Haunted objects, networked subjects: The nightmarish nostalgia of creepypasta

Kevin Cooley, Caleb Andrew Milligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


In this article, we argue that the digitally networked horror genre ‘creepypasta’ and its networked horror collapses the comfortable dichotomy of subjects acting upon objects by creating narrative spaces in which haunted objects encroach upon the lives of their victimized subjects. Particularly, creepypasta legends such as ‘Candle Cove’ and ‘BEN Drowned’ upset the subject/object relationships of the technological nostalgia that fuels a mutating genre of Internet discourse. By alienating mythologized childhood artefacts (i.e., television shows, video games), these networked narratives depict not how properties can be made strange, but more accurately, are revealed as having always been strange. The perversion of the nostalgic text is only one part of what generates horror in these stories. It is that the texts themselves were always the perversions to begin with; always performing an eradication of object and subject, player and game, reader and text.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)193-211
Number of pages19
JournalHorror Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Oct 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Music
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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