- Have an idea.
- Get distracted and eventually forget idea.
- Remember idea at thoroughly inappropriate moment.
- Write down idea on scrap of paper in the form of mostly illegible notes.
- Promptly lose scrap of paper.
- Find scrap of paper some time later, completely by accident.
- Realise you only remember what half of it means and curse illegibility of own handwriting.
- Draw up a “proper plan”.
- Spend far too much time drawing up “proper plan”.
- FINALLY sit down to write blog post.
- Deliberate for much too long over title.
- Write title.
- Mess with tags and url so that you don’t have to start writing.
- Deliberate for much too long over first line.
- Write first line.
- Rewrite first line.
- Repeat step 14 ad nauseum and finally decide to keep original first line.
- Write first few paragraphs and feel proud of own progress.
- Read back work so far.
- Delete work so far.
- Re-write first few paragraphs.
- Decide it still sucks, but it’s better this time around.
- Repeat steps 18 to 22 with next few paragraphs.
- Look up from laptop and realise it is significantly darker than it was when you started.
- Look at clock and realise it is 1 am.
- Hurriedly write conclusion to blog post.
- Re-write conclusion to blog post.
- Decide it could be better, but it’s 1.30am and you would like to sleep now.
- Click “Publish”.
Creepypastas, for those who don’t know, are the Internet equivalent of camp-fire ghost stories; creative and creepy flashes of fiction and/or pictures that get passed around the Internet, reaching various levels of notoriety. Being both a fan of horror and flash fiction, I’ve read my way through my fair share of them; and so, in celebration of the upcoming Halloween, I present to you the Creepypasta BAFTAs!
[NOTE: I accept no responsibility for any nightmares caused by the contents of this blog post.]
Most Widespread Creepypasta Award – Slenderman
As far as I can tell from my extensive and arduous five minutes of googling, Slenderman originated on the Something Awful forums as a competition entry – two photos of him lurking around a bunch of children, and an accompanying story about how those children went missing. He was quickly snapped up by other creepypasta creators and since then, has steadily risen to his position as the King of the Creepypastas. I’d bet the average person is much more likely to be able to describe Slenderman to you than define the word “creepypasta”, and we’ve yet to see any other creepypasta names like Jeff the Killer, Smile Dog and The Rake get their own video game (though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time).
For more information, click HERE.
Shortest Creepypasta Award – Knock
“The last man on Earth sat alone in a room. There was a knock at the door….”
This also wins the award for the oldest creepypasta because it was, in fact, written in 1948… well before Tim Burners-Lee gave birth to the Internet. As well as being a microfiction in its own right, it is also the first two lines of a short science-fiction story by Fredric Brown; having read the story, I much prefer the two-sentence version. Leaves a lot more to the imagination.
Longest Creepypasta Award – BEN DROWNED (or “Majora’s Mask”)
Okay, so maybe you’re groaning at this inclusion since it’s gone horribly viral, but this lengthy beast is still worth the time it takes to read. Comprised of chat logs, videos and prose, it chronicles the experiences of a young man who buys a Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask game cartridge haunted by “Ben”, who drowned in a lake as a child.
Read Ben Drowned HERE
Dumbest Creepypasta Award – The Day Of All The Blood and WHO WAS PHONE
One of the unfortunate things about fiction on the Internet is that sometimes, one has to sift through layers and layers of the mediocre and the downright dumb to get to the good stuff. These two pieces, however, are almost so bad they’re good. ALMOST.
I can’t tell if WHO WAS PHONE is a monumentally failed attempt at a genuine creepypasta or simply a parody by a trolling forum user – either way, it’s ridiculous. The Day Of All The Blood, however, is just downright – well – weird. I won’t explain it, but do enjoy this rather amusing dramatic reading complete with trippy animation.
The Childhood Ruiner Award – Squidward’s Suicide and Dead Bart
The “Lost Episode” is a common form for creepypastas to take, and these two are by far the most notorious examples. Both are anecdotes, in which the narrator watches an unscreened episode of Spongebob Squarepants/ The Simpsons – at first, the episode seems a little off, and gradually becomes more and more twisted until you will never look at Squidward Tentacles or Bart Simpson in quite the same way again. “Squidward’s Suicide” is the scarier of the two, but the last paragraph or so of “Dead Bart” really got me.
Best Plot Twist Award – Candle Cove
“Candle Cove” is told through an online comment thread, in which several users discuss their memories of a children’s TV show of the same name from the 1970s. It starts off innocent enough; but as the comment thread progresses, people’s memories of the show become more morbid and frightening…
Read Candle Cove HERE
Best Picture Creepypasta Award – Who Are You Running From?
