Halloween Stories: What is the most scared you’ve ever been?

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I’m not talking about that time you thought you might have seen a ghost, or when your older sister’s neighbor knew a guy who conjured bloody Mary.

I’m talking about a time when something completely not supernatural happened and scared the shit out of you.

Here’s mine.

I was 23 years old and newly married. This would have been a few months before I got pregnant with my first son, Zach. So…around 32 years ago.

Anyway, my ex and I were friends with a couple named Charlie and Janice. Charlie and Janice are code names for Charlie and Janice. I think it would be more likely that I win that 1.6 billion dollar lottery than either Charlie or Janice read my blog. I’m pretty sure I’m good using their names.

So, they lived in our apartment complex and they had a little boy. Their baby was 5 days old when my ex husband and I went to visit.

I held this little warm squirmy bundle of energy. He was perfect. Beautiful. And oh my god, did you see that yawn? 

I’m holding this beautiful boy and his arm jerked up. The sock that had been on his hand fell off.

Then, I saw something that made my heart jump into my throat. The inside of my mouth tasted like I was storing pennies in thumbthe back of my throat.

Oh shit, oh fuck. Fuck fuck fuck. Janice’s baby’s thumb fell off. 

The baby’s fucking thumb fell off. Right in front of my eyes.

I didn’t know how I was going to break it to Janice.

One minute, his thumb was intact I assume. I didn’t actually see it, but then the next minute the thumb fell off of his chubby little hand and was swinging by a thread of skin.

“Uh…Janice? Your baby’s thumb just fell off.”

She walked over and picked up the sock. “Oh, yeah, he was born with an extra thumb. We have to wait until he’s a month old, then they will just snip it off.” 

I am not going to lie, I was not happy.

My feeling was, if you have a baby with an extra thumb that might just pop out at any time, you should mention that shit up front before it freaks a person out.

So really, tell me about a time something freaked you the fuck out that ended up not being what you thought it was. I’m all for scary stories, they help me process the fear I’m feeling every day as we rush toward the midterms.

 

Photo courtesy of Bruno Glätsch

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32 comments

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  • When I was about 8 and my brother was 5, he woke me up to tell me that someone was looking in our kitchen window. We crept out and there was the silhouette of someone’s head, looking in and not moving. We were terrified and got our mom. Turns out it was the milk sign she’d put in the window to tell the milkman we needed milk. I think I’ve dated myself there a bit! I have nothing else except things that were scarily real, like Tristan’s car accident and things like that.

  • This isn’t really scary but the thumb story made me think of this for the first time in forever. I worked with a girl back in the 80s who danced with this clog dancing group. I don’t know what it is really called?!? Anyway, one day at work she was wearing sandles and I thought I saw that one of her toes was COMPLETELY bent back over the top of her foot. I kept trying to catch glimpses of her feet to confirm. I swear it was true. I told my husband about the girl with the “fold back toe” and he insisted we go see her clog dance to see if she could really do it with the effed up toe. It was so gross but so hilarious. I don’t even remember her name because we always called her the girl with the fold back toe. (I think this story is funnier in my head, sorry)

  • I am inclined to head towards trouble. Screwed up training but I do it. I don’t scare easily.

    One moonless night I was driving in familiar boondocks and knew there was a little turn out ahead where I could pull in to take a leak,

    I shut down the car and stepped out into silence, no bugs, nothing. I peered about me and I swear that the hair on the back of my neck began to rise as I peered into the blackness.

    I cut things short, hopped in, fired it up and spun out of there. That time is one of a few where I felt the presence of pure evil. I never went back.

  • When I was aabout 12 I was home alone babysitting my little sister. I suddenly heard footsteps coming up the cellar stairs ( we lived in an old house with a dark scary cellar) I was terrified. They kept coming and coming. Finally it dawned on me that there weren’t that many steps so I turn on the cellar light. Turns out our cat had found a rubber ball and kept knocking it down the stairs and then bringing it back up and doing it over and over. Fortunately the cat made itself scarce before I could wack it.

  • This fear that I’m feeling….every day as we rush towards the midterms…..is the greatest fear I remember ever feeling. Well, except maybe for those awful days back when I was about 9 and we had to hide under our desks at school in case Russia dropped a nuclear bomb on us (as if we’d be safe there). I felt as small and frightened and insignificant and helpless then as I do know. Sorry, I tried to think of something funny-scary, but, I got nothin’. But your story was a laugh I needed. So thank you.

  • No scary story, but my great-grandfather had one of those “extra” thumbs. They did not snip his off, so he had it all his life. My mom said when I was born the first thing my dad did was check my fingers and toes!

  • This fear I’m feeling….every day as we rush towards the midterms….is the most scared I remember ever feeling. Except for election night 2016. And except for those days back when I was about 9 years old and we had to hide under our school desks in case the Russians dropped a nuclear bomb on us (as if a wooden desk , or even the walls of the building, could save us – even I knew better). I felt as small and frightened and insignificant and helpless then as I do now. Sorry, I wanted to think of something funny-scary, but I got nothin’. Your story made me laugh though, so thank you.

