Warning: You may regret reading this when you’re done.
For those of you who don’t know, a Creepy Pasta is a horror story of sorts that people spread around the internet. Think a scary meme or urban myth on the internet. It’s like chain mail that you hate even more than regular chain mail. Since the advent of the internet, Creepy Pastas have been a part of web culture whether it was on early message boards of yore or Facebook Updates today. Like stories told around camp fires or at sleep overs, these digital ghost stories aren’t all true or even good. So, we at BabbleTop sifted through list after list, despite the fact that it ruined our ability to sleep with the lights off, to compile the Top 15 Creepy Pastas found on the internet.
15. The Angel Statue
Our first Creepy Pasta is a short but sweet story about a babysitter who essentially thought she was going to have the easiest gig of her life. After a married couple that she had been working with for awhile decided that they wanted to go out for the night, the babysitter arrived at the house where the children were already asleep. Because the only television with cable was in the parent’s room the sitter called them to see if it was okay if she went into their room to watch television. They of course approved, but then the girl called again to ask them if she could cover up the statue of an angel that was in their room as it was making her nervous, the father/husband told the babysitter to get out of the house with the kids right away as they didn’t own an angel statue. Whether or not he knew it was paranormal or thought perhaps a stranger put it in his room isn’t explained, but what is and what comes next is horrible. The parents rush home only to find that the babysitter and their children are dead, in a pool of their own blood. The statue was nowhere to be found.
14. The Grifter
The Grifter is different from a lot of the other Creepy Pastas on this list because it’s solely a video. Becoming popular in 2009, the video titled The Grifter was passed around the internet in a similar fashion to the video in The Ring. While it didn’t promise death in a week’s time, it essentially came with the disclaimer that it was so terrifying that it would traumatize whomever watched it… for life. While it was eventually proven to be a hoax, as most of the footage in the video came from the movie Little Otik, which was a little-known Czech stop-motion comedy from the year 2000, it still horrifies people to this day. The video essentially “showed” scenes of dying children, close-ups of exorcisms and the sounds of excruciating screams. Even knowing that it’s fake, it’s still really, really hard to watch and because of the overall quality of and the viral nature of it, it makes this list.
13. Normal Porn for Normal People
This is the Creepy Pasta that the staff at BabbleTop has the most problems with. It’s objectively terrifying and while there are pockets of (mostly young) people who believe that each of these Creepy Pastas is true, this Pasta has the potential to be real and because of that, just scares us down to our bones. This story began with a chain email titled NormalPornforNormalPeople.com, which linked people to a site that was essentially a wall of text with a tagline that reads “Normal Porn for Normal People, A Website Dedicated To The Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality.” While most people left the site after they didn’t, in fact, find any porn, some people started to notice that some of the words in that wall of text actually linked to different videos. At first, the videos seemed sort of fun and non-threatening. For example, there’s a video titled peanut.avi, where a woman and man feed a dog peanut butter sandwiches. Another video that starts out seeming “normal” is titled jimbo.avi, in it an obese mime is seen performing and all goes well until the end where he ends up sobbing uncontrollably, mime makeup and all, for about 30 seconds. The videos get much, much worse from there and it’s really not something that we can describe here (as we’re a family site!) but suffice it to say that the videos heavily imply that the man (or woman, but we all know it’s a man) behind the camera is somehow coercing these people to perform for his sick pleasure. It’s a terrifying Pasta because you can find these videos out there, we highly suggest you don’t go looking unless you’re out of coffee and are looking to stay up all night… Questioning your faith in man-kind.
12. SCP Foundation
Perhaps no other Creepy Pasta on this list, save for Slender Man, has created as large of a fan-written (known as collaborative writing) and maintained universe as the Pasta that is the Secure, Contain and Protect Foundation. This story first appeared in and around 4Chan around 2007 and the story goes that the SCP Foundation is essentially a group of doctors, agents and researchers that essentially protect the world from different creatures and objects, known as SCPs. The group isn’t government funded but works with the governments of the world and its goal is to keep dangerous creatures out of the hands of people who may use them to do horrible, horrible things. They also do experiments on the creatures they capture and even on death row inmates. The entire story started with a creature named SCP-173, a statue like creature with short arms and legs and a face full of blood. The story goes that as long as you’re looking at the creature it cannot move, but the second you take your eyes off of it it will immediately break your neck. Because of that it has to be constantly observed. Perhaps the most popular creature is SCP-682, a creature that is indestructible and essentially can adapt to anything you throw it’s way. Light it on fire, it becomes flame retardant, try to drown it and it grows gills, so on and so forth. It’s essentially invincible, so for this reason it’s a fun writing exercise for many people online who like to match it up against other fictional creatures or find ways to contain or destroy it. Either way the SCP Foundation shows the fun side of Creepy Pastas and the great work people online can do when they work together. So, it makes this list despite being a bit different than other more succinct stories on this list. It’s also here because if I don’t write about SCP-173, it’ll break my neck!
