Introduction

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What are creepypastas? Creepypastas are stories posted in the internet and passed around to other sites to scare and creep out the readers. The word “Creepypasta” came from the word “copypasta”, which is an internet slang that came from 4chan, a community similar to reddit, but is leans towards the use of images for discussions. “Copypasta” means a block of text that gets passed around to other sites multiple times. Creepypastas may contain different media like images, audio, and video to portray the “pasta” more vividly. There are different types of creepypastas which are separated into three different categories. Anecdotes, wherein the author narrates his/her own experiences like events from his/her past, proving different scary legends and unusual news stories, etc. Rituals, which are a set of instructions that when the reader follows and performs said instructions the reader will experience something surreal. Lastly is the “Lost Episode” or “Lost Episodes”, which are stories about episodes from famous television shows that were never aired to avoid being viewed by the public. The episodes mostly consist of distorted audio and video, and the characters acting strangely like acting different from their portrayed persona from the original episodes, sometimes performing strange and frightening things that cause the viewers of the episode to act unconsciously and commit suicide. When the site creepypasta.com first launched back in 2008, most of the stories that were posted were not posted directly on the site because it was still new. The pastas back then were mostly Rituals, and short and vague, rather than the more vivid and engaging pastas that have become popular today, which are actually just regular horror stories mostly consisting of anecdotes. After some time, the site started accepting submissions from the readers and it slowly became popular in the dark and creepy side of the internet today.

Qualities of a CreepyPasta

There are certain things or qualities that we search for in order for us to consider a scary story to be a creepypasta. According to an article from bustle.com, there are four qualities that we can find in creepypastas. Number one, a creepypasta must have originated online. It’s the golden rule: a creepypasta isn’t a creepypasta if it did not start on the Internet. acreepypasta is not written on paper, it is not watched on the television, it is typed or copy and pasted by a user to share it on the Internet. Number two, a creepypasta NEEDS to be scary, frightening and of course, creepy, hence the name. The goal of a creepypasta is to scare people, even if the value of something scary varies from person to person. Number three, a creepypasta must seem to be believable. It should at least make people think twice that these kinds of stories are not real. Lastly, a creepypasta needs to be shareable. What’s the point of a creepypasta if it is not shareable?

Difference of CreepyPastas: Then and Now

Culture changes and of course the community will change as well. The CreepyPasta community has changed for quite a while now. Back then, the “classic” creepypastas are more realism and believability to its story. These “classics” are more based on urban legends. Another reason why the “classics” were deemed to be more believable is because it is simply hard to trace the original author of the story since the creepypasta was passed around so much. Nowadays, there are less creepypastas being circulated around the Internet. Copy and pasting is now generally seen as stealing, or as an act of plagiarism. According to an article on turbofuture.com, there are a lot of authors who are not posting their stories anonymously because they want to make their names known throughout the community. Creepypastas have now become short stories or fiction with horror elements mixed up with it which goes against the old culture or characteristics of a creepypasta.

Well Known CreepyPastas

There has been a lot of Creepypastas being written and passed through the web. Most of them looked seemingly realistic and yet all of those are considered not real, or the fact it is fictitious. Some have gained fame and caught lots of attention from other people therefore making the community grow as well, inspiring others to write their own Creepypasta.

Slenderman

The most famous Creepypasta is Slenderman, an alleged paranormal figure that has been in existence for centuries. His appearance is considered to be a black-suited man with extremely long slender arms and legs. He also has 4 to 8 long black tentacles that protrude from his back, it is theorized he can contract these tentacles at will. His face is pale and slightly ghostly, and almost appears to have been wrapped in a type of gauze or cloth. His behavior displays, as rumors suggested, that he kills children exclusively, though it is difficult to say that slaughter is his objective. It is commonly thought that he resides in woods and forests and preys on children. It is often thought as well that he enjoys stalking people who become overly paranoid about his existence, purposefully giving them glimpses of himself in order to further frighten them. For this reason, it seems like Slenderman very much enjoys psychologically torturing his victims. He also often appears to float or drift around rather than walk, which suggest the possibility of him being an ethereal being rather than a creature or a man. This would also explain why he is able to remain mobile in spite of his poorly proportioned body. Even though Slender Man was fabricated on SomethingAwful forums, some people have already claimed sightings. He is seen mostly at night peering into open windows and walks out in front of lone motorists on secluded roads. The Slender Man has also inspired many stories such as those of Marble Hornets. It has that big influence that it had adapted into a survival-horror indie game, Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival.

