25 Of The Most Frightening Events Witnessed By People

Published 2 weeks ago

Reddit, the vast online community where millions share their thoughts, experiences, and curiosities, recently buzzed with a spine-chilling question: “What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever witnessed?”

The responses poured in, each one more harrowing than the last, offering a glimpse into the diverse and often terrifying experiences people endure. Here are some of the most haunting stories shared by Redditors.

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Image source: BlackCat27_TS4, Valentin Sarte / pexels (not the actual photo)

When I was just a kid, we witnessed a very bad motorcycle accident. The poor guy ran into the side of a car. He went flying over the top of the car. Before the guy hit the road, my father (who was a nurse) was out of the car. When the guy came down we saw a huge gash in his thigh and my Dad quickly took off his tie and used it as a tourniquet on the guy’s upper thigh. Someone by then had thought quickly and called an ambulance. No cell phones back then so it took a while. Then the motorcycle rider went into cardiac arrest.My Dad didn’t waste any time and gave him CPR until the paramedics arrived and took over. Thanks to my Dad, the guy survived and made a full recovery. Dad was being very modest about the whole thing and didn’t want any fuss because it was his job. He is no longer with us, but I will always remember that event. He was a real life HERO.


Image source: SubstantialAd8232, Gerald Schömbs / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Scuba diving a few kilometres off the coast with a friend of mine, he had a small tinny boat and the water was around 20-25m deep. Around 7am toward the end of our dive we came within metres of a Great White. My friend saw it first, as I was checking out some cool coral and the fish then I just see out the corner of my eye him waving at me and signalling like “stay calm”, then I look to my left and just this absolute beast of a creature was casually swimming by us. We both just stopped and stared. It cruised by for about 30 seconds and then turned away and swam off into the distance till it just vanished. Scariest s**t I’ve ever experienced, but also felt like an honour to see something like that in the raw wild.


Image source: Virulent82, Kayden Moore / pexels (not the actual photo)

I used to work on offshore oil rigs. The generators that power them are the size of a small house. One day a technician forgot to lock out;tag out while he was checking why we were having voltage drops on the pump floor. A supervisor came by and saw the third generator was off and decided to fire it up. I was in the room trying to find a replacement pump sensor when it clicked. Boom pop zap. I saw a human explode, turn to plasma, then carbonize. The sound and and smell never leave.


Image source: Automatic_Brick2709, Mathias Reding / pexels (not the actual photo)

My stepdad ripping a doorknob out of a door and throwing it at my moms face while she was on the ground.

she was crying and screaming and asked me to call for help.

my stepdad said if I called anyone, then I would be next.

I hid under my bed and called my grandparents.

I was 8.


Image source: AAAAHaSPIDER, Johannes Plenio / unsplash (not the actual photo)

When I was a kid there was a firestorm (very strong winds and forest fire on tinder dry west coast forest).

My mom was trying to drive away from it and it was so much faster than the car. It started far enough behind us that all I could see was smoke, then I could see fire moving fast, suddenly it was all around us. Everyone was breathing through wet towels but could hardly get oxygen. I passed out. Apparently we crossed the big river and it slowed for a bit giving us a chance to speed into town where the massive parking lots saved us.

I breathed so much smoke I had to be admitted to the hospital and my lungs are still a little weak.


Came to a stop light on my bicycle at Cervantes and Fillmore in San Francisco at 5:03 PM on October 17, 1989.

Why do I know the time and place so accurately?

At that moment, the Loma Prieta earthquake struck, the so called world series quake. I was standing where the landfill met bedrock. It was like walking on a waterbed as the liquefied earth slammed against the rock. I jumped off my bike and carried it to the sidewalk. I turned to see the building across me collapse. The smell of gas waved over me.

Scariest thing I’ve witnessed, and experienced.

Image source: BigGrayBeast


Image source: crackpotJeffrey, Pixabay / pexels (not the actual photo)

When I was 13, my dad popping out like 30 sleeping pills in front of me and swallowing all of them in an attempt to kill himself. My mom refusing to call an ambulance and I had to do it. The fire department arriving and keeping my dad awake as he swayed around and fell over and vomited in the yard.

