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Humans seem to have an innate fascination with everything creepy. Many people live for the release of the spookiest horror film, which would give the average viewer nightmares for days. Some even take on professions that involve paranormal activity. 

It’s also the likely reason for the Oddly Terrifying subreddit, which has more than two and a half million followers as of this posting. This side of the internet contains images that may leave you with a few uneasy emotions. It’s also the source of today’s story. 

Whether you’re looking for that jolt that caffeine can’t give or are simply a fan of everything morbid, scroll away. But do proceed with a little bit of caution.

#1

A Street In Amsterdam, Netherlands

A Street In Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Surenu
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That's not terrifying, that's a perfectly serene morning scene to watch from inside with a hot mug of coffee in hand.

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In a previous piece we published, we spoke with Dr. Kevin Corstorphine, a lecturer in American Literature at the University of Hull. As he explained, people who enjoy horror films find solace in them. 

Media psychology expert Cynthia Vinney, PhD, provided a different explanation in an article she wrote for Very Well Mind. She mentioned the excitation transfer theory, which, in a nutshell, suggests that people find enjoyment in the negative effect of a horror film followed by the positive upswing upon the resolution of the threat.

#4

Extreme Close-Up Of A Wolf Spider. Photo Credits: John-Oliver Dum

Extreme Close-Up Of A Wolf Spider. Photo Credits: John-Oliver Dum

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Stygtand
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Fuzzy and cute, the big eyes makes it look like and owl without the beak

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#6

Saw The Full Mirror In My Hotel Room Randomly Shake And Discovered This Space In The Wall Behind It

Saw The Full Mirror In My Hotel Room Randomly Shake And Discovered This Space In The Wall Behind It

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#7

A Missing Person's Page From An Old High School Yearbook

A Missing Person's Page From An Old High School Yearbook

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Dr. Vinney also mentioned a 2023 study by Murray State University entitled "Exploring the Dark Side of Humanity: Motivations of Morbidly Curious Individuals." The study delved into people's motivations for consuming morbid media, particularly films. 

The study found that morbidly curious individuals find more enjoyment in horror films with prevalent themes of gore and violence and if they can turn it into a learning experience. 

This supports the theory Dr. Vinney noted in her article, suggesting that humans live vicariously through these movies. It allows us to "grapple with the darkest parts of humanity in a safe environment."

#8

What Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Looks Like

What Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis Looks Like

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#9

This Was A Machine Patented In 1965, To Deliver A Baby Using Centrifugal Force. The Machine Would Spin The Woman Until The Baby Came Out, Which Would Be Caught In A Net

This Was A Machine Patented In 1965, To Deliver A Baby Using Centrifugal Force. The Machine Would Spin The Woman Until The Baby Came Out, Which Would Be Caught In A Net

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#10

What Did Someone Else Know That We Don't?

What Did Someone Else Know That We Don't?

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#11

The Folds In This Curtain Creating The Illusion Of A Face

The Folds In This Curtain Creating The Illusion Of A Face

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Finding a learning experience isn’t one of the top reasons people have for consuming creepy images, moving or otherwise. But apparently, there is research to support it. 

Behavioral scientist Coltan Scrivner, specializing in horror and morbid curiosity, published an article in 2021 entitled “The Psychology of Morbid Curiosity: Development and Initial Validation of the Morbid Curiosity Scale.” He argues that the fascination for the macabre “drives individuals to learn about aspects of life that are perceived to be dangerous.”

“When a dangerous phenomenon is perceived to be near or impending, curiosity may spike in order to gather information about the dangerous phenomenon. By learning about the threatening factors associated with death, one can learn to avoid the negative outcomes associated with those factors,” he wrote.

#15

This Guy Did Something Crazy. This Is What He Looks Like Before & After 2,000 Miles From Georgia To Maine

This Guy Did Something Crazy. This Is What He Looks Like Before & After 2,000 Miles From Georgia To Maine

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Miss Tinker
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

https://www.sunnyskyz.com/good-news/895/He-Hiked-2-000-Miles-From-Georgia-To-Maine-The-Entire-Appalachian-Trail-In-153-Days

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#16

The Stomach Contents Of A Psychiatric Patient Who Suffered From Pica Disorder, A Disease Characterized By An Appetite For Inedible Objects

The Stomach Contents Of A Psychiatric Patient Who Suffered From Pica Disorder, A Disease Characterized By An Appetite For Inedible Objects

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UncleJohn3000
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As weird as the patient was, who spent the time and effort to arrange it 'artfully'? They should keep an eye on that one too.

