People Share Scary Stories About When They Thought They Were Legitimately Going to Die

©Unsplash,Joshua Rawson-Harris

Let’s get serious for a minute, shall we?

Even though we don’t think about it too often, life is very precious and when your existence is in danger, it is legitimately terrifying. All the people who shared these stories really believed that their time was up and they were going to die.

Here are some true, hair-raising stories from AskReddit users.

1. Scary stuff.

“Caught Norovirus a few years ago. I didn’t realize how bad it could be before it struck.

No fluids would stay in for more than a few seconds. I ended up really dehydrated almost overnight. Like if you pushed on my skin it would stay sunk. I couldn’t move or any muscles would full cramp – legs, jaw, arms, abs – all of them.

I didn’t think I would survive. At the very least thought my heart would cramp.

But I got over it after five or six days.

I can totally see how it kills old people though. If I was any less averagely healthy for an adult male, I’m sure if be dead.”

2. This is terrifying.

“The day I had a dystonic reaction from a antipsychotic medication. It’s basically a episode of dystonia.

From the torso up, I didn’t have any control over my muscles. I thought I was going to snap my own neck.

This happened while I was driving.”

3. Choking is no joke.

“This happened about 4-5 months ago. I was home alone eating steak tip kebabs for dinner. My wife was at work and due home in about an hour. I choked on one of the pieces of steak (chew throughly people).

At first I thought I just needed to swallow harder. Bad idea, as now it was firmly lodged in my throat. I tried coughing it up, punching myself in the stomach, and pulling it out with my hand, none of which helped. I then ran over to the kitchen and tried to wash it down with some water. The water just sat in a pool in my mouth, my throat was completely blocked.

At this point I contemplated calling 911, but I knew I’d be long dead before they’d arrive. The thought of my wife(we just celebrated our 1st anniversary and recently decided to start trying to conceive) coming home to find my dead body was by far the scariest part. I remember looking at my cats, but they just stared at me, confused at my odd behavior.

Eventually I reached what felt like my whole hand down my throat and pulled a chunk of the obstruction out. This loosened it enough to let me cough out the remainder. I was so close to passing out. Vomit everywhere. Total time in throat around 90 seconds. I couldn’t talk for a day due to the physical trauma on my throat.

Drove myself to the hospital. Cried in front of my wife when I saw her. The next few days were surreal. It was like I was living in an alternate timeline. I dont find choking gags in movies/tv amusing anymore. Still have mild PTSD about it.”

4. Paralyzed by fear.

“Woke up immediately wide awake in the middle of the night without moving and the hair standing up on the back of my neck because my now-ex-wife was standing in our bedroom holding a large kitchen knife and staring at my feet. She had had a schizophrenic break a few months earlier and had started referring to me as “the enemy.”

I laid there without moving. She stood there for over an hour. Have no idea how long she was there before I woke up. Anyway, she leaves the room and comes back without the knife, gets into bed, and cuddles in little spoon style like she made a decision. Then she made me waffles for breakfast. Best believe I put on my best “oh wow, amazing wife. These waffles are yum” voice.”

5. This is intense.

“When I was taken hostage in Iraq and held for over two and half years. The four other people captured with me were killed. I was the only one who made it out alive.

I did an AMA about it some years ago”


6. T-boned.

“Back in july I was riding my motorcycle and was turning into my driveway. A girl came from behind me around a sharp turn and t-boned me, she was going at least 60mph up until a couple seconds before impact when she hit her brakes. She hit me because she was either texting or dicking around with something in here car, either way she wasnt paying attention.

I remember hearing tires screeching and seeing the car half a second before impact then everything went black. I broke the windshield with my head, broke the mirror with my hip, then landed face first on the road. I do remember being scared because I wasnt sure if there were more cars so adrenaline kicked in and I caught myself with my hands and knees and pushed myself to my feet to run off the road, that’s where I regained my vision.

The bike was totaled but thanks to my helmet and pure rage at being hit I managed to literally walk away with only a concussion, nasty bruises, and a deep bone bruise on my left foot, no broken bones at all. It’s been ~8 months and I’m still recovering from the concussion, my toe barely hurts, and the leg that took the impact has a dent in the muscle but other than that I’m fine. If I wouldn’t have been wearing a helmet then I have no doubt that I would be dead now, wear your damn helmets kids!”

7. Heart problems.

“I was on vacation this past summer, was staying at a friends house, when i started to notice my chest feeling tight, i started to get a fever and feel sick, i threw up and the feeling in my chest started to expand, it felt like it was going to explode, like a balloon beind inflated inside me.

I couldn’t stand it, i literally felt like at any moment my heart would give out or my chest would explode, went to the emergency, turns out i had a really bad gall bladder attack. But on the drive to the hospital i was tellling my wife how much i love her lol and that if she remarries dont let it be anyone we currently know hahaha.”

8. This is no joke.

“I woke up in the morning to get ready for work, bent to tie my shoe, and when I stood back up the sight in my right eye was entirely gone. I did the usual thing of blinking and shaking my head a little, thinking maybe blood rushed to my head weird or whatever, but it wouldn’t come back. I tried to explain to my partner that I was in trouble, but when I spoke the wrong words kept coming out. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I definitely said “tree” instead of “hospital” at one point.

I figured I was having a stroke or an aneurysm had ruptured, or something brain tumoury…who knows? Whatever the case I spent the entire ride to the hospital crying and telling my partner over and over that I loved him. It felt like I couldn’t say it enough.

