Most Terrifying Incidents That Happened In A Well-lit, Populated Place.

From drunk strangers grabbing them on the sidewalk in broad daylight, to getting kicked and stabbed on a crowded bus, people share the most terrifying thing that happened to them in a well-lit, populated place.

[Source can be found at the end of the article]

When I was 13 years old, an addict wanted money from me downtown, but I literally had nothing but my clothes on me. So I said sorry man, all out. 

Dude lumbers towards me slowly, pushes me over, and stabs me in the thigh with a Swiss Army knife.

I booked it to the hospital for stitches. Didn't hurt until I actually looked at it. Adrenaline didn't stop pumping for a very long time.


When I was twelve-years-old I was beaten up in a crowded bus station at rush hour by a boy several years older than me for absolutely no reason whatsoever. It was a completely unprovoked attack and I was trapped against a one-way door. The adults standing around waiting for their buses to go home from work did absolutely nothing to help me or to stop me from being attacked.


My dog and I are stopped at a crosswalk and he barks and scares this woman. As soon as he barked, the light turned green to cross but the lady started yelling about my needing to control my dog and she pulled out a taser. I'm just trying to get across the street and she starts making even a bigger scene saying how she's going to use it on me. My dog is barking at this lady and we are standing in the street now, at a busy intersection and I thought to myself I'm about to get tased in front of all these people.


Almost drowned as a 6 year old in a populated adult pool. I was floundering for what felt like a minute, quickly losing breath and swallowing water. No one around me heard my gargled cries. No one helped. Thank god my mother pulled me out before it was too late.

And that's how I developed my fear of water.


I was working a construction job a while back and I was told to wait on the ground floor for someone. I bent down to retie my boots and a pallet full of mixing cement comes crashing down where I was just standing. I clearly remember the foreman saying I would have been "stone cold dead" if my shoes were tied. Broad daylight, nobody reported the accident (OSHA was different back then). If anyone has seen the movie Grand Canyon, you'll know how I felt.


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A couple of years ago I was jogging in the centre of my town as usual, when I realized I was being followed by some guy I had never seen.

He kept trying to talk to me, and at some point he grabbed me from behind and went full molester on me. I shook free then started screaming, knocking on the hood of a car passing by. He ran away, never to be found.

I couldn't jog for over a year.


When I was really young, a guy stopped me when I was leaving school and asked if I liked PlayStation and Nintendo. I told him I did, and that I really liked Final Fantasy and he said "What a coincidence, I have that with a TV in my van. Wanna come play?"

I told him I had to ask my mom first, and to stay here. I ran home and called my mom to ask, and she told me to lock the door, get in the basement, and don't open the door for anyone. She explained what was happening to me when she got home and once I knew, I was pretty freaked out.


I was 18 or 19 and picking up a prescription at the pharmacy. While I was waiting in line, a man (who I guess was waiting in line as well) started taking pictures of my feet with his cell phone. He wasn't even trying to be subtle, just kind of bent over and aimed his phone at my feet. I moved a few feet away and he just followed me. The pharmacist saw the whole thing and mouthed "Do you know him?" I shook my head with my eyes wide, grabbed my prescription and bolted away from the counter. I hid in the store until I saw him leave and drive off because I was afraid he might follow me.

Maybe not terrifying, but definitely unnerving and creepy. Still creeps me out thinking about it.


One morning I was sitting in a caf, waiting for a friend. At the table next to me, there was a Chinese exchange student, who obviously just came to the city and didn't speak our language. Some guy walked up to her, sat next to her, groped her and said very nasty sexual things. I said "Hey that's not cool, I don't think that you are welcome and this place anymore, get out of here." Then he got to me, tried to shove me and said "What do you want from me, let's get out, I will beat you up." It got a bit louder but finally he went out.

Thing is, the caf was half full, it was 10 AM and no one cared what happened to that girl or me. And no one even thought of calling the police. Pretty terrible of these people.


I was in Chicago last year for a conference and brought my friend who was slightly terrified of urban areas (Keep in mind, we are from rural Iowa.)

Had to use the subway to get to the conference when suddenly a fight broke out in the car infront of us. They moved the fight throughout most of the train and started to flash guns at one point in our car.

Luckily for us, a brave young fellow helped break it up and no one was seriously injured, but my friend legitimately thought there was about to be a shooting.


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Walking back from lunch to my office. I work in a urban area but it usually is safe to walk. From the corner of my eye I thought I saw someone following me. Didn't think too much about it but picked up my pace a little. I had to stop at the crosswalk and the person behind me catches up and I feel something on my back and he tells me to make a left turn. I turn into the next street and he asks me for all the money in my wallet. I gave it to him and he bolted past me. It had to be no later than 1:00 PM and I got mugged right in broad daylight.


