Horror Movie-Type Stuff (That Really Happened)
Some movie scenes are so horrific that we feel immediately compelled to construct a stainless steel safe room in the boiler room of the local VFW after watching. At least we can take comfort in the fact that such wild creations could never come to pass in the real world. Except they totally do. So you might want to start melting down the contents of your silverware drawer now. Think about ...
The Human Chop Shop
Eli Roth's Hostel was effective not because it had skyscraper-sized monsters or an indestructible killer with a mask and a machete, but because being lured into a torturous trap by beautiful and exotic women is much more plausible. That scene wherein "the Butcher" is seen doing the grunt work of severed limb disposal is especially disconcerting, as it's hard to imagine someone whose work revolves entirely around the sorting and handling of mutilated human appendages.
At least the Butcher had the decency to get rid of all the gory incriminating evidence, unlike Arizona company Biological Resource Center, which was accused of grossly mishandling human remains. Businesses like these, which can be rather profitable if you have the stomach for it, are also known as "body brokers." They accept donated human limbs from the recently deceased and then offer up the hands, arms, legs, or whatever on the open market, for purposes one can only hope are nonsexual. Shockingly, there's very little regulation involved. The deceased's relatives are told that their contribution will further the cause of science, but the only science going on at the Arizona facility seemed to be a test of the strength of the average FBI agent's stomach.
Federal authorities raided Biological Resource Center in 2014, but details from the "various unsettling scenes" uncovered by the operation weren't made public for several years. In a sworn statement, one of the attending agents described a cooler full of penises, as well as "a bucket of heads, arms, and legs." Puddles of bodily fluids, along with dirty chainsaws and band saws, added to the festive atmosphere. One can imagine some dark jokes flew around ... until they came across an actual woman's head sewn onto a man's torso hanging on a wall. Oh, and one more thing: The owner of the company was named Stephen Gore.
He was born for this! He should not have been born for this.
Related: 5 True Stories That Put Every Horror Movie To Shame
The Motel Owner Who Cut Holes In The Ceiling To Watch People
Ah, the good old days, when staying a night or two at a family-owned motel meant a homey atmosphere, prompt service, and a ready smile. It was a time when a man's handshake was his bond -- and occasionally a bit sticky because he spent the morning jerking off while spying on you in your room.
Thankfully, unlike Norman Bates, Gerald Foos never killed anyone at the Manor House Motel in Aurora, Colorado. He did, however, cruelly murder any chance of us feeling comfortable going commando in a vacation suite ever again. Through holes he cut inside fake ceiling vents, he watched visitors having sex and lord knows what else for decades.
From the 1960s onward, Foos had the perfect perverted setup for someone with a serious peeping hobby. But we didn't find out about his activities because of some jailhouse confession. After a productive career of watching people doing what people do in low-priced motels, he decided to go public. After all, according to the Dangle Documentarian himself, it was all in the name of "research" (he built a viewing platform above "special" rooms that he called "the laboratory").
And so, like all science-minded data collectors, he set out to sell his story to anyone with a checkbook and a high tolerance for self-delusion. Amazingly, he was successful. Not only did famed journalist Gay Talese write a New Yorker article and a book about Foos' adventures in motel voyeurism (unimaginatively titled The Voyeur's Motel), but Steven Spielberg also bought the movie rights, and Netflix made a documentary based on it (even less imaginatively titled Voyeur). Unfortunately, Spielberg's team had no idea about the documentary, and so chose to pull out prematurely -- which Foos was surely prepared for.
The Old Man In A Sleepy Country Town Who "Came Down With Dementia"
"This is one of the happiest moments of my life," retired English professor Peter Farquhar wrote in 2014. "Gone are the fears of dying alone." The 66-year-old had just held a commitment ceremony with his lover, a 26-year-old former student named Ben Field, who moved to live with Farquhar in the little retirement village of Maids Moreton. A loving relationship between two people of wildly different ages about to settle down and enjoy what seems to be an idyllic existence? This can only mean some horror movie shit is about to go down.
