How a Letter By Letter Cover Of 'What A Wonderful World' Became A Modern TikTok Horror Story
Of all the sources of bone-chilling internet lore – Creepypasta, the Creepy Chan-forging corners of 4chan, and the bowels of Tumblr -- it seems TikTok, an app once thought to be exclusively for dancing zoomers (and apparently doxxing alleged West Elm employees who suck at dating) has emerged as another platform for sharing nightmare-inducing tales -- all thanks to a creepy, slowly unraveling, cover of Louis Armstrong's “What a Wonderful World."
Since November, TikTok user @moldogaa has singlehandedly built one of the internet's most peculiar – and thoroughly captivating -- modern horror stories through her letter-by-letter cover of the iconic jazz song. Partially a play on TikTok's various incremental viral challenges and partially a bodysnatcher-themed piece of digital performance art, the creator captivated an audience of millions by slowly losing it with every passing syllable, building entire lore complete with face paint, existentialism, and a mysterious glove-sporting villain.
On November 7, @moldogaa uploaded the series's first installment – a clip exclusively featuring the song's various “s” sounds which has since garnered more than 900 thousand views.
“Hey guys,” she says with a soft smile. “This is my cover of Louis Armstrong's ”What a Wonderful World", but just the S's." She then proceeded to essentially hiss throughout the song's first two verses, a formula she repeats with relative consistency for the letters “T”, “L”, and “J” over the next several days.
By day five – "M" day -- it becomes apparent that something may be wrong, her usual smile replaced with a look of wide-eyed worry – and what appears to be tears in her eyes. By day seven – “D” day – her hundreds of thousands of viewers seemingly began to take notice of her increasingly distressed state. One user asked point-blank if she was okay in the comments, an inquiry @moldogaa addressed both by posting this extremely unsettling video …
… and growing even more unhinged, tossing white face paint, black eyeliner, and even a handful of leaves into the mix.
Upon first glance, @moldogaa's and slow and apparent descent into madness seemed relatively par for the course. After all, there's a reason TikTok is full of lip sync-ing videos and pranks rather than creators performing beloved songs syllable by syllable. But shortly after letter 18, it became clear that analyzing and performing a Louis Armstong classic on a letter-ly basis wasn't the only factor slowly propelling her towards insanity.
“New letter tonight,” she posted in a separate clip ahead of the song's 19th installment – the letter “X” – however, a loud pounding at her door sent her into a state of evident distress, one that seemingly stuck with her for the remainder of the series.
From this point forward, the unseen antagonist's presence becomes an integral part of her videos. Throughout her performances of each subsequent letter, @moldogaa's horrified deadpan stare into the camera lens breaks -- a handful of terrified glances to her side peppered her videos as though she was being pressured into performing for her audience – which had now skyrocketed into the millions.
On January 5 – nearly two months after she first embarked on this musical journey – we finally catch a glimpse of this mysterious perpetrator – or at least their gloved hands -- reaching out towards her as she sits on a bathroom floor. A part of a supplemental series called “The Reveal,” over the next several segments, we see the TikTok-er stare in horror at the hands, a gaze intercut with daydreams of what appears to be her previous life before taking on a god damn letter-by-letter cover of the damn song.
But in the series's penultimate episode, we learn the threat was seemingly there all along – @moldogaa is now the one wearing the gloves.
… proving that the antagonist, whether internal or external, taken over.
In the final installment of The Reveal, we see @moldogaa walking outside, sporting the gloves as Pink Floyd's “Money” plays in the background, an ending that leaves more questions than answers.
So what, exactly happened here? No one except for @moldoga really knows, though conspiracies of bodysnatcher-themed horror and Fight Club callbacks have cropped up among commenters. But regardless of what the true story may be, it definitely will change the way millions of people hear “What A Wonderful World.”
Top Image: @moldogaa on TikTok