Sunday, 24 January 2016


It often seems to me that the sole purpose of most established folklore was to terrify the living crap out of those who heard the stories.

Obviously lots of these tales served as warnings to very real dangers (plenty of them involve dangerous creatures that lurk in areas in which it could be all to easy to get lost or suffer harm, such as rivers and the heart of the woods), but was there really any need to add quite so much grim, gory detail?
Of course there was! That's what gives these stories the edge!

I recently came across a short film from the folks at Red Headed Revolution that brings the classic Appalachian backwoods legend of The Tailypo to life.

Would this beastie sink its claws into me?
Or would I be gunning for it after my viewing?

Read on…

TAILYPO (2015)

Dir: Cameron McCasland
Starring: David Chattam, Joseph Aguon Drake, Danielle Gelehrter, Ranger

SPEEDY SYNOPSIS: This is a short so I'll try not to spoil too much, but read on at your own risk.

The story (like the folktale) follows a poor country dwelling man, Levon (Chattam) as he hunts for his supper alongside trusty hound Jasper in the depths of the woods.
While prowling for prey, Levon comes across a bizarre creature he opens fire,
clipping the strange creature and severing its tail.
Pleased to have secured some fresh meat for his evening meal, Levon heads back to his log cabin where he proceeds to cook and eat his prize in a stew.
However, later that evening he is disturbed by an eerie voice calling out in the dark forest... one asking for the return of its 'tallyho'.
What does the creature want? And is the hunter about to become the hunted? 

WHY IT WORKS: When taking a Southern-style folktale and turning it into a horror story, atmosphere is everything. I love Pumpkinhead for the way in which it weaves its fable-like tale with a rich Southern flavour. Writer/director/producer McCasland sees the importance of 
establishing and maintaining this authenticity, conjuring up a campfire story feel and encouraging the audience to submerge themselves in his short.
He showed a similar style with his fine slasher flick, The Lashman (expect a review here very soon), which should come as no surprise considering that it reunites him with his 2014 feature's cinematographer Josh Icke. 

Icke ensures that the film has a dusty, almost sepia- tinge. This conjures up a timeless quality for the short, while it heightens the earthy feel of the picturesque Copper Canyon Guntown Ranch setting, all shot on location in Hopkinsville, Kentucky. 
McCasland used the ranch to great effect in The Lashman and it works a charm once more, both peaceful and beautiful yet creepy and threatening in equal measure. It brings a level of authenticity to the film that really works in its favour.
Tailypo also sees him collaborate with actor Chattam once more. McCasland says he wrote the role specifically with Chattam in mind and it's easy to see why. 
Essentially a long monologue to delivered to a dog, the role of Levon could have been a terrible flop in the hands of somebody else. However, Chattam is a fantastic actor and exudes a sweet charisma that makes his character sympathetic, likeable and (most importantly) keeps him entertaining. He delivers his dialogue impeccably and uses subtle gestures and facial expressions to fill any moments of silence. It's excellent work and ensures that you care about his fate by the time the mythical Tailypo comes a-calling.

The build-up to this climactic confrontation makes for a skilful exercise in mounting tension. The camerawork cleverly switches between wide open shots of the wooded location and tight close ups, building both a sense of isolation and unnerving claustrophobia. This is ratcheted up into overdrive for the spine chilling conclusion.

However, at just under 15 minutes in length, this is a story that feels no need to rush its hand, giving the plot room to build and gently unfolding at its own pace. The pacing is pretty much perfect, not stretching its tale to an unnecessary length but also never feeling hasty in its storytelling.

Now, I know what many of you will be wondering: 'Do we actually see the titular monster?'

I'm loathe to give spoilers here, but I feel it would be remiss of me to write a review of Tailypo that fails to acknowledge the wonderful creature effects used to bring the bobcat from hell to life.

