36 Times Real Life Was Scarier Than Fiction


Who Are We Having For Dinner?

In the 1920s, William Seabrook, a writer, was obsessed with the idea of voodoo zombies that eat flesh BECAUSE HE, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ON THIS LIST, IS A TOTALLY NORMAL PERSON.

So desperate was he to try the sweet delight of human flesh that he traveled to Western Africa, where he begged tribes to let him participate in cannibalism. When they denied him this “right”, he returned to the States, scheming and plotting ways to “crack open a cold one”.

He settled on smuggling a corpse out of the local morgue.

He was so stoked to finally try eating a “dude” that he hosted a dinner party, opting to serve human instead of hummus. No word on if anyone wanted seconds.


Doomed for Disfigurement

Joseph Merrick, dubbed The Elephant Man, suffered from Proteus syndrome, leaving him completely disfigured and led to him finding work as a freakshow attraction. Easy explanation: sufferers of this syndrome’s bones don’t stop growing, leading to a variety of deformities.

People are still born with Proteus syndrome today. Due to the gene not being hereditary there is no telling who will get it or why and, as such, no known way of preventing it.

I, for one, am grateful that the worst I’ll get is a little male-pattern baldness.


Life Flashing Before Your Eyes

On PlaneCrashInfo.com, a completely moral and awesome way to make money, you can actually listen to the voices of people, losing their friggin’ minds, right before they lose their lives in a plane crash.


Goodbye, Sea Life

If the thought of the entire planet getting sick and dying doesn’t freak you the freak out, it should – by 2050 there will more plastic in the ocean than fish. Literally all the Planeteers are wailing in agony.


Down to the Bone

The Seldec Ossuary, a church in the Czech Republic, is decorated in human bones. This came to be because shifty church leaders told parishioners (after the cemetery was full up) that if the bones became a part of the church, they would be closer to God.

I think Dolly Parton said it best when she stated: “The bigger the hair the closer to God the more corpse bones you have in a church the less likely you are to dry shave your arse in purgatory.”


What a Chatterbox

Just like dolls, ventriloquist dummies have become a trope in tons of horror movies.

If they creep you out, and they should because you are a normal, alive and normal, normal person, don’t go to the Ven Haven Museum in Fort Mitchell, Kentucky. It’s wall-to-wall vintage and antique dummies which, as everyone knows, is the creepiest slice of the dummy pie.


Horrible Protein Smoothies

In keeping with the rich tradition of consuming a bunch of dead dudes, alchemists in the 1600s decided it would be “cool” and “awesome for you” to mash up brains and other yummy organs from fallen soldiers and pound it down like a smoothie. BRO, DO YOU EVEN LIFT? YEAH? BRO, I HAVE JUST THE PROTEIN SMOOTHIE FOR YOU…



On an Indonesian island called Sulawesi, when a family member dies, they aren’t buried and given a traditional funeral. Instead they are mummified using formaldehyde (and not the cheap stuff either!) and water, which means the body won’t putrefy and smell awful – just like you’d do with a beloved family pet or a buck you shot and killed.

They are kept around as part of the family, the part of the family that has learned to shut the eff up at Thanksgiving.

These corpses are even dressed up and given meals, almost like totally normal life-sized dolls. They are called “makula”, which means “a sick person” because “Vomit Uncle” doesn’t have the same pleasant ring to it.

The body is kept in the house for months or even years until they decide to have a proper funeral.


Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

At Harvard University, there is a collection of books that are bound in human skin.

If you get a papercut, your soul is doomed and your body starts to wither away thanks to an old gypsy curse.


Massive Waves

Speaking of tsunamis, the biggest one ever recorded was a devastating 1,720 feet tall and traveled as fast 100 MPH, ruining Lituya Bay in Alaska in 1958.  

Scientific evidence shows that this area is likely to be hit with another tsunami eventually so get your friggin’ floaties, or, you know, DON’T LIVE THERE EVER.


Moss Power

From the 1600s to 1700s, when people died on the battlefield, their bodies were often left to turn to compost and rot away, completing the Circle of Life and making Elton John proud as punch. Their skulls would start to grow a delicate moss called “usnea.”

People (re: utter fools) believed that this moss contained the spirit of these fallen soldiers and would gather it up to be used as medicine, believing, amongst many other incredibly ridiculous things, that it would cure nosebleeds.



In Tafjord, Norway in 1934 a rockslide down the mountain dropped a ton of boulders into the their lake.

The rocks were so huge and numerous that it triggered a 203 foot tsunami, killing 40 and injuring some 60 others. This tiny, one-road town took a massive beating because of some bloody rocks doing a cannonball or two.



In the 1950s, a meteor fell from the sky near Philly and so the Feds were called to check out the scene. They later reported finding purple goop oozing out of the space rock. To everyone’s chagrin, the meteor was seven blocks from the pet store which means no mutated rats or turtles to aid in the stopping of The Foot Clan.

Fun fact: this was the inspiration for the horror movie The Blob.


Brain Food

I’ll bet in college, after smoking a hot hooter or two under the bleachers, behind the quads, you’ve wondered to yourself “hmmmm, what did people do before cups and bowls?”