Sure enough, it soon appeared that Farquhar's mental condition was deteriorating. He forgot appointments, misplaced items, left his keys in the fridge, and found a secret diary in which Field wrote of his fears that his partner was suffering from dementia. But that was only the beginning. Farquhar also started seeing messages written on bathroom mirrors, which vanished before he could show anyone, and then started to experience terrifying hallucinations, including swarms of "hideous black insects" coming toward him. His life with Field was turning into a Stephen King novel -- and that wasn't a coincidence.
There was nothing wrong with Farquhar. It was the inappropriately young lover and his magician sidekick Martyn Smith (never trust a magician, or a man who spells his name "Martyn") behind it all. They were writing messages on the mirrors and then erasing them, hiding his keys, and "reminding" him of things that never happened. Field even wrote a fake diary listing the old man's "symptoms" and left it for him to find. He also spiked Farquahar's toast and tea with hallucinogens, and slipped raw alcohol into his whisky, the latter of which eventually killed the older man.
Prosecutors would later describe Field as a sadist who pretended to be in love with Farquhar to control and torture him. He was found guilty of murder, but not before he began an affair with Farquhar's 83-year-old neighbor, Ann Moore-Martin. She also was seeing messages on mirrors, commanding her to change her will to benefit Field. After Field was arrested, the authorities found he had made a list of 100 other potential victims, including his own grandparents. It's less clear how he was planning to seduce them.
Related: 12 Real Life Horror Stories Creepier Than Any Movie
The Man Killed By A Pack Of Wild Dogs In A Residential Neighborhood
You see a lot of sharks, alligators, and Leonardo-DiCaprio-flinging bears as toothy antagonists in movies, but dogs? Not so much. Wolves will make an appearance now and again, but the only domesticated dog that really succeeded as a cinematic villain (or hero, if you're a member of the rabid community) was a filthy St. Bernard.
One likely reason you don't see more non-mutated pups in horror movies is that a lot of people would root for the dog. Another is that the scenario just seems so unlikely, unless you're somehow in a world in which feral mongrels roam the streets in search of humans to dismember and devour, like the Resident Evil universe or ... Memphis, Tennessee?
In summer 2019, the man in the picture above, Mario Moore, was apparently just walking down the street, minding his own business in downtown Memphis, when "multiple aggressive dogs" tore him to shreds with no provocation whatsoever. Police reported that he suffered fatal "deep wounds and cuts." Yes, it was 2 a.m., but it wasn't as if Moore was tempting fate by carrying pork chops through a junkyard or something. The incident occurred only a few blocks away from Graceland.
Thanks to the work of Memphis Animal Services, five of the dogs have since been taken into custody. But at the time of writing, two remain at large, possibly waiting to star in a gritty reboot of Lady And The Tramp.
Related: 5 Scary Stories That Sound Made Up (That Really Happened)
The Diet Pills Made Of People
Food made of human flesh is the grotesque plot twist of both Soylent Green and Sweeney Todd, but at least those evil corporations and dandy drama queens were nourishing people. When a Korean company started selling consumable fetal tissue, it was in the form of a pill that boasted weight-loss and stamina-boosting properties. It was all of the cannibalism with none of the calories.
It was a fairly simple business model: Operatives positioned in hospitals would report back whenever a stillborn or sizable abortion took place, abscond with the goods, and take them home for treatment in the baby-drying machine, which pulverized the flesh into a supposedly miraculous powder. What could go wrong? Well, Korean customs, for one thing. They stopped 17,500 of the pills coming into the country from China between 2011 and 2012. So ... there are a ton of reasons not to take diet pills, you guys.
E. Reid Ross has a book called BIZARRE WORLD that's on store shelves as we speak, or you could just order it now from Amazon or Barnes and Noble and leave a scathing/glowing review. Christian Markle wants you to check out these cute comic strips.
For more, check out 9 Murders To Keep You Up At Night With My Favorite Murder - The Cracked Podcast:
Follow us on Facebook ... if you dare.