I was tooling around on Listverse the other day, and I found a few Top 10 lists that deserved to be added to the Real Life Chillers canon.
10 Mysterious Trips Into The Wilderness That Went Horribly Wrong is the one that first caught my attention. Most of them are of the sad, but relatively explicable, “small child wanders alone into the woods and is never seen again” type, though even those have little details that may give you shivers. But the ones that really grabbed me were #10, where a sportswriter went into the mountains to investigate a mysterious disappearance…and was never seen again, and #9, which is called “The Cline Falls State Park Axeman”. This is why I don’t want to take a vacation to the woods unless I can stay in a rustic cabin with a door I can lock.
Similarly, many of the next one – 10 People Who Mysteriously Vanished From Their Workplace – amount to little more than robberies or disgruntled co-workers where the bodies were never found. But others – like the ex-cop whose car caught fire before he disappeared, the realtor who went to an appointment with a man who didn’t exist and never came back, and the shop owner who may or may not have come back from lunch are a bit less comfortable. And the ransom demand that was never followed up is, frankly, just heartbreaking.
10 Mysterious Disappearances With Bizarre Clues is just what it sounds like. How could I not include it? Warning: may be mildly NSFW.
Top 10 Bizarre Modern Paranormal Phenomena is…somewhat less plausible. But that’s not the point of Real Life Chillers. These stories may not be objectively true, but neither are they fiction. People really do believe this stuff. Imagine a world where the black eyed kids, the dog-headed men, and the shadow people lurk just outside the range of the light…
10 More Mysteries of the Unexplained actually sets off a few of my alarm bells, since two of the incidents it lists – the Mad Gasser of Mattoon and the Amityville Incident go straight past “urban legend” or “folklore” and straight into “known bullshit”. Still, there’s some good stuff in there. I was particularly chilled by The Clapham Wood Mystery. Even better, the article has links to an entire library of other Mysteries of the Unexplained articles. Try not to lose the whole day.
On the other hand, it may not be a good idea to read them at night…