Drake provides a creepy performance under a costume created by puppet effects wizard Dustin Mills. It's an eye catching design that doesn't overplay itself, and McCasland uses deep shadows and clever quick cuts to hide any shortcomings in the effects. With a modest budget at his disposal, this proves very shrewd and prevents the film from becoming derailed at the key moment through any unconvincing effects work.

One area in which the crew needn't worry about a lack of realism is in the sterling voice work for the tailypo.

Using the vocal talents of Gelehrter (AKA TV horror host Penny Dreadful) the all-important plaintive cries of the Tailypo are eerie and really do contribute to the creepiness of the piece. Gelehrter's voice combines elements of Andy Serkis' Gollum from The Lord of the Rings and classic cartoon voices, along with a strangulated, feral quality. It does exactly what is needed and keeps the audience on tenterhooks.

The Tailypo's voice isn't the only audio treat for audiences either. The bluesy, atmospheric Southern fried soundtrack from composer and musician Thomas Berdinski is superb, it evokes a similar mood to the visuals and perfectly complements the story, locations and acts onscreen. 

In short, Tailypo just 'gets it'.

SO WHERE'S IT AT? Luckily for all of you, the good folks at Red Headed Revolution have put the film live on YouTube and you can watch it right here!

Be sure to check out their official Facebook page for news on their upcoming projects. Give it a Like while you're too, show some love!

10 WORD WRAP-UP: A beautifully told creepy folktale with a very cool creature

If you haven’t already, do please check out and Like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! 
Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House @HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Thursday, 21 January 2016



 In my first article in this series, in which I offered a brief introduction to Creepypasta (short horror stories or unsettling images/ videos copied and pasted throughout the internet), I touched upon the fact that many Creepypastas rely upon suspension of disbelief to be effective.
Sometimes it relies on a reader willingly working with the tale, but at other times the storyteller presents their tale in such a way that the audience can’t help be caught up and go along for the ride.
One of the most convincing — and famous — of these is the story commonly referred to as BEN Drowned or Haunted Majora’s Mask

The manner in which the internet (especially message boards) allows for believable episodic storytelling, plus the inclusion of supporting media such as images, sound and video files, was beautifully utilised back on 7th September, 2010, when a user ‘Jadusable’ recounted a ghoulish tale of a haunted video game to his fellow 4chan /x/ board users.
The very long and detailed story (which you can read in its entirety here) is well worth taking the time to read, but to summarise, Jadusable was a college student who got his hands on an old Nintendo 64 games console and subsequently sought out some games for his hardware. At a local yard sale he discovered a strange looking copy of the classic N64 game The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, which he was then given by the creepy old man holding the sale.
Upon playing the game Jadusable noticed the game had a saved file named BEN and, despite deleting this file, the ingame characters would regularly refer to him by this monicker. Later Jadusable describes attempting to use the famous ‘Fourth Day Glitch’ (a trick that can be used to beat the game’s internal time limit), however, this caused the game to warp, with messed-up graphics and eerie reversed music, and propelling him into a series of spine-chilling encounters with characters within the game: the creepy Happy Mask Salesman; the diabolical Skull Kid boss and a relentless, haunting Elegy of Emptiness statue.
Jadusable went on to post links to Youtube videos he made to support his increasingly spooky stories (day four.wmv; BEN.wmv; DROWNED.wmv; and jadusable.wmv.)
Finally an individual claiming to be Jadusable’s roommate uploaded two last files at Jadusable’s request — one a final video (free.wmv); the other a text file uploaded to MediaFire titled The Truth, which you can download here.
Through these we discovered the true depth to which the entity by the name of BEN haunted Jadusable, somehow possessing his computer and conversing with him via unnerving cleverbot chats, all the while playing a series of cruel mind-tricks on its victim. Jadusable eventually points out that he feels he has been able to trap the entity in his laptop which he would then destroy. However, the last lines of the text file (which unwitting readers would have downloaded, hence downloading BEN with it) suggest that BEN has now fled into the internet. Furthermore, Jadusable said that nobody should trust anything coming from his YouTube account after 12th September 2010. Shortly after that date, Jadusable’s profile pic became that of the relentless Elegy statue from his story and his location changed to: ‘Now I am everywhere.’

