These freaky stories are made all the more terrifying by being true. Maybe don't read them after dark.
As a species that longs for rationality, true scary stories or instances of the uncanny can leave us disturbed. We seek logical explanations, but sometimes, those just aren’t enough.
Indeed, not even some of the most disturbing books and movies can compete with these scary stories from history. From sightings of the otherworldly to coincidences so odd that there must be a supernatural explanation — the past is filled with the unsettling.
Perhaps Mark Twain put it best when he said: “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”
Here are seven creepy stories that are entirely true — and even scarier because of it.
The Scary True Story Of Operation Wandering Soul
In Vietnamese culture, it is essential to properly bury a loved one in their birthplace so as to ensure their contentment in the afterlife. If not, then the deceased’s soul will wander aimlessly as it tries to find its way home.
U.S. forces in the Vietnam War were aware of this superstition and took advantage of it. Knowing that the Viet Cong were worried that many of their soldiers would die far from home, unable to be properly buried, U.S. forces employed a freaky psychological scare tactic known as “Operation Wandering Soul.”
The 6th Psychological Operations Battalion (6th PSYOP) of the U.S. Army broadcast disturbing moans and groans of disembodied voices throughout the jungle on a series of loudspeakers or from planes flying overhead. And for many Viet Cong, the tactic was nothing short of terrifying.
The scare tactic was inspired by a “Ghost Army” of inflatable tanks and personnel carriers used to fool German recon missions into thinking that the Allies had more troops and tanks than they actually did during World War II.
The hair-raising messages sent throughout the jungle not only suggested to the nervous Viet Cong that their fallen comrades were skulking invisibly amongst them, but there were also messages that specifically pleaded with them to give up the fight. With the help of South Vietnamese participants, such freaky messages were created like:
“My friends, I have come back to let you know that I am dead…I am dead!” Or “Don’t end up like me. Go home, friends, before it’s too late!”
When a South Vietnamese ally of the U.S. purposefully spread a rumor among the Viet Cong that a tiger had been attacking Vietnamese troops, the 6th PSYOP began adding recordings of tiger growls into the mix. It’s estimated that around 150 men fled the mountain where this tape was played.
Of course, some were onto the Americans — and simply started shooting in the audio’s direction — whether up at helicopters and planes or at the speakers around them.