Jeremy: They tell me that the first day of Fall is officially September 22nd. Damn near an entire month after spooky season has begun. Well i'm here to tell you creeps that this is bullshit, and if anyone hasn't been spending the last seven days knee deep in pumpkins, skeletons, and candy corn then I don't know how to help them enjoy life. That being said, since we can now all agree that Fall has begun, i'd like to talk to you today about a certain pastime of mine, introduced to me this time of year, and best enjoyed this time of year. They are known as Creepypastas.
What's a Creepypasta? Well from a quick google search, I can tell you they are known as "Horror-related legends or images that have been copy and pasted around the internet". Told mostly in short story format, Creepypastas have been around since as far back as 2001 (possibly even sooner), evolving from printed horror and spoken urban legends, giving even the most inexperienced writer a chance to put their spooky story out there for the world to see. I was first introduced to Creepypastas in 2014, first reading through as many as I could find, until I stumbled upon a podcast called Creepy, where a majority of the most popular Creepypastas can be found. While Creepy still continues to produce weekly episodes to this day, I thought to myself that now was as good a time as any to steer any curious potential fans towards the episodes I think both exemplify what a Creepypasta is, and are among some of my favorites. As a warning, this list was in part influenced by how well read each of these stories were done by their respective narrators from the Creepy podcast, in addition to the quality of the stories themselves.
So, with all that in mind, here are my top 20 Creepypastas, ranked from worst to best, and all worth your time in checking out:
20. Robert the Doll:
One out of a few that you'll find listed here that are great starting points for someone whose just getting into these stories. Unlike many other Creepypasta's, Robert the Doll has some basis in reality and is told in a mostly straightforward manner. In fact, you can even visit the doll, currently located in Key West, Florida, as a popular tourist attraction.
19. Satellite images:
This one does an excellent job of building dread, with really only one scare that's saved for the very end. Satellite Images taps into a relatively niche fear, that you might end up finding something you weren't supposed to over something like google maps. However, I don't think it's too far fetched to believe that there are people out there who fear that, as that image of some random street they zoomed in on starts to render, there might be someone on the other end looking right back at them.
18. Dead Bart:
I think for the Creepypasta's that are based off movies or TV shows to be most effective, the reader/listener must at least have some knowledge of that particular brand. That's why I think Dead Bart, obviously based off one of the most well known TV shows of all time, should appeal to a wide audience. What sets this Creepypasta apart from the many other "lost TV show episode" stories comes from the twist ending, one that's not only one of my favorites, but also an ending that will never date itself.
17. Squidward's Suicide:
By far the more unnerving of the two "lost TV episode" stories i've included in this list, Squidward's Suicide is the first story i've included here to include graphic imagery. I actually found this one to be pretty damn good throughout and was debating on having it listed a little higher, but I think what brings it down a few pegs is that the twist makes so little sense that it renders it pretty silly. As if a Spongebob horror story isn't silly enough already.
16. The Rake:
As with Robert the Doll, this is another great story to begin your Creepypasta readings/listenings with. Told as a series of encounters with the eponymous creature known as The Rake, this story posits that this creature has existed and terrorized countless victims all throughout time. With as many as six different stories of The Rake told here, I particularly liked the history and world building that goes on here, giving this creature a place among the other central baddies of the Creepypasta universe such as Jeff the Killer or Slenderman.
15. The River Country Film:
One of my favorite of the found footage Creepypasta's, this is one of quite a few Disney horror stories about how the Disney corporation is (quite hilariously) painted as over the top villains who will bring about the apocalypse in due time. While no where near as solid in terms of atmosphere as another Disney story i've included later on in this list, The River Country Film gets points for me for just how insane it goes at the end. Not to mention the bit of truth found here in relation to some of the real life deaths that have occurred at this now closed off site.
14. Anansi's Goatman Story:
I see this story on quite a few "Greatest Creepypasta's of all time" lists, and i've got to say, it took me three listens to really enjoy this one. If you're anything like me, I encourage you that, even if some of the beginning bits of Anansi's Goatman Story seem to drag, you should just keep on trucking. The sense of disorientation that this Creepypasta achieves is stellar once things start to pick up, and that image of a slack jawed girl always keeping up with you as you walk through the forest is prime nightmare fuel.
