Finding deeply disturbing and horrific non-fiction on the internet is easy, thanks to large parts of the human race – but especially this lady. She’s uploaded over 600 similar videos.
But finding well-crafted horror stories or webcomics on the internet is much more difficult.
Every Halloween, bad creepypasta, night-vision nonsense, and this stupid thing rise up to clog the internet. Things like these rarely stay very long with the reader after reading them. BUT WHO WAS PHONE? Someone who doesn’t understand the genre very well, unfortunately. It’s a pity, since the internet is the perfect setting for horror, not only because we’re usually alone (and often in the dark) when we use it, but because it’s a completely malleable portal into our new day-to-day reality. Unimaginably sinister things prowl only mouse-clicks away from your cheerful social media pages and banking profiles. To paraphrase the Tales from the Darkside intro:
“Man lives in the sunlit world in what he believes to be the internet. But, there is, unseen by most, an underworld – a place just as real, but not as brightly lit. And no, I’m not just talking about Japanese stuff.”
It may be hard to find, but good horror does exist on the internet, and here are some links to my personal treasure trove. So: wait until long after sundown, drop the iPad and seek an actual monitor (this is crucial), put on a pair of headphones, and prepare to have some fun. You might lose some sleep, but it’ll be worth it.
Junji Ito’s manga about a mysterious set of holes in the side of a mountain is unique, unsettling, and surprisingly shocking. Remember to follow the panels from right to left, Gaijin. (Thanks to long-gone forum member Abbott & Prospero for turning me on to this one)
I don’t want to spoil any of these, but this story features the world’s most proactive haunted house. What I like most about this one – and there’s a lot to like, from the believable dialogue to clever metafiction approach – is how it engages the reader’s senses, particularly the sense of smell. Dionaea was scary and effective enough to launch creator Eric Hesserer’s screenwriting career.
3. Ted’s Caving
If you were a part of the internet ten years ago, chances are you’ve already stumbled upon Ted’s Caving. It’s a real-life account of one amateur spelunker’s disturbing findings in an unexplored cave. There’s nothing supernatural here, so if you’re looking for ghosts or monsters, you’ll be disappointed. Those willing to navigate this ancient angelfire site (which adds to the experience, and is kinda like spelunking, if you think about it) will be rewarded.
Jealousy, murder, and revenge are all horror staples, but Emily Carrol’s period horror webcomic His Face All Red becomes something totally different in its closing frames. I honestly can’t tell you why that last image is so effective, but it is.
Fewdio’s infamous horror shorts range from grotesque, funny, clever, and occasionally unnerving. If you only watch one, watch Bedfellows (below), but we also recommend Creep, Candy, and Mockingbird. Oh, baby monitors, you so terrifying!
If you’ve never visited the Fewdio channel, prepare to lose a few hours munching through some great, Halloween-candy-sized content.
6. Candle Cove
Every now and then, creepypasta gets it right:
Perhaps the best found-footage “series” on youtube (there are only two that I’m aware of), the Marble Hornets guys demonstrate a really awesome grasp of the genre with their popular exploration of the Slender Man legend. Taking cues from the amazing Ghostwatch, Marble Hornets places its horrors in the background or just out of frame, turning ordinary and even pastoral scenes into high-octane nightmare fuel. I watched episodes 1-26 in a single sitting before deciding to give my nerves a rest. Episode 26 is a good stopping point. Yep. Nothing terrifying happens in that one.
If you liked Marble Hornets, do give EverymanHYBRID a shot. It’s more of a circuitous and winking route to Slender Man than Hornets takes, but it’s also definitely worth a look. Both of these groups have creativity to burn.
So, reddit. If you’re a human aged 18-35, it’s likely that you’ve browsed reddit from time to time. Among the more interesting subreddits is r/nosleep, a collection of first-person “true” accounts of the paranormal and macabre. Sort the page by top, and you’ll discover a collection of wonderfully creepy short fiction designed to keep you up at night. Better still: there’s a biweekly podcast that does a great job turning some of the better stories into digital campfire tales.
And that’s the end of that. Horror’s a supremely subjective thing; what frightens one person might make another shrug, but we’ve hopefully given you at least one reason to check over your shoulder at night.
Finally, we’d love it if you contributed to this list. Please join us in either the message boards or the comments section with links to your favorite fictional horror on the web. Happy Halloween, everybody.