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What Is Analog Horror?

Horror series Local58TV screenshot

Chances are good that if you’ve happened across fanmade content from the horror series Five Nights at Freddy’s, Creepypastas, or other horror genres related to video games, you’ve seen videos on YouTube of content that is made to look like it’s been filmed from a VHS tape or radio. Being that these video formats are effectively obsolete (and fail to properly capture what happens), they are popular for creating videos in the subgenre known as analog horror. But what exactly is analog horror, and what does it specifically entail?

What is Analog horror?

As the name already suggests, analog horror as a genre involves stories that are told explicitly through the medium of videotapes, FM radio, or other old media formats to give the videos themselves a decrepit look. The vast majority of analog horror series share their traits with the “found footage” genre, but rather than focus on the characters, the focus is on the world itself. The old format of these videos is highly susceptible to corruption and other various technical glitches, which results in a video that tells a story in an eerie, otherworldly way. Most analog horror videos begin seemingly normal and mundane but gradually become more bizarre and ominous as they progress, ranging from video corruption, strange noises or visuals, or describing a supernatural phenomenon in a normal manner.

There are several examples of the analog horror genre that have taken the Internet by storm and amassed a big fanbase. In the Five Nights at Freddy’s fandom, Squimpus McGrimpus’s analog horror series was one of the first popular iterations of the genre. This series primarily focuses on the events of Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 and 3 respectively, while other analog horror series such as Martin Walls’ The Walten Files primarily focus on original characters within the games’ universe. In terms of original analog horror series, Kris Straub’s LOCAL58TV channel has garnered lots of traction within the past four years, and its unsettling but simple story beats have captured an enormous fanbase. There are plenty of different analog horror channels to look at on both YouTube and various other places on the Internet.

Although the analog horror genre is rife with speculation and is immensely popular, the videos themselves are very unsettling and may cause some to feel squeamish, so bear that in mind when watching. Analog horror’s old video format choice and interesting subject matter (that varies between series) is compelling if you can get past the scary, strange parts of the videos. Since the genre continues to remain popular, there’s no doubt that more analog horror will continue to pop up in the future.

(featured image: Local58TV via Youtube)

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