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This is a question Terrified!

Bathory asks: What was the most scared you've ever been? How brown were your pants?

(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 13:32)
Pages: Popular, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Late nineties, I was still in my teens.
It was the middle of the night, we're driving down a back road in Fermanagh, and there's a loyalist checkpoint up ahead. A pistol was placed in my hands "just in case".

We were waved through. I've been through checkpoints that were more likely to end in tears, but having to carry a gun past paramilitaries rather than talk my way through was fucking awful.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 23:47, 8 replies)
Tidal pool
During travels, ended up at the seashore, at dawn, at low tide. Being from the desert, it was an utterly foreign environment. There were tidal pools everywhere, and on guard against the incoming tide we gingerly started clambering over rocks to look at the pools.

Suddenly, under a pile of kelp, something started twitching, and slurping, and thrashing about. It looked like it was big, but what could it be? My skin started crawling in fear.

Turned out to be a crab.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 23:17, Reply)
Calm down dear, I'm really a very good driver.
One evening, I get a call from my brother. He is working nearby, and wonders if I might like to go for some food. This is a good plan for me, as it means a steak dinner on his company expenses, for the bargain price of letting him tidy up my sofa to sleep on it. Superb, methinks, and I jump in the car.

I drive the ten miles or so to the dingy and decrepit industrial estate where he occasionally works (he works very hard and regularly, just only occasionally on said dingy industrial estate) I pick him up, and off we set. The car is full of the joys of early autumn, the sounds of relaxing music, and we settle into the joyous banter that only brothers can share. Merrily questioning each others parenthood, we start driving foodwards.

We are driving around the ring road, at-or-just-below the speed limit (genuinely, as it's a 1.3 Fiesta and pretty incapable of breaching that barrier, plus I drive like an old lady), and we are approaching a roundabout. To this day, I couldn't tell you whether I failed to see that junction, or my mind didn't process it, but when my senses and brain finally convened their little conference, we were about 5/10 yards from the roundabout, still at about 60.

At this point, time slows down. I slam on the brakes as hard as I can, and attempt to aim the car to the left. This was not a mini roundabout, and the island in the middle was looking remarkably ramp shaped, so I was not about to hit it and go the full Evil Knievel if I could avoid it. The wheels instantly decide to have a tantrum. If they can't go at full speed, they shan't go at all, and promptly start to skid. By now, I am no longer distracted, but on full video-game alert, and my epic 'need for speed' skills kick in.

Tyres squealing, we are turning a little to the left, but the car is oversteering, and there isn't much clearance around the junction to run off. I have to pull the wheel back around to the right, which somehow (I really was never very good at computer games) manages to catch the tyres, and pull us back to the right. We are still slowing down rather heavily, but even so, I manage to get more sideways skidding of the wheels in the other direction. Mercifully, with my half-second of training in how to handle the car at this speed, a little bit of nudging, and at last we are pointed in the right direction (by now at a significantly safer speed).

It is all over and done with in about a second and a half. We manage to exit the roundabout entirely unscathed, save for some unsightly gusset-troubling, and decide to ditch the (still smoking) car at the earliest sensible opportunity and walk to the pub. At the instant it was happening there was genuinely almost no fear, just shock and the adrenaline kicking in, but bugger me was I petrified afterwards. Any car on the roundabout, anywhere in our way, and I would have had no chance of missing them, which would have left rather more than the aforementioned pant-damage.

Didn't stop shaking for about an hour and a half afterwards, and I now drive even more like an old lady than I did previously.

Length? It retracted in so far with the fright I was practically choking.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 22:40, 1 reply)
Mmmm, ghostly bacon . . . (if you're allergic to long posts move along, nothing to see.)
This tale doesn't involve me but rather my good friend "Fred", last seen on this board shagging a 12 year old.

Anyway, paedo-lols aside, this tale is from a few years later. Fred is still living with his folks in their big, rambling, gothic, Victorian house. This particular house has something of a reputation in the village in which it resides as being haunted. Indeed Fred used to regale us with stories of ghostly noises and eerie feelings of being watched. He used to have a dark room set up in the attic and would frequently get such a strong feeling of dread and foreboding that he would have to down tools and leave pretty sharpish.

Things took a distinctly odd turn, however, during one week in which his parents and sister were on holiday. His brother was at university at this point so it was just him in his big, rambling house.

One morning he came downstairs and went into the kitchen to make breakfast. And then he spotted it. On the kitchen counter, next to the fridge. A packet of bacon. He stopped munching his cornflakes and had a closer look. Yep, there it was. A standard packet of bacon such as you find in a supermarket. Smoked, I believe. Puzzled, Fred assumed he had absent-mindedly removed it from the fridge and forgot to put it back. So he placed it back in the fridge and went out to work thinking no more about it.

When he returned that evening he went into the kitchen to make a cup of tea. He went to the fridge to get the milk out and stopped dead in his tracks. On the counter, next to the fridge - bacon.

"What the fuck?", he mumbled, as you would, really. He remembered putting the bacon away that morning and yet . . . there it was. Wondering if someone was in the house he wondered around a bit calling out to see if anyone was there. No, he was alone. With a growing feeling of misgiving he put the bacon away.

