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.
? Roses are red ?
? Harambe's in our dreams ? pic.twitter.com/kaMm7XvDjR
— james nielssen (@cool_as_heck) August 23, 2016
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.
Tomi Lahren: *does zero research and literally lies*
Tomi: HERE COMES THE "TOLERANT" LEFT..EVER HEARD OF DIVERSITY OF THOUGHT?
— Skywalker (@holyholte) December 5, 2016
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.
We all have a pulse, together love will prevail #OnePulse
— Pulse Orlando (@pulseorlando) November 28, 2016
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.
Remembering the Oakland fire victims: They were students, artists and musicians. As details continue to emerge from the deadly blaze that killed 36 people on Dec. 2, The Chronicle will write more and update this partial list of the victims. Follow the link here or in our profile to read their stories: www.sfchronicle.com/oakland-fire-victims #oaklandfire #oaklandwarehousefire #ghostship #ghostshipfire #oakland
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.
I've had this cold longer than Brock Turner has been in jail.
— Anna Akana (@AnnaAkana) September 1, 2016
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.
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) December 7, 2016
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.
After the death of Prince, we ask 2016 – please stop robbing us of talent https://t.co/KasK3kSPq9
— Metro (@MetroUK) April 21, 2016
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.
— Lina shamy (@Linashamy) December 8, 2016
Just watch this video.
10) So, there’s a big Syrian refugee crisis.
— Sputnik (@SputnikInt) November 28, 2016
And our President-elect is being a real dick about it.
11) The Flint, MI water crisis.
— Little Miss Flint (@LoveMeLuLu22) December 4, 2016
WHAT. THE HELL. WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING?
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.
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.
Glad @KimKardashian is ok! No human being deserves the treatment she's had this week.
— Cynthia Erivo (@CynthiaEriVo) October 3, 2016
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.
Mark Zuckerberg invest 1 billion dollars into Kanye West ideas
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 14, 2016
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.
15) THERE WERE CREEPY CLOWNS FOR NO REASON.
Kennebunk, Maine pic.twitter.com/e0Sd1569VF
— Scary Clown Sighting (@SpookyClowns) October 4, 2016
DOING CREEPY, SCARY STUFF.
16) Police continued to kill black people for existing.
— Carla (@Tuniekc) November 28, 2016
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.
— CNN (@CNN) December 7, 2016
Just another fine example of how America values its women.
18) The HB-2 bathroom bill in North Carolina.
— Lambda Legal (@LambdaLegal) December 8, 2016
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.
Hey! Media! Stop legitimizing the so-called “alt-right”! pic.twitter.com/1ALzd8R7tv
— Late Night (@LateNightSeth) December 8, 2016
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.
This just happened in Wellsville, NY. pic.twitter.com/uy9FjzhwcD
— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 10, 2016
But those two things are unrelated. Okay. That sounds fake, but okay.
21) The entire 2016 election process, from start to finish.
OH MY GOD VERIZON ELECTION NIGHT IS THE WORST TIME FOR THIS ADVERTISEMENT. pic.twitter.com/TvmnB84ltO
— Ryan Greenberg (@greenberg) November 9, 2016
HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!
22) Feeling totally helpless while our world is burning down.
2016 is like a montage of news footage you see in the beginning of a post-apocalyptic movie explaining how the world was ruined.
— Shower Thoughts (@TheWeirdWorld) July 19, 2016
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.