22 Of The Scariest Things That Happened in 2016 We Hope Never Happen Again

This year has been a dumpster fire. A pure crap fest of awful from start to finish, to be honest. Sure, the Chicago Cubs won the World Series, it was the golden age of memes, and a woman won the popular vote for President of the United States, but beyond that? It’s been bleak. On a serious note, there are some scary things that happened in 2016 I’d love to never see again. Does anyone else feel like they’re living in a horrific prequel to The Hunger Games? Honestly, just when you think it can’t get any worse, the universe doubles down and amps your anxiety and distrust of the world fear level up to 9,000. It’s exhausting. Being afraid and sad all of the time makes you tired, so for the first time in a long time, I think us New Years Eve haters are finally looking forward to a fresh start. In theory. Isn’t this what we thought about 2016 back in January? Oh, boy…

The below events aren’t just scary, like annoying-hypothetical scary. Actual frightening stuff has been happening all year.. It’s a lot to take in! I know the whole mantra in January is “new year, new me” (if this is news to you, just wait until your Instagram gets flooded with this caption on January first). But, how about New Year, New World? Can we leave the horror story of 2016 behind and actually try to be better? It’s hard to be optimistic when digging a bigger hole to an even scarier depth just seems to be a repeat behavior we just love indulging in over and over. Nationally, globally, and personally, 2016 has been the actual worst. These are 22 of the scariest things to happen in 2016 that we hope to never, ever see again.

1) Harambe was shot and killed.

And a thousand memes were born. But, remember that time there was a ton of racist backlash against the mother of the child who fell in the cage? And that time people were all #GorillaLivesMatter about an animal in lieu of, I don’t know, a human life? Good times.

2) Tomi. Freaking. Lahren.

She’s been at it for a while, but at least this is the year, I think, this person sprouted up on our Facebook feeds, spewing hate and misinformation. Why is a young blonde woman scary? Because she’s ignorant, racist, represents white supremacy, and speaks to the masses… who listen. And, recently, she’s been getting even more of a platform to do so. I’d be cool if I never saw a Tomi Lahren video again.

3) The Orlando Pulse Shooting.

While LGBT hate crimes have been on the rise this year, the shooting in an Orlando nightclub has been the largest and most catastrophic.

4) The Ghost Ship Fire.

In case you missed it, an artist residence/warehouse space burned down rapidly in the beginning of the year, killing 36.

5) Brock Turner was tried for rape, spent a laughably short amount of time in jail, then said he was going on a university speaking tour about the dangers of drinking instead of, I don’t know, the dangers of RAPE.

This bitch. Instead of our judicial system valuing the personhood of rape victims and actually bringing justice, we totally skipped that because he’s good at swimming or something, I don’t know. It sucks.

6) The Disney Gator Attack.

A two year old child was dragged into a body of water where he drowned and died. IN DISNEY WORLD. It’s hard to even write that.

7) The Zika Virus.

Nothing like an outbreak of a tropical illness with long term side effects to really mark this year as a True Winner.


8) All of your faves died.

Prince, David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Muhammad Ali, Gene Wilder…

9) Syria is tearing itself apart in a civil war, very specifically in Aleppo, with a significant assist from Russia.

Just watch this video.

10) So, there’s a big Syrian refugee crisis.

And our President-elect is being a real dick about it.

11) The Flint, MI water crisis.


12) Peaceful protesters at Standing Rock were doused in tear gas, shot with rubber bullets, and sprayed with high powered hoses in sub freezing temperatures for protecting the Oceti Sakowin tribe from having their water polluted.

Standoff #águaévida #waterislife

A photo posted by Bruno Costa De Souza (@brunodesouza) on

And they won, at least temporarily, while Obama is still in office. There’s still work to be done. But seeing militarized force being used on unarmed civilians is unnerving.

13) Kim Kardashian got robbed at gunpoint.

I don’t care how you feel about her, that’s scary. I know, a lot of people probably got robbed at gunpoint this year, but this was the most public.

14) We watched Kanye West slowly lose what’s left of his mind.

To be honest, he hasn’t been the same since his mom died, but remember that time he asked Mark Zuckerberg for money and we didn’t recognize it as a cry for help and now he’s hospitalized for the sake of his own mental stability? Mental illness is no joke, and it’s scary as hell.



16) Police continued to kill black people for existing.

Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Terence Crutcher, and hundreds more according to this list by Huffington Post in July… which was basically half a year ago, so let’s just do some math and pray this doesn’t happen again. Even though this is historically what happens and doing everything we can to raise awareness and stop it from happening apparently likens the #BlackLivesMatter movement to the KKK, according to Tomi Lahren. Neat.

17) The Heartbeat Bill in Ohio will outlaw abortion before most women know they’re pregnant.

Just another fine example of how America values its women.

18) The HB-2 bathroom bill in North Carolina.

That transphobic thinking needs to be a thing of the past.

19) The Alt-Right reared it’s ugly head and sprung forth the resurgence of Nazis.

Yeah, actual Nazis right here in the United States, everybody.

20) The rise of hate crimes against Muslims, LGBT people, women, disabled people, and people of color since the election of Donald Trump.

But those two things are unrelated. Okay. That sounds fake, but okay.

21) The entire 2016 election process, from start to finish.


22) Feeling totally helpless while our world is burning down.

Everybody’s telling you/me to be optimistic, have hope, and keep doing you, but honestly, it feels hard sometimes. 2016 was the worst, and it’s hard to be cheery and it feels like there’s little we can do to help.

What’s the worst thing that happened for you in 2016? Did I forget anything (I’m sure I did, since 2016 was the worst dumpster fire in the history of dumpster fires)? Let us know in the comments!

You can follow the author, Aliee Chan, on Twitter.

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  • Rikoe

    Props to Tomi Lahren for telling the truth and saying everything you don’t want to hear. Facts and statistics scare the left, and Tomi is simply stating the obvious. Black Lies Matter is a violent, racist movement. This is a fact, and the proof is everywhere, at every riot. I’ve never seen so much hate coming from a movement in my life. I wonder how many black people are going to have to die before you realize what the biggest problem facing the black community actually is.