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Trick or Creep.
Warning: this article is not for the faint of heart. If you haven’t heard of this genre of scary internet folklore, lock your doors, turn on your lights, and take a seat, because these tales may terrify you.
The history of creepypasta can be traced to the 1990s when viral content began to emerge online via internet forums like Reddit, Something Awful, and those creepy chain emails that spooked your youth (you know the ones foretelling your imminent death if you didn’t forward to seven of your friends?).
In the same way the Blair Witch Project blurred the line between reality and fiction while popularizing the found footage technique, creepypasta’s makeup of user-generated content and the lack of any real clarity in validity of its tales are what make creepypasta stories so frightening and utterly unnerving.
Because these anecdotal tales are usually copied and pasted multiple times across different online platforms around the world, it’s challenging to pinpoint each story’s origins, which mystifies each story further. Creepypasta achieves a lot by doing little and proves that less can be more; stories are usually quite short, with the most exemplary ranging between 2-4 sentences.
It can be brief as this:
There was a picture in my phone of me sleeping. I live alone.
Or as lengthy as this chilling Facebook chat history.
In a genre where typos are welcome (as per authenticity), as are text threads, photos, and comics that add to the complexity of this style, the possibilities are limitless. Creepypasta Wiki is an impressive collection of frightening stories that take on their own life online. Probably one of the most ubiquitous example of creepypasta protagonists permeating mainstream culture is none other than Slender Man. This year’s release of the HBO documentary Beware the Slenderman focuses on the impact of the internet on modern folklore and urban legends, and features the mystery surrounding the viral fictional figure. as well as the unfortunate real-life consequences of the Slender Man’s portrayal.
Creepypasta’s influence is unmistakable. Here are our top 8 creepypasta tales to get you in the Halloween spirit:
Whether Adam Ellis categorizes his experience as creepypasta or not, something strange is happening in his apartment. His documentation fits the creepypasta bill: we’re unclear if this is all staged or if this is a real paranormal experience. We’re leaning on real. We won’t give too much away, but it involves real polaroids, spooked cats, and other…disturbances.
If this interactive chat history between two pals doesn’t stir some fear in you, we don’t know what will. Check it out here.
We love creepypasta tales as much as we love scary television shows. Check out our current TV recommendations to keep freaking out your friends.