You don’t have to dig too deep to find some creepy videos on YouTube. And the clips below remain plastered across the Internet as some of the scariest videos ever witnessed. They’re scary, mostly because we don’t have an answer for why they were created. People have speculated—everything from hinting at murders to singing the devil’s praise. So here are some of the scariest videos the Internet has to offer. Watch only if you dare.
1. Happy Anniversary
Eight years after the 2004 disappearance of UMass student Maura Murray, a series of creepy videos hit the Internet. In one, an old man cackles into the camera before the screen goes black and the phrase “Happy Anniversary” appears. They were posted by a user called Mr112dirtbag. The true identity behind the user has yet to be uncovered.
On February 9, 2004, Murray’s wrecked car was discovered on Route 112 in New Hampshire. She was never found. Naturally, when the videos surfaced, people who saw them said the uploader likely had something to do with Murray’s disappearance. The user's name, a seeming reference to the New Hampshire roadway where the car was discovered, added fuel to the theory. Maura Murray's family dismissed the videos as “cruel and hideous.” After investigators watched the videos, they said there was nothing in them that could be used as evidence.
Most of the Mr112dirtbag videos are no longer available on YouTube. Yet viewers still believe there may have been something in the clips that investigators missed. They are undoubtedly mysterious and cryptic, showing simple drawings of a stick girl with a black eye, a man’s cartoon face beside a lopsided clock, a man playing the electric keyboard, and others. The videos also make references to two other missing persons cases: Molly Bish, 16, whose body was found in rural Massachusetts, and Patric McCarthy, 10, who vanished in 2003 from the White Mountains of New Hampshire and was found dead five years later. Whether the cases are connected or not, authorities never had enough evidence to open an investigation.
2. The Max Headroom Hack
In 1987, someone dressed as Max Headroom interrupted two separate popular Chicago television channels. One interruption occurred during the 9 o’clock news on WGN-TV and the second during an episode of Doctor Who at 11 o’clock. Headroom is a fictional artificial intelligence character known for his wit and sarcasm and is remembered for being “the world’s first computer generated TV host.” People remembered him for his glitchy, and sometimes indecipherable, speech patterns. He was designed to replicate some of television’s most well-known broadcasters and appeared in movies and on television numerous times.
In the interruptions, the hacker rambled, replicating Headroom’s endorsement of New Coke, the series Clutch Cargo, and WGN anchor Chuck Swirsky, pretended to defecate as a “masterpiece for all the greatest world newspaper nerds”, and concluded with the hacker’s behind exposed and spanked by a masked accomplice with a flyswatter. The video cut, and the stations returned to their normal programming.
There remains no apparent reason why the hackers infiltrated those two channels. Perhaps it was to make a statement or maybe to simply be obnoxious and intrusive. So little is known about the incident, people have few speculations as to the reasoning behind it. While the incident made national headlines, those responsible were never caught.
3. The Plague Doctor
The black and white segment comes in at two minutes in length and features someone dressed as a plague doctor. The outfit was designed to keep airborne illness from infecting those treating victims from various diseases. It includes a long dark beak-like mask with black shroud that covers the wearer’s entire body.
In the video, a person wearing what appears to be the costume is recorded walking around an abandoned building in the middle of a forest, revealed in the background through shattered windows. Playing throughout the video are shrill buzzing noises. The person carries around an irregularly blinking light which they occasionally hold up to the camera.
It was sent to GadetZZ.com, a Swedish tech blog, in 2015, and the website immediately made it public. Embedded within the video are several common ciphers and encryption systems—some lead to images of tortured and mutilated people. Most were decoded by users following the video via a Reddit thread. The Reddit detectives were able to create a (rather tenuous) link to the murder investigations of the Boston Strangler. The messages have also been interpreted as an implied threat of bioterrorism against the U.S., but most believe that the video was actually just a prank.
Three months after the initial controversy, a man by the name of Parker Warner Wright stepped forward and claimed to have created and sent the video. He said a sequel was in the works and challenged anyone to try replicating the plague doctor segment.
4. I Feel Fantastic
A spooky animatronic mannequin known as “Tara the Android” can be seen in this video, its arms jerking and head turning from side to side while the lyric “I feel fantastic” repeats over an arpeggiating synth line. It was uploaded to YouTube by the user CreepyBlog, who has not uploaded any other clips. Really, not much happens in the video beside the repeated phrase and the robotic movement of Tara’s arms and head. Where the clip gets freaky are two brief moments nestled between Tara’s performance.
