Annie 96 is Typing

By: Anna DeRango

When I was sixteen and a sophomore in high school, I had been too afraid to watch horror movies or go to haunted houses for a long time. In fifth grade, my parents took our whole family to a “family-friendly” haunted house that turned out to be not so friendly. I decided that horror was not for me, because that experience made me feel unsafe and betrayed. After that, I swore to never step foot in a place like that again. With the encouragement of friends, I slowly started building up my horror movie tolerance, easing into it by watching some films with the volume down and lights on in every room of the house.

Eventually, I was intrigued by horror and wanted to experience more. I still refused to go to any haunted houses around October when my friends would ask. However, I found another way to access it that I thought wouldn’t be so scary. I started reading online horror stories. One night, when it was getting late and my house was silent, I read this story . Rather than just an online story posted in some forum, this form of horror was interactive. The story simulated a chat history between two teenagers, but instead of just reading a conversation, you had to click to get every new message. As I sat in the computer room, I shook with anticipation to figure out what the next text would be. It felt like I was receiving the texts, and that the horror was happening to me.

The elements in that interactive horror experience immersed me in the story like I had never been before. There was anticipation when one of the characters was “typing,” so it made me feel like I was a part of the story. I shook in my computer chair, completely silent as waited for each new message to come through.

That night, reading that story opened up the world of online horror. I clicked link after link, eager to read more and more, but scaring myself more and more. By the end of the night, I had terrified myself so much that I didn’t think I’d be able to sleep. The world of online horror amazed me, and I will always remember the story “Annie 96 is typing” as the first online interactive horror story that really scared me. Although I never explored too much, I spent many long car rides with my synchronized swimming team reading and listening to stories we found online.

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5 thoughts on “Annie 96 is Typing

  1. I agree with you about the anticipation! I’ve read through it a few different times, and even knowing what’s going to happen doesn’t lessen the apprehension when one of them starts typing. Especially since there’s something extra creepy about the way it’s written – it seems like things that teenagers would actually write to each other, like it actually could be real. Definitely one of the creepiest things I’ve found online. I really liked this post!

  2. This was super awesome, thanks for including the link because i went through it too and it was unlike other experiences of horror. I hope the screen is supposed to shake while you read it because if not then I’m officially freaked out.

  3. I have totally been there with the whole watching the scary movies with all the lights on. Many times I’ve had to just completely turn the volume off so that I could finish a scary movie. I think that is what makes horror so intriguing to me though! The fact that it has that long lasting effect on you where you are afraid to fall asleep or you begin to fear the dark means that it is a great work of art in my mind. Any movie or story can be funny or sad, but it takes some skill to write a story that lingers with you for a while and makes you scared for a long period of time. I’m curious as to how you felt about Penpal, seeing as you are an online horror story enthusiast?

  4. Similar to you, I was always truly terrified of haunted houses. I would act all cool to my friends and say I want to go to them, but, anytime I went, I was truly frightened for my life and never could shake off that gut-wrenching scared feeling. I grew up forcing myself to watch scary movies as well, thinking I wasn’t scared of them, but deep down would hide under blankets while watching them. I never have considered browsing the web for horror stories, but you definitely planted the idea in my head! I look forward to reading Annie 96 🙂

  5. OMG this was so creepy! I am so glad you wrote about this. I want to know what happened! What was that thing? I felt like this could have been a great story to use for your final project!

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