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Nightmare Fuel / Lost

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  • The opening title music.
  • Seeing the Bad Robot vanity plate after hearing that creepy closing credits music counts for something.
  • The early episodes of the series set the stage for all kinds of spooky.
    • On their very first night following the plane crash, the survivors hear strange noises in the jungle. They range from mechanical clicking, something akin to stomach-growling, an eerie whale-esque siren, and what can best be described as the sound of an amusement park from Hell that's on the verge of collapsing at the foundation. Keep in mind, these are the closest approximations that can be made when describing these noises; they sound otherworldly and unnatural, not like anything you'd ever hear in real life. Then the Survivors see a few trees getting knocked over in the distance, and it becomes clear that this creature - whatever it may be - is not something you'd typically find in a Polynesian jungle.
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    • The next day, Jack, Kate, and Charlie venture into the jungle in search of the cockpit. After finding it, they encounter the pilot in the cabin, barely clinging to life. What better time for the monster to show up just outside? The pilot barely survives long enough to tell them that the plane was 1,000 miles off course before he peers out the broken window to investigate the strange noises... and is promptly snatched from the plane and gruesomely bludgeoned to death. After a short chase through the jungle, the survivors come across his bloody, mangled body in a tree canopy. Charlie said it best: "How does something like that happen?"
    • In the second part of the pilot episode, a small expedition of survivors - namely Kate, Sawyer, Sayid, Charlie, Boone, and Shannon - manage to get the transceiver working and hear a transmission in French. After a couple seconds of Charlie cheering that the French are coming to rescue them, Shannon translates the transmission: "The others are dead. It killed them. It killed them all. It is outside." The Mood Whiplash makes an already creepy moment that much more chilling. There's also an accompanying counting voice; it sounds eerily monotone, not unlike a Number Station. Sayid realizes the number is the amount of times the recording has repeated and does some quick mental math to realize the message has been playing for sixteen years. Once again, Charlie has the last word: "Guys... where are we?"
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    • "Walkabout" and "White Rabbit" feature a mysterious figure dressed in a blue suit apparating as if from nowhere. Jack is the only one to see this man, and it catches him off guard for some reason. Turns out, this "mysterious figure" is his father, the late Christian Shephard, whose body was being transported via casket back to Los Angeles. The first time you see a dead person walking around the island is very creepy indeed.
  • In Season 3's "The Man Behind the Curtain", Locke is led by Ben to a remote cabin in the woods so that he could have a face-to-face meeting with Jacob, the unseen leader of the Others. They enter and find the place dark and deserted, evidently abandoned. Ben begins communicating with an empty chair in the center of the room, which Locke quickly deduces is an act. Things get weird when he motions back towards the entrance and a deep, monotone male voice is heard: "Help... me..." Suspicion initially falls on Ben, but as it turns out, he didn't hear anything. Suddenly, everything in the cabin begins shaking violently, as if it were haunted by some malevolent spirit. Items get thrown about, glasses and windows are shattered, the lantern they placed on the table falls over, a small fire breaks out - and for a split second, a shadowy old man appears in the seemingly vacant chair, his face not visible. It's a terrifying scene. If you're interested, here you go.
    • Everything about that cabin is terrifying. Even taking its unremarkable backstory into consideration (constructed in the late 1970s by DHARMA Initiative leader Horace Goodspeed as a retreat for him and his family), it's just a downright creepy place. In the premiere of Season 4, Hurley comes across it in the middle of the night and peers in through the window to see Christian Shepherd sitting in the chair at the center of the room... and then somebody else comes up to the window and looks back out at Hurley, who is so scared at this point that he runs back into the jungle in a panic. But it gets worse. After running a safe distance away from the cabin, Hurley stops to survey the area, turns around - and sees the cabin again, right in front of him. The building has the ability to move. Again, if you're interested...
  • Perhaps the single scariest moment in the entire series happened all the way back in Season 1's "Deux Ex Machina". The scene opens with Locke and Boone arguing over whether or not opening the hatch is a fool's errand. Locke remains adamant that the island is simply testing their faith. Suddenly a plane can be heard falling towards the island, followed by the sound of glass shattering, Locke finds himself in a wheelchair again, his mother appears and points upwards, and Boone's face is bloodied as he repeats the same line over and over again in a voice worthy of Satan himself: "Teresa falls up the stairs, Teresa falls down the stairs..."
