1. My father tried to kill my sister
“My dad developed a brain tumor in his frontal lobe and tried to kill my sister and me by crashing the car with us in it. At some point later in the day he ‘came back’ and was horrified at what he’d tried. We all knew at that point he was dying in a matter of months but did not think the tumor would affect his personality so fast. He was a great dad and I was such a Daddy’s girl that it was just horrifying on top of scary. That my awesome, super loving, affectionate father had turned into a horror-movie version of himself. He died a few months later.” — jessicamshannon
2. A man disemboweled himself in front of me
“So a lot of people were outside of a performance venue, smoking cigarettes and what have you, when all of a sudden this car comes out of nowhere and smashes into the lobby of a different well-known performance venue across the street. Now everyone is out on the street watching. Glass was everywhere. The guy got out of his car, took a shard of glass, and disemboweled himself right there on the sidewalk. There were bloodstains there for a while while the community rebuilt the venue. It was some straight up seppuku shit.” — DrtyBlnd
3. I watched someone get shot
“Watching somebody get shot “execution style” in a movie theatre parking lot. It was Stockton, Ca, so it wasn’t entirely a huge surprise, but awful to watch.” — Aayin
4. My wife had a seizure
“I came home one day and just as I came through the front door and was taking off my shoes I heard a loud crash. I called for my wife upstairs but she didn’t answer. I ran up the steps and called her name again but no answer. I could hear her treadmill running so I climbed up the loft ladder (we have a workout room in our loft). As my eyes came over the edge of the floor I saw her on the floor convulsing. Her convulsions were slowing and she was unconscious.
In every respect it looked like she was in the final throws of dying. I’ve seen animals die and it was exactly the same. My wife had had a stent installed due to a blocked artery and I thought she had a heart attack as she was completely unresponsive.
I ran to the phone can called for an ambulance. I was trying to revive her when the paramedics arrived. At that point she regained consciousness. One of the paramedics asked me what happened and I told them. He began asking if I hit her. Of course I said no.
Immediately afterwards the police arrived. The policeman whispered something to the paramedic. Then he came down the ladder and began asking me if I “did anything to my wife”. I again explained what happened. He kept pressuring me wanting to know if we were arguing or if I hit her.
When my wife fell she hit her face on the machine and had a large bruise forming on the left side of her face.
When we got to the hospital, the ER nurses began questioning her and asking her if anyone hurt her and wanting to know if “someone” hit her.
Then the doctor came in and again the doctor asked her who hit her and then insisted that I leave the room.
I’ve never struck another person in my life and I certainly have never hit my wife. I was first horrified when I thought my wife was dying and then shocked when everyone involved thought I abused her.
It turned out that a medication she was taking caused her to have a seizure.” — nfaguy
5. My mother vomited black bile
“My mother vomiting black bile that smelled like death. She was dying of cancer at the time, so I guess the smell was fitting, but that is something that I will never be able to get out of my mind. The look of helplessness in her eyes is something I think about almost daily going on three years now.” — Memphians
6. I had to run from bombs
“Bomb disposal squad jumping out of their armored vehicles telling me to run in the middle of England.” — Aescwulf
7. A rocket hit my neighbor’s house
“I saw a Grad rocket hit my neighbor’s house while I was smoking in the balcony. It literally missed me by like 5 meters. This happened last July in Donetsk, Ukraine. (I don’t live there anymore.)” — grandiser12
8. My father tried to murder my mother
“When I was younger, around 6 – 10 years old, my parents would fight a lot. I always witnessed them verbally insult each other and threaten each other with pretty pointless shit.
Anyways, there was one day where my parents were really going at it. (I think I was 10 years old.) I knew my father would hit my mom sometimes, but he would always snap out of it and apologize because he felt bad about doing it. That day though, my dad was drunk off of his ass. He came home stumbling through the door and ready to pick a fight with my mom, who was laying down in their bedroom. I tried my best to convince him to just lay on the couch until he “felt better”. He just yelled at me and shoved me out of the way and continued down the hallway, into the bedroom.
I was pretty mad that he would just shove me like that, so I went to blow off my steam with some cartoons and juice. I kept the TV volume kind of low, just in case one of my parents needed me.
I was having a good time watching my favorite shows when all of a sudden I hear some thrashing about going on in my parents’ bedroom. At first, I didn’t think much of it because it didn’t really sound like anything to worry about. I continued my TV marathon when I heard my mom calling me. It sounded like she was gasping for air, so I ran to the kitchen, grabbed a glass of water, and ran back to the bedroom.
As soon as I opened the door, I was met with the sight of my father trying to strangle my mom to death with a telephone cord.
