If you've managed to life your entire life on the internet without encountering the Internet viral sensation creepypasta, then A) I envy you, and B) you should stop reading now in order to preserve your innocence. According to The Hollywood Reporter, SyFy Channel has begun development on a new show titled Channel Zero , which will be an anthology series based on the popular viral horror stories. (Fun fact: the name "creepypasta" comes from the 4chan slang "copypasta," used to refer to any viral text that's copy-and-pasted.) Channel Zero will be written by Nick Antosca (a writer and co-producer for Season 3 of NBC's Hannibal ), and produced by Max Landis (the screenwriter behind the hit 2012 sci-fi film Chronicle).
Being an anthology show in the vein of FX's American Horror Story, SyFy's Channel Zero will adapt a different creepypasta story every year. What's on tap for Season 1? Candle Cove , the story of a (fictional?) long-forgotten children's TV show involving pirate puppets. What's so scary about that, you ask? As the story goes on (told from the point of view of users posting on a forum called NetNostalgia), their recollections of the show get progressively creepier... including a villain named The Skin-Taker, a skeleton clad in the tanned hides of children.
It will be interesting to see how Antosca and Landis plan on adapting this rather brief — and uniquely formatted — story in a multi-episode season. But assuming Season 1 of Channel Zero is successful, here are some more popular creepypastas the writers should consider tackling next:
1. Annora Petrova
An aspiring figure skater googles herself on the eve of her first big competition, only to find a Wikipedia page in her name which states she will win first place the following day. She does... and so decides to edit the page herself in order to help her win more competitions. The page doesn't like that — it updates itself to say, "Annora Petrova is a selfish little b*tch who is going to get what she deserves." What follows is a horrifying descent into madness.
2. Jeff The Killer
One of the most widely spread creepypastas in existence, "Jeff" is a serial killer who hides in closets and whispers "Go to sleep" before emerging to murder everyone in the house. Stories about him are usually accompanied with the iconic image of a pale man with lanky black hair, small lidless eyes, and an unnaturally wide smile. Seeing Jeff the Killer come to life on a TV screen would certainly be enough to keep viewers up at night.
3. NoEnd House
What's a more classic setting for a horror show than a haunted house? This story features the appropriately-named "NoEnd House," which offers $500 to anyone who can make it successfully through all nine rooms. Of course, as our protagonist David discovers, those rooms grow increasingly nightmarish as he makes his way through the house. Depending on how many episodes Channel Zero will have, it would be fun to see a season where each episode featured one room in the NoEnd House.
Does "Psychosis" tell the story of a man who slowly goes insane after shutting himself off from society? Or is the story of the only man who's aware that everyone else is living in a reality where everything and everyone is controlled by... something? One of the more existential creepypastas out there, Psychosis is like The Matrix meets The Yellow Wallpaper, and wouldn't be out of place on an episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror.
5. The Rake
More than just one single story, this particular creepypasta details the existence of a fictional creature called "The Rake," a mysterious being described as a pale, hairless, humanoid creature who stalks the woods of the northeastern United States, occasionally breaking into homes and feasting on the inhabitants. Fictional accounts of The Rake take the form of local news reports, first-hand retellings, and even fan-made videos, which could lend a potential season of Channel Zero a documentary/found footage sense of realism.
6. The Russian Sleep Experiment
What happens when some Russians put five prisoners in a tank and deprive them of sleep for 30 days with the help of an experimental gas? Nothing good, according to " The Russian Sleep Experiment ." Naturally, the combination of insomnia and gas turn the prisoners into insane zombie-like beings with symptoms too gruesome to describe here. Naturally, the horror doesn't end when the tank is opened... it's only just beginning.
7. SCP Foundation
The "SCP Foundation" (Secure, Contain, Protect) is an entire website that outlines the efforts of a fictional international organization to capture and observe supernatural phenomenon. The sheer breadth of material available in this creepypasta would make plenty of fodder for a season of Channel Zero. Some popular subjects of the Foundation include SCP-682, a highly-adaptive reptilian creature, SCP-055, an object that immediately makes you forget its nature, rendering it indescribable, and SCP-173, also known as "The Sculpture," a hostile being made of concrete that cannot move while being observed, but, as soon as line of sight is broken, will quickly attack and kill by breaking the neck.
8. The Slender Man
And of course, there's "The Slender Man," an entity so disturbing he has inspired real life crimes — most recently two 12-year-old girls in Wisconsin who stabbed their classmate 19 times in an effort to curry favor with the fictional supernatural entity. (Miraculously, the victim survived.) Like "The Rake," there isn't one single Slender Man story; rather, he exists as a widespread obsession amongst the dark corners of the internet, where people swap tales of encounters, photoshopped pictures, and even homemade videos. If Channel Zero lasts long enough, surely Antosca and Landis will have to tackle this most iconic of creepypastas eventually. And lord help us when they do. *shudder*
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