Death may seem like a notion that's way off in the distant future, but sometimes we fail to see it right around the corner. These people got really close. Thanks to their quick thinking, another person's help, or just sheer luck, they barely escaped from a dangerous situation. Here's how these survivors had a brush with death and lived to tell the tale.
(Warning: this article contains descriptions of violence and may be disturbing to some.)
All content has been edited for clarity.
She’s A True Hero
“A neighbor stabbed me in the chest because I hit him over the head twice with a 10 lb weight to try to stop him stabbing his wife. I got him in the head with what I thought was enough force, but obviously I was wrong because he stabbed me.
However, I’m a larger woman and the knife didn’t go deep enough through my chest tissue to do any damages. The stab wound was 7 cm long and 5 cm deep, so it was pretty serious. Yay for being chubby! Also I think the adrenaline helped with the pain of being stabbed, I don’t really remember it hurting at the time. But when I got to the hospital about 2 hours later, they gave me morphine and then the ER doc stuck his finger in my chest wound to assess the depth of the wound and that hurt like the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. 0/10 would not recommend.
Anyways, I’m not sure all of the details of why he snapped, but he had been treated with steroids for some stomach pain, was kind off behaviorally before he tried to kill his wife. She’s in bad shape, but she did survive.
Case is still pending, but is going to trial at the end of the year. Until then, he’s in remand.
The takeaway is: always swing harder than you think you should.”
They Just Barely Escaped
“My mom attempted to murder me and my sister when we were 12/13.
She was going through a psychotic episode and was pretty suicidal, and I said the wrong thing that set her off. She chased us down to the basement with a knife. We ran into my room and my sister hid in the closet while I tried to fight my mom off at the door. She was trying to push it open while I was trying to push it close. It was a back and forth struggle until she put her hand in the door (I think she was trying to engage my non-violence because she thought I wouldn’t shut the door on her hand) but I slammed the door over and over again until her fingers broke.
Meanwhile, my dad who was in the house finally came downstairs to check in what was happening (mind you, this all happened VERY fast and my dad has a habit of zoning out when my mom gets in her episodes).
He ended up pulling her off of the door and my sister and I ran out of the house and jumped in our van. He drove around the corner and turned off the lights and we all ducked down in our seats to hide and stayed there until my dad saw her drive our other car off.
My mom tried to kill herself at our cabin and was hospitalized. She and my father tried to ‘work things out’. They didn’t, and it ended when I was 18 with a divorce.
Unfortunately she never faced any consequences for that day. She never told anyone about the attempted murder, and afterward it became something that she said she couldn’t remember and blacked out during. I never told my other siblings (they were older and out of the house already) and the sister who hid in the closet and I only rarely discuss it. My sister was able to largely avoid psychological trauma due to not seeing most of it, but obviously since I was face to face with it I’m a little messed up still. I tried repeatedly to go no contact growing up and had lots of issues (pressure from outside family, her being insane and manipulative and showing up outside of my dad’s house and popping up in the windows to trap me, etc.) BUT I moved across the country about 2 years ago and was finally able to go completely no contact about 4 months ago. The distance helps TREMENDOUSLY.”
A Little Kindness Can Get You In Trouble
“I delivered a pizza to a house just outside of the city. On the way back, I stopped to help a car that pulled over in front of me with their hazard lights on. I pulled up beside them and thought it was weird that nobody rolled down a window or made any kind of contact with me for around 15 seconds. The passenger then jumped out of his side of the car yelling that they needed help as he made his way toward my car. I thought something was weird about this.
As I started to pull away before he could get to my passenger door, he began shooting at me. I ducked my head after the first shot entered through the back window and embedded in my passenger seat headrest. Another shot entered through the rear window, while the other 3 only hit the outside metal parts of my car, he missed all together with another shot.
I remember being sure I was about to die as he fired more shots at me. I was very surprised that it wasn’t panicky, it was just like, ‘Oh, I guess this is it.’
Turns out it was a plot to rob me, the pizza was ordered and the guys were stationed down the road to intercept me. They knew who I was and they knew that I would be able to recognize them, as I had delivered a few orders to them before. The guy wasn’t wearing anything to cover his identity, which leads me to believe that he would have shot and killed me if he would have made it inside my car.
