I grew up obsessed with the internet, and with that obsession came an absolute adoration for online short stories – particularly creepypasta. I used to spend hours and hours on r/nosleep and creepypasta forums, and I genuinely enjoyed the first Creepypasta Collection volume, so when I saw the second volume, I purchased a copy immediately and started reading it almost as soon as it arrived.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite live up to the first volume, but the first thing I realized was that, unlike the first collection, these stories were mostly new to me! Thus, I decided to compile an anthology review for anyone who’s interested in picking up a copy of this one.
→ Your Secret Admirer – CreepsMcPasta ★☆☆☆☆ ←
The collection opens with a second-person narrative detailing a stalker’s letter to his victim as he attacks the bullies plaguing them. The idea was okay, but nothing particular new and I thought the technical aspect of the writing needed work.
→ Bubbles – Max Lobdell ★★☆☆☆ ←
A man receiving treatment for a minor injury hides out in a hospital treatment room while alien abductions occur around him, leaving some very gross and bizarre physical manifestations on the abductees. The story was a bit gross, but that was the extent of the emotive connection it got out of me.
→ Marsh Baywood Shirts – TalesOfTim ★☆☆☆☆ ←
A child explores the marsh behind his home to find it decorated by the dress shirts of local men who have gone missing. Another story that could have had a good idea behind it, but left a lot to be desired in execution.
→ For Love and Hot Chocolate – K. Banning Kellum ★★★★☆ ←
When a man’s comatose wife shows signs of never waking, he is offered a devil’s deal of sorts: if he can pass a bizarre set of trials, he can earn her health, but if he fails, he forfeits his soul. The storytelling in this entry was fair, and the tale itself was intriguing enough to keep my interest right to the very end.
→ The Crawlspace – Madame Macabre ★★★★★ ←
A college student studies abroad and rents an apartment with a price that is way too good to be true. This was one of my favorite stories in the collection. As someone who is naturally incredibly wary of staying in buildings I’m unfamiliar with, I was thoroughly creeped out by the idea of someone or something hiding in the crawlspace of this spooky little apartment.
→ That Thing Up There – WellHeyProductions ★★★★☆ ←
I can’t say much about this incredibly short story without spoiling it, but it was remarkably cute for the collection, and I really enjoyed it.
→ Proxy – Aaron Shotwell ★★★★☆ ←
When a senior suffers from a stroke, his daughter opts for nano-bite medical treatment for him. The nano-bites begin to communicate with him inside his mind, but it becomes remarkably sinister very quickly. With the constant advancements of robotic medical technology, there was something surprisingly unsettling about the idea behind this story, though I felt that the ending went off-mark a little bit.
→ I Suffer From Short-Term Memory Loss – Jagger Rosenfeld★★★★★ ←
We follow a young man who feels that he may be suffering from short-term memory loss, as he is suddenly losing peculiar items as well as specific memories. This one was a bit psychological in nature with an unreliable narrator, and I thoroughly enjoyed how suspenseful it was. I thought I guessed the ending early on, but my guess was wrong and I was pleasantly surprised by how dark it was.
→ The Puppeteer – BleedingHeartworks ★★☆☆☆ ←
A lonely college student receives an odd box from their family member, but disregards it as feelings of homesickness and depression consumes their life. This one had potential as a strong metaphor, but there were too many unnecessary details (like the attempt at a suspenseful build-up regarding the box), and the ending was very overstated. When writing metaphors, it’s important to have faith in your storytelling ability, as well as your reader’s capability for understanding your intent.
→ Hobo Heart-Stitches – Chris OZ Fulton ★☆☆☆☆ ←
A high school girl meets an odd boy with a skull for a face, and… beyond that, I don’t really know what to say about the plot? I found it incredibly confusing and all over the place, and didn’t enjoy the writing at all, sadly.
→ Craters in Her Face – Madame Macabre ★★★★★ ←
A woman inherits her art-loving grandmother’s oil painting collection after she passes, but one painting has a particularly dark past that doesn’t seem to be over just yet. I didn’t pay attention to the authors while reading the stories, so while compiling this review, I was pleasantly surprised to notice that my two favorite stories were both by Madame Macabre. I absolutely adored this one – easily the best in the anthology. It is creepy, and gruesome, and suspenseful, and morbid, in all the best ways.
