What is this “creepypasta” you speak of? What a silly looking word!
Well, that’s simple – it’s a horror themed story that originates on the wondrous thing that is the Internet, either on forums or other websites, and is subsequently copied and retold over time. The name is a creative blend of the words “copy” and “paste”, which developed from “copypasta” to “creepypasta”.
Whilst the stories are mostly text-based, they can be enhanced with pictures, audio and even video. All the more to scare you with, right?
Right, but who started it?
That’s a question nobody can answer, as the very first to appear were posted anonymously, and because they were widely spread over multiple web locations, it was, at the time, incredibly difficult to trace back. This only added to the element of horror, as nobody could pinpoint the origins of a story. The mystery thus induced a sense of unknowing; the question of “could it be true?” leading it to spread like wildfire.
It’s said, however, that particular forms have been around since the very birth of the Internet, where chain-mails would be sent out, attempting to convince the recipient to make a number of copies of the email and then pass them on to a certain number, or by a certain date. Even I remember those.
So it’s just a bunch of people spreading around short stories? Is that it?
In the early days, the intention wasn’t to construct a literary masterpiece and be acknowledged for such – this wasn’t authors giving away their work. The motive was to offer amusement and fright, yet to encourage others to pass it on, the stories themselves had to have some form of believability. Urban legends were, understandably, inspirations, such as the Bunny Man and Polybius.
Present day, though, and there’s specific sites dedicated entirely to creepypastas. Whilst there’s certainly a community, writers and artists now receive credit for their creations. Not only that, but in some instances copying and pasting is considered theft.
So, nowadays, I’d say that yes, it’s exactly the concept of sharing around shorts stories and flash fiction. It’s lost much of its original appeal, if you ask me.
I think I understand. So what’s one of the first creepypastas recorded?
Again, it’s hard to determine, but Ted the Caver goes all the way back to 2001.
It consists of documentation in the form of blog posts, revolving around a group of friends exploring a local cave. Ted, being the writer, included pictures along with the text. It’s a slow build up of tension, telling of a very in-depth investigation, until the diary abruptly ends after some strange occurrences affecting the group.
I’d suggest go reading it for yourself!
Would you recommend any others?
Of course I would, but I don’t want to ruin what I have in store. Suffice it to say, watch this space, as there’s more to come!
I hope you enjoyed reading!