Top 10 Scariest Things Caught on Live TV News

Top 10 Scariest Things Caught on Live TV News
VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Willow McLaughlin
This just in... For this list we'll be looking at the most out of control natural events, frightening human interactions, and spookiest unexplainable occurrences that were captured live during newscasts. Our countdown includes an earthquake, a haunted doll, a hostage situation and more!

Top 10 Scariest Things Caught on Live TV News


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Scariest Things Caught on Live TV News.  


For this list we’ll be looking at the most out of control natural events, frightening human interactions, and spookiest unexplainable occurrences that were captured live during newscasts. Any time of news qualifies, including sports and entertainment type reports. We will be excluding intentionally violent incidents and crimes, however.


Which of these blood-curdling moments surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments!


#10: A Shaken News Station


News teams are used to calmly covering natural disasters as they happen. It becomes more difficult when the catastrophe is wreaking havoc around you, though. In 2017, a Mexican news station was in the middle of a live broadcast when a 7.1 earthquake struck. The whole set started to shake. The host calmly told the viewers to follow safety protocols, as the station began to fall apart around him. Blurred shots from live cameras outside revealed the intensity of the quake. Meanwhile, inside the studio, overhead lighting began swinging wildly. It was a terrifying incident for both the news team and the viewers at home.


#9: Freaky Doll

“This Morning” (1988-)

Is there anything scarier than a creepy doll? In 2017, the viewers of a British morning show had a real-life experience with one. The guests claimed a doll was haunting their family and had even scratched the husband while they slept. During the segment, the object in question was sitting in a rocking chair on the set. As the show hosts were discussing the incidents with the owners, the chair began to slowly rock. There were many tweets from audience members and people freaking out about the seemingly paranormal occurrence. The hosts didn’t seem convinced that the haunted doll was actually spooky, but there’s definitely something creepy happening in this footage.


#8: A Close Call


Haunted dolls are really only scary if you believe in ghosts. However, there’s no denying the terror a moving vehicle can inspire. In 2016, the viewers of KTVU news feared for the life of reporter Alex Savidge. He was facing the camera with his back to the street. Viewers watched in fear as a bumped car veered directly towards the reporter. Luckily, the photographer on the scene warned Savidge just in time. They both jumped out of the way as the car smashed into the camera. While staring at a lone hubcap on screen, viewers must’ve been relieved to finally hear someone call out that everyone was OK. 


#7: Lightning Strike

“Weather Center Live” (2009-21)

We’ve all heard that it's dangerous to be at the highest point in the area when lightning strikes. So standing on a roof to do a storm weather report seems like a bad idea. Regardless, that’s where Dave Malkoff was for this broadcast. In the middle of his sentence, a large blue flash could be seen overhead. The deafening thunder clap that accompanied it was almost instantaneous, and the fear in the reporter's face was clear as day. Later, he explained that he could see a column of lightning dissipating, and that the strike was directly above him. Realizing this, he made the wise decision to get off the roof and into a safer location.


#6: Thirsty Ghost


This freaks us out just to watch! In Dec 2015, the Honduran morning show Primera Edicion (or First Edition) experienced an unexpected visitation. As Carlos Molina sat at his desk, his glass of water suddenly moved of its own volition! He asked colleague Pablo Zapata if he had seen the same thing. Molina later claimed that it was not a prank, and that he had experienced a chill right before the glass moved. It could have been due to condensation on the glass … but you wouldn’t catch us still sitting at that desk, trying to figure out out. 


#5: Helicopter Havoc


In 2004, footage of an out of control helicopter stunned viewers. The scene was like something out of a movie, not a real life event. While covering an incident in Brooklyn, the aircraft started to spin and spew smoke. It clipped the edge of a building, taking chunks off the structure. The tail of the vehicle broke off and the cabin crashed into the roof of an apartment complex. Whether watching on TV or from the streets below, viewers were shocked that the pilots and reporter on board suffered only minor injuries.


#4: Alien Message

Southern Television

Are we alone in the universe? Maybe we already have an answer! On November 26, 1977, an Independent Television News program was suddenly interrupted in parts of southern England. A distorted voice identifying itself as ‘Ashtar Galactic Command’ ordered humans to get rid of their weapons to attain ‘a higher state of evolution’. The interruption lasted six minutes, prompting hundreds of calls from worried viewers. The perpetrator was never identified. Our species didn’t abandon its weapons, so maybe the enlightened extraterrestrials threw up their hands and wandered off to contact other worlds. 

#3: A Ghostly Fan

Fox Sports 

There’s something instantly frightening about seeing a shadow where it doesn’t belong. No wonder soccer fans in Bolivia freaked out when they saw this news footage. The TV station was doing live coverage of a match at Hernando Siles Stadium in La Paz, Bolivia. But the game wasn’t the biggest thing that caught peoples’ attention! A shadow could be seen sprinting through the stands. It moved through people and barriers, so it didn’t appear to be human. No one has been able to fully explain this incident. Therefore, it left many believing they’d seen a live broadcast of a ghost.


#2: World Series Earthquake

American Broadcasting Company (ABC)

On October 17, 1989, during the live broadcast of the World Series, people watching at home suddenly saw their TV sets flicker. There were panicked voices, and suddenly the broadcast cut. As audio returned, viewers could hear people shouting in the stands. The event was of course even scarier for people who were there in the ballpark. At that moment, the Loma Prieta earthquake had struck California's Central Coast, causing damage in both Oakland and San Francisco. While those in the ballpark were OK, the quake left 63 people dead and 3,757 people injured in the area. 

#1: We Interrupt This Newscast for a Tornado


In 2011, viewers of WREX news were keeping a close eye on the weather map displayed on their screens. A meteorologist was explaining the path of an oncoming tornado. For many, this report was their tie to outside events. So imagine the trepidation they probably felt when the voice on screen suddenly cut out. One long breath later, a voice came back on air. At this point, the tornado was getting very close to the station, and things were getting unsafe. Everyone took shelter in the basement, and coverage continued. Although it was a frightening experience, the news team and viewers were in it together.