back to top

"Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark" Reimagined For Millennials

The scariest story of all begins with a reply-all.

Posted on

THE PHANTOM FACEBOOK STATUS

It was a rainy Saturday. Sharon had an appointment set up at the Genius Bar to fix her iPhone 6s. She took the bus to the mall and made it to her appointment with time to spare. While she was waiting, Sharon decided to browse the Internet on one of the available MacBook Airs in the store. She logged into her Facebook account, responded to a friend request, commented on a few photos, and before she knew it, her name was being called for her appointment.Sharon's phone was replaced, and she was very happy with the service. She bought herself a pretzel in the mall before leaving. Upon returning home, she started restoring her new phone from a previous backup. While she was doing this, she noticed she had several Facebook notifications."I'll check these real quick, and then I'll finish restoring this phone and do some laundry," thought Sharon. She clicked the Facebook tab in Chrome.A new status had been posted on her own timeline, but she hadn't written it herself."Currently marathoning The Big Bang Theory!!" 47 of her friends had liked this status. Many of them commented ironically with stickers.Sharon was so mortified that she deleted her Facebook account forever.
Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

It was a rainy Saturday. Sharon had an appointment set up at the Genius Bar to fix her iPhone 6s. She took the bus to the mall and made it to her appointment with time to spare. While she was waiting, Sharon decided to browse the Internet on one of the available MacBook Airs in the store. She logged into her Facebook account, responded to a friend request, commented on a few photos, and before she knew it, her name was being called for her appointment.

Sharon's phone was replaced, and she was very happy with the service. She bought herself a pretzel in the mall before leaving. Upon returning home, she started restoring her new phone from a previous backup. While she was doing this, she noticed she had several Facebook notifications.

"I'll check these real quick, and then I'll finish restoring this phone and do some laundry," thought Sharon. She clicked the Facebook tab in Chrome.

A new status had been posted on her own timeline, but she hadn't written it herself.

"Currently marathoning The Big Bang Theory!!"

47 of her friends had liked this status. Many of them commented ironically with stickers.

Sharon was so mortified that she deleted her Facebook account forever.

THE VERY OLD INSTAGRAMS

Webster had a huge crush on a girl in his Psychology elective. The only thing he knew about her was that she was a sophomore, and that she worked at the coffee shop on campus. One day in class, he was sitting behind her. He saw her log onto Facebook, and snuck a peek at her profile. He found out what her last name was. That night, he searched her on Instagram and started looking through her photos. He scrolled further and further down her feed, looking at all the photos.She had a few videos in her Instagram feed, so Webster decided to watch them. He clicked on one that was posted about 6 months ago. The sound wasn't on, so he tapped the video to hear the sound. He still couldn't hear the sound, so he tapped a few more times.Just then, something tremendously horrible happened.He had accidentally double-tapped the video, liking it.Webster was MORTIFIED. He quickly un-liked the photo, but it was too late. He knew his crush had already gotten a notification. She was probably already looking through his own Instagram feed, confused and disgusted.Should he quickly make his Instagram private so she can't see who liked the video? Should he explain the whole thing to her tomorrow? Maybe make up some ridiculous excuse about his Instagram being hacked?"I know what I have to do," he thought, resigned to his fate.Webster dropped the class the very next day.
Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

Webster had a huge crush on a girl in his Psychology elective. The only thing he knew about her was that she was a sophomore, and that she worked at the coffee shop on campus.

One day in class, he was sitting behind her. He saw her log onto Facebook, and snuck a peek at her profile. He found out what her last name was. That night, he searched her on Instagram and started looking through her photos.

He scrolled further and further down her feed, looking at all the photos.

She had a few videos in her Instagram feed, so Webster decided to watch them. He clicked on one that was posted about 6 months ago. The sound wasn't on, so he tapped the video to hear the sound. He still couldn't hear the sound, so he tapped a few more times.

Just then, something tremendously horrible happened.

He had accidentally double-tapped the video, liking it.

Webster was MORTIFIED. He quickly un-liked the photo, but it was too late. He knew his crush had already gotten a notification. She was probably already looking through his own Instagram feed, confused and disgusted.

Should he quickly make his Instagram private so she can't see who liked the video? Should he explain the whole thing to her tomorrow? Maybe make up some ridiculous excuse about his Instagram being hacked?

"I know what I have to do," he thought, resigned to his fate.

Webster dropped the class the very next day.

