This article was originally published on OpossumSauce
Traffic signs, store signs, posters - typically, these aren't the kinds of things we associate with scariness, but there are always some exceptions. Imagine looking for directions while driving on the highway, or enjoying a nice hike in nature, only to come across a random sign with a terrifying message that sends shivers down your spine. It happens more often than you would think - read on for some seriously questionable signs people actually witnessed, and hope never to encounter them yourself.
Have you ever stumbled across a sign like this? We're happy to say we haven't. We're not sure what we'd be more scared of - the danger of a deer falling from a nearby tree and crushing us to death or the fact that leopards are casually enjoying a meaty snack close by! So this is what this warning sign says: 'BEWARE OF FALLING DEER: leopards conceal their unfinished food in the tops of trees.'
The facial expression of the person pictured here mimics our thoughts exactly: 'whaaaaat?!' However, we must confess that we wouldn't have hung around for a selfie. Instead, we'd be running for the hills!
This Container Transports A Disease Which Has No Cure
Yes, you read the sign on the back of this van correctly: 'This Container Transports A Disease Which Has No Cure.' Is this someone's idea of a joke? Or perhaps a drastic means of preventing tailgaters? Alternatively, if this is legitimate, the consequences of this vehicle getting into a crash and unleashing whatever's inside don't bear thinking about. Perhaps we're on the nervier side of things, thanks to the COVID pandemic?
But even so, this haunting sign would certainly get our attention and prompt us to drop away from the back of this van! Of course, this also makes us wonder how the driver can safely get into the back of the truck?
Domestic Violence Is Scarily Prevalent
Arguably this sign isn't scary or haunting. Rather, it's jarring just how common domestic violence is. Personally, we're thankful that medical practices such as this are starting to implement proactive ways that survivors of domestic violence can come forward and seek the help they so desperately need. We assume this sign was posted on a bathroom wall. That way, the victim could pick which pen to mark their initials with, without as much fear of reprisal.
If you're struggling to read the text in the pic, this is what the first few words of the red font say: 'Please write your initials with the red marker if you are experiencing intimate partner violence, domestic violence, or anything else you wish to discuss in confidence with your provider.'
Wear a Life Jacket
Picture this: It's a sunny day, so you think you'll make the most of it by heading down to the lake. However, you arrive only to find this macabre sign. '171 persons have drowned in this lake, wearing life jackets: 3, not wearing life jackets 168.' As terrifying as these stats are, it hammers home how dangerous the water can be and the importance of taking precautions like wearing a life jacket.
Apparently, you can find this haunting sign at Percy Preist Lake In Nashville, Tennessee. It's got to have had a pretty decent effect. It would certainly make us think twice about getting in the water without a life jacket!
You'll Be Boiled
Have you ever seen a sign like this? We certainly hadn't! This is what it says: 'DANGER If you fall in the pond, you will be boiled.' A few questions spring to mind - What temperature is this pond?! Can it sustain any kind of life? Is it naturally that hot? And, most disturbingly, how many people have boiled to death in these waters? Apparently, you can find this sign at Jigoku Meguri (Hell Tour) in Beppu, Japan.
Here there are as many as eight ponds that range from around 90 degrees Celsius to boiling ponds, and yes, they're naturally that hot! That's as interesting as it is terrifying!
A Heartbreaking Veterinary Sign
This sign isn't necessarily scary or haunting - instead, it's heartbreakingly sad. This sign says: 'when this light is ON, please speak softly; someone is saying goodbye.' It appears to be posted on the front desk of a veterinary office. Few things are as sad as saying goodbye to a much-loved pet. Our furry friends are one of the few relationships in our lives that offer unconditional love and companionship.
There's nothing more painful than preparing for the inevitable - that, sadly, our pets will one day pass away. So, as necessary and as compassionate as this sign is - it's certainly not one we want to dwell on for too long!
A Disconcerting Zoo Sign
We won't lie; we couldn't help but stifle a laugh when we first read this sign. We're unsure whether this poster is someone's idea of a joke or if it's serious. If it's the latter, then this sign is oddly terrifying. This is what it says: 'Please do not stand, sit, climb, or lean on zoo fences. If you fall, animals could eat you, and that might make them sick. Thank you'
We can't help but wonder, which zoo has chosen to put up this sign-up? But, then, there's the more important follow-up question, has anyone ever fallen into an animal enclosure because they leaned on the fence?!
