If It Isn’t Real, It Can’t Hurt You

By: David Lewandowski

Horror really isn’t scary once you grow up. Nowadays the sudden appearance of a monster, and loud noise that makes you jump, is the closest thing to “scary” that I experience. To me this isn’t horror; horror is being scared to the point that you have a fear within you for hours, days, even weeks after experiencing something. It’s a type of fear that tends to affect you both physically and emotionally every time the lights go out. That reaction is what some horror movies did to me as child, but is something I rarely feel nowadays.

The things that scare me now are the things that are far from paranormal, such as war. I would say the most prominent reason for this is obviously the wisdom and maturity that comes with age. The other is that “scary” things just aren’t realistic. When you realize the movie monsters are all actors, that Ghost Hunters is actually just people recording each other running around in the dark, and that for the most part creepy things that scare us don’t exist, you just don’t get scared anymore. However, I again stress…for the most part, these things don’t exist.

One of the last known pictures of some of the members involved in the incident.

One of the last known pictures of some of the members involved in the incident.

Pictured here are the nine skiers involved in the incident.

Pictured here are the nine skiers involved in the incident plus one additional woman who she was with the crew originally but fell ill and opted out of the hike (best decision of her life).

However, there is one paranormal story that sent chills up my spine years ago when I read about it, and to this day has never ceased to do so. The story is the most terrifying thing I have ever read, for one reason, it, like war, is 100% real. This true story, named after one of its Victims, took place in Russia in 1959 and is simply referred to as the Dyatlov Pass incident.  It is the story of nine ski hikers in Russia, led by Igor Dyatlov. All the members were experienced ski hikers and had done numerous trips similar to the one in which this incident occurred, at the Ortoten mountain (Fun fact: Ortoten means – DO NOT GO HERE in the local Mansi tribe language). The skiers took off on their trip. After being ten days late to their destination, a large rescue team was sent out to search for them. What they uncovered still bothers me today.

The location of the discovered campsite was located slightly off course of the intended path to the top of the mountain. The team sent in to investigate the missing hikers determined the tent the nine had been sleeping in, had been cut from the inside out.

The condition of the discovered tent site of the nine hikers can be seen here.

The condition of the discovered tent site of the nine hikers can be seen here.

Footprints around the tent suggested the hikers had run outside barefoot or in socks. It is important to note, it was -30 degrees outside the tent… Furthermore no other prints or tracks of any kind were found to suggest something had attacked them. Five of the bodies were found initially, each victim had succumbed to hypothermia, all dying in separate areas from the camp. Although strange, it was not a cause for alarm. Then the other four bodies were found weeks later…  These four victims had died of trauma instead of hypothermia. One victim had a severely fractured skull equivalent to an injury sustained in a car crash, two had collapsed rib cages, and the fourth was missing her tongue. Yet with the severity of the injuries, there was no bruising or blood found. Something inside the tent had caused the hikers to cut out of it in desperation, to where they apparently thought they had a better chance of survival in -30 degree weather with no clothes, than staying with whatever was in the tent.

The full story can be viewed at these links, both a Wikipedia summary and a video, enjoy!

  • Click here for the Wikipedia summary.  (Note: An avalanche theory was given but later proved improbable as no evidence of an avalanche was apparent, the bodies were found  in separate locations, and it obviously doesn’t explain the missing tongue…)
  • The beginning few minutes of this clip is a great descriptor, however towards the end of the show it gets kind of off topic and cheesy, simply because it was featured on Ancient Aliens and the show tried to make it appear as if aliens were responsible.)
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9 thoughts on “If It Isn’t Real, It Can’t Hurt You

  1. Wow this is really creepy. Typically when you think of deaths of skiers or mountain climbers or anything like that you would usually tie it to a natural disaster, and that’s scary enough in itself. But this takes that idea to a whole new level. Especially since there are no answers given; the creepiness is amplified because it is left up to the interpretation of the audience, and sometimes the scariest things of all can come right from our own imaginations. I would love to look into this further and see if any new discoveries have been make, this definitely peaked my curiosity. Great post!

  2. That’s super creepy.. especially the one person’s tongue being missing! I can’t imagine what could have been inside of the tent to freak them all out to the point that they ran outside in such cold weather. What makes it even freakier is that it’s a true story. To take a wild guess, I would say it was a ghost or something because I would like to think that monsters or the abominable snowman isn’t real. I’m really curious as to see what it would be though.

  3. I watched a show that had this story in it, not Ancient Aliens, but something like Mysteries at the Museum. I have a huge issue with the History Channel, mostly I feel it should be called the Conspiracy Channel, but that’s neither here nor there. This story is actually terrifying, I can imagine some kind of animal attacking the camp, but what could possibly have made them cut their way out of the tent? What was in there with them? Did they have the right equipment, maybe they were suffering from the effects of oxygen deprivation? And what on Earth happened to the tongue?! Excellent post, definitely the scariest yet!

  4. This is definitely unexplainable, and beyond creepy. I don’t think that anything human or even an animal could have been the result to it being that you said there weren’t any other foot prints belonging to anyone but the hikers. And also how you said there wasn’t any blood. Have you heard of any other explanations of what else could have happened to these people today/recently?

  5. By far from paranormal, what exactly do you mean? By that do you mean, like normal things. But otherwise, this is a really freaky story and a main reason why I hate camping. I feel like everyone has a horrifying camping experience, and this story obviously tops them all. I also agree that these believable stories are the ones that are the scariest, and the monsters and ghosts and stuff haven’t been scary for years. Great post.

  6. I agree with you about what is scary and what’s not. Now that I am older, it is so much easier for me to watch scary movies and read scary stories because everything seems so fake. I now know that there is no monster under my bed and no boogeyman in the closet. What kind of things scare me now are stories like these where everything is reality and it could happen again anyway. I had never heard anything about this story before but I will definitely think twice next time someone asks me to go camping. I don’t like tents or cold weather anyways.

  7. When I was younger I used to hate scary movies because they seemed completely real and terrifying. As I got older, I realized that the actors were just acting and they became less scary to me. However, nowadays if I am watching a good scary movie, I still get very scared. Although I know it isn’t real in any way, I like when a movie is good enough to actually frighten me. What frightens me more, though, are stories like this. This story about the hikers is real and so scary. I want to know what made them feel the need to cut their way out of the tent, why they were naked, and what caused all of theirs strange deaths. Will we ever find out?

  8. I clicked the links you provided at the bottom and somehow managed to spend a good hour looking into other creepy stories that are true unsolved mysteries. I agree that these kinds of horror are the ones that truly get under my skin; what is worse is these are ones that stick around longer and are the ones that I tell other people. Perhaps that is how the urban legends all got started and for all we know they started just like the Dyatlov Pass tale.

  9. This is so creepy. I like that you added a real, unexplained story to the blog. For me, these types of stories are the scariest. At the end of the day, I can always tell myself that a movie or urban legend is not actually real. However, I don’t know how to tell myself that about this story. Clearly something unexplainable happened here, which just leaves it to the imagination and makes it even worse.

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