Screens x

Honestly don’t even watch these.

YouTube is home to a slew of family vloggers, beauty gurus and cute cats, but below that buoyant veneer is a dark underbelly of creepy videos.

The following 10 videos vary in view count, but all provoke the same high levels of fear and dread.

1. Creepiest Ice Cream Truck, Ever

I scream, you scream, we all scream…

This veteran of creepy videos is only 48 seconds long, and the man behind the camera provides some amusing commentary, but in between his F-bombs, you can hear what is most likely the jingle that plays when entering hell.

What makes the video so creepy is that it takes something as innocent as an ice cream truck and puts it in a light you never wanted to see it in. While the truck drives menacingly slow down the street, the usually bright and cheerful song is distorted and everyone in the video, from the man behind the camera to his cat, desperately wants it to stop.

The only way this truck could be any creepier would be if Pennywise were driving it.

2. Fireworks PSA

By the time this article publishes, the warning in this PSA will be too late for some people.

In 1989, a Dutch foundation that makes advertising campaigns called Stichting Ideële Reclame (SIRE) invented its most famous slogan to date: “You are a bovine when you stunt with fireworks.” Starting in 1993, SIRE’s unflinching approach to advertising against the irresponsible use of fireworks involved posters of actual handicapped victims of stunts with fireworks.

Creepy videos
The PSA from the Netherlands uses real people’s hands missing fingers to caution fireworks usage. (Image via YouTube)

Although the featured PSA is one of the least-watched creepy videos on YouTube, it has made its rounds since 1996. In it, an excited group of people count backward from 10 to welcome the new year. Two hands appear against a plain red background and with every second that ticks down, there is one fewer finger.

According to an article found on Nieuwsuur, a Dutch current affairs website, “These advertisements demonstrably led to behavioral change: fewer firework victims.”

3. Agamemnon Counterpart

You are on the weird side of YouTube again. This creepy video will have viewers raising an eyebrow as they back away from their screens in trepidation.

Loud and bizarre, the video will leave you wondering what was going through the creator’s mind when they envisioned this children’s TV show on acid.

4. Girls See Ghost and Run

The authenticity of this creepy video has been questioned since it was uploaded in 2012, but whether it was a ghost or a prank that scared the two little girls, the chills that run up viewers’ spines are genuine.

One viewer commented, “The scream though…the goddamn scream, it legit just makes me want to cry and I really don’t know why. Gives me goosebumps without fail every single time. It really does make me wonder what the hell those two poor girls saw that night.”

5. Lights Out

Winner of Best Director in the 2013 Who’s There Film Challenge and Best Short at FANT Bilbao 2014, the Swedish horror short film “Lights Out” is terrifying. With over 14 million views, it is the one of the most popular creepy videos on YouTube.

Creepy videos Lights Out
One commenter said, “This video scared my dad so bad I thought he was literally having a heart attack.” (Image via Vimeo)

The film was directed, written, produced, shot and scored by David F. Sandberg and starred his wife, Lotta Losten. Despite filming on practically no budget, the couple managed to pack an incredible amount of tension and terror into their three-minute masterpiece. Sandberg even had the pleasure of directing the eponymous 2016 film adaptation, in which Losten also had a cameo.

This short film is effective because it prays on humans’ primal fear of the dark and triggers a “fight or flight” response. The pitch blackness of 3 a.m. provides the perfect canvas on which to project your deepest fears.

6. LOCAL58 – Contingency

Tinny patriotic music, degradation of video and a bone-chilling call to action are what make this fake broadcast disturbing. Despite the wording being ambiguous, the message is loud and clear.

Creepy videos like this hit even closer to home for Americans, as they are the target audience of the transmission. The thought that the United States government might actually have something similar to this contingency in its back pocket further enhances the sense of unease when watching the video.

7. Transfiguration — Performance Olivier de Sagazan

As unsettling as the video is, it is called a performance for a reason. French artist Olivier de Sagazan uses layers of clay and paint to transform his face into hideous monsters, and although his work is a very weird type of art, it is art nonetheless.

Humans fear the unknown, and the monsters that de Sagazan becomes are not recognizable in any way. They are plucked straight out of his imagination, and his wild shouting and grunting add to the peculiarity.

8. Blank Room Soup

Masks are already creepy because they hide whoever (or whatever) is underneath, especially ones that are featureless.

A man is slurping soup at a table when two full-bodied characters silently enter the otherwise empty room and comfort him. The mystery behind this eerie clip has never been solved, but YouTuber Reignbot posted a video that debunks the origin of the expressionless duo.

The costumes were stolen from a well-known performance group in Los Angeles at least a decade ago, but that still does not explain who, what, when, where and why the thieves created this creepy video.

Is it a joke or an experiment? Is the man laughing or crying? What is in the soup? These questions might never be answered.

9. Cry Reads: Autopilot

You cannot hide in the comments for this creepy video because it is strictly audio. YouTuber Cryaotic occasionally deviates from his usual gaming videos to post dramatic readings of stories that are originally published on the Reddit forum r/nosleep.

Cry’s deep and expressive voice feels as if he is actually telling the story, titled “Autopilot,” instead of reading off of paper. The twist at the end is easily every parent and older sibling’s nightmare.

10. Jupiter Sounds: NASA-Voyager recording

There is no sound in space, and yet NASA managed to record the electromagnetic vibrations of the planet Jupiter within the range of human hearing.

Some people think that the bass drone is soothing while others find it demonic. Given that Jupiter is a gigantic planet, it stands to reason that its resonance would also be intimidating.

The sounds are as beautiful as they are haunting. The vibrations are truly the soundtrack of the universe and for a lot of people, there is nothing scarier than the vastness of space and its contents.

If you plan on watching all 10 of these creepy videos, I recommend leaving a light on.

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