I love the idea of creepypastas, basically being the modern day ghost stories you use next to a campfire or at a sleepover. The problem, is that many aren’t all that good and thanks to the name, creepypastas just don’t get any respect.
And to be honest, I agree that the name is bad. Every person who I’ve ever talked to in the fan-fic and creepypasta community seems to agree with me that the name isn’t all that good and should be changed. However, no one seems to be the one to start calling them differently. Personally I would call them Horror-fics but that is just me.
Secondly, a lot of creepypastas suffer from just repeating the plot of a successful story, but trying to one up them with more gore and shock value. It’s why we have so many Slender Man knock offs and lost episodes. They fill up the creepypasta sites with a lot of the same and most of them are just not good.
Also, in making the stories gorier, they unwittingly lose what made the originals so effective. Using video game creepypastas for example, the reason why MARIO and Pokémon Black worked so well is that they sound like actual hack games that would exist. You could believe that these were games you could find on Itch.io for free. Hell with MARIO, it pretty much has the style and plot of many modern day walking simulators.
However, when you put more gore into these stories, more stuff that just couldn’t ever work. The reader just can’t take the story seriously. They lose the suspense the originals have and turn into nothing more than a farce.
Another problem is that many stories, even if they don’t just repeat older stories, use the same old phrases and tropes over and over again. In fact, this is such a problem that the Creepypasta wikia actually has an entire page on bad tropes and why not to use them.
One of the big ones for me is the term hyper realistic. Now hyper realism is actually a real thing and when it was used in Squidward’s Suicide, it works because the show itself used such imagery:
However, every other time I’ve heard the term, it makes no sense and is just confusing. I mean what do you mean he bled out hyper realistic blood, what the hell is the difference between realistic and hyper realistic blood? Does the blood run down so fast that it goes into hyper-drive?
What makes so many of these creepypastas so bad is that so many of them could have been good and honestly chilling, if they had been given a second or third draft to iron out many of the problems. Jeff the Killer is decent for example, but the bullies are too over the top and the ending feels rushed. If it had worked these problems out, it would have been great. Even bad ones like Sonic.exe could have been decent if the writer had fixed all the spelling and grammar errors, fixing the plot holes and tightening the story.
There are still a ton of good creeypastas out there like the Russian Sleep Experiment and Candle Cove. But many suffer from problems like mentioned above. Ultimately, most creepypastas are just horror themed fan-fics and short stories and have the potential to be a respected sub-genre of their own if they are allowed to. Hopefully, we’ll see more good creepypastas in the future and less of the bad ones because I really want the sub-genre to be successful.