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Top 10 Terrifying Concepts to Think About

by C.J. Phillips
fact checked by Darci Heikkinen

Have you ever had one of those hours-long conversations with a group of pals, the type of talk that ranges all over the landscape of subjects that people can discuss? Sometimes these conversations take a turn to the darker side.

Next time you find yourself deep into one of these types of convos, bring up one of the subjects covered below. This will all but guarantee that your fellow talker will have sleepless nights for weeks to come… if that’s the sort of thing you’re into, of course.

Related: 10 Things We Do Today That Will Be Barbaric In The Future

10 Now We See It All

WATCH FULL | Man heard saying he wants to ‘rape, kill’ woman in Las Vegas Ring camera

Personal surveillance tech in the form of body-, dashboard- and home-camera systems have become crystal clear in terms of both sound and picture quality. This has improved our safety and the efficacy of law enforcement and justice.

It’s also utterly terrifying.

Despite these many benefits regarding our safety, it guarantees that more people can witness the terrible violence and peril that victims undergo when suffering through a crime or accident. No more “Did you hear about Jenny from Accounts’ son? He took a header over the handlebars on his motorbike and is now in a coma”—now, it seems, the same thing can be said with the addition of “and here is the video.” Who would ride a bike again? Who would trust anyone who knocks on your door or let their kids play out in the yard? Seemingly, fewer and fewer people.

Consider that we live in a far less dangerous age, but we get to witness nearly every awful thing that befalls mankind, often streamed in real time and in 4k.[1]

9 The Sound of Madness

The Horrible “Taos Hum” | COLOSSAL MYSTERIES

Many people around the globe are hearing something strange. They hear it all the time. Having all the symptoms of tinnitus while seemingly not having tinnitus and sharing the tendency to hear this constant humming/buzzing/rumbling sound with many others in your locality is a petrifying concept—the stuff of sci-fi horror movies.

And yet, it seems to be a real phenomenon.

What makes it worse is that nobody is quite sure where these sounds are coming from. The leading theory is enough to make us all lose hope:

It’s the Earth itself making the sound, and an unlucky subset of people can hear it.[2]

So, as long as the world keeps turning…

8 Curse or Cluster

While it is true to say that the overall numbers of violent crime, industrial accidents, and life expectancy, in general, are all on positive curves, anomalous, tragic events still happen (and, as pointed out earlier, are more widely viewable).

Sometimes, however, so many awful events occur over a short period that the world takes note. Be it a rash of suicides in the Welsh town of Bridgend between 2007 and 2009 or the all-out mayhem of life in Black River Falls, Wisconsin, at the end of the 19th century, even otherwise unexceptional places can turn into hubs of terror, disease, pain, and evil, seemingly on a dime.

Take the case of Dryden, a small, all-American town in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. Over the course of a decade, this sleepy little town suffered through a spate of murders, suicide, and tragic accidents well above what would be “normal” for a specific place and period.


It seems to just be random—these events could happen, anytime, anywhere. Even your hometown.[3]

7 Who Would Know?

She “Woke Up” at the Funeral Home

This entry is quite a bit simpler than the others. No alternate reality, theoretical physics, or mind-bending conspiracy theories here. Just a thought.

A thought that’ll keep you awake in terror every night from now on.

People die. When they do, in most cultures, they get buried. But consider this—are they actually dead? Were the checks accurate?

The recent story of a 3-year-old girl in the Philippines who was about to be buried after “passing away” only to be found to be moving around by eagle-eyed relatives should give us all pause for thought. (Note—the news section here was rather misleading, unethical even—it fails to mention that this “miracle” was rather short-lived. The little girl died some days later, never having fully regained consciousness. They said that “She’s Fine!” Fact-checking simply does not exist in the news media anymore.)

How often does this happen—not just today, but throughout history? Just how many of our ancestors were accidentally buried alive? Maybe it’s time to bring back coffin bells and put a ban on cremations…[4]

6 We May Be Living in Universe 25 (That’s Not a Good Thing)

The Rise of the Beautiful Ones – Science on the Web #114

Ah, the “Rat Utopia Experiment.” Have you been seeing this everywhere online recently? There’s a reason. A really sh**ty reason.

During the now-infamous experiment run in the ’60s by ethnologist John B Calhoun, he demonstrated how controlled changes to rat “society” led to some pretty awful outcomes. Cannibalism, rampant murder, and eventually, a completely nonplussed section of the rat population, disinterested in everything (including mating, leading to societal collapse). This phenomenon was termed “Behavioral Sink.”

A section of the population came to be known as the “beautiful ones”—rats who spent all their time grooming themselves and basking. The environment Calhoun had designed, which gave rise to the beautiful ones, was called “Universe 25.” However, even when these rats were removed and reintroduced to “normal” rat communities, their behavior didn’t change. Sound familiar?

Think of a beauty-touting YouTuber, a health and lifestyle Instagrammer, and the masses of young people who aspire to be one of these things—research shows that a plurality of young people in Western countries views this as their dream job. Further, consider that birth rates are falling off a cliff in vast tranches of the globe, and productive work is being shipped away to “developing” nations.[5]

Keep this story in mind when reading the last entry.

