20 Most Scary Things People Experienced That Frightened Them To Their Core, As Shared In This Online Group
Humans have lots of emotions, and “fear” is one of the most basic ones. It is programmed deeply in us and works as a survival instinct. A threat to our physical, emotional, or psychological well-being can trigger a response of panic and distress immediately. Sometimes, haunting experiences are difficult to forget and they stay with us as bad memories or trauma.
A Reddit user decided to learn about people’s most threatening experiences and asked “Have you ever been scared to the core of your soul?” Many folks on Reddit shared their real-life horror stories, scroll below to read them.
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“When my mom called me in the middle of the night telling me to get to her house- that the police were there and something happened to my twin sister. My initial thought was that she got arrested or something. I lived down the street from my mom at the time and the feeling of absolute terror driving there was something I cannot explain. I kept saying she’s dead she’s dead I can feel it. It was a mix of absolute panic/shock/dread that I cannot put into words. I arrived at my moms house and saw a cop car with just their lights flashing and heard my mom scream from inside. I was right. That night replays in my head often and I can still feel that horrible feeling.”
“When I was in sixth grade, we were in choir one day when out of nowhere an announcement comes over the loudspeaker. “WE ARE GOING INTO LOCKDOWN, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, THERE IS AN ACTIVE SHOOTER IN THE BUILDING.” We all panicked, switched out the lights, and packed ourselves into the furthest corner of the room away from the door, all 110 of us. Some people were crying, others were praying. My hands were shaking and I was just whispering, “Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god.” At some point, someone came by trying the door and pounding on it, and I had never felt terror like that before and I haven’t felt it like that since. After the longest five minutes of my life, they got on the loudspeaker and said, “Thank you for your cooperation during the drill, students. You may resume class as normal.” We went from utter terror to relief to rage in a matter of seconds.”
“I was 11 maybe 12 years old. Dad worked late most nights so I was home alone per usual. Home however was a ranch house far out of town in a Florida pine forest. It was late and dark. The doors were all French style glass with no blinds or curtains. Outside those glass doors was only a hauntingly dark tree line, dimly lit by the moon. Leaving all the lights on and a TV gave some comfort but this meant it was much easier to see in than it was for me to see out..
On this night I had to get something out of the “back room”, this was our name for a garage that was absorbed into the house. The concrete floors and unfinished walls gave the room a cold air. As I’m searching for what I need, I glance up to see a large bleach-white figure standing outside the glass door. 6 feet tall with no head and no expression. Just white hair draped in front like a ring girl. This was the night I learned there was another option besides fight or flight. It was freeze. I stood frozen in fear, as if the blood in my body just drained. Unable to do anything until my brain recognized it was a horses a*s. The horse got out of its pen and was chilling under the carport, with its a*s against the glass door.”
“I was about to fall asleep in my bedroom (I was 16 at the time so it’s a while ago). Suddenly my dad calls me, which is weird considering it was 2 in the morning and my dad never calls me because we’re literally in the same house. My dad tells me to come downstairs because he doesn’t feel very well, so I do. My dad is rarely sick so I started worrying. When I came downstairs, he was drenched in sweat and held a hand clutching to his heart, making weird noises in pain. When I sat down beside him, he told me he called an ambulance. Then he went quiet, and around half a minute later he just said “Can you hold my hand”
It terrified me because it felt like he was making sure to say goodbye in case he died. It took longer than it should’ve for the ambulance to arrive, and my dads condition only got worse and worse. When they finally arrived, they were all very calm, but suddenly there was a change. They did an EKG on the spot and suddenly started hurrying around with bags of liquid and needles and monitors around my living room, and they even told me to hold stuff and carry things for them. I tried to keep my composure, but I was shaking in terror. I overheard them saying that he was having a heart attack.
They asked me to call my mom (I lived alone with my dad at the time), so I tried but she didn’t pick up. I told them she didn’t pick up and they basically said “Okay, take care of yourself” and left with my dad.
My dad was admitted to the hospital and ended up surviving the heart attack with minor complications, but I was left alone at home for 5 days straight. I was 16 ffs, and no one did the slightest effort to make sure that I was alright. I didn’t sleep, I didn’t eat. I just waited for my dad to come home. My dad is my best friend, he’s the only one I have, and I catch myself going to check on him during the night just to make sure he’s alive. I’m terrified every day.”
“I was almost murdered. It’s a long story but I’ll try to paraphrase it.
