Anybody have any good scary stories to tell kids?

Well, ok so not little kids… 12 yo range.
Family get together type of thing. The kids want everyone to tell a scary story.

I’ve been googling but they all seem so lame or way too long.

Any ideas?

They ever hear “The Monkey’s Paw”? Classic campfire tale there. It’s especially powerful if you act it out: the twitching of the paw, the slow, dragging feet of the son returning from the grave, the mournful wail as the door is opened…

“And that is how much Social Security will be in the hole by the time you’re 65.”

Well, it scares me anyway.

Heard years ago on 3 Stories Tall

She’d had that dream again. The crash and the long walk through the woods. The old house with movement in the window. The door opening and the terrifying man coming out.

She woke suddenly. The car was veering off the road. It tumbled and came to rest. Disoriented, she got out and began looking for help. She could not find the road. She stumbled through the woods for what must have been hours. Then, she saw the house.

Unable to resist, she went to the door and knocked. It opened, and there was the man from her dream.

“Is this house haunted?” she asked.

“Yes” he said “By you.”

A woman was sitting at home one day, all alone.

The phone rang and she answered it. “hello?”

There was no response. “hello? hello? who is this?”

a pause. “I am the viper. I’ll be there in an hour. Be ready for me.” The woman was a little freaked, but figured it was a prank. Twenty minutes later, the phone rang again. “hello?”

“I am the viper.”
“what? what do you want?!”
“I’ll be at your house in forty minutes.” and click- he hung up.

The lady was freaked out. She closed her drapes, locked her doors, and tried to tell herself she was being silly- it was just a prank call.

Twenty minutes later, the phone rang. Hands shaking, the woman picked up the reciever and held it to her ear "“h-hello?” she stammered.

“I am the viper. I will be there in twenty minutes.”

“who are you? what do you want?” she screamed into the phone, but he had already hung up.

She paced her house, looking for something to protect herself with. Her mind was racing- what if he’s outside my house now, watching? If I leave, what will he do? Maybe I should call the-

the phone rang.

She pressed “talk” and screamed into the mouthpiece, “who is this? who are you?”
“I am the viper. I will be there in fifteen minutes.”

The woman was just about paralyzed. She just sat in the chair by the phone, tears streaming down her face, and wishing her husband would come home. She dialed his number. There was no answer.

No sooner had she hung up than the phone rang again. Shaking and holding her breath, the woman held it to her ear. She didn’t say anything, but waited for the raspy voice to utter the now-familiar declaration. And it did- “I am the viper. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

Her legs were wobbly with terror as she once again paced the house for a weapon. She finally settled on a baseball bat and, phone in hand, crouched behind the corner of her couch.

The seconds crawled by. The house was eerily silent except for the woman’s heartbeat and her agitated breathing. how many minutes had passed? three? ten? maybe he wasn’t going to come after all.

She froze- A car outside shut off and she heard the door slam shut. She broke into a cold sweat and held her breath and listened. The sound of the ringing phone in the silence made he jump and let out a little yelp. She answered it. “hello?” she whimpered

“I am the viper. I am walking up to your house now.”

“who are you?”

“I am on your doorstep.”

“what do you want with me?”

“I am going to ring the doorbell. open the door.” Sure enough, the doorbell rang. Barely able to breathe, the woman weakly walked to the door and opened it.

The man had a hand behind his back. Her mind went crazy- memorize what he’s wering so you can tell the police. if he leaves you alive. god, what if he doesn’t? what does he want with me? where is my husband?

His elbow moved and she braced herself for the worst as he pulled out…

a squeegie. “hello, I am ze viper! I am here to vipe your vindows!”

The Graveyard Wager UL makes a good story for kids.

Hated old man dies. Kids fear him even in death. One teen dares another to visit the grave at night, leaving a knife in it as proof. As a group of teens waits nearby, the dared one walks to the grave, stabs the knife in the dirt and tries to run away. They find something holding them in place, and suspects the old man has risen and is holding them. The other teens flee in terror. Come morning, the neighborhood discovers the teen dead of fright, having accidentally stabbed the knife through their jacket and pinned themselves to the grave.

Jump stories may be good for some kids or may cause pants wetting and nightmares. The standard involves a special and valuable possession (a prosthetic hand made of gold or even diamond for example) the owner dies, requesting to be buried with the possession. Somebody steals the object. They feel very nervous. The dead person rises, seeking the object calling “Who’s got my (whatever it is)?”. After the tension rises to a suitable level turn suddenly to a listener, lean or step forward rapidly and shout in the voice of the dead character “You do!”

Alternately, there’s the tally po method. Have the dead character call out “Diamond hand, diamond hand, who’s got my diamond hand?” Leave out the last second of the thief’s life and describe how the body was found. Finish with how a voice can be heard in the graveyard some nights “Diamon hand, diamond hand, I found my diamond hand.”

Actually, thinking about it, many urban legends are good creepy stories for older kids.

“and hanging from the door handle was a bloody hook”

"And it said ‘Aren’t you glad you didn’t turn on the lights?’ "

"And it said ‘People can lick too.’ "

“And she looked back and saw her boyfriend hanging by his neck, his feet scraping the roof of the car”

“And she opened the purse and found a meat cleaver and hands.”

etc.

I’m guessing Snopes has these in the horrors section.

The archive section of the Anomalist has some good clasic weird stories, such as blood and flesh falling from the sky. The daily area is less likely to have child apropriate material, but much that you will find interesting.

Anomalist archive - Read the stories before letting the kids read it.

Nasty worm parasite Dracunculiasis

Smallpox Something that I think if mothers saw would make them inoculate their childern without fail.

The last man on Earth sat in a room.
there was a knock at the door…

Sorry about the above post. It was meant for Gabriela’s thread, which is a bit gruesome.