27 People Describe The Scariest Thing They Have Ever Seen (NSFL)

Warning: I am not kidding about the #NSFL tag on this one. Read more responses to the Reddit thread “What’s The Scariest Shit You’ve Ever Seen In Person?” here, but I’ve collected the most interesting ones below.
Jason Scragz
Jason Scragz

It could have been me

I was crossing the sidewalk with a couple of other pedestrians. I stopped at the median but one of the others decided to make a break for it. He took a couple steps and a 50 mile an hour buzzed right by him. It barely missed him by more than a couple of inches. The timing made it so the car driver never even had a chance to react.

Someone in my house

When I was in high school, I used to be the only person in the house for around an hour or so. Normally I’d stay downstairs for a bit, eat a snack, and eventually make my way up to my room.

One day I came home and did the usual routine, and when I went upstairs I discovered that my room had been absolutely fucked up. My bed (which was normally against a wall) had been moved to the middle of the room, my clothes (including several pieces of underwear) had been strewn about, some of it laid on my bed. Drawers were out of the dresser- really, the room had been completely gone through.

Considering I was a teenaged girl, was home alone, and not a single other thing in the house had been touched, this was by far the scariest shit I have seen.

She was an adult

When I was only six an old lady crossed the street without looking and got hit by a car. I can still see and hear it to this day. I almost told her to stop but didn’t becuase she was an adult and adults knew what they were doing. I felt guilty for years.

A shark fin… while I was in the water

When I was 8 I was swimming in the ocean at right outside Virginia Beach during a family reunion when I saw a shark fin about 10 yards away. Never going to forget seeing that gray triangle with a scar going horizontal across the lower portion. I was about 20 yards offshore and have never swam that fast in my life.

Didn’t go back in the water for two days, and worst of all mom didn’t believe me. I only know I’m right in what I saw because I was obsessed with National Geographic, so I knew how to distinguish dorsal fins. To this day, sharks are still one of the most fascinating creatures to me.

Cannot unsee

I once saw a man that was burnt alive in a car on the side of the road in Chicago.

Oh my

A full-grown grizzly bear slammed into a window right next to me snarling and pawing at the glass trying to get in. It was the night shift on a remote mine site, meaning it was pitch dark outside. The bear appeared to have coalesced out of the aether. I was the only person in the building at the time, with my nearest coworker being up a large hill and deep in the guts of an ore mill.

I screamed bloody murder, grabbed my radio and hid under a lab bench like I thought two inches of plastic was somehow going to save me. My radio call went something like “Emergency emergency emergency JESUS CHRIST THERE’S A FUCKING BEAR DOWN HERE SOMEONE SHOOT IT emergency emergen-fucking-cy!”

And of course when a team of bear hazers finally made it down the thing had disappeared. All that was left were its claw marks on the glass, some fresh bear shit outside, and me flat refusing to get out from under my titration setup.

Good times.

Extra NSFL

When I was 4, my older sister and I found my dad’s dead body hanging in our bathroom. He hanged himself after being fired from his job. I assume he thought it was easier to kill himself than to explain that his family was about to be homeless.

I’ll never look at a water bottle the same way

When I was a teenager this douchebag sped around me on a winding country road, right ahead of me he ran head on into another car. The girl sitting in the passenger seat was drinking out of a glass water bottle. When I went to investigate, the bottle was impaled in her forehead, her legs were curled up into the dash like an accordion and they had hit so fast and hard the back part of her scalp was still on the headrest. She was alive, awake and in agony asking me to help her. She died, the douchebag lived and never served any jail time. Still haunts me almost 20 years later.

Never driving again

Driving to work on the 15 freeway in Southern California. It was busy, but not gridlocked. A guy on a motorcycle was just riding along when a car in front changed lanes suddenly with another vehicle. In the ensuing wreck I watched as the bikers head became detached from his body and bounced along the ground leaving blood patches on the pavement as it bounced along..


The second plane hit the world trade center on sept 11.

My building faced it about a quarter mile away, Was on 24th floor and the fireball reached out towards us, then we saw the shock wave coming and I remember thinking we should be on the floor but was frozen, and the glass wall moved, like being inside a drum.

