Creepy Countdown: Secure, Contain, Protect

This bat has now been successfully contained.

Last part of AddAltMode’s Creepy Countdown series

That’s it! No more creepiness, no more weirdness. All the spooky, anomalous stuff around here is going to be sequestered away and locked up in the name of public safety by a Secretive Creepy Person.

A secretive governmental organisation, a Foundation if you will, is going to intervene and take away all the freaky stuff so that it can’t hurt anyone… or, in some cases, hurt everyone. The SCP Foundation will take any steps necessary to Secure and Contain hazardous and supernatural items, creatures,  and people in order to Protect the general public.

The SCP wiki is a collaboratively-written collection of horror, science-fiction and weird fantasy stories based on the unifying theme of a shadowy pan-governmental agency which hides away monsters, ghost and supernatural artifacts in order to prevent these things from harming people. The contained objects range from being slightly wierd and a bit creepy, to world-endingly powerful and malevolent. The Foundation doesn’t destroy anomalous items unless it has no other recourse: careful study of these items might bring about the next big scientific breakthrough — or it might bring knowledge that proves to be the best chance of containing the next big scary anomaly.

The backbone of the site is the listings of “Operational Information” on contained anomalies. These stories take the form of containment procedures, safety notes and descriptions of anomalous items that are in the Foundation’s care. Many of these are “Redacted” for reasons of security and safety: with blocks of text blanked out with black bars.

There’re a lot of good stories on this wiki, but here are 10 of my favourites, with some text [redacted] to prevent spoilers:

SCP-173 “The Sculpture”

SCP-172 was the first SCP object written (it originally showed up on the /x/ (paranormal) board on the imageboard 4chan in 2007) and served as the inspiration for the project. SCP-173 is described as a stone-bodied entity that cannot move while in direct eyesight and can kill by breaking the neck of a victim as long as it remains visually unobserved. This story was itself inspired by pictures of this sculpture installation by Japanese artist Izumi Kato.

Don't look away. Don't blink.

There was no way that a story inspired by this sculpture was going to be anything other than high-octane nightmare fuel.

SCP-173 went on to inspire the “Weeping Angels” in Doctor Who, and star in the videogame “SCP – Containment Breach” which is the only video game I’ve played with a gradually-filling Eye-tiredness meter which warns you when you have to blink…

SCP-1050 Obsidian Obelisk of Warning

This item is a (ridiculously ancient) stone block, inscribed with dire warnings (in a dozen languages) regarding the predicted coming of great destroyers against which “Armies are raised and cut down like grasses before a scythe … Heroes come forth and are slaughtered. … They are as a deluge, a powerful flood that washes away entire mighty nations and empires.”

This message ends in a series of numbers: dates in Earth-years since the Big Bang, which coincide (to within 4 significant figures) with the times of major extinction events on Earth. Of course, the last date is [redacted], with horrifying implications…

SCP-1027 Carnivorous Central Nervous System

Humans, as a species, have few predators that we haven’t managed to render extinct, and with the development of modern hygiene, we’re eliminating a lot of our parasites too. The animals who preyed upon our ancestors were stronger, faster, and tougher than us little hairless monkeys, but we had the advantages of superior communication and tool-use. Intelligence is what made our species dominate the other megafauna, and intelligence comes (largely) from our big brains.

What would happen to us if there was a species that turned the advantage provided by our brains against us? Worse; a parasitoid that required us to have big brains in order to feed on us, and in order to hide from us? What if that creature resembled an animate brain and nervous system that crawled into victim’s ears, then ate and replaced their own central nervous system — presumably wearing the now brainless victim’s remaining body as a disguise to get closer to more prey.

A contained instance of SCP-1027 (Photo by The Stranger.)

SCP-1022 Suspiciously-Clean Labcoat

SCP-1022 is a white labcoat that gives it’s wearer the ability to “see” single-celled life: germs. How long would it take you to go crazy whilst wearing it? I’ll bet it wouldn’t be long.

SCP-277 Chalkland

One of these images is adorably whimsical, and the other... is less so.

One of these images is adorably whimsical, and the other… is less so.

In a small region of rural America, when children daydream, their imaginings come to life, and appear in the real world as “chalk drawings” in the air. Other children and adults can see these “sketches” and children frequently play with their sketches alongside their friends (and their friend’s sketches). No-one from this region seems to realize that this is even slightly unusual.

More worrying are the humanoid rabbit-like projections designated SCP-277-R█. These projections don’t appear to be generated by any child’s imagination, but come from [redacted], and have caused at least [redacted] casualties among [redacted].

SCP-1214 A Random Number Generator

Sometimes horror writing is conceptually simple: put a ghost into something that shouldn’t have a ghost in it. It’s the execution of these simple ideas that makes the story interesting, rather than the idea itself. One of the most unusual haunted things I’ve seen stories about is a haunted computer program; the source code should just be a normal random number generator, producing numbers which can be converted to ASCII letters.

