They say knowledge is power, but there are still so many things unknown. So it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed about the world out there. Knowing about these creepy facts might help you with that. From the weirdest animal quirks to the creepiest Disneyland trivia, here are 60 creepy facts to pour over—if you’re brave enough.
Disneyland’s famous Pirates of the Caribbean ride used real skeletons.
The engineers from Disney took one look at the fake skeletons that were initially brought in and thought that, nope, they weren’t creepy enough. This might be because prosthetics in the 1960s weren’t as convincing as they are now. To offer a more authentic experience, Disney engineers enlisted the help of the University of California Los Angeles’ anatomy department for real skeletons.
Gradually, they replaced these real skeletons with fake ones, but many believe that real skeletons remain in the attraction. Either way, this creepy fact about the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is as fascinating as it is scary.
Wes Craven’s “A Nightmare on Elm Street” is based on a real story.
Director Craven revealed that the inspiration for the iconic slasher film came from a story he read from the LA times: a boy was having disturbing nightmares and refused to sleep for days out of fear. The same night he succumbed to exhaustion, he died in his sleep, but not before screaming for help in the middle of the night because of his nightmares.
As many as 50 serial killers are on the loose in the United States.
This number is according to the FBI. However, some, including homicide archivist Thomas Hargrove, speculate that around 3000 – 4000 serial killers remain active in the country.
It is common for children to hear “voices.”
Apparently, parents don’t have to freak out if their children can hear voices. Around 8% of children do, which is as common as having asthma or dyslexia. Hearing voices is definitely creepy, but at least it’s perfectly normal, right?
Every day, a person consumes around 1 - 2 cups of snot.
More mucus travels into the trachea than it leaks out the nose, so most of this ends up at the back of your throat. This creepy science fact might gross you out, but it’s completely harmless and normal.
Your bed can have up to 10 million dust mites.
Dust mites love warm beddings and dead skin cells. This makes your bed an ideal home for them. They are microscopic and multiply up to thousands or millions. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this creepy fact, then it’s washing your beddings regularly!
A person sweats around 1 cup per day.
That means your bed absorbs around 26 gallons of your sweat every year. That’s another creepy fact reminding you to wash your bedsheets as often as possible.
Isla de las Muñecas or the “Island of the Dolls” is one of the most haunted places in the world.
This small island south of Mexico City is a frightening place. Perched and nailed onto the islands’ trees, these little dolls house the spirit of a little girl. According to the legend, the island’s caretaker found a girl who drowned in mysterious circumstances. The caretaker discovered a doll floating in the water, and he hung it on a tree to appease the drowned girl’s spirit.
However, this show of respect did not work, and the drowned girl’s spirit continued to haunt the caretaker, causing him to hang more and more dolls in order to temper her anger. Sometimes, tourists even say they can see the dolls move their heads and even whisper among each other.
The Zoroastrians leave their dead in special towers to be eaten by vultures.
While some may find it creepy, it is simply tradition for Zoroastrians. Their funerary practice involves leaving their dead on top of towers called the “dakhma.” Zoroastrians believe that the earth, water, air, and fire are all sacred, and thus burying or cremating the dead would spread impurities to these elements. Leaving their dead exposed to the elements might horrify some, but it is a sign of respect for their followers.
Aztec priests believed that the tears of children could stop droughts.
Aztec followers believed in the power of human sacrifice, and many of their rituals included sacrificing women and children to serve their sun god, Huitzilopochtli. When they experienced drought, Aztec priests sacrificed children because they believed their tears could call on the rain.
“The Devil’s Bible” exists, and it’s a contract between a monk and Satan.
Also known as Codex Gigas, “The Devil’s Bible” is the largest Latin manuscript known to the world. It contains a full-page portrait of Satan. People believe the manuscript contains the contract of a monk who sold his soul to Satan in the 13th century in order to escape execution.
Decorations made from human bones adorn the interior of the Sedlec Ossuary.
If human remains terrify you, then perhaps you shouldn’t include this Roman Catholic church in your itinerary when you visit the Czech Republic. As an ossuary, the “Bone Church” contains the bones of around 40,000 different people. These bones are all arranged in different forms, such as garlands, altars, and even a chandelier.
People used hollowed human skulls as bowls and cups back in ancient England.
Another creepy fact that dates back to ancient England is that cave settlers fashioned cups out of human skulls. They hollowed the skulls and removed the surrounding tissue until they could use it as a drinking vessel. That’s certainly some food for thought.
Ancient Romans believed that drinking blood would let them absorb power.