I was a Senior in High School and was dropping my girlfriend off at her house. She lived in a low income area, and I was from the "nice" part of town. As I was saying bye to her, her neighbor from across the street walked over to us and started yelling at me. This guy was our age and I guess she knew him as well. He started yelling at me for some reason, so I started walking towards him to do who knows what, when he said "I have a gun and I'm gonna kill you" At this I just stop in my tracks trying to determine if he's being serious. And then my girlfriend stalks past me, walks up to him and slaps him in the face as hard as she can and yells "Get out of here Junior and go home!" I stood there thinking "Whoa, she just owned that guy." That was 15 years ago and we're now expecting our third kid.


When I was 3, someone tried to kidnap me from a shopping centre. I had been standing next to my mum when some random guy grabbed me by the wrist and started making a fast move to the exit. Even nearly 30 years later I can still remember this vividly, from what he looked like to being too scared to say anything as I was being led out whilst frantically trying to look for my mum. Luckily enough mum had spotted me and screamed as we were next to the exit and he let me go and ran out. I had nightmares about the man with the yucky eyes for years after this.


I went to my local library which is very large. I was in the reference section which is a bit secluded looking for books about writing. I noticed a shady looking man following me up and down the aisles. I got a little nervous because I was pretty far from the desk or anyone else that I could see. Once he saw me notice him and that I was walking faster, he ran at me and slammed me into a shelf, smelling my neck and grabbing a fistful of my hair. He reeked of alcohol. I screamed. Lots of people came running. Security and the police were called. I was later told by their security liaison that perhaps if I had dressed differently it wouldn't have happened (tank top, shorts). I was so dazed I just stared at him and the female officer said "Are you kidding me?" It was so scary and surreal.


When I was in 5th grade, I had a seizure in the middle of class. When I woke up on the floor, kids were running around me and laughing, and the teacher was yelling at me to get back in my desk and stop trying to get attention. Everything hurt and I was completely out of it for the rest of the day, and I didn't understand anything about what happened, or just how big of a jerk the teacher was, until a couple of years later.


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A couple of weeks ago I went to Walmart in the suburbs with my fiance. We split up and I went to go grab some bread. A burly guy with his girlfriend pushed his shopping cart by me. He waited until he was right up next to me and he said in an aggressive tone, "I'm going to stab you in the back." I was minding my own business and never even made eye contact. Something about the way he said it was chilling. I'm about 5'5"/140lbs and he must've been at least 6'/220lbs. It's scary to think someone would threaten to kill a stranger for no apparent reason in the middle of a crowded store.


When I was 16 my then-boyfriend and I were violently mugged by 4 young men and one girl in the centre of the city we lived in. It was around 5pm, lots of people around leaving work etc. No one did anything, they held me down on the ground and they beat my boyfriend for not giving up his bag right away. We managed to flag down a police car after they had run off - no one stopped to help us, I tried to ask a woman to call the police but she didn't let me speak, shaking her head and walking faster.

The only one of the gang of five who got caught was the girl. Her mother found my boyfriend's passport and mp3 player in her possession and turned her in to the police (she was only 15).


I was walking down the sidewalk on a busy city street holding my 4-year old son's hand. He suddenly shouted "Yay!" and pulled away from me to jump, two feet, in the water at the curb. Just then a bus was pulling over to the bus stop in front of us. I opened my mouth to scream but no sound came out. I lunged forward — too late, but the observant bus driver did a quick "yank-and-back" on her steering wheel and the bus went exactly around my son, no room to spare, and still pulled into the bus stop. I pulled my son back to the sidewalk, started crying and yelling at him, which scared him, so he cried, then I hugged him so relieved he was still alive. By the time I looked up, the bus was gone. What scared me the most was that no one else noticed, and it was over in two minutes. Those 120 seconds could have changed my life forever... but since no one else witnessed it it was like it didn't happen. How many other times has stuff like this happened? THANK YOU bus driver, wherever you are. You had to be watching far in advance.


I was pretty close to a Lightning about 36 years ago, and by pretty close I mean less than 10 ft from it.

I was with family in a older hotel the Pocono mountains, we had a thunderstorm roll through after dinner. I just stepped out of my room at the hotel and was going to walk to my parents room two doors down. Just as I stepped out of my room the bolt struck ground in the court yard followed by the loudest bang I had ever heard. There was this smell of burnt ozone, a patch on the ground were the rain water had been vaporized and was bone dry again. I swear that the bolt appeared to be as thick as a tree trunk and the sound of the bolt was like the Tesla coil I heard at the Franklin institute in Pennsylvania. My parents said I literally levitated into the room and that all the hair on my body was standing on end and when my father touched me I discharged a static spark like I had been running on wool carpet for the last 2 days... It's a vivid memory and I sure do take care when I am out in severe weather.


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It was well lit and populated as it was my workplace, I was a pourer in a foundry at the time. Due to a mistake in the metal, it had to be put back into the furnace instead of being poured, a job that is done by using a crane to take the ladle (big bucket full of molten metal) back to the furnace. The ladle is then manually rolled over and the metal poured back into the furnace.

I was the lucky guy to roll it in, and whilst rolling it the crane driver made a mistake and moved the ladle out of position. This resulted in a wave of 1600C (~3000f) metal flying toward me like water off a spoon in the sink. Due to the light coming from the molten metal I couldn't guage the depth of the wave at the time, but looked down to see nothing but orange light surrounding me from the waist up. This lasted a moment at most, but in that moment every possible injury that could come from that crossed my mind.

