Did you ever watch a scary movie and think ‘I could come up with something creepier than that’? Or look back on your favourite childhood cartoons and think ‘there was something weird going on there’? Welcome to the world of fan theories, where people speculate on the implications, secrets and back stories of films, shows and video games. We’re going to take a look at some of the most…unsettling.
10. Hogwarts was an elaborate fantasy Harry Potter came up with to distract himself from horrific child abuse.
For starters, Harry has all the characteristics of someone who would concoct a distracting fantasy world. He’s an orphan, he’s beaten and locked in a tiny cupboard and denied food. It makes perfect sense that a kid in that scenario might imagine a friendly giant on a flying motorcycle rescuing him.
As imaginary friends go, this guy’s kid of awesome.
Plus, throughout his time at Hogwarts, Harry seems to be admitted to hospital with alarming regularity. His classmates do too, but with illnesses that give them scales or extra appendages. Harry’s injuries are rarely of a magical nature. He’s knocked unconscious, and breaks bones – common injuries among abused children. His fantasy extends to explaining his injuries, because it’s easier to admit that an elf broke your arm while you were flying a broomstick – than your aunt kicked you down the stairs again.
It was the dragons, I swear!
9. The Kanto region in the Pokémon universe was ravaged by war
In the Pokémon universe, you play as a ten year old child who is allowed to go wandering all over the world in search of mysterious creatures which you then train for battle. Why are young children allowed to go off on epic adventures with virtually no supervision?
Especially a kid who can’t figure out who’s behind these moustaches!
Probably because a lot of their parents are no longer around. Ash, the lead in the anime, has a mother. But he is treated as the man of the house and although his father is mentioned, he is never seen. If his father died at war, it would explain Ash’s rejection of education in favour of following in his father’s footsteps and training the creatures which were probably used as weapons. There is a distinct absence of adults. The Gyms, with a few exceptions, are run by kids who had to take over the role when their fathers were killed.
The adults who are present – like Oak – are older and probably would have been exempt from fighting. Even one of the few adults in a position of power – Surge – is a lieutenant (who exhibits traits of PTSD)
“This Raichu is all I have left”
8. Thomas the Tank Engine is a slave
Give this some thought – what would happen if one of the engines in Thomas the Tank Engine decided he no longer wanted to work for the Fat Controller? In the case of Henry, who in one episode didn’t want to go out in the rain, the controller orders him to be bricked into a tunnel and essentially buried alive.
You can’t really argue that the trains are the property of the controller. If they are sentient being capable of independent thoughts, emotions and relationships, then forcing them to work there amounts to slavery.
7. Willy Wonka planned the murders of the children in his factory.
Taking the remake out of the equation, it is fair to assume that the spoilt children in the original Willy Wonka died as a result of their adventures in the factory. One had his circulation cut off in a pipe, one blew up, one was ‘stretched’ in the stretching room, and the other fell down what appeared to be a very deep tunnel.
This is the happiest day of my life…
But Willy Wonka knew the children’s weaknesses before he even met them, since they were interviewed on television when they won the golden tickets. Why else would he lead a child who was tempted by sweets and chocolate to a chocolate river – and stand idly as the boy drowned? Why did he present an untested gum product to a girl with a compulsive gum habit? Why didn’t he refuse entry to potentially dangerous TV room to a boy with a television addiction? And why was he remarkably unfazed by the growing body count?
It also seems convenient that Oompa Loompas just happened to be on standby when each child met their untimely demise, with a well rehearsed song and dance routine appropriate to the situation.
They charge per hour for funerals.
6. The Mario Universe is home to demons called the Shadow People.
Super Mario galaxy is a vast game universe, and in the sequences where Mario is catapulted through space whizz past so fast that there’s barely time to appreciate the scenery. But in one catapult sequence in Mario Galaxy II, someone with too much time on their hands realised that if you turn your POV at precisely the right time, you can catch a glimpse of some mysterious figures on the horizon.
You cannot access this area of the game, and there is no way to get any closer to the figures. While at this point, we would probably just dismiss them as trees, someone examined the game data more closely. The sky texture for the level is a file called ‘BeyondHellValley’. There is no mention within the game of any level or area called ‘Hell Valley’ – and there isn’t likely to be in a kid friendly Mario title. Since the game is set in space, the only reasonable explanation is that they are the native aliens watching Mario destroying their planet. Watching…and waiting…
Those are not trees.
5. The Weighted Companion Cube is full of the bodies of failed test subjects
Everyone’s favourite inanimate object (which totally had feelings – mine was called Penny *sob*), the Companion Cube probably rose to the ranks of gamings best loved characters because the game gives you such a sense of loneliness, that a cube for a friend becomes totally plausible.
