Ichor Falls

October 2011

by on Oct.16, 2011, under Meta


I am Mr. Welldone.

No, just kidding, it’s Kris, the author of Ichor Falls and Candle Cove, the reason why you found me. I know the site’s been dead quiet for a long while now, and I’ve been wanting to write more horror, but I have a problem. I can’t. I’m so meta about everything nothing scares me lately. No ghost, no unseen stalking spirit, no lumbering, stitched nightmare. I feel like I understand every trope.

As you may know, traditional horror/suspense/thrillers don’t do a lot for me — for example, the Scream movies or any of their ilk. I can’t get worked up about a guy with a bladed weapon, and the reason is, I know their motive. They want to hurt me, they want me to know fear as I die. I get that, I get all of it. So when he puts the sword through the door and it startles me, now I have to fight him, and it’s just brains vs. brawn, or brawn vs. brawn, and I’m gonna lose, and he’s gonna get me. The end. It just doesn’t inspire the same feeling of dread that an alien entity does, a completely foreign state of existence like something unknown from the depths of the sea, or a haunting. That’s why they scare me so much — because to deal with something, you have to be able to form a pattern. You have to be able to begin to understand them.

I understand a serial killer. He has to conform to the laws of physics; he probably can’t break in without making a lot of noise. And if he gets me, I guess he gets me. I die. Or I get tortured and then die. Misery is terrible, but it doesn’t frighten me; the unknown frightens me. The appropriation of innocence frightens me, like you see in Candle Cove. (If you want to read what I have to say about why I did Candle Cove and its meta legacy, here’s a blog post about it.)

And attempts to frighten me, other stories — there’s a lot of good creepypasta out there that does get me, but it’s also very formulaic. The ritual ones I never understood! How can anyone be expected to remember all that stuff? Who would even bother? And usually the reward is to be cursed and miserable forever. What? Really?

Anyone here watch Suicide Mouse? That meme? I haven’t heard the audio. I just watched the first five seconds and shut it off. Why, because it was frightening? No, because it was supposedly made in the 1930s, but the animation looks like it was done in Mario Paint. Have some pride for God’s sake. Do your job, scare people. Force them to imagine a little more, don’t lay it all out on a plate. People don’t stagger out of a screening of something and raise a gun to their temples. If they do, there’s a much longer buildup. Make me think about it! Haunt me with it, haunt the reader with it after the story’s over.

Anyway. My point is, I don’t know what to get scared by. Who’s seen something in the vein of horror I’m describing? Anyone? If I can’t… get creeped out, I don’t know how I can write more. I know it’s out there. Marble Hornets is excellent… I was a big fan of the Josef K Stories… I just need that consistency. That slow burn. Can you help me find it?

63 comments for this entry:
  1. Nerdify

    I wish I had something I could suggest. I also enjoyed Marble Hornets. Creepy as all get-out. Haven’t heard of the Josef K stories though, so I’m going to check those out. So thanks for the inadvertent suggestion.

    P.S. The idea of ever having to swim in the open ocean for any reason at all absolutely terrifies me. Not having a clue what’s swimming beneath you, the possibility of some gigantic, previously unknown creature charging at you from the murky depths. I’ll probably never take a cruise.

  2. Dylan Charles

    I’ve had a similar problem for a long time and it’s one of the reasons why I stopped writing horror and switched genres. I can’t write scary things because I haven’t seen anything that truly scared me in years and I haven’t read anything scary in even longer.

    The most I’ve been able to achieve is a feeling of unease, with movies like Paranormal Activity. Or just an overall tenseness with a movie like Buried. Not fear, but close.

  3. In Jam

    Have you seen Antichrist by Lars Von Trier? Very scary film.

    I would recommend it. Rent it (or torrent it), watch it late at night alone.

  4. Marynyu

    Hi! I’m a big fan of all your current comics and I was a huge fan of Chex back in the day. I just run into “Candle Cove” last week for some reason, and I have to say it creeped the beejeezes out of me!

