Monday, 20 February 2017

DARK WEB: AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA — PART 30: JEFF THE KILLER 2015




Some Pasta icons are just too big to cover with one feature… or even two!
This week, I’m returning to everybody’s favourite, hoodie-wearing, scarred, grinning Creepypasta psychopath — Jeff the Killer.
Sure, I’ve written about the character here in the past, both as an exploration of the myth and my recent exclusive interview with Jeff’s creator, Sesseur/KillerJeff. What more could I write about the character and his pretty threadbare story. In truth, not a lot… unless somebody else were to write more about the character first.
Hmmmm…

Of course, it is these musings that lead me to a source of Creepypasta that will be very familiar to long-time readers of this series (and Pasta fans) — the creepypasta wikia.
As a place known for its extremely strict quality standards (some have argued overly so, but I do appreciate that the admins of the site are doing their best to ensure that no Crappypasta slips in), it should come as no surprise to learn that the most well-known and widespread version of the JtK story was not well liked at the site.
As a story chock full of grammatical errors, clunky phrasing, awful plot holes and some pretty laughable cliches, even with its cult-like popularity and significance to the spread of Creepypasta, the decision was made to delete the story from the Wiki.
However, shortly thereafter user BanningK1979 posted a proposal to the site’s forum on 26 September 2015 — that Jeff be reincluded on the site BUT only after the story was rewritten, reworked and polished by the Creepypasta Wikia users to match the quality standards expected.
The idea was a hit, and soon a number of rival Jeff stories were submitted to the judges who were tasked with crowning one of these THE definitive Jeff the Killer post for the site.
You can find a full list of entries at the contest’s page on the wiki here.
Finally, on 6 December of last year, the judges reached their decision.
In third place was the The Testimony of James Lamb by JZoidberg. The Pasta focused on the story as told by a retired Police detective (the titular Lamb). In JZoidberg’s version of the story, Jeff (here with the surname Keaton) is insinuated in a series of break-ins that escalate to murder. Desperate for a lead, Lamb interviews Keaton’s younger brother, Liu, an inmate at a juvenile detention facility. Through a series of interviews, Lamb gets to know the man he is hunting from the one person who knows Jeff best.
The second placed story was My Liu by Sirius Nightshade. It makes quite a few changes to the traditional tale, and although it features Jeff and Liu once again, this time Jeff is the youngest brother, while the two siblings live apart following their parents’ divorce. Liu is stuck with their abusive father, while Jeff is racked with guilt over his inability to intervene.
When Jeff sees local bully Randy displaying similar tendencies towards a girl as his violent father, Jeff steps in. This leads to Randy taking a vile revenge against Jeff, starting a domino effect that will lead to madness and murder.


The winner of the competition was Jeff the Killer 2015 by author K. Banning Kellum, the very same individual who suggested the rewrite contest. You can read the story in full here.  
I do recommend that you check it out, but to summarise, it covers the story of Jeff and Liu Woods when they move to a new home and struggle to fit in, while their neglectful parents focus on how to be accepted by the local community.
Shortly after moving into their new home, the two brothers cross paths with local bullies Randy, Keith and Troy. The other kids give them a hard time but Jeff decides to walk away… right up until one of the boys assaults Liu.
Suddenly overcome with rage, Jeff administers a violent beating on their assailants before Liu is able to drag him away and the pair flee.
However, when local police arrive at the boys’ home, Jeff comes to realise that Randy’s family is well connected and Jeff is warned that the local authorities will be keeping a close eye on him.
To compound matters, Liu is subsequently sent away to spend the summer with their aunt. When it emerges that Randy’s father is actually Mr Woods’ boss, Jeff’s mother suggests that her son try to make amends with Randy. She drives Jeff to Randy’s home and at first, it seems as if the two boys may be able to bury the hatchet.
However, it isn’t long before Randy’s true colours shine through, and the boy and his cronies try to threaten Jeff with a flare gun… with terrifying consequences.
This ‘remake’ addresses a lot of the problems in the original story, more firmly grounding Jeff’s origin in reality while still maintaining a number of the key elements from the popular ‘bully’ origin. It is a far more polished piece of prose (Banning is a talented writer who has a number of quality pastas up at the Creepypasta wiki), and the story manages to combine this realism with a far more tragic horror than that of the original story.
Thematically, it is a perfect fit with the familiar tale that has enchanted Jeff fans for years, without the vast majority of the tales flaws.
In short, it does EXACTLY what it set out to do!
I was able to speak with K. Banning Kellum about his take on this most infamous of pastas, in which he was kind enough to talk me through his creative process.
You can read this conversation below:



