History is riddled with all kinds of creepy, grotesque, and downright disturbing events. Thanks to the magical artistic medium known as photography, some of those chilling and gawk-worthy moments and fascinating people have been immortalized on film and collected here in the pages that follow. So come and take a peek… if you dare.
Participants of a "Miss Lovely Eyes" contest held in Florida, 1930.
Oh dear sweet Florida, when it comes to the bizarre, you never disappoint. Although, there was once a time when there was a ridiculous pageant for just about everything across the nation. Whether it was her beauty, posture, ankles, feet… women would line up to be judged by complete strangers for every part or talent you can think of. Pictured here are the participants of a "Miss Lovely Eyes" contest held in Florida, back in 1930. What better way to judge a woman's eyes than to make the rest of her look as creepy as possible, right?
Brains for sale in St. Louis, 1978.
Check it out, it's brains for sale in St. Louis back in 1978! No, Hannibal Lecture didn't open up a deli, settle down. Though eating animal brains is actually common for some cultures. Cow, or "beef brain" and veal are used in cuisines from Italy, France, Spain, El Salvador, and Mexico (to name a few).
This particular photo became popular because it was used on the cover of the 1991 album, Where in the World?– It is the third album by Bill Frisell to be released on the Elektra Nonesuch label. It features performances by Frisell, Hank Roberts, Kermit Driscoll and Joey Baron.
A field of spider webs in Australia.
In the Australian countryside, a phenomenon known as "spider rain" has been taking place for quite some time. The first recorded event was back in 1914, and was originally known as "angel hair" and was believed to be connected to aliens or beings from mythology.
Retiree Keith Basterfield of South Australia has been studying this bizarre event for over 15-years and has noted that spider rain happens in May or August, on clear, slightly windy days just after heavy rainfall. It's caused by baby spiders migrating for food…. So basically, when all the mosquitoes show up after a heavy rain, these little guys want to crash their party and gobble them all up.
As Basterfield explains it, "They throw out a protein-based thread of spider's web from their body, they extend it into the air, the wind catches it and they take off and use it as a parachute."
Basterfield added, "The web, as a protein-based thread just dissolves over time, over the next day or so. The next morning you will go out and see absolutely nothing."
A theater stage that was built for the Bregenz performing arts festival in Austria.
How awesome is this stage? This mind blowing Opera stage was actually built in Austria for the Bregenz performing arts festival. The Bregenzer Festspiele (or Bregenz Festival) is widely-known for having the most outrageous, elaborate, and acclaimed staging. This particular masterpiece was for Verdi' s opera "A Masked Ball" back in 1999. As can be seen here, the set featured a massive book stage being opened by a skeleton. The staging and show were held on Lake Constance in Bregenz, Austria.
Check out this close up view of African death's head hawkmoth. The most widely known of the three species of its kind, the Acherontia species are notorious for that skull-shaped pattern you can vaguely see on the thorax. It has numerous unusual features: It emits a loud squeaking sound from its proboscis if it's irritated. It usually flashing its brightly marked abdomen at its predators.
It's fond of raiding beehives for honey at night and it's far pickier than other species of Acherontia, it only attacks colonies of the well-known Western honey bee, Apis mellifera. If it's attacked by guard bees, its thick cuticle and resistance to venom will allow it to enter the hive. Once it's inside, it mimics the scent of the bees and blends in.
Gigantic waterspout heading towards Tampa, Florida, 2013
Check out this massive waterspout swirling towards Tampa, Florida back in 2013! While it may look kind of cool, waterspouts are basically water-tornados, and while they are often weaker than land-based tornados, they are still terrifying. Thankfully, the spouts don't usually last too long (five or ten minutes) but they can still do some serious damage in just a short time. Floridian Joey Mole captured this incredible photo. There's video to go along with this photo, it features quite a bit of cursing and is currently circulating across the Internet if you care to take a look.
After eating some special plant food that farmer A. L. Butts had sowed on his apple orchard, the grasshoppers grew to an astounding 3 ft. in length.
Jiminy Crickets! Check out the size of that grasshopper! This photo was taken back in 1937 and it was published in the local papers. On Sept. 9, 1937, the following headline appeared on the front page of the Tomah (Wis.) Monitor-Herald: "Giant Grasshoppers Invade Butts Orchard East of City." The accompanying article gave details of what seeming farce. Apparently, the claims were true and all it took was eating a special plant food developed by farmer A. L. Butts on his apple orchard, The grasshoppers who consumed this elixir grew to an astounding 3 ft. in length!
