Public service announcements have the unenviable job of focusing on big issues in a short period of time. Extreme tactics are often used to ensure that potential viewers don’t drink, do drugs, leave their kids unattended, talk to strangers, or trust creepy puppets (it happens). Sometimes, the message being delivered can get lost if the PSA over-utilizes scare tactics or takes the creepiest possible approach to say what it has to say. As a result, people often tend to remember PSAs not so much for their content, but the emotions they evoke. Hands up if you’ve ever cracked an egg while saying “this is your brain on drugs, any questions?” Keep them up if you did that while high.
Clearly, you missed the point.
As we go through Halloween scary-stuff withdrawals, we figured it’s a good time to look back on the creepiest PSAs to ever exist. All of these ads are uniquely disquieting, but they share the common trait of being unforgettable. Take a look.
The Black Water
An entire generation of British kids were traumatized by the above PSA in which the Grim Reaper (voiced by Halloween‘s Donald Pleasance, natch) wants to drown everyone who comes in contact with seemingly any body of stagnant water in the U.K.
Surprisingly, a man in a police box is nowhere to be seen.