HICKEY'S HOUSE OF HORRORS: Hi, thanks so much for agreeing to speak with me.
K BANNING KELLUM: Hi, Great to hear from you and I am glad that you took an interest in Jeff the Killer 2015. I certainly hope your week is off to a great start. So, let's get down to these questions:


HHoH: OK, the most obvious first — in your own words, tell us a little about your version of Jeff the Killer?
KBK: Well, the big goal of the re-write contest was to try and fix all the issues with the original story. There were a lot of logical errors in the first Jeff story that couldn't even be justified in the strictest of fictional sense. Issues like Jeff's super powers that seemed to come from nowhere, the fact that the police officers not only drew their guns on a kid but apparently were able to decide his punishment and length of jail time, and most of all, the bleach and liquor turning his face white. So, I set out to draw Jeff as a real person. A young man that was going through some tough times, such as moving to a new town and trying to fit in with the local kids. I also focused on his parent's lack of attention and their obsession with their professional lives over the emotional welfare of their children. I wasn't trying to make Jeff an anti-hero or a tragic-hero. The goal wasn't to to have the reader feel sorry for him at the end, but rather to paint a realistic map that could take a fairly well adjusted kid and turn him into a killer.
To create this, I decided to trigger Jeff with a series of small events leading into the catalyst at the end in order to push him over the edge in a believable manner. The parent's neglectful attitudes provided that constant background agitation. The bully's instigating Jeff and Liu and essentially getting away with it because of their status in the town was another. Liu being sent away for the rest of the summer and of course the big one, Jeff being disfigured and overhearing that his mother's chief concern was how his appearance would affect their standing in the community.
So, I guess to summarize, my version of Jeff was a rather honest kid who was constantly placed in situations that he couldn't control, even when he was in the right. It was about him losing control first over his life and then over his own mind. Jeff didn't want to fight the bullies at the start of the story, but they forced him to. Jeff didn't want to try and befriend Randy but his mother forced him to. Jeff surely didn't want to become disfigured, but fate as it was forced him to. My version of Jeff is a nice guy that is simply robbed of the most basic mechanics of control over and over again, until he can no longer control himself.


