Tag Archives: creepypasta

White Birches: An Excerpt

19 Feb

Hi folks! It’s time for another fiction excerpt from ol’ Rob. This one is from a horror story about the dark side of internet culture, called White Birches – because I am useless at making up names for things.

* * * * *

The disk arrived at the office on a Wednesday. It was in a jiffy bag, the address crudely scrawled across the front in permanent marker. There was nothing else inside the package. There were no written instructions, and no explanations: just a DVD covered with strange, red symbols. The sort of symbols that Arthur Brown or King Crimson might have gotten kicks out of.

They received these every so often. They were usually pranks from bratty teenagers, bored of smoking pot and video games and instead turning an instant of their attention to the much-maligned local paper. Curiosity would get the better of the journalist, and they’d have a look at the disk’s files. Normally the disks were full of extreme fetish pornography, with the odd nasty virus thrown in for good measure.

It didn’t feel like a prank to Amanda, though. For one thing, the kids were usually desperate for their prank to work. The jiffy would at least have contained a note reading “IMPORTANT”, “SCANDAL” or “COVER-UP INFORMATION”. The symbols were new, too. If this was the work of kids, they had a damn sight more creativity than the usual little shits.

That meant it was the work of a local nutter: a penchant for symbols, sloppy handwriting, no explanatory documents. It reminded Amanda of something she’d been given a couple of years before, whilst working an internship at a slightly more respected news source. The package then had consisted of a CD-ROM with a couple of hundred documents detailing a man’s eating habits and bowel movements. She had, after reading an ode to the effects of raw beef, decided not to view the accompanying video.

Still, this didn’t put her off. She put the disk into her ancient, clunking desktop, and it immediately started wailing in frustration. After a minute of processing – probably deciding if it was worth the risk of doing something useful and raising Amanda’s expectations – it read the disk. There was only one file: ASH.mov.

Amanda had a choice: to either continue writing her current, fascinating piece on a local gentleman’s classic motorbike collection, or play the file. She made the only choice a journalist in her position would ever take, dreams of Watergate in her eyes.

It soon became apparent that her presumption had been accurate. A tall, slightly overweight man stood in frame, behind a mahogany table in a dark room. The walls were covered in what looked like newspaper clippings. He looked directly into the camera for a brief moment, and then stripped, carefully placing his clothes on the table. He then ducked under the table for a moment, returning with a tin of black paint. He opened the lid and plunged his hands into the paint. Slowly, precisely, he painted the entirety of his body with his hands. When done, he closed his eyes, a shadow in front of the camera, the only light coming from somewhere off-shot.

The footage cut to a forest, at night. The painted man was walking through the trees, being followed by a cameraman. He stumbled through the undergrowth, the light from the camera’s lamp picking up on the splotches of dark red amongst the black where the man had cut himself on thorns and broken branches. Eventually, the painted man and the cameraman reached a lake. The painted man turned to the camera, and stood, silently. After a few seconds, the footage cut to black.

It was the work of a local lunatic, just as she had predicted. There was only one difference for Amanda. She knew who the painted man was.

The man’s name was Andrew Cleveland. An old school acquaintance, Amanda had not seen him in years. They had not been friends, only taken classes together, a decade and a half before. They had barely spoken, even, but Amanda remembered names, faces, places, times. As soon as she saw Andrew’s face, she knew who he was. She knew that he had sat two rows behind her on Mrs Tavistock’s Maths class. She knew that he had been part of a quiet, unassuming friendship group that was neither popular nor ostracised. Back then, Andrew had been turning into the normal, adequate, standard British male. Something had happened, to turn him into whatever it was he had become.

Mental illness can hit anyone. The most seemingly well-adjusted person in the world can suddenly shift roles, drop into the dirty-windowed world of depression. Doesn’t matter how normal, how rich, how secure. It will seep inside the veins, attack from within, and leave its victims as nothing more than an empty shell. Andrew Cleveland had clearly been affected by, well, something. Amanda didn’t know him. She had no idea what had happened in his life, the innermost workings of his mind. She never had done, not really, but this shadow seemed a far cry from the boy she had once known.

She decided to investigate. Not just for the story, if there even was one. Fall all she knew, it could have been some kind of stunt. He could be perfectly happy, having just done something for laughs or as some kind of stunt. But there was no point in trying to be a journalist with integrity if, when something interesting came up, you dropped it for the mundane, suburban regularity of safe stories. She dropped her editor, Clive, an email, and didn’t wait for a reply. One way or another, ASH.mov would have her attention.

* * * * *

That’s it, for now. Another post soon!

Fear Dot Com: Scariest Places on the Web

23 Jul

A little while ago I gave you a brief look at the internet storytelling known as Creepypasta. But that’s not the only place to get chills online. Here is a rundown of some of my other favourite scary sites and series.

 
Marble Hornets

Marble Hornets has been responsible for more sleepless nights than all of the horror films I have seen combined. Based on the Slender Man mythos, an internet-created urban legend that originated on the Something Awful forums in this thread, Marble Hornets is a first-person, Found Footage series that somehow manages to tap into our fear of things that go bump in the night. Don’t believe me? Here’s an example:

If you fancy seeing more, then here is a playlist for all your Marble Hornets needs. Currently in its third season, the plot is getting deeper and darker.

If you’d like to see more Slender Man stuff, then check out EverymanHybrid’s deliciously meta take on Slendy or his own wiki page. When you’re done with that, check out this free Slender Man game and scare yourself silly.

 

Internet Story

The tale of an online treasure hunt. Better for you just to see it yourself:

Wonderfully told with a brilliant finale, Internet Story has become a cult classic in the internet community.

 

The Bongcheon-Dong Ghost Comic

A Korean webcomic written by HORANG. Originally in Korean, an English version of the comic was made and can be found here. There was also a sequel of sorts, set in a train station.

