Sunday, 28 February 2016


Aokigahara forest, also known as the Sea of Trees, is one of the most notorious locations in all of Japan. At the base of Mount Fuji, this dense woodland has gained infamy for a chilling reason which has given it an altogether less pleasant nickname — the Suicide Forest.
For some reason, it has long been a place which has attracted those planning to take their lives — in 2010 there were 54 suicides, an average of more than one each week. Due to the nature of Japanese mythology's Yūrei (vengeful spirits doomed to roam the earth after dying in the depths of despair or anger), it seems only natural that they should come to be associated with such a place. 
Considering the fact that Yūrei have come to take on such a huge role in modern horror (J-horror icons Sadako from Ring and Kayako from The Grudge franchise are notable examples, as are the American knockoff ghostly girls in white dresses with long, unkempt black hair), it was just a matter of time before the real life horrors of Aokigahara became a basis for a movie.
With a publicity campaign that seems pretty much omnipresent throughout London's tube, this film is one that is clearly expected to do well at the box office.
So would The Forest be worth going out on a limb over?
Or would it be one I'd want to leave behind?
Read on...


Dir: Jason Zada
Starring: Natalie Dormer, Eoin Macken, Stephanie Vogt, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa

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

Woken in the night by a disturbing nightmare, Sara (Dormer) is gripped by an unshakeable feeling that something terrible has befallen her twin Jess (Dormer again).
Much to her fiancé Rob's (Macken) chagrin, she promptly boards a flight to Japan to attend to her sister. It seems this is something of a pattern, ever since a tragic incident when they were young girls, Jess has blindly blundered into trouble and Sara has regularly bailed her out.
However, upon arriving at the school in Tokyo where Jess works as an English teacher, it soon becomes clear that this time is different, worse. Jess was last seen entering the infamous Aokigahara, the Suicide Forest. 
A fish out of water, Sara realises that she will need help if she hopes to find Jess, and fortune seems to smile on her when she meets friendly journalist Aiden (Kinney) in a bar. In exchange for her story, he offers to introduce Sara to forest ranger Michi (Ozawa) and accompany her on her search for her missing twin.
The next day the three head into the ominous woodland together... but straight into a nightmare...

THE BEST BITS (mild spoiler warning): Despite the somewhat OTT posters, The Forest is actually a far more psychological horror movie than an out-and-out spook fest.
It's a surprisingly small and intimate film, the story could have become pretty massive when taking into account the scores of people who take their own lives in Aokigahara, but instead the focus remains very much on a handful of characters and their own plight.
It helps that the cast are so strong, they get the viewer onside and their performances really capture the attention.
The star of the piece is undoubtedly Dormer, who is great in both of her roles. It's a testament to her ability that there's a lot more than a packet of hair dye that distinguishes between Sara and Jess. She gives the latter character an edgier quality, yet also an additional fragility. Simple things such as an unblinking, wide-eyed stare and subtle shifts in posture make Jess an entirely different individual to Sara. However, it is her role as Sara that gets the most screentime and it is an equally complex part.
The sweeter of the two sisters, Sara is also the strongest, her sister's guardian, and she walks between the roles of concerned sibling and protective surrogate parent ably and convincingly. Later in the film when the paranoia-inducing mind games of the Suicide Forest start to take their toll, Dormer adds an extra element to her performance, using skittish body-language and narrow-eyed glances to effectively reflect an unraveling psyche.
The target for much of her mistrust is the impressive Kinney's Aiden. While he plays the one character, his is also effectively a dual role, the friendly, charming individual that Sara meets outside of Aokigahara and the shady, suspicious and even potentially dangerous character he becomes within the confines of the forest.
He does a good job of keeping us guessing until late on in the plot, which is exactly what is required of him.
Elsewhere Ozawa lends capable support in a role that could have done with a little expansion.
However, it is not Ozawa or even the equally underused Macken who deserves third billing, but the hugely atmospheric forest setting. Brought to menacing and oppressive life by cinematographer Mattias Troelstrup, the forest is shot in such a way that it becomes a character in its own right. The shadows are deep, the lush greens of the forest leached, robbing what should be a vibrant location of all life, much the way that the titular sucks away the soul of those venture into it.
Both wildly beautiful and darkly foreboding, the location (actually shot in Serbia in the forest surrounding Tara Mountain as it is illegal to film in Aokigahara) really heightens the creepy atmosphere, setting the stage for the scares. And these scares come in many forms — yes there are some obligatory, admittedly well-worked jumps (a late night encounter in a tent and a key scene with a child's view-master toy are among the standouts), but there are also some decidedly more sophisticated frights. As creepy as the restless souls of the forest's suicides are, there is a theme throughout that the worst ghosts are the ones we carry from our own past. Guilt, self-delusion, grief — the story, penned by Nick Antosca, Sarah Cornwell and Ben Ketai, touches on all of these and there are strong hints that it could be these, rather than any supernatural entities, that are wreaking havoc with our leads.
Yes, the hooded figures in the woods are haunting, but it is the horror of Sara and Jess's past that is most disturbing.

