Normal-Looking Pictures with Scary Backstories

Voting Rules
Vote 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.

Photo: German Federal Archive / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0 DE

  • 1
    12,248 VOTES

    Regina Kay Walters, Photographed By Her Kidnapper

    This is 14-year-old Regina Kay Walters. In this photo, she has her hands up, as if she didn't want to be photographed. The reality is that this photo was taken in 1990 by Robert Ben Rhoades, AKA The Truck Stop Killer, who had picked up Regina and her boyfriend - two teens hitchhiking in the south.

    Rhoades took this photo shortly before ending Regina's life.

    12,248 votes
  • 2
    10,300 VOTES

    The Last Known Photo Of James Bulger

    The Last Known Photo Of James Bulger
    Photo: Unknown / Wikipedia / Fair Use

    This security camera shot shows what looks to be a couple of young boys escorting an even younger kid. This happens to be the last known picture of James Bulger, the barely 3-year-old who was taken from a mall by two infamous 10-year-olds, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.

    The two British boys were convicted of brutally ending the toddler and became the youngest convicted murderers of the 20th century.

    10,300 votes
  • 3
    9,349 VOTES

    Family Portrait With Their Assassin

    Family Portrait With Their Assassin
    Photo: Dagsa Family / ABC News / Fair Use

    Manila city councilman Reynaldo Dagsa was taking a New Year's Eve photo of his family. When he snapped the shot, he didn't notice the man on the left, aiming a gun at him; he was struck down where he stood.

    The culprit was Michael Gonzalez, whom Dagsa had previously sent away to prison for stealing cars.

    9,349 votes
  • 4
    10,385 VOTES

    The 'Shadows' Of Hiroshima Victims

    The 'Shadows' Of Hiroshima Victims
    Photo: Matsughige Yoshito / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    While this looks like strange shadows on walls and steps, they aren't exactly shadows. These are the carbon imprints of people and objects that were permanently seared into the concrete at the moment of the Hiroshima bombing.

    10,385 votes
  • 5
    8,538 VOTES

    John Wayne Gacy Clowning Around

    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.

    8,538 votes
  • 6
    6,694 VOTES

    Travis Alexander Moments Before He Was Ended

    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.

    6,694 votes