Siberian bear-hunting armor from the 1800s
What fresh hell is this you ask? Why it's a suit of Siberian bear-hunting armor from back in the 1800's…. When people apparently took bears down with 'bear hugs'. A commenter on the Foundation of the American Institute for Conservation message boards put it best with this assessment: "I suspect it is more likely to be for bear bating than hunting since I can't imagine anyone could run around the woods in it. It consists of leather pants and jacket (and an iron helmet) studded all over with 1-inch iron nails about 3/4 in. apart. The nails are held in place by the second layer of leather lining the whole thing and quilted into place between the nails."
A 100-year-old Halloween photo with creepy costumes. Wow!
Look at these little goblins! Forget the Avengers costumes, this vintage photo captures a time when kids really knew how to dress up and scare the hell out of you on Halloween. These kids definitely had the right idea! Samhain is supposed to be the one time when all the dead can return to earth and walk amongst the living. They'd stir up mischief, damage crops, and possibly drag innocents back to the underworld with them before morning light. So people would don masks and cloaks and strange hats to make themselves look like ghosts, ghouls, and witches in efforts to blend in with the things that go bump in the night.
A 19th Century vampire hunting kit.
Check out this antique vampire hunting kit, fully stocked with everything you'd need to ward off or completely extinguish any blood-sucking fiends you come across while traipsing through 19th-century Europe. You see these things being auctioned off all over the place nowadays and most of them are not authentic. They usually contain some combination of wooden stakes with a mallet, silver bullets, garlic concoctions, a pistol with accouterments, crosses, holy water, and The Bible.
Giant octopus trying to pull a scuba diver back into its tank in Oregon.
Check out this audacious aquatic creature! He's really going for it! He's just suctioning himself along, hunting humans to bring back as offerings to Cthulhu. Can you imagine being that diver? Feeling those thick tentacles wrap around your ankles? How much do you want to bet every Science Fiction Horror movie he's ever seen in his entire life, was flashing before his eyes at this exact moment? (Photo is actually of a artistic display on a restaurant in Oregon that depicts everyone's worst nightmare, but is not real. Would be alot cooler if it was)
Duchenne de Boulogne using electrical probes to stimulate the facial muscles, 1862.
Here we have a "demonstration of the mechanics of facial expression." French neurologist Guillaume Duchenne de Boulogne, who is widely known advancing the science of electrophysiology. Duchenne decided he wanted to figure out how the muscles in the human face made facial expressions (which he believed were directly linked to the soul). As can be seen in this photo, he experimented by triggered muscular contractions with electrical probes, then photographed the distorted and often grotesque expressions that resulted.
He published his findings with the photographs in 1862, in the book Mecanisme de la physionomie Humaine (The Mechanism of Human Facial Expression, also known as The Mechanism of Human Physiognomy).
A 100 million year old tree fossil with opal growth rings.
How gorgeous is this piece of opalized tree? It's almost otherworldly! According to the folks over at ZME Science, this is actually a pretty rare sample. While opal is fairly common inside petrified wood, this particular sample is fire opal and far more rare (and valuable). Basically, fire opals are the ones with all the magical looking colors.
How does this nature wizardry happen? It's pretty simple. Water came in and filled all the little nooks and crannies of the source fossil. Then the silica content in the water eventually hardened and turned into opal. Then presto change-o! You've got a tree fit for fairies!
A Vietnam Soldier holding a jungle centipede in Vietnam, 1967
In case you've ever wondered what soldiers did during their "downtime" in Vietnam… they fought off enormous centipedes from another planet and took selfies with them. Just kidding…
But seriously, look at that thing! As if being at war and away from your family wasn't bad enough, soldiers had to share the jungle with these unreasonably sized arthropods. For those who don't know, centipedes are highly venomous and often inject their victims with a paralyzing venom! The fact that they come in "king size" is just obscene.
Who knows what other creepy crawlies were out there in that jungle roaming free!
A causeway separates the Great Salt Lake in Utah. The two sections of the lake are colored differently from unique bacteria living on each side.
The Great Salt Lake, located in the northern part of Utah, is the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. A causeway separates "America's Dead Sea" and the two sections of the lake are colored differently from the unique bacteria living on each side. Who knew bacteria could be so eerily pretty.
According to local legend, there's a lake monster in its depths. Back in mid-1877, J.H. McNeil and some of his co-workers from Barnes and Co. Salt Works, were all hanging out on the lake's north shore one evening and claimed to have seen a monster. They said it was big, with the body of a crocodile and the head of a horse. They claimed it came at them as if to attack, so they ran off and hid until morning. While the existence of this creature was never proven, it remains known as the North Shore Monster.
