This story is completely true. It happened right here on the internet, on a night just like this.

The True Tale of Creepypasta

Not too long ago, people shared jokes, stories, and lame inspirational messages by copy/pasting text into message board posts or email. On the message board 4chan, users started calling these text memes “copypasta,” a catchy portmanteau of copy and paste. Among the copypasta lurked some seriously scary stories and urban legends, and by the mid-2000s, people were calling these stories “creepypasta.”

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Like spaghetti thrown at a wall, the name stuck. And certain creepypasta have carved out a place in the heart of internet culture (which was still beating! When the wind is right, you can still hear its screams).

The infamous Slender Man meme started out as a creepypasta that rapidly grew into an internet mythos as fans added their own stories and images to the canon. Other tales, like “The Rake” and “Candle Cove” also began as one-shot creepypasta but grew into urban legends, given life by communities like Something Awful, Reddit, and Tumblr.

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While Slender Man has become so influential that it supposedly inspired a recent stabbing, many creepypasta posts are so hilariously terrible that they’re more like in-jokes among fans.

PHONE WAS INSIDE HOUSE. Image credit: KnowYourMeme

Creepypasta fans agree on one simple, inviolable rule: assume that every story is true. In the fine tradition of urban legends and campfire tales, creepypasta are usually (but not always) first-person accounts of strange and spooky things that happened to the author or someone she knew.

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And make no mistake–some of them are hair-raisingly scary. These recommendations should deprive you of a night or two of sound sleep.

The Classics

If you ask the internet for the best of creepypasta, you’re going to get lists of the same seven or eight stories: Jeff the Killer, BEN Drowned, Smile Dog, the Russian Sleep Experiment, and a handful of others. We don’t want to rehash the same old stories, but if you haven’t already encountered creepypasta, these three stories should whet your appetite.

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  • Children are creepy, and the poster who shared “Bad Dream” knows it. Of course, the thing sleeping on the other side of the bed is even creepier.
  • Psychosis” is one of the classics of the creepypasta canon, and it’s a piece of psychological horror that would have been right at home on The Twilight Zone.
  • One poster’s creepy encounter with a stranger in another classic, “Smiling Man” will make you think twice about walking alone at night.

More Creepypasta to Read in the Dark

  • It had been six months since the accident” is a spooky take on phantom limb syndrome. (It’s actually a response to a two-sentence story, and there are some great super-short creepypasta in its parent thread if you’re looking for quick reads.)
  • My dead girlfriend keeps messaging me on Facebook” is heart-wrenching, spooky, and the reason I’m a little afraid of garages now. It starts with a stray Facebook post and gets more horrifying as it moves along. Make sure you click the links to see Nathan’s screenshots; the end of the story plays out as updates in the comment thread.
  • Sometimes the most frightening monsters look like just another face in the crowd, like in this untitled creepypasta. It’s easy to miss the horror in this one, but once you see it, you won’t be able to unsee it.
  • If you’re going to the kitchen for a glass of water, do it before you read “There is something very strange going on with my wife,” and try not to wonder who will be there waiting for you.
  • I was a part of the Queen’s Guard in England” explains why talking to strangers is such a frighteningly bad idea.
  • But the people close to you can be so much more horrifying. Who’s really lurking in the darkness of “The Basement”? This story will make you want to lock your bedroom door at night - but you still won’t be able to sleep.
  • And this entire thread is full of shorter accounts of people’s real-life encounters with ghosts, would-be murderers, and the thing that’s standing behind you right now.

So suspend your disbelief, lock the doors, turn out the lights, and settle in for some chill-inducing reading.


Contact the author at k.smithstrickland@gmail.com or follow her on Twitter.

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Images: Pixabay