The Loop (TV)
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For all the works that scare people that won't fit anywhere else.
- The Blue Snake, a French Canadian avante garde ballet. At the end of this scene, a creepy moaning giant puppet based on the giant from Jack and the Beanstalk appears. This is where the scene and the clip end. In the next scene, the giant eats people, then he gets his head smashed open and red-clad dancers jump out of the hole.
- Macbeth (aka The Scottish Play) by William Shakespeare. Jeez, where do we start? Bearded hags, apparitions of creepy, dancing children, potions brewed from dismembered animal and people parts, murder, madness and general mayhem. Fun for the whole family.
- Shakespeare had a bit of a talent for NF as Titus Andronicus proves.
- This page does not have a musical category yet, because most musicals aren't Pippin. They don't end with the main character nearly succumbing to the peer pressure to immolate himself, resulting in the narrator's screaming tantrum when he refuses. The narrator and most of the cast then proceed to peer over the stage, noting that there are many people in the audience must feel the same, and if they're ever so tempted, "we're right here in your heads," implying that the whole thing was the hallucination of a young man building towards suicide. Then they remove all the trappings of a musical comedy leaving the protagonist and the woman who helped him half-naked and vulnerable on a darkened stage. "How do you feel?" she asks him. "Trapped." THE END. Licensed versions try to make it a little cheerier, but it's still a musical "comedy" about how most young people have no role models or direction, and must learn to either accept their soul-crushing mediocrity or literally destroy themselves. Thanks so much, guys!
- The alternate ending is potentially even worse. After Pippin and Catherine decide to content themselves with their ordinary life (which was portrayed rather positively in the production I saw), her son Theo starts singing the chorus to "Corner of the Sky." The Lead Player and the chorus return to the stage and surround the boy, implying they'll start pushing him down that same suicidal path. Creepy.
- In A Contempory Theatre's seasonal production of A Christmas Carol, the Marley's Ghost sequence is epitome of this, with several jump scares, mirror scares, etc. leading up to his appearance, where he jumps out of Scrooge's bed. Not from under the bed, from inside it.
- The Woman in Black. The ending....
- Anything and everything by Sarah Kane. She wrote five plays in her short life (she committed suicide at the age of 28) - all including absolutely horrific happenings. Examples: a soldier sucking out and swallowing a man's eyes, a dead baby being eaten, a man's genitals being cut off and barbecued, several instances of brutal rape (one concerning a man being sodomized with a metal pole), and people being eaten alive by rats. Her last play, 4:48 Psychosis, is a disjointed nightmare even just to read on the page, with no stage direction or indication of character at all. It gets worse when you read about her life and realise that the play is basically her suicide note.
- In Julius Caesar, the scene where Cinna the Poet is killed. An innocent man is literally torn to pieces simply because he shares a name with an assassin. This is something that could happen to anyone.
- Three words: "Cannot Load OS".
- Norton Antivirus 95 used to have a particularly horrifying failure mode if it detected a virus in memory. Your Windows shell would quit with no warning, you'd get a page or so of DOS and then the screen would go black and display a giant mechanical spider in the middle. After a few moments of staring at that nightmare, the screen would change over to the same spider in a cage, with the legend "Norton Antivirus has detected a virus and has shut your computer down to prevent further damage" or words to that effect.
- Blue Screens of Death. Particularly the unfortunate experience of seeing a BSOD that simply read, "Windows protection error. You need to restart your computer. System halted." No "Press any key to terminate the program, press CTRL+ ALT+ DEL to restart" stuff, just two lines telling you that your system has come to a complete stop.
- The version of the BSOD used in versions of Windows based on Windows NT (this includes 2000, XP, Vista, 7, and all server versions) is worse for two reasons: the fact that those versions' improved stability means it appears far less often than in Windows 9x/Me (whose BSOD could possibly just be merely annoying to people who have used those versions enough to see it often), generally only appearing during more severe errors, and the fact that it includes far more text, with said text containing information related to memory dumps and error messages that's bound to look bizarre to someone who doesn't know what to do with it.
