Written by Jonathan Wojcik
DECEMBER 14: Some of Bogleech's Favorite Creepypasta!
Following my first list of favorite SCP's, I'd like to share some of my favorite general horror tales to crawl out of the internet's dark and dripping nethers. Those of you still brainstorming ideas for our creepypasta contest might find some nuggets of inspiration here; some of these are pretty famous, others relatively obscure, but they're stories I've enjoyed reading again and again, a few of which even came genuinely close to scaring me, and that's quite a feat.
We'll start off with a very, very short one, originally posted in Japanese and translated by the wonderful Saya in Underworld blog. It's short enough that I can't say much about it without giving the whole thing away, but it captures the kind of dream-like, almost comical peculiarity that I've always found significantly creepier than more visceral, violent horror. Yes, this really is one of the ones that gave me a few chills the first time I read it. I'm using a photo of good old Rubber Johnny here, but what I always pictured in The Big-Head O is a little bit goofier, in a very unpleasant way.
This tale of diabolical contact lenses is almost a little too corny for me; I've never been able to take fiery, devilish themes very seriously, and there's not a lot of subtlety in the narrator's first brushes with the paranormal. By the end, though, we have an inventively mad approach to flaming hellspawn that feels reasonably fresh, and it's never entirely certain that that's even necessarily what we're dealing with. It's not for everybody, and it never creeped me out, but there's just something about Second Sight that I find kind of charming.
Another short one, the "creature" here would be disturbing enough without posing any explicit threat, but when we realize its true nature, it far surpasses the nightmare factor of any infectious zombie, vampire or lycanthrope.
A very, very unique flavor of fear, The Memetic Symbol begins with what appears to be only a computer virus, rapidly replacing characters and files with the same strange insignia, but as you may have guessed, it doesn't stay contained in the digital realm for long, and its effects far more awful than you might expect. The part about eyes really gets me.
While a horror story tied into a real neurological condition may be of questionable taste to some, the strange, sometimes terrible secrets lurking away in our very genes are always a fascinating theme to explore in a horror narrative, and this is just one of my favorite entries in the trope. It helps if you're easily creeped out by kids and babies.
This is one of many phenomenal stories written by Josef K, and while not as popular as some of his others, it's the one I always personally found the most gripping, especially with the lack of any confirmed supernatural elements. Is his condition acting up, or has something else gone terribly, terribly wrong?
This SomethingAwful classic by Zack Parsons is first presented in a series of bent, broken "instructional" posts on everything from fruit harvesting to childbirth, littered with hints at an alternate timeline where something went very, very wrong...or is it right? It works well as enigmatic, unsettling gibberish, but if you're really craving answers, you can move on to the optional "companion piece" The View from Below. This longer, more coherent narrative unveils the whole truth of the "Instruction" world, which may detract a little from the magic - as exposition always does - but definitely adds some fresh new horrors of its own. Parson's later series, That Insidious Beast, is also worth a read.
Quick: what's the worst possible thing the word "dogscape" brings to mind? Worse than that. No, trust me. Worse than that too. Originally a series of 4chan posts by at least half a dozen anonymous writers, the Dogscape is one mesmerizingly repulsive apocalyptic nightmare, a literal living hell as darkly humorous as it is nauseating, and as much detail as we're given, it still leaves me craving more. An additional chapter was written more recently by Neeble on Deviantart, and perhaps still more are lurking around the web. If you'd still like to know what you're in for, allow Skittycat's fan art to serve as a visual synopsis of the Dogscape's divine glory.
I admit there might be a dash of bias in listing this, since it's written by a friend of mine and originally came to life on our own Bogleech forums, but its widespread popularity speaks for itself. While many creepypastas involve video games, few escalate into sci-fi horror oddyseys this epic, expanding a very real but poorly received Nintendo title into a reality-bending trek through an entire alien universe. If nothing else, it's packed full of creative creatures and environments brought to life by some excellent pixel art!
Artwork by Ean Moody
What really needs to be said about a hit like Candle Cove? Written by web cartoonist Kris Straub, Candle Cove is the story of a not-quite-right children's show disguised just well enough as a real online discussion that many were convinced of its authenticity, officially elevating it to Urban Legend status. No sequel, spin-off or clumsy re-write can possibly hope to improve upon its positively flawless ending, demonstrating precisely how to reel in the reader with just enough detail before letting the imagination run hog-wild. Candle Cove is, bar none, my favorite scary story of all time. Kris Straub suffers the same problem I have with the horror genre, and he seems to know exactly how to cure it.
HALLOWEEN 2012 ARCHIVE:
HALLOWEEN 2012 ROUND II:
HALLOWEEN 2012 ROUND II:
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