I make no secret that I am a super fan of scary stories and urban legends. I obsess over horror movies because I love the thrill of a terrifying original story that keeps me awake debating if there is any credence to the mythos behind it. However, over the Summer, a friend introduced me to a genre I was completely unaware of, creepypasta. For those of you who don’t know, creepypasta is not a descriptor for the cute dishes you make at Halloween like scary spaghetti or rotten rotini. They are original stories that are shared on the website creepypastas.com and the stories are conglomerated together with the same name as the website.
Creepypasta was responsible for the creation of The Slenderman, the Internet phenomenon that described a lanky apparition bearing a business suit, void of a face who stole children away into the night and drove their parents to madness. Jeff the Killer is also a popular figure who stalks his victims with his horribly disfigured face and long sharpened knife, whispering “Go to Sleep!” before he brutally slices and dices his victims.
But let’s face it, most of us are productive members of society that don’t have time to watch endless amounts of horror movies or read all the creepypasta ever written; we have jobs, families, and adult obligations. My friends, I bring you great tidings! While first researching the topic, I stumbled across a new generation of storytellers! Because of the enormous popularity of creepypasta many YouTubers have taken on the task of making entire channels reading such stories aloud for your listening enjoyment. At first I raised an eyebrow and scoffed at this idea, but then I actually sat down and started to give them a try and I was thoroughly shocked. These are not people reading into a tin can for effects with no voice inflection, these people are actual storytellers!
These videos have crisp audio with soft background noise of eerie piano music and maybe a picture to zone out while you listen. But what astounded me the most, and still does, is the voice acting! As an avid lover of old radio shows like The Lone Ranger, Gunsmoke, and The Shadow I appreciate the one man (or woman) show these people put on while reading the chosen creepypasta. This level of horror can be more terrifying than the movies simply because it isn’t a director’s vision of the story, it is your own imagination that you fall victim to.
I can cook, clean, write papers, and play video games to creepypasta! I can listen to them at my desk at work, in my car on long road trips, and carry them around with me while grocery shopping. For me, the appeal is endless, but the biggest benefit is this is how I make up for all the horror I want to revel in. I have two ears, time to put on headphones, and an endless desire for the adrenaline rush that I get from hearing about a girl running alone in the woods, a young boy being stalked, or a college student stumbling upon a red room on the deep web.
My current favorites on YouTube are Corpse Husband and Mr. CreepyPasta, go ahead and give them a shot and see what I mean!