Sunday, 2 October 2016



While it is easy to look at Creepypasta as simply a throwaway form of light entertainment, that is doing the genre a gross disservice. What Creepypasta has become, is a post-Millennial form of folklore. The stories are spread by the readers, often embellished along the way, and frequently mistaken for fact. There is a reason that so many touch on very familiar fears and dangers from old-fashioned word-of-mouth folklore before it — these are at the core psyche of all people.
Be it the dangers of missing an insidious evil right under our own noses and the threats posed to us by the natural world outside the comparative safety of the developed areas in which most of us live, these stories serve as both warning and a vicarious, cathartic release for our own fears.
This week’s offering is one that feels more like a traditional folktale than most.
It is The Thing That Stalks The Fields, by author David Feuling.

The earliest version of the story that I’ve found online was published at on 24 February 2010, although I have seen it credited to Feuling as far back as 2008. 
Feuling’s story is told from the perspective of an unnamed farmer who lives alone in an isolated rural setting.
One evening the farmer notices that the hay bales in the fields around his farmhouse have been moved, far out towards the boundaries of his property. Cursing this as the work of pranksters, the farmer moves the bales back to their original position. That evening something shocking occurs to some of the farm’s livestock. The bales are also moved again.
After tidying up the mess, the farmer grabs his shotgun and waits on his porch to apprehend his tormentors.
However, in the dead of night he finally lays eyes upon ‘The Thing That Stalks The Fields’... and slowly he comes to realise exactly what it wants.

The Thing That Stalks The Fields has become tremendously popular with the Creepypasta community, regularly cropping up on recommended reading lists, such as this post that appeared at TV Tropes in February 2012.
The titular ‘Thing’ has also gone on to inspire plenty of fanart at all the usual sites, such as DeviantArt, which now boasts hundreds of images.
It’s easy to understand how the story struck such a strong chord with the audience — Feuling is an excellent writer and his story, while simple is extremely atmospheric and boasts some genuinely startling imagery — not least of which the description of the monstrous Thing and the the manner in which it moves.
The story preys on some of our strongest fears, not least of which isolation, as the unnamed farmer faces his adversary alone, far from any potential aid.
The Thing itself is a great creation, utilising fear of the distorted human form, the inherent ‘wrongness’ of something like is yet still different — that which combines the savagery of the bestial with the implied intelligence and cunning of humanity. It also preys on the fear of insects, giving the creature a chitinous, bug-like quality. The fear of creepy-crawlies is a common one among people, from beetles, to moths, to (of course) spiders, entomophobia (the fear of insects) is among the most common phobias. That the monster in Feuling’s story is described as spindle-legged, like an oversized daddy longlegs, just adds to its nightmarish quality.

I think that, ultimately, it is the imagery of Feuling's story that makes it most striking. As such it’s no surprise to see that filmmakers have been drawn to it.

In 2014 director Chris Triggiani launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the funds to finish an adaptation of the story, while in June 2015 director Adrian Huff posted his own (albeit heavily altered) version of the story to YouTube.
I reached out to Huff to ask him about what drew him to Feuling's story, and he gave me the following responses.
HICKEY’S HOUSE OF HORRORS: You've adapted other Creepypasta titles, such as OCD. What attracted you to Creepypasta?
Adrian Huff: Creepypastas have always intrigued me, before I even began filmmaking I used to love reading them. There are very few that attract me enough to make me want to adapt it into a film. It's a mix of what resources I have available and what speaks to me.

HHoH: Why do you think The Thing That Stalks The Fields resonates so well with readers and viewers?
AH: The Thing That Stalks The Fields is a very creepy and eerie story. My film is very different from the original story but I still wanted to keep a lot of the original key points.

HHoH: Did you have any contact with author David Feuling during the film-making process?
AH: I actually haven't contacted to author yet, I would like to think he enjoyed it, I always give credit to the author though.

HHoH: Finally, what can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead? Will there be any more Creepypasta adaptions?
AH: I have very many creepypastas planned along with some other original short films. Plus some other video I’m experimenting with. Very excited for the future.

You can see more of Huff’s work over at his YouTube channel –

As well as movie adaptations, there have been plenty of Creepypasta readings of Feuling’s story, including a frankly superb version by the always excellent Otis Jiry over at Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. Jiry’s iconic drawl really captures the country setting of the story and comes highly recommended.

But as great as these adaptations are, that’s because they come from such fantastic source material.
The author, the very talented David Feuling, is a true fan of Creepypasta and very appreciative of the support that the community has shown his work. Feuling was kind enough to take the time to speak with UK Horror Scene at length about The Thing That Stalks The Fields, Creepypasta and his other projects. You can read the interview below.

UK HORROR SCENE: The most obvious first – what served as your inspiration for the story?
DAVID FEULING: Gosh, The Thing That Stalks the Fields was originally written so long ago I’m sure I can’t remember the specific inspiration. Mostly, I write from images, though. A disgusting insect makes me imagine strange creatures, and an idyllic landscape makes me wonder about places that don’t yet exist. The plot is secondary, admittedly, although I do certainly try to structure and shape what happens in a satisfying way for the reader. The main thing, though, is definitely that I write from a sense of inspiration that is visceral. If something makes me want to cry, or sneer, or even just feels sublime in some way to me, then that is usually what I’ll write about next.  

