Creepypastas

Why do Creepypastas work?

Internet campfire stories

Creepypastas are short horror stories that are shared online in a variety of formats, some are audio files, others text, some are illustrations and some have been animated or performed via live-action.

The exact origins of the creepypasta story are unknown. It is difficult to pinpoint the start of the genre as early creepypastas were usually written anonymously and regularly re-posted.

The term “creepypasta” comes from the internet slang term “copypasta” which means copy and pasted text, due to the way they were first created and circulated. Originally, the stories were text-based only and copy-pasted across the internet, in the manner of creepy chain letters. However, over time the definition of creepypasta has expanded now to include almost any kind of horror story written on the Internet. The anonymous nature of the stories has also changed over time, with authors now putting their names to stories. 

The versatility of the internet has lent itself well to the expanding medium of these chilling little tales and has allowed them to spread/go viral to such an extent that they are have created their genre of urban legend style stories. Even well-known writers, producers etc, like Clive Barker, are helping to adapt creepypastas to the small screen showing just how mainstream this genre is becoming.

But what is it about Creepypastas that makes them so effective? Why do we find ourselves cowering back from our monitors or phone screens?

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