From Narrations to Books to Comics – He Became YouTube’s Best Known Voice of Horror
Ask most folks out there what name comes to mind these days in the realm of online horror known as Creepypasta (a hodgepodge of short, unnerving home-brews named for the copy/paste style sharing origins) and you’ll likely get a mixed response of those who read, write, or relate to the works and those who’ve never heard of it. Of those that are familiar with the viral internet literary method, they’ll generally list off their favorite stories and authors.
Authorship though is hit or miss at times. With many of the earlier writers of popular digital tales choosing to eschew traditional practices of using their real names or pen names designed to mimic the norm; the use of message board styled usernames seemed to be the popular path of ownership, with an equal amount of anonymous pieces as well.
Over the better part of a decade, these short but sweet doses of depravity have struggled to find a common umbrella in which to identify. Balancing the tightrope between genre and method, defining exactly what a creepypasta is seems largely in the hands of whoever is speaking on the subject at the time.
Earlier entries were usually conceptualized as short stories captured in first-person perspective written to insinuate realism through internet microblogs. This was done by design it seemed, with the intent to leave the readers pondering if the events described were actual tellings of reality or smartly styled examples of literature by the process. The anonymous nature of authorship was an emphatic device. After all, the most brilliantly scribed work of Stephen King is still an object of comfort narrative. We know who King is. We know he’s safe and sound. We know his method of writing and in that knowledge can be found comfort through routine.
Creepypasta writing flipped that narrative on its head though. The stories, rarely exceeding the length of a short, with novelette sized postings being considered “long creepypastas” and novella/novel-length entries being almost unheard of, put the focus frankly on the literature, prose, and events rather than the authors, their styles or their signatures. Thus finding any umbrella for these micro-macabre missives was a bit of a challenge.
To answer this conundrum many leaned to the catalog instead of the manufacturer so to speak. It wasn’t who wrote it but rather where you could find it that became the umbrella. Websites that hosted these stories became the hallmark destinations, with quality ratings varying based on the Quality Standards of those platforms.
Art and literature-based forums like Deviantart and Wattpad were predictable destinations. A handful of Wikia sites steadily grew into a vast ocean of literature depositories. Traditional websites sprung from seemingly nowhere to host horror. But perhaps the most unlikely platform soon grew to become the go-to hub for fans of the written word – YouTube.
Readings of popular short stories became a trend that was undeniable. Velvet voiced vixens and baritone blessed elocutionists created a subset of YouTube where fans of fear could find their favorite online horror stories and discover new tales from the shadows of the internet narrated in format not unlike audiobooks. From this pool of ever-expanding voice talents grew a handful of names and channels that would rise to the top of almost endless mass of online orators looking for plant their flag in the competitive and turbulent world of online notoriety.
Over the last decade, one name was risen and remained consistently at the top. With over a million subscribers on YouTube, 45K plus followers on Twitter, countless collaborations and ventures into comics, books, convention headlining, and most recently a live tour over multiple US States – Mr. CreepyPasta has withstood the test of time and the constant pressure cooker that is online success to become a platform in and of himself for creepypasta styled horror stories.
I was recently given the opportunity to sit down with the man behind the blue mask and baritone vocals to find out what it’s like both on and off the mic.
Feature Exclusive with Mr. CreepyPasta
Tell us what life was like before you ever picked up a microphone and started narrating online horror.
The YouTube channel and success was never part of the big picture. MCP’s original career map included a desk job in Human Resources.
Initial inspiration to build his channel came from concerns with the tumultuous nature of the internet.
The origins of the name Mr. CreepPasta are found in the most simplistic and utilitarian of places – Auto Suggest!
Looking back at his earliest works, MCP casts a harsh shadow of judgement upon himself.
A terrible manager at a mundane day job coupled with an exciting opportunity online became the groundwork to stick with narrations full time.
MCP describes his fondest interactions with listeners and fans come from those in education and literature preservation.
Has the desire for “normalcy” ever encroached upon the drive to entertain?
On the subject of internet fame – his first time being recognized in person was during his honeymoon at Disney.
He doesn’t see himself as famous though.
Over the years MCP has developed a strong network of authors and collaborates frequently to curate the best content to adapt to audio.
On thoughts of branching out into other forms of entertainment media.
Self-care is cited as an important part of the process when balancing stress with life.
On how his childhood friends and family view his meteoric rise through the ranks of YouTube and online success.
On the iconic voice – he credits public speaking classes in high school.
MCP cites friendship and teamwork as a driving force behind-the-scenes in building and maintaining his channel and online content.
On the creative limitations of networked platforms and having the think in terms of “YouTube brain” when choosing which stories might be too NSFW to fit the style, expectations, and audience in the age of restricted horror content online.
On the decision to remove the iconic mask and deliver a “face reveal” video.
On fan perceptions of mask vs. face.
On content and authors.
Finally we have some parting advice from Mr. CreepyPasta to aspiring narrators.
Be Sure to Check Out Mr. Creepypasta in all His Various online Incarnations