Weird History
16.1k voters

Normal-Looking Pictures with Scary Backstories

Updated June 19, 2020 84.8k votes 16.1k voters 1.3m views12 items

List RulesVote up the creepiest photos, whose backstories you were surprised to learn.

You might not think these pictures are particularly unusual at first glance. However, once you learn about their backstories, you'll find out they actually document some unfortunate and creepy moments. Whether they're historical pictures that we later learn to have chilling backstories or more modern photos that look harmless but come with scary context, all the photos below can unnerve - once you learn what was really going on behind the lens.

These notable photos show everything from serial perps dressed as their innocent alter egos, people unwittingly posed with their executioner, and people captured moments before a great tragedy. There's even a picture of some teenagers, snapped just after one of them terminated his own parents. Read on to learn the truth behind these seemingly normal images and vote up the ones that give you the creeps.

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  • 5

    John Wayne Gacy Clowning Around

    Photo: Unknown / Wikimedia Commons / Fair Use

    Clowns are unsettling in general, but it becomes even more frightening when you realize that this particular clown (who went by the name of Pogo the Clown) is John Wayne Gacy. Gacy, a prolific offender, ended the lives of  30 young men in just six years.

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  • 6

    Finger Guns In The Columbine Class Photo

    At first glance, this looks like a typical high school class photo, with kids making weird faces and just generally goofing around. However, in the upper left, you'll see two teenagers making finger guns at the camera.

    Those kids are reportedly Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, the two teens who perpetrated the Columbine High School tragedy.

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  • 7

    Travis Alexander Moments Before He Was Ended

    Video: YouTube

    This photo was found on a damaged camera that had gone through the washing machine at the home of Travis Alexander. The next few shots are of him bleeding on the floor. The photos were taken by Jodi Arias, with this one was taken minutes before she stabbed him.

    Arias was convicted and sentenced to life in prison for ending her lover.

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  • 8

    Heaven's Gate Suicides

    Video: YouTube

    This vid shows a few people sleeping in bunk beds, which looks a little curious since they all seem to have the same clothes on and have made the unusual choice to sleep in their shoes. It gets worse when you realize that this is a photo of the Heaven's Gate cult, whose members would, in 1997, all end their lives.

    The cult believed the Earth was about to be wiped out and extinguishing their lives was how they would reach the alien spaceship that would travel by and save them.

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