Terrifying Technology: Surfing the Internet’s Most Creepy Websites
By Debra Kelly, Urban Ghosts Media, 11 May 2017.
By Debra Kelly, Urban Ghosts Media, 11 May 2017.
Hauntings and curses aren’t just the stuff of abandoned buildings and crumbling ruins. Listen in on the chatter of the online realm, and you’ll soon find that the internet is full of unsettling places. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most creepy websites around. From ghost cams and virtual ruins tours to eerie telecoms tales involving cursed phone numbers, here are 10 unsettling websites and stories that you can explore from your desk.
Ever wonder whether your house has undisclosed secrets? Always get a weird feeling when you visit your neighbours? Ever been in one of those houses that just feels wrong? Check out Housecreep.com, a web site that’s dedicated to exposing all the secrets that real estate agents don’t want you to know.
The site collects all manner of news articles - not just those that report a death in the home. They search for reports that homes have been involved in criminal activities from murders to drugs, and you can search by general location or even a particular house.
This eerie website currently lists around 25,000 properties. If properties have ever been seized in connection with criminal activity, they could be listed. And if you want to know whether your house is haunted, Housecreep.com may give you the answer.
2. The Dionaea House
Image: The Dionaea House
We don’t want to give anything away but, at a glance, the Dionaea House seems to be an email log from a month in 2004. The story is a hugely successful creepypasta that went so viral that year that there were talks of turning it into a film.
Even though it feels a bit dated now, more than a decade on, it’s well worth the read (or re-read). Scrolling through the creepy website’s text will make you feel like you’re wading deeper and deeper into some place that you probably shouldn’t be.
3. Junko Junsui
This one isn’t a particular website, but a full-immersion experience that spanned different sites, chat rooms, apps and games for five years. It started with a (now gone) Facebook page for someone named Junko Junsui, who claimed she was passing on information about some of the world’s most shadowy organisations.
People who investigated further stumbled across a cybertrail of terrifying titbits indicating that this mysterious person was a member of a terrorist group called The Junsui. But more disturbing still, those who entered the right search term in Google were automatically directed to a video [shown above] of a young woman dressed entirely in white and sitting on the floor of an empty white room.
Some of the warnings the “group” gave seemed to actually happen, like major social media outages originating from Russia - where The Junsui supposedly came from. An iPad app, Alfa-Arkiv, emerged in 2014, which only served to deepen the mystery. Kotaku took a closer look and found that the conspiracy was all a game, but one that had the internet’s attention.
4. Dead Man’s Switch
Image: Dead Man’s Switch
Receiving some sort of messages - or, more recently, an email - from a deceased loved one is a popular trope in horror fiction. But it’s now entirely possible thanks to the creepy website Dead Man’s Switch.
It works like this. Sign up for an account and write emails that you want to be sent after your untimely demise. The website will send you regular inquiries to see if you’re still alive, and if you stop checking in, it’ll send your saved emails to the people you’ve specified. People really will be getting emails from the afterlife…sort of. Are there things that you want to say, but don’t want to have to face the consequences? Things you don’t want to go unsaid? Just say them after you’re gone.
5. The Deadly Mobile Number
We promised you a phone number, so here it is. In 2010, Mobitel discontinued one of their phone numbers after the sudden death of the third person it was assigned to. The number - 0888 888 888 - first belonged to the company’s own CEO, Vladimir Grashnov. He died of cancer at age 48, but there were rumours circulating that something more sinister was behind his death. The second owner of the number was Konstantin Dimitrov, a Bulgarian mob boss who was assassinated in the Netherlands. He was 31.
The final owner was Konstantin Dishliev, an estate agent reportedly using his business as a front for drug trafficking. He was shot and killed outside a Sofia restaurant in 2005, and since then, the phone number has been disconnected. According to the Telegraph, Mobitel won’t comment on the disconnected number. Though that could be due to an ongoing investigation, it might also be because they don’t want to have to explain what seems to be a rather shady number that somehow kept ending up in the wrong hands.
