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Nightmare Fuel / Public Service Announcements: Safety

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Child Safety

Just because we've made it past abusers and drugs doesn't mean the wee ones are safe. Children are naive, curious, and fragile, so these ads make sure to pile on the Adult Fear by showing just what will happen if we don't keep them from getting into dangerous things.
    Child Safety 
  • A scary flex safety PIF shows a baby standing near an ironing tool left on a table. As the baby pulls on the ironing cord, the ironing tool falls on the baby. The mother is shocked as we see a plastic baby doll with a massive dent in it's forehead while the tagline "KEEP FLEXES OUT OF CHILDREN'S REACH" appears. It's very scary that you can only see the baby doll and not the actual baby itself. The 40-second version is more scary as we actually get to see what happens to the baby. Sure, it's tamer since the baby turns out to be OK, and the narrator sounds more friendly, but the music at the end does not help.
  • A 1979 home safety PIF shows a baby walking around a house, touching nearby objects. An ominous-sounding narrator tells you to watch what your baby is touching, as near the end, the baby touches the fireplace. The music doesn't help either.
  • So you're writing a Government Information Advert to prevent little towheaded British children from drowning. Why not get the late great Donald Pleasance to wear a hood and stalk them? Thus spells the origins of "The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water" from 1973, one of the most famous and iconic PIFs of all time. The horror comes from how the Spirit subtly shows great pride and amusement in watching children fall into deep water and drown. It's slightly reduced by him collapsing on the ground and being thrown in the water by self-described "sensible children", but the horror comes back with him stating in an echoing voice as he sinks, "I'll be BACK!".
  • The Play Safe and Powerful Stuff public information film, which were produced by the same people, are esepcially frightening to view, especially since you're witnessing people getting injured to out-right killed due to incidents involve electricity. The two films were trimmed down to separate clips for television advertising.
    • Ever wondered how you, if you own an electric substation, could use a way of keeping children away from them without necessarily shouting "Stay out of here! This is not a playground!" Here's a good way. Allegedly, this clip from the Powerful Stuff PIF is a reworking of "Jimmy Gets Electrocuted" from the 1977 Play Safe PIF, which is probably even MORE unnerving due to the creepy electronic music.
    • Another ad depicts a teenager trespassing into a sub-station and climbing up a tall electricity pylon to retrieve two kids' entangled kite against their wishes — very reminiscent of the aforementioned "Jimmy" PIF. However, this one is arguably worse because while "Jimmy" more or less treated the audience to a Gory Discretion Shot of cutting away to avoid the aftermath, this one actually shows us the boy being electrocuted and falling a great height from the pylon, his charred corpse plummeting towards the camera only to be freeze-framed at the last second.
  • A similar ad was aired on Dutch TV in the early nineties; there was a PSA advising kids not to try and climb the fences surrounding the giant electrical transformers that power the countries. How did they do this? By showing a distressingly realistic and graphic portrayal of a young teenager electrocuting himself followed by his distraught brother kneeling down next to him and putting a hand on the transformer as the screen goes to black with a hideous zapping noise and the warning "Don't risk your life, don't climb the fences".
  • In the early eighties US there was a series of PSA's about electrocution that all featured eerie narration over the sound of ECG "blips". A series of advancing photo stills would show someone being Too Dumb to Live around power lines or similar electrical equipment: a guy on a ladder fixing his TV antenna, curious kids breaking into a transformer box, and here a careless crane operator. The others ended with a loud "BZZZT!" as the screen cut to black and the ECG would Flatline, as the narrator admonished, "Don't Put Your Life On The Line." They all ran during time-slots when kids were likely to be watching.
  • This UK ad about the dangers of keeping your medicines in reach of young children shows a group of little children upstairs eating medicine that wasn't kept locked away, unable to tell the difference between the medicine and sweets, while their mothers are talking downstairs. One comments how it is quiet up there and the ending shot has the medicines still on the table but the children are nowhere to be seen.
  • This 1973 PIF, a combination of anti-littering and general safety, is no more comfortable to watch as an adult. It depicts a boy running all across the beach, happy and carefree, but at the end the camera pans down to a broken glass bottle as a scary voiceover says "The last place in the world to leave a bottle... is a beach." And just as the kid is almost about to step on the glass, the video freezes, but you can feel the sheer pain he'll most likely feel.
  • "Varokaa heikkoa jäätä", which loosely translates to "Beware of weak ice". Released in 1986, this Finnish PSA features weird animation, spooky music, and a scary grumbling bear in the end - traumatizing Finnish children for a few decades now.
  • This 1979 animated UK ad warns of the dangers of... tying bags to the handles of prams and pushchairs (or strollers, if you're American). Sound a tad ridiculous of a subject for a PIF? Try laughing after you've seen a baby topple several feet face-first into glass shattering on the pavement, and heard its mother's horrific, electronically-distorted scream, which is played at the beginning and at the end (where it's lower pitched, and thus creepier), and the volume of which is cranked up to levels of Sensory Abuse. Apparently the uneven weight of the bag will cause the stroller to become unbalanced, but they have those little baskets underneath for a reason.
  • "What are your kids learning?" It's a PSA from The Learning Channel, where a boy watches a video online. It's never shown what's in the video, but there's a panting man and a bleating goat, and it's pretty obvious he's watching The kid runs off... and then comes back into the room with his pet poodle before shutting the door. The image then cuts out... but you can hear the poodle whimpering.
  • John Mackenzie's notorious Apaches from 1977, a 26 minute long public information film made to show the dangers of playing on farms, showed children dying in various horrible ways while playing on a farm.
    • A boy named Tom drowns slowly in a slurry pit.
    • A girl named Kim is run over by a tractor.
    • Another boy named Robert gets crushed under a metal gate...
    • But none of these scenes can compare with what is possibly the movie's scariest and most disturbing scene; a girl named Sharon unintentionally drinks some weed killer — probably loaded with ultra-deadly Paraquat — and goes home not feeling well. A few hours later, she wakes up in the middle of the night in excruciating pain, horrifically screaming and crying for her mother, while she slowly dies from poisoning. What really makes this scene especially disturbing is not just Sharon shrieking in agony, but also the fact that we are never actually shown what's happening to the poor girl, as all we see during that scene is a shot of the outside of her house as the lights in her mother's bedroom and then her bedroom turn on — and then the jarring silence of her heartbroken mother quietly removing things from her now-empty bedroom in the very next scene. It gets even worse when you consider that while the other kids died quickly and relatively painlessly, Sharon had to suffer for God only knows how many hours in the most intense pain one can imagine before she finally died, probably of multiple organ failure.
    • Danny's (the narrator) death is quite scary as well, as he helplessly plunges to his death in an out-of-control tractor off a high ledge. His screaming as he falls are absolutely bone-chilling — as is the following cut-away to his coffin being lowered into the ground at his funeral.
    • As is the final scene, where instead of cast and production credits, in plain writing over the near-silence of the wake after the funeral, it says:
      In the year before this film was made; Alan aged 15 years, was electrocuted on a farm. Anthony aged 10 years, suffocated in a grain pit. Brian aged 3 years, Mary aged 2 years, Philip aged 6 years, were killed by falling gates. Keith aged 15 years was killed in an explosion on a farm. Stephen aged 15 years was burned to death in a rick fire. Alan aged 15 years, Charlotte aged 4 years, Clive aged 5 years, David aged 13 years, John aged 5 years, Louise aged 9 years, Mark aged 4 years, Michael aged 8 years, Patrick aged 4 years, Paul aged 13 years, Penny aged 3 years, Peter aged 4 years, Richard aged 15 years, Sarah aged 2 years were all crushed to death by farm machinery.
  • After two children choked to death on Burger King's Pokéball toys, this ad ran announcing a recall. It ran on stations that children would likely be watching, including reruns of Leave It to Beaver on TV Land. It's pretty chilling due to the minimalist tone and Creepy Monotone narrator talking about suffocations. Even worse, some versions of the ad were preceded by an extremely loud and hellish beeping sound guaranteed to scare the shit out of anyone watching.
  • There was a missing children's PSA from the mid-2000s that also would qualify as Adult Fear. In the beginning of the commercial, we see a little girl explaining to us that "A stranger once offered me a ride home...", then the camera pans back quickly and the color fades as she is then talking from her "Missing" poster and says, "...and I haven't been seen in two years." We then see a little boy explaining to us, "A man once offered me money to help him look for his dog... and I said no." It is then that the picture of the little boy is freeze-framed into a photo in his family living room as he himself is walking outside to play catch with his father.
  • One advert about Internet safety features one of the most terrifying examples of Vocal Dissonance. It starts with the camera looking up at a ceiling, and a young boy's voice speaking. The camera slowly pans down to reveal a grown man speaking in a child's voice, looking right at you. The message is that people on the internet may not necessarily be who they say they are.
  • During the Super Bowl XLIX in 2015, Nationwide Insurance aired this ad. It starts off rather cute, with a child lamenting that he'll never do certain things, until the kid says that he will never grow up because he died in a accident. Then it shows an overflowed bathtub, some spilled cleaning supplies, and even more horrific a flatscreen that's fallen on the floor with broken glass, implying a child had been crushed by it. Remember that this aired during the Super Bowl, where the ads were expected to be funny, or at the very least uplifting. People were upset, and made "Nationwide Insurance" a trending topic on Twitter, with many talking about how tasteless and horrible the ad was.
  • Watersafe Auckland did an advert that shows three women in bikinis getting ready to sunbathe on the beach. If you're too Distracted by the Sexy, you probably won't notice what's happening to the kid in the dinghy out on the water until it's too late.
  • An anti-violence PIF for German network SWR Fernsehen is either horrific or, as easportsbig899 calls it, a horror movie fan's wet dream. It depicts a bunch of graphic clips from horror movies and the like (such as The Shining and It), overdubbed with voices singing Brahms' Lullaby.
  • A similar ad from the same people as the above ad is more gruesome as this straight up shows graphic death scenes from various action and horror movies with a child's voice counting them one by one like counting sheep to fall asleep. It ends with a tagline asking parents what their children count to fall asleep and reminding them to watch what they see on TV.
  • Another ad from the same network depicts a father taking his young son on a trip into a big city, showing him such horrific sights as a car accident, a man being assaulted, another shooting up in a public bathroom, a woman getting raped, a dead body wrapped in plastic, etc. All of it set to an upbeat song from a 1950s German flick about how The World Is Just Awesome. The message at the end is that if you wouldn't show your kids this in real life, don't let them see it on TV.
  • In one advert, a man and a woman are in their kitchen cooking breakfast when they get into a playful Food Fight. She throws an egg at him and he dodges, causing the egg to smash against the sliding glass door. Mood Whiplash sets in when the wife suddenly freezes, staring in horror at the yolk running down the glass. A voiceover intones: "Child seatbelts. Forget them once, and you'll remember it forever." as the couple turn to look at an empty highchair in the corner.
  • This Public Information Film shows a woman what the world looks like from the perspective of her young son. What may resemble a puzzle, a jump rope or a roller coaster to a child is in reality an electrical outlet, the hanging cord of a hot iron and a flight of stairs, respectively. Not helping in easing the fear is the creepy Soundtrack Dissonance which sounds like a warped lullaby/calliope music.
  • A 1993 UK PIF about child bath safety shows a mother placing her son Michael in a bathtub, before leaving to answer a phone call. While she's gone, Michael turns the handles of the faucet, filling up the bathtub to the point that he begins drowning. The mother notices the eerie silence in the bathroom and realizes what is happening, rushing in to save Michael in the nick of time.
  • "Know Before You Mow", an ad campaign targeting lawn mower safety around children, has four television adverts. They each depict children doing everyday things — including coloring, playing video games, swinging on a swing set, and sitting in a sandbox — as a lawn mower audibly plays in the background. Then, the children suddenly run off-screen, and you can hear the sound of the mower blades hitting something other than grass, before the ad cuts to black with the text "Every year almost 10,000 children are injured in mowing accidents. Always know where your kids are." The website also has disturbing stories told in the perspective of both children and parents about horrific lawn mower accidents.
  • This public service announcement from a foundation named Abbey's Hope features a young girl speaking to the audience and explaining how she's about to drown in a swimming pool surrounded by family and friends because no one is watching her and each of her parents think the other one is accountable for her. As she then tries to explain further, she's eventually overcome by her struggling and sinks underneath mid-sentence.
  • The television series Missing (not to be confused with the series of the same name starring Ashley Judd or with 1-800-Missing) assists in locating missing persons of all ages. The series also has child safety tips to keep them safe in many different situations, with escalating danger involved in each one:
    • "Amusement park" involves a family out for a day of fun. While initially the mother just gives her two sons vague instructions on what to do, in a redo of what to do, she then tells them to synchronize their watches, meet up with the parents at the food court at lunchtime and always stay together.
    • "Department store" has a woman with her young son take her eyes off of him for a few seconds, only for him to vanish. She then asks a store employee for help who radios a coworker, and they lock the store down until he is found, which he is, just innocently wandering off.
    • "Directions" has a little girl being dropped off at home after school when a man pulls up asking for directions. After initially heading towards the car to assist, she then declines in helping the man, who drives off, in a situation that could have easily gone either way.
    • "Lost dog" has a man approaching two young boys ostensibly looking for his dog. After offering $20 to help in the search, the one boy agrees while his friend decides not to. The redo of the situation has both boys refusing and then saying that they'll get their fathers to help him, which scares the man off.
    • "Field trip" has a group of children on a field trip to a museum when a woman gets one of the young girls' attention by calling her by her name and walking off with her. The redone scenario has the young girl asking her teacher if she has to go away with the woman, which gets her and a security guard's attention and causes the woman to run off.
    • The last one, "Plane ticket", is probably the scariest scenario. It has a teenaged girl angry with her mother for not letting her use a plane ticket that an online friend mailed her for her birthday. After getting in contact with the friend's father, who assures the mother about the situation, the girl gets back in contact with her friend saying that her mother let her go... and the friend is really the man himself posing as her. Even worse, thereas no indication that she ever realized whom she was talking to and didn't meet up with him.
  • There exists one extremely gory PSA against "Elevator Surfing", the act of standing on top of an elevator while it's operating. It shows a young boy who ventures on top of an elevator, and as it goes up, he doesn't realize a ladder is above him, and it chops his arm off. The film doesn't show the boy's arm being chopped off, but even worse, it shows the bloody aftermath of the firefighters carrying the boy and his severed arm off the lift. It then goes on to show actual photos of children in elevator accidents, and all of this is just in the beginning of the video, which appears to be far tamer. According to the uploader, this film was also shown between 8 to 14 year olds in Germany before being pulled from classrooms due to the nature of the film scaring children. Even worse is the ending, where it's revealed that 22 days after filming, a 12 year old boy was found crushed to death in the same elevator shaft where the PSA was filmed.
  • Your Worst Nightmare has a talking pill bottle telling the viewer mostly telling the adults about how he's many things like allergy medicine, vitamins, or even cough syrup but kids mistake him for candy sometimes! He says to the viewer that many kids get sick or even die from taking him! He then gets close to the camera and tells the viewer that he's their worst nightmare! The way he tells the viewer that with the shadow effects across his face, his angry look, and his mouth almost looks like a five o'clock shadow on his mouth makes him look evil could scare anyone especially a kid watching this! It the ends with the pill bottle returning back to his normal smiling face and telling the viwer about Safe and how they can look up more info about what he said. Always put your medicine away in the safe place, parents! Or your kid will die!


