Podcast of the Week: CREEPY
With the summer sun heating up, there’s no better way to cool down than with a nice bone-chilling. Enter CREEPY, a relatively new and generally unsung side project of sorts from the larger SMALL TOWN HORROR podcast. Originally having discovered it through a namedrop over at NO SLEEP, another favorite podcast of mine, CREEPY is much more gritty, efficient, and to the point, keeping in pace with the communally-generated spooky stories it seeks to present. Dedicated to creepypastas, the memetic clickbait that occupied many a high school evening spent alone, the premise is simple: pick the best examples floating around the internet and professionally present them with sound effects and voice acting when necessary. It’s just as simple as that.
To those not part of a larger horror fandom, creepypastas can seem middling and often silly, but for my money, when they work, they work more effectively than the most highly-produced Hollywood horror effort. This is due to their fundamental lack of ostentatious display; almost all of them successfully emulate the experience of trying to relay a traumatic or frightful occasion to a friend, the gaps in logic, generalizations, and occasional vagueness making things all the more impactful and allowing our minds to fill in the spaces with whatever disturbing or unsettling conclusions our mind can draw up. Especially to a generation that grew up on message boards, shock videos, and trick links to virus-laden graphic imagery, creepypastas feel like a fundamental part of adolescent internet culture, coming in with a bang and leaving with a bigger one, leaving you desperate to message all of your friends and loop them into what horrors you just came across.
Thankfully, CREEPY has so far failed to misstep in terms of curation, each of its installments causing you to look over your shoulder a little more than necessary or jump at the slightest sound. Best for walking alone at night, episodes such as “The Rake” are particularly successful in adapting their written brethren to an effective audio format, and you’ll be sure to be introduced to something new that’ll keep you up into the wee hours (for whatever reason, “Mr. Mix” really got to me!). But perhaps most rewarding has been the strangely warm feeling of nostalgia that hearing classics such as “Squidward’s Suicide,” “Candle Cove,” and “Normal Porn For Normal People” performed provides. Offering a chance to reflect fondly on the salad days of the Facebook messages and phone swapping in classes of yesteryear, always looking for the next story or image to upset or titillate, for anyone who’s ever pored over creepypastas at any time in their life, CREEPY is simply a must-listen. Every Sunday is something to look forward to with CREEPY involved, and I eagerly await the just-announced episode on the ubiquitous “Jeff the Killer.”