Nightmare Fuel / Vanity Plate
aka: Vanity Plates

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"So I start up Team Fortress 2 and then I see a creepy bald man."
A GameFAQs user

You would think that the little logos at the end of TV shows and the start of movies and video games wouldn't have the potential to scare anyone. These examples prove otherwise. Here are a few of the ones that made young children shit bricks.

Note: To just give an overview of how many people were scared shitless by these over the years, the Closing Logo Group's wiki, which documents vanity plates, lists among other things the "Scare Factor" of each logo (as does the site's predecessor and model, the FortuneCity hosted "KRS Logos"). And now, the examples.

Note 2: In the UK, these are known as 'idents' or 'end boards'.

Examples of Scary vanity plates:

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    Cinemas 
  • Feel sorry for anyone who had to witness Carlton Screen Advertising's abomination in British movie theatres. It features a huge, flaming branding iron shoving out of the screen at you, along with loud noises. It used to come before the commercials and trailers and was used constantly between 1996 and 2014. So if you were watching something in British cinemas, you'd have to bring earplugs.
  • At 5:20 in the link, this trailer for the Famous Players chain in Canada, then a subsidiary of Paramount. Famous Players was sold in 2005 to Cineplex Entertainment. It feels a tad creepy to watch this, with what's coming at you. Someone else mentioned a policy trailer for another Canadian chain, Empire Theatres, used in the early 2000s where its logo, that of a film reel, comes flying at you and then explodes, but for some reason, no one has it on YouTube. They have since changed their logo in 2008 to a 20th Century Fox style searchlight. Before the change, Empire Theatres used a logo with a starry background, but not so scary music.

    Film 
  • Several Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons throughout the mid 30's to the mid 60's would open up with the Warner Bros. logo zooming in to position, accompanied with a loud twang sound, which was startling but nothing mind-scarring, but then it got even worse on the 1954 Bugs Bunny cartoon Lumber Jack-Rabbit (the first Bugs Bunny cartoon released in 3-D), where the shield would literally zoom in farther than usual. Here's a giant compilation of Looney Tunes intros from that era.
    • Unfortunately, in 2010, WB decided to pay tribute to the Lumber Jack-Rabbit intro for their Road Runner 3D cartoon shorts. This time, however, the shield zooms in faster and bounces back to position. It's even worse than the original variant! The Looney Tunes cartoons released in 2003 also made homages to the Lumber Jack-Rabbit intro, but were cheesy and slow. The intro to The Looney Tunes Show also featured a homage to Lumber Jack-Rabbit at the start, with the shield zooming in ala the 2010 variant, but the shield is more two-dimensional this time. All of these intros can be found in this link.
    • The "That's All, Folks!" closings were also freaky, since it would magically write itself on screen. The ones that ended with Porky Pig weren't as bad, but the idea of having Porky burst out of a drum was a little odd.
    • In 1964note , the traditional Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies logos were replaced with something quite different that featured swirling lines and a huge abstract "WB" graphic on a black background, accompanied by William Lava's very strange arrangement of the usual "Merry Go Round Broke Down" theme. It especially didn't help that it was seen on some of the crappier cartoons of the period (like the Rudy Larriva Road Runner cartoons.) The later Warner Bros.-Seven Arts version featured the less scary "W7" shield and a much cheaper-sounding version of the weird theme (quite fitting of the cartoons' decreasing quality), dialing back the scaryness a bit.
  • Speaking of Warner Bros., The Kids WB logo used on the first three Pokémon movies. Imagine... Lights go down, black screen, then BLAM! in your face.
  • When Screen Gems was re-launched as a movie studio in 1998, the "S from Hell" was mellowed down a lot for the 1999 company logo. Occasionally, the logo is colored red, which is unsettling on its own. But then there's this variant from The Covenant, where the spiral S is formed with fire.
  • Fat Dog Productions, thanks to a combination of incessant howling and Lack Of Animation Is Scarier.
  • Boje Buck, which provides an example of Hair-Raising Hare. If the fact that a rabbit killed a snake isn't enough to unnerve you, the "You're next" glance in its eyes will. And even better is that the rabbit is rendered in color on Boje Buck's website.
  • A variant on the Klasky-Csupo logo used for The Wild Thornberrys Movie was considerably more unsettling than the standard logo (more on that later). Not only is the cut to the logo (which is more cheaply animated this time) jarring, the face stares at you and smiles!
  • Intrepid Pictures, featuring a man almost getting struck by lightning. The red sky and the music certainly don't help. It was later replaced by a tamer version which features a live-action zoom-out of the man and no music other than the thunder sounds.
  • The MGM logo. A big lion on the screen roaring at you could send chills down a kid.
    • While all of the lions were scary to some degree, Tanner is often regarded as the scariest of all. This may be why Tom replaced him on the Chuck Jones-era Tom and Jerry shorts, besides Rule of Funny.
    • If you can believe it, it gets creepier. Those poor lions look so disoriented being stuck in that frame!
    • In the opening for the US version of The Fearless Vampire Killers the lion sprouts animated vampire fangs with blood dripping on them after he does his usual roaring. In the UK version he turns into a green cartoon vampire.
    • The new MGM logo introduced in 2012 is bound to catch many people off guard because the logo is animated in a way that exploits 3D. For those who don't want to look: The logo starts out with a extremely-close zoom-in of the lion's eye, which then pans out to a comfortable distance of the full view of the lion and the ribbon, which then continues as usual with the lion roaring. The entire logo is initially irised out up until you can see the entire face of the lion..
    • The Greek theater mask below the lion is sort of creepy, as well.
    • United Artists had this "Turning UA" logo, with odd music that it starts out sounding menacing but turns triumphant and celebratory.
  • The first View Askew logo (mildly NSFW) that appeared at the beginning of Clerks. It is grungy, roughly animated, and involves a little boy and a middle-aged cross-dressing clown. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • There's just something strangely imposing about the pegasus used in the TriStar Pictures logo.
  • Touchstone Pictures has their "Snake" logo the company used in the 80s through the mid 2000s. The creepy music is one of the things taken out of the shortened TV version, being replaced with a serene piano jingle ending with a bell where the horn stab would be in the movie logo.
  • Any of those logos that'll play at the end of a DVD. Picture yourself sitting on your reclining chair during the end of some Fox DVD. You think it's all over, the credits have run their course, and the DVD will boot back to the menu, and then suddenly, BAM! Big green logo in your face.
  • The appearance of the FNM Films logo at the end of Revenge of the Nerds III, if only for the random yell of pain in the background.
  • Oz Film Company, known by a YouTube user as "VID's Granny" for a good reason. It's just the floating head of a lady looking at the camera, but it's scarier that it sounds. Some variants have the head very close to the camera, which makes it even more scary.
  • The Twisted Pictures logo. All that was left was for the letters to start dripping blood afterwards.
  • Gaumont's mid-80's logo. The dark atmosphere, the zooming and the dramatic synthesized music makes for a potentially unsettling experience.
  • The Fabrica logo, depicting a black face with beyond creepy, cat-like eyes that stare at you.
  • The Finnish movie distributor Finnkino used to open their features with a clip that featured what could best be described as "howling burning space ballerinas" in both cinemas and home video releases — including childrens' cartoons, of course.
