Friday, 24 June 2016


For a long time the horror genre was dominated by American filmmakers, with the odd low-budget Brit flick thrown in here and there. This is only to be expected, USA's Hollywood is the hub of the movie industry.
However, in recent years that has changed. First, back in the Nineties, Japanese horror flicks made their way to Western audiences, no doubt fuelled by Hideo Nakata's Ringu, which in turn opened the door for other Asian nations such as Thailand. This occurred around the same time that  a sudden influx of Australian and New Zealand horror, such as Peter Jackson's early work and later, Wolf Creek.
Soon our European neighbours were also getting in on the act, from France's Extreme horrors, such as Martyrs, to Scandinavian chillers such as Cold Prey, Thale and the spectacular Troll Hunter.
More recently still Western audiences have been tipped off to the wealth of quality horror titles being produced in Turkey, such as the terrifying Siccin.
One such title to make waves recently is Can Evrenol's short film BaskinThe reception this short received was so good that studios then approached him to expand it into a feature length title. Following a highly-successful limited cinema run, the movie will be released in the UK on DVD, Blu-ray and On-Demand in just a few weeks.
Expect a review of the movie very soon, but to prepare you for that release I'm going to talk you through one of the most spine-chilling and disturbing short films of recent years.

BASKIN (2013)

Dir: Can Evrenol and Ogulcan Eren Akay
Starring: Muharrem Bayrak, Gorkem Kasai, Aydin Orak, Remzi Pamukcu, Fadik Bülbül

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

Late one night a van full of Turkish policemen receive a call on their radio to deal with an incident at a nearby, run-down block of flats.
Heading to their destination it soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary bust. Following a bloody welcome they work their way into the building where fellow officers, escorting decidedly ragged and disturbing looking suspects out, inform them that they've raided a coven of satanists in the middle of a dark ritual.
As the officers fan out through the building they bear witness to a number of nightmarish incidents such as blood-soaked, black magic rites and an encounter with the terrifying Mother (Fadik Bülbül) that begs the question: who is really hunting who?

WHY IT WORKS: Can Evrenol, and his co-director Ogulcan Eren Akay, are directors with real vision and it is the nightmarish imagery throughout that makes Baskin so spine chilling. The atmosphere they create with subtly uncomfortable camera angles and a sublime use of darkness is horrifying — it is entirely understandable how studio executives, upon watching this film, would have seen such tremendous potential in the filmmaker. 
At a mere 11 minutes Baskin isn't given a long time in which to work its creepy magic, so it's a testament to the directors that they are able to cultivate serious tension and suspense.
The pacing of Evrenol's story is superb, taking the time to slowly reveal its horrors before swiftly and mercilessly ratcheting up the intensity towards the climax, something aided even further by the twisted visuals. There is not a single wasted second in this lean, mean psychological horror flick.
The story itself is a simple, no-thrills affair — think The Raid meets Event Horizon and Rosemary's Baby by way of Hellraiser and REC — and this simplicity works very much in its favour.
Our leads including the impressive Bayrak and Kasai, who star in the feature-length take on the story are all solid, and act as the audience's eyes as we share in their experience within the hellish apartment block. There's no extraneous exposition, no long, drawn-out backstory to explain the events. The mysteries of what is happening within the building remain exactly that, even if hints are given throughout the hair-raising encounters of our outmatched cops. 
It shows remarkable restraint on the filmmakers' part and definitely works in the short's favour, encouraging viewers to fill in the gaps with their imagination. With shadowy, writhing bodies and twitching sacks, plus plenty of grisly goings-on in the darkness, it is up to us to interpret what we've seen... and in the most terrifying manner possible.
I've mentioned the imagery of the film but it really does bear repeating — Baskin (which means 'raid' or 'attack' in Turkish) lives up to its name, feeling like something of an assault on the eyes at times. The dark and delapidated set is haunting, the design even more so as chains, hooks, plastic sheets, bloodstains and surreal, frightening graffiti adorn the walls, all bathed in a Fulci-esque striking colour palette by talented cinematographer Alp Korfali. With deep greens that offer a strong contrast with the red of the grue and gore, it's frighteningly good. 
I raved about the truly scary Mother, as portrayed by Bülbül, earlier for good reason. Dripping with gore, matted hair draped around her blindfolded face, she is at once arresting and scary, bolstered by a fearless performance that sees this character become instantly iconic. Combine this with plenty of bloody body parts, a chilling cameo by Mehmet Cerrahoglu (Father in the feature) and genuinely unsettling more subtle frights, and you get one of the best horror shorts I've ever had the pleasure to review here at The House.  
An absolute must-see.

