Thought Catalog

26 People Share The Most Deeply Terrifying Experience Of Their Entire Life

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Alex Troshenkov

1. A Bad Feeling

I was playing with my friend at a playground near my house. It was around dusk and we had been there for about an hour when we both stopped and immediately sprinted back to my house without saying a word to each other. Turns out we had both had the same dark, terrible feeling in our gut and knew we had to get out of there.

The next morning we went back and found a cat head on the playground, just the skull, and fur, nothing else, no brain or eyes or anything. We think it might have been a mountain lion as they are prevalent in our area.

It’s hard to explain that awful gut feeling, but I’ve never been so scared without being in any noticeable danger in my life.

Redarado

2. Barbie And Baby

This is pretty silly actually. When I was a kid, I had a Barbie that came with a little baby. This baby unsettled me for some reason, something about its face was spooky. One day, I stopped playing and started to walk out of my bedroom, but something compelled me to go back to turn the baby’s face away from me first. I went to the bathroom, came back, and the baby’s face had somehow turned back to its original position, facing me. Understandably, I had an absolute fit. I cried to my mom and she told me that she had gone in my room and moved the doll, but later admitted that she lied to stop my hysterics. We hid the blasted thing, but it would reemerge every couple of years. I think it’s funny now, but I still wonder.

glitzydirt

3. “Following The Pony”

7-8 years old me visited my grandparents in the countryside. According to my grandmother, she woke up in the middle of the night to her cows’ abnormal mooing, went outside to check and saw me walking into the fish pond. I did not wake up upon entering the water, she barely pulled me out of the water before I fell into the deep part of the pond. I was shaking uncontrollably, she had to carry me inside, it took half an hour to wake me up. When asked what happened, apparently half-conscious me answered: “I was following the pony.”

Miutan213

4. A Remnant In The Office Building

When I was in high school, to earn extra money, I went and cleaned my dad’s boss’ office building on the weekends. Most of the time it was just me in there. Occasionally, someone would be in there working. It was never full though. Usually, if anyone was there, it was this one dude. I still don’t know what he did there. But, his office was WAY in the back of the building, almost in what I would call a closet. This was a construction company, and they had this big office with a giant table in it where they could spread out blueprints and go over them together. This guy’s office was in a closet behind this office. I worked there for years, and as I did, I kinda got to know this guy. I eventually bought myself a jeep wrangler when I turned 16, and he was a jeep guy himself, so we would always BS about jeep stuff. Honestly a really cool dude. The one thing that always stuck out to me about this guy, is he had this “tick”… Nothing weird, but noticeable. When he was standing and talking to you, he always stood with his left side facing you, with his left hand in his pocket and he would jingle his change in his pocket…

Well, the guy eventually died in the office one day. Not while I was there, during the work week. I remember my dad telling me about it and offering to let me go to the funeral, which I did.

A few weeks later, I’m in there cleaning. I’m not in the blueprint room, but in a room across the hall and I hear the front door open. They had a sensor on the door that made a loud “DING” noise when someone opened it. So, I heard “DING!” and could hear footsteps walking in. So, I’m sitting at this desk, dusting all this person’s nick-nacks and I hear that guy’s voice say “Hey, Gibby, how’s the jeep runnin?”. I’m kinda shocked and just staring at this person in the doorway, left side facing me, and jingling change in his pocket. I’m pretty much frozen in the chair just staring at him, and he kinda laughs a little. It seemed like he was about to walk away, and I kinda shuddered a second once everything registered in my brain. So, I blinked and when I looked back at the door, he was gone. I walked around the entire office and no one was there.

From that day on, anytime I went into his office, I said out loud “Hey, <name>. Wish you could see what I’ve done with the jeep” or something else like that. Always felt like he was in there still.

