Life can be dangerous and filled with close calls! The people in these stories share the times they defied death and lived to tell the tale.
Sounds Like The Shining
“My murderous stepfather tried to kill my mother, my baby sister, and me one terrible night. he was high on narcotics and violently inebriated. You could smell it on his breath. He was arguing with my mother in the kitchen while she was holding my then 2-year-old sister when he tried attacking them both like a maniac.
I dialed 911 but being a naive kid, hung up the moment I thought things were calming down. It got very quiet in the kitchen while I stood in the hallway. Then my mother exploded into the hallway holding my baby sister. I reached out to hug my mother and she grabbed me too.
I turned back to see my father’s crazy eyes. The maniac looked at me while holding the biggest knife from the kitchen drawer. He looked like an animal. We ran into a bedroom and locked ourselves inside. But then we started to hear thumping at the door. That’s when we realized that he was stabbing the knife into the door.
That’s when my mother told me to escape through the window and run for help. It was a little past midnight and pitch black outside. We lived next to a farm in the countryside. All three of us wound up escaping into the night headed for the farmhouse for help. We hid for a while, then on the count of three made a dead sprint to the neighbors.
My mother, who had a bit of Stockholm Syndrome said that she was going to forgive him, but then I told her that he tried to have his way with me. Of course, she did nothing though. She was too forgone and just didn’t get it.
Lucky the police showed up anyways despite me hanging up the phone. We returned to the house with the police and saw that my stepfather had escaped. I got to lead the police through the house and discovered that my stepfather stabbed the door at least 17 times like a maniac.
I was very young and cannot remember everything that went down but I think he escaped to his sister’s house. I was 13-years-old.
No, he never did jail time, my mother had an affair when he came back chasing us. She asked me if I wanted to give him a second chance and I said no. I try really hard to forget those days but that was a night that will always be seared in my mind.”
Living In The Country Has Its Risks
“My next-door neighbor, a whacked-out hillbilly on narcotics, broke into my house and accused me of abusing his daughter… who I think moved out of state with grandparents about three years prior. I knew these people for six months and I never met his daughter in my entire life.
With his Johnson in hand, he threatened to violate me with it. I am a guy by the way. God thinking about all this make it sounds so weird. He was going to violate my girlfriend (which I didn’t have).
Crazy guy just kept shouting and yelling trying to get a rise out of me but I was petrified. He saw the Dominos I had on my coffee table and rubbed my cold pizza on his taint and started defecating on my living room floor like an animal. Oh yeah, I might also mention that he did not have a scrap of clothes on this entire time. His wife was outside, screaming at me too like a banshee. She kept telling ‘Harley’ to kick my city slicker butt. She was clothed, thank the lord. I’m 270 pounds, so not a little guy but this hag was three times my size. She scared me more than Harley and not because of her weight.
And here’s the kicker…I had just gotten out of the shower and watching TV in my towel so uh…I was in my birthday suit too! This was out in the country so you just know I had to threaten them with my Mossberg 12 gauge.
His crazy energy rubbed off on me because I had to blow a round into the ceiling to prove I wasn’t kidding. I was living in a double-wide trailer so I didn’t care.
I don’t know who called them but the police finally showed up. The fuzz arrested Harley AND me. Both in all our bare glory. I was charged with discharging a weapon and an investigation had to be conducted to prove out that I didn’t violate their daughter.
He was charged with aggravated assault and breaking in. He made bail and the family skipped town. Owed thousands in rent to our landlord (houses next door to each other) and the trailer was full of stolen goods. Including some of the things that I didn’t even know were missing. Yeah, I broke into their house after they skipped town. My landlord gave me a month’s free rent to clean it out. I used their washer and dryer for months but dang the place was gross.
Anyway. I didn’t sleep soundly for quite a while and I still have nightmares about that guy holding his shlong and shaking it at me.
Side story, I found photos of the daughter. They just left them behind. Super sad. I mailed them to the grandmother. They lived about three hours drive in rural Missouri.”
