For the most part, if someone were to ask you the best moment of your life, you'd probably have an answer for them. Though, as much as we remember the good, we remember the bad even more. Here, people share stories of the most horrifying situations they've ever been caught in.
Thank you to everyone who shared their story. (Content has been edited for clarity)
"The scariest thing was when I went off a cliff in an SUV.
I was a passenger and the driver was my stepfather. We were up in the mountains on a dirt, washboard road, and he was going too fast. I asked him to slow down and he said, 'I don't have the same problem you and your mother do with mountain roads.' Then he turned his head to look at the mountains on the other side, and he didn't see the next sharp curve. I hollered at him and he swung the wheel hard away from the drop-off. We fishtailed back and forth and finally, the car came to a stop. I thought for a second we made it.
But then a horrible creaking sound came from under the car. My stepdad said, 'We're gonna roll' and we did. All of the windows and the sunroof broke and sand filled the car. My eyes and mouth were full of sand. I hung on to the roof strap and the door. I thought, 'Well, this is it,' and waited to die. The roof of the car crumpled in over my head and I put one hand on top of my head to soften the blows. This all happened very fast, I didn't even realize what I was doing. I think it was just instinct.
The car rolled a few times down into the canyon then hit a boulder and stopped upright. I jumped out of the car and tried to climb back up the mountain. Some people came and pulled me up. My hand was all cut up from protecting my head, but otherwise, I had just some neck pain. All that night, I dreamed I was tumbling. I found out a week later that I had ruptured a disc in my neck and had to have immediate surgery.
It took a year before I was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (because I couldn't do my studies anymore). The whole thing was so traumatic that I had PTSD. I still talk to my stepdad, but I have never let anyone drive me ever again. That was 17 years ago."
"I threatened to press charges against an old boyfriend of mine.
About seven or eight years ago, my boyfriend at the time and I had just gotten back together after he said he was going to kill himself.
We went to his house out in the country. An intimate moment became nonconsensual after he wanted to try weapon play while I was already handcuffed. He ignored the safe word, I got roughed up, and looked terrible for days. He wouldn't drive me home, my phone was dead, and he kept apologizing, asking if we were okay. I didn't want to move for a couple of days because the weapon seriously injured me.
He was worried that I was angry and going to leave him as soon as he dropped me off somewhere, so he wouldn't give me a ride or let me call anyone. It took around ten days to convince him to let me out of his sight. I knew no one was going to come looking for me because I was borderline homeless at the time, living on friends' couches. I was certain that if I made him angry, no one else would ever see me again. I eventually convinced him that I loved him, I wasn't angry, and we picked out an engagement ring at a gas station.
Finally, he took me to my friend's house because I had made arrangements to go with my friends to get a used PS2. I don't remember if I had really made plans or if I was trying to give him a reason to drop me off. I was lucky they were home. He walked me to the door, lingered, but eventually drove off. I broke up with him via text as soon as my phone had enough charge. I told him if he contacted me again, I'd press charges."
"Someone wanted to abduct me when I was younger.
When I was about nine years old, I went on a walk around my neighborhood with my family. For some reason, I wanted to walk the loop of our neighborhood to see which one was faster and my parents let me since we lived in a gated community in a very safe part of town.
As soon as my parents were out of sight, a man in a white pickup truck drove up to me, rolled down his window, and told me to get in his car. I didn't answer and kept walking, but he started to follow me and opened his door. I bolted back to my house. The feeling of having a potential criminal trying to catch you and take you is terrifying."
"One of the most horrifying things that ever happened to me was when I was 13.
There's a ride at Thorpe Park (UK) called the Colossus, it's a ten loop rollercoaster. I went around that without the harness/safety bar on my 13th birthday.
Three times we told them that the harness kept unlocking, and three times they clicked it back in and said I was good to go. Then the ride started and I didn't get a chance to get out. On the first part going up I hear the _click, _ and the harness swings up.
All I had was this tiny seat belt that buckles over your crotch. I remember just swearing and holding on to the metal bars on either side of me. My sister was sitting next to me and was freaking out more than I was. She had her arm across my chest whilst some random dude behind me had figured out what was going on and was holding both my arms from behind.
10 loops later, my sister is sobbing, I'm numb from fear/shock and got lead to a bench and given a bar of chocolate. My mum went ballistic at the staff but I can't remember what happened.
I'm still not sure if the best or worst part is that my brother went to the gift shop and bought me an 'I survived the Colossus' medal."