First, viewers are given a brief shot of the outdoors - what looks like the edge of a forest, or possibly someone’s backyard. The camera zooms in on a pile of sticks, leaves and dirt. Second, are the phrases positioned in some of Tara’s song: “Please leave,” followed by the repetition of “Run, run, run, run…”
These two strange instances in the video led some viewers to suspect the video’s creator of murder. He (or she) goes by the name of John Bergeron, and rumors believe they committed the crime in the outdoor shot in the video and that the various clips of “Tara” show the robot wearing the victim’s clothes.
Possible support for this claim is the description included in the initial post, which makes a subtle nod to the Greek story of Pygmalion—an ancient sculptor from Cyprus who thought all women were unworthy of love. In the myth, Pygmalion creates an ideal woman from ivory and falls in love with her. The goddess Aphrodite then brings the statue to life.
Viewers are torn. Some say the video offers clues to the real Tara’s fate. Perhaps she didn’t live up to Bergeron’s expectations of an “ideal” woman, so he murdered her. Or perhaps he was so riddled by guilt for the crime, he created the video, subconsciously hoping to be caught. Regardless of the real reason behind the video’s making, we know one thing for certain: It makes our skin crawl...
5. Sad Satan
In 2015, the YouTube channel Obscure Horror Corner uploaded the first part of Sad Satan, said to have risen from the Deep Web. The game was supposedly named after the famous Led Zeppelin song, “Stairway to Heaven.” Around the time of the song’s original release, some conservative religious groups claimed that the game contained hidden messages praising the devil. The messages could be revealed by playing the song backward.
In the game itself, there isn’t a huge amount of playtime available. Rather, the heightened user experience comes from the creepy music and messages that play as the gamer makes their way through a series of dark passages. While it seems basic and rather plotless, users delved deeper and uncovered something unexpected. Periodically, Jimmy Saville and Rolf Harris, two UK television figures found guilty of serial child abuse, make appearances in the game. Since this discovery, many of the other audio clips and references in the game have been linked to child abuse.
In addition to these cryptic references to illegal activity, there exists a “bad” version of Sad Satan, which contains various illegal images and viruses. Most of these have been scrubbed clean. Fans of horror and mere curious minds alike have tried to complete the game, hoping to uncover its mysterious message. So far, little insight has been provided by those who’ve finished.
After much scrutiny, the game’s supposed origin on the Dark Web is now believed to have been falsified. Players and internet denizens believe that the Obscure Horror Corner channel owner may have exaggerated the more terrifying aspects of the game to up their own channel views.
6. Blank Room Soup
This video is also thought to have emerged from the Deep Web. At first glance, the video seems relatively tame. There is a man sitting at a table with his eyes blacked out and eating soup. A person in a character costume comes up behind him and begins patting him on the back. As this happens, the man eating begins to sob. Then a second person dressed in the same getup enters the frame and appears to be trying to comfort the now crying man.
When it was first uploaded in 2008, it was taken as a joke, prank or some kind of strange experiment. It’s been nearly nine years since its appearance on the web, and still no one has stepped forth to claim it—which has led some to believe that there may be a more sinister story behind the video than what was initially thought.
The video was first sent to Raymond Persi. The characters were his creation, used in a show he did at the Sunset Club. The costumes were stolen from his car in the parking lot, and a bit later, he received the video. According to Persi, the characters, called RayRay, move exactly like Persi’s characters are meant to, meaning the people wearing the outfits must have studied Persi’s performances meticulously.
Some ideas have been thrown around. One claims the meat in the soup is actually human remains, which the man is being forced to eat. Another says that the man is about to die, and that’s why he’s crying. The latter seems to be the more popular, but the video ultimately remains a source of curiosity and bafflement.
7. The Elisa Lam Footage
If you’ve heard of any of the videos on this list, it’s most likely Elisa Lam. This video was released by the LAPD on February 14, 2013, after Lam went missing from her room at the Cecil Hotel. It shows her acting strangely in the hotel's elevator. She enters and presses several buttons, but the doors refuse to close. She tries the buttons again and gets the same result. She presses her palms to her ears, seeming distressed, rubs her forearms together, and returns to the back wall of the elevator. After some time of this repeated action, the doors finally close.
On the morning of February 19, after hotel guests complained of poor water pressure and strange-tasting water, Lam’s body was found in one of the hotel’s rooftop water tanks. Her death was deemed an accidental drowning as there were no signs of foul play or suicide. While traces of prescription medication and a small amount of alcohol were found in Lam's body, the toxicology report found no suspicious substances that may have contributed to her death.
Related: The Bizarre Death of Elisa Lam
Despite the fact that investigators closed the case on Lam's death, gaps remain—most notably, how Lam accessed the locked rooftop and got into the sealed water tank.
Many people who saw the video speculated she was fleeing a pursuer, under the influence of drugs, or experiencing a bipolar episode. All in all, the video created more questions for authorities than it did answers.
Featured photo: Creepyblog / YouTube