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Zoe Richards and the Louise Paxton Hoax

September 24, 2010
Zoe Richards Pictured in Cheshire Life

Zoe Richards Pictured in Cheshire Life

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!

Read More: My interview with writer-director Andrew Cull, who created the Louise Paxton internet mystery In the Dark.

15 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!

      • Akash permalink
        June 3, 2020 6:21 am

        I can’t believe this…!

      • June 3, 2020 7:22 am

        Can’t believe it’s a hoax you mean? They did a great job of setting it up and making it believable.

    • July 31, 2020 8:45 pm

      Errm…I feel like the “granddaddy” would be the radio telling of “War of the Worlds”.

  2. December 18, 2017 6:19 pm

    I liked your review About her i want to help her but now we cant gelp because she is missing by 10 years . Where she can be now plz help her i you live in countrg in which she lives plz help her dont be shame of helping .

    • December 19, 2017 2:54 pm

      Dear Soham,

      She is not missing. The videos are fake. It is an Internet hoax. Louise is an actress by the name of Zoe Richards. You can look her up. She’s in increasingly prominent roles.


  3. August 5, 2018 9:53 am

    Woow I truly enjoyed this film a lot!! For a second it made me believe that these certain of evens are real. I think that what gave this film a horror impact is the appearance of this stranger who seems to be more familiar with Louise’s appartement more then she is.This is really horrifying and exciting to watch at the same time due to the vivacity and realism of the events… I mean you can never see what’s coming you know!?
    I’m really fascinated by your work Zoe. Great great job !!

    • August 5, 2018 1:51 pm

      Hi Ella, thanks for commenting. I think the brilliance of the drama is how much it connects on a personal level, and how it all feels plausible, especially given the low budget they were working on. It’s been over then years but this internet drama is still generating plenty of interest.

  4. April 30, 2019 10:50 am

    It worries me that there are people who still thinking it was all real and asking for help when this site literally explained it.


  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
  3. An Interview with Writer/Director Andrew Cull on the Enduring Mystery of Louise Paxton | The Venetian Vase

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