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So it's pretty obvious by this point that Creepypasta, on the whole, is sort of a pop-blend of reality and fiction. Whether it's a true phenomena embellished to be believably creepy, or a totally fictional story that's presented as true, the site has always been dedicated to that nebulous area between the two genres.

That being said, how do we handle stories that are simple retellings of real life incidents? Does that mean we are obliged to hold someone's firsthand account of an active shooter for example ... as on par with the likes of BEN Drowned? Are we intended to treat it as a story and nothing more, or are we still attempting to be a significantly less overbearing version of NoSleep's active Suspension of Disbelief rule. Because frankly, tittering in the comments about how awful your kidnapper story is feels rather insulting to both parties. A regular user here once made a point stating (and I'm paraphrasing here), that "something being a scary incident =/= horror". As in, 'you can find something scary, but that does not make for a good story.' Or at least a genre having a specific element does not indicate the entirety of the genre.

Sure, when I think about Have You Seen This Man? - quality aside - it is technically a "true story" in that its a phenomenon that's been documented online by various people. Of course the true occurrence is fake, most likely a result of pluralist ignorance and Tulpa-fication ("A lot of people are seeing This Man, he can't be real...right?)" and even more likely a ploy or hoax started to see the effects of those cognitive biases. But in the end, it's written like a creepypasta: the author took an event, spun a yarn about it, and gave it a conclusion/resolution. People can resonate with it.

I feel like personally the best of both worlds in terms of delivering a true account to the site involves embellishing so that the story has a conclusion. Oftentimes in 'true accounts', there is an effort to make the story seem spookier than it actually was, but the author gives up halfway through because perhaps they feel like they're lying to their audience or themselves. I've seen it at least 3 times so far in the past couple months and in every situation the story wasn't really written poorly or anything like that. But that's not really a bad thing (creatively lying), that's what storytelling is about. There's actually sort of a meme popularized by the online podcast Sleepycabin, in which the resident Irishmen Chris and Niall frequently tell "Irish Stories", where they ramble on about a succession of true things that happened to them which ultimately culminate in a meaningless lesson or hasty conclusion.

Unfortunately (or hilariously, depending on your philosophy), real life often has no meaningful conclusions or endings to it, unlike stories. Although there are cases where true stories are just as fascinating, just as terrifying, or just as unbelievable as fiction can be. And in these instances there is insight or a change to behavior that the teller will recount (as a side note I can't stand stories that end with the character just shrugging and saying 'oh well, all that spooky shit happened and I learned nothing.' I'm sure theres some that defy that preference of mine but I can't think of them atm).

So overall there's a precedent this site has set since it's inception despite the changes to how we process and what we consider a 'good story'. We are Creepypasta, we're supposed to be creepy right? Within that guideline, there is a hidden obligation the author has to live up to if they want people to understand their work. I think there is still a place though for true accounts of things. If it's already been framed through the lens of the universal understanding of horror, I don't see a problem with an interview or after-story that the author can explain the events with. I think "This is a story I made up, but it's also true" is really interesting dichotomy that should be explored more often.

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