Why Are Things Creepy?


Hey, Vsauce.
Michael here. Fear gives us life.
Being afraid of the right things kept our ancestors alive. It makes sense to be afraid
of poisonous insects or hungry tigers, but what about fear when there is no clear and
obvious danger? For instance, a Teddy Bear with a full set of human teeth…or a smile.jpg. There’s something a little off about these images. Too much mystery, and strange-ness,
but no obvious threat, the way there is with a gun or falling rock. But, yet, they still
insight fear, because they are creepy. But why? What gives us the creeps?
What causes something to be creepy? We are now in my bedroom, the bedroom I grew
up in, in Kansas. Like a lot of children my age, I was terrified of “Scary Stories to
Tell in the Dark.” But the very first book that ever scared me was “The Curse of the
Squirrel.” To this day, I still haven’t finished the book…but that’s just me. Psychologist James Geer developed the “Fear
Survey Schedule II,” which he used to find out what scared us the most. Combined with
the results of a more recent Gallup poll, these are the things that scare most of us,
the most. All of these things are scary, but are they creepy? Let’s get more specific. I love the way Stephen King delineates three
types of scary stuff. The first is the “gross-out”. This is something disgusting, morbid, diseased.
The second is “horror”. Horror, to King, is the unnatural: a giant spider, or being grabbed
in the dark when you thought you were alone. The third, “terror,” is different, creepier.
He says terror is coming home to find that everything that you own has been replaced with
an exact copy. Terror is feeling something behind you. It’s breath on your neck. Knowing
that you will be grabbed, but then turning around to find that there was never anything
there in the first place. Not a lot of research has been done on that feeling, the creeps.
But many theories and ideas involve vagueness, ambiguity.
For instance, masks, and why clowns are creepy. Claude Levi-Strauss wrote that the facial
disguise temporarily eliminates from social intercourse the part of the body, which reveals
personal feelings and attitudes. Part of the reason even a neutral or happy mask can be
creepy may have to do with ambiguity. A mask hides the true emotions and intentions of
the person underneath. I don’t know if the person wearing that mask is a threat or not. Vagueness is creepy when it comes to the human
form. This is the famous Uncanny Valley. On a chart of humanness, there’s a zone where
something can be almost entirely human, but off by just a little. Not so wrong that it’s
clearly fake or funny, or so good that it’s indistinguishable. Instead, it’s just troubling. The creepiness of the Uncanny Valley is wonderfully
demonstrated by John Bergeron’s Singing Androids. Watch these videos when you’re alone. A similar, uneasy feeling comes from ShayeSaintJohn,
a character created by Eric Fournier. Funny to some, nightmare fuel to others. Uncanny humanoids, like all creepy things,
straddle a line between two regions that we can understand and explain with language.
Francis T. McAndrew and Sara Koehnke describe being “creeped out” as an adaptive human response
to the ambiguity of threats from others. Creepy things are kind of a threat maybe,
but they’re also kind of not. So, our brains don’t know what to do. Some parts respond
with fear, while other parts don’t, and they don’t know why. So, instead of achieving a
typical fear response, horror, we simply feel uneasy, terror, creeped out. Between the mountains
of safety and danger, there is a valley of creepiness, where the limits of our knowledge
and trust and security aren’t very clear. Will looking at this cause you to die one
week later? Impossible, right? Maybe that’s the terror of ambiguity. We don’t do well with ambiguity. When it involves
our own intentions, it can make us lie. And when it involves danger, but no recognizable
threat, it can make us think and feel some pretty weird things. Have you ever peered
over a ledge, a railing, way high up, like, so high up it made you nervous and dizzy
and felt something pushing you? Maybe even an urge to jump? Have you ever stood on the
ledge with a loved one and realize that you could push them? It would be that easy.
You really could do it, and maybe you do want to do it, or maybe it’s just cognitive dissonance.
The fact that your brain is having to deal with ambiguity. A recent study by Jennifer Hames at Florida
State University dubbed this the High Place Phenomenon. When approaching a ledge and a
dangerous drop, your survival instinct kicks in and you pull yourself away. But, your balance
and motor systems don’t get it. Nothing is pushing you and you don’t normally fall or
leap randomly. So, what’s going on? The part of your brain that processes intention might
resolve this by determining that something must be pushing you. Or, that you might actually
want to jump or push your friend, even if none of that is true. Now, we’re not done with ambiguity yet because
our language reflects the gray area of terror and creepiness. Take a look at the word “terror”
itself. We have “horrible” and “horrific.” “Terrible” and “terrific.” Why is that?
Well, through history, we never really figured out what to call powerful experiences, because
they’re both. They are full of awe…awesome. And, they are full of aw…awful. We need
them to survive. We need fears and the creeps, to understand our size, our weaknesses.
But, on the other hand, avoiding them is pretty great too…The creeps is a physical reminder
that the world is vague and full of ambiguity, but that we are cunning, always trying to
figure things out but, nonetheless, fragile. Is that terrible or terrific? Well, it’s both.
Which, as a creepy ghost would say, is kind of boo-tiful. And as always, thanks for watching.

