Disclaimer: I in no way vouch for the authenticity of any of these stories. If people's lives are so dull that they want to lie about these things, I can't really stop them... but feel free to call them on it either on the forum or drop me a line and I'll post the comment here or on the mailing list.
In other words, please don't lie... or you'll probably be exposed in the end and won't you feel stupid then???

"My Brush With Morbidity" by TheTug1
"This isn't really 'my' brush with morbidity but it's my sister's. We live about two blocks from the high school we went to, so of course she would walk to school. Well, there was this one house that smelled bad. And as the weeks went by it began to smell worse and worse. This is about the time that all those houses filled with garbage started to air on the news so everyone in the family kinda joked around that someone was starting their own collection. Well a couple months later my sister would have to walk on the other side of the street and hold her breath until she got by the smelly house. Eventually someone, I would hope a neighbor, called the police. My mother being an overbearing, over-protective parent was of course on the neighborhood watch and heard this from some police officer. An officer went down there and knocked and knocked, no answer. Walking around the house she found a window that wasn't locked so they opened it up and stepped inside, and onto the decomposing body of my neighbor. The body had been quite far down its final journey and the officer's foot went right through the mans chest with a crack and a puff of smoke."

Paints a pretty picture, don't it? Kinda like puff fungi...

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Matt Williams
" I used to live in a little town called Jamul, around 20 miles outside of San Diego, California. When I was around 14 years old (about 8 years ago) I played in one of those youth soccer leagues. Although i wasn't very good, we had a pretty good team, along with a great coach. His name was Carl Eddington. His wife, Vicky Eddington, was the team mom, she would always make lemonade for us or bring snacks for us for after the game or after we finished practicing. A few days after the season ended for us, Vicky Eddington turned up missing. And, this being a small town, and also because she was such a sweet woman, news traveled fast through our little town of Jamul. It was even on the news. Her car was found parked on the side of the road, but no sign of her. Carl Eddington was interviewed on the news, and all he could do was cry and beg for his wife to come back, or for whoever took her to please just bring her back. Even his kids got a chance to be on the news, wondering where their mom was. It was a little wierd seeing my coach on tv, crying like that. This news was the talk of the town for for several months actually, because everybody knew this girl. Churches prayed that she would be found safe. Almost a year later, Vicky Eddington was still missing, but it had become just a fact of life, and nobody really talked about it as much as they did back when it happened. We all just went about with our lives, as expected. But not Carl Eddington. See, Carl and his kids lived in pretty much the boonies of jamul. He too had about 20 acres of land on his property. Well, one night around 2am, neighbors became a little suspicious of Carl, who could be heard out on his property, driving around in a tractor, moving some dirt. This had happened several times during that week. So of course, the neighbors called police, and the police came out to do some inspecting. And guess what they found...Vicky Eddington! Buried out back somewhere on the property. As it turned out, he had killed her a year ago, and he missed her, which explains why he was digging around in that tractor - he just wanted to see her one last time...or so thats what he told the judge. This happened over 8 years ago, and for the life of me i wish i could remember his reason for killing her. I remember the the Eddington kids though, how the cops had to tell them that their mother was buried out in the backyard. Must have been tough on them. Carl is currently serving a life sentence in prison. I just keep remembering back to my old soccer team days, and how my old soccer coach... was a murderer. I'm glad i wasn't THAT bad of a soccer player :)" 11.17.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Robert
" It was my first real job. It was summertime and I was a mere pup, all of 15 years old. Through the delightful inappropriateness of nepotism I had been awarded a well paying summer job as an orderly in the intensive care unit. My primary responsibilities involved moving patients - from the ICU to radiology, or from one side of the bed to the other. On occasion though, when a patient had met with the hooded figure, I would be called upon to prepare the body for transfer to the morgue. This typically was a quick and simple process. A bit of a wash, and then wrap them up like last night's leftovers. In one case however, things went a little less smoothly. This patient has passed away within a few short hours of admission to the hospital. In such cases, the law requires that the coroner investigate the case. The law however doesn't require that the coroner interrupt his golf game to visit the deceased. Hence the 8 or 9 hours between our initial call and the eventual arrival. Ten minutes later, all the paperwork was signed and we were able to prepare the body for transfer to the morgue. The family had been present at the time of death and had already had an opportunity to view the deceased. In the time we had waited for the coroner the body had swelled somewhat and rigor mortis had begun to set in. It was this collision of circumstance that found me, a mere pup of 15 years, gloved and gowned, using two fingers to stuff the swollen tongue of an obese dead lady back into her mouth while a nurse grappled with the her death locked jaw." 11.02.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Matt
