10 Creepy Stories to Tell After Dark

Campfire stories
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It's the witching hour on a dark, moonless night. You're huddled together with your friends around a campfire, taking turns telling stories. Someone has just recounted a particularly eerie tale about an encounter with a ghost, insisting it was true. You sit quietly, staring into the flames, reluctant to let on that it actually made your skin crawl. Then someone in the shadows clears his throat and begins to speak: "Did you hear the one about...?"

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The Licked Hand

A young girl named Lisa often had to spend time alone at home at night, as her parents worked late. They bought her a dog to keep her company and protect her.

One night Lisa was awakened by a dripping sound. She got up and went to the kitchen to make sure the tap was off. As she was getting back into the bed she stuck her hand under the bed, and the dog licked it.

The dripping sound continued, so she went to the bathroom and made sure the tap was turned off there, too. She went back to her bedroom and stuck her hand under the bed, and the dog licked it again.

But the dripping continued, so she went outside and turned off all the faucets out there. She came back to bed, stuck her hand under it, and the dog licked it again.

The dripping continued: drip, drip, drip. This time she listened and located the source of the dripping—it was coming from her closet! She opened the closet door, and there found her poor dog hanging upside down with its neck cut. Written on the inside of the closet door was, "Humans can lick, too!"

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Who's That Hiding in the Backseat?

One night a woman went out for drinks with her girlfriends. She left the bar fairly late at night and started driving home on the deserted highway. She noticed a pair of headlights in her rear-view mirror, approaching at a pace just slightly quicker than hers. As the car pulled up behind her she glanced and saw the turn signal on—the car was going to pass—when suddenly it swerved back behind her, pulled up dangerously close to her tailgate, and flashed its lights.

Now she was getting nervous. The lights dimmed for a moment and then the brights came back on and the car behind her surged forward. The frightened woman struggled to keep her eyes on the road. Finally, she turned onto the exit. The car continued to follow, flashing its brights periodically.

Through every stoplight and turn, the car followed her until she pulled into her driveway. She figured her only hope was to make a mad dash into the house and call the police. As she jumped out of the car, so did the driver of the car behind her—and he screamed, "Lock the door and call the police! Call 911!"

When the police arrived the horrible truth was finally revealed to the woman. The man in the car had been trying to save her. As he pulled up behind her and his headlights illuminated her car, he saw the silhouette of a man with a butcher knife rising up from the back seat.

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Some Things Are Better Left Unseen

Two dormmates in college were in the same science class. The teacher had just reminded them about the midterm the next day when one dormmate—let's call her Julie—got invited to a party by the hottest guy in school. The other dormmate, Meg, had pretty much no interest in going and, being a diligent student, took notes on the material that would appear on the midterm. After spending all her time flirting with her date, Julie was totally unprepared for her test.

At the end of the day, Julie spent hours getting ready for the party while Meg started studying. Julie tried to get Meg to go, but Meg was insistent that she needed to study and pass the test.

Julie went to the party and had the time of her life with her date. She headed back to the dorm around 2 a.m. and decided not to wake Meg. She went to bed nervous about the midterm and decided she would wake up early to ask Meg for help.

In the morning, Meg was lying on her stomach, apparently sound asleep. Julie rolled her over to reveal Meg's terrified face. Julie, concerned, turned on the desk lamp. Meg's study stuff was still open and had blood all over it. Meg had been slaughtered. Julie, in horror, fell to the floor and looked up to see, written on the wall in Meg's blood, "Aren't you glad you didn't turn on the light?"

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Strange Burial

My great, great grandmother, ill for quite some time, finally passed away after lying in a coma for several days. My great-great-grandfather was devastated beyond belief, as she was his one true love and they had been married for over 50 years. They were married so long it seemed as if they knew each other's innermost thoughts.

After the doctor pronounced her dead, my great-great-grandfather insisted that she was still alive. They had to pry him away from his wife's body so that they could ready her for burial.

Back in those days, they had backyard burial plots and did not drain the body of its fluids. They simply prepared a proper coffin and buried the body (in its coffin) in its permanent resting place. Throughout this process, my great-great-grandfather protested so fiercely that he had to be sedated and put to bed. Finally, his wife was buried.

That night he woke to a horrific vision of his wife hysterically trying to scratch her way out of the coffin. He phoned the doctor immediately and begged to have his wife's body exhumed. The doctor refused, but my great-great-grandfather had this nightmare every night for a week, each time frantically begging to have his wife removed from the grave.

Finally, the doctor gave in and, together with local authorities, exhumed the body. The coffin was pried open and to everyone's horror and amazement, my great-great-grandmother's nails were bent back and there were bloody scratch-marks on the inside of the coffin.

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Attack of the Hook-Man

A teenage boy drove his date to a dark and deserted lovers' lane for a make-out session. After turning on the radio for mood music, he leaned over and began kissing the girl.

A short while later, the music suddenly stopped and an announcer's voice came on, warning in an urgent tone that a convicted murderer had just escaped from the state insane asylum—which happened to not be very far away—and that anyone who noticed a strange man lurking about with a hook in place of his right hand should immediately report his whereabouts to the police.

The girl became frightened and asked to be taken home. The boy, feeling bold, locked all the doors instead and, assuring his date they would be safe, attempted to kiss her again. She became frantic and pushed him away, insisting that they leave. The boy finally jerked the car into gear and spun its wheels as he pulled away.

