Creepypastas are horror-related legends or images that have been copied and pasted around the Internet. These Internet entries are often brief, user-generated, paranormal stories intended to scare readers. They include gruesome tales of murder, suicide, and otherworldly occurrences. According to Time magazine, the genre had its peak audience in 2010 when it was covered by The New York Times.
In the mainstream media, creepypastas relating to the fictitious Slender Man character came to public attention after the 2014 "Slender Man stabbing", in which a 12-year-old girl from Waukesha, Wisconsin, was stabbed by two of her friends; the perpetrators claimed they "wanted to prove the Slender Man skeptics" wrong. After the murder attempt, some creepypasta website administrators made statements reminding readers of the "line between fiction and reality".
Other notable creepypasta stories include "Jeff the Killer" and "Ted the Caver". In May 2015, Machinima Inc. announced plans for a live action web series curated by Clive Barker, titled Clive Barker's Creepy Pasta.
- 1 History
- 2 Examples of creepypastas
- 2.1 Slender Man
- 2.2 Jeff the Killer
- 2.3 Ted the Caver
- 2.4 Penpal
- 2.5 _9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9
- 2.6 Lost episodes
- 2.7 Video games
- 3 References
- 4 External links
The exact origins of creepypasta are unknown. Early creepypastas were usually written anonymously and routinely re-posted, making the history of the genre difficult to study. Jessica Roy, writing for Time, argued that creepypastas emerged in the 1990s when the text of chain emails was reposted on Internet forums and Usenet groups. Aja Romano, writing for the Daily Dot, stated that Ted the Caver was arguably the earliest example of creepypasta. The story, posted on Angelfire in 2001, was written in the first person from the perspective of Ted as he and several friends explored an increasingly frightening cave system.
Many early creepypastas consisted of rituals, personal anecdotes and urban legends such as Polybius and Bunny Man. Darcie Nadel, writing for TurboNews, argued that these early creepypastas had to be somewhat believable and realistic to be re-posted. Many of the earliest creepypastas were created on the /x/ board of 4chan, which focused on the paranormal.
Major dedicated creepypasta websites started to emerge in the late 2000s to early 2010s: Creepypasta.com was created in 2008, while the Creepypasta Wiki and r/NoSleep (a Reddit forum, or subreddit) were both created in 2010. The websites created a permanent archive of creepypasta, which profoundly impacted the genre. Many authors started using creepypasta characters in their own stories, which resulted in the development of continuities encompassing numerous works.
The definition of creepypasta has expanded over time to include most horror stories written on the Internet. Over time, authorship has become increasingly important: many creepypastas are written by named authors rather than by anonymous individuals. Many of these authors attempt to achieve notice through their creepypasta. The copying and pasting of creepypastas has become less common over time; doing so is seen as intellectual theft by many members of the creepypasta community.
Examples of creepypastas
Slender Man is a thin, tall humanoid with no distinguishable facial features, who wears a trademark black suit. The character originated in a 2009 SomethingAwful Photoshop competition, before later being featured as a main antagonist in the Marble Hornets alternate reality game. According to most stories, he targets children. The legend also caused a controversy with the Slender Man stabbing in 2014.
Jeff the Killer
"Jeff the Killer" is a story accompanied by an image of the title character. In the story, a teenager named Jeff is on his way to a friend's birthday party with his younger brother when they are attacked by a group of bullies. Jeff defends himself and his brother, and leaves the assailants lying in the street beaten, their hands and arms broken. Afterward, Jeff realizes that he enjoys harming people, and goes insane. The next night, he slices his face, leaving a scar in the shape of a smile, and cuts off his eyelids, so that he will never sleep. He then murders his parents and brother, whispering "go to sleep" while killing his sibling. He becomes a serial killer who sneaks into houses at night and whispers "go to sleep" to his victims before killing them.
In 2013, posters on 4chan stated that the original image of Jeff the Killer is an extensively edited picture of a girl who committed suicide in the fall of 2008.
Ted the Caver
"Ted the Caver" began as an Angelfire website in early 2001 that documented the adventures of a man and his friends as they explored a local cave. The story is in the format of a series of blog posts. As the explorers move further into the cave, strange hieroglyphs and winds are encountered. In a final blog post, Ted writes that he and his companions would be bringing a gun into the cave after experiencing a series of nightmares and hallucinations. The blog has not been updated since the final post.
"_9MOTHER9HORSE9EYES9" is the screen name of an anonymous writer of science fiction horror short fiction on the social news website Reddit. The work attracted media attention following its publication beginning in April 2016.
A "lost episode" creepypasta generally concerns a television episode or series, or a film, which was apparently pulled from syndication due to violent or otherwise disturbing content.
"Candle Cove" is a story by Kris Straub written in the format of an online forum thread in which people reminisce about a half-remembered children's television series from the 1970s. The posters share memories of the creepy puppets from the series, and discuss nightmares that resulted from watching certain episodes (such as those involving a villain called the Skin-Taker, and one that had no dialogue other than screaming). One poster then asks their mother about the series, and is told that the mother just used to tune the television to static, which the child would watch for thirty minutes.
"Suicidemouse.avi" is a nine-minute Mickey Mouse cartoon uploaded to YouTube in 2013. It depicts Mickey walking down a street. As the video progresses, screams and cries are heard in the background, the buildings become more dilapidated, and Mickey begins sneering.
