Tag Archives: scary stories

Throwback: Are You Afraid of the Dark?

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, Snick on Nickolodeon was the highlight of my weekend (except for Tales from the Crypt).   So many classic Nick shows.  From Clarissa Explains It All to Ren & Stimpy, so many memories and so many laughs.

And, of course, there was this little gem.


Are You Afraid of the Dark? premiered on Nickelodeon in the early 90s and taught kids my age the art of the scary story.  Stories were based on urban legends, supernatural beings, or fairy tales, and they always had a twist.  They were like Tales from the Crypt or The Twilight Zone for a younger audience, except instead of the Cryptkeeper or Rod Serling, it had the Midnight Society, a group of kids who met at midnight around a campfire to tell scary stories.  I always thought the Midnight Society was the coolest thing ever, and I wanted so badly to have a group like that of my own.

But whose parents are just going to let their 10-year-old out at midnight to hang around a campfire at a secret location in the woods?  Not many.



There were so many awesome stories and characters.  Some of my favorite episodes were:

  • The Tale of Laughing in the Dark:  A kid visits a local carnival’s haunted house and steals the nose of Zeebo, an animatronic clown that turns out to be a little attached to his missing body part.
  • The Tale of the Nightly Neighbors: New neighbors arouse the suspicion of children in the house next door, who suspect they might be vampires.
  • The Tale of the Frozen Ghost: A kid and his babysitter visit his aunt’s house and encounter a spirit haunting the area.  (To this day, I still utter a sad little “I’m cold” when I’m freezing.  Watch it. You’ll know what I mean.)
  • The Tale of the Ghastly Grinner: A boy accidentally unleashes a comic book villain who terrorizes his town.
  • The Tale of the Dangerous Soup: A teen starts working in a restaurant and finds out their best-selling soup has an interesting ingredient.


I might just have to watch some of these again.  They might be for a younger crowd, but I’ve never really grown up, so it’s okay.

Anyone out there have some favorite episodes they want to share?  What are your favorite scary shows from your childhood?

Frightmaster Lovecraft, Spinnin’ Terror

It’s Friday again, and if you’re looking for a way to start your weekend off with a fright, then I suggest you look into the works of H.P. Lovecraft.


Even if you haven’t read any of Lovecraft’s stories, you are still sure to have read, heard, or watched something that was influenced by him.  Multiple musicians, directors, comic book artists, and authors (including the master of horror himself, Stephen King) have cited Lovecraft as a huge inspiration in their work.

And for all you Evil Dead fans (myself included), you know the Necronomicon?  Yeah.  He invented that.  Respect.

Now, if you’re looking for light reading, this ain’t it.  His stories boast some of the heaviest content I have ever read.  Thinking about the size of the universe and your place in it can make you feel small, but Lovecraft’s descriptions of our place in the galaxy, the origins of our ancestors, and ancient inhabitants of our planet make you feel positively microscopic.


It’s not feel-good material is what I’m saying.  It’s just good.  Really good.

My favorites of his stories are “At the Mountains of Madness,” “Dreams in the Witch House,” “The Dunwich Horror,” “The Shunned House,” and, of course, “The Call of Cthulhu.”


It’s about this guy, but scarier.

I suggest you start with all of those and keep going.

Not much of a reader?  No problem.  Check out the following movies and TV episodes based on or influenced by his work:

  • Re-Animator (1985): This horror-comedy based on Lovecraft’s story “Herbert West – Re-Animator” is gory, disturbing, and hilarious.
  • Masters of Horror – “Dreams in the Witch House” (2005):  The second episode of this awesome series (check it out if you haven’t already) is directly taken from the story of the same name.  It’s dark and creepy, and it’s one of my favorites.
  • South Park – “Coon 2: Hindsight,” “Mysterion Rises,” & “Coon vs. Coon & Friends” (2010): Trouble begins in the first episode of this trilogy when DP drills too deep into the ocean floor and releases Cthulhu from the watery depths.  Of course, Cartman is there to make friends.  If you love to laugh, this will not disappoint.
  • The Thing (1982): Although it isn’t actually based on the story, this movie is reminiscent of “At the Mountains of Madness,” one of my all-time favorite Lovecraft stories.  Antarctica? Check.  Doom? Check. Gloom? Check. Creepy Alien Lifeforms? Check.

I believe I’ll take my own advice and re-read some of my favorite stories over this long weekend.  What about you?  Do you have any favorites?  What Lovecraftian horrors give you the chills?

Have You Heard of the Goatman?

It’s another edition of Friday Night Frights, and for this one, I really want to draw your attention to one of my all-time favorite scary stories.  Have you heard of the Goatman?

There are Goatman legends in quite a few parts of the country, namely the Pope Lick Monster in Kentucky, the Lake Worth Monster in Texas, and the Goatman of Maryland.

But I’m not talking about those.

