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    18 People Who Faced Their Imminent Death Head-On And Lived To Tell The Tale

    "We were about to plummet into a basement fire."

    Recently, Reddit user u/throwaway_district9 asked, "What has been your most bone-chilling, hair-raising, "Let's get the hell out of here" experience?" and I truly can't believe some of these people lived to tell the tale. Here are 18 wild survival stories that genuinely freaked me out.

    1. "This happened during my undergrad school. Me and a couple of my other friends visited this friend's home. ... There was a hill near his home ... we decided to hike up to watch the sunset. To reach this hill you have to pass a railway line and that particular day there was a goods train which had been parked there for some reason. So we had to crawl in between the bogies to cross the track. As usual we were late when we left home, so the sunset was almost done and it was getting darker. And we had to climb the joint coupling in between the bogies and cross it."

    "I for one was over excited to see a goods train and wanted to get inside one of the bogies, which was open from the top. So I climbed up the bogie and then raised my hands standing on the edge of it as if I achieved something. And then I felt something weird on my forearms — like I was touching some spider web. I was actually in the field of a high tension electric line. If I had raised my hand even a centimeter more, I would have been pulled into the field completely and would have been instantly burnt alive. Still gives me chills thinking about it."


    2. "July 27, 2002; Sknyliv air show disaster. I turned five years old the day before. It’s one of my most vivid memories from childhood; how the pilot landed 10 meters away from me and my dad. He was on his knees, his parachute dangling in the wind and I remember him repeating 'what have I done?' over and over. I didn’t understand much of what happened. My dad only said, 'close your eyes, we have to go.' My dad told me years after that we would have gone farther into the crowd but I refused to go because my shoelace was untied. Him kneeling to tie my shoes is the only thing that saved us. It wasn’t bone-chilling at the time but when I imagine what my dad witnessed that day I get goosebumps."


    character saying, you keep your eyes closed no matter what you don't open them, promise

    3. "Always listen to your gut even if you can't completely logically back up your reasons. Recently we were traveling all over Costa Rica. We love nature but we fear and respect it. We knew there were Crocs on the west side of Bahía Ballena and talked to locals when we travel about local dangers. Often it was snakes."

    "So we get to the east Caribbean side to Playa Negra. We set up shop on the beach near a ravine. And I keep looking at this ravine. I know that Crocs can look like logs and they are still until they attack. I keep staring and can't see anything. So I keep calming myself. We have a toddler and I tell her to stay away. I tell my husband my feelings. We are hyper-aware. I just can't calm myself so I pull up my phone to ask the internet if there are even crocs in this area. Internet says one hasn't been spotted for nearly 10 years. I go on my FB groups and everyone says no, not the area for it. It only happens in extreme drought. Still...I couldn't calm down so I told my family I was sorry and didn't want to ruin a beach day but we can't stay here. We left and just decided to do a different activity.

    Two days later we were at a restaurant and it was all over the news that a little kid about 8 years old got attacked by a croc at that beach. I almost vomited watching that. I can't tell you if it was the exact spot since it's a good size beach. But I don't care. Could've been my family.

    I'm not an easily frightened person so when my intuition perks up, I have this internal conversation with myself saying to listen and don't try to rationalize it away. My husband totally trusted me and didn't complain or minimize which makes me so happy."


    4. "I was a grown-ass adult just trying to get my exercise in during a super hot Florida summer, so I was out walking, by myself, after around midnight. It's a super small community and it would be rare to come across another person. A truck passed by me, slowly and close enough to see two sketchy looking guys in it. They turned the corner and I saw the headlight beams slow to a stop, do a U-turn, and head back. I had been walking past some wooded lots, so I made a beeline deep into the center of them and crouched in the brush. I watched the truck inch by, U-turn, [and] repeat for over 15 minutes before they left. I walked through the woods to get to my yard. I later heard that a truck with the same description, and two similarly described guys were wanted for an attempted kidnapping of a neighborhood girl age 11."


