What if a show you watched when you were a child, no matter how innocent or not so innocent, turned out to be hiding something darker than you previously remembered? Candle Cove is a creepypasta story by Kris Straub that appears at first glance to be a forum discussion about an old children's show that aired briefly back in the 70s and was never seen again. As recollections of the show are traded back and forth, it becomes clear that beneath the show's cutesy and disarmingly low-budget appearance is something dark and disturbing, and by the end, it's implied that the show is something much more sinister than a half-remembered childhood memory...
- Big Bad: The Skin Taker is implied to have been the main antagonist of "Candle Cove".
- Creepy Doll: The cast of the show.
- The Ending Changes Everything: The last post reveals that the show never truly existed.
- Ear Worm: This fan-made theme music. It was meant to be ear worm-y too.
- Fictional Document: The story is presented in the form of a discussion thread from a message board.
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You:i remember the little girl said why does your mouth move like that and the skin-taker didnt look at the girl but at the camera and said TO GRIND YOUR SKIN
- Foreshadowing: "YES! Okay I'm not crazy!" foreshadows the fact that the same guy that said that supposedly had a dream of a really creepy episode, and it turned out to be an actual episode.
- Homage: The show is reminiscient of The King in Yellow, an insanity-inducing play of which there are only small snippets ever seen of it.
- Invisible to Adults: Adults only see static.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Despite the Invisible to Adults trope, it's still possible that there is a naturalistic explanation, because nothing is explained at all. Either the show was on a weak signal so the mother misinterpreted it as static while not paying close attention, or alternatively, the forum poster who mentioned that was a troll. Then again, maybe it really is supernatural. Hilariously, the Sugar Wiki page is written on the assumption that nothing paranormal occurred.
- Measuring the Marigolds: Word of God says that trying to ground the show in reality subverts the premise of the story and ruins the fan sequels.
- Mind Screw: Candle Cove does not exist. It has never existed. Then why are there so many people who remember the show?
- Nothing Is Scarier: You will probably never look at TV static the same way again after reading this.
- On that note, there was apparently an entire episode where the characters did nothing but cry and scream at the camera for no apparent reason.
- Nostalgia Filter: Played straight at first, then subverted. And it is horrible. Horrible.
- Older Than They Think: Many younger readers believe this is a parody of old '90's-00's kid shows, hence the fleet of "lost episode" imitators of well known, often still airing, syndicated franchises like Rugrats and The Simpsons. The author is a Gen X-er old enough to remember locally produced and aired kid shows, which had shoestring budgets and were dying out around the 70's-80's, fading from the popular consciousness. Most of the people who would connect with this story would be Gen Xers in their forties and up. The low budget children's shows that were often produced by local TV stations and PBS stations, such as The Froozles, had all but disappeared by the mid 80s, even as reruns.
- Ripped from the Headlines: Well, sort of. The story's premise was inspired by an article from The Onion: "Area 36-Year-Old Still Has Occasional Lidsville Nightmare."
- Show Within a Show: Despite being fictional, what little we learn of Candle Cove is described in vivid detail.
- Subverted Kids Show: Played for scares rather than laughs.
- Stylistic Suck: Both the description of the show itself, which looks like it was produced on a shoestring budget, and the forum posts themselves, some of which would make a Grammar Nazi turn red with rage.
- The Reveal: In The Ending, it's revealed that the show does not exist, and never did exist.
- Or at least it wasn't produced and distributed via normal means.
- Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: The Skin Taker. As one of the forum users put it, "What kind of kids' show were we watching!?"
- Wham Line:
kevin_hart: i don't think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.
- After Skyshale033 mentions a nightmare she had about the show consisting of the entire cast screaming for the full 30 minutes of the episode's run time, kevin_hart responds with this...
- "...you would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes." As it was written.
- You Know That Show: The story's framing device.