When Truth Is Stranger Than Fiction: 35+ Creepy Pictures That Belong In A Horror Movie

By Jishnu B December 26, 2023

This article was originally published on therocketsscience

Have you ever encountered something creepy that sent shivers down your spine before you’ve even had time to process what you’re seeing? We’ve all had at least one instance where we have come across something so strange it seems like we walked into a horror movie. It’s almost as if these terrifyingly real experiences are the universe’s way of reminding us that our world is far stranger than we know — or care to admit.

Although these sights are inherently frightening, millions of people can’t get enough of this second-hand fear. There’s a Reddit community aptly titled r/oddlycreepy with over 2 million members who post, comment, and scroll through some of the most nightmare-inducing images the internet has to offer. We’ve compiled a list to give you a taste of the Reddit community designed to keep the lights on at night. Ummm…enjoy?

An Oddly Terrifying Artistic Beauty

This scene, despite being oddly terrifying, would fit in at the worst Airbnb or modern art exhibit. Those aren’t just ordinary pictures of apartment windows; those are bathroom tiles! Each tile was imprinted with realistic scenes that, when pieced together, form an impressively life-like housing block.

Images Credit: @BigfootDynamite/Reddit

On its surface (no pun intended), some people might actually find this comforting — mainly people who grew up in a city but moved somewhere quieter. However, why anyone would want a scene like this in their bathroom is beyond us.

An Intervention?

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to find your cat sitting on your nightstand like this. We’d be too scared to move, let alone get out of bed if we woke up to this scene. This kitty looks like it’s in the middle of a dark ritual.

Images Credit: @skollywag92/Reddit

The cat’s nonchalant but confident sitting gives us the impression that it knows what you did last summer. All jokes aside, we can clearly see that this image has been photoshopped. The feline musculoskeletal structure is not constructed in a way to accommodate this.

Corpse Bride’s Hand

We all have a vague idea about what certain fruits and vegetables look like — farmers only sell the “best” and prettiest-looking produce to grocery stores. But anyone with a garden knows that food doesn’t always grow in the same shape.

Images Credit: @justadair/Reddit

Someone dug up this sweet potato tuber in their backyard, but we’re concerned that they accidentally found a hidden grave. In all honesty, it reminds us of the Corpse Bride’s hands that Victor accidentally discovered in the middle of the woods.

Bat House

Bats have always been associated with something unnerving, like vampires. Even Bruce Wayne was once afraid of these mammals. However, you wouldn’t feel the same after taking a peak at this adorable bat nursery. As we can see, a swarm of bats is casually hanging from a cave ceiling.

Images Credit: kanahau.org

We’d like to think that if these bats were attached to the ceiling of a hall entrance, they’d make quite a show. Walking underneath would most likely be unsettling. In fact, if one of those fell on us, we’d have a heart attack.

Strange Footprints

Working in an abandoned basement late at night already sounds like a terrible job. So, imagine what would happen if a stranger came around but no one was informed that someone would be coming. This visitor is either a ghost or didn’t bother letting anyone know that they’d been there.

Images Credit: @ssweigart1029/Reddit

We’re wondering why someone would walk into an empty basement barefoot. It’s terrifying if an intruder has been lurking around your house for days. It is, however, preferable to a ghost. We seriously hope that this was a construction worker playing a cruel prank.

A Banana Blossom

It sounds weird to say, but banana trees are arguably one of the most harmless trees out there. Unlike many other fruits (technically berries), you know exactly what to expect — a bunch of ordinary-looking bananas. The same can’t be said of many other foods we know and love.

Images Credit: @journeyman369/Reddit

This banana is determined to ruin your mental image of an unthreatening banana tree. Instead of blooming into a beautiful blossom, this tree decided to make a Halloween costume and produce a mini Pennywise. We don’t think we’ll be eating bananas for a while after seeing this picture.

