Direct detection of vacuum fluctuations and analysis of subcycle quantum properties of the electric field are explored by a paraxial quantum theory of ultrafast electro-optic sampling. The feasibility of such experiments is demonstrated by realistic calculations adopting a thin ZnTe electro-optic crystal and stable few-femtosecond laser pulses. We show that nonlinear mixing of a short near-infrared probe pulse with the multiterahertz vacuum field leads to an increase of the signal variance with respect to the shot noise level. The vacuum contribution increases significantly for appropriate length of the nonlinear crystal, short pulse duration, tight focusing, and a sufficiently large number of photons per probe pulse. If the vacuum input is squeezed, the signal variance depends on the probe delay. Temporal positions with a noise level below the pure vacuum may be traced with subcycle resolution.