Nightmare Fuel / Other

For all the works that scare people that won't fit anywhere else.

This is not necessarily a real life section. Degree of fear varies greatly from person to person. Tropers are especially reminded to remember the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgment here and keep all examples family-friendly and as neutral as possible. We really don't want to traumatize people or start any Edit Wars, so use some common sense.


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  • On March 31st, 2013, the Louisville Cardinals faced off against the Duke Blue Devils. In the first hald, guard Kevin Ware attempted to block a three-point shot from Duke player Tyler Thornton, and landed wrong, which at first went unnoticed by the commentators. For those at home that didn't catch the incident right away, the first sign of trouble came from Thornton who looked at Ware, and then suddenly grimaced and turned away; this led to an instant replay which made the situation all too clear. Ware had broken both bones in his shin instantly upon landing which sent his fractured tibia through his skin. This is widely regarded as the worst basketball injury to ever have been broadcast live on television, and for good reason. (WARNING: THESE LINKS ARE HIGHLY GRAPHIC.) What makes it worse is that this happened right next to the Louisville bench, and you can see Ware's fellow players scrambling to cover their eyes or even run from the sight of his bone sticking out. One person tweeted that the players vomited, which is easy to imagine.
  • Most of the more violent crashes in NASCAR can qualify.
    • Dale Earnhardt's fatal crash at the 2001 Daytona 500 on the last lap as his drivers Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt, Jr. finished 1-2. The indications that something was horribly wrong can be seen when watching the footage, as Ken Schrader, collected by Earnhardt's car, climbed out of his own car uninjured, walked over to Earnhardt's driver's window, and it probably gives chills today seeing him peer inside and immediately signal frantically for paramedics.
    • There's the last lap wreck at the 2013 Auto Club 400 where Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin, former teammates and now Ax-Crazy rivals after a post-race confrontation the week before at Bristol, were battling side-by-side for the lead on the last lap (which if it had stayed that way all the way to the checkers would have repeated the dramatic finish of Kurt Busch losing to Ricky Craven by inches in 2003 at Darlington). They refused to lift in turn 3, which caused both to wreck, while allowing Hamlin's teammate Kyle Busch to slip by on the outside and cruise to victory lane. Logano brushed the outside wall, but Hamlin smashed head-on into a wall that did not have a SAFER barrier. The result was that he hit so hard he actually had a compression fracture which would sideline him for four races (Martinsville, Texas, Kansas, Richmond), with Mark Martin and Brian Vickers substituting for him. That something bad had happened was indicated by Hamlin lying down immediately after climbing out of his car.
    • The Nationwide Series' 2013 DRIVE4COPD 300 at Daytona had a really good example. On the last lap, Regan Smith was leading the 15 car lead pack to the checkered flag when Brad Keselowski turned him into the wall. A chain reaction occurred as the entire pack, with the exception of race winner Tony Stewart, piled in. Several cars took very violent licks (for example, Alex Bowman spun through the grass, struck the outside wall, and then Dale Earnhardt, Jr. submarined under him, jacking the back end of his car in the air), but none will match the hit for rookie Kyle Larson: his car went airborne, and hit the catchfence with such impact that the front tires and the engine of his car were sheared off and the fence was partially torn down. 28 spectators were injured, 14 of whom were treated at the infield care center and 14 of whom were taken to nearby hospitals, including seven taken to Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, six more being taken to Halifax Health Medical Center in Port Orange, and one being taken to another area hospital. Six of those spectators sustained serious injuries. There are some graphic home videos that can be found on YouTube, although NASCAR seems to be trying to censor them as much as possible, and the tone in Allen Bestwick's voice when watching the telecast indicated how serious the accident was. It also put a damper on Tony Stewart's mood in victory lane, which was not helped by the fact that he crashed early in the Daytona 500 the next day.
    • The 2012 Pure Michigan 400: On lap 64, Mark Martin was leading with Kasey Kahne right behind him and they were about to catch and lap Bobby Labonte and Juan Pablo Montoya. Labonte suddenly spun, and Martin and Kahne had nowhere to go. Kahne, Montoya and Labonte managed to spin into the infield grass (Kahne would rally back to a third place finish), but Martin's crash has to take the cake for one of the scariest wrecks in NASCAR history: his car spun down pit road, and caught an opening in the wall behind Kahne's pit stall, hitting hard enough that the wall actually impaled the car on the driver's side and punctured the oil cooler right behind the driver's compartment.
    • Sportsman Series driver Russell Phillips' death in 1995 involved his car being shoved roof-first against the track's catch fence and grinded at high-speed. The roof was quickly sheared away, leaving Phillips to be literally torn apart by the force; among other gruesome details, they found one of his hands high up in the catch-fence, and his helmet - with his head still inside - by pit row hundreds of feet away from the main wreck.
  • The 1977 Formula One crash in South Africa that claimed the life of driver Tom Pryce & a young track marshal, Fredrick Jansen Van Vuuren. Another driver, Renzo Zorzi was on the side of the track with his car on fire. Van Vuuren and another marshal ran across the track to extinguish the flames. The surviving marshal made it across by the skin of his teeth. However, Van Juuren was hit by Pryce's car and sent cartwheeling into the pit stop.note  At that same moment, Van Juuren's fire extinguisher hit Pryce in the face, busting it up horrifically & partially decapitating him (due the the force & the chin strap of his helmet). Pryce's car with his now-lifeless body continued to careen down the track at top speed until it smashed into a wall. Here is an angle focusing on Zorzi & his car (but Van Vuuren is seen flying across the bottom of the screen... yes that 'debris' is Van Vuuren himself). The video showing the whole thing from another vantage point is even worse. It won't be linked here but I'm sure you'll see it listed. The winning driver of that race lost all enthusiasm he had for his victory after receiving word of the crash.
  • The 1982 Indy-car crash that killed Gordon Smiley. The CART Medical Director at the time, Steve Olvey, describes it as so...
    "During an attempt to qualify for the Indy 500, Gordon Smiley, a cocky young driver from Texas, was determined to break 200mph or die trying. Several veteran drivers... had warned him that he was in way over his head, driving all wrong for the Speedway. Smiley was a road racer and was used to counter-steering his car to avoid a crash if the rear wheels broke traction. While rushing to the car, I noticed small splotches of a peculiar gray substance marking a trail on the asphalt leading up to the driver. When I reached the car, I was shocked to see that Smiley's helmet was gone, along with the top of his skull. He had essentially been scalped by the debris fence. The material on the race track was most of his brain. His helmet, due to massive centrifugal force, was literally pulled from his head on impact... I rode to the care center with the body. On the way in I performed a cursory examination and realized that nearly every bone in his body was shattered. He had a gaping wound in his side that looked as if he had been attacked by a large shark. I had never seen such trauma."
  • The sack that ended Joe Theismann's career. On November 18, 1985, Theismann's Redskins were facing the New York Giants during a Monday Night Football telecast. Giants linebackers Harry Carson, Gary Reasons and Lawrence Taylor blitzed him with Taylor coming down hard on his right leg. Theismann suffered a compound fracture on his tibia and fibula. Upon seeing him laying down on the field, Taylor frantically waved for help which Redskins personnel initially interpreted as celebrating the play. The MNF personnel, however, could tell that Taylor wasn't celebrating and that he screamed for medical attention immediately after the sack. From the angle provided by the telecast, viewers could see Theismann's shin, bent in half with the upper part curved towards his knee.
  • Horrific injuries aren't the only scary things about sports. Here's Partick Thistle's mascot, Kingsley. It's been compared to Lisa Simpson on meth, among other things. The Accidental Nightmare Fuel aspect of it has arguably lessened somewhat due to the inevitable Memetic Mutation that followed its unveiling... but it's still creepy as hell.
  • The short-lived Brooklyn Nets mascot Brookly Knight also qualifies. Part of the reason he got pulled was that he was too scary for kids. Just look at some of the images of terrified children on his Instagram account.
  • This article about an endurance race at Circuit of the Americas describes the story of a driver's car catching fire in a high-speed section of the course, and his desperate attempt at escaping the burning wreck. Much like other sporting injuries, this results in Body Horror, but in this case, the driver is practically being burned alive, with his safety gear barely protecting him from certain death.
  • In 1989, NHL fans witnessed perhaps the most graphic injury in sports history. Buffalo Sabres goaltender Clint Malarchuk had his NECK SLIT OPEN BY AN ICE SKATE and this was all captured on live television (WARNING: NOT FOR THE FAINT OF HEART). The injury was so horrific that 11 fans fainted, 2 fans suffered heart attacks, and 3 players vomited on the ice. The skate just barely missed his jugular vein, which if that happened, Malarchuk would have bled to death in seconds. Also, the teams doctor was a former medic in the Vietnam War, so he knew how to stop the bleeding when leading Malarchuk off the ice. Keep in mind that the Sabres arena at the time (the Buffalo Memorial Auditorium) only had one entrance to the ice, and Malarchuk's goal happened to be in front of it. If Malarchuk was on the opposite side of the rink, he would have bled to death before he reached the locker room.
  • On October the 19th of 2014, a Hungarian crowd caused a riot against a Romanian crowd during a football game. This whole spectacle was caught in this horrific video. What makes this even scarier is the fact that this crowd acted like barbarians just to show how "superior" they are when compared to the other team (in their opinion).
  • Professional football has it's own share of horrifying injuries, but none come even close to what happened to David Busst on April 8, 1996 in a case that ended his career. After colliding with Denis Irwin and Brian Mc Clair, Busst suffered extensive compound fractions in both his tibia and fibula of his right leg which even caused BLOOD TO FLOW ON GRASS. It is said that goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel vomited on the sight and he among other players had to have counseling afterwards since the traumatic reactions were that bad. Busst's leg injuries were so excessive that it almost had to be amputated. The shockingly gruesome pictures of his leg scars 20 years later shows better than anything how serious his injuries were.

