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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Local 58 Contingency Emergency Broadcast

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

As a child of the Cold War born in the 1970s and traumatized by films like The Day After and Threads, I remember immediately panicking every time an Emergency Broadcast broke into a TV show I was watching. That alarming tone made my stomach drop and in the moments before it was confirmed to be “only a test” I had already imagined a barrage of nuclear warheads bursting overhead.

My heart went out to the residents of Hawaii who, due to a false alarm, believed a missile attack was imminent this weekend. For almost 40 minutes, families scrambled into fallout shelters, bathrooms, and even storm drains, believing war had begun between the United States and North Korea. Even after the all-clear was announced and the warning revealed as a mistake, nerves were severely rattled. I can only imagine the potential long-term damage done to the psyches of Hawaii’s youngest residents.

For a taste of the pandemonium that occurred, check out an excerpt from CNN’s reporting below.

While the shock must have been unprecedented for most, a bizarre alert that accidentally aired in the late 1960s puts the Hawaii debacle to shame. What viewers of a local station saw just before the end of programming at 3 am was a message announcing the fall of the US Government, and included instructions for committing suicide rather than surrendering to enemy forces.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The message bore the seal of The U.S. Department for the Preservation of American Dignity, included a statement from President Lyndon B. Johnson, and warned that failure to commit suicide as instructed would have consequences:

“Your local law enforcement has been ordered to ensure your compliance,” the message cautioned. “It is against the law to delay.” The final instructions remind adult viewers to put down their children and pets first while promising “There is nothing to fear.” Though the station later posted a statement ensuring viewers the message was a hoax, the potential loss of life this broadcast could have inspired is staggering. Have a look:

If the Local 58 Contingency, as it’s become known, seems too outlandish to be true, that’s because it isn’t. Though the video doesn’t include an admission of fiction, it’s written and directed by Kris Straub. If that name sounds familiar, that’s because he’s the writer of the popular creepypasta Candle Cove, recently adapted into a TV series on SyFy.

Still, the vintage look of the Local 58 Contingency, not to mention the current climate of heightened tensions between American and a rogue nuclear nation, make this video a truly terrifying viewing experience.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? The Rise and Fall of Pete the Meat Puppet

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

Pete the Meat Puppet is something of a celebrity in certain YouTube subcultures, especially those enamored by macabre and disturbing videos. If you find Chucky unsettling, turn back now, because everything about Pete is more terrifying than the scourge of the Child’s Play franchise!

The Rise and Fall of Pete the Meat Puppet is an unforgettable video—for a few reasons. There’s an overtly comic overtone to the musical ditty, one that recounts Pete’s humble beginnings as lunch scraps and how the breast milk from a barren lunch lady brought him to life. The song is so catchy, it’ll be stuck in your head for days—and probably not in a good way!

But most of what makes Pete legendary, and why he’s the feature of this week’s column, is because he’s disgusting! The jokey presentation and addictive song stand in stark contrast to the grotesque reality of a Pinocchio built out of rotting flesh. Suddenly, Pete’s descent into prostitution and self-cannibalism becomes utterly gut-churning. The vintage presentation makes the entire video even more nightmarish.

Without further ado, meet Pete:

If you’re left thinking, “That was certainly disturbing, but I sure like those jeans Pete was wearing!” then you’re one of the few who got the video’s actual intention. Unbelievably, Pete the Meat Puppet was created as part of a marketing campaign for Diesel. Of course, this is the same company that released a series of “hair bath” videos (which could probably be the subjects of their own feature!).

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

If The Rise and Fall of Pete the Meat Puppet hasn’t left you scarred for life, you can watch the follow-up, Pete the Meat Puppet on the Live Show, below. It’s the same basic story, this time presented in a vintage talk-show format. Though less overtly disgusting than the first video, there’s something about the casual interactions between Pete and “real people” that will cast some of you into the deepest pits of The Uncanny Valley.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Extreme Canadian Workplace Safety PSAs

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

Over the years, we’ve seen some pretty outlandish PSA’s. From the early days of “This is your brain on drugs” these appeals for public wellbeing have reached some bizarre extremes, like comparing smoking marijuana to an act of terrorism or convincing parents that the Internet is a one-way-ticket to childhood sexual slavery. While we can appreciate the good intentions behind most every PSA, some definitely approach the level of propaganda by appealing to irrational fears.

Then again, even the most straight-forward, non-sociopolitical PSA can go too far. While no one can find fault with promoting workplace safety, a couple of Canadian PSA’s are so extreme they’ve got the potential to trigger some serious PTSD. Take a look at one example below.

While definitely R-Rated, I’ve got to admit there’s something darkly humorous about the PSA above. The message is important, but the outcome is so over-the-top, so unexpected, it feels like a prank. Plus, the initial explosion reeks of CGI, so while the worker’s accident is shocking, this advert has an air of fiction that makes it relatively easy to dismiss.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

The follow-up to the PSA above is so shocking, so brutal, so intrinsically tragic, it’s impossible to watch it without taking pause. While considerably less explosive, it presents an up-close look at a debilitating injury and the writhing agony that follows. I guess scaring people into never leaving their homes is one way to promote workplace safety!

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary? Paris Catacombs Video: Real Found Footage Horror

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Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

“Wanna see something REALLY scary?”

To horror fans who came of age in the 1980s, the line above instantly evokes memories of Dan Aykroyd and Albert Brooks in the opening scene from Twilight Zone: The Movie. Now, on a bi-monthly basis, I’ll be asking, “Wanna see something REALLY scary?” with the goal of shocking you with chilling footage plumbed from the darkest corners of YouTube.

After hours of frantically crawling through darkness in a desperate bid for survival, a camera is dropped, recording the final images of an intrepid explorer who was never seen or heard from again. We’re not talking about the last scene of The Blair Witch Project; this is a description of actual footage found in the depths of the Paris Catacombs, a.k.a. “The Empire of the Dead”.

Beginning in the early 1800s in response to a lack of cemetery space, the residents of Paris began relocating their dead to former mining tunnels beneath the city. Today, the remains of over 6 million people can be found in a labyrinth covering over 200 miles, most of it over 100 feet below the city streets. This nightmare world has become the domain of sightseers with the taste for the macabre, and areas of the maze are opened for tour groups. But he Catacombs also attract illegal trespassers, drawn to the darkest cavers with the hopes of discovering bizarre and terrifying mysteries.

Wanna see something REALLY scary?

In the early 2000s, explorers discovered a camera, caked in dirt and mold; the footage, estimated to have been recorded in the 1990s, shows the final moments of an unknown man who, after getting lost in the catacombs, becomes visibly distraught before abandoning his only source of light and scrambling into the darkness—presumably to his death. Check it out:

Detractors claim it must be a hoax, as the original footage isn’t available in any form. What we’ve just seen was culled from a docu-series, The Scariest Place on Earth, and was provided by documentarian Francis Freedland. While it does, in many ways, seem too scary to be true (not to mention playing out like an unofficial prequel to the found footage creeper As Above, So Below released in 2014), the only reason to perpetrate a fraud would be for money. Freedland was no doubt compensated by Scariest Places on Earth, the documentary is not available for purchase, eliminating a financial incentive. And considering Freedland himself hasn’t achieved the level of fame the footage has, the idea of a self-serving deception seems even less likely.

Decide for yourself by viewing the documentary in its entirety below. Even if you end up falling on the side of skepticism, the claustrophobic intensity and immensity of the labyrinth is a thing of wonder and terror in equal measure.

Got an idea for a future installment of “Wanna See Something REALLY Scary?” Hit me up on Twitter @josh_millican!

Wanna See Something REALLY Scary

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