Four chilling horror stories to get you in the Halloween mood

As you read, your skin crawls and chills run down your spine. Even though you know the story is not real, small hints of doubt cloud your mind as you begin to see shapes creeping in the dark.

In our day and age, scary stories have evolved and morphed into cautionary tales about what scares humanity most. The unknown, insanity, loss — all concepts that unite much of humanity in fear. With Halloween today, the following scary stories are sure to inspire that psychological itch in every guest at your festive bonfire.

“Anansi’s Goatman” by anonymous

Originally posted on Creepypasta, “Anansi’s Goatman” is a story that embodies the fear of the unknown. The story follows a group of teenagers staying in a cabin in the middle of the dark woods. Tanner, the main character, is the one who first notices things beginning to go wrong.

There is a creature out in the woods. Its presence is marked by the heavy smell of iron, low gurgling sounds — much like a goat — and the unrecognizable, slack-jawed, wide-eyed, chittering woman that would only follow behind anyone who split away from the group, continually creeping closer.

From the safety of the cabin, the group feels like they’ll survive, but that’s when Tanner notices that the number of “people” in the room keeps changing. With horror, he looks in the bathroom to see the window screen scratched out. Whatever the creature was, it had gotten in.

“Russian Sleep Experiment” by anonymous

Also originally posted on Creepypasta, this story follows the narrative of five political prisoners used for a strange experiment that takes a turn for the worst. The basis of the experiment was that the prisoners would be put in a room for a month with books, cots, water, a bathroom, food and anything they could need — but a stimulatory gas was to be pumped into the room that would prevent them from sleeping.

Everything was fine for the first few days, but the situation deteriorated from there. The prisoners became extremely paranoid. One even screamed until his vocal cords became raw, and he was only able to squeak. The other captives seemed to not notice him and slowly pulled the pages from books and pasted them on the windows.

Soon the experiment was deemed a failure, and the gas was turned off. But the prisoners no longer wanted freedom and dropped to the floor, begging for the gas to be turned back on. When soldiers finally unsealed the room, the raw, ripped-apart, dripping, violent creatures that had once been the prisoners were no longer human. Find out what happens here.

“The Wendigo Legend” by anonymous

This story is not of any specific occurrence but a string of stories linked to a deadly legend. In upper regions of the northern woods in Minnesota, there is supposedly a monster — a vicious creature with an appetite for human flesh.

The Wendigo has haunted the dreams of Native American tribes for centuries. As the legend goes, whenever a human turns to cannibalism to survive a tough winter, a Wendigo is created. They lose their humanity and become a creature believed to have glowing eyes, yellowish skin and matted hair. They are supposedly very tall and their limbs grow very long. Wendigos are ever driven by an intense hunger for human flesh.

According to the legend, Native Americans of the region actively believed in and hunted Wendigos. One hunter in particular was a Native American from the Cree tribe named Jack Fiddler. He claimed to have killed 14 of the creatures in his lifetime and was sentenced to imprisonment at the age of 87 for killing a woman he claimed was going to become a Wendigo.

There are many stories of the Wendigo, and over the years, there have been dozens of supposed sightings of such creatures. Read more about the legend here.

“Redcap” by Carrie Vaughn  

Most of us think of fairies as happy, gentle, mythical creatures. But in “Redcap” by Carrie Vaughn, a certain type of fairy called a redcap exposes how terrifying of a creature fairies can be.

The story thickens when a little girl  is stopped by a redcap out in the woods. She had been warned by many to not talk with the creatures of the forest, but she did anyway. The creature looked almost human, except its chest seemed hollow, and its skin was as pale as milk. The creature’s claws stuck out like thorns from its fingertips. But the worst part of all was its conical cap. It was dark red and smelled of slaughter.

The redcap keeps the little girl in the woods and tortures her with riddles. It threatens to trap her, to pull her under the ground where he said she would “be forced to dance at unholy revels for hundreds of years.” Eventually she escapes, but it becomes apparent that the redcap is not the only one of its kind out there. Read “Redcap” here.