SCP is a fascinating, addictive storytelling project. It purports to be documents around the activities of the Secure, Contain, and Protect Foundation. The group tracks down mysterious and dangerous... artifacts, then tries to S, C, and P them.
Each entry is a single wiki page, sometimes with supplemental materials, such as images, logs, or further evidence. Entries classify objects based on their threat level to humanity, how (if) they are currently archived, and what the Foundation currently knows about them.
These short stories range in tone from horrific to whimsical. They use a made-up jargon to add a bureaucratic layer to events, which makes SFP seem both more real and disturbing. Characters and other organizations appear, including scientists, "volunteers", and competitors, which humanize the Foundation's progress. Imagine a mix of X-Files, Lovecraft, Charlie Stross, and Kafka.
We are the last bastion of security in a world where natural laws rapidly break down. We are here to protect humanity from the things that go bump in the night, from people who wield power beyond mortal understanding. We are here to make the world a safer place. We are the holders of wonders, and the crafters of dreams. We are why the world continues. In the short form, we're a creative writing site, devoted towards horror.
It's a terrific example of wiki storytelling. Multiple users can create entries. Discussion tabs show workshopping and feedback.
Warning: very, very addictive.
701, or The Hanged King's Tragedy: a 17th-century play's text is haunted, perhaps carrying a lethal memetic virus.
1845: a fox who seems to be possessed by a European ruler.
093: a disk which allows people to enter mirrors and the dire world they access.
1440: a sad, ancient, uncontrollably destructive card player.
914: a machine that... processes things. Staff misuse it.
1981, or Reagan Cut Up While Talking: a lost VHS tape of a Ronal Reagan speech. Each time it's played the president's speech alters in grim ways, and his body is tortured.
895: an ancient, demonic being kept in storage. Mostly.
Snopes snags a nice bit of short-short creepy storytelling, noting people are passing it around as urban legend. Yes, an untitled piece of creepypasta (2012) crept out of the fictive world and into the marginally less fictive sphere of must-be-true folklore.
The following is going around Facebook with the picture of a doctor and a nurse holding down a "mannequin woman." It's obviously BS, but it would be cool to know the history of it
The tale begins like so:
In June of 1972, a woman appeared in Cedar Senai hospital in nothing but a white, blood-covered gown. Now this, in itself, should not be too surprising as people often have accidents nearby and come to the nearest hospital for medical attention. But there were two things that caused people who saw her to vomit and flee in terror.
The first being that she wasn’t exactly human. she resembled something close to a mannequin, but had the dexterity and fluidity of a normal human being. Her face, was as flawless as a mannequins, devoid of eyebrows and smeared in make-up.
She had a kitten clenched in between her teeth, her jaws clamped so unnaturally tightly around it to the point where no teeth could be seen, the blood was still squirting out over her gown and onto the floor. She then pulled it out of her mouth, tossed it aside and collapsed...
Infocult: monitoring the Gothic world as it invades yours, story by uncanny story.
Another social media hoax character appeared, this time in Uzbekistan. "Gulsumoy Abdujalilova" appeared on Facebook and through comments around the Web, until she killer herself, apparently.
Using information that members of the Uzbek opposition had received from whomever was pretending to be Gulsumoy, [Elena Urlaeva, a prominent human rights advocate] discovered that Gulsumoy had never lived, much less died. A search in Munich by Uzbek exiles there yielded the same result -- or, that is, no result.
Finding no trace of Gulsumoy's existence, Uzbek activists conceded that the whole thing was a hoax. The Facebook page, which disappeared on December 14 without explanation, was a fake. So was every detail of the Gulsumoy Abdujalilova story: the note, the pictures of her sent to Uzbek media sites, and the phone calls like the one Elena Urlaeva had received.
Kendzior does a great job connecting the hoax to the weird, tense specifics of Uzbek politics. She also draws out some fine hoax issues, like the way detecting one depends on a strong sense of normative identity portrayal. Which is political:
Looking at the page again, there are signs that might stand out for a Western audience: the lack of any real photos (Gulsumoy used a headshot of a Turkish model for her profile picture-- it was openly not her photo, like when someone uses a celebrity's picture as a joke), the dearth of comments from her 114 friends, the use of a pseudonym (she posted under "Gulsumoy Andijon," a reference to the site of the 2005 massacre), and the heavy emphasis on the political over the personal. But to see these as signs of a hoax assumes a normative standard of what a Facebook profile "should" look like...
Many Uzbeks are selective or even deceptive about what they reveal about themselves on Facebook, for they are aware that the government is watching them and know giving too much up could be risky. They use Facebook to access information, not to share it. They use Facebook not to define themselves, but to find refuge, however tenuous, from the state's definition of who they are, what they can say, and who they could become.
Social media storytelling: apparently the Candle Cove idea spread around the social Web. The author reflects on it hitting 4chan:
Candle Cove has entered a subset of the public subconsciousness, much in the way the characters were trying to figure out if it was real within the story. It’s almost as if Candle Cove is becoming real.
there's now a user-generated video sample, which is unsettling.
A rather bizarre episode of Candle Cove, a children's show which aired on a small uhf television station in Ashland, KY about 71 or 72. I contacted the old owners of the station and they loaned me the tape and asked me to digitize the episodes for them and said I could do whatever I wanted with them. This is the last episode and is very strange.
Last month Gilberto Martinez Vera and Maria de Jesus Bravo Pagola used Twitter and Facebook to hoax their neighbors. They built a story about a kidnapping in their community, using tweets and status updates.
They pled innocence through an absence of physical harm, while Veracruz's governor dubbed them terrorists.
We'll see if digital storytelling receives a fearsome reputation. I first suggested this in my 2011 book.