11. The Keyhole
Since perhaps Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece (or one of them) The Shining, there’s something inherently creepy about hotel rooms, especially hotel rooms that people aren’t allowed in or that aren’t numbered. Human beings are a curious species and that can often time lead us to trouble, as is the case in our next Creepy Pasta titled The Keyhole. It’s a story about a man who checks into a hotel and is told by the front desk to stay away from the room that has no number, as he will pass it on the way to his room. It’s being used for storage, the clerk says, assumingly because people have asked a lot of questions about it and she was trying to nip his curiosity in the bud. Of course, it does the exact opposite and the protagonist in the story can’t stay away from the room for more than one night. As the clerk said, the room is locked. After trying in vain to open it, the man decides to look through the keyhole on the door. He sees a room that is exactly like his with one exception, there is a pale woman standing in the corner with her head against the wall. Confused and for some reason not running for his life, the man returns to his room to sleep and returns the next day in an attempt to again gain entrance to the room. Again he is unable, so he again looks through the keyhole but this time all he sees is the color red. More confused than ever he goes to the front desk to confess that he has been trying to get into the room and the clerk explains that they lock the room because it is haunted by a ghost of a woman who was murdered in the room by her husband years before. It turns out that she fits the description of the woman the man saw in the corner, except for one caveat. She is pale with dark hair but one thing the man didn’t see was her extremely bloodshot, red, eyes. That means that when he was looking into the keyhole the second day the woman was essentially looking back and that’s just terrifying and yet another reason why Airbnb is taking over the hospitality industry!
10. Where Bad Kids Go
Like many famous Pastas, Where Bad Kids Go focuses on a children’s show that the writer remembers watching as a child. Or rather in this case, the story is about a photographer who decides to investigate a show he remembers watching as a child. There’s something inherently creepy about children’s entertainment, especially 70-80’s era children’s entertainment. While in the Western world that creepiness extended to things like the waking nightmare that is H.R. PufNStuf, apparently (at least according to this Creepy Pasta) the stuff in Lebanon was a lot more direct and in your face. The show used graphic content in a way to scare kids away from misbehaving and while it’s obviously part of a fictional story, it doesn’t sound like it’s too out of bounds for a country that produced Mia Khalifa. The title of the Pasta comes from the ending of the “show”, in which a camera slowly pans towards an old, rusty iron door inside of which screams can be heard. The show would tell children that the room/insides of that door are where “The Bad Kids Go”, hence the name of the show and the Pasta itself. The photographer managed to track down the studio years after the show ended and the door was actually part of the studio, inside were traces of blood, bone, and feces and the creepiest part was the fact that there was still a microphone inside of some sort of cage that was put there to pick up the screams for the end of the show. While we here at BabbleTop are by no means co-signing child abuse or child murder, one has to think that the Millenial generation could’ve used more Iron Doored rooms and less trophies for last place.
9. The Rake
The Rake is a historical Creepy Pasta that involves a creature that was sighted in 2003 in the northeast United States. Apparently, the horrifying creature’s appearance was able to evoke a wide range of emotions in the people that saw him and while his initial appearance drew a ton of media coverage and stories online, all of those stories ended up being mysteriously destroyed despite the fact that people continued to report sightings of the creature. Some people looked into the creature and found that reports of sightings went as far back as the 1200’s. One terrible story from back then involved a woman who awoke to find the creature, which she described as looking like a dog without its hair, at the foot of her bed. The creature jumped at her and her husband and then ended up running into the rooms of the couple’s children. The couple ran after the creature but realized that they were too late as the creature had already mutilated their children. Close to death, their daughter said “He is the Rake”; that alone should make your chores in the fall all the more terrible.
One of the more realistic Creepy Pastas on the internet, 1999 is the story of a blogger from Canada named Elliot who tries to track down the story behind a channel he comes across on TV (that he watched in 1999). This is a story based on a memory and what Elliot remembers is horrible. He comes to the conclusion that the channel was run by a local pedophile and predator who was trying to lure kids into his house. The pedophile was thought to wear a bear costume and refer to himself as “Mr. Bear”, which brings the pedo-bear meme to mind (as well as the Candle Cove Creepy Pasta). The thought of a grainy, public access show that was meant to lure children to their tortuous deaths is scary enough, but when the author gets into the episodes where Mr. Bear was visible, it gets too scary and gory to repeat here. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but also hard to stop reading.
7. Anasi’s Goatman Story
Like many other Creepy Pastas, this story began on 4chan’s /x/ forums, which is their paranormal forum. This story is also apparently based on a Native American legend which gives it some historical realism that makes it extra terrifying, especially if you live in the states that have Native American populations/reservations. The story is about a teen that goes down to Alabama on a family vacation. During this trip they decide to go camping and the teen and his friends end up seeing a terrifying creature out in the woods, the Goatman. His movements are jerky (which is always terrifying for some reason) and his statements amount to nothing but gibberish, but he is still able to infect the minds of the people around him by creating a sense of horrifying paranoia. This is one of the better written Creepy Pasta’s and despite the fact that it’s extremely scary, it’s worth a read.
