1

I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. [...] , I screamed.

I thought of the word confused but I think it doesn't have enough intensity. Is there a word/phrase that means uncertain of what was going on?

  • (all) at sea, idiom. – Kris Jan 30 '15 at 13:42
  • "Clueless" is the first word that comes to mind, though it doesn't quite fit the above context. Probably either "spooked" or "alarmed", as suggested below (though neither is especially satisfying). – Hot Licks Jan 30 '15 at 16:44
7

Bewildered might do the trick:

I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. Bewildered, I screamed.

Personally, I would use a word more synonymous to scared in this sentence, although I don't know what precedes it. Alarmed would most likely work as well.

The phrase put on edge implies intensity, and would fit in nicely.

I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. Suddenly put on edge, I screamed.

6

Petrified and Horrified would emphasize the fear factor more, while Perplexed and Clueless would emphasize the unawareness/uncertainty more.

4

“Uncertain of what was going on” - in the dark.

Here is a nice quote from Lemony Snicket's 'The End'.

So here is a little pun:

I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. Being in the dark, I screamed.

3

Although it may not be the best fit for "uncertain of what was going on," I think startled fits perfectly within the context of the sentence you include in your question:

startle: to do something unexpected that surprises and sometimes worries a person or animal.

I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. Startled, I screamed.

2

Consider befuddled

confused, muddled, addled, bewildered, disoriented, fazed, perplexed, dazed, dizzy, stupefied, groggy, muzzy, foggy, fuddled, fuzzy, dopey, woozy, befogged, mixed up

Collins

Also

  • muddled
  • addled
  • bewildered
  • disoriented
  • dazed
  • stupefied
1

Perhaps "spooked [out]", "unnerved", or "freaked [out]"?

spook: frighten; unnerve: they spooked a couple of grizzly bears.

[ no obj. ] (especially of an animal) take fright suddenly: he'll spook if we make any noise.

unnerve: make (someone) lose courage or confidence: the bleakness of his gaze unnerved her | (as adj. unnerving) : an unnerving experience.

freak: informal behave or cause to behave in a wild and irrational way, typically because of the effects of extreme emotion, mental illness, or drugs: [ no obj. ] : I could have freaked out and started smashing the place up | [ with obj. ] : he freaks guest stars out on show day.

1

Unbeknownst! Unbeknownst to me, they had already left.. Works perfectly.

  • 2
    I don't see how this fits into the questioner's example phrase... "I saw a shadow fumbling inside my closet. Unbeknownst, I screamed." – Hellion Jan 30 '15 at 21:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.