The internet is a fascinating but absurdly dark place. The online community floods forums and message boards with videos, images, and text on just about whatever springs from the darkest recesses of their mind. Things get passed around and reposted over and over, such as memes and copypasta. The latter is online slang for a lengthy text that’s been copy and pasted in numerous locations.
There are certain forms of copypasta that seriously up the fear factor: these have become known as creepypastas. These are usually horror stories that have made their way around online communities, traumatising many innocent web-surfers.
One of the most interesting aspects of these uniquely terrifying stories is their ambiguous authenticity: are they fact or fiction? Are they purely fictitious with the intent to shock or are they based on some level of truth?
They all possess qualities that make them believable to their target audience, and, most importantly, they offer some serious scares. Without further ado, here are the 10 Scariest Creepypastas that have carved their way into internet lore.
*Trigger warnings: Violent imagery and stories intended to frighten*
10 Smile Dog
The story behind the Smile Dog follows an amateur writer meeting up with a woman who has a terrifying tale to share. Upon the writer’s arrival, the woman freaks out and locks herself in her room, refusing to see him while she cries and talks nonsense. Apparently she worked at a Bulletin Board System in the early ‘90s, where she and an estimated 400 other people saw a terrifying image posted as a hyperlink.
The image in question was titled Smile.jpg. It was a picture of a Husky sitting in a dim room with a sinister grin revealing two rows of very sharp, human-like teeth. That would be creepy enough to scare anyone, but it obviously gets worse.
Those who saw the picture would be haunted by it in their nightmares, provoking panic and anxiety to the point of madness and suicidal thoughts. Such is the case of the woman in the story: she ended up taking her own life. The only way to supposedly prevent the insanity was to pass it on to others.
The Smile Dog lives on through spreading online. If readers don't want to be another victim of this horrific creepypasta, maybe they should share it...
9 Normal P*rn For Normal People
It’s easy to find really twisted stuff online. Take, for example, the story of the site called normalp*rnfornormalpeople.com. This site is the focus of the next creepypasta on the list.
With a wall of text on its front page, it seems deceptively unspectacular. The tagline “A Website Dedicated to the Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality” was a little sketchy, but there was nothing overly creepy… that is, until the site’s visitors accessed the download links to videos hidden in the block of text.
The series of videos feature situations that are anything but normal; very little sexual activity is present, making the title all the more confusing. One half hour video entitled “peanut.avi” features a woman making peanut butter sandwiches with a man feeding them to a dog. Next, “jimbo.avi” shows the viewers an overweight mime doing his funny shtick. In the last 30 seconds, however, the mime is seen crying with his whole getup still on.
“diana.avi” and “jessica.avi” feature two women being interviewed by the cameraman. Another creepy video, “tonguetied.avi”, consists of an elderly woman kissing a mannequin. “privacy.avi” shows us some sexual activity as the woman from “diana.avi” is seen pleasuring herself on a mattress.
The cream of the creepy crop is the last video, “useless.avi”. It is 18 minutes of pure WTF, with a tied-up woman being beaten and eventually eaten by a shaved chimpanzee that’s been painted red.
How these videos were meant to eradicate abnormal sexual behaviour is anyone's guess...
There was bound to be a zombie-related creepypasta on this list. After a tanker spill, animals and humans became infected with the boat’s contents. The ship crew were the first to be infected, attacking the rescue workers as well as people on the shore. Vivid description of inhumanity followed, with mutilation and gore spreading to the narrator’s town.
These weren't the typical zombies people had become accustomed to. No, these infected beings were capable of thought, speech and even patience: as the narrator put it, “they were aware”. He barricaded himself in his bathroom as the infected broke into his home.
As if all that wasn't terrifying enough, the zombies never broke down his door. Instead, they would whisper to him, asking him to open the door and that everything would be better when he did. They tried to convince him with what he described as a “siren call”.
After two days of this torture, the narrator slowly started sounding persuaded…
7 Abandoned by Disney
In the late ‘90s, this creepypasta suggests Disney built a jungle-themed resort named “Mowgli’s Palace”, based on the classic The Jungle Book. It cost millions to make, but eventually Disney just decided to shut the place down.
The blogger relating the story decided to investigate the theme park after reading about some crazy happenings occurring at another abandoned Disney project. At the resort, he saw the words “ABANDONED BY DISNEY” painted everywhere, from the opening gates to the front doors of the palace.
Once inside, he made his way to the mascot dressing room. There, he found what he thought was a Mickey Mouse costume with weird coloring. It was like a photo negative: the black and white colours were reversed, with the red overalls being light blue. It’s then he realised that it wasn't simply a costume; the Mickey Mouse got up, asked if the blogger wanted to see his head come off… and proceeded to in fact take its head off. Yellow blood flowed everywhere.
As the blogger ran for his life, he got one last glimpse of the wall behind him: “ABANDONED BY GOD”. Who knew Disney could be this terrifying?