Fire Safety

Once you seen these, you'll definitely remember to take every precaution to prevent a fire from breaking out, and make sure that everyone's prepared in case one does, lest everything you hold dear goes up in smoke.
    Fire Kills 
What the US Partnership for a Drug-Free America/Kids is to drugs, UK Fire Kills is to fire safety.
  • There was a fire safety PIF in the UK a few years ago. The ad starts with a close-up on a man's face, emotionless and apparently dead. He then suddenly breaks down in tears as the camera zooms out to reveal him standing in a house that's been completely destroyed by fire, to the accompaniment of a disembodied voice (a small child saying "Goodnight, daddy.") and as his sobs echo, a voiceover says "A fire doesn't have to kill you to take your life". The implication is that his family died in the fire. See it here.
  • An even scarier film urged the public to plan how they would escape the house if a fire started, and anticipate potential dangers. It showed children trapped in a burning house screaming for their parents (because no one had taught them what to do in an emergency); an old woman screaming for help and banging on her door because she can't find her keys, with a shot of the empty street outside that makes it clear no one will save her in time; and a man who fails to escape from a fire when he trips over a bicycle lying in the hall. It was eventually removed from the air after complaints that it terrified children. View it here.
  • This 2012 example features a coroner narrating the (out-of-frame) autopsy of a child who died in a fire, intercut with home videos of the dead child. As if the dispassionate description of the effects of smoke inhalation weren't grim enough, the final line is "Parents survived everything."
  • This PIF about chip pan safety. A woman's voice over provides information on what to do and what not to do in the events of a chip pan fire, such as turning off the stove and not moving the pan, however the ad ends with a bit of a shock factor. For those who would rather not watch: After the audience is informed that they must not throw water over the fire (with a shot of someone doing exactly that, followed by the fire practically leaping for the ceiling in an instant) the camera pans to the right revealing the woman narrating the video watching the footage on a screen. She ends the video with a short reminder that "the effects can be devastating" with a close up on her deformed face, showing that either due to ignorance or just a plain mistake, she hadn't followed those instructions.
  • This eerie smoke alarm PIF, which compares smoke inhalation to drowning.
  • Another creepy Fire Kills PIF depicted shots of funeral services and tombstones, featuring quotes from people who made excuses for not having a smoke alarm, all set to a very creepy rendition of "Down by the River to Pray". The ad ends with a close-up of a tombstone featuring a quote from a woman who said "My husband should've done it", then a quote from her husband who said "My landlord should've done it"... and a shot of the name of their 3-month-old baby. They were briefly pulled due to the unfortunate timing of premiering in September 2001.
    • There’s another version of the PIF which shows a hearse and a burnt house.
  • Another one about smoke alarms shows a clock on a mantelpiece slowly melting from the heat, as the rumble of the fire can be heard in the background. And that's all there is to it.
  • Some of their radio ads aren't much better. The scariest of the bunch is perhaps "Silent Night". While a rather peaceful rendition of the titular Christmas song plays in the background, we hear the voice of a woman frantically calling 999 to report a fire in her home. A siren plays as firefighters are heard noting the smoke billowing out of the front door of the home, and that there are four people trapped inside. A paramedic is also heard taking in one of the victims for severe smoke inhalation and possible brain damage. The ad ends with the now-hysteric woman screaming that her children are still inside the burning home (her daughter can even be heard weakly crying for her "Mama"). A horrific roar suddenly drowns her out, suggesting that the house collapsed and subsequently killed her children.
  • Another paranoia-inducing radio ad had a little girl narrating how she woke up in the middle of a house fire. She got separated from her mother and baby brother when the fire prevented them from escaping down the stairs. The girl's dad eventually saved her by taking her out of a window onto the roof, and she reflects that she wishes they'd planned for this before the fire, "then maybe we would all be alive."
  • The London Fire Brigade released this 1990 PIF warning the dangers of foam furniture catching fire. The woman in the PIF was smoking and carelessly lets her ash try fall onto her foam chair as she walks out of the room while her cat looks worryingly at its owner, only for the chair to be quickly set ablaze and expelling cyanide gas. The chair then sports glowing red demonic eyes, and spews out cyanide gas out of its "mouth" at the cat and scaring it away, then proceeds to breathe streams of fire throughout the room until it was burned down along with everything else.

  • Fire safety adverts seem to be creepy in general. These are good examples.
  • A terrifying PIF reminding people to shut their doors when there is a fire was even more unsettling. It shows a little girl going to bed, walking toward her door, while being chased by a giant tank that spits fire. A burst of ignited napalm from the tank's flamethrower almost hits the girl, but she closes the door, blocking it. The announcer concludes that if you close the door, "it will give you ten precious minutes to get out", before the flamethrower tank moves closer and the burning door falls down to reveal the terrified girl, as he continues, "leave it open, and it'll give you no time at all". The tagline Fire. Shut it out. fades in as another door slams shut. A variant of this ad has a slight difference in the script. Instead of the announcer saying "ten precious minutes", he says "valuable minutes".
  • There's a US variant, too, produced by the New York City Fire Department. It lives up to the general creepiness level that's apparently required of its type.
  • A haunting PIF on smoke alarms showed a girl tucking a doll in a dollhouse at night. An eerie-sounding narrator tells that they rely on you to wake them up when there's a fire as the dollhouse sets on fire. The music doesn't help.
  • A chilling 1979 PIF titled "Don't Leave Your Children Alone". A girl narrates about how she lost her brother Steve in a fire last Christmas while their parents were out at a party. She explains how she woke up and smelled smoke, hearing Steve crying (and we hear him do so as she narrates the story). She concludes by saying that Steve stopped crying. During the narration, the camera shows the Christmas tree, then the picture of the brother and sister together. Then, it moves through the hallway, up the staircase and into the girl's bedroom, revealing her to be sleeping alone in the dark. The narrator concludes "Fire can break out at any time. This Christmas, don't leave your children alone in the house" as the tagline "DON'T LEAVE YOUR CHILDREN ALONE" appears.
  • This UK PIF from 1974 called Searching, directed by John Krish. It shows someone looking around in their fire-destroyed house while a disembodied voiceover of the family screaming for each other can be heard. There is no mercy with this one.
  • George and Betty, a 90's PIF about the dangers of old electric blankets, is pretty terrifying. It features an elderly couple whose romantic night in doesn't quite go as planned, complete with a harrowing shot of their burnt-out bed at the end. It's made worse because the visuals and music are upbeat and light-hearted before the Wham Shot at the end, with no indication of what the spot is about, and the juxtaposition of the burned bed and the narrator's obvious amusement is very unsettling.
    Narrator: On George and Betty's night of romance, things got a bit... too hot to handle.
  • This New Zealand one advocating fire alarms. It's tame in content compared to many others on this site, but the narrator's voice alone is more than unsettling.
  • Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service ran a campaign with several ads filmed from the perspective of a firefighter in a burnt-out house, complete with the sound of heavy breathing from inside their mask. Each one would end with a chilling message scrawled on the wall in soot: "YOU FORGOT THE BATTERY, DADDY" or "YOU SAID YOUD BE TWO MINUTES". The worst of the bunch depicted a child's handprints in soot where they had tried to reach the door, ending in a jumble of prints and the words "I COULDN'T FIND THE WAY OUT."
    • An even scarier version of the commercials was based around dangers in the summer (crop fires, barbecues, etc) and would show the scene of an accident with a message left nearby. In one, a child's football is floating down a river while his mother frantically screams for him out of shot, and the words "MOMMY THOUGHT I WAS SAFE HERE" appear on a bridge piling.
  • The late 1970s brought a PSA depicting the dangers of using space heaters too close to flammable items, including curtains. In it, an elderly couple is sitting in the living room, watching TV, when the woman notices that the curtains are being blown about by the space heater's fan and are getting past the safety guard and too close to the heated coils... and that a fire is likely to happen if he doesn't move the heater now. The man gets up to move the heater, but the action stops a split second before he reaches it. No conclusion is given, leaving the viewer to come to their own conclusions.
  • The Scottish Office brought us this beautiful PIF showing a nightmare scenario in which an entire family burns to death. All we see is flames engulfing a family photograph. The man then wakes up from the horrible nightmare, having to live with the guilt of losing his family in a fire as he clutches the photograph.
  • The Netherlands has a series of fire safety ads in which an invisible narrator visits random people, asking them to participate in a test to see how quickly they could get out of their house in a fire. They inevitably screw up:
    • This woman manages to get out of the house, but forgets to rescue her child.
    • This man goes back to get his photo albums and runs out of time.
    • This family fails to get down the stairs in time.
    • Most unsettlingly of all, this woman doesn't even get a chance to try escaping because she doesn't have a working smoke alarm.
  • This ad about smoke alarms features an adorable little boy playing in the burned-out remains of a house and then making the people and especially parents watching the ad swear to promise on their child's life to test their smoke alarms, only for him to then ask a few seconds later, "You did promise, didn't you?" We then see him holding an alarm clock and looking at it sadly as we then see that dried blood has now formed underneath his nose, and he says, "'Cause you can't turn back time." only for him to last be seen in what was once his bedroom and walk off as a ghost...
  • This ad, courtesy of Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue, has a creepy-looking man with a head that looks to be charred black and glowing orange with flames sprouting up at random. He looks at the camera and addresses the viewer in a soft, yet creepy, voice.
    "I love people. I love to be around them, see them smile, see the laughing faces of their young. And children in turn are drawn to this flickering hypnosis, to reach out as I do in fateful embrace. My name is fire. Be careful when you're near me... I can't help myself."
  • This ad begins with a home video from Christmastime of a little girl receiving a gift from her mother and them embracing, and the video is rewound again and again as we then see a close-up of the mother's saddened and tear-streaked face. Soon the father comes in the room and takes the remote from her to turn the television off as she breaks down in his arms over their daughter, who died from smoke inhalation. The announcer says that smoke inhalation can kill a child in less than a minute, letting us know that it can happen that fast and to be sure to have a working smoke alarm/detector.
  • This haunting PSA from the American Red Cross shows a girl named Stacy sleeping in bed while smoke fills her room. A smoke alarm sounds in the distance, and shortly after, the alarm presumably in her bedroom sounds — which alerts the girl's mother offscreen. The mother rushes to her daughter's bedroom and wakes her, and the two escape the house while text onscreen reads, "Without the sound of a smoke alarm, she may never wake up. The American Red Cross has installed more than one million free smoke alarms. Help us install millions more." The PSA was created for the Red Cross's "Sound the Alarm, Save a Life" campaign.
  • This 1990 ad shows a man having a nightmare while a witch-like voice starts talking. In the nightmare, he finds out that a plug socket is smoking, and pulls the plug out immediately. The voice calls him a spoiled sport. He then finds out that his daughter is trying to grab a matchbox, followed by the voice encouraging her to grab them until the father successfully puts them out of reach. He then finds out that the oven got turned up too high, and successfully turns the oven down. He then spots a heater which is close to a curtain, which starts up a massive fire, followed by the voice laughing maniacally. Eventually, he wakes up from his nightmare to smoke a cigarette in bed, only for the voice to come back, saying "Uh-oh!" and giggling menacingly, with one final creepy synth pound. The visuals in this ad are very trippy, and the music doesn't help either. It was later remade in 2002 in widescreen format.