The Terrifying Truth About Bees
At first, you would be forgiven for thinking this poster was cute. Needless to say, the first thing that catches the eye is the adorable albeit colossal picture of a cartoon bumble bee. But, when you read the fun-looking font beneath, you soon realize this sign has a sinister message. This is what it says: 'If we die, we're taking you with us.' Of course, this is referring to the bee crisis.
As you probably already know, bees are pollinators. So, with the bee population dwindling, it's feared that plant species could become extinct along with the creatures that rely on them (either directly or indirectly), including humans! It's a scary thought, right?
This Sign Is Scary-Sad
Although we didn't feel scared when reading this sign, we were struck by the sad reality that poaching is still a problem. It's terrifying to think that wherever this place is, it felt the need to put up a notice to warn people not to post pictures of the rhinos living in this location on social media. Namely for fear of poachers coming and killing these magnificent creatures for sport.
It asks photographers to turn off geotag functionality and not disclose the habitat of these rhinos. It's a sad, sad world that we're living in that such a sign is necessary!
Hike At Your Own Risk
This is one of the more ominous signs on this list because it makes you wonder - how many casualties or fatalities have occurred on this particular hiking trail for it to be deemed necessary for this sign to be erected? The sign starts dramatically 'WARNING VERY DIFFICULT TRAIL' - scarily, it doesn't lighten up. It says: 'IT IS A MINIMUM 7-HOUR HIKE TO THE NEXT TRAILHEAD OVER DIFFICULT TERRAIN...
WITH NO PHONE SERVICE. IF YOU ARE LOW ON WATER, LOW ON FOOD, TIRED, OR OTHERWISE UNPREPARED FOR A VERY STRENUOUS HIKE, PLEASE TURN BACK.' This sign literally couldn't do more to put us off, even considering such a trail!
Meth Is No Joke
We all know that methamphetamines are dangerous and, in some cases, lethal - but apparently, this is even more so when combined with dental anesthesia. We're not sure what's scarier, the health implications of mixing drugs with anesthesia, or that meth are so prevalent that this sign was even necessary! We really hope there weren't any fatalities prior to the printing of this sign. So this is what this poster says:
'If you use methamphetamines (crystal meth, crank, speed, glass, tweak, yaba)...within 12 hours of your dental appointment. You need to tell us because dental anesthetic will kill you.' It doesn't get blunter than that.
The Bee Crisis
These signs do an excellent job at hammering home just how scary and impactful the current bee crisis is - particularly if the bee population continues to dwindle. As you may already know, bees are pollinators. This activity is imperative for growing all kinds of plants, including many fruits and veggies we enjoy. As such, this grocer has taken it upon themselves to communicate the scary realities of a world without bees.
There are different signs, here's what some of them say: 'NO BEES, NO ORANGES,' 'NO BEES, NO APPLES,' 'NO BEES, NO TOMATOES,' 'NO BEES, NO KIWIS' - you get the gist.
We're not sure what to say about this sign. For starters, the crack in this tree looks like a grumpy-looking mouth, an illusion further enhanced by a sign inserted inside the 'mouth.' Not only do the markings look somewhat like a tongue (which is a bit sinister in itself), but on the left, you can see the word 'HELP.' It's positioned so that it looks like the tree is trying to say 'help' out of the side of its mouth.
It's oddly unsettling - we really hope that no one is trapped inside the trunk and trying to ask for assistance! We certainly wouldn't like to be strolling in the woods by ourselves to stumble across this image. Creepy, right?
Most of us either know people who have had a terrifying encounter with a goose or have experienced the wrath of a goose firsthand. So as you probably already know, geese are prone to squawking at people, chasing people, and, if this picture is anything to go by, full-on flying into people! That's terrifying - these birds are giant, so we have to imagine that this would pack a punch!
If you were walking past this sign, you may have assumed that someone had posted it for a joke - but clearly, there's some truth to the warning 'AGRESSIVE GEESE KEEP WALKING'
The Sign on This Slide
We wholeheartedly agree with this image's caption: 'Really hoping the same sign is on the slide's entrance.' As you can see, a huge sign blocking the bottom of the slide says: 'SLIDE CLOSED.' If there weren't a sign at the top, this would be a pretty frightening situation for anyone scared of small spaces. You would struggle to get back up to the top in the dark!
It also doesn't bear thinking about how hot it would get inside that metal slide. Let's just hope that any kids playing and parents supervising saw and noted the warning!
If we were driving on the freeway and came across this sign: 'BUCKLE UP SAVE ICU BEDS FOR COVID-19' we're not sure how we'd react! It seems like crass humor. However, when you consider that it wasn't all that long ago that hospitals were running scarily low on beds to rehabilitate COVID-19 suffers, it makes sense to do whatever possible to reduce the likelihood of other casualties taking those beds.
