Three Creepy Creepypastas for Halloween

"Evolution" by Giuseppe Milo ( is licensed under CC BY 2.0

What better time to check out a new creepypasta than the spooky season? Three of our horror literature reviewers share their favorite creepypastas with you so that you can check them out if you haven’t already and be scared out of your wits.

“Candle Cove”

Close up of the cursed television program from Candle Cove as depicted in Channel Zero.

It’s hard to pick a singular favorite creepypasta, as many of them stand out on their own merit, but time and time again when I think of creepypastas, there is always one that comes to my head immediately: “Candle Cove.” Written by Kris Straub, “Candle Cove” excels with psychological terror and is a great example of epistolary storytelling, which to an extent has been overdone with troves of books that are told in email style storytellings. With “Candle Cove,” Kris Straub does the style justice. My love for “Candle Cove” also stems from the first season of Channel Zero, which takes the original concept and does its own excellent world-building. The original story surrounds four people on an internet thread: Skyshale033, kevin_hart, Jaren_2005, and mike_painter65, which are some early-’00s-ass-sounding forum names. The four chat rats spend their thread, somewhat nostalgically, reminiscing about a TV show from their childhood called Candle Cove. They refer to the show as, “nightmare fuel” while trying to put together the fragmented pieces they respectively remember of the show. 

There are many standout moments from this short story, from remembering the look of the show’s villain, Pirate Percy, and the monocled sidekick Horace Horrible, to the nightmare-inducing line, “You have…to go…inside.” The real kicker is towards the end, and maybe the reason why this character is used in the television adaptation is when Mike Painter reveals that the show was nothing but static. He talks about how his mother was just seemingly impressed with her son’s imagination in regards to his “little pirate show.” That revelation really amps up the entire story and ends it, full stop. It’s tantamount to a quick cut to black at the end of a film. It’s impressive. 

“Candle Cove” is a great short exercise in horror, that, now more than ever, seems like commentary on the oversaturation of content we have to consume. It’s easy to believe we could forget something as simple as a show we watched as kids, whether or not the show was real. Straub gives us enough information to form the story and antagonists (of the show) in our head, while still letting us form our own ideas of what the show is. While it may not be the scariest creepypasta ever written, it does succeed in being a hell of a story!

Brendan Jesus

“Ted the Caver”

Two men shine flashlights down a whole in a cave.

For my recommendation, I want to go back to the beginning, to what many believe is the first internet creepypasta—although that term wasn’t created until years later. “Creepypasta” was coined in 2007, while this story was published in 2001. It’s really interesting to look back on that period before videos of cryptid sightings and forums like Reddit’s Let’s Not Meet existed. Slenderman really catapulted creepypasta into the spotlight, but things were very basic in the early 2000s. I think we were less skeptical of a story’s legitimacy in those days, like how The Blair Witch Project was thought to be real when it was first released. 

“Ted The Caver” is a story following the titular Ted, his friend B, and later another friend named Joe as they explore a  mysterious cave. The website itself is very simple: grey or blue text on a black background with each “chapter” on a separate page. It’s told from Ted’s point of view, and he will talk about the actual events that happened, and then his thoughts appear in a different colour. I honestly think this simplicity adds to the story. This is how many websites looked back then. The idea of having your own website was fun, even if we didn’t know much HTML. Plus the website is still up, so you can read it for yourself!

To me, it had the vibe of a campfire story, and my memory of reading it is special in itself. My first girlfriend and I would huddle around her dad’s computer late at night, taking turns reading the chapters. Ted and B discover a small hole in the cave that appears to open up to a larger passage. They return to the cave many times to drill and expand so they can do deeper into the earth. 

Once they make it further, they start hearing what they think is wind and then screaming, although they can’t find the source. Much of the story is very detailed descriptions of the pair exploring, and from what I gather, Ted is a caver in real life, so that adds believability. I like the compulsion that Ted and B are consumed by, the need to find out what lies deeper underground even though they start to panic and have regular nightmares. One point that divides people about this story is the very abrupt ending. 

I think it works brilliantly, as you can make up your own version of what happens next. Did they find the screaming creature? Did they get trapped and die down there? Ted received an ending from someone unaffiliated with him, and I haven’t read it myself—not sure I want to. Years after it was written, people still argued on forums about the authenticity of the tale, and some experienced cavers confirmed the cave itself is real. So if you’re brave enough, you could go there. No guarantees you’ll make it out though. A film was also made about this story.

Lor Gislason

“Normal Porn for Normal People”

A busted television set in an abandoned building.
“Watch TV” by Luis Levrato is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When “Normal Porn for Normal People” was written, the internet was relatively new, and there were plenty of rumors floating around of a darker side bubbling below what most normal people could find. And the way this short story is executed means that it holds up, which is no small feat when it comes to scary tales about technology. The reason I find stories about technology to be tricky is that they are very much a product of their time, and as such often don’t age very well at all. Just look at Hackers.

But “Normal Porn for Normal People” executes its chilling story with simplicity and precision. It’s about an unnamed narrator who, one day, is forwarded a chain email with a link for a website called The email tells them to pass it on for the good of mankind. When they click on the link, they’re brought to a sparse, bare-bones page whose tagline is “Normal Porn for Normal People, A Website Dedicated to the Eradication of Abnormal Sexuality.”

The bulk of the story is a collection of descriptions of the videos found on the website, which the narrator discusses in a forum focused on viral videos and things of that nature. Each one is seemingly unrelated to the other, but most take place in an almost completely empty room and are unsettling for how seemingly random they are. The first one described, for instance, is about the cameraman having his washing machine fixed, and once it’s done, he licks the top of it for seven minutes. Then the clip just ends out of nowhere.

I think the reason this story sticks with me so much is that it speaks to the paranoia of the early days of the internet. Much like the infamous shock video “Two Girls, One Cup,” people were worried about the kind of content that might find its way online. “Normal Porn for Normal People” subverts this fear of abnormal fetishes by describing videos that are, collectively, seemingly harmless but carry a sinister undertone. Its thesis is that the fears people held about the internet are all true; that it would become a haven for people with bizarre fixations and disturbing, warped psyches to express themselves.

It reaches its peak when the final video is described. In it, a woman is tied to a mattress and mauled by a shaved chimp. People from some of the other videos make appearances, lending credence to the idea that all of this is in service of some larger purpose. What that purpose is is unclear, though. How all of these seemingly random videos fight abnormal sexuality isn’t really that clear, and there’s something disturbing in seeing the plans of some disturbed soul play out with no explanation.

Basically, the reason I love it is the same as many of my other favorite creepypastas: it implies that there are dark corners of the world that most people will never truly understand. It’s made even more mysterious and enigmatic when the site is taken down completely, and any attempt to upload torrents of the videos is met with a ban and deletion. This ambiguous note is what gives the story so much power and meaning. It’s a regular person encountering something that they’ve never seen before and struggle to understand. There’s something very powerful about that idea, and never learning anything about it is the perfect punctuation point to end the story on. “Normal Porn for Normal People” is creepy, weird, and oh-so-memorable for its simplicity and chilling central idea. It was an early example of the urban legend evolving to fit the internet, but in a way that is still creepy and effective years after the fact.

Collin Henderson

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Written by Horror Obsessive

This article was written either by a Guest Author or by an assortment of Horror Obsessive staff.

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