People From Around The World Share Moments They Felt Pure Fear

People From Around The World Share Moments They Felt Pure Fear

The word alone is enough to bring on a visceral reaction. Pumping heart beat. Shortness of breath. The prickle as the hair on the back of your neck stands up. Fear is a strong emotion, and once you feel it, you never forget. We asked people from around the world to share stories about the time they felt pure fear.


45. All it takes is one crash.

I was flying an airliner. We were maybe 1,000 above the ground while on approach to land at a smaller airport. There were thunderstorms in the area and we ended up in a microburst with zero visibility. We got a wind shear warning in the cockpit and started to go around. At full throttle and the nose up we were still sinking at around 400ft/min. Everything seemed to be running in slow motion both me and the other pilot were running through our required actions and call outs due to the training. In the back of my mind all I could think about was I can’t see the ground and we are falling. I know there is a hill out here somewhere, this is where I am going to die. The plane got down to around 400ft off the ground before it finally started to climb. This was the most fear I had ever felt in my life.

aeroplane-aircraft-airplane-1004584-300x200.jpgPhoto by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi from Pexels

44. Good reason to be afraid.

The time I got into bed with my girlfriend and immediately started coughing up blood. Ran into the bathroom and held onto the sink for dear life, every breath I tried to take I just ended up wheezing more blood out of my lungs. By the time the ambulance got there I had pretty much come to terms that this was how I died. Then it slowed down and finally stopped by the time I got to the ER.

Long story short it turned out to be hodgkin's lymphoma. Had chemo for 6 months and am cured now with minimal repercussions. Scariest time of my life.


43. An uninvited friend.

I was trying to fall sleep at around 3 am one night and felt someone press on my bed. Then a bag on the chair started shaking. Then again I felt something on my bed. Finally I had the courage to switch on light and found a giant rat on my bed.

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42. Chased down by terror.

I was riding my bike home from work along a pretty busy main road (I live in the city). I got to a downhill and started to pick up pace when I noticed a brown snake, which are very deadly, lying across the bike just lane ahead of me. There was a car in the lane next to me and it was too late to stop, but I somehow managed to dodge the snake and kept riding.

About 50 metres later, just as I thought I was safe, I heard a very loud hissing and felt something rush past my leg and thought the snake had somehow caught up and bitten me. It turns out my back tire burst but in the moment I was absolutely terrified.

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41. Risky recreation.

My mom and 5 year old brother got in an ATV accident. They were driving slow through the woods and a large, dead tree fell alongside the trail, knocking down a smaller tree, which hit them both in the head. Freak accident.

My other brother and I were outside filling the pool and we heard my mom yelling something. I didn't know what it was but my stomach dropped. We both ran to the head of the trail across the yard, and she was carrying my little brother, both covered in blood. She ran half of that mile-long trail carrying him.

They were both in the hospital for a week. Mom got some stitches in her face, and my brother's skull was shattered, requiring surgery and a metal plate put in.

He's graduating high school next year and doing well.

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40. Watch out for danglers.

I was on a 360 degree roller coaster and you go around and around but it got stuck at the very top and the ride shut down for 5 minutes so I was upside-down and I was very little and it was terrifying.

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39. Beware the fear noodle.

I was 6 years old and went to take a leak. I was at my grandma's house in a small village in India. The bathroom was an outhouse. Just as I was about to start, I noticed a cobra hissing at me. I ran like crazy.

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38. Nope. Nope. No, thank you.

The morning of my mom's wedding. Everyone relaxing. Eating breakfast. Clothes everywhere. Cousins running around. All of the adults are on their porch chilling.

I hear my daughter SCREAMING. I run in the dining room. There were clothes draped over the back of a dining room chair. The clothes had a metal coat hanger on them. She had gotten the hook of the metal hanger under her eyelid.

I grabbed the back of her head and slowly pulled the hook out. Put a little ice on her eye for a bit. Luckily, it hadn't hit her eyeball at all.


37. Always have a spotter.

I used to measure roofs for a solar company.

One time I went up on a very steep roof of a two story house alone, and without a harness. This roof plane was too steep to walk and the shingles were old and crumbing so I had to crawl so I didn't slide down towards the edge.

