Everybody loves a good surprise right? One of the best parts about your birthday and Christmas is opening your gifts excitedly, not knowing what’s inside. Opening them and figuring out what’s inside is half the fun! This kind of fascination is what has led several toy companies such as LoL and Smooshy Mushy as well as others to package their toys in such that a way that kids can’t see what they’re getting until they open it. LoL takes it a step further by forcing you to go through multiple layers and packaging before you get to the goods. Companies have even marketed surprise collectibles to teens and young adults by putting video game as well as movie characters inside boxes so you won’t know what you’re getting until you open it.
So using this same model in mind, would you purchase something from a complete stranger online and have it shipped to your house and PO box before opening it in front of hundreds of thousands of viewers on your YouTube channel? The answer is probably yes. However, what if we told you that your purchase is from the darkest and arguably most dangerous part of the Internet: the dark web? Most people wouldn’t be interested. Sure, there’s a certain level of curiosity involved but let’s be honest here; there’s also an equal amount of danger involved. Especially if you’re giving some stranger on the Internet your personal information.
So scoot over Loot Crate enthusiasts, there’s a new YouTube trend in town.
What is a dark web mystery box?
Like the name implies, a dark web mystery box is similar to a loot crate or any other surprise box in that it contains a number of secret items that are unknown to the buyer until they open it. Unlike traditional loot boxes, these are purchased on the dark web and can contain any number of horrific, terrifying items.
Somewhere along the road, dark web sellers began creating mystery boxes and selling them. Perhaps these were ex-sellers from the Silk Road who needed to supplement their income, serial killers who need to offload their evidence, or an inculous person who’s bored and has nothing better to do with their kid’s old clothes and some regrettable thrift store purchases.
So instead of finding a piece of tech inside your mystery box, this does happen, but it’s usually broken or has some scare factor attached to it, you’ll find a number of creepy objects. Some range from blood objects to dybbuk boxes (boxes said to contain an evil spirit) to even messed up children’s clothing. Some have also found maps, hard drives, “cursed” objects, human feces, and even flash drives with gruesome images and videos on them.
YouTubers quickly latched onto these boxes and began doing what they called the “dark web box challenge”, which consisted of purchasing the box online and then opening it for millions around the world to enjoy.
Are they real?
The authenticity of the dark web mystery boxes have been questioned ever since the first one aired and people began jumping on the bandwagon. Some YouTubers have created fake mystery boxes and opened them on their channel. Once the video has reached a point of hype and gone viral, the YouTuber will usually post a follow up video explaining to the audience that the box was fake. “See how easy it is to fake this kind of stuff,” is usually the tag line they’ll use accompanied by a smug look.
It’s also pretty easy to discern the obviously fake boxes on YouTube videos. The acting is poorly done, the items don’t make much sense, and sometimes there’s obvious errors accompanying the video. There’s also the fact that many continue to “ride out the hype wave” by implying in later videos that they’re being stalked or having weird experiences. Others won’t open all of the items without X amount
of likes and while these might still be real, they’re definitely suspect.
Others argue that it is very much real. “Why would I put a used tampon in my own box or other [insert weird, gross item] to open on YouTube,” seems to be the common counter argument. Others have insisted that only twisted, sick people can put these kinds of boxes together, thus eliminating themselves from the equation.
For others, the people seem genuinely disturbed by the contents and what’s inside often has us pretty convinced that it’s anything but a hoax. However, the realness factor is very much up for debate.
Why do people purchase them?
This is one of those answers that seems pretty straightforward: because they get a ton of views. One of the fastest ways to get attention on your YouTube channel is to pump out a dark web mystery box video. These can easily garner 500k hits in a matter of days and will drive people to your YouTube channel. Some have as many as 6 million views on their dark web box videos. In other words, they’re guaranteed notoriety and attention.
However for a lot of people and those who originally started the mystery box trend, it was a matter of dark curiosity. They had seen these for sale on various websites on the deep web and just like Christmas, their curiosity was piqued; they needed to know what was inside. Documenting their findings on YouTube and getting attention for it was just an added bonus.
For others, it was definitely the scare factor that intrigued them. Just like going into a haunted house or watching a spooky movie for the jump scares, the boxes have an air of genuine creepiness. You don’t know what you’re going to get or when the “jump scares” are coming, but you know something creepy is inside. This is irresistible for many people. Plus it makes great content for viewers.
How much do they cost?
