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Aug 3rd 2017 at 1:24:28 PM •••

Am I the only one who remembers a Real Life section for this trope? I remember it talking about why abandoned places are scary, how normally populated places (schools, malls, etc.) being unsettling when empty, and notable examples of abandoned places.

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Aug 3rd 2017 at 1:50:44 PM •••

There's no way we could have a Real Life section for this without it being 100% Troper Tales or general examples, both of which are not valid.

Jan 6th 2014 at 2:24:25 AM •••

With a few of the examples, I'm getting an effect where simply being told something is creepy makes it unnerving.

Aug 21st 2013 at 5:42:45 AM •••

Isn't the Grand Theft Auto IV one... um... not scary? The amount of buildings you can enter (and go to the rooftops with) is one of the things that makes it fun online since so much of the action is on the streets and knowing where open buildings are gives you an edge. For example, another why-does-this-exist enterable building near the North police station on Algonquin has a rooftop just next to the police helipad. It's not creepy, it's just clever world-building. That particular building mentioned is a copy-and-paste of another building that you briefly chase a guy through in GTAIV's story. A few staircases more and you have a ring of apartment buildings you can patrol the rooftops of for a 360 degree view!

Also, Mass Effect 3's one at the monastery - after one of the screeches, EDI will helpfully points out that, "That vocalization exceeds Asari vocal cord range," if you brought her along. Just so you know that there's probably some monstrous creature lurking around there somewhere. This is almost immediately followed by more mangled screeching. "As do those."

Jan 24th 2012 at 4:40:10 PM •••

I've got an example from the Inheritance Cycle that I might want to add. Remember the scene where Roran fools the Aroughs army by pretending he's got something up his sleeve when he really doesn't, and the anticipation of Roran's secret weapon scares off the army? Does that count? I know it's a good guy invoking it, but it still seems a lot like it. And Roran even says something about people fearing the unknown.

Edited by VanHohenheimOfXerxes
Nov 21st 2011 at 12:35:02 AM •••

Staring at the current picture, waiting for something to happen. My phone vibrates. WORST JUMP SCARE OF ALL TIME.

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Mar 18th 2014 at 6:03:53 AM •••

The trope image is bloody perfect. I get unnerved watching it every time.

Aug 27th 2011 at 3:53:41 PM •••

Could someone explain the painting examples? I'm just not getting it.

May 25th 2011 at 8:00:48 PM •••

Don't most of the video game examples in the first section actually belong in the second?

Apr 11th 2011 at 11:23:58 AM •••

Whoever made the text the same color as the background should rethink that. 'A' for effort, but it's just annoying and looks too cheesy. The 'nothing' that is 'scarier' here is the absence of expected horror, not the deletion of what is normally there.

Plus, it looks kinda ugly now.

Feb 19th 2011 at 11:43:32 AM •••

Is there anything hidden in the new pic-OH GOD THERE IT IS!

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Sep 5th 2011 at 2:00:57 PM •••

A cat's eye. If you highlight the black, you can see it. By the way, can someone post a pic the highlighted image here?

Aug 4th 2012 at 8:49:21 PM •••

I want to dde that, it won't work for me. This 'cat's eye' image, is it the one with the graffitied stormwater drain tunnel thingy, or a different one?

Aug 26th 2012 at 10:47:30 AM •••

A different one. They changed the pic long ago because a cat's eye isn't really "nothing".

Feb 18th 2011 at 10:37:12 AM •••

Didn't the caption use to say 'Behind you' if you select the text? As much as that Poe quote rocks, I kind of feel the hidden message worked better.

Feb 11th 2011 at 8:56:07 AM •••

Anyone think it might be a good idea to categorize the examples by type 1, type 2, and type 3?

Oct 31st 2010 at 6:38:46 AM •••

I'm thinking of an example from a movie but I can't remember the title; it was about a woman who was cursed by a witch doctor of sorts, and is so afraid of the curse that by the end, she's an emotional wreck (despite nothing overtly supernatural actually happening). Finally another character contacts the shaman and ask for forgiveness. The shaman then admits that there is no curse- the whole thing was a sort of Your Mind Makes It Real deal. Anyone?