In ancient England, the answer was HUMAN SKULLS.

Way to go guys, easily the best solution to this problem.


Haunted Plague Island

A bunch of folks consider Poveglia, Italy to be the most haunted island in the world (take that, GHOST ISLAND, Nebraska). During the plague, the romans shipped off hundreds of thousands of sick fools there. So many bodies are buried that literally HALF of the soil is made of human bones.

This place is considered to be so haunted that it’s closed to the public and it’s bloody near impossible to commission a boat to go there.


Deadly Sins

According to Catholics, Purgatory is a joint where souls go so they can suffer for the sins they committed while they were still alive. All the dumb jabronis stuck in purgatory (or as we like to call them: purgabronis) can be prayed out by the living OR they can suffer through a ton of punishment(s) if they want to avoid going to hell, leading you to wonder how much worse they think hell is.

In Rome, there’s a museum that claims to have evidence of the purgabronis coming back to haunt all the fools left behind. One such item is a handprint burn mark believed to have belonged to a monk.

Man, if a monk can’t get into the big show, I’m going to have a lot of dry shaving my arse and early 2000s pop music to look forward to because this man needs to suffer.


Big Brother

In London, there are CCTV cameras damn near everywhere. In 2015, there was an estimated, astounding 422,000 cameras. Basically, the police want to catch every single crime on camera even if they can’t prevent it.

Good luck trying to pick and flick that booger. Pick a wedgie: WE GOT YOU. Check out a couple of butts: WE GOT YOU. Readjust your dingdong on a hot summer afternoon: YOU’D BETTER BELIEVE WE GOT YOU.


Frozen in Time

Madame Tussaud’s wax museum is world-famous for its lifelike figures of celebrities (and not quite celebrities – TRY HARDER, Taylor Lautner).

What most jabronis don’t know is that Mme. Tussaud got her start by stealing a butt-load of freshly severed heads (see item #27) from the guillotine during the French Revolution. She used these heads to perfect her waxing process but it gets worse when you find out how she perfected her “brazillian”.


Watch Your Back

Here’s some bad news for those of you not actively watching Unsolved Mysteries or America’s Most Wanted: there are roughly 50 serial killers in the continental US who haven’t yet been caught. That’s a whole lot of unchecked murderin’.


Til Death Do Us Part

Carl Tanzler, a German radiology technician, had fallen in love with a woman named Elena, one of his patients. You may think this sounds like the start of some delightful summer rom-com but you’d be wrong, DEAD WRONG.

When Elena died, he robbed her tomb and brought her corpse home.

He kept her for seven, SEVEN years as she rotted into hot garbage. The only reason he was caught is because someone saw him dancing with the corpse in front of an open window. Think “Weekend at Bernie’s” with less hilarity.


That Could Have Been Bad…

In January 2017, a 100-foot asteroid nicknamed AG13 (also the asteroid’s porn-star name – name of his cat+the street he grew up on) whizzed by the Earth, terrifyingly close to destroying a ton of human life and hot pockets.

What’s not reassuring about this is that scientists only saw that it was headed our way roughly 24 hours before it would have hit Earth. Very few folks knew about this until it was over. This asteroid wouldn’t have destroyed the whole planet but it would have sure ruined a few people’s day.


Rot Your Teeth

Next time your mom says candy is bad for you, you can drop a little story about how much worse it could be.

According to a number of ancient medical sources, containing a variety of stories about “mellified men” – basically dudes who have become candy (NO I AM NOT KIDDING AT ALL AT ALL AT ALL).

Here’s a bullet version of what this entails:

-Old dude knows he’s on the way out, volunteers himself to become candy (again, NOT A JOKE)

-Old dude only eats honey until his dumps are nothing but honey


-His corpse is sealed in a stone coffin full of honey

-100 hundred years later his coffin is opened and the feast ensues

Dibs on the ribs!!!!


Wow, Those Look Real!

Back in the ‘60s and pre-Johnny Depp, the Pirates of Caribbean ride at Disneyland (or PoC if you’re “with it”), there was some concern that the fake skeletons being used weren’t scary enough.

In order to resolve this issue, a couple of Disney’s best and brightest contacted the UCLA medical dept. to see about buying skeletons normally reserved for the anatomy classroom (in bulk no less!).

As time went on, fake skeletons became more convincing, doing away with the need for the real deal. Disney claims to have given these rental skeletons proper burials but there is some speculation that a few of these piles of bones remain today haunting the ride and stealing children’s souls.


A Boy’s Best Friend

In 1906, a boy, Robert Eugene Otto, or just “Gene” to family and friends, owned a creepy AF doll he named Robert. FYI children naming dolls after themselves is usually an indication that this is going to get worse before it gets better.

The doll was never available for sale, and no one quite knows where Gene got it in the first place.

Gene would talk to Robert as if he were alive, having whole conversations as if this were perfectly normal. Gene was so enamoured with his doll that he kept Robert until the end of his life, trailing it around with him, the way he did as a young child.