Then they took him to the hospital and my drunk mom decided we should all get in the car and follow him and then we crashed the car and almost died.

I almost lost my whole family in one night!! Honesly haven’t thought about that night since I was a teenager still.


Image source: BobRoberts01, Jonathan Borba / pexels (not the actual photo)

An entire second team of like 20 doctors/nurses/interns/specialists enter the room right before my wife gave birth kind of freaked me out. The baby not crying and being immediately whisked to the special baby table was pretty scary. Baby ended up ok and just needed a tiny bit of fluid sucked out of their lungs, but I was definitely not prepared for it to not be a fairly routine birth.


Image source: Leafan101, Christian Bowen / unsplash(not the actual photo)

1 second after my first child was born by C-section one of the doctors dropped her straight on the floor. I have encountered some other bad things but never anything that hit like that.

She ended up totally fine (though kept in nicu for a week as a precaution).


Image source: Special-Binancee, Lucas Suárez / pexels (not the actual photo)

Buried alive after an avalanche in CO We made an early morning ascent of Berthoud Pass; the snowpack looked good, and we had lots of fresh powder. I was first down into what looked like a perfect virgin powder bowl and right as I pitched in I felt the snowpack come with me. Weirdly enough, the avalanche itself wasn’t that scary (I think that my body dumping every ounce of adrenaline it had ever stored took care of that) I remember thinking, “Well, I guess this is how I’m going to die” I swam as best as I could but it was a mess. I ended up buried about 8 feet down. I’ve never been particularly claustrophobic but I nearly lost my mind. Do you want to talk about fear? I was literally buried alive, with no knowledge of how deep I was, or if my friends (and way out) had been pulled in too, I had checked my beacon earlier but who even knew if it still worked after the beating I took. Fun fact about snow, after settling, it basically turns into concrete. You can’t move. I didn’t even have an air pocket, the only reason I could still breathe was that I was rocking my avalung (you rock black diamond!). I went through some pretty serious soul-searching in the 12 minutes (with literally no concept of time, it felt like 12 hours) before I felt a probing jab into my leg. I attribute my survival to three things. 1: my friends who are skilled backcountry skiers and know how to use their probes/beacons. 2: my avalung, I will never ski backcountry without one again 3: sheer effing luck that I wasn’t snapped in half or pitched into a gully 20 feet; under. I still ski to this day, but I am much more careful in the backcountry. Shits are real out there and if you’re not careful, the mountains will chew you up and spit you out with the spring thaw.


Image source: strangeloop414, MIXU / pexels (not the actual photo)

I worked in an ER. Let’s just say:

1. Wear a helmet any time you ride a bike, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle, moped, e-bike etc. WEAR THE HELMET.

2. Never leave a child/baby unattended in the tub/shower/sink for a bath. No, not even for ‘five seconds’

3. Do not let your kids wear flammable pajamas. EVER. The burns are awful. Also- smoke detectors matter, and you have NO idea when you’re going to need it in working order. yes, go check on yours now. Right now.


Image source: gen2268, Jacub Gomez pexels / (not the actual photo)

Watched a group of people cliff jumping nearby where my family members and i were having a beach day, one of the guys landed wrong and didnt come back up. hearing/watching his friends or family looking for him was awful.


Image source: ScubaW00kie, Chase Baker / unsplash (not the actual photo)

I was diving in Jupiter Florida and the visibility sucked. Then out of no where a Bull shark coming out of the murk then disappearing back into it in less than a second. Needless to say that dive was shorter than expected. I was 100% comfortable diving with sharks before now I’m 98%. That one scared the s**t out of me with how it was acting. Real twitchy with shark angles which isnt good.


Image source: casanochick, Bob Lockwood / flickr (not the actual photo)

I was driving through a rural area when my daughter says, “Mom, I think she needs help…” I pulled over and turned around, and there was a maybe 12-year old girl covered in blood on the side of the road. I don’t know how I didn’t see her, but another girl around the same age came out of the woods and said their car had flipped. I called 911 and went into the woods, and there’s a car upside-down in this 50-foot ravine. It was too steep to get down, but I could hear a woman screaming over and over again, “my baby, my baby.”

