Creepypasta: Scary microfiction for the internet age.
December 20, 2007 6:55 PM   Subscribe

BEKs, "Easter Eggs," The Holders... Welcome to the world of creepypasta -- short, oft-repeated scary stories, anecdotes, and "facts."

These collections are made up of the older, more common copypastas that circulate endlessly on popular imageboards.
"Daddy, I had a bad dream."
You blink your eyes and pull up on your elbows. Your clock glows red in the darkness—it's 3:23.
"Do you want to climb into bed and tell me about it?"
"No, Daddy."
The oddness of the situation wakes you up more fully. You can barely make out your daughter's pale form in the darkness of your room. "Why not, sweetie?"
"Because in my dream, when I told you about the dream, the thing wearing Mommy's skin sat up."
For a moment, you feel paralyzed; you can't take your eyes off of your
daughter. Then the covers behind you begin to shift…
They're usually not on the same level as Ted's Caving Page or Dionaea House, but they're still a lot of fun.
posted by hjo3 (43 comments total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
I read the first one, about the hitchhikers, and it was really creepy!

I guess I was expecting it not to be so creepy.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 7:01 PM on December 20, 2007

The caouple I read were fantastic! I wish I was running a RPG right now so I could shamelessly pilfer that thread for ideas.

posted by lekvar at 7:13 PM on December 20, 2007

I love the Leon Czolgosz bit from the Encyclopedia Dramatica link. I had never heard that one before.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 7:22 PM on December 20, 2007

Hey, those are cool, as are the pictures at the bottom. Very creepy.
posted by gemmy at 7:28 PM on December 20, 2007

Yikes! Some of those are really creepy. But then again, I sleep with a stuffed animal... MADE OF HUMAN SKIN!!!!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:29 PM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]

Most of these are pretty dumb, along the "Bloody Mary" level of creepiness. A few shine out. I found "Baby Doll" really creepy, personally.

These definitely seemed geared towards younger people -- a lot of them involve a sort of teenager wish fulfillment -- getting the one object you desire, killing people you hate. I mean, I realize that there are some adults that are still motivated by these kinds of desires, but they don't seem very "grown up" to me...
posted by Deathalicious at 7:36 PM on December 20, 2007

Yeah, upon reading further, there's some real crap as well as some gems. "In-Joke" I found especially lame.

But on the whole, fun. Like an open-source Clive Barker.
posted by lekvar at 7:44 PM on December 20, 2007

they don't seem very "grown up" to me...

Well, they come from places like 4chan, so.
posted by tepidmonkey at 7:45 PM on December 20, 2007

Anytime you travel in America, you could be taken aside, be handcuffed, chained and interrogated, then thrown into a secret prison in a foreign country, without being charged with a crime, without being able to notify anybody about what's happening, without access to a laywer. You could then be kept in a freezing cell, kept from sleeping, and be drowned over and over again... you could even be tortured to death. And it's all perfectly legal.
posted by empath at 7:56 PM on December 20, 2007 [16 favorites]

oh, is this the scary fiction thread?
posted by empath at 7:57 PM on December 20, 2007 [5 favorites]

If I'm being tortured to death, I'm not going to take much comfort from the fact that it's illegal.
posted by "Tex" Connor and the Wily Roundup Boys at 8:00 PM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]

I find the "Roy Orbison wrapped in clingfilm" stories to be much, much scarier than these.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:05 PM on December 20, 2007 [4 favorites]

This is very funny. Thank You.
posted by parmanparman at 8:06 PM on December 20, 2007

Some of them are crap and others have a peculiar resonance that reminds me of From A to Z, the Chocolate Alphabet by Harlan Ellison. It's a short story made of 26 microstories.
posted by fleetmouse at 8:24 PM on December 20, 2007

One day soon, without warning, you will be confronted with a cryptic text written in bone-white letters, surrounded by a deceptively soothing shade of blue. The blue will lull you into a sense of peace and security, but the words it bears are fated to bring nothing but horror and despair.

Although you may begin to feel stirrings of unease, you will be compelled to read this text. Each word, each line, each paragraph will infect your soul with a maelstrom of emotions. Pride. Anger. Jealousy. Fear. A voice at once everywhere and nowhere will then speak in a calm but forceful tone: "Reply. Reply. Reply."

