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Top 15 Haunting Stories Guaranteed To Keep You Up Tonight

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Top 15 Haunting Stories Guaranteed To Keep You Up Tonight

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If you’re anything like me, you enjoy a good scare.

If you’re limiting your reading consumption to big authors like Stephen King or Dean Koontz, you may be digesting a lot of great reading, but you are selling yourself short. There are a lot of great stories online from authors you’ve never heard of, and places like Reddit’s /r/nosleep and Creepy Pasta has some real gems if you’re willing to look. Luckily for my horror loving fans out there, I’ve compiled a list and lovingly curated it just for you in an effort to give you some early preparation for Halloween!

From the story of the man who hears his wife in his baby’s room, soothing it to sleep only to find it isn’t his wife at all, to a story of a person who discovered an e-mail trail that should have never been read by anyone, these stories are guaranteed to  creep you out and make you second guess that noise you just heard in the next room over.

These stories are presented to you in no particular order. Find one you like and read it, and I promise that you won’t want to turn off the lights and go to bed, because nothing can scare you more than your own imagination.

I’ll keep the lights on for you.

15. This Isn’t A Story

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Via youtube.com

Check out the story here.

This is a great little short story to get the imagination going, isn’t it? The idea that you aren’t who you think you are is an idea as old as consciousness itself, but has seen a resurgence in recent era storytelling. Stories like this make you wonder if life as you know it really is normal, or if something terrible and horrifying has happened. And worse, if you could even remember that horrible event if you tried. This story plays on not only the fear of the unknown, which is the basis of all other fears, but also brings about a lot more questions than it answers. After reading this, you should consider asking yourself if you’ve ever experienced Exploding Head Syndrome, or heard your name when no one actually said it. Think carefully.

14. The Landlady

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Via youtube.com

Check out the story here.

Did you know that the creator of James And The Giant Peach, Roald Dahl, also writes short stories? This story, The Landlady, was even turned into a television short in Alfred Hitchcock Presents. On television, however, the story was changed a bit, just like most adaptations are.

In the adaptation, there is little left to the imagination. The Landlady story, as writer, employs the techniques of allowing the imagination to run its course, and connect the dots in all of its cruelty. The story reminds me of Arsenic and Old Lace. Studies show that women are statistically unlikely, compared to men, to be murderous. Perhaps the reason for that is simple. Perhaps it is simply because they are much less likely to be caught? Either way, the idea of a little old lady being a ravenous beast with her hands red with the blood of the people she is killed is enough to make you second guess the old couple next door, isn’t it?

13. Solo Camping Trip

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Check out the story here.

The idea that you are not alone when you think you are is a fear that almost everyone has at some point in their lives. A creak in the floorboards in a dark hallway of your home. A shuffle of leaves just off the path on a dark street. A growl from a dark alleyway as you pass. These are all just normal sounds of normal things. You convince yourself that you are safe, and that nothing is out to get you. Certainly, nothing is looming over your shoulder as you read this, watching you. You certainly shouldn’t look over your shoulder to make sure you are really alone, right?

So what happens when you turn to look and realize that you are not as alone as you thought you were?

12. I Went Through My Little Brother’s Text Messages

alamy

Via alamy.com

Check out the story here.

Sometimes being a snoop can get you in trouble. Sometimes, when you look into another person’s life, you find things out that you wish you hadn’t. Sometimes you find that there are things about people you love and care about that make you reconsider everything you thought you knew about them. So what would you do if you found out that someone you loved, shared a house or even a bed with, was a different person than you believed they were? What would you do if you were presented with choosing between your love for that person, or dealing with the new information? They say that you can never truly know a person, no matter how long you’ve known them. This story forces you to ask yourself, “Do you really know the people in your life?”

11. She Found Her Way Into My Home

insidious

Via insidious.com

Check out the story here.

This story is frightening in and of itself, but there is another layer that is added if you have children. Then again, if you have children, this story might anger you and make you curse the father in the story for his cowardice. The story involves a man who keeps seeing a woman in his yard and finds that he’s somehow allowed her to come into his home. There is no preface and no sequel, leaving the reader to wonder what happened to him, who the woman is and, more importantly, if the child in the story is safe. This one is a real head scratcher, and it makes you wonder what you would do in this situation. Do you think you could stand up to an otherworldly creature making nightly appearances into your home?

10. I Shouldn’t Have Connected to My Neighbor’s Wi-Fi

sivology.com

Via sivology.com

Check out the story here.

Technology is everywhere, these days. Through the air, signal waves carry your private information to anyone who has the skill to see it. So what happens when you connect to the internet and find that you’ve opened up your home, and your life to someone who would like nothing more than to scare or even harm you? Can you honestly say that you know exactly who is connected to your own wireless service? Do you know exactly who has access to your own personal files? Your web camera? Your devices? How many areas of entrance do you give someone just by connecting to your router? When you connect to the outside world via the internet, you’ll never really know who is connecting to you. Sometimes, when you stare into the internet, the internet stares back.

9. I Found A USB Stick

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Via reddit.com

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Have you ever looked at an object and seen a face in it? They say that automobile companies intentionally create shapes in the front of a vehicle that gives them the shape of a face. Sometimes you’ll look into your cup of coffee and see a groaning face swirling in the froth. Sometimes the way a paper bag is crumpled up looks like a crying man. What if those faces were real? What if those expressions that anyone else would chalk off as pareidolia become so maddening that you become obsessive-compulsive in an effort to just MAKE. IT. STOP. Do you believe Matt and John were just crazy, or was there some kind of method to their madness?