    I have to agree about the whole “slasher” movie genre, it make me jump in my seat when it’s done well, but I do not go to bed plagued by the fear of something hidden in the darkness out of my control. I think the last time I felt that was when I first saw “The Ring”, and that was like 7 or 8 years ago. “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” got to me too, but for different reasons; that was the whole “what if” fear.

    What scares me now? Well… I’m not sure if this is gonna be helpful or if I’m just about to be smirked at, but: Sometimes I’ll watch “Ancient Aliens” on the history channel, or any othes conspiracy theorie show out there, and I will conciously suspend my disbelief and try to see what I would feel like if all that crazyness was real. If there really where alien powerful beings beyond ALL our understanding or control, who actually have such a vested interest in our planet, and in our history, as to directly get involved, in a way that creates religions and marks our species’s development so deeply. And that we’ve forgotten about them, they’re still there, but outside conspiracy theories no one gives it credit. Like the first appearence of “The Silence” in Doctor Who’s last season, they influence everything we do in a planetary level, and we have no idea it’s even happening, or why they do it, or where they’re gonna take us next.

    I dunno, that kinda global loss of freedom and control, over this alien powerful creatures who hide in myth and in the dark, to do anything they want with us….. when I make myself buy it, even breefly, it scares the crap out of me.

  5. Tim

    Outright fear is hard to accomplish these days, but Amnesia The Dark Descent got pretty close in a couple of places. If you are however looking for a good creep-out and a right braintwister, go read House of Leaves. It’s the record of a man sifting through a manuscript left by his deceased neighbour, which describes in great detail a film that never existed, about a house of which the inside space exceeds the outside dimensions greatly. And the page layout is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. I don’t get afflicted by terror easily but at one point I was seriously debating even getting out of bed to turn off the light after I put it down.

  6. sandchigger

    Did you read the old Dionaea House series from several years ago? That was my introduction to creepypasta and it still manages to creep me out.


  7. Kyle

    I’ve been enjoying Pseudopod, a short horror fiction podcast, for the past few years. There are a lot of good ideas presented, things that can be expanded on and looked at from different angles. Plus, the host is absolutely delightful. It’s entertaining, and worth a listen, if nothing else than for background noise to work to.

  8. J.T.

    Don’t feel like you have to limit yourself to scariness. There’s a whole populace of people who like strange stuff and don’t care a whit if it’s a scary or not.

  9. Brendan

    I always thought Candle Cove was neat. I never thought it was scary. By contrast, I’ve actually had nightmares inspired by “The Hirsch Camera (1870),” which I think is the most disturbing thing you’ve ever written. It gives me exactly the feeling of utterly alien dread you describe.

    I’m not a big horror guy, but the most reliable trigger for me is the concept of the oubliette–any place where you are alone in the dark (especially in a small space) with no chance of anyone even remembering you’re there. I’m mostly afraid of what my mind would do to itself in those circumstances. That’s the repulsive part about torture porn to me, as well; I’m not afraid of movie gore, or even of pain (at least in the abstract), but when I try to think of how I’d deal with that kind of thing myself the answer is usually “well, go insane.”

    I think you’ve talked about similar fears–not being afraid of ghosts, but afraid of what it would mean about you if you saw a ghost. I guess that’s the root of Lovecraft’s stuff as well, if from a different direction.

    So if you want the slow burn, I’d suggest something in third person about the process of the protagonist losing their mind, hinted at via some unreliable-narrator techniques. “Twenty Minutes in the Dark” is a good example of this, though I think you could be a lot subtler about it. It doesn’t have to be about the character turning into a psycho killer; the revelation that this character with whom you’ve built some sympathy is severely ill with no idea is horrifying enough, because, dear reader, you might be too.

  10. Arlo

    Two thoughts, neither of which will help you get back on the horror-writing track. Sorry.

