January 7, 2020 | Molly Seif

People Share Scary Conspiracy Theories Throughout History

It's simply human nature to be drawn to conspiracy theories. As seekers of the truth, we're naturally intrigued by concepts and beliefs that make us question the things we think are irrefutable, or give us an answer to something that remains a complete mystery. Here are some interesting conspiracy theories that have been shared throughout history—perhaps they'll get you raising an eyebrow:


#1 The JFK Mystery

That JFK was assassinated by our government because he didn't want to just be their puppet. The conspiracy theory is that Oswald was the lone assassin but he missed, and in the confusion, he was accidentally hit by one of his own secret service agents. The government covered it up not for nefarious reasons, but to protect the agent from public retribution.

1280px-JFK_limousineWikimedia Commons

#2 That Moon Landing

Let's say there was a fake moon landing. Does that mean that everyone involved—lights staff, production staff, all the people involved from the guard who guards the studio set—were all 100% into the con? And that no one there was working on that specific project under the knowledge that the government just needed some money and attention? Nah, that's the part I don't believe big conspiracy theories.


#3 Mr. Robot Wisdom

That a selective group of men and women control the entire world of politics while hiding in the shadows through puppet politicians. To quote Mr. Robot: “What I'm about to tell you is top secret. There's a powerful group of people out there that are secretly running the world. I'm talking about the guys, no one knows about the guys who are invisible. The top 1% of the top 1%. The guys that play God without permission.”


#4 The Odd One Out

Everyone secretly dislikes you and is just pretending to be your friend. Or, you're mentally disabled and everyone is just being kind and supportive so you can have a full life, but you're unaware. On a related note, I often wonder if everyone else is a telepath and they've all agreed not to tell me. This is honestly one of my greatest fears.



#5 The Alien Deal

There's a theory out there that claims the government has already discovered the existence of aliens and has even gone as far as to already make a deal with them for intergalactic peace. While a lot of the UFO sightings in history have been downplayed as false, some believe they were legitimate and that the government may have even orchestrated them on purpose.

Humaverse Contributor

The aliens are coming.Flickr

#6 Turn Off The Lights

Based on the idea of the Fermi Paradox and The Great Filter: there is a lot of alien life out there, but we don't hear or see any of it because the ones that still exist know to keep quiet. It's as if there is some greater alien force or technology that hunts and destroys civilizations. If that is the case, we better turn the lights off at night then... We light up like a beacon.


#7 Mattress Firm Is Evil

Mattress Firm is something more sinister and powerful than we could possibly imagine. They're trying to change the shape of the human spine over the next 200 years so that once the time comes, our bodies will react perfectly to their mutation-causing engineered pathogen, and the human body will be the perfect host for their species.

Upper East Side, NYCWikimedia Commons

#8 The Other Grand Rapids

That there is a small town in mid-Michigan that somehow consumes more power than Grand Rapids, Michigan. But what kind of shadow budget experiment would be taking up that much power? If it's what I'm thinking, it's not super scary really. There's probably a line of servers in locations throughout the US. It's easier to do in less populated areas, so that's what's there. Or a Stargate.

141007-F-MC546-054Mountain Home Air Force Base

#9 A Quiet Place

It's quiet in space because something incredibly evil and horrific is snuffing out advanced life once it starts colonizing other worlds. If you like this conspiracy theory, you'd like The Dark Forest trilogy. It's based around the concept that your species is safer in the dark of space. Declaring your position is essentially an invitation for more advanced species to find and do what they will with you.



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#10 We're Just Sims

That we’re living in a simulation. I remember hearing about a book that played out as scientists working on space technologies or something and at the second to last chapter of it, they fire a laser at a planet. The last chapter picks up with beings standing in shock and staring at a computer shutting down. Through their dialogue, you discover that the entire book beforehand was a simulation that got shut down because the experiments fired a laser at a planet and the simulation had not accounted for that outcome and it crashed. They then discuss that they'd have to start from scratch as the crash wiped the memory in the system.



#11 Secret Project

That every UFO that has been reported is actually a part of one of the government's "Black Budget" secret programs (which get over $60B in funding each year) and that the government has created such a stigma around UFOs and aliens that it would be entirely feasible for them to create the Ultimate False Flag event (think 9/11 x 1,000,000) to make the populace believe there is an actual alien invasion happening. They can either A) create a situation that would help pull the world together or B) give them an excuse to pour hundreds of billions of dollars more into the military program without the people questioning it.

