For those of us who are bizarrely fascinated by the strange and unusual, the internet can be a glorious resource — and although you might not think of Twitter specifically as lending itself to the cause, there are actually loads of spooky Twitter accounts you can follow for when you’re looking to send a shiver up your spine. You’d be surprised how much ghostly oomph you can pack into 140 characters.
Indeed, I suspect it’s the 140 character limit that makes each of these spooky Twitter accounts so effective; brevity, as they say, is the soul of wit, and when you’ve only got so many letters you can use to get your message across, creativity becomes key. What’s more, although Instagram is (obviously) more suited to images and other media assets, Twitter can be a surprisingly comfortable place for them to find a home, too. Never underestimate how powerful an image and just a few words can be when paired together in the proper fashion.
What you won’t find here are accounts that specialize in gross images or gore. To be honest, I don’t find gross stuff scary; it’s just… well, gross, and shock value isn’t really worth much to me. I’m much more interested in scare tactics that think outside the proverbial box, so to speak. Or coffin, if you like. Your choice.
So, that’s what I’ve used as my guiding principle in assembling this motley crew. Save ‘em for a dark and stormy night, ideally when you’re alone at home with the lights turned out.
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1. Seriously Strange
Straightforward and no-nonsense, Seriously Strange tweets out weird, spooky, creepy, and mysterious facts on a regular basis like the one seen here. (It’s true, by the way; when Percy Bysshe Shelley drowned after his boat, the Don Juan, went down, he was cremated — except for some reason his heart didn’t burn. Mary Shelley put it in a “silken shroud,” according to Mental Floss, and kept it with her until she died. A year after her death, Percy’s heart was found in her desk, wrapped in one of his final poems.)
Sometimes the factoids are a little disturbing, so consider yourself warned before checking it out — but for the spooky trivia buffs in the audience, Seriously Strange is sure to please.
Follow on Twitter @SeriousStrange.
2. Fake Theme Park
While not an overtly freaky Twitter account, Fake Theme Park nonetheless strikes fear into the very marrow of my being. When taken as a whole, the tweets are more than the sum of their parts, painting a picture of an off-kilter and disturbing theme park where you’re more likely to hears creams of terror than shouts of joy. It’s the kind of place where ride malfunctions are more than just being stopped in the dark, where your souvenir cookbook may actually try to kill you, and, well… you don’t want to know what happens to the park after it closes for the day.
What I’m saying is, Fake Theme Park is basically Horrorland from Goosebumps experienced in real time.
Follow on Twitter @FakeThemePark.
3. Cursed Images
The Cursed Images account appears to be defunct, having last tweeted in October of 2016, and a follow-up, Cursed Images 2 (which may or may not be run by the same person), isn’t really as effective as the original — but there are still plenty of freaky photo archives to go through, so think of it like reading the weirdest coffee table book ever.
The images aren’t really cursed, of course; they’re just odd photos presented with no context, which makes them all the more unsettling. There’s been a little bit of controversy over the fact that the photos used aren’t credited, which the Uncursed Images Twitter account attempts to remedy; even attributed, though, the pics are still weird and spooky when taken out of context.
Follow on Twitter @cursedimages.
4. Horror Confessions
If you’re a fan of Let’s Not Meet or any of the numerous “what’s the freakiest unexplained thing that’s ever happened to you?” AskReddit threads that pop up from time to time, Horror Confessions is going to be right in your wheelhouse: It tweets out “the scariest confessions from all around the world.” Many of the stories skew towards the supernatural, like the simple yet chilling tale seen here; I’m not sure I buy all of them (that is, I’m pretty sure at least a few of them are just trolling us), but they’re still pretty spooky. This is one Twitter feed that’s incredibly easy to lose yourself in for hours on end.
Follow on Twitter @Horror_Fessions.
Technically @wnd_go isn’t a single account to follow; it’s the first of a whole network of accounts, and you don’t really follow any of them so much as you hop between them. Together, they create a choose-your-own-adventure story that, well… given how it begins, you can imagine how it goes. It was created by Terrence Eden back in 2015, and it remains one of my favorite things anyone has ever done with Twitter. You can read more about how Eden put the whole thing together here; it's fascinating, and I highly recommend it.
Start your story off on Twitter @wnd_go.
6. Witch Court Reporter
Run by poet, medieval food historian, and plant and mushroom forager Richard Osmond, Witch Court Reporter tweets out witch trials from history as if they’re happening in real time. “The demand for gore and morbid stories was the same in the 1500s and 1600s as it is today, so sensational accounts of the supposed doings of witches was very popular,” Osmond told BuzzFeed in 2016. When he finds something “vivid or grotesque or funny” in his research, he writes the pithiest tweet or series of tweets he can about it. “Once you get through the confusion of who is who and get used to the strange style of writing, the stories and images in these books are surprisingly weird and engaging to a modern mind,” he said. “A lot of the stuff I read could easily appear in a current horror movie.” Heck, and yes.
Follow on Twitter @witchcourt.
7. Short Horror Stories
Short Horror Stories does exactly what it says: It tells short horror stories in 140 characters or less. Some of them are subtler than others, and honestly, those ones are my favorites; this one, for example, is particularly chilling, especially given our world’s current situation.
Follow on Twitter @140nightmares.
8. Terrifying Posts
I’m not totally sure how to classify Terrifying Posts. Although I’m tempted to sum it up as “a collection of general weirdness,” it’s probably best described by the formula it follows: Each post includes an image or other media asset, plus a few words or a short sentence of commentary. The pictures aren’t usual gory, but they are frequently unsettling (like this one of Humpty Dumpty in 1873). Sometimes, though, the account is also unexpectedly optimistic.
Follow on Twitter @terrifyingposts.
9. Abandoned Places
I find photographs of abandoned locations and objects oddly compelling; there’s something about the idea of a place being completely forgotten and left to its own devices as it decays over time that hits me right in the gut. If that describes you, too, then head on over to the Abandoned Places Twitter page — it’s got all the abandoned photography you could ever want. Creepy, yes, but also beautiful in a way.
Follow on Twitter @abandonedspaces.
10. Creepy Catalog
The Creepy Catalog Twitter account itself isn’t necessarily creepy — but it does do a wonderful job disseminating the writing contained within the Creepy Catalog section of Thought Catalog. If you’re looking for some slightly longer reads than, y’know, 140 characters, Creepy Catalog is a good place to start; it’s got both fiction and real life, so whatever spooks you out the most, you’re sure to find it here.
Follow on Twitter @CreepyCatalog.
Happy haunting, everyone!