6. Attacked by a disembodied hand
“When I was ten or so, I had an incredibly vivid nightmare that I was being chased through a dark maze by a giant, disembodied hand. I woke up in a cold sweat, shaking all over, but needing to use the bathroom.
I mustered my courage to get up and walk to the bathroom, and when I turned on the light, the hand was there waiting for me. I screamed at the top of my lungs and then woke up for real. Turns out I had a “false awakening,” where you dream that you wake up.
Thinking I was awake, and finding my nightmare had come true, was mind-numbingly terrifying.”
7. Hallucinations before bedtime
“Sometimes when I’m going to sleep, I like to keep track of how weird my thoughts get right before actually falling asleep. Usually within a few minutes before I conk out, my thoughts are just a bunch of non-sequiturs, stuff that doesn’t make sense, but it is fun to sort of listen in.
A year ago I was going through a pretty bad time. My girlfriend dumped me for another guy, work was terribly stressful, and I only found a new apartment a couple days before my lease was up and I had to move out. A day or two before I had to move out, all my stuff was moved out and I was sleeping on an air mattress in the living room (bedroom had no lights and just felt really empty).
I was falling asleep and paying attention to how weird my thoughts were getting. Nothing too strange, just a bunch of random thoughts and phrases popping through my head, when all of a sudden, clear as a bell I heard what sounded like a voice just a few feet away from me. I remember him saying “Well fuck it, just cut him open… Oh fuck he can hear us.” in a flat monotone. I snapped up, and of course there was nobody there.
It was just a creepy auditory hallucination, but it felt absolutely real for a few seconds, made all the worse by how strange my own home felt at that moment.”
8. Kidnapped as a child
“I was almost kidnapped when I was 4 and it is one of my most vivid memories. I lived in a very small town growing up, less than 10K small. I have a little brother who is 2 years younger. My Nan used to watch us a lot. When I was between 4 and 5 I was taken by a man who thankfully did not get that far with me.
My Nan took my brother and I to the laundromat early one morning. Next door to the laundromat was an arcade. (I’m late 30s.) The lights from the games were on all the time and they were fascinating. I convinced my Nan to let us go outside and look in the windows of the arcade. At this time a man approached my brother and I and asked us what we were doing, where was our mom etc. I can’t remember the exact words. At some point he grabbed my hand and began to drag me off. I can still remember how his hands felt and his tight grip on mine. He pulled me into the parking lot and towards a park. The park was higher than the parking lot and there was a small retaining wall, maybe 3 feet high separating the two. I clearly remember being pulled up the wall onto the ground above and looking over my shoulder to hear/ see my Nan shout, HEY! and then he dropped my hand. I’m not sure what happened next but some time later I know the police came, I can remember them talking to me, my brother and my Nan. I remember what I was wearing, that my hair was in pig tails and that my little brother was wearing brown corduroy pants and a white turtleneck. As I’ve gotten older I realize this is the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.”