Firework Safety

As fun to watch as fireworks are, keep in mind they're essentially colored explosions. Things are fine when they're set off high in the sky away from people, so let's make sure to follow proper guidelines to keep it that way. If not... well, you won't have to imagine what could happen.
    Firework Safety 
  • One PIF takes us down darkened hospital corridors as ominous music plays and the agonised screams of injured children can be heard. We see doctors, nurses, and surgeons going about their work. We're also given statistics about how many people were injured by fireworks in the previous year, including the wince-inducing fact that "295 suffered damage to the eyes". It ends with doctors rushing into an operating theatre, but we're not shown what grisly sight awaits them behind the doors. We're told, "Visit a casualty department on November 5th and you'll wish you'd been blinded too." It's little wonder that PIF reviewer Peachy considers this to be the scariest PIF she has ever reviewed. An alternate version of this PIF has slightly different text throughout it, with the final message being "Visit a casualty department on November 5th. It's not a pretty sight." This version is arguably worse since we actually get to see what's happening at the operating theatre before one of the surgeons blocks the camera with his hand.
  • Another PIF tried to drive home the message of the damage that fireworks can do by showing us the gruesome image of a child's horrifically scarred hand with two fingers missing. Watch it at your peril. This one apparently got a U rating.
  • The Netherlands aired a number of firework safety campaigns which show someone lighting fireworks and listing everything the person did right, but they've made a fatal "mistake": "What are you doing wrong? You have five seconds." The outcome is always terrifying: one has a firework land in the back of a guy's hoodie and explode (the mistake was wearing a hood); another involves a bottle rocket tipping over and flying straight towards a girl (the mistake was not weighing down the bottle sufficiently); and the last one (and possibly the worst) involves a child getting his fingers blown off because he tried to re-light a firework, meaning he didn't have as long as the voiceover said he did — in fact, the explosion happened before the voiceover finished his sentence. Compared to the other two which fade to black before we get to see what happens to the victims, this one actually shows the gruesome aftermath of the accident in all its horrific glory.
  • Also from the Dutch: the "Je bent een rund als je met vuurwerk stunt" campaign (which roughly translates in English to "You're a jackass (literally, an "ox") when you play with fireworks").
    • One ad, released in 1995, shows a pair of hands in front of a red background counting down to the new year from ten. With each number, the hands become increasingly mangled (with fingers severed or completely blown off). The real kicker is when the countdown reaches one -— an explosion takes place, and we see that the victim's hands have been blasted down to wrists. The jovial soundtrack of people cheering and shouting "Happy New Year!" in the background doesn't help much, either. The impact is lessened slightly if you recall the audio of people counting down from The Poseidon Adventure.
    • The hands on the red background appear in another ad, this time using sign language to recount what happens when someone is injured in a firework accident. It becomes all the more horrifying if you do understand sign language, as the mangled hands cause some of the sentences to lose letters. Also unnerving is the ringing sound that begins when hearing loss is mentioned and continues towards the end, as it was complete silence until then.
    • In another ad, a pair of hands display shadow puppets of various animals (including a dog, bird and swan) as whimsical, happy music plays in the background. But when the last animal shown is a "rund" (ox in Dutch), the music suddenly takes a sinister twist as it's revealed that one of the puppeteer's hands is completely blown off while the other hand has a missing pinkie.
    • This entry in the series employs some disturbing imagery like repeated shots of a man's face and monstrous-looking silhouette, along with extreme close-ups of his eye before showing the victim's disfigured hand at the end of the ad. Did we mention that a scream can be heard at one point of the ad?
    • Another presents us with victims of fireworks accidents in the hospital — one with a blown-out eyes and another with a mangled hand — with the accompaniment of tense music, ominous shots of surgical equipment and a horrifying distorted scream. As the tagline is displayed at the end, the unsettling sound of a heart rate monitor plays over the image of an empty operating table... with the surgical tools at the ready on a table nearby.
    • One ad begins normally, showing a person dressed as a chicken advertising a chicken shop while being harassed. After failing to successfully advertise the shop, he heads towards a dark alley. He takes out his chicken head to reveal that he was disfigured in the face, implying that he was involved in a fireworks accident and that the chicken job was probably the only job he could get.
  • This ad from the Philippine Department of Health warns people of the injuries and dangers brought about by fireworks. The scary part is the victims' bloody injuries. Watch it at your own risk.
  • Another terrifying Dutch fireworks PIF showed a house party where the CD player suddenly breaks down, so the host goes to fix it - causing a huge explosion that blows him across the room in graphic slo-mo and destroys the house, apparently killing everyone at the party. The message was that you shouldn't try to "repair" a faulty firework once it's been lit.
  • The infamous rare 1976 Parents PIF, with its sudden shots of a burnt kid screaming in agony, and later his bandaged face as he's being taken to an ambulance, was considered so graphic that it was pulled off air and remained lost for decades.

Gun Safety

It goes without saying that guns can easily kill, hence why there's protocol for Gun Safety. If one is not kept in responsible hands, they could very well end up killing the wrong person.
    Gun Safety 
  • A campaign about firearm responsibility, produced by the Ad Council and the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) in 2000, featured the narration of a child recounting how he or she discovered a gun and accidentally killed their sibling. Each story was accompanied by crude, childish drawings displaying what happened, and ended with the text "An unlocked gun could be the death of your family. Please lock up your gun." Billboard and radio versions were also made for each of the ads in the series.
  • There was a PSA in the early/mid-nineties about keeping your guns away from children. It showed a young boy and his two friends, playing some sort of cops-and-robbers game with squirt guns. The boy runs through the kitchen and hides upstairs as his mom tells him and his friends to play quieter. He hides under a bed in his mother's room, and his friends go into his mother's bathroom to find him. Then the kid pulls out a real gun that was hidden under the bed, aims at his friends, and we cut to his mother and baby sister in the kitchen, startled (and in Mom's case, horrified) by a sudden gunshot. And then as the narrator speaks, we realize it's a little too quiet in the house now.
    "You think your kids can't get to your guns? Think again."
  • This 2014 firearm-safety PSA, aimed at parents, does a really good job, literally subverting Chekhov's Gun by showing it at the end when we never even suspected it was there, then having the kid play with the gun for a little while before the horrible inevitable happens while his oblivious father keeps mowing the front lawn outside.
  • Some cities and companies have made PS As about surviving an Active Shooter Event:
  • There was once a grisly Scottish PIF about airgun safety, with the message that "an airgun is not a toy." It features shots of a doll being shot by an airgun, and a horrible lingering shot of the resulting mess. Even worse, the whole thing is accompanied by a tinkly music box tune.
  • This anti-firearms ad involving Alice in Wonderland has Alice chasing after the White Rabbit and ending up in the room with the drink me potion. Instead of drinking the potion just like she did in the story, she instead walks over to a cupboard where she finds a gun and ends up accidentally killing herself.
  • This Sandy Hook Promise PSA is hugely effective. The main story of the PSA appears to be the story of a young boy at high school who, after scribbling how bored he is on a desk at a library, forms a friendship with an unknown person who replies to his messages. The two eventually meet at the very end of the year while signing yearbooks. And then, a person walks into the building and cocks his gun, causing everyone to flee in panic. It is then revealed that this person was showing signs of planning a shooting while we were watching our main character. We are then shown past scenes replayed with him marked more visibly, while a creepy version of the background music from the PSA plays, and it is carefully shot so the average person doesn't even notice him among the other kids. It is very shocking to see.
  • Another Sandy Hook Promise PSA released in 2019 quickly went viral on Twitter for how effective it is. It disguises itself as a back-to-school supplies commercial, with students showing off what their parents bought them for school, before it suddenly switches to other students using their supplies to escape the school or battle against a school shooter, with scissors and colored pencils being used as weapons, new socks being used to wrap wounds, and perhaps most harrowing of all, one little girl uses her cell phone to text a final "I love you" to her mother, as footsteps outside her bathroom stall get closer and closer.
  • Two ads by the Society for Threatened Peoples featured realistic skeletons arranged into the shapes of an AK-47 and a hand grenade, with the words "Every 43 seconds, someone dies from gun violence".
  • SWR has this PIF that poses as a shooting video game. Except the place the game takes place in is Columbine High School, complete with what appears to be actual footage of the attacks.
  • An ad for the Half Staff Project has a video of a fireworks show (implied to be a 4th of July show), with people cheering and applauding. Suddenly the bangs become louder, more frequent and more different, as the crowd and the cameraman realize that those bangs are actually firearm bangs, and run away screaming as the video cuts to black. It ends with the firearm bangs drowning out the fireworks as you can hear the crowd screaming, with the message being that over 40,000 Americans die from gun violence every year, with the biggest spike being the 4th of July.

Transport Safety (Drink Driving, Speeding, Public Transport, etc.)

It really is no wonder why this is the largest section on this page. Vehicles, be they cars, buses or trains, are many times faster than the average human being, and several times more massive, so it stands to reason that there are a lot of ways people could get maimed, killed, or worse should they misuse these things. These ads have been made to urge people to take great care whether you're the driver, a passenger, or a pedestrian. As you'll find out, the rules of the road are in place for a good reason.
     Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives 
Safety on the Move's Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives campaign has brought us several spectacularly depressing and nightmarish PIFs, which can be seen in a collection here, if you desire. Some of their more scarier efforts among the series include:
  • One of their more well-known ads, titled "Eyes", is horrifying to say the least. For those who would rather not watch, the ad begins with a close up of the face of a young woman, while paramedics attempt to revive her and the driver of the vehicle is being questioned about the accident. Notice that the woman has two different-sized pupils and is attached to a breathing device. The woman is eventually declared to be in an asystolic state (meaning that her heart has stopped), and the driver is taken away. It was considered to be too graphic to be shown before the 9:00pm watershed. This PIF was later reused by "THINK!" 22 years later as a part of 50 years campaign against drink driving, alongside with "Kathy Can't Sleep".
  • "Kathy Can't Sleep" features a little girl named Kathy crying about an incident at school and being unable to sleep due to nightmares. In the background, we hear the voice of her hysterically-angry mother crying and yelling at her husband for driving drunk ("How can she forget about it?! She can't even sleep! I don't know what to tell her!"), resulting in the violent death of a young boy from Kathy's school. As the girl breaks down further, we can hear the mother screaming "And now, everything's screwed up! Isn't it?! LOOK AT ME!", implying both that Kathy herself is very aware of the situation, as well as her father's guilt for causing the boy's death as the scene fades out.
  • "In the Summertime" has the eponymous song by Mungo Jerry playing in the background as a group of friends are depicted drinking at a pub's beer garden. A car is then seen departing the garden, and one of the pub-goers react in shock; the music then slows to a crawl and fades away to dead silence as it's shown that the car had run off the road and crashed into a tree, killing the driver and his wife.
  • "Christmas Pudding". A woman is eating dinner with her family on Christmas when she is interrupted by a telephone call. She is informed that her boyfriend — who was drinking at another party — has just died in a crash. The camera cuts to the burning pudding on the dinner table, which fades into the wreckage of the boyfriend's burning car.
  • "One More, Dave" begins by showing a woman blending up a Christmas dinner as we hear a group of friends pressuring their friend Dave into drinking. It's then revealed that the woman was liquidating food for Dave, who has now become a quadriplegic from a drink driving accident and can't feed himself.
  • "Mark" presents us with the absolutely bone-chilling visuals of a man's ghostly, rotoscoped face amongst a pitch-black background, who talks about his friend Mark, referring to him as a "a great bloke". Then, accompanied by increasingly creepy and distressing animation, he explains how Mark caused a drunk driving accident on Christmas, which killed two parents and left their children as orphans. The ad ends with the man's face saying "Oh yeah... a great bloke", before vanishing in a cloud of vapor.