The Fun Of A Lifetime
“I went onto the Verruckt Water Slide at Schlitterbahn in Kansas City, Missouri. If it sounds familiar that’s because it was the tallest water slide in the world as of 2014 and was also the now infamous ride that decapitated that young boy back in 2016. I went on the ride a mere month before that boy was gruesomely killed.
So the ride had a narrow raft that had three seats in a single row I remember sitting on the back of the raft and looking for a seat belt or safety harness only to find out the only thing strapping you in was a Velcro strap that went over one shoulder, that was it!
As soon as we went down the first drop the Velcro strap instantly came undone and I started to feel myself lift out of my seat! Horrified it felt as time moved slowly as I grabbed onto these somewhat loose cheap nylon straps that were supposed to handle but they were so loose that I ended up gripping onto the inner material of the raft as hard as I could and agonizing at the fact that I had to somehow survive another drop.
The ride itself was less than a minute long but it felt so much longer. Once we reached the bottom of the slide I sat there momentarily stunned at what had just happened and the rest of my family that was waiting at the end of the slide came up to be unaware of what had just happened and was shocked when they saw me still sitting in the raft trembling and tears streaming down my face.
When I told my family what happened we informed the lifeguard that was monitoring at the bottom of the slide and they said they would report the raft I was on and inspect it. I was in shock the rest of the time at the water park and didn’t go on any other rides after that either. I told as many people as I could about the lax safety precautions that ride had and then a month past and I saw the incident with the death of the boy on the same ride and instantly got chills. It sunk in that I really could have died the same way that poor boy did if I wouldn’t of had a death grip on the sides of the raft.”
Death By Lawnmower
“I know it sounds crazy but I was almost killed while riding a lawnmower as a kid. I don’t even like saying ‘almost’ dying because I definitely should have died right there and then. I figured that I could save myself some time with the weedwhacker by driving the mower halfway under a wooden playset with swings. I was also the shortest kid in my whole school, like 4 foot 9 in 7th grade and I could barely reach the lawn mower brake pedal.
So I drove halfway under the playset with the platform for the slide being at about chest level while I was on the mower. It was around this time that I realized this was a bad idea but it was too late. The slide came at my chest and pushed me while the mower continued forward.
Slowly, I lost control of the mower moving forward and couldn’t see or reach the brake pedal or put the mower in reverse. My neck was completely pinned between the firm mower seat and the wooden playset platform as I scrambled to push the brake.
Normally, the mower shuts down automatically when there is no weight on the seat, but since there was so much pressure from my collarbone/neck being pressed against the mower seat, it continued pushing forward with force. This was it. I knew I was going to die as I felt my lungs lose air and neck getting forcefully squeezed between a machine and solid wooden structure.
But somehow, one of the low-hanging flimsy kiddie swings latched on to the front end of the mower and flipped it upwards, launching my almost lifeless body backwards onto the ground as the blade chopped both swings to shreds and the mower powered down. My dad came outside only to see my purple body laying on the ground and the riding mower completely inverted and our swing set in shambles. Never had to mow the lawn ever again.”
Fractions Away From Death
“My near-death experience is certainly a unique one. I was just a fresh boot in the Army and it was my first live-fire exercise in an M60 tank, a precursor to the M1 Abrams. It all went something like this.
I was the loader so I grabbed the big shell and put it into the breach. ‘Clear!’ I shouted.
‘On the way,’ said the gunner before pulling the trigger.
We hear a loud solitary click. All of our eyes got big.
‘Ummm…misfire, maybe?’ I reply.
Our commander got on the line barking ‘Misfire! Misfire!’ to alert the other 12 tanks in formation that we might just crazily combust.
I took a deep breath and slowly, manually lowered the incredibly heavy breech block with a big metal lever, silently praying that the primer didn’t ignite. This was pretty much a slowly cooking bomb with 10 pounds of high explosives. It would without a doubt destroy us and the tank with it.
My whole crew was dead silent for what felt like an eternity as I maneuvered the mechanism. As I lock the breach in the open position, I notice the ding in the center of the round where the firing pin clearly made contact. That’s not good. This round was micrometers away from exploding! If I drop it squarely on the floor the whole thing would blow.