"When I was 12 years old, I was on YouTube watching an Obama video. Me being 12, I thought it would be funny to comment: 'I am going to kill the president,' so I ended up doing just that.
About a month later, two men dressed in suits showed up at my door. I was upstairs playing video games and my mom started screaming my name. I ran down to see what was wrong and when I got downstairs my mom was crying. She told me that two FBI agents came to the door asking for me. She asked what I had done and I told her. I stayed home from school the next day because the agents said they would be back tomorrow to talk to me. They asked why I did this and then proceeded to search my house. We talked for about an hour, then they left.
We were all shook by what had just happened. I learned a huge lesson that day and I still don't know what I was thinking."
"The most frightening memory I have is from when I was in a single-engine aircraft.
My husband was the pilot and we had four friends with us. We were trying to get to Uluru, but were blown off course and got lost. We flew for hours, night came, and every now and then we could see small lights on the ground from isolated homes in the outback.
My husband was trying to reach Alice Springs because they had a decent sized airport, but we were relying on seeing the lights from the town to know which direction to head for. But there was a huge, full moon and we couldn't see any kind of glow.
I was mentally saying goodbye to my two children, who were safe at home with their grandparents. The Alice Springs air controllers sent out two planes in two directions to try to find us, and by some kind of miracle one did and began to lead us back to the airport, but we were low on fuel.
Finally, the worst happened. The engine began to stutter and finally cut out. We had only the moon for light. As we went down, I was wondering how painful my death was going to be. I was trying to pray but couldn't string two words together. It was so eerie. There was no engine noise, only the sound of the propeller turning from the plane's movement. But the good thing about small planes is that they can become gliders, and with the bright moonlight my husband was able to see the ground quite well.
We hit the ground, and there was a lot of noise. The left wing dug into the ground, swinging us around and slowing the plane down. I realized there was a good chance we were going to survive. We came to a stop, jumped out, and were all fine except for maybe a few bumps.
The other plane was circling overhead, and our radio was working, so they were able to tell us they would send another plane and drop food, water, and blankets.
We spent the night on the ground, and the next morning the Northern Territory police sent a couple of officers in a four-wheel drive to bring us to Alice Springs.
It was like being reborn, after not just thinking, more like knowing, we were all going to die, and then getting a reprieve. We all felt we'd been given a second chance, and it was beautiful."
"My friends and I drove to the Everglades since there's an Everglades park about 10 minutes from my house.
It was nearing nighttime, but all the rednecks liked to boat at night and it's fun to watch them take off, so we decided to go anyway. We got to the park and drove down to the little launch ramp only to find two boaters there. They were packing their things into the boats and set off within 10 minutes of us arriving. My friends and I, disappointed at missing all the airboat action, got out of my car to have a smoke and chill for a bit. The bugs hadn't come out full force yet so we had some time before the mosquitoes got too bad and we had to get back in the car.
We were all smoking and playing music out of my car's speakers when one of my friends tells me to turn the volume down. I lower the volume and he says, 'Do you hear that?' I listen closely and hear a faint noise that I couldn't quite put my finger on. I kill the radio completely and listen harder. We all listen and hear what sounds like a bird or something squawking. The sound gets closer and we hear more than one thing making noise. The other sound sounded like a hiss mixed with a groan. We assumed it was gators, so we gave it little thought. The gators make sounds like that all the time and rarely ever approach humans, especially if it's from the water. This did put us on edge, though, so we discussed leaving.
We all turn around to get into my car when we see two bobcats about 30 feet behind my car just staring at us. They started walking around the area, sizing us up and getting crouched low like a cautious cat would. What was strange about this is that bobcats are usually solitary animals, they don't typically travel or hunt with others.
We all freeze in our tracks and watch these bobcats stare us down and kind of stalk us. They didn't get that close but were too close for comfort. One of them lets out a really loud growl and all three of us pretty much soil our pants simultaneously. They both started growling at us and making all these weird sounds that you wouldn't expect a cat to make. Like something out of a movie, we hear a really loud hiss come from the edge of the water and look to see a massive alligator flop it's head and torso onto the bank. The gator starts hissing, the cats keep growling and we all thought this was a guaranteed end to us all. My first thought was, 'You have to be kidding me.'
The bobcats started moving in closer to us, still growling, and we all prepared for the worst. I was shaking, my friend was shaking and another started to slightly whimper. Before they could come any closer, the gator hissed incredibly loud and both cats focused their attention on it rather than me and my friends. The gator did some kind of weird head jerk thing and hissed another time. One bobcat turned around and fled but the other stayed. It got into its defensive stance again, eyed down the alligator, let out a roar, then eased up, turned around and walked away slowly.