Secret_Service_Cyber_Intelligence_Center_(CIS)Wikimedia Commons

#12 The Light Trap

"Don't go to the light; it's a trap!" The light at the end of the tunnel that people report seeing when they have near-death experiences is to be avoided because that's how "they" get ya. "They" are some unscrupulous aliens who installed a soul collecting machine on the moon or something. The scary thing for me is the idea that you can be tricked into enslaving yourself in the afterlife as soon as you die.


#13 The Actual End

The collapse of civilization is often labeled as a conspiracy theory. I think the basis for this is that all public estimates of the rate of climate change and general environmental collapse and the eventual consequences have been downplayed by world governments (to avoid panic), scientists (due to reticence and the high standards of scientific evidence) and business interests (because negativity is bad for business). If true, I don't think anything could be scarier than the hard road ahead of us toward human extinction.


#14 Australia's Truth

Australia doesn't exist. Agents of M16 have been assigned to perpetuate the belief that Australia is a real place. That island is actually the site of a super-weapon under development for over 200 years, initially "colonized" just after the American Revolution to try and reassimilate the United States back into English control.

1280px-Australia_DayWikimedia Commons

#15 Higher Dimensions

That aliens are already here on planet earth, and they aren't extraterrestrial beings but extra-dimensional beings. This is theoretically possible. Mathematically, we know higher dimensions exist, so it is possible that creatures exist in them. Some people believe that ghosts, angels, etc. are just higher dimensional beings which we have managed to glimpse from time to time when they interact with our world. If they exist at all, that seems the most plausible explanation to me (although I don’t really buy it).


#16 Predictable People

That social media information gathering gathers so much data on your personality that it allows effective social engineering, changing how you think, how you shop, how you vote... which has a chain effect of you teaching the same things to your kids, family, friends, etc. AI tries to predict what you want to see so it prioritizes things similar to what you engage with, what you react to, how it thinks you will react. And the more you engage, the more you tell about yourself. People are pretty predictable.



#17 Important Mistakes

That Atlantis is real, humans are a species with amnesia and we had civilizations arise before us that fell hard enough to send us back to the Stone Age. Pretty terrifying. Remnants of modern civilization would like only last about 10,000 years, and that's only for our largest structures like the Hoover Dam. We can't learn from our old mistakes if there isn't a history to study.


#18 The Krabby Patty

The Krabby Patty secret formula is not actually a physical formula. Instead, it is simply the existence of Spongebob. He is the formula, he is the only sea critter in existence that has the ability to kraft the perfect Krabby Patty. That is why in the first episode where he makes the burger, he is able to whip up thousands of them before the secret formula is even revealed to him.


#19 Elsagate

Elsagate freaks me the heck out. The theory that those weird videos on YouTube with Spider-Man and Elsa are actually conditioning children to trust predators. I know that sounds really stupid but holy cow, you have to read about it—it's crazy and I honestly think it's true. It’s like a plot from a freaking scary movie.


#20 Feeding Grounds

I actually don't believe this one and I think it's pretty loopy, but here it is: Some people believe that Earth is an enslaved planet that serves as a feeding ground for a superior alien race—except, not feeding in the sense of meat, but that they apparently feed off our negative emotions, fear and anger specifically.


#21 Human Code

We're all just code in a simulation being run by a far more intelligent species who is trying to determine why humans died out long ago. They run the simulation to cover millions of years to pinpoint the moments where we went wrong and to learn why civilization crumbled to prevent the same fate from taking them. When we die, our code is either terminated entirely or is repurposed into another life in a form of digital reincarnation.


#22 Big Pharma

Pharmaceutical companies are withholding a cure for cancer because of how much money they make from the current treatments such as chemo. Now, I know that there are tons of cancers, so there being a single, magical cure is something that just will never happen, but imagine how scary it would be if it were true. These companies are so greedy that they are not only willing to end millions of people, but also put their families and friends through the terrible ordeal of watching them die slowly from cancer. It's pretty messed up.



#23 The Avicii Conspiracy

That Avicii was ended because of his "For A Better Day" music video exposing elitist activity.  I think that entertainment and the top 1% do things that normal people can't fathom... let's not forget when Kanye West had that on stage breakdown he talked about Jay Z having "assassins." That Avicii music video is depressing. I think lots of actors and musicians want to blow the whistle but they are literally afraid.


#24 A Hidden Crisis

The world's population is growing rapidly and agriculture is getting increasingly vulnerable to droughts. This means that in a relatively short amount of time, the world will face a very severe food crisis, sparking wars and unrest. It is not too farfetched to think that at this very moment, somewhere in the underground lab scientists are designing a virus that will wipe out the precise number of people to avoid the chaos.