    5. "Ice fishing on a far north lake — not a big lake, but known for good fishing. We fished awhile, got nothing, then, a large loud crrrrraccckkkk and the ice split from one side of the lake to the other. ... One side of the now two different giant slabs of ice began to sink an inch or so under the other half. Water started running out onto the top of the ice — 'get to shore, gently, ASAP' I yelled to my buddy, By the time we got to shore, the one slab of ice was beginning to break up, the other close behind. The ice practically self-destructed."


    6. "I was in the lobby of World Trade Center 1 on Sept 11 when the plane hit. Although I didn't know a plane had hit; what I experienced was a sound like a building bending and metal tearing. Then all of the doors in the lobby blew open and burning hot air blew in my face and it sounds like hell was coming down those stairs. Turns out I was right."

    "I jumped behind the lobby desk and covered my head. The explosion poured into the lobby and I could feel myself start to burn. But it eventually burned out and I was mostly ok. Then I ran out."


    newspapers with headlines about the towers

    7. "[I was] fighting a house fire, and realizing that I had very hot feet. Through concrete-soled boots? My officer and I immediately noped the fuck out. Hot feet mean you’re standing above a fire. As fire burns upwards, it’s weakening the floor beneath you. So we were about to plummet into a basement fire."


    8. "[I] was helping check cows on my family’s ranch. [I] got out there in my ... car just a little before dusk; the cows were all kinda scattered so I decided to just walk in so I don’t stir them up too much and can get a better look (I was checking for any baby calves). ... I’m well into the field. Like, a solid 5-minute walk from my car at least. Looking around at all the cows, checking the ones that were looking kinda close on calving. I see some of the cows furthest away from me kinda stir so I look and see something dark and large-cat-shaped crouched low to the ground slowly stalking some of the cows."

    "Now, I live in West Texas so jaguars aren’t really a thing but there had been rumors for YEARS about this jaguar that stalked up and down the creek…that went right by our ranch. It probably was just a dark-colored mountain lion, but either way, it was definitely not something I wanted to mess with, in the dark, a ways from a vehicle, with no gun.

    I am not ashamed to say I left the cows to defend themselves and ran as fast as I could through the field back to my car. I did check the next day and all cows were safe and accounted for."


    9. "My mom's best friend owns a farm about a half hour from where I grew up. We went there nearly every weekend to help with upkeep and caring for our horses. All day you could just feel a storm brewing — the wind, humidity, the outside had a greenish tint, and the clouds rolling in as the sun was setting. Right after supper it started raining hard. A lot of wind and lighting too. I was looking out the window, across the yard, and thought I saw something above the barn on the far side of the yard. I was petrified. It looked like rotation in the clouds...and it started lowering down."

    "I pointed it out to my Dad. He said it was rain bouncing off the roof of the barn. We both looked out for a moment and clearly saw it suck back up into the clouds. I got goosebumps. We looked at each other for a second in disbelief, then he shrugged, and went back into the living room. I sheltered in the bathroom.

    The next day, we saw in the news that an F-4 tornado ripped through a small town (Spencer, SD) about 24 miles from where we were. I got chills when I saw the news reports."


    10. "I had a similar experience. When I was a kid, a storm rolled in while I was camping with my family. We were about a half mile away from the nearest shelter when the sirens went off. As we were running I could hear full-grown white pines snap in half around us, and when I looked up I saw the clouds begin to spin in a circle directly above us.I set a personal record for a half-mile sprint that day that I still haven't beaten, over a decade later."


    black and white stills of a farm area with a tornado in the background

    11. "[I was] exploring an abandoned high rise, out of the blue my friend grabbed me by my collar from behind, I was about to step into an elevator shaft. After swearing at him 'what the fuck' he said' look' and I saw the drop of like 20 floors to a concrete bottom with broken metal rods sticking out. We went home. He saved my life 100%."


    12. "My ex and I decided to go spelunking…[we] ended up in a lava flow cave on our bellies with just a flashlight. Flashlight died…I could feel my heart rate and anxiety start to rise. Luckily I had a lighter that lasted just long enough for us to get back to a small amount of natural light and get out."


