Archive for the Horror Category

My Gift for Reddit’s Secret Santa Gift Exchange

Posted in Children, Creepy, Horror, Pictures, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on December 30, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

20141230_190805 Looking for a little holiday related fun I decided to take part in Reddit’s 2014 Secret Santa Gift Exchange. This is what I got in the mail today. No explination, no well wishes for the holiday. Just one creepy porcelain doll.

I suppose I should have been careful with what I wished for. I wrote in my preferences that I was a pretty big horror fan. I try not to have much in terms of expectations, but I wasn’t expecting this…

Since I’m not quite sure what to do with her, I’ve asked /r/creepy for suggestions. If anything else of interest comes up, like if I decide to burn her in my backyard or something, I’ll keep you all posted. Let’s just hope she doesn’t murder me in my sleep!

The Babadook: Grief Monster

Posted in Children, Family, Film, Horror, Monsters, Movies, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 2, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

The-Babadook

You can guess what movie I just watched! And it’s about time too. Seems like this film has been released everywhere except the U.S. I wanted to see this flick so much, it was starting to drive me nuts (though not as crazy as Amelia).

Amelia’s a lonely widow living with her son, Samuel. He’s a difficult child, making his own weapons and talking about killing monsters – even to the point where he’s pulled out of school. To make matters worse, his birthday is coming up, which also coincides with the death of his father, Amelia’s lost husband. It’s a very stressful time in their household.

Which is made even worse by the inexplicable appearance of a strange pop-up book titled “Mister Babadook.” It tells the story of a monster by the same name. It terrifies Sam and sets him on an obsessive path to try to protect both himself and his mother from the creature. Amelia’s closer inspection shows the book predicting horrible things happening, things that she will do to her child.

Amelia tries to convince her son the monster isn’t real, but strange occurrences prove otherwise. Will mother and son be able to contend with the Babadook? Or will they find themselves overwhelmed?

It’s spooky, it’s smart, and tells a gut-wrenching story that left my stomach in knots.  Those who prefer a faster paced film or expecting a straight-up monster movie will be disappointed; The Babadook is not that kind of film. The slow tension is well worth it though, as we get to know Amelia and her son so well while they’re tormented, which only ups the ante emotionally. A horror movie is so much better when you actually give a damn about the characters.

In fact, I enjoyed the film so much that I pre-ordered my very own copy of the pop-up book shown in the film. It just hope it reaches the minimum amount of orders so it’ll actually get printed. Fingers crossed!

Okay, so I’d like to get in a little deeper at this point. I’ll be discussing different plot points throughout the film. If you’re wary of spoilers, DON’T READ PAST THIS POINT. You’ve been warned!

So, I imagine it’s safe to say that this monster is a personification of grief. It’s very clear that Amelia is still dealing with the loss of her husband, even after six years. Sam doesn’t get to celebrate his birthday on the proper date because it’s the same as his father’s death, and Amelia keeps all his old things down in their cellar. This grief leaves them very isolated from other people as they’re unable to connect with family or create new relationships.

As Amelia’s grief starts to overwhelm her, the tension builds and the Babadook makes himself known. This is especially true when Amelia’s mental state starts deteriorating and she gets ‘possessed.’ Grief-stricken people often lash out, even at the ones they love. There is a monster inside her, but it’s her own emotions that make her act out.

They say you can’t get rid of the Babadook, and that makes total sense if he and grief are one and the same. Those who have suffered the loss never really get over it. That pain will always be with them, and Amelia and her son are no exception. The solution is simple: you learn to live with it. It becomes a part of you and your daily life that you acknowledge and look after. In Amelia’s case that means keeping it in your basement and feeding it bugs from the garden, but hey, people often deal with their grief in strange ways!

Perhaps in a way all are secretly looking after a babadook of our own. How do you live with yours?

