Bored of the same old Halloween stories? Sure, they’re scary, but they seem dated, right? Today we offer horror reimagined for the digital age: the web’s best scary stories for the tech generation.
A lot of these stories come from Reddit. Sure, Reddit can be productive, but today, Reddit is going to kill your productivity (and, if you’re anything like me, your ability to sleep). We’ve got stories from the usual freaky subreddits, but there are also some from r/LetsNotMeet, one of the best places to find true stories on the Internet.
Suspension of disbelief is important to every great story, so let’s not get into which of these are real and which are fake. All you need to know is this:
- None of the stories here are suitable for children.
- The stories contain graphic scenes, strong language, or other disturbing elements.
- These stories can be triggers, so we advise not reading them if you have mental health problems.
- You might need to know popular Internet acronyms if you don’t already.
- For best effect, read these alone at night with the lights off.
- Have a change of underwear ready.
1300 words | 5 minute read
Nathan’s girlfriend died on August 7, 2012. So how was she messaging him on Facebook on September 4, 2013? Nathan recounts the strange events from that day to July 2014, complete with screenshots of the exchange. It’s really detailed and freaky.
I don’t know what to do anymore. Do I kill her memorial page? What if it is her? I want to puke. I don’t know what’s happening.
1728 words | 6 minute read
Like Nathan, Peyton too had a friend who died. His name was Jordan, and succumbed to cancer. Like Nathan, Peyton too found himself in an odd Facebook Messenger chat. But unlike Nathan, Peyton got to video chat too. Excuse me, I’m going to turn off my Facebook Messenger forever.
Me: “Jordan died a year ago!”
Jordan: “Yes I did…I need to tell you something”
1072 words | 5 minute read
Nope, this isn’t anything like the above tale. The format of this story deserves as much credit in making it compelling as the content. It’s a conversation between two people, played out as a series of WhatsApp chat messages. But the tension is heightened in that each time you hit Enter, a new message loads, sometimes making you wait painstakingly for the other person to finish typing. It’s incredible!
annie96: doesn’t that jacket have your name on the back?
mcdavey: yeah the team all got one with their name on
annie96: i can see your f****** name!!!
505 words | 2 minute read
A girl recounts the time her housemate, R, was browsing Facebook and came across his own picture in the social network’s “People you may know”. But the name wasn’t his. And that profile was in a relationship with someone else. A little digging showed the author had a fake profile too, and there was an entire online community of all her and R’s friends. I’ve heard of creating fake online boyfriends, but an entire community?
As soon as she sees me, her face goes pale and she sends a link through to another fake profile with my picture. Apparently mine and R’s fakes were previously engaged with 2 children. Upon doing some further research we discovered some scary stuff.
1900 words | 7 minute read
I won’t lie, this story freaked me out for days. I have to pretend it isn’t real for the sake of my sanity, because it sounds far too real. If you think you know the Internet, you don’t. One user delved into the belly of the beast and found the “Shadow Web”, the darkest corners of the web.
I had to find out if she was alive. As I reached over to turn the screen back on, a voice inside my head begged me to stop. I do not want to see what I’m about to see.
2500 words | 10 minute read
If that last story scared you, just run. Don’t click this. You can talk about Tor and proxies all you want, but you don’t know just how unsafe you are on the Internet. And this two-part tale shows how messed up people are, how all your security precautions are useless when confronted with pro hackers, and how bad things can go if you say the wrong thing at the wrong time. Just run.
My phone said I had a new message, I opened it, and it said, “Call the police, and you’re dead.” There was no number, it didn’t even say ‘unknown number’ it was just blank.
1500 words | 5 minute read
Imagine you’re just browsing the web like you normally do—like you’re doing right now. Imagine you open up a new tab and instead of a web page, you see your webcam. Imagine you see people chatting below it. Imagine you’re startled and then read someone say, “No I don’t think he even knows. We got to find this guy and warn him somehow.” Imagine someone replies, “Guys I’m seriously freaking out. This can’t be real, right?” And then imagine seeing this message directed at you:
“It seems you’ve finally noticed. Smile. The world is watching.”
1550 words | 6 minute read
Everyone has that one ex, right? The one who sends you drunken texts, and tries to act casual but doesn’t pull it off? You usually ignore those, but after a year of this harassment, the writer was sick of it. So one drunken day, she decided to prank her ex, and texted, “If you want to come see me, why don’t you do it? You know where to find me.” Except the texts weren’t coming from her ex…
The younger officer stepped outside as the older one sighed. “There seems to have been a rather unfortunate accident.”
450 words | 2 minute read
Ernest Hemingway once famously wrote a compelling short story in six words. Webccamman.jpg proves that you can have the life scared out of you in a two-minute read. It’s mysterious, it sends shivers down your spine, and if you’re reading it on a computer, I dare you to finish it and not look behind.
I was ready to turn off the monitor, when a pop-up came up, a link saying “Webcam”, nothing else. Clicking it mindlessly it took me to a deviant art page named ‘webcamman’. All of the photos were my webcam photos.
5000 words | 20 minute read
ScreamLouder is the opposite of Webcamman, in that it’s a story that slowly builds up the creepy factor. But boy, is it worth your time. The vivid descriptions and the crazed imagination build terrific scenes, and when the action kicks in, it’s frenetic. Plus, there is so much attention to detail here! Once you’re done — and only once you’re done — have a look at the add-on page, ScreamLouder.info.
“Please, stop knocking. I’m going to open the doors okay? I’m coming in.” But it continued. I unlocked another door and the knocking stopped. Now it was slamming itself into the door with full force. Boom!
1140 words | 3 minute read
Internet chat rooms can be full of weird people, so when you meet someone sensible, you head straight for them like an island in the middle of the vast ocean. Except creeps also know this, and the smarter ones can take advantage of this phenomenon.
I got a text from an unknown number. “Chat kill you” it said. I texted them back asking who they were. They responded with “Chat with you, sorry lol.”
2325 words | 8 minute read
It’s not just text chatrooms where you find the weirdos. Places like Chatroulette, where you can video chat with random strangers, can be entertaining as well as dangerous. If you wanted to know just how bad things can go, then read the story of Molly. And then find out how to protect yourself on Chatroulette.
As if in a trance, I watched lions rip antelopes to shreds on the Discovery Channel and sipped on an energy drink. The trance was broken by a loud crashing sound coming from the direction of the kitchen.
11159 words | 40 minute read
You remember that freaky movie The Ring? Chat.mp3 is the textual version of The Ring — and a lot freakier. The writing is top-notch, the build-up is fantastic, and even though it’s split across eight chapters, it’s worth every single minute of your time.
“I need to talk to you…” she said. I got a strange feeling. My stomach was starting to tighten, and I felt uneasy.
The 6-Word Tech Horror Story Challenge
Ernest Hemingway’s famous six-word story, “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”, spawned the concept of six-word memoirs. In that spirit, think you can craft a six-word horror story with a tech angle? Have a go in the comments!
Image credits: Karlin Dambrans / Flickr, Simon / Pixabay, Gadini / Pixabay, geralt / Pixabay, geralt (2) / Pixabay, relaxahotels / Pixabay, Vitamin / Pixabay, secondfromthesun0 / Pixabay, BreaW / Pixabay, kerttu / Pixabay, geralt (3) / Pixabay