It’s Finally Spooky Season, Which Means It’s Also Time for Our Annual Scary Story Contest

Nothing is scarier than real life. Share your creepiest stories to help us prove it.

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It’s Finally Spooky Season, Which Means It’s Also Time for Our Annual Scary Story Contest

I do not particularly get in the spirit of Halloween. Sure, there’s nothing cuter than kids in costumes and I’ll readily spend lots of money on candy for them, but that’s pretty much where my interest ends. I also don’t much care for scary movies! Having to close my eyes and cover my ears in order to control how terrified I get?? No thanks!

However, scary stories? On the internet?? Sign me the hell up. It’s the perfect combo of adrenaline and chills and fear that somehow that shadow in the story is real and it’s crept up behind me and it’s going to stab me… but then I slam my laptop shut, and all is safe and sound (at least in my apartment). That is how I want to be scared. That is also how my fellow blog denizens have experienced the month of October for the past decade, which is when Jezebel has held our annual reader-submitted, real-life scary story contest. As the communitarian parts of the internet we once loved are going the way of the dodo, I’m pleased to announce that this one has stuck around for another year.

If you’re new to this, the rules are fairly simple:

  • Your story must be true. We’re not running a flash fiction workshop here. To quote former Jezebel editor Madeleine Davies: You are “on the honor system here and—of course—when we’re talking about ghosts, the truth is relative to what you believe. To clarify: It must be experienced or sincerely believed by YOU, the teller. If a winning story is found to be fictional, it will be stripped of its title and a ghost will come haunt you as a punishment for ignoring the directions.”
  • Your story must be scary. Not pithy or moralistic… Scary. Frightening. Creepy. Unnerving. Something that makes me shiver (and not because I’m cringing). You get it!
  • You should submit your story in the comments of this post. If you must, you can email them to tips@ (with the subject line “scary story contest”), but that’s way less fun for the other commenters sharing their encounters with the supernatural or other types of super creeps.
  • Unnecessarily long stories will be penalized in the final judging (AKA I will be less likely to pick them). We’re reading these to be scared, not to memorize a map of the neighborhood you grew up in. The only edits I’ll give the final stories will be for readability.

If you need to jog your memory on just how much creepy shit your fellow Jezebel readers have experienced (or if you can’t wait for stories to accumulate in the comments of this post), here are scary story posts from the past decade: 2022; 2021; 2020; 2019; 2018 part 1 and 2018 part 2; 2017 part 1 and 2017 part 2; 2016; 2015 part 1 and 2015 part 2; 2014 part 1 and 2014 part 2; 2013.

Now, get to posting your own terrifying stories in the comments. We’ll select the 10 scariest at the end of the month and publish them for everyone’s collective reading horror just in time for Halloween.

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