For starters, the achievement which is unlocked by incinerating the cube (Penny – no!) is called ‘Fratricide’ ie – killing ones brother. Pretty strange choice for a cube. Next, GLADOS continuously hints that the cube can talk, and advises you not to take it’s advice. The Portal comic books depict a character that only survives as a result of the cube’s advice. Yes – he could be hallucinating. But how often do hallucinations give useful, lifesaving instructions? The cube is in fact filled with dying, broken and mutilated former colleagues determined to guide the central character out of the institution which has imprisoned them
4. Drag Me to Hell isn’t supernatural – it’s an analogy of an eating disorder
The central character in Sam Raimi’s Drag Me to Hell – Christine, is shown in a photograph as an overweight child next to a sign reading ‘Pork Queen Fair’. She also mentions her mother’s addiction, indicating that she was determined not to follow the same fate as her mother. Her encounters with demons are hallucinations brought on by lack of nutrition and her declining mental health.
This may seem a bit of a stretch, but the demon only attacks her in the kitchen of her home. At night she dreams like she’s being vomited onto, when it’s really her who’s throwing up in her bathroom. The sequence where she dreams that a fly enters her mouth and flies into her stomach is actually just her stomach growling while she is asleep. Her body needs food but she is unwilling to give in.
The old woman represents her condition – she has no teeth, is hideous, and eats/steals the candy from her desk. During the funeral everyone is eating, drinking and gambling. The woman vomits on her and then shoves her arm down her throat as if taunting her to “eat, eat!” The one moment she’s “forced” to eat something in the film, she finds an eye staring back at her inside the cake, causing her to choke up her food.
Unless this is normal behaviour with your grandmother…
3. Stanley Kubrick made The Shining to confess his involvement in faking the moon landing
The basic premise of The Shining is that the protagonist and his son both represent different aspects of Kubrick, the pragmatist and the artistic visionary. Jack (Kubrick’s practical side) makes a deal with the manager of the Overlook Hotel (America) to protect it through the coming winter (the Cold War). Weidner also points out that the Overlook, like America, is new, garish and built on the bones of Indians. All of this builds on the notion that the moon landings were faked as a show of strength to the Soviet Union.
There are other subtle clues. In King’s novel, the haunted room is numbered 217. In the movie, it’s 237. Why? “Because the average distance from the Earth to the Moon is 237,000 miles. The infamous twins were actually just one child in the book – but the twins are a reference to the NASA codename ‘Gemini’
Danny also wears an Apollo 11 knitted jumper, and the ‘ll’ in ‘All work and no play’ does resemble the number 11…
2. The Kids in Rugrats are not real, they are a figment of Angelica’s twisted imagination
Chuckie died in 1997 along with his mother, explaining why Chaz is a nervous wreck all the time. Tommy was born in the year 2000, but he was stillborn. As a result Stu is constantly in the basement making toys for the son who never had a chance to live.
I’m sorry, are we destroying your childhood?
The DeVilles had an abortion in 2001, Angelica didn’t know whether it would be a boy or a girl thus creating the twins.
The only Rugrat not to be fictional however, was unborn Tommy’s brother Dil, whom was born in 2002. However, Angelica didn’t know the difference between Dil and her creations, although Dil didn’t follow her commands. One day in 2005, after endless crying and a refusal to disappear like the others did when Angelica was angry with them, she hit him. Due to this, he sustained a brain hemorrhage, which resulted in a deformation. As he grew up, his damage only became more evident and by the time he was 11 in “All Grown Up!” he lived as an outcast
Sorry, we’re almost done.
1. The animals in Winnie the Pooh represent psychiatric disorders.
This one isn’t really much of a stretch. In 2000, a paper published by medical professionals diagnosed each of the main characters in Winnie the Pooh with various disorders. Unsurprisingly, Pooh was a compulsive eater, Piglet has anxiety, Eeyore had severe depression, Tigger had ADHD, and Christpher Robin – who spent his life talking to stuffed animals who talked back – suffered hallucinations.
Nom nom nom.
Some choice quotes from Eeyore include “I’m telling you. People come and go in this forest, and they say. ‘It’s only Eeyore, so it doesn’t count.'” Looking at the synopsis for various episodes, they often feature phrases like ‘Piglet becomes afraid that monsters are real’, or ‘Piglet is scared that he is too small’. Tigger is destructive, barges into peoples homes, and has little social awareness.
And Christopher Robin, based on the authors son, seems to go beyond an innocent child talking to their stuffed bear. He is devastated to leave them behind when he goes to school, he created complex scenarios and relationships for each of these inanimate objects, and he is unwilling to let them go as he leaves childhood.
That’s going to end well.