    First: Interesting to read about your… let’s call it “horror’s block,” in light of the launch of your recent humor-dissecting podcast. On the one hand, you’re attempting to peer behind to curtain, to see what makes humor work. On the other, you know how horror works now, so you feel like you’re done with it. Jesus, I hope you don’t get “humor blocked.”

    Second: Probably a lot of other writers go through the same phases you’re going through now. At first, the imaginative stuff gets to you, the aliens, the ghosts, the H.P. descriptions of fear itself. Later in life, perhaps after the same writes gain a spouse and kids, different things become far more scary. Fear of not being able to protect their own, torture, a crashing economy. Makes me wonder what it would look like if you sorted horror movie genre by screenwriter’s age.

  11. Ben

    I haven’t really read any horror since the last updates here until a couple weeks ago I found author Katy Towell. She has some work on youtube, plus a published novel.

  12. clay

    The scariest thing I’ve ever seen was about 10 minutes from what the third act of “Candyman”. I imagine it wouldn’t have been nearly as terrifying if I had any kind of context for the movie, but I just stumbled upon it on TV with some friends while we looked for crappy B-movies to poke fun at. One of the characters was a single mother, living in poverty with a dog and her infant son. In the last scene I saw before we changed the channel, the movie’s protagonist (under the influence of the titular Candy-man) had woken up in the single mother’s apartment holding a bloody meat cleaver. She stumbled around sleepily through a hallway for a bit before discovering the dog’s decapitated head, and the mother hysterically shaking a crib containing her child’s massacred body.

    I couldn’t sleep for about two weeks. It wasn’t the images of the dog or the baby that did it (although they probably didn’t help). It was the unavoidable experience of putting myself in that character’s shoes, feeling the guilt of having irrevocably destroyed innocent lives and knowing I would have to face that guilt every day for the rest of my life.

    That’s not an imaginary fear, like “what if you were chased by a guy with a knife and he could open locked doors and he’s already cut the phone line OH NO”. It’s exactly how I probably would feel if a kid ran in front of my car and I couldn’t stop in time. And I get a horrible black pit in my stomach just thinking about that. I feel like all really profound horror (for instance Lovecraft, and a lot of the stories on this site) makes us face everyday questions and problems that we usually try to ignore, just for lack of a rational way to cope with them.

  13. sophie

    For the experience of the unknown and pure dis-ease I always come back to the writing of Robert Aickman and Thomas Ligotti. Especially with Aickman, the feeling of not really knowing what is happening (or why) always brings the discomfort that I crave.

  14. Eric

    If you’re scared of the unknown, write about the unknown.

    I know this is a wicked big oversimplification, but it works (for me at least). A story isn’t believable if it has no basis in reality, so to write about the unknown in a scary way requires that you at least partially base the story in something real. My favorite of the short stories that I wrote for college was essentially a fictionalization of a time where I was mugged: the whole story centers around the deterioration of the main character’s sanity during that awkward/tense/oddly silent stand-off between the mugger and the victim who’s life he is threatening. Except, in the story, instead of a mugger, it’s a monster (thing?), and the monster doesn’t say anything, and the monster expects the main character to give it his bones instead of his wallet.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

  15. crawlkill

    yeah. I dig.

    when I was a kid I really loved the Wyoming Incident. it was a horror ARG on SomethingAwful put together by some fearsomely dedicated humans through a series of warped videos slowly disseminated over a period of months with a surrounding story full of menace and dripfeed mystery but without the whole silly overloaded ‘and he shot himself in the head’ thing.

    when I try to go back to it, though, it doesn’t work for me. it’s like adulthood has imparted some kind of barrier between me and the obviously unreal that shreds my suspension of disbelief at the first opportunity. I loved Marble Hornets (the Slenderman-inspired video series) up until the moment when the dude in the kabuki mask showed up, but that inserted an element of (badly-designed and unimpressive) mundane threat into what up til then had been a work of incomprehensible alienness, and that ruined the whole fiction for me. it brought home the fact that it was just people inventing and telling a story. Thomas Ligotti was recommended to me as Lovecraft’s successor, but it turned out he was just another purple-prose scribbler with a few good ideas and no idea how to present them such that they felt real.

