Glossary Entry: Creepypasta

Quick Definition

These are the internet's scary campfire stories. They are usually spread via copy and paste*, which is sometimes known as copypasta*. In other words, they are creepy copypasta.

One of the most famous characters from creepypasta is the Slenderman, who has become something of a mascot for the genre and internet horror in general.

An important thing to know about creepypastas is that they often include violent or disturbing content, and many include encounters with the supernatural. Treat them much the same way you'd treat other entertainment, such as movies or games.


There are literally thousands, if not millions, of creepypastas floating around on the internet. Simply put, people enjoy telling spooky stories to one another. That said, it's possible for you to spend a long time on the internet without crossing paths with one, so here are summaries of some of the more well known creepypastas from the online community.

Ben Drowned
Probably the simplest creepypasta to summarize is Ben Drowned. Looking to relive some nostalgic memories, a teenager purchased an old Nintendo 64 console* and a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask. But, things did not go quite as planned. Someone else already "possessed" that specific game cartridge, so to speak.
Lavender Town Syndrome
In the first Pokemon games, there was a location known as Lavender Town. Up until this point of the game, the player's adventure had been relatively upbeat and happy, and entering this area is a huge shift in tone. Lavender Town is where trainers come to bury their dead Pokemon. Unsurprisingly, this entire section of the game is somber and melancholy.

Shortly after the games were released in Japan, children who reached this area of the game began suffering from severe depression, sometimes to the point of suicide. As more and more children began to come down with this affliction, it became known as Lavender Town Syndrome. Allegedly, there were some subliminal cues in the town's background music. The reason adults and some children were unaffected by these sounds is that they were very high pitched, and thus could only be heard by younger children.

According to the story, whether or not Lavender Town Syndrome is real can never really be proven, as the original cartridges were recalled and the music was changed before the games were released worldwide.
Minecraft is a very popular game, to say the least. There's always something new to see as you explore. On rare occasions, players find something unusual as they explore their blocky worlds. Buildings and other man-made structures are reportedly found in unexplored areas, and sometimes people playing in single player mode have spotted another player watching them from a distance.

This "person" is Herobrine -- an entity that lives in the Minecraft world. He is believed to be the digital ghost of the lead developer's late brother, and encountering him is said to bring misfortune upon the player.

Notch, the creator of Minecraft, denies ever having a brother and claims that no such character was ever included in the game. Despite this, if you were to look at the changelogs* closely, you might discover that the developers sometimes admit that they tried to remove Herobrine from the game during the last update.
Mr. Mix
There once was an old DOS* game called Mr. Mix. This was an educational game aimed at teaching children how to use their keyboard; as you type, Mr. Mix would cook. Typing tutors* like this were once quite popular, so nobody would've thought much about this game. However, unlike normal typing tutors*, Mr. Mix became very difficult very quickly. In fact, players rarely made it past the first few levels, as it quickly required you to type at an inhumanly high speed. Years later, hackers found a copy of the game, and figured out how to bypass the words per minute requirement. What they discovered in the later levels... Well, let's just say that nobody has heard from them in a long, long time...
SCP Foundation
Moving away from gaming-related creepypastas, one of the more well known sources of online horror is the SCP Foundation. SCP stands for Secure, Contain, Protect -- the unofficial motto of the SCP Foundation. Their primary function is to protect humanity (and our universe) from anomalous artifacts, events, and entities, collectively known as SCPs. How this is accomplished depends on the SCP in question; declassified documentation on containing the thousands of currently known SCPs can be found on their website.

In particular, it's worth noting that they use D-Class personnel to investigate, test, and in some cases, contain the various things they encounter. D-Class personnel are usually "recruited" from death row inmates, and are treated as expendable. Thus, they typically die when various tests are conducted, and nobody in the Foundation cares unless their death leads to a containment breach.

Some SCPs are more popular than others. For example, SCP-173 is a statue that cannot move while being observed. However, if given the chance, it will snap your neck like a twig. Thus, if you see it, don't blink. Another famous SCP is SCP-682, which is an extremely hostile and nigh invulnerable reptile. It's responsible for many containment breaches and a LOT of deaths. The current recommendation is to find some way to finally kill it, though no attempt has yet been successful. Still another popular SCP is SCP-096, also known as the Shy Guy. This is a giant humanoid that viciously tears apart anyone who was unlucky enough to see its face.

On the flip side, some SCPs are considered safe to handle, just unusual enough that they should be kept away from the civilian population. For example, SCP-999 is the Tickle Monster. It's a big orange blob that eats candy and loves to cuddle. SCP-458 is a personal favorite, as it's a magic pizza box that's always full of your favorite type of pizza, regardless of brand or rarity.

Of special note is SCP-001, the Gate Guardian. There's no question as to what this being is: it's the angel who guards the entrance to the Garden of Eden. It's considered "contained" on-site, for obvious reasons.
The Slenderman is one of the most famous creepypasta characters in internet history. He appears to be a very tall and unnaturally thin man in a black suit and tie. His face is featureless, hairless, and pale white. Although you'd think this would make him impossible to miss, he can only be seen by the person he is currently stalking. However, cameras and video equipment can sometimes malfunction in his presence or render him visible in the photos and videos that were made. What happens to his victims is unknown, though it is known that the more you talk about and know about him, the more he takes an interest in you...

To date, there are several games and even a movie revolving around Slenderman. He's also made many brief cameo appearances in unexpected places -- the most bizarre example I know of being a cameo in the background of an episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

Sadly, there is more to the story. In 2014, two 12-year-old girls lured a friend into the woods where they proceeded to stab her nearly twenty times. Amazingly, the victim survived, and the would-be murderers were quickly arrested. When questioned, the pair claimed that they were trying to prove their loyalty to Slenderman, believing that he was not only real, but would also reward them for their actions. Both have been found not guilty by reason of insanity, and will be spending the majority of their lives institutionalized.

The creepypasta community responded to this by sending condolences, expressing regret that something like this had even happened, and by raising about $8,000 to assist the victim of the attack.

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