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Things that will haunt you
January 13, 2012 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Do you like creepy things? Lucia Peters has written an amazing series on "Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t" exploring Internet-age urban legends and carefully constructed hoaxes. From the world of underground video games that drive you mad, there is Killswitch and Majora's Mask. If you like modern takes on monsters, there is The Slender Man (who appears in Marble Hornets and EverymanHybrid), The Rake, and This Man. Horrible conspiracies can be found in the Indian Lake Project, the Montauk Project, and the Dyatlov Pass Incident. Haunted objects can be found in The Hands Resist Him and the Dybbuk Box. And, if you like little bits of creepypasta horror stories, check out Candle Cove and the Dionaea House. Be warned, even though this stuff isn't real (right?) there are often unsettling pictures and videos in these links. Now, I think I am going to go take a walk in the sun....
posted by blahblahblah (112 comments total) 297 users marked this as a favorite

 
Candle Cove! By webcomics kingpin Kris Straub.
posted by palidor at 10:31 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I *love* this stuff, thank you.
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


EverymanHYBRID gets a little more meta about it by taking something that isn’t real, pretending it is, revealing that it isn’t, but then discovering that it is, in fact, real (is your head spinning? Good; it should be). The series began in March of 2010, and it’s not only still going strong, but also expanding in all sorts of interesting ways: People get kidnapped, people get murdered, crazy doctors who once specialized in child psychology show up, a giant geocaching-type tournament run by some unknown entity known as HABIT happens… it’s huge.
In all sincerity, thank you for this service. The above is pretty much all I need to know and I'm glad someone is out there watching these videos and piecing it together to save me the work.
posted by DU at 10:39 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


So I was going to spend my day learning SharePoint.

That's pretty much fucked now.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:40 AM on January 13, 2012 [13 favorites]


So is all of it lifted directly from the SCP Foundation or did I just happen to click on the only one that seems plagiarized wholesale?
posted by Sternmeyer at 10:43 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


In an era when horror movies are either gore porn or tongue-in-cheek camp, I love that the internet has spawned ghost stories for grownups.
posted by lekvar at 10:43 AM on January 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


did I just happen to click on the only one that seems plagiarized wholesale

The Staircase? Click to the end. It's confusing at first, but all of them play it completely straight and then reveal the truth at the end.

Killswitch was kind of dumb. How is it going to delete itself off of a CD?
posted by DU at 10:48 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Some of them are real. Some of them aren't creepy. And some of them don't seem real.

But aside from needing a new title, that was pretty entertaining, thanks for the post.
posted by Stagger Lee at 10:49 AM on January 13, 2012


I remember reading a thread on reddit(one of the "paranormal" topic subreddits) where someone talked about some mysterious personage they had seen who sounded exactly like Slender Man, and then got super, super angry when people told them it was Slender Man. The person obviously knew about Slender Man, so I wonder if the idea planted itself in their brain and manifested as them "seeing" him on the edge of their vision or whatever.

Slender Man is creepy enough that I'm glad that hasn't happened to me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:50 AM on January 13, 2012


See also: Langford death parrot.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:52 AM on January 13, 2012


My favorite wrinkle in the Slender Man story is that he only exists if you start looking for him or prove he does exist, it's a great hook.
posted by The Whelk at 10:52 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this stuff. I stumbled across a photo-blog of Ted the Caver's story one sleepless night several years ago and was hooked. (Here's a version of it with photos and sketches, which potently enhanced the claustrophobic horror of it for me.)
posted by Elsa at 11:05 AM on January 13, 2012


Some of them are such blatant ripoffs of House of Leaves that I'm actually offended.
posted by Shepherd at 11:06 AM on January 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Hanged King's tragedy seems like a poor man's version of Chambers' The King in Yellow story-cycle (which in turn went on to influence Lovecraft.)

Also if any Metafilter super-sleuths are feeling bored today, I would really like to know if the Indian Lake Project findings are a hoax.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:08 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


My favorite wrinkle in the Slender Man story is that he only exists if you start looking for him or prove he does exist, it's a great hook.

