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The Portraits (a.k.a. The Cabin in the Woods)

Estimated reading time — < 1 minute

There was a hunter in the woods, who, after a long day hunting, was in the middle of an immense forest. It was getting dark, and having lost his bearings, he decided to head in one direction until he was clear of the increasingly oppressive foliage. After what seemed like hours, he came across a cabin in a small clearing. Realizing how dark it had grown, he decided to see if he could stay there for the night. He approached and found the door ajar.

Nobody was inside.

The hunter flopped down on the single bed, deciding to explain himself to the owner in the morning. As he looked around, he was surprised to see the walls adorned by many portraits, all painted in incredible detail. Without exception, they appeared to be staring down at him, their features twisted into looks of hatred. Staring back, he grew increasingly uncomfortable. Making a concerted effort to ignore the many hateful faces, he turned to face the wall, and exhausted, he fell into a restless sleep.


Face down in an unfamiliar bed, he turned blinking in unexpected sunlight. Looking up, he discovered that the cabin had no portraits, only windows.


Credit: Anonymous


More classic Creepypasta stories can be found here:
Mr Widemouth
Robert The Doll

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215 thoughts on “The Portraits (a.k.a. The Cabin in the Woods)”

  1. I think it’s a lot more challenging to create a really good short pasta as opposed to a long one. This story got right to the point; any more detail would have been unnecessary. 10/10!

  2. Nathair Jörmungandr

    So the fact that this was a story In Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark. An old legend that you didn’t even bother to rewrite. I’m more impressed by the rating then by what you copied.

  3. Short and creepy but I feel as if it wasn’t complete, there was so much more the writer could have done with this story. Overall pretty good.

  4. I assume the implication was they were supposed to be ghosts, not actual people.

    I’ve always enjoyed this story, it reminds me of Fuan no Tane or some of Junji Ito’s short stories.

  5. Wow. I love short stories like this. This is the first creepypasta to literally send a chill down my spine. The realization that you were totally vulnerable and didn’t realize it is unnerving to me.

  6. I don’t understand how someone could confuse windows with people looking through them for portraits. They look nothing alike. Same concept for the stories were the mirror was in fact a window. Sorry, but the concept doesn’t work for me so neither does the story.

  7. This looks like a urban legend I read a long while ago…I wonder what happened to creativity?i have also reached the conclusion that plagiarism has also reached places where only creativity and original ideas should reign

  8. I already knew that one, but when I read it it was on a scary story app and it was called “Family Portraits”. ah well. My friends are always genuinely scared when I tell the story, so I guess that’s a good thing.

  9. I already knew that one, and I haven’t read this before. In face, I’m new to this site. When I heard it it was called “Family Portraits” and I read it on a scary story app or something. ah well. My friends are always genuinely scared when I tell the story to them anyways.

  10. Ehhh, not so scary. I read this in a scary stories book when i was like ten so the thrill has worn off. But just one more instance of why not to trust cabins in the woods

  11. This one kinda reminded me of The Other Watcher. I don’t know why, I think it was my reaction when I realised what had happend.

  12. This is from one of the “Scary stories to tell in the dark” books. Im pretty sure I reed the exact same thing or something very similiar in the second or third book of the series. Great stary though;D

  13. i thought he was going to turn into a portrait as well. now im left wondering why he saw people who looked like portraits, but didnt see them when he went into the cabin, and they all left by morning? um

  14. WOW O_O<—My face when I read this. I really love this one. It creeped me out and it actually sents chills down my spine

  15. My first thought was that it was his reflection looking at himself but everyone seems to think it was a group of people that appeared out of no where and just watched him sleep.

  16. This is very much like Edgar Allan Poe\’s \"The Oval Portrait\". It sure isn\’t a bad take on it, but we all know who\’s done a better job…

  17. Sweet fancy fuck! PASTA OF THE FUCKING YEAR. My compliments to the chef. This is both terrifying, surprising, and short, and the very idea of it sends chills up my useless human spine.


  18. yeahh.. idk
    i dont like this one so much
    probably simply because when i was picturing the portraits, i pictured really silly old farmer people with ridiculously dumb angry looks on their faces
    not scary, sorta funnyy
    i wonder what the hunter did though, after he woke up and realized that

  19. It was me, I like to organize hunter window hate-glares w/ my veggie+vegan pals.

    Sorry. Personally I like the idea of an animal living life as an animal until it’s killed quickly, rather than raised on a farm pumped full of chems for years. But doing it to farmers who live in the same place all year gets you stalking charges instead of uneasy sleepers. Again, sorry.

  20. Oh, those darn small-town folk, always wanting to know exactly what’s going on inside. Well, that’s life in the fishbowl for you.

  21. My friend told me about this by word of mouth. It took me a while to get it. I was all “._. HURP DERP DOES NOT COMPUTE.

    Oh wait I get it.”
    I have, like, 5 windows in my room. Soooo, yeah, I’m fucked.