After about an hour of crawling around, the sun began to bake the shingles so they were too hot to touch, so I decided to bug out. As the roof was too steep to walk, the only way to the ladder was by scooting on my butt with my feet pointed towards the edge.

Every time I'd skid toward the edge my heart exploded in fear because it was hard to stop from moving. I had to use my hands to slow myself down and they were getting burned. All I could do was to rub my palms on my legs to transfer some of the heat, but they were being scorched. Imagine putting your hand on a hot frying pan full of grit.

I was completely alone, in a faraway town, with no one to call. It took forever to get to the ladder and by the time I did I was shaking and drenched in sweat. When I finally got back to the ground some people came out from a nearby house and said they saw me and were ready to call 911.

I had burn blisters on both palms and I never went on a roof like that again without a helper or PPE.

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36. So much at stake.

It was 5 years ago almost to the day. I was home with my two daughters who at the time were 3 and just over 1. I was giving them a bath, kneeling on the ground and all of a sudden it felt like something exploded in my heart. I remember thinking just get the kids out of the water, nothing else matters. I got them out of the water and was able to call an ambulance.

I was taken to the hospital and long story short I had blood clots in both lungs and my right knee. They think a piece of the knee blood clot broke free and passed through my heart. I am very lucky to be alive and so grateful I was able to get my daughters out of the tub.

I found out I have multiple blood clotting disorders and am on blood thinners for life, but I am alive!



35. The instrument of death.

A few years back I was in a toxic relationship with an individual suffering from severe mental illness. He refused to take medications. I had not a clue how bad it had gotten until he was driving us back to our apartment.

He started rambling about how God chose him to save my soul and I was a fallen angel. He would send me back to heaven. He floored the gas on a short dead end road and almost drove into a cement wall. I remember briefly wondering if I should jump put the car at 50 mph, or stay in and pray the airbag saved me. He slammed the brake last minute and I was about to open the door and jump.

Absolute fear. I ended up hospitalized a few days later due to other awful relationship-related events and never saw him again.

Hands down, one of the more terrifying moments of my life, but not the only one I experienced by being with him.


34. Everything that happens in the hospital.

I was sitting in the waiting room of the ICU talking to my Aunt. My Dad has just been moved from the ER to the ICU that morning. My Mom was with him but I had to go to the waiting room while they got him settled in. All of a sudden, I hear "CODE BLUE ICU ROOM XYZ". I didn't even know what his room was but I just had this terrible feeling. My entire body goes numb. I look at my Aunt and say I am going back there.

As soon as I open the ICU ward door, a nurse looks at me and says, "Are you the daughter of so an so?" with a very empathetic look on her face. And I say, "Yes. OMG is that my Dad? is that my Dad coding?" She says come with me. We sprint down the hall to the back of the ICU and I turn the corner to see a room full of people. My mom is standing in the corner. In complete shock.

My 100% genuine fear? Standing in the corner of the ER watching nurses perform CPR on my Dad. For 17 minutes.

CPR is nothing like you see on TV. Any medical professional will agree with me. It is violent and intense. There were about 15 people in the room and it is intense. Organized chaos. It is one of the worst memories I have but talking about it somewhat helps.

33. Lost at sea.

The scariest thing that ever happened to me was running out of gas in my boat with my girlfriend in open water during a storm. Ended up on a shoal trying to hold the boat while a friend brought us more fuel. Honestly thought the waves would wash us away and we'd drown.

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32. That sinking feeling.

Once my mother called me on the phone telling me that a copy of our house keys was stolen that afternoon from the lobby and someone might be in the house. This happened in the exact moment I was entering the house. Pretty scary but no one was there thank god.

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31. The physical manifestation of fear.

When I was still a beginning driver, I basically misjudged a turn at a highway exit when it was raining. My car swiveled and turned around. Somehow I managed to get it to stop, but I ended up bumping the side railing with the back of my car, and the car turning more than 180 degrees on the road before coming to a halt.

This is a very busy exit, and if someone had been right behind me I'd have been dead.

Somehow I managed to gather my wits, restart the car, turn it around, and drive off before another car hit me.