By the next morning they had all been arrested. The shooter was found guilty of attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison. He later appealed that sentencing because there was a word wrong in the jury instructions. He won the appeal and ended up being sentenced to 10 years and was released November of 2010 after 5 years. The remaining 5 years were to be served as parole/probation. He was arrested twice for parole/probation violation when he was only a couple months away from total freedom. I laughed.”
Keep Your Enemies Closer
“I one time invited my (at the time, estranged) dad and stepmom to come visit me at my home after my mom died.
Then I suddenly (over the course of 4 weeks) had to go to the hospital with symptoms that mimicked the Crohn’s I suffered, but without present Crohn’s activity (nausea, vomiting, severe weight loss, fatigue, pneumonia, high fever). My dad and stepmom drove a 4 hour round trip to visit me everyday while I was in the hospital. They also took me to all my doctor’s appointments and helped pay for my bills because I was out of work.
During all this time my ex came up with excuse after excuse as to why she couldn’t be bothered to visit me in the hospital, take me to doctor’s appointments, lift a finger to clean the house, or even sleep in the same bed with me at night. Her main excuse for not going out was that she had agoraphobia, which was a lie because while I was in the hospital she would drive her and her kid to her brother’s/lovers (yes, incest, I found out it was actually her and her brother’s kid I was taking care of) house everyday so the kid could play with his cousin/brother and she could be with her lover. Her main excuse for not cleaning the house was because she had COPD, but she smoked a pack and drank 100 oz of Dr. Pepper a day. She would also only bathe once a week. She most certainly was not like this when we first met and for the 3 out of 4 years we lived together.
It was my stepmom that came to the conclusion that my ex was actively poisoning me. She made my dad step in and convince me that my ex was poisoning me and that I needed to move out and away from her and her totally messed up family. I got away from my ex and my stepmom and dad took me into their home and family.
I had stupidly given my ex full access to my checking and savings accounts to pay for our household bills. I blindly trusted her to handle our finances (while I was working). Come to find out after my mom died my ex started to steal money from my account and give it to her brother/lover.
And that’s how they planned to steal my mom’s inheritance, buy some land, put mobile homes on the land, and kill me and bury my body on that land.”
Don’t Give Rides To Strangers
“My sister’s adopted brother (it’s complicated) had his throat slit by a hitchhiker and was kicked out of the car and left for dead on a country road. Luckily no arteries were hit.
He tied his tee shirt around his throat and managed to walk/crawl to a farm house to get help and survived. They caught the guy and he went to jail. New scar and a husky voice was the outcome.”
He Left A Scar On His Family
“My brother is an addict, and he held me and my dad hostage, saying he was going to kill us after he pulled out a loaded weapon. He fired it at the upper wall/ceiling at first to show us it was real, and my mom was by the front door and able to run out. I wasn’t 100% sure he noticed I was still inside, so I had run into the only room that locked, which was the bathroom, and hid behind the toilet. I eventually let him know my location by begging him to let us go, and saying that we wouldn’t call the police. He said he’d drag me out by the hair and shoot me first if my dad didn’t give him any money.
Eventually, my dad had convinced him there was money in the basement that my mom had hidden, and I ran out the front door. My mom was on the phone with the police from a neighbor’s house. What was scariest is that we were in a pretty rural area that had turkey hunting in the woods behind us. I heard a shot from the woods and assumed it was my brother murdering my dad. I had lived in a lot of fear up until that point anyway because my brother was generally violent and scary.
Fortunately, my dad was not killed in this incident. Once it was just the two of them and you could hear the sirens approaching, my dad was able to talk my brother out of it.