    I dunno. I feel you, I guess is my point. I’ve tried to deepscare myself a few times recently and have found myself too sensible to buy into all the old eerinesses. lots of things make me mellowsad, but nothing I’ve met for a long while terrifies me.

  16. crawlkill

    actually, if you haven’t seen it, the second half of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive is loaded with menace. it’s not exactly fear, but it’s a sense of otherworldly wrongness that oughta stay with you for a while after. the whole movie’s awesomely worth watching. Inland Empire is dreamscape-nightmare as hell, too, but a lot more difficult to watch. his Eraserhead is prolly the best depiction of a horrible dream anybody’s ever managed in live action, but it draaags. you have to be in the late night mood to be hypnotized to get into it.

  17. Castaign

    Here’s seconding Dionaea House, especially if you’re willing to keep digging around and finding the supplemental material for the story.

    In a similar vein, Ted the Caver may serve your purposes:


    I was always a big fan of the original John Dies at the End, which I’m sure you can still find on the web.

    But really, none of that touches the actual problem. There’s tons of awesome, atmospheric, alien, genuinely creepy horror out there. If you can’t find anything to be scared by, it’s because you aren’t inclined to look for it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if that’s the case, don’t sugar coat it.

  18. VeraSecunda

    The SCP foundation is linked earlier, but maybe this is the sort of thing you’re looking for.
    The whole site is pretty good, but it can get a bit strange and it would be a lot to look through with as many projects as you generally have going.

  19. Tony Fraguero

    I posted this on your mainsite as well, but this animation hit some points for me. Something about the mood, teenage shenans, and where it ends up really got me.

    Directed by Jérémie Périn

  20. adrian

    I suggest The Whisperers in Darkness

  21. rom

    @nerdify. Reading your comment gave me chills. I’ve only had one fear my entire and its exactly as you described. Idk why either. I’ve never even swam in the middle of the ocean like that before.

  22. darkmayo


    What gives me the heebie jeebies is wrapping my mind around how small and insignificant we are.

    There was a cracked acticle recently that got my mind reeling


    We think of scale in such small terms, we really only comprehend them in what we can relate to. We see the sun in the sky and we know it is “big” we know our solar system has planets that are big and would easily swallow our earth a hundred times over. But when your entire solar system is small compared to other celestial bodies or phenomena, that is what scares me, that and clowns.. fucking clowns.

  23. Raven

    Well, I was gonna suggest The SCP Foundation, since I hang around there all the time, but it’s been said. Josef K. is an amazing writer, and I’d say Quiet and North for what you’re going for. All of his stuff is good, though. Lovecraft is always good. At The Mountains Of Madness specifically. What else…A Colder War is neat, but not entirely horrifying until the later sections. Don’t try to archive-crawl the SCP wiki, that’ll end badly. I could post up a list of personal favourites if you’d like.

  24. Starhamm3r

    Just wanted to throw this one out there: Try the short story “What’s In Alaska?” by Raymond Carver. That had seriously unexpected nightmare fuel for me and while it’s all subjective, Carver’s style is deeply unsettling. Most of the time it reads like “This American life” if it was filtered through David Lynch’s more sinister inclinations.

  25. Jonathan

    Happy Halloween, Mr Straub! I wrote a short story last year as sort of an ode to the horror genre, which I feel may reflect the same sort of emotions you’re feeling.

    You can read it here: http://denimtrousers.tumblr.com/post/12156647688/nail

    Even if you don’t find it especially frightening, the whole ‘be careful what you wish for’ motif rings throughout. I hope you enjoy it!