I am from Oklahoma, so Native American folklore has always been pretty fascinating to me.   I grew up around Native American burial grounds, and there have been more than a few arrowheads found around my childhood home.  Since I’ve always been a horror junkie, these circumstances have fueled my imagination ever since I was little because – well – burial grounds = dead people = ghosts.

Like these guys but – you know – scarier.

So when I came across Anansi’s Goatman Story a few years ago, I immediately fell in love.  If you haven’t read it, I suggest you go read it now…unless it’s still daytime.  Wait until night for a better effect.

In my opinion, this version of the Goatman is the most terrifying.  This story just speaks to me. My house was near the woods, so I have little trouble imagining myself in the same situation.  I can remember so many fun times with my friends out there in the forest: camping out, having sleepovers with late-night treks through the trees, and telling so many scary stories that every snap and crackle we heard became a monster.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I were alone out there at night.


Thinking about hearing strange jabbering noises coming from the dark woods while you’re helpless to do anything, smelling something so out-of-place it puts you on edge, and realizing one of the people in your group doesn’t belong – well, that just creeps me right the hell out.  But in an extremely good way.

Because of the popularity of this story, other internet storytellers have hopped on board the Goatman train.  And I love every story I read.  There have been stories on Reddit’s No Sleep and Creepypasta that have a similar vibe, and I hope they keep coming.  Just check them all out.

So what’s your favorite scary story?

Paranormal Celebrations, True Stories

Happy Paranormal Day!  I hope everyone out there is getting a good dose of the supernatural, but in case you’re struggling to find the right way to celebrate, here are my suggestions.

  1.  Watch a little Paranormal Activity…with your imagination.  I will defend these movies forever.  Just imagine yourself in those situations.  Would you need crazy CGI to freak out if you were in those characters’ shoes?  No.  You wouldn’t.
  2.  Read a good piece of supernatural fiction.  My favorites are the Anita Blake and Hollows series.  They might not be truly scary, but I love the magical worlds Laurell K. Hamilton and Kim Harrison create.
  3.  Get lost in the true and not-so-true creepy stories on Reddit on subreddits like NoSleep or Paranormal.  I’d also suggest searching for creepy stories on the AskReddit subreddit.  I love reading about people’s scary experiences.


Now for a true story.  Let me set the stage.

I was a freshman in high school, and my mother, sister, and I had just gotten home after a grocery trip one day after school.  As my mother began to prepare our dinner and my sister started to pass some time on the computer in the dining room, I remembered I had a permission slip that I needed signed for a field trip.  So, I went to my room at the back of the house to search my backpack.

My room was right across from my parents’ bedroom, and at this time my bed was situated where the end of the bed was even with the edge of my door frame about 10 feet across the room.  My mother that day was wearing a cream-colored sweater. This comes into play in a minute.

While I was searching for the permission slip in my backpack at the foot of the bed, I heard my dad come home.  He was talking to my mom and sister, and I could hear them joking around.   I finally found the piece of paper I was looking for, and while I was wrestling it from the other papers in my bag, I saw very clearly with my peripheral vision my mother walk past my doorway and into her bedroom into her closet.

Or so I thought.

I told her to wait one second while I got her to sign the paper, and I heard a very clear, “Hmm?”  I immediately followed her into her room with the paper and a pen and turned into the walk-in closet.

No one was there.

I stood there for a few seconds, really confused because I had JUST SEEN HER WALK IN THERE and she had JUST ANSWERED ME.  I walked back to the kitchen and saw that my mom was exactly where I left her, washing vegetables for dinner.  My sister was still on the computer, and my dad was taking off his work boots.

What. The. Hell.

I walked back to my parents’ room, but – of course – nothing was there.  I didn’t really expect there to be.  I was so weirded out that I didn’t even make a big deal about it, which is pretty strange because I’m all about this stuff normally.  I just couldn’t believe that had just happened.  I ended up telling my mom about it one day, and she said that the house could be creepy sometimes but that it was probably nothing.  My sister thought it was cool and said she felt creepy in the back of the house at times.

I forgot about it for the longest time until one day my family and I were eating dinner at a restaurant in Branson.  We were talking about creepy things, and my dad happened to mention that he thought there was something in our house.  He said he’d seen out of the corner of his eyes a Native American woman in a cream-colored shawl walk around our house at least a few times.

Say what now?

I had a momentary freak-out when I heard this and told him about the woman I had seen go into his bedroom closet.  He just said that he believed it.  My parents’ house is located in Eastern Oklahoma, and there are quite a few Native American burial grounds close to our house.  It’s very possible we have a few ghosts that call our land home.

Each of my family members’ have seen or felt creepy things in the back of our house from time to time.  My sister has even had a few things moved from her shelves and placed on the floor in her room.

Silly ghosts.

So that’s my story.  It’s not flashy, but it’ll do.  Anyone out there have a creepy paranormal encounter?  I’d love to hear it.