I haven't been sleeping well the last few nights, and what sleep I do get, it is riddled with half remembered nightmares that are terrifying when I wake up but for reasons I can't remember.
So, of course, tonight I find myself elbow deep, metaphorical hand blindly feeling around down the rabbit hole that is creepypasta. Surprisingly, I just discovered that this is a thing. And of course, I can't stop myself. I can't stop myself from reading on and on, despite how it's making me nearly cry with how unsettled I am with it.
Don't judge me. I know what slender man is. I understand what kind of fucked up stuff the internet is capable of. I can't help it that I also love horror movies and scary stories, even when they mess me up.
Creepypasta has messed with me in a way that horror stuff has not in a very, very long time, and I'm not sure I like it anymore. Congratulations, internet and creepypasta, you win. The worst thing, I can't stop myself from going back and reading more, reading comments and links to other articles and little snippets on reddit until I fall deeper into the worse, more backwater, basement dwelling corners of the internet.
The one that is currently fucking me up the most is Mr. Bear 1999. Fuck that shit. I'm not even gonna link that. You can look it up yourself. That rabbit hole will suck me right in again, and then DudeWhoSleepsNextToMe will be mad at me because I promised not to read anymore...tonight.
I guess the reason that shit creeps us out, especially urban legends, is that they are fucked up in all the right ways to make it seem like they could legitimately happen. I live in the greater Cleveland area. We have had some pretty fucked up shit happen around here, like the psycho who kept those poor women locked in his basement for 18 fucking years, and the Torso killer. So, when shit like that happens in real life, it is very easy to see how Mr. Bear could totally have been a real thing. Add to it the fact that Canadians are stereotypically super awesome people in general, and it makes the whole Mr. Bear story seem even more fucked up. And yet, there is something that is close enough to the truth to make it believable that Mr. Bear was a real person and that he was never caught.
And that, is why it fucks up my christmas. I have kids. When you have kids, every single little thing is a terrible and horrible threat to your children and the world can hurt/maim/kill them in so many ways it's nearly uncountable. And that is before you add things to the equation that mess with our general understandings and perceptions of how the world works.
When everyone in your life is predictable, life is good. Hey, George is an asshole, but you knew that. He is just George. If he isn't an asshole, you worry about him. Oh, hey, George was super nice today. I wonder if he's feeling well. Maybe something bad happened at home. Poor George.
Now, when you are forced to watch videos of George dismembering children and wearing their still pulsating entrails as a boa while he prepares to do the same to you, well, that has probably shaken your whole perception of reality. You won't have to worry about it for too much longer, though, not in that scenario.
See, I'm in a dark place tonight.
It doesn't help that I was nearly kidnapped when I was either six or seven, from right in front of my own house. It was the whole, Hey little girl, your dad told me to pick you up. Get in the car kinda attempted kidnapping. Obviously, I was not kidnapped, but it still terrifies me. I had nightmares about it for a long time. It terrifies me now because I have children of my own, and I know how close I had been to potentially being a random set of unidentified mangled and mutilated child bones in the middle of an old rubber factory's rubble.
It makes me never want to leave my kids by themselves ever in their whole existences. To think of someone intentionally hurting my children, I can't stand it. But they must grow into well rounded, good people one day, and I must teach them how to survive on their own.
You know, sometimes I wonder how any of us survive into adulthood.
Anyway, the thing about horror, good horror, is that it is crazy and shakes your faith in the way things are. The way this is done is by changing something normal just enough that you can't stand it. That it makes it so wrong, but believably wrong, that you can totally wrap your head around it, just not all the way. It brings tears to your eyes and images in your head that haunt you when the lights go out. Too much crazy or overthetop-ed-ness and you've lost that surrealness which had made it terrifying. Now it's just campy.
I was telling my seven year old son tonight about almost being kidnapped and he didn't get why anyone would want to take a kid they didn't know. I know it was a joke, that he was implying that the kids you do know are annoying enough, which is true. It wasn't real to him. He has never met anyone who was just kinda off in that way that makes you uncomfortable to be around them. He doesn't know yet how horrible and broken people can be. I love his innocence.
I told him that some people are just broken. They just are. Not a lot of people, but some are, and some can't be understood, they are so broken. And sometimes, those people who are broken, whether they were born like that or whether they were broken by others, sometimes those people want to break others. They want to break other people in the same ways that they are broken, or worse. They want to break people because they can't fix themselves, so they want to break others so that they are even worse. And some people, they don't think like people, not even in that way. Those ones are the scariest and most alien of all.