Plenty of web users found themselves caught up in this tale, and for good reason. It’s wonderfully well-told and, brilliantly, the final chapter even goes so far as to address any shortfalls/shortcomings in the text/videos by revealing that BEN has been altering and editing Jadusable’s work to undermine and discredit him.
It’s a fantastically worked piece of fiction… but it IS fiction.
Since the story went viral, Jadusable has revealed his true identity, Alex Hall, and stated that the entire thing was an elaborate work of art he concocted while bored at college. Since then he has gone on to achieve plenty of success thanks to the project (which even expanded with a second arc revealed by playing along with an Alternate Reality Game, or ARG, that incorporated a mysterious cult called The Moon Children) and is set to soon release his first movie, Methods of Revolution. The movie draws influence from his own battle with writer’s block and a lack of inspiration following the tremendous success of BEN Drowned.

So what caused this success? Why did BEN Drowned resonate so well?
As obvious as this statement may seem, it worked first and foremost by being good. Well written, well plotted, well supported and cleverly told, BEN Drowned is head and shoulders above some of the more slapdash Creepypastas out there.
What’s more, it mines the inherent creepiness of items that are out of time. Much like eerie gramophone records, old film footage and even creepy and black-and-white photographs have become horror staples due to their inherent ‘alien-ness’ to modern audiences (not to mention the fact that older items have their own history, one which could involve any amount of death or depravity), the passage of time is now shifting familiar items from our own youth into the realm of artefacts. There is a whole generation of youngsters who never used an audio cassette or watched a VHS. The tech is completely and utterly unfamiliar to them. This same generation could well have missed the height of cartridge-based video games. Majora’s Mask was released in the year 2000, by the time Jadusable wrote his BEN Drowned story in 2010 there would have been teenagers reading it that had no memory of the N64 or its games.
Furthermore the cursed artefact trope has been a staple of horror for as long as the genre has existed, with tales of haunted books and paintings paving the way for the infamous cursed videotape of Koji Suzuki’s novel Ring and its various movie incarnations. The potency of taking the everyday and subverting it into something menacing cannot be overlooked when it comes to crafting scares, especially something seemingly fun and associated with the innocent days of our childhood.
What’s more, by the very fact that the story is being told on the web, it’s pretty safe to assume that the reader has a level of tech-savvy and probably a gaming background that makes them that little bit more susceptible to the chills of the story, as they imagine how easily they too could have succumbed to BEN’s trap.
Of course, the success of ‘haunted/cursed video game’ stories was never going to go unnoticed, and perhaps BEN Drowned’s biggest contribution to the Creepypasta community was the legacy of ‘spooky game’ stories it bequeathed. The floodgates opened and since then there have been hundreds of stories of similarly diabolical cartridges, including the very cool indeed Pokemon Black

Even today, six years on, BEN Drowned remains relevant, whether it be via the scores of copycat stories or the masses of fanart posted to sites such as, many of which featuring one of the story’s catchphrases, such as ‘You shouldn’t have done that’ or ‘You’ve met with a terrible fate, haven’t you?’. Hall created a legitimate phenomenon among web horror stories, a contribution that was recently recognised when web-based production company Machinima announced it as one of the titles to be covered in its upcoming project Clive Barker’s Creepy Pasta.
A series of live-action shorts addressing infamous urban legends, horror maestro Barker’s new programme will see BEN Drowned reach an even wider audience, along with perennial favourites Slender Man and last week’s subject, Jeff the Killer. Much like the sinister entity lurking within Jadusable’s hard drive, the influence of Alex Hall’s story is only set to spread and spread.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay. 

