21 People Confess The Scariest Situation They’ve Ever Been In

Image via Giphy

Have you ever been so scared, so stunned in fear, that you thought — this could be it? Sometimes life puts us in some utterly scary situations and our minds and bodies are left gasping for sanity and happiness. These events usually happen without any warning so they’re both equally startling and shocking. You never thought that you’d have to witness your husband die in agony from a heart attack on the kitchen floor, but it happened — and now you’re left to pick up the pieces.

For some, these scary situations happen early on in childhood. These moments help shape and define us as human beings and the fear can linger on for decades and decades. Maybe you woke up to a shadowed figure hanging over your bed when you were twelve years old. He eerily shined a cell phone light up you as he slowly worked his hands closer to your fragile body. His fingertips tiptoed across your chest while you held your breath, frozen because you didn’t know what to do. You wiggled slightly and he scurried away once he realized you were stirring.

You still wake up from time to time and catch a shadow across your room and your heart starts racing just like it did fifteen years ago. You know it’s just your lamp, but still — the fear remains. Scary things happen to everyone; that’s just a part of life. But realizing that you’re low on sriracha sauce (it’s one of my biggest fears, y’all) pales in comparison to getting attacked by a bear out in the wilderness. Both might activate the same panic receptors in the brain, but worrying for you life ignites the fear in all of us.

These are 21 of the scariest situations people have ever been in:


Overhearing my dad and his friend planning out the murder of my mother, sister and me. I had just turned 17, back in 1986. He was going to burn the house down while we slept that night – he worked midnights. I wasn’t supposed to be home. When I heard him going through the house getting whatever items he wanted to save from the fire (& talking about the plan), I hid in the crawl space between our family room and hall closet. He left to take a load to hide at his friends house. I ran to call someone, anyone (small town of 500 & only 1 sheriff who was his friend) but he had cut the phone lines. Thankfully my mom and sister came home before he got back from his friends house. My sister and I had to plead with our mom to leave but she did. He abused her for 25 years.


I was about 11 years old and off school sick with the flu. My mom worked in the little shop literally 5 minutes away from our house so she left me alone that morning to do her shift and I was just chilling on the couch watching television. I heard the front door open and assumed it was my mom home early. It was a random man who was heavily intoxicated, he went straight to the coffee table and lifted up my bottle of cough medicine and downed the entire lot. I ran and hid in the bathroom and cried, there was no mobile phones back then or anything. After a while I had to run out in my pajamas, really really sick and run along to my mom’s work. The police turned up and found the guy asleep on our couch.


When I was 11, the house across the street from me caught fire. It was a fast moving electrical fire. The boy who lived there was 14 and he had a 9 year old sister. All of our parents worked full time, so we were latchkey kids (this was the early 1990s). Anyway, the boy came hauling ass down the street screaming for any adult to come out and help, because his house was on fire and he thought his little sister was in there. I was the only one who heard him, so I grabbed his hand and ran into my house and called 911. He wanted to run into the burning house to find his sister and I knew he would die if he did. I was a scrawny, spindly little girl – 5’6″ and maybe 75 lbs, and he played defense on the football team at 5’8″ and probably 150-170. He was panicking and sobbing and thrashing around, but somehow I found the strength to physically hold him back until my little sister could run down the street to find an actual adult. I guess it was adrenaline or something. All I knew was that the only thing standing between that kid and a horrible death was me.


When I was hiking in the Tetons I got ran down by a grizzly bear. A friend and I were hiking in early September in a wooded area; off the trail we could hear a bear grunting. We were aware and pulled our our bear mace and kept hiking. Not being able to see where the bear was in the woods we continued on the trail. The grunting stopped, but before I knew it I was thrown on the ground. A great weight was just crushing me and started throwing me around like a rag doll. It began to tear into my hiking pack. I stayed on my stomach as best I could and tried to cover my vitals. Next thing I know is that my eyes and nose start burning, my friend started to spray his bear mace to get the bear off me. I’m still not sure how I did it, but I managed to unbuckle from my pack, get out of it, and crawl away from the bear. The bear continued to tear into my pack, before my friends bear spray finally got to it. It turned and ran off. We left the area quickly and waited till the bear spray wore off and hiked out. We got to a rangers station, where I was taken to a hospital to be treated.


Locked inside a GAP store all night when I was a teenager. I had to use the bathroom and the store was getting ready to close so I rushed in real quick. I made a mess in the bathroom so I took way longer than expected. When I got out everyone was gone. I freaked out and tried many ways to get out. This was before cell phones, so when I tried using the store phone it required a passcode. I slept on the floor and woke up at 7am and waited/hid in the bathroom for the store to open. 20 minutes after the store opened I casually walked out and no one saw me. I got home and my Mom was cooking French Toast. I told her I decided to sleep at a friend’s house because we stayed up late watching a movie. My Mom was cool so it was nothing. I just needed more of an excuse to not look awkward walking in the house at 8:30am in the Summer.

Written by Laura McNairy

Laura is a freelance writer for TFLN. She likes to write about what she knows best — dating, sex, and being awkward, but usually in the opposite order. She is the Assistant Editor and videographer for Peach Fuzz, a sex-positive nudie magazine in ATX.