After writing my list of favorite YouTube horror shorts, I remembered that I have several favorite short horror stories that have had an impact on my writing. A few of them really experiment with the new form of writing that online resources can offer. So, without further ado, my favorite internet short stories (and one cheat.) I did not include Slenderman on this list as I was reading the thread in which he was created while it was going on, and it has become so huge that there’s no shortage of stories about him.
The Rake was one of the first internet horror story meme’s and it’s clear why. It can be anything from a signal of impending death, to an omen of warning, to a being with completely alien intentions. People have tried to co-opt him into a kind of Slenderman mythos, however the Rake definitely works best as a mysterious standalone story.
The SCP series is interesting because it is written as case files from a mysterious organization tasked with the job of securing, capturing, and protecting dangerous objects and creatures. It is a wiki that anyone can edit, and therein lies the problem. For every excellent entry like SCP-087, you get 3 more that are either wacky self-insert in jokes, or something so over the top that it goes straight into a parody of horror. SCP-087 and the short games based on it however, still creep me out to this day. If I had a team of people kitted out with advanced weapons and the like I think I’d go down there, but we all know what happened to the Colonial Marines in Aliens, so that probably wouldn’t be a good idea.
Ted the Caver is one of the oldest true internet horror stories. Dating back to 2001 and built on an Angelfire page, it’s a window into what a simpler place the internet used to be. This set into my mind that alternative story telling could be an amazingly creepy thing. There was some controversy as to whether this actually was plagiarized from a different story, however research found that this was actually published first. There are several versions out there, but from what I recall this is the original.
Reminiscent of House of Leaves, Dionaea House takes the internet storytelling of Ted the Caver to the next level. Scattered across several linked blogs is the story of why a man’s childhood friend committed a random double homicide. I don’t want to say more, but give it a read and be sure to click all the links. This story reinforced my love of journal entry, first person stories.
This is the cheat I mentioned. The Little Fears is a YouTube video series of a woman reading creepy stories. Her tone and cadence is perfect to put you on edge and make you feel like she knows something that you don’t. All of the stories are very well done, and I can’t really recommend any in particular. Give it a listen late at night, wearing headphones. Unfortunately she very rarely updates (we’re talking years here) but luckily the channel hasn’t been taken down.
So! Now that I’ve told you mine, do you have any stories I should check out? I absolutely adore supernatural horror fiction, so please kick some my way in the comments below! Thanks for reading everyone!