"When I first saw this question, my immediate impulse was to say, "No!" But that's not entirely the case. My answer to this my seem contradictory, but let me explain: some of the stories are true, and some of them aren't. It depends on the source.
The Dark Web/Shadow Web...Myth or Reality?
I had posted several "dark web horror stories" of my own on Quora here, and I do swear that they are true! (I know everyone says that, but I don't find my stories to be that unbelievable). Most of my stories revolved around sick sites that I had found, and there really are some extremely disturbing ones out there.
Nonetheless, some of the horror stories (and creepypastas) about the "deep web" that are passing around have a few issues:
1. Many creepypastas (e.g. ) talk about livestreaming murder shows (a.k.a. "red rooms") on the deep web/dark web, etc. While there's a remote possibility that such things exist, it would be very difficult to do something like that over Tor, at the very least. If you've ever used Tor (or some of its contemporaries, like I2P or Freenet), you might notice that they tend to have very slow connection speeds.
To livestream anything, you would have to have a very fast broadband connection. Tor takes a long time to load even basic webpages, so it would be near-impossible to do a livestreaming murder show on there.
What might be possible is if a site required you to download some kind of customized browser in order to watch their "shows," then you wouldn't have to use the Tor network anymore. I haven't done this, so I can't verify if it's true or not.
Be that as it may, Quora writer answered a similar question here:
In her answer, she said "The myth goes that there are sites...where one can pay bitcoin and orchestrate a live murder from the comfort of their own home.
"People are kidnapped off the street (or bought) and masked individuals will do whatever you want them to for the price of that person's life. You can pay to watch them get raped, tortured, anything."
"I know that these sites are not a joke and for somebody to minimize the very real existence of these sites and their victims is not only abhorrently disrespectful but flat out ignorant."
In short, I believe what she said. And the first time I was asked this question, I said that anything people will pay for, including live murder, probably exists. It's sick and disgusting, I know, but there are some crazy people out there.
2. In spite of horrible things like the above being on the dark web, some YouTube users have taken advantage of this, and made the deep web/dark web the entire focus of their channel.
One prominent example would be Takedownman, who refers to himself as the "deep web outlaw." While some of the sites he features in his videos do exist, he often exaggerates the details to scare the viewers (I assume). Take whatever he says with a grain of salt, just like you would the evening news.
3. There are some terrible things on the dark web, such as child pornography, rape videos, and animal abuse videos. One of the most horrifying sites I came across was called "Scream, Bitch!" and it's featured in a Youtube video: I saw some things on that site that I can't un-see, to say the least, so yes...awful things really do exist on parts of the dark web. Thankfully, that particular site isn't active anymore (or at least, you can't register for it).
If it's any consolation, I still think some of the horror stories are exaggerated - so many of them end with things like: "I went to this site...and then a masked killer clown came to my door and cut my head off - don't worry, I grew another one." In short, the details aren't always believable.
In spite of the seeming contradictions, I warn everyone - be careful, please!!! Don't be foolish and naive on the Tor network (and other networks). There are people out to steal your credit cards, identity, money, etc. It's hard to navigate, and for a newcomer, it's easy to get taken advantage of.
If something doesn't sound right, don't check it out. And if you think a site will disturb you, or get you into trouble, follow your instincts. It's not worth the risk."
YOU ARE READING
The Dark WebNon-Fiction
The Dark Web is the part of the internet that can't be accesed without a specific software. There are many different kind of people, starting from serial killers to pedophiles and cannibals and so on and so forth. This book was specifical made for p...