Granted, I've only dug into Marble Hornets and a little into Everyman Hybrid, but the only way I get those two to work in the same "universe" is to think it's more of a It situation, where he has to play by the rules the people involve believe.

So if you truly believe he doesn't exist, no problem. If you don't have any opinions other than what you get by watching your buddy's videos, then you're stuck with the mythos from the videos. If you do research from other sources, or manage to come up with him on your own only the stuff that actually sticks applies, which is why I try to fall asleep every night whispering "Slenderman gives away icecream and money."
posted by Gygesringtone at 11:09 AM on January 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


Happy Friday the 13th, gang!
posted by Apocryphon at 11:13 AM on January 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


I love this stuff. I stumbled across a photo-blog of Ted the Caver's story one sleepless night several years ago and was hooked. (Here's a version of it with photos and sketches, which potently enhanced the claustrophobic horror of it for me.)

I just read that Ted the Caver story for the first time and really enjoyed it, in a "boy doesn't it feel cramped in here, I think I'll open my office door" kind of way.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:13 AM on January 13, 2012


So I was going to spend my day learning SharePoint.

That's pretty much fucked now.


middleclasstool, your day was already fucked, then. :)


Some of them are real.

Which ones, Stagger Lee? I didn't go through all of them.
posted by IAmBroom at 11:16 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


House Of leaves is like Lovecraft for me, I don't really enjoy the original source material but I like all the riifs on it by others.
posted by The Whelk at 11:16 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So is all of it lifted directly from the SCP Foundation or did I just happen to click on the only one that seems plagiarized wholesale?

They credit SCP at the end of the article.
posted by modernserf at 11:18 AM on January 13, 2012


So I was going to spend my day learning SharePoint.

That's pretty much fucked now.


It's still going to be fucked tomorrow. Sharepoint is like that.

(Also, worthwhile to note... the Dylatov Pass incident is as far as can be determined real and documented. It was documented by cold-war Soviets, so giant grains of salt are required, comrade.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:20 AM on January 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I try to fall asleep every night whispering "Slenderman gives away icecream and money."

You're thinking of someone else.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 11:21 AM on January 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I was in the middle of reading this thread when I suddenly got an update from the Marble Hornets twitter account. Almost jumped when my cell phone went off!
posted by Deflagro at 11:26 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Dyatlov previously
posted by DU at 11:27 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Candle Cove is awesome.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:33 AM on January 13, 2012


Oh man, this one is plenty creepy. Couldn't bring myself to watch the videos.
posted by WidgetAlley at 11:35 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Dyatlov Pass one is fascinating. I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't fixed on that one yet. The facts are bizarre.
posted by zomg at 11:40 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I always thought the Ted's Caving Adventure page was a cute modern urban legend thing, that played with format and media in fun ways.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:49 AM on January 13, 2012


Ugh these are so bad for me but I am addicted to them.
posted by muddgirl at 11:50 AM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I read a few, and they annoy me. As ghost stories they're fairly spooky and entertaining reads. But the promised debunking never comes. These posts (at least the ones I read) end with the most half-assed conclusions ever. Where I was expecting facts, interviews, investigative reporting, any kind of explanation why they "seem real but aren't"... all I found was handwavy "eh, this probably didn't happen. OR DID IT? (dun dun dun!)"

Look, if you're going to dedicate a column to demonstrating that certain things aren't real, you'd better be prepared to make a serious case for each and every one of them. The wishy-washy resolutions in here are just a cop-out.