Saturday, 16 January 2016


Sometimes a title just grabs you, am I right?
And the title for Dave Parker's microbudget, Eighties-style creature feature anthology was more than enough to get itself booked in for a stay at the House.
Could Slimy Little Bastards possibly live up to my expectations?
Read on...


Dir: Dave Parker
Starring: Brandon Salkil, Keith Voigt Jr., Jeremy Ryan, Dustin Mills, Erin R. Ryan, Dave Parker, Jake Benson, Matthew Hudson, Aaron Anthony

SPEEDY SYNOPSIS: I'll try not to spoil too much here, but continue at your own risk.

Jack (Voigt) experiences some car trouble and strolls up to a front door for assistance. It is opened by the hammily horrific Curator (Salkil, channeling his inner Vincent Price) who invites him in.
Within The Curator's home Jack notices several slimy little beasties, beasts from his host's macabre menagerie.
As Jack discovers each one, The Curator tells the creepy story of its origin: 
ORGANIC SHIT — a very odd gentlemen (Jeremy Ryan) discovers some even odder 'matter' in the garbage disposal unit in his sink. He calls his building's maintenance man (prolific indie horror filmmaker Mills) to investigate.
But are they prepared for the thing in the pipes?
BRAIN BUSTERS — Sandy (Erin R. Ryan) is a depressed agoraphobic whose personal issues are destroying her life. As her desperation mounts, her physician Dr Lance Archake (Mills) prescribes her a new medicine to overcome her problems. However, unbeknownst to her, each time the medicine is administered it cause all of her deepest, darkest feelings to manifest as a murderous ball of ooze... one that seeks to eliminate the source of Sandy's dismay.
THE CRUSTIES — The longest of the segments, this follows a group of nerdy friends who love nothing more than to get a little stoned, drink a few beers, shoot the breeze and play some Dungeons & Dragons (even if they're not all entirely down with the rules).
However, when the host 's ill-tempered roommate construction worker Walter (director Parker) returns home, unwell from inadvertently consuming a predatory biohazard capable of causing hallucinations, the gang's game turns deadly serious...

THE BEST BITS (mild spoiler warning): If you take nothing else from this movie, you have to admire Parker's guts and resourcefulness for bringing an honest to goodness creature feature to life with limited means and funding. 
Ok, the rubbery beasties don't exactly rival the effects work from John Carpenter's The Thing, but they are a pretty great achievement considering the modest budget from which they sprang.
What works best in their favour (and that of the entire movie) is that realism is eschewed for fun. This is a truly entertaining viewing experience, a labour of love for the filmmakers with plenty of humour and homage scattered throughout.
The stories improve as the film progresses, which means the film just gets better as it goes on.
Organic Shit boasts a pretty thin storyline but is anchored by a couple of superb performances. As a fun introduction to the pleasures to come, it certainly works by whetting the appetite.
Arguably the finest acting work comes in Brain Busters, with the wonderfully talented Erin R. Ryan an absolute joy to behold. She's the most experienced thespian among the cast and this shows in her tremendous performance. 
The mind-bending storyline gives her plenty to sink her teeth into and she more than delivers. Brain Busters boasts the most ambitious plot and deserves to be applauded for injecting some smarts into the film.
As impressive as the plot and Ryan are,  that isn't to say that her co-star, indie auteur Mills, proves a letdown this side of the camera. He's not bad at all as Ryan's shady doctor in Brain Busters, but he is even better in the film's The Crusties storyline.
The longest of the segments in Slimy Little Bastards, The Crusties was also my favourite, a funny and thoroughly entertaining 'geek' comedy that felt not unlike one of Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse flicks by way of Ghoulies. In somewhat of a departure for most anthology stories, this section gives its plot some time, giving us a while with the loveable group of nerds and their very funny interactions and quotable dialogue before shifting the every-bit-as-entertaining monster moments.
The humour continues here as our hopeless unprepared 'heroes' attempt to take the fight to the small band of hallucination-causing beasties that invades the apartment.
Matt's (Hudson) and Dustin's (Mills) lacklustre attempts to replicate the action-movie stock 'tooling up' scene is an especially hilarious highlight in a story that I would have loved to see expanded upon.
This section is probably most enjoyable because you can feel the real-life friendship and camaraderie between the cast/crew which makes their performances believable and, more importantly, fun.
Less believable but just as fun, the highlight of the wraparound section is Salkil's wonderfully OTT camp performance as The Curator. Chewing the scenery as if his very life depended upon it, the familiar pencil-thin moustache makes it obvious that the incomparable Vincent Price served as the infuence for the character. Salkil's work isn't subtle, but that is kind of the whole point and it really works in the context of this film. The plot itself for the wraparound segment isn't exactly the most surprising, but it serves its purpose and offers up some nice laughs along the way.
Director Parker isn't looking for an Oscar nomination here — he wants to create a fun little film that will entertain. His shooting is certainly up to the task, and the film actually looks pretty decent considering its miniscule budget (a mere $1000!). What's more Slimy Little Bastards also boasts a killer score that is far more polished than you might expect. It manages to combine Seventies-style rock with some decidedly Eighties-style synth and drum loops that really capture the feel of some classic feel good horror flicks of yesteryear. Wonderful work, gentlemen!

