Creepypastas are horror-related legends or images that have been copy-and-pasted around the Internet. These Internet entries are often brief, user-generated ghost or alien stories intended to scare readers. They include gruesome tales of murder, suicide, and otherworldly occurrences. According to Time magazine, the genre had its peak audience in 2010 when it was covered by The New York Times.
In the mainstream media, creepypastas relating to the fictitious Slender Man character came to public attention after the 2014 "Slender Man stabbing", in which a twelve-year-old girl from Waukesha, Wisconsin, was stabbed by two of her friends; the perpetrators claimed they "wanted to prove the [Slender Man] skeptics" wrong. After the murder attempt, some creepypasta website administrators made statements reminding readers of the "line between fiction and reality".
Other notable creepypasta characters and stories include Jeff the Killer, Ted the Caver, and Psychosis. In May 2015, Machinima Inc. announced plans for a live action web series curated by Clive Barker, titled Clive Barker's Creepy Pasta.
The term is a portmanteau of the words "creepy" and "copypasta", a word used on 4chan in 2006 to describe viral copy-and-pasted text.