  • Nikki and Paulo's ultimate fate. After their relationship was obliterated by greed, they are both paralyzed by one of Arzt's so-called Medusa spiders, making them appear dead. As Hurley and Sawyer bury them, Nikki wakes up just in time to see them shovel a pile of dirt onto her face, and both of them suffocate while fully aware of what is happening and unable to do anything about it. The soundtrack makes it all the more chilling.
  • Just about anything to do with the Swan DHARMA station qualifies, although the orientation film is particularly notable for its creepiness.
    • The terrifying moment when the countdown runs out and Egyptian hieroglyphics start appearing instead of numbers. Add to that the automated voice saying "SYSTEM FAILURE" over and over again, the sound of something metallic smashing repeatedly against the other side of the wall, and that low hum getting louder and louder...
  • The mercenaries dispatched to the island by Charles Widmore in season 4 exhibit a horrifyingly callous disregard for human life. Martin Keamy in particular shows a disturbing willingness to kill people almost on a whim. At the end of Meet Kevin Johnson, his team snipes Karl and Danielle dead almost out of nowhere, leaving Alex alone and with no choice but to surrender. Keamy seizes the opportunity to hold her as ransom in exchange for her father Ben, and coldly shoots her dead when he refuses to surrender. The mercenaries commence an assault on the barracks knowing full well that a baby is among its occupants, and when their siege fails, they return to the Kahana freighter and have it rigged with explosives, set to go off in the event of Keamy's death. He killed friend and foe alike, and it was genuinely chilling to observe his casual willingness to murder so many people.
    • This troper simoultaneously cheered and cried upon seeing Ben kill him, knowing that it would cause the freighter with the survivors on it to explode. What seals the deal is Ben’s casual disregard of all the human life he has doomed: Keamy broke him when he killed Alex, and it shows.
  • Seasons 4 and 5 are chock-full of psychological horror. Just imagine witnessing what appears to be the deaths of close friends or relatives and spending the next three years believing them to be gone. Imagine watching an island literally vanish before your eyes, and then having to lie about everything you've experienced throughout the 108 days you had spent there. Imagine flipping through different eras seemingly at random, or getting what appears to be cerebral hemorrhaging from the blinding flash of light that happens at each time warp, or having your present-day consciousness replaced with that of yourself from eight years prior and going back and forth in time (4x05, The Constant), or spending years stuck in the past with no way to return to the present, or pretending a baby is your biological son when he's not, etc.
  • The Statue of Tawaret. A giant, Colossus-like sculpture of the Ancient Egyptian fertility god looking out into the open sea. It has the face of a hippopotamus and the body of a man - except for its feet, which have only four toes each. The thing that adds to its mystique is, you never really get a good look at the full statue from the front. The only time its face is ever shown in any significant detail is when the Black Rock is sailing towards it in the midst of a fierce storm (6x09, Ab Aeterno). One of the slaves below deck managed to catch a glimpse of it from a hole in the cabin walls. He thought he saw the devil. It's not hard to see why.
  • The dynamite at the end of season 1. ** And if that wasn't enough, in season 6 the same damn thing happens again. Apparently Illana's Plot Armor wasn't strong enough to overcome a bag full of dynamite.
  • "I'm sorry you had to see me like that." So are we. Anything capable of turning the Magnificent Bastard Ben Linus into a quivering, wide-eyed mess in the corner of a room deserves nothing but fear.
  • After Ben moves the Island several characters begin experiencing "time flashes" which are accompanied by a blinding flash and a increasingly loud noise that sounds like chimes, followed by a whooshing sound and magnetic humming. Hear it here.
  • Ben is terrifying at times. That creepy unblinking stare of his... *shudders*
    • "YOU KILLED MY DAUGHTER!" Although it's a Moment of Awesome for Ben, it doesn't change the fact that it's absolutely TERRIFYING.
    • In Season 2, when he was a prisoner: How scary are you when you're tied up in a cell repeatedly getting the crap beaten out of you every other episode, and you can STILL give people nightmares?
      • "You guys got any milk?"
    • So Creepy Awesome the production stag decided to make Ben a recurring character. Because he was that scary and awesome.