SO WHERE'S IT AT? Rumours persist that the Baskin short will feature as an extra on the Blu-Ray release. Until then you can check out the trailer for the short right here.

10 WORD WRAP-UP: Stylish Turkish short depicts a genuinely unnerving descent into Hell

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, 21 June 2016



One of the earliest Creepypasta stories I looked at in this ongoing series was that of the iconic Jeff the Killer. For my last Creepypasta feature I looked at The Expressionless, a story written by one Tom Lever aka Ivysir.
This week we continue with Ivysir’s prose as he gives us a story that shares several themes with Jeff’s: Liars.

Liars was first posted in July 2012. You can read the story in it’s entirety here, but to summarise it tells the story of High School student Jimmy, a smart Alec kid whose mouth often sees him become a target for bullying.
Jimmy always claims that honesty is the best policy, and by saying what he does to the bullies and their violent responses, both are being transparent with one another.
However, one day Jimmy antagonises the wrong boy, the psychotic Brett, who rounds up a gang of boys with an axe to grind with Jimmy. Between them they plot to teach Jimmy a lesson he’ll never forget.
Later they corner their helpless victim in a science room at school, then mercilessly pour a bottle of floric acid over Jimmy’s head. He suffers catastrophic burns then render him mute, so when a teacher arrives on the scene he is unable to contradict the bullies’ story that it was some sort of accident.
Jimmy is taken away to hospital while Brett and his gang remain unpunished.
However, in hospital Jimmy broods. No longer a witty, carefree individual, something snaps inside him and he plots a savage revenge. Throughout this time he regains some semblance of speech, however, all he rasps is one word: ‘Liars’.
Later Brett is home alone when he receives a parcel. Inside is a videotape.
When Brett watches the tape he sees poorly shot footage in a basement. However, he then spots the naked, battered and bloody form of one of his gang, begging for his life. In the background the lifeless bodies of his fellow bullies can be seen.
As Brett’s friend pleads for mercy, it is revealed that somebody has carved the word ‘LIAR’ into the flesh on his back.
Suddenly the camera cuts to a snowy exterior shot. It is revealed that Brett’s helpless friend is holding the camera, before he turns to face his assailant: the hideously mutilated Jimmy.
As he does so there is a sudden shocking blare of noise and the word LIARS appears on screen before the video abruptly cuts to black.
Frantic, the terrified Brett dashes to the bolt the door to his home, but it is too late.
The tape was found still inside the player, beside Brett’s corpse. His injuries were synonymous with being doused in acid.