A trip to the dentist's office back in 1892.
If you dread going to the dentist nowadays, just try and imagine what it was like before highly trained doctors were practicing dentistry and allegedly "skilled" laborers called barber-surgeons were the ones running the show. They were yanking teeth out for any ol' reason, even after the infection had already spread to the gums and antibiotics were the only things that would really help. They usually didn't have anesthetic either, it was a pretty rare commodity. So just think about that for a minute. Imagine having a wild-eyed Sweeney Todd hacking away at your mouth with no pain-killers. It should come as no surprise that the mortality rate surrounding dental procedures was once pretty high.
Frank Lentini, born with a parasitic twin had 3 legs, 4 feet, 16 toes, and 2 functioning sets of genitals (1884-1966).
Pictured here is Francesco "Frank" A. Lentini, an Italian-American showman who was born with a parasitic twin. The twin was attached at the base of his spine and consisted of a pelvis bone, male genitalia, and a full-sized leg extending from the right side of Lentini's hip, with a small foot protruding from its knee.
Lentini joined the sideshow business as "The Great Lentini" with the Ringling Brothers Circus. His career spanned over forty years, his peers often called him "The King". He worked with every major circus and sideshow there was including Barnum and Bailey and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.
In 1907, he married Theresa Murray and they had four children: Giuseppina (Josephine), Natale (Ned), Francesco (Frank) Junior and Giacomo (James). When the couple separated in 1935, he spent the rest of his life with Helen Shupe. Lentini died of lung failure on September 21, 1966, at the age of 77.
A lake above an ocean, Faroe Islands, Denmark
This stunning optical illusion sits halfway between Iceland and Norway in the Faroe Islands. As you can see here, Lake Sørvágsvatn appears as if it's hundreds of feet above the ocean. The Sørvágsvatn is really only 30 meters (98 feet) above sea level, whereas the rock is 100 meters high (328 feet). It depends what angle you're looking at it from. Through the magic of photography, when taken at the right angle, the cliff appears enormous with the lake on the same level.
A logger discovers a mummified dog discovered inside the trunk of a hollow tree in the 1980s.
Can you imagine being the logger to happen upon this horrific sight? This is Stuckie, the hound dog who got himself stuck in a tree and is now a mummy. Stuckie was discovered in a lumber truck back in the 80s after loggers had cut up a Chestnut Oak Tree. They decided against sending the poor little guy to the Pulp Mill and instead donated it to Forest World, a tourist attraction in Georgia devoted to trees (yes that's a real thing). Stuckie is remarkably preserved. He is believed to have been mummified for an estimate of 20 years by the time it was found. The accompanying sign for his display explains how the pup could have been so well preserved out in the wild:
"A chimney effect occurred in the hollow tree, resulting in an upward draft of air. This caused the scent of the dead animal to be carried away, which otherwise would have attracted insects and other organisms that feed on dead animals. The hollow tree also provided relatively dry conditions, and the tannic acid of the oak helped harden the animal's skin."
Mommy centipede protecting her babies.
There is an estimated 8,000 species of centipedes are thought to exist worldwide and they have a wide geographical range. Surely that's not the news you wanted.
Some species have far more maternal females than others. Those of the Geophilomorpha and Scolopendromorpha for example, stay with the eggs, guarding and licking them to protect them from fungi. The female in some species will even stay with their young after they have hatched and guard them until they're ready to leave. If disturbed, the female may abandon or eat her eggs and for some species, the offspring eat their mother. Pleasent little critters, aren't they?
A preserved human heart in a leaden case, discovered in the medieval crypt of a church in Cork, Ireland in the 1860s.
Why yes, this is a photo of an actual preserved human heart. In 1863 it was found enclosed in a lead cyst within the crypt of an old church. It was a workman who discovered it, he found the heart resting on a coffin lid with a metal plate with '1549' inscribed up on it but no name. Creepy.
How long the heart was entombed in the crypt and who it once belonged to remains unknown. It could have been a religious rite. Practicing separate burial of the heart is a funerary practice derives from the mystical belief that the soul and consciousness reside within it. It was considered the noblest part of a human and believed to hold the secret of life and emotion.
