This was meant to come out weeks ago. Life happens though. A special thanks to my friend James for editing this entry and the previous one by the way. You rock.
#10: I HATE YOU
Well, I hate you too.
I HATE YOU is a Super Mario Bros. centered story that reads like someone's first attempt at writing a story. It's amateurish to the max and has some of the most janky attempts at horror. The poorly photoshopped pieces of “evidence” don't help though I'll admit they were a nice touch.
Story wise, I HATE YOU centers on a nameless guy who's obsessed with Super Mario World. We know this as he's played it an insurmountable number of times and knows it like a sober person knows the alphabet. However, our nameless hero soon stumbles across an odd easter egg that sends him on an adventure of oddness that the author mistakes for horror.
On its own, without any contextual examples, I HATE YOU presents itself as a rather basic and inoffensive creepypasta that could be classified as “disposable”. However, as the story goes on, that classification quickly becomes obsolete as the very haphazard writing and constant tense swaps—not to mention abundance of cliches—take over the story’s modest length. By the time the story reaches its conclusion, I was shocked the story was as coherent as it was. With the way the story darts around without bothering to build any suspense, I HATE YOU at times feels more akin to a wannabe thriller than a horror story.
In the way of its actual attempts at horror, I HATE YOU is very weak. It reminds me of when I first tried to write scary stories and is incredibly cringe worthy. For the most part, the story relies on messages written in blood. One must first be afraid of pixelated blood to find this truly spooky. Whatever isn't bloody messages is instead things our protagonist can somehow discern how characters feel. No matter what though, I HATE YOU finds new and inventive ways to come across as amateurish and shallow.
But is it truly bad?
Assuming this story is the work of a novice writer taking their first steps into the world of writing, I'd say it's better than some stories I've seen. But it doesn't excuse the numerous errors with it, from its reliance on cliches to its tense swaps that break the flow of the story every other sentence. If this is the work of someone who's written before those errors, plus its very weak attempts at scaring the reader, make this story significantly worse than it already is. However, I'm not looking at it that way as I'm not sure anyone can make a story this limp on purpose.
Overall, I HATE YOU is a lousy work of writing. It isn't offensive enough like the stories that follow on this list, but it lacks some passable aspect like the stories that precede it. Instead, it finds itself comfortably in the middle of dullness and languishes there. Try being scarier next time, Luigi.
#9: Clockwork: Your Time is Up
For the longest time, I didn't bother with Clockwork Your Time is Up. I heard of it and the very basics of it—and that alone made me steer clear of it like the plague. Another dime a dozen Jeff the Killer story without a shred of originality to its edgy main character.
Then, one day, I heard a more thorough description to the story, and what I heard piqued the interest of my masochistic side. It was then that I dove into a reading of Clockwork—because there was no way in hell I was going to survive actually reading it.
The story of Clockwork is, for the most part, par for the course in the way of “kid becomes super powered killer” creepypastas. A young girl, Natalie, lives with her dysfunctional family. It's here that her older brother takes advantage of her and her life descends into hell until she removes her eye and replaces it with a clock.
There's little more to Clockwork than that. It plays out a lot like any other “X the Killer” story, with Natalie being bullied and traumatized thanks to her family and others. Though I'll argue the story takes things way too far thanks to its very shallow use of the topic of rape. I don't think that rape or sexual assault is some taboo topic, it can be used, but as with any heinous crime: don't use it for shock value.
That's one of Clockwork's many, many flaws. Everything in it is “shock value”. Every terrible thing that happens to Natalie isn't horrific for the reasons it should be. Incestuous rape? It's shocking. She murders? It's shocking! The lack of build up and fact the author is clearly an amateur (though it appears this story comes from the beacon of high quality writing—Wattpad) doesn't help whatsoever.
Without coming across as though I'm simply upset at the shallow use of rape in the story, Clockwork has a plethora of other issues. Not the least of which is Natalie's very derivative appearance. As stated before, she's an interchangeable Jeff knockoff. Long hair, big smile, and something done to her eye. Replacing an ocular organ with a piece of technology meant to tell time doesn't make you unique. If it did, I'd make my own original “X the Killer” character named Gentleman Timothy the Life Ender. He'd have a hundred pocket watches for an arm and he'd whip people to death for not telling him the proper time.