THE WORST BITS (mild spoiler warning): Let's start with a question of taste — is it really appropriate to use the real life horrors of Aokigahara, a place that has seen the end of scores of human lives, for entertainment purposes?
Those troubled individuals who chose to take their lives there left behind brothers, sisters, children, parents and friends. There is a very real chance that The Forest could cause them significant distress.
Even the poster depicting half of Dormer's face could be judged to be in poor taste, evoking a famous image of the corpse of a man who hanged himself in Aokigahara, then decayed so badly over time that his lower jaw actually dropped off.
Yes, this is a real world story with plenty of scope to chill the viewer — but that doesn't mean that it is ok to tell.
As for the film itself, one of the biggest problems is probably the fact that it feels like plenty of other (superior) films have been thrown in a blender. With elements of The Blair Witch Project, The Grudge and The Grudge 2 and even Don't Look Now, it all feels rather familiar without ever breaking new ground.
Familiarity needn't be a weakness if a film is clever with the material that it borrows, sadly The Forest is pretty predictable and a lot more simple than it first appears. It plays out like it wants to be a cross between a freaky psychological mindfuck of a story combined with a chilling, dread-filled ghost story. Unfortunately, in reaching for both of these targets it never quite hits the mark for either.
Finally, this feels very much like a deeply shallow and unfamiliar take on Japanese culture. From a senseless and frankly offensive scene that seems to exist purely to point out the 'grossness' of Japanese cuisine to the stereotypical submissive, honour-bound school girls, it is alarmingly broad. I get that certain character-archetypes, locations and customs can be used to enrich a story and its themes — but I'm afraid that simply isn't the case here.

THE VERDICT: I've seen a few advanced reviews of The Forest that call it a bad film. I don't actually think that this is the case — instead I'd say it was merely 'okay'. It has some decent frights and a fantastic central performance, but sadly it comes across as a sort of 'greatest hits' of horror, without ever really making much of an impact on its own terms. 
It's an entertaining enough way to while away a couple of hours, but in six months time it will be long forgotten.

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.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016



In last week's article in this ongoing series on Creepypasta, I examined the infamous ‘lost’ Walt Disney cartoon known as suicidemouse.avi. This week I return once more to the House of Mouse with a look at one of my very favourite Creepypasta stories — Abandoned by Disney.

On 12 December, 2012 (yes, that’s 12/12/12) a story by ‘Slimebeast’ (AKA Christopher Howard Wolf) was submitted to the Creepypasta Wikia.

You can read the story over at Slimebeast’s website here. If you haven’t read it, I’d very much recommend checking out the link above and reading it, but to summarise, it follows the misadventures of an urban explorer who decides to check out the abandoned Disney Resort of Mowgli’s Palace at Emerald Isle, North Carolina.
‘What resort at Emerald Isle?’ I hear you ask.
Well, the story goes on to tell the tale of the struggles in building Mowgli’s Palace, a luxury resort themed around the titular character from the Jungle Book, with lush greenery and the ornate and intricate attention to detail for which the Disney Corporation has become so well known.
However, the locals took exception to the construction of the resort, especially its theme, and vehemently protested the development, especially after the land was unscrupulously acquired for a bogus highway.
However, the corporation proceeded regardless of the adversity and bulldozed ahead, completing the construction of the resort and even opening it up to guests.
Then, without warning, they closed the resorts and abandoned the premises.
After the writer details the tale of the abandoned Disney Caribbean island resort of Treasure Island in Bakers Bay in the Bahamas, he goes on to tell of his decision to visit an equally fascinating location a little closer to home in NC. Upon reaching the resort he is able to gain access and he describes plenty of surreal and bizarre sights. It’s creepy and atmospheric, but things don’t take a turn for the truly nightmarish until he discovers a huge and striking snake statue. As he prepares to take a photo, the 50ft long ‘statue’ turns its head to look at him, then slithers off into the undergrowth.
Understandably shaken, the writer then heads into the Palace where he discovers a locked door bearing the words: MASCOTS ONLY!
Forcing access to the basement beyond the door, the writer discovers a wealth of memorabilia and interesting artefacts… and then something far, far worse than he could ever have imagined.