This is an odd choice, perhaps, given that there are plenty of more disturbing creepypasta pictures out there, but I picked this one because unlike the many other haunted-games-console stories, the story behind this one is entirely true. Back when every kid owned a game-boy, there was an accessory called the “Game Boy Camera” which allowed you to take small, grainy photographs with your games console. On the menu were five options, the last of which was the word “Run”, a word which became responsible for scaring the pants off small children in Japan and America all through the nineties. When “Run” was selected, the screen would freeze for three seconds, and abruptly switch to this:
Scariest Creepypasta Award – The Russian Sleep Experiment
This one is downright disturbing: a gruesome account of how Russian scientists test a gas designed to keep people awake around the clock on five political prisoners, and the slow descent into insanity as the prolonged sleep deprivation drives the test subjects completely and utterly out of their minds. This resonated with me particularly, given that I’m an insomniac (I once stayed awake for near enough five days and ended up having a lengthy conversation with my cat before deciding that my bed had eyes and spending several minutes muttering that I wasn’t “going to sleep in that monstrosity” – true story). Quite a lengthy creepypasta, and certainly not for the faint-hearted, this story is so convincingly written in the style of a factual historical report that I almost genuinely believed it… it also made me feel rather queasy.
Read it HERE.
Short but sweet, this one is a personal favourite. It is not by any means the scariest I have have ever read, but the second person narrative and the excellent cliff-hanger are brilliantly executed.
Read it HERE.
PLEASE WAKE UP
Only a little longer than “Bad Dream”, this one-paragraph wonder uses meta in a way that leaves a lasting impression.
Read it HERE.
An Hour Ago
Very cleverly done, with chilling narrative symmetry – I had this as a runner-up for the Best Plot Twist Award.
Read it HERE
The Other Watcher
Not the best-written creepypastaa out there, but still worth a mention; a three-paragraph quickie that you read, read again, and then back away from very quickly as you realise what just happened. Another runner-up for the Best Plot Twist Award.
Read it HERE
And thus concludes my halloween master post… happy nightmares!
That I was the spitting image of the woman next door.
That I could’ve easily been her daughter, and that was why she’d asked.
That strangers didn’t talk enough on the bus.
That a little polite conversation could really make a journey worthwhile.
That she’d like to sit with me until her stop, if I didn’t mind.
That the battered teddy bear sticking out of her handbag wasn’t hers, it was her son’s.
That she’d discovered it while she was clearing out the attic with her husband.
That she’d found a home for everything else, but couldn’t bear to get rid of it.
That she was on her way to see her son right now, to give it back to him.
That he’d been ever such a good boy, so enthusiastic.
That she visited him weekly, but still missed him terribly.
That her husband missed him too, but never accompanied her.
That this was her stop, just coming up.
That it’d been a pleasure talking to me.
That she’d say hello to him for me, if I liked.
I watched her get off the bus, and head through the cemetery gates.
[Just a dumb little poem from the workshop-day-thing that I did with SYW and Simon Armitage out on Pewel Hill a few months ago.]
Me and the team
up on the hill
the horde still in sight;
We’re ready for anything.
Myles, Josh, Tom, Mole and me:
stood out on the rocks
our poses heroic
(with the exception of Mole,
who clearly prefers the suggestive sort.)
We find ourselves armed
with nothing but our biros –
the pen is mightier than the sword,
though machine guns
might be more useful.
The zombie horde approaches,
anoraks rustling ominously in the wind.
There’s no way out:
army of the living dead on one side,
a dizzying drop on the other.
We bravely prepare for our fate
as the leader of the mob steps forward
and opens its ghastly mouth in a snarl…
“OI. YOU LOT. GET BACK HERE AND JOIN THE REST OF THE GROUP!”
[ This one is actually one I did for homework, for my AS English Lit class… the task was to write a poem in the style of Robert Browning. It kinda came out more like Rossetti in style but with a Browning storyline… nonetheless, I kind of like it.]
I lived in undeserved shame
by the whole town spurned
A hood I wore to hide my face,
one side of which was burned.
I yearned for a companion,
I felt my heart might break,
and so I sought an audience
with the spectre of the lake.
“I beg of you your help,” I said,
“I live a lonely life –
all I yearn for is a child, but
no man will take me as his wife.
I do not wish to marry,
for men are fickle things –
the village men mock me for fun
and call out words that sting.
I do not want a husband,
a child is all I ask –
I’ll give you anything in return,
I’ll do you any task.
A son to nurse and nurture,
a boy who’ll be by own,
who’ll keep me when I’m old and frail
and he is fully grown.”
The cold wind blew up quite a storm,
but when the waves had cleared
there, dressed in water’s dark green silk,
an infant on the bank appeared.
I plucked him from the water
and wrapped him in my cloak,
but as I held my new son close
to me, the spirit spoke.
“This gift is yours, but here’s your task,
your duty as his mother:
For each year of his life I want
the lifeblood of another.”
My boy is nearing seven now,
and how I love him so;
his green eyes, his auburn hair, the way
his pale skin seems to glow.
And I have done my duty,
I have done my duty well –
one by one I lured them
to the lake when darkness fell
Those men who once would scorn me
or their pretty wives, instead –
both have felt my knife-point
as I watched the lake turn red.
But my work is not yet finished;
my boy is still young yet,
and while the townsfolk’s scornful hearts still beat
my path is clearly set.