People Are Talking About The Most Horrifying Real-Life Deaths They've Heard About And This Is Not For Children


As someone who writes a lot about terrifying things and spends hours going down Reddit rabbit holes, my attention was grabbed when I came across an interesting r/AskReddit thread from a few months ago. User daddadnc posed the question, “What’s the most horrifying real-life death you’ve heard about?” and there were an astounding number of responses. All awful. Check it out:

Warning: Some extremely graphic stories ahead.

1.“The Dutch teenager who bungee jumped to her death in Spain because she misheard, ‘No jump!’ as, ‘Now jump!’ Maybe not the most horrifying, but absolutely terrible and tragic.”

Person bungee jumping from a high platform
Gerald Nowak / Getty Images/Westend61

2.“A man named Jose Melena was cleaning an industrial oven at work. A coworker didn’t check if anyone was inside, filled it with tuna, and turned it on. I just can’t imagine how awful it would be knowing what was about to happen to you.”

News report screen featuring the headline "WORKER COOKED TO DEATH" with an industrial machine image

3.“A truckload of hot asphalt for resurfacing roads was accidentally dumped on a teenager in my province. He would have died instantly but other people on the crew still got severe, severe burns trying to dig him out.”

Road roller smoothing asphalt with steam rising during road construction. No people visible
Tomazl / Getty Images/iStockphoto

4.“Kid I went to high school with went out in the forest just to wander on his own. As a kid at heart, he decided to climb some trees for fun. Either a branch broke or he slipped and fell far enough to break his back. That didn’t kill him though. It was winter and started to snow. He lay there, unable to move as he got slowly buried in snow. By the time they found him, he had frozen to death. That shit still eats at my brain sometimes. He was such a nice guy.”

Tall snow-covered trees from a ground-up perspective in a dense forest
Delta Images / Getty Images/Image Source

5.“Thirty years ago in Toronto, a Greyhound bus flipped on the Gardiner expressway. The bus dumped ninety degrees to the right. Passengers were impaled by the filthy salt-encrusted guardrail.”

Traffic on a highway with city skyline and CN Tower in the background
Steve Russell / Toronto Star via Getty Images

6.“A similar story only happened a month or two ago in Australia. A wedding party was on a bus that rolled onto its side decapitating some allegedly, and killing a total of 10 people.

News reporter on-screen with an inset aerial view of an overturned bus at an intersection for a breaking news segment

7.“Back in the mid-’70s, my mother worked at one of the many sewing factories in the southern US. They had gone on break around 10 a.m. and noticed the lineman working on the pole. They came out for lunch at noon and he was still up there, but not moving. He had grabbed a live wire and it fried him in place. Had to break his arms to get him down… He was also the father of one of my school buddies.”

Two utility workers repairing lines from elevated bucket trucks

8.“After Pearl Harbor got attacked, they raised the hulk of one of the sunken battleships and found one of the compartments had a calendar scratched onto the wall indicating someone had survived in the partially flooded room for like two weeks.”

Aerial view of the sunken USS Arizona battleship at Pearl Harbor
Hulton Archive / Getty Images

9.“I had a friend who was engaged to an underwater electrician or welder. I mean this man would go down so far it was completely black. Long story short, he went down one day, and never came back up. I don’t remember if something ruptured or if he was shocked to death, but I remember thinking how awful it must have been to have died in such an abysmal place.”

Underwater welder with equipment working on metal structure
Sgcrouch1 / Getty Images/iStockphoto

10.“My cousin walked under a grain auger and the hood of his hoodie got caught in it. He was sucked up into it and decapitated before it could be shut off. My grandpa had to clean his head out of the auger. This happened over 20 years ago. I was a child, who did not witness it firsthand.”

Combine harvester transferring wheat to a truck in a field
Education Images / Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

11.“There was an old guy who lived down the road from me, he wasn’t good on his feet so only used the bottom half of his house. He went to go to bed one night but fell in front of his old electric heater next to his bed in the living room and couldn’t get up again. The poor bloke was cooked alive. When the paramedics turned up they had to go into the garden to vomit; it was horrific, apparently. I only know this because a couple of family members went to see what was happening when an ambulance turned up at his house, I’m not sure who called it. They said it was truly awful. The guy survived for a while in the hospital with his injuries but unfortunately died. He must have been in front of the heater for hours.”

Oil heater with glowing element, positioned indoors
Cris Cantón / Getty Images

12.“The guy who was boiled alive in a Yellowstone spring. He illegally jumped into it while his sister recorded the entire thing on her cellphone. His body actually dissolved.”

People by a geothermal area with the text "Hot Potting" from Inside Edition

13.“In Victoria, Australia some freeways have these ‘speed wires’ which are like three cables strung along a fence instead of your standard solid barrier. The first time I drove to uni it was raining and a motorcyclist fell off in front of me, hitting these cables and exploding. His head flew about 50 meters before it splattered on the road. Pretty fucked thing for a 19 year old to see.”

