April 2014 Discussion Post: Urban Legends

April 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

If you’ve never heard the term “urban legend” or “urban myth” before, it refers to – in a definition shamelessly stolen from Wikipedia – “a form of modern folklore consisting of stories that may or may not have been believed by their tellers to be true. As with all folklore and mythology, the designation suggests nothing about the story’s veracity, but merely that it is in circulation, exhibits variation over time, and carries some significance that motivates the community in preserving and propagating it.”

You’ve probably been told some form of urban legend as if it were a truth at some point in your life – I remember the whole “pop rocks and soda will make you explode AND DIE!!!” legend going around my elementary school (complete with dares to try it, of course), and as recently as last month I’ve seen people circulating – seemingly in earnest – the absolutely ancient myth about gang initiations and car headlights. Urban legends tend to have incredibly long lifetimes, and it’s very possible that some of you have unknowingly helped to spread an urban myth that originally spread before you were even born!

If you’d like to explore and familiarize yourself with most of the more famous urban legends, Snopes and Urban Legends Online are your best bets.

If you want to go directly to the creepy/horror urban legends, that category can be found right here.

So let’s talk about urban legends this month. Which of these tall tales is your favorite? Have you ever been guilty of spreading an urban legend, either for fun or because you actually believed it? Were you surprised to see that any of the legends listed on the linked sites were actually just stories? Why do you think certain legends manage to stick around for so long? So on and so forth – I just figured that, given that this discussion post would be publishing on April Fool’s Day, we might as well discuss all the interesting and wild and even creepy hoaxes and legends that have cropped up and spread around throughout the ages.

Have fun!

March 2014 Discussion Post: Favorite Fictional Character

March 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

One frequent discussion in the comments both here and over at Crappypasta is what, exactly, makes a good character. Some people seem to eschew any detail about the character’s traits or life, preferring them to be a blank slate for the reader to imagine as their own proxy within the story. Others like characters to be their own developed beings, not necessarily needing them to be a vehicle for the reader’s self-insert. With such different views causing people to bicker back and forth about which details and writing POVs are acceptable, I thought it might be helpful for any aspiring writers if we had a discussion about fictional characters that we love.

Don’t limit yourselves just to horror or even solely books. Comics, movies, games, whatever – tell us who your absolute favorite fictional character is, and then tell us WHY. What about that character hooked you? What tactics did the creator(s) of said character use in order to make you care enough about this fictional entity that you would choose them as your all-time favorite? Go in depth if you want, but please at least give us some reasoning behind your choice – simply naming your favorite isn’t really what we’re looking for here.

Have fun, and I look forward to reading your answers!

February 2014 Discussion Post: Book Recommendations

February 1, 2014 at 2:00 AM

We’ve compiled our favorite scary movies, the best creepy video games, and a list of paranormal podcasts & radio shows thus far – and now it’s time for creepy/paranormal book recommendations! This has been suggested by a number of people, possibly because it was the obvious next step in our community suggestion series.

So please let us know what creepy/paranormal/horror books that you love! Anything remotely creepy works, whether it’s true crime, horror fiction, paranormal experiences, mysterious ancient cultures, conspiracy theories, etc. Just please make sure that your recommendation falls within the general site feel – this isn’t the post to suggest the Jack Ryan series, for example. We want thematically appropriate book recommendations!

So let’s hear it, and as always – have fun!

Recommendations can be seen by expanding this post (click the title or the read more button); I’ll be periodically updating the masterlist in this post as more books are suggested in the comments.

January 2014 Discussion Post: Mythological Entities

January 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Last month, we talked about how to create good monsters. Some classic boogeyman from folklore and mythology were namedropped over the course of the discussion, which got me wondering -

Which already established mythological entities are your absolute favorites?

Unlike last month, please don’t limit yourself to just monsters or malignant characters. Any mythological, religious, or folkloric being – from the Lady of the Lake to Ishtar to Kappas – is fair game. When you name your favorite, please give us some detail as to who they are and why you find them more interesting than all the others. Of course, you could just leave a one-word answer, but it will be much more interesting if you actually explain yourself!

