Keep in mind, these stories are not for the faint of heart. Seriously, the people telling these stories encountered sights way too gruesome to even be imagined. But for those who want to read on, strap in for a very wild ride. Content has been edited for clarity.
He Died Nine Times That Night
“Paramedic here, my first ever cardiac arrest was when I was a student. I was only nineteen years old at the time. We get called for a sixty-something male, short of breath. He’s upstairs in his bed, having a particularly bad flare up of his congestive heart failure. We brought our stair chair, which would help us carry the man downstairs, and we attempted to move him from his bed into the chair. He collapses, has a syncopal episode, and he actually comes to a few seconds later. We attempt to sit him up so we can lift him onto the chair. That was when he started to exclaim, ‘Don’t sit me up, I can’t sit up!’
I told him that we needed to get him downstairs and onto a stretcher, but he continued to tell us not to sit him up. When I asked him why not, he simply said, ‘I’ll show you.’
And then he died. I kid you not, those were his last words at the time. We ended up shocking up back to life and getting him downstairs, where he died again. So naturally, we shocked him back to life again. We had to do this four or five times before we finally got him into the resuscitation room in the ER. Every time that ee shocked him, he would be back sort of talking with us, but he was obviously still out of it from dying and all that. I never got a chance to ask him what he saw once he died, since it was such a chaotic and busy encounter, but I’ll never forget how he looked into my eyes as he died for the first time. Believe it or not, this man actually ended up walking out of the hospital five weeks later. It was so bizarre. I have seen hundreds of deaths since then, but none quite so astonishing as this man. It took a while for me to fully process all of that. By the time I left the hospital, this man had been shocked back to life eight or nine times. I was very surprised he actually made a recovery and walked out of the hospital. Saving someone doesn’t often happen in my line of work, but we ended up saving that many many times that night!”
Is She Even Human?
“So I am a medico-legal death investigator. This is basically a forensics investigator that works at a medical examiner’s office and only investigates death. This week, I dealt with the addict who had been dead for a month and literally melted into his couch. I decided that the best course of action was to simply spill him into my transport bag. When I tried to do that, his head literally fell off and rolled behind the couch. Apparently an infestation of insects had eaten away at his neck. There was also the women who lived in a trailer while lighting a charcoal grill for heat. She ended up killing herself and her two dogs by accident due to the carbon monoxide. Then I also had to figure out the foot that was found at the train yard. It turns out it belonged to a homeless man who had been riding the rails. Somehow, it was cut off and the man lived until he fell off the train. This also took place in my state, so I was tasked with taking care of this afterwards. Those are just the cases I’ve handled recently. It’s business as usual.
As far as past experiences, I used to work in Lancaster, PA, and there was this farmer who ran accidentally over his kid with one of those huge corn combines while he was harvesting the corn. The kid went up and out the tube out the side, and we had to transport him with buckets. Last year, I had a woman who lived in a huge mansion but was a hoarder. She ended up dying in her bathtub after taking too many sleeping pills. The hot water and the jets were on for about two weeks before someone finally found the soup. I had to open up the tub drain with a BBQ spatula that I found. I drained the tub and ended up having to remove her in pieces because she literally just fell apart. This one woman was murdered, folded up, placed way out in the woods, and set on fire. I get called out to start taking pictures and looking around the area. I found some clothes, but no wallet or any form of ID. Half a dozen detectives, the county forensics, and ten patrolman were also in the area with me. I felt the body’s hand and knew instantly that something was wrong. I squeezed the hand. It was some form of latex. Some total weirdo has beaten up a human-sized doll and burned it in the woods. The collective sigh and uproarious laughter that followed this discovery was incredible.
