Creepy YouTube videos guaranteed to give you nightmares

All good things have a sinister counterpart. Godzilla has Mechagodzilla. Superheroes have supervillains. And clowns have themselves. The same goes for you, too, as well as YouTube. You have shameful vices that offset your inner angel. And YouTube has soul-withering trauma fuel to counterbalance all of its kitten videos. Here isn't the place to plumb your internal depravity, but YouTube is fair game. Unfortunately, that means treating your eyes very unfairly.

What you're about to see is highly unsettling. Consider yourself warned. 

The hand that wrongs the cradle

Why the ever-loving expletive does this thing exist? Did Death and Skynet have a hate-child? Does it cry? The answers to those questions –- in order –- are "to give you hugs at night," "probably," and "not as loudly as you will." Joking aside, this manmade abomination looks like infant Satan sans pitchfork. But don't worry; the little lord of darkness means well.

The brain-spawn of Osaka University researchers, baby Beelzebub –- officially known as "Affetto" –- has the stated purpose of helping scientists better understand human intelligence through interactions with a "realistic" child robot. You can just feel the life radiating from Affetto's hollow stare as seemingly free-floating arms move its spookily skeletal frame. It also helps that when the baby bot does receive a face, the skin is marble white like a bloodless human's. If nothing else, Japanese roboticists have successfully created a baby that rattles people.

As per IEEE Spectrum, Affetto's uncanny humanity derives from its numerous facial expressions, which appear to display everything from serial killer curiosity to pro-cannibal excitement. Previous mechanical children have lacked this expressive depth, which dissuaded assigned caregivers from treating them like actual babies. The hope is that Affetto will elicit genuine human responses. Most of those responses will involve rocking to and fro in the fetal position, but at least the caregivers will really mean it.

MLB the horror show

Have you ever seen something so flesh-curdlingly uncomfortable that your insides itch uncontrollably? If not, you're in luck because MLB The Show 17 will happily defile your peace of mind. Play the above video and you'll see a game glitch so horrendous that the Hague Tribunal could convict it for crimes against human vision. 

Evidently, at some point in development MLB The Show 17 rendered custom players' faces as a collection of jumbled pixels and hideous holes. Whether or not trypophobia exists, you probably have it after watching that clip. So, sorry about that. Moreover, you might wonder how something so terrible ever saw the light of day. Kotaku has an answer. For reasons best described as optical sadism, the game's developers decided to share their programming hiccups with the world. So rather than getting people pumped about hitting home runs, they left perturbed observers crying foul.

Lead programmer Patrick Hager had a more positive spin, framing the visual catastrophe as one in a series of problems being fixed. But how would revealing such a grotesque flaw encourage anyone to buy the game? That's like trying to sell a sandwich by admitting you sneezed on it. And what about the people who developed emotional glitches after seeing those unspeakable faces? Who's going to fix them?

From cradle and grave

 

Maggots are basically writhing booger worms that morph into poop-eating air pests. In case you've ever wondered what that stomach-turning transformation looks like, someone has thoughtfully posted sped-up footage of it online. If you sicken easily, now is not the time for food.

At the outset you see what looks like a mutated grain of rice undulating across grassless terrain. Before long it takes on the appearance of a tiny turd. It appears to be in the first two molting stages described by the Australian Museum. Presumably that means the bug morsel will soon dine on a carcass of some sort, joined by countless death-eaters.

The camera swiftly pans to a bevy of bones as if to collapse your composure with the sight of decomposition. The lens looms over seemingly petrified brown maggots. They're almost casket-like in their stillness. Abruptly, one of these death capsules splits open to reveal a pale, pulsating fly head. The winged monstrosity forces its way to freedom like an infant exiting a desiccated womb. These newborn flies will touch many a poop pile and maybe that food you postponed.

Mother chucker

The bond between parent and child surpasses all others in sweetness and sincerity. The notion of a mother willfully, thrill-fully imperiling her babies shocks the conscience like a moral stun gun. Presumably, Louella Gallagher banked on that very reaction when she lined up her young daughters and flung knives at them.

