(CW: Child abduction, murder.)
Part Chuck E. Cheese and part “Candle Cove,” the creepypasta “The Bubble Brothers’ Happy-Happy Funhouse” taps into the hellishness of nostalgia in multiple ways. First, there’s the chatroom framing: Although published in 2017, the story is set in 2010, and the form of the whole thing reflects that fact. Heck, I’d even argue that the format is reminiscent of ’90s chatrooms. Then there’s the arcade-pizza restaurant at the center of the tale: As someone who was very firmly in the target demographic for Chuck E. Cheese when it was at its most popular, I, too, have a variety of memories of these kinds of places.
And then there’s the inherent mistrust many kids have of costumed characters: We know, instinctively, that they are not really who they appear to be, and the fact their true selves are unknowable to us is really, really freaky.
But it’s even worse when parents can’t trust them, either.
[Like what you read? Check out Dangerous Games To Play In The Dark, available from Chronicle Books now!]
That’s what’s going on in this story, first posted to the Creepypasta Wikia by Reary77, with a little cosmic horror thrown in. I’ll warn you outright that it ends a bit frustratingly; according to a comment left earlier this year, Reary77 meant to write a second part and never got around to it. So right now, all we have is the story of what happened in these characters’ past — not what’s about to happen to them now.
Still, though, it’s an interesting read, especially if you, like myself, were a child during A Particular Point In Time. The excerpt comes from a little ways into the story; check it out below, and if you want to read more, find the full story here.
…ponyboy225: hey y’all, I was reading your conversation prior to me joining just now and you guys are exactly the people I’m looking for…
ponyboy225: does anyone remember when that one children’s restaurant/playhouse/arcade on Linnerman Street was still open?
lordtundry8: #teamflapjack and it’s the abandoned building next to the antiques store now, pony boy?
rogernator12: #teamflapjack as well lol and I do!!!! It was called The Bubble Bros. Happy-Happy Funhouse! I still remember their theme song I think
coldballs300: “when someone makes you sad-sad! or if they even make you mad-mad! this place will make you glad-glad! the arcade is really rad-rad! (I forgot this line) HEAD ON OVER TO THE BUBBLE BROS. HAPPY-HAPPY FUNHOUSE” Haha.
ponyboy225: dude, a ton of memories just rushed into my head once I read that. But the part you missed had something to do with the pizza, am I right?
missespetals: oh yeah!!!!!!! “The pizza’s not that bad-bad!” Lolol and my mom would take me whenever I begged her, I loved the arcade… who owned the place again?
lordtundry8: yo cold balls you also forgot the part at the end when one of the clowns say “you won’t regret it” at the end hahaha dude but you just brought back so much memories with that little jingle! And they were brothers remember, they were the main clowns because that was the theme of the restaurant?
rogernator12: MR. CHUCKLES & MR. GIGGLES Yooooooo omg And yeah the commercial was weird af lol
missespetals: OH YEAH HUH omg I remember they used to creep me out for some odd reason. I think it was what they wore and their makeup
ponyboy225: refresh my memory on their wardrobe, I don’t seem to remember….
[Photo via Nick Romanov/Unsplash]