The Undistilled Cosmic Dread that is Shaye St. John

Susan, how old are the diet drops I took from under the dirty part of the sink? What do you mean those weren’t Hollywood Diet Drops?

I discovered Shaye St. John around 2011 which was sadly already after her/its creator Eric Fournier had died from complications due to alcoholism. My friends and I rapidly digested everything we could find from the artist before learning that he’d passed. Even as recently as 2011, it wasn’t as easy to find information on someone like Shaye. These days, when one person discovers something, it’s immediately indexed on Google, ad revenue is assigned, and a Wikipedia page is created by hyper-sentient AI robots.

Desperate to know more, I purchased Fournier’s sole material work, “The Triggers Compilation”. It was a DVD (remember those) of short videos about Shaye St. John and her… mental states… which still aren’t available even on YouTube. I still have it somewhere but as I built my current PC to rely on flash media, I have no way of playing it.

Comedy-Horror That is at the Same Time Neither Funny nor Scary but Also the Extreme of Both…

How can one accurately describe Shaye St. John? It’s difficult, no doubt. Equal parts surreal comedy that would make Tim & Eric gasp and a kind of unspoken horror that filmmakers spend their lives trying to achieve, I almost believed that Shaye St. John could have been a real person. It was too strange, spontaneous, and inexplicably creepy to be an act. But it was an act. An act by a seemingly brilliant artist who was content to simply publish random YouTube shorts during the golden years of YouTube; before everyone on the platform was trying to pursue it as a career and churning out reams of vanilla, safe content designed to appeal to advertisers, the alt-right, and the alt-left.

Most people I’ve shown his/her (depending whether we’re talking about the artist or the character) videos to are far more terrified than amused, but in a way that they can’t describe. It’s “weird” and they feel “creeped out” but they can’t say why. I mean, if you watch one of the videos it’s obvious why, but not in a way that can be easily put into words that accurately make sense of it.

Shaye could be described as once successful model or actress who now lives in the most apocalyptic version of rural Florida. The official lore is that she was disfigured in an accident. Her body was replaced with pieces of a mannequin and she always wears a mask complete with dead, unblinking eyes. Her best friend is a doll which either has psychic powers or Shaye herself unknowingly manipulates the doll with her own abilities. But at the same time… none of this matters when watching Shaye St. John.

YouTube Dot Com Slash…

I’ll refrain from posting any links here; things like Shaye St. John are much better discovered on one’s own. Fortunately, it’s far easier to find in 2020 than it was in 2011.

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