Near-death experiences are terrifying. They can make you change your entire view of the world. But they make for fascinating stories. Here are some horrifying accounts of times real people almost died but came out without a scratch:
I Might Never Have Been Born
“Not me, but my mom before I was born. She was riding in a convertible with a friend of hers. They came to an intersection and the friend wasn’t paying attention and lost control of the vehicle. There was a big rig going through the intersection and they went right under the trailer. My mom ducked. The driver didn’t not. The driver was decapitated. My mom was lucky and only ended up with a scalp full of glass and some serious psychological trauma. She had to get over 200 stitches in her scalp, but nothing else significant. I think about it all the time and think how close I came to never being born at all.” — Laszerus
My Parachute Failed
“My parachute deployed but failed to open. Then training kicked in. The cut-away failed, so I deployed secondary. But for a brief moment life was about to be over in my mind.” — GREYDRAGON1
I Crashed Into The Woods
“I was at the end of a 2-hour journey about 10 mins from home, pretty rural and I was probably complacent because I took that road every day. I took a bend at 40MPH (the legal limit was 60MPH so wasn’t breaking any speeding rules) which I’ve done many times before, probably faster which looking back was really reckless.
Didn’t see until it was too late that a car had spun out on the other side of the corner and another car had pulled up to help. I slammed on the brakes but I wasn’t going to stop in time before hitting the cars pulled up/crashed. I was hurtling straight towards the other cars and people who were standing in the road from the other crash. It was like time slowed down and I was at a crossroads. In my mind, I had three choices. Continue on my path and hit the other cars and people, veer to the right and go into a field but there was oncoming traffic and there was a chance I’d hit them or veer to the left and fly into a wooded area. I chose the last option, and in that moment I knew the chances of me surviving or not being seriously injured after a 40MPH head-on collision with a tree in a 10-year-old Ford KA was pretty slim. I just felt a complete peace come over me, turned the wheel, and woke up slumped over the steering wheel to some poor man shouting, ‘OMG I THINK SHE’S DEAD.’
Turned out I passed out from shock or something before the impact so when I hit the tree I was completely floppy and this contributed to me having no serious injuries. The front of my car was completely disintegrated, after coming to I tried to put my clutch down to take the car out of gear out of habit and my foot hit the tree trunk. The tree was absolutely fine. I drove past that tree every day for years after and you could see the chunk my car took out of it.” — Comfortable-Pie8349
My Guardian Angels Saved Me
“My wife was pregnant and we went away for the weekend to the house we rented in the mountains. The second day she went to bed early and I stayed up drawing. At 3 am she comes downstairs and says she’s in a world of pain and is worried about the baby (2 months before her due date).
We head out and there is no cell reception. We realize we might as well head back to our hospital. Two hours later we are there and due to Covid restrictions, I can’t come in.
It was freezing outside and they wouldn’t let me be anywhere in the hospital where I could lay down so I talked my way into some room in the lobby and tried to sleep while sitting. Got kicked out of there and just bummed around waiting for an update. Around noon they say they’ll be keeping her for observation but I still need to clear out from the rental.
Driving back two hours and it starts snowing pretty hard. It’s a semi-rural area and if they do plow the snow they haven’t gotten there yet. I’m being careful and fighting off sleep. The roads are super winding and high in the mountains. At some point, the car starts drifting across the double lines.
I did my best to even out but it completely got away from me. I slide through the opposite lane and continue to the shoulder. I see the ledge and realize if the car doesn’t stop I’ll plummet to my death. Have a brief moment where I think about my daughter and the kid in my wife’s belly I haven’t met yet. Felt like a stab in my heart and that second go off the road completely.
Fortunately, there was enough snow in the space between the ledge to trap my car. I passed out in the crash but luckily a couple was a minute or two behind me and their honking snapped me out of it. They pulled me out of the car and went to get help (no service on the mountain). A couple of other people stopped including a guy who had a big pickup. We dug the car out some and rigged the rope so he was able to pull me out.