Remote Zone

Australia is one of those countries that has fewer people than you’d expect, given its large landmass. As a result, it stands to reason that the country contains many remote areas. By “remote,” we don’t mean acres and acres of farmland…

Images Credit: @umbertocsaba/Reddit

It’s hard to imagine a stretch of land one thousand kilometers (621 miles) long that’s so empty, gas stations don’t even bother to set up shop. We’re just glad that someone thought to put up a sign — hopefully not as a result of a tragic accident.

Lighthouse

Iceland is a stunningly beautiful country with breathtaking scenery. Though the country is home to many lighthouses, there’s one in particular that’s noteworthy. At first glance, one is compelled to wonder how someone could get up there in the first place.

Images Credit: @fyflate89/Reddit

This lighthouse was constructed in the late 1930s, and initially, the only way to get to it was to scale the rock on which it sits. Later, a helipad was built next to it, and it is now accessible by helicopter.

Abandoned Railroad

Following railroad tracks to get home sounds almost picturesque — remember Dustin and Steve’s scene in Stranger Things? However, it’s not always so wholesome. Depending on what time of day you go (aka at night), it can be downright treacherous.

Images Credit: @0asisfan2/Reddit

This user expressed their dissatisfaction with the fact that they have no way to get home late at night other than this. One thing specifically does not sit well with us: the abandonment of a gleaming rail track. These tracks are still supposed to be functional. 

No Cure

The discovery/invention of vaccines was a pivotal point in human history. Suddenly, life-threatening illnesses and medical conditions (e.g., diabetes) became minor inconveniences. Yes, we know that not every disease has a vaccine or cure, but most of those we encounter have some sort of treatment.

Images Credit: @DickDoodle830/Reddit

Given the lack of biohazard symbols, we’re willing to bet this is a joke, albeit a cruel one. Imagine coming across an accident, stopping to assist, and discovering this crushed and broken “biohazard” container. Now that sounds like the opening scene of a horror movie.

Bug Armageddon

If at first glance this looked delicious, you might want to cut back on the gummy worms. As we can see, a swarm of bugs is attempting to avoid the fate of the flood by clinging to the pillar. It definitely looks like a buffet for birds. 

Images Credit: @WorthEvent6967/Reddit

We truly feel sorry for these bugs. How can you stand by and do nothing when you see something desperately fighting for its life? Bugs play an important role in our ecosystem, so we should be more gentle with them.

A moth or a tarantula?

We present to you the fuel for this evening’s nightmares. While it may look like a giant hairy tarantula being eaten by some unknown creature, it’s actually a single creature just chilling on a wall. The Antheraea polyphemus is actually a species of silk moth.

Images Credit:@aristogenic/Reddit

If you really want to be creeped out, look at a picture of it with its wings fully spread out. With a wingspan of 15 centimeters and two dots that resemble eyes, it’s not something you’d want to catch out of the corner of your eye.

It Is A Frog Thing

What’s unsettling about this image is that, strangely, every single frog is staring in the same direction, and we’re not sure why. Perhaps they are performing a cult ritual and praying to the almighty car to stop running them over.

Images Credit: @Spacee_7/Reddit

Was this what the plague of frogs really looked like? In all honesty, we hope the car doesn’t leave anytime soon unless they don’t mind squashing a bunch of frogs. Perhaps the frogs are simply migrating to a common breeding ground in the spring.

The Tallest Residential Building 

This dystopian-looking residential apartment is one of the tallest in Johannesburg, South Africa. They were apparently built this way due to building regulations requiring kitchens and bathrooms to have a window, so they have windows on both the outside and inside.

Images Credit: @fyflate89/Reddit

This structure almost has a brutal experimental aesthetic. Furthermore, people have become accustomed to throwing litter down the circular opening, to the point where the bottom of the building has a junk pile reaching the 14th story… it’s a 54-story apartment.

The Chimney Incident

If you want to listen in on your parents discussing what they’ll get for you for Christmas, set up a hidden walkie-talkie. That appears to be what someone attempted nearly 30 years ago. Someone hired a chimney specialist who found this ominous walkie-talkie.