HHoH: What served as your inspiration for this story?
KBK: Two things really. First of all, let's go back to 2012 or so. I was still in the US Army at the time, stationed at Fort Hood, TX. I'd just recently discovered Creepypastas while deployed in Iraq and then Kuwait. So, after returning to the States after the year-long deployment, I wanted to make as much time with my family as possible.
Now, my son, Tristan, is from my first marriage. My first wife still lives in New Orleans, and since I was stationed out in Texas, I couldn't exactly go and pick up my son every single weekend. Due to the demands of the military, and the distance from Fort Hood to New Orleans, I generally could only go and get Tristan on long weekends or when my unit took some form of leave. This of course meant that my time with Tristan was that much more precious, since it could be up to a month before I'd be able to drive down and get him again.
So, during one of the block leave times, I want to say this was in the fall of 2012 or maybe early 2013, Tristan starts telling me all about the Creepypastas that he and his school friends have read. It was the normal ultra popular ones, like Jeff and Slenderman. At that time I had just gotten into Creepypastas, and honestly wasn't too familiar with Jeff the Killer. So, Tristan convinces me to play the Mr. Creepypasta reading, and we sat there together and listened to it while Tristan continued to explain this and that. It was a special little bonding moment that sort of left me with a little bit of a soft spot for Jeff the Killer.
Anyway, a couple years later, I'm out of the Army, my wife and I are back living in New Orleans, and thankfully we can now pick up Tristan every weekend. During that time, I was still making a name for myself on Creepypasta Wikia. I'd written Secret Bar and The Demon in the Mirror Trick I believe, but that was it. Anyway, around this time, the big debate was about whether or not Jeff the Killer deserved to remain on Creepypasta Wikia. The site admins at the time had established some respectable quality standards, and the Jeff the Killer story on our site at the time didn't meet any of the criteria. However, it was considered a classic and was essentially grandfathered into the community. However, it started to become more difficult to justify allowing it to remain.
Admins were deleting stories that were clearly better than Jeff, yet Jeff was allowed to remain due to his popularity. In the end, it came down to a vote. I actually supported removing the original Jeff, as I agreed that it didn't meet the quality minimums to remain on the site. However, as I was helping in the story's deletion votes, I also began to wonder if I could do better. I became really curious as to how I could improve on the Jeff formula, without actually making an entirely new story. I was interested in doing a re-telling, not so much a re-make. And like I said above, I still had a soft spot for Jeff the Killer because my son and I spent some quality time listening to Mr. Creepypasta take us through the original Jeff story.
Fast forward another year and it became apparent that a lot of people out there wanted Jeff back. They argued that it was a classic, and honestly, I agree. Like it or not, the original Jeff the Killer was to Creepypasta as Hulk Hogan is to professional wrestling. That's when I got the idea for a contest. Give the people, myself included, a chance to retell the story and fix the original issues. The vote passed in a majority landslide of support to retell the story. Since I was participating, and was also an admin, I passed all the technical ends of the the contest over to the other admins. Voting was done off site and moderated by another member of staff, and in the end, my story was selected.
Now, as far as specific inspirations, I used a lot of settings that I enjoyed when I was Jeff's age. Obviously setting it in and around New Orleans. Mandeville, the town where Jeff's family moved, is a real place, although I never lived there. The Friendly Video store was also a real chain down here that only recently went out of business in 2015. Jeff's incident with the three bullies messing with his bike was based off of some of the neighborhood antics that bullies did to us when I was a kid. There used to be these three brothers that lived down the street, and if they saw you ride your bike past, they'd all mount on their own and chase you. They caught me once the oldest brother kept twisting the seat on my bike until it finally broke. So, I sort of had an understanding of how Jeff and Liu felt when they walked out of the video store and say Randy and his pals messing with their bikes.


HHoH: Seeing your activity over at the Creepypasta Wikia it's pretty obvious that you're a fan of Creepypasta. What is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?
KBK: Well, it's hard to actually cite a specific favorite, because I love quite a few of them. The Disappearance of Ashley Kansas was one of the first that I read and was blown away. Another short one called Piggyback was chilling. As far as specific writers on the site go, Blacknumber1 is a great long pasta writer. Humboldt Lycanthrope is a master of the NSFW stories. Empyrealinvective has a massive library of impressive stories. GreyOwl is one of my favorites, as she consistently brings high quality stories to the Wiki. The Tale of Robert Elm is a masterpiece in my opinion. There are simply so many great stories and great writers that it's difficult to ever just say one name.


HHoH: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so well with the fandom?
KBK: I think the main reason for Creepypasta's popularity with the internet in general is because it is for the fans, by the fans. All you need to do to write a great pasta is to have an idea and some basic writing skills, and before you know it you can possibly be creating the next Jeff or Slenderman.
You don't need money, an editor or a book deal in order to pursue a love of writing.
And since Creepypastas are open-source for the most part, it appeals to all reaches of artists. Writers, sketch artists, poets and musicians alike can find something within the realm of Creepypasta to sink their teeth into. Plus, at least as far as Creepypasta Wikia is concerned, we are a very supportive community. If someone needs a critique or writing advice, there are always tons of people more than happy to do so.


