I love creepypastas. These updated campfire tales for the internet age are appealing to many hardcore horror fans. I used to spend hours in my room at night, listening to creepypasta narrations with the lights off. Sometimes I’ll read shorter ones as I write, just to get in the mood.
But there are hundreds of creepypastas out there, and sometimes it can be hard to find the best ones. Here’s my top ten list if you’re not sure where to start or want a refresher of some of the classics.
- smile.dog: This story is kind of like The Ring. But instead of a cursed videotape, it’s a creepy photo of a toothy dog. And instead of killing you, it slowly drives you insane and, eventually, to suicide. As dumb as it sounds, I still wake up occasionally and expect to see this dog at the foot of my bed.
2. White with Red: This classic creepypasta follows a tried and true pattern for the genre: It starts with a familiar setting (in this case, a hotel), then adds an air of mystery, and finishes off with a shock ending. There’s plenty here you’ve seen before, but your jaw might still drop when you finish reading.
3. The Blind Man’s Favor: This one follows the same formula as ‘White With Red.’ It combines something familiar and relatable — acts of kindness toward strangers — with the terror of how that can turn out.
4. If You Lost a Loved One: This is an underrated pasta will tug at your heartstrings while simultaneously scaring you. It’s also what’s known as a ritual pasta, which is just what it sounds like — it tells you how to perform a ritual, usually in order to conjure a spirit or otherworldly entity. The title of this one should give away the ritual’s intention.
5. Mr. Widemouth: Another classic that everyone talks about. The strength of this story is it suspense, as well as a title character creepily reminiscent of childhood toys like furbies (which, fortunately, I never owned).
6. Gateway of the Mind: What would you do if you lost your sense of hearing? Your sense of sight? Losing any of your senses is frustrating, if nothing else. Now imagine voluntarily giving up all five at once. This story takes that concept to the worst level possible.
7. The Girl in the Photograph: Another short one with a shock twist ending. See if you can guess this one.
8. Devil Game: Most creepypastas I like are shorter, but this is a longer one. It’s another ritual pasta, this time one for summoning the devil. This is something that always fascinates me, since the devil can give us so many seemingly amazing things — but for an enormous price.
9. 11 Miles: What do you want most…and how far would you go to get it? I love pastas written in second person, because it becomes that much easier to insert yourself in. This one is particularly unsettling not only for the motivation, but the stakes.
10. The Portraits: This one sets up the atmosphere really well. You know there’s something unsettling from the start, but you don’t realize until the end exactly what it is.
If you really want to get the full effect of these stories, I suggest checking out audio narrations. There are plenty of channels dedicated solely to reading creepypastas, and some of them can take a good or even mediocre story and make it terrifying. My favorite is a guy who goes by Mr. Creepypasta.
Do you read creepypastas? What are your favorites?