PenPal Series

Posted in Books, Children, Creepypasta, Horror, Literature, Narrations, Short Stories, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Halloween is coming and I’m super excited! I’d love to hear if anyone else has unique plans to celebrate. Today I’d like to introduce you to a wonderful story about a young man’s not-so-ideal childhood.

I became acquainted with this tale through creepypasta narrators MrCreepyPasta and CreepsMcPasta. What’s posted below is narration from the latter. I’ve been told it’s also available on Kindle as well. This series is just plain AWESOME. There’s really not enough words in the dictionary to describe how good this series is. The setup and execution is clever, creepy, and draws you in right away. I’ll probably do a creepypasta critique for this one in the future. For now I encourage you to enjoy them. The videos may be long, but they are well worth your time!

Why Creepypasta Sucks

Posted in Creepypasta, Horror, Memes, Scary, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 3, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

There are a lot of people out there that think damn near all creepypasta sucks. Even though I’m a fan, it can get frustrating trying to defend a passion of mine when even I find it difficult to discover a tale that can actually send chills up my spine.

So what is the deal anyway? Have you ever wondered why it can take hours to sift through terrible pastas just to find a single gem? Let me break it down for you! Here are three main reasons why there’s a lot of bad creepypasta:

Many authors are amateur writers

Pretty simple, right? A creepypasta writer can be anyone with a word processor and an internet connection. So it’s likely that they come from all walks of life, especially young people with a lot of time on their hands but no experience to back it up. You also have to realize that Pasta writers don’t get paid for their work, people that actually write for a living won’t be found writing their own creepypasta. They’re working on projects that will earn them income. You’re not going to see a lot of professional writers contributing unless they’re looking for some publicity. There’s nothing inherently wrong with being inexperienced, but it is a contributing factor to consider.

Then there are the writers that can’t even spell or use grammar correctly, much less proper characterization, tone, or themes. I’ll never understand why one would embarrass themselves by revealing their lack of education or waste their time making such poor contributions.

Fortunately, there are a lot of great websites that offer support for writers that want to take the time to improve themselves. The Creepypasta Wiki has a great page to help people get started, and the Creepypasta Network has a nice community if you’re looking for feedback on your work.

Some are just attention seekers

Ever notice how people write sequels or offshoots of popular creepypastas? Or maybe beat well-known subgenres like haunted videogames and lost TV episodes of beloved cartoons into the ground? These writers are only following popular trends to get more readers. Often authors of such works are just seeking praise or to have their story read by a well known narrator. They could also be a troll making ridiculous pastas just to get a reaction from their audience. Whatever the case may be, these guys get old pretty quickly.

The great thing about attention seekers is they are seldom successful. At least in the case of writing – just ask any aspiring novelist or poet. A writer has to love the craft in order to find any kind of success, not to mention possess the patience of a saint. Attention seekers that don’t find what they’re looking for will quickly move on to something else.

Attention seekers should also realize their hope to write creepypasta and get attention is about as original as their story ideas. The Creepypasta Wiki doesn’t even accept character spinoffs/sequels, or lost TV/videogames anymore.  Not sure what the Creepypasta Network’s policy may be, but I imagine the community there isn’t very open to more of the same.

Here’s some advice to anyone out there who actually wants to try following these trends: go big or go home. Yes, it can be hard to add a new twist to a character or genre, but do you really want to be the author of ‘Generic Videogame Creepypasta #1389?’ I doubt it. Nobody is going to respect you or your work if you don’t bring something new or interesting to the table.

They don’t know how to scare readers

This may go hand-in- hand with the poor writing skills, but what’s a creepypasta that isn’t actually creepy or scary in any way? Lame and pointless, of course! Any creepypasta writer worth their words knows that scaring readers is harder than it looks.

Some people shoot themselves in the foot before they even sit down to write. A person may think a simple hack and slash serial killer or describing every gory detail as ‘hyper-realistic’ is enough to scare people. I’ve got some groundbreaking news here: this stuff isn’t scary!