HHoH: What do you think the appeal of Jeff the Killer is to fans?
KBK: That is a tough question in a lot of ways. Keep in mind I was one of the people that supported deleting the original. I would say with the original Jeff story, the popularity was all about timing.
Jeff came around when Creepypastas were a fairly new thing. It was also marketed well, since it started as a Youtube video and then evolved to a story.
The famous white faced Jeff picture that is associated with the original work no doubt played a huge role in the story's success as well. There was an undeniable unnerving quality to that picture. The aesthetics were so off that it was difficult to really look at. Couple that with the overall mood that horror stories can create, and you have a recipe for success.
Artists also did a lot to push Jeff forward. There are tons of Jeff the Killer drawings all over the internet. With indie games dedicated to him and lots of other Youtube videos and cos-players keeping the legacy of Jeff going, it's clear why he's so well received by his fans.



HHoH: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?
KBK: Well, I am a huge Stephen King fanatic. I have been reading his work since I was a kid, and continue to buy all of his new books to this day. The Dark Tower was such a powerful story, it had me locked in for years, and I still dip into it from time to time.
H.P. Lovecraft has also inspired me on many occasions, as has Clive Barker. But in the end, Stephen King remains my all time favorite.


HHoH: What work of your own are you most proud of?
KBK: My Hyraaq Tobit series is my all time favorite product of my own making. I've been grinding away at that series for around 2 years now and I am thrilled to announce that I am nearing completion of the last story in the series.


HHoH: The fans are very passionate about Jeff. Are there any examples of fan art, such as images, films or readings, in particular that have impressed you?
KBK: Passion impresses me. So, anything that someone has taken the time to sit down and develop out of a love for the source material gets my respect. There are some outstanding images of Jeff as well as other Creepypasta icons all over Deviantart and the internet as a whole.
Anytime I see that someone has taken to time to sit down and create something drawn and fueled by their passion, that will impress me.


HHoH: Jeff the Killer 2015 was voted to be THE official Jeff the Killer entry by the users of Creepypasta Wiki. How did it feel to get that recognition from your peers? What does the support of the Creepypasta community mean to you?
KBK: The recognition from peers was incredible, and I've said it once and will continue to say that their support is everything. When I sat down and wrote Jeff the Killer 2015, I knew that I was throwing my name into a hat that would be filled with many other talented writers. Initially the story I wrote was a massive 20,000 work novella, and I loved it.
However, I later learned that the contest rules stated no entries over 10,000 words. So, I had to really cut my story up in order to make the cut off. Honestly the edited down version didn't feel as complete as my first draft, so I gave myself 50/50 odds that I'd win.
When I was informed that I won the contest, I was just filled with tons of gratitude and admiration towards this incredible community. Their support is paramount to my success, and I am beyond grateful each and every day that people out there are getting behind my work and helping me advance as a writer.


HHoH: Will you ever return to the story of Jeff in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?
KBK: As for future Jeff stories, I doubt that will happen. I set out to create a better Jeff the Killer and I feel that I accomplished that. Jeff the Killer is a true Creepypasta icon, and for that reason he belongs to the entire community. I am confident that with the huge bank of talented writers out there, Jeff will have many more adventures to look forward to.
As far as the days ahead, as I mentioned above, my final entry into the Hyraaq Tobit series should be showing up this week. I'm almost there and cannot wait to finally complete that story.


HHoH: Finally, are there any links to which you'd like me to send my readers to see more of your work?
KBK: Most certainly. If anyone wants to get into the Hyraaq Tobit series, please start with the first story:  The Demon Tobit of Delphia (http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/The_Demon_Tobit_of_Delphia)
Just keep clicking the "next" button at the bottom of each story to read them all in order.
If you'd like to hear some amazing Creepypasta readings, including quite a few of mine, please check out Creeparoni's Youtube Channel. She is an incredible talent and is actually in the process of reading all of my Tobit stories in order, which is a massive undertaking. Check her out here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCK3i6JixKgwP6emDIX4tKB
You can also follow me on Twitter: @banningk1979
And if you'd like to check out all of my horror stories, here is the link to my Creepypasta Wikia user page, which contains like to all my stories, links to some awesome Youtube readings of my work, and lots of other fun stuff: http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/User:Banningk1979


UKHS: Thanks for the interview.


