Your teachers have probably told you that Wikipedia isn't any good but contrary to popular belief, Wikipedia has revolutionised learning. It's lowered the barriers to knowledge and increased engagement levels on topics most would have been unaware of.
Admittedly, anyone can edit the pages, and as such, Wikipedia will never gain a universal kudos. But with thousands of loyal moderators, the articles are more authentic than people think. And we're not only referring to academic ones.
In fact, there are plenty of horrific articles that can keep you up for nights-on-end so with that in mind, and to make sure you don't get a good night's sleep, here are 20 Wikipedia pages that many might find too disturbing to read.
1. Joyce Vincent
Joyce Vincent was a successful career woman working in London before she began to detach herself from friends and family. Eventually quitting her high-flying job at the accountancy firm, Ernest & Young, Joyce took on a host of lower maintenance jobs which included a cleaning job at a top London hotel. It was around that time that she is believed to have moved into sheltered accommodation by herself. But what happened a few years later shocked the whole of Britan.
Council members, who hadn't heard from their tenant in over three years and had been made aware of Joyce's disappearance in local newspapers and decided to visit her home. After knocking several times, the team forced their way into the apartment and were surprised to notice that the lighting was still on. But it was upon entering the living room that the team witnessed something shocking and nightmarish.
Indeed, Vincent's remains, which were lying on the sofa, had deteriorated into a skeletal condition while the Christmas presents she had wrapped three years prior lay strewn in cobwebs. Even the TV was still on, making this case not only tragic but also profoundly disturbing.
It was later determined that Joyce's death was caused by an asthma attack and spawned various debates around how communities should interact with those who have no one to turn to.
2. Flatwoods Monster
On September 12th, 1952, three boys from Braxton Woods, West Virginia claimed they saw an unidentified flying object crash into the flatwoods. The boys said the creature was at least 7-foot-tall and possessed glowing eyes that emitted a mist they believe was responsible for the continued vomiting they experienced.
The Wikipedia page has various paragraphs devoted to witness testimonies and old newspaper clippings of the event.
Rumoured to have first been a human, the Wendigo is of Native American folklore who they believe turned into a blood-sucking monster after he began practising cannibalism. For those who want more spine-chilling scares, the Wikipedia page offers numerous first-hand accounts of rumoured sightings.
The page even explains that there is a medical condition called "Windigo Psychosis", which is used by professionals for those clinically addicted to the taste of human flesh- despite having access to other foods.
4. June and Jennifer Gibbons
In an extraordinary case of cryptophasia, June and Jennifer Gibbons were two twins from Wales who could only communicate in a language no one else understood. But aside from their unique form of communication, they were completely mute, and their actions became so violent and unpredictable authorities soon placed them in Britain's notorious psychiatric hospital, Broadmore.
However, in a surprising turn of events, they decided that for them to live a normal life one would have to sacrifice their own. Jennifer would be the one who sacrificed her life, and would die at 30 from inflammation to her heart without any explanation as to what had caused it.
The article itself has various links to newspaper sources and gives a surprisingly lurid account of the two's life and that of June's current circumstances.
5. Post-Mortem Photography
In Victorian Britain, the funerals of the deceased would often involve commissioned photos of the dead body with other family members.
In part, this was because of the high cost of photography at the time, which meant that relatives wanting family photos usually occurred only after a fatality.
6. Unit 731
Described by many as the 'Asian Auschwitz', the Imperial Japanese Army's chemical warfare and research laboratory 'Unit 731' gained an infamous reputation for its horrific experiments on humans during the Second Sino-Japanese War.
The heinous practices, which many have labelled as the most barbaric in modern-day history, included dipping prisoner's limbs in frozen water to test for frostbite treatments as well as carrying out human vivisections.
Disgusting, immoral, and highly nightmarish these practices will sadden you even more once you read the backstory behind the camp and the subsequent 'investigations' that followed.
7. Overtoun Bridge
Scotland isn't famed for its sunny weather, and with its rough terrain and desolate landscape, it's almost the perfect setting for a horror story. But why has a Wikipedia page about a Scottish bridge in Dumbarton become so popular? A mass number of canine deaths- that's what. Yes, this strange mystery has failed to be explained, even after 50 dogs fell to their deaths in the last 50 years alone. Strangely, each death occurred on the same spot: on the right-hand side of the last two barriers.
A wide held belief among locals for the cause of these deaths comes from an accident that occurred in 1994, involving a father and his child. In tragic circumstances, the father, who believed his son was the anti-christ, threw him off the same bridge, before throwing himself off having regretted his decision. Asked later by detectives why he committed such a horrendous act, he explained that the bridge had forced him into doing it due to its powerful effects.
