BOOK REVIEW: The Creepypasta Collection, Edited by MrCreepyPasta

The CreepyPasta Collection

“Creepypasta” is the name for short, often anonymously written, horror stories that got their name for being copy and pasted around online communities like 4chan and reddit. MrCreepyPasta, who runs a popular youtube channel of the same name where he reads these creepypastas, has worked with several authors to collect 21 of these stories in a book. One of the problems with creepypastas is there’s no kind of editing or vetting process, so the community is often flooded with bad or mediocre stories. When I received this book, I was very curious to see how an edited collection would hold up.

My favorite story in the book is probably “Licks from a Bear” by Max Lobdell. I was already of fan of Lobdell’s work from his website, where he writes incredibly disturbing tales. This one is no different. A man suffering from depression turns to trepanning himself when no other treatment works. He finds that the hole in his head really does improve his mood and starts to make more when his high wears off. This is an incredibly effective story that made me cringe the whole time I read it. It’s a disturbing piece about a man who’s felt awful his whole life desperate to feel right.

Another favorite of mine was Isaac Boissonneau’s epistolary story “The Horror From the Vault.” A geology professor and his students discover an underground vault under a mountain near a small town. They find what looks like a coffin inside, which they take to a lab to analyze. After they open it, they unleash a horrible monster. It sounds like a cliché mummy story, but the monster that Boissonneau comes up with here is both unique and creepy. This is one you need to read yourself, I can’t talk much about it without spoiling it.

Matt Dymerski’s “Psychosis” was one that I read online before and I was happy to see it here. This is an incredibly disquieting story about a man who begins to become incredibly paranoid when he holes up in his apartment to finish some work and hears from nobody for the whole time. When he tries to contact his friend, he realizes something’s off. This is masterfully done psychological horror piece with an excellent twist at the end.

Not every story here works. Some stories are good overall, but have huge flaws. For example, Max Lobdell has another story in here called “Teeny Tiny.” A girl with an eating disorder intentionally poisons herself with radioactive medicine to lose weight. It’s an otherwise tragic and horrifying story, but it stretches plausibility too much. I really don’t buy that a medical disposal company would be as careless with radioactive material as they are here.

Then there’s stories like Aaron Shotwell’s “Smile.Montana” and Vincent V. Cava’s “Jeff the Killer: Right On Time.” They aren’t bad stories but rely too much on the reader knowing about characters from other creepypastas. It would have been much better if this book stuck to stories that stood on their own.

Then there’s a couple stories which are just bad. Goldc01n’s “Depression is a Demon” takes that metaphor so literally, it results in a boring and predictable story. “Bedtime” by Michael Whitehouse is an alright story about a man confronting a childhood fear, but it’s bogged down by clumsy, overwrought prose. It’s the longest story in the book and it made it a chore to get through.

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