Old Mysterious Photos that will Haunt Your Dreams

Entertainment, Ghosts, Most Read, Unexplained
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Looking at old vintage photos out of context is not only a recipe for creepiness, it’s also one of our favorite pastimes. What passed for everyday life 60+ years ago might send you running down the block screaming today. The following photos are downright eerie, anyway you spin it. And since we cannot explain many of them… it only leaves our imaginations running wild with the unspeakable horrors they originated from. Enjoy!

[and when you’re done, check out PART TWO!]


















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  • guest

    Holey chicken-skin balls…

  • Mike Caudill

    So these were supposed to be creepy?

    • over the moon

      You must have an incredible threshold for creepiness.

  • Savanna Rachel

    The eighth photo looks like an old seance photo. The ectoplasm thing?

  • Chris

    The third picture down (with the horses) is from a 2006 movie called “My Winnipeg”, not sure I’d qualify it as old or even that creepy.

    • KEBO

      The fact that the picture comes from the documentary film My Winnipeg does’nt mean it’s not old.Look at how the couple are clothed,got to be 60/70 years ago .

      • The Ghost Diaries

        We agree–it’s definitely creepy and it’s at least portending to be old.

        • Someonereadingthis

          My Winnipeg isn’t a documentary it’s a mocumentary. None of it was real. The picture isn’t a picture at all it’s a still from the movie. Supposedly the horses drowned in the river during a fire and reappeared in ghost form every year. The boy being held by the two masked figures was a Christmas picture – they men were dressed as krampus.

  • alistaircrane

    Lots of evil wizards in these pictures! Creeeeeepppy!!!!!

  • Melissa

    Ugh not creepy in fact one photo made me giggle

    • The Ghost Diaries

      Your threshold for creepiness is supernatural.

  • John Foytek

    love these pictures totally gonna put some of em on the book.

  • Marco Eco

    hey there, what you collect and call creepy pictures are my big obsession. I am used to finding art and amusment in them. but there’s one picture that have captured my attention: the one of my profile too, the third from the bottom. I’d like to know more about it…for example where did you get it. please answer. see ya

  • Ant Mark Walton

    Great photos! I can explain a couple of these :) The children with the masks: These are gas masks, produced to make evacuation times a bit more pleasant for children during WW2 in Britain. I remember one of my elderly teachers brought her Mickey Mouse one into school when I was a kid in the 80s. She had a photo similar outside her house with her siblings in similar cartoon character head wear. Though the car in the background doesnt look very authentic to that period, but they are gas masks all the same. Photo 11 with the children and hooded figure: This is the children’s mother. Due to the slow shutter speeds of cameras in the early 1900s, the mother would be covered to prevent distraction as children still have a habit of turning round to look at the mother (a strange but obviously effective method which is evident). The last photo is obviously WW2 Britain, doesnt need much explaining, a school publicity shot raising awareness for the importance of gas masks, an also highlighting the horrific period, as with the “While wait till 1955” table photo, many people carried their masks with them in case, so they are probably making light of the matter for at a family wedding. The “Students Dream” photo I believe to be from the US and was a class arts project. As the same with photo 5, but a family Halloween snap, but the old style camera and grey scale ad a touch of eeriness. The photo of the children in the rocking chair has a mysterious figure in the background but he appears to not be of that photo but he is, the tree twigs that seem to be through are scratches or most likely cross developing; extremely common of the time which did create some very amazing haunting photos. The photo of the atom bomb explosion looks like a still from a film, due to the interlacing. Photo 9 is a photograph from a silent film set, but I am not aware of it’s title, but seen it several times. Photo 8 of the man in the chair… Not sure whether this is a genuine session analysing a man with mental health, or again some mock project… but again due to the poor exposure of cameras, especially in poor lighting, if the man was vigorously moving his head we get this eerie blur which may suggest an authentic photo of a man possibly being tortured or having some kind of mental episode, so quite possibly the most disturbing photo here! Same with 6, slow shutter blur on these moving children. I hope you don’t find me a killjoy haha! I know some people really enjoy reading the actual stories behind photos just as much as appreciate the haunting qualities Some great photos there nonetheless :)

    • caleejr

      for informational purposes, it wasn’t kids from Great Britain in that photo with the gas masks, it was a photo titled “Pioneers of Leningrad, raised in alarm”. by Viktor Bulla, 1937 that was the russian equivalent to our Boy Scouts.