- Don't forget the early Macintosh's equivalent, the Sad Mac. If your system disk was corrupted, or if you hit the interrupt switch, instead of a smiling Macintosh icon on a warm gray background, you'd get a one that looked as if it was dead from a stroke on a stark black background with nothing else but some weird HEX code, and you'd hear the "Hawaiian Death Chimes". "Doo do da dooo! Da doooo doooo..." * shiver*
- The first generation of Power PC-based Power Macintosh replaced the Death Chimes with Stock Sound Effects of a car's tires screeching and then glass shattering. It's also kind of loud. Anyone who would find it funny would stop laughing the moment they realized that $3,000 of hardware had a critical failure.
- Kernel panics (like BSODs in Linux/BSD) can be scary enough. Just imagine all your system going down with lots of cryptic error messages.
- Avast Antivirus usually detects viruses on sight, however whenever that happens, a dialogue window pops up with a pulsing atomic symbol, a siren sound, and a creepy voice that says "Caution: A virus has been detected". Then again most antivirus programs have something creepy in them.
- AVG used to show a picture of what appeared to be a picture of a man with his face warped to make him look like a troll (here's a link to a picture of an old alert if you want to see it for yourself) as part of its Virus Detected alert. The newer versions of AVG use far more subdued icons, thankfully.
- There was a time when Kaspersky Antivirus would play the (loud) squeal of a pig whenever it found a virus, scaring the crap out of users every single time. You couldn't even turn that sound off, as the settings were locked with a password.
- DOS viruses are particularly terrifying. Not because of what they do to your computer (the vast majority are harmless), but because of the screens they bring up. Just look up "DOS Virus" on YouTube, and prepared to be scared out of your mind. And imagine being an unsuspecting DOS user who opened it not knowing what it was... *shudder*
- This YouTube clip about the Tree Man will require to have a good lie down and some alone time. If you have body horror issues, do not click on the link. It is the sum of all fears. You have been warned.
- For those who don't realize what had happened to him...an infected mold/wart turned him into this!!
- Nazi propaganda films. One notorious propaganda movie ("The Eternal Jew") contained a scene comparing Jews to rats. Apparently audiences found the scene so horrifying that they ran out of cinemas and the movie had to be withdrawn.
- The animated documentary Tales Of The Ratfink.
- Newsreel footage of the concentration camps.
- The videos of the loss of Space Shuttle Challenger. One minute it's all happy and they're going into space, and the next...
- The Zapruder film, one of the films captured by an amateur cameraman the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated.
- A documentary depicting tar literally dripping out of a lung.
- The "Alien Abduction" scene in Cosmos. Also the Nuclear Winter parts, but that was sort of the point.
- An episode of Unsolved Mysteries where an unidentified man was featured. He had been trying to get a ride on a plane at a small airport, but no one would take him. So he grabbed on to the wing of a plane and held on as it was taking off. Of course, he fell off when the plane was far in the air. The notion of no one knowing who he was at the time was scary enough, but the actual circumstances of his death had her shuddering for days. The story in question can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2weGceRXt_E
- Unsolved Mysteries is a terrific show, but it contains massive amounts of Nightmare Fuel, since many of the cases remain unsolved.
- The E! Channel's special Doomed To Die: 13 Most Shocking Hollywood Curses mentioned some particularly disturbing "curses" related to Hollywood. One worth mentioning is the curse of the Atuk script. Atuk is the story of a fat Eskimo trying to make it in the big city. The first victim of this cursed script was Animal House star John Belushi who the creator had in mind to play the title role, he was preparing for the part when he died of a drug-overdose at the age of 33. The second victim was Sam Kinison- who nearly got around to making it but then freaked out and pulled out of doing it, he later died in a fiery car crash. Third victim was John Candy, who was in the process of reading the script when he died of a heart attack, and the last victim was Chris Farley who died of a drug overdose at the age of 33 much like his hero John Belushi- he wanted Phil Hartman to be his co-star, Phil Hartman later got shot by his own wife.
- The Man Who Saw Tomorrow - a documentary-style movie about Nostradamus' predictions, narrated by Orson Welles.
- This, at 8:45. "Rabbit-faced mutant sheep" is exactly as bad as it sounds.