→ If Only They Were Cannibals – Jaime Townsend ★★☆☆☆ ←
A particularly unique take on zombies, in which the undead aren’t brain-eating cannibals, but are vicious, rabid rapists. I thought the plot was unusual and quite unsettling, but the writing and ending were a little anticlimactic.
→ Tunnel 72F – Michael Whitehouse ★★★★★ ←
The narrator tells a story of an old friend who, despite having lived his life unafraid of anything, has finally met his match in the tunnels under an Amsterdam museum. I loved the WWII historical tidbits thrown into the story, though I would have really enjoyed seeing this plot fleshed out a bit more. I wish it had been one of the longer stories in the collection, as the writing was really lovely.
→ Bats in Winter – Isaac Boissonneau ★★★★☆ ←
With a spin on vampires, this story portrays a reality in which vampirism is something like a contagious disease. It was sad, dark, and definitely a fresh take on an old classic.
→ I Was Invited to a Sleepover – M.J. Orz ★★★★☆ ←
The main character thinks it was hard enough to find his best friend’s brother murdered at a sleepover, but the nightmare is far from over when his childhood demons return to finish what they started. I thought this was going to have a very formulaic creepypasta sort of ending, so I was surprised by the twist. All in all, it was a creepy and suspenseful tale!
→ I Couldn’t Afford a Tattoo, So I Found Someone Who Would Do it For Free – Leonard Petracci ★☆☆☆☆ ←
Being broke, reluctant to ask for help, and refusing to miss out on being “part of the gang”, a young man accepts a free tattoo from a stranger. I honestly struggled so much with this story in part because the main character made such unbelievably bad decisions, as well as the fact that I found the ending rather lackluster.
→ The Strangest Case of Dr. Henry Montague – The Right Hand of Doom ★☆☆☆☆ ←
A mad scientist has created a portal that should take him anywhere in the world, but instead, keeps routing itself back to Hell. I was horribly bored throughout the entirety of this story and found it very empty and pointless in the end.
→ The Beast of Battered Grove – Christopher Maxim ★☆☆☆☆ ←
A young woman stumbles across a beast in the forest by her home, and gets sucked into a fantastical and bizarre plot of occultists. During the events that are actually happening to the main character, she reads a dark fantasy novel, which we are frequently treated to multiple pages of action and dialogue from. I genuinely believe this story was, first and foremost, an excuse to write two genres in one short story (horror and dark fantasy); sadly, neither of the “sides” of this one worked for me. I had a hard time staying interested in the plot and felt that the story, as far as short stories go, overstayed its welcome.
→ Slumber Party – Ashley Franz Holzmann ★★★☆☆ ←
The second sleepover story in the collection portrays a group of preteen boys who get caught up in the sick games of a strange man who visits them late in the evening and refuses to leave. I actually thought the plot for this one was nice and creepy, but the beginning was very slow and there was a lot of repetition in the narration. If this story had been shortened by a few pages of rambling, I would have easily given it four stars.
→ Neptune’s Fancy – Vincent V. Cava ★★☆☆☆ ←
The collection ends with a story of fisherman who come across a mermaid who promises them lush rewards if they return her to her home. This story was such a bizarre way to end the collection, because it felt much more like dark fantasy than horror, in my opinion. While I love the idea behind any stories involving dark, scary sea people, the execution wasn’t there for me throughout all of this one. It felt repetitive at many points, and while I appreciated the attempt at writing in a Scottish (presumably?) accent, the fact that the writing constantly dipped in and out of that accent made it a little difficult to understand at times.
→ FINAL THOUGHTS ←
Averaged out, my rating came to 2.85/5 stars for the entire collection, but I honestly don’t feel comfortable rounding this up to a 3.
If you enjoy horror anthologies and don’t mind some cheesy writing, I’d say pick up a copy of this one from BookOutlet or something. Truthfully, though, I would recommend a horror collection I found much more enjoyable overall, such as Thirteen Chairs, or Strange Weather.