The way in which Liars riffs on the Jeff the Killer story is pretty obvious. A young man left mutilated extracts bloody revenge on the bullies who tormented him.
It even comes with a trademark image (which is arguably the strongest part of the story) featuring the inhuman face of its monstrous anti-hero.
However, inspired by JtK or not, it’s unfair to dismiss Liars as a simple rip-off. First, it’s a far-better written story than any of Jeff’s stories. Not just in terms of technique, but also in terms of character and story.
Lever uses a pretty expansive vocabulary and doesn’t rely on the overused standard phrases that so many Creepypasta stories lean on. Ok, it’s not exactly Stephen King, but for a young, amateur writer, this is pretty encouraging stuff.
While the dialogue clangs now and then, the real strength of Liars compared to Jeff is that each character is given a motive, a reason for them to act the way they do.
It’s not the most complex of motives, but at least it’s a motive.
Much like Lever’s The Expressionless, this is a simple story that delivers some basic scares in an efficient, if not spectacular way.
With elements of Jack Nicholson’s Joker in his origin, the single raspy word a la Resident Evil’s Nemesis, the Saw-esque sadistic torture and mutilation of his victims and the use of a creepy videotape calling card a la Ring’s Samara, Liars’ Jimmy is a potent creation that combines plenty of elements from some of pop culture’s scariest monsters. Teens in particular, the main consumers of Creepypasta, will pick up on these elements and be able to visualise them.
However, even if the reader lacks the knowledge or imagination to formulate a disturbing image in their mind’s eye, the attached picture drives it home excellently.
Clearly this is a heavily doctored image, but that doesn't stop it from being genuinely unsettling. The grainy quality of the picture only adds to its disturbing nature, giving it the appearance of a real frame of video footage (and with that upping the realism), while also adding an otherworldly feel to the picture AND masking any deficiencies in photoshop skill. It’s decidedly gory and packs a real punch coming at the end of Lever’s story.
What many readers may not realise is that the image was not actually created specifically for this story. It’s actually the front cover of a single, 2004’s We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own by British alternative band Liars.

The single is from the album They Were Wrong, So We Drowned (, and the image is actually a doctored still from the video for the track (which you can watch here:
As writer Lever is a Brit and his story first appeared on the web a full eight years after the release of We Fenced Other Gardens With the Bones of Our Own, it’s probably pretty safe to assume that he took inspiration from the single’s artwork.
From Lord Snowdon’s photograph that accompanied The Expressionless, to this image alongside Liars, it seems one of Lever’s biggest strengths is hunting out legitimately disturbing imagery to accompany his prose.
As I wrote in my feature on Jeff the Killer, the bullying victim pushed too far has become a real cause of concern, especially in American schools. Bullies tend to pick on outcasts, those that are different. Somebody with an existing social or psychological disorder, would struggle to fit in, which could certainly cause opportunistic bullies to single them out. These same disorders make them far more likely to snap when provoked. It’s a cruel cycle, in which violence begets violence, and with a notable number of incidents of school shootings appearing in news headlines, the vengeful misfit is a horror archetype that is sure to resonate with young, High School-age readers, the primary audience for Creepypasta.
And resonate it certainly has.
At, Liars holds a very high rating of 8.8/10, with over 1100 votes cast. What’s more, it’s inspired all the usual fanart, including YouTube entries that both attempt to create the VHS from the story, or the always fun Creepypasta readings, such as this one by the prolific Mr Creepypasta.

The best horror takes our real world fears and gives us a cathartic release for them by presenting them with a fabricated face. We address the very real anxieties we have, but as they are still only fiction we can deal with them in a safe way.
Liars, like Jeff the Killer before it, embodies teenage anxiety over bullying. Sure, it’s in a rather frivolous and sensational manner, but if this story encourages school kids to look at the impacts of bullying, maybe it’s serving a purpose as 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.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016



In my last Creepypasta feature I was amazed to hear that even though the fantastically rich and layered Holders series of features is quite clearly a work of fiction, there were still web users posting questions as to its validity.
This is often the case with creepypasta stories — there seems to be a large number of people who assume that if something is reported on the web, it MUST be true.
This week’s feature focuses on another of those tales that just won’t go away — The Expressionless.

The Expressionless, like Jeff the Killer before it, is one of those rare Creepypasta stories that comes with an image. The story, for those of you who haven’t yet heard of it, follows in its entirety below.