Violence, gore, and death can all be gross and upsetting subjects, but many people fail to realize that they’re seldom scary on their own. There are deeper reasons why monsters, people, places, and all manner of things can invoke fear.

Take for example ambiguity. Ambiguity can be scary because it catches us off guard and we have no way to properly respond. Is that guy really following me or is he just minding his own business? Is that clown just trying to entertain or does he have more sinister intentions? The unknown is a scary thing for us to consider because we never know if we’re being paranoid or in real danger.

My advice? Ask yourself this question: what do you find scary and why? You can start simple with animals or people- think spiders or that weird old lady down the street. What is it about them that scares you? My sister has a mild case of arachnophobia, not because spiders can be dangerous, but because of their soulless, dead eyes and instincts.

Then you can delve into more complex ideas and scenarios that terrify you the most. For example I really hate the idea of being watched. When I was first acquainted with Slenderman, I had a really hard time looking out of windows at night because I was afraid I would find him standing outside watching me, but it goes far beyond that! It goes into real-life problems!

Like many people out there, I also don’t like being the center of attention – especially negative attention. There’s nothing more terrifying to me than the idea that I’m pitiful, or hated. I’d rather stick to the shadows or be a wallflower than make a fool out of myself.

So what do you think? Are there any annoying trends in creepypasta you want to discuss or try to improve? I’d love to hear some thoughts.

 

 

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Creepy, Death, Horror, Music, Videogames, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Well, I’m not dead yet folks!

I’m getting back to being a productive individual after a short, rough patch in life.

But enough about me; today I’m sharing with you all a playthrough of a game called The Graveyard. Basically, you’re a little, old lady walking through (of course!) a graveyard. Your character sits at a bench and contemplates death through song, and then leaves. That’s pretty much it, except that she could collapse and die at any point.

I particularly like the song in this; very spooky and poetic. Enjoy!

Circumventing the Zombie Genre

Posted in Creepypasta, Horror, Short Stories, Uncategorized, Zombies with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

zombie-family-decal-stickers

I think we can all agree that horror needs to get away from the zombie genre and start a new fad. It’s not that they’re terrible, I love a good zombie apocalypse story, but it does feel like the whole concept has rather overdone. Seems like each and every one is a tale of disease, massacre, and a group of survivors trying to beat the odds. It just gets tedious after a while.

This is why I really like seeing stories that alter the expected conventions. Not only is it refreshing to see what kind of effect a few changes can have on the plot, it can also highlight different aspects of the human condition in unexpected ways. Some mainstream examples include Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion, or NaughtyDog’s The Last of Us, but I’d like to introduce you to some of the lesser-known stuff that I think you’ll enjoy. Below is a short list of creepypastas offer a new twist on the shambling undead, and provide interesting results.

“Invasive Species” by Slimebeast

This flash-fiction tale seems to be one part I Am Legend and one part Oryx and Crake, as it details the downfall of man by the uncontrolled breeding of mutated members of its own race.  The creatures described here are much like zombies because they used to be human, have overwhelming numbers, and a low intelligence level, but describing humanity’s demise though an ecological term shows how a common problem for native plant and animal species could easily happen to us.

“Fresh Faces” by Master Kenobe

In most zombie stories survivors have to worry about building their barriers and aiming for the head. That’s not the case here; the dead avoid going inside at all, but they also don’t go down when you blow their brains out. All the protagonist can do is wait for them to rot away. This heightens the sense of isolation and desperation, and it’s a great change of pace from more action-heavy affairs.

“Self Preservation” by BananaCorn

This is certainly the most gut-wrenching example here. Imagine you caught a strange new disease that caused people to rot away like a cadaver. What if the only way to stem the tide of decay was to eat other living creatures? And if the bugs and small animals weren’t working for you anymore, what then? How far would you be willing to go to survive? The answer my surprise you.

