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Throughout time and history, in every country, in every culture, there are legends and tales that captivate and terrify. With the invention of the internet came the “CreepyPasta,” the modern horror story, haunting forums—waiting for a chance to be shared and meet the eager eyes of horror fans. Without further ado, these are the creepiest of the CreepyPastas, retold for you to decide if you’d like to share…if you dare!
Perhaps the most popular of these frightening tales, our list would be incomplete without The Slenderman. Prior to the games and movies, this shadowy figure haunted the forums and the nightmares of youth immersed in internet culture.
The Slenderman first appeared in 2009, in the forums located on Something Awful, in a post by a user known as “Victor Surge.” The post was a Photoshop thread, where users were encouraged to give photographs of everyday, normal things, shopped to give the appearance and air of the supernatural, or paranormal. Surge submitted several photographs of a shadow figure with bizarre captions, and it wasn’t long before other users began to submit their own with equally bizarre and terrifying excerpts of text.
From what we can gather, the Slenderman appears to victims and begins to stalk them, toy with them, and eventually murders them, taking a special interest in children, as most demons of the night. Being that there is no specific canon or official reference point, the Slenderman’s habits, demeanor, motives, and abilities are not fixed, nor set in stone, but change from user to user spinning their tales. Users all seem to agree that if you greet him, survival is highly unlikely, though it is always reported that he is a shadow figure filled with malice.
Slenderman soon went viral and crossed over into real life, where upon two young girls from Waukesha, Wisconsin, were involved in the stabbing of another similarly aged classmate, said to be a sacrifice to Slenderman after stumbling across the shadow demon on the forums in the dark corners of the net. Both girls were charged with stabbing their classmate 19 times, and diagnosed with mental illness—one of the girls even claimed to have conversed with Lord Voldemort. The tale of Slenderman has proved to at least in this case, be capable of driving those with fragile constitutions mad and the influence of Slenderman remains in the relatively stable minds of all who have encountered this dark tale.
2. Robert the Doll
Unlike the Slenderman, the tale of Robert the doll began in real life in the late 1800s with the Otto family, to be retold by the internet many times over, chilling even the most composed. The wealthy Thomas Otto, by all accounts, had it all—beautiful wife, child, named Robert, and many servants who the Ottos were rumored to have treated very sharply and critically. Charged to care for Robert was a Haitian servant whose name has been lost to the archives of history. One day the servant was said to have been caught practicing “black magick” by Mrs. Otto, who immediately discharged the servant from their home and payroll. Before leaving, the servant gifted a three foot tall doll with black button eyes, stuffed with straw and what is said to be human hair belonging to Robert himself.
Robert immediately loved the doll, and frequently dressed it in his own clothes. It became his constant companion, even having a place at the dinner table, and is reported to have been tucked in with the child at night. It wasn’t long before strange things began to happen. Robert, the human, began to tire of the confusion created by himself and the doll bearing the same name, making the decision to be referred to as ‘Gene,’ his middle name. The child would be heard in his room having conversations with the doll, frightening many of the servants and even his parents. His voice could be heard, but a second, much deeper voice was said to be responding to the child. Incidents began to occur where the child would be found cowering in his room while the doll stood, reportedly glowering at Gene from his perch on a chair, or on the bed. His toys began to turn up broken, almost mutilated, and household objects are said to have hurled themselves across the room, while young Gene often took the blame for these acts of mischief. Eventually, under the recommendation of an aunt in the Otto family, Robert the doll was placed in a box and locked away in the attic, where he lay in wait for many years, while Gene grew up and set out on his own.
Following the death of his father, Gene was summoned back to his childhood home, whereupon he decided to move in with his new wife. He felt the old house was perfect for his passion for art, providing great light and a spaciousness their old home had not had. After some time in the home, Gene stumbled across his old friend, Robert the doll, dusted him off and began to rekindle his friendship with the toy, despite pleas from his wife, who was disturbed by the doll and Gene’s behavior. Once again, Gene started to bring the doll with him everywhere and was reported to have even set a chair out for the doll, near the bed, so the doll could watch over him and his wife while they slept. As their marriage deteriorated, Mrs. Otto’s mind did so as well until she died of mysterious causes, and Gene soon followed suit.