  • The logo for Rainbow Releasing. Which has a soundless zoom-in of Orson Welles staring into your soul.
  • Erry Vision. The ugly looking font and dark background, with what sounds like a cross between The Joker's laugh and Tom's yell of pain in the background.
  • Paul Haggis Productions' first logo is already creepy enough, depicting Icarus falling to his doom behind the company name against a nice, cloud-dotted blue sky (as seen on EZ Streets). Then he did a second version (as seen on Family Law) with Icarus flying by the sun, the wings come off and he falls right towards the camera so it ends with his screaming face! What was the man thinking?!? It can be a Crowning Moment of Funny to some, though.
  • THX. Period. Its infamous logo sound effect, the "Deep Note", which to many young filmgoers and film viewers on VHS in the '80s and '90s, was very much a Brown Note. Sure, there are plenty of funny trailers (such as the ones starring Tex), but between those are some...scary ones for this sound system phenomenon...
    • "Broadway" is widely considered to be one of the scariest THX trailers, thanks to that loud sound and the dark background. It made children fear watching tapes of Disney movies or anything else with the THX logo on the packaging for plenty of years.
    • "Cimarron", which was parodied on Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation. It opens with a conductor flicking a baton, prior to opening a giant blue wormhole set to dramatic brass music.
    Announcer: The audience is now deaf.
  • Barnholtz Entertainment appears to be just a calm moonlight landscape but then it unleashes an unexpected, extremely quick and warning-less zoom-in into a horse's eye.
  • The alternate version of the Fox fanfare that was done for the opening of Alienł. It starts off as normal, but then right at the end it descends into a terrifying finish, almost as if the music itself is screaming. It is quite possibly one of the most horrifying instances of Last Note Nightmare to date, some have even (jokingly) argued that it is even scarier than the entire film itself.
  • Oh my word, the Bryanston Pictures logo... Yes, they are the people who originally distributed the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre in 1974! And allegedly, Bryanston Pictures was actually tied to a mafia family.
  • The ident for the Learning Corporation of America is positively sinister. There is no reason for it to jut forward at the end like that. The music does not help.
  • Disney's Sleeping Beauty castle logo normally isn't unsettling... with the only exception being the end of Wreck-It Ralph. As the castle fades in, the screen jutters and glitches with unsettling sound effects, and then the entire right-side glitches apart in a Shout-Out to Pac-Man's infamous Level 256 Kill Screen. It serves as a Jump Scare for those who stayed to the end of the film and weren't expecting something like it to happen. See for yourself here.
  • German filmmaking company Atlas International's logo features a static background of the world, some choppy animation, and a synthesizer theme that is actually pretty badass, albeit very menacing.note 
    • There's also North American Releasing, whose logo was adapted from it, and it isn't much better thanks to very cheap looking text and even more choppy animation.

    Home Video 
  • Disney:
    • The first string of Disney movies released on home video were preceded by a truly mind-scarring Vanity Plate where a demonic-looking laser Mickey spun around as hyperdramatic brass music blared in the background.
      • Ironically, the creepiness of laser Mickey fit perfectly with the dark tone (and similarly creepy Conspicuous CG opening credits) of both The Black Hole and TRON.
    • The early to mid-90s vanity plate. Not too scary, but the dark red company name on a black background wasn't an easy combination for some people.
      • There's a variant of that vanity plate, except of course it's custom made for the Walt Disney Classics VHS series. According to the Closing Logos wiki, a few later videotapes with that logo featured a distorted version of the jingle, due to a technical error. Imagine how that must have been for the poor kids who were already scared of the logo to begin with...
    • The Feature Presentation card Disney used on most tapes throughout the 90s spooked out quite a number of kids thanks to the loud fanfare, the creepy announcer, and the fact that the words just wrote themselves on the screen (worth noting that similar cards used for Disney VHS at the time didn't have animated text and had announcers that sounded more friendly in comparison). The "Navy Blue" variant seen exclusively on the early 90s The Rescuers VHS print wasn't much better, with it's noticeably darker background color and the fact that the aforementioned distorted Disney Classics logo follows it afterward.
    • Disney also put out strange title cards with the Feature Presentation font on certain backgrounds. Even worse is on the 1992 release of 101 Dalmatians, where an extended, rather ominous version of the normally peppy 1986 WDHV jingle plays against said cards and even the closing Buena Vista logo at the end of the movie. All of this makes for a creepy atmosphere that, by all means, should not be viewed in the dark.
      • Even worse, shortly after one of the trailers on the same VHS (not even a minute after hearing that wretched music mentioned above), another title card fades in from the trailer credits without warning, no doubt scaring all the little kids who had watched the VHS for the first time. It doesn't help that the end of the trailer is completely silent until the announcer cuts in.
    • Another number from Disney-throughout the latter half of the 90s, they used a series of VHS bumpers that had the text of the bumper (in blue) quickly zoom out on a black background, and then create a huge white blinding flash on the screen that changed the background to a dark blue and the text to white. All the while accompanied by a very loud "whoosh" sound effect, an orchestral hit, and an ominous quiet note that played throughout the bumper. Considering how a lot of the VHS commercials they used at the time typically faded out to black, this meant that what were essentially jump scares would play every time a commercial ended.
      • Some of the bumpers had modified versions of the music (which can be seen in the above link)-bumpers promoting Disney Interactive games for films used a orchestrated version of the music, which helped offset the ominous nature of the music; but then you had the "Stay Tuned After The Feature" bumpers that had an "extended" version of the music that was even creepier than the original. There were also the tamer "alternative" bumpers used for promoting rental tapes and DV Ds that merely had the text fade in, though it used the fanfare from the above Feature Presentation card.
      • And as if that wasn't enough, there were the "After The Feature" bumpers used on VHS tapes of The Crow and its sequel that took the scariness factor Up to Eleven by pairing them with really creepy Crow insignia from the films with the "After The Feature" bumpers. The fact that they both concern special features regarding Brandon Lee's fatal accident — his final on-camera interview and a memorial tribute, respectively — definitely doesn't help.
    • Also from Disney, the Feature Program logo has a variant, where a scene from a show's theme song (Bone Chillers, Doug, and Quack Pack) is used as the FP background, combined with the fact that they used the music from the first logo. Creepy, isn't it?
  • Warner Bros.
    • The Warner Home Video bumper used throughout the 80s features a Conspicuous CG logo and synth horns that come blasting at you without a warning.
    • This logo for Warner Bros. Family Entertainment, which was seen at the end of a Halloween VHS promo from 2000, has Bugs Bunny sticking out of the WB shield in an opened door fashion (this variant can be seen as a vector logo on countless WBFE VHS and DVD covers) looking toward the left of the screen on a sunset-style cloud background… A flash of lightning then strikes the logo which causes the background to flicker. This then makes Bugs turn his eyes to the viewers (as this happens, his skeleton can be seen during the flickering), as the background changes from the sunset-style clouds to pitch darkness. Oh, and one of the clouds lights up red and hisses. Even worse is the expression on Bugs' face. Of course, this is Halloween themed, but WB decided to take this to an extreme. Skip to 1:10, if you dare...
  • The old Viz Video logo from the nineties. Very ominous music plays in the background as an enormous golden block continuously swirls against a starry backdrop until it breaks apart with a tremendous sound, similar to glass breaking or a car crash, the individual gold planes swarming the camera until they form a gold "V".