THE WORST BITS (mild spoiler warning): Let's cut straight to the chase shall we? Slimy Little Bastards is almost achingly indie.
The tiny budget affects just about every aspect of the film in one way or another — the visuals can be a little rough around the edges, at times the sound mix becomes rather garbled and many of the cast are clearly more comfortable behind the camera than in front of it.
I know that time constraints must certainly have played a major role in the filmmaking process, but there are a few scenes that could probably have done with another take.
However, these problems are far from constant and only arise intermittently. In fact, I think it's a testament to the talent of Parker and his team that the technical issues crop up so rarely.
Even so, if you're accustomed to the super polished production values of your average Michael Bay Summer blockbuster, this is your warning that Slimy Little Bastards is an entirely different picture.
Elsewhere, as with any anthology, some segments are certainly stronger than others. Most notably, the wraparound story and Organic Shit are definitely weaker than Brain Busters and especially The Crusties. I'm not saying that these parts are poor, just that they don't reach the impressive storytelling of Brain Busters or the side-splitting hilarity of The Crusties.
The fact is that both feel a little underdeveloped, which will come as no surprise when considering the movie's extremely lean 66-minute runtime. Some viewers may feel a little aggrieved at paying to see a movie than clocks in at under 70 minutes, but I think it's refreshing to see a movie that tells its story and gets out of there without wearing out its welcome.

THE VERDICT: While Slimy Little Bastards isn't exactly the most polished offering I've reviewed here at the House, it is certainly one of the most fun. 
Parker manages to eke every last bit of quality out of his humble means and the sheer fun, pride and determination on display from everybody involved in the making of the movie is contagious and can't help but win over even the most hardened of critics.
It has its shortcomings, but in the end it boasts plenty of humour and some great creatures. Plus it's called Slimy Little Bastards! How can you possibly turn it down?
Luckily, you can buy Slimy Little Bastards from Amazon here. Alternatively, check out the movie's official Facebook page for more news on how you can buy the film direct from the filmmakers. Give it a Like while you're there too, Parker and his team deserve the recognition for their sterling efforts.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay. 