No injury came of that, like a spoon in the sink the wave was very thin and my gear was good enough. But I was genuinely terrified then.


I was 10 or maybe 12 years old. My mom took me to the mall so she could go to the Target. There was a baseball card/comic book store right next to the Target and while she shopped I got to go look at the collectibles. While I was looking at the cards in the case, a guy came in. He looked around for a minute, then approached me and asked if I liked baseball cards. I said that I did and he said he had a Babe Ruth card in his van and asked if I would like to see it. We were right at the counter and the clerk was right there, but I got a real creepy vibe from this guy. I said no and left the store to go back to Target and find my mom. I looked behind me as I walked into Target and, sure enough, he was following me. I was starting to get a little scared, so I turned into the women's underwear aisle, thinking he wouldn't follow me. He kept after me until I finally found my mom. I never told her about it because I didn't want to scare her. At the time I thought maybe he wanted to steal my $10 but now I'm pretty sure he wanted more than $10.


I was on a 300 mile ride on my motorcycle when I stopped for gas at a sketchy gas station. While I'm stopped this homeless guy in a puffy ratty fur jacket and a Viking hat rides up on his bicycle with a milk crate for a basket and a homemade trailer. He rings the bell on his handle bar and tells me I have a nice bike as I'm walking in to pay. I say "Thanks! You too bud." and he charges at me on foot and pushes me, from behind, hard and says "no man I said you have a niiiiiiiiceeeeeeee biiiiiiiiiikkkeee." Im freaking out now because this guy looks high on something hard and, though I'm not a small man, I've heard drugs make you fight better. So I push this guy to the ground and yell for him to beat it. He gets up, adjusts his hat and runs to his bike like a madman and rides off. Most terrifying thing to ever happen to me.


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When I was about 15, I was waiting for a bus home when a homeless man asked me for a cigarette. I don't smoke, so I just apologised for not smoking and offered him some change to buy some, as it was the best I could do. He took it, then asked for a cigarette - this time threatening to break my nose if I didn't give one to him.

Before I could react, he beat the daylights out of me. No one helped me until a family friend happened to walk past who managed to figure out that the mangled, bloody mess on the floor was me. I ended up in hospital, and after a lengthy process of getting the guy arrested, positively identifying him, and extensive interviews before and after said identification, the police let him go. I stopped going into town, and moved away as soon as I could.


A few things come to mind but this is the biggest one for me.

A few years ago I was at the local mall, outside waiting for my mom to get there. I see her car pull up, and she turns around and goes to park. Parking is accomplished without incident. She's maybe 50 feet away from me. She gets out of the car, and some car drives up into that row of parking about 10 seconds after she finishes parking. This guy (maybe 45) gets out of his car and starts yelling at my mom for "stealing his parking spot" (even though he wasn't anywhere near her when she was parking), calling her some nasty names, and says that if this were his country that "she'd be dead for crossing a man." 

Anyway, my mom had parked fair and square. After he starts throwing profanities at her, his relative gets out and also starts yelling at her. I'm a large person (6'1, 230 lbs and I have a lot of muscle but some extra chub too,) but I HATE fighting and violence. Regardless, I run towards them and my mind goes into warrior mode. This guy was getting uncomfortably close to my mom, so I bark some obscene stuff at him and act like a caveman in heat fighting a sabertooth and the guy actually screamed like a child and fell backwards over his car and begs me not to cut him (I didn't even have a knife or anything on me). I tell him that respecting women is both important and honourable and asked him to apologize, and then he drove off. Adrenaline was high and my heart was pounding but my mommy dearest is safe and hopefully that jerk learned his lesson.


I was taking my kids for a walk in the park near our apartment once when a guy and a woman came out of the tree line suddenly and the guy said to give him my wallet and anything else in my pockets. He had some weird screwdriver / knife thing and I pushed my daughter, my eldest child, behind me. I was going to do the same for my son but the woman grabbed his other arm for some reason and my heart felt like it was going to explode for some reason, I suddenly forgot about self preservation and jumped forwards and broke the woman's nose. I felt a sharp pain under my ribs and looked to see that the man had just stabbed me, but at this point two other guys who had been jogging were running up and shouting.

The police that patrolled the park showed up not long after that. I was sitting and trying not to bleed to death, the man had ran off and his screwdriver was still in me. The woman was on the ground crying and shouting because I had also knocked the top front of her teeth loose/ out. The two joggers were originally asking the woman if I was the assaulter but the situation cleared up soon. I got taken to the hospital and questioned about the incident, there was a while when it looked like I was going to be charged with battery for the woman since it turns out she actually had a decently well off family, was just an addict. They tried to sue me but it was thrown out and she was sentenced for attempted kidnapping.

I had a tube in my chest for two weeks after my surgery to remove the shank, but it all cleared up after that. Just glad my kids are safe.




In life, sometimes there's wrong and "technically not wrong" - and the difference can often be hilarious.

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