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

Updated September 30, 2019 133.2k views20 items

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.

  • 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.

  • The Deepest Part of the Ocean is Not Empty

    From Redditor /u/TheJesseClark:

    Higgin’s Maw, according to the best information available to me at the time of departure, is a pit, roughly a full kilometer across. It begins at approximately forty six thousand feet below the surface and is estimated to bottom out at Higgin’s Deep, a small valley that sits at its base, some five thousand additional feet below that. The Maw is the largest and deepest such formation in the hydrosphere, and yet its dimensions and location are the only things concretely known about it. That, of course, is where myself, and where the Tuscany, come in.

    Forty three thousand feet down. I hit the floodlights underneath the Tuscany, and the glow washed over an alien landscape that likely hadn’t seen light in over a billion years. There were mountains here - mountains - ones that rivaled the Alps, and wild arches and plateaus that stretched far off to a murky horizon before being shrouded by seawater.

    I even saw life down here in the depths. A squid-like thing of simply monstrous size swam on by my boat. It stopped for a moment, and during that moment I thought it might take offense to me, but after looking hard at the Tuscany and brushing a tentacle down the port side it swam off in search of other things.

    "Atta girl."

    I descended further.

    Forty four thousand feet. Forty five.

    And then, all of a sudden, there it was. The Maw.

    My mouth hung by the jaw as the sheer scope of the beast came into view. It was a breathtaking sight to behold; a monstrously large and equally dark hole in the crust of the earth that plummeted to inconceivable fathoms. I descended a bit further - forty five five, forty six thousand feet - and Tuscany fell into its yawn. Somehow things were even blacker in the depths of the thing, even though sunlight had long since been blotted out.

    Forty six five. Forty seven. Forty seven two.

    I began to become aware of a low current pulling me downward. It wasn’t particularly powerful, but it was unexpected and it was therefore alarming. And yet I couldn’t bear to pull myself back up. Not yet - I’ll turn around if it gets bad - so down I went, deeper and deeper and deeper still into the cavern.

    Forty eight thousand feet. Forty eight five. Forty nine. Forty nine one.

    And then I saw it. A glow.

  • The Existential Quandary Of Relationships

    From Redditor /u/M59Gar:

    I don't know when you're going to read this, but I can tell you when it started: I was out for a walk alone in the woods when the entity came for me. It was beyond a blur. It was, for lack of a better term, absence of meaning. Where it hid, there were no trees; where it crept closer, there was no grass; through the arc it leapt at me, there was no breeze of motion. There was no air at all.

    As it struck, I felt the distinct sensation of claws puncturing me somewhere unseen; somewhere I'd never felt before. My hands and arms and legs and torso seemed fine and I wasn't bleeding, but I knew I'd been injured somehow. As I fearfully ran back home, I could tell that I was less. I was vaguely tired, and it was hard to focus at times.

    For a while, that subtle drain on my spirit became lost in the ebb and flow of caffeine in my system. You could say my life began that week, actually, because that was when I met Mar. She and I got along great, though, to be honest, I'm pretty sure I fell in love with her over the phone before we even met.

    Mar showed up that evening, but she had her own key.

    "Hey," I asked her with confusion. "How'd you get a key?"

    She just laughed. "You're cute. Are you sure you're okay with this?" She opened a door and entered a room full of boxes. "I know living together is a big step, especially when we've only been dating three months."

    Living together? I'd literally just met her the week before. Thing was, my mother had always called me a smart cookie for a reason. I knew when to shut my yap. Instead of causing a scene, I told her everything was fine — and then I went straight to my room and began investigating.

    My things were just as I had left them with no sign of a three month gap in habitation, but I did find something out of the ordinary: the date. I shivered angrily as I processed the truth.

    The entity had eaten three months of my life.