  • Did any tropers from the UK ever get The Snowman on VHS? A nice, sweet film about a boy and his snowman that had a Downer Ending but pretty much defines Christmas for Brits of a certain age? Well, before you got to see the video you saw Palace Video's logo. "Dad, fast forward the tape ...OR ELSE!"
    • The ...OR ELSE! warning itself could be scary or funny depending of one's mindset. In any case, it's one of the most memorable home video anti-piracy warnings.
  • FUNimation:
    • The 2010s logo ident, the jumble of anime voices leading up to the logo name being spoken and the "you should be watching" whisper might sound creepy to someone.
    • The mid-90s ident, as seen on old Dragon Ball VHS tapes, is a tad unsettling. It comes complete with creepy synthesized music and Uncanny Valley-esque CG shapes, especially that star near the end.
  • This CBS-Fox logo. Maybe because it was metallic and looked sharp, like it could hurt...or kill...
  • Ladies and gents, may we present you the loudest logo of all time. Can you believe that released this on videos targeted for KIDS?! Turn your volume down if you dare follow the link!
  • The Mid 80's-Early 90's CIC Video logo may freak out quite a few people with it's loud music.
  • The Media Home Entertainment logo, aka "The Space Logo". All three variants use the same basic, loud dramatic fanfare and a starry background. The first one from 1978 to 1981 was dubbed "MEDA" after company founder Charles Band's (of the Band family of filmmakers) wife, Meda. The second logo, used from 1981 to 1988, had a stylized "MEDIA" appearing, with a variant that began use in 1984 having the byline "A Heron Communications Company" owing to being under new ownership.
  • This Simitar Entertainment logo from the late 80's. Super cheesy 80's animation? Check. Loud, oversynthesized and terrifying synth bass music? Check. The ugliest S you will ever see in your entire life?! Check check check.
  • Viva Films, a Philippines film company, had this number during the 1990s and early 2000s. Weird laser sounds and effects, loud and uninviting synth music, big gold CG letters ominously rotating against a black-blue background...it's just downright menacing. Later attempts to offset the creepiness by adding more sound effects were done in the logo's later years, to varying success.
  • In the mid-1980s, Golden Book Video (a children's video distributor) thought it would be a great idea to place this monstrosity at the end of their tapes. With ugly animation that makes Filmation look like Hayao Miyazaki, a comet that zooms into the screen and blasts at you, creepy synth humming, and a horrible disappearing effect for the GBV logo itself, it's a Last Note Nightmare that makes you wonder how much drugs they took to get this onto tapes of Richard Scarry cartoons. Nightmare Retardant if you've seen Golden Book Video Killers.
    • An opening variant of said monstrosity exists, and it is certainly no better. It's basically the same except with a female announcer proclaiming in a somewhat creepy tone: "The best of children's entertainment presented by... Golden Book Video". Children's entertainment, indeed! If you don't believe me, it can be seen here about 36 seconds in. (Apologies for the picture quality.)
  • The logo for Shout! Factory. Not a scary logo in itself, but for some reason the opening sound effect from the VID logo is sampled at the start...
  • Columbia TriStar's Surround Sound logo opens immediately against a black background, and since the FBI warning card that comes before it fades to black, you definitely won't have time to even see it coming. It doesn't help that the logo is accompanied by a loud clang, followed by a haunting choir that takes its sweet time to fade out completely (with the logo actually fading out first on some tapes before the music does). And if that wasn't enough, it's followed by the dreaded THX Broadway logo in some releases. Their Hi-Fi Stereo logo is also guilty of making a sudden appearance, but the animation and sound effects used is somewhat tamer in comparison.
  • Worldvision Home Video's 1985-1995 logo. I don't think Casper the Friendly Ghost approved of big globes scaring children with their big whooshes and 5 oddly creepy sounding synth notes.
    • A shorter edit was used by Worldvision Enterprises around the same time (1988-1999), which is a tad less scary thanks to a much more subtle whoosh effect and a quicker jingle.
  • "BBC / has gone and / killed your mummmmmm"
  • The logo for German company Toppic Video. At first we hear a rainbow-colored text of the word "VIDEO" which is then accompanied by a woman's blood-curdling scream, followed by some rather odd and unfitting disco music and the "Top Pic" logo see in black and white text. Whether or not the viewer may find the latter part of the video to be this trope or Nightmare Retardant (if not downright Narm) is up to them.
  • Australian company Roadshow Entertainment had what has been nicknamed "The Australian V of Doom" for the mid-80s that lasted throughout the early 90s. Given the horrifically intimidating synth stinger music, flashy effects, and dark atmosphere, it's not hard to see why the logo got its name.
  • Possibly the scariest (if not the most bizarre) of this bunch here is this Zombastic gem from the early 2000's. a screaming skull with bulging, bloodshot eyes floating around in space, seriously!?

    Station Idents 
  • Nickelodeon
    • For starters, they had this bumper from 1993 to 1999. First, we have some creepy painted hands singing the Nick theme in a way that makes the VID music sound pleasant, among flashes that make that one Pokémon episode seem perfectly normal. Then, a disembodied pair of eyes, a nose and dentures (voiced by Tom Kenny, aka the face on the Volcano Sauce Drop) creepily sings the channel name, and it flashes the Nickelodeon logo. Nicknamed the "Pinchface", it's regarded as one of their most scariest bumpers.
    • There was also this other bumper (called Box, it can be seen here) that had this creepy green blob in a box that looked like the horrific illegitimate spawn of the Stretch Films and Klasky Csupo logos (don't worry, we'll get to THEM later).
    • This 1986 Nickelodeon bumper (also shown in the UK during closedown) is creepy in its own rights, with wolves howling on a solid white background with an eerie noise.
    • This. The boy isn't scared by the fact that the Nickelodeon logo keeps stalking him throughout the bumper.
    • The bumper sequence with the mannequin sillhouettes, flashes, and creepy minimal jazz music.
    • This one will make you afraid to eat hard-boiled eggs ever again.
  • PBS:
    • The predecessor network, NET, had a couple of scary logos. This one, from 1966, features loud and discordant music as the globe-and-letters logo crudely animates itself on the screen. The following logo, from 1968, ups the ante with a creepy Eric Siday jingle.
    • The 1971-1984 "Tricolor" logo debuted the (in)famous "P-Head", accompanied by an earsplitting synthesizer glissando. We Interrupt This Week featured a variant where the jingle is replaced with a choir singing "Happy Birthday to You", which manages to be even scarier thanks to it's loudness and dodgy editing. Turn your volume down.
    • The 1980's "Split Profile" logo had a scarier variant used on the first episode of Square One Television where background vocals sing "And on, and on, and on, and on..." as the logo multiplies after doing its normal animation and music.
    • Ditto the Annenberg CPB and EFC logos. The later version's music was toned down, replacing the shrill synthesizer with piano.
    • On a similar note, the music for the 1989 Glass ident can be jarring.
    • The PBS Kids P-Pals logo scared many a kid on TV, due to the flashing colors and very loud singing.
      • There was also a variant of it in which the screen goes black, and you can see a lot of weird shapes moving about. Then we go through an open door and then the "P heads" scream "SURPRISE!" with all sorts of loud party horns and other noises going about. "Surprise" indeed, it'll surprise the crap of anyone not expecting it!
