Halloween may be over, but the incoming cold, overcast weather is still perfect for bundling up by a fire and reading some spooky stories. Perhaps you’re tired of reading the same old Goosebumps book you’ve read since you were in elementary school. There’s too much going on at this point in the semester to have time in your schedule to read your favorite horror novels anyway. But you still want something scary to read under the safety of your covers at night, don’t you?
Here are five of my personal favorite short stories that will be sure to scare you. Here’s the catch though—these weren’t written by the likes of Stephen King and H.P. Lovecraft. These were written by folks just like you! That doesn’t mean they are of lesser quality, oh no my dear readers. There are plenty of these short stories out there that’ll make your skin crawl. Now, onto my top five!
1. BEN DROWNED
Ben Drowned is one of the many haunted video game stories out there, but it outshines them all with how the author sets up their story. The narrator makes a stop at a local garage sale and goes home with the Nintendo 64 game The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. Once he plugs in the game he notices a file from the previous owner. All hell breaks loose from there as he documents every strange and terrifying moment that happens within the game and outside of it. What makes this haunted video game story unique is how the author created videos as “proof” of his experiences in the game. Majora’s Mask is already a dark and unsettling game, but Ben Drowned manages to up that by twenty percent and sprinkle some paranoia onto it by the end of its story. Fans of the game will never look at it the same way again. Be sure to have the lights on when you watch the videos.
2. NOEND HOUSE
Tired of going to the same old haunted house attractions with the same old boring scares? NoEnd House has something new and terrifying for you. The trick is you need to make it through all nine rooms. The treat? How does $500 sound? Totally worth it! But can you get to the final room? It’s been said that the house got its name because no one ever has. Just what lies in each room that manages to scare everyone away? You’ll have to find that out on your own. Put on your brave face and step through the first door in NoEnd House.
Something has gone horribly wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but your gut instinct warns you to not leave your room no matter what. You can’t trust your friends anymore. You mustn’t let them lure you out, no matter what they tell you. You set up a webcam to see what all is happening outside your door. Can you even trust your own eyes? This is the tale of Psychosis, told through journal entries by our narrator going through these terrifying events.
4. My Brother died when I was a child. He kept talking.
It’s just as the title says—the narrator shares a time in his life that was both heartbreaking and disturbing. Strange people examine his brother and encourage the narrator to talk to him, to ask him what he is seeing, where is he, if there is a heaven or hell. The more the narrator’s brother speaks of his journey, the more maddening it becomes. Definitely not the story for those who are looking forward to a happy afterlife. Definitely the story for those who want a reason to not rest peacefully for a while.
5. TED THE CAVER
A rather long story with a slow burn, but trust me when I say to not skip this one. The atmosphere and slow build-up is worth the read. Told through blog entries, a couple of friends discover a small hole in a cave they’re exploring. They decide to chip away at it until the hole is big enough for them to get through and explore the uncharted side. With each day they revisit the cave to enlarge the hole, it becomes more evident that they are not alone. Something is lurking on the other side, and it is well aware of their presence. Pictures of the cave are included as a bonus. Just be sure to cuddle up with your closest pal, as this is one story you do not want to explore alone.