I stopped at the earliest possible parking opportunity, and that was when I felt it - the fear. I just started shaking uncontrollably.


30. The disembodied head.

My wife and son were out of town, so I had the house to myself. I used that opportunity to do something I never get to do - have a shower with the washroom door open.

Small things like that make me happy.

Anyway, I was just getting out of the shower, when - without a sound - I see someone’s head slowly go by in the dark corridor outside the washroom door!

I nearly passed out in terror; the doors were all locked, how did anyone get in? And there was something unnatural and menacing about that slow silent glide by the door. Like they must have known I was there, but they just didn’t care. Plus whoever it was was really tall - the head was seven feet off the ground. My heart raced so fast I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

Wet and terrified, I peered out of the door ...

... to find the mystery solved: the “head” was my son’s helium balloon toy, partly deflated over time, floating by on the slight air current.

In short, I had nearly been frightened to death by my kid’s toy. Not my proudest moment.



29. Scared enough for two.

I was in labor with my son and my blood pressure kept bottoming out. First I lost my vision. It came back. Then I lost my hearing. While I was unable to hear, all of the medical staff in the room suddenly had very concerned looks on their faces and rushed to the monitor tracking my baby’s heartbeat. I then started to pass out and as I was losing consciousness I saw a nurse thrust an injection into my leg but I felt nothing (because of the epidural.) All of that combined was probably the scariest moments of my life.

Both my son and I were okay and he’s a healthy 1 year old now.

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28. Heart in your throat.

My boyfriend was in kind of a slump emotionally for a bit, and while I was at work he texted me and seemed pretty down. I asked him what was up, he didn't respond. I tried calling but he denied my calls, then suddenly he just wrote "I don't feel too good mentally," and just went offline on ALL platforms at once and shut off is phone.

I just slammed my work laptop shut and ran as fast as I could to the subway to get home. When I finally reached the apartment he wasn't even there. I was so freaked out, I was just screaming his name like madwoman, somehow hoping he'd respond.

Everything turned out just fine in the end and he apologized for scaring me, but OH MAN. I was so sure I was gonna be the one to find his body that day.

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27. Down, Cujo.

I'm from the Dominican Republic. There are a lot of dogs in the streets, and they usually hang in these colmados (mini-minimarket) that are in pretty much every neighborhood. My parents would send me to buy stuff almost every weekend, and the dogs would chase me a lot of the time since the colmados sell over the counter. I would have to buy whatever it was and try to not let the dogs see me, and if they saw me I had to run uphill while being chased by 5 dogs. That was not fun.


26. The ultimate nightmare.

Received a call from my dad, voice faint and weak, a few final words telling me to take care of my mother and sister. Then I woke up, heart rate through the roof, some initial stages of hyperventilation, tears rolling down my eyes, and a huge surge of panic and fear. It took me some seconds to realize it was a dream, but it took over a week to get over what I felt.


25. Who's there?

One night I somehow heard knocking through my sound canceling headphones. It wasn’t coming from my headset it was coming from my front door and no one was there so I just went back to playing. Heard it again I decided to watch the door for the rest of the day. I’m still confused to this day on how there was a load enough sound to go through the headset. Not sure if I was just crazy or whatever else it could have been.

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24. Truly traumatic.

I once injured a dude's eye by throwing a really sharp broken piece of wood which came off a table. I didn't think it would actually hit as I was so far away. I get him to first-aid room or whatever that is called in a primary school.

The nurse said he had a high chance of going blind. I don't know what happened later or how is he doing now. My memories from that event are completely gone.

I was very scared and so guilty.



23. Lucky to get out of that one alive.

I was going to enter year 11 that year (so I was about 15 years old). I needed to walk to school to register, and decided I'd take a shortcut. That street was long, with trees on each side, and nobody around; but when I realised my mistake, I was already halfway through it so I figured I'd continue on my way. At some point, I heard footsteps behind me and turned around. There was a man who had something weird about his demeanor, and I remember immediately feeling it. So I gradually picked up the pace but he just bolted and got to me, knife in hand. Asked me to give him my phone, which I should've done. That was my first phone, and as a stupid teenager with no money, I sort of thought it'd be a good idea to "negotiate" so he doesn't take my phone. Dumb idea, cause he asked me to follow him while still pressing the knife against my back, acting like he was just casually holding me.

