Horror movies are fun because they’re fantasy – it’s okay to be scared, because we’re not worried the events will ever happen to us.

I draw the line at movies that seem too much like they could happen to me (because nightmares), which I guess means I shouldn’t have read through these 11 real-life stories.

11. Betrayed by pizza

Once, as a child, I was eating pizza while playing games on the computer. (Quick shoutout to Windows 40 Games.)

I suddenly swallowed a piece of pizza wrong, and suddenly I’m choking. I hadn’t learned the Heimlich, or how to do it to yourself, and so I’m panicking.

I try opening my sister’s door, but it’s locked, and I hear her talking on the phone and doing her hair. I start banging, and she calls out “What?”, but I obviously can’t answer, so I keep banging. She keeps thinking I’m just being annoying, so it takes her a bit to finally answer. At this point, the real fear of death is hitting me. She opens the door, sees me, yells “Oh my god, hold on”, tosses the phone, and does the Heimlich on me.

Thinking back on it, if my sister wasn’t home, I’d have died. It’s a chilling thought, and so I don’t think about it often.

10. I did not want to keep reading this one

“A family member of mine is friends with a man (middle-aged) whose wife sadly died while taking their dog out for a walk through a rural area they were visiting. They had driven up to a farm along the road and gotten out when the dog tore from her grip and ran off. She ran after it to the back of the barn (where the huge open dung-cistern was).

The F*rmer wasn’t home, so when he came back later in the day, he found her car and thought it weird that a strange car had just been left there, doors open, with no people noticeably nearby.

He went around searching for his unexpected visitors and eventually found them.

What he found was something I had never even imagined before hearing of this.

The dog had fallen into the cistern of deep, liquid waste from the farm animals. The edges on the cistern where way too high up to reach from liquid surface level and the woman must have panicked, because she had jumped in after the dog to save it and that’s where her life slowly and brutally came to an end.

The fumes that accumulate from that much dung are very toxic. The woman, after being unable to get back out, had lost consciousness and drowned, along with her dog, in a pool of cow feces.

I can’t imagine a worse way to die. I think about it now and then and hope that no one will ever die like that again. Poor souls.”

9. I wonder who called her name, though… #friendlyghosts

I was passing a messy construction site – in my country there are few safety precautions around those, even construction perimeter is not properly marked/fenced off.

A massive iron rod fell right in front of me, shattering down inches in front of my skull.

Funnily enough, I thought someone called my name seconds before and spent a split second looking sideways instead of continuing straight on.

Then BAM.

8. I hope she bought that cashier something nice

“When my aunt was about 23, she was driving home from a late bar tending shift in central California and stopped to get gas. It was maybe 2 am and there were a couple cars in the gas station, but she didn’t think much of it. Rural California. Not busy streets. She was pumping her gas and leaning against the car when the intercom said, ‘Ma’am at pump 4, please see cashier.’ At first, she didn’t realize she was at pump 4, and they had to announce it again.

Saying there was an error with the payment and to see the cashier.

She walked inside and the guy working the counter tells her to stay calm and that he’s called 911, but that he saw a man crawl under her car and was laying there. As they stood inside, they saw him crawl into the backseat of her car on the cameras. They waited until the police came and the man was arrested. He had a pocket knife and gloves on and appeared to be homeless.”

7. The cops could have possibly saved the next kid, too

Some guy tried to snatch me when I was 12. Chased me around the block and everything. I managed to give him the slip and spent the next ten minutes at home alone watching him through the curtains as he circled around looking for me.

And like a f*cking idiot, I thought it was funny. Should’ve called the cops but didn’t, because at the time it never occurred to me the danger I was in. Jesus Christ I was lucky.

Edit: Wow, my experience seems to be disturbingly common O_o.

6. A scary AF version of Home Alone

“A girl I went to high school with stayed home for softball practice while her parents and her little brother left for a weekend trip. She was home alone sleeping in her bed in a completely dark room when she was startled awake by the loud sound of her bedroom window breaking. She watched as a dark figure slowly crawled into her room through the window.

The figure’s eyes weren’t adjusted to the dark but it turned towards her because it saw something.

This mysterious man inched slowly towards her trying to see what this lump was in the bed. He got his face almost right up to hers before he realized it was a person in a bed. His eyes widened, and he slowly backed away and crawled back out the window.

It definitely could have ended worse for her, but it still robbed her of her feeling of security. After that, she slept in the living room because it had no windows, and she slept with the lights on.

Even when she moved away to college a year later, she slept with every light on in her apartment. She paid for the whole light bill to make sure her roommates were cool with it.”

5. Some people don’t have all the luck

I had a gun pointed at my head during a robbery once. I didn’t think I was going to survive.

Two months later, an F4 tornado took out pretty much my whole town and killed a bunch of people. Didn’t think I was going to survive that night either. A few people I knew didn’t.