We hope that anyone who came across this sign heeded its warning and fastened their seatbelts. It's hard to believe people wouldn't buckle up before getting on the freeway.
In Japan, there are a few of these “tsunami stones” that have stood their ground for hundreds of years. If you can't read Japanese, don't worry we have a translation for this particular tsunami stone, and as you may have guessed, it conveys a sinister warning about the potential threat of tsunamis. This specific inscription says: “Remember The Calamity Of The Great Tsunamis. Do Not Build Any Homes Below This Point”
Sadly, homes built above these stones survived in 2011 after the Tōhoku earthquake triggered a tsunami. But, apparently, the properties below were significantly damaged. This just goes to show warning signs should be heeded.
Beware of Mountain Lions
This sign raises several concerns. One that mountain lions could be within the near vicinity, which frankly is the most terrifying thing about this notice. But, that aside, alarmingly, the advice on the sign seems to contradict itself. The first scenario suggests that you face the lion and back away slowly. Then the next, it says be large and shout. We don't know about you, but that sounds like two totally different approaches!
This makes us wonder, is there a 100% safe way to handle this situation? Probably not. So, instead of snapping the sign, we would have done a 180 and ran in the opposite direction!
Apparently, this sign is erected somewhere in Texas. But, we have to wonder, how many times has this occurred to warrant a sign? Then, follow-up question: how did those situations turn out? We also can't help but think that instead of focussing on informative signage, perhaps it would be better to focus our efforts on securing the nearby prison? Either way, it gives us the creeps. This seems like a road you wouldn't want to break down on!
Could you imagine trying to do a good deed by picking up a hitchhiker, then only seconds later passing this sign? What if the convict had been jailed for murder? It sends shivers down your spine!
Sign At Lava Falls
Having read this sign, we have to wonder why anyone would risk walking to the top? The notice hooks you in: 'are you fit and adventurous?' It then continues by saying, 'You fit the profile of 3 DEATHS within a year and endless injuries.' Apparently, numerous hikers have dyed because of the extremity of the heat! The poster then goes on to say: 'Most heat-related deaths not far from this sign - 15 minutes from the top'
If that isn't enough to make you reconsider your trip, then perhaps the next line will make you think twice: 'If you chose to consider, please consider and accept the significant chance of death or serious injury and the burden it places on others.'
Ski Area Boundary
If the stop signs and skull and cross-bone icons aren't enough to deter you, then the messaging on this placard probably will be: 'SKI AREA BOUNDARY,' it then goes on to explain 'Non-survivable extreme weather terrain down this drainage.' Next, it advises hikers to take a U-turn and return to the ski area. Then, finally, it rounds off the warning with a flat-out: 'YOU WILL DIE IF YOU DO NOT RETURN TO SKI AREA.'
We really hope this is hyperbole. But, if not, we can't help but wonder how many people have fallen foul of these weather conditions? Also, how many people has this sign had the reverse effect on - where they took it as a personal challenge? The mind boggles.
Beware of The Wolves
Upon first glance, you might be a little freaked out by the prospect of a place guarded by 20 (or more wolves). However, when you understand the context, this sign is a little more tongue in cheek. Humorously, this poster is erected on the fence of a wolf sanctuary. This sign kindly points out that in addition to the wolves in its enclosure, it's also protected by security cameras 24/7.
Personally, we think the wolves are more of a deterrent than the security cameras - but that's just us! Researchers can confirm at least 489 victims of wolf attacks worldwide between 2002 and 2020. So bottom line: don't mess with wolves!
A Sign At Bronx Zoo
Why do we get the feeling that rather than warning zoo-goers of the missing snake, the Bronx zoo is just trying to reduce the likelihood of mass panic? Even the font is small - unless you were really paying attention this sign would be so easily missed! However, if we came across a sign like that, we'd be heading straight home regardless of whether the snake is just 'mildly venomous' and 'not dangerous to people!'
The thought of bumping into a '3.5-foot mangrove snake' is enough to send us running for the hills! On the flip side, we can't help but wonder how many people took it as a personal challenge to find the snake? Any thoughts?
Beware of The Bears
You may have already guessed it, but this sign was put up somewhere in Alaska. It reads: 'ATTENTION! MAKE SURE THE DOOR IS CLOSED TIGHTLY SO BEARS CAN'T GET IN! Thank you!' Could you imagine living somewhere where the threat of a bear attack was so real that this kind of poster was necessary? Follow-up question - how many times has a bear made its way into this building?
