As the gossamer veil between this world and the next thins, we take a look at the stories that will keep you up at night with the eerie feeling of being watched. Brought to you by the lovely people of Reddit and Youtube, as well as a series and a few classic short stories, here are some tales waiting to be read upon the witching hour.
r/niceguys Special Feature [Our Love Forever, vol. 1 of 221]
Starting things off a little light, this video humorously shares journal entries from a man obsessed. Over the course of at least nine months, this man carefully documents watching his co-worker, taking note of her attire and listening in on her conversations. He also keeps track of her movements, where she is and who she’s with. He calls her the “love of his life” and projects onto her his dreams of a life together.
The First Rule of Improv
“My father taught me that the first rule of improv is You never say no.” A girl talks of her experiences with improvisation theatre. She goes into recounting her time with a community improv group and its members. In particular, she talks about miserable, controlling Jeff who later affects the lives of the group’s members.
A Collapse of Horses
Featuring an unreliable narrator, we look into the mind of a man who was caught in an accident. Following this, he was confined to a bed to recuperate but begins to suffer delusions about his house and family. The number of children he has changes. The size and contents of his house is never concrete. Driven to distraction from his hallucinations, he decides to put an end to things. It gets worse from there.
Through the narrator, we meet a man who keeps his numerous hunting trophies on his wall. The most interesting of this display is a human hand, preserved and chained down. The man describes it as the hand of his enemy. Tied down as it is, the thing looks as lifeless as the appendage should be and yet, the man seems terrified of it.
A Rose for Emily
Here, we are told the story of old Ms. Emily Grierson, who is a relic of antebellum Southern aristocracy. In fragmented parts, we get taken through her life as the daughter of a demanding father, the lover abandoned, the old spinster alone. In her years without family, she has become a recluse, prompting the curiosity of her community. In her death, they discover a final, horrifying secret.
My friend told me that she has a really bad case of sleep paralysis. For those who don’t know, it’s like being stuck between sleeping and waking up. You are conscious. You know what’s happening around you but no one is aware that you’re awake. To the waking world, you’re still asleep. And that’s because even if you’re conscious, you still can’t move anything. You can’t wake your body up. Apparently, it’s a terrifying thing to experience. She told me that the worse thing about her case is the fact that she gets visions and starts seeing things that aren’t there. There was a time when she was alone in her condo when it happened. From the corner of her eyes, she saw a stationary black figure, waiting and watching her. She tells me she felt terrified, knowing that she can’t move. So, they say that the way you can get out of sleep paralysis is to move the little things, like twitching your fingers and moving your eyes. My friend tried to flick her eyes left and right. But every time her eyes would move, he’d come closer and closer and closer to where she was lying on her bed. Finally, right when the figure was about to reach for her, she woke up. Here’s another fun fact about sleep paralysis. Supposedly, when you hear about it for the first time, it will happen to you.
The Haunting of Hill House
In the first season, we get introduced to a couple, Hugh and Olivia Crain, who temporarily move into Hill House with their children, Steven, Shirley, Theodora, Luke and Eleanor. Their story is told in a non-linear narrative, jumping back and forth from the summer of 1992, when they first moved in, to 26 years later wherein the family reunites due to a tragedy. We see the house trapping their minds with unseen noises and inexplicable events, and how it later affects their lives.
If you feel up for more, you can check out https://www.reddit.com/r/shortscarystories/