I have been doing this job for fifteen years now, so I really have accumulated some horror stories. THere was the time that I was trying to move the body of a decomposing homeless person from his tent. I lost my balance and fell forward, causing my hand to break through this dude’s decomposing skull, into whatever was left of the brains. There was also this doctor I found who was face down, butt up with a large metal rod protruding from his rectum. There were these massive arterial spurts all over the wall, so I initially assumed it was due to a homicide. It turns out that the dude just enjoyed sticking a metal rod inside of himself. He nicked an artery, causing him to die from exsanguination. His family was understandably quite mortified and embarrassed. I had a guy cut his own head off on purpose with an electric chainsaw. He was some salty eighty year old who kept trying to kill himself, but his kids took all his weapons and medication and any other means to off himself away. They came home and found him on the garage floor with his head unattached, save for this half-inch flap of skin. He rigged up some contraption with the chainsaw, laid supine on the ground, then lowered it onto his throat. I mean at least the job pays well? I’ve become so numb to this sort of stuff at this point that practically nothing will phase me anymore.”
Halloween Shouldn’t Be This Frightening
“I work as a firefighter and EMT, and I have way too many stories about this! I’ll share my worst one. This happened around Halloween ten years ago. We were dispatched to check out a self-inflicted head shot wound for a male of unknown age. We got there after the police cleared the scene, and we had to walk through a heavily decorated parking lot of the apartment complex. As we approached the apartment in question, we notice more and more balconies with Halloween decorations, which wasn’t helping the eeriness of that night. We even noticed what seemed to be a human0sized Frankenstein monster sitting out on one of the balconies, which definitely made me jump at first. The police told us how this guy was definitely dead, so we would just try to confirm and be on our way. We walked through the apartment in question and then we found the poor victim. He had walked out onto a balcony, sat down in a chair, and blew his brains out. His head was obliterated from the ears up. His skull, brains, and blood ricocheted off of the balcony ceiling and had splattered all over the parking lot below. It was beyond disgusting. Once I looked down at the parking lot, I made a sickening realization.
It turns out that the amazing Frankenstein decoration I had seen coming in was actually this dude. On the way back through the parking lot, we really noticed allof the pieces of skull, blood, and brains splattered across the cars and asphalt. It was so surreal. We all returned to the station, and about two hours later, we were dispatched to that same scene for a wash down. Oftentimes, the police would call us back to help them hose the blood and debris away. It’s so, so gross, but someone has to do it!”
Not Even Horror Movies Are This Twisted
“We got a call about a man behaving erratically around his apartment building. The girlfriend was home and in the shower, and she had absolutely no idea that any of this was going on. This couple lived on the tenth floor, and the guy had a history of psychiatric issues and being highly violent towards police. We showed up to find that this man had left a twisted puzzle for his girlfriend to find him. It was like one of those easter egg hunts where you leave clues strategically, leading the person to get to the next area and solve a riddle. We used the clues to find this guy. He was waiting on the fifteenth floor of the apartment building, at the very top. The moment that we got to him and he noticed us, he jumped from where he was standing and hit the balcony, which was several floors down below. The girlfriend told us that they had been fighting a lot recently, and she was planning on leaving him. This man knew this and intended for her to watch him kill himself. I have witnessed suicides on the job before, but none of them had the same level of intense planning as this one! It was super macabre, and I will always feel guilty that we didn’t get there any sooner, even though we were rushing to the scene as fast as we could.”
“There it was, the blood pancake. I was working on an EMS squad as a driver, and my weirdest experience of all was when we drove to this old woman living in an assisted living apartment. We got a call that she had fallen and hit her head. Since you never know what you’re walking into after getting a call, we rushed over there. I was expecting this woman to have a nasty bruise and not want to go with us to the hospital. Well, this elderly woman managed to hit her head on the corner of a wall that broke some skin and membrane. She bled out of her head A LOT. I walked in, and it looked like someone had murdered this woman via a bullet to the head based on how she was laying on the ground. If I had to make an educate guess, she probably burst a blood vessel outside of her skull somewhere. The real gross part however was picking her up from the ground and watching the coagulated blood follow up with her, still attached to her broken skin opening from her cut head. I watched the gravitational pull flop the blood onto the ground like some kind of blood pancake. By this point, the woman had lost too much blood and had passed away. This was by far the most disgusting image I’ve seen on the job. A police officer I was friendly with on scene just gave me the most disgusted look, and I gave him the exact same one. I’ll never forget that legitimate pancake chilling there on the tiled kitchen floor. I was a volunteer at the time, so I let one of the salaried police officers pick that up. We were plenty busy with our patient by that point anyways.”