- The History Channel documentary "Last Days on Earth," detailing the eight most likely ways for civilization as we know it to be completely destroyed, in increasing order of likeliness.
- The History Channel Life After People series. While it's fascinating, the fact that this will inevitably happen at some point in time or another is pretty horrifying. One day, we will all be gone. All trace of any such thing as civilization will be gone, except maybe for the plaque on the moon. But even that will be gone one day.
- Ric Burns' 1992 documentary on The Donner Party, as seen on PBS' The American Experience.
- The documentary A State Of Mind, following the lives of two North Korean barely-teenaged gymnasts, is definitely in some parts a Tear Jerker, and rather horrifying. The actual politics of North Korea aside, the choreographed gymnastics performances that are so stunning at the beginning of the film become screamingly awful once you realize the sheer scale of the Mass Games. The total hive-mind mindset that kind of training gives you... and that the big-ass pictures that are constantly changing, that in other productions would be video projections or digital transitions like at the Olympics, are made up of extremely well choreographed humans moving in unison. YMMV, of course, but seeing that many people move as one body, totally surrendered to the group will, is hardcore creepy.
- The History Channel documentary After Apocalypse is pretty much packed of this. It realistically shows how Earth and life itself would look like after they had suffered from some apocalyptic event like a worldlike virus epidemic, like the Black Death in the Middleages, or the one in I Am Legend but without the zombies. The documentary is told from the eyes of an American middle-class family who lived a normal life before a deadly virus from China kills of most of the world's population who is trying to survive the new harsh world that comes after the epidemic. Meanwhile, environmental, sociological, psychological and medical experts are given short interviews from time to time during the documentary telling about the sistuations the family and the rest of the world goes through. You dont need zombies, vampires or mutants to make things scary, the real life itself makes an already good job on that.
- March of the Dinosaurs made feathered tyrannosaurs horrorfying. There's one scene where the Edmontosaurus are ambushed by the tyrannosaurs where one literally leaps (like a raptor) out of friggin' nowhere to tackle one of the poor plant-eaters. Imagine three tons of teeth and death leaping at you.
- Heck, any of Russian NTV documentaries, especially 'Ochnaya Stavka' series. You can't even imagine what's going on frequently in russian suburbia and countryside...
- Want to know about the meat you eat and how (most) of them are made? It even starts the video off by saying "What you're about to see is beyond your worst nightmares".
- In 1958, Disney released a documentary about Lemmings. Featured in this documentary was the classic scene of Lemmings jumping from a cliff to their certain death. The myth about Lemmings committing suicide is false, so guess how Disney (Yes, the wonderful place that bought you animated teapots and princesses) captured the Lemmings killing themselves... They threw them off the cliff.
Paintings and Other Artworks
- Tetsuya Ishida, surrealist Japanese artist. Some of the disturbing images include someone climbing out of a lizard's guts, and sauce smeared on people's faces and hands that looks like blood. If you think surrealist paintings are scary by themselves, you'll find these worse. If you don't, you'll find some of these scary anyway.
- "The Rape" ("Le viol") by Magritte.
- Anything, anything, anything by H. R. Giger, the lovely man who brought you the Alien. The man should have his own page, being a friggin Nightmare Fuel tanker. The fact that his art is inspired by his literal nightmares does not help. For those who are unfamiliar with his work.
- Titian' "Flaying of Marsyas". Just, the calmly blank expression on Apollo's face, the disbelief on Marsyas's, the beginning of the cut so you know it's really going to happen. Museums really should come with warnings...
- In his later years, Old Master painter Francisco de Goya retreated to his home and began painting images directly onto the black walls. All of the "black paintings" are disturbing, but Saturn Devouring His Son is pure nightmare fuel.
- Rubens' version of the painting, located just a bit further down the page, is also pretty damn freaky.
- Anything by Zdzislaw Beksinski This man is as bad, if not worse, than Giger. The creepy music on the website does not help matters in the least.
- Francis Bacon. Observe. The man brings together (among other things) huge sides of butchered meat and the most horrific screams you will ever see.