Now, I lived in a small town at the time, so I had to walk 10 minutes like that before finding a police officer to alert. Started screaming, crying, until people eventually surrounded the guy and dragged me out of there. I was informed by a police officer that the man was actually a criminal who had escaped prison months ago; felt lucky to have escaped that one.

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22. This is why they're man's best friend.

I was woken up by my dogs going nuts and found out my house was on fire. By the time I had woken up the stairs were engulfed in flames. I truly lost all sense of what to do. Thought it was all over. Eventually got to a window and ended up throwing my dogs out the window (all were okay) and jumping out the window. I never would wish that feeling on anybody.

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21. The kindness of strangers.

A few years ago I was trying to find gas in the middle of nowhere. I found a gas station but couldn’t get the pump to work. A guy pulled up and told me that they wouldn’t work because it was after 8 pm. He said he had a few gallons in his truck and offered. I offered him cash and he declined. He was nice and respectful until he began slowly pumping the slowest 2 gallons of my life. Then he started saying in a creepy, through an almost angry, between clenched teeth voice “you look really good, you married?”

The complete change in demeanor and tone of voice scared the absolute crap out of me. It sent a chill through my body. I was absolutely terrified.

Even if I’d had a weapon, he could have overtaken me. There was not a soul around, and the pasture around us was at least 2-3 feet of grass. I knew I as a goner. He kept saying lewd things, then asking where I worked and lived until I jumped into my car and took off.


20. Major life event.

My scariest moment was hemorrhaging after giving birth to my second child. My epidural finally wore off and I was being escorted to the restroom. When I sat up in bed I felt a huge gush of fluid and thought "oh, probably just peed since my bladder is still a little numb." Got to the restroom, pulled down the mesh underpants, and blood dumped on the floor. When I sat on the toilet a massive flood of fist size or larger blood clots and blood left my body. I immediately felt faint and my nurse could tell. She looked at the mess and called for the hemorrhage response team to the room.

I will never forget the look of dread on my husband's face when I left that bathroom with blood running down my legs. The helplessness I felt lying on that bed, with my newborn in sight, his father holding my hand for dear life, and dozens of nurses rushing to get different medications to inject me with while a doctor scooped clots out of my body with his hands and a nurse pushed on my stomach is something I'll never forget. Nor will I forget how heavy my chest felt with every breath, how dim everything appeared, or how hard it was to think.

I never had a fear of blood and now it paralyzes me.

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19. Apex predator faceoff.

Driving to Alaska on the Alcan came around a turn and standing in the road was a mother brown bear and two cubs. I was in a 1980 Ford Courier pickup with the exterior body thickness of an aluminum can. I came to a quick halt as she faced the vehicle in a clearly protective stance. Unsure if backing up would set her off I put it in reverse and sat unmoving for what felt like an eternity until the cubs ambled into the woods and she followed.

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18. School can be scary.

I was bullied really badly for all of 5th and 6th grade, and the teacher was even part of the bullying. My depression drove me to do things I never thought I would’ve done, and I was glad my parents didn’t allow me to carry a crafting knife in my pencil case. But it also caused my grades to slip terribly. The teacher would constantly tell me how everything was my fault, insult me, and he’d always say middle school would be like this but 10 times worse. I’d always been scared. The day I graduated I broke down. Everyone was crying a bit because they were sad to leave friends, and they thought I was crying for the same reason, perhaps just more dramatically as I was about to move to another city. But I wasn’t, it was the greatest fear I’d ever experienced, because I literally thought I would die in middle school.

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17. Fear of flying.

Really bad turbulence at high altitude and a lady yelled through the plane’s intercom something I couldn’t understand and then kept repeating “BRACE, BRACE, BRACE!”

She kept doing so for a long while, and that plane shook in ways I didn’t think possible. I and everyone awake at that moment, about pooped our pants.

To this day, I cannot experience turbulence without, at least, a minor degree of fear.


