People Share The Harrowing Moments When They Thought Their Lives Were Over

List Rules
Vote up the scariest stories of near-death experiences.

Life is fragile and can end at any moment for a million reasons. Those who shared their stories down below might know this better than anyone, having experienced first-hand terrifying moments in which they truly thought, "This is the end." Thankfully, they all managed to make it out alive to tell their tales.

Vote up the most chilling stories.

For more content from the brink and beyond, be sure to also check out these unexplainable "Guardian Angel" stories from Graveyard Shift readers, and the hair-raising, heartbreaking, and wholesome last words people have heard from loved ones.


  • 1
    77 VOTES

    A Claustrophobe's Worst Nightmare

    From Redditor u/Sketchamusprime:

    When I was about 7, I got shoved into a non-functioning (thankfully) chest freezer that was out in our barn. The lid came slamming down and locked. The kid who shoved me couldn’t get it open, so he went to find my dad as I freaked out.

    My dad came and told me that my uncle was the only person who had a key to the old freezer, and that I would just have to wait till he got home to get me out. Two hours later, my uncle finally arrived home and was able to get me out, but I thought I was going to die in there for sure.

  • 2
    71 VOTES

    Eye Of The Storm

    From Redditor u/ToBePacific:

    I was driving home in a bad thunderstorm when out of nowhere, the wind became insane. I pulled my car off the highway onto an exit when suddenly a limb off a tree sailed through the air and cracked my windshield, so I hit the brakes.

    A second later, the car began to lift slightly off the ground. I thought for sure I was going to die.

    Moments later, the storm had cleared. Windows in shops all around were blown out.

    I got home and turned on the local news. Apparently, a tornado passed directly through where I was, in my car.

  • 3
    71 VOTES

    Being Followed

    From Redditor u/itsleebee:

    That time I was followed by a mid-20s man (I was 15) for over six blocks. He kept pace behind me - no more than three steps behind. He only went away when I ducked inside a bodega and broke down in tears to this very nice older woman. She hugged me and sent her son outside with a bat.

    Far as I saw, he just chased him for a block or so. Looking back on it, it was like something out of a TV show, this scrawny kid with a bat running after a mid-40s man and yelling, “YOU LIKE LIL GIRLS, HUH?? YOU GONNA GET IT PUNK, C'MERE I'LL SHOVE THIS BAT UP-"

  • 4
    67 VOTES

    Risky Rapids

    From Redditor u/Affectionate-Layer67:

    As a kid, my mom always used to take me white water rafting... At around 11-12, my mom, my step-dad, and brother all set out in a four-man raft and put me in the very front. What I didn’t know [was] that it was a class five dam release day (basically there was a dam that released water into the river, and it was on full release and they didn’t tell me). The water and rapids were class five.

    As we set out, I notice there is something seriously wrong... The raft we were in started to deflate as we got thrashed around in the water. There is a section of the river that is seriously bad, it’s like a small cliff where it immediately drops with two “holes” (circular currents of water where if you get trapped in [them], you are done), and we had the unfortunate opportunity of flying off of the drop. Because we had such a small raft, it started to flip over as soon as we dropped.

    As the raft was flipping, it took me into a moment of realization, like, “Wow, this is really happening.” As we flipped, it felt like slow motion... I slammed into the water, and it immediately threw my body forward with my feet over my head. I lost my [bearings], and I had no idea what was up [or] down. Meanwhile, I was being thrashed and slammed against rocks struggling to understand what was happening, then I slammed against a rock with just my head and let out a spurt of air.

    I was in a hole, constantly rotating as I felt the water start to fill my lungs... I made a desperate attempt from my training to swim horizontally to the current. As I reached, I started to black out from the massive amount of pressure from water in my lungs. I had no idea how long I was under, but it was at least a minute or two. My brother ended up pulling me up in the upside-down raft. He saved my life that day, and the excess water I threw up did not taste good at all.

  • 5
    66 VOTES

    Stuck In The Mud

    From Redditor u/JonSmith12345:

    I put a ramp up on the side of a shallow pond, raced my BMX bike up, and hit the ramp. Then I flipped over and landed on my back in the water and was immediately sucked into the sludge on the bottom about two feet down - just far enough to not be able to reach the air and still have the bike on top of me.

    My cousin was able to get to me in time and pull me out of that glue, but it was f*cking horrific.

  • 6
    60 VOTES

    The Tooth Fairy Takes No Prisoners

    From Redditor u/bdogski:

    I had an abscess behind a wisdom tooth that burst, and I swallowed it and went into toxic shock. Everything went black. I opened my eyes and was back in childhood on a summer's day with my family, including my dead father and some dead friends. I actually accepted that I was dead, too, but what was actually happening was that I was having a massive reaction to my airways closing and not getting any oxygen.

    My jaw had to be broken to open my mouth, and the ER crew had to drill through my lower chin area to drain the poison. They gave me medical-grade cocaine in liquid form through my nose with a syringe, so that added to the sense of euphoria and calm that I was feeling. I woke up very confused, and [I was] relieved not to be dead, but [I was] deeply sad that meeting my father and friends again was just a hallucinatory episode. I still dream the same scenario now, 20 years later. Don’t ignore a bad toothache, kids.