    • If the character of Ben Linus wasn't enough to give you nightmares, his theme might be. Composer Michael Giacchino is a master of creating Nightmare Fuel. Fully half the cues in the show's history (basically all the ones that aren't Tear Jerkers) could probably give someone nightmares. Some of them manage to be both Tear Jerker and Nightmare Fuel material at the same time.
  • The smoke monster. Although introduced in the very first episode of the series, it seldom appears on-screen and is rarely even mentioned by the survivors prior to season 6 - but whenever it did show up, it always made one hell of an impression. It can expand itself to gargantuan proportions, possesses extraordinary strength, has the ability to take on the forms of the deceased, and emits quasi-mechanical noises to make its presence known.
    • After spending the first five seasons being scared to death of the black smoke monster, there's something very unnerving about seeing the island through its eyes as it flies around making that horrible clicking sound.
  • The look on Un-Locke's face when he sees the little boy. He actually looks scared - which, given what he is and what he's capable of, is spine-chilling.
    • And for that matter, Un-Locke himself. Uncanny Valley is in full force whenever he appears, owing in large part to the dissonance between his personality and that of the original John Locke.
  • The Season 6 episode "Sundown", especially Claire's creepy backwards singing of her old Leitmotif, Catch A Falling Star.
    • Another notably unnerving moment was when Kate found Claire in the hole. Especially Claire's angry Kubrick Stare when Kate told her that it wasn't the temple people who took Aaron. It was really her. Also, Claire happily delivering the following line with a smug smile on her face: "He's coming Kate! He's coming and they can't stop him!"
    • The very brief conversation Sayid had with Ben not long after murdering Dogen and Lennon, even giving him a full-on slasher smile. When Ben is creeped out, you know something's terribly, terribly wrong.
    • Considering what a creepy, Ax-Crazy guy he is, it was rather unnerving to see Martin Keamy again in the flash sideways. There was something very odd about his eyes — maybe contacts, maybe just lighting — which sent him into the Uncanny Valley. Maybe it's the fact that this particularly evil bastard is actually smiling. You know something's wrong when he's cheerful.
    • The scene where Claire and Sayid, now both completely turned over to the side of darkness, are walking calmly through the carnage left over from the temple attack. With Claire singing a cheerful rendition of 'Catch a Falling Star' in the backround.
    • Claire's "baby" in the crib. That she knows it isn't real somehow makes it worse.
  • In the episode "Dr. Linus", even though Ilana forgave Ben and he ultimately didn't have to go through with it, watching him being forced to literally dig his own grave was nothing short of horrific. That's gotta be one of the worst ways to die.
  • Huh, you know this island really isn't that bad. Beautiful landscape, good weather, no wild anim-OH DEAR GOD POLAR BEARS!
  • So, as of Everyone Loves Hugo, we know what the whispers in the jungle are... knowing doesn't really make it less scary. In fact, it kind of makes it worse when you consider how many distinct voices you can pick out of the whispers.
  • Well, The Candidate provides us with the possible horrors of submarines.
  • What They Died For, the penultimate episode, gives us the incredibly creepy confrontation between the Un!Locke and Charles Widmore. There are no explicit scares, just an all-encompassing sense of dread that starts as soon as "Locke" arrives, still looking and acting as he has in seasons past, but also...not.
  • The ending of The End gives us a pretty bad bit of Fridge Horror. So we know Micheal's spirit was trapped on the Island, but there was a chance that maybe it was the power of the Man in Black or the same thing that acted as the source of his power that was keeping Micheal and the other ghosts there. But given that Micheal was absent entirely from the flash-sideway universe, which we find out is like purgatory, this means nothing that happened on the island in The End changed his fate, or that of the other souls trapped in the jungle. Poor Micheal is still trapped on the island, long after his friends have moved on to the afterlife.
    • And don't think you've got it made even if you make it to the afterlife. You might wind up in a vegetative state there, and thus always be a step away from Heaven, because you can physically do *nothing* to move on or atone for your sins.
      • There is some hope however, the Ghosts Hugo talked to were the ones who couldn't move on to purgatory yet, because they couldn't let go. And since Hugo and Ben were going to bring Walt back to the island it's probable that Hugo helped him come to terms with what happened and he moved on his own. There are still in fact several other Losties in purgatory who didn't make it to the Church, but some of them are awakened and are most likely going to go meet up with the rest of them when they're ready. But as for guys like Anthony Cooper, there really seems like there's no reprieve, not that I'm complaining.