The UK advertising campaign 'THINK!', which deals with road safety, has always had a few Scare 'Em Straight moments:
  • One of their first campaigns was a series of anti-drunk driving ads played every holiday season for around two years, featuring much-loved Christmas songs playing over live police camera footage of paramedics and firefighters at the scene of serious and fatal drunk driving accidents. The songs don't do much to ease the horror. Here are some of the ads in question. Viewer discretion is advised: "Silent Night", "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day", and "Jingle Bells".
  • One horrifying PIF from the Think! campaign begins with a man's face horribly disfigured and unnaturally smashed in like the aftermath of a car itself being in a severe accident. A woman's voiceover says, in an effort to push the issue of wearing a seatbelt and slowing down, that while a car is built to sustain critical damage in an accident, the human face is not. Fortunately, as the ad goes on, the face gradually returns to a normal state.
  • One of their adverts released in 2009 about drug driving features a car full of youths with their eyes digitally enlarged to show that they are visibly under drug influence, causing the police to pull them over. The girl's huge, blank eyes as she stares out of the window are particularly creepy.
  • Another features a man going about his daily routine whilst being followed by the lifeless body of a boy he killed when he was speeding, affectionately nicknamed "Dead Ginger". The message: "Kill your speed or live with it." Watch and be horrified.
  • One of their most memorable ones, simply called "Don't drive tired", shows a man driving at night with his family, except that he's basically asleep. The narrator then mentions that he will die in his sleep tonight with his family by his side. Following right after is a shot of the car crashing and getting completely flipped over. What makes it all extra creepy is how the car is still running with the wheels spinning at top speed despite being upside down, implying that the man's foot is still on the pedal even though he's dead.
  • There is also a very creepy anti-speaking-on-the-phone-when-driving ad, in which a man is calmly talking to his wife through a mobile phone. They talk for about 30 seconds before you hear a thump, and the man jerks forward and just lays there (presumably dead) with a bleeding nose as his distraught wife repeatedly calls his name while crying. Watch it here.
  • In one ad, three men in a pub ask each other if they'd like another drink. The three men sit at a table with a pint each, and spot a woman standing at the bar. She winks at them, then suddenly looks shocked as a loud, screeching car is heard as the woman suddenly flies towards the table, violently crashing into it. The men then peer over the table to see the woman lying, bloody on the floor, surrounded by broken glass.
  • Another ad showed a very realistic-looking slow motion collision with a child, whilst the narrator coldly counts the distance that the speeding car travels before it stops.
  • "Lucky", a terrifying anti-speeding PIF, opens with a dead girl lying by the side of the road, with her voice informing us that "If you hit me at 40 miles an hour, there's around an 80% chance I'll die." Then her injuries begin to heal, complete with a Sickening "Crunch!" as her bones snap back into place. She slides back into the middle of the road and gasps as she wakes up, demonstrating that "If you hit me at 30, there's around an 80% chance I'll live." An equally terrifying print ad was also made, it provides the page image.
  • In another, a man is shown without a seat-belt and he crashes into another car. Then the camera goes X-ray and a narrator, a very monotone, creepy, middle-aged lady's voice, explains how the airbag saved him from going trough the window, but then in extreme detail goes into how his ribs break, his lungs get punctured and his heart suffers physical trauma, as the organs go through this on later afternoon TV before 6.
  • This anti-drink-driving ad, titled "#PubLooShocker", is essentially footage of an elaborate practical joke on pubgoers, centered around Jump Scares. The sight of a bloodied mannequin smashing though a mirror might make you want to keep away from mirrors for a while, or you might find the people's reactions to be utterly hilarious. Or both. You decide.

    Transport for London 
Transport for London ads have strayed into Nightmare Fuel territory on several occasions:
  • In 2009, TfL began running a successful campaign titled "Don't let your friendship die on the road", encouraging young people to look out for each other on London roads. Three rather disturbing print ads were produced, and here are two of them. It'll take you a moment to realise what's happening, which is what makes them disturbing. You don't immediately realise that what you're looking at is actually a dead child lying in the middle of the road. A few years later, they made three more. The situation is more obvious in those ones, but they're still equally disturbing.
  • Another campaign consisted of two adverts initially taking on the guise of a film trailer and an episode of MTV Cribs, respectively. Both entries featured a fictional character (including a movie star named Scott Smith and a female supermodel, Sarah Rivers) being interviewed about their success. Towards the end, they walk across the street, suddenly looking off-screen; the camera cuts to a boy or girl in school uniform getting hit by a car, rolling unconsciously to the ground. A caption appears, reading "Don't die before you've lived."
  • Three print ads from 2007 urged people using the transport system to report suspicious behaviour. They all featured a short first-person story set against dark and rather unsettling pastel drawings. One ad features the image of a sinister woman glowering at the audience from her seat on a near-empty bus, another has a faceless man in a long coat sitting on a bench with a suspicious-looking bag underneath, and the third has the unnerving stare of a man in a bowler hat. All the stories end in a Cliffhanger, leaving it to the public's imagination to guess what happened next. Creepy imagery plus creepy story equals very creepy advert.
  • TfL and the Metropolitan Police run a terrifying annual campaign called "Know What You're Getting Into", about the dangers of unlicensed minicabs. Some notable ads include one depicting a male minicab driver nonchalantly recounting his criminal record of sexual assault, before offering an unsuspecting woman a lift; another entry showing a minicab passenger on her phone realizing that the driver isn't taking her where she asked to go, ending with the driver stopping the car and getting into the backseat with her; yet another concerning a group of girls forcing their drunken friend into an unlicensed car after a night of partying; this one showing a girl getting locked inside an unbooked minicab, presumably being raped or murdered off-screen; and –- perhaps the most disturbing of the bunch -– this ad, which depicts a woman being sexually assaulted inside a minivan in first-person perspective. There were also equally disturbing print ads such as this one, which faced several complaints of being triggering to people who have actually been through rape.
  • This ad from 2013 features the dying victim of a motorcycle accident lying in the middle of the road, surrounded by paramedics. With an intense, unblinking stare, and in a completely unaffected voice, he describes how he caused his accident and what's happening to his body as he succumbs to his injuries. "Still, you live and learn... don't you?"
  • A retelling of "The Tortoise and the Hare", in which the hare runs out into the road and is knocked down by a car.
  • One of their poster campaigns from 2002 looked as though it had been taken straight from the pages of Nineteen Eighty Four. It's currently the page image for Big Brother Is Watching.

     TAC Victoria 
The Transport Accident Commission Victoria tackles all sorts of driving PSA mentioned at the beginning of the section and all of them combine it with Tear Jerker, but the most notable ones are on Drunk Driving. In fact, they are the first notable ones that coined up "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot." This video shows the majority of their PSAs and all of their ads can be summarized as, "Never drive drunk (you bloody idiot), never drive under the influence of drugs (you're out of your mind), never speed (don't fool yourself, speed kills and wipe 5-10 km off), never drive tired (take a break, fatigue kills), never drive distracted (distractions leads to disaster), drive more cautiously on country roads, be mindful of motorcyclists, and always wear seat belts (belt up or suffer the pain)."

  • Girlfriend was the first-ever TAC ad produced. The story is about a young drunk driver who seriously injures his girlfriend and is confronted at the hospital by her angry parents, setting the realistic, documentary style that has been the hallmark of TAC communications ever since. Nurse Karen Warnecke uttered the immortal words "If you drink, then drive, you're a bloody idiot" for the first time in a corridor at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
  • Yes Mum, made for the TAC's MAFMAD (Make a Film, Make a Difference) competition shows a young man calling his mother. She talks about how she's having trouble hearing him and asks if he's at a party. He tells her he is. She continues talking about mundane things such as his schoolwork while he says "Yes, mum." whenever he gets a chance. This is all intersected with scenes from a party. The young man asks if his father is there, and when his mother replies that he isn't, the young man can be seen fighting back tears. He tells his mother he loves her as she begs him to tell her what's wrong and the party music fades out. The camera pulls back to reveal that the car has crashed into the water and its occupants are trapped as it fills up. The film ends with them screaming for help as the water covers the windshield.

  • A 2006 PSA from Alko shows a man with a shovel digging a hole. We assume that he is just working on the side of a road. However, the camera zooms out... and the man is surrounded by graves. The message is that drinking and driving is like digging your own grave. The eerie sunset, shadowy figures, and somber music really set the mood.
  • Anything from the British road safety education charity Safe Drive Stay Alive is eligible for being nightmare fuel. There are so many examples that the charity's numerous 30-minute long films deserve a page all to themselves.
  • This highly unsettling 1984 PIF about pedestrian crossing features unsettling rotoscoped animation.
  • An unaired and quite disturbing 1997 drink driving PIF depicts a couple sitting down at an outdoor restaurant. All seems fine at first as they talk to each other whilst enjoying their drinks, but upon the man finishing his cup of alcohol, the music abruptly takes on a seriously demonic quality as the man grabs the cup and shatters it right across the woman's face. This is juxtaposed with the imagery of a car crash, in which the same woman is sent crashing through a windshield while screaming in terror. The ad then states, "It only takes one glass to ruin a life", before cutting back to the man, having survived the crash, looking in horror at the woman's corpse as the demonic-sounding music continues to play. The reason behind this PIF being refused airtime was because broadcasters felt that viewers would be so shocked and horrified by its content that they would completely forget about the message it was trying to send.
  • This 1993 PIF from the Scottish Office depicts a boy walking on a road, too busy on his portable game to look both ways before crossing. Cue a transparent CGI car rising from the road, with incredibly horrific and loud music, and proceeding to pummel the boy over. The CGI holds up quite well despite its age, which does not help, and neither does the fact that this was played before The Lion King (1994) in cinemas. Imagine seeing—and hearing—this in a theater. To quote easportsbig899, "between the Carlton Screen Advertising ident, this PIF and seeing Mufasa plummet to his death, children must have been suffering nightmares for months afterwards."
  • There was a short film often shown in driving/health classes titled Jacqui's Story, starring Jacqueline Saburido. It's a brutal case, not the least because the girl was quite beautiful before, and had aspirations of being a singer. What puts it into overdrive are some of the details: she was trapped in a car hit by a drunk driver, and was heard screaming (i.e., she was conscious), for 45 seconds while it burned. Just watch a second hand go round a clock sometime and see how long that really is. The Snopes page describes her injuries and links to several pages with images of her. She not only had virtually no face after the accident, but she got gangrene and lost all her fingers, meaning she couldn't even feed herself, or do anything else for herself in a personal capacity. The saddest part is knowing that Jacqui eventually died from her injuries in April 2019 at only forty years old. Even the fate of the drunk driver in the other car — an 18 year old kid — is Nightmare Fuel in a way: one night he's at his first big-kid party and the next morning he's in prison for negligent murder (other passengers in the Jacqui's car didn't make it) with no bail money and only a public defender to represent him.

