19 People Share The Most Terrifying Experience Of Their Lives That Should Have Left Them Dead

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Flickr – narciss
Found on AskReddit.

1. How could pizza do someone so wrong?

Once, as a child, I was eating pizza while playing games on the computer. (Quick shoutout to Windows 40 Games.) I suddenly swallowed a piece of pizza wrong, and suddenly I’m choking. I hadn’t learned the Heimlich, or how to do it to yourself, and so I’m panicking. I try opening my sister’s door, but it’s locked, and I hear her talking on the phone and doing her hair. I start banging, and she calls out “What?”, but I obviously can’t answer, so I keep banging. She keeps thinking I’m just being annoying, so it takes her a bit to finally answer. At this point, the real fear of death is hitting me. She opens the door, sees me, yells “Oh my god, hold on”, tosses the phone, and does the Heimlich on me.

Thinking back on it, if my sister wasn’t home, I’d have died. It’s a chilling thought, and so I don’t think about it often.

2. This is pretty freaky!

I was passing a messy construction site – in my country there are few safety precautions around those, even construction perimeter is not properly marked/fenced off. A massive iron rod fell right in front of me, shattering down inches in front of my skull. Funnily enough, I thought someone called my name seconds before and spent a split second looking sideways instead of continuing straight on. Then BAM.

3. Almost kidnapped.

Some guy tried to snatch me when I was 12. Chased me around the block and everything. I managed to give him the slip and spent the next ten minutes at home alone watching him through the curtains as he circled around looking for me.

And like a fucking idiot, I thought it was funny. Should’ve called the cops but didn’t, because at the time it never occurred to me the danger I was in. Jesus Christ I was lucky.

Edit: Wow, my experience seems to be disturbingly common O_o.

4. Nope to diving.

I ran out of air at 90 ft while SCUBA diving. After swimming as hard as I could with ZERO air in my tank, I caught another diver by the fin and we shared air. Holding your breath is also very dangerous while ascending… you can only exhale so much.

5. Luckiest person ever to be alive.

I had a gun pointed at my head during a robbery once. I didn’t think I was going to survive.

Two months later, an F4 tornado took out pretty much my whole town and killed a bunch of people. Didn’t think I was going to survive that night either. A few people I knew didn’t.

Three years later, diagnosed with PTSD.

6. Almost burned to death.

Apparently I was the worst baby ever. Used to scream my head off all the time. My aunt was staying and I was put down for a nap and did my usual losing my shit routine. Mum was going to come and get me as it just didn’t sound right and my Aunt told her to not be so bloody soft and to leave to to scream all I wanted. Luckily Mum decided to ignore her and came into the room to find my cot of fire with me in it. Dodgy electric blanket so God know how I wasn’t electrocuted as well as burnt to death. Good on you Mum!

7. Mother Nature is terrifying.

I was once swept up and flipped around by a tornado while driving a 1987 Nissan Sentra.

EDIT: Sorry I’ve posted this several times and it has never garnered much interest so I didn’t bother. But since a few people seem to be interested…here is the story with a pic at the end:

It was January 1999 in West Tennessee. I was visiting my parents when we saw storms tracking towards the area so I started the 30 minute drive home to beat the storms. About half way home it started raining violently, the wipers couldn’t keep up, I had to slow to half the speed limit, and my whole body was tense. Then it slacked off and became a beautiful calm night again.

As I cruised through a residential area on the way home some leaves blew across the street. Its impossible to describe why, but this didn’t seem right. A few moments later another bunch of leaves came sweeping across my view. While I was contemplating the oddity of this, a huge gust of leaves and debris flew across my view. This was immediately followed by another and another until all I could see was a mass of leaves, trash, and limbs flowing across my windshield.

The next 10 seconds were the most terrifying of my life.

Like a sponge that is completely saturated and any more water that you add just flows off, my brain was saturated with panic and fear signals. It was the most intense emotion or feeling that I’ve ever felt by far. Like every neuron in my brain was in a bath of adrenaline. I didn’t know what was happening but I knew it was unimaginably bad andknew that these were my last moments of life.