If this has happened before, what was the outcome? How do you even handle a situation like that?! As you can see, this sign has prompted lots of fear-fuelled questions!
Don't Fall In The Drowning Machine
Although this seems like an odd choice of words - when you look at what's pictured here (and we're not 100% sure what it is - is it a dam? Either way, we wouldn't want to be submerged in its waters), and then when you look at the helpful diagram, the phrase 'drowning machine' seems apt. Sadly, we can well imagine that the chances of getting out of these waters unscathed would be negligible.
Needless to say that upon seeing such a sign, we'd take a few BIG steps backward from the rather flimsy-looking fence! Between the concrete slabs and deep, torrential waters, this is certainly somewhere we wouldn't want to take a dip!
Don't Come In
As terrifying as this sign is (Especially for Don), we couldn't help but laugh! This concerning sign says: 'DON - THE SNAKE GOT LOOSE AGAIN. HIS BITE IS VERY POISONOUS. DON'T COME IN UNTIL I CATCH HIM. NORMAN' We think the word 'again' got us! How many times has this happened? How is this snake getting out - is it a faulty enclosure? Is the owner not securing it properly?
Or are we dealing with a very crafty snake? We also can't help but wonder, as this snake's bite is very poisonous, how will Norman retrieve it? Is he a professional snake handler? So many questions!
Fire Danger Signs
Living in a place where the chances of fire are near-on inevitable must be terrifying. What we're looking at here are bush fire rating signs in Australia. Apparently, you can see signs like this all over the country. In this instance, you can see that the rating is 'catastrophic.' If you have seen footage of such fires on the news, you'll know that this is no joke. They're absolutely horrifying!
If the rating itself isn't enough to strike fear in you, the caption beneath might: 'PREPARE. ACT. SURVIVE' in case you were in any doubt; such fires can be life and death situations—scary stuff.
The Black Death
This sign is certainly enough to give you pause for thought and send shivers down the spine. It reads: 'THE 'BLACK DEATH' ENTERED ENGLAND IN 1348 THROUGH THIS PORT. IT KILLED 30-50% OF THE COUNTRY'S TOTAL POPULATION.' We can not help but think that we would feel slightly disconcerted if we saw this sign. There is something incredibly eerie about standing in the same place where such suffering and death started.
There's also the irrational thought that perhaps there's still a bit of danger to be wary of...despite the fact the 'Black Death' ended hundreds of years ago- back in the 1300s!
Don't Touch Hamish's Horns
Wow! Just look at this magnificent beast. This beautiful bull is nothing short of stunning; look at his gorgeous ginger coat. However, despite this cow's good looks, we reckon it would be a brave person indeed to grab this bull by the horns! He's massive, and the fence penning him doesn't look exceptionally sturdy! The sign reads: 'DO NOT GRAB HAMISH BY THE HORNS.' We can't help but wonder, has anyone attempted this?
And if so, how many brave/foolish people have messed with Hamish's horns, and what was the bull's response? We dread to think! Let's just hope someone had an ambulance on standby!
Beware of Biting Horses
Okay, so the sign here, in and of itself, isn't necessarily all that scary - especially in its pretty, swirly font. The placard says the following: 'CAUTION HORSES MAY BITE.' However, in the dark, with this angry-looking horse gnashing his teeth and its glowing eyes, we can well believe that this horse would bite! It would certainly be enough to make us reconsider giving this horse a pat on the head.
Instead, we'd turn on our heels and walk in the opposite direction...and pretty sharpish! Let's just hope that this horse isn't able to jump over the fence- because it certainly looks like it wants to!
After reading this colorful sign, which we can only assume was posted in a school, we couldn't help but say, 'Why?' Why would anyone think that this lockdown song/poem would be suitable for anything other than instilling more fear in the kids! This is what it says: 'Lockdown. Lockdown lock the door. Shut the lights off say no more. Go behind the desk and hide, wait until it's safe inside...
Lockdown. Lockdown it's all done, Now it's time to have so fun!' To be fair, when we first read it, we thought it was about COVID-19. But upon reading some comments in the original post, apparently, this song is supposed to help instill in kids what they're supposed to do during a school shooting, which is even more terrifying!
A Concerning Elevator Sign
A fear of getting in elevators isn't uncommon - whether it's the fear of small spaces or the elevator falling down the shaft. Either way, for some using an elevator, is already an ordeal. But could you imagine having to get in an elevator having read this sign?! It reads: 'IF ELEVATOR DOES NOT MOVE, DO A SMALL JUMP IT SHOULD MOVE AFTER.' We can't help but wonder, is this entirely safe?