The story is incredibly well written, it flows naturally and realistically. It also covers all of its bases when it comes to doubters with the following passage:

Over the course of that year, I did a lot of research on the Palace resort... or rather, I tried to.
Naturally, no official Disney site or resource made any mention of the place. That had been scrubbed clean.
Even odder, however, was that nobody before myself had apparently thought to blog about the place or even post a photo. None of the local TV or Newspaper sites had one word about the place, though that was to be expected since they had all swung Disney's way. They wouldn't be out there lauding their embarassment, you know?
Recently, I learned that corporations can actually ask Google, for example, to remove links from search results... basically for no good reason. Looking back, it's probably not that nobody spoke of the resort, but rather their words were made inaccessible.’

Furthermore, Mowgli’s Palace isn't the only abandoned Disney property out there. The article mentions a resort in Bakers Bay that I’ve yet to find any serious corroborating evidence for. Most stories about it seen to stem from a single iMockery article, which is pretty convincing but is hosted on a website that deals primarily in humour. Plenty of other sources claim it isn’t real, while others back up iMockery’s feature. Conflicting evidence aside, there are at least two genuine abandoned attractions, both of which are in Florida on Bay Lake. Discovery Island was originally planned as a fun interactive zoo while Walt Disney World was still in development (long before Animal Kingdom came along), while River Country Water Park was an active park up until as recently as 2001. Both were closed suddenly and both still stand. They’re even visible to tourists from some Disney cruises.

So with these strengths going for it, the story spread like wildfire. After Slimebeast shared the story on his own site, YouTube user Mr. CreepyPasta uploaded a dramatic reading of Abandoned By Disney on 12 January 2013, which has since gone viral. The story was then linked to by the FunnyJunk site where it attracted a huge number of readers. Yet even as this story spread, Slimebeast was not resting.
On 11 January 2013 he posted the story A Few Suggestions, a transcript of the cards discovered in the staff suggestions box at Mowgli's Palace which reveal the truth about what happened in the final days of the doomed resort.
In August 2013 he followed up with the story, Room Zero, sharing the haunting stories of others who have experienced sinister goings on at Disney Parks, plus the harassment he had experienced from several mysterious individuals since telling his tale.
Finally, on 20 April 2015, Slimebeast signed off his series with the story Corruptus, which not only revealed the true nature of the nightmarish ‘Negative Mascot’ of Abandoned By Disney, but also hinted at a far wider world of terrifying occurrences caused by the world’s largest entertainment brand, with references to genuine real-life incidents.
It’s an epic story that works, much the way that suicidemouse.avi does, by subverting the safe and familiar trappings of youth and instead reawakening the long buried irrational fears of childhood. The wonderfully descriptive prose conjures up some very visceral reactions while the abrupt switch in styles between the four individual parts makes it feel that little bit more authentic — itself a key component in cultivating frights. The series has drilled deep into the consciousness of readers, with an army of fans who have created plenty of great art celebrating the story.
But surely a tale this terrifying can't actually be true? Surely the horrifying events at Mowgli's Palace aren't based on fact?
Well, no, they aren't.
They are fantastic scary stories, but they are just that — stories.
How do I know? Because I’ve spoken with Slimebeast AKA Christopher Howard Wolf personally. This extremely talented young writer was kind enough to discuss the series with me and gave me plenty of thoughtful answers.
You can read the full interview below.

THE HOUSE: Thank you so much for speaking with me. I wondered if I could start off by asking you what served as your inspiration for the story?
CHW: ‘I had written a "micropasta" for a forum thread about two-sentence pastas. It basically went:
"Deep beneath Disney World, there is a photo negative Mickey Mouse. When he removes his head, there is only blood."
‘The idea seemed like something I could write a story around, so I drew inspiration from an article I had read on about Disney's abandoned Bahamas resort.’

