25 Horrifying Dark Web Facts That Are Actually True

Posted by , Updated on December 4, 2023

Plenty of horrifying stories and myths circulate the internet about the Dark Web, but are they really true? From generally harmless social forums to disturbing criminal activity, the Dark Web has pretty much everything, and it’s all happening right under our noses. It’s difficult to separate fact from fiction, especially when dealing with the seedy underbelly of the internet. However, there’s plenty of things that we do know for sure. For instance, the Deep Web itself is not illegal but some activity on it can be. We’re here to set the record straight, clear a few things up, but also reaffirm the fact that the Dark Web can be a terrifying place. Here are 25 Horrifying Dark Web Facts That Are Actually True.



The Dark Web is part of the Deep Web. In simple terms, Deep Web is the part of the internet that isn't cataloged by search engines. The Dark Web specifically is where most of the illegal and disturbing stuff takes place.

Deep webSource: http://ilpubs.stanford.edu:8090/725/

The Dark Web is a huge marketplace for criminals and is said to generate at least $500,000 per day.

criminalsSource: https://curiosity.com/topics/the-deep-web-is-the-99-of-the-internet-you-cant-google-curiosity/

To access the Dark Web, though we wouldn't recommend it, your standard browser isn't going to cut it. You need to get The Onion Router, or Tor for short. Tor is both a browser and a network running a specialized applications network with volunteer computers.

TORSource: https://www.dailydot.com/layer8/tor-browser-project/

A study done in 2001 by the University of California discovered that the Dark Web had 7.5 petabyes (7,500 gigabytes) of information. In two years, that number increased by 91,850 petabytes.

serversSource: https://quod.lib.umich.edu/cgi/t/text/text-idx?c=jep;view=text;rgn=main;idno=3336451.0007.104

It should be no surprise that a place called the Dark Web would be full of scams. In one case, however, people kept falling for an elaborate scam to hire hitmen. Called Besa Mafia, the website claimed to offer hitmen services but just wanted large sums of money.

assassinSource: https://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/dark-web-hitmen-hire-service-7988693

It's is also used for even more anonymity online. Websites on the Dark Web mask their IP address and identity to make it difficult to know who or what is behind the site.

hackerSource: https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2015/02/how-military-will-fight-isis-dark-web/105948/

While the size of the Surface Web is substantial, it pales in comparison to the size of the Deep Web and Dark Web. Some estimate the Deep Web is about 400 to 500 times larger.

surface webSource: https://curiosity.com/topics/the-deep-web-is-the-99-of-the-internet-you-cant-google-curiosity/

Normal currency can't be used on the Dark Web. Users regularly depend on bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies to make market transactions. These are especially popular because they're virtually untraceable.

bitcoinSource: https://www.theclever.com/15-facts-you-should-know-about-the-deep-web/7/?view=lista

For years, the Islamic State, or ISIS, has been using the Dark Web as both a propaganda, recruiting, and fund raising tool. Intelligence agencies, such as the NSA, have been using software like XKeyscore to know the identity of Tor users.

ISISSource: https://www.defenseone.com/technology/2015/02/how-military-will-fight-isis-dark-web/105948/

While it may have all kinds of unsavory, illegal, and downright nasty stuff, it also has a big book fan club. One of the founders of the Silk Road, a black market for drugs, also started a book bazaar on it. Though the books they read are mostly conspiracy theory books and banned books.

book clubSource: https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/30/illegal-libraries_n_4682897.html

Stolen credit cards are often sold on the Dark Web. Other pirates will use stolen credit cards to buy gift cards and then sell them for less than their worth.

book clubSource: https://www.vice.com/sv/article/exk797/meet-the-19-year-old-kiwi-that-makes-5000-a-week-from-the-deep-web

If you're the Doomsday Prepper type, there's a place on the Dark Web called "Strategic Intelligence Network" with tons of information about how to survive any crisis, be it a war torn country or a riot.

bombSource: https://lifehacker.com/things-you-can-do-on-the-dark-web-that-arent-illegal-1819790298

According to the Israeli intelligence firm Sixgill, criminals were discovered selling fake degrees, certifications, and passports. People also hired out hackers to break into university systems and change grades.

