After listening to a scary story, it is great to laugh your heart out. So I’ve selected seven short scary stories with a funny twist that are good for scary storytelling—some for kids, some for adults, some for both.
1. Red lips and long fingers
This is a classic story told by many storytellers all over the world. I’ve told versions of this story myself, both to 4-year-olds and 12-year-olds.
It starts with a child meeting a lady with red lips and long fingers. She keeps asking him whether he knows what she can do with these red lips and these long fingers.
The child is scared but cannot escape from this lady with her red lips and long fingers. This repeats itself a couple of times, getting scarier and scarier.
At last, he will ask her what she can do with those red lips and long fingers. And she will move her long fingers between her lips, making a funny sound.
💡 Let the lady always say the exact same words and practice beforehand to make them sound scary.
2. The black cat’s message
A big yellow cat appears at home. The neighbors don’t like it; they think this cat is a witch. Still, they keep it.
Months later, the man of the house meets black cats. Three times in a row. It is terrifying. They have a bizarre message for him.
Shaken, he returns home. He tells his wife and repeats the message: “Tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy is dead.”
The big yellow cat jumps up. “Great, that means that now I am the Queen of Witches.”
3. 100 Flights of stairs
Two people check-in in a 100-floor hotel. When they go out, they leave their key with the receptionist.
She informs them that the elevators are out of order as they return. They start to walk the stairs, all the way up to the top, telling each other scary stories on each floor.
When they arrive at the 100th floor, one of them says: “I have one more terrifying story to tell you. The scariest story of them all…”
“I forgot to take the key.”
4. Turnabout is fair play
Uncle Phil believes in the supernatural.
His two nephews decide to scare the bejeezus out of him. So they paint hex signs, put up a scarecrow, a couple of black cats, etcetera.
After Uncle Phil’s death, suddenly, scary things start to happen to the boys. Hex signs, black cats, and a creepy scarecrow.
They are scared witless, but then the scarecrow reveals its face: the grinning face of the ghost of Uncle Phil.
Together they laugh. Turnabout is fair play.
5. The man with the bloody finger
There are many different versions of this scary short story. It is more like a joke and well known.
I tell it like this:
Two children are home alone when suddenly the phone rings. A hoarse voice says: “I am the man with the bloody finger. In one hour, I will be at your place.”
The man keeps ringing the phone and comes closer and closer. The children get more and more scared.
Then the doorbell rings. Before the door stands a man. The children open the door, and he stretches out his bloody finger.
“I am the man with the bloody finger. Do you have a bandage for me?”
6. Skeleton in the closet
Two construction workers find a skeleton in a small closet behind an elevator.
They turn the skeleton (fully dressed!) over to the police.
Some weeks later, they call the police to ask whom they found.
The police tell them: “The 1956 National Hide-and-seek Champion.”
7. Wait until Emmet comes
A God-fearing preacher spends the stormy night in a haunted house.
He prays. He reads the bible.
An enormous black cat enters. It says to the scared preacher: “We wait until Emmet comes.”
A second black cat arrives. A third, even bigger. They all agree to wait until Emmet comes.
The preacher prays and reads the bible until he is too scared. He gets up and says: “That’s all fine and good, but I have to go. Tell Emmet when he arrives that I was here.”
8. BONUS: Shortest scary story with a funny twist
Tell everyone that you’ve learned a new story that is really scary. Also, tell everyone that they do not need to worry because it has a funny ending.
Tell them again that it is a very short, very scary story, with a funny ending.
As a matter of fact, it is the world record shortest scary story with a funny ending.
I enjoyed finding more scary stories with a funny twist. My advice to you is to choose one and tell it often because you will become better at the timing of the story each time.
💡 Once a month, I send out an email with new writings on storytelling and fairy tales.