Or is that the joke? Maybe I'm just whooshing here, somebody clue me in or something.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 11:51 AM on January 13, 2012 [7 favorites]


I felt much the same.
posted by Stagger Lee at 11:52 AM on January 13, 2012


I'm surprised Hollywood hasn't fixed on that one yet

Ugh, don't give them ideas. You know as well as I do it would be a Michael Bay special-effects extravaganza about the ghosts of an ancient race of alien robots.
posted by Hoopo at 11:55 AM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Dyatlov Pass incident seems much less mysterious to me after reading about the effects of high-altitude exposure and hypothermia - many Everest catastrophes could be described the same way. Furthermore, I don't think we can trust a lot of the common reporting on the matter considering a lot of it isn't found in what little original documentation remains. It's a myth based on rumor.
posted by muddgirl at 11:58 AM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I mean the incident itself is clearly real but a lot of the stuff surrounding it (the location of the bodies, the trauma, the equipment damage) is falsly presented as 'mysterious', while other parts seem to just be made up (the radiation).
posted by muddgirl at 11:59 AM on January 13, 2012


I try to fall asleep every night whispering "Slenderman gives away icecream and money."


A Littleton, CO man was found beneath what appeared to be almost a quarter ton in pennies. An autopsy showed in addition to his extensive injuries, his lungs, throat, mouth and sinuses were filled completely with what appeared to be melted chocolate ice cream. The coroner has determined the victim drowned as he was being crushed alive.
posted by Slap*Happy at 12:04 PM on January 13, 2012 [17 favorites]


the promised debunking never comes

You need ghost stories to be debunked?
posted by modernserf at 12:07 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Slender Man doesn't exist unless you think he exists, so you end up spreading the infection around by talking about it.
posted by The Whelk at 12:07 PM on January 13, 2012


Totally reasonable take on the story, muddgirl, but every time I read the line "the tent had been ripped open from withing" it inspires all kinds of Ambrose-Lovecraft shudders down my spine.

A big blockbuster movie would be utter folly, but I could totally get down with a super-minimal indie cerebral horror thingy.


Also: SNOW IS FUCKING TERRIFYING
posted by Doleful Creature at 12:08 PM on January 13, 2012


I was in the middle of reading this thread when I suddenly got an update from the Marble Hornets twitter account. Almost jumped when my cell phone went off!

THEN WHO WAS PHONE?!?!
posted by modernserf at 12:14 PM on January 13, 2012 [15 favorites]


I mean the incident itself is clearly real but a lot of the stuff surrounding it (the location of the bodies, the trauma, the equipment damage) is falsly presented as 'mysterious', while other parts seem to just be made up (the radiation).

I actually like the story better without the radiation. The radiation just takes it out of the creepy shit in the woods genre for me and makes it seem like government conspiracies and aliens or something.

Someday I will have children, and I will take them camping, and I will tell them the Dyatlov Pass story and there will be no radiation, there will only be snow and terror and people biting off their own tongues while running from monsters in the dark.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:16 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah Slender Man is the best internet ghost story because he's the embodiment of a meme: his haunting spreads via information transference.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:17 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: SNOW IS FUCKING TERRIFYING

Yeah, does anyone remember that story from one of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark collections, where two guys are camping in the snow, and one of them goes out at night but doesn't return, and the next morning his buddy goes out to trace his footsteps, and the guy starts out walking, then running, then his footsteps get longer and longer like he's being dragged from above?

Shivers.
posted by muddgirl at 12:20 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


@muddgirl -- that's the Wendigo.
posted by modernserf at 12:25 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, count me as another person who knows there are plenty of reasonable explanations for the Dyatlov Pass incident, but that detail of the tent being ripped open from the inside and the skiers running out into the snow half-clothed just creeps me the fuck out. My lizard brain just immediately shrieks "WHAT TERRIBLE THING WAS IN THE TENT?!"

I would love if there was some minimalist, suspenseful horror movie made based on it. Just keep all talk of radiation and aliens and government conspiracies out of it. It's terrifying enough what the tongues being bitten off and the running out into the freezing night.
posted by yasaman at 12:26 PM on January 13, 2012


If someone doesn't come up with a picture showing Slender Man peeking behind a tree at the Dyatlov Pass skiers I'm going to be VERY DISSAPOINTED.