      • Although there's a parody of it where they say "SURPRISE MOTHERFUCKER!"
    • PBS affiliate WGBH's "Neon Flash of Doom" logo. The previous logo it replaced wasn't all that great either, with its Viacom "V of Doom" text zoom-ins and zoom-outs. The first logo's nightmarish jingle was carried over to the second, and became so (in)famous that it survived all the way into the 2010's, although usually in shortened form.
  • Disney Channel:
    • THIS old Disney Channel bumper, involving Mickey as a mad scientist trying to teleport his signature Walt Disney World hats. The first attempt makes the ears messed up. The second attempt turns the hat into an Oswald the Lucky Rabbit hat. The last attempt, a yellowjacket flies into the machine, thus turning the hat into a giant Disney Channel logo. Then, it turns with sharp red eyes and zooms in at you.
    • This one is literal nightmare fuel, depicting Mickey having a nightmare in which he is one of his gloves, running down a hallway being chased by a ghost that turns into the Disney Channel logo, while Mickey arms are sprouting from paintings on the wall and trying to grab him.
    • The introduction to their "Vault Disney" block features a "dark ride"-like trip through various environments inspired by classic Disney movies; things take a turn for the dark when you are faced with Chernabog before making a quick turn right into the aim of the Headless Horseman.
  • Voltaire used to work on MTV station idents before he became a professional musician. His style is typically creepy, gothic and dark. Metal Machine from above is his work.
    • Speaking of MTV, here's this ident. Words just do NOT show it justice!
  • Back in the '90s, the Sci Fi Channel had an ID with a grandfather clock whose face turned into a monster, whose mouth would then be zoomed into and the channel's logo would be zoomed towards at breakneck speed.
    • There was a later bumper that's creepy as well. It actually came in a series that played during subsequent commercial breaks during the same show. It focuses on invading carnivous alien plants that feed on whatever is unfortunate to get in it's way. All of the horror can be found at this link. (Ironically, the person who uploaded the video posted it because they found it to be Fetish Fuel.)
    • Another one has a man putting out the garbage and then going back inside his house. After he leaves, the words "Dead... leaves?" appear onscreen.
    • Then there was one station ID from the late 90s to early 2000s that had a young man breakdancing and spinning on his head. His head then comes to a stop... while his body slowly came to a stop a few seconds later!
  • A 1998 ident for Sky Premier in the UK features women high in the sky holding a golden sheet falling off of diamond-shaped platforms and dissolving into gold dust, as the a sheet becomes a movie screen (you can even hear screams in the background while they're falling, although they're brief and only happen when the first woman falls). Oddly unsettling for what is otherwise a heavenly logo.
  • CBC has this number, depicting small CBC logos filling up the screen, before the one in the middle zooms in on you, set to a loud horn fanfare.
  • In 1993, NBC introduced several network IDs from various artists. The scariest of them all is probably Peter Max's contribution, which is a psychedelic mess from which emerges the 1986 peacock logo. Notably, one of the 1993 introductions, which depicts several brightly colored "fireflies" swirling around and forming the peacock, lasted much longer than the others; almost ten years, in fact.
  • You'd think that BBC One's "circles" idents would have no scare potential. But the Lawn Circles ident, what with the lawn-mowing women's robotic, stiff, unnatural movement and blank expressions, might prove one wrong.
    • Imagine you were just minding your own business, watching BBC One as an ident appeared, one you have seen before, but it seems off... then this happens. It's the Lawn Circles ident again... but it glitches out to be replaced by an image of Matt Smith saying "The clock's ticking!" before cutting back to ident like nothing happened. Of course this was done in the run up to "The Day of the Doctor" (Doctor Who's 50th anniversary) but they didn't stop at one of them. This happened a few days later, followed by this one the day before. It happened one more time before the episode aired. Keep in mind these happened without warning.
      • And it's not just BBC One. Viewers worldwide who get their Doctor Who through BBC Entertainment (One of BBC's international channels that's available through various Pay TV providers worldwide) also got to see those idents (though suitably edited to read BBC Entertainment instead, of course).
    • And when "the moment" is mentioned, it's a pun referring either to the broadcasting of the episode or to the episode's MacGuffin, the Moment, which is the Time Lord Weapon of Mass Destruction used to end the Time War with double genocide. Indeed, "The Moment is here..." for you.
    • In the late 70's, BBC One aired a Christmas ident that included a two faced santa. It's as horrifying as it sounds.
    • This BBC 2 ident, depicting the famous number as covered by flowing silk sheets while a haunting remix of the familiar channel theme plays throughout. The ident is called "Silk".
    • Another BBC 2 ident from Hallowen 1992 shows the 2 covered by white cloth, getting stabbed by scissors, complete with a horrifying re-doing of the Psycho Strings.
  • The 1989 Genesis Entertainment logo. The visuals aren't too bad, but the music sounds like it's from a horror-thriller movie, with very threatening synth music that ends on a downright haunting note. In stark contrast, the music was replaced in 1994 with some zooming noises, a soft ascending note, and then a bubbly and dreamy tune. One would wonder if the change was done in response to the former's music.
  • In Brazil, Rede Globo's "Plantao" (which precedes breakthrough news, most of the times involving tragedy and/or death; it's usually said the scary vignette makes them even worse).
  • The CBS Giant Eye of Doom is scary enough.
    • What if it was the last thing you ever saw...?
    • When they started broadcasting in color in 1965, they prefaced their color programs with this number. The creepy electronic jingle (courtesy of Eric Siday, of "S from Hell" infamy), combined with the black background, made for a rather startling way to show black-and-white set owners what they were missing.
  • "Canale 5" (that is, "Channel Five") introduced new bumpers starting spring 2010, one of them using a horrifying Scare Chord variant of their classic Channel Five jingle. The fact they first used that version for what basically is CSI's Italian Captain Ersatz, "RIS" (sort of: RIS is an actual department of our national gendarmerie, "Carabinieri") just adds to the fact that, yes, this was intentional.
  • PFFR's (of Xavier: Renegade Angel) TV ident. Seriously, what the hell is this thing? Just add rumbly moaning and flashing.
  • Try this Teletoon first year late night screamer bumper on for size. Thank Nicolas Cage this was only on during adult cartoons...
    • Another first-year late-night bumper had a tentacle monster trying to lure in an unsuspecting person with a human-esque leg, and a third featured some sort of apartment for monsters.
    • Another Teletoon bumper that can be considered scary was one during its launch. It starts off with a music parade which ends with a baby. The baby then takes out his pacifier and cries and sticks out his gigantic tongue (is he supposed to be Not Tommy?), but in a opera voice. It's animated in a really strange style, with everything in the bumper (including the people) created from newspaper clippings of various things, and the bumper itself is just so surreal it could make John Kricfalusi puke in his mouth a little bit. It can be seen with other similar bumpers here. And just if you weren't convinced enough, it was done by Cuppa Coffee Animation, creators of the rather creepy educational series Crashbox.
  • The opening sequence preceding the Monday evening movie on the first Italian national channel, is a song by Lucio Dalla that's meant to be reminiscent of Louis Armstrong, but comes out as a sequence of distorted sounds accompanied by visuals resembling afterimages and closed-eye hallucinations, concluded by a sequence of flashes seemingly designed to induce epileptic seizures.