My mom’s face was almost blue, and she was kicking her legs around like a fish out of water. My dad, still drunk off his ass, had the cord wrapped around my mom’s neck, trying all he could to strangle her.
I was horrified. I remember standing there for a few seconds before I snapped out of it and threw the glass of water right at my dad’s face, causing him to let go of the phone cord. My mom scrambled towards me, grabbing her cellphone from the night stand to call the cops.
I had never been so scared in my entire life. To think I almost witnessed my dad kill my mom right in front of my eyes really messed me up for some time afterwards. My parents are still together, they never left each other, but they still do have their differences. After the incident, my dad was taken to jail, but my mom decided not to press any charges because she still loved him. (Bless her soul.) I’m just glad my younger brother didn’t witness any of that. He was staying at my grandma’s because she was to take him to a doctor’s appointment the next morning.” — LPfor3v3r
9. Someone jumped in front of a train
“I saw someone nearly get hit by a train.
It happened when I was living in Japan. My friend and I had just gotten off the train and were walking along the platform toward the exit. We heard a commotion coming from the opposite platform. (If you’re not a train rider, the way a basic train station is laid out is with the tracks in the middle between two platforms.)
The commotion was a man attempting to jump onto the train tracks. Another man was trying to stop him from jumping, hence the noise. It almost looked like a fight. Within a second of me turning to look, the jumper tumbled onto the tracks.
It didn’t feel slow at the time, but I remember thinking how long it took everything to happen, and in reality it must have only been a few seconds. There was an oncoming train, and I remember hearing the horn blasting, the type of sound that really hits you in the gut.
And then the jumper changed his mind. Oh god, I’m thinking, how the fuck do you change your mind when doing something like that? Watching someone choose to die like that and go through with it would have been bad enough, but to watch someone change their mind and then die anyway? That would have been horrible.
I was close enough that I could see the jumper’s look of panic. He tried to get back onto the platform with the help of the guy who had been holding him back earlier, but the platform was too tall to easily get up (maybe about 5 feet). The helper then did the best thing he could have possibly done – he gestured/told the jumper to run under the platform. Most train platforms at large stations in Japan have space underneath them, and fortunately this one had that kind. So the jumper was saved.
We didn’t stick around to see the aftermath, but I had so much adrenaline I was shaking for minutes afterwards. For maybe a few months after that, I would still get an involuntary reaction when hearing a normal train horn.” — kerohazel
10. I witnessed 9/11 in person
“Witnessing 9/11 in person. My high school was about 5 blocks away (less than 10 minute walk). I was late for my first class. I was about one block away to school, at 8:45am, when the first plane flew over my head with an ear-piercing sonic boom. Everyone stopped and looked up and a fraction of a second later it exploded into the tower. I could feel the heat licking my face, even from so far away. Cars stopped, people got out of them, and they all looked on. It was surreal, like something out of Independence Day or Die Hard. Someone said, “A small plane must’ve had an accident.” Someone else said “No, that was a big jet.”
Then, a Jewish guy in a suit with a yarmulke yelled, “That’s no plane — that was a missile!” Some people screamed and began to take a few steps back in panic. Another person said “Calm down, I think it’ll be alright.”
I wanted to stay and watch but my gym teacher was a hardass, so I hurried off to class. All late students had to first get a late pass from the attendance office at the door; the machine might’ve been a few minutes off, but I actually still have the late pass saved which auto-stamped September 11, 2001 8:49am.
Once I got to the class, the strict ass teacher yelled at me, “Why are you late?!” I explained that a plane crashed into the World Trade Center. Not knowing the extremity of the situation, she said, “I don’t care if the entire world catches on fire, you get to my class on time!” What an asshat. Anyway, when the second plane hit, everyone stopped what they were doing and ran to look outside the window. The teacher told us to get back.
After gym, which was my first period, I decided to skip the second class and go to the student lounge and listen to the news on the radio. Hearing about a terrorist attack on several locations, all the students were quite terrified as it was happening less than a quarter mile outside of our door. I tried to call home, but the cell towers were overloaded. Looking out the window, the most horrible thing was realizing that the tiny moving objects falling out of the top of the building were not actually objects, but people.
As we were sitting in the lounge, we suddenly felt the ground shake and thought a third plane hit. We ran back to the window to look outside and saw people running and screaming and a plume of smoke from the building site. A student said “The tower is gone!” We tried to get a good look but there was too much smoke. Someone else said, “No it isn’t. It’s there. I see it.” Except it wasn’t, but most agreed with the last person, including myself. We were in denial and shock.
A PA announcement came on and told the students to stay inside. That’s when I turned to my friend and said, “Fuck this. Let’s get the hell out of here.”
