There are so many bizarre videos on the internet that "the weird side of YouTube" is a common phrase for the internet-aware. Creepy videos and unexplained footage, however, have perplexed us long before computers and smartphones gave us the ability to record and upload our weird behavior with ease. From TV hacks like the Max Headroom interruption, to the unsettling singing of Tara the robot in I Feel Fantastic, here are some of the creepiest video mysteries, including a disturbing cartoon, a baffling film about soup made with costumes stolen from a Los Angeles vaudeville performance, and a man who keeps a very odd piece of family history in his own backyard.
This video shows an older man laughing creepily as a Chopin tune plays. The laughter goes on for several seconds, increasing in severity as the video progresses. Some believe this video may have something to do with the disappearance of a nursing student named Maura Murray.
Maura Murray was a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who disappeared in February of 2004. Before she disappeared, she told her boss and professors that she had to leave for a week due to a family emergency. She packed up her car and took off for parts unknown.
However, there was no family emergency. In the days before her disappearance, she had acted strangely. She got in trouble for stealing a credit card, cried at work, and crashed her father's car into a guardrail. Her personal computer searches indicated she was headed to Vermont or The Berkshires. She took money out of an ATM, bought some booze and took off.
She was spotted in New Hampshire after getting into a minor crash with a snowbank. By the time someone called the police and an officer arrived, Maura was gone, along with her wallet. She and her wallet have never been found.
So what’s the deal with the video? Well, while police have long considered Maura simply missing, her family believes someone else kidnaped her. Her father stated that he believes his daughter was most likely abducted by "some dirtbag on Route 112." The video was posted by YouTube user 112dirtbag on the anniversary of Maura's disappearance in 2012. It was only online for a short time, but has been snatched by other users and can currently be found online.
A man says that his great-grandmother passed away on Halloween of 1945, eight years before he was born. She was buried, but the cemetery closed due to poor maintenance. As a result, the man decided he would take his great-grandma's remains and put them in his backyard.
Okay, not so weird, right? Some people are sentimental, and likely can't bear the thought of losing a family member's remains. He offers to show us the casket. It's a nice casket, clean and propped up on a stand. Okay, so far, so sort-of-normal.
Then he opens the casket. His great-grandmother is still inside, dressed in a pristine white dress, hair fanning out around her head. She is not a skeleton, and seems reasonably well-preserved, all things considered.
And then the man leans down and kisses the corpse's face several times. And, yep, now it's weird.
The man has loaded several other videos where he signs to the camera, and seems to be a genuine individual. If you're thinking the body should be more decomposed than that, you may or may not be wrong. A commenter on Reddit who works as a funeral director says that depending on the embalming processes used, decomposition can vary greatly from person to person. And, hey, look at Vladimir Lenin's corpse.
This video uploaded in 2009 features a female doll named Tara, who has a short blond bob, wears gray slacks and a frumpy sweater. She sings "I Feel Fantastic," a song about, well, how she feels fantastic, in a robotic voice. Her arms go up and down, her red lips move and her head jerks from side to side. One of the only other lines in the song is, "Please leave, run, run, run." In another shot, she appears in a seated position with her legs in front of her while dressed all in black.
Another shot appears to be of the woods. It occurs randomly in the middle of the video for no apparent reason. The internet rumor mill got to working, insisting the doll was built by a serial killer, and the shot of the woods was where he had buried his victims. They also claimed that the clothes Tara was seen wearing had once belonged to someone her creator had killed.
In reality, a guy named Jon Bergeron built and programmed Tara, and intended to sell videos of the songs he programmed her to sing, and even possibly travel with her and put on shows. However, Bergeron hasn't been active online in about a decade, leading others to make up even more scary stories, namely, that Tara became sentient enough to rebel and murder Jon.
The video surfaced around 2005 and comes with a number of rumors, including that it's a torture video from the recesses of the deep web. YouTube user ReignBot decided to track down the video's origins, and discovered a Daily Motion account, RayRay TV, that featured the two mascots doing a number of things that seem innocent enough. This account also uploaded Blank Room Soup with the caption, "A clip of people who look like us doing something to someone that we would never do. We promise."
She tracked the characters to an animator named Raymond Persi. ReignBot emailed Persi, and he emailed her back, telling her that RayRay was an art project he created. He told her that he even used to do live RayRay performances with a group of other vaudeville-style entertainers in Los Angeles. One night, after one such performance, someone stole some of their costumes. A few weeks later, someone, presumably the thieves, sent him the Blank Room Soup video.
To this day, Persi has no idea who stole his costumes and made this video or why. The weirdest part, according to him, is that the actors in the video move exactly as though they'd been trained by Persi himself or had seen a number of the group's performances.