In June 1972, a woman appeared in Cedar Senai hospital in nothing but a white, blood-covered gown.
Now this, in itself, should not be too surprising as people often have accidents nearby and come to the nearest hospital for medical attention, but there were two things that caused people who saw her to vomit and flee in terror.
The first being that she wasn't exactly human. She resembled something close to a mannequin, but had the dexterity and fluidity of a normal human being. Her face was as flawless as a mannequins, devoid of eyebrows and smeared in make-up.
There was a kitten clamped in her jaws so unnaturally tight that no teeth could be seen, and the blood was still squirting out over her gown and onto the floor. She then pulled it out of her mouth, tossed it aside and collapsed.
From the moment she stepped through the entrance to when she was taken to a hospital room and cleaned up before being prepped for sedation, she was completely calm, expressionless and motionless. The doctors thought it best to restrain her until the authorities could arrive and she did not protest. They were unable to get any kind of response from her and most staff members felt too uncomfortable to look directly at her for more than a few seconds.
But the second the staff tried to sedate her, she fought back with extreme force. Two members of staff had to hold her down as her body rose up on the bed with that same, blank expression.
She turned her emotionless eyes towards the male doctor and did something unusual. She smiled.
As she did, the female doctor screamed and let go out of shock. In the woman's mouth were not human teeth, but long, sharp spikes. Too long for her mouth to close fully without causing any damage…
The male doctor stared back at her for a moment before asking "What in the hell are you?"
She cracked her neck down to her shoulder to observe him, still smiling.
There was a long pause, the security had been alerted and could be heard coming down the hallway.
As he heard them approach, she darted forward, sinking her teeth into the front of his throat, ripping out his jugular and letting him fall to the floor, gasping for air as he choked on his own blood.
She stood up and leaned over him, her face coming dangerously close to his as the life faded from his eyes.
She leaned closer and whispered in his ear.
"I... am... God..."
The doctor's eyes filled with fear as he watched her calmly walk away to greet the security men. His last ever sight would be watching her feast on them one by one.
The female doctor who survived the incident named her "The Expressionless".
There was never a sighting of her again.

The story is certainly a spine-chiller (if a little hackneyed in places — the ‘I am God’ line is overplayed in horror fiction), and the image that accompanies it is utterly horrifying. In my previous feature on Candle Cove I mentioned the Uncanny Valley hypothesis, whereby there is an abrupt and marked decrease in the beholder’s comfort levels when an anthropomorphic item reaches a key resemblance level to an actual human being. As such puppets, dummies, dolls and mannequins are inherently a little bit spooky. It is for precisely this reason that the aforementioned objects feature regularly in horror fiction.
The humanoid but definitely not ‘normal’ face of the Expressionless is a perfect example of this. One need only look at it for a few seconds to feel a sense of unease.
The story itself is also worthy of mention. It preys on the real-world fears of hospitals (plenty of people feel unnerved by them and for good reason, there are more deaths and graphic gore in your average hospital each month than in any cheap horror flick) and that most potent of sources of scares — the unknown (what exactly IS the Expressionless? What does she want? Where did she go? And where is she right now?) However, it also adds a couple of details that enhance its believability.
With the events taking place 1972 the odds are most readers won’t have long enough memories to recall any news reports on the story at the time it was said to occur.  
What’s more, Cedars SInai is a prestigious real-world academic health centre located in Los Angeles, California, and has been in existence since 1902. It has a long and storied history, and by including this real world detail, a location that many readers will have heard of, the story comes with that little bit of extra credibility. If they know that Cedars Sinai is real there’s an increased chance that the other details are genuine as well, right?


Sure, the story has convinced a lot of people, with questions about the story appearing on Yahoo answers in January 2013, then twice again in April of the same year, then again that August.

The answer to the question is, that while it is a very nice work of fiction, The Expressionless is precisely that. Plotholes aside (if she whispered in his ear and he then died, how do we know what she said? If the pointed teeth in her mouth were so long she couldn’t close it, how did nobody notice this until she smiled? At what point do highly trained medical professionals start asking deeply personal and hurtful questions about a patient’s appearance?), there is plenty of evidence online to prove that the story simply did not happen.
First, let’s address that horrifying image. It’s certainly one of the strongest pieces of evidence to suggest that the events happened. Unless of course, the picture was entirely unrelated.
Which is precisely what this photograph is. It was actually taken in 1968 by Antony Armstrong-Jones, the 1st Earl of Snowdon. Lord Snowdon actually published the picture in his book Assignments (Morrow, 1972) under the heading ‘Student Nurses with a Waxworks Patient’. So that waxwork-looking lady is actually, um, a waxwork.
Who’d’ve thought it, eh?
Of course, it could always be the case that the writer of the story simply chose this picture for artistic, illustrative purposes. This being the case, there’s nothing that proves that the story is simply a work of fiction. So let’s look a little closer at that writer, shall we?
Considering the fact that this story was alleged to have taken place in 1972, it may seem a little strange to some that the earliest mentions I can find of it were posted in 2012.
In fact, THE earliest version I can find is the one pasted above, which was taken from an article posted to in May of that year. The author is one Ivysir AKA Tom Lever, and it is on his user page on the wiki that we get THE irrefutable proof that we need — he out and out tells the reader that he is an author and that his story, The Expressionless, is his creation.

