Blog 53

We’ve been secretly compiling a list of our top 20, scariest life moments. Brace yourself for the good, the bad and the ugly. Don’t forget to tweet us your favourite story @degree53 and we will be announcing the winner of our Nando’s voucher giveaway, this afternoon!

Team members dressed in Halloween costumes

1) State your name


Tell us about your scariest moment in life?

Waiting to speak at a conference in London, the suspense gave me a feeling fear like I've never had!

2) State your name

Josh Nolan

What was your scariest moment in life?

When I was younger, I was in a tangerine eating race with my sister. In my bid to win, I attempted to consume the fruit in its entirety in one go, I then proceeded to choke on the fruit and had to get saved by my dad. I also lost the competition :(

3) What's your name?

Simon Carter

Tell us about your scariest moment in life?

About 5 years ago we went for a weekend away with a couple of friends. We rented an old hall in Yorkshire from the landmark trust to stay in. The hall was beautiful and dated from the 17th/18th century or so. What we didn't know was that it had been the site of a grisly murder and the room we were staying in was the very room where there murder took place. We found this out through the guestbook and had a fun time telling ghost stories based around the history of the place.

It was later in the evening when things got spooky, we could see lights moving in the darkness and could hear murmuring and voices. We started to get very worried that perhaps something was going to happen as that very night was the anniversary of the murder! Having gotten ourselves worked up, the panic subsided when we found that it was the local history society who were having a walk and talk to commemorate the occasion. They were holding candles and were trying to be quiet so as not to disturb anyone! Thankfully any real ghosts left us alone that night and we all slept soundly. However for that 10-15 minutes when we didn't know who was outside, it was pretty scary!

As an addendum to my story, here's a link to the mysterious history of the place I stayed!

4) Who are ya?


Tell us about a time you were scared...

When I was a kid, I sneaked into a swimming pool and jumped into the deep end before I knew how to swim.

5) State your name...

Andy Jennings

What was your scariest moment in life?

Everyone knows how scary it is when you tip your chair back a bit too far and nearly fall flat on your back. Well, when faced with a 100m drop into a canyon for my New Zealand 'Canyon Swing' they offered me the option to do it sat in a chair. The only catch being, I had to tip myself backwards in to the canyon! I sat in the chair and buckled myself in and tried on several attempts to tip myself past the point of no return, but overcome with genuine fear (including the whole short of breath/shaking/stuttering - the works!), where not even the promise of an excellent photo could persuade me otherwise, I had to say no (and just ran and jumped superman style instead!). However I’m just glad I did it at all and if I end up in the same situation then I’m definitely doing it in the chair next time!

6) Do you have a name?

Yes, I’m called Bav

Have you ever been scared?

Yes, one day I saw a gigantic spider relaxing at the edge of my room (obviously on the floor because even its spider powers couldn't glue it to the wall). Immediately, I hopped to the centre of the room, shouted my housemate to help me capture it, we then sort of chased it around the edge of the room and then he just left me to deal with it. I saw it go behind a picture frame that was resting on the floor, after about 10 mins of psyching myself up, I kicked the frame but it didn't emerge. WHERE DID IT GO? I REFUSED TO SLEEP THAT NIGHT!

Team members in Halloween costumes in a meeting

7) Who are ya?


Tell us about your scariest moment in life?

When I was younger my older brothers forced me to watch them play Resident Evil, I was terrified. That night, I came down with a really high fever and started hallucinating. Seeing zombies clawing at your door and trying to crawl into your bedroom is terrifying at any age, but at 7, it's the scariest thing imaginable.

8) What’s your name?

Guess who…

Q2: What was your scariest moment in life?

The film Hocus Pocus, no matter how old I am this film will always scare me.

9) What’s your name?


Jade, tell us about a time you were scared…

Probably when I thought I was being chased by a shark when swimming in the Indian Ocean... but there was no shark. Well... not that I could see anyway :) Now I have dreams that I'm going to get eaten by a shark, allll the time!!!

10) Is your name Tom by any chance?

Yes, I’m Tom Dutson

What was your scariest moment in life?

It has to be plucking up the courage to ask Bryony out.

11) State your name...


Tell us about a time you were scared…

My scariest moment has to be when I was on a flight back from Paris. I originally flew with Air France, then they went on strike so I had to return with Fly Be! With no exaggeration what so ever, this has to be my scariest (close to death experience) EVER! From the point of take-off, I lost trust in the pilot, it was a disaster! And then, it got even worse as we were hit with not 1 turbulence, not 2 but 3, 4, 5 and it could of even been 6!

The plane felt like I was flying in some sort of - hmmm how I can describe this? Perhaps, a reliant robin (Google the thing). Hopelessly, shaking its way to Manchester the tin pan plane felt like it wasn’t even supposed to be 1ft off the ground never mind 30,000 ft! And…it was at that very moment a little thought crept into mind, "FINAL DESTINATION" the movie!!! Have you all seen the episode when the teenager has a terrifying vision of him and his friends dying in a plane crash!! I literally just started freaking out, so convinced that It was my turn to die!

I do question why my stupid mind would think about THAT film, at THAT moment – unfortunately, I still have no answer to this! But as you can probably tell, I made it out alive. Moral of the story, NEVER fly with Fly Be and if you are ever in the situation that you have no choice, do not board the flight!

12) What is your ghost name?

Sam Slater

What was your scariest moment in life?

When I first kissed Paul.

13) What's your name?

Adam Smethurst

What was your scariest moment in life?

I hate festival toilets! One day a few years back I was playing in a festival in Germany, they had all sorts of lovely artist facilities available. Proper toilets, showers catering etc. However I stayed on at the festival for a few days and decided to take a mooch about in the main area. I had a lovely time, but to my dismay nature began to call. I was about a mile away from any decent (clean or porcelain facilities) so I had to unfortunately wander over with in-trepidation to the public toilets.

