If you thought the cartoons from the '90s and oughts were twisted and creepy, just wait until you see the freaky, weird cartoons that came out of the first half of the 1900's. Some of these "children's" cartoons would pair nicely with the next season of American Horror Story and are effective in making your skin crawl. You'll see everything from surreal, sometimes even trippy sequences of cute little characters' descents into death, whimsical animal cruelty, and in two instances, really eerie, herky-jerky puppet animation—not to mention crackly and canny audio that would fit right in on a horror movie soundtrack.
Check out the list below to learn all about the creepy old black and white cartoons that probably had children more freaked out than entertained.
"Wanna be a member, wanna be a member?" ask the creepy white-clothed individuals to the freaked out Bimbo. Besides having a total Ku Klux Klan-y vibe, the group tries to torture and kill Bimbo until he agrees to join their club. It all ends with the other club members shedding their white robes to reveal an incredibly saggy Betty Boop who finally convinces Bimbo to join by waving around like one of those inflatable arm men. Dudes will do anything for a little rock n' roll.
Swing You Sinners
Can a dog and a chicken make babies? That seems to be one of the main points of this doozy of an old timey cartoon. After a few unsuccessful attempts to choke the chicken, the fowl jumps into the pants of our lead dog hero thing. Even though they are facing opposite directions, the chicken still jumps out followed by a bunch of little chicklets. The animated God in this cartoon must look down on different species relations because the dog stumbles into a graveyard where he's reminded through a bunch of singing spirits that he's going to die. And then it's rather brutally demonstrated to the dog just how seriously the spirits mean business...
The Devil's Ball
Who needs sleep, right? One quick glance at this legitimate nightmare fuel and you immediately wish you could unsee it. Every new image is creepier than the last and there's no way Lucifer's parties are anywhere as creepy as this. The Devil probably looks at this and exclaims "I'm evil, but not this evil," and then sleeps with the lights on for a solid week.
Anything from the early 1900's that boasts "Amazing Puppet Animation" is sure to be terrifying and Cameraman's Revenge certainly delivers on the creepy front. If you've gone your whole life without seeing a puppet show that highlights bug infidelity, then you just aren't living. Just remember that these are all ACTUAL dead bugs the puppeteer is working with, which naturally it makes the whole thing ten times weirder.