Despite Covid, I had to be physically removed from both these guys because I was hugging them so tight. I was able to make it back to the hospital without anyone knowing. Told them after the kid was born. Sent my guardian angels pictures and $100 gift cards as if that’s adequate.” — MrFunktasticc
They Dragged Me Down With Them
“I was a senior in high school, and the student club I was in organized an unofficial beach trip towards the end of the year; no teachers or official permission, leaving me and a few other seniors in charge of supervising everything. After a couple hours’ worth of fun, one of the other students came running up to me and said that three of the younger members of the club had been swept out by a riptide and couldn’t get back towards the shore. Me and two other of the older students, all experienced swimmers, immediately went to go help them. My friends got two of the three kids in trouble and started guiding them parallel to the shore to get them out of the current, but the guy I went for was panicking, barely staying above the water, and started dragging me down with him almost immediately. I yelled for people to get a lifeguard and tried to keep both of us afloat, but after a few minutes (maybe five, maybe ten, it felt like forever) I was getting exhausted, having trouble keeping both of us above the water, and I couldn’t see anyone coming to the rescue. I started getting big mouthfuls of water and my leg muscles were starting to cramp up, and I remember thinking, “Holy shit I might actually die right here, right now,” as the current started pulling us further and further away from where everyone was.
Thankfully for everyone involved, one of the students on the beach had flagged down a couple of surfers, who made their way out to where we were as quickly as they could and hauled first the younger student and then me onto the front of their boards and took us back to shore. I’ll always be thankful and appreciative for those strangers who put themselves in the dangerous position of rescuing two drowning swimmers.” — JustACharacterr
The Car Was Completely Wrecked
“I survived a car crash that wrecked my car. Rolled twice, landed upside down, learned the hard way that I didn’t have airbags (or at least they didn’t deploy). Did have my seatbelt on though, that probably saved me. The paramedic said he hadn’t seen a wreckage like that actually ended well. Not even a hairline fracture.” — Chempenguin
The Waves Took Me Under
“I went out for a surf on a stormy day and thought to myself, ‘No one else is out, those idiots.’ The first wave of the session, I was thrown down and held under and while being tossed around my leg rope wrapped around both my legs and one of my arms so I was probably being held at around 5ft under with only one arm free while my board tombstoned (board tip is barely visible at the surface but floats vertically like… a tombstone.) Finally managed to catch a breath between sets before taking another three or four on the head and for sure just thought… well this is it. No one is out, fishermen will find my body or my board. I managed to get my other arm free and got to shore very quickly and then avoided the ocean for a few days even though the waves were absolutely perfect. There’s a reason no one was out, everyone else was ten minutes down the road at another beach where the waves were smaller and cleaner.” — Gigiskapoo
A Fire Was Blazing
“My boyfriend finally woke me up shortly after we had fallen asleep in a small upstairs bedroom that had a smoldering fire. After we collapsed on the floor and couldn’t find the door that was not even five feet away, we kept hitting walls and corners and started to not comprehend anything. After feeling like I was baking in an oven I laid my head down on the floor thinking I’d never see my son again and how sad it was to die. It felt like an eternity and felt very lonely. My boyfriend somehow found his phone on the floor and called 911. The fire department showed up in what felt like two seconds but couldn’t break down the front door. They shined the flashlight up to the window so he could kick out the AC unit, which he did. They finally came upstairs and we crawled to them and they took us straight to the burn unit since they didn’t know what shape we were in. I’m pretty sure the entire hospital toured through our room since they’ve never seen anyone make it out and look the way we did.” — Favnonpornomag
My Tire Popped Near A Steep Drop
“My tire popped going over a two-lane road with steep drops on both sides. My car jerked to the side hard, and my car went sideways. Half my car hung over the side and luckily it’s low so it bottomed out. I climbed into the back seat and jumped out the back door. Some dude in a truck pulled me out and I drove on a flat to the other side and swapped my tire out.” — pineappledaddy
I Was Trapped In The Trunk
“When I was a kid I was playing hide and seek with my siblings and I got the brilliant idea to hide in the trunk of the car. I meant to leave the trunk barely open so that it didn’t latch but accidentally closed it too far and it latched. Mind you this was before they put handles in cars to open trunks from the inside so I was legitimately stuck.
It was almost completely dark so I started seriously freaking out and I thought I was going to die, so I started yelling for help as loud as I could and was kicking at the back seat thinking maybe I could break the latch that keeps the seat from folding. I was probably only in there for about five minutes before someone heard me and let me out but it felt like an eternity.
