What is the scariest moment of your life?

Sitting here reflecting back on what has happened in my nearly 23 years, I’ve faced some scary stuff already. Certainly, some of you have faced worse than me (I know, I’ve read a lot of it here), but I can’t just passively wave away some of the things that have happened to me.

I’ll start here:

My rookie year playing lacrosse here at WMU, I barely got in at all. We, as a team, went down to University of Illinois to finish off our season, with no hope of making the playoffs. We partied, drank a lot, and had a good time.

Sunday, we had our game. We were getting beaten badly, but no one cared. Everyone was playing an unnatural postition (our goalie at midfield, defensemen on attack, etc.). After the half, the coaches looked down the line to those of us who weren’t very good and told us to get ready.

I went in. My very first shift of the day, and I was excited. We got the ball into the offensive zone and were moving it around well. I looked over and saw a pass coming for me. I moved into position to take it, but a U of I player knocked it down in mid air.

I went in for the ground ball. Somewhere in between I forgot the cardinal rule of lacrosse, and contact sports in general: Keep your damn head up. I saw the ball, went to scoop and then

cold aluminum was along the base of my neck

everything was dark

My captain, also a trained EMT was yelling to me, but where were my feet? I couldn’t feel them. Where were my ankles and my knees?

I had landed down on my belly, face down in the dirt. Somehow I ended up on my back. Coach Wally couldn’t get my helmet unstrapped, and I was having a hard time answering anyone. Things were dark, and I wanted to know where my feet were. Finally, my helmet was off, but I can’t remember what people were saying.

Suddenly, my feet began to tingle. I wiggled my toes and felt relief wash over me. Someone was picking me up. In fact, two people had determined that I could feel my legs (I must have affirmed this) and were picking me up to carry me over to the bench. I stayed there for the rest of the game.

My career since has been riddled with minor injuries; I just lack the confidence to go out there after that hit.


I have no idea what made me think of this. Perhaps I was just thinking of my own mortality and how close I came to losing some of my body’s fuctionality.

Feel free to contribute your own story.

I don’t know if it was the scariest moment in my life, but your story reminded me of this incident:

I had leak in my radiator, and went to Target to get that crap you pour into it to temporarily stop leaks.

I got the stuff, and other things as well. I went to my car, and thought, “It’s had enough time to cool off; I’ll remove the radiator cap and pour that stuff in now.”

I grabbed it (I guess it felt cool to the touch), and turned it. I heard “PPPPSSST!”, thought “Oh no…” then got hit smack in the face with a gush of scalding hot radiator fluid.

I stood there with my hands on my face for some time, thinking that perhaps I had been blinded. I was lucky, and only lightly scalded my face.

The scariest moment of my life…

I was in labour with my son. It wasn’t going terribly well, but up until the point where the doctor broke my water, it wasn’t going all that bad either. As soon as the doctor broke my water, both my heart rate and his plummetted. Mine came back quickly…his did not.

It seemed like I was staring at that monitor for ages…just watching how low his heart rate was.

I was rushed into the operating room where I underwent an emergency c-section under general anethesia. There wasn’t time for an epidural. Charlie was born not breathing, with an Apgar score of only 1 (out of 10). He went to NICU, but he was fine by the time I woke up.

Of course now he’s a very happy, very healthy almost six year old. And the joy of my life. Both those few minutes where I thought we might lose him, were the scariest moments of my life.

I can relate three of my scariest moments just off the top of my head.

Scarey #1) - I was 15, had my lerners license and was driving the family back from the grandparents. Mom was in the front seat next to me and Dad was in the back seat with my little brother. My younger sister was in the “way-back” (The car was a station wagon).

We come thru a little town and approach the railroad tracks, the lights are flashing and people were crossing the tracks anyway. Dad told me to esae forward, which I did, however, there was already a stopped train in the tracks nearest us so it was hard to see around it. I eased up a little more and there to my right, bearing down on us at 35 mph was a big ol’ train. I panicked and didn’t know whether to go forward or back, people were screaming…I accelerated and crossed the tracks and the car was hit on the rear right quarter panel, which spun us parallel to the tracks. We came to a stop, the train whizzing past us not 2 feet away, and my Dad starts screaming my sister’s name. Luckily, she was unhurt but for a small cut on her leg. It took years before I would drive again.