" I'm on a volunteer fire department. Two years ago this past July, we were called to an accident scene in the early morning. It was still dark when we arrived on the scene, but I could see that two vehicles had collided head on and a small truck was burning in the middle of the highway. We put out the flames, and began to remove the driver's body. This was pretty difficult, as he was BBR (burned beyond recognition) and was somehow jammed behind the seat with one leg down through the remaining seat springs and the other broken pretty bad and stuck the carpet. We had to get pretty physical, even after using the jaws of life to remove the door, door post and part of the floorboard. After about 45 minutes, being as gentle as possible, we finally got him on a stretcher and in the ambulance. Afterwards, several of us were standing around, laughing about how the cleaning service better get our bunker gear 'Scotch Guarded' to keep the mess off and it would take a lot fabric softener to get rid of the smell. (It's really pretty awful, and stays with you a long time.) Right in the middle of this, one of the cops came up and told us the driver's name. It took a second to sink in, because he was using this kid's (18 years old) real name. When someone piped up with his nickname, we all realized that we knew him, and he was another fireman's boy. He and his truck were so badly burned, we didn't even know. I just wanted to throw up, and I know a bunch of others did, too, but no one really showed any emotion (cause we're all supposed to be pretty tough, you know). At least this kid's parents had been out late the night before and his dad didn't show up at the scene. I know I watch how I 'joke' about things like this now." 10.25.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Ladydaze
"When I was in high school the big thing was to do inhalants (you know, Scotch Guard and Dramamine). Anyway, the bad thing with inhalants is that you get immune to them after a while and they stop getting you high, so the addicts start to look for something stronger. I was at a party my Junior year and two guys decided to inhale the fumes out of a fire extinguisher, not knowing that those fumes would turn to FOAM! They both died of suffocation right there at the party with thier lungs filled with foam to the point it was oozing from their mouths, and clawing helplessly at people and furniture trying to breathe. We called 911 and tried to help them, but they didn't make it. I saw one of them die, the other was in another room...I'll never forget the frantic, pleading look in his eyes.... In a related incident..another guy ate freon attempting a high, but died. I didn't see that one though..." 10.16.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Mechee (aka "The Angel Of Death")
" I went to a high school that had a railroad track running almost through the center of it. Of course the train schedule was set to coincide with the school tardy bells causing people to be late for class if you left class for lunch and didn't come back very early. Of course my friends and I would wait until the last minute to return from lunch and then jump the train to get back onto the main campus in time. One day a group of us were panicking as we heard the last bell ring so we were scrambling to jump the slow moving train. As I jumped to the ground I heard one of the guys scream "Help!" so I turned to see the problem. His pant leg had gotten caught on a part of the train coupling as he was jumping to the ground and he was hanging from the side of the train by the fabric of his jeans! Following Murphys Law the train began picking up speed! My friend ended up being dragged face down and screaming through the cinders for at least 1/4 of a mile as the group of us ran alongside the train screaming hoping that the conductor would hear us and stop. When the train finally stopped (at the station) my friend had lost consciousness. And thank God that he did because there was very little skin left on the front of his body, his shirt appeared to have been flayed from his body and his jeans had large bloody holes. He ended up spending several weeks in the hospital and having plastic surgery to repair the damage to his skin, remove his right eye (a cinder had lodged in it) and almost reconstruct his nose. A year later there were still faint scars on his face and arms and he was getting used to his false eye. He never jumped the train again but it didn't stop most of the rest of us."
Crazy Kids!