Unfortunately my parents wouldn’t let me tell the truth on the police report, so I didn’t write anything out or sign anything. They wanted him to get help instead of go to jail. He ended up going to jail, but it wasn’t very long. They bailed him out. He plead to something minor. He’s been in rehab a few times. I know it’s easy to blame my parents for enabling my brother’s behavior because I often do it myself, but this situation is very difficult for them, too. We didn’t have a lot growing up, but they loved us a crazy amount. They were the type of parents who would scrimp and save in order to take us to McDonald’s for our birthdays but not eat anything there themselves because we couldn’t afford it. They definitely spoiled us with their love, and they don’t deserve the amount of suffering they’ve experienced trying to help my brother. They didn’t realize that they were enabling him at the time (although they understand now), but their goal has always been to save him. Addiction is an incredibly difficult and complex issue.
As for me, it too a long time to be healthy again. I’m kind of a small person, but I still managed to lose a ton of weight and still haven’t been able to sleep well. It’s been almost 13 years. And my brother wonders now why I can’t look at him or why he couldn’t hug me on my wedding day.”
An Unjust Justice System
“My dad was super abusive. He did a lot of messed up stuff, like stomp my mom’s head into a sidewalk when she was 5 months pregnant. Fast forward to when I was 8 years old, he decided to bring the girl he was cheating on my mom with to our house to beat my mom.
My mother fled to our only neighbor’s house to call the police because he cut the phone lines. He left to take his side chick home, so my mother went to get our important documents. He came back and starting beating on my mom again and said he was going to kill us for calling the cops, and they show up while he was getting his weapon.
They arrested him for domestic violence and he got a slap on the wrist because my uncle (his brother) worked with police force and made it all go away as this is an extremely small town, in rural Alabama.
My mom was completely broken down mentally from brainwashing for years and under heavy influence from his family that it was her fault and that they should work it out. They ended up sweeping it all under the rug (and the fact that he violated me from ages 2 to 7). Then after all the trauma mom went through, she went psycho and became an abuser herself for a long period of time. It came to a head when she tried to stab me to death for not washing dishes one night my senior year. I got away and put myself into debt to go to college to escape that.
I blamed her too for the longest until it clicked one day. My mom was so beat down by what he had done, she couldn’t think for herself or be there to protect anyone. To this day she blames herself, but the person my mom has become has been nothing short of caring and doing her best to make up for that. She was just as much a victim as I was.We lived in a thin walled trailer at the time and my bed was up against the wall to the living room. I will never forget the nights that he would beat her, or her screams, or his screaming. I would just scream back hoping they would stop too and I always tried to get the courage up to go make him stop but I couldn’t.
A little back story on my dad, he had a twin that died at birth (they were premature) and his father burned up in a trailer shortly after. My grandmother eventually remarried again and had my uncle and two other aunts. After remarrying, my grandmother’s husband died after being stabbed at a gas station. My aunt took care of my dad because my grandmother was sick. She married and her husband was super abusive, he actually beat my dad up pretty bad and gave him a concussion, so I think some of it stems from that, but still no excuse.
We may have survived but my dad absolutely destroyed our mental and physical health. Sometimes I wonder if it would have been better to not live with the aftermath. It’s been hard.
“I Started To See Flashes Of Black And White”
“I found out my ex boyfriend was talking to another girl, so I confronted him and told him to go be with her if that’s what he wanted. This made him mad because I wouldn’t ‘fight for him’. He started shouting and claiming that I didn’t love him. When I pointed out that he was the one who couldn’t have possibly loved me, because he was talking about a future with this other girl, he got mad. That’s when he started tossing me around.
He started to grab me by the arms and throw me against the wall and to the ground. After maybe the 7th or 8th time of him throwing me, he carried me by my arms to my room and threw me onto the bed. Then, he pinned me down and started choking me. I had tried to get away before it happened, but he grabbed my face and shoved me down. I started to see flashes of black and white.
I don’t remember how, but I managed to get my feet under him and onto his chest and was able to push him off me. I couldn’t believe someone who claimed to love me could do something like that. Now every time I feel even the slightest bit of not being able to breathe, I picture his face. To make matters worse, he stalked me for like 8 months after I broke up with him and tried to fill my head with awful things. He told me if he would’ve gone through with it, he would’ve burned my house down with me in it. He told me he killed two people before, so killing me wouldn’t be so hard for him. I think he was trying to scare me into getting back together with him.