Sep 16th 2010 at 1:24:33 AM •••

Since some people are calling for a picture change, I'm thinking about replacing it with this. Anyone who's familiar with the "What's Wrong With This Picture?" screamer a while back will recognize this, but assuming there are many more that haven't seen it, will it work?

Alternatively, I can post this,this, or this, all of which speak for themselves. Also, I found an empty image to use, which sends a different message but still relays the definition. For all examples, there will be no text in the caption. including super secret spoiler

Edited by DiscoGlacier Hide/Show Replies
Sep 16th 2010 at 5:00:31 PM •••

I also found another examples we can replace the cats' eye with:A dark door with (bloody?) handprints and a Fridge Horror-inducing light on the other side. All these examples are great, but I'm not sure which one to choose. I'm trying to decide which one will incite the most dread in its viewers.

At the very most, the current image is a subversion of this trope, while we're looking for a straight example.

Edited by DiscoGlacier
Sep 17th 2010 at 10:14:35 PM •••

I finally decided on this as the trope image. I'll be removing the cat's eye and list it as a subversion under "Web Original (Full Example)."

Sep 17th 2010 at 10:27:45 PM •••

Funnily enough I think I've seen that tunnel before.

Sep 25th 2010 at 6:39:13 AM •••

The picture for this trope always scares me much more than anything else. haha.

Dec 6th 2010 at 5:36:13 PM •••

Nope. They're all JPEGs. Not that I wasn't worried they were each animated before checking the images' specifications.

Jan 3rd 2011 at 9:06:44 AM •••

Just so you all know, on a forum this Troper visits, someone figured out a way to make a hosted image appear to be JPG while in fact being a GIF. D:

Jan 22nd 2011 at 1:27:55 PM •••

What IS wrong with that "what's wrong with this picture" thing? I'm just not getting it...

Feb 5th 2011 at 1:32:51 PM •••

Nothing. It's supposed to make you look closer at the picture before something pops up and gives you a heart attack.

Jan 6th 2014 at 2:23:29 AM •••

Those links are serving as severe examples of this trope.

Jul 22nd 2010 at 4:20:06 PM •••

Can we change the picture to something else? After realizing it's a cat eye, I keep thinking of it as a Cat Scare and it's no longer "nothing". Plus, a lot of people seem to be aware that it's definitely SOMETHING. Can we get something like... I'unno, an empty room? Or a giant invisible image that makes it look like a giant gap in the screen where the image would be?

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Jul 22nd 2010 at 4:24:13 PM •••

Can a caption be put on alone? If so, that could work! Something like, "...did you hear that?"

Sep 1st 2010 at 10:15:11 AM •••

I tried changing it, but someone changed it back with no reason. :(

Jul 19th 2010 at 2:53:30 PM •••

Eh, I like cats, so it didn't really scare me much.

Now the EXAMPLES...

May 28th 2010 at 5:42:04 PM •••

Ummm, if you drag the picture, don't you see SOMETHING?

May 28th 2010 at 5:42:03 PM •••

Ummm, if you drag the picture, don't you see SOMETHING?

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Jun 26th 2010 at 10:52:44 AM •••

Without even dragging the picture. Every time I see that square, I can see this big, feline looking eye...

Apr 20th 2010 at 8:26:22 AM •••

I don't get it...Nothing? As in nothing itself?

Jun 18th 2011 at 3:51:51 PM •••

Haha, when being used to the screamer .gif files, where suddenly a scary faces pops up (like this one ), that picture makes perfect sense. It is the exact essence of this trope in a nutshell. BRILLIANT!

Jun 18th 2011 at 3:53:13 PM •••

Double post, my bad

Edited by merzer
Mar 25th 2016 at 9:14:01 AM •••

Its a good example of the trope but I think it might be a bit of a dickmove to include it on the page itself (unless through link).

That said, do screamer .gifs count as a subverted "shitbrix"? Its a psychological mess of "nothing at all", "expecting it" and "there all along". We're used to the shitbrix images having something there to scare people so we actively search for what isn't there, then the image jumps out... I want to add it myself but I'm not sure how to word it properly.

Type the word in the image. This goes away if you get known.
If you can't read this one, hit reload for the page.
The next one might be easier to see.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: