December 3, 2009 2:44 PM   Subscribe

Creep me out! Lately I've been on an "unsettling stuff" kick -- I like feeling unsettled and I find it creatively inspiring -- but I'm running low on things to explore.

It's hard to articulate precisely what I'm looking for, but it tends to be stuff that almost certainly isn't true but for the few minutes you think about it, it's really unnerving. The underlying theme in what unnerves me seems to be that reality appears to be one way, but in fact it's this other, more sinister way. Examples of stuff is conspiracy theories -- New World Order theories, CIA experiments in mind control and paranormal stuff --, weird religious or spiritual ideas about "evil" supernatural phenomena, some theories of time and space (which I am not so quick to put in the "almost certainly not true" category), etc. Oh, and then lately Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" video and all those articles about the occult symbolism -- she has a lot of unsettling pictures where she doesn't seem human. Weird mysteries fit the bill, too, like the Taman Shud case. Other pseudo-scientific ideas, like the Parasite Eve idea that because mitochondria have different DNA they might actually "take over" a person completely, work too.

Also, this is even more subjective, but the more plausibly expressed the idea is without actually being realistic, the better; it has to lead me on a bit or else I never feel unnerved. So, for example, your standard Bilderberg Group conspiracy theory has some element of feasibility that David Icke's "oh btw they're all blood-drinking reptile ppl from another dimension lol" doesn't; the former is unsettling until you give it a few moments thought, the latter is just too ridiculous out of the gate. Anything that starts from some kind of evidence, even if misrepresented or misunderstood, seems to work, which is probably why pseudoscience is good for this sort of thing. Also, I've noticed that stuff that uses apparently made-up evidence works too, provided that the made-up evidence is of the kind that sounds possible and you'd have to actually look it up to know better; conspiracy theories tend to do this a lot, like they say that so-and-so noteworthy person said XYZ, or they make up noteworthy people altogether.

In other words, the sort of stuff that if you take what's presented on good faith instead of scepticism, the unsettling conclusions seem plausible.

I'm looking mostly for shorter things, like ideas, short stories, and maybe short films. I'm not entirely opposed to books and movies, but my inability to "believe" anything creepy for more than a few minutes greatly dilutes my enjoyment of longer things. Long stuff takes an investment of seriousness I just can't muster for anything like that. When it comes down to it, I don't believe in anything supernatural and I don't think any grand scale conspiracies are likely. "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro, for example, didn't unsettle me as much as it would have done in a shorter format, although it was fairly unsettling. I'd be willing to try more things like that, even though it's less likely to be effective.

To be clear, fiction or nonfiction or fiction-masquerading-as-non-fiction are all cool.

Stuff I am *not* looking for:
- Certified real scenarios, at least for the most part, because those tend to be genuinely upsetting or just piss me off, and that's not the feeling I'm looking for with this question. However, if the certified real scenario *sounds* like something that's so bizarre as to be made up, it might qualify; so something like "however many people die because of Corporation X's negligence and that's unsettling" isn't what I'm looking for, but some real CIA experiments seem to fit anyway, like the mind control experiments are just weird to imagine. Things that allegedly happened but are under dispute work pretty well, too.

- Edging into "scary story" kind of stuff, gore doesn't unsettle me. When it comes to horror genre things, I need weird paranormal stuff going on to feel freaked out, not blood. I don't care if blood/violence is present as long as there's weird stuff going on, but it needs to be more inspired than something like the Jason movies. The Ring/Ringu is the best example I can come up with of something that was violent but that wasn't the main scary part; the scariness mostly came from how alien the girl was and how little was explained.

To put it another way, what's something you read/watched/heard about that gave you an eerie, upsetting feeling, even though you knew better? I realize none of my criteria are precise and I'll probably get a lot of answers that don't effect me much, but give it your best shot.
posted by Nattie to Media & Arts (101 answers total) 241 users marked this as a favorite While not all the content there fits your bill, a fair amount does.
posted by tellumo at 2:49 PM on December 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

Response by poster: Two more quick examples I thought of:

1. The Kitchen Sink video

2. The book Elephants on Acid is about real-life experiments that are messed up, and some of them, including some CIA ones and some stuff where they switched the heads on monkeys and whatnot, are really creepy mad-scientist kinds of things.
posted by Nattie at 2:50 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: Slender Man.
posted by too bad you're not me at 2:51 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Here's a nice read on a guy named Ted's cave exploration. This may do the trick.
posted by Atreides at 2:51 PM on December 3, 2009 [12 favorites]

I found Haunted: Tales of the Grotesque by Joyce Carol Oates to be weirdly upsetting, though more in an aggravating way than a deliciously chilling way. But they are damn creepy.
posted by scody at 2:54 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hah, Slender Man is a good answer, especially once I looked up more about it.

I totally forgot about Ted's cave exploration, but YES, that's another great example.

Glad you guys seem to be getting what I meant so far, I felt way wordy... :D
posted by Nattie at 2:58 PM on December 3, 2009

Still Life
posted by permafrost at 3:01 PM on December 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Another example I just remembered, while reading about Slender Man: the movie The Mothman Prophecies.
posted by Nattie at 3:14 PM on December 3, 2009

I just re-watched Rosemary's Baby for the first time in years. So, so, so good.
posted by fullofragerie at 3:15 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You might enjoy the Mysterious Universe podcast. I started listening to it recently, and it's amazing that even as a dyed in the wool skeptic such as myself can still find plenty to get creeped out about on their show. It's good fun, even if some of it keep me up at night. These guys have a great sense of humor as well and they are a very charitable approach toward their subject matter without necessarily being in intentionally scary story mode just to invoke this feeling you are discussing. They basically read stories of various supernatural events they have found (many can come across as well written ghost stories, of course), read emails and blog feedback stories from listeners about their own experiences, and the do interviews with various people as well. They stay remarkably well grounded throughout and that is the most enjoyable part to me.

For a good time of the nature you are looking for, listen to episodes 210 and 211 and THEN listen to episode 209. The trick is that episode 209 is one with an interview in which the storyteller basically says that even hearing him TELL the story can lead to back luck, so in 210 there is some minor feedback from listeners that weird things happened as they listened to the episode and in 211 there is a LOT of feedback about terrible things that happened after they listened to the episode, so it was very unsettling to go BACK to episode 209 and finally listen to the story.

For the record, the thing mentioned in the episode I of course looked up and let's just say it's more fun if you don't do that.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:19 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

I know tons of music like this, but it tends to be fairly abstract and it sounds like you're looking for more representational media. On that note, have you seen the Lodge Kerrigan movies, "Clean, Shaven" or "Keane?" They might fit the bill.
posted by rhizome at 3:23 PM on December 3, 2009

If you want a movie that hits on a lot of things you are talking about I would suggest the excellent House of the Devil that really uses the "less is more" effect to create amazing tension. There's one scene that's only SECONDS long that kept me awake for a while. :)

*heh heh heh* I'm getting chill bumps watching the trailer.

If you have cable it's available on video on demand, but it is oh so much fun to see at the theater with other people.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:24 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: Project Serpo?

Also, The McPherson Tape which predates a certain other "real events caught on camcorder" story.
posted by galaksit at 3:28 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: The Enigma of Amigara Fault.
posted by googly at 3:30 PM on December 3, 2009 [11 favorites]

Well, pretty much the whole 3 hours or so of the uncut Inland Empire by David Lynch may put a good number of your brain if yours works anything like mine. A year after I saw it, I still have parts of it lodged in my mind that, if I spend too much thinking about them, creep me out of my skin in the most interesting ways.
posted by Iosephus at 3:32 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: The Dyatlov Pass Incident, as previously covered on the blue, is one of my perennial favorites.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 3:38 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Terminus.
posted by WPW at 3:49 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you find yourself unable to mentally unsettle yourself, try dabbling in physical activities that are unsettling. For example, after years of driving on the street and playing racing video games, the first time I went out on a racetrack was unforgettably unsettling. People I know who have skydived had the same experience.
posted by davejay at 3:55 PM on December 3, 2009

Are H.P Lovecraft stories too supernatural? I would suggest "The Colour out of Space" as a good eerie tale. Lovecraft's stories are largely intended to inspire a feeling of dread that the world is a much more chaotic and malevolent place than we understand it to be.

For a strictly visual creepy experience, I always like H.R. Giger's work, though it's less realistic and poignant than what you seem to be looking for.
posted by Lifeson at 3:58 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Your question made me remember my former favorite website,, which closed down suddenly more than a year ago. On a whim, I typed it in to my browser and got redirected to AtlasObscura. The content on the new site is much the same as what I was missing! Woot! (You may not be delighted, but I am. There goes my evening...)

Articles on tons of stuff like unexplained/rare diseases, crazy geological formations, cryptozoology, and amazing old gadgets. The kinds of things that make you say "Whoa, I never imagined the world had THAT in it!" Not all of it is creepy in the way that you're described, but for me it's sometimes just the dose of happy shivers I need.
posted by alight at 3:59 PM on December 3, 2009

oops, broken link. Trying again. AtlasObscura.
posted by alight at 4:00 PM on December 3, 2009

I found the film Bob Roberts really shook me up, although I think it might have lost some of its impact post-Bush. The Vanishing also lingers in the mind. (Spoilers on both those wiki pages if you scroll down.)
posted by WPW at 4:01 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

If you are interested in creeping yourself out with music, as rhizome mentioned, might I suggest The Paper Chase?
Their album Now You Are One Of Us still gives me chills.
posted by mmmbacon at 4:04 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: I find the Tunguska event unsettling.

Also reading about HAARP gives me the willies, but it is real. I think the combination of its enormous power and secret application is what does it for me.
posted by cjemmott at 4:05 PM on December 3, 2009

Grainy alien footage from Mexico.
posted by galaksit at 4:05 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: The Conet Project.
posted by galaksit at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2009 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Have you ever watched the Twilight Zone? That seems to fit what you're looking for to a T.

Also Lost and the X Files give me a lot of those same creepy feelings.
posted by Ashley801 at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2009

Your profile seems to indicate you're in LA; go to the Museum of Jurassic Technology. I highly encourage you not to attempt to learn anything about it before you go.

Online, I've found browsing the SCP wiki and the Warehouse 23 basement to turn up the occasional truly unsettling idea.
posted by Upton O'Good at 4:11 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: Rubber Johnny by director Chris Cunningham with music from Aphex Twin.
posted by metaname at 4:15 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima and many other compositions by Krzysztof Penderecki.
posted by usonian at 4:26 PM on December 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Seconding the Conet Project.

That story about the cave Atreides posted scared me, so I didn't want to watch this video again, but I'm pretty sure it's the right one. It's of a dead girl in Portugal.
posted by past at 4:29 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: Bloop and Slow Down. It doesn't help (or I guess from your perspective, it does) that the former was detected near the supposed location of R'lyeh. I've just linked to the Wikipedia articles, but read some of the links in the Reference sections of those, too.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:30 PM on December 3, 2009

M.R. James's short stories. "The Mezzotint" and "Number 13" are particularly good ones.
posted by Lobster Garden at 5:01 PM on December 3, 2009

From Hell by Alan Moore? That delved into the occult and secret society/Masonic stuff around the Jack the Ripper murders, but it wasn't a horror comic.

Also, Dolores Claiborne. The mother of a reporter from a small town is arrested for murder, and the story is told through flashback. There's a couple scenes that are very creepy that I won't give away here.
posted by electroboy at 5:04 PM on December 3, 2009

Really anything David Lynch has done. Lost Highway is very creepy, as is Eraserhead.
posted by electroboy at 5:26 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: I'm a sucker for Creepypasta. (NSFW)
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:52 PM on December 3, 2009 [6 favorites]

Best answer: I have no idea why, but reading about "Paul is Dead" theories always gives me the willies, especially if you can manage to find some backwards mp3s.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:57 PM on December 3, 2009

Gather some like-minded friends and play Esoterrorists?

I also found Fluke by Christopher Moore to be a delightful journey into weird what-if, though it's as much funny as creepy.
posted by NMcCoy at 6:03 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: The Lead Masks Case is really creepy. Even if it is just a couple of clearly insane people, it's icky to contemplate.

Out of Place Artifacts can be creepy (when they are hoaxes). I had a really cool link on this subject just the other day, but I can't find it anywhere now.

If you want to read some creepy short fiction, The Josef K. Stories give me the willies.

If you can get your hands on a copy of the old Nimoy era "In Search Of..." that's always good for sleeping with the lights on.

I have always found the Lost Colony of Roanoke creepy, even if there is a (more than likely) resonable explaination, something about it unsettles me. When I finally had a chance to go there last fall, I can say the island has a really creepy vibe. Of course, that may have had more to do with the weird apocalypitc bible quote signs people had in their front yards (think Burma Shave from hell).
posted by evilcupcakes at 6:10 PM on December 3, 2009 [3 favorites]

If you would like to be seriously disturbed, there is a French film called Martyrs, that if I think about to much really gives me the willies. It definitely has staying creepy power. Make sure to watch the whole thing in one sitting, and don't give up on it...

posted by razzamatazm at 6:26 PM on December 3, 2009

The works of Shirley Jackson. We Have Always Lived in the Castle did this to me, and most of her short stories do it too (and I'm not even talking about "The Lottery" -- there are others that are just filled with this everyday sense of dread. They were just tense and creepy because they were).

Also, I just got in a debate last night about how the group The Knife is really creepy for no real reason. Maybe not quite what you're looking for, but I had to toss it out there.
posted by darksong at 6:33 PM on December 3, 2009

er, that should read "when they AREN'T hoaxes". Sorry, I am typing this at work in between phone calls.
posted by evilcupcakes at 6:42 PM on December 3, 2009

From this thread and specifically the podcast mentioned in this comment the family has given me the creeps. Mostly because the author comes off as somewhat credible and not a complete conspiracy loon.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 6:45 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Anything by the Quay Brothers.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 6:49 PM on December 3, 2009

I Have A Special Plan For This World by Current 93 (from a poem by Thomas Ligotti).
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:00 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: I've been really enjoying Marble Hornets (link to MeFi post). Too bad you're not me mentioned Slender Man, Marble Hornets is basically the best and longest (still running, last update was last night) that I've seen.
posted by Deflagro at 7:26 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh man, it sounds like you're describing the short stories of Jorge Luis Borges. Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius seems to fit the bill very well, as well as The Garden of Forking Paths, and like pretty much all of them, really. They're great.
posted by ludwig_van at 7:39 PM on December 3, 2009

House of Leaves is highly creepy, not only for the story, but the way the book is organized and printed is strange and sort of creepy as well. Make sure to get the edition that has the multiple colors of ink.
posted by electroboy at 7:53 PM on December 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I've always loved Anomalies Unlimited. I don't think it's been updated in a while, but has some great stuff about the Denver Airport and underground military/alien bases and crazy stuff on the Disney Corporation and how Courtney killed Kurt, to name just a few things. Keep clicking on links and things keep getting crazier and spookier...

Totally creeps me out.
posted by buzzkillington at 8:07 PM on December 3, 2009

Response by poster: All these suggestions are awesome, a handful I already knew about but they fit the bill completely. Thanks so much, keep 'em coming!
posted by Nattie at 8:12 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: There was an FPP about creepypasta a couple of years ago, much of which I found very unsettling, and I'm not easily unsettled.
posted by Caduceus at 8:38 PM on December 3, 2009

paranormal activity scared the shit out of me. couldn't sleep for a week after seeing it. the most terrifying movie i've ever seen--and i love talking about it. need a support group. really awesome.
posted by apostrophe at 9:08 PM on December 3, 2009

Best answer: Memento and the episode where Buffy is in a mental institution freaked me out - I have a fear of unreliable memory and that just enforced it! It's a different kind of "the willies" but it could make you reconsider what you've always believed in general.
posted by divabat at 9:36 PM on December 3, 2009

House of Leaves ...... Make sure to get the edition that has the multiple colors of ink.

I was going to correct this, but then I thought perhaps it was intentional and clever. In any case, yes, this book, yes.
posted by timory at 10:11 PM on December 3, 2009

The movie Gin Gwai has stuck with me. The central portion of the movie Blindness did as well.
posted by salvia at 10:42 PM on December 3, 2009

TG - Hamburger Lady, no question. google the lyrics. the liner notes to the album itself say it's based on a true story (who knows? but it might be).
posted by citron at 10:51 PM on December 3, 2009

Okay, I just read that Ted's Caving page and I am totally freaked out! Somebody tell me if that is real or not. The last bit seems a little cheesy, so I'm thinking hoax. Please, for my sanity, let me know.
posted by TooFewShoes at 1:44 AM on December 4, 2009

I know you weren't asking for works of fiction, or at least long ones, but I find that Neil Gaiman's stuff gives me this feeling-- like there's something huge and important and mythic out there that we're just missing, and he can give us a little glimpse into it... Not scary, but unsettling.
posted by WidgetAlley at 1:57 AM on December 4, 2009

Nevermind, I Googled it. I can sleep again.
posted by TooFewShoes at 2:16 AM on December 4, 2009

Best answer: Oh, also: Zdzislaw Beksinski (try saying that ten times fast...)
posted by WidgetAlley at 2:32 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

seconding House of Leaves
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 2:59 AM on December 4, 2009

Here's a nice read on a guy named Ted's cave exploration. This may do the trick.

I've been looking for that! I almost posted a "what's that creepy webpage I read years ago" askme.
posted by electroboy at 5:38 AM on December 4, 2009

Best answer: The work of Serge Voronoff is pretty creepy.
posted by electroboy at 5:41 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you like Ted's cave exploration, you'll probably enjoy The Dionaea House. That one made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
posted by LinnTate at 5:59 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bill Stoneham's "haunted painting" and its accompanying story creeps the bejeezus out of me.
posted by jbickers at 6:48 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

I was going to correct this, but then I thought perhaps it was intentional and clever. In any case, yes, this book, yes.

In the version I read, some text was in different colors. I heard there were later editions that didn't do this, and I think it'd take a little bit away from the book.
posted by electroboy at 7:08 AM on December 4, 2009

Listening to The Residents always creeps me out. They've got video projects and other media as well.
posted by elsietheeel at 8:19 AM on December 4, 2009

In the version I read, some text was in different colors. I heard there were later editions that didn't do this, and I think it'd take a little bit away from the book.

The first editions of the book released mentioned multiple versions in the front of the book. Listed were monochrome, blue, red, and full-color versions... and maybe purple? I'm pretty sure only the red and blue versions actually existed at the time. There has since been a hardcover, full-color version released, which is the only version I own now. The first copy I had fell apart from being read too much, the second one was eaten by a friend's dog. The only down-side to the hardcover version is that the front cover is no longer smaller than the rest of the book, and no longer mirrors an important plot element. Still a creepy story.

Also, throwing another vote behind the Conet project and Marble Hornets/Slender Man stuff. Slender Man convinced me it's ok to let the dogs sleep in the bed with me...
posted by owtytrof at 9:28 AM on December 4, 2009

2666, all of it, is unsettling as hell (as well as being an excellent book). As a bonus, each section is creepy in its own special way.
posted by oinopaponton at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I highly recommend reading Unholy Alliance and the Sinister Forces trilogy by Peter Levenda.

Here's a taste: Colonia Dignidad at Wikipedia.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:49 AM on December 4, 2009

The novel: Mister B. Gone is kind of fun, if you're into your books trying to convince you to stop reading them, or if you've always wanted an adult version of The Monster at the End of This Book.

Also: I had no idea there were so many editions of House of Leaves. Oddly enough, mine with the one index page in green and the chapter printed in inverse isn't listed at Wikipedia. Good thing it's going to be cold tonight, and I'll need a fire...
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:37 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Peter Levenda's Sinister Forces Trilogy. Three non-fiction volumes full of exactly what you're looking for. Following the plethora of material back to the original sources will give you literally years of creepy fun. You'll be familiar with some of it from your previous reading (as I was) but he has some interesting info and connects the dots into a truly creepy meta-view. He's also a decent writer, which is not often the case with occult/conspiracy theory writers.

From Norman Mailer's review of the first volume:

Face-to-face with twenty-five years of research gathered from no less than forty countries, most writers would have looked to come up with any number of spy, horror, and suspense novels suggested by this trove of material. Peter Levenda, however, tackled it head-on. So, he set himself the near-to-impossible task of pulling together such diverse threads as pop culture, archaeology, anthropology, poetry, religion, the occult, and a host of government actions overt and hidden. In return, he has produced the first installment of a thesis that is by turns compelling, cautious, maddening, and intriguing.

This book lives with the premise that there is a Satanic undercurrent to American affairs. Since there is a world of clues and indications to support the thesis, but very little qualifies as hard evidence, the author is enmeshed in a labyrinthine task. Given the bewildering enormity of the attempt, one can forgive Sinister Forces its serious faults for in recompense we are offered astonishing coincidences, improbable but factual interconnections, occasional exposures of buried government history, outright assassinations and inexplicable historic conjunctions that scream out for explanation where none can be provided. Conspiratorialists will drown in new floods of old forgotten material, rationalists will throw this book across the room, then get around to picking it up and reading a little further before they throw it down again in a fury at the uneasy possibility that the Devil could conceivably also be a part of our ongoing and inexplicable American history. Worse! What if it—as Levenda looks to indicate—it all goes back to the earliest American inhabitants, back to the mysterious mound-building Pre-Columbian cultures of Kentucky up through the Salem witch trials on to the Twentieth Century mind-control experiments, the obfuscations surrounding UFOs, and Manson, and Sirhan, and November 22 in Dallas? The first of these three volumes of Sinister Forces is already ten books in one. Depending on one’s reading inclinations, this is either a disaster or a great bargain.

Also check out Jeff Well's Rigorous Intuition blog. An interesting writer creeped out by the occult / conspiracy / weird science. Lots of good stuff to creep you out in his blog archive.
posted by ljshapiro at 1:18 PM on December 4, 2009

Best answer: This is inevitably going to be coming from my own personal interpretation of 'unsettling'.

Firstly, I'll second the David Lynch comment. I especially like what he does with making seemingly very normal scenes appear disturbing, either by music, strange dialogue or strange camera positions. But of course, he also does straight-up weird stuff. A particular example would be the monster behind Winkie's.

The Rabbits series seems to be the essence of Lynchian weirdness. Maybe too 'unreal' for the purposes of your question.

The It Happened To Me! section of the Fortean Times forums contains some gems.

Of the various "South American ghost vids" that seem to be something of a meme, this one is pretty weird.

I remember as a kid being absolutely terrified by the alien autopsy film.

I found a digital camera in the woods is a vintage 2004 internet phenomenon. It's a shame the original GTAForums thread does not seem to have survived, as I seem to remember it took several pages of forum for people to discover the weirder things in those photographs.

My aunt and uncle used to have one of those books with paranormal stories, and whenever we visited, I went upstairs to read that book. They were the classic ghost stories, I suppose, like these. The Belmez Faces I can still remember, as well as the Cumbrian Spaceman.

But, after typing all this, I almost forgot my favorite link with regards to this: Futulity Closet.
posted by Harry at 2:17 PM on December 4, 2009

I haven't seen it, but that French movie from a few years back, In My Skin, seemed pretty damn unnerving.

Seconding Spoorloos.
posted by ifjuly at 3:13 PM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, also, the album Haunted by Mark Danieliwski's sister, Ann (aka Poe) is a companion piece to House of Leaves.
posted by electroboy at 5:30 PM on December 4, 2009

I have downloaded dozens of old Coast to Coast episodes, and listen to them all the time. Great stuff. Many of the episodes have exactly what you are looking for.

It took me a while to warm up to Whitley Strieber's Unknown Country, but it's the same sort of thing and I've actually come to favor it over Coast to Coast. You can download the Unknown Country episodes, also.
posted by jayder at 6:44 PM on December 4, 2009

In My Skin is pretty over-the-top and quite gory, it doesn't have any occult quality but if it's interesting to you to see a horror movie in which the horror is caused by the main character messing herself up.. well, there you go.
posted by citron at 9:38 PM on December 4, 2009

Best answer: Check out this creepy encounter with "Black-Eyed Kids" if you're not already familiar with it.
posted by Marla Singer at 3:22 AM on December 5, 2009

Response by poster: I've only gotten through a dozen or so of these so far and they're all great. You guys are awesome!
posted by Nattie at 6:07 AM on December 5, 2009

The Toynbee Tiles always send a chill up my spine.
posted by condour75 at 8:55 AM on December 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

With regard to Coast to Coast episodes, I urge you to at least listen to the call-in shows where callers are invited to phone in the creepiest/weirdest/spookiest things that have ever happened to them. There are some really amazing stories. I'm a really skeptical person, but some of the stories I have heard (combined with the fact that the stories are told by people who aren't professional storytellers) that I kept thinking about for days.
posted by jayder at 8:57 AM on December 5, 2009

I haven't read any of the other comments, but why not try out some of Larry Carlson's stuff:

Warning: Don't dare dream of viewing his videos on the drug that this website was obviously designed for. That would be a very bad idea, indeed.
posted by afabulousbeing at 10:53 AM on December 5, 2009

Another, less scary, thing: the monuments erected by the Gravity Research Foundation. There's one at my alma mater. Very odd.

(and thanks for asking this question-- my roommate and I terrified ourselves all night last night with these things; great fun)
posted by oinopaponton at 11:35 AM on December 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

The story of the Kuykendalls, a family who claimed they were being stalked by someone controlling their cell phones, creeped me out when I read about it (Metafilter thread).

I found this short film, Safe, to be quite unsettling. WARNING: the first 47 seconds or so feature rapid flashing, so fast forward to here if you are sensitive to that.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:03 AM on December 6, 2009

I found Theodore Sturgeon's "More Than Human" (short novel) to be very creepy in parts.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:01 PM on December 6, 2009

I also found "Grizzly Man" and "Aguirre, the Wrath of God" (both films by Werner Herzog) to fit the bill in the creepy, haunting factor.
posted by I'm Brian and so's my wife! at 6:05 PM on December 6, 2009

This polaroid photograph was found in a convenience store parking lot in Port St. Joe, Florida on June 15th, 1989.

A white van was seen speeding away from the spot where the photograph was found.

It was never determined who the children in the picture were, or whether they were in legitimate distress, playing a game, or part of a hoax.

And that's the creepiest thing I've ever heard of.
posted by meadowlark lime at 1:52 AM on December 7, 2009

Holy shit, meadowlark lime, I really wish I hadn't clicked on that picture.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 1:49 PM on December 7, 2009

Makes it slightly more creepy that the girl appears to be reading a VC Andrews book.
posted by electroboy at 6:19 AM on December 8, 2009

This polaroid photograph was found in a convenience store parking lot in Port St. Joe, Florida on June 15th, 1989.

That is really creepy.
Apparently another picture, possibly of the boy, popped up a couple months ago
posted by Midnight Rambler at 10:23 AM on December 8, 2009

Apparently another picture, possibly of the boy, popped up a couple months ago

Oh no . . . surprised I missed that development. It is difficult to tell if the new picture is the same boy. If it is, someone out there knows something . . . .
posted by meadowlark lime at 7:13 AM on December 9, 2009

Here's a good one: "The Max Headroom WTTW Pirating Incident" (NSFW)
posted by Neilopolis at 3:32 PM on December 10, 2009

80's Kinder Surprise commercial.
posted by cobwebberies at 10:43 PM on December 24, 2009

Try reading Margaret Atwoods work, I think it fits the bill perfectly. The Handmaidens Tale is a good one to start with. Be tread a slippery slope :).
posted by gypseefire at 11:27 AM on January 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

gypseefire: Try reading Margaret Atwoods work

Agreed. I'm reading Oryx and Crake right now and Atwood's prescience is creepy and depressing.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 3:38 PM on January 4, 2010

Listverse has stuff like this sometimes, particularly in their Bizarre and Mystery categories.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:05 PM on January 14, 2010

I'm a bit late to the party, but in threads like this I always feel obliged to mention The Boss in the Wall: A Treatise on the House Devil by Avram Davidson.
posted by usonian at 9:08 AM on June 11, 2010

I don't want to give anything away so I'll just show you the poster of the film La Moustache.
posted by Anything at 4:06 PM on October 19, 2010

... which brings to mind that many of Hitchcock's films might well fit the bill. Spellbound is very unsettling, along with Vertigo, if you haven't seen it.
posted by Anything at 4:16 PM on October 19, 2010

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