50 of the scariest photos ever taken

Last updated on April 4th, 2024 at 04:58 pm

Since photography’s invention in the 1800s, countless photos have been taken, from iconic to deeply sad. Alongside these are terrifying photographs that will put you on the edge of your seat.

Take a look at some of the scariest photos ever taken.

The man depicted is Martin Laurello, born Martin Emmerling, from Nuremburg, Germany. He was an anatomical wonder, who could turn his head 180 degrees

David A. Johnston thirteen hours before the eruption of Mt. St. Helens.

The last night at Jonestown

Russian soldier’s find a pile of ash.

From 1940 to 1956, George Metesky, known as the “Mad Bomber,” strategically placed over 30 explosive devices in various public locations throughout New York City, resulting in injuries to at least 15 individuals.

The Elephant’s Foot of Chernobyl

Inside the mouth of a frilled shark. Look closely at those teeth.

Bruce McCandless, the first astronaut to float untethered in space.

Inside a leatherback turtle’s mouth.

What some people believe to be a photo of Edward Mordrake

The exorcism of Annelise Michel

Mannequins in the Nevada desert used for nuclear testing. 

When Reverend K.F. Lord captured this image in 1963 at the Newby Church in North Yorkshire, England, it was greeted with doubt, as many thought the ghostly figure was simply a result of clever double exposure. Despite this skepticism, Lord insisted that the apparition in the photograph was authentic and not manipulated.

The Oubliette in the lower dungeon of Warwick Castle.

At first glance, this picture might not seem particularly eerie, but on closer inspection, you can discern the silhouette of a person clad in black. This was the final photo taken by Daylenn Pua. He texted this image to his mother, mentioning that he felt someone was trailing him. Tragically, Daylenn never made it back home from his walk and remains missing to this day.

“Island of the Dolls” in Mexico. Esparta Palma.

Men playing around with bones at the Colon Cematary, Cuba.

Nursery abandoned after the Chernobyl disaster.

Abandoned supermarket after the Fukushima disaster

One of two nuclear bombs accidentally dropped in North Carolina, 1961.

Three girls moments before they were hit by a train.

Le Passe-muraille is a sculpture from 1943.

The last photo of Omayra Sánchez alive after her legs were pinned by debris after a volcanic eruption in Colombia, 1985

A car escaping the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines, 1991. Photo by Sir Albert Garcia/Manila Bulletin.

A statue of St. Bartholomew wearing his own skin.

Tarantula infected with Cordycipitaceae

A soot covered spiderweb

The grand chandelier in the Bone Church at Kutna Hora outside Prague in the Czech Republic.

The first picture of the electric chair being used on a person. Her name was Ruth Snyder

Snaggletooth Snake Eel

Two wax department store mannequins melt during a heat wave in London, 1929

Mother scorpion carrying her babies on her back.

Spinal cord and brain

Fungi growing out of a fox’s skull

A 17th century mask used on the insane.

Pinhead holding a baby.

Dressed as skeletons for halloween.

Pig costume

Terrifying clown costume

Tree Growing Around An Abandoned Piano.

Wooden parturition (childbirth) chair, probably German, c. 1700-1800.

‘Fatso and Thin Man’—a circus act from around the 1890s

 Minnie and Mickey, 1940s.

Casper the friendly ghost

SF, 1937

Department Store Mannequins Wearing Disney Character Costumes, 1937

A photo by Charles Van Schaick, taken in a small turn-of-the-century Wisconsin town

A woman in the Wild West wearing a bonnet and a mask designed to protect skin from sun damage.

Students marching in owl costumes, their school mascot ,Manchester Grammar School, UK, 1926.

Behind-The-Scenes of Teletubbies’ in the late-90s

Photograph of a Victorian baby held by their Mother.

The Old Gentleman diving suit, 1860.

The Grady twins behind the scenes of ‘The Shinin’, 1980.

A full-faced swimming mask designed to protect women’s skin from the sun in the 1920s

Halloween, 1908.

Frank “Silvers” Oakley, The Baseball Clown, 1904.

Gas Mask Parade, Tokyo, 1936

Russian actor Novoselsky as ‘Elm Tree,’ 1908.

Hillsides of flattened trees from the destructive aftermath of the eruption of Mount St. Helens, 1980

The volcanic eruption of Mount St. Helens, Washington, May 18, 1980

A photo showing the aftermath of the Great Kanto earthquake in Yokohama. c.September 1, 1923. 

Damage to Fourth Avenue, Anchorage, Alaska, caused by the Good Friday Earthquake, 1964

Two women with long hair

“His & Hers” mannequins from the 1972 Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog

Katharina Detzel, a mental patient who built her own man out of the straw in her bed, 1910.

1952 U.S. advertisement for Van Camp’s Pork & Beans

Rasputin with the Tsarina and her children (and a servant ?), 1900s

Three girls in masked costumes at Halloween festivities in College Hill, Cincinnati, Ohio in 1929

Humpty Dumpty, 1939

Conrad Veidt in his role as Gwynplaine in the 1928 film “The Man Who Laughs”

“Testa anatomica; man’s head made up of writhing male figures.” Oil painting by Filippo Balbi, c. 1800s.

Dummy of Linda Blair built by make-up artist Dick Smith for the 1973 movie “The Exorcist”

Still from British movie “First men on the moon” from 1919. now a lost film.

The Island of Dr. Moreau, 1977.

Police in 1929 removing papier-mâché gods from the basement of Benny Evangelista

A nuclear shadow in Hiroshima after the bomb was dropped, this is the last moment of someone alive.

A US soldier poses with a giant jungle centipede during the Vietnam War, 1967.

The bomb dropped on Nagasaki

Glasgow School of Art student performance, early 1900s

Nuclear explosion photographed less than one millisecond after detonation

Ship Hit by ‘Mark 48’ Torpedo

The 2000-ton concrete reactor lid of Reactor No. 4, Chernobyl, sitting 15 degrees from vertical after the explosion, threw it 50 feet into the air.

St. Augustine’s Church among the ruins of Warsaw, Poland – 1945

A close aerial view of building six of the WTC.

Collapse of Deepwater Horizon Rig 

Downtown Warsaw, Poland, in the aftermath of World War II

A crumpled section of the Hanshin Expressway after the 7.3 magnitude Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995

Erika tanker sinking off the coast of France

The ruins of Berlin in 1945, photographed by David Seymour

Aftermath of an explosion at chemical plant in Louisiana

Cologne in ruins from Allied bombings at the end of WWII

Osaka, Japan in ruins, c. Aug 1945

The bombing of Kobe, Japan, 1945.

A sinkhole opens under a house.

Phosphorus bomb explosion near attacking planes during WWII

Allied bomb damage to railway sidings at Middleburg station in Holland, November 1944.

Jaw-dropping tornado near bearing down on a farm near Simla, Colorado, on June 5, 2015. Photo by James Smart.

View of the ruins of buildings in Richmond, Virginia, around the time of the end of the American Civil War in April 1865. 

Trench warfare, c. 1917.

London ablaze following German air raid, 1940.

Deutsche Bank Building with part of WTC embedded in it

Old Halloween costume

After Hurricane Sandy

San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

Inside an abandoned mental asylum.

Ghostly spirit in a family photo.

UFOs over Salem, Massachusetts in the 1960s.

Siberian bear hunting armor.

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