Unless it was a radioactive bear cavalry attack? That would make me run towards the nearest urban center in search of a change of pants or two, for sure.
posted by Iosephus at 12:26 PM on January 13, 2012


A friend and I read "Candle Cove" around a campfire, reading alternate posts in the thread aloud, passing his iPhone back and forth. We scared the ever-living shit out of our companions.
posted by Zozo at 12:29 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"WHAT TERRIBLE THING WAS IN THE TENT?!"

Maybe it wasn't something in the tent at all. Maybe they heard the ice cream truck.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:31 PM on January 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe it wasn't something in the tent at all. Maybe they heard the ice cream truck.

And suddenly found themselves in possession of a large amount of change...
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:32 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've mentioned it here before, I think, but Dionaea House is brilliant.
posted by anaximander at 12:33 PM on January 13, 2012


Consider Maggie Serota's Daily Urban Legend blog a comedic counterpoint for those of you who don't want nightmares tonight.
posted by timshel at 12:39 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been pretty much over this whole genre ever since I found out that Candlejack isn't re
posted by rusty at 12:39 PM on January 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


I just don’t understand what these articles are supposed to be, even after reading (skimming) several. They’re supposed to sound real? Where’s the explanation of why they aren’t? What’s happening? They all seem like long dull versions of Bloody Mary. Are these just supposed to be scary stories and I’m missing the point? I may be missing that gene, so that might be my problem. On the Scary Story Disorder Spectrum I test very high. I’ve also never understood what’s supposed to be weird or scary about the Dyatlov Pass Incident.
posted by bongo_x at 12:39 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]




I just don’t understand what these articles are supposed to be, even after reading (skimming) several. They’re supposed to sound real? Where’s the explanation of why they aren’t? What’s happening? They all seem like long dull versions of Bloody Mary. Are these just supposed to be scary stories and I’m missing the point? I may be missing that gene, so that might be my problem. On the Scary Story Disorder Spectrum I test very high. I’ve also never understood what’s supposed to be weird or scary about the Dyatlov Pass Incident.
posted by bongo_x at 12:39 PM on January 13 [+] [!]


I think I've isolated my concern.
These aren't debunked, to any degree, or handled in a critical/academic manner. Instead, the writer retells the stories in a sloppy, confusing and long winded manner.

It isn't clear at all what these writeups offer that the original material doesn't. I enjoyed the read, but mostly because I jumped links to the original material or other sources wherever possible.


That's not terribly unusual for internet journalism though.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:43 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


God, this awesome. It takes me back to being a 10-year-old and spending summer days at the library reading Daniel Cohen books.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:43 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Good god, someone else remembers Daniel Cohen!
posted by kimota at 12:50 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry, Daniel Cohen.
posted by kimota at 12:51 PM on January 13, 2012


bongo_x and Stagger Lee: They are not real. These are not true stories. They're not based on true events. They don't need to be debunked any more that Twilight needs to be debunked. They are creepy things, that sound real, but aren't.
posted by rusty at 12:51 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


The one with the hairy green humanoid on the front always freaked me out.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:51 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


So Candle Cove = Andy's Gang?
posted by lekvar at 12:51 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Add to the plagiarized count: Killswitch, which is actually a part of a beautiful collection of short stories called Invisible Games (inspired, of course, by Calvino's Invisible Cities), by Catherynne M. Valente and D.V.Z. (not sure who that is, but whoever he/she is, he/she is awesome).

P.S. Changing a couple of words and adding a link at the end of your copy-pasted article doesn't make it not plagiarism.
posted by ourobouros at 12:55 PM on January 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I think one of the biggest cultural changes over the past 10 or 15 years is how little interest there is in ghosts, ufos, bigfoot and little green men. People used to actually believe in shit like the Loch Ness monster, or the Sasquatch, and there were whole sections of the library devoted to ghost stories. People were genuinely concerned about what was happening in the Bermuda Triangle and the disappearance of the Avenger Squadron. Ancient alien astronauts. The search for Atlantis. The Crystal Skulls. All this stuff used to be fairly compelling (and fairly creepy), but nowadays it's a no-brainer; there's an explanation for everything.