Friday, 15 January 2016



My last feature, in which I offered a readers a brief introduction to the online phenomenon that is Creepypasta (short horror stories or unsettling images/ videos copied and pasted throughout the internet via social media and message boards), mentioned arguably the most enduring and popular new mythos to emerge from the genre, The Slender Man.
As massive as The Slender Man has become, this week’s subject actually pre-dates the first appearance of Slender Man on the Something Awful boards in 2009.
I’m talking about arguably Creepypasta’s silver medal icon — Jeff The Killer.
The lore of Jeff the Killer sprang up with an image posted to Newgrounds by user killerjeff back on the 14th August 2008, depicting a terrifying photoshopped face, minus a nose, with lank dark hair, round staring eyes and with an unnaturally wide slit for a mouth. It’s a genuinely creepy image, taking elements of several horror images (especially Billy the Puppet from the Saw series) so it’s no surprise that the image gained some traction.
Pretty soon a number of ‘backstories’ for the image sprang up, one of the very first of which took the form of a video uploaded to YouTube by user Sesseur on 3rd October 2008. It’s 
pretty basic, consisting of a series of still images with accompanying text set to The Posie’s track, I Guess You’re Right
It’s also a pretty threadbare and unlikely story (Jeff slips on a bar of soap and falls into a bath of acid while cleaning his bathroom, which leaves him traumatised and with a penchant for gutting people. Seriously?) but it is the first to introduce Jeff’s brother Liu, a staple in the JtK mythos from this point onwards.
Variations and embellishments of the story have since found their way onto numerous Creepypasta sites (including this version) and the tale has evolved through time. They have plenty of subtle differences, but for the most part the story of Jeff describes him as a teenager (often with brother Liu) who falls afoul of bullies and ends up terribly burned in the process. It left him irreparably psychologically damaged and caused him to mutilate his face even further, removing the eyelids and carving a permanent smile onto his face.
This was said to be his final act before embarking on a terrible killing spree in which he a) slaughtered his own family; b) murdered the bullies who disfigured him; or c) did both.
In nearly every single version of the story, Jeff was said to whisper: ‘Shhhh, go to sleep’ to one or more of his victims before dispatching them. As such, this has become the character’s catchphrase.
This same phrase is used in a significantly shorter (and less popular) story for Jeff, which can be found over on the 4chan /x/board.

So, why has the story of Jeff proved so enduring? It certainly isn’t the best written or original example of Creepypasta, but it has inspired hundreds of pieces of fan fiction, fan art and even a video game. However, much as outdated phones or computers seem a bit dodgy now, at the time (eight years ago now) it was cutting edge. Jeff the Killer paved the way for more sophisticated internet horror stories and, considering its cultural reach, is a significant milestone in the development of what has come to be known as Creepypasta. The Jeff the Killer story itself works by preying on the fear of what happens when oppressed misfits fight back. Bullying victims who take violent revenge are a recurring horror in the news, especially in the United States. Research has shown that the majority of school shooting atrocities are carried out by bullying victims and Jeff’s story just gives a terrifyingly fabricated face to the phenomenon. That he subverts an innocent phrase commonly associated with childhood AND is said to strike at victims in the supposedly safe refuge of their own beds in the dead of night just adds to Jeff’s nightmare-fuel potential.

Yet, while nobody has been able to give a definitive origin for the Jeff image, some 4chan users over on the /x/ board have revealed that the truth might well be based in a horrifying real-life tale of bullying.
While researching the original JtK image /x/ board and Reddit user ninetofivehero linked the image to the alleged true story of a girl named Katy (or Katie) Robinson. Katy was said to be the subject of a post made on 4chan’s /b/ board on 21st April 2008 by somebody claiming to be her sister. The post says that after posting her image on the board, other users taunted Katy about her weight and ‘shopped the image over and over. As a result of this hounding, Katy was driven to suicide.

Some may wonder what this may have to do with the Jeff the Killer story? Well, ninetofivehero points to the similarity between Katy’s image and the rougher less polished JtK that appears during Sesseur’s YouTube video — notably a mole at the corner of the mouth and the hair that both share. 