The above recording hails from 1950s, according to the Texas Archive. At the time, the Lone Star State was home to what's hopefully the state's lone example of a homemaker chucking kitchen daggers at kids. Everything about the scene feels off-putting, from Mama Gallagher giddily pointing a knife at the camera to the trio of cherubs shrugging off imminent impalement. The children's unfazed faces point straight ahead at pointed projectiles, almost daring them to advance. The final unflinching shot chills the spine. Gallagher and her daughters happily huddle around a collection of blades. Even Charles Manson might have shuddered at this family. 

Fire extinguish her

Childhood fuses innocence with wanton destruction. Kids tear up toys, deface furniture, and annihilate appliances while beaming like cutesy atom bombs. Who wouldn't give a kidney to relive that puerile barbarism? Anyone who's watched a living doll burn -– that's who.

The clip feels like a deleted scene from Toy Story 3. According to the video description, a doll randomly appeared in the yard of YouTube user Premium Aphid. The very first thing you see is a doll adorned with matches on the ground. As if channeling Sid's id, Aphid sets the faux baby ablaze. Fire rapidly ravages the defenseless toy, unevenly charring its face and melting chunks of torso.

Unexpectedly, the doll speaks. Seemingly sensing its own demise, the flaming figure recites a bedtime prayer. "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep," it sweetly utters. After offering its plastic soul to Jesus, the toy concludes its farewell with well wishes for all the world's children, children it will never get to meet. What a guilt trip. At last the doll's battery busts, ending the torture — not with a bang but a child's whimper.

Skinned cancer

Aesthetically speaking, crabs are the pits. They look like bloated arachnids with murder pincers and move like ghastly tap dancers. Yet millions of people can't help stuffing them in their mouths. Much of that stems from how these crusty creatures get presented. You often seem as succulent lumps on a plate or nondescript patties. A chef would never let you see a crab erupt from its shell-like horror lava. But the internet would.

Behold the giant spider crab, known to the Japanese as the "tall legs crab," according to the Tennessee Aquarium. A true colossus of the ocean, it boasts a leg span of up to 15 feet and can live as long as a century. During that time it surely sheds a lot of shells after inevitably outgrowing them. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that the average crab takes 15 minutes to molt. That sounds rather gradual, if not downright serene. Viewed in time lapse, it's an ungodly undertaking.

If you clicked the clip above, you saw the beginning stages of a cringe-inducing crab-splosion. After crawling choppily about, the beast bursts from its shell with aquatic facehugger fury, before a stingray comes along and starts munching. That, dear friend, is seafood. Now ask yourself: do you see food?

I'm loathin' it

You've probably read that wholesome weatherman and kids' show host Willard Scott invented Ronald McDonald. As per PBS, the idea evolved from Scott's previous stints playing Bozo the clown. It was a cleverly kid-centric effort to clog arteries with fat-filled burgers and greasy fries. But in early commercials the character feels a bit too child-friendly.

Take the above ad, for example. It starts innocuously enough, with a jolly Ronald roller-skating his way to an exaggerated pratfall. Since his head's a collage of face paint and fast food, an unwrapped burger soars through the air and lands intact in the hands of a young boy. Ignoring the ridiculous physics and exposure to insects, the kid immediately starts gobbling down random sandwiches. Ronald introduces himself by hyping the taste of his cranial burger. But the child quickly informs him that he can't talk to strangers. Ronald, however, assures the kid that the rule shouldn't apply to a garish sidewalk clown.

The boy still seems wary, but his worry washes away when Ronald bribes him with magically appearing sandwiches. Testing the child's reluctance, the clown mockingly admonishes against taking gifts from strangers. But by now the boy is thoroughly impressed with the bizarre burger warlock and happily walks off with him -– alone. Not to impugn Willard Scott, but old school Ronald McDonald behaved like an Amber Alert on wheels. 

A Wolfson in she-clothing

Art is like water in a shapeshifting glass. It can flood your mind with piercing reflections and intriguing perspectives. But it will just as easily drown you in jarring imagery and abstract expressions. Jordan Wolfson's Female Figure unquestionably does the latter.