You can resist, at first. Choose not to entangle yourself with that glowing tome. But you will continue reading. The hunger for the strange text will be insatiable. As your eyes pore over this secret knowledge, the colors will shift, and the world around you will shift along with it.

Charcoal, and unearthly music never meant for human ears will pierce the silence.


Ivy, and all the works of man will be spread out before you as toys.


Green, and infinite knowledge will seem within your grasp.


At every stage you will resist -- but you will not escape. At the final color, your fate will be sealed.

A muted grey will assault your eyes, a neutral backdrop for a realm of utter hopelessness. Perspective and logic mean nothing here -- what once was simple and unimportant blossoms like a poisonous flower into hitherto unexplored realms of pettiness and venom. Nothing is safe. There is nowhere to hide. The innocent and damned alike are skewered for the sport of cackling demons.

It will disgust you. It will fascinate you.


You will, at last, reply. Like a mammoth stepping into a lake of tar, you will reply to that cacophony. And you will not extricate yourself.

You will be absorbed. You will become a part of it. A part of them. A cackling demon for the rest of eternity.

Take heed of my words, for many have fallen to the temptation of the blue. I hope my message has found you in time. I hope that you can still be saved.

It may already be too late.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:43 PM on December 20, 2007 [62 favorites]

I dunno. I could see The Holders being an awfully fun Chthulhoid adventure...
posted by Samizdata at 8:46 PM on December 20, 2007

i want my mummy.

posted by divabat at 8:54 PM on December 20, 2007

Mel's Hole! I know people who take this very seriously, and have a web page about it here.

There was a Mel's Hole discussion board up for a long time, but it appears to be dead now.

I suspect that history will record Mel's Hole as one of the more obscure and forgotten "mysteries" of our time, sort of like Richard Shaver and his "Deros".
posted by Tube at 8:59 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

"Leon Czolgosz, assassin of William McKinley, the the 25th President of the United States, was electrocuted for his crime on October 29, 1901, at Auburn Prison in Auburn, New York. Among the personal effects found in his cell was a U.S. quarter stamped with the date 2218. The face in profile on said quarter was not George Washington, but rather a face which has yet to be identified."

This one was the best. So un-nerving, somehow. Perhaps because it could be true in a way that most of the others could not.
posted by Spacelegoman at 9:14 PM on December 20, 2007

The face in profile on said quarter was not George Washington, but rather a face which has yet to be identified.

I think it's buried in this sentence somewhere. There's something really, really unsettling about portents involving unknown visages.
posted by Mikey-San at 9:23 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]

That second easter egg one is just the beginning of Call of Cthulhu, isn't it? I wonder how many of the other ones are from books.
posted by juv3nal at 9:36 PM on December 20, 2007

Related, from Projects
posted by niles at 9:40 PM on December 20, 2007

All of these require following elaborate rules so as not to get sucked into the other side, or dead. How is anyone supposed to remember all that, in case you run into, say, a legless homeless man on Lexington and East 21st?

The cookie is object 120 of 538. May it never be consumed.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:00 PM on December 20, 2007

Someone already mentioned that these were born on 4chan, but I haven't seen mention of /x/ specifically.

Can't vouch that it's any good right now, but it's the section of site dedicated to all things unnerving.
posted by postcommunism at 11:04 PM on December 20, 2007

I need to learn not to click on these things at 2am in a darkened apartment that needs to be kept silent while the boyfriend sleeps.

I think the best part was when I tried to close the page, telling myself not to read anymore, and the page froze open on my computer for a minute or so. *shivers*
posted by ilana at 11:25 PM on December 20, 2007

Also, for some reason the designation "creepypasta" made me picture horror stories involving the Flying Spaghetti Monster.
posted by ilana at 11:26 PM on December 20, 2007

Lo, for his Noodliness is a jealous god, and a righteous god, and demands that you have no other pasta before him. And woe to those who gaze upon other meatballs.
posted by Caduceus at 12:26 AM on December 21, 2007

there were giants in the earth in olden days, and methusaleh lived to be 969 years old. is it accurate to dismiss these accounts as fantasy or allegory? years ago in my freight-hopping days, i climbed into an open boxcar on a rural siding out in the middle of nowhere and was surprised to see a very old man sitting in a dark corner. we got to talking, and he told me that the perception of time passing was just an artifact of consciousness, and that everything was indeed happening at once. he said that the ancient essenes had learned to control time through conscious will, enabling them to live very long lives, but not quite immortal, and that their descendants, modern essenes, still walked the earth, blending in with us due to not wanting to call attention to themselves. he said it was impossible for ordinary humans to distinguish a modern essene, but that cats, with their amplified sensory abilities, could indeed do this. apparently cats don't like essenes very much and the attitude is reciprocated, so an essene will immediately leave the room upon seeing a cat in it. he further stated that the modern essenes were hunting him down in order to kill him to suppress this secret, but that he (and i) were "pretty safe" out here on the rails.