To this day I firmly believe it was because of this incident that I developed some minor claustrophobia. I still have serious fears about being in small, cramped and dark areas.” — Digitalon
My Raft Hit A Rock
“I went white water rafting on the Gauley River and my raft flipped on pillow rock (one of the most famous class v rapids). Scariest moment of my life but, other than unexpectedly swallowing some water and almost vomiting, I came out completely unharmed.” — ScalezNFinz
It Was The Beginning Of The End
“I had an idiot friend and we were hiking. We got to this waterfall and he goes, ‘Dude let’s climb it!’ I said no fucking way. He says, ‘Well I’m gonna do it and if I fall and die it’s on you for not coming.’ So I climbed it with him. Got stuck halfway up on a slick ass rock. Pinched a nerve in my shoulder, so my right arm was useless. I thought I was certain to slip off the rock to my doom, but we managed to get me unstuck. That was the beginning of the end for that friendship.” — blindfire40
Barbed Wire Cut My Throat
“I was drunk and running in the woods when bam, barb wire fence straight to the throat. The last thing I remember I couldn’t breathe and was passing out and there was blood squirting from my neck. Woke up an hour later and walked home looking like a murder victim.” — andhowsherbush
A Gun Was Pointed At My Face
“Had a paintball fight on Christmas morning with two cousins and their neighbor kid at around 13 years old with our brand new guns we got as gifts. The neighbor got mad, ran home, came back with a shotgun, and pointed it at my face. All I remember is looking at the ground and waiting to die.” — MaynardJ222
My Car Hood Almost Killed Me
“The hood on my car came open at 60 MPH on the highway and completely blocked my sight in heavy traffic. I panicked and jerked the wheel a little bit which caused me to fishtail a little bit. I shit you not, my driver’s education teacher’s words from five years prior rang in my head to lean down and look through the the space at the bottom of the hood. I pulled over and used some wire I found in the trunk to keep the hood closed. Any time you close your hood make sure it latches securely by pulling on the hood like you’re trying to lift the front of the car off the ground!” — stanley_leverlock
I Nearly Drowned
“I had a leg cramp and a momentary blackout when swimming in a diving pool when I was 16. I was really active and I overexerted my limit. Surprisingly I didn’t really panic. Just had the dreadful thought: “Oh shit, I’m fucked.” Funny thing is that I didn’t really wiggle my hands out of the pool panicking like I usually see on the TV. I was just silently sinking.
Good thing the pool guard on duty noticed me and went for my rescue by pulling me out. Really wish I thanked the guard more that he saved me instead of me cluelessly sitting outside the lobby after the accident.” — Vocal_Breaker
I Tumbled Into The Street
“One of the most surreal experiences of my life (I had a lot of weird ones around this time) was riding my bike on the sidewalk next to an extremely busy road at night. I hit something on the sidewalk – I don’t know what – and tumbled sideways into the street.
As I fell, I saw the road light up from headlights from a car behind me, and when I hit the asphalt, I just lay there because I knew I couldn’t get out of the way in time. After a second or so I wasn’t dead, so I looked around and the street was empty. It wasn’t empty when I fell. There were cars going in both directions.
That was 20+ years ago and I’m still not entirely convinced that I didn’t die. It’s possible that I imagined the headlights, but that road is NEVER empty like it was. It’s a major street in a major city. It always has cars on it, even at 3 AM.
It was the first of many experiences that lead me down a path of questioning the nature of reality.” — ppardee
The Plane Struggled To Land
“When both the stewardess and pilot at different times came on the loudspeaker of the plane saying they are doing their best to land safely. Then seeing the fire engines and other emergency vehicles on the runway waiting for us. The plane landed fine but as it was going for the landing a weird calm came over me because I knew I wasn’t going to make it and that was fine.” — bacondr
I Fell Down A Mountain
“I’m a skier. On a few occasions, I have caught an edge at a pretty high speed (50+mph or more). That moment when you feel both skis leave the ground when they’re not supposed to is horrifying. Somehow I’ve never had anything more than some moderate whiplash and a sprained wrist (knock on wood).” — HoopOnPoop
I Was Smothered By A Couch
“My friend put me in a fold-out couch when we were 12, unaware of how to get me back out because of the weight and pressure on me I started to panic and scream making it worse. He cut me out of the center of it like a burrito c section. My friend’s stepfather was an extremely abusive drill instructor. The beating he took was terrible. But that’s my story, emergency c section from a fold-up couch.” — Hightide910