Millions of people all around the world use Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia every single day. Spanning over 40 million articles in over 250 languages, Wikipedia covers all manner of topics. But not all the topics the site covers are pleasant. In fact, many articles are devoted to grisly topics, such as famous murderers, unexplained mysteries, and violence.
Here are the creepiest Wikipedia pages ever written. What makes these pages so creepy, you might ask? Because each are based on real-life events.
1. The Hinterkaifeck Murders
The most horrific crime that Germany has ever witnessed occurred on the evening of March 31, 1922, in Hinterkaifeck, a small farmstead just north of Munich. Andreas Gruber lived with his wife, daughter, and grandchildren on their modest farm. Well-liked within the local community, the neighbors found it odd when Andreas told them he had found footprints in the snow leading to the farm, but could not find any prints leading away back to the forest. Upon further pressing, Andreas also told them that he had heard footsteps in the attic of the house and that the house keys had suddenly gone missing. The neighbors found these incidents puzzling, but not altogether alarming. However, that all changed on that cold March night.
The details of the murders remain unsolved, but experts were able to piece together certain events, each more terrible than the last. It appeared that Andreas, his wife, Viktoria, and her seven-year-old daughter were each coaxed to the barn on the property, one by one. There, the killer struck them repeatedly with a mattock. Once they were all dead, the killer walked into the farmhouse, and located Viktoria’s two-year-old son, Josef, and Maria the maid. They were killed in the same fashion as the others.
A massive investigation took place, but the culprit was never apprehended. Nobody involved with the case could come up with a likely answer as to why Andreas and his family were slain in this brutal manner. The Hinterkaifeck murders remain a mystery to this day.
2. Murder of Junko Furuta
Seventeen-year-old Junko Furuta was heading home from school on November 25, 1988, when four of her male classmates abducted her and held her captive in Adachi, Tokyo. There, Furuta was tortured, beaten, and raped by her classmates. The house Furuta was held in belonged to the parents of one of the boys and she would often beg the adults to help her, but both parents were deathly afraid of what their son would do to them should they intervene.
For 44 hellish days, Furuta was held captive. She attempted to escape multiple times but each attempt ended in failure. Malnourished, she eventually succumbed to her injuries. After her death, the four boys found a large oil drum; they dumped her corpse inside and filled the drum with concrete. All four boys were eventually arrested and charged with the crime, but none received the life sentence they clearly deserved.
3. The Golden State Killer
The tale of the Golden State Killer may sound fictitious, but it is anything but. This real-life horror story took place in California and began on June 18, 1976, when a woman just outside of Sacramento was attacked and raped by a man she didn’t recognize. The incident was reported, but local police officers had no idea what trouble was brewing. Between the original attack on June 18, and July 5, 1979, at least 50 women were sexually assaulted within the same region. While some of the women had managed to get a look at their attacker, none were able to properly identify him. With the police at a loss, the Golden State Killer decided to up the ante.
On February 2, 1978, Brian and Katie Maggiore were out walking their dog when they got into an altercation with an unknown individual. The couple tried to flee the confrontation but were chased down and shot dead. From that point on, the Golden State Killer murdered 10 more people, typically raping his female victims before bludgeoning them to death. Initially, police officials were not sure if the murders were linked to the east area rapes. Yet the similar style of the crimes, in addition to clues left behind, such as twine, eventually convinced them they were dealing with the same man. DNA evidence further solidified this hypothesis.
The Golden State Killer's final victim was 18-year-old Janelle Lisa Cruz, who was found bludgeoned to death in her home on May 4, 1986. While the police apprehended and questioned numerous suspects, each was eventually ruled out via DNA and other substantial evidence. To this day, the case remains unsolved and is categorized as ongoing.
Related: 9 Books About California Murders
4. Genie the Feral Child
Genie is the pseudonym given to a baby girl born in 1957. Not long after her birth, the girl's father noticed she was likely mentally challenged. This did not please him. When Genie was 20 months old, he decided it was best if he kept the girl hidden from society. He often strapped her to a child’s toilet or bound her in a crib for days at a time. While he did keep her from starving, Genie suffered from profound malnourishment. Due to the extreme isolation, she grew up with no concept of language or social behavior.
