The Most Disturbing Things You'll Find on the Dark Web

If you're not in the know, you might be asking, "What is the deep web?" Also known as the "darknet" (this latter term is, in fact, more accurate) and primarily accessed through the Tor network, the deep web basically allows access to the 21st-century underground market. It's also an anonymous "playground" for content that's unsuitable for the "clearnet" (the everyday Internet). It is largely untraceable (though not completely) and is perhaps most widely used for the sale of unmentionable goods and services.

Beyond drugs, some use the deep web to buy and sell weapons. But perhaps most alarming of all, some use it to exchange or discuss photos and videos of children cryptically referred to as "cheese pizza." (The "C" and "P" heading each word explains this code word.) 

While these aspects of the deep web are unsettling in and of themselves, the deep web's reputation as a playground for hedonism, depravity, and nefarious or sinister acts is a bit unfounded. Aside from questionable content and sales, much of the content accessed via Tor is fairly innocuous. Several Reddit threads corroborate this, as users encountered mostly mundane forums and load times so slow they lost patience before every really seeing anything. 

And yet, while they are certainly the exceptions and not the rule, there are a handful of deep web stories out there that manage to baffle, disturb, and even sicken. True, some of the more disturbing content on the dark web is the stuff of rumor and lore, but this doesn't make it any less creepy - particularly when considering that, while they have not been proven to exist, they have not been disproven either.  


  • Daisy's Destruction

    It's difficult to separate fact from urban legend of Peter Scully's nefarious child videos. What is clear is that "Daisy's Destruction" (sometimes called "The Destruction of Daisy") are extreme and brutal videos, available only in the darkest corners of the deep web, featuring Scully and various accomplices assaulting children as young as 2 years old, and in some cases, ending their lives.

    Rest assured, Scully is now in prison, and his videos are now the property of the FBI. Descriptions of his infamous works are available on the web, although most of the finer details may be mere rumor.

  • 8Chan's Baphomet Subboard

    If you're familiar with GamerGate, you've likely heard about 8chan, the forum and message board site where "anything goes," more or less. And if you know about GamerGate, you're probably all too familiar with the term "doxing," a process of temporarily making certain individuals' personal information (home address, phone number, email, etc.) available in order to harass them. The GamerGate controversy entails sexist gamers targeting women in the video game industry for this kind of harassment.

    The Baphomet subboard, hosted by 8chan, is the place where most doxing takes place, as it is seated within the darknet, and thus harder to trace. Users of the subboard go one step further by posting the personal information for a brief period of time, then deleting it. This allows those in the know to obtain the information anonymously and use it to assail victims.

  • Cruel Onion Wiki

    There's an old saying: "If you can think of it, it's probably a fetish." This adage proves true for many deplorable and inhuman acts, such as the things happening on the Cruel Onion Wiki. It's a dark web site that features scantily-clad or semi-nude women crushing small animals - including kittens - under their feet.  

    Animal cruelty laws prevent such sites from operating above the radar, and the Cruel Onion Wiki has been shut down on a few occasions. However, much like the rest of the darknet, the site always manages to resurface under a different name or URL.

  • Pink Meth

    Fortunately, Pink Meth is a website that was hosted on the darknet, until it was seized by the FBI in 2014. Despite the name, the site had nothing to do with drugs. Rather, Pink Meth was a market mainly for men, whereby they could sell nude photos of their exes for a hefty sum. Pink Meth then posted these photos, alongside the women's names, home addresses, phone numbers, and any other information the operators could dig up.

    Then, a ransom on the content was delivered to the victim - pay up to have the photo removed, or let the whole of the dark web have access to your personal information, including your nude photos.  

  • Violent Desires

    The name of this forum, which is purported to still exist as of 2016, pretty much describes what you might find there: people sharing their most gruesome and brutal desires. Perhaps the most infamous example is a post written by an anonymous doctor who offered to "manufacture" living child sex dolls through a combination of torture, experimentation, and body modification.  

    While it is likely that Violent Desires is mostly just fantasy, the Armin Miewes cannibalism case - where a deranged man ate a voluntary victim he found online - arose from a "clearnet" (regular, everyday) Internet forum called The Cannibal Cafe, where users shared their sexual "appetites" with one another. 

  • Sad Satan

    Reportedly only downloadable via the Tor network, Sad Satan is a perplexing and psychologically unnerving game with completely mysterious origins. The graphics, from a purely technical standpoint, are subpar, and the gameplay is seemingly pointless - you spend a fair amount of time simply wandering down surreal and abstract hallways.  

    However, the screeching audio soundtrack, which sounds like the rejects from Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music sessions, quite effectively crawls under your skin. There are also arcane hidden images and videos that emerge the longer you play and clips that seem to hint at lethal acts being committed by people in masks. Is this all just random, atmospheric spooks, or is there a deeper meaning here?  

    As of this writing, Sad Satan is no longer downloadable, but YouTube provides a glimpse into its truly unnerving gameplay.