"Jump scare; hi, I'm Kris Straub."
October 3, 2014 8:59 AM   Subscribe

Scared Yet? is a creepypasta review series produced by Kris Straub, himself the creator of the infamous "Candle Cove" creepypasta. Episodes one, two, three, and four critique "Jeff the Killer," the SCP Foundation, "The Russian Sleep Experiment," and The Josef K. Stories, respectively.

Straub undertook the project as a Kickstarter stretch goal. Initial plans for a weekly review series seem to have been scuttled once he began researching creepypasta in earnest and discovered that "99.9% of them are terrible, especially the popular ones." Recent updates have focused on quality ahead of quantity.

Straub continues his own original horror efforts at Broodhollow, a webcomic often described as "Tintin goes to Innsmouth". (Click through with care, as the comic's second arc is just reaching its climax. You may want to begin at the beginning, with Book 1: "Curious Little Thing.")
posted by Iridic (31 comments total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Still trying to decide whether the term 'creepypasta' annoys me as much as the phrase 'reach out to'.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 9:03 AM on October 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

would you prefer spookyspaghetti?

Broodhollow's great, folks
posted by postcommunism at 9:25 AM on October 3, 2014 [9 favorites]


I can't watch them now cause I'm at work, but I just read the Russian Sleep Experiment one, and it was... really bad. Just awful. It read like Marine Todd for alt kids. Is that what he means by 'quality'?

The ironic thing here is, I actually loved Candle Cove. I thought it was flawlessly executed.
posted by Itaxpica at 9:42 AM on October 3, 2014

Compared to a lot of stuff, the Russian Sleep Experiment IS pretty good. That says more about the rest of the dross, though.

I think RSE has the kernel of a good idea, just not executed very well.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:46 AM on October 3, 2014

It's really, really rare to find a long creepypasta that's any good. The best are usually about a paragraph or two long. They're too short for your critical detachment to kick in, just long enough to leave you with a really unsettling thought, like how you probably shouldn't turn around until it's left the room.
posted by Ghidorah at 9:49 AM on October 3, 2014 [12 favorites]

"They drove into the parking lot, and ran towards the door. The man turned and ran down the hallway. I heard a smash, like glass breaking. As I came out of my room, I saw the window that was pointing towards the back of my house was broken. I looked out it to see him vanish into the distance. I can tell you one thing, I will never forget that face. Those cold, evil eyes, and that psychotic smile. They will never leave my head."

Police are still on the look for this man.

This is almost writing.
posted by anazgnos at 10:24 AM on October 3, 2014 [11 favorites]

Russian Sleep Experiment is one of the worst popular ones. It suffers from what most creepypasta do, which is decent build-up followed by god-awful ending. Creepypasta writers need to learn how to use a lighter touch.

I think the Goatman is one of the most effective popular ones, for all its flaws. Like, my brain knows that it's way too long and full of plot-holes, but that doesn't stop me from randomly thinking about it at night and getting the total heebie-jeebies. Blehhh. The author knows how to create a vivid image. Same with the Smiling Man.

Oh god! I've fallen into the trap of discussing creepy stories late at night. Must read some Soviet Russia spoof versions to compensate...
posted by Solon and Thanks at 10:25 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

The Goatman is nice and creepy.

Kris Straub is a treasure, though, insanely talented, and everything he touches is good. Candle Cove, Chainsawsuit, Broodhollow...
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:48 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

It's almost always gore that knocks me out of a creepypasta, even an otherwise-good one like "North" from the Joseph K. Stories. Dead bodies and blood-filled rooms aren't mundane, exactly, but they are by definition corporeal and rather unmysterious.

I should probably watch these vids before commenting further in case I'm covering well-known ground.
posted by muddgirl at 10:55 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

I've always liked the SCP stuff. I'm not really into any one story in particular, but I love how it provides a broad framework for a huge assortment of creative writing ideas.

Also, if you like the SCP Foundation and Sherlock BBC fanfic, have I got the fanfic for you!: A Study in [DATA EXPUNGED], by Berlynn Wohl
posted by dialetheia at 10:57 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Itaxpica: Don't worry, he totally trashes Russian Sleep Experiment in his review.
posted by zsazsa at 11:02 AM on October 3, 2014

Don't worry, he totally trashes Russian Sleep Experiment in his review.

Sort of? I mean, he's really good at zooming in on what precisely makes it so bad (his point at the end about not ever wanting the reader to be aware of you as the author writing is spot-on), but he still goes out of his way to say "but this is one of the really good ones!".
posted by asterix at 11:08 AM on October 3, 2014

My fave bad creepypasta (although it lacks skellingtons) is over here. I read it.

