Maybe you’re a fan of horror and can’t get enough terrifying tales of monsters, serial killers, or ghosts. You’ve streamed every horror movie online and you’re running out of options. Why not take some time to read scary stories online?
Even if you’re a fan of the titans of horror like Stephen King, Clive Barker, or Anne Rice, it is possible to find tales of fear outside of the bookstore. These could be stories written by well-known authors and available as a free eBook, or tales told by little-known online writers who have unique writing skills.
The following are 9 of the best websites with scary short stories that you can read online right now.
9 Websites with Scary Short Stories
If you’re ever in the mood for a scary story, you may not have time to run to the library or bookstore. Sure, you could download an eBook from Amazon or purchase an audiobook on Audible. But why add that expense when you can use the sites below to read a spooky tale for free?
No list of sites where you can read creepy short stories would be complete without listing Creepypasta at the top. This site is filled with reader-submitted stories. These include fictional tales about hauntings, ghosts, possessions, and more. Sometimes they are told in the first person, but rest assured that the site owners only accept fictional stories.
You can use the Creepypasta Stories menu to browse stories by category, length, author, rating, and more. For the best stories, use either the Top Ranked or Famous Creepypasta menu items.
If you’d like to submit your own story, make sure to visit the submissions page (select Submissions from the menu). Follow the editorial guidelines and you could have your own story featured on the site!
Scary for Kids is a website that features a wide range of scary content, geared toward kids. Content on the site includes scary pictures, videos, games, movies, and stories.
Select Scary Stories from the menu to access the area of the site where all of those stories are collected. On that page you can browse scary stories by categories like Halloween stories, urban legends, ghost stories, and more.
Since this site is for kids, expect spooky stories, but nothing that’s too gory or disturbing for younger children (or for easily scared adults).
The Darkest Blog takes horror short stories seriously. The owner of the site urges visitors to send in their scariest stories, true or fictional. The menu offers special categories like witch stories, ghost stories, “dud” tales (mind-bending), or creepy stories about dreaming.
The site design is somewhat outdated and plain, but that’s not why you’re there is it? You’re there to be spooked!
The stories here are very good. You may spot a grammar error here and there since most of these are written by first-time authors without an editor. However, those don’t take away from the scary nature of the stories themselves.
The focus of Oldstyle Tales Press is to publish critical essays about all classic horror authors like Edgar Allen Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. If you are a big fan of classic literature, browsing these critical essays is actually very interesting. However, the site also publishes “The Yellow Book”, a journal of horror and ghost stories written by modern authors. You can read the journals in PDF format for free. Access these in the Originals section.
The first journal was published in 2014 and the last in 2017. There are no new journals, but that means there are four years’ worth of some of the best horror stories for you to read for free!
Hauntu is a website run by the owners of Colle Eastern Hotel in Malaysia. They run a “real haunted house experience”, complete with actors, special effects, and more. Visit the blog section of the site to read a wide range of stories about haunted places around the world (not only in Malaysia!)
If the small collection of scary stories at other sites just isn’t cutting it for you, then you’ll love the endless supply of them available at Reedsy Prompts. This website runs a weekly writing contest, where writers submit their stories to win the top prize of $250 (or more) and get featured on the site.
Ready for the largest collection of scary stories anywhere? Select Stories from the top menu and the Horror category from the left menu. There, you will find a very long list (175 pages worth) of the award winning horror short stories. Since these are the authors who won the top prize, you can be sure that the writing will be top quality and the stories will be truly horrifying.
Housecreep is a creative way to find stories to freak yourself out. These aren’t fictional horror stories authored by some online writer. No, these are actual horror stories that took place in your own backyard.
Just type the name of your town or city in the search bar and you’ll see a list of the properties nearest to you where the site has a record of a terrible crime (usually murder) that happened there.
These are all very short tales (usually a single paragraph), but the events they detail are no less terrifying because they actually happened.
You may already know that Medium features a very wide range of content written by online writers. Since there’s so much published there, it makes sense that there would be large categories of stories. There are so many horror stories there, in fact, that Medium created several “collections” that fit the bill.
Visit the Medium Collections page, and you’ll find collections of stories covering strange spiritual stories (Radical Spirits), Monsters, Near-Death Experiences, and evil (Damned Souls). Browse these collections to get your scary story fix, or just use the Medium search field to find scary stories on Medium outside of these collections.
Wattpad is both a mobile app and a website. It’s a community of writers who all actively write new stories and comment on the stories of others.
And when I say “comment”, I mean it. Readers are able to comment on every single paragraph in each story – which on their own can make for some very interesting (and sometimes comical) reading.
Wattpad has an entire “horror” tag where you’ll find all of the horror stories contributors have published. Not all of them are great writing, but you can find some really good horror stories here. Look for those that are or were featured as paid content before transitioning to free.
Get Your Scary Fix
Fans of horror stories don’t always have the easiest time finding entertainment. There are only so many horror movies and TV shows you can stream. Eventually, you’re going to run out. Finding scary stories to read online is a great alternative that can keep you creeped out on those long, dark, rainy nights when you’re looking for something spooky to do.