Having read such a poster, we'd certainly be taking the stairs instead. But how much further would the elevator drop if you jumped? Also, what's a 'small' jump, and what would happen if you overshot it? We certainly don't want to find out!
A Worrying Speeding Sign
There's undoubtedly no beating around the bush with this speeding sign. From what we can tell from the background of the snapshot, it looks like a relatively quiet, residential area - which is likely why the speed limit is so low (at 25 miles per hour). Beneath the speed limit is the text: 'kill your speed, not a child.' It's a sobering reminder of just how dangerous speeding can be.
Again, we can't help but wonder whether any tragic fatalities had occurred on this road? Or whether there had been a concerning near-miss that had prompted the erection of this sign? Scary stuff.
Apparently, you can find this sign erected at the crocodile enclosure at the Sydney aquarium. We don't know about you, but this warning would undoubtedly be enough for us to take a few steps back from the edge. This is what this sign says: 'If the fall does not kill you, the crocodile will.' However, a quick Google suggests that this is a precautionary sign. Fortunately, it doesn't look like anyone's fallen to their death!
We're pretty sure that would have been reported on, right? Apparently, Rex, the crocodile this sign pertains to, is a saltwater crocodile known for being exceptionally aggressive and territorial.
You Don’t Need to Be Able to Read Swedish to Understand This Sign
Thanks to the handy, albeit graphic illustration, you don't need to be able to read what's written in Swedish to understand the danger. Although you might be able to get yourself and a large item like a bin or a massive bag into the lift, when the lift begins to drop, there is not enough space to facilitate it. You see a horrific scene to the right, enough to give anyone nightmares!
Here it looks like a wheelie bin has got caught and trapped the person against the side of the elevator, rendering them unable to get out. Frankly, this is nothing short of terrifying.
A Sign For An Interactive Attraction
Having read this sign, the first question that springs to mind is: 'What on earth is this attraction?!' What the heck is going on where participants must agree to 'release [the] facility from any and all claims of injury, death, or other physical or mental harm as a result of your decision.' Has any of this awful stuff happened to people before? If so, what? Would you dare to continue after reading this sign?
We certainly wouldn't! We don't like the idea of being 'touched, grabbed, removed from your group, and forced to remain' - frankly, this sounds like nothing short of a nightmare!
These posters raise so many questions - however, we are unsure if we are scared by them? Should we be? Do the raccoon handlers know something that we don't? Perhaps we should be frightened by what might happen if the pig enters the raccoon room? Or, maybe we should fear what might ensue if someone tries to physically place the raccoon on their head? Do raccoons get vicious? Who knows?
We also wonder what kinds of 'lucky people' raccoons are attracted to? How do the raccoons make their choice? The mind boggles at what the state of play might have been before these signs were erected!
A Sign In Someone's Apartment Complex
The fact that this sign is even necessary for someone's apartment complex is scary! We dread to think what kind of poo-y situation swimmers found themselves in prior to this poster. It says this: 'PERSONS HAVING CURRENTLY ACTIVE DIARRHEA OR WHO HAVE HAD ACTIVE DIARRHEA WITHIN THE PREVIOUS 14 DAYS SHALL NOT BE ALLOWED TO ENTER THE POOL WATER.' Of course, this begs the question, who on earth would get in a pool while suffering from diarrhea?
We have never heard of a more obvious recipe for disaster! The potential implications of swimmers not heeding this sign's warning make us cringe - to say the least! It's enough to make you avoid the pool altogether.
Poison Spider Trail
If we ever, EVER, came across a sign that said 'Poison Spider Trail,' we would turn on our heels, sprint to the car, and drive as far as the gas in the tank would take us. The thought of going on a hike riddled with poisonous creepy crawlies just makes our hearts sink, and skin crawl. It also prompts us to wonder, who is going on this trail? And how poisonous are these spiders?!
Apparently, by the looks of the sign, it's not just hikers who enjoy this trail but also joggers, cyclists, and dog walkers. Who knew? However, they draw the line at motorbikes.
If you're not a fan of heights or have a fear of falling, then there's a good chance that you and bridges already don't get along. However, we think it's safe to say that the majority of people who came across this sign before crossing this swing bridge in New Zealand would have paused for thought. According to the warning, between one and ten people on the bridge is fine.
However, the moment that you get above ten people, the bridge is at risk of collapsing. That is absolutely terrifying. There doesn't even seem to be any guidance on the actual maximum weight either!