Dad has since retired from work, and I don’t get to go up to that office anymore. But, on the off chance I do, I like to walk in that office (it’s their gym now) and say hello.

greatwhitegibby

5. Reflection In The Window

Working on a school report late at night in my ground-level bedroom. Glance up and stare at my reflection in the glass of the window. Realize it’s not my reflection. That someone is actually staring in at me, watching me from outside the house. Shudder. Still gives me chills.

spindlemaker

6. Men In Ski Masks Stop At The Convenience Store

Back in 1984, the year I graduated high school, I took a job working the overnight shift at a convenience store in my hometown in rural Ohio. The town was/is a tiny place, less than 2,000 people, three stoplights (and, if you’re standing at any of them, you can always see the other two/lol), and the place that hired me had only begun staying open overnights a few weeks earlier. So, most nights, I would only see a handful of customers. Other nights, less.

About two months in, I was sitting behind the counter around three in the morning, reading a newspaper when a giant Cadillac came tearing into the parking lot and screeched to a halt. The driver slammed the car into park and, to my horror, all four doors popped open and out of each of them emerged men in ski masks. In an instant, they had whipped open the door of the store and entered. Three of the four fanned out and began to sweep through the store, the fourth staying by the counter.

Get this, nobody spoke. They moved in silence. After just a couple of seconds, one of the men pointed to the dummy security camera hanging from the ceiling in the middle of the store (and, when I say “dummy,” I mean DUMMY. It was fluorescent orange with six, count ’em, SIX lenses pointing in all directions. It could not have possibly looked faker), shook his head, and then all four of them shot back out the front door, dove back into the Cadillac, and tore out of the parking lot. How I didn’t absolutely shit my pants, I will never know.

So, I stand behind the counter for a couple of minutes, shaking while feeling tears of terror and relief running down my cheeks and then walk outside. Standing in the fresh air, with the town back to being so quiet I could hear the stoplight up the street clicking through its cycle, I seriously began to wonder if I’d hallucinated the entire thing. The juxtaposition of the explosion of activity and terror, immediately followed by a return to an almost dead quiet, finally gave me the giggles and I was soon doubled over laughing at the incongruity of the moment.

Finally, I stood up straight, stretched my arms and said out loud “Well, if you’re up there, thank you, God” and turned to walk back into the store. At that very moment, the same car came tearing back past the store, shot through the stoplight, and disappeared into the night, never to be seen again.

Mind you, all of this was in the service of earning $3.35 an hour/lol.

OhStanza

7. Grandpa Tries To Join In

I was about 16 and at this girl’s house for a hookup type thing. We start getting to 2nd base when she says “go away, grandpa!” Confused as hell, I ask her what she meant; she said her grandfather died in the room, in the bed we were doing shit on, and he “tried to join us.”

I noped the fuck outta horny grandpa’s house of horrors & never called her again.

TheKearnival

8. Murder Party

I was at a party in high school. Nothing big, 3 girls, 4 guys, and our hosts step brother and step brothers girlfriend. Wasn’t really a “party” per se, we were just snacking and watching a movie.

Anyway, one moment the step brother gets up and walks to his room. Our host follows out of the room then comes back saying we need to leave.

Apparently, the step brother grabbed his gun and told our host that if we didn’t leave he was going to kill us all.

It was literally insane. He seemed like a regular dude, and I don’t think anyone detected anything wrong. It was scary to see a total 180 like that. Also, the fact that he was unstable and was armed.

DudeStahp

9. Out past Curfew

One night, my buddies and I were going for a midnight walk around the roads by the house we were staying at. Since we were under 18, we could have gotten in trouble for being out past curfew, so we would hide behind trees or whatever when a car came by.

Well, my one friend said “Why are you guys hiding, no one is going to care or do anything!” Well, the next vehicle that passes, everyone hides behind something but him, to prove a point.

Shortly after that, the same vehicle, a red pickup truck, turns around up the road and heads back in our direction. This time, we all hid and noticed it was the same truck.

