What was the scariest moment of your life?
When asked this, many will stumble for an answer, desperately searching their mind for anything in their life that could be deemed as scary. However, answers can usually be split into two categories.
For many, trivial incidents spring to the mind. Their pet cat went missing for a week, or a spider fell on their head. While it is true that these incidents provide fear, it is only momentarily.
Some people have more serious tales. Perhaps a car crash left them fighting for their life, or maybe they were mugged. These encounters provide a much more powerful form of fear, one where survival is not certain and strength or intelligence is needed to survive.
While these are the two main categories of fear a normal person can experience, there is a third. The majority of people will never experience this kind of fear. It can only truly be felt in extreme circumstances.
But what kind of situations can induce this third type of fear? Situations where there is no escape. Where no matter what you do, you cannot stop the inevitable.
Imagine you wake up in a small room. It's dark and cold, and the room appears to be devoid of any detail. In the dark it is difficult to see, but you appear to be surrounded by gray walls. You attempt to stand up but realize that you can't. Something is preventing you from moving your legs. You try and move your hands, but they too have been secured. You sit there, confused and nervous, when a sliver of light appears in front of you.
A door opens suddenly and you are blinded by the light flooding into the room. A silhouette obscures some of the light, meaning that somebody is coming into the room. The rusty sound of the door swinging back to closed tells you that wherever you are, it has been used for a long time.
A dim light appears above you, and it becomes clear that the man has turned on a small light bulb. The light provides just enough light for you to see what's going on. You realize that the walls are not completely gray, and appear to have dark red patches covering them.
The person was the most disturbing aspect though. The immense height suggests it's a man, although it’s impossible to tell. His face is obstructed by long, greasy, black hair. A crude mask also covers his face, which looked like it was made of scrap materials and sewn together with haste. It is impossible to see his eyes, but through those small slits you know he is staring at you. As you stare at this bizarre creature, he pulls out a gun.
It suddenly dawns on you what is happening. This man is here to kill you, and he has done so before. The red splotches make sense to you now.
Many people must have died here before you. There is no reason or motive behind this. You were not the first and it is highly unlikely that you will be the last. This man, no, this creature, has taken you here to kill you.
You try to say something and realise that you have been gagged. The creature has prepared for this and knows what to do. He has taken every measure to ensure that you die in this room. Your mind desperately searches for anything to do. Options are either too impractical or impossible. He raises his gun. In the last few seconds of your life, you realize that there is nothing, NOTHING you can do.
This is the third type of fear. It is Pure Fear. When the brain knows there is no escape, and that you will die in a few precious seconds. The feeling cannot be described, as nobody who has ever felt it has lived to tell the tale. So when asked about the scariest moment of your life, understand that the fear you've felt is only category one or two. You have never felt category three, the pure fear.
And you never want to.