Even though I couldn’t see, I knew there was a metal building to my right and that might afford me some protection from whatever was happening if I just steered to the right and crashed into it. I yanked the car right but instead it slid to the left. I realized that I no longer had any control over the car.

In an instant I no longer had any sense of space or orientation. I could tell that up and down were swapping places rapidly. I feared that I might be a hundred or a thousand feet in the air. Visibility was still pretty much zero but I did catch a glimpse of a yard barn smashing into the passenger side of the car and rolling over the hood.

Then in another instant, the world stopped spinning and everything was calm. First I wondered if I had died. Then I heard a voice. Some stranger yelling that he was sorry for running into me. I screamed back asking what happened and if it was over, was it safe?

It took a few moments but I got reoriented with the world. I was still held firmly in the drivers seat in the usual seated position, held in place by the seat belt. I un-clipped and swung my feet down to stand on the ground through what used to be the passenger side window. I had to crawl up through the car and out through the rear driver-side door then jump down from atop the car which had landed on its side.

I was still in full panic mode and incredibly fearful that whatever happened might come back for another round.

I ran into some apartments across the street. The people there had watched the whole thing and called 911 because they assumed I was dead or badly wounded. They couldn’t believe I was totally unharmed, just shell shocked.

The same tornado went on to kill several people and leveled a large subdivision. It was rated an F-4 or F-5 I believe.

Years later my son drug the “tornado car” out of the weeds and got it running aging to piddle around on at the farm.[1] 

8. Straight out of a horror movie.

Giving birth.

I had a placental abruption when I was six months pregnant. I had just moved to the town where the hospital I was delivering less than a week before I went into premature labor.

I lost a lot of blood, and had to go into an emergency c-section, my son was not responding to stimuli and they had lost his heartbeat.

When he was cut out, he was grey. I always hear people saying such and such was blue, but he was the absence of color, poor little thing. They rushed him out right away and I didn’t see him for hours, the doctors and nurses cautioned me not to get my hopes, that even if he lived, they wouldn’t know to what extent he would function. (he spent weeks in the NICU, and other than asthma, he’s on track and is within normal limits for everything).

The hospital told me if I had been more than 5 minutes away, then we would have both more than likely died.

By far the worst part was when I first got to the hospital. My sons dad was trying to get help from the front desk at the ER. An old lady (probably 80 or so) in a hospital gown came over to me. On the way to the hospital I had thought that my water had broke, but it was all blood. So I was sitting there, in pain, covered in blood absolutely freaking out when this old lady sits beside me and pats my knee. I was so relived just to have some human contact that I kind of leaned into her. She put her hand on my belly and said “what’s the matter dear, having a little miscarriage today are we?”. I’ll never forget that lady’s face.

9. Untreated for 3 or 4 days??

I got bitten on the neck by a brown recluse spider.

I was six.

The wound went untreated for three or four days.

Since then, I’ve had more than one doctor ask me – in a semi-serious way – how I managed to survive that.

I’ve yet to come up with a decent answer. Also, I didn’t get any spider-related powers (other than acute arachnophobia), so I feel a little bit ripped off.

10. Deadly carbs.

I have a number of allergies. Since I was a baby, eggs, chicken, fish, beans, bee-stings, shell-fish, nuts, peanuts are all equal to death (a number of things that i have outgrown as well).

When I was a kid I was constantly sick and basically lived at the hospital the first year and a half of my life, because my parents didn’t know what was wrong.

At the age of about 3, my 12 year older brother fed me eggnog, because he wanted to see me drunk. He was drunk himself and didn’t realize what he was doing. If not for modern medicine, i’d be dead.

I was 6, and just starting school. I didn’t know the allergic kids had to go elsewhere (into the school kitchen) to get their lunch, and no teacher bothered to tell me. I ate a pancake, and if not for my inhaler, i’d be dead.

