I’ve always been a pretty voracious reader. When I was a kid, I devoured every book that I could get my hands on. From folktales and fantasy to factual nonfiction, no piece of literature was safe. There was one book, however, that stuck with me longer than others: Alvin Schwartz’s Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark.
As you can probably guess by the title, this book was terrifying. It was full of frightening fables about witches, ghosts, voodoo dolls, hauntings, criminals, and the bogeyman. Every story sent shivers down my spine, and the illustrations inspired terror with every page turn. Needless to say, it was everything a preteen boy could want to read.
For many kids and teens, finding scary stories to read is a fun way to celebrate Halloween. After all, scary stuff can be fun! Reading scary stories may also benefit a child’s development by allowing them to safely explore difficult emotions like fear. Unlike me, however, today’s kids no longer need to dig through dusty tomes to find their fill of spooky stories. Instead, they prefer to read online horror stories called Creepypastas.
But what is Creepypasta? Where can kids read Creepypasta? And are these stories even appropriate for children? The answer to all these questions and more lies in this article.
Read on…if you dare.
What Is Creepypasta?
So what exactly is Creepypasta? Hint: it has nothing to do with chicken fettuccine alfredo.
You know those scary stories that old Uncle Alfred would tell every time you had a family campfire? Creepypastas are a lot like those. They’re horror stories that are written and read online, then copied and pasted elsewhere for others to read. Unsurprisingly, Creepypasta stories can get pretty scary—and the images that accompany them only boost the creep-factor.
The word Creepypasta stems from the word copypasta, a contraction of the words “copy” and “paste.” As the name suggests, copypasta refers to blocks of text that are copied and pasted over and over again all over the Internet. Remember those chain emails you used to get that begged you to forward them to ten of your closest friends? That’s copypasta. Fun fact: smartphones from Troomi Wireless can make it impossible for strangers to send your kids copypasta. Click here to learn more!
Creepypasta is circulated in the same way as copypasta. These stories have been copied and shared so many times that they can’t be tied to a single author. They’re kind of like Internet urban legends!
What Are the Most Popular Genres of Creepypasta?
As with all literature, there are a few different genres of Creepypasta. The most popular types of Creepypasta are about:
- Supernatural entities. Supernatural Creepypastas typically detail the storyteller’s encounter with an otherworldly entity like a ghost or monster. Many of these stories talk about the character’s origin and are accompanied with freaky, photoshopped photos as “proof” that the creature exists. The infamous Internet character Slenderman, for example, stems from a supernatural creepypasta.
- Haunted objects. Houses aren’t the only things that get haunted. Like many horror movies, some popular Creepypasta stories are about haunted objects like old Legend of Zelda game cartridges or VHS tapes of beloved children’s cartoons.
- Abandoned locations. If you’ve ever explored an abandoned building, then you know that there’s something particularly creepy about a long-forgotten location. Many Creepypasta writers use these locales to create an eerie setting for their story. For example, there are Creepypasta stories that take place at abandoned Disney theme parks, in empty offices, and down dark caves.
- Fictional history. Historical fiction is a pretty popular genre of literature—and some Creepypastas explore fictional history. Writers of these stories make up particularly creepy historical events, like a failed government experiment, and claim that they actually happened.
Where Can My Child Read Creepypasta?
The most popular place to read Creepypasta is on the aptly named creepypasta.com. This website is a kind of hub for online horror. Here you can find a collection of the most popular pieces of Creepypasta that have made their way around the Internet.
Creepypasta.com isn’t the only place to read scary stories online, however. Like fanfiction, another genre of online literature, Creepypasta is found all over the Internet. Social media websites, YouTube, Reddit, and online story aggregates like Wattpad are all popular places for writers to post their original Creepypastas.
Is Creepypasta Appropriate for Kids?
Now that we know what Creepypasta is and where to find it, you’re likely wondering: is it appropriate for kids?
The short answer: not really.
While older teens and adults can safely enjoy reading Creepypasta, these stories explore dark themes and eerie events that aren’t appropriate for younger kids.
Like all forms of horror, Creepypasta stories deal with some pretty serious stuff, including violence, suicide, and supernatural activity. The settings, characters, and events found in most Creepypastas are nothing short of spine-chilling and are likely too intense for younger kids. Fear is a natural emotion for children to experience, but too much of it can lead to anxiety, sleeplessness, and an over-abundance of caution.
Ultimately, you get to decide whether or not your kiddo can read Creepypasta. After all, nobody knows your child better than you do. If they’re interested in horror stories, do some research so you can make a personally informed decision. Read a few Creepypastas on your own. Then, if your child is ready to explore the world of horror, whip up a snack and read these spooky stories out loud together.
Scary Stories to Read Together
Creepypasta stories are spooky, scary, and stimulating—but they may not be appropriate for kids. If your child is interested in horror but too young to explore the world of Creepypasta, don’t despair—there are tons of age-appropriate scary stories to read with kids!
Take a trip to your local library (or use the KidSmart® App Libby on your child’s Troomi phone), ask your child’s teacher for recommendations, or do a quick Google search to find stories that can help your kiddo celebrate Halloween safely.