Here we are, decades into the life and journey of the internet.
And we still can't clean up all of the horrible spots.
The internet is a fantastic invention with many, many flaws.
Our screens have been exposed to things that will remain with our souls forever.
So let's talk about it.
***WARNING!! THIS IS AN NC-17 ARTICLE***
Redditor Powered_programmer wanted to hear about all the things that we've seen on the web that has left us shook. They asked:
"What is the creepiest thing that you've come across on internet?"
So let's all take a deep dive into the darkest places of the net.
"Rotten.com back in the day."
"Surgical footage and trauma footage look very different. Even if you know next to nothing about anatomy watching a surgery looks neat and clean."
"You can clearly see the boundaries of different flaps of tissue and stuff, and can kinda see how it would fit back together once the surgeon is done. Trauma just looks like chaotic hell. Nothing makes sense, it all looks like badly ground hamburger, and any recognition of parts only brings more horror as you realize the part is broken and relocated to somewhere it doesn't belong."
Too Far a Reach
"Years ago I came across a website that was just a collection of links to unsecured camera feeds. Webcams, baby monitors, security cameras… basically anything with a lens and WiFi capabilities. Apparently most people never set up their devices properly and just leave default passwords or none at all, and this website was just trawling through the internet finding them all."
"I watched Luca Magnotta kill his BF but when I watched it, it was uploaded to a horror site by him and everyone thought it was a really good special effects. I don't get spooked much but I stopped watching when he started stabbing the corpse with a ice pic or something. A little while later I found out he was on the run and that video was a real person he murdered, it messed me up for a while."
"A website that broadcasted millions of private security cameras of people houses who had no idea that their security camera was just on the Internet and they could be watched during all hours."
Why did we ever create the internet?
"That one video where the car was driving down that mountain road and you had to pay close attention and then it turned out to be a screamer."
"I’m going to go with creepy, not horrifying or even f’d up. I can’t remember who it was, but back in the day on YouTube a man posted LONG videos of himself just sitting and looking straight into the camera with a smile, not a single movement the whole time. Always a live feed."
"One day someone broke into his home DURING the live show, and actually ended up leaving without stealing anything because the guy didn’t react at ALL. Just sat there, wide eyed and smiling at the camera. Thinking back as a thief that would scare the heck outta me."
"This picture of mickey mouse that was added to my DSI's wallpaper. I have never owned or known someone that owns a Mickey Mouse plush. I do not recognize the area, wall, chair or anything in the picture. I have not lent my DSI to anyone. It just appeared one day when I opened it. It creeps me out and I still question how could this have happened."
Was it Real?
"Those 'ghost showing up in mirror' YouTube videos. To this day, I’m still scared to walk past mirrors at night sometimes."
"I could never find the video but i can never forget it. its about two boys who remove a talisman from a large stone and out of it a ghost pops out moaning, the boys immediately dart out of the cave and run at full speed screaming as they see that the ghost is following them even catching up to the boys. Never got to see the ending of the video. Was it fake? Was it real? Don't know, it was just creepy."
"When I used to browse the hellhole known as 4chan I came across a crazy green text story. Some kid ran away from home, found a place for the night and slept in his sleeping bag. Woke up to what he thought was homeless guy peeing on him and chased him off. When he stopped and smelled himself he realized that the homeless guy was pouring gasoline on him. Still creeps me out to think about what could have happened."
Well that is a lot of drama I never want to see.
People often go on and on about the dark web.
A secret place of scandal and horror.
But what is it really like?
Redditor AceofSpadesYT wanted to hear about the secrets and the salacious tales from the dark side of the internet. They asked:
"People who have accessed the dark web, what was it like?"
I've never visited the dark web, nor do I know how to find it. Thankfully. But tell me some stories.
The RegularSpongebob Squarepants Internet GIFGiphy
"Mostly just like the regular web but with illegal stuff. Drugs, weapons, passports or Kreditcard, apparent hitman service (not sure if that was real though). It is super slow though and the link collections you find for the Tor browser are mostly dead."
"Just like VPN slows down your connection a bit like 5-10% slow if it's a good VPN with it's company spending lots of money on running thousands of servers. Dark web required multiple layers of encryption and proxies just like a using 3 VPNs on top of each other so that alone makes it much slower, moreover the proxies servers are cheap low budget ones run by volunteers (and some by intelligence agencies)."
Ah... simpler times indeed
"I've seen scarier stuff in the untamed age of the internet than I did when going through it."
"We lived in simpler times back then, I loved growing up on the internet. Back when most people didn't even know what social media was, AOL chat rooms, MSN and Yahoo chat rooms."
Not a Browse
"'What it's like.' is just websites. What you find depends on what you look for. There's a bunch of piracy sites, a lot of counter-culture blogs, sites on hacking (not just blackhat stuff, but a lot of whitehat stuff too)."
"You will also find a lot of sites in other languages too, especially ones you don't normally see, as a lot of darkweb stuff is used to circumvent censorship (the most famous Darkweb network, TOR, was developed by the US Naval Research Lab), and most major news orgs will have some sort of presence there, just as a way to get tips they can't get otherwise."
"A lot of what people assume is there, isn't as common as you might think, and a lot of what is there of that, are government-run honeypots. It's not generally a 'browse' thing, you tend to go to the darkweb with a specific topic in mind, and go to that."
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"I think of the darkweb as a honeytrap. Drugs, guns, antisocial groups. There's no way a place with that potential isn't being monitored."