And then I was a zombie.
posted by adipocere at 11:10 AM on October 3, 2014

My fave bad creepypasta (although it lacks skellingtons) is over here. I read it.

No, no -- let the internet sing it to you.
posted by postcommunism at 11:19 AM on October 3, 2014

Like others, I am a sucker for bad creepypasta. I am a sucker for any bad horror, though. Creepypasta, though, doesn't really scare me, just entertains. I enjoy the attempts to create modern-day urban legends. See also: this Reddit 2-sentence horror story challenge.

I recently freaked myself out by watching these game run-throughs of Harshly Critical playing Five Nights at Freddy's. I am apparently an incredibly easy scare.
posted by offalark at 11:26 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Is there a way to make youtube playlists go in chronological order? I'm trying to just go let them play, but its kind of annoying that its always counting backwards.
posted by lkc at 11:33 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Haunted 90's video game cartridges are my favorite creepypasta genre.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:45 AM on October 3, 2014 [5 favorites]

offalark: If you like bad creepypasta, you'll love The Holders Series.
The person will then stare into your eyes and answer your question in horrifying detail. Many go mad in that very cell, some disappear soon after the meeting, and a few end their lives. But most do the worst thing, and look upon the object in the person's hands. You will want to as well. Be warned that if you do, your death will be one of cruelty and unrelenting horror.
You know it's scary because they tell you!
posted by murphy slaw at 11:51 AM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

My favorite awful creepypasta is The Expressionless, which tries to explain a genuinely eerie photo with melodramatic writing, point of view problems, and constant, senseless gore.
posted by Iridic at 11:58 AM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Haunted 90's video game cartridges are my favorite creepypasta genre.

How could I have forgotten BEN DROWNED? That one actually legit creeped me out (it helped that I first read it at night).

Also I only caught on preview that I had typed BEN FROWNED originally, which would be a much less scary version.
posted by Itaxpica at 12:05 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Nothing else Kris Straub has ever done is scarier* than what he's doing with his Ello account: KRIS STRAUB, INNOVENTIONEER

posted by oneswellfoop at 12:39 PM on October 3, 2014 [10 favorites]

he still goes out of his way to say "but this is one of the really good ones!".

Just watched the first three episodes, and my impression is that he's being pretty diplomatic because he recognizes that creepypasta isn't paid fiction - he equates it to fan fiction, not in the sense of quality, but in the sense of why it's written and who it's written for. I largely agree with his review - there are some very good aspects to the story, but it's hampered by a lack of restraint and some slapdash prose.
posted by muddgirl at 1:10 PM on October 3, 2014

All creepypasta is automatically made better by the addition of David Bowie.
posted by Katemonkey at 1:21 PM on October 3, 2014 [4 favorites]

another good thing from Kriss Straub, grown-ass man.
posted by boo_radley at 7:05 PM on October 3, 2014

The thing that makes the SCP stuff particularly good is that their community is pretty rigorous about maintaining a specific tone (they like a sort of detached/clinical scientific tone over there.)

I find the way the tone in the Russian Sleep Experiment slides all over the place to distract from the actual content.
posted by yonega at 7:30 PM on October 3, 2014 [2 favorites]

Oooh, I love a good (or 'good') creepypasta! Some of my favorites (aside from Candle Cove, of course):

Ted the Caver. Still on that angelfire page!
The Dionaea House
Psychosis. Not sure about the ending to this one, but it works up till that point.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:02 PM on October 3, 2014

Oh, and my favorite SCP, which he doesn't mention, is 701: The Hanged King's Tragedy.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:39 PM on October 3, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ted the Caver legitimately freaks me out. Small spaces, unavoidable areas where hurrying is impossible, all while being pursued? Pretty much ticks all the creepy boxes.
posted by Ghidorah at 12:02 AM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

Well, none of the creepypasta gave me a sleepless night, but binge-reading Broodhollow was probably a very bad idea. There were a lot of ominous, slightly ajar doors in my room last night.
posted by muddgirl at 5:56 AM on October 4, 2014 [1 favorite]

I've been reading Broodhollow, and I'm trying to get into it (I love me some webcomics), but all I'm getting is a sense of "...the OCD was coming from inside the house!"
posted by Ghidorah at 12:31 PM on October 4, 2014

Ted the Caver is great even before it starts going slightly supernatural, and then it just goes really full-on creep-out.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:52 PM on October 8, 2014

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