Pasqual Pinon, who was also known as the "Two-Headed Mexican." 1917
What we have here is a photo of Pasqual Pinon, who was also known as the "Two-Headed Mexican." He left the railroad industry for that glamourous business they call showbiz, somewhere around the turn of the century. Before you shrug this off as just another case of conjoined twins joining the circus, it's actually a growth on his head that he decided to put a wax mask on. You know, kind of like that episode of Invader Zim, when Zim dressed up his zit and named it "Pustulio".
Here lies the grave of Antoine Michel Wemaer and Marie-Alide Heene of Bruges, Belgium. The couple was married in 1800 and on November 24, 1837 he joined her in death. They were buried together here it the Burges Cemetery in Belgium. The skull and crossbones has long signified mortality, the symbol was very common during this time period.
Halloween in the 1920s.
"It puts the lotion on its skin or it gets the hose!" Halloween was way creepier back in the 1920s. It's hard to tell what you're even looking at with most of those vintage costumes. Children would get all decked out in the most horrifyingly realistic looking skulls and masks akin to slabs of skin slapped across their faces. The unidentifiable masks like this one are the worst… like what is this thing? It was also common to don occult robes and hoods that honestly… they were probably real spiritualist camp garb anyway.
An "icebox" facial beauty treatment, 1966.
Pinhead on ice? Nope, just another crazy beauty fad from the 1960's. Those women were out of control. Although, they went about it in the creepiest looking and most absurd way possible, they were onto something with this one. Ice obviously soothes muscles and reduces swelling and puffy eyes. This contraption is far more complicated than the little, frozen gel-packs of today (which have the exact same effect). It would have made more sense to lay a wet washcloth flat in the freezer for 20 minutes and drape it across their faces.... but then it wouldn't be the 60s!
Apatani tribeswomen wore nose plugs to prevent other tribes from kidnapping them due to their ugly appearance.
Pictured here is an Apatani tribeswoman, proudly wearing her nose plugs. The original goal of the massive nose plugs for all of the women of the Apatani tribe in India was a form of protection. The idea was to become as unattractive as they possibly could, believing that if they were undesired by the men of other tribes, they wouldn't be kidnapped or sexually assaulted. It's terrible that these women had to purposely disfigure themselves just to ward off an assault from men.
Bear Paw Armor Cuprum Arm Guard, Indo Persian Islamic Empire Dynasty.
Check out this Bear Paw Armor worn during Indo Persian Islamic Empire Dynasty. These gruesome accessory are enough to make even Freddy Krueger cringe!
Indo-Persian culture refers to those Persian aspects that have been integrated into or absorbed into the cultures of South Asia and in particular, into North India, and Pakistan. Though claw-like gloves weren't exclusive to the area, they were common weapons for warriors for the time period.
Before dentures were invented, teeth were pulled from the mouths of dead soldiers for use as prosthetics.
As horrifying as it sounds, in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries "everyone was dabbling in dentistry", says Rachel Bairsto, curator of British Dental Association museum in central London.
Anyone from ivory turners to jewelers, chemists, wigmakers and even blacksmiths were trying their hand at the steadily budding industry. Just about everyone had a need for new teeth (even the very wealthy had mouths full of rot).
Dentistry was in its infancy, and they began taking teeth for their dentures from the dead. Tens of thousands of were taken from the bodies of dead soldiers on the battlefield at Waterloo. At this point in time dentures' had base plates made of ivory and the human teeth were attached. The other option was to just have Another option was to have ivory "teeth" built into the denture.
Creepy pirate ship
How creepily cool is this pirate ship from the ship from the movie "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"? It was coated with Super-Krete's Bond-Kote and featured intricate, decorative concrete overlays before being ready for its closeup with Johnny Depp.
A ship fit to carry the legendary pirate of the Seven Seas, Captain Jack Sparrow, who according to the Disney biography, is the "irreverent trickster of the Caribbean.A captain of equally dubious morality and sobriety, a master of self-promotion and self-interest, he fights a constant and losing battle with his own best tendencies."
Dr. Leonid Rogozov performing surgery on himself in 1967.
Just in case you got this far and were managing to keep your lunch down, here's Dr. Leonid Rogozov in the process of performing surgery on himself back in 1967. I was during an expedition to the Antarctic, Russian when surgeon Leonid Rogozov became seriously ill. He quickly realized he had appendicitis and needed an operation. Unfortunately for him, he was the only doctor on the team, which meant he would have to do it himself. So he did.
"I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like 100 jackals," he wrote in his diary. "Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me… This is it… I have to think through the only possible way out - to operate on myself… It's almost impossible… but I can't just fold my arms and give up."
