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The rise of 'creepypasta,' scary stories for the internet age

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slender-man-forest

"Creepypasta," as Will Wiles explains in Aeon Magazine, is "a widely distributed and leaderless effort to make and share scary stories." It is a phenomenon powered by the internet — the word itself derives from the neologism "copypasta," short pieces of writing or images posted multiple times across the internet — but Wiles argues that the best creepypastas echo the same principles of horror laid down by authors such as H. P. Lovecraft and M. R. James. Wiles' report on the subject charts the worst of the creepypasta practice — its tendency for artless gore and its repetition of existing themes — but also its best. He lauds the "mind-boggling intertextuality" of innovative creepypastas such as the Slenderman, calling them "a way of learning what frightens us in the network age."