Archive for Internet

Weird Video of the Week

Posted in Fiction, Literature, Murder, Uncategorized, Weird Videos with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2015 by Stephanie Selby

This week’s video is a mysterious tale of puzzles, treasure, and an unsolved murder created and told through the internet. Enjoy!

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Creepypasta Critique: Smile Dog

Posted in Animals, Creepypasta, Monsters, Narrations, Review, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 23, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

Smile Dog is sure to floss the flesh out of his teeth every day!

Who doesn’t love this deranged dog? I suppose those of us not haunted by him!

In any case, Smile Dog is a creepypasta staple, one of the very well known tales that serve as a great introduction to this internet-based genre. Those of you who are unfamiliar can read the entire pasta here, or you can listen to my own narration of Smile Dog on YouTube.

The basic plot starts with a young writer looking to interview a woman by the name of Mary E. to get a good story. However, their meeting proves disastrous as she becomes hysterical and refuses to talk at all. It seems as if the writer came out of there with nothing, but one day he receives a letter from the same woman some time after her untimely death.

The cause of her dismay is a peculiar picture she saw on the internet. One that when viewed will cause the terrible photo’s subject to harass the viewer until they ‘spread the word.’ That would be showing the same picture to others.

It’s an instant classic because of the story’s ability to tempt us with our innate curiosity. I’m certain there’s a little part of all of us that want to take a peek at Smile Dog’s picture. Just to see what it’s like, just to see if the curse is true. If it is, all we have to do to cure ourselves is to show the picture to someone else, right?

Smile Dog is also helped by Mary’s character, as she is an honorable woman who struggles with the moral implications of what passing this curse on to others could entail. Even though she does die, her efforts seem successful. She doesn’t spread the word to anyone else. In my personal opinion, she beat that damn dog! A bittersweet kind of victory.

I think this story continues to survive because Smile Dog requires one thing that the internet is all too familiar with: the ability to share and spread all types of information. So often stories, videos, chain letters, go viral and we’re all exposed to whatever the internet has to offer. Usually this is  a good thing for us; we can now quickly research different subjects or keep up with the latest news. The internet can help improve ourselves or at the very least (such as with silly cat videos) brighten our day.

However information can be harmful to us. You could find out over Facebook that your spouse is cheating on you. A terrorist could find directions on how to make a bomb. You could be completely misinformed by someone who is spreading false or inaccurate information. You could be cursed by viewing a picture a friend sent you.

Sharing information like this was harder to do when Mary was first affected by the picture, as the internet didn’t have the capabilities that it does now. But the author wants to pass the torch to his audience, so what kind of spread could we expect to see with the modern internet? The possibilities should fill you with dread. It does for me.

Perhaps it’s the reason why I’m spreading the word, so to speak. You might want to consider doing that too.

Creepypasta Critique: Candle Cove

Posted in Children, Creepypasta, Review, Television with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2014 by Stephanie Selby

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Who doesn’t love this classic creepypasta? It was one of the first tales I found scattered across the internet, thanks to a YouTube channel called theLittleFears which I recommend checking out. Childhood nostalgia, internet lore, and a little twist at the end are just some of the things which make this tale so unnerving for readers, and we’re going to take a close look at it today. You can read a version of the story here. It’s not a very long read.

The basic gist is that forum members are discussing Candle Cove, an obscure kid’s puppet show about pirates from the 1970s. As more and more details come to light, it becomes quite clear that the show had a strange and eerie nature that wasn’t appropriate for children. There was even an episode where the characters did nothing but scream the entire time. Eventually one of the posters discovers that their mother never perceived this show herself, instead observing that they would switch to static and watch it for thirty minutes, implying that the show never really existed or was impossible for an adult to view.

So many things about Candle Cove are so creepy because it is ambiguous in almost every way. Not only is it very obscure, it’s hidden behind time, memory, and the lack of recollection of those who were adults at the time of it’s airing. It takes time for forum members to piece together their memories of the show, and it creates a nice buildup to the climax of the screaming episode and final twist. The fact that puppets are part of is is just icing on the cake.

The screaming episode is an important aspect that makes this strange television show even more mysterious and unnerving. Scary things often make little sense. If fact when events do make sense, or can be explained away, the less terrifying they become. Once we understand whatever was scaring us, it’s no longer ambiguous; we know with certainty if it’s a threat and how to deal with it accordingly. An episode with no plot and the characters in a constant state of terror is more than enough to unsettle any viewer.

The format here is effective as well. The different usernames, writing styles, topic description, and block paragraph format are ubiquitous to an average internet forum. It easily gives the reader a similar feeling to lurking around a real forum page, heightening the experience.

In all seriousness, there’s no real criticism  I can offer at this point. Candle Cove is a short, sweet creepypasta that leaves quite an impact. It’s damn near perfect.