Creepy Pasta is a relatively new way to enjoy the Horror Genre. These stories are the modern equivalent of urban legends, stories spread through the internet and springing from the phrase copypasta. They are a mix of found footage, urban legends and typical ghost stories. Effectively modern-day campfire stories, only instead of hearing them by firelight you read or listen to them via the light of your screen.
I love Creepypastas, absolutely adore the medium. I listen to podcasts regularly ranging from the SCP Foundation Reports to Lost Episodes and Video Game pastas.
I am determined to do my bit to make the medium even more popular than it already is, by running a series talking about the most popular creepypastas.
While some of these are not my personal favourite there is no denying that they are well received by readers and listeners alike and I want to cover the most popular pastas for the simple reason that my goal is to introduce as many people as possible to the medium and how better to do so than with the most popular, well-received tales on offer.
Today’s pasta of choice is called ‘1999’
1999 is a tale about a Canadian public access TV channel. The gentleman who runs the channel also portrays its mascot Mr Bear. The story is told by Elliot, a young man who recalls watching the channel as a child. He recently rediscovered the channel as an adult and is horrified to realise that the show he enjoyed is actually a twisted monstrosity with the channel owner kidnapping kids, filming them with the intent of sacrifice and broadcasting it on public access. There more to it than this (yes really,) but I’m not intending to spoil everything.
Why it’s so effective
It’s effective because it takes an experience many people will have had, or at least be able to relate to and then takes that to an extreme. There’s also the fact that it could be real.
This is one of the creepypastas that isn’t supernatural in nature, it’s true horror comes from the fact that Mr Bear was just a man, a man who took kids and killed them, broadcasting parts of the event over the airwaves. It not an impossible feat, this is something that could technically happen and that makes it all the more chilling.
But when I say people can relate to it, or will have had similar experiences I’m talking about Elliot.
Many of us remember watching films, shows, and cartoons as children and loving them, only to go back and rewatch them as adults and find them to be a little disturbing.
A personal example for me is Animals of Farthing Wood, I loved that cartoon as a kid and an episode popped up on my YouTube feed a few months ago, I re-watched it and was instantly reminded of how bloody brutal that show actually was.
So many animals die in horrendous ways, poor Mr Hedgehog frozen with fright on a motorway and Mrs Hedgehog choosing to go back and die with her husband rather than live on alone. The white deer shot as he flees hunters, his body jerking into stillness mid leap and then there’s the baby mice! Don’t get me started on the baby mice and that damn butcher bird.
Anyway, my point remains, sometimes kids shows can be dark and creepy and it’s not uncommon for adults to review the shows they watched as kids and be left feeling a little creeped out. This story takes that idea and runs with it, right to the point where the show isn’t just a bit dark or brutal it’s bloody horrendous.
I recommend giving ‘1999’ a go if you’re new to the medium or not. It’s a great example of what makes Creepy Pasta such an effective means of storytelling.