When I was a senior in high school a girl in my neighborhood went missing and about a month later was found dead. During that time her adoptive father was contacting people left and right. Apparently he had his suspicions about my ex boyfriend of 3 years who dated the missing girl in middle school. Adoptive father comes to my house to talk to me about ex and never really asked me anything about him but he talked about himself the whole time and how he was in a white supremacy gang and [eliminate] 12 people a year. After he left my house he kept trying to get me to meet with him alone without my mom present to talk to me more about my ex because he felt like I was leaving stuff out in front of my mom. I told him no, I wasn’t comfortable and he just kept insisting. It got to the point where I had to have security walk me to and from my car at work and school. Adoptive father ends up getting arrested on unrelated charges and the detectives come and talk to me to figure out what he said to me etc. They told me to stay away from him and that he is dangerous. They pulled my mom away to speak privately to her and I didn’t find out til I was in college that they told her that they think he murdered the girl and that he was planning on murdering me and blaming it on my ex that he went crazy and started murdering all his ex girlfriends.
It’s been 7 years since this happened and the adoptive father was just convicted of murdering his daughter in February. But, I’m always terrified that one of his “brothers” are watching me since I testified against him.”
“Went into my then 2 year old nephew’s room to wake him up for the day. He was in his crib laying in a kind of weird posture, with his eyes wide open staring off at nothing. I figured he was awake already and thought “haha he looks dead…” to myself, and said “Good morning Matthew!” and his eyes didn’t move to look at me. I said “Matthew?” and got closer to the crib and the way he looked was worse up close, just unfocused dead eyes looking at nothing, body limp. I shook him gently, then harder, saying “Matthew? Matthew?! MATTHEW?!” and when I yelled his name his eyes suddenly focused and he smiled at me and stretched like he often does when he first wakes up. Little f****r was asleep with his eyes open! It was only a few seconds but I swear my blood turned to ice, was never so scared in my goddamn life. No idea what caused it and he never did it again!”
“My ex-girlfriend had a psychotic breakdown. Went from perfectly normal to insane within a week. One night I took her to the hospital during one of her episodes and the doctor pumped her full of sedatives and said to bring her back in the morning as they had no beds. I didn’t feel comfortable about leaving the hospital but he assured me she’d be fine until the morning.
When I woke up the following morning I opened my eyes and saw she was lying on her pillow staring at me wide-eyed and grinning. It scared the hell out of me. As we got up to get ready to go back to the hospital she came at me with a knife and tried to stab me. I was able to get away from her and calm the situation long enough to call the police and paramedics. She later said that she had to [end] me.
I shudder to think what might’ve happened if I had stayed sleeping for longer that morning.”
“It’s a strange one, because I had no actual, logical, reason to feel scared, yet I was terrified.
I worked in a shop a few years ago and was tidying up at the front of the store near the windows and the entrance. I saw a man walk in, but I only saw his back when he came into the store. He had long hair and wore a leather jacket or leather trousers or maybe both, can’t remember. I thought nothing of it at the time. A few minutes later the same man was walking back towards the doors and I looked at him casually. He was looking at me too so we ended up making eye contact. Instant goosebumps, shivers. Whatever vibes he was giving off it scared the sh*t out of me to the point that I couldn’t move or even take my eyes off him. He slowly walked towards the doors while maintaining an eye contact. When he walked past me, he had this smirk on his face that was just purely evil. He proceeded to walk out of the store and turned right and for a few moments he was covered by a huge sign in our window. Every cell in my body screamed at me to go. Run. Even though he was actually leaving clearly, I still felt the need to get as far away from him as possible. But at the same time I felt like I didn’t want to lose him out of my sight until I knew for sure he was gone. As he came back into view he was still looking at me. When he finally walked past our window I almost cried from relief that he was gone. He never said a word. Never even approached me. All he did was looking at me and it scared me more than anyone ever. I never saw him again and I hope I never will.”
“Got lost when I was out skiing and almost dove off a cliff. Wound up hanging on the edge of a tree branch off like a 100 foot drop.
It was 25 years ago and I still can feel that almost hollowed out feeling in my chest. Almost like a vacuum.”
“I was home alone when there was a knock on my front door. A man I’ve never seen before. I peeked through the blind and shook me head no and pointed to go away. He drove off a few minutes later. I’m standing in my kitchen when I see the car back in my driveway again and I see him walking around to my backyard. I immediately go upstairs to try to get a better view of where he is and what he’s doing. I went to go downstairs to grab a knife when I hear my front door open and he’s inside. I locked myself in my mom’s bathroom frantic, tried to open the window to jump out but the window got stuck. For a good 5 minutes I genuinely thought I was going to get murdered. I’ll never forget the feeling. Turned out to be a new rennovation man who was sent over for the first time that day and had a key.”