16. Blurred vision.

I remember watching something on youtube and all the sudden I had a weird blind spot in my eye (I have a fear of going blind as my eye sight is really bad. It's -7.5 and getting worse). I instantly started panicking, thinking that I'm going blind and ran to my mother, who took me to the doctor.

Turns out I had a eye/retinal migraine (I had never heard of a eye migraine before this) but still, I went into instant panic mode.

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15. Topsy turvy.

When I was 9 years old I was on a rollercoaster. The belts and locks are in place, everything went smoothly, but just before the last bend before stopping, the safety lock went loose a notch. I was kinda tall and skinny and almost got jostled out of seat to an eighty-foot fall onto metal scaffolds and stuff ... Saved by my mother's reflex. She pulled me back and held on until the ride cam to a stop.

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14. A fear we all live with.

I go back 8 years ago, to me being very pregnant (37 weeks) and getting a phone call from my dad at like 7am. My mother is diabetic and wears a pump. She had been sick, we thought it was a stomach bug or maybe even the flu. Apparently during the night, she woke up and was throwing up and somehow aspirated in her lungs.. about an hour later she woke my dad up and said something wasn't right. He in turn woke my brother up immediately... who carried her down the stairs and put her in the car and drove to the ER. They immediately realized she was going into DKA.. and also couldn't breathe on her own.. so they intubated her. It was a small hospital and they decided to medflight her to a bigger more capable one.

I have never been so scared in my life. About to give birth to her first grandchild and could lose my mother. How was I ever going to be okay again? It was a very rough couple of weeks but she did pull through and was by my side when I gave birth. She is my best friend in this world. Someone who always has my back. Losing my parents is one of the scariest things to me.

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13. Still in the house somewhere.

When I was younger (around 15/16 maybe) I was home alone. We own a dog, so most noises you can just say: “It was the dog”. But that night the dog was laying with me in the bed and I heard a noise downstairs. Me being the paranoid guy I am already had the baseball bat from my brother next to my bed. I grabbed it and went to the stairs. And I saw a light flashing by, it looked like a flash light. So I grabbed the baseball bat tighter and had tears in my eyes but I went downstairs. There was nothing. Everything was alright. It was my biggest fear but at the same time the biggest relief I’ve ever had. Still I wonder were that light came from. A car would be impossible because the street is on the other side of the house and lights from the neighbours as well. So there’s that.

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12. Let it out.

I was working out with a personal trainer. Small gym, just for this kind of thing, and we were the only two in there. I finished a pretty rough circuit and he went to the restroom while I recovered.

Then I started to feel a tightness in my chest, and pain. I started clutching at my chest, thinking "NO NO NOT NOW, NOT LIKE THIS! IT'S TOO SOON!"

...And then I let out the biggest, most powerful burp I've ever had. And immediately felt fine. I'd seen in sitcoms and such where a guy thinks he's having a heart attack and then gets diagnosed with gas, but now I fully understand it.

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11. Machines of doom.

I've had quite a few run-ins with work-related incidents. From rigging failing with a dozen tons of steel overhead to being crushed by a machine with overridden safety interlocks. The ones that really spook me are rotating masses though, lathe crashes are just a matter of getting away from the chuck as fast as humanly possible and trying everything to stop the awful booming sounds. Well, if that wasn't enough, I picked up a job doing centrifuge repairs. After the better part of a year I got tasked with rebuilding a horizontal centrifuge (imagine a 55 gallon drum made of 1" thick steel spinning at 3500 rpm+) and after rebuild I start it up and it reaches full speed. Then some stuff breaks loose, there are solid carbide tiles inside this machine and they all broke off in the span of two seconds. The machine started shaking like mad and while I wanted to shut it off, I had to run behind the currently runaway machine that could rip itself apart to do so. That moment had me crouching and terrified as I made my way to the disconnect.

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10. Highway pinball.

Last winter I was in the back seat of a truck with my friends, I was in the middle seat and like an idiot I didn’t use the seat belt. We were driving on the highway and over a bridge, we hit ice. All of a sudden we’re skidding to the edge of the lane, and I see the 2 foot tall cement wall on the edge getting closer and we’re about to slam into it. I KNEW we’d of course break it and go over, and I knew I was going to die. In .2 seconds I thought “this is how I’ll die, I wonder if it’ll hurt, if I’ll die instantly, if I’ll bleed out, of my friends will die around me” I KNEW I was going to die.

