The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Creepypastas, or scary stories that circulate primarily on the internet, might frighten the heck out of us—but damn if they're not thrilling to read. It was only a matter of time before someone came along and actually made a book about them.

Or, well...a zine, to be more exact. It's called /creepythread, and it features the work of over 20 artists.

"We want to make a book of the best of these spooky net stories, illustrated by artists whose work we respect and love," Peter Schmidt and Jensine Eckwall, the artists behind the project, explained on the zine's Tumblr. "We want to gather that feeling of being sucked into this oddly particular wormhole."

The Tumblr features a number of illustrations that will make it onto /creepythread, and they're quite excellent. Here's a sampling, along with a brief mention, explanation or excerpt of of the creepypasta they reference.

Dead Mother

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Keith Negley. The story:

One day, a man and woman had a bad argument. The man got so angry that he killed his wife. He immediately regretted what he had done as the two had children together, but he didn't want to be caught. He eventually decided to bury his wife's body under the living room floor.

Days went by, and he never told his kids what had really happened. He hated himself for it. He thought his children must be sensing his distress because they looked up at him far more often than they used to. Sometimes they would stare and stare at him, seemingly without reason. It didn't seem weird to him, though. After all, their mother was gone.

One day, he snapped. He couldn't keep the secret anymore.

"Hey kids," he started. "I have something really important I need to talk about with you…"

"Huh?" his son's eyes widened. "Really? What's it about? We have to tell you something, too."

"Oh? Would you like to speak first?" He was quite perplexed.

"Well, Daddy," his little girl looked up towards him. "It's kind of weird, but…"

The two children looked above his head as they finished speaking together.

"Why have you been giving Mommy a piggy back ride for so long?"

SCP-079

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by wyethyates. Excerpt:

Item #: SCP-079

Object Class: Euclid

Special Containment Procedures: SCP-079 is packed away in a double-locked room in the secured general holding area at Site-15, connected by a 120VAC power cord to a small array of batteries and solar panels. Staff with level 2 or higher clearance may have access to SCP-079. Under no circumstances will SCP-079 be plugged into a phone line, network, or wall outlet. No peripherals or media will be connected or inserted into SCP-079.

Description: SCP-079 is an Exidy Sorcerer microcomputer built in 1978. In 1981, its owner, █████ ██████ (deceased), a college sophomore attending ███, took it upon himself to attempt to code an AI. According to his notes, his plan was for the code to continuously evolve and improve itself as time went on. His project was completed a few months later, and after some tests and tweaks, █████ lost interest and moved on to a different brand of microcomputer. He left SCP-079 in his cluttered garage, still plugged in, and forgot about it for the next five years.

Read the full story here.

SCP-1983

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Lily Padula. Excerpt of the story:

Item #: SCP-1983

Object Class: Keter (Presumed Neutralized)

Special Containment Procedures: Outpost 54 has been built on the land surrounding SCP-1983 and disguised as a chemical plant. The "plant" building serves as barracks for MTF Chi-13 ("Choir Boys"). All entry points into Outpost 54 are to be guarded at all times. Personnel will review Document 1983-12, which details the cover story to be given to any civilians expressing curiosity.

All MTF personnel must profess strong religious beliefs, per Chi-13 protocols. All ammunition stocked must have a silver or silver-tipped projectile. A 24-hour watch is to be maintained on the front door of SCP-1983-1. Guards are to engage any instances of SCP-1983-2 on sight. No personnel is to approach within five meters of SCP-1983-1 outside of scheduled testing protocol.

UPDATE: Following the Event 1983-23, a standdown of Outpost 54 has been authorized. A skeleton crew will remain to monitor SCP-1983 for any further activity. Arms intended for use against instances of SCP-1983-2 are to be maintained at Outpost 54 armory.

Description: SCP-1983-1 is a one-story farmhouse in ███████ County, Wyoming. It was abandoned in 1968 after a series of ritual murders, allegedly performed by a "Satanic" cult. Please see capture logs for SCP-████ for further details.

Read the full story here.

The Russian Sleep Experiment

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Cody Pickrodt's. Excerpt of the story:

Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. 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. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.

The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.

Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the 4 day mark.

Read the full story here.

The Mouth of Truth

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Kevin Jaystanton. Explanation of the story:

In Sicily, at a Fair full of games, there is a test of honesty. The Bocca Della Verita, the Mouth of Truth. Feed your hand to the grotesque mouth and answer its question loudly and honestly, and you are bestowed with the infallible ability to see through deception. Should you lie, or hesitate, il Bocca takes your hand and your every utterance will be perceived as false. Your limbs will disappear one by one until you die of starvation as a limbless, lying husk."

The original creepypasta is a derivation of La Bocca della Verità, a stone carving of a potentially Pagan deity. Supposedly if someone were to put their hand in its mouth and tell a lie, the Mouth would bite off said hand. I was pretty influenced by Majora's Mask for this piece too, since I noticed Mirror Shield bears a startling resemblance to the original Mouth of Truth.

Lavender Tone

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Rebekka Dunlap. Story:

"Lavender Town Syndrome" was a peak in suicide in children, ages 7-12, shortly after the 1996 release of Pokemon Red and Green in Japan. The suicides and irrational behavior only occurred once the children reached Lavender Town, whose theme music contained extremely high frequencies that were removed in future releases of the games.

Rumors say that these suicides and illness only occurred after the children playing the game reached Lavender Town, whose theme music had extremely high frequencies, that studies showed that only children and young teens can hear, since their ears are more sensible.

Read the full story here.

One Thousand Folded Paper Cranes

The Internet's Worst Nightmares, Illustrated

Art by Daniel Fishel. Story:

Note: For those that don't know, one thousand folded paper cranes strung together are often used as a sign of peace. It is also sometimes given to people who are hospitalized and very ill; they are supposed to help the receiver get better.

I had an acquaintance that lived near me. We grew up together but went to different high schools, so at some point we stopped hanging out as much. Our mothers were good friends with each other, though, and when he got sick I went to visit him in the hospital. I don't know why he was in the hospital, but when I showed up he was sleeping.

On his pillow was a senbatsuru—one thousand folded paper cranes.

Well… Maybe that is being a little generous. Or very generous. There were maybe a hundred cranes folded and strung together. I lifted it up to see the note on it. "From everyone in homeroom."

I don't know if I pulled it too hard or what, but two of the cranes fell off. I stuffed them into my pocket to hide my mistake, and just as my hand left my pocket, my friend opened his eyes.

We talked a little, but nothing important came up so I went home.

When I got to my bedroom, I unfolded the cranes. On the back of both pieces of paper "I hope you die" was written in large letters.

I have trouble believing that those are the only ones of the bunch that include that message.

The zine will debut/be available for purchase at MoCCAfest 2014 as well as the Brooklyn Zine Fest, TCAF, and SPX! Otherwise, you can visit its Tumblr for updates and more artwork.