  • The [adult swim] ending bumper: "THE DAWN IS YOUR ENEMY". According to Creepypasta, it was retired after the Cartoon Network operator was late to work one day, allowing the music to run for its horrifying full length.
  • Some of ITV's franchises' logos were notorious for their scare factor:
    • ATV's "Colour Zoom" logo, while a fan favorite, is guaranteed to scare quite a few due to its loud and bombastic fanfare. A abridged, black-and-white version also exists which is even scarier due to the black background used.
    • LWT's very first logo from 1968, a cheap zoom of the network's name accompanied with a creepy Moog sounder.
    • The 1969-81 Southern Television logo was harmless with its quiet guitar jingle, however the "final night" variant of the logo that aired after the special And It's Goodbye From Us was very ominous, solemn and creepy.
    • Ulster's first logo from 1959 had a rather creepy vibe with its crude animation, black background and celesta jingle.
    • Yorkshire Television's "chevron" logo. It abruptly appears, blares out a loud horn jingle, then disappears as quickly as it came. Simple yet effective.
  • The former UK network Galaxy had a main ident that, by all means, is lovely and visually pleasing. However, when the network shut down on December 1, 1990, they decided to end the network for good by showing the main ident... and then have it zoom away from the screen as far as possible as a loud "BA-BOOOOOOOM" sound plays. Utterly terrifying stuff.
  • This recent Comedy Central ID. Maybe they should put an epilepsy warning everytime they show this.
  • The old Sesame Street website bumper. The dark background, the godawful pink color of that scribble, the whole suddenness of the thing...*shudders*
  • Belgian channel Kanaal 2 (now 2BE) had quite a hyperactive upbringing from 1995 until 1997. As one can see they had a burning passion as a channel when they started airing, especially before introducing their version of the evening news.
  • Apparently, some guy at the Fox Reality Channel felt that all their shows should begin with a mouth that screams and laughs at you.
  • In 2015, Channel4 began showing a range of truly bizarre idents as part of its attempt at rebranding. One of these shows what a piece of carbon looks like under a powerful microscope. After a few seconds, it suddenly goes black before cutting to a freaky-looking tardigrade feeding. The suddenness of it is unsettling as hell, and makes for a good "Aah, what the hell is that?" scare.
  • Nothing can prepare you for the slow agonizing ride known as the 1980 RTBF1 logo, they even made one with a reversed track. After watching all of it, seconds will truly feel like hours.

    Television 
  • No discussion about scary logos is complete without mention of the VID mask, a sequence for one of the first private Russian TV companies formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union. See the page image.
    • This is perhaps one of the few logos listed here that was intentionally made scary. With the collapse of the USSR in the early 90's, the executives over at the VID company figured that the network needed a "shocking" logo, so they cooked up a mask with a rather angry face (actually modified through CGI from a less menacing sculpture of a philosopher, which a museum denied them direct usage of) and a fanfare consisting of five scare chords note  . Considering Russians' accounts of seeing this logo growing up, they certainly did not disappoint!
    • A quick note: it had to be be changed because it was feared the sudden black/white cycling would trigger epileptic seizures, so starting from 1999 and onwards, the VID ident is just the stone face with no animation.
    • Apparently the company thought the original mask wasn't scary enough; because they later made a fair amount of variants that cranked the fear factor Up to Eleven:
      • Before a show they aired on L-club, they used a variant in which after the VID mask appeared, it would morph into a face of a mortified-looking creepy old man (Leonid Yarmolnik), who would then open his eyes.
      • Then if that wasn't enough, they made another variant that appeared at the end of the same show, in which the VID logo fades to a very eerie human face with its eyes wide open and his tongue sticking out as if to mock you! And to top it all off, it stayed on-screen for eleven seconds. The latter logo was sometimes used as a replacement for the standard logo at the with this variant at random. And the date the latter variant first appeared on? April 1st.
      • One variant had the VID mask appear in a posterized form with a gold color...which then talked directly to the audience (specifically, it said "Hey! Relax though!") and then smiled. The effects/animation used to make the mask talk is actually rather cheap, but it still doesn't make it any less unsettling. (A —supposedly fanmade— version of the original mask talking with much more convincing animation also exists, it's the sixth logo in this video if you dare.)
      • This variant of the logo that appears at the beginning of the video has a monochrome version of the VID mask form while a more sinister version of the usual Scare Chords play.
    • Averted with the 3rd logo, the 4th logo and the 5th logo, sadly, the mask is still there.
    • There's also the Oba-Na! variant (which is more funny than scary) which shows the mask morphing into Russian writer and comedian Igor Ugolnikov, who would say "VID, VID. Nothing is viewed from your view!"; in an electronically-distorted voice in Russian and giving a smile as a synth fanfare plays.
    • A popular Screamer Prank on YouTube shows the Viacom "V of Doom" logo (mentioned below) animating, right before the VID mask (which is modified to show its eyes wide open and its tongue sticking out) zooms all the way in and lets out an ear-piercing scream.
    • As one of the videos on Youtube shows, VID does sometimes air DiC programming. And in one instance, they let the (already creepy as-is) DiC vanity plate run a few seconds before suddenly cutting it off and showing the VID one...
  • Paramount Television's logo from 1969, aka "Closet Killer", whose music accompaniment sounds like it would be more at home in a horror film rather than on a show like The Brady Bunch.
    • Or, for that matter, a fade-to-commercial after James T. Kirk gets into a sticky situation. And, of course, the creepy alien in the credits.
    • A NBC News ident also from the 1960s could have been an inspiration for the "Closet Killer" years later.
    • Some people are also scared by its successor, the "Blue Mountain", which carries over the Lalo Schifrin score from the "Closet Killer" logo:
    • This Paramount logo for VHS. Especially that quick zoom along with the Last Note Nightmare at the very end.
  • One of the big ones is Viacom's "V of Doom". The filmed version (in the link) has the V appearing to go faster as it came closer due to perspective. The videotaped version had it slow down slightly as it approached.
  • "The S from Hell", Screen Gems' infamous logo from the 60s. The heavily synthesized music and abstract shapes scared quite a few kids.
  • Nickelodeon:
    • The first releases of shows like Rugrats on VHS were preceded by THIS monstrosity; a rapid fire montage of Nickelodeon's various Station Idents from the 1980's that throws so much crazy and random stuff at you that it becomes a certified Mind Screw. The Medium Blending of epic proportions doesn't help.
    • Anyone who saw The Wild Thornberrys Movie in theatres were more than likely freaked out by this monstrosity at the beginning of the movie itself. The extreme close-up of the dog's nose sniffing the screen is unnerving enough, as well as how hideous the dog itself looks, but after we see what it's sniffing which is the Nickelodeon Movies logo, the dog tops it all off by licking the screen!
  • The 1983 Children's Television Workshop "Sparks" logo. The loud, descending electronic keyboard music doesn't help, either.
  • The Bedford Falls Company, due to the creepy, disembodied singingnote . ABC Productions's logo (which follows it) isn't much better.