Dead Bart (7g06)
"Dead Bart" features the Simpson family going on a plane trip together, but while being his usual, mischievous self, Bart ends up breaking a window on the plane and getting sucked out, falling to his death. After an apparently very realistic view of his corpse, the show's second act features a surreal take on the Simpson family's grief. Act three opens with a title card saying one year has passed. Homer, Marge, and Lisa are skeletally thin, and still sitting at the table. There is no sign of Maggie or the pets. They decide to visit Bart's grave. Springfield is completely deserted, and as they walk to the cemetery the houses become more and more decrepit. They all looked abandoned. When they get to the grave, Bart's body is just lying in front of his tombstone, looking just like it did at the end of act one. The family starts crying again. Eventually they stop, and just stare at Bart's body. The camera zooms in on Homer's face. According to summaries, Homer tells a joke at this part.
The full story is told from the perspective of a person who interned at Nickelodeon Studios during 2005 as an animation student. The student a some other coworkers received a tape to edit titled “Squidward’s Suicide,” which they initially assumed was just an office prank. In the firsthand account, the video consists of Squidward forlornly sitting on a bed, while strange and upsetting noises play and become louder in the background. The scene is spliced with quick flashes of dead children and gore, each time the noises getting louder when cutting back to Squidward — his face shaded black with the red eyes as seen above. Eventually, Squidward shoots himself after a detached, deep voice commands it, and that is the end of the video.
Created by Internet user Alex Hall (a.k.a. "Jadusable") "Ben Drowned" tells a story of a college student named Matt who buys a used copy of the video game The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask from an elderly man at a yard sale. Matt finds that the cartridge is haunted by the ghost of a boy named Ben, who drowned. After deleting Ben's savefile, Matt encounters disturbing glitches and scary messages such as "You shouldn't have done that ..." and "You've met with a terrible fate, haven't you?" 
Lavender Town Syndrome
This legend purports that, shortly after the original Japanese release of the video games Pokémon Red and Green in 1996, there was an increase in the death rate amongst children aged 10–15. Children who had played the games reportedly screamed in terror at the sight of either of the games inserted into the Game Boy handheld console, and exhibited other erratic behavior, before committing suicide through methods such as hanging, jumping from heights, and creatively severe self-mutilation. Supposedly, the suicides were connected to the eerie background music played in the fictional location of Lavender Town in the games. In the game's canon, Lavender Town is the site of the haunted Pokémon Tower, where numerous graves of Pokémon can be found.
The legend alleges that children, besides being the primary players of the games, are more susceptible to the effects of the Lavender Town music, because it supposedly incorporates a high-pitched tone that adults cannot hear. It has been speculated that the legend was inspired by an actual event in Japan in 1997 in which hundreds of television viewers experienced seizures due to a scene with flickering images in an episode of the Pokémon anime, titled "Dennō Senshi Porygon".
NES Godzilla Creepypasta
"NES Godzilla Creepypasta" is a story written by Internet user Cosbydaf. It relates the tale of a character named Zach who plays an unusual copy of the Nintendo Entertainment System game Godzilla: Monster of Monsters!. As Zach progresses through the game, simple glitches begin to turn into entirely new content and new monsters, and eventually a malevolent, supernatural being by the name of Red reveals himself. As the mystery behind the nature of Red unravels, it is revealed that the demon has closer ties to Zach than he ever could have expected.
The story is often praised for its new approach to the traditional video game creepypasta formula, and for its extensive use of custom-made screenshots, depicting thousands of sprites created by the story's author. A fangame based on the story is being developed; a demo was released in 2017.
"Sonic.exe" is a creepypasta concerning a teenager named Tom, who suffers from a series of supernatural delusions after playing a haunted ROM hack of Sonic the Hedgehog (1991). The story describes the details of the hack, which purportedly features gory and disturbing content..
This creepypasta is the founder of ".exe" genre of creepypastas, stories about hacked or haunted executable programs, mostly games, and has directly led to various other Sonic related creepypastas (Antisonic.dll, a continuation of the original story, or Sally.exe) and to many trollpastas, parodies of creepypastas (Bob.EXE, Hitler.EXE). Many other games received their own ".exe" story or hacked version (Including Mario, Toy Story and Pacman)
The game from the original story has been recreated multiple times, all of which can be found on its Website, and inspired other .exe games, including one (Spirits of hell), where it is actually possible to defeat the evil Sonic, unlike the original one.
Any such hacked or haunted game can be instantly recognized by having the executable filename extension (.exe) in its name and usually on its carrier (CD).
Petscop is a web series released on YouTube which purports to be a Let's Play of a "lost and unfinished" 1997 PlayStation video game of the same name. In the game, the player character must capture strange creatures known as "pets" by solving puzzles. However, after the narrator of the series enters a code on a note attached to the copy of the game he received, he is able to enter a strange, dark, and hidden section of the game: the Newmaker Plane and the depths below it. Although the puzzles continue, the game's tone shifts dramatically, and numerous references to child abuse appear; Newmaker appears to refer to the murder of Candace Newmaker during rebirthing therapy, according to Game Theory.
The series premiered on March 12, 2017. It is not known whether it consists of animation or video from a playable game, or why the series was created. Kotaku's Patricia Hernandez wrote: "If this is an internet story / game, then I am in awe over how elaborate it is." For Alex Barron of The New Yorker, it was "the king of creepypasta".
An urban legend claims that in 1981, an arcade cabinet called Polybius caused nightmares and hallucinations in players, leading at least one person to suicide. Several people supposedly became anti-gaming activists, after playing Polybius.
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- Brown, Stuart. "Polybius: The Video Game that Doesn't Exist." YouTube. Screen name "Ahoy." 8 September 2017. URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7X6Yeydgyg.