The girls said their mom and sister were still in the car, and rescuers arrived unbelievably fast. We gave the girl spare towels to stay warm, and then just got out of the way. I read in the paper that the 9-year old sister had died. Now I always scan those woods when I drive by.


About 16 years ago, I was washing dishes and the kitchen window was facing the front yard. Suddenly I see a whole f*****g SWAT team coming towards my yard. I was in disbelief when suddenly they knock on my door, upon opening it, one of them says to me “ma’am there’s a murder suspect in your backyard, we need to come in”. I immediately led them towards the backyard. After that, it was all a blur. They were in the backyard for what seemed a couple of minutes, then rushed back out.

Turns out, some dude had killed someone around the corner from my house. He fled, was hiding in my neighbors backyard for hours, until he was noticed and police called, dude then jumps the fence onto my backyard and was hiding there for god knows how long, and when he realized swat was close, he jumped to the back neighbors yard, from there he fled outside and was ultimately gunned down in the middle of the street. Certainly don’t miss living in that area.

Image source: SoySandunga


I was sitting at a red light when I saw a head on collision between two other cars. One of the drivers went head first through the windshield and landed with her head partially ripped off.

Wear your seatbelts, kids.

Image source: BeautifulArtichoke37


The Route 91 mass shooting in Las Vegas. I was there. I look back and I realize how dumb I felt at first because when I first heard the gunshots, I thought “hmm…something must be wrong with the sound.” As soon as Jason Aldean ran off the stage, that’s when my heart sank. I could tell which direction the gunfire was coming from, but there was still that part of me thinking “I have no clue where the shooter is.” For all I knew, I could’ve been running right to another shooter. I still remember seeing gravel bounce up about 10 feet away from me from bullets striking the ground. When we finally found a place to hide with a bunch of other people, we still didn’t know if we were safe. We just as easily could’ve walked into a trap.
When I go back and read the report of what happened, I believe it said the shooting lasted for about 10 minutes or so. It was quite simply the longest 10 minutes I’d ever experienced.

Image source: PourMeAnother91


I came around a bend on a highway to see an overturned school bus on the shoulder, laying on its side, smoke coming from underneath and the wheels still spinning.

Somehow I was the only car in sight on a 3-lane freeway at 7:30-8:00 am. As I slammed on my brakes and pulled off the road I see the driver climb out his window (now on the top of the vehicle) and jump down and run up the embankment as I’m jumping out of my car and running toward the bus, calling 911 on my cellular as I go.

I have no idea what I’m going to see. I’m panicking. School buses don’t even have seat belts here. There could be dozens of children in any state of injury in there. I’ve already got PTSD from my own horrible car accident so I’m freaking out.

The bus is empty.

Image source: starkiller_bass


I was in Honduras working when I was in my early 20s. I had to travel from one area to another through a remote area that was known for having bandits that would try to stop you on the road and either kidnap or potentially murder you. In the truck I was driving there was a younger Honduran woman and an American woman. We had left in enough time to make it to our destination before dark, however we had a flat tire on route that caused us to be delayed for a while. It got dark on us. We were about an hour from our final destination up and over a mountain pass. As I came around a switchback a couple of men ran out in front of our vehicle. They were armed but not with guns – they had machetes. In that instant I acted on reflex and hit the gas – they were either going to move or get run over. They moved. It took a few hours before I could stop shaking. I never got below 30 miles an hour the rest of the way through the pass up the dirt road.

Image source: jollyarrowhead


Was on a run when I was 15-ish. Mom was at work and my sister was at school so I was totally alone, being that I did high school online at the time other than sports at the local high school. When I was a couple of blocks away I got this really bad feeling like I was being followed but it was like 10 AM so I tried not to think too much about it.

A really bad habit I had post-workout was that, given we were in a rural area, I’d walk around the house without a shirt while making my protein shake and getting ready to soak in our hot tub. While doing these things my dogs started barking wildly but I dismissed it as being some sort of animal in the woods. After about an hour I went upstairs to change, and once again heard my dogs barking at the fence line bordering the woods. When I looked out the window I saw what looked like a man’s shoulders and the top of his head facing our house directly in some bushes maybe 10 feet from the fence. After I stood there in horror for a little while he turned around and disappeared into the woods.

