Previously: “The Woman in the Oven.”
The history behind “The River Country Film” is all true: Walt Disney World’s original water park, River Country opened on June 20, 1976, predating later Disney water parks Typhoon Lagoon by 13 years and Blizzard Beach by nearly two decades. Although it was smaller than Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, it had a certain charm to it; designed to resemble an old time-y swimming hole, it did what Disney does best: Look back with nostalgia at an extravagantly romanticized vision of yesteryear — or perhaps more accurately, a past that never was.
Over time, though, it began to struggle in comparison with the newer water parks; what’s more, attendance for Walt Disney World as a whole dropped off dramatically post-9/11, ands River Country suffered quite a bit as a result. The park ran its regular season throughout the rest of 2001 — but in April of 2002, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the park may not reopen. It stayed closed throughout 2002 and languished for another few years; then, on January 20, 2005, Disney finally confirmed the fact that the park was permanently closed.
What’s so fascinating about the closure, though, is that the park has never subsequently been demolished.
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Previously: The Best Creepy Podcasts on the Internet, January 2016.
It’s been just about a year since the last time we talked about the best creepy podcasts on the internet, so let’s revisit the topic, shall we? The new list of things I’m actively listening to is a tiny bit shorter than the previous one, largely because I’m also still listening to a lot of the ones we talked about previously; alas, there are only so many listening hours in a day, and, well… you do the math. But I’ve added a few new ones to the rotation, as well as found a few others to save until later (that is, when I run out of episodes of all the others I’m currently devouring), so here’s what I’ve had playing in my headphones lately.
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Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. V.
It’s been a few months; time for an update, I think. A lot of folks have had some interesting questions about how these games and rituals might interact — e.g., what happens if you play a game that ends with you, say, needing to avoid mirrors, and then try to play a game that involves a lot of mirrors? Most of my answers to these sorts of questions are purely conjecture, I’m afraid — but it’s a fascinating line of thought. I’d love to hear any theories anyone else might have, as well, so do feel free to comment if you’ve got one.
Also, on a slightly unrelated note: Many thanks to all the post-wedding well-wishers! Your kind words are all very much appreciated.
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Let’s start the new year off with a blast from the past, shall we? “The Woman in the Oven” — sometimes simply referred to as “The Tape” — is one of the oldest creepypastas around. Its original author remains unknown; indeed, there are several versions of it floating around, so at this point, there’s no telling how many authors it actually has at all. For what it’s worth, the oldest version I’ve found dates back to June of 2008 — two full years before I even learned what creepypasta even was. That’s the version I’ve reproduced here — in full, purely because the tale is so short.
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Previously: Dry Bones.
Technically I should probably put this one in quotation marks — “Japanese New Year Ritual” — because I haven’t been able to confirm that it actually is a Japanese New Year ritual and not just a creepypasta (possibly written by someone who isn’t actually Japanese) masquerading as one. Besides the fact that I’ve only been able to find this one on creepypasta sites and places like Wattpad, the thing that kind of makes me think it’s more creepypasta and less ancient mythology is how it deals with food. I’m by no means an expert, but from what I’ve read, food factors prominently in Japanese New Year celebrations — traditional dishes and a whole lot of mochi are typically eaten in the days leading up to the ringing in of the new year. This “ritual,” however, does the opposite — it instructs players to fast, which seems at odds with everything else I’ve read.
But then again, maybe that’s the point.
As always, play at your own risk.
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Previously: Spring-Heeled Jack.
Type: PE (Pretenatural Entity).
Period/location of origin: Conflicting. In the early 2000s, sightings reported in rural Japan began appearing on the internet; however, it is unclear whether subject originated in rural Japan, where the sightings were located, or on the internet itself, where the “sightings” were reported. Additionally, it is not known whether subject came into being in the early 2000s with the appearance of the online reports, or whether subject is much older and existed prior to the reports.
Appearance: Unknown; reports are conflicting. In some accounts, subject appears to be only a
“white squiggle” swaying in the distance of a garden, field, or, rarely, the open sea. In others, however, subject appears to be a scarecrow. Very rarely, subject may appear in an urban landscape, in which case it is reported as being as black as pitch.
What subject may look like up close has never been documented. Anyone who may have found themselves close enough to report has… not been in any condition to do so afterwards.
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Previously: “Trick Or Treat.”
Although most creepypastas eventually find their way to — or even originate from — the Creepypasta Wikia, “Misfortune.gb” is one of the few pastas I know of that capitalizes on the medium itself: It’s written in the form of a Wiki page. For that reason, it’s one of the most effective pastas I’ve ever read when it comes to blurring the line between fact and fiction. The last section is where we get a bit of a departure from that particular format… but the departure is where the story’s kick in the gut comes from, too.
And it’s a good one.
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