Images Credit: @TheClarkes/Reddit

If you have a chimney and are concerned after seeing this image, we recommend performing a quick inspection. We’re guessing it was used to frighten the previous occupant with ghostly voices coming from the chimney, though it seems like it doubles as a spying device.

An Abandoned Traffic Jam

This Swedish junkyard is one of the most beautiful junkyards in the world. The area is referred to as the car cemetery. It’s tucked away in the woods near the Swedish-Norwegian border. Hundreds of cars from the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s are scattered throughout the area.

Images Credit: @wadye/Reddit

Cars are covered in moss, stacked on top of each other, and/or have trees growing through them. Furthermore, many of the cars are said to have belonged to the United States military. Car enthusiasts, artists, and photographers frequently visit this location to soak in its oddly satisfying beauty. 

Longhorn Beetle Closeup 

Longhorn beetles are native to eastern China and Korea, but they became a major pest of hardwood trees in North America and parts of Eurasia in the past. A photographer took a close-up shot of this creature, and the results are truly astounding.

Images Credit: @Daraojomacro/Reddit

This photograph provides us with a previously unseen close-up of the beetle. When enlarged the pincers look deadly rather than irritating, and the millions of tiny hairs are spine-tingling. Though we will say that the water droplets on the eyes are pretty cool.

A Visit To The Dentist

The health of your teeth is critical, and it is advised that you visit your local dentist on a regular basis. However, we understand that many people find it a daunting task. Learning about cavities or a necessary root canal is sure to make anyone avoid the dentist.

Images Credit: @Spiritual-Life-7519/Reddit

As we can see, this dentist’s chair appears to be covered in fingernail marks. Some visits to the dentist can be particularly painful, but this looks like it was from a torture device. Do they not use any anesthetic there?

Suspicious Activity

Encountering knives in a Ziploc is definitely alarming for many people. This person was walking through the woods when he noticed some plastic poking out from beneath a rock. It was strange because he was still on his father’s property.

Images Credit: @AlexxBoo_1/Reddit

Perhaps this scenario played out much more subtly and less ominous. Consider having a BBQ a short distance from the house. You carry everything together in a shopping bag to save time, and you don’t want to leave any loose knives in the bag, so you put them in a baggie.

Time To Call The Police?

One person was walking behind their home when they came across a body-sized indent in the ground. This situation is particularly concerning as it seems like someone was hastily buried here. However, unless you dig down and find remains, there isn’t enough evidence to call the cops.

Images Credit: @camelvendor/Reddit

It’s time to dust off that old shovel in the basement. Perhaps a stump tree was buried here, and the soil collapsed as the wood rotted. Just in case, they should probably keep an eye on their neighbors for a while.

Peak Of Uncomfortableness

This picture, without a doubt, is the most unsettling of the bunch. At first, it looks like some randomly creepy costume that’s designed solely to give people the chills. But if you can stand to look at it for more than a few seconds, you might recognize it…

Images Credit: @Airport-Local/Reddit

For Halloween one year, someone chose to dress up as a character from SpongeBob…just not one of the recurring characters. It’s the shriveled old mother from the episode where SpongeBob and Patrick are trying to sell chocolate. This cosplayer certainly nailed the creep factor.

You Don’t Have To Tell Us

Many people find diving underwater to be a thrilling experience. Although it can be intimidating at first, it is possible that you will overcome your fears once you get on the water. Activities like these make you feel larger than life.

Images Credit: @rainbownightterror/Reddit

Many divers are influenced by the adrenaline rush and may venture into dangerous areas such as these. But there are some places even daredevils should avoid. We are sure many people ignored the warnings and went ahead with it anyway.

Time To Burn The House Down

You know it’s finally time to burn the house down when you encounter an unnerving sight like this. This is definitely making our teeth quiver out of disgust. As we can see, there has been a disturbing growth of parasites on the wall…

Images Credit: @Mufiin808/Reddit

We would certainly begin packing and find a new home if we found this in our house. This is undoubtedly an unhygienic and unhealthy place to stay. Although burning down the house sounds safer in this situation, applying bleach might be able to solve the problem.

The Skull Rock

This rock resembling the shape of a skull was discovered in the middle of this forest. Needless to say, this image is terrifying in the best possible way. This is definitely an interesting sight to see and certainly embodies The Legend of Sleepy Hollow aesthetic.

Images Credit: @Bo4dan/Reddit

We can understand why someone would be terrified to come across it while taking a stroll through the forest if they had no idea it existed. But being mentally prepared, we are in awe of how creepily beautiful it is.

Toilet Paper Invasion

Unsurprisingly, arachnophobia is among the top 10 phobias, with anywhere from 3% to 15% of people experiencing this fear. Yet even those who even consider themselves as arachnophiles can be startled upon finding spiders in unexpected places. Case in point: a toilet paper holder.

Images Credit: @ricardovalomas/Reddit

If this person was having trouble going to the bathroom before, we bet they easily let loose upon seeing a spider chilling on the toilet paper roll. Fortunately for them, these spiders appear to be huntsman spiders and are considered harmless…to humans.

A Mysterious Parchment

Many people would be intrigued if they came across a piece of parchment like this because they don’t know whether it’s gibberish or a legitimate language. This particular piece of paper was discovered in the bathroom behind a piece of furniture. The safer option is unquestionably to burn it.

Images Credit: @DeltaWarZA/Reddit

To be honest, this appears to be something that someone would make and then hide for the sole purpose of frightening someone. We’re fine as long as whatever the paper says isn’t witchcraft. Actually, thinking again, maybe burning it would have an even worse end.

A Shadow

Imagine walking into your room and discovering a mysterious clown shadow lurking behind the curtains. We can almost guarantee that many people would pass out at the sight of that. This scene is yet another example of something straight out of a horror film.

Images Credit: @Alexisviolet666/Reddit

This user claims that while going to feed their child, she forgot to put a pennywise cutout in the window, and it fell over as she was walking into the room. We’re wondering why anyone would bother getting a cutout of one of the most terrifying clowns ever.

A Big Bug

While some people are exclusively afraid of spiders, others are scared of all sorts of other insects. Once again, even entomologists might have a hard time hiding their fright if they came across this. This thing appears to be capable of swallowing a small cat whole.

Images Credit: @asilvertintedrose/Reddit

In reality, this “insect” isn’t a real bug, but rather an animatronic used in the film Pacific Rim. Although it’s comforting to know that the production team worked hard to make things look as real as possible, this bug is far too frighteningly real.

Utter Silence

A stadium packed with people is not an unusual sight. So, what is the unsettling aspect of this image? Since there’s no audio with still images, we’ll have to give you some context. This picture was taken in a completely silent stadium.

Images Credit: @itsMoSmith/Reddit

Although some might consider it a dystopian environment, it is not as distressing as you might think. Stadiums frequently have minute-long silences to honor deceased players, for example, so it’s not uncommon to experience that, even if it’s only brief. 

Yoda

To say that Star Wars is a cultural phenomenon is an understatement. It’s made its way into popular culture and even people who haven’t seen it know the basics of the first few films. And, of course, everyone knows the beloved Jedi master, Yoda.

Images Credit: @hazware/Reddit

Though it’s always a delight to see him on screen, Yoda behind the scenes is creepy. As with many films that use prosthetics, masks and molds are made. And when they’re not shown in context, well, that’s when nightmares happen.

No Windows

Windows play an important role in making any accommodation a viable living environment. They not only add light and ventilation, but they can also be emergency escape routes (depending on where you live). In addition, being able to view the outside world can greatly improve one’s mental health.

Images Credit: @KingOfKrackers/Reddit

And it’s not just homes; windows are important in work environments, too. That’s why it would be surprising if there was a structure without a window. Apparently, such a structure exists. It is the Historical Archives building, and it was built to keep humidity at bay.

A Goblin Shark

Even though there are hundreds of thousands of fish species, for some reason, we always expect them to look somewhat the same. However, the reality is far from that. This Goblin Shark looks more like Dobby from Harry Potter, but reincarnated as a creature questioning its own existence.

