I don’t know if any of you were expecting this, but I am a (published) horror story writer. Granted, by published I mean in my undergrad’s writing magazine, but published nonetheless! Therefore, I’m a horror aficionado. I also love horror films, stories, games, etc, but this countdown is about Creepypastas. Horror stories have developed a sort of following on the internet in the form of Creepypastas, but, what does a person with such a strong experience and affinity for horror think of these? Well, for the most part they suck. A lot. A corrupted game cartridge and a plush doll covered in blood isn’t scary. Excessive gore isn’t scary either, it’s just tasteless and gross, (looking at YOU Squidward’s Suicide). However, occasionally, through the pile of filth that is Creepypasta, I will find something good, something that I honestly beat myself up over not coming up with the idea first, some things that sound JUST like my own work. This is a countdown of the top 10 Creepypastas that I enjoyed reading the most and recommend to any real horror nut like yours truly:
These are stories that have an aspect that I find works, but fall flat otherwise and flounder around in cheap scare land. The first of these is Smiledog.jpgwhich I admit, the picture scared the crap out of me when I first saw it. Why? Because I have a small fear of dogs, and that dog looks VERY unhappy. A family friend had a Husky as a pet when I was little, and the thought of her making a face like that is…unsettling. It loses points for the terrible photoshopped image that is supposed to be the “scarier” smiledog, but wins points for the concept and that demented looking husky.
Another honorable mention goes to The Face Upstairs which, although classified as a trollpasta, holds a special place in my heart for making me laugh so hard I was hiccuping, which is very hard to do. I love sending it to friends just to mess with them. It really captures the power of storytelling, especially scary storytelling, and turns it on its head. It’s certainly worth a read, or a listen, if you have the time and don’t mind the transition from fear to laughter.
My final honorable mention goes to The Strangest Security Tape I’ve Ever Seenfor being an absolute MASTER at the skill of mindfuckery. If you haven’t read it or listened to it yet, give it a look-see, I promise you won’t regret it. It’s strange that something as simple as a security tape at a gas station can even give yours truly a case of the chills.
Without further delay, let’s begin the Creepypasta Countdown!
10: The Three Kings Ritual
Ritual Creepypastas have fantastic deep roots in urban legends, and I wanted to get off to a good start with one of these. I love hearing about different urban legends, and even helped to fuel one on my undergrad campus, (That the giant orangutan statue would come to life on Halloween night.) But why choose the Three Kings Ritual? I find that other creepypastas relating to rituals usually involve some kind of monster threatening the summoner, be it the Midnight Man, a possessed doll, a one eyed ghost, or even the Devil himself. This story does not. Another reason is that I have actually done this, and it is VERY easy to spook yourself out in the dark, even if it doesn’t work. Overall a creative, interesting, and creepy experience if you are bored with a friend and have nothing else to do. http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Three_Kings_Ritual
9: The Man in the Window
M.Night Shyamalan should take notes. THIS is how you do a twist. THIS is how you freak someone out at the very last moment and make them shiver in their boots. A very modern twist on Poe-esque storytelling, this story is enjoyable even after you know what actually happens. Although some (annoying) people try to be logical about it, there are many different factors to consider. Who SAYS that the man is crazy? Who SAYS that he didn’t know exactly what he was doing at the moment and just blanked the incident from his mind? This story is a throwback to classic “twist at the last second” horror stories and I LOVE it! http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Man_in_the_Window
8: Pale Luna
One of only two technology-based horror stories on my list, this story unsettled me for many days. It isn’t so much a computer or gaming based Creepypasta as it is a horrific unsolved murder mystery, with the only clue being a computer game. This one is an often unheard of underappreciated gem of an unnerving tale with no real answers. It confused many pasta readers as they expected some kind of monster to pop up or some jumpscare or something to that extent, but there is none. The story is fairly quiet and very slowly builds up to a totally unexpected and horrifyingly realistic conclusion. For a gaming pasta it is free of cliches and (mostly) gore. A well written and chilling tale. http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Pale_Luna
If you want to do a modern horror story using modern technology, this is how to do it. No haunted game cartridges, no plush doll that attacks you with a chainsaw, no “creepy glitches”, just a strange person online and a sickening, stomach churning conclusion. We’ve all spoken to a creepy person online, whether they are trolling us, repeatedly asking for nudes, or just generally being odd. This story takes that simple concept and injects a heavy dose of horror into it. It also deals with dream horror and sleep, which is another concept in scary stories that I find interesting. The idea of a curse hijacking your computer, your life, and later, your body through the computer is a wonderful twist on the oft poorly written internet horror genre. A must read with all the lights turned off, alone at night. http://www.bogleech.com/creepy/creepy-funnymouth.html
6: The Keyhole
