There are dozens of timeless scary stories we've heard during the Halloween season for years.
Kids have been daring each other to "summon" Bloody Mary in the mirror for decades. The tale of the Hookman has been used one hundred times over to make sure rebellious teens are at home by a decent hour. And who hasn't looked over their shoulder to make sure there isn't a murder in your backseat after hearing the High Beams story?
Smartphones are bringing a new take on these urban legends and ghost stories. Scary story apps today are tweaking the classic "choose your own ending" books some of us might've read as kids.
Check out these apps packed with spooky stories perfect for reading in the dark. Just make sure your doors are locked!
1. Cliffhanger Chat Stories
The Cliffhanger app (iOS, Android) tells you scary stories in an interactive text message format. You can choose how the story turns out based on how you answer the texts.
When you open the app, it will find you the latest horror story and start your "text." For example, in one story Jonah and Brie are chatting casually until an unexpected intruder shows up at Brie's cabin. You can keep the chat going by pressing "Tap" at the bottom the screen. By pressing and holding the "Tap" button, you can start autoplay.
As the text progresses, you can choose what Brie tells Jonah. As secrets unfold, the mystery deepens with strange videos and photos in your text. The downside is you have to subscribe to Cliffhanger to see them.
The dialogue is a bit cheesy sometimes, and it doesn't always feel realistic through text.
You can pick from stories like "Lost But Not Forgotten," "Poison," and "The New Guy."
2. Annie96 is Typing...
Annie96 is Typing is another chat story akin to the Cliffhanger app. There's only one story to play through.
When you open the app, it tells you that the mysterious chat between Annie and David was found on WhatsApp. When you read the messages, you find out that Annie was texting David and someone breaks into her house. It takes a few twists from there.
As with Cliffhanger, it's not Stephen King quality horror or character development, but it's fun and the first twist was pretty good. The ending is reminiscent of a campy 80s horror flick.
Creepypasta (iOS, Android) might just be the mecca of weird and scary stories on the internet. The app has more than 10,000 stories from other Creepypasta readers. The app updates every few hours, so you'll always have new content.
Stories are classified in different categories. The newest stories are in Latest and New. The Rising section keeps track of the best Creepypastas. Stories gaining a fan following are in Trending, the legendary pieces are in Top and Popular, everything is searchable. Stories are also rated, so you don't read a dud.
You can chat with other Creepypasta users about your favorite scary stories. If you're still not finding anything good, tap "Random" and the app will pick a story for you. Check out stories like "A Shattered Life," the "Tales from the Gas Station" series, and "Always Be Nice to Your Neighbors."
If you're feeling extra creepy, you can write and submit your own spine-chilling tale to the Creepypasta site.
4. Ghost Stories
Whether you believe in ghosts or not ghost stories can be pretty fun to read. The tales in the Ghost Stories app slowly escalate and might leave you questioning if spirits are among us.
What might really make you start shaking in your boots, is that some of these stories are rooted in truth. Stories like the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall, Emily Rose (you might've seen the movie from 2005), and the Hairy Hands of Dartmoor turn up results if you search them online.
One story, called "Robert the Doll" did exist and was owned by Gene Otto like the story said. Whether or not the doll was as sinister as lore has suggested, is debated.
The stories read fairly conversational. If you're a fan of reading the recap-style compilation articles on social media, you might like this. The story text size is adjustable and you can enable dark mode.
5. Interactive Horror Stories
The Interactive Horror Stories app gives you a choose-your-own-ending feel with a more traditional display, instead of a text chat.
You can pick between seven stories written in second person, so you feel like a part of the story.
The app's stories feature stories about possessed dolls, messing with a Ouija board, mysterious crystals, and pushing the boundaries of sanity.
A cool part about this app is the sound effects that happen as you're playing through a story. You'll hear claps of thunder and the creak of an opening door when you least expect it, adding to the overall fright factor.
Some story parts go a level deeper. In the Ouija story, you can use your finger to move the little planchette channel the spirit's message.
6. No Sleep Stories
The No Sleep Stories app is a more traditional take on scary stories. Some of the stories have click-bait type titles like "I Worked Night Shifts at a Museum for a While" and "Another Reason For You to be Scared of Flying."
The app displays in dark mode for late night horror binges. You can fit a No Sleep story in with even the busiest of schedules, which is what I like about this app.
The stories can be organized alphabetically, by length, or by how long it takes to read it.
You can pick the perfect tale listed as tiny, short, medium, long, or huge. "Huge" stories usually clock in at 10 to 13 minutes of reading time. Other can take just one minute. If you're trying to avoid nightmares, you could squeeze a few in on your lunch break in the daytime.
No Sleep keeps your place so you're not wasting time scrolling. You can search for a story by keyword and save anything you think warrants a second read.
Anytime Tours of Sacramento
If you're in the Sacramento, California area this Halloween, you could take a personalized tour of the city's historic cemetery. The cemetery has been around since 1849.
If you're feeling particularly creepy, the cemetery's website has a map and a list of people who are buried there (and where to find them).
FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.
- Fortnite's zombies and ghouls invade Battle Royale mode for Halloween
- Red Dead Redemption 2 will lasso a companion app for iOS and Android
- Ghostbusters World takes on Pokemon Go with AR-based ghost collecting
- How to find Pokemon in Pokemon Go
- Walking Dead: Our World is Pokemon Go with zombies (CNET)
- Yep, there's a second Apple event this fall, and it's later than it's been in a decade (ZDNet)
- Spooky Halloween tech and gifts (TechRepublic)