Fast-forward to 14. Home ed (or whatever it’s called in english, the class where you make your food, learn to wash your clothes etc). The teacher and I had an agreement that she would read up on the ingredients that was to be used in class, so that I didn’t have to do it and get behind in class. I ate a small piece of pasta while cooking. If not for my betapred (and my very, very fast friend who ran up to my locker, kicked it in to get my medicine and ran back with it), i’d be dead. She (only) nearly got fired, and I skipped her class every week after that.

Nothing as serious has happened since then, i have had a couple of less severe reactions, that i’ve been able to handle myself, but the scariest moment in my life was the last mentioned. Having your throat close up in a matter of minutes makes you really think about what you eat.

11. Uhhh…..

Injected an opiate into my anal cavity, I od’d.

12. Consider me speechless.

Don’t expect anyone to believe me but the Aurora theater shooting.

13. Nearly eaten by lions.

When I was about 11, my family and I was at a safari park in Zimbabwe. They had this thing where you could walk a morning trip with “teenage” lions. I thought this would be super fun, but turns out that at the time I was too short. SO the lions saw this opportunity to “play” with me. I ended up being dragged of my feet by a Lion putting his claws into my leg. I can’t remember much of what happened but we ended up inside the lions cage with the lions circling outside the cage while a dude ran and got help. Luckily all the other people on the trip who were equipped with sticks hit the lions so hard that they only managed to rip up my leg and knee a bit. Ended up getting drugged with animal tranquilizer, drove 2 hours to a shitty African hospital and got all my wounds filled with J (salt).

Tbh I’m kinda happy it all happened. I was to young to remember enough to scar me, and it’s a great story at parties.

TL:DR Was bit by a lion, happy about it.

14. Missing for three days.

I was missing out on open water for three days alone when I was twelve. So there is that.


I was missing for three days out on the open water, I was boating with my father and we were in a small boat, we had all sorts of supplies, knives, life jackets, fishing rods, flares, cooking utensils and materials, all the stuff. Anyways we were both in this one boat. We were at a dock, but we didnt tie the boat to the dock, which was a dumb idea. I was told to hold onto the dock so I dont flow away. I held on but there were somewhat strong currents and it was kind of windy. I let go. I didnt mean to, I had to. I didnt know how to swim at this time, but I started to float away. I couldnt jump out because i would most likely drown, and I was out of site, i panicked and just hoped for the best. If we didnt have the materials in the boat i probably would have died. Anyways I floated away and eventually i was out of sight from the land. It was very very scary. I closed my eyes and just hoped to god I would survive. I prayed, and Im an athiest. I wanted all the luck i could get. I kept hydrated with the bottled water be had on board, and we had some dried nuts and fruits on board too. I had a thermal blanket, so to go to sleep I would lay in the middle of the boat and cover myself with it. It was surprisingly warm. Anyways i just tried to keep myself warm and makes sure i didnt tip he boat for three days. They had boats out looking for me within two hours of me floating away. Eventually, they sent out helicopters, I was found after three days of being lost out on the open water by a helicopter. It was the scariest three days of my life.

EDIT: Added story

EDIT: Here is the original post. Check this out if you have any questions, I answered a lot.

15. Did you not see it?

Walked into the side of a semi truck going ~40mph. Proceeded to walk across the stage at my HS graduation 30 days later.

16.  Everyone survived.

I was 12 and we were headed to the Himalayas for hiking. The bus we were traveling by fell off the cliff and it was held by a tree which prevented the bus from going all the way down into the valley. Luckily all 22 people survived.

Here is the pic http://imgur.com/wEKhc.

17. No memories.

When I was 14, I got run over by a car going about 40mph. Went flying through the air and smashed my head off a wall. Woke up in an intensive care unit 10 days later with no memory of the accident or anything else that happened that day.

18. That could not have felt good.

I’m fashionably late, and I plan on writing a short, poorly-written novel, so I doubt this will be well-received. However, I’ve had a few close calls and never really had to medium to share them (I don’t talk to people much, even via text on a website).

The first one I can’t verify the validity of because I was quite young and I only heard this story from my mom. She’s told this story the several times, and it’s always the same, so at least I think she believes it to be true.

