Don’t Eat the Creepypasta
December 6, 2016
Filed under Opinions
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It’s an average school night, and you, a bored teenager, are browsing the Internet. While scrolling idly through Google Images, you suddenly come across a creepy, intriguing photograph of an eerily smiling Husky or a favorite childhood cartoon character with bleeding eyes. “What the heck is this?” you ask yourself as you check out the video or webpage from which the image originated.
The next thing you know, you’re shaking, hugging your knees and asking yourself why on Earth you just did that.
Congratulations, my friend: You have just encountered a Creepypasta. Creepypasta refers to Internet horror stories, videos or images that often originate on message boards. Like a virus, these Creepypasta spread rapidly across the Internet, creating legends and inspiring young writers to create their own spooky tales.
“Cool! I should totally check that out!” you might be thinking at this point. Not so fast. Sure, some Creepypasta are entertaining, and they are certainly a fascinating Internet phenomena. But, as many scarred-for-life teenagers know, just because something is on the Internet doesn’t mean you should click on it.
So let’s say you decide to take the plunge and spend an hour or two reading or watching Creepypasta. If you’re a certified horror junkie, it’s entirely possible that you might emerge from the depths shivering with delight. But even if you are a lover of all things spooky—or a typical teenager looking for entertainment on a Tuesday night—it’s quite possible you may find yourself dealing with some terrible side effects. Watching scary movies can cause insomnia, anxiety, and development of phobias (“Affects of Scary Movies,” SiOWfa12: Science in Our World: Certainty and Controversy). So it’s highly likely that reading or watching Creepypastas could cause similar effects in the unwary teen who stumbles across them. Nobody likes to feel paranoid or show up exhausted to class the next day, so it might be wise to lay off the Creepypasta for the sake of your well-being.
Plus, many Creepypasta stories include violent, gory imagery which can have a tremendous psychological impact on viewers. Viewing violent imagery has a wide variety of effects, from causing trauma to inspiring aggressive behavior (“Protect Your Brain from Images of Violence and Cruelty,” Psychology Today). Now, just because you saw some freaky images of fictional serial killers doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to go out and murder people, but your brain could potentially be left dealing with some serious psychological damage. Think about it: When your mental health is at stake, is it worth it to expose yourself to gross images just because you’re curious?
Besides, the quality of Creepypasta fluctuates wildly, so it may not even be worthwhile to seek them out in the first place. Creepypasta tend to be created by amateurs, so it’s quite possible you might be wading through quite a lot of poorly-written stuff before finding anything that actually terrifies you. Why waste your time reading laughable trash written by someone who doesn’t have any writing experience when you could be doing something more productive with your time, like actually doing your homework or taking your dog for a walk?
There are a lot of strange and captivating things floating around on the Internet at this very moment, and Creepypasta is just one of the various sensations taking the web by storm. But really, the potential effects of checking out Creepypasta are not worth your time. Instead, I advise you do something more positive. Watch cat videos. Call your friend. Meditate. Do anything, as long as it’s something that makes you feel good. That way, you can have fun without having to worry about sleeping with a nightlight for the next few weeks.