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Jeremy
" I have an interesting story about an accident I witnessed when I was younger. It happened right off I-635 near Garland, TX back in the late 80's. When I was 16 and just learning to drive on one of the few icy days in Texas, I suddenly noticed a green station wagon spiralling out of control in an ice patch a few vehicles in front of me. I could see a family in the car being tossed around inside the car like ragdolls as the station wagon was being rammed on all sides by other cars that were also losing control. I remember the freeway reminding me of a large-scale pinball machine game and also feeling lucky that I'd been able to pull off to the shoulder in time to stay out of danger. Finally the family car went off an embankment and rolled over once, landing upright on all four wheels. I pulled off the shoulder and merged back with traffic, slowly rolling by the accident as the crowd began to assemble outside the car. Some of the doors were wedged shut, but the accident didn't seem so bad, so I kept moving on; I had homework to do and had to get home quickly. As I turned back, I was astonished at the sight that I saw and I'll never in my life forget it. Someone had pried one of the doors open finally and a young boy, maybe 5 or 6 years old, fell from the car onto the ground. As he looked up I saw the most horrid grimace on his face, his mouth was wide open and I could tell he was screaming. I could understand why. As I looked more closely, I noticed that where his eyes should've been, there were only two gaping holes with streams of blood trickling down from them. I guess that at some time during the accident, maybe when the car had rolled, his eyes had popped right out of his skull. I wanted to stop, but a crowd of people had already gathered around the child and I knew that I would only suffer unforgettable emotional trauma if I stayed and tried to help. It was one of the most touchingly gruesome sights I could ever imagine seeing and from that moment on, I vowed never to look upon an accident again. Even now, when I think back on it, I can still see that child's screaming eyeless face in my mind's eye. I've kept my vow. I never again 'rubber-necked' an accident." 10.10.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Carl Shapiro
" I don't know if this is morbid enough for some of you out there, but when I was about 10 years old I was on my way to the local mall with my mother, on the highway, where we noticed an accident. My mother was part of the local rescue squad so she felt obliged to go see what the story was. No one had bothered to stop to see what was wrong, so it was just my mother and I. She went over to the car and started to radio for help and told me to stay where I was. Like every 10 year old who loves to see car wrecks and such I had to go take a look for myself. I ran across the highway, when no cars were coming. I approached the car slowly and while my mother was preoccupied with the radio I took a look into the car. There was a old lady and her husband trapped in the car. Assorted debris from the car itself didn't allow the old lady to see what happened to her husband. Her husband had a hole in the back of his head, and his brains were splattered all over the car. The worst part of the whole situation was that the whole time while the ambulance crew was getting the old lady out of the car, she kept on crying, asking if her husband was alright, and the crew told her he was. Not extremely morbid, but better things can happen to people, right?" 10.07.00
That is one of the saddest brushes with morbidity I've yet heard... Gosh, now I am depressed!! (Yes, it CAN happen!!)

"My Brush With Morbidity" by XBratPrincessX
"A friend of mine recently returned from a month-long trip to Africa. A boy on her tour group, who was sleeping in his tent, suddenly awoke to a bunch of hyenas gnawing at his face (hyenas are scavengers and probably mistook the sleeping boy for a dead animal). The mother tried to save him but the hyenas nearly went after her because they thought she was trying to steal their food. The boy's body was dragged out of the tent, and in order to recover it, the tour guide had to run over it with his jeep to scatter the hyenas. The tour group then had to form a circle around the boy in order to keep the hyenas away. They were unable to recover his arm and his skull."