The reason I’ve included Jeff the Killer 2015 in this series, aside from the fact that it’s an excellent story in its own right, is that it really showcases two major trends in the Creepypasta community as a whole.
First, it highlights the increased quality and standards expected as the genre evolves and expands. The slapdash, poorly told stories of yesterday are very much a thing of the past and simply won’t be tolerated by the more discerning audience of today. With writers such as K. Banning Kellum and the admins of the creepypasta wikia keeping a watchful eye over the latest efforts, the future of Creepypasta is in good hands.
Second, this story is an excellent example of the way in which the creepypasta community adopt and reshape different characters and stories. K. Banning Kellum is far from the first author to write about Jeff the Killer and, I can state with confidence, that he won’t be the last either. But he has crafted the tale, added his own unique take and, most importantly, contributed to mythos as a whole. It’s precisely this ‘open-source’ nature, as K. Banning Kellum describes it, that makes the community the lively, imaginative and innovative collective that it is.

Come back next time when I’ll look at another fresh continuation and reimagining of one of Creepypasta’s most disturbing tales.

If you haven’t already, do please check out and like the Hickey’s House of Horrors Facebook page, which you can find here. It gives you a nice quick link to any new posts on this blog, plus regular news updates from around the web. I check the Internet so you don’t have to! Alternatively, follow me on twitter: The House@HickeysHorrors

Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

DARK WEB: AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO CREEPYPASTA — PART 29: I WAS NOT A BAD KID

THIS FEATURE FIRST APPEARED AT UK HORROR SCENE HERE. ALL SUBSEQUENT CHAPTERS WILL APPEAR THERE FIRST.

There are few things as legitimately horrifying as the mistreatment of children. As normal, well-adjusted people we are hard-wired to want to protect the most defenceless, vulnerable members of society. That there are monsters out there who might prey on youngsters is truly disturbing, so it's probably no surprise to hear that a number of Creepypasta stories deal with precisely this subject matter.
Back in March I covered two of the most infamous of these — 1999 and Where Bad Kids Go.
These not only address the abuse of children, but they also feature that always popular Pasta trope ‘the sinister TV show’.

1999 is the more well-known of the two and dates back to 2011 when author Giant Engineer posted the story to the Creepypasta Wikia.
It’s the story of a young man named Elliot who, through a series of blog posts, recounts his experiences with a strange TV station, Caledon Local 21, and the shows that it screened including the now infamous Mr Bear’s Cellar.



Where Bad Kids Go is a much shorter pasta about an old Lebanese children's show that served as a serious warning against misbehaviour.
The exact origin of this story remains unknown, but you can read it here.

So why am I mentioning them both now?
Well, one of the greatest things about Creepypasta is that it is created for the fans, by the fans. Plagiarism is frowned upon, sure, but the fact is that, for the most part, these stories are given to the community to evolve and adapt as they see fit. ‘Unauthorised’ sequels and spin-offs are common place… but (aside from the obvious and often creatively bankrupt ‘versus’ stories) it's quite rare to see a writer attempt to merge two separate pastas.
It was this that Redditor Nico Wonderdust recently achieved with the story I Was Not A Bad Kid.
Posted to that bastion of quality spooky stories, r/creepypasta on 4 August, Nico’s story brings together 1999 and Where Bad Kids Go with haunting results.



I don't want to spoil the plot here, but suffice it to say that the story opens in 1985 in Lebanon when our narrator was just a child and details a terrifying ordeal that he experiences at the hands of a family friend. Lucky to escape with his life, years later he moves to Canada… where his own young son makes a chilling discovery.

I Was Not A Bad Kid isn't the greatest Creepypasta I’ve ever read, but it is very, very good. When you consider that this is the author’s very first pasta, it's quite astonishing.
The real thing that stands out for me with this story is the seamless manner in which Nico Wonderdust blends two separate, established mythos. It's a perfect example of what I often call the fluid nature of creepypastas — always changing and evolving as they are adapted and spread by the same fans who consume them. Not only is he an author of Creepypasta, Nico Wonderdust is clearly a fan of web horror as well.
It takes a lot of care and attention, not to mention bravery, to adapt a well-loved property (something film-maker Adam Wingard recently discovered with his sequel Blair Witch), and it is very, very difficult to get it right. I Was Not A Bad Kid is a fine example of how good the result can be when it does.
Nico Wonderdust was kind enough to take some time to speak with UK Horror Scene about his story and the creative process through which he wrote it.