To read more: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Slender_Man

Tomino’s Hell

Another Creepypasta considers to be a ritual kind, which is called Tomino’s Hell. It is a popular Japanese story which is about a poem called Tomino’s Hell. The poem must be read only with the mind, and never out loud. If one reads it out loud, that person must take responsibility for his/her actions. The poem is written by YomotaInuhiko in a book called “The Heart is Like a Rolling Stone”. The poem looks like a curse, less than a poem. It asks that the poem must not be compared to something like “You’ll grow taller” or even “My parents died.” This story used to be very popular in 2ch, and there were many people taking pictures and videos as proof and posting them on 2ch. There were many users that said that nothing happened, but there were also many posts that didn’t have the user come back to post the results. The poem is about a Tomino who dies and falls to hell.

To read more: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Tomino%27s_Hell

Jeff the Killer

One of the largest Creepypasta icons to date, even rivaling Slenderman, is Jeff The Killer. Jeff was a 13-year-old boy, who was a caring young man who loved his brother Liu. As a killer, all that changed and he became a vengeful, dangerous, and bloodthirsty psychopath. Jeff has extremely pale skin and his eyes are rimmed in black, giving him an even more ghostly appearance. Jeff later got his most distinctive trait, the smile that he had carved into his face. His build is commonly described as lean but fit at the same time and reaching a height of around five to six feet. His clothing normally consists of a pair of black skinny jeans with a white hooded sweatshirt. Jeff became an “ominous unknown killer” who mainly targeted anyone who was unfortunate enough to encounter him during the night. A boy who was lucky enough to survive the killer’s attack described the man as having inhumanly pale skin, a big red smile and eyes rimmed with black. After this incident, how Jeff’s story goes is up for the reader to decide. While Jeff the Killer may seem like a fictional Creepypasta character, there was much speculation and confusion as well as theories as to where the image was originated from and who created the official version of Jeff the Killer. His most famous quote is “Go to sleep”.

To read more: http://villains.wikia.com/wiki/Jeff_the_Killer

Russian Sleep Experiment

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Toward the end of the 1940s, Soviet researchers sealed five prison inmates in an airtight chamber and dosed them with an experimental stimulant gas to test the effects of prolonged sleep deprivation. Their behavior was observed via two-way mirrors and their conversations monitored electronically. They were promised their freedom if they could go without sleep for 30 days.

The first few days passed uneventfully. By the fifth day, however, the subjects began showing signs of stress and were overheard bemoaning their circumstances. They stopped conversing with their fellow inmates, choosing instead to whisper compromising information about one another into the microphones, apparently in an effort to win the favor of the researchers.

Paranoia set in.

On the ninth day the screaming began. First one subject, then another, was observed running around the chamber screaming for hours on end. Equally disconcerting was the behavior of the quieter subjects, who began ripping apart the books they’d been given to read, smearing the pages with feces and plastering them over the mirrored windows so their actions could no longer be observed.

Then, just as suddenly, the screaming stopped. The subjects ceased communicating altogether. Three days passed without a sound from inside the chamber. Fearing the worst, the researchers addressed them via the intercom. “We are opening the chamber to test the microphones,” they said. “Step away from the door and lie flat on the floor or you will be shot. Compliance will earn one of you your immediate freedom.”

A voice from inside answered, “We no longer want to be freed.”

So basically the story is about five political prisoners taken in as a human experiment for sleep deprivation, reason for deprivation seems unknown but from the results of the test, it didn’t end so well for those people.

“The Russian Sleep Experiment” is an example of Creepypasta, an Internet nickname for frightening images and fictional horror stories that circulate virally online. The oldest version I’ve found was posted to the Creepypasta Wiki on August 10, 2010 by a user calling him- or herself “Orange Soda.” The original author is listed as unknown.

To read more: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Russian_Sleep_Experiment

Squidward’s Suicide

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Squidward, as you all likely know, is a character from SpongeBob SquarePants. In the cartoon, Squidward is the token cynical grouch, so his character is at least more appropriate for a scary suicide story than, for example, the always energetic SpongeBob. The creepypasta originates from YouTube, where an account posted about a lost episode of SpongeBob entitled “Squidward’s Suicide.” Like any good internet legend, the video was quickly removed, and the only piece of evidence left was the above — admittedly creepy — rendition of Squidward with blackened eyes dripping blood. So here’s a part of the creepypasta:

I was an intern at Nickelodeon Studios for a year in 2005 for my degree in animation. It wasn’t paid of course, most internships aren’t, but it did have some perks beyond education. To adults it might not seem like a big one, but most kids at the time would go crazy over it.

Now, since I worked directly with the editors and animators, I got to view the new episodes days before they aired. I’ll get right to it without giving too many unnecessary details. They had very recently made the SpongeBob movie and the entire staff was somewhat sapped of creativity so it took them longer to start up the season. But the delay lasted longer for more upsetting reasons. There was a problem with the series 4 premiere that set everyone and everything back for several months.

