People Share Photos That Have The Creepiest Backstories

People Share Photos That Have The Creepiest Backstories
David Wall/Getty Images

WARNING: Some photos may relate to crimes or scenes of a graphic nature

Sometimes, it's easier to let pictures speak for themselves.

But some require an explanation to understand what we see.

Reddit user, ohsopoor, apparently didn't want to sleep easy that night when they asked:

"What photo has the creepiest backstory?"

"This is it!"

"This photo, taken at 7 PM, May 18th, 1980 in the forests of Washington state. In the photo is David A. Johnston, star vulcanologist for the United States Geological Survey, camped at his trailer at his field post."

"Less than 24 hours later, Johnston, the trailer, and everything else within ~30 miles would be obliterated by a lateral blast from Mount St. Helens' eruption, making Johnston the first US Government Vulcanologist to be killed in the line of duty."

"His last words were a radio call to the USGS station in Vancouver WA, which you can find recordings of online: 'Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!'"


A Rod For Connection

"This photo of Michael McQuilken and his brother, Sean, moments before they were struck by lightning. It gives me chills every time I see it."


Seconds Before...

This picture was taken by Filipino councilman Reynaldo Dagsa, right before he was assassinated by the gunman on the left.

"'His death achieved notoriety due to his taking of a New Year's Day family photo on Tuna Street which inadvertently captured the faces of both his killer and a lookout for the killer; the shooter, a convicted robber out on parole, pointed the gun in the photo directly at Dagsa seconds before the shot went off.'"

"'Dagsa was rushed to Martinez Hospital but was immediately pronounced dead from a .45-caliber gunshot wound to the head. The photo was later turned over to Caloocan city police; the shooter in the photo was identified as Arnel Buenaflor, who was arrested on January 7, and two suspected accomplices, one Michael Gonzales (alias Fubo of Fish Pond Area I) and Rommel Oliva (alias Balong), were arrested by January 3 in connection with the murder.'"


Never Assume What You Think You Know

"There's this photo. Looks harmless enough until you know that the car behind them is packed with explosives and does this a few minutes later. Absolute carnage. It's the Omagh Bombings. The Real IRA set the bomb, called the police and gave them wrong information and sent people in the direction of the said bomb. The bombing killed 29 people (including a woman pregnant with twins) and injured some 220 others, making it the deadliest single incident of the Troubles in Northern Ireland."


Love Beyond

"This picture of a Japanese boy standing in attention while carrying his dead brother. A powerful image of what war can do to regular people."


Missing, But Never Far

"Girl went missing. Was found dead days later, in between the footboard and mattress of her bed. This photo was taken while her body was unknowingly there. Parents slept in the bed because they missed her, not knowing she was down at their feet. If you find the video explaining it, it actually seems totally plausible."


All That Remains

"A Congolese man looking at the severed hand and foot of his five-year-old daughter who was killed, and allegedly cannibalized, by the members of Anglo-Belgian India Rubber Company militia."


Just Think Of Being Stuck In There...

"Not a photograph but the diagram of the cave diver who got stuck in Nutty Putty Cave and died. Here is another picture of a cave diver maneuvering through a part of the same cave. Edit: To make things worse. When they were trying to rescue him, they used a pully and had him mostly out of the part he was stuck in but the rope broke and he fell back in."


"There is a lot of terrible stuff in this thread but this is the one that really made me squirm. I don't consider myself claustrophobic but dark and tightly confined spaces freak me the hell out."


No Way Down

"Two guys on a windmill. There's no escape."


"This happened on 29 of October in the Netherlands (in Ooltgensplaat to be more precise). A crew of four was conducting routine maintenance to the 67 meter high turbine. They were in a gondola next to the turbine when a fire broke out. The fire quickly engulfed the only escape route (the stairs in the shaft), trapping two of the maintenance crew on top of the turbine."

"One of them jumped down and was found in a field next to the turbine. The other victim was found by a special firefighter team that ascended the turbine when the fire died down a bit. The cause of the fire is unknown, but is believed to be a short circuit."

"Firefighters are fairly powerless to do anything to fight fires on wind turbines, and due to high costs maintenance crews have limited means and training to escape an emergency situation..."


No One Will Have Any Idea What I did

"The picture of Tyler Hadley standing next to his bro during a house party ... shortly after Tyler killed his parents, hid the bodies and then threw a party. Nobody there knew what happened earlier, despite Tyler acting strange. I think a dog somehow got in the house and discovered the bodies. Very chilling, especially the AIM messages ... and the story really upsets me."


A Pool Party With Their Coffin

"I don't know if this counts, but the photo of the Apollo 1 crew chilling in the pool after a water landing exercise with the same capsule in the photo that shortly after caught fire and sent them to their death."


"For those that don't know, like me just a moment ago, Apollo 1 was destroyed in a fire during a launch test."