Sounds pretty run of the mill so far. With a few naughties here and there.
Bad Clickscomputer clicking GIF by South Park Giphy
"Turns out the accessing the deep Web doesn't do you any good if you don't have any idea where to go. Like I know of websites that are supposed to be on the dark web but I don't want to go to them. That seems like a short road to a long prison sentence."
"A lot of freaking searching for correct url’s. Idk, I was just window shopping, if you’re not there to shop, and been around for a while, it’s not that interesting."
"This is the best way to describe the deep web imo. I tried using it once out of stupid impulsive curiosity, and it was just rather boring, slow, and overall rather tedious to use. A lot of the websites are poorly designed and dated, and that's if they work at all. Not worth it if you have no business being there and don't know what you're doing."
"Oddly boring. I disconnected and covered up my webcam. Because all of those stories I heard, people accessed your webcam. The first thing I noticed was that it was as slow as hell. Can you imagine running a livestream on this thing? The next thing I found was surprisingly weird."
"It was selling fake magazine paper or fake newspaper paper to print forged coupons on. Not a single person opened a chat window saying 'I SEE YOU! You are x in y!' No red rooms, and any videos of creepy things would probably take days to load. No links to those either. I did find fake accounts to access scientific journals though."
"Awkward and slow to use. It's hard to find what you are looking for, even harder to find a reliable source. The only currencies used are crypto currencies and anonymity is taken extremely seriously. PGP encryption is widely used for direct messaging."
"You have access to a reliable site it is just the same as using a website url and clearnet only slower and the interface is much older looking. I won't get into any details on how its accessed for very obvious reasons but the process of purchasing is normally just found a listing on one of the market websites (think eBay only much shadier), make sure the seller is reliable by checking reviews etc and then place an order."
"You message them directly using PGP (encrypted messages only they can decrypt) with your address and pay them using some crypto. After a few days a package shows up with whatever you brought in it. Usually disguised as something else. For example what I bought came disguised as a sim card!! It's all quite similar to the clearnet just with more security steps added in and a bit more risk!"
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"I haven't, but a guy I watch on YouTube used to do a weekly video series where he would look at stuff on the deep/dark web."
"Obviously for video purposes he was showing stuff that was YouTube friendly, but he frequently talked about how the dark web is pretty boring, and 99% of the stuff on it would be perfectly fine on the normal web. Yes, illegal content does exist, but it's actually pretty rare in the grand scheme of things."
"Boring. There was a page with a bunch of links to illicit things that were probably just the FBI or some other glowie organization."
"I agree. The creepy illegal websites Are either honeypots or scams. Dread is a reddit for the dark web but that's it. There aren't effective search engines but you can find postings of the onion addresses of websites but half the time they don't work."
"Drugs mostly. Insanely cheap prices as well. I could get 20g of molly for like 4g's worth here. Boy that cra[pwas risky. Glad I don't do that anymore mostly."
"Where was that? All the drugs I ever saw were substantially above street prices. Like people were buying crap at normal street prices then trying to make a profit by selling on tor. At least American prices. Are you in Australia? I hear stuff is crazy expensive down there."
"Word of mouth. If you don't know people. You're just going to end up nowhere. Website urls are more like passwords... And you won't find them listed anywhere. Then there is the surface shit that's crawling with law enforcement and honey pots."
"TOR has a bunch of search engines at least. If you fool around a bit you can find sites that work. ZeroNet has a bunch of indexes, so finding sites is a lot easier. But once your curiosity is satisfied, there isn't really anything there to keep you interested."
"Ten years or so back, it was crawling with under-age porn. The Dark Wiki at that point had links to several sites. And people would post links to others in comment threads. Then Anonymous (or someone claiming to be Anonymous) took an interest and hijacked a lot of the sites and shut them down. I'm assuming that there is still a lot of that traffic but it isn't easy to find. There must be some, as I keep hearing about arrests. I haven't looked around for a year or two, so I don't know what it is like now."
"Dark markets for drugs are the equivalent of a black market eBay. The sellers have ratings and everything."
"I was always curious what was on the dark web, I've heard some stories, but when I went on I had no idea what I was looking for so I just went to my usual sites like ESPN and shit, lol."
"It's literally just unlisted websites you can't google. Conceptually it's really not that exciting. Media just likes to hype it up."
Guns. Guns. Ammo
"I didn't do it directly. My friend showed me. He used to use it to get drugs for self use or to sell to close friends. Nothing hard, but like mdma, acid, dmt, coke. Anyway, it was about 8-9 years ago and all I really remember is pages and pages of guns and drugs for sale like it was eBay or something."
"It was honestly pretty crazy just seeing lists for any drug you can think of or damn near any gun like I was scrolling through any typical online shop. He showed me other weird stuff, but nothing too insane to be remembered. I do remember seeing some hitman ads though."
"Not as terrible as games and media made me think of it. It isn't riddled by hackers and murderers. Although one time my antivirus blocked a trojan and I didn't download anything so not sure what that was about. There was a website to chat with random people on the dark web and I found someone exactly like me who was just curious about it."
Well that is underwhelming but comforting. Maybe there is more good in the world than sleaze.
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 Fearill kill you ben stiller GIFGiphy
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.
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.
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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.
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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.
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.
Bewarered flag GIF by Steve Harvey TVGiphy
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.
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".
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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:
- Your address.
- That you have drugs in your house.
- 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.
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.
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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.
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 GIFGiphy
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.
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