The History of the Toxic Fandom: Creepypasta

Fandoms can get toxic. That is a fact of life, but not every fandom is toxic in the same way. So, in this series, I have decided to research some of the most notoriously toxic fandoms to discover just where things went wrong, and maybe, how things can get better in the future.

Today, I’ve decided to examine the deadliest of all the toxic fandoms, the Creepypasta fandom.

A creepypasta is an internet urban legend that usually skews towards horror. There are many of them out there, but a few are so well-known that they’ve managed to become a part of the mainstream pop culture. The most popular example of this is Slenderman, a character who has inspired stories, a YouTube series, video games, and a movie due to come out this summer.

Unfortunately, creepypastas have gained more notoriety in the public eye in recent years for inspiring extreme acts of violence in delusional adolescent children who claim to be acting on behalf of the stories’ characters, especially for Slenderman.

Now, mentally disturbed people acting on bizarre delusions is nothing new, but people acting out bizarre delusions based on Internet stories is a relatively new phenomenon that has left many adults and parents of impressionable children concerned, to say the least. Some people simply do not realize that creepypastas are not real.

According to the Rpg Monger, things came to a head in 2014.

In 2014, two adolescent girls lured their friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times to “prove themselves worthy to Slenderman.” The girl miraculously survived and received overwhelming monetary and emotional support from the creepypasta community while she recovered, and her assailants went to mental institutions.

However, the incident scarred most of the creepypasta community so badly that many of the creators left the fandom and allowed their stories to fade into obscurity.

In 2018, the creepypasta is a shadow of what it once was, but it is still alive mostly thanks to the r/nosleep sub-Reddit. Hopefully, from there, the community can rebuild itself to what it was at its prime.

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