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#17

The Sleek, Sexy, And Somewhat Sinister Razorbill

The Sleek, Sexy, And Somewhat Sinister Razorbill

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#18

A Lone Scientist Descending Into The Radioactive Darkness Of Chernobyl In 1986

A Lone Scientist Descending Into The Radioactive Darkness Of Chernobyl In 1986

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#19

Creepy Mould That Formed From A Plate Of Left Out Cat Food

Creepy Mould That Formed From A Plate Of Left Out Cat Food

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Carl Roberts
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This begs the question....if the food sat there so long that it grew mold, what happened to the cat? Why did it never eat its food?

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#20

This Suburb Built On Top Of A Shopping Mall

This Suburb Built On Top Of A Shopping Mall

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Ray Ceeya (RayCeeYa)
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There's been talk of repurposing dead shopping malls into residential spaces. Dead malls are a common sight these days.

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#21

I Woke Up To Loud Tapping On My Window

I Woke Up To Loud Tapping On My Window

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Bored Panda’s previous article also mentioned a Washington Post interview with director Mathias Clasen. He classified horror fans into three types: adrenaline junkies, dark copers, and white knucklers. 

Psychology professors Haiyang Yang and Kuangjie Zhang identified another personality type: someone who lacks empathy. Here’s an excerpt of their piece for Harvard Business Review in 2021. 

“Those who are not so empathic can enjoy horror more. This is because those with a higher level of empathy tend to feel more negatively about the distress situations others experience, like people being tormented by a devious murderer in a film.”

#24

Took A Couple Dozen Photos Of This Girl Outside My House And This Was One Of Them

Took A Couple Dozen Photos Of This Girl Outside My House And This Was One Of Them

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#26

The Great Gorge Ruth Glacier In Alaska Is The Deepest At 3700 Feet

The Great Gorge Ruth Glacier In Alaska Is The Deepest At 3700 Feet

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#27

Scientists Grew 'Mini-Brains From Stem Cells. Then The Brains Sort Of Developed Eyes

Scientists Grew 'Mini-Brains From Stem Cells. Then The Brains Sort Of Developed Eyes

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#28

My Lemon Tree Grew One Huge Mutant Leaf To Better Absorb TV Radiation

My Lemon Tree Grew One Huge Mutant Leaf To Better Absorb TV Radiation

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Kira Okah
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

There is nothing from a tv that a plant can use, so it clearly doesn't usually sit there. However, that window plant mess in the reflection makes the high up extra large leaf make sense - how else is it going to get sun in there?

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#30

Woke Up This Morning To These Prints On My Back Yard Deck Came Right Up To My Glass Door

Woke Up This Morning To These Prints On My Back Yard Deck Came Right Up To My Glass Door

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Rebelliousslug
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

At least there’s clearly prints of them walking away too. Imagine if there were only prints TO your house

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Author G Neil Martin, an Honorary Professor of Psychology at Regent’s University of London, supported the “lack of empathy” theory. He published an article in 2019 entitled “(Why) Do You Like Scary Movies? A Review of the Empirical Research on Psychological Responses to Horror Films.” Here’s an excerpt: 

“Low empathy and fearfulness are associated with more enjoyment and desire to watch horror films but … specific dimensions of empathy are better predictors of people’s responses than are others.”

#31

Final Self Photo Of Kayaker Andrew Mccauley Recovered From His Memory Stick After His Disappearance. Credit : Jamesishere

Final Self Photo Of Kayaker Andrew Mccauley Recovered From His Memory Stick After His Disappearance. Credit : Jamesishere

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Jrog
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1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Sad but preventable. He rushed into the adventure despite a known equipment fault: part of the protection shell for sleeping arrangement prevented the kayak self-righting capability and made nearly impossible to re-board the craft if thrown out. Drinking water storage in the boat was on deck, high above the center of gravity, adding instability to the setup. His choice of equipment was debatable: radio equipment was under-powered, lacked hand-free trigger and was tied to the kayak. Touchbase reporting procedures were shoddy; his emergency beacon was not firmly tethered to his floatvest, that was inflatable instead of a buoyant one for better comfort, meaning less readiness in case of emergency. His GPS beacon was not waterproof, and had to be operated manually in short daily windows to account for the lack of battery capacity, allowing large drift error. Ultimately, he cheaped out on organization, foregoing arranging a support ship following close as is common in those efforts.