We snuck out the school building, and proceeded to walk up the river boardwalk towards uptown, away from everything. There were military jets flying in the air, and each time they flew by people screamed and ran. People had to reassure each other by saying “it’s one of ours, it’s one of ours.”
While walking, suddenly my friend notices the peculiarity of the World Trade Center, and goes “Where’s the other tower?” As he says that, the ground starts to shake again, and we watch the last tower collapse on itself, creating a giant 30-story high plume of debris-smoke coming our way, like something out of a doomsday movie. We began to run, until we noticed the smoke started slowing down. However, it engulfed our entire school, and we were thankful we got out in time.
My school became an operations site for rescue workers. I was out of school for nearly a month, and then had to share a facility with a different high school for another month.
It was a terrifying experience. For about the next six months, each time I heard a plane in the sky, I would look up (or jolt awake if I was sleeping).” — slickguy
11. I saw the streets after the London bombings
“The London Tube bombings in 2005. While I didn’t witness anything first hand (was at work in an office building on Bishopsgate and we were on lockdown as soon as it happened), I remember when we were finally told we could leave and make our way home, we went outside and it was just eerie, and scarily silent. I had never been in London when there were no cars, no buses or anything on the street.” — [deleted]
12. My friend died of a heroin overdose
“In October of last year I was at a party with two mutual friends and we were all shooting heroin, watching TV and just having a ‘quiet’ night in. Our mate passed out in the corridor outside the living room and we put him in the recovery position and sporadically checked up on him until we both fell asleep.
About three hours later I woke up to go to the toilet and as soon as I walked into the corridor I saw him there on the floor, convulsing. Even in my fucked up state I was absolutely hysterical and got my other mate to call 999 while I tried to get him to stop thrashing around. Held him in my arms until he died.” — kazamari
13. My daughter fell down the stairs
“My 1 year old daughter cartwheeling down the stairs. It’s like it was happening in slow motion.
I hadn’t put the baby gate up because it kept slipping off one the railing post. I got fed up with it and just decided to keep my eye on her. A little while later I was sitting in my easy chair spacing out about nothing in particular and just snapped out of it. I was panicking before I even looked toward the stair. She had just gotten to the top and started trying to turn around to come back down. I was yelling STOP DON’T MOVE but she lost her balance.
I was up and running across the room as she tumbled down toward the tile floor. There’s no turn or landing on that staircase. It’s just a straight shot all the way down so she’s accelerating and I’m still screaming NOOOO but in a desperate, existential way by this point. Somehow I beat her to the bottom and caught her under the arms before she hit. I thought her back would be injured or broken by the way her body bent, but she only busted her lip on the base of the banister.
I went out and bought a barrier for the stairs that night. If only they had mentioned this scenario during my parenting certification. Oh wait, I forgot they let any irresponsible fuck have these things…” — cubiclist
14. My friend tried to injure themselves
“A friend of mine about to hurt themselves. I was standing in the kitchen with them, staying between them and the drawer of kitchen knives trying to talk them down from a bout of mania/depression, and it wasn’t really working. I told them to hurt me instead, that I would take the pain for them. Nobody got hurt that day, as I was finally successful in talking them down, but the pain I felt in the bottom of my heart and soul that day is not something I will ever forget.” — thatshitischurchyo
15. We saw a kid that committed suicide
“So one time me and my brother were walking to the bus stop for school. A guy stops us asking if we had a phone in Spanish. I offer him my phone but he says it not for him he want us to call someone. I ask who, and he said the police. Then he pointed to the neighbors yard and that’s were I saw it. A kid probably 18-20 years old had hung himself. It was just so surreal. His dogs was with him and it had sound like it been trying to comfort him. I can never get the picture of the kid out of my head and I’m always thinking of it. If you’re ever in that position like him please get help. There’s someone out there who cares.” — Tacool
16. My neighbor’s kid held others hostage
“Seeing my next door neighbor’s son holding an entire office building hostage with a home made bomb strapped to his chest.” — GiveMeYourUpvotesPlz
17. I had a heart transplant
“Waking up from a heart transplant, hooked up to hundreds of machines. Not knowing how it all went.” — Alltruenews
18. I saw the corpse of my good friend
“My friend died of cancer when we were in high school. The morning after he died, people from our class were invited to go to his house, see his body and say some final words to him before they cremated him. I went up to his room with a couple of friends, and up until that point in my life, I had never seen a dead body in person or the grief of a mother who had just lost her son. He died late the previous night, and we were there at maybe 10 in the morning, so he had only been gone a matter of hours at that point, but it amazed me how different he looked. I remember that his skin looked waxy, and how for some strange reason I found it upsetting that his mouth was slightly open enough that I could see his teeth, and that it looked like he had been tucked into his bed. His mom was right next to him, holding his hand and sobbing, but completely focused on him. I had never seen anything like that before in my life. It was overwhelming, and when I went back downstairs, his living room was filled with people, all in different states of mourning.