  26. Maxwell

    Have you ever read any of Junji Ito’s stuff?

    He can really do some things that are strange and brilliant and may just fit the rubric.

    Here are a few stories in order of quality (in my assessment):
    http://justmegawatt.com/images/comics/armyofone.html (this may actually fit your mold best)

    None of them are terribly long. They all come in under 40 pages, I think,

  27. 1415dr

    The Lemon Blossom Girl scared the crap out of me. It’s just a lifeless little object that can’t possibly hurt anyone, but it lingers in your mind and your own thoughts hurt you.

    I went on a field trip in 3rd grade and we saw an alligator snapping turtle inside an aquarium. It was about 3 feet long, but the tank was only 4 feet long, so it just floated there for our amusement. I felt really sorry for it because it was basically in a watery coffin and couldn’t even move, but it had people gawking at it all day long. Then a horrible idea crossed my mind- what if that turtle was actually a little kid who was deformed so he grew scales all over his body? He had tried calling out for help but nobody would ever do anything, so he went crazy and reisigned himself to floating there forever staring at the wall. It freaked me out so bad that 20 years later I still have nightmares over that turtle, and the Lemon Blossom Girl story was the only thing I’ve ever read that came close to that kind of horror. Thanks.

  28. Seraph

    Try ‘The Mothman Prophesies.’ It’s a good film about alien entities that keep contacting a journalist in strange ways to warn him about disasters, but start to drive him insane. A lot of weird shit that doesn’t make sense, and while not malevolent, is goddamn terrifying.

  29. Appajoosh

    I don’t know if this is your bag, but the man over at Pumpkinrot made a short film this year. Witches aren’t particularly scary to me, but holy crap, that foetus thing…*shudder* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgxCExPmsYk&feature=youtu.be

    Also I just want to say that ‘Curious Little Thing’ and ‘The Stillwood King’ will stay in my mind forever as two of the spookiest things I’ve ever read.

  30. Scyllarus

    +1 for Dionaea house. I’m not a fan of the sort of…conclusion, really, with the homeless lady. Makes it too mundane for me. The Caver stuff is also pretty good, but I pretty much want to beat my head against a wall every time some idiot goes “Huurrr…I think we should go back to the scary-ass place!”

    ^ One of my favorite creepypasta. I think the character’s slow descent into madness is a beautiful “slow burn.” It’s much better in first person than the usual “then I found my friend and he looked emaciated blah blah”

    I wouldn’t really suggest House of Leaves…to be honest, I felt it was more a love story than a horror story (maybe both?).

    1408 (the short story, not the movie) is a good one from Stephen King. Not much of his stuff really scares me, but 1408 was fascinating.

    I liked Silent Hill 3 because you play a fairly normal person who has no idea about what’s happening to her or why. It wasn’t as strange and lonely as SH2, but I had trouble sleeping after playing it (mind you, I was all of…8-10?) because of the fear that some day I would get plunged into that sort of hell and I wouldn’t have any idea why.

  31. Ares Leviathan

    The last things to send chills down my spine were the movies “Lake Mungo” and “Imprint.” Paranormal Activity is lame, especially compared to “Imprint.” “3 Extremes” was another well done movie. But I think you could definitely get some good ideas from this guy I’ve been checking out. His site’s called pumpkinrot.com and the stuff he posts is pretty interesting.

  32. Vaughn

    If nothing else, reading the stories posted here (updated every wednesday and saturday, plus sometimes randomly other days) might inspire you. Or at least give you something to read.


  33. Honey

    Have you read The Ignored by Bentley Little? Truly one of the creepiest books ever written.

  34. Kenny

    Yeah, I get you. Horror doesn’t really scare me any more. I understand the reasoning behind it all. Makes me jump out of my seat sometimes, at the unexpected parts, but it’s more a spur of the moment thing than actually being frightened. And since I don’t believe in aliens (or anything for that matter), things related to that usually just make me laugh. Candle Cove was neat, by the way, but… kind of bland? Maybe I’ve read too many pastas.