Could the internet’s most famous bullying victim have descended from an image of a victim of online bullying who tragically took her own life?
The timeline certainly fits this theory, however, tellingly there are no links to the story of Robinson anywhere on the web OUTSIDE of those tying her to Jeff. Further attempts to get to the bottom of the pic have yielded no results, while my own efforts to contact both Sesseur and killerjeff have yet to receive any responses. 
Whatever the truth behind the Jeff the Killer picture, it is a testament to its enduring appeal that people are still discussing and circulating the picture some eight years after its first appearance. So where next for Jeff? Considering its popularity, it’s no surprise to hear that late last year filmmaker Vitaly Podolyak and his production company Purity Films announced plans to bring the character to the silver screen. 

Currently in pre-production, Podolyak’s Jeff has released a couple of nice concept images, plus a very creepy teaser trailer to attract investors. 

This is a project that shouldn't struggle to find an audience and, when it does, expect the legend of the internet’s most famous psychopath to grow and grow. 


If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay. 

Friday, 8 January 2016



An Introduction to Creepypasta

For as long as mankind has communicated with one another, we have told frightening tales of the macabre that act as warnings. From the monsters of ancient mythology to cautionary urban legends, people have always been drawn to spreading stories of a darker nature. They serve a purpose — giving a face to a fear or a very real danger we all face.
Worried about children drowning in the river that runs through your village? Invent tales of some terrible malevolent beastie that lives in it and will gobble them up should they stray too close.
Concerned about the chance that your youngsters could fall afoul of the many risks of having sex too young? Spread stories of a hook-handed maniac who loves to slaughter teens who canoodle in parked cars.
The internet age has revolutionized communication in ways that are almost immeasurable – and that includes the telling of horror stories.
What I aim to do in this series of feature is to take a look at the extremely popular digital storytelling trend of Creepypasta.
For those of you who don’t know, the term Creepypasta is descended from ‘Copypasta’ — an online slang term that originated among 4chan users used to describe a block of text or image that is spread throughout the internet via users who copy and paste (get it, copy + paster = Copypasta) on web forums and sites such as the aforementioned 4chan and reddit. In the case of Creepypasta, it is disturbing or frightening content spread in this manner.
The term has been in use for some time now (since the mid-late Noughties) and has built a huge online presence.

While early examples simply took old-fashioned urban legends that had been doing the rounds for some time and just retold them via email (for example, the popular myth debunking site tells of the oft recited ‘gang high-beam initiation ritual’ tale being circulated via email as early as the late Nineties!), it didn’t take long for the web to birth its own horrors.
From emails concerning web horrors (one famous hoax involves a serial killer with 56 victims to his name who finds his victims over the internet), the stories developed and became less about tricking readers and more about scaring a willing audience — one prepared and able to suspend disbelief and accept one another’s tales of the macabre no matter how far-fetched they may be. Stories are now told through sites dedicated to such fiction, such as the thriving nosleep subreddit, by writers who have genuine skill in crafting and structuring short stories, and some have attracted huge followings.
Arguably the biggest of these is the Slender Man mythos, which sprung up after some skillfully photoshopped black and white images by ‘Victor Surge’ (real name Eric Knudsen) were posted in the forum pages of web site Something Awful during 2009.

Since then the mysterious, tall, thin, faceless, besuited entity has inspired films, stories and videogames and it has become a legitimate cultural phenomenon. Tragically, an obsession with the Slender Man mythos was even implicated as playing a part in an attempted murder in Waukesha, Wisconsin on 31 May, 2014, when two 12 year old girls stabbed a girl of the same age. Thankfully the young lady survived, by the resulting media furore brought even more attention to one of the internet’s most enduring myths.

However, Slendie (as fans have lovingly nicknamed the creature) is not the only Creepypasta creation to make a significant cultural impact. Creations such as Smiledog, The Rake and Jeff the Killer are just as recognizable to Creepypasta aficonados, while creepy tales such as Candle Cove, The Russian Sleep Experiment, Normal Porn For Normal People, The Smiling Man, The Grifter and Psychosis have been read hundreds of thousands of times.
In the weeks ahead, I aim to introduce you to some of the very best and most historically significant Creepypastas to have ever hit the darkest corners of the web, and examine how and why they work so well.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.