My family, family friends, and I were at the grand canyon when I was very young (4-ish, i think). I was running around with the son of my mom’s friend when I guess I ran straight off the edge of the canyon. My mom’s friend reflexively grabbed me by the shirt, spun around, and dropped me, at which point I kept running the other direction. If she had not been there, or had the reflexes of a mother cat, I would be dead. Again, this whole story is from my mom, as I don’t remember this at all.

The second, and longest story, is when I had a piece of wood penetrate my skull. Again, I was pretty young (8-ish). My father was tossing a football around with my older brother. I never much cared for sports, and started asking (complaining) when my dad was going to play with me. He jokingly grabbed me and ran to our wooden playground thingy. While holding me, he grabbed onto the swinging/climbing rope thing (idk what it is called, and I couldn’t find a good picture online to show). Well, the 6×6, or whatever size piece of wood, that the rope was attached to broke. Down came me, my dad, and the large piece of splintered wood. Of course, it lands right on my head and punctures my skull, leaving a piece of wood in my brain.

The car drive to the nearest hospital is one of the details I remember most clearly. I’m in the backseat with my mom trying to stop the bleeding with her dress (only thing she had with her when everyone ran to the car). I’m crying profusely, not because it hurt (I don’t remember ever feeling any pain), but because I felt so bad for ruining my mom’s dress. I kept apologizing like some idiot (or like some child that didn’t quite understand the severity of the situation and didn’t get that a mother’s dress means absolutely nothing when her child is injured). My dad, the whole way there, keeps saying, more like chanting, “I killed my son. I killed my son. I killed my son….” I know my older brother was in the front passenger seat, and I’m assuming my little brother was in the back seat with me, but I don’t really remember either of them on the ride.

Okay, so I get to the hospital the front desk nurse (or whatever she was) tells my mom to fill out some bullshit paperwork and wait for a doctor. My mom is livid. While my dad starts filling out the paperwork, by mom is yelling at the nurse. A couple minutes later, while the paperwork is still being filled out, a doctor happens to walk by, see me on the cart/bed, and says something along the lines of, “Why is this kid just sitting here? He has a major brain injury and you didn’t think to get a doctor?” So, finally, I’m being examined by a doctor. He looks in my skull for a couple of minutes and says that this facility (the hospital) wasn’t equipped for such an operation as I needed. So they put me in an ambulance and drive me to the next, bigger hospital.

I get to that hospital, and the only thing I really remember once getting there is the IV they put in my arm. I guess they really wanted to pump some drugs in there, cuz they put it on the inside of my elbow on some big vein. I don’t really know the differences in IV placements, but one of the nurses later said that they put it there because it was one of the best places to pump a lot of crap into me (paraphrased slightly). Anyway, they apparently had the proper resources at the hospital, but not the proper doctor. They ended up flying in some brain surgeon (that I guess they told my mom was the best in the country, idk). When he gets there the OR is already prepped and he examines me. He tells my mom I have a 50/50 chance of living (spoiler: I lived) and even if I did live, I would never walk or talk again (I guess the same spot in the brain controls that stuff, idk). I remember counting down while having the (nitrous oxide?) mask on. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery unit, or whatever it is called. I woke up and I couldn’t move anything, not even my head, and everything hurt like crazy (the first time I felt pain during this whole ordeal). A nurse comes in, sees I’m awake, tells me to rest, and when I wake up again, I am completely fine. There was no pain, no loss of movement, no loss of speech, I was fine (although missing a piece of skull).

I would go on with the rest of my stay there (like never being allowed to walk like the other kids because they didn’t think I could), but this is long as hell already.

There are at least two other times I came close to death, but somehow lucked out, but they are pretty stupid stories (although much shorter), and I doubt anyone has read this far, so I will end it here.

Damn, it felt good telling that story. I don’t know why, but despite having a permanent scar on the back of my head, no one has ever asked about that story, and I never had a reason to share it.

TL;DR: I almost died.

19. Wow. That was a close one.

I was in the 2004 tsunami and would have been standing on the beach if it wasn’t for my brother wanting to watch TV instead. We were 3 stories up so the water didn’t hit us.

I was 9. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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About the author

Charlie Elliot

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