    Video games on the other hand just get me. Amnesia for example. It’s the suspense that sets my mind racing (though in the end I’m just “Whoa that was fun let’s do it again next time”).
    And coming back to creepypastas, BEN was just the best. It was amazing, the entire construction was simply superb. The fact that it centered around my second favourite Ninentendo franchise, the Legend of Zelda, and without doubt its most whacked up game, Majora’s Mask, certainly helped. Same with Glitchy Red (a Pokémon creepypasta, call me childish if you will). Thinking about what may go on within the game, within the protagonist, what they’re thinking, how they feel, if that’s possible, without us knowing, it sends a chill down my spine. What when we abandon the games, start a new file?
    However, these two are the only ones that live up to my expectations, so I don’t really have any other ‘recommendations’. Also clowns. I have this inexplicable fear of clowns. It’s awful. I can’t walk past one on the street. At all.

    Pardon me if this turned out to be a whole essay (and yes, if you’re wondering, I’m an 18-year-old gamer, haha).

  35. ate94


    Something about these stories have always sent a shiver down my spine, even though there is no INYAFACE horror. Fantastic work, this.

  36. Rorschachinstein

    Anything by Ito Junji

  37. Courtney

    “House of Leaves” by Mark Z. Danielewski. It’s remarkably similar to Dionaea House, but in book form instead of online. It’s a multilayered beast that plays with the concept of a labyrinth in form and content. Dionaea House is really, really great if you read it before “House of Leaves.”
    And I’m gonna second Mulholland Drive and suggest Lost Highway, another Lynch film.

  38. golgotha

    That terror abides. It waits, in the quiet places. At the boundaries.

  39. Thomas G

    “Built for Two” is a blog that looks like it has some potential. The latest post is pretty interesting.

  40. Juan

    I saw this video on youtube and it really got my mind wondering, so many questions. This might spark something in your mind like it did mine.

  41. Trust

    When you move your eyes around the room you are blind for a split second. It’s that second where you’re brain doesn’t process images, and instead snaps from one image to another. In that space, that nigh immeasurable blink of an eye, they move. You can’t see them when they stand still. They can see you.

  42. kuromiko68

    Seconding Junji Ito. The best of his that I have read is Uzumaki, very much in the vein of unknowable motive (plus really scary body horror). It’s 20 chapters, though I recommend you not read the “lost chapter”(or read it before the final chapters)
    because otherwise it kind of messes up the flow.

  43. Bluerps

    I just wanted to again mention the SCP Foundation. There is some really good, really creepy stuff there. One good example was linked above, another one is this: http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-087

    Note that, however, not everything there is meant to be creepy. Some stuff is just odd, like the half-cat or the vending machine that sells snacks from parallel realities. These items are amusing and have the same good writing as the rest of the page, but they don’t make you afraid to go into a dark room.

  44. Josef K.

    I got a lot of inspiration from Ligotti’s Teatro Grottesco, but it’s certainly not for everyone. It’s dense, chewy and unforgiving, like a frozen candy bar. And I’ll give a fierce follow-up recommendation for House of Leaves, which nails both the dry clinical approach, and the sheer lunacy of the structure.

    My thanks for the link and the compliments; as I mentioned before, the sudden uptick of traffic on my languishing blogspot from your posts here and elsewhere was what pushed me out of my torpor to start writing again.