Let’s also avoid any religious-based arguments or bashing. In the interest of simple terminology, I am tossing all of these entities that have existed across the time and space of human culture under the ‘mythology’ umbrella – this may include whatever belief system or pantheon you subscribe to, so please do not take offense at seeing, say, the archangel Michael being discussed in a similar fashion as Cornwall’s knockers. We are not here to make any value judgements or get into slapfights because one person believes and entity is real and another person believes they’re just folklore. Similarly, do not take this as any attempt to trivialize any particular belief system by implying that it’s fiction or “just stories” – as I said before, I am using plain, wide terminology in an effort to treat all systems fairly and not step on toes.

This means that commenters attempting to drive the discussion down the road of religious trolling/debates will find their input removed. If you do worship or believe in an entity, feel free to tell us and answer people’s questions about it as long as it doesn’t devolve into any sort of flamewar. Likewise, I don’t see a problem with people asking believers questions as long as they’re polite and not mocking. If I feel any discussion thread starts getting out of hand, I will simply stop approving the comments by the guilty party. It’s a new year, let’s start it off by treating each other well, please.

I hope that everyone has fun – this has the potential to be a very interesting and inspiring topic, I think!

December 2013 Discussion Post: Making Monsters

December 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

This month’s discussion post was suggested by YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE USERNAME!

Humans have been making monsters seemingly from the dawn of our species. Every culture has their own army of bump-in-the-night creepies, terrifying mythological beasts, and fearsome folk tales. Some are part of oral history and creation legends, others exist to relay morals or lessions, while some exist solely because people just love a good scare.

Obviously, here at Creepypasta, we tend to be primarily motivated by the latter. So let’s talk about the process of making monsters!

What do you think makes a good monster? Are there any particular traits that make one monster creep you out more than others? Why do you believe that some Creepypasta creatures, like Slenderman or The Rake, have become so popular?

Do you have any ideas for a new type of creepy beast? Feel free to leave ideas in the comments of this post; however, as always, do not post any WIPs or pastas in the comments. If you see someone with a concept that inspires you, please get their permission to use their idea – or, if they’re willing, exchange emails and collaborate off-site. Let’s get some fresh and new Creepypasta beings created here, guys!

To aid in the discussion and possibly inspire some of you, here are some links:
Monster-related wiki pages compiled by kingapathy
Obakemono Project
Encyclopedia Mythallica
Types of Faeries
God Checker
Native American Monsters of Myth and Legend
Demonicpedia: The Online Demon Encyclopedia
Mythical Creatures List
Legendary Monsters of Africa
Alien Index

Obviously, that’s just a small sampler – feel free to link other sites that you think would be relevant and interesting to this discussion!

Have fun, and don’t let the monsters get you…

November 2013 Discussion Post: The Creepypasta/Music Connection

November 1, 2013 at 12:00 AM

This month’s topic was suggested by Predhead. He may not be an official co-admin anymore, but he still lurks and (kinda) loves you guys!

We’ve had posts about creepy video games and movies, and this post is similar – but not entirely. We want to hear about your favorite “creepy” music, but with some specific questions thrown in to the mix:

  1. What do you listen to (if anything) while you read and/or write Creepypastas? Do you have a specific playlist or band that you feel helps to amp up the creepy atmosphere and/or give your creepy creativity a boost? Tell us about it!
  2. Do you have any songs that you consider the “theme song” for a specific Creepypasta or Creepypasta character?
  3. We’ve had a few instances of songs being used as the basis for a pasta (see “The Girl” as an example); can you think of any songs or albums that you think would make for prime inspiration material?
  4. Have you ever produced any Creepypasta-inspired music? I know that some people on YouTube have posted songs that are about certain characters or meant to create a good ambience for reading pastas; if you do this, please feel free to link to your work in the comments!

Have fun, and thanks to anyone who contributes to this month’s topic!