The human mind is uniquely constructed to shut out the big existential horrors of the universe. This allows people to focus on their everyday lives, and not succumb to hysteria, but every now and then, something penetrates that fortress, and the frightening truth of the world is exposed. These photos capture those moments with terrifying clarity, and once you see them, there’s no going back.
Department of Psychology at Stanford University shows that 87% of readers from ages 13-18 cannot bare to view them to the end without stopping. It’s very important that you read every description beneath each photo.
Most if not all of us have heard about the disaster the befell the Titanic in April 1912. However, what most of us imagine is what the film that portrayed the event showed us when it came out in the late 90s.
This photo that you are seeing is reality. What you are looking at are people praying along with a priest over some of the recovered bodies of the many who were killed on that fateful day.
You know the famous lion who roars when the MGM logo comes on during the opening credits? Well, this is the rare photo of the team who filmed the very lion who made that famous.
What we probably do not see is the lion tamer who is in the background making sure that this beautiful creature stays on that side of the camera and does not eat the men trying to capture its roar.
Hitler and Speer were mesmerized by the Schwerer Gustav, one of the largest piece of artillery ever used in Combat (1941)
While we only see the back of him, it is eery to him in any format that is not a portrayal in a movie. Seeing the figure of the man who destroyed so many lives sends a shiver down our spines.
Material evidence in murder cases are always gruesome and hard to see. This is especially true of the glasses that the legendary John Lennon was wearing when he was shot and killed outside of his apartment in London.
The world was shocked and broken over his murder, but to see the blood stains on his glasses brings it home so much more. What a heartbreaking item to see.
We are not sure why this woman felt the need to literally wear a crab on her head but what makes this that much more disturbing is that the crab is alive.
She is intelligently looking nervous and trying to stay out of the way of its painful grip, though it still begs the question as to why she has the crab on her head in the first place.
Santa is meant to seem friendly and loving, whereas this Santa looks evil and troubled. The black and white of the image is not helping the situation but we are also pretty sure children did not run up to this one.
Sher Ali Khan was Amir of Afghanistan between the years 1863 and 1866, and again from 1868 to 1879 when he died. He was the third son of Dost Mohammed Khan, who was the founder of the Barakzai Dynasty in Afghanistan.
Sher Ali Khan initially seized power when his father died, but was removed from power by his older brother, Mohammad Afzal Khan. This photo of him is one of the only ones from his reign.
Long before yoga was the fitness trend that it is today, there was a woman named Pamela Fawn who brought the flexible practice to the forefront of the public. This photo was taken in 1949 as an example of the mighty positions that yoga has to offer.
Americans at the time knew nothing of yoga, many of whom did not understand its influence in the East and India. Pamela, however, made them very well aware.
Kaiser Wilhelm II was the very last Kaiser, also known as German Emperor and King of the region formerly known as Prussia.
His reign began on June 15, 1888 and ended on November 9, 1918 when he abdicated the throne right before the German defeat of World War I. This is the last known photo of the Kaiser, who was not a popular man after his reign.
What you are looking at is the photograph of essentially a Caribbean princess. A Cacique is a leader of an indigenous group, making his daughter the princess for intents and purposes.
In terms of the region, this group of people are from the pre-Columbian tribal chiefs in the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles, and the northern Lesser Antilles. They do not photograph at all, making this image as rare as you imagine it being.
Today, the Holy Week in Christianity is marked by the last week of Lent and its leading up to Easter. This photograph, however is of a ceremony that used to take place that is no longer done (or at the very least it is no longer captured on film).
This image is from Spain, where Semana Santa is revered above all. It is an annual tribute of the Passion of Jesus Christ which is celebrated by Catholic religious brotherhoods. Capturing a ceremony such as this one is not only uncommon but forbidden.
Capturing an explosion is hard, but seeing the aftermath is sometimes even harder. What you are looking at here may look like an abstract piece of art but it is, in fact, the front of a steam train that exploded due to its broiler.
The iron rods poking out in every direction are just a small indication as to the true cost and damage of this explosion.
Today, freckles are coming back into fashion little by little. There is also not very much you can do to remove them unless you cover them up with makeup.
The procedure that you are looking at here is one of the options that was given back in the day to remove freckles. It looks more like a lobotomy or electric shock therapy, but it was what was thought to be needed to remove freckles such as this woman’s.
The Illuminati are said to be a secret society who believe they are a group who have religious enlightenment. Whether that be true or not, they were always thought to be fascinating.
So fascinating, in fact, that none other than the Baron De Rothschild threw a party with the Illuminati as the theme. Everyone wore masks and were sworn to secrecy. Clearly, someone snuck a photo.
This is what you would look like had your lower jaw been removed. No one knows what happened to this man and why he was even photographed like this, but the fact that he is alive to take the photograph is what is most astounding.
His bottom jaw is entirely gone and his throat totally exposed. The photo states that this was a facial injury, but the reason for it is still unknown.