  45. Ell

    I have to admit I do a lot of work with old European documents and that definitely informs my fears. This may come across as kind of lame, but one thing that freaks me out is the idea of very power things with completely alien moral codes. I don’t Judaism vs Hinduism, closer to the sort of mad sense of morality in European fairies. To a fairy in Britain for example it was good fun to drive people mad, murder them, eat children, bathe in blood, harass cows or pull out hair (which is freaky in and of its self, the idea that something can rip out your hair without waking you up). But at the same time, a fairy will never break a contract, tell a direct lie or steal something red. (I think its the same reason a lot of people in the medieval periods were kind of scared of angels. They can drive you mad by speaking to you and they have horrendously high standards. Supernatural played with this idea, only the angels had some very exploitable flaws and were therefore defeatable. The idea of something that looks human but isn’t has always been a horror standby and can bring in the trope Unaccountable Fear where the audience takes cues from inexplicable character terror, which always freaks me out a little).

    Perhaps there’s the idea of the Big Bad Good, which is based a little on the idea you want to fight the bad guy, not the good guy, because you can think up an idea to stop the bad guy where the good will just kill you. To say something that is normally good and nice is also capable of lots of damage. Sort of the idea of when Mum says she’s going to get Dad everyone finds themselves magically behaving. Big Bad Good may be too hard to pull off as trained most readers are to disregard good as a threat and in most cases mock it, but maybe the idea will spark others.

    And as a last little bit, something that kind of freaks me out is the idea of having to take care of someone with reoccurring amnesia in a dangerous situation. (Get them out of the tall dark cave, run away from the scary thing.) That to me is incomprehensibly worse than facing the scary thing on my own. It the terror of having to reintroduce yourself and establish trust every time they wake up/every six hours/every time they see the color blue while trying to keep them from getting shot or falling into a snake pit. Those twin feelings of extreme responsibility and helplessness are terrifying.

  46. J. Doe

    I also recommend Junji Ito, Tomie really scared the crap out of me. Also, the short animated film about the hiroshima bombing, Pikadon, didn’t let me sleep for days.

  47. darkmayo

    After today’s Chainsawsuit I checked back here to see if there was anything new, sadly no but in regards to horror if you haven’t checked out http://bxxweb.com/

    Its a non linear horror story told through 32hours worth of footage from multiple cameras setup in a house. Each camera has 32 hours of footage from each room that you can scan through and watch to see the story unfolding.

    The jist of the story is a common one, scientist, ghost hunting types setup shop in a house with a history in order to find evidence of something supernatural. The film starts at the point where they finished setting up the cameras and start filming.

    You can skip to any part of the house, at any time during the 32 hours.

    Pretty neat format. Check it out.

  48. Alex

    nosleep correspondence

  49. Pattom

    I’m digging into older works of horror, making my way backwards from HP Lovecraft towards his influences. Right now I’m working on The House on the Borderland, by William Hope Hodgson, about an aristocrat living in a manor house cut off from the rest of the world. It’s also a precursor to the “found footage/document” genre, presented as a complete manuscript found by the “author.” You can read it on Project Gutenberg, either in HTML or as a free eBook download: the link is in my name.

  50. michael

    have you checked out squidward suicide, idk, but it freaked me out something horrendous, may want to analyse those dynamics, as well as a pic on a site called ‘Know your meme’, in a page titled ‘The Rake’. A picture of the rake sitting on the bed freaked me out as well, not just scary but made me uncomfortable to even think about it.

  51. michael

    a while ago there was a TV series which aired some of Stephen King’s short stories. One of which was Crouch End and it’s transformation into Slaughter Towen. It was similar in way to H.P Lovecraft, however it was simply retarded in a scary way. Check it out.

  52. AJ

    I know exactly what you are talking about. The art of horror is something that’s hardly ever perfected in the art/entertainment world. Filmmakers and writers don’t seem to get that it’s not what you see, but what you *don’t* see that scares you – things you can’t even begin to understand, but have the subtlest hint of danger about them. You know that it might mean you harm, but that’s all. Your mind struggles to fill in the blanks with some concept that it recognizes, but in the process of trying to fit some template over the bizarre, grotesque weirdness that’s going on, it just comes up with even creepier stuff, and that’s the essence of fear: it’s when the imagination runs wild with ideas of what something could be, or what might happen.