    Jacqueline had extensive surgery to reconstruct her body following her accident and was the topic of several surgery-themed documentaries. She forgave the young driver in the other car, and went on to campaign against drink-driving, becoming famous for the "Not everyone who gets hit by a drunk driver dies" ad campaign, which included a poster showing pre- and post-crash photographs her. There was also a TV commercial in which she held up a "before" a picture of herself and introduced herself before lowering the picture and revealing what she looked like then. Even though she is no longer with us, her progress and determination is nothing short of inspirational.
  • This PIF from the Pedestrian Council of Australia called Scarhead shows a man with a scar on his head that is slowly growing until it's completely across his head (the message being "speed kills, slow down"). It is absolutely nauseating.
  • A PIF for car safety shown in movie theaters in England involved showing actual footage of children being hit by cars as they played in the street. There's another one with just a toy and a splash of blood lying in the street.
  • This PSA from the Czech Republic's Ministry of Transport is called "Grotesque", though it may initially seem an unfitting title. It shows a group of people after a day of fun at the lake getting ready to go home after it rains. At least five people try to cram themselves and a comical amount of inflatable toys into a fairly small car while whimsical piano music plays, reminiscent of a silent comedy from the early days of film. Then, the driver starts the car. Suddenly, the last three notes of the background music play on loop, becoming more and more distorted, with the rear passengers dead and covered in blood. A voiceover informs the audience that one of the most common causes of road accidents in the ad's country of origin is having too many passengers to a vehicle, obscuring the view of the driver. This results in two to three deaths and hundreds of injuries every day. And in a country the size of the Czech Republic (population about 10 million according to The Other Wiki), that's no laughing matter.
  • This Irish speeding PIF (contrary to the video, it was in fact broadcast on Irish television). Holy crap. That creepy version of "I Can't Take My Eyes Off You" contributes to a lot of the horror. It should probably be noted that Irish speed PIFs tend towards Mood Whiplash and aren't afraid to show gore: ads in the same series include children getting crushed, old men getting struck down, and a motorbiker falling with a shattered visor revealing glassy eyes.
  • There was an old British anti-speed PIF in the nineties from the very to-the-point campaign "Kill your speed" with narration by a young girl informing the audience that she will be killed because of a speeding driver, while looking straight at the camera every time she changes location. There is no gore but it is still disturbing. The scariest part was probably the soundtrack: "Mysteries of Love" performed by Julee Cruise. Almost certainly chosen for her immensely creepy vocals rather than the relevance of the song.
  • This British drink-driving public information film from the 1970's.
  • Some Australian drinking and driving ads are horrifying. Here's one. When you compare TAC ads to other countries, they get the point across in the most horrifying ways. No wonder there are some which can't be played until 9:00 on prime time TV.
  • The Queensland Transport ads are very to the point, but this one is one of the worst. A father and son crash into a woman pushing her pram, killing her instantly and wounding her infant daughter. The horror and heartbreak begins when the father lifts up the crying infant and hearing his traumatized son crying "Da-daddddyyyy!"
  • The Slow Down Stupid campaign. The music doesn't help wonders.
  • In a very similar vein to the above, and using the same narrator, is the ever so chilling Negatives. It's shot in a creepy photo-negative style which is bad enough, but then there's the shown effects of speeding. The message is that there are only downsides to speeding. "No positives. Just nightmares. Forever.'"
  • Also from the Queensland Transport were a series of PIFs dubbed "Fatal 4" that were shot POV-style, through the eyes of victims just after a car wreck. The noises the victims make while in a state of pure agony are just flat-out horrific. The chilling ending tagline in each one certainly doesn't help things either.
    • "Speeding" shows a man all alone lying on the ground, completely unable to get up.
    • "Tired" depicts someone waking up inside the crashed wreck of their car as they attempt to move.
    • "Unbuckled" shows a father outside the wreckage of his car, being able to only crawl through the grass to reach his crying infant.
    • The last one, "Drink Driving", is by far the most horrifying, depicting a young woman practically convulsing in pain as people around her desperately try to get her to stay still.
  • There is one Australian road safety ad from New South Wales state by RTA (Roads and Traffic Authority, now known as Roads and Maritime Services). It aired in the early 2000s and started out with a shot of a teenage boy, handheld camera style. He says, "This is my summer holiday." Next we see a shot from inside a driving car. Cliff Richard's "Summer Holiday" begins playing as the car continues travelling. Suddenly, the music stops as the car collides with something, sending the camera flying all over the place. It eventually falls just inches from the boy's bloodied-but-alive face, blood trickling from his nose.
  • A campaign in the UK similar to the one above showed teenagers filming themselves on a cameraphone as they walk home together, until one of them tries to cross the road without looking both ways and is hit by a car. For authenticity, only the crash scene was staged; they used a real group of teen friends (not actors) and had them film it on a cameraphone.
  • This 1997 anti-speeding PSA, titled "Stop", from the Land Transport Safety Authority from New Zealand is horrifying. A family of four is traveling along a narrow, unshouldered rural New Zealand highway, the driver speeding at well above the 100-km/h speed limit when - while going around a sharp curve, he comes upon a disabled vehicle on the side of the road... and there's an oncoming car in the other lane. The action freezes on the panicked looks on everyone's faces as the voice-over announcer explains in graphic detail that if the driver had been driving at the speed limit he would have been able to stop his car... and the fatal and critical injuries the driver and passengers suffered would not have happened. The commercial ends with action resuming and the car skidding and crashing into a light pole, the mother and one of the daughters being killed instantly and the father and the younger daughter surviving suffering major injuries... and hauntingly — after a shot of the young, beautiful mother's bloody corpse inside the car is shown — the surviving daughter crying for help.
  • A UK drinking and driving ad began as the "Light and Cheerful" kind, with a man sitting down at a bar next to a beautiful woman, picking up a beer, and setting down his keys. The woman frowns and a voiceover says "Before you drink and drive, think of the choices you'd be forcing onto others." It then showed clips of blood-soaked people in wrecked cars, a woman trying to walk and screaming in agony, a man in a semi-vegetative state, an attractive-looking woman turning around to reveal a horribly disfigured face, and a police officer delivering the bad news to an elderly woman, all while everyone stoically considers the choices forced upon them. The scene then cuts back to the happy bar as the man sets down his beer, and the woman smiles.
  • A truncated version of the 30-minute British public service film Only Stwpd Cowz Txt N Drive shows the car accident scene and the moments before and after. Specifically, it shows three teenage girls in a car — with the driver, named Cassie, texting a friend and later trying to get his number — getting involved with a head-on collision (complete with showing them graphically experiencing whiplash, accompanied by the sounds of snapping necks and body parts being thrown around). After both of the cars come to a stop on the side of the road, Cassie is then shown painfully looking over at her friend in the passenger seat, and two look out to window upon noticing another car barreling straight towards them. Another horrific crash later, Cassie regains consciousness and begins screaming and crying hysterically upon realizing both of her friends are dead. She is then rescued from her car by paramedics as it is revealed that a mother and father involved in the crash were either incapacitated or killed (with their young daughter desperately trying to get them to "wake up"), and a baby is also shown motionless. Cassie is then placed on a stretcher and taken away in an air ambulance helicopter, and the PSA ends with a harrowing, final shot on her bloodied face as she shuts her eyes tight. It definitely doesn't pull any punches whatsoever with delivering its intended message on the dangers of texting and driving. Some viewers, though, may find that the relentless piling of tragic incident on tragic incident tips the advert over into unwitting Narm.
  • Wisconsin has these DOT radio PSAs that are just a mother and son talking after they've been in a horrible car accident, slowly coming to grips with their situation and ending with them realizing that nobody is coming to help them.
  • In New Zealand, there's an ad where a strange old man sits by a Wheel of Misfortune and he watches the road, accompanied by haunting music and freaky noises. As a car enters the intersection, he spins the wheel. Where the wheel stops on decides the car's (and their occupant's) fate. There are three versions of this ad.
    • In one ad, the wheel stops on "Miracle". The car in question almost comes into contact with two cars. They all spin and, after all that, they remain unharmed.
    • In the much more frequent ad,note  the wheel stops on "Death". The car in question is hit by a speeding car. Everything stops in slow motion as the horrific scene is showered upon by a rain of broken glass.
    • Both ads were also shown in a longer version, where the wheel initially lands on "Near Miss". The car in question almost hits another car. After the miss, a police car is in pursuit.
    • In a follow-up advert, a driver is careful at every intersection, so the man doesn't spin the wheel (this version is arguably the scariest, because it shows the man and his wheel at every street corner, intersection and road bridge). When the driver is tempted to rush the intersection after abuse from another road user, the man goes to spin the wheel; but stops when the driver resists and does it properly. However, the next car behind him drives out without looking, and gets a spin of the wheel.

      They actually had the man go to intersections all over New Zealand and had him sitting and spinning the wheel. Now that's Paranoia Fuel.
  • Another ad from New Zealand showed a driver speeding towards another driver at a turning. Just as the speeding driver applies the brakes, time freezes. The driver at the turning and the speeding driver get out and have a conversation. The driver at the turning apologises and says he thought he had time, and the speeding driver accuses the driver at the turning of just pulling out, giving him no time to react. The driver at the turning says, "Come on mate, it was a simple mistake." The driver at the turning begs the speeding driver to slow down because his boy is in the back of the car. The speeding driver apologises, saying there's nothing he can do now. Time unfreezes and the driver at the turning is shown looking back at his boy, and then his car is destroyed.

    The French Government remade this PSA from the perspective of the speeding driver, who is in the car with his wife and young daughter. As the child sobs in terror, the mother tries to reassure her: "Daddy's going to brake very, very hard and it will be okay", but it's evident from the parents' expressions that they know this isn't true. Then time unfreezes and they smash into the side of the other car, presumably killing all three of them and the other driver.

    There's also a Thai version in which a couple on a motorcycle try to speed past a slow-moving truck on a two-lane road, only to find themselves right in the path of a much bigger truck. They argue about their options when time freezes, but then it unfreezes again and they get pulverized. The tone is a little more comic than the original version and the French remake, but the last shot is pretty brutal.
  • A similar ad exists in Denmark, except it doesn't actually show the person crashing, there's just a middle-aged man telling you in detail exactly what happens if you drive a little too fast and lose control over your car. He ends the whole thing with, "Have fun."
  • In Ireland, there is a series of car-related PSA's that are absolutely horrifying. One of them starts with a loving couple cuddling on a bench, with the words "Today Michael will hit his girlfriend so hard, she'll end up with permanent brain damage." They get in a car with two other people, and everyone wears a seatbelt except the boyfriend. They get in an accident, and the camera graphically shows him bouncing around the cab, striking other people with his head, before cutting to the crippled girlfriend at the funeral for the other three passengers. The second, WAY more horrifying drunk driving PSA involves a man happily playing with his toddler in his own backyard, when an SUV suddenly crashes through the fence and crushes the toddler. The bloodied driver exits his wrecked car to view the man clutching his son's dead body and silently wailing as he looks on in guilt while the narrator asks the rhetorical question "Could you live with the shame?" And the driver in question was a soccer player. The toddler was dressed just like him and playing soccer.
  • In 2014, a similar PSA to the SUV crash ad was produced, in which the driver loses control of his a speeding car, the car crashes through a hedgerow... and then crushes an entire class of young schoolchildren on a field trip to a nearby park note . A mournful, lullaby-version of Guns N' Roses hard rock classic "Sweet Child of Mine" plays in the background, and the scene is underscored by a shy, possibly autistic young boy paying more attention to his matchbox-sized car, which is a scale version of the car being driven by the responsible driver, and he is shown losing his grasp after being killed. The over-the-top Bloodless Carnage means it could be seen as Narm, but some people have lauded its sobering message that speeding in Ireland has killed enough children since 2000 to fill a primary school classroom.
  • There was an anti-drunk-driving campaign in the 90's and early 2000's called "Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk", which showed home movies of adults and children in happy moments and then the writing on the screen would have the names of the people in the video, their date of death, and the fact that they were killed by a drunk driver. Those were done by Wells Rich Greene BDDP for the Ad Council.
    • One entry showed a home video of an adorable 1-year-old, repeating his mother's words for numbers in Spanish. Then writing appears on the screen, telling the viewer the baby died in an actual crash, which was the result of the mother trusting a friend to pick the baby up. The friend had been drunk. It was even shown on kids' stations.
    • This entry shows the names and photos of three smiling siblings — followed by a horrific shot of the car they were riding in when they died.
    • One chilling entry (which was also broadcast in Spanish) showed a slideshow of various people of many different ages with their dates of death at the bottom.
    • This entry, easily the worst of the bunch shows an ultrasound with a heartbeat in the background, then writing appears on screen telling the viewer that the baby was on her way to being born when she was killed by a drunk driver, as the heartbeat flatlines.
      • It's made worse by the fact that in this entry, unlike most of the other entries in the campaign, there is a total lack of an announcer.
  • There was a similar UK PIF, featuring home video of variously-aged, similarly-deceased children who had been killed by drivers exceeding the speed limit. One of the films ran to the narration of a man reading out the police protocol for officers delivering the news of a road death; others featured readings of poems about death and sorrow, including "Funeral Blues" by WH Auden (famous for its appearance in Four Weddings and a Funeral).
  • A series of bus ads on the DC Metrobus system make mention of crossing the street only during the "Walk" portion of the pedestrian signals. Some are relatively low-key, but there's one in particular where a car barrels straight into a woman. Said woman flies like a rag doll through the air, scattering brown paper bag with groceries, purse, and shoes. To make it all the more nightmarish, a baby in a stroller is sitting in front of the woman.
  • There was a British radio PIF in the mid-1990s with a cheerful, motherly-sounding woman (if not Judi Dench, then a remarkable simulation) relating the tale of little Alice and Bob, whose favorite Fairy Tale was Peter Pan. They wanted to be like him, and they got their wish - when the car crashed on their way to school. They weren't wearing seat-belts, so Bob got to fly (through the windscreen, blinding him in at least one eye during the process) and Alice never grew up (because she hit her father's head, causing both of their skulls to crack and sending brain matter everywhere), just like Peter Pan. Made all the more horrific by the way the narrator lovingly describes the children's injuries in intensely graphic detail.
  • The above PIF ran at the same time as a companion piece aimed at teenagers, where a doctor describes in excruciating detail the reconstructive surgery that a young person may have to go through if they sustain facial injuries from smashing into a windscreen.
  • A TV ad against texting while driving. It showed a first-person view of someone reading messages on an iPhone, the messages saying stuff like, "If you have to pick up Chris at 11, and the party ends at 3, and you have 50 miles of gas worth in your tank..." and then it ends with the final text message being "What are your chances of surviving this crash?". You can feel the guy's Oh, Crap! reaction as he jerks his head up and sees a car roaring towards him... then the screen goes black. Congratulations. You just died in a car accident. In first person.
  • This PIF from the Safer Scotland campaign. Ads featuring first person car accidents are all well and good, but what about a first person car accident... at night?
  • "Drive Like an Idiot, Die Like an Idiot". This ad features bloody (fake) dead bodies, a crashed car and Christopher Eccleston making tasteless jokes.
  • This seatbelt PSA from the late 1960s voiced by Jack Webb. While the line "they wrinkle my dress" might sound a little narm-y, the tympani combined with the imagery delivers quite an eerie effect. There's also something truly terrifying about how that drum roll is just cut off.
  • The above line was re-used in an 80's-era PSA: First a shot of the lady driver complaining about how seatbelts wrinkle her dress, then a cut to show her paralyzed and strapped in a wheelchair, with her caretaker observing "Oh, your dress is getting wrinkled; let me tighten your belt..."
  • The line appeared again in the Crash Test Dummies campaign that began in the mid-'80s and ran through most of the '90s — both in commercial and poster form.
  • The Winnipeg Police Service is committed to safer streets. You don't want to hit an unsuspecting little girl with a car, do you?
  • This harrowing Canadian advertisement for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD Canada) depicts a black-and-white scene of a baby named Emily lying in a crib crying with nobody coming to take care of her. After slowly zooming out, the picture finally goes to black, with the sound of the baby crying still audible, and the ad explains that drunk driving kills 4 Canadians every day, including the baby's mother. It had to be pulled off the air, either for being too depressing or because it scared children.
  • The "Kids and Cars" commercials are just bone chilling. They include a mother trying to wake her apparently dead son up, shoving a baby into a oven, and a mother telling about how she accidentally ran over her own son while backing up her car. The worst thing is that they showed them on Boomerang and Discovery Kids before it was defunct.
  • Death Zones, Gene Starbecker's graphic bus safety film from 1975 about kids getting run over by buses for not paying attention to what they're doing. The way they show it is pretty graphic and gave kids nightmares. One kid loses her card for her mother and goes back to get it, but gets hit by a bus. Another kid drops his books and goes under the bus to get them, but his head gets runs over instead. But the ending really takes the cake. One girl tries to get her book back from the boys who are teasing her. She manages to get it back, but then she slips under the bus and the bus runs over her stomach, while we see a close up of her face moaning in pain. Later on, she is taken to the hospital, but she's going to die before the day is out. This video has Adult Fear written all over it.
  • A Canadian anti-drunk driving PSA shows a group of teens being pulled over by a police officer. You think the teens are going to be arrested for underage drinking and driving under the influence but instead, as the police officer waits for the teens to roll down their window, he's struck from behind by another car. The ad ends with a horrible thump as he's hit and then silence as the camera focuses on the two cars and an empty road with one of the officer's shoes. Worst part of the ad, it's based on a true story.
  • A US PSA against texting and driving from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows an inside-the-car view of a teenage girl and her friends driving along. The girl gets a text and runs a stop sign while checking it. What follows is a slow-motion view of a semi truck hitting the car and the teenagers being whipped around in slow motion like crash test dummies. The scene then cuts to a view of the crash site with a police officer picking up the shattered phone and saying "If I had pulled her over for texting and driving and given her a ticket, it might have saved her life."
  • An old PSA from the late 80s to early 90s features a man with a group of friends driving at night when all of a sudden, he comes across some train tracks and the train itself can be heard in the distance. The man is reluctant to cross it since it's coming, yet his friends egg him on even as we can hear it approaching. Giving into peer pressure (including the last moment where we can hear his friends calling him a chicken and bawking as such), he crosses it, and the next thing we see is a bright light and silence. The man's eyes now appear in the rearview mirror looking at us, the audience, saying, "I should have waited", and we see that the train has smashed the car into an accordion.
  • One PIF encouraging the use of seatbelts featured the sound of a car crash being run through a vectorscope (with Sickening Crunches galore), as Ewan McGregor explains what you're hearing. You don't see the accident, you just hear it, and all you see are the ghostly waves of the vectorscope.
  • From the same campaign as the above example, the infamous UK PIF "Julie", which warned viewers about the importance of wearing a safety belt in the back seat, features a woman getting her skull crushed when she has to stop suddenly and her teenage son, who isn't wearing a seatbelt, collides with the back of her head. It's not as gory as some PIFs, but the dispassionate narration ("Like most victims, Julie knew her killer. [beat] It was her son.") and the daughter's screams at the end make it extremely unsettling, as does the way the narrator nonchalantly continues ("After crushing her skull, he sat back down.") as the son falls back over in a bloodied heap himself after accidentally killing her. The ad was later used by the THINK! campaign, whose Scare 'Em Straight antics are detailed in the folder above; this PIF also essentially replacing "Backwards" because it seems more meaningful.
  • This 1983 ad from the Ad Council has a group of excited teenagers leaving a bar and getting into a car, while the tune of Michael Jackson's Beat It plays. Their designated driver hops into the driver's seat with two bottles of beer, which he then hands to his friend in the passenger's seat. As the driver's friend questions him on if he is in a state to drive, the driver then reassures him with "What's a few beers?" As the driver proceeds to start the car, an ominous-sounding announcer then warns, "If you don't stop your friend from drinking and driving... you're as good as dead!" The driver gets the ignition started... only for the PSA to emit a bright flash and jarringly cut to the teenagers as skeletons, accompanied by the music abruptly stopping in favor of a Scare Chord. The PSA then ends with the words (which the announcer reads) "DRINKING AND DRIVING CAN KILL A FRIENDSHIP" fading in on a black background, with a human hand giving a firm handshake to a skeleton hand underneath the text.