Gene died in the 70s and Robert was donated to a museum AND HERE’S WHERE IT GETS WORSE: People claim the doll is the cause of multiple accidents, cursing any fool that dares to visit it. People have become convinced of Robert’s powers and to this day write “him” letters asking for forgiveness or begging to have him curse others.



Fatty Facials

Queen Elizabeth I had smallpox when she was a child, which left her face full of deep pockmarks that resembled little craters (shoutout to Seal!).

As a public figure, and a snooty Royal, she tried anything and everything to make her skin look smooth as silk, including having servants collect human body fat from people who had been executed so that she could rub it on her face.

Not only does she indicate a very, very flawed understanding of human anatomy, she also probably smelled like a goshdarn abbatoir.

If she was worried about pockmarks before, she should be terrified about the birds pecking at her, trying to get some of that sweet, sweet human fat. Mmmmmm fat!


Love Lost/Robots Rule

While tons of folks take meds to assist in coping with feelings of depression and despair, there are certain antidepressants that can take away your ability to feel love or compassion. You just want to feel less sad and then you take a pill that turns you into a friggin’ robot. You want to not be bummed and now all of a sudden you have to worry about the rain because it’ll make you rust.


Off with Your Head!

The Guillotine (aka Old-School Slap Chop) was a machine used for fancy, French beheadings. This device was so efficient at MURDERING that dudes’ eyeballs would be rolling around, tongues waggling about, for a few seconds AFTER getting their domes lopped off. Just straight being made dead before your system has a chance to figure out what the deal is. That is some A+ murdering.


More Than a Nightmare

From the late 70s to early 80s, roughly 110 men in the US died in their sleep without warning or explanation, they went to bed healthy and never woke up again.

Wes Craven, inspired by this terrible bummer of a phenomenon, decided to use this idea as the basis for his Nightmare on Elm Street series. No word yet on how Freddy got that sweet fedora/striped sweater combo.


Wicked Workplace

During the filming of cult-classic horror movie Poltergeist, a ton of fools were injured or died on set. Just about everyone who was connected to the making of this bad boy suffered some kind of terrible BS, leading some to believe that this movie is cursed.


Memento Mori

In Victorian England (should be a red flag already), middle class dudes like you and me didn’t have farthings to get portraits of their families painted. Eventually photography became popular and, given that it was cheaper and less of a time commitment, more families were in a position to save and have family photos done. However, if someone died before the photo session, families would prop up the dead body and take the family photo anyway. Think “Weekend at Bernie’s” with less hilarity. (See what we did there?)


A Warrior’s Blood

In ancient Rome, some completely-sane, not-deluded people believed that if they drank fresh, warm, delicious blood from a fallen Gladiator, they would absorb their power. They also believed that drinking blood cured epilepsy.


To be blunt, you do not want to know what they did when you had a UTI…


Twin Brother Where Art Though?

In 2015, a young woman began to have crippling migraines. Doctors soon discovered that she had a brain tumor which in and of itself is not good by any stretch, but things went from bad to revolting when, upon removal, it was discovered that the lump contained teeth, and hair two to three feet in length.

Unbeknownst to her, she had a parasitic twin – basically (and here comes the gross) she had a twin that grew more slowly in the womb, and having developed more quickly, was in a position to consume it near-completely (minus some teeth and hair), leaving only what didn’t get used.

See mom, there are worse things than chewing with my mouth full.


It Rubs the Lotion on the Skin

Remember all around fun guy Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs? Turns out he’s based on real-life weirdo and People magazine’s sexiest man alive: Gary Heidnik.

In the 80s, this dude was luring hookers into the basement of his Philadelphia home. Only instead of getting paid for the pleasures of the flesh, they were getting chained up in an underground pit. To drown out their tortured screams he would blast heavy metal. Ultimately the cops found him out, locked him up, and executed him some time in ’99.

He made no money from his appearance being used in the movie.


Not Just Dust

Here’s a fact that’s sure to force you to wash your eyeholes about a billion times today: redness and irritation in the eye is VERY, VERY frequently caused by mites, gross bugs that live on your eyelashes. Talk about unwanted house guests… WHOMP WHOMP WHOMP.


Trailer Trauma

When the trailer for The Exorcist first hit theatres, people were freaking the freak out. It was so terrifying that folks were legitimately fleeing the theatre like someone let loose a hungry lion. Dudes were vomiting and having convulsions – it was a bad scene. Ultimately the trailer was banned for fear of people not wanting to see a movie that was making fools puke on themselves.

Turns out the nausea is most likely due to flashing lights strobing demonic faces in and out over and over while that creepy AF music played in the background. Flashing images and the like can trigger migraines, seizures, nausea, etc. Luckily they figured this out without the help of an old priest and a young priest…


No Air Down There

1973 – the Vietnam war is wrapping up, Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain blasting on the radio, and two dudes about to drown in a friggin’ submarine 1,575ft underwater. The sub they were cruisin’ around in started to malfunction, taking on water, and sinking in the process. The two unlucky jabronis only had enough air for 3 days. It took the rescue team so long to find them and save them that they were just shy of an hour’s worth of oxygen left. It’s not like we needed another reason to avoid riding in a submarine, but here it is!