    I just found out about /x/ and creepypasta a little while ago, and I’m trying to work on a good story and submit it to the latter site. But writing horror is super hard :’/ that’s because unlike films or video games, the author of a book can’t directly appeal to any of their audiences’ senses – there’s no visual or audio element, there’s just writing and we rely to a great extent of the imagination of the reader to make it a genuinely scary experience. It’s really important to stay away from formula in writing horror especially; once the reader recognizes a trope, the story’s potential is gone.

    Anyways, while I struggle on with that I can make a few recommendations for you that might scare/inspire you~


    -the Haunting (make sure you get the 60s version)
    -Vampyr (an even older Carl Theodor Dreyer film)
    -Jacob’s Ladder


    -Silent Hill 2
    -Fatal Frame 3 and 2

    I realize that’s a dearth of stuff but… :s honestly there isn’t much good out there that I’ve come across. Still waiting on that piece of good writing that will actually scare me.

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  54. Anonymoose

    Err… Suicide Mouse is horrifying.
    At the end, the russian translates to something about hell, and then a few seconds later, theres an extremely creepy breathing noise and a door thing opens up, and a guy walks up to the edge of the screen, and the door slams shut.

  55. Death slade (spy60694)

    I don’t have a working sense of emotions, people take me as emo, just my emotions don’t work. I’ve been studying people, and feelings of love they will never get back are the ultimate fear, write about that, make them feel like they are in love and then make them lose it. Make them fear to never find it, professional authors make you love the character in the book so you can feel with them, just use that and you’ll be able to make a functioning creepypasta. I’m sure that might creep out normal people.

  56. Darlena

    I’m only here to tell you that Candle Cove was brilliant.

  57. Ivan

    Well – given the state of the site and story, is it OK if I post a few links to some used, slightly nibbled Edible Undies that I have on eBay? NOT nibbled by humans – dog got up on the bed after I thought we locked it out – and, well… you know what they say about their mouths being cleaner than a human’s!

    (I’ll tell you this much – the [email protected] isn’t MAN’s best friend ANYMORE — after just FIVE seconds on the bed! I’m going to be checking for teeth marks and peanut butter for the foreseeable future!)

    Just kidding! Am a new fan of Chainsaw Suit and came over, APPARENTLY, for no damned reason at all! But hey! I have a new holiday to celebrate! Toten Kinde Tag! Did you have a date in mind for that – or should I just “freeform” that one whenever the mood strikes?


  58. James Huber

    A traveller develops car trouble and is forced to spend a few days in a small town. Everything is perfectly normal except that a relatively large percentage of the residents are missing some or all of their left little finger.

    With time on his hands, he contemplates the phenomena and becomes fixated on the idea that it would be really easy and virtually consequence free to remove part of his little finger.

    The car is fixed and he leaves town before acting on the obsession. He leaves town and doesn’t think about the missing finger parts again until weeks later when he happens to see someone who is missing part of a finger.

    He remembers his brief obsession, but can in no way recreate the mental state that led him to that point. He has vague sense of missed opportunity, but it passes quickly

    the end

  59. Rob D.

    Love your work, especially “Curious Little Thing,” and “”Lemon Blossom Girl.” I agree with you totally about the unknown being terrifying. If you haven’t already, I strongly suggest you read the short stories (& his recently published novel, The Croning) of Laird Barron, he definitely explores themes that you would appreciate. He is the only writer that has truly scared me lately (now, you are on that list as well)!

  60. michael

    I think it would be best to make it personal. Such as the story of the wraith which would kill all those who knew of her. At the end of the pasta, they writer got killed, after which it said WITNESS. The rake sitting on the bed, looking into the camera that took the picture. Make it personal, plausible and completely uncontrollable. Such as a force of nature. Terror stems from someone’s reaction to horror, not the horror itself. Make a character relateable then show their fear. Or make it so the reader may easily place themselves in the events taking place, if the character can’t be empathized with.

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