With Huggy Wuggy taking the world of TikTok and YouTube horror by storm, there’s no telling if this viral video trend will stay in the annals of horror-based YouTube content. As long as there has been the internet, stories and videos have been shared to make the world a little scarier. From quick seconds-long jump scares to short horror movies, they can all be found online.
While movies meant to provoke have been around more or less since the dawn of cinema, these disturbing downloads and malicious .mp4 files are more recent, and many only became popular after YouTube’s 2005 debut. Either way, she will always be there to disturb viewers with a lot of nightmare fuel to make their dreams less enjoyable.
I feel fantastic
2009 YouTube user Creepyblog uploaded a creepy video titled “I Feel Fantastic” featuring a stiff, scary animatronic with a wig and women’s clothes singing a high-pitched song that was apparently generated via a text-to-speech algorithm. Something from the deepest pits of the uncanny valley, those with an irrational fear of mannequins will want to avoid this two and a half minute video.
After the video’s debut, rumors circulated that it was assembled by a serial killer and that the clothes featured on the mannequin belonged to his victims. However, it was later revealed that the creator was John Bergeron, a man with an innocent – albeit uncanny – fascination with singing animatronics.
This is a special time
Perhaps one of the most nerve-racking ads of all time, “This Is A Special Time” was a commercial for the Philadelphia-based Little baby ice cream and a woman standing in front of the camera, covered head to toe in what appeared to be vanilla ice cream. As she scooped some of the desert from her crown and ate it, a voiceover extolled the benefits of eating the dairy treat.
Obviously, this ad was intended to be provocative, and the gimmick seems to have worked, as the video has over eighteen million views on YouTube. Unfortunately Little Baby’s Ice Cream will be closed in 2019.
Salad Fingers is a thirteen part animated horror web series which originated in 2004 on the content sharing site Newgrounds. Created by David Firth, Salad Fingers follows the titular character, a strange man with green skin and elongated fingers, living in what is implied as a post-apocalyptic wasteland, passing time by talking to a series of finger puppets.
With strange buildings, nails-on-blackboard background music and shocking moments of blood and depravity, Salad Fingers is downright haunting. The series continues to this day, although new episodes are incredibly rare, and the first episode has over 41 million views on youtube.
Uploaded in 2008,”Username 666sees an unlucky internet user www.youtube.com/666 punching and refreshing into their browser until they are brought to a heavily distorted, infernal version of the video sharing platform. They experience a series of strange technical quirks until they try to log out of Windows in order to discover that they are permanently stuck on the cursed web page.
While so outdated it’s almost comical, Username 666 is an excellent example of early viral internet horror, and those nostalgic for the early days of YouTube might want to check it out.
Don’t hug me, I’m scared
Debuts on YouTube in 2011, Don’t hug me, I’m scared is a collection of six short videos intended to come across as a children’s program akin to Seasam Street or The Muppets Show† While each episode is at the standard genre fare, it eventually turns into a dissonance of disarming and disturbing events.
With over 68 million views, the first episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared is a must-see for fans of weird videos† The series was intended to taunt the sometimes coercive nature of children’s programming, and an actual television series is believed to be in the works.
The Max Headroom Incident
The Max Headroom Incident is arguably the most famous television broadcast break-in of all time† In November 1987, an unknown hijacker interrupted 90 seconds of doctor who telecast in the Chicago area, featuring a bizarre video of a man in a Max Headroom mask muttering and screaming erratically.
While it was originally an odd footnote, the incident gained notoriety again after it went viral on the internet decades after the event. Part of the fascination surrounding the incident probably stems from the fact that the hijacker was never caught and it’s hard to discern what they might have wanted or even what exactly is being said in the video.
Teddy has an operation
Uploaded in April 2012, “Teddy Has An Operation” is a strange short film in which a doctor inspects the disturbingly fleshy entrails of an apparently sick teddy bear. After pulling things like crumpled cigarettes and action figures from the bear’s organs, it’s stitched up again, supposedly as good as new.
“Teddy Has An Operation” isn’t exactly scary, but it’s still weird. It was uploaded by zefrank1, a user who is also known for their comedy videos. It could be perceived as a strange kind of surreal comedy, although that is ultimately up to the viewers to decide for themselves.
Created by YouTube user nana825763—the same user who uploaded the “Username 666” video — “pokopokoshopping” debuted in 2014 and features two adorable doll characters hosting some sort of store-themed show. Things fly off the rails pretty quickly as flesh growths begin to appear on walls, products, and the characters themselves, one of the show’s hosts is ripped open, and spontaneous fires begin to melt the set.
While it only has 2.2 million views in eight years, it’s certainly a YouTube horror gem, like just about everything else on nana825763’s channel.
Dining Room Or There Is Nothing
“Dining Room or There Is Nothing” made the rounds on digital forums in the days before YouTube’s founding, but the video gained newfound fame when the user David Earle uploaded it to their channel in 2006. It’s an approximately minute long clip of a mannequin-esque girl speaking backwards and falling face forward into a bowl before the footage is reversed and she has revealed that she has said “there is nothing”.
This video is downright terrifying and appears to have been made for no other purpose than to shock. It is something that one desperately tries to forget after watching.
The Backrooms (found footage)
The Backrooms is an urban internet legend who first gained a foothold in 2019 after a series of creepy posts on popular internet message boards. The mythos surrounds an extra-dimensional series of nearly endless corridors that trap those unlucky enough to fall out of reality.
Early 2022, enterprising YouTuber Kane pixels uploaded a nine-minute short film of a hapless explorer roaming the titular area, encountering iconic backroom locations and being chased by anomalous monsters. The video was the first in a series that captured the original knowledge surrounding the backroom concept.
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