And then we bounced of the wall, spun, hit it again, spun, and hit it a 3rd time before stopping. The entire thing, from hitting the ice to stopping, took like half a second, but I knew I as going to die. Everyone was ok, surprisingly minimal damage to the truck too.

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9. Sick and far from home.

I got dengue twice, which is a painful virus in South East Asia, there are only four strands of dengue and if you survive one you are immune to that one for life. I survived the first one and was in my bed for 2 weeks, I felt paralyzed I couldn't do anything, using any technology gave me a head ache. I recovered completely fine, and then a few months go by and I caught dengue twice, if you don't know catching it multiple times is a lot more dangerous. I had internal bleeding and my life was a misery, I was genuinely fearing. I obviously recovered, really well actually, better then most people, this time it took a month to recover. I ended up having vein issues in my left kidney and testicle but I had to get surgery to cut those veins and basically force my body to use other passages. If you catch it, get medical help and you will have a pretty good chance at recovery. However, the fever spikes you get from it are something different, if you are an active person it will take ages to get back into sports.


8. Down the wrong pipe.

My son started choking. He was about 9 months old and was eating his standard wheat cereal with milk for breakfast and was happily munching away. Then all of a sudden he just stopped, he went silent, totally silent. There was no air moving. It was terrifying. Luckily I’ve had children’s first aid training and that and mum instinct kicked in. Slapped him, hard, on the back with his head pointing to the floor with him over my knee. Multiple slaps. Clog of cereal dislodged and he was able to breathe again. We both collapsed on the floor in tears, had cuddles and generally recovered. Then he wanted to carry on eating his breakfast. He’s a trooper.

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7. Little intruder.

Someone broke into my house. At the time it was just me and my mom living alone. For reference my mom is 4'11 and around 90 pounds.

It was a cool calm night and my mom had gone to bed hours earlier. The time was around 11:45 pm or so and I was in my room watching TV. Then I hear the loudest bang and my house alarm goes off. Now this wasn't the first time someone has tried to break in but I can tell by the bang that someone actually got in this time. I grab my shotgun from my room and go and wakeup my mom. I have her wait in the bathroom and I go to clear the house. I have never been more scared for my life then when I was clearing my house with no lights on and not knowing where this possibly crazed lunitic is. I finally clear the main floor and upstairs and there is only one place remaining... The basement, the basement has wooden stairs and is unfinished with very little light down there. I announce myself while trying to not sound afraid for my life but to no avail, the fear comes out in my words and it's obvious. I finally man up, and creep down the loud stairs. As I finally make it to the end of the stairs I'm faced with my wall with a path to the left or right, either way I felt like this was where I would get jumped. I take a few breaths and begin to clear the basement. As I clear my basement heading towards the area where the noise came from I don't find anything out of place. What I did find was a bird, who had crashed into my window so hard it triggered the window sensor to claim it was broken I to.

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6. Narrow escape.

My sister had a terrifying incident. In the late 80s my father lived in the woods of North Carolina. My sister went to visit him from New Mexico and was driving from town to his house when she ran out of gas. She was probably about 17 years old. She was a bit naive, and so when a guy stopped to help her she was relieved, and when he told her he could get her gas but he didn't want to leave her on this little road all alone so she should pop in his car and they would go together to the gas station she agreed and got in his car.

Instead of taking her to the gas station he took her to his house. Where he told her that he she was very hot and sexy, that he was looking forward to spending a lot of time with her, and that she needed to cook dinner. She said she stayed pretty calm and cool and acted like she thought that was a great idea. She told him if she was going to spend the night that she would need her suitcase, and she didn't want to leave her car on the side of the road where someone might worry about her and call the police.

He drove her to the car and put gas in it, and told her to follow him home. She took off like a bat out of a cave and went to the police. Unfortunately she couldn't remember where he lived because she wasn't familiar with the roads, (in the woods of North Carolina they often look all alike) and she hadn't gotten his license plates.

I don't know if she was more terrified, or if I was hearing the story.


