Society & Culture
Creepypasta - Fans and Frights in the Age of the Internet
What’s 6 foot tall, has no face, an is RIGHT BEHIND YOU?! We don’t know, but we heard a story from a friend of a friend of ours… but that doesn’t matter because this week, we’re talking about fans of that unique online horror phenomenon, Creepypasta (and hopefully, we don’t get too scared)!
Next week, we take on a definitely less creepy fandom (with special guests from the Ontario Ghostbusters), Ghostbusters fans!
History and Origins:
Creepypasta is a kind of online horror fiction that crosses over many different fandoms, and takes its name from the internet term “copypasta” (where something would be copy-pasted from website to website). Creepypasta comes in many different forms from lost episode myths (for example, the Simpsons “Dead Bart” episode) or urban legends like Slender Man or Polybius. Creepypasta likely dates back to the late 1990s and early 2000s with stories like Ted the Caver, and gained more popularity with communities like creepypasta.com, the Creepypasta wiki, and reddit’s r/nosleep (Fanlore - Creepypasta).
Looking at the Google Trends Data for Creepypasta and Slenderman gives us an interesting quick history. There was almost no interest at all until June 2012 where interest in both terms started rising quickly (Slenderman in particular spiked to its most interest ever in August 2012; probably corresponding to the release of Slender: The Eight Pages). Interest has been a slow decline ever since.
Looking at the search data also gives us some idea of some of the most popular creepypastas. For example Jeff the Killer, Pokemon, Slenderman, and Ben Drowned (a legend of Zelda creepypasta).
Size of Fandom:
This week is a really challenging one to estimate. Here is some of the data we have:
r/nosleephas over 12 million subscribers
Given that, we can probably estimate about fans in the millions, but it is tricky to narrow down creepypasta fans from general horror fans.
T could not nope fast enough. Nuke it from orbit.
Z is in. Still nopes hard… spine tingles, but loves them.
G is out. Hell no.
Could not find an active charity related to Creepypasta. That being said…
Ronald McDonald House
A creepypasta about a charity. An unfortunate result while trying to find a creepypasta related charity.
Narrators U-nighted Charity Drive
Doesn’t appear to be an active charity any more, but came about as a result of the murder of a young girl by her two friends over a disagreement about Slenderman.
Race Against Time 3.5: Secret of Mana Edition
Our (now) semi-annual charity livestream! This time, we’ll be attempting to beat Secret of Mana: Remastered in less than 24 hours to raise money for the Organization for Transformative Works (Fanlore, Archive Of Our Own). Details are still coming together, but subscribe on Twitch in preparation! The event will be sometime between February 17 and 18th (exact time TBD).
This week’s famous last words around next week’s fandom, (Fandom name)!
Is there something like the 501st legion for Ghostbusters? Like, a Federation?
(Alternatively, are there ghost hunters inspired by the Ghostbusters?)
After the announcement and release of the latest Ghostbusters film, was there a notable drop off in the fandom because the Ghostbusters are women? Or was there a rise in folks who only liked the old Ghostbusters?
Is there a significant chunk of Ghostbusters fans who have not seen the movies?
We are everywhere! Most notably though, we like to hang out in a few places on social media:
thenickscast, so if you can’t find us, go on your social network and search for that!
How did you read this far without asking this question?!
Fanthropological is an anthropological (ish) podcast where we bring the fan’s-eye view to you! Each week, we take a look at a different fandom, dig up interesting background, trivia, and history, and try to get to why it is that people are a fan. We also try to highlight good causes related to that fandom, and find interesting things that fans have created to share those to the world. Each episode is about an hour. Ish.
We are the Nickscast! Three products of late-80s / early-90s pop culture who love exploring fandom and everything geek … who also happen to have been best buddies since high school, and all happen to be named Nick. Yes, we are super creative (dare we say, the most creative).
We are Nick Green, Nick Terwoord, and Nick Zacharewicz: We started the Nickscast as a labour of love, and as a place to entertain and to discuss our love of fans and fandom, and all that is shiny and interesting in that realm. It’s what lead us to start our first podcast, our satellite podcasts, Fanthropological, and so much more.
We want to help others learn more about different fandoms, and to create empathy with other fans: We dream of a world where other fans aren’t “those Weird-o’s”, but just folks with different tastes. A world where fandom is full of discourse and analysis, and there are plenty of tools and resources to help. Fans building communities to do good in the world. Because everyone’s a fan.
It is Free