Before top-quality DSLR cameras and smartphones, we enjoyed grainy home video footage on bulky VHS tapes.
But with the arrival of the internet came the new national pastime of watching something abnormal in distorted footage, freaking out, and sharing it online – and let’s be honest, real or fake, it’s a lot more fun than watching ghosts in HD.
From real mysteries to believable hoaxes, here are 5 videos that will seriously disturb you.
Man gets lost in the catacombs
One of the creepiest unsolved viral videos of the last few years, footage shows a man hopelessly lost in the subterranean stone tunnels of the Paris catacombs. We listen to him get more frightened as he speeds up his winding path before the camera is dropped and we see him running away.
He’s never been found.
Elisa Lam elevator video
In January 2013, a Canadian student was reported missing, having last been seen at the Cecil Hotel in Los Angeles. After footage of her acting strangely was released by LA police, her naked body was discovered alongside her possessions in the building’s water tower.
The toxicology report confirmed no trace of alcohol or drugs, and sexual assault and suicide were also ruled out. It only gets weirder – to have got onto the roof, she would’ve had to have gone through numerous locked doors, which could only be opened via a pass code known only by staff. Moreover, the water tank can only be accessed by ladder, and the lids weigh 20 pounds – did she open and shut those behind her?
Creeper in my apartment
New York City actor Joe Cummings made this video capturing what appears to be a homeless woman who secretly lived in his house for an unkown amount of time. While it may be easy to dismiss this as fake, Joe has continued to insist this really happened.
2014’s worst makeup tutorial
A tad more recent than the others, in 2014, user the15experience uploaded the video with the description: “This video was sent to me anonymously. I do not have any information beyond that. It is for you to decide on your own whether it is real or fake.” At the time, the video was so shocking that it launched an online search for this woman, which eventually uncovered that the original teaser had been clipped to remove the ’15 Experience’ URL at the end and made it to Facebook as a ‘real’ paranormal video. ‘Nikki’ is actually fine.
This video was reported as ‘found footage’ released by Croatian authorities after the two kids in the video disappeared, but all signs point to this being a short amateur horror film.
There’s actually no hard evidence that this actually happened, as Thrillist reports, but it’s still creepy.