8 More Terrifying Tales to Get You Through Halloween

Art by Jim Cooke/GMG.
Art by Jim Cooke/GMG.

On Friday, after announcing the winners of Jezebel’s annual scary story contest, we promised you a round of bonus stories. You’ll find new terrifying tales—and two extra treats below.


Help Me by thetallblonde:

Come in with Me by Foxtrot Echo:

An American in Rome by hotdog99999997:


John by tinydooms:


Tight Curves by Susan (submitted via email):

This happened to me, my son and then-husband over 35 years ago, but I still remember and feel it, as if it were yesterday.

The three of us were living in Tucson, Arizona at the time and during the summer months made many trips up to Mount Lemmon (also known as Summer Haven {in the summer} or Winter Haven {in the winter}).

We drove up and down the 20-mile narrow, winding road, full of switchbacks and no guardrails, so many times we were very comfortable with it.

This one time, we were coming home around around midnight, and about halfway down the mountain, all of a sudden noticed headlights about 1/2 –3/4 of a mile in back of us.

Don’t know where they came from – as I said, we knew that road like the back of our hands. How these car lights suddenly appeared was a mystery as we had passed no areas where a car could have come out of or come from.

I was driving this time, and when I noticed the lights, could feel all the hairs on the back of my neck just stand up. I asked my then-husband “When did that car get behind us?” He turned around, looked, and said “Holy s**t, where did that car come from?” So I knew it wasn’t only me. We kept watching the lights slowly getting closer. I knew something bad was going to happen if it caught up to us.

I kept driving, but couldn’t take my eyes off the road often enough to keep track of the lights. Those switchbacks took all of my attention.

BUT, suddenly, this feeling come over me that if I could get to the last, real long, switchback, which led to a one-mile stretch of straight road, we would be safe.

The car was getting very close to us – one switchback behind - I hit that last, long, switchback, drove around it, looked in my rear view mirror and the headlights were gone.

Once we got to a place where we could pull off onto the shoulder, we sat there for about a half-hour, looking back, waiting to see if we could see any lights. We couldn’t. They had disappeared. We kept watching the news for a week to see if someone had driven off the road that night. No one had.

Didn’t know anybody well enough to relate this story to at the time, but several years later mentioned the incident to a friend who had lived in the area for years. He said this was not the first time he had heard the story, but the first time he had heard it first-hand. Until then, he had always taken the stories with a grain of salt, thinking they had been made up. Now he knew it was real. He believed us.

Once in a while I still dream about this incident – some nightmares never go away.


One of the Nice Ones by plightofthevalkyries (submitted via email):

My junior year of college, I was going through a pretty sever depressive episode. I’d just returned from study abroad, and I had pretty awful issues come up while I was out that still shake me (more issues with the living than the dead).

I came back to campus and was living in the campus Women’s Center. At risk of doxing myself, I attended a small, secluded liberal arts college in the south with more than it’s fair share of ghost stories, many of which took place around the Women’s Center. I was always a solid skeptic, but it’s easy to see why this place would inspire stories, and everyone seemed to believe that there was more than one ghost.

One of my friends would regularly see an older woman, sitting at the top of the staircase, doing her knitting. Another would get goosebumps every time she wandered into the TV room, but only through one entrance.

The house was three stories tall, filled with oddly shaped rooms, winding staircases, and decor that was somewhere between Victorian and your great aunt’s house that hasn’t been redecorated since 1983. I was placed in a large room on the second floor that was just down the hallway from a large balcony.

As with most college students, I was (and still am) particularly nap prone. However, something weird started happening while I was there: I started to develop sleep paralysis. It had never happened to me before, and I haven’t had it since moving out. For those of you lucky bastards who’ve never experienced sleepy paralysis, essentially, I would take a nap, wake up, be able to see the room around me, but not be able to move or scream for help. It was like the sound got stuck in my throat and the harder I tried to yell, the harder it was to breath. These were terrifying episodes, and as the semester dragged on, I started to experience them not just during naps, but any time I would sleep.

I kept looking for normal explanations for this, and of course, I wondered if it was my depression. However, other people noticed how weird the room was too. I guy I was fooling around with would keep stopping and ask if I also felt like we were being watched. The resident cat wouldn’t cross the doorway to my room.

At the end of the year, we had grad week celebration. I decided to take a nap right before one of my best friends graduation parties. Of course, sleep paralysis strikes. As I’d done every time prior, I tried everything I could do to move, but this time, it worked. I jerked upright into a sitting position. I still couldn’t walk, but I was able to half crawl, half drag myself out of the room. I felt compelled to drag myself out to the balcony, where I saw a young man, maybe a little older than me sitting there. His hair was slicked back, and his clothes looked like he was getting ready to go to a fifties sock-hop party.

“Sit with me,” he said. I pulled myself up to the chair next to him. He started talking. He said “I’ve seen you a lot recently. I know you’ve been having a really hard time lately, and I wanted to let you know, you can leave with me now.” I don’t know why, by I felt completely comfortable with him, but weary of going anywhere with him.

I told him, “I think I need to stay, but thank you.” The moment I said that I snapped awake, back in my bed, fully able to move.

I threw on a dress and ran to meet my friend for her party. While I was there, I saw another person who lived at the Women’s Center. We started talking and she noticed that I looked a little shaken. Hesitantly, I told her what had happened. As soon as I started to get to the man on the balcony, her eyes got wide. She stopped me, and described, in perfect detail down to the shoes, the man that I had seen. She’d seen him too, always wearing the same thing, always in perfect form. “He’s one of the nice ones.” I knew she was talking about our ghosts.

I moved out of the house three days later, for end of term. I’ve never had sleepy paralysis since. To this day, I am completely confident that the man on the balcony offered me death. I’m glad I stayed.


And now, as a special project from the Jezebel video team, we bring you illustrated and narrated versions of two past stories that we consider among the greatest of all time, Look at Me by TheatreGuy and 911 Calling by Indiana Joan:

Animated by Daniel Munoz and produced by Phoebe Bradford.
Animated by Daniel Munoz and produced by Phoebe Bradford.

Thank you, video team, for bringing back some old trauma!

Video credits:
Sound Design: Cesar Haliwa
Illustration & animation : Daniel Muñoz

Managing Editor, Jezebel


Madeleine Davies

Congrats and Happy Halloween to everyone who thinks they’re breaking the news about sleep paralysis to the rest of us.