  • When I was about 10 I was at a sleepover at my friend’s house. Two sisters. One my age, Cheryl, and one a year younger, Candy.
    Their bedroom was right off the kitchen at the back of the house. You could see the back door from their bedroom. This is important.
    It was raining and the wind was blowing pretty heavily. Candy and I started getting scared because we were certain we heard people talking out back. That was feasible since there was an alley. Soon, however, we could swear we heard footsteps at the back of the house near the bedroom. I may have had an extra feeling of fear since I didn’t know if their mother was even home. I found out later she was passed out in her bedroom as per usual.
    Cheryl fell asleep during our scary debate about whether there was someone walking around or could it be the storm?
    Anyway next thing you know the garage side door actually started creaking open and slamming shut. The ancient detached garage was strategically placed at the bedroom corner of the house for our enjoyment.
    That terrified us out of our minds. Up until that point in my young life I had only heard that sound in the movies. I didn’t realize it existed irl.
    We were just being prepared for the finale.
    Finally, finally, the back door flew open. (I’m sure the neighbors could hear us scream over the storm, although Candy and Cheryl’s mother apparently didn’t.)
    Cheryl calmly got up and started walking towards the back door to her demise as we screamed “don’t go they’ll get you “!!!!!!
    Anyway she closed the door and crawled back into bed and Candy and I finally got to sleep at some point.
    That night was really something out of a horror movie less the murderer. It’s something I obviously have never forgotten.
    They always had weird stuff happen at their houses. Like people jumping out of shrubbery. I wasn’t there for that one.
    Anyway Michelle, your story is creepy af.

  • I’m sure something will occur to me at about 4:00 AM, but as of right this minute, nothing comes to mind. Although I’m sure I’ve had the hoo-haa scared out of me on a number of occasions (2 older brothers – it’s a given), no one particular event stands out right now.

  • Well, let’s see, I’m pretty sure the most scared I’ve ever been was when the front tire blew out on the motorcycle I was riding at 80MPH on highway 299 when I was seventeen.
    That was hairy.
    But I have scary motorcycle stories for days.
    I like to say that the thing I’ve done that took the most courage had nothing to do with physical danger, which I’ve had way more than my share of in this life, but was instead the first time I stepped up to a microphone and sang for an audience.
    For some reason I found that terrifying.

  • I’m cowering at scary nothings practically all of the time and have been freaked out by the noise of those wind turbine things on my roof (I don’t know what they’re called multiple times.

    One thing I remember, though, is when I was young and believed I saw a radio unplug itself at my grandparents. The plug just came unplugged at a pretty decent tick. I told my mom, who told me, “Do NOT tell your grandparents about this!”

    Which, really, is scarier than what happened. The plug could have just come out (it was an old house) but my mother’s adamant warning seemed to make it appear, to me, as though there might be more to the story.

  • Since you mentioned Bloody Mary, around where I live it’s actually the Bell Witch. At a slumber party one of my friends went into the bathroom, closed the door and turned off the light, and then, according to tradition, turned around three times while repeating “I hate the Bell Witch.” He then let out a bloodcurdling scream and we all freaked out.
    He’s a professional actor and does standup comedy now.
    Even more freaky is the time some friends and I were exploring an old barn where supposedly someone had found a human skeleton buried in the floor. Naturally it was about eleven at night. And naturally we went up to the second floor without flashlights or any source of illumination. And down below us we heard this strange gurgling, slurping sound, like some strange gelatinous creature sliding toward us.
    It was a damn cow drinking from a trough next to the barn.
    Laugh if you want but I’m terrified of cows.

  • I would have freaked the fuck out over that extra thumb. A little heads up, people. Geez.
    As a fan of horror movies whose family lived in a creaky old ginormous three-story haunted house [Oh yes it was], it wasn’t hard to get the heart rate up on a dark and stormy night.
    This particular night I was with my baby sister in the small den on the first floor at the back of the house. Mom and Dad were out. My two brothers were at a Scout meeting. I was 13, and sis was three. She fell asleep on the floor, and I let her snooze because it beat having to entertain her and I could watch my shows unencumbered by siblings. Ah, bliss.
    At some point in the evening, I heard a thud, followed by slow, heavy footsteps. I turned the volume down on the tv, and strained to hear over the booming in my chest and the blood roaring in my ears. When the footsteps hit the stairs, one creepy step at a time, I opened the den window, jumped out, fell on all fours, got up and ran screaming to the neighbor’s house, about a half a football field away.
    The neighbor jumped up, grabbed a shotgun and ran in through the front door to confront the intruders.
    Turns out, my younger brothers thought it would be a hoot to climb up the grapevine onto the second floor balcony and sneak in the house to scare the piss out of me. They got a stern talking to from our neighbor, who happened to be their Scout leader. I resisted the urge to toss them bodily out a window while they smirked and apologized in a very insincere manner.
    My sister slept through it all. I got ribbed for leaving her fate in the hands of potential bad guys, but my excuse was that I wouldn’t have been able to escape out the window with her in tow, and we’d both be dead. 😉

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