Much of what's wrong with Clockwork can be applied to any other Jeff knockoff. A bland, unoriginal, drab and dreary edge fest that lacks an original bone in its body. Its main character exists to be a vessel for awful things to happen to, only for the character to snap and kill people because of course that's what happens. I've read that the author claims the things that happen to Natalie really did happen to them. If that's so, my heart goes out to them. That said, this is the internet and people talk things all the time. So, for all I know the author is a 250 pound gentlesir with a fedora. Who knows and at this point, who cares?
#8: Blood Whistle
I'm a big fan of stories told in journal/blog styles. They offer a unique insight into a characters head, and do so with very brisk results when done right. When applied to the horror genre, the results can be extremely effective and can present to the reader the thoughts of a slowly decaying grip on reality. An example of this is BEN Drowned, which did all of that, and did so with incredible results. As a result, it’s now seen as one of the greatest creepypastas ever written—if not the best.
On the flip side, Blood Whistle.
Another creepypasta using the Mario franchise to try and scare its readers, Blood Whistle is everything that you shouldn't do in a “cursed video game” horror story without being named the number one entry on this list. It also comes packaged with a narcissistic protagonist, blood, and is unnecessarily long. It also has a lot of blood. Because apparently, 8 bit blood is the scariest thing since staring in a mirror after a night of hard drinking Moonshine.
Plot wise, Blood Whistle plays out a lot like BEN Drowned, only without anything that made that story good. The narrator, a blogger, is given a rom hack of Super Mario Bros. 3 named Blood Whistle. Being a creepypasta, the narrator is horrified by the 8 bit blood and bloody blood that bleeds out the blood. As the story goes on, blood. The titular Blood Whistle is a whistle that stabs Mario and plays a terrifying tune that torments the narrator.
Blood Whistle lives, breathes, eats, and subsequently dies hoping that you're terrified by the mere fact that pixelated blood and violence is your absolute greatest fear. Beyond that, the story has absolutely nothing to fuel its bloated length. It can barely sustain any semblance of a plot throughout it and the fact it manages to go on for as long as it does is something that'll haunt me until the day I die.
Perhaps in that regard, Blood Whistle is a great story. Too bad I don't care enough to contemplate it one bit.
#7: My Encounter with the Tails Doll
Few stories can claim to be equally as awful as they are bizarre. Lucky for us, there's one story on this list that fits that bill perfectly: My Encounter with the Tails Doll, a Sonic creepypasta that is one of the very first I'd ever heard about many years ago.
Tails Doll is about the titular Tails Doll in the Sega Saturn game: Sonic R. A nameless father purchases the game for his son and the two enjoy it, a claim that I've found to be dubious and makes me question the legitimacy of this story. Anyways, the dad finds the doll creepy and one night, he hears scratching at his bedroom door. Upon opening it, the doll is there with a knife.
Of every story on this list, Tails Doll is easily the shortest and the one that reads the most like a trollpasta rather than an actual creepypasta. The doll itself isn't a bad choice for a scary story to center on, its lack of movement in the game and its overall look is rather unnerving. However, the way the doll is used in the story is laughable at best and unspeakably stupid at worst. The lack of an explanation for the doll being in the real world is one of the most jaw-droppingly ridiculous things I've ever seen written.
Moving on though, the story is short. It's why I didn't dive into more detail. You see, Tails Doll, like the blue hedgehog its racing games mascot, moves at breakneck speeds. It never ever dares to slow down to build any sort of suspense or tension. The end result is a story that's as shallow as a puddle, with the scariest thing about it being a serious case of whiplash.
My Encounter with the Tails Doll is a very weird story. While not an offensively awful story like some of the stories that precede it on this list, its amateurish writing and lack of substance leaves it wallowing in a void of nothingness. It reads like a trollpasta, yet isn't funny enough to be one. I'm certain it wants to be a creepypasta, but it isn't scary. So, if that's the case, then what exactly is this story?
I want you, dear reader, to imagine for a second. You're an employee at Disney—a security guard to be exact. Your job is, by and large, a mundane one. On this particular day, you're making your rounds when you're requested to go to some no-name location. In your eyes, everything that isn't the CEO's office is the same since Disney pays you precisely jack squat. Well, upon your arrival, you see a man step outside muttering some incoherent nonsense about the sights of Hell. You, naturally, assume that this man has gotten a hold of that stuff the higher ups drink when one of their films bombs.
Then the guy takes your gun and shoots himself.