The interview follows below.K Horror Scene about his story and the creative process through which he created it.

UK HORROR SCENE: Hi Nico, thanks so much for taHi Nico, thanks so much for talking to us.
In your own words, tell us a little about I Was Not A Bad Kid?
NICO WONDERDUST: I Was Not A Bad Kid is a story joining two otherwise unrelated CreepyPasta that, in my opinion, work really well together if you use a little imagination and do a bit of research. The story revolves around a child (who I mistakenly didn't give a name) who stays over at their friend’s house and is kidnapped by Mr Bear, then taken to the building from Where Bad Kids Go, in the end he manages to escape from the building, move to Canada, then start a family. Later his son sees Mr Bear on TV, which is where the story ends.
I get asked a lot of questions from readers regarding the story, about things that I thought were obvious, but maybe they're only obvious to me as I wrote the story and fully understood the idea behind it and what's really going on the whole time. I'd like to take this opportunity to clear a few things up based on questions I have been asked.
Anthony's father is Mr Bear, this is how the main character was kidnapped so easily, Anthony had also been subjected to the same kind of treatment as the rest of the "bad kids", however, being Mr Bear’s only son, and the only child who was successfully brainwashed, Anthony was released, he does occasionally slip up, like at the dinner table, but soon "falls in line" with a slight push in the right direction from his father. When the building was burnt down, this is when Anthony's father moved to Canada and set up a TV station. Shortly after this is when the unknown person broke into the room when the main character was kept prisoner — this unknown person is actually the journalist from Where Bad Kids Go. The last line of my story is a direct quote from the original 1999 story.

UKHS: What served as your inspiration for the story?
NW: The two original stories themselves were what inspired me to write this story, I'd always wanted to write CreepyPastas but I never knew where to start or what to write about, until I got the idea of somehow tying together two otherwise unrelated CreepyPasta. Believe it or not, this is actually the first CreepyPasta I've ever written.

UKHS: Why did you choose to tackle not just one but two of the most popular Creepypastas?
NW: It wasn't so much about taking on two popular CreepyPastas, but just joining together two CreepyPastas which I felt worked together. If I could find a way to make it work, I could have joined together two CreepyPastas such as Desmond's Journal and I Met Robin Hood, but that wouldn't have worked. I felt this did work though, because both of the stories revolve around TV shows aimed at children, from there I did a little research and found the timeline worked very well.
In Where Bad Kids Go the main character talks about "The Big War" ending, which I found to be The Lebanon War, which ended in June 1985, this is when my story starts, just before the end of the war. From then on, my story crosses over with this one, gave 14 years for my character to move to Canada, grow up, start a family and then I Was Not A Bad Kid crosses over with 1999.

UKHS: Were you at all nervous tackling two such beloved pastas?
NW: Sure I was nervous, partly because I was taking on two huge stories that are already well established within the community and I didn't know how people would feel about me taking what they already know and changing it.
I didn't want them to think I was doing this just to use big named stories in my story. I wrote this purely for the idea behind it, the coming together of two stories that people wouldn't usually associate with each other, aside from them both containing a TV show. But I was also really nervous because, as I said before, this is the first time I'd written a CreepyPasta, it would have been the first story I'd ever written had I not done the "Escape From Kraznir" assignment in my first year of high school.
I don't remember much about the assignment other than having to write three parts, each part was set on one day. There was a three-headed dragon-type thing I believe was called a Margatroth, maybe, and the teacher pulled me up about my writing ability, which was literally something along the lines of: "They were stuck on top of a high pillar, a dragon flying around them, and at the bottom of a 100-foot drop was a lake of lava, but one of them had a magic ring and teleported them all to safety"
My teacher wasn't impressed, and rightly so, I could have written out an epic battle, a near-death scene, I could have done a lot with that kind of situation but I opted for a magic ring? I was so unimaginative at 11 years old!