The shortest of the stories on my list, this one certainly deserves a spot here. Similar to The Man in the Window there is an unsettling vibe to this tale. It’s short enough to be told around a campfire at night, or at a scary story telling, (which I MISS dearly from undergrad). In the vein of a classic ghost story, it takes place in a hotel where something has happened. Old hotels and, by extension, old houses are the bread and butter of horror, and this story makes fairy toast out of basic bread and butter. It builds and builds to a startling and unsettling conclusion, and will be enough to keep anyone from peering through keyholes into places where they are not meant to look. http://creepypasta.wordpress.com/2009/02/20/the-keyhole/
5: Room Zero
The sequel to Abandoned by Disney ramps up the horror by omitting the photonegative neck-vomiting Mickey and focusing more on atmosphere and the recollections of people. Out of all the Disney-based Creepypastas, this one is the strongest. Others tend to focus on the first of the duology,but this story, along with the prequel, A Few Suggestions, are my favorite out of the work of Slimebeast, who is also the writer of Funnymouth that is also on this list. He is at his strongest when he focuses on atmosphere and realistic horror, and Room Zerohas a horrifyingly believable edge to it. It takes place during a time where the events that take place could have actually happened. The story builds to a really unsettling peak that does not feature any supernatural events of any sort, but gives a glimpse at true all-encompassing insanity as it engulfs its victims in what was supposed to be the Happiest Place on Earth. http://slimebeast.com/stories/room_zero.php
4: The Rake
The ONLY monster-pasta to appear on my list, this one had to be good in order for me to include it, and it is. While there are many stories covering the creepy looking entity, the most unnerving of them all focuses on a family that is visited by the creature in the middle of the night. That story PREYS off of one’s adult fears, and the fact that this creature, rather than being misunderstood or a victim of circumstance deliberately hunted a child is horrifying. Out of the pasta-monsters, the Rake is written the best out of all, and although totally unbelievable, is haunting in description and character. It’s amazing how something created on a forum by people setting out to create a horrifying monster actually ended up creating a creature so believable, so horrifying, that countless commenters on the Creepypasta wiki mention actually seeing it. The power of suggestion is a terrifying one indeed. http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Rake
EVERYONE knows this story by now, but it deserved this spot on this list due to the sheer mystery and unsettling terror behind it. It isn’t nonstop scares and not once does something pop out and scare you cheaply, but rather, the tension builds slowly. That is the key to a very well written story. Another factor that I love in this story is the nostalgia factor. When we are children, our brains are like sponges, in that they soak up stories, television shows, and games that we played, but when we are adults, we struggle to remember them. The struggle to remember the past, and the Candle Cove television show drives the post, and the conclusion is something that you don’t see coming at all. I found this a very good read, and, to add to it, the artistic community is rich and creative. http://www.creepypasta.com/candle-cove/
2: The Russian Sleep Experiment
This story is BEAUTIFUL…in the most disgusting sense of the word. When I first read it I was in awe of how well written it was and how strangely realistic it was. In the gap period after World War II and the Cold War, who knows what scientists were doing? Secondly, it’s medical horror, my favorite genre to write about, and, while this story is gruesome and has lots of gore in it, it is the medical aspect of it that leaves one feeling chills. As a person who suffers from insomnia, I know the effects of going without sleep for a day or two, and can’t even imagine what fifteen days would do to a person. This Creepypasta did the imagining for me. Of course it’s fictional, but the sheer amount of imagination put into this piece makes it a wonderful read if you like being scared by something that may or may not be real. http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Russian_Sleep_Experiment
AND THE BEST CREEPYPASTA IS… *DRUMROLL*
1: Gateway of the Mind
This is the Creepypasta I wish I had written. This is the Creepypasta I found myself applauding. This is the Creepypasta that I will recommend to anyone that doesn’t think Creepypastas can be insightful, terrifying, and tragic. Once again, this story is medical horror, with a hefty dose of religious horror thrown in for good measure. Again, it seems acceptable for a time when people believed very strongly in the presence of God in all things, rather than the scientific world we live in today. Many people attempted to reach higher contact with God, which makes this theory so believable. The idea of slowly going mad due to total sensory deprivation is a sensation that is used far too little in horror and creates the sensation of being lost. One feels sorry for the old man in the experiment, but one also is haunted by what he discovers and how far people were willing to go. The final line of dialogue in the piece is truly chilling, and the ending left me in awe. THIS is what a good horror story is made of. http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Gateway_of_the_Mind
And there you have it! My top 10 Creepypasta stories! To come soon…my top 10 WORST Creepypasta stories, because EVERYONE likes a little negativity and critique from an actual horror writer, right?