Thank you to all that gave permission to republish their comments.
1. I still run out of the basement when I turn off the lights because someone might kill me
2. Always a little anxious before looking in the Mirror because I’m afraid someone might be standing behind me.
3. “The call is coming from inside the house!”
4. The one about the midget guy that dressed up like a clown and pretended to be a statue or whatever while some girl was babysitting. Why? I’m glad I don’t have to babysit anymore.
5. Someone laying on the ground next to their car on a deserted road like they were injured or in an accident, then when you slow down or get out to see if you can help, a group of others comes out of the woods/ditch/tall grass and robs/kills/kidnaps you.
Freaks me out to think about 10 people just coming onto the road out of nowhere in the middle of the night when you are all alone.
6. That I get drugged and wake up the next day in an ice-filled bathtub and a can of kidney beans missing from the pantry.
7. The one with the red-eyed ghost boy in the old hotel freaked me out as a kid. Even today i’m too scared sleep in old hotels.
8. If you stand in front of a mirror and say “Taxman, Taxman, Taxman”, he will check your records for any discrepancies and follow up on them relentlessly.
9. I give a peek in the rearview mirror from time to time to make sure no one is hiding back there.
10. Are you really sure that that’s your reflection looking back at you in the mirror?
11. Kuchisake-onna, aka The Slit-Mouth Woman, japanese stories are always so terrifying.
12. One night I read the whole post about Ted the Caver. I was working a 12-4am and nothing was really happening in the lobby. I was so engrossed that I forgot to check people in. I know it has been proven false, but if I think of it, I always get a weird feeling in my throat. Ted the Caver is creepy as hell and caving now terrifies me.
13. When you’re walking back to your room and you get that feeling of someone right behind you… I swear I run around my house all the time.
14. “The Licked Hand.”
15. The one where the maid in the hotel uses your toothbrush. To clean. Her rectum. Except you don’t know it until you have your vacation photos developed.
I hide my toothbrush when I leave the hotel room. Every time. Every hotel.
Also I try to not leave a hotel room too messy, because I think the key part of the legend is that the guests trashed the room. Whatever. Still hide the brush.
16. Mothman. So you’re telling me that a man-sized moth hybrid is running around the forest at night and stalking people down roads? FUCK. THAT. SHIT.
17. Flashing your headlights at oncoming hi-beams might be marking yourself for gang-initiation murder.
18. Whenever I wash my face, I make sure to wipe the soap off as fast as possible because I’m scared of the numerous things that could have popped up on my mirror. Maybe it’s a ghost girl standing behind me. Maybe it’s Jeff the Killer with a knife. Maybe it’s my reflection smiling back when I’m not.
19. I heard this one where at some point in your life you get fat and bald, I have seen it first hand and it terrifies me.
20. The Michigan Dogman.
Basically, a half dog half man that roams Northern Michigan. There are loads of stories from the past 130 years about it, and since there are no wolves in the Lower Peninsula it would be hard to explain it away.
21. My dad grew up in Karachi in Pakistan. He used to tell me the story of the backwards feet lady. She would walk in the middle of the night. Her feet were basically facing in the wrong direction. My dad and his friend were working the graveyard shift and they were driving home. My dad saw this lady walking alone on the side of the road and her saw her. My dad’s friend said to give her a ride because it wasn’t common for ladies to ever walk alone. So he stopped and asked her if she needed a lift. He got out of the car and saw she had backwards feet. He tried to get back in the car and drive away but she was right next to him and scratched his forehead. He nearly got his head cut off. Used to scare the shit out of me.
22. Someone placing a needle on a seat (cinema, bus…) with a note on it: Congratulations, you are now HIV positive. Checking every seat now…
23. I’m terrified of licking envelopes in case there are insect eggs embedded within the glue. That, and the Seinfeld episode where Susan dies from toxins within cheap glue. Whether or not it actually occurs, it’s just not worth the risk.
24. There was a hunter in the woods, who, after a long day hunting, was in the middle of an immense forest. It was getting dark, and having lost his bearings, he decided to head in one direction until he was clear of the increasingly oppressive foliage.
After a what seemed like hours, he came across a cabin in a small clearing. Realizing how dark it had grown, he decided to see if he could stay there for the night. He approached, and found the door ajar. Nobody was inside. The hunter flopped down on the single bed, deciding to explain himself to the owner in the morning. As he looked around, he was surprised to see the walls adorned by many portraits, all painted in incredible detail. Without exception, they appeared to be staring down at him, their features twisted into looks of hatred. Staring back, he grew increasingly uncomfortable. Making a concerted effort to ignore the many hateful faces, he turned to face the wall, and exhausted, he fell into a restless sleep.
Face down in an unfamiliar bed, he turned blinking in unexpected sunlight. Looking up, he discovered that the cabin had no portraits, only windows.
25. My favourite is called Genetic Memory: Many classic horror icons, such as Giger’s Xenomorphs, Silent Hill’s Pyramid Head, and other disturbing creatures, share common characteristics. Pale skin, dark, sunken eyes, elongated faces, sharp teeth, and the like. These images inspire horror and revulsion in many, and with good reason. The characteristics shared by these faces are imprinted in the human mind.
Many things frighten humans instinctively. The fear is natural, and does not need to be reinforced in order to terrify. The fears are species-wide, stemming from dark times in the past when lightning could mean the burning of your tree home, thunder could be the approaching gallops of a stampede, predators could hide in darkness, and heights could make poor footing lethal.
The question you have to ask yourself is this:
What happened, deep in the hidden eras before history began, that could affect the entire human race so evenly as to give the entire species a deep, instinctual, and lasting fear of pale beings with dark, sunken eyes, razor sharp teeth, and elongated faces?
… Just be careful out there.