100 thoughts on “Why Are Things Creepy?

  • February 23, 2020 at 1:22 am
    Permalink

    I was watching this at night but freaked out so I’m finishing it now in the afternoon

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 2:04 am
    Permalink

    0:05 my sleep paralysis demon when i have sleep paralysis

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 3:25 am
    Permalink

    1:10 when I bring my gf to my room to give her a long girthy dose of knowledge

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 5:24 am
    Permalink

    Am I the only one who saw the 2nd person in the basement at the beginning

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 5:41 am
    Permalink

    ARE WE JUST GONNA IGNORE THE ENDING?!

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 12:38 pm
    Permalink

    This video is creepy!

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 1:23 pm
    Permalink

    I am not afraid of being alone in the dark. I am afraid of NOT being alone in the dark.

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 3:18 pm
    Permalink

    6:00 yes I've had this feeling

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm
    Permalink

    what’s in the background of the vid at 0:00

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 6:36 pm
    Permalink

    When you’re taking a shower, and you have to close your eyes while washing the shampoo out of your hair. That’s true terror, you don’t know if somethings around you. Am I the only one

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 8:47 pm
    Permalink

    you know i didn’t need some of those visuals

    i shit myself 10x over

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 9:06 pm
    Permalink

    Phrick micheal just had to pull out the smile.jpg

    Reply
  • February 23, 2020 at 11:14 pm
    Permalink

    5:26

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 3:11 am
    Permalink

    8:49 so are we going to talk about…

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 3:49 am
    Permalink

    Monkey brain D O N T L I K E T H A T

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 4:08 am
    Permalink

    When your mom unplugges your PS4 but you remember your home alone

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 5:11 am
    Permalink

    Nobody wants to say anything 'bout the weird figure in the back of the room at 0:00 that i think waves at us?

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 5:12 am
    Permalink

    I never dream. Yesterday night I had 3 nightmares. Tonight I end with this. Why? I hate everything now. Dammit. Why???!!!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 5:40 am
    Permalink

    Why am I watching this at 2am

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 7:11 am
    Permalink

    About years later: What is the scariest thing?

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 7:33 am
    Permalink

    I find those videos oddly terrifying

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 11:35 am
    Permalink

    Maybe its 5:39 or something like thay but that gave me a mini heart attack and

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 11:38 am
    Permalink

    6:08 all the time!

