These Bone-Chilling Excerpts From Reddit's NOSleep Will Have You Lying Awake Tonight

The subreddit NoSleep contains some of the scariest original short stories you can read online. Many of their authors submit genuinely horrific stories and creepy tales to the delight and fright of millions of Redditors. And perhaps the reason why it’s one of the top 50 subreddits is because everyone who reads and writes the stories truly subscribe to their realism. The main rule is to suspend all disbelief, which also applies when commenting: even if you think the stories are too scary to believe, you have to honor the NoSleep zone. Because of that rule, the best stories from NoSleep easily brings terror to those who read them. 

And another amazing thing is that these stories can vary in length — some are short enough to provide a quick fright, while others are long enough to draw out your terror properly. Some post series are truly fantastic, and a handful are in the top 50. So turn on the nightlight and brace yourselves: here are a few of the scariest NoSleep excerpts from Reddit.

  • Whimsical Vaudeville Music Always Sets The Tone For Horror

    From Redditor /u/TheColdPeople:

    Things started to get really uncomfortable around the two-month-mark. One day, when I checked my company email account for the weekly briefing/workload assignment, there was an email titled "Lullaby." Inside was a link to a short, low-resolution video of a young girl asleep in a bed. She babbled in what I believe was Russian or Ukrainian, and occasionally fidgeted or brought her hands up defensively to protect her face. It was clear that she was having a nightmare. Behind her, on the bedpost, was a blue air freshener, much like the one next to me in my cubicle. Whimsical vaudeville music played in the background.

    I examined the recipients and sender of the email, and found that it had been sent from inside the company to several employees on a list. I forwarded the email to my boss and asked him what the deal was, and he quickly responded that it was a joke from our partners overseas, and that I had been mistakenly added to the recipient list. He told me to ignore it and keep up the excellent work, and that my review would be coming up, with the possibility of a raise.

    More than $20/hour? I guess my memory is for sale, because I quickly forgot about the video.

    Only a few days later, when I returned to the office after a holiday weekend, there was another email waiting for me, titled, "Be brave, Spidey!" I was reluctant to open it, and now I wish I hadn’t. Inside was a link to a Russian-language website. When I clicked it, I saw a video of a real kid, probably four or five years old, dressed as Spiderman. The boy sat in what looked like a child’s bedroom. His mask was pulled down, and his costume sleeve was pulled up. The boy screamed and cried as an adult man wearing a Hulk costume gave him three different injections with a long needle. Off-screen, another person hurled stuffed animals at the kid, hitting him in the head with them, and even once hitting the needle as it stuck into his arm, causing the kid to wail even louder. By the end of the short clip, the boy was shaking and nearly catatonic. The Hulk man laughed and danced around him almost ritually. Cheerful kid’s music played the entire time.

  • The Dolls Are Alive

    From Redditor /u/Pippinacious:

    I can't say exactly what woke me. A nightmare, I figured, given that my heart was beating quite quickly, but I couldn't remember any details. I took a deep breath and rolled over, already falling half asleep again, and found myself face to face with a dark figure on the pillow beside me. I yelped and sat up, grabbing at my phone, my nearest source of light, and shined it towards my bed.

    Fran was lying on his side beside me.

    I let out a small chuckle and gave myself a little shake to dismiss the lingering fright that he'd caused and picked him up.

    "Did you fall off the shelf?" I asked him quietly. I must have put him back too close to the edge earlier and gravity had done its duty.

    I gave Fran a gentle squeeze.

    "Get out."

  • I Met A Demon On The Tokyo Subway

    From Redditor /u/lifeisstrangemetoo:

    I looked around and saw the subway station had disappeared, replaced by flowing green meadows that were full of old trains.

    "I can’t see the subway station anymore," I said.

    "That’s okay," said the demon. "Sometimes it’s better to see what isn’t there instead of what is."

    "What do you mean?"

    "Sometimes when I’m bored or sad, my mind slips off to the third dimension, and I see people like you."

    "That’s funny," I laughed. "Can you go to other dimensions, too?"

    But the demon didn’t answer, he was looking up at the sky.

    "It’s starting to rain," he said, whooshing his wings up over his head.

    Warm droplets of rain hit my face.

    "Can I get under your wings with you?" I asked.

    "Not now," he replied. "You’ve got to go home."

    The world began to shimmer and flow together like different shades of green and golden paint, spinning around faster and faster in circles. I started to feel a little sick, and I closed my eyes. The world stopped spinning, but warm droplets of water still fell on my face.