I immediately called my mom who called the police, and they checked the woods behind our house and didn’t find anything. However when Mom brought it up to some parents in the area, some said their sons also reported a creepy older dude following them in those woods and on the outskirts of the high school grounds. Needless to say I switched to running on our treadmill for a long time, and made a habit of keeping all of our blinds closed. Was pretty terrified of this guy like breaking into the house and coming after me, too, so for a long time I kept my pocket knife on me at all times and walked around the house with my gas-powered BB gun.

Image source: TheshizAlt


Image source: Maleficent_Nobody_75, Gus Ruballo / unsplash(not the actual photo)

I was witness to an enormous turbulence on a plane trip when I was 13 years old. People’s belongings, as well as food and drinks hit the passengers, injuring some, and you could hear children screaming and crying. As a 13 year old, I was incredibly afraid and thought it was the end for me. I had no idea turbulence could be this bad. Luckily nobody was seriously injured and we landed safely.


Image source: Mumbles_Stiltskin, Dominika Kwiatkowska / pexels (not the actual photo)

Was moving to another state. Driving cross country. I was in the car with my mom. My older sister and her friend were in the car behind us. I woke up to my mom gasping. I wasn’t sure what I expected but I turned around in my seat and saw my sisters car flipping through the air. It was like slow motion. When the vehicle came to a stop my mom ran over to my sisters friend, who was ejected from the vehicle, and took care of her. I walked around looking for my cats that were in the car. I was only 9 so my mom screamed at me not to go to the car my sister was in and not to go by where her friend was laying. As I was looking for my cats and processing, I saw my sister limping over, her left foot was covered in blood and glass and her just crying and asking where her friend was. Her car rolled 7.5 times. It was unrecognizable as a vehicle. Somehow both my sister and her friend made it out alive. But I’ll never forget seeing my sister limping through the carnage like the survivor of an ancient battle, or witnessing her car flipping through the air as chunks of debris flew off.
As for my cats I only found one. The one we found was named “China”. The other one that we never found was named “Baby”.


Image source: behappysometimes, Melanie Wasser / unsplash (not the actual photo)

Had a gun held to my head “as a joke” once. Same guy ended up in prison for life after attempting to rob a home a few months later and exchanged gunshots with the owner.


When I was really young living in North Carolina, my neighbourhood got hit by a tornado. My mom rushed my brother and I into a basement closet to keep us sheltered from broken glass and debris. However, the basement was flooding, and so water was halfway up our shins. My father was on his way home from work so my mother was running around trying to secure the house. As far as I remember, it ended up just being me and my bro in there until the tornado passed

Imagine standing inside of a small basement closet, water rising up your legs, your parents somewhere else and the sounds of a tornado ripping your house apart

To this day I still can’t handle windstorms or even high winds. Traumatized me for life.

Image source: Cronza


Image source: GreedyNovel, Vietnam Photographer / pexels (not the actual photo)

I’ll tell you the scariest moment I’ve ever had. I was a young guy who hadn’t yet learned how important it is to drive defensively, and I was hurtling down a road on my motorcycle. Well “hurtling” may be overstating it, I was only going about 50 mph but I hadn’t yet learned that some people just have a blind spot when it comes to motorcycles. They can look straight at you and not see you.

This is what the elderly driver departing a strip mall did as he tried to cross my lane, turning left to go the opposite direction as mine. He had looked directly at me and not seen anything. I probably owe my life to his wife seated next to him, who *did* see me and yelled at him to stop. He did, but was now completely blocking the road in front of me.

I had basically no time to think but remember briefly thinking I had to put the bike down. But with the reflexes of a young guy I swerved my bike hard left to try and cross the car’s front bumper. I instinctively looked down at my right foot pedal to see it clear that bumper by less than the width of my foot. At 50mph or so.

Now I was in wrong-way traffic so at the next median I went back on the right side. About a mile or so later I had to stop at another strip mall, laid down on the pavement and start shaking uncontrollably for a pretty good while. After I recovered I drove back to my place, thought for a day or two about it, and put that bike up for sale.

Saumya Ratan

Saumya is an explorer of all things beautiful, quirky, and heartwarming. With her knack for art, design, photography, fun trivia, and internet humor, she takes you on a journey through the lighter side of pop culture.

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