- The lithograph of a colossal octopus attacking a ship.
- The Hands Resist Him by Bill Stoneham has launched a number of urban legends that it is cursed or haunted.
- This memorial sand sculpture of Michael Jackson (RIP).
- Tony Oursler projects people's faces, often intoning disturbing dialogue, onto the heads of small dummy dolls. The whole face ones are creepy enough, but he also likes to do the same for things like this. It's particularly chilling seeing them in action on YouTube. * shudder*
- Mummies in art museums in general.
- This picture used to be the page graphic of the main Nightmare Fuel page until much, MUCH cooler heads prevailed. The picture is a composite of this picture and this one, both of which are also Photoshopped and both of which are plenty scary on their own.
- The Crying Boy.
- Thanks to art's longtime obsession with "Memento mori", quite a few Renaissance paintings can fall squarely into this. I For example, Pieter Brueghel the Elder's The Triumph of Death.
- Laurie Lipton has done so much weird, creepy and downright scary art. Someone clawing a wall full of faces while a joyful person dances next to them. People eating in a TV room MADE OF faces, skulls, and reaching arms. A toddler with a knife and a freaky gleeful grin, waiting for their mom. Screaming heads flooding out of a music box held by a blank-staring doll. And that's not even the most fucked-up of it. Here's a link to her website (violence warning).
- Neil Blevins's horror-ish pieces are rare, but they are major. One, "Alternative Birth" (body horror warning), has a bundle of wires/feelers coming out of someone's belly. This triangle-shaped Cacodemon's mouth is lined with eyes and full of pointy teeth. And this is a giant, floating mass of tentacles full of glowing eyes. Blevins gallery link (some eye-violence and body horror).
- Hieronymus Bosch.
- Repin's painting of Ivan the Terrible holding his dying son, whom he'd struck down seconds earlier in a random fit of rage. The look in his eyes...*shudder*
- Art about Holocaust. Especially scary as it is often Based on a True Story of survivors...
- The Drive-In Wheel. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- Here's America Adventure Park in 1987 and here is what's left of it now.
- Abandoned amusement parks in Asia.
- San Zhi. Cracked.com's "The 6 Creepiest Places on Earth" put it best:
Abandoned resort town in the middle of nowhere, mysterious deaths, lack of any official information...where have we heard this before?
- The (no longer open) Extraterrorestrial Alien Encounter, located in the MAGIC KINGDOM. It got so bad, that they had to put out massive warnings for kids to not ride it, until they gave up and replaced it with Stitch's Great Escape. It is not popular with guests for other reasons..
- The London Dungeons, located near the London Bridge in the UK. A haunted house with the theme of London's horrific history.
- The amusement parkin Pripyat, now a ghost town due to being so close to Chernobyl.
- This Katrina-ravaged Six Flags in New Orleans. The fact that the soundtrack is Godspeed You! Black Emperor just enhances it.
- Mental Asylums.
- Needs no link. Pripyat, Ukraine. Site of the Chernobyl disaster. To quote Call of Duty: "Fifty thousand people used to live in this city. Now, it's a ghost town."
- An episode of Destination Truth actually got to go into Chernobyl, and found that from the looks of things, everybody just dropped what they were doing and took off. It included a short tour of an amusement park, a scene in a hospital, with medical equipment and notes left on the tables, and cars left in the streets. Whether you believe in ghosts and hauntings or not, it was undeniably eerie.
- Pripryat also has a nursery littered with cribs and children's toys. Freaky as hell.
- Centralia. An abandoned coal mining town in Pennsylvania where a fire has been burning underground for more than forty years. Engineers say that the fire could continue to burn for another century or more and spread to other towns as well. Roads have collapsed into sinkholes, houses and shops have been condemned and abandoned, and the town--now inhabited by only seven people--is filled with smoke and toxic gases. Did I mention that Centralia helped to inspire the creators of Silent Hill?
"Other" Other Stuff
- Anything made by FEWDIO Horror. Scariest? "Cleansed".
- Quality Meats: Flesh Straight Jacket by Michael Taflove. Yikes.