Not wanting to waste any more time in this god-forsaken swamp, my friends and I dashed into my car after, watching the bobcat walk a good distance away, then peeled out of there. I'd like to think if alligator bro didn't roll up on the scene when he did then we'd all be dead."
"I was at a music festival once and when a popular band came onstage, the crowd surged forward, someone tripped and about a hundred people went down in a big pile-up. I was on the bottom of the pile and I genuinely thought I was done for.
Thankfully I escaped with just a sprained ankle and I don't think anyone else was seriously hurt, but it was scary. I was only about 16 at the time, which didn't help."
"The scariest thing that happened to me was when I was 19.
I still lived at home and worked at my university bookstore. We had to work really late stocking before every the semester started.
One night, I got home around 1:30 a.m. My parents were asleep, the entire neighborhood was quiet. I lived a couple houses from the corner. I had parked and gotten my bag and had just locked my car when a pickup truck with a bunch of guys in the bed of it drove up the side street. They slammed on the brakes and threw it in reverse. One of them said, 'Get her' and the next thing I knew, at least four grown men were running towards me. I had to run around my car, to my front door, unlock it, and get in before they got to me.
I managed to get in and just locked the deadbolt when the first guy got ahold of the door handle and tried to yank it open. I had slammed the door hard and woke my parents up. I was screaming my head off and grabbed the weapon my dad kept in the closet. I managed to say, 'Guys on the front porch,' and my dad grabbed another weapon and looked out the window. They were already running back to the truck. He went outside and they took off. We called the police but the truck and guys were long gone by the time they got to our house. Nothing else ever came of it. The truck wasn't seen in the neighborhood again. They weren't local to it either. Guess they were opportunists cruising for something to get into."
"I had an insane acid trip once that led to a friend of mine jumping out of a window.
It was the second to last day of spring break and I'm in college. Two good friends and I each dropped two doses of acid. We all had done it before, but this was our first time doing two doses at once. I was told after the fact that apparently, these doses were EACH double what we thought they were. The plan was to just stay and chill in my apartment the entire time and just enjoy the experience.
I felt something was off when within 20 minutes. I kept telling myself that because it was double what I was used to, it was going to get a bit more intense. One of my friends couldn't handle it well at all. He tried drinking out of a jug of water to stay hydrated only to dump the entire thing on himself. This led to him going into my room and stripping naked.
Now, to clarify, this friend and I had been low-key flirting during spring break. My other friend went to check on him only to come out and tell me that, 'He's naked and waiting for you in there.' I felt uncomfortable because I didn't want to force a third-wheel, but I also didn't want to explicitly reject my naked friend. I was crushing on him hard, and I didn't want to ruin any chances I had. Like a true bro, my other friend said he would go chill on my balcony until we were done.
All of this went on while we were in the middle of the high. So everything's devolving and I couldn't focus on anything to save my life.
When I went into my room, I had a moment where I 'zoned out' and thought about the situation I was in. I should have stopped and understood we were all in over our heads. My vision started to be overwhelmed by colors. The only thing I could manage to see were people's eyes.
I'm just going to say one thing: getting it on is extremely difficult when tripping hard. Everything was okay at first, but he soon got angry. He trashed my room and ran out, still naked. I was left pretty much naked and confused on the floor of my bedroom, trying to get control of myself. The next thing I heard was my friend, who was out on my balcony, screaming the other guy's name. And then, 'He just jumped off the balcony!'
I immediately picked myself up and ran because I lived on the fifth floor. I make it to the living room where my balcony friend was standing in shock. All I heard was, 'I can't do this, I'm sorry,' and he took off.
I, on the other hand, was left there, naked, in shock, tripping the hardest I've ever been in my life, feeling the start of a panic attack, and looking out onto the balcony where the guy I just slept with had proceeded to jump from. I don't regret it, but I did look. I have a morbid sense of curiosity, and this led to me looking over my balcony and seeing his naked body laid out on the cement. He was positioned much like what the chalk outline of a body looks like. There wasn't any blood. I stared down not quite knowing what to do.
Two people had shown up and were telling me to call 911. I couldn't even begin to try to remember where I left my phone. The people probably realized I was useless because they told me to go put on some clothes (yeah, I was still naked).