UKHS: You say you don't mind talking about Creepypasta? Would you say you're a fan? If so, what is your favourite Creepypasta by a creator other than yourself?
NW: No, I don't mind talking about CreepyPasta at all, I could literally sit and talk all day, or night, given that it's currently 2:14am right now! Yes definitely, I'm a huge fan of CreepyPasta! Now this is a really difficult question, I couldn't really say which single CreepyPasta is my favourite as there are so many amazing ones out there, but I do have a couple that spring to mind right now.
PENPAL springs to mind above all else and has quickly become one of my all-time favourites, I recently bought the book too and have just started reading it all over again with all the added details.
Dear Abby is one of my favourites not for how well-written it is or anything like that, but this is the first CreepyPasta I ever read. I was streaming on YouNow and was asked to read a CreepyPasta for about the 100th time that week, so I gave in and the user suggested Dear Abby. I started reading and I was so freaked out by the way the letters develop I actually stopped reading mid-stream.
The Russian Sleep Experiment really got me too and I was one of the many people who thought it was a really experiment!
I also love a lot of Slimebeast's work, aside from the obvious, Abandoned by Disney, I really love Afterpeople"and Denialist, Slimebeast is a genius and his stories are so clever and so well-written.
When God Blinks is another new favourite, I thought that was a really clever idea and that got me really thinking.
I also love Waking Up, The Black Pill, Absolute Hell, anything about afterlife experiences gets my heart racing! The Fairdale Kids Stay Inside was great too. There's far too many to name.
Then there're less known CreepyPastas such as Desmond's Journal, I Met Robin Hood and Johnny Really Goes Missing... I'm going to have to stop there, I could go on all night.

UKHS: Why do you think Creepypasta resonates so well with the fandom?
NW: I believe it's all about love. I believe that for readers, myself included, that love is for the feeling of being lost in a story that really plays with your mind, whether that's to put the fear of God into you, trip you out or make you think "this could be real". For writers, I believe it's the love of writing and the love of causing those feelings for the readers or making them really think.
Because of how passionate the people who read or write CreepyPasta are it has a snowball effect and other people find themselves getting pulled in too, only to share stories, or become a writer themselves and before you know it their friends get pulled in too.
At least, that's what I believe.

UKHS: What do you think the appeal of 1999 is to fans?
NW: I personally think that the story is so well-written and is so realistic that many people have fallen in love with this story.
I mean, it's not very difficult at all to set up a home studio to broadcast on the old analog channels that are no longer used, all you need is the internet and to know what to look for. 1999 is a very simple story, written to the highest of standards and the fact that Giant Engineer took on the role of the character, frequently updating the original story, adding new parts such as messages from Mr Bear since his escape played a big part.

UKHS: And what do you think is the appeal of Where Bad Kids Go?
NW: See now this one is harder to answer, for me personally. I think it still contains some aspects of realism — a lot of messed up TV shows were made in the Seventies and Eighties — and a lot of these TV shows make it into CreepyPastas, such as Candle Cove, so why not this one? I think that any CreepyPasta about a messed up TV show, over time, will do well and appeal to the community.

UKHS: Which writers, horror or otherwise, do you consider yourself a fan of?
NW: Other than CreepyPasta, I don't actually read various stories by individual authors very much. I love a lot of Stephen King and personally have a couple of his books, Sue Townsend's Adrian Mole stories (well, diaries) were absolutely amazing too.
Other than that, I mainly read CreepyPasta. I absolutely love Slimebeast, C.K. Walker's wrote many great stories, and CreepsMcPasta has written a number of really good stories too.
I’m also a fan of Dathan Auerbach. As I mentioned earlier, PENPAL is one of my all-time favourites and Dathan did an especially amazing job with the book.
I'm also a huge fan of writers who are not so well known, such as WanderingRiverdog, Pokerf1st and Huck Shuck.