Next morning he again went into the kitchen. This time he spotted it straight away. On the kitchen counter, next to the fridge. Bacon. This time he was angry. He grabbed a knife from the kitchen drawer and marched through every room of the house, convinced (somehow) that a ne'er-do-well was hiding in the house, only breaking cover to leave a sinister calling card. Like the guy in "Seven" only, you know, more pork-based.

Exhausted, scared and unhappy Fred could find no evidence of anyone else in the house. Anyway, he reasoned to himself, all doors and windows were locked and the house had a pretty hefty alarm system. No-one could be there.

He had to leave for work, so with a profound un-ease he put the bacon back in the fridge. He was careful on the way out to ensure that all doors were definitely locked and the alarm system activated. But all to no avail. When he returned from work, with a numbing inevitability there it was. Kitchen. Counter. Bacon.

He phoned his friend Paul who came straight over. When Paul arrived Fred said "Right. Watch this", and picked up the bacon.

"You will note that I have a pack of bacon in my hands", said Fred. Paul, puzzled but playing along said "Okaaaay."

"You will also note that I am putting the bacon into the fridge and now I am closing the door."


"Right. Let's go to the pub."


So they went to the pub and Fred filled Paul in on the mysterious goings-on. So it was without much surprise that when they returned from the pub, yep, there it was, on the kitchen counter next to the fridge. Bacon.

Again, they searched the house but no culprit could be found. By this point Fred was pretty much a jibbering wreck, not sure whether he was being haunted, pranked or just suffering the effects of early-onset Alzheimers. He stayed the next several days with Paul, refusing to enter the house on his own. When his parents came back he told them what had happened but the mysterious bacon-mover never made another appearance. But those few days when Fred was being tormented by cured meat products really scared him.

So come on, B3ta, what do you think was going on here? I know that one or two of you (just one or two, mind) can be slightly cynical. You're thinking that Fred just made it up, that perhaps in telling me this story he was having me on. Maybe, very possibly, but I know Fred and I know when he's telling porkies and he was always deadly serious when he told this story, and ever so slightly freaked out. Plus, we have Paul's testimony. Paul witnessed the said bacon incident and he's one of the worst liars you'll ever meet.

So I believe that something happened. Now, I don't really believe in ghosts - something beyond what we can describe with current physics, maybe, but not hauntings from beyond the grave. But, consider. Fred searched the house, found no-one. The doors were locked and alarmed. Fred is not mad, nor going senile. So what the suffering fuck was going on here?

tl;dr? Pfft, lazy fuckers.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 22:38, 15 replies)
A couple both in hospital and both involving others.
1st was while my missus was in surgery for a mastectomy.
The fact that she might not make it or that the cancer might get her anyway ate me up and left me with that bowel loosening feeling everytime I thought about it. EDIT: still does now tbh, but it's usually period lumps in her boob. I was like a polite, well behaved-but-likley-to-snap-at-anything caged animal. When I went up to see her in recovery I understood that thing about having your heart in your mouth. The sheer sense of sadness mixed with relief was almost overwhelming.

The 2nd was the birth of my daughter. The missus had been admitted a week earlier due to high blood pressure. On the day she was induced they started at 0930. Eventually I convinced he to have an epidural - which failed, it only worked on one side. Eventually after a day of huffing and puffing to no avail (every time they upped the oxytocin(?) hormone thingy the sprog had "fetal heartrate distress" so at about 1700 they rushed us off to theatre (to the trainspotters this was the point my mum tried to hand me a magazine & sandwich!). There they tried suction, vacuum and forceps. Nada.
So they said emergency caesar and tried to kick me out - there I was bawling in fear for my missus and unborn sprog both in some distress and danger. I told them with tears streaming down my face that they could call the cops, as far as I was concerned I was going to be there for the birth of my daughter. They didn't & I was. But that sense of abject terror when you're stood in a room full of medico boffins who all know their jobs well and you knowing there is abso-fucking-lutely nothing you can do to help protect your loved ones is not a nice feeling.
As I'm sure every parent will attest nothing comes close to that feeling when you first hold your own progeny. Now I just have to spoil her and wrap her in cotton wool until I can be sure that she will outlive me and be safe & secure.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 22:36, Reply)
Not to be a smartarse, but I wasn't terrified until it was all over!
Last year I found a mole in my hairline that started to grow. After a month or so, when it finally sank in that it could be dangerous, I went to the doctor and he measured it and within a few weeks it was cut off.

I lay on the operating table fully conscious, with plenty of local anaesthetic injections in my forehead, joking with the staff and feeling no nerves whatsoever as I didn't really believe it could be serious. Think they thought I was a bit mental.

A week or so later I had a letter saying that the growth had indeed been cancerous but had been successfully excised and wouldn't give any more trouble. Nearly dropped through the floor.

Found the letter again a few months ago and and it was folded up, tatty and blue-stained. I seem to have carried it around in my jeans pocket for some time, to get it into that state. Maybe I wanted to be able reassure myself.

