The title is not a command. If you are smiling right now, then I’m hoping this article will stop that. Commentary will be at the bottom. Caveat: 1) Read at your discretion 2)Read at night, in the dark, alone 3) Tell your friends about it 😉 4) No peeking at the end! Just let it come… This creepypasta was found on this site, pasted on here for your pleasure. Enjoy.

The Curious Case of Smile.jpg by JML

I received an email on July 3rd 2009 from my friend Matt Garcia simply asking:“Have you heard of smile.jpg?”

I replied to him with my honest answer which was: “No I haven’t…. sounds like a file? What is it?”

He then went on to tell me the story: “I just stumbled onto it last night. Apparently its an old image that no one knows where it came from or what its purpose is but it has a weird effect when people look at it. Its very hard to find and when it is found its usually deleted or replaced with a fake image in its place. It could be all in my head but it did make me feel weird like there was something behind the image looking back at me when i first saw it and i immediately had to close the window browser. Not that the images in the picture were scary but that the colors or patterns were having some hypnotic psychological effect on me. Well you should just be the judge for yourself. Below is a link to the story and the pic. Let me know what you think. -Matt G.

Since this email from Matt, I have researched this story and have downloaded the mysterious image to my hard drive as well. I’ve studied it for the past five days. I can tell you this… I’ve had very VIVID nightmares. The image does stick with you. I’ll catch myself thinking about it at random times throughout the day. Those of you who know me, know that I’ve always had nightmares. But this week has been different. They’ve felt more “real.” I’m not saying I’ve bought into this story, but I will say… it’s a bit ironic. Choose for yourselves. At the bottom of this letter there is a link for you to download the original Now here’s the story of Mary. This image is said to have completely ruined her life. ~Shad

The Curious Case of Smile.jpg by JML
I first met in person with Mary E. in the summer of 2007. I had arranged with her husband of fifteen years, Terence, to see her for an interview. Mary had initially agreed, since I was not a newsman but rather an amateur writer gathering information for a few early college assignments and, if all went according to plan, some pieces of fiction. We scheduled the interview for a particular weekend when I was in Chicago on unrelated business, but at the last moment Mary changed her mind and locked herself in the couple’s bedroom, refusing to meet with me. For half an hour I sat with Terence as we camped outside the bedroom door, I listening and taking notes while he attempted fruitlessly to calm his wife. The things Mary said made little sense but fit with the pattern I was expecting: though I could not see her, I could tell from her voice that she was crying, and more often than not her objections to speaking with me centered around an incoherent diatribe on her dreams — her nightmares. Terence apologized profusely when we ceased the exercise, and I did my best to take it in stride; recall that I wasn’t a reporter in search of a story, but merely a curious young man in search of information. Besides, I thought at the time, I could perhaps find another, similar case if I put my mind and resources to it.

Mary E. was the sysop for a small Chicago-based Bulletin Board System in 1992 when she first encountered smile.jpg and her life changed forever. She and Terence had been married for only five months. Mary was one of an estimated 400 people who saw the image when it was posted as a hyperlink on the BBS, though she is the only one who has spoken openly about the experience. The rest have remained anonymous, or are perhaps dead. In 2005, when I was only in tenth grade, smile.jpg was first brought to my attention by my burgeoning interest in web-based phenomena; Mary was the most often cited victim of what is sometimes referred to as “,” the being smile.jpg is reputed to display. What caught my interest (other than the obvious macabre elements of the cyber-legend and my proclivity toward such things) was the sheer lack of information, usually to the point that people don’t believe it even exists other than as a rumor or hoax.

It is unique because, though the entire phenomenon centers on a picture file, that file is nowhere to be found on the internet; certainly many photomanipulated simulacra litter the web, showing up with the most frequency on sites such as the imageboard 4chan, particularly the /x/-focused paranormal subboard. It is suspected these are fakes because they do not have the effect the true smile.jpg is believed to have, namely sudden onset temporal lobe epilepsy and acute anxiety. This purported reaction in the viewer is one of the reasons the phantom-like smile.jpg is regarded with such disdain, since it is patently absurd, though depending on whom you ask the reluctance to acknowledge smile.jpg’s existence might be just as much out of fear as it is out of disbelief.