6 Jeff the Killer
This next entry tells the sadistic tale of a young boy named Jeff discovering his psychotic tendencies after he and his brother Liu were attacked by teenagers. His face was burned during the fight against his assailants, causing him to go insane.
Soon after, Jeff realised that he liked the pain that was inflicted on him. One night, his mother found him crying in the bathroom: he had mutilated himself, burning off his eyelids and carving a permanent smile on his face. Horrified, Jeff’s mom ran to her husband’s side but Jeff had made it there first. Neither parent would live.
Awoken by all the noise, Jeff’s brother Liu couldn't get back to sleep after all the racket had stopped. He had an eerie feeling that someone was watching him. He wasn’t wrong: Jeff covered Liu’s mouth, shushed him and plunged a knife deep inside his brother.
“Just go to sleep”.
Jeff was never seen again, but many believe he continued his slaughtering ways.
5 SCP Foundation
Many believe there is no way that we humans and the animals we’ve discovered are the only beings in existence: there has to be some other form of life. That’s what makes this next creepypasta so darn scary.
Secure, Contain, Protect. That’s what the mysterious SCP Foundation stands for. It houses multiple scientists and researchers who find abnormal creatures and objects, secure them and perform questionably moral tests on them.
The most famous creature is the SCP-173. Massive in height with a bloody face and short limbs, this being cannot move if someone is looking directly at it. Once eye contact is broken, however, all hell breaks loose: it will go on the attack, killing its victim by snapping their neck.
Creepypastas like this makes one wonder what is hidden in places like Area 51...
4 Candle Cove
Forum threads are often a source of nostalgia when contributors reminisce about various things, including a certain show. That’s how this creepypasta starts off, with a bunch of older individuals talking about an old children’s show from the ‘70s entitled Candle Cove.
The show featured a colorful cast of pirates imagined by a little girl named Janice. There was, however, something very disturbing about the show beyond its supposedly cute aesthetic.
The main antagonist was a skeleton pirate named Skin-Taker, who would grind his mouth back and forth instead of opening his mouth to talk because that’s how he apparently “grinded skin”. To get progressively creepier, one of the commenters reminded everyone of that one episode where all the characters just stood in place and screamed for the entirety of the episode while Janice just cried.
Worst of all, when one of the board contributors decided to ask his mom about Candle Cove, she replied that he would ask permission to watch the show, turn the TV on and just watch dead air static for half an hour.
Brainwashing? Imagination running wild? Who knows what explanation this creepypasta can offer, but whatever it is, it’s ridiculously frightening.
3 Slender Man
The most famous and recognised creepypasta character, Slender Man has far outgrown his haunting of Internet forums, becoming a feared cultural phenomenon.
Slender Man is a white, faceless creature in a black suit with abnormally long arms whose story takes a pseudo-historical approach rather than a simple narrative. As it’s shown with the many photographs he’s been spotted in, he tends to prey on children. What he does with them is anyone’s guess, as no bodies have ever been found.
It is also said that he pursues those people who search for him and are obsessed with his existence. He torments them by revealing himself ever so slightly, adding some gasoline to the paranoia fire.
Slender Man has been tied to different mythological creatures, from Germany’s “Tall Man” to England’s “Tree Man”. Readers can catch him in one the many games inspired by this ghoul, such as “The Eight Pages”.
2 Ben Drowned
The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask was a fantastic game, if a slightly unusual installment in the fantasy video game series. It was abnormally creepy and dark for a Zelda title, with haunting music and characters and a storyline that featured the moon crashing into the planet.
This creepypasta relates the story of Jadusable, a college student who bought a hacked version of Majora’s Mask at a garage sale. Integrating both text and video made this terrifying creepypasta all the more memorable and realistic.
When Jadusable put the game in his console, there was already a saved file under the name BEN. The gamer erased the file and named himself Link, just like the game’s hero. What follows is unnerving, as glitches and what seem like corrupt data were plaguing the game. Everything was warped and weirdly demented, as the game began to threaten the player with the now infamous quote “You shouldn’t have done that”.
It eventually turns into a real haunting beyond the computer screen. No one knows what happened to Ben or Jadusable…
1 The Russian Sleep Experiment
World War II produced some of the greatest atrocities and horrors known to man. Unsurprisingly, then, it's the subject of arguably the scariest creepypasta in existence.
Sometime after the war, Russian researchers planned to keep five political prisoners awake for thirty days using an experimental gas. The successful completion of the task would win the prisoners their freedom.
The first four days went without a hitch; on the fifth, the prisoners started to complain about their situation and started turning on each other. After the ninth day, their mind slipped further away from sanity as screaming and paranoia began.
After two weeks of this inhumane, unethical treatment, the researchers decided to go inside and see what exactly was happening inside. What they found shocked them: one of the prisoners had died and his remains were spread all over the room. The prisoners had resorted to self-mutilation and cannibalism - even though they had food.
It turns out that these test subjects had unleashed some inner madness that is hidden away when humans sleep. With this horrible experiment gone wrong, this creepypasta provided its readers with many sleepless nights.