How people feel who really do have cancer, I can't imagine.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 22:34, Reply)
NHS jargon
"Miss Chien, your CT shows you have a 12cm mass on your ladyparts" were not the most reassuring words it is possible for a nurse to say.

Thankfully the surgeon's knowledge of anatomy was slightly more specific and he managed to save my ovary.

Length? The diameter was about the size of an orange.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 22:14, 2 replies)
Two Dogs
Back in my schooldays, my walk home from the station took me along a path where to the left of me was open parkland, to the right the housing estate I lived on, a line of six-foot-high garden fences punctuated every now and again by an alleyway leading to the roads onto which the houses faced. I did that walk hundreds of times over the years, but one in particular sticks in my mind three decades on.

Approaching one of the gaps between the houses I heard something approaching at speed, as well as a girl's voice, rather fainter, shouting "come back, come back!" I had no idea what it was, but soon found out as two dobermanns came tearing through, turned on a sixpence as they spotted me, and pinned me against the fence. I could feel their breath on my face, their claws against my shoulders, I could certainly hear their snarling, and I could probably have hazarded a decent guess which brand of dog food they ate.

Not that I was too conscious of any of that at the time. I was petrified, torn between shaking uncontrollably or screaming - perhaps both - but aware that doing either would probably be a very, very bad idea.

Shortly after - seconds, but it really did seem like hours as the cliché goes - the girl came running through after them. She was aged 10, 11 maybe, certainly a few years younger than me.

She managed to call them away from me and the three disappeared the way they came. The thought of giving her a piece of my mind wasn't an option - there was no way I was going to raise my voice to her while those two dogs were around and off the leash.

I'll never forget what she said to me, though, when she first came round the corner and saw me there, up against the wall with two slavering dogs apparently ready to rip my head off.

"Try not to frighten them."

As if.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 21:57, Reply)
Going fast down a hill on a bike seems to be a common theme.
My experience with this was when I was about 15. A friend of mine and I went to a park about five to ten miles from my house, and went on our ten speeds. As this was the 70s, said ten speed was a steel framed piece of crap with laughable brakes at best.

While in said park we smoked a fair bit of weed, and he had brought along a water bottle filled with potent tequila sunrise. Well blitzed, we went our separate ways home.

Only thing is, I have a lousy sense of direction and got lost.

I pumped that heavy steel bike up a hill for what seemed like an hour, then had to give up and walk it the rest of the way. It was a very long, slow incline, and as I was both drunk and stoned, walking seemed the best option.

I finally crested the hill and found myself looking down the better part of a mile of straight road, with a rather steeper pitch than the chunk I had just climbed. So I did what any idiot would do- hopped on my bike, got to high gear and pumped, then hunched down and held on.

By now some warning bells were starting to go off in my intoxicated brain, but I was committed- had I used the brakes they would have basically been melted, as they were the crappy little rubber pads on calipers that squeezed on the rims. I shot down the hill on a bike that was now as stiffly upright due to gyroscopic force as a concrete wall. In retrospect, I would guess that I topped out at better than 50 mph, but at the time the world looked like a tunnel-shaped blur with a ribbon of asphalt in it.

And said ribbon had a nice patch of gravel on it from someone's poorly maintained driveway.

I tried not to scream as my wheels, already being pushed to their limits, tore through the gravel. I heard a swift crunch, the bike juddered under me, but somehow I stayed on it with the wind screaming a dirge in my ears. By now I was envisioning a car coming out of a driveway, a dog with a habit of chasing cars, a fallen branch... any number of things would have turned me into a bloody smear at that point. Remember, this was the 70s, and I had no helmet and was wearing jeans and a tee shirt as I went at expressway speeds on a lousy quality bike whose wheels had developed a definite shimmy in them by this point.

And yet somehow my momentum was sufficient to carry me up the other side of the next hill and onto flat ground again, and I was back down to 20 mph or so, feeling infinitely more sober as I got my bearings and rode home.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 21:52, 1 reply)
First time I took an acid tab was after having a laugh on magic mushrooms a few times.
Was offered half a smiley mushroom tab in a party once and being the hippie I thought I was said yes.After an hour nothing was happening so took another half,it wasn,t long before my stomach started turning and the colours appeared.
Things were starting to get too much when I saw my mates face (think American werewolf in London) stretch and he bit his arm off !I didn,t know what the fuck was going on I was shitting myself,I made my excuses somehow and left.....it was dark outside.I was out of my mind ,up was down, black was white,nothing made sense I had had enough.
Walking home a voice told me I had to get rid of something in my stomach so I started to be sick,I couldn't breathe.
I eventually gets home to my bedroom and the visuals took over and the mind bending began ,the walls ceiling floor were gone,dragons snakes all manner of things it was like i was in a William Blake fantasy,so what did I do?Put some BLACK SABBATH on my hifi, oh fuck,now I became the devil himself and I was in my own underworld,ten fingers on each hand ,snake for a tongue,scaly skin.
The next 4-5 hrs I was gone,on a different planet or dimension for all I know,but what I do know is the lsd opened up something that was like being in my own horror movie which I didn,t know if I was coming back from.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 21:28, 3 replies)
Watching "Threads"
Scary shit right there
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 21:25, 23 replies)

I have thought my number was up a few times.