5 “They” Know Stuff We Don’t…or Not

China’s Hypersonic Missile Launch Is Close To A ‘Sputnik Moment,’ General Says

Most people live with the consideration that the “higher-ups” in government, military, and even the media know stuff that the rest of the populace does not. Where the missile silos are. Who’s on the special forces’ kill list. That there even is such a list. But what happens when the public gets a glimpse behind the curtain. What happens when what we see is that these “top men” (as was told to Indiana Jones) are also taken by surprise?

China recently launched a hypersonic missile, one capable of evading extant U.S. missile defenses. What was the U.S. reaction? Surprise. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, even used the term “Sputnik moment,” the surprise event that led to the space race during the height of the Cold War. Maybe we shouldn’t be worried by the things we don’t know—we should be worried by the things our “top men” don’t know.[6]

4 “We” Don’t Know Stuff We Claim We Do

13 Things You Think Are True, But Aren’t | Adam Ruins Everything

People will speak with great authority on subjects they have very little knowledge of. How many times have you heard someone exclaim that “Politician X is a {insert negative characterization here}” only to fail to provide an example when challenged, save for a newsperson’s say-so (also without evidence). This is a common mistake—narrative, however “true,” is often used in lieu of empirical data or other forms of evidence.

Take the colonial era and the scramble for Africa in the 19th century. The common trope is that this was an act of pure economic and resource extraction by the European powers, greatly enriching them in the process.

Simple, right? Seems to have been the case, no?

Any analysis that can be summarized so glibly is probably faulty, if not totally untrue. In the case of European colonization of Africa, most powers extracted very little, and the ventures tended to be more costly than generative (this, of course, is not a justification, and there is a clear exception—Belgium in Congo). Does that make this era “good?” No, clearly not, but a simple good/bad binary is not only inefficient when dealing with the complexities of history but also leads to misconceptions and “we know it all” attitudes that permeate our world.

But still, these narratives persist. Maybe we should remember Socrates’ immortal words: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”[7]

3 The Experiment Is Coming to an End

Kim Iversen: Is CIVIL WAR Looming? Americans SUPPORT Red States, Blue States Seceding From US

Left, right, centrists; what connects them in U.S. politics today? Right now, it seems to be the idea that the USA is done, and a “Peaceful Divorce” is the only solution to the problems facing the world’s most powerful nation. Whether it comes from Hollywood leftists like Sarah Silverman, Texan Republican lawmakers, Libertarians in the new media like Mises Caucus member Dave Smith or avowed anarchists like the internet’s favorite troll Michael Malice, secession is the cry heard all over the land. But who cares what a few talking heads and shifty politicians have to say, right? They don’t speak for the people.

Buckle up…

Around 37% of respondents in a recent poll showed a “willingness” to secede from the U.S. These are members of the public. This is over a third.

So why is this terrifying? Is it just the sense of the unknown? Is it the fear that a kinetic war could break out between these new states? Is it the obvious, dreaded question, “Who gets the nukes?” Is it the fact that we could see both Trump AND Biden as simultaneous world leaders?[8]


2 CERN of the Century

Did the Large Hadron Collider opened an alternate universe? Or how to tell reality from a good story

Times are strange. We’ve had two elderly men taking on the role of leader of the free world (one was a reality TV star). A plague ravaged the globe, and online journalists heralded a song called “WAP” (“Wet A** P***y”) as a new dawn in artistic excellence. It’s almost as though a Ritalin-popping 13-year-old who hates his parents was given access to the computer which codes reality.

Sh*t, maybe that is the case?

Some conspiratorially minded people have claimed that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland has caused a “new reality” after creating the Higgs-Boson particle to come into being (the so-called “God Particle”).[9]

Although this is an extreme hypothesis, consider this:

Cardi B has won 150 industry awards.

1 Nope

Fast-forward to 2030: a day in the life of the connected human

An article by Danish politician Ida Auken, and the later World Economic Forum video it was used in, has spawned its own cottage conspiracy theory industry. Frankly, it’s not hard to see why. The nature, and more importantly, the tone is hard to discern—is this a positive, negative, or neutral prediction of our future? Given the profile and political proclivities of the author, it seems it may be a positive vision. This is utterly horrifying for anyone who values personal freedom. Here are some excerpts:

“My living room is used for business meetings when I am not there.” Nope.

“…sometimes I just want the algorithm to do it for me. It knows my taste better than I do by now.” Nope!

“I know that, somewhere, everything I do, think, and dream of is recorded. I just hope that nobody will use it against me.” Stop!!

And the article’s title is perhaps most terrifying of all: “Welcome to 2030: I Own Nothing, Have No Privacy and Life Has Never Been Better.”

Perhaps the most telling paragraph is found near the end of the article. After all the justifications for the alterations to basic freedoms and rights that mankind has fought for millennia to instantiate, one real concern remains, a concern which points to the (literally) fatal flaw in this utopian vision—maybe a genocidal flaw:

“My biggest concern is all the people who do not live in our city. Those we lost on the way. Those who decided that it became too much, all this technology. Those who felt obsolete and useless when robots and AI took over big parts of our jobs. Those who got upset with the political system and turned against it. They live different kinds of lives outside of the city. Some have formed little self-supplying communities. Others just stayed in the empty and abandoned houses in small 19th century villages.”[10]

Yes, they are concerning, aren’t they? Yeesh.

The question is: What is to be done about them, those who live “different kinds of lives”?

Let’s ask the algorithm; I’m sure it’ll be reasonable…

fact checked by Darci Heikkinen