Army_trainers_teach_NHS_medics_how_to_put_on_Ebola_safety_suits_(15650293350)Wikimedia Commons

#25 A Clever Hoax

John Titor. What I liked the most is that he invoked the many-worlds interpretation, and said his world line of events differ drastically the more he interferes with a past timeline. So when people say, "It's a hoax, his predictions about the future didn't come true"—of course, they didn't. He's influenced our world line so that his future predictions are meaningless. It IS a hoax, but it's a clever way of having a safety net and making it seem as realistic as possible.


#26 Kids At Heart

That there are no great conspiracies or cabals; that there is no grand scheme or plan; that no one (not even an evil someone) is at the wheel; and that leaders and government are essentially the geopolitical equivalents of every adult simply being a kid who feels like they are pretending to be an adult. Isn't that just mindblowing?


#27 Elitist Operations

That elitist activity is very real and much deeper than we think... The branches of the CIA are focused on blackmailing politicians so they can be easily controlled. If you doubt this, go read about Ted Gunderson an FBI agent who was investigating an illegal operation that led to the White House and Washington DC.

Ted_Gunderson_in_his_FBI_OfficeWikimedia Commons

#28 Who's Listening?

Carl Segan, who was known to think that other species that come to us might not be violent as usually people think, said that it's naive and immature for our species to try and send signals for others to hear us because we don't know exactly what is out there and what the repercussion would be. We already have satellites that are trying to LISTEN. But imagine if we're the white, cute, naive little rabbit entering the forest full of wolves, singing and shouting looking for other animals... Let's just keep observing, noting, and doing research...


#29 Big Cover-Ups

That the government knows of and is covering up people disappearing under very mysterious circumstances, primarily in national parks. Throughout history, there has always been corruption within the government, so this could be a real thing. Look up "David Paulides Missing 411." For anyone who has read up on this: what the heck is the deal with the staircases?

AE2B2CF9-FB0F-64EF-0412D9B557BD8CCENational Park Service

#30 The Harvest

I swear I read a short science fiction story where the concept was that these ethereal beings floating around in the upper atmosphere were the source of the human concept of angels and heaven, but they were essentially just eating people's souls as they popped up. It's called "The Harvest" by Tom Godwin. Google Books has a copy. Search for the word "fralings."


#31 Highly Advanced NPCs

Not that we are living in a simulation, but that you are living in a simulation. You are the only thing that is real. Everyone else IS the simulation. Users on YouTube, Instagram, the internet itself? All your classmates, coworkers, teachers? Even your friends and family? All highly advanced NPCs. They act like people and are 100% perfect at seeming real. The scariest part is, try to prove this false.


#32 The Franklin Cover-Up

The Franklin cover-up. A man named Lawrence E. King was running the Franklin Credit Union in Omaha in the 1980s until it was discovered he embezzled tens of millions of dollars. It was also alleged that he was running a sophisticated operation and catered to the most powerful men in the United States. Evidence of this includes chartered flights that always listed three to five unnamed passengers in their itineraries.


#33 About Gnosticism

Gnosticism. That some evil energy called the demiurge created the universe and created humans to act as ' batteries' and that fear is the energy they need, and when we die they fool us to go into the light by revealing loved ones to us that call our names. If we go into the light, it's a con to get us to re-incarnate to supply their energy over and over.


#34 The 9/11 Truth

The government and Bush did do 9/11. The impact that this would have if proven true are shattering in proportions to what they then led to. Also, the disappearance of the Malaysia flight. It was found, except the story wasn't disclosed and the reasons behind it are far more serious and scary than what can be told.


#35 Close To A Cure

Remember flight MH17 that was shot down by Russia over Ukraine? Six of the world's top scientists for AIDS research were on that plane and the former president of the International AIDS Society was there as well. The cure for AIDS was close to being accomplished and a “New World Order” or top governments around the world allowed it to be shot down.

Schiphol-Airport-Memorial-MH17-Victims-July-2014--_Photo_by_Persian_Dutch_NetworkWikimedia Commons

#36 What A Coincidence

The MH370 that sunk in the ocean just happened to have a bunch of patent holders for semiconductor technology, which upon their death, the patent ownership reverted to a company whose majority stockholder is a Rothschild-controlled company. Some people get all the luck... Or maybe it has nothing to do with luck at all.


#37 The Mandela Effect

The Mandela Effect means we’re in an alternate reality. The Mandela Effect is basically that a whole lot of people remember events happening differently than they are officially recorded in history. And it’s called that because a lot of people remember Mandela’s funeral happening years sooner than it actually did. The theory ties into the CERN hadron collider. No one really knew what would happen when they turned it on.