A scrote with pupils like saucers producing a pistol and pointing it me turned out to be exciting.

Getting it very wrong on a rock climb and being sure I was going to end up a crumpled mess, left me feeling embarrassed at the thought of being killed on such an easy route. I think it was embarrassment that made me fight so hard to recover the situation, if it been a route worthy of being killed on I reckon I'd have been more accepting.

Starting to lose consciousness at 45m below the surface due to a 'bad fill' was quite worrying, but also very tripy.

But none of these experience came close to this for the out and out feeling of sheer terror that blasted through me like a thousand volts. www.b3ta.com/questions/creepy/post1158525

(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 21:01, Reply)
Not sure if I was terrified or bemused
In November I had to stay away through work.
Involved big tasty dinner and a very very old pub/hotel.
I went to bed early, sober and sensible because I had to get up to drive in the morning.
Room was wonderful, oak beams everywhere - Had to send pictures home to the family.
Sleep was spoilt by a little old lady sitting next to the fireplace all night, looking at me.
Didn't sleep very well.
Had to go back again last week - So I asked for a different room.
Really not sure terrified or bemused.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 20:57, Reply)
Why don't you make some fun rockets that blow up
an expanded pearoast-

Having learned stuff in GCSE chemistry and extrapolated on my knowledge with freely available reference material from the library, myself and two co-conspiritors used to experiment with anything from trying to make intoxicants by distilling essences of British woodland herbs (if we'd have succeeded we'd be dead, there's plenty of whack natural substances out there even in British woodland) and also propellants for rockets (which was the original aim).

We constructed the recipe for old fashioned black powder (civil-war era gunpowder) from its constituents, to fuel our desires to make our own firework-size rockets.

Sulphur ('flowers of') was surprisingly available over the counter from Boots (turns out they are a Chemist after all). Carbon powder was made by inserting hammer-smashed fragments of barbecue briquettes into C.'s mum's coffee bean grinder and giving it a whizz- and my my, that did a good job, making powdery black clouds wafting on the breeze in C.'s garage, so choking that we did the clicheed bandit Wet Handkerchief/Nose thing, to filter out the muck before it was hoovered up our noses and our lungs died of silicosis. While the carbon powder was impure, it was effective when powdered to such a fine degree.

We faked photo ID (using Letraset rub-down lettering no less!) to make purchases from a Birmingham-based lab supplier (Hoggs) as no-one in their right mind sold saltpetre to kids, so sodium nitrate was acquired under the guise of us being the office juniors from a local film effects company that specialised in pyrotechnics.

While there we ordered some powdered zinc and magnesium to add 'zing' (sparks)and then had to formulate the physical rocket casings to contain the fuel.

'C.' found some old aluminium tent poles and set to work cutting lengths, crimping off one end and lighting the other once it had been tamped down with the powdered solid fuel.

My design was inspired by nature, using discovered excess bamboo curtain rail (did the Chinese not make rockets from these?). Except, this was about a 30mm bore but nonetheless... bamboo was naturally compartmentalised aong its length, so drilling a hole in the section to charge it with fuel, screwing on tin-snipped stabilising fins and adding a card 'nose cone' for aerodynamic purposes was meant to yield a spaceworthy rocket.

Ignition of the fuel was provided by a procession of tightly-packed match heads being sellotaped into a cylinder to make a fuse that could be ignited (with yet another match) but giving time for a sensible retreat to behind a nearby thick-trunked tree.

We were ready to go for our test shots up a rural hill in the locality,at night, which meant that meant no windows would be getting broken or cops summoned. C.'s rocket shot off into the night with a satisfying whoosh- the zinc addition making a trail of pleasing sparks. My masterpiece of 17th century Chinese-inspired weaponry? Instead of shooting off into the distance it decided to promptly explode in a shower of sooty bamboo fragments. Oh. Disappointment.

Next revised plan- use stronger rocket casing. The tent poles were no longer available so I hied me to a local ironmonger/hardware supplier who not only sold chromed shower rail but also had a pipe cutter to cut it into uniform 30cm lengths. The fact it was shower rail and chromed was irrelevant, it was good thick steel pipe with a 1mm wall thickness.

My next rocket didn't blow apart as such but the propellant did ignite with a bang rather than a burn (the magnesium powder reaching its flash point probably raised the combustion temperature too quickly) so it seemed that I'd got a starter pistol instead of a rocket.

Hang on.

What I have is a proto-firearm.

can the thrust be reversed, and project a....AN... projectile?

I already had a box of desoldered polypropelene capacitors (from an old TV set I had disassembled) that was cylindrical and of an appropriate bore for the cylinder so I experimented with fuelling the tube, drilling a hole in the end for ignition and stuffing a close-fitting cap into the muzzle to hold in the charge but also being the 'bullet', while knowing that a blunt light plastic cap wouldn't carry the kinetic energy or slice through the air enough to be a dangerous weapon. More of a science project.

Affixing a hand grip (the wooden handle from a paint scraper with a jubilee clip screwed into its butt and holding the tube firmly) it resembled a crude gun.