SIRI THE UNDEAD

Jane got her first iPhone for her 16th birthday, and it was the best gift she had ever received. She couldn't have been happier. She spent every second of her free time on her new phone.The day after she got the iPhone, she started asking Siri questions. She asked Siri every single question she could think of. "How old are you, Siri?" and "What is the Earth's atmostphere made of, Siri?" and "Who is the oldest living person alive, Siri?" She was learning so much.But after a few months, Siri's tone started to change slightly when she would provide Jane with answers. It sounded almost...annoyed. No, that couldn't be. Right? Jane kept asking more and more questions.A year to the day after Jane's 16th birthday, she asked Siri another question. It was just like any other, but Siri's response was "I'm sorry, I don't understand."Jane asked again, but got the same answer. She tried again and again, but Siri responded the same way.Jane was so angry that she threw her phone against a wall, and the screen shattered. When she realized what she'd done, she decided she couldn't let her parents know. She would bury the phone in the backyard and tell her parents a kid at school had stolen her phone.All went according to plan, and her parents bought her a new phone the next day. But that night, as she was drifting off to sleep, she heard a woman's voice drift into her room with the breeze from her open window."I'm sorry...""I don't understand...""I'm sorry...I don't understand..."At the same time, bright blue light started flooding through her window; the same detrimental, electronic blue light that she had been warned against in countless online studies and infographics. Jane got less than the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep recommended to teenagers that night.
Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

Jane got her first iPhone for her 16th birthday, and it was the best gift she had ever received. She couldn't have been happier. She spent every second of her free time on her new phone.

The day after she got the iPhone, she started asking Siri questions. She asked Siri every single question she could think of. "How old are you, Siri?" and "What is the Earth's atmostphere made of, Siri?" and "Who is the oldest living person alive, Siri?" She was learning so much.

But after a few months, Siri's tone started to change slightly when she would provide Jane with answers. It sounded almost...annoyed. No, that couldn't be. Right? Jane kept asking more and more questions.

A year to the day after Jane's 16th birthday, she asked Siri another question. It was just like any other, but Siri's response was "I'm sorry, I don't understand."

Jane asked again, but got the same answer. She tried again and again, but Siri responded the same way.

Jane was so angry that she threw her phone against a wall, and the screen shattered. When she realized what she'd done, she decided she couldn't let her parents know. She would bury the phone in the backyard and tell her parents a kid at school had stolen her phone.

All went according to plan, and her parents bought her a new phone the next day. But that night, as she was drifting off to sleep, she heard a woman's voice drift into her room with the breeze from her open window.

"I'm sorry..."

"I don't understand..."

"I'm sorry...I don't understand..."

At the same time, bright blue light started flooding through her window; the same detrimental, electronic blue light that she had been warned against in countless online studies and infographics.

Jane got less than the recommended 8-10 hours of sleep recommended to teenagers that night.

THE PHANTOM REPLY-ALLS

Harold worked in an office. He enjoyed his job. It was quiet most of the time, and he had a lot of time to himself to think and dedicate to his work.One day, one of his coworkers sent around an ordinary email letting everyone know that the paper clips in the supply room had been refilled. Harold read the email and then went back to work.Thirty minutes later, he checked his email again. 8 people had responded to the email. Ten minutes later, 19 more people had responded to the email. An hour later, almost the entire office had responded. Harold tried to mute the email, but somehow, it kept re-appearing in his inbox.Harold could never get away from the email; it followed him everywhere he went. As the months went by, he'd see one or two more reply-alls on the thread from people he didn't even know worked at the company. Every time he thought the thread had stopped, he'd see a new response.Years after he retired, and several email addressses later, Harold was still on the thread, receiving responses. Nothing he tried could stop it.Harold died at the age of 97. After his death, his lawyer was going through his old emails to find information about settling his estate. He happened upon the old work thread.The last response on the thread was dated two days after Harold's death. It was a meme.But the strangest part of all was that it was sent from Harold himself.
Andrea Hickey / BuzzFeed

Harold worked in an office. He enjoyed his job. It was quiet most of the time, and he had a lot of time to himself to think and dedicate to his work.

One day, one of his coworkers sent around an ordinary email letting everyone know that the paper clips in the supply room had been refilled. Harold read the email and then went back to work.

Thirty minutes later, he checked his email again. 8 people had responded to the email. Ten minutes later, 19 more people had responded to the email. An hour later, almost the entire office had responded.

Harold tried to mute the email, but somehow, it kept re-appearing in his inbox.

Harold could never get away from the email; it followed him everywhere he went. As the months went by, he'd see one or two more reply-alls on the thread from people he didn't even know worked at the company. Every time he thought the thread had stopped, he'd see a new response.

Years after he retired, and several email addressses later, Harold was still on the thread, receiving responses. Nothing he tried could stop it.

Harold died at the age of 97. After his death, his lawyer was going through his old emails to find information about settling his estate. He happened upon the old work thread.

The last response on the thread was dated two days after Harold's death. It was a meme.

But the strangest part of all was that it was sent from Harold himself.