Gaby and I walk across the grass, the grounds of the asylum now pitched in darkness. We slowly begin making our way towards the old hanging tree, our flashlights and lantern off. Its silhouette is highlighted against the brighter sky making finding our way just a matter of dodging thorn bushes and fallen logs. When we get there it’s easy to see why it’s still known as the hanging tree. Torn and shredded lines of rope still hang from the dead, thick branches. They sway in the wind like morbid streamers.
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!
Donkeys unrelated. I just love that photo of me.
So my biggest problem lately has been staying in one place long enough to spend time writing. A lot of my best writing has been done while propped up in bed, or on the couch, but balancing everything has been a huge pain in the ass. I wanted to buy a lap desk, but Karen reminded me I’ve been dropping cash left and right on things. So, I decided to make my own!
I’m not even going to pretend that this is impressive, but I’ve been amused and how quickly I macguyvered it together. It’s only mid way done, and is effectively just a piece of pine wrapped in pleather left over and scavenged from my costume, and glued into place.
I’ve been feeling like working on a DIY project for a while and this is a simple, but fun start. Cobbled together in 20 minutes, I can prop it on a pillow once done and have a non-slip work surface once I get the urge to move around the house. I want to build my own writing desk soon, but I’m going to need wayyyy more tools for that.
Ever since I’ve started writing I wanted to start doing more stuff with my hands. I’m a target shooter as a hobbyist, so cleaning and breaking down simple machinery kind of scratched that itch, but lately I’ve been in such a mood to create that I’m trying to learn new trades.
Speaking of which! I’m starting a YouTube channel. It should be up by next week, just waiting for my partner in crime to get some of his professional recording mics together. I tried recording with my webcam and headset and… well it wasn’t pretty.
It’s going to be me, me reading stories, and me doing other stuff. Me, me me me me. Yeah I know you can’t get enough of me. (Please don’t close this tab yet.)
So, keep an eye out. I’ll make a post about it, but my first real video is going to be me reading my original story, “Hypothermia,” from the blog. Yeah, it felt thematically right given that it’s my new project and a horribly cold start to winter. The story has been revised since it’s original publication. Not heavily, but enough.
Looking forward to seeing you all next week when I try building a house,
UPDATE: The final product:
Unexpected bonus, the backing of the pleather also reads the wireless mouse perfectly. Not too shabby for 20 angry minutes of work, a hacksaw, utility knife, a bottle of super glue, and then weather sealant if I do say! Saved $20.