I set off from study leave for my GCSEs with it in my bag, having shown it to people at school on the last day and having a fair amount of scorn and cynicism thrown my way for the rough appearance of my pikey supposed shooter. Looks did not flatter it.

So- I was stung by that derision and decided to demonstrate. I got it out of the bag to further disbelieving hoots of mockery and lit the match-head fuse. The fuel caught and jetted a 6-inch flame of hissing bright white chemical burn out of the rear fuse hole, which didn't result in the usual bang, but after a few seconds terminated with a organ-pipe toned 'phoot' as the rest of the charge ignited and shot the capacitor across the gap to the rail bridge where it pinged off. All of a sudden, silence followed by some of the cockiest kids reassessing my 'non cool' status. (spoiler alert, it never really changed).

But flushed with success, I set about reloading the tube and showing some of my non-school buddies. Let us go down the park in the early evening when it would be quiet.

The Audience of about 8 teen associates watches expectedly as I point the 'gun' out over the extensive duck pond for the demonstration. I'm an old hand at this now, practically a pro.

Light the fuse, listen to the fizz of the chemicals lighting up, wait for the expected sooty phoot. Await applause.

Except, this time, *BANG* and a brilliant white flash.

and I can't see.

ears are ringing, yet I can hear the sound of hasty hoofbeats as the previously-keen watchers beat a path to the general direction of Away, and I can only feel what I knew was directly in front of me, the railings around the duck pond, but I couldn't see anything. It wasn't darkness, it wasn't black it was just...absence of an input signal. Even black would have been an input, neither was it the snowstorm pattern of a TV with the aerial out- just.... no sight.

I was so scared and alone and aware that expected pain might be dimmed by physical shock...is there pain still to come?...how much of my face still is in place? Everything is tingly... I still can't see.... just waiting for the pain to kick in...oh shitshitshit what will my parents say shitshitshit... my life is over...I'll die a virgin (this was important back then)...

Then, having had just enough time to consider all the grisly options, my sight came back. I had been dazzled, no more. To quote the prisoner played by Michael Palin in the Life of Brian, 'You Lucky, Lucky bastard'. Hence my most scared moment.

I still went on to make them blow up even more but without holding on to them, and then the police finally cottoned on and found me and my fun stopped then. Just as well, if I'd ahve tried that these days I'd have ended up in Guantanamo bay....
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:41, 1 reply)
Yesterday actually.
Went for an MRI scan on my knee (footy injury). For the uninitiated, the MRI scanner is that big tube in the hospital you get stuck in with industrial magnets and lasers aimed at you.

Now apparently most people feel quite claustrophobic in these machines, but I wasn't too worried about that. What I was worried about was the fact that I had a previous injury with a metal rod and my eye when I was about 6, it was so minor that It didn't even occur to me as I was being asked varying degrees of pre scan questions from a checklist about injuries and implants related to metal.

It only registered when I was lying in the scanner that if there was a fragment of metal in my eye, no matter how small, that it would be ripped out of my relatively soft eye tissue faster than a speeding bullet.

Thankfully, by the time I actually realised this I also realised that if it was going to happen it would have already done so, but for that brief second in time it was the genuinely scariest thing that I've been through.

So to answer your question. Very brown. Figuratively speaking of course.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:30, 4 replies)
Cuddly assassin

PE at school, and for reasons I do not recall, a large gym mat collapsed on top of me. My classmates in delight jumped on top of the mat, doing what I can only imagine must have been Sumo-wrestling, as I was still caught beneath the mat, trying to not be suffocated by the soft but heavy enclosure. Time and time again, I would lift my body up far enough to get another breath. But each time another student would jump on top of me, causing my limbs to give way.

I will have to admit that I am fairly claustrophobic any way, and my experience with asthma didn't help the fear of suffocation either. So that finally, in sheer terror and agony, I developed the superhuman strength to lift the entire lead-trimmed mat plus its decidedly obese inhabitants off the ground, and shoot an evil look at the teacher while filling my lungs with sweat-laden oxygen. He had been standing by all the time, but obviously saw no reason to intervene.

No pants were harmed in the creation of this tale.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:27, 1 reply)
Camping in the Rockies.
Yeah this is still last week's question but now it's relevant.

I grew up in Luton and Oxfordshire so I'm not mentally prepared for Grizzly bears wandering freely around. Camping in the UK is safe barring the odd gang of chavscum. You may get beaten but you won't get eaten.

Woke to find my little dog sitting on top of me, bolt upright, floppy ears stuck straight upwards and a low, almost inaudible growl coming from him.
It's dark and eerily silent by the lake and I hear nothing but now I'm wide awake and listening carefully.
Then I hear the sound of breathing and snuffling and something is pushing slowly along the side of the tent. Something big.
I hear the breathing, I hear the sound of something furry brushing along the wall inches from my face.
The dog, usually one to bark at anything, continues to growl but quietly enough so that he won't draw attention to himself.
This has the effect of making me laugh nervously and I cough too for added effect.
Whatever the hell that was has now snuffled on into the trees and it's once again quiet.
It was light when I finally got back to sleep.