Suicidemouse.avi is a story that I can't believe is rather well known among the creepypasta community. Its modus apparatus from start to to finish is to build tension through the idea that you're afraid of old Disney cartoon animation. Which if you are, I guess this story may very well be your worst nightmare.
The plot to this story goes as follows: once upon a time, a collection of old Walt Disney cartoons were being picked out to be remastered. Being that this is Disney, quality was of the highest importance, and one cartoon was ignored because it was of Mickey Mouse walking down a street for a period of time before the cartoon fade to black. Nobody ever blamed Walt for not sometimes wanting some somber.
Fast forward a bit and it's discovered the cartoon continues after the fade to black. It's after the cartoon resumes that this story kicks into high gear with its spookiness. For you see, the Mickey's head and face go all crazy. The sidewalk also got enough EXP to level up, allowing it to shift directions in ways that we humans can't possibly comprehend. Or, as the story puts it.
The sidewalk started to go in directions that seemed impossible based on the physics of Mickeys walking.
If none of that makes sense to you due to the levels of snark and sarcasm in my writing, then don't worry. This story is as straightforward as the sidewalk that Mickey traverses until his disembodied head appears to talk about Hell and its many wonderful sights. Which is to say: the entire story is about Mickey Mouse walking. Now then, let's get down to business and discuss why Suicidemouse.avi has everyone grabbing the nearest security officers pistol so they may fulfill the no they quota of dead creepypasta side characters.
Our first stop on the tour of Killyourselfrodent.avi is the overall set up to the story. Simply put: this story is bland in how it presents itself. As a whole, it doesn't do a single thing new or creative with what's an otherwise ridiculously simplistic concept. The main character—a nameless individual who's telling the story of this supposed cartoon—discusses details about Leonard Maltin (a former CEO of Disney) and associates that make me suspend disbelief so far, I could use it as a bridge from here to the Andromeda Galaxy. Aspects like that kill any immersion for me; the presentation of “I have insider knowledge into a multi billion dollar corporation that I'm going to present on the internet in my horror story”.
This is Disney you're writing about. Disney. If you want to present yourself as believable, don't throw in details like that to lend credence to your silly internet fable. It destroys all suspension of disbelief.
But if you’re capable of suspending your disbelief like you're Mister Fantastic, you'll enter stage two of the boss encounter: the story's idea of “horror”. Or, Creepypasta Go-To Cliches #37 and 38: Facial contortion and Hell. As the story progresses, we’re told that Mickey begins to smile widely and his eyes roll to the back of his head. We’re also told that at the end of the cartoon, a disembodied Mickey head appears with Russian text over it, talking about the sights of Hell.
To throw aside the endless sarcasm and snarkiness that I've been throwing around like candy, this is easily the most aggressively frustrating thing about Suicidemouse.avi. Simply throwing around “Hell” on its own isn't scary. Sure, the idea of Hell is scary. A place where the souls of the dead are damned for all eternity? Yeah, I'd say that's scary. However, on its own and without any context? That isn't scary. There has to be something to back it up so the reader can feel some sort of emotion. Alas, this story doesn't do that.
By the end of the story, I'd say that Suicidemouse.avi has accomplished about as much as a newborn can do at the Olympics. Its bland concept and lack of substance in its horror results in nothing of value when all is said and done. I guess if you're looking for an introduction into the “lost episode” side of creepypastas though, and you need to know how low the bar goes, you could give this story a go.
What a glowing endorsement.
#5: Jeff the Killer
Sporting one of the most iconic images of any creepypasta, Jeff the Killer has become one of the faces of the entire internet horror genre. Birthing a sizable fanbase for a creepypasta, having spinoffs like Jane and Nina the Killer, and even crossovers where he's fought Slenderman, Michael Myers, and The Rake, among many others. This story's popularity is incredible and damn near unrivaled by the vast majority of other creepypastas, save for the likes of BEN Drowned and Slenderman.
However, as is the case with anything: being popular doesn't equal being good. Seldom is that more apparent than with this story.
Jeff the Killer centers on the titular Jeff, a young boy who moves to a new house with his family. It's there that he meets three alumni from the Creepypasta College of Bullying: Randy, Keith, and Troy. They get beaten up by Jeff after they try to extort some money from him and his brother, Liu, with Randy getting shanked because he's a little bitch. From there, Jeff is nearly arrested on account of reasons never explained and he begins a descent into madness until he's set on for vis bleach—something that doesn't burn.