UKHS: What work of your own are you most proud of?
NW: With this being my first CreepyPasta, and seemingly being well received by approximately 90+ percent of people who have read it, I'm very proud of this story. But there's one other thing, that since starting writing (and relating to) CreepyPasta that I'm very proud of, and that's a Wiki I set up about a month ago.
The idea behind it is that any writer, no matter how small or how well-known, can come along and post whatever stories they wish, without ridiculously high expectations and unrealistic requirements (at least for new writers). On a certain website, they don't allow you to write spin-offs, your posts will be deleted because of errors, the staff put writers down — it's just awful. How is a new writer supposed to flourish with that kind of treatment?
So I set up a Wiki where these writers can post whatever they like, and I have some great moderators who are there to help these writers develop their skills and potentially become amazing at something they love! We also have narrators in our team who are looking for original stories to read instead of the same stories as every other narrator, and because of this, the community just works so well.
We're currently a very small community, but we're a community of like-minded people with a passion for CreepyPasta, we're there to help each other grow and to support each other, we work together as a team and welcome newcomers with open arms, and that is what I'm most proud of.

UKHS: The fans are very passionate about these stories. Are than any examples of fan art for either story that really impresses you?
NW: To be totally honest, I haven't really seen that much fan art of either story, a couple of cartoons of Mr Bear here and there, I believe I saw him with a gun once? I also saw a short movie of Where The Bad Kids Go, but personally preferred reading the story to seeing it acted out. If anybody's made a genuinely good movie of 1999 I'd love to see that, however!

UKHS: Will you ever return to the story of I Was Not A Bad Kid in the future? And what else can your fans look forward to from you in the days ahead?
NW: Until you asked that question I actually never intended to return to the story, but after thinking about it, I do believe there are a couple of things could do with it, so who knows? It's too early to tell just yet, but you've certainly planted the seed.
I am currently working on a series right now toying with the idea of alternate dimensions and I've got another couple of ideas I've been playing around with and making notes, so more stories are definitely on the cards. Aside from that, I'm working on the Wiki daily, getting in touch with new authors to ask permission to post their stories (and for our narrators to read them if they wish), adding help pages here and there and bringing in new writers and narrators.
In the future, I also plan on narrating my own stories too, but I'm going to need a decent amount of stories before that idea takes off.

UKHS: Would you consider adapting any other popular pastas?
NW: One of the ideas I've been playing around with recently involved Slenderman, but it would be difficult to write a really good Slenderman CreepyPasta with it being so overdone. I may try my hand at joining two other CreepyPasta at some point in the future too, I had fun writing I Was Not A Bad Kid and would like to do something similar again. I did also want to write The Russian Sleep Experiment 3 (Following CreepsMcPasta's number 2) but at this minute in time I believe taking on something like that is way out of my league, and if I ever got round to it, there's a chance it may have already been done by then.

UKHS: Finally, are there any links to which you'd like me to send my readers to see more of your work?
NW: Any stories I post in the future will all be posted on my Wiki which is http://CreepyPastaToo.wikia.com and I encourage everyone of all writing abilities to come along and share their stories too!
And for those who want to keep updated on when I post a story, I'll put out a message on Facebook and a Tweet via http://facebook.com/NicoWonderdust and @NicoWonderdust
As I said earlier, in the future I do want to narrate, so if anybody wants to hear that just search for "Nico Wonderdust" on Youtube from time to time.
Speaking of both narrating and I Was Not A Bad Kid, Youtuber "The Dark Somnium Narrations" is currently working on narrating this story, if anybody enjoys reading it, I just know he's going to do an amazing job bringing it to audio, he's also the narrator not only for the Wiki but also for the subreddit /r/TerrorMill which I'd set up for similar reason to the Wiki, if anybody wishes him to narrate their stories I urge them to come and post on either the Wiki, the subreddit or both!

It’s always good to see talented young writers such as Nico emerging in the Creepypasta community, it suggest that the genre is in good hands for the future.
However, next time I’ll be speaking to somebody who can be considered a veteran author as we discuss one of the greatest Creepypastas of all time.
It’s one you won’t want to miss.

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Until next time, I hope you enjoyed your stay.