We figured they made a wrong turn or something, but nope. Every few minutes, the truck would pass by us as we hid (while we attempted to make it back to the house, about a half-mile walk), trying to find us. At one point, guys got out of their truck with flashlights and were searching around the woods/shrubs for us, but we were about 100 yards away from them.

Eventually, we got back to the house, but they still drove up and down the road looking a few more times. Whether they were trying to scare some random kids, or something worse, I’m not sure.

aggressive_napkins

10. Blue Myst Road

There is a road near where I live that is famous for paranormal activity. It’s called Blue Myst Road, and its name is very accurate. At night, no matter the weather, there is what appears to be a thick blue fog moving along the ground. I’ve never actually seen anything personally, but we did hear muffled voices and what sounded like footsteps in the dense tree line right next to us. We tucked tail and took off.

Local5Sparky

11. Not The Pizza Delivery Guy

I live in an apartment with 6 of my girlfriends. One day, all of my roommates went to a concert except for me and one other. We went to pick them up, got home around 11 PM, and ordered pizza. About 20 mins after ordering I hear a knock at the door, and I assume it’s the pizza being delivered. Instead, it’s this random man I’ve never seen before, telling me that he watched us get out of the car and would like to come in to talk to us as we are all beautiful…. Keep in mind it is 11:30 at night on a SUNDAY. He started to angle his body closer to the door, so then my roommate’s boyfriend came to the door where he was visibly shocked, uncomfortable and started to fidget. After telling him to fuck off, we realized he followed us home from the concert.

Being a woman can suck sometimes.

TheFirstNoel_

12. “Why WOn’t You Go To Sleep?”

I was laying in bed trying to get my daughter to go to sleep and she was refusing to.

As I was getting more annoyed with her I asked: “Why won’t you go to sleep?” Her response was “Because those two people are watching us.” and pointed to the corner of the room where no one was stood (we were alone in the house).

Immediately picked her up and spent the night asleep downstairs.

Custard-donut

13. Babysitting

I was babysitting this little kid, and we decided to go on a walk. We saw this creepy-looking abandoned house down the street. The windows were all smashed. The kid pointed up at the house and asked me, “Why is that man staring at us?” I said “What man?” He said, “Don’t you see him? He’s inside the house.” I just got really freaked out and said that we should go back home. We practically ran back to his house.

VirtualEyeroll

14. Psych Meds Create A Hell On Earth

Visual hallucinations brought on by the wrong combo of psych meds gave me by far the scariest and most unsettling experiences of my life. The unsettling part was losing my reading comprehension skills. I’d read a comment on the discussion board I was frequenting at the time and it could say something as benign as, “I had a lovely breakfast have a great day” and I’d read it as “AbortRetryImplode you’re a failure. You should die.” So I’d write this angry response ripping the person a new one and then I’d get these sometimes apologetic sometimes “wtf is wrong with you?” responses in my inbox and I’d be totally confused.

The scariest was looking in the mirror and realizing I looked evil. I wouldn’t say demonic…but the way I was smiling and my eyes. I looked so evil it was terrifying. Kind of like something else had control of my face and I was seeing me, but not me? I know it probably doesn’t make sense but it scared the shit out of me.

AbortRetryImplode

15. A Soft, Low Humming

Let me preface by saying I have only told this story to three or four people my entire life, and none of them believed me. I am aware I will sound crazy, but I swear to you this 100% happened to me when I was about 13 years old. Yes, I am sure I was not dreaming. No, we did not have a gas leak.

When I was about 13 years old, I was having trouble sleeping (it was probably 1 am or thereabouts). I was restless, tossing and turning, the whole bit. Well, I had almost given up and was just staring blankly at the wall next to my bedroom door, when the door begins to open, slowly.

Now, we had a cat at this time so the door not being properly closed and then pushed open by a feline friend would not have been outside of the norm, so at this point, I’m still calm. But then I take a look into the opening gap between the door and the frame.

