It’s beginning to gain traction across the United States – the opening and filming of “mystery boxes” ordered from the Dark Web. The boxes can cost from hundreds to thousands of dollars and thus far, have contained a terrifying and disturbing assortment of bizarre contents. Authorities are as of yet, unsure if the boxes (and videos of them being opened) are real or hoaxes but are warning people to avoid purchasing the mystery boxes from the Dark Web. “The dark web is dangerous to even access. Why would you buy unknown things from there?”
Mystery Boxes have been offered on the Dark Web for many years. They began as add-on “gifts”, an incentive to purchase more items, for customers who purchased drugs or weapons from a Dark Web vendor. Soon the mystery boxes became more popular than the real goods being purchased. Today, customers order the boxes from popular Dark Web sites (a sort of Internet-like website that requires a special browser to reach). Buyers then record the opening of the boxes and post the video on their YouTube channel. Authorities say the trend is disturbing and potentially dangerous. Some of the boxes thus far have contained bloody objects, drugs, weapons, children’s clothing, and disturbing imagery.
In some cases, the mystery box content is fairly innocuous. One customer paid $10,000 for the mystery box which was delivered to an abandoned airport. Inside the box were empty iPhone boxes and a clear plastic bag with an unknown chemical substance in it.
In other cases, the mystery box content can be quite disturbing. A YouTuber named Kill’em ordered a box for $500 and received an Xbox, and odd DVR player, stuffed animals that were stuffed inside other stuffed animals, a package of unidentified pills, a voodoo doll, and several objects covered with satanic imagery. If that was not creepy enough, the box also contained a box full of worn underwear, a little girl’s dress, used high-heel shoes, a ski mask, lingerie, a knife, and a USB stick that crashed his computer when inserted.
Another mystery box customer reported opening his box to find a pair of antibacterial gloves sitting atop with a note that read, “You might need these.” When the box was unsealed, the man says he was hit with an unimaginably weird odor. After donning the gloves, he delved into the box to find a Motorola phone, boxing gloves, a child’s used teddy bear, a pill, an iPad, vomit-colored liquid in a small bottle, a screwdriver covered with dry blood, and a rotten-smelling fleshy-looking object that he was unable to identify.
Mind Seed TV ordered a Dark Web mystery box for $300 in Bitcoin and found it contained what looked seemed like a storyline for the abduction and murder of a child. Inside the box were several items of children’s clothing, pictures of an abandoned building, and human hair and human teeth scattered about old dolls. The mystery box also contained a popup book with children’s pictures pasted over the book’s original graphics, items with satanic imagery, and a USB thumb drive. The thumb drive contained a bizarre video that was difficult to follow, much less understand. Commenters suggested Mind Seed TD had just received a batch of criminal evidence.
One of the most frightening mystery boxes was reported on a popular Internet forum. The mystery box was purchased by a man who admits he was drunk when he sent $250 in bitcoin to a seller on a popular Dark Web ecommerce site. He did not really expect the box to arrive and was surprised when a few weeks later his dad carried the box upstairs and laid it on his bed. He opened the box, which was filled with packing peanuts, and began rummaging through the contents, laying them out one-by-one on his bed. The first item was a red sweater that smelled of perfume. Other items included a set of keys, a “good amount of weed”, and a small wooden box containing two necklaces and two rings. A bottle containing a few Xanax pills was placed mid-way in the box with a note attached that read, “You will need these – trust me”. At the bottom of the box was a used iPad. The purchaser says he felt pretty pleased with the value of the contents and was admiring his haul when his mother entered the room. She began to say something to him, then looked at the objects laid about on his bed. “Honey,” she said, “where did you find my red sweater?”