And here's an obituary from the Baltimore Sun for the same boy: "Mark Garrity Shea, an 11-year-old with a naturalist's curiosity in the world beyond his Baltimore County back yard, died Tuesday after he was attacked by a pack of hyenas while on safari with his mother in Botswana. During family vacations, Garrit traveled to the American Southwest, Australia, Mexico and the Caribbean as well as Africa. He went on safari last year with his mother and brother, visiting game parks and villages in Africa. He and his mother were visiting the Merani Game Reserve in Botswana at the time of Garrit's death. Garrit is survived by his mother, Molly Bruce Jacobs of Brooklandville, and father, Mark R. Shea of Lutherville; a brother, Bradford Shea; and two grandmothers, Molly Bruce Jacobs of Stevenson, and Margaret Garrity Shea of Worcester, Mass. A memorial Mass will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Ignatius Catholic Church, 740 N. Calvert St., Baltimore. Friends can visit at Henry W. Jenkins & Sons, 4905 York Road, tomorrow between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m." 09.30.00

Talk about a horrifying vacation...

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Cody
" Walking home one evening about nine years ago (when i was about 16) I came to a corner with a few emergency vehicles. When I got to the sceen I saw a car flipped onto its roof with the driver's side completely wrecked. Fifty feet up the road I saw a motorcycle almost without a front end and both the motorcycle's driver and the passenger of the car being taken off with minimal injuries (i.e. whiplash and concussion) in ambulances. The driver of the car was lying dead on the road only partially covered by a thin sheet which seems to have just been placed over his body since i could see the blood soaking through it as I stood there watching. The worst (or best => ) part of all this is that the upside down car had a pool of blood and glass in the roof and somehow still had the radio on to some sports game which was loud enough for us all to hear. The loving caring people of the community who showed up to watch were actually cheering for the home team while this poor man's body was pouring blood down the street." 09.27.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Tiller
" My most memorable brush with morbidity was in April of 1994. I was driving north on the New York State Thruway near Sloatsburg, NY. There was a great deal of construction on that stretch of road at the time. A construction worker stepped out in front of me as I was speeding by a construction site. I nearly hit him as he tried to flag us (or any car) down. As we passed the worker, my friend noticed something burning on the side of the road, on the shoulder. It was another construction worker... ON FIRE! I thought it was a joke at first, a pile of rags with a hard hat next to it. We skidded to a halt on the side of the road. I grabbed my fire extinguisher, and we ran to the guy on fire. I finally got the pin pulled, and stood over top of the man wondering if I should really spray him with a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Then I saw a trucker running across the highway with a similar extinguisher; I figured if I didn't, he would. We both doused the guy with the dry power extinguishers. He was burnt bad -- really bad. His clothes were burnt off, with the exception of on his back, his jean jacket and some of his pants hadn't burned all the way through. Not to be graphic, but to explain how completely his clothes had burnt off -- he had an erection, plain for all to see. I can't remember if his boots were still intact. I remember telling someone that I could see his toes, but I don't truly remember if that was the case. The man had a long beard that was burnt badly. He was groaning and asking people to help him up, to help him to his feet, and mumbling incoherently. When the flames were extinguished, there was a crowd of workers gathering around. I began to wonder (and worry) about how he had caught fire. Was there a flamable liquid around? Was I in danger? I turned to a worker and he pointed straight up at the overhead powerlines. It turns out that the man who was burnt was standing next to a crane that was crawling along the shoulder with the boom raised up. The crane came too close to the 67kV (67,000 volt) high tension lines (that run from Niagra Falls to New York City) and there was a giant arc. The crane operator was unhurt. The man standing next to the crane was, quite literally, 'zapped'. The man ended up having 2nd and 3rd degree burns to close to 90% of his body. I was told he had to have limbs amputated, I think one arm and one leg, but I could be wrong. He lived until late July or early August. I guess that is sort of remarkable considering the injuries. I believe he succumbed to infection, which I assume is common with burn victims. I had a few nightmares from this experience, but the worst was seeing things out of the corner of my eye while driving. This only lasted like a month. Call it PTSD or PBMSD (post brush with morbidity stress disorder) if you like. I always felt bad about using the dry chem extinguisher, but I don't know what other alternatives I had. The crazy thing is, and this is the absolute truth: I had just put a new carpet in my car and had taken everything out. On the way out that day, I went back into the house to get my fire extinguisher, saying to my buddy that 'if something happened and I didn't have it on me, my dad would kill me.' An hour later it got put to use. " 09.11.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Mechee (aka The Angel Of Death)
