We all know of the subforum on Reddit, NoSleep, where people gather to share stories that scare the hell out of people. I don’t actively participate in the forum whatsoever but I read sixpenceee (visit it if you haven’t) and she posts some pretty awesome stories from the /r/nosleep forum and even a nice bit that are submitted to her site. I’ve been following her site for about a year and a half now and I’ve come across some stories that rattled me deep.
Horror is my sick addiction. I think aside from the morbid curiosity and the joy of yelling “run away” or “don’t open that” there’s this sense of critical thinking that comes into play. Fear is something we all have, no matter how tough we think we are and can escape it. Some of us fear heights or water, some of us spiders and snakes, but that feeling within when you stumble upon a fear you never knew you had is amazing. I don’t fear kids, but as soon as I see a black eyed four year old across my screen, I begin to side eye my child and want her as far away as possible. Those feelings in fiction are too beautiful to ignore. And beside listening to the real life horrors in Sword and Scale or the more historical folklore-based horrors featured in Lore, I like to read and freak myself out at 3am occasionally for no good reason.
With that being said, these NoSleep stories have stirred something inside of me to freak me out just enough to where I either think about them randomly in my days or want to go back and read it again just for giggles. If you know some of your own you’d like to recommend, please do so! I don’t have triggers listed but some the stories themselves do, but please be cautious and know that some contain strong language. Like me.
I’ll catch Susan smiling at me for no reason. This has happened more than once. We’ll be watching TV, just the two of us, like always. Then I’ll notice with the corner of my eye that she’s got her eyes at me, not at the TV. Head turned ninety degrees my way, a frozen smile on her face I can only barely make out in my peripheral vision. Something unnatural about it.
And then I turn to look and she’s got her eyes on the TV again. I asked her about it the first time, she denied it. I was afraid I’d sound crazy if I pushed it, so I never asked again.
There were other things, too.
Read it here.
Ten years ago, I taught sophomore creative writing.
Fresh out of college, I took a teaching job in a small town in central Wisconsin. In my sophomore creative writing class, I assigned a flash fiction exercise around Halloween. We’d studied urban legends and folklore, and it was the students’ turn to construct stories of their own.
Assignment length: 100-1000 words. Directions: Scare me.
The submission quality was as expected – these were sophomores, after all – but one story stood out halfway through my stack of papers: a piece by a quiet student named Jake. His first person flash fiction story seemed so real…like it was dipped in reality. A little too closely. Almost like he wasn’t making it up, but had been retelling something that happened to him. I put it aside, impressed.
Kate’s submission was the last paper in the stack. I remember the reading experience vividly: the beads of sweat accumulating around my temples, the clickity click of the red pen in my hand, and a weird feeling of dread in the pit of my stomach. I placed it on top of Jake’s story, and I thought:
What the hell am I going to do?
Read it here.
I’m a Search and Rescue Officer for the US Forest Service, I have some stories to tell
I wasn’t sure where else to post these stories, so I figured I’d share them here. I’ve been an SAR officer for a few years now, and along the way I’ve seen some things that I think you guys will be interested in.
Uncle Gerry’s Fun Zone
I didn’t know Will could draw, I remember thinking as my friend’s hand quickly moved across the page. And then I looked more closely at Will’s impromptu sketch, and I immediately regretted it. I tried to unsee it. I shifted my attention to other things around me, anything at all that wasn’t ink on the page: the blur of Will’s hand, the beads of sweat gathering at his temples, the gentle autumn breeze creeping through the crack of the window.
Don’t look at the page. Just don’t look at it.
But I knew I had to. So I looked. And it was worse than I expected. Much worse.
Read it here.
Mama’s Little Goat
I left home in a hurry to pick up my son from school. Traffic was flowing pretty well that day, nothing on my way but a few red lights. It was while I was waiting at a red light that I noticed the woman.
I have no idea how long she had been standing there, staring at me, but once I noticed her I just could not look away. She was smiling like a maniac, and waving at me with one hand, while stroking a little boy’s hair with the other. The little boy, her son I assume, was wearing baggy brown clothes and a black goat mask. Now that was a very weird costume, plus, who wears a costume the day after Halloween?
Read it here.
Behind Every Door, Beneath Every Bed
My son came home from school with an odd new nursey rhyme.
Aiden had always loved singing little songs. The first he ever learned was twinkle twinkle little star. In his mind it morphed from a little ditty to an opera. He would stand up on his chubby legs and belt it out. “TWINKLE TWINKLE!” It was as if he was on a stage. I loved it, of course. He was my little performer.
But this tune Aiden was singing wasn’t like anything I had ever heard.
Read it here.