August 2014 Discussion Post: Cryptozoology Chat

August 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

This month’s topic was suggested by Mockingbird and ties in with the August 2014 Book Club post (this month’s selected reading is The Mothman Prophecies by John A. Keel) quite nicely, I think!

General Cryptozoology Chatter is the name of the game this month. For example, what are your favorite cryptids? Which beings and creatures in the realm of cryptozoology do you find the most interesting? Do you believe in any cryptids? Have you ever tried to hunt them yourself?

If you are unfamiliar with the concept of cryptozoology, here are some introductory links:
Cryptozoology @ Wikipedia
Cryptid @ Wikipedia
List of Cryptids @ Wikipedia

If you’d like to go a bit more in-depth into the world of cryptids, of course the most obvious suggestion is to partake in the August book club post. However, I’ve also rounded up some websites that should be both enjoyable and useful when it comes to this discussion:
Cryptozoology.com
Cryptozoology News
/r/Cryptozoology
/r/bigfoot
The Cryptid Zoo
Cryptid Wiki
Cryptozoology category @ Unexplained Mysteries

Videos:
The Mothman Prophecies @ Amazon Instant Video
Cryptozoology YouTube Video Collection
Cryptozoology Museum @ Travel Channel

Podcasts:
MonsterTalk

As you can see, cryptids seem to inspire a particularly active online community. I’m sure that I’ve missed many, many, many sites – if you’d like your website/podcast/whatever to be featured here (obviously, it must be cryptid-related), please comment with a link.

Everybody play nice and have fun!

July 2014 Discussion Post: Creepy Anime & Horror Manga

July 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

Previously, we’ve talked about the best creepy video games, your favorite scary movies, the top paranormal podcasts and radio shows, and, of course, your best-loved books in the creepy/horror genre. This month we’ll be continuing the community recommendation series, with the spotlight on creepy anime and horror manga.

So please tell us (with links if possible!) about all of your favorite creepy, horror-themed, or paranormal anime and manga series.

I have to admit that my experience with anime and manga is pretty limited, so I don’t have many initial suggestions to kick-start this post – sorry! I do have a few books, sites, and streams that I have enjoyed, however, and I’ll link them here to get the ball rolling. As always, affiliate links may be present in this post – if you do purchase anything via any of our links, thank you so much for helping to support the site!

ANIME
Yamishibai: Japanese Ghost Stories is an interesting series of short episodes (around 5 minutes each) that relays classic Japanese ghost stories and urban legends. Crunchyroll does offer a free 48-hour trial, which will allow you to spend a night or two powering through this series.

Another is one that I haven’t personally watched, but it seems to be very popular. It’s described as being about a boy moving to a new school, meeting a mysterious girl, and realizing that his new class is cursed by a string of creepy deaths. As before, this is available on Crunchyroll (and I’m sure many other places, I’m going to try and stick to legal/licensed streams for the OP).

Hell Girl: Two Mirrors and Hell Girl: Three Vessels, available at Crunchyroll. From Wikipedia: “It focuses on the existence of a supernatural system that allows people to take revenge by having other people sent to Hell via the services of the mysterious titular character and her assistants who implement this system.”

As more people suggest anime for this list, I’ll edit it in here.

MANGA
Junji Ito – Gyo, Uzumaki, Museum of Terror, Tomie, etc – Pretty much everything by Junji Ito should go on this list, I’d think. Like so much of the internet, I first encountered him when someone linked me to The Enigma of the Amigara Fault, the infamous “this hole was made for me” story.

Death Note – Well, this is an anime too, of course. I’ve seen this brought up and discussed very often here in the comments, so I can’t really leave this out! The basic premise of Death Note is that death gods kill people when their time comes by writing their names and cause of death in their notebooks, and one day a bored death god allows his notebook to be obtained and used by a human.

As more people suggest manga for this list, I will edit those suggestions in here.

Other various fansites/tumblrs/etc for this topic:
Spiraphobia
Horror Anime & Manga on TVTropes

Feel free to suggest more relevant sites as well.

Have fun and enjoy the creepy!

June 2014 Discussion Post: What Was Your First Creepypasta?

June 1, 2014 at 12:00 AM

This month’s topic was suggested by Ahriannah. You can suggest future discussion posts (as well as find links to old posts) here.

It’s true that we’ve already had a discussion post called How Did You Discover Creepypasta?, however I do believe that this month’s question deals with a different angle of the same basic concept. Rather telling me how you found out about the overall concept of creepypasta, I’d like to know which story in particular was the one to seal the deal, so to speak. Was there a specific story that, even though it might not be your all-time favorite, you can pick out as being THE story that set you off down the rabbit hole of internet horror fiction? Which story prompted you to make the jump from casual fan to someone who would seek out and spend time on websites and/or youtube channels entirely dedicated to creepypasta?

If you can provide them, links to the specific pastas would be appreciated – especially if the pasta in question isn’t one that we have archived on-site.

I think that it will be very interesting to see which particular stories got everyone hooked, so have fun!

 

May 2014 Discussion Post: Do You Wish Any Creepypastas Were Real?

May 1, 2014 at 12:30 AM

This month’s topic was suggested by Hawlucha – please leave any suggestions for future discussion post topics here if you have ideas, and thank you!

I see many comments come through with the author complaining that real life is so boring – they wish that [insert pasta ritual/creature/place] was real! Of course, similar to the people who pray for a zombie apocalypse but would probably be one of the first eaten, this always kind of makes me laugh – can you imagine how some of our favorite Creepypasta characters would react if they truly existed and were exposed to their internet fandoms? Or how dangerous life would be if the items from The Holders series were all being collected on impulse by, well, us? It’s both kind of funny and scary in its own way to think about the consequences of such wishes!

So this post is a two-for-one, in a way. First, which creepypastas do you wish were actually legit and why? Second, what do you think the end result of your chosen pasta(s) becoming real would be? Would Slenderman become terrified of all his fangirls and give up his skinny, spooky, stalking ways forever in order to run and hide from the fanfics? Would the smart(ish?) zombies of Persuaded take over the world so fast that you’d think we were in Marvel Comics’ Zombieverse? So on and so forth - I think this could be a very entertaining topic, so have fun with it!

 


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!

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