Blood transfusion was a popular practice in Ancient Rome. During gladiator games at the Colosseum, members of the audience would rush into the field to ravage the blood off of fallen gladiators. They believed that in drinking the blood of fallen warriors, they too would absorb the warriors’ powers and skills.
Alchemists used brain matter as an ingredient for an elixir of eternal life.
In the 1600s, John French was an English alchemist who used brain matter for his concoctions. Another horrifying fact about his elixirs was that he stored it in horse manure for months and then drank it after.
Being buried alive accidentally occurred so often that people invented “safety coffins.”
Doctors often misdiagnosed ill patients, and this was common in 17th century England. Alice Blunden is an example. A doctor mistakenly pronounced her dead after she drank sedatives, and they accidentally buried her alive. This horrifying ordeal didn’t just happen once, but twice. After exhuming her and finding her near death, they buried her once more, only for her to struggle in the casket, still alive, until she eventually succumbed to death.
The Mutter Museum displays various mutations, tumors, and anomalies of human anatomy.
In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Mutter Museum showcases preserved internal organs, models, and equipment for biomedical research and education. The creepy stuff displayed is “disturbingly informative” as their poster says.
The floating specs you see probably aren’t dust but dead skin cells.
This means that the air you breathe also contains dead skin cells. In fact, 15% of what you breathe in during a train ride is most likely the dead skin cells of passengers, including yourself.
A person will shed around 40 pounds of skin in a single lifetime.
Just like snakes, humans shed their skin too, but at a much slower pace. Accumulated, however, your shed skin will amount to almost half the average body weight.
Your coffee mug probably has fecal matter on it.
The creepiest fact about your office might be found in the kitchen: scientists have discovered that 90% of coffee mugs are covered in germs. The culprit? Shared kitchen sponges. They caused 20% of these coffee mugs to test positive for E. coli.
The Vent Haven Museum houses vintage ventriloquist dummies.
Ventriloquist dolls can be quite creepy, and a museum filled with hundreds of ventriloquist dolls is likely a horror movie destination for many. In Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, the Vent Haven Museum houses over 900 ventriloquist dolls and other related pieces such as photographs and replicas.
Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio displays documents signed by haunted souls in purgatory.
Museo delle Anime del Purgatorio or the Museum of the Souls of Purgatory is a small museum in Rome, Italy. Their collection displays several documents and photos with handprints that they claim to be from the dead or souls stuck in Purgatory.
The most haunted island in the world is Poveglia, Italy.
In the 18th century, the Romans quarantined patients with the plague on Poveglia Island. Those inflicted with the plague, along with other diseased individuals, were left to die on this island. They later turned this area into a mental hospital, which closed in 1968. Whatever other creepy facts about this island remain hidden as Poveglia is off-limits to visitors.
18th century doctors believed that bloodletting was necessary to “balance” one’s health.
There are a lot of creepy facts about medicine, and one of them is that in the 1800s, doctors would cut through a patient’s vein to drain them of a certain amount of blood. They believed humans could accumulate too much blood and therefore had to let the extra out for good health.
King Charles II drank alcohol mixed with pulverized human skulls.
Another creepy fact about the English King is that he called his drink the “King’s Drops,” and he incorporated it into his diet with the belief that it promoted good health.
Charles II watched William of Orange consummate his marriage.
King Charles II was the uncle of William of Orange. He married his niece to the prince, and historians say that he watched over the two of them during their wedding night. It’s a weird, horrifying, and creepy fact all in one.
Women in the 18th century used lead as makeup.
Queen Elizabeth I used Venetian ceruse to paint her face with white pigment. This makeup contains vinegar, water, and white lead, which was the pigment that gave the mixture its color. “If looks could kill” becomes a reality through this creepy fact, for being exposed to lead could cause lead poisoning and death.
Muscovite palaces and courts had professional foot-ticklers.
A creepy and strange fact about Catherine the Great is that she was a big fan of foot-tickling. Many of her court were, and they often hired eunuchs and women to be their full-time foot-ticklers because it helped them become aroused.
Emperor Nero profited off of human urine.
We can say a lot about the Roman tyrant, but one creepy fact about him is that Emperor Nero imposed a urine tax, charging merchants who sold pee. This is because human urine was a valuable and useful product back in Ancient Rome.
The Judas Cradle was a means of torture where the victim was forced to sit on a spike.
Medieval Europe had no shortage of torture devices. For the Judas Cradle, the victim’s limbs were tied with ropes as they were lowered onto a pyramid-shaped wooden device until it penetrated their anus or vagina. This horrifying fact doesn’t stop there as sometimes, operators would add weights on the victim’s legs to increase the pain.
During mummification, Ancient Egyptians removed the brain through one of the nostrils.