He worked out a detailed plan for the operation and assigned his colleague's specific tasks. After nearly two hours he completed the operation. He took some antibiotics and sleeping tablets and then returned to his normal duties just two weeks later!
Dracula's Castle, Romania, 1929.
The stunning Bran Castle (or as it's best known as Dracula's Castle) is a national monument and landmark in Romania. The fortress is situated on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia.
This is one among several locations linked to the Dracula legend, including Poenari Castle of Vlad III Dracula, mentioned as historical Voivode in Bram Stoker's Dracula novel, and Hunyad Castle, which was Vlad III Dracula's prison.
Bran Castle is often credited as being the inspiration for the home of Bram Stoker's Dracula, however, there's no evidence that Stoker even knew this castle existed.
During World War I, U.S. soldiers used this body armor for protection.
Okay, so clearly there was nothing "stealth" about this shambling, clanging armor but it must have served its purpose well enough at the time… Believe it or not, this armor (that doesn't even seem fit for Renaissance), was used by the military as recently as World War I. It was considered pretty advanced at the time and was effective against bullets (for the most part). It certainly looks terrifying…. Gun or no gun, it's doubtful anyone would willingly approach this creepy-looking dude on the battlegrounds.
Ella Harper known as the Camel Girl in 1886.
This photo was taken back in 1886, and features young Ella Harper, also known as "camel girl". Due to a rare orthopedic condition, she could contort her knees completely backwards and crawl around on the ground. Ella was the star of W. H. Harris's Nickel Plate Circus in 1886. Her pitch card read as follows:
"I am called the camel girl because my knees turn backward. I can walk best on my hands and feet as you see me in the picture. I have traveled considerably in the show business for the past four years and now, this is 1886 and I intend to quit the show business and go to school and fit myself for another occupation."
Frogs taxidermy found inside French mansion that had been sealed for 100 years.
Check out the creepy vintage Battletoads taxidermy! These sparring frogs were frogs were discovered in a late 19th-century French mansion that had been locked away for more than a century.
The house had belonged to the wealthy, philanthropic, and clearly, eccentric man named Louis Mantin. The Mantin Mansion has been locked up as per Mr. Mantin's request because there is something about being insanely rich that makes people a little nutty. He died way back in 1905, but his will stated that the house had to stay closed until a hundred years after his death and then it was to be opened to the public. As if that weren't weird enough, the contents of the time capsule revealed oddities such as this!
Giant rock, Great Gorge Route (Niagara Gorge Railroad), Niagara Falls.
Kind of nerve wracking to look at isnt' it? Feels like it's about to slump right over on top of that trolley car doesn't it? By its sixth year of operation, the Great Gorge Route was running trolley cars through the gorge every fifteen minutes, seven days a week. The route was however, closed seasonally– Between the first of May and April 30th was when most rockfalls would occur.
Even closed two months out of the year, the route was still boasting an average of 200,000 passengers. Erosion of walls became the biggest threat to the railroad, but let's get real, they should have seen that from the start. The Great Gorge Route was continually disrupted by rock fall after rock fall. Thankfully, in forty years of operation with over thirteen million passengers, not no one was ever struck by a falling rock.
Hand brand, for use on felons or deserters, England, 1642-1649.
Pictured here is a hand brand that was used on felons or deserters in England back in 1642-1649. Branding tools were often used both to humiliate offenders and make them easy to identify as a possible risk.
This particular hand-shaped piece was crafted by the British Army during the English Civil War (1641-1651). The branding tool bears the initials 'CR' surrounding a crown. This is presumed to refer to 'Carolus Rex' - King Charles I (who was beheaded in 1649 for treason), so this tool would've been used to mark 'ownership' of Royalist army deserters. This practice was totally abandoned in 1879.
If a wife talked too much during the Middle Ages, you were often forced to wear metal torture devices on their face to serve as punishment by their husbands.
Apparently being a chatterbox or a nag back in the Middle Ages could get you strapped into this thing, or numerous other metal torture devices meant to be worn on the face. It was known by various names such as scold's bridle, a witch's bridle, a brank's bridle, or simply branks. Either way, it was an instrument of punishment, used as a form of torture and public humiliation.
The devices had iron framework, screws, and sometimes a muzzle that enclosed the head. Though these were primarily used on women, the Burgh Records of Scotland's major towns reveal that the branks were also used on men at times.
In the early 20th century, individuals would sometimes elect to have death masks made of the recently deceased.
Death masks are sometimes wax or plaster cast of a mold that was taken from the face of a dead person. Essentially, a death mask is a true portrait of the dead, although some changes can be made if desired. Sometimes changes are made to the eyes of the mask in order to make it appear as though the subject were still alive…. Super unnerving.