Seriously, how do people even believe in UFOs?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:56 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


These things do not sound real. If you think they sound real, seek help.
posted by LogicalDash at 12:56 PM on January 13, 2012


Ugh, don't give them ideas. You know as well as I do it would be a Michael Bay special-effects extravaganza about the ghosts of an ancient race of alien robots.

If only. More probably is it'd end up yet another "Based on real events" horror movie shot with shaky cam from a first-person perspective or pieced together from "found videos" about the last hours of some campers who mysteriously turned up dead a la The Last Exorcism/Lake Mungo/[REC]/Silent House/Blair Witch Project/Paranormal Activity/etc. and so on and so forth.

Disclaimer: Not that I inherently have a problem with said style of a film. It's just as someone who watches a lot of horror movies of varying quality, it's a style that I've seen of glut of that when done well is good ([REC]) and when not, is usually seen in subpar indie horror movies used as a cheap gimmick to try and cover low-budgets or crap writing, editing, acting, or all of the above.
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:58 PM on January 13, 2012


I think one of the biggest cultural changes over the past 10 or 15 years is how little interest there is in ghosts, ufos, bigfoot and little green men.

You think? It seems like there's as much "Ghost Hunters" and "Looking for Bigfoot" stuff on TV as there ever was back when I was watching every episode of In Search Of I could get my hands on.

If you'd like to experience that sort of attitude in person, I recommend the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. It's small, and mostly props from the Richard Gere movie, but there's some delightful bits of true believer thrown in there as well.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 1:06 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think one of the biggest cultural changes over the past 10 or 15 years is how little interest there is in ghosts, ufos, bigfoot and little green men. People used to actually believe in shit like the Loch Ness monster, or the Sasquatch, and there were whole sections of the library devoted to ghost stories.

See, maybe I'm just hanging out with the wrong sort, but I still know people who believe in\research that stuff. The difference is that our information gathering has become more private and specialized. If you believe in the Loch Ness monster you can go to that particular web, and never have to hang out with those dirty big foot lovers.
posted by Gygesringtone at 1:07 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was in the middle of reading this thread when I suddenly got an update from the Marble Hornets twitter account. Almost jumped when my cell phone went off!

AND THE TWEET CAME FROM INSIDE HIS OWN HOUSE!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:10 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


These things do not sound real. If you think they sound real, seek help.

To better understand how the human mind can incorporate magical thinking into everyday life, it's worth reading Congo Journey by Redmond O'Hanlon. O'Hanlon's 1996 book is based on his travels up the Congo River to find a living dinosaur. Although the dinosaur was likely just an excuse to make the trip, there was documented scientific evidence supporting some sort of large create living in the interior of the country.

O'Hanlon contacted the scientist (a government bureaucrat and conservation manager) who wrote the report, and they went together up the Congo River.

When they reached the lake where the dinosaur was supposed to live, O'Hanlon discovered the lake was only 2 feet deep - hardly deep enough to support a dinosaur.

"How can a dinosaur live here?" O'Hanlon asked in mock astonishment (he had never really expected find one in the first place.

One of the porters answered, "Well, it's just an imaginary animal. It exists, but you just can't see it."

I think there is a deep human need to experience mystery that cannot be explained.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:13 PM on January 13, 2012 [8 favorites]


I like a lot of these, but Slenderman and The Rake remain among the stupidest things I've ever seen on the Internet.
posted by codacorolla at 1:15 PM on January 13, 2012


Good god, someone else remembers Daniel Cohen!

Remember the Daniel Cohen book that talked about the mouse cooked inside of the Kentucky Fried Chicken order, where on the mouse's face was a scary pirate that just kept laughing?
posted by drezdn at 1:17 PM on January 13, 2012


In general, I hate horror movies, but I definitely couldn't get enough of Daniel Cohen (and these types of posts).
posted by drezdn at 1:17 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think there is a deep human need to experience mystery that cannot be explained.