- This...thing. The Black Shuck. Holy FUCK
- A 1991 experimental horror movie called Begotten. Watch it here. Sweet dreams.
- This vanity plate.
- The pictures of Chris Farley on the day of his death are extremely disturbing especially seeing as he is lying dead on the floor with some sort of liquid coming out of his nose and blood dripping somewhere.
- Just as disturbing, if not more so, is watching the Saturday Night Live episode that Farley hosted a month or so before his death, and realizing you can see the heart attack coming...he's pale, clammy, constantly out of breath...
- It's also kind of frightening that Chris Farley idolised John Belushi and wanted to be exactly like him, and the fact that he died at the same age and of the same cause as John Belushi died is also quite a spooky coincidence.
- As far as horrifying celebrity death photos go, nothing beats the autopsy photo of Marilyn Monroe. Her hair is all matted, her face is distorted--if you thought death by sleeping pill would be a clean and easy way to go, think again...
- There seems to be a "curse" involving Playboy centerfold girls dying young. Marilyn Monroe was the cover girl for the first ever issue of Playboy and died at the age of 36; Jane Mansfield was after her and she died young; then Dorothy Stratton was after her and she died young too; the latest victim was Anna Nicole Smith who died at the age of 39.
- Dead Kurt Cobain photos. Head is not seen, but the idea that there's NO head after incident make the situation even scarier.
- This morgue photo [dead link] of Little Miss 1565, one of the victims of the Hartford circus fire of 1944.
- There's a very disturbing picture of Rodney Dangerfield with a small hole in his head on the Findadeath.com website.
- One word: Ratfink. The deformed extremely twisted work of Ed Roth deserves a very honorable mention.
- The horrific accident that happened during the filming of the first segment from Twilight Zone the Movie.
- This recording of a mysterious Russian radio signal. Aside from the Paranoia Fuel implications of overhearing the communications of an Ancient Conspiracy, the actual sound of this is disturbing. Further more, while that recording by itself is scary and while the whole concept of a mysterious radio signal emitting a buzzing sound for 23 hours 10 minutes a day pretty scary, the fact that some of the clearer recordings [dead link] have background noises and muffled conversations in the background is quite damn creepy.
- The Backwards Music Station. Despite its name, it doesn't actually play backwards songs. Instead, it plays a series of sounds that can only come from the bowels of Hell itself.
- What's even more peculiar is that ENIGMA 2000 (which catalogs Number Stations and their ilk) has designated the Backwards Music Station as XM. Now, if you're wondering what's so weird about that, it means that not even * they* know if it's a Number Station or not!. Also, what tends to be bizarre is that often Number Stations seem to change the way they sound occasionally (for example, the Backwards Music Station in a recording on Youtube sounds really freakish (this one was recorded in 2004), while one recording allegedly from September 2009 sounds like the noise a wine glass makes when a finger is moved around its rim while wet. For a nice change of pace, the old favourite, Lincolnshire Poacher (E3 in the ENIGMA 2000 designations, which sadly appears to be defunct) sounds really cheerful.
- Also, this. There is some Nightmare Retardant at the beginning with the cute little ditty of "This is a teeeessssttt of the emergency broadcast system! It's only a teeeessstt!" And then it quickly devolves to terrifying.
- Emergency broadcast systems scare us - during the summer of 1997 in Fort collins, many a kids were terrified when all of a sudden, the screen goes staticy after some really freaky emergency broadcast noises. Then all of a sudden, poor audio quality of someone announcing that there is a flash flood warning in effect because of a storm. We were immediately advised to seek shelter. Consider that this actually happened. For awhile, a lot of people would watch the TV in fear because these warnings would hijack the TV and happen at any time. It also did not discriminate on channels - you could be watching Nickelodeon and then the creepy voice takes over...then switch to CBS and then three or four seconds later, there it is again. One person recalled watching one channel - then jumping as the alert popped in. And then they changed to another channel, it was normal. There it was again. They kept changing the channels - there it was. Again and again. the alert WAS CHASING THEM.
- This may be more Paranoia Fuel, but many countries don't have Emergency Broadcast Systems, so something could go down, and you wouldn't know it until it hits you...