  • The first Klasky-Csupo logo was colorful, bouncy, memorable and fun, even if it was roughly animated. However, its successor (debuting on the tape The Wacky Adventures of Ronald McDonald: Scared Silly) was scary as hell. For those don't want to look, it involves a sudden splat of ink bringing forth a very creepy looking face that looks like it just came out of a little kid's nightmare, with these huge, bulgy, and realistic looking eyes and a thick-lipped mouth on yellow construction paper. The personification of Uncanny Valley and Nightmare Fuel.
  • The Stretch Films logo used for Courage the Cowardly Dog can be creepy, due to its strange design and unsettling laugh (the solid black background doesn't help either).
  • Similarly, some are creeped out by The Curiosity Company's logo, due to the loud, unsettling water dripping sound effect (once again, the black background doesn't help).
  • Lynch/Frost Productions, David Lynch's logo for Twin Peaks. Not for epileptics. Deliberate, since this is Lynch we're talking about here. You can't appreciate how scary it is unless you remember that the Twin Peaks end credits theme concludes with a slow, brooding fadeout...followed immediately by the Lynch/Frost logo.
  • Guntzelman Sullivan Marshall Productions' vanity plate is particularly morbid. The vanity plate shows a man on the roof of his two-story house (at night) and he falls off the house into the bushes, screaming. Needless to say, it's pretty jarring when you find out that the sickos behind this ident were the production company who created Growing Pains. It's actually footage from a scene in the series, shot using a camera that happened to be at a different angle. Granted, it's not like knowing the context makes it any less scary. However, it can be quite funny to some.
  • The second Renaissance Pictures logo, best known for showing up at the end of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess. It may be intentional, as this is Sam Raimi's company.
  • Lorimar's Line of Doom, considered creepy by some due to the dark background and electric piano tune. Coincidentally, said piano tune was originally the theme to this logo, which some find creepy for similar reasons (and due to the large "LP" in the middle).
  • The second Mozark Productions logo, due to the creepy jingle.
  • Another creepy jingle comes to us from Vin Di Bona Productions (the same music is in the next three; the only changes are visual:
  • 20th Century Fox:
    • The Fanfare composed by Alfred Newman is an awesomely patriotic ditty, but around the early 60's, 20th Century-Fox Television used a variation of the fanfare with muted trumpets and a string flourish which was kind of unsettling.
    • But then in 1965, the Television fanfare was sped up, making the instrumentation even more aggressive (Newman once laughed that having to record a short, three-second television fanfare would cause the musicians to play more frantically).
    • No matter which variation of this fanfare was used, however, there was always one absolute visually. The logo would start off with the standard 20th CENTURY FOX structure, but when suddenly, out of nowhere, the word "TELEVISION" would fill out the screen before zooming out and taking the place of "CENTURY" in the structure; general consensus is that the logo was more traumatizing with the sped up jingle. Starting with the late 80's, however, the logo would use a short version of the classic TCF fanfare, but the zoom-out still made it creepy enough. Fortunately, when they added a ® on the tower in 1976, they shifted the tower to the left without shifting the "TELEVISION" lettering, creating unintentional hilarity to offset the scariness as the C in "CENTURY" would be left uncovered.
      • The CGI logos for TCFTV and for 20th Television (which appears at the end of syndicated The Simpsons / Family Guy reruns and myriad courtroom shows), while not scary, are probably a reference/tribute to this logo with a zoom out of the structure.
      • Unfortunately, around 1997, the dreaded 1965 TV fanfare was rerecorded and became the standard jingle for the CGI 20th Century-Fox Television logo. Currently, the jingle varies between the 1965 TV fanfare and a snippet of the classic TCF fanfare (as well as—in the case of the Fox Network's primetime lineup—various remixes based on the final four notes of the TCF fanfare).
    • This Vanity Plate for Fox often appeared at the end of Cops, and right after hearing the brooding-but-relatively-harmless synth theme or lovely guitar riff of the preceding logo, you are greeted by these horrible, ghost-like letters. Haunting over the rest of the show you just watched.
    • Also around 1995, a new version of the 20th Television fanfare was scored, based on the 1994 movie fanfare. It's the same as the 1989 fanfare, but it's orchestrated quite differently, lacking several instruments that the previous version had. It had the side effect of making the fanfare sound more ominous, not as much as the warp-speed rerecording of the 1965 jingle, but it still sounds somewhat unnerving. It can trigger a jump or two if you're watching episodes of The Simpsons and get this version of the fanfare in place of the more familiar one.
  • Universal Television:
    • Maybe it's just the music, but even this very early logo for Revue Productions, later Revue Studios, was a little jarring. Revue were later responsible for this logo, the jingle of which has also been known to cause more than a few nightmares. When Revue became Universal Television in 1963, the jingle was incorporated as their own, and would be heard in various re-orchestrations and lengths, each less scary than the last until 1975, by which point the tune had become surprisingly pleasant, especially in comparison to the next one below.
    • Many people were afraid of the 1975-91 Universal Television logo, largely because of the bombastic fanfare based on the first notes of the old Revue jingle and the prints having a tendency to be rather dark. That scary fanfare received several rearrangements; here are a few of them.
    • The first MTE logo, which has the Universal globe fly out at you with no warning, and a loud, bombastic rendition of the theme from the Universal Television logo of the time.
    • After their humble beginnings on the Revue Productions camera, MCA made their entry into the scary logo sweepstakes in 1956 with this number­. By the 1980's, they were using the Universal globe for their logo, accompanied at first by the old but still scary Revue jingle before borrowing the 1975-91 Universal Television theme.
  • Straight up Nightmare Fuel, because Nothing Can Go Wrong, apparently. (For those afraid to click, it's a car driving off a cliff.)
  • For all intents and purposes, this French intro should be cute and friendly... However, it just... isn't. It has these card-board cutout, floating heads representing every figure of the family (mom, dad, son, etc.), all positively scowling at you! And for some reason, one of them is crying. Look, don't ask. Just watch it.
  • Spiderman- Spidermaaaaan!... Some people have found this sinister, recognizable though the superhero is. Though to be fair, Spider-Man isn't metallic and doesn't have glowing eyes...
  • The Steven Bochco Productions logo (of Doogie Howser, M.D. and NYPD Blue fame) is a bit creepy, if only because of the odd movement of the violin's bow (unsurprising, as this is a cut out animation).
  • Hanna-Barbera has a tradition of scary logos:
    • The huge block "HB" letters used from 1967-1974 in various forms, all of which scary to an extent:
      • The first version, only ever used twice, features frantic animation set to an equally frantic and loud jingle. On its second appearance, it has even cheaper animation.
      • The second version, used from 1968 to 1974, has the letters zoom in from a black background accompanied by an odd-sounding organ and flute glissando, which is a slight improvement over the previous jingle.
      • The third version, used from 1969 to 1971, has the letters drawn in a fashion similar to the first variant, albeit in a less frantic manner. The glissando from the previous version is retained.
    • The 1979-86 "Swirling Star", with its dark background, in your face animation and weird synthesizer music by Hoyt Curtin, has scared many a child in the 1980's. The 1986 CGI upgrade isn't better, especially with the much uglier star design.
  • The Mohawk Productions logo. Ultrasounds aren't creepy enough, let's add a loud drum beat and a baby laughing and catch people off guard!