    I opened my eyes and saw my mom crying over me, but I didn’t see my dad.

    "Where’s dad?" I asked her. "Did he bring me home?"

    "Yes, darling," she said, although she didn’t look at me when she said it. "He brought you home and then he had to go away."

    "Oh," I replied. "When will he be back?"

    "I don’t know," she said.

    My dad never did come back, and it was years before I found out the truth: he had killed himself that day.


    From Redditor /u/TheCrystalGem:

    When I woke up, I realized that I still didn't hear any rain. Seriously, nothing at all. More confused than ever, I decided to see if the alert had been called off. I turned on my phone and called my brother again. It went straight to voicemail, though, so I gave up. I decided to risk it and go upstairs. I had to squeeze between the door and the wall to keep my dogs from following me upstairs, but I won and they stayed in the basement. I walked through my kitchen to the front door and looked out the window part of it. As I squinted to see outside in the dark (strange, seeing as it was only 2:00 pm judging by my clock), the TV flickered briefly. I looked around at it and it flickered again, but this time every device on the ground floor flickered. Thinking little of it, I turned around and looked through the door again. Every house on the block had its lights turned off. Nobody was outside.

    Except for one teenage girl.

  • The Grim Reaper's Scythe Isn't To Harvest You

    From Redditor /u/TobiasWade:

    "I thought you were Death."

    Death is not a person.

    The light was taking a life of its own inside the water. The still surface began to churn with the enigmatic energy. It took my scattered mind a long while to realize that I was the energy flowing into the lake. I still felt tangled up with the figure, but we now existed as a beam of light boiling into the water.

    I knew I wouldn't understand, but that didn't stop me from feeling frustrated. If Death is all there is, then what is IT? What was waiting for me? The water pressed in around me and I couldn't speak, although I could still draw breath somehow.

    IT is here.

    Something was in the water around me. Hands grabbed me by the legs and began dragging me downward. I was amazed to even discover I had limbs again. They felt so alien to me that it was almost as though this body was not my own. Light flashed from the scythe - then again. The hands let go, and the howling rose once more. The Reaper was fighting something, although I couldn't make any sense of the battle except for the madness of thrashing water.

    The howling Earth reached its crescendo, and the screams made the water around me convulse and contract like living fluid. Had the Reaper cut it? Was I safe? I began to explore my new body in the water, but just when I thought I was beginning to gain control the hands clutched me once more. I lurched downward, struggling in vain against their implacable grip.

    "What is here?" I tried to shout against the suffocating liquid. "What is happening?"

    But I couldn't sense the Reaper's presence any longer. The heat was unbearable, but the cold depths the hands were dragging me toward was even worse. I became aware of a blinding light at the bottom of the lake, and though I struggled, the hands dragged me inexorably onward.

    I'm sorry. I couldn't fight IT off. It seemed to be coming from so far away now. We will try again next time.

    The pressure - the heat - the noise - the hands dragging me into the blinding light. I closed my eyes and screamed. I was free from the water now, but I just kept screaming. I couldn't bear to look at IT - whatever had stolen me. Whatever was Death but wasn't - whatever even the Reaper could not defeat.

  • Life-Giving Radio Static

    From Redditor /u/gretelcat:

    The one thing that kept me sane was my radio. I never turned it off once. Even though I didn’t listen to the words being said – in fact, the channel I got the clearest was in English (I think) which I don’t speak a lick of. But the voices, the music, and the true knowledge that life existed beyond this violent city sustained me.

    I have no idea how long passed before I saw the light of day again. I was dizzy from hunger, so finding food was my priority. My radio came with me, of course. Since I first holed myself up, it has gone everywhere with me. It talks to me as I sleep and as I wake. I don’t know what it’s saying, but I know I would die without it.

    When I am besieged with memories of my wife and baby, I turn up the volume on the radio to drown out such thoughts. It works for me every time.

    Except this morning.

    Because this morning, I woke up to dead silence.

    I frantically examined the radio to see what had happened. I honestly cannot tell you how many days in a row I have been using it. Did it simply live out its life and die naturally? I have spent the entire day trying to fix it. Most of this time, I have been crying. I am losing my mind without it.

    I have given myself until sundown. If I cannot fix it by then, I am going to take my life. I am writing this because the sunlight is starting to die and I know what my fate shall be.