Jeff the Killer has an insurmountable amount of things wrong with it that can all be classified as “stupid”. It's a story that functions due to it being written at the right time in history for it to take off like a fighter jet. I could probably sit here for an hour and list off things wrong with this story, but I'll keep it short.
The first and most obvious thing is the characters. They're all generic and caricatures of what a character would look like if you'd never written in your life and had never read anything outside of your phone book. The best example of this is Randy: a literary manifestation of a 6 year olds idea of how a bully acts. New meat in town? We'll go shake them down like we're a part of the Chicago Outfit.
Jeff himself is an individual that has been looked at under a microscope to see what makes him appealing. Scientists have yet to make any progress in the quest to figure it out, but they have discovered that he's a terribly written protagonist with the personality of a used condom.
In the way of actual progression as a story: Jeff the Killer offers reader a 1080p, 60 WPS reading experience where you can make story altering decisions that affect the ultimate outcome of the entire adventure. For example, you can close out the tab you're using to read this story and you can Google Candle Cove for a better, more fulfilling reading experience.
In 2015, Jeff the Killer was remastered so that it could be read in 4k resolution. This remaster offered players newly redesigned story elements and features never seen in the original version of the classic creepypasta, while keeping the option to go Google The Russian Sleep Experiment so that you may have a better, more fulfilling time reading a story not written by someone who never graduated elementary school English class.
#4: Ticci Toby
I went into Ticci Toby with very very low expectations. It sounded exactly like a Jeff the Killer knockoff and that's all that I needed to know that it was likely going to suck. Yet, as is the case with any Jeff knockoff, it managed to find new and inventive ways to make me want to eat glass.
Ticci Toby centers on a 17 year old boy named Toby who has tourettes syndrome. He's bullied at school due to his “tics” and garners the nickname “Ticci Toby”. Well, one day, Toby gets into a car accident with his older sister and is injured. His sister, meanwhile, dies. Upon his arrival home, Toby is greeted by his alcoholic dad who he doesn't like because he's abusive. What follows is an extremely fast paced and cliched wannabe psychological horror story that's edgier than a razor blade sculpture of Shadow the Hedgehog. To top things off, Slenderman is in this story.
To put simply: Ticci Toby is a very unoriginal story. Teenager with bad home life that goes cuckoo. Been there, done that. But wait, it's different because it's only the dad who's a bastard. Admittedly, while it's a very small diversion, it's a strangely nice breath of fresh air to see the main character only show resentment towards one parent. However, I find the actual cause for the patricide in the story to be very odd. It's reminiscent of Sinister 2, a fact that made me internally scream until my subconscious eardrums erupted like Yellowstone. Though this predates that film, so I guess I can't be too mad.
As for the story's pacing: Ticci Toby likes to pretend it's a rocket, so it shoved one up its hypothetical ass and launches itself forward until it's on its way to another galaxy. This story has no breaks, so we jump around so much we don't get proper transitions between scenes. It left me wondering if the story had entire swaths wiped out and I maybe came across some rough draft. Alas, I didn't: the story outright has no proper scene transitions and is held together by an invisible force that dictates you accept its piss poor structure. Good job, Ticci Toby! You're a real story now. Take your gold medal and eat it like it's sauerkraut.
Being a creepypasta, Ticci Toby is meant to be scary. On its own though, it isn't. The character has an abusive dad, but he's never shown to be that way beyond us being told that he is. There's one scene where he grabs Toby, but he stops at his wife's protest. With the abusive dad being on a leash, the story offers us some scares with everyone's favorite 10 foot tall faceless horror: Slenderman, who haunts Toby for reasons that aren't explained.
The inclusion of Slenderman isn't a necessarily surprising one. The character is often used to help “create” these “X the Killer” characters, and subsequently use them as proxies. On its own, that's fine. A malevolent figure pulling the strings on vulnerable teenagers can be scary. Though thanks to the breakneck speeds that Ticci Toby calls its “pacing”, there's no tension or slow descent into madness. Toby suffers some nightmares and hears some sounds; sounds could reasonably chalk up to a ruptured eardrum thanks to the accident. However, it takes no time to build tension and bam! Slenderman's army of zombie ghost children drive Toby crazy with some whispers and he kills his dad.
Ticci Toby is a story that was so frustrating to read, I had to find a written riff to read so I had something to chuckle along with as opposed to being alone with me, my girlfriend who I pestered as I read it, and Queen. Even then, the riff did little to alleviate the tripe that was presented; typos and all. Despite every effort the story makes, Ticci Toby can never soar above being a shallow Jeff the Killer knockoff with Slenderman. It's everything I can't stand when it comes to a teenage Edgelord story. In a perfect world, these stories wouldn't exist.
Instead, we live in a world where Ticci Toby has a fanbase.
#3: Laughing Jack and his Origin
Picking between Laughing Jack and The Origin of Laughing Jack was like picking between whether I want to shove a fork in the electrical outlet on the left side of the room or the right side of the room. No matter which I pick, the end result is the same: a painful experience that leaves me feeling like a monumental moron. So, in the spirit of this being my own personal list, I've decided to lump them together.
Let's start with Laughing Jack. This story is incredibly simplistic, telling the story of a mother and her kid—James, who has an imaginary friend in the form of Laughing Jack. It's not long after this that creepy stuff begins to happen and the family dog is brutally murdered, followed by James himself. Then the story abruptly ends.
Laughing Jack is, conceptually, a pretty sound story. The imagination of a child is a very fascinating thing. I've been told that I talked to a World War I pilot, Angelo, as a kid. I don't remember doing such a thing, but the limits as to who or what a child will see or speak to offer a limitless pool of creepy ideas and scenarios.
The thing here is: Laughing Jack casts aside every single one of those ideas and scenarios in favor of some of the most grotesque and senseless violence I've ever seen in a story. If you're going to crucify a child and disembowel a dog, have some sort of sound reason for it. Doing it because it's shocking is going to turn away anyone with standards higher than the bottom of the barrel. But hey, who am I to argue with a story that views rhyme and reason as foreign concepts.
The biggest double-edged sword for Laughing Jack is its length. It's a rather short story, which would be a positive if it wasn't for the fact it has a hard on for the aforementioned grotesque violence. This makes every brutal description all the more senseless and jaw-droppingly ineffective. It doesn't help that those moments are the only parts of the story where the author seemed to have any sort of investment in. I can tell because of the lack of there not being a new line for a new speaker. Tsk, tsk.
I'm not sure what I expected with Laughing Jack. Everything one shouldn't do when writing horror is in full display here. Brutality doesn't equal horror, it's shocking for the sake of being shocking. If that's what you find scary, more power to you, but there's a limit that one should set. Laughing Jack doesn't set that limit. Instead it opts to just keep going until it ends like nothing ever happened. Bravo.
Now we move onto The Origin of Laughing Jack. Everything I said above applies here. Grotesque, senseless violence and shock value over legitimate horror. The one and only real difference in the way the stories are written is here, everything done wrong is amped up to 11.
The Origin of Laughing Jack takes place in the 1800s, a fact that is routinely ignored by having inventions not around during that time period. The location is London, a setting that I actually quite like. Such a location is subsequently used as much as one would expect from a story with the quality as The Origin of Laughing Jack. Our protagonist is Isaac, a seven year old boy who lives in his dysfunctional household. We know this because his dad drinks and rapes Isaac's mom. Having fallen into the endless pits of despair and anguish, Isaac receives a gift in the form of a jack-in-the-box. Inside lives Laughing Jack, a colorful cosmic entity of sorts who brightens the lives of children that need it. However, as the story goes on, the lives of both Isaac and Jack change for the worst, and a long spiral of darkness quickly ensues.
Conceptually, I think that The Origin of Laughing Jack is great. Having Jack not start off as a malicious entity and instead something akin to a Fairy Godparent is pretty cool. Too bad that's all this story has going for it. From the first word to the final word, this story finds new and innovative ways to implode in on itself, never once thinking that letting up may be a somewhat decent idea.
For starters, this story being set in the 1800s causes numerous problems with the sorts of things used; such as Jack referencing Isaac not having been flossing and him using a syringe of adrenaline. The latter could potentially be passed off as Jack is established as being a cosmic entity, but that only raises the question as to what the limit is to his power. If he can materialize adrenaline shots in the 1800s, can Jack materialize a history book to bash the writer with?
The next thing, and easily the story's biggest flaw, is just how ridiculously gory it is. Gore on its own isn't necessarily bad, a few of my favorite creepypastas are quite gory. However, The Origin of Laughing Jack takes the gore meter and runs it into the ground until it's found Hell itself. The senseless violence in this story reaches levels that I didn't think possible without someone contacting the FBI to report a possible serial killer. This story spends paragraph after paragraph describing, in gleeful detail, the things Isaac, and subsequently Jack, does to his victims. Every cut, slice, and process in which people are disemboweled is elaborated upon to the point I gave up reading because spending seven paragraphs reading this was going to make me scream from boredom.
Seriously: prose isn't a bad thing, but when you spend so much time describing something, reconsider what you're doing. Nobody wants to spend so long reading strings of words that mean precisely jack squat.
Next on the list of “Things The Origin of Laughing Jack Got Wrong”, the actual backstory to the titular Jack himself. As I said before, I quite like the idea to Jack. It's rather interesting considering what could have been done by simply making him some poltergeist. However, this “origin” story has two absolutely massive flaws and both completely take away everything that promise had and butchers it like this story does to nearly every character.
The first is Jack’s descent into madness. You see, Isaac and Jack are playing in the backyard one day when Jack accidentally kills a neighbor's pet cat. This results in Isaac finding it cool, Jack being confused, and Isaac subsequently being sent off to a reform school. Jack is also sealed away in his jack-in-the-box until Isaac returns much, much later. Until then, he witnesses Isaac's parents fight and Isaac, who murders countless people, including a little kid and an elderly person.
Jack's descent into madness, which ultimately makes him the character from the first story, feels very half-assed and worse, shallow. For a cosmic entity, Laughing Jack isn't very… powerful in a psychological way. If he helps out troubled kids, he's surely seen the horrible acts people have done in the past, right?
“But Isaac was his friend!”
That's no excuse for such a powerful entity to be as easily corrupted as a 5 year old.
Anyways, this issue leads into the second thing. Jack's powers make him a woefully uninteresting character. God-like characters, in my eyes, aren't interesting 95% of the time because the writer has no idea how to make them interesting. Laughing Jack is one of the absolute worst I've ever seen. Much like Jeff the Killer, Jack does whatever because he can. Rhyme and reason be damned for eternity because Laughing Jack is an omnipresent, all-powerful cosmic entity! Btw, my oc plz dont steal. dont like it dont read it. criticism appreciated but no mean comments kthx.
Bottom line: The Origin of Laughing Jack is a terrible story. It fails in every conceivable way and it never stops failing. It goes off the rails and plummets into a bottom canyon where everyone and everything on board screams for it to end, but it never does. It's the apex of gore porn story writing and how this maintained a 4.5/5 on the creepypasta wiki, I'll ever be able to fathom.
Laughing Jack's stories came ridiculously close to being number one on the list. The only thing holding them back was that on a personal level, I find the next two stories to be more insulting. Everything here is exactly what I'd expect considering their titles, yet could have been legitimately good stories if the writers had given two damns to try. The next two languish in the pits of not even trying to aspire to be anything other than tripe. From start to finish, both Laughing Jack stories settle for ridiculously grotesque, senseless violence served with a side of more grotesque, senseless violence. Neither story can be asked to deliver anything other than that. Yet, somehow, the character has gotten a cult following. I don't get it and I don't want to get it.
Stories don't get more oddly redundant and asinine than Sonic.exe; a story wherein “hyper realistic” is the same as “photorealistic” and blood is more abundant than a bloodrive held by Jack the Ripper.
Sonic.exe centers on a guy named Tom, who receives a package from his friend, Kyle. Said package is of a Sonic game, which Tom is a diehard fan of. However, Kyle demands that Tom destroy the game, to which Tom opts against because it's a creepypasta and that's too logical. Upon playing the game however, Tom soon realizes that the game is very scary and all sorts of wrong.
Much like Jeff the Killer, Sonic.exe is one of the most well known creepypastas—though it lacks the sizable fanbase that Jeff has. Exactly why this one doesn't get a free pass, I don't know, but I'll take what I can get. Especially considering just how much worse this story is than Jeff.
