My Descent Into Horror, Part 4: Creepypastas and Beyond

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| August 30, 2022

When you have loved a genre for a long time, sometimes you want to make content involving that genre. That was me in my junior year of college in 2020. After years of watching horror films, I wanted to write Creepypastas, or Internet-based horror stories. The problem was that I didn’t know where to publish them. 

Before we get to that story, here’s a little history lesson. The word “Creepypasta” is a combination of the words “creepy” and “copypasta.” It is unclear when exactly they started appearing, but they most likely came about in the late 1990s through chain emails. Friends would frequently write their own horror stories for a good scare. The first definitive Creepypasta is arguably Ted the Caver (2001). Originally a series of blog posts, this classic involves the titular character and his two friends descending into a cave close to home. Since then, it has become a landmark in Creepypasta history.

For some gamers, this is an image you can actually hear.

As for how I got into the genre, it all started when I was around 14. I discovered a YouTube channel called SomeOrdinaryGamers. Back in the day, he used to read Creepypastas and play games based on them. The stories fascinated me; I had never been exposed to content like that before. Some of those videos, especially the ones involving Slender Man, scared the hell out of me. I even remember having nightmares from them! He has since moved on from them, but I never forgot the impact they had.

Soon, I started discovering more Creepypastas on my own. Some of the most famous ones were Jeff the Killer, BEN Drowned, and The Rake, to name a few. My personal favorites were the ones involving lost episodes and haunted video games. There’s just something sinister about seeing a childhood favorite (for example, Mario and SpongeBob Squarepants) get turned into something twisted.

I also began to see the various clichés in some of those tales. Suddenly, the stories that used to shock me became a little less shocking. For me, the number one cliché is the use of excessive violence. If you remember my past articles, I am a huge fan of gore, but even I have my limits. Several egregious examples happen in a story called Clockwork: Your Time is Up. I won’t go into much detail, but the climactic scene uses a coat hanger, a bedpost, and a butter knife. It’s enough to make someone with an iron stomach sick.

The other prominent cliché I cannot stand is poor grammar. To many people, bad choices of words and sentence structures suck the immersion out of a story. I get that some authors might have language issues, but it wouldn’t hurt to get an editor. Along with other people I show my drafts to, I use Grammarly to proofread. It helps correct parts of your work that you may overlook before. Ever since college, it has been a vital part of my life.

Even the worst Creepypastas can be a bit better with this thing.

Now, back to 2020. Ultimately, I feel it is critical to look at the best and worst of Creepypastas. The best become certified classics, and the worst become examples of what not to write. With that in mind, I set out to find somewhere to publish my work. I initially wanted to post on the official Creepypasta website, but I soon discovered (in my opinion) a better alternative.

I already had a completed story before joining Wattpad. It was completed the year before and was titled Attachment. The plot is a love letter to all the haunted gaming tales I grew up reading. A YouTuber receives an email asking her to review a game for a stream. After running a virus check, she discovers the game is something far more sinister. The YouTuber eventually gets her ex-boyfriend to help out, and together they find out the game’s dark secrets. I wanted to create a modern-day version of the classic haunted gaming Creepypasta but avoid falling back on infamous clichés.

Where stories live…

On November 28, 2020, I published Attachment. I felt good having something put out there that other people could enjoy. More importantly, it was copyrighted. The best part was following and getting to know other writers like myself. I have made lasting connections with readers and have even won an award. Becoming part of a community such as Wattpad (and CouchSoup!) makes you feel like you belong somewhere in this world.

To this day, I am still creating content for Wattpad, and I have no intention of stopping soon. What I am planning on stopping, though, is this article series. I cannot stress enough how wonderful it has been to share my horror experiences. However, I feel it’s time to move on after four parts. I have in mind something I have wanted to write about for a long time. Soon, I will talk about the scariest films you may not have watched. Hopefully, it will be a success.

Another image certain people can hear.

Are you excited about what’s coming next? Any suggestions about what horror content (movies, books, comics, etc.) to talk about? Sound off in the comments below. 

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