Let me just clarify — there’s been no subterfuge from Lever — he’s quite open that The Expressionless is a work of fiction.
To quote him directly: ‘I write a lot of mediocore CreepyPasta, best known (so far) for "The Expressionless" which has since gone viral on several forums and been turned into a short film by BlackBoxTV, which I'm eternally grateful for, though it does get stolen a lot.’
Instead, it has spread and become legend due to those people who have simply copied and pasted his work on to other sites and forums without including the right credits, acknowledgements or context.
The simple facts that Lever has posted the earliest version of the story and that nobody has challenged him over his claim makes it pretty obvious that he is the original source of the story.
However, one thing that I do take exception to is his description of his work as ‘mediocre’. Lever’s most famous work may be The Expressionless, but I’d argue that it’s actually one of his weaker stories. Just check out his Reddit user page for access to some very nicely written Creepypastas over on the /r/nosleep sub-Reddit. He’s a talented writer and I know that another of his iconic works will feature here in the weeks ahead. I’ll leave you guessing as to which one.
Lever writes about a skillfully made short-film adaptation of The Expressionless, and by far the best one I’ve found is this spectacular example directed by Michael Gallagher, with appearances by The Walking Dead’s Michael Traynor and Smiley’s Jana Winternitzto boot!

It boasts some impressive production values and the other central performance, that of Denna Thomsen as The Expressionless, is fantastically creepy. Sure, I’d have liked to have seen some make-up work to make Thomson appear even more mannequin-like, but I imagine budgetary constraints would have caused all kinds of trouble with creating prosthetics that could match the nightmarish imagery of Lord Snowdon’s photo.
Instead we get a pared back take on the story, which somehow makes it all seem that little bit more realistic.
But realism, as we’ve seen all too often with the viral spread of Creepypastas, is not actually that important a factor when it comes to believability. From haunted abandoned Disney parks, to videogames said to induce psychosis, to a fake TV show created by a child-murderer, if the story has the ability to scare, it has the ability to worm its way into the mind of the reader and cause them to wonder: ‘What if?’
It matters not what I or any other myth debunkers have to say on the subject, for ultimately fear will always be stronger than reason.

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.



Crappypasta. No, that’s not a typo, it’s a real thing.
I think you can probably guess what it is, but just in case you can’t (or missed the earlier entries in this series, in which case I suggest you go back and doing some catching up! Go on, you’ve missed some great stories!) it’s a play on words. In much the same way that Creepypasta came from the online term Copypasta (referring to a block of text spread throughout the internet via users copying and pasting it to email/forums), Crappypasta refers to Creepypasta that is, well, Crap.
That’s not to say it’s without merit — even junk food hits the spot now and then and as a horror fan there are films that I adore that are so bad they’re good.
In fact, the runners of look at all submissions and those that are below the required standard, but show some glimmer of potential if worked on, honed and polished, find their way onto
Notable examples of Crappypasta include the notorious story below, which was posted to 4chan’s /X/ board on 28 March 2008:

So ur with ur honey and yur making out wen the phone rigns. U anser it n the vioce is "wut r u doing wit my daughter?" U tell ur girl n she say "my dad is ded". THEN WHO WAS PHONE?