    13. "[I was] walking my dog (Aussie shepherd) and suddenly he's in full-blown defend-his-owner stance, barking and growling. It's pitch black out and I live on a wooded street in the boonies. A 500-pound bear was six meters from us. He got up, looked me in the eye, and then casually walked away."


    14. "One time I was out in Colorado with some buddies hiking near the top of a mountain. Some bad weather started to roll in, but the top was only 15 minutes away so I went ahead while they went back down. As I was getting to the top I felt static in the air and the hair in my head started to stand up. I immediately started to panic cause I thought I was about to get struck by lightning so naturally, I ran down without ever getting to the top."

    "I’m not sure if I was gunna get struck but I sure as hell wasn’t sticking around to find out."


    In case you were wondering....yes, he was about to get struck. Tingling skin and your hair standing up are signs lightning is about to strike. Seek shelter immediately or "squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet, making yourself the smallest target possible and minimize contact with the ground" as you try to escape.

    kid with hair standing straight up

    15. "I've been close enough to a lightning strike to hear it sizzle. I was maybe 11–12. Storm going like wild outside, I love storms. So I'm standing at the open door, watching, I get the bright idea to open up the metal screen door to get a really good look. So now I'm standing half in and half out of the doorway, holding a chunk of metal."

    "Then I hear a sizzling sound, see a flash of light and then the loudest, closest BANG I've ever heard in my life. I let go of the door and duck back in. Not a scratch, but the hair on my arms was standing straight up and I had a huge adrenaline rush. I don't even stand in the doorway to watch storms anymore."


    Finally, let's end with a few where we don't know if they were actually in danger, but they sure are creepy stories:

    16. "I was living in Eastern Washington when my friend, who was really into show dogs, decided to buy a Doberman from an esteemed breeder in Montana. He wasn't a confident driver, so he rented a van and had me drive him to pick it up, with my girlfriend riding along. We got a late start because of the rental company and it was past midnight when we made it out of the pass through the Rockies and the snow was picking up. We drove a couple more hours through winding roads in the middle of absolute nothing until we get to the breeder's place. Just a trailer out in the country with no other signs of life around. Of course, we accept her offer to stay until morning."

    "She shows us to the spare room and it's covered in floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall Saw memorabilia. More merch than you would expect that series to have, including life-size Jigsaw dolls on trikes. The kicker was a fucking bear trap just sitting on the floor. My girlfriend and I took the bed while my friend, who got us into this, slept with his head a foot away from the trap. Not to mention the dozen+ fully grown Dobermans roaming the property.

    We woke up promptly at seven, packed the dog up, and got the fuck out of there."


    doll from saw movie

    17. "[I was] road tripping with a friend in the Pacific Northwest. It was late spring so it was rainy and low season. We were camping spontaneously up and down our route when we came to a RV and camp site. One camper on the RV side but no tents visible. Friend goes inside the little office to ask to get a campsite. They assigned us a site and we drove off to find it. And drove. Weird feeling starts to kick in. And drove deeper. We joked it was kinda secluded. Still no other tents. We finally start to get close to our number and we pass a site with a bunch of toys like dolls and stuff hanging from trees and scattered all over with a single toilet in the middle of the overgrown site."

    "Turned to my friend and said, 'I’m not staying here. Not on my life.' We ended up finding a fire station and asked if we could stay in their parking lot after explaining the lack of people around. The lady was super nice and will always be grateful for her immediately saying yes.

    We still talk about it. She says at the time she was willing to stay since she paid but said she didn’t feel like arguing with me. Now looking back she says she should’ve immediately turned around."


    18. "Ventured deep into an abandoned mineshaft on a mountainside on the island of Tasmania. We got to a point deep in the tunnel that was covered with hundreds of massive orb weaver sliders and we started hearing echoes of weird ass sounds...[We] decided to turn back then."


    What's your near death or freaky experience? Let us know in the comments!

    Submissions have been edited for length/clarity.