  • Sometime in the mid-1960's, the Australian Broadcasting Commission released the first version of their famous "Lissajous curve" logo. The way they introduced it is just... wow. The full version isn't on YouTube, but the unintentionally Ominous Music Box Tune is creepy enough. Which is good, because the full version reportedly shows an extreme-close up of an oscilloscope showing the curve oscillating wildly set to loud industrial noises. Ouch.
  • The Mutant Enemy logo that would sneak up on us at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, no music, just the creepy little Nosferatu-like paper figure and its cute "Grr Aarrrgh !" And it's made even worse when it's going opera style after Season 6 "Once More With Feeling". On the bright side, there were some amusing variations, including one in which the figure says "Ooh, I need a hug" instead of growling and one that looks at us, the audience(!), and growls. All variations can be viewed here.
  • One more from Russia; ATV's first logo was a massive Ear Worm and mostly harmless. Then they decided it was not enough...
  • Leap Off Productions where a stick figure runs across the logo and then jumps off and screams.
  • One of the most successful medical drama series of the 80s was St. Elsewhere. At the end of every episode, there was the MTM vanity plate, an adorable kitten who would meow in an obvious MGM parody. However, at the end of the very last episode, this is how the kitten appears... before flatlining. Just the ultimate icing on top of the episode's utterly convoluted theory that is Tommy Westphall's mind.
  • Television companies in India are masters of the scary logo:
    • Murghan Enterprise. Fear the furiously flaming statue with sombre music. If that doesn't scare you, than the sudden loud note at the end will.
    • ALT Entertainment. Not scary in the country where it aired, though- just a little chilling.
    • Look up any of Balaji Telefilms' full episodes, and wait for the end- you'll hear a very loud sound of a door closing, with reverb and echo.
    • Indian TV audiences do NOT fear the V of Doom or S from Hell- they have grown up from the old days of Doordarshan (the only TV channel at a point of time) with THIS!
  • The Belisarius Productions logo (as seen on NCIS) is pretty unsettling, mainly because of the sudden lightning flash and the stinging synth tone.
  • The DiC logo from the 90s, and the earlier versions it replaced. The voice in the former Kid in Bed logo sounds...different (and not in a good way), the latter logo features a eerie choir singing the company name, and the music for both variants is nothing short of spooky. However, there's Nightmare Retardant with the numerous jokes on how the company name is just one letter away from becoming "Dick".
    • Then there's mid-80s versions that preceded the infamous "Kid in bed" logo. It features the (neon green or chartreuse colored) logo coming out of a blue or blue-purple vortex towards the screen with two different creepy synthesizer themes. The worst part of the logo however is the font that makes it look like the logo says "DiE" instead of "DiC". Sweet dreams, kids!
  • The opening logo for Taft International Pictures had a swirling comet that would later shine into a bronze version of the Hanna-Barbera logo from the 70s, with a fanfare that went from quiet to LOUD AS HELL. The closing version of this logo isn't as bad, but the Worldvision Enterprises logo following it… with that strange synth theme...
  • The three-eyed monkey for the DNA productions logo isn't so bad, but the version in reverse... DNA has all of the bumpers on their website.
  • The logo for "Weird Al" Yankovic's Ear Booker Productions, which co-produced The Weird Al Show with Dick Clark Productions, is an attempt to invoke this trope. The company name comes straight at the viewer, changing from black on white to white on black every other frame (in layman's terms: Seizures.), while Al screams in the background. (The audio is taken from "Bite Me", a Hidden Track from Al's Off the Deep End album.) As J. Rose wrote in an Amazon customer review, "You have to have respect for a man who purposely designed his Ear-Booker Productions company logo (which appears at the end of every episode) to be the most nerve-wracking thing ever made."
  • ITC Entertainment had two scary logos that featured a bombastic, brassy fanfare composed by Jack Parnell. The first version, known as "ITC Compass" because it features a map of the world, is only moderately frightening. But then came the second version, affectionately nicknamed "Spinning Diamonds of Doom". It featured the same music, this time accompanied by three diamond-shaped objects (colored red, blue and green, the primary hues of color broadcasting) whirling around IN SPACE!.
  • The Matthew Carnahan Circus Products logo on Dirt and Hou$e Of Lie$ with a creepy clown playing a screechy violin. Even the memory of Rosanna Arquette kissing Ashley Johnson in one episode of the former can't cancel that out.
  • 1970s company Winters/Rosen Productions had an animated frog leaping through a garden, "ribbeting" out a red flag with "A Winters/Rosen Production" and the frog on it, all set to chirpy music. Not as cute as David (Winters) and Burt (Rosen) hoped. Skip to 37:02.
  • The old Buena Vista Television vanity plate. Something about that loud (although pleasant) fanfare, those comets going past the planet, and that widely-spaced serifed font all on a black background was just creepy. No scare factor, CLG Wiki? Pfft, yeah right. By the way, the short version was a bit creepier than the long version (here) due to its suddenness.
  • The logos at the end of Allegra's Window. First of all, the Topstone logo is creepy enough, but what follows is even worse, because you get bombarded by a giant egg, a rooster crowing, and a loud fanfare.
  • Merv Griffin Enterprises, particularly the 80's variation featuring a large, scary-looking griffin that WINKS at you.
  • The Century 21 Television Productions logo, featuring a dart flying through the company logo as a loud, nails-on-a-chalkboard descending string theme is heard followed by a loud crash (which is even worse on the cinema variant).
  • This earlier Braniff Airlines logo depicting naked men dancing with a black bar covering their junk, and singing off-key. It's oddly unsettling.
  • This bizarre logo for Ginormous Madman, the producers of The Legend of Korra.
  • The Rankin/Bass Productions logo used from 1975 to 1987. The speed of shapes zooming out makes it look like it was made by Sonic the Hedgehog's grandpa, and the music will most probably startle anyone who's doing anything other than paying attention to the TV. It's also startling how that chord hangs in the air forever before it finally resolves. Quite a way to end the run of Christmas specials for the year—one YouTube commenter once fittingly gave lyrics to the R-B jingle:
    (twang) Guess what?
    Your show is over!
    Too bad for YOU!
  • The Lexington Broadcast Services/LBS Communications Inc. logos are relatively harmless that followed the aforementioned DiC logos and the 1984 logo (as seen at the end of Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats and Dennis The Menace) arguably being its most memorable and popular. In 1987, it was replaced by less friendlier-looking logo that had an updated and more futuristic-sounding version of the '84 jingle which by 1989 had its familiar jingle replaced by one with a horribly unsettling screeching synth theme.
  • The 1994 logo for Warner Bros Television has a seven-note brass and timpani fanfare. This one is accused of being loud and scary and often following credits which had a dark background. It also didn't help that on some shows (like original run episodes of Friends) had a few seconds of silence between the last note of the show's theme song, and the fanfare would come the hell out of nowhere. There was at least one episode of a show they produced out there which had the silent logo fade out after the credits... to then reappear a second later with the damned fanfare.
  • While the plates accompanying it are innocuous and not that scary, whenever a Venezuelan listens the Venevision fanfarre (used whenever a big news breaks thorough) a feeling of dread fills them. Making this one worse is that on the plate for "extras" they play this tune whenever the news are good o bad, increasing the nervousness of the audience.