5. Lethal overreaction.

Got pulled over a few years ago. Myself, a friend and my 2 kids in the back (both males, 11 and 9 at the time). Cop got my info, then as he walking back to his car he started yelling for my kids to put their hands up. He yelled "put your hands up" 3 times. During which time I looked back to see him stepping behind the back driver's side window and put his hand on his gun.

I was scared out of my mind. I thought this cop was gonna shoot my kids right in front me. I yelled at my kids to raise their hands as I look at them. Both hands were already raised but they raised them higher and I could see in their face they were scared too. I turn to the cop and tell him that we are unarmed, there are no weapons in the vehicle. He responds, "Well what's that?"

It was a yellow and purple nerf gun. It was on the seat next to my kid. My kid had shifted in his seat while the cop was walking back to his car, the cop caught a glimpse of this obviously fake toy and panicked. I told him it was a nerf toy gun. Cop just walked back to his car. After a few mins he came back and gave me my info back, said "sorry about the scare" and walked back to his car before I could say anything to him. Probably for the best as I was furious at this point.

This cop didn't pull his gun out at us, and he did apologize for the scare even if he didn't give me a chance to respond. But there's something wrong when a small town cop panics when an 11 year old shifts in his seat. His job is not that dangerous. Children shouldn't scare him. He saw a yellow and purple plastic toy and reacted without taking the extra half second to see it for what it was. A toy. And in his fear he scared the life out of me and my young children. I'm a Hispanic man, and with all the violence cops are commiting against minorities lately, well, for a second I thought my children were in danger of getting killed right in front of me. I've never been more scared.


4. Home invasion.

I came home on my lunch break to check on my ill 12 year old. My ex-husband's car was in my driveway. I had previous restraining orders against him (expired) but divorce decree states he was not allowed in my home for any reason. Clearly, he was there also checking in on our child. (Child was fine, he just had a sinus infection). So I rationally entered my own home.

This surprised my ex. He yelled, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!" I calmly replied, "Um...because I live here and I'm checking on Mike? The bigger question is what are YOU doing in MY house? There is a legal order of protection against you."

He yelled again, "MY GOD DO I HATE YOU! I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!!!" and he pushed me as he ran to his car.

We are both avid gun owners. Sport, protection (conceal/carry certified), hunting, the whole 9 yards. Is he going to his car for his gun? How is my son? What was he doing inside my house? Lock the door and check it all out. Son is fine. Nothing is out of order. Ok. Fine.

BAM BAM BAMBAMBAMBAMBAM BAM! Ex is pounding on the front door demanding my son leave with him. He seriously seemed to have lost his mind and I thought he would kill me if he got the door open. I called the police, who had to escort him away. Obviously, I survived.

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3. Alone in the woods.

My best friend and I are avid hikers and like to do the more difficult hikes in the greater Tri-State Area (NJ,NY,PA for those not in the know). We were doing our second trip up Mt. Tammany, which is a rather steep and strenuous hike up a mountain with a great view of the Delaware river right on the NJ/PA border. After the difficult climb to the top, it's a slow and steady walk back down to the trailhead that passes by this lovely creek. We were around a mile away from getting back to the car and a few hundred feet away from the nearest other hiker, and we heard a loud CRACK out in front of us. It sounded just like a gunshot... This was the week of one of several shootings in the US that year, so we exchanged a nervous laugh and kept walking forward.

We go another 30 yards or so before we heard it again, this time a rapid fire CRACK! CRACK! CRACK! and I felt pieces of wood hit my face. I froze in fear at that moment thinking some crazy moron brought an AR-15 to this fairly well traveled hiking trail and is going all Vietcong on us... Then my friend points to my left to this giant pine tree...

It had rained a ton that spring/ summer and the outcrop that the tree had decided to make it's home had eroded away too much to support the weight of the tree, so the tree had started to lean, then buckle under it's own weight right down the middle. We stood there watching as large cracks formed at the base of the tree, a crowd had started to form watching it all go down with us, eventually gravity won the day and the crowd of ~20 hikers and us watched as this 100ft tree crashed down into and over the creek to our left.

Luckily no one was hurt since it fell away from the trail, but before I knew that it was a tree succumbing to gravity, I for certain thought we were going to be the victims of a woodland mass-shooting.


