Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved scary stories. Back in grade school I entered my first writing competition, a “scary story” contest for my local newspaper. One year I won. Another year I got “honorable mention.” So needless to say, I caught the bug early.

Over the years I’ve read my share of King, Straub and Koontz novels (and a lot from other horror writers who don’t grace the bestseller lists) – but as much as I love these books, one thing I keep coming back to is that there’s nothing quite so good as a satisfying scary short story. As much as I’ve loved books like ItSalem’s Lot, Phantoms and Ghost Story, I’ve found my favorite way to experience a scare is through a quick little vignette. These novels are all great – but honestly it’s collections like Night Shift that really got me hooked on scary stories. There’s just something about a quick glimpse of horror that does it for me much more than an extended visit like a novel gives.

Given my love of them, I’ve recently started putting together my own series of scary short stories. I call them my Creepy Little Bedtime Stories. Each of them is written to be read in about fifteen minutes to an hour, ideally just before you go to bed. Long enough to take you someplace else, but short enough that you’ll be able to spend your entire visit there in one reading session (before your eyelids start to droop).

And so, if you’re looking for a good quick scare, I dare you to download a story or two (or more!).


A terrifying thriller of the mundane. As a woman puts her baby to sleep she deals with the unrelenting drudgery known as bedtime and the continuing struggle for a good night’s sleep. As the night goes on, and weariness sets in, a secret finally comes out. A quick little read brimming with an atmosphere of dread, especially suitable for parents to read in bed at night just after getting their own baby to finally go to sleep – provided they’re okay with not getting any sleep of their own.

Get it on Amazon.

Pretty When You Sleep

In this “creepy little bedtime story” by William F. Aicher, we wake up with a young woman in the middle of the night. It seems poor Thalia can’t sleep, so she does what any other twenty-something would do – she checks her phone. Only then does she realize, she’s not alone.

A quick little tale of suspense – another vignette of nighttime terror. Sure to thrill anyone who’s ever had to spend the night alone in the dark. That means you.

Get it on Amazon.


They’re there. Inside your head. Little things. Foreign things. Friend or foe or maybe just part of you. Do you let them out? Do you let them grow? Do you do your best to kill them?

Roommates is the account of a man’s struggle with a battle inside. A struggle for sanity and peace and the end of loneliness. No matter the cost.

Get it on Amazon.

A Good Provider

Frank’s been up late watching a scary movie, while his new wife and stepkids sleep upstairs. The kids aren’t feeling well, and mom’s taking care of them while Frank, their good provider, takes some time for himself. As a storm rages outside, Frank fights his inner fears of what might be hiding in the shadows, only to find something much more sinister hiding in plain sight.

Get it on Amazon.

Fairy Tale Ending

A young woman on a trip to visit Grandma. A wolf. A Huntsman. Just the start of this grindhouse, blood-spattered battle of life and death.

You’ve heard the fairy tales, but this tale has no Prince Charming. Just a girl in the woods driven to the edge of sanity as the magic of the forest awakens and reveals its dirty, rotten underbelly.

Get it on Amazon.


** Originally published as part of the charity anthology, Dark Tides. **

What do you do when a pretty girl invites you for a little nightswimming? Just the two of you, sneaking around at night … naked and alone, trespassing in a stranger’s pool.

Nothing can go wrong. Right?

Get it on Amazon.


Wherever you go, it follows. At the heels of your feet. Lurking in your shadow. Watching. Always watching.
The seventh entry in William F. Aicher’s popular “Creepy Little Bedtime Story” series finds single mother, Vanessa, at home making dinner for her child, Asa. Only Vanessa’s not the only one in the house. Or is she?

Get it on Amazon.