The moment of death

I’ve posted this before but seeing someone die. I’m an emt, and one winter day we were headed back to the ambulance station after a call and we rolled up on a car wreck where one car had slid on the ice into the oncoming traffic getting t-boned, the car pushed the passengers side all the way to the center console in the process cutting the passenger in half, I came up to the car just in time to see the passenger die. It was weird; it wasn’t like he went to sleep, it was just in his eyes, one minute he was there looking at me; the next he was gone. It still bothers me when I think about it.


I saw a bunch people get gunned down in a bus station in San Pedro de Sula, Honduras. A few moments later a shirtless guy with a revolver jumped on our bus, walked up about mid-way and then decided to take off from the side door. Just a few seconds later police came on the bus with ak-47s, looked around got off, saw the guy run to another bus and started blasting holes through the bus’ windows with no care at all for the people on board. Passengers were killed. The shirtless guy was shot a couple times and hobbled off the front of the bus and then gunned down.


I live in Chicago. A few weeks ago, my husband and I were driving home when this dude ran out into the middle of the street right in front of us, then just dropped. A guy on the sidewalk had just shot him. There were so many people screaming and running around, it was craziness. We went back to our apartment, locked the door, and stayed inside for the rest of the day.


my best friend had a grand mal seizure in high school. she didn’t know she had epilepsy. she went face first into the marble and convulsed until she stopped. I was in shock, but I quickly remembered reading something about this. I flipped her over and she was completely blue. She had been choking on her gum and saliva. She spit everything out and started breathing. awful.awful.awful.

Taking my dad off life support

When I was 18 my dad had a heart attack and ended up in the hospital on life support. My mom decided to take him off and we stood in the room and watched him go. Often I hear the, “at least he went peacefully” thing… Nope. The body convulsing as the lungs try to get oxygen for the last time…. That fucking choking/gasping sound, don’t know how else to describe it, sometimes wakes me in the middle of the night.

Almost raptor-ed

I grew up in a really rural area. We had 20 acres just out side of a small Texas town with a population of 2500. I was out in the woods doing something, I don’t remember what, when all of a sudden I’m hearing this crashing from the woods coming my direction. I just saw one of the jurassic park and was way into Dino Crisis 2 at the time so my first thought is I am about to raptored. Finally out from the tree line, which is about 15 feet from where I’m petrified at, comes a Bobcat. It’s coming right for me. Already consented to the idea of dying by the time it’s on me, but instead he sprints right past me and I see my dog barreling through the woods on its trail. They ran off through the woods and all I know is the dog came back fine a while later but my underwear had to be thrown out.


Encountering real Russian mobsters at a Halloween party in Florida was pretty fucking terrifying.

Dudes were pretty normal (by Florida standards) but at one point I watched some drunk guy arrogantly walk upstairs looking for a bathroom after being told that a private gathering was going on and the second floor was off limits.

The punishment for this was him having his mask put on backwards, getting beaten by 2 guys, and just when he was stumbling down the steps they kicked him in the back causing him to tumble face first down the flight of hard wood stairs.

My whole group got the fuck out of there after seeing that and just as we drove away we saw the cops and ambulances start rolling into the neighborhood.

My anesthesia didn’t work

Woke up from a botched appendectomy in the ICU, saw my hands and feet bound to the bed and felt a tube that was being used to inflate my lungs for me.

Turned out I had some kind of reaction to the anesthetic which resulted in what the anesthesiologist described as “flash pulmonary edema.” I woke up just as they were finishing up, and I started to spew foamy blood from my mouth and nose. The last thing I remember is the anesthesiologist looking at me and shouting “No!” as she pushed me back down onto the table.

I really have to thank her for saving my life that day.

At a nice restaurant

I was at a high end restaurant where an elderly women fell on the ground and died, just like that.

that’s probably pretty tame but it was the first time I witnessed someone dying and it was horrifying.