On November 4, 1970, Los Angeles child welfare services learned of the situation. Genie was 13 years old. News of her case quickly spread, and linguistics and psychologists alike fled to study her. Many believed that her isolated life would provide numerous learning opportunities about human development. Over time she developed nonverbal communication skills, but was ultimately unable to learn a language.
After an initial stint in the hospital, Genie moved from foster home to foster home. Her mother even offered her a place to live, but was unable to care for Genie’s rigorous needs. Since, Genie has lived in numerous institutions for disabled adults and has been subjected to further emotional and physical abuse. Consequentially she lost what little communication skills she had learned. Her specific whereabouts are now unknown, but she is suspected to live in California and be cared for by the state.
Related: 10 Wild Tales of Feral Children
5. Frederick Valentich
The Wikipedia article on Frederick Valentich is full of theories that seek to explain his mysterious disappearance. On October 21, 1978, the 20-year-old decided to fly a Cessna 182L airplane over Bass Strait in Australia. Valentich had always been enthusiastic about flying, but never earned the credentials to become a commercial pilot or join Australia’s military. Nevertheless, he often flew by himself. It was during a solo flight on October 21, that Valentich radioed into Melbourne air traffic control, claiming that a strange looking aircraft seemed to be following him.
The employees at the air traffic control center radioed back and informed Valentich that there was no known air traffic occurring at that level. The pilot continued to describe what he was seeing, and stated that the aircraft was orbiting above him, encased in a shiny metal surface with green lights on it. He also reported his engine was giving him trouble. When air traffic control asked him to describe the aircraft, Valentich replied, “it isn’t an aircraft.” Then there was a large, metallic scraping noise, before contact was lost.
Valentich and his plane disappeared. Friends of Valentich told authorities that their friend was a UFO enthusiast. This led specialists to believe that Valentich only thought he had seen a flying saucer when in reality he had become disoriented by flying upside down over water. However, this explanation does not account for the numerous reports of a UFO sighting that occurred over Australia that night. Did Valentich crash? Or was he actually abducted by aliens? We may never know.
6. Carl Tanzler
Everything changed for Carl Tanzler when he met Elena “Helen” Milagro de Hoyos, a young Cuban-American who had contracted tuberculosis. Tanzler was a bacteriologist at the time, and was working at the Marine Hospital in Key West when Helen’s mother brought her in for an examination. Tanzler quickly became obsessed with the young lady, and his obsession with her did not diminish when she died on October 25, 1931.
Two years after Helen was buried, Tanzler snuck into the cemetery and removed her corpse from its tomb. He placed the body in a wagon and carted it back to his house. Using wire and coat hangers, Tanzler reattached Helen’s bones together. Helen’s eyes had already deteriorated, so Tanzler gave her glass ones. After her skin had started decomposing, Tanzler slowly replaced it with wax-dipped silk. He even made a wig of Helen’s hair, combining it with a small clump given to him as a memorial gift by Helen’s mother. He then proceeded to stuff Helen’s corpse with rags to keep her figure, and dressed her body up in various gloves, jewelry, and perfume.
For seven long years, Tanzler kept Helen’s corpse tucked safely in his bed. He had convinced himself that it was precisely what Helen had wanted him to do after her death. In the fall of 1940, Helen’s sister, Florinda, caught wind of a rumor that the doctor had removed her sister’s corpse and was keeping it in his house. Florinda confronted Tanzler in his home and eventually came across the corpse. Horrified she contacted the police and Tanzler was arrested. However, the charges were dropped due to the statute of limitations.
Carl Tanzler eventually died in 1952. When authorities came to remove his body from his home, they found an effigy of Helen not far from where Tanzler had died.
