30 Average People Share The Most Terrifying Thing That Has Scared Them Awake 

30 Average People Share The Most Terrifying Thing That Has Scared Them Awake 

These stories from Ask Reddit are going to make it hard to stay asleep tonight.

1. My sister laughing. She had been dead for about a week. I was staying at my parent’s house and was just sleeping on the couch. My dad had passed out in his armchair on the other side of the house and my mom was upstairs in the bedroom. My sister’s laughter came from the kitchen which was sort of between where we all were and sure enough we all converged on the kitchen because we all heard it. Needless to say we were freaking out a bit. Her phone, which had died, was plugged into a charger in the kitchen. It had turned itself on and begun playing a video of her laughing and playing with her new puppy. We all just stood there and listened to it, then turned it off and went to bed without really talking about it.
None of us believe in paranormal stuff and I’m a real atheist/skeptic, but it was really jarring tech based oddity to wake up to.

2. This happened like when I was 8 or 9 and sometimes when I went to bed I would make hand shadows on the wall next to me. Well one time I did this I raised my hand up and started waving it like you do when saying “hello” to someone, but after I put my hand down a different shadow appeared and started waving back. This really scarred me and I always slept facing away from that wall until we moved out of the house (old habits die hard).

3. I once had a dream I was just walking down the street, when I started to choke on nothing and started to feel like I was drowning.

When I woke up choking for real, I realized it was because I had gotten a nosebleed while sleeping on my back and was choking on my own blood.

4. My almost 4 year old standing at my bedside staring right at me. Once my eyes were open she said, “I brought the monsters in here,” then went back to bed. Thanks kid, I had you so they’d go in your room.

5. About eight years ago my husband and I were awoken at 4am by someone pounding on the door. Our bedroom is in the back of the house and it was hard to hear it so I’m still unsure of how long they knocked.

My husband went down and was told we needed to evacuate everyone out of the house. My husband was pretty sleepy but yelled for me and told me he was getting the cat because he thought it was a gas leak.

I stumble down the stairs while he unsuccessfully tried to get our cat to come out from under the bed. I pop my head outside to ask if it’s a gas leak. The officer tells me it’s not a gas leak. It’s a guy with a gun who’s trying to kill himself and shoot random shots at the homes around him.

I grabbed my husband and we got in the car and left. Took 4 hours for the guy to surrender to police from the little wooded area he was in. The area was right next to our house. Apparently he was trying to commit suicide by cop.

6. The smell of smoke.

We couldn’t find the smoke so our first thought was that our girls were burning to death in their rooms. Woke us up in an instant.

Thankfully everything in our apartment was ok. Our downstairs neighbors were the ones who had a fire, and it was out by the time we got down there to check.

I reported them to our landlords, because it wasn’t smoke detectors that woke us up, it was the smell of smoke. I’m 99% sure they unplugged theirs or pulled out the batteries. If the fire had been any bigger I’m worried we wouldn’t have been told and could have either caught fire ourselves or had dangerous levels of smoke inhalation.

7. I had a burglar break into my apartment through one of the windows in the front while I was sleeping in the back bedroom. I could hear them working the window open and trying to be quiet as they eased past the mini blinds. I got up, took out my revolver and cocked it – in the quiet apartment (like 3am) the sound was really loud and distinctive. The guy breaking in jumped back out the window and ran off. I remember putting on my bath robe and going outside and the police were already out there. One of my neighbors had called them. Standing there in their spotlight in my bath robe with a big revolved the cops asked “did you get him?” It was pretty surreal.

8. I was 11. Woke up to the sound of screaming and shouting. My cousin (who was living with us) was about 17 and in my room holding the door from being opened. On the other side of the door was my mother screaming to be let in. My sister was in the bunk under mine and she was crying. Suddenly my cousin comes to and opens the door. My mom rushes in and asks my cousin and us if we were okay. There was commotion in the hallway and living room but I couldn’t tell what it was. When I peaked out of the door way I saw my step father holding a small 22 caliber rifle looking out the windows frantically. Suddenly cops show up and start arresting my step dad. My mom is yelling at the police and I’m sitting there with my cousin and sister like wtf. We all notice the broken sliding glass door and suddenly realize there are large bullet holes all over our house, through the entertainment center, and above the couch where my cousin was sleeping just minutes before.

I guess what happened is someone was shooting at some people walking by our apartment and the stray bullets all hit our place. My cousin woke up and immediately thought people were inside shooting us so he ran to the kids room and kept anyone from coming in like a badass. My mom woke up and immediately thought to check on us but couldn’t get into the room because of my cousin. My step dad grabbed his gun out of instinct. The cops showed up and assumed my step dad was the shooter and arrested him.

All in all a pretty fun night.

9. My boyfriend screaming at me to wake the fuck up. Was a car on fire pretty much right outside our bedroom window. How I managed to sleep through the exploding tires sound is beyond me, that shit was loud.

10. I woke up to a man in my room, my house had been broken into and one of them was right at the head of my bed going through my nightstand. In the time it took me to process what was happening he left my room and my housemate came running as he’d been woken by them. I still have trouble sleeping and am super obsessive about checking everything is locked before I can relax.

11. I was around 11 years old and I woke up in the middle of the night to a man straddled on top of me with his hand over my mouth and nose. He told me to roll over and not scream. I rolled onto the floor and tried to scream bloody murder (I say tried cause when you are truly terrified it can take a second to find your voice) my mom heard me screaming and came in and fought with the guy, he was at least 6′ she was 5’3″ and scared him enough with the fighting and screaming that he took off out the window he had come in through. Never did catch him.

