What's the worst you've ever scared yourself?

When I was a kid, I loved to take things apart. Somebody gave me an old shortwave radio one time, and I decided to have at it.
I went done to the basement where our workbench was. The basement was always sort of creepy, and the house was very quiet. I decided to open the radio. There was a hinged panel on the back, with a hole at the top to use to open it. I opened the panel, and looked inside.
Then I glanced down and…
then, the FINGER MOVED!!!
All my goosebumps had goosebumps! I jerked my hand away, and of course, the finger came with it. I would have thought it was pretty funny, but I was seriously creeped out. It wasn’t until later that I could laugh about it.
So, who else has scared themselves?

I scared the everloving crap out of myself last night.

I have a tendency to get really anxious at night, and I’m sort of a little bit afraid of the dark. So I was laying in bed, staring at the bedroom door, endlessly rehearsing in my head ‘‘What if someone walks through that door right now? What if someone walks through that door right now with a big knife and goes and stabs my husband and…!!!’’

And I probably did this for about a half an hour, staring at the door, closing my eyes, imagining someone hovering over me with a butcher knife, and then bolting upright and checking the door again. I mean, I’m pretty much an expert at scaring the crap out of myself at this point.

So I’m telling myself not to open my eyes… ‘‘You’re not being rational. You haven’t even heard any weird noises to indicate someone had broken into the house. The statistical probability is incredibly small… you’re…’’ opens eyes


I shrieked bloody murder, at which point my husband, who was standing blearily in the doorway, raised his hands and said, ‘‘Woah, I’m just going to the bathroom.’’

Technically it required his presence to give me such a fright, but ultimately I blame myself for getting so worked up in the first place.

Ease up on the caffeine, Olive…

Dude, you don’t even WANT to know what I’m like on caffeine. :stuck_out_tongue:

Driving along a lonely road one night, on my way to work after dropping my son off at my mom’s house, I glanced into the rear-view mirror and saw a head slowly rising up from the back seat!!!

I shrieked like Dakota Fanning and damn near wrecked the car while slamming on the brakes. The head shot forward over the seat and revealed itself for what it was - the half deflated helium balloon my son had gotten at the fair earlier that day. I stayed parked on the shoulder for several minutes until my heartrate returned to normal.

The rule now is, any balloons left in Mom’s car is subject to immediate popping with extreme prejudice.

Strictly speaking, the honors for that scare belong to my son, but I knew the stupid balloon was back there; I just momentarily forgot in the horror of seeing a round head-like object rising up behind me.

This must have been in high school. I was lying in bed, falling asleep, when I saw a RED FREAKING LIGHT FLOATING IN THE MIDDLE OF MY ROOM. I had no idea what it was, but it scared the shit out of me. I turned on my bedside lamp, and saw nothing that could be emitting the light. Turned off the lamp and there was the light again! Repeat this a couple times, and I was really beginning to freak out.

Finally, I got out of bed (with the light ON, of course) and examined the spot where I thought the light was.

Turns out it was the light of a heater reflecting on my music stands. GEEZ. I really had myself going there, too.

That’s a really good one… :slight_smile:

Let’s not forget Scylla’s classic.

Years ago, while reading in bed, heard a sound and looked up just in time to see the closet door jump outward as if someone had hit it from the inside. Turned out to be my motorcycle helmet falling off the shelf.

I had just finished reading Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot.” I set the book down on the night stand and turned off the light. I lay there in the dark, wide awake. . . when . . .
I jumped a foot in the air (while lying on my back - no mean feat) at the sound of the book falling off the night stand and hitting the floor.
Also, similar to runner pat’s, I was all alone in my tiny solo apartment in college. It was about 1:30 a.m. I had ironed my clothes for class the next day and was tidying up, when there came a horrible bumping and rattling from the bedroom closet. It sounded like someone was in there trying to get out!
The iron had fallen off the shelf and bumped between the door and the clothes the whole way down.

