Tom Taylor’s cabin thread is a Twitter tale of terrible isolation
Thread proves how thrilling it can be when hoary old tropes are rendered in new forms
Tom Taylor records odd flashing lights, footsteps, banging doors and a spooky doll’s house during his time in the cabin
Periodically, this column takes a break from discussing YouTube drama or cancelled celebrities, and turns its eye to the finer things of life, literature and the internet. Occasionally, we get to shine a spotlight on the weird and wonderful world of internet-specific storytelling, like some kind of super-online, low-effort, version of a literary journal, only one that’s mainly about scary Twitter threads.
Regular readers will remember efforts like Dear David and The Greg Thread (https://bit.ly/2V0WfM7), ongoing tweet-thread stories which were intuitively designed to provoke horror and suspense and, most importantly, wielded the format and rhythms of the platform itself to tell their story.
This week another saga was added to the young canon of Twitter horror; the gently grim descent into the uncanny that is Tom Taylor’s cabin thread (https://bit.ly/2FFYI9F); a twisted Twitter tale of terrible isolation. Taylor, a DC comics writer from Melbourne, is currently on a writing trip and felt he found the perfect spot to focus his full attention to the task.
“So, hey” he wrote on Monday, “I somehow managed to book a creepy log cabin to do some intensive writing for a few days...”
So, hey.— Tom Taylor (@TomTaylorMade) March 25, 2019
I somehow managed to book a creepy log cabin to do some intensive writing in for a few days...
What could be a perfect chance to get away from the world so he could contemplate life, art, and a poor internet connection, quickly derails into – you guessed it – a series of increasingly odd goings-on at his new woodland home.
“I’ve been laughing to myself about just how clichéd-horror-movie this cabin is” he says, with admirable candour. “But at 5.30am, out of nowhere, despite it blowing a gale out there for hours, wind chimes start chiming for the first time from the porch.”
The wind chimes are just the start, as Taylor records odd flashing lights, footsteps, banging doors, a spooky doll’s house and – with a zeal that would give either Greg or Dear David a run for their money – documents events with pictures. Some of these pics feature chilling little extras at the edge of frame, all the better for people to savour, or shriek at, at as they read along, or are alerted to in comments only to go back and see anew.
The genius of such threads is never in the believability of their events – which never here rises above the brazenly implausible – but in the brio of their execution. Without saying too much about the events contained therein, the cabin story is all the more intriguing for its blend of bluntness and subtlety, and proves once more how thrilling it can be when people render hoary old tropes in new and surprising forms.
The story is still ongoing, so let’s hope it pads out its thrills for a little while yet. The night is young, and a little cabin fever isn’t always a bad thing.