"I've seen 2 guys on motorcycles get hit by very fast moving vehicles. Now those were spellbinding! One guy was hit by a car.The force threw him over the top of the car and literally knocked him out of his pants! His shoes flew further than I would have thought possible. He was wearing a helmet but when I started to pull away I noticed that the front of the helmet was almost facing his back. Heard on the 11pm news that he died. The other guy was hit by a truck - his bike was caught under the front of the truck and he was dragged for about a block. This was summer in Bakerfield, one of those 100 degree plus days,and the biker was wearing shorts. Almost every exposed part of his body looked like raw hamburger with gravel mixed in it. Now that was truly gross!!! But of course I walked across the street to offer medical assistance and get a close up look anyway. He lived but I'll bet he probably hurt so much that he wished for death." 08.22.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Lynn
" When I was about 12 years old my mother, brother and I visited some family in Georgia. We were driving on a parkway when a big eighteen wheeler jackknifed. A guy riding a motorcycle was right behind him and couldn't stop fast enough. He hit the truck and slid under it and out the other side. That's when I realized that only his body and the bike slid under, his head was lying on the ground where he hit. It was quite gross." 07.31.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Simon Kregar
" Back in my College days my roommate and myself were prone to doing some pretty bizarre things, night hikes in blizzards, "running" with the Elk, etc. Well one afternoon we had decided to visit the local paupers graveyard on the outskirts of town (Flagstaff Arizona). When we arrived we were appalled at the condition of the Graveyard. Trash littered the grounds, a housing development was going up right next door and the construction crews were using it as a dumping site. The entrance gate had been long torn down, and the structure that held it was decaying. There were old faded plastic flowers and plastic Christmas trees everywhere (it was May). Being the good Anthropology student I was I decided to go on, perhaps just to read some of the old monuments. Well the first thing that hit us was the smell. Like something had died. It's funny how the subconscious can rationalize these things and with some discussion we decided that perhaps a deer had died. Of course when we started tripping over all the gopher holes going into the graves one would think that all the bells would go off in our heads, but noooo. We came to one gopher mound and stumbled (literately) across some bones. Having been on several student archeological digs I picked them up thinking I could identify what animal they came from. The bones almost turned to dust as I held them, a rib bone, a femur, and then I uncovered the jawbone. This was human, complete with gum holes. As I carefully and QUICKLY laid the jaw bone down my roommate found the headstone, this was Howard Kress who had died in 1979. Needless to say we practically ran back to the car, noticing that the most recent grave was only from the previous December (the smell). After arriving home (and washing my hands until they were raw) we decided to call the police in order to find the owner of the graveyard. We did eventually find him. He lived in Sierra Vista (300 miles away) and who flat out refused to do anything about the condition of his property. We went as far as to try to get the local churches to help out, with no results. And so the graveyard sits today with all its forgotten lives and Howard. I can't help but wonder if some dog in that housing development has proudly brought a bone home to show it's owners. " 07.28.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Damian
"On Thursday I awoke and entered the other room where a friend of a friend was sleeping. He was hunched over in a rather uncomfortable-looking position and had no shirt on. I watched TV for about 45 mins when I noticed how blue his lips were. Then I touched his hand and it was cold. I looked at his chest and he wasn't breathing, but the moment I knew he was dead was when I glanced at his nipple. It was white. He OD'd on Heroin during the night." 07.08.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Sarah Kantor
"okay, this didn't actually happen to ME, but to my uncle. see, my mom is the middle of three children, with two brothers. one winter, my grandfather took the three of them sledding. her older brother, tommy, had a sled that was a little unsturdy. you know, the old kind, without the guard rail-things. he knew it was falling apart, and was trying to get jimmy, the younger brother, to ride it. both my mom and jimmy were too young to understand that the sled was unsafe. jimmy took it down, and, needless to say, he fell. jimmy said his leg hurt. pop-pop basically told jimmy 'don't be a wussy. come back up to the top', so he did. when he got to the top of the hill, jimmy said, 'my leg really really hurts.' pop-pop took one look at the leg and threw up. the runner was going through his leg. my mom told me this story when i mentioned i wanted a tongue ring, because of the way they had to let the wound heal -- from the inside out. she was afraid that my tongue would heal like that. after she was done, i told her i didn't want the piercing, though, anyway. it wasn't the story, though. i was afraid i wouldn't be able to blow bubbles with my gum as easily." 07.03.00