Me and two other interns were in the editing room along with the lead animators and sound editors for the final cut. We received the copy that was supposed to be “Fear of a Krabby Patty” and gathered around the screen to watch. Now, given that it isn’t final yet animators often put up a mock title card, sort of an inside joke for us, with phony, often times lewd titles, such as “How sex doesn’t work” instead of “Rock-a-bye-Bivalve” when SpongeBob and Patrick adopt a sea scallop. Nothing particularly funny but work related chuckles. So when we saw the title card “Squidward’s Suicide” we didn’t think it more than a morbid joke.

One of the interns did a small throat laugh at it. The happy-go-lucky music plays as is normal. The story began with Squidward practicing his clarinet, hitting a few sour notes like normal. We hear SpongeBob laughing outside and Squidward stops, yelling at him to keep it down as he has a concert that night and needs to practice. SpongeBob says okay and goes to see Sandy with Patrick. The bubbles splash screen comes up and we see the ending of Squidward’s concert. This is when things began to seem off.

While playing, a few frames repeat themselves, but the sound doesn’t (at this point sound is synced up with animation, so, yes, that’s not common) but when he stops playing, the sound finishes as if the skip never happened. There is slight murmuring in the crowd before they begin to boo him. Not normal cartoon booing that is common in the show, but you could very clearly hear malice in it. Squidward’s in full frame and looks visibly afraid. The shot goes to the crowd, with SpongeBob in center frame, and he too is booing, very much unlike him. That isn’t the oddest thing, though. What is odd is everyone had hyper realistic eyes. Very detailed.Clearly not shots of real people’s eyes, but something a bit more real than CGI. The pupils were red. Some of us looked at each other, obviously confused, but since we weren’t the writers, we didn’t question its appeal to children yet.

The screen slowly begins to zoom in on his face. By slow I mean it’s only noticeable if you look at shots 10 seconds apart side by side. His sobbing gets louder, more full of hurt and anger. The screen then twitches a bit, as if it twists in on itself, for a split second then back to normal. The wind-through-the-trees sound gets slowly louder and more severe, as if a storm is brewing somewhere. The eerie part is this sound, and Squidward’s sobbing, sounded real, as if the sound wasn’t coming from the speakers but as if the speakers were holes the sound was coming through from the other side. As good as sound as the studio likes to have, they don’t purchase the equipment to be that good to produce sound of that quality.

Below the sound of the wind and sobbing, very faint, something sounded like laughing. It came at odd intervals and never lasted more than a second so you had a hard time pinning it (we watched this show twice, so pardon me if things sound too specific but I’ve had time to think about them). After 30 seconds of this, the screen blurred and twitched violently and something flashed over the screen, as if a single frame was replaced.

The lead animation editor paused and rewound frame by frame. What we saw was horrible. It was a still photo of a dead child. He couldn’t have been more than 6. The face was mangled and bloodied, one eye dangling over his upturned face, popped. He was naked down to his underwear, his stomach crudely cut open and his entrails lying beside him. He was laying on some pavement that was probably a road.

The most upsetting part was that there was a shadow of the photographer. There was no crime tape, no evidence tags or markers, and the angle was completely off for a shot designed to be evidence. It would seem the photographer was the person responsible for the child’s death. We were of course mortified, but pressed on, hoping that it was just a sick joke.

What makes the story so good is not that there’s some kind of haunted editing machine, but that someone in real life could’ve edited the disturbing footage into the animation, as well as made the animation pretty easily. You shouldn’t lose any sleep over it, as it is most certainly fake — stuff like a beloved children’s show being spliced with footage of child gore would certainly make the news, rather than be traced to an origin on YouTube.

To read more:http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Squidward%27s_Suicide

Interviews

Our group had posted on the website of Creepypasta with six questions regarding their thoughts on the community. Our six questions were:

  1. What made you start reading creepypastas?
  2. What are your preferences on creepypastas?
  3. Do you consider regular horror stories found on the internet as creepypastas?
  4. What’s your take on plagiarism and creepypastas?
  5. (If applicable) Do you consider stories on /r/nosleep as creepypastas? Why?
  6. What is your age and nationality? (You can just say pass or something if you don’t want to answer this question)

There is really no definite majority on the age and nationality of who reads creepypastas. They were just drawn to it because of their interest in the horror, mystery and/or thriller genre. Some of our respondents said that they were introduced to creepypastas through their friends and took an interest in it after reading some. All of them said that plagiarism is bad and people who do these acts should be punished severely. Here are some of their answers:

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