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AskReaders: What is the scariest, most terrifying thing that actually exists?

We asked our regular contributors through e-mail, What is the scariest, most terrifying thing that actually exists? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.

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1. Alzheimer’s.

Your memory, personality and everything that makes you slowly slips away.

– AudibleNod

2. Prions.

They’ve basically screwed up proteins that make other proteins get screwed up the same way, like some sort of molecular zombie. Once you have a prion disease, it will slowly destroy your brain by messing up proteins that are vital for life.

Once you have it, there’s no cure and no treatment. You’re just done for. And it can incubate for years; you can have it right now and not know. And as a fun little bonus: disinfectants and other methods of killing viruses, parasites, and bacteria will do nothing for a prison.

Fatal familial insomnia is possibly the freakiest prion disease you just can’t sleep. You get progressively worse insomnia until you can’t sleep at all anymore, which causes delirium, hallucinations, and eventually death. Imagine just knowing your mind is slowly slipping away, all because your body won’t sleep.

That is a prion disease.

– ArcadiaPlanitia

3. Bolton stride. A tiny stream in Yorkshire that’s basically a river on its side. Only a meter or two across, and looks like a calm stream, but if you fall in it sucks you under and pulverizes you against the rocks. 100% mortality rate for people who try to jump it and fall in.


– idunnofuckoff

4. The fact that you can be paralyzed and unable to move any part of the body while your mind remains completely intact.

– -IAmPhoenix-

5. The ocean and the ocean at night.

– vlaxx98

6. Whatever it is, it lives in the ocean. Deep in the ocean.

– LanceTheYordle

7. Anesthesia awareness, you go to the hospital for surgery and you are paralyzed and awake during the entire procedure. Unable to scream, move, or indicate in any way that you are “locked in”.

– RuprectGern

8. ALS

At least with Alzheimer’s the patient usually doesn’t really know what’s going on. With ALS, the patient has a minimal mental impairment and is trapped in a nonfunctioning body.

– DaveNay

9. Brain-eating amoebas.

– dsade

10. People that kill without a conscience or reason. You could be in the wrong place at the wrong time or even just asleep in your home, and someone could pick you for no reason at all other than opportunity.

– bobbydigital_ftw


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  • I once woke during a surgical procedure. I felt oddly unconcerned. Finally, I managed to say “I think I need more anesthetic.” I got my request granted.

    • Same happened to me, I’m not a ginger. I didn’t feel any pain at all, I only mumbled something so they noticed and gave me some more. Then I had some funny hallucinations for a while (hard to say how long that was), very trip-ish, shapes, animals and stuff like that. They never brought it up so I think they think that I don’t remember lol.

  • The NHS Complaints Cycle. Because you’re complaining about mistakes to do with health, the Doctors can use the fact of your complaining against you as evidence of disease.

  • fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva, a disease that causes muscle to turn into bone eventually turning the body into a rigid tomb as it kills. A bump or bruise to us ‘heals’ into bone for them, truly horrifying.

    Also, since this is the internet, whoever disagrees with me politically even a little bit is the real danger, that politician I don’t like is worse than Hitler, grrr, (political cliche), blargh, (more political cliche), rabble rabble rabble!


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