"My Brush With Morbidity" by Ceri
"I'm related to a pathogist and one night over dinner he was telling me about a case. It seems that there was someone who actually died of brain freeze. He took one of those huge ice suckie drinks and drank it all in one slurp, his brain was so shocked by this that he died. It isn't all that gorey but hey, I think it's funny as hell...I nearly fell of my chair laughing, my grandmother on the other hand just looked like she was going to throw up. That was the last story about work that was ever told at the dinner table..." 06.21.00

If THAT story made your Grandmother throw up, I can only imagine what the average Morbid Fact would do to her!!

I received a rash of comments on this brush with morbidity which were all along the same lines as this one: "I love your Morbid Fact du Jour, and I know you can't verify the brushes with morbidity... but that brain freeze story is an utter crock. Your brain does not actually get 'shocked' by cold drinks; that is an effect of your upper palate getting cold. If you would like to minimize the effects of drinking cold beverages quickly, press your tongue against the back roof of your mouth; this should ameliorate the symptoms."

I'll have to try that the next time I chug a slushie! If you never receive another Morbid Fact, you'll know that the experiment failed and I, too, died of brain shock. ;-)

"My Brush With Stupidity" by Heather & Charles
"Here is another tale of idiocy I personal witnessed. It is not entirely morbid, however. A while back I worked in retail at a popular music shop. One day a 12 -13 year old boy came in with his mother. The boy asked a co-worker and I a stupid question (after you read this story you too will believe that there is such a thing as a stupid question). He asked what would happen if he stuck his keys into the near by electric socket. Of course we told him he would get a terrible shock. Two minutes later the power flickered, our computers crashed, we heard the sound of electricity going wrong, and the boy fell three feet away from the socket. His mother sternly scolded him for another smooth move and sent him to wait in the car. He was not hurt, so it is not really morbid, but the idiocy factor goes well with your other stories. I am also sure that you may now believe in a stupid question." 06.19.00

poetdreamerscholar has a very good point: "Rather than stupidity or idiocy, this sounds more like someone with incipient or as-yet-undiagnosed Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) trying to punish himself for some reason." True... often the most intelligent people are the most self-destructive... and I should know that from personal experience!!

"My Brush With Morbidity" by a Registered Nurse
"I used to work at Charity Hospital in New Orleans on the 7th floor Neurosurgery wing...up above us was the urology on the 8th floor. One day while at work all of a sudden up above E705 the women's ward we heard a commotion and saw some legs dangling out the window....Before we could break the old l930's windows with wire in them open to hold onto the legs the man jumped to his death seven stories below onto a type of vent/grate for the ventilation systems.... When we found out what happened this is the story that LSU Residents first told us.....The man was a prison guard making a female prisoner perform oral sex and she bit his penis off...and he could take it any more... cause they were unable to reattach it ....she flushed it down the toilet..... But in actuality he apparently had a gender crisis and had proceeded to amputate his own organ with a butter knife...when really waking up from his temporary psychosis he realized what he had done himself and took a chair and some how with super human strength broke out the 8th story window and sat on the edge....then before we could get the window just below broken open ...........well you know the story now......This happened sometime between 1986-1988... " 06.07.00

*Please don't write me and tell me that I'm using the term "morbidity" incorrectly. I am well aware that in medical terms "morbidity" refers to illness and not death. I can show you my Poetic License if you have a problem with my use of the term!

Brushes With Morbidity...