H: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?"
CHW: ‘I'm a big fan of the Twilight Zone, which is probably visible in my gratuitous use of twist endings, but in terms of authors my favourites would be Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe.’

H: There's a very different feel between each chapter of the story, was it difficult to change your style for each?"
CHW: ‘Not entirely. I feel like it would've been more difficult to restrict myself to writing the same way for each chapter. I prefer to change things up and try new stuff rather than continuing one ongoing style. Abandoned by Disney is the typical "You won't believe what happened to me" pasta, A Few Suggestions is more of a "found pasta" thing, Room Zero is sort of "Campfire tales" shared from a guy who knew a guy, and of course Corruptus is basically an end cap that borrows from SCP-style "secret organization" pastas, etc.

H: How does it feel to know that people are still posting questions to the web wondering if the events of Abandoned By Disney are real? Do you feel proud that your work was so well written that it's widely being spread as fact?"
CHW: ‘It's really fun to see it spread like that, but I always feel a little guilty when someone directly asks me and I have to let them down easy.
‘The best result I've seen so far was someone actually emailing Disney about Mowgli's Palace. They got back a stock reply that basically said: "We cannot comment on this."
‘It was just a standard auto-reply sort of thing, but it lent so much credibility to the story that it was fantastic.’

H: Finally, the story Corruptus, while marked as the final chapter, suggests that there's a far wider world of creepiness that you could explore in the future? Will you return to the series in the future?
What else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?
CHW: ‘I don't plan to return to the Disney pasta "universe". My hope is that ending the series with loose ends and hints of more "Corruptus" cases will inspire other authors to branch off their own original stories. It's sort of my way of passing the torch.
‘If someone out there wants to know exactly what happened with all the other Corruptus cases, they can actually come up with their own story and share it with the world.
‘As for what people can expect from me in the future, I post a new story to my web site,, every once in a while when the mood strikes me and an idea pops up. You can also find me on, a site I've launched for Creepypasta and horror fans to discuss creepy content in a relaxed non-formal atmosphere. Our mascot is a skeleton who pops out and sprays hyper-realistic blood from his hyper-realistic eyes!’

So there you have it. As Slimebeast himself says, his work is clearly influenced by Poe and Bradbury, but his wonderful Disney series, as well as the other great stories at are also reminiscent of modern horror maestro Stephen King. Those of you who are aware of how big of a fan I am of King’s work will know this is a massive compliment, and a glowing testimony to the emerging talent honing their trade in Creepypasta circles. 

Come back next week when I’ll take a look at another beautifully written web horror story.

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, 20 February 2016


Long term readers here at Hickey's House of Horrors will know that I'm a big fan of both horror shorts and the writing of Stephen King.
So you know what I'd really love?
A top quality horror short based on one of King's underappreciated stories!
After I reviewed Bonfire Films' top-notch haunted house horror flick, The Hanover House, plus director Corey Norman's riotous short, Tickle, the generous folks there were kind enough to offer me access to a screener of their new short, Suffer The Little Children, which was published in King's 1993 anthology Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
So is this return to our schooldays a dream come true?
Or would I want to put it in detention?
Read on...


Dir: Corey Norman
Starring: Anne Bobby, Andrew Lyndaker, Beth Somerville, Dan Domingues, Matthew Delamater, James Noel Hoben, Alexa Reddy, Rebecca I. Allen, Bella Moore

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

Ms Sidley (Nightbreed's Bobby) is an ageing third-grade teacher who runs her classroom with strict discipline, yet seems to be losing her grip a little as she nears retirement age. This is regularly commented upon by both students and fellow teachers who openly wonder when she's going to call it a day. However, one day she notices something strange about a boy in her class, young Robert (Lyndaker).
Upon confronting Robert over what she fears she may have seen, the boy reveals that he may be something other than human, terrifying the teacher and causing her to run screaming from the school and out into the road where she is struck by a vehicle.
After recovering from her injuries, Ms Sidley returns to school and once again speaks to Robert — who reveals he might not be the only inhuman entity among the student body.
Fearing that only she can stop this insidious invasion, an unstable Sidley hatches a truly shocking plan to take matters into her own hands..