  22. “Ok, let’s read this story… Hmm… Alright, he will be turned into one… Wait, what? He survived? Odd…” *Five minutes later* “…Wait… OH SHI-”


    Excuse me, but a construction crew needs me and the millions of bri/x/ I just shat

  23. very nice story freaked me and my friend out alot. if there was windows where there where portraits….strange. Me and my friend wouldn’t walk into a deserted cabin.for that matter wouldn’t go exploring

  24. Who said the faces in the portraits were alive? It could have been ghosts. Good stories are ruined when you look into them too much. Just enjoy them for what they are.

  25. The amount of people who don’t ‘get it’ surprises me.
    The portraits of people staring down at him in hatred weren’t portraits, they were people looking through windows at him.
    The people who said ‘it needs more’ obviously don’t understand basic concepts.

    Excellent pasta. Ordered before and will order again.

  26. ‘only windows’ is what makes this, so much dread in those last two words. Really well constructed.

  27. Sienna: And he hates himself.

    But seriously, that’s one of the creepiest pastas on here. I always thought of the faces as hideous non-human faces, kind of the style of a face you would find on a totem pole.

    Now, it’s probably the fact that I’m listening to Madness Combat music, but I can’t take it seriously if it’s just normal people, cause I keep imagining a whole bunch of 1337 agents staring in.


  28. NOM NOM NOM. holy shit one of the best pastas ive tasted in ages. at first i was like meh, mounted human trophies, but somehow the windows are infinitely more creepy. BRAVO.

  29. to the people who don’t understand, the ‘portraits’ he saw were actually reflections of his own face, because when you look at a window when it’s pitch dark outside, all you can see is your reflection. he realized they were windows in the morning because there was sunlight coming through them.

  30. that was an amazing pasta.short yet i got those marvolous shivers at the end.truly a genius i have heard in a while. whoever wrote this pasta i give you props.

  31. OMG… That freaked me out… I don’t even know why I’m reading these… I have too weak a heart for this… Now I’m gonna be scared for days…

  32. Phew, I was scared but summoned up enough courage to look at my portraits in the window. Wait, I don’t have any portra-

  33. I am 55 years old, I am married to a wife and have two kids. This did not make sense to me. If he went inside the building at night, he should have noticed the faces looking at him through the windows.

    Actually, this story was brilliant. Good job.

  34. I’ve always loved the concept of the unknown thing peering into through windows from darkened places.
    When I cannot sleep, which is often, I dress up in black and go out stalking through the areas surrounding my neighborhood, watching people when and where I can. Oftentimes, you just get to watch people doing people things… but my very favorite is when they look out the window because the back of their neck tingled. Peering around for you, for… something.
    They always pull the blinds or close the drapes after that.
    Makes me wonder if some people are truly more psychically aware than others.

  35. this was definitely creepy, i read it i thought the pictures were alive or something corny
    as i read the last line i had a shiver run down my spine
    5 stars, great job

  36. Awesometastic. I was totally expecting the ending to be something cliche, like the guy disappears and someone else finds his painting in the cabin, but nope! I was pleasantly surprised.

  37. Wow, I felt my face fall from a smirk to a sickly sort of look of realization when it struck me on how scary this was.
    Nice job, accomplishing that in such a short story. I’m scared now. ^^;

  38. Good concept, I like it.

    Amazing number of retards that don’t get it. I got this the first time.

    Also, it doesn’t need death and dismemberment to be creepy. The idea of strangers watching me sleep is creepy enough without a tacked-on retribution. Who says they don’t do anything after he leaves?


  40. “This proves you don’t need to threaten the reader with death or use long words to have a good pasta! ;3”


  41. Oh, darn. This took me awhile to realize that those “portraits” were actually people.

    Did the cabin belong to them, or?….

    That chilled me :(

  42. also as someone who is very interested in archeology finding such an isolated, abandoned cabin would be my wet dream

  43. Headhunter241

    It’s a good thing the turning into a portrait thing was a red herring. made you shit twice the brix.

    also, at first not realizing it, and then it hitting you like a freight trainmakes you shit QUINTUPLE the brix.


  44. and wouldn’t he have noticed the many windows while walking up to the cabin? unless it was dark inside…

  45. I love the idea, but this just doesn’t work. You don’t mistake windows with a crowd of people looking in for portraits…or did the cabin have a ton of little windows? That’s weird too…



  47. This is one of the few pastas that have caused me to shit brix.

    Although, the beginning was a bit repetative. “There was a hunter in the woods, who, after a long day hunting, was in the middle of an immense forest.” … Yeahhhh. lol

    if the beginning was fixed, this pasta would be one of the best I’ve read.

  48. I hate reading into these things, it ruins the whole pasta for me lol But the only thing I don’t get is that he walked up to the cabin in the woods right? So why didn’t he see the people at the windows? Did they just poof out of nowhere and appear at the windows when he went inside?

    Anyway, good pasta, was expecting the “turned into portrait” end too, with a delightful surprise.

  49. oooohman that would be such an awesome prank!! lol hang scary portraits in front of the windows and take them out while he sleeps XD

  50. Yeah… same question as everyone else. Who was windows?

    Pretty good, but the ending wasn’t really that much of a twist. So people are watching him sleep. And they aren’t happy! So what?

