"Humans Of New York" Featured A Man Who Claimed He Set A Stranger On Fire And People Are Very Disturbed

The popular social media account Humans of New York is known for giving its followers insights into all different kinds of people around the globe, but its most recent post has left a lot of fans feeling very uneasy.

The man in the post is from Montreal, and only his hands on a piano are seen in the photo.

He told Brandon Stanton, the photographer behind the project, an extremely disturbing story.


He said:

“You could make a horror movie about my life. My mom died of cancer when I was five, and my father tortured me. I mean tortured. Really tortured. Chained me to a chair. Slapped me with leather. It was like Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining.’ Every single day. He’d never say a thing. He’d just kick down my door and come after me. I was born into hell. I spent twelve years alone with a demonic presence. And now I’m nervous. Really nervous. I play the piano to calm myself down. I always have these thoughts they aren’t even my thoughts: fat fuckers, fucking bastards, fuck all of them. They’re my father’s thoughts. The violence is inside of me. My energy is black, black, black. I used to kill little birds when I was a kid. Then I moved on to cats. By the time I was seventeen I was beating the shit out of everybody. Bigger than me, taller than me, I didn’t care. It was more torture to keep it inside. If I kept the violence inside I’d mutilate myself. Suicide myself. A few years ago I set a guy on fire. It was 3 AM. He was passed out beneath a bridge. Just some druggie. I didn’t feel a thing. I felt like laughing. If anything, I felt free.”

The disturbing story was soon met with backlash. One commenter on Instagram wrote that many of the characteristics of the man, such as killing animals, sounded like “text book serial killers.”

“If you don’t report him you’re doing a disservice to the public,” the person wrote.

Many on Twitter felt the same, questioning if the person was ever held accountable for his alleged crime.

They called it “basically a potential murder confession.”

People are now calling on Stanton to take the story seriously and report it to the local authorities.

One woman even tagged the Montreal police on Twitter, hoping to alert them to the story.

A spokesperson for the SPVM, the Montreal police force, told BuzzFeed News that the claim was brought to their attention but they couldn’t verify that it ever happened.

“After verification, no such event has happened in Montreal over the last few years and no complaint has been filed about it,” the spokesperson said.

Regardless of the truthfulness of the claim, some were angry Stanton even posted the story at all.

“Doing the right thing is more important than content and clicks.”

Stanton didn’t immediately return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News.

  • Stephanie McNeal is a social news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

    Contact Stephanie McNeal at [email protected].

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