This scary process is called excerebration. Ancient Egyptians inserted an iron hook through the corpse’s nostril to draw out parts of the brain and then placed them in a jar.
Doctors treated “hysteria” through a “pelvic finger massage.”
In the early 20th century, doctors manually stimulated the genitals of women until they orgasmed. They called this “hysterical paroxysm,” and they believed that this could cure different kinds of female hysteria.
“Figging” is a practice wherein ginger root is inserted into the anus or vagina.
In Ancient Greece, slave owners used figging to discipline female slaves. They would skin a ginger root into a phallic shape. The insertion causes an intense burning sensation and discomfort. The practice is mortifying, especially when it could last for an extended period of time.
More than 150 corpses occupy Mount Everest.
Plenty of creepy facts and horror stories surround the world’s tallest mountain, but one of the most horrifying facts about Mount Everest is that the bodies of over 150 dead hikers remain on the mountain, buried under deep snow.
People say a haunted radio station from Russia exists.
UVB-76 broadcasts white static noises and occasionally picks up Russian transmissions, but nobody knows where this low-frequency radio station broadcasts from. It gets even creepier when you find out that it’s been broadcasting since 1982.
To this date, scientists have only been able to account for less than 10% of the ocean.
The ocean comprises over 70% of the Earth’s surface, and with only less than 10% of that accounted for, plenty believes the ocean to be home to some of the creepiest and most frightening creatures alive. Today’s technology continues to advance, but the deep levels of the ocean still make it difficult to explore further. What’s clear is that so far, the unknown continues to scare plenty of us.
The golden poison frog has enough poison to kill 10 - 15 people.
The Phyllobates terribilis or golden poison frog lives in the Pacific coast of Colombia. With its bright yellow skin and small size, the golden poison frog’s appearance is misleading, for its skin is coated in deadly poison called alkaloid toxin. One milligram of this poison can kill around 10 – 15 humans.
Some fish have human-like teeth.
Fish have their fair share of horrifying facts, but the Pacu fish from South America might be the creepiest for some just because of their teeth. Despite being related to piranhas, Pacu fish have straight square teeth that look just like ours instead of sharp fangs. Pacu fish use their molars to crack nuts and chew through plants.
Another creepy animal is the sheepshead fish, who also have human-like teeth. Their chompers are distinct with two large front teeth. They’re a cross between amusing and horrifying, but aren’t most fishes like that?
Microscopic mites live on our eyelashes.
One creepy fact that might change the way you perceive your eyes is the existence of tiny mites that feed on the dead skin cells around our eyelashes and eyelids. Everybody has them, but it is a problem if they amount to large numbers. If you notice any itchiness, roundness, or redness around your eyes, consider checking with your doctor soon for eyelash mite treatment.
The Japanese giant hornet’s sting is so painful that the media calls them “murder hornets.”
The Japanese giant hornet or Asian giant is the largest hornet in the world. While a single sting is not lethal, it is more painful than any other insect’s sting in the world—not that a single sting isn’t terrifying. A single sting can lead to kidney failure and leave craters on your skin.
Brain-eating amoeba exists, and they live in our waters.
The Naegleria fowleri or brain-eating amoeba lives in warm lakes, rivers, and untreated swimming pools. Another creepy fact about them? This brain-eating amoeba enters the body through the nose and then travels from there to the brain, where it feeds on your tissues. Over 97% of infection cases are fatal.
Horned lizards can shoot blood from their eyes.
A creepy fact about horned lizards is that their defense mechanism is squirting blood from their eyes. This stream of blood can shoot up to four feet from their eye socket, and these horned lizards can do this several times within a short period.
Vampire moths are real.
These aren’t mosquitoes but actual moths that feed on human blood. To add to this creepy fact, these vampire moths can latch onto your skin and suck your blood for almost an hour.
Your house pet will probably want to eat your dead body.
This creepy fact might change the way you see your pets. There have been many cases of domesticated dogs and cats eating their dead owners. Scientists hypothesize pets will lick and nip at their owner’s face for comfort out of the distress of seeing them unconscious or hurt. Eventually, they draw blood, and instinct takes over from there.
Mike the Headless Chicken was alive for 18 months after being decapitated.
What’s the backstory to this creepy fact? Farmer Lloyd Olsen meant to eat Mike for dinner with his wife, but the swing of his ax wasn’t perfect. He missed the chicken’s jugular vein and most of the brain stem. Even without a head, Mike was alive, and he wobbled and crowed in his tour of fame.
Pigs can eat anything, and that includes humans.
One creepy fact that most people don’t know about pigs is that there have been many records of farmers dying from being eaten by pigs. The common occurrence is that while tending to the pigs, the farmer encounters an accident in the pen, and the hogs eventually feast on the owner’s body.