13. Normal Porn For Normal People:
One of the better "dark web" stories I came across, NPFNP really knows how to leave its reader at the same time both confused and compelled by a story that has absolutely no explanation to it. Whenever I listen to this one, i'm often thinking how easily this Creepypasta could be dismissed as being random for the sake of it, and yet those final videos that the narrator comes across really paint a different picture. As with Squidwards Suicide this is the second of those i've listed here that contains more graphic content.
12. The Systelien Specter:
And now we've come to one of the video game Creepypasta stories i've included here. While i'm the first to admit I didn't generally find myself compelled by many of these types of stories, The Systelien Specter touched on a topic I think is prime for horror, virtual reality gaming. I'm no expert when it comes to VR horror games, but as they continue to innovate with this technology, The Systelien Specter feels more and more at home.
11. No End House:
One of, if not the first, Creepypastas I ever read, No End House is more than just your standard scary haunted house attraction. An excellent example of psychological horror, No End House lays bare the narrators fears and exploits them to there fullest extent in a story that always has something engaging happening. This also happened to be one of the few Creepypastas that I felt would benefit from having a sequel, with an all new character there to face the horrors of this house.
10. The House That Death Forgot:
The newest entry i've included here, and while I admittedly might be riding the high of discovering a new creepy story, I think this one is far too underappreciated. While it does feature an incredibly unlikable protagonist, it's the isolated setting, and the mysterious, and murderous, monster in the dark that elevate this one for me. More so, i'm a sucker for haunted hotel stories so this was bound to find its way here.
9. Ted the Caver:
The longest story i've included here, you're going to need to set a sizable amount of time aside for this one but believe me, it's worth it. While there's no evidence to indicate that this early Creepypasta (released in 2001) is real, the attention to detail, with nothing too out of the ordinary occurring, makes for a entirely believable, and terrifying, read. This is one the few i've included here that I encourage you to read from the original website (found here) due to its inclusion of a variety of helpful pictures.
8. Ben Drowned:
Yeah, I know I said I wasn't a big fan of video game Creepypastas, but guess what, I got one more for ya? And, to be fair, this is one of the few here I wouldn't recommend to someone who isn't familiar with the game The Legend of Zelda: Majoras Mask. Although maybe that confusion might even serve this story better? At any rate, how they managed to make a couple of video game characters infiltrating someone's computer unnerving is beyond me, but there's a reason this is one of the most popular Creepypasta stories there is.
7. Dear Abby:
For some this might actually be the most frightening Creepypasta story there is, and for good reason. Told from the perspective of a stalker writing letters to his victim, Dear Abby goes insane pretty early on and doesn't let up from there. Featuring no supernatural occurrences, or creatures, this is straight horror through and through, and I concept I think would make for an excellent horror film.
If youve managed to make it this far into this list, i'm going to come right out and say I think this should be anyone's first Creepypasta they read. It's not the best, it's not the scariest, and it's not my favorite, but it has everything that makes for a great Creepypasta. A scary mystery? Check. A protagonist actively investigating said mystery? Check. A villain without form who cannot be beat? Check. Smile.dog is also helped greatly by the image you see above, one that should constantly be in the back of your mind as your read this tale.
5. The Grimes House:
If you know anything about this story, The Grimes House is actually a semi-sequel to another Creepypasta story that I won't ruin the surprise by revealing here. I will however say this story blows its source material out of the water, presenting my favorite spooky house Creepypasta that i've yet to read. This might also be the greatest twist a fan of these tales could get, which absolutely elevated it for me. A real page turner.
4. Abandoned by Disney:
I mentioned it alongside The River Country Film, and here it is again! The best Disney gone mad story out there. This one has even less basis in reality than River Country, but does such an amazing job at making you feel like the setting of Abandoned by Disney could really be out there. Sure it doesn't have the scariest ending, but this one makes up for it with a great sense for atmosphere and even more hilarious implications on what Disney does with their former employees.