I’ve been into ASMR a lot recently. I didn’t know it existed until just a couple months ago when Dan mentioned it as an aside and then Elloa linked to a video in an Anook thread and I was hooked. I stick a video on almost every night and I’ve discovered some wonderful and bizarre creators from doing so. Two of my favourites are Ephemeral Rift, who does a pretty wide mix of styles from the traditional intended to relax and calm, but also the bizarre, with his cast of characters from the (I believe Lovecraft inspired) Asylum, and ASMattR. The latter has this smooth, deep voice that is sooo easy to fall asleep to, and he tries different things with the intention to relax and induce ASMR.
~At this point I feel I should include an aside for those of you who don’t know what ASMR is (like me earlier this year). In short, it is the phenomenon whereby certain sounds (or “triggers”) and sometimes actions can induce a feeling of relaxation, calm, and in some cases a warm, tingly feeling on the scalp. Not everybody experiences it, and everybody who does is affected by different things. But many use these videos to relax, calm down, even fall asleep, and they can be mighty effective for some.
One of the series that ASMattR creates is his Creepypasta readings. Now this is an internet thing that I’ve known about for years but avoided because I’m easily scared, infamously banned from watching Are You Afraid of the Dark? as a child because I was up all night crying after one episode. I got into the Slenderman stuff back when we still lived in Leicester, I may even have blogged about it, and it just.. nope. I was bloody scared. And with my troubles with anxiety, that’s something I have to be really careful of because it’s not just feeling a bit scared but also that anxious feeling that whatever fictional character or phenomenon is coming for me. *shudder* No thanks.
Anyway, I’m getting off course. So, ASMattR (I presume that is pronounced ‘azmatar’ because A.S.Matt.R feels awkward in my mind) reads Creepypastas in his low, smooth voice into his binaural microphone and he uploaded this one about a “Shredder Monkey“. I was too curious not to investigate this and sat and listened to the whole thing while playing slither.io. It was.. it felt Lovecraftian in theme, and I love me some Lovecraft. And it’s left me wanting more. So I listened to another, this time it was “The Genius of Dr. Monroe” from a while back, which felt a little like the kind of short story you may have found in certain horror short story books years ago.
I landed on the wiki page to read more about what exactly this creepypastas are because the name itself is weird. I’ve ignored their existence after being so terrified of Slenderman that I didn’t realise how much they had grown over the years. I discovered that the “forefather” was actually an account of a “Lost Episode”. Something about a rather melancholy Mickey Mouse wandering the streets that eventually warps into disturbing town and, according to the creepypasta, causes viewers to commit suicide. This style of creepypasta has apparently fallen out of fashion, becoming “cliché”, according to the wiki page, but even so it put me in mind of The Ring.
I find myself wanting to read more of these little stories, or listen to well-spoken YouTubers recounting some of their favourites, but I come back to the fact that I’m easily frightened and have a lot of trouble with anxiety. If it’s fantastical enough, I’m fine, but if it feels like the “real world”? Hell no. I’m not sure this is a rabbit hole I’m ready to fall down but I can’t help myself. I’m amazed by the creativity and inventiveness of the internet.