Too Real NYC Horror Stories


aerial view and grayscale photography of high rise buildings
Photo by Tatiana Fet on

The Burge: ApocLypse

When the L train shuts down for 15 months, Williamsburg tears itself apart, devolving into even more of a dystopia than it already is. Inspired by The Purge, de Blasio rules that once a year, everything is legal. It’s like a Saturday night at Union Pool, but for 12 hours instead of 11.

In a famous post-credits sequence, masked residents of Ridgewood and Bushwick lower their weapons and slink home after learning that The Burge does not apply to “East Williamsburg.”

The Coveting

A couple visits their friends’ new apartment, where every room is higher-ceilinged than the last, bringing their envy to a boil. Upon seeing a washer/dryer gleaming beneath a skylight, and hearing the words “rent” and “controlled” in that order, the man snaps.

“Well,” he says, “I guess we have to kill you now.” And they do, with a poker from the fully functional (?!) fireplace.

Afterward, the couple burns the bodies and tries to assume their friends’ identities—only to fail when they can’t figure out what these people do for a living that pays so well. “I’m like, a consultant!” the woman shouts as she’s stuffed into the back of a squad car. “I—I do finance stuff!”

Lucannibal Holocaust

Waiting in line for five hours at famed pizza place Lucali, a group of Brooklynites are driven mad by hunger and resort to eating each other. “I heard Beyonce loves this place,” one says, taking a big bite out of her friend’s thigh. “Ya, and it’s BYOB,” another says, knocking his pal out with a merlot bottle and sticking a fork in his rump. “Plus it’s totally unpretentious,” another says without irony, before devouring someone in a third, different way.

Dial F for Fright

An F train gets stuck underground for 90 minutes; the A/C is broken, the doors won’t open, and it’s showtime, folks. “We’ll be moving shortly,” the conductor says. With the same inflection: “We’ll be moving shortly.” Then: “We’ll be moving sh… sh… Shhhhhhh…” But there’s no one in the little conductor booth.

Convinced that the conductor could be any of them, and enraged that they’re going to miss trivia/tai chi/D&D (again), all but one of the passengers kill each other with their bare hands, because it’s more personal that way.

In the coda, the lone survivor moves to the Catskills.

Ghost Super

A spectral building Super torments tenants with incoherent text messages, rampant gaslighting, and “quick fixes” that flood the apartment with terror! Also water.

Though no one ever sees the titular Ghost Super, night-cam footage shows a shadowy, lumbering figure scrawling Aramaic notes in the foyer before returning to his crawl space in the basement.

Ghost Super II: Murder Super

In this poorly received sequel, the super gets really fed up with people calling him Ghost Super and resolves to make his presence felt by offing everyone in the building—starting with that guy who’s always getting locked out on the roof. After a couple half-assed stabs, though, he fails to follow through.

I Am Single

A socially lethal virus infects nearly everyone in New York, brainwashing them into moving to Jersey to start families. (Shudder.) The city empties out but for one man and his dog, who roam its barren streets looking really tough and cool, like Will Smith in I Am Legend, with the messenger bag and everything.

In the second act, the man realizes that this is his idealized version of New York—he no longer has roommates, there are no lines outside the Bell House, and no one ever asks him for swipes.

Later, the man starves to death because there are no more delivery guys.

The dog is adopted by a nice young family in Jersey.


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