Not Fully Alive

"This picture of Samantha Koenig taken by serial killer, Israel Keyes after she'd been killed. Her eyes were sewn open and he'd put makeup on her and positioned her to appear alive in this ransom photo, two weeks after her death."


Just Wanted To See The World

"This Photo of a teen boy from Australia if I remember correctly, who just wanted to see the world. Consequently, he ran away and stowed away in the wheel well of this airplane. The photographer did not mean to capture this image, as he was testing out a brand new camera by taking photos of airplanes at his local airport. He did not realize what he had captured until afterwards."


Observing Their Handiwork

"The picture depicts a woman holding a puppy on the moors in England, and she's looking at the ground. Seems alright until you look into it. She's one half of one of the most infamous serial killer couples in the world, and she's sat on the grave of John Kilbride. He was 12 when he was abducted from Ashton-under-Lyne Market in Greater Manchester. John was the second victim. Three more children would follow, two being buried on the same moors. One body was never recovered."



"Myra Hindley. Her and Ian Brady refused to tell the last child's mother where he was buried, she died not long ago not knowing where her son ever was or being able to find him and lay him to rest properly."


Revealing What You Always Were

"This selfie taken by James Holmes, with his hair dyed, wearing black contacts, and holding a pistol. He would later be known as the culprit behind the 2012 Aurora Shooting during a midnight showing of the movie The Dark Knight Rises."


Lost Without Knowing

"Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers managed to document getting lost in the jungle in Panama. They kept going past the marked easy trail instead of turning around went down the other side of the mountain, they wound up lost with no real hiking/camping supplies in dense, sparsely populated wilderness. At least one of them survived for a week. That photo is one of the last touristy ones, but they're probably already lost in it without realizing."


The "Truck Stop Killer" Strikes

"Last photo before she (Regina Kay Walters) was killed by Robert Ben Rhoades"


"Robert Benjamin Rhoades (born November 22, 1945), also known as The Truck Stop Killer, is an American serial killer. He was convicted for three murders, and slated to be tried for two more before charges were dropped due to the wishes of victims' families. He is additionally suspected of torturing, and killing more than 50 women between 1975 and 1990, based on data about his truck routes and women who went missing during those years and who met the profile of his preferred victims. At the time he was caught, he claimed to have engaged in these activities for 15 years. Rhoades took photos of some of his victims, the best known being his last victim, Regina Kay Walters, whom he took photos of moments before her murder in an abandoned barn in Illinois. "


Moments Before Pulling the Trigger

" leads to a photo of a girl looking out over a canyon. Her boyfriend took the photo, and then shot her in the back of the head and pushed her over the edge."

"A MAN took a series of chilling final pictures of his ex-girlfriend as they hiked together in the Alabamian countryside before he pushed her off a cliff."
"Loren Bunner shot 18-year-old Jolee Callan twice — once in the back of the head and once between the eyes — and shoved her from the top of a cliff."
"It had been Bunner's idea to go for the hike and the night before Callan messaged a friend joking: "If something happens to me, you'll know who I was with."


Stuck With Me

"This is one that always stuck with me, just the way you have this bustling city in one frame, and the same city scythed clean with nuclear fire in the next. It's hard to imagine that level of devastation, a blast that burned civilians into the pavement and left shadows that would still be there decades later. Hiroshima - Before And After Bombing"


the gestapo

"My great grandfather was forced to work for a gestapo officer during the occupation of Fance. when he escaped, he stole two albums of coloured photos of the Nazis' rise to power. there are photos of goebbels and hitler smiling with children. it's a very chilling family heirloom."


Anything To Survive

"During the famine in the USSR in the 1920s some people resorted to cannibalism to avoid starvation. This photo is a couple selling their dismembered children for meat to get enough money to buy other food. Warning photo is NSFW (potentially NSFL)"


Locked Away

"A woman was locked in a room for 24 years. This is the picture that was taken the day she was rescued. Here's a New York Times article (published in 1901) and an easy-to-digest story about it."


In the Van

"I don’t have any context or link to the photo, but there was a Polaroid found from the 70s or early 80s with two tied up kids in the back of a van who looked terrified. There was a girl that had gone missing who looked pretty similar to one of the kids who were tied up, and the mom of the girl swore until her death that it was her daughter."



"I think this qualifies but Omayra Sanchez. She was caught in the eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano in Colombia. Rescues crew tried to take her out, but her legs were stuck under a concrete door and they couldn't remove her without cutting off her legs, which they simply were completely unequipped to do. The doctors decided the more humane thing was to just let her die. She suffered through three nights before dying."


GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy


"I'm gonna say that one photo found on the camera of either a serial killer or his victim where he photographed her shortly before murdering her. It was the last picture ever taken of her, obviously, and she looks disturbed and afraid. I have blocked out the names of everyone involved."


Every photo may tell a story, but not every story is a happy one.

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