Stories are the perfect medium for getting scared to me, usually ones without pictures so the terror is entirely up to what your mind creates. So I wanted to ask the forum if there was any story you remember for being particularly frightening? I only have two, but if I think of any more I'll reply or something like that.
"I found an extremely bizarre internet survey" from r/nosleep. I usually dislike the stories on there for being too longwinded or cliche but this one got to me, surprisingly. Best not to read if you're easily paranoid. The ending could've been better though.
"The Theater". It's not so scary to me now but I really enjoy how real it feels and how it's not tryhard-creepy. There's also "The True Story of The Theater" which is a kind of sequel that "debunks" the original in a way.
Horror is subjective, don't worry about sharing something that you thought was scary but others might not. I'm just in the mood to read something creepy that I haven't already
Hmm! Let's see... Several stories made a big impression on me. Obviously it's Jvk1166z.esp with its cosmic, overwhelming horror feel and bizarre distortions of digital reality. Most other things I've read were from Russian board iichan or EncyclopediaDramatica-like website lurkmore.ru. Many of those stories were merely translations from their English originals, but some were available only in Russian, so I can only recollect whatever of the plot in them that I still remember:
I. A pretty generic, but wicked story about a group of youths coming across an abandoned factory site. They decide to stay and check the place out a bit, eventually coming across a small wooden cabin with a glass jar sitting on the table and filled to the brim with pitch black liquid. One of the guys throws a brick at it, and as the liquid spills, rotten stench of blood fills the room.Then they check the walls, and they all turn out to be covered with unknown symbols written using that same rotten blood.
It also feels fairly subtle and real...
II. A torture story that's written entirely in 2nd person. It starts with something like "You wake up from your normal, regular sleep, but something seems wrong. Then you realize you are sitting in a chair. Your hands hurt, and it's moments after you understand that they are nailed to the chair's handles. A figure is standing in front of you"... It then goes into extreme detail, first describing how the maniac who captured "you" killed your parents and, after you go hungry, now feeds you with their roasted flesh (the whole story takes place in the kitchen of your own house). He then tries many various torture techniques on the victim, but takes great care not to kill you in process. Eventually the meat supplies run out, so he comes up with a "beautiful idea" of inserting a tube into "your" ass, urethra and mouth, for "recycling". He then proceeds to do a lot of really gross things to the victim (including, as I remember, inserting needles in the eye sockets at special angle, to inflict maximum pain but minimal damage), and apparently only after several years pass by, he finally decides to "show you the result of his work", carrying "you" towards a mirror. With what's left of your vocal system, you ask him "WHY". And he replies: "Just for fun".
I usually don't like torture stories because I find them exploitative, tasteless and brutish, but this one is quite creative...
III. A very cool story evidently created by somebody with good writing skills. It's called The Green Door and is a variation of the story "The Door in the Wall" by H.G.Wells. Basically, a Russian guy reads this story sometime in his childhood (or adolescence). His whole life is fucked up from that point on, every door that is painted green and that he opens leads him to terrible calamities - dead girlfriend visiting him, being beaten by street punks, seeing a friend murder their mother and the mother asking the guy to "help him out", finding himself on the stairway with no steps and having to jump down to escape - nearly breaking his legs, opening a green door to the toilet (I know it sounds funny, but this is only because of my writing, if you were reading the original I'm sure you wouldn't even be smiling) and finding himself sitting there and screaming "YOU! NOW THEY GOT YOU! YOU ARE NEXT!" and laughing hysterically. He tried to avoid the green doors at all costs, lost a few great opportunities at job because of it (though he himself said that it wouldn't have worked out anyway because of the door). All of these could've been hallucinations and mental conditions, but as he was retelling all these events to a stranger in a shitty Russian bar, he asked her to look at his back. There were scars that no human or animal could've inflicted. He said that his girlfriend "hugged" him like this in one of his encounters behind the Green Door. And he's still limping from that jump. As they both walk out of the bar, the stranger woman who heard this story looks at the bar's sign, and you can guess what was the name of it. Turning back, she only heard a distant car thump and short cry coming from the road.
Damn, I really need to translate this story sometime...
Some of the non-fiction stuff I've read is also fairly chilling. Once I found a whole hub of drug-related webpages, also in Russian. Two or three of them mentioned the deaths of people who overdosed on heroin right in front of the author, and unlike all these "drugs are bad" PSA stories, the deaths were commented on with almost complete, naturalistic indifference, writers in all cases stating that "they just left them lying there"...
Thread moved to The Coffin of Horror. Don't worry about it!
Thank you for starting such an intriguing thread and for sharing your scary stories January0
I like the idea of the forums taking on more of a horror theme.
I found those two stories interesting. The survey one, contains flawed logic, which Is certainly a horror if you can't see through it. For instance "Or do you enter the elevator once and end it all?" this presents an all or nothing situation, dictated only in relation to the narrative. Most people fear being trapped to some extent, and to be trapped by a flawed mode of thought is the very essence of schizophrenia(indeed it's cause). The character mentions getting fired from his job of ten years. Here there is already a suggestion, or rather a priming of the idea of losing control, at having the known world (the characters life) start to come apart.
Surveys are horrors in themselves, because they present reality as a set of answers, more importantly someone else's pre-thought answer's. Agreeing to anything you are already locking yourself into another's, subjective mode of thought and mode of reasoning. You can't reduce reality to a set of yes, no question/answers as there are always many ways of looking at the world, and to do so only leads to the kind of thinking that I have been yammering on about, pure reductionaism, the deadly stench of the absolute. Only zombies think that way, and anything made absolute immediately becomes a sort of horror, except love, perhaps. Gameshows are another "true horror" in my view, and I'm sure you'll agree with me here.