Through the gap is a man in a black coat of some kind, with a white mask over his face, who is humming very soft and low. I immediately gasp (trying not to scream) and pull the covers over my face. My heart is racing and I’m listening for anything—any little movement. I don’t hear anything but I begin to hear that humming again and through my blanket make out a soft, amber light.

I decide this change may signal more immediate danger, so I summon all my courage and pull the covers down off my face— he’s gone. I look around the room and the man is no longer there. From outside, however, I see that same amber light. I walk, slowly, tensely over to the window and peer out.

Hanging in the air, at the same level as my second-floor bedroom window is a little orb of amber light which, although featureless makes a bounce-like motion that I (and I understand this sounds crazy) took to mean as it acknowledging me. It then moved through the air toward the tree line in back of our house and disappeared.

I still wonder what it is I saw.

MountainDewMeNow

16. The Uncle’s Friend

My husband and I moved away so he could finish his degree at a more reputable university. His uncle happens to live in the same town as the school. We would hang out with his uncle and grill out, watch movies and play his really nice instruments. Really nice guy overall and someone two broke college aged kids could lean on if needed in a town where we knew no one.

His uncle’s friend started coming to some of our little shin-digs. All was well with his uncle’s friend, except for a few flirtatious comments, which I just shrugged off. He was about 20 years older than me, I was a girl in my early 20’s, I thought maybe it was his personality.

I was working in property management and the friend told me he was looking for a new apartment. Seeing a business opportunity and a chance to help a family friend, I gave him my business card.

About a week later, his uncle’s friend comes into my office. I was happy to see him assuming he was looking for an apartment. Nope. He proceeds to hand me a three-page typed letter which is folded and tells me “This is probably the last time you will ever see me.” He turned around and left. No explanation, so I read the letter.

The letter basically declared his love for me and stated his intentions to ‘win me over’. It said something along the lines of him beating my husband in karate. Also, he went on about how the men in my husband’s family are basically damaged and it wouldn’t work between my husband and I. He said it was a warning. It was a deranged rambling from a man I encountered maybe four times in my life.

Startled at my desk, I told my manager who I was pretty close with so he was aware of the situation. That afternoon my husband and I went to the police station to put the letter ‘on file’. Luckily I’ve never encountered that guy again, but now I think twice about handing out my business cards.

ItsSmallsYall

17. Stalked By A Black Dog

I moved into a new place in a new country.

After a night at the pub, I got the feeling I was being followed. Turned around – huge black dog with red eyes glaring at me. I ran home, locked the doors.

Then I started getting nightmares about the thing hunting me down. And every time I was out at night, it was getting closer and closer…

I put it down to the stress of moving.

Well, until a friend of mine stayed the night to ease my mind. I found her awake at 3 am looking out the window, dog outside, she was pale as a sheet. She just whispered, “That’s a fucking hellhound.”

In the morning, she ran out of my house, came back a few hours later with this awful smelling powder, and hung it up in pouches around the room, with an extra pouch for me to carry.

Never seen the dog again. Never had a nightmare about it since.

YrowyMcYrowface

18. A Plastic-Faced Doll

When my mom was a kid, she had this horrible stuffed clown with a plastic face. I searched the internet and found this image, which is pretty spot on.

Anyway, one day we (my brothers and I) brought it home from my grandparent’s house. Not sure why. We hated the thing. It was obviously creepy as all hell.

Once it was home, it would move from where we put it. You would leave it on the chair, leave the room, come back it would be on the bed.

We decided to take it and put it in a box and put weights on top of the box. We came back and it had moved the weights as the box and was sitting in the chair. This was in the basement so no one would have been able to get to it without going down the stairs, which is the way we exited and entered.

We then left the room again with it on the chair. Came back and it was outside the house, staring into the basement window. There is no way it could have got out the window (didn’t open) or past us on the stairs.

