Analyzing the Appeal of Horror ASMR

Curator's Note

Oopsydaisy ASMR is a content creator on YouTube. Most notably, she’s known for her roleplay video of Other Mother/Beldam from the children’s movie Coraline. She uses soft tapping, cutting sounds, and slow hand movements to give off unsettling vibes. Her makeup ties the creepy aesthetic all together. 

Despite the horror aspects, commenters found the roleplay enjoyable and pleasing, with one commentator saying, “Jesus Christ that’s creepy. But also cool as hell. I’m very conflicted.”

This niche side of the ASMR community isn’t new but hasn’t captured the same notability as the rest of the community. It can be disturbing for the average viewer to hear someone tell scary stories or threaten you with a lobotomy right before bed. Despite this, this subgenre takes what makes ASMR relaxing and turns it on its head. By using the right stimuli, viewers don’t mind the topic. If anything, they’ll flock to the videos. 

Horror ASMR videos use a combination of two ideas: a frightening overarching story and sounds meant to trigger a response. This subgenre uses this combination to create calming yet daunting content. While Oopsydaisy ASMR’s video is still from a children’s film, other videos will use more serious topics meant to disturb viewers. 

Mr. Got That, an ASMRist on YouTube, doesn’t wear makeup or use any specific items for triggers. Instead, his most popular videos are of gaslighting and psychotic boyfriends, with either kidnapping or overly possessive scenarios. Using his soft-spoken words and whispers, he uses aspects of psychological horror to their full potential. 

ASMR’s popularity over the past few years comes as no surprise. In stressful times, it’s soothing to find someone whose purpose is to relax you. However, we’re at an intersection where creators are continually pushing the boundaries to make creepy content relaxing. There are hundreds of other videos following this new script. These creators thrive on capturing an audience that desires frightening videos to fall asleep at night. 

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