Scarey #2) - My SO had a really bad period where he was using drugs and drinking. One night he comes in, under the influence of the aforementioned and an argument insued. He had already threatened me with a gun and I ran to the garage to get away from him and was basically trapped under the car. Meanwhile, our two kids (aged 5 & 3) were sound asleep in their beds, so I was in a bit of a quandry. I couldn’t leave them unattended, yet SO was blocking all my exits. He had the keys to the car and was sitting next to the garage door button. About then I see my neighbor taking out his trash, so I yelled at him to call 911. Fortuantely he did, my SO took off and the police came.

Scarey #3)My SO and I had gone to the grocery store, leaving dear daughter #1, who was 14, in charge. While at the store, we get a call from DD, saying she cannot find DS(5 years old). No one knew where he went. DD had already called the police and was frantically combing the neighborhood. We spread out and found him, inside a friend’s house, not 15 minutes later, totally oblivious to the chaos and turmoil he had created.

Summer of '78. Cruising Kingsway with my friends Gary and eve. We got into a race with a girl I knew from school. There’s a sharp turn where Kingsway becomes Main and we were flying around the inside lane when we saw it. Parked car. Two feet clearance, max.

Twenty five years ago and I’ll never forget it.

The second time was also in a car. Mid '70’s, with my friend Derek. We were zipping down the freeway near Cariboo and he decided to pass using the shoulder. Unfortunately, there was a guy fixing a motorcycle right at that spot. He dove for the ditch and we swerved over a couple of lanes, almost hitting a gas tanker.

Well, if you looked at a movie of my life, you’d vote for this: I was in a car that flipped over going 70 mph. 3 of us (including me) were thrown from the car.

But somehow, there wasn’t enough time or something to be scared. The whole mental aspect of it was just weird. But I was never really scared. I got up off the ground (I think I blacked out for a couple seconds) and started making jokes. I was VERY calm. Like calmer than my normal state. I get like that sometimes in stressful situations.

One thing that scared me a lot was when I was a kid, I was sitting in a chair and a friend of mine put a scarf around my neck and started choking me from behind the chair. He thought we were playing but I couldn’t really breathe for a while. His brother came into the room and stopped him.

I remember at the time being scared.

I’ve been scared rock climbing but a natural kind of scared.

When I was 19 my boyfriend at the time lived in a house with 4 other guys. It was a popular place for people to hang out, and one night it was a full house - all the guys who lived there and their girlfriends, and some other friends. It was hunting season, and someone had a gun of some sort - a rifle or shotgun (I’m not a gun person, but it was one of those long ones). Everyone assumed it wasn’t loaded. One guy was pretending to be the Terminator or something - he was swinging the gun around and quoting lines from movies…all of a sudden the gun went off. The shot went through the ceiling, but the fact that nobody got shot was a miracle. I can’t describe the fear I felt - it was so loud. We were all in shock, nobody talked for what seemed like an eternity. We all sat and stared at each other, not believing everyone was all right.

I don’t have any super scary moments, I don’t even know if these two are the scariest, but I’m reminded of them by this thread.

First one was a lot like the OP. Last summer I was on a river in California riding a wave runner. I grew up on a lake and had a few of these myself so I know how to handle one. This was one of those spankin’ new, big block, turbo charged, mack-daddy wave runners though. I did a 360 going pretty damn fast and thought to myself “If I do that any faster I’m flyin’ off this thing.” Well, being the idiot I’ve always been I opened it up as fast as it would go and yanked the handlebars without letting off the throttle. Of course I went flying one way while the wave runner went another and in a flash I was floating there in the freezing cold river water. The thing that scared me though was that it didn’t feel cold. I quickly realized I couldn’t feel my legs. My Uncle was making passes at me, splashing me and lauging. It took me about 3 of his passes before I caught my breath enough to yell at him to stop. He pulled me up onto my wave runner and pretty soon my legs tingled back to life and I headed back to shore.