My thought process was much like this in those next moments: 'I can't put on clothes until I clean myself. I have to look nice for the 911 people when they get here.' Brilliant me then proceeded to take the worst shower of my life. The walls of my shower were melting. Most of the doors to my apartment were open and everything was flashing blue and red. All I could hear over the shower running were sirens. I just started screaming for help. The water was burning me.
Firefighters came up to my apartment. I had to have one of them help me put clothes on myself. I couldn't focus on the task of putting on clothes without someone reminding me every few seconds. They helped me calm down as much as I could. I was convinced that they were higher dimensional beings there to help transport me to another plane of existence. I was put on a stretcher and transported to a hospital. I didn't have any underwear on or shoes. They threw my keys at me, and my phone was dead but in my hands.
At one point of the ambulance ride, I was convinced I was unconscious on a surgery table fighting for my life. I thought I was in the middle of heart surgery and this was the point where I needed to fight to stay alive. When I was in a gown in a room at the hospital, I was convinced that this was the beginning of a zombie apocalypse game. One where you wake up in a hospital bed and had to explore the area. So I started exploring the hospital for a few minutes before I got caught and sent back to my room. They checked my heart rate periodically and gave me something to counteract the high. I'm pretty sure I spent the next few hours staring at what was probably a trash bin, but to me, it looked like R2D2. I also thought the R2D2 trash bin was a higher dimensional being sent to watch me and judge whether or not I was ready to 'ascend.'
They charged my phone for me, got me a pair of shoes, and discharged me. I was very confused, shocked, and still high. It was midnight by that time and I called an Uber to take me home. By this time, my friend jumping off my balcony seemed like a distant lucid dream to me. It wasn't until I got back to my apartment to see the remnants of the scene that I believed it even happened. I went to sleep that night on my couch, looking at my rug that looked like a moving sea and not knowing whether or not my friend was alive.
Happy ending though, he survived the fall. His left leg was shattered, he broke both his wrists, and had some cuts and bruises. No head injury. Also, none of us got into any sort of legal trouble."
"I think one of the scariest times in my life was when I was living in a very rough neighborhood while going to university. I felt like I had PTSD years after leaving it.
Every day, I would get hassled by guys as soon as I left the apartment I was living in. Everybody always assumed I was years younger than I actually was. Once I was followed home and I was so scared that I didn't go directly to my apartment, but to a neighbor whose door was on the outside of the building. The guy stood on the street where the entry door to most of the building was, waiting for me to reemerge. I felt like a mouse in a hole. I honestly don't know why he held back from attacking me when he could have, except that he might have just thought I was an addict/streetwalker since they were everywhere there."
"When I was 15, some slightly older guys wanted to beat me up because my friends and I were the long-haired, baggy clothes types. I'm not sure why they targeted me, but they made it clear it was me they wanted.
We were in McDonald's and they walked past us, shouting stuff, and one of the girls with us shouted back, so a female member of their group walked over and hit her. Next thing I know, they're all congregating outside, spitting on the window and basically telling us we were dead as soon as we leave. They then started making it clear they wanted me specifically. I had done nothing wrong, but I was terrified. There was about 10 of them basically waiting to beat the life out of me because they didn't like my long hair and baggy jeans.
Thankfully, the staff called the police and they all bolted as soon as they saw the van approaching. I've never been beaten up. I've been punched a few times, but never properly battered. I genuinely thought sooner or later that night I was going to have to go outside and have my head kicked in."
"My cousin and I once had a terrifying encounter with a cop.
When I was about 6 or 7 years old, we had a family party at my house for Father's Day. A bunch of kids were messing around, but my older cousin (who was about 12 or 13 at the time) and I were hanging out. He was a big troublemaker and started throwing rocks at neighboring houses. I guess he threw one across the street and smashed a window.
Shortly after, a police car pulled into my house and all the kids ran. I told my cousin, 'Don't run off, police are cool.' But this chubby cop pulled out of his car and I started walking away while saying, 'I'm gonna go get my mom.'
He said, 'No, don't move. Which one of you broke the window?'
I looked at my cousin and he pointed at me. So I said, 'No it was him, let me go get my mom,' and I started walking again.
So this guy PULLED HIS WEAPON OUT AND POINTED IT RIGHT AT MY FACE while screaming, 'I SAID DON'T MOVE!' Like, I was a 6 or 7-year-old and this dude pointed a weapon at my face.
I still remember that exact image. So my uncle came out, started freaking out on the cop for that and I remember all the adults came out and I was brought into the house, and the rest of the night is a blank."