J.J. Abrams has made a career out of exploiting this fact.
posted by Doleful Creature at 1:18 PM on January 13, 2012


I quite liked The Hanged King's Tragedy.
posted by rusty at 1:20 PM on January 13, 2012


That Ted the Caver thing didn't need any more than the idea of scootching yourself through a tiny passageway to creep me out. Nightmare fuel.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 1:34 PM on January 13, 2012


They are not real. These are not true stories. They're not based on true events. They don't need to be debunked any more that Twilight needs to be debunked. They are creepy things, that sound real, but aren't.

Haven't read the whole site yet, but the Dyatlov Pass Incident most certainly is real (for the most part).

But on the whole, I think if these sound real to you, you probably do not require psychological treatment. You could though, and arguably should, be glad that you can still give yourself the heebee-jeebees at your age over fictional tales that poke at your primordial fear of the dark.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:27 PM on January 13, 2012


I fucking love the heebee-jeebees.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:32 PM on January 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think there is a deep human need to experience mystery that cannot be explained.

If that were really what drove people to believe in this sort of thing, there would be no need to make anything up. You don't have to dig very deep to find odd historical events for which we have no very convincing explanation. I think that's what they were going for with the Dyatlov Pass bit, but I'm pretty sure that was just a bear attack that was interrupted at an odd time. Human tongues are apparently delicious.
posted by LogicalDash at 2:43 PM on January 13, 2012


(that's why we kiss like that)
posted by shakespeherian at 2:44 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I kinda want to see "Ghostwatch" now.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 2:45 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here is "Ghostwatch" on Google video; here is a previous Metafilter thread discussing "Ghostwatch."
posted by Elsa at 2:48 PM on January 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here is "Ghostwatch" on Google video; here is a previous Metafilter thread discussing "Ghostwatch."

Note: Do NOT watch Ghostwatch.
posted by Jofus at 2:51 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that's what they were going for with the Dyatlov Pass bit, but I'm pretty sure that was just a bear attack that was interrupted at an odd time. Human tongues are apparently delicious.

That occurred to me, too, but crushed skulls, fractured ribs, yet no soft tissue damage? Also consider that bears are most usually hibernating in early February in northern Russia. This St Petersburg Times article goes into a more detail on the story.

I am, though, getting a probably caffeine-induced laughing jag out of imagining a bear pinning someone, shoving his snout in the camper's mouth, and ripping out their tongue. Now that's a bear who wanted to send a message.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:52 PM on January 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


The most likely story is that some people attempted to get help or find the way down and fell into a ravine (sustaining injuries including to their head). Other people had extreme hypothermia. Animals came along later to snack on them. Maybe someone tried to climb a tree at some point, maybe that's just a bit of creepy that was added to the story (seriously, why would someone test for this?)
posted by muddgirl at 3:00 PM on January 13, 2012


I'm pretty sure most of what happened was due to being very, very cold. Which, to me, makes it all the more frightening.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:08 PM on January 13, 2012


So I enjoyed the Cave one, but once they trotted out the phone I was just waiting for "You Fool Warren is DEAD!"
posted by Gygesringtone at 3:09 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


By the way, when I said "seek help," I didn't necessarily mean psychological help. A philosopher or a media theorist might be of more help to you, if you want to learn why truthiness affects you so.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:24 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, I know why it affects me. I just think it's fun.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:37 PM on January 13, 2012


Boo!

Gotcha.
posted by item at 4:40 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tongue rippage doesn't count as soft tissue damage?
posted by LogicalDash at 4:44 PM on January 13, 2012


Thought it went without saying that this would be apart from the tongue rippage.

Huh. Chrome spell check is telling me "rippage" is wrong. Which shouldn't be the case. "Rippage" is a great word.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:54 PM on January 13, 2012


I love, yet hate these things so much. The creepypasta threads on b/ are great, but I'm careful to check to see if it's a gif or a jpg because, good lord, reading a freaky story then having a freakish face jump out of you does nasty things to my heart rate.