Even more slowly and gently, I reached towards the round, trying to withdraw it from the 105mm barrel, hoping to minimize contact between the barrel and the warhead. As I get it halfway out, I pull my right glove off with my teeth, drop it, lick my right index finger, firmly but gently rubbing the center of the round to try and remove any debris or unseen residue that may have prevented the round from firing. I then heft the round out of the breach and announce ready. I nervously give the guys a thumbs up.
‘Target tank identified, high explosive!’ barks the gunner.
‘High explosive aye!’ I yell back.
Silently freaking out about possibly holding a massive cooking bomb in my hands and I throw the big shell into the barrel, ensure the breech closes, flip the safety, and…for the love of all it is good please work shout, ‘CLEAR!’
If this doesn’t work, we’re all dead.
‘Fire!’ shouted the gunner.
BOOM! The whole inside of the tank rocked back… and the crowd went wild on the command channel.”
“I was woken up on the couch by a man I dated months before. I had not seen or talked to him since but now he was suddenly in my home, looking as though he was on something. I don’t think he expected me to be on the couch by the front door. I felt stunned and he said he wanted a DVD he left behind. I wasn’t even sure how he got in.
I remember just feeling like I was in a weird dream, but I was so scared I couldn’t really think straight. My 5-year-old son was upstairs in bed. I nodded, played it cool, no sudden movements, and started looking through the DVD cupboard and he stood over me. There was this tension building and I knew I didn’t have the movie and that probably was not why he was there. I stopped and looked at him and said I didn’t know where to find it and mentioned it was really late and I’d give him a call if I came across it.
At which point he kicked me, then pulled me up, lifted me by my throat, put me against the wall, and started strangling me. It was all incredibly fast but then I was being strangled, staring him in the eyes and his eyes traumatized me with their hatred and I could see he was going to kill me, while my boy was upstairs.
And then as he lifted me off the floor I could see another man, one I didn’t know, jump on the back of the guy strangling me, and began hitting him.I started screaming and crawled to my portable phone and dialed 911 while they were wrestling. I instantly ran upstairs to my son’s room. My son was under his bed holding his toy sword saying he was sorry he didn’t rescue me.
When the police came in both guys were gone and they didn’t find either that night. Later I learned the guy I had briefly dated was being looked for for hitting a girl with a bat, and a former boss for threatening to harm his family. It took years for my son to stop waking up from nightmares, he had seen me being strangled from the staircase. And it’s taken years for me to not be terrified with images of waking up to him, and his eyes, or to sleep okay. I am still pretty freaked out about meeting men and thinking I can trust they are what they seem.”
A Date Night That Went Terribly Wrong
“In a motel room with a guy I’d gone on a couple of dates with. I’d made it clear that I was NOT ready to fool around, and he agreed that we wouldn’t do anything.
That night we made out for a bit, which was nice, and then he got up and said he’d get a Trojan.
I froze. I told him as nicely as I could, that can we not do that? He asked what he was there for, if not to hook up.
My heart was pounding. My mind was racing. I didn’t feel safe anymore. I wanted to leave, but he was too close to the door.
He kept pushing and pushing and whining that I was so freaking terrified that he would attack me, and force me. So I did the only thing I could do. I let it happen. I lay there like a corpse and pretended I was somewhere else. He used violated me then made me perform on him twice. He also took photos.
When I went home the next day I didn’t say anything. I kept the terror of that night to myself for about four or five years until my mental health declined so badly. I’d blamed myself for what had happened. I didn’t know that I was violated until my counsellor told me. It took a long time to come to terms with it.
I’m better now – I no longer blame myself, I know I did nothing wrong.
That was the scariest night of my life – and I survived. I did what I had to do to survive. I tell myself that whenever I feel upset.
As for those photos, I’m always afraid they’ll pop up somewhere. That’s another fear I have. But I also know that if he publishes those images, he’s posting images of something illegal, and I have the upper hand because I’ve documented every detail of that night and the police have a copy. I’m not too afraid anymore.”
