Scary movies are a thing of the past — behold, scary TikTok

TikTok isn’t all dance crazes and prank videos. It’s also a massive hub for some of the scariest stories on the internet.

Videos that use the “scary stories” hashtag alone have garnered more than 2.6 billion views over the years. It’s more than enough content to keep you entertained for a few hours before bed … and spooky enough to keep you up for a few hours after that.

If you were to seek out scary stories on TikTok, though, you’re in for a smorgasbord of vastly different content. We broke down some of the most popular trends within the genre.

Scary storytime

This kind of video is the cornerstone on which much of the internet stands at the moment. First popularized on YouTube, the “storytime” is exactly that — a creator sits down to tell their audience a story. The tales are personal and purportedly true.

In this instance, the story is a scary one. TikToker kaylamalecc recalled a time her friend noticed a ghostly figure walking past her window while she wasn’t home.

The video just shows her talking to the camera — there’s no proof of the incident, no photos, no other characters. It’s the most simple way to tell a ghost story, reminiscent of nights you sit around with your friends trying to weave the most frightening tale.

Lydialoo121 told a story about a horrible sleepover she went to as a child, but instead of just talking directly to the camera, she chatted while putting her makeup on in hopes of keeping her audience engaged. Commenters made remarks about her tale and her foundation application, so clearly there’s something for everyone.

Classic scary stories with a twist

You’ve certainly heard of urban legends, stories that are often scary and told as true as they are passed on. You’ve probably heard of creepypasta, which is the internet version of that.

TikTokers are circulating their own urban legends, which after often older ones that they repackage by either reenacting them or retelling them.

The ParaBros, for example, reenact viral stories from other users. This one is about an encounter with a Ouija board gone wrong.

@parabros

3 True Scary TikTok Stories (story 1) story submitted by @jesus_is_ma_bestie123 #forparabros #ghoststory #spookystory

♬ original sound – The ParaBros

TikTok user Austin Patton simply retells urban legends and creepypastsa with a few added visuals, like the iconic “story of the blind woman that could see ghosts.”

Spooky events caught on camera

If you notice something spooky in the background of a video, you’d better upload it to TikTok — you probably have a viral hit on your hands.

Videos like this one of a creepy intruder who appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the background of a dance video shared by maryyylizzz9 are an entirely different level of eerie.

@maryyylizzz9

IM SORRY I JUST FOUND THIS DRAFT BUT DID ANYONE ELSE SEE THE MAN BEHIND ME AND THEN DISAPPEAR

♬ Ice Me Out – Kash Doll

Even anna_banannaaaaa’s video of a mysterious rustling in her curtains, which takes a humorous turn, captivated scary TikTok for a few days.

@anna_banannaaaaa

Ummmmm ok… #spooky but what was that ?

♬ Scary – Background Sounds

‘Hey guys, I think my house might be haunted’

Similar to the “caught on camera” section of scary TikTok, these videos include possible evidence that something spooky is afoot — but instead of waiting for something crazy to happen on camera, these users present their paranormal hunches to their followers.

In a video from ariannaskye14, for instance, she showed off a bizarre series of hidden rooms in her house and explained that sometimes the door opens on its own, even when it’s locked.

@ariannaskye14

Pretty sure my house is haunted because of this room

♬ Put Your Records On – Ritt Momney

Her comments section was ripe with speculation. Many users tried to help her figure out what was going on — and that’s the point of these videos, to try to solve a mystery.

“It could be a disappointment room depending on how old your house is,” one user wrote. “Look it up, it’s really sad.”

“Room you can’t reach without a ladder, kids’ wallpaper, door that locks from the outside … this is pointing to some really disturbing stuff,” another said.

“I love that everyone is pointing to ghosts but you’re like ‘it’s the heat,'” a third commented.

(Don’t) try this at home

What’s the point of being online if you can’t look up the scariest things you can possibly do, try them yourself and share footage of it?

That’s the final leg of scary TikTok — the brave souls who try all the spookiest trends for themselves and report back on it.

Take this video from seraselina as an example. She stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Mass., which she claimed was the most haunted hotel in the United States. Things predictably took an ominous turn, as she explained in her video.

So there you have it. These rabbit holes should keep your spine tingling until the next TikTok trend surfaces — or at least until there’s a new scary movie on Netflix.

Don’t stop reading scary stories now! Check out this eerie tale of a possible home intruder in a video.

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