Happy Halloween! Got any costume parties to go to tonight? It’s fine, though, if you had nothing planned; a night in to start the long weekend ahead could just be what you need.

Besides, your cozy bed, your favorite drink on the bedside table, and the lights dimmed down are all you need for a night of scares, courtesy of some of the creepiest stories we’ve read online. Some are short and sweet, some are lengthy and quite detailed, but these creepypastas can make you want to keep your light on, at least while you try to go to sleep tonight. Sweet dreams! (Or terrible nightmares.)

 

The Smiling Man

The Smiling Man screengrab from YouTube

Let’s start with a story that, I have to admit, had me keeping a night light on for a couple of nights after I first read it. It just plays into so many fears I have as a woman navigating the world alone, and the menace it presents is something that could very plausibly happen to anyone who happens to still be out—and again, alone—very late at night. It’s terrifying to read and imagine what the Smiling Man looks like and how he moves, and I had thought that watching the short film it had inspired wouldn’t faze me anymore. But damn if I still didn’t get chills up and down my spine when I clicked on this video:

 

Look At Me

Image from Jezebel

This story was an entry to the Jezebel website‘s annual Scary Stories contest, and since it was first posted in 2014, it has become a hall of famer among their vault of creepy stories. The idea of being watched so intently is already uncomfortable, but certain details in this tale—you’d know what I’m talking about once you read this story—just takes the spying on a whole ‘nother terrifying level. Let’s just say maybe we’d all do better not to keep our backs to the door when we’re preoccupied with something, huh?

 

The Tinder Horror Date

Scream screengrab from YouTube

I first heard a variation of this story on an episode of the podcast My Favorite Murderand retelling it to a friend gave me goosebumps. Anyway, the way it goes is that a woman who was staying alone in her dad’s old cabin for a few days kept hearing odd noises around the house. She brushed them off as the sounds of squirrels or rats rooting around, and when she told her dad about them, he agreed with her, though he also advised calling the police to have them check the place out. The woman initially refused to do so because she didn’t think it’d be worth the trouble, but was eventually convinced. The officer who answered her call assured her that someone from the police station would drop by to take a look, and then he asked the woman if she was alone in the house. She said yes, and the officer told her to expect them at her place in a couple of hours. Five minutes later, police cars arrived outside with their sirens blaring, and with officers telling her to get out of the house stat. Why? You have to read this version of the story to find out.

 

A Story to Scare My Son

GIF via Giphy

Quite the bedtime story to tell if you’re a parent and you want to instill indelible trauma into your kid, but this macabre but short piece has quite the important lesson of setting and keeping boundaries. Or, you know, you might find yourself getting raised by someone else. Just saying.

 

The Portraits

And finally, a succinct horror story that’s easy to imagine getting told by your lolo, because it could be set in any liblib na probinsiya. Very Shake, Rattle & Roll. 

A spooky Halloween, everybody!