Since ancient Egypt they have served as aids to portrait sculptors, and for the last few centuries they have been kept as mementos of the dead.
Look closer and see the size of the snake and the kangaroo being pulled out of the water in Western Australia.
Take a look at this insane photo of a large Olive python capturing its dinner — a kangaroo. It appears that the wallaby is already dead but how this python managed to gulp down such a large creature is pretty mind-blowing. It would take an enormous amount of strength to lug this creature up and consume it all as it hands there like that. Equal parts gross and impressive here. The photo was taken in the Kimberley region of Western Australia and has been a source of fascination for many ever since.
Madam Gustika of the Duckbill tribe smoking a pipe with an extended mouthpiece for her lips during a show in a circus.
Madam Gustika of the Duckbill tribe practiced lip plating, which is one of the oldest body modification practices in the world. It can be traced back to 8700 B.C. It's been practiced throughout various parts of the world like, Africa, South America, and Europe, but it's the people of the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia, that still practice it today. Prior to marriage, as young as 13-years old, the females of the tribe get a lip piercing and fill the hole with a small stick, then they spend anywhere from six months to a full year adding clay plates in the hole, each time the plate gets bigger and heavier, stretching the lip out as far as it will go.
Man selling mummies in Egypt, 1875.
During the Victorian era of 1800's, Napoleon's conquest of Egypt led to a whole slew of disrespectful acts against Egypt's history by the the Europeans. Mummies were not given the respect they deserved at this point int time, in fact they were treated like gag gifts. They were sold by street vendors (as can be seen here).
The European elites would purchase them to hold "Mummy Unwrapping Parties", which involved unwrapping mummies in front of a cheering audience. During this period, well-preserved remains of ancient Egyptians were also ground into powder and then consumed as a medicinal remedy. Yuck!
Criminals could be locked up in a wooden box in Mongolia.
This disturbing photo was taken in July 1913 by French photographer Albert Kahn. He often took trips through exotic countries and it was during a visit in Mongolia that he happened upon this woman who had been condemned to slow and painful starvation. She was boxed up in what would become her tomb (as can be seen here) and deposited in a remote desert. There were bowls of water on the ground and the prisoner is allowed to beg passerby for food, though not much is given.
The photographer was forced to leave her there, it would be against a prime directive of anthropologists to intervene in a culture's law and order system. Anthropologists are only able to observe, they cannot push their own beliefs or interfere in any way.
Nosferatu, the first cinematic representation of Dracula, 1922
Nosferatu was the first of over 200 film adaptations of Bran Stoker's Dracula. It was in 1922 when the romanticism fell away and Max Schreck played this grotesque creature of the night. In Nosferatu, Dracula is a more demonic creature than a human possessed by a demonic entity (as most vampires are portrayed). While the film is based on Stoker's book, Schreck's performance lacked the sexuality and flamboyance of the many other portrayals over the years (in a very good way). Without his creepy, animalistic take on Count Orlok's character, "Nosferatu" would not have become the chilling and highly influential silent film that it is today.
One of the creepiest photographs ever taken. The reflecting pool by Peter A. Cohen
Here we have a chilling image of a young girl in a graveyard, looking down at her reflection in the lake. It appears she is casting two reflections or that some unseen entity is by her side and only visible through the water. Who she is, where she is, and when this photo was taken remains unknown. By the look of the photograph and her attire, it's been estimated to have originated around the early 1900's. The photo was allegedly analyzed and deemed untampered with but many insist it's a composite.
The photograph is known by the name "The Reflecting Pool" by Peter A. Cohen who has gathered an extensive collection of old and mysterious looking photographs such as this one over the last 25-years. This, and many other similar photos can be found within the pages of the book Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children.
Researchers believe that mummies' terrible expressions are the result of the victims being buried alive.
Yep, that gruesome, gaping mouth, horrifically pained expression of the faces of many mummies, have researchers believing they were of the victims being buried alive.
If you were interested in being face to face with walls of these tortured corpses, the Guanajuato Mummy Museum may be your kind of tourist destination.
They see more than 4,000 morbid visitors a week and charges £2 per person, to observe more than a hundred dried human cadavers. "It's terrifying, I feel sick to my stomach," said Peruvian visitor Maria Goncalves to MailOnline. "It's the terrible expressions the mummies all have that makes it so horrible."
Roman-era couple reveal that the pair have been holding hands for around 1,500 years.