WHY IT WORKS: A polished and accomplished horror short, Suffer The Little Children is a big hit due to two key factors. The first of these is the incomparable Anne Bobby, who absolutely makes this role her own. Much like her work in Norman's Hanover House, Bobby is absolutely scintillating to watch, delivering a complex and fearless performance. This character may be our lead, but she certainly isn't our heroine, and Bobby is fully prepared to embrace the elements that make Ms Sidley morally shady.
Bobby is onscreen for pretty much the entirety of the short's 22-minute runtime and it's a testimony to this superb actress' ability that she commands the viewers full attention throughout.
Simply excellent.
Bobby isn't the only cast member to deliver the goods. The other half of what is essentially a two-piece ensemble, young Lyndaker also impresses. The star of Norman's previous creepy short, Tickle, in that film I thought he was pretty good. However, I'm pleased to say that since then young Lyndaker has come on in leaps and bounds and is fantastic here. When playing 'creepy', it can be all too easy for an actor to overegg the pudding, veering into hamminess and robbing the character of a lot of their menace. At his tender years Lyndaker avoids this trap, instead bestowing the simple phrase: 'Tomorrow something bad will happen' with plenty of foreboding. Subtly switching up his performance at key moments, Lyndaker really hits his mark.
Credit should probably go to director Norman for coaxing such fine performances from his cast, but that isn't the only area in which he deserves praise. Earlier I said that this short is a success on two fronts, and the second of these is Norman's assured direction. Much like The Hanover House and Tickle, the film has fantastically atmospheric visuals. The main challenge when adapting any of Stephen King's works is to put across the mood and characterisation that runs throughout his writing. King is a wonderful storyteller and to adapt his words to a different medium requires an equally strong command of the process of telling a tale. When that medium is film, one has to be able to fully utilise the visual component, and the story (adapted by Haley Norman) grants the director plenty of opportunity to do just that. The cinematography is stunning and cleverly subverts the usual tropes of dark and dingy settings for horror, instead transposing these terrifying events to a brightly lit classroom. There is real potential for scares in subverting expectations and the innocence of youth and Norman preys upon this potential flawlessly.
The creative team of Norman and Norman hail from King's stomping ground of Maine and it seems that has afforded them with perfect insight into how best to bring the modern master of horror's tales to life. The plot looks at some seriously weighty issues — violence in schools, mental illness and gun control among them, but never clubs us over the head with its message, instead remembering that most important of objectives: to remain entertaining at all times.
Alternating between cutesy but unnerving and some pretty nightmarish visual effects, the film is a real tour de force and captures that decidedly Eighties aethetic of King's best work. Considering the fact that Tickle totally felt like a classic Eighties creature feature, it should come as no surprise to see that Norman's filmmaking style was a perfect fit for this story. 
And, while we're talking about the story, full credit must go to the Normans for keeping the darkness of King's original tale intact. A lot of filmmakers might have chickened out of going to the place that Suffer The Little Children does, but this film is unflinching and maintains the bite of the short story.
The climactic sequence of this film is legitimately shocking — in fact it may even offend some — and I was left in awe of the ballsiness displayed by the Normans here. It's presented in such a way to have its full impact and, just like the rest of the film, its stunning production values make it even more impressive.

SO WHERE'S IT AT? The short is currently doing the rounds of the festival circuit where its picking up plenty of well-deserved awards. Check out the official Bonfire Films Facebook page here for more information on where you can catch Suffer The Little Children.

10 WORD WRAP-UP: Bonfire Films bring Stephen King's psychological horror to life stunningly

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.

Tuesday, 16 February 2016



In last week's feature in this ongoing series examining the phenomenon of Creepypasta, I looked at the famed cursed video, Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv, a YouTube clip said to cause a severe psychotic break in all who viewed it.
This week I turn my attention to another famed video said to alter the mind of its audience – the ‘lost’ Walt Disney cartoon known throughout the web as suicidemouse.avi.

The video first appeared on YouTube (don’t they all?) back on 25 November 2009, uploaded by a user named NEC1.
It consists of a black-and-white animation loop of Disney mascot Mickey Mouse, dejectedly trudging past an urban backdrop accompanied by discordant and creepy piano music. At about the 4 minute mark it abruptly cuts to black along with a murmuring soundtrack. This continues for more than 2 minutes, before suddenly returning with badly distorted visuals and a jump-inducing screaming soundtrack.
Now, this is all decidedly unsettling but the element that propels this into the realm of full-blown horror story is the accompanying description purporting to reveal the origin of the video.

