Terrifying Tales

I have the sudden urge to sing a Patsy Cline song...

The image illustrating this article doesn’t tie into any particular story. But there’s something about it which just screams “creepypasta” to me. I bring this up because it turns out the link to “Creepypasta Cookoff 2012” in last year’s installment will now include stories from 2013 (along with those from future cookoffs). Since I’m discussing last year, I want to stress my use of the word “classic” in reference to stories like “Jeff the Killer” was done more in the “iconic” sense. Even if you actually liked that particular story, I think we can at least agree on the numerous sequels being a complete mess. Unnecessary sequels seem to be a common problem in the world of creepypasta, with the unofficial ones to Kris Straub’s “Candle Cove” trying to explain elements which were better left alone.

Thankfully, the works of Christopher Howard Wolf (better known as “SlimeBeast”) don’t fall into that category. What few sequels he’s made always add to the story as a whole without removing any of the creepiness. His numerous standalone works, like “Disappear Hole” and “Afterpeople,” offer a breath of fresh air in a field where clichés are far too common. Cameron Suey’s “The Josef K. Stories” are also well worth your time.

Since I’m getting sick of typing the term “creepypasta” over and over again, I’ll try to keep the rest of this focused on more traditional horror stories. Emphasis on “try,” because the definition of what a creepypasta actually is keeps changing and there have been cases where stories predating the rise of creepypastas have since been appropriated. Seriously. I fully expect “The Hole in the Wall: A Childhood Reminiscense” by John Seavey to get classified as a creepypasta at some point.

Mr. Frights is a scary guy, so you know a story is good if it manages to creep him out. The tales which receive this rare honor are “Cookies” by Kylea Jacobs, along with “Bulbs” and “Three Cans” by Bryan Erdy.

Beyond Stories has a lot of spooky stories, but I think “Terror on the Plains” by Larry W. Underwood deserves special notice. Why? Because Mr. Underwood is none other than our very own Dr. Gangrene!

Don’t let the name fool you, The Mighty Blowhole has some great horror stories available, like “Long Tall Sally” and “Bodies Not Recovered.” How Awkward also has stories which are far more chilling than the name implies. Similarly, Stephen D. Sullivan might seem like he only specializes in stories about giant monsters (not that there’s anything wrong with that) at first glance. However, he also writes spooky flash fiction like “The Weeping Ghost.” If that isn’t enough flash fiction for you, Halloween Love has lots more.

“The Wampus Mask” by Asher Elbein makes great use of Appalachian folklore. While we’re on the subject of folklore, let’s not forget the old classic “Teeny-Tiny and the Soup Bone.” Even if the title doesn’t ring any bells, I’m sure you have heard a version of this story at some point in your life.

Speaking of old classics, let’s not forget W.W. Jacobs’ “The Monkey’s Paw” and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. And let’s not forget the obligatory Lovecraftian stories! There’s “The Return of the Sorceror” by Clark Ashton Smith, “Worms of the Earth” by Robert E. Howard and “The Survivor” by August Derleth (which was the last of his so-called “posthumous collaborations” with H.P. Lovecraft).

On a final note, the Cthulhu Mythos Writers Sampler 2013 anthology is available on Amazon as a free Kindle download. Those without Kindle can still enjoy Don Webb’s “The Great White Bed” in the preview. There’s some mature content, but that can be said for many of the stories I’m presenting here.

2 comments

  1. Thanks for the plug! I hope to have a new piece of spooky (Frost Harrow) flash fiction up in time for Halloween (2014).

  2. I just noticed the linkback–thanks for sending people to “The Hole in the Wall”! I admit, while I never thought of it as creepypasta per se, it was pretty strongly inspired by creepypasta. I love the idea of blurring fiction and fact together just a bit.

    Again, thanks!

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