We then gave it a book and a pen and left the room. It wrote on the front of the book (it was a kids book about Houdini, I’ll never forget it) the name “Mike Stapher” in almost movie style scratchy scrawls writing.

Most horrifying thing I’ve ever encountered.

We told my parents and they destroyed it.

themouth

19. Beaten By A Murderer

Scary in the moment, scarier after.

Was hanging out in a park drinking with some friends and these random 3 guys come by and start chatting with us. Mainly me. (only guy)

I offer them my alcohol as I don’t want it. We chat more. They start walking away and I’m in mid conversation with a guy, so I walk with them a bit and the guy turns me to and says “What are you gonna do?” before I knew it, they had met up with other guys behind me and there’s 6 guys around me, punching and pushing. I get knocked in my face pretty good and go down. They continue kicking and walk away.

I get up furious and break an empty bottle and they start yelling things, while the girls realize what just happened and surround me and bring me to the closest guys house.

They come back with 20+ people, girls, guys, and we had already called them cops. Cops catch about 5, 2 of the main guys I was talking to. Turns out they had knives on them. Scary/lucky enough nothing worse happened to me except a black eye and a few cuts.

A year later one of the guys goes to prison for murder. Sent a chill down my spine that I almost got in a fight, rather than a beat down, with a murderer.

throwyoworkaway

20. That Nightmare That Was Real

My cousin was staying at or house for a weekend. My sister was good friends with her and they were set to sleep in the basement together. Me, being the younger sister, desperately wanted to stay down there with them. I fell asleep and had the most terrifying and realistic nightmare of my life. They went into the bathroom and came out as monsters who told me I had to fall asleep or they were going to eat me. For YEARS I thought I had actually had that nightmare and it still scared me to think about. Last year my sister admitted to actually doing that and I found out it wasn’t a nightmare but they tortured me like that for real!

vietnam_da_licious

21. “It Used To Be”

This actually happened to my brother 2 weeks ago in the house we grew up in.

So, my brother still lives there with my grandma. Brothers room is in the basement. In the living room, there is a huge glass sliding door that opens onto our deck, with a large shared courtyard behind it. At about 2 am, my brother hears this door slide open. He is still up gaming or whatever. He yells, “HELLO?” and hears a man’s voice, say “hello” back, very calmly. Scared, he yells “WHO IS THIS” and the man calmly replies, “John”. “Well John, this isn’t your house so you better leave” and John replies, “well it used to be” as he walks towards the kitchen and opens the fridge ( my brother assumes from the noises he hears).

Scared, my brother stays downstairs and calls the police. It takes the police over 30 minutes to respond (if you can believe that!) and by the time they get there, there is no man in the house or any trace of it.

My Grandma has owned that house for 25 years.

banfrito

22. Green Eyes, Watching

As a child my dad was a drunk. One night my dad an I alone camping in a yurt went 4-wheeling at midnight. He was wasted. It was a jacked up old Ford Ranger, being a pretty light truck, when my dad hit the edge of the cliff on our way back, it was teetering on edge. My dad told me to get out, I was maybe 5-6 years old. Truck was stuck so we walked back to camp, it was about 2 miles away. Halfway there my feet got tired so my dad put me on his shoulders, looking behind him. I stared into the green eyes of a giant mountain lion following us. The increase in stature scared him off, and I watched him book it up the mountain. Haunts me to this day.