  • The Simpsons's usual Gracie Films plate wasn't too scary, though it could be startling. The same cannot be said for the ones that aired during their Halloween segments, which usually involved screaming and a minor key "horror organ" version of the jingle.
  • The Mad Dog Productions logo will make you scared of Dobermans. Very scared.
  • The Dan Curtis Productions logo (seen at the end of Dark Shadows) is normally harmless, but in this instance, when the music ends almost thirty seconds before the credits do, and the words echo against a background of silence... creepy.
  • An API Television Production. Rapidly-spinning vortex + wild zooming + "music" that makes the Viacom "V of Doom" jingle sound sedate = one hell of a scary logo.

    Web Original 
  • Invoked with the VGV logo that plays after the credits in HotDiggedyDemon's webtoon series Wacky Game Jokez 4 Kidz. If you don't find the opening eye particularly scary, then wait until you see what comes right after...
  • The Vanity Plate for Team Happy Rainbow Panda Bears, creators of Rework the Dead: Evil and hands-down winner of the "Goriest Vanity Plate" award.

    Video Games 
  • The 'plate' used by Sega in the Sonic the Hedgehog games on the Mega Drive unsettled many gamers with its unskippable, loud, discordant SE-GA voice.
    • A fun fact about that voice clip: it actually takes up roughly 1/8 of the cartridge's disk space!
    • The variant on Sonic 3D Blast with the man screaming "SEGA!!!!!!" will make you crap your pants, not to mention the horrific synth zooming sounds at the very end. note 
  • Sega's Deep Water Games label. Let's just say that Everything's Even Worse With Sharks and leave it at that.
  • Anyone who grew up playing the Tony Hawk's Pro Skater series will definitely remember the sick, twisted, and creepy logo animations that Neversoft had. If the fact that their logo has a living eyeball impaled on a spear wasn't disturbing enough, here's what they did for each logo:
    • Pro Skater 1: The eyeball is chilling and looking around, not seeming to care that it has a spear stuck through it.
    • Pro Skater 2: The eyeball is slithering away from falling letters that form the logo, while fast rock music plays. After successfully avoiding the letters, the spear falls down and impales it. (this same logo was also used on a Spider-Man game for the PlayStation that was made by the same developers)
    • Pro Skater 3: The eyeball jumps on top of a decapitated skateboarder and acts as its head. After falling off the skateboard, it jumps back onto the logo, leaving the decapitated body laying there.
    • Pro Skater 4: More gross than scary/creepy/unsettling, but anyway: a gorilla skates around, then picks its nose, only to pull out the eyeball.
    • Underground: Eric is running through a street, when all of a sudden, a sewer monster comes out from the sewer, drags Eric down, and eats him. His bones, an eyeball, and the letters of the Neversoft logo are then thrown out of the manhole, followed by the cameraman running in fear. A great Take That, Scrappy! moment, but also very disturbing too.
  • The opening vanity plate for the production team behind The Neverhood is rather frightening, mainly because it used a clip of the villain's ear-piercing evil laugh... right after the DreamWorks Interactive music lulls you into complacency.
  • Not even Nintendo, a company often associated with "family friendly" gaming, is immune to this sort of thing. When the company published the M-rated horror game Eternal Darkness for their Gamecube console, this was the result.
    • The following logo for the game's developer, Silicon Knights, isn't much better. The zoom through the inside of the "crystal cube" depicts the screaming face texture found in some parts of the game, the music is a low eerie synth, a quote taken from the game proper talking about "true horror" is played, and the animation of the sword stabbing through the crystal cube is accompanied by a loud crack of thunder and a flash of lightning.
  • The logo for Jester Interactive, mainly due to the Creepy Circus Music and the fact that you don't know what the hell you just watched.
  • On very rare occasions, if you put in a damaged, dirty or pirated disc into the PlayStation, THIS happens. It's nicknamed "Personified Fear" for a reason (two words: Jump Scare). Even worse is "Fearful Harmony", which has the start-up jingle played in a very slow and eerie manner that would be perfect for a Silent Hill game. Other sounds that play during these errors are no better.
    • Speaking of PS, the PlayStation 2 had the incredibly haunting Red Screen of Death. The dark red clouds and the tense music are sure to unnerve anyone who comes across it.
  • Valve Software has very disturbing logos in all of their games, complete with music that sounds like it came out of a horror film:
    • Half-Life was originally going to use a logo animation of a man in a factory, willingly inserting a valve into the side of his head. Said logo animation was done entirely in the GoldSrc engine, as a way of testing the engine's capabilities, and its files can still be found within the game.
    • 1998-2006 variant (used from Half-Life to Half-Life 2: Episode 1): A photograph of a man with a valve lodged in his eye socket. No longer available on new copies of any games — the older ones had the opening cinematic stripped out entirely when they were released on Steam, and the later games were converted to the Orange Box engine in 2010, complete with its version of the logo (see below).
    • 2007-2010 variant (used from all Orange Box games to Left 4 Dead 2): A photograph of a bald man with a valve lodged in the back of his head.
    • 2011-now variant (used in DOTA 2 and Portal 2): Same as the 2007 one, except now it's no longer a photograph, and now the man turns to the side and looks at you, as the music intensifies.
    • Thankfully, in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the Valve logo appears without the photograph. On the bad side, the music is still there.
  • The LEGO logo. The graphics aren't freaky or frightening, but the audio...it feels like "Personified Fear" all over again.
    • One version includes the Lego logo once formed, slide to the upper left, and then you hear a SLAM, as an M-shaped brick saying "Media" appears.
  • Virgin Interactive used this in most of their games released for CD-ROM systems in the mid-to-late 90's. Whoever thought it was a good idea to use such a sudden Jump Scare-inducing logo in a cutesy, kid-friendly soda mascot game like Spot Goes to Hollywood must have been sick in the head.
  • Vision Scape Interactive's logo, depicting a creepy tattooed clown making balloon animals, as seen before a Licensed Game based off of The Land Before Time.
  • Because apparently, Disney loves putting creepy sound effects in their work.
  • Big Ape Productions. Beware the horrifying ape that will stare into your soul once encountered!
  • This vanity plate courtesy of Starbreeze Studios. It shows a creepy scientist sampling and inspecting a baby's blood while dramatic music plays in the background. The scientist sees a blood cell resembling the company's logo, and looks up while the music comes to an unsettling climax.
    • Assault on Dark Athena worsens the matter by pairing Starbreeze up with Tigon Studios. So how do you like starting your game up with a sudden in-your-face tiger roaring at you from the dark? Furthermore, there those two logos follow up the Atari HD and the all-too-familiar 2000's Universal logo, meaning you've probably been lulled into enough complacency for the pairing to scare the crap out of you.
  • ZUNSoft's 1998 logo, as seen on the Touhou games Lotus Land Story and Mystic Square, isn't all that scary, but there's still the low synth music playing over a dark background, while fireworks shoot at you.
    • The "circles" logo that preceded it, as seen on Highly Responsive to Prayers, Story of Eastern Wonderland, and Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream is a bit creepy too. There's a black background with blue circles jumping all over the place from left to right, and then the word "zunsoft" appears on screen and transforms into "東方project" with a choppy Scanimate effect. There's no music to it, either.

Alternative Title(s): Vanity Plates

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/NightmareFuel/VanityPlate?from=NightmareFuel.VanityPlates