    A similar PSA, also using "Beat It" as the music score, was created for radio, with the passengers begging their driver — who is clearly intoxicated — to pull over and let someone else drive. The driver, who barely avoids one collision with an oncoming car (cue the horn honk) insists that he's fine and, wanting to go to another party when the others want to go home, proclaims that he is invincible. "Invincible" is the last word he ever says... as the car crashes immediately afterward and everyone is (presumably) killed. The voice-over announcer finishes with the "drinking and driving can kill a friendship" line.
  • John Krish's infamous The Finishing Line, from 1977, a 21 minute long British Transport Films commission about a child daydreaming about their school's sports day being held on a railway track. It's quite graphic, to say the least, especially the aftermath of "the great tunnel walk" scene.
  • After The Finishing Line provoked a massive outcry due to its graphic content, it was withdrawn and replaced by a much tamer film called Robbie. But then, in 1992, it was back to business as usual with Killing Time, a film guaranteed to traumatise those viewers who weren't already traumatised by The Finishing Line itself. The first half is a staged dramatization of a teenager being killed while trespassing into a rail yard and trying to cross the line, while the second half consists of interviews with both police and the mother of a boy killed in a rail trespass death. Sandwiched between the two halves are gruesome photos of real life accident victims, including a young child (thankfully pixelated in the upload).
  • A PSA by the Federal Railroad Administration about the danger of railroad crossings started with a railroad crossing crossbuck sign on a black background as creepy music plays in the background. An off-screen voice says, "A lot of drivers ignore this warning." Then the crossbuck sign fades into a skull and crossbones as the voice continues, "Almost every 90 minutes, one of them is hit by a train." After that, the skull and crossbones fades back into the railroad crossing sign as "ALWAYS EXPECT A TRAIN" appears on the bottom and the music fades with scary synthesized sounds.
  • The FRA made another ad titled "Stop. Trains Can't." It shows a train coming up to a level crossing as the traffic gates come down. Inside the train, the engineer suddenly pulls a lever to apply the brakes, and sparks spray from the wheels. A narrator says, "If you think trains will stop if they see a car on the tracks, you're right. They will. About a mile after they hit you." The video then shows a car being pushed across the tracks and crushed by the front of the train.
  • This train crossing safety PSA from the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York.
  • The UK's Network Rail are known for making some particularly disturbing PIFs:
    • "See Track, Think Train" shows a family biking in the country, when a boy starts an innocent-sounding game of "I spy", challenging the others to guess the word he's thinking of that starts with the letter "T". Tractor, tree, train, tire, and teddy are incorrectly guessed, and then a Mood Whiplash comes as a girl guesses "Wait, is it... track?" as she walks with her bike onto a train track, and then a Smash to Black as a train is heard whooshing by.
    • Another corporate campaign, reflecting on why using a mobile phone at work can be a very bad idea (specifically, while working near the rails). This one's called Hit or Miss.
    • Network rail have also done adverts urging people to use level crossings properly, with the tagline, "Don't run the risk." The print ads show accident sites with smashed cars and labels showing where the passengers were found. It's not clear whether the labels refer to the dismembered bits of the passengers or the individual passengers themselves...
  • This 1997 PSA from Argentina features a young girl and her baby sister telling their dad his errors while driving, while the dad ignores them. After telling him that they passed a red light, the girls scream and the baby cries after we have a shot of the father, who turns out to be a terrifying monster, complete with growling noises. The No Budget feel and Special Effects Failure of the thing do not help at all.
  • A French PSA telling the dangers of drinking and driving starts off tame and only goes downhill from there.
  • A recent anti-drunk driving commercial by our old friends at the DOT shows a man in a club going to the bathroom, drunk, and putting his keys on the sink. Cue his reflection in the bathroom mirror starting to speak to him, trying to get him to pick his keys up and drive home because he's fine, he can handle it. The guy is sensibly smart enough to say no, and the reflection eventually snaps and screams "JUST GET IN THE CAR!" The fact that your own "I can handle a few drinks" mentality could be taken as your head deliberately trying to kill you is a rather chilling prospect to think about.
  • There's a billboard in New Zealand that reminds motorists to drive according to weather conditions. It features the image of a young boy that actually "bleeds" whenever it rains outside.
  • A disturbing collection of print ads from the Arrive Alive campaign show the creepy flashlight faces of drivers staring right at you, along with Paranoia Fuel-inducing texts like "I'll wait for you on the top of ur road". The message was to convey that you become "a killer" when you text and drive. The first one is especially creepy, given the male driver's Axe-Crazy expression.
  • This PSA from the city of Santa Clarita on texting and driving. The acting is a little cheesy, but the ending is beyond the usual level of dark for a modern-day PSA. A little girl getting hit by a car? Dark, yes, but if it's simply implied nothing new. Try blood splattering on the windshield as the driver moans "Oh my god..." realizing what she just caused. This aired on Cartoon Network, by the way.
  • There was one billboard (located somewhere in Wisconsin on the highway) that simply had the image of a shattered dashboard, with the accompanying text reading something along the lines of "The last thing Emily saw." That's it.
  • A French Public Information Film has a man talking to a friend of his, who was in a drunk driving accident and now lies in a coma with severe injuries, including lacerations to his face, one leg that has been amputated, and the other that is badly injured and in danger of amputation. As he is talking to him and telling him not to drive drunk, the man's injuries slowly heal and then it is revealed that the injured man is now unharmed and sitting in the friend's home, having been convinced to sleep off his drunken state, saving him from any potential danger.
  • The Government of Ontario released a PSA titled #Put Down The Phone, showing a man driving along when his phone goes off. He picks it up, and CRASH. Smash Cut to the man at the hospital in a neck brace and wheelchair, to assure the audience that yes, it happens that quickly. There's also a 60 second version, which confirms that the man is left almost entirely vegetative by the crash. While not necessarily creepy, it gets a lot of shock factor from how quickly it unfolds.
  • This PSA from the Brain Injury Association has a child on a bike going up to another kid on a bike and insulting him because he has a helmet. In the middle of bullying him, the kid runs into a board of wood, and it's implied that he now has a head injury.
  • In Australia, Towards Zero, in order to prove how we are all fragile in car crashes, made Graham, the only human designed to survive a car crash. Uncanny Valley is in full effect here.
  • The British Transport Police put out a short video featuring real CCTV footage of people doing stupid things on railway lines, including a few near-misses as a train comes by. The final clip shows a person actually getting knocked down by the oncoming train, and in full view of the camera too. Though it isn't stated in the video, he ended up paralyzed.
  • A 2014 spot for the Louisiana Highway Safety Commission intertwines footage of a pickup truck rolling over a field and crashing with audio of a wedding oath. Emphasis is put on "Till death us do part". The effect is nothing short on chilling.
  • One haunting public service announcement from the early 1980s begins inside of a junkyard full of wrecked cars and a male announcer reading off the names of various people and where they're from. He then says that "though they're not victims yet, one out of every two Westchester County residents will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in his or her lifetime" and before going back to reading off the names, asks "Will today be the day?" as the commercial ends from the inside of a crashed car with a smashed-in windshield. Adding onto the nature of the ad is its ominous soundtrack.
  • Western Australia released several radio ads advocating against fatigued driving by having a narrator tell the audience a whimsical bedtime story involving people getting killed or seriously injured because they were driving tired. The worst of which was the story of "Sleepy Simon", who didn't get enough sleep because of his crying baby. So he and his family got into a car accident when he was driving them tired and fell asleep on the wheel. The narrator then happily tells you that now, since his baby died in the accident, the only thing that keeps Sleepy Simon up at night nowadays are his own nightmares.
  • This horrifying 1960s print ad by Mobil, starring Dancer Killer Joe Piro, was produced to advocate against driving with tension. Talk about Nightmare Face. Don't click the link unless you're not planning on sleeping tonight.
  • This example is unique, as it is a PSA disguised as a Game that plays in theaters during the pre-movie advertisements. The premise is that it follows a man on his last day of school and viewers are invited to vote with their cellphones on decisions he has to make throughout the day using the TimePlay app (which include picking what socks he should wear, what prank he should pull at school, what music he should listen to on the way to class, etc.). The final decision he makes is whether he should spend the day with his regular friends or his girlfriend. Whichever you choose, he pulls out his phone while driving in his car to make a text, and while he's texting, the sound of tires screeching is heard while another car is coming out of the intersection in front of him in the background, and the screen cuts to black as he crashes into the other car, presumably to his death, because he wasn't paying attention to the road. The ad then asks you to press "I Pledge" on your phone and promise to never text and drive and shows a list of people in the room who pledged. The fact that the PSA starts so lighthearted only to take a turn for the worst in the end only makes it more jarring.
  • And then there's this infamous horror from Poland, which warns the viewer about insufficient buses carrying children. It follows a beat-up red bus as it is constantly abused. Nobody wants to ride on it, and it doesn't even have a nice place to sleep. Finally, the bus drives off to a junkyard to end it all, placing itself onto a crusher's conveyor belt ala The Brave Little Toaster. Right before it can do the deed, a butterfly shows up, turns the machine off, and cheers up the bus immensely. Happy ending, right? After this heartwarmer, a previously unseen woman turns the machine back on, and the frightened bus is sent to its doom. We actually get to see it get crushed. "Have no mercy" indeed.
  • The same campaign as above also made this, simply named KOSMOS. And it manages to be even worse.
  • This horrifying public information film shows the dangers of drink driving involving children and in the tune of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" sung by children. For each different number, the child featured has suffered a horrible medical fate, but perhaps the most harrowing fates go to the "Five golden rings" part, which has been replaced by a haunting echo of "Fooood through a tuuuube" and "And a Partridge in a pear tree" which now has the melancholic lyric of "And a lifetime in a wheelchaaairrr..."
  • This 2001 one, from Portugal's Prevenção Rodoviária Portuguesanote  keeps the Nightmare Fuel tame, but the message delivery pulls no punches all the same. The video shows a simple premise: a man, named Hélder, buttons his shirt. Sounds fairly harmless, right? Well, the video literally starts with white text explaining that he had a car accident caused by speeding in 1989.... and then the video cuts to him taking literally nearly 2 minutes to button his shirt, as his physical capacity and mobility had been damaged by the crash, all to the sound of Aimee Mann's "Wise Up", the haunting ballad that's best remembered from Magnolia. When he finally buttons it, the line "quanto mais depressa, mais devagar" - which is the Portuguese translation of the saying "more haste, less speed" - appears, followed by a fade to black to the PRP and Direção-Geral de Viaçãonote  logos appear, and a voice-over that tells it straight: "Next time you drive fast... remember Hélder." A shorter version of the ad was made, in English.

