An exclusive chapter from SLASHER SAM, a new comedic horror novel about a murderous movie-obsessed psycho killer with their own blog…
The world can be a fairly terrifying place at the best of times. But the internet – where all manner of gruesome imagery, horrifying true-crime stories, and sickeningly violent videos are just a click away – is always the most terrifying place of all.
Thanks to the World Wide Web, you don’t even need a campfire anymore to share your ghost stories around. Indeed, the most common form of internet horror stories these days go by the name of ‘creepypasta’, derived from the internet slang word ‘copypasta’, which are blocks of text or images that get copied and pasted over and over from one website to the next.
So, in other words, creepypastas – which sound delicious but actually aren’t – are essentially viral internet-based urban legends of the mad and the macabre that get passed around like an online fungal infection.
Perhaps one-day Slasher Sam will inspire a legion of people online to perpetuate my legend. In the meantime, these are my top 10 favourite creepypastas.
Dating back to the beginnings of the internets, Smile.Dog, Smile.jpg, or smiledog.jpg – depending on which creepypasta meme you see – is the creepy image of a smiling dog with human teeth that allegedly drives those who view it insane, lest they spread it like the curse in It Follows (minus the fun part).
I’ve seen the image lots of times (above), and I can assure you that I’m still sane – relative to the likes of Rasputin, Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen anyway. But it is indeed both maddening and horrifying, just probably not in the way its creator initially intended.
The image of Smile.Dog is so badly Photoshopped that it’ll drive you positively crazy trying to understand how something so crappy could be viewed by so many idiots online.
9. Black-eyed kids
According to the world on the internet, black-eyed kids are supernatural monstrosities posing as children with pale skin and black eyes (so they’re pretty much mini goths, then). They give off a weird, unnatural vibe and, according to the multitude of stories online (all of them truthful, I’m sure), they are most often found in deserted and derelict parts of town.
Personally, I find it hard to be intimidated by anyone who can’t open a childproof cap, but the existence of black-eyed kids has become a great internet legend anyway. These kids have gone on to feature in books, TV shows, and movies, making them far more bankable than old Macaulay Culkin is these days.
8. Mr Widemouth
Mr Widemouth is a small creature with a wide mouth (hence the name) that purportedly visits children in their bedrooms at night (it’s a common theme running through many creepypasta stories) and convinces them to juggle knives, or jump off the roof – you know, all the fun stuff that kids love doing anyway.
Looking like a deranged Furby with a rictus grin, the sadistic Mr Widemouth would arguably be more at home among the Happy Tree Friends than a list of internet nasties. Definitely don’t ask him to babysit – unless your progeny happen to be black-eyed kids, in which case you have my permission to go right ahead.
A children’s television programme run by a perverted predator with the intention of luring kids into his house so that he could torture and kill them live on air… it’s clearly something that Frederick Charles Krueger should have thought of.
But it’s actually the basis of another creepypasta story, titled ‘1999’. As the story goes, a mentally unstable man in a bear suit – known simply as ‘Mr Bear’ – starred in this children’s television show and other decidedly non-family-friendly programming that briefly aired on a local station in Caledon, Canada, in the late 1990s.
As bleak as these shows sound, I’d still rather watch them than Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Now that’s a terrifying television show.
6. Eyeless Jack
Eyeless Jack is that guy in the black hoody and blue mask who comes into children’s rooms at night (here we go again) and eats out their kidneys. Don’t ask me how he navigates with no eyes – maybe he’s like a kidney-munching version of blind Marvel superhero Daredevil and he’s developed radar senses or something?
Either way, there’s definitely something disturbing about the idea of a creature coming into a kid’s bedroom at night to take something from them. Unless it leaves some money under the pillow; then it’s totally cool, just like the tooth-fairy.
What’s the going rate for a black-market kidney these days, anyway? It’d have to be more than a few crumpled singles and a stick of gum.
5. The Rake
A vaguely humanoid creature that stalks and attacks people in the forest. Now where have I heard that one before?
Dubbed ‘The Rake’ because of its slim, rake-like appearance, this creature purportedly looks sort of like one of those creatures in that movie The Descent, unless you own the copyright to that movie and you’re looking to sue the author of this creepypasta, in which case it looks nothing at all like the subterranean creatures in that film whatsoever.
Apparently, events in the northeastern United States involving the creature sparked media interest in 2003, but all information about the creature was subsequently blacked out. Because it’s so easy to completely remove something from the internet; just ask all those celebrities who have had their nude photos posted online.
4. Robert The Doll
Dolls are creepy enough without them being possessed by malevolent spirits. This particular specimen was supposedly given to real painter Robert Eugene Otto some time near the turn of the 19th/20th century, and then it seemingly took on a life of its own, terrorising him and his family.
But before you go thinking that this is just another creepypasta without any ties to the real world, I’ll have you know that this doll actually does exist; it’s currently housed at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, where it’ll supposedly curse you if you dare mock it.
Robert was even the inspiration for that other killer doll, Chucky from Child’s Play. So here’s hoping Robert didn’t read my list of the top 10 worst slasher movie villains.
3. Slender Man
Slender Man is like the Justin Bieber of creepy internet memes – ubiquitous, photogenic, and fervently worshipped by a very vocal minority of losers online.
Proving once again that creepypasta authors tend to be creatively bankrupt when it comes to christening their creations, Slender Man is an unnaturally tall and thin man with a blank and featureless face, often depicted in a suit and tie, that has been adapted into possibly hundreds of pieces of online fiction, art and video, all depicting him stalking, abducting, killing and just generally traumatising people – mostly children, of course – all around the world.
Most unsettling is the fact that the Slender Man mythos allegedly inspired two teenage girls in Wisconsin to brutally stab one of their friends in order to please him. I’m not even joking right now. I’d hate to think what terror the Beebs could inspire his teenage fan base to commit, besides turning up the volume. Shudder. Now there’s a scary thought.
2. Jeff The Killler
Stop reading this for a moment and Google ‘Jeff The Killer’ right now. You see that creepy white-faced loon staring back at you from the top of the page? That’s Jeffery – or Jeff to his friends – and the origin of that image might be more chilling than the creepypasta it inspired.
You see, the legend of Jeff The Killer originated only as an image, and then someone added a backstory about a serial killer burnt by acid who sneaks into people’s houses and whispers “go to sleep” as he murders them… yadda yadda yadda.
But according to the urban legend behind the urban legend (we’re in Inception territory right now), it was originally the image of a girl who committed suicide after being bullied online for being fat, which was later Photoshopped (very poorly, I might add).
Whether or not that is indeed true, it only adds to the legend of Jeff the Killer and that fabled image.
This creepypasta about an obsessed stalker hit the big time when, first of all, it was adapted by the author into a full-length novel, and secondly, its film rights were optioned to a fairly well-known (but not enough to name here) documentary film maker in 2012.
So what’s the fuss about this one? Well, Penpal begins as a long series of non-linear childhood recollections that I won’t spoil here and it slowly ratchets up the tension as the full scope of the terror becomes clearer. Suffice it to say, the quality of the writing and the nature of the jigsaw-puzzle-like narrative is a decapitated head and shoulders above most creepypastas.
In cyberspace, EVERYONE can hear you scream!
Dismayed that the slasher movie genre is currently deader than a Crystal Lake camper on Friday the 13th, ‘Slasher Sam’ is bringing new life to the art form by ending the lives of mischievous campers, sex-crazed teenagers, unruly partygoers, and anyone else who breaks one of the fundamental rules of being in a slasher movie.
Read it before you go offline… permanently 💀