Late night YouTube trolling can result in all the lights being turned on in the house, random calls to a best friend to calm nerves, and flashlight location memorization. Of course we're talking the videos you stumble around the internet watching late at night for some reason while alone despite your crippling fear of everything even a little out of the ordinary. Everyone does it.
And everyone's doing it now, seeing as Halloween is right around the corner. But you don't have to sift through the scraps of YouTube for screamer videos or poorly shot "paranormal" footage. May we suggest a litany of awesome for your viewing orbs with a sampling of horrific web series that will send chills down your spine without insulting your intelligence or forcing you to visit the land of YouTube commenters? Shudder. Here are five spooky series to get you started.
You know you were way into the Blair Witch saga when it hit theaters way back when. The whole "found footage"/documentary trend has all but exploded since then, but nothing has been able to match the excitement the film culminated in exactly, though few have tried. Marble Hornets is an admirable project that follows in the same footsteps of the greats before it with creepy footage and bizarre goings-on, most of which should be more than enough nightmare fuel for skittish viewers.
A fictional movie was suddenly and mysteriously dropped from production due to some weird circumstances. The series of videos chronicle the raw footage a friend of the movie's creator was able to procure, and the disturbing events surrounding it. The project extends to video footage and unsettling tweets, and there's more here to get engaged if you're looking for a new ARG to get into. If creepypasta and related scares are your thing, Marble Hornets should be on your to-watch list.
You're probably familiar with the Hostel series and torture porn as a whole, right? At first glance, that's what the serial 31 seems to mimic, but it's actually a quite novel twist on the supernatural thriller. It's too good to lump in with Saw and the like. The miniseries unfolds across 31 episodes, each spanning 31 seconds -- great for those of us with a short attention span. The story starts with a young woman awaking in complete darkness, with no idea of where she is or how she got there. Escaping her dark prison is the only thing on her mind, and you're in for some shockers along the way. Give it a watch if your busy life only allows for 30 seconds' worth of entertainment here and there.
The 17-episode web series explores the plight of a young woman (Clara) who comes into possession of a camera that has the power to trap demons within. It's a tale you've probably heard before, especially within the Fatal Frame series, but it's a novel take on the famed "spooky every day gadget" trope that features a strong female lead and genuinely creepy demon designs -- think Guillermo del Toro crossed with monsters straight out of the depths of your overactive imagination. Fans of Supernatural and other demon-hunting series can find plenty to get excited about here, plus it was directed, written and produced by friend-of-G4 Drew Daywalt.
Speaking of Supernatural, a good portion of the production cast from the popular TV show are involved with the ambitious project Divine, which aims to captivate audiences with production values as impressive as those seen in big-budget releases and Hollywood blockbusters. A young priest is beginning to question his faith after witnessing the resurrection of the immortal Divine, a creature destined to guide lost souls with a specific message -- destiny is not fixed or unable to be changed, and it's up to the individual to choose their own path. It's a riveting effort from experienced filmmakers that seems to be picking up steam. Faith and disturbing imagery are strong platforms with which to build a horror story, and Divine does a great job of it.
Are you a glutton for punishment when it comes to scaring yourself silly? Mr. Creepypasta's Story Time has combined terrifying sets of illustrated and audio accompaniments for some of the most terrifying creepypasta stories on the internet. Basically, it's a way to enjoy some of the scariest stories on the internet without actually having to read them. If you spend most of your time in Reddit's NoSleep subreddit or scouring the internet for creepy tales and urban legends, then this is the web series for you. Just don't come running to us when you're too scared to walk down a dark hallway to your own bedroom.
We've named our choices -- are there any deliciously creepy serials you've enjoyed in the past to get keyed up for Halloween? Let us know some of your favorites and be sure to pack plenty of clean underwear when viewing ours.