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Who is Corpse Husband, the enigma taking over the internet?

The reclusive creator is now one of the most recognizable figures online

Image: Corpse Husband/Sherbies via YouTube
Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

“Corpse Husband” is an enigma. He never shows his face and he never leaves the house.

But despite being somewhat of a mystery, Corpse Husband has still become a social media sensation. How did he rise to his current level of fame? Enter TikTok and Among Us.

Corpse Husband (real name unknown) has long been recognized for his deep, aching voice. He’s a YouTuber who started his career five years ago by reading “real life horror stories” full of anecdotes of peoples’ run-ins with criminals, creepy dates, and more. The videos did relatively well. Today these videos hover between 876 thousand and 2.2 million views, but still largely appeal to a niche audience.

His YouTube career later dovetailed into making music. And while he doesn’t post much on TikTok, the platform has served his music well — the official audio for his song, “E-GIRLS ARE RUINING MY LIFE!” has been used in over 310 thousand videos, not including popular remixes. On Spotify alone, one of his tracks has reached over 100 million streams. His fans are obsessed of his every move, even if it’s just him posting a picture of his hand.

In short, Corpse Husband is the force behind some major internet trends and culture right now. His music speaks (albeit sometimes angrily) to the centrality of online life. In “E-girls,” he expresses his love-hate relationship with the subculture of goth girls on TikTok who dye their hair in bright colors. One lyric reads, “Choke me, like you hate me, but you love me.” In the background of the song, you hear a girl saying, “UwU” (pronounced oowoo) which is a popular emoticon. His other songs are littered with nerdy references, “MISS YOU!” has an anime inspired music video and his song “agoraphobic” is intentionally produced in a low fidelity style popularized by YouTube.

Most recently, he’s moved towards a new form of content creation: streaming popular video games like Among Us, Rust, and Raft. A-jack-of-all-trades, he continues to make all three forms of digital content to this day.

Who is Corpse Husband?

Corpse Husband has never revealed his face to his fans — the most we’ve ever gotten is a video interview with his face digitally obscured. He will, however, post photos of the back of his hand. He wears chunky metal rings, chipped nail polish, and sometimes bracelets with plastic beads that look like the kind you make in elementary school during craft time. Instead of his face, he uses a cartoon avatar based on Frank from the psychological thriller film, Donnie Darko. In a stream, he said he picked his moniker randomly on a whim.

We don’t know much about what he looks like, but he does speak openly about his day-to-day challenges. In an interview, he claimed that he dropped out of school when he was 12 years old and shared that he has severe anxiety. According to his Twitter he suffers from chronic illness and he occasionally tweets out when he can’t sleep and messages like, “reminder to take care of myselffffffffffff and stop wrecking my body.”

Why is Corpse Husband so popular?

Despite his dark image, there is a lot to like about Corpse Husband. This is because he comes across as sincere, and sometimes even charming. On Twitter, he posts art from his fans and will retweet fans wearing his merch, giving him a veneer of accessibility. Peers like Valkyrae speak fondly of him, noting that he’s like a little brother to her.

One moment that neatly captures his appeal is when he met Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez online for the first time during an Among Us stream encouraging viewers to get out the vote. The event was huge and brought in some of the biggest names in streaming, like Imane “Pokimane” Anys, Benjamin “DrLupo” Lupo, Hasan “HasanAbi” Piker, and of course, Corpse Husband.

In Among Us, up to 10 friends can get together online and play a murder mystery like Mafia and Werewolf. On one side, there are murders — called imposters — trying to sabotage efforts to repair a space station. On the other side are the crewmates. As the imposters run around and kill people, the crewmates will do their best to carry out a series of tasks to repair the station and figure out who the secret imposters are. Lying and accusing others of murder is a huge part of the game.

Corpse joined during the event, but unlike everyone else on camera, he was only using his voice. When Ocasio-Cortez heard him for the first time, she giggled, “his voice is so deep.” Later on Corpse called on Ocasio-Cortez while playing, “Uhhhh AOC?” Fearing an accusation of misdeeds in the game, Ocasio-Cortez responded by saying she didn’t do anything. But instead of accusing her of murder — a normal part of the game — he asked, “Uh, how’s your day?” Ocasio-Cortez lets off a smile and tells him that she is doing great, making for a sweet exchange.

Endearing moments like that have helped him break into new audiences — over 435 thousand viewers saw Corpse be cute that evening in a star-studded stream that was one of the top five most viewed individual streams in Twitch’s history. This time, and every other time Corpse streams the game, he gets exposure to the audiences of nine other streamers. And while he credits much of his early streaming success to playing alongside personalities like PewDiePie, the massive amount of exposure from other streamers gave him a fast-track ticket to internet celebrity.

The fact that the person who sings “Choke me like you hate me” can also be sweet and cute to a U.S. congresswoman shows the range of his appeal. Corpse is cool to young people, his presence on TikTok shows that e-girls and e-boys alike love him or want to be him, as do young goths and punks. If people aren’t interested in his edgier side, then they can his light-hearted streams. While he generally has a younger audience — TikTok and watching video game streams tend to be well-liked by young people — he’s established a broad audience few are capable of.

How did the pandemic impact Corpse Husband?

Corpse’s entry into streaming video games coincided with another world changing event: the COVID-19 pandemic. No longer able to go outside, more people than ever started watching livestreams. Websites like YouTube and Twitch saw record growth.

Besides the numbers game, the pandemic boosted Corpse’s image in a unique way. His once extreme lifestyle of never leaving the house, even before a pandemic, suddenly became extremely relatable to all his listeners. In “agoraphobic” he sings, “‘Cause I’ll age another fuckin’ thousand days before I know it. Yeah, I spend ‘em all inside, waste my time while I’m scrollin.’” The sulky sad boy who stays in and plays video games became all of us.

Why do people like watching Corpse Husband play games?

Watching a faceless stranger play over 30 minutes of a video game might not sound like the most fun way to spend your time, but Corpse and his cohort make for an absolutely chaotic time. While the group varies, Corpse will stream with a solid set of regulars like Valkyrae, Disguised Toast, and Sykkuno and fans love to watch specific streamers build relationships over time — especially Sykkuno and Corpse.

The group finds ways to switch up playing the game. In one stream, everyone acted like a different character from the Sherlock Holmes series and then spoke with a British accent the entire time. The appeal comes from the performance and antics — not as much the technical skill of playing the game.

At one point, the influencer Bretman Rock asked Corpse if he celebrated Noche Buena since Corpse once said he is half Mexican. As the two stand in a hallway Bretman pushes the question, “If you do have noche buena, besides me, what will you be eating?” Corpse just keeps saying “Bretman” over and over while laughing, at one point Valkyrae chimes in, “I can hear [Corpse] blushing through the microphone.” The absurd conversation happening alongside all the mundane tasks is a very sitcom-esque moment that is reminiscent of The Office.

Why doesn’t Corpse Husband show his face?

In an era where social media influencers divulge seemingly endless details of their personal lives, Corpse Husband is a breath of fresh air. Sure, there are other content creators who remain anonymous , but few have quite managed to build the same sense of myth.

The image and character we know as “Corpse Husband” is much larger than the real person behind the mic. In an interview, he once shared then he didn’t think it could live up to the hype around his face, “I don’t think anyone could at this point. Unless I was literally a Norse god, but even then they’d be like, uh, I don’t know, I don’t like his hair color.”

Correction: A previous version of this story misstated that the UwU emoticon is referenced in the song “White Tee.” It is actually sampled in the song “E-GIRLS ARE RUINING MY LIFE!” We have updated the article to reflect this.