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But “The Little Pink Backpack” does it in a way that most of them don't: In its truest form, it consists of pages scanned from a little girl's diary, complete with shaky handwriting and childish drawings.Originally simply called “The Story of Lisa,” writer and illustrator Sunny Shreiner first got the idea when she spotted a big pad of paper of the type elementary school kids use while browsing a store one day.As such, I would argue that the word creepypasta itself no longer refers to the copied-and-pasted short stories that it originally described.Instead, it's become a catch-all term for Internet-based horror fiction, with all of the advantages the medium presents: Although the stories are still usually anchored in text, they're now illustrated with photographs, videos, and much, much more.You know how easy it is to waste hours “traveling the world” via Google Maps Street View and Google Earth, right? It's not the most innovative of creepypastas, but I like the “cautionary tale” aspect of it; it hearkens back to folk tales and the sorts of urban legends we used to tell around campfires when we were kids. But be careful while you play armchair traveler — you might stumble upon something with which you're utterly unequipped to deal.It's not unusual for weird things to happen while you're taking or developing a photograph; indeed, we love these kinds of oddities, because they give us the illusion that we've captured something otherworldly, even when we know it's just a double exposure or whatever.

What emerged was the story of an imaginary friend who may not be so imaginary…and what happens to those who cross the little girl over whom she stands guard.

First, a little history: Originally, the term “creepypasta” derived from “copypasta,” itself a bastardization of “copy paste.” Usually it refers to any text commonly copied and pasted on the Internet: Chain letters, those ineffective “I own everything on my page, Facebook! Creepypasta, then, is its spookier cousin, a sort of digital update to the urban legends we used to tell each other in the dark at sleepovers when we were kids.

According to Know Your Meme, the word itself entered the vernacular courtesy of 4chan around 2007; by 2010, it was on its way to achieving widespread popularity (I credit a New York Times article, of all things, with bringing it to my attention in November of that year), and it's only been gaining steam since.

A photograph of some school children from the turn of the century, for example, whose images are all blurred — a detail no one noticed until they all perished in a fire.

Or a photograph of a Civil War soldier with some damage inflicted upon it — damage which mirrors the injuries he suffered in the war.

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