At this point, you may be thinking that I am/was being a bit of a softy and should man up.... I entered what can only be described as a stench filled plastic box filled to the brim with 3 days of festibelly horror! I shut my eyes, held my breath and went about my business. After completing my task I realised there was no toilet paper! Now to add some more background, it had rained for 2 days solid prior to the festival so the ground around the toilets was pretty boggy.... back to the story... I had no other option than to sacrifice my socks in the name of cleanliness!

However, when I leant forward to take of my shoe......! The WHOLE TOILET started to tip over!!! Ensue life flashing before my eyes.... visions of an excrement filled plastic coffin etc etc etc. I had little time to react, I managed to open the door and perform what could only be described as a budget commando roll, with a missing shoe and my pants around my ankles! There was quite a queue outside who watched as the toilet and its contents spilled out around them. Needless to say I will never use a festival toilet again! I then had to walk back to my safe zone, covered in mud both, embarrassed and ashamed. For most people, It’s not the scariest thing in the world, but every time I see one of those toilets I feel a sense of complete terror!!!!

14) State your name...

Jim Barton

Have you ever been scared?

This one time... at band camp... We did a Séance in my mate's farm's barn and he still holds, until this day that, my other mate touching him on his back was actually a spirit and there's no way his arms could have reached that far.

15) Do you have a name?

Yes, they call me Leanne

What was your scariest moment in life?

Waking up and finding a crushed spider in my bed. A very large spider. Did I kill it in my sleep?

16) What's your name?

Respondent decided to remain anonymous

What was your scariest moment in life?

Wondering what Mike's next shirt colour will be

17) What's your name?

Jess, you?

Apart from your height, what are you scared of?

I was never allowed to watch "Are you afraid of the dark" on Nickelodeon when I was a kid. One night after school, I watched it at my friend’s house and got so scared that I ran out of her house and went crying to my mum! I didn't sleep for about a week and my mum and dad had to stay in my room every night whilst I fell asleep bad!!

Jess in her Halloween costume

18) What's your name?

Andrew Daniels

Name one of your scariest moments...

My scariest moment is looking at how many e-mails and actions I’ve got to do now I’m back from Atlantic City.

19) What's your name?

Respondent skipped this question

What was your scariest moment in life?

Hayley's next email.

20) And last but not least, tell us your name?

They call me Chris, Chris Benstead

Tell us about your scariest moment…

In my first year of university (some fifteen years ago now) I came to the city as a fresh-faced student seeking the enlightenment of knowledge and rented a room in the attic of a large four-storey Victorian terrace house. The house was old, dirty and in a state of general disrepair (as you would expect from a student house) with fourteen rooms spread throughout the different floors.

On the ground floor there was a mildew-ridden shower room, a living room we never used that contained the decaying carcass of a chicken on the fireplace (because one day we left a chicken in there to see what would happen – but that’s another story) and a locked door with a small window.

After living there for a few months and being typical students, we grew inquisitive about what the locked door as guarding – but looking through the window, we saw only darkness. Using the sort of initiative that is only seen in the upper echelon of higher-education students, we carefully removed the pane of glass and squeezed one of our less rotund brethren through. When he finally returned, he told us of a set of stairs descending down to a lower level, but the entire stairwell had been filled with old furniture and rubbish, blocking the way. The idea of our own party-basement made us all excited and tingly, but with no way of clearing the stairwell without first opening the locked door, we had to look for alternative methods of access.

There was no sign of a basement from the front of the house and no door to the rear yard, which backed onto an old dis-used railway line, but this did not deter us plucky youngsters!

We calculated that a section of railway line about half a mile from the house was running in roughly the same direction, so scaled the fence and began the search for our house. Almost immediately the railway line entered a tunnel running beneath the streets of the city and in a pre-smartphone era, we stumbled on with only the light of a novelty Reservoir Dogs zippo and a cheap bic lighter to guide us. Many a time on that journey we debated turning around; what if the line wasn’t disused? What if it was used as an underground city by the local homeless? We carried on, until finally we emerged into the daylight with what looked to be the rear of our house in sight.

We climbed a small embankment and were able to confirm that this was indeed our yard – we could see a Pikachu moneybox that we had placed on my friend Steve’s windowsill and set on fire and then left as some sort of grotesque Japanese gargoyle. The yard was overgrown, but we fought through the clinging urban jungle to the base of the house, where we found a small grimy window that could only belong to the basement…

I will never forget what I saw through that dusty window; a large room with a wooden floor and whitewashed walls. But the walls were not bare, they were covered in strange writing and paintings of pentagrams and other mystic symbols. One wall in particular captivated us; it was dominated by a large painting of a beautiful angelic face. The work had been carried out by a skilled painter who had portrayed the heavenly being in a seemingly serene moment, captured for ever in pastel cream, grey and stark metallic gold’s.

It was at this moment we noticed dark red smears across the walls; bloody handprints were everywhere, as if a blind man with bleeding palms had been spun around (as if part of childish game, perhaps carried out by young siblings on the lawn of their family home on a lazy summer day – a better time indeed) and was trying to feel his way to escape. The floor was mottled with dark pools of what can only have been blood.

On one side of the room we saw what would have been the door that led to the blocked stairwell in our house and on the other side of the room…a second door leading into the neighbouring house – marks on the floor were clear signs that door had been used recently.

Without speaking, we left the yard and returned home via the disused railway tunnel – this time unafraid of swarms of man-eating rats or monsters of urban legend, because we knew there was something worse in the world…and it was below our house.

Team members dressed in Halloween costumes

And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed our scariest moments, tweet us at @degree53 to tell us which one was your favourite.

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