- Continuing with the "terrifying noises" theme...anyone familiar with "The Hum"? Thousands of people worldwide are plagued by a droning noise, much like the sound of a diesel engine--with an intensity ranging from mildly annoying to earsplittingly painful. The sound is barely audible, but has been known to cause sleep loss, headaches, sickness, and even nosebleeds. The usual means of blocking unwanted noise--earplugs, playing music--do nothing. Some "hearers" have been forced to quit their jobs due to the mental stress; at least one man is known to have committed suicide. Pedestrian causes (such as industrial noise, domestic electronics, and even tinnitus) have thus far been debunked; worse yet, the noise can't be detected or recorded with audio equipment. The best explanation is that it's being generated by ELF (extreme low frequency) military communications used during secret activities...which, of course, the government flatly refuses to discuss. As if having to share your silence with an invasive, alien noise wasn't already creepy enough.
- Groundhog Day Loop plots can be rather frightening once the Fridge Logic sets in. Not so much the ones where we see every repeat, but the ones where we don't, and it's implied that they go on for extremely long periods of time. On the order of centuries, sometimes. The idea of being trapped in something like that... Gah!
- These three videos. PERIOD.
- In some areas, Amber Alerts are not the three-beep warning tone. Oh no, they use a tone that sounds like it came straight out of a horror movie. Try not to piss your pants.
- High quality version: (( https://web.archive.org/web/20051029164743/http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/other/amberalert.wav )) Satan's THX demo from Hell (Deep Red Note?)
- Aside from the Amber Alert, few things will chill the blood (or churn the stomach) faster than the phrase "Code Adam" broadcast over a PA system. Knowing the story behind the warning system makes it tenfold worse, filling your mind with the potentially hellish fates that await abducted children....
- Related to that is the story of how NAMBLA came to national attention.
- The Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion incident.
- Unsolved crimes in general. Most of the high octane nightmare fuel on this page stems from the intrigue and mystery surrounding each of them, which would vanish almost instantly when explained. That's one criteria for Nightmare Fetishism.
- Urban legends in general. The Other Wiki even has a category presenting them. Have fun reading through each and every one.
- Anything that PETA posts about undercover investigations. Look them up. Not for the faint of heart.
- Online GI Fs. Average online images could be GIF images and they could suddenly move...
- Someone posted a YouTube comment describing about how someone tried to replicate something they saw on Rescue911 where a girl was hit in the head with a softball. Note that they intentionally wanted to hurt that kid, and they were less than ten.
- TV Tropes. When you load the front page, sometimes, if your computer is running a bit slow, you can see a subliminal message planted in the top-left corner of the screen just before the main page covers it up. Just one word... "follow"
- YES MASTER I WILL OBEY
- You wanna know how bad racism was back in the day? During the Little Rock Nine ordeal, there were negotiations that they would let them in if they would allow them to lynch just one. Now you know.
- This short film "Luis" operates under both True Art Is Incomprehensible and Surreal Horror.
- Post-mortem photography, a big Values Dissonance towards the Victorian Era (check out the other wiki for more info). At the beginning, at least the dead ones were photographed with their eyes closed, as like the "eternal sleep", but later, photographers started to try to make the bodies look more alive by opening their eyes and making them stand up. The ones who failed are among the most nighmarish fuel thing you'll ever see, but the ones that actually worked aren't that much better. Particularly when you are watching one of them and you can't figure out which one it's the dead one, like in this one. It's the one standing up
- In September 2019, Sandy Hook Promise released a PSA about school shootings. It starts off as a regular back to school commercial with kids showing off their new school supplies, but then it suddenly cuts to kids running down the hallway while gunshots can be faintly heard in the distance, all while the kids still talk about their school supplies. It then shows kids helping each other evacuate the school, using scissors and colored pencils as weapons, and a girl using one of her socks as a bandage for another girl who got shot in the leg. The PSA then ends with a girl hiding in the bathroom, crying and texting "I love you, Mom," as someone (supposedly the shooter) walks into the bathroom, and we never see if the girl lived or not. Regardless of your stance on gun control, there's no denying that this PSA definitely scared viewers straight.
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