Encyclopaedia of the Impossible: The Cooper Family Falling Body (And) Photograph

cooper-familyPreviously: Kunekune

Type: Unclassifiable. MO and EV are the strongest possibilities, although in the absence of further information, a classification is not possible to be made at this time.

Period/location of origin: Conflicting. The photograph itself is believed to date back to 1959, possibly originating in Texas; however, the earliest appearance of Subject 1A (see below) may have occurred solely on the internet circa 2009. Additionally, an anecdote meant to explain Subject 1A may have also appeared solely on the internet, albeit several years later (circa 2012-2013). This anecdote is… questionable.

Appearance: Subject appears to be a black-and-white photograph of two small boys seated at a table in the laps of two women. The women are assumed to be relatives — judging by the apparent ages of each, possibly mother and grandmother. The table is set with a tablecloth, three lit candles, and what looks like a tea set. Above the candles appears to be a humanoid body (Subject 1A), either hanging upside down, or perhaps falling, as subject’s colloquial name suggests. The taker of the photograph is unknown.

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Haunted Road Trip: Peg Entwistle and the Hollywood Sign

hollywood-2

Previously: The Sallie House.

It’s a fixture of the landscape: 45 feet high and 350 long, stark white against the surrounding brush of Mount Lee, yet harmonious with the blue of the sky above it. It imparts one message, but also many — so much conveyed in just one word: “Hollywood.”

Of course, the Hollywood sign wasn’t always the Hollywood sign; it’s fairly common knowledge by now that originally, it was the Hollywoodland sign. It also wasn’t necessarily meant to stand the time in quite the way it has: It was, after all, originally just an advertisement for a real estate development. But it has become iconic — if there’s one thing people think of when they think of L.A., it’s the Hollywood sign — and, as is often the case with iconic places and things, it’s also gotten a reputation for being haunted. Given Hollywood’s long, storied, and often seedy history, it’s not surprising that its most notable landmark might have this sort of reputation — but if you had to pinpoint where it all began, it always comes back to one person: Peg Entwistle.

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The Most Dangerous Games: 11 Miles

road-2Previously: Japanese New Year Ritual.

(By request.)

Ritual pastas tend to fall into two camps: Games you read about because they’re good stories, and games you read about because it seems like you might actually be able to play them. 11 Miles is definitely the former.

There’s secondary set of categories, too, by which ritual pastas can be similarly divided: Games that are made-up internet shenanigans, and games that stem from history or folklore. Here, too, 11 Miles is definitely the former.

But although it might be clearly made up, 11 Miles also follows a longstanding tradition of journeys in folklore, legend, and mythology: Journeys to get your heart’s desire; journeys to return home; journeys to get your heart’s desire that result in returning home because you didn’t realize that returning home was what you wanted all along. I keep thinking back to The Odysseya much longer trip than 11 measly miles, for sure… although perhaps only in the literal sense.

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Unresolved: Unfavorable Semicircle And The (Possible) Evolution Of ARGs (Or Not)

monitor

Previously: The Markovian Parallax Denigrate.

In the beginning, it was only four seconds long. Just four seconds — four silent seconds, filled with nothing but a field of murky brown and a small, dark dot. The video was odd, for sure, with an odd title as well — just a string of numbers. The name of the channel on which the video appeared was odd, too, even for YouTube: “Unfavorable Semicircle.” There were seemingly no semicircles here — and even if there were, what on earth would cause one to be classified as “unfavorable?”

The video was uploaded on April 5, 2015; the YouTube account itself had appeared several days prior, on March 30. But this video wasn’t the only clip uploaded that day — an astonishing 1,247 videos appeared on the channel in total.

Pay attention; this fact will be important later on.

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Creepypasta of the Week: “The River Country Film”

river-country

Previously: “The Woman in the Oven.”

The history behind “The River Country Film” is all true: Walt Disney World’s original water park, River Country opened on June 20, 1976, predating later Disney water parks Typhoon Lagoon by 13 years and Blizzard Beach by nearly two decades. Although it was smaller than Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach, it had a certain charm to it; designed to resemble an old time-y swimming hole, it did what Disney does best: Look back with nostalgia at an extravagantly romanticized vision of yesteryear — or perhaps more accurately, a past that never was.

Over time, though, it began to struggle in comparison with the newer water parks; what’s more, attendance for Walt Disney World as a whole dropped off dramatically post-9/11, ands River Country suffered quite a bit as a result. The park ran its regular season throughout the rest of 2001 — but in April of 2002, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the park may not reopen. It stayed closed throughout 2002 and languished for another few years; then, on January 20, 2005, Disney finally confirmed the fact that the park was permanently closed.

What’s so fascinating about the closure, though, is that the park has never subsequently been demolished.

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The Best Creepy Podcasts On The Internet, January 2017 — And Why They’re Worth Your Time

tapePreviously: The Best Creepy Podcasts on the Internet, January 2016.

It’s been just about a year since the last time we talked about the best creepy podcasts on the internet, so let’s revisit the topic, shall we? The new list of things I’m actively listening to is a tiny bit shorter than the previous one, largely because I’m also still listening to a lot of the ones we talked about previously; alas, there are only so many listening hours in a day, and, well… you do the math. But I’ve added a few new ones to the rotation, as well as found a few others to save until later (that is, when I run out of episodes of all the others I’m currently devouring), so here’s what I’ve had playing in my headphones lately.

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The Most Dangerous Games: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. VI

bell book candle

Previously: Frequently Asked Questions, Vol. V

It’s been a few months; time for an update, I think. A lot of folks have had some interesting questions about how these games and rituals might interact — e.g., what happens if you play a game that ends with you, say, needing to avoid mirrors, and then try to play a game that involves a lot of mirrors? Most of my answers to these sorts of questions are purely conjecture, I’m afraid — but it’s a fascinating line of thought. I’d love to hear any theories anyone else might have, as well, so do feel free to comment if you’ve got one.

Also, on a slightly unrelated note: Many thanks to all the post-wedding well-wishers! Your kind words are all very much appreciated.

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