11 Creepy Subreddits to Keep You Up at Night

11 Creepy Subreddits to Keep You Up at Night
Photo: Olivier Douliery, Getty Images

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when the news cycle gets bad — like real bad — one of my favourite things to do is distract myself with some spooky content.

Neuroscientists and psychologists alike have all tried to grapple with the question of why some people love to spend their spare time watching, say, a grisly slasher movie or browsing sinister sites. The science is still up for debate — some people think this kind of content taps into a primal survival instinct, while others suggest that we might enjoy vicariously living through the murder and mayhem happening onscreen, only to turn on the lights and discover we’ve survived.

Personally, I couldn’t tell you why I love this kind of dark stuff, but I can tell you the best places where you can find it — the various annals of Reddit dot com. Here’s a few of my favourite forums on the site where fellow sickos like myself that enjoy cryptids, haunted buildings, and anything else that leaves you scared — but not too scared to keep scrolling.

r/HumanoidEncounters

Photo: Josep Lago, Getty ImagesPhoto: Josep Lago, Getty Images

One of my personal favourites in this creepy vein is r/HumanoidEncounters, which is exactly what it sounds like: stories from people coming face-to-face with something that’s almost human, but not quite. Want to read news reports of satanic goatmen in Romainia? This sub has ‘em. Want to read about people detailing the mothmen that live next door, or mantis-human hybrids they’ve spotted lurking around the forest? This sub has those, too. While it’s worth taking a lot (ok, maybe all) of these reports with a grain of salt, the stories, explainers and charts that people post here are infinitely entertaining.

r/OldSchoolCreepy

Photo: London Stereoscopic Company, Getty ImagesPhoto: London Stereoscopic Company, Getty Images

Maybe moth/mantis-men aren’t your thing. Maybe you want something a bit more… vintage. r/OldSchoolCreepy’s the place for that, and it is, again, exactly what it says on the packaging: an always-updating stream of eerie photos from bygone eras. This is a place where you can ogle black-and-white photos of dripping doll heads from the 1940s or photos of a clean-cut Charles Manson on his wedding day. You can find that (and much more!) if you dive into these dark waters.

r/LetsNotMeet

Photo: Joe Klamar, Getty ImagesPhoto: Joe Klamar, Getty Images

While it can be tough to take the stories from the humanoids sub at face value, the stories on LetsNotMeet definitely read like real-life cautionary tales. For those that aren’t familiar with the gist of the sub: users will generally post their first-person encounters with strangers of all stripes here, and go into the horrifying details how how those encounters went downhill. Brushes with kidnappers and near-misses from would-be murder victims abound in this forum. If you’ve ever wanted to be terrified of walking home alone at night, then this is the place for you.

r/UnresolvedMysteries

Photo: Mario Anzuoni-Pool, Getty ImagesPhoto: Mario Anzuoni-Pool, Getty Images

As someone who’s binged every season of Unsolved Mysteries over the course of the pandemic, there’s no way I could leave this sub out. This entire community — 1.6 million members strong, as of the time of this writing — is just full of folks speculating and conducting amateur sleuthing on some of the weirdest cases of our time. If you have a cold case that you want investigated (or just want to chat about the gory details), rest assured you’ll find plenty of people here that feel the same urge.

r/ThreeKings

Photo: Orlando/Three Lions, Getty ImagesPhoto: Orlando/Three Lions, Getty Images

OK, maybe the sinister beings from this particular plane of existence aren’t really your thing. Maybe you’re more into the rituals and spells that are designed to bring you in touch with the supernatural. This subreddit, which takes its name from a Reddit-famous ritual that even the OP says you shouldn’t try at home, features countless incantations that promise everything from contacting a long-lost relative, to bringing untold harms to a victim of your choice, to… well, “taking a cab ride to the Otherworld.”

r/EvilBuildings

Photo: Chris Hondros, Getty ImagesPhoto: Chris Hondros, Getty Images

This one’s a little sillier than the rest — at least in this writer’s opinion — but it’s still a fun one. r/EvilBuildings is literally just… pictures of buildings being Evil, with a capital E. This might mean they look like literal supervillain lairs; they might seem haunted AF; they might just have nearly no light. The point is, these are domiciles that are anything but welcoming.

r/TheTruthIsHere

Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty ImagesPhoto: Joe Raedle, Getty Images

This one is pretty similar to the aforementioned humanoid subreddit, but with a more extraterrestrial spin. If you, like me, spent your nights as a kid binging X-Files alone in your room with the lights turned real low, reading some of these stories might be almost sentimental for you. I’ve definitely read stories here about people’s encounters with ghosts or aliens or dog… things?… and have thought of what these posters could accomplish with someone like Mulder or Scully on the case. Alas, all we have are several thousand Redditors on this forum, all speculating about their potential paranormal pals.

r/EdgarAllanPoe

Photo: Saul Loeb, Getty ImagesPhoto: Saul Loeb, Getty Images

If you haven’t heard, Edgar Allan Poe is something of the godfather of all things spooky and goth-y in the modern age. This is the subreddit where his fans post gory retellings of his work, share tattoos commemorating the author, and, every so often, speculate about the bizarre circumstances surrounding his death. Fellow literary fans rejoice!

r/OddlyTerrifying

Photo: Chris Graythen, Getty ImagesPhoto: Chris Graythen, Getty Images

For the most part, the forums on this list traffic in Spooky Content that’s easy to rationalize: you can explain why it’s scary to be kidnapped, for example, or why contact with the paranormal might give you a chill. This subreddit is a bit… different; it’s full of content that’s creepy or unsettling, but not always for reasons you can explain. What’s up with this weird, oozing lightswitch that someone snapped a picture of? Why do I shiver every time I see this photo of a skull packed with baby teeth? Why do turtles look like this? This subreddit won’t answer any of these questions. I wish it would. It’ll just leave them rattling around your brain in the dark.

r/LiminalSpace

Photo: Hulton Archive, Getty ImagesPhoto: Hulton Archive, Getty Images

Ever step into a room that just feels… off? Like there’s something deeply eerie about it, and you can’t explain why? No? Have you ever wanted to, if only from the comfort of your own computer screen? Well then buddy, do I have the subreddit for you. r/LiminalSpace is dedicated to rooms with an unnameably unsettling quality to them.

r/CreepyWikipedia

Photo: Kirill Kudryavtsev, Getty ImagesPhoto: Kirill Kudryavtsev, Getty Images

If this entire list didn’t have enough of spook-tastic rabbit holes for you to go down, might I recommend this subreddit that’ll take you into another forking warren of fear: the spookiest depths on Wikipedia.

Happy rabbit hole-ing.