    A less popular variant was also created. It features a man, named Henrique, who had a motorbike accident in 1988, caused by a failed attempt at a dangerous manoeuvre, that seems to have paralyzed him from the waist downwards. After the white text that explains that, the video fades in and it's him, sat down in his bed, trying to unlace his shoes, also to the sound of "Wise Up" by Aimee Mann and ending with the Wham Line of "more haste, less speed". This version, while not as iconic as the Hélder one, is perhaps even more terrifying, as the fact that it took this poor man two minutes to unlace his damn shoes while sat in his bed... goes without saying, it will indeed make you think twice before you try to rush past the legal limits even for a split second.
  • In 2012, popular make-up blogger NikkieTutorials made a video called "A crash course to shine". Viewers didn't notice that this was a Volkswagen anti-makeup while driving PSA until it was too late. Watch it here.
  • Since the late 1980s, South Carolina has been promoting driver's safety with a series of PSAs called "Highways or Dieways: The Choice Is Yours." They're all filmed in intentionally grainy, jerky, cheap-documentary style, showing how in just sixty seconds of bad driving your life can change forever, and again in the sixty minutes after that. One of the most effective subsets features parents grieving over their dead children in the back of an ambulance.
  • This seatbelt PSA from Argentina has eggs getting into a simulated car accident. The worst part is you see them lying in a pool of their own yolks.
  • The National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration recently put out this ad about what happens when you don't wear your seatbelt, with chilling background music and victims of car accidents presumed to be unconscious (or dead) becoming conscious to tell you why they weren't wearing their seat belts. The end of the PSA has a man who receives a ticket from an officer for not wearing his seatbelt, citing that sometimes he "just forgets" while buckling himself in. If you watch this late at night, kiss your sleep goodbye.
  • The Nightmare Fuel for this LTSA ad is more subtle than most. It has three different people celebrating Christmas, only to receive a phone call that their loved ones have been killed in car accidents and their horrified reactions to the news. Perhaps the worst reaction is that of the old man, whose response is to grab his chest and collapse. This is all heartbreakingly set to "I'll Be Home For Christmas".
  • This five-minute French public information film features three seemingly unconnected people: a woman having the police come to her door in the middle of the night, two teenagers waiting up for their friends, and the scene of a horrific car crash. It turns out, the woman is the mother of the victim in the crash and the two friends were just at a house party where the victim drank liberally before he and his other friends drove home. From the mother's reaction to the very graphic end result of the crash where the man and his friend both died (he was ejected from the car and his buddy painfully convulsed before succumbing to his injuries), no amount of horror is spared. Even the backseat passengers clearly did not walk away unscathed, as the one girl understandably freaks out over a tooth projecting from her skin and both of them had to watch their friend die before their eyes.
  • This British PSA shows what could happen if you text and drive. Not only do you see a graphic depiction of a car wreck and the horrifically mutilated faces of the teenagers, but it's also shown that the person who texted caused the death of both of her friends, two parents, and (possibly) a baby, and is presumably forced to live with the emotional pain and guilt for the rest of her life.
  • One Spanish PSA against driving under the influence of drugs, inspired by the 1972 film La Cabina, features a man driving his car after using cocaine, until a sun glare suddenly transports him to an empty street, where he can't start nor exit the car. Eventually a tow truck picks him up and carries him across town, until he finally arrives at a junkyard, where he sees various other people trapped in their cars. He notices his right shoe is missing right before a jumpcut to the shoe laying on the road after an accident. The narrator tells the audience that 1 in 10 drivers drive under the influence of drugs as we cut back to the junkyard, where it's revealed that the man's car is actually wrecked alongside other wrecked cars.
  • The Danish Road Safety Council put out a pair of ads showing the gruesome impacts of car crashes... in reverse. All the while, we hear the drivers' regrets that they failed to pay attention and wish they could turn back the clock to before their collisions. The fact that both spots use Alison Krauss & Union Station's "The Lucky One" does not help at all.
  • This scary 1997 PIF from the National Safety Council in Ireland shows a plastic bag in an eerily lit room. As we zoom out from the bag, we hear a judge in the background talking about how a boy got ran over and died. The announcer then says in a dark tone that it is always too late to say sorry. The synth drone doesn't help at all. At the end of it, the light suddenly turns off and the synth drone comes to an abrupt stop, which is genuinely creepy.
    • A full version exists, which was made in 1996. It shows someone putting the boy's toys and hat and his game boy and many other things into a plastic bag while we also see some people in a bar drinking. However, we hear a car crash with a woman screaming over the footage of the camera zooming out from the bag. The music is Lou Reed - Perfect Day.
  • There was a series of PSAs that ran in Spain in the mid nineties called “Pictures”, showing pictures of different people, with a voiceover saying that the person shown had just lost their father/husband/wife/son/etc. in a traffic accident. The pictures would then fade to black with text stating that the person shown has been affected with terrible things as a result. (One version of the ad states that a boy had to go through an entire year of trauma counselling, another has a man getting prescribed tranquilizers to help cope, another had a woman attempt suicide a month after the accident.) After the 4th picture/person, it would show a horrifying crash involving the 4th person in black and white. One of them involves a man crashing into another car, being thrown through the windshield and then landing onto the car roof, with blood running through his arm and showing his bloodied face, another showing a man who fell asleep behind the wheel flipping over his car, rolling over many times, and then a semi truck crashing into his car, another depicting a woman crashing into a huge rock, with her car being completely engulfed in flame, and another shows a boy being hit by a truck, being replayed a few times, then the wheels of the truck crushing the little boy. After these horrific scenes, it shows the picture of the 4th person, revealed to be part of a photograph containing all the people shown. It ended with the text “Think about it. Recklessness is not only paid by you."

Workplace Safety

There are a lot of dangerous jobs out there, but someone's gotta do them. Better make sure that someone knows how to stay safe...
    Workplace Safety 
  • In 2006 and 2007, the Workplace Insurance Safety Board (WSIB) of Ontario, Canada, produced a series of PSAs detailing the consequences of neglecting safety in the workplace. The spots took on two formats, one with the worker being killed at the beginning, before "suddenly regaining consciousness" and describing what safety rules were violated and other factors that led to the deadly incident; and the doomed worker, after detailing what he/she is looking forward to, explaining that he is about to be killed (or badly injured) and why.
    • The most famous of the commercials, which scared The Nostalgia Critic in his "Conquest of the Commercials" video, did not involve a death (or an immediate one, anyway); it featured a young sous chef at an upscale restaurant, talking about her plans to become head chef and her upcoming wedding, before explaining that — because of a grease puddle that had not been cleaned up earlier — she is going to have a "terrible accident", after which she grabs a vat of boiling water, slips, and takes the full brunt of the boiling liquid; she lets out a blood-curling and painful scream that makes horror films look tame, and as a co-worker yells for help, there's a split-second shot of her skin boiling (as pictured in the main page), and then the picture cuts to black as her co-worker continues to call for help. The worst part? These commercials air during not only primetime hours, but during shows aimed at children. This PSA got worse when a video surfaced of a McDonald's worker slipping and falling into a bucket of hot oil.
    • Here is the link to all five Prevent-It Ads. The chef one is first, but the most disturbing are when the accident victims sit up and describe their mishaps while dying. Without pain. The creepy, otherworldly music/ambient noise that plays when they get up certainly doesn't make things better. Probably the second most notable one (behind the chef ad) is the one where the corpse at a funeral gets up and explains why his face and hands are covered in burn marks (something to do with high-voltage power lines)note .
    • Other ads in the original set of commercials included a young, attractive, college-age woman attempting to hang a "sale" banner at an upscale department store, unspotted and reaching precariously from a tall, rickety, ladder to hook it... only to fall into a coffee table below (and suffer presumably fatal head and neck injuries); a forklift driver who crashes into a shelf, which promptly gives way, and the steel beams stored on it crush him (one beam even impales his chest, severing his heart and lungs); and a middle-age construction worker who — while describing his plans for an extended family vacation — is blown off a building under construction after his torch gets too close to gas tanks (which hadn't been inspected in several years), and after crashing onto the roof of a passing truck is bounced onto the cement below. Another ad ended with someone narrowly escaping severe injury - the sleeve of a machine shop worker's uniform becomes tangled on a knob, and as the man is panicking as a power saw slowly approaches, sure that the safety switch hasn't been repaired... power is cut, the saw literally almost touching his skin; the safety switch had been repaired that morning.
  • A second series of commercials was issued in 2008-2009, and featured an exhausted trucker being involved in a head-on fiery collision (to deliver a load by deadline), window washers (after the outrigger beams were neither secured nor checked), and a construction worker who is severely burned after his piledriver hits a gas line (his boss had failed to give him the blueprints detailing where the utilities were located).
  • Another WSIB PSA is tamer in comparison, with a construction manager talking about how he makes sure everything and everyone is safe. Midway into his speech, however, a pack of zombies suddenly attack him and his crew, gory details and all.
    Narrator: Workplace injuries and deaths are preventable. If there is a random zombie attack, run like a motherf**ker.
  • A series of Australian workplace safety ads featured, among other things, a chef pouring boiling water on himself (but is less graphic compared to the above PSA) note , a teenager in a bakery having a finger cut off in a bread slicing machine, a woman falling off a ladder and breaking her neck, and a builder's apprentice shooting himself in the eye with a nail gun (or maybe it was a splinter hitting him in the eye).
  • This PSA from ISS Facility Services' UK division is basically a 69-second ripoff of the Canadian sous chef PSA.
  • There is a workplace safety video called "Will You Be Here Tomorrow?" that skips the "what is workplace safety?" and goes straight into a montage of people being maimed, dismembered, and killed in excruciating and extremely graphic ways, including a man being hurt by a nail after it jumps into the air and forces itself into his eye just because he hit it wrong. For some viewers, though, the sheer overwrought nature of the video is enough to push it into Narm territory instead. There is a similar video from the same people called "Think About This". Severed body parts and crush victims galore. The music doesn't help, either.
  • This Canadian PSA depicting a man getting his shirt caught into a conveyor belt and having his arm squished into oblivion like a steamroller. There's no blood in this one, and it even lampshades it by ending with the tagline "Seen enough? Us too.", but the image of the man's finger bending back will surely make your toes curl.
  • Also from the CSST, here is a pair of ads regarding workplace safety. The first isn't bad at all, and is actually quite effective without being violent; a worker attempts to start a machine, but finds that it's been locked out. He goes to check why and finds his supervisor monitoring a maintenance man, who is inside the machine and repairing it. However, the second - in which the padlock isn't installed - shows exactly what would have happened if the machine were turned on.
  • Similar to the "There are no accidents" Canadian PSAs, the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia released a series of PSAs back then where a narrator happily tells the "story" of objects in the workplace that are about to cause a horrible accident. A memorable one compares a shoddy repair job of some high-pressure pipes to a disgruntled employee who quits "right when you need him the most." This happens to be when a generic woman representing the viewer walks by with the "repair" (some white electrical tape) at eye level. It cuts to black; rushing water and the woman screaming for help is heard, with the implication being that it blasted her eyes out. Another one has the story of a loose nail on a wooden pallet and ends with a man getting his head stabbed with it while his co-workers panic.
  • WorkSafe Victoria made several print ads showing the aftermath of grisly workplace accidents, showing people with stitches, amputated limbs and burns with slogans like "I thought I could wing it", "I was new and afraid to ask", and "I thought I'd look stupid if I asked again".
  • The Construction Safety Association of Ontario, also responsible for the asbestos PSA mentioned on the health page, commissioned an entire series of fucked-up PSAs in the 1980s in an effort to teach future construction workers about the dangers present at building sites. The worst of the lot involves a man getting a piece of metal shrapnel lodged in his eye because he didn't use proper protection, accompanied by an ear-piercing synthesized scream. There's no gore, but the horrible noise combined with the camera work still make it a pretty wince-inducing affair. Other "highlights" of the series include two crane operators getting electrocuted as a result of unloading next to some power lines, a worker being run over by a reversing dump truck, another worker being buried alive in a trench collapse, and two montages of people being killed or injured in various accidents. The creepy Goblin-esque synthesizer music really doesn't help.
  • In 2008, there was a workplace safety campaign in Alberta called "Bloody Lucky", which featured PSAs that depicted incredibly gruesome workplace incidents (arguably more gruesome than the above examples). The scenarios in the PSAs included a woman accidentally getting doused in toxic chemicals, a shoe store worker falling off a ladder and suffering a massive head injury, a chef accidentally cutting his finger, a deli worker getting his finger severed while preparing pepperoni, a construction worker getting his ankle crushed by a forklift, and finally a kitchen worker getting a huge blast of boiling grease after accidentally knocking an aerosol can into the fryer.

