The internet has provided us with many avenues of entertainment.
Starting from the 2000s, internet chat forums dawned with a phenomenon called "creepypasta".
Before the birth of social media, things like creepypasta kept netizens occupied, and scared even.
Years later, creepypastas do not serve the niche audience anymore. It has branched out into other mediums such as podcasts, full length novels and even live action films.
So, what exactly is creepypasta?
Simply put, creepypastas are essentially horror stories.
Internet users write these stories in gory, hair-raising detail, mostly in first person, and pass it from one forum to another.
The word "creepypasta" originated from the internet slang "copypasta", which describes the act of copying and pasting texts from website to website.
Creepypastas are written in such a way as if the author has experienced it in real life. Obviously, this trick is used to make the stories believable.
But in most cases, it is indeed fiction.
The creepypasta phenomenon was brought into spotlight when The New York Times ran a piece about it in 2010.
As of now, various sub-reddits and podcasts have kept the spark of creepypasta alive.
Before you dig deeper into the ominous world of creepypasta, here is a beginner's guide of eight classic stories.
Number two is my personal favourite.
A faceless ghost with long limbs prey on the flesh of little children.
Nobody knows where he comes from. Nobody knows what happens to the bodies of the victims and nobody has ever escaped from him.
Slenderman is a series of stories and it has been adapted into a movie and video games.
Sadly enough, it has also inspired a real-life homicide.
Two young men discover some hidden videotapes.
They play them and find out it is about the exploits of a serial killer, whom they name "Butcherface".
The duo becomes intrigued and tries to find out about the anonymous killer. But when you are searching for an invisible enemy, there is a payback, too.
Jeff the Killer
A serial killer hides in closets and kills entire families at night.
He preys on his victims by whispering "go to sleep" to their ears before he slaughters them.
Prior to his killing spree, he became the victim of a mental breakdown.
This story brilliantly portrays the horrors of middle school bullying.
The Russian Sleep Experiment
Why do we sleep? And what happens if we do not sleep for a long time?
This legendary story hinges on this question. A group of prisoners become the subject of an experiment.
They are required to abstain from sleeping for an extended period. Will they turn on each other and become cannibals?
The creepypasta is about a photograph. An image called smile.jpg is posted on a bulletin board.
Whoever sees the image either disappears or dies except for one woman called Mary E.
The narrator of the story goes to interview Mary and learns the truth that some things are better left as mysteries.
An arcade game called "Polybius" causes the players to go insane and turn suicidal.
A short period after it hit the arcades, the game disappeared without a trace.
Later, Polybius is only regarded as an urban legend.
But did it really take a toll on the kids who played? Was it part of a grander conspiracy that no one took seriously?
A haunted house invites people to take on a challenge.
USD500 is awarded to whoever who can survive the nine rooms of torture in this house.
The narrator of the house accepts the challenge but when he tours the house to complete the challenge, the rooms increasingly grow sinister and take a toll on his mind.
Gateway of the Mind
A group of scientists wishes to make contact with God.
They believe that this could be possible by removing all five senses from a person's body.
They do a grueling surgery on a poor man's body.
Devoid of his five sensory organs, the man starts hearing the voices of dead people.