He was also logging into my social media and reading every single message I ever received from anyone. He read some really personal stuff, and he also got my new address from those messages. I thought I had seen him passing by my neighborhood one time, but this was before I found out he was getting into my stuff so I just shrugged it off as someone who looked like him. The only reason I found out he was reading my messages was because he logged me out of messenger. That obviously raised some eyebrows, so I checked my logins and saw he had been logging in for months. I don’t how he got my password because I changed it when we broke up. He’s a nightmare. I hope the girl he’s with now doesn’t go through what I went through with him. But, in my opinion, abusers don’t change. It wasn’t the first time he got physical with me, but it was the only time he went that far.”
When Cindy Brady Instigates Violence
“I had just bought a full sheet of acid (this was 20 years ago, would never touch now) and I went over to where my friend was living with a bunch of roommates to share the wealth. I knew most of the people he lived with, but there was one guy staying there who I hadn’t met before. I basically handed out however many doses people were tough enough to take at once, including three or four hits to the new guy.
We came to find out pretty quickly that new guy had never taken acid before. Ok, no problem, he’s at home, he’s surrounded by people he knows (except me), he can just chill and have a good time. We wanted to watch a movie so we landed on the Brady Bunch movie (which is really trippy, by the way). Everything’s going good, we all start peaking and we’re laughing and having a good time. And then, on the movie, the little girl Cindy is getting advice from her dad and says, ‘But I don’t want to be a snitch…’
New guy stands up and roars, ‘IS THAT WHAT YOU THINK? YOU THINK I’M A SNITCH?’
We all try to calm him down, explain to him that it’s a line from the movie, we even rewind the movie so he can watch that part again, but nothing is working. He’s tripping too hard to reason with, and he’s convinced that we’re accusing him of being a snitch. Then he starts pacing back and forth, back and forth, muttering, ‘This is the kind of thing that makes people kill. This is the kind of thing that makes them kill,’ over and over. Great.
He zeroed in on me, I’m sure because he didn’t know me, and he’s still pacing back and forth and muttering, but now he’s giving me a death glare while he does it. I’m getting pretty uncomfortable, obviously, and I’m also peaking from like 10 hits of acid so my ability to cope with the situation is pretty low. I stand up because, well, there’s a guy I don’t know pacing around behind me muttering about killing people, and I don’t want my back to this dude. This would be a really intense situation even if I wasn’t tripping like crazy, but the acid certainly doesn’t help.
Suddenly he pulls out a huge hunting knife, lunges at me, and tries to stab me. I dodged him, then he made another try but by that time his friends had jumped up and were holding him back. He’s struggling to break free and screaming, ‘YOU THINK I’M A SNITCH? I’LL KILL YOU!’, and I took the opportunity to bop right on out the door. I was about half a mile from my house but it took me about two hours to find it because I was tripping so hard and I kept getting lost in my own neighborhood.
He was, in fact, a snitch, and the whole house got raided a few weeks later. A bunch of the guys who lived there got arrested for possession, although my friend had moved out by that point so luckily he wasn’t one of them.”
Truely A Miracle
“It wasn’t me but my uncle. When I was a kid, around a decade ago, my uncle got shot while coming out of a bar with a few friends.
His friend got hit once in his shoulder but was fine. My uncle, on the other hand, got hit 3 times. One in the colon, one in the lung, and one in the heart. By all rights the shooter had gotten him and drove away. His friends rushed him to the hospital and, with a bullet lodged in his heart and blood entering his lung, he managed to survive albeit being in a lot of pain for a very long time.
The shooter never left his car and in the chaos of things nobody got his plate. They put out a search warrant for the car but nothing meaningful turned out since they didn’t have enough info. My uncle thought that maybe it was my his dealer, but he never mentioned that since he didn’t wanna get busted himself. I never got many details since I was pretty young, but my best guess is that my uncle was pretty heavily in debt to his dealer and a hit was ordered on him and his friend who got hit was just collateral damage.
Since then he’s gotten his life together and is getting married in about a year.”
An Extreme Way To Show Your Dislike
“I was 3 years old and went to this lady’s house for swimming lessons. The lady was recommended and highly thought of. My mom drove me to the lessons and wanted to observe, but the lady said no. So, mom was in the front, in the car, waiting for the lesson to end.
