Previously: The Max Headroom Broadcast Intrusion.
Occasionally I’m finding myself writing shorter pieces here on The Ghost in My Machine that catch my attention enough to want to do more thorough investigations into them. Such was the case with Robert the Doll; and now it’s happened with “The Noise Coming from Inside Children,” which I first covered in the Encyclopaedia of the Impossible some months ago. I don’t know, guys. There’s just something about this one that really, really freaks me out. Anyone else?
As is always the case with Scare Yourself Silly, this post originally appeared on The Toast.
There’s a story out there with the deliciously bizarre title of “The Noise Coming from Inside Children.” Written by a little-known author by the name of Ed Kann, it’s widely considered by those who have read it to be one of the most disturbing pieces of fiction ever conceived. It didn’t drive anyone mad just because they read it or anything; it did, however, receive such backlash at its initial publication for its horrific content that it was never reprinted, and as a result, it’s gained quite a reputation — it’s thought to be one of the horror genre’s greatest and rarest works. I mean, consider that title alone: “The Noise Coming from Inside Children.” If that isn’t the perfect title for a spooky story, I don’t know what is. Creepy noises, coming from somewhere creepy and involving creepy children… it’s everything weird and unsettling, all rolled up in one simple turn of phrase. It’s a title that makes me desperately want to read the story it’s attached to…
…except that I can’t. We don’t know where it is. Or — and here’s the next layer of the tale — whether it actually exists at all.
Read more "Scare Yourself Silly: “The Noise Coming from Inside Children” and the Lost Works of Ed Kann"
Previously: America’s Drive-In Movie Theaters.
Stories about ghost ships have abounded for centuries: The fictional Flying Dutchman, the factual Mary Celeste, and more. But one of these ghost ships is not like the others… because it belongs to McDonald’s. Or at least, it used to belong to McDonald’s. It’s called the McBarge, and it’s made its home in British Columbia for almost 30 years.
Officially named the Friendship 500, the McBarge was built for the 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication — or Expo ’86 — to showcase the technology and architecture of the future. The Expo that year took place in Vancouver; accordingly, the McBarge was moored in False Creek. It featured hardwood floors and friendly décor, and the kitchen was kept entirely out of sight. The food was nothing to write home about — a McDonald’s cheeseburger is a McDonald’s cheeseburger, no matter where you eat it — but its “futuristic” method of delivery was: It made its own way out from the kitchen to the front counter, trundling along on a little conveyor belt.
Read more "Abandoned: The McBarge, McDonald’s Abandoned Ghost Ship (Photos)"
Previously: “Lost Episodes.”
Much has been made of the tyranny of the typing awareness indicator… but “Annie96 Is Typing…” brings it to a whole new level. In its briefest form, the typing awareness indicator consists of three little dots appearing when someone is working on a message; arguably, however, the longer version is more anxiety-inducing: The words “So-and-so is typing” followed by an animated ellipsis. What are they typing? Why did the indicator just disappear? Did they just stop typing without sending the message? Why didn’t they send it? What’s going on here???
The effectiveness of “Annie96 Is Typing…” comes not only from its use of the typing awareness indicator, but also from the delivery method of the story itself. More than a mere chat log — something static which we the readers come to after the fact — it harnesses something called Stories for Your Screen, allowing us to experience it as it unfolds in real time. Unfortunately I don’t know whether Stories for Your Screen is still active — it hasn’t been updated in quite some time, and its social media feeds went silent around the end of April 2014 — but even if it’s dead in the water, I can appreciate what it represents. This kind of storytelling can only happen via the Internet; it’s a peek into how creative creepypasta can get the longer it sticks around.
I don’t use WhatsApp, so I can’t tell you how accurate the story’s use of it is; in an interview with WebMagazin, though, author Pascal Chatterjee noted, “All I can say is: It would be quite a big issue if the WhatsApp client leaked random chat histories to other users.” But at the same time, there’s also this: Maybe the fact that the chat history was “discovered” via such a “leak” is indicative of something… else. Something bigger. Something that implies whatever is going on in Annie96’s story isn’t done yet.
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Previously: Frequently Asked Questions.
Unfortunately I have absolutely no idea from whence Musical Chairs Alone originates. I found it copied and pasted on a few random Wattpad pages; unfortunately, though, there’s no discussion of where it came from, who came up with it, or any other information about the game. I came up empty on Google, too, finding only the same basic set of directions over and over and over again (a true piece of creepypasta if ever I’ve seen one, albeit a somewhat poorly written one). I still find the ritual itself kind of interesting, though, so I’ve attempted to clean up the instructions a bit — here are the results.
I should probably note here that I’m also not totally clear on why you’d want to play this game. It’s high risk — if you invite something into your home and it doesn’t want to play, you’re probably going to have a difficult time getting rid of it — but with absolutely no reward. Maybe it’s for the thrill of it — that whole “tempting fate” thing we’ve talked about before.
In any event, here — have at. Like The Gambler’s Game, it’s short and sweet. But as always… play at your own risk.
Read more "The Most Dangerous Games: Musical Chairs Alone"