He Can Still Hear The Screams
“When I was 7-years-old and it was late at night, everyone in my house was asleep and my old house used to have an alley directly behind my back garden. Where I lived was pretty poverty-stricken and an area of high crime rate. The kind of area where cars get burned out on the daily or you could get burgled even if you are in your own home.
More to the point though I remember being in my room and hearing a man screaming continuously for help and it was coming from the alley. I was too scared to do anything and just held my hands over my ears and hid under the covers until it finally stopped. I almost felt like I was in fear for my own life because of the tone of his voice. I believe he was an old man.
The next day there were police everywhere around my estate and they had taped off the alley. I found out later that day that the man I heard screaming had been mugged and murdered about 50 meters away from what was supposed to be my place of safety.
To this day I still get thoughts about whether I could have done something like just shouting out my bedroom window, maybe that could have prevented this from happening but I was only a child, I was scared and a child should not have to be exposed to this kind of harsh reality. I just hope that nobody has to experience what I experienced that night because it’s never left me and still haunts me now.”
Everywhere He Goes There Seems To Be A Shooting
“One time in high school we had to go on lockdown because there was an active shooter in the neighborhood around the school. This was in Florida, and the school was open-walled, I guess you’d say? So like instead of all the classrooms being inside a building that had several doors to the outside, all the classrooms just let to an open hallway. Anyone could just walk right into the school at any point. So that was exciting.
We were in one of the only classrooms that didn’t have a window, and there was no window in the door either, but there were doors to the two surrounding classrooms. I’m not sure if we were better or worse off than other classrooms if the shooter actually decided to come on campus. One other negative is this happened like right after A or B period lunch, so the kids who had C period lunch never got to eat because they kept us on lockdown until the end of the school day. One positive is we were in the computer lab so we just got to goof around online to take our minds off possibly dying.
We also had a lockdown during college because there was a hostage situation at a restaurant downtown. The college buildings are spread out all over the city, so they just decided to keep us all inside just in case. It’s weird, I was way more rattled about THAT than about being on lockdown in high school with the shooter wandering the neighborhood.”
If You Can Smell Your Brakes Burning Then You Should Probably Turn Around
“Two college friends and I took a road trip over spring break to Colorado. We borrowed an old van from my friend’s parents and set off for an adventure.
With a few days remaining, we wanted to visit the Four Corners (southern-most point of Colorado where four states meet at one intersection). We began at Estes Park, which is near the Rocky Mountain National Park, or northern side of Colorado. To save time, we decided to take a shortcut called Red Mountain Pass instead of a less direct route that went around the mountains. The drive turned out to be the most “white knuckle” harrowing experience of my life.
The first sign that tipped us off that we were going to have an experience of a lifetime might have been the Runaway Truck Ramps on the side of the highways, presumably to help trucks with failed brake systems make emergency stops. The next sign was the smell of our brakes starting to overheat—we were probably pressing the brakes too much. The smell of burning brake pads is one of the worst olfactory experiences—like burnt hair on a curling iron.
At one point we thought about turning around but had to ditch the idea due to a long stretch with only one lane and zero turnaround points. The same path was free of cliff side guard rails—one false move and you would plummet to your death. I nearly pooed my pants looking out the passenger side window to catch a glimpse of an 11,000 foot drop off down the mountain. With an eerie lack of traffic in the oncoming lane, we considered driving in the inside lane to get as far away from the cliff as possible.
Hours into the drive, we started to get low on fuel and worried we would run out of gas. With every mountain pass, we hoped to find a town with a gas station, to no avail. I think our fear increased after we passed through an abandoned small town with no one on duty at a gas station. (This was back before cell phones were common so communication was limited, too).
With the gas tank empty light on, we let out a collective sigh of relief when we turned a corner and arrived at a small mountain town with a sheriff on duty. He helped us refuel and gave us some final advice to finish the drive.
The experience played on all of our senses and fears—fear of heights, fear of mortality, claustrophobia due to an inability to turnaround or remove ourselves from the danger, the smells of burning break pads, the majesty of mountains, and the thoughts that go through your mind in the moment. Definitely among the scariest experiences of my life.”