6. The Willard Library Ghost Cam
Image: Willard Ghost.com
Willard Library in Evansville, Indiana has such an active spectre that they have a live webcam in place so armchair ghost hunters can sneak a peek at the supernatural happenings from the safety of their computer. The images update every few seconds, and focus on three different areas in the library. If you do happen to see something, you can take a screen capture and submit it to the library. Click on their section of top picks to see what others have caught.
Willard Library also claims to know exactly who their spooky resident is. The “Lady in Grey” is thought by some to be the spirit of Louise Carpenter, the daughter of the library’s founder and benefactor. Those who have seen (or smelled) her report that she’s not a malevolent spirit, and it seems that she wants someone to know she’s still there.
7. Ordsall Hall Ghostcam
Image: Ordsall Hall/Facebook
The earliest records of Ordsall Hall date to 1177, and over the centuries it’s been home to people from earls and priests to mill workers and Tudor-era nobility. If the stories are to be believed, it’s also home to the spirit of a white lady and a young girl. Reports of ghostly activity are so common that three ghostcams were set up in the manor: one in the great hall, one in the great chamber, and one in the star chamber. The locations are reportedly where the most frequent activity occurs, and they update on the website every few minutes.
Some claim to have caught proof of spiritual residents haunting the hall, and professional photographer Anthony Lane captured an image that’s strikingly similar to another that popped up on the CCTV footage - three years apart. Legends say that one of the spirits is Lady Margaret Radclyffe, who jumped off a balcony in 1599. The other ghost is simply known as Cecily, and it’s said that her presence is heralded by the smell of roses.
Image: Scarfolk Council
Scarfolk, the website says, “is a town in North West England that did not progress beyond 1979.” The 1970s keep repeating themselves on this creepy website, over and over again, and everything is just a little off. Visit the Scarfolk Council page and you’ll be warned about picking up mandatory literature on how to apply for your points-based citizenship rank, learning what everyone’s identification badges meant, and understanding things like your Physics Tax (do you use the laws of physics?) and your Gravity Surcharge (if you plan on using gravity).
Think 1970s dystopian society where paranormal events are ordinary, where children can be hypnotised by spider-monsters in their televisions, and where an experimental Human Rights Lottery was once organised to see who would earn the right to be recognised as an actual human being. The entire site is weirdly unsettling (and the brainchild of a graphic designer), just foreign enough to be unfamiliar and just familiar enough to be uncomfortable.
Thanks to the internet, you can go pretty much anywhere in the world. But reading about a location is rather different to actually seeing it. That’s where Opentopia comes in. Opentopia searches for freely accessible webcams from around the world, and compiles them in one location.
While a lot of them aren’t necessarily creepy, it’s the potential for creepiness that’s put this one on our list. It’s insane to think that in only a few relatively short decades, we’ve managed to transport far flung corners of the world into our homes. Head over to Opentopia and you can open cameras from the harbours and fjords of Norway, visit lakes in Switzerland, and sports areas and hotels in Russia. The list seems pretty much endless. Do enough digging and there’s some pretty unsettling ones, too. This can be a pretty creepy website, but we’ll leave that to your imagination.
10. Hashima Island
Modern ruins are eerie places, and the internet is, for better or worse, responsible for bringing the world into our homes. When it comes to virtually exploring abandoned places, this creepy website takes it a step farther, allowing you to wander through the deserted Hashima Island.
The island, off the coast of Nagasaki, Japan, was used a forced labour camp before and during World War Two. Once a major coal mining centre, it was home to a self-contained city with everything its inhabitants needed. From schools and community centers to apartment complexes, the now abandoned island had everything.
The mine was officially closed in 1974, and travel to and from Hashima Island was discontinued until 2009. In 2013 (after interest in the island was reignited when it featured in the James Bond movie Skyfall), Google sent a backpacker to the island equipped with their Street View technology. Now you can follow in Google’s footsteps and explore the infamous island abandonment, all making for some brilliantly creepy website viewing.
Top image:The "Hashima Island: A Forgotten World" website. Credit: hashima-island.co.uk.
[Source: Urban Ghosts Media. Edited. Video and some images added.]