The internet is a vast and bottomless virtual land. As much as it brings joy and connection and business, it also had secret, dark places that can lead us all to some nefarious decisions and unintended consequences. Sometimes all you want to do is order a vintage t-shirt, the next thing you know.... the FBI is knocking on your door.

Redditor u/BusinessOnion wanted to know who has meandered around the side of the internet that isn't particularly safe and lived to tell the tale by asking..... [Serious] Dark Web users of Reddit, was there ever a point in your use that you felt you were genuinely in danger? What happened?

Notice of Fear

ill kill you ben stiller GIF Giphy

I once bought a bit of weed and I received a blackmail letter threatening me with awful things (like sending CP and calling the police) if I didn't send 1 btc (1000$ at the time). I was scared sh!tless but nothing ever happened. Always check the reviews before buying anything!


The High Note

One time I got twice the amount of drugs that I actually ordered. Was paranoid for about 2 hours and then I just got really high and it was fine.


Once a friend ordered a "sample pack" of 10 Pills from a new vendor and got shipped 1k pills. Everyone who ordered got this surprise. This led to friends devastating addiction to Xanax which led to black tar and meth which led to a rock bottom that you only read about. He's been clean and off the dark web for 4 years now though.


Damn Bits

A friend of mine used to use Silkroad on the Darknet when Bitcoin was $10 a pop. He placed a tleast 100 orders through it and never had any issues.

It's a shame he didn't keep all the Bitcoin he bought because he would have been a millionaire now.


I made a TON of money from it, but at that time in my life money = drugs, so I have 0 from it.



Scared Boy Meets World GIF Giphy

In college some friends and I ordered a 100 sheet of acid, using bitcoin, to our college P.O. Boxes. We got pretty terrified when it didn't arrive when it should've. We thought it was found by USPS, our own mail service, or the DEA; we were paranoid. Turns out they just shipped it later than they said. We got our 100 tabs but that was a VERY stressful week and a half for all of us.


Mary Jane Issues

Had a buddy who used to order weed. The distributer got busted and the postal service let him know there was a suspicious package for him. He could either pick it up or it would be destroyed.


Getting an illegal package addressed to you leaves you with plausible deniability if you've purchased it anonymously and covered your tracks. You can say, "No thanks, I don't want anything to do with that because I have no idea what it is," and that'll be that, you just have to suck up the sunk costs. Trying to pick it up after you've been told it was suspicious and being held will earn you a nice talk with the authorities.



I was trying to buy those super cool laser pointers and I got a random message saying I know where you live. I noped out of that sight straight away.


My father was issued a laser pointer by the US Army that had been shown to cause skin cancer if u pointed it at someone for too long so there r some pretty crazy laser pointers out there.



Came across a chan style site. Every post was about trains. Wouldn't say i felt in danger, but i felt so out of the loop that i was missing something that I just got off.


I immediately thought this too. They're all there innocently chatting about trains and this guy stumbles across it like "wtf, this is some crazy stuff."


big brother

Suspicious Pop Tv GIF by Big Brother After Dark Giphy

Everything feels government owned.

I used to frequent drug sites. They would go down for weeks at a time. Then pop up again, have weird prices. Sellers were different.

It made the dark web feel like a labyrinth more than a ruleless wasteland.


Fading Out

I've used the dark web once or twice. Scariest thing was when my screen went black for a few moments and turned back on. Wasn't anything big, just my display cable messing up, but it did give me the creeps. As for dark or disturbing stuff, I've only found a list of random addresses. The dark web really has a lot of stigma associated with it.

For the most part it's just people curious about the dark web or people trying to scam you or sell you drugs. You have to do a lot of looking to find the really screwed up stuff. You're more likely to find dark web type crap on Reddit or YouTube than the actual dark web.



red flag GIF by Steve Harvey TV Giphy

Be safe boys and girls! Don't give out your information or communicate with others. And if you plan on purchasing anything, use a secure Linux OS like Tails, use private keys, connect to a public wifi spot (not your house), encrypt all messages, use multi signature markets so your chances of losing your Bitcoin lessens, escrow preferably, never send your bitcoins from a wallet attached to you directly to the seller, tumble your coins first. And when the package arrives, don't open it for a few days. A friend of mine gave me all this info and told me I should help u guys out.


Code Errors...

I own a fairly rare car that had a rare error code. I looked it up on Google and there was only one other person on the car maker's forum that had the same error. And this guy took months and months going back and forth between car shops and the forum thread to try to get the issue fixed. Everyone on the forum was pitching in to try to help him. So I kept going through this long forum thread to try to figure out if he ever fixed it. And suddenly there's no more replies from the guy.

Everyone was scratching their heads for a while. We thought he had maybe gotten the issue fixed and didn't bother to update us on it. Then one day, a news article popped up about a really rich guy who died in a Thai jail cell. And then we connected the two stories and they matched up. The same make and model of the car in the news article matched up with his car. And they were both claiming to be in Thailand at the time.

So what happened was that that same guy who was still talking on the forums got raided by the Thai police around the same time he stopped replying to the forum. Turns out that he was running one of the biggest dark web marketplaces where drugs were being sold and exchanged. It had something like $1 million in revenue per day and he was hiding out in Thailand while living in luxury. They found him dead in his jail cell a few days later. They claim he died of "suicide".


