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Narrative Patterns in the Creepypasta

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Aleksandra Serwotka

on 10 January 2014

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Transcript of Narrative Patterns in the Creepypasta

Narrative Patterns in the Creepypasta - Tales of Experiments

Creepypastas and urban legends
secondhand stories
elements of mystery
usually cannot be traced to a source
some of them were supposed to be a joke (hoax)
creepypasta as a subtype of urban legend (with a different way of spreading)
Based on/related to scientific records, claimed by the author(s) to have been found in an abandoned laboratory...
"The Fear Hormone"-
"The following is transcribed directly from documents found in an abandoned German test lab by American soldiers during the aftermath of WWII, roughly translated into English."
"Happy Puppet Syndrome" -
"The following manuscript was found in an abandoned and hidden laboratory discovered deep in an Alaskan forest."
"Specific" scientific data
"Blood Freezing Experiment" -
"Other things that have to happen in order for the blood to solidify include increasing the amount of blood plasma from 55% to 59%. Modified blood cells when oxygenated constitute percentages of 96%, therefore the subject has to breathe deeper or more often."
"The Russian Sleep Experiment" -
"They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn't kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations."
Connection with the Supernatural (intentional or not)/a super-/unnatural occurence
"Gateway of the Mind" -
"He whispered "I have spoken with God, and He has abandoned us" and his vital signs stopped."
"The Russian Sleep Experiment" -
"I won't be locked in here with these things! Not with you!" he screamed at the man strapped to the table. "WHAT ARE YOU?" he demanded. "I must know!"
What is the creepypasta?
the origin: creepy + copypasta
short stories circulating on the internet, designed to cause emotional response from the reader (particularly: fear)
"Kagome Kagome - Giving man the power of God" -
"Exactly the true power is often up to debate but it appears that this is often described in Nazi research as "Immortality", unable to die, invincibility or other factors surrounding losing the capacity to die in some way or another."
"Quinine" -
"We injected them with the malaria soon after they fell asleep."
"Blood Freezing Experiment" - "The chemical was successfully administered to all three subjects. Within the first hour, all three of them started screaming in agony."
Aleksandra Serwotka
Creepypasta - main categories
...or possible to be found in some place:
"Blood Freezing Experiment" -
"A copy of this lab report can be found somewhere deep within the old MI5 building in London."
"Gateway of the Mind" -
"Continuing study in San Francisco, CA. 2003-present"
Ghastly files
– containing descriptions of mysterious videos, images, sound files or others and associating them with someone’s suicide or unexplained death. Notable examples: “Mereana Mordegard Glesgorv”, “Suicidemouse.avi”.
Instructions/Rituals – demanding from the reader to perform specific actions and depicting the consequences of these actions. Notable examples: “Midnight Game”, “He Waits for You”.
Supernatural beings – very closely related to urban legends; talking about human-like creatures, deformed and of unknown origin. Notable examples: “Slender Man”, “The Expressionless Woman”.
Connections with Nazi Germany...
...or Soviet Russia
"Russian Sleep Experiment" -
"Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant."
The subjects usually do not try to defend themselves:
"Reunion with the Angel of Death" -
"“Do not worry, my child,” the doctor said, “I am only here to save you.” “Are you sure?” the boy questioned. “Yes, my child. I am your protector, and uncle.” said the doctor, bringing out a piece of candy in his hand, “And this may be yours…if you cooperate.” “I trust you,” said the boy."
"Gateway of the Mind" -
"An elderly man who claimed to have “nothing left to live for” was the only test subject to volunteer.
General scheme:
1. Research idea.
2. Choosing a subject/subjects.
3. Performing an operation/providing the subject(s) with a substance. Suffering.
4. Strange behaviour of the subject(s).
5. Supernatural occurrence.
6. Death or disappearance (of the scientist(s) or the subject(s)).
The order may differ slightly.

Vladimir Propp - "All fairy tales are of one type in regard to their structure."
Claude Lévi-Strauss - myths as the parole of a certain langue
Roland Barthes - “A narrative is a large sentence, just as any declarative sentence is, in a certain way, the outline of a little narrative”; KERNELS vs. SATELLITES

Bibliography and sources
Literature on the subject:
Barthes, Roland - "Introduction à l'analyse structurale des récits"
Propp, Vladimir - "Morphology of the Folktale"
Selden, Widdowson, Brooker - "Structuralist Theories", from:
A Reader's Guide to Contemporary Literary Theory
Eco, Umberto - "Narrative Structures in Fleming", from:
The Role of the Reader - Explorations in the Semiotics of Texts
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