There are milestones in your life that you never forget, and renting your first apartment is one of them. What can I say about mine? It was quaint, cheap, and had enough space that I could fit a bed if I really crammed the mattress...

James arrived home late at night. He unlocked his front door and stepped into the darkness of his apartment. โ€œHey honey, I got that early flight home! Iโ€™m in the bedroom, thereโ€™s been a power cut.โ€ James was surprised but happy to hear his girlfriendโ€™s...

Iโ€™m not sure why Iโ€™m writing this right now. Iโ€™m not even sure if I am writing this now or, if I am, whether the words Iโ€™m seeing in my mindโ€™s eye are the same as the words my hands are typing. I suppose the...

Welcome to possibly the longest-named post on the entire site! It fits, because this is going to be a long post - I've got a lot of ground to cover about the whole book club idea before we begin. Exposition, go! Today we're going to start the "creepypasta book club" that was discussed in previous announcement posts. If you're not familiar, the idea is to read some books together that will help cultivate inspiration and nurture more original ideas in our writers. I don't believe that I'm overestimating when I say that lately, a solid 75% of the incoming submissions are simply retreading the same few topics - I suppose that, for whatever reason, serial killers, haunted games, and fanfics of previously-created Creepypasta "characters" are extremely trendy right now. The problem is, though, that after the 5000th rip-off of Jeff the Killer or the latest attempt to copy-and-replace Ben Drowned with the writer's favorite game franchise, these stories get mind-numbingly boring. New ideas and inspiration are CLEARLY necessary now, because I for one am absolutely sick of reading about serial killers. I'm not sure if it's just because they've been so in lately in pop culture (what a strange thing to say, but it seems to be true - Hannibal, Dexter, Jeff the Killer, so on and so forth), but we've gone way past the point of oversaturation. You guys need to find something new to write about. So that's where this book club idea comes into play. Every month, I'll select a general theme and give you guys one or two books to read. Now, to avoid confusion, this won't be about reading already established "creepy" fiction like King or Chambers. Though we may do that another time, the book choices for the inspiration club will be, primarily, nonfiction (though some selections will definitely be "nonfiction" - we're going to indulge in some pseudoscience and conspiracy books because, after all, we're trying to get ideas for fiction anyhow). This will hopefully allow you guys to expand your comfort zone of creepy into realms like secret societies, cryptozoology, high-risk exploring like mountaineering, ancient cultures and pseudeoarchealogy, aliens, mysterious disappearances, and more. The other added benefit of using nonfiction is that spoilers won't be a concern. Since this post's comments will act as the discussion forum for our book club, we need books that people can easily discuss at all sorts of different points of progress without ruining each other's experience. So, yes, to alleviate some of the confusion and concerns that initially came up when I presented this idea: THIS POST is your book club. The comments here are where you should air out all your thoughts and ideas that spawn from reading the suggested books. There's no requirement for how fast you progress through the book(s), whether you read both books or only one, or even if you finish the book(s) or not, so please feel free to jump in and discuss the books whenever you'd like. If this takes off and you guys want it, perhaps in the future we can try and organize some sort of chat at the end of the month, but for now please don't worry about that and just post here whenever you have things to talk about regarding this month's books. Okay, all that said - here are the two books I've selected for July 2014. As stated in the title, this month we're going to explore the world of cults, conspiracies and the theorists who love them, and secret societies. It should be said that these books were chosen with mature readers in mind. If you are under 18, please do check with your parent/legal guardian before reading these books. I'd really prefer to avoid a pitchfork-mob of angry parents who find this topic inappropriate for their kids. I'd also like to say that the opinions expressed in the books are, of course, the opinions of their authors and the people profiled only - I'm not advocating or co-signing any of the groups covered in these books. I'm not telling you to believe in the Illuminati or anything, I just think such topics are a cool and fun thing to learn about and will probably inspire some people to write better pastas. The first book is by Jon Ronson, a British author/humourist that I personally really enjoy. Them: Adventures with Extremists is exactly what it says on the tin - Ronson meets and spends time with a lot of famous faces in the world of conspiracy theories and extremist beliefs. David Icke, Alex Jones, Omar Bakri Mohammed, and more - as Ronson says, the only criteria was that the people/organizations he features have been called 'extremists' at some point in their careers. Each episode gives you a look into the beliefs, day to day lives, personalities, and habits of the the various extremists that he profiles. If you're interested in writing a character-driven story about conspiracies, cults, or societies, this book will be helpful. It also tends to be rather irreverently funny, which is a plus.
As a bonus, Jon Ronson was recently on WTF with Marc Maron, where he gave some behind-the-scenes details on this book (they also delve into The Psychopath Test, another book I'm considering for future months if this book club turns into a long-term thing) as well as more personal opinions and anecdotes. You can stream/download the episode here for now (it will eventually become a premium-only episode, so keep that in mind - based on the pattern, I'm guessing it will go premium-only sometime in August). If you want to go more in depth, the second suggestion is Arthur Goldwag's Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies: The Straight Scoop on Freemasons, the Illuminati, Skull & Bones, Black Helicopters, the New World Order, and Many, Many More.
Unlike THEM, this book isn't really a narrative - rather, the author has researched many of the world's more infamous and interesting cults, conspiracy theories, and secret societies, and he's done nice write-ups on each. The entries are organized thematically and can easily be read out of order if you're so inclined. Beyond the organizations in the title, he also covers the origins of the Assassins (it's not just a random word), Area 51 and all it encompasses, the Yakuza, the Kennedy assasinations, etc etc and so on. This book is really useful and interesting if you'd like to get a sort of crash course in this month's topic. Lastly, to celebrate the first book club post, I'm giving away ONE online game code for Funcom's online game The Secret World. Since the raffle is over (congratulations to Kristela A. for winning!), I'm putting the rest of this entry under a cut. The main page has so many stickied posts at the moment that I think it's necessary to de-clutter wherever I can.