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 12:22 pm
    Permalink

    It reminded me lf the Dr Who episode Listen, they had a great oppotunity to create the scariest monster but they decided to make the episode crap

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 4:56 pm
    Permalink

    I know he's trying to freak us out but I fucking cackled at 3:33

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 5:17 pm
    Permalink

    the omly thing that creeps me out is cursed minecraft images

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 7:24 pm
    Permalink

    i watched all your videos . I watch your videos while i play games because i learn something

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 9:22 pm
    Permalink

    Why is no one gunna talk about the guy in the background at the start. Am I gone mad or what’s going on

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 11:01 pm
    Permalink

    I’m not sure if someone already pointed this out, but at the very beginning of the video, before Michael pokes his head out, there is another figure that is further back in the room.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2020 at 11:56 pm
    Permalink

    Im currently watching this all alone in the house and now I don’t know if can sleep tonight

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 12:26 am
    Permalink

    Terrific 🙂

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 4:47 am
    Permalink

    The scary stories to tell in the dark book is in my school library. And my friends and i always laugh at the picture for “the big toe”

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 3:23 pm
    Permalink

    and always thanks for listening and hiding in the comment section.

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 6:38 pm
    Permalink

    02:02 Me talking about a new death metal band I found to my friends

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 8:02 pm
    Permalink

    Me: think that there is someone behind me , i look behind me
    The wall behind me: . _ .

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 9:13 pm
    Permalink

    3:17
    079 is in the bottom right corner

    Reply
  • February 25, 2020 at 11:07 pm
    Permalink

    Who else paused the video and came to the comment section to escape the smile.jpg

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 1:57 am
    Permalink

    Did anyone notice a second person on the left in the very beginning?? 0_0

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 2:06 am
    Permalink

    Is precisely how things are getting weird enough that have to see creepy as actual manifestation of yucky people place or thing that crawled out of the sewer and trying get creepy on us ☺

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 2:17 am
    Permalink

    Hey Vsauce! If you live in kansas city , it means that your team won the superbowl! I am with the chiefs too because there is Laurent Duverney Tardif is from Québec and i am from Québec too so i am with the chiefs. They played a good game at the last superbowl. I'm happy to know we are in the same team

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 3:07 am
    Permalink

    5:10 TF U SAY 2 ME PUNK

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 3:32 am
    Permalink

    Vsauce would make the best teacher

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:09 am
    Permalink

    Frick this

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:11 am
    Permalink

    Youre not afraid of being alone in the dark your afraid of not being alone

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:11 am
    Permalink

    Its 11:11 and i am
    T
    I
    R
    E
    D

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 12:10 pm
    Permalink

    did someone died after seeing the video???

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm
    Permalink

    I’m alone and fy

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 1:24 pm
    Permalink

    I believe whatever doesn't kill u simply makes u……….STRANGER! ~Joker

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    Thx, but I wish to travel back to the time where I knew not of the smile.jpg.

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 5:06 pm
    Permalink

    This video's creepy images unease me. I'm scared now… I DON'T feel so alone anymore, which is not good

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:33 pm
    Permalink

    When im scared I make jokes and laugh so im not scared😐

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:41 pm
    Permalink

    Thumbnail = sonic film

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 6:43 pm
    Permalink

    do not prank around on the edge of a cliff, thank you

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 10:52 pm
    Permalink

    why am I watching this when i'm home alone…..

    Reply
  • February 26, 2020 at 11:47 pm
    Permalink

    2:38 scared me so much😭

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 1:57 am
    Permalink

    2:24 always creeped me out the most

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 2:14 am
    Permalink

    ٩(๑òωó๑)۶

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 6:19 am
    Permalink

    4:00 hee hee

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 6:35 am
    Permalink

    Clowns been creepy since john wayne gacy.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 6:39 am
    Permalink

    This guy is really smart. Na hes a fucking genius

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 7:06 am
    Permalink

    A mask appeared at the bottom right corner
    at 3:17

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 7:16 am
    Permalink

    One time i went home at 3am all alone and it was very dark and nobody was around just a man and me so there were 2ways i had to went to the right way, he was going to the left way so he was faster than me, before i went to the right way (he was half of his left way) he stopped walking and stared at me to watch wich way i am going to go, then when he saw i was going the other way he started walking all the way back to come my way too so i started running so fast and called my friend to tell her what i happening and where i was in case something would happened to me. At some point i was out of breath and stopped and i looked back and i didn‘t saw him. Idk if he was after me or idk if he was just weird and had to change his way bc he was going the wrong one but it didn‘t make sense why he would stand there staring at me wich way i am going. I think this was the scariest thing that happened to me🤷🏽‍♀️

