We all have a strong survival instinct that kicks in when we sense danger. For some of us, our fight or flight mode can be too sensitive to perceived threats, and we end up scaring the hell out of ourselves.

I think it’s better to be safe than sorry.

You’re sure to sympathize with the people who took these scary photos, from ghosts that turned out to be the delivery guy, to a dog with a sawn-in-half.


1. “This Freaked Me Out. Turns Out It’s A Sunset Reflection.”


The optical illusion photos challenge our sense of reality because they make us realize that what we see is our brains’ best interpretation of the visual cues our eyes provide.

Our brains have adapted to see what is useful rather than what is actually there.


2. Had to double-check.


There are three main types of optical illusion. Most of the entries on this list were created by literal illusions. The illusion of a smiling face can be created if 3 birds are flying above one another.

Physiological illusions, such as backlighting or changes in stimuli with different patterns over time (conflict of interest), are believed to be the result of bright, slanted light, color, movement, and some type of overstimulation of the eye or brain. The theory is that stimuli have a person with neural pathways in the early stages of vision, and repeated stimulation of one or more channels induces a physiological imbalance that impairs perception.


3. “Wife Left The Gloves To Dry, I Almost Had A Heart Attack.”


4. “So Last Night I Was Positive There Was A Ghost Baby In The Bed With My Son.”

“I was so freaked out, I barely slept. I even tried creeping in there with a flashlight while my son was sleeping. Well, this morning I go to investigate a bit further. It turns out my husband just forgot to put the mattress protector on when he changed the sheets. I could kill him.”


5. “Cat Gave Me A Scare This Morning. It’s Paprika.”


The idea of “unconscious inferences” was first suggested in the 19th century. There are different types of cognitive illusions, such as ambiguous illusions, distorting illusions, and paradoxes.

  • A perceptual ‘switch’ between the alternative interpretations of a picture or object is called an ambiguous illusion. The Rubin vase is an example of the Necker cube.
  • There are distortions of size, length, or curvature. The Café wall illusion is a striking example. The Müller-Lyer illusion is an example.
  • The Penrose triangle or impossible staircases are examples of paradoxical illusions. Ascending and Descending were written by Escher. The illusion of a triangle is dependent on the misunderstanding of adjacent edges.
  • The perception of objects that are not there to all but a single observer is a fictional illusion. These are called hallucinations.


6. “Whoever Did This Gave Me A Heart Attack.”


7. “My Dog Is Trying To Scare The Hell Out Of Me.”


8. “Housemate Was Drying His Fishing Waders. Almost Had To Add The Pants I Was Wearing To The Laundry Pile I Was Carrying After I Opened The Door.”


9. “The Snail In Our Office Fish Tank Freaked Me Out Today.”


10. “Gives Me A Heart Attack Every Time, But He Loves To Sleep Like That!”


11. “Scared The Hell Out Of Me When He Moved.”


12. “Emergency Light In The Hallway Scared The Hell Out Of Me Earlier. Meet The New Source Of My Nightmares.”


13. “Son Woke Us Up Around 3 AM To Tell Us Some Guy Was On Our Porch With A Stick.”

“After almost dying of a heart attack, we realized it was the paper delivery guy. With a branch. Trying to retrieve a mis-thrown paper from our roof while looking [friggin] terrifying.”


14. “My Grandma Taking A Nap. Scared The Hell Out Of Me At First.”


15. “That Spooked The Hell Out Of Me.”


16. “My Aunt Got Her Dog Groomed. The Groomer Only Has Half Of His Right Arm. It Looks Like He’s Elbow Deep Into The Dog, And It Freaked Me Out When I First Saw The Picture.”


17. These bacon slices together make an evil clown.


18. “My Cousin Woke Up In The Middle Of The Night, Randomly Looked At The Baby Monitor And Saw This. She Said It Scared The Hell Out Of Her.”


19. “I Bought My Wife (Who’s A Professional Photographer) A Thermos In The Shape Of A Camera Lens. It Always Gives Me A Mini Heart Attack When I See It Like This.”


20. “I Didn’t Realize My Wife Left The Kids’ Presents In The Car Until I Checked The Rear-View Mirror.”


21. That moment when you have a mild heart attack, as soon as you enter your room.


22. “This Ultrasound Photo Scared My Husband.”


23. Someone spilled their smoothie all around and made it seem like a crime scene.


24. “I Put My Son In A Halloween Onesie Without Thinking Much About It And Gave Myself A Heart Attack At 2 AM.”


25. This used to be a well and now it has ancient whalebone on top of it.


26. “My Wife Had A Mini Heart Attack As We Drove Past This House. Nobody Lives There.”


27. “I Had A Mini Heart Attack When I Saw This. Spotted In NYC.”


28. “Sister Just Freaked Out, She Thought Someone Was In Her Flat. It Was Just Some Clothes Hanging Up In Front Of The Window.”


29. “Scared The Hell Out Of Myself.”


30. “Nearly Gave Me A Heart Attack Upon First Glance.”