Creepy New Year, dear readers! It’s high time I served up a fresh new batch of pasta, and this one is hand-picked from Reddit’s infamous NoSleep sub — a dependable source of pure, uncut nightmare candy for many years now.
This odd and disturbing thread is one of the more recent entries to catch the attention of the creepypasta community; it was originally posted in 2016 by Redditor IIA, and it managed to generate quite a stir for a while… at least until it was archived and locked, four months after it first appeared, with most of the attached links removed or dead.
IIA’s post began with a seemingly harmless question: “Has anyone else used ExpressionCaptioner.com?”
The author was referring to a now-defunct interactive meme-maker which generated captions at the top and bottom of any webcam image the user uploaded to it. The generator’s algorithm was able to incorporate facial-recognition software in order to read the subject’s facial expressions, and would allegedly produce captions based on how it perceived the user’s mood.
In his post, he describes playing around with the site for a while and showing it to his girlfriend, and both of them found it very entertaining — as well as shockingly accurate at deciphering their facial expressions. Nevertheless, they eventually lost interest and moved on to other things.
That is, until one night when IIA was alone and bored, and decided to visit the site again. This time, he found a new button on the interface which read LIVE CAPTION. Curious, he clicked it, and the app began taking pictures of him as always, popping up captions which ranged from amusing to nonsensical, just as before.
Aside from the new button, nothing else seemed to be different… until the next morning at work, when he opened his laptop and discovered his browser was still open to the site, which seemed to be refreshing itself regularly. He checked the image gallery, and it had only captured a few more photos of his sleepy face from when he’d first opened the laptop, and provided some appropriately droll captions.
He moved on, focusing his attention back on his work… until a few hours later, when he suddenly remembered he’d left the site up and running in the background. On a whim, he took another look… and that’s when he realized something had gone very wrong.
The image gallery was filled with different captures of the author’s face… but the most recent photos were coupled with mismatched and increasingly bizarre captions. As he tabbed through them, he became increasingly disturbed by what he saw and read.
At first, he thought it might be a prank, or that the site had snuck some kind of malignant software onto his laptop… but his attempts to email the site’s administrator via the CONTACT US button resulted in repeated error messages. Even more troubling, a domain lookup returned no results; the site was apparently not listed in any registry.
By the end of this post, IIA seems to be disoriented and more than a little frightened by this discovery, and asks fellow users if they’ve been able to reach expressioncaptioner.com recently.
“I’m not a superstitious person,” he writes, “but I gotta say… I’m not feeling too well after all this. It’s also getting pretty dark outside, but there isn’t a cloud in the sky. It’s not even 11:00 am.”
Fellow Redditors who investigated the site came back with differing claims; most reported the link redirected them to another sketchy site, which asked them to input their name… then to click on this big red button:
Most users were afraid to try this, but some did… and claimed the site would cycle from a black screen, then slowly fading into bright red. Some claimed that they could hear the name they entered being repeated back to them in a chilling whisper. One of the commenters said that eerie whispering continued even after they exited the site.
I took a chance and tried it myself, then recorded the results:
As of last summer, the thread itself has been archived and no more updates can be made. It’s hard to say whether the author or anyone else solved the mystery… but we do know this much: while IIA hasn’t yet “died alone” or “died screaming,” one his most recent Reddit posts is titled “It’s hard to clean blood out of the crotch of a fur suit,” so it’s possible he’s not feeling too well lately…