Turns out I was preparing for my first migraine (cluster headaches, I do not recommend them), and the migraine aura I get is blindness and aphasia because I’m a lucky girl like that I guess?”

9. Thankful for the outcome.

“Hit a stopped car going over 65mph. Spent 2 years in a wheelchair, 6 months of that was learning to walk again. Honestly thought I was going to die in the seconds before impact. I can still clearly see the people in the other car, the other traffic around us (car was stopped to turn on a highway with no middle turning lane).

I was the only one injured though, and I’m still sort of grateful for that because I swear there was a kid in the backseat of the other car. (I wasn’t the driver, front-seat passenger of a reckless driver).”

10. Roller coaster mayhem.

“Once when I was probably 5 or 6, my family was at an amusement park. I went on a roller coaster with my mom, since I was way too small to ride alone but I was just barely tall enough to ride at all. This was one of those older coasters, made of mostly wood, and the security was not great.

Well, on this roller coaster ride, there were corkscrews. During the first loop around, I started to slide out of my seat. The safety strap was not properly fastened, and I was very small, so as we continued to loop I slid further and further out of my seat. I assume at first my mom thought I was yelling from the thrill, until she looked over and barely caught me before I flew off the ride. She had to hold onto me while the ride continued for another minute or so, before stopping.

I was sobbing, my mom was borderline manic, and since we were in the frontmost seat everyone behind us immediately got out and rushed forward to make sure we were okay. Thats the oldest memory I have, and it’s not a great one. I think our whole family (7 of us) got season passes for free after that. Because we went suspiciously often after that.”

11. You survived.

“I got hit by a car and lost consciousness for a few seconds. I remember the moment I saw the car the moment I got hit and had a thousand thoughts going through my head. Like in a dream. And then there I am in the middle of the road, I woke up and ran to the side of it as fast as I could, little did I know I was running with a broken leg.”

12. I’ve heard things like this before.

“Just last night, my rubber floor mat in my truck slipped onto the gas pedal. There was a line of cars ahead of me at a stop light, so I pressed on the brake to slow down, which caused me to put pressure on the mat, which caused my truck to suddenly speed up.

I slammed harder on the brakes and fumbled for the stick to shift into neutral, when two seconds after my truck accelerated, the mat slipped, allowing my gas pedal to snap back into place. I only knew it was the mat because I tried to pry the gas pedal off the floor but couldn’t, because my toe was being blocked by the mat. Thankfully, I stopped long before I plowed into the cars ahead of me. But, I was seriously thinking about crashing into the traffic light pole.

At least, then, nobody but myself would get hurt. And, I was leaving a restaurant after hanging out with some buddies of mine, one of whom was following right behind me. If I’d crashed, he would’ve seen it and probably been the first to respond.

That whole incident ended up giving me a massive anxiety attack that lasted for five hours. I cried the rest of the way home, and hung out in the slow lane like an old lady. Once I got home, I cried in my mom’s arms like I used to do when I was a little girl.

She told me that happened to her once, and as long as one doesn’t pump the brakes, but just holds them down, chances are you’d be okay. Still, nothing is scarier than nearing 60 miles per hour in a Nissan Xterra, unsure if your brakes can stop the car or if your gas pedal will ever get unstuck, headed straight at a line of stopped cars a block away.

Fun stuff.”

13. From a firefighter.

“Was still a rookie firefighter, well maybe two years on the job at this point, but was advancing a hose line into a burning house when I had no business doing so. (The house was almost completely in flames and the fire should have been a defensive attack from the start. I was still young and wanted to show off like an idiot.)

About the time I got on the porch up by the front door, a huge heavy timber support came crashing down and landed inches away from my partner and I. I heard it crack and saw it start falling down but I froze up and couldn’t react in time to move. We were beyond lucky that it didn’t hit us but I definitely remember having the thought that it was gonna be the end right there.”

14. Not a good idea.

“When I was in high school I ate a couple hits of acid and went body surfing while there was a hurricane off the coast. One wave would crash into me and as soon as I could recover from it and get my head above water there goes another wave sending me tumbling around in circles under water. Then there was the riptide to contend with. The last thing I remember was getting sucked out to sea and the lights from the beach getting further and further away.

I have no idea how I made it back to the beach, but when I woke up every muscle in my arms and legs felt like they were on fire and I was puking up what felt like 2 gallons of water. In retrospect, I think body surfing while tripping balls in a hurricane was a bad idea.”

15. What an idiot.

“Some dick pulled a revolver on me while at a party. Turns out it was one of those decommissioned ones with a cemented barrel and cylinder, but I didn’t know at the time and it was fucking scary.”

16. Lucky to be alive.

“A couple friends and i were driving home from a birthday party and we got rear ended by a drunk driver who was going about 120. on impact all of the windows exploded and the tires caved inwards and we were going about 70 so there was a sort of slingshot effect that made us pick up some speed – we were just careening down the freeway with zero control. the car swerved around a bunch, almost hits another car and a pole and eventually rolled into an area just right of the shoulder.

luckily it ended up back upright on the tires and somehow ended up facing the complete opposite direction we were initially going. we thought our friend in the backseat was dead but she was just unconscious and ended up having some pretty bad whiplash.

my other friend and i were basically unharmed except for some cuts and bruises and just overall body ache for a little bit. this was in 2007 and i still think about pretty frequently, we all probably should’ve died for sure.”

Yikes! Scary stuff!

Now it’s your turn.

In the comments, tell us about a time (or times) that you legitimately thought your life was in danger.

We’d love to hear from you!