‘So do any of you remember those Mickey Mouse cartoons from the 1930s? The ones that were just put out on DVD a few years ago? Well, I hear there is one that was unreleased to even the most avid classic disney fans. According to sources, it’s nothing special. It’s just a continuous loop (like flinstones) of mickey walking past 6 buildings that goes on for two or three minutes before fading out.
‘Unlike the cutesy tunes put in though, the song on this cartoon was not a song at all, just a constant banging on a piano as if the keys for a minute and a half before going to white noise for the remainder of the film. It wasn’t the jolly old Mickey we’ve come to love either, Mickey wasn’t dancing, not even smiling, just kind of walking as if you or I were walking, with a normal facial expression, but for some reason his head tilted side to side as he kept this dismal look. Up until a year or two ago, everyone believed that after it cut to black and that was it. When Leonard Maltin was reviewing the cartoon to be put in the complete series, he decided it was too junk to be on the DVD, but wanted to have a digital copy due to the fact that it was a creation of Walt. When he had a digitized version up on his computer to look at the file, he noticed something. The cartoon was actually 9 minutes and 4 seconds long. This is what my source emailed to me, in full (he is a personal assistant of one of the higher executives at Disney, and acquaintance of Mr. Maltin himself)
‘After it cut to black, it stayed like that until the 6th minute, before going back into Mickey walking. The sound was different this time. It was a murmur. It wasn’t a language, but more like a gurgled cry. As the noise got more indistinguishable and loud over the next minute, the picture began to get weird. The sidewalk started to go in directions that seemed impossible based on the physics of Mickeys walking. And the dismal face of the mouse was slowly curling into a smirk. On the 7th minute, the murmur turned into a bloodcurdling scream (the kind of scream painful to hear) and the picture was getting more obscure. Colors were happening that shouldn’t have been possible at the time. Mickey face began to fall apart. his eyes rolled on the bottom of his chin like two marbles in a fishbowl, and his curled smile was pointing upward on the left side of his face. The buildings became rubble floating in midair and the sidewalk was still impossibly navigating in warped directions, a few seeming inconcievable with what we, as humans, know about direction. Mr. Maltin got disturbed and left the room, sending an employee to finish the video and take notes of everything happening up until the last second, and afterward immediately store the disc of the cartoon into the vault. This distorted screaming lasted until 8 minutes and a few seconds in, and then it abruptly cuts to the mickey mouse face at the credits of the end of every video with what sounded like a broken music box playing in the backround. This happened for about 30 seconds, and whatever was in that remaining 30 seconds I heaven’t been able to get a sliver of information. From a security guard working under me who was making rounds outside of that room, I was told that after the last frame, the employee stumbled out of the room with pale skin saying “Real suffering is not known” 7 times before speedily taking the guards pistol and offing himself on the spot. The thing I could get out of Leonard Maltin was that the last frame was a piece of russian text that roughly said “the sights of hell bring its viewers back in”. As far as I know, no one else has seen it, but there have been dozens of attempts at getting the file on rapidshare by employees inside the studios, all of whom have been promptly terminated of their jobs. Whether it got online or not is up for debate, but if rumors serve me right, it’s online somewhere under “suicidemouse.avi”. If you ever find a copy of the film, I want you to never view it, and to contact me by phone immediately, regardless of the time. When a Disney Death is covered up as well as this, it means this has to be something huge.
Get back at me,

As is often the way with these things, the video was downloaded and reuploaded multiple times and it was one of these duplicates (uploaded by user suicidemouse.avi) which has since gone on to be the most watched, viewed over two million times since it was posted in December 2009.

