22 Words

The shortest horror story ever written

Sep 16, 2010 By Abraham 77

The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock on the door.

-Frederic Brown, via Futility Closet

77 Comments

    1. Branson Hall says:

      It’s not a horror story if he only finds one woman. What makes it utterly terrifying is when he opens the door to find hundreds of women!

  1. arlen says:

    And Ron smith beat it by one letter, many decades ago:

    The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.

    1. Noori says:

      I love this poem haha! When i read this horror story it’s exactly what came to my mind :D!

  2. Crystal Malek says:

    Okay, this had me thinking at about 2 am last night. I’m semi-claustrophobic, so even scarier for me would be:

    The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was no door.

  3. leny says:

    vs
    The last man on Earth heard a knock on the door.

    …seriously… or…

    the final survivor then noticed, the walls were blood.

    :/

  4. Joe says:

    There’s a horror story that’s one letter shorter:

    “The last man on earth sat alone in a room. There was a lock on the door.”

      1. Julian says:

        It is the implication. If that man is the last man on earth (assume that “man” means “person” or “human,” as I think was the intent and what the author wanted to imply), then why might he need for there to be a lock on the door? What is it he needs to bar entrance from? The implication is that there is a reason he is referred to as the last man; that there is *something* out there that he definitely doesn’t want getting in. Clearly it isn’t likely an animal, as a simple closed door without a lock is enough to keep out most wildlife. Furthermore, the lock implies that whatever it is can open doors. If the nameless horror could simply break through the door, a lock would be pointless. Locks are there for the purpose of preventing a door from being opened. So what is there that can open doors if there are no other humans?

        Bloody hell, that was a longwinded explanation. And it makes the story a whole lot less terrifying.

        1. darklite says:

          Well said.. that is bacilly what I was thinkin after readin everyones comments down to this one

        2. HEUHEUHEEHEIHAHEU says:

          And just the fact that there is a man stuck in a room that is locked. He can’t really get out, he is stuck for eternity

  5. brion says:

    If he was the last man on earth wouldn’t that fact that he was alone be understood?

    The last man on earth sat in a room. There was a knock at the door.

    horror story for a matchbook cover

    in the dark
    naomi mistook
    a shard of glass
    for her contact lens

    1. Beepage says:

      just started wearing contacts…still freaking out about touching my eye…yeah, thanx for that little “tidbit-o-sunshine.” I’ll be dwelling on your little “nugget-o-fun” every morning and every night.

    1. Rarface says:

      It’s really on wiki. If you look it up, just know that a the person on the other side of the door is a woman. A race of immortal aliens come to Earth, kill off everything until there is a pair (female and male) of everything and then when the animals start dying they ask the man how to stop it. He tells them the animals need affections and they should pet them. They start dying and get scared off. The man told them to pet a poisonous snake. In the end the man asks the last women about restarting the population and she’s not too keen on the idea.

      Also, some idiot was saying the aliens kill the guy in the end… they don’t. Just, fyi.
      Most people don’t bother to look at the story’s background and assume wrong. They also are told it’s a horror story and assume the door has some monster or something, people have tunnel vision most of the time and fail to look outside the box. No matter how simple it is.

    2. Julian says:

      Last person in the world. There’s a knock at the door, and it isn’t him knocking. *What* is knocking at the door, if no one else is left? Why is there knocking at the door, and how does whatever’s on the other side know he’s there?

  6. Chelsea says:

    Have to admit,it was very creepy if youget to thinking about it.
    But now it’s joke time.

    He opened it to find Chuck Norris.

  7. Jade says:

    Wow it’s like so short….. And I mean creepy can you imagine knowing your the last person on earth and then you heard a knock who ever was knocking would have to be the last one cause I would die !!!!!!!!!!!

  8. Pspaughtamus says:

    Side trivia: The Star Trek episode “Arena” was based on a short story by the author of this “story”.

  9. ziroonderel says:

    This short short story by Fredric Brown is only one of the shortest short stories ever written. Another is by Alberto Manguel. I don’t know the title, but the entire story reads: “When I awoke, the dinosaur was still there.” 8 words.

  10. Bentley.s says:

    The last man on earth, hears a voice.
    -3 words

    When he awoke, he was floating.
    -5 word

    These are all different storys I thought of. Not one hole on in 4 parts…

  11. lola says:

    This story was Stupid and dum.
    Even a 2 year old can make it better , for example:my little sister.It said it only has words 22 pages at the front webside.STINKY LIERS it HAS 1000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000002222222222222222999999999999995555555555551 WORDS.

Leave a Reply

As seen on Huffington Post, CNN, BuzzFeed, New York Times, Scientific American, Mentalfloss, USA Today, Funny or Die, Gawker, Gizmodo, Laughing Squid, Boing Boing, Hot Air, Jezebel, Neatorama

About 22 Words

22 Words collects a blend of everything from the serious and creative to the silly and absurd. As your source for the crazy, curious, and comical side of the web, 22 Words can be counted on to share funny and fascinating viral content as well as more obscure (but equally interesting) pictures, videos, and more.

© 2014 | 22 Words

Privacy Policy

Close This Window Close