Horror can present itself through many mediums, from comic books to novels to (the most-utilized) film, and has transformed and broadened its horizons throughout the decades so much that we no longer have a solid grasp as to what explicitly qualifies as “true horror”. What resulted is a lesser-known but widely spread medium of ametur horror that anyone around the globe can contribute to— the online community of horror narration and, subsequently, CreepyPastas.
Gaining significant traction around 2012 or 2013, this community has expanded to take up many people’s YouTube feeds (mine included) and has produced some unconventional and fantastic pieces of horror, ranging from standard supernatural fiction to human dramas to even comic horror!
One of these pieces is Jason Loved to Read, written by anonymous user “Umbrello” and narrated by “CreepypastaJr”. Since there are little visual or written elements involved in Creepypasta (at most a background or text integral to the story), the narrator must create a provocative atmosphere when voicing the piece to truly bring it to life. CreepypastaJr does a fantastic job with this aspect, starting the story with a soft piano accompaniment while hardening his voice to make certain words (such as “library” or “book”) pop out to the listener. His matter-of-fact tone aids to the implication that he is telling a grim cautionary tale, rather than one of action or adventure.
Jason Loved to Read follows the titular Jason as he discovers an abandoned library in the middle of the forest on one of his solitary walks. At first, he is confused, but gradually accepts the idea of its existence. CreepypastaJr. Laments from the beginning that one of Jason’s lifelong passions is to read, and that he will actively ignore those around him (even his concerned girlfriend) for that escape.
Inside the mysterious library, he finds an array of beautiful yet ancient books that, upon reading one titled, Black Wing Adventures, combine so many action/adventure elements into the most gripping story he had ever read. Desperate to finish, he brings the novel home. When he opens the book again the next morning, however, he discovers that the story has changed entirely: from Black Wing Adventures to a heart-touching romance story called, Love Without a Friend.
Jason soon becomes addicted to the idea of finishing one of these “magical books” before the change, and concludes that the shifts must occur when he sleeps for the night. As a result, he begins a habit of coffee and caffeine pills to keep his body awake, but to no avail. Eventually, the books begin transforming with every blink he takes. Eventually, Jason sees no point in leaving the library, as that would consume more reading time. In a state of extreme sleep deprevation and anger, he takes refuge in the library with nothing but caffeine packets, a sleeping bag and his ever-changing book.
Afraid for his safety but unable to reach him, Jason’s girlfriend (who’d been attempting to get ahold of him throughout), turns up at the library and tries to convince him to come home. Furious over the distraction, Jason brutally murders his girlfriend and lays beside her body on the library floor, turning back to his book with only one chapter remaining. But… in the time it had taken him to kill… the story still changed. The title of this new novel reads, Jason Loved to Read.
Jason is later taken into custody by bewildered police, who find the young man laying on the cold forest floor, with no library in sight despite Jason’s claims.
This story is a short, intriguing listen that combines disjointed elements to make it a modern-day Grimm Fairytale, cautioning audiences about the pursuit of passions going much too far.
I can’t wait to review more of my favorites! More coming soon!