I’m not sure if this counts, as I never did find an explanation, but one night when I was at university I was lying in bed something pretty scary happened. I was lying in bed, it was dark, but with enough of that sort of grey light that lets you see around the room in a grainy monochrome kind of way. So I’m idly looking at the wall when WTF??? The whole wall started waving and swirling… the straight line where the skirting board met the carpet started undulating and swirling and wildly waving about, but only on one wall – the rest of the room stayed perfectly still. This was just too weird and it scared the crap out of me, almost like some freaky wormhole was about to open up. I sat bolt upright in bed, rubbed my eyes (yes, I actually did that clichéd “rub your eyes and look again” thing) and it was still doing it. I leapt across the room, turned on the light and looked at the wall. Normal. I get down on my hands and knees and prod at the carpet and the skirting board. Still solid.

I don’t know what caused that weird hallucination (for that is what it must have been) but I do know I didn’t sleep for the rest of the night.

Thanks for the link Pat. I was about to go looking for it myself.

As for myself, nothing beyond the usual “OMG I forgot to…” whatever and then remember that the plan had changed.

That’s hilarious!

On one of my first solo aerobatic flights I was practicing inverted (upside-down) turns. I got distracted and didn’t realize the plane was in a slight descent. By the time I noticed the plane was in a dive, and the airspeed was approaching the “never-exceed” limit.

I immediately snapped the throttle to idle, rolled upright and carefully pulled up while waiting for the wings to shear off.

No damage, but it took me about ten minutes of straight-and-level flight to get my breathing back under control.

When I was about 7, me and my 5 year old brother made bows and arrows using stuff we found in the garden. We then set about shooting everything that was standing still. The arrows were tipped with 6 inch nails, and they would embed themselves about 4 inches into the apple and pear trees we shot at.

I decided to give my brother a scare, so I called to him and when he turned to face me I drew the bow back as hard as I could and aimed it at him.

He just looked at me.

My fingers lost grip on the arrow and it flew towards him.

It all happened in slow motion, it was horrible. The arrow was heading straight for his chest. It hit him dead centre. My brother looked down at his chest and then looked back at me. He stood perfectly still.

The arrow had bounced off.

I ran at him, knocked him to the ground and pulled his shirt up and looked for the wound. There was a tiny red mark.

He got up and I hugged him as hard as I could saying that I was sorry.

We never told anyone about this until dinner the night before his wedding 23 years later.
To this day, despite my best efforts, the second in which I thought that I had killed my baby brother is the most scared that I have ever been and I can’t really see that changing.

When I lived across the street from the Atlantic in Florida. Even though I was terrified of drowning when I was a kid I eventually got over it and when I moved here as an adult I loved to swim in the ocean. Especially when there were big waves. Good exercise, lots of fun.
So I get home from work one day and the waves were a good size. I run across the street and immediately swim out about 50 yards. I’m having fun in the waves till I notice there are some awful currents running parallel to the shore and out to sea (not a rip tide). So, I start swimming back to the beach, …but I can’t get there. Between the currents and the way the waves were breaking I couldn’t make it. So, I tread water a bit, and go for it again. Can’t do it. This goes on for about 15 minutes. After a couple more trys I’m getting winded and start scanning the beach for help. Nobody there except a couple of Canadian seniors who would be of no help. So, I start getting that feeling of “oh god, I am so f*cked.”
One last time I give it all I’ve got, fighting the current, gaining 5 yards, losing 4, not stopping since I know there won’t be another chance, arms and legs burning, deeep breaths. Finally, I reach the shore and just layed on the sand for 20 minutes totally exhausted like I’ve just been through 12 rounds of boxing. No one around.
I dragged myself back to my flat, collapsed on the floor, and held my head thinking “jesus, what did I just do?” for a couple of hours. I didn’t go back in the water for about 3 months and after that never went alone.

My worst self-scare happened one night while reading late one night in the kitchen of my parent’s house.

There was only the one light on, and I was totally absorbed in the book when at the corner of my conciousness I hear a gentle “tap, tap” on the kitchen window.

I turned to look, and saw a tiny, wrinkled black baby’s hand pawing gently at the glass. :eek:

I very nearly shat myself.

On closer inspection, it turned out to be the paw of an inquisitive racoon, standing on the roof of the shed just outside the window. I never realized how oddly human-like their paws were before. :smack:

The only time I ever went camping (this was less than a year ago). The first night, it rained like crazy. I listened to the sound of the rain beating on the tent and went right to sleep. The second night…brrr! The night was extremely calm and extremely dark. My husband went right to sleep, I lay rigidly awake, eyes open, and listened to every sound in the woods. Then my mind started running over various things that had scared me in the past (I’m such a bitch to myself). Eventually it fixed on The Haunting of Hill House, and I lay there “re-reading” it in my head with amazing accuracy. Once I was good and frightened, I wanted to touch my sleeping husband for comfort, but I couldn’t, due to the scene in the book where Eleanor thinks she is holding Theo’s hand…

I just lay there miserably scared for what felt like hours till I fell asleep out of sheer exhaustion.