Oh, and nothing would have persuaded me to go outside for a piss, no way.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:26, 2 replies)
Living in rural Hawaii is not usually so terrifying
Has to be the time I was at a neighbor's to be the child minder when said child's mum went into labor, attended by a lay midwife, a white woman from somewhere in the US midwest.

The baby was born with the caul over his face, and emerged greyish-blue, limp, and not breathing. The couple (also white) didn't recognize that the midwife's loud calls of "Ha!" meant "breathe!" in Hawaiian, but I did and it terrified me. The couple and I were in stunned, petrified silence, and long, terrifying moments passed and still the baby did not breathe.

The midwife ordered us to pray. I felt a palpable evil in the room, a malevolent presence, suffocating us as we tried to remember the words to the Lord's Prayer. Our voices trailed off as we watched the midwife performing infant resuscitation, and I fought the feeling that someone or something nearby did NOT want us to pray. I struggled to breathe too, and for the sake of the couple and their baby, I remembered some of the words and prayed loudly, their voices joining mine as we gained confidence and comfort in the ritual. "Again! Louder!" commanded the midwife, and we prayed again. It seemed to lift the sense of heaviness and evil, and calmed the parents as we watched the midwife work on their son.

Finally, finally, the baby inhaled sharply, and started to cry. With each cry, he got less blue and more pink. We nearly collapsed with relief as the midwife handed the angry, squalling baby to his mum.

He's nearly 15 years old now, and I still remember the abject terror and evil presence I felt on the night he was born. And I still cannot feel anything but patience, gratitude, and joy when I hear a baby crying.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:12, Reply)
Diving in the Red Sea.
Many moons ago, when I lived and worked in Saudi, we used to go diving in the Red Sea. The sea was beautiful, the fish vibrant, and the water was warm; which is something of a novelty having learned to swim in the cold sea at Bournemouth. Anyhow, on this particular dive I was taking my BSAC diving exam. We got down to the required depth and started to practice buddy-breathing, when my instructor started to give me a strange hand signal. I didn't recognize the signal, but I did realize that he was pointing to a large shoal of fish behind me. I thought the fish were Tuna, it turns out they weren't. The instructor kept giving me the strange hand signal and motioning me to swim towards the reef. When we got to the reef, we began our ascent and eventually climbed out and onto the shelf above the reef. When I asked the instructor what was going on, he told me that the shoal of fish were Tiger Sharks and that they were swimming very aggressively; a zig-zag motion if I remember correctly. It was weeks before I would get into the sea again and eventually take my exam. I never forgot the strange hand signal which indicates "shark," and I hope I never see it again.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 19:09, Reply)
Summer Vacation, Beach Fishing, Shark
When I was a teenager, our family would take the annual four week summer holidays to a pissant little seaside village on the north coast of NSW called "Red Rock". We would rent a holiday cottage, swim at the beach, fish in the river, all that Aussie summer holidays stuff. One morning my father decided he and I would go to the main beach at low tide, and try our luck fishing.

So, there I was, standing about thigh deep in the water, casting my line out, reeling in back in, rebaiting the hook, casting it out... I saw a wave slightly larger than the others coming in, so as it approached me I took a few steps back, to where the water was shallower. As I stepped back, there in the white foamy water, was this large (maybe 15 inch wide) open mouth filled with fuck-awful sharp teeth (sharp like I'll bite your arms off, eat you up, and spit out your arsehole). I'm sure my bladder let go as I ran backwards out of the water.

Never been fishing again. But three summers ago, I was back there, visiting my parents - we went to Red Rock, and walking along the top of the dunes I saw several topless women sunbathing - that was a sight to see.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 18:47, Reply)
Most internet-friendly scared I've ever been...
Age: 9
Location: VERY steep hill at the edge of town. Road leads into seawall promenade at the bottom.
Purpose: cycle down hill faster than 10 year old brother.
Variable: 6 women with pushchairs, who hadn't realized that the bit going up the hill with the road markings was actually, y'know, a road. Despite all the cars. And lots of signs saying "THIS IS A ROAD".
Events: Having beaten my brother to the base of the hill I had to skid to a stop to avoid the aforementioned silly biddies with biddy buggies. Now sideways-on to the hill, my ability to cycle off was hampered by the 6 women, who all started screaming at me for nearly hitting their babies. I was just about to point out that they were walking across the ENTIRE road in their line of buggies when I heard my brother screaming.

I looked up at the hill.

The biddies looked up at the hill.

My brother streamed DOWN the hill, clutching the handlebars of his bike in sheer terror. "I can't reach the braaaaaakes!" he screamed in a not-very-manly ten year old way.

Staring up at him, I knew that I was going to die. Heading towards me, faster than an atom in a hadron collider, was a ginger idiot who couldn't find the brakes on the bike. Obviously smart enough to want to miss the huge wall of babies and biddies, he instead opted for the safer option.... and steered straight into me.

For a brief moment, I knew what it felt like to fly. Then, for a longer moment, I knew what it felt like to powerslide on my nose for 3 meters of gutter. Retrospectively, flying was more fun.

