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Cryptidcore is traditionally associated with cryptozoology, or the study of creatures from urban legends and folklore, and the glorification and idolization of cryptids, conspiracies, and all-around mystery. Cryptidcore is also, generally vintage, and takes visual inspiration, especially with regards to fashion, from the 1970s - 90s.

Another aspect of cryptidcore is the romanticization of cryptids. Phrases like "Mothman is real, I'm married to him" are common in cryptidcore circles.


History

This section is under construction

During the mid-2010s, it was common for fandoms to create moodboards that encapsulate the aesthetic of the work or certain characters. Scooby-Doo (1969), Twin Peaks (1990), The X-Files (1993), Welcome to Night Vale (2012), Gravity Falls (2012), and Buzzfeed Unsolved (2016) are some exemplary fandoms that created these moodboards independently of the aesthetic tag.[1] What makes these works appealing to the Cryptidcore aesthetic is explained in the media section below.

The term "Cryptidcore" first emerged from tumblr user on-a-crescendo in 2014, where they give a list of visuals, such as "kitschy t shirts and keychains from souvenir shops depicting the local urban legends and monsters," "tin foil hats," and "muffled x files, gravity falls, and twilight zone theme songs playing in the distance."[2] This gained popularity, and the tag was born.

As the text post was passed around and fans of different media made moodboards, the fans of Cryptidcore started to make aesthetic posts outside the context of fandom.

Many Cryptidcore elements also originated from the Regional Gothic trend on tumblr in 2015. Much of the trend was focused on elements of mystery, unreality, and the uncanny valley. Images such as deer in darkness, forests, diners, etc. in the Regional Gothic trend were popular, and have clear crossover with Cryptidcore.

Visual

  • Dark forests
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Polaroid cameras
  • Kitschy t-shirts
  • Key chains
  • Glow-in-the-dark iconography
  • Alien imagery
  • Supernatural-themed tourist traps
  • Ouija boards
  • Tin foil hats
  • Old alien or supernatural movies
  • VHS tapes
  • Pocket knives
  • Old newspapers of cryptid sightings
  • Cryptozoology field diaries


Fashion

Cryptidcore includes fashion that is casual, vintage, and retro style. Preferenced to practical and comfy outfits, typically with browns, beige and muted colours.

Some of the clothing would be things such as:

  • Big sweaters
  • Doc Martens/Combat boots
  • Graphic tees
  • Jean shorts
  • Cargo pants
  • Flannel shirts
  • Corduroy jackets
  • Plaid jackets
  • Trench coat
  • Hoodies
  • Iron on patches
  • Backpacks


Activities

  • Reading about conspiracy theories
  • Researching local mysteries
  • Long walks in the forest
  • Lying in wheat fields at night watching for aliens
  • Exploring haunted places
  • Writing short horror stories
  • Taking pictures with a Polaroid camera
  • Road trips
  • Camping
  • Ghost stories around the campfire
  • Watching vintage sci-fi /horror
  • Thrift store shopping
  • Searching garage sales for haunted items
  • Planning your wedding with Mothman
  • Taking walks in the woods (especially at night)
  • Being paranoid
  • Researching government cover-ups
  • Anything alien related
  • Watching documentaries
  • Exploring corn mazes


Cryptids

A few of the most popular cryptids amongst the cryptidcore folk include:

  • Mothman
  • Goatman
  • Dover Demon
  • Jersey Devil
  • Fresno Nightwalkers
  • The Loch Ness Monster (a.k.a. "Nessie")
  • Ogopogo
  • Flatwoods Monster
  • The Cactus Cat
  • The Honey island Swamp Monster
  • The Feu Follet
  • The Rougarou
  • Bigfoot (a.k.a the Sasquatch)
  • Bunyip
  • Kraken
  • Yeti


Media

Art

  • Trevor Henderson
  • Simon Stålenhag

Podcasts

  • Alice Isn't Dead
  • CreepsMcPasta Creepypasta Radio
  • King Falls AM
  • Old Gods of Appalachia
  • The Adventure Zone: Amnesty
  • The Left Right Game
  • The Magnus Archives
  • Welcome to Nightvale
  • Camp Monsters
  • Alien Theorists Theorizing

TV Shows

  • Stranger Things
  • Gravity Falls
  • The Secret Saturdays
  • Supernatural
  • Invader Zim
  • Twin Peaks
  • X-Files
  • Eerie, Indiana
  • His Dark Materials
  • Expedition X
  • Dark

Manga & Comics

  • Lalin's Curse
  • Higanbana no saku no yoru ni

YouTube Channels

  • Buzzfeed Unsolved
  • CreepsMcPasta
  • Jessii Vee
  • Jordan Persegati
  • Nexpo
  • The Proper People
  • Wendigoon

Video Games

  • Bendy and the Ink Machine
  • Death Stranding
  • Fran Bow
  • Little Missfortune
  • Little Nightmares
  • Sally Face
  • Night In The Woods

Books & Movies

  • Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children
  • Rules For Vanishing
  • The Golden Compass
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them
  • The Mortal Instruments
  • The Spiderwick Chronicles
  • Coraline

Other

Music

  • Cryptid Hunt - demo
  • Cryptid (mothman)
  • Mothman
  • Lemon Demon - Subtle Oddities
  • Lemon Demon - Touch-Tone Telephone
  • They Might Be Giants - Push Back The Hands
  • Penelope Scott - rät

Artists

  • Lemon Demon
  • Tally Hall
  • Mother Mother
  • Nick Seigel
  • Bear Ghost
  • Cavetown
  • The Bad First Impressions
  • MGMT
  • Bears in Trees
  • Averno


Resources

External links to help get a better understanding of this aesthetic.

Playlists

Pinterest boards

Gallery

  1. Information about the use of fandom moodboards as a connection to Cryptidcore can be found here, in the Aesthetics Wiki Google Slide that provides visual examples and citations.
  2. http://web.archive.org/web/20210628164931/https://on-a-crescendo.tumblr.com/post/93508017320/new-aesthetic-cryptidcore-kitschy-t-shirts-and
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