This photograph features the skeletal remains of a Roman-era couple who have been holding hands for 1,500 years. Italian archaeologists say the duo was some time between the 5th and 6th century A.D. in central-northern Italy. They were excavated by archaeologist Licia Diamanti, who said the simple fossa (trench) tombs suggest that the people buried there were not particularly rich. "They were possibly the inhabitants of a farm," Labate said.
Donato Labate, the director of the excavation at the archaeological superintendency of Emilia-Romagna, told Discovery News, "We believe that they were originally buried with their faces staring into each other. The position of the man's vertebrae suggests that his head rolled after death."
Roy L. "Rocky" Dennis photographed in 1977 who was the inspiration for the movie "Mask."
Roy Lee "Rocky" Dennis had craniodiaphyseal dysplasia, which is an extremely rare, sclerotic bone disorder. The condition usually results in neurological disorders as well, followed by an untimely death during childhood or teenage years. Rocky's life was the basis for the 1985 drama film Mask.
Despite having eyesight and hearing limitations in addition to suffering from painful headaches he endured, Dennis was able to do many things his doctors didn't think he would be able to do. Dennis entered school at six years old, even though it was recommended he didn't. He learned how to read and after a slow start (he spent two years in the first grade) he was able to make quite a bit progress academically before his death at 16.
The Catholic Church used a hand crushing machine in the 15th century to punish those with "greedy hands."
This insane, diabolical hand crushing machine was actually used by members of the Catholic Church back in the 15th century to punish those with "greedy hands." And here we thought it was "idle hands that did the devil's work"... hate to see what the church would do to a pair of those! Sadly, this contraption isn't even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to torture devices. Human beings of all cultures and religions have always found the most horrific ways to inflict punishment on others. Thankfully this disturbing little number has been long retired!
The heart of accused vampire Auguste Delagrange. He was said to have killed at least 40 people in the early 1900s.
Check it out! Pictured here is the heart of Auguste Delagrange, who was said to have killed at least 40 people in the early 1900s and was suspected of being a real-life vampire. He was executed in 1912 for his crimes and as you can see here, they shoved a little stake through his vampiric heart to prevent him from ever rising again. Now it's mummified.
The Mayans used to sacrifice people by pulling their still-beating hearts out of their chests.
Human sacrifice in Maya culture was a ritual offering of nourishment to the gods. Blood from any living creature was considered a potent source of nourishment, so by extension, the sacrifice of a human life was the ultimate offering there was. Generally, it was high-status prisoners of war that were sacrificed, and a number of different methods were employed. The most common being decapitation and heart extraction. Other forms of sacrifice practiced included ritual shooting with arrows, hurling sacrifices into a deep sinkhole, entombing the sacrifice alive (to accompany a noble burial), and tying the person into a ball for a ritual reenactment of the Mesoamerican ballgame and disembowelment. Yikes!
The mysterious Stonehenge as seen in 1867.
Stonehenge remains one of the greatest mysteries in the world. No one knows who built it, why, or even how but theories are plentiful and most centered around mysticism. In 2007 Archaeologists discovered the remains of a village, this led to theories of Stonehenge serving as a sacred burial ground, for ancient kings perhaps. But considering the fractured condition of the remains, it would make more sense if it served as a place of pilgrimage for the sick. The rocks themselves have been long believed to have healing powers. This comes from the legend that the stones were brought in from Ireland for their magical healing properties which they were infused with by the sorcerer Merlin.
The process of binding feet starts before the arch is fully develop.
For almost a thousand years the little girls of China would have their feet tightly wrapped in bandages in hopes of stopping the foot's growth. This caused their toes to curl and the feet to shrivel in on themselves and creating the illusion of petite feet when they were actually just deforming and crippling themselves and their children.
Feet measuring no longer than three inches and crescent in shape were the most desired. In addition to being a symbol of beauty, smaller feet reflected a higher social status and wealth. After all, women who didn't need their feet to work must have wealthy families. Foot binding was banned from China in the 20th century but there are still elderly women alive today, suffering from disabilities because of this painful, old custom.
The skeleton of a 28 ft anaconda.
This right here is some serious nightmare fuel. Could you imagine this thing alive and well...and staring at you like you're a walking sandwich? Although, it's skeletal remains would look right at home in the HR Giger museum. Perhaps in the form of a stair railing.
This beast isn't even the biggest of its kind. Anacondas can grow to more than 29 feet and weigh more than 550 pounds! Some have measured more than 12 inches in diameter. The females grow to be significantly larger than males.