I diagnosed a cat with rabies about 8 years ago. Two of my employees had been exposed, and they started their series of post-exposure injections. They asked if I wanted to share a ride to the hospital, but I declined. I was having some difficult things going on in my life, and my overall attitude was “Fuck It”.

A week or so later, I was sitting at home when a severe headache came on. It had been years since I had a really bad headache. I realized that rabies encephalitis would likely begin like that, and I regretted (big time) my negligence. I called my kids and talked with them, contacted a few friends I hadn’t spoken to in years, and generally “straightened out my affairs” in preparation for death.

Turned out to be just a really bad headache. Talk about a scare.

my senior year of college, my friend and i decided to try wwoofing over spring break. WWOOF stands for Willing Workers On Organic Farms, and the deal was that we went to this farm in the middle of nowhere west virginia for a week, to pull weeds and seed fields and whatever, and the farmer would give us food and a place to sleep. all in all, it sounded like a great excuse to play in the mud and commune with worms and all that great stuff.

the day we arrived, the entire state was swept under an extremely unseasonal cold front. as out accomodations -little pre-fab cabins in the middle of a field- were not insulated, the farmer told us we were more than welcome to sleep in the trailer they used for an office, but my friend and i, fancying ourselves hard-core, and bearing sleeping bags, no less, declined, and so at the end of the day, we decamped for a night in our cabin.

wearing every single article of clothing i had with me and buried underneath my sleeping bag and three blankets purchased that afternoon from the salvation army, i was almost asleep when my friend said “yams!! ! yams!! ! do you hear that?” it was a faint but persistent scratching sound, coming from the corner by the door. as soon as we started talking and flashing our flashlight, the scratching went away, but a few minutes after we settled back down to sleep, the scratching returned.

this went on for probably 10 or 15 minutes (talking and flashing lights to deter the scratcher, then pretending to go to sleep and then sitting, terrified, in the dark, waiting for the scratching to come back).

my friend was convinced it was either a bear or a rapist. i was convinced it was tailypo. we decided that our only hope was to run back to the trailer and spend the night there (luckily, the farmer had told us where he hid the hidey-key).

“back to the trailer” necessitated a 10 minute walk, in the dark, through the woods, past a creepy, abandoned log cabin. we had two old-timey oil-lamps and one flashlight. 10 meters into our journey, our flashlight batteries die and the oil-lamp breaks. we RAN the entire way, singing “rainbow connection” at the top of our lungs (to deter any bears, rapists, or tailypos that might be trailing us).

so we got to the trailer and survived the night.

the next morning, emboldened by the light of day, we went back down to our cabin. all of our stuff was as we left it, save for a package of chocolate-covered hippo-shaped biscuits, which had been thoroughly decimated by mice.

mice, apparently, can sound A LOT like inquisitive bears/stealthy rapists/ravenous tailypos, when one is sleeping in a cabin in the woods.

My husband was out of town. I left the kitchen light on when I went to bed. Woke up in the middle of the night and, from the bedroom, could see the glow from the kitchen light. Being all sleep-befuddled, I had no memory of leaving the light on and just KNEW someone was in the house (I know, I know…why would a murderer turn on the light?) In my self-induced terror, I actually slid quietly out of and under my bed, trembling in fright. I was under there for a couple of minutes before I fully woke up and remembered leaving the light on. It took quite awhile for my heartbeat to return to normal.

Another time, I was living out on the family farm. I accidentally left a small candle burning on the back of the toilet (the flame had gotten so low that I didn’t even notice it!) There was a wicker basket near it. At about 3am, the smoke detector went off and I shot out of bed, clutching my heart! I ran downstairs and doused the flame. Very little damage…burnt wicker and a scorch on the wall. My real freakout occurred after taking care of the situation and realizing what COULD HAVE happened had the smoke detector not been working. I would’ve burned down the farm that had been in our family for over 150 years and most likely would have burned with it. Never again have I been lax in changing alarm batteries and testing them!