For those of us obsessed with true crime, reading stories can be eerie enough — but seeing the atrocity caught on camera is something else entirely. Because every now and then, security cameras, cell phones, or doorbell cameras will catch something seriously creepy in the act. And seeing it for yourself will have the hair raising on the back of your neck. Ready to skip sleep tonight? Then check out these true crime moments captured on film. But FYI, we're not joking about them giving you nightmares — watch at your own risk!
The Tampa Bay Serial Killer
Three recent fatal shootings in Tampa, FL have local police concerned that they're dealing with a serial killer. And just a few days ago, police released video footage showing a person of interest on the night of the first shooting. In the video, you can see a hooded figure idly walking down the street in the neighborhood of the first attack playing with a cell phone. A few minutes later — which is also a few minutes after the shooting would have taken place — you can see them running back the other direction. While police have not yet officially identified the person on the tape as a suspect, The Huffington Post reports that they might be a witness — or someone involved in the crime. The idea that we might be watching the serial killer on camera is enough to give us chills.
The Elisa Lam Video
Back in 2013, Elisa Lam went missing while traveling in California. It wasn't long before police discovered proof of the last known time she was alive in the form of security footage from an elevator at the hotel where she was staying. The video shows her acting strangely, like she's hiding or trying to escape something, with many theorizing that she's in the middle of a mental health crisis — or otherwise dealing with something a little more supernatural. Her body was found almost a month after she went missing, but the elevator footage was never fully explained.
Melora Rivera in Venice
When an intruder broke into actress Melora Rivera's house, she "knew [they] both couldn’t be there," she explained to CBS Los Angeles. But the only place she could think to escape was onto her roof. The intruder followed her up there, and a photo was taken capturing the terrifying situation. Even once police arrived, the home invader lurked inside the house as they helped Melora down a ladder leaned up against the house. The situation ended safely — but this photo basically haunts our dreams.
Sleeping in safety of home. Transient that was FI’d already today enters home, follows petrified victim to roof. pic.twitter.com/HGyTDke4MZ
— Venice 311 (@Venice311) September 24, 2014
The Rescue of Kala Brown
Kala Brown and her boyfriend Charlie Carver went missing in August of 2016 after they went to clear some underbrush at the farm of Todd Kohlhepp, a man they'd worked with before. When they arrived, Todd shot Charlie and held Kala against her will for months. When police finally tracked her down in November of that same year, they found her chained up in a storage container, shackled by one leg and her neck. Kala went on to talk about her experience on Dr. Phil this past February, but in January, authorities released the video of her rescue. Needless to say, it's pretty chilling.
Home Intruder Thomas Coughlin
A New Jersey home's security system caught an intruder on camera as he broke into the house. Even more horrifyingly, moments later it also caught one of the residents, an 11 year old named Alan, coming home while the intruder was still there. In the video, you can see him wandering around for a few minutes before he realizes that someone else is in the house with him — and then quickly books it over to a neighbor's house to ask for help calling the police. Alan made it out safely and the intruder, Thomas Coughlin, the family's landscaper, was picked upby the authorities not long after. But watching a kid home alone with an intruder is just a little too much for us.