That’s been 11 months ago and as I type this my back still hurts.

The second time was during drivers ed. It happened so quickly I find it hard to describe but it was actually kind of cool. I drove right through a tornado. There was a complete visual whiteout and the hail was pounding on the car so loud that I couldn’t hear the instructor yelling at the top of his lungs. I slowed to a crawl and stayed my course and it blew over in about a minute I guess (felt more like an hour at the time.) After it passed the instructor said I did a great job and he was impressed at how I kept my wits.

Three separate times in my life I was within 100 yeards of a tornado. I saw structures literally blow apart and get pulled up into the funnel.

I was the fifth car in an 11-car accident. The fire department had to use the jaws to pry out the occupants of car #6.

I locked all four wheels in a panic stop, did a complete 360 spin through the intersection and didn’t hit anything.

But the scariest moment was when my wife called to tell me our daughter was in the Emergency Room and I’d better get down there. She came out all right, but that was the longest drive of my life.

  1. I had to do the Heimlich manuever on my baby sister when I was about 15 and she about 3yo. She was choking on a piece of hard candy, and I very calmly smacked her between the shoulder blades a few times, and then had to do the full-fledged fist-in-stomach maneuver. The candy popped out like a cork and she inhaled deeply, let out a gloriously loud howl, and ran crying to mother to tell her that I’d punched her in the stomach. I had such a delayed terror reaction that my mom found me in hysterics and she had to slap me (just like in the movies!). Seeing me get slapped satisfied my sister, by the way. :smiley:

  2. Sitting in the dark in the living room of my apartment while Hurricane Andrew roared outside. I kept hearing the sizzle and pop of transformers exploding, and the unearthly keening noise of trees splitting and collapsing. I was so scared that I could barely breathe, and it forever cured me of being excited by approaching hurricanes. If there is ever another good-sized storm bearing down on south Louisiana, I’m bugging the hell out.

  3. Standing in the emergency room watching staff put my husband into restraints. I’d forced him to go to the doctor earlier that day because he was getting very hypomanic and unruly. (He has bipolar disorder.) The doctor had given him an anti-psychotic (Seroquel) which is apparently used to knock back mania. Hub had a dystonic (sp?) reaction to the medication and was completely out of touch with reality. I spend several hours not knowing if his brains had been completed scrambled, or if he’d ever be back to normal again. (It took several months and two hospital stays, but he’s been quite well for some time now.)

The scariest moment in my life was ten years ago. It was the event that brought me to the conclusion that it was time to stop drinking.

It was about 11:00 PM, and I was rip-roaring drunk walking down the street. As I passed my place of employment, I got the hair-brained idea to go in and get some work done on the computer. The problem was that the place closed at 6:00. However, I knew where there was a window with a lock that didn’t work - the window wouldn’t latch at all, and in fact I had pointed this out to my boss when we first moved into that building.

So in I went through the window - with about ten people standing in the parking lot watching me (these people were all parking in our lot before going to the bar across the street.) While I was inside firing up the computer, one of these people was calling the police. Before long, I heard somebody pounding on the front door. I peeked out of the office and spotted a cop standing outside the door, and another cop shining a flashlight in through a window. But, drunk as I was, I guessed that if I was vewwy vewwy quiet, they might decide I was gone. :rolleyes:

Eventually, my boss showed up and the cops came inside. When I heard, “Come out with your hands up!”, I came out with my hands up - and found six policemen pointing their guns at me.

Lemme tell you, that’ll get the old heart pounding!

I went peacefully, and when my boss saw it was me he told the cops, “I don’t want to press any charges, just take him home.”

So they took me home, and I drank the beer my roommate handed me to calm my nerves. The next morning I said to myself, “That’ll be enough of that.” Haven’t touched a drop since.

The scariest moment of my life was the interminable time I spent waiting for her to say “Yes.”

Auto accidents, bar fights, the time I waited a bit too long before attempting to light the furnace…nothing. They were over too quickly for me to be scared. Proposing, on the other hand…time stopped. In reality I think she only took about 5 seconds to answer, and that was because she was choked up with joy (I hope!). But it was the longest 5 seconds of my life.

