Some of the most successful videos on YouTube are ones without polished production value or top-billed internet celebrities. A vast majority of the best viral hits are the ones that weren’t necessarily intended to get billions of views. These videos, with their shaky camera work, poor sound quality, grainy quality and one in a million occurrences aren’t anything new. They’re called “found footage” videos and they’ve been around for decades. For some people, found footage is a passion and they spend hours scouring second-hand stores, their grandparents’ basements and weekend yard sales for a chance to get their hands on a bit of odd and obscure media from another time and, thankfully for our sake, they’ve been kind enough to share these mysterious bits of history with the internet.
Found Footage has no set parameters and can be pretty loosely defined. Some are downright hilarious. While others are completely horrifying. Some of the best were seen once twenty years ago, thought to be extinct, and then recovered. A lot of found footage have mysterious or even scary roots and were recovered from some pretty weird and or awful locations and anybody can make one, from wannabe reporters, to would-be paranormal investigators and even mass-murderers.
Sure, movies like VHS, Cloverfield, and The Blair Witch Project have popularized the genre, but all of these are simply Hollywood make believe attempts at cashing in on the real thing. So, take a closer look at what inspired these kinds of films. Let’s dust off the VCR, bust out the projector and turn out the lights to discover 15 of the creepiest found footage videos on the Internet.
#1 Diver Finds Survivor In A Shipwreck
In the summer of 2013, South African scuba divers were assigned the grim task of searching a recently sunken Nigerian oil tanker for the water-logged remains of the crew. Shockingly, one member of the diving crew found more than he bargained for when he came upon an area of the ship that had somehow not become completely inundated with icy water from the depth of the Atlantic ocean. And To his surprise, he found a survivor! Thankfully, his helmet camera was rolling to catch the whole thing.
What Makes This Video Creepy?
Imagine being a part of this ship’s crew and knowing the boat is going to sink, then being lucky enough to be in a part of the boat that has a pocket of air. The man was allegedly trapped in the air pocket for three days with no food or potable water. Amazingly, the man from the video, later identified as Harrison Okene, the ship’s cook, was trapped 100 feet below the icy Atlantic ocean for three whole days before being rescued. The cook was in the bathroom when the boat capsized and sunk. The mixture of fear, relief and surprise when Okene sees the diver is almost overwhelming.
#2 Last Known Footage Of Man Lost In French Catacombs
Let’s face it, getting lost sucks. Getting lost in the dark is even worse. And, getting lost in a literal maze underneath a massive city has to be just about worst case scenario for anybody. Yes, that’s right: Paris has a vast system of catacombs directly underneath most areas of the city and there are numerous stories of people getting lost and dying because curiosity and a lack of planning got the better of them. In come cases, these daring explorers are rescued. However, in many other instances they don’t get as lucky and end up spending their final days walking in circles, most of the time in complete darkness, without food or water.
What Makes This Video So Creepy?
For starters, this video is flat-out terrifying because it depicts a nightmare scenario for most. However, beyond the initial creepiness, there are many off putting aspects to the footage. To this day, the man behind the camera is unknown. When the camera was later discovered, there was no body or other clues to indicate how or why this camera ended up in the catacombs. This has lead many skeptics to believe that the film is some sort of hoax. However, this doesn’t explain the countless twists and turns, the rooms filled with human bones or who or what painted the arrows on the walls or made the “bone” arrows on the catacomb floor.
#3 High School Murderers’ Video Diary
This is like something right out of Hollywood. Brian Lee Draper and Torey Michael Adamcik were high school buddies who shared a secret interest in the macabre. Inspired by movies like Scream and horrible school shootings like Columbine, the two friends hatched a plan to murder one of their classmates, Cassie Jo Stoddart and film the whole thing.
What Makes This Video So Creepy?
Much like Stephen McDaniel and the Redwood City Arsonist, Draper and Adamcik decided to put their horrifying acts to film. The two sick friends recorded everything, including footage of one of the pair speaking with the future victim, Casey Jo, the day before they planned to stab her to death. In one chilling scene, the two explain why their classmate is a perfect victim. However, the most chilling scene shows the pair racing home after the murder. Both sound affected by their actions, but not in a bad way. The pair actually sounds exhilarated and excited by what they have done. Thankfully both murderers have been sentenced to life in jail where they will never be able to kill again.
#4 Killer’s Peeping Tom Video Before Murdering A Victim
Nothing is more creepy than glancing toward your darkened window at night and wondering if somebody is out there, masked by shadows, trying to peek in and watch you. Stephen McDaniel made this nightmare a reality for his victim, Lauren Giddings, in 2014. This video is just part of the evidence later found to link McDaniel to this horrifying crime. As the story goes, McDaniel actually knew Giddings and they even went to the same school and attended classes together. When he wasn’t attending classes, he was stalking Giddings and plotting to murder her. At the very least we can study this mad man’s footage to maybe prevent future tragedies.
What Makes This Video Creepy?
Within a day of sneaking around outside her windows and around her apartment, McDaniel gained entry into Giddings’ home and strangled her to death. The following day he slowly disposed of her body. There’s a long history of killers taping their victims and their crimes. Ultimately, McDaniel was linked to the crime and apprehended. The footage was great for illustrating his depravity and was used against extensively during the crime.