The time my crazy ex fed me GLASS

The time my crazy ex fed me ground up glass. When I woke up in the nigh with what seemed like incoming painful taco bells revenge and felt that searing pain and turned on the light and looked in the toilet and saw a bloody mess with chunks of tissue. That was scary as FUCK.

Remember to lock your doors

I guess not as scary as some other stories in this thread, but someone tried to break into my house while I was home. The scariest part for me was the fact that I had just locked the door the guy tried to break in not 5mins before shit went down.

An octopus that wouldn’t release my leg

We own property on a small island in the Cyclades, Greece.

The snorkeling around the coast of the island is fantastic. I’ve seen porpoise, weird species of crab, cuttlefish etc. One time I was with my brother, around 1/4 of a mile around the coast of a small bay. Water was creeping in to my mask when I went under water, so I swam to the edge of the coastline and stood up on a rock formation, water roughly waist height. Whilst trying to sort out my mask and standing up on this rock, I felt something wrap around my right leg – the biggest, and I mean biggest octopus ever, came out if its hiding place and attached itself to me. I looked down and just saw a humongous blur of this creature under the water, frantically moving about, tentacles everywhere. I knew straight away what it was, and assumed it would let go, but no. Octopuses have a massive beak type jaw in the middle of their main abdomen, and those things fucking hurt. After a few ‘pecks’ it finally loosened its grip and swam down in to the blueness. I will never forget that shit.


I was sitting in my room reading a book and I start hearing screams of pure terror coming from outside, I realized my dad was cutting the lawn so I ran outside and realized my dad had accidentally cut off my 2 year old brothers leg. I saw parts everywhere and the blood in my dads face and along the rim of the yard cutter. I just stood there in disbelief until my mum ran outside and then I just passed out.


I once had spinal meningitis and encephalitis when I was around 12. After I had a grand mal seizure I was life-flighted to the hospital where I was given a spinal tap and put on an IV with sedative. During the next week or so I had vivid, horrifying hallucinations similar to what you hear when people describe sleep paralysis. The worst was when I was all alone (my parents were usually around but they went to get some food) – I woke up from a nap and looked out my hospital room door and watched a bunch of construction workers disassembled the hospital around me. They laughed and joked about how I’d be the only one left there soon and how they were turning it into a landfill. I couldn’t move or talk – it was terrifying.


During my sons birth my fiancee shit all over the place, and while she was doing it she had this very angry look on her face and was staring me in the eyes like it was somehow my fault. Definitely the scariest shit I have seen in person.

What was in that corner?

When I was roughly 14 or so my younger sister was around 6 years old. One night I woke up to heavy screaming and crying… wasn’t sure what it was at first. I left my room and headed towards the screaming, adjoining with my dad on the way to find my little sister screaming her guts out with tears streaming down her face. My dad immediately lifted and held her in his arms and kept asking what was wrong.

She would just scream and point towards the corner in her room.

There was nothing there, but it gave me nightmares for a good full week. I find when it’s personal, especially when family is concerned, shit gets a lot scarier.


I was a kid when this happened… My uncle and I were finishing up chopping/gathering firewood for my grandmother because it was getting dark. Driving back on a dirt road at about 30mph (give or take 5mph) I had this awful sense of being watched. Before I could turn to look out my window (passenger side) my uncle quickly shouted, “Don’t!” I completely froze. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest then completely stopped when I heard a tap tap on my window. My uncle sped up and was loudly praying in my native language. I didn’t know what was going on and thought it was over till our truck suddenly dipped from the bed. My uncle then started saying, “Look at me” and “Don’t turn away” over and over. Then I heard it again, tap tap but from the window behind me. It was getting harder for me to breathe and I wanted to cry. A minute or two passed and the truck dipped again. My uncle looked around and sighed. It was quiet besides the truck and the road. He looked at me and said, “We will ask your father to do a prayer in the morning. So the evil will forget our faces.” (Navajo to English equivalent). I remember curling up on the seat and just staring at the radio watching the time. Listening to my uncle sing an old prayer till we got to my grandmother’s house. To this day my uncle has never talked about it. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Read more creepy stories in this original collection.

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