Loneliness is killer
Today’s letter is the third one discussing CreepyPasta’s, where we discuss popular CreepyPasta stories and consider why they are so effective.
By way of re-cap, Creepy Pasta is the modern equivalent of an urban legend or a campfire story. They are spread online (although they are spreading to other forms of media such as movies). The level of variety in Creepy Pasta is staggering, there’s video content, written content, image content and podcast style content. So regardless of your preference for devouring stories Creepy Pastas have got you covered.
Todays Creepy Pasta of choice is the Harbinger Experiment.
The story is about Zimmerman, a scientist with a fondness for the occult. On the surface the experiment seems to be about testing what isolation does to the human mind, however, we soon learn that the reality of the experiment is to trap spirits and place them inside human bodies. Naturally, this goes horribly, hideously wrong and Zimmerman as the narrator is the sole survivor of the experiment and also finally feels something of remorse for unleashing his creation on the world.
Why it Works
Harbinger Experiment is a successful CreepyPasta for a number of reasons, the key ones I’d like to address are the style of writing/narration and the topic of choice.
The style of writing is that of a man telling of his experiences, it’s a first-person perspective, making the story immersive and emotive in a way that third person perspectives sometimes struggle with. You travel with Zimmerman along his emotional and quite frankly terrifying journey, you see him go from curious to terrified as the story progresses and experience these emotions with him.
The topic of choice, a science experiment gone wrong with a large dollop of the occult aka creepy demon/spirits, mixes several types of horror well. As I discussed in an earlier blog horror is a very flexible genre and can take from many different narratives. The idea of scientists messing around with the occult is nothing new, but the Harbinger Experiment puts a slightly new twist on it due to the writing style and the character of Zimmerman. We don’t enter the story as an outside observer, we are right in the thick of it from the get-go.
Overall I’d say the Harbinger Experiment has earned its place as one of the most well known Creepy Pastas on the web. So I’m enclosing it with this letter.