Previously: “Anansi’s Goatman Story”
One of the biggest subgenres of the “let’s fuck up everyone’s childhood”-type creepypastas are the ones that focus on children’s television. A lot of these stories describe lost episodes of well-known shows like Spongebob Squarepants (“Squidward’s Suicide”), weird cartoon shorts starring characters like Mickey Mouse (“Suicide Mouse”), and so on — but I would argue the more effective tales are the ones about shows that didn’t actually exist… or did they?
“1999” is one of these such tales. It’s a long read, but stick with it—it’s worth it. Just, y’know… don’t try to hunt down channel 21 yourself. Especially if you happen to live around Ontario.
“The year is nineteen-ninety-nine.”
That sentence brings me back to my senior kindergarten class when I was five years old, where we used to read out the date on the blackboard every single day. The year 1999 exists as a stain in mind however, as a memory that will not go away no matter how I try to forget it. 1999 marked the year I lost my first tooth, my first time on a plane, and unfortunately the early loss of my childhood innocence.
That one memory that refuses to be wiped, it all started with that new (or old) TV. At that time Pokémon was the latest fad to hit the school. Pokémon cards, games, stickers, and the most popular, the TV show. So of course every time I came home from school, I would stay glued to the TV until Pokémon came on at five. The only problem was that my dad watched the news at 5:30, and Pokémon episodes were back-to-back, which meant I had to miss an episode everyday, something I whined on and on about. My dad got tired of hearing me complain everyday, that must be why he went and bought another TV.
My dad put the TV he bought in my room, unfortunately it was just an old, small boob tube, with rabbit ears even. It also only had 20 channels available; not including the channel Pokémon was on. I recall I didn’t care though, I was just thrilled I had my own TV in my room. After surfing through the channels, I came to the conclusion that only channel 2 (TVO kids) was worth watching so I watched that for a while. It wasn’t for another few months until I discovered channel 21. One day in April, I was flipping through the channels, trying to see if Pokémon was on. I pressed channel 21 into the remote, hoping there were more channels, and to my delight there was. My dad was surprised too, but he let me watch it because it seemed to have kids programs on. The channel was called Caledon Local 21, and later I found out it was indeed broadcast from the town of Caledon, Ontario, a town very close to my city.
The shows I saw on Caledon Local 21 looked poorly made, and I never understood what was going on in them half the time. However as I grew up, every time I thought of that channel, I realized more and more how messed up the shows were and I had to ask myself “What the fuck was I watching?”
The following is a list of shows and episodes I remember seeing on Caledon Local 21, how I remember such detail even disturbs me, but I guess things like this stands out in your mind for a while. There were only three shows I could find on the channel, probably because the channel was only operational between 4:00pm and 9:00pm
Booby-Episode 6: “Together”: I recall Booby was a show where the characters were simply live action hands, no puppets or anything, just hands. The show featured a hand named Booby who found himself in a new situation every episode. The show was only 5 minutes long, and looked like it was shot in front of a damp, decaying wall, with the hands always on a table with a red table cloth(Very low budget obviously). This was the first episode I watched. The episode began with Booby trying to get ketchup out of a bottle. It actually showed him beating himself against the bottom of the bottle for like 3 minutes. Finally another hand came by and looked at Booby. “Together” The other hand said, and it began beating the bottle as well, until some ketchup finally squirted out all over the table (I remember chuckling slightly at this part). Booby then stared at the ketchup mess for a few seconds, before turning towards the camera as it slowly zoomed in on him.
Mr.Bear’s Cellar-Episode 12 : Very sketchy name if you were to look at it now a days. The show featured a guy wearing a bear mascot costume who would get a new visitor into his cellar everyday (It was always a kid). The show was filmed with a camcorder and not a very good one either. The police asked me a lot of questions about this show. This episode started with Mr. Bear sitting at a table playing checkers by himself (I didn’t recognize it at first, but the table was the same one from Booby). He sat there playing for a bit until there was a knock on the door. The camera was then looking up the stairs at the door, where there was another knock. Mr. Bear climbed the stairs, and opened the door to reveal two young children. One was a boy about my age, and the other was a girl who looked about 8.
Mr. Bear danced in delight, and then started talking to the kids; I couldn’t hear any of them that well I remember though. Mr. Bear then lead the kids into the cellar, which was quite dark, only lit by a small oil lamp on the table. I can’t really remember that much more, except him singing a song which I couldn’t hear too well either (Probably because of that large bear mask). The episode ended with them playing hide-and-seek, with the kids hiding in a closet, and Mr. Bear counting.
Soup and Spoon: I don’t think this was even a show, I think it was more of a special movie thing. All I know is I stopped watching Caledon Local 21 for a while because I thought this show was too stupid, especially since Pokemon now came on at 4:30 and 5:00. I don’t remember much of this, but it showed a can of soup and a spoon both attached to strings, swinging back and forth, as if someone was holding them and dangling them in front of the camera. Interestingly enough, the show was shot in a basement, which looked just like the one used in Mr. Bear’s Cellar. Like I said, I can’t remember much, the only thing I can remember clearly was the end.
The entire thing was only half an hour, and just include stuff I found stupid, such as the spoon chasing the soup around trying to “Eat him”. The ending showed a table (The one from Booby once again) and about 7 kids sitting around it, each with a bowl of soup in front of him. They were sitting and looking at the camera, but with confused, almost frightened faces. The camera man then held the can of soup in front of the kids and said “Spooooons ready?” And then it just stopped.
It was summer, and I hadn’t watched channel 21 for a while. Until one day when I slept over at my friend’s house I decided to check it out again. My friend had gotten a TV in his room for his sixth birthday, so we stayed up very late (For us, 9:30 was very late) and watched TV. That’s when I remembered channel 21 and brought it up to my friend. We decided to see if it was on, and to our surprise it was (They must have changed the broadcasting time).