In the modern age, creatives have been using more and more outlets to tell horror stories than ever before. With viral Twitter horror threads such as “Dear David’ and “Teletubbie Facts,” social media horror stories have become more commonplace. New apps generate text conversations that tell horrifying stories. Other creators have produced their own horror through YouTube, Snapchat and now even TikTok. Two sentence horror stories belong in this wave of innovative ways to tell a terrifying tale. You may be wondering how just two sentences can be enough to make you unable to sleep at night, but as soon as you read the first one, you’ll understand.
1. I begin tucking him into bed and he tells me, “Daddy check for monsters under my bed.” I look underneath for his amusement and see him, another him, under the bed, staring back at me quivering and whispering, “Daddy there’s somebody on my bed.” — justAnotherMuffledVo
2. Don’t be scared of the monsters, just look for them. Look to your left, to your right, under your bed, behind your dresser, in your closet but never look up, she hates being seen. — AnarchistWaffles
Image via YouTube
3. I woke up to hear knocking on glass. At first, I though it was the window until I heard it come from the mirror again. — therealhatman
4. She wondered why she was casting two shadows. Afterall, there was only a single lightbulb. — pgan91
5. There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone. — guztaluz
Image via Robert JR Graham
6. They delivered the mannequins in bubble wrap. From the main room I begin to hear popping. — Mikeyseventyfive
7. My daughter won’t stop crying and screaming in the middle of the night. I visit her grave and ask her to stop, but it doesn’t help. — skuppy
From puppy pics to political news, Twitter is a wonderful place. It’s also home of a wave of flash fiction writers. Here are a few to follow to add some fiction to your feed, even when you don’t have time for short stories.
The absolute best Twitter flash fiction has to offer. Fantasy, mystery, and magical realism combined and intertwined in full stories under two-hundred-eighty words, with a philosophical bend that’ll make you contemplate the combination of genres.
This little bot may not know much, but it certainly has bizarre and whimsical grasp of mythological elements. At the risk of feeling like you’ve thrown a bunch of fantasy books in a blender, follow this bot for some strangeness on your feed.
For moody magical realism, look no further. Brief character sketches build strange and unlikely worlds, sci-fi flare, and elegant prose that are sure to have you excited for these stories on your feed.
Tragedy plus time apparently equals literature. As far as years go, 2017-2018 has been an intense one. These authors have responded with wit, creativity, and some impressively bizarre concepts that comment upon both the new and timeless topography of our psychological landscapes. Here are 5 acclaimed short story collections as weird, wild, and jarringly human as the past year has been.
A timely commentary on social media, art, and interpersonal relationships, this multimedia collection from some of the most famous Instagram poets (includingNikita Gilland Trista Mateer) insightfully tackles both the isolation and accessibility that the Internet can provide. The collection maintains its commitment to accessibility by incorporating the work of established writers (like Amanda Lovelace, author of The Princess Saves Herself in This One) with the work of up-and-coming contributors (likeSara Bond). Even the creation of [Dis]connectedfollows an inventive format: each writer contributed three poems and then assigned poems to their fellow writers. Each contributor then wrote a short story based on one of their assigned poems. The result? A vivid and unique exploration of love and loneliness.
The eccentric genius archetype—the exaggerated trope of a person who would just as likely disassemble their own household appliances for fun as write a novel—has met its match in Helen DeWitt. A mathematician and linguist (by the way, we’re talking fourteen languages), DeWitt’s hit debut, The Last Samurai, is only one of three works she’s published in the last twenty years, thanks to her distaste for the publishing industry. (Her second novel, Lightning Rods, is a brilliant, weird, and brilliantly weird satire on American capitalism.) Her third work, collection Some Trick, uses the “iron logic of a crazy person” to chip at the barrier between the private intellectual world of the individual and the social machinery of capitalism.
Can a short story really be scary enough to inspire two hours of terror? The answer is a resounding YES. These short stories might be small in size, but they’ve made it to the big screen. From the earliest days of silent film up into the present, here are five full-length horror movies inspired by famously spooky short stories.
This early silent horror film draws inspiration fromEdgar Allen Poe‘s famous short story, “The Tell-Tale Heart.” In the film, a young man in love plots the murder of an uncle who stands in the way of his would-be marriage. As in Poe’s story, the guilt comes with some nasty side effects… mysterious noises, strange apparitions… but are these just the unfortunate dreams of a troubled conscience, or is something else really going on?
Robert Wise’s film, famously starring cultural icon Bela Lugosi, shares its name with its source of inspiration: Robert Louis Stevenson‘s “The Body Snatcher.“ Stevenson authored many prolific works that brought him fame in his lifetime, including Treasure IslandandStrange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. And while Stevenson’s story inspired director Wise, real events inspired Stevenson. The true source material of “The Body Snatcher” is the gruesome tale of murderous surgeon Robert Knox. Until the Anatomy Act of 1832, the only bodies permitted for scientific research were those of criminals the courts condemned to death and dissection. It was common to snatch bodies of the recently deceased (from houses or graves!) in order to keep up a fresh supply of corpses. Knox took it a step further,hiring thugs to murder the homelessand wayward drunks. If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself…?
The name The Birds is immediately identifiable as a Hitchcock film, one of the most classic and widely-known thrillers. Fewer people know the film draws upon a horror novelette of the same name: “The Birds” by Daphne du Maurier, which first appeared in her 1952 collection The Apple Tree. A British writer, du Maurier wrote this story as a metaphor for the Blitz, the infamous and devastating air raids over England during World War II. Though the film counterpart is set in America and lacks the same meaning, Hitchcock’s film is still culturally significant with its preservation in the National Film Registry.
This cult classic horror film is notable as perhaps the best of many film adaptations ofStephen King‘s short stories. Other King short story adaptations include “1408,” “Apt Pupil,” “The Boogeyman,” “The Mist,” “Graveyard Shift,” and many, MANY more— not to mention adaptations of his full-length novels. (You can read the best of King’s short stories here.) A large number of King’s film adaptations are faithful to the original. In this case, both the film and the short story depict a cult of children living in a cornfield in Nebraska, murdering anyone over the age of eighteen at the order of their sinister deity.
This indie British film, starring Lost and The Vampire Diaries‘ Ian Somerhalder, takes inspiration from classic short story“The Most Dangerous Game” by Richard Connell. A source of fear and delight for students across the world, Connell’s 1932 story describes a castaway’s chilling fight for survival as an unhinged aristocrat hunts him for sport. The film adaptation reinterprets this struggle as a televised competition between wealthy human-hunters. While The Tournament itself didn’t achieve much box office success, it’s notable as one of nearly twenty film adaptations of this dark and thrilling story. It’s also made its way into TV pop culture,inspiring episodes of hit showsSupernatural and Law and Order: SVU.