I sugge4st re4ading this one with the lights on.

8. Jeff The Killer

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Via youtube.com

Check out the story here.

This iconic story has become a staple of Creepy Pasta, and tells the story of a young man who loses his mind and comes to satisfy his own base urges. The story depicts someone who not only loses their mind, but also becomes a deformed monster, their outsides coming to appear exactly as their mental state would demand. Everyone has thoughts that would be considered psychopathy. Everyone entertains the idea of madness at least once in their lives. The difference between Jeff and yourself is, hopefully, the idea that there is a difference between what one things, and what one does. It’s a rather long read but worth it, considering that this is one of the classics that gave Creepy Pasta its name, and even rivals slenderman in terms of popularity.

7. The Rake

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Check out the story here.

This story depicts a timeline of a seemingly immortal creature that has nothing but the worst intentions for anyone it comes across or targets. Though not so much a singular story as a series of decentralized stories that surround the idea of a creature with speculative origins, questionable physiology and form and a lust for violence that cannot be sated. It cannot be stopped. It cannot be harmed. It might wind up crouching over your significant other as they sleep, with you in rapt horror as it turns toward you with its sharp teeth smiling. Several stories have since flooded the internet about this creature, and you can travel down that rabbit hole for hours into the night and, in fact, I firmly believe that you should.

6. There Is Something Very Strange Going On With My Wife

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Via youtube.com

Check out the story here.

I don’t want to spoil this one for anyone. It’s a five part story that ramps up the creep right from the very beginning, and even gives you a chance to skip forward into the “meat” of the story. It is important, however, to understand that there are easter eggs to be found from reading the story word for word. The story will take on a more significant meaning when you look at it from the lens of your own life, and give a hard look to things you otherwise wrote off as simply strange coincidences. A familiar voice of a person you know wasn’t there, for example, becomes a reminder that this world is a whole lot stranger than people realize. Good luck sleeping next to your significant other after reading this one.

5. The Russian Sleep Experiments

creepypasta.com

Via creepypasta.com

Check out the story here.

Ah, the Russians. Hardcore strongmen and women who will delve in where others fear to tread. This time, they traverse the expanse of sleep. Did you know that there isn’t a single scientist today who understands sleep? No one does. We spend cumulative decades of our lives in a state of unconsciousness but no one knows why we do it or what happens while we’re asleep other than a few brain scan images that don’t tell us much of anything. We know that we need it, and that losing sleep can be detrimental to our health. We know that lack of sleep can eventually kill. This story explores what happens when a group stays up a little past their bedtime, and brings you into a world that is better left in dreams.

4. Candle Cove

creepypasta.com

Via creepypasta.com

Check out the story here.

They say that television can rot your mind. What if that phrase was taken literally? Kid’s shows are creepy enough, but the story of Candle Cove speaks of such a show that turned out to be nothing more than gibberish and distorted signals that somehow kept children’s attention. The show is about a girl who befriends a pirate named Percy aboard a ship called the Laughingstock. They had to deal with villains known as The Skin-Taker and Horace Horrible. It turns out that a bunch of people had similar memories of the show where the main protagonist, Janice, cried while all of the puppets just screamed at the top of their lungs. One of the parents, when asked, said that the show was nothing but static.

“Why does your mouth move like that?”

“TO GRIND YOUR SKIN.”

3. Slenderman

ufoinsight.com

Via ufoinsight.com

The Slender Man isn’t so much a single story as it is a collection of experiences and tales from people who have experienced the same things. The idea of Slenderman caught on from episodes of Marble Hornets, and remains one of the most iconic Creepy Pasta stories to date. Slender man itself seems to be some kind of otherworldly being who is attracted to children and the use of video and photography. In fact, the belief of the creature combined with usage of recording equipment seems to make its appearances even more common. It can alter your memories, making you forget hours, days or even weeks of time where you’ll seem to do questionable or even horrific things. If you’re ever feeling ill and losing your sense of time, it might be a good idea to pick up a camera and look out for the Slender Man.


2. There Are People Outside My Windows During Blackouts

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Via reddit.com

This story follows the misadventures of a man trying to protect his family from creatures called “Smilers” that seem to appear during blackouts. The story is recent, but has grown in popularity due to the interactions the author had with the people who responded. The story begins unassumingly, but progresses surely until the idea of darkness is just too much to bear. Have you ever looked out your window and thought you saw a face looking in? If it ever waves, then you had better get yourself some salt and pray that whatever you did to deserve the attention of these creatures passes as quickly as it came. No matter where you go, or what you do, they won’t stop. They won’t ever stop until they have you.

1. My Dead Girlfriend Keeps Messaging Me On Facebook

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Via reddit.com

Check out the story here.

This is quite possibly one of the scariest things you’ll read on the internet.

In today’s age of connection and pervasive social media, it is often questioned what happens to someone’s Facebook or Twitter when they pass away. More often than not, a family member will turn those pages into a memorial page. That is where connections to that page begin to dwindle until they disappear entirely. The memorial page begins to be populated with memory posts from friends and family who think about the person, and feel some sense of closure or connection when they are able to post there. Social media, in that sense, becomes a beacon of hope and closure for people who have lost loved ones. What happens, then, if you start getting messages from someone using the account?

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