What my parents didn’t know was that the lady hated boys.
One day she threw me in the pool and left me to die. I sank to the bottom. I was under for several minutes.
The lady had two teenage helpers. Somehow one of them saw this, jumped the fence and rescued me. The ambulance came and I was in ICU for a week. My parents never found out who exactly the teenager was.
The lady wasn’t arrested. This was in the US in the ’70s. She did go to the hospital where she was questioned, but the reason the cops didn’t do anything was that my parents had to file a complaint. They looked into prosecuting, but the lawyer they consulted with said she didn’t have any money and the end result wasn’t worth the expense. Plus, she was actively dying of cancer.
A lawyer read an article in the newspaper and decided to go after the lady, pro bono. She had several businesses involving kids. He was able to shut her down. She ended up as a waitress and eventually died from her cancer.
As a lovely parting gift, growing up I sometimes felt like I was drowning when taking a shower or in water. I’ve overcame this and eventually got a scuba license and still enjoy swimming.”
He Got Roped Into A Bad Deal
“So I just got home from college and parked my car on the street. it was about 11pm and I was just sitting and browsing my phone. I was reading some work related messages when suddenly a guy opens the passenger door and tries to get in. I’m trying to push him out and he’s like, ‘Shh.. you better not,’ and points to the driver’s window where another guy was standing pointing a loaded weapon at me.
He gets into the car and from the back, another guy comes in so now there’s three of them: one in the passenger seat, one by the driver’s window who by now has opened the door and put his weapon to my head, and another who was sitting in the back and was pointing a knife to my neck.
At first I got really confused and I was like, ‘What the heck, guys?’
The guy next to me started talking about money I owe them and started searching my car. I told them they’re mistaken and he said, Don’t play me.’
At that point for some reason I got really calm as I don’t owe anyone money. I tried to explain they had the wrong person but the guy with the weapon got really mad and hit me with it. He tried to pull me out and the dude next to me stopped him and said there’s an easy way to check, so he took my phone and started going through everything.
At some point he got into my messages with my mom and my little sister, and he was checking where I work. He got into the gallery and found pictures of my dog and that’s when I was worried the most. He said to his friends, ‘Look how cute his dog is, ain’t it? You love your dog, don’t you?’ and I didn’t reply.
Few minutes later and he finds nothing and it dawns on him they really do have the wrong guy. Then he explains to me that they supplied some guy 4k worth of illegal substances and that he never paid. Next he says ‘sorry’ and they’re off.”
Grandma To The Rescue
“One day I went upstairs to my younger brother’s room to use his computer because our other brother broke mine. He was autistic, so when he quietly left, I didn’t think anything of it. He returned shortly after, and when he opened the door my grandma stopped him and dragged him down the stairs.
Turns out, for a long time my brother had ‘voices’ telling him to kill me. He didn’t want to, but was so tired of hearing the voices and he was just going to kill me to get the voices to stop. My grandmother had worked with mentally ill patients before, so when he went downstairs to get the pair of scissors she saw the look in his eye and knew something was wrong.
He was sent to some fancy hospital for the mentally ill kids in Chicago. He hated it there. He was diagnosed as schizophrenic after this event as obviously autism does not cause you to hear voices in your head.
I forgave him and all that, but we’ve never been really close after that.”
Always Beware Of White Vans
“My parents moved to Mozambique (Africa) during the mid nineties. I was around 8 at the time and started going to school there, a nice private one, can’t complain. My father was working for the Red Cross in Chimoio so we had a comfortable life.
One day, before arriving to school with a friend of mine, some sketchy guy stopped us and offered a whole bunch of money to just take some small box to a white van that was parked at the end of the street. My lucky day, I guessed (it actually was, but for different reasons).
When I was going to go grab the box, my friend grabbed me by the shirt, pushed me, and started running, screaming (something I didn’t understand in Shona, the local dialect). That moment was when it clicked. He was an organ trafficker.
The moment I looked back, the guy had already vanished. So, wherever you are, thank you, Chude. I will never forget you.”