To start things off, there's the actual story itself. For a video game themed creepypasta, Sonic.exe isn't breaking any new ground. It's a very by-the-numbers horror story at its heart, with Tom describing everything that happens. The exact level of detail however is rather comical, with Tom describing nearly everything down to a T. Whether it be a screen changing for a fraction of a second, to the arbitrary amount of time a character runs for. All of it feels unnecessary—especially when the story forces home just how unbelievably scared Tom is. Why is he taking the time to count how long Tails is running? It isn't elaborated upon, though one can assume Tom is a robot
On the topic of Tom, he's a very uninteresting character. His obsession with the Sonic series overshadows any possibility of him having depth as the author fills much of Tom's dialogue with lines like, “I couldn't believe the fear in his eyes. I was so scared and wanted to help him, but I couldn't!”. Spliced in, we get Tom's ridiculously over dramatic descriptions of the game, which I'll go over later as they're some of the worst offenses for the story. As a whole though, Tom is a lousy protagonist and one I can't connect with. I've heard people describe him as a narcissist, and I don't think he is. Perhaps I'm ignorant to his self-centeredness, but he comes across more as simply being poorly written than anything else. He's also too stupid to listen to his friend and is blinded by his unhealthy love for Sonic. That's just me though.
On the topic of characters, there's Sonic himself. For those unfamiliar with this story, Sonic is a demon that, in this stories sequel, plans on taking over the world. This demon uses his power to force people into playing this game, then traps their souls in his dimension. It's very silly and overly complex, so I don't go into it too much. Rather, I'll just judge Sonic as he's written in this story.
He isn't that good.
Sonic's dialogue is very cliched—fitting the safest bill of “evil demon” possible. He makes vague, ominous threats, then does the same action over and over: he wins his quote unquote “game”, and Tom picks a new character. There's no real depth to him, and he's in the story for a respectable amount. This is one of the very few creepypastas on this list where the villain had a speaking role and interacts with the main character throughout it. Yet, it's little more than a half assed game of cat and mouse that drags on for way longer than it has any right to.
As is the case with many of these stories, Sonic.exe isn't particularly scary. In fact, this story's probably one of the worst. It believes copious amounts of blood to be the most terrifying thing ever, and constantly refers to the in-game blood as appearing “hyper realistic”. The latter of those two, as stated earlier, should be “photorealistic”. Even then, it's a cheesy and cliche line that shouldn't be used.
That said, the in-game descriptions given by Tom are some of the most laughably over-the-top and melodramatic tripe I've ever read. The constant emphasis on how “scared” the characters are, treating them as real people, is hysterically bad. The loving attention to the amount of blood is also silly to say the least. After a while however, it becomes exhausting as it feels like you're trudging through a sea of words when it could be simplified to read: “there was a lot of blood”. Too bad JC The Hyena doesn't understand that purple prose isn't always a good thing.
Sonic.exe culminates with the revelation that Sonic has manifested himself as a plushie in the real world—Tom's room to be exact. This feels like the perfect capstone to the story. It thinks it's terrifying, but it's not. It's as frightening as the Tails Doll. Sure, it lavishes itself with the claim that it's an interdimensional demon, but it's a frigging plushie. Color any which way you want, give it sharp teeth and bloody pupils with black sockets, throw blood around its mouth, it doesn't matter. It’s a plushie. And just like Sonic.exe, that isn't scary.
#1: Happy Appy
This story starts out fine. While its escalation isn't what I'd call reasonable, it presents itself as something that could be pretty Interesting; Candle Cove lite if you will. It's set up coherently, it's fairly well paced, even if it escalates a bit too quickly, and it actually has a solid atmosphere at times. All in all, Happy Appy isn't a bad story.
Or so one would think.
The issue with Happy Appy is that it is, ultimately, a slog. It's one of the most grueling and relentless stories I've ever seen laid out before me in my life. Its length rivals that of Ted the Caver, but without a single thing that makes Ted the Caver good. It also has some of the most laughable escalation I've ever seen in a story, but we'll get to that later. For now, let's get to the actual review of this story.
The plot to Happy Appy centers on a man who's investigating the titular show—which supposedly aired on Nick Jr. when he was younger. His younger brother enjoyed it, so he didn't think much of it. That is, until it got progressively darker. Now, years later, our hero is out to find the truth behind Happy Appy. Said truth sends him down a path that's unlike anything I've ever read outside of crackfics.
I'm going to flat out admit it: I couldn't finish Happy Appy due to how gargantuan the story is. As I stated earlier, the story's length rivals that of Ted the Caver, which I think it's worth mentioning both this story and that one are told via journal entries. It's one of the few things I like about Happy Appy and it manages to botch it up like an EA holiday release. In spite of me not being capable of finishing this story though, I'm keeping this story starts number one simply due to its ability to make me quit reading it. That and everything you're going to read.