Worst-case scenario, it might make a mini black hole and end us all instantly. The theory says that when they turned on the collider, it actually did end us all. And that sudden event shifted our entire world into a parallel reality where we just kind of continued to exist like nothing really happened. The side effects are the Mandela effect and that some people still remember things about how they happened in the old reality.


#38 A Scary Thought

The world is rudderless. Nobody is in control. Claims to power are exaggerated or outright lies. Everything is always falling apart and we're all going to die, there's nothing anybody can do about it, and we're all just sitting here staring at each other pretending that someone or something is in charge. It's a scary thought.


#39 MK Ultra Is Coming

The conspiracy theory that MK Ultra is still happening. MK Ultra is pretty much what caused a lot of people to come up with conspiracy theories because the government really was spiking people's drinks and running a bunch of horrible tests involving sensory deprivation. Read up on it if you want, but it's the stuff of nightmares.


#40 Luxe Hunters

That the rich elite has grown bored of mundane highs and delights that they now hunt humans for entertainment. They do it because they’re so rich, they can buy anything they want and it doesn’t satisfy them. They’re attracted to morbid, disgusting and crude art, music, and hobbies.


#41 The Cycle Of Life

That human life on earth has started and ended several times before. The human species has repeatedly begun, evolved, advanced, and then died off or was wiped out over and over. And so far, we have demonstrated that we can only last about 5000-10000 years. Ancient sites like Gobeckli Tepi and several other megalithic structures around the world seem to suggest humans may have once had even more advanced technology than we do today, but got wiped out and had to start over again. Some even think the Great Pyramid of Giza is much much older than mainstream scientists and archaeologists say and had a completely different purpose than the "tomb" theory that pervades mainstream beliefs today.


#42 Selling You

That believing in these narratives is the conspiracy. That is the mind control, of creating passive victims or people actively choosing against their best interests in order to maintain the illusion of security. It doesn't matter so much what you believe, but that you believe at all. Once that hook is set, I can sell you.....you.

WTC_smoking_on_9-11.jpegWikimedia Commons

#43 The Missing Link

Consider that the "missing link" in human evolution may actually be the species that created humans. I will call this species People 0. In mythology, pop culture, and literary fiction there have often been splices of humans and other animals. Centaurs, mermaids, minotaurs, and even to some extent, angels. What if the humans that exist today are the final form of a species that was created for a higher life form to use as slave labor or food source on Earth?


#44 A Bunker Era

When you stop seeing constant updates about climate change in the news, you know some imminent ecological catastrophe is coming, and the rich just want the public to quietly and calmly go about their ordinary lives without panicking while they all pile into the bunkers they've built for themselves because they knew it was coming all along.


#45 The Pentavirate

Well, it's a well-known fact, sonny-Jim, that there's a secret society of the five wealthiest people in the world, known only as The Pentavirate, who run everything in the world including the newspapers, and meet tri-annually in a secret country mansion in Colorado known as The Meadows. (So who's in this Pentavirate?) The Queen, the Vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds...and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up! Oh, I hated the Colonel, with his wee beady eyes and that smug look on his face! Oh, you're gonna buy my chicken! Ooh!

Queen_Elizabeth_II_2015_HO4Wikimedia Commons

#46 The Pineal Secret

The pineal gland does more than we think. It's been documented in various cultures, but we have no idea what it does. The government's are secretly poisoning our brains with the fluoride to crystallize or deactivate our pineal gland to limit our capabilities and make us dumber. It's hard to say why the consequences are as we don't know what it did in the first place.


#47 Textbook Lies

The majority of human history in the textbooks is a lie, the pyramids in Egypt weren’t used for tombs but for generating zero-point energy off of electromagnetism, the moon is hollow, aliens are real, we could end world hunger and global warming if governments and politicians weren’t so stuck on taking money from companies, Atlantis was real and was located in east Africa but was destroyed by a shift in the climate Atlantis evidence... I think that’s all for now... Oh, and the Sasquatch is real.


#48 A Scary, Flat Earth

Honestly, the most terrifying would be flat earth. Literally everything we know about modern science is totally out the window and there actually is some impossibly powerful cabal that can keep that tight a lid over the truth.

Flat_earthWikimedia Commons

#49 Planet X

Planet X is real. It orbits like a comet and so enters the solar system at infrequent intervals and is home to intelligent life that’s affected past human civilizations. Planet X is a hypothesized additional body within the solar system, although it is too far off to be detectable through conventional means. The main bit of evidence used is gravitational anomalies that would only be possible with a massive body off in the solar system.


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