Goth Teens On The Internet Are Never What They Seem

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Tara and Raven

On July 8, 2008 the YouTube account xXblo0dyxkissxX uploaded its first video, “The Black Parade Fan Video By Tara And Raven”. The video begins with two girls dressed all in black and wearing black makeup introducing themselves. One is Tara, and the other is Raven, “your Acidbath Princess of the Darkness.” They explain that a friend named Azer won’t be joining them, because while they were at a mall hanging out at Hot Topic, they saw Azer at Hollister. That means he’s a prep. Tara and Raven are goth as hell, so they don’t suffer preps. After explaining, they dance and sing along to My Chemical Romance’s song The Black Parade.

The account was active for just over a year, during which Tara and Raven posted 10 videos. Some were messages for fans and/or haters, one was a series of stills with the URL for a MySpace page, and a few were like the first, fan videos for songs by emo and pop-punk bands. Their excommunicated friend Azer appears in only one video, an Evanescence tribute posted out of chronological order. After June 17, 2009, the upload date of the last video, Tara and Raven went mostly dark on YouTube. They would respond to comments once in a while, but didn’t upload any more videos.

This June a new video appeared with this caption:

FROM 2008!!!

we made this a few years ago. but wen we uploaded it to youtube it was private n we didnt kno lol! NEway we made this for gerard way and davey havok cuz their both hot lol

we hope u enjoy!! 

~t@ra and rAvEn AcIdBaTh

The new video followed a year and a half of increased interest in the videos, during which they jumped from a few hundred, maybe a thousand, total views to over a hundred thousand. The jump was prompted by the belief that Tara and Raven were the authors of “My Immortal”, a sprawling, famously bad piece of Harry Potter fan fiction. It’s purported author, “Tara Gilesbie,” has a co-author, Raven, who she refers to parenthetically in the story:

But it was to late. I knew what I herd. I ran to the bathroom angrily, cring. Draco banged on the door. I whipped and whepped as my blody eyeliner streammed down my cheeks and made cool tears down my feces like Benji in the video for Girls and Bois (raven that is soo our video!). I TOOOK OUT A CIGARETE END STARTED TO smoke pot.

Tara and Raven don’t just share names with the authors of My Immortal, they also share a vicious disdain for preps and a love of My Chemical Romance. After a YouTube celebrity called Cry organized a dramatic reading of My Immortal  his fans found their way to Tara and Raven’s videos because a Wiki devoted to the story points repeatedly to the xXblo0dyxkissxX account.

At this point the latest video has drawn just shy of 17,000 views. The video of Tara, Raven, and Azer singing Evanescence's “Going Under” now has 45,666 views (My Immortal takes its name from another Evanescence song). Howie Pyro of Dangerous Minds praised Tara and Raven. Commenters have asked for Tara’s autograph. Tara and Raven haven’t added any more videos, but they’ve been responding sporadically to comments from fans. 

They’re also made up.

Tara and Raven are really Sarah (Raven) and Rachel (Tara), sisters who were in their mid-to-late teens when they made the videos. They insist that they aren’t actually the authors of My Immortal (Rachel says she didn’t even hear about the story until after they made the videos), and that they chose the names on a whim, amused by the dissonance between “Tara” and “Raven Acidbath.” They also say that when they made the videos they weren’t goth. They’re two sisters, who did go through a goth phase, then decided to make fun of it (“Azer” was a visiting family friend who helped). Sarah put it like this: 

We decided it would be really funny to make fun of ourselves, but also we made these videos to sort of troll other mall goths, because we knew that since we had sort of been through that period where Hot Topic is everything, all these really terrible bands that you think are so rebellious but actually aren't, those bands are your life. Nobody understands you. “This isn't a phase, it's a lifestyle.” That sort of thing....Anyway that it would be really funny to troll these people that were sort of going through what we went through at that time. 

Though they set out to mess with people a little, they were also surprised at how inadvertently successful they’ve been at it. For years, until the influx of traffic from Cry, their videos had mostly been seen by friends, family, and people trawling the depths of the goth corner of YouTube. At one point Sarah even put the videos on 4chan, but that only yielded a couple hundred views. Rachel says the reaction “was awesome. But also hard to believe because, to us, it was so obviously fake.”

The videos stopped because Sarah and Rachel haven’t lived together since 2008. The new video really is one they found recently and realized they’d never posted. They’ve considered outing themselves, but haven’t made a new video the few times they’ve been reunited.

When I asked Sarah and Rachel if it bugged them that, no matter what they did or said, someone would insist that they were being genuine in the videos and had authored My Immortal, they didn’t seem to mind. Sarah sort of enjoys it (watching the Evanescence video still cracks her up), and Rachel was resigned, “Sarah and I know that we weren't responsible for the worst fan fiction ever written, other than that it doesn't matter.”