Now then: as stated before, this story is told via journal entries. It's a style of storytelling I love as you can really explore the thoughts of a character and get to know them. In the case of Happy Appy, the entries feel like cliff notes to a story that's being written, and the author went ahead and said “this will work”. As a result, there's extremely little time taken to explore any aspect of the show. There's almost no detail given to the episodes that our hero watches. I'm not asking for a 15 paragraph essay on the entire episode, but Happy Appy's descriptions on the actual Happy Appy feels as low budget as the damn show.
As for what little is told about the show, it isn't Earth shattering. It's described as being a super low budget kids show that features a talking apple, named Happy Appy, who teaches kids lessons and helps them. It's nothing revolutionary in the way of a kids cartoon, but it works as a weird cartoon and as a result: it works for the story well enough that I don't hate it.
Most of the episodes described follow the same song and dance as the predecessor, but with Appy himself doing some more ominous and sinister things. It's standard for stories like this and I don't fault Happy Appy for taking this route. In fact, I can almost commend it. The story does a decent enough job to start with building suspense that I almost found myself having some fun with the story.
Then the escalation happened.
This is where Happy Appy loses everything it worked to build because it loses it damn mind. Big time.
You see, as with any creepypasta like Happy Appy, the episodes get progressively darker. In the case of this one, we're told that Appy begins to act weird and more sinister. Fairly standard and nothing out of the ordinary. However, it takes very little time for us to find ourselves reading about Appy using a chainsaw in the back of his van (don't ask how an apple is driving a van) and other things related to Appy committing first degree murder.
Happy Appy, as I stated at the start of this entry, is an extremely long story. It's way, way longer than any of the other stories on this list. As a result, it's given significantly much more time to escalate the events in its story. Everything from the history behind its show to what Appy does in it. Alas, the story wastes no time deciding to have Appy go ahead and kill kids.
Part of the issue I have with this is that the story breezes through so much of what could be an intense and unsettling narrative following the events of the show's episodes. I find the idea of the story being “boring” if it took that route to be nonsense as Happy Appy quickly loses all sense of tension building when it starts to speed up even more than it had been, with journal entries lasting as long as a candy bar does in the hands of a fat kid. Whether or not this changes as the story goes on, I couldn't care less about thanks to the quality of the writing showing no sign of improving.
Appy killing kids isn't the only kind of escalation we see in the story though. Shortly before that, we see the introduction of predictive programming; the art of television and other entertainment mediums predicting yet-to-happen events. We've seen this with claims that The Simpsons has predicted things on air before; such as Donald Trump becoming President of the United States.
Likewise, Creepypastas aren't exempt from using predictive programming as a plot point. The Fallout 3 Numbers Station used it as the entire basis for its story. It also subsequently fell flat on its face when its predictions failed to come to pass. Another one that comes to mind is the “Lost Episode of Seinfeld”. That story alleges that an episode of Seinfeld predicted 9/11.
In the case of Happy Appy, we see Appy reference a 9.0 earthquake in Japan when one hadn't happened during that time. Another time, we see our hero watch an episode called “The Towers”, wherein planes hit two large towers while Appy is with a group of kids. To the stories credit, this episode contains one of the very few eerie lines that I read. A child asks Appy what's happening to which he replies: “It's natural, kids”.
I'll admit: I'm not a fan of predictive programming. I find it to be a very silly idea and not something that's really scary. Any No Name Johnny can make a prediction and it can come to pass. That doesn't make them a psychic or Nostradamus. They got lucky. The same goes for predictive programming. What I'm getting at is this: Happy Appy has to go to very long lengths to draw a parallel to whatever event it's predicting so that it can be seen as a true prediction. I don't inherently hate the story for using it as a theme, I just think it's very silly and the idea itself isn't scary.
On its own, Happy Appy isn't as bad of a story as one like Laughing Jack or Sonic.exe. However, I've always believed that when something that's meant to be entertaining is boring, that's significantly worse than when it's bad. A bad work of entertainment can offer something that can be riffed with friends. Something that's boring leaves you in a worse position than when you went to said product to not be bored. That's where Happy Appy lands, and it lands painfully hard.
I ultimately stopped reading Happy Appy because I was bored. I've read some of it prior, albeit years ago. Both times, I stopped. And both times it was due to the same issue. It's a boring story—and it's one with an obscenely long length to back it up. From what I've heard and vaguely remember, Happy Appy brings aliens into the fray at some point. If that's the case, I've got no desire to continue with its nonsensicality. There's enough stupidity on Earth. Happy Appy doesn't need to be a part of it.