The Strangest Reason For The Water Balloons
“I used to work in a medical examiner’s office for a while, and I have some wild stories! This man was found dead in his home, wearing nothing, with water all over the floor. There were no signs of blunt force trauma to the head or anywhere else. The weirdest thing was how there were water balloons in his freezer, which were defrosting on his kitchen table. There was also an open bottle of hot sauce nearby and tea tree oil Turns out that this guy enjoyed stuffing the balloons up his butt coated in either the hot sauce or oil. Apparently he ended up causing a tear in his colon lining, which created a deadly blood clot.
There was also another time when a wife was accused of murder. Her husband’s body was found in the back yard, with a shot to the head at an off angle, weapon in his hand, and a scratch on his head. The wife had not been anywhere near this area when the shot went off. Initially, people suspected that she hit him with something, shot him, and then fled the scene. When we found the wife, she said how the couple had a fight, he took out his weapon, and walked out back to blow off some steam and shoot some targets. He was scratching his head with the weapon, and it immediately went off. Sure enough, that explanation explained the odd angle. When asked why she didn’t immediately call the police about this, the woman told us that it was his fault he shot himself, and she didn’t want to deal with all of that nonsense!”
No Reasonable Explanation For Those Intestines
“I used to teach human anatomy for eight years to medical students. I have probably worked with about eight different cadavers during that time, but only one really stood out. The cadavers I receive to use for educational purposes come with a very limited medical history. Basically, I receive the basic cause of death and maybe a handful of other chronic conditions. This one male cadaver came in with the cause of death listed as ‘chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder’, which was a very common cause of death for these cadavers. But when we got him open, everything was so gnarly. First, I found a large tumor on this dude’s ascending colon. It completely warped his liver, which had become totally malformed and pushed towards the back of his abdomen. There was no gallbladder. Once I got deeper into the abdomen, I found this strange green sac. Turns out this was a massive cyst on his kidney, and it was the size of an overfilled water balloon. Once I got to the spine, there was this large hard lump. I had no idea what it was until my boss came over and popped it open. It was an abdominal aortic aneurysm the size of a duck egg, with a thick layer of plaque around it. It was a cool cadaver to look at from a pathological perspective, but it was too messed up for a mere teaching cadaver. That cause of death was too vague and didn’t describe how bizarre and messed up these intestines really were!”
Dripping With Death Juice
“So this story is pretty gross, but hysterical if you were there in person. I was at the LA coroner, picking up a body for my funeral home. The LA coroner’s office means business. You need to have your paperwork in order, your gurney ready, and you have to know what you’re doing. There is a line of people from other mortuaries all ready for pick-up, and there isn’t much room to wait around. If you slow down, this coroner’s office will get very angry with you. So this van pulls up while I am waiting with a funeral director bringing a body in. He seems to want another medical examiner to take pictures of the body for some reason. They unzip the body bag, and the corpse looked like a prop for a horror movie. Everything that could be wrong with a dead body was wrong. He was putrefied, bloody, and his skin was peeling off. He was completely soaked in slime. I didn’t get close enough to check for maggots, but there were so many flies everywhere, so the maggots couldn’t be too far behind. On tp of that, this body was over six feet tall and at least 350 lbs. The smell was eye-watering, and the body was facedown and wrapped in bloody sheets. The medical examiner almost turned away the funeral director right there, because the body was supposed to be on his back and completely stripped. It took five men to flip this body. While they were flipping the body, blood is pouring out all over the floor. It makes this horrible wet slap as it does so. The funeral director tried to pull the sheets off of this guy, but it was a huge pain and was taking forever. Flies were swarming all over at this point. They determined that the cause of death was drowning, and that the body had clearly been in the water for way too long. The way this guy was tied up seemed like someone dumped him into the ocean, but who knows what sort of evil stuff was going on there. They had to stuff the body bag into the body bag and send the poor funeral director back on his way. It was so gruesome that it became absurd at points!”