To put it bluntly, Female Figure has the sex appeal of a bear trap in lingerie. An animatronic sculpture made of wires and fever dreams, the artwork features an incongruous mix of tantalizing and terrifying elements. It's simultaneously a shapely woman in a seductive dress and a dirt-stained witch with piercing eyes. Like a portrait of impotent vanity, Female Figure jerkily gyrates in front of a mirror while her high-tech eyes remain trained on her audience. Amid her freakish shimmying, she unnervingly asks you to say things like "touch is love" and orders you to close your eyes.

Wolfson explained to the LA Times that Female figure doesn't aim to titillate but tell a story. The significance of said story is completely elusive, however. Through Wolfson's recorded voice, the ghoulish gal declares her parents deceased, wishes to become a poet, and outs herself as homosexual. None of those things accurately describe Wolfson, who ostensibly also doesn't identify as female. The whole thing sounds like an exercise in self-contradiction. So maybe it's a metaphor for politics. 

The blight before Christmas

'Twas the month before Christmas in 2016 when one YouTube user shared something obscene. It wasn't a curse word or scary food clown but a person-like tree that would make Santa frown. This bright talking arbor will spoil your day. Want to get creeped out? Then simply press play.

You'd think it's virtually impossible to ruin something associated with presents and magical home intruders. But a Grinch who goes by "databits" did with ease. Clearly bent on exorcising the spirit of Christmas, databits attached an Amazon Echo to a talking tree and began asking it questions. The video poses a startling juxtaposition as the soothing voice of Echo's Alexa app comes pouring from the tree's inhospitable mouth. As its lip woodenly flaps up and down, the tree's eyes flicker menacingly.

The freakish fir attempts to ingratiate itself with jokes and even sings Happy Birthday. But the tree's deranged blinking kills any chance at festiveness. One can only hope that artificial trees make good firewood. 

Speak so evil

Dolls are basically imaginary buddies you can see and touch. Unsurprisingly, the more lifelike they seem, the more that young children and super-weird adults clamor for them. But occasionally these fake companions prove more foe than faux. And few will heebie your jeebies like Mattel's Baby Secret doll.

In 2016, a pair of YouTubers reviewed Baby Secret for the unprepared masses. Sold during the 1960s, the doll's defining feature was its ability to whisper through barely moving lips without the aid of batteries. That sounds like a cool gimmick until you hear what it actually sounds like. Alarmingly, the baby's first words are, "I like to sleep with you." The doll repeats that sentence two more times, obviously eager to share a bed with you. It seems entirely possible that whatever secret Baby is hiding involves dirt naps.

Baby Secret boasts a treasure trove of questionable statements, including "hold me close and whisper," "I like to whisper in the dark," and "Is anyone else awake?" That last one seems particularly odd since nobody could sleep with a plastic psychopath murmuring in their ear. 

To make meats end

Everyone walks in Death's shadow clinging to a candle. But before long, your wax melts away and your flame extinguishes. At that point you become little more than a macabre Happy Meal for time and maggots to devour. Nothing encapsulates that fact more bluntly or horrifically than the time-lapse footage above.

In the opening seconds of the clip, an aging hunk of flesh and fat seemingly recoils from a flurry of flies assailing it. Suddenly wriggly white flecks of decay appear -– maggots. They squirm, scramble, munch, and maraud, pushing you to the brink of panic. Your brain yells at you to look away, but it's already a quarter past too late. Frenzied fly larvae explode onto the screen in twitching torrents. Those wretches make you want to retch and hurl the vermin somewhere, anywhere that's not in front of your face.

Inexplicably, you continue watching as quivering flesh simmers in a maggoty mass. As Wired pointed out, the creatures can produce temperatures of 122 degrees Fahrenheit. It's practically an inferno of pre-flies. The bug-boiled flesh rends and recedes as if dying a second death. It's a raw, revolting glimpse into your future. You yearn to stave off thoughts of death with pics of cats and cooing babies. Go ahead. You've earned it.