81 of the creepiest photos ever taken

Last updated on April 3rd, 2024 at 09:14 pm

After the invention of photography in the mid-1800s and continuing through to today, the chronicles of modern history are brimming with genuinely scary photographs that are more horrifying than what’s seen in even the most unsettling horror films.

The most terrifying images captured span a wide array, from formidable animals encountered in the wild to the final moments of victims in natural disasters.

Dennis Rader (BTK) walks his daughter down the aisle at her wedding in 2003

Genie Wiley, The “Feral Child”

In 1931, two psychologists, Winthrop and Luella Kellogg, began an experiment to see if a chimpanzee could learn human behavior by raising it with their own baby. The idea was to see if the chimp, named Gua, would learn to walk upright, speak, and engage in other human-like activities.

1800s family photo

“Charlie No-Face”

Lon Chaney as a clown, 1928.

The tools of Ted Bundy

Jail cell used during the Salem Witch Trials

The start of the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami

The last moments off a man who jumped in a tiger enclosure, 2014.

The nuclear shadows of Hiroshima

An early version of Ronald McDonald

Vintage Halloween Costume

John Wayne Gacy as a child

John Lennon pictured with Mark David Chapman, the man who took his life.

The last moments of Keith Sapsford

Omayra Sanchez trapped after an earethquake.

The Hilo Tsunami, 1946

The Amityville Horror House

Shell-shocked soldier during WWI.

Ted Bundy in various family photos.

Unsettling vintage Halloween costume

Mount Sakurajima erupts in 1914.

Ted Bundy’s yearbook photo from 1965

The last photo taken by Daylenn Pua before he disappeared.

A selfie from James Holmes

The last photo before The Dyatlov Pass Incident

Ted Bundy playing with his ex-girlfriend’s daughter.

Knife thrower and child in 1940s

A Mickey Mouse gas mask for American Children during WWII, 1942. 

Max Schreck relaxes behind the scenes of Nosferatu, 1922

Leon County Sheriff Reading the Chi Omega Sorority indictment to Ted Bundy.

Russian soldiers wear creepy costumes during an impromptu performance during a lull in the fighting during WWI.

A United States soldier holds up a jungle centipede during the Vietnam war, 1967

Halloween during the 1930s

John Wayne Gacy wears his Pogo the Clown outfit.

Signed photo of First Lady Rosalynn Carter and John Wayne Gacy in 1978.

The Brazilian shrub fruit of Guarana looks like it has eyes.

Photo of Jeffrey Dahmer at high school with a fellow student.

The terrifying “Yeti Crab”

Terrifying Halloween costume

BTK takes a photo with his daughter.

Mark Jackson basketball card featuring the Menendez Brothers

Mannequins in a Nevada “doom town.”

The remains of a kindergarten classroom after the Chernobyl disaster (1986)

Passengers boarding a British Airship for its last voyage.

Extreme close-up of a Wolf Spider. Photo credits: John-Oliver Dum

Jeffrey Dahmer with his father and younger brother.

A Doll With Two Faces, 1920

Ted Bundy laughs in court.

Tunnels dug by Giant Sloths thousands of years ago.

Massive sinkhole in Turkey

Jeffrey Dahmer passed out drunk.

Photograph of Ted Bundy having fun with kids in his neighborhood.

A female Omothymus spider in Malaysia.

Dennis Rader (BTK) doing the hokey pokey at a wedding.

An aye-aye, the world’s largest nocturnal primate.

A black widow spider

The Mask is worn by Dennis Rader (BTK) when carrying out his attacks.

A terrifying costume.

A photo of clowns found at an abandoned old folks home.

The most recent mugshot of Ed Kemper.

Cow mutation

The note found in Chris McCandless’ truck

The shoes John Wayne Gacy wore when he dressed up as “Pogo the Clown”.

Ed Kemper stands with security guards

The Sinking of Amoco Cadiz in Brittany, 1978

Dennis Rader (BTK) with his daughter in 1993.

Jeffrey Dahmer’s prom date.

The victims of John Wayne Gacy being laid to rest.

A drawing of Ed Gein done by John Wayne Gacy.

Edmund Kemper laughs as the detective who arrested him struggles to unlock his handcuffs.

A very young Jeffrey Dahmer with his pet dog.

A sketch of Richard Ramirez by Mona Edwards. Mona said “He was pure evil. His eyes pierced me and my blood ran cold”

Ed Gein at the Mendota Mental Hospital in 1984.

Mugshot of Carl Panzram

The home of HH Holmes

BTK decorates a Christmas tree with his daughter.

Police excavate the backyard of Gary Ridgeway

Ed Gein being led away from his home after his arrest

The exterior of the apartment building where Jeffrey Dahmer lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Members of the Manson family at Spahn Ranch.

Richard Ramirez in court.

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