  • Ant Mark Walton

    Also, I don’t think I have a definitive explanation for the first photo personally, but from what I have seen in the past it is quite possibly a young girl with a horse riders face mask. To shield her face from dust while in a cab. We often think of our ancestors as having no sense of humour and for only taking serious photos – but in modern times, if your friend looked that ridiculous – wouldnt you want to take a snap for facebook? 😀

  • AyeAye

    Pictures 2 and 9 appear to be from Nazarene processions. They’re supposed to be sad and sombre so if that’s creepy… #4 is clearly meant as a joke, their skirts have school subjects written on them. One clearly says calculus. I’ll join the “not-creepy” club on here… I mean come on, I thought you’d finally prove the chupacabra or something 😉

  • General Wilhelm Llama

    The very last photo taken with the gas masks is actually a 1936 gas attack drill in the Soviet union. If you look closely the man with the cap in the centre is wearing a soviet military uniform w/ pre-1942 rank tabs on the collar. Still a creepy photo though.

  • candy martin

    I wish there were some descriptions of these photos. Many are indeed creepy and haunting.

  • Juraj Ondrejka

    Hey, I really would like to know the source of this pictures. Especially 6th from the top (2 kids). Is there any copyright for these?

  • Dan Guiana

    Definitive explanations for most of these.

    1) Indeed, as has been suggested, an old horse-riding dust mask. Not very practical (peripheral vision hindered) or popular and so this type fell out of fashion quickly after being introduced.

    2) The men in this picture are priests celebrating Semana Santa, the Spanish term for Holy Week. They originated the pointy hats made infamous by the KKK. The clothes however suggest this was a very serious religious order rather than the current processions in Spain on Holy Week which are largely just for fun and celebration

    3) From the 2006 shot film ‘Winnipeg’. Its from a scene where a story is told about the horses being so terrified of a fire on a farm that they run into a lake which then freezes, trapping them with their heads above water.

    4) A dramatics lesson in an American high school, looks late 1910s. Note the ‘calculus’ witch.

    5) An awkward Halloween shot. Trick or Treating used to be primarily an occasion for home-made costumes. People got together what they could and it ended up more terrifying than any of the store-bought crap today.

    6) Just a picture taken outside of a ranch somewhere. The faces are blurred because they were moving when the shot was taken, creating a blur effect.

    7) Was a class arts project at an American high school. I saw this somewhere else.

    8) Blurred shot of early neural testing. The lights are a piece of equipment hooked to the head. Why this was taken I have no idea.

    9) See #2. Same thing, but at an old church in Spain.

    10) It’s just a family photo. The only thing creepy about it is she wasn’t ready for the shot.

    11) Common practice to get young children to sit and behave in a photo was to have the mother there but disguise her or drape her in a black cloth. Suffice to say, she’s pretty obvious. But it usually kept the young child still sitting in her lap.

    12) The man in the picture who looks so scary is dead. It was very common to take photographs with dearly departed right after they died, even going as far as to prop them up in chairs and such. This was especially widespread when children died early. Here, the older man is dead and is having his last photograph taken presumably with wife and grandchild.

    13) Likely taken in Kentucky in 1954, its a standard meeting (looks business related) discussing the precautions to take if nuclear war broke out (hence the masks which wouldn’t really do much). I’d guess Kentucky because of the ‘optimist club’ poster in the background.

    14) Sorry to burst bubbles, but this is a painting. I can’t remember who its by, but I saw it explained. Its a great picture.

    15) It’s a static background image, on a large canvas, with a woman standing in front of it dressed as a witch. Who knows why.

    16) Freddy Krueger? It’s a creepy guy whose face is distorted by twigs behind a poorly posed photo of someone’s children. Just a photobomb.

    17) Soviet drill for gas attacks. Note the military uniform.

    • The Ghost Diaries

      lol thanks you’re awesome!

  • Dan Guiana

    Update: David Lyle is the painter of #14

  • Bernhardt Le Mechant

    (1) May be some medical type clothing? To protect against infection?
    (2) Catholic Religious procession, Spanish or Latin America
    (3) Just a shot from the doco “My Winnipeg”
    (4) Probably a shot from a old b & W movie, possibly a play
    (5) This is an old photo of the Christmas tradition of the Krampus – Guys dressed as Krampus would visit houses
    (6) Blurry photo of some kids (?)
    (7) Medical Students from early 20th c, taking photos of cadavers arranged with them in shot..supposed to be humorous I think!
    (8) No idea
    (9) Catholic Religious procession, Spanish or Latin America
    (10) photo of a woman looking a bit evil(?)
    (11) Photo of three kids (photographers assistant is hiding under the blanket, propping up baby – not wanting to be in shot)
    (12) Ugly
    (13) People at a wedding hamming it up with their compulsory to carry gas masks (probably during the war).
    (14) Kids wearing vintage halloween masks
    (15) ????
    (16) ????
    (17) scouts or cadets wearing Gas masks, circa WW1. Machine gun on bottom left is Russian?

  • Joe Smith

    great collection! I find a few more at http://www.scarypictures.info