Crime Prevention

Sometimes people need to be reminded that they too can play a part in stopping crime... and that the unthinkable may happen if they don't.
    Crime Prevention 
  • This anti-car crime ad from the UK shouldn't be as effective as it is, but the tone of the narrator and the horrible yelps of the hyenas — combined with the Adult Fear and violation of having one's car broken into — work to make it very, very unsettling. Two other PI Fs, which are shorter, are arguably more terrifying.
  • A sinister 1980 PIF about house crime shows a couple of shots of burglars breaking into one's house. The narrator's tone alone is extremely scary, especially near the end.
    Narrator: Crime: Keep it out. Keep it shut!
  • There was a London-only PIF showing a cheery, smiling mother making breakfast for her vast family of children and then pulling out a gun and shooting one of them in the head, with blood all over the table and splattering over the other kids. Then a voiceover says that keeping quiet about gun crime is as bad as shooting the victim yourself. It was originally given a 15, but to stop it from being banned completely, the PIF could only be shown in cinemas for 18-certificate films.
  • An ad for the prevention of identity theft depicts a man having his pocket picked while walking down the street, another man being mugged, and a woman just not paying attention in a restaurant as another woman watches, and in all three scenarios, the victim's smartphone is stolen. What makes the commercial nightmare worth is that the people committing the crimes have no faces. Their noses, mouth, and eyes are obscured... and then when the woman at the end takes the other woman's phone and walks away with it, her features morph into those of the woman whose phone she just stole.
  • It counts as Narm, but this anti-piracy warning from the Federation Against Copyright Theft can be downright terrifying, especially for children (and this was featured in most PG-rated and some U-rated VH Ses from 2002-2005). The dark atmosphere, loud explosions, close-ups of this demonic blacksmith (at one point his eyes blaze fire), gloomy music, and the haunting voiceover, detailing what happens with the profits of pirated videos (including the infamous "Piracy funds terrorism") and pulling in much Paranoia Fuel ("The pirates are out to get you"), all contribute to a highly unsettling viewing. And woe betide you if you ever saw it in a cinema, where the loudness (and therefore the scariness) only increased.
  • The anti-piracy ads in Japan are well known for their humor, but one obscure PSA has a girl crying black tears. And if that wasn't bad enough, her tears fall to a puddle, which makes the tear turn into a picture of a skeleton. The music makes it all worse. If you see that, you're kissing your sleep goodbye.
  • This Canadian PSA instructing viewers to use their eyes to record certain details in the event of a robbery sounds harmless on paper, but in practice it's terrifying thanks to the camerawork, ominous lighting, and creepy droning background music.
  • This PIF begins with a terrifying image of a young man's body on a slab as the coroners remark that he died of gun violence, but it only gets worse from there. Although it's off-screen, we can still hear the saw cutting the man's body open as they begin to perform the autopsy, and as this happens, not only do we see his body shake from the vibrations, but also the sight of blood beginning to trickle upwards on the table and pool underneath his corpse.
  • This Colombian PSA meant to discourage consumers from buying stolen cell phones begins with people smiling as they are talking and taking pictures with their cell phones. Moments later, everyone's devices start to ooze blood, which then spills onto their hands. A message crawls across the screen stating "Buying a stolen phone is like carrying a dead person. Don't do it." in Spanish.
  • This other one starts with a woman sleeping when her cellphone starts ringing at 3:00 A.M. When she answers, no one responds, so she hangs up. A second later it starts ringing again, this time with an unintelligible voice behind it. The woman then disarms the cellphone... it rings a third time anyway, her dog starts barking, and when she tries answering, the door behind her slowly opens, a wind suddenly charges at her, and she drops the cellphone to the floor, screaming in panic.
  • Several Crime PI Fs with the slogan "CRIME - Together We'll Crack It".
    • One unsettling PIF showed a burglar with the camera focusing on his feet as he walks down a deserted street at night and approaches the end of the street. The camera sometimes focusing on just his eyes as he makes his decision, the burglar is halted when some of the lights turn on inside one of the houses. The two other houses turn on afterwards, causing the burglar to turn around and leave as the house were actually empty and the lights were left on to keep burglars out.
    • Another spooky PIF showed a now-burgled car with windows smashed, wheels removed, and the radio ripped out. It plays out as an eye-catching advertisement, with the narrator explaining the features of the car in a persuasive tone before another narrator butts in with the serious message "Don't treat car security as an optional extra!" as the full shot of the car is revealed.
  • Michigan State Police's "Look Again" uses a similar gimmick as the Sandy Hook Promise PSA. It opens with what appears to be a service industry ad, with a voiceover explaining how workers improve the safety and quality of life for their customers. All well and good, until the voiceover mentions that they work hard every day, "because you don't want to miss a thing... like you just did." Cue the footage being shown again, this time with attention drawn towards easily missed signs of human trafficking. There's a girl being shoved inside a van, a window with closed curtains and bars, a boy being made to wash shop windows, a padlocked door with a clipboard listing 30-minute appointments hanging nearby (implying that whoever is inside is being used for sex work), and a man violently pulling a girl away from the window. The PSA encourages service industry workers who spend their day inside others' homes and businesses to help stop human traffickers.


    Other Safety 
  • While they don't seem nearly as extreme as some of these examples, New Zealand ACC ads are incredibly scary indeed. They start off as ads for other products - house paint, muesli bars etc. - and then accelerate rapidly into horrible domestic accidents.
    • In the house paint ad, a man falls off a ladder and onto the concrete below, breaking his back.
    • Another (in the guise of a shower advert) has a man slipping on his wet bathroom floor and smacking his head on the base of the shower.
    • This one, which plays out as a home loans advert, involves a man falling down a flight of stairs in his home.
    • Possibly the most horrifying of them all is the muesli bar advert; the woman advertising them trips on a Tonka truck and lands, face first, on a glass table. It ends with a lingering long-shot of her trying to get up out of the table and whimpering softly in agony.
  • This PIF about the dangers of carbon monoxide leaking into your home. It shows a young woman coming to her house, turning the heating vent on, and eventually going to bed... and dying the next morning. Will almost certainly press your Paranoia Fuel buttons, and incidentally it was made after two students were killed from carbon monoxide poisoning for an extra bit of nightmare fuel. Another version was made which cuts out the first part, and only shows the dead woman in bed.
  • A British PIF shown in cinemas which advises against buying drugs from the internet shows a man taking a pill from an envelope and swallowing it. He looks confused for a moment and pulls from his mouth a whole dead rat, then coughs and retches into his sink. A close-up of the rat on the floor is then shown while the narrator talks about rat poison being used as ingredients in non-prescription drugs. View here.
  • Sortie en Mer, an interactive French-British website by Guy Cotten on wearing life jackets when going out to sea, is more widely known as a "Drowning Simulator" for good reason. It features a live-action video first-person view of a man who is in the middle of the sea on a sailboat with his friend. Innocent enough, until your person falls into the water (who, of course, doesn't have a life jacket). In what turns into a scarily realistic drowning simulation game, you then have to start using the mouse to scroll upwards in order to keep your person afloat as he waits for his buddy to turn the boat around and rescue him... but sadly, the friend can't/doesn't turn the boat around and/or is unable to see your player (due to your player being carried away by the current of the water as soon as he falls in), and your player eventually gets exhausted from trying to stay afloat and drowns. The fact that the site afterwards reveals that a person without a life-jacket can keep afloat for 79 minutes before succumbing to fatigue and subsequent drowning just makes it even worse. And there's a moment in which your character tears off his fingernail, plate and all. To say nothing of the hallucinations you begin to experience as you approach the auto-fail time (typically between 5 and 6 minutes) and hypothermia and exhaustion begin to take their toll on your person's sanity—they change depending on how long you last, and if you make it far enough that the game auto-fails you instead of you simply failing to keep up with the increasing pace, the last thing your person sees before perishing is his friend from the boat waving at him with a creepy smile, in black and white. Notably, it terrified Markiplier and Jacksepticeye.
  • The RNLI has a 15-certificate advert shown in cinemas. It's shown from the perspective of a man in a harbour trying to stay afloat, the audience is asked to hold their breath every time he goes under the water. After a minute or so of seeing him struggle we are told that you'd be okay holding your breath like that on land, because the average person can hold their breath for 45 seconds, but in the water you'd stand less of a chance because of shock from the cold. It ends with a murky shot of the drowned protagonist as he sinks towards the bottom.
  • In 2016 the RNLI did a series of 15-rated adverts about being responsible around rivers and the sea which where also shown in British cinemas. These adverts are in a first-person point of view of someone struggling to stay afloat in a river while their friends or loved ones struggle to save them, only for the person to sink down to their watery demise.
  • Any and all of the Protect and Survive Public Information Films detailing what to do in the event of a nuclear war. Picture being a child in the 1980s in the UK. Sitting happily, watching The Smurfs on TV, then the commercial break. One of these plays. Your parents, who have been acting oddly already today, break down completely. Your mother starts to cry. Your father's face is white, and he's shaking. Every single member of your family, everyone you could possibly talk to, is terrified. And none of them dares tell you why. That's what those films would have done if they ever aired for real. Thankfully none of these had to be used, or have ever had to be seen, but some have made up mock nuclear attack adverts that are chillingly realistic and would have been nightmarish during the Cold War or for anyone concerned about nuclear proliferation. Such as this Australian version.
  • This ad from Disaster Action shows us the inside of a dark warehouse via a night vision camera. The camera wanders over dozens of dead bodies wrapped in newspaper, with each set of bodies representing a different disaster and covered in the respective papers, such as the King's Cross fire, Piper Alpha, the Lockerbie bombing, Herald of Free Enterprise, Clapham Junction, Marchioness, and Hillsborough. Finally, the camera zooms in on a body covered in blank paper, with the message that "it's time to put safety first before the next disaster", delivered in a horribly chilling voice. Anyone with a fear of the dark probably shouldn't watch, especially with that godawfully creepy music and the faint ambulance sirens.
  • In 2012, British Red Cross began running a horrendously creepy advert to drive home the message that a crisis can happen to anyone. It features a hooded teenage girl and her dog walking around a city at night as she delivers Adult Fear-heavy narration, all set to horribly unsettling background music.
    Girl: I am the fire that leaves you homeless. A heart attack in aisle six. The prescription you cannot collect. I am the boiled sweet stuck in your child's throat. The motorway pileup that leaves you traumatised. The food shopping you cannot do. I am the reason you need a wheelchair. The flood that leaves you stranded. The empty house when you return from hospital. I am a crisis. And I don't care who you are.
  • Belgium launched a campaign aimed at 10-to-14-year-olds about the new safety symbols, called "Red de Emoji" (save the emoji). There was a game where you could win prizes if you could save the emojis by placing the right safety symbol on the item and preventing them from using it. The game was hard because the answer could literally be anything (even with a tip in the background). If you got the right symbol, the outcome was funny and nice; but if you could't make it in time, your emoji just died (not quite graphic, but not child-friendly).
    • "Poison": An emoji with headphones drinks the poison and burps a green ghost, then melts while dying.
    • "Corrosive": A female emoji uses the bottle as lipgloss and is burned. Only her skull remains.
    • "Explosive": An emoji is bored and hits a spray can with a hammer. The spray can explodes and remains in the emoji's eyes.
    • "Compressed gas": An emoji plays with gas, and after an explosion, he flies into space, then gets deformed.
    • "Flammable": An emoji is scared by some monsters in the dark. He lights a match, but the gas burner nearby burns him to ashes.
    • "Environmental hazard": An emoji is swimming in the ocean and uses a spray can. The spray can kills all the sea creatures and the emoji is eaten by a shark (complete with blood)!
    • "Health hazard": A hairy emoji, clearly drunk, drinks from a bottle, then becomes sick and bald before he dies.
    • "Harmful": An emoji washes his hands after eating a cake with some product. He gets burns, which he rubs into his face. His face also gets boils. After that, he dies.
    • "Oxidizing": A female emoji, whose house is on fire, uses the product near her. She makes it worse by setting herself on fire.

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