Three years later, diagnosed with PTSD.

4. That’s a lot for a kid to handle

“Years ago when I was 8, my family lived in this big weird house kind of on the edge of a small town. The school district was in the middle of a big restructuring, so even though we were only a couple grades apart, my brother and I went to different schools and took different buses. This left me as the last person to leave in the morning and the first person to get home in the afternoon, which meant it was my job to make sure all the lights were off and the door was locked.

One morning, I noticed the basement door was open and the light was on so before I left I turned off the light and closed the door.

When I got home that afternoon the light was on and the door was open again. I just assumed that I’d forgotten to actually take care of it when I noticed it in the morning, so I went over to turn off the light and close the door. When I got to the top of the basement stairs, I looked and there was a big shadowy male figure towards the bottom of the staircase. I fre*ked out, slammed the door, and pushed a bunch of boxes against it and then went and hid in my closet.

For months, I didn’t tell my family because I was positive what I had seen was a ghost and didn’t think anyone would believe me.

Then about a year after that incident, my mom and her boyfriend realized that small amounts of money had been going missing for months (totaling around 900, but never more than $60 at once). So we all walked around the house with flashlights trying to figure out how they could have gotten in.

Turns out some creep was climbing in through a small hole on the outside of the house, shimmying through a crawl space, then coming up into the house through the basement. Realizing I had been alone in the house with him on at least one occasion was one of the worst, most terrifying moments I’ve ever had.”

3. When cry-it-out almost killed the baby

Apparently I was the worst baby ever. Used to scream my head off all the time.

My aunt was staying and I was put down for a nap and did my usual losing my sh^t routine. Mum was going to come and get me as it just didn’t sound right and my Aunt told her to not be so bloody soft and to leave to to scream all I wanted.

Luckily Mum decided to ignore her and came into the room to find my cot of fire with me in it.

Dodgy electric blanket so God know how I wasn’t electrocuted as well as burnt to death.

Good on you Mum!

2. Someone definitely wasn’t expecting that

“Years ago, my now husband worked for an industrial laundry company in their head office when a PR disaster happened that messed up a number of people. Their company collected laundry from large hospitals and nursing homes and cleaned them — you can imagine the sort of heavy-duty cleaning, bleaching, and boiling needed to remove those sort of biological contaminants.

One day, a laundry cart went through the usual bleaching and boiling cycle before it dropped out into a conveyor belt to be sorted for drying/pressing when there was a horrid scream.

A small newborn baby’s body had been discovered tangled up amongst the sheets, it had been ‘cooked.’ The laundry workers were distraught, the whole place had to be shut down, police were called and tracked the laundry back to the hospital to discover what happened.

It turns out a (thankfully in some ways) stillborn baby had been left in the cot waiting to be taken down to the hospital mortuary after the parents had said their goodbyes and covered it with a blanket but somehow one of the nurses hadn’t realized (just on shift was the best guess) so just grabbed up all the linen out the cot and off the bed in the delivery room with the body bundled inside and emptied it into the laundry hamper.

The other nurses/parents assumed the baby had been collected by the mortuary to be stored awaiting their funeral decisions.

The laundry was found not to be to blame but the parents were devastated and the hospital took a lot of flack. The poor laundry workers who discovered the body ended up being given counseling before eventually quitting. The laundry did amend its practice to individually emptying each laundry hamper into the industrial machines instead of just tipping them in to stop anything like that happening again.”

1. Scary and boring all at once

I was missing for three days out on the open water.

I was boating with my father and we were in a small boat, we had all sorts of supplies, knives, life jackets, fishing rods, flares, cooking utensils and materials, all the stuff. Anyways we were both in this one boat. We were at a dock, but we didn’t tie the boat to the dock, which was a dumb idea. I was told to hold onto the dock so I don’t flow away. I held on but there were somewhat strong currents and it was kind of windy. I let go. I didn’t mean to, I had to. I didn’t know how to swim at this time, but I started to float away. I couldn’t jump out because i would most likely drown, and I was out of site, i panicked and just hoped for the best. If we didn’t have the materials in the boat i probably would have died. Anyways I floated away and eventually i was out of sight from the land. It was very, very scary.

I closed my eyes and just hoped to god I would survive. I prayed, and I’m an atheist. I wanted all the luck i could get. I kept hydrated with the bottled water be had on board, and we had some dried nuts and fruits on board too. I had a thermal blanket, so to go to sleep I would lay in the middle of the boat and cover myself with it. It was surprisingly warm.

Anyways i just tried to keep myself warm and makes sure i didn’t tip he boat for three days. They had boats out looking for me within two hours of me floating away. Eventually, they sent out helicopters, I was found after three days of being lost out on the open water by a helicopter.

It was the scariest three days of my life.

Chills forever, y’all, and I’m sleeping with the light on tonight.

Do you have a tale like this? Please share it with us in the comments!