That right there is literally the entire performance of this recent piece of cyberlore. This weird custom arose from the video game Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, in which the player (if playing on a computer) has the option to go up to a fallen soldier and “press F to pay respects.” The game was released in late 2014, and for some reason, towards the beginning of 2015 users on sites like Reddit started commenting with “press F to pay respects” whenever death or dying was mentioned on the site. This soon evolved into users simply shortening it to “F,” and now most Reddit users will know what someone means if he/she comments with that single letter. I frequent Reddit, so I kind of picked up on this a while ago, but I love how simple yet inexplicably hilarious it is.
“In Summit County, Ohio, there’s a ghost town that people call Helltown. The town is notorious for being haunted and being a site of Satanic rituals. There’s actually even a church in the town with an upside down cross on it, apparently it’s the most haunted building in Helltown. Since the town was abandoned, a ton of teenagers have gone down there, and a few have gone missing mysteriously upon entering the church.”
So my dad told me this story, and it’s one that I’ve actually looked into a bit before just because it seems so fascinating. The actual reason for the town being abandoned is because of a mass governmental seizure of property in 1974 via eminent domain in order to create the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The park was made, but the section that is now “Helltown” was never actually torn down, so the people basically abandoned the town and never moved back, effectively turning it into a ghost town. The rumors of Satanic rituals seems to have no basis other than someone misinterpreting the inverted cross on the church as a Satanic symbol. The purported hauntedness probably just comes from the fact that it is a ghost town, and that naturally causes people to associate it with ghosts. Nonetheless, I like this tale just because Helltown is a pretty close to my home, and it’s just surrounded by populated, normal towns.
“So my mom’s side of the family has lived in Española, New Mexico, since the 1600s. By the 20th century, my family owned nearly a third of the land in the entire state of New Mexico. They were really well-respected basically because of how long they had been there, and they benefitted financially from it. The twist comes in around 1960. Basically, due to some weird clerical error or something, my great-uncle Michael ended up in charge of managing all of the land my family had. Michael was kind of an ass to his family, so one day he decided to just sell almost all the land my family had, pack his things up, and move away to the East Coast. He screwed over a lot of people in the family, but they had a decent amount of money in the bank and were able to recover financially, but the land was lost forever.”
This one is from my friend here at USC from Texas, and his family has a deep history in the Americas, allegedly dating back to the time of Cortés’ conquest. He said that this is one of the stories his mom always alludes to in regular conversations among family. To him, it’s a bit strange since he’s never met his great-uncle, but he still loves to hear his mom’s stories because it gives him a sense of identity.
“The one true god, Nicolas Cage. His light guides us away from the temptation of John Travolta, and saves us from our bees. His known prophets are Stephen King, who controls the mind, and M. Night Shyamalan, whose endings are always unforeseen. Follow their instructions, and you may achieve Mitt Romney, a state of eternal salvation and peace. He is a sworn enemy of Xenu and his minion Obama, and fights against the aliens with the help of the FSM, commander of pirates.”
This piece of cyberlore/jokelore is essentially the creed of those who worship actor Nicolas Cage as the “one true god.” This form of praise for Cage is entirely sarcastic, and it has been extremely popular on the internet because of Cage’s notoriously bad acting. It’s not clear why Nic Cage was chosen to be the subject of this faux-worship, but it seems to just have caught on and stuck for years, and it is pretty hilarious for some reason. I’ve been aware of the one true god for a while via my frequenting of the website Reddit, whose users have a particular penchant for Cage.
“Krampus is essentially an Austrian antithesis to Santa. Whereas Santa visits the good kids and gives them gifts, Krampus is said to visit the bad ones and give them coal or take them away. What’s really interesting about this is that many Austrian parents will dress up as Krampus on Christmas, and then actually snatch up their own children or the children of neighbors at night to scare them into being good. It’s kind of terrifying from our perspective, but it’s apparently completely normal in Austria.”
This was collected from my friend here at USC, and although she isn’t Austrian herself, her best friend throughout her childhood was fully Austrian. She spent a lot of time with the girl’s Austrian family, especially around holidays, so she is actually pretty familiar with their customs. To her, Krampus isn’t exactly scary, and she kind of has a soft spot in her heart for him, just because it reminds her of her friend’s family. I kind of like the idea of Krampus, just because it’s something so different than what we are used to in America; I don’t think running around pretending to kidnap kids at night would ever fly in the U.S.