Cyber Scares


Creepypastas breed a new generation of terror

By Colin Hickson, Staff Writer

From the stories of Christopher Pike, like “Tales of Terror”, to the films of Alfred Hitchcock,

such as “Psycho” or “the Birds”, the horror genre can find a multitude of ways to scare people in

any creative way imaginable. But now, horror has a new face in the form of Creepypastas.

Creepypastas are online ghost stories which can be either grounded in reality, such as the vastly

disturbing “1999”, or totally fantastic like the super eerie “The Strangest Security Tape I’ve Ever

Seen”. These stories have generated such modern day myths and monsters such as the Slender

Man, a supernatural creature who has existed for centuries and Jeff the Killer, a psychopath with

a Joker-like face, each with their own lore and modus operandi. But unlike the stories in

“Goosebumps” or ‘Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, these stories are capable of being extremely

morbid, and often will not hold back on the blood and gore.

So how does one make a Creepypasta? Well, here is an example of a popular one, “Candle

Cove”: A group of people in an online forum begin talking about a series from the seventies

called “Candle Cove”, a low-budget puppet show about pirates. But as the discussion continues,

memories of the show’s controversial main villain, the Skintaker, who wore clothes made of

children’s skin, and the nightmare inducing final episode, which had nothing but the characters

screaming, began to resurface. Finally, one user asks his mother if she remembers the show. She

is surprised he can actually remember it, because as the mother puts it, whenever he said he was

watching “Candle Cove”, all he would watch was dead air for thirty minutes, and the mother

assumed he was imaging the whole thing.

That story is basically how a Creepypasta works. The writer takes a specific item, show, or game

and makes a horror story out of it. Among the most recurring are lost episodes, which involve

very morbid lost episodes of TV shows (i.e. “Squidward’s Suicide” and “Dead Bart”), video

game hacks that can be natural or supernatural, journals, blogs, etc. Naturally, not all

Creepypastas will invoke terror in people, but rather laughter or annoyance due to poor writing,

laughable situations, or being just plain lousy stories featuring established characters. Some

pastas have even achieved mainstream popularity, going so far as to get turned into video games

and even getting an “American Horror Story” styled TV series, titles “Channel Zero”. In fact, the

2012 horror novel “Penpal” started off as a series of Reddit posts created by the novel’s author,

Dathan Auerbach. There are even some YouTube channels dedicated to reading these stories,

most notably someordinarygamers and Mr.CreepyPasta, which are worth some looks for those

curious about these stories, and might want to get into them.

In an era of iPhones and Reddit, it is good to know that people are using the Internet to spread

new forms of terror, and maybe inspiring up and comers to join in on the fun. Just be careful

reading these stories after dark. Some of them could be true…