Images Credit: @glamoroushumility/Reddit

These fishes naturally live more than a mile underwater. As a result, seeing one is extremely rare. They are found primarily in Japan and are named for their resemblance to mythical goblins from Japanese folklore. No arguments here on that one.

Custom Helmets

This one is for the bikers: if you care about road safety, both for yourself and other motorists, we strongly advise you to wear a helmet. We’re not sure about this design though, as we’re sure it’d startle people and cause even more accidents.

Images Credit: @Vavrin33/Reddit

This helmet with an exterior design of a human head is definitely trippy to look at. It looks like someone’s head out of a video game. However, if you’re someone who is shy in front of a crowd, this could help mask your anxieties. 

William Dafoe As Green Goblin

The Green Goblin is an iconic archenemy of Spider-Man. Although Norman Osborn’s science experiments helped him gain strength, they also weakened his mental state and transformed him into a cackling, evil presence —something Willem Dafoe nailed when he played the live-action version.

Images Credit: @jishmanish/Reddit

While Willem was great on screen, a pixelated version of him is even creepier than his Green Goblin persona. Nintendo really out to rethink the designs for some of its games. Suddenly, a classic meme-worthy line is pure nightmare fuel.

Trypophobia

If you are trypophobic, we strongly advise you to scroll on to the next image. If you’ve never heard of it, trypophobia is a fear of encountering repetitive patterns, most of which are circular in shape. So, consider yourself forewarned.

Brocken Inaglory/CC BY-SA 4.0/Wikimedia Commons

This user spent a significant amount of time Googling soap bubbles and came across this extremely disturbing image. Is it just us, or do you notice a dark figure lurking around in the majority of them? We’re still puzzled as to why anyone would bother Googling soap bubbles in the first place.

Satan Lives

Many people have been fascinated by Satan’s existence and his influences on us. It has been said that if you make a deal with the devil, he will claim your soul. That means that once the deal is made, no amount of redemption can save you from eternal damnation.

Images Credit: @The_Walking_Woods/Reddit

This user and his friend appear to have taken a trip down the city storm sewer and came across this sign reading “Satan Lives.” We believe it is a prank because someone as powerful as Satan would not choose a sewer as its lair.

An Eye That Pierces Into Your Soul

This image immediately captivates us and reminds us of the beauty and unique workings of nature. This is the result of years and years of erosion down into the rock layers, resulting in such an exquisite pattern. It almost looks like a dragon’s eye.

Images Credit: Leigh Pugh

Even though it is absolutely stunning, it appears to be staring into our souls. The eye is so realistic that it’s difficult to believe it’s not an actual creature’s eye. It also makes us think of the iconic scene from the new Trolls film.

A Hair Strand

This is without a doubt the least terrifying or unusual item on this list. This user appears to be single and claims to have never shared his comb with a girl. He discovered a long hair strand on his comb and is puzzled as to how it got there.

Images Credit: Reddit

To be honest, we don’t know what to make of this because we don’t know how long the user’s hair is. Perhaps he simply wanted the other Reddit users in the thread to know he is single and thus used this post as a means of doing so or maybe he has uneven hair growth.

Bear Mascot

Humans are social creatures, so even the most introverted people can feel lonely, especially during the holidays. As a result, this company devised the idea of selling human-sized bears to people who are unwilling to accept the fact that they will be alone during the holidays.

Images Credit: @R4v_/Reddit

In all honesty, we believe it would be a very comforting addition, particularly if you are feeling down and in need of extra support. It does not, however, change the fact that it is extremely creepy to look at. It’s basically a body pillow with a head.

A Giant Cured Meat 

Many people may be perplexed by this image. Why would anyone hang a massive boulder in their basement? It turns out it’s cured meat, not a giant rock. Curing meat is a food preservation method that has been practiced for centuries.

Images Credit: @6dan13la/Reddit

If you’re someone who’s not familiar with the curing process, we would certainly understand why you would be terrified at the sight of this scene. Some might even consider calling the cops. However, there’s nothing a quick Google search can’t solve if you’re confused.