When they arrived at the girl's house she got out of the car, and, reaching to close the door, began to scream uncontrollably. The boy ran to her side to see what was wrong and there, dangling from the door handle, was a bloody hook.

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The Missing Boyfriend

A girl and her boyfriend were making out in his car. They had parked in the woods so no one would see them. When they were done, the boy got out to pee and the girl waited for him in the safety of the car.

After waiting five minutes, the girl got out of the car to look for her boyfriend. Suddenly, she saw a man in the shadows. She jumped back into the car and was starting to drive away when she heard a very faint squeak ... squeak ... squeak.

This continued for a few seconds before the girl decided she had no choice but to drive off. She hit the gas as hard as possible but couldn't go anywhere, because someone had tied a rope from the bumper of the car to a nearby tree.

The girl slammed on the gas again. Suddenly, she heard a loud scream. She got out of the car and saw that her boyfriend was hanging from the tree. The squeaky noises were his shoes scraping across the top of the car.

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Spiders in the Hairdo

There once was a 10-year-old girl with braids. The girl had been wearing her braids in a ponytail for the longest time, and the braids were old, at least two to three months old, and the girl's mother never took them down to wash them.

The girl had been complaining to her mother about having a headache for about two weeks. Her mother just brushed it off, assuming that the girl had just bumped her head on something. One morning, while getting ready for school, the child again began complaining to her mother. Again her mother brushed her off. At school, the girl told her teacher that her head was hurting. The teacher assumed that the braids were too tight in the child's hair and attempted to let the ponytail down. When she let the braids loose, the teacher saw a spider in the child's hair.

The spider had laid eggs in the child's hair and the spiders were eating her scalp. The girl was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.

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The Bride in the Trunk

A young couple, both 18, decided they would get married after they finished high school. The father of the bride lived in Palm Beach in a mansion and was able to afford a big wedding for them. To make a long story short, they got married and the wedding was beautiful.

After the wedding, they had a big reception in an old building and everyone got fairly drunk. When there were only about twenty people left, the groom decided that they should play hide-and-seek. Everyone agreed and the groom was "it." While he covered his eyes, they all found hiding spots.

After about twenty minutes everyone had been found except the bride. The guests looked everywhere and tore the whole place apart looking for her. A few hours later the groom was furious, thinking the bride was playing a terrible trick on him. Eventually, everyone went home.

A few weeks later the groom, having filed a missing persons report, gave up looking for her. Heartbroken, he tried to go on with his life.

Three years later a little old woman was cleaning up the old building, where the reception had been held. She happened to be in the attic and noticed an old trunk. She dusted it off, and, out of curiosity, opened it. She screamed at the top of her lungs, ran out of the building, and called the police.

Apparently, the bride had decided to hide in the trunk for the game of hide-and-seek. When she sat down, the lid fell, knocking her unconscious and locking her inside. She suffocated after a day or so. When the old woman found her, she was rotting, her mouth hanging open in the shape of a scream.

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The Good Samaritan

One summer day in Southampton, New York, a woman pulled into a gas station. As the attendant pumped gas, the woman told him she was in a hurry to pick up her daughter, who had just finished an art class in East Hampton.

A well-dressed man walked over and started talking to her. He explained that his rental car had died, and he needed a ride to East Hampton for an appointment. She said she would be happy to give him a ride. He put his briefcase in the backseat and said he was going quickly visit the men's room.

The woman looked at her watch and suddenly panicked. She drove off quickly, having forgotten that the man was coming back to the car for a ride.

She thought nothing of him again until she and her daughter pulled into their driveway. The woman saw his briefcase and realized she had forgotten him. She opened the briefcase, looking for some form of identification so that she could notify him about his belongings. Inside she found nothing but a knife and a roll of duct tape.

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The Dead Body in the Hotel Room

A newlywed couple went to Las Vegas for their honeymoon and checked into a suite at a hotel. When they got to their room they both detected a bad odor. The husband called down to the front desk and asked to speak to the manager. He explained that the room smelled very bad and that they would like another suite. The manager apologized and told the man that they were all booked because of a convention. He offered to send them to a restaurant of their choice for lunch and said he was sending a maid up to their room to clean and get rid of the odor.

After a nice lunch, the couple went back to their room. When they walked in they could both still smell the same odor. Again the husband called the front desk and told the manager that the room still smelled. The manager told the man that he would try and find a suite at another hotel. He called every hotel on the strip, but every hotel was sold out because of the convention. The manager told the couple that he couldn't find them a room anywhere, but that he would send another maid to clean the room again. The couple wanted to see the sights and do a little gambling anyway, so they said they would give the maid two hours to clean and then they would be back.

After the couple left, the manager and all of housekeeping went to the room to find what was making it smell so bad. They searched the entire room and found nothing, so the maids changed the sheets, changed the towels, took down the curtains and put new ones up, cleaned the carpet, and cleaned the suite again using the strongest cleaning products they had. The couple came back two hours later to find the room still had a bad odor. The husband was so angry at this point, he decided he would have to find whatever was making the smell himself. He started tearing the entire suite apart.

As he pulled the top mattress off the box spring, he found the dead body of a woman.

The stories don't have to stop now. There are a plethora of urban legend horror stories that are scary,