I really love how this story explores if intelligent people were confronted with the same problems zombies have to deal with. You can’t really blame the mindless undead for the damage they do, as they don’t know any better, but in this story the actions of the infected raise some serious moral and ethical questions. Honestly, if this kind of thing really happened, I’d eat a bullet long before eating an actual person.

Do you know of any stories that turns zombie genre conventions on it’s head? I’d love to hear ’em!

Creepypasta Critique: Jeff the Killer Sucks

Posted in Children, Creepypasta, Family, Horror, Memes, Monsters with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 7, 2014 by Stephanie Selby
Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Truly, a face not even a mother could love!

Okay, before all you Jeff fans throw me to the wolves, hear me out. Those who are unfamiliar with the story can read it here and get acquainted with this merciless fellow.

Jeff the Killer is a psychotic young man who was maimed when neighborhood bullies attacked him and set him on fire. This triggered his psychosis, causing him to become a murderous lunatic and he now enjoys a life of murdering anyone and everyone he can get his hands on. He’s so ubiquitous with creepypasta, anyone who has ever spent their time reading such internet tales has at least heard of him. However, there is one significant problem with our pale-faced friend: his story sucks!

The number of bizarre plot points is significant: Suburban kids pulling knives and guns like they’re an intercity gang, the lack of involvement from intelligent adults and parents, poorly constructed motivations for revenge, not to mention the fire maiming Jeff in ways not possible in the real world. The dialogue and prose aren’t impressive either as events occur quickly with little reflection or emotional investment (Poor Jeff is depressed that his bother was arrested and sent to juvenile detention…oh well, make him cheer up and go to a silly kids party anyway!).

I’m sure many have noticed that his appearance is similar to version of Christopher Nolan’s version of the Joker. Come on, the guy cuts a smile into his face! Why so serious, Jeff? But I digress

This story makes the perfectionist part of me go a little bonkers because I want to fix the story somehow, like I’m an editor with a serious case of OCD.

I’ve heard a lot of people say that it doesn’t matter. That it’s just a story made for entertainment and not to be taken seriously, and it should be enjoyed for what it is. I disagree on all of these points. I don’t care if it’s a movie, TV show, book, or a short story on the internet; bad writing always gets to me. The plot holes, the lack of realism, bad dialogue: all of these issues take away my ability to immerse myself, to suspend my disbelief and enjoy the moment. All this story does is tick me off and wonder why I’m wasting my time when I could be reading something better. Forget getting creeped out or scared! There are many creepypastas that are much better than this.

All I’m saying is put effort into what you do. It really does make a difference.

Yes it is an internet story written by an amateur. We’ve all got to start somewhere when it comes to writing, and whoever wrote Jeff the Killer must be commended for their creativity. I certainly understand that it not something the author was getting paid for or anything, but why give success to such a lackluster story? Why couldn’t the original author do a little more editing before sharing it with all of us? The story just proves to me people are lazy and don’t care about the quality of what they do manage to produce.

So if the original story is so terrible, how has Jeff become such an iconic character in the creepypasta community? The answer, in my personal opinion, is that damned picture. Like many well known horror villains, Jeff’s features are striking and frightening, yet instantly recognizable. This is a trait of many horror movie villains; Michael Meyers has his creepy William Shatner mask, Freddy Kruger’ has a burned face of his own with a clawed hand and bold sweater, and Jason Voorhees has his hockey mask and machete. Most of these slasher flicks aren’t very good either, yet these characters have entered mainstream culture as well. Jeff’s even has his own catchphrase going for him, and easy to reference. I really wouldn’t be surprised if Hollywood tries to rip the internet off and make a movie with him at some point.

I suppose my point is that even though the story that spawned Jeff is a bore, the character has redeeming qualities that manage to make him one of the most popular creepypasta characters on the internet. I don’t hate Jeff, I hate bad writing!

So what do all of you readers think? Could the story be improved? Are you a fan of Jeff the Killer? Why do you think he’s become so popular? I’d love to hear your thoughts!