But it was worth it, because I haven’t been scared since. :smiley:

I was in the World Trade Center when it was attacked. The scariest thing that happened that day was actually after I left the building. A coworker and I (and hundreds of others) were walking east, away from the towers, when 2WTC was hit. That moment, when we all started running, was the worst. A guy fell right in my path and I kept running. I didn’t care if he got trampled, I didn’t want to die. Looking back to see that both towers were on fire, and not knowing if any or all of my coworkers were dead was pretty bloody terrifying, too.

On July 3, 1995, I became conscious of my surroundings. I was in some kind of hospital and I was restrained in a wheelchair. I could not move either leg or my left arm. My wife was there and explained everything. She said, “don’t try ro get up, you can’t use your legs, and you might fall and hit your head.” She told me that on June 5 I had been in an accident and had damaged part of my brain. She told me that they had no idea how I would recover. I learned to walk after a while and take care of myself and read and do math, again. Me and my wife have put my life back together. I am now going to South Carolina State University where I am studying to be a civil engineer. I am a 41 year old freshman, it seems I lost all my working skills and have to start over. It is possible to lose everything you are in one blow. At least I have a chance to start again.

Everyone wins. You all scared me more with your stories than I’ve ever been scared with in my own life.

::::::::crawls back into my cave and curls into a fetal position:::::::::::

Dammit, I had something all typed out and got an “invalid thread!”

Anyways, when I was 18, I had a nervous breakdown which resulted in my being diagnosed OCD. I was in the car with my mother and sister, and after months of anxiety and depression, I just lost it and started howling. I couldn’t stop screaming. I just wanted to claw my way out of my own body and mind.

It was back in the 80s and I was
making a living driving a compressed gas truck. It was a Friday
and I had finished my run late in the day. I had gotten back to
the yard when I was informed that they had a few deliveries to
be made in Manhattan that had to go today. So I get a helper
(it was about 3 PM) and the construction crews that where
getting the delivery usually quit about 4 .

First stop is off of Park Ave near the Hemsly building (don’t
remember the actual street, may have been 49th?).We are told
to pull up behind this flatbed that they were unloading steel from
– again it was a Friday afternoon and they decided to do it in one
big lift-and wait to unload onto the same Crane [the type they erect
in the elevator shaft on skyscrapers) I exit the truck and get ready
to unload.

Off in the distance I hear a sort of tinkling. I look up and see this
load of I beams coming down from the 50th floor. Being the cool
and calm individual that I pride myself on- I proceed to RUN the
other way-not sure but may have been screaming like a girl- I am
thinking that when this load hits it may spring and I may be better
served to stop and look so that I may dodge the flying girders.
The load hits about 35’ from me with a mighty roar and nary a bounce.
I look up and see the crane has collapsed across the street and the
only thing that prevented its coming down was the building on the
other side. I CAREFULLY go back to find my helper and thank God
he is alive and well if not frozen in the cab, my truck in covered in
bricks from the building across the way. Under the girders we find
a bumper and license plate of what used to be a car, Turns out that
the owner had doubled park and run into the building to make a phone
call.

The end results is that only one woman was hurt but had later died.
Truly amazing considering it was rush hour!

Its nothing compared to some of whats already been told in this thread but the following was the most scariest moment in my life:

It was about seven years ago so I was about fifteen, it was during the summer holidays and we were having some fabulous weather at the time, so myself and two friends decided we would go to the beach for the day. Well we went and obviously enough got into the water. I cant swim, and would usually only go out to about my waist. The other two though persuaded me to go out further, and so I did. And then it got windy, so theres waves splashing over my head, and I decided I was going back to shore. Well on the way back I stumbled over a rock or something and fell, took a few moments to find my feet, and I ended up swallowing mouthfuls of water. I thought I was going to drown there and then.

Its not much, but thats mine, and Ive not been back in the sea since.

