Follow TV Tropes


Literature / Candle Cove

Go To

Does anyone remember this kid’s show? It was called Candle Cove...

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...

You can read it here, or listen to the narration here.

In 2016, the story was adapted for TV as the first season of Syfy's horror anthology series Channel Zero.

Additionally, Straub began the spin-off YouTube series LOCAL58 centered around strange broadcasts from the fictitious public access television channel where Candle Cove originally aired.

The YouTube channel Hey Kids! Studio is dedicated to defictionalizing the show.

Tropes demonstrated:

  • Big Bad: In-Universe, the Skin Taker is the villain of the titular show, a living skeleton who continuously tries to tempt Percy into doing evil acts and torments the rest of the cast.
  • Creepy Doll: The marionette cast of the show.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: The last post reveals that the show never truly existed.
  • Epistolary Novel: The story is presented in the form of an archived 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 didn’t 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 Just For Fun 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?
    • If Candle Cove cannot be viewed by adults, then how did it air in the first place? Also, was it made by a kid or an adult?
  • Nothing Is Scarier
    • The eeriest thing about The Reveal is no explanation being given as to what Candle Cove is or how these people saw it.
    • There was an entire episode where the characters did nothing but cry and scream. No plot, no explanation as to why it was happening. Just moaning and shouting in agony.
  • Nostalgia Filter: Played straight at first, then subverted. And it is horrible. Horrible.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • 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...
    kevin_hart: i don't think that was a dream. i remember that. i remember that was an episode.
    • " would tune the tv to static and juts watch dead air for 30 minutes. you had a big imagination with your little pirate show." As it was written.