Previously: Japanese New Year Ritual.
Ritual pastas tend to fall into two camps: Games you read about because they’re good stories, and games you read about because it seems like you might actually be able to play them. 11 Miles is definitely the former.
There’s secondary set of categories, too, by which ritual pastas can be similarly divided: Games that are made-up internet shenanigans, and games that stem from history or folklore. Here, too, 11 Miles is definitely the former.
But although it might be clearly made up, 11 Miles also follows a longstanding tradition of journeys in folklore, legend, and mythology: Journeys to get your heart’s desire; journeys to return home; journeys to get your heart’s desire that result in returning home because you didn’t realize that returning home was what you wanted all along. I keep thinking back to The Odyssey — a much longer trip than 11 measly miles, for sure… although perhaps only in the literal sense.
Read more "The Most Dangerous Games: 11 Miles"
Previously: The Markovian Parallax Denigrate.
In the beginning, it was only four seconds long. Just four seconds — four silent seconds, filled with nothing but a field of murky brown and a small, dark dot. The video was odd, for sure, with an odd title as well — just a string of numbers. The name of the channel on which the video appeared was odd, too, even for YouTube: “Unfavorable Semicircle.” There were seemingly no semicircles here — and even if there were, what on earth would cause one to be classified as “unfavorable?”
The video was uploaded on April 5, 2015; the YouTube account itself had appeared several days prior, on March 30. But this video wasn’t the only clip uploaded that day — an astonishing 1,247 videos appeared on the channel in total.
Pay attention; this fact will be important later on.
Read more "Unresolved: Unfavorable Semicircle And The (Possible) Evolution Of ARGs (Or Not)"
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.
Read more "Creepypasta of the Week: “The River Country Film”"
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.
Read more "The Best Creepy Podcasts On The Internet, January 2017 — And Why They’re Worth Your Time"
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.
Read more "The Most Dangerous Games: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. VI"
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.
Read more "Creepypasta of the Week: “The Woman in the Oven”"
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.
Read more "The Most Dangerous Games: Japanese New Year Ritual"