This creepypasta has been frightening readers for years, first by way of Reddit and 4chan, then making the rounds on Tumblr, Imgur, 9gag, DeviantArt, and countless other social sites.
It’s been shared under a few different titles, but nearly every incarnation involves the discovery of a little girl’s lost backpack, which contained a loose illustrated journal describing the young author’s experiences with an imaginary friend named “Lisa”… an invisible companion whose presence becomes more real and menacing with each entry.
Each page of the diary, scrawled in a child’s handwriting on lined preschool writing paper, was accompanied by a colorful crayon drawing, always depicting the unnamed girl with orange-red hair and a bright smile… and her creepy-looking friend, who was always drawn as a pale figure in a red-stained white dress with blood-red smears on her eyes and mouth. The girl said her parents could not see Lisa, but despite that and her unsettling appearance, she describes her as “a nice friend.”
The first hint that there was something unnatural about Lisa came in the second entry, where the girl mentions trying to plant a flower in the sandbox, only to be stopped by Lisa, who said “that’s where her daddy is sleeping.”
The next sign of trouble appeared at school, where the girl was scolded by her teacher, Mrs. Monroe, for trying to introduce Lisa for Show & Tell. “Lisa got sad,” she wrote, “so she hid the chockbord [sic] eraser.” It would be the first of several confrontations between Lisa and the grownups who refused to acknowledge her presence… and it’s also the last we hear of Mrs. Monroe, who after this entry was replaced by a substitute teacher.
The whole matter of Lisa made her classmates uncomfortable, as she learned the hard way at her birthday party. “Mom bought pizza but no one came,” she wrote that day. “Lisa said people came on the porch and then left. But they left presents. I got 3 barbies and some shooes [sic] and 5 dollars. Me and Lisa played Barbies.”
That’s when the trouble started at home.
Yesterday Lisa and me went on a long walk until the moon came out. Daddy got realy mad and said Lisa is stupid and fake. Lisa got sad and disapeered.
Lisa wasn’t the only one who vanished; the day after the girl’s father yelled at her, he failed to come home from work.
After days passed with no sign of Lisa or her father, the girl decided to write a letter to her friend, asking her to come back:
Dear Lisa… I miss you. Please come back. I’m sorry when my dad was mean. You are my best friend.
Finally, Lisa returned. Daddy didn’t.
“Lisa said Mrs. Monroe and him are sleeping like her dad,” the girl wrote in her final entry, which includes three additional figures, their features blank and gray. “I hope they wake up soon.”
After the story of Lisa and the Little Pink Backpack became a terrifying viral sensation, the author of the story, Sunny Schreiner, finally came forward to take credit. In an interview with Popcorn Horror, she explained how she came up with the idea:
I was looking around the store one day, bored, when I came across this preschool notebook like we always had in elementary school. Being a huge fan of dark and creepy things, I started thinking “What’s the creepiest thing I could do with this?” So I bought it (along with a package of 96 crayons), brought it home, and went to work. Originally, I had intended to draw a series of “family outing” pictures with a sick twist (for example; “Family Vacation!” – with a picture of the parents pulling out of the driveway and leaving the child in a burning house). But I thought that might be a bit much, so instead, I decided maybe a story written as a child’s journal with an imaginary friend who was, to adults, not so imaginary.
Someone convinced me to upload it to the paranormal board of 4chan… All I said was something to the effect of “Never pick up a random pink backpack that you find in an abandoned alley.” The response I got from that alone was enough to satisfy me… I’m constantly getting questions from people asking me if it’s real. My general answer to that so far has been “believe what you want to believe.”
Schreiner said in the interview that she has recently been approached by a production company (whose name was not disclosed) interested in developing the story into a feature film.