I love everything about Fall! The changing leaves, the nip in the air and, of course, Halloween! While I don’t watch a ton of horror movies (except bad ones! I should make a list of fun, bad movies), I have always loved reading scary stories. After all, the night is dark and full of terrors, and the internet is large and full of horror stories that you can read online. For free. Right now. Here are 13 creepy, spine-tingling stories that you can read online right now, from your very own phone, computer, or haunted looking glass.
‘Please, Momma’ by Chesya Burke
Grief and loss are truly, gruesomely haunting in Chesya Burke’s short story, “Please, Momma”, about a mother unable to let go and a daughter desperate to save her mother from the horrors she has brought on herself.
‘Click-clack the Rattlebag’ by Neil Gaiman
You know that feeling you get, when you have to walk up the stairs alone in an old, dark house? And you know that you shouldn’t be afraid of the dark, but you can’t help but feel like something is following, just behind you? Neil Gaiman has distilled that feeling into a story. “Click-clack the Rattlebag” is short, simple, and utterly bone chilling.
‘Bog Girl’ by Karen Russell
You know how they sometimes find those ancient bodies, perfectly preserved, in a bog? ‘Bog Girl’ is about a girl who is found in a bog, and about the boy who loves her. It’s creepy bordering on sweet… but romance with a bog girl is not so simple, in the end.
‘How to Get Back to the Forest’ by Sofia Samatar
At first, the kids in “How to Get Back to the Forest” seem like any other kids at summer camp: homesick and loud and obsessed with creepy rumors. But then we start to understand that this is not a summer camp as we know it… and these children are never, ever going home.
‘The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire’ by Poppy Z. Brite
Poppy Z. Brite is a master at weaving together horror and magic and passionate love to create stories like “The Ash of Memory, the Dust of Desire.” So if you’re looking to read about steamy romance and half-rotted corpses in the very same story… this is the one for you.
‘The Doll’ by Daphne du Maurier
Creepy doll. CREEPY DOLL. Surely, the creepy doll story is the highest level of creep. And “The Doll,” a story of obsession and violins and dolls with blank, staring eyes, is one of the ultimate classics.
‘Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” is not an especially long or complicated story. The plot is simply a guy called Arnold Friend driving up to a girl’s house, and asking her to come with him on a ride. That’s it. And yet… this is perhaps the creepiest story of them all. Because the longer we spend with Arnold Friend, the more we start to fear him.
“The Yellow Wall-Paper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
This is probably one of the most reprinted horror stories of all time, and for good reason. Go insane with its tortured narrator and read ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’
“The Night Wire” by H. F. Arnold
Not a lot is known about H. F. Arnold except for the fact that he wrote what is considered one of the most famous stories ever to be published in Weird Tales. “The Night Wire” deals with two graveyard-shift radio operators and a strange, unknown town in the process of being swallowed by fog.
“Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” by Alyssa Wong
An unusual, haunting and beautiful tale, ‘Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers’ combines urban fantasy and horror with Asian folklore. “Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers” begins with a bad date that flips the notion of vulnerable female on its head.
“Postcards from Natalie” by Carrie Laben
Just when you think you know where this story is going, ‘Postcards from Natalie‘ gut punches you. This happens multiple times in very little time and sticks with you for awhile.
“The Monkey’s Paw” by W.W. Jacobs
‘The Monkey’s Paw’ is one of the most famous short stories of all times, but you might be surprised how scary it remains, even if you think you remember the ending. A simple knock at the door has never been so gut-wrenching.
“The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas” by Ursula K Leguin
Though not strictly a horror story, ‘The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas’ is a thought provoking, unsettling story about the things that people are willing to accept in order to protect a way of life. This has long been one of my favorite short stories.