Creepypasta: Urban Legends For The Information Age

You’d think people wouldn’t believe in urban legends anymore.

Folklore. Tall tales. They seem like outdated concepts, perhaps out of place in this skeptical, postmodern world we live in. However, urban legends have thrived in the Information Age.

We now have this giant network at our fingertips — the Internet — a place to share new ideas and do research. Old tales used to be passed down verbally, changing bit by bit with every retelling. Now, we share stories online, posting them on forums or social media.

But not everything we find on this vast series of tubes has a source. Not everything can be proven.

Or disproven.

And with that, we’ve found a whole new generation of strange and bizarre tales to keep us up at night. Terrifying accounts that make you wonder, just for a moment, if they might be true.

Copy & Paste

“Copypasta,” as it’s come to be known, is essentially the copying and pasting of information throughout the Internet. Copy/Paste, hence “copypasta.”

Text, images, videos. It’s just a weird term created by the Internet to encompass the age-old practice of sharing information.

“Creepypasta” is the horror variant of this phenomenon, the sharing of creepy stories through message boards, social networks, and other online avenues.

Or, in other words, the spreading of urban legends.

Where to Find Creepypasta

Of course, not all Creepypastas are urban legends. Some are just stories told for a quick scare, without any pretense of being true. But many are very close to traditional folklore. What makes these stories so compelling, like all urban legends, are their elements of truth, their (occasional) moral lessons, and the fact that they’re usually grounded in reality.

And some can be, well, a bit weird.

“On the 7th minute, the murmur turned into a bloodcurdling scream (the kind of scream painful to hear) and the picture was getting more obscure.”

You can read all sorts of Creepypasta at the website of the same name. Reddit’s own r/NoSleep, now with over 14 million subscribers, is sometimes a good place to find strange but allegedly true tales (as their description reads, “Everything is true here, even if it’s not”). One of the newer avenues to find your Creepypasta is on YouTube, where channels like Mr. Creeps narrate new stories every day.

Creepypasta. Urban legends. Whatever you want to call them, these haunting myths and legends continue to spread throughout the world, proof that there will always be a place for scary stories to tell in the dark.

For new terrors to haunt your dreams.


Rob Schwarz

Writer, blogger, and part-time peddler of mysterious tales. Editor-in-chief of Stranger Dimensions.