I'm Out

cardi b ok GIF by Pepsi Giphy

Idk if it was the "dark web" but accidentally came across a website that was basically just Pornhub but for gore. I saw a couple seconds of a man with his hands already chopped off and noped the heck out. I had to take a break from the Internet for a couple of days.


Don't Do Drugs

Every time. Remember that the person you just bought drugs from knows:

  1. Your address.
  2. That you have drugs in your house.
  3. There's probably evidence of dark web use in your finances/computer/trash.

They can rat you out with impunity just because they're feeling malevolent. They also could just get caught and be careless with destroying ex customer information, so it hangs over my head to this day.


"love letter"

There's hitmen, human trafficking and snuff films and such but a vast majority of these sites are scams asking you to send them bitcoin. A small portion of users on the dark web would be there for this sort of stuff. However, buying drugs online is quite popular and widespread. Single vendors can have $500,000+ in lifetime sales.

It's quite safe to use. You use PGP to encrypt your address so only the seller of the drugs has access to your private info. If your package is seized, LE have no proof you ordered it unless they seize your computer and you have that information stored on it, you can use tails/USB to avoid this.

Even if your packages get seized, you'll often get a "love letter" saying what they seized and there is no follow up after that.



Kinda dark... I wanted to install Windows 7 on my old PC so I installed the .iso file from some website and everything was working good for like 1 hour but then porn started appearing on my screen and I was like wtfff. Chat box opened and camera turned on. He told me I have nice eyes and after that I just turned off the PC and did a clean install of Windows 10.



santa clarita diet drey barrymore GIF by NETFLIX Giphy

Don't frequent it a lot but once i accidentally left my browser in full screen and a stranger in a chat room asked me if my curved monitor was nice, freaked me out a bit.


Weird Sites...

I've never personally felt I was in actual danger so to speak, since I take proper precautions, but early on I did accidentally come across a site/forum while exploring that was filled with crazy photos of women people had been hit and then knocked out or killed. Shut down my browser pretty quick after that, but felt uneasy for a long time after.


by golly, it worked.....

I actually learned how to access the dark web by listening to NPR. They had a segment where an author who was writing a book about it basically gave step by step instructions on how to do it. I did everything he said and, by golly, it worked.

Truthfully, it was pretty underwhelming. Mostly just drugs and counterfeit items (passports, money, etc.).

I did find some weapons with the serial numbers scratched off (pistols and shotguns), but nothing that would start World War 3. I also saw a couple ads for hitmen, but they seemed pretty hokey and were most likely, undercover cops.

I never felt in danger, but I have never gone back because there's nothing I really want from there. No government agents have kicked down my door, either.


Sketchy not Scary

The scariest moment for me was when I stumbled upon a creepy ARG and thought it was something much more sinister, until I found out it was just an ARG

The dark web isn't really that scary. It has been romanticized and exaggerated by creepy pastas, TV shows and etc.

EDIT: I know stuff like The Red Room and CP exist on the dark web. it's just that it is not that common; most are scams or require a membership. The common user won't find much, but you will find something really offputting if you dig enough.


beware the lull....

Warning Sign GIF Giphy

The only real difference between the internet you and I are using right now and the dark web is that you need special software or configurations to access it.

You have plenty of opportunities of finding bad crap on the regular web. With that in mind, I'd say that the regular web is more dangerous since it lulls you into a sense of security. I mean, most people these days have a significant amount of their personal information on there. The dark web you're likely going to have a sense to be more anonymous.

Personally, I just used it for playing a WoW private server back in the day since the hosts didn't want to get a C&D from blizzard.



Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

So let's talk about how a dog owner on Facebook learned her dog's "adorable" behavior was, in fact, furious masturbation.

Readers, if you know anything about me you know I love a good plot twist and I love chonky puppers.

Yesterday, life combined my two great loves in a hilarious and inappropriate way.

I was mindlessly scrolling through my dog groups on Facebook when a video with a few hundred laugh reacts but almost no comments caught my eye.

The still from the video was a pudgy little Frenchie, so obviously I had to read and watch.

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Jason Leung on Unsplash

Have you ever fantasized about what it would be like to win the lottery? Having money for the rest of your life, as far as the eye can see, to cover your expenses.

And have you thought about all the things you would buy if you could really afford them? Are they ALL practical things, or are some of them silly?

We always love to fantasize about what life would be like if money were no object. And you are not alone!

Keep reading... Show less
Photo by Victor He on Unsplash

One of the most freeing realizations I've had was when I understood that not everyone was going to like me.

That's just the way it is for all of us, and I learned that it would be unfair for me to dedicate so much time worrying about what others might think.

It changed my life—improved it, I'd say.

That, combined with my willingness to take responsibility for my own actions, was crucial to my self-development.

Whether it's an epiphany or experience, there are many things that can happen and can successfully shift your perspective.

People shared their stories after Redditor drewyourstory asked the online community:

"What life event or experience changed your perspective?"
Keep reading... Show less

I've seen enough end-of-the-world movies to know that when the end does come that The Rock will not be there to save my lazy self from impending doom.

Life isn't like the movies, sad to say. The relationship humans have to the world is remarkably unhealthy, and as we continue to reckon with the consequences of big business running the world, exploiting resources, and pushing us ever further toward climate catastrophe—

*takes a deep breath*

Sorry, got a bit carried away there... the anxiety is real.

I promise there are some more humorous answers sprinkled in this article, thanks to the efforts of Redditor User34884, who asked the online community:

"What will cause the fall of Western civilization?"
Keep reading... Show less