fake gradSource: https://thenextweb.com/security/2016/09/08/people-are-hiring-hackers-to-break-into-their-universities-on-the-dark-web/

Shockingly, while Tor is commonly believed to be a private system, US journalist Yasha Levine found documents linking US government funding to the project.

congressSource: https://www.businessinsider.com.au/claims-tor-funded-by-us-government-agencies-2018-3

Two British men were arrested for illegally selling their sperm on the Dark Web, making roughly $330,000. The sperm was not tested for disease and sent to a desperate couple trying to get pregnant.

swimmerSource: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1311626/Two-men-250-000-selling-illegal-sperm-desperate-couples.html

Sadly, one of the darkest parts of the Dark Web is human trafficking. Disturbing pictures of people are taken, and these people are sold as property to the highest bidder. Authorities note that the Dark Web is only a small portion of the trafficking that takes place in the world.

human traffickingSource: http://www.fox5ny.com/news/human-trafficking-on-the-dark-web-and-beyond, https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vvbazy/my-brief-encounter-with-a-dark-web-human-trafficking-site

In a more bizarre twist, even child spirits are sold on the Dark Web. In Thailand and other eastern countries, people believe voodoo masters can capture the spirits of babies that have been aborted or miscarried and made to do their bidding. People buying these spirits want them to do stuff for them or make their lives better.

voodooSource: https://www.thetalko.com/15-messed-up-things-actually-being-sold-on-the-deep-web-black-market/

On the Dark Web, you'll be even more susceptible to malware attacks with plenty of links hiding secret malware that'll download to your computer. All it takes is one wrong click to make it happen.

ransomwareSource: https://www.ibtimes.co.in/what-dark-web-10-lesser-known-facts-about-hidden-web-world-every-netizen-must-know-727270

While not surprising but still alarming, international arms trade has a presence on the Dark Web. The Untied States is the most common source country with 60% of the arms originating from there. Supposedly, you can find everything from an AK-47 to a rocket launcher if you look hard enough.

arms dealerSource: https://www.theclever.com/15-facts-you-should-know-about-the-deep-web/9/?view=lista, https://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/international-arms-trade-on-the-hidden-web.html

Things get even more disturbing with the Cruel Onion Wiki. Supposedly on it are scantily clad women crushing small animals under their feet. The site has been shut down frequently but always finds a way to reappear.

kittenSource: https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/mgb5vn/as-the-fbi-cleans-the-dark-net-sites-far-more-evil-than-silk-road-live-on

In recent years, the Dark Web has been a big seller for illegal drugs especially among students. Even with the recent bust of Silk Road, the biggest supplier of illegal drugs, sales have been strong and growing.

drugsSource: https://www.independent.co.uk/student/student-life/students-dark-web-buy-illegal-drugs-university-2017-digital-dealers-a7578041.html

Your identity is on sale on the Dark Web. Passwords for individual bank accounts can range up to $160, and your entire identity could only cost around $1,200.

ID thiefSource: https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/security/your-identity-sale-dark-web-less-1-200-n855366

In the past, game fixing and illegal gambling usually involved a shady guy at a bar or in a locker room with athletes, taking bets or trying to convince them to throw the game. Now, it all happens on the Dark Web.

online gamblingSource: https://www.theclever.com/15-facts-you-should-know-about-the-deep-web/15/?view=lista

In the much darker parts of the Dark Web are places called "Red Rooms." Essentially, they're video feeds of people in a room being tortured. It's said people will pay to watch them. While there hasn't been much evidence they exist, a few cases have cropped up.

red roomSource: https://metro.co.uk/2017/02/27/what-is-a-red-room-do-darkweb-live-stream-murder-sites-really-exist-6476047/

One of those cases involves the disturbed pedophile Peter Scully. Scully put up a website and users paid $10,000 to watch him torture a child. Scully was arrested and as of 2017, faced trial in the Philippines.

girl sittingSource: https://metro.co.uk/2017/02/27/what-is-a-red-room-do-darkweb-live-stream-murder-sites-really-exist-6476047/

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