Fatal familial insomnia makes it impossible for someone to sleep for months.
One of the creepiest facts that many people might not know about is that some people inherit a rare genetic disease called fatal familial insomnia (FFI). FFI makes it impossible for someone to fall or stay asleep for long. Because this can last for months, insomnia leads an individual to feel so exhausted that they suffer from high blood pressure, weight loss, and severe exhaustion until one eventually succumbs to death.
Medical errors cause around 250,000 deaths every year.
One sad and horrifying fact is that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. An incorrect diagnosis, delays in therapy, and mismanagement of a condition are all medical errors that have cost lives. However, what might be most horrifying about this is that these are all seen as preventable deaths.
Locked-In Syndrome is a scary condition where you are conscious while in a coma.
Being unable to speak is one thing, but suddenly being unable to speak and move is downright terrifying. This happens if you contract locked-in syndrome (LIS) or pseudocoma. A patient with locked-in syndrome is “locked” in a coma-like state: while they are conscious, their body is completely paralyzed. In this state, they can only move their eyes. Think of it as the opposite of sleep paralysis, but just as creepy.
Some trees can grow inside your lungs.
In Russia, doctors performed surgery on a man called Artyom Sidorkin, suspecting that he had a cancerous tumor in his lungs. Instead of a tumor, they found a 5 cm fir tree branch in his lung. Doctors believe that Sidorkin accidentally swallowed a fir bud which later grew into a branch.
A similar case happened in Massachusetts when Ron Sveden suffered from a collapsed lung. After his family rushed Sveden to the hospital, his doctors found a growing pea plant in his lung. Some might find this creepy or even fascinating, but Sveden found it funny as he munched on peas during his first meal after the surgery.
Doctors used the teeth of dead people to make dentures.
Fake teeth weren’t a thing yet in the 1800s, so dentists had to resort to making dentures out of real teeth. They called these dentures “Waterloo teeth” because dentists yanked these teeth from those who died in the war. This is a scary fact from the history of dentures, but at least science has made things easier for us today, right?
The “sleepwalking defense” has been used in order to have defendants acquitted for murder.
Here is one of the most creepy facts about sleep: you can kill someone even when you aren’t completely conscious. Since the 1800s, lawyers have used the “sleepwalking defense” because they believe their clients committed the immoral act while asleep or in a dreamlike state.
Corpses recovered from bodies of water decay faster.
There’s no shortage of creepy facts about death, but what people might not know is that a previously submerged corpse’s postmortem changes occur much faster. However, if a corpse stays underwater, then the body’s decay is much slower. This is because water temperature and other substances in the water can affect postmortem.
Two Scottish doctors originally invented the chainsaw for childbirth.
In 1780, John Aitken and James Jeffray invented the first chainsaw prototype called osteotome. They used the osteotome to cut through the mother’s pelvis when a caesarian was no longer possible. It is certainly gruesome to think of the large chainsaw we know today as a tool for cutting open wombs, but the first prototype was much smaller. The pain, however, was still horrifying.
“Teratoma” or “monstrous tumors” are “evil twins” that can grow on your brain.
Yamini Karanam was 26 years old when doctors found a tumor on her brain. During the surgery, the doctor discovered that the brain tumor had bone, hair, and teeth. Another creepy fact about these monstrous tumors is that doctors believe them to be undeveloped twins who didn’t survive in the womb and thus latched onto the surviving baby.
Even after decapitation, human heads stay conscious for a while.
One horrifying fact about death is that life doesn’t leave a severed head right away. For around 20 seconds, the human head remains conscious, but what the human head thinks about in its last moments is unknown.
“Prosopagnosia” is the inability to recognize faces.
Brain trauma can cause prosopagnosia or face blindness. Those with prosopagnosia will see family members as strangers. They might even be unable to recognize their own face, which is a scary fact of science.
1 in 50 people in the United States has an unruptured brain aneurysm.
That’s around 6.5 million people with brain aneurysms that can rupture at any moment. Another horrifying fact about brain aneurysms is that it is fatal in 50% of cases, with 15% of deaths occurring before the victim even reaches the hospital.
Postpartum psychosis can happen overnight.
Although postpartum psychosis only occurs in around 0.1% to 0.2% of deliveries, this horrifying illness manifests within the first two weeks of motherhood. This means that a mother might feel the desire to kill their newborn as soon as they wake up from delivery.
People can die with no discernible cause of death.
Sudden arrhythmic death syndrome or SADS occurs when a person suddenly dies after a cardiac arrest with no discernible cause of death. Another detail about this creepy fact is that it usually happens during sleep.