6. Jeff the Killer
As far as Creepy Pastas go, Jeff the Killer is one of the more memorable ones because it involves a “real” person (as opposed to a doll, a video game, or group of scientists conducting an experiment). The “Jeff” in Jeff the Killer is a serial killer who hides in closets and whispers to his victims “Go to Sleep” before killing them and everyone else in their house. The worst part? Outside of the homicide, is his face. I mean, look at that! He’s got a pale, smooth face with tiny, lid-less eyes and a gigantic grin. Even thinking about that face should give you the willies. His origin story mirrors one of the most famous in recent fiction, The Joker, in that his face was burned with a chemical he ended up going insane because of it. Unlike the Joker, though, he stalks people with the intent to murder them for no apparent reason (as opposed to those murders being part of a bigger plan, like the Joker) and that lack of overall motive is what makes him so terrifying. That… And that face. Seriously. Ugh.
5. The Russian Sleep Experiment
The Russian Sleep Experiment is perhaps one of the most well known Creepy Pastas out there. If there ever was a time that horrible experiments could’ve happened it’s during WWII. this story goes that five political prisoners were subjected to a sleep experiment in Russia shortly after the horror that was that war. In this story, the prisoners were kept awake for 30 days in a tank filled with experimental gas. Because most humans would die after four days without sleep, the prisoners begin to lose their minds and deal with horrifying side effects. The ending of the story is too horrible to write here, so if you’ve got the stomach for it and want to end up losing sleep for a day or two, Google it. But suffice it to say, don’t feel bad the next time you take a nap.
4. Ben Drowned
For those of you in the Xennial or late Millenial generation, this Creepy Pasta may ruin one of your favorite games of all time. This is the story of Ben, a college student who picked up a copy of Zelda: Majora’s Mask at a garage sale. Today, hacked video games are a large part of Creepy Pasta lore, so while this is a common trope, none are as well-done or as frightening as the one titled Ben Drowned. Created by Alex Hall aka Jadusable, the story goes that the game cartridge used to belong to a boy named Ben who drowned and he essentially haunts the player through the game and eventually in his real life. The Pasta itself is terrifying and definitely worth a read and will ruin anyone’s ability to actually play Majora’s Mask ever again. It’s extremely well done and will stick with you for awhile, which is a sign of a great Pasta.
3. Robert the Doll
Unlike other Pasta’s on this list, Robert the Doll actually exists. There are multiple origin stories that surround this doll but the one agreed upon thing is that the doll was given to artist Robert Eugene Otto sometime in the late 1800’s or early 1900’s by a servant of his. The artist named the doll after himself and after that it apparently gained sentience and started attacking Otto’s family (probably because his owner was such a narcissist that he named a doll after himself). For whatever reason, Otto kept the doll for years and because of that, his wife apparently became insane because of the constant torment. The doll still actually exists in real life, and is on display at the Fort East Martello Museum in Key West, Florida and there are rules for taking pictures of Robert. Apparently, if you fail to ask Robert if you can take his picture he will place a curse on you, so make sure that you heed that warning the next time you’re on vacation! I wonder what his rules are for cross posting pictures online? I didn’t email him to ask permission so I wonder… Oh No…
2. Candle Cove
Candle Cove is a Creepy Pasta that takes advantage of the Mandela Effect, which is the combined memory that a group of people have about something that history doesn’t acknowledge actually exists. Candle Cove was apparently a puppet show that was originally going to be named “Pirate Place”, and which supposedly aired in and around parts of Ohio in the late 70’s. This Creepy Pasta was created by web cartoonist and author Kris Straub. His initial idea spread and the show’s “universe” expanded to include multiple episodes, seasons and characters. The show was apparently a terrifying puppet show that included characters named Pirate Percy, Skin-Taker and Horace Horrible. The website The Verge had great things to say about this Pasta, stating that it was “a perfectly dark spin on our nostalgia for the half-remembered stories of our childhood, that realization that the things we liked as kids were much, much creepier than we thought.” That’s so true! Out of context that fantasy world on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood was really a house of abject horror if you think about it. The voices, the puppets, the fact that they couldn’t really move. All of it. Candle Cove isn’t the first to take advantage of that creepy feeling, but it’s definitely the best at it.
If there’s any Creepy Pasta that has transcended internet lore and actually leaked out into the mind and zeitgeist of society as a whole, it’s Slender Man. Slender Man has become a franchise in and of himself and because no one owns the rights to Slender Man, he’s becoming more omnipresent and popular than ever, and maybe that’s his plan? This tall, slender and faceless man is all white and preys on children that become obsessed with his existence. In a Freddy Kruger-esque twist, the more children know or think about Slender Man, the more he preys on them. He inhabits wooded areas and no one really knows what happens to the children he abducts because no one has ever escaped his long, pale clutches. The story of Slender Man has actually lead to real life horror as a couple of pre-teens in Wisconsin became so obsessed with the lore surrounding Slender Man that they actually attempted to murder a third friend of theirs in some sort of sick sacrifice for Slendy. So, despite this article, it’s best not to think of Slender Man, as the less we acknowledge his existence the less trauma he can inflict (think Voldemort). That’s why he deserves the number one spot but should probably not be on this list, at all.