These things stick with me, and still freak me out. When I was young, there was an add for Friday the umpteenth, or Halloween, or some such, where a panicked young woman said "I saw something moving outside the window!" and at the time, if you went down the stairs in our house, the window on the landing looked out over the area in front of the back door. The blinds were mounted so that there was a gap, when seen from the side, where you could see just a little outside. I ran down the stairs for a month after that, always trying to avoid looking because I knew I'd see some horrible thing on its way to our back door.

That, and the gremlin in the twilight zone episode with Shatner. Not the thing itself, but the moment when, after the shade has been lowered, and he lifts it. You know it's going to be there, but when it is, with its face pressed right up against the window... gah. I still don't like opening curtains at night.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:54 PM on January 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


"Creepy Things That Seem Real But Aren’t"

Next up: "Reviews of Movies that are scary, but it's ok because they aren't really real."

Sheesh.
posted by washburn at 5:42 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm a little confused about the Dyatlov Pass incident entry. Towards the end they state that it is all real. Now I'm going to have nightmares of radioactive Sasquatch ripping my tongue out.
posted by Renoroc at 5:47 PM on January 13, 2012


Radioactive Sasquatch is watching you mastu-

No no no no no. That's won't do at all.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:21 PM on January 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


The people missing clothes? Cute animals tried them on.
posted by drezdn at 6:53 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I like the one about the Internet site where you can go to talk about spooky stuff online but the threads are populated by the spirits of obtuse people who don't even know they're dead.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 8:02 PM on January 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


The creepiest thing I did as a kid was read Dracula books in the crawlspace of a friend's home. Besides having all the gory woodblock reproductions of Vlad the Impaler, the book also featured stills from the 1920s German version of Nosferatu, which freaked the absolute living shit out of me. We would get freaked and escape from the crawlspace, and would run up to the dimly= storage room above the garage, and pretend the... thing from It's Alive was locked up in the cupboard. Totally and absolutely scared out of our minds, we would go to our friend's house up the street, whose parents were devout fundamentalists (he was always getting in trouble for starting fires around the neighbourhood). He would tell us all the cool things he learned in Sunday School, such as the end of the world was around the corner, and locusts could actually be army helicopters, couldn't they? And a cleansing fire could actually be nuclear war.

This was the era of Amityville Horror, the Omen and the Exorcist. As a kid, even though my parents had thankfully given up on anything to do with church or religion, I was absolutely scared of the devil.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:36 PM on January 13, 2012


Oh my God! Daniel Cohen!

I found a copy of "The Encyclopedia of Monsters" at a used book store during one of my family's annual trips to the beach, and I don't think anything else ever did so much to inculcate my love of scary stories. I read it obsessively. I think it was the way everything was presented just as, "Here is what is known, here is what some people said, but we have no firm conclusions about any of it," that did it for me. I love that whole tone. And at the time, of course, I had NO other resources to fact-check any of it, which left me wondering for years whether the whole book was made up or what.

I *still* have nightmares sometimes about the Hairy Hands and that unremarkable stretch of bizarrely accident-prone road.

tap tap tap on the window...
posted by Scattercat at 9:50 PM on January 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Iosephus: "If someone doesn't come up with a picture showing Slender Man peeking behind a tree at the Dyatlov Pass skiers I'm going to be VERY DISSAPOINTED.

Unless it was a radioactive bear cavalry attack? That would make me run towards the nearest urban center in search of a change of pants or two, for sure.
"

Not radioactive, but still...
posted by Samizdata at 11:03 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "Radioactive Sasquatch is watching you mastu-

No no no no no. That's won't do at all.
"

Look, during my currently single phase, let's just say CeilingCat got bored and bailed. Radioactive Sasquatch is welcome to watch.
posted by Samizdata at 11:08 PM on January 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


I...ummmm...have a friend who spent the whole night being a Goon and watching the whole Slenderman thing evolve in real time. Ummm...the friend...said it was awesomely cool watching things coalesce. Almost as cool as some of the AskMefi threads I...ummm...the friend have/has seen. You know, the ones where people actually go help other people in person.
posted by Samizdata at 11:11 PM on January 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's things like this that make me love the internet. Every Hallowe'en or so, I get sucked into the FARK creepypasta thread, and that rekindles my interest in such topics, and then I spend the next weeks creeping myself out. It is glorious.

