Digital Gothic Examining the Impact of Creepypasta on Adolescent Digital Reading Trends in Contemporary Society


  • Amara Faheem Lahore Leads University
  • Misbah Iqbal Lahore Leads University
  • Saleha Bilal Student, BS English, Lahore Leads University


Creepypasta, Digital reading trends, Cognitive dissonance theory, online adolescent behavior


In the contemporary digital landscape, children's literature has undergone substantial transformation, facilitated by online platforms that grant access to a diverse range of narratives. Creepypasta, a distinct subgenre of internet-based horror fiction, has gained traction among children and adolescents. Its popularity among young readers stems from its online accessibility, interactive forums, and relatable subject matter. Creepypasta narratives enthrall children through suspense, dark themes, urban legends, personal resonance, virtual communities, and succinct, varied plots. These stories adeptly engage readers' cognitive and emotional dimensions, eliciting suspense and fear through techniques such as gradual revelation, foreshadowing, and vivid imagery. Nevertheless, Creepypasta's impact is not devoid of potential consequences. This study delves into the influence of Creepypasta, a distinctive subgenre of internet-based horror fiction, on young readers. This research employs the lens of Cognitive Dissonance Theory, proposed by Leon Festinger, to explore the potential impacts of Creepypasta on children's cognitive and emotional dimensions. This theory suggests that psychological tension arises from inconsistencies in beliefs or behaviors, leading individuals to alter or add elements to reduce or restore dissonance. The qualitative research, conducted on the said horror contents, examines the experiences of young readers through the framework of this theory. The findings underscore the importance for parents, educators, and guardians to guide, communicate openly, and foster responsible online behavior, placing emphasis on the education and well-being of young readers in the digital age.




How to Cite

Faheem, A., Iqbal, M., & Bilal, S. (2024). Digital Gothic Examining the Impact of Creepypasta on Adolescent Digital Reading Trends in Contemporary Society. Hamdard Educus, 2(2), 1–16. Retrieved from