“I was sick at home lying in bed when I got the news that my cousin’s school was now in lock down do to a active shooter. I texted him and got no response for awhile. I’ve never felt more cold in my life and I can still feel the dread crawling up my spine if I think about the memory. He’s alive and ran away since he was outside but he had his phone taken away at the time but god damn I’ve never simultaneously had my heart pounding at the speed of sound while the world was moving slower than any slow mo camera will ever be.”
“Tornado sirens blaring at 11:30 at night.”
“Then girlfriend [took her own life] while being on the phone with me. (To be exact – the part where she is non-responsive)”
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“When I had a psychotic break and I left the hospital I was afraid of f*****g everything. I couldn’t leave the house without feeling like someone was about to murder or kidnap me. I’ve never experienced such fear and paranoia to that level before. Which is saying a lot bc I suffer from paranoid delusions.”
“Sucked farther and farther out to sea on my bodyboard after sunset while surfing triple overhead waves, just as the fogbank rolled in obscuring the coastline- and the direction I needed to swim to get home.
Took a couple hours in near dark open ocean to land a couple miles up the coast, guided solely by the faint, faraway string of a few streetlights and headlights that broke though the fog.
Every splash I heard behind me was *definitely* a great white shark. I’d panic paddle whenever there was a big splash behind me (again, I was in 20 foot seas. this happened *constantly*) until I could regain my calm center and try to drop my heart rate, the whole while thinking about how all that fast paddling I did probably just attracted a shark.
This was near San Francisco, lost at sea in great white breeding grounds while looking like a seal on a winter night, in horrendous conditions. It’s not easy landing on a tiny strip of beach when twelve foot waves are dumping onto dry sand and the current is ripping at a decent pace… two miles away, I landed safely.
Slept like a baby, waking up screaming every two hours.”
“Met a bear cub walking through the forest. It was 10 ft away from me, and was curious so was walking towards me. Couldn’t see it’s Mom. Just slowly backed away and kept walking backwards for probably half a mile.”
“Hit a mountain on a submarine at 250 feet and 6 knots.
Hit it a second time with the rudder and emergency blew to the surface.
Port side ballast tanks check valves froze shut until I hit them with a rubber mallet.
My fifth day at sea.”
“We were at the beach and my son needed to use the washroom. I took him and my 2 year old daughter into the washroom, my son went into the stall to do his thing. Because his swim trunks were wet, he had trouble pulling them up. I went in the stall to help him for literally 15 seconds and when I came out my daughter was gone. I ran out of the washroom, looked to the beach, she wasn’t in sight. I started screaming her name and i couldn’t find her anywhere. Then someone said “I think I saw her at the playground”.
I ran up a grassy hill and saw her on the slide. That minute she was missing was the scariest moment of my life.”
“When I was new to teaching (HS), I was being observed by a principal. The class was being mostly good, but this one student was head down sleeping. I called his name, no response, so I went over to wake him up. I touched his arm and he just fell over, yellow foamy drool everywhere. He had overdosed, thank God the principal was there with their walkie to call for help while I did what first aid I knew. The student survived- but I was so scared because I wasn’t sure how to help, or if my helping was hurting. Its the feeling of being utterly powerless and incompetent when someone’s life is in your hands.”
“I went to go stargazing with a friend at a nearby field in Pennsylvania, near Collegeville, around 1995-1997 ~~1998.~~ We were laying down in the tall grass and looking up at the stars and we heard a rustle in the trees nearby…and then then the nose of a gun poked out of the bushes maybe 15 feet away, pointed in our direction. It was a hunter who thought we were deer, because he couldn’t see us, but he heard & saw the movement of the grass. We knew if we moved, invisible (as humans) in the tall grass, we would be shot. We even saw a deer earlier, as he probably did.
I felt pure terror in that moment and without even realizing I was doing it, I found myself raising my hand slowly while singing “You are my sunshine”; I just wanted to be as NOT DEER as possible. I kept singing until I was standing up and the gun retreated and I heard twigs snapping as the hunter walked away. I honestly don’t remember what happened after that, adrenaline and all, but I assume we must have walked back soon after. I have no idea why that song came to mind, as I was on total auto-pilot survival mode.
Probably the bravest thing I have ever done and I’m glad it was just a hunter hoping to bag a deer. I’m glad I was able to convince him I was not a deer.
EDIT: this was along the Perkiomen Trail near Ursinus College, and it wasn’t hunting season so we were not expecting to need precautions.”