Joosh71

23. Something In The Corner Of Your Eye

I worked in a private club at the top of a big hotel. I came in one day and our linens had just been delivered. And all of our linen bags reeked like gasoline. Everyone thought it was strange. It was kind of a slow night and I was working on the bar side. It has really long hallways. All night long I kept seeing flashes of a man out of the corner of my eye. When I was bringing dishes back to the kitchen it felt like someone was walking behind me. I thought I was just being paranoid, there were rumors of it being haunted and it wasn’t the first time I saw something weird. After we closed I was setting up the bar for the next days lunch and my coworker came over to talk to me. He mentioned that he kept seeing a man out of the corner of his eye and felt like someone was standing behind him most of the night. I hadn’t said anything to anyone about it until he brought it up. It freaked us both out so we worked together the rest of the night. Turns out that over the weekend the linen company we used had a truck flip and catch on fire and the driver got ejected and died. They brought us the bags and linens from his truck without having re-washed them first. We found out the next day why the linen bags smelled.

roraverse

24. Nearly Killed By Mexican Cartels

My dad used to work at an Oxxo, when I was like 9. It’s a gas station in Mexico. He worked night shifts and the stores stayed open 24/7. Night time in Mexico is when it gets bad and when everybody goes inside and it is when all the cartels and Marines come out and if they run into each other there’s a shootout that’s for sure going to happen.

Well, one night at about 2 AM, three trucks pulled up and everybody got out, about 14 men in body armor, Gloves, boots, black cargo pants, leaving all of their doors open blasting narco corridos. It was the Zeta cartel. I remember being scared shit less and our dad told us to just stay quiet. I thought we were gonna take my brother since they would kidnap young guys and send them to work with them. And thought my dad was gonna have a gun pointed at him since he was the one behind the register.

Some of the men waited outside with their m-16s and about 6 walked in with no noticable weapons and bought a bunch of chips, bread, beer, drinks, sodas, candy. I remember expecting for them to walk out with all of the stuff without paying but they paid for it all and let my dad keep the change. My brother and I then helped them put the bags in their trucks for some reason, and when we did we set them on top of their grenades, all types of rifles and pistols. Then they just got back in and drove off. Oh and there was a guard that worked there at some point and my bro and I were cool with him, and sometimes we would chill outside and the guard would mess with the payphones that were against the stores wall and pretend to flirt with the operator lady. Well one day he did that while some cartel members were there and they thought he was calling the people above him to tell them that the cartel was there, so they snatched him up and we never heard of him again.

bloodshotredd

25. White Faces In The Snow

I’ve told this before and it always gets buried. We were driving in the mountains in Colorado with some friends on our way to a ski lodge in Telluride. On the way to our hotel we were driving up and down these winding roads deep deep in the mountains which seemed like forever. It was pitch black outside and around 3 AM and we had to at least be 45ish minutes from the nearest town, and it was cold, like see your own breath below 10 degrees freezing cold.

As we were driving along, my friends and I all see four figures walking on the road coming towards us. We all get weird feelings inside but I did especially, and the hair on my neck stood up. Something didn’t seem right. We were way too far away from a town and it was wayyy too cold for hitch hikers or hikers of any sort. We get closer and closer and as we got right next to these “people” we slow down and we realized that they had NO Faces!

Four people walking in the dead of the night wearing black hoods and cape like gowns and they literally had no faces. And by no faces I mean like no eyes, mouth, ears, just blank white pale faces. I’m familiar with ski masks and these were not ski masks. They had hoods on like something from Scream almost. My friends and I all freaked the fuck out speeding away, and my toughest manliest friend of us all was crying, mind you he was in his late 20s. It was the most afraid I’ve ever been and it still scares me thinking about and typing out. No idea what they were.

Proffesor

26. A Shriek In The Night

Coming back home from my deployment, I stayed at my parents house for a few weeks while my late grandmother, who was suffering from severe dementia stayed in the room adjacent from mine. it was around 2AM when I’m awoken by a blood curdling shriek that lasted for what felt like an eternity, but must’ve actually been about 30 seconds in just one breath. It turns out she was sleepwalking, tried to enter my room and slammed herself into the baby gate we had for my puppy. I honestly don’t know what was more terrifying, hearing that shriek suddenly in the dead of night, or flicking on the dim ceiling lights and seeing her stare at me, face was decrepit, mouth agape and her eyes wide as can be. It makes my blood run cold every time I think about it.

Willisfit TC mark

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