Early in the summer a few years ago, I started dating this girl whose mother worked at the local flea market. The girl - letโ€™s call her Tiffany - and I had been dating for a few months when she asked me if I would...

I've been asked to help spread the word about what I hope will be a very successful and important charity project. I think that the primary organizers have done an excellent job expressing their motivation and goal, so without further ado: [fvplayer src="http://youtube.com/watch?v=kQ9xUFdWI-o"]On June 1st, a...

I've recently been alerted to the horrific events that took place in Wisconsin. I've received both messages of concern and blame, and while it seems that the Creepypasta Wiki is bearing the brunt of media attention and finger-pointing, I feel it's necessary for me to make...

Do you know that I used to watch you when you were growing up? Because I did. Does that frighten you, David? I remember one time when you went to the park with your mother and father. I think you were only about four years old. Your...

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEqBpXFTwL4[/embedyt] I'm writing this because my family won't talk about it anymore. I'm the only one who can't seem to forget. I was raised on the outskirts of Preston, a small town in southern Idaho with a population of around 5,000. My more immediate community was...

A yawn escaped my mouth as my truck came to a stop. โ€œFinallyโ€ฆโ€I mumbled to myself. I had been traveling on the road for the past two hours. I realize that two hours of driving might not sound too bad, but I have always hated...

I awoke to the sound of thunder rumbling in the distance. I smiled to myself, relishing the quasi-rational excuse to sleep in. I could see light through my closed eyelids, and hear the seagulls squawking nearby. If it wasn't about to rain, I would probably...

Addy Long is dead. No one understands why I was so upset about her death, though. They didnโ€™t see how different she was. Or they may have seen the same things I did, but naively believed her when she said โ€œIโ€™m fine.โ€ I can never tell...

Come, Traveler. You are weary. Rest a while here, it's perfectly fine. Take a load off your feet and get something to eat; you look like you could use a good meal. You are a wanderer, far from home, am I right? How did I...

This is actually a true story, something that really happened to me and my friends when we were in high school. It was very traumatizing for the four of us, and we each are still affected in some way to this day. To give some background...

Hey everyone! I have a coupleย things that I wanted to get community input on, so let's get right to business. First: When is summer break for most of you? Just like last year, I don't want to reopen submissions until everyone is finished with final exams...