Also, Slender Man is after me.
posted by cerulgalactus at 11:48 PM on January 13, 2012


And yes, some of these are flat out ripoffs of House Of Leaves, or at least the House on Ash Tree Lane, itself. That said, I'm pretty sure that Danielewski took the concept from elsewhere, so I am pretty forgiving.
posted by cerulgalactus at 11:51 PM on January 13, 2012


I really love this sort of thing. Yes, the Crushable treatment of it is sort of trashy, but in a way I don't mind since it reminds me of the endless books of creepy "true" stories I read when I was a child and early teenager. I read most of the links last night and only woke up scared once (no, Rachel, the Rake is not sitting at the end of your bed, go back to sleep) so I must be getting at least a little better as I age.

There's a true story I read years ago, somewhat similar to the Dyatlov Pass incident, that I've been trying to track down for years. Does anyone remember this? Three experienced American mountaineers, two men and a woman, got lost while climbing somewhere in the Andes. Search parties eventually found one of the men, near death from exposure and exhaustion, and only much later found the bodies of the other two, separated and a long distance from where they should have been. The survivor talked nonsense when questioned about his companions, insisting that the woman, "went away with the women who came on donkeys." Needless to say, no such women were ever found.
posted by daisyk at 1:42 AM on January 14, 2012


Really wishing there were a way to subscribe to just this tag through RSS.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:00 AM on January 14, 2012


Really wishing there were a way to subscribe to just this tag through RSS.
there is.
posted by modernserf at 7:13 AM on January 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I love this stuff. To me it feels like the good bits of Lovecraft reconstructed from the traces he left in popular culture by people who have only known him via plush cthulhus if you ask them.
posted by Artw at 7:40 AM on January 14, 2012


I love this, trashy delicious goodness. Thank you.
posted by biscotti at 7:59 AM on January 14, 2012


why oh why did I find this thread at night?
posted by changeling at 11:38 PM on January 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


why oh why did I find this thread at night?

See, I found this thread during the day and thought I was safe, but the next day after I read all these stories I went home to see my family over the weekend, who thought it would be fun to stay in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere decorated with pictures of Civil War era relatives of the people who own the place. Oh, and one of those clocks that makes bird noises, that made a loud owl noise every night at midnight.

I treasured the few hours of sleep I managed to get.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:03 AM on January 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed this post. There were some great internet classics in there, and though I was familiar with many of them there were a few that were new to me (not paying attention to Reddit and Something Awful apparantly limits one's exposure to this type of material.

I was glad to see Dionaea House, and even happier to see it singled out in the post, I truly do love that one. And I wasn't familiar with the tale contained on the Camp Week Edition post, which was delightfully creepy (and no doubt totally staged - but I still loved it.) Thanks again. Double plus favorite.
posted by IvoShandor at 11:10 PM on January 18, 2012


There were rumors for a while that Dionaea House was being made into a move, but it seems to have dropped off the radar. On one hand, it's clever enough that I think the creator deserves some cash, but ,on the other hand, I doubt it would come out of Hollywood in one piece.
posted by lekvar at 11:01 AM on January 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just in case anyone else was interested, I finally found my death-on-the-mountain story! The mountain was Aconcagua in the Andes and the victims were John Cooper and Jeanette (or Janet; reports vary) Johnson. Did they freeze to death or were they murdered? We'll probably never know. There are a few stories about the case in Spanish (Google translation); this is the best one I found in English.
posted by daisyk at 12:48 PM on January 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


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