It’s easy to see why the story has gained traction. The power of subverting that which comforted us as children to terrify us as adults is undeniable. By twisting the playthings of youth, we force people to look at how they too have changed, challenging the audience to confront their mortality and accept how they have changed from carefree children to worried, anxious adults.
That’s not to say that childhood is without fear — it’s the time when the biggest, most terrifying yet utterly improbable fears (‘There’s a monster under my bed!!!!’) rule our lives. By showing us familiar sights and sounds from the time, then unsettling us by offsetting the imagery with upsetting or scary sounds, themes, suicidemouse.avi invokes those childish fears anew.
That says nothing for the inherent fascination in the subject matter itself: Disney.
As popular urban legend debunking site writes: ‘No phenomenon in popular culture has inspired more myths, legends and rumours than Walt Disney’. From the man, to the theme parks, to the corporate policy and, of course, the blockbuster films — there are more wild stories about Walt Disney than any other entertainment brand. The impact of Disney on all aspects of popular culture simply cannot be ignored, so it only makes sense that it should eventually appear in horror too.
Combined with the corporation’s notorious image-conscious policies and you have a perfect breeding ground for paranoid conspiracy theories.
But just because it makes for a nice creepy story, that doesn't make it true.
First, and obviously the biggest alarm bell here, it seems pretty strange that a film supposedly produced all the way back in the 1920s or 30s could have remained completely and utterly hidden for 80+ years, then pop up in the hands of somebody who has no idea of what they’re holding. Furthermore, let’s be honest, there simply are not films that exist that can cause you to enter a suicidal state merely by viewing them. There never has been, there never will be.
As for the video itself, well, quite simply it includes effects that would have been utterly impossible in the era in which it was alleged to have been produced, yet they would have been pretty simple to create for anybody with a bog-standard effects software suite back in 2009 — the year in which it first showed up online. What a coincidence…
Now let's address the story. It's actually a pretty good tale (albeit clumsily told) and has some nice creepy touches.
However, it is absolutely full of flaws, the largest of which claims that the user has no idea whether the actual .avi file has ever made its way onto the web. Erm, well what is this copypasta attached to then? Either the writer has posted the original video (which i’ve watched and — surprise! Not committed suicide) or he’s knowingly attached it to/created a fake, utterly undermining any integrity his story had.
What’s more, naming Leonard Maltin is a ballsy ploy, but comes with its own risks. Sure, by throwing a real world detail that most people will have heard of (Maltin is arguably the world’s most famous film reviewer and historian, as well as the creator of the Walt Disney Treasures dvd series) it encourages people to believe the story that little bit more. After all, they know Leonard Maltin IS real and he DID create a Disney rarity series using films from the archive, so maybe the other details are legit too?
Except they’re not.
Are we honestly meant to believe that if an individual with as high a public profile as Leonard Maltin was involved in a shocking suicide that we would have heard nothing about it? That the individual’s colleagues/friends/family would not have leaked the story?
Furthermore, there’s no way in the world Maltin, a man whose entire career is built on film, would pass over an artefact of such obvious rarity and value to an assistant, no matter how creepy it might be.
Indeed there are plenty of rumours online that debunk the film, claiming (and stop me if you’ve heard this one before), that the video was created and circulated by the users of 4chan’s /x/ board, primarily for fun and mischief. I’ve tried searching through the board myself and found nothing to corroborate this claim, but it seems entirely probable. Some individuals claim that the creator of the video is actually YouTube user jojacob666, who created the video in response to the original copy, and that NEC1 merely reposted his work.
As with so many of these internet myths, there are plenty of believers and apologists who vehemently argue that the original suicidemouse.avi does exist, even if it isn't necessarily the one that most of us can readily find online.
With so many diehard fans ready to leap to the film’s defence, it seems that Suicide Mouse has cultivated quite the legacy.
First, there are numerous sites, including the aforementioned Snopes and Yahoo Answers, that have received worried queries regarding the validity of the video. Even today, regular articles and message board posts about the ‘Mickey Mouse in Hell’ video are appearing.
Even those who know that the film is just an Internet legend but love it anyway are getting in on the act, creating some fantastic (and some decidedly less so) works of fan art celebrating the phenomenon. There are even Suicide Mouse games online!

But arguably the biggest contribution that Suicide Mouse has made to Creepypasta is that it gave birth to the now rife ‘lost episode’ sub-genre. These tales focus on a sinister and disturbing missing episode of an otherwise family-friendly show, one that often has a cursed or possibly supernatural origin. Notable examples include the excellent Squidward’s Suicide (about a diabolical episode of SpongeBob SquarePants) and the deeply disturbing Dead Bart (about a harrowing episode of The Simpsons that sprang from a fictitious psychological incident experienced by show creator Matt Groening).
Both are very good indeed and will undoubtedly feature in this feature in the future.
Suicidemouse.avi may not be the best of these, but it is the first. As such it is hugely significant and its influence cannot be denied. With scores of new viewers finding themselves creeped out everyday, it seems that legend surrounding this film, much like the apocryphal story surrounding Walt’s cryogenically frozen head, will live on long after the subject has been laid to rest.