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#33

King Cobra Loose In My Neighborhood

King Cobra Loose In My Neighborhood

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#34

Passengers Boarding A British Airship For Its Last Voyage Killing 48 Of 53 On Board

Passengers Boarding A British Airship For Its Last Voyage Killing 48 Of 53 On Board

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#35

Workers Polishing The Gateway Arch 630 Feet Above The Ground In Saint Louis, Mo 1965

Workers Polishing The Gateway Arch 630 Feet Above The Ground In Saint Louis, Mo 1965

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#36

The Hands Of German Serial Killer Fritz Honka

The Hands Of German Serial Killer Fritz Honka

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Gender also plays a role in the fascination for anything morbid. As Martin noted in his article, men are more likely to get a kick out of horror films than women, and here’s his explanation:

“Men and boys prefer to watch, enjoy, and seek our horror more than do women and girls. Women are more prone to disgust sensitivity or anxiety than are men, and this may mediate the sex difference in the enjoyment of horror.”

#38

A Bacteria Colony In A Snow Globe That Wasn't Properly Sterilized

A Bacteria Colony In A Snow Globe That Wasn't Properly Sterilized

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#39

The Crime Scene On The Night Of Nov. 11, 1974, That Inspired The Amityville Horror

The Crime Scene On The Night Of Nov. 11, 1974, That Inspired The Amityville Horror

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Nathaniel He/Him Cis-Het
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Genuinely the crime that was committed and the facts/mysteries/ complexities are way more interesting than the made up ghosts nonsense made up by the Lutz family.

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#40

The Surface Of Comet 67p, A Jupiter-Family Comet Originally From The Kuiper Belt. Filmed By The Rosetta Space Probe

The Surface Of Comet 67p, A Jupiter-Family Comet Originally From The Kuiper Belt. Filmed By The Rosetta Space Probe

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#41

Portrait Of A Man Affected With What Is Now Believed To Have Been Congenital Syphilis C. 1820

Portrait Of A Man Affected With What Is Now Believed To Have Been Congenital Syphilis C. 1820

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In his article, Martin also pointed out that children handle scary moments better. He wrote, “Physical coping strategies are more successful in younger children; priming with information about the feared object reduces fear and increases children’s enjoyment of frightening television and film.”

This rings true with eight-year-old Aubriella Lopez and her younger brother, six-year-old Dominic. Both are fans of the Michael Myers character from Halloween. Their mother, Kayla, spoke to CNN, saying, “I don’t really know of anybody that likes horror as much as them, honestly.”

#43

Stairway In Hotel Goes Forward 13 Floors Without Any Switchbacks

Stairway In Hotel Goes Forward 13 Floors Without Any Switchbacks

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#44

Oddly Unreal Looking Side Of The Road

Oddly Unreal Looking Side Of The Road

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#46

My Mom's Boyfriend Has These In His Hallway. Says There His Ex-Wives. Idk Why He Still Has Them

My Mom's Boyfriend Has These In His Hallway. Says There His Ex-Wives. Idk Why He Still Has Them

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A child, of course, processes fear differently than an adult. And in the case of gravitating toward horror films, it could be more about proving something to themselves. This is according to Purdue University professor Glenn Sparks, who also spoke with CNN. 

“Some children may be more willing to expose themselves to potentially scary things, perhaps because of the gratification they think they will experience from being able to conquer those things."

#47

The Gun That Started Ww1

The Gun That Started Ww1

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Admiral Graf Spee he/him
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

It was a cause for ww1 not the cause the others were mainly modern imperialism, militarism, nationalism, the arms race, and the French german war of 1872 I had to learn this for my history exam

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#48

Today My Car Was Marked With Duct Tape On The Windshield And Handle. No Idea Why

Today My Car Was Marked With Duct Tape On The Windshield And Handle. No Idea Why

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Alro
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

isn't it some kind of markings from thiefs? where did I read something like that?

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#49

I Had To Stop For Gas Around 1 Am

I Had To Stop For Gas Around 1 Am

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#50

What Looks Like A Locked Cage Under My Hotel Shower. View From The Toilet, At My Most Vulnerable

What Looks Like A Locked Cage Under My Hotel Shower. View From The Toilet, At My Most Vulnerable

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This Heifer
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

The plumbing access door would be the least of my concerns, that whole room is so gross!!

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Note: this post originally had 77 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.

However, watching horror films doesn’t always sow terror in a person’s psyche. Sometimes, it may bring two people closer together to spark a romance. This is according to NYU professor John Montgomery, PhD, who published an article on Psychology Today

According to Dr. Montgomery, it’s the anxiety that draws attraction. He wrote, “Something about the state of fear or anxiety, in other words, appears to make many of us more likely to experience feelings of sexual attraction towards other people. 

“Such a tendency may have originally evolved to encourage us to connect with or attach to other people when our survival is at risk.”