Bike frame bent almost in half, his wheel buckled, I emerged from sniffing gravel through a broken nose to find out that the biddies, in the spirit of true kindness and concern, were helpfully... screaming at my brother for nearly hitting their babies.

It never occurred to any of them to move.

At the time it scared me that I was going to be hit by my brother at several million miles per hour... in hindsight, it scares me more that a group of (apparently) responsible adults would walk down the middle of a road with buggies, and then react to an accident by complaining rather than phoning an ambulance. Is this now a normal human reaction?
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 18:20, 2 replies)
Seagulls, Cliffs and the Arbroath Coastguard
I grew up in the norther scottish town of Arbroath and it was great, out all the time my friends and I used to go crab hunting, fishing off the cliffs/harbour and just generally fucking about as kids do.
One summer (i was about 14)it got really warm for the north east of Scotland and we had long lazy days swimming, fishing, crabbing and smoking pot nicked of off big brother. One of our favourite swimming holes was accessed by travelling down a cliff path to a nice secluded pool. Dont know what came over us, the sun, the pot, youthful recklessness, but we decided that it would be a good idea to climb the cliffs and collect the eggs from the seagull nests/perches.
We started off climbing the red sandstone cliffs, at first only going about 10/20 foot. Then the dares started, go that way, go that bit higher untill it happened, I was about 25 foot up and I couldn't move. Fucking stuck rigid, clinging on to the cliff face for dear life. Of course this only made my mates piss themselves with laughter, they thought this was brilliant. Things then went from bad to a hell of a lot worse when this big bastard of a gull that had flown off on my ascent decided to come back. Perched about three feet away staring at me with those evil yellow eyes that gulls have, I was terrified, sobbing and crying my little Hammy heart out. At this point my mates realised that this was no longer a joke and decided to go back into town and raise the alarm. Jimmy, stayed to keep me company and also to occasionally pelt the seagull with pebbles to keep it away from me.
Thinking of what an utter twat I had been and also how much shit I was going to be in, not only off the Coastguard but also my parents, the police etc gave me the courage to haul my arse off the cliff and surprisingly I managed to climb up and not down.
Jimmy grabbed the gear from the bottom, came up the path and we ran like hell to try and stop my mates calling out the coastguard.
Not so lucky, we caught up with them at the cliffs car park. They looked shocked to see me but not as shocked when they realised that they had just told an adult who was now driving to the nearest phone box to phone the coastguard.
We made our way quickly back to our neighbourhood with the sound of helicopter rotors in our ears.
Those seagull eyes stayed with me for a long time. It also took me ages to get over a previously unknown fear of heights!!
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 18:10, Reply)
I had a mate, Clive, who went through a bit of a rough patch, OK a full paranoid schizophrenic break down. He stopped going to work, let himself go and generally declined along with the odd talk about suicide. I’d been away with work for a couple of weeks and when I got back a mutual friend said my nutter mate had ‘disappeared’ for at least 10 days.

I went round his house, it was December and fucking freezing, let myself in and was immediately struck by;
1. The place smelt of rotten meat.
2. It was just as cold inside the place as it was outside
3. There was a pile of post on the floor.

I called out a couple of times. No reply.

Headed upstairs to his bedroom. The door was shut.

On opening the door the smell hit me like a punch in the face. I took a few seconds to steady myself and went in. The bedroom was no warmer than the rest of the house. The duvet was in a mound on the bed with just a little tuft of hair poking out the top.

I knew from the smell it was going to be grim, really grim but I still wasn’t ready for it, even as I gently moved the top of the duvet to uncover more of the hair.
“Oh! Hello RoF. I thought I heard some one come in.” said Clive. I called him a dumb fuck there and then, I can tell you.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 18:09, Reply)
Every time I put my laptop in for repairs,
I'm terrified they'll check my iTunes folder and realise I have a weird taste in music.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 18:07, 1 reply)
Sex-Induced Brain Fart
Scariest moment of my life involved having a sub-arachnoid haemorrhage whilst shagging my wife in the bath. Took 6 weeks to recover (including having a titanium clothes peg fitted to the leaky vessel in my brain) before I could get back to work.

That in itself wasn't the scariest moment - at the time I thought it might be my first migraine. One doctor at A&E said it might be a sex-headache (whilst I was thrashing around in agony on a gurney). No, the scariest part was just after I was taken for a CT scan and told very apologetically that I'd had a bleed on the brain - that particular doc made it sound like I had hours left to live. Happily I was in one of those easy-bottular-access gowns so no shitty pants for me.
Then another medico turned up, this time armed with some facts and a bedside-manner, and I wasn't quite so scared any more.

Funniest part was during my last angiogram (sort of a gold-standard brain x-ray) The consultant asked me for the umpteenth time how my SAH was triggered - I told him, unabashed. He replied, equally unabashed - "Well Mr O, you appear to be absolutely fine now. In future, if you must have sex in the bath, please go on top".
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:56, 5 replies)
I did a bomb hoax (repost)
When I was 14 I would go to a phonebox with my mate and make prank calls. Harmless enough and we found it hilarious as I could do some funny accents quite well.