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?
DF: Stephen King is God, obviously.  I also love Kurt Vonnegut and Dostoyevsky and Ray Bradbury and, let’s see…  Tim O’Brien blew me away recently; I hadn’t tried him until recently. But in terms of horror I’m mostly a disciple of King, I suppose, but also very much of horror cinema. There are so many amazing directors doing such fantastically gruesome stuff right now! I am thinking of New French Extremism and other recent movements, mainly. I want to achieve that cinematic effect more than anything. It’s that feeling of needing to “cover your eyes” — that what I love best.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?
DF: In terms of sheer popularity, the answer can only be The Thing That Stalks the Fields.  In terms of what I personally thought was most brilliant or worthwhile? It’s funny, but the stories of mine that I like best usually are poorly received (or sometimes don’t even get published anywhere to be seen because the reaction is so negative!) But maybe that just means I’m a good writer with bad tastes, or something strange like that. But I’ve written so much I really couldn’t name a favorite anymore. Some stories have great imagery; others have plots I’m surprised I could write. At the end of the day I’m just happiest when people are enjoying and sharing my works. I’m proud of them all.

UKHS: What is your favourite Creepypasta by an author other than yourself?
DF: Great question! The one about the “Goatman” shape-shifting creature that spasms all over the cabin floor while they’re all sleeping is a classic one. Ooh, also the “Russian Sleep Experiment” one where the subjects begin to mutilate themselves upon witnessing the afterlife and Hell or whatever. I hope these other authors don’t mind these relatively vague titles/descriptions; I think the point of Creepypastas is to leave that vague impression. I certainly hope my fans describe my stories as “the one where that bug monstrosity thing is tearing the heads off horses”…
The point of these stories is to leave that lasting image, or impression — but I’m pontificating again…  Oh God, there are too many favorites to name! Anything involving an afterlife that isn’t too friendly or grotesque body horror or experimentation really keeps me up at night.  So if you’ve written something in that vein (and I’ve seen it), you can be sure that I love it.  WAIT — My all-time favorite Creepypasta might have to be “Candle Cove”!
That’s the one where all these local children remember a demonic and monstrous local TV show that never actually came on. The whole story is formatted like forum posts in a crummy, online local forum. It’s so immersive and amazing; I WANT TO WRITE SOMETHING LIKE THAT.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about the story. Are there any examples of fan art, such as films or readings, in particular that have impressed you? I saw an Indiegogo for a short film adaptation. What role (if any) have you had with that?
DF: I am very “hands off” with fan projects in general, and often I don’t even hear about them! My mentality has always been one of sharing, and I would not be nearly as well-known or “popular” (if you can call if that), had I ever been stingy with giving people the rights to do whatever they want with my work.If you’re out there reading this and want permission to use one of my stories for something, CONTACT ME!I love seeing what fans and my fellow artists can create, and I am always honored to be included creatively in a project. To answer the first part of your question more directly, YOU ALL IMPRESS ME SO MUCH!! I do check up on the communities that have grown up around certain stories occasionally, and I am always sincerely so impressed and amazing at the sheer talent that’s out there in general.
UKHS: I've heard a fantastic reading of the story by Otis Jiry over at Chilling Tales for Dark Nights. What were your thoughts on the adaptation?
DF: Mr. Jiry and Mr. Groshek and the whole Chilling Tales for Dark Nights crew are always completely amazing to work alongside in the production of this kind of storytelling! I am always so impressed by the quality of their productions, and I always feel very honored to hear my works spoken by Mr. Jiry. I think Chilling Tales for Dark Nights is doing amazing work, and I have told them so!

UKHS: You have a few stories up at CTFDN, what encouraged you to work with them? Is this an ongoing partnership and what else can we expect to see the guys there cover in the future?
DF: Is there an ongoing partnership? I really hope so!! I have been busy and not writing as much as I did in my best “heyday”, and I think the gang over at CTFDN has been working with a lot of very cool talent as well, so we just haven’t been “clicking” on our available projects recently. But I do hope for that to change!

UKHS: And finally will you ever return to the story of The Thing That Stalks The Fields in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?
DF: I actually just had some very cool success writing in the veins of internet and deep-web horror! (
I’ve been working with a very talented producer that goes by the moniker “Corpse Husband”; I’m sure some of your fans have heard of him and enjoy his work. I hope to write more about the “APPLESEED SYSTEM” which is introduced here in these works, and yes — I would absolutely be excited to write more in the universe of The Thing That Stalks the Fields! As I said in an earlier answer, what I truly love best is when a story is enjoyed by lots and lots of people. If my fans write me and say: “David, please write more about The Thing That Stalks the Fields,” I will be more than happy to do so!

I’m sure I’m not the only fan out there who’d love to see David return to The Fields in the future, so get writing!
Until then, we have his original and still very popular tale of rural horror and an unspeakable monster hiding among us.
I’m going to be taking a short break from these features for the next week or two, but upon my return I’ll be looking at another story of insidious evil… one of the very oldest and most popular Creepypasta stories of all time.

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

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