7. Villisca Axe Murders
The Moore family lived in the little town of Villisca, Iowa during the early 1900s. Josiah, his wife, and their four children were good neighbors and had an active interest in church. On the evening of June 9, 1912, the entire family had gone to the local Presbyterian church for a children’s program that Sarah Moore had personally coordinated. After the program, 10-year-old Mary Katherine invited her friends Ina Mae and Lena Stillinger to spend the night at the Moore house. All appeared well when the Moore family and Stillinger sisters walked home from the church. It was the last time any of them were seen alive.
Mary Peckham, the Moore family’s neighbor, grew concerned when none of the family had come out to tend to their morning chores the following day. She went to open their front door but found it locked. She contacted Ross Moore, Josiah’s brother, who came over with his spare key. When he stepped into the guest bedroom, he found Ina Mae and Lena on the bed, dead. He shouted for Mary to contact the local authorities while he combed through the rest of the house. They had walked into a blood bath.
Josiah, Sarah, and their four children were also found, each killed with an axe. The axe itself, which had belonged to Josiah, was later found in the guest room with the Stillinger sisters. Further investigations found cigarette butts in the attic, which suggested that whoever had killed the family had waited up there until the family had fallen asleep. The investigation also revealed that while the rest of the Moore family and Ina Mae and Lena had been killed with the blunt end of the axe, Josiah had been sliced with the sharp end so many times, his eyes were gone. Multiple suspects were considered, though none were ever charged. The murders remain unsolved to this day and the house is now open to the public.
8. Armin Meiwes
Armin Meiwes was a quiet man with a massive secret. By day, he worked for a computer repair shop near Wustefeld, Germany. By night, Armin scoured the internet, looking for the perfect candidate to be his next lover. While this may sound perfectly normal, Armin had developed a fetish for cannibalism and had decided to act on his fantasies. After discovering the cannibal fetish site, Cannibal Café, Armin met Bernd Jurgen, a man who lived in Berlin who wished to be eaten alive.
Armin and Bernd exchanged several emails before they finally met on March 9, 2001. Armin took Bernd to his home where they proceeded to make a videotape of Armin cutting off Bernd’s penis. Once the appendage had been successfully severed, the two men attempted to eat it raw, but found it to be “too chewy.” Armin then tossed the penis into a frying pan, and the duo ate what they could. They fed the burned parts to the dog.
Armin then took Bernd to his bathtub, so he could nap while he bled out. Once Bernd was dead, Armin placed his corpse on a meat hook, and began meticulously cutting away at his flesh. He would consume 44 pounds of Bernd’s flesh over the next 10 months.
In December of 2002, Armin created a new advertisement, searching for his next meal. A college student found the ad, and the subsequent description of Armin’s last conquest, and telephoned the police. Armin was arrested and charged with manslaughter and sentenced to eight years in prison. It should be noted that while serving his time, Armin became a vegetarian.
9. Boy in the Box
The Boy in the Box is easily considered one of the most creepy unsolved murders in American history. On February 25, 1957, a boy set out to check on his muskrat traps in Fox Chase, Pennsylvania, a wooded neighborhood in northeast Philadelphia. Instead, he found a cardboard box with a dead boy inside. Worried he would get in trouble for his illegal traps, the boy fled the scene. Thankfully, a young college student came across the boy in the box the following day and reported it to police.
Authorities traveled to Fox Chase, where the boy had been dumped. The box itself once held a bassinet. The boy, who ranged between the age of three and seven, had been wrapped up in a plaid blanket and stuffed inside. Upon closer inspection, they realized that the boy’s hair had been hastily cut off. It was also clear that the boy had been severely malnourished while he was alive. Investigators were surprised to discover that the boy had three surgical scars on his body. The police took fingerprints and opened the investigation, confident that they would find the culprit.
Yet no one ever came forward with information. The boy’s fingerprints did not match anything in their records, and there didn’t seem to be any concrete evidence against potential suspects. Each year came and went with no new leads. The case remains open to this day. The boy in the box has since been buried and is commonly referred to as “America’s Unknown Child.”
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This Story Was First Published on Occult Museum.
Featured photo: Wikimedia Commons