Channel Zero: Candle Cove
A 2009 internet flash fiction piece written by Kris Straub has made its way to 2016 television. Syfy has created an unsettling adaptation of Candle Cove, one of the most famous creepypastas to emerge over the past seven years.
Based off the term “copypasta”, a creepypasta is a piece of horror-specific text that has been copy and pasted around the internet. Whether you know the term or not, you are bound to know one of the other (if not the most) famous creepypastas of all time: Slender Man. Since Candle Cove was created under a Creative Commons License, adaptations and fanfiction were fair game. Fans ran wild with the legend of Candle Cove, which eventually brought it to Syfy’s attention.
The Candle Cove Timeline
March 15th, 2009: Kris Straub uploads flash fiction story to Ichior Falls, a horror fiction site, in a message-board format. Characters with usernames “Skyshale003”, “mike_painter65”, “Jaren_2005”, and “kevin_hart” hold a discussion about a seemingly forgotten kid’s show from the 70s. They converse about the oddity and general creepiness of the show and how it invoked nightmares. The last message by “mike_painter65” states that when he recently visited his mother in her nursing home, she told him that he wasn’t actually watching a show called “Candle Cove”, but just TV static.
June 5th, 2009: Months later, Straub’s piece is uploaded to the creepy pasta website and given a 9.2 out of 10 rating. With over 600 comments on the story, Candle Cove catches fire.
July 2009: Youtube interpretations of the imagined show begin appearing.
Late 2009: Discussions about the legend of Candle Cove begin appearing on sites like 4Chan and Reddit.
March 2010: Fan art on the story is created.
November 2010: Creepypasta Wiki page of the Candle Cove story is created. Kris Straub makes a blog post stating that his inspiration for the story came from an article on The Onion, and requested that fans consult with him before changing the story.
April 2011: Official Candle Cove Wikipedia page is created. The site is complete with full descriptions of characters, settings, episodes, and anything else that would be included for an actual TV show.
June 2011: Candle Cove is added to Urban Dictionary.
February 2016: Syfy authorizes the two season show, “Channel Zero” with Candle Cove being its first six-episode season.
October 11th, 2016: The first episode of Channel Zero: Candle Cove premieres on Syfy.
Which is Better?
After reading the original piece and viewing all 6 episodes of Channel Zero: Candle Cove, I have to say I favor the original more. That’s not because the show isn’t good- it definitely is (it earned a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes for goodness sake)-but, I believe what originally made Candle Cove so creepy was how realistic it felt. Just a few people discussing an odd show from their childhoods that can’t be proven to have ever existed. The mystery is what gives me chills.
The show expands on the original story by adapting the users into characters who grew up in the same small town during a string of murders that coincided with the airing of Candle Cove. It centers on Mike and Eddy Painter, twins who have an odd connection and experience with the show and its powers of manipulation.
Whether you end up watching the show, reading the original, or maybe both-we can all agree that it’s a pretty unsettling story.