The star-nosed mole is one of nature's most interesting creatures.
Yes, that thing exists, on this very planet. Whether it actually originated here, however, is debatable. The star-nosed mole is certainly a marvel to behold, its tentacled nose reminiscent of Lovecraftian horror and oversized hands make close-ups like this one seem photoshopped. But it's real and a far more manageable creature from a different angle.
The "feelers" on its star nose contain over 100,000 nerve fibers are the most sensitive known touch organ of any mammal. Their sense of touch actually mirrors our sense of sight– Which is pretty neat once you get past the intensely creepy first glance.
The world's tallest man, Robert Wadlow at age 21 standing with his family, 1939
Pictured here is the tallest (recorded) person in history, Robert Wadlow. This family photo was taken in 1939. Wadlow was just 21-years-old at the time and standing at a height of 8 ft 8 in. He actually grew 4 inches within the last 3 years of his life– for a total of 8 feet 11 inches tall at the time of his death in 1940. This particular genetic abnormality, referred to as "Gigantism," rarely allows those afflicted to live a full life. This is because the heart and organs also enlarge and simply cease to function as they should at a certain point.
These hands could tell a few stories. Easy to recognize them if you're a fan.
Those are the hands of dedication and musical genius. Keith Richards remains best known as a guitarist and founder member of the Rolling Stones. He plays both lead and rhythm guitar, often, within the same song. In the recording studio, he plays all the guitar parts- Most notably on the songs "Paint It Black", "Ruby Tuesday", "Sympathy for the Devil", and "Gimme Shelter". The man also provides backup and occasional lead vocals.
Rolling Stone magazine called Richards "rock's greatest single body of riffs" on guitar. The magazine also ranked him fourth on its list of 100 best guitarists in 2011 and fourteen songs that Richards wrote with the Rolling Stones' lead vocalist Mick Jagger are all on the magazine's "500 Greatest Songs of All Time" list.
A professional "rat catcher" showing off his kill.
Here's a shot of a professional "rat catcher" showing off his kill. Once upon a time, rat catchers would scour the sewers of Europe in search of vermin because they received money for each rat they killed (1904). These rat-catchers were the early form of professional form of pest control and incredibly important. Keeping the rat population under control was widely practiced throughout Europe in order to help prevent the spread of diseases, most notoriously the Black Plague. These pest control efforts also helped prevent damage and contamination to food supplies.
Creepy close up look at a mother wolf spider carrying her young.
If your initial instinct is to kill it with fire and salt the earth beneath it, you wouldn't be alone.
What you're looking at here is a creepy close up look at a mother wolf spider carrying her young. These heebee-jeebee inducing creatures are not webspinners, the are hunters and live mostly in solitude. They can be opportunistic when it comes to hunting, they'll usually wait for passing prey near their burrow and pounce. Sometimes chasing it over short distances. They have excellent eyesight, two of their eight eyes are larger and prominent, which also helps to distinguish them from the nursery web spiders and grass spiders they somewhat resemble.
Photographed in 1880, Myrtle Corbin was born a dipygus having two separately functioning pelvises and four legs.
Josephine Myrtle Corbin was an American sideshow performer born a dipygus. Which means, her body axis split while it was developing and as a result, she grew two separate pelvises, positioned side by side. She also had four legs, each outer leg was paired with a smaller inner leg. While she was able to move her inner legs, they were too weak for walking. She entered the sideshow circuit when she was 13-years old with the moniker "Four-Legged Girl from Texas".
She quit the biz and got married at 19, to James Clinton Bicknell, and she would go on to give birth to four daughters and a son. It was after she became pregnant for the first time and was thoroughly examined by her doctor, that they realized both sides of her external and internal genital organs mirrored each other. It was her left uterus that was pregnant at the time.
Using inflated bullock-skin boats to cross the river Sutlej in India, 1908.
This photograph of inflated bullock skin boats at the side of the river Sutlej, in Himachal Pradesh, was taken back in 1903, by James Ricalton. This image is described by Ricalton in ‘India Through the Stereoscope’ (1907):
"I have crossed the river several times on these inflated bullock-skins…The drea-man, after inflating the skin as you see them doing here, places it on the water and places himself on his stomach athwart the skin with his feet in the water; he holds a short paddle in his hands. The intending passenger sits erect, astride the drea-man…You have observed how the skin for this purpose is taken from the animal in one piece and how all openings in the skin are closed except in one leg which is kept open for inflation…These drea-wallahs can drive the skins across the river during high floods when the best swimmer would be helpless in the powerful current."