In honor of Halloween, we’ve collected three short, terrifying, and fictional stories about renters insurance. While the situations are outlandish, the benefits of renters insurance are real. We encourage you to read our guide to renters insurance, full of real life horror stories that will leave you shaking in your boots.
The Dark Apartment
by Steven Ping
Dr. Lerner jumped when he heard a knock on his door. "Who’s there?" he asked, his voice shaking. "It’s your neighbor!" Dr. Lerner rolled his eyes. "Be right there," he shouted back.
He took his time getting to the door. "Alan!" his neighbor enthused. "Dale," Dr. Lerner responded flatly.
"You making tea?" Dale asked, poking his head around the corner into the kitchen. "I am, yes, actually, I’m just preparing dinner so if you wouldn’t mind -" "Joining you? Of course I would!" Dr. Lerner deflated at the sight of Dale waltzing into his kitchen.
A loud scream cut through the air. "What in the blazes?" Dale started. He moved to the window. "This neighborhood is getting worse and worse every day, I swear." Dr. Lerner stood by the door, debating his options.
The sound of a groan distracted him. "Did you hear that?" Dr. Lerner asked his uninvited guest. "Hear what?" Dale asked, before a zombie fell from the fire escape above and crashed through the kitchen window. Dale turned and gasped as the zombie crawled over to him and grabbed his pants leg.
"Alan!" Dale cried out. Dale tried to kick at the zombie, but it only proved to throw Dale off balance. He fell, hard, onto the kitchen floor.
Dr. Lerner sprung into action. He grabbed the tea kettle on the stove and poured the boiling hot water on top of the zombie’s head. "Ow! Alan! You’re burning me!" Dr. Lerner didn’t have time to respond to Dale’s cries. The zombie was still moving, mostly unaffected by the boiling hot water.
In a feat of strength unbelievable to him after the fact, Dr. Lerner tore the zombie off of Dale and pushed it back towards the window. The zombie gnashed his teeth at him, but with one final push, Dr. Lerner forced the zombie out through the window and down onto the fire escape below.
"He’s Dorothy’s problem now," Dr. Lerner said after he caught his breath. When Dale didn’t respond, he turned back to look at him. He was grasping his leg and whimpering. "He didn’t bite you, did he, Dale?" Dale shook his head no. "The burn. You burned me!" Dr. Lerner was shocked. "I had to! I was saving your life!"
"I still want you to pay my medical bills!" Dale cried at him. Dr. Lerner fought back tears. "If only I had bought renters insurance! Then your medical bills would be covered under my policy!" He dropped to his knees and cried to the heavens as the zombie ate Dorothy’s brain in the apartment below.
The Mystery of Mallow Manor
by Karol Keen
Nancy had seen Mallow Manor many times before, but never this close. Standing in front of it with her friend Bess, she watched as the ratty old curtains swayed in the wind. "Are you sure this is the place?" Bess asked her. Nancy smiled to herself. Bess was her friend, but she wasn’t the most adventurous person.
Nancy was investigating the disappearance of Mr. Williams, missing since last Wednesday, and an anonymous tip had led her to Mallow Manor. The old house used to be beautiful before a fire destroyed the back rooms and killed Lady Mallow. The house sat empty ever since, though rumor had it that the place was haunted.
After pushing through the front door, Nancy pulled her famous magnifying glass out of her satchel and began looking for clues. She wasn’t sure what she was looking for, except that she would know what it was when she saw it. Turns out, her clue saw her first.
"Nancy… did you hear that?" Nancy turned to Bess. "It’s just the floorboards, Bess." Bess shook her head. "Nancy… there’s something watching us."
Nancy looked where Bess was pointing. It was a shadow of a shadow, a white shape where nothing should be. "Point your flashlight at it," Nancy whispered to Bess. "My flashlight? I thought you were bringing the flashlight!" As she said it, the shape disappeared.
"I want to leave," Bess said. "But I haven’t found any clues!" Nancy yelled back at her. "There’s a real life ghost here! Isn’t that enough of a clue?"
Before Nancy could respond, the shape was back, and it was getting bigger. "Bess, watch out!" The white glow came right towards the girls. But as it got closer, it became obvious that it wasn’t a "real life ghost" at all. Nancy raised her satchel to attack the person underneath the sheet, but they grabbed it out of her hands before she could bring it down on them. Bess, in a fit of bravery, caught the sheet between her fingers and tore it off the man, who quickly disappeared into the darkness of the house.
"Did you recognize that man?" Nancy asked Bess. Bess shook her head. "But he stole your satchel! What are you going to do?" Nancy just smiled. "There’s no mystery to be solved there. Thanks to my renters insurance, I can put in a claim for personal belongings that were stolen outside of my apartment!"
"Wow Nancy," Bess gushed. "You always find the solution for everything."
The Aliens in Oak Park
by Roth V. Clarke
Buddy couldn’t pee at just any tree, Pete knew. It was dark out, and Buddy didn’t like the dark. Every time he stopped and sniffed at a tree, he deemed it as unsafe for urination and moved on to the next one.
They were halfway to the park when Pete saw it: the glowing orb floating about 300 yards above the park. Buddy saw it, too, and he immediately started to growl and bark. "Easy, boy," Pete warned as he pulled out his cell phone to call the police.
Ring… ring… ring… The call was dropped. He tried again. Ring… ring… Dropped again, this time, after only two rings.
"I guess we’re on our own, Bud."
They continued walking towards the park and towards the terrible orb. Buddy was pulling against the constraints of his leash and collar, forcing Pete to walk faster and faster towards the park entrance.
Despite the glow of the orb above, the park was pitch black. Buddy kept pulling Pete forward. "Do you smell something, Buddy?" The dog responded with a deep growl and stopped in his tracks. Pete was confused before he saw the grey mass move from behind the tree.
"Stay back!" Pete yelled. "I’m warning you!"
"I come in peace," the creature muttered. Buddy didn’t understand the message, however, and bolted towards the thing with his teeth bared. "Get your dog off of me, dude!" the alien yelled.
Pete grabbed Buddy’s collar and yanked him off of the alien’s leg. Upon closer inspection, the leg looked a lot like fabric.
The alien soon revealed that he was not, in fact, a visitor from outer space, but instead was merely playing one for the neighbor’s "Fright Night," an event held every year for the area children. The glowing orb was just an optical illusion created by a giant projector, much like Tupac’s Coachella performance.
"I’m so sorry about this," Pete told the not-alien. "Don’t worry, I’ll pay for any medical bills."
"What, you don’t have renters insurance?" the not-alien asked incredulously. "Renters insurance would cover medical bills caused by a dog bite inside or outside of your apartment."
Pete was embarrassed. "No, I’ve never even considered getting renters insurance."
"Isn’t the fact that you’re not covered way more terrifying than an alien invasion? Doesn’t the idea of not being covered chill you to the bone?"