Neither smile.jpg nor is mentioned anywhere on Wikipedia, though the website features articles on such other, perhaps more scandalous shocksites as ****** (hello.jpg) or 2girls1cup; any attempt to create a page pertaining to smile.jpg is summarily deleted by any of the encyclopedia’s many admins.

Encounters with smile.jpg are the stuff of internet legend. Mary E.’s story is not unique; there are unverified rumors of smile.jpg showing up in the early days of Usenet and even one persistent tale that in 2002 a hacker flooded the forums of humor and satire website Something Awful with a deluge of pictures, rendering almost half the forum’s users at the time epileptic. It is also said that in the mid-to-late 90s that smile.jpg circulated on usenet and as an attachment of a chain email with the subject line “SMILE!! GOD LOVES YOU!” Yet despite the huge exposure these stunts would generate, there are very few people who admit to having experienced any of them and no trace of the file or any link has ever been discovered.

Those who claim to have seen smile.jpg often weakly joke that they were far too busy to save a copy of the picture to their hard drive. However, all alleged victims offer the same description of the photo: A dog-like creature (usually described as appearing similar to a Siberian husky), illuminated by the flash of the camera, sits in a dim room, the only background detail that is visible being a human hand extending from the darkness near the left side of the frame. The hand is empty, but is usually described as “beckoning.” Of course, most attention is given to the dog (or dog-creature, as some victims are more certain than others about what they claim to have seen). The muzzle of the beast is reputedly split in a wide grin, revealing two rows of very white, very straight, very sharp, very human-looking teeth.

I have to admit, when I first read this, the environment was just right. I was in my room. 1130pm. Nobody to talk to online (as is usually the case), bored, lurking 4chan’s /x/. Somebody decided to have a thread in which everyone would post all of the creepypastas they have found. Some of them were pretty decent. Wading through the crap to find the nuggets of gold such as Smile.jpg are why I lurk 4chan. I actually had to stop reading this on my first time through because of the goosebumps. I had to stop myself right before the picture, I was so creeped out. The fun with stories like this lies in letting yourself be inmersed in them. A good story will right away do something in the movie industry called “suspension of disbelief.” We learned this in Media Literacy XD Suspension of disbelief means that the plot is set just right to where throughout the movie you are not thinking, “oh this is a piece of crap” or as Peter from Family Guy has put “I am very aware I am watching a movie right now.” Suspension of disbelief gets rid of that awareness. With stories like these, just let yourself go and enjoy.

By the way, if you still decide to call this a bunch of b.s. or try to be all macho, ” oh this is stupid, no way this could be true,” then I pity you. Just enjoy it! You won’t be any less manly for letting yourself fall for the story while you read it.

Seacrest out.


  • About the Author

    Juan Soto enjoys reading mangas over watching animes, listening to what pleases me, majoring in Int'l Economic Policy with concentration in german, loves soccer, and plays video games for the story and not the the challenge. Yes, he is casual.

  • Comments

    3 Responses to “Smile.jpg”
    1. avatar Holli says:

      that does end up being really creepy. your right though if you saw the picture before reading the story it wouldn’t be nearly as creepy and cool.

    2. avatar Orrin says:

      this confirms my fears. for those who know of this picture I will tell you this. it is not one but two, the dog just likes to go into your dreams and destroy your mind. they are Eroka and Kirok, both my enemies. If they are able to do this already then what I have anticipated is far worse than I thought. prepare yourselves for true war, and make sure you are prepared to hide and fight when time calls for them, for you are about to see a war that has gone on for over a hundred millenia.

    3. avatar Elaine says:

      Ok. so I stared at the smile.jpg pic for a wile… I’m now in love with this hole smile dog and jpg thing. I must reserch more.

    Speak Your Mind

    Tell us what you're thinking...
    and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!

    You must be logged in to post a comment.