The term creepypasta was originally used to describe text and imagery shared in forums and on social media that is designed to scare people. Creepypasta is derived from copypasta, which is text that is repeatedly copied and pasted in forums and chats often to troll others.
Creepypasta has evolved from its original cut and paste scare tactics. It has grown into its own genre of Internet horror stories. There are many forums and sites dedicated to creepypasta.
Creepypasta has continued to evolve over the years as new generations of writers take up the practice of sharing scary stories online. It has become a form of urban myth horror fiction that is built by multiple users on social media. A Newsweek article says, "Creepypasta authors are the contemporary version of kids telling ghost stories around a fire."
Creepypasta writers build on existing stories and characters while also creating new ones. As creepypasta has evolved some common creepypasta characters and myths have emerged. Slender Man (or slenderman) is the best known creepypasta character. The creepy humanoid creature is tall and has extremely long slender arms. Slender Man sometimes is pictured with more than two limbs.
Creepypasta became all too real with the Slender Man story when a 12-year-old girl in Waukesha, Wisconsin was stabbed by her classmates. The two girls who did the stabbing claimed they did it out of fear of Slender Man. This incident led to a clearer labeling of creepypasta as fiction on some websites.
Creepypasta has also found its way into Hollywood. Slender Man is a motion picture with an August 2018 release. The horror film gives the appropriate credit to Slenderman creator Eric Knudsen (Victor Surge). Slender Man has also appeared in video games.
Image: Screen Gems
Here are some good resources for finding creepypasta and finding more about creepypasta:
- What Is Creepypasta? - This Bustle article has background on creepypasta and a good list of four important elements of creepypasta.
- Creepypasta Wiki - You will find a lot of creepypasta stories here. The Wiki says it has over 11,000 nightmares.
- r/creepypasta - a Reddit forum about creepypasta with over 140,000 subscribers
- Bored at Work? Try Creepypasta, or Web Scares - A 2010 article in the New York Times that revealed the creepypasta genre to the mainstream.
Creepypasta.com - a website for the reading and sharing of creepypasta stories.
- Know Your Meme: Creepypasta - This explanation of creepypasta includes some notable creepypasta examples such as Smile dog, Jeff the Killer and Petscop.
- Twitter hashtag: #creepypasta - you will find some creepypasta stories and characters if you use the #creepypasta hashtag on Twitter
Top Image: Writers Write, Inc.