6 Deeply Bizarre (Animated!) Horror Shorts to Watch on YouTube

By  · Published on October 28th, 2014

Last week I introduced you to some of my favorite creepy short films on YouTube, perfect for your Halloween party YouTube playlist. (Does anyone do that? If not, you should, because that sounds awesome.) Those films were live action horrors. This week, I bring you the animated fare.

Since animation is limited only by the bounds of the artist’s imagination, I find it tends to be creepier and far more surreal.

If you disagree, please swear profusely at me in the comments! Also, feel free to share some your favorites. Here we go:

6. The Pier

A bird-creature fishes on a rickety pier in this awfully nice-looking CG short. The music is haunting and beautiful. The creature designs, both the bird-thing and the “fisherman,” are amazing. And it’s just holy crap eerie to watch.

It’s like a children’s movie gone terribly, terribly wrong. If you’re afraid of leeches or, somehow, even just fishing, you should probably just go ahead and skip to the next one.


This Italian short is so weird that we should probably invent a new word just to describe it. It’s just humanoid creatures, some burnt, some pure white, doing twitchy dances and being… weird.

It’s like party time in Silent Hill’s otherworld, and they invited M.C. Escher paintings and Lovecraftian tentacle beasts to come along and get turnt up. Added bonus: It has a really sweet industrial soundtrack as icing on the cake.

4. Rabbit

Remember the cute little books you had as a kid, the kind where everything was helpfully labeled and the children were cherub-faced and innocent? Dick? Jane? Rabbit is like that turned on its ear.

Two adorable kids do terrible things to animals and small godlike creatures in the name of greed and power. It’s exactly as bizarre as it sounds. Or maybe it’s more bizarre than it sounds. I… can’t really tell anymore.

3. Molten Light

(Warning: Contains cartoon nudity)

This is actually a music video for Canadian rock musician Chad VanGaalen, but it’s also one of the creepiest things I think I’ve ever seen. Along with the strange, unsettling acoustic tune, the animation (done entirely by VanGaalen himself) illustrates the lyrics’ story – a bizarre tale of murder and revenge, all done in a hyper-realistic, yet cartoony style. It’s sort of like Jon K. on acid with a guitar.


2. Hell

This simply named claymation short was created by none other than David Firth of Salad Fingers fame (and if you’ve never watched any Salad Fingers videos, I highly recommend them). Stop-motion films are instantly creepy just for the uncanny valley effect that they instill. Hell takes that to the extreme with short vignettes that are, well, hellish.

Fair warning: If you’re watching with headphones, make sure to turn your volume down a bit. Also, if you like this one, make sure to check out the follow-up, Crooked Rot.

1. username: 666

This little Japanese video is my all-time favorite creepy YouTube short. It’s all presented in a screen-sharing format, with the unseen user controlling the keyboard and mouse. The user tries the URL youtube.com/666 numerous times, with the screen slowly corrupting with each attempt, until it finally works.

Things only get weirder from there. It’s kind of a meta urban legend with perfect presentation. (Possibly unintentional coincidence: The YouTube username of 666 actually is, in fact, banned.) It’s scarier in 3:41 than most full-length movies, and that’s saying something.

For more from Ashe, check out Weird Shit Blog and his book, The Book of Word Records, available now!

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