The Rise of YouTube Analog Horror Series

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Alex Kister

“The Mandela Catalogue: The THINK Principle.”

During recent months, instead of the usual expected jumpscares, YouTube content creators have been producing horror that is suspenseful, foreboding, and frightening. Series such as “The Mandela Catalogue,” “Walten Files,” “Local 58,” and “Gemini Home Entertainment” have been seen and recognized by YouTubers, along with millions of viewers. All of these series have something in common, which is being analog horror. Analog horror uses predigital, old-school devices to present its stories. It may be shown in the form of VHS, television broadcasts, or infomercials.

Analog horror uses predigital, old-school devices to present its stories.”

— Seira Lee

 

A reason these series have become so popular is because of the mystery and lore behind them. Viewers will search for clues and answers to the unknowns. These YouTube series will commonly include reversed audio, mysterious and creepy messages to piece together, and censored information. YouTubers such as GTLive and Wendigoon react to some of the series listed above, breaking down the series for themselves and creating their own narrative.
A brand new analog series that has garnered a lot of attention is “The Mandela Catalogue,” by Alex Kister. The videos are informational and personal VHS recordings. What makes this series so terrifying is the flipped, little, inhumane details. The sinister creatures will unnerve most viewers. Viewers may find the series horror subjective, what may scare one will be nothing to another. It is a fantastic, original story nonetheless. The gripping suspense is a highlight for the series; even minor climaxes in the videos will leave viewers on the edge of their seats. It is an alternate universe where demons called alternates have invaded Earth. They take on the form of humans and eliminate them with various tactics such as psychological warfare.
Another recent analog horror series is “Walten Files,” created by Martin Walls and inspired by the “Five Nights At Freddy’s” franchise. It is about the mysterious closure of Bon’s Burgers and the disappearance of Jack, Ed, Molly, and Rosemary Walten. It shows infomercials and disturbing in-story gameplay. One thing that makes this series so popular is not only the concept but the unexpected jumpscares. Unlike FNAF, this series is more focused on the people than the animatronics. Walten Files goes more into depth than FNAF about the heinous murders of certain characters. This is the journey of Sophie regaining memories from her twisted past.
Finally, one of the most iconic analog series is “Gemini Home Entertainment” by Remy Abode. This series theorizes that extraterrestrial entities have invaded Earth and mimic the human body. It has a series of VHS tapes and infomercials from the company Gemini Home Entertainment. One honorable mention is the new series called “The Backrooms,” made by 16-year-old film director Kane Parsons (Kane Pixels on YouTube). It is based on the creepypasta “Backrooms” and the multiple games made on it. He uses live-action footage and 3D Blender renderings as well as other techniques to create effects such as camera shake and a VHS filter.
Any horror fan will love these series. They are amazing and well thought out nonetheless. Below are links to the series named here as well as some other analog horror series to check out.

The Mandela Catalogue Season One
The Walten Files
Gemini Home Entertainment
The Backrooms
Horror & Harmony Season One