8. Rat Torture
You may have seen this method of torture used in HBO's series "Game of Thrones". Tied down, the prisoner would have an enclosed cage placed between their stomach.
But that cage would also contain rats, which is spine-chilling in itself. A heating element would then be positioned above the cage, and thus emitting a burning heat. Instinctively, the rats would try to escape by digging into the human's flesh. Sometimes, they would even get as far as the intestines. For more information and gory details, the page is well worth a visit.
9. The Cleveland Torso Murderer
Unfortunately, Cleveland's Torso Murderer went unidentified, despite killing 12 men and women during the 1930s.
Usually, the death involved decapitation before dismembering the entire body, as the photo above shows.
10. The Original Night Stalker
The Original Night Stalker is responsible for 12 murders and over 50 rapes that took place in California from the late ’70s right through to the ’80s. The perpetrator, who is believed to be still at large, thrived off targeting couples and would often force the woman to tie up the man before shooting them.
Thirty years on, FBI and law enforcement officers announced plans to erect digital billboards across the country in an attempt to finally apprehend one of America's most wanted criminals.
11. List of Unusual Deaths
Ever wondered if someone once died from a freefalling turtle hitting them on the head?
Well, according to Wikipedia's Unusual Death's List, that actually happened.
12. Max Headroom broadcast signal intrusion
This is plain weird. During a 1988 broadcast of Doctor Who, a hijacker wearing a Max Headroom mask hijacked two Chicago-based television stations while laughing in a sinister and somewhat frightening manner.
To this day, the prankster has gone unidentified.
13. Capgras Delusion
Not to be confused with Alzheimer's disease, Capgras delusion occurs when a person firmly believes that an identical-looking impostor has replaced a friend, spouse, parent, or even pet.
One case on the Wikipedia page even included the detailed report of a 74-year-old woman who thought her husband had disappeared and been replaced by someone else. Such was the distress this caused, the woman even asked her son for a gun.
14. The Keddie Murders
Another shocking murder case, the 'Keddie Murders' took place in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the year 1981. Four family members renting cabins in the area were found dead the next morning by a 12-year-old girl called Tina who was also family relative and had stayed with friends next door. Police found that the steak knife used to kill the bodies had been used so "forcefully that the blade had bent approximately 25 degrees."
The culprit, who police believe has long hair and glasses, has never been caught, despite an anonymous caller three years later informing police of yet more human remains only 29 miles away from Kiddie, claiming the skull was that of Tina's.
15. Coffin Birth
As you may have already guessed, coffin birth involves the fetus being released from the deceased mother's womb.
Gory and gruesome, the Wikipedia page is, however, keen to state that coffin birth is a phenomenon that rarely happens thanks to modern-day advancements in body preservation- but it has still been known to occur.
16. Shadow Person
Ever wondered what those dark spectres are in the corner of your eyes? Well, they may just be 'Shadow People' according to a Wikipedia page dedicated to the topic.
But rather than challenge the theory, the page provides a plethora of information and ideas as to what the "Shadow Person" could actaully be.
17. The Black Dahlia
For those of a more sensitive position (if so, we congratulate you for getting this far) then you may want to skip this one. The page chronicles the 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short, who had her body cut in half by an unidentified killer.
Describing the killing in lurid detail, the contributor explains that Short's body was drained of its blood and mutilated before being scrubbed clean. Overnight, the case became national news and a film inspired by the gruesome murder entitled 'The Black Dahlia' was made.
Wikipedia has loads of entries on wretched methods of torture and execution, but 'scaphism' is arguably the worst. The Persian method was designed to prolong the victim's agony. To begin with, it doesn't sound too bad. The prisoner is just placed in a tub of water and tied up so only their head can move. After, the executioner would paint their faces with milk and honey to attract flies and bees to feast on the victim's face.
To add insult to injury, the prisoner was often force-fed, causing them to relieve themselves in the water. That way, more flies would swarm in, and eventually feast on the human waste until maggots began to invade the rest of the body. The time of death is believed to have taken almost a week.
19. Rat Kings
Even the most fervent of animal lovers will attest that rats are one animal they wouldn't want to own.
They're the stuff of nightmares but imagine if you encountered 30 rats tangled together? In that case, you'd have witnessed 'Rat Kings', a term used to describe rats who have had their tales tangled and intertwined with others. Undeterred by their plight, they still soldier on and operate as one group, despite the obvious discomfort.
20. Alien Hand Syndrome
Alien Hand Syndrome is a real condition that sees some people lose complete control of their hands.
Scientists have speculated that the condition could be the result of the brain's hemispheres becoming separated, but there have been no tests to prove this.