  • The Blue Snake, a French Canadian avante garde ballet. At the end of this scene, a creepy moaning giant puppet based on the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk appears. This is where the scene and the clip end. In the next scene, the giant eats people, then he gets his head smashed open and red-clad dancers jump out of the hole.
  • Macbeth (aka The Scottish Play) by William Shakespeare. Jeez, where do we start? Bearded hags, apparitions of creepy, dancing children, potions brewed from dismembered animal and people parts, murder, madness and general mayhem. Fun for the whole family.
    • The Patrick Stewart telefilm version makes it worse. The witches murdering the captain from the beginning of the play, Banquo getting right back up after his murder, the witches using corpses to give Macbeth the infamous Birnam Wood prophecy... Goddamn.
  • The spectre from Hamlet. We don't even know if it really is the soul of the dead king; it could be a demon planning to damn Hamlet. If so, it succeeds.
  • In Julius Caesar, the scene where an innocent poet is literally torn to pieces just because he shared a name with one of Caesar's assassins, Cinna. This is something that could happen to anyone.
  • Shakespeare had a bit of a talent for NF as Titus Andronicus proves.
  • Pippin. Most musicals don't end with the main character nearly succumbing to the peer pressure to immolate himself, resulting in the narrator's screaming tantrum when he refuses. The narrator and most of the cast then proceed to peer over the stage, noting that there are many people in the audience who must feel the same, and if they're ever so tempted, "we're right here in your heads", implying that the whole thing was the hallucination of a young man building towards suicide. Then they remove all the trappings of a musical comedy leaving the protagonist and the woman who helped him half-naked and vulnerable on a darkened stage. "How do you feel?" she asks him. "Trapped." THE END. Licensed versions try to make it a little cheerier, but it's still a musical "comedy" about how most young people have no role models or direction, and must learn to either accept their soul-crushing mediocrity or literally destroy themselves. Thanks so much, guys!
    • The alternate (and current) ending is potentially even worse. After Pippin and Catherine decide to content themselves with their ordinary life, her son Theo starts singing the chorus to "Corner of the Sky." The Lead Player and the chorus return to the stage and surround the boy, implying they'll start pushing him down that same suicidal path. Creepy.
  • In A Contempory Theatre's seasonal production of A Christmas Carol, the Marley's Ghost sequence is epitome of this, with several jump scares, mirror scares, etc. leading up to his appearance, where he jumps out of Scrooge's bed. Not from under the bed, from inside it.
  • Anything and everything by Sarah Kane. She wrote five plays in her short life (she committed suicide at the age of 28) - all including absolutely horrific happenings. Examples: a soldier sucking out and swallowing a man's eyes, a dead baby being eaten, a man's genitals being cut off and barbecued, several instances of brutal rape (one concerning a man being sodomized with a metal pole), and people being eaten alive by rats. Her last play, 4:48 Psychosis, is a disjointed nightmare even just to read on the page, with no stage direction or indication of character at all. It gets worse when you read about her life and realize that the play is basically her suicide note.
  • The murder scene in Christopher Marlowe's Edward II is absolutely harrowing to watch; the deposed King Edward is deprived of food and sleep and imprisoned, basically, in a sewer, and his murderer is friendly and comforting before he impales him through the anus with a hot poker.
  • The song "Molasses to Rum" in 1776. Edward Rutledge describes out the slave trade quite brutally, acting out an auction to show the Northern colonies their hypocrisy—it is, after all, Boston ships that sail to Africa. It horrifies the Congress, and it'll probably horrify the viewer at home, too, given what we know about how utterly inhuman the industry was. Especially the film version, which is sung by John Cullum.
    "Who sails the ships out of Boston, laden with bibles and slaves? Who drinks a toast? To the ivory coast? Hail Africa, the slavers have come..."
    "And it's off with the rum and the bibles, and on with the slaves, clink-clink."
    "Gentlemen, do you hear? That's the cry of the auctioneer!"
  • Fort Edmonton Park's Spooktacular is bound to be rife with it more often than not, but they topped themselves in 2013 in more than one area:
    • "The Haunt", which was a Paranormal Activity style tour that relied heavily on Nothing Is Scarier in all three examples and actually worked. The entire 1885 Street area was used for it, and drifting from one building to another was nothing short of uncomfortable when it was that dark out. The story concerned a woman who had been abused by the whole town and committed suicide, and the hosts brought you to where she frequented. At one point you were brought to a bridge where the ghost of said woman appeared behind you and screamed at you... and as a nice Twist Ending, you were brought back to Egge's, where you were trapped in a house full of screaming children and strobe lights.
    • The Dollhouse on 1905 also relied on Nothing Is Scarier and achieved it to a chilling effect. An old woman lives in a house full of dolls, some of which are actually living humans. Before you enter, you are asked if you've seen two girls and are shown a photo of them. The woman's daughter makes her entrance by shouting, "MOMMEEEEE!!! I DON'T LIKE THIS DOLLY ANYMORE, HE IS UGLY! I WANT A TALL ONE!". You are then brought to the kitchen, where said two girls are sitting at the table, and one utters, at one point, "help me...". The little girl soon grabs a syringe, and goes for you... before the lights turn out and you hear a scream. There's also a surprise ending here too; a SWAT team bursts in to seize the premises, which happens so quickly it caused some people to doubt it actually happened.
    • The rovers on 1905 street were worth a mention too; one being an adolescent boy who was a zombie and would literally charge after some people down the whole street, and a burn victim who spoke in a Walter White voice and threatening tone, while limping in a menacing manner.
  • The Boyg in Peer Gynt. Peer is fighting an entity in pitch darkness, no substance whatsoever - and it is always avoiding direct confrontation. On stage, this has been solved in a number of ways, usually with smoke effects and a deep and ominous voice coming from the shadows. Or just a black stage with the main actor struggling alone. It becomes even more scary when considering that Peer takes up some of the traits from the Boyg, effectively becoming like it at the end of the play.
  • The Secret Garden: The Dreamers in the musical, especially in the various Storm songs.