    • Locke's strangely horrifying line "You don't have a son, Jack." That's some existential Mindscrewing right there. Since David argued with Jack and didn't act like an imaginary being, it can be assumed he had free will, so when Jack and Juliet left... did he just fade away? Did he die? Is he an orphan now?
      • At Lostpedia they make the case that David must be real according to their interpretation of Christian's speech. He's just a surrogate. Now who he was in life if they are right in this interpretation, who his parents really were, and what it takes for him to move on, are other questions entirely.
      • Or perhaps he's sort of junior emissary, not unlike Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life. But yes, it was pretty spooky when Locke said that to Jack, since it's at that moment when what's going on in the "alternate timeline" (HA) really starts to become clear.
      • It's possible that David is actually the son of Kate and Jack, as speculated by the Tumblr blog called "Lostanswers". He has freckles like Kate, similar in appearance to Jack, and there is a likely point in Season 5 or 6 where he was concieved.
  • Claire's nightmare from Season 1, especially Locke's eyes.
  • The scene in which it's revealed that Ethan Rom wasn't actually one of the plane crash survivors. Going straight from discovering that someone's name wasn't on the manifest and realizing you have no idea who or what that person really is, to seeing him standing over the defenseless Claire and Charlie is unnerving. And he just stands there, staring at them menacingly, with the most vacant expression imaginable on his face.
    • "Hello there."
    • The accompanying slide trombone sound effect makes it even more eerie.
    • The scene when Jack and Kate find Charlie strung up in the grove.
  • The season 2 episode when Sayid is interrogating "Henry Gale": "My name is Sayid Jarrah, and I am a torturer." The creepy music and Naveen Andrews's emotionless delivery makes it absolutely chilling, coupled with the sudden look of Oh, Crap! on Ben's face as he realizes Sayid isn't bluffing...
    • On a "List of Things You Don't Want to Hear When You're Tied Up and Locked in a Room Alone With Another Person," this ranks pretty high...
    • Fridge Logic adds another layer. Ben knows exactly who Sayid is, and should have known what he's capable of. The fact Ben is scared means Ben made a conscious decision about what risk Sayid posed to him at this point, and has just realized he made the wrong call.
      • Not really as Ben was still playing Henry in that moment. That fear was Henry, not Ben. Remember that this guy has so many layers; it's no wonder all the other characters have no clue as to what he's thinking. It's just lie after lie after lie after lie...
  • "I don't know what is more disquieting: the fact that the rest of the statue is missing, or that it has four toes."
  • The episode where Michael, Jin, and Sawyer are told by the Tailies that 23 people survived in their section, get taken to their hideout, and find only five:
    Michael: I though you said there were 23 of you.
    Libby:...there were.
  • One episode ended immediately after Michael shot Ana Lucia and Libby. Wham.
  • Room 23. Watching Karl being strapped to a chair, drugged, and forced to watch a bizarre video with loud music blaring in his ears and weird clips of seemingly random images are seen flashing on the screen (one of the images consists of several, creepy doll faces) is disturbing.
    "Only fools are enslaved by time and space."
  • The crash of Oceanic 815 flight is shown in only bits and pieces but if you watch it edited together you can see how violent and terrifing the crash actually was.
  • Locke's methodic and unconcerned preparation of his suicide, in "The Life and Death of Jeremy Bentham''. The scene doesn't skip the details that are usually skipped in movies, like the cable and the knots. It gives a weird creepy view of what it actually means to prepare to hang yourself.
  • In the first episode, while Kate is stitching him up, Jack talks about how he accidentally cut the nerve pouch of a 16-year-old girl the first time he performed surgery. This was in-story Nightmare Fuel for Jack, but can serve the same purpose for anyone who has actually had surgery too.
  • Richard's ordeal in "Ab Aeterno" after the Black Rock crashes on the island and the Smoke Monster kills the crew. He's left chained to the cabin walls, surrounded by the corpses of his fellow slaves for god knows how long with no food and just out of reach of the rainwater that seeps in. After prying a nail out of the floor he slowly gouges away at the bolt holding his chains in place. One morning he wakes up to find a boar eating one of the bodies. While attempting to scare the boar off he drops the nail and it lands a few inches away, robbing him of his chance to escape. By the time a vision of his wife shows up telling him he's dead and in hell it's easy to see why he'd believe it.


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