One of my favorite copypastas is “Man Door Hand Hook Car Door,” which was supposed to be a creepypasta, but failed so spectacularly that the main take away from it is not fear, but laughter.
It reads as follows:
man & girl go out to drive under moonlight. they stop at on at a side of road.
he turn to his girl and say:
“baby, i love you very much”
“what is it honey?”
“our car is broken down. i think the engine is broken. ill walk and get more fuel.”
“ok. ill stay here and look after our stereo. there have been news report of steres being stolen”
“good idea. keep the doors locked no matter what. i love you sweaty”
so the guy left to get full for the car. after two hours the girl say “where is my baby, he was supposed to be back by now”. then the girl here a scratching sound and a voice say “LET ME IN”
the girl doesnt do it and then after a while she goes to sleep. the next morning she wakes up and finds her boyfriend still not there. she gets out to check and man door hand hook car door
“Man Door Hand Hook Car Door” is a take on a fairly old urban legend that can be found in one of the Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark books (even if I can’t remember exactly which one). In some versions, a couple goes to a drive-in or out to like, Make-Out Point, or something to that effect. A news broadcast comes on the radio telling them that a murderer has escaped from a local jail/state hospital/prison, and advises everybody to go home for their own safety. More often than not, the girl gets worried and wants to be taken home, but the boyfriend assuages her fears and they keep making out. They hear a noise against the car a few times, and finally he tells her that he’ll check it out. He never comes back, and in the morning, there is, as the copypasta says, a hook hanging on the door. Apparently escaped convicts have hooks for hands.
It’s a story I like to save for after getting too creeped out by actual scary stories; it’s been a while since my friends and I have gone to the woods to tell them (mostly I think because of the weather, but also because life has a habit of getting in the way), so I haven’t gotten the chance to actually go out and be afraid of the dark lately. That said, I’m still pretty heavily invested in scary stories (and, my extension, scary movies).
I think back to the conference I was at and the question of zombies; another one was, “Why do you think we keep going back to these monsters? What’s so compelling about them?” and the gist of my answer for monsters in general is that people like getting scared. Telling a scary story or watching a scary movie allows for the adrenaline rush without the actual risk of getting murdered by some guy wearing a hockey mask, or getting bitten by a disease-carrying walking corpse. We like talking about death in a way that lets us almost conquer our fear of it. When we mythologize it, we’re able to deal with it a little easier.
When we can’t tell our own scary stories, we turn to the people who can: We read horror novels, we watch horror films. If you’re in a room with a bunch of other people and you’re all getting freaked out over the same thing, there’s a bonding experience that happens, even if it’s only for a second.