing and I realized as an adult that it’s made me different my entire life.
#43 To the Right
I saw my mom start her stroke when I was 18. I remember helping her go to the restroom before going to the ER and her head just kept going to the right like water sprinklers do in movies. I kept telling her to stop because I thought she was messing with me, but she couldn’t even get words out of her mouth. It was scary because my mom is always so strong, so seeing her unable to control her body was… yikes.
#44 Face in the Water
My family used to take vacations at a boathouse on the lake during the summer. One time as a teen, I was asked to go back and double-check to make sure the boat had been tied down to the dock properly. As I leaned over, I saw my little brother’s face under the water, stunned and looking back at me. He was about five and was completely submerged, unable to compel himself to swim up. I grabbed him of course, but the image of him underwater stayed with me for… well, ever.
#45 Loud Sounds
I was in a car accident in the third row of seats when we were rear-ended. I heard their tires screech behind me. I turned and saw the rear window explode. Then all the sounds, it was like shots. The first hit, then getting pushed into the car in front of us, then the airbags. All of them were incredibly loud.
#46 Illuminated Woman
In the middle of the night when I was 10, I woke up and saw this lady in my doorway. She was fully illuminated and wearing a long flowy dress and had flowing hair. I could fully see details, like her face, body, clothing etc. This was weird because the light in the hallway was always turned off yet it was extremely bright. I screamed, “Mom!” because I was terrified. After like 20 seconds, she slowly disappeared. I haven’t experienced anything like that ever since. I realize now that it was probably some sort of hypnagogic hallucination, but I liked to believe it was my guardian angel. Still freaks me out.
#47 Eisenhower Tunnel
It wasn’t me but my mom and dad were driving into Colorado and went through Eisenhower tunnel. It was all bright and sunny on the side they came in but on the side they came out of, it was snowy and icy. There was a giant truck that had lost control, spinning towards them. It regained control at the last second and was able to pull away, but they were almost totaled.
#48 In the Bathroom
I have epilepsy and had (fortunately) only the second tonic clonic seizure I’ve ever had in our bathroom. I started my fall and smacked the back of my head on the edge of the counter. Then I turned and landed with my head on the track the shower door uses. My wife came to see me when she heard the sound of my head continually smacking the track.
Because my head was gushing, it got red on the floor, wall, rug, and down the shower drain. My head dented the track enough to where you couldn’t close the shower door. I can’t really say it scared me as much because I don’t remember any of it. But, I was the scariest thing my wife has ever seen without a doubt.
#49 In the Headlights
My friend hit a deer late at night. While we were looking at the damage, something was throwing pebbles at us from in the wood line. After we realized that’s what it was, we freaked out and left. On the way home, we were on a back road and something jumped into the middle of the road and started running toward the car head-on. Its actual shape can’t be described. It looked like brown smoke running toward us. He slammed the brakes, swerved and hit it with the corner of the hood but it never made a sound. He panicked and kept driving. I looked behind the car and could still see it swirling around about a foot off the ground.
#50 What’s the Percentage?
When the surgeon told me my son has a two percent chance of passing away during surgery. Two percent sounds like a small number, but that day it sounded like a really huge number. He’s fine. He had an artificial heart valve installed. What sucks is every 10 years he will need another surgery, each with a two percent chance of passing away. Between him and his brother, we have been through four open-heart surgeries. This last one was the only time I asked for a percentage.