Call these two the stooges since they are cartoon like in their mannerisms. These two men thought it would be funny to have their photo taken while throwing skulls around in a human graveyard.
The remains of the people they are throwing about are unknown but as you can see from where they are standing, there are endless skulls and bones around them, which is curious and disturbing.
The image to give us all nightmares is here. This image shows a little girl sleeping soundly while a monster seems to be watching her sleep.
The black and white of the image makes the stark difference of the girls white and the mounters black that much more prominent. Perhaps this was a poster to teach children a lesson? Either way it is downright terrifying.
The name of this disturbing device is the “Magic Hands”. This machine was supposed to help people change their child’s diaper without being right in front for the infant in case accidents or offending smells.
This machine did not work in the end, but this image of a man and a doll showing how it operates is priceless and difficult to watch.
Prior to Annabelle, there was this doll to haunt us all. This man and his ventriloquist doll were photographed long ago by a professional photographer probably to promote their show.
However, this doll is giving us haunted vibes if we ever had them and so the story of this strange man’s disappearance makes it all the more reason not to allow a doll into your presence.
Perhaps this is why we are all afraid of clowns. This photo from the 1950s is showing a little girl in the hospital around Christmas time getting a doll as a gift from Santa Clause, while two clowns look on.
The Santa does not look menacing but the clowns, should she turn her head, are there watching her every move with scary focus.
One of the only photos of a frogman ever captured on film. This man had been trained to tactically maneuver in water so as to be a weapon under the surface.
Here is the frogman reporting for duty on one fateful day during World War II. This was before the advanced technology that we have today, his mask is connected to his air supply but his body is entirely exposed.
This photo was taken in 1901. The four men are posing with the mummified remains of a nun who was still decomposing.
It is disturbing to see such a state in a human, we do not usually see what happens to the human body after death, but these men were there to study her and understand the cause of her death and her mummification.
At first glance, this looks like real people. However, these mannequins were made to look just like humans as they were on display at Madame Tussad’s Wax Museum.
They were removed because of a massive fire, at which time an employee snapped this image for documentation of the damage to the mannequins. Whether human or not, it is a hard image to swallow.
The Paris catacombs are still shrouded in mystery to this day, so a photo of a man collecting bones of human beings is one that is very difficult to come by.
He is down in the tunnels collecting the remains of men and women who died of the Black Plague and were placed down there to end their days.
This is what happens when judges want to rate beauty pageant contestants without their face as a parameter.
While this is an interesting way to rate, putting a burlap sack over these women’s faces makes them look incredibly scary, and rather ominous. The women here are seemingly onboard with this round of judging, but seeing this is altogether disturbing.
The damage that was done to people during the Holocaust is immeasurable. For children, however, it scared the rest of their lives which would be longer than adults.
This child’s image of what she considered home, as she did not know any better, is a terrifying explanation by a child as to the sheer terror that occurred in the concentration camps. There are those that called it simply “death”.
Another case of a photo where you need to do a double take. These engineers are fixing a Disney theme park animatronic which is essentially a simple human-like robot that is located around the park.
You usually do not get to see these kind of behind the scenes images as the park does not want their un-manicured fixtures to be displayed, making this photo a rare snapshot.
A child in a gas mask is worrying no matter how you slice it.
However, in order to make children panic less at the need to put them on, they were made into lovable and familiar characters so that they do not seem as scary to them as they normally would. Adults may have known what was going on, but these children did not.
Yes, you read that right – this little girl was born with two pelvises. Myrtle spent many of her early years in a circus as a result of her condition.
As you can see, one set of legs are severely underdeveloped while the other seem almost normal. The poor girl was not happy about being put on display for her differences, and that shows in this photo which was taken for the circus.
There is never a way to prepare a parent for the death of their child. However, there is never a moment when one thinks that they will see a photo of parents with their dead child.
At the time this was taken, in the Victorian era, photography was very expensive and therefore only done on milestones. It therefore custom to have a photo at birth, at ones wedding, and at ones moment of death.
Loneliness happens even to the insane. This woman spent many years of her life in a mental institution.
As such, Katharina Detzel built her own man from the bedding she was given and the straw that was to be the cushion of her mattress. Human nature is a funny thing when you see what people do with the only thing that they are given.
Whether the name for this mask makes any sense or not, seeing someone with a mask such as this one is kind of scary.
It seems as one end of the tube is to be placed into another part of a machine that we cannot see. The advancement in masks for protection has truly come a long way.
This is what a personal ad in the 60s looked like. Today, this would not fly, and we are not sure if even then he got any hits on this ad.
However, this man had the courage to make this ad public so that he could try and find himself a mate.
A butcher decided that he did not want people coming into his shop to buy the meat, but rather choose from the selection he hung on the outside of the shop so that the smell and dealing with people would be down to a minimum.
It is a very strange business approach but he seemed to be devoted it.