  51. I like this one a lot :D it scares me because instead of a small window in my room i have a window that is almost my whole wall and it can open like a door…..*Shiver*

  52. Love, love, love it. Reminds me of all the old scary stories me and my friends used to tell each other in High School.

  53. Thing In The Drain

    Brix were shat, tears of fear were shed, and windows were covered.
    I would say “I’m not going to sleep tonight”, but I haven’t yet.

    It’s already tomorrow.

  54. HOLY SHIZIT!!!!!!!!!

    It took me a while to get this, then I realized that the “Portraits” were real people looking into the windows! Im boarding up my windows tonight.

  55. The idea was there and the concept solid. Unfortunately, the ending seemed a little rushed and it could have ended in a better way. I felt like the author was too worried about length and not worried enough about endig it better… It was kinda creepy though…

  56. Read this somewhere else a while ago, so the ending didn’t shock me. But the first time I read it, I shat an insanely huge ammount of big brix…
    Thank you for posting!

    …………….. wait for it…… wait for it……… BUT WHO WAS WINDOWS?


    I was about to post “Are you insane, this one didn’t make any sense” but then I re-read it. Awesome.

  58. Also, I too was expecting him to get turned into a portrait, so I was expecting to be disappointed. I was proved wrong. :]

  59. This is simple and creepy. I love that it’s actually believable. Things that could actually happen scare me more than things I know would most likely never happen. The fact that they did nothing is really eerie, too. I just want to know how long they stayed there watching him. :p

  60. Looks of hatred? “Well I’ll be damned if we won’t give you looks of hatred. You’re sleeping in our goddamn bed mister!”

  61. This wasn’t at all scary
    He finds out afterward that they aren’t portraits when they are gone and he is completely unscathed. Where is the creepy part? So they were actually people, but wait it doesn’t matter because they didn’t do anything!

  62. Very niiiiice.. Cept shoulda been more details about the ‘portraits’ dont ya think?
    I like short pastas/ ;)

    and if it was so dark he wouldnt have been able to see the faces. ?

  63. Maybe the pictures weren’t actually staring at him with hatred.. Maybe they were just trying to tell him to not be an idiot too and get out of there… Maybe that bed was actually the “painter’s” and that it wouldn’t be a good idea to stay there…

    It’s kinda vague and the curiosity it brings kinda overlaps with the creepy feeling that’s probably supposed to come.

    At first it kinda reminded me of Vasilisa, for some reason.


    I’ve not shat brix for many a moon.

    I shat enough to build a small house tonight.

  65. FFFFFFFFUUUUUCCCCKKKK. i usually am not impressed with the pasta posted on here, but this literally gave me chills and creeped me RIGHT the fuck out.

    good job whoever wrote this.


    This is one of only two pastas I’ve read on this site that have genuinely creeped me out. Well done!

  67. :noms entire pasta:

    I loved this, even though I will admit that I read the last part once, twice, three times…


    Very creepy to me, I go hunting with my dad, uncle, and grandpa a lot and we stay in little separate cabins in a clearing every time we go. Mine has the most windows.

  68. hey that was pretty good. I miss these short seemingly innocuous pastas that manage to give you chills in the last couple of sentences. we need more like this

  69. Reminds me of the pasta where the man looks in a haunted hotel room and sees only red, and finds out that the person that was murdered had red eyes. That one was creepier though.

  70. AAAAAHHHHH!!!! Oh geez! I’ll be closing the blinds tonight! This one hit right where it hurts. I approve :)

  71. OK, this was a bit weird. I mean, the concept is great, but it seems that there could have been a bit more threat at the end. Even a single sentence, something indicating that those people didn’t just disappear.

    Sure it’s creepy when you think about it a bit more, but it seems to lack the immediate sense of scare that other pastas have.

  72. Ooh, short, sweet, and startling. Just the last few sentences get right at your bones and make you tremble. Very nice.

  73. missing line at the end: ‘and then he got the hell out of there and went home’ .
    thats probably wat happened after.

    also, tired hunter and the ugly angered dwarfs (who were staring from the outside?). i mean, there weresnt portraits, just windows, right? where’d they go? they could have just kicked him out.

    meh, w/e. <3

  74. I had to read it twice to understand.

    But that’s only because at the point “As he looked around, he was suprised to see the walls adorned by many portraits, all painted in incredible detail. Without exception, they appeared to be staring down at him, their features twisted into looks of hatred” I said to myself, “Oh, great, he’s going to get ‘turned into’ a painting and put on the wall…

    And so the ending didn’t make sense.
    When I finally re-read and understood it, *shiver* very scary. I enjoyed it!

  75. Just want to get this right:
    Instead of portraits of people, they were actual people staring at him?
    Now that’s scary. o.o I don’t want to go to bed >_<

  76. Oh, but I do have to say that I didn’t like the way it was written. The concept was awesome but the writing was… less than optimal

  77. After all the Pastas I’ve read, this one really surprised and scared me for the first time in weeks! Good one!

    1. Then, he realized he was having killers stare at him all night and they were in the house after him because he as on no trespass territory.

  78. Goddamn, I hate this pasta. The idea of it freaks me out, as I’ve had to squat in old cabins a few times whilst hunting.

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