Moments before I went on my first roller coaster ride as a kid, two boys next to me in line sent me into an absolute panic.
As many little boys like to do, they were trying to mess with me by telling me about how many people had fallen off the roller coaster and died horrible deaths. They’d noticed how nervous I was, so they must have figured it would be the perfect opportunity to entertain themselves by completely freaking a little girl out.
I still ended up going on the ride and enjoying myself when I realized that none of what they were saying was actually true, but had I heard these seven terrifying accident stories, I would have never stepped foot on another amusement park ride again.
1. SCAD Dives are attractions in which people are suspended high in the air and dropped into a safety net below without any harnesses or tethers to stop their fall. As you’ve probably guessed, many people have sustained pretty nasty injuries and have even missed the net completely.
2. In 2001, a woman named Lori Mason-Larez was riding the Perilous Plunge, which was billed as the world’s steepest and highest flume ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California, when she slipped out of her safety harness and tragically fell to her death.
3. In 1997, a group of 33 students decided to break the rules at Waterworld, a waterpark in California, by trying to go down the Banzai Pipeline slide at the same time. The tube burst open at the bottom from the weight, and they all fell into the concrete below and were severely injured. One 17-year-old girl died.