Dashcam view from vehicle showing another car passing by on a highway with guardrails and grassy verge

14.“Race car driver Russ Phillips was killed when his car hit a catch fence roof first, and his upper body was dragged along the fence leaving pieces of his body all along the fencing. He was decapitated and shredded in half.”

Race car crashing into a barrier on a track

15.“My parents. My dad had a heart event and fell into a cistern watering the farm animals and drowned. My mom went looking for him and from what investigators told us she tried to pull him out, fell, and bumped her head and drowned as well. They were 78 and 76.”

Center pivot irrigation system in a field with water tank
Brian Brown / Getty Images/iStockphoto

16.“I heard a story from WWI that many times, when people had charged, gotten hurt, and were immobile from their injuries, you could hear their screams for help while being eaten alive by rats over the course of several nights.”

Photograph of a World War I trench with wooden walls and barbed wire, no people present
Ashley Bellingham / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17.People being walled up inside of a brick column or wall. The punishment is called immurement. The last one I heard of was a serial killer in the early 1900s. They walled him inside the corner of a building. People said they could hear him screaming for mercy for three days before he fell silent. Imagine: Inside a cold, damp, pitch-black chamber too cramped to stand or sit down. Most likely, it was crawling with bugs. No food, no water, no mercy. I imagine he went mad before the second day was up because he knew death was the only escape.”

Illustration of medieval peasants working, some carrying bundles and one using a shovel

18.“A guy I knew of flew himself and his family to Florida from the Midwest for a Christmas Disney trip in his personal plane. He was flying in some lower-seated clouds when his engine died. He tried a couple of things to restart his engine but couldn’t get it to come back. When he came out of the clouds he was over a forest with no way to glide somewhere to land and had to put it down in the trees and hope. The crash killed himself, his wife, and two of his three kids except for his youngest daughter who walked two miles barefoot in the late December snow to find help, but she survived.”

Single-engine airplane flying against a cloudy sky

19.“The most terrifying one I have a personal connection to was a man my father knew who was slowly sucked into an industrial fan.”

Array of industrial fans on a building's exterior, viewed from above

20.“I knew a guy (friend’s older brother) who jumped off a 90-foot cliff in Montana and landed on the rocks…at a popular river hangout. He died instantly and about 50 people witnessed it, including a bunch of my friends. I’m glad I was working that day otherwise I definitely would have been there.”

A scenic view of a mountain lake with a prominent dry tree in the foreground
Ucg / UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

21.“The woman in China who got stuck in an elevator for a month. When they eventually found her there were scratch marks on the door and her hands were bloody from trying to get out.”

Abstract blurred image with a vertical line dividing two contrasting shades. No discernible persons or text present
Catherine Mcqueen / Getty Images

22.“The woman who got ‘eaten’ by an escalator. Her legs fell through the panel at the top of the escalator, and she threw her child at the two mall employees waiting there (they knew something was wrong with the panel, but didn’t know how to stop the escalator). I haven’t seen any aftermath pictures, but I assume it was bad.”

Security camera footage showing people on an escalator, with a CNN headline about an accident

23.“I think about that Russian tourist who was eaten by a shark in Egypt. His dad was watching and saw his son get eaten chunk by chunk. At one point he was completely flipped upside down and pulled under… Brutal”

Shark with open mouth swimming towards camera underwater
Stephen Frink / Getty Images

24.“A man in Vernon, British Columbia was visiting his mom after his dad’s funeral. He tripped over his mom’s open dishwasher door and was impaled to death on upturned knives.”

A dishwasher with plates, cups, and utensils after a cleaning cycle
Ragnar Schmuck / Getty Images/fStop

25.“Twenty years ago on the TTC (the transit system in Toronto), a guy with a knapsack was late to get up and out the door at his subway stop. He got onto the platform, but the doors closed on his backpack. The train continued to drag him down the platform, before slamming into the wall by the tunnel.”

A dimly lit subway station with signs pointing to Northbound and Southbound trains
Jon Bilous / Getty Images/iStockphoto

26.“The Thunder River Rapids Ride accident of 2016 at Dreamworld in Queensland, Australia. Basically, due to a mechanical failure, the water levels dropped, two rafts collided, and many of the passengers fell out or got trapped near the conveyor mechanism. Four people died. It was incredibly public and incredibly gruesome.”

Old wooden shack with a corrugated metal roof, surrounded by a wire fence and logs piled nearby
Jono Searle / Getty Images

27.Finally, “That cave diver who got stuck upside down in a cramped dead end, couldn’t be physically pulled back out, and subsequently died.”

Camera footage of a rocky underground cave structure with visible formations, from a 02 HD News segment



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