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Top 20 Scary Stories

A handpicked collection of scary stories to tell in the dark


Who doesn't love a good fright in the night? Gather 'round the digital campfire to enjoy the Top 20 Scariest Stories we've ever heard (and we've heard plenty). Goosebumps guaranteed!

1. The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs

The Babysitter and the Man Upstairs
Nick Koudis/Getty Images
In this classic urban legend dating from the 1960s, a teenage babysitter calls the police after receiving prank phone calls from a creepy stranger. "Have you checked the children?" the man keeps asking. While waiting for a patrol car to arrive, the babysitter has a terrifying realization: the stranger is calling her from inside the house!

2. The Legend of Bloody Mary

Bloody Mary
Seth Joel/Getty Images
They stood before the bathroom mirror in dim candlelight, chanting in unison: "Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary, Bloody Mary." The thirteenth time they said it, something very odd and frightening happened. Not all of them lived through it. Some of those who did wished they hadn't.

3. The Clown Statue

Scary Clown
Steve Parry/Getty Images
A babysitter taking care of two small children called their parents late in the evening to ask for permission to cover up the life-size clown statue in the corner of the family room. "It's not that I don't like it," she said. "It just kind of freaks me out with nobody else here. It's hard to watch TV." The parents' reaction to her request freaked her out even more. "WHAT clown statue???" they asked, frantically. "Dial 911! Call the police!! DO IT NOW!!!"

4. The Killer in the Window

The Killer in the Window
Carlos Gomez Bové/Getty Images
This story is about a 15 year old girl who was babysitting her little sister while her parents were out at a party. It was a cold, dark, wintery night. She had just curled up on the couch to watch TV when she noticed a tall figure approaching the sliding glass door near where she was sitting. It was a wrinkled old man. He was staring at her. Then he pulled a shiny object out of his coat pocket.

5. Humans Can Lick, Too

Humans Can Lick Too
Evan Kafka/Getty Images
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young girl in a small town just south of Farmersburg. Her parents had to go to the city for the night, so they left their daughter home alone, protected by the faithful family dog. They instructed her to lock all the doors and secure the house after they left. She did as she was told, nervous about being left alone, but confident that if anything happened her dog would protect her.

6. Bride-and-Seek (The Missing Bride)

The Missing Bride
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
After a lavish wedding in a stately mansion, members of the wedding party decide to play a game of hide-and-seek. It isn't long before everyone is found — everyone, that is, except for the bride. Twenty-four hours later, she's still missing. What happened to the bride?

7. The Killer in the Backseat

The Killer in the Backseat
Sami Sarkis/Getty Images
One night a woman went out for cocktails with her girlfriends. After leaving the bar late at night, she got in her car and headed for home on a deserted highway. Several minutes later, she noticed a lone pair of headlights in her rear-view mirror. It was another car — the only other car on the road — approaching at a terrifying pace.

8. Carmen Winstead

Carmen Winstead
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
As told on the Internet, the sad, sad story of Carmen Winstead, a 17-year-old student allegedly bullied and pushed down a sewer drain by a gang of mean girls from her school. Poor Carmen died of her injuries, but that didn't prevent her from returning to wreak painful revenge on her assailants — one by one.

9. The Fatal Hairdo

The Fatal Hairdo
Paul Gilligan/Getty Images
A stylish teenage girl who has grown tired of spending hours a day teasing and lacquering her hair to attain the "beehive" hairdo so popular in the 1960s decides instead to wash it in sugar water and let it to harden into the preferred style. Before going to bed each night, she carefully wrapped a towel around her sugared hair and even slept on a special pillow so as not to muss it. Then one morning she failed to come downstairs for breakfast.

10. The Hook Man

The Hook
David Emery
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. The music suddenly stopped and an announcer's voice came on, warning that a convicted murderer had just escaped from the state insane asylum.
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