I think of this as the scariest thing I have ever seen because of how hard it hit me that one day, that will be me and everyone I have ever known. That when I die and when anyone I ever love dies, all that is left behind is a vacant, unfamiliar looking body and loved ones wracked with grief. That to truly love someone as deeply as my friend’s mother loved him is to accept that some day, one of you will be in the bed, and the other will be left grieving.” — peachy-mean
19. Our car flipped over three times
“Was in 4th grade.
My dad was driving me and my brother to elementary school, as usual.
We usually cross a huge intersection on our way there. When the light turned green, my dad drove forward. I saw my brother frozen, looking to the side at something with this mouth wide open.
I turned to my left and saw a tow truck rushing straight towards us, trying to run a red light. Our car flipped and spun 3 times.
The miracle is, none of us were injured. My dad, who was in the driver’s seat, would’ve been dead if he was going even a little faster. The point of impact was 3 feet away from his seat.
Scariest shit of my life.” — Monkeys_R_Scary
20. My father choked my mother
“I was about 6 when I saw my meth crazed dad trying to choke my mom on our couch.” — iStreetFightBears
21. I witnessed a bombing
“Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.
Saw the whole thing, we lived less than a mile away.
Oh, yeah and the aftermath of May 20th 2013 tornado was pretty scary, I lost my house (technically my grandma’s), it’s a close second, but the bombing was scarier because I was just a little kid.” — Smokin-Okie
22. I saw a man pull a gun on someone
“I was in a local Target one night just browsing in typical female fashion. As I was looking for an anniversary card for my boyfriend, the card section conveniently located next to the entrance and exit doors, I watched two large men get into a screaming match. Becoming uninterested, I turned away until I heard someone scream. I turned back around and saw one of the men with a gun pointed at the other guy, facing the inside of the store. In complete shock, I couldn’t move and didn’t breathe until the security guard tackled him to the floor and put him in cuffs. Worst night of my life.” — coachashley
23. We got pulled out to sea
“Body-boarding with my little sister in Sri Lanka. Got pulled out at sea. Massive 3 meter waves crashing on top of us. My sister gasping for air, her board nowhere to be seen.” — Vico1994
24. My best friend was temporarily paralyzed
“The face of my best friend after he fell off my tree house. He had a concussion and was paralyzed for like 4 hours. Luckily I am a trained first responder(from a fire department) and my adrenaline was pumping so his life was saved but damn. A lifeless friend is the worse.” — Juststartedhere
25. My son stopped breathing
“When my first son was born he let out a whimper then stopped breathing. It took them 30 minutes or so to get him stable enough to be transported to the NICU. He spent three weeks there, turned out to be a cardiomyopathy and was treatable. Now he’s a healthy 12 year old with a ton of attitude so it all worked out in the end!” — zerbey
26. We saw a club shooting
“There was a shooting outside of a club recently. We all saw the guy go down pretty immediately. A friend of mine, a small girl, booked it across traffic from where we were and started giving the man who was shot CPR. Her left arm and hand were covered in blood the next day and that was actually more disturbing because the adrenaline from witnessing/hearing a shooting wasn’t present.” — Shuh_nay_nay
27. My husband has PTSD nightmares
“PTSD nightmares. My husband doesn’t talk about Iraq, but one night woke me up while screaming and reliving things that he’d seen. He doesn’t remember it and I never brought it up.” — [deleted]
28. A fireball lit up our kitchen
“A fireball the size of the kitchen.
Don’t pour water into a pot of burning grease. Thankfully, it didn’t burn down our house, and the spider webs were black after that day.” — [deleted]
29. A naked man was outside of my car
“I was driving home at about 2am one night through this patch of national park that divides my town from where my friends were. I had some maccas on the passenger seat of my car when I took a corner a tiny bit to fast and the bag fell on the floor, so I pulled over to pick it up and took my dam time because I was tired as fuck. When I’d finished and sat up I turned off the light of my car and looked over my back shoulder and saw what I can only explain as a naked man standing just outside the back door of my car. Drove off so quickly I didn’t even have time to check if what I was seeing was real. But I’m scared to stop in the park now at night.” — adeadgirl
30. I watched my grandfather die
“Watched my grandfather die when I was 13. It was terrifying and messed me up for a while. I was talking to him when he started slurring words together, and then his eyes went white and he just fell out of his chair.” — toaster-in-ur-butt