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 8:12 am
    Permalink

    0:43 to skip the intro

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 8:34 am
    Permalink

    3:20 ORE WA NINGEN WO YAMERUZO JOJOOOO

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm
    Permalink

    take a closer look at 8:51…

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 3:33 pm
    Permalink

    Aww Micheal fuck off with that end screen

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 5:52 pm
    Permalink

    Michael, you're scaring me.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 5:52 pm
    Permalink

    Michael, you're scaring me.

    Reply
  • February 27, 2020 at 11:10 pm
    Permalink

    The cursed images

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 3:14 am
    Permalink

    Poisonous insects, shows spider

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 4:41 am
    Permalink

    I'm scared now

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 7:13 am
    Permalink

    Me: Nah im not scared of anything
    Mom: Turn of the lights downstairs
    Me: 👁️👄👁️🙏🙏🙏

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 2:11 pm
    Permalink

    I can name (most of) the things I’m scared or creeped out from

    The Attic

    The Basement

    Doll’s

    2 glowing lights next to each other

    Plague Doctor Mask’s

    Creeping wood

    Shapes that look like a human

    Creepy pasta

    Eye toys

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 3:44 pm
    Permalink

    0:02 what’s that in the back?

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 6:06 pm
    Permalink

    “We are now in my bedroom” well that got creepy very fast!

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 7:47 pm
    Permalink

    Watch till end for a nice surprise

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 9:38 pm
    Permalink

    Every picture I got that chill

    Reply
  • February 28, 2020 at 10:02 pm
    Permalink

    Me: I can Give People paranoia

    People: No you can't

    Me: You were taking a Shit and forgot to lock the Door then you see the nob twisting and you remembered your alone.

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 12:06 am
    Permalink

    cya in 1 week

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 12:51 am
    Permalink

    You just had to ruin my night with the I am amazing robot

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 12:58 am
    Permalink

    Everything is creepy in the beginning of the video until suddenly the Vsauce music kicks in

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 1:41 am
    Permalink

    anyone see whats behind vsauce 0:01

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 2:50 am
    Permalink

    0:01 anybody saw somebody peeking here

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 4:07 am
    Permalink

    This video creeped me out wtf.

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 5:33 am
    Permalink

    I am willing to admit that to this day, i have never sat down and watched this video from start to finish because i always get freaked tf out

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 11:30 am
    Permalink

    2:39 LOOK AT THE TOP OF HIS HEAD!!! HAHAHAH

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 2:40 pm
    Permalink

    Whatever you do, do NOT search uncanny valley
    It’s for your own 8 hours of sleep

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 3:21 pm
    Permalink

    Did anyone notice the mask in the background spear in the lower right corner just after he finished talking about masks???

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 5:21 pm
    Permalink

    I tried watching this so many times but only were able to watch the whole thing withoigh blocking my vision now at age 11

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 8:36 pm
    Permalink

    5:58 i am afraid of heights and that was the equivalent of a jumpscare to me

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 9:45 pm
    Permalink

    5:30
    What the actual frick dude

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 10:24 pm
    Permalink

    PepeEyes

    Reply
  • February 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm
    Permalink

    Man at the very end pause it .
    That is scary.👌👌👌

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 3:04 am
    Permalink

    Micheal filming in his mom's basement again

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 3:51 am
    Permalink

    That thumbnail

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 4:03 am
    Permalink

    I like the happy music.

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 5:51 am
    Permalink

    The beginning basically describes the modern concept of cursed images years before they were popular.

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 7:18 am
    Permalink

    Dang I went and watched this right before bed, some serious creepy photos in this one, yuck

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 11:59 am
    Permalink

    The curse of the squirre man read it in a videol

    Reply
  • March 1, 2020 at 1:12 pm
    Permalink

    Hmm it’s just darkness.

    Is that a face?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *