Tales of apparitions, clairaudience, black magic, ‘pontianak’ and ‘langsuir’ abound as we approach October 31st! Avid storytellers of otherworldly tales who made the GenYT list of rising Malaysian creators, entertain participants at a virtual meet with their personal startling anecdotes.
In the mood for spooks anyone?
October, being Halloween month wouldn’t mean much if it weren’t for a few friends sitting in dimly lit surroundings such as a campfire in a remote forest, listening to mystery-ridden, spine-chilling stories. In apt response to the season, YouTube decided it was time to unravel some of its GenYT (Generasi YouTube) storytellers who share tales of the otherworldly kind.
GenYT’s latest installation of YouTube content creators in the scary-story niche certainly quenched the thirst of Halloween enthusiasts in media, as a few of us mystery, horror and thriller enthusiasts joined a virtual sharing session titled, ‘Generasi YouTube: Bila Bulan Mengambang…’, to hear from 4 rising Youtuber creators in this niche. Each creator introduced their YouTube channels; Ashhrapp Channel, Neyna Story, Faizal Rozi Vlog and Solo Ambush.
Meant to be an otherwise casual meet in the comforting cover of midday, stories and experiences shared even over a cyberspace session, interestingly, elicited a few fearful gasps from listeners at the edge of their seats – as though we were all still somehow gathered around that proverbial campfire!
For Nur Ainina Arifin whose YouTube Channel Neyna Story has seen the most growth among her creator-compatriots in the session, inspiration to tell her tales has never been a problem. Her channel, centering around chilling events, crime, and horror-focused storytelling, suggests the possibility that her primary inspiration hails from Indonesia. Citing an American channel as her first inspiration for editing and audience preferences in graphics and audio, Nur Ainina says her interest in horror and her passion for storytelling combine naturally, to create the channel we see today. Neyna doubled her 50,000 subscriber base in roughly a month and now has surpassed 200,000 subscribers.
“One of the experiences I have had recording supernatural events was facing a dog that incessantly barked at the empty space beside me”, GenYT creator Hanizamal Abu Hanifah revealed, sounding somewhere between brazen and fearful, as he unfolded the story from memory. Open about his preparations for content that gets on his Channel, Solo Ambush, Hanizamal chalks up his success in production to in-depth research, verification and obtaining the apt written permissions. Owing his success largely to his extremely engaged audience, he feels that they play a big part in choosing the locations of his next videos, whereby 80% of the locations are suggested by the audience.
As stories continued around the virtual room, Ahmad Asyraf Kamaruzzaman of Ashhrapp Channel and the newest kid on the block of up-and-coming spooky-story creators, took his turn to volunteer his personal account. He related an experience of knocks on his window as his vehicle made its way through what was considered a haunted area. The content creator said he thought on his feet and countered his fear with Quranic verses for protection. Sighs of relief were heard around the room. The GenYT creator who started his channel as recently as November 2019, attributes the rapid growth of his channel to several things including the lack of local horror creators on the platform and the Movement Control Order (MCO) that drove more people online for entertainment. His consistent upload schedule gained him 100,000 subscribers within his first 3 months.
Noorfaizal Rozi, the owner of the Faizal Rozi Vlogs channel explained that his channel revolves around the concept of urban exploration of abandoned buildings and locations with historical, mysterious, and/or sentimental value. He favors locations that possess a unique history with a story to tell. The longest in the GenYT channel game, Noorfaizal started his channel in September 2009 and he has not looked back since! With his total channel views standing proudly way past 27 million, he is thankful that he was able to leave his office job to pursue his passion for content creation. This seemingly grounded creator attributes his success to his audience’s support. He hopes his pursuits eventually take him to international shores.
The afternoon came to a close too soon, for a horror-hungry audience. An audio clip from Neyna Story played earlier in the session lingered in the air. It is not clear if the tale, the voice or the ambience triggered goosebumps for some present, but everyone definitely their due spooks-fix as they slowly said their goodbyes and to exit the session.
As the moderator Timothy Ong bade everyone goodbye, he wished all virtual attendees “pleasant dreams for later in the night”, prompting a few knowing simpers from an entertained and gratified audience of all things spooky!