Veterans love a captive audience. If there’s an opportunity to impart a few “back in my day” tales of salt doggery, well, pull up a chair.
Now, with spooky season well on its way, the time is appropriate to hang up the ordinary stories of chow hall food and barracks mold in favor of a few truly terrifying tales. And Military Creepypasta has more than enough to spare for that next session of campfire storytelling.
These may all be fictional tales, but they will nevertheless leave readers quaking.
Here are a few favorites.
An ode to the infamous wasteland between enemy lines during World War I, this story is one of tension that explores insanity along the front lines. Its clever attention to historical detail and the alienating nature of trench warfare make it a harrowing ordeal for the main character as well as the reader.
It’s not quite a ghost story, but it carries the spirit of “things that go bump in the night.”
There’s nothing quite like an abandoned ship at sea to send shudders down one’s spine. This one, aboard the fictional USS Mistral, will leave readers craving answers about the state of the crew.
Left with nothing but a secret message that warns the reader to scuttle the ship, it’s neither a ghost nor a plague nor a serial killer story. Any one such fate may have befallen the crew, and that’s the best — and most eerie — part.
Told in dialog format, this conversation is military meets Slenderman.
And while it may sound a bit derivative, this story still provides a spine-tingling tale that includes supernatural elements and a possible government conspiracy.
A spooky story with a thrilling ending that joins military mystery with forest folklore.
There is no real resolution for the sergeant in the story, just an overall inexplicable hole in the time-space continuum that leads to a tragic finale.
A short, sweet, and utterly terrifying edition — though it’s unclear during which conflict the stage is set (guessing World War II).
The innocuous letter home from a POW lulls the audience into a false sense of security, only to reveal the author’s prowess with a grotesque last-sentence plot-twist that will leave readers shaken to the core.
This vignette proves once again the absolute terror that comes with World War I trench warfare.
The description of dark holes filled with nameless bodies sets the stage for a truly haunting tale. This one even introduces a monster into the mix, one whose mystery makes him all the more terrifying.
Semper sleeping with the lights on.
Sarah Sicard is a Senior Editor with Military Times. She previously served as the Digitial Editor of Military Times and the Army Times Editor. Other work can be found at National Defense Magazine, Task & Purpose, and Defense News.