Yep, this is a story so deliciously dire that it birthed its own meme. Unsurprisingly, ‘THEN WHO WAS PHONE?’ has become as popular as ‘All Your Base Are Belong To Us’ with a certain kind of web user.
However, it’s not just a poor grasp on basic grammar that can see a story dismissed by discerning fans — no, arguably the biggest bugbear guaranteed to infuriate CP fans is somebody fanficcing or piggybacking on the success of another popular story to find an audience.
This week I look at a character (and stories) reviled by some and positively adored by others for precisely this reason — Jane the Killer.

I’ve already spoke at length about the success of the Jeff the Killer Creepypasta. A story fuelled by a nightmarish image of an inhuman grinning face, Jeff has gone on to become one of the most recognisable icons of Creepypasta lore. It’s a story so popular that it still spawns countless imitators, with scores of serial killer monsters now flooding the web, such as Eyeless Jack, Laughing Jack and Liars’s Jimmy.
However, there’s a marked difference between imitation and actively adding a new piece to the lore. As Creepypasta is largely an unregulated commodity, authors often adapt elements created by other writers to create their own spin on the tale. The growing legend of The Rake was very much a collaborative effort, while the stories that make up The Holders series can be credited to multiple authors.
Jane the Killer is one such attempt to add a new element to JtK legend.
With his ‘Go To Sleep’ catchphrase and a back story that varies from telling to telling but often involves a brother named Liu, a gang of vengeful bullies and terrible chemical burns, there’s already a fair amount to work with when telling Jeff’s tale. What the creators of Jane the Killer attempt to inject is a nemesis.

The first Jane the Killer story appeared online back in 2012. Originally titled Jane’s Letter, it has been credited as the work of AngryDogDesigns, a DeviantArt user. You can read his post here.
The story is short, sharp and serves solely to introduce readers to its new antihero. It depicts Jane as somebody with a deep, personal vendetta against Jeff. She is portrayed as somebody so unhinged by her hatred for the grinning, white-hoodie-wearing super psycho that she is prepared to kill people just to rob him of the pleasure.
It also comes with a striking image, a heavily doctored photo of a young woman with an almost featureless white face.
This image comes with a spin on Jeff’s ‘Go To Sleep’ catchphrase — instead it reads: ‘Don’t go to sleep. You won’t wake up’.

Shortly after the first appearance of this story, another entitled Jane the Killer: The Real Story was published by PastaStalker64. This was a lengthier, slightly better written effort, that claimed to be the true story of Jane as told by her.
You can read it at the Jeff the Killer wikia (yes, that really exists) here.
It elaborates on Jane’s background, revealing that she was a neighbour of Jeff and witnessed many of the events in his story, even playing a role in saving his life. However, she would go on to become of his victims, losing her friends and family along the way and being left deliberately disfigured by the maniac. Driven by hatred and an insatiable hunger for revenge, she has taken to hunting Jeff.
In some ways this is quite skilful storytelling. By threading the well-established events of JtK through the story the author (PastaStalker64) is able to connect with an existing audience. The writing itself leaves a little to be desired, but let’s not forget that the original Jeff the Killer stories weren’t exactly Tolstoy. In many technical ways, this is actually better than the Jeff origin tales.
Since then original Jane creator MrAngryDog has released his own ‘origin tale’ writing that Jane (now given the surname Richardson)’s seemingly superhuman abilities derive from a scientific experiment funded by the Government involving something known as Liquid Hate).
He was even kind enough to create a handy infographic to explain it.

Oh, and she’s also a lesbian with a girlfriend called Mary and a wide circle of friends.
There has emerged quite the rivalry between camps of Jane fans, those that prefer the original Jane Richardson born of science, and those that prefer PastaStalker64’s Jane Arkensaw AKA Everlasting, born of fire. This eventually led to a surprisingly civil exchange between the two authors in which PastaStalker64 apologised for any unintentional treading on of toes and admitted that the original Jane image and character was created by MrAngryDog. However, it was agreed between the authors that Jane Richardson and Jane Arkensaw would just be recognised as two separate entities in the JtK mythos and culminated in the writers becoming positively chummy. You can read the whole exchange at MrAngryDog’s Tumblr blog here.

