First came the Dear David haunting of Adam Ellis (@moby_dickhead); in April, The Sun Vanished in a parallel universe (@TheSunVanished); most recently, a man claiming to be living in a bunker with a doomsday cult made contact with the surface for the first time in over a year (@LifeIsBelow). These disparate stories are part of a new wave of ARG/creepypasta-inspired storytelling raking in followers and setting pulses pounding.
Since Storify is closing, I compiled all the Dear David tweets into a Wakelet story for easy reading: https://t.co/53gIKfwr9M
— Adam Ellis (@moby_dickhead) May 16, 2018
Related Article: How “Cloverfield” Used the Internet to Defy Expectations by Turning Fans into Participants
The Dear David saga ended in a movie deal; a film based on what Ellis maintains is a true story is in the works with IT producer Dan Lin. The Sun Vanished went dark (pun intended) on June 19th with a final video that’s been watched over 1M times. If a movie deal follows for Vanished, it will be proof that Twitter is a new, potentially fertile frontier for horror’s newest trends (and trend makers).
There’s Life Underground is the new kid on the block, obviously still finding it’s footing, but I’m already hooked. Coincidentally, it launched on June 19th, the same day The Sun Vanished went quiet (giving me and other fans something new to wrap our minds around). There’s an almost shocking directness, as @LifeIsBelow asks followers what they want to know about, later submitting confessional-style videos. He always obscures his face and disguises his voice. Have a look at a recent entry:
Community meals/lectures are mandatory; religious rituals optional. Free time spent in rec or personal quarters; try not to spend too much time alone; try to appear engaged. Asylee isn’t allowed in certain areas of TC and I can’t participate in Communion-unless I join. pic.twitter.com/pUyxJTGa1v
— There's Life Underground (@LifeIsBelow) July 2, 2018
@LifeIsBelow has also gained a reputation for responding to DM’s, furthering the illusion he’s trapped underground—with a lot of time on his hands!
With its emphasis on brevity, Twitter could be the perfect medium for short, interactive storytelling. Stories that unfold in real-time give followers a reason to check in daily (like they would with a friend going through some serious drama). Followers also connect in subtweets to discuss theories while dissecting audio and video clips. It all reminds me of those Choose Your Own Adventure books that were so popular in the 1980s.
What do you think about Twitter emerging as a source for captivating storytelling? Did you follow Dear David or The Sun Vanished? Do you believe There’s Life Underground? Are there any other creepers haunting Twitter we don’t know about? Sound off in the Comments section!