slightly creeped out, i selected another boxcar to spend the night in, in hopes a train would come by the next day, hook up to the cars on the siding and take me somewhere interesting. an hour or two after midnight, i heard a rumble, a passenger train was approaching rapidly on the main track. i watched out the open boxcar door, through a light rain, as the windows and scenes on the passenger train flashed by, and i heard a loud thump as something thrown from the moving train struck the outside of my boxcar. the next morning i got out of the car to stretch my legs and found what had made the thump. it was the body of a cat with its neck broken. i never saw the old man again.
posted by bruce at 12:34 AM on December 21, 2007 [5 favorites]

Speaking of meta, the "Angels" story from the first link has been seen on the blue before, and probably not in the context you'd be likely to expect.

The story has gone from a myth that disenfranchised children tell each other to make sense of the horrors they've seen and give them some comfort to a spooky story that comfortable adults read on the interwebs to give themselves a vicarious thrill.
posted by lekvar at 1:04 AM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

bruce: bah. I hold the same thoughts about time as your essene, but I like cats. And I'm not out to kill anyone. And the only time manipulation thing I've done is when I go online for a while or sleep for a bit then look at the clock and go "it's already 7pm?!"
posted by divabat at 1:48 AM on December 21, 2007

Christmas antidote! Thank you.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:39 AM on December 21, 2007

Some of them also remind me of Steve Jackson's Basement.
posted by ShawnString at 5:56 AM on December 21, 2007

I'd like to second Mel's hole. Good stuff. So good my workday is gonna be fuct. Thanks.
posted by butterstick at 6:48 AM on December 21, 2007

The Angels story was picked up by a movie studio at some point, but i don't know what happened with that.

Also, I don't believe for a second that homeless kids came up with that shit. I think the reporter made most of it up.
posted by empath at 9:30 AM on December 21, 2007

I love me some good creepiness, but I hate the cynicism that exists in me that sees a line like:

If you continue on, you will begin to see the occasional pedestrian. Some of them will gesture that they would like to hitch a ride. Under no circumstances should you stop for them, no one has ever stopped and survived.

And my brain immediately screams at me: if no one who stopped ever survived, how the hell is the story perpetuated?

I hate that I can't just enjoy things sometimes.
posted by quin at 9:33 AM on December 21, 2007

lekvar, I thought the exact same thing. I totally need to hijack some of these for use in a WOD, CoC, or LittleFears game.
And speaking of Ted the caver, I wish someone would take that story and run with it. Tell the rest of the story. I mean yeah it's great that it's a fun creepy story and the creepy comes from the unfinished pseudo real feel, but I would really love to hear a complete story talking about what he finds.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:36 AM on December 21, 2007

Are there any extant "Ted the Caver" pages? It seems like they're all 404 or have been usurped (for reasons unrelated to those in the story).
posted by LionIndex at 11:08 AM on December 21, 2007

There's a man in Texas who does nothing but drive around rural areas and put needles inside of haystacks.

Fuck. They found me.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:12 AM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

Dionaea House reminded me of Alan Dean Foster's, "Some Notes Concerning a Green Box." Also a bit of John Varley's, "Press Enter■."
posted by Chrysostom at 12:57 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

LionIndex: Here's one, though they reformatted it so all the entries are on a single page... (Sort of diminishes the ending.)
posted by hjo3 at 2:26 PM on December 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

The RPG Nobilis had sidebars filled with this sort of thing. I love this stuff.
posted by khaibit at 2:40 PM on December 21, 2007

As near as I can tell, the RPG Unknown Armies is built entirely from stories like this. I haven't found any victims to try the system on yet though.
posted by lekvar at 5:14 PM on December 21, 2007

empath: That actually is a fictional world, in our reality you don't even need to be travelling in the USA to be picked up, the CIA are even at it in Italy.
posted by knapah at 4:23 PM on December 22, 2007

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