2. Strangers on a train.

I drank too much and it didn’t hit till I was on a train. I had gone to the train bathroom to throw up, but I was dry heaving and I didn’t have water, and I could feel myself starting to black out. I was so out of it I couldn’t even see straight enough to figure out how to open the door, and I started to think “Oh my god, I’m going to die in a train bathroom with my skirt hiked up, they’re going to take pictures of this oh my god people are going to see me like this.” It was the most afraid for my life I’ve ever been, not because I was going to die, but because I was going to die alone, in a train bathroom, because I was too stupid to stop doing shots.

As I started to see spots, someone grabbed me by the hair, forced a water bottle between my lips and was like “swallow” and I did, and I puked. And I did again, and I puked. And he got another bottle and did the same. And we went like that until I held down a few sips, and blood started flowing to my head again.

This perfect stranger got off at my stop and walked me home, waited while I threw up a couple times, and made sure my boyfriend was there to take care of me when I got home.

The whole time, he was just...railing at me. Just a nonstop flow of “do you understand how much of a burden you’ve put on other people? I am going to be 3 hours late getting home cuz I missed my stop making sure you were alright. This is irresponsible, you need to take better care of yourself, learn your limits, or if you’re not going to do that at least wear pants!” Just nonstop.

He was right, on all counts, of course. That’s what I love about Boston. People are jerks, all of them, but they’re jerks that look out for one another.

drunk-300x188.jpgThe Drinks Business

1. What swims beneath.

My family used to go sailing in the British Virgin Islands for summer holidays when I was younger. One evening we were anchored in a bay with a party boat of teenage Americans nearby. After some drinks starting a water fight seemed like a great idea.

At some point during the ensuing chaos I ended up “kidnapped” and held as a hostage on their tender (little motor boat for getting from sailboat to shore). They decided to drive me out to sea and once we were thoroughly out of the bay they started joking about tossing me overboard.

Dumb me thought the best response to this joke threat was to stand up and yell “YOU CANT THROW ME OVERBOARD IF I JUMP OUT” which I promptly did. They laughed and drove off...

I was left floating in the middle of the sea about half a mile from shore in the pitch black. At first the drinks stopped me from panicking and I decided to just swim back. Half a mile isn’t that bad right? Now my brain was beginning to wonder what was swimming around beneath me but I was mostly calm until something bounced off my leg.

This is the point at which I need to introduce you to the villain of this story. You see usually the British Virgin Islands has lovely safe clear waters. However once every 4-5 years they get unusually high numbers of moon jellyfish. Of course moons aren’t scary at all. They rarely sting and when they do it’s not even as painful as a nettle sting. They really weren’t the problem. It was the creature that used them as a food source that was the danger.

Known colloquially as the stinging cauliflower. They were purple balls of pure evil. In our marine life books they were the only jellyfish that got the same danger/pain rating as the man-o-war jellyfish. Earlier that holiday a young girl from another boat got stung while playing on the beach. We heard her scream from about a quarter of a mile out the bay at anchor. She went into aniphilactic shock and almost died. (Side story, the vinegar and talcum powder we had stocked for jellyfish stings apparently saved her life according to the emergency responders because we zoomed it over when we heard the mayday on the radio),

Anyway, back to my story.... there I was half a mile out from shore in the pitch black with no idea if these kids were going to come back and get me or if they would even be able to find me again in the dark since I had no idea if I was drifting with any current. A moon jellyfish had just bounced off my leg and where there are moons there were always cauliflowers. I was pretty certain if I swam into one and got stung chances are I wouldn’t be able to stay afloat and I would drown. I start to feel genuinely sick and scared, struggle to keep my breathing under control etc.

But there’s nothing to do except swim and hope to high heaven I don’t hit one. So that’s what I did. It was over 15 minutes before the teenagers came back to get me. By this point the panic and swimming had turned my muscles to jelly and they had to literally haul me back into the boat.

I never told my family or friends on the holiday, didn’t want to ruin their fun. I just quietly told folks I was tired and went to bed.

To this day I can still taste the salt in my mouth and feel my heart rate and breathing increase when I tell that story.

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