Successive to the deaths of the doll’s masters, it was claimed that Robert would attack people, even locking them in the attic, where he ultimately was locked once again. Those close to the doll claimed that he was constantly having to be placed again in his box in the attic, having been found in different areas of the house, until the home was vacated and he was left behind.
Years later, when the doll was found again, Robert was moved to East Martello Museum in Key West, in a glass box, where he is said to still be the same Robert he has always been and still remains today. Visitors and employees of the museum assert the doll changes positions, facial expressions, and even turns lights on and off. It has also been reported that those who take a picture without asking nicely, are subject to a curse being laid on them by the doll.
3. The Russian Sleep Experiment
Perhaps the most terrifying of all the CreepyPastas that we have come across, while appearing to have no connection to any real events, plays on our darkest fears and nightmares about the human mind.
It begins in Russia, in the 1940s. Russian researchers were running an experiment on a stimulant gas, studying the effects of humans awake for 30 days. Due to the nature of the experiment, the Russians employed five prisoners, promising them freedom if they were to stay awake for the duration of the month. None of the prisoners would ever obtain this freedom they were promised.
And so it was that they were locked in a cell with porthole sized windows, microphones, enough food for the 30 days, running water, and cots. They were kept in a sealed environment to observe their oxygen intake, as in high concentrations, the gas was toxic. For the first several days of the experiment, the subjects talked amongst themselves, revealing things to each other, scarcely complaining. Over the course of these days, the content of the conversation took progressively more dark turns, until finally, on the fifth day, where they begun to complain and exhibit signs of extreme paranoia and suspicion of the other subjects involved in the experiment. They ceased communication with each other and would only communicate with the researchers, peering through the porthole windows and speaking softly into the microphones about the other subjects, convinced that by turning information over about the others, they would “win” their freedom and the trust of the researchers.
To the researchers, this appeared to be an effect of the gas, and they looked on with interest, continuing their strange experiment. After nine days though, it became clear something was happening and their experiment had taken an incredibly dark turn. One of the subjects became highly agitated and began to run the length of the sealed room, screaming for hours until the researchers theorized he had torn his vocal cords, only able to manage a few small squeaks here and there. The researchers took note of how the others reacted….moreso how they didn’t react at all to the other subject’s behavior. They simply continued to whisper into the microphones until a second subject began to scream, while two of the subjects who were not screaming started to smear their fecal matter into books and paste the pages over the portholes. Once the porthole windows were covered in the pages painted in excrement, the screaming stopped nearly immediately. Incidentally, so did the whispering into the microphones.
The researchers allowed three days of silence before growing concerned the microphones may not be working as the silence was so overwhelming. They thought it not possible for five people to make such little noise. The oxygen levels being consumed were consistent with all five test subjects alive, oddly enough, consuming more oxygen than to be expected of five sedentary subjects. The amount of oxygen consumed was more consistent with five who would have been exercising heavily. On the morning of the fourteenth day, the researchers had decided to speak over the intercom to elicit a response. They told the subjects that they were coming in to check the microphones, and that the compliance of the subjects would garner one lucky subject immediate freedom.
Much to their surprise, only a single and strangely unemotional voice replied, “We no longer wish to be freed.”
They were unable to evoke any more response from the subjects. After much debate from the researchers and military personnel in charge of the experiment, it was decided to flush the chamber of the stimulant gas, fill it with fresh air, and see what was going on inside.
Around midnight, when they began to flush the gas, the captive subjects begged and pleaded for them to turn the gas back on. When the military operatives entered the chamber, four were alive but badly dismembered, and the fifth was dead.
This story goes on to tell of the horrifying events subsequent to opening the chamber, how the remaining men living reacted to being sedated (roughly, death, or a complete resistance to the sedative), how the military operatives were badly injured and even killed. The story ends with the researchers being locked in the chamber with the remaining living, and the terrifying explanation given by a subject, when asked what they were.
“We are you. We are the madness that lurks within you all, begging to be free at every moment in your deepest animal mind. We are what you hide from in your beds every night. We are what you sedate into silence and paralysis when you go to the nocturnal haven where we cannot tread.”
Needless to say, not an altogether happy ending, as the researcher then shot the remaining subject, square between the eyes.
These stories speak of the fear of the dark, the fear of the unknown, and the very primal fear in all of us. All stories are retold in my words, but follow the links if you are bold enough to the CreepyPastas….and share if you dare.