Unlike dying a horrible death from, say, radiation poisoning or decapitation, learning what being stabbed is like is relatively easy, considering how many firsthand accounts are out there from victims fortunate enough to live through it. Death by stabbing just isn't as common as death from gunshot wounds, car accidents, etc., so there are plenty of survivors with stories to tell. The list below collects just a few of those stories.
What happens when you're stabbed? Many victims report a punch or slap feeling, with the real pain only coming once they realized they've been stabbed. But that's just one common account - read on to learn from a variety of firsthand accounts about what being stabbed really feels like.
'It Was Like a Lightning Strike'
Tim Kreidor told This American Life in 2012 being stabbed in the throat was "like a lightning strike - over almost as soon as it happened, and the illumination didn't last." Kreidor's "unsuccessful murder," he claims, is "less interesting than it sounds." In fact, he says "getting stabbed wasn't even among the worst experiences of [his] life."
Besides granting him a "euphoric gratitude," he says the experience made him develop "a strange new laugh that's stayed with me to this day - a loud, raucous barking thing. It makes people in bars or restaurants look over for a second to make sure I'm not about to open up on the crowd with a weapon."
'It Was Like Someone Slapping Me on the Back'
Wesley Canning from Feeney, Northern Ireland, told the News Letter getting stabbed in the back in a "frenzied knife attack" felt like "someone slapping [him]." It wasn't until he saw the blade - "nine or ten inches long" - that he felt the "throbbing pain" all over him. In the moment, he thought it was his "curtain call," but he didn't even pass out, despite losing two liters of blood.
He was lucky to be alive: one of the other three men stabbed that day spent the night in intensive care "fighting for his life."
'Each Stab Felt Like It Pierced My Soul'
Vancouver resident Michael Osborne was stabbed repeatedly with a steak knife by former lover Joshua Stranz following a back rub in 2010. He told a judge "each stab felt like it pierced my soul," and that even after six months of recovery, "he still lives with pain in his head and side from the stab wounds."
The stabbing occurred after Stranz was released from jail for robbing a fireworks stand - and it was Osborne that ratted him out. After eating cake and soliciting a back rub, Stranz "started choking, punching, and stabbing" Osborne.
'It Felt Like Water on My Stomach'
An Irish teen told a courtroom the blood felt like "water running down his stomach" after his next-door neighbor stabbed him at his 18th birthday party in 2013. Like many other stabbing victims, the teen initially thought the stab was a punch. After attempting to flee, he collapsed, feeling like he couldn't catch his breath.
The damage also led to a sharp pain in his lower extremities, especially his left leg: "It was really, really warm, it felt just like a dead leg."