Imgur user Aharit has always been curious about their ancestors. So, they bought a couple of those genetic testing kits everyone can find online to learn more about them.
Usually, we seek horror out in bookstores, on TV, and in the theater, as well as in video games. Most of these complex stories, however, take time to unfold, and not everyone has it. Luckily, there are tidbit alternatives that can creep you out in a matter of seconds.
A subreddit called r/TwoSentenceHorror is dedicated to sharing chilling micro-tales that are just two sentences long. The online community was founded in 2014, and over 320k people have joined it since. From haunting ghosts to cold-blooded homicides, together, they have created one of the darkest libraries on the Internet, so take out your nightmare fuel canister and continue scrolling.
Bored Panda got in touch with some of the moderators of r/TwoSentenceHorror to find out more about its content."
First of all, I think the anatomy of a two-sentence horror story will change from writer to writer. However, I have seen the following pattern: Line one - set up; line two - twist. Often times, the real horror element does not come until the second line. This is a very common approach," two_sentence_critic said.
But even though many of the stories can be dissected like that, such a structure does not guarantee a text will go viral. "Thankfully, there is no exact answer," two_sentence_critic said. "That would be boring. Some of the top posts are existential horrors, like mine. Others incorporate revenge, visceral and/or body horror, weird fiction, sci-fi, fantasy elements, historical fiction, crime, and abuse. Note: we do not include trigger warnings as we feel this acts as a spoiler. You've been warned."
Legioneer, another moderator of r/TwoSentenceHorror, agreed there is a lot of variety in the most popular stories, though most have unique concepts and good twists. "A story that has a good enough hook and payoff will go far. There are some more common themes, like murderers, comas, or stories from the perspective of a pet, but any theme can work if it is creative enough and well written."
Legioneer thinks the subreddit has become popular because it is very simple to both scroll through and submit your own tales. "A lot of readers don't have the time to read a whole series on NoSleep, and a lot of potential writers don't have the time to write them. r/TwoSentenceHorror is different. You don't need to have that same level of commitment, spending hours reading or drafting something up only to be potentially disappointed by the end result. Our scares are bite-sized, so you can visit our sub for just 5 minutes or binge for 5 hours, and there will always be new stories to read," they said.
Alright, so you read the stories, you love them and you want to take a shot at creating a killer two-sentence horror story. Where do you begin? Try to come up with a situation that's universal and induces fear in everyone. "If you're a new writer, here's a few hints to start off with: incapacitation, complete control, anonymity, or delusions," moderator WoodenPiano explained. "Some cliché traps which people fall into are cannibalism, darkness, death, or other topics that only target specific fears."
Once you have the concept, explain it clearly. "Don't leave people hanging, wondering what exactly is the twist, unless it really makes the story that much better," WoodenPiano added. "In-your-face horror more often than not shocks readers more than slow and concealed horror. People who write about existentialism or identity crisis often run into this problem."
Some popular strategies include breaking the fiction barrier (writing stories that people can't easily pass off as just fictional), condensing multiple twists in two sentences, and forcing the reader to empathize with the characters involved. "However, you should note that most of these require a bit of luck, and trying to incorporate them may make them seem forced. But don't give up!"
Note: this post originally had 110 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.