Instinct In His Darkest Hour
“In my early days as a first responder, I was working in a rural area and was the first on a scene. I responded to a multi vehicle accident where a man had been decapitated. I got in the passenger side, and his head was hanging on by a few tendons on the right side. Without thinking, I grabbed his head and tried to put it back on. In retrospect, I think I saw something that wasn’t right, and my instinct told me to do that. When my coworkers heard about this, they burst out laughing. One of the old timers pulled me aside and told me, ‘It’s not the first time that someone has done that, and it won’t be the last.’
the entire thing spooked me at first, but I’m relatively okay with it now. I did tell this story once at a bar with about fifteen other people at my table. Most of us were chuckling, until some rude lady started yelling at me about how we were laughing at someone’s death. I politely explained to her that it isn’t uncommon for frontline workers or first responders to use humor as a coping mechanism, but that only made her more enraged. She started on another rant again, but I interrupted her with to tell her off. We got up after that, and she was left to grumble and complain about these people she didn’t even know! Humor really has helped me through the worst of it. I do struggle with PTSD, and my experience volunteering for rescue missions has often been just as intense as my work as a first responder. Currently, I’m part of a support group. It’s maybe nine or ten of us, and it involves a few cops, EMTs, firefighters, and veterans. I have been with this group for about eighteen months now. Each of us has a sponsor and acts as a sponsor. It is so huge just knowing that you aren’t the only one struggling out there. No matter what it is that you’re going through, there are absolutely people out there who can help you, and you won’t need to suffer alone!”
He Can Never Unsee That
I’ve worked on a number of autopsies. One case involved a guy who had part of his skull removed to relive pressure to his skull from a head injury. The doctors placed the circular piece of skull back with a few bolts in, and over time it was supposed to fuse together. A year later, the guy tripped in his study and hit that exact spot on the edge of a chair, causing it to shunt the skull piece directly onto his brain. Another time, a worker on a construction site slipped and skewered himself on rebar that was framing a building. The metal bar went through his legs and right out of his torso. The man died while fire fighters were trying to cut the bar below him to extract him from the scene.
Finally, there was a woman who belonged to a religious cult while she was studying abroad. She got engaged, and upon returning home, her parents didn’t approve of her partner. This woman also caught some disease and got more and more sick. While in the hospital, her parents went to her workplace, took away her belongings, and informed her coworkers that she wouldn’t be back. They also told the fiancé he was not welcome at the hospital. Two weeks later, she passed away. It turns out that the mysterious illness was due to the parents poisoning her to death slowly, only becoming suspicious once the toxicology report came out. You really see the worst that society has to offer in these cases, and over time, it definitely gets to us all. I feel the most for the ambulance officers who get called to all of these deaths. Seriously, these deaths have a cumulative effect on the poor workers. The child autopsies are the worst. Children should never have to pass away so young.”
“A Living Meat Puzzle”
“I worked a lot in a mortuary, and the worst experience I encountered by far was this older woman. She was only in her mid sixties. She looked surprisingly youthful from the chest up, but from the chest down it was like looking at Frankenstein’s monster. We are talking numerous heavy scars all over, misshapen areas on her torso, and lots of discoloration and fluid built up in her body. She looked like she had been attacked by a lawn mower and crudely sculpted back together. Well I later found out that this woman was really into plastic surgery, and even though she had an expensive surgeon, things started to go wrong fast. She got infections, her body wasn’t responding well to the surgeries, and every procedure done to fix the previous one would only make everything worse. Whoever worked on her pretty much turned her into a living meat puzzle.
This other time, I was working on this seemingly healthy middle aged guy who had a heart attack and passed away early one morning. His wife and adult kid came in that afternoon in order to make arrangements. A few hours later at their home, while the family was eating dinner, the wife went to lay down. She had a heart attack of her own and passed away immediately. So we ended up both the husband and the wife at the same time, and no, there wasn’t a family discount on the removals unfortunately. It was beyond heartbreaking to carry out.”