Graveyard Shift
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10 Scary Facts We Learned This Week That Keep Us Up At Night

Updated July 16, 2021 1.8k votes 239 voters 3.8k views10 items

List RulesVote up the facts that have you tossing and turning.

From giant sea monsters to serial killers to natural disasters and more, there are so many real-life nightmares in the world to haunt our waking moments, and every week Graveyard Shift finds some more to share with you! Read on, if you dare, and find out why these not-so-fun facts are as fascinating as they are frightening.

For even more creepy facts, you can also check out last week's list, and don't forget to come back next week for more!

  • 1

    You May Be Surrounded By Serial Killers

    Dozens of women lost their lives in Los Angeles in the 1980s and '90s in what the police called the "Southside Slayer" killings. Believing this was the work of one person, the Los Angeles Police Department set up a task force to hunt the culprit.

    What they found instead was the work was being done by at least four different active serial killers who were all stalking the same area. It's likely even more existed, but due to the passage of time and destruction of evidence, they may never known how many people were involved, and some of those responsible may still be out there.

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  • 2

    A Doctor Becomes Obsessed With His Patient

    In 1933, a doctor named Carl Tanzler (AKA Count Carl von Cosel) became obsessed with a patient suffering from tuberculosis. Her name was Elena de Hoyos, and even when she sadly passed, that obsession did not end. After her internment, he raided her tomb, stole her body, and went on to live with the corpse for seven years. As the body decomposed, he used wire and coat hangers to pull it back together, fitted the face with glass eyes, and replaced the skin with perfume-drenched silk (to hide the rotting stench). 

    He was eventually caught and taken into custody, only to be released upon the offense (i.e., taking the body) being declared past the statute of limitations. Elena's body was reburied, but the exact location remains hidden to this day to prevent her from being disturbed again.

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  • 3

    When Women Were Imprisoned For 'Immorality'

    The Chamberlain-Kahn Act of 1918, which later came to be known as "The American Plan," was a public health campaign allegedly meant to slow the spread of STDs among soldiers during World War I. What happened in practice, though, is that throughout both World Wars, tens (and possibly hundreds) of thousands of women were detained and forced to undergo invasive testing for venereal diseases. If found to have contracted one, they would be imprisoned and made to undergo dangerous, painful, and often ineffective treatments.

    Police were allowed to take in women under even the slightest suspicion, such as if they were near a military base, had an "immoral" appearance, walked a certain way, were seen accompanying a man, or were simply out walking alone. This form of mass incarceration didn't end until well into the '70s during the women's liberation movement.

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  • 4

    A Colossal Crocodile Terrorizes Burundi

    Burundi, a country in East Africa, had a big crocodile problem in the early 2000s - as in a literal big crocodile was causing the locals to disappear. He was given the name Gustave, obtaining a near-mythical status for allegedly consuming as many as 300 people from the banks of the Ruzizi River (at least, according to the locals).

    Though this estimated 20-foot-long, 2,000-pound river monster has repeatedly been spotted by both researchers and locals - and its consumption of humans has been confirmed - it's impossible to say how many have perished by his appetite. In addition, no one has been able to capture him for scientific study, though they've certainly tried. 

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