The theater story was cool. It reminded me of a game I was working on ages ago, called "your computer wants you dead". It was half joke, half based on the arban myth of the polobius game cabinet, which was itself based on the urban myth that the game berzek caused someone to die of heart failure in the arcade. It was also supposed to generally embody the fear of technology having control over a person, or of a machine doing more what it states it is doing, ie code with malicious intent. That is one idea that I have been exploring for years actually, because I believe it is pertinent to the world we live in. How many times do people click "yes" to install an app on their phone, in full knowledge that it may be stealing their data, their identity, indeed perhaps even their very soul?
You could see me playing around with that idea, of programs being somehow evil, first with the windows satan game, the original version of course would delete windows components when you lost the game, (like when clippit got hit, the game would uninstall clippit) I further experimented with this idea with, the unreleased game "Jesus christ sexual healer" that was briefly uploaded onto yoyo games. In that game, you basically had to fuck a nun (as jesus), while marvin gaye sexual healer played in the background, then on level 2 you control a priest who has to shoot up a zombie jesus. After finishing the game, you got a game over screen,, but the game would also enter into a loop that would continually re-size the size of your monitor, resulting in crashing your computer and potentially damaging the monitor. I can upload that game if someone is really interested. err, then I was working on YCWYD, so, this game was supposed to use tones and frequencies that I had gotten from patented military equipment and crowd control devices designed to induce fear, but also I worked from patents that described the creation of certain visual stimuli and patterns that would result in damaging sensory information/processing/seizure inducement and to a certain extent the Russian virus666, which is supposed to work on similar lines. Anyway I kinda got bored with that project, or actually more likely something disrupted my working on it, so I never released it, but I do have plans to. I did also have a massive seizure, which I have never had before or since, probably not related but it happened around the time I was working on that. that games not really that scary because it kinda grew into something more interesting and I didn't stick to most of those "death ideas".
Alot of people are afraid of what they don't understand, and with technology much of whats going on (infact most of it) is happening in the background, lines and lines of code are being executed at every microsecond. It is scary not knowing what most programs are actually doing, cause only the programmers really know whats going on, so it's a justified concern, justified also because many programmers don't have the users best interests in mind. Take the phone app industry that bases it's business model on "whale hunting", actively targeting individuals with deep pockets and problems with self control, isn't this just another way of targeting "vulnerable individuals", and yet hardly anyone is talking about this, and of course it is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of app-nastyness.
Scariest story I've read? something iv'e written maybe. Why would someone want to be afraid in the first place I wonder?
Also commenting on Macabre's posts. Thanks for sharing, as always.
I like the original Theater story too. It has a lot of loose ends and enigmas, allowing for many interpretations if you let your imagination go wild! That's always a good thing in horror fiction.
I don't like surveys, or any "standardized and certified" personality/intelligence/learning ability/whatever-kind-of tests for the same reason Jinx described. They do not assess anything and only serve to create a false reality which we are supposed to worship. I remember one person who felt so proud and above others just because he could extract the "free" 50 roubles from filling one such spyware survey. Needless to say, he looked pathetic to many people whose attention he sought. I like the manipulative aspects of that story, to me it reads like a bitter satire on the world we live in. And the elevator question was very good - irrational and genuinely creepy.
As for the desire to have this thrill, I guess everyone has their reasons. Some are bored by everyday life and seek morbid excitement, some on the contrary - had enough horror in reality so they just keep going on inertia, looking for more. Some people like to explore their feelings deeply, even if they are negative like that. Some just want to harden their nerves I guess, though I think this is a dangerous game in this case, and can make you insensitive to the very danger you seek to avoid. Many reasons. With me, it's probably a mixture of all these things.
I don't think even the coders know entirely what today's programs are capable of. A programmer is also a user in a sense, not a privileged almighty creator. That's because programming nowadays utilizes a lot of high-level languages, whole layers of obfuscated development environments and tools - and similar things. Knowledge is power, and awareness of your own computer is still a real blessing for the regular user, but it's probably safe to assume that nowadays you can't be 100% protected from uncontrollable data execution, simply because humans are getting less and less capable of understanding machines they are using and operating.
It would be very interesting to take a look at the Jesus game, perhaps you could remove the malicious bits from it like you did with Windows Satan Game? If I had a spare machine to burn, I would've tried the real deal gladly though
Computer based horror is probably the most interesting kind to me, both of you hit the nail on the head though with the reason why. Programs gaining sentience or being otherwise "wrong" in a way the creator didn't intend for it to be. A good story featuring that is I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream, which is one of my favorites, unsurprisingly. Expanding on the idea that not only is a computer sentient but also angry for being "born" against it's own will... it makes you empathize with it, despite it being the villain in that story. Well, only to an extent. It does torture 5 people for 100+ years after all. It reminds me of locked-in syndrome, in a way.
Another good story that explores that concept is Buddy System, which you can actually play! Without spoiling, you'll need to keep closing and opening it and check the text files.
Thanks for the Buddy System, I will check it out, seems intriguing... I still remember fondly the "Digital - A Love Story" VN, and though it's not horror, I think it's also a very curious example of how humans and computers may interact. I recommend it if you are interested in somewhat lighter aspects of cyber-relations.