I know what you’re thinking: ‘comics, eh? That won’t be that scary’. Well, go ahead and click. Do it. Oh, and film your reaction because it will be hilarious.

 

DaywaltFearFactory and Fewdiodotcom

If the raw nature of Marble Hornets isn’t quite to your fancy, then don’t fret: there are a number of fantastic short horror films who call Youtube home. Pick of the pile, though, are probably Daywalt Horror and Fewdio.

Here’s my personal favourite:

 

The SCP Foundation & The Holders

The SCP Foundation captures and then documents the effects of a number of paranormal ‘artefacts’ that would otherwise be a danger to the human race. Within the site are stories with a very particular style; case entries for the different SCPs that are under the Foundation’s care. Although their mantra is to “Secure, Contain, and Protect”, some of the most chilling stories are those that revolve around the lengths the Foundation will go to keep the human race safe.

The SCPs are varied in nature: from a statue that attacks when you lose eye contact, a toaster that affects the human mind in an interesting way, a mysterious coral growth, or the victim of a cult who must be constantly tortured to stop the birth of a being that could destroy the world.The series (originally Creepypasta) is constantly evolving, and with moderators stopping crossovers from other IPs there is always something unique to find.

Similar to The SCP Foundation, The Holders tells us about 538 objects that “must never come together. Ever”. The site consists of instructions on exactly how to obtain these items…although given what you sometimes need to go through, you probably don’t want to.

 

Various Terrifying Youtube Videos

So I’ve already posted the wonder that is Marble Hornets. Here are a few others. Vicious516 posts Creepypasta readings as well as other scary vids:

Foundmedia23 bought a load of random Betamax tapes and all of them are fucking weird:

No Through Road makes you want to never drive down country lanes again:

 

I think that will do for now. Just remember that if you’re bored and fancy seeing something scary, there are plenty of horrifying sites on the internet. And I’m not just talking about 4chan…

A Beginner’s Guide to Creepypasta

18 Jul

If you read the blog regularly, or follow me on Twitter/Facebook, then you’ll see that I mention Creepypasta an awful lot. What is this mysterious and oddly-named phenomenon? Well, I’m here to give you a crash course on all things freaky and fusili-related.

Creepypasta is, quite simply, a type of horror short story, often found on message boards or blogs. Sometimes the subject matter will be something in internet or geek culture – a videogame (with Zelda, Pokémon or Minecraft being particular favourites), a television show (Spongebob Squarepants, My Little Pony, The Simpsons etc) , or a specific website or online video.

No, not THAT kind of online video!

Typically, the author of the Creepypasta will have received a mysterious email, picked up a second-hand videogame, or have ‘stumbled across’ something when online. Other times, though, the stories are simple, up-front horror fiction with a slight difference in writing style – predominantly towards first-hand experience from a first person perspective.

What I love about Creepypasta is how it seems to have become the online equivalent of telling scary stories around the camp fire. You’ll find threads on message boards based entirely around Creepypasta and frightening images – and even message boards set up just for the paranormal: 4chan’s /x/, and Reddit’s /r/nosleep and /r/creepy for instance. You’ll get internet users trying to scare the pants off each other, or even reading just to get a kick out of the stories.

Another interesting thing about Creepypasta is the way that it uses other media other than prose – video, photo, and audio in particular. Say you’re reading about a forgotten TV show from the author’s childhood; what better way to make it more real than to provide footage of said show? Or maybe you read about someone getting sent a weird audio file from an old friend – along with the post, there could be the audio file attached.

All in all, reading Creepypasta is a unique and fun experience. As it’s an uncensored, unedited form of writing, sometimes you’ll come across poorly-written – or even worse, boring – stories. Sometimes it’s actually scary. Other times it’s deliberately funny, making fun of the many clichés that have already infested the genre.

“Oh, wow it’s another person that’s found a haunted copy of Mario 64. I wonder how many haunted videogames are out there!”

Here are a few of my favourite Creepypasta stories:

Candle Cove

The members of a message board discuss the mysterious kids TV show Candle Cove. An intrepid youtuber also found footage of the show and posted it online here.

Ben (Haunted Majora’s Mask)

The biggest, and most well-known, of the videogame horror stories. A video-game enthusiast finds a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. But there’s something wrong with the game’s save files. Very long, with video included, the payoff is definitely worth it. This link includes all the videos in chronological order for the story. For other examples see Pokémon Creepy Black and Herobrine.

Gateway of the Mind

An example of an original Creepypasta idea. A experiment to try and find, and talk, to god leads to a unexpected results. Video here.

Squidward’s Suicide

The urban legend of a missing, terrifying Spongebob Squarepants episode. Also see Suicide Mouse.

Normal Porn for Normal People

An internet user gets sent a link to a disturbing site called Normal Porn for Normal People. He shares his findings as the nature of the videos rapidly spirals.

Pale Luna

A story from the 1980s about a computer game named Pale Luna, shared solely in the San Francisco Bay area. The game has been recreated here.

Interested in finding more? Well, here are some of the best places to find Creepypasta online:

4chan’s /x/ – Plenty of paranormal stuff here. Bear in mind it’s 4chan, so watch out.

/r/nosleep – If you like what you’ve read so far, this subreddit is made up of people telling scary stories.

creepypasta.wikia.com – A wiki full of Creepy stories.

inuscreepystuff.blogspot.co.uk – Blog with a very nice Creepypasta collection.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief look at things that go bump online. In a future blog post I’m going to share with you all some of my favourite non-Creepypasta-but-still-interwebz-based chills. Before then, though, there’s some film that’s coming out about some nutjob vigilante who dresses in a ridiculous costume and beats the crap out of people.

You probably haven’t heard of it.