Then we found a freephone number for a hotel reservation service

I made a few calls pretending to be michael jacksons assistant etc acted very stressed stating we must have the best room, all cutlery must be solid Gold etc

I began to draw a crowd. At school during lunch I used the school payphone and rang the number. I had about 6 people stood around listening and I went blank.

God knows why but I said in a very posh voice " haha there's a bomb in the *insert very large hotel in leeds centre next to the train station* hotel. Put the phone down and went about my business

2 hours later an emergency assembly was called. We saw SOCO officers removing the payphone. I shit myself and ran home

Unfortunately by the time I got home I had already been grassed and my parents had been informed. They were the opposite of happy.

The thought of being sent to a naughty boys home, let alone prison made me sick with fear and panic.

In the end I got a police caution. And a 3 week suspension from school. Had it been post 9/11 I would probably still be in prison for terrorism

Whilst cautioning me, the police explained that my hoax had not been taken as a serious threat, but the hotel had been searched. Had they took it seriously, they would have had to evacuate the city centre and stop all trains at an estimated cost of £3 million.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:33, Reply)
Nipped a dirty and got warts.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:29, 1 reply)
Amblin Entertainment
Myself and the owner of a local bike shop were riding our mountain bikes around Holmbury Hill one lovely late summer afternoon. I was doing a reasonable job of hanging on to his heels and all was going quite well as we both had a game of "who can stay off the brakes the longest" on a short fire road descent.

My riding partner saw a trail heading off into the woods up ahead and turned toward it. Thinking I'd gain an advantage, I stood on the pedals and braced for what I thought was a sharp climb, hoping I'd reach the top before him. However I'd badly misjudged it.

"Watch out for the drop!" yelled my biking buddy.

I had barely a second to register that the short climb was in fact a massive ramp, probably built by some fearless local kids. With all my weight over the handlebars I didn't stand a fucking chance of making it. My friend managed to land the jump, but looked on the absolute ragged edge.

I recall feeling the suspension bottom out suddenly and then looking up to see my bike mid air and beyond that the ground as I started to tumble.






I had just enough time to contemplate how much hitting the deck would hurt and that it would probably result in a broken wrist at the very least. I realised how much more it's going to hurt when 30lb of pointy bike landed on top of me. I saw the tree hurtling towards me and closed my eyes.

Luckily, I missed the tree by inches. Despite landing on my head and shoulder, I had enough momentum to keep rolling which took the energy away from the crash. My bike missed me by several feet somehow.

I stood up woozily, with my £100 Specialized Decibel helmet in three pieces atop my head and noted that my ribs hurt, but not sufficiently to stop me riding. We walked the distance between the edge of the jump and the divot my head made when I hit the gound, which came to roughly twenty odd feet. My bike had survived too. So not knowing what else to do we carried on.

The damage was confined to my ruined Decibel helmet, which is still on display in a glass case at the shop, plus a black eye, bruised ribs and minor concussion. I wouldn't like to comment on the condition of my shorts that day, but I've never been so sure that I was about to seriously injure myself as I did then.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:26, Reply)
I'm sure we've all got our own stories about these, but for me it was being left in front of the TV when I was about 3 or 4 when one came on about fire safety. I can't remember much about it apart from animated flames, but I was terrified of fire for a good few years after that. Didn't help that the house across the road caught fire about the same time so I got to see it for real.
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:16, 2 replies)
My Son
Sorry for the lack of lulz.
Ive never been scared of much. I was in a gang and a bit of a scally as a kid. I was a doorman as a younger man, physical violence doesnt really threaten me too much, I have a 2nd dan grading in Aikido and I used to box so I can defend myself well. I have a good family around me and do not want for much as far as money is concerned so a lot of things that cause fear or anxiety for most I very luckily do not suffer from. (I want to make it clear at this point that this is here for background and im in no way affiliated to the Honda motor company and do not partake in massive drugs and the supermodel scene has been a bit quiet of late). Now to what does scare me, my son.

He was born at 34 weeks (6 weeks premature) and was very ill when he was born. He had hemolytic anaemia at birth and was one of the worst cases seen in the area for a long time. He had only a 60pc chance of survival for the first few hours of life that thankfully rose to 95pc within a day or so.

The terror moment:
He was born, he was taken straight away from us and taken to an intensive care neonatal unit. As soon as I could I went up to see him. He was in a room that looked like Darth Vaders bathroom. I held his little hand and told him it would be ok. I rushed back down to the missus to let her know that he had survived birth and that they were working on him and then I ran back up to him.

I ran into the room he was in

The incubator was bare

There was no one in the room

A doctor walked in

I asked him "where is my son?"

He didnt know

I grabbed him screaming at him where my son was

Im a big lad, he was a little flustered

Eventually he managed to tell me that I wasnt stood in the intensive care unit but the critical care unit where my son was being held while they readied a space for him in the even more Darth Vaders bathroom esque intensive care unit next door.

My heart started beating again


He is thankfully now fine, my son not the doc. The 30 odd days he was in there was terrifying in itself but nothing compares to seeing that empty incubator.

Sorry its a wee bit verbose :)
(, Thu 5 Apr 2012, 17:05, 3 replies)

This question is now closed.

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