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Four Real-Life Things That Are Creepier Than Halloween
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Tom Cheredar   |  
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Crash Test ZombieThe entire month of October is more or less devoted to doing something that is perceived as frightening, which it usually fails to do. As a child of the Internet age, there isn’t much I haven’t seen in terms of horrific, mind-numbingly evil fiction or “realistic fiction” (fake is fake is fake).

So instead of going down the a-typical list of things you should do as a horror geek, I decided to dig up real things that are way creepier than Halloween and the entire month of October combined. Actually, this stuff is so twisted, you should probably click the little “x” in the corner and call it a day. You don’t want to read this. (I’m F&#^$ serious, look away.)

But if you must, here are four real things that beat Halloween’s scare factor…

The Body Farm

The Body FarmHypothetically, a Zombie outbreak is the most mind-numbingly frightening thing that our world could ever experience. But until that day comes, The Body Farm takes the cake in terms of creepy ass place that actually exists. In 1981, Dr. William Bass created the first facility devoted to recreating various situations in which human bodies decompose a.k.a. a compound of death.

Located on a 2.5 acre stretch of land in Knoxville, Tenn., the compound contains dead bodies stuffed in car trunks, left in wooded areas to rot, placed in and under water, infested by insect populations, buried in shallow soil…Basically if you’ve seen it on CSI then the chances are pretty good its taken place on The Body Farm.

Of course, all of this is being done in the name of forensic science, but, it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still the creepiest place in the entire world.

Crash Test Zombies (Buckle up!)

Crash Test ZombieDo you remember those government-funded public service announcements reminding people to buckle up? They used to prosthetic “dummies” who would quip back and forth until inevitably having their car crash. They were so well perceived that they even did a short-lived cartoon series using the Crash-Test-Dummies.

Well, sometimes, you just can’t get a natural five star crash test safety rating without using the real deal — dead human bodies. General Motors is actually the only documented company to have continued to use the dead bodies, most recently by testing Saab model automobiles in the comforts of Sweden. I wonder what these deceased folks would say if they knew how “science” decided to use their lifeless body.

Tennessee Law Protects the “Resting”

In TechGOnzo's Yard we find... Not a Dog!!If you live in Tennessee then you’ve probably seen a whole lot of small patches of headstones crammed into the middle of strip malls and major areas of commerce. The reason for this is the state’s law concerning grave sites. Basically, if you buy a plot of land that happens to contain an old family relative underneath its soil, you’ve got to put it into the contract that you’ll maintain the site and will not remove it without probably cause. Apparently, it’s very difficult to find a really good probable cause because there are solitary graves everywhere.

I’m not even lying, there’s a dead 10-year-old, (which I would liked to believe is actually a dog with a very fancy marble headstone), in my backyard. I didn’t even notice this until about a month after signing the lease. So pretty much I live in constant fear that the creepy little girl from Night of the Living Dead will pay me a surprise visit.

To be a hundred percent clear, I don’t know the state laws for grave/burial sites are similar in other states. What I do know is that they filmed the first Evil Dead movie in this state for a reason.

Toxoplasmosis

Say hello to my little friend... Toxoplasmosis GondiiEnjoy eating pork? Bacon? Ham? Yeah, well you could be harboring a parasitic cousin of the zombie apocalypse called Toxoplasma gondii and a third of the world is already infected, probably. But don’t worry, if you’re firmly against the consumption of pigs you’re insane and also just as much at risk. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by eating the meat of lamb, cows and any enclosed area containing cat feces.

So what exactly does this parasite do? Not much if your human, but you can never get rid of the stuff either. Tests done on rats indicate a major shift in the way rats percieve the scent of feline urine. While the natural reaction for these rodents is to become immediately fearful, once infected with the parasite, the rats actually become attracted to the smell. This is because the organism can’t actually reproduce inside of us — or even the rats themselves. It can, however, grow inside the body of a cat. So it messes with the emotions of the rats so that they actually WANT TO DIE.  Seriously, knowing this how can you possibly think we’re just a bad flu shot away from the undead walking the earth.

19 Comments »

  1. weak. orgrish, now that was horrorifying.

    Comment by korollocke — October 31, 2008 @ 2:38 am

  2. This is great!!

    Comment by newscoma — October 31, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  3. Good Read.

    Comment by Bob Mantz — October 31, 2008 @ 10:44 am

  4. Yes, those Body Farms are a very creepy thing. One is being established in my area by Chico State University, which has had a good forensic anthropology department for years. I’m told that the people who can’t handle the dead body smell wash out of the program. I read about it in the paper and was amazed by the concept, but I guess it has to be done.