Further subgroups of fans have penned their own stories, from the inevitable ‘shipper’ takes on the story that suggest romance between the two to those that detail the climactic showdown between the two. In one of these a rather implausible plot development occurs in which Jane disguises herself as a hooker to get close to Jeff, then they sleep together (because obviously that’s the first thing you’d do when you tricked your mortal enemy upon whom you’d sworn bloody vengeance to lower his guard in a location far from any witnesses). After eventually dispatching Jeff some time later, Jane’s body is found dead from blood loss, having died during childbirth. There is no sign of the infant, and more tellingly, smeared on the wall in Jane’s blood is the slogan: ‘Go To Sleep’. This has inspired a whole slew of Jeff/Jane the Killer’s Son/Daughter stories.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of these fall squarely into the Crappypasta category, and are widely reviled by a large contingent of the Creepypasta community.

However, there are also massive groups of fans (the majority of which appear to be teenage girls) who are extremely passionate and vocal in their support of their preferred Jane. A quick look at DeviantArt turns up page after page of Jane fanart, and there are also plenty of pictures on Tumblr. YouTube hosts a number of Jane the Killer videos, many of which set to the emo strains of an Evanescence track, obv.
They regularly clash with Jeff’s own fangirls, plenty of whom hate Jane as a character because she wants to kill their beloved Jeff.
To be honest, it’s all a bit Take That vs East 17 (I’ve a very strong suspicion I may have given my age away with that analogy!).
One of the major criticisms levelled at Jane is that she’s seen as something of a Mary Sue (especially the Liquid Hate, superpowered Richardson).
For those unfamiliar with the term, a Mary Sue (or Gary Stu, Marty Stu or Larry Stu for male characters) is a type of young character (especially prevalent in fanfiction) who is impossibly perfect and seen as an idealised author insert. The name comes from a character (the youngest Lieutenant in the fleet — only fifteen-and-a-half years old) in Paula Smith’s 1973 parody A Trekkie's Tale, which was published in her fanzine Menagerie #2. The story itself poked gentle fun at a lot of Star Trek fan fiction, but since then this term has come to carry heavy negative connotations. The worst of these is that a Mary Sue serves as a wish-fulfilment proxy for the author, a perfect example of what they want to be, which in turn makes the character unrealistic in their perfection and not developed enough to be interesting.

There have been several people who are outspoken about the damage the term Mary Sue has done to fanfiction. It seems now that as soon as anybody inserts a female character into an established mythos, that character is quickly dismissed as a Mary Sue. It implies a certain sexism in online fan communities ,and poses the question, if Jane were to have been a male character (Jake the Killer perhaps) would the backlash have been as strong? The characters of Masky, Hoody and Ticci Toby have been widely accepted into the Slenderman canon.
Of course a simple reason for this could be that they are allies of the popular original creation, rather than sworn enemies. Let’s not forget how popular these Creepypasta icons have become, and how fiercely protective their fans feel towards them.

Which brings us back to Crappypasta. Is it fair to dismiss a work purely because you don’t approve of the character’s motivations? Isn’t all art — including literature — subjective, and as such, beyond traditional criticism?
There are definitely some works that resonate better with an audience than others (as well as writing these features, I review horror films so I’m encouraged to rate or rank the work of others based on my conceptions of quality), but to discourage any artist who was brave enough to put their work out there by simply labelling it as ‘crappy’ is pretty harsh.

Jane the Killer is not my favourite Creepypasta creation, but there are elements in the stories of both Richardson and Arkensaw that I appreciate. What’s more, I think the character gives us a fascinating microcosm of internet fandom — a character written into an existing online mythos, since adopted into multiple personas by different groups of fans who feel ‘Their Jane’ is the best one, and sparking an almost equal amount of love and hate from the community for a wealth of reasons.

With so much invested emotion from people who feel passionately about the character, plus an ever expanding mythos and fresh developments and new directions for the story on an almost daily basis, Jane the Killer is actually a hugely successful icon, despite her naysayers.
With so much going on around this particular story, I think it’s safe to say that there’s no danger that onlookers will ‘go to sleep’.

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.