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