12. My door unlocking, I lived alone and moved the night before.

13. Woke up in the middle of the night vomiting black sludge. Left stains of dark tar all the way to the bathroom. Later found out I even woke up my roommate, who opened his door, saw the scene ripped out of a horror movie, then just closed his door and went back to bed, scarred for life. As for me, I knelt down to the porcelain altar for a while, then dragged myself to the shower and cleaned myself up while huddled on the shower floor. Eventually made my way down to the living room couch, passed out, then went to the ER in the morning.

14. I was in the hospital a few years ago and needed anesthesia. I woke up later during the night and legit had no clue where I was or why I was there. I got paranoid and ripped out my IV and left my room intending to escape the hospital. I made it all the way to an exit when security guards stopped me. I freaked out, thinking I was being held prisoner, and nurses had to come down and give me sedatives. When, I woke up the next morning there was someone in my room who explained everything that happened.

15. For a few months, my three year old had a habit of waking up in the night for a glass of water. One night recently they decided that since they needed a drink of water, I did too, and proceeded to pour a cup and help me drink it. At three in the morning. While I was asleep.

My 3 year old waterboarded me.

16. A transformer blowing up outside my apartment. Opened my eyes and the sky was lime green, seriously thought the world was ending.

17. This past summer I woke up to the sound of someone screaming in the most horrible way. I went onto my balcony and saw a woman laying on the ground right outside my building holding her stomach with people standing around her. She got into an argument with another woman at a crosswalk and the other woman pulled a shotgun out of her trunk and shot her in the stomach. The victim survived.

18. My boyfriend yelling at me and hitting me with a pillow-he gets a form of night terrors and thought I was a demon. I’m just glad a pillow was the only weapon around.

19. I woke up to what sounded like the car keys in my kitchen being moved. Followed by 2 men talking.

At the same time, I could feel myself slip into sleep paralysis. I was so afraid they were going to murder me.

I snapped out of it after a while of struggling. And checked the house. No one was there and my car keys were in the same spot. I was just hearing things, probably due to sleep paralysis.

20. A bat in my bedroom, making sounds I didn’t realize bats could even make (so I wasn’t able to understand it was a bat until I saw it).

21. I always get a little jumpy the first night I am alone when my spouse travels for work, which is pretty frequent. One night, I turned off the light and started falling asleep. About 10 minutes after I turned off the light, I thought I was still awake, I opened my eyes for some reason and saw a large shadow, human sized, dart from the door of my room across to the window on the other side. I sat bolt upright and screamed out loud, turned on the light and nothing was there. I did not think I was asleep, but it is possible. The orientation of the windows would not have allowed for a shadow moving in that direction. No idea what happened. Could have been dreaming. Never happened again.

22. I was renting a house. It was my first ever place by myself and it was my first night staying there.

I didn’t have the internet there yet, nor did I have cell phone service.

I got woken up the the sound of someone kicking in my backdoor. Stunned/shocked I didn’t know what to do.

Do I just stay quiet and wait? Hope it goes away? Wtf do I do? I really had no options.

I didn’t have a gun or any means to protect myself – especially being upstairs. Most of the things I could use to protect myself were downstairs and in boxes at that.

So I shouted I had a gun and I was calling the cops. It took a few times of yelling it, but whoever it was eventually stopped. Somehow that person didn’t break the door frame to enable them to get into the house – I still don’t know how to this day. It was fucked and had to be replaced and also reinforced.

Also – in that same house – woken up to multiple gun shots and a drive by shooting right behind my house. Ahh the memories !

23. A loud BANG downstairs and then my dog zooming to the front door and snarling. By the time I had grabbed my gun and got downstairs whoever it was was already peeling out of the driveway. I guess they assumed the house we had just moved into was still unoccupied and got the scare of their lives. Looks like they were trying to kick the door down to gain access.

My good boy got some steak the next day as a reward.

24. Woke up feeling oxygen starved, ‘fluish’, and ‘fuzzy headed’ in pitch black. Got my shit together enough to turn on my head lamp only to discover that I couldn’t see through my tent.

It had snowed so heavily over night that my tent was covered thickly enough to blot out the moon and stars that were now shining. Likewise, so much snow had accumulated around my tent that it effectively sealed the rain fly. I was by myself in a one person tent and slowly suffocating.

I opened the zipper, stuck my arm outside to move some snow around and flapped some air into the tent and instantly felt better.

25. A baby crying when we didn’t have a baby at the time.

26. Woke up to the sound of kids laughing outside my bedroom window (it was 3am). I opened the window (living on the first story of an apartment) and came face to face with a coyote.

27. Lightning hit the tree outside my house. The bang was so loud I saw myself in the third person and honestly thought I died. I cant even explain how that happened.

28. Well it’s not nearly as scary as the other things that people have talked about, but I like to listen to YouTube on auto play while I sleep sometimes. One time I woke up in the middle of the night to some of the most ear grating, terrifying sounds I’ve ever heard. After spending a bit of time freaking out, I realized it was from my phone. Apparently, YouTube decided to play songs by some random artist I’ve never heard of called “PASSENGER OF SHIT” (look that up at your own risk) which is some sort of demonic scraping black metal breakcore band. Scared the shit out of me.

29. I am still a sleep walker to this day but when I was 17 I sleep walked down two floors of my house into our concrete basement. It was all wet because it had recently flooded and we had rolled all the carpet up onto on side of the room. I tripped over the carpet while walking around down there and I woke up alone, in be dark, suddenly falling down onto the wet floor not sure where I was.

I was terrified because I had been in my bed what felt like minutes before. I did it to myself but it the scariest way I’ve ever woken up.

30. My daughter burst into my room in the very early morning (still dark outside) and says “(brother’s name) won’t wake up!”

I fly out of bed, freaking out, thinking my baby boy is dead.

No, he just was very comfortably asleep and she wanted to play with him. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.