Of course, a random number generator shouldn’t have a bias to creating the words “MAKE“, “IT“, “STOP“, “PLEASE“,  &”NO“.

It wouldn’t be a big deal to slip a bias into a simple random number generator, or even to populate it’s output with a few simple strings to get a slightly spooky output. The disturbing thing about SCP-1214 is that when the source codes is decompiled the program is just an ordinary random number generator. Actually, that’s not the only disturbing thing, but in fact [redacted]: go read it.

SCP-1795 The Star Womb

Not all of the strange things that the Foundation has found in the universe can even be contained; with some things the best they can do is hide the evidence. In the case of SCP-1795, the people from whom the evidence must be hidden are astronomers. It’s not easy to hide a strange animal that’s big enough to engulf whole star systems, and leaves them altered, with at least one of the planets terraformed into an Earth-like world when it releases them from it’s grasp. Thankfully for the Foundation, SCP-1795 is a long way away, and can only be observed with powerful telescopes. Hiding it from public view requires only that…

… close scientific examination (i.e. examination with the intent to locate exoplanets) into any stars listed in Document B1795, from any body other than the Foundation is to be suppressed immediately as the stars listed all harbor a case of SCP-1795 in varying stages of creation. Any public or government examination of young protostars not yet cleared by the Foundation is to be closely monitored for any data revealing cases of SCP-1795 in the universe. Should such a case occur, Class-A amnesiacs will be administered to all individuals involved, with all recorded data to be seized by the Foundation for analysis and expunged from the public record.

Disturbingly, it is possible to communicate with instances of SCP-1795 over interstellar distances, using some other anomalous objects from the Foundation’s inventory, and their reaction to humans is to joyously [redacted]. It appears that SCP-1795 are collectively terrified of something called “Pattern-Screamers”.

SCP-1981 Ronald Reagan Cut Up While Talking

Haunted video tapes, which do spooky and messed-up things when viewed are a modern horror staple since Ringu. However, SCP-1981 is one of the best executions of this idea I have ever seen: I got an actual chill down my spine reading it, and still get a little one re-reading it. It’s also a fantastic use of redaction: only a tiny bit of text is redacted, but from context it feels like it’s something both important and horrible.

SCP-1216 Pyrami

SCP-1216 is a species of pyramidal organisms native to an extradimensional space adjacent to Lenox, Massachusetts.”

They show up all over the world, opening extradimensional portals, and slipping through to find large concentrations of scrap metal, which they eat. Like all the best transdimensional life-forms, their biology, and the ecology of their bizarre world, make no sense to Earth’s scientists. They have intruded into our world perhaps accidentally, after the entrance to their realm was uncovered by seismic activity.

“Instances of SCP-1216 have a square pyramid body with a base length exactly 1.5 times its height, with a thin, flexible, bowed leg on each lower vertex. Their legs are cylindrical and allow them to move in any direction without turning their bodies. They also have a pair of curved, cylindrical, flexible antennae attached to the uppermost vertex of their body. Situated at the ends of the antennae are two solid spheres composed of beryllium bronze with density 8.78g/cm³.”

Among the horrors squirrelled away in secure vaults by the SCP foundation, these pyramid monsters are part of a rare group: those which haven’t harmed anyone. They might not even be dangerous, just weird. The Foundation hides them from the general public because they can’t, as yet, be understood. To be honest, it’s a nice change of pace to see something that’s eldritch and exotic that doesn’t want to eat your sanity, particularly when you look at the next bunch of weirdos:

SCP-1293 Squeedle-Deedle-Dee!

Shmiggly shmaggly shmarms, I sadly don't have any arms!

This thing was apparently spawned from a disturbed child’s imagination. That last sentence was meant literally, not even slightly metaphorically.

There are certain behaviours expected of eldritch transdimensional horrors. Lurking in the shadows of the world; driving the occasional over-confident explorer bonkers; and waiting for the stars to be right, so that they can sweep away the fragile world of man; these are all normal things for eldritch horrors to engage in. However, some eldritch horrors engage in less conventional, less orthodox behaviours:

SCP-1293-A-4: If I used a stranger’s childrens, that would just be squeedly weedly weird! Do you want to see me do a merry jig?

Dr. Reeves: No, thank you.

(SCP-1293-A-4 disregards Dr. Reeves and begins dancing.)

SCP-1293-A-4: (Singing) Wibbly wibbly woo, I wish I could hug big, beautiful you! Shmiggly shmaggly shmarms, I sadly don’t have any arms!

This sort of thing is probably frowned on by less eccentric eldritch horrors, but instances of SCP-1293 don’t care what other eldritch horrors think. They march to the beat of a different drum, and they feed on [redacted], which they can obtain in large amounts by [redacted].

That’s it for AddAltMode’s Creepy Countdown. Have a spooky-but-fun Halloween, and try not to have nightmares.

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