Similarly, once, while on holiday, I was at one of those water parks, now I cant speak spanish but the lifeguard on duty spoke english so I asked her would I be ok if I went on the ride even though I couldnt swim, she told me yes so I went on the ride. I dont really know the height of it, but whatever it was it was, and it was an almost vertical waterslide into a plunge pool. Well halfway down the damn slide I knew I shouldnt be on this. I plunge into the pool where the lifeguard saw that I was obviously in some difficulty so she ran over to the edge. And then just watched me!

That was scary, and forgive me, but I thought theyre supposed to help when you get in trouble? Needless to say for the rest of the day I sunbathed and left my friends do there thing

What a cathartic thread. I’ll share something with you that still scares me that I haven’t told anyone before.

Like a few of these posts it is motor vehicle related. Seems one of the most life threatening experiences most of us in the western world can have are related to motor vehicles.

I was riding my motorcycle with my motorcycle club. We were coming back from a three day trip - this was after lunch on the last day, so not too far from home. I was starting to get a bad case of get-there-itis. My motorcycle had been playing up and wasn’t making as much power as the rest of the club so I was starting to fall behind. The only place I could make up any time was around the bends so I was taking them faster than I normally would. We were coming back over the mountains, a real narrow road, blind corners with cliffs on either side so if you ran off the road you either fell down a cliff face or smacked into a cliff wall. It was in a rainforest and, true to form, it had been raining and was quite misty.

Did I care? No, I was falling behind, I had to catch up as I wasn’t quite sure of the way (never travelled this road before,) I was wet and cold and pissed off that my bike was playing up. The roads were full of campervans so I was trying to overtake these mobile roadblocks without being able to properly see what was coming. I pulled out behind a Kombivan to overtake when I realised this was a REAL bad move.

We drive on the left in this country :slight_smile: I pulled out into the right hand land to overtake and saw I was running out of options fast. The road had taken a sudden turn to the left and my momentum had carried me in front of the van I was trying to overtake. To my right was a drop of maybe 100 feet. To my left was a big yellow van and beyond that a rock wall fringed with ferns. Those ferns clinging to the rock remain in my memory with total clarity. Below me was a wet, slippery road surface and an ailing motorcycle with an unreliable power delivery. In front of me was a smallish car with two obviously terrified occupants. I can still see their eyes as big as soup plates and their mouths wide open. I’m pretty sure I looked about the same.

Now the only real option for me was to open the throttle and throw all my weight to the left in order to squeeze in front of the van and to the left of the oncoming car. Instead I chose the worst option of all. I grabbed a big handful of front brake. This had several effects, none of them desirable. It started pulling me back level with the white van, it made locking the front wheel and consequently sliding underneath the oncoming car a real possibility and it made the bike stand up, stop going round the bend and start going straight ahead. My motorcycle made its feelings well known by shaking its head violently and atempting to buck me off. All this was happening at about 70km/hr.

Somehow, and I still don’t know how, I managed to slip in between car and van and get the bike back under control. I don’t know how much clearance there was but it could not have been more than a few inches in total as there was only barely enough width in the road for a van and a car to pass, let alone a 900cc motorcycle as well. Thankfully the van slowed down and moved over and the car did the same else I would surely have been a badly wrapped leather meat tray at the bottom of a cliff. As cold as it was I started feeling real hot while sweat ran freely down my back. My chest heaved like I had just run a marathon.

At that point I slowed right down and obeyed the road rules which were clearly there for a jolly good reason. The worst was behind me, though, from here on home the road was wider and safer and the it even dried out a little. Eventually I caught up with the motorcycle club again but daren’t mention my little episode.

I don’t know who the occupants of that oncoming car were and I’m real sorry I scared you, but if it’s any consolation, I was probably even more scared. Not change-underpants scared, but definitely sit-down-and-have-a-good-long-hard-look-at-your-life scared.

When I was about 20, I let a casual acquaintance stay for a bit with my boyfriend and me. She was having a hard time, I thought I’d help her out.
After a few weeks, she decided to move in with her boyfriend, and I went to his house one night to get our key back from her. She was tripping on acid, she told me, and she got mad about something and proceeded to grab a butcher knife. I ran out the door and through a field, with her chasing me with the knife. Whew, now THAT was scary.
Thank Og I can run fast.