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Zoe Richards and the Louise Paxton Hoax

September 24, 2010

Some time ago I wrote a post titled YouTube and the Louise Paxton Mystery. It turned out to be one of this site’s most popular posts and is still regulalrly getting hits. It concerned a series of thirty-eight video blogs that I discovered on YouTube, featuring Louise, a young woman from Norwich, who relocates to an apartment in London. The opening videos are uneventful, as they simply show Louise enjoying her new home, but then things start to go wrong. Louise starts to believe she is being stalked by a stranger who may have access to the apartment. Each video becomes progressively more paranoid and creepy, and gradually a supernatural element is woven into the story, until, in the final video, Louise disappears. Louise’ YouTube page has not been updated since her disappearance three years ago and neither has her MySpace page. There is a website dedicated to finding Louise and appealing for any information as to her whereabouts.

It is of course all a hoax, but an unsettling and successfully elaborate one. Since watching the videos, I’ve been waiting for the real Lousie Paxton to come out of the closet (or should I say cellar), and now it seems she has. Louise Paxton is Zoe Richards, an actress with a number of horror movie credits to her name. Here’s the link to her imdb page. The cast and crew of the new horror film The Torment are interviewed in Gore Press. Zoe Richards is part of the cast and confesses she was Louise Paxton in the videos (this forms just a very brief mention in the interview). The director of The Torment, Andrew Cull, also directed the Louise Paxton videos. As far I know, this is the first time that anyone involved in the hoax has gone on record to talk about it, although hats off to this YouTube user who figured out Louise was actually Zoe Richards some time ago.

A lot of the fear element has been removed now that there is no remaining ambiguity that this was a hoax, but you can still watch the Louise Paxton videos and admire the creativity. The entire project was in questionable taste, but then that’s Horror for you!

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. David Hering permalink
    September 27, 2010 10:24 am

    That is really something. Thanks for bringing it to my attention – I’m a huge fan of ‘verite horror’, if that’s a good name for it. The grandaddy of this stuff remains BBC’s ‘Ghostwatch’, which had, lets say a profound effect on me as a boy!

    • Powell, Steven permalink
      September 27, 2010 2:28 pm

      No problem. It was a great internet serial, made very cheaply and seen by hundreds of thousands of people on YouTube. Trouble is, can the team who did this follow it up with anything as big.

      • David Hering permalink
        September 27, 2010 7:13 pm

        Yeah, part of the appeal is that it looks like literally nothing was spent on it. I will be keeping an eye out for this new project from the director, though. It took me two viewings to fully see what was there in that final shot. Creepy stuff!

Trackbacks

  1. YouTube and the Louise Paxton Mystery « The Venetian Vase
  2. Marble Hornets – A YouTube Drama to Rival the Louise Paxton Mystery « The Venetian Vase

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