As horror fans, we adore CreepyPasta. The mine of online creativity, feeding off of hundreds of existing myths – and creating new ones alongside them – is a wonderful resource for anyone with an interest in the macabre and bizarre.
The most famous CreepyPasta is the Slender Man, who has even had his own movie, Entity. This trailer is not one to watch in the dark (unless you really like being scared, of course)!
However, the CreepyPasta name has been marked by tragedy; a young girl in Elkhart, Indiana stabbed her stepmom to death, supposedly at the behest of CreepyPasta character Laughing Jack.
While Slender Man is tall, impossibly thin and almost featureless, Laughing Jack has a ghoulish, twisted-clown kind of appearance:
His ghost white skin and matted black hair hung down to his shoulders. He had piercing white eyes surrounded by dark black rings. His twisted smile revealed a row of sharp jagged teeth, and his skin didn’t look like skin at all, it almost looked like rubber or plastic.
He wore a patchy, black and white clown outfit with striped sleeved and socks. His body itself was grotesque, his long arms hanging down past his waist and the way he was poised made him look almost boneless, like a ragdoll.
According to local courts (via WSBT), the girl lit her family home on fire and killed her stepmother, Maria Torres, 'at the direction of a fictional character found on the CreepyPasta website known as 'Laughing Jack.'
...at the direction of a fictional character found on the Creepypasta website known as 'Laughing Jack. […She ] heard voices and had an 'alter ego' months before the stabbing and begged her father for help.
While the crime itself is deplorable, the reports of the girl's mental health are equally tragic; public defender Holly Curtis notes that the girl was repeatedly let down by those she begged for help long before the incident occurred:
"This little girl has been failed by everyone. We've had our hands tied because at this point in time, there's no other facility that can or will take her."
Let's hope that this disturbed child and her family receive the treatment and counseling they need. Sadly, this is not the first time that CreepyPasta has been tinged with tragedy: two incidents in 2014 involved young girls stabbing people to 'appease the Slender Man.'
In response to the Slender Man stabbing tragedy, the CreepyPasta community rallied in support for the victims, raising money for those affected with the following message:
All proceeds from the stream will be going to the girl and her family to aid with any fees that may have come with this horrifying event and to SafeHorizon, an organization dedicated to aiding children, adults and families that are victims of crime and abuse.
The power of imagination is a wonderful thing. Let's not blame a creative community for the actions of a few disturbed individuals.