    Comment by Tracy Falbe — October 31, 2008 @ 12:32 pm

  5. […] of Doom lists four real-life things that are creepier than Halloween (and no, it’s not […]

    Pingback by Screen Rant — October 31, 2008 @ 1:25 pm

  6. Cool article

    Side story:

    I grew up in Knoxville – the body farm was one of those places that the Goth kids used to plan to sneak into — not that they ever did, the cops were extra-vigilant out there; though if you ask me, ‘sanctity of the dead’ goes down the toilet when you’re leaving bodies out to be devoured by wolves… not that I don’t get it.. but still….

    Also, I got a job reasonably near the body farm working for an impact lab — and the zombie crash test dummies go way farther than the author of this article discusses. The guy I worked for (very kind man, but slow-speaking and monotone.. kind of sounded like a serial killer if you didn’t know him) got a contract from a car company to test their automatic window motors. His job was to figure out how hard a motor could roll up a window without being at risk of breaking someone’s fingers, should they get rolled up.

    He accomplished this with… what else? Human fingers. He sat silently in his lab for days with a disembodied car door and a box full of old ladies’ hands (seriously). Looking bored, he would pick up a hand, roll one of its fingers up in the window until he heard a brittle “snap”, then write down a number, fiddle with the dial, and do another one.

    Tennessee is a messed up place.

    Comment by TN Alex — October 31, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  7. entertaining read, i watched a show on tv a few weeks ago about that body farm …creepy stuff man!

    Comment by Sean Nieuwoudt — October 31, 2008 @ 3:43 pm

  8. Nice one TC! This was a good list. I had no idea that GM used (uses?) corpses for crash testing. Interesting stuff. Oh yeah, way to make the front page of Digg!

    Comment by JHreha — October 31, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

  9. As an on-again, off-again resident of Knoxville, I highly recommend one simple thing before anyone visits the Body Farm: Dose on ‘shrooms. The only time I’ve actually been there, I was tripping my b***s off and honestly didn’t think any of it was real. True story.

    Comment by Tony — October 31, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

  10. Well, I have lived in Tennessee (Chattanooga) my whole life and I can’t particularly recall seeing any headstones anywhere unusual. There is a well-marked grave in Heritage Park, but the Heritage House has been there for maybe 100 years so I assumed it’s simply a past resident of the house buried there. Perhaps this is more prevalent in other parts of the state.

    Comment by Brad — October 31, 2008 @ 4:44 pm

  11. […] Four Real-Life Things That Are Creepier Than Halloween – One of them is Crash Test Zombies, actual human cadavers used in automobile testing. (yikes!) […]

    Pingback by Link Bait Hall of Fame — October 31, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

  12. […] this blog post for yesterday that i thougth would be perfect to help you celebrate the holiday Four Real Life Things That Are Creepier Than Halloween. Did you know that General Motors used real live dead bodies in some of their crash tests? Read […]

    Pingback by I Crashed The Web — October 31, 2008 @ 4:59 pm

  13. Sorry to break it to you, but that IS a dog’s grave I believe. I grew up in Tennessee and my grandparent’s had a house on the lake; in the yard on the side of the house were 2 or 3 marble markers exactly that the one you pictured – they were dogs. I guess it is a Southern thing for well-to-do folks to bury a family friend like that.

    Comment by Rick — October 31, 2008 @ 6:16 pm

  14. […] Geeks of Doom did a list of 4 Real Life Things Scarier Than Halloween: “So instead of going down the a-typical list of things you should do as a horror geek, I decided to dig up real things that are way creepier than Halloween and the entire month of October combined. Actually, this stuff is so twisted, you should probably click the little “x” in the corner and call it a day. You don’t want to read this. (I’m F&#^$ serious, look away.)” […]

    Pingback by The High Definite — October 31, 2008 @ 6:33 pm

  15. @Rick I grew up there too buddy. Nashville is rife with random grave sites. Also, I worked for a local paper and have done stories about how difficult it is to move graves off (or out) of Real Estate in high growth areas of town. Crazy about the grandparents having headstones for their dogs though.

    Comment by TechGOnzo — October 31, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

  16. The body farm is very creepy. Very enjoyable read thanks.

    Comment by Midla — November 1, 2008 @ 7:30 am

  17. Re: toxoplasmosis! This article covers the best examples of parasites controlling hosts, including toxoplasmosis!

    http://sciencefictionbiology.blogspot.com/2006/10/parasites-that-control-behavior.html

    Comment by Foehn — November 1, 2008 @ 12:47 pm

  18. I lived in Nashville for years and never once saw a random grave, not one. I live in Knoxville now, and I still have never seen one, in fact neither has any of my friends (most of us have lived in Tennessee majority, if not all, of our lives.)

    Comment by Worm — November 2, 2008 @ 1:03 pm

  19. How on earth is a law preventing you from disturbing graves without a good reason creepy? It would be creepier if you WERE allowed to dig up corpses willy-nilly.

    Comment by Ethan — April 12, 2009 @ 9:00 pm

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