History can be educational but at times, it can definitely give you the creeps. The invention of the camera lens is something that granted us insight into decades past, but that doesn't mean all of what we see is pleasant. Nearly a century later, it's clear that not everyone who looked through that viewfinder realized how eerie their photos would be - but some of them are, indeed, the stuff of nightmares.
There are some photos that should just remain in the drawer in all their grainy glory, and these 12 are only a handful of the bunch.
12 Back In The Day, Halloween Was Terrifying
Granted, there were no masks that resemble movie props back in the day. Rather, there were homemade and detail-less masks and props that made everything that much scarier. Kids looked like demons rather than trick-or-treaters, but that was probably the point.
11 Ronald McDonald? More Like Ronald McSatan
The original Ronald McDonald was intended to be whimsical and fun, but that's not what came across in the earliest photos of him. The loveable clown we know and love today was once a terrifying semi-scarecrow who wore a fast-food cup on his face - not nearly as innocent.
10 Mickey Mouse Wasn't Always so Friendly
But they tried, okay? Although, this is definitely one of those instances when "at least you tried" isn't exactly comforting. The early conception of Micky Mouse involved second-rate mask-building, with half the number of tools and materials we have today. Needless to say, the results were horrifying.
9 Don't Worry, These Aren't People... Just Wax Figures Of People
Anyone familiar with New York City likely knows about Madame Tussaud's wax museum, but what happens to all the figures when their rotation is done? Either they're put away in storage, or they're dismantled and melted down... similar to this photo.
8 A Horror Movie-Level Town Photo From Japan
This photo is a result of the eruption of Mount Oyama, says Atlas Obscura, which released toxic gas into the air over the Izu Islands. Because of this, the residents of the islands were forced to wear gas masks when going out, and visitors to the islands can receive gas masks upon request.
7 Scene From A Sci-Fi Movie, Or The First Android Human?
This is a pretty realistic animatronic human from Disney, and the added black and white filter on this photo make it that much more terrifying. While it's not an extra scene from a sci-fi movie, there's no denying that it would be creepy to see this thing gutted, let alone work on it.
6 This Was Not A Costume Trick
Myrtle Corbin was not playing a trick when this photo was taken. She was born with a disease called dipygus, which meant that she had an extra pelvis. As a result, she was part of the circus for some time, before eventually getting married and moving on with her life.
5 A Fiery Inferno Of A Cavernous Cafe
It's not an actual scene from the underworld, although it seems like it. In the early 1900s, cafes such as this were pretty hot in as far as nightlife was concerned. Adults could gather in underground caverns and party the night away, sit for a drink, or just take in the vampiric decor.
4 Mental Illness Has Always Been Misunderstood
In 1890, this girl was diagnosed with an unknown mental illness. Since there was no understanding of mental illness during that time, hospitals did the only things that made sense to them. One of them was having patients tied up in the form of the crucifix, for lack of other ideas or knowledge.
3 A Friendly Smile Hides Dark, Cold, Sinister Eyes
We've all watched documentaries on serial killers and noted the cold, seemingly lifeless eyes that many of them possess. However, when the Mad Bomber was caught and arrested in 1957, he displayed a smile that warped his wicked face into one chaotic mess of sinister motives and tragedy.
2 Sometimes, Children Describe Things Far Better Than We Ever Could
This little girl's name was Tereska, and she grew up in a concentration camp in Poland, notes Arctic Edu. When she was moved to a Residence for Disturbed Children in 1948, she was asked to draw a picture of her "home." This was the result, and it's haunting still to this day.
1 Believers In Spontaneous Human Combustion Know About John Bentley
Whether you're a believer in spontaneous human combustion or not, it's pretty hard to debunk the mystery of John Bentley. At 93 years old, it was suspected that human combustion was the only explanation for his death - leaving behind nothing but the lower half of his leg amongst ashes, which police shoveled through in this photo.