Dark web mystery boxes range in cost and this is also where people begin to question the authenticity of the video. Some have claimed to have spent upwards of $10,000 on a dark web mystery box while others say they’ve spent around $50. The average price of a mystery box seems to be around $150-$300. Of course as we mentioned, the sky’s the limit with these boxes so there’s one for nearly every budget.
However, don’t expect to purchase these using PayPal. The dark web is very cryptic and nobody wants a paper trail leading back to them. Because of this, you must first convert your money into Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a crypto currency that is used across the Internet but primarily on the deep web. You can’t use Bitcoin to buy your groceries, but you can sell it to others online for a pretty nice sum of cash. Currently 1 Bitcoin is equivalent to $3,850 but the market fluctuates frequently.
Some YouTubers have purchased their dark web mystery boxes from eBay for substantially less (around $50). However, because they are not from the “dark web”, they aren’t considered as interesting or as dangerous. So typically they will not mention that it’s from eBay in their video and will insist that it’s from the dark web. Fans of these videos can supposedly tell the difference between an eBay box and a dark web box.
Are they dangerous?
This is another area where people argue. Some say that the items inside are completely harmless; the blood is fake and the contents are just meant to scare. Others insist that the items inside are anything but fake and can pin you as an accessory to murder. This is because many people receive bloody knives, clothes, and even dirty, ripped up kids’ accessories.
A lot of people have also received broken glass or razor blades inside their boxes and have cut themselves on it. And since most people who open these don’t wear gloves, many viewers have worried that they will expose themselves to toxins, bacteria, blood transmitted diseases, drugs, or leave behind DNA prints on a crime weapon. Of course, this is all up for debate.
Another issue is that people are giving out their information to strangers on the dark web who can do whatever they want with it. Even if you’re using a PO box, which very few of these guys seem to do, the person still has access to your city. And as for those that use their personal home address, which happens more often than not, the creep now has unbridled access to your home.
Either way if you do decide to order one for whatever reason, please don’t give your home address. Also, put on some damn gloves when you’re digging through the contents! Fake or not, don’t inspire others to throw caution to the wind.
What are some of the weirdest things people have gotten from them?
If you’ve watched any of these videos, then you know that people have found some seriously strange and disturbing things inside their boxes. While there’s definitely a lot to choose from and we don’t want to spoil videos for you, we decided to highlight some of the stranger things found inside these boxes.
- Used condom- One unboxer was unlucky enough to discover what appears to be a used condom inside his box. The condom was tied at the top to prevent leakage, which was definitely kind of the sender, but this is a bit much.
- Rabbit stew ingredients- One YouTuber opened a box that had a food theme. Inside, the seller placed a recipe for rabbit stew, a fork, a flash drive with pictures and videos of rabbits, and seasonings for the stew. There was also a furry rabbit’s foot inside, but that wasn’t the worst part of the box. Inside the box was a small box with a blood plastic bag inside. Inside this bag was a real rabbit’s head. Talk about nightmare fuel.
- Human feces- One trend that seems to reoccur in nearly every box is something that stinks. Many people find rotten fruit in their box, or something that smells “like liquid ass”. While we’re sure it’s not pleasant, it’s nothing compared to what one YouTuber found in his box: a Tupperware bowl of what he believes to be human feces.
- Used tampon- For one poor woman, she reached into the box and picked up a used tampon. The tampon was clearly used and soaked in blood. We hope it was fake blood but knowing how demented people can be, we doubt it.
- A bloody car seat- This one was plucked out of the box without gloves, which makes it one of the worse ones in our opinion. The car seat appeared to be “normal” for the most part but once you lifted the cushion, the underside was soaked in what looked like blood.
- Creepy, personal video- Almost every box contains a flash drive with some weird and disturbing pictures/videos. However for one YouTuber, the video on it was deeply disturbing. In the video, the man identifies himself as “Moon Man” and is apparently active on the YouTuber’s channel. In the video, he shows a small clip of the YouTuber shopping. Clearly YouTuber Jaskinho has no idea he’s being watched and continues on shopping.
- Voodoo dolls- While this probably doesn’t sound too bad at first, for one YouTuber the dolls might have been the worst part. These creepy dolls not only smelled awful, but they contained human hair and teeth.
What are your thoughts?
We’d like to know if you think the boxes featured in these videos are real or fake. Do you think they were actually purchased from the dark web or do you think they were bought on eBay? Or do you believe that the YouTuber put the box together themselves? We also want to know if you’ve watched any of these videos on YouTube and if you’re addicted to them like us, drop your favorites in the comment section below. We’d love to check them out and get a good scare!