  • Three words: "Cannot Load OS".
    • Or "Boot failure".
    • An old one: "Non-system disk or disk error." Though this one usually meant that you left a diskette in the PC and it just needs to be removed and the PC rebooted. Similar errors can happen today if e.g. a USB stick is left in and is higher up in the boot order than your main drive.
  • The pre-2012 Blue Screen of Death. Particularly the unfortunate experience of seeing a BSOD that simply read, "Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer. System halted." No "Press any key to terminate the program, press CTRL+ ALT+ DEL to restart" stuff, just two lines telling you that your system has come to a complete stop.
    • The version of the BSOD used in versions of Windows based on Windows NT (this includes 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and all server versions prior to Windows Server 2012) is worse for two reasons: the fact that those versions' improved stability means it appears far less often than in Windows 9x/Me (whose BSOD could possibly just be merely annoying to people who have used those versions enough to see it oftennote ), generally only appearing during more severe errors, and the fact that it includes far more text, with said text containing information related to memory dumps and error messages that's bound to look bizarre to someone who doesn't know what to do with it.
    • The BSOD is quite scary, but Windows 98 and early Vista builds featured a Red Screen of Death. Yikes!
    • Don't forget the early Macintosh's equivalent, the Sad Mac. If your system disk was corrupted, or if you hit the interrupt switch, instead of a smiling Macintosh icon on a warm gray background, you'd get one that looked as if it was dead from a stroke on a stark black background with nothing else but some weird HEX code, and you'd hear the "Hawaiian Death Chimes". "Doo do da dooo! Da doooo doooo..." * shiver*
      • The first generation of Power PC-based Power Macintosh replaced the Death Chimes with Stock Sound Effects of a car's tires screeching and then crashing sound. It's also kind of loud. Anyone who would find it funny would stop laughing the moment they realized that $3,000 of hardware had a critical failure.
    • Kernel panics (like BSODs in Linux/BSD) can be scary enough. Just imagine all your system going down with lots of cryptic error messages.
    • Fortunately averted with the Blue Screen of Death in Windows Server 2012 Windows 8, and Windows 10. This version of the BSoD uses a less-harsh cerulean background, the text basically sounds like it's saying "we're sorry," and has a sad ":(" emoticon on top.
  • Avast Antivirus usually detects viruses on sight, however whenever that happens, a dialogue window pops up with a pulsing atomic symbol, a siren sound, and a creepy voice that says "Caution: A virus has been detected". Then again most antivirus programs have something creepy in them.
    • Fortunately, Avast's detection is no longer so creepy.
  • AVG used to show a picture of what appeared to be a man with his face warped to make him look like a troll (here's a link to a picture of an old alert if you want to see it for yourself) as part of its Virus Detected alert. The newer versions of AVG use far more subdued icons, thankfully.
  • There was a time when Kaspersky Antivirus would play the (loud) squeal of a pig whenever it found a virus, scaring the crap out of users every single time. You couldn't even turn that sound off, as the settings were locked with a password.
    • Some rogue antiviruses (such as Windows Police Pro) use that sound as well.
  • Norton Antivirus 95 used to have a particularly horrifying failure mode if it detected a virus in memory. Your Windows shell would quit with no warning, you'd get a page or so of DOS and then the screen would go black and display a giant mechanical spider in the middle. After a few moments of staring at that nightmare, the screen would change over to the same spider in a cage, with the legend "Norton Antivirus has detected a virus and has shut your computer down to prevent further damage." or words to that effect.
    • Or worse, the screen going red during boot up with the same message in yellow followed immediately by the system freezing up. It effectively conveys the message that you have somehow screwed up big time by introducing a DOS virus to the hard disk and removing the virus is easier said than done.
  • DOS viruses are particularly terrifying. Not because of what they do to your computer (the vast majority are harmless), but because of the screens they bring up. Just look up "DOS Virus" on YouTube, and prepared to be scared out of your mind. And imagine being an unsuspecting DOS user who opened it, not knowing what it was...
    • However, catching one of the bad DOS ones (like Michelangelo or Jerusalem/Friday the 13th) is high octane nightmare fuel. Heck, some of the viruses who are harmless to floppies can and have end up destroying entire hard drives because they were too shoddily programmed and expect every storage media to be the same as a floppy.
  • The fact that Mac laptops have a light that, when closed, blinks slowly in the same rhythm as a person breathes as they sleep makes them just a little too human.
    • Many desktop Macs nowadays do that as well, as does the Nintendo 3DS when it's closed and still switched on.
    • Some laptops (observed from a Dell laptop) will even make a soft whining sound that sounds like breathing as the light is pulsating.
  • Some late 1990's Dell monitors make a near-silent repetitive "Beep" sound when they are shut off. Imagine buying a new monitor in 1998, and going to bed, and then waking up at four in the morning to realize it is the monitor.
  • NightMare was one of the first "scareware" programs created. Made for Amiga computers, it would lay dormant for about five minutes when launched, then replace the screen for a split-second with a bloody skull while playing a loud scream note . Witness the terror for yourself.
    • There are tonnes of these for Windows as well. This is why you should log out of your computer at the computer lab even if all you want to do is go get a drink in the hallway.
  • A lot of hardware in computers produce sounds when things aren't quite working as one expects. While some are as tame as the "click of death" on hard drives (Which turns into Nightmare Fuel anyway, because computer-savvy people know what that means.), some things like computer fans will produce awful screeching sounds when they're about to go or power supplies will squeal when you start working them (Called coil whine... which is perfectly normal.).
    • On the topic of power supplies, if you have bought a cheapo one in the past and it has died on you, you'd probably be seeing a therapist right now. Some cheapo power supplies actually die with a bang, some even catch fire after going out with a bang. And sometimes, this happens to the more expensive ones as well.
  • Rogue antivirus programs can be frightening, especially if you don't know they're malware.
    • One of the most infamous of these programs is WinFixer. Imagine, if you will, innocently browsing the internet when you get a dialogue box telling you that your computer is full of system errors that can have any number of adverse effects, offering to download and install a program to diagnose and fix these problems. Regardless of whether you accept or deny the offer (all the buttons on the dialogue box do the exact same thing, even the close button in the corner), a pop-up window will appear, WinFixer being downloaded onto your computer. It will then run and show that you have myriad viruses and registry errors playing havoc on your computer (most of which are false), but it can't actually remove them until you purchase the full version of the software. If you pay for it, it will do jack diddly, because WinFixer, itself, is the virus and has just stolen your credit card information. Removing it can be a pain in the ass, too, as it will undo every attempt to delete it short of formatting your computer.
    • Another that is making the rounds is NavaShield. Unlike WinFixer, NavaShield doesn't force its way onto your computer: you need to go to their legitimate-looking website and download it, yourself. Once installed, it will give you an option to either purchase a software key, or take a seven-day trial, during which it will tell you your computer is protected. After seven days, it will begin to try to pester you into buying a software key with loud and annoying pop-up. After more time (which can be anywhere from a few days to a few years), this virus will start to deliver its payload by playing a looping laughing noise that cannot be silenced, and opening pop-ups to pornographic websites. It will even start to taunt you and cuss you out using your computer's text-to-speech voice synthesizer. This makes it appear as if your computer is infected with viruses that necessitate buying NavaShield (and Task Manager is also disabled, so you can't shut it down). Finally, it will simulate your hard drive being forcibly formatted on a window that is always on top and continuously expanding. Much like WinFixer, getting this crap off your PC is a major hassle.
  • A family of viruses called ransomware. For example, one that has made its rounds in recent years is the "DOJ Virus". The virus locks up your computer, replacing the screen with one telling you that the Department of Justice (or another important agency, depending on the country) has blocked access to your computer on the grounds of having found child pornography or other such illegal material on it, and that the only way to unlock your computer and avoid prosecution is to pay a fine using a pre-paid card purchased from Walmart within a few days.
    • The DOJ is just one of them, there are ransomwares claiming to be from the police, INTERPOL, FBI or CIA with the same claim (and the virus is actually smart enough to find out which state you are in and steal the appropriate logo). Alternatively, they would be purportedly from the RIAA or MPAA and claim to have found pirated movies or music on your hard drive.
    • Another type of ransomware which is fearful even to the computer-savvy (if it gets in) will actually encrypt whatever files it can, rendering them unusable. Then it provides an address to visit so you can pay money to decrypt the files if you pay them in time (don't do this; they're not likely to bother fixing it for one thing). Malware of this nature underscores why it's important to back-up valued files.
  • Two simply words: Heartbleed bug. While the bug itself is pretty creepy as it makes your account vulnerable to hackers, what's even more horrifying is that the NSA confessed that they exploited it for years! As if the NSA weren't creepy enough already. note 
  • That "erng" sound in Windows 95 or 98 if a program crashes with an "illegal operation" dialog box.
  • The "twang" Windows Vista/7 Critical Stop sound.
  • The "Chimes of Death" on older Macs if they fail to start properly, especially the Power Macintosh and the Performa 6200 and 6300 which prefer to use a three-note brass fanfare.
  • In DOS-based versions Windows, the PC doesn't power off once Windows shuts down; the user has to manually hit the power button. Until then, a message in orange text on a lonely black background reading "It's now safe to turn off your computer." will stay on the screen. Someone forgetting to shut off their PC at night after shutting down will then be treated to an eerie orange glow coming from these lone words on their screen.
  • If Mozilla Firefox detects a reported attack site or phishing site, then it displays an extremely unnerving error screen with it being a blood red box over a dark gray background, with white text inside. Extremely jarring in contrast to its regular normal error screens, which is entirely white with black text. Example.
  • Apparently, any baby monitor that can link to wi-fi can also allow pedophiles to come and visit too.
  • Mobile apps that translate words in real-time through the phone's video camera. Not so bad if a bubble pops up with the translated text, but some creepily try to go the extra mile by trying to replace the actual words being captured, attempting to mimic the font, size, angle, and color scheme of the original. It always fails. The idea is so misguided, that if it were used in a movie to clue in the protagonist that they're in a simulator, it could make for some good horror.

  • Not a documentary per se, but this zoology article about fairy wrens and cuckoos makes the latter horrifying:
    "In Australia, a pair of superb fairy-wrens return to their nest with food for their newborn chick. As they arrive, the chick makes its begging call. Itís hard to see in the darkness of the domed nest, but the parents know that something isnít right. Whateverís in their nest, itís not their chick."
  • This YouTube clip about the Tree Man will require to have a good lie down and some alone time. If you have body horror issues, do not click on the link. It is the sum of all fears. You have been warned.
    • For those who don't realize what had happened to him... an infected mold/wart turned him into this!!
  • Nazi propaganda films. One notorious propaganda movie The Eternal Jew contained a scene comparing Jews to rats. Apparently audiences found the scene so horrifying that they ran out of cinemas and the movie had to be withdrawn.
  • The animated documentary Tales Of The Ratfink.
  • Newsreel footage of the concentration camps.
  • The videos of the loss of Space Shuttle Challenger. One minute it's all happy and they're going into space, and the next...
  • The Zapruder Film, one of the films captured by an amateur cameraman the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
    • It had quite an effect on Abraham Zapruder himself. He suffered nightmares about what he witnessed - he also became quite upset when asked about it by Jay Watson of WFAA Dallas:
    Zapruder: I heard a shot, and he slumped to the side, like this. Then I heard another shot or two, I couldn't say it was one or two, and I saw his head practically open up [places fingers of right hand to right side of head in a narrow cone, over his right ear], all blood and everything, and I kept on shooting [the scene]. That's about all, I'm just sick, I can't...
  • A documentary depicting tar literally dripping out of a lung.
  • The "Alien Abduction" scene in Cosmos. Also the Nuclear Winter parts, but that was sort of the point.
  • An episode of Unsolved Mysteries where an unidentified man was featured. He had been trying to get a ride on a plane at a small airport, but no one would take him. So he grabbed on to the wing of a plane and held on as it was taking off. Of course, he fell off when the plane was far in the air. The story in question can be seen here.
  • The E! Channel's special Doomed To Die: 13 Most Shocking Hollywood Curses mentioned some particularly disturbing "curses" related to Hollywood. One worth mentioning is the curse of the Atuk script. Atuk is the story of a fat Eskimo trying to make it in the big city. The first victim of this cursed script was John Belushi who the creator had in mind to play the title role; he was preparing for the part when he died of a drug-overdose at the age of 33. The second victim was Sam Kinison- who nearly got around to making it but then freaked out and pulled out of doing it, he later died in a fiery car crash. Third victim was John Candy, who was in the process of reading the script when he died of a heart attack, and the last victim was Chris Farley who died of a drug overdose at the age of 33 much like his hero John Belushi- he wanted Phil Hartman to be his co-star, Phil Hartman later got shot by his own wife.
    • Two other "cursed" Hollywood projects had almost the exact same events happen-a film adaptation of A Confederacy of Dunces and a biopic of silent film comedian Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle. Both projects had John Beloushi, John Candy, and Chris Farley all chosen to star as the lead until Actor Existance Failure ensued in all three cases. It doesn't help in A Confederacy of Dunces's case, the novel it was based on was published years after its author committed suicide... or that when a Will Ferrell-helmed adaptation seemed to be getting off the ground, the film's setting —New Orleans— was trashed by Hurricane Katrina...
    • And one of the items on the list was the curse of musicians dying at the age of 27. (Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, etc.) The segment ends with one of the interviewees mentioning how Amy Winehouse is only a couple of years away from turning 27, and how she should turn her behavior around to avoid the curse. Two years after the special aired, Amy Winehouse did indeed fall victim to the curse, dying at the age of 27.
  • The Man Who Saw Tomorrow - a documentary-style movie about Nostradamus' predictions, narrated by Orson Welles is terrifying, especially when it comes to the infamous "King of Terror" prophecy and was huge Nightmare Fuel for 1980s viewers. However, it falls into Nightmare Retardant when its predictions for the 1990s were very quickly disproven, resulting in Welles distancing himself from the documentary.
  • This, at 8:45. "Rabbit-faced mutant sheep" is exactly as bad as it sounds.
  • The History Channel documentary "Last Days on Earth", detailing the eight most likely ways for civilization as we know it to be completely destroyed, in increasing order of likeliness.
  • The History Channel Life After People series. While it's fascinating, the fact that this could happen at some point in time or another is pretty horrifying.
  • Ric Burns' 1992 documentary on The Donner Party, the group of American pioneers who had to resort to cannibalism to survive, as seen on PBS' The American Experience.
  • The documentary A State Of Mind, following the lives of two North Korean barely-teenaged gymnasts, is definitely in some parts a Tear Jerker, and rather horrifying. The actual politics of North Korea aside, the choreographed gymnastics performances that are so stunning at the beginning of the film become screamingly awful once you realize the sheer scale of the Mass Games. The total hive-mind mindset that kind of training gives you... and that the big-ass pictures that are constantly changing, that in other productions would be video projections or digital transitions like at the Olympics, are made up of extremely well choreographed humans moving in unison. YMMV, of course, but seeing that many people move as one body, totally surrendered to the group will, is hardcore creepy.
  • Related to the above, National Geographic's Inside North Korea. Everything from the poor living conditions to the sheer magnitude of brainwashing (the patients thanked Kim Jong-Il, NOT the doctors, for the operation) will make your blood curdle.
  • The History Channel documentary After Apocalypse is pretty much packed of this. It realistically shows how Earth and life itself would look like after they had suffered from some apocalyptic event like a worldlike virus epidemic, like the Black Death in the Middleages, or the one in I Am Legend but without the zombies. The documentary is told from the eyes of an American middle-class family who lived a normal life before a deadly virus from China kills of most of the world's population who is trying to survive the new harsh world that comes after the epidemic. Meanwhile, environmental, sociological, psychological and medical experts are given short interviews from time to time during the documentary telling about the situations the family and the rest of the world goes through.
  • March of the Dinosaurs made feathered tyrannosaurs horrifying. There's one scene where the Edmontosaurus are ambushed by the tyrannosaurs where one literally leaps (like a raptor) out of friggin' nowhere to tackle one of the poor plant-eaters. Imagine three tons of teeth and death leaping at you.
  • This vegan documentary about meat production. It even starts the video off by saying "What you're about to see is beyond your worst nightmares".
  • Violence: An American Tradition, a documentary that is about, as the title says, violence in USA and its history, its culture, its relationship with media and pop culture, its effects on daily life, the politics and motives behind it, the people involved with it, etc. Anyone who believes that Humans Are Good will definitely have their beliefs crushed by this one hour long documentary, specially the part that deals with child abuse.
  • This article is mostly harmless. But Andy says, with good reason, that searching for "Congo" and "massacre" will keep you up at night. The article was posted on 02 July 2009 CE. As of 23 November 2012 CE, the massacre is still going. The article actually has a link to a Google search of "congo" and "massacre", so you don't have to Google it yourself. Don't click on that link.
  • Pretty much everything on the CNN Freedom Project, also overlapping with Tear Jerker since it's about modern-day slavery. Especially nasty are the articles on the Sinai traffickers.
  • The National Geographic show Air Crash Investigation (aka Mayday or Air Emergency) can be either completely fascinating (on a scientific/engineering level), or horrifying if you're afraid of flying. One episode is particularly creepy, possibly even if you're in the former camp: A plane (Helios Flight 522) takes off normally and starts climbing to cruising altitude. As the captain talks to air traffic control, he starts talking more and more incoherently. The passengers all start feeling dizzy as well, and as the plane continues to climb, almost every one of them passes out. Including the pilots. The plane is still flying, albeit not on the course it's supposed to, and ATC radios military aircraft to find out what's going on. The military radios to ATC that the plane is filled with people who are completely non-responsive—except for one person, in the cockpit, who eventually acknowledges the military planes with a feeble wave. Then, a few minutes later, the plane loses altitude and crashes into the ground. Turns out that a switch had not been pressed which pressurises the cabin, resulting in everyone succumbing to hypoxia after they passed 18,000 feet. The one person who was in the cockpit? A flight attendant who had stayed alive by using the oxygen masks in the cabin, then three tanks of emergency oxygen. He had been calling for help on the transmitter but nobody could hear him. The plane eventually ran out of fuel and crashed, and investigators later found out that everyone had actually still been alive (albeit in a coma) when it did.
  • Covered in this documentary, there is the disaster of the MV Doña Paz, the worst peacetime maritime disaster ever. An oil tanker operating without a license, lookout, or shipmaster, and found to be unseaworthy, collided with the Doña Paz, which was badly overcrowded by as much as twice what was written on the ship manifest. The collision set the surrounding waters on fire, which some escaping passengers jumped overboard into. Most people were burned alive, or literally cooked by boiling water mixed with fuel. Worse, the collision happened at night, and knocked out power to the ship, plunging the crowd into total panicked darkness. Oh, and the waters were shark-infested. The collision was so sudden that crews had no time to prepare life jackets or lifeboats for passengers. Estimated vary on the number of casualties, but it was definitely over 3500. And to top it all off, this happened five days before Christmas- most passengers were returning to families for the holidays, who would never make it to their homes.
  • Allmost every article about the Judge Rotenberg Education Center and similar behavior modification facilities. They educate by use of electric shocks.
  • The BBC docu-drama End Day, which depicts five different possible scenarios, in order of the amount of damage they would do to human civilization and the planet in general: A mega-tsunami, a killer asteroid, a global pandemic, the eruption of a super-volcano, and the Large Hadron Collider failing, which eventually results in the entire planet being consumed by "strange matter".
  • This ADHD educational series of videos -
  • The Science Channel has a few shows that, albeit very interesting, contain plenty of horrifying stories. Their newest one "The Unexplained Files" is just one of them. Featuring such stories as a supposed curse of a frozen corpse of an ancient human, who for everyone who came across it, recording or otherwise, later seemed to die prematurely from unrelated causes...
  • This squicktastic footage of a 70cm long worm being devoured by a giant red leech, filmed for the BBC's Wonders of the Monsoon.
  • Ever wondered what the inside of a penguin's mouth looks like? Here you go, courtesy of National Geographic. Not so sweet now, eh?

     Abandoned Locations 
  • See NightmareFuel.Theme Parks for abandoned amusement parks.
  • Schools.
  • Mental Asylums.
  • Houses.
  • Needs no link. Pripyat, Ukraine. Site of the Chernobyl disaster. To quote Call of Duty: "Fifty thousand people used to live in this city. Now, it's a ghost town."
    • An episode of Destination Truth actually got to go into Chernobyl, and found that from the looks of things, everybody just dropped what they were doing and took off. It included a short tour of an amusement park, a scene in a hospital, with medical equipment and notes left on the tables, and cars left in the streets. Whether you believe in ghosts and hauntings or not, it was undeniably eerie.
    • Pripyat also has a nursery littered with cribs and children's toys. Freaky as hell.
    • It's easy to say it's horrifying just by reading it, but imagine having to live through that day! One moment, things are fine, business as usual; next thing you know, you get orders from the news station to get into your car immediately and leave the city as quickly as you can, with no guarantee that you'll ever be coming back...
    • There's a team that monitors the reactor, the reactor's containment, and the environmental effects. Physically, they're OK (except for the effects of drinking too much alcohol), but mentally is another matter. The place is just so creepy that many of them go mad in various unusual ways, in addition to a lot of them becoming uncontrolled alcoholics (even by Russian standards, and Russians do have a cultural tendency to drink a LOT). A special public address system was installed to pipe music through the area to reduce the creepiness, which has helped some, but not enough.
    • In The Vice Guide to Travel, the founder (Shane Smith) travels to Chernobyl with a cameraman and a tour guide, and is told point-blank that he'll die from radiation poisoning if he walks into a certain forest (and this is after the team had taken anti-radiation pills and downed alcohol to keep any radiation effects at bay). After a few moments, the guide tells him that there are mutated wolves living in the forests. Although the wolves are never actually seen on-camera, Smith describes them as having three eyes and looking very fearsome before they ran off into the forest.
  • Centralia. An abandoned coal mining town in Pennsylvania where a fire has been burning underground for more than forty years. Engineers say that the fire could continue to burn for another century or more and spread to other towns as well. Roads have collapsed into sinkholes, houses and shops have been condemned and abandoned, and the town—now inhabited by only seven people—is filled with smoke and toxic gases. Did we mention that Centralia helped to inspire the creators of Silent Hill?
  • (Some) abandoned malls:
    • Notably, the notorious Dixie Square Mall in Harvey, IL (an economically depressed suburb of Chicago), best known for being the mall that got smashed up in The Blues Brothers back in 1980 — when it was already closed. Fast forward to the late 1990s when the Dead Malls website chronicled it and it was STILL standing AND abandoned, with huge gaping holes and a history of being a very dangerous place to be. Before it was torn down, it was known to be the site of several violent incidents, including gang violence and at least one murder. The site was finally demolished in 2012.
    • Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, Ohio has been the site of numerous expeditions by urban explorers since its closure in 2008, as well as the site of an accidental death (caused by a robber getting electrocuted after trying to steal copper from a junction box, when the mall was still operating) and at least one suicide. The mall has also been a target of looters, some of which even shot the skylights out, leading to bizarre conditions inside the mall itself (snow covering the mezzanine and center court during the winter months, and overgrown mall shrubbery during the summer).
    • Frederick Towne Mall in Frederick, Maryland has been closed since 2013, but (bizarrely for a permanently-closed mall) still retains its power supply. As a result, the mall is still lit up at night, despite being in a state of disrepair. One notable video filmed by urban explorers Dan Bell and Exploring with Josh, had them freak out after encountering a man standing by the back door looking into the mall itself. In the middle of the night.
    • As of 2016, the mall is being reconstructed, keeping Bosco's and the Home Depot, while adding a Wal Mart.
  • Detroit has seemingly endless abandoned buildings, schools, hospitals, community centers, and even landmarks. These facilities have been rotting at an accelerated pace in recent years due to materials vultures breaking into these properties and tearing them apart. This and the freeze/thaw cycle causing the buildings to naturally fall apart makes them dangerous even for urban infiltrators used to exploring abandoned buildings. The crowning example must be a half-mile long Packard auto plant which hasn't been operational since the mid 1950s: numerous buildings connected by skybridges (which are either fallen or rotting), frequently burning in fires that can go on for days since even public safety refuses to enter.
  • San Zhi. Cracked put it best:
    Abandoned resort town in the middle of nowhere, mysterious deaths, lack of any official information... where have we heard this before?
  • Remember Silva's evil island lair in the film Skyfall? Like Silent Hill, it too was inspired by a very real place. Hashima Island, located about nine miles off shore from the city of Nagasaki. A former coal mining operation on the island, the small city that sprang up on the island was abandoned after Japan switched from coal to oil power in the 1960's and was closed to all for thirty five years. After those thirty five years, it was re-opened to the public. The island is full of crumbling concrete multi-story and closely placed buildings. It looks like a scene from a post-apocalyptic movie.
  • In a not-quite abandoned case: this story about a home in the Canary Islands that once the neighbors called the police to make a check, was discovered to house a roughly 7 foot tall, 22 foot long wasp nest. The sheer size of the thing is horrifying enough, but when you consider how long it would have taken to build & the fact that authorities can't seem to find the owner of the home...
  • The Rubber Bowl Football Stadium in Akron, Ohio. Once the home of countless high school football games, concerts, and political rallies, it was perhaps best-known as the home of the University of Akron Zips football team between 1940 and 2008, before the Zips moved to a new on-campus stadium in 2009. Since leaving the stadium, it has not been used by anybody at all and has sat empty and abandoned, being subject to vandals, scrappers, and Ohio's weather. This all happened because the stadium is located about 3 miles from the University of Akron's campus, and the university showed no interest in keeping up security while in a financial downturn. They did sell it to an independent firm in 2013 who promised to fix it up, but construction has stalled. As of late 2016 it still sits with only (most of) the football field intact. The rest of the horseshoe shaped structure is home to nothing but growing weeds, and danger all about in the form of large holes, broken glass, and a press box on the brink of collapse.

  • Descriptions of the symptoms of many diseases qualify, but among the squickiest is the Ebola virus.
  • As demonstrated by our Real Life subpage of And I Must Scream, being conscious while unable to move any muscle or communicate with others.
  • Flesh eating bacteria. Its thankfully rare, but once it hits, your skin tissue quickly decomposes...
  • Reading old medical reports, or anything else that describes a long-dead person in the present tense.
  • Good old rabies. For most of recorded history, it was 100% fatal once symptoms appeared, and those symptoms took victims to the absolute depths of human suffering (This description should give you some idea). After being bitten by a dog or a wild animal, it became an excruciating waiting game of a month or more to see if symptoms appeared. And despite the advent of vaccines drastically reducing rabies cases in the Western world, it is still common in countries like India, where stray dogs roam freely and post-exposure vaccinations aren't available to everyone.
    • Try looking at footage of rabid animals. If they aren't viciously snapping at everything in sight, they're circling aimlessly, foaming at the mouth, moving erratically as if in a dream state, and in such an obvious state of suffering that even the most ardent animal lover would hope for someone to just put them out of their misery.
  • The antibiotic ceftriaxone, brand name Rocephin, which has an informal reputation of being one of the most painful shots you can get, if not the most painful. For one, the liquid is extremely thick even after being diluted, which requires a large needle and a very slow injection into the muscle, and can leave a large lump at the injection site afterwards.A For two, the way it reacts with the body in general can cause excruciating pain in the limb or region in question, even lingering for days or weeks. And close to this level of pain can still occur even if the antibiotic is diluted using lidocaine (a local anesthetic), as is common to do. For three, it can cause things like chest pain, fever, swollen glands, black stools, and sore throat as common side effects. The only consolation is that it's something of a Godzilla Threshold treatment, so if you're getting stuck with this medication, it's probably still not as bad as the infection you're trying to ward off.
  • Benzodiazepines (Diazepam and such) are often given as treatment for acute anxiety attacks or disorders. While they work wonders if used properly, they have often carry side effects such as anterograde amnesia (you won't remember much for a period of time after the effects kick in - Lorazepam/Ativan is known for this and commonly administered before surgery for this exact reason) and possible psychological dependence. Some descriptions of it are best described as "being hammered without the alcohol". To top it off, withdrawal for heavily-addicted people can be fatal if usage is not tapered down gradually. There's a saying among drug users that "Opiate withdrawal can leave you wishing you were dead. Benzo withdrawal can leave you dead."
  • Once upon a time, scopalamine was used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and saw use by NASA to help astronauts stave off nausea. Nowadays, it's more commonly known as "the devil's breath". In places such as Columbia, the drug is often used by unscrupulous individuals, either by lacing their victim's drinks with it or blowing it into their faces, to render them vulnerable to suggestion and coax them into doing their bidding, whether it be handing over all of their money or committing despicable acts for the ones who drugged them. If that's not scary enough, it's also been looked into by everyone from the CIA to real-life monster Dr. Josef Mengele as a truth serum for use in interrogations.
  • Desomorphine is a truly frightening drug: a cheap version of morphine that is easy to prepare and thus popular among addicts without the money to spare for quality narcotics. While properly prepared desomorphine is bad enough due to it being about ten times as addictive as other forms of morphine, illicitly-made desomorphine is worse: it contains large amounts of impurities such as iodine and phosphorus that cause all sorts of nasty side effects, the most prominent of which being flesh-eating infections that turn the skin around injection sites green and scaly, giving it the street name of "krokodil" ("crocodile") in Russia, where abuse of the drug is particularly bad. The combination of these infections and its highly addictive nature means the average lifespan of addicts rarely exceed a couple of years.
  • Getting horrible injuries. Judging from survivor accounts, the pain doesn't totally hit you, so you're unaware how bad it really is until you get a good look at the damaged (or no longer existing) part of your body and notice all the blood pouring out. Then you start panicking. Or worse, actually expecting it to happen and being unable to do anything about it but prepare for the inevitable.
    • This is part of what makes the concept of war so terrifying. Progapandists tend to omit the very real possibility that participants come back completely messed up, if at all. Add to this the fact that historically, participants in battles have been impressed into their roles.
  • Fatal familial insomnia is not like regular insomnia, where one has difficulty falling asleep: this is a condition that renders the sufferer physically incapable of falling asleep. Sleep deprivation for any length of time can cause symptoms, ranging from irritability to hallucinations. The longer the body goes without sleep, the worse the symptoms become: in the case of FFI, this can result in rapid weight loss, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, loss of muscle control, dementia, and eventually, death within approximately 70 months. The good news is that, true to its name, FFI is an inherited disorder, so the average person's chances of suffering from it are quite low. The bad news is that there is a similar condition called "sporadic fatal insomnia": all of the symptoms of FFI, but without the need for genetic inheritence, since it can happen to anyone. Sleep tight!
  • Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain. Only about 250,000 are properly diagnosed per year. According to a wikipedia description, "It has been described as among the most painful conditions known to humankind." It's also nicknamed the suicide disease.
  • Another chronic pain condition, that unlike the above doesn't have an effective medical treatment is adhesive arachnoiditis, the inflammation of one of the membranes that surround the nervous tissue. Body wide pains, which often hurt enough that the affected are unable to perform everyday operations.
  • One more chronic pain condition, this time with no cure: cluster headaches are described as feeling akin to having a needle stuck in your eye, causing pain on a scale that cannot be fathomed unless you suffer from them, yourself. In the case of chronic sufferers, the pain can be so great and unceasing that they may take their own lives just to get some relief, earning the condition the odious nickname of "suicide headaches".

  • The horrific accident that happened during the filming of the first segment from Twilight Zone: The Movie.
  • Imagine being in a nightclub with over a thousand other people. There is only one exit. No sprinklers. No alarm. Now imagine a fire breaking out. That's what happened in a nightclub in Brazil that killed over 200 people. The feature describes people crushed and broken against the grates that were put there for crowd control and kept people from getting out, and other people rushing into a bathroom thinking it was an exit. They ended up being piled as high as a person's chest as they died in the dark from asphyxiation. The dead from that bathroom alone filled an entire truck.
    • The worse thing is that wasn't an particularly isolated or unique case. In 2004 there was the infamous fire in the nightclub República Cromañón, for exactly the same reasons as the above and with a similarly high death toll, but a higher toll of injured (speculated as many as 1400).
    • For added horror, there's the "5-7" fire that happened in the French town of Saint-Laurent-du-Pont in 1970. 146 people died in the fire...What makes it truly horrifying? The ceiling was covered in black plastic used for decoration...That melted on the panicking people below while they were trying to exit by the one-way entrance turnstile. Thankfully, new laws have passed since then to keep this from happening ever again. But still...
    • The one fire that can hope to outmatch those in horror is the Ykua Bolaños fire in Asuncion Paraguay where over 360 people died...
    • Or the 1903 Iroquois Theater Fire in Chicago, which claimed over 600 lives, many of them children.
    • In February of 2003, a fire at a nightclub in Rhode Island claimed the lives of one hundred people and injured hundreds more. The nightclub, called "The Station", was burned completely down, due to the use of pyrotechnics inside the nightclub. The nightclub was completely in flames in just a couple of minutes. Most deaths were the result of trampling and the majority of club attendees going through the front door where they previously entered, resulting in people being stacked on top of each other at the front door. The worst part of all? A cameraman from a local news station captured the whole thing, producing one of the most horrific videos of all time. Viewer discretion is heavily advised.
  • Here's a particularly-iconic video of 2004's Hurricane Charley ripping a South Florida gas station to shreds within minutes, making all of the hard metal on it look like pieces of cloth in the end.
  • Ever wanted to see what it's like to be in a school building as a tornado hits it? You asked for it...
  • On the subject of tornadoes, this video from 2013 shows a father videotaping a tornado that's moving right in his direction before he heads back inside to take cover in his basement with his daughter. From there, we are then treated to the horrible sounds of the tornado going right over the man's house, which lasts for about a minute. The father then emerges from the basement and sees that most of the house has been wrecked, and right after goes outside to see that his entire surrounding neighborhood has been completely obliterated, looking like something out of a post-apocalyptic horror movie. The eerie sound of the tornado siren in the background only makes it feel all the more worse.
  • A now, rather iconic... and horrific... rescue photo of Jeff Bauman, who lost both legs in the Boston Marathon Bombings. He's being wheeled to the ambulance on a wheelchair by EMTs & a peace activist/marathon spectator, Carlos Arredondo (a hero in his own right), who is pinching closed Bauman's major leg artery in his hand. Bauman's injuries are exceptionally nightmarish to look at & for him to experience. Here's the SFW cropped version of the photo that most news outlets use... and here's the gruesome NSFW un-cropped, uncensored version that only a few news outlets & gore sites use. Here's three different photos of the same NSFW injury at different angles, him on the ground & two angles of the above wheelchair part.

  • Post-mortem photography, a big Values Dissonance towards the Victorian Era (check out the other wiki for more info). At the beginning, at least the dead ones were photographed with their eyes closed, as like the "eternal sleep", but later, photographers started to try to make the bodies look more alive by opening their eyes and making them stand up. The ones who failed are among the most nightmarish fuel thing you'll ever see, but the ones that actually worked aren't that much better. Particularly when you are watching one of them and you can't figure out which one it's the dead one, like in this one. It's the one standing up
  • The pictures of Chris Farley on the day of his death are extremely disturbing especially seeing as he is lying dead on the floor with some sort of liquid coming out of his nose and blood dripping somewhere.
    • Just as disturbing, if not more so, is watching the Saturday Night Live episode that Farley hosted a month or so before his death, and realizing you can see the heart attack coming... he's pale, clammy, constantly out of breath...
    • It's also kind of frightening that Chris Farley idolized John Belushi and wanted to be exactly like him, and the fact that he died at the same age and of the same cause as John Belushi died is also quite a spooky coincidence.
    • Doubling as a Tear Jerker, his alleged last words were begging a prostitute not to leave him alone. How did the prostitute respond? By taking pictures of him and stealing his watch. After he just died. Jeez...
  • As far as horrifying celebrity death photos go, nothing beats the autopsy photo of Marilyn Monroe. Her hair is all matted, her face is distorted—if you thought death by sleeping pill would be a clean and easy way to go, think again...
    • That was taken after Dr. Thomas Noguchi was done desecrating her body. He did a lot more to her than was necessary to discover cause of death, even removing her breasts. Before her autopsy, Monroe in death looked beautiful; he even said so himself years later, quoting Petrarch; "Itís folly to shrink in fear, if this is dying. For death looked lovely in her lovely face."
  • There also exist photos out there of Grace Kelly's lifeless body in a funeral casket. While probably more Tear Jerker fuel than anything, the fact that the photos are in poor quality and are in black-and-white make them quite chilling to look at it. On an even darker note, the reason she has a rather odd-looking wig on in the photos was because it was put there to cover up the severe head injuries she sustained in the crash.
  • Dead Kurt Cobain photos. Head is not seen, but the idea that there's NO head after incident makes the situation even scarier.
  • There's a very disturbing picture of Rodney Dangerfield with a small hole in his head on the website.
  • This morgue photo of Little Miss 1565, one of the victims of the Hartford circus fire of 1944.
    • The other reaction people tend to have is "aww, poor little angel." Even Stephen King reacted to her this way.
    • The Hartford Circus Fire itself. Among the survivors was Charles Nelson Reilly who never sat in an audience for the remainder of his life.
  • Budd Dwyer's death video. Very, very disturbing. Not least because trolls enjoy using gifs of the moment he put the bullet through his head occasionally when advising people to "an hero".
  • Escaping death in general. For example imagine you get invited to a party but you decide not to go because that Jerk Ass or Alpha Bitch is going to be there... then the next day you hear in the news that there was a shootout at the party leaving everyone dead. Things like that can happen.
  • While the actual death of Grigori Rasputin was straightforward (he was shot thrice, once in the head), the trope naming Rasputinian Death created by his assassins might count: they tried to poison him, but that didn't work. Then one assassin tried to shoot him in the back, but all this accomplished was making Rasputin pissed. It took another three shots to slow him down enough to beat him down with clubs, wrap his body in sheets, and toss his body into the icy-cold Neva River, where he ultimately died...of hypothermia, even as he partially clawed his way out of the sheets he was wrapped in before dying.
  • Although it's (fortunately) extremely rare, death by constrictor (Boas, Pythons, etc.) certainly falls under this. Even more terrifying is how the snake kills its victims. Imagine being surrounded by over a hundered pounds of muscular predatory snake that's squeezing the life out of its victim. Oh, and the victims didn't die of suffocation (as was once thought to be how constrictors kill their prey). Rather, they died due to internal bleeding caused by the snake squeezing hard enough to rupture its victim's blood vessels. Even worse is this often causes the blood vessels in the brain to rupture depriving the organ of oxygen.
    • Think the victims could've just pretended to be dead to fool the snakes? Think again. Recent studies show that constrictors actually feel for a pulse (or a heartbeat). They didn't just horrifically squeeze their victims to death but checked to make sure their prey was dead. These snakes aren't just strong, they're smart too.

     Disturbing sounds 
  • This recording of a mysterious Russian radio signal. Aside from the Paranoia Fuel implications of overhearing the communications of an Ancient Conspiracy, the actual sound of this is disturbing. Further more, while that recording by itself is scary and while the whole concept of a mysterious radio signal emitting a buzzing sound for 23 hours 10 minutes a day pretty scary, the fact that some of the clearer recordings have background noises and muffled conversations in the background is quite damn creepy.
    • There is a theory about what this signal does. According to it, the UVB-76 signal keeps the Perimetr (a.k.a. Dead Man's Hand) at bay. While it is broadcast, the automated nuclear launch system "knows" that the Russian government and military command still do exist, and stays inert. When the signal stops, the computer will think they are all dead, and will launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against all targets. America, Europe, China, all targets. Sweet dreams.
  • The Backwards Music Station. Despite its name, it doesn't actually play backwards songs. Instead, it plays a series of sounds that can only come from the bowels of Hell itself.
    • What's even more peculiar is that ENIGMA 2000 (which catalogs Number Stations and their ilk) has designated the Backwards Music Station as XM. Now, if you're wondering what's so weird about that, it means that not even * they* know if it's a Number Station or not!. Also, what tends to be bizarre is that often Number Stations seem to change the way they sound occasionally (for example, the Backwards Music Station in a recording on Youtube sounds really freakish (this one was recorded in 2004), while one recording allegedly from September 2009 sounds like the noise a wine glass makes when a finger is moved around its rim while wet). For a nice change of pace, the old favourite, Lincolnshire Poacher (E3 in the ENIGMA 2000 designations, which sadly appears to be defunct) sounds really cheerful.
    • Also, this. There is some Nightmare Retardant at the beginning with the cute little ditty of "This is a teeeessssttt of the emergency broadcast system! It's only a teeeessstt!" And then it quickly devolves to terrifying.
  • Calling a bad phone number and getting that creepy-ass tone followed by "We're sorry. The number you called is no longer in service." Sure, it's fine during the day, but alone, at night, when it's quiet...
    • It's called a SIT tone in case you're interested.
      • The sound you got for dialing a dead line by accident in the days of rotary/pulse phones was much, much scarier.
  • Here's a 1997 recording of a distraught man calling Art Bell's program to describe things he discovered or was told while working for Area51. Two minutes into the call, listen to the silence. No radio program theatrically fakes dead air for nineteen seconds (the silence following the Grover's Mill massacre in Orson Welles' The War of the Worlds was only four or five seconds long). There's controversy whether this was real or not, but in either case, the terror in that man's voice is enough to turn your bones to ice, especially late at night.
  • Emergency broadcast systems scare us - during the summer of 1997 in Fort Collins, many kids were terrified when all of a sudden, the screen goes static after some really freaky emergency broadcast noises. Then all of a sudden, poor audio quality of someone announcing that there is a flash flood warning in effect because of a storm. We were immediately advised to seek shelter. Consider that this actually happened. For awhile, a lot of people would watch the TV in fear because these warnings would hijack the TV and happen at any time. It also did not discriminate on channels - you could be watching Nickelodeon and then the creepy voice takes over... then switch to CBS and then three or four seconds later, there it is again. One person recalled watching one channel - then jumping as the alert popped in. And then they changed to another channel, it was normal. There it was again. They kept changing the channels - there it was. Again and again. The alert WAS CHASING THEM.
    • In The '70s, several stations attempted to ease the frightening nature of EBS tests by turning the text into a jingle. The FCC immediately forbade them to continue to do so. From then on, the EBS test was required to be read in a super serious tone against a silent background.
    • Not to mention the Emergency Alert System of today and the sounds it uses. The first is the three-beep tone indicating an incoming alert, and then the same two-tone alert from the older Emergency Broadcast System. Even more fearful is the fact of such alerts it presents, especially for bad weather where the alerts are always read with a computerized voice.
    • And while we're on the subject of terrifying alert systems: "YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY MISSING CHILD ALERT..."
  • The sound that always comes on the radio to signal a tornado warning. Not only does it mean a severe storm is coming, but that sound is enough to make young children crap their pants.
  • Tornado sirens can be nightmare fuel, especially the ones in downtown Chicago
  • Continuing with the "terrifying noises" theme... anyone familiar with "The Hum"? Thousands of people worldwide are plagued by a droning noise, much like the sound of a diesel engine—with an intensity ranging from mildly annoying to ear-splittingly painful. The sound is barely audible, but has been known to cause sleep loss, headaches, sickness, and even nosebleeds. The usual means of blocking unwanted noise—earplugs, playing music—do nothing. Some "hearers" have been forced to quit their jobs due to the mental stress; at least one man is known to have committed suicide. Pedestrian causes (such as industrial noise, domestic electronics, and even tinnitus) have thus far been debunked; worse yet, the noise can't be detected or recorded with audio equipment. The best explanation is that it's being generated by ELF (extreme low frequency) military communications used during secret activities... which, of course, the government flatly refuses to discuss. As if having to share your silence with an invasive, alien noise wasn't already creepy enough.

    • Speaking of 'The Hum', there are six other sounds that are found under the ocean. They are Upsweep, Whistle, Bloop, Julia, Slowdown, and Train .
    • Bloop, Julia, Slowdown, and Train are actually all explained (the common theme is that they involve icebergs). However, Upsweep and Whistle are still unexplained. Worse, the noise of Upsweep is seasonal (it reaches its peak in spring and autumn). For all we know, there could be some creature(s) lurking underwater making those noises as some mating call....
  • In some areas, Amber Alerts are not the three-beep warning tone. Oh no, they use a tone that sounds like it came straight out of a horror movie. Try not to piss your pants.
    • And then there's the fact that you know exactly what kind of news the Amber Alert is bringing.
    • High quality version. Satan's THX demo from Hell (Deep Red Note?)
    • With the new smartphones, they now have a special option that allows you to be notified when an Amber Alert is sent out. Sounds well and good until you're talking to your buddy or playing on an app. And then you consider what's already been said above once you get over the initial shock.
      • It can be even worse when one is woken up to the sound. On March 28, 2015, Michiganders were awoken at 5:30 AM to an Amber Alert noise on their phones. Most of them would describe it as sounding like the end of the world.
    • In Georgia they have something that's called a "Levi's Call", which is like a high-priority Amber Alert that's specific to GA cases. It is delegated primarily to TVs and radios like most other emergency alerts. Why is this relevant? Because on December 17 and December 18, a Levi's Call was broadcasted over televisions everywhere in the state. Imagine watching the news before suddenly getting that mechanical warning beep and a voice talking about how there's a child abductor on the loose... Luckily the kid was found out to be safe shortly after the second call.
  • Aside from the Amber Alert, few things will chill the blood (or churn the stomach) faster than the phrase "Code Adam" broadcast over a PA system. Knowing the story behind the warning system makes it tenfold worse, filling your mind with the potentially hellish fates that await abducted children...
  • One more in the vein of disturbing sounds: the air raid siren:
  • Of course, there's always the double whammy-imagine waking up in the dead of night to the weather sirens wailing outside, followed almost immediately by this mechanical announcement when you turn on the TV:
    The National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning for: (your county/city)
  • Over the course of this and the latter half of the last year, strange sounds were heard all over the world. These creepy sounds are coming from the sky, several people heard them and no one can explain them. Here is one of the many videos.
  • These recordings of an old carousel's incredibly broken down calliope. The halting, dissonant renditions of cheerful merry-go-round music tend to have a Creepy Circus Music feel.
  • Ever wonder what Jupiter sounds like? Well, good news for you. Your incredibly weird inquiry has been answered by the lovely people over at NASA! It sounds like a dark ambient song, and it is freaking horrifying!
  • This is one of 13 sirens for Broadmoor Hospital for the Criminally insane, which houses people like Peter Sutcliffe (also known as the Yorkshire Ripper) The Siren is tested once a week and is there so that people living there will know if someone has escaped, and since most of the people that are there are mostly Serial Killers who are insane...
    • The alarm siren is tested every Monday at 10am sharp- followed by the all clear siren, and the sound carries for miles around. Nearby schools have a protocol that if they hear the siren at any other time, they have to go into lockdown. Students have to wait until their parents/guardians come to collect them, and even then those parents/guardians have to go through numerous identity checks just to be sure that they aren't going home with a mass murderer. The parents/guardians aren't allowed to walk the student home, they have to come by car or catch a bus.
  • A surviving audio recording of the People's Temple Jonestown mass suicide in 1978. Transcript here for those too squeamish to listen, though reading it isn't much better. Partway into the audio, the mic begins picking up the sounds of people crying... most of them children.
  • In Chile, during Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (1973-1990), almost all media was heavily censored. One of the few outlets that didn't abide by such rules was a local radio station named Radio Cooperativa, so whenever this news ad was heard between 1975 and 1989...
    Random Chilean Youtuber 1: "I remember that, whenever this was heard, everyone and everything fell silent."
    Random Chilean Youtuber 2: "That's completely true, it's the first thing I thought of. We were quiet, something had happened... Surely one of the atrocities that took place in the 1973-1989 period"
    Random Chilean Youtuber 3: "I was born in 1985 and I still remember my old woman's face when she heard it. 'What the HELL is going on now?"."
    Random Chilean Youtuber 4: "I was born in 1980 and my dad still suffers whenever he hears this ad."
  • On the year of 1995, many people who listened to the radio station WKCR 89.9 were startled when THIS came on. Oh sure, it seems normal at first, but just wait until 16 seconds pass...
    • There was actually a 4chan thread that was related to this as well. Check it out if you're curious about this video.

  • Unsolved crimes in general. Most of the high octane nightmare fuel on this page stems from the intrigue and mystery surrounding each of them, which would vanish almost instantly when explained. That's one criteria for Nightmare Fetishism.
    • Cold case missing persons investigations can also be bone-chilling, particularly the ones that happened more than a couple of decades ago where there's been no sign of the missing person dead or alive. The cases of Jaycee Dugard and Carlina White give some hope for a lot of those cases, but for most, the thought that no one will be able to find these people is either extremely sad or this trope.
    • Also, for the people who have been missing for decades, it's not uncommon for the investigators to semi-regularly sketch an image of impression or possibility of their appearance in the very latest years (and, of course, assuming they are still alive or their deaths aren't confirmed). These images can very easily cross into Uncanny Valley territory.
    • Relatedly, Unidentified decadents, a. k. a. deceased individuals whose identities are never ever known. Just who are they? How can't anyone recognize them? Some cases are justifiable because the victims' face are badly damaged that it's hardly possible to recognize them, but in other cases, their faces remain intact. They are simply unrecognizable by literally anyone.
  • Serial killers are walking, talking, functioning sources of Nightmare Fuel. If their well-documented crimes aren't terrifying enough, hearing them discuss (in their own words) either what attracted them to killing or details of their sociopathic behavior really cranks the octane-level Up to Eleven. The fact that a good percentage of them can go completely under-the-radar and blend in with the rest of society is horrific, also (and doubles as VERY high-octane Paranoia Fuel).
  • The electronic advertising system Telexfree has been pretty much proven to be a pyramid scheme in Brazil. Vloggers in Brazil have been recording videos to further expose the pyramid scheme and alert Brazilians to the fact that they are being fooled... And some of those Vloggers have been threatened of death by Telexfree disseminators. One vlogger in particular was threatened with death for his video's comments, and these disseminators have been sharing his real name and address over the internet so they could get him. These disseminators' sheer fanaticism and the violent responses those disseminators show towards anyone who opposes Telexfree is absolutely horrifying...
  • This. A man was decapitated, and his body was set on fire. In the police station car park.
  • On New Year's Day, 1998, in Trinidad, news broke of the violent execution of Thackoor Boodram, brother of an executed drug lord known as Dole Chadee. How was he murdered? He was shot twice in the head, decapitated and had his severed head stuffed into a small box at the Caroni Cremation site. Scary, to be sure, but do you want to know where the real Nightmare Fuel sets in? The police found out that last detail when they opened the box and Thackoor's head rolled out of it.. The public found out about it when all three daily newspapers not only ran the story, but showed the severed head at everyone's feet right on the cover, making this the first thing Trinidadians saw on their newspapers for the year. Happy New Year, Trinidad! A reporter's account of this horrible spectacle can be found here.
  • Any time a massacre happens. One prime example is the St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre. Imagine that you're sitting eating breakfast, when soldiers storm in and start butchering your family with swords. Around you, you hear people screaming and the sounds of swords striking flesh. You see people getting thrown out of windows with horrific wounds, blood literally running in the streets and bodies everywhere. And all this is happening because you're a Protestant. And worst of all, you can't do anything. You know your friends are dying and your other Protestant relatives are in danger, but you can't. do. ANYTHING.
    • The same thing happened with the infamous Maguindanao Massacre that occurred in the Philippines. Imagine this, you, your family and some of your fellow coworkers are on a caravan for some political stuff. Suddenly, an armed group stops you and started ordering everyone out. They then start torturing and killing everyone and buried them in impromptu mass graves along with the cars. All of this because of tight political competition. Oh, and the death count? Nearly a hundred. Worse still, there are videos about it, certainly not for the squeamish.
  • The worst of parental abuse and neglect. For example, this court document about the termination of parental rights in a neglect case in Virginia. In summary: two "parents" hid their daughter from society, including keeping her in a crib-turned-makeshift cage with little to no food. When she was finally discovered by accident in 2011 (at about six and a half years old, but developmentally the equivalent of a toddler), the cage was caked in waste, and she was forced to eat her own hair and skin (among other things). She had two brothers: one was found underneath the shed, apparently having been hidden as well (the parents eventually were charged with his murder), and the other was shown off to the world and treated like any other child. Arguably the worst part of the document:
    Other than the room where [she] was caged, the parents' home was described as "impeccably clean." A son ... was born in a hospital on March 23, 2011. Other than being slightly dehydrated, he appeared healthy and "had his own fully decorated, clean room in the home." During an inspection of the home, investigators reported the family had "a well-cared-for dog as well as fresh cut flowers in a vase."
  • It's not hard to understand why School Bullying Is Harmless is becoming a Discredited Trope when you read the accounts of what bullied kids go through.
    • The Karma Houdini thing is particularly bad, as many people who are in a position to actually help the victim will, in an event that is scarily common, side with the bully and come up with the most insane excuses to absolve the bully of all blame (i.e., "Well, maybe if you hadn't provoked them they wouldn't have hit you"). In essence, a more passive (or passive-aggressive) version of "Why Did You Make Me Hit You?".
    • This can be made even worse when schools adopt a counterproductive 'Zero Tolerance' or Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, In which the school staff actively refuse to do anything about the bullying, despite Zero Tolerance stating that any action of bullying should be dealt with. Schools tend to sweep it under the rug instead.
      • Now, imagine how hard it feels to have no one at school on your side, even if your family are fighting your corner...
  • Anonymous. As in, that group of hackers that are practically invulnerable, untraceable, powerful. And while there's some comfort in the fact they Pet the Dog quite often, the paranoia returns with the knowledge they're not all the same group with the same motives. Meaning? Their morality varies massively across all members. Affably Evil they may be, they're still terrifying.
  • Scaphism is an ancient and, thankfully, defunct method of execution that is long, torturous, and EXTREMELY nauseating. The condemned is confined in a boat or hollowed-out log, covered in honey, and forced to eat a mix of honey and milk before being sent to float out in a lake, exposed to the sun. The honey covering the victim, along with the accumulation of bodily waste from the honey/milk mixture, attracts insects that proceed to use the victim's skin as a breeding ground, causing gangrenous infections. It can take days for a person to die from scaphism, since they are forced each day to eat more of the honey/milk mix to keep them from dying mercifully from hunger and thirst.

Videos (see also the web original page)

  • There's a My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic Pinkie Pie doll that sings and tells stories. This is all well and good... until the batteries start dying, at which point she apparently gets possessed by Beelzebub.
  • The Pinkie Cooper line of dolls. Basically, imagine an over-sized "cutesy" toy dog head on a Barbie's body, and despair.
  • This horrifying object called an "Evil Wand" with a copyright-infringing image of Cardcaptor Sakura on its packaging was found on sale at a dollar store in Ohio. It looks like any other plastic children's wand, but emits an evil, cackling laugh and contains a hidden image of a "demonic child" with glowing eyes and a wide psychotic smile, covered in blood and slashing her own wrists with a butcher's knife. A mother bought it for her two-year-old daughter, but discovered what was hidden under the foil on the wand and was rightfully outraged. What makes it worse is that it was being sold amongst children's toys. What makes it even worse it that no one seems to know who made it, nor why. Also, the toy is still being carried in the store.
    • The relative apathy of the owner of the store that carried the toy, though he is right that it is the parents' responsibility to inspect the toy given its name, he thinks that children are desensitized to such things "because they see it on TV every day". And that somehow makes it OK to keep selling it?
  • The Face Bank is a toy of sorts that is supposed to encourage your children to save money by feeding it. The face in question is haunting, to the point where adult reviewers mention being frightened by it. Here's a video of it in action, if you dare.
  • Any clockwork musical toy that has become detuned or broken due to aging and constant abuse by a child is bound to have a chilling effect on the listener. Equally creepy are music movements from factories in China that has been so poorly assembled that the music that it plays is severely off-tune even brand new.

  • King Inna North wrote "My coffee table speaks to me".
  • There seems to be a "curse" involving Playboy centerfold girls dying young. Marilyn Monroe was the cover girl for the first ever issue of Playboy and died at the age of 36; Jane Mansfield was after her and she died young; then Dorothy Stratton was after her and she died young too; the latest victim was Anna Nicole Smith who died at the age of 39.
  • One word: Ratfink. The deformed extremely twisted work of Ed Roth deserves a very honorable mention.
  • Old Time Radio Horror shows like Lights Out, Inner Sanctum, Quiet Please, and so on. A mixed bag as often the narrative tropes of the genre, such as the reliance on "Description Through Narration" and their general melodramatic styles can sometimes lead to them being narmy to the point of Nightmare Retardant, but when they are out their best and if you can get yourself in the right mood they build tension like nothing else.
  • "Groundhog Day" Loop plots can be rather frightening once the Fridge Logic sets in. Not so much the ones where we see every repeat, but the ones where we don't, and it's implied that they go on for extremely long periods of time. On the order of centuries, sometimes. The idea of being trapped in something like that... Gah!
  • Urban legends in general. The Other Wiki even has a category presenting them. Have fun reading through each and every one.
  • Anything that PETA posts about undercover investigations. Look them up. Not for the faint of heart.
  • Online GIFs. Average online images could be GIF images and they could suddenly move...
  • Someone posted a YouTube comment describing about how someone tried to replicate something they saw on Rescue 911 where a girl was hit in the head with a softball. Note that they intentionally wanted to hurt that kid, and they were less than ten.
  • TV Tropes in of itself can be nightmare fuel in some ways.
    • Clicking through the Nightmare Fuel pages can actually be quite terrifying at times, as many of the NF pages feature an especially scary image on them that appear right at the top of the page. This means that when you open up a certain NF page, said scary image will suddenly be displayed on your screen, hitting you straight in the face, and there is absolutely no way to be prepared to what you'll see if you've never been to the page before. In a way, they're basically like silent jump scares.
      • And it's not just the NF pages. Even the regular TV Tropes pages can open up with a rather unpleasant image. And there's still no warning for which one it'll be.
    • When you load the front page, sometimes, if your computer is running a bit slow, you can see a subliminal message planted in the top-left corner of the screen just before the main page covers it up. Just one word... "follow"
    • If you put a page that you are editing into preview mode, the page image is shown in the preview, which can result in some self-induced nightmare fuel on pages with scary images, especially you're a serial tweaker.
  • The NSA. The NSA is the part of the government that performs mass surveillance to try to foil terrorism. They know all your personal information, what you're for, against, neutral about. Make one joke about killing someone when they're watching and they can label you as a TERRORIST, They can even see into your house. Just think about it.
  • You wanna know how bad racism was back in the day? During the Little Rock Nine ordeal, there were negotiations that they would let them in if they would allow them to lynch just one. Now you know.
    • On the subject of irrational bigotry, the "Gay Panic" and "Trans Panic" defenses in the court system. What are these defenses, you may ask? Basically, they occur when someone murders a gay man or a trans woman and goes on to claim that they were just so scared or disgusted that they went temporarily insane and had no option but to kill them. Usually, the claim is that either a straight man was afraid that the gay man would rape him and so he killed him in "self defense" or a straight cisgendered man temporarily went mad from the revelation that the cute girl he was hitting on was "actually a man". The really scary thing? Up until not too long ago, this defense was a surefire way to assure that homophobic/transphobic murderers got away scot-free. That's right, the courts saw this as a legitimate defense.
  • Perimetr, the Russian nuclear "fail-deadly" system, affectionately nicknamed "Dead Hand". Reports differ, but there is the very real possibility that the world' second largest nuclear arsenal is under the automatic control of a machine. Skynet is real. Let's repeat that. Not only are enough nukes to destroy the world under the control of a machine, that machine can potentially be fooled by screwing with its sensors. This thing is on, armed and operation right now!
    • It's commonly theoretized that the UVB-76 radio signal, mentioned above, is actually the controling signal of Perimetr. Yes, that creepy buzzing is Skynet's noise. It's also commonly theoretized that it's when the signal suddenly stops you should be afraid, because this will trigger a nuclear attack.
  • The Golding Institute: Final Relaxation is quite possibly the most terrifying "comedy" album ever released. It's essentially a parody of new age guided meditation albums, but it's billed as "your ticket to death through hypnotic suggestion." That's right, the intended result of the exercise is for you to die. At first, this is played for extremely dark humor, as cliche after cliche of the genre is inverted; for example, instead of a calming voice instructing you to relax your body parts one at a time over soothing music, there's a creaky-voiced old man telling you in excruciating detail how much pain each individual body part is in, accompanied by a low-pitched electronic hum. As the album goes on, however, the imagery and instructions get a lot more unnerving, that queasy electronic hum keeps growing louder and louder, the already creepy narrator gets even more sociopathic, and there's increasingly less there to remind you it's all a joke. To top it off, the inside of the booklet is a last will and testament, with blanks for the listener to fill in.
  • The story of the naked bath salt zombie of Miami, Florida is absolutely bone-chilling. On May 26, 2012, Rudy Eugene left his house one day for Miami Beach when his car broke down. He abandoned it around noon, stripped off his clothes as he walked until he was completely nude, then encountered a homeless man named Ronald Poppo underneath the MacArthur Causeway and attacked him, unprovoked, and started to chew off his face. When a police officer responded to a 911 call from a passing spectator and ordered Eugene to halt, Eugene just growled at him like a zombie before continuing to bite at Poppo's face, only stopping when he was shot to death. The attack nearly killed Poppo, and left him disfigured and blind.

    It was initially suspected that Eugene was high on "bath salts", a drug that can be generously described as "Satan's personal meth", which would explain his erratic and violent behavior and his stripping due to the drug making him uncomfortably warm. An autopsy, however, revealed that the only drug in his system was marijuana. This points to one of two scenarios: either Reefer Madness is real (highly unlikely), or Eugene had some kind of psychosis lurking inside him all along, and no one knew it until it was too late.
  • Conspiracy theories. Even if you don't believe them, just the ideas like the New World Order and the Illuminati can be terrifying. The "clues" that back them don't help either. The Other Wiki has a list of them. Sleep well.
  • For some literal nightmare fuel, traumatic experiences which trigger PTSD can make people suffering from it lose sleep. Anyone can have PTSD, but it is most prevalent in military personnel, especially those at or near the front lines.
  • Thinking about the frightening things you may have read or seen earlier that day right before you go to bed. Bonus points if you wake up in the middle of the night needing to go to the bathroom but, say, recalling that factoid that waking up in the middle of the night can be caused by someone watching you. Double bonus points if you are a Nightmare Fetishist so you keep doing it anyways.
  • A lot of lawyer PSA's regarding bad drugs or medicine which typically employee a dead serious sounding announcer and perhaps tense music, even an adult fear if you or someone you know has indeed taken this drug and have indeed experienced the listed side effects.
  • The sinking of the Iberian steamer boat in World War I. You think being stuck helpless in the ocean after your boat is destroyed is scary? Try having that happen and then witness a massive, crocodile-like aquatic creature of indiscernible origin be shot into the air with the debris out of absolutely nowhere. It must have taken a long time to get those British soldiers back into any body of water after that. That said, judging from the report, the animalnote  probably died sometime after the explosion.
  • The story of "The Giant Shrimp in the Laundry Room", an allegedly true story told by a woman who lived in an apartment complex which had a huge basement/laundry room that, for some reason, had tons of holes in the walls—she was told that the basement was connected to the water. As she was hanging up her clothes, she had this unsettling feeling of being watched. When she turned around, there was a five-foot-tall shrimp-like creature crawling out of one of the massive holes and headed straight towards her. Needless to say, she opted to move out of the apartment ASAP.
  • Book banning controversies. Sounds geeky in text but they can get pretty nasty. At least one Robert Cormier book has been contended by sending death threats and letterbombs to the people who wanted to defend the books and when the victims attempted to contact authorities, their opposition vehemently denied any involvement in the